Daniel's ministry as a prophet began late in life. Whereas his early exploits were a matter of common knowledge within his community, these same events, with his pious reputation, serve as the basis for his prophetic ministry. The recognition for his prophetic message is that of other prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel whose backgrounds are the basis for their revelations.
From Chapter 7 to the end of the book of Daniel, Apocalyptic literature, vision is being described, supposedly from the perspective of Daniel. This marks a change in the narrative from Daniel interpreting to messengers of God interpreting for Daniel. Daniel dreams of four beasts that come out of the sea: a lion with eagles wings, a bear with three tusks, a leopard with four wings and four heads, and a beast with iron teeth, ten horns and one little horn and human eyes. These beasts are all present at a convening of the divine counsel. Presiding over the counsel is the Ancient of Days, which may, in fact, be the Israelite God. The Ancient One proceeds to put to death the beast with the one little horn. Daniel also describes the fates of the other beasts saying that while their dominion was taken away, their lives were prolonged. This introduction leads into a series of dreams and visions where these events are expressed in greater detail.
Scholars argue that each of these beasts represent an emperor or kingdom that ruled over the Israelites. The first being Babylonian Empire, then Median Empire, then Persian Empire, and finally the Greeks. The horns of the last beast may be symbolic of the rulers that replaced Alexander the Great upon his death, culminating with the little horn, or Antiochus IV.There are additional details in the text that allude to Antiochus IV, including some form of desecration to the temple and persecution. The final message of the second half of Daniel is that God will deliver the people from oppression, the latest of which is Antiochus IV.