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Daniel 7-9 (Amplified Bible)

Daniel 7-9

Vision of the Four Beasts

In the [a]first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions appeared in his mind as he lay on his bed; then he wrote the dream down and related a summary of it. Daniel said, “I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the great sea (the nations). And four great beasts, each different from the other, were coming up out of the sea [in succession]. The first (the Babylonian Empire under Nebuchadnezzar) was like a lion and had the wings of an eagle. I kept looking until its wings were plucked, and it was lifted up from the ground and made to stand on two feet like a man; a human mind was given to it. And behold, another beast, a second one (the Medo-Persian Empire), was like a bear, and it was raised up on one side (domain), and three ribs were in its mouth between its teeth; and it was told, ‘Arise, devour much meat.’ After this I kept looking, and behold, another one (the Greek Empire of Alexander the Great), like a leopard, which had on its back four wings like those of a bird; the beast also had four heads (Alexander’s generals, his successors), and power to rule was given to it. After this I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, [I saw] a fourth beast (the Roman Empire), terrible and extremely strong; and it had huge iron teeth. It devoured and crushed and trampled down what was left with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that came before it, and it had ten horns (ten kings). While I was considering the horns, behold, there came up among them [b]another horn, a little one, and three of the first horns were pulled up by the roots before it; and behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth boasting of great things.

The Ancient of Days Reigns


“I kept looking
Until thrones were set up,
And the Ancient of Days (God) took His seat;
His garment was white as snow
And the hair of His head like pure wool.
His throne was flames of fire;
Its wheels were a burning fire.
10 
“A river of fire was flowing
And coming out from before Him;
A thousand thousands were attending Him,
And ten thousand times ten thousand were standing before Him;
The court was seated,
And the books were opened.

11 Then I kept looking because of the sound of the great and boastful words which the horn was speaking. I kept looking until the beast was slain, and its body destroyed and given to be burned with fire. 12 As for the rest of the beasts, their power was taken away; yet their lives were prolonged [for the length of their lives was fixed] for a predetermined time.

The Son of Man Presented

13 
“I kept looking in the night visions,
And behold, [c]on the clouds of heaven
One like a Son of Man was coming,
And He came up to the Ancient of Days
And was presented before Him.
14 
“And to Him (the Messiah) was given dominion (supreme authority),
Glory and a kingdom,
That all the peoples, nations, and speakers of every language
Should serve and worship Him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion
Which will not pass away;
And His kingdom is one
Which will not be destroyed.

The Vision Interpreted

15 “As for me, Daniel, my spirit was distressed and anxious within me, and the visions [that appeared] in my mind kept alarming (agitating) me. 16 I approached one of those who stood by and began asking him the exact meaning of all this. So he told me and explained to me the interpretation of the things: 17 ‘These four great beasts are four kings who will arise from the earth. 18 But the [d]saints (believers) of the Most High [God] will receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, for all ages to come.’

19 “Then I wished to know the exact meaning of the fourth beast, which was different from all the others, extremely dreadful, with teeth of iron and claws of bronze, which devoured, crushed and trampled down what was left with its feet, 20 and the meaning of the ten horns (kings) that were on its head and the other horn which came up later, and before which three of the horns fell, specifically, that horn which had eyes and a mouth that boasted great things and which looked larger than the others. 21 As I kept looking, that horn was making war with the saints (believers) and overpowering them 22 until the Ancient of Days came and judgment was passed in favor of the saints of the Most High [God], and the time arrived when the saints (believers) took possession of the kingdom.

23 “Thus the angel said, ‘The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, which will be different from all other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth and tread it down, and crush it. 24 As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings will arise; and another will arise after them, and he will be different from the former ones, and he will subdue three kings. 25 He will speak words against the Most High [God] and wear down the saints of the Most High, and he will intend to change the times and the law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, [two] times, and half a time [three and one-half years]. 26 But the court [of the Most High] will sit in judgment, and his dominion will be taken away, [first to be] consumed [gradually] and [then] to be destroyed forever. 27 Then the kingdom and the dominion and the greatness of all the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be given to the people of the saints (believers) of the Most High; His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all the dominions will serve and obey Him.’

