7:0Chapters 7-12 are the second part of the book of Daniel. Here we read about Daniel's visions.
Daniel's vision about four animals and a little horn
1 In the first year that King Belshazzar ruled Babylon, Daniel had a dream. He saw visions in his head while he lay on his bed. He wrote down what he saw in the dream.
7:1Belshazzar was the last Babylonian king. We read about his death in Daniel 5.
2 Daniel wrote, ‘I had a vision at night. I saw the four winds of the sky. They caused big waves in the great sea. 3 Then four large animals came out of the sea. They were all different from each other.
4 The first animal seemed like a lion, but it had the wings of an eagle. 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 ribs between its teeth. Someone said to it, “Stand up and eat the meat from many bodies.”
6 Then I saw another animal. It seemed like a leopard, but it had four wings on its back. They were like a bird's wings. This animal had four heads. It received authority to rule.
7 Then, while I looked, I saw a fourth animal in my vision. It was a terrible animal that was very strong. It had large iron teeth. It ate things and it broke them into pieces. It used its feet to stamp on everything else. It was different from the other animals. It had ten horns.
8 I was thinking about the horns and what they might mean. Then I saw another little horn that came up among the other ten horns. It pulled out three of those other horns to make room for itself. This little horn had eyes that looked like a man's eyes. It had a mouth that spoke proud words.
9 While I looked, people put some thrones in their places.
Then the God who has ruled for ever sat on his throne.
His clothes were as white as snow.
His hair was white like pure wool.
His throne and the wheels under it burned with flames of fire.
10 A river of fire poured out from the place where he was sitting.
Thousands of servants were ready to do whatever he wanted.
Many more thousands stood around, ready to serve him.
Then the meeting of the court began.
Someone opened the books to see what was in them.
11 I continued to watch as the little horn was speaking proud words. While I watched, someone killed the fourth animal. They threw its body into the fire. The fire destroyed it. 12 The other animals also lost their power to rule, but they could continue to live for a certain time.
13 I continued to watch in my vision at night and this is what I saw:
I saw someone who seemed like a son of man.
7:13‘Son of man’ means that he looked like a human. Jesus called himself the Son of Man. The ‘son of man’ that Daniel saw in his vision, shows the power and authority of Jesus Christ.
He was coming towards me, with the clouds of the sky around him.
He came near to the God who has ruled for ever.
People took him to stand in front of God.
14 God gave him great honour and authority to rule as king.
The people of all nations and those who spoke every language agreed to serve him.
He has authority to rule for ever.
He will never stop being king.
Nobody will be able to destroy his kingdom.
Daniel learns the meaning of his vision
15 I, Daniel, had much trouble in my mind. The things that I saw in my vision frightened me. 16 So I spoke to someone who was standing near God's throne. I asked him to explain what all these things meant. He told me the meaning of my vision. 17 He said, “The four large animals are four kings. They will rule kingdoms on the earth. 18 But the holy people of the Most High God will receive authority to rule as kings. God's kingdom will belong to them for ever.”
19 Then I wanted to know about the fourth animal. It was different from all the other animals. It was a terrible animal that made me very afraid. It had large iron teeth and feet with sharp bronze claws. It ate things and it broke them into pieces. It used its feet to stamp on everything else. 20 I wanted to know the meaning of 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. This horn had eyes, and a mouth that spoke proud words. The little horn seemed to be greater than the other horns. 21 While I was watching, the little horn attacked God's holy people. It was winning the fight against them. 22 But then the God who has ruled for ever arrived. As judge, he said that the holy people of the Most High God were good and right. Then the time came for God's holy people to receive the kingdom, so that it belonged to them.
7:19Claws are the sharp points that many birds have on the toes of their feet.
7:20In the Bible, a horn often shows strength and power.
23 The person that I had asked told me this: “The fourth animal shows that there will be a fourth kingdom on the earth. It will be different from all the other kingdoms. It will use its power to destroy the whole earth. It will stamp on everything and break them into pieces.
24 The ten horns show that ten kings will rule that kingdom. After them, another king will come to rule. He will be different from the other kings. He will get power over three kings. 25 He will insult the Most High God. He will be cruel to God's holy people. He will try to change the days for God's festivals and the laws about them. God's people will be under his power for three and a half times. 26 Then God's court will be ready to judge him. He will lose his authority to rule as king. That will be the end of his kingdom for ever!
7:25‘Three and a half times’ may mean 3½ years.
27 Then the holy people who belong to the Most High God will receive authority to rule as kings. They will have authority over all the kingdoms of the earth and all their great power. The kingdom of the Most High God will continue for ever. All rulers will serve him and obey him.”
28 That is a report of everything that I saw in my vision. It caused me, Daniel, to have much trouble in my mind and my face became white. But I did not tell anyone about these things.’