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Daniel 7:1

New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995) [2]
— In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel saw a dream and visions in his mind [as he lay] on his bed; then he wrote the dream down [and] related the [following] summary of it.
King James Version (KJV 1769) [2]
— 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.
English Revised Version (ERV 1885)
— 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.
American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— 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.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— 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.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel saw a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream; he told the sum of the matters.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— In the first year of Belshazzar, king of Babylon, Daniel, beheld, a dream, and visions of his head upon his bed,—then, the dream, he wrote, the sum of the matters, he told.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel hath seen a dream, and the visions of his head on his bed, then the dream he hath written, the chief of the things he hath said.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— In the first year of Baltasar, king of Babylon, Daniel saw a dream: and the vision of his head was upon his bed: and writing the dream, he comprehended it in a few words: and relating the sum of it in short, he said:
Geneva Bible (GNV 1560)
— In the first yeere of Belshazzar King of Babel, Daniel sawe a dreame, and there were visions in his head, vpo his bed: then he wrote the dreame, and declared the summe of the matter.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— In the first yeere of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel had a dreame, and visions of his head vpon his bed: then he wrote the dreame, [and] tolde the summe of the matters.
Lamsa Bible (1957)
— IN the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel saw a dream and the visions of his head as he lay upon his bed; then he wrote the dream and told the sum of the matter.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— In the first year of Belteshazzar{gr.Baltasar}, king of the Chaldeans Daniel had a dream, and visions of his head upon his bed: and he wrote his dream.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— In the first year of Belshatztzar king of Bavel Daniyyel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, [and] told the sum of the matters.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
In the first 2298
{2298} Prime
(Chaldee); corresponding to H2297; as cardinal one; as article single; as ordinal first; adverbially at once.
year 8140
{8140} Prime
(Chaldee); corresponding to H8141.
of Bëlša´xxar בֵּלשַׁאצַּר 1113
{1113} Prime
(Chaldee); corresponding to H1112.
king 4430
{4430} Prime
(Chaldee); corresponding to H4428; a king.
of Bävel בָּבֶל 895
{0895} Prime
(Chaldee); corresponding to H0894.
Däniyyë´l דָּנִיֵּאל 1841
{1841} Prime
(Chaldee); corresponding to H1840; Danijel, the Hebrew prophet.
had 2370
{2370} Prime
(Chaldee); corresponding to H2372; to gaze upon; mentally to dream, be usual (that is, seem).
<8754> Grammar
Stem - Peal (See H8837)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 231
a dream 2493
{2493} Prime
(Chaldee); from a root corresponding to H2492; a dream.
and visions 2376
{2376} Prime
(Chaldee); from H2370; a sight.
of his head 7217
{7217} Prime
(Chaldee); corresponding to H7218; the head; figuratively the sum.
upon 5922
{5922} Prime
(Chaldee); corresponding to H5921.
his bed: 4903
{4903} Prime
(Chaldee); corresponding to H4904; a bed.
then 116
{0116} Prime
(Chaldee); of uncertain derivation; then (of time).
he wrote 3790
{3790} Prime
(Chaldee); corresponding to H3789.
<8754> Grammar
Stem - Peal (See H8837)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 231
the dream, 2493
{2493} Prime
(Chaldee); from a root corresponding to H2492; a dream.
[and] told 560
{0560} Prime
(Chaldee); corresponding to H0559.
<8754> Grammar
Stem - Peal (See H8837)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 231
the sum 7217
{7217} Prime
(Chaldee); corresponding to H7218; the head; figuratively the sum.
of the matters. 4406
{4406} Prime
(Chaldee); corresponding to H4405; a word, command, discourse, or subject.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Daniel 7:1

_ _ Daniel 7:1-28. Vision of the four beasts.

