Daniel’s Vision of the Four Beasts

by Dr. M. Lee Miller

In Daniel chapter seven in the Word-Of-God you will read about the prophetical visions of Daniel regarding world events from his time period to the second coming of Jesus Christ and the eternal Kingdom of God. All of these visions were given to Daniel from God and are plainly recorded so there can not be any detail that is misunderstood.

In the second chapter of Daniel God reveals the Gentile world kingdoms to king Nebuchadnezzar from a human viewpoint, as a great and spectacular metallic image. But, in the seventh chapter, God reveals the very same kingdoms from the viewpoint of appearing as dangerous wild animals. These animals or beasts as they are called are symbolic of kingdoms as it is clearly revealed and stated in Daniel 7:17. The winds that are mentioned in these Scriptures is symbolic of wars, strife, and judgements from God. The seas are symbolic for peoples. Beasts represent kingdoms and rulers. Also, heads represent kingdoms and horns are symbolic for kings or rulers of kingdoms.

Now the first beast in Daniels vision in which he saw was a lion, which symbolizes Babylon. This was the same as the head of gold on the image found in Daniel 2:38-46. This is clearly seen that the four beasts symbolize four different kingdoms from Daniel’s time period on to the eternal Kingdom of God. The vision became a reality during Belshazzar’s reign, who was the king of Babylon. The first beast that was seen would obviously represent this kingdom that was present at this time when Daniel saw the vision. Also, this was true of the very first kingdom that was seen from the image in Daniel 2:38-46. The wings on the lion represent the swiftness or quickness of the victories of the Chaldeans as written in Hab. 1:6-8; Ezek. 17:1-24. These wings were plucked and the lion stood on its feet as a man, which symbolizes that Babylon no longer was strong or ferocious as a lion that could leap very quickly upon its victim just as a eagle and devour it. A man’s heart, which was weak and faint, replaced the strength of a lion. This was the situation when Babylon at the end yielded to wealth and luxury as written in Dan. 5. Also, Babylon is symbolized as a lion in Jer. 4:7. So, it is concluded, that since the first beast symbolizes the kingdom of Babylon, then the other three beasts naturally is representative of the kingdom’s of Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome that succeeded Babylon.

The second beast, which is the bear, is symbolic of the kingdom of Medo-Persia. This is the same as the silver in the image in Daniel 2. This kingdom raised itself up on one side representing being superior as far as in military might and also in influence of the Persians. When it comes to the three ribs in its mouth, this represents the Medo-Persian victories over Lydia, Babylonia, and Egypt.

The third beast, which is the leopard, symbolizes the kingdom of Grecia or Greece. This the brass as seen in the image in Daniel 2. This kingdom possessed four wings of a foul symbolizing the swiftness of the conquests of Alexander the Great, making it similar to the lion. There were also four heads which are representative of the four divisions of the empire after Alexander had died.

The fourth and last beast seen by Daniel was not given a particular name of any kind of an animal. But, this beast is symbolic of the Old Roman Empire, which is the same as the iron in the image in Daniel 2. This kingdom had iron teeth and was very strong for it broke in pieces, destroyed all the beasts that were before it. It had ten horns and later on another little horn, this making a total of eleven altogether (Daniel 7:23-24). This little horn had eyes just like any other man and a mouth to speak very great things (Daniel 7:8; 19-24).

Now, these ten horns symbolize ten kingdoms out of the same area of the Old Roman Empire. They will arise in the last days and be present at the second coming of Jesus Christ. The ten horns will create the fifth kingdom mentioned in Daniel 7. They are the same ten toes as seen on the image in Daniel 2.

Lastly, it is very clear that this little horn will come on the scene after the ten horns and not before them and that he does not have anything to do with bringing about the rise of the ten kingdoms. Furthermore, he does not revive the Roman Empire and is not seen until after these ten kingdoms are fully put together. These basic facts exclude the possibility of any person now prominent in world affairs of being the Anti-Christ of the future. This little horn is yet in the future and is the same as the beast in Rev.13.

Hello, my name is Dr. M. Lee Miller. I am married to a beautiful woman named Elizabeth. We have four wonderful children and three fantastic grandchildren. I have a Doctorate in Theology and a Ph.D in Religion. I have been in the ministry for 31 years and a pastor for ten years. I enjoy writing christian articles centered around Biblical research.

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