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We come now to the prophetical part of Daniel, in which are many
things hard to be understood. In this chapter we have,
The vision of the four beasts, ver. 1 - 8.
The vision of God's throne of government and judgment, ver. 9 - 14.
The interpretation of those visions, ver. 15 - 28.
1: In the first year of Belshazzar - This prophecy is written in
Chaldee, to be a monument to him, of the reverence his father and
grandfather shewed towards God, who had done such mighty works for them.
Then he wrote - These visions were recorded for the benefit of the church,
to rectify their mistake: for they thought all things would succeed
prosperously after they returned out of their captivity.
2: The four winds - Probably by the four winds of the great sea is
signified commotions of contrary nations, striving together by wars,
and producing these four beasts successively.
3: Four great beasts - That is, four great monarchies, great, in
comparison of particular kingdoms; beasts for their tyrannical oppressions.
4: The first - This was the Chaldean, or Assyrian; whose seat
was first at Babylon, afterwards at Nineveh, and then at Babylon
again. Eagle's wings - They were swift, over - running many countries,
and brought their monarchy to a prodigious height in a short time.
The wings were plucked - Which was first done in stopping the career of
their victories, and afterwards in casting them out of their kingdom.
A man's heart - They lost their lion - like courage, and became faint and
cowardly like other men.
5: Another beast - The Mede's and Persians, a fierce, ravenous
creature. On one side - The north side; for the Mede first arose
and sent to Cyrus the Persian to come and assist him against the
Assyrian. Three ribs - Several of the Babylonian subjects
revolted, and all these made the three ribs.
6: Like a leopard - This leopard was the Grecian monarchy; a
leopard is less than a lion, so was this monarchy at first, but yet
durst fight with a lion; so did Alexander encounter Darius with an
inferior force. A leopard also for his swiftness; therefore described
with four wings on his back. Four heads - He was succeeded by four
of his chief commanders, who divided that empire into four parts.
7: A fourth beast - The Roman empire.
8: Another little horn - Probably either the Turk or the
9: The thrones - The kingdoms of this world were destroyed by God
the king, and judge of all, called the Ancient of days, because of his
11: Destroyed - This cannot but be meant of the ruin and judgment of
13: A son of man - That is, the Messiah, he came with the clouds
of heaven, gloriously, swiftly and terribly. And came - This relates
to his ascension, at which time, he received his royal investiture,
for the protection of his church, and curbing of their enemies.
16: Unto one - That is, to an angel, that ministered.
The truth - The true meaning of this vision.
18: But the saints - Jesus Christ being their king, they shall reign
with him, and possess the kingdom for ever.
24: And another - This seems to mean the Romish antichrist.
25: Until a time and times - The numbers of Daniel and John
seem to agree. Daniel was certainly prophetical in these
things, and his prophecy reacheth to the end of times, even of
28: Of the matter - Of the vision, and the angel's interpretation.