Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Daniel 7

Now we go to chapter 7. I advise reading all of these chapters I will be going over, before reading what I have written, as it will help to bring more understanding. Daniel has dreams and visions. He sees the four winds of heaven blowing on the sea. Four great beasts come out of the sea. The first is like a lion and has eagle’s wings. The wings are plucked off and it is made to stand up as a man and a man’s heart is given to it. The second beast is like a bear which is raised up on one side. It has three ribs in its mouth and it is told to devour much flesh. The third is like a leopard which has on its back four wings of a fowl. It also has four heads and dominion is given to it. Then a fourth beast comes up. It is far more dreadful and terrible and exceedingly strong. It has teeth of iron with which it devours and breaks others into pieces. It stamps upon others with its feet, and it has ten horns. Among the ten horns comes up another smaller horn before whom three of the other horns are pulled out by the roots. This horn has the eyes of a man and a mouth speaking great things. Their thrones are cast down and the Ancient of days sits in judgment before innumerable multitudes. The judgments books are opened and judgment is set. The last beast of the little horn is slain and his body thrown in the flames. As for the rest of the beasts their dominion is taken from them, but they continue to live on for a while. Then the Son of man comes before the Ancient of Days. He is given dominion and glory and a kingdom that all people, nations, and languages will serve. It is an everlasting kingdom which cannot be destroyed.

The interpretation is again given. The beasts are four kings which shall arise, but the saints of God shall take the kingdom and possess it forever. Daniel asks specifically about the fourth beast with the ten horns of whom three fell and of the horn with eyes and a mouth that spoke great things whose look was more stout than his fellows. This horn makes war with the saints and prevails against them until the Ancient of days comes and judgment is given to the saints and for them to possess the kingdom. He is told that the fourth kingdom will be different from all kingdoms and will devour the entire earth treading it down and breaking it into pieces. The ten horns are ten kings that will arise. Then another will arise after then and he will be different from the others and will overpower three of the kings. He will speak great words (the Chaldee or Hebrew [I understand that Daniel is written in Aramaic/Chaldean as well as a portion of Hebrew, I don’t know where one starts and the other ends] word for great here means domineering, which would indicate blasphemy since they are against God) against the Most High (God) and will wear out (persecute) the saints of God and try to change the times and laws. The saints will be given into his hand until a time, times, and the dividing of a time. But there will be judgment and his dominion will be taken away . The kingdom will be given to the saints for an everlasting kingdom and all dominions (nations) will serve and obey the Most High.

The following is the usual way of viewing this passage. The connection is made between this vision and Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. Turning to a historical interpretation to understand some of the symbolism we would associate the four beasts as being the same kingdoms as the gold, silver, brass and iron of the image. The first is a lion. The winged lion was the symbol of Babylon, literally. The lion standing up and being given the heart of a man would follow the story of what happened to Nebuchadnezzar in chapter 4. He was as a beast for seven years, then repents his sin (given the heart of a man) and is returned to the sanity of manhood and he then gives glory to God. The bear on one side with three ribs is Medo-Persia. Medo-Persia was a dual country - Media and Persia, however, Persia was predominant over Media - thus the bear on one side. The three ribs indicate the three prominent countries that it conquered - Babylon, Lydia, and Egypt. It had a voracious appetite for conquering and took many nations before it was through. The leopard symbolizes Greece. The four wings are indicative of incredible swiftness. Alexander conquered the world in an amazingly short period of time. The four heads stand for the four generals who divided his kingdom after he died. The fact that he was “given” dominion is understood by the fact that he was able with 35,000 soldiers to conquer Medo-Persia who had millions of people. The fourth beast with iron (again with the iron) teeth is Rome. This beast is a terrible beast, and Rome was terrible, in every way. The ten horns correspond to the ten toes of the image which also come from the same kingdom, Rome, and are in the future. The little horn is another king that will come after the ten and is different in some way from them. He will overpower three of them, blaspheme God, and wage war against the saints (us). He will try to change times and laws (try to get rid of anything that smacks of God and make laws to no doubt enslave and kill us). Something that we learned from chapter 4 which helps us here is the use of the phrase “times”. Nebuchadnezzar was mentally ill for seven “times”. The word times refers to years. To apply that to this chapter, would mean that the saints are given to the little horn for a time (1 year), times (2 years) and a dividing of a time (½ ) year. That adds up to 3 ½ years, which we will see from other Scriptures is exactly how it is to be interpreted. As this is speaking of the end times, (as we have already deduced from chapter 2) the saints here are Christians, not Jews. After this, God sits in judgment, the beast is destroyed (as in chapter 2) and the saints inherit an eternal kingdom. This is the standard interpretation of this passage. I do believe that that is the near fulfillment of this passage, but I am going to introduce a new idea. What if this passage has a far fulfillment like so many others?.

