Click chart to enlarge
Charts from recommended resource Jensen's Survey of the OT - used by permission
Daniel Chart from Charles Swindoll
CHART RELATED TO DANIEL 2 AND DANIEL 7 - IRVING JENSEN- click to enlarge
Daniel 7:7 "After this I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrifying and extremely strong; and it had large iron teeth. It devoured and crushed and trampled down the remainder with its feet; and it was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns.
- Da 7:2,13
- fourth: Da 7:19,23 2:40 8:10 2Sa 22:43
- ten: Da 7:24 2:41,42 Rev 12:3 13:1 17:7,12
- Daniel 7 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries
BEAST # 4 "DREADFUL & TERRIFYING"
Rome 63BC ‑ 476AD // 1453AD
(Western // Eastern)
After this - This time phrase implies sequence. After the vision of the leopard, Daniel sees the vision of the fourth beast.
A fourth beast - Daniel could not even give a name to this dreadful and terrifying beast for apparently there was none like it in the animal kingdom.
There are two specific facts which allow one to identify this beast with the iron leg and foot stage - (1) Reference to the same metal = iron. (2) Ten subdivisions = horns in Daniel 7, toes in Daniel 2.
Only an interpreter/interpretation that denies predictive prophecy would fail to see that the fourth beast corresponds to the legs of iron and the feet and toes of iron and clay (cp Da 2:33, 34, 40, 41, 42, 43). And yet the liberal critics do deny these clear parallel truths and try to pawn off the fourth beast as Greece! They come up with Greece by dividing Medo-Persia into the second and third beasts, but to do so is go against the clear statements of the Word of Truth which says the Kingdom of Babylon…
"… has been divided and given over to the Medes and Persians." (Da 5:28)
Three times in Daniel in the Lion's den we find the phrase
"law of the Medes and Persians" (Da 6:8, 6:12, 6:15)
Furthermore the description of the third beast with 4 heads finds perfect fulfillment in Alexander the Great's Kingdom being divided among 4 of his generals. To ignore these historical realities is to come up with an interpretation which ignores truth which is exactly what the liberal commentators are forced to do so that they do not have to face a Sovereign God Who confidently declares…
"Behold, the former things have come to pass, Now I declare new things; Before they spring forth I proclaim them to you." (Isaiah 42:9)
In summary, the fourth beast that follows ("after this") the 4 headed winged leopard stage is the Roman Empire a fact which is fully attested to by history. Although the Roman Empire actually began before 63BC the inception date I have recorded because in that year that the Roman General Pompey crushed and defeated Jerusalem. Historians date the official beginnings of the Roman empire as early as 241BC.
Edward Gibbon (The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, 2:1441) lists what he has discerned as the…
four principal causes of the ruin of Rome, which continued to operate in a period of more than a thousand years:
1. The injuries of time and nature.
2. The hostile attacks of the barbarians and Christians.
3. The use and abuse of the materials. And,
4. The domestic quarrels of the Romans.
Dreadful and terrifying - As shown in the map below the Roman kingdom conquered territory (note especially the conquest of much of what is modern day Europe) that none of its predecessors had conquered and was a world power for much longer than any preceding beastly kingdoms. History identifies two divisions of the Roman Empire, the Western which fell apart in 476AD and the Eastern which remained until about 1453AD.
Large iron teeth (Da 7:19) - This alone would distinguish the fourth beast from any known animal! This fact is similar to the iron that characterized the third kingdom in Daniel 2 (Da 2:33, 34, 35, 40, 41, 42, 43, 45) which as stated effectively identifies the fourth beast with the fourth metallic stage of Nebuchadnezzar's statue.
Then there will be a fourth kingdom as strong as iron; inasmuch as iron crushes and shatters all things, so, like iron that breaks in pieces, it will crush and break all these in pieces. (Da 2:40-see note)
From history we know that the Roman armies were known for their iron armor which led some to refer to them as the "Iron Legions" of Rome, emphasizing their strength and invincibility. But in the sovereign irony (pun intended) of God, the "crushing" kingdom was itself to be crushed by the Stone cut without hands (Da 2:34, 35, 44, 45).
Maximum extent of Roman
Empire under Trajan AD117
Edward Gibbon (not a believer) writing about the powerful Roman empire recorded that…
the rapacious son of Severus… crushed alike every part of the (Roman) empire under the weight of his iron sceptre (The Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire Chap 6 - Part VI - near the bottom of the page)…
The strength of Aurelian (Roman emperor 270-275BC) had crushed on every side the enemies of Rome. (The Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire XII - about midway down the page).
Devoured and crushed and trampled down - A vivid portrayal of the overwhelming power and ruthless tactics of the Roman armies who sought to destroy the defeated peoples, killing many and enslaving others en masse. This description alone would be sufficient for any reasonable interpreter to jettison the thought that the fourth beast could be Greece which "Hellenized" the conquered peoples,
H C Leupold commented that…
Rome had no interest in raising the conquered nations to any high level of development. All her designs were imperial; let the nations be crushed and stamped underfoot.
Crushed (7x in 6v - Da 2:34, 40, 45, 6:24, 7:7, 7:19) - Describes the process of breaking into pieces. In Da 2:34, 35, 45 this Aramaic word describes the crushing of the feet of the statue by the Stone.
The remainder (the rest, the residue) - To what is the "residue" referring? In context this has to be the first 3 beastly Gentile kingdoms. In Da 2:40 Daniel recorded that the fourth kingdom would "crush and break all of these (the three preceding Gentile kingdoms) in pieces."
It was different from all the beasts that were before it - Why? How? The context tells… it had 10 divisions. The fourth beast was not a single nation dominating a great section of earth but it is a 10 horn collection.
And it had ten horns - There is no historical record that the Roman Empire had any phrase that can be identified with the ten horn description, which by default supports that this aspect remains to be fulfilled in the future, even as we saw with the foot and toe stage of the vision in Daniel 2. Some commentators take the number "10" as symbolic. Why? Because they cannot identify a historical fulfillment!
In Da 7:24 we learn the 10 horns represent 10 kings which will arise out of the fourth beast, the fourth kingdom. Recall that horns when used figuratively often symbolize power, which seems apropos in view of the identification as 10 kings.
Ray Stedman makes the observation that…
The two great political changes which Scripture has long anticipated must occur before the return of Jesus Christ in glory, have been:
(1) The restoration of the Jews to Palestine which has been predicted for centuries and has now been fulfilled, and
(2) The ten-fold division of the Roman earth. It is emphasized in several Scriptures that this is to occur before the return of Jesus Christ.
There is a gradual development of this ten-fold division after it first appears. There are first ten kings who share power together in a confederation of sorts. Then an eleventh comes up, who is rather obscure and unpretentious at the first, but, by this eleventh, three of the first ten are overthrown or amalgamated, and finally all ten unite in giving their power and authority to the eleventh, the "little horn" mentioned here. (The Coming Caesar)
Ten horns - The specific phrase ten horns occurs 9 times in all of Scripture - 3x in Daniel and 6x in the Revelation - Da 7:7-note, Da 7:20-note, Da 7:24-note, Rev 12:3-note, Rev 13:1-note, Rev 17:3-note, Rev 17:7-note, Rev 17:12-note, Rev 17:16-note.
