Daniel’s Vision of the Four Beasts
1In the first year of King Belshazzar of Babylon, Daniel had a dream with visions in his mind7:1 Jb 33:14–16; Dn 1:17; 2:1; 4:5–9; Jl 2:28 as he was lying in his bed. He wrote down the dream,7:1 Jr 36:4,32 and here is the summary7:1 Lit beginning of his account.
2Daniel said, “In my vision at night I was watching, and suddenly the four winds of heaven7:2 Ezk 37:9; Zch 2:6; Rv 7:1 stirred up the great sea.
3Four huge beasts7:3 Dn 7:17 came up from the sea,7:3 Rv 13:1; 17:8 each different from the other.
4“The first was like a lion7:4 Jr 4:7; 25:9; Rv 13:2 but had eagle’s wings. I continued watching until its wings were torn off. It was lifted up from the ground, set on its feet like a man, and given a human mind.
5“Suddenly, another beast appeared, a second one, that looked like a bear.7:5 Rv 13:2 It was raised up on one side, with three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. It was told, ‘Get up! Gorge yourself on flesh.’
6“After this, while I was watching, suddenly another beast appeared. It was like a leopard7:6 Hab 1:8; Rv 13:2 with four wings of a bird on its back. It had four heads,7:6 Dn 8:22 and it was given dominion.
7“After this, while I was watching in the night visions, suddenly a fourth beast7:7 Dn 7:19,23 appeared, frightening and dreadful, and incredibly strong, with large iron teeth. It devoured and crushed, and it trampled with its feet whatever was left. It was different from all the beasts before it, and it had ten horns.7:7 Dn 7:20,24; Rv 12:3; 13:1
8“While I was considering the horns, suddenly another horn,7:8 Dn 7:11,20–26; 8:9 a little one, came up among them, and three of the first horns were uprooted before it. And suddenly in this horn there were eyes like the eyes of a human and a mouth that was speaking arrogantly.7:8 Rv 13:5–6
The Ancient of Days and the Son of Man
9“As I kept watching,
thrones were set in place,7:9 Mt 19:28; Rv 20:4
and the Ancient of Days took his seat.
His clothing was white like snow,7:9 Mk 9:3
and the hair of his head like whitest wool.7:9 Is 1:18; Rv 1:14
His throne was flaming fire;7:9 Ezk 1:13,26
its wheels were blazing fire.7:9 Ezk 10:2,6
10A river of fire was flowing,
coming out from his presence.
Thousands upon thousands7:10 Dt 33:2; 1Kg 22:19; Rv 5:11 served him;
ten thousand times ten thousand7:10 Ps 96:11–13; Rv 9:16 stood before him.
The court was convened,7:10 Dn 7:26
and the books were opened.7:10 Dn 12:1; Rv 20:11–15
11“I watched, then, because of the sound of the arrogant words the horn was speaking. As I continued watching, the beast was killed and its body destroyed and given over to the burning fire.7:11 Dn 7:26; Rv 19:20; 20:10
12As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was removed, but an extension of life was granted to them for a certain period of time.7:12 Ps 75:6–7; Dn 2:21
13I continued watching in the night visions,
and suddenly one like a son of man7:13 Mt 16:27–28; 24:30; Lk 21:27; Ac 7:56; Rv 1:7,13; 14:14
was coming with the clouds of heaven.7:13 Mt 26:64; Mk 13:26; 14:62
He approached the Ancient of Days
and was escorted before him.
14He was given dominion7:14 Jn 3:35; 1Co 15:27; Eph 1:20–22; Php 2:9; Rv 1:6; 11:15
and glory and a kingdom,
so that those of every people,
nation, and language7:14 Ps 72:11; 102:22; Rv 10:11
should serve7:14 Dn 3:14,17–18,28; 6:17,21; 7:27 him.
His dominion is an everlasting7:14 Heb 12:28 dominion
that will not pass away,
and his kingdom is one
that will not be destroyed.
Interpretation of the Vision
15“As for me, Daniel, my spirit was deeply distressed within me,7:15 Lit was distressed in the middle of its sheath and the visions in my mind terrified me.7:15 Dn 4:19; 7:1,28
16I approached one of those who were standing by and asked him7:16 Zch 1:9,19; Rv 5:5; 7:13–14 to clarify all this. So he let me know the interpretation of these things:7:16 Dn 7:3
17‘These huge beasts, four in number, are four kings who will rise from the earth.
18But the holy ones of the Most High will receive the kingdom and possess it forever, yes, forever and ever.’7:18 Ps 149:5–9; Is 60:12–14; Rv 2:26–27; 11:15; 22:5
19“Then I wanted to be clear about the fourth beast,7:19 Dn 7:7–8 the one different from all the others, extremely terrifying, with iron teeth and bronze claws, devouring, crushing, and trampling with its feet whatever was left.
20I also wanted to know about the ten horns7:20 Rv 12:3 on its head and about the other horn that came up, before which three fell — the horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spoke arrogantly,7:20 Dn 7:8; 2Th 2:9–10 and that looked bigger than the others.
21As I was watching, this horn waged war7:21 Rv 11:7; 13:7 against the holy ones and was prevailing over them
22until the Ancient of Days arrived and a judgment7:22 Dn 7:10; 1Co 6:2–3 was given in favor of the holy ones of the Most High, for the time had come, and the holy ones took possession of the kingdom.
23“This is what he said: ‘The fourth beast will be a fourth kingdom on the earth, different from all the other kingdoms. It will devour the whole earth, trample it down, and crush it.
24The ten horns7:24 Dn 7:7; Rv 17:12 are ten kings who will rise from this kingdom. Another king, different from the previous ones, will rise after them and subdue three kings.
25He will speak words against the Most High7:25 Dn 11:36; Rv 13:1–6 and oppress7:25 Lit wear out the holy ones7:25 Rv 13:7; 18:24 of the Most High. He will intend to change religious festivals7:25 Lit change times and laws,7:25 Dn 2:21 and the holy ones will be handed over to him for a time, times, and half a time.7:25 Or for three and a half years7:25 Dn 12:7; Rv 11:2; 12:14
26But the court will convene,7:26 Dn 7:10 and his dominion will be taken away, to be completely destroyed forever.7:26 Rv 17:14; 19:20
27The kingdom, dominion, and greatness of the kingdoms under all of heaven will be given to the people, the holy ones of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom,7:27 Ps 145:13; Is 9:7; Lk 1:33; Rv 11:15; 22:5 and all rulers will serve and obey him.’
28“This is the end of the account. As for me, Daniel, my thoughts terrified me greatly,7:28 Dn 4:19 and my face turned pale,7:28 Lit my brightness changed on me but I kept the matter to myself.”7:28 Lk 2:19,51