Daniel chapter 7 is an amazing chapter chronicling Daniel’s “dream and visions of his head upon his bed” (Daniel 7:1). This vision that Daniel had was of four beasts, or kingdoms and their kings, that would be the four major powers, or superpowers, of the end-times.
Some Biblical commentators believe the first three beasts represent Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Greece. The reason I don’t prescribe to this interpretation is because this vision of Daniel’s appears to be end-times related, and all three of these empires – Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Greece – no longer have any power on the world stage. Also, two of these three empires have “beasts” assigned to them in Daniel 8 – the “ram” for Medo-Persia and the “he goat” for Greece – and it is there that their stories are told.
As the generations alive today seem to be, without much doubt, the generations of the end-times, we should be able to attempt to identify these “beasts” or kingdoms.
As always, when it comes to future prophecy, I have to remind the reader that there are many interpretations and views to this chapter in Daniel and other prophetic passages found within Scripture. And, as usual, I will humbly state that I believe I’m right on this interpretation, but the possibility always exists that I may be wrong.
I’m not in the business of convincing anyone of anything. I consider it my job to offer my own interpretive views derived from many years of study for the reader to contemplate and allow them to come to their own conclusions.
The First Beast
“The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given to it” (Daniel 7:4).
When we consider the lion with the eagle’s wings, this should come as no surprise that these beasts seem to be easily recognizable as England (British Empire) and the United States.
The Barbary Lion has been the national symbol of England since at least the Middle Ages.
The Bald Eagle has been the national symbol of the United States since 1782, six years after the Declaration of Independence was signed.
What’s amazing about this vision is the order. The lion is mentioned first “and had eagle’s wings.” This confirms history as the United States was essentially “born” from the British Empire. One can almost see the wings sprouting from the lion.
This also confirms the belief among many prophecy students and teachers that the country mentioned often in the Tanakh (Old Testament) as Tarshish might very well be England. In Ezekiel’s famous Gog/Magog prophecy, we see this description of Tarshish and her young lions:
“… the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof …” (Ezekiel 38:13).
The British Empire at its height had colonies throughout the known world, with the United States being one of the most recent until the War of Independence won the U.S. the right to her own sovereignty. This would seem to explain what Daniel saw next: “I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given to it.”
It could be suggested that what Daniel witnesses is that the “eagle’s wings” (the United States) were plucked off of the lion (England), and the lion (England) was made to “stand upon the feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given to it.”
That is, once the United States got her autonomy, the British Empire began to fade in power and influence. England no longer was a “beast,” or superpower, but was essentially “dethroned” to the level of other nations of the world, looking more like a “man” than a “beast” power.
Another explanation could be that the United States will fall in power – as we are witnessing today – and that the loss of the “eagle’s wings” is the loss of America’s superpower status. This may very well have a ripple effect upon England, and they too will lose their dominance, power, influence and status, yet both nations may still play an important role in the last day’s alignment of nations.
Regardless of how this plays out, it seems these two “beast” nations will be partakers in some kind of role in regard to the 10 kings that we will be looking at later.
The Second Beast
“And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh” (Daniel 7:5).
The second beast of Daniel’s vision seems to be the “Russian Bear.”
What’s very intriguing about the symbol of the bear for Russia is that it really isn’t their official national symbol – the two-headed eagle, interestingly enough, is.
The symbol of the bear for Russia seems to have been given to them by the Western world. The bear was even considered for Russia’s national symbol as, according to Wikipedia, the proposers of the idea noted, “Russia is anyway identified in the world with the Bear.”
Whether or not the bear is a symbol given to Russia on her own accord or given to her by other nations would seem to be irrelevant. The fact is, to the world, the symbol of the bear has been bestowed upon the nation of Russia, with or without her consent.
When considering Daniel 7:5, one really does tend to see Russia in the symbolism.
“It raised up itself on one side” indicates the dominance the western half of Russia has in regard to its immense geographical size, not to mention Russia’s influence upon Europe and the Middle East to its west and south.
“It had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it” seems to describes a cooperative and/or influence between Russia and three other countries, obviously with Russia dominating the agenda and manipulating the other three actors.
