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The Fourth Beast. Daniel 7:15-28. Review. Daniel had a vision of four human empires Babylonian – Lion with eagle’s wings Medo-Persian – Bear Greek – 4-headed Leopard Roman – the beast of Dan 7:7-8

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the fourth beast

The Fourth Beast

Daniel 7:15-28

  • Daniel had a vision of four human empires
    • Babylonian – Lion with eagle’s wings
    • Medo-Persian – Bear
    • Greek – 4-headed Leopard
    • Roman – the beast of Dan 7:7-8
  • During this fourth empire God, the Ancient of Days, would set up a kingdom ruled by the Son of Man who is also God
  • Daniel wants to know more
seeking more information
Seeking more information
  • Dan 7:15-18
    • Daniel is grieved in his spirit and troubled by the visions he saw
    • Asks for the truth (certainty) of the visions
    • The angel confirms the certainty
      • Explains the four beasts as kings/kingdoms
      • Explains the final kingdom, God’s kingdom, as one which would belong to the saints forever
        • This should be good news
        • Same outcome as prophesied in Dan 2:44
the fourth beast1
The fourth beast
  • Dan 7:19-20
    • What is bothering Daniel isn’t the outcome, but the description of the fourth beast
      • Exceedingly dreadful (devours, tramples, and breaks the whole earth)
      • Ten horns on its head
      • The little horn
        • Before which three horns fell
        • Which had eyes and a mouth speaking pompous words
        • Whose appearance was greater than his fellows
a more detailed vision
A more detailed vision
  • Dan 7:21-22
    • The little horn making war against the saints, prevailing against them
    • Until the Ancient of Days came
      • With judgment in favor of the saints of the Most High
      • And it was time for the saints to possess the kingdom
  • But what does it mean?
the interpretation
The interpretation
  • Dan 7:23
    • The beast represents a fourth kingdom – Rome
      • It will be different than other kingdoms
        • Roman laws, government, and armies were different than any of the preceding kingdoms
      • It will devour, trample, and break the whole earth
        • Rome conquered
        • “earth” means “land or ground”
          • Not the globe
the interpretation1
The interpretation
  • Dan 7:24
    • 10 horns = 10 kings
    • Little horn is the eleventh king who knocks down 3 preceding kings
      • A lot of fanciful interpretations are made about these kings
        • But the simplest is probably the best
          • After all, God is trying to explain the vision, not complicate it
the interpretation2
The interpretation
  • Therefore, the Roman empire would have 10 kings, then an eleventh king who removes 3 predecessors
    • The only complication would be to know from what point in Roman history to begin numbering the kings
      • Could start from when Rome conquers the land of Israel (63 BC – the first triumvirate)
      • Could start from either the first practical emperor (Julius Caesar) or acknowledged emperor (Augustus Caesar)
      • Or could count backward from the emperor who killed 3 predecessors in what is called “the year of four emperors” (AD 68-69)
the interpretation3
The interpretation
  • 11- Vespasian (AD 69-79) – the little horn
  • 10- Vitellius (AD 69) ]
  • 9- Otho (AD 69) ]- the three fallen horns
  • 8- Galba (AD 68-69) ]
  • 7- Nero Caesar (AD 54-68)
  • 6- Claudius Caesar (AD 41-54)
  • 5- Caligula Caesar (AD 37-41)
  • 4- Tiberius Caesar (AD 14-37)
  • 3- Augustus Caesar (30 BC – AD 14)
  • 2- Marcus Antonius (2nd triumvirate) (44-30 BC)
  • 1- Julius Caesar (1st triumvirate) (66-44 BC)
the little horn
The little horn
  • Not like the preceding horns
    • Vespasian was a Flavius, not a Caesar (though he took Caesar as a title)
  • Dan 7:25
    • He shall speak pompous words against the Most High
    • He shall persecute the saints of the Most High
    • He shall intend to change times and law
    • Into whose hands the saints shall be given for a time, times and half a time
the little horn1
The little horn
  • Vespasian
    • Led the army against the Jews in AD 66
    • The army (under his son Titus) eventually sacked Jerusalem and destroyed the temple
    • Jewish War actually lasted 7+ years
      • Killed hundreds of thousands of Jews including many Christians who did not heed the warning of Lk 21:20-24
    • Declared himself to be the Jewish Messiah, as well as various prophesied demigods from many nations and religions
      • Ordered Titus’ army to hunt down and kill all descendants of David
    • Rewrote large sections of Roman law
    • Claimed he was becoming a god
the eternal kingdom
The eternal kingdom
  • Dan 7:26-28
    • Although Vespasian (and the Roman empire) thought he was triumphing over God
      • In reality God’s kingdom triumphed over the empire
      • The vision returns to the same scene already noted (Dan 7:13-14)
        • God’s court seated
        • The dominion of earthly empires judged and condemned
        • The kingdom belongs to the saints, led by the Son of Man who rides upon the clouds
  • Daniel had been granted an extraordinary vision of a time more than 500 years in the future
    • A time when the kingdom of God and the Roman empire would come into conflict
      • But God and His kingdom would triumph
  • His kingdom continues even now
    • Won’t you become part of God’s kingdom?