In Daniel chapter seven, God gives to Daniel a long view of the prophecy (history to us) of the powers that would war against the church of God. God loves His people and gives them advance warning of what is to come. That way we can know that God is God and that He loves us and is taking care of us.
"In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, visions passed through his mind as he was lying on his bed." "According to Babylonian sources, Belshazzar, crown prince of the Chaldean dynasty, was officially elevated (550 BC) to coregent by his father, King Nabonidus."*
This dream took place about 550 BC. Daniel was a man of great faith. God honored his faith and revealed to him the future persecution the church would go through. In verses two and three Daniel talks about seeing wind, sea and beast. To understand these symbols, we will turn to history, Biblical references and geography.