3 A vision of four beasts is showed unto Daniel. 8 The ten horns of the fourth beast. 27 Of the everlasting kingdom of Christ.

In the first year of Belshazzar King of Babel, Daniel saw a dream, and there were visions in his head, upon his bed: [a]then he wrote the dream, and declared the sum of the matter.

Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon [b]the great sea:

And four great beasts came up from the sea one divers from another.

The first was as a [c]lion, and had eagle’s wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked off, and it was lifted up from the earth, and set upon his feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given him.

And behold, another beast which was the second, was like a [d]bear, and stood upon the [e]one side: and he had three ribs in his [f]mouth between his teeth, [g]and they said thus unto him, Arise, and devour much flesh.

After this, I beheld, and lo, there was another like a [h]leopard, which had upon his back [i]four wings of a fowl: the beast had also four heads, and [j]dominion was given him.

After this, I saw in the visions by night, and behold, the [k]fourth beast was fearful and terrible and very strong. It had great [l]iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped [m]the residue under his feet: and it was unlike to the beasts that were before it: for it had [n]ten horns.

As I considered the horns, behold, there came up among them another little [o]horn, before whom there were [p]three of the first horns plucked away: and behold, in this horn were [q]eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking presumptuous things.

I beheld till the [r]thrones were set up, and the [s]Ancient of days did sit, 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 forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand [t]thousands stood before him: the judgment was set, and the [u]books opened.

11 Then I beheld, [v]because of the voice of the presumptuous words which the horn spake: I beheld, even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning fire.

12 As [w]concerning the other beasts, they had taken away their dominion: yet their lives were prolonged for a certain time and season.

13 ¶ As I beheld in visions by night, behold, [x]one like the son of man came in the clouds of heaven, and [y]approached unto the Ancient of days, and they brought him before him.

14 And he gave him [z]dominion, and honor, and a kingdom, that all people, nations and languages should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall never be taken away: and his dominion shall never be destroyed.

15 ¶ I Daniel was [aa]troubled in my spirit, in the midst of my body, and the visions of mine head made me afraid.

16 Therefore I came unto [ab]one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this: so he told me, and showed me the interpretation of these things.

17 These great beasts which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth,

18 And they shall take the [ac]kingdom of the Saints of the [ad]most High, and shall possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever.

19 ¶ After this, I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was [ae]so unlike to all the others, very fearful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass: which devoured brake in pieces, and stamped the [af]residue under his feet.

20 Also to know of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the others which came up, before whom three fell, and of the horn that had eyes, and of the mouth that spake presumptuous things, whose [ag]look was more stout than his fellows.

21 I beheld, and the same [ah]horn made battle against the Saints, yea, and prevailed against them,

22 Until [ai]the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the Saints of the most High: and the time approached, that the Saints possessed the kingdom.

23 Then he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom in the earth, which shall be unlike to all the kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down and break it in pieces.

24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten Kings that shall rise: and another shall rise after them, and he shall be unlike to the first, and he shall subdue [aj]three Kings,

25 And shall speak words against [ak]the most High, and shall consume the Saints of the most High, and think that he may [al]change times and laws, and they shall be given into his hand until a [am]time, and times, and the dividing of time.

26 But the [an]judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion to consume and destroy it unto the end.

27 And the [ao]kingdom, and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven shall be given to the holy people of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all [ap]powers shall serve and obey him.

28 Even this is the end of the matter, I Daniel had many [aq]cogitations which troubled me, and my countenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in mine heart.