The ten horns parallels the toe stage in Daniel 2 which by default would be "10" toes and therefore the ten horns and the ten toes would appear to refer to the same entity. In Da 7:24-note the ten horns refers to a kingdom (a singular noun in Aramaic) implying it is a divided kingdom composed of 10 kings, which is what Daniel described in chapter 2 ("divided kingdom… some of the kingdom will be strong and part of it will be brittle" Da 2:41, 42-note)
The new ESV Study Bible has an interesting comment (I don't agree with it but present it as an example of how one can become confused when Bible prophecy is interpreted figuratively instead of literally when a normal reading of the text allows for literal interpretation)…
Even more surprisingly, another small horn came up among the horns, uprooting three of the 10 others. This horn had eyes and a mouth that spoke arrogantly. If this vision corresponds to the statue in Daniel 2, then it would represent the Roman Empire (cf. iron teeth with iron legs, Da 2:33 [My note]; see also Midrash on Psalms 80.6) and emphasize its ruthlessness. The Roman Empire was significantly different than the earlier empires, for it far surpassed them in power, longevity, and influence. The world had never before seen anything like it. The 10 horns could emphasize the extreme power of this empire (five times the normal number of two horns) (Ed comment: This illustrates how imaginary some interpretations become when one refuses to accept a literal reading of the text!), or more likely (Ed: Especially is one simply allows Scripture to interpret Scripture!) it signifies 10 rulers or kingdoms (cf. Da 7:24) from Julius Caesar to Domitian there are actually 12 Caesars; but two reigned for only a few months)… (In a related comment on Da 7:24 (See my note) explaining the Little Horn subduing 3 of the 10 ESV says) "If 10 signifies “completeness,” then three represents “some”. (Ed: This is an incredibly contrived statement in a work as good as the ESV Study Bible is in most of its comments! It shows what happens when one jettisons literal interpretation of the text!) (ESV Online Study Bible Crossway - Overall I think the ESV Study Bible is well done but as with any commentary one needs to observe the text for themselves and keep a Berean mindset - Acts 17:11-note) (Bolding added)
Here is an example from Lange's commentary (an older work that is not bad on many passages but is not good on prophetic texts) that refuses to accept 10 as 10 even though Daniel 7:24 clearly explains what the 10 represents! Beloved if you refuse to read the Bible literally, even in those areas that challenge your belief that God can bring about anything He chooses, you will make absurd and incorrect interpretations of many passages, not just prophetic! Here is Lange's comment…
The number ten is hardly to be strained, in this connection, to represent ten specified kings (Ed: This is an amazing statement in light of Daniel 7:24); but like the number four in Daniel 7:6, it is rather to be taken in a symbolic sense (Ed: Another absurd, incorrect interpretation, for four is used again in Da 8:8 and is NOT symbolic!), and to be regarded as indicating a multiplicity of rulers, or an indefinitely large number of kings (Ed: Again this is an absurd statement and simply has no foundation from the text. It is the fantasy of one who refuses to accept that God is sovereign and he raises up kings as He wills - Da 2:21!)—in harmony with the usual significance of the number, both in the Scriptures and elsewhere, as the symbol of earthly perfection.
The point beloved is that you need to read the text for yourself (see inductive Bible study), reading it literally where it is clearly meant to be literal and figuratively where it is clearly figurative, all the while comparing Scripture with Scripture and allowing your Teacher the Holy Spirit to lead you into all truth. Only go to the commentaries after you have come to a conclusion on your own. You will find that no matter how many theological degrees a writer possesses, unless his heart and mind are possessed by and surrendered to the Holy Spirit, his interpretations are most likely to be humanistic, liberal and ultimately absurd!
Daniel 7:8 "While I was contemplating the horns, behold, another horn, a little one, came up among them, and three of the first horns were pulled out by the roots before it; and behold, this horn possessed eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth uttering great boasts.
- another: Da 7:20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 8:9, 10, 11, 12 Rev 13:11, 12, 13
- eyes : Da 8:23, 24, 25 Rev 9:7
- mouth : Da 7:25 Da 11:36 1Sa 2:3 Ps 12:3 2Th 2:4 2Ti 3:2 2Pe 2:18 Jude 1:16 Rev 13:1,5,6
- Daniel 7 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries
THE LITTLE HORN
WITH A BIG MOUTH
While I was contemplating the horns - Daniel was focused on the 10 horns that characterized the fourth beast..
Another horn… came up - Another indicates in addition to the 10, so now he sees 11 horns.
Little horn - The size of this horn distinguishes it from the other 10 horns, but in Da 7:20 we see that "was larger" implying that it grew in size/stature. Do not confuse this “little horn” with the “little horn” of Da 8:9, 10, 11, 12 which describes Antiochus IV Epiphanes (Who ruled the Seleucid Empire from 175BC until his death in 164BC) and who arises from the third Gentile kingdom of Greece not the fourth Gentile kingdom of Rome.
Among them - Among is the Aramaic word "akal" used only one other place in Scripture (Da 7:5) "between its teeth" because the context is two rows of teeth, one on the top and the other on the bottom. Here in Da 7:8 the context is 10 horns so the more appropriate word is "among" The Septuagint translates with the Greek word mesos meaning middle or midst. The English meaning of "among" is mixed or mingled with; as tares among wheat; conjoined or associated with; in the midst of; surrounded by; in company or association with. Why am I going into such miniscule detail? The reason is that this text supports the premise that the "10 horns" were coexisting at the time of the ascension of the little horn. In other words these "10 horns" are contemporaneous and not sequential. The fact that 3 of the first 10 horns are pulled out ("fell" in Da 7:20, "subdue" in Da 7:24)
The 11th horn thus stands out by virtue of its origin from among the previous 10 horns. In other words, the little horn did not just come up in another part of the vision but it's origin was intimately associated with the 10 horns. Later (Da 7:24-note) in the interpretation portion of this night vision we read that the 11th horn comes up after them indicating that the 10 horns are established or in existence before the 11th arises among them.
Three of the first horns - Three of the first 10 horns. This fact is further support that these 10 were a literal 10 and not symbolic (see confusion that ensues when one ventures away from the "safety net" of literal interpretation) and that these 10 kings were in existence at the same time, not sequentially.
Pulled out by the roots before it - Before what? Before the 11th horn, the little one.
Archer makes an important point that helps identify this 10 horn stage as one that has not yet been fulfilled…
It should be observed that the contemporaneity of all ten of these states (or rulers, if that is what the horns refer to) is virtually demanded by these factors. Since six remain in subservience to the aggressive little horn, after he has destroyed the other three, a chronologically consecutive series of rulers (or states) is quite definitely precluded. Just as the ten toes of the dream image were contemporaneous, so are all the ten horns of this fourth beast. (Gaebelein, F, Editor: Expositor's Bible Commentary OT 7 Volume Set: Books: Zondervan Publishing)
This horn - Now Daniel focuses his attention on the little horn.
