Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible, by John Wesley, [1754-65], at sacred-texts.com
dan 7:1In the first year of Belshazzar - This prophecy is written in Chaldee, to be a monument to him, of the reverence his father and grandfather shewed towards God, who had done such mighty works for them. Then he wrote - These visions were recorded for the benefit of the church, to rectify their mistake: for they thought all things would succeed prosperously after they returned out of their captivity.
dan 7:2The four winds - Probably by the four winds of the great sea is signified commotions of contrary nations, striving together by wars, and producing these four beasts successively.
dan 7:3Four great beasts - That is, four great monarchies, great, in comparison of particular kingdoms; beasts for their tyrannical oppressions.
dan 7:4The first - This was the Chaldean, or Assyrian; whose seat was first at Babylon, afterwards at Nineveh, and then at Babylon again. Eagle's wings - They were swift, over - running many countries, and brought their monarchy to a prodigious height in a short time. The wings were plucked - Which was first done in stopping the career of their victories, and afterwards in casting them out of their kingdom. A man's heart - They lost their lion - like courage, and became faint and cowardly like other men.
dan 7:5Another beast - The Mede's and Persians, a fierce, ravenous creature. On one side - The north side; for the Mede first arose and sent to Cyrus the Persian to come and assist him against the Assyrian. Three ribs - Several of the Babylonian subjects revolted, and all these made the three ribs.
dan 7:6Like 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.
dan 7:7A fourth beast - The Roman empire.
dan 7:8Another little horn - Probably either the Turk or the Romish antichrist.
dan 7:9The thrones - The kingdoms of this world were destroyed by God the king, and judge of all, called the Ancient of days, because of his eternal deity.
dan 7:11Destroyed - This cannot but be meant of the ruin and judgment of antichrist.
dan 7:13A son of man - That is, the Messiah, he came with the clouds of heaven, gloriously, swiftly and terribly. And came - This relates to his ascension, at which time, he received his royal investiture, for the protection of his church, and curbing of their enemies.
dan 7:16Unto one - That is, to an angel, that ministered. The truth - The true meaning of this vision.
dan 7:18But the saints - Jesus Christ being their king, they shall reign with him, and possess the kingdom for ever.
dan 7:24And another - This seems to mean the Romish antichrist.
dan 7:25Until a time and times - The numbers of Daniel and John seem to agree. Daniel was certainly prophetical in these things, and his prophecy reacheth to the end of times, even of antichrist's reign.
dan 7:28Of the matter - Of the vision, and the angel's interpretation.