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Daniel 7

II. Daniel’s Visions

Chapter 7

The Beasts and the Judgment.[a] In the first year of King Belshazzar of Babylon, as Daniel lay in bed he had a dream, visions in his head. Then he wrote down the dream; the account began: In the vision I saw during the night, suddenly the four winds of heaven stirred up the great sea,[b] from which emerged four immense beasts, each different from the others. The first was like a lion, but with eagle’s wings.[c] While I watched, the wings were plucked; it was raised from the ground to stand on two feet like a human being, and given a human mind. The second beast was like a bear;[d] it was raised up on one side, and among the teeth in its mouth were three tusks. It was given the order, “Arise, devour much flesh.” After this I looked and saw another beast, like a leopard;[e] on its back were four wings like those of a bird, and it had four heads. To this beast dominion was given. [f]After this, in the visions of the night I saw a fourth beast, terrifying, horrible, and of extraordinary strength; it had great iron teeth with which it devoured and crushed, and it trampled with its feet what was left. It differed from the beasts that preceded it. It had ten horns. I was considering the ten horns it had, when suddenly another, a little horn, sprang out of their midst, and three of the previous horns were torn away to make room for it. This horn had eyes like human eyes, and a mouth that spoke arrogantly. [g]As I watched,

Thrones were set up
    and the Ancient of Days took his throne.
His clothing was white as snow,
    the hair on his head like pure wool;
His throne was flames of fire,
    with wheels of burning fire.
10 A river of fire surged forth,
    flowing from where he sat;
Thousands upon thousands were ministering to him,
    and myriads upon myriads stood before him.

The court was convened, and the books were opened. 11 I watched, then, from the first of the arrogant words which the horn spoke, until the beast was slain and its body destroyed and thrown into the burning fire. 12 As for the other beasts, their dominion was taken away, but they were granted a prolongation of life for a time and a season. 13 As the visions during the night continued, I saw coming with the clouds of heaven

One like a son of man.[h]
When he reached the Ancient of Days
    and was presented before him,
14 He received dominion, splendor, and kingship;
    all nations, peoples and tongues will serve him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion
    that shall not pass away,
    his kingship, one that shall not be destroyed.

15 Because of this, my spirit was anguished and I, Daniel, was terrified by my visions. 16 I approached one of those present and asked him the truth of all this; in answer, he made known to me its meaning: 17 “These four great beasts stand for four kings which shall arise on the earth. 18 But the holy ones[i] of the Most High shall receive the kingship, to possess it forever and ever.”

19 Then I wished to make certain about the fourth beast, so very terrible and different from the others, devouring and crushing with its iron teeth and bronze claws, and trampling with its feet what was left; 20 and about the ten horns on its head, and the other one that sprang up, before which three horns fell; and about the horn with the eyes and the mouth that spoke arrogantly, which appeared greater than its fellows. 21 For, as I watched, that horn made war against the holy ones and was victorious 22 until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was pronounced in favor of the holy ones of the Most High, and the time arrived for the holy ones to possess the kingship. 23 He answered me thus:

“The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom on earth,
    different from all the others;
The whole earth it shall devour,
    trample down and crush.
24 The ten horns shall be ten kings
    rising out of that kingdom;
    another shall rise up after them,
Different from those before him,
    who shall lay low three kings.
25 He shall speak against the Most High
    and wear down the holy ones of the Most High,
    intending to change the feast days and the law.[j]
They shall be handed over to him
    for a time, two times, and half a time.
26 But when the court is convened,
    and his dominion is taken away
    to be abolished and completely destroyed,
27 Then the kingship and dominion and majesty
    of all the kingdoms under the heavens
    shall be given to the people of the holy ones of the Most High,
Whose kingship shall be an everlasting kingship,
    whom all dominions shall serve and obey.”

28 This is the end of the report. I, Daniel, was greatly terrified by my thoughts, and my face became pale, but I kept the matter to myself.[k]


  1. 7:1–27 This vision continues the motif of the four kingdoms from chap. 2; see note on 2:36–45. To the four succeeding world kingdoms, Babylonian, Median, Persian, and Greek, is opposed the heavenly kingdom of God and the kingdom of God’s people on earth. The beast imagery of this chapter has been used extensively in the Book of Revelation, where it is applied to the Roman empire, the persecutor of the Church.
  2. 7:2 The great sea: the primordial ocean beneath the earth, according to ancient Near Eastern cosmology (Gn 7:11; 49:25). It was thought to contain various monsters (Is 27:1; Jb 7:12), and in particular mythological monsters symbolizing the chaos which God had vanquished in primordial times (Jb 9:13; 26:12; Is 51:9–10; etc.).
  3. 7:4 In ancient times the Babylonian empire was commonly represented as a winged lion, in the rampant position (raised up on one side). The two wings that were plucked may represent Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar. On two feet like a human being…a human mind: contrasts with what is said in 4:13, 30.
  4. 7:5 A bear: represents the Median empire, its three tusks symbolizing its destructive nature; hence, the command: “Arise, devour much flesh.”
  5. 7:6 A leopard: used to symbolize the swiftness with which Cyrus the Persian established his kingdom. Four heads: corresponding to the four Persian kings of 11:2.
  6. 7:7–8 Alexander’s empire was different from all the others in that it was Western rather than Eastern in inspiration, and far exceeded the others in power. The ten horns represent the kings of the Seleucid dynasty, the only part of the Hellenistic empire that concerned the author. The little horn is Antiochus IV Epiphanes (175–164 B.C.), who usurped the throne and persecuted the Jews.
  7. 7:9–10 A vision of the heavenly throne of God (the Ancient of Days), who sits in judgment over the nations. Some of the details of the vision, depicting the divine majesty and omnipotence, are to be found in Ezekiel 1. Others are paralleled in 1 Enoch, a contemporary Jewish apocalypse.
  8. 7:13–14 One like a son of man: In contrast to the worldly kingdoms opposed to God, which are represented as grotesque beasts, the coming Kingdom of God is represented by a human figure. Scholars disagree as to whether this figure should be taken as a collective symbol for the people of God (cf. 7:27) or identified as a particular individual, e.g., the archangel Michael (cf. 12:1) or the messiah. The phrase “Son of Man” becomes a title for Jesus in the gospels, especially in passages dealing with the Second Coming (Mk 13 and parallels).
  9. 7:18 “Holy ones” in Hebrew and Aramaic literature are nearly always members of the heavenly court or angels (cf. 4:10, 14, 20; 8:13), though here the term is commonly taken to refer to Israel.
  10. 7:25 The reference is to the persecution of Antiochus IV and specifically to the disruption of the Temple cult (1 Mc 1:41–64). A time, two times, and half a time: an indefinite, evil period of time. Probably here, three and a half years, which becomes the standard period of tribulation in apocalyptic literature (Rev 11:2; 13:5 [in months]; 11:3 [in days]; and cf. 12:14). As seven is the Jewish “perfect” number, half of it signifies great imperfection. Actually, the Temple was desecrated for three years (1 Mc 4:52–54). The duration of the persecution was a little longer, since it was already under way before the Temple was desecrated.
  11. 7:28 This verse ends the Aramaic part of the Book of Daniel.
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1 John 1

