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 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.
Hello and welcome to Social Media Ministries, my name is Spencer Coffman. Thank you so much for tuning in today. We are on part 4 of a 14-part sermon series. We have got about 3 months to go through this. We are diving in one week at a time. We are talking about the end times.
If you haven’t seen the first few sermons check them out here. There will be a playlist up here if you are watching on YouTube. Otherwise, if you are listening somewhere else on a podcast, navigate to the YouTube channel and then find that playlist or check out the previous podcast episodes so you can get caught up.
Today we are speaking about the erroneous representation of beasts. What beasts? Well in the first one, we went over the end times. Then the second one, number 2 is Daniel’s dream that he had in Daniel chapter 7, hopefully you have read that. Number 3 we talked about how the beasts represent modern nations. Now what does that mean? It means nations that exist now in your and my lifetime or that could exist even in the future that we may not know of yet, but modern nations.
I believe that they are nations that exist now and we know this because Daniel Chapter 7 the interpretation said it is nations that will come, will rise, and we know that these nations have to be around when the AntiChrist is destroyed. Because it said that they were allowed to rule for a period of time, which means that they have to be here when Christ returns.
So what nations are they? We will dive into them in weeks to come when we start breaking down each of the beasts and what they represent, but for today we are talking about what they are believed to represent. If you have been following this series you have probably done some research on your own. All kinds of information is available online of what people think that these beasts represent.
A lot of people tie it back to Daniel Chapter 2. However last week I believe that we have shown that it is not related. We have really shown and maybe even proven that it is not related. Why? Because Daniel chapter 2 the interpretation says Nebuchadnezzar was in that dream, he was the head of gold and Nebuchadnezzar is not here now.
The rest of Daniel Chapter 2 was events to come during or after the reign of Nebuchadnezzar. Now of course we could be taking it a little bit off and saying, okay well each of the parts of that body, the head of gold, the arms, the chest, thighs, and then the feet maybe those are time periods or nations that will come.
Each one could be thousands of years and then the rock at the end that destroys it all is the last kingdom which could be the final rule of Christ when He returns. It could be that that dream was stretching throughout really all of the rest of time, but it could not too. The point is even if it is, it is different from Daniel chapter 7. A lot of people say it is the same thing, but it is not, it is different.
So let’s dive into what people think that some of this means. Well, a popular belief is that they represent nations that existed in the past. Let’s start with the first beast. That would be in Daniel chapter 7, it is verse 4, ‘The first was like a lion. It had the wings of an eagle and I watched as its wings were torn off and it was lifted from the ground so it stood on two feet like a man and the heart of a man was given to it.’
What could this mean? Well, we will get into that next week when we talk about the lion, but today what people think it means is that they think it could be Babylon. The lion with eagle’s wings is said to represent Babylon because Old Testament prophets called Babylon a lion. They referred to it as the lion.
How do we know this? Well we are just going to go to one reference and that is Jeremiah chapter 51 verse 38. All of Chapter 51 is about Babylon and how God is going to destroy it or come against it. Verse 38 is specifically about how Babylon is aligned, so we will just read that one verse and you can read the whole chapter another time if you like. ‘Her people roar like young lions. They growl like lion cubs.’
What are her people? Babylon. That is referencing Babylon as a lion. Now there are other Old Testament prophecies in other books, you could go to all the prophets, Hosea, Ezekiel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, they refer to Babylon as a lion. You can type in Google and find all kinds of references if you want more proof, but they believe that Babylon is this lion.
In addition, Babylon’s coins depicted a lion with eagle’s wings, so that is kind of even more proof. Babylon itself called itself a lion with eagle’s wings therefore people say, oh this lion with eagle’s wings has to be Babylon, and the wings getting ripped off represent the prophecy from Jeremiah chapter 51 and how God destroyed Babylon and pulled it apart and then humbled it and on and on. That is really what some people believe. I don’t believe that is correct. We will dive into that next week.
Next, we have the bear. The bear is said to represent Media Persia because they are the ones who overthrew Babylon. When the lion gets ripped off, the eagle’s wings ripped off, Media Persia the next beast, the bear overthrew Babylon. That is one of the ribs, Babylon could have been one of those ribs in the bear’s mouth and then they also conquered Lydia and Egypt, those could be the other 2 ribs. Babylon, Lydia, Egypt, then the bear is Media Persia that tore them all apart and this really kind of makes sense.
These countries were all around in the past, I mean obviously today we don’t have some of these, I mean they are there but we don’t call it Babylon or we don’t call it Media Persia. We have Persia or Persian people or the area, but those nations or countries might not be there. However, the trouble with this is that this happened before the dream.
