Home > Uncategorized > Daniel 7: the visions begin

Daniel 7: the visions begin

I read this passage of Scripture this afternoon after finishing work at the gas station and after going with my wife and two youngest sons to a park where the boys could sled down a hill (an activity I passed on this time). It was around 30 outside, but for some reason I felt very cold. Took a long, very hot shower when I got home and settled down to read the Word.

It’s been a long time–too long, in fact–since I last visited Daniel 7.

I must admit I struggled with this passage. Not that I disagreed with it (I didn’t), but because I’m not an eschatologist, some references will take some research to grasp.

We notice that this passage chronologically took place earlier than Daniel 6, when Babylonian second-in-command Belshazzar was terrified as he saw hands spelling out his doom on the wall. We presume that Daniel, under the direction of the Holy Spirit, felt it was best to keep the prophetic visions grouped together later in the book.

Daniel also apparently felt it was better to keep these visions to himself, writing them down for later generations to read. What he saw, no doubt, troubled him. I suspect he saw visions of events happening in the distant future, and he, like John would in Revelation, described the best he could things he had limited understanding of. Imagine William Shakespeare describing someone talking on a cell phone or updating their Twitter account.

In this vision, he (Daniel, not Bill Shakespeare) saw four beasts arising from the sea. They looked very creepy and surreal: a lion with birdlike wings that looked plucked, a bear with three ribs in its teeth, a leopard with four heads and wings like a bird, and a terrible-looking creature with iron teeth. Daniel also reported seeing a little horn that many believe is a reference to the antichrist. He also reported seeing the “Son of God”.

Reading the passage, I think it’s possible Daniel saw visions of the the antichrist’s rise to power, the Great Tribulation, the battle of Armageddon, Glorious Appearing and the Millennial Reign of Jesus. I could be wrong; further study, reading and maturing in the faith will tell for sure.

All I know for sure is that the dream troubled Daniel greatly. It makes you think: while Jesus will win at the end, the earth has yet to see what God is really like when He’s really angry.

Richard Zowie has been a Christian since 1981 and a blogger since 2007. He regrets not having discovered blogging sooner. Post comments here or e-mail him at richardstwoshekels@gmail.com.

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