God revealed world history before it happened
1 In the first year of Belshazzar, king of Babylon, Daniel saw a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, and told the main facts. 2 Daniel spoke and said, I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of the heaven were churning up the great sea. 3 And four great beasts came up from the sea, different one from another. 4 The first was like a lion and had eagle's wings: I watched as its wings were plucked, it was lifted up from the earth, made to stand on the feet as a man, and a man's heart was given to it.
- The four winds of heaven symbolize the principalities and powers of Ephesians 6:12.
- They are seeking to control the people of the world for the sea in scripture often represents great masses of people.
- The word ‘beast’ represents a godless kingdom, devouring its people as is typical of these beasts.
- Rulers without understanding of God, do not realize that they will give an account regarding the people that God has trusted into their care.
- God tells man things before they happen so they can’t give credit to an idol.
- This first beast represents Nebuchadnezzar who ruled Babylon as an unbeliever.
- He was the head of gold, the first world ruler of Daniel 2:38. When God dealt with him, as he does with all men, that is, plucking off his wings (Daniel 4:18-37), then Nebuchadnezzar became a believer and ‘was given the heart of a man.’ He ruled from that time on in the fear of God.
- Isaiah 48:5 I have from the beginning declared it to you; before it came to pass I showed it to you: lest you should say, My idol has done them, and my carved image, and my molten image, has commanded them.
5 And beheld another beast, a second, like a bear. It raised itself up on one side, and it had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth: and they said this to it, Arise, devour much flesh.
- This beast represents Media-Persia, another empire that devoured men.
- ‘Raised up itself on one side’ refers to the fact that Persia was the dominant part of the kingdom.
6 After this I beheld, and saw another, like a leopard, which had upon its back four wings of a bird; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it.
- The leopard represents the Greek empire of Alexander the great.
- The leopard is agile and swift.
- Alexander the great conquered the whole world in ten years without modern technology, weapons, or communications.
- The four wings and the four heads speak of his four generals who divided the empire at Alexander’s death.
- God sees these national leaders as beasts because beasts devour to sate their hunger with no thought for the life of that which is devoured.
- All mankind is hungry for their Maker.
- Many fill that place with false things that cannot satisfy their deep soul hunger.
7 After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful, terrifying, and exceedingly strong; it had great iron teeth: it devoured, broke in pieces, and stamped the residue with its feet: and it was different from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.
- Ten horns are related to the first but separate.
- This fourth beast speaks of the Roman Empire.
- The ten horns represent emperors and also speak of the ten horns of the dragon when the empire is revived in the end times and ruled by Satan indwelling a man.
- History validates the accuracy of Daniel’s vision up to this point.
- Daniel received this prophecy BC 555.
- Only another ‘ten horns’ is future.
- These ten will rule almost simultaneously under the antichrist.
- Revelation 12:3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns on his heads.
- Revelation 17:12 And the ten horns that you saw are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.
8 I considered the horns, and behold, another little horn came up among them, before whom three of the first horns were plucked up by the roots: and behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.
- The little horn represents the embodiment of the antichrist who will speak great blasphemies against God.
- Revelation 13:4-5 And they worshipped the dragon that gave power to the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him? 5 And there was given to him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given to him to continue 42 months (3 1/2 years).
The Lord casts down unworthy rulers
9 I watched until the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days sat, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. 10 A fiery stream issued and came from before him: a thousand thousands ministered to him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened. 11 I continued to watch because of the voice of the great words that the horn spoke: I watched until the beast was killed, his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.
- The white speaks of the blinding purity of God’s holiness in contrast to these beasts who have devoured mankind through the centuries of history.
- The fire represents the jealousy of God’s infinite love.
- Ezekiel 1:26 And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and on the throne was the likeness of a man above upon it. 27 And I saw as the color of amber, as the appearance of fire round about within it, from his loins upward, and from his loins downward, I saw the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about. 28 As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD.
- Deuteronomy 4:24 For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.
- I John 4:8 He that does not love does not know God; for God is love.
- Revelation 19:20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that worked miracles before him, by which he deceived those that had received the mark of the beast, and those that worshipped his image. Both of these were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
- Revelation 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and will be tormented day and night forever and ever.:15 And whoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
The eternal Father gives all dominion to His Son
12 And concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time. 13 I saw in the night visions, and behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven. He came to the Ancient of days. And they brought him near before him. 14 And there was given to him dominion, glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, would serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom will never be destroyed.
