Daniel Chapter 7 - Vision of the Beasts

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God gives Daniel a dream of four great kingdoms that would rule the world. One thing we should learn from this is that God has a plan to redeem mankind and although we do not always understand His ways, we can trust Him and know that Heaven rules Earth. The Lord is very involved with establishing the governments of the world. In fact, the predictions given here are so specific you would have thought Daniel wrote these things down after they happened. As it states in God's word, He watches over his word to fulfill it.

This article will concentrate on identifying the 4 kingdoms with details on the large Beast coming out of the sea with 10 horns. So who is this beast and who do the 10 horns represent? If we can identify the 10 horns, this will eventually lead to identifying the Little Horn who is the Anti-Christ.

The four Beasts are coming out of the sea. In scripture, the sea is symbolic of the sea of mankind or a heavily populated area.

Daniel 7:2-3 Daniel said, "In my vision at night I looked, and there before me were the four winds of heaven churning up the great sea. Four great beasts, each different from the others, came up out of the sea."

The Babylonian Lion in Daniel 7 with Eagles wings

The Bear in Daniel 7 with 3 ribs in his mouth

The Leopard in Daniel 7 with 4 heads

The Beast in Daniel 7 with 10 Horns

The first was like a lion, and it had wings of an eagle. I watched until it's wings were torn off and it was lifted from the ground so that it stood on two feet like a man, and the heart of a man was given to it.

The lion with eagles wings stood for Babylon. They became the central world power from 605-539BC.

The national symbol of Babylon was a lion with wings.

King Nebuchadnezzar ruled Babylon ruthlessly, until such a time that God decided to deal with him. For 7 years he was cut off as king and lived in the wild like a beast. It's interesting that God had such a simple vision explain so much about the kingdom. In the end, King Nebuchadnezzar acknowledged that heaven rules Earth and that the God of heaven does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the Earth.

And there before me was a second beast, which looked like a bear. It was raised up on one of it's sides, and it had three ribs in it's mouth between its teeth. It was told, "Get up and eat your fill of flesh!"

The Bear raised up on one side is Medo Persia. The Medes originally took over the kingdom but the Persian empire (a sister country ruling together with the Medes) grew larger and became more well known. Which is why the beast was raised up on one side. The time period in which they became a world power was between 539 - 331 BC.

The 3 ribs in his mouth were the three kingdoms they defeated in the process of becoming a world power; Babylon, Lydia, and Egypt.

After that, I looked, and there before me was another beast, one that looked like a leopard. And on its back it had four wings like those of a bird. This beast had four heads, and it was given authority to rule.

This beast stands for Greece. Alexander the Great defeated every other nation around him with tremendous speed. In fact, his heart was saddened because there was no one else to conquer. The leopard with wings gives us the indication of speed of takeover as the leopard is one of the fastest animals on Earth.. Greece ruled the world from 331-168 BC.

When Alexander was dying they asked him who should rule after you pass away. His reply was let the strong rule. Alexander had 4 generals in place, those 4 generals each took rulership of their own area. Thus the 4 heads represent the four kingdoms that came out of this kingdom.

After that, I looked, and there before me was a fourth beast - terrifying and frightening and very powerful. It had large iron teeth; it crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. It was different from all the former beasts, and it had 10 horns.

The fourth beast was Rome. They ruled the world with swords of Iron. Yes, they were ruthless and killed anyone who got in their way. If you ever read any history books about the Roman government you would wonder how anyone survived all the wars they went through.

They ruled from 168BC - 476AD.

The Beast had 10 horns which speaks of 10 Kingdoms coming out of 1 Kingdom (Rome). The angel interpets the dream and tells Daniel that ten kingdoms will arise out of the Beast.

Daniel 7:24 As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom (Rome) ten kings will arise;

A horn in scripture is symbolic of a kingdom and in order to have a kingdom one must have a king and be governed by some form of political structure. The 10 horns represent 10 kingdoms that shall arise out of the breast as interpreted by the Angel. This is a crytical piece of information because if this is true, this will lead us to the identity of the Little Horn, ( the Antichrist) and also provide a key time table of end-time events for us.

Scripture vs Scripture

The first thing we want to do is compare scripture with scripture. God normally verifies what he's communicating with multiple dreams and visions. This information was so key that Daniel received 3 different dreams all confirming the same set of events; The dream of the Statue Chapter 2, Dream of the Beasts Chapter 7, and the Dream of the Ram and Goats Chapter 8. In each case, the angels provide specific information as the identity of each kingdom(s) in the dreams.

The order of appearance of the kingdoms in the dreams and visions gives us a framework to work with as the dreams are speaking of the same kingdoms.

