Prophecy Fundamentals: The Beasts of Daniel 7

Prophecy Fundamentals: The United Nations

This article is first installment of a series I am calling “Prophecy Fundamentals” in which we will cover some of the prophecies that are fundamental to the understanding of current events and their part in Bible prophecy. This installment will cover the vision given to the prophet Daniel while Israel was in exile under Babylonian captivity and show its connection the beast depicted in Revelation 13. We will then look at the United States’ role in end time events.

Daniel’s Vision of the Modern Day World Powers

In Daniel 7, we see that Daniel has a dream. In his dream, he sees four beasts: a lion with eagle’s wings, a bear, a leopard with four heads and the wings of a fowl, and a fourth beast more ferocious than the rest. In this section, we will discuss the first three beasts. Before we can understand the meaning on this dream, we need to understand what these beasts represent. Luckily, we do not have to look far! Just a few verses down in Daniel 7:17, we are informed that these beasts represent nations that were not currently on the earth, but will be on the earth at a later date.

"These four huge beasts represent four kingdoms that will arise from the earth. – Daniel 7:17 NLT
Reading on, you can see that these are nations that will be on the earth in the end times because it talks about the establishment of God’s Kingdom on Earth around the same time.
9 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. 10 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. 11 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. 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 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. Daniel 7:9-14 KJV
In Daniel 12:4-9, we see that the scroll and the meaning is “sealed up” until “the time of the end”. This is very important because it is telling the reader that the prophecies of the book of Daniel will not be fully understood until the time immediately preceding Jesus return.
4 But you, Daniel, roll up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end. Many will go here and there to increase knowledge.” 5 Then I, Daniel, looked, and there before me stood two others, one on this bank of the river and one on the opposite bank. 6 One of them said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, “How long will it be before these astonishing things are fulfilled?” 7 The man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, lifted his right hand and his left hand toward heaven, and I heard him swear by him who lives forever, saying, “It will be for a time, times and half a time. When the power of the holy people has been finally broken, all these things will be completed.” 8 I heard, but I did not understand. So I asked, “My lord, what will the outcome of all this be?” 9 He replied, “Go your way, Daniel, because the words are rolled up and sealed until the time of the end.

Now we know four important facts to assist us in deciphering Daniel’s dream.

  • The beasts represent nations.
  • They are not nations that were on earth at the time the dream was given to Daniel since Daniel 7:17 says that the nations will arise. Also in Daniel 7:12 we see that the nations in question remain in power for a short time after Jesus establishes his kingdom on Earth. The nations such as Babylon that were in power in that time have long since disappeared.
  • The nations will be on the earth immediately preceding Jesus return to the earth.
  • These prophecies will not be understood until the end times immediately before Jesus’ return.

Armed with this knowledge, is there any way we know what nations they represent? Yes. There are a number of clues given in this vision to identify these nations. The first and most obvious clues are the beasts themselves. Since we know that the beasts represent nations, and we know that it is common today to associate animal symbols with nations, are there nations on earth today that are represented by the beasts in Daniel’s vision? Yes.

Let’s start with the first beast: the lion with eagle’s wings.

The Lion with Eagle’s Wings

The first beast was like a lion with eagles' wings. As I watched, its wings were pulled off, and it was left standing with its two hind feet on the ground, like a human being. And it was given a human mind. - Daniel 7:4 NLT

In Daniel 7:4 we see the wings being plucked off of the lion and becoming its own being.

Everyone knows that the eagle is the symbol of the United States, and many people will also recognize the lion as the symbol of the United Kingdom 1. On July 4th, 1776, the United States signed the Declaration of Independence declaring the United States of America as its own sovereign country independent from the UK. This declaration was signed soon after the start of the Revolutionary War where America chose to fight for its independence. It is interesting to note that our independence day is July 4th (7/4) and the wings were broken off of the lion in verse 7:4. In Other words, the wings of the eagle (America) were broken off the Lion (the UK) when America became a country on July 4th, 1776. I believe Daniel 7:4 was a prophecy of the Declaration of Independence – the birth of America.

I find the imagery regarding the lion quite interesting. The wings were part of the lion and in Daniel’s dream, they are being torn off. This paints a picture of a painful removal of the wings from the lion. The UK wanted to retain control of America, and they were willing to go to war to ensure that happened. This demonstrates that the removal of America from its control was not consensual. Ultimately, America’s independence was earned through war, and the deaths of tens of thousands of people.

Let’s move on to the bear.

