Daniel Has a Dream About Four Animals
It was the first year that Belshazzar was king of Babylon. Daniel had a dream. He was lying in bed. In his dream, visions passed through his mind. He wrote down what he saw.
Daniel said, “I had a vision at night. I looked up and saw the four winds of heaven. They were stirring up the Mediterranean Sea. Four large animals came up out of the sea. Each one was different from the others.
“The first animal was like a lion. It had the wings of an eagle. I watched until its wings were torn off. Then it was lifted up from the ground. It stood on two feet like a human being. And the mind of a human being was given to it.
“I saw a second animal. It looked like a bear. It was raised up on one of its sides. And it had three ribs between its teeth. It was told, ‘Get up! Eat meat until you are full!’
“After that, I saw another animal. It looked like a leopard. On its back were four wings like the wings of a bird. The animal I saw had four heads. And it was given authority to rule.
“After that, in my vision I looked up and saw a fourth animal. It was terrifying and very powerful. It had large iron teeth. It crushed those it attacked and ate them up. It stomped on anything that was left. It was different from the other animals. And it had ten horns.
“I thought about the horns. Then I saw another horn. It was a little one. It grew up among the other horns. Three of the first horns were pulled up by their roots to make room for it. The little horn had eyes like the eyes of a human being. Its mouth was always bragging.
“As I watched,
“thrones were set in place.
The Eternal God took his seat.
His clothes were as white as snow.
The hair on his head was white like wool.
His throne was blazing with fire.
And flames were all around its wheels.
A river of fire was flowing.
It was coming out from in front of God.
Thousands and thousands of angels served him.
Millions of them stood in front of him.
The court was seated.
And the books were opened.
“Then I continued to watch because of the way the horn was bragging. I kept looking until the fourth animal was killed. I watched until its body was destroyed. It was thrown into the blazing fire. The authority of the other animals had been stripped away from them. But they were allowed to live for a period of time.
“In my vision I saw one who looked like a son of man. He was coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Eternal God. He was led right up to him. And he was given authority, glory and a kingdom. People of all nations, no matter what language they spoke, worshiped him. His authority will last forever. It will not pass away. His kingdom will never be destroyed.
An Angel Tells Daniel What His Dream Means
“My spirit was troubled. The visions that passed through my mind upset me. I approached an angel who was standing there. I asked him what all these things really meant.
“So he explained to me what everything meant. He said, ‘The four large animals stand for four kings. The kings will appear on the earth. But the holy people of the Most High God will receive the kingdom. They will possess it forever. It will belong to them for ever and ever.’
“Then I wanted to know what the fourth animal stood for. It was different from the others. It was the most terrifying of all. It had iron teeth and bronze claws. It crushed everyone it attacked and ate them up. It stomped on anything that was left. I also wanted to know about the ten horns on its head. And I wanted to know about the other horn that grew up later. It caused three of the ten horns to fall out. It appeared to be stronger than the others. It had eyes. And its mouth was always bragging. I saw that the horn was at war with God’s holy people. It was winning the battle over them. But then the Eternal God came. He decided in favor of his holy people. So the time came when the kingdom was given to them.
“Here’s how the angel explained it to me. He said, ‘The fourth animal stands for a fourth kingdom. It will appear on earth. It will be different from the other kingdoms. It will eat up the whole earth. It will stomp on it and crush it. The ten horns stand for ten kings. They will come from the fourth kingdom. After them another king will appear. He will be different from the earlier ones. He’ll bring three kings under his control. He’ll speak against the Most High God. He’ll treat God’s holy people badly. He will try to change the times and laws that were given by God. God’s holy people will be placed under his power for three and a half years.
“ ‘But the court will be seated. And the power of that king will be taken away from him. It will be completely destroyed forever. Then the authority, power and greatness of all the kingdoms on earth will be taken from them. And all they had will be given to the holy people of the Most High God. His kingdom will last forever. Every ruler will worship and obey him.’
“That’s all I saw. My thoughts deeply troubled me. My face turned pale. But I kept those things to myself.”
Daniel Has a Vision About a Ram and a Goat
It was the third year of King Belshazzar’s rule. After the vision that had already appeared to me, I had another one. In my vision I saw myself in the city of Susa. It has high walls around it. It is in the land of Elam. In the vision I was beside the Ulai Canal. I looked up and saw a ram that had two horns. It was standing beside the canal. Its horns were long. One of them was longer than the other. But that horn grew up later. I watched the ram as it charged toward the west. It also charged toward the north and the south. No animal could stand up against it. Not one of them could save anyone from its power. It did as it pleased. And it became great.
I was thinking about all of this. Then a goat suddenly came from the west. It had a large horn between its eyes. The goat raced across the whole earth without even touching the ground. It came toward the ram that had the two horns. It was the ram I had seen standing beside the canal. The goat was very angry. It charged at the ram. I saw it attack the ram with mighty force. It struck the ram and broke the ram’s two horns. The ram didn’t have the power to stand up against it. The goat knocked the ram to the ground and stomped on it. No one could save the ram from the goat’s power. The goat became very great. But when its power was at its greatest, the goat’s large horn was broken off. In its place four large horns grew up toward the four winds of heaven.
Out of one of the four horns came another horn. It was small at first but became more and more powerful. It grew to the south and to the east and toward the beautiful land of Israel. It grew until it reached the stars in the sky. It threw some of them down to the earth. And it stomped on them. It set itself up to be as great as the commander of the Lord’s army. It took away the daily sacrifices from the Lord. And his temple in Jerusalem was thrown down. Because many of the Lord’s people refused to obey him, they were handed over to the horn. The daily sacrifices were also given over to it. The horn was successful no matter what it did. And true worship of God was thrown down to the ground.
Then I heard a holy angel speaking. Another holy angel spoke to him. He asked, “How long will it take for the vision to come true? When will the daily sacrifices be stopped? When will those who refuse to obey God be destroyed? When will the temple be handed over to an enemy? And when will some of the Lord’s people be stomped on?”
One of the holy angels said to me, “It will take 2,300 evenings and mornings. Then the temple will be made holy again.”