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Daniel: 7

DANIEL DESCRIBES HIS VISIONS. (7.1-12.13) The four beasts.  Dn.7.1-8

1IN THE FIRST YEAR OF BELSHAZZAR king of Babylon, as Daniel lay on his bed, dreams and visions came into his head. Then he wrote down the dream, and here his account begins:

2In my visions of the night I, Daniel, was gazing intently and I saw a great sea churned up by the four winds of heaven, 3and four huge beasts coming up out of the sea, each one different from the others. 4The first was like a lion but had an eagle's wings. I watched until its wings were plucked off and it was lifted from the ground and made to stand on two feet like a man; it was also given the mind of a man. 5Then I saw another, a second beast, like a bear. It was half crouching and had three ribs in its mouth. between its teeth. The command was given: 'Up, gorge yourself with flesh.' 6After this as I gazed I saw another, a beast like a leopard with four bird's wings on its back; this creature had four heads, and it was invested with sovereign power. 7Next in my visions of the night I saw a fourth beast. dreadful and grisly, exceedingly strong, with great iron teeth and bronze claws [and bronze claws: prob. rdg, cp v19; Aram omitted]. It crunched and devoured, and trampled underfoot all that was left. It differed from all the beasts which preceded it in having ten horns. 8While I was considering the horns I saw another horn, a little one, springing up among them, and three of the first horns were uprooted to make room for it. And in that horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth that spoke proud words.

The vision of the Ancient of days.  Dn.7.9-14

9I kept looking, and then

11Then because of the proud words that the horn was speaking, I went on watching until the beast was killed and its carcass destroyed: it was given to the flames. 12The rest of the beasts, though deprived of their sovereignty, were allowed to remain alive for a time and a season. 13I was still watching in visions of the night and I saw one like a man coming with the clouds of heaven; he approached the Ancient in Years and was presented to him. 14Sovereignty and glory and kingly power were given to him, so that all people and nations of every language should serve him; his sovereignty was to be an everlasting sovereignty which should not pass away, and his kingly power such as should never be impaired.

The visions explained.  Dn.7.15-28

15My spirit within me was troubled, and, dismayed by the visions which came into my head, 16I, Daniel, approached one of those who stood there and inquired from him what all this meant; and he told me the interpretation. 17'These great beasts, four in number,' he said, 'are four kingdoms which shall rise from the ground. 18But the saints [Or holy ones] of the Most High shall receive the kingly power and shall retain it for ever, for ever and ever.' 19Then I desired to know what the fourth beast meant, the beast that was different from all the others, very dreadful with its iron teeth and bronze claws, crunching and devouring and trampling underfoot all that was left. 20I desired also to know about the ten horns on its head and the other horn which sprang up and at whose coming three of them fell—the horn that had eyes and a mouth speaking proud words and appeared larger than the others. 21As I still watched, that horn was waging war with the saints and overcoming them 22until the Ancient in Years came. Then judgement was given in favour of the saints of the Most High, and the time came when the saints gained possession of the kingly power. 23He gave me this answer: 'The fourth beast signifies a fourth kingdom which shall appear upon earth. It shall differ from the other kingdoms and shall devour the whole earth, tread it down and crush it. 24The ten horns signify the appearance of ten kings in this kingdom, after whom another king shall arise, differing from his predecessors; and he shall bring low three kings. 25He shall hurl defiance at the Most High and shall wear down the saints of the Most High. He shall plan to alter the customary times and law; and the saints shall be delivered into his power for a time and times and half a time. 26Then the court shall sit, and he shall be deprived of his sovereignty, so that in the end it may be destroyed and abolished. 27The kingly power, sovereignty, and greatness of all the kingdoms under heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High. Their kingly power is an everlasting power and all sovereignties shall serve them and obey them.'

28Here the account ends. As for me, Daniel, my thoughts dismayed me greatly and I turned pale; and I kept these things in my mind.

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