Many people incorrectly interpret Daniel’s dream from Daniel Chapter 7 to mean the same thing as Nebuchadnezzar’s dream from Daniel Chapter 2. They believe that the beasts represent nations that existed in the day and age of Daniel.
However, this is incorrect. Daniel’s beasts cannot be nations of that age because the explanation of his dream stated that they were nations of the future. Therefore, there is no way that they could represent nations that existed at that time like Nebuchadnezzar’s dream.
Grab your Bible and join us as we examine the scriptures to learn more about these interpretations and how they relate to the end-times prophecy.
Hello and welcome to Social Media Ministries, my name is Spencer Coffman. Thank you so much for tuning in. We are on part 3 of a 14-part sermon series about the end times.
If this is your first time with us or if you are a returning person but haven’t seen the first two, I encourage you to check them out in a playlist up here. If you are watching on YouTube it will show up in a card, if not then navigate to our YouTube channel and check it out to get caught up on what we have been talking about in the end times. So far we have talked about an overview of the end times and also Daniel’s dream in Daniel chapter 7.
Today we are going to talk about the beasts within the dream and how they represent modern nations. Now what do we mean by modern nations? We are talking about nations that are around or were around or are around in our century or our lifetime-ish. Depending on your age, if you are in the baby boomer age, definitely in your generation.
Let’s dive into this. That is what we mean by modern nations. Some people which we are going to talk about next week believe that these beasts represent nations that were in the past, they have all kinds of interpretations about it and I believe that those representations of the beasts are incorrect. That they have an erroneous representation of those beasts and that is what we will talk about next week.
No doubt if you have been interested in this sermon series you have already conducted some research on Daniel chapter 7. Maybe what it means, part of the prophecy of it all and you have determined that there are certain interpretations out there and beliefs out there, ideologies, etc, you might have this understanding that we are going to go into next week.
Hopefully, by the end of this sermon series, you will come to realize that there is something different, that it is incorrect, and that there is a different way. Now does it matter if you believe this way or this way in this instance? No, it is not a salvation issue. That means that you can believe that a beast represents one thing and I could believe it represents something else and as long as we both believe that Jesus Christ died for our sins, He is our Lord and Savior and that we can get to heaven through Him, then we will both go to heaven even if we have different beliefs on what these beasts mean.
Take this as a great means of discussion, respectful discussion back and forth with people politely about what these could mean and then use this to get their interest into the Bible and then encourage them to continue reading into the New Testament to learn more about Jesus and hopefully they can become Christian and have Jesus be their Lord and Savior.
Let’s talk about how they represent modern nations. A lot of scholars believe that these beasts represent nations that have already come and gone, they make arguments that relate to King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream from Daniel chapter 2. This happened according to the Daniel timeline. We introduced a little bit about that, you can research it online as well.
Daniel 2 which happened about 602 BC which was shortly after Nebuchadnezzar captured all of the people from Jerusalem. He took Jerusalem and took Daniel and his friends and made them become men of the king or wise men eventually. This is around the same time when Nebuchadnezzar said, execute them all because I have had a dream and no one can tell me what it means. No one can even tell me what the dream was.
These wise men say, unless you tell us your dream it is impossible for us to give you the meaning and he says, no I want you to tell me my dream and also tell me the meaning. Daniel says all right. Pause here, give me a couple days. Let me pray. God will reveal it to me. God reveals it to him. Daniel goes and interprets the dream for the king.
Let’s go into this. If you have your Bible, turn to Daniel chapter 2. If you don’t, listen up and you can also read it later because I will put the references below. We are going to go to Daniel chapter 2, Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. We are not going to read the whole thing like we did with chapter 7 because it is kind of long but I am going to read to you verses 29 through 35. This is Daniel telling the king what it was.
‘As you were lying there O king, your mind turned to things to come and the revealer of mystery showed you what is going to happen. As for me, this mystery has been revealed to me, not because I have greater wisdom than other living men, but so that you O king may know the interpretation and that you may understand what went through your mind.’
‘You looked O king and there before you stood a large statue, an enormous dazzling statue, awesome in appearance. The head of the statue is made of pure gold, chest and arms of silver, belly, and thighs of bronze, legs of iron, feet partly of clay and partly of baked clay, partly of iron and partly of clay.’
‘While you were watching, a rock was cut out not by human hands. It struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and smashed them. Then the iron and the clay, the bronze and silver and the gold were broken into pieces. At the same time, they became like chaff on the threshing floor in the summer and the winds swept them away without leaving a trace. But the rock that destructed the statue became a huge mountain and filled the whole earth.’
What is the meaning of that? Well, we will continue on. Verses 36 to 45. ‘This was the dream and how we will interpret it to the king. You O king are king of kings. The God of heaven has given you dominion and power and might and glory in your hands. He has placed mankind, the beasts of the field, the birds, he has made you ruler over them all. You are the head of gold.’
