Table of Contents

Daniel - Introduction

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 11:36-45

Chapter 12

Daniel - Introduction

 

Some knowledge of the book of Daniel is necessary if we are to understand world events as they are happening now and will take place in the future. Also it is very helpful  in the interpretation of the book of Revelation. "The times of the Gentiles" mentioned by our Lord in Luke 21:24 has been dramatically unfolded in this remarkable prophetic book. The Jews were the chosen people of God, nationally and religiously. They were to be God's representatives upon the earth. He delivered them from Egypt's bondage and planted them in Canaan. God's blessings upon them were conditioned upon their obedience to Him, but they failed in their allegiance to Him and turned to other so-called gods. Therefore they lost their place of being the head nation. The rise and fall of Gentile nations has been within the will of God and will remain until the coming again of Jesus Christ. Then "the kingdoms of this world will become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ and He shall reign for ever and ever" - Rev. 11:15.

 

In this book we will learn about the man Daniel. His godly training in his formative years were carried with him throughout his long and useful life. Because of his trust and confidence in God, he was a man of perception, purpose, principle, prayer, purity and power. Nothing is told us of his family, but he must have been of noble descent "of the king's seed." He was carried away captive to Babylon when he was quite young. He and three companions because of their special qualifications were selected to be trained for the king's service - Dan. 1:3,4. He maintained his spiritual life in the midst of a heathen court. He became a statesman and an historian, but more than that he was a great prophet. Jesus, our Lord referred to him as "Daniel the prophet" in Matthew 24:15, thereby putting His seal of approval on his message.

 

Chapter 1

 

Daniel 1:1-4 gives the time and the reason for Daniel being a captive in Babylon. It was the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim, king of Judah. We read "the Lord gave" the king of Judah into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and also part of the vessels of the temple. At a later time Nebuchadnezzar came and took all the vessels. It was a judgment of God upon Judah for their steady decline into apostasy, sin and idolatry. They were without excuse, for God had warned them and it came to pass because Judah refused to hear His prophets and turn from their idolatrous ways. Isa. 39:5-7;
Jer. 25:8-12; 27:6-8; 29:10. In Jeremiah 25:9 God calls Nebuchadnezzar "My servant." Yes, God is sovereign over kings and nations. He used this ruthless despot as an instrument of His judgment.

 

Nebuchadnezzar had a plan to convert completely the Hebrews to the Chaldean way of life, vs. 5-7. He wanted his kingdom to be beautified and made prominent by the spoils of his conquest of Judah. He spoke to who had charge of the eunuchs to get the royal off-spring who were highly educated and separate them and make them eunuchs. Eunuchs were kept as special servants, put in great trust, wise men who gave themselves to serve the king in whatever capacity he desired. This included Daniel, Hananiah, Michael, and Azariah. The prince of the eunuchs changed their names to Babylonish names. He did not want to be reminded of God. Daniel "God is Judge" became Belteshazzar" lord of the straitened treasure;" Hananiah "the grace of Jah" was called Shadrach "the breast was tender;" Mishael "who is what God is" was known as Meshach "who is what thou art;" and Azariah "helped of Jehovah" was changed to Abednego "servant of brightness." They were given the king's food and wine. The king no doubt thought if they were fed his rich diet they would be better in body and mind. Such is the wisdom of man. Now the Jews were restricted in their diet by God.

"Daniel purposed in his heart" not to go against the words of God. They could change his name, but he knew that he could only be defiled by his own behavior. Compare Acts 11:23. He could have reasoned that he had no choice. After all he had been taken from his own country, captive to a foreign land and under orders of that king. But he resisted temptation and God caused Daniel to be favored, even loved by the prince of the eunuchs. Vs. 8-9. It was nothing Daniel did, he didn't soft soap the prince of the eunuchs. It was God who brought Daniel into his favor. If we yield ourselves to the Lord today and purpose in our hearts not to defile ourselves with the things of the world, God will cause those of the world to give us favor (Prov. 16:7).

 

Daniel took advantage of being a favorite and asked that he and his three companions be given pulse (herbs or vegetables) to eat and water to drink in place of the rich food. Melzar had the oversight of them and he feared to go against the king's words should they look worse instead of better at the end of the three years. Daniel said try it for ten days then look on us and see for yourself. He consented and at the end of the ten days their appearance was more healthy than all the children which ate the king's meat - vs. 10-16.  In scripture the number ten is the number of responsibility according to ability. Daniel took on himself and the three others with him the responsibility and they passed the test. God showed this man through them what he could do. It was only four of the Hebrews who determined not to defile themselves, the rest went along with what was given them.

 

It was to these four children, God gave knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom. Daniel was given a special gift in understanding all visions and dreams for a purpose - v. 17. The book of Daniel is full of visions and dreams that God gave. They all are symbolic and mean something. If we purpose to follow the Lord and desire the things of the Lord, He is going to bless us in every way. Let us purpose in our hearts to put Him first. The other captives of Judah just fell right in line with Babylon's customs.

 

At the end of three years when they were brought before the king and he communed with them, there was none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. The king found them ten times wiser than all the so called wise men of his kingdom - vs. 18-20. The Jews as a nation now excel in science, medicine, education, theater, music, and mathematics and have won more Nobel prizes than any other ethnic group. God has blessed them in a natural way, even though they don't give God the credit for it. Just think of what they will be when they accept Jesus Christ as their Messiah, their Savior and blessed and blessed with all spiritual blessings, what a nation they will be. They will be the leading nation of the world.

 

V. 21, "And Daniel continued  (protected and preserved) even unto the first year of king Cyrus" which was at the end of the prophesied 70 years of captivity. Daniel was very young when he was taken captive and he served in a position of prominence and influence in Babylon for 70 years. So at the end of the 70 years, he was an elderly man. May we be encouraged to stand fast like Daniel in the midst of this world that is strongly opposed to God and His people as were the Babylonians. Dare to be a Daniel!  

 

Chapter 2

 

V. 1 - The time is the third year of the captivity. Nebuchadnezzar was not king at the time of the beginning of the captivity, his father was reigning and he was captain of his father's army. He was made king in the fourth year of Jehoiakim's reign (Jer. 25:1). So it was the second year of his reign and the third year after the beginning of the captivity that Nebuchadnezzar had this dream or dreams. He was so troubled by it that he experienced sleeplessness. He could not recall the dream and yet neither could he forget it. He was the world's greatest ruler at that time and yet he had no peace of mind, he was frightened about the future of his empire as we see by v. 29. It just goes to prove that power and wealth do not produce peace of mind nor does luxury bring tranquility. He who reaches for power and possessions in this life are never satisfied. His assets actually become his burden.  

 

God led in all this, for it was God that gave him the dream. God not only was revealing a very simple yet complete prophetic picture of the rise and fall of Gentile world powers, but He also wanted Daniel to be brought to the attention of the king. It is so amazing how God does things. Things that people think just happen, but God is behind it to bring about his purposes in our lives or the lives of others. Even here, He worked in an unbeliever to bring about His will. It was God that brought the nations up against Judah to fulfill His will. He is the one who put it in their hearts to invade Judah. Because of Judah's conquest by Babylon, this revelation was needed. Was the nation of Judah at an end? What did the future hold for the people of God? God makes known the future of His people on earth.

 

In verses 2-6 Nebuchadnezzar calls for the astrologers, sorcerers and magicians which flourished in the kingdom of the Chaldeans (the people of Babylon). So we see how old all that tomfoolery is. He demanded they tell him his dream and interpret it. He didn't ask much did he? You can see what kind of person Nebuchadnezzar was, a typical unregenerated ruler, unjust and cruel. If they did not tell his dream and give the interpretation they would be slain in a horrible manner. Yet if they did, he would reward them with gifts and great honor. They ask again for they can hardly believe what he has demanded - v. 7. Nebuchadnezzar accused them of stalling, buying time by speaking lying words to him until he would forget all about it - vs. 8-9.

 

These worldly wise men spoke the truth when they said, only a sovereign and supreme God who is greater than men can do what you require- vs. 10-11. These wise men were schooled in philosophies and sciences of their time, but they were powerless to interpret God's inspired message. Some modern ministers of our day study psychology, social science, political science and pretend to be God's messengers to men. A true minister of God should declare the whole counsel of God. He wont have the world at his feet, but he will be will known by God.

 

Nebuchadnezzar was so furious with them that he commanded all the wise men of Babylon to be destroyed. This included Daniel and his companions, for they were among the wise men at this time. They had not even been asked to interpret the king's dream and now their execution has been ordered. No doubt Satan sought to slay Daniel and his companions - vs. 12-13. We are reminded of what the apostle Paul wrote in I Thes. 2:18 & II Thes. 3:1,2 of Satan’s work.

 

Daniel answered with wisdom which only comes from one led of the Lord. He brings up the truth of the matter that the king didn't ask us. He only consulted with the Chaldean wise men. Daniel requested the opportunity to prove the faithfulness of his God - vs. 14-16. Daniel sought his fellows to pray with him - vs. 17-18. Nebuchadnezzar took his worries to bed with him; Daniel took his to God in prayer. May we take everything to God in prayer - Ps. 37:5; Phil. 4:6-7; Jam. 1:5; I Pet. 5:7. Modern leaders in churches today would call a committee together to seek a solution and give opinions. But Daniel and his fellows saw no worth in themselves and cast themselves upon God's mercy in prayer. It is scriptural to ask the saints to pray. For we are made kings and priests unto God. We are instructed to pray one for another, to intercede on behalf of others. May we not be to proud to ask for prayer - Jam. 5:16. So Daniel and his fellows were united in prayer. This is the way to learn the secrets of God. Prayer is essential to understand spiritual truths - Jer. 33:3. Get alone with God, seek Him and He will show us things that other people do not know and what other people cannot understand. It is for those who seek it with their whole heart. So many saints neglect God's Word. But don't neglect prayer time either, that time of communion with our precious Lord, enjoy fellowship with Him.

Does God answer prayer? Oh, yes, vs. 19-23. Daniel immediately gave praise and glory to God; he "blessed the God of heaven," "Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever." Daniel praises God for Who He is, wisdom and power belong to Him. He is sovereign, "He changeth," He removeth," "He giveth," He revealeth," "He knoweth." How great is our God, how great is His Name! One might say, He only gives wisdom to the wise" (v. 21), where does that leave me? Let us read what a very wise man, Solomon, said, - Prov. 1:7 & 9:10 also consider I Cor. 2:9-11. If we have the right attitude toward God, become simple like little children as to our faith and trust, we become wise. That's the only way we ever learn anything, just take that humble place of dependancy as Daniel did. As we learn the things of God, He will show us even more. If we desire to know more of God's Word, He will give it to us. He will add to our understanding. We don't have to be ignorant of the Scriptures, there right here before us. He preserved them for us. He wants us to know them. He gave the Holy Spirit to reveal to our hearts His Word. Aren't you impressed that Daniel gave the glory and credit where it belonged. You know a little knowledge puffs up. People get a little knowledge and they get conceited, as though it originated with them. But love along with knowledge will edify us.

 

Daniel goes to the one appointed to be in charge of the execution and says destroy not the wise men of Babylon for I will show the king the interpretation - v. 24. Not only were Daniel and the other Hebrews  preserved, but all the wise men of Babylon were saved because of Daniel. This says a lot about Daniel, he didn't just think about saving his own skin, but was concerned for others.

 

The king's captain wants credit (v. 25) "I have found a man," as if he of his own effort discovered a man to interpret the king's dream. This is quite a contrast with the spirit of Daniel that we will read of in v. 30.

Daniel introduces his God to Nebuchadnezzar, this wicked ruler who did not know God, who worshiped false gods, who didn't realize that God had given him the rulership of the world - vs. 26 - 28. Should we only give testimony of God to who we think are good people? No, the morally bad often are quicker to be convicted of their sins and see their need of a Savior.

 

Notice the words in verse 28, "the latter days." This especially refers to the end of Gentile times. In Luke 21:24 Jesus spoke of "the times of the Gentiles. We should not confused this with "the fulness of the Gentiles" that we read of in Rom. 11:25. They do not mean the same thing. The fulness of the Gentiles ends when the church is in heaven. The Lord has been visiting the Gentiles during this Church Age to take out of them a people for His Name sake - Acts 15:14. Of course believing Jews are also in the church that are saved in this Church Age. The fulness of the Gentiles means the total number taken from among the Gentiles during this Age of Grace. Gentile times commenced with the Babylonian captivity under Nebuchadnezzar (606 B.C.) and will end when Christ returns to the earth, after tribulation, to set up His kingdom. The Gentiles nations ruling the earth really end when Christ takes His throne in heaven - Rev. 4. The Gentile times are oven then, for it is the time for Christ to rule. They keep ruling in usurpation, but He will reveal Himself from heaven and come to earth to take control, putting an end to tribulation days for His ancient people, Israel and all the earth. For the Prince of Peace will reign universally. One last comment, The times of the Gentiles includes the Church Age, so we are living in the later days.

 

Daniel tells Nebuchadnezzar his dream and the interpretation of it – vs. 29-45. Not only did God give Nebuchadnezzar the dream, but it was God who made it known to Daniel in answer to prayer. The reason God gave the dream, was that the king might know the things that would come to pass hereafter. It is note worthy that Daniel did not take credit for knowing the king's dream and interpretation when the wise men of Babylon could not tell it. He lets Nebuchadnezzar know it was God in heaven that revealeth secrets and would have him to know what shall come to pass in the latter days.

 

Nebuchadnezzar saw a great image in his dream that was so large it was an awesome thing to see. No wonder the king could not let go of the dream and had to know the meaning of it. God caused it to go from him, but yet he could not forget it. It troubled Nebuchadnezzar greatly so that he could not sleep. The image is a simple illustration from God that covers "Gentile times," that "Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." In those times will be the rise and fall of Gentile rulers and kingdoms and their demise by a ruler whose kingdom will never end.

 

"This image's head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay" - vs. 32-33. There are 4 kinds of metal (gold, silver, brass, iron). And the feet are mixed with iron and clay. As far as value is concerned it starts with the most precious metal there is and then deteriorates in value, from gold, to silver, to brass, to iron. But does not deteriorate in strength, because there is nothing stronger than iron, as far as these metals are concerned. Iron is the strongest metal here, but not as precious or expensive. These 4 metals illustrate the 4 world empires of Gentile Times. All we have to do is go to the history books in the library and you find out almost all of this has happened. But remember it was not history when God gave this dream, it was prophecy of the future.

 

"Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory...Thou art this head of gold" vs. 37-38. It was God who gave Nebuchadnezzar dominion of the known world at that time. If it had not been for God he would not have had that place. Nebuchadnezzar no doubt thought that he had conquered and prevailed all by himself, after all he had been a mighty captain in his father's kingdom. But it is God that removeth kings and setteth up kings - (V. 21). Do you believe that? Or do you believe it comes about because of men's doings, their energy, their work? God is sovereign!

 

The first world empire of Gentile times was Babylon and the ruler was Nebuchadnezzar, that was 606 B. C. They defeated Egypt, Syria, and all the countries that meant anything in that day. Gentile times was of God for it was He who gave the Gentiles dominion. He took it away from His own people and gave it to the Gentiles. Why? because they rejected Him and didn't follow His path, they turned to other gods. God in His grace warned them again and again through the messages of the prophets, but they didn't return to Him. They mistreated God's prophets and even killed them - Mt 23:37; Acts 7:52. So God put Israel into the hands of the Gentiles for a certain period of time and that has been a long time.