- Psalm 2:8 Ask of me, and I will give you the heathen for your inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for your possession.
15 I, Daniel, was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me. 16 I came near to one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of these things. 17 These great beasts, which are four, are four kings that will arise out of the earth. 18 But the saints of the most High will take the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever. 19 Then I wanted to know the truth about the fourth beast, that was different from all the others, exceedingly dreadful, whose teeth were of iron and his nails of brass; which devoured, broke in pieces, and stamped the remainder with his feet; 20 And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spoke very great things, whose appeared greater than the others. 21 I watched and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them
He gives the kingdom and judgment to the people of the saints
22 Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom. 23 He said this, The fourth beast will be the fourth kingdom on earth, which will be different from all kingdoms. It will devour the whole earth, trample it down, and break it in pieces. 24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that will rise: and another will rise after them. He will be different from the first, and he will subdue three kings. 25 He will speak great words against the most High, and will wear out the saints of the most High, and intend to change times and laws: and they will be given into his hand for 3 1/2 years. 26 But the judgment will sit, and they will take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. 27 And the kingdom and dominion and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven will be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions will serve and obey him. 28 That is the end of the account. As for me, Daniel, my thoughts greatly alarmed me, and my countenance/face changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart.
- The word ‘saints’ is an Aramaic word meaning sacred ones.
- These aren’t perfect people or sinless people but ones who believed God’s great gift of forgiveness, who overcame by Word of God and the blood of the Lamb.
- There is nothing holy about God’s people except what God has done.
- Revelation 19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. 12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. 13 And he was clothed with a garment dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies that were in heaven followed him on white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 And out of his mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it he will strike the nations. He will rule them with a rod of iron: and he treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And he has on his garment and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
God showed mankind its future through Daniel
1 In the third year of the reign of king Belshazzar a vision appeared to me, to me Daniel, after the one that had appeared to me at first. 2 And I saw in a vision; when I saw it I was at Shushan in the palace, which is in the province of Elam; and I saw in a vision, and I was by the river of Ulai. 3 Then I lifted up my eyes, and looked, and behold, a ram with two horns stood before the river: and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher one came up last. 4 I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward; so that no beasts might stand before him, neither was there any that could deliver out of his hand; but he did according to his will, and became great.
- These two horns represent the empires of Media and Persia with Persia becoming the later and stronger (verse 20).
- God used animals to portray these human rulers because that best shows the character of their empires. A beast devours.
- These empires ruled selfishly without care for the people under them in contrast to Christ who will rule forever for the good of His people.
- Ezekiel 34 gives a details account of Christ’s rule in simple terms.
- Isaiah 56:9 All you beasts of the field, come to devour, yes, all you beasts in the forest.
5 And as I was considering, behold, a he goat came from the west on the face of the whole earth, moving so swiftly that he did not touch the ground: and the goat had a notable horn of sight between his eyes. 6 He came to the ram that had two horns, that I had seen standing before the river, and ran into him in the fury of his power. 7 I saw him come close to the ram. He was enraged against him, struck the ram, and broke his two horns: there was no power in the ram to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground, and stamped on him: and there was none that could deliver the ram out of his hand.
- The goat symbolizes the reign of the Greek empire over the world.
- Remember God rules sovereign over the entire universe.
- These kings were placed on their thrones at His promotion.
- Psalm 75:6-7 For promotion comes neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he puts down one, and sets up another.
- Daniel 2:21 He changes the times and the seasons: he removes kings, and sets up kings: he gives wisdom to the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding
8 Therefore the he goat grew very great: and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and in its place came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven. 9 And out of one of them came a little horn that grew exceedingly great, toward the south, toward the east, and toward the pleasant land. 10 It grew great against the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stomped on them. 11 Yes, he even challenged the Commander of heaven’s armies by canceling the daily sacrifices offered to him and by destroying his Temple.
- Alexander the great died from alcoholism a young man and the Greek empire was split between four of his generals.
- Antiochus Epiphanes attacked Israel and overthrew the temple worship, replacing it with the false gods of Greece.
- He is a type or illustration of the antichrist who will do the same thing in the last days.
- Bible prophecies had a near and distant fulfillment.
- God brought to pass something close at hand so that we could understand the distant things.
- This verse takes us into the future, the latter days of man’s rule on earth.
- The prince of the host is the Lord Jesus Christ.
- The casting down some of the host and stars of heaven is explained in Revelation 12 to be Satan, the great dragon.
- Revelation 12:4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, to devour her child as soon as it was born.
