Daniel 7:6


King James Version (KJV)

After this I beheld, and see another, like a leopard, which had on the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it.

American King James Version (AKJV)

After this I beheld, and see another, like a leopard, which had on the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it.

American Standard Version (ASV)

After this I beheld, and, lo, another, like a leopard, which had upon its back four wings of a bird; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it.

Basic English Translation (BBE)

After this I saw another beast, like a leopard, which had on its back four wings like those of a bird; and the beast had four heads, and the power of a ruler was given to it.

Webster's Revision

After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it.

World English Bible

After this I saw, and behold, another, like a leopard, which had on its back four wings of a bird; the animal had also four heads; and dominion was given to it.

English Revised Version (ERV)

After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it.

Clarke's Daniel 7:6 Bible Commentary

Another like a leopard - four wings - four heads - This was the Macedonian or Greek empire; and Alexander the Great its king. Alexander and his subjects are fitly compared to a leopard.

1. The leopard is remarkable for its swiftness. Alexander and the Macedonians were very rapid in their conquests.

2. The leopard is a spotted animal; a proper emblem of the various nations, with their various customs and languages, which constituted the Macedonian empire. It may refer to the character of Alexander himself, sometimes mild, at others cruel; sober and drunken; continent and lecherous; having a great power of self-government, and at other times being a slave to his passions.

3. The leopard, though small, is not afraid to attack the lion.

Four wings of a fowl - The Babylonian empire was represented with two wings; and they sufficiently marked the rapidity of Nebuchadnezzar's conquests; but the Macedonian has here four wings; for nothing, in the history of the world, was equal to the conquests of Alexander, who ran through all the countries from Illyricum and the Adriatic Sea to the Indian Ocean and the River Ganges; and in twelve years subdued part of Europe, and all Asia.

The beast had also four heads - Signifying the empire after the death of Alexander, divided between his four generals. Cassander reigning over Macedon and Greece; Lysimachus, over Thrace and Bithynia; Ptolemy, over Egypt; and Seleucus, over Syria.

Dominion was given to it - It was not owing to the skill, courage, or valor of Alexander and his troops, that he made those wondrous conquests; the nations were given to him. For, as Bishop Newton says, had he not been assisted by the mighty power of God, how could he, with only thirty thousand men, have overcome Darius with six hundred thousand; and in so short a time have brought the countries from Greece as far as India into subjection?

Barnes's Daniel 7:6 Bible Commentary

After this I beheld, and, lo, another, like a leopard - That is, as before, after the bear had appeared - indicating that this was to be a succeeding kingdom or power. The beast which now appeared was a monster, and, as in the former cases, so in regard to this, there are several circumstances which demand explanation in order to understand the symbol. It may assist us, perhaps, in forming a correct idea of the symbol here introduced to have before us a representation of the animal as it appeared to Daniel.

(a) The animal itself: "a leopard." The word used here - נמר nemar - or in Hebrew נמר nâmêr - denotes a panther or leopard, so called from his spots. This is a well-known beast of prey, distinguished for blood-thirstiness and cruelty, and these characteristics are especially applicable to the female panther. The animal is referred to in the Scriptures as emblematic of the following things, or as having the following characteristics:

(1) As next in dignity to the lion - of the same general nature. Compare Bochart, Hieroz. P. I. lib. iii. c. vii. Thus the lion and the panther, or leopard, are often united in the Scriptures. Compare Jeremiah 5:6; Hosea 13:7. See also in the Apocrypha, Ecclesiasticus 28:23. So also they are united in Homer, r

Ὄυτε οἶν παρδάλιος τόσσον μένος, ὄυτε λέοντος.

Oute oun pardalios tosson menos, oute leontos.

"Neither had the leopard nor the lion such strength."

(2) As distinguished for cruelty, or a fierce nature, as contrasted with the gentle and tame animal. Isaiah 11:6, "and the leopard shall lie down with the kid." In Jeremiah 5:6, it is compared with the lion and the wolf: "A lion out of the forest shall slay them, and a wolf of the evenings shall spoil them, a leopard shall watch over their cities." Compare Hosea 13:7.

