7:0Chapter 7-12 is the second part of the book of Daniel. Here we read about Daniel's dreams.
Daniel's dream about four animals and a little horn
1 It was the first year that King Belshazzar ruled Babylon. Daniel had a dream. He saw pictures in his head while he lay on his bed. And he wrote down what he saw in the dream.
7:1Belshazzar was the last king of Babylon. We read about his death in chapter 5. So this happened before the events in chapter 5.
2 Daniel wrote, ‘I had a dream at night. I saw the four winds of heaven causing the great sea to move up and down. 3 Then four large animals came out of the sea. They were all different. 4 The first one seemed like a lion, but it had wings like a great bird. As I watched, someone pulled its wings off. They lifted it up and it stood on two feet like a man. They gave a man's mind to it. 5 Then I saw a second animal. It seemed like a bear. It raised itself up on one side and it had three bones between its teeth. Someone said to it, “Stand up and eat lots of meat.” 6 Then I saw another animal. It seemed like a leopard, but it had four wings like a bird's wings on its back. Also, this animal had four heads, and it had authority to rule. 7 Then I saw a fourth animal in my dream. It frightened me more than the other animals. It was very strong and it had large iron teeth. It broke things and people into pieces and it ate them. It destroyed everything else with its feet. It was different from the other animals and it had ten horns. 8 I was thinking about the horns. And then I saw another little horn that came up among the other ten horns. It pushed out three of those other horns to make room for itself. This little horn had eyes like a man's eyes. And it had a mouth that spoke strong words. It was saying that it could do great things.’
9 Daniel continued to write.
‘While I looked, servants put ready some seats for rulers.
Then God, who is always God, sat down on his king's seat.
His clothes were as white as snow.
His hair was white like clean wool.
His seat had wheels and it burned like a fire.
10 A river of fire came out in front of him.
He had thousands of thousands of servants.
Many more people than that stood in front of him.
The meeting of the court began and someone opened the books.
11 The horn was saying how important he was. So I was watching. While I watched, someone killed the fourth animal. They destroyed its body and they burned it with fire. 12 The other animals lost their power too, but they continued to live for a certain time.’
13 ‘In my dream at night,’ Daniel wrote, ‘I continued to watch.
Then I saw someone who seemed like a son of man. He came with the clouds of heaven.
He came near to God, who is always God.
God's servants brought him close to God.
14 Then God gave authority, honour and a king's power to him.
So the people in every country who spoke every language worshipped him.
His kingdom will continue always.
And nobody will ever cause it to become nothing.
Nobody can destroy it.
An angel explains some things to Daniel
15 I, Daniel, had much trouble in my mind. The thoughts in my head frightened me. 16 So I spoke to someone who was standing near me in my dream. And I asked him what all this meant. Then he explained it to me. 17 “The four great animals are four kings. They will rule with power on the earth. 18 But the true God will give the kingdom to his own people. Then they will have the kingdom always.”
19 Then I wanted to know about the fourth animal,’ Daniel wrote. ‘It was different from the other animals. It made me very, very afraid because it was so bad and so strong. It had large iron teeth and bronze fingers like the sharp fingers that some animals have. It broke things and people into pieces and it ate them. And it destroyed everything else with its feet. 20 I wanted to know about the ten horns on its head. I also wanted to know about the little horn that came up among them. It pushed out three of the other horns to make room for itself. This horn had eyes, and a mouth. This mouth said that it was most important. And this little horn seemed greater than the other horns. 21 I continued to watch. And this horn fought against God's holy people. It nearly won the fight. 22 But I continued to look. And then God, who is always God, came. He was the judge. He said that the horn must not kill God's holy people. Then the time came when he gave the kingdom to his holy people.
23 Then the person who was near me explained it to me. “The fourth animal means that there will be a fourth kingdom on the earth. It will be different from the other kingdoms. It will be as if its king eats up the whole earth. He will walk on the earth and he will break it into pieces. 24 The ten horns mean ten kings who will come from that kingdom. They will rule and after them, another king will come. He will be different from the other kings. He will fight three kings and he will beat them. 25 He will speak against God. And he will stand against God's holy people. He will try to change the rules about dates and God's Law. He will have power over God's people for three-and-a-half times. 26 Then God will judge him. He will take away this king's power and he will destroy it. 27 Then the very, very great God will give all the kingdoms on earth to his own people. The people of the very, very great God will rule with great power. His kingdom will not have an end. And all rulers will obey him and they will be his servants.”’
7:27Verses 23-27 In the Bible, ‘horns’ mean power and ‘times’ sometimes means years.
28 ‘This is the end of my dream,’ wrote Daniel. ‘And I, Daniel, had much trouble because my thoughts made me afraid. My face became white, but I did not tell anyone about these things.’