Can you explain Daniel 7:12?

CAN YOU EXPLAIN DANIEL 7:12?

by Shawn Brasseaux

“As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time” (Daniel 7:12). To what is this referring?

Read the verse in context: “[11] I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame. [12] As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time. [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. [14] And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.”

Firstly, these “beasts” of verse 12 are interpreted or defined in verse 17: “These great beasts [see verses 1-7], which are four, are four kings, which shall [future tense] arise out of the earth.” They were future from Daniel’s time, meaning this would definitely not refer to the Babylonians (which, according to verse 1, are already ruling). At this point, we cannot specify exactly which rulers these would be because they are still future even from us. Secondly, these four kings lead up to the Antichrist (the “little horn” of verse 8, the “beast” of verse 11). Verses 9-14, of course, are Father God preparing Jesus Christ to return at His Second Coming and reign in the Millennium.

With these remarks, we can at least pinpoint the time of Daniel 7:12. It will occur after the Antichrist’s slaying and destruction at Christ’s fiery coming (“the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame” of verse 11—cf. 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; 2 Thessalonians 2:8-9) but just before the 1,000 years begin (Daniel 7:13-14).

Re-read Daniel 7:12: “As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.” My understanding is the following: the four beasts or kings—whose identities are still unclear to us—will not be slain with the Antichrist immediately at Christ’s return (Battle of Armageddon of Revelation 19:11-21). They no longer reign, but, for some inexplicable reason, they are not yet dead either.

One explanation is these four kings are taken as prisoners of war, the Jewish saints or believers (Israel’s believing remnant) capturing them, and the Lord evidently killing them later. Psalm 149 may be insightful here: “[5] Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds. [6] Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand; [7] To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people; [8] To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; [9] To execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints. Praise ye the LORD.”

Also see:
» Who or what are the 10 “toes” or “horns” or “crowns” associated with the Antichrist?
» Is the Antichrist alive right now?
» Will the Antichrist be a Jew or a Gentile?
» How are the Beast and the False Prophet “cast alive” into the Lake of Fire?
» What is “the mark of the Beast?”
» Why is “666” the number of the Beast?

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