(3) As distinguished for swiftness or fleetness. Habakkuk 1:8 : "their horses are swifter than the leopards." Compare also the quotations from the classics in Bochart as above, p. 788. His fleetness is often referred to - the celerity of his spring or bound especially - by the Greek and Roman writers.

(4) As insidious, or as lying in wait, and springing unexpectedly upon the unwary traveler. Compare Hosea 13:7 : "As a leopard by the way will I observe them;" that is, I will "watch" (אשׁור 'âshûr) them. So Pliny says of leopards: Insidunt pardi condensa arborurn, occultatique earurn ramis in prcetereuntia desiliunt.

(5) They are characterized by their spots. In the general nature of the animal there is a strong resemblance to the lion. Thus, an Arabic writer quoted by Bochart, deflates the leopard to be "an animal resembling the lion, except that it is smaller, and has a skin marked by black spots." The proper idea in this representation, when used as a symbol, would be of a nation or kingdom that would have more nobleness than the one represented by the bear, but a less decisive headship over others than that represented by the lion; a nation that, was addicted to conquest, or that preyed upon others; a nation rapid in its movements, and springing upon others unawares, and perhaps in its spots denoting a nation or people made up, not of homogeneous elements, but of various different people. See below in the application of this.

(b) The four wings: which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl. The first beast was seen with the wings of an eagle, but without any specified number; this appears with wings, but without specifying any particular kind of wings, though the number is mentioned. In both of them celerity of movement is undoubtedly intended - celerity beyond what would be properly denoted by the animal itself the lion or the leopard. If there is a difference in the design of the representation, as there would seem to be by mentioning the kind of wings in the one case, and the number in the other, it is probable that the former would denote a more bold and extended flight; the latter a flight more rapid, denoted by the four wings. We should look for the fulfillment of the former in a nation that extended its conquests over a broader space; in the latter, to a nation that moved with more celerity. But there is some danger of pressing these similitudes too far. Nothing is said in the passage about the arrangement of the wings, except that they were on the back of the animal. It is to be supposed that there were two on each side.

(c) The four heads: "the beast had also four heads." This representation must have been designed to signify either that the one power or kingdom denoted by the leopard was composed of four separate powers or nations now united in one; or that there were four successive kings or dynasties that made up its history; or that the power or kingdom actually appeared, as seen in its prevailing characteristic, as a distinct dominion, as having four heads, or as being divided into so many separate sovereignties. It seems to me that either one of these would be a proper and natural fulfillment of the design of the image, though the second suggested would be less proper than either of the others, as the heads appeared on the animal not in succession - as the little horn sprung up in the midst of the other ten, as represented in the fourth beast - but existed simultaneously. The general idea would be, that in some way the one particular sovereignty had four sources of power blended into one, or actually exerted the same kind of dominion, and constituted, in fact, the one kingdom as distinguished from the others.

(d) The dominion given to it: "and dominion was given to it." That is, it was appointed to rule where the former had ruled, and until it should be succeeded by another - the beast with the ten horns.

In regard to the application of this, though the angel did not explain it to Daniel, except in general that a kingdom was represented by it. Daniel 7:17, it would seem that there could be little difficulty, though there has been some variety in the views entertained. Maurer, Lengerke, and some others, refer it to the Medo-Persian empire - supposing that the second symbol referred to the kingdom of Media. But the objections to this are so obvious, and so numerous, that it seems to me the opinion cannot be entertained, for


Wesley's Daniel 7:6 Bible Commentary

7:6 Like a leopard - This leopard was the Grecian monarchy; a leopard is less than a lion, so was this monarchy at first, but yet durst fight with a lion; so did Alexander encounter Darius with an inferior force. A leopard also for his swiftness; therefore described with four wings on his back. Four heads - He was succeeded by four of his chief commanders, who divided that empire into four parts.

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