This chapter records first the vision (Verses 2-14), then the general interpretation (verses 15-18), then Daniel’s question concerning three features of the vision (Verses 19, 20), and lastly the answer given to these questions.
- Assuming the four kingdoms to be the same as those that Nebuchadnezzar saw in his dream (chapter 2), what is three new in this vision that caused Daniel such distress and agitation (verses 15, 28)?
- To Nebuchadnezzar the kingdoms of this world appeared in the glittering splendor of material wealth and power, whereas by Daniel they are seen as beasts of prey. What is the difference between theses points of view, and which is the deeper and true view? Cf. 1 Sam. 16:7; Matt. 4:8; 1 John 2:16, 17.
- What is to be the final goal of history to which this vision looks forward? Who are ‘the saints of the Most High’ (verse 18)? What privileges will they have in the days to come?
- Verse 5. The bear represented the Medo-Persian Emprie, noted for it greed for further conquest.
- Verse 6. The wings on the leopard’s back indicate the swiftness of Alexander’s campaigns. After his death his empire was divided into four parts.
- Verse 7. The fourth beast is either the Seleucid Empire, with its many kings (horns), of whom Antiochus Epiphanes was the most deadly, or Rome, with its many emperors, under one of whom arose the son of man.