Daniel has a vision of a stormy ocean. Four strange animals rise from the water.
Daniel 7 steps backward in time. This chapter deals with a prophetic vision Daniel experienced in the first year of Belshazzar, who was king of Babylon after Nebuchadnezzar. Belshazzar’s reign (and life) ended in Chapter 5, and Darius the Mede took over governance of Babylon after the Medes and Persians conquered and assumed rule over Babylon. The episode with Daniel in the lion’s den occurred during Darius’ reign, in Chapter 6.
Daniel’s vision occurs at night, during his sleep, as he lay on his bed. He sees a dream and visions in his mind. When he wakes up, Daniel writes the dream down in a summary. This chapter is Daniel’s written account of that dream.
The vision begins with a stormy scene: the four winds of heaven are stirring up the great sea. A chaotic, dark, rolling ocean kicked from all sides by four winds. The vision becomes even more eerie; Daniel sees four great beasts rising from the sea—each one different from one another. Huge, grotesque monsters climb out of the water onto the land.
Daniel describes them in the following passage.
7 In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel saw a dream and visions in his mind as he lay on his bed; then he wrote the dream down and related the following summary of it. 2 Daniel said, “I was looking in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the great sea. 3 And four great beasts were coming up from the sea, different from one another.
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