Daniel 7:9-14--Throne of fire and the human figure
Verse 9 describes God as the "ancient one" with "white hair," so maybe this is why there are so many pictures of God as some old white man with long white hair and a beard (a la the cover of Henry Blackaby's Experiencing God Workbook). I don't think that's quite what Daniel saw, though! I mean, there's lots of fire and lots of people there to serve him. It's a really impressive scene, not just some old guy sitting on a throne somewhere.
As for the other creatures, the bragging horn just sounds strange to me. I guess I've watched enough cartoons with my three-year-old that I've seen just about any object depicted with eyes and a mouth, so this shouldn't be that hard for me. It just sounds weird.
I wonder why Daniel doesn't tell us how the beast was destroyed. That seems like an important detail, but maybe we only need to know that it happened. It's interesting that the other beasts get to live, at least for a while, and the one beast is destroyed.
In case you're not going to go read these verses on your own, here's Daniel 7:13-14:
I think these verses are really fitting for this weekend, as we begin Holy Week tomorrow, with Palm and Passion Sunday. I can't imagine Christians interpreting this "human one" as anything other than Christ. I guess Daniel and the people of his day would see him as the messiah they were waiting for, which we say is Jesus, but of course Jews believe is still yet to come. How well do we live like we believe Jesus' reign is like this?
Daniel 7:15-28--Beasts interpreted
Daniel needs this vision interpreted for him, which is something new. It seems kind of strange to me that he is seeing a vision but he is actually in it in a way that he is able to ask one of the servants to interpret for him. My study Bible points out that he can interpret things to some degree, but as he gets deeper into the mysteries of God, he needs help understanding. I guess we can all relate to that!
The king discussed in this passage sounds like a really, really bad man. It's no wonder he's interpreted as Antiochus IV Epiphanes. He was apparently pretty rough on the Jews...