Scofield Reference Notes
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.
Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea.
 great sea
The "sea" in Scripture imagery stands for the populace, the mere unorganized mass of mankind Mt 13:47 Rev 13:1.
And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.
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.
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.
Margin three ribs
A reference to the three-fold dominion of the second empire, Media, Persia, Babylonia.
i.e. Lydia, Babylonia, Egypt, etc.
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.
Swiftness of Alexander's conquests.
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.
A horn symbolizes a king. Cf. Rev 17:12.
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.
 little horn
The vision is of the end of Gentile world-dominion. The former Roman empire (the iron kingdom of Dan 2:33-35,40-44 7:7 will have ten horns (i.e. kings, Rev 17:12 corresponding to the ten toes of the image. As Daniel considers this vision of the ten kings, there rises up amongst them a "little horn" (king), who subdues three of the ten kings so completely that the separate identity of their kingdoms is destroyed. Seven kings of the ten are left, and the "little horn." He is the "king of fierce countenance" typified by that other "king of fierce countenance," Antiochus Epiphanes, Dan 8:23-25 the "prince that shall come" of Dan 9:26,27 the "king" of Dan 11:36-45 the "abomination" of Dan 12:11 Mt 24:15 the "man of sin" of 2Th 2:4-8 and the "Beast" of Rev 13:4-10. See "Beast" Dan 7:8 Rev 19:20.
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.
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.
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 they
This scene is identical with that of Rev 5:6-10. There the ascription of praise of the "kings and priests" (cf. Dan 7:18, 18, ref. a) ends with the words, "and we shall reign on the earth." Rev. 6. opens the "vexing" of Ps 2:5 introductory to setting the king on Zion Ps 2:6 Rev 20:4. The vision Dan 7:9-14 reverses the order of events as they will be fulfilled. Verse 13 describes the scene in heaven (cf) Rev 5:6-10 which, in fulfilment, precedes the events which Daniel sees in vision in Dan 7:9-12. The historic order will be:
(1) The investiture of the Son of Man with the kingdom Dan 7:13,14 Rev 5:6-10
(2) the "vexing" of Psa 2.5, fully described in Mt 24:21,22 Rev 6.-18.
(3) The return of the Son of Man in glory to deliver the "smiting" blow of Dan 2:45 7:9-11 Rev 19:11-21.
(4) The judgement of the nations and the setting up of the kingdom Dan 7:10,26,27 Mt 25:31-46 Rev 20:1-6.
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.
Dan 7:13,14 is identical with Rev 5:1-7 and antedates the fulfilment of Dan 2:34,35. Dan 7:13,14 Rev 5:1-7 describe the investiture of the Son of Man and Son of David with the kingdom authority, while Dan 2:34,35 describes the crushing blow (Armageddon, Rev 16:14 which destroys Gentile world-power, thus clearing the way for the actual setting up of the kingdom of heaven. Dan 2:34,35 Rev 19:19-21 are the same event.
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.
The monarch vision of Nebuchadnezzar (Dan. 2) covers the same historic order as the beast vision of Daniel, but with this difference: Nebuchadnezzar saw the imposing outward power and splendour of the "times of the Gentiles" Lk 21:24 Rev 16:19 while Daniel saw the true character of Gentile world-government as rapacious and warlike, established and maintained by force. It is remarkable that the heraldic insignia of the Gentile nations are all beasts or birds of prey.
But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.
vs. Dan 7:18,22,25,27. That church saints will also share in the rule seems clear from Acts 16:17 Rom 8:17 2Tim 2:10-12 1Pet 2:9 Rev 1:6 3:21 5:10 20:4-6.
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;
Margin know the truth of the fourth beast
See note 4, See Scofield Note: "Dan 7:17".
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.
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.
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.
But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.
 and they shall
The end of Gentile world-power.
(1) In the beast vision of Daniel 7. the fourth beast is declared to be "the fourth kingdom," i.e. the Roman empire, the "iron" kingdom of Dan. 2. The "ten horns" upon the fourth beast (Roman empire), Dan 7:7 are declared to be "ten kings that shall arise" (Dan 7:24) answering to the ten toes of the image vision of Dan. 2. The ten kingdoms, covering the regions formerly ruled by Rome, will constitute, therefore, the form in which the fourth or Roman empire will exist when the whole fabric of Gentile world-domination is smitten by the "stone cut out without hands" == Christ Dan 2:44,45 7:9.
(2) But Daniel sees a "little horn" rise up and subdue three of the ten kings Dan 7:24-26. His distinguishing mark is hatred of God and of the Saints. He is not to be confounded with the "little horn" of Dan. 8.--a prophecy fulfilled in Antiochus Epiphanes. See Scofield Note: "Dan 8:9". In Rev. 13, additional particulars of the "little horn" of Dan. 7. are given. See Scofield Note: "Rev 13:1".
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.
Margin everlasting kingdom
See, 2Sam 7:16 Ps 89:35-37 Dan 4:3 7:13,14 Lk 1:31-33.
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.