Online Bible Commentary
Daniel 7:23 "Thus he said: 'The fourth beast shall be A fourth kingdom on earth, Which shall be different from all other kingdoms, And shall devour the whole earth, Trample it and break it in pieces. 24 The ten horns are ten kings Who shall arise from this kingdom. And another shall rise after them; He shall be different from the first ones, And shall subdue three kings. 25 He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, Shall persecute the saints of the Most High, And shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand For a time and times and half a time. 26 'But the court shall be seated, And they shall take away his dominion, To consume and destroy it forever. 27 Then the kingdom and dominion, And the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, Shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, And all dominions shall serve and obey Him.' 28 "This is the end of the account. As for me, Daniel, my thoughts greatly troubled me, and my countenance changed; but I kept the matter in my heart." (NKJV)
The prophet Daniel has just had a dream with visions. In this vision Daniel has been transported to Heaven. The times are the end times. The vision is apocalyptic in nature.
At the end of his vision Daniel is in the presence of God the Father, sitting on His throne. A million angels are ministering to the Father. A hundred million more angels are standing in front of the thrones. A court of Saints has been seated and the books are opened. This appears to be the scene of the Great White Throne judgment of unbelievers (Rev. 20). The Anti-Christ and his false prophet have just been destroyed by the burning flame of the lake of fire, and Jesus has arrived, in all his glory, to establish His kingdom (Rev. 19).
All of this has grieved Daniel’s spirit, and troubled him. So Daniel asked an angel nearby to interpret the dream. The angel spoke of “four beasts”, four kings which represented four empires that succeeded one another. The empires were Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Greek, and Roman. The Roman Empire was revived and conquered by the fifth and final empire, the kingdom of God. The saints then received the kingdom of God forever.
In this passage, the angel continues his interpretation. Daniel seems to be most troubled by the fourth beast, so the angel elaborates. The “fourth beast” is the “fourth kingdom”, which includes the Roman Empire and the revived Roman Empire of the end times.
The Roman Empire is different from the others, in that it “shall devour the whole earth, trample it and break it in pieces” (v. 23). It is very destructive of God’s people, the Jews and then later the saints of the end times.
The Roman Empire was said to have “ten horns”, or “ten kings” (v. 24a). Then, at the end times, another king arises from the Roman Empire. He subdues “three kings” (v. 24b). This king, also called the little horn, is the Anti-Christ.
The Anti-Christ “speaks pompous words against the Most High” (v. 24a), through the false prophet. The Anti-Christ “shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change times and law” (v. 25b).
“The saints shall be given into his hand For a time and times and half a time” (v. 25c). The “saints” represent those who have converted to Christianity during the first half of the seven year tribulation at the end times. The other living saints had already been taken up to Heaven at the Rapture, prior to the seven year tribulation. The “time and times and half a time” means one year plus two years plus one-half year. This is the three and a half years of the second half of the tribulation of intense persecution of the new saints.
Then “the court shall be seated” (v. 26a), as mentioned previously. The Anti-Christ and the false prophet will lose their “dominion” and be destroyed “forever” (v. 26b). The whole world is then given to the saints of Christ, the “Most High” (v. 27a). Then the world, now Heaven after the Great White Throne judgment, will “serve and obey” (v. 27b) Christ forever.
Daniel then closes with his thoughts of the vision (v. 28a). His “thoughts greatly troubled” him, and he was “changed”, but he kept his thoughts to himself (v. 28b).
So God gave Daniel his vision. Some 650 years later he gave John the same vision, and John wrote Revelation. God has made his plan very clear. He has given us every warning of what is to come. We neglect His warning at our own peril.
Everything about God’s plan is coming together. Events can accelerate rapidly. The Rapture could be at any time. We do not want to be here for the seven year tribulation. Time could be short. It is time to take action. It is time to make sure of our salvation and the salvation of all of those that God places in our path. Like Daniel, we should be “greatly troubled”.