Behold - Interjection that speaks of amazement or surprise. It is used to get the reader's attention. It appears to have gotten Daniel's attention!
This horn possess eyes like the eyes of a man - A little horn that has eyes and human characteristics.
A mouth uttering great boasts (Da 7:25 Da 11:36 Rev 13:5,6)) - A little horn that can speak and when he speaks he is not humble but boastful which speaks of his pride. All of these characteristics speak of an individual personage not of an entire kingdom.
Daniel 7:9 "I kept looking until thrones were set up, and the Ancient of Days took His seat; His vesture was like white snow and the hair of His head like pure wool. His throne was ablaze with flames, Its wheels were a burning fire.
- Until: Da 2:34,35,44,45 1Co 15:24,25 Rev 19:18, 19, 20, 21 20:1, 2, 3, 4
- Ancient: Da 7:13,22 Ps 90:2 102:24,25 Isa 9:6 Mic 5:2 Hab 1:12
- whose: Ps 45:8 104:2 Mt 17:2 Mk 9:3 Php 3:9 1Ti 6:16 1Jn 1:5 Rev 1:14
- throne: Ac 2:30,33 2Th 1:7,8 2Pe 3:7, 8, 9, 10
- wheels: Ps 104:3,4 Eze 1:13-21 10:2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
- Daniel 7 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries
DIVINE JUDGMENT PREPARED
I kept looking - This phrase marks the second subdivision of the vision (first in Da 7:2, third beginning in Da 7:13)
Until - Up to a stipulated time. Until marks the beginning of the time of the next aspect of the vision. Da 7:9, 10 give us a picture of judgment. In Da 2:34 Daniel uses the word "until" to describe one aspect of God's judgment declaring that Nebuchadnezzar
"continued looking until a stone was cut out without hands, and it struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and crushed them."
In Scripture there are a number of distinct judgments described and the interested reader is encouraged examine the overview topic Synopsis of Judgments. Although some might suppose Daniel is describing the "Great White Throne" judgment, this passage does not allow one to be specific. In fact, the One at the Great White Throne judgment seat is almost certainly Jesus Christ, not the Father, for as Jesus teaches in John…
not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, 23 in order that all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him… and He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man (cp Da 7:13). (Jn 5:22, 23, 27, cp Jn 3:35, 17:2, Mt 11:27, 16:27, Mt 25:31, 32ff, Mt 28:18, Acts 10:42, 17:31, Ro 2:16-note, 2Cor 5:10-note, 2Th 1:7, 8, 9, 10, 2Ti 4:1-note, 1Pe 4:5-note)
Thrones were set up - The scene now shifts to heaven. This "pattern" of shifting between heaven and earth is seen in Daniel 7 and is a very prominent aspect of John's record of the Revelation of Jesus Christ (e.g., compare Rev 1:9 = "I… was on the island called Patmos" with Rev 4:1-2 = "Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things. Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was standing in heaven, and One sitting on the throne"). Obviously one can obtain a more accurate interpretation of these "apocalyptic" books (Re "apocalyptic" see study of verb apokalupto/apokalypto which conveys the idea that God wants to reveal not conceal or confuse the future). In other words, when we read the Revelation, accurate interpretation demands that we know whether John is describing scenes in heaven or on earth.
Ancient of Days (Da 7:9, 13, 22) - Literally “one advanced in days”. Most commentators agree this describes God the Father in this verse. The same phrase in Da 7:22 (see discussion) is not as clear because Daniel records that "the Ancient of Days came and judgment was passed". Some commentators take the verb "came" as a reference to Jesus "coming again" in judgment. For example Grant Richison comments that…
This pompous horn prevails over the saints until the Ancient of Days comes, when he is defeated (cf. Rev 19:19, 20). (Daniel 7:19-23) (Note: Revelation 19 describes the Second Coming so it follows that Richison is equating the coming of the Ancient of Days with the return of the Son of God).
I am not sure, but if God's original intention of the meaning of Da 7:22 to picture His Son Jesus returning in judgment, it is further evidence of the great truth of the Trinity, which is incomprehensible to our finite human minds. Whether the Ancient of Days in Da 7:22 represents God the Father or God the Son does not alter the overall message of Daniel 7 regarding God's plan for the future.
Took His seat - In context this surely speaks of God the Father.
Ezekiel records a very similar picture…
In the midst of the living beings there was something that looked like burning coals of fire, like torches darting back and forth among the living beings. The fire was bright, and lightning was flashing from the fire. (Ezekiel 1:13)
Daniel 7:10 "A river of fire was flowing and coming out from before Him; Thousands upon thousands were attending Him, and myriads upon myriads were standing before Him; The court sat, and the books were opened.
- fire Ps 50:3 97:2,3 Isa 30:27,33 66:15,16 Na 1:5,6
- thousands: Dt 33:2 1Ki 22:19 Ps 68:17 Zec 14:5 Mt 25:31 Heb 12:22 Jude 1:14 Rev 5:11
- court : Ps 96:11, 12, 13 Mal 3:16, 17, 18 Rev 20:11, 12, 13, 14, 15
- River of fire - This speaks of judgment, refining, purity.
- Daniel 7 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries
The psalmist records…
Clouds and thick darkness surround Him; Righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne. Fire goes before Him and burns up His adversaries round about. (Ps 97:2,3-note)
Spurgeon comments on fire goes before Him… : Like an advance guard clearing the way. So was it at Sinai, so must it be: the very Being of God is power, consuming all opposition; omnipotence is a devouring flame which burneth up His enemies round about. God is longsuffering, but when He comes forth to judgment He will make short work with the unrighteous, they will be as chaff before the flame. Reading this verse in reference to the coming of Jesus, and the descent of the Spirit, we are reminded of the tongues of fire, and of the power which attended the gospel, so that all opposition was speedily overcome. Even now where the gospel is preached in faith, and in the power of the Spirit, it burns its own way, irresistibly destroying falsehood, superstition, unbelief, sin, indifference, and hardness of heart. In it the Lord reigneth, and because of it let the earth rejoice. (note)
Court sat - Speaks of judgment (Da 7:22, 26-note).
Books were opened - Books related to judgment.
Archer notes that…
apparently this scene is a court of judgment for more than the beast alone, for after the heavenly court convened for the examination and conviction of the guilty ( dina yetib , "the court was seated"), then an entire set of books of record was opened, presumably containing the sins of the little horn and his adherents (cf. Rev 20:12, 13, which indicates the contents of these books, even though it depicts the later judgment at the end of the Millennium). So the stage is set for bringing the wicked and unrepentant to justice. (Gaebelein, F, Editor: Expositor's Bible Commentary OT 7 Volume Set: Books: Zondervan Publishing)
Daniel 7:11 "Then I kept looking because of the sound of the boastful words which the horn was speaking; I kept looking until the beast was slain, and its body was destroyed and given to the burning fire.
- sound: Da 7:8,25 2Pe 2:18 Jude 1:16 Rev 13:5,6 20:4,12
- slain: Da 7:26 8:25 11:45 2Th 2:8 Rev 18:8 19:20 20:10
- Daniel 7 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries
END OF FOURTH KINGDOM &
ALL GENTILE KINGDOMS
Then - This expression of time marks sequence in this night vision. Daniel now turns to the aspect of this Night Vision which gave him the most concern and consternation (cp Da 7:15-note, Da 7:28-note). In Da 7:19-note the prophet is addressing his "interpreter" and his query focuses down on the fourth beast and the little horn that arose from the fourth kingdom. It is notable that 8 of the 28 verses in Daniel 7 relate directly to the little horn.
The sound of the boastful words ("the big words"!) - This refers to the Antichrist's speaking - clearly one of the ways this evil man will be identifiable in the last days will be by his boastful, arrogant speech. And remember for the first 3.5 years he does not fully reveal his evil character and intentions. His full revelation awaits his taking his seat in the Temple of God and foolishly displaying himself to be God (see 2 Thes 2:3,4-note) This passage refers to the same mouth uttering great boasts in Da 7:8 where "boasts" was added appropriately by the translators of the NAS.
Boastful - The Aramaic adjective rab related to the Hebrew rab which means great, large, boastful. Rab is used in 21 verses in the Aramaic OT, most often in Daniel (Ezra 4:10; 5:8, 11; Dan 2:10, 14, 31, 35, 45, 48; 4:3, 9, 30; 5:1, 11; 7:2f, 7f, 11, 17, 20) and is rendered in NAS as boastful(1), captain(1), chief(3), great(15), large(2), larger(1).
The horn which was speaking (cp Da 7:8, 11, 20, 25) - The little horn from Da 7:8, aka the Antichrist (1 John 2:18-note), the man of lawlessness (2Th 2:3-note), the beast (Rev 13:3ff-note)
Until the beast was slain - The interpretation of this phrase is not as easy as it might seem at first glance. Although the text does not specifically identify this beast as the fourth beast, this description seems to relate to the "DT" Beast, the fourth kingdom in Daniel's night vision (See below for further discussion of the Symbolism of the term "Beast"). But even as the slaying of Belshazzar (Da 5:30) signaled the end of the Babylonian kingdom, the winged lion beast, it seems reasonable to link the destruction of the fourth beast with the slaying of its "king", who in Daniel 7 is clearly the Little Horn. The plot "thickens" somewhat in that the Little Horn is himself referred to specifically as "the beast" in the Revelation and is not described as slain but thrown alive into the fire…
And the beast (aka "Little Horn" of Daniel 7) was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone. (Re 19:20-note)
Tony Garland comments…
Although the Beast and False Prophet are cast while alive into the Lake of Fire, the process results in their death:
"I watched then because of the sound of the pompous words which the horn was speaking; I watched till the beast was slain, and its body destroyed and given to the burning flame" (Da 7:11).
Paul told the church at Thessalonica,
"And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume ([anelei]) with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming" (2Th. 2:8).
Consume is [anelei] meaning "take away, do away with, destroy … of persons kill, murder, usually in a violent way." (Friberg: Analytical Lexicon of the Greek NT) Since the Lake of Fire only contains individuals and not systems or institutions, their destination provides additional evidence of their identity as individuals.
Nevertheless, if the "beast" of Revelation 19 is "finished", it makes complete sense that the "beast" referred to as the fourth kingdom is also "finished" or "slain" as Paul describes in 2Thes 2:8. (Note: There is a similar issue in Rev 13 where the "beast" in Rev 13:1 is called "him" in the NAS translation of Rev 13:2 - click for this discussion)
The burning fire - Literally = "the burning of the fire". Hebrews 12:29-note (quoting Dt 4:24) records that "our God is a consuming fire."
Whitcomb - The fiery destruction of the beast corresponds to the smashing of the image in Daniel 2 by means of the Stone from heaven (Rev. 19:20-note). In both cases, the end comes suddenly, supernaturally, and spectacularly. (Whitcomb, J. Daniel Everyman's Bible Commentary)
Donald Campbell agrees writing that "Next, the scene shifts to one who is to be judged, the beast, or Antichrist. His body is to be "given to the burning flame," an obvious parallel to the prophecy (Rev 19:20-note) that describes the beast being cast into the lake of fire." (Campbell, D. Daniel God's Man in a Secular Society)
Tony Garland has an excellent discussion of the ways Beast is used in the prophetic writings of Daniel and John (The Revelation). One must have a firm grasp on this concept so that the various passages that reference the term beast are not confusing…
The Beast is probably the most confusing entity in a consideration of the symbols representing kingdoms and individuals of the visions given to both Daniel and John. This confusion stems from several overlapping aspects of the revelation concerning the Beast:
1. The term beast is used by Daniel to describe several kings (Da 7:17-note). Of these four, the last is unique and especially terrible.
2. The term beast is used both to denote the final kingdom and the final king which leads the kingdom among the ten horns (Da 7:11-note; Rev 16:10-note; Re 17:11, 12, 13-note).
3. The revival of the Beast makes him both a ruler of the seventh kingdom (Re 16:10) and the final eighth head. The Beast is said to have seven heads and ten horns, yet he is also “of the seven” heads and “himself also an eighth” (Re 17:11-note).
4. Sometimes the term beast denotes a kingdom (Da 7:7-note, Da 7:11-note, Da 7:19-note; Re 13:1-2-note). Other times (beast denotes) an individual (Re 11:7-note; Re 13:4-note, Re 13:12-14-note, Re 13:17-18-note; Re 16:10, 14-note; Re 19:19-20-note). Elsewhere, the same individual is represented as a horn (Da 7:8-note) and a head (Re 17:11-note).
5. John sees two beasts, one rising from the sea (Re 13:1) and another from the earth (Re 13:11)… We refer to the second beast from the earth using his alternate title as the False Prophet. (A Testimony of Jesus Christ - Topic #18.104.22.168 = Beast)
Daniel 7:12 "As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but an extension of life was granted to them for an appointed period of time.
- rest: Da 7:4, 5, 6 8:7
- Daniel 7 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries
Their dominion was taken away - By Whom? The sovereign God is the only One Who could accomplish this. Notice in Da 7:6 "dominion was given" to the leopard, again emphasizing the sovereignty of God, Who "removes kings and establishes kings" (Da 2:21) or stated another way He takes and He gives dominion. What is there in your life that you are not willing to believe He can control? My son is 38 now and for 20+ years was daily high on something and toward the end became suicidal. God broke into His life in 2014 and radically saved Him out of impossible circumstances. God is sovereign over His creation and His creatures. May we are grow in our trust of His wise omnipotent sovereign hand. Amen
An extension of life - At first glance this statement is somewhat enigmatic, but when one notes that in history many aspects/attributes of the three preceding beastly kingdoms persisted and permeated the culture of the Romans (and even in our own day), one can easily see how these former empires received an extension of life.
John alludes to this in Rev 13 writing…
And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. (Rev 13:2a-note)
Tony Garland comments that "The mention of the leopard, bear, and lion in connection with the Beast arising from the sea is in concert with what Daniel was shown concerning the continuation of Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Greece and their contribution to the final form of world government."
This beastly amalgamation parallels the persistence/existence of all 4 metals at the time the Stone (Messiah) strikes the statue of Nebuchadnezzar at the "toe stage"…
Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were crushed all at the same time (Da 2:35-note) (This same picture of all metals present at the same time is repeated in Da 2:45-note)
Note: they could not be crushed at the same time if they did not exist at the same time. Obviously they do not exist in the same form as when they were literal kingdoms, but the point is made that they must exist.
Here is a quote from Wikipedia which supports this interpretation - Hellenistic (Grecian) civilization represents the zenith of Greek influence in the ancient world from 323 BC to about 146 BC (or arguably as late as 30 BC); note, however that Koine Greek language and Hellenistic philosophy and religion are also indisputably elements of the Roman era till Late Antiquity. It was immediately preceded by the Classical Greece period, and immediately followed by the rule of Rome over the areas Greece had earlier dominated – although much of Greek culture, art and literature permeated Roman society, whose elite spoke and read Greek as well as Latin. (Hellenistic civilization)
Daniel 7:13 "I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, and He came up to the Ancient of Days and was presented before Him.
- one like: Ps 8:4,5 Isa 9:6,7 Eze 1:26 Mt 13:41 24:30 25:31 26:64 Mk 13:26 14:61,62 Lk 21:27,36 Jn 3:13 5:27 12:34 Ac 7:56 Php 2:6, 7, 8 Heb 2:14 Rev 1:7,13,18 14:14
- the Ancient: Da 7:9,22
- Ps 47:5 68:17,18 Jer 49:19 Eph 1:20,21 1Ti 6:16 Heb 9:24
- Daniel 7 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries
BEGINNING OF THE FIFTH & FINAL DIVINE KINGDOM
In Daniel 7:13,14 we have a heavenly perspective which presents the climax of Daniel's night vision and in fact the climax of world history from man's viewpoint. In abbreviated but chronological order we see in Da 7:11, Da 7:12 the fall of the final Gentile kingdom and its final ruler, the Little Horn (aka, "Anti-Christ" - 1Jn 2:18-note). And immediately after that fourth kingdom is crushed by the Stone (cp Da 2:34-note, Da 2:44-note), the same Stone Who is the Son of Man receives the fifth and final kingdom which endures forever and will not be destroyed. And it is then that the prayer, "Thy kingdom come" (Mt 6:10-note) will be finally and fully answered.
With the clouds of heaven - Clouds are almost always associated with the return of Jesus (see comments on identity of the Son of Man below). In one of the versions of the Lxx, the preposition epi signifies the Son of Man comes upon the clouds.
John Walvoord - The expression that He is attended by “clouds of heaven” implies His deity (1Th 4:17-note). A parallel appears in Revelation 1:7-note, which states, “Behold, he cometh with clouds,” in fulfillment of Acts 1 where in His ascension He was received by a cloud (Acts 1:9) and the angels say that he will “come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11). Clouds in Scripture are frequently characteristic of revelation of deity (Ex 13:21, 22; 19:9, 16; 1Ki 8:10, 11; Is 19:1; Jer 4:13; Eze 10:4; Mt 24:30; 26:64; Mk 13:26). (Daniel 7 - Daniel's Vision Of Future World History)
Tony Garland has an extended note on clouds in his highly recommended conservative commentary on Revelation (A Testimony of Jesus Christ) writing that…
Clouds are often associated with the glory of the Lord. Clouds were often one aspect of the visible manifestation of the Lord’s presence (Ex. 16:10; 19:9, 16; 24:15, 16; 34:5; 40:34; Dt 5:22). Clouds indicated His presence over the mercy seat where He dwelt between the cherubim (Lev 16:2). During Solomon’s prayer dedicating the Temple, he recognized God's habitation as the dark cloud (2Chr. 6:1). In response, the glory of the Lord filled the Temple (2Chr. 7:1), no doubt including a manifestation of clouds. The psalmist understood dark clouds to be God’s canopy (Ps 18:11-note; Ps 97:2-note).
The manifestation of God by clouds indicates His localized presence on the earth, among men:
the Shechinah Glory (Ed: See related resource: Shekinah glory cloud) is the visible manifestation of the presence of God. It is the majestic presence or manifestation of God in which He descends to dwell among men. Whenever the invisible God becomes visible, and whenever the omnipresence of God is localized, this is the Shechinah Glory. The usual title found in Scriptures for the Shechinah Glory is the glory of Jehovah, or the glory of the Lord. The Hebrew form is Kvod Adonai, which means “the glory of Jehovah” and describes what the Shechinah Glory is. The Greek title, Doxa Kurion, is translated as “the glory of the Lord.” Doxa means “brightness,” “brilliance,” or “splendor,” and it depicts how the Shechinah Glory appears. Other titles give it the sense of “dwelling,” which portrays what the Shechinah Glory does. The Hebrew word Shechinah, from the root shachan, means “to dwell.” The Greek word skeinei, which is similar in sound as the Hebrew Shechinah (Greek has no “sh” sound), means “to tabernacle” … In the Old Testament, most of these visible manifestations took the form of light, fire, or cloud, or a combination of these. A new form appears in the New Testament: the Incarnate Word. (Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum, The Footsteps of Messiah, rev ed. Tustin, CA: Ariel Ministries, 2003, 500) (See Related Resource on site: Glory of the LORD: Past, Present, Future)
The visible manifestation of God indicating the place where he dwelt has been called the “Shekinah” glory from the Hebrew verb שָׁכַן [šāḵan] meaning “dwell, live among, inhabit, abide, stay, remain, camp, i.e., to live or reside in a place, usually for a relatively long amount of time (Ge 9:27).” (Merrill C. Tenney, Interpreting Revelation Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1957, 121) See The Abiding Presence of God.
The cloud is probably not to be interpreted as a vapor cloud or as a storm cloud, but as a cloud of glory betokening the presence of God… The “cloud,” then, may be the cloud of the Shekinah, which led the children of Israel out of Egypt and through the desert, and which overshadowed the Tabernacle and the Temple (Ex 13:21, 22; 40:34; Nu 9:15, 16; 2Chr 7:2, 3). (Merrill C. Tenney, Interpreting Revelation Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1957, 121)
When Jesus revealed His glory to Peter, James and John on the Mount of Transfiguration, the voice of the Father spoke from within a bright cloud saying, “This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!” (Mt 17:5). Jesus explained His appearance with the clouds to be the sign of His coming (Mt 24:30) and His mention of “coming on the clouds of heaven” (Mt 26:64) was understood by the high priest as a blasphemous claim (Mt 26:64, 65). He tore his garments in response, a clear indication of his understanding of what Jesus was claiming (Da 7:13).