Media Persia overthrew Babylon and then they conquered Lydia and Egypt, this happened before Daniel’s dream. If we go to the timeline it could happen but the trouble is it was right before, during, or right after about the same time. If we look at the timeline of Daniel’s dream, like I said Daniel’s dream, let’s check out the timeline here. Daniel’s dream happened at about 553 BC or the first year of King Belshazzar’s reign. When Media Persia overthrew Babylon, that was when King Darius came in.
If you have read the Book of Daniel, Darius the Mede is how he is referred to. This is the part of Daniel where Daniel goes into the lion’s den. This is in the future of Daniel’s vision but not very far in the future. This is about 5 years or 10 years after Daniel’s dream. Darius came in and was Darius the Mede but also Cyrus king of Persia.
This is how you get Media Persia because Cyrus king of Persia conquered Babylon in about 539 BC. This would be about 10 years after Daniel’s dream. Then later on Darius the Mede assumed power, likely appointed by Cyrus and he continued reigning there. So we have Media Persia, Cyrus and Darius, Cyrus the Persian, Darius the Mede, Media Persia. They took over Babylon.
This would have been in the future from Daniel’s dream of chapter 7, but it also would have been in the future of Daniel chapter 2. More likely this Media Persia being the bear and overthrowing Babylon and then conquering Lydia and Egypt even though that could represent that, it is more likely that it is a representation of Daniel chapter 2 and Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. Because who got overthrown in Daniel chapter 2? It was a dream about Nebuchadnezzar being this head of gold and then another kingdom coming after it.
That was divided, that wasn’t quite divided but it was of 2 different metals and 2 arms. That could be Media Persia and they did what to Nebuchadnezzar? They overthrew him. So, Daniel, Chapter 2 is more likely a representation of what people believe Daniel Chapter 7 to be. They just think that it is all the same when I really believe it is different.
Let’s take a look at Daniel chapter 2 in the interpretation part of this dream. We have Nebuchadnezzar as the head of gold, ‘After you another kingdom will rise inferior to yours. Next, a third kingdom, one of bronze, will rule over the whole earth. Finally a fourth kingdom, strong as iron, for iron breaks iron and smashes everything.’
What kingdoms are these, the feet and toes? We continue on and then it says, ‘Iron mixed with baked clay. The people will be a mixture.’ But what we want to focus on here is that 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 iron and partly baked clay.
If Nebuchadnezzar is the head of gold, we have a chest and arms of silver which came after him, the second kingdom could be a chest and arms. That is 2 parts of the body, Medes and Persians or Cyrus the Persian first and then Darius the Mede after. What did they do? Well, they overthrew the head of gold Nebuchadnezzar. I believe that is a more accurate representation.
Continuing on a lot of people believe that the leopard in Daniel’s dream chapter 7 is said to represent Alexander the Great. Now this could be pretty accurate because he ruled Greece or Grecia as it was related to and he was one man, he conquered the whole world, pretty much the whole world by the age of 23. But then what would the 4 heads of that leopard represent? Well, Alexander had 4 generals and they all divided up his kingdom into 4 sections when he died. That could be part of that. I mean it could be pretty representational.
However, if we take a look at a couple of things, number 1 if we go back to chapter 2 we have its belly and thighs of bronze, legs of iron, and feet of partly iron and partly baked clay. This Chapter 2 could represent the next portion. Could be Alexander the Great.
We have the Medes and the Persians of the chest and arms or the arms and then the rest of it could be Alexander the Great, however, it is not exactly tied to that. We don’t quite see Alexander the Great and then the 4 generals with the thighs and everything else, because it is not quite exactly relating to 1 then being divided to 4.
What could that be? Well, Daniel had another vision in chapter 8 and this was the vision of the ram and the goat. Now according to the timeline, this would have happened a little bit after. So Daniel chapter 8 would have been right before the Medes and the Persians took over but after chapter 7. Chapter 7 was about 553 BC, chapter 8 was about 548 BC. This was like 6 years later that Daniel had this vision. Then about 5 years after that Cyrus the Persian and Darius the Mede overthrew Babylon.
Let’s go to Daniel chapter 8 and see what this vision of the ram and a goat is and how it could relate to Alexander the Great. I am not going to read the entire chapter 8 like I did with chapter 7 but I encourage you to read it. We are just going to kind of skip to a couple of highlights of 8 which is after the dream and into the interpretation of the dream, so 8:20, ‘The 2-horned ram that you saw represents the kings of Media and Persia. The shaggy goat is the king of Greece and the large horn between its eyes is the first king.’
So we have the 2-horned ram, Media Persia, Cyrus, Darius the Mede, Cyrus the Persian, I don’t know why they call it Media Persia, that is because of the language, in other languages still today they do that. Where we might say the purple book, they would say the book purple and so that is how it is Media Persia, it is from the language even though Persia was first. Cyrus the Persian was first, then Darius the Mede.
