Decoding Daniel - an in depth Bible study of the book of Daniel

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Daniel 7

Outline and Background - Daniel 7

Vision and Dream of the Three Beasts - Daniel 7:1-6

The Four Winds of Heaven

The Great Sea

The First Beast

The Second Beast

The Third Beast

Vision of the Fourth Beast - Daniel 7:7-8

The Little Horn of the Fourth Beast

The Future From God's Perspective

Linking of Daniel 7 to Revelation 17

Vision of God's Throne - Daniel 7:9-12

Vision of the Son of Man - Daniel 7:13-14

Visions and Dream Interpreted - Daniel 7:15-28

Applications of Daniel 7

The First Beast

The four winds of heaven churned up the Great Sea and out came four beasts, each different from the others. “The first was like a lion, and it had the wings of an eagle.” The lion-eagle, or winged lion, represents the Babylonian Empire. It is composed of the noblest of beasts and the noblest of birds, just as this empire was symbolized by gold, the noblest of metals, in the dream of dreams. Archaeology has uncovered great winged lions that adorned Mesopotamian temples and palaces. Nebuchadnezzar compared himself to a lion and his armies to eagles, as does the Bible.

A lion has come out of his lair; a destroyer of nations has set out. He has left his place to lay waste your land. Your towns will lie in ruins without inhabitant (Jeremiah 4:7).

Israel was a scattered flock that lions had chased away. The first to devour Israel was the king of Assyria; the last to crush Judah’s bones was Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon (Jeremiah 50:17).

The word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, set forth an allegory and tell the house of Israel a parable. Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: A great eagle with powerful wings, long feathers and full plumage of varied colors came to Lebanon. Taking hold of the top of a cedar, he broke off its topmost shoot and carried it away to a land of merchants, where he planted it in a city of traders’” (Ezekiel 17:1-4).

In this parable, the great winged eagle is King Nebuchadnezzar. The top of a cedar is the House of David. The topmost shoot is King Jehoiachin of Judah. A land of merchants and a city of traders is Babylon. Therefore, what happens in Daniel’s vision to the lion-eagle would not
have shocked the prophet.

I watched until its 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.

Interestingly, Mesopotamian art depicts animals standing up and acting as men. However, this vision pictures the conversion of a king that God viewed as a beast! When the king humbled himself and raised his eyes toward heaven, his sanity was restored, and he praised God (Daniel 4:34). At that moment, the eagle wings (feathers and claws) were plucked, and the king stood like a man and was given the heart of a man—a saved man. This vision confirmed to Daniel that his prayers were truly answered; he would see his potentate, Nebuchadnezzar, in heaven.

The eagle wings denote the swiftness displayed by Babylon in conquering the nations around it. The lion is the king of beasts and the eagle is the king of birds; God already had identified Nebuchadnezzar as “the king of kings” (Daniel 2:37).

The plucking of the eagle wings from the lion and the standing to its feet with a human heart pictures the king turning from his former beastly treatment of his subjects to a humane treatment at the end of his reign. Of course, such action is attributable to his conversion.

Bible Studies by Bob Conway

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Experiencing Exodus

Book of James

Life and Passion of Christ

The Holy Spirit

How to Study the Bible

Romans Salvation

Life of the Apostle Paul

Other studies at Spreading Light Bible Studies

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