Daniel sees a vision in his sleep. He watches four beasts rise out of a stormy sea. Each beast represents a kingdom that will rise and fall. The first beast is a winged lion (Babylon), the second is a ravenous bear (Medo-Persia), and the third is a leopard with four heads and four wings (Greece). The fourth beast (Rome) is more bizarre and terrifying than the others; it has ten horns on its head and teeth of iron. This final beast grows a horn that is boastful and blasphemous, likely representing the ruler called the “beast” of Revelation.

A courtroom with many thrones appears. On the judge’s throne sits the Ancient of Days: God. His throne is surrounded by fire and shoots fire out from it, representing God as the ultimate judge. He judges the beast with many horns, specifically the boastful horn. God kills the beast, destroys its body, and throws it into fire. The other beasts are spared, even though their power is taken away. An angel explains to Daniel that the beasts are different kings and kingdoms that will rise and fall. The boastful horn on the fourth beast is a king who will wage war against God’s people, but will be destroyed by God. Then, the kingdom of the earth will be given to a divine Son of Man to whom God grants glory and power. He will rule, and God’s people will reign with Him, and His kingdom will last forever.

Daniel 7:1-3

Daniel has a vision of a stormy ocean. Four strange animals rise from the water.

Daniel 7:4-6

The first beast is like a winged lion, the second is like a bear with ribs in its mouth, the third is like a leopard with four wings and four heads.

Daniel 7:7-8

The fourth beast has iron teeth and destroys whatever it wants. It has many horns on its head. One horn grows larger than the others and is boastful.

Daniel 7:9-10

A heavenly courtroom appears. The Eternal God sits on His fiery throne. He prepares to make a judgment.

Daniel 7:13-14

A Son of Man arrives, surrounded by clouds. God gives Him power and glory to rule the earth forever.

Daniel 7:11-12

The boastful horn and its beast are killed by God and burned up. The other beasts lose their dominion, but are allowed to live.

Daniel 7:15-18

Daniel asks for an interpretation of this bizarre vision. An Interpreter tells him the four beasts are four kings on the earth who will fade away. But God’s people will receive a forever kingdom.

Daniel 7:19-22

Daniel asks the Interpreter about the boastful horn who wages a war against God’s people. Daniel sees that God will judge the horn and give the earth to His people.

Daniel 7:23-26

The Interpreter explains that the boastful horn will challenge God and attack God’s people. He will rule for 3 ½ years before God destroys him.

Daniel 7:27-28

After destroying the boastful horn, God will give rulership to the Son of Man and His people forever.