I’ve always been taught that the beasts of Daniel 7 were simply another way of viewing the parts of the statue of world governments in Daniel 2, i.e. Babylon, Medes and Persians, the Greeks, Rome, and finally the feet of iron and clay — the last world government. But I’ve also heard it said that the beasts of Daniel 7 refer to Great Britain, Russia, America, and Germany respectively. Can you clear this up?
The beasts of Daniel 7 are God’s view of Gentile Dominion, earlier symbolized from man’s point of view by the polymetallic statue of Daniel 2. Each of the animals in Daniel 7 has characteristics that clearly point to the four kingdoms represented in the statue of Daniel 2. Babylon’s symbol was a lion with Eagle’s wings. The bear with one side raised up above the other signifies Media-Persia where Persia became the more dominant partner. The four headed leopard is Greece under the rule of the four generals who succeeded Alexander. The terrifying beast with 10 horns that Daniel couldn’t describe is Rome in both its 1st and 2nd appearances. Daniel 7 shows the anti-Christ arising from this beast. Additionally, both Daniel 2 and Daniel 7 describe the Lord’s everlasting kingdom following the fourth one.
Seeing the four beasts of Daniel 7 as anything different than another view of the 4 nations of Gentile dominion requires a substantial re-interpretation of the chapter, and is inconsistent with what we know of history.