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Bible Commentaries

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Daniel 7

 

 

Verse 1

In the first year of Belshazzar. This was 429 B.C. See App-50. Daniel being eighty-four years old. Three years before the events of Dan 6. Compare Daniel 5:30, Daniel 5:31, and the notes on the other dates (Daniel 8:1; Daniel 9:1; Daniel 10:1; Daniel 11:1, &c).

This vision (Dan 7) is still in Chaldee (the Gentile language), because it is the continuation of Daniel 2:44, and shows what will take place in "the days of those kings" before the stone strikes the image. It brings us up to the end of Gentile dominion over Israel. Dan 8 is in Hebrew, because it specially concerns Israel.


It is the writing of "Daniel the prophet" (Mat 24). This is directly stated by our Lord, Who, seven times in the Gospel of John, declared that what He spake were not His own words, but the Father"s (
John 7:16; John 8:28, John 8:40, John 8:47; John 12:49; John 14:10, John 14:24; John 17:8. Compare Deuteronomy 18:18 and Isaiah 51:16).

This member "B" (Daniel 7:1-28; Daniel 8:1-27, see chart below) consists of two visions. Each is distinct and complete in itself. (Z1, 7:1-28 ; Z2, 8:1-27).
The dream of Nebuchadnezzar (
Dan 2) was interpreted to him by Daniel; while the dream (or vision) of Daniel was interpreted to him by the Angel. The former referred to the beginning and duration of Gentile dominion over Israel; the latter concerns the end of it. See the Structure below. The second (Dan 8) was given two years later than the first (Compare Daniel 7:1 with Daniel 8:1), and is subsequent to the first, giving further details concerning "the latter time of their dominion" (i.e. that of the four beasts of the first vision in Dan 7). Further details are given in Dan 9, Dan 11, Dan 12.

The interpretation is given in verses: Daniel 7:7, Daniel 7:17, Daniel 7:18; and shows that these visions (Dan 7and Dan 8) are still future, and are not therefore to be confounded with the dream of Dan 2. See the notes on verses: Daniel 7:17, Daniel 7:18, below.

The interpretations given to us of these two separate visions need no further interpretation by us. The source of the dream is the source of the interpretation also. They are for us to understand and to believe. We may comment on the interpretations given, but not interpret them.

Daniel 7:1-28; Daniel 8:1-27. THE DEEAM, AND VISIONS OF DANIEL. THE END OF GENTILE DOMINION. (Division.)

B | Z1 | . The Vision of the Four Beasts. (First year.)

| Z2 | . The Vision of the Two Beasts. (Third year.)

Daniel 7:1-28 (Z1, above). THE VISION OF THE FOUR BEASTS. (Repeated Alternations.)

(You may need to widen your viewing window for this chart to display properly)

Z1 | A1 | C1 | 1-8. The Four Beasts. } The

| | D1 | 9-14 The judgment of the Son of Man } Vision.

| B1 | 15, 16 Daniel"s perturbation and inquiry.

| A2 | C2 | 17. The Four Beasts. } The

| | D2 | 18. The judgement of the Son of Man. } Interpretation.

B2 | 19-22. Daniel"s inquiry.

| A3 | C3 | 23-23. The Fourth Beast } The

| | D3 | 26,27. The judgement of the Son of Man. } Interpretation

| B3 | 28. Daniel"s perturbations.

Belshazzar. The last king of Babylon. Until 1854, when Sir H. C. Rawlinson discovered the cuneiform texts, all was speculation. An inscription belonging to the first year of Nabonidus, his father (see notes on Daniel 5:2, and Jeremiah 27:7), calls him his "firstborn son" and gives his name Belsarra-uzer = "O Bel defend the king". There are frequent references to him in contracts and similar documents (Encycl. Brit, 11th (Cambridge) ed., vol. iii, p. 711). He was the last king of Babylon (Daniel 5:30, Daniel 5:31). See note on Daniel 5:7.

had = beheld.

a dream. One of twenty recorded dreams. See note on Genesis 20:3.

he wrote. This is to be noted, as it was afterward "told" in speech (verses: Daniel 7:1, Daniel 7:2).

the sum = substance, or the chief of the words.

matters = words.


Verse 2

spake and said. The vision is related in words.

I saw = I was looking.

by = during.

the four winds. All blowing at the same time and producing the one result described in verses: Daniel 7:3-8.

winds. Chaldee. ruach. App-9.

strove upon = brake or burst forth against; converging on one point.

the great sea: i.e. the Mediterranean Sea, or the sea, denoting the peoples of the earth, as interpreted for us in Daniel 7:17.


