THE "HOPE" PEOPLE

To be a Christian is to be Christ-like...

 

THE FOUR BEASTS AND THE HORNS: THE RISE AND FALL OF NATIONS (DANIEL 7)

By Elena & Enrico B.  /  August 3, 2014

“Daniel spoke saying, “I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the Great Seas. And four great beasts came up from the sea, each different from the other.” (Daniel 7:2-3)

NOTEThe Little Horn of Daniel 7 is covered in a separate article, The Little Horn: The Antichrist Identified
 

This dream in Daniel 7 was given to the prophet Daniel during the first year of reign of Belshazzar King of Babylon (Daniel 5 records the end of Babylon during Belshazzar's reign). It portrays the rise and fall of nations from the time of Babylon to the rise of Modern Europe and ultimately the rise of the Antichrist to prominence.
(Image credit: http://www.christiantruthcenter.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Four-Beasts-of-Daniel-150x150.jpg)

This dream in Daniel 7  corresponds to King Nebuchadnezzar's dream of the statue from Chapter 2.  However, Chapter 7 contains additional characteristics, features and facts. 
(Image credit: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/386535580490135012/)

There are other more in-depth articles and books available about the purpose and meaning of Daniel 7. My interest in this subject started with my personal study of the Book of Daniel and awakened a renewed interest in history. This article focuses on the general outline of Daniel's disturbing dream as it is corroborated with the historical and political aspects. I can only wonder and be amazed at how accurate biblical prophecies are and how it can only result in a renewed interest in His word.

Daniel's Disturbing Dream

Spanning the time from Babylon to the Coming of Christ

First Beast: Babylon

"The first was like a lion, and had eagle's wings. I watched till its wings were plucked off; and it was lifted up from the earth and made to stand on two feet like a man, and a man's heart was given to it." (Daniel 7:4)


Babylon (605-539 B.C.) is represented here--a kingdom of great strength. The plucked wings represent the time it no longer rushed upon its prey like an eagle. The boldness and spirit of the lion was replaced with a man's heart (weak, timorous and faint) as was the case toward the end of the nation.

Second Beast: Medo-Persia

"And suddenly another beast, a second, like a bear. It was raised up on one side, and had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. And they said thus to it: Arise, devour much flesh!" (Daniel 7:5)


Medo-Persia (539-331 B.C.) is represented by the bear. And their power is well represented by a bear, i.e., cunning, ferocious, known for being cruel, rapacious, robbers and spoilers of the people. As silver is inferior to gold, so also is the bear inferior to the lion. Medo-Persia was inferior to Babylon in wealth and splendor. The bear raised up on one side represents the fact that Persia gained more prominence and became the dominant influence of this kingdom. The three ribs represent Babylon, Lydia and Egypt, which were conquered by Medo-Persia but were never properly parts of the Persian empire.

Third Beast: Greece

"After this I looked, and there was another, like a leopard, which had on its back four wings of a bird. The beast also had four heads, and dominion was given to it." (Daniel 7:6)


Greece (331-168 B.C.) is represented by the leopard. The wings signify the rapidity of conquest, and the unprecedented acceleration is a historical fact of Grecian kingdom under Alexander the Great. The unity of this kingdom lasted until Alexander's death. Thereafter, it was divided between his four leading generals as denoted by the four heads: Cassander (Macedonia and Greece in the west), Lysimachus (Thrace and parts of Asia on the Hellespont and Bosphorus in the North), Ptolemy (Egypt, Lydia, Arabia, Palestine, Syria in the south), and Seleucus (Syria and all of Alexander's dominions in the east).

Fourth Beast and the Horns: Rome, Rise of Modern Europe and the Antichrist

"After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, exceedingly strong. It has huge iron teeth; it was devouring, breaking in pieces, and trampling the residue with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns." (Daniel 7:7) "...the fourth beast...with its teeth of iron and its nails of bronze..." (Daniel 7:19) "...The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be different from all other kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, trample it and break it in pieces. The ten horns are ten kings who shall arise from this kingdom..." (Daniel 7:23-24)


Rome (168 B.C.-476 A.D.) is represented here. In the dread and terror it inspired and its great strength, the world had never seen its equal. It devoured with iron teeth and broke in pieces all that stood in its way. It ground the nations into the dust beneath its brazen feet. As also noticed in Daniel 2, this kingdom is divided into 10 kingdoms: Ostrogoths, Visigoths, Franks, Vandals, Alemannians, Sueves, Anglo-Saxons, Heruls, Lombards, and Burgundians. These kingdoms are represented by the 10 horns.


This vision continues with the rise of the Little Horn. For more information about the Little Horn, see the article The Little Horn: The Antichrist identified.