Add parallel Print Page Options

Daniel’s Vision about Four Animals

In Belshazzar’s first year as king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream. He saw a vision while he was asleep. He wrote down the main parts of the dream.

In my visions at night I, Daniel, saw the four winds of heaven stirring up the Mediterranean Sea. Four large animals, each one different from the others, came out of the sea.

The first animal was like a lion, but it had wings like an eagle. I watched until its wings were plucked off and it was lifted off the ground. It was made to stand on two feet like a human and was given a human mind.

I saw a second animal. It looked like a bear. It was raised on one side and had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. It was told, “Get up, and eat as much meat as you want.”

After this, I saw another animal. It looked like a leopard. On its back it had four wings, like the wings of a bird. The animal also had four heads. It was given power to rule.

After this, I saw a fourth animal in my vision during the night. It was terrifying, dreadful, extraordinarily strong, and had large iron teeth. It devoured and crushed its victims and trampled whatever was left. It acted differently from all the other animals that I had seen before. It had ten horns. While I was thinking about the horns, another horn, a little horn, came up among them. It uprooted three of the other horns. This horn had eyes like human eyes and a mouth that spoke impressive things.

I watched until thrones were set up
    and the Ancient One, who has lived for endless years, sat down.
        His clothes were as white as snow
            and the hair on his head was like pure wool.
        His throne was fiery flames,
            and its wheels were burning fire.
10         A river of fire flowed.
            It came from him.
        Thousands and thousands served him.
        Ten thousand times ten thousand were stationed in front of him.
The court convened,
    and the books were opened.

11 I continued to watch because of the impressive words that the horn was speaking. I watched until the animal was killed. Its body was destroyed and put into a raging fire. 12 The power of the rest of the animals was taken away, but they were allowed to live for a period of time.

13 In my visions during the night, I saw among the clouds in heaven someone like the Son of Man.[a] He came to the Ancient One, who has lived for endless years, and was presented to him. 14 He was given power, honor, and a kingdom. People from every province, nation, and language were to serve him. His power is an eternal power that will not be taken away. His kingdom will never be destroyed.

15 I, Daniel, was deeply troubled, and my visions frightened me. 16 I went to someone who was standing there and asked him to tell me the truth about all this. So he told me what all this meant. 17 He said, “These four large animals are four kingdoms that will rise to power on the earth. 18 But the holy people of the Most High will take possession of the kingdom and keep it forever and ever.”

19 Then I wanted to know the truth about the fourth animal, which was so different from all the others. It was very terrifying and had iron teeth and bronze claws. It devoured and crushed its victims, and trampled whatever was left. 20 I also wanted to know about the ten horns on its head and about the other horn that had come up and made three of the horns fall out. That horn had eyes and a mouth that spoke impressive things. It appeared to be bigger than the others. 21 I saw that horn making war against the holy people and defeating them. 22 It did this until the Ancient One, who has lived for endless years, came and judged in favor of the holy people of the Most High. The time came when the holy people took possession of the kingdom.

23 He said, “The fourth animal will be the fourth of these kingdoms on earth. It will be different from all other kingdoms. It will devour, trample, and crush the whole world. 24 The ten horns are ten kings that will rise to power from that kingdom. Another king will rise to power after them. He will be different from the kings who came before him, and he will humble three kings. 25 He will speak against the Most High God, oppress the holy people of the Most High, and plan to change the appointed times and laws. The holy people will be handed over to him for a time, times, and half of a time. 26 But judgment will be handed down, his power will be taken away, and he will be completely and permanently destroyed. 27 The kingdom, along with the power and greatness of all the kingdoms under heaven, will be given to the holy people of the Most High. Their kingdom is eternal. All other powers will serve and obey them.”

28 Here is the end of the matter. I, Daniel, was terrified by my thoughts, and I turned pale. I kept this to myself.

Footnotes

  1. Daniel 7:13 Or “like a human.”

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

Bible Gateway Sponsors