The DREAM that you’re referring to is recorded in Daniel 7:1-14. Due to limited space we will quote verses and give brief comments on them.

Verses 2-3: “Daniel spoke, saying, ‘I saw…four winds of heaven stirring up the Great Sea. And FOUR GREAT BEASTS CAME UP FROM THE SEA, each different from the other.’” The “Great Sea” represents the “Mediterranean Sea” and the “Four Beasts” picture “Four World Empires” that would arise from the nations surrounding that sea. See verse 17.

Verse 4: “The first was like a LION, and had EAGLE’S WINGS. I watched till its wings were plucked off; and it was lifted up from the earth and made to stand on two feet like a man, and a man’s heart was given to it.” The LION represents the BABYLONIAN EMPIRE that was known for its MAJESTY (like a “lion”) and SWIFTNESS (like “eagle’s wings”).

Verse 5: “And suddenly another beast, a second, like a BEAR. It was raised up on one side, and had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. And they said thus to it: ‘Arise, devour much flesh.’” The BEAR pictures the MEDO-PERSIAN EMPIRE which DEVOURED (like a “bear” the Babylonian Empire).

Verse 6: “After this I looked, and there was another, like a LEOPARD, which had on its back FOUR WINGS of a bird. The beast also had FOUR HEADS, and dominion was given to it.” The LEOPARD typifies the GREACIAN EMPIRE which conquered the Medes and Persians with great SPEED (i.e. four wings). It had FOUR HEADS which symbolize FOUR GENERALS who split up the empire into “four kingdoms” after Alexander the Great (the head of the Grecian Empire) died.

Verses 7-8: “After this I saw…a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, exceedingly strong. It had huge IRON TEETH; it was devouring, breaking in pieces, and trampling the residue with its FEET. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had TEN HORNS. I was considering the horns, and there was ANOTHER HORN, A LITTLE ONE, coming up among them, before whom the three of the first horns were plucked out by the roots. And there, in this horn, were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking pompous words.” The FOURTH BEAST clearly represents the ROMAN EMPIRE which was so “different” from the preceding beasts that Daniel couldn’t relate it to a known animal. It was extremely “strong” and is an apt picture of the Roman Empire which crushed and devoured its prey (the Persian Empire). Daniel saw TEN HORNS and a LITTLE HORN. We believe the “ten horns” and the “little horn” symbolize the Roman Empire in its REVIVED FORM; in other words, they are yet FUTURE. In regards to the “ten horns” I would encourage you to read verses 20 & 24, along with Revelation 13:1 and 17:12. The “little horn” (who will be the “head of the Revived Roman Empire”) is spoken of as “the Beast” in Revelation 13:3-8 and 17:12-13.

In closing, these FOUR EMPIRES are a graphic picture of the “Times of the Gentiles” (se Luke 21:24), a phrase which describes God’s taking the throne of government away from Jerusalem and transferring it to the Gentiles. Ever since the Lord departed from Jerusalem (see Ezekiel 10:1-19) the Jewish people have been under Gentile rule. It is interesting to note that the “Times of the Gentiles” were also symbolized by Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in Daniel 2:1, 17-31-45, though instead of seeing “Four Beasts” he saw an “Image of a MAN” consisting of GOLD, SILVER, BRONZE and IRON. The “Times of the Gentiles” will end when Israel’s Messiah returns to earth to set up His Kingdom, as we see in Daniel 7:9-14. (333.5) (DO)