Daniel and the Angel
Daniel 7:15 "I, Daniel, was grieved in my spirit within my body, and the visions of my head troubled me. 16 I came near to one of those who stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me and made known to me the interpretation of these things: 17 'Those great beasts, which are four, are four kings which arise out of the earth. 18 But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom, and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever.' 19 Then I wished to know the truth about the fourth beast, which was different from all the others, exceedingly dreadful, with its teeth of iron and its nails of bronze, which devoured, broke in pieces, and trampled the residue with its feet; 20 and the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn which came up, before which three fell, namely, that horn which had eyes and a mouth which spoke pompous words, whose appearance was greater than his fellows. 21 I was watching; and the same horn was making war against the saints, and prevailing against them, 22 until the Ancient of Days came, and a judgment was made in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came for the saints to possess the kingdom. (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 (v. 15). It is too much to comprehend. Too much is happening all at once. John must have felt the same during his vision, the revelation.
So Daniel approached “one of those who stood by” (v. 16a), an angel. He “asked him the truth of all this” and the angel “made known” to him “the interpretation” (v. 16b). The angel began from the very beginning of the vision.
The angel spoke of “four beasts”, “four kings which arise out of the earth” (v. 17). The four beasts represented four empires which ruled, and 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 of the Most High” then received the kingdom of God “forever and ever” (v. 18).
Then Daniel asked about the fourth empire, because it was “exceedingly dreadful” (v. 19a). This likely was one of the parts of the vision that was so disturbing to Daniel. The fourth empire was the Roman Empire and the revived Roman Empire of the end times. Both were very destructive of God’s people, first the Jews, and later the Christians.
“The ten horns” that were on the head of the beast represent ten kingdoms of the empire. One horn “came up”, while “three fell” (v. 20a). That horn “had eyes and a mouth which spoke pompous words”, and its “appearance was greater than his fellows” (v. 20b). The one horn that came up represents the revived Roman Empire, led by the “eyes”, the Anti-Christ, and the “mouth which spoke pompous words”, the false prophet.
The horn, the revived Roman Empire, “was making war against the saints, and prevailing” (v. 21). But then the “Ancient of Days” (v. 22a), God the Father, came and it was time “for the saints to possess the kingdom” (v. 22b).
Daniel was upset, and troubled. He needed help. He needed someone to minister to him. So he looked to an angel.
Angels are “ministering spirits sent to minister for those who will inherit salvation” (Heb. 1:14). Angels are sent to help us in times of need. Like Daniel, there are times when we do not understand. We do not understand why things are happening the way they are. We do not understand many things, and we will not this side of Heaven.
But we are not left alone in our confusion. God comforts us by sending His angels. They are all around us, but we cannot see them. Like the wind, we can only see the results of their actions. God has promised to never leave us or forsake us. And He hasn’t.
Online Bible Commentary