 

"And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee..." – v. 39. This world empire is represented by the breast and 2 arms of silver. This part of the image, with 2 arms,  represented a duel kingdom made up of the Medes and the Persians (east & west). They invaded Babylon, one of the greatest kingdoms the world has ever known. It was a beautiful place with its hanging gardens. The king married a woman from Egypt which had fertile gardens. She got so home sick that he tried to create her country for her and made hanging gardens and water falls which was one of the seven wonders of the world. It had such a great wall, that 6 chariots could ride abreast along the top of that wall. That's as wide as a super highway on top of the wall. You would think no one could overthrow Babylon. But God said it would happen and it did while Belshazzar the grandson of Nebuchadnezzar was king. They were having a feast and a hand appeared and wrote on the wall and it said you are found wanting and your kingdom is going to be taken from you. You know how Babylon was overthrown? A river went under the wall and they simply dammed it up, diverting it and they went through the conduit. The people were feasting thinking they were safe, they didn't realize the river was not running. The Medes and Persians got in and overthrew Babylon. They reigned until there came a time when this empire was overthrown. by the Greeks.

 

The images's belly and thighs were Brass and this is  the Grecian Empire. Alexander the great, a mighty warrior, conquered everything. He became a warrior at a very early age. He wanted to join his father's army when he was still in his teens. Everybody laughed, but he went out and proved himself a soldier. He was able to do what a grown man was able to do. At the age of 30 there was nothing left for him to conquer. He became bored and disillusioned. He contacted a disease and died about 30 or 31 years of age. His kingdom was divided among his 4 generals.  Being divided made it inferior and weaker.

 

It wasn't long after that - the Roman Empire gained control about 63 B.C. The Roman Empire ruled by the Caesar is figured by the iron legs of the image. It was very powerful, having an east and west to it. It was one of the strongest empires that has ever been. They crushed everyone under them. No one could stand against the Roman Empire as far as armies were concerned. But it fell, crumbling from within not from without. Corruption, immorality, over taxation of the people, just a parallel of our civilization today. In our own country (drugs, immorality, freedoms we didn't use to have, etc.). The fall of the Roman Empire was about 325 A.D. Since that time there have been mighty countries, but never a world empire. Great Britain was mighty and had many colonies, but were never a world empire. Germany was never a world empire. Hitler would have liked for it to be. Russia would have like to have been, they had designs. The United States tries to tell other countries what they can do and not do, but they don't rule and world.

 

“His feet were of iron and clay...the kingdom shall be divided...there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly broken...they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay" - Vs. 33,40-43. We are in the very last stages of these world empires, what is left of the Roman Empire. It is made up of imperialism figured by iron, a strong rule. The clay figures democracy, which is a weak rule. Why? because the people rule and that makes it weak.

 

The feet and toes represent the time in which we are living. We are just on the threshold of the 10 toes, when the world will unite and have a world confederacy of nations (east and west). It is already beginning to come to pass. But it wont last because iron and clay don't mix (democracy and imperialism) it is a weak structure. It will last for a little while. I Thess. 5:3, "For when they shall say, peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them." This is yet to come.

 

A fifth World Empire will come at the end of Gentile times. How? vs. 34-35, a Stone shall come from heaven and hit the feet of the image, this Stone represents Christ. Mt. 21:42-44. If we fall on the Stone, cast ourselves on Christ with a broken and contrite spirit we will be saved, but if the Stone falls on us it means judgment. In judgment this Stone comes down and hits this empire of the end time (the confederacy of nations) and they are destroyed. The whole of Gentile rule or Times is ended when Christ takes his throne. When the overcomers are raptured, that is when Christ will take His throne in heaven. Rev. 4. The nations will continue to rule on earth and that is why there will be the 7 years of tribulation, because they will not bow to Christ. So He will have to overthrow them. They will be reigning and think they have achieved peace and safety. We will never go to war again. We trust one another and everything is going to be alright, well then sudden destruction, war, and tribulation. The Stone (Christ) will come from heaven and put down all rule and authority (the end of Gentile dominion). These nations of the end will be ruling as usurpers of Christ's place and He will have to destroy them. What happens to this stone? It became a mountain, this speaks of Christ's kingdom which shall be universal and forever. He will establish His Kingdom - vs. 35 & 44. V. 45 - "...the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure." Yes, God has ordained it and it will come to pass.

 

Nebuchadnezzar is overcome, he knows that is what he dreamed, and by that he knows the interpretation is true – Vs. 46-47. He acknowledges Daniel's God, but he does not know what he is saying because he does not know the true and living God of heaven. He tries to deify Daniel as one to be worshiped, but Daniel will have none of that. Daniel knew it was God who made him wise – v. 48. How simple it was, all he did was pray and trust God. He went to bed believing God and He gave him the dream. He didn't stay up all night worrying about it. He prayed and went to sleep trusting God. It doesn't do us any good to stay up all night and worry and fret. Even if we do, we will still have the same problems the next morning. We might as well get some rest.

 

Did Daniel forget his companions? No, he requested of the king on their behalf and they were promoted, even over the wise men of Babylon – v. 49. This will not set good with them and we will read later that they plot against these three and also Daniel. Daniel not only was promoted, but he was given the highest place for he even sat in the gate of the king, a place of honor. God will honor those who honor Him. Just think, Daniel was just an exile, just a captive, a slave, yet God exalted him. He had a wonderful place in the kingdom of Babylon.

 

Chapter 3

 

In chapter 2 Nebuchadnezzar acknowledged that Daniel's God had showed him the dream and interpretation (2:47), but he had not been converted. For Nebuchadnezzar fell on his face and worshiped Daniel, not Daniel's God (2:46). He also commanded that they offer oblation and sweet odours unto Daniel as a god, as they did to any of their many gods in Babylon. Even though he acknowledged Daniel's God, he did not realize God had given him his power and authority. For we read in chapter 3 that he is so conceited and lifted up by this dream that he builds an image of gold. Isn't that the way of the flesh?

 

V. 1 - No doubt it was an image of himself, "look who I am, I am the head of gold, Daniel's God said so" (2:38). Of course the head of anything is the controller and speaks for the whole body. Many world rulers or kings were and still are considered gods. Nebuchadnezzar made himself a god in making this image (gold speaks of deity). This is very similar to what the scriptures say concerning the image of the Antichrist that will be set up in tribulation days (Rev. 13), the false prophet will set it up. Nebuchadnezzar is like both the Antichrist and the false prophet. As king he is a political ruler and setting up the image for the people to worship, he makes himself a religious ruler. But there is no doubt that Nebuchadnezzar was a man chosen of God to serve His purposes (2:37).

 

His image is 60 cubits high, or 90' and 6 cubits wide or 9' (a cubit is the measurement between the middle finger to the elbow or 18"). So it was tall and thin. If a story is 8' that would be 11 stories tall, or if a story is 12', then 7 stories tall. We find the number 6 here which is the number of man and his day. Do we not read in Rev. 13:18 that 666 will be the number of the Antichrist?

 

Vs. 2-7 - Eight times we find the words "set up" (V. 1,2 twice in 3, 5, 7, 12, 18). The number eight speaks of something new. In the New Testament it speaks of the New Creation, because Christ arose on the eighth day which is the first day of the week. This certainly was something new, the worship of a Gentile world power - II Thess. 2:3,4. We also find eight offices or titles of those gathered (princes, governors, captains, judges, treasurers, counsellors, sheriffs, all rulers of the provinces). In Rev. 17:9, 12,15 we read of the lesser powers that will be in harmony with the Antichrist and false prophet in the last days. The false woman mentioned there represents the false church. We also read of 10 horns or mountains representing larger nations. All those nations will be reigning in harmony with the beast, the Antichrist.

 

All these many rulers worship Nebuchadnezzar's image without any hesitation - V. 7. Note V. 4, this spreads out much farther than the province of Babylon, and we read in Rev. 13 that the whole world will wonder after and worship the beast as god. The world must have one religion and that religion will be backed up by the power of the united world empire of the last days. Also note V. 6 the "fiery furnace" is already hot and kept hot for disobedient people. The wrath of the enemy is hot today and many of God's people feel the heat. Satan cannot possess believers, but he can oppress them. But during tribulation days it will even be hotter for God's people that are on the earth.

 

Vs. 8-12 - There always has to be tale bearers it seems and here they are. They remind the king, "You know what you said, "every man is to fall down and worship the image at the sound of the music or be cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. Who are the tale bearers? The Chaldeans, the ones the three Hebrews replaced (2:49). They did this out of envy. They say, "those Jews you brought into the country and set over the affairs of the province, do not regard thee nor worship your image."

 

Where was Daniel when all this was going on? We are not told, but he had been put over the whole providence of Babylon which means he had to do a lot of traveling and he could have been completely away from Babylon at this time and knew nothing about this. There will be a remnant that will be taken out before the fiery great tribulation - Rev. 14. They are the 144,000. In Rev. 7 we read of them being sealed and on earth. In Rev. 14 they are in heaven, so somewhere between they went to heaven. We believe the man child of Rev. 12 is the 144,000. The two witness of Rev. 11 will also be taken out. The three Hebrews could speak of the woman that flees into the wilderness that we read of in Rev. 12:6. They endure to the end and are saved (Mt. 24:13), the end of what? The end of tribulation days. They will consist mostly of Jewish people. Anyone that is saved after this Church Age is over will be earth dwellers. If any Gentiles are saved they will have to come on Jewish ground.

 

Vs. 13-15 - Nebuchadnezzar's rage and fury reminds us of Satan's rage, "he walketh about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” - I Pet. 5:8. Nebuchadnezzar commands the three Hebrews to prove themselves. He thinks there is nobody greater than he. He boasts in his conceit, "Who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands." This is a challenge, making this an issue between the true God and the false idol or Nebuchadnezzar's supremacy.

 

Vs. 16-18 - What faith, the burning fiery furnace was right before them, but they believed God was able to deliver them. Is He able? - Eph. 3:20. The three Hebrews declare, if it is not God's will and purpose to deliver them, they will still not worship his image. Comp. Job 13:15.  We are encouraged in Eph. 6:13 to stand and withstand by faith. These are words of faith and later in the furnace it is the action of faith. Their decision was based on faith in the love of God. They knew their God and that He loved them. Perfect love casts out fear - I Jn. 4:18. Love changes people, Paul said in I Cor. 13:3, "though I give my body to be burned and have not the love of Christ, I am nothing." Overcomers are willing to give of themselves as a drink offering, pouring themselves out upon the altar of sacrifice - Rom. 12:1,2.

 

V. 19 - Nebuchadnezzar was angry before (V. 13), but now he is so full of fury that even his physical features change. You know who he is really angry against? God. That there should be a God greater than he. He commanded the furnace to be heated 7 times more. Seven is the number of completeness, perfection. How great Satan's anger and how great the tribulation will be. It will be 7 times greater during the last 3 1/2 years than before that.

 

Vs. 20-21 - Hosen were hose or trousers. Anyway they were fully dressed.

 

Vs. 22-23 - Those mighty men had to get close enough to throw them in and the heat was so intense that it killed the mighty solders. How cruel Nebuchadnezzar was in his conceit, his command cost him his mighty men and he didn't care. Even during tribulation evil men can go only so far and God will judge them. The three were bound, tied up, helpless, nothing they could do, but they were not alone. Somebody is there with us no matter how hot the trial, we are never alone. We may feel hopeless, but somebody is there that is able to loosen the bounds. Who? Our precious Lord - Heb. 13:5,6,8.

 

V. 24-25 - It must have been some kind of open furnace for Nebuchadnezzar to see them. My Bible margin says "like a son of the gods, like a deity, because Nebuchadnezzar didn't know anything about the Son of God. No doubt He shown brighter than the flames. (We are reminded of Acts 26:13, when Jesus appeared to Saul of Tarsus, he saw a light from heaven above the brightness of the sun at midday.) What a wonderful miracle these three experienced, They had no hurt and were walking in the midst of the fire. They no doubt were enjoying fellowship.

 

Vs. 26-27 - They came forth, but they were not in a hurry until they were called forth. Sometimes we may be to eager to get out of the fire. I Cor. 10:13, He will with the temptation also make a way to escape that ye may be able to bare it. He did that for these boys. He will do that for the remnant of Israel. God will use that period to defeat His and Israel's enemies. Just as the fire was meant to kill the three, it killed the ones who put them in there. I Cor. 15:24 says He will put down all rule and authority and power. Psalm 2:2,5-6,8-9. Things will get so hot in the tribulation period, yet God is going to protect some of his people during that time. Rev. 12:13-16. God will take care of them just like He did the three Hebrews. You couldn't even tell they had been in the fire. Now we know they died latter, but it was not their time at this time. God has a time for us to serve Him. He will keep us going on until that time.

 

All those rulers were witnesses, they "saw" - V. 27. Our God is an awesome God! Isn't this wonderful what He did! The fire had no power, (our trials have no power over us). Not a hair singed, neither their garments nor did they have the smell of fire on them (no odor of it, this is what God will do). Unbelievers can't believe such wonderful things. It was the fire that they were in that loosened their bonds and set them free. It worked good for them - Rom. 8:28. God  often uses the trials we are in to loose us from something, loose our bonds and yet we are not hurt of the trial at all. In fact we are better, free to walk with the Lord Jesus Christ and have more communion with Him. How wonderful it is to trust God and we don't have to be afraid of the fiery furnace. So we learn personal lessons from this account of their experience in great trial and persecution and of their faith and of God's faithfulness to them. I Pet. 4:12-14, 16, 19.

 

V. 28 - "Sent his angel," this is the pre-incarnated Christ. He delivered his servants that trusted in Him. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding, commit your way unto Him - Prov. 3:6. Nebuchadnezzar learned that their God changed the king's word. He will learn later that God can change the times that they rule. When we read of a ruler being cut off or overthrown while they are in office or in a place of authority, it is God that is back of all these things and He has purposes. God will change the Antichrist's word and all the Gentile world powers. Everything was against the three Hebrews, it looked hopeless for them, but they trusted in their God and yielded their bodies a living sacrifice and God did not forsake them.

 

V. 29 - Nebuchadnezzar has learned something here, but he is still not converted. He says the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego is greater than any other god. No other god can deliver after this sort and no one better say anything against their God or He will have them cut in pieces and their places destroyed. He has had no change of heart.

 

V. 30 - It pays to trust the Lord. He may not make you rich or give you a place of power, He knows what is best for us. This prosperity message that is popular today, takes the precious Scriptures that tells us of our spiritual wealth in Christ and puts it on a natural, earthly plain. How sad, they miss the real wealth that is ours. God will make your enemies to be at peace with you when you live a life of trusting him - Pro. 16:7. Ps. 23:5,6, says, He prepares a table before me in the presence of mine enemies and anoints my head with oil; He makes my cup to run over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever (because the Lord is my shepherd). Ps. 2:12 says, "Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him." The three Hebrews had already been promoted before to places of authority and the Chaldeans were jealous and wanted to be rid of them. But what happened as a result of their trust in God? They were promoted even more in Babylon.

 

So with God's chosen ancient people, the nations will try to rid the earth of them. The result of their crying out to their God will be for their good. For they will rule over the other nations that are left after God's judgment. Jerusalem will be the center and other nations will have to come unto them, for they will rule in harmony with Christ.

