There are many prophetic visions in this book and some of these are eschatological visions as well. They are revealed in 4 ways:

(i) dreams of the king of Babylon,

(ii) handwriting of God,

(iii) visions of Daniel,

(iv) words directly spoken by the angels to Daniel.

Daniel plays the role of a messenger in all the revelations.

1st dream of Nebuchadnezzar (an image of metals)

The Babylonian king could not recall the content of the dream. Its content and meaning were revealed to Daniel in a night vision by God (2:19).

Content: A great image with brightness. The head of the image is fine gold; the breast and arms are silver; belly and thighs are brass; legs are iron; feet are part of iron and part of clay. A stone cut out without hands smote the image’s feet and the image was broken in pieces. The stone became a great mountain and filled the whole earth. (2:31-35)

Interpretation: The image’s head of gold is the kingdom of Babylon. Body parts of silver and brass are the 2nd and 3rd kingdom, which are inferior to the 1st kingdom. The 4th kingdom is strong as the iron and subdue all things. Feet and toes of iron and clay do not mean the 5th kingdom, but the divided 4th kingdom. Toes of Iron and clay mean the divided kingdom is partly strong and partly broken. Iron and clay are actually mixed together, which means the kingdom is mingled with “the seed of men” (那國民必與各種人攙雜). However, the inhabitants “shall not cleave one to another” (不能彼此相合). Then God will set up a kingdom to consume all the kingdoms and stand forever. (2:36-45)

2nd dream of Nebuchadnezzar (a tree)

This second dream tells of the personal fate of the king. He can recall the content of the dream but the dream is interpreted by Daniel. The dream tells the truth that God is in control of all the rulers of the world (4:17 “the living may know that the most High rule in the kingdom of men, and give it to whomsoever he will, and set up over it the basest of men” ( ‘或立極卑微的人執掌國權’ ) ). This lesson is to advise the king by Daniel to stop his sins by doing righteousness and by showing mercy to the poor so that his peace time may be prolonged (4:27).

Content: A tree grows and reaches the heaven and is seen at the end of all the earth. It provides food and shelter for the beasts and fowls. A holy one sends command to cut down the tree, its branches and leaves, and scatter the fruits. Yet the stump of its roots (樹墩) remains and bound with a band of iron and brass (鐵圈和銅圈). The stump will be wet with the dew of heaven and its portion be with the beasts in the grass of the field (一同吃草). His heart is changed from man’s heart to beast’s heart for 7 times (七期 [或 ‘年’] ). (4:10-16)

Interpretation: The tree refers to the king himself, whose greatness reaches the heaven and dominion to the end of the earth. However, the king will be driven from men and live with the beasts. He will be made to eat grass as oxen and get wet with the dew of heaven for 7 times, till he confesses that the most High rules in the kingdom of men and gives it to whomsoever he will. Afterward, his throne will be restored. (4:22-26)

Dream fulfilled: 12 months later, the king took pride of his own kingdom and the dream immediately came true to him. At the end of the said period, his mind turned normal and he blessed the most High and his throne was re-established in his kingdom.

God’s hand-writing during the reign of Belshazzar son of Nebuchadnezzar

In the midst of the royal feast held by Belshazzar, the fingers of a man’s hand wrote on the plaster of the wall (粉牆) of the king’s palace. No magicians could read the writing. Daniel was recommended by the queen to the king and interpreted the writing. 

Content: mene, mene, tekel, upharsin. (5:25)


‘Mene’ means ‘God hath numbered thy kingdom and finished it.’

‘Tekel’ means ‘Thou art weighed in the balances and art found wanting (顯出你的虧欠)’.

‘Peres [upharsin]’ means ‘Thy kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.’ (5:26-28)

Writing fulfilled: In the night of the feast, Belshazzar was killed. Darius the Median took the kingdom. (5:30-31)

Daniel’s dream in the 1st year of Belshazzar (4 beasts)

Daniel had a dream on his bed at night and a servant of God interpreted the vision to him.

Content: 4 great beasts came up from the great sea.

The 1st beast was like a lion and had eagle wings. The wings were cut off and the beast was made to stand on the earth with the feet as a man, and it was given a man’s heart.

The 2nd beast was like a bear. It raised up itself on one side (旁跨而坐). It had 3 ribs in its mouth between its teeth. It was told to rise and devour much flesh.

The 3rd beast was like a leopard. It had 4 wings of a fowl on the back. It also had 4 heads and was given dominion.

The 4th beast was dreadful and very strong. It had great iron teeth. It devoured and broke in pieces and stamped the residue with its feet. It had 10 horns. Another little horn came up among the horns and 3 of the 10 horns were plucked up by the roots (連根拔出). In this horn were eyes like the eyes of man and a mouth speaking great things. (7:2-8) The little horn made war with the saints and he prevailed (7:21).

Eventually, the thrones were cast down and the Ancient of days (亙古常在者) sat. His garment was white as snow, his hair like pure wool, his throne like fiery flame, his wheels like burning fire. A fiery stream (有火像河) came from him. Many thousands ministered to him. 10,000 times 10,000 stood before him. The judgment was set and the books opened. The beast was slain and his body destroyed and given to the burning flame. The other beasts had their dominions taken away but their lives were prolonged for a season and time (直到所定的時候和日期). One like the son of man came with the clouds of heaven and came to the Ancient of days. He was given dominion and a kingdom. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom. (7:9-14)

Interpretation: The 4 beasts are 4 kings. (7:17) The 4th beast is the 4th kingdom, which shall be diverse (大不相同) from all kingdoms. It shall devour the whole earth. 10 horns out of this kingdom are 10 kings. Another king shall rise after them and subdue 3 kings. He shall speak great words against the most High and wear out (折磨) the saints of the most High and think to change times (節期) and laws. The saints shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time (一載二載半載). (7:23-25) The judgment shall sit and his dominion shall be destroyed. The saints of the most High shall take the kingdom forever. All dominions shall serve the most High. (7:26-27)

Daniel’s vision in the 3rd year of Belshazzar (ram and goat)

Daniel was at Shushan in the royal palace in the province of Elam. He was by the river of Ulai (烏萊河) in the vision. Gabriel interpreted the vision to him and said that the vision was about the end of time. (8:17)

Content: A ram had 2 horns. The horns were high but one was higher than the other. The higher came up last. The ram pushed westward, northward and southward and became great. An he goat (公山羊) came from the west. He had a notable horn (非常的角) between his eyes. He ran to the ram and smote him and broke his 2 horns. He was very great. When he was strong, the great horn was broken and came up 4 notable horns toward the 4 winds of heaven (向天的四方). A little horn came out of one of those horns and was very great toward the south, the east and the pleasant land (榮美之地). It was great, even to the host of heaven, and cast down some of the host and the stars (天象和星宿) to the ground and stamped on them. He magnified himself even to the prince of the host (天象之君). He took away the daily sacrifice and cast down the sanctuary. A host (軍旅) was given him against the daily sacrifice. It cast down the truth to the ground and prospered. The vision concerning the daily sacrifice and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host trodden under foot, shall be unto 2,300 days. Then the sanctuary shall be cleansed. (8:3-14)

Interpretation: The ram with 2 horns are the kings of Media and Persia. The rough goat is the king of Grecia. The great horn between his eyes is the 1st king. After his kingship ends, 4 kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in the power of the 1st king (權勢不及他). In the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors come to the full (罪惡滿盈), a king of fierce countenance shall stand up. His power is mighty, but not by his own power. He shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. He shall magnify himself and by peace (在人坦然無備的時候) shall destroy many. He shall stand up against the Prince of princes, but he shall be broken without hand. (8:20-25)

Gabriel tells Daniel a vision about the end of time in the 1st year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the Medes (70 weeks)

Daniel discovered by books of Jeremiah’s prophesy that 70 years would pass in the desolations of Jerusalem. While he was praying for the sins of Israel and presenting his supplication, Gabriel was sent to tell him of a vision.

Content: 70 weeks (七十個七) are determined upon the people of Israel and the holy city, to make an end to sins and to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophesy and to anoint the most Holy. There shall be 7 weeks (七個七) and 62 weeks (六十二個七) from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince. The street and the wall shall be built. After 62 weeks, the Messiah shall be cut off, but not for himself. The people of the prince (一王的民) shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end shall be with a flood; desolations are determined unto the end of the war. He shall confirm the covenant with many for 1 week. In the midst of the week, he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation (供獻) to cease. He shall make it desolate for the overspreading of abominations until the consummation (completion). (9:24-27)

Daniel’s vision in the 3rd year of Cyrus king of Persia (south and north kings)

Daniel saw a servant of God by the side of the great river (底格里斯大河), who said the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood (攔阻) him 21 days, but Michael, one of the chief princes (大君, 天使長), came to help him. He is sent to Daniel to tell him what shall befall the people of Israel in the latter days (10:13-14).