28 “This is the end of the matter. As for me, Daniel, my [waking] thoughts were extremely troubling and alarming and my face grew pale; but I kept the matter [of the vision and the angel’s explanation] to myself.”

Vision of the Ram and Goat

In the [e]third year of the reign of King Belshazzar a [second] vision appeared to me, Daniel, [this was two years] after the one that first appeared to me. I looked in the vision and it seemed that I was at the citadel of [f]Susa, [the capital of Persia], which is in the province of Elam; and I looked in the vision and I saw myself by the Ulai Canal. Then I raised my eyes and looked, and behold, there in front of the canal stood a [lone] ram (the Medo-Persian Empire) which had two horns. The two horns were high, but one (Persia) was higher than the other (Media), and the higher one came up last. I saw the ram (Medo-Persia) charging westward and northward and southward; no beast could stand before him, nor was there anyone who could rescue [anything] from his power, but he did as he pleased and magnified himself.

As I was observing [this], behold, a male goat (Greece) was coming from the west [rushing] across the face of the whole earth without touching the ground; and the goat had a conspicuous and remarkable horn (Alexander the Great) between his eyes. He came up to the ram that had the two horns, which I had seen standing in front of the canal, and charged at him in [the fury of] his power and wrath. [In my vision] I saw him come close to the ram (Medo-Persia), and he was filled with rage toward him; and the goat (Greece) struck the ram and shattered his two horns, and the ram had no strength to stand before him. So the goat threw him to the ground and trampled on him, and there was no one who could rescue the ram from his power. Then the male goat magnified himself exceedingly, and when he was [young and] strong, the great horn (Alexander) was [suddenly] [g]broken; and in its place there came up four prominent horns [among whom the kingdom was divided, one] toward [each of] the four winds of heaven.

The Little Horn

Out of one of them (Antiochus IV Epiphanes) came forth a rather small horn [but one of irreverent presumption and profane pride] which grew exceedingly powerful toward the south, toward the east, and toward the Beautiful Land (Israel). 10 And [in my vision] this [h]horn grew up to the host of heaven, and caused some of the host and some of the stars to fall to the earth, and it trampled on them. 11 Indeed, it magnified itself to be equal with the [i]Commander of the host [of heaven]; and it took away from Him the daily sacrifice (burnt offering), and the place of His sanctuary was thrown down (profaned). 12 Because of the transgression [of God’s people—their irreverence and ungodliness] the host will be given over to the wicked horn, along with the regular sacrifice; and righteousness and truth will be flung to the ground, and the horn will do as it pleases [by divine permission] and prosper. 13 Then I heard a holy one (angel) speaking, and another holy one said to the one who was speaking, “How much time will be required to complete the vision regarding the regular sacrifice, the transgression that brings horror, and the trampling underfoot of both the sanctuary and the host [of the people]?” 14 He said to me, “For 2,300 evenings and mornings; [j]then the sanctuary will be cleansed and properly restored.”

Interpretation of the Vision

15 When I, Daniel, had seen the vision, I sought to understand it; then behold, standing before me was one who looked like a man. 16 And I heard the voice of a man between the banks of the Ulai, which called out and said, “Gabriel, give this man (Daniel) an understanding of the vision.” 17 So he came near where I was standing, and when he came I was frightened and fell face downward; but he said to me, “Understand, son of man, that the [fulfillment of the] vision pertains to [events that will occur in] the time of the end.”

18 Now as he (Gabriel) was speaking with me, I drifted into a deep sleep (unconsciousness) with my face to the ground; but he touched me and made me stand [where I had stood before]. 19 He said, “Behold, I am going to let you know what will happen during the final time of the indignation and wrath [of God upon the ungodly], for it concerns the appointed time of the end.

The Ram’s Identity

20 The ram which you saw with the two horns represents the kings of Media and Persia.

The Goat

21 The shaggy (rough-coated) male goat represents the kingdom of Greece, and the great horn between his eyes is the [k]first king. 22 Regarding the shattered horn and the [l]four others that arose in its place, four kingdoms will rise from his (Alexander’s) nation, although not with his power and heritage.

