Daniel was written by a Hebrew captive while in exile to Babylon beginning in 605 BCE. 2:1) of a great statue that predicted four kingdoms which were represented by the four metals composing the statue.
The most important feature is that at the end of the dream the statue is destroyed by a great stone (Dan. This is what the Jews were expecting then (and now) and this is what Christians understand to be the promise of the Second Advent.
If one accepts the inspiration of scripture, an apocalyptic vision should be interpreted as what the prophet actually saw not merely a genre of literature.
Daniel chapter seven begins with the prophet lying in bed and seeing “a dream and visions of his head” (v.1).
However, in this second vision additional details make for an apt description of Nebuchadnezzar himself.
In view of chapter four’s events, the tearing off of the beast’s wings seems to symbolize Nebuchadnezzar’s humbling.
The liberal view that this beast is Median singular fails in this regard.
Furthermore, the bear is divinely commanded to devour three ribs, corresponding nicely with the major three conquests made by King Cyrus and his son Cambyses: the Lydian (546 BCE), Chaldean (539 BCE) and Egyptian (525 BCE).
The winged lion of Babylon was a well established emblem.
Because of the mention of King Belshazzar, Nabonidus’ son and co-regent, we can determine that the book moves chronologically from chapters one to six and then at chapter seven backs up in time to a point somewhere before chapter five.
What is important is that Daniel’s vision in chapter seven parallels the dream in chapter two albeit, as I will argue below, from the divine perspective rather than a human perspective.
They then proceed to violate holy inspiration by assigning the fourth beast to the Greek Empire. Because Jesus himself authenticated Daniel as the author (Mat. Due to my own first principles, I dismiss such biased conjecture outright. Ironside, who commenting on the parallel with the chapter two statue dream writes, “In what we have already gone over we have been chiefly occupied with prophetic history as viewed from man’s standpoint; but in the second half of the book we have the same scenes as viewed in God’s unsullied light.” Daniel’s vision is illustrative of God’s view of imperialism.
However, I will demonstrate that the traditional view is coherent with prophetic symbolism and the historical record, while the liberal critic’s position appears ad hoc and disingenuous. Contemplate the kingdom values expressed by Christ in His sermon on the mount.