Your Answer:  4 Kings or Kingdoms

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'These great beasts, which are four in number, are four kings who will arise from the earth...' Daniel 7:17 (NAS)

He said, 'The four great animals are four kingdoms. Those four kingdoms will come from the earth...' (ERV)

Prior to the explanation of the vision, Daniel might have imagined thousands of different possibilities.  But it didn't matter what he or anyone else speculated, the true meaning was revealed to Daniel in the vision...and was revealed to us in God's Bible.

In Daniel chapter 2, the four kingdoms were described as parts of a large statue.  Here the four kingdoms are described again using four animals or beasts.  It is common for Biblical prophecy to use different symbols to refer to the same thing...or the same series of events.

The Fate of the Four Beasts

We know from the text of Daniel that the first three kingdoms (beasts) were stripped of their authority and were allowed to live for a time, but the fourth kingdom (beast) was slain and thrown into a blazing fire:

"Then I kept looking because of the sound of the boastful words which the horn was speaking; I kept looking until the beast was slain, and its body was destroyed and given to the burning fire.  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."  Daniel 7:11-12 (NAS)

Similar to the statue in Daniel chapter 2 which was crushed by the the four beasts are all slain:  the first three were trampled down by the fourth (see Daniel 7:7) and the fourth beast was slain and thrown into the fire (see Daniel 7:11-12).

In the vision...what was foretold about the saints of the Most High (God)?

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