Daniel Chapter 2
Head of Gold – Babylon
Shoulders and Chest of Silver – Medo-Persia
Midsection of Brass – Greece
Legs of Iron – Roman Empire
Feet of Iron and Clay with 10 toes – 10 nations arising out of the Rome

Daniel Chapter 7
Lion with Wings of Eagle – Babylon
Bear with 3 ribs in his Mouth – Medo-Persia
Leopard with 4 heads – Greece
4 Heads of Leopard – 4 kingdoms arising out of Greece
10-Horned Beast – Roman Empire
10 Horns – 10 Nations arising out of Rome

Daniel Chapter 8
Ram with 2 Horns – Medo-Persia
Goat with Large Horn – Alexander the Great, Greece
Large Horn Broken and Replaced with 4 horns – 4 Generals of Greece
Out of the 4 horns came another Horn which started small but grew large. – Rome

The Leopard had 4 heads letting us know that the Kingdom of the Leopard would be divided up into 4 at the end of Alexander the Greats reign. It’s interesting because Alexander did not give his kingdom to anyone. He simply said let the strongest of you rule. History tells us that the Kingdom of Greece was eventually given to his 4 generals. So the prophecy was full filled and the Leopard with four heads perfectly describes this kingdom.

Since the vision of the statue ended with the 10 toes of iron and clay, and the Beast had 10 horns, I believe these 10 toes are the same as the 10 horns on the beast. The 10 horned Beast comes up right after the Leopard and it’s public knowledge that Rome took over world power after Greece. With the Beast having 10 Horns it’s another way of saying that this is the way Rome will be divided at the end of it current reign. Let’s check it out.

To find out what happened when the Roman Empire collapsed you need to be a historian and a detective. The collapse of Rome is best described as tribal warfare with a disappearance of the central power. Most Historians spend most of their time talking about Rome. We’re more interesting in who took over after Rome. If you look for a map during the 5th century there are so many variations you’ll have no idea of which one is correct. But, if God was in control and predicted the end of Roman Empire and that Rome would be divided into 10 kingdoms there must be proof from common historical data. All the following maps and information is from books that have no framework of Bible Prophecy, they are just historical records.

In our search for the truth, we discovered a number of sources. Internet maps, Historian Timelines, History channel material and historical books. Since we are not historians, we need the help of someone who is a Historian. We found a book written by Peter Heather named, “The fall of the Roman Empire”. This book, more than any other resource provided the data needed to break the code.

The first thing to establish was a basis of criteria to identify the 10 Horns.

Here’s an unedited map found on the internet. We placed an outline of the Roman Empire over this map so we can see the land area which concerns us.

Roman Empire in 476AD

Since we do not have 500 pages to write the complete story, we’re going to condense our finding to People Groups within the Roman Empire. This abbreviated version will provide a brief description of how each of the following people groups ended up as a nation or how a particular people group was considered but eliminated because it did not meet the criteria defined above. The People groups will be presented in order of appearance upon entry into the Roman Empire

Visigoths (West Goths)

Originally know as the Goths, this group of people is actually the combination of 3 different people groups; Tervingi, Greuthungi, and followers of Radagaisus, all united under one king. They originally showed up in 375AD with over 200,000 men, women and children able to equip 30,000 fighting soldiers in Eastern Rome as they crossed the Danube River. Sources say that more than likely they we’re fleeing the Huns as the Huns were looking to take captives.  It was either submit to the Huns or take your chances within the Roman Empire.

The Eastern Roman Empire would have normally subdued such a group and disbanded it, but the majority of its army was in battle in the East with Persia. When they finally came around to confront the group of Goth’s as they were known, the Gothic Army defeated the Romans in the battle of Adrianople (378 AD). This virtually wiped out the Roman Army in the East.  The Eastern Roman Empire raised up another army but that one was defeated as well. This forced the local Roman Emperor into a treaty (382). Rome really had no other choice. They had a large people group on Roman Territory that basically defeated the Roman Army not once but twice.

The Goth’s elected Aleric as their King. To make a really long story short Aleric gets disappointed by one Roman Ruler after another until such a point he has no choice but to raid Rome to pay his army in 410 AD. Eventually, the Western Caesar was able to agree upon some terms and they settled in Southern France.

The Gothic Army was then used and hired by the Roman Empire to fight against some of the other people groups that entered into the land.

When the Western Roman Empire was ready to collapse the Visigoths expanded their territory by going South and taking land from the Suevi tribes in Northern Spain.