_ _ This chapter treats of the same subject as the second chapter. But there the four kingdoms, and Messiah’s final kingdom, were regarded according to their external political aspect, but here according to the mind of God concerning them, and their moral features. The outward political history had been shown in its general features to the world ruler, whose position fitted him for receiving such a revelation. But God’s prophet here receives disclosures as to the characters of the powers of the world, in a religious point of view, suited to his position and receptivity. Hence in the second chapter the images are taken from the inanimate sphere; in the seventh chapter they are taken from the animate. Nebuchadnezzar saw superficially the world power as a splendid human figure, and the kingdom of God as a mere stone at the first. Daniel sees the world kingdoms in their inner essence as of an animal nature lower than human, being estranged from God; and that only in the kingdom of God (“the Son of man,” the representative man) is the true dignity of man realized. So, as contrasted with Nebuchadnezzar’s vision, the kingdom of God appears to Daniel, from the very first, superior to the world kingdom. For though in physical force the beasts excel man, man has essentially spiritual powers. Nebuchadnezzar’s colossal image represents mankind in its own strength, but only the outward man. Daniel sees man spiritually degraded to the beast level, led by blind impulses, through his alienation from God. It is only from above that the perfect Son of man comes, and in His kingdom man attains his true destiny. Compare Psalms 8:1-9 with Genesis 1:26-28. Humanity is impossible without divinity: it sinks to bestiality (Psalms 32:9; Psalms 49:20; Psalms 73:22). Obstinate heathen nations are compared to “bulls” (Psalms 68:30); Egypt to the dragon in the Nile (Isaiah 27:1; Isaiah 51:9; Ezekiel 29:3). The animal with all its sagacity looks always to the ground, without consciousness of relation to God. What elevates man is communion with God, in willing subjection to Him. The moment he tries to exalt himself to independence of God, as did Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 4:30), he sinks to the beast’s level. Daniel’s acquaintance with the animal colossal figures in Babylon and Nineveh was a psychological preparation for his animal visions. Hosea 13:7, Hosea 13:8 would occur to him while viewing those ensigns of the world power. Compare Jeremiah 2:15; Jeremiah 4:7; Jeremiah 5:6.

_ _ Belshazzar — Good Hebrew manuscripts have “Belshazzar”; meaning “Bel is to be burnt with hostile fire” (Jeremiah 50:2; Jeremiah 51:44). In the history he is called by his ordinary name; in the prophecy, which gives his true destiny, he is called a corresponding name, by the change of a letter.

_ _ visions of his head — not confused “dreams,” but distinct images seen while his mind was collected.

_ _ sum — a “summary.” In predictions, generally, details are not given so fully as to leave no scope for free agency, faith, and patient waiting for God manifesting His will in the event. He “wrote” it for the Church in all ages; he “told” it for the comfort of his captive fellow countrymen.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Daniel 7:1-8

_ _ The date of this chapter places it before ch. 5, which was in the last year of Belshazzar, and ch. 6, which was in the first of Darius; for Daniel had those visions in the first year of Belshazzar, when the captivity of the Jews in Babylon was drawing near a period. Belshazzar's name here is, in the original, spelt differently from what it used to be; before it was Bel-she-azarBel is he that treasures up riches. But this is Bel-eshe-zarBel is on fire by the enemy. Bel was the god of the Chaldeans; he had prospered, but is now to be consumed.

_ _ We have, in these verses, Daniel's vision of the four monarchies that were oppressive to the Jews. Observe,

_ _ I. The circumstances of this vision. Daniel had interpreted Nebuchadnezzar's dream, and now he is himself honoured with similar divine discoveries (Daniel 7:1): He had visions of his head upon his bed, when he was asleep; so God sometimes revealed himself and his mind to the children of men, when deep sleep fell upon them (Job 33:15); for when we are most retired from the world, and taken off from the things of sense, we are most fit for communion with God. But when he was awake he wrote the dream for his own use, lest he should forget it as a dream which passes away; and he told the sum of the matters to his brethren the Jews for their use, and gave it to them in writing, that it might be communicated to those at a distance and preserved for their children after them, who shall see these things accomplished. The Jews, misunderstanding some of the prophecies of Jeremiah and Ezekiel, flattered themselves with hopes that, after their return to their own land, they should enjoy a complete and uninterrupted tranquility; but that they might not so deceive themselves, and their calamities be made doubly grievous by the disappointment, God by this prophet lets them know that they shall have tribulation: those promises of their prosperity were to be accomplished in the spiritual blessings of the kingdom of grace; as Christ has told his disciples they must expect persecution, and the promises they depend upon will be accomplished in the eternal blessings of the kingdom of glory. Daniel both wrote these things and spoke them, to intimate that the church should be taught both by the scriptures and by ministers' preaching, both by the written word and by word of mouth; and ministers in their preaching are to tell the sum of the matters that are written.

