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 Second Beast

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

The Medo-Persian Empire followed the Babylonian Empire. It was like a huge lumbering bear with its enormous movements of troops. This is an apt description of the military under Cyrus and Cambyses. Xerxes utilized two and half million fighting men against Greece. Medo-Persia’s massive armies won due to their weight of numbers. The military of this empire devoured much flesh. It was a grisly and destructive force. However, the bear is less majestic and swift than either a lion or eagle. The Antichrist is depicted as a beast with “feet like those of a bear and a mouth like that of a lion” (Revelation 13:2).

Persia, the more powerful of the two nations, is represented by the higher side of the bear. This lopsidedness symbolizes the comparative strength of the Persians to the Medes.

The three ribs stand for three great powers that were overcome by the beast: Lydia in Asia Minor under King Croesus (546 B.C.); Babylon under Nabonidus and Belshazzar (539 B.C.); and Egypt under Psamitk III (525 B.C.). In addition, the three ribs typify the absorbing of their cultures into the Medo-Persian Empire.

Interestingly, the second beast is told to “get up and eat your fill of flesh” after conquering these three powers. Medo-Persia was noted for its insatiable desire for conquest.

The second beast has been called “the continental divide” between conservative scholars and rationalistic critics, who maintain that the second beast is Median, the third beast Persian, and the fourth beast Grecian. The rationalistic view denies predictions and holds that the prophecies of the book of Daniel were written after the fact. This view definitely clashes with the scope of the book as well as its other dreams and visions.

Bible Studies by Bob Conway

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Book of James

Life and Passion of Christ

The Holy Spirit

How to Study the Bible

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Life of the Apostle Paul

Other studies at Spreading Light Bible Studies

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