Most conservative theologians uphold the view that offers the most plausible explanation of Daniel chapter seven. This author shares that same view for the most part. I say that because it is not a plausible explanation of man per se but rather a support of the truth of Scripture. Ultimately, the choice for the reader of Daniel is faith in the truth of Daniel or faith in those who claim it to be false. This is what some would call critical interpretation. This is defined as critical analysis which is to examine something that someone has said. It means to study the individual parts of the work. The format and content of this blog are based upon the belief that the books that make up the canon of Scripture are indeed the infallible, inerrant Word of God. As such, the true believer accepts the Bible as Sola Scriptura (Scripture alone) as being God’s own Word written down for our instruction and teaching. So, while many will state that they hold to the most plausible explanation of Daniel, this plausibility must rest on the truth of what God has provided His followers to understand and accept as coming from Him. Any other position forces a person to not only reject Daniel, but also God, and certainly the prophecies relating to His Son, Christ Jesus.

Daniel 7:1 tells us, In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel saw a dream and visions of his head as he lay in his bed. Then he wrote down the dream and told the sum of the matter.” (ESV) I purposely isolated verse one for discussion because you may be wondering that Belshazzar is already dead based on our reading of Daniel chapter five. And you would be correct. What we see mentioned here is a previous time period. In other words, Daniel is returning to a previous event. This event probably dates to around the year 553 BC or fourteen years before the fall of Babylon by the Medo-Persians. You may recall, Nabonidus, the actual king of Babylon [as Belshazzar was merely a Co-Regent] took the throne in 556 BC. Three years later he left Babylon under the control of Belshazzar. This hierarchy is mentioned indirectly in Daniel 5:16 where Belshazzar promised Daniel the position of the third ruler in the kingdom. This confirms that Belshazzar, as Co-Regent, was the second in command with Nabonidus being the first as king.

So, what is the purpose of Daniel returning to a dream that is not dissimilar to the dream of Nebuchadnezzar in chapter two? And why is Daniel now returning to the time of Belshazzar that we discussed in chapter five? These questions are intriguing and interesting, and the answers are relevant to our study.

First, Daniel is confirming, by the known dating we have, as to the reign of Nabonidus and Belshazzar as Co-Regent, that these events are inextricably connected to the sixth century BC. This removes any doubt as to the accuracy of the dating of the book of Daniel. Yes, the naysayers can scream all they want to, but they cannot ignore the fact that by linking Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in chapter two to Daniel’s dream in chapter seven that the time frame of world history, according to the Bible, is the correct one – the sixth century BC.

Secondly, by returning to the dream that Daniel had during the reign of Nabonidus and subsequently seeing Belshazzar sit on the throne as Co-Regent informs us that Daniel knew that events would unravel as to the stability of the kingdom of Babylon. He knew by God using him to interpret the dream of Nebuchadnezzar that Babylon would eventually be overthrown. He knew what type of tyrant Belshazzar would prove to be. If you will, he knew the measure of the man in Belshazzar and it did not bode well for Babylon. But his dream (that we will learn more of in the next several verses) while still supporting Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, is far more detailed and, in some ways, more frightening and horrific. Nebuchadnezzar’s dream used an image as the vehicle of Divine revelation of the world powers in the form of a man with different metals to differentiate the kingdoms. Daniel’s dream speaks of beasts as opposed to kingdoms and is viewed from the eyes of God’s prophet. Nebuchadnezzar’s dream can be viewed as glorious in man’s eyes as to world history and the ensuing world powers. But Daniel’s dream views world history from God’s view and shows the depravity of man, his immorality and brutality.