Vision of the Four Beasts

In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel saw a (A)dream and visions [a]in his mind as he lay on his bed; then he (B)wrote the dream down and related the [b]following summary of [c]it. Daniel [d]said, “I was (C)looking in my vision by night, and behold, the (D)four winds of heaven were stirring up the great sea. And four great (E)beasts were coming up from the sea, different from one another. The first was (F)like a lion and had the wings of an eagle. I kept looking until its wings were plucked, and it was lifted up from the ground and made to stand on two feet like a man; a human [e]mind also was given to it. And behold, another beast, a second one, resembling a bear. And it was raised up on one side, and three ribs were in its mouth between its teeth; and thus they said to it, ‘Arise, devour much meat!’ After this I kept looking, and behold, another one, (G)like a leopard, which had on its [f]back four wings of a bird; the beast also had (H)four heads, and dominion was given to it. After this I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, a (I)fourth beast, dreadful and terrifying and extremely strong; and it had large iron teeth. It devoured and crushed and trampled down the remainder with its feet; and it was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had (J)ten horns. While I was contemplating the horns, behold, (K)another horn, a little one, came up among them, and three of the first horns were pulled out by the roots before it; and behold, [g]this horn possessed eyes like the eyes of a man and (L)a mouth uttering great boasts.

The Ancient of Days Reigns

“I kept looking
Until (M)thrones were set up,
And the Ancient of Days took His seat;
His (N)vesture was like white snow
And the (O)hair of His head like pure wool.
His (P)throne was [h]ablaze with flames,
Its (Q)wheels were a burning fire.
10 “A river of (R)fire was flowing
And coming out from before Him;
(S)Thousands upon thousands were attending Him,
And myriads upon myriads were standing before Him;
The (T)court sat,
And (U)the books were opened.

11 Then I kept looking because of the sound of the [i]boastful words which the horn was speaking; I kept looking until the beast was slain, and its body was destroyed and given to the (V)burning [j]fire. 12 As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but an extension of life was granted to them for an appointed period of time.

The Son of Man Presented

13 “I kept looking in the night visions,
And behold, with the clouds of heaven
One like a (W)Son of Man was coming,
And He came up to the Ancient of Days
And was presented before Him.
14 “And to Him was given (X)dominion,
Glory and [k](Y)a kingdom,
(Z)That all the peoples, nations and men of every [l]language
Might serve Him.
(AA)His dominion is an everlasting dominion
Which will not pass away;
(AB)And His kingdom is one
Which will not be destroyed.

The Vision Interpreted

15 “As for me, Daniel, my spirit was distressed [m]within me, and the (AC)visions [n]in my mind kept (AD)alarming me. 16 I approached one of those who were (AE)standing by and began asking him the [o]exact meaning of all this. So he (AF)told me and made known to me the interpretation of these things: 17 ‘These great beasts, which are four in number, are four kings who will arise from the earth. 18 But the [p](AG)saints of the Highest One will (AH)receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, [q]for all ages to come.’

19 “Then I desired to know the [r]exact meaning of the (AI)fourth beast, which was different from all [s]the others, exceedingly dreadful, with its teeth of iron and its claws of bronze, and which devoured, crushed and trampled down the remainder with its feet, 20 and the meaning of the ten horns that were on its head and the other horn which came up, and before which three of them fell, namely, that horn which had eyes and a mouth uttering great boasts and [t]which was larger in appearance than its associates. 21 I kept looking, and that horn was (AJ)waging war with the [u]saints and overpowering them 22 until the Ancient of Days came and (AK)judgment was [v]passed in favor of the [w]saints of the Highest One, and the time arrived when the [x]saints took possession of the kingdom.

23 “Thus he said: ‘The fourth beast will be a fourth kingdom on the earth, which will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth and tread it down and crush it. 24 As for the (AL)ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings will arise; and another will arise after them, and he will be different from the previous ones and will subdue three kings. 25 He will (AM)speak [y]out against the (AN)Most High and (AO)wear down the [z]saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make (AP)alterations in times and in law; and [aa]they will be given into his hand for a [ab](AQ)time, [ac]times, and half a [ad]time. 26 But the court will sit for judgment, and his dominion will be (AR)taken away, [ae]annihilated and destroyed [af]forever. 27 Then the [ag](AS)sovereignty, the dominion and the greatness of all the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be given to the people of the [ah]saints of the Highest One; His kingdom will be an (AT)everlasting kingdom, and all the dominions will (AU)serve and obey Him.’

28 [ai]At this point the revelation ended. As for me, Daniel, my thoughts were (AV)greatly alarming me and my [aj]face grew pale, but I (AW)kept the matter [ak]to myself.”

Footnotes

  1. Daniel 7:1 Lit of his head
  2. Daniel 7:1 Or beginning
  3. Daniel 7:1 Lit words
  4. Daniel 7:2 Lit spoke and said
  5. Daniel 7:4 Lit heart
  6. Daniel 7:6 Or sides
  7. Daniel 7:8 Lit in this horn were eyes
  8. Daniel 7:9 Lit flames of fire
  9. Daniel 7:11 Lit great
  10. Daniel 7:11 Lit of the fire
  11. Daniel 7:14 Or sovereignty
  12. Daniel 7:14 Lit tongue
  13. Daniel 7:15 Lit in the midst of its sheath
  14. Daniel 7:15 Lit of my head
  15. Daniel 7:16 Lit truth concerning
  16. Daniel 7:18 Lit holy ones
  17. Daniel 7:18 Lit and unto the age of the ages
  18. Daniel 7:19 Lit truth concerning
  19. Daniel 7:19 Lit of them
  20. Daniel 7:20 Lit its appearance was larger
  21. Daniel 7:21 Lit holy ones
  22. Daniel 7:22 Lit given for
  23. Daniel 7:22 Lit holy ones
  24. Daniel 7:22 Lit holy ones
  25. Daniel 7:25 Lit words
  26. Daniel 7:25 Lit holy ones
  27. Daniel 7:25 I.e. the saints
  28. Daniel 7:25 I.e. year(s)
  29. Daniel 7:25 I.e. year(s)
  30. Daniel 7:25 I.e. year(s)
  31. Daniel 7:26 Lit to annihilate and to destroy
  32. Daniel 7:26 Lit to the end
  33. Daniel 7:27 Or kingdom
  34. Daniel 7:27 Lit holy ones
  35. Daniel 7:28 Lit To here the end of the word
  36. Daniel 7:28 Lit brightness was changing upon me
  37. Daniel 7:28 Lit in my heart

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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