In biblical prophecy a “vision” is frequently the vehicle employed by God to reveal the future to His prophets.Whether earthbound or through mystical ascension to heaven, apocalyptic visions serve as means to encourage God’s people that the kingdom of God will certainly come.
If one accepts the inspiration of scripture, an apocalyptic vision should be interpreted as what the prophet actually saw not merely a genre of literature.
Daniel chapter seven begins with the prophet lying in bed and seeing “a dream and visions of his head” (v.1).
One would be hard pressed to find a more fitting symbol.
The second beast is a great blood-thirsty bear raised up on one side which represents the Medo-Persian Empire.
Daniel was written by a Hebrew captive while in exile to Babylon beginning in 605 BCE. 2:1) of a great statue that predicted four kingdoms which were represented by the four metals composing the statue.
The most important feature is that at the end of the dream the statue is destroyed by a great stone (Dan. This is what the Jews were expecting then (and now) and this is what Christians understand to be the promise of the Second Advent.Then consider Nebuchadnezzar when Daniel first encountered him: proud, fierce, and ambitious.How aggrandizing it was to be represented as a head of pure gold.The liberal view that this beast is Median singular fails in this regard.Furthermore, the bear is divinely commanded to devour three ribs, corresponding nicely with the major three conquests made by King Cyrus and his son Cambyses: the Lydian (546 BCE), Chaldean (539 BCE) and Egyptian (525 BCE).This level of correspondence with verifiable history authenticates the traditional interpretation and speaks to the prophetic veracity of the vision.