Dan 7:1-8:27

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Home > The Old Testament > Daniel > Chapters 7-8
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Relationship to Daniel. The relationship of Chapters 7-8 to Daniel as a whole, and in particular to the dream of the statue in Chapter 2, is discussed at Daniel. The historical setting of Chapters 7-8 is also discussed at Daniel.

Story. Chapters 7-8 tell the story of Daniel's two visions of beasts. Chapters 7-8 have four principal parts.

Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Chapters 7-8 include:


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Entire two chapters [edit]

a. Daniel sees a vision of four beasts (7:1-14])
• the lion #1 Babylon, bear #2 Persia, and leopard #3 Greece (2-6)
• the fourth beast #4 Rome with ten horns (7-8)
• earthly kingdoms are overcome and the ancient of days (9-12)
• #5 the everlasting kingdom is given to Christ (13-14)
b. An angel interprets the vision (7:15-28)
• general interpretation of the five kingdoms (15-18)
• question about the fourth beast with ten horns (19-22)
• interpretation of the fourth beast (23-27)
a. Daniel sees a vision of two beasts (8:1-14)
• the ram of #2 Persia (3-4)
• the goat of #3 Greece’s great horn: Alexander (5-8)
• the goat of #3 Greece’s little horn: Antiochus Epiphanes (9-14)
b. Angel Gabriel interprets the vision (8:15-27)
• Gabriel approaches Daniel (15-19)
• interpretation of the ram and goat (20-22)
• interpretation of the little horn (23-26)

By chapters 7-8, Daniel has become a great political ruler, the recipient of dreams and visions, and the recipient of interpretations.

In the first vision, the four beasts again represent kingdoms of the world with brutish dispositions (TPJS 289). In particular (#1) the lion is Babylon, (#2) the bear is Persia, (#3) the leopard with four heads is Greece, including the four empires created upon Alexander’s death, (#4) the beast with ten horns is the Roman Empire, (#4b) the ten horns correspond to the ten toes of the statue, and (#5) the everlasting kingdom is afterwards established by the ancient of days (Adam/Michael per D&C 116, TPJS 157) and is given to the Son of man, a term applied to Christ (Mark 14:62). This interpretation can easily be derived from: (a) the authoritative interpretations of Daniel vision of the statue in Chapter 2 and the parallel placement of the two visions in the chiastic outline of Daniel, suggesting that parallel elements in the two visions refer to the same things; and (b) Daniel’s own interpretation of the two beasts in Dan 8:20-22, and the similarity between the leopard with four heads in Daniel 7 and the goat’s great horn succeeded by four notable ones in Daniel 8, suggesting that they likewise refer to the same things.

Chapters 7-8 are set during the #1 Babylonian empire and so must have occurred before chapter 6, which is set during the #2 Persian era. The decision not to place these chapters in strict chronological order, but to instead place them where they contribute to the chiastic outline of Daniel, emphasizes the connection between chapters 2 and 7.

The vision in chapter 8 of two beasts revisits the middle portion of the visions of the statue and of the four beasts (chapters 2, 7). The ram’s two horns refer to the #2 Persian empire being an alliance of the Medes and Persians (8:3-4). The goat’s great horn refers to #3 Alexander the Great who died at age 32, and the four notable ones that follow him refer to the division of his empire into four parts following his death (8:5-8).

In connection with these visions, it is worth reading the last portion of Old Testament: Historical Overview from 600 BC to the end of that page.

Shorter passages [edit]

Verses 7:13-14: Son of Man

Daniel sees "one like the Son of man" given dominion and glory, one which all people, nations and languages serve. The title here seems significant because it emphasizes not this person's godlike attributes but rather mortalness. The vision then is one about one who goes from a lower state to a place like God's own. It is perhaps for this reason that Jesus takes this title on himself in the New Testament. See Mark 14:61-62.

Parallel passages[edit]

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  • Dan 7:8 - Rev 13:5-6; 17:3
  • Dan 7:9 - Rev 1:14-15
  • Dan 7:10 - Rev 5:11; 11:18
  • Dan 7:11 - Rev 17:8; 19:20
  • Dan 7:13 - Rev 1:7; 14:14
  • Dan 7:14 - Matt 28:18; Rev 11:15
  • Dan 7:20, 24 - Rev 17:12
  • Dan 7:21 - Rev 11:7
  • Dan 7:22 - Rev 11:18
  • Dan 7:25 - Rev 11:2; Rev 12:6; Rev 12:14; Rev 13:5-6; Rev 17:3
  • Dan 7:26 - Rev 19:20
  • Dan 8:10 - Rev 12:4; Rev 13:7
  • Dan 8:13 - Matt 24:15; Mark 13:14
  • Dan 8:17 - Rev 1:17
  • Dan 8:24 - Rev 13:7
  • Dan 8:25 - Rev 17:14
  • Dan 8:26 - Rev 10:4; Rev 22:10

Points to ponder[edit]

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