Bible Reading for SEP15: Daniel 7-9

Chapters 7 and 8 actually take place prior to
chapter 5. Remember that Belshazzar’s father,
Nabonidus, was actually king of Babylon, the Empire,
and Belshazzar was his coregent in the city of Babylon.
To this point Daniel had been interpreting the dreams
of others, but now God gives him extraordinary visions
of his own. In these visions Daniel sees the course of
Gentile history, and this vision helps us to understand
what will happen to the Jews in the end days.

The restless sea in the Bible is often a
picture of the Gentile nations. Here, it is the Great
Sea, or the Mediterranean Sea, and all the empires
mentioned in this vision border, in one way or another,
on this Sea. Daniel saw four beasts, and the angel
explained what they meant. Each beast represented a
kingdom. The lion with wings (chapter 7:4) is a picture
of Babylon; the bear with ribs is a picture of the
Medo-Persian Empire; the winged four-headed leopard is
Greece; and the terrible beast is the Roman Empire.

In chapter 8 we have the vision of the ram and
the he-goat. This vision is actually an amplification
of chapter 7:6, explaining how Greece will conquer
Medo-Persia. It takes place two years after chapter 7,
and describes the kingdom that will follow Babylon
after it falls. Daniel was in Jerusalem, but God
carried him, in a vision, to the capital of Persia. The
he-goat appearing from the west represents Greece. Note
that the ram had two horns, one higher than the other,
symbolizing the Medes and the Persians, with the
Persians being the stronger of the two. The he-goat had
one great horn. This was Alexander the Great. When the
he-goat attacked the ram, its two horns were broken.
This represents Greece’s victory over Medo-Persia. Then
we see the great horn broken. This was the death of

The little horn in chapter 7:8 represents the
Antichrist, the last world ruler and the final world
empire before the return of Christ to earth. But the
little horn in chapter 8:9 comes out from one of the
four horns–that is, he is one of the leaders who comes
from the four divisions of Alexander’s kingdom. So this
little horn is not the Antichrist of the latter days,
although he has a definite connection with him. The
little horn here conquers nations to the south and
east, and then invades Palestine. He not only attacks
the Jews politically, but also religiously, for he
tries to destroy their heavenly faith by stopping the
sacrifices in the Temple.

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