Footnotes

  1. Daniel 7:1 Whereas the people of Israel looked for a continual quietness, after their seventy years, as Jeremiah had declared, he showeth that this rest shall not be a deliverance from all troubles, but a beginning, and therefore encourageth them to look for a continual affliction, till the Messiah be uttered and revealed, by whom they should have a spiritual deliverance, and all the promises be fulfilled: whereof they should have a certain token in the destruction of the Babylonian kingdom.
  2. Daniel 7:2 Which signified that there should be horrible troubles and afflictions in the world in all corners of the world, and at sundry times.
  3. Daniel 7:4 Meaning, the Assyrian and Chaldean empire, which was most strong and fierce in power, and most soon come to their authority, as though they had wings to fly: yet their wings were pulled by the Persians, and they went on their feet, and were made like other men, which is here meant by man’s heart.
  4. Daniel 7:5 Meaning, the Persians which were barbarous and cruel.
  5. Daniel 7:5 They were small in the beginning and were shut up in the mountains and had no bruit.
  6. Daniel 7:5 That is, destroyed many kingdoms, and was insatiable.
  7. Daniel 7:5 To wit, the Angels by God’s commandment, who by this means punished the ingratitude of the world.
  8. Daniel 7:6 Meaning, Alexander the king of Macedonia.
  9. Daniel 7:6 That is, his four chief captains, which had the empire among them after his death. Seleucus had Asia the great, Antigonus the less, Cassander and after him Antipater was king of Macedonia, and Ptolemy had Egypt.
  10. Daniel 7:6 It was not of himself nor of his own power that he got all these countries: for his army contained but thirty thousand men, and he overcame in one battle Darius, which had ten hundred thousand, when he was so heavy with sleep, that his eyes were scarce open, as the stories report: therefore this power was given him of God.
  11. Daniel 7:7 That is, the Roman Empire which was a monster, and could not be compared to any beasts, because the nature of none was able to express it.
  12. Daniel 7:7 Signifying, the tyranny and greediness of the Romans.
  13. Daniel 7:7 That which the Romans could not quietly enjoy in other countries, they would give it to other Kings and rulers, that at all times when they would, they might take it again: which liberality is here called the stamping of the rest under the feet.
  14. Daniel 7:7 That is, sundry and divers provinces which were governed by the deputies and proconsuls, whereof everyone might be compared to a King.
  15. Daniel 7:8 Which is meant of Julius Caesar, Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, and Nero, etc., who were as kings in effect, but because they could not rule, but by the consent of the Senate, their power is compared to a little horn. For Muhammad came not of the Roman Empire, and the Pope hath no vocation of government: therefore this cannot be applied unto them, and also in this prophecy the Prophet’s purpose is chiefly to comfort the Jews unto the revelation of Christ. Some take it for the whole body of Antichrist.
  16. Daniel 7:8 Meaning, a certain portion of the ten horns: that is, a part from the whole estate was taken away. For Augustus took from the Senate the liberty of choosing the deputies to send into the provinces, and took the government of certain countries to himself.
  17. Daniel 7:8 These Roman Emperors at the first used a certain humanity and gentleness, and were content that others, as the Consuls, and Senate, should bear the names of dignity, so that they might have the profit, and therefore in election and counsels would behave themselves according as did other Senators: yet against their enemies and those that would resist them, they were fierce and cruel, which is here meant by the proud mouth.
  18. Daniel 7:9 Meaning, the places where God and his Angels should come to judge these Monarchies, which judgment should begin at the first coming of Christ.
  19. Daniel 7:9 That is, God which was before all times, and is here described as man’s nature is able to comprehend some portion of his glory.
  20. Daniel 7:10 That is, an infinite number of Angels, which were ready to execute his commandment.
  21. Daniel 7:10 This is meant of the first coming of Christ, when as the will of God was plainly revealed by his Gospel.
