Daniel, CHAPTER 7
The Beasts and the Judgment.
In the first year of King Belshazzar of Babylon, as Daniel lay in bed he had a dream, visions in his head. Then he wrote down the dream; the account began:
In the vision I saw during the night, suddenly the four winds of heaven stirred up the great sea,
from which emerged four immense beasts, each different from the others.
The first was like a lion, but with eagle’s wings. While I watched, the wings were plucked; it was raised from the ground to stand on two feet like a human being, and given a human mind.
The second beast was like a bear; it was raised up on one side, and among the teeth in its mouth were three tusks. It was given the order, “Arise, devour much flesh.”
After this I looked and saw another beast, like a leopard; on its back were four wings like those of a bird, and it had four heads. To this beast dominion was given.
After this, in the visions of the night I saw a fourth beast, terrifying, horrible, and of extraordinary strength; it had great iron teeth with which it devoured and crushed, and it trampled with its feet what was left. It differed from the beasts that preceded it. It had ten horns.
I was considering the ten horns it had, when suddenly another, a little horn, sprang out of their midst, and three of the previous horns were torn away to make room for it. This horn had eyes like human eyes, and a mouth that spoke arrogantly.
As I watched,
Thrones were set up
and the Ancient of Days took his throne.
His clothing was white as snow,
the hair on his head like pure wool;
His throne was flames of fire,
with wheels of burning fire.
A river of fire surged forth,
flowing from where he sat;
Thousands upon thousands were ministering to him,
and myriads upon myriads stood before him.
The court was convened, and the books were opened.
I watched, then, from the first of the arrogant words which the horn spoke, until the beast was slain and its body destroyed and thrown into the burning fire.
As for the other beasts, their dominion was taken away, but they were granted a prolongation of life for a time and a season.
As the visions during the night continued, I saw coming with the clouds of heaven
One like a son of man.
When he reached the Ancient of Days
and was presented before him,
He received dominion, splendor, and kingship;
all nations, peoples and tongues will serve him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion
that shall not pass away,
his kingship, one that shall not be destroyed.
Because of this, my spirit was anguished and I, Daniel, was terrified by my visions.
I approached one of those present and asked him the truth of all this; in answer, he made known to me its meaning:
“These four great beasts stand for four kings which shall arise on the earth.
But the holy ones of the Most High shall receive the kingship, to possess it forever and ever.”
Then I wished to make certain about the fourth beast, so very terrible and different from the others, devouring and crushing with its iron teeth and bronze claws, and trampling with its feet what was left;
and about the ten horns on its head, and the other one that sprang up, before which three horns fell; and about the horn with the eyes and the mouth that spoke arrogantly, which appeared greater than its fellows.
For, as I watched, that horn made war against the holy ones and was victorious
until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was pronounced in favor of the holy ones of the Most High, and the time arrived for the holy ones to possess the kingship.
He answered me thus:
“The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom on earth,
different from all the others;
The whole earth it shall devour,
trample down and crush.
The ten horns shall be ten kings
rising out of that kingdom;
another shall rise up after them,
Different from those before him,
who shall lay low three kings.
He shall speak against the Most High
and wear down the holy ones of the Most High,
intending to change the feast days and the law.
They shall be handed over to him
for a time, two times, and half a time.
But when the court is convened,
and his dominion is taken away
to be abolished and completely destroyed,
Then the kingship and dominion and majesty
of all the kingdoms under the heavens
shall be given to the people of the holy ones of the Most High,
Whose kingship shall be an everlasting kingship,
whom all dominions shall serve and obey.”
This is the end of the report. I, Daniel, was greatly terrified by my thoughts, and my face became pale, but I kept the matter to myself.