February 23


Daniel 7

Today we venture back into the Exile Stream in the book of Daniel. We’ve seen lion, dreams, and fires, oh my! What is in store for today’s chapter? We are reading from the New Century Version.

We have seen much in this powerful book of the experiences that were lived and witnessed by Daniel; the slave turned statesman and confidant~ to the leader of the world.  There have been lions and visions and fires, oh dear!  In ch. 7 he has a prophetic dream of four beasts that will dominate the earth – each for a time.  This is a continuation of the vision Daniel interprets in Ch. 2; Nebuchadnezzar’s dream.  Keep in mind that the two visions have a 60 year period between them. During this 60 years there was the fiery furnace, King Nebuchadnezzar goes insane then recovers, the Feast with the writing on the wall, and the Lion’s Den incident.

The statue with the head/chest & arms/belly & thighs/feet vision in chapter 2 are (in order) Babylon/Persia/Greece/Rome. The vision of the four beasts are a further vision of these same four kingdoms.  This period of time covering several centuries from the Babylonian Kingdom sixth century B.C. to the segmenting of the Roman Empire centuries after Christ.   One explanation for the two visions of the same scenario is that Daniel 2 is man’s perspective of a giant soldier/King that tromps the earth.  Daniel 7 being God’s perspective of beasts that roar, terrorize, and devour … and then are gone.
If we may comment at this point, these matters can be bewildering. Do not fret. They were bewildering to Daniel as well and needed to be explained to him as well as to us in detail though we are much further down the road and these matters have been discussed for thousands of years.
There is the insertion of the court of God scene in vv. 9,10.  Amid the chaos of men scrambling to control and crush each other, that is always God ready to appear in the middle of things and he will be a terrifying sight of justice for the unjust, that is.
The ten horns of the fourth beast, Dn. 7:24, and the 10 toes of the statue Dn. 2:41-42 seem to correspond.  Rome was divided into ten regions that were established a few hundred years after Christ.  This prophecy is multi-faceted in that Daniel is looking ahead to the division of the Roman Empire. Some say this was finalized in 476 A.D., others argued that the eastern part; Byzantium lasted a 1000 years beyond that.  But the prophecy echoes to the end of time as well

These ten horns are a confederacy of nations that will arise at the end of time. Some though this was the original Eur..Union of ten nations … that have swollen to 23 nations, it wasn’t that.  There is nervy reference to the anti-Christ who desires, obviously, the opposite of what Christ comes to do; vv. 8,20,24,25.  His end is seen in Dan. 7:11.   Notice that this beast in Dan. 7 matches the beast described in Rev. 13.  The characteristics, however, are listed in reverse order to eachother. Daniel, and John (who wrote Revelation) are 1500-1600 years apart. Daniel is writing forward to Christ, Daniel is writing back to Christ, yet forward to His second arrival. This could well explain that while they describe similar and identical factors they mirror (indeed reverse the orders) because they describe them from different vantage points.
For us, this is exciting yet mysterious. There is no cause for concern or alarm. God will have His Way and His followers will reign with Him in glory.  Yes, there will be some suffering in the journey. If Jesus did, we may be called upon to suffer also. We will be opposed but never defeated. It’s important to look into these things while asking God for confirmation.  Those who wish to study Daniel and his prophecies further could check cbd.com (Christian Book Distributors) and search “Daniel’s prophecies”. There are over 100 books that add perspective and hopefully clarity to those who want to know better what God is up to. But keep in mind as prophecies are discussed and history unfolds to match these prophecies, do not get ugly with others who perceive things different than you do. God knows, we see in part and dimly at that. Believers getting into ugly arguments are detrimental and repel new believers and inquiring people away from Christ’s Kingdom. And we are called to bring people in, not send them off.
“Jesus, thank you for keeping these mysteries for us to learn of and to keep our minds thinking along with your own.  Thank you for assuring us of your care for us even though the world is turbulent, troubling and often hostile to you.  Thank you that you have promised us eternity even though live here on an earth that sees kingdoms pass with the seasons of time.  YOU are our anchor Lord, and we thank you.    Amen”


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