The reason for suggesting this is for several reasons. First, we know that the head of gold was Nebuchadnezzar and that Babylon was associated with him. The problem with that interpretation is first found in verse 17. According to this verse, the first beast (lion with wings) is a king who is yet to arise when Daniel was given this vision. Nebuchadnezzar was already dead by then, and Babylon was already a kingdom, yet it says this lion is a kingdom that is yet to arise. That would seem to indicate that it isn‘t talking about Babylon. The second problem is in verse 12. According to this, the first three kingdoms, while losing the dominion over people as powerful world leading nations, continue to exist after the beast whose kingdom is destroyed by the Ancient of Days. This means that these kingdoms will exist in the millennium although only as a location and ethnic culture. This cannot be said of Ancient Babylon or Persia as they, as world powers, ceased to exist long ago. I don’t see Iran (modern Persia) or Iraq (Babylon) as world powers although they are trouble making nations for Israel. As for Greece, while it is still nation, it is not a powerful world nation. We understand that the fourth beast is an end time kingdom from which comes the ten kings and antichrist. What if the other three are also present day power nations. Who would they be?

First let’s look at the lion. It has the wings of an eagle. Britain’s animal representation happens to be a lion. And America’s is an eagle. The wings are plucked off the lion, just as America came from Britain and detached itself (from the lion), so to speak. So the connection between a lion and an eagle and America and Britain is a major coincidence, if it is a coincidence. And Britain and America are two of the most powerful countries on the planet, so no doubt will have much to do with the power plays of the end times. As to standing up and being given the heart of a man, I am open to suggestions as to what that may mean as concerning Britain. Possibly it may have some connection to Britain’s Balfour Declaration in which the English government created a policy favoring the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. It was the first move toward Israel’s dry bones (see Ezekiel 37) coming back together and Israel becoming a nation again. The plucking off of the eagles wings might also speak to our being destroyed as the wings are basically thrown away. Then there is the bear. Russia is the great bear. Why it is on its side, or what the three ribs stand for I have not been able to discern, as I don’t know enough of its history. That it devoured much flesh could refer to its overrunning all the small countries around it and incorporating them into the U.S.S.R. The third animal is a leopard. This one is interesting as the leopard is the national symbol for the Kazakhs and Tatars. Kazakhs are found mainly in Kazakhstan and Turkey, and Tatars are the peoples of all the little ____stan countries like Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, etc. and the Ukraine. It’s conceivable that four of these countries could make a league to create a single nation. The four wings of a fowl and four heads might stand for that, otherwise it is a mystery to me. I’m open to suggestions. The fact that the bear as Russia is also a dominant world power is in line with this interpretation, plus the Central Asian countries seem to fit as part of the role in the Gog/Magog war in Ezekiel 38 & 39, which is seen as a near fulfillment prophecy about Armageddon. (The far prophecy in this passage would be at the end of the millennium.) Their proximity to Israel can’t be ignored. The fact that these animals fit so well into a present day interpretation can’t be coincidence. Had one of them been New Zealand or some South American country, it might be easy to dismiss the present day prophetic meaning, but under the circumstances, it seems too coincidental to ignore. As for the last beast, it is the world government that has ten kings. Whether that is the EU or some other entity is hard to pinpoint at this juncture. [Since making this post quite some time ago, I have come to new information. I believe the beast is Islam and the ten horns will be ten of the Muslim nations. This is gone into at length further on in Revelation.] We know that the three first beasts will go into the millennium, and it is easy to believe that Britain, Russia and the Central Asian countries will. As I believe America will be destroyed, it makes sense that if it is the eagle’s wings and they are plucked off and thrown away, America won’t be in the millennium. The rest of the story is the same from this point on where it concerns antichrist.

It is important to note every character and phyical description of antichrist. We already understand that he will oppose God and kill the saints. It is not what he is doing that I want to take note of as much as descriptions of him. What I want to do is create a character and physical profile so that we may recognize him. In this passage, he is more stout than his fellows. That does not mean fat. It is in the idea of the song "Give Me Some Men Who Are Stouthearted Men". It comes from the word meaning Captain, chief, lord, or master. In other words, a man who looks like a person who should be in charge. A person who projects authority. The word Captain would seem to indicate a military bearing. Indeed the word stouthearted usually refers to military men. He comes from the beast government, but at this point we are not sure of its present day counterpart. We know he comes out of a derivative kingdom of the Roman Empire from chapter 2. [Islam is found in the same area as the Byzantine Empire which was the eastern leg of the Roman Empire. The reason the times and laws are changed is because only Muslim laws and holidays will be observed wherever the beast has power. Since almost every country is now being overrun by Muslims, it will be enforced wherever they can take power. That will probably be many areas.]

1 comment:

  1. wow. I stumbled on your blog, there are very few who see the four beasts dream as relevant to the current time. note the angel told Daniel these are four kings (or kingdoms) that would arise after Daniel, but if this is the statue kingdoms the angel would have said three, because Daniel was already living in the time of the first.

    I didn't know the leopard is connected with Kazakhstan etc., my take on it is that it is either a future Kurdistan or more likely China. develops all this.