This could very well be related to the Gog/Magog invasion of Israel prophesied in Ezekiel 38. The two most active participants of this invasion, besides Russia herself, are Iran and Turkey. Russia seems to be the puppet master of these two nations, and although they will remain autonomous, they are certainly emboldened, armed, and guided by Russia.
The third “rib” could very well be Syria where all three nations are currently residing militarily, are aligned with Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian forces and agenda, and where this Gog/Magog invasion will most certainly be initiated from.
This interpretation seems most logical for one very important reason: It appears that the “three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it” are the “they” that “said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh.”
As is well documented, Russia certainly has the reputation to “devour much flesh”; and with the instigation of Turkey, Iran, and Syria, Russia would seem only too happy to oblige in leading this invasion upon the nation of Israel.
The Third Beast
“After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it” (Daniel 7:6).
I believe this is the most difficult beast to identify.
For our study, and in keeping with the current superpowers of today, I’m going to suggest China; and there are some very good reasons for this.
Most would think that if this beast was China, that she would be represented by the dragon. One would surely think that would be the case, but the dragon has already been assigned to Satan (Revelation 12:1-17 & Revelation 20:1-3). The leopard, though, seems quite a fitting beast for this nation.
The leopard is a cunning, swift, and stealth hunter. When thinking of China as a political, economic, technological, and military power, I see the characteristics of a leopard quite clearly. China has been very cunning on the geopolitical stage.
At home, as is so well documented, no nation has ever surveilled their own people as the Chinese Communists have — stealthily lurking at a distance, as a leopard hunts its prey.
Her stealth and rapid rise in economic power have been, as one might say, “Accomplished under the radar, yet in plain sight.” The United States, in particular, has played an active role in China’s rise in economic wealth and power as they import China’s goods at an astronomical rate.
Militarily, China has swiftly used those economic resources to fund her capabilities to unheard-of heights, as she has become a preeminent military threat to the world and a major supplier of arms.
The rise in technological advances – whether from within or without through stolen intellectual properties and trade secrets – is mind-blowing, probably surpassing even the United States.
When it comes to Daniel’s description of the leopard having “four wings of a fowl,” one can’t help but notice the rate of speed her ascension to dominance has had on the world stage in such a remarkably short time.
These four “wings” could also indicate China’s expansion in all four directions of her sphere of influence. In the north, China has developed military and cooperative ties with Russia. To the south, China is courting and arming many other Asian nations. To the west, China is in the process of a huge trade-route undertaking known as the New Silk Road. And, of course, to the east across the Pacific Ocean, China is considered the premier threat to the United States, and yet the US is the largest consumer of her goods.
In regard to the New Silk Road: China’s “Belt and Road Initiative” (BRI) is a planned multitrillion-dollar infrastructure program that is intended to link China with more than 100 countries through railroad, shipping and energy projects.
The BRI will recreate the Silk Road, an old network of trading routes between the East and the West, by investing large sums of money into other countries to build such infrastructure projects.
Here’s the Fox News article, cited above, with a map showing the scope of this project and what these “wings” could very well represent:
The Belt and Road Initiative is growing: China increasing Security Cooperation in Caribbean – Belt & Road News (beltandroad.news)
As far as the “four heads,” there may be an alliance coming in the near future. China has been courting other regional nations with arms sales and/or trade agreements, including India, Myanmar, Pakistan, Japan, and South Korea, among many others. There’s no other country in the world that has more influence on the hermit kingdom of North Korea than China does. Also, interesting to note, is her ambitions on Taiwan and Hong Kong.
Actually, though, the “four heads” could very well be in China herself – as one of the 10 kings – being split up into four smaller kingdoms within her borders, all under the leadership of the one king. The population of China is unsurpassed and could very well need four separate “governors” in four separate regions within the nation of China to help delegate the orders from the supreme leader – or king – of China’s regional global kingdom.
Whatever the case may be, these “four heads” should be defined very soon, if not, then after the rapture of the church.
Most fascinating to me is China’s push for a global government and global tracking of all citizens of the world. Something I would never have dreamed would happen, as I always thought they may be the last to lean into globalism, yet here we are. Truly exciting in light of end-time prophecy!