 

Chapter 4

 

Vs. 1-3 - We find in this chapter that God gave Nebuchadnezzar another dream. Nebuchadnezzar is telling about it after it happened. He is giving a testimony to the world (all people that dwell on all the earth) about how God dealt with him and that God is able to change people, nations, anything. We notice right off that a real change has taken place, for his benediction is, "peace be multiplied unto you." Peter and Jude give this same benediction and they were writers of a kingdom message and of the later times. So Nebuchadnezzar's benediction goes along with this and brings it down to the time of the last days. Before, Nebuchadnezzar only acknowledged God as the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego (3:29). Also up till chapter 4, his heart was not turned away from violence. He was still ready to kill and cut in pieces (1:10; 2:13; 3:6). He also believed there were many gods (2:47). When there is a real turn to God, all Idols fall away - I Cor. 8:4-6 and I Thess. 1:9.

 

The out standing feature of Nebuchadnezzar is "thou art this head of gold. God said this and as the head of gold he represents the whole image which speaks of Gentile Times. Oh, that the leaders of the nations would take heed to Nebuchadnezzar's testimony. Nebuchadnezzar calls the things showed to him "signs and wonders." A sign is a token of divine authority and power of God in Scripture. He causes people to acknowledge Him as the Almighty. All the plagues that God sent against Egypt were tokens of his power. Nebuchadnezzar acknowledged that God is king and a better king than he. That God has more authority, more power over more people than he. This was a sign given unto Nebuchadnezzar.

 

Vs. 4-5 - Nebuchadnezzar was at "rest" in his own palace, thinking he had full security, nothing could touch him. He had a beautiful palace, well armed and well guarded. He was prosperous, but all this was false security. When we trust in things, we have a false security, like trusting in our automobile, it may not start in the morning. God gave Nebuchadrezzar this dream that made him afraid. It so frighten him that he awoke and laying on his bed was troubled in unrest. We notice the personal pronouns here - "I," "me," "mine." The old creation boasts, but who really gave Nebuchadnezzar these things? Jer. 25:9,16,26 tells us that it was all of God that Nebuchadnezzar had all these things. But Nebuchadnezzar gave the credit to Himself. The old creation doesn't want to admit there is a God. They go to great lengths to prove their ability to do things. Nebuchadnezzar should have known there was a greater power than he. Who overruled his authority when he cast the 3 Hebrews into the fiery furnace (ch. 3). He just forgot all about God and made Him out to be nothing. This is how man does things. The old creation is never satisfied, but wants more and more. We read in Col. 3:5 that covetousness is idolatry. Nebuchadnezzar had everything and yet did not give God credit.

 

Vs. 6-7 - He calls his wise men of Babylon. Didn't he learn from the experience of chapter 2? Makes you wonder about world leaders. They ask advise of ungodly people and these people don't know. I Cor. 2:6,9,14 says the natural mind cannot understand the things of God. They would be wise to get spiritual advise, but they wont. His wise men were ignorant. That is what the wisdom of this world is, ignorant, not having true wisdom. Nebuchadnezzar even told them the dream this time and they still couldn't give the interpretation.

 

Vs. 8-9 - It seems like Daniel wasn't invited, but he came anyway, waiting until the wise men of Babylon left. because he didn't want to be associated with their false magic. Nebuchadnezzar uses both names here. Daniel was his Hebrew name which means, "my judge is God." Belteshazzar was the name given him of the Chaldeans which means, "lord of the treasury," according to the name of their god. They had a god "Bel" - which means "lord." This is the name he called Daniel, the one the world sees or uses. Notice, Nebuchadnezzar says gods - plural. He uses flattery in speaking to Daniel.

 

Vs. 10-12 - In his dream Nebuchadnezzar saw a mighty tree that grew strong and tall reaching unto heaven and to the end of all the earth. Trees in prophetic, symbolic language usually speaks of people and usually reigning people. In Judges the ninth chapter a tree is used as a type of a ruler. In Song of Sol. 2:2,3 the Beloved is called a apple tree among other trees, because he is fruitful and others were just ordinary trees. This tree speaks of Nebuchadnezzar and also of all the world rulers. The tree has grown and grown all down through the years. The nations of the world have grown stronger and stronger and the people depend to a great extent on government any more.

 

Vs. 13-17 - A voice of authority was heard. It sounds like two different ones here, but we read in v. 14, "He cried" (only one). This is no doubt the pre-incarnated Christ. For in Rev. 10:1-3,5, we read of Christ showing this same authority and power. So we see God's authority in the pre-incarnated Christ. He commands the tree be cut down, but to leave the stump and roots and let his heart be changed to that of a beast until 7 times pass over him. Times is years, so this is seven years for this period of testing. The holy ones speaking as one tell the intent of the dream or purpose. The message is that God can do what He will and He sets up the "basest of men." Men think we should have the best, they say, Let's put in a Christian. No, God sets up the worst. He has a purpose to fulfill. When God has a dirty job to do, He gets a dirty man to do it.

 

Vs. 18-19 - Nebuchadnezzar again says "gods," plural, he has not learned yet. Daniel is silent for an hour, knowing the interpretation was to the hurt of the king. He respects Nebuchadnezzar's authority and we should also respect those in authority. God even tells us to pray for those in authority - I Tim. 2:1,2. We may not respect the person, but we are to respect his authority, because God gave it to him. Nebuchadnezzar encourages Daniel to speak.

 

Vs. 20-23 - Daniel says, the mighty tree "is thou, O king." This reminds us of "thou art this head of gold." This illustration of the kingdom of Nebuchadnezzar starts out as a kingdom and then it seems to represent him as representing the kingdom. In the interpretation the watcher, the holy one is singular. God will bring all these Empires to nothing. He brought Rome down to nothing and it was not conquered, it deteriorated from within. But a stump was left. So in the feet portion of this image, we see enough left to start a revival of the old Roman Empire. We are living in that time right now, the revival time when God is stirring up the iron and clay, to do a work there.

 

Vs. 24-26 - This is the decree of the most High, they shall drive thee from men and you shall be like a beast of the field for 7 years. God is going to cause Nebuchadnezzar to learn that God rules and it was He who gave him his kingdom, power and authority. God could have given it to anyone but he chose to give it to you. This is God's purpose in dealing with the kingdoms, ever since Nebuchadnezzar rose up, to show that God is the most high and He is the high ruler in the kingdom of men and he gives it to whosoever He will. "After" the seven years, reminds us of the seven years of tribulation. There will be seven terrible years and God said except they be shortened, there would be no flesh left on the earth - Mt. 24:22. God didn't shorten it for Nebuchadnezzar, but He will for the reality of this or people would destroy everything. Some kings will rule again, but under a different attitude after Jesus takes His throne.

 

Vs. 27-28 - Daniel gives good advise, this is the only way sins could be broken off, by righteousness, and there is only one way righteousness can be brought and that is through the death of the Lord Jesus Christ. Of course Nebuchadnezzar was before Christ, but he represents all the kingdoms of today. If they would only read this and break off their sins by righteousness in receiving Christ as their personal Savior. Nebuchadnezzar could have changed right then. Break off sins by righteousness is an inward change that is manifested outwardly by showing mercy. When people begin giving and sharing, we begin to see they really love the Lord. The Apostle Paul says a lot about giving, showing mercy to the poor, sharing with them and encouraging them - II Cor. 8 and 9. But Nebuchadnezzar ignored this, he just got worse all the time. He didn't learn a thing. God gave him a whole year to repent and take Daniel's advise. Prov. 16:18 says pride goeth before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall. I Cor. 10:12 says, wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. "All this came upon the king."

 

Vs. 29-31 - God was faithful to His word. God interrupted the king (no man dared to interrupt the king), "to thee it is spoken." Notice the swiftness of God's judgment. When He starts, it is going to happen. He said, behold I come quickly. When He starts to come He is going to do things in a hurry. Judgment is going to be swift upon the world.

 

Vs. 32-33 - Nebuchadnezzar went mad, a ravening maniac, all his reasoning left him and he was like an animal. They didn't have institutions to put them in back then. So they chased him out in the field. He ate grass like the oxen (he didn't use his hands). He had no shelter, he just stayed out in the field until his hairs were grown as eagle's feathers and nails like bird's claws. See what can happen to the pomp of man when they become lifted up. Nebuchadnezzar thought he was going to go on forever and ever. God showed him. God had tried other ways to show him, the fiery furnace miracle should have humbled him forever, but it didn't. The rulers of this world are just like beasts to the Lord. As far as their reasoning is concerned, and their attitude toward God. They are like beasts, they have no understanding where God is concerned. They don't believe God gave them their rulership. Men do everything in their power to get there. In Rev. 13:1,11 we read of two beasts, one comes up out of the sea (the Antichrist, the political ruler) the other out of the earth (the false prophet, the religious leader). Nebuchadnezzar pictures both, for he was the political ruler and also a religious leader that demanded worship of his image. Many rulers are religious, but that doesn't mean they are necessarily saved people. The Antichrist will be religious. When Jesus comes to set up His kingdom He will bring this system to absolute nothing - Rev. 19:11-21.

 

V. 34 - Just think seven years Nebuchadnezzar had to live that way. His reasoning returned to him while he looked like a beast and he realized where he had been living and it all came back to him what God told him through Daniel.

 

V. 35 - No one has the authority to question God, but people do. Some people even get real angry at God. Who do they think they are anyway. By doing so, they think they are better than God, as if to say, I can do things better.

 

Vs. 36-37 - Nebuchadnezzar certainly learned humility didn't he? God brought him back to the throne as he said he would. The tree was cut down, but the root left. When God gets through with people, if they turn their hearts to him, they will gain by the trial. Nebuchadnezzar was changed, he had a new heart. He then represented the kings that will turn their lives over to God during the Kingdom Age, and let the God of Daniel be their God. They will be the sheep nations that we read of in Mt. 25. What a good lesson to learn for all of us, not to get lifted up. You may wonder why the Lord doesn't let you get ahead in this world? Why doesn't He give me more than what I have? Why do I have to work so hard for everything I get? This may be the reason, He doesn't want you to get lifted up. He wants to keep you humble and dependent on Him. He knows what we can handle. Earthly gain may hinder us spiritually.

 

You might wonder who reigned upon the throne while Nebuchadnezzar was crazy. He had a son, named, Evilmerodach (foolish is thy rebellion) that was next in line to reign and he began to reign about 562 BC. Nebuchadnezzar had been reigning 44 years. Evilmerodach only reigned 2 years and God used him during that time. Jer. 52:31-33 tells us some good he did. But his brother-in-law murdered him (his sister's husband, named Neriglissar. He also reigned a short time. Then another daughter of Nebuchadnezzar's, her husband Nitocris and then her son Nabonidus reigned. He was the father of Belshazzar that we will read about in chapter 5. So Nebuchadnezzar was not Belshazzar's father, but his grandfather through his mother. His mother being a daughter of Nebuchadnezzar. So 2 daughters reigned as queen. The kingdom went on without Nebuchadnezzar and then He was restored to the throne.

 

Chapter 5

 

With chapter 5, some 30 odd years had passed since the happenings of chapter 4 and probably 65 years after chapter 1. Nebuchadnezzar is dead and his grandson Belshazzar was reigning along with his father Nabonidus. His mother was one of Nebuchadnezzar's daughters.

 

Vs. 1-2 - Nabonidus left to go to another city to beautify it and Belshazzar threw this party to celebrate that. He was a royal spoiled brat that turned into an alcoholic and was a very weak ruler. He drank consistently, no doubt thinking here is something to celebrate, so let us all get drunk. All the who's who of Babylon were there for this celebration.

 

Vs, 3-4 - They were drinking from the consecrated vessels that belonged to the God of heaven, they didn't belong to Belshazzar. Even his grandfather Nebuchadnezzar brought them from Jerusalem as a treasure, not to use, not to drink out of. They were made of silver and gold and they were to be used only by God's priests. For the Babylon court to use them, was a mockery, an act of contemptuous profanity. The more they drank, the drunker they got. Holding up the gold and silver cups and saying these be our gods. This was as far as man dare go and more than God could quietly endure - Isa. 42:8. If ever a man needed God it was Belshazzar, but he was defying the only God who could help him. Notice, there are 6 gods mentioned in V. 4. Six is the number of man. So here is the god of man, and don't we see this today? Men worship materialism as their god. Rev. 9:20 & 18:9-14

 

V. 5 -  Fingers of a man's hand appears and writes on the wall, suggesting the presence of some personality. We are reminded of the first time the 10 commandments were written, God wrote with His finger. In both cases it is identified with judgment, because breaking of the law was definitely judgment. Here in Daniel, we see God wrote this in the light of the candlestick which probably came out of the sanctuary in Jerusalem. If so, then this was written in the light of God's light. The lampstand of God desecrated by Belshazzar, now illuminates the handwriting on the wall so all could see it.  

 

V. 6-9 - Belshazzar sobered up real quick. He was so afraid he shook. The handwriting struck terror to his heart. He cried aloud, but to the false ones who don't know the answers. Even with his promise of wealth, they could not interpret the writing. Unregenerated man is powerless to tell the meaning of God's message. The utter weakness of human wisdom is exposed. He was troubled greatly, so much that his countenance changed. His lords were dismayed.

V. 10-12 - The queen here must have been his mother, a daughter of Nebuchadnezzar. She certainly would know about Daniel. Daniel was now an old man but still used mightily of God. She said, "there is a man" - thank God! He always has a man on the scene that knows Him. You wonder why they didn't call him first, he was the master of all these wise men. We read here that Belshazzar didn't even know Daniel existed. The queen gives a wonderful commendation of Daniel.

 

V. 13-14 - Belshazzar acts like he knows Daniel, saying, "I have even heard of thee." He didn't know Daniel, he had just heard of him from his mother. What he says seems like a put down. I don't know why I called you in here, you are just one of the children of the captivity, your a Jew not a Chaldean.

 

V. 15-16 - Belshazzar relates to Daniel that his wise men could not interpret the writing. Of course they couldn't do it, for they only had man's wisdom. He promises Daniel all the gifts he had promised the Chaldean so called wise men.

 

V. 17 - Daniel didn't live a self-centred existence, he didn't want their earthly rewards. God's real people are not after money. People need to know, just because some talk and sing about Jesus, doesn't mean they are really serving God and desire His glory. We may ask ourselves are they doing what they do for the glory of God or are they after money. Of course it takes money to do things, but that is only secondary to a truly spiritual work. If God is in it, the money will be supplied. Daniel also knew these gifts couldn't be used very long, because he already had the interpretation of the writing. Before Daniel gives the interpretation, he gives Belshazzar a sermon. People don't often ask for a sermon and they don't like it when they get one. But Daniel gave it to Belshazzar anyway.

 

Vs. 18-23 - Daniel said, you knew about your grandfather, and what happened to him. Nebuchadnezzar learned that the most high God ruleth in the kingdom of men and he appointeth whomsoever he will over it. You have not learned from this and you are lifted up with pride (scripture tells us that a fool never learns). Daniel didn't pull any punches. This is a real indictment against Belshazzar. "Thou lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven." That is a terrible thing to do. You drank wine from the vessels of His house and while drinking from the sacred vessels you praised gods that can neither see nor hear nor know. Belshazzar lifted himself up above God in doing this. Some day soon such desecration will increase until the man of sin stretches forth his hand to touch God's holy Temple and his image will be set up there. Notice, the breath of man is in God's hand. He can snuff it out just like that. You have not glorified the true and living God, He knows all about you and your ways.

