What does Daniel 7:15 mean?
ESV: "As for me, Daniel, my spirit within me was anxious, and the visions of my head alarmed me.
NIV: "I, Daniel, was troubled in spirit, and the visions that passed through my mind disturbed me.
NASB: As for me, Daniel, my spirit was distressed within me, and the visions in my mind kept alarming me.
CSB: "As for me, Daniel, my spirit was deeply distressed within me, and the visions in my mind terrified me.
NLT: I, Daniel, was troubled by all I had seen, and my visions terrified me.
KJV: I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me.
NKJV: “I, Daniel, was grieved in my spirit within my body, and the visions of my head troubled me.
Verse Commentary:
Daniel was given great insight into dreams and visions (Daniel 1:17). That did not mean he was all-knowing; he sometimes had to ask directly to discern meaning (Daniel 2:17–19; 8:15). Nor did his God-given ability make Daniel immune to normal human emotions. These dramatic images would unsettle anyone (Daniel 7:1–8). It seems this dream was especially obscure to Daniel. He senses the events are dire but does not entirely understand what he sees. And so, he will ask one of the angels in his vision to explain the symbols (Daniel 7:16). Learning more didn't make the vision less frightening (Daniel 7:28).

When Daniel interpreted Nebuchadnezzar's dream (Daniel 2:31–35), he saw visions corresponding to successive kingdoms (Daniel 2:36–45). It's possible Daniel saw parallels to that dream and suspected the four beasts of his vision also corresponded to four kingdoms. Yet this new dream included new details not easily understood. Only when he asked for clarification would Daniel fully comprehend their meaning (Daniel 7:17).

It is to Daniel's credit that he requested help. Some Christians throw up their hands when they cannot understand parts of God's Word (Acts 8:30–31; 2 Peter 3:15–16). That's especially common when reading the richly symbolic accounts of end-times prophecy. Yet believers can and should ask for help. The psalmist prayed, "Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law" (Psalm 119:18). Prayer for wisdom (James 1:5) and the guidance of experienced believers are of great help in learning more about the meaning of Scripture (Proverbs 1:1–7; 2 Timothy 2:2).
Verse Context:
Daniel 7:15–28 offers a detailed interpretation of Daniel's dream and visions (Daniel 7:1–14). The interpretation deals mainly with the fourth beast with teeth of iron and claws of bronze. It ends with the prediction that God will judge this fourth beast and give an everlasting kingdom to the Messiah. The New Testament reveals that this Promised One is Jesus Christ (Acts 13:23).
Chapter Summary:
Daniel experiences a troubling vision in the form of a dream. He sees animal-like beasts representing successive kingdoms. The last of these is uniquely powerful and led by a mysterious figure. This person, depicted as a "little horn," will be known for usurping power, blasphemy against God, and intense persecution of the saints. Yet his time will be short and it will end in God's successful judgment.
Chapter Context:
This chapter is the intersection of two different divisions in the book of Daniel. This is the last passage written in Aramaic, the common language of the world at that time. It is also the first segment focusing on prophecy, shifting from a record of events in the past to show a glimpse of the future. This passage connects to other descriptions of the end times, such as those found in Revelation chapters 13, 19, and 20.
Book Summary:
The book of Daniel contains famous Old Testament stories and prophecies. Daniel was taken from the Israelite people and made an advisor for a conquering empire. He demonstrates faithfulness and wisdom during many years serving in this role. Though Daniel does not deliver a public message, Jesus refers to him as a "prophet" (Matthew 24:15). The first portion of the book mostly describes Daniel's interpretations of dreams and other events. The second portion looks ahead to the end times. Daniel is classified in English Bibles as a "major" prophet, meaning the book is relatively long and the content has broad implications. The book of Revelation echoes and expands on many of the same themes.
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