1 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. 2 Daniel spoke and said, "I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven strove upon the great sea. 3 And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse from one another. 4 The first was like a lion and had eagles' wings. I beheld until its wings were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth and made to stand upon the feet as a man, and a man's heart was given to it. 5 And behold another beast, a second, like a bear, and it raised itself on one side, and it had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth, and they said thus to it: 'Arise, devour much flesh.' 6 After this I beheld, and behold another, like a leopard, which had upon its back four wings of a bird. The beast also had four heads, and dominion was given to it. 7 After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and exceedingly strong, and it had great iron teeth. It devoured and broke in pieces and stamped the residue with its feet. And it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns. 8 I considered the horns, and behold, there came up among them another little horn, before which there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots. And behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth speaking great things.
9 "I beheld until the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days sat, whose garment was white as snow and the hair of his head like the pure wool. His throne was fiery flames and its wheels were burning fire.
10 A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him. Millions ministered to him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The judgment was set and the books were opened.
11 "I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spoke. I beheld even until the beast was slain and his body destroyed and given to the burning flame. 12 As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away, yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.
13 "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.
14 And there was given to him dominion, glory, and a kingdom, so that all people, nations, and languages should serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion which shall not pass away, and his kingdom is one which shall not be destroyed.
15 "I, Daniel, was grieved in my spirit in the midst of 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 me know the interpretation of the things: 17 'These great beasts, which are four, are four kings which shall arise out of the earth. 18 But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever.'
19 "Then I wished to know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceedingly dreadful, whose teeth were of iron and his nails of brass, which devoured, broke in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet, 20 And of the ten horns that were on his head, and of the other which came up and before which three fell, even of the horn that had eyes and a mouth that spoke very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows. 21 I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints and prevailed against them, 22 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.
23 "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, tread it down, and break it in pieces. 24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings who shall arise. And another shall rise after them, and he shall be diverse from the first and he shall subdue three kings. 25 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. 26 But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion to consume and to destroy it to the end. 27 And the kingdom, the dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.'
28 "Here is the end of the matter. As for me, Daniel, my cogitations greatly troubled me and my countenance changed in me, but I kept the matter in my heart."
John Gill's Chapter Summary:
This chapter contains Daniel’s vision of the four beasts. The time, place, manner, writing, and declaration of the vision (Daniel 7:1); the rise of the beasts and the description of them (Daniel 7:2-8); the judgment of God upon them, especially the last, and the delivery of universal monarchy to his Son (Daniel 7:9-14); the interpretation of the vision at the request of Daniel, being greatly affected with it (Daniel 7:15-18); a particular inquiry of his about the fourth beast, concerning which a full account is given (Daniel 7:19-27); all which caused in him many thoughts of heart and reflections of mind (Daniel 7:28).
[v.13] - Quoted in Matthew 24:30; Mark 13:26, 14:62; Luke 21:27; Revelation 1:7.