So Nebuchadnezzar is the head of gold. ‘After you, another kingdom will rise, inferior to yours. Next the third kingdom, one of bronze will rule over the whole earth. Finally, there will be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron for iron breaks and smashes everything. As iron breaks things to pieces, it will crush and break all the others.’
‘Just as you saw the feet and toes were partly of baked clay and partly of iron, so will this be a divided kingdom. Yet it will have some strength of iron in it. Even as you saw the iron mixed with clay, as the toes are partly iron and partly clay so this kingdom will be partly strong and partly brittle. Just as you saw the iron mixed with baked clay, so the people will be a mixture and will not remain united any more than iron mixes with clay.’
‘In the time of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed nor will it be left to another people. It will crush those kingdoms and bring it to an end, but it himself will endure forever.’
A lot of people say, oh because of this final part, the rock and the kingdom enduring forever this is something that happens way in the future. However, a lot of people also have said, no these are different kingdoms that have already been around. What is the truth? Which one is it? Is this dream of King Nebuchadnezzar and this interpretation the same? Does it mean the same thing or is it just another version of the same in Daniel chapter 7?
Well, remember the timeline now, 605bc is when Nebuchadnezzar took Jerusalem. So 602 BC would be 3 years later. This is when King Nebuchadnezzar or around the time King Nebuchadnezzar had this dream. So 3 years, not very long. Daniel was probably just getting settled, just getting out of the training of becoming one of the king’s men, and they had to eat special food and all this stuff. They were groomed and so this grooming is now done.
The king has this dream and says, kill all those people, we just invested 3 years into training them and now we are going to kill them all because they can’t tell me anything. He has this dream, then later Daniel has his dream. How much later? Well about 50 years later. Daniel was probably like 18 when the king had the dream and then he was 50 years later about 68 to 70 when he had his dream.
Big time span if those 2 dreams mean the same thing. That could be one point that they don’t mean the same thing. We are going to go to another point with 2 verses. Daniel 7:17, this is in the interpretation section of Daniel chapter 7. ‘The 4 great beasts are 4 kingdoms that will rise from the earth.’
At the time of Daniel here, 50 years after King Nebuchadnezzar had his dream. The interpretation of Daniel’s dream says these are 4 kingdoms that will rise from the earth, meaning they have not happened yet. They will rise. So this is something in the future.
King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, maybe that could have been something in the future. However, King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream had referred to the present because why? It said, ‘You O king are the head of gold’. So we knew that it was happening at the present. King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream of something that was happening at that time in his lifespan. He was the ruler of everything, other kingdoms would come and then it would crumble and another kingdom would come and last forever.
We know that that was happening at that time. Meaning that 50 years later when Daniel has his dream, how could it be something of the past? Well, it could be maybe meaning of the past, but why would he have a dream about something of the past and not understand it if it was of the past? He probably would have understood it as a dream of the past.
In addition the interpretation given to him said its kingdoms will rise, however, this could just be an error in translation. Maybe the original language, the original words that this was written in compared to our English version today, there could be an error of translation. Let’s account for that and go to the second verse, verse 12 accounts that this is not an error in translation. It doesn’t specifically say that but we can infer it.
So go to verse 12 and it says, ‘The other beasts had been stripped of their authority, but were allowed to live for a period of time.’ This is not in the interpretation section of his dream, it is in the dream section. The other beasts have been allowed to live for a period of time which means what? Well, the kingdoms must still exist after the AntiChrist is destroyed.
Look at verse 11. ‘I continued to watch because of the boastful words that the horn was speaking. I kept looking until the beast was slain and its body destroyed and thrown into the blazing fire.’ What does this part mean? This is meaning that boastful proud arrogant AntiChrist being is going to be slain, thrown into the burning fire, the great abyss that is referred to in Revelation. When it is thrown into the lake of fire, sealed up, and locked away. And that is what will happen.
It can’t be something that already happened if these nations are around when the AntiChrist is destroyed. The AntiChrist has not been destroyed yet which means that it cannot relate to Daniel chapter 2 and because Nebuchadnezzar is not alive today. He is not here, he is not ruling today, his kingdom is not here, it is past, it is done. It is gone thousands of years ago or over 2,000 years ago. It can’t happen, it can’t be that way.
The other beasts have been stripped of their authority but were allowed to live for a period of time, so these are nations that are going to be around, that will be here when the AntiChrist happens. The AntiChrist gets slain. These other nations are stripped of their authority and are allowed to live for a period of time. These kingdoms must exist when Christ returns to the earth to destroy the AntiChrist.
What does that mean? What is the point? It means that these must be modern nations, these nations have to exist in today’s world because the world has not ended. We are still living here. Christ has not come back, he has not returned. The AntiChrist may be here for all we know but he hasn’t been slain and thrown into the lake of fire, the pit.
Therefore these verses specifically say that those beasts represent nations that will rise. Therefore they are future nations that exist when the AntiChrist is destroyed. Therefore they cannot represent any nation that no longer exists.
