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The Contemporaneous Beasts View of Daniel 7
By Chris White
Daniel 7 is considered by some to be the most important chapter in the book of Daniel, others even consider it the most important chapter in the entire Old Testament for reasons which we will get into later, but certainly one of those reasons is because of its prophetic significance.
In Daniel Chapter 7 Daniel has a vision of 4 beasts: a lion, bear, leopard and a “diverse beast”. These beasts are identified as kings and/or kingdoms by the angel who interprets Daniel’s dream starting in verse 17.
The question is which kingdoms are being referred to with these beasts.
Most conservatives believe that Daniel 7 is simply a retelling of Daniel 2. In other words the dream that Nebuchadnezzar had in Daniel 2 of a multi-metal statue which represented the four kingdoms of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome are again described here in Daniel 7.
I don’t agree with that view, but I do agree with them that the fourth beast in Daniel 7 is the kingdom of Antichrist, however because of their insistence that this chapter is simply a mirror image of Daniel 2, they are forced to defend the position that the Antichrist must somehow come from something they call the Revived Roman Empire (RRE) because in Daniel chapter 2 the last section of the statue is clearly talking about Rome, so if this chapter is the same as that one then the fourth beast is Rome.
But as I will demonstrate not only is that not necessary it could cause many people to miss the signs of the Antichrists kingdom. For more information on why the belief of the RRE is based on a bad exegesis of Daniel chapter 2, please see my video or audio on Daniel 2, which should be linked in the notes, that study should be considered a companion study to this one.
I would also recommend a 4 part paper by Charles Cooper who is a former professor of Hermeneutics at Moody Bible Institute called “Daniel 2 and Daniel 7 Equal or not Equal.”
In the traditional view the beasts of chapter 7 are succeeded in time by the next beast, for example, the lion, the first beast (who they say represents Babylon) would be followed after much time by the bear (who they say represents Medo-Persia) since Babylon was conquered by Medo-Persia, and then the leopard (Greece) would conquer the bear after that, and so on. I believe there are significant reasons to challenge this view of the kingdoms being in temporal succession of one another. In other words to challenge the idea that these beasts existed one after the other instead of all at the same time.
In this study I will propose that this vision of the four beasts in Daniel 7 is not simply a picture of 4 kingdoms that have come and gone in the past, but rather this is a picture of the four kingdoms that will be on the earth at the same time when the Antichrist begins his reign. If this is the case, then this chapter, along with the latter half of Daniel 11 and Revelation 13 gives the church it’s best chance to recognize the geo-political precursors to the rise of Antichrist. Continue reading