 

Vs. 24-28 - Daniel interprets the writing, "God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it...Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting...Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians." This had to come to Daniel by revelation because he would not have known about the future divided kingdom of the Medes and Persians. The Medes were first but the Persians became stronger. To number the kingdom of Babylon means to fix or limit its duration. This is it, God isn't going to stand for this foolishness any more. He had fixed the duration of Babylon as a ruling empire, her destruction had come. God's judgment is fair and honest. His scales are accurate, He deals in justice. Belshazzar was weighed by His divine balances and was found deficient, even absent. Every nation and every man is held accountable to God. For He has given of His Son and provided salvation for every man. Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross - Col. 2:14. All who put their trust in Him are saved, but all who refuse God's salvation are reserved unto the blackness of darkness for ever - Jude 13.  

 

V. 29-31 - Oh the ignorance of the fleshly mind. Belshazzar didn't seem to realize what Daniel said, that the kingdom would be taken from him. Perhaps he treated it as a joke, but it came to pass quickly. Darius the Median was a 62 year old captain when he took Babylon and was put up over this province. God's timing is always perfect and He knows how to do it. I mentioned this before how Babylon was said to be unconquerable with its double wall and heavy gates, etc. But God did it. History tells us two drunken guards, guarding the main gate, opened the gate and staggered out and was captured by the Medes soldiers. They were taken and compelled to tell the lay out of the city. Then they simply changed the course of the river that flowed under the wall of the city and 2 or 3 soldiers went in and unlocked the gates for the army to come in. There was no battle, everyone was drunk. Talk about false security, they had it. God brought about the impossible, simply and fast, but in His time. Jer. 51:37-40,57-58 seems to have application to this night feast and folly of Belshazzar. All this pictures all the kingdoms of this earth and their intoxication with materialistic things. Babylon in its final form is rising rapidly. God is going to change things. In His due time, Christ is going to conquer in all simplicity the amalgamated federation of religious groups figured by the mother of harlots (Rev. 17 & 18) and the evil alliance of the nations against the Lord God and His Christ (Rev. 19:11-21). The solution of this world's ills lies in one great event, the coming again of God's Son from heaven, the stone cut out without hands.

 

Chapter 6

 

This is a well known chapter in Daniel when he was put in the lions den. We all know the story how the lions do not bother him. This could picture the protection and preservation of a remnant of the Jews during tribulation. Also the decree that no petition could be made to any god, but to Darius could speak of the commanded worship of the antichrist.

 

This chapter is a continuation of chapter 5 which ended with the fall of the great city of Babylon. One dynasty ended but another is born, the conquering Medes and Persians as was prophesied and symbolized in the great image (the arms and shoulders of silver). It is inferior to the first kingdom. Nebuchadnezzar's rule was one of absolute authority. Whom he would, he put to death and whom he would, he kept alive. The second world empire was not so, but it was well organized.

 

Vs. 1-3 - Daniel must be close to 90 years old, yet he is very active and displays wonderful strength, drawing it from God Himself. First Darius appointed 120 princes to be over the whole kingdom, then over the princes, he put 3 presidents and Daniel was the first of them. They had to give account to Daniel. Darius preferred Daniel and conferred this great honor upon him. He knew he could trust Daniel and that he would not tolerate corruption. This made Daniel second in authority in the new kingdom. This filled the presidents and princes with envy and beside this he was a Jew and they had to answer to him. They could not get away with any plan for gain.

 

Vs. 4-5 - People do seem to look for faults. Even Daniel's enemies could find no fault in his character nor in his faithfulness to the kingdom. But they knew he had priorities in his life, we should also. The Scripture is clear what they should be. First, should be the things of God. We should be different and shine as lights in this world.

 

Three commendations given of Daniel:

(1) An excellent spirit was in him - V. 3. His spirit was yielded to the Spirit of God. We also should be yielded to God and let His Spirit lead us. We are even more accountable than Daniel. We have the Holy Spirit and the Spirit of Christ. Daniel didn't have this, he had the Spirit of God upon him. Jesus said, to his disciples in Jn. 14:17, The Holy Spirit dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

 

(2) Daniel was faithful - V. 4. God wants us to be faithful too. In everything we do to be dependable, faithful, active in your work or meeting. Some saints are hit and miss which is not being faithful. We must yield to the leading of the Spirit for this faithfulness to be worked in us. God wants faithful people  - I Cor. 4:2.

 

(3) No fault was found in Daniel - V. 4. This would be true of our outward walk if we yield our bodies totally - Rom. 12:1.

 

Vs. 6-9 - Daniel was a worthy representative of the God of Judah and God was not ashamed of him. He was a shining light in a time of darkness. He remained unspotted in the midst of luxury, lust and licentiousness. Yes, his headquarters were in a palace which could also be described as a pigsty. For the government officials were sensual, sinful and self-seeking. Daniel stood out because of his excellent spirit and being surrounded by such impurity. Daniel's enemies had to concoct a scheme to get Daniel into trouble. First they lied, for they said all the presidents (V. 7), but Daniel was not a part of this. Secondly they flattered Darius (beware of flatterers). They used flattery to get Darius focused on how great he was so they could slip in the penalty, which was their motive. These were crafty fellows moved by Satan's craftiness.

 

Vs. 10-11 - Daniel knew the law was signed. He was on a spot you might say. Where was his loyalty to be, with the king and his decree or to God? Notice what he did first, he went home and his windows being opened toward Jerusalem, prayed as he always did. He could not compromise and he made no change. He did not make a showy display, but neither did he hide his actions. He just did as usual, with his windows open toward Jerusalem (this was scriptural - II Chron. 6:38-39 & I Kings 8:48). You know, he could have excused himself if he wanted. After all it was only for 30 days, and he could start praying again after the 30 days. Men today could use Rom. 13:1 as an excuse and say Scripture tells us that the powers that be are ordained of God. And I Pet. 2:13 says, submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake whether it be to the king as supreme or unto governors, etc. Men can find scripture to do what ever they want to do. But read Acts 5:29. Where are our priorities? Are we looking for scripture to excuse what we want to do? Scripture tells us to obey the authorities God has put over us and this is what we are to do, except when it is contrary to the will of God. Daniel addressed God in prayer and thanks. It was here that Daniel prevailed with God and the victory was won. Daniel fought the battle on his knees and the lions mouths were closed. He knew these men were determined on his downfall and he knew only God could undertake for him. Notice, these men had to see it to be able to report to the king.

 

V. 12-14 - Their inditement against Daniel was: first: he is not one of us. He doesn't deserve a trial, he is only a captive of Judah. Second: he refused to regard the king and went against his wishes. Third: he was disobedient. Have you heard the saying 'If you were to be arrested for being a Christian, could the world find enough evidence against you to prosecute you?' Do you act like a Christian all the time? Do you pray everyday like Daniel? Daniel could only plead guilty and he was willing to die if necessary for what he stood for. Darius was distressed with himself for he realized he had fallen into a trap and he had no control over it. He could not change the writing, even though he labored over it until the sun went down. The law of the Medes and Persians could not be altered (changed). Darius liked Daniel and respected him.

 

Vs. 15-20 - These men applied pressure on the king. Darius didn't want to do it. What a witness Daniel had, even this heathen king had to admit that Daniel served his God continually. It would seem that he expected Daniel would be preserved. He reasoned that no God could fail such a devoted servant. He was right. God cannot fail His people in any age or trial. God is faithful. Have you ever felt so low that you felt you had to reach up to touch bottom? That you were all alone? Daniel wasn't alone and neither are we (Ps. 40:1-2, God brought David out). Notice, it was sealed with the king's signet, that meant no one dare touch that stone. V. 18 doesn't mean the king was fasting and praying, he simply didn't eat because he was upset at having to put Daniel in the lion's den. He didn't want any music to soothe him or entertain him or food to comfort him. He also couldn't sleep. Earlier Darius stated that Daniel's God would deliver him - V. 16. But when he comes to the den the next morning, he asks, did he do it? - V. 20.

 

Vs. 21-23 - The fact that Daniel spoke, proved God was able. If the lions had eaten him he could not have talked. The king had been so miserable, the contrast is great, he now is exceeding glad for Daniel. God delivered Daniel out of the mouth of the lions - Heb. 11:33.

 

Daniel was innocent before God first and also innocent before the king second (V.22). Daniel didn't do a thing to hurt the king in any way. Proof of this fact was that God protected him. Proof of Jesus holiness was His resurrection from the dead - Rom. 1:4. This was God's seal of approval when He brought Him out of the tomb, that He was the Holy Son of God. And with Daniel - this was God's seal of approval, that Daniel had done no wrong or no hurt. Why was there no hurt on Daniel? Because he believed in his God (V. 23). God can do as much for us today if we believe Him. No matter what kind of pit, or how many lions are in the pit. God is going to take care of you. It may look horrible, but the just shall live by faith.

 

V. 24 - This is proof that those lions were hungry. When Daniel's enemies were thrown in the same pit, the lions devoured them. They had sought Daniel's downfall and dug a pit for him and they fell into it themselves. Gal. 6:7 - "God is not mocked, for whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap." You may think it was Darius who dealt with them so quickly, but back of him was the living God. Gal. 5:15.

 

Vs. 25-28 - Darius salutation is "peace be multiplied unto you." Only God can make peace. He is our peace. Daniel's God is our God, He is living, steadfast forever, unmovable, unchangeable and He worketh signs and wonders. Darius testimony is a mighty one to all Gentile powers to leave hands off the Jews. They would do well to heed the testimonies of Nebuchadnezzar and Darius that are found in the book of Daniel (Ch. 4 & 6). When the kingdoms changed, Daniel went on, he prospered in the reign of Darius the Median and Cyrus the Persian, being chief president under the dual monarchy.

 

Chapter 7

 

This chapter begins the second half of the book, in it we find a series of visions given to Daniel by God in symbolic language and all are interpreted.

 

V. 1 - The kingdom of Babylon was still in existence when Daniel had this vision. It was in the first year of Belshazzar's reign, so it is going back a little ways in Israel's history for in chapter 6 the Medes and Persians reigned. Daniel being an old man at the time no doubt devoted much time to writing, for Belazzar left the aging statesman to obscurity. This gave Daniel a good opportunity to be used by God. He received the revelation and wrote every word of it, moved by the Holy Spirit.

 

V. 2 - The vision came to Daniel at "night" which was so appropriate for Gentile times are dark times for the Jews. We will read nine times in this one chapter "I saw" or "I beheld" (vs. 2,4,6,7,9 and twice in v. 11,13 21) indicating a continuous action of moving pictures passing in front of Daniel. In the first reel he sees the 4 winds of heaven strove upon the great sea. Winds in scripture always speaks of spirits (sometimes good and sometimes bad spirits). In John 3:8 we read "the wind bloweth where it listeth, you hear the sound but cannot tell whence it cometh and whither it goeth." So also is the spirit of God, intangible and yet we can feel it. You can't get a handful of the wind. Four is the number of the world in Bible numerology, so it is world spirits or spirits of the world. In Rev. 7:1, God is holding back the evil spirits from hurting his people. So we see God is in control weather they are good or bad spirits. These spirits are of the heaven and they strove upon the great sea, speaking of unstable conditions. The sea speaks of the Gentiles (land speaks of Jews in prophetic language). Isa. 8:7 the king of Assyria is called strong waters and in Isa. 17:12-13 nations are like rushing mighty waters. God sees Gentiles as unstable people, being toss to and fro. So these winds striving on the sea have to do with spirits stirring up these Gentile world powers. We will see what they are. A procession of 4 beasts come up out of the sea, moving one after the other upon the screen before Daniel's eyes.

 

V. 3 - Beasts in scripture speak of unredeemed humanity, God sees the unsaved as beasts. These are beastly people that come up out of this Gentile world system. They are not the same, but different one from another. They are different in the sense of deterioration and in operation, but they are all beasts.

 

V. 4 - The lion is the king of beasts. This is the Babylonian Empire, that head of gold in Nebuchadnezzar's dream image. This lion is the Babylonish system. To begin with Nebuchadnezzar was very much like a lion (Psa. 17:12), he was greedy, vicious and sinful (a beast spiritually) before he experienced becoming a beast literally. He had eagle's wings, the ability to soar over other nations and capture them. Eagles can soar up and they have very good perspective, they can see a little bitty mouse down on the ground and when they see it, they just dive down and scoop it up. "I beheld" until the wings were plucked. This was the time of Nebuchadnezzar's insanity when he was living in the field like a beast and eating grass like an ox. God certainly plucked his wings. Then he was lifted up and stood on his feet as a man, God made a man out of that beast. God restored him out of that condition. Daniel had to know what God was talking about up to this point.

 

V. 5 - Daniel had to recognize the first beast, but all the rest of these were yet future at the time the vision was given to Daniel (because the Babylon Empire was not over in Belshazzar's first year). The second beast is a bear and represents the Medo-Persia Empire. One side is raised up higher then the other. Persia was stronger than the Medes in this dual Empire. A bear is slow and methodical and strong. The three ribs in its mouth represent three nations they devoured (Babylon, Lydia and Egypt).

 

V. 6 - The third beast, a leopard relies upon its craftiness and speed. It is a very fast animal, its speed is greater than the other two (the lion and the bear). This represents Alexander the Great, as his army overcame the nations by swiftness. The leopard had "four wings as a fowl" again we see a deterioration , for it is not the wings of an eagle, which is much stronger than a birds wings. Also an eagle soars much higher than other birds do. We see a fluttering, a flittering of just birds than soaring. Alexander did not soar like Nebuchadnezzar, he had less powerful wings, relying on speed instead of strength. Have you ever watched a sparrow it flutters over here and then its over there - that is how Alexander defeated these armies. He would even break up his army in divisions and be in a lot of places at the same time. This is how he conquered. The beast also had four heads - history tells us that after Alexander the Great's death, the kingdom was divided among his four generals, they are seen here as the four heads of the Empire. These four kingdoms were Syria, Egypt, Greece, Asia Minor (or Rome). "Dominion" was given to it," God gives dominion to whom He wills. Rom. 13:1 - "the powers that be are ordained of God." In Dan. 4:17 and Hosea 13:5-8 we see the swiftness of God's operation in disciplining Israel. God was in all this, He uses the unregenerated people to discipline His people. Everything God does, He does it for a purpose. When He tears a nation down, it is for a purpose. When He lifts up a nation, it is for a purpose. Everything we see in this world are providences of God. They are not haphazard, unplanned situations at all. God never has to scratch His head and wonder what to do. It isn't a chest game to Him. He knows just where to move a nation or where to bring them down.

 

V. 7 - This fourth beast is the Roman Empire. Rome began to gain power by defeating all the other generals. These were all one time friends, being in the same army, but one general Augustus Caesar began bringing them down, defeating them. He was still in power when Jesus was born. About 395 AD the government was split, into two divisions (Eastern and Western division). The Roman Empire was never conquered. It deteriorated from within by sin and loose living (sounds familiar). People cry for revival, but there is not going to be a world wide revival. How do we know this? The Word of God tells us that things are getting worse instead of better. There are eight descriptive statements concerning this fourth beast: (1) dreadful and terrible, (2) strong exceedingly, (3) had great iron teeth, (4) devoured, (5) break in pieces, (6) stamped the residue or people with its feet. (7) was diverse from all the beasts before it. (8) had 10 horns. Eight is the number of something new, a new beginning. It was diverse, unlike the beasts before it, especially as it deteriorated which is represented by the legs and feet of the image of chapter 2. Remember four generals ruled the Grecian Empire after Alexander the Great's death and one of these Augustus Caesar ran over his General friends and none could stand before him. It was inferior in a sense of division, but not in power. It became a divided nation. Jesus said, anything divided against itself cannot stand. So this was the problem. Rome was great and terrible and broke nations in pieces and stamped the residue with its feet. Rome certainly trod upon the Jewish people and stamp the remnant of the people of God with its feet. Notice the semi-colon after the word "it." The Hebrew text doesn't have punctuation. It was put in by the translators and it is in a good place, because the rest of this is at a later time. The first portion of the Roman Empire comes right down to that semicolon. All of this is history as far as we are concerned, but the remainder of verse 7 is yet future. Which we will consider later.