Let’s look at a couple more verses, 26 and 27, ‘But the court will sit and his power will be taken away and completely destroyed forever. Then the sovereignty and power and greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be handed over to the saints, the people of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom and all rulers will worship and obey him.’
These beasts that we read about in Daniel’s dream. ‘The first was like a lion and had the wings of an eagle, its wings were torn off and it was lifted from the ground so it stood on 2 feet like a man. And the heart of a man was given to it.’ That has to be a modern nation.
‘Then the second beast looked like a bear raised up on one of its sides.’ Standing, maybe. ‘It had 3 ribs in its mouth between its teeth. It was told, get up and eat your fill of flesh.’ Modern nation and it is devouring something else, 3 ribs. 3 may be other nations, something it conquered, we don’t know. We will know we will get to it eventually.
What else? Another beast, a leopard. ‘On its back are 4 wings like those of a bird. It also had 4 heads and was given the authority to rule.’ Okay. After that, a fourth beast terrifying and frightening and had large iron teeth. It crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. It was different from all the other former beasts. It had ten horns. Then later on another horn comes up, a little one uproots 3 horns, so it got rid of them and then this one was the boastful one and had eyes.
Continuing on in Daniel’s vision, we have a lot going on here, a lot of beasts. They are not tied to Daniel chapter 2, they don’t relate to Nebuchadnezzar’s dream because in Daniel chapter 2 it said that Nebuchadnezzar was the king, so it can’t be future.
Because unless Nebuchadnezzar comes back or we have a new Nebuchadnezzar, but we don’t, God has shown the king what will take place in the future. So we do know that with Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, it is in the future, but future could have meant a couple years from there or so many years. It is basically a future dream that King Nebuchadnezzar was a part of. It happened in his lifetime.
It says in verse 38, so Daniel 2 toward the end, ‘You are the head of gold.’ So if Nebuchadnezzar is the head of gold, the rest of those things, the arms, the bronze, the feet, the thighs, all of those other nations are the future. But Nebuchadnezzar is the head of gold.
Unless each one of these nations is like a thousand years or has separations of thousands of years we couldn’t have gotten to today. Therefore it is pretty certain that Daniel Chapter 7 is a different series of events than Daniel Chapter 2.
If you have any questions about that comment below. We can have a discussion on it but hopefully, you see that it is different. Because if you have done any research about this as I have alluded to, then you no doubt have seen a lot of people correlating Daniel chapter 2 with Daniel chapter 7 and saying they mean the same thing. But they don’t. They are not. Why? Because we have just shown Daniel chapter 7 is in the future. Yes of course Daniel chapter 2 is in the future, but it is also related to the now of Nebuchadnezzar.
We know that Daniel chapter 7 is way in the future because it is the end times and those beasts represent nations that will be around when the AntiChrist is destroyed and Christ comes back. Christ hasn’t returned yet therefore these are nations that must still exist when Christ returns.
That could mean a few things. Either they are nations that we know the names of today right now. If Christ comes back tomorrow or next week or in a month or who knows, there are nations that we don’t even know the names of yet. Because they could be in the future of even our future, even our children or our children’s children, no one knows the time that Jesus will return, not even Him, only the Father. I estimate you know based on study in scripture that these nations are nations that we do know of and that these events have happened, so the time could be real soon, any time. We will get into that.
We have talked about the overview, Daniel’s dream. Now that the beasts are modern nations. Next week as I said we are going to discuss how they erroneously believe these beasts to represent other nations. Then we are going to get into each of the beasts, the lion into the man and the wings of the eagle, the bear with 3 ribs, the leopard with the 4 wings and 4 heads. We will talk about how the leopard head is wounded. Then we are going to talk about after all that, the new world order, the fourth beast, and what it does. Then how the East goes against the West of the world. Then the beginning of the end and finally the end.
So stay tuned. We have a powerful series. It is going to be great. Keep coming back, watching it. I encourage you to keep learning and reading and engage in some discussion as well.
Let’s pray. Lord Jesus thank you for this message today. Thank you for the points that you have provided for us in the Bible. I ask that people would begin to realize what is going on here and what we are saying and that you would also help me to deliver it clearly and interestingly so that people stay interested in this. Because we have a lot to go through, it is a lot of information. Even though it is only one chapter, there is so much content that we can break down and unpack and try to understand.
Lord give us that clarity, give them the open hearts and the open minds and the courage to discuss it with other people and to share it with other people and that would lead those other people to become more interested in the Bible and what it has to say. That it could eventually grow and flourish into a great relationship with you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Thanks so much for tuning in today to this message. It is a great message. Hopefully, you have been convinced that Daniel chapter 2 and Daniel chapter 7 are completely different dreams and a completely different series of events. I am not going to leave you hanging. Come back next week and we are going to talk about the erroneous representation of it all and then we will dive into what it really means. So stay tuned. God bless.