Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.
Thus he said,.... The person that stood by, the angel, of whom Daniel made his inquiries, and who answered him, as follows:
The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom on earth; which shows that the angel, by four kings, Daniel 7:17, meant four kingdoms, that should successively arise in the earth, and out of it, one after another; and this kingdom is not the kingdom of the Seleucidae, nor the Turkish, but the Roman empire; for this is to continue until the kingdom of Christ takes place; see Daniel 7:7:
which shall be diverse from all kingdoms; from the kingdoms and monarchies that were before it; particularly as a kingdom, in its form of government, both when Pagan and when Papal; see Daniel 7:7:
and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces: not the whole land of Judea only, as some read and interpret it; but the whole world, which the Romans became masters of; and the phrases used denote the destruction and desolation they made, wherever they carried their arms, and the cruelty and tyranny they exercised, and the vast profusion of blood made by them, both among the Heathens they subdued, and the Christians they persecuted.