Content: 3 kings shall yet stand in Persia. The 4th king shall stir up all against the realm of Grecia. A mighty king shall stand up and rule with great dominion. Then, his kingdom shall be broken and divided toward 4 winds of heaven. (11:2-4)

The south king shall be strong. One of his princes shall be strong above him. His dominion shall be a great dominion. In the end of years, they shall join together, for the south king’s daughter shall come to the north king to make an agreement, but she shall not retain the power but shall be given up. But one out of a branch of her roots shall stand up with an army and enter into the fortress of the north king and prevail. He shall carry captives into Egypt and continue more years than the north king. So, the south king shall return into his own land. But his sons shall be stirred up and assemble great forces. One shall come and pass through. He shall return and be stirred up to his fortress. The south king shall fight with him, the north king. The north king shall set up an army, but the army shall be given into the hand of the south king. When the south king has taken away the army, his heart shall be lifted up and cast down many. The north king shall return and set up an army greater than the former. He shall come after certain years with a great army. In those times, many shall stand up against the south king. Also, the robbers of Israel shall exalt themselves to establish the vision (你本國的強暴人必興起,要應驗那異象), but they shall fall. So the north king shall come and take the most fenced cities. The army of the south king shall not withstand. The north king shall do according to his own will. None shall stand before him. He shall stand in the glorious land, which shall be consumed by his hand. He shall enter with the strength of his whole kingdom. He shall give the south king the daughter of women, corrupting her. But she shall not stand on his side. After this, he shall turn to the isles (海島) and take many. But a prince (大帥) shall cause the reproach offered by the north king to turn upon him. Then the north king shall turn toward the fort of his own land but shall stumble and fall. Then shall stand up in his estate a raiser of taxes in the glory of the north kingdom, but within a few days, he shall be destroyed.

In his (the north king’s) estate shall stand up a vile person. He shall come in peaceably and obtain the kingdom by flatteries. They shall be overflown with the arms of a flood, also the prince of the covenant (同盟的君). After the league made with him (與那君結盟後), he shall work deceitfully, for he shall become strong with a small people. He shall enter peaceably upon the fattest places of the province. He shall scatter the prey and spoil. He shall forecast his devices (設計) against the strongholds for a time. He shall stir up his power against the south king with a great army. The south king shall fight with a very great and mighty army but shall not stand, for they shall forecast devices against him. They that feed the portion of his meat shall destroy him. His army shall fall. Both kings shall do mischief and speak lies at one table and not prosper, for yet the end shall be at the appointed time. Then he (the north king) shall return into his own land with great riches. His heart shall be against the holy covenant. At the appointed time, he shall return and come to the south, but it shall not be as the former. The ships of Chittim (基提戰船) shall come against him. He shall be grieved and return and have indignation against the holy covenant. He shall return and have intelligence (聯絡) with them that forsake the holy covenant. Arms shall stand on his part and they shall pollute the sanctuary and take away the daily sacrifice. They shall place the abomination that make desolate. He shall corrupt those who do wickedly against the covenant by flatteries, but the people who know their God shall be strong. They that understand shall instruct many, yet they shall fall by the sword, by flame, by captivity and by spoil many days. Many shall cleave (親近) to them with flatteries. Some of understanding shall fall, to try them and make them white, to the time of the end, because it is yet for a time appointed. The king shall do according to his will. He shall exalt himself and magnify himself above every god and speak marvelous things against God. He shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished. In his estate, he shall honour the God of forces; he shall honour a god with gold, silver, precious stones and pleasant things. He shall acknowledge a strange god and rule over many and divide the land for gain.

At the time of the end, the south king shall push at him (與他交戰). The north king shall come against him with chariots, horsemen and many ships. He shall enter into the countries and pass over and enter into the glorious land. Many countries shall be overthrown, except Edom and Moab and the chief of the children of Ammon. The land of Egypt shall not escape. He shall have power over the treasures of gold, silver and all the precious things of Egypt. The Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps (跟從他). But tidings out of the east and the north shall trouble him. He shall go forth with great fury to destroy many. He shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain. Yet he shall come to his end. (11:5-45)

Michael shall stand up for the children of Israel. There shall be a time of trouble never seen before. At that time, the people of Israel found written in the book shall be delivered. Many who sleep in the dust shall awake, some to everlasting life and some to everlasting shame. (12:1-2)

A servant of God asked the other servant how long it shall be to the end of these wonders. The other servant of God said it shall be for a time, times and an half (一載二載半載); when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished. From the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away and the abomination that make desolate set up (設立那行毀壞可憎之物), there shall be 1290 days. Blessed is he that wait and come to 1,335 days. (12:5-12)