  22. Daniel 7:11 Meaning, that he was astonied when he saw these Emperors in such dignity and pride, and so suddenly destroyed at the coming of Christ, when this fourth Monarchy was subject to men of other nations.
  23. Daniel 7:12 As the three former Monarchies had an end at the time that God appointed, although they flourished for a time, so shall this fourth have, and they that patiently abide God’s appointment, shall enjoy the promises.
  24. Daniel 7:13 Which is meant of Christ, who had not yet taken upon him man’s nature, neither was the son of David according to the flesh, as he was afterward: but appeared then in a figure, and that in the clouds: that is, being separate from the common sort of men by manifest signs of his divinity.
  25. Daniel 7:13 To wit, when he ascend into the heavens, and his divine majesty appeared, and all power was given unto him, in respect of that that he was our Mediator.
  26. Daniel 7:14 This is meant of the beginning of Christ’s kingdom, when God the Father gave unto him all dominion, as to the Mediator, to the intent that he should govern here his Church in earth continually, till the time that he brought them to eternal life.
  27. Daniel 7:15 Through the strangeness of the vision.
  28. Daniel 7:16 Meaning, of the Angels, as verse 10.
  29. Daniel 7:18 Because Abraham was appointed heir of all the world, Rom. 4:13, and in him all the faithful, therefore the kingdom thereof is theirs by right, which these four beasts or tyrants should invade, and usurp until the world were restored by Christ: and this was to confirm them that were in troubles, that their afflictions should have an end at length.
  30. Daniel 7:18 That is, of the most high things, because God hath chosen them out of this world, that they should look up to the heavens, whereon all their hope dependeth.
  31. Daniel 7:19 For the other three Monarchies were governed by a King, and the Roman Empire by Consuls: the Romans changed their governors yearly, and the other Monarchies retained them for term of life: also the Romans were the strongest of all the others, and were never quiet among themselves.
  32. Daniel 7:19 Read verse 7.
  33. Daniel 7:20 This is meant of the fourth beast, which was more terrible than the others.
  34. Daniel 7:21 Meaning the Roman Emperors, who were most cruel against the Church of God both of the Jews and of the Gentiles.
  35. Daniel 7:22 Till God showed his power in the person of Christ, and by the preaching of the Gospel gave unto his some rest, and so obtained a famous Name in the world, and were called the Church of God, or the kingdom of God.
  36. Daniel 7:24 Read the exposition hereof, verse 8.
  37. Daniel 7:25 That is, shall make wicked decrees and proclamations against God’s word, and send throughout all their dominion, to destroy all that did profess it.
  38. Daniel 7:25 These Emperors shall not consider that they have their power of God, but think it is in their own power to change God’s laws and man’s, and as it were the order of nature, as appeareth by Octavius, Tiberius, Caligula, Nero, Domitian, etc.
  39. Daniel 7:25 God shall suffer them thus to rage against his Saints for a long time, which is meant by the time and times, but at length he will assuage these troubles, and shorten the time for his elect’s sake, Matt. 24:22, which is here meant by the dividing of time.
  40. Daniel 7:26 God by his power shall restore things that were out of order, and so destroy this little horn, that it shall never rise up again.
  41. Daniel 7:27 He showeth wherefore the beast should be destroyed, to wit, that his Church might have rest and quietness, which though they do not fully enjoy here, yet they have it in hope, and by the preaching of the Gospel enjoy the beginning thereof, which is meant by these words: Under the heaven: and therefore he here speaketh of the beginning of Christ’s kingdom in this world, which kingdom the faithful have by the participation that they have with Christ their head.
  42. Daniel 7:27 That is, some of every sort that bear rule.
  43. Daniel 7:28 Though he had many motions in his heart which moved him to and fro to seek out this matter curiously, yet he was content with that which God revealed, and kept it in memory, and wrote it for the use of the Church.

