In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters.
A.M. 3449. B.C. 555. Belshazzar.
Chal. saw. visions.
Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea.
And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.
Four kingdoms, (ver. 17,) called beasts, from their tyranny and oppression, emerging from the wars and commotions of the world.
The first was like a lion, and had eagle's wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man's heart was given to it.
or, wherewith it, etc. lifted.
And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh.
itself on one side
or, one dominion.
Babylon, Lydia, and Egypt.
After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it.
The Greek empire, founded by Alexander the Great.
Divided into 4 parts by Alexander's generals.
After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.
The Roman empire, which destroyed the Grecian, and became mistress of the world.
and it had ten
I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.
I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.
and his wheels
A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.
I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.
As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.
their lives were prolonged
Chal. a prolonging in life was given them.
I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.
And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.
I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me.
I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things.
These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth.
But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.
Chal. high ones, that is, things, or places.
Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet;
And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows.
the ten horns
The ten kingdoms into which the western Roman empire was divided; which were primarily, according to Machiavel and Bp. Lloyd, 1. The Huns in Hungary, A.D. 356. 2. The Ostrogoths in Moesia, 377. 3. The Visigoths in Pannonia, 378. 4. The Sueves and Alans in Gascoigne and Spain, 407. 5. The Vandals in Africa, 407. 6. The Franks in France, 407. 7. The Burgundians in Burgundy, 407. 8. The Heruli and Turingi in Italy, 476. 9. The Saxons and Angles in Britain, 476. 10. The Lombards, first upon the Danube, 526, and afterwards in Italy. Though the ten kingdoms differed from these in later periods, and were sometimes more or less, yet they were still known by that name.
I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;
Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.
Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.
And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.
This evidently points out the papal supremacy, in every respect diverse from the former, which from small beginnings thrust itself up among the ten kingdoms, till at length it successively eradicated three of them, the kingdom of Heruli, of the Ostrogoths, and of the Lombards.
And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.
he shall speak
In assuming infallibility, professing to forgive sins, and to open and shut heaven, thundering out bulls and anathemas, excommunicating princes, absolving subjects from their allegiance, and exacting obedience to his decrees in open violation of reason and Scripture.
shall wear out
By wars, crusades, massacres, etc.
Appointing feasts and fasts, canonizing saints, etc.
That is, three years and a half, or, reckoning thirty days to a month, 1,260 days, equal to the same number of years in prophetic language; which, dated from the decree of Phocas constituting him the supreme head of the church, A.D. 606, terminated in 1866.
But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.
And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.
the kingdom and
Hitherto is the end of the matter. As for me Daniel, my cogitations much troubled me, and my countenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart.