God’s Life-Giving Word of Joy
Daniel 7:15-28: In today’s reading, Daniel’s visions are interpreted. He questions the meaning of the fourth beast and the “little horn” (see Daniel 7:8) which is believed to be a reference to the Seleucid king Antiochus IV Epiphanes who desecrated the Jerusalem Temple in 167 BC. Judea was a province within the Seleucid Empire at that time.
“The people of the Supreme God will receive royal power and keep it forever and ever.”
The Visions Are Explained
15The visions I saw alarmed me, and I was deeply disturbed. 16I went up to one of those standing there and asked him to explain it all. So he told me the meaning. 17He said, “These four huge beasts are four empires which will arise on earth. 18 And the people of the Supreme God will receive royal power and keep it forever and ever.”
19Then I wanted to know more about the fourth beast, which was not like any of the others—the terrifying beast which crushed its victims with its bronze claws and iron teeth and then trampled on them. 20And I wanted to know about the ten horns on its head and the horn that had come up afterward and had made three of the horns fall. It had eyes and a mouth and was boasting proudly. It was more terrifying than any of the others.
21 While I was looking, that horn made war on God's people and conquered them. 22 Then the one who had been living forever came and pronounced judgment in favor of the people of the Supreme God. The time had arrived for God's people to receive royal power.
23This is the explanation I was given: “The fourth beast is a fourth empire that will be on the earth and will be different from all other empires. It will crush the whole earth and trample it down. 24 The ten horns are ten kings who will rule that empire. Then another king will appear; he will be very different from the earlier ones and will overthrow three kings. 25 He will speak against the Supreme God and oppress God's people. He will try to change their religious laws and festivals, and God's people will be under his power for three and a half years. 26Then the heavenly court will sit in judgment, take away his power, and destroy him completely. 27 The power and greatness of all the kingdoms on earth will be given to the people of the Supreme God. Their royal power will never end, and all rulers on earth will serve and obey them.”
28This is the end of the account. I was so frightened that I turned pale, and I kept everything to myself.
What effect did the visions have on Daniel (verse 15)? What did Daniel wish to know about the fourth beast (verses 19, 20)? What was he told (verses 23-27)? After hearing the explanation, how did Daniel react (verse 28)? Have you ever had dreams that troubled you? If so, did you discuss them with anyone?
Lord God, you are supreme, and your royal power will never end. In serving you, may all I do reflect true obedience to your will and give glory and honor to you. Amen.
Those experiencing troublesome dreams
Daniel 12:1-13: The time remaining until the end is described in Daniel’s final vision.