“After this I saw in the visions at night a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and exceedingly strong. And it had great iron teeth. It devoured and broke in pieces, and stamped the rest with its feet. And it was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns.”
— Daniel 7:7
Hundreds of years before it arose, Daniel foresaw the Roman Empire. The same ten horns in this verse are like the ten toes of the image described in Daniel 2, believed to represent ten rulers of the Roman Empire.
This beast (verse 7) is not given a name. It is more dreadful than any of the previous beasts and is exceedingly strong with great iron teeth. The beast devoured and broke in pieces and stamped the residue with its feet. It was different from all of the rest.
When Rome came onto the scene, it was a republic, which made it different from all of the monarchies that had come before until finally Caesar Augustus made himself emperor.
I don’t know that we can be dogmatic about our interpretation here. But I believe we see here a prediction of the long war against God that took place during the Roman Empire. Their rulers blasphemed greatly and had themselves called gods. They waged war against the saints. But eventually, God judged the wicked empire and toppled it. Also, Rome was a picture of the war against God that was to come. Though His kingdom has many enemies, even today, they are destined to fail.
Sovereign Lord, grant us the strength today to see clearly Your work in history. Help us to understand how the rulers and kingdoms of this world topple and fade away, while Your kingdom is eternal. Let us fear You alone and no earthly ruler, no matter how powerful they may become…
BY GOD’S STRENGTH, WE RECOGNIZE
HE IS SOVEREIGN OVER HISTORY.