Daniel 7:2

Hebrew Bible

1 In the first year of King Belshazzar of Babylon, Daniel had a dream filled with visions while he was lying on his bed. Then he wrote down the dream in summary fashion. 2 Daniel explained: “I was watching in my vision during the night as the four winds of the sky were stirring up the great sea. 3 Then four large beasts came up from the sea; they were different from one another. 4 “The first one was like a lion with eagles’ wings. As I watched, its wings were pulled off, and it was lifted up from the ground. It was made to stand on two feet like a human being, and a human mind was given to it.

4 Ezra 13:2

2 Esdras

1 The seven days passed; and the next night I had a dream. 2 In my dream, a wind came up out of the sea and set the waves in turmoil. 3 And this wind brought a human figure rising from the depths, and as I watched this man came flying with the clouds of heaven. 4 Wherever he turned his eyes, everything that they fell on was seized with terror; and wherever the sound of his voice reached, all who heard it melted like wax at the touch of fire.

 Notes and References

"... One of the objectionable aspects of this interpretation is that, as was already noted on the chaos-myth interpretation of sea, there is no such thing as an inherent and invariable morally negative nuance associated with the sea in the book of Revelation or in the rest of the canonical corpus or even in the postexilic Jewish apocalyptic literature contemporaneous to the last book of the Christian Bible (e.g., 4 Ezra 12-13) ... Daniel 7:2 has traditionally been seen by those in favor of sea as people as the main clue to the interpretation of the sea in Revelation 13:1, mostly in light of the obvious literary relationship between the two. Whatever the sea stands for in Daniel 7:2, it stands for in Revelation 13:1, they reason. Daniel 7:2 reads: “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me were the four winds of heaven churning up the great sea.” Since the four beasts emerging from that sea explicitly stand for four consecutive nations, the Babylonians, the Medo-Persians, the Greeks, and the Romans, the most natural conclusion is that they originated in the waters of humankind agitated by the winds of world-wide political and military conflicts. This conclusion seems to be reinforced by the mention of “the four winds of heaven,” which definitely has a flavor of universality since they seem to allude to the cardinal points of the compass. Again, the reinforcing covenantal link between the sea and the beasts of prey in Daniel 7, mostly in light of their Old Testament antecedents, transcends the identification of Daniel’s sea as just a symbol of people in general to place the whole picture within the frame of the broken covenant and its consequences ..."

Cotro, Hugo Antonio Up from Sea and Earth: Revelation 13:1, 11 in Context (p. 87, 99) Andrews University, 2015

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