References for Daniel
(1) Daniel spake and said - That is, he spake and said in the manner intimated in the previous verse. It was by a record made at the time, and thus he might be said to speak to his own generation and to all future times.
I saw in my vision by night - I beheld in the vision; that is, he saw represented to him the scene which he proceeds to describe. He seemed to see the sea in a tempest, and these monsters come up from it, and the strange succession of events which followed.
And behold, the four winds of the heaven - The winds that blow under the heaven, or that seem to come from the heaven - or the air. Compare Jer_49:36. The number of the winds is here referred to as four as they are now, as blowing mainly from the four quarters of the earth. Nothing is more common now than to designate them in this manner - as the east, the south, the west, the north wind. So the Latins - Eurus, Auster, Zephyrus, Boreas.
Strove - מגיחן megı̂ychân. Burst, or rushed forth; seemed to conflict together. The winds burst, rushed from all quarters, and seemed to meet on the sea, throwing it into wild commotion. The Hebrew word (גיח gı̂yach) means to break or burst forth, as a fountain or stream of waters, Job_40:23; an infant breaking forth from the womb, Job_38:8; a warrior rushing forth to battle, Eze_32:2. Hence, the Chaldean to break forth; to rush forth as the winds. The symbol here would naturally denote some wild commotion among the nations, as if the winds of heaven should rush together in confusion.
Upon the great sea - This expression would properly apply to any great sea or ocean, but it is probable that the one that would occur to Daniel would be the Mediterranean Sea, as that was best known to him and his contemporaries. A heaving ocean - or an ocean tossed with storms - would be a natural emblem to denote a nation, or nations, agitated with internal conflicts, or nations in the midst of revolutions. Among the sacred poets and the prophets, hosts of armies invading a land are compared to overflowing waters, and mighty changes among the nations to the heaving billows of the ocean in a storm. - Albert Barnes' Notes On The Bible
I saw - a fourth beast - it had great iron teeth - This is allowed, on all hands, to be the Roman empire. It was dreadful, terrible, and exceeding strong: it devoured, and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue, that is, the remains of the former kingdoms, with its feet. It reduced Macedon into a Roman province about one hundred and sixty-eight years before Christ; the kingdom of Pergamos about one hundred and thirty-three years; Syria about sixty-five; and Egypt about thirty years before Christ. And, besides the remains of the Macedonian empire, it subdued many other provinces and kingdoms; so that it might, by a very usual figure, be said to devour the whole earth, to tread it down, and break it to pieces; and became in effect, what the Roman writers delight to call it, the empire of the whole world. -by Adam Clark