Verse 3

four great beasts. These are not the four dominions of Dan 2. They stand up one after the other, and each stands, successively, in the place of the other. These are to arise in "the days of" those last "ten kings" of Daniel 2:44. These continue the last of Nebuchadnezzar"s last dominion, and do exist together. See note on Daniel 7:12 below.


Verse 4

The first, &c. Cannot be Babylon, for this had already arisen, and was within two years of its end (see notes on Daniel 7:1). Daniel could not see that kingdom arise now. He had said, "Thou art this head of gold" (Daniel 2:38); but Nebuchadnezzar himself had been dead twenty-three years, and these are "four kings which shall arise" (Daniel 7:17). Therefore Babylon is not included.

like. These descriptions will be easily recognized by those who shall see them arise.

I beheld = I continued looking, as in verses: Daniel 7:6, Daniel 7:9, Daniel 7:11. Same as "I saw" in verses: Daniel 7:2, Daniel 7:7, Daniel 7:13.

till = till that.

the feet = the two feet.

man. Chaldee "anash. App-14.


Verse 5

it raised up itself: or, was made to stand.

on one side: i.e. partially.

three ribs, &c. This is not interpreted by the angel. The interpretations given by man are diverse, conflicting, and are unnecessary.


Verse 6

a fowl = a bird.

four heads. These are not interpreted, and will be understood only when they are seen. It will have these four heads at the time of its being seen.


Verse 7

a fourth beast. Not Rome, for it has the "ten horns" when it is first seen. Moreover, these ten horns are not seen till the time of the end. This fourth beast therefore belongs to the time of the end. The beast of Revelation 13:1-10 combines in himself all these resemblances. See note on Daniel 7:23.

great iron teeth. Literally two (or two rows of) teeth, great ones.

the residue = the rest: i.e. the other three beasts which will be co-existent. They do not destroy or succeed one another, like the kingdoms in Dan 2; but are trampled on by the fourth beast. See Daniel 7:12.

before = in front of, as in verses: Daniel 7:10, Daniel 7:13, Daniel 7:20, and Daniel 6:10, Daniel 6:11, Daniel 6:12, Daniel 6:13, Daniel 6:18, Daniel 6:22, Daniel 6:26, &c. Chaldee. kedam, as in Ezra 4:18, Ezra 4:23; Ezra 7:14, Ezra 7:19; and frequently in Dan. Ch. Daniel 2:3, Daniel 2:4, Daniel 2:5. This shows that the three will be co-existent, for this could not be spoken of those who had long passed away.

ten horns. These are the same as in Revelation 17:12, and represent the ten contemporaneous kings at the time of the end. See notes on verses: Daniel 7:8, Daniel 7:24.


Verse 8

I considered = Iwas considering.

the horns. Mentioned in Daniel 7:7.

little horn = a horn of small beginnings. This identifies this vision with those of Ch. Daniel 8:9, Daniel 8:11, Daniel 8:12. See App-90. The first of twelve titles given to the power commonly known as "the Antichrist": it is used again in Daniel 8:9. Compare Daniel 11:21-30. Note the other titles: "the king of Babylon" (Isaiah 14:4); "the Assyrian" (Isaiah 14:25); "Lucifer, son of the morning", in opposition to "the bright and morning star" (Isaiah 14:12); "the Prince that shall come" (Daniel 9:26); "the king of fierce countenance" (Daniel 8:23); "the vile person" (Daniel 11:21); "the wilful king" (Daniel 11:36); "the man of sin" (2 Thessalonians 2:3); "the son of perdition" (2 Thessalonians 2:3); "that wicked (or lawless) one" (2 Thessalonians 2:8. Revelation 13:18); "the beast with ten horns" (Revelation 13:1).

man = a mortal man. Chaldee "enash. App-14.

speaking great things. This is a further development, explained in verses: Daniel 7:11, Daniel 7:20, Daniel 7:25; Daniel 8:11; Daniel 11:36, Daniel 11:37; 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 2 Thessalonians 2:4. Revelation 13:5, Revelation 13:6.


Verse 9

till = till that.

the thrones = the seats for judgment.

cast down = set or placed. The seats of Orientals are cushions laid, not "set", but "cast down". The reference is to this, in Revelation 4:2. Compare Psalms 9:7; Psalms 29:10. Isaiah 28:6.

the Ancient of days = the Everlasting One. Compare Psalms 90:2. Revelation 4:2.

did sit = took His seat.

white as snow, &c. Compare Revelation 1:4.

his wheels = the wheels thereof: i.e. of the throne. Compare Ezekiel 1:15-20, Ezekiel 1:26-28; Ezekiel 10:9-13.