I. Prologue

Chapter 1

The Word of Life[a]

What was from the beginning,
    what we have heard,
    what we have seen with our eyes,
    what we looked upon
    and touched with our hands
    concerns the Word of life—
for the life was made visible;
    we have seen it and testify to it
    and proclaim to you the eternal life
    that was with the Father and was made visible to us—
what we have seen and heard
    we proclaim now to you,
    so that you too may have fellowship with us;
    for our fellowship is with the Father
    and with his Son, Jesus Christ.
We are writing this so that our joy may be complete.

II. God As Light

God Is Light. Now this is the message that we have heard from him and proclaim to you: God is light,[b] and in him there is no darkness at all. If we say, “We have fellowship with him,” while we continue to walk in darkness, we lie and do not act in truth. But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, then we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of his Son Jesus cleanses us from all sin. If we say, “We are without sin,” we deceive ourselves,[c] and the truth is not in us. If we acknowledge our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing. 10 If we say, “We have not sinned,” we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.


  1. 1:1–4 There is a striking parallel to the prologue of the gospel of John (Jn 1:1–18), but the emphasis here is not on the preexistent Word but rather on the apostles’ witness to the incarnation of life by their experience of the historical Jesus. He is the Word of life (1 Jn 1:1; cf. Jn 1:4), the eternal life that was with the Father and was made visible (1 Jn 1:2; cf. Jn 1:14), and was heard, seen, looked upon, and touched by the apostles. The purpose of their teaching is to share that life, called fellowship…with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ, with those who receive their witness (1 Jn 1:3; Jn 1:14, 16).
  2. 1:5–7 Light is to be understood here as truth and goodness; darkness here is error and depravity (cf. Jn 3:19–21; 17:17; Eph 5:8). To walk in light or darkness is to live according to truth or error, not merely intellectual but moral as well. Fellowship with God and with one another consists in a life according to the truth as found in God and in Christ.
  3. 1:8–10 Denial of the condition of sin is self-deception and even contradictory of divine revelation; there is also the continual possibility of sin’s recurrence. Forgiveness and deliverance from sin through Christ are assured through acknowledgment of them and repentance.
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Psalm 119:153-176


153 Look at my affliction and rescue me,
    for I have not forgotten your law.
154 Take up my cause and redeem me;
    for the sake of your promise give me life.
155 Salvation is far from sinners
    because they do not cherish your statutes.
156 Your compassion is great, O Lord;
    in accord with your judgments, give me life.
157 Though my persecutors and foes are many,
    I do not turn from your testimonies.
158 I view the faithless with loathing
    because they do not heed your promise.
159 See how I love your precepts, Lord;
    in your mercy give me life.
160 Your every word is enduring;
    all your righteous judgments are forever.


161 Princes persecute me without reason,
    but my heart reveres only your word.
162 I rejoice at your promise,
    as one who has found rich spoil.
163 Falsehood I hate and abhor;
    your law I love.
164 Seven times a day I praise you
    because your judgments are righteous.
165 Lovers of your law have much peace;
    for them there is no stumbling block.
166 I look for your salvation, Lord,
    and I fulfill your commandments.
167 I observe your testimonies;
    I love them very much.
168 I observe your precepts and testimonies;
    all my ways are before you.


169 Let my cry come before you, Lord;
    in keeping with your word, give me understanding.
170 Let my prayer come before you;
    rescue me according to your promise.
171 May my lips pour forth your praise,
    because you teach me your statutes.
172 May my tongue sing of your promise,
    for all your commandments are righteous.
173 Keep your hand ready to help me,
    for I have chosen your precepts.
174 I long for your salvation, Lord;
    your law is my delight.
175 Let my soul live to praise you;
    may your judgments give me help.
176 I have wandered like a lost sheep;
    seek out your servant,
    for I do not forget your commandments.

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Proverbs 28:23-24

23 Whoever rebukes another wins more favor
    than one who flatters with the tongue.
24 Whoever defrauds father or mother and says, “It is no sin,”
    is a partner to a brigand.

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New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

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