12 But the army of heaven was restrained from destroying him for this sin. As a result, sacrilege was committed against the Temple ceremonies, and truth was overthrown. The horn succeeded in everything it did. 13 Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said to that numberer of secrets/wonderful numberer that spoke, How long will the vision be concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trampled under foot? 14 And he said to me, Unto 2,300 days; then the sanctuary will be set right.
- 2,300 days is 6 Jewish years plus 140 days.
- The tribulation is predicted to be seven years.
- But Christ said, the days will be cut short.
- God says He has revealed all things to us in His word.
- This verse in Daniel tells us exactly how many days short of the seven years the tribulation will be…360-140 is 220 days.
- The tribulation will be cut short of seven full years by 220 days.
- Though Jesus said that no man knows the exact day or hour of His return to earth except the heavenly Father (Matthew 24:36).
- Mark 13:20 Unless the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh would be saved: but for the elect’s sake, whom he has chosen, he has shortened the days.
- Matthew 7:7-8 Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened unto you: 8 For every one that asks receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it will be opened.
15 And when I, even I Daniel, had seen the vision, and sought for the meaning, then behold, one who appeared to be a man, stood before me. 16 And I heard a man's voice between the banks of Ulai, who called and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision. 17 So he came near where I stood: and when he came, I was afraid and fell on my face: but he said to me, Understand, O son of man: the vision is for the time of the end. 18 Now as he was speaking with me, I was in a deep sleep on my face toward the ground: but he touched me and set me upright. 19 And he said, Behold, I will make you know what will be in the last end of the indignation: for the end will be at the time appointed.
- This time is called the indignation because God is indignant over man’s idolatry.
- God shared His plans with Abraham and called Abraham his friend (Genesis 18:17-19).
- Here He is doing the same with Daniel.
- God honors us as His friends by showing us these things.
- John 15:15 From now on I do not call you servants; for the servant does not know what his lord does: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
20 The ram you saw having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia. 21 And the rough goat is the king of Greece: the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king. 22 Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms will stand up out of the nation, but not in his power. 23 And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the revolters have come to fullness, a king of fierce countenance who understands dark sentences, will stand up. 24 His power will be mighty, but not by his own power: he will destroy awesomely, and will prosper, and practice, and will destroy the mighty and the people of the holy ones.
- God allows transgressors to come to the full.
- He doesn’t eliminate them
- Not by his own power’ and ‘practice’ tell us that this ruler will use demonic power contacted through witchcraft or occult practices to achieve his goals.
- Genesis 15:16 But in the fourth generation they will come here again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.
- 2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any perish, but that all come to repentance.
Jesus is The Prince of Princes
25 And through his policy he will cause deceit/treachery to prosper in his hand; and he will magnify himself in his heart, and by peace will destroy many: he will also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he will be broken without hand. 26 And the vision of the evening and the morning that was told is true: therefore shut up the vision; for it will be for many days. 27 And I Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days; afterward I rose up and did the king's business; I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it.
- The vision that God gave Daniel showed the whole history of nations on earth from that time through the eternal reign of the King of Kings.
- Broken without hand is explained by 2 Thessalonians 2:8.
- II Thessalonians 2:8 And then that Wicked one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the spirit of his mouth, and destroy with the brightness of his coming
- Jeremiah 33:3 Call to me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.
The Lord is great, awesome, and merciful
1 In the first year of Darius, the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans; 2 In the first year of his reign I, Daniel, understood by books the number of the years that came as the word of the LORD to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would keep Jerusalem desolate for 70 years. 3 And I set my face to the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes: 4 And I prayed to the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and awesome God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments; 5 We have sinned, we have committed iniquity, we have done wickedly, and have rebelled, by departing from your precepts and from your judgments: 6 Neither have we listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, to our princes, to our fathers, and to all the people of the land.
- Daniel was studying the scrolls of God’s words through Jeremiah.
- He came to understand that God would not end the captivity of His people quickly but would fulfill 70 years or the Sabbath rests the land had missed.
- Every seven years the people were to let the land rest for a year by not cultivating or planting crops. The people didn’t do this.