 

One last note - What is the difference between Nebuchadnezzar's dream image and these four beasts? Both visions were God-given and God-explained, yet the view is so different. The stately impressive image of chapter 2 depicts world rule from the human view, while world dominion as seen in the form of world beasts is the divine view. Man sees the kingdoms of this world as great exhibitions of human's extraordinary ability. God looks upon them as being bestial in character. The divine view-point of the times of the Gentiles shows human government to be brutal and terrible, it is the true picture. The same deterioration of quality in the metals in the dream image is likewise suggested in the four beasts.

In both visions we see the final overthrow of all earthly kingdoms by the second coming of Christ to earth and the setting up of His everlasting universal kingdom from heaven.

 

This monstrous Roman Empire broke in pieces and devoured everything in its path to greatness, with it greet iron teeth. What it did not own, it crushed with it feet, spoiling it for others. It was dreadful, terrible and strong exceedingly, the most powerful world empire that this world has known. It acted beastly especially to the Jews. As terrible as it was, the worst is yet to come in the last phase of the Roman empire.

 

"It had ten horns." This tells us of the latter stage of this empire, for it did not have ten horns when Daniel first saw it come up out of the sea (out of the Gentile nations) - V. 3. It was not divided in power at the first for it was strong and fierce and diverse from all others. It never could be said that it had ten horns before it deteriorated from within. That is when the part iron and part clay phase resulted. The strong Roman Empire ceased to exist. It must rise again, the same beast with ten horns, a divided  kingdom will develop.

 

Let us not confuse these ten horns with the ten toes of Nebuchadnezzar's image. Many commentaries do, but that cannot be. Because three of these horns are plucked up (v. 8) and we don't have three toes plucked off. These horns are an earlier stage. The toes are at the very end, when the Rock cut out without hands falls on the toes and crushes (the nations). So the toes are at a latter time than these horns. The ten horns represent kings (horns always speak of power in prophetic language). So these are nations that are in harmony with the revival of the Roman Empire.

 

Although there were other nations with the first part of the Roman Empire, they had very little power or  authority. Even Israel was still a nation, but a conquered nation. Herod let them have a little leeway. At the death of Christ, Pilate let them have their way, but the last word was Caesar's.

 

In the revived Roman Empire there will be these nations and we believe we can see these nations forming now. A confederacy of European nations has taken place and these nations may shift a lot more. In the last several years there has been changes and it is still changing. It is for God's purposes in the end time. We don't know all that will take place, but we do know He lifts nations up and tears down nations. He does His will among them. They think they are so smart and they are doing this and doing that and making peace treaties and working out things, but it is all going to fail.

 

V. 8 - Daniel eyes are focused on the ten horns and among them comes up a little horn. This is the Antichrist before whom three of the first horns are plucked up and taken away, not the people, but the kingdom itself will exist no more (for they were plucked up by the roots). Seven horns are left. They no doubt are the seven heads (kings) that John saw in vision in Rev. 17:9-10, which will rule over the seven mountains (kingdoms) at the beginning of the seven years of tribulation. John saw this seven headed empire arising out of the troubled sea (the unstable condition of the Gentile nations) - Rev. 13:1. It is a conglomeration, a little bit of all these world systems as we read in verse 2. The beast of verse 3 is not the same beast as  in verse 1. The beast of verse 1 is a revival of the Roman Empire. The beast in V. 3 is the Antichrist that they will run after. One of the heads will be wounded unto death, the Antichrist will be killed.

 

Rev. 17:9-10 - Of the seven, five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space. The Antichrist will be raised from the dead - V. 11. The ten horns of V. 12 are a lesser body of nations.

 

He will have "the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things," which speaks of discernment and ability to deal with people. Revelation 13 tells us that he will have special discernment and a special mouth. The Antichrist is different from other people because he is empowered by Satan.

 

V. 9 - This verse bring us right down to the end. The whole scene changes from an earthly scene to a heavenly scene. Our view is from another angle altogether. "I beheld" - Daniel continued to look until the thrones were "cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit."  Christ will take His throne - Rev. 4:2,5. Jesus today is on the right hand of the Father making intercession for us, but there is coming a day when He will get up from His Father's throne and be seated on His own throne. Then will be the beginning of tribulation, the judgment upon this world. The Gentile times end when Jesus sits down on His throne. The Gentile nations are not going to want to give up their place, so He will take it by force. We read the description of tribulation days from Revelation chapter 5 to 19.

 

"The Ancient of days," is a new name given Christ and is found 3 times in our chapter - V. 9,13,22. When He walked here on this earth, He was known as Wonderful and a Counsellor (Isa. 9: 6). He was even seen in His Deity - the mighty God, but He was not known as the Everlasting Father. This is a title that He will have when He takes His place as the king of the Jews. Neither was He known as the Prince of Peace  because He was rejected, but here we read of Him as "the Ancient of days," or that which is older, able to control the days that are left.

 

"Whose garment was white as show" - or His outward appearance was in holiness and righteousness in every way. "The hair of his head like the pure wool" - wool is taken from the sheep. Sheep are known as God's people, (especially the Jewish people). John 10 shows them as the sheep and He is the shepherd. So the wool is taken from the sheep and put on the Ancient of days. A wonderful picture of the honor that the overcoming sheep will give to the Ancient of days (to the Lord Jesus Christ) honoring Him as their head. Giving Him the headship that is rightfully due unto Him.

"Hair" in scripture also speaks of weakness. The woman's long hair speaks of weakness. Peter tells us the woman is the weaker sex (not inferior, but of her weakness). We see Calvary also in this (II Cor. 13:4) though He was crucified through weakness, He lives by the power of God.

 

"His throne was like the fiery flame," the judgment He can pour out because He is God, He is the Everlasting Father, He is the Ancient of days, etc. Out of His throne will come lightening, thunder and the judgment of the world during the 7 years of tribulation time.

 

"His wheels as burning fire," wheels speak of a cycle of time In Ezekiel 1 we read of a wheel within a wheel speaking of cycles and here we have the cycle of God's judgment. Over and over and over again God has judged His people and now we come to the very last judgment and then His wheels will stop rolling. II Thess. 1:8 - there is going to be great vengeance at that time. Deut. 4:24 - "For the Lord thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God."

 

V. 10 - "the fiery stream" speaks of the divine presence of God. It only takes His presence to defeat all the forces of the devil. His presence was with the children of Israel as a pillar of fire, keeping them as they went through the wilderness. He defeated the Devil through His word. He was victorious in every way, even in His time in the wilderness when He was tempted of the Devil – Mt. 4. On the Cross, He defeated him and He is going to put him in his place. His ministers who will execute the judgments are also called "a flaming fire" - Ps. 104:4 and Isa. 66:15-16. Yes, angelic beings to minister, but so do others minister to God. Paul called himself a minister of God to the Gentiles. We read how the overcomers will be ministers of God in the book Revelation, caring out or calling forth His judgments.

 

"Thousand of thousands and 10 thousand times 10 thousand" - it simply means an astronomical amount.. This agrees with Rev. 5:11. That numbers more than 10 million and then plus thousands of thousands. They all "stood before Him" - they have a standing before Him. "Judgment was set" in other words it is unchangeable. In John 5:27 we read all judgment has been given unto Him, because He is the Son of man. He will be reigning as God Almighty, yet He will judge as Man. He became man, so He might be able to redeem men. He has that authority to judge because He as the Lamb of God was slain for the sins of mankind - Rev. 5:9,10,12.

 

"The books were opened" - several books are mentioned in scripture (the book of the living and the book of the Lamb and some others). Rev. 6 speaks of the book sealed with 7 seals. It is a book of judgments and the opening of each seal releases judgment upon the world. What we see here is the judgment of the Gentile world powers that aren't going to want to give up their place - Ps. 2. God keeps accurate books and all the ungodliness of these Gentile powers are recorded. His judgments are just because He is just.

   

We read about a heavenly scene (Vs. 9 & 10) that Daniel saw in vision. Now we read of a change with verse 11 a earthly scene, "I beheld then...".

 

V. 11 - As Daniel beheld, he hears the voice of the horn (it is the little horn of V. 8 that plucked up 3 of the 10 horns). Remember the little horn represents the Antichrist. There are 2 phases of the Antichrist coming. We read of this also in the book of Revelation. V. 8, speaks of the first phase of his coming. He will not come at first as a world dictator, but as a man, speaking great things -V. 8. But notice in V. 11, the horn has become a beast, he is identified as the beast. Again reference is made to the great words he speaks. No doubt he will be a great orator and this is how he will come to prominence instead of skill in battle or strength. He will speak great words of peace and of bringing nations together - Rev. 13:5. Then he will change and say 'I want all this to myself, I want to rule the world' and so he will for a short period, but then will come his end - Rev. 19:20. Yes, his body will be destroyed, but his soul shall be in torment in the lake of fire for ever - Rev. 20:10.

 

V. 12 - They no longer rule. The beast is clearly distinguished from the other beasts here, which proves his unique place.

 

Vs. 13-14 - This agrees with Revelation 4 & 5 where we read of Christ as the Creator, crowned with glory and honor - Rev. 4:11; and as the redeemer - Rev. 5: 9-10. The Ancient of days is Christ viewed as God Almighty. It was as the Son of man that He became our Redeemer. In Rev. 5:6 He is seen as a little lamb as it had been slain yet standing - Rev. 5:6. It is because of His redemptive work that dominion and glory and a kingdom that is of all people, nations and languages will be given to Him and His dominion is everlasting. His kingdom shall not pass away nor be destroyed. Do you believe it? It shall some to pass, it is God's word.

 

Vs. 15-16 - Daniel was grieved and troubled, but he knew what to do. He sought to know God's word and so should we. Did God give him the revelation of it? Oh, YES. So will He open up our understanding when we seek Him. A ministering angel made Daniel to know.

 

Vs. 17-18 - Earthly dominion will be transferred from beasts to saints. Gentile times will be over and Israel will come into her place of supremacy and the Lord Himself on the throne as their King. Praise God!

 

Daniel was deeply impressed with the new-comer among the horns. For he is no ordinary horn, though similar.

 

Vs. 19-27 - The one that comes up in the time of the 10 horns, the Antichrist, he will speak cunningly until he gets his prey under him and then he will pounce on them as a beast on his prey. We learn more about this in the book of Revelation. The Antichrist will turn on Israel after he gets them to sign a peace treaty. He will prevail against them, but this war on the saints is limited. It only continues until the Ancient of days makes His appearance. Then the saints (speaking of the remnant of Israel) will prevail against their former prevailer. Judgment will be given to the saints of the Most High (V. 22).

 

V. 28 - Daniel was troubled because according to God's decree, the end has come for the forth beast (the Roman Empire) and yet the rising kingdom of which the little horn is the chief actor, will be as a fifth world empire. This sorely troubles Daniel because of his people's (the Jews) sufferings. It touches him, yet he kept the matter in his heart.

 

It is unmistakably clear and plain from the answer to Daniel that God only recognizes 4 Gentile world empires, because the one that appears to be the fifth world empire is a counterfeit empire of Christ's Kingdom.

 

Closing comments: The forth beast or the last of these powers (the Roman Empire) - its first stage, its rise and development is outlined in V. 23. Its dissolution lies between V. 23 & 24. When we read of the 10 horns on the beast, that is the beginning of the end state -V. 24. The first stage was beastly and blood-thirsty in the sight of God, yet it was in divine order, but the second stage will be set up in defiance of God. When the hour of God's clock shall strike, the times of the Gentiles will be fulfilled and He will place His Son (the Seed of Abraham & the Seed of David) upon His throne in the heavens, but the nations will rebel. Psalm 2 is a prophecy of this. God will laugh at their puny efforts to prevent His plans and purposes. God shall have them in derision (He shall scoff at them). He shall crown His King, His Son, Christ. They may launch their counterfeit empire and it will be in rebellion against God's decree as to His Son's right to reign.

 

Daniel 7:25 gives a brief description of the second stage of the Antichrist's career. The kingdom which will arise with 10 kings in coalition is then seen as one king. The little horn, the terrible man of destiny is in control of the world, the devil gives him his place as god of this world - II Thes. 2:9. His great words are defiance especially against Christ who is spoken of here as the Most High. He is Israel's Messiah who will be on His throne at the time figured and the remnant of Israel are the saints that are to share the earthly kingdom. The Gentile beast will vent his ire upon Israel. He will wear them out and attempt to change their times, their feasts and their laws. He desires despotic (tyrant) authority over all men, over their consciences, religious and otherwise. He will have it a short time, "a time and times and the dividing of time" - 3 1/2 years. Why will God allow him this time? As judgment upon men for their rebellion against Him and His King. This will be a very heavy burden on all the world, but especially the Jewish people will suffer unparalleled tribulation as their chastisement.

 

But out of Israel a remnant will be saved to suffer no more forever. Great tribulation (Mt. 24:21) the time of Jacob's trouble (Jer. 30:7) must be shortened Jesus said or no flesh should be saved (Mt. 24:22). The "destroyer" of Israel would wipe them off the face of the earth, but God will not allow that. They will cry to the living God for help and their Messiah, Jesus, will arrive for their deliverance and the Antichrist's destruction  - Vs. 26-27. After the remnant of Israel receive their Messiah, He will bring them into the Kingdom promised to them in Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He will place them forever in power on the earth and He will reign over all the kingdoms of the world "the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords" for ever - I Tim. 6:15.

 

Chapter 8

 

V. 1 - Daniel had another vision, it came unto him in the 3rd year of Belshazzar, which is 2 years after the vision of Ch. 7. It would seem that God gave Daniel time to meditate on that vision of chapter 7. Both of these visions came to Daniel when he was still in the Babylonian Empire. It is interesting to me that all Daniel's visions came to him in his later years. Can we be fruitful in old age? Oh, yes. All of Daniel's visions speak of Gentile dominion and their rule over the Jews, so we see why Daniel was so troubled by them - 7:15,28.

 

Notice the personal pronoun down through this chapter. Daniel is the author, he saw the vision and told it - V. 15. Daniel is a type of the remnant of Israel that will see the truth of God in the last days. The Jews have neglected Daniel, but when those suffering days come they will remember their prophet Daniel who wrote of this and they will search this book to see what he had to say. We will see 2 empires here, but it is really talking about a later time condition at the same time. Notice the phrases, "the time of the end," "in the last end," "latter time" and "it shall be for many days" - Vs. 17,19,23,26.

