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  • Writer's pictureDeborah

Vision interpretation

Series: Daniel




Daniel 7:15-28 ESV

I Corinthians 12:7-11 ESV

Genesis 41:17-27 ESV


It’s absolutely no surprise that in Daniel 7:15 Daniel confessed, “As for me, Daniel, my spirit within me was anxious, and the visions of my head alarmed me.”


Dream interpretation is extremely difficult at times and in Daniel’s  case the dreams would have been extremely unsettling. Part of the reason for that is it was a very long dream with many many parts.


Think of it this way. If a writer and a filmmaker were to find someone who could effectively interpret meaning of the the dream, the writer would have still need to make sense of the flow of the text and the director would need to create a visual interpretation. That sounds easy enough, except the dream had many parts.


As a final step, the actors would need to make it believable but they would need context.


The most difficult part of the journey of making the film (or interpreting the dream) would be in the interpretation stage.


What was God really saying to Daniel. Dreams are often symbolic, so what did each part symbolize?


Even if Daniel could determine the Lion with wings like an eagle was a representation of Babylon, it doesn’t seem plausible that he would be able to figure out what the rest of the dream meant.


Daniel definitely needed help from someone who had the gift of interpreting his dream.


Fortunately for Daniel, God provided a way. We know from I Corinthians 12:7-11 in today’s world there are those who have dreams and there are those who are given understanding of dreams and visions. Once again, hindsight makes all the difference.


In Genesis 41:17-27 we are told that Joseph interpreted the dream for Pharaoh, “Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Behold, in my dream I was standing on the banks of the Nile. Seven cows, plump and attractive, came up out of the Nile and fed in the reed grass. Seven other cows came up after them, poor and very ugly and thin, such as I had never seen in all the land of Egypt. And the thin, ugly cows ate up the first seven plump cows, but when they had eaten them no one would have known that they had eaten them, for they were still as ugly as at the beginning. Then I awoke. I also saw in my dream seven ears growing on one stalk, full and good. Seven ears, withered, thin, and blighted by the east wind, sprouted after them, 24 and the thin ears swallowed up the seven good ears. And I told it to the magicians, but there was no one who could explain it to me.” Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “The dreams of Pharaoh are one; God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is about to do. The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good ears are seven years; the dreams are one. The seven lean and ugly cows that came up after them are seven years, and the seven empty ears blighted by the east wind are also seven years of famine.”


Hearing the interpretation shines a light on the dream!


In Daniel 7:16, God provided someone to help Daniel interpret the dream. Daniel “approached one of those who stood there and asked him the truth concerning all this. So he told me and made known to me the interpretation of the things.”


In Daniel 7:17-27 Daniel was told,  “‘These four great beasts are four kings who shall arise out of the earth. But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, forever and ever.’ “Then I desired to know the truth about the fourth beast, which was different from all the rest, exceedingly terrifying, with its teeth of iron and claws of bronze, and which devoured and broke in pieces and stamped what was left with its feet, and about the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn that came up and before which three of them fell, the horn that had eyes and a mouth that spoke great things, and that seemed greater than its companions. As I looked, this horn made war with the saints and prevailed over them, until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was given for the saints of the Most High, and the time came when the saints possessed the kingdom.

“Thus he said: ‘As for the fourth beast,

there shall be a fourth kingdom on earth,    which shall be different from all the kingdoms,and it shall devour the whole earth,    and trample it down, and break it to pieces.

As for the ten horns,out of this kingdom ten kings shall arise,    and another shall arise after them;he shall be different from the former ones,    and shall put down three kings.

He shall speak words against the Most High,    and shall wear out the saints of the Most High,    and shall think to change the times and the law;and they shall be given into his hand    for a time, times, and half a time.

But the court shall sit in judgment,    and his dominion shall be taken away,    to be consumed and destroyed to the end.

And the kingdom and the dominion    and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven    shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High;his kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom,    and all dominions shall serve and obey him.’”


Following the hearing of the interpretation of the dream we are told in Daniel 7:28, “Here is the end of the matter. As for me, Daniel, my thoughts greatly alarmed me, and my color changed, but I kept the matter in my heart.”


In the end Daniel wasn’t so concerned about the first, the second, or the third beast, but he had a sense from the dream that there was something very different about the fourth beast.


Today we know the first beast referred to the Kingdom of Babylon. The second beast referred to the Medo-Persian Empire. And the third beast before represented the Grecian Empire.


Daniel knew long before that the disturbing fourth beast was born that it would do far more damage that the other kingdoms. Daniel spoke of the ‘Ancient of Days’ and the fourth beast would be vastly different and more dangerous from the other beasts.


You see, the fourth beast crucified Holy God on a cross. Then, The one who looked like. Son of God arose again and conquered sin and death. And in the end, indeed the kingdom was, is, and will be an everlasting kingdom that “all dominions shall serve and obey.”


Spiritual Practice: Worship


Worship God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit.


In God, Deborah



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