John’s mention here of Jesus coming with clouds is an allusion from the book of Daniel which records the presentation of the Son to the Father:
I was watching in the night visions, and behold, One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him. (Da 7:13)
This presentation of the Son is to receive His kingdom (Da 7:14) and does not take place until all of His enemies are made His footstool (Ps 110:1-note). This includes His future enemy, Daniel’s “little horn” (Da 7:8, Da 7:20, 21-note). At present, He is seated at the right hand of the Father awaiting that day. The Son began the period of sitting at the right hand and waiting for His enemies to be made His footstool at His ascension (Acts 2:32, 33, 34, 35; Heb 10:11, 12, 13-note). His earthly kingdom did not come at the time of His ascension, but occurs when He rises from His seat beside the Father and descends to take up His Davidic throne on earth (Mt 25:31; Luke 1:32, 33). (See note [see this note also] which clarifies the distinction between the throne of the Father versus the throne of the Son.)
At other times, the Lord is said to ride “on a swift cloud” (Isa 19:1). It is such a passage which provides the basis for the preterist interpretation which holds that this verse is describing a “cloud coming” in judgment upon a nation. Such a judgment in the OT was not attended by a literally visible manifestation of God. Yet here, we are explicitly told that every eye will see Him. Not just the “clouds of judgment,” but Him ! This return of Jesus will be with clouds, bodily, and visible as the angels informed His disciples at the time of His ascension (Acts 1:9, 10,11). His return is the subject of the latter portion of Revelation 19. If this were a “judgment coming” of Christ in A.D. 70 upon the Jews of Jerusalem as the preterists claim, what relevance would that have to the seven churches of Asia who were hundreds of miles away and virtually unaffected by the event? (See Garland's note #11)
As our discussion regarding the Date the Revelation was written shows, the best evidence supports a late date near the end of Domitian’s reign when John had the vision (A.D. 95-96). That being the case, the “coming” described here cannot refer to the “cloud coming in judgment” to destroy Jerusalem in A.D. 70 as the Preterist Interpretation holds. (A Testimony of Jesus Christ 3.1.7 - Revelation 17) (Bolding added)
One like a Son of Man - This is the verse in Daniel which is most often quoted in the NT and most conservative commentators agree this description refers to Jesus not an angel and certainly not the nation of Israel as propounded by some liberal commentators! Son of Man is Jesus' favorite term for Himself in the Gospels (see below).
Miller - “One like a son of man” means that this person was in human form. (Miller, S. R. Vol. 18: Daniel: The New American Commentary p207. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers)
Son of Man - 84 times in 80 verses in the Gospels -
Mt 8:20; 9:6; 10:23; 11:19; 12:8, 32, 40; 13:37, 41; 16:13, 27f; 17:9, 12, 22; 18:11; 19:28; 20:18, 28; 24:27, 30, 37, 39, 44; 25:31; 26:2, 24, 45, 64; Mark 2:10, 28; 8:31, 38; 9:9, 12, 31; 10:33, 45; 13:26; 14:21, 41, 62; Luke 5:24; 6:5, 22; 7:34; 9:22, 26, 44, 56, 58; 11:30; 12:8, 10, 40; 17:22, 24, 26, 30; 18:8, 31; 19:10; 21:27, 36; 22:22, 48, 69; 24:7; John 1:51; 3:13f; 5:27; 6:27, 53, 62; 8:28; 9:35; 12:23, 34; 13:31.
The prevalent NT usage of this phrase Son of Man as a title of our Lord Jesus Christ should thoroughly demolish any comments that this title does not refer to Jesus! The context also leaves no doubt that the Son of Man is the King of kings (cp Ps 72:11-note) Who receives a kingdom from His Father, the Ancient of Days (Da 7:13). An angel or any other supernatural being cannot explain this phrase.
In His description of His triumphant return Jesus told His disciples that…
immediately after the tribulation of those days THE SUN WILL BE DARKENED, AND THE MOON WILL NOT GIVE ITS LIGHT, AND THE STARS WILL FALL from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken, and then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and great glory. "And He will send forth His angels with A GREAT TRUMPET and THEY WILL GATHER TOGETHER His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other. (Mt 24:29, 30, 31)
Speaking to the high priest Caiaphas who was asking Jesus "Are you the Messiah, Son of the Blessed?"…
Jesus (now no longer veiling His Messiahship) said, “I am; and you shall see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power (i.e., the right hand of the "Ancient of Days"), and coming with the clouds of heaven.” (Mk 14:62, cp Mt 26:64, Rev 1:7-note)
The most frequent OT use of the phrase son of man (Hebrew = ben 'adam) is found in Ezekiel, where it the prophet refers to himself by this designation 93x in 93v. -
Ezek 2:1, 3, 6, 8; 3:1, 3f, 10, 17, 25; 4:1, 16; 5:1; 6:2; 7:2; 8:5f, 8, 12, 15, 17; 11:2, 4, 15; 12:2f, 9, 18, 22, 27; 13:2, 17; 14:3, 13; 15:2; 16:2; 17:2; 20:3f, 27, 46; 21:2, 6, 9, 12, 14, 19, 28; 22:2, 18, 24; 23:2, 36; 24:2, 16, 25; 25:2; 26:2; 27:2; 28:2, 12, 21; 29:2, 18; 30:2, 21; 31:2; 32:2, 18; 33:2, 7, 10, 12, 24, 30; 34:2; 35:2; 36:1, 17; 37:3, 9, 11, 16; 38:2, 14; 39:1, 17; 40:4; 43:7, 10, 18; 44:5; 47:6; Dan 7:13; 8:17
He was presented before Him - In order to received the fifth kingdom as explained in Da 7:14.
A few commentators (e.g., Montgomery) even posit the bizarre interpretation that Son of Man represents the people of Israel, but such comments are hardly worth refuting they are so absurd. Indeed, even the Jewish apocryphal Book of Enoch attests that the Son of Man refers to an individual not a nation.
Daniel 7:14 "And to Him was given dominion, glory and a kingdom, that all the peoples, nations and men of every language might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion which will not pass away; and His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed.
- given : Da 7:27 Ps 2:6, 7, 8 8:6 110:1,2 Mt 11:27 28:18 Lk 10:22 19:11,12 Jn 3:35 5:22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27 1Co 15:27 Eph 1:20, 21, 22 Php 2:9, 10, 11 1Pe 3:22 Rev 3:21)
- that all: Da 3:4 Ps 72:17 Isa 60:12 Rev 11:15 17:14
- everlasting: Da 7:18,27 2:35,44 4:3 6:26 Ps 45:6 145:13 146:10 Isa 9:7 Ob 1:21 Mic 4:7 Lk 1:33 Jn 12:34 1Co 15:24, 25, 26, 27, 28 Heb 12:28)
To Him was given - The Father's gift to the Son (see Mt 11:27, 28:18). Considering what He is given, this event describes in essence the coronation of the Son of Man as the King of kings Whose reign will never end.
