Daniel’s Vision of the Four Beasts
1In the first year of #See ch. 5:1 Belshazzar king of Babylon, #[ch. 1:17] Daniel saw a dream and #ver. 15; ch. 2:28; 4:5visions of his head as he lay in his bed. Then he wrote down the dream and told the sum of the matter. 2Daniel declared,#7:2 Aramaic answered and said “I saw in my vision by night, and behold, #ch. 8:8; 11:4; [Ezek. 37:9; Zech. 2:6; Rev. 7:1]the four winds of heaven were stirring up the great sea. 3And four great beasts #[Rev. 13:1]came up out of the sea, different from one another. 4The first was like a lion and had eagles’ wings. Then as I looked its wings were plucked off, and it was lifted up from the ground and made to stand on two feet like a man, and the mind of a man was given to it. 5And behold, #[ch. 2:39]another beast, a second one, like a bear. It was raised up on one side. It had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth; and it was told, ‘Arise, devour much flesh.’ 6After this I looked, and behold, another, like a #[Hab. 1:8; Rev. 13:2] leopard, with four wings of a bird on its back. And the beast had four heads, and #[ch. 11:5]dominion was given to it. 7After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, #ver. 19, 23 terrifying and dreadful and exceedingly strong. It had great iron teeth; #ver. 19, 23 it devoured and broke in pieces #ver. 19, 23 and stamped what was left with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and #ver. 20; [Rev. 12:3; 13:1; 17:12]it had ten horns. 8I considered the horns, and behold, #[ver. 20, 21, 24; ch. 8:9] there came up among them another horn, a little one, #[ver. 20, 21, 24; ch. 8:9] before which three of the first horns were plucked up by the roots. And behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, and #ver. 20; [Rev. 13:5, 6]a mouth speaking great things.
The Ancient of Days Reigns
9“As I looked,
# Rev. 20:4; [Matt. 19:28]; See 1 Kgs. 22:19 thrones were placed,
and the #ver. 22; [Ps. 90:2] Ancient of Days took his seat;
# Matt. 28:3 his clothing was white as snow,
and #Rev. 1:14 the hair of his head like pure wool;
his throne was fiery flames;
# [Ezek. 1:16; 10:2] its wheels were burning fire.
10 # [Ps. 21:9] A stream of fire issued
and came out from before him;
# Ps. 68:17; Heb. 12:22; Rev. 5:11 a thousand thousands #Ps. 103:21 served him,
# Ps. 68:17; Heb. 12:22; Rev. 5:11 and ten thousand times ten thousand #[Zech. 3:4] stood before him;
the #ver. 22, 26; Rev. 11:18; 20:4 court sat in judgment,
and #Rev. 20:12the books were opened.
11“I looked then because of the sound of #[See ver. 8 above] the great words that the horn was speaking. And as I looked, #Rev. 19:20; [Rev. 20:10]the beast was killed, and its body destroyed #Rev. 19:20; [Rev. 20:10]and given over to be burned with fire. 12As for the rest of the beasts, #[ver. 14, 26]their dominion was taken away, but their lives were prolonged for a season and a time.
The Son of Man Is Given Dominion
13“I saw in the night visions,
and #Matt. 26:64; Mark 14:62; Rev. 1:7; 14:14 behold, with the clouds of heaven
there came one like a son of man,
and he came to the #[See ver. 9 above]Ancient of Days
and was presented before him.
14 # Ps. 110:1, 2; Isa. 9:6, 7; Rev. 11:15 And to him was given dominion
and glory and a kingdom,
that all #See ch. 3:4 peoples, nations, and languages
should serve him;
# See ch. 2:44 his dominion is an everlasting dominion,
which shall not pass away,
and his kingdom one
that shall not be destroyed.
Daniel’s Vision Interpreted
15“As for me, Daniel, my spirit within me#7:15 Aramaic within its sheath was anxious, and #See ver. 1the visions of my head alarmed me. 16I approached one of those who stood there and asked him the truth concerning all this. So he told me and made known to me the interpretation of the things. 17#[ver. 3]‘These four great beasts are four kings who shall arise out of the earth. 18But #ver. 22, 27; Matt. 25:34; [1 Cor. 6:2; Rev. 2:26; 20:4]the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, forever and ever.’
19“Then I desired to know the truth about #ver. 7the fourth beast, which was different from all the rest, exceedingly terrifying, with its teeth of iron and claws of bronze, and which devoured and broke in pieces and stamped what was left with its feet, 20#ver. 8and about the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn that came up and before which three of them fell, the horn that had eyes and a mouth that spoke great things, and that seemed greater than its companions. 21As I looked, this horn #[ch. 8:24]made war with the saints and prevailed over them, 22until the #ver. 9, 13 Ancient of Days came, and #[See ver. 18 above]judgment was given for the saints of the Most High, and the time came when #[See ver. 18 above]the saints possessed the kingdom.
23“Thus he said: ‘As for #[See ver. 19 above]the fourth beast,
there shall be a fourth kingdom on earth,
which shall be different from all the kingdoms,
and it shall devour the whole earth,
and trample it down, and break it to pieces.
24As for the ten horns,
out of this kingdom ten kings shall arise,
and another shall arise after them;
he shall be different from the former ones,
and shall put down three kings.
25 # [ch. 11:36] He shall speak words against the Most High,
and shall wear out the saints of the Most High,
and shall think to #ch. 2:9, 21 change the times and the law;
and they shall be given into his hand
for #ch. 12:7; Rev. 12:14a time, times, and half a time.
26 # See ver. 10 But the court shall sit in judgment,
and #[ver. 12, 14] his dominion shall be taken away,
to be consumed and destroyed #ch. 6:26to the end.
27 # See ver. 18 And the kingdom and the dominion
and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven
shall be given to the people of #See ver. 18 the saints of the Most High;
# See ch. 2:44 his kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom,
and all dominions shall serve and obey him.’#7:27 Or their kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey them
28“Here is the end of the matter. #ver. 15; [ch. 8:27; 10:8, 16; Jer. 23:9] As for me, Daniel, my #ch. 4:5, 19; 5:6 thoughts greatly alarmed me, #[ch. 5:6, 10] and my color changed, but #[Luke 2:19, 51]I kept the matter in my heart.”
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Sign up to receive news and updates about the ESV:Learn More About English Standard Version 2016