Daniel 7:7 Index
"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."
Research Material

"...a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible..."

  • The fourth beast with iron teeth is the same as the legs of iron in Daniel 2. The takeover of the Grecian Empire was slow, but by 168 B.C., the Romans were very much in control. The great iron teeth portray the way Rome devoured nations and people in its conquests. What Rome did not destroy she brought into slavery... Rome ruled until A.D. 476, at which time the Germanic tribes invaded the Roman Empire, breaking it into pieces, and finally into ten parts. The ten horns represent the tribes corresponding to the toes of the image in Daniel 2. (KC 80)
  • BEAST: Another term, common to symbolic Bible prophecy, is that of "beasts." Nations were effectively cartooned or portrayed by various well-known or unknown beasts, just as some are today: the British lion, the Russian bear, or the American eagle. In Daniel's day a lion, a bear, a leopard, and a fearful monster without an earthly replica appeared in Daniel 7, and the ram and he-goat of Daniel 8 are expressly explained by the prophet as symbols, respectively, of "Media and Persia" and "Grecia" (Daniel 8:20, 21). Similar "beasts" are pictured in the Revelation. These terms are not epithets of derision; they are simply the divine method of cartooning nations and their careers through the centuries. So a prophetic "beast" merely means a kingdom or nation, no more and no less. (Froom 32-33)
  • (Daniel 7:19) There was, presumably , no parallel in the natural world by which to designate this hideous creature, for no comparison is made as in the case of the first three beats. There should be no question, however, but that it represents the same power that is portrayed by the iron legs of the great image (Daniel 2:40).... It is clear from history that the world power succeeding the third prophetic empire was Rome. However, the transition was gradual so that it is impossible to point to a specific event as marking the change. As already stated, the empire of Alexander was divided after 301 B.C., into four Hellenistic kingdoms (Daniel 8:8), and their replacement by the Roman Empire was a gradual process in several principal stages. Writers differ in attempting to choose a significant turning point. (4BC 823)
  • By 200 B.C., when Carthage was no longer a rival (although it was not destroyed until more than half a century later), Rome was the mistress of the Western Mediterranean and had begun to enter into contacts with the East, where she was thenceforth to become dominant also.. In 197 B.C., Rome defeated Macedonia and set up the Greek states under her own protection. In 190 B.C., Rome defeated Antiochus III and took the Seleucid territory as far east as the Taurus Mountains. In 168 B.C., at the Battle of Pydna, Rome ended the monarchy in Macedonia, dividing it up into four confederacies; and probably in the same year warned Antiochus IV away from his attack on Egypt. In 146 B.C., Rome annexed Macedonia as a province and placed most of the Greek cities under the governor in Macedonia.... If Rome's mastery of the East is reckoned from the removal of the monarchs of the three Hellenistic kingdoms, by Roman power, the date 168 B.C., may be Regarded as the first step in the process. However, the Seleucid and Ptolemaic kings remained on their thrones till much later, 63 B.C., in Syria and 30 B.C., in Egypt. If the dates of annexation of these three kingdoms as Roman provinces are chosen, the dates would be 146 B.C., 63 B.C., and 30 B.C., respectively. Some historians emphasize 168 B.C., because by that time Rome had conquered Macedonia and had saved Egypt from falling to the Seleucid kingdom by merely forbidding the invasion of Antiochus IV This demonstrated that Rome virtually controlled all three kingdoms even though she had as yet conquered only one of them. No single date can be given for a gradual process. Regardless of one's choice of the most significant date or dates, the change of world power to Rome is clear, and the absorption of the territory of Alexander from Macedonia to the Euphrates was completed in 30 B.C. (4BC 823)
  • Inspiration finds no beast in nature to symbolize the power here illustrated. No addition of hoofs, heads, horns, wings, scales, teeth, or mails to any beast found in nature will answer. This power is diverse from all the others, and the symbol is wholly different from anything found in the animal kingdom. (US 110)
  • The history of the first three kingdoms is but lightly touched upon in Daniel 7, but when the fourth beast, "dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly," appeared, Daniel "would know the truth," and the angel explained that power minutely.... The three preceding powers were symbolized by three of the mightiest beasts of the earth, but when the fourth beast was considered, there was no animal with a character to represent its terrible nature; so a beast without name having iron teeth, brass nails, and ten horns, was presented to the prophet. (SNH 106)

"...it had great iron teeth..."

  • These enormous metallic teeth speak of cruelty and strength. As the animal tore to pieces and devoured its prey with these grotesque fangs, so Rome devoured nations and peoples in its conquests. Sometimes whole cities were destroyed, as in the case of Corinth in 146 B.C., then again kingdoms, such as Macedonia and the Seleucid dominions had been, were divided into provinces. (4BC 823, 826)

"...and it had ten horns."

  • HORNS: "Horns" is frequently used to symbolize divisions, or nations, that develop out of a great parent kingdom. Thus the ten horns appearing on the fourth beast of Daniel 7 (compare the paralleling beasts of Revelation 13 and Revelation 17) are expressly stated to be ten kingdoms; or divisions, that would arise out of the territory of the fourth world kingdom. (Froom 33)
  • Explained as "ten kings" (Daniel 7:24). If the "four kings" of Daniel 7:17 represent kingdoms (Daniel 7:3), parallel to the four empires of Daniel 2, then there is fully as much reason to understand these "ten kings" as kingdoms also, even as the four horns of the goat are "four kingdoms" (Daniel 8:22). The successive invasions of the Roman Empire by numerous Germanic tribes, and the replacement of the empire by a number of separate states or monarchies, are well established facts of history. Owing to the fact that a score or more barbarian tribes invaded the Roman Empire, commentators have complied various lists of the kingdoms that were founded. The following list is representative: Ostrogoths, Visigoths, Franks, Vandals, Suevi, Alamanni, Anglo-Saxons, Heruli, Lombards, Burgundians. Some prefer to list the Huns in place of the Alamanni, however the Huns disappeared early without leaving a settled kingdom. The period was one of great upheaval, confusion, and change, during which a large number of states secured their independence. (4BC 826)