With this in mind, it makes me wonder of the possibility that the globalists might have worked with China in developing the COVID-19 virus and to release it in late 2019 to achieve two goals: One, to prepare the masses through vaccines to accept a soon-coming tracking and surveillance system; and, two, to bring down the nationalistic Trump administration through a seemingly fraudulent election to align the United States with the globalist goals of Agenda 21 and Agenda 2030.
(Here’s the latest on the virus’ origins: Steve Hilton investigates origins of COVID-19, links to U.S. commissioned research).
When it comes to Communist China and her longstanding allegiance to the Communist system, I’m reminded of the following passage in Scripture:
“Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots?” (Jeremiah 13:23).
Another fascinating passage is when God told Ephraim (the northern 10- tribe kingdom of Israel) that…
“Therefore I will be unto them as a lion: as a leopard by the way will I observe them: I will meet them as a bear that is bereaved of her whelps, and will rend the caul of their heart, and there will I devour them like a lion: the wild beast shall tear them” (Hosea 13:7-8).
The first three symbolic beasts mentioned in Daniel’s vision are alluded to in this passage of how God would personally punish Israel for her rebellion. I’m not sure there’s anything more to this here than imagery, but we do see these three symbolic beasts again in Revelation, which we will soon note.
The Fourth Beast
“After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns” (Daniel 7:7).
For me, the most important word in this description of the fourth beast is the word “diverse.” Let’s take a look at that word in more detail.
The original word for “diverse” is 8133 “shena” and means alter, change, be diverse (Aramaic) corresponding to shana— alter, change, (be) diverse.
This is really important. Most prophecy students and teachers believe the Antichrist will rise to power in Europe alongside the Roman Catholic church. But something will happen in the middle of the Tribulation that will render this – as it’s commonly known – “revived Roman Empire” obsolete. (Which really won’t be “revived” as much as it has long been leading in world affairs, but in a different form as a theocratic empire under the Roman Catholic church). When that happens, the Antichrist will have no more reason to be loyal to the kingdom that helped propel his rise to prominence, and this will lead, in my opinion, to him relocating – or to “change” – his base of operations to the land of Shinar where it all began in the ancient city of Babel/Babylon.
Two articles I have written on this subject and how I believe these events could play themselves out are A Combined Interpretive Scenario of Revelation 17 & 18 and Zechariah 5:5-11 – Homecoming: Babel Returns Home.
For the educated prophecy student and teacher, this fourth beast is the most known of the four. King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of the statue shows this worldwide kingdom, represented by the 10 toes mixed with iron and clay. Notice that the Fourth Beast of Daniel has “iron teeth” and the “ten horns” corresponds to the 10 toes of Nebuchadnezzar’s statue:
“And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise.
And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay.
And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken.
And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay” (Daniel 2:40-43). (emphasis mine)
As potter’s clay and iron don’t mix, so too will the 10 global regions of the world have difficulty with unity in the first half of the Tribulation.
At the midway point of the Tribulation, the False Prophet will “require, cause, make, force” everyone to take The Mark of The Beast and worship the Antichrist.
But for this system to cover every inch of the entire world – after such devastating repercussions of the wrath of God, wars, disease, destruction and/or degradation of commerce, government, military, and technology, depopulation, etc. – will be virtually impossible, though the attempt will be ferocious and intense. (Remember, there will be those that survive the Tribulation who did not take The Mark of The Beast and were, obviously, not beheaded by Antichrist). This, I believe, is one of the many reasons that “they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.”
Antichrist, to be sure, will have much more power, influence, and reach than any other world leader has ever had.
Even though Antichrist begins his rise to prominence with a false “peace,” he will progress with fury to achieve Satan’s goal of a united world empire under Antichrist at the midway point of the Tribulation.
Antichrist’s Worldwide Empire
“And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority” (Revelation 13:1-2). (emphasis mine)
Notice that this “beast” is a composite of the first three beast nations we just looked at in Daniel. This indicates that England/United States, Russia, and China will play a major role in the creation of the fourth beast’s worldwide empire.
They could also be the three “horns plucked up by the roots” by the “little horn” (Antichrist) in Daniel 7:8, below.
