7:7 fourth beast. This powerful nondescript beast will gain control over the others and assume the characters of all. It is probably the same as the beast of Revelation 13:2, which will be like a leopard, a bear, and a lion, but with the nature of the old Dragon. It may also be the same as the final phase (feet and toes) of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream image. For a very brief period, this beastly federation will control the whole world (Daniel 7:23; Revelation 13:7).
7:7 before it. The word “before” is not a chronological term. The other three nations are not “before” the fourth chronologically, but confrontationally. Note use of the same word in Daniel 7:10,13,20.