The Daniel Prophecies 2.
The first thing to note is that Daniel recieved this dream prior to Belshazzar's party of Daniel 5. (In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed:... Daniel 7:1)
In his dream the four winds caused four beasts to come up out of the sea.
Four winds in scripture represent wars and strife. The four beasts that arise represent the four kingdoms that we saw in Daniel chapter 2. [These are not just local countries, but world dominating powers.] The first is a lion with eagles wings and a man's heart (desperatley wicked), and represents Babylon again.
The second is a lopsided bear, with 3 ribs in it's teeth. The coalition of the Medes and Persians was not equal and the more powerful Persians dominated. The ribs in it's teeth are other beasts (countries). They started their conquest in three areas, to the west, (547 B.C.), the north, Babylon, (539 B.C.) and to the south, Egypt (525 B.C.)
The third beast was like a leopard. (very fast beast). This was Greece under Alexander the great. He had four heads, which when Alexander died, his four generals took over his empire.
The scripture gives detail of the fourth beast, Daniel 7:7,
After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.
The scripture identifies these beasts as kings, and the fourth beast in particular as Daniel 7:17-21 states:
These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth. But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever. Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet; And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows. I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;
The fourth beast is Rome again.
Mystery of the ten horns.
Rome conquered the known world from modern England, Europe, to the middle east.
This included ten "peoples", corresponding roughly to the following modern-day countries.
Anglo Saxon English Franks French Burgundians Swiss Suevi Portuguese Visigoths Spanish Lombards Italian Huns Germans Heruli (extinct) Vandals (extinct) Ostrogoths (extinct)
These made war against Rome and in the process, 3 of these "peoples" were exterminated. The remaining "peoples" form what we today call Europe.
Comparison with Daniel 2.
The iron kingdom of the Daniel 2 dream, divided and the iron continued down the left and right legs of the image.
The Roman empire divided in two when Constantine moved his capital to a new city, Constantinople - Modern day Istanbul. This created two capital cities, and almost two empires, of East and West. The nature, however, of them both was still "iron".
A little horn rises.
The little horn that rises represents the rise of the Roman Empire.
Daniel 8. Ram and He Goat.
In Daniel chapter 8 verse 1, God gave Daniel another vision of two strange beasts coming out of the river Ulai.
There is only two beasts this time as the Babylonian empire is about to end very soon.
The first beast is a Ram with two horns. This is again the Medo-Persian coalition, with two horns, the higher one coming up last. This is developing the picture of this kingdom, showing again, the greater strength of the Persians. This Ram is pushing (conquering) westwards, northwards, and southwards.
In Daniel 8:5-7, We see the He goat, (represents Greece) flying, (very fast), breaks the horns of the Ram, (overthrows the Persian empire), but when he was great his horn (Alexander the great) was broken. Four horns arose out of it, (Alexander's generals) and out of one of them came forth a "little horn".
The Bible gives the interpretation of the beasts starting in Daniel 8 verse 20.
The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia. And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king.
Daniel 8. Little Horn.
There is a lot of description about this "little horn", and from Daniel 8, verses 10-12, it is clear it is the Roman empire.
And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them. Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down. And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practised, and prospered.
It was Rome that destroyed the temple in Jerusalem, and caused the sacrifice to be taken away, and magnified himself against the prince. (Christ).
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