This study is based on the prophecy of Daniel in chapter 7. This is a parallel prophecy of Daniel 2, where we see the different parts of Nebuchadnezzar’s image representing the four main kingdoms of the world, plus the ‘divided kingdom’ which is the time we live in now (the feet). This time in Daniel 7 we have four beasts, which represent the four world kingdoms. In this chapter Daniel goes into greater detail about these kingdoms. How do we know that these beasts represent kingdoms? … Daniel 7:17 …’These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth.’ … This is confirmation that these four beasts are four kings (kingdoms) which rise to power in the earth. So let’s look at these beasts.
Daniel 7:3 …’And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.’ … Notice first that these beasts came up from the sea. Now water in bible prophecy represents people, nations … Revelation 17:15 …’And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.’ … So the four beasts rise up from largely populated areas of many different people.
Daniel 7:4 …’The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given to it.’ … This beast was Babylon (Head of Gold). The Lion is regarded as the greatest of beasts, and just like the head of Gold, the greatest of metals, Babylon was the greatest kingdom. Also, the symbol of a Lion was associated with Babylon. In Ezekiel 17, Babylon is depicted as a ‘great eagle with great wings’. God gave Babylon it’s power, but then the wings were plucked off, and the kingdom lost it’s power and was conquered by the next kingdom.
Daniel 7:5 …’And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh.’ … This beast was Medo-Persia (Chest of Silver). This bear is ‘raised up’ on one side. As you can see from the name ‘Medo-Persia’, this was a dual kingdom. Persia was the stronger kingdom, hence this beast being ‘raised up’ on one side. This bear also has 3 ribs in it’s mouth, so it’s obviously just devoured something. This represents the three notable conquests of the Medes and Persians, which were the kingdoms of Lydia, Egypt and Babylon.
Daniel 7:6 …’After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it.’ … This beast was Greece (Thighs of Bronze). Now the Leopard is an animal of great speed, and with the 4 wings, this represents great speed and power also. It is well known that Alexander the great conquered the known world with amazing speed. The four heads represents the four divisions that Greece split into after the death of Alexander. It is known that 4 generals took control of Greece.
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.’ … This beast was Rome (Legs of Iron). This nation is so terrible and powerful that Daniel can only describe it as a dreadful beast. Rome was known as the iron kingdom, which matches the iron teeth on this beast and the iron legs on the statue. Notice that this beast was ‘diverse’ (different) from all the others. Whereas all the other kingdoms were totally political nations, Rome became a ‘Religio-Political’ nation, when the Roman Catholic Church (The Papacy) received power to rule. Notice also that this beast had ten horns. When Rome fell in 476 AD, it split into ten kingdoms of Europe … Daniel 7:23 …’Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth.’ … This verse confirms that the fourth terrible beast is Rome, because Rome was the fourth kingdom to rule after Babylon.