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Particulars of Christianity:
314 End Times Prophecy (Eschatology)


Prophetic Symbols: Daniel 7 (Part 2)

Prophetic Symbols: Introduction
Prophetic Symbols: Daniel 2
Prophetic Symbols: Daniel 7 (Part 1)
Prophetic Symbols: Daniel 7 (Part 2)
Prophetic Symbols: Daniel 8 (Part 1)
Prophetic Symbols: Daniel 8 (Part 2)

Articles 7-12
Articles 13-18
Articles 19-25
Articles 26-29



And finally, before we add to our map legend all of these matters from chapter 7, we must discuss whether these beasts are a succession of kingdoms or are contemporaries.

The significant item to note on this matter is the many similarities that exist between chapter 7 and chapter 2. In our examination of chapter 2 we determined that the subject of Nebuchadnezzar's dream was the passing of dominion from one kingdom to the next.

(Please note as you read the following passages in this section, the notation of the Aramaic word "ada," meaning "to pass on, pass away" - Strong's No. 5709.)

Daniel 2:21 And he changeth the times and the seasons (2166): he removeth (5709) kings, and setteth up kings:

We also saw from Daniel 2 that the components of the statue were in fact representing a series of successive kingdoms, and NOT contemporaries. The last of these kingdoms is abruptly ended at the coming of the kingdom of God. In chapter 2 we noted that it is only the kingdom of the timeframe of the statue's feet, which are destroyed by the kingdom of God.

Daniel 2:34 Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces.

In chapter 7, we see a similar connection where only the destruction of the fourth beast is in direct connection with the coming of the kingdom of God.

Daniel 7:11 I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld [even] till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame. 12 As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away (5709): yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.

Daniel 7:26 But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away (5709) his dominion, to consume and to destroy [it] unto the end. 27 And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom [is] an everlasting kingdom,

Additionally, both chapters state that unlike the kingdoms, which preceded it, the kingdom of God does not pass to another people.

Daniel 2:44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, [but] it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.

Daniel 7:22 Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.

Daniel 7:27 And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.

In chapter seven we again find a discussion of dominion, kingdoms, and the removal of kingdoms. And again the vision concludes with the coming of the Messianic kingdom, just as in chapter 2. Because both visions conclude with the same event there must be at least some overlap between Daniel's vision in chapter 7 and Nebuchadnezzar's dream in chapter 2. This is because both conclude with the coming of the kingdom of God during the time of the feet from the statue and the fourth beast of Daniel 7.

And we must also notice that in both chapters the kingdom of heaven is contrasted with the kingdoms that precede it.

Daniel 2:44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, [but] it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.

Daniel 7:11 I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld [even] till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame. 12 As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away (5709): yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time...14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion [is] an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away (5709), and his kingdom [that] which shall not be destroyed.

Daniel 7:26 But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away (5709) his dominion, to consume and to destroy [it] unto the end. 27 And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom [is] an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him. 28 Hitherto [is] the end of the matter.

The specific contrast that is clearly being drawn in chapter 2 is that, unlike the series of kingdoms, which preceded it the kingdom of God does not pass to another people. As we have shown from chapter 2 this means that each of the previous kingdoms received dominion from the kingdom before it and passed the dominion on to the kingdom that followed them. This is not so with the kingdom of God.

Therefore, in chapter 7 when we see similar statements made about the coming of the kingdom of heaven and dominion passing to it from the fourth beast, we must assume that a similar progression is being presented as was the case in chapter 2. In short, like chapter 2, chapter 7 is depicting a series of successive kingdoms and not contemporaries, which end with the coming of the kingdom of God.

This is further supported by the recurring use of the words "ada" (meaning "to pass on, pass away" - Strong's No. 5709, noted in the passages above) in both chapters to discuss how dominion passes from the kingdoms and finally to the kingdom of heaven. This word is used in chapter 2 to denote the passing of dominion between predecessor and successor concerning all the parts of the statue, and it is used in chapter 7 in regard to the fourth beast and the kingdom of heaven. From the context, the use of this same Aramaic word, the many similarities outlined above, and the fact that the same type of subject matter is discussed concluding at the same point in history, it is reasonable to conclude that like the kingdoms of chapter 2, the kingdoms of chapter 7, are successive and not contemporary.

As we turn to Daniel 8's vision, we will find more corroboration for this interpretation.

As to the issue of which nation each beast represents, we will wait until we receive some clarification in chapter 8 before we begin to make those identifications. However, even though detail in chapter 8 will allow us to learn more from chapter 7, so far, we have learned the following from chapter 7, which we can add to our symbolic map legend:

1. The phrases "out of the sea" and "out of the earth" are used interchangeably by Daniel and so no great significance should be attached to the fact that one beast in Revelation 13 is said to come "out of the sea" while the second beast of Revelation 13 is said to come "out of the earth."
2. Similar to Nebuchadnezzar's vision in chapter 2, the dominion of these beasts comes to an end when the kingdom is passed to Jesus Christ at the coming of the kingdom of God.
3. The fourth beast of Daniel 7 is NOT the same beast as the first beast of Revelation 13 because Daniel's fourth beast is twice said to be "diverse" from the others while Revelation 13's first beast has characteristics of all four of Daniel's beasts.
4. The fourth beast of Daniel 7 is NOT the same beast as the first beast of Revelation 13 because, while Daniel does describe the leopard as having four heads, his description of the fourth beast is by far the most detailed and he does not mention it having multiple heads. Since Revelation 13's first beast does have 7 heads and Daniel 7's fourth beast apparently does not have multiple heads, they are not the same beast.
5. The second beast of Daniel 7 is said to be like a bear, which has raised itself up on one side. We have made note of this phrase "raised itself up on one side" for comparison to further details, which we will find in chapter 8. We will use this detail to help identify what nations these beasts represent.
6. The third beast of Daniel 7 is said to be like a leopard but having four heads. We have made note of this phrase "having four heads" for comparison to further details, which we will find in chapter 8. We will use this detail to help identify what nations these beasts represent.
7. The fourth beast of Daniel 7 is said to have "iron teeth" (verse 7) and "brass nails" (verse 19.) The use of these two particular metals may help to connect the identity of this fourth beast with the nations represented by those metals on the statue of Nebuchadnezzar's vision in chapter 2.
8. Horns represent kings. And unless it is specifically stated in the text, horns represent contemporary figures, not a succession of kings.
9. A beast represents a kingdom and its king. We have made a special note of this because it provides precedent that a single symbol (in this case a beast) can be used to represent two items, a king and his kingdom, which will become a significant precedent when we arrive at Revelation 17.
10. These four beasts of Daniel 7 are a series of successive kingdoms or world political powers, they do NOT rule as contemporaries of one another.


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