Verse 10

ministered = were ministering.

stood = were standing. Indicating readiness for service.

the judgment = the Judge; "judgment" being put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of the Subject), App-6, for the Judge Who actually sat.

was set = took His seat.

the books, &c. Literally "books were opened".


Verse 11

the horn spake = the horn kept speaking.

the beast. At length we learn who "the (little) horn" is See note on Daniel 7:8 and Revelation 19:20.

the burning flame. Compare 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10; 2 Thessalonians 2:8.


Verse 12

the rest of the beasts: i.e. the three mentioned in verses: Daniel 7:4-7 as co-existing,

they had, &c. = their dominion was caused to pass away.

their lives were prolonged = a lengthening of their life was given to them: i.e. the remaining three after the fourth beast has been destroyed.

for a season and time: i.e. for an appointed season.


Verse 13

the Son of Man. See notes on Psalms 8:4. Matthew 8:20.

came = was coming.


Verse 14

there was given, &c. = to Him was given, &c.

people = peoples.

an everlasting dominion. See verses: Daniel 7:18, Daniel 7:27, Daniel 7:35, Daniel 2:44; Daniel 4:3; Daniel 6:26. Psalms 45:6; Psalms 145:13; Psalms 146:10. Isaiah 9:7. Obadiah 1:21. Micah 4:7. Luke 1:33. John 12:34. Hebrews 1:8.


Verse 15

grieved. Because he did not understand. Therefore Dan 7could not be identical with Dan 2, because he had interpreted that already to Nebuchadnezzar.

my spirit = myself. Chaldee. ruach. App-9.


Verse 16

them.: i.e. the standing ones.

stood = were standing.

asked = made exact inquiry.

truth = certainty. Chaldee. ya"ib.

of = about.


Verse 17

These great beasts, &c. In Daniel 7:17-18 we have therefore the interpretation of this vision, which needs no further interpretation by man.

shall arise. The two which had already arisen cannot therefore be included: Babylon and Medo-Persia,which almost (at this time) equalled Babylon in extent. The vision is not continuous history, but the prophecy of a crisis: and refers to the ten toes of the fifth power of Daniel 2. See note on Daniel 7:12. In this, and in each successive vision we are always directed to the end and consummation. Compare Daniel 7:26; Daniel 8:17-19; Daniel 9:26; Daniel 11:40; Daniel 12:4, Daniel 12:9, Daniel 12:13. Matthew 24:14, Matthew 24:15. See App-90.


Verse 18

the saints = the holy ones: i.e. God"s People Israel.

the MOST HIGH. Chaldee. "elyonin. Same as Hebrew. "elyon. App-4. Here plural = the Messiah Himself in relation to dominion in the earth. Daniel 7:27 shows that a Person is intended, not a place.

take = receive. As in Daniel 5:31; Compare Daniel 2:6.


Verse 19

nails = claws, or hoofs. Chaldee text is plural; margin is singular.

feet. Chaldee text, plural; margin is singular.


Verse 20

the other: i.e. the little horn of Daniel 7:8, which is still future. See App-90; and Compare Daniel 8:9-12, Daniel 8:23-25, and note on Daniel 7:8.

spake. See note on "speaking", Daniel 7:8.


Verse 21

the same horn. Compare Daniel 7:8.

made war. This connects "the little horn" with Revelation 13:7, and shows it to be still future.


Verse 22

judgment: or, vindication.


Verse 23

Thus he said. Giving an additional interpretation.


Verse 24

ten kings. See note on Daniel 7:7.

he. The little horn of verses: Daniel 7:8, Daniel 7:20.

three kings. See the interpretation of Daniel 7:8.


Verse 25

wear out = afflict.

laws = law.

time and times, &c.: i.e. three and a half years = one half of the "one week" of Daniel 9:27. It is repeated as forty-two months (Revelation 11:21, Revelation 11:3). See App-90and App-91; and Compare Daniel 8:14; Daniel 12:7, Daniel 12:11, Daniel 12:12.


Verse 26

shall sit = will take His seat.

unto the end. This is the determining factor of the interpretation. Compare Daniel 8:17-19; Daniel 9:26; Daniel 11:40; Daniel 12:4, Daniel 12:9, Daniel 12:13. Matthew 24:14. See note on Daniel 7:17.


Verse 27

Whose, &c. This shows that "elyonin (in Daniel 7:18) means a person, and not a place.


Verse 28

much troubled me: or, baffled me. See note on "grieved", Daniel 7:15.

I kept, &c. Compare Luke 2:19. Here ends the portion of the book written in the Chaldee (or Gentile) tongue.

 


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Bibliography Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Daniel 7:4". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/daniel-7.html. 1909-1922.

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