_ _ II. The vision itself, which foretels the revolutions of government in those nations which the church of the Jews, for the following ages, was to be under the influence of. 1. He observed the four winds to strive upon the great sea, Daniel 7:2. They strove which should blow strongest, and, at length, blow alone. This represents the contests among princes for empire, and the shakings of the nations by these contests, to which those mighty monarchies, which he was now to have a prospect of, owed their rise. One wind from any point of the compass, if it blow hard, will cause a great commotion in the sea; but what a tumult must needs be raised when the four winds strive for mastery! This is it which the kings of the nations are contending for in their wars, which are as noisy and violent as the battle of the winds; but how is the poor sea tossed and torn, how terrible are its concussions, and how violent its convulsions, while the winds are at strife which shall have the sole power of troubling it! Note, This world is like a stormy tempestuous sea; thanks to the proud ambitious winds that vex it. 2. He saw four great beasts come up from the sea, from the troubled waters, in which aspiring minds love to fish. The monarchs and monarchies are represented by beasts, because too often it is by brutish rage and tyranny that they are raised and supported. These beasts were diverse one from another (Daniel 7:3), of different shapes, to denote the different genius and complexion of the nations in whose hands they were lodged. (1.) The first beast was like a lion, Daniel 7:4. This was the Chaldean monarchy, that was fierce and strong, and made the kings absolute. This lion had eagle's wings, with which to fly upon the prey, denoting the wonderful speed that Nebuchadnezzar made in his conquest of kingdoms. But Daniel soon sees the wings plucked, a full stop put to the career of their victorious arms. Divers countries that had been tributaries to them revolt from them, and make head against them; so that this monstrous animal, this winged lion, is made to stand upon the feet as a man, and a man's heart is given to it. It has lost the heart of a lion, which it had been famous for (one of our English kings was called Caeur de LionLion-heart), has lost its courage and become feeble and faint, dreading every thing and daring nothing; they are put in fear, and made to know themselves to be but men. Sometimes the valour of a nation strangely sinks, and it becomes cowardly and effeminate, so that what was the head of the nations in an age or two becomes the tail. (2.) The second beast was like a bear, Daniel 7:5. This was the Persian monarchy, less strong and generous than the former, but no less ravenous. This bear raised up itself on one side against the lion, and soon mastered it. It raised up one dominion; so some read it. Persia and Media, which in Nebuchadnezzar's image were the two arms in one breast, now set up a joint government. This bear had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth, the remains of those nations it had devoured, which were the marks of its voraciousness, and yet an indication that though it had devoured much it could not devour all; some ribs still stuck in the teeth of it, which it could not conquer. Whereupon it was said to it, “Arise, devour much flesh; let alone the bones, the ribs, that cannot be conquered, and set upon that which will be an easier prey.” The princes will stir up both the kings and the people to push on their conquests, and let nothing stand before them. Note, Conquests, unjustly made, are but like those of the beasts of prey, and in this much worse, that the beasts prey not upon those of their own kind, as wicked and unreasonable men do. (3.) The third beast was like a leopard, Daniel 7:6. This was the Grecian monarchy, founded by Alexander the Great, active, crafty, and cruel, like a leopard. He had four wings of a fowl; the lion seems to have had but two wings; but the leopard had four, for though Nebuchadnezzar made great despatch in his conquests Alexander made much greater. In six years' time he gained the whole empire of Persia, a great part besides of Asia, made himself master of Syria, Egypt, India, and other nations. This beast had four heads; upon Alexander's death his conquests were divided among his four chief captains; Seleucus Nicanor had Asia the Great; Perdiccas, and after him Antigonus, had Asia the Less; Cassander had Macedonia; and Ptolemeus had Egypt. Dominion was given to this beast; it was given of God, from whom alone promotion comes. (4.) The fourth beast was more fierce, and formidable, and mischievous, than any of them, unlike any of the other, nor is there any among the beasts of prey to which it might be compared, Daniel 7:7. The learned are not agreed concerning this anonymous beast; some make it to be the Roman empire, which, when it was in its glory, comprehended ten kingdoms, Italy, France, Spain, Germany, Britain, Sarmatia, Pannonia, Asia, Greece, and Egypt; and then the little horn which rose by the fall of three of the other horns (Daniel 7:8) they make to be the Turkish empire, which rose in the room of Asia, Greece, and Egypt. Others make this fourth beast to be the kingdom of Syria, the family of the Seleucidae, which was very cruel and oppressive to the people of the Jews, as we find in Josephus and the history of the Maccabees. And herein that empire was diverse from those which went before, that none of the preceding powers compelled the Jews to renounce their religion, but the kings of Syria did, and used them barbarously. Their armies and commanders were the great iron teeth with which they devoured and broke in pieces the people of God, and they trampled upon the residue of them. The ten horns are then supposed to be ten kings that reigned successively in Syria; and then the little horn is Antiochus Epiphanes, the last of the ten, who by one means or other undermined three of the kings, and got the government. He was a man of great ingenuity, and therefore is said to have eyes like the eyes of a man; and he was very bold and daring, had a mouth speaking great things. We shall meet with him again in these prophecies.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Daniel 7:1