The Bear

5 “And there before me was a second beast, which looked like a bear. It was raised up on one of its sides, and it had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. It was told, ‘Get up and eat your fill of flesh!’ Daniel 7:5 NLT

If you pay any attention at all to the news, it is very easy to identify the Bear as Russia. You hear the talk regularly about the Russian Bear 2. Russia is well known for its ability to devour much flesh as leaders like Lenin and Stalin killed several million people. This leaves us with the leopard with four heads with the wings of the fowl.

The Leopard and the Fowl

6 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.

Most people probably do not know that the symbol of France is a Rooster 3, which is a fowl, and the unofficial symbol of Germany is the leopard 4. If the leopard represents Germany, and the wings of the fowl represent France, why are the wings on the leopard and why does the leopard have four heads? On January 22, 1963, France and Germany signed the Élysée Treaty ending centuries of rivalry between them. In fact, their allegiance is so strong that they are often described as the “core countries” or the “twin engine” in the EU. 5 This imagery from Daniel’s vision highlights the very close relationship between the two countries. As for the four heads, Germany has had three reichs, with Hitler’s third reich likely being the most well-known albeit infamously. However, there are a growing number of people acknowledging the existence of Germany’s fourth reich today! 6 It is common to see talk to Germany dominating the EU, and in Daniel 7:6 we see that dominion was given to the leopard. The clues from Daniel’s vision fit perfectly with the most powerful nations on earth today!

Now let’s take a brief look at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

The United Nations Security Council

The UNSC is comprised of five permanent members (each of whom have veto power), and ten rotating members who each serve for two years. The five permanent member nations that have veto power include the following: the United States, the UK, Russia, France and China. When a resolution comes up for a vote in the UNSC, if any of the five permanent members veto the resolution, it fails. In other words, fourteen members could vote for a resolution and a single permanent member could veto a resolution and it would fail. This makes the five permanent members the most powerful nations in the United Nations because they have such great power in determining world governing policies. So out of the five permanent members in the UNSC, four of them are represented by the vision in Daniel 7. This is too much to be coincidence. In fact, it demonstrates just how precise Bible prophecy really is!

The United Nations is structured to be a world governing body, with the nations each being a member country. They create global governing policies by voting much like a democracy. They have the power to sanction countries that violate UNSC resolutions, and bring people before the International Criminal Court (ICC) for violating international law, and much more.

This world-governing body was prophesied in the Revelation 13 in a vision given to John. Armed with the understanding of Daniel 7, we are able to see the United Nations in scripture crystal clearly.

1 And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. 2 And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. 3 And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. - Revelation 13:1-3

Here we see the same symbols from Daniel 7: the leopard, the bear and the lion. But rather than them being distinct beasts, they are now united into a single beast with different parts of each of the beasts. The body was like the leopard, the feet were of the bear, and the mouth was of the lion. Since we know that the beasts represent nations, and now we see them united into a single beast, it would be appropriate to call this beast from revelation the “United Nations”. It is important to note that the wings of the eagle are missing from this united beast. Instead, we see the wings of the eagle in Revelation 12:14 protecting Israel.

14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.

The woman in the verse above represents the nation of Israel (I will delve into this in another installment of the Prophecy Fundamentals series.), and we have already shown that the wings of the eagle which were plucked from the lion represent the United States. This shows that while the other nations will be part of the United Nations run by the anti-Christ, that America will be protecting Israel from the United Nations. How do we know that the anti-Christ will control the UN? In Revelation 13:2 we see the following:

2 And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.

And in Revelation 12:9 we see:

9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. This shows us that the dragon is the devil, Satan. He will give his power and authority to this combo-beast, the United Nations.

Conclusion

As we can see, Daniel’s dream shows us the nations that would be on earth just before the return of Jesus to this earth to setup His kingdom. He told Daniel that the book was sealed until the time of the end. This makes sense because there is no way Daniel could have understood the prophecies at that time since the nations the beasts represent did not exist at that time. But because God wants his people to understand the prophecies, he used symbols that we would recognize when the time was right. Now that all of these nations are on earth, we can understand clearly much of the symbolism of these prophecies, and when the symbols are understood, they reveal much about events to come.

God wants his people to seek and pursue him, so he uses symbols to obscure the meaning of his prophecies from the average reader. However, he also gives us the meaning of the symbols in his word so that those who diligently seek him will find him. In fact, Proverbs 25:2 puts it this way:

It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.

When we seek him, God will reveal himself to us through his word.