Daniel’s Dream of Four Beasts

In the first year of Belshazzar(A) king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream, and visions(B) passed through his mind(C) as he was lying in bed.(D) He wrote(E) down the substance of his dream.

Daniel said: “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me were the four winds of heaven(F) churning up the great sea. Four great beasts,(G) each different from the others, came up out of the sea.

“The first was like a lion,(H) and it had the wings of an eagle.(I) I watched until its wings were torn off and it was lifted from the ground so that it stood on two feet like a human being, and the mind of a human was given to it.

“And there before me was a second beast, which looked like a bear. It was raised up on one of its sides, and it had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. It was told, ‘Get up and eat your fill of flesh!’(J)

“After that, I looked, and there before me was another beast, one that looked like a leopard.(K) And on its back it had four wings like those of a bird. This beast had four heads, and it was given authority to rule.

“After that, in my vision(L) at night I looked, and there before me was a fourth beast—terrifying and frightening and very powerful. It had large iron(M) teeth; it crushed and devoured its victims and trampled(N) underfoot whatever was left.(O) It was different from all the former beasts, and it had ten horns.(P)

“While I was thinking about the horns, there before me was another horn, a little(Q) one, which came up among them; and three of the first horns were uprooted before it. This horn had eyes like the eyes of a human being(R) and a mouth that spoke boastfully.(S)

“As I looked,

“thrones were set in place,
    and the Ancient of Days(T) took his seat.(U)
His clothing was as white as snow;(V)
    the hair of his head was white like wool.(W)
His throne was flaming with fire,
    and its wheels(X) were all ablaze.
10 A river of fire(Y) was flowing,
    coming out from before him.(Z)
Thousands upon thousands attended him;
    ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him.
The court was seated,
    and the books(AA) were opened.

11 “Then I continued to watch because of the boastful words the horn was speaking.(AB) I kept looking until the beast was slain and its body destroyed and thrown into the blazing fire.(AC) 12 (The other beasts had been stripped of their authority, but were allowed to live for a period of time.)

13 “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man,[a](AD) coming(AE) with the clouds of heaven.(AF) He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. 14 He was given authority,(AG) glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him.(AH) His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom(AI) is one that will never be destroyed.(AJ)

The Interpretation of the Dream

15 “I, Daniel, was troubled in spirit, and the visions that passed through my mind disturbed me.(AK) 16 I approached one of those standing there and asked him the meaning of all this.

“So he told me and gave me the interpretation(AL) of these things: 17 ‘The four great beasts are four kings that will rise from the earth. 18 But the holy people(AM) of the Most High will receive the kingdom(AN) and will possess it forever—yes, for ever and ever.’(AO)

19 “Then I wanted to know the meaning of the fourth beast, which was different from all the others and most terrifying, with its iron teeth and bronze claws—the beast that crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. 20 I also wanted to know about the ten horns(AP) on its head and about the other horn that came up, before which three of them fell—the horn that looked more imposing than the others and that had eyes and a mouth that spoke boastfully.(AQ) 21 As I watched, this horn was waging war against the holy people and defeating them,(AR) 22 until the Ancient of Days came and pronounced judgment in favor of the holy people of the Most High, and the time came when they possessed the kingdom.(AS)

23 “He gave me this explanation: ‘The fourth beast is a fourth kingdom that will appear on earth. It will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth, trampling it down and crushing it.(AT) 24 The ten horns(AU) are ten kings who will come from this kingdom. After them another king will arise, different from the earlier ones; he will subdue three kings. 25 He will speak against the Most High(AV) and oppress his holy people(AW) and try to change the set times(AX) and the laws. The holy people will be delivered into his hands for a time, times and half a time.[b](AY)

26 “‘But the court will sit, and his power will be taken away and completely destroyed(AZ) forever. 27 Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of all the kingdoms(BA) under heaven will be handed over to the holy people(BB) of the Most High.(BC) His kingdom will be an everlasting(BD) kingdom, and all rulers will worship(BE) and obey him.’

28 “This is the end of the matter. I, Daniel, was deeply troubled(BF) by my thoughts,(BG) and my face turned pale,(BH) but I kept the matter to myself.”

Footnotes

  1. Daniel 7:13 The Aramaic phrase bar enash means human being. The phrase son of man is retained here because of its use in the New Testament as a title of Jesus, probably based largely on this verse.
  2. Daniel 7:25 Or for a year, two years and half a year

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