So if that is the 2-horned ram, then we have the shaggy goat as the king of Greece. Who is the king of Greece? Then we have the large horn between his eyes as the first king. That large horn could have been Alexander the Great. That is really Daniel chapter 8, more Alexander the Great, Media Persia, same with Nebuchadnezzar.
Daniel chapter 8 and Daniel chapter 2 are really more closely related than chapter 7, but a lot of people lump that in together. Let’s continue. The 4 heads of the leopard could represent Alexander’s 4 generals that divided up the empire, ‘4 horns that replaced the 1 that was broken off represent 4 kingdoms that will emerge from his nation, but will not have the same power.’ Boy that sounds pretty word for word, huh? That is Daniel chapter 8:22.
We have the shaggy goat is the king of Greece and the large horn is the first king probably Alexander the Great. The 4 horns that replaced the 1 that was broken off because Alexander the Great died, he was broken off represent 4 kingdoms that will emerge from his nation but will not have the same power.
Well, a lot of people tie that with the leopard, and for him, they say, oh well this means it is the same thing, one horn broken off, 4 horns come in just like the leopard, one leopard and then it comes out with 4 heads and 4 wings. They tie that together and say it all means Alexander the Great but it is different because it is 2 different dreams, 2 different prophecies. Go ahead, read Daniel chapter 8 as your homework for next week, understand it a little bit more. Hopefully, you have probably already read it.
Let’s continue on though, the last beast which is the final terrifying beast according to Daniel chapter 7 is said to represent all the nations. The ten horns were the ten divisions of Rome which were divided but not conquered. There were ten of them then, even though this is great, it is not correct. It is not a correct analogy.
Let’s continue on with Daniel chapter 8, ‘In the latter part of the reign when the rebels have become completely wicked, a stern-faced king and a master of intrigue will arise.’ This is like the last one, he destroys the mighty men, he causes deceit to prosper, so pretty much this is a version of the AntiChrist. ‘The vision of the evenings and the mornings that have been given to you is true,’ it says, ‘but seal them up.
Later Daniel says he was exhausted and laid ill for several days, he was appalled by this vision, it was beyond understanding. Well, that could also mean one thing if Daniel didn’t understand this vision, that could mean that it wasn’t the same vision as Daniel Chapter 7 because he didn’t understand it. If he understood it he would say, oh I understand this to be another version of my previous vision from 5 years ago that he wrote down in chapter 7, but he didn’t, he didn’t understand it at all. That is one point that could mean it is different.
In addition, if he understood it he might say, oh I understand this to mean the same thing 5 years ago at chapter 8 or 50 years ago from chapter 7 of the dream I interpreted for King Nebuchadnezzar. Although both chapter 7 and chapter 8 Daniel says I was appalled, I didn’t understand. That would mean that those are both probably not parallels of the dream he interpreted for King Nebuchadnezzar, so really even though chapter 8 is more closely related to chapter 2 King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, I don’t believe it is the same thing.
I don’t believe 2 or 8 are all the same, in fact, I think chapter 2 is solely different, Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, kingdoms, etc, part of that could have trickled later in chapter 8 as much more closely related to chapter 2 and you see some word-for-word parallels and representations. It could be more likely that Nebuchadnezzar’s dream was kingdoms of the next many many hundreds or thousands of years all the way from the time of Nebuchadnezzar until the end.
Then Daniel’s dream in chapter 7 skips way ahead to the future and Daniel’s dream in chapter 8 was part of chapter 2 Nebuchadnezzar’s dream where we talked about the kings of Media and Persia and the goat with the 2 horns and also Alexander the Great and his 4 generals with the 1 horn being broken off and 4 coming out. That is a very very close parallel.
Let’s continue on. I know this is a lot of information but it is fascinating. If we go on with Revelation chapters 12 to 14 they clearly explain a single version of a single vision that starts with the birth of Christ and ends with his second coming. The beasts in this vision are described in Revelation chapter 13 after the birth of Christ who was also born after Babylon, therefore the beasts that are here must represent nations that exist after Babylon and after the birth of Christ.
What is this beast in Revelation chapter 13? Well, I encourage you to read Revelation chapters 12 to 14, but we are going to dive into just a little bit of chapter 13 before we wrap it up today. Here we go, ‘I saw the beast coming out of the sea, it had ten horns and 7 heads with ten crowns on its horn, each one was a blasphemous name. The beast I saw resembled a leopard head, feet like those of a bear, and a mouth like that of a lion. The dragon gave the beast his power and the throne of great authority.’
