'These great beasts, which are four in number,
kings who will arise from the earth...'
Daniel 7:17 (NAS)
said, 'The four great animals are
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
rock...here 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)?
on the next question to continue...