Apocalypse Now?

Daniel 7 begins a portion of the book that is exceedingly difficult for readers to interpret and understand. This is because Daniel 7-12 belong to a genre of biblical literature known as apocalyptic literature. Here is a short video explaining what apocalyptic literature is within the Bible.

Daniel 7 Scripture Link

This passage has many symbols that are unclear for us today, even with the hindsight of 2,500 years of history. It might still be fun within your group to piece together what kingdoms of world history the four beasts could represent. What is more important to us than uniquely identifying each symbol, however, is that we understand the point of the vision that Daniel is given.

The judgment seat of the Ancient of Days, the dominion of the Son of Man, and the kingdom being ruled jointly with his saints are among the clear takeaways. Think about what these lessons may have meant for an exile of Judah in a foreign toward the end of his own life characterized by a love for Judah and Judah’s God.

Discussion Questions

  • Do you enjoy apocalyptic literature or do you find it intimidating to read?
  • What helps you to understand apocalyptic literature?
  • How does the interpretation found in Daniel 7 of Daniel’s vision differ from some popular interpretations you have heard?
  • Do you think that we read too much or not enough in the details of apocalypitic visions?
  • What are the main points of Daniel 7 in your own words?
  • Why is it important to understand the vision of God as an “Ancient of Days”?
  • Is the display of God’s power comforting or unsettling?
  • How do you think Daniel felt about the display of God’s power?
  • Who do you think the horns and the beasts represent?
  • Regardless of who they represent, does the point of Daniel 7 change?
  • How has your view of what it means to be one of God’s saints changed as a result of reading Daniel 7?