In my article An Interpretive Scenario of the Abomination of Desolation I suggested the three horns (kingdoms) that the little horn (Antichrist) plucks up could be the Middle East, North Africa, and Western Europe. In this alternate scenario, those three kingdoms could already be in confederation during the Antichrist’s rise to power, being united already by the Roman Catholic church (the Whore of Babylon) in their ecumenical movement with Islam, known commonly as “Chrislam.” (Of course, the RCC is moving to unite all religions, but her desire is to have a unified “Christian”/Muslim foundation in producing their One-World Religion).
In this scenario, we will proceed on with this new idea that the three horns, or kingdoms, that are plucked up by Antichrist are the first three beasts we just studied: England/United States, Russia, and China.
When I think of the possibility of these three regional kingdoms uniting with Antichrist/RCC/European Union, it really wouldn’t surprise me if this was the case. With the England/United States kingdom losing influence in the world, and after the rapture of the church, this kingdom might see this move to be very advantageous.
Also, with the Antichrist showing himself to be a secular leader (Daniel 11:36-37), Russia and China might very well have much in common with such a man. (Of course, Antichrist will show his true colors at the midway point of the Tribulation). They, too, might see the advantages of coming into unity under this new world leader with his creative and innovative ideas for globalization.
The Horns and the ‘Little Horn’ of the Fourth Beast
“I considered the [ten] horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things” (Daniel 7:8).
These 10 horns, or 10 kings, are 10 regional kingdoms that the globalist elites have been pushing for. That is, the world will be split into 10 regions ruled by 10 kings and will hand their kingdoms over to Antichrist after they destroy the “Whore of Babylon” – the ecumenical one-world religion – during the midway point of the Tribulation.
“And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast” (Revelation 17:12-13).
“And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled” (Revelation 17:16-17).
Here is a map of what that “kingdom” may look like, as proposed by the Club of Rome and many other globalist entities, including the U.N.
The “little horn” is, of course, the person of Antichrist. He will subdue the three world superpowers during his ascension to power, most probably by peace and agreement, and with this united front will acquire full allegiance of the entire world after the 10 kings unite to destroy the last remaining power and influence — the Roman Catholic church.
Once the 10 kings hand over their kingdoms to Antichrist, the final worldwide kingdom commences for the last three and one-half years of the Tribulation until Christ comes back to destroy His enemies and sets up His Millennial Kingdom.
This is how I currently interpret the seventh chapter of Daniel, and I offer this view to the reader for consideration and to provoke thought and dialog within the prophetic community.
As with all future prophecy, I’m honest enough to admit that this is nothing more and nothing less than another prophetic scenario to add to the plethora of views and interpretations within prophecy circles.
Let’s conclude with “the rest of the story.”
The Great White Throne Judgment
Daniel’s vision then jumps a thousand plus years forward, after Christ’s Millennial Kingdom, to the Great White Throne judgment:
“I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened” (Daniel 7:9-10).
We read of this event in Revelation:
“And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:11-15).
Daniel’s vision returns back in time to when Antichrist is destroyed by Christ at His Second Coming:
Antichrist Thrown into The Lake of Fire
“I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame” (Daniel 7:11).
Again, Revelation covers this event:
“And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone” (Revelation 19:20).
The Millennial Kingdom of Christ
“As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.
I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.
And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed” (Daniel 7:12-14).
The three beast superpower kingdoms, after giving their dominions to Antichrist along with the rest of Antichrist’s worldwide kingdom, will cede their authority to Christ as those that are left alive and have given their lives to Jesus are allowed to enter the Lord’s Millennial Kingdom. Of course, the Lord’s final Kingdom is the Eternal Kingdom.
Finally, Daniel is given the…
Explanation of the Fourth Beast, the Antichrist, and the Lord’s Kingdom
“Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet;
And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows.
I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.
Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.
And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.
And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.
But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.
And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him” (Daniel 7:19-27).
We, who call upon the Name of the Lord, will be with Him ruling and reigning in His Millennial and Eternal Kingdoms, and it shall be glorious!
Love, grace, mercy, and shalom in Messiah Yeshua, and Maranatha!