7:2 Daniel spoke and said, In my vision by night I was looking. And, behold, the four winds of the heavens were stirring up the Great Sea.7 3 And four great beasts came up from the sea, different from one another…
7 And after this, I was looking in the night visions. And, behold, the fourth beast was fearful and terrifying, and very strong! And to it were great iron teeth. It devoured, and crushed, and stamped what was left with its feet. And it was different from all the beasts before it; and it had ten horns.
7:17 These great beasts are four, four kings; they shall rise up out of the earth.
7:23 … And He said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be different from all kingdoms, and shall devour all the earth, and shall trample it down and crush it.
Also, the Revelation says that the beast has ten horns (horns depict king or ruler)
13:1 And I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten diadems, and on its heads names of blasphemy. Rev 13:2 tells us how … the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and its feet as of a bear, and its mouth as a lion’s mouth. And the dragon [Satan] gave its power to it, and its throne, and great authority.
13:11 And I saw another beast coming up out of the earth. And it had two horns like a lamb, but spoke like a dragon.”
First beast is told in Daniel chapter 2:
Dan 2:40 And the fourth kingdom shall be as strong as iron. Inasmuch as iron crushes and smashes all things, and as the iron that shatters all these, it will crush and shatter.
41 And as to that you saw, the feet and the toes were partly of potters’ clay and partly of iron, the kingdom shall be divided. But there shall be in it the strength of iron, because you saw the iron mixed with clay of the potter.
42 And as to that you saw, the feet and the toes were partly of potters’ clay and partly of iron, the kingdom shall be divided. But there shall be in it the strength of iron, because you saw the iron mixed with clay of the potter
43 And as you saw the iron mixed with the clay of the clay, they shall be mixed with the seed of men. But they shall not adhere to one another, even as iron does not mix with clay.
44 And in the days of these kings, the God of Heaven shall set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed. And the kingdom shall not be left to other people. It shall break in pieces and destroy all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. – The Kingdom verse 44 talks about, is the Millennial Kingdom of Christ.
This final, ‘fourth kingdom’ of the end-time is awesome, but also fragmented. It is depicted by Daniel’s vision of the human figure’s feet, which are a mixture of clay in iron.
The 7th chapter of Daniel confirms the coming of the fourth kingdom mentioned in the second chapter. 7:3 “And four great beasts were coming up from the sea, different from one another. 7:23 … And He said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be different from all kingdoms, and shall devour all the earth, and shall trample it down and crush it.
The fourth beast is according to Daniel the fourth kingdom. The former were Babylon, Meedo-Persia, and Greece of Alexander the Great. This last i.e. the fourth kingdom is different from every other. It crushes the others and ’eats all land’. Eating means taking all of the land under its power. The beast has seven heads: Rev 13:3: And I saw one of its heads, as having been slain to death, and its deadly wound was healed. And all the earth marveled after the beast.
4 And they worshiped the dragon [Satan] who gave authority to the beast [Antichrist]; and they worshiped the beast, saying, Who is like the beast; who is able to make war with it?
5 And a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies was given to it. And authority to act forty-two months was given to it.
7 And it was given to it “to war with the saints, and to overcome them.” And authority was given to it over every tribe and tongue and nation.
What is this fourth kingdom that is so strong that it has power over all nations? World conquest takes place quickly – in 42 months according to Bible. It should be noted, however, that when the Bible speaks of the whole world, it may well mean just the known world of those days. Expressions like Rev 16:14 “the kings of the whole world” have to be interpreted in context: is it really “all the kings of the earth” to ”gather them together for the war of the great day of God”? Sometimes phrases can really mean global-wide activities. Conquering both the Christian world and the Islamic world for the beast is not possible without the help of the beast’s assistants – the Antichrist and the False Prophet by the overwhelming miracles prove both Christ and Mahdi – to have landed on the earth. It is noteworthy that power comes from Satan, called the Dragon. And what was Satan called? He is the king of this world!
Traditional interpretation – for and against
’Traditional interpretation’ has evolved over the centuries with several variations. It is common for them, however, that the beasts represent the ascending four kingdoms on earth; Babylon, Meedo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. The Fourth Beast, i.e. the Ten Horns of Rome, represents ten new stages or revivals in the Roman Empire. The small horn that appears in the picture means the pope of the Catholic Church. Whether a horn is a pope or something else, it is generally considered to be the Antichrist. The three horns of the vision, which were torn apart, depict pagan tribes – vandals, after the collapse of the Roman Empire. The remaining seven horns belong to the Sacrum Romanum Imperium, the Holy German-Roman Empire. There have been six revivals and one is coming. This seventh is born on a religious and political field when Europe (the European Union) and the Papal administration make a new agreement to govern the recreated Roman Empire.
Are the four kingdoms successive or are they on the scene at the same time? And are there four of them or perhaps five?
These four kingdoms have in any case been successive kingdoms in the history of nations, there is no doubt about it. However, these past kingdoms may emerge in the future as geographic areas and empires with new names will be known. Both interpretations are possible. It is, therefore, possible that these kingdoms will ally themselves to fight against their enemies (Israel) and have other countries to join them.
The critics of this traditionally accepted interpretation say that there are good reasons to believe that these four beasts are in operation at the same time in the end-times. “And four great beasts were coming up from the sea, different from one another.” (Dan 7:3) This suggests that they are coming up simultaneously not successively. In addition, Dan 7:12 says: As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away; but their lives were prolonged for a season and a time. – These beasts lost their power, suggesting that they existed simultaneously and that power was taken away simultaneously. For them, God also decided to end their life, but it does not happen at the same time as the beast of verse 7:11 Then I was looking because of the voice of the great words which the horn spoke. I was looking until the beast was killed, and his body was destroyed and given to the burning flame.
The portrait of beasts in Daniel 7 is, in my opinion, a vision to be fulfilled at the end-time. In particular, I am arguing that in addition to the beasts, there is a small horn in Daniel’s vision that depicts the Antichrist. The Antichrist is a man: Dan 7:8 says, … I was thinking about the horns. And behold! Another little horn came up among them, and three of the first horns were uprooted before it. And behold! In this horn were eyes like the eyes of the man, and a mouth speaking great things. – The Antichrist has 42 months (i.e 3.5 years) at the end of time to act. Verse 25 confirms this: 7:25 And he shall speak words against the Most High, and he shall wear out the saints of the Most High. And he intends to change times and law. And they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and one half time. [i.e. 3.5 years] “. – After this time, the Antichrist is thrown into fire.
In the vision these beasts lose their power, suggesting that they existed simultaneously and lost their powers simultaneously. For them, God also determined the end of their life.