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ESV — Daniel 7

Daniel's Vision of the Four Beasts

In the first year of pBelshazzar king of Babylon, qDaniel saw a dream and rvisions of his head as he lay in his bed. Then he wrote down the dream and told the sum of the matter. Daniel declared,1 “I saw in my vision by night, and behold, sthe four winds of heaven were stirring up the great sea. And four great beasts tcame up out of the sea, different from one another. The first was like a lion and had eagles' wings. Then as I looked its wings were plucked off, and it was lifted up from the ground and made to stand on two feet like a man, and the mind of a man was given to it. And behold, uanother beast, a second one, like a bear. It was raised up on one side. It had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth; and it was told, ‘Arise, devour much flesh.’ After this I looked, and behold, another, like a vleopard, with four wings of a bird on its back. And the beast had four heads, and wdominion was given to it. After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, xterrifying and dreadful and exceedingly strong. It had great iron teeth; xit devoured and broke in pieces xand stamped what was left with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and yit had ten horns. I considered the horns, and behold, zthere came up among them another horn, a little one, zbefore which three of the first horns were plucked up by the roots. And behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, and aa mouth speaking great things.

The Ancient of Days Reigns

“As I looked,

bthrones were placed,

and the cAncient of Days took his seat;

dhis clothing was white as snow,

and ethe hair of his head like pure wool;

his throne was fiery flames;

fits wheels were burning fire.

10  gA stream of fire issued

and came out from before him;

ha thousand thousands iserved him,

hand ten thousand times ten thousand jstood before him;

the kcourt sat in judgment,

and lthe books were opened.

11 “I looked then because of the sound of athe great words that the horn was speaking. And as I looked, mthe beast was killed, and its body destroyed mand given over to be burned with fire. 12 As for the rest of the beasts, ntheir dominion was taken away, but their lives were prolonged for a season and a time.

The Son of Man Is Given Dominion

13 “I saw in the night visions,

and obehold, with the clouds of heaven

there came one like a son of man,

and he came to the cAncient of Days

and was presented before him.

14  pAnd to him was given dominion

and glory and a kingdom,

that all qpeoples, nations, and languages

should serve him;

rhis dominion is an everlasting dominion,

which shall not pass away,

and his kingdom one

that shall not be destroyed.

Daniel's Vision Interpreted

15 “As for me, Daniel, my spirit within me2 was anxious, and sthe visions of my head alarmed me. 16 I approached one of those who stood there and asked him the truth concerning all this. So he told me and made known to me the interpretation of the things. 17 t‘These four great beasts are four kings who shall arise out of the earth. 18 But uthe saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, forever and ever.’

19 “Then I desired to know the truth about vthe fourth beast, which was different from all the rest, exceedingly terrifying, with its teeth of iron and claws of bronze, and which devoured and broke in pieces and stamped what was left with its feet, 20 wand about the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn that came up and before which three of them fell, the horn that had eyes and a mouth that spoke great things, and that seemed greater than its companions. 21 As I looked, this horn xmade war with the saints and prevailed over them, 22 until the yAncient of Days came, and ujudgment was given for the saints of the Most High, and the time came when uthe saints possessed the kingdom.

23 “Thus he said: ‘As for vthe fourth beast,

there shall be a fourth kingdom on earth,

which shall be different from all the kingdoms,

and it shall devour the whole earth,

and trample it down, and break it to pieces.

24  As for the ten horns,

out of this kingdom ten kings shall arise,

and another shall arise after them;

he shall be different from the former ones,

and shall put down three kings.

25  zHe shall speak words against the Most High,

and shall wear out the saints of the Most High,

and shall think to achange the times and the law;

and they shall be given into his hand

for ba time, times, and half a time.

26  cBut the court shall sit in judgment,

and dhis dominion shall be taken away,

to be consumed and destroyed eto the end.

27  fAnd the kingdom and the dominion

and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven

shall be given to the people of fthe saints of the Most High;

ghis kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom,

and all dominions shall serve and obey him.’3

28 “Here is the end of the matter. hAs for me, Daniel, my ithoughts greatly alarmed me, jand my color changed, but kI kept the matter in my heart.”

Footnotes

[1] 7:2 Aramaic answered and said
[2] 7:15 Aramaic within its sheath
[3] 7:27 Or their kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey them