To answer this question, I think it is important that we take a look at the foundation of all Biblical eschatology, Daniel.
After all, some of the Pharisees could even boast having memorized the entire Torah!
One would be hard pressed to find a more fitting symbol.
In view of chapter four’s events, the tearing off of the beast’s wings seems to symbolize Nebuchadnezzar’s humbling.
When the lion-like beast is given the heart of a man, his restoration and testimony about God come to mind. On a more earthbound note, in Nebuchadnezzar’s time the Babylonian Ishtar Gate entrance was lined with yellow lions in relief on blue-glazed brick.
The winged lion of Babylon was a well established emblem.
Daniel was written by a Hebrew captive while in exile to Babylon beginning in 605 BCE. 2:1) of a great statue that predicted four kingdoms which were represented by the four metals composing the statue.
The most important feature is that at the end of the dream the statue is destroyed by a great stone (Dan. This is what the Jews were expecting then (and now) and this is what Christians understand to be the promise of the Second Advent.
The four-winged leopard with four heads represents the Greek empire won by Alexander the Great.