‘One of the heads of the beast seemed to have a fatal wound but the fatal wound had been healed. The whole world was astonished and followed the beast. Men worshiped the dragon who had given authority to the beast and they all worshiped the beast and asked, who is like this beast? Who can make war against him?’
Now this is very cool, so I want you to read chapters 12 to 14 because this is pretty much a very very similar parallel to Daniel chapter 7. Exactly like Daniel chapter 8 had a perfect parallel to Daniel chapter 2. Revelation 13 beast and Daniel Chapter 7 beast, very very similar. We have the leopard, the lion, and the bear all right there.
One of the leopard heads gets fatally wounded. What could that mean? Well if the leopard represented Alexander the Great he got killed and 4 generals took over, so that could be part of it, but did the whole world go after and follow those generals? No one could wage war against them? No, because they didn’t have the authority.
Remember Daniel chapter 8 which was more specifically about that said that they did not have the same power, whereas Revelation says that leopard that gets wounded and then comes back, the whole world is astonished and no one can wage war against it. Which means it doesn’t have the same, it has more power. Daniel chapter 8 about the generals of Alexander the Great said that they will not have the same power.
Therefore the analogy of the beast in Revelation 13 and Daniel chapter 7 really don’t represent Alexander the Great and his 4 generals because the power was different. Revelation 13 and Daniel chapter 7 are very very closely related and Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in Daniel chapter 2 and Daniel’s second dream in Daniel chapter 8 are very closely related.
A lot of people, even though they believe that the lion could be Babylon and that the bear could be Media Persia, and that the leopard is Alexander the Great in Greece and his 4 generals. That is incorrect because we know that Media Persia is in chapter 8 of Daniel with the goat and the horns and that the horns after the goat with 2 horns represent Greece and the kings that will rise, and that would be more likely to be Alexander the Great. We know that it can’t be chapter 7.
There are really 4 distinct things. If you haven’t noticed this pattern, Daniel chapter 2, Daniel chapter 7, Daniel chapter 8, and then we get to Revelation these beasts are all together and a lot of people lump them into being the same vision, but it is not, it is different.
Chapter 7 is completely different from Chapter 8. Chapter 8 is completely different from Revelation. However chapter 8 and chapter 2 of Daniel are similar and it is very possible that Nebuchadnezzar’s dream spans the entire depth of it all, all the way to Revelation.
We will continue on with that more next week when we start breaking into the beasts, where we are going to start with the first beast, the lion into the man. Hopefully last week we showed you how the beasts represent modern nations. This week we showed you what people believe or if you have done any research and you said, oh I know what these beasts represent because of what I have read, after this I really hope that you take a second look at this.
This is a lot of information so watch this again or listen to it again and really kind of understand, wait a minute, this makes sense, these cannot represent this because they are different and hopefully I have been clear enough to show you that they are different. That they don’t represent what other people believe that they represent, but that they are in fact something else. What else? Stay tuned, we will come to that next week when we talk about the lion into the man.
Let’s pray. Lord Jesus thank you so much for this message. This is a very exciting topic and correlations and prophecy that you have given us through Daniel’s visions and Nebuchadnezzar’s dreams and then John’s vision and Revelation.
Lord, we know that they all can correlate and there is a lot of confusion around them. I ask that you would abolish that confusion and get rid of it and open up people’s eyes and hearts and minds so that they would see exactly what this means here.
Allow the Holy Spirit to come in and give them those interpretations and if that is through me and through these sermons, Lord I ask you to help that be clear and concise and that the points and the lines that could be drawn between everything would be straight and make sense and that the confusion would go away.
Lord, I ask that they would take this information and share it with other people because it is truly like Daniel said, it is so mind-blowing that we really can’t comprehend it. It is so much and it is powerful and it is beyond understanding.
I ask that they would share it with other people and so that it would be a great introduction to other people of the Bible. That they would be like, wow this is so cool, it is so amazing what these things could represent and what this prophecy might mean, and how it is all connected.
That they would just be so intrigued that it would lead them to become followers of you. That they would be so intrigued. This would be a great introduction. That they would come to the New Testament and learn more about Jesus and start becoming a follower of Christ. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Thanks so much for sticking with us. I know this was a big message. There was a lot of information here. It can be very confusing with how it all ties together so if you have any questions please comment below, I would love to hear from you. Remember to share this with other people. Get them involved to start engaging in some discussions, not arguments, we need to be polite and respectful when speaking with other people.
I really encourage you please please please read Daniel chapters 2, 7, and 8 also Revelation Chapters 12 to 14. It is some great information. You can study it. You can learn it. Stick with us. We have got another couple months to go through this series where we are going to bring you great, great interpretations of the beasts and what is coming in the future of the end times. God bless.