In the first year of Belshazzar — This prophecy is written in Chaldee, to be a monument to him, of the reverence his father and grandfather shewed towards God, who had done such mighty works for them. Then he wrote — These visions were recorded for the benefit of the church, to rectify their mistake: for they thought all things would succeed prosperously after they returned out of their captivity.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Daniel 7:1

In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: (a) then he wrote the dream, [and] told the sum of the matters.

(a) Whereas the people of Israel looked for a continual peace, after the seventy years which Jeremiah had declared, he shows that this rest will not be a deliverance from all troubles, but a beginning. And therefore he encourages them to look for a continual affliction until the Messiah is uttered and revealed, by whom they would have a spiritual deliverance, and all the promises would be fulfilled. And they would have a certain experience of this in the destruction of the Babylonian kingdom.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
Cir, am 3449, bc 555


Daniel 5:1 Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and drank wine before the thousand.
Daniel 5:22 And thou his son, O Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this;
Daniel 5:30 In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain.
Daniel 8:1 In the third year of the reign of king Belshazzar a vision appeared unto me, [even unto] me Daniel, after that which appeared unto me at the first.
Jeremiah 27:7 And all nations shall serve him, and his son, and his son's son, until the very time of his land come: and then many nations and great kings shall serve themselves of him.


Daniel 2:1 And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, wherewith his spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake from him.
Daniel 2:28-29 But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these; ... As for thee, O king, thy thoughts came [into thy mind] upon thy bed, what should come to pass hereafter: and he that revealeth secrets maketh known to thee what shall come to pass.
Daniel 4:5 I saw a dream which made me afraid, and the thoughts upon my bed and the visions of my head troubled me.
Numbers 12:6 And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, [I] the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, [and] will speak unto him in a dream.
Job 33:14-16 For God speaketh once, yea twice, [yet man] perceiveth it not. ... Then he openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction,
Jeremiah 23:28 The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What [is] the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD.
Joel 2:28 And it shall come to pass afterward, [that] I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:
Amos 3:7 Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.
Acts 2:17-18 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: ... And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:

Chal, saw


Daniel 7:7 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.
Daniel 7:13 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.
Daniel 7:15 I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of [my] body, and the visions of my head troubled me.
Genesis 15:1 After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I [am] thy shield, [and] thy exceeding great reward.
Genesis 46:2 And God spake unto Israel in the visions of the night, and said, Jacob, Jacob. And he said, Here [am] I.
Job 4:13 In thoughts from the visions of the night, when deep sleep falleth on men,
Ezekiel 1:1 Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth [month], in the fifth [day] of the month, as I [was] among the captives by the river of Chebar, [that] the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God.
2 Corinthians 12:1 It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord.

he wrote:

Isaiah 8:1 Moreover the LORD said unto me, Take thee a great roll, and write in it with a man's pen concerning Mahershalalhashbaz.
Isaiah 30:8 Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever:
Habakkuk 2:2 And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make [it] plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.
Romans 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
Revelation 1:19 Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;
Revelation 10:4 And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not.

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Chain-Reference Bible SearchCross References with Concordance

Gn 15:1; 46:2. Nu 12:6. Jb 4:13; 33:14. Is 8:1; 30:8. Jr 23:28; 27:7. Ezk 1:1. Dn 2:1, 28; 4:5; 5:1, 22, 30; 7:7, 13, 15; 8:1. Jol 2:28. Am 3:7. Hab 2:2. Ac 2:17. Ro 15:4. 2Co 12:1. Rv 1:19; 10:4.

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