23 
“At the latter period of their reign,
When the transgressors have finished,
A [m]king will arise
Insolent and skilled in intrigue and cunning.
24 
“His power will be mighty, but not by his own power;
And he will corrupt and destroy in an astonishing manner
And [he will] prosper and do exactly as he wills;
He shall corrupt and destroy mighty men and the holy people.
25 
“And through his shrewdness
He will cause deceit to succeed by his hand (influence);
He will magnify himself in his mind,
He will corrupt and destroy many who enjoy a false sense of security.
He will also stand up and oppose the Prince of princes,
But he will be broken, and that by no human hand [but by the hand of God].
26 
“The vision of the evenings and the mornings
Which has been told [to you] is true.
But keep the vision a secret,
For it has to do with many days in the now distant future.”

27 And I, Daniel, was exhausted and was sick for [several] days. Afterward I got up and continued with the king’s business; but I was astounded at the vision, and there was no one who could explain it.

Daniel’s Prayer for His People

In the first year of Darius the son of [n]Ahasuerus, of Median descent, who was made king over the realm of the [o]Chaldeans— in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, understood from the books the number of years which, according to the word of the Lord to Jeremiah the prophet, must pass before the desolations [which had been] pronounced on Jerusalem would end; and it was seventy years. So I directed my attention to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth and ashes. I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed and said, “O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and extends lovingkindness toward those who love Him and keep His commandments, we have sinned and committed wrong, and have behaved wickedly and have rebelled, turning away from Your commandments and ordinances. Further, we have not listened to and heeded Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your name to our kings, our princes and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.

“Righteousness belongs to You, O Lord, but to us confusion and open shame, as it is this day—to the men of Judah, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to all Israel, those who are nearby and those who are far away, in all the countries to which You have driven them, because of the [treacherous] acts of unfaithfulness which they have committed against You. O Lord, to us belong confusion and open shame—to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers—because we have sinned against You. To the Lord our God belong mercy and lovingkindness and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against Him; 10 and we have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God by walking in His laws which He set before us through His servants the prophets. 11 Yes, all Israel has transgressed Your law, even turning aside, not obeying Your voice; so the curse has been poured out on us and the oath which is written in the Law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against Him. 12 And He has carried out completely His [threatening] words which He had spoken against us and against our rulers [the kings, princes, and judges] who ruled us, to bring on us a great tragedy; for under the whole heaven there has not been done anything [so dreadful] like that which [He commanded and] was done to Jerusalem. 13 Just as it is written in the Law of Moses, all this tragedy has come on us. Yet we have not wholeheartedly begged for forgiveness and sought the favor of the Lord our God by turning from our wickedness and paying attention to and placing value in Your truth. 14 Therefore the Lord has kept the tragedy ready and has brought it on us, for the Lord our God is [uncompromisingly] righteous and openly just in all His works which He does—He keeps His word; and we have not obeyed His voice.

15 “And now, O Lord our God, who brought Your people out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand and who made for Yourself a name, as it is today—we have sinned, we have been wicked. 16 O Lord, in accordance with all Your righteous and just acts, please let Your anger and Your wrath turn away from Your city Jerusalem, Your holy mountain. Because of our sins and the wickedness of our fathers, Jerusalem and Your people have become an object of scorn and a contemptuous byword to all who are around us. 17 Now therefore, our God, listen to (heed) the prayer of Your servant [p](Daniel) and his supplications, and for Your own sake let Your face shine on Your desolate sanctuary. 18 O my God, incline Your ear and hear; open Your eyes and look at our desolations and the city which is called by Your name; for we are not presenting our supplications before You because of our own merits and righteousness, but because of Your great mercy and compassion. 19 O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and take action! Do not delay, for Your own sake, O my God, because Your city and Your people are called by Your name.”

Gabriel Brings an Answer

20 While I was still speaking and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God in behalf of the holy mountain of my God, 21 while I was still speaking in prayer and [q]extremely exhausted, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the earlier vision, came to me about the time of the evening sacrifice. 22 He instructed me and he talked with me and said, “O Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and wisdom and understanding. 23 At the beginning of your supplications, the command [to give you an answer] was issued, and I have come to tell you, for you are highly regarded and greatly beloved. Therefore consider the message and begin to understand the [meaning of the] vision.

