Ribs that speak? Yes, they’re right in Daniel 7:5.
Speaking ribs shouldn’t be too strange of a concept. If you’re like me when visiting your favorite BBQ restaurant it’s the baby back ribs that do all the talking. They say to me, “Mark, eat us!” Brisket, beef ribs, chicken, and pulled pork all take second place.
It was a couple weeks ago I was reading and studying Daniel again and something else popped out of the text. I have typically used the NIV 1984 for Daniel 7, but the NIV, like all translations, have their weaknesses. The NIV presents the Bible texts by idea, while the NKJV and NASB are word-by-word translations.
So there I was reading Daniel 8 in the NASB, and then went back to Daniel 7, still reading the NASB. The talking ribs jumped out at me. I checked my Aramaic/English text of Daniel and there it was!
Speaking of the second beast, the bear, the NIV 1984 translates Daniel 7:5 as:
It was raised up on one of its sides, and it had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. It was told, “Get up and eat your fill of flesh!”
As I wrote in Daniel Revisited, the bear was commanded to devour and gorge on many animals. The bear, being Iran, is being told here to ravage many countries across the Middle East—in the three directions that the Persian ram is to run in Daniel 8. This is the Second Signpost.
However, the NASB says of the bear,
And it was raised up on one side, and three ribs were in its mouth between its teeth; and thus they said to it, “Arise, devour much meat!” [emphasis added]
Well, that adds another dimension to the second beast of the vision. The bear is told not just to gorge, but is told to do so by the ribs!
The three ribs are not only a reflection of the three directions the ram is to run in Daniel 8:4, but they are also a representation of the countries that Iran will devour, where all that is left are some chewed-on bones from the carcasses.
Thinking and praying about this nuance about the ribs, it became obvious to me that it is the countries themselves—Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, UAE, Yemen, Jordan, and eastern Turkey—that are all telling Iran, “Come, and devour and ravage us!”
I apologize to my readers. I missed this little extra in Daniel 7. Though I feel the material presented in DR makes a good enough case for the fulfillment of the Second Signpost, it still makes for a nice little surprise. This nuance goes right along with the fulfillment of the rest of Daniel 7:5 and 8:4.
The regime wants to spread their Shia revolution to the Sunni Muslim countries in the area. They have wanted this since 1979. The countries themselves beckon Iran. It’s almost as if the countries are saying, “Look how vulnerable we are!” “You can invade and occupy us now!”
The ribs also represent the three paths to be taken by the Iranian military—the Basij and IRGC.
Today, I would say the countries are about to call out. When the strategic military situation in all these countries is in Iran’s favor that they will call out to the bear higher on one side, in a loud voice: “Arise, devour much meat!”
It will be time to eat. The ram will charge. The second horseman will allow men to butcher one another.