Righteousness, mercy, and forgiveness belong to God
7 O Lord, righteousness belongs to you, but to us confusion of faces, as it is this day; to the men of Judah, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to all Israel, those that are near, and those that are far away, through all the countries where you have driven them because of their trespass that they have trespassed against you. 8 O Lord, to us belongs confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against you. 9 To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against him; 10 And we have not obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in his laws that he set before us by his servants the prophets. 11 Yes, all Israel has transgressed your law by departing, that they might not obey your voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, the oath that is written in the law of Moses, the servant of God, because we have sinned against him. 12 And he has confirmed his words, which he spoke against us and against our judges that judged us, by bringing on us a great evil: for nothing has been done under the whole heaven as has been done to Jerusalem.
- God confirms His words by bringing them to pass.
- God warned of these things in Deuteronomy 28, the blessings for obedience, and the curses for disobedience.
- Psalm 36:6 Your righteousness is like the great mountains; your judgments are a great deep: O LORD, you preserve man and beast.
- Romans 3:23 all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God
- Matthew 24:35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
13 As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil has come upon us: yet we did not make our prayer before the LORD our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand your truth. 14 Therefore the LORD has watched upon the evil, and brought it on us: for the LORD our God is righteous in all his works that he does: for we did not obey his voice.
- Deuteronomy 32:4 He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.
- Zephaniah 3:5 The just LORD is in the midst of it; he will not do iniquity: every morning he brings his judgment to light, he does not fail; but the unjust know no shame.
15 And now, O Lord our God, who has brought your people out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and have made a name for yourself, as at this day; we have sinned, we have done wickedly. 16 O Lord, according to all your righteousness, I beg you, let your anger and your fury be turned away from your city Jerusalem, your holy mountain: because, for our sins and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and your people have become a reproach to all that are around us. 17 Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of your servant, hear his supplications, and cause your face to shine on your sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord's sake.
His mercies are great
18 O my God, incline your ear, and hear; open your eyes, and look upon our desolations, and the city that is called by your name: for we do not present our supplications before you for our righteousness, but for your great mercies. 19 O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, listen and do; do not defer, for your own sake, O my God: for your city and your people are called by your name. 20 And while I was speaking, praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God for the holy mountain of my God; 21 Yes, while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly/exhaustingly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation. 22 And he informed me; he talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I have now come to make you skillful in understanding. 23 At the beginning of your supplications the word came forth, and I have come to show you; for you are greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision.
- Jeremiah 31:3 The LORD has appeared of old unto me, saying, Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love: therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn you.
- John 15:13 Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
God predicted from ancient times that the Savior He sent would be rejected
24 Seventy weeks are determined on your people and on your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up the vision and prophet, and to anoint the most Holy. 25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto Messiah the Prince will be seven weeks, and 62 weeks: the street will be built again, and the wall, even in troubled times. 26 And after 62 weeks Messiah will be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary; and its end will be with a flood, and until the end of the war, desolations are determined.
- ‘but not for himself’—for us! That is Christ’s death for the sins of the world.
- The prince that will come is the antichrist.
- Seventy weeks of years is 490 years.
- The first seven weeks of years, or 49 years marked the time until the rebuilding of Jerusalem.
- The second segment of 62 weeks of years or 434 years marked the time that would pass until the Messiah was cut off.
- Adding these two segments reveals the amazing accuracy of Daniel’s prophecy:
- When Artaxerxes Longimanus gave the Israelites permission to return to Israel, the countdown began.
- Archaeologists have pinpointed this to have occurred April, BC 444.
- History records that Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the foal of an ass 483 years later, to the day.
- And one week of years or seven years has been reserved for the great tribulation as expounded upon in the book of Revelation.
- Colossians 1:20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven
27 And he will confirm a covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he will cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he will make it desolate, even until the consummation, and what is determined will be poured upon the desolate.
- This is the prediction of the antichrist signing a peace treaty with Israel for seven years—one week.
- In the middle, he will break the treaty by placing a statue of Himself in the temple, proclaiming Himself to be God.
- This causes the Jews to realize that He is not their Messiah because God forbid any type of statues or images of man or animal.
- God is infinitely beautiful (Ezekiel 1:26-28, Psalm 45:2) and therefore forbid and misrepresentations of Himself.
- Leviticus 26:1 You are not to make idols or carved images or raise yourself up a standing image, neither are you to set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I am the LORD your God.
SUMMARY: Daniel 7-9
- God revealed world history before it happened
- The Lord casts down unworthy rulers
- The eternal Father gives all dominion to His Son
- He gives the kingdom and judgment to the people of the saints
- Jesus is The Prince of Princes
- The Lord is great, awesome, and merciful
- Righteousness, mercy, and forgiveness belong to God
- His mercies are great
- God predicted from ancient times that the Savior He sent would be rejected