Seventy Weeks and the Messiah

24 “Seventy weeks [of years, or 490 years] [r]have been decreed for your people and for your holy city (Jerusalem), to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make atonement (reconciliation) for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness (right-standing with God), to seal up vision and prophecy and prophet, and to anoint the Most Holy Place. 25 So you are to know and understand that from the issuance of the command to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until [the coming of] the Messiah (the Anointed One), the Prince, there will be seven weeks [of years] and sixty-two weeks [of years]; it will be built again, with [a city] plaza and moat, even in times of trouble. 26 Then after the sixty-two weeks [of years] the Anointed One will be cut off [and denied His Messianic kingdom] and have nothing [and no one to defend Him], and the people of the [other] prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined. 27 And he will enter into a binding and irrevocable covenant with the many for one week (seven years), but in the middle of the week he will stop the sacrifice and grain offering [for the remaining three and one-half years]; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until the complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who causes the horror.”

Footnotes:

  1. Daniel 7:1 The events recorded in ch 7 precede the feast recorded in ch 5.
  2. Daniel 7:8 I.e. the Antichrist.
  3. Daniel 7:13 As a matter of discussion, one of the ancient rabbis noted an apparent contradiction between the Messiah’s majestic return with clouds in this verse and His humble return on a donkey in Zech 9:9. The solution given was that if Israel is worthy of Him, the Messiah will return with the clouds; if not, He will return on a donkey.
  4. Daniel 7:18 Some scholars believe the word “saints” in this chapter refers only to Jewish believers; others view “saints” as inclusive.
  5. Daniel 8:1 The events recorded in ch 8 precede the feast recorded in ch 5.
  6. Daniel 8:2 Heb Shushan. This once great city, located about 250 miles east of Babylon, was the winter home of the Persian kings, and is the ancient site where the Code of Hammurabi was discovered in 1901.
  7. Daniel 8:8 Alexander the Great died unexpectedly at the height of his power, and his empire was divided into four parts—east, west, north, and south—ruled over by his four generals.
  8. Daniel 8:10 This horn of vv 9-12 is not to be confused with the “little horn” of 7:8. The near fulfillment of the prophecy most likely pertains to Antiochus IV Epiphanes, who came out of one of the four dynasties (the Seleucid Empire) into which Alexander’s empire was divided, and became a great conqueror, ruling from 175-164 b.c. Hating God, he profaned the temple, persecuted God’s people, the Jews (represented in this passage by “host” and “stars”) and attempted to destroy the Jewish faith (see note 11:21). The far fulfillment of the prophecy in vv 23-25 most likely pertains to the Antichrist and the period of tribulation (Rev 13:4-9).
  9. Daniel 8:11 Or Prince, i.e. God.
  10. Daniel 8:14 The Jewish celebration of the Feast of Lights (Hanukkah) in December commemorates the recapture of Jerusalem by the army of Judas Maccabeus and the purification of the sanctuary.
  11. Daniel 8:21 I.e. Alexander the Great, who consolidated the empire.
  12. Daniel 8:22 The four generals who divided the empire established by Alexander were: Seleucus (the north—Syria, Israel, Mesopotamia); Ptolemy (the south—Egypt, parts of Asia Minor); Lysimachus (the east—Thrace, parts of Asia Minor); and Cassander (the west—Greece, Macedonia).
  13. Daniel 8:23 Antiochus IV Epiphanes acquired the throne of Seleucia by murdering his brother, the rightful heir.
  14. Daniel 9:1 Not the Ahasuerus (Xerxes) of the book of Esther.
  15. Daniel 9:1 See note 1:4.
  16. Daniel 9:17 Compare this verse with Ezek 14:12-20.
  17. Daniel 9:21 Lit wearied with weariness.
  18. Daniel 9:24 I.e. cut off, decided, determined. This phrase occurs only here and indicates a period of time set aside for a certain purpose. The prophecy that follows pertains only to the Jews and Jerusalem. It records six objectives to be achieved by the Messiah. The first three are resolved by the death and resurrection of Jesus; the final three are resolved at His second coming.
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