Vandals and Alans

The Vandals and Alans are presented here together because although they entered Rome as two separate people groups they ended up as one. Originally entering in 401-8 AD they passed through the current day France, then known as Gaul and settled in Southern Gaul. The Alans virtually got wiped out when the Visigoths came down through Gaul and into Spain. What was left of the Alans joined the Vandals and became one group. The Vandals and Alans had to flee to North Africa and eventually established themselves in Carthage, the main bread basket of Rome. This event more than any other limited the food and revenue Rome received from North Africa. On our map we have the Vandals taking over North Africa.

Suevi

The Suevi also entered Rome around 406-8 AD. Fleeing the Huns they traveled through present day France and settled in Spain. The Suevi did not have a dominant army and if Rome did not have so many other larger problems on their hands the Romans could have easily defeated the Suevi. The only thing the saved them was the fact that Rome was fighting too many battles elsewhere.

The Suevi had their own king and expanded to take up all of Spain. Just before 476 AD the Suevi were pushed back and almost brought to an end by the Visigoths. The Visigoth’s pushed the Suevi back into Northwest Spain where they finally settled.

Britain

Britain was part of the Roman Empire until about 406-7 AD. Because of its location Britain was harder to protect than any other area. They felt like the neglected step child and decided to revolt against the Western Roman Empire setting in their own King in 406 AD. The first two usurpers failed to bring freedom but the third King Constantine III did not fail. At this point in time Rome had too many other issues to deal with and had to let Britain go.

Bergundians

In 406-411 AD the Bergundians enter Roman Territory by Mainz and Coblenz (Lower Germany). They ended up settling in Southern France. Then it was known as Gaul. The Bergundians were not a large people group like the Visigoths but they did have a good army and knew how to fight. When challenged by the Roman Army they with stood all attempts to disband them.

Alamanni

The Alamanni’s were right behind the Bergundians (406-408) being chased by the Huns they settled just North of the Bergundians. Mid France, just Northwest of Italy.

Franks

The Franks emerged as a group when a number of smaller tribes united under Childeric in Northern France. They became know as the Franks when Clovis was elected King.

Huns

The Huns needs to be mentioned here as they were probably more responsible for the fall of Rome than any other group. It was really their actions to the North of Rome that forced all these people to relocate and move into Rome. The Huns originally entered Rome through the East and virtually destroyed the Eastern Roman Army. The problem was taking over Constanople. This city had such large walls and was so well fortified that the Huns elected not to take Eastern Rome. They did negotiate large settlements of Gold from the East which created a huge transfer of wealth. The Huns were a nomadic tribe never really settling in any one area. Attila the Hun had one main goal, to get as much gold from East and West Rome that he could. Thus, the Huns are not part of the 10 countries birthed from the Roman Empire. When the Huns finally did settle in a land after the death of Attila the Hun, it was outside the current Roman Empire in the current country of Romania which is North of the Roman Empire.

Ostrogoths

The Amals were responsible for the creation of the Ostrogoths. The Ostrogoths were a group of Gothic people under servant hood to Attila the Hun. As the Huns defeated other nations they would take all the fighting men as servants. When Attila dies, his sons tried to take over and control the group with the same intimidation. Unable to instill the same fear that Attila did, the Goths revolted and took the opportunity to gain their freedom in the 460’s. The Ostrogoths settled Northwest of Italy in current country of Yugoslavia.

Italy

It was actually a general by the name of Odovacar that brought a final end to the Western Roman Empire. Odavacar is called a Heruli in some books and a Sciri in others. On the map it’s called the Kingdom of Odovacar. His forces took over Italy in 476 AD and instead of crowning another king of Rome or taking the purple robe to rule Rome, Odovacar returned the robe to the Eastern Roman Empire saying that this would not be needed anymore. This marks the official end of the Roman Empire in the West.

Eastern Roman Empire

The Eastern Roman Empire continued to operate for the next 100 years under Eastern Control. So in our count we have to include the Eastern Roman Empire as a separate country because it was part of the original Roman Empire.  

Noricum

Noricum is on the map with a different color, but it should be known that Noricum was a Roman province not a country of its own. The map is from 476 AD, and when Rome fell, Noricum did not have its own form of government and was eventually taken over by the tribes around it. The only thing that allowed it to be on the map was the fact that Noricum was very difficult to get to as its surrounded by mountains. We did not include Noricum as one of the ten because it did not meet the criteria of having a government of its own and it did not establish itself as a separate country.

Conclusion

In 476AD when Rome fell, the territory had 10 nations in place; Visigoths, Vandals, Suevi, Britain, Bergundians, Alamanni, Franks, Ostrogoths, Italy, and Eastern Rome. Each one of these nations had their own form of government and their own King. Is anything too hard for God. What are the odds that when Rome fell there would be exactly 10 nations in place. This fulfillment is beyond the odds, it's God's hand working through man to bring about the kingdom of God.

Last Updated: Oct 18, 2011