Identification of the Four Kingdoms in Daniel 7
Throughout history, there have been many Bible scholars and theologians that have talked about the kingdoms presented by Daniel in Daniel chapter 7. But according to many sources, including Martin Luther, there is not much debate on the identity of these four kingdoms. According to Luther “in this interpretation and opinion all the world are agreed, and history and fact abundantly establish it.”1 The beast of the lion represents the kingdom of Babylon, the beast of the bear is the Medo-Persian kingdom, the beast of the leopard is the Greek kingdom and then the unknown beast is the Roman Empire. Although these kingdoms are generally agreed on by most scholars, some view the 4 kingdoms as the Babylonian, Median, Persian and Greek empires, leaving out the Roman Empire altogether. But this is denied by most Christians today because “it suggests in lining up these four kingdoms the assumed second-century author of Daniel simply made a mistake.”2
Identification of the “One Like the Son of Man”
As you read Daniel 7, it mentions in Daniel's dream “the son of man.” While many look at this passage and automatically think that this is the Messiah, Jesus Christ, there are others who look at this passage and claim something else. While the interpretation of this being the Messiah is this writers point of view, not all are in the same agreement on this subject. Some say that this passage is referring to the Jewish people, as claimed by Morgenstern: “The position most generally accepted today is that the “son of man” symbolizes the Jewish people.”3
1Luther, M. Biblical Commentary on the Book of Daniel.
2Walton, John H. The Four Kingdoms of Daniel. Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society.
3Morgenstern, Julian. The “Son of Man” of Daniel 7: A New Interpretation. Journal of Biblical Literature.