7:19 “Then I wanted to know the meaning 1 of the fourth beast, which was different from all the others. It was very dreadful, with two rows of iron teeth and bronze claws, and it devoured, crushed, and trampled anything that was left with its feet. 7:20 I also wanted to know 2 the meaning of the ten horns on its head, and of that other horn which came up and before which three others fell. This was the horn that had eyes 3 and a mouth speaking arrogant things, whose appearance was more formidable than the others. 4 7:21 While I was watching, that horn began to wage war against the holy ones and was defeating 5 them, 7:22 until the Ancient of Days arrived and judgment was rendered 6 in favor of the holy ones of the Most High. Then the time came for the holy ones to take possession of the kingdom.
7:23 “This is what he told me: 7
‘The fourth beast means that there will be a fourth kingdom on earth
that will differ from all the other kingdoms.
It will devour all the earth
and will trample and crush it.
7:24 The ten horns
mean that ten kings will arise from that kingdom.
Another king will arise after them,
but he will be different from the earlier ones.
He will humiliate 8 three kings.
7:25 He will speak words against the Most High.
He will harass 9 the holy ones of the Most High continually.
His intention 10 will be to change times established by law. 11
They will be delivered into his hand
For a time, times, 12 and half a time.
1 tn Aram “to make certain.”
2 tn The words “I also wanted to know” are added in the translation for stylistic reasons.
3 tc The conjunction in the MT before “eyes” is odd. The ancient versions do not seem to presuppose it.
4 tn Aram “greater than its companions.”
5 tn Aram “prevailing against” (KJV and ASV both similar); NASB “overpowering them”; TEV “conquered them.”
6 tc In the LXX, Syriac, and Vulgate the verb is active, understanding “judgment” to be the object rather than the subject of the verb (i.e., “the Ancient of Days rendered judgment”). This presupposes a different vocalization of the verb ( יְהַב [yÿhav] rather than the MT יְהִב [yÿhiv]).
7 tn Aram “thus he said.”
8 tn Or “subjugate”; KJV, NASB, NIV “subdue”; ASV, NRSV “put down.”
9 tn Aram “wear out” (so KJV, ASV, NRSV); NASB, NLT “wear down.” The word is a hapax legomenon in biblical Aramaic, but in biblical Hebrew it especially refers to wearing out such things as garments. Here it is translated “harass…continually.”
10 tn Aram “he will think.”
11 tn Aram “times and law.” The present translation is based on the understanding that the expression is a hendiadys.
12 sn Although the word times is vocalized in the MT as a plural, it probably should be regarded as a dual. The Masoretes may have been influenced here by the fact that in late Aramaic (and Syriac) the dual forms fall out of use. The meaning would thus be three and a half “times.”