David records a parallel truth in Psalm 2 (Acts 4:25 attributes it to David)…
(God the Father is speaking) But as for Me, I have installed My King (God the Son) upon Zion, My holy mountain. (Now the Son speaks) I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD: He said to Me, ‘You are My Son, today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, and the very ends of the earth as Your possession. (Psalm 2:6, 7, 8-note)
Spurgeon comments: Ask of me. It was a custom among great kings, to give to favored ones whatever they might ask. (Esther 5:6 Matthew 14:7) So Jesus hath but to ask and have. Here He declares that His very enemies are His inheritance. To their face He declares this decree, and "Lo! here", cries the Anointed One, as He holds aloft in that once pierced hand the sceptre of His power, "He hath given me this, not only the right to be a king, but the power to conquer."
A kingdom - The Son in an incredible display of amazing grace, gives the kingdom to the saints of the Most High (Da 7:18, 22, 27)
At the sounding of the Seventh Trumpet John describes the same event Daniel sees in his vision…
Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdom of the world (Note: In Daniel 7 terms this would be the Fourth Kingdom with elements of the preceding 3 kingdoms) has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever. (Rev 11:15-note)
Tony Garland commenting on Rev 11:15 writes that…
The event is so certain in the sounding of the seventh angel that it is treated as if already past. However, the kingdom will not have arrived in totality until all seven bowl judgments are poured forth (Rev 16:17-note) and the King Himself returns to earth to defeat the armies of the nations (Isa 63:1-6; Zech 12:1-9; 14:1-8; Rev 19:11-21-note). That day is described by many passages (Ps 22:27, 28, Ps 72:8, 9, 10, 11, Isa 9:7, Da 2:44-note, Zech 14:, 9, 10, 11, Lk 1:32, 33)… Not one of the above passages finds literal fulfillment in the present day Church as the adherents of Replacement Theology, Dominion Theology, and Covenant Theology claim because the sounding of the seventh trumpet remains future to our time. These passages do not speak of an invisible spiritual kingdom, but a visible earthly kingdom.
"All attempts to equate this glorious reign of Christ over the whole earth with any past event or with the church is utterly foreign and contradictory to the clear eschatological teaching of Scripture, including especially this passage. There is no way this text can be fulfilled except by the universal reign of Jesus Christ over the whole earth—as the prophets had for so long predicted." (John MacArthur)
That all the peoples, nations and men of every language - The Messianic Kingdom will be a worldwide kingdom. In this future kingdom there will saints from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. (Rev 5:9-note; cp Rev 7:9-note). It follows that although "saints" in Daniel 7 is most directly addressed to OT saints (largely Jewish believers those who are part of the believing believing remnant), this phrase indicates that saints of all nations (this clearly includes NT saints) will be present.
Might serve Him - Serve is the Aramaic verb pelah which has the connotation of not only to serve but to revere and to worship. To pay reverence.
Pelah - 10v - Ezra 7:24; Da 3:12, 14, 17, 18, 28; twice = "your God whom you constantly serve" = Da 6:16, 20; 7:14, 27. NAS = servants(1), serve(9).
Note the other use of pelah in Daniel 7…
Then the sovereignty, the dominion and the greatness of all the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be given to the people of the saints of the Highest One; His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all the dominions will serve and obey Him. (Da 7:27)
The Septuagint (LXX) translates pelah with the Greek verb latreuo (word study) which conveys either the idea of "worship" or "service" and thus suggests that "service" cannot be separated from "worship." As an aside, many believers desire to "worship" the Lord on Sunday but are too busy to "serve" Him at other times. The Scripture knows nothing of this dichotomy. Notice also that the order in Scripture is first “worship” and then “serve”. Acknowledgment of God Himself must have precedence over activity in His service. Service to God derives its effectiveness from engagement of the heart with God. Any true worshipper of God is also a servant, ready to do his Master's bidding, discharging his or her priestly duties.
John MacArthur explains that latreuo
might best be translated “to render respectful spiritual service.” True worship goes beyond praising God, singing hymns, or participating in a worship service. The essence of worship is living a life of obedient service to God. “Do not neglect doing good and sharing,” exhorts the writer of Hebrews, “for with such sacrifices God is pleased” (Heb 13:16 see note). True worship involves every aspect of life. (MacArthur, J. Philippians. Chicago: Moody Press)
Anna the prophetess exemplifies latreuo in action for even though she was
a widow … age of eighty-four… she never left the temple, serving (latreuo) night and day with fastings and prayers. (Lk 2:37)
Paul's introduction to the Romans conveys a similar nuance:
For God, Whom I serve (latreuo) in my spirit ("with my whole spirit" Amp) in the preaching of the gospel of His Son, is my witness as to how unceasingly I make mention of you. (Ro 1:9-note)
God pleasing and God honoring service calls for total, unreserved commitment on the part of the worshiper. Paul served God with everything he had, beginning with his spirit, for God is to be worshiped in spirit and in truth. How wonderful that here in Daniel we observe that one day future in His glorious kingdom in our glorified state we will be privileged to render such pure worship and serve. Hallelujah! Amen!
MacDonald comments on Paul's latreuo that
It was not that of a religious drudge (to do hard, menial, monotonous work), going through endless rituals and reciting prayers and liturgies by rote. It was service bathed in fervent, believing prayers. It was willing, devoted, tireless service, fired by a spirit that loved the Lord Jesus supremely. It was a flaming passion to make known the good news about God’s Son." (MacDonald, W., & Farstad, A. Believer's Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. Nashville: Thomas Nelson)
His dominion is an everlasting dominion which will not pass away - When King Nebuchadnezzar came to his senses he acknowledged that the Lord's "dominion is from everlasting to everlasting" (Da 4:3-note, cp Da 4:34-note). The Son of Man's dominion is in marked contrast to the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold which will one day be crushed all at the same time and become like chaff blown away by the wind so that not even a trace of them will be found (Da 2:35-note). Gentile dominion is ephemeral and will one day soon pass away never to be "exhumed"!
Archer writes that…
The final outcome of human history will be a return of Adam's race under the rule of the divine Son of Man to loving obedience and subjection to the sovereignty of God, never again to fall away from him. (Jesus probably had v. 14 in mind when he told his disciples at the Great Commission, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me" [Mt 28:18]. (Gaebelein, F, Editor: Expositor's Bible Commentary OT 7 Volume Set: Books: Zondervan Publishing)
A missionary from Japan stated that during World War II Japanese military police visited Japanese churches and took the pastors and elders to court. They asked them two questions:
1. Do you believe that Jesus Christ will return the second time as the Bible teaches?
2. After Jesus Christ returns, do you believe the Emperor will worship Jesus Christ or that Jesus Christ will worship the Emperor?
