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Daniel 7:5-7

Context

7:5 “Then 1  a second beast appeared, like a bear. It was raised up on one side, and there were three ribs 2  in its mouth between its teeth. 3  It was told, 4  ‘Get up and devour much flesh!’

7:6 “After these things, 5  as I was watching, another beast 6  like a leopard appeared, with four bird-like wings on its back. 7  This beast had four heads, 8  and ruling authority was given to it.

7:7 “After these things, as I was watching in the night visions 9  a fourth beast appeared – one dreadful, terrible, and very strong. 10  It had two large rows 11  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.

1 tn Aram “and behold.”

2 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.

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

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

5 tn Aram “this.” So also in v. 7.

6 tn Aram “and behold, another one.”

7 tn Or “sides.”

8 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.

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

10 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.

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



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