Decoding Daniel - an in depth Bible study of the book of Daniel

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Daniel 7

Outline and Background - Daniel 7

Vision and Dream of the Three Beasts - Daniel 7:1-6

The Four Winds of Heaven

The Great Sea

The First Beast

The Second Beast

The Third Beast

Vision of the Fourth Beast - Daniel 7:7-8

The Little Horn of the Fourth Beast

The Future From God's Perspective

Linking of Daniel 7 to Revelation 17

Vision of God's Throne - Daniel 7:9-12

Vision of the Son of Man - Daniel 7:13-14

Visions and Dream Interpreted - Daniel 7:15-28

Applications of Daniel 7

The Four Winds of Heaven

What are the Four Winds of Heaven? The Jews held that the winds from due north, south, east, and west to be favorable, while those from the angles were unfavorable. Many commentators identify these winds as the “powers of the air” or “spiritual forces of evil” of which the apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 6:12:

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

In Revelation 7:1, the four winds of the earth can be taken as literal or symbolic, representing the destructive forces of either God or evil.

After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth to prevent any wind from blowing on the land or on the sea or on any tree.

The LORD announced in Jeremiah 49:36:

I will bring against Elam the four winds from the four quarters of the heavens; I will scatter them to the four winds, and there will not be a nation where Elam's exiles do not go.

Elam is the Hebrew name of a region lying east of Babylonia and extending to the mountains of Media in the northeast, and along the Persian Gulf to the borders of ancient Persia in the south. Its two divisions were Elam proper in the north and Anshan in the south, the latter being an independent kingdom until it was annexed by Persia around 600 B.C.

Elam assisted in the overthrow of Babylon and was absorbed by the Persian Empire. The four winds do not represent four nations coming against Elam; they symbolize the widespread scattering of the people of Elam by God.

In three passages, the four winds symbolize the scattering or gathering of the elect to or from the ends of the earth (Zechariah 2:6; Matthew 24:31; Mark 13:27). In Ezekiel’s vision of the Valley of the Dry Bones, the four winds symbolize the Holy Spirit’s breath of salvation, breathed into Israel.

Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, “This is what the Sovereign LORD says: ‘Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe into these slain,
that they may live’” (Ezekiel 37:9).

In the figurative language of Scripture, the blowing of the four winds of heaven has either positive or negative ramifications. The Aramaic does not indicate whether the four winds blew at the same time, or followed each other in sequence. A separate and sequential churning of the Great Sea by each wind matches the historical fulfillment of this passage. In verses 6 and 7, the phrase “after that” points to the sequential blowing of the winds.

Of the 192 references to “wind” in the Bible, 60 relate to events and ideas that involve the power and sovereignty of God.

Bible Studies by Bob Conway

Unsealing Revelation

Experiencing Exodus

Book of James

Life of Christ

The Holy Spirit

How to Study the Bible

Other studies at Spreading Light Bible Studies

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