There can be no confusion about the answers to such questions in the light of this passage. (Daniel: God's Man in a Secular Society by Donald K Campbell)
David describes prophetically the coming reign of the King of kings, Christ Jesus…
Lift up your heads, O gates,
And be lifted up, O ancient doors,
That the King of glory may come in!
Who is the King of glory?
The LORD strong and mighty,
The LORD mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, O gates,
And lift them up, O ancient doors,
That the King of glory may come in!
Who is this King of glory?
The LORD of hosts,
He is the King of glory. Selah.
(Ps 24:7, 8, 9, 10-note)
Psalm 72 says…
And let all kings bow down before him, All nations serve him. (Ps 72:11-note)
Spurgeon comments: Yea, all kings shall fall down before Him. Personally shall they pay their reverence, however mighty they may be. No matter how high their state, how ancient their dynasty, or far off their realms, they shall willingly accept Him as their Imperial Lord.
All nations shall serve Him. The people shall be as obedient as the governors. The extent of the mediatorial rule is set forth by the two far reaching alls, all kings, and all nations: we see not as yet all things put under Him, but since we see Jesus crowned with glory and honour in heaven, we are altogether without doubt as to His universal monarchy on earth. It is not to be imagined that an Alexander or a Caesar shall have wider sway than the Son of God. "Every knee shall bow to him, and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Php 2:11-note) Hasten it, O Lord, in Thine own time.
His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed (cp a similar declaration/affirmation by two pagan kings, one or both of whom may have been converting to the worship of the Most High God! - Da 4:34-note, Da 6:26) - The Kingdom of Christ becomes the fifth and the last Kingdom, the one that came about when the Stone cut out without hands (Da 2:34-note) crushed the fourth kingdom (and the "remnants" of the preceding 3 Gentile kingdoms) and became a great mountain and filled the whole earth (Da 2:35-note).
A C Gaebelein comments that…
That (fifth) kingdom is not now on earth. It cannot be here till the fourth beast with its ten horns and the eleventh little horn with all its blasphemies have been on the earth. It cannot come until He comes again. The second Coming of Christ terminates Gentile rule and establishes the kingdom on the earth. In other words the vision here is an expansion of Nebuchadnezzar's dream concerning the smiting stone, crushing first then filling the whole earth as a mountain. (The Prophet Daniel: A Key to the Visions and Prophecies of the Book of Daniel)
This fifth kingdom then is the long awaited Messianic Kingdom (the glorious promised Millennial Kingdom) which which believing Jews have been looking and longing for as described in Luke who writes that…
While they were listening to these things, Jesus went on to tell a parable, because He was near Jerusalem, and they supposed that the kingdom of God was going to appear immediately. (Luke 19:11, cp Acts 1:6) (Note: Beloved, how different would be our life choices, our use of each precious day allotted to us, etc, if indeed we awoke each day and supposed that the kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was going to appear immediately! May the Father give us abundantly of His Spirit that we might so live in the light of eternity in the grace of Christ. Amen)
This glorious kingdom is the one for which God's saints have prayed for so long…
Thy kingdom come (aorist imperative - Did you realize you were praying a command?). Thy will be done (Also aorist imperative - a command), on earth as it is in heaven. (Mt 6:10-note)
When we pray Thy kingdom come, we are praying for the glorious day when our Lord Jesus Christ returns as King of kings and Lord of lords to set up His millennial (1000 year - see Millennium) kingdom on earth in which righteousness will be the rule of the day. Indeed the Kingdom is inseparable from the King and to pray for His Kingdom to come is to pray for its consummation. This is the kingdom to which we are citizens and its fulfillment should be the longing of our hearts and our prayers. Maranatha. Our Lord, come!
As an aside, it is ironic that many amillennialists (those who do not believe Jesus will reign in a literal kingdom on earth for 1000 years) pray this prayer for the millennial kingdom to come!
Spurgeon has a good exhortation related to the petition in Mt 6:10…
“Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:9, 10). Let not your prayers be all concerning your own sins, your own wants, your own imperfections, and your own trials, but let them climb the starry ladder and get up to Christ Himself. Then, as you draw nigh to the blood-sprinkled mercy seat, offer this prayer continually, “Lord, extend the kingdom of Your dear Son.” Such a petition, fervently presented, will elevate the spirit of all your devotions. Mind that you prove the sincerity of your prayer by laboring to promote the Lord’s glory. (Daily Help)
Out of seven petitions the first three concern the name, kingdom, and will of God. The Lord must occupy the highest place in our prayers, and indeed in our whole lives. The four petitions for ourselves rise by degrees from "bread" up to "deliverance from evil" teaching us that we ought not to grovel in prayer, but to increase in spirituality while we plead. (The Interpreter)
Compare the exclamation of the early church "Maranatha" which means "Our Lord, come", "O Lord come!" or "Our Lord has come." (1Co 16:22). Would it be that we heard this same cry more often from the modern church!
The theme of Daniel 7:14 is echoed in the great "millennial" hymn by Isaac Watts (cp Ps 72:8-note), Jesus Shall Reign. Dear saints of the Most High God, the Sovereign Over All sing it out loudly with tears of joy and anticipation for indeed, His Kingdom shall soon come…
Jesus shall reign where'er the sun
Does his successive journeys run;
His kingdom stretch from shore to shore,
Till moons shall wax and wane no more.
Behold the islands with their kings,
And Europe her best tribute brings;
From north to south the princes meet,
To pay their homage at His feet.
There Persia, glorious to behold,
There India shines in eastern gold;
And barb’rous nations at His word
Submit, and bow, and own their Lord.
To Him shall endless prayer be made,
And praises throng to crown His head;
His Name like sweet perfume shall rise
With every morning sacrifice.
People and realms of every tongue
Dwell on His love with sweetest song;
And infant voices shall proclaim
Their early blessings on His Name.
Blessings abound wherever He reigns;
The prisoner leaps to lose his chains;
The weary find eternal rest,
And all the sons of want are blessed.
Where He displays His healing power,
Death and the curse are known no more:
In Him the tribes of Adam boast
More blessings than their father lost.
Let every creature rise and bring
Peculiar honors to our King;
Angels descend with songs again,
And earth repeat the loud amen!
Great God, whose universal sway
The known and unknown worlds obey,
Now give the kingdom to Thy Son,
Extend His power, exalt His throne.
The scepter well becomes His hands;
All Heav’n submits to His commands;
His justice shall avenge the poor,
And pride and rage prevail no more.
With power He vindicates the just,
And treads th’oppressor in the dust:
His worship and His fear shall last
Till hours, and years, and time be past.
As rain on meadows newly mown,
So shall He send his influence down:
His grace on fainting souls distills,
Like heav’nly dew on thirsty hills.
The heathen lands, that lie beneath
The shades of overspreading death,
Revive at His first dawning light;
And deserts blossom at the sight.
The saints shall flourish in His days,
Dressed in the robes of joy and praise;
Peace, like a river, from His throne
Shall flow to nations yet unknown.