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Daniel 7:4-8


7:4 “The first one was like a lion with eagles’ wings. As I watched, its wings were pulled off and it was lifted up from the ground. It was made to stand on two feet like a human being, and a human mind 1  was given to it. 2 

7:5 “Then 3  a second beast appeared, like a bear. It was raised up on one side, and there were three ribs 4  in its mouth between its teeth. 5  It was told, 6  ‘Get up and devour much flesh!’

7:6 “After these things, 7  as I was watching, another beast 8  like a leopard appeared, with four bird-like wings on its back. 9  This beast had four heads, 10  and ruling authority was given to it.

7:7 “After these things, as I was watching in the night visions 11  a fourth beast appeared – one dreadful, terrible, and very strong. 12  It had two large rows 13  of iron teeth. It devoured and crushed, and anything that was left it trampled with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that came before it, and it had ten horns.

7:8 “As I was contemplating the horns, another horn – a small one – came up between them, and three of the former horns were torn out by the roots to make room for it. 14  This horn had eyes resembling human eyes and a mouth speaking arrogant 15  things.

Daniel 7:17-28

7:17 ‘These large beasts, which are four in number, represent four kings who will arise from the earth. 7:18 The holy ones 16  of the Most High will receive the kingdom and will take possession of the kingdom forever and ever.’

7:19 “Then I wanted to know the meaning 17  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 18  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 19  and a mouth speaking arrogant things, whose appearance was more formidable than the others. 20  7:21 While I was watching, that horn began to wage war against the holy ones and was defeating 21  them, 7:22 until the Ancient of Days arrived and judgment was rendered 22  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: 23 

‘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 24  three kings.

7:25 He will speak words against the Most High.

He will harass 25  the holy ones of the Most High continually.

His intention 26  will be to change times established by law. 27 

They will be delivered into his hand

For a time, times, 28  and half a time.

7:26 But the court will convene, 29  and his ruling authority will be removed –

destroyed and abolished forever!

7:27 Then the kingdom, authority,

and greatness of the kingdoms under all of heaven

will be delivered to the people of the holy ones 30  of the Most High.

His kingdom is an eternal kingdom;

all authorities will serve him and obey him.’

7:28 “This is the conclusion of the matter. As for me, Daniel, my thoughts troubled me greatly, and the color drained from my face. 31  But I kept the matter to myself.” 32 

1 tn Aram “heart of a man.”

2 sn The identity of the first animal, derived from v. 17 and the parallels in chap. 2, is Babylon. The reference to the plucking of its wings is probably a reference to the time of Nebuchadnezzar’s insanity (cf. chap. 4). The latter part of v. 4 then describes the restoration of Nebuchadnezzar. The other animals have traditionally been understood to represent respectively Media-Persia, Greece, and Rome, although most of modern scholarship identifies them as Media, Persia, and Greece. For a biblical parallel to the mention of lion, bear, and leopard together, see Hos 13:7-8.

3 tn Aram “and behold.”

4 sn The three ribs held securely in the mouth of the bear, perhaps representing Media-Persia, apparently symbolize military conquest, but the exact identity of the “ribs” is not clear. Possibly it is a reference to the Persian conquest of Lydia, Egypt, and Babylonia.

5 tc The LXX lacks the phrase “between its teeth.”

6 tn Aram “and thus they were saying to it.”

7 tn Aram “this.” So also in v. 7.

8 tn Aram “and behold, another one.”

9 tn Or “sides.”

10 sn If the third animal is Greece, the most likely identification of these four heads is the four-fold division of the empire of Alexander the Great following his death. See note on Dan 8:8.

11 tn The Aramaic text has also “and behold.” So also in vv. 8, 13.

12 sn The fourth animal differs from the others in that it is nondescript. Apparently it was so fearsome that Daniel could find nothing with which to compare it. Attempts to identify this animal as an elephant or other known creature are conjectural.

13 tn The Aramaic word for “teeth” is dual rather than plural, suggesting two rows of teeth.

14 tn Aram “were uprooted from before it.”

15 tn Aram “great.” So also in vv. 11, 20.

16 sn The expression holy ones is either a reference to angels or to human beings devoted to God.

17 tn Aram “to make certain.”

18 tn The words “I also wanted to know” are added in the translation for stylistic reasons.

19 tc The conjunction in the MT before “eyes” is odd. The ancient versions do not seem to presuppose it.

20 tn Aram “greater than its companions.”

21 tn Aram “prevailing against” (KJV and ASV both similar); NASB “overpowering them”; TEV “conquered them.”

22 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]).

23 tn Aram “thus he said.”

24 tn Or “subjugate”; KJV, NASB, NIV “subdue”; ASV, NRSV “put down.”

25 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.”

26 tn Aram “he will think.”

27 tn Aram “times and law.” The present translation is based on the understanding that the expression is a hendiadys.

28 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.”

29 tn Aram “judgment will sit” (KJV similar).

30 tn If the “holy ones” are angels, then this probably refers to the angels as protectors of God’s people. If the “holy ones” are God’s people, then this is an appositional construction, “the people who are the holy ones.” See 8:24 for the corresponding Hebrew phrase and the note there.

31 tn Aram “my brightness was changing on me.”

32 tn Aram “in my heart.”

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