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Bible Commentaries

Sermon Bible Commentary

Daniel 7



Verses 1-28

Daniel 7:1-28

The principles which underlie this prophecy are at once profoundly suggestive and exceedingly important.

I. Foremost among them we find the terribly significant truth that earthly power in and of itself degenerates into brutality. The appropriate symbol of a great empire is a wild beast.

II. Observe that the tendency of this brutality is to increase. The four beasts that Daniel saw came in this order; first the lion, then the bear, then the panther, then that composite, unnamed, almost unnamable animal, with "great iron teeth, devouring and breaking in pieces, and stamping the residue with the feet of it."

III. The great lesson suggested by the prophecy is that the restoration of man to humanity, must come, not from himself, but from above. He who introduced the healing salt which was to purify thoroughly the little fountain of our earthly life was sent forth from the "Ancient of Days." He came from heaven to earth, that he might elevate earth at length to heaven.

W. M. Taylor, Daniel the Beloved, p. 137.

I. From this passage we learn, first, that we must not expect to escape accusation in the world. No matter how carefully we order our lives, slander will have something to say against us.

II. We learn, that when we must either sin or suffer, we ought, without hesitation to prefer the suffering.

III. We learn, that no human power can keep us from prayer.

W. M. Taylor, Daniel the Beloved, p. 116.

Reference: Daniel 7:9.—Preacher's Monthly, vol. iv., p. 249.

Verse 10

Daniel 7:10

I. The mere thought that there are in existence innumerable glorious immortal spirits; that their God is our God; that, let our condition in this world be ever so poor and degraded, yet these blessed angels disdain not to acknowledge themselves our fellow-servants; that they care for us and, as the Apostle says, minister for us as Christians and heirs of salvation; the mere thought of these plain Scriptural truths, may well arouse us from the lowborn cares and follies of this world, may make us "look up, and lift up our heads," lead us to consider what we are and what we are coming to. The glare of this world obscures our view of things spiritual. It is not without difficulty and considerable exertion that the mind can realise to itself things heavenly and unseen. It is only by spiritual aid, by light from above, that we can overcome this difficulty, and learn to live and walk (as the Apostle so energetically expresses it) "by faith, not by sight."

II. To be in the presence and favour of Almighty God, this and this only can constitute the happiness of all reasonable creatures, of angels in heaven or of men in earth. If we think to be admitted to that blessed society hereafter, it is necessary that here, in this evil world, our happiness should be like theirs in the contemplation of God's perfections, especially of His love, and in holding communion with Him—that high privilege to which we are entitled through the mediation of His Son, and the sanctification of His Spirit.

III. We are born into this world to live to eternity; but, as Christians, we have been newborn into Christ's Church, to an eternity of happiness and glory; we are entitled to call God our Father, and the Angels our brethren. It should be our great object and prayer to be made fit for the society of angels. It is of great consequence for all persons who really believe in the truth of Christ's Gospel, to withdraw their thoughts frequently from these temporary trifles, to raise them to high and heavenly realities; especially to the thought of that innumerable society of good angels, who, day and night, sing on high their Alleluias before the throne, and never rest. The more we cherish these happy thoughts, the more we shall, by the aid of God's blessed Spirit, become like those exalted inhabitants of heaven.

Plain Sermons by Contributors to "Tracts for the Times," vol. i., p. 152.

There are three books, and three alone, which are to last for ever. One is with us on earth, and two are kept in heaven. There is the Bible here, and up above there is the book in which our sins are written, and there is the "Lamb's Book of Life." These are the books which shall be opened at the last day.

I. From a thousand passages in the Bible will God out of His open book set before us His law. His commands, His threatenings, His promises, will all stand forth to view, the same that you heard and read thousands of times from your very cradle. And here will lie the point: "You knew all this, My revealed law—have you kept it or have you broken it?"

II. In the second book, as in a faithful mirror, you will see the clear reflection of your whole life—not a line will be wanting. On one side there stands the long catalogue of all God's gifts and mercies to you, His providences, His calls, His warnings, His love. On the other side, as if darker by the contrast, is inscribed your life. Every wasted moment is there, and every thought—the secret things of the soul's deep places, are laid out as clear as the public acts; there is no difference between the chamber and the world. It will be an awful moment, when, in the presence of men and angels, the dark catalogue of all our sins shall be proclaimed.

III. In the Lamb's Book of Life stands the name of every heir of heaven. That book is always in the Redeemer's hand, and each moment He stands waiting with His everlasting pen, to record a name.

J. Vaughan, Fifty Sermons, 6th series, p. 214.

References: Daniel 7:10.—J. Keble, Sermons from Advent to Christmas Eve, p. 25; S. Baring-Gould, One Hundred Sermon Sketches, p. 170.

Verse 13-14

Daniel 7:13-14

Christ the centre of Biblical thought.

I. Observe some of the details of Biblical truth in which the centring of revelation in Christ is seen. (1) The first token of it is the Old Testament doctrine of the Messiah. (2) The second is the New Testament doctrine of His sufferings and death. (3) The concentration of Biblical thought in the Person of Christ is intensified further by the Biblical doctrine of the Deity of Christ. (4) It is seen in the Biblical doctrine of Christ's mediatorial reign. (5) It is indicated by the Biblical doctrine of the eternal union of our Lord with the redeemed in heaven.

II. Observe some of the practical bearings of this preeminence of Christ's Person and work upon Christian faith and character. (1) It has an obvious bearing upon the proportion and perspective of truth in a Christian's belief. Let this one truth become regnant in the soul and all other truths fall into rank around it, and turn inwards towards it, as metallic particles do when a magnet approaches them. (2) This centring of truth in the Person of Christ should furthermore impart to Christian experience a profound sense of the reality of God as a personal Friend. (3) Another effect of the preeminence of Christ in Christian faith should be to render the friends of Christ objects of personal and profound affection. (4) The chief object of a regenerated life should be the object for which Christ lived and died. (5) The ascendency of Christ in Christian faith gives character to a Christian's anticipations of heaven.

A. Phelps, The Old Testament a Living Book, p. 314.

References: Daniel 7:13, Daniel 7:14.—Preacher's Monthly, vol. iv., p. 286. 7—J. G. Murphy, The Book of Daniel, p. 124. Daniel 8:1-27.—W. M. Taylor, Daniel the Beloved, p. 161. Daniel 8:19.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xv., No. 886. 8—J. G. Murphy, The Book of Daniel, p. 140. Daniel 9:1-19.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. iii., No. 154. Daniel 9:1-27.—W. M. Taylor, Daniel the Beloved, p. 184. Daniel 9:3-22.—Christian World Pulpit, vol. iii., p. 134. Daniel 9:8.—Spurgeon, Evening by Evening, p. 166. Daniel 9:23.—Ibid., Sermons, vol. xiii., No. 734. Daniel 9:24.—Ibid., vol. xxviii., No. 1681; Preacher's Monthly, vol. vi., p. 364. Daniel 9:26.—Ibid., Evening by Evening, p. 16. 9—J. G. Murphy, The Book of Daniel, p. 152.


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Bibliography Information
Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Daniel 7:4". "Sermon Bible Commentary".

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