 

V. 2 - In spirit Daniel was transported to another place. He didn't go there bodily, for in body he was still at Babylon, but in vision his spirit was taken to Shushan which was 250 miles east and 150 miles north of Babylon. The river Ulai mean "Mighty." It was powerful and comes down and goes into the gulf just a little north of where the Euphrates goes into the gulf. This is not a vision of Babylon, but a vision of the Persian gulf. This is right on the border of Iraq and Iran today, well actually it is in Iran. The people of the providence of Elam were very mean. God will judge them - Jer. 49:34-39, but it will not be forever. This is an important area. In Acts 2, there were Jews from every nation in Jerusalem for the feast of Pentecost. One was Elam (vs. 5-9) and 3,000 of these people were filled with the Holy Spirit (vs. 37-41). God is going to keep some of those nations we know by Mt. 25 (the sheep nations). They may have a different name then. God is going to do a work in that land, because originally that is where He started everything. Also Israel has been promised all the land clear up to the Euphrates. There were Jews living in that area. Remember when Sennacherib came down and took the northern 10 tribes captive and scattered them all over this area. He also brought people down from that area to Samaria. This is the reason the Samaritans were disliked by the people of Judah, they were a mixed bred.

 

Vs. 3-5 -God uses these visions to teach His purposes and to make known His will. This vision of chapter 8 overlaps in time the vision of ch. 7. It is a different view from another angle of things that were happening at the same time. These are symbolic animals. In ch. 7 we read of ferocious beasts, the political scene. In this 8th chapter they are domestic animals which speak of the religious scene. There is no doubt who the ram & goat represent - Vs. 20-21. This was not new to Daniel. But we are seeing them in just a little different light. The ram had 2 horns, but one became higher than the other. It is simply saying the 2 horns are 2 powers within the one power. The Persians became greater than the Medes in power and later took over the empire.

 

V. 5 - The he goat is the same as the leopard of ch. 7. He came from the west on the face of the whole earth and touched not the ground, speaking of the speed of which he moved (like the swift leopard of chapter 7). He "came from the west" and had a notable horn, which is the first king, Alexander the great.

 

Vs. 6-7 - He defeated the Media-Persia empire. V. 8 - "the great horn was broken" speaking of the death of Alexander the great and "for it came up 4 notable ones" - the kingdom was divided into 4 nations. But there is a difference - V. 9 - "Out of one of them" (these 4 nations which were Greece, Syria, Rome and Egypt) came forth a little horn, but this time it is not Rome (the dreadful and terrible beast) as we had before in ch. 7. Here this one came out of the Syrian nation. This little horn is not the same as the little horn of ch. 7. It is all together different. The little horn of ch. 7 represented the Antichirst. The little horn of ch. 8 represents the false prophet, a religious. leader. We read the same thing in Rev. 13. Where 2 beasts come up, one out of the sea, the Antichrist (V.1) and the other out of the earth, the false prophet (V.11).

 

Often in prophecy there is a local or earlier fulfillment which speaks of a later fulfillment to come. There was a man, Antiochus Epiphanes the III, a Syrian who married a daughter of the king of Egypt, which caused those 2 nations to join an alliance. All you have to do is look at a map to see what is between Syria & Egypt. It is Jerusalem or the land Israel. Antiochus Epiphanes became very angry against the Jewish people and tried to annihilate them. We read about this in the book of the Maccabees (14). They are found in the apocryphas (e-pok're-fe) which means just the opposite of the word apocalypse (e-pok'e-lips), where the word Revelation comes from and means to unveil. But the word apocrypha means to cover-over, to veil it, so none can see it. It was Jewish literature that served a purpose between Malachi and Matthew. They were taken out of the Bible about the 16th century, parts of them were just fictional stories. The purpose of these stories were to encourage the Jewish people during the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes. The book of the Maccabees are historical and record what actually happened during that bloody time. This woman had 7 sons, each was killed in front of her one at a time. One was skinned alive and the others horribly killed. But her youngest son was brought forth and was offered great riches if he would just deny the God of Israel and go out and tell the Jews that their God was just a myth. They asked the mother to talk to him and tell him of the riches they would give him. She said, Yes, I'll talk to him, she talked him into dying for God's sake. It  is a picture of the condition during tribulation and the terrible, terrible suffering - only it will be worse.

 

Antiochus took Egypt and Jerusalem by craft. I Maccabee 1:30 - the king sent his chief collector of tribute and came unto Jerusalem with a great multitude and spoke peaceable words unto them, but all was deceit. For when they had given him credence, he fell suddenly upon the city and smote it very sore and destroyed much people of Israel. II Maccabee 5:24. He just hated the Jews beyond measure. There is more we could say, but that is enough to tell just what kind of man he was.

 

Vs. 9 -10 - So this little horn had a fulfillment in history in  Antiochus Epiphanes. He was before the birth of Christ. He had such a hatred for the Jews and for their religion. He tried to get them to worship false Greek gods and even forced them to offer a sow on the altar. Of course that is an abomination. They fought back and was a mighty force. That was the time of the Maccabee's (descendants of a priest). They led a revolt against Antiochus. These brothers got an army together, like a guerrilla army. They put so much on Antiochus that Rome saw an opportunity to gain land. So Antiochus was attacked from the northwest. God intervened for the Jews, this man was not able to fully over throw them. But prophetically in the latter days, the false prophet will entice the Antichrist and his army to annihilate the Jews. "The host of heaven" refers to Israel and the stars to their leaders. The false prophet will have such power and will deceive the people. They will think he is from God.

 

Do you see the importance of  the Jews? God's promises are based upon His Jewish people, all His promises to Abraham, which included us. So it is Satan's aim to get rid of them. This little horn of V. 9 waxed exceedingly great toward "the pleasant land" which is Israel.

 

V. 11 - "He magnified himself," whose attitude is that? Satan. How different from the attitude of Christ, who "Made Himself of no reputation." Satan will empower this man and he will be able to counterfeit God's things to a certain extent. Just as Satan did in Moses' day in Egypt. Several of those judgments Satan duplicated, but He could not give life. The false prophet will magnify himself even to the prince of the host. The prince of the host is another one he would magnify. II Thess 2:4, the Antichrist will exalt himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped. The false prophet will lift up the Antichrist as the great one and will say this is the one, for he was raised from the dead - Rev. 13:11-14.

 

Jn. 10:10-14 - When the sheep don't follow the good shepherd, they are left to the mercy of the hireling (the false prophet) and the wolf (the Antichrist). The hireling doesn't care for the sheep (the people of Israel). He will convince them that they should make a covenant with the nations, an alliance with the Antichrist. He will know all along what he is doing, for he is an evil man. The hireling shepherd flees when danger approaches in contrast with the good Shepherd who died for the sheep. It is possible that these two men are alive today and are ready to come to the forefront.

 

V. 12 - The Revised Version reads - the host was given over for the transgression against the daily sacrifice. They will be wholly given over into the hands of this godless little horn (the false prophet) for a specified time. Everything in this chapter 8 stamps it as of a religious character. While the little horn of chapter 7 was a Gentile king, the last great world emperor.

 

The little horn of chapter 8 could be a Jew, a religious man, but not necessarily from Israel. The Jews have been scattered all over the world. It is interesting that chapter 8 and the rest of this book of Daniel was written in Hebrew. That alone shows it is peculiarly significant of the Jews and their land. The first part of this book including chapter 7 was written in the Chaldean language. One day soon when the Jews are so persecuted, they will remember their prophet Daniel whom they have ignored for the most part. They will remember that he wrote of the last days and they will turn to his writings and search them out. They will want to understand what he has written.

 

Vs. 13-14 - How long will the desecration continue? How long shall be the judgment of God upon His people? How long until the sanctuary is cleansed? The answer is 2300 days or 6 years. 4 months and 20 days.

 

Vs. 15-19 - It pleased the Lord that Daniel should be so interested and seek to know all the truth concerning the matter. We cannot be too earnest or zealous in desiring a knowledge of the purposes of God. He delights in this form of curiosity and He gives the needed enlightenment. The angel draws near and speaks, "understand, O son of man" (V. 17). Daniel is given an open ear and an understanding heart. Praise God! Daniel's attention is directed to the last days by 3 references: "the time of the end" - V. 17; and in V. 19 - "the last, end" and "at the time appointed the end shall be." Notice V. 26 says the vision is yet for "many days."

 

Vs. 20-22 - The vision Daniel had seen which is recorded earlier in the chapter is now interpreted.

 

Vs. 23-25 - The little horn is called, "a king of fierce countenance" which becomes powerful in the south, the east, and in the pleasant land - V. 9. The northern and western portions are not mentioned, so he must come from one of these sections of the Grecian Empire (Greece or Asia Minor). Antiochus Epiphanes came from Syria, one of the countries of Asia Minor. He was a fore runner, a picture of the false prophet of the last days. This portion of Scripture has complete fulfillment in the false prophet yet to be manifested. Verse 24 say his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power - Satan empowers him. We read of the false prophet in Rev. 13:11-17 (the little horn of ch. 7, the Antichrist is seen in the first part of Rev. 13). They will work hand in glove together and both are energized and filled by Satan. They are both Antichrist (anti-king and anti-prophet). It takes 2 men to counterfeit Christ in these 2 offices. In Christ's first advent He was Messiah, the Prophet. In His second advent, He will be Messiah, the King.

 

John saw in vision these two men, the 2 horns of Daniel 7 & 8. In Rev. 13:1 the horn of Dan. 7, the Antichrist as king comes up out of the sea (the Gentile nations) the restless, troubled masses of people (the wind and seas roaring - Lk. 21:25). The beast (Rev. 13:2) has all the characteristics of the beast of Daniel 7. At the first this beast is as a confederacy of nations, but later is seen as one man. Vs. 3-8 - This is the Antichrist as king, probably a Gentile, because he is from the nations. He is a political man. He gains power and will put himself up as God, because he will be raised from the dead by Satan. He will be known as the greatest conqueror.

 

The little horn of Dan. 8 is seen in Rev. 13:11-18. He come from the quiet, steady, established religions element. He comes up out of the earth, this seems to stamp him as Jewish, but is cosmopolitan in character, as if for all men Jews and Gentiles. He has 2 horns like a lamb. In Daniel this one came from a goat, an animal of sacrifice like a lamb. He will look like a lamb, dressed in lambs clothing (modest and meek), but he isn't, he is deceptive for he spoke as a dragon. He will be known as the greatest prophet. See how these 2 will work together. The second beast will work for the first and in harmony with him. Together they will influence the world nationally and religiously. The world will obey one and worship the other. They will be giants in intellect and might. Their coming is after the working of Satan.

 

Satan gives the first beast, the Antichrist as king, his power and place of authority - II Thess. 2:3-4. Satan gives the second beast the power to do signs and lying wonders - II Thess. 2:8-10. Verse 7 tells us that the mystery of iniquity doth already work, that is the spirit of Antichrist. I Jn. 4:1-4 - The force of evil at work in the world, all this time. It is the world system of rebellion against God. II Thessalonians tells us there is some force that hinders the spirit of iniquity, it is the mystery of Godliness - II Thess. 2:6-7. The spirit of Godliness is in opposition to the mystery of iniquity. God's people are of the mystery of Godliness. We form a part of that which hinders. We hinder this mystery of iniquity that is trying to take over the world. When the mystery of Godliness is taken out of the way (the rapture of the full overcomers) the mystery of iniquity will have its day. People who reject Christ  (the truth), will radially accept what the false prophet says. II Thess. 2:11-12

 

Vs. 26 - The vision is true. The first and partial fulfillment was in Antiochus, but there is the final and perfect fulfillment of the vision. Shut it up, preserve it, for it has to do with a time far into the future of Daniel's time. Antiochus was just a type of the false prophet who is to appear "in the last end of the indignation" - 8:19. "He shall stand up against the Prince of princes, but he shall be broken without hand" (V. 25) by none other than our Lord Jesus Christ. The world awaits His return to the earth and when He comes the Wicked False Prophet "shall be broken without hand" that is, without the aid of a human hand. II Thess. 2:8 - "Whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming." Also read Rev. 19:11-13,15-16,19-20.

 

V. 27 - Daniel fainted and was sick. It was a strain on the aging prophet to have these visions of the future and see empires crumbling but most of all it was hard on Daniel to know of the sufferings of his own people. Daniel faithfully fulfilled his daily duties in the corrupt Babylonian court. He was astonished at the vision, and none understood why he was so deeply affected, but as we read in ch. 7:28 he kept the matter in  his heart.

 

Chapter 9

V. 1-3 - The time was "In the first year of Darius." So this follows Ch. 5:30-31 & 6:1-3. Babylon had fallen and Darius the Median was reigning. Daniel had searched the scriptures and he understood that for 70 years His people would be in Babylonian captivity and after that they would be allowed to go back to the land (Jer. 25:11-12 & 29:10-14). But when he had the vision of chapter eight he realized, that it was for many days and their trouble was not going to end in 70 years. That only ended the Babylonian captivity. It made Daniel sick to learn this - 8:27. Now 70 years was over and God had judged Babylon. Daniel wondered why they were not going back to their land and why the people were not spiritual? We feel like this sometimes, Why don't God's people put the Lord first in their lives when His coming is so soon?

Daniel wanted to know what was going to happen to his people. He was so concerned about them and sought the Lord in prayer. If we really want to know the purposes and will of God and what He is doing, we should follow Daniel in this pattern. He "set his face unto the Lord." May we be as determined and God will reveal His Word to our hearts. Eph. 6:18.

Jeremiah said, they were to seek the Lord at that time (Jer. 50:4,5), Daniel did. We know it was his daily habit to pray (ch. 6:10). Three times a day he sought the sanctuary of God's presence. How wise he was. Worship and prayer were absolute essentials to him. Some only pray if a need befalls them. We don't want to be like that, Lord help us.

Daniel also "fasted." he was so burdened, he couldn't think about eating. In "sackcloth and ashes," speaks of humiliation and grief. Daniel humbled himself before God. Read James 4:10 & I Pet. 5:6.

V. 4-6 - "O Lord, the great the dreadful (or wonderful) God," is another rendering. Daniel knew God to be a covenant keeping God, full of mercy to them that love him and keep (or guard) His Word. Daniel had not sinned like we read here. Yet, he identifies himself with the whole nation. He prays as though he is guilty of all this. He is interceding for the people of God. This is certainly the spirit of Christ. He took upon Himself the form of man and the sins of man in His own body. Paul said, in Rom. 9:3, he wished to be accursed from God for his people Israel. He couldn't do that, only Christ could bear that burden, but that was the spirit of Christ in him. Moses made the statement. "Lord blot my name out of your book, let me die in place of the people," but he couldn't do that either.  

The nation hadn't admitted they sinned. God had given Israel every opportunity and sent prophet after prophet, but they paid no attention (II Chron. 36:16). God is going to have to bring that nation to this point and that is one of the purposes of tribulation days to come. The first part of tribulation is judgment against the Gentiles, The last 42 months is judgment against the Jewish people, to bring them to the place that they will bow themselves in sackcloth and ashes and humble themselves before God and say, "we have sinned." In those terrible days, a remnant will cry out and seek the Lord to forgive them.

V. 7-8 - This is how to touch the throne of God, on the basis of His righteousness and His grace. "But unto us confusion of faces (or shame is a better rendering). Here is the reason God has driven them to every country in the world, because of their trespasses against God. David said against Thee, and against Thee only have I sinned - Ps. 51:4. This is where sin really is. People might sin against people, but really their sin is against God.

This is real intercession and supplication. If we really pray for others, we would get under the burden as though it was our burden. This is what supplication means. In the Old Testament the priests would eat the sin-offering (part of it) and the sin-offering was offered for the sins of the people to the Lord. In a spiritual way, this is what that represents, we eat the sin-offering for other people. We bear their sins on ourselves as though we had done it and intercede for them.

Prayer becomes more urgent the closer we are to the time of a predicted event. We are drawing closer to a predicted time for us. The watchful ones pray even more than ever. The Lord is delighted with such, that are deeply interested in His affairs and are exercised in weeping and prayer. The callous and indifferent just assume that God's will, will be fulfilled regardless of their cooperation. Well, yes, it will, but we are to be a part of it. We are not being made kings and priest unless we inter into this ministry. Isa. 43:26; Ezek. 36:37; Isa. 45:11. Also we read a description of the prayers of the saints as incense to God in Rev. 5:8 and 8:4. They are a sweet odor to Him.

V. 9 - This is beautiful, even though we have rebelled against Him, His grace still was not removed. God never at any time denied that Israel was His people. Even today most are scattered throughout the nations, but they are still the people of God. He still loves them. Now, He could not have fellowship with them because of sin. There is a big difference between relationship and fellowship.

Vs. 10-11 - The grace of God is the only means of Salvation, the only means of deliverance. Daniel does not claim God's promise to Abraham here, because they were still under the law of Moses and because of that, God had a right to punish them. Daniel acknowledges that God is just in His ways with His people, yet he holds fast the fact that they are His people. This is a wonderful prayer, marked by repentance and abasement toward God, yet also by a confidence in His unchanging love and faithfulness.

V. 12 - "Our judges that judged us" - not only the kings, but the priests were the judges of the people. Now, this couldn't be history, because Babylon destroyed Jerusalem. Here we have an end time condition which will be greater than any other condition that has ever been in Jerusalem. It will be terrible. As we read in Mt. 24, except the days be shortened no flesh shall be left. It will be worse than it has ever been or ever shall be.

Vs. 13-14 - "As is written in the law of Moses," - Deut. 28:15. They didn't hearken to God, so what could they expect but all those curses. God sees the evil of this earth, nothing escapes Him. He is righteous in His works. There is no blame to God, but people seem to want to blame God.  They get into trouble and they want to blame God for it. This is what Israel did. We can't blame God, He is holy and righteous. He has a right to do what He wants to do. "For we obeyed not His voice."

Vs. 15-16 - God has proven His power and His love for them, but we have sinned and done wickedly. How hard it is to have love spurned. Daniel pleads for mercy. Mercy is the only basis he has in which to plead. When they call upon the Lord again, then they can use that covenant to Abraham as a leverage. They can say, Lord you promised Abraham you would bless us. Rom. 9,10 & 11. In that day when all the nations will be gathered around them to destroy them, there will be no way to turn, but to the Lord.

Daniel not only prays for the people, but also the City of Jerusalem. Why? Because the Lord gave this city His name and it belongs to Him. Just think how many years it has been in the hands of the enemies of God. A large part of Jerusalem is still Arab, so in a sense it is still in Arab hands, though it belongs to Israel. Many of the Jews there are unbelievers. Yet little by little, the Lord is going to answer Daniel's prayer.

V. 17 - Daniel says, look what shame they are in and they are called by Thy name. He says not for the people's sake, but for the Lord's sake. When Jesus comes in answer to this cry, then the sanctuary will be cleaned, it won't be desolate any more.

Vs. 18-19 - Isn't this beautiful? But this is not their attitude today. Their attitude is set on their righteousness. When we get good enough God will come and deliver us. God is going to have to bring them down to nothing and then they will rely completely on the mercies of God. "For His mercy endureth forever" - Ps. 106:1; 107:1; 118:1; 136:1; Jer. 33:11. When the remnant of Israel prays like this, God is going to hear and do something. Praise the Lord! Daniel's wonderful prayer touched the throne of God. It made an impression on God. Daniel showed humbleness by identifying himself with the sins of his people. He also worshiped God in his prayer by speaking of God's righteousness and of His grace and faithfulness. Then he gave his petition. What a great pattern for us in our prayers - humbleness, worship and then our petitions.

Vs. 19-21 - Notice, it was while Daniel was yet speaking, immediately God answered. God did not wait, He sent Gabriel. I find it interesting the speed in which God moved. Gabriel came, being caused to fly swiftly and touched me about the time of the evening sacrifice. Daniel was honoring God by worship and thanksgiving, because they were not allowed to offer sacrifices in Babylon. Their temple was torn down in Jerusalem and that was the only place they were allowed to offer sacrifices.

V. 22 - Think how important this was, that Daniel have the understanding of the things God was going to do and the skill of knowing these things. The Lord reveals Himself to those that seek Him. He shows them what He is about to do and gives them understanding. There are some of God's people today that not only know the Lord is coming back again, but they understand that it is eminent and they desire to be found ready.

V. 23 - This is tenderly beautiful, what God has to say about Daniel, "Thou art greatly beloved." Why was Daniel greatly beloved of the Lord? He was faithful to the Lord, loyal, gave himself unto the Lord and God loves that. Anyone who will yield their lives to God in this same way - God has special favor upon these people. God does love everybody, even the sinner but not his sin. God does have special favor upon those who walk and talk with Him, who communion regularly with Him. So if you want to be greatly loved by the Lord, give yourself wholly to Him. Daniel didn't just think of himself, but he thought of the people of his nation. He was deeply concerned for them. God knows all about this, For He so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, to come and be identified with us so that He might die for our sins. Oh, praise God!

So God sent Gabriel for Daniel to "understand the matter and consider the vision." Daniel had a measure of understanding of the visions of chapter 7 and 8. He understood "Gentile Times," that there would be 4 Gentile world powers that would rule over the people of Israel. But he did not understand the length of time in which these would take place. He did not know it would be over several hundred years. God made a special effort to reveal this to Daniel, which we will read in Vs. 24-26. It is a revelation of the visions that Daniel had earlier.

Vs. 24-26a (to the colon:) - We stop here because this is the end of the 70 weeks. This is a period of time in which God would bless the Jews in their land during "Gentile Times" or Gentile dominion. It will help you to read about year day counting. You can read about it in the tract "Times of the Gentiles." Simply put, it is a year for a day. 70 weeks and there is 7 days in a week. So you multiply 70 weeks times 7 days and you get 490 days or 490 years. In Num. 14:34 the Lord used a day for a year. That was when the children of Israel refused to go into the land when they could have, so the Lord made them wander in the wilderness 40 years. Num. 13:25, 31-32; 14:2-5, 9-10, 34. Also God told the prophet Ezekiel to act out a certain number of days and God appointed a day for a year - Ezek. 4:4-6. This helps us to understand the 70 weeks are 490 years. We know these are weeks of years, Why? Because this is history to us, 490 days would not be the fulfillment of this. Daniel didn't know these were weeks of years.

God said 70 weeks are determined upon thy people and the Holy City, Jerusalem to do 7 things:

         1. to finish the transgression       

        2. to make an end of sins

        3. to make reconciliation for iniquity

        4. to bring in everlasting righteousness

        5. to seal up the vision

        6. and prophecy (or to fulfill prophecy)

        7. to anoint the most Holy

These were all fulfilled within the scope of the 70 weeks. It was what God would do for Israel during the Times of the Gentiles. Remember Gentile Times began in 606 BC and will end when Christ takes His throne in heaven. When He takes His throne it will be our Lord's time to reign. We know by scripture that the nations will continue to rule on earth even after Christ is enthroned. They will be usurping authority (Ps. 2:1-3) and that will bring on the 7 years of tribulation when Christ puts down all rule and authority - I Cor. 15:24-28.

But what we are reading here in Daniel is 490 years of blessings to Israel during Gentile times. These 7 things were fulfilled by Christ. When Christ lived on this earth, He was a Jew. He represented the Jewish nation. All of the sins of the nation Israel, was laid upon Jesus, He bore them. Of course we know that all the sins of the whole human race was laid upon Jesus, but we are seeing it as the Jew would see it. One thing we want to understand - the church is never mentioned here and this is not talking about the Gentiles. This 70 weeks has nothing to do with the Gentiles or the church. It is strictly the people of Jerusalem, the Jewish people. The church is still a hidden mystery at the time in which we are reading.

God breaks down those 490 years into divisions and we see when those 490 years began. V. 25 to the colon - Here we read of 2 parts and there is one part left over that we are going to talk about later. The first division is 7 weeks which is 49 years. There was 49 years from the commandment to go forth and rebuild Jerusalem unto the last prophecy in the Old Testament which is the book of Malachi. Then there was 434 years from Malachi to the book of Matthew. There was no prophecy during these years.

 I do want to mention that there is a discrepancy in the calendars. We do know that the commandment to go forth and rebuild Jerusalem was in the later part of 444 BC almost 445 BC. God uses His calendar and not the calendar of the nations. God's calendar is 30 days in a month and 360 days in a year.

 Juilan a priest thought the calendar should begin at the beginning of the Roman Empire when they first began to take force. He made up the Juilan calendar. Then in 1582 Pope Gregory the 13th changed the calendars again. He discovered they were off by 4 years. Did you ever notice your Bible margin in Mathew 2 gives the date Jesus was born as 4 BC. So there is another 4 years. The 483 years were accurately fulfilled (49 plus 434 years).

So what part of Jesus life was fulfilled in this 69 weeks of years or 483 years?  Notice V. 24 - It was determined upon the people and the holy city. So this could not be His birth and it could not be talking about His death. So the only part of His life that this could even refer to would be His triumphant entry into Jerusalem, offering Himself as their Messiah. The 483 years were fulfilled when Jesus made His entry into Jerusalem. Just 4 days later He was crucified. V. 26 - "After" Yes, it was just 4 days after. Everything after the colon of Verse 26 has nothing to do with the 70 weeks of years. So the question is, when was the last week fulfilled. Most Bible scholars believe that the unfulfilled week is in V. 27. But this cannot be because everything from this colon on is tribulation. There is absolutely no tribulation listed in this 70 weeks. The list of things that had to be done are blessings for the nation of Israel. After the colon we don't see any blessings. So we know that everything from the colon on has nothing to do with the 70 weeks.

Another reason is that all these things (the list of 7 things were fulfilled during this time. So if Dan. 9:27 is not part of these 70 weeks of years, where is that other week? Well, it was 7 years from the resurrection of Christ to the stoning of Steven. This was another turning point for Israel at his stoning. God had given Israel every opportunity to receive their Messiah and they rejected Him. Messiah had come, He had finish the transgression, He made an end of sin, He made reconciliation for iniquity, He brought in everlasting righteousness, He sealed up the vision, He fulfilled prophesy and the most Holy was anointed. All these things were fulfilled. If Israel had received their Messiah, He would have ushered in the Kingdom at that time (Acts 7:55 - Jesus was standing ready to return if they received Him, but they didn't). God had extended His grace for one more week until the stoning of Steven. When they stoned Steven, there was a young man holding the coats of those doing the stoning and he consented to Steven death. His name was Saul which later became the apostle Paul - which ushered in the Church Age. So the fulfillment of the 70 weeks is up to the stoning of Steven.

V. 26a - We left off at the colon in this verse, because that is where a change takes place. All that we read before the colon were blessings to Israel during Gentile Times, but from the colon on, is what will take place because of Israel's rejection of their Messiah. It is a change from blessings to judgment. If they would have received their Messiah, the judgment would have fallen on the Roman Government. The Caesar's who were the rulers of the Roman government claimed to be God. This is why they hated the Jews and later the Christians, because they claimed to have another God.

If Israel had received their Messiah, that which is recorded from the colon on would have been toward the Gentiles. Because the Roman government would not have wanted to give up ruling, and would have ruled in usurpation, Jesus would have taken His throne by force. But Israel rejected Him and by their attitude opened the way for Satan and his man and delayed their blessings, not only for the years of the Church Age, 2,000 years plus, but 7 more years of terrible judgment. There is more than 2,000 years in that colon.  

V. 26b - Who are "the people of the prince that shall come" and what shall be destroyed? Because Israel rejected their Messiah, they are going to receive another messiah that will come in his own name -  John 5:43. He will exalt himself (Jesus exalted His Father). This is how we know the other is Antichrist, because of who he exalts. Col. 3:17 - This is how we are to govern our lives and know that it is right. We know Jesus is right because He gave thanks to His Father in everything He did.

We read in II Thess. 2:3-4 of the man of sin, who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, showing himself that he is God. They will accept this one and give him honor and glory. John 5:44 asks a good question, "How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?" They shouldn't be able to, but they will seek (honor) that one who claims to be God. The false prophet will be honoring the Antichrist as well as himself. Vs. 45-47 - In rejecting Christ they honor another king and this other king "shall come" - V. 43.

The last part of Dan. 9:26 had a fulfilled by Titus in 70 AD. He came and destroyed the city (Jerusalem) and the sanctuary (the temple). But Titus was only a picture of another prince called the prince of the power of the air, also the prince of this world - Jn. 12:31, 14:30; 16:11; Eph. 2:2. Satan's man will come and he will destroy the sanctuary and the city. And the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. We know this is yet a future fulfillment, because Titus was not the end. That was a terrible war and thousands of Jews were slain, but it was not the end, they went on. There has been 2,000 years plus. When will be the end? It will be during the tribulation period, verse 27 explains this.

V. 27 - The "he" we read of here is the prince that shall come, the Antichrist. He will come under the authority of Satan. "He shall confirm the covenant with many for one week. Isa. 28:14-16 tells us about that covenant with death and with hell. How they will make lies their refuge. The Lord God saith, "Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste (or not be put to shame)." The R.V. reads or shall not be forced to flee in shame. This takes us on into the tribulation.

In Zion the foundation has already been laid - Jesus is that stone. He is the tried stone, a precious stone. a sure foundation. He is that One disallowed of men, but precious of God - I Pet. 2:6-8. Those that believe on Him shall not flee in shame. The apostate nation will make an agreement called a covenant with death and hell and they will hide under this "refuge of lies" for their protection, but it will be their undoing. The reason they will do this, is because it will give them the opportunity to offer their sacrifices. They cannot offer them now, it must be on the temple sight. They don't have to have the Temple, but it must be on the temple sight - Ezra 3:3,6.

We know by the scripture they will build a temple, some agreement will have to be made, possibly with the Moslems, I don't know. It will be in this Temple that the abomination of desolation will be set up, which is the image of the Antichrist.

The Antichrist will "confirm the covenant with many (or the mass of the people, the Jews, in contrast with the few, the remnant, for there will be some faithful ones, a minority). It will be for one week, a week of years or 7 years (a contract for 7 years). They will think this mean peace and safety, but "in the midst of the 7 years the Antichrist will interfere with their religious observances. The sacrificing and the things pertaining to it will be stopped in the midst of the 7 years and he will wage war against the Jews. So the 7 years will be divided into 2 parts. The first part follows the signing of the covenant. The second part is when the sacrifice is stopped. This brings on the great Tribulation. There is a picture of these 2 parts found in Rev. 6:2,4. The white horse is the first part when the covenant is signed with the Antichrist (the white horse speaks of loveliness and all things that are good - peace, etc.). A bow and a crown was given him. The way he conquered was not with war equipment, but great words. He will raise himself up to high honor. But in the middle of the week things will change. Peace will be taken away and great Tribulation pictured by the red horse will be ushered in (the last 3 1/2 years), which must be shortened or no flesh would be saved.  The Antichrist has 2 coming or advent, a counterfeit of Christ. His first advent the first 3 1/2 years is a counterfeit of Christ's first advent. Rev. 13:3 tells of his second advent, he receives a deadly wound which is healed and comes back from the dead. He will institute the worship of himself. The people will not only deny the truth, but believe the lie as we read in II Thess. 2:11,12, acknowledging and bowing down to the claims of Satan.

Mk 13:14-16 - People will worship the image set up. It should not stand in the holy place, because it makes the holy place worthless as far as offering sacrifices any more. So the covenant is broken in the midst of the week of 7 years. We know Satan will be cast out of heaven (Rev. 12:9) and he enters or empower a man, the Antichrist shortly before the middle of the week, but the sacrifice will be taken away in the middle of the week.

"For the overspreading of abomination or in other words the abomination will overspread. Abomination is any worship that is contrary to the purpose of God. This worship will take place after the resurrection of the Antichrist, for he will be slain with a sword and raised from the dead by Satan. His resurrection from the dead will convince people that he is the messiah. The majority of the people will run after this man. They ignored the Lord Jesus Christ that arose from the dead and this was proof of His Sonship - Rom. 1:4. Christ’s resurrection showed that God accept that sacrifice for the atonement of sin.

Here is a man that will rise from the dead and it will not spread righteousness, but abomination. There will be an "Overspreading of abomination and he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation." All will be brought down. God will make this abomination as nothing, "bring it down even to the consummation of this and a determination, and the determination shall be poured out upon the desolate. How terrible this world will be at the end of tribulation time. It will be a desolate place. It will have to be completely rebuilt by the power of God. The whole consummation or that which God has decreed against the Jews, must take its course. "That determined shall be poured upon the desolate."

Chapter 10

V. 1 - Daniel's last and greatest vision is found in chapters 10, 11 & 12. There are 3 sections, separated mostly by the chapters. The first section is chapter 10 to 11:1 and is mainly introduction. This vision was given to Daniel in the third year of Cyrus, king of Persia. That is three years after the vision recorded in chapter 9, for it was in the first year of Darius the Mede. Cyrus and Darius ruled jointly in the kingdom of the Medes and Persians. This last vision gives further revelation of end time events and is a continuation of what has already been revealed. The R.V. reads, "and the thing was true, even a great warfare," because that is the original Hebrew text. This is the subject of the vision, the thing revealed unto Daniel, even a great warfare, a war between opposing forces above which affects the nations.

To Daniel was the secret made known. He knows it is not to be in his day, but a marvelous prophecy of the future. Since Daniel's day, much of what is prophesied in chapter 11 has become history. Some think that history proves the prophecy correct, but vice verse: Prophecy is a "light in a dark place," which is only enhanced by its fulfillment (see II Pet. 1:19 -21). The second section (11:2-35) gives us necessary background for the important part of the vision - the end-time events. It was yet future to Daniel, but is history to us now. The third section is Ch. 11:36 - 12:13, clearly the last days, informing us again in different words and ways, the same things symbolized in the earlier visions of Daniel.

Vs. 2-3 - This literally means three full weeks for these are not prophetic weeks. Daniel was fasting and seeking the Lord (21) days. This was no small thing for a man nearly 100 years old. Daniel was so burdened because of what he realized concerning the visions given him, that the Gentiles were going to have dominion for years and years. Just think, Daniel began to have revelations and understanding of dreams in the reign of Nebuchadnezzar. After going through the whole 70 years of Babylonian captivity and three years after that to the third year of Cyrus the Persian, Daniel is an old man now. It was very difficult for him, even though Cyrus had given commandment that the Jews could return to the land, so few went back and those who did, had much difficulty. The book of Ezra tells how the neighboring people withstood those returnees. Then also the small dimensions of the temple they undertook to rebuild, was a disappointment to Daniel. It would not be in the glory that it once was in Solomon's time. Daniel was so burdened, it was like mourning, he didn't even feel like washing his face. He didn't have the strength, he was weakened by the burden. Yet he would not be denied in seeking the Lord.

V. 4 - This is the Tigris river. Daniel here is a type of the faithful remnant of Israel in the end time. This is how they will react when Israel makes that covenant with the nations at the beginning of those seven years of tribulation. They will understand what is coming to pass when Israel signs a pact with the world empire. They will read their Scriptures, especially Daniel's prophecy. They will know these things as we know them now. They will be fasting and praying, calling on the Lord to deliver them. The 2 witnesses are a fulfillment of Daniel in their dedication unto the Lord. Two is the number of witness, they may be 2 people or represent a group of people.

Vs. 5-6 - This certain man is none other then the Lord Jesus Christ. John also saw Him in vision, Rev. 1:13-16. John was taken in spirit unto the day of the Lord and saw Christ in this way, so we know by this that Daniel was seeing Christ in His glory and how He will be revealed. This is how the remnant will see Christ when He comes back in glory. This appearance of Christ is as Judge, not only here, but also in Revelation (see also Acts 17:31). In the book of Revelation Christ is seen as judge of the church during this age and also of the nations. Daniel sees Him as judge of the nation Israel, because Daniel was shown only those things concerning His people - V. 14.

V. 7 - The others didn't see Christ, only the brightness and they trembled and were afraid and fled. The remnant of Israel in the end time will see Christ, not in vision, but with their physical eyes. Others will not and they will quake and tremble. Two people can be in the presence of the power of God and one person will be delighted with the power of the Holy Spirit and the other person will be just scared to death. Why? What makes the difference? Faith.

Vs. 8-9 - If this happened to Daniel who was so dedicated and wholly given unto the Lord, how would others feel if they came face to face with the Lord? John also felt this way Rev. 1:17. John fell as a dead man, face up. Daniel fell down, not backwards, but on his face toward the ground.

V. 10 - Not a very dignified position to be in, but God doesn't care, He hates pride. If we have pride, He is going to humble us one way or the other. The next verse shows that Daniel was not proud and that he stood in divine favor.

V. 11 - Daniel is told he is greatly beloved (heaven's darling is how this reads in the early German translation). Just think of it, Daniel is told this by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself (Daniel's creator and Lord). Daniel got on his feet by stages, from his face to his knees and then standing up.

V. 12 - Don't be afraid of me Daniel, "fear not." From the first day Daniel prayed, the Lord heard him and yet Daniel had to wait 21 days for the Lord to come and tell him this secret. God appreciates the faith that will not be turned aside. Daniel sought the Lord for 21 days and no doubt he wondered why the Lord didn't answer. Now, we are going to find out why.

V. 13 - We now are brought into a truth that many people do not understand. The strength and power of the wicked forces that are in the heavens, is terrific. Most people think that the devil is in hell. No, he is not in hell. He will be chained there for a thousand years when the Lord comes and puts him down there. But he is loose today. He is the god of this world, the prince and power of the air. The spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience (II Cor. 4:4; Eph. 2:2; Eph. 6:11,12). The principalities and powers and the wicked forces are organized. The devil has organized forces. And as we see here he has a captain over every nation. He had someone that was over that nation. Now this prince of Persia couldn't refer to Cyrus because he gave commandment for the Jews to return to their land. He was for the Jews and showed favor to them. It couldn't be Cyrus for he couldn't withstand the Lord. It had to be a spiritual power. It is none other than Satan and his wicked forces. Remember how Satan came before God in the time of Job and saying, just let me get to Job, you think he is so wonderful. I can make him cruse you - Job. 1:6-12. There was a conflict and the Lord allowed Satan attack Job. Also when the devil wanted to provoke Israel, he caused David to number the children of Israel - I Chron. 21:1. The devil made him do it. Also the devil spoke through Peter to try to get Jesus to feel sorrow for himself and not go to the cross - Mt. 16:21-23.

So you see the powers of evil are fierce, and so are the powers of good, we have them around us too. Remember Elisha the prophet when he and his young servant were surrounded by the armies of the enemy and the servant was scared to death. Elisha prayed that the Lord would open this young man eyes. The Lord opened up his eyes and he saw on the hillside around them a mighty multitude of heavenly beings. - II Kings 6:13-18. There are spiritual forces that we cannot see because we have natural eyes. We can know it through the Spirit, but we cannot see them. Yet, who is it that keeps us from an accident or terrible danger? It's not just happenstance, there are good forces (Ps. 91:11-12; 34:7). In Judges 5, we read Deborah's song of praise for the angelic forces that were against Sisera, the enemy of Israel. There are evil forces too that are against us. I Kings 22:19-23, lying spirits, evil influence, in the heavens. In the gospels we read Jesus cast demons out of men. They knew Jesus and His power. We read in I Cor. 15:32 of the beasts of Ephesus, evil spirits dominating men. In Dan. 7:2 we read of the winds of heaven that strove upon the sea and cause earthly turmoil. In Rev. 16:13, we read of the evil spirits stirring up kings to the battle of Armageddon.

The devil knew that the Lord was going to show Daniel this and he didn't want anyone to know what was going to happen. Today the devil knows his time is short, Rev. 12:12. He will redouble his efforts all he can, especially against the people who want to know the truth and who want to reign with Christ. The devil is going to fight them more than anyone else, because if he can defeat them, in that sense he has defeated the Lord. So he withstood and Michael, a warring prince, fought against that evil force. We read of Michael in the book of Revelation (12:7-9) he will rid heaven of these wicked powers. We cannot fight against the devil with flesh and blood. We have no power over him (Eph. 6:12). We have only one spiritual weapon, what is that? The Word, which is the sword of the spirit (V. 17).

Vs. 14-15 - Daniel heard it again that it is "for many days," "the later days." It is to much for Daniel, he looked toward the ground and couldn't speak a word.

Vs. 16-17 - The Lord touched Daniel again. Daniel said, I have no strength, there is no breath left in me.

Vs. 18-19 - Isn't this wonderful, how even the words of God can strengthen us. We have this written Word right here. Many times as we read, it is as though someone speaks it to us. And when you have it in your heart and you are in a time of need, a voice speaks it to your heart and mind, it strengthens you. That is the Lord speaking to you just like He spoke to Daniel, and we are strengthened.

V. 20 - The opposing forces started in the heavenlies and then was reflected on the earth. The prince of Persia and the prince of Grecia do battle together and then on earth they had the battle.

V. 21 - "Michael your prince:" God sent Michael to Daniel and he is a special warring angel for Israel.

11:1 - This is referring back to Michael even in the first year, there was a mighty conflict in the skies, the evil forces were against the setting up of the Medo-Persia Empire. Why? Because that signaled the Jews release.

Chapter 11

 

Chapter 11:2-35 is the second section of Daniel's last vision. This portion is history to us but in Daniel's time it was yet future and God gives details of what will take place. Vs. 2-4 - Daniel was given assurance he was to understand the vision. The Lord desires us to know it or He wouldn't have revealed it to the prophet Daniel. Verses 2-4 had already been shown to Daniel in other visions and yet now more detail is given. The messenger tells of three successive Persian kings to Cyrus leading up to the fourth Xerxes, who was far richer than all those other kings. With an army of one million men and a navy of 1200 ships, he wages an impressive invasion of Greece. But a mighty king from Greece, Alexander the Great took revenge on Persia and began a lightning-like conquest of Asia. In 12 years he was a world wide conqueror. Thus the Grecian empire was launched. But as suddenly as he came to prominence, he was cut off, dying at age 33 by excessive drunken carousal. His kingdom fell into four divisions - eastern (Chaldea), western (Greece), southern (Egypt), & northern (Syria). Each division ruled by one of Alexander's four generals. None being the natural seed of Alexander. The empire sadly weakened never regained its former glory nor power. Daniel had already been shown this in the vision of chapter 8 that Greece was to follow the Medo-Persia Empire. In chapter 10:20, we read that the world Empires coming into view in the will of God was objected to by the devil. He moved his realm of wicked powers against every purpose of God. No doubt, the return of the Jews to the land at the beginning of the Persia Empire is why he was against that realm. But his objection to the Grecian Enpire may be because it was the order of God. Anyway we know that the wicked princes in the regions above withstood the Messenger and sought to hinder and counteract God's work in national affairs. Satan did not and cannot succeed. What God says shall be done.

 

V. 5 - The "king of the south" was Ptolemy 1 of Egypt- (His given name, Soter). He was powerful and added other small kingdoms to his. Under him (one of Ptolemy's princes, Seleucis Nicator), ruled Babylon, Syria, and Media. In time he gained more power and became king of the north.

V. 6 - "End of years" is God's time, under God's controlled years, as a revolution of time. "They shall join" - Bernice, daughter of Ptolemy Philidelphus as part of an agreement to end a long and bloody war, a marriage was planned. The condition was, the war would stop and that Antiochus would put away his wife Laodice and her son would be disinherited. But Antiochus took back Laiodice and her son. Laiodice then poisoned Antiochus and caused Bernice and her son to be slain in order to raise her son Seleucus to be king. "They that brought her" - Bernice's maids strived to defend their mistress and died in the attempt. He that begat her and he that strengthened her, would have been her husband Antiochus.

 

Vs. 7-8 - "Out of her (Bernice) branch" is her brother Ptolemy Evergetes, He brought a great army against Seleucus to avenge his sister's death and conquered all Asia even to India. He took spoil of 40,000 talents, precious vessels and images of their gods and returned to Egypt.

 

V. 9 - The conflict ceased for a while.

 

V. 10 - Seleucus had two sons, Seleucus Ceraunus and  Antiochus (later called The Great). The oldest son assembled a great army, but the army rebelled and he was poisoned by one of his generals. "Passed through" meaning the land from Syria to Egypt as far as Gaza, and after much killing and robbing cities along the way he returned to Syria victorious.

 

V. 11 - "king of the south" Ptolemy Philopater was  easy going, but became bitter over Syria's aggression. With a great army he marched northward toward Syria in revenge. When Antiochus III heard he gathered an army of 75,000 men and met Egypt at Raphia near Gaza. Syria was defeated - "Given into his hand."

 

V. 12 - When Ptolemy went back victorious, his heart was "lifted up" with pride and because of his pride he did not remain strong, "not be strengthened by it." Ptolemy made peace dishonorably with Syria (he did not follow up his advantage).

 

V. 13 - Fourteen years later after the death of Ptolemy Philopater, Antiochus warred against Ptolemy Epiphanes who was very young. Antiochus had gained riches from the spoils of Persia and India before going south. After some years the north progressed, but the south declined.

 

V. 14 - Not only Antiochus III, but Philip king of Macedon came to gain prestige and over run Egypt because of the youthful king. "The robbers of thy people" were Jews who had gone to Egypt for protection. "Established a vision" - they had hope to establish the temple, but their hopes did not come to pass.

 

V. 15 - Again Egypt was defeated, General Scopas of Egypt met Syria's army at panias, by Dan, north of Galilee. The Egyptian army fled to Sidon but was over taken and surrendered saving only their lives.

 

V. 16 - So Antiochus the Great recovered Judah taking spoil of whatever he wanted, there was no resistance. "He shall stand in the Glorious Land" - the Jews had helped by supplying provisions and therefore he favored the Jews.

 

V. 17 - Antiochus thought to march to Egypt but changed his mind and decided to defeat by fraud. He proposed a treaty of marriage between his young daughter Cleopatra and Philopator's son and heir to the throne of Egypt. Antiochus wanted to use her to manipulate Egypt from within. The plot failed when she fell in love with her husband and became loyal to Egypt. "She shall not stand on his side" was fulfilled.

 

V. 18 - "Turn his face to the isles" after failing to corrupt Egypt Antiochus turned his attention to the coast of the Mediterranean and took a group of islands belonging to Greece. "A prince for his own behalf" - Antiochus was defeated by equal power of Greece and Roman soldiers, and forced to pay tribute for the expense of the war. The reproach he hoped to cause was put on him.

 

V. 19 - His own fort, which would be Antioch, not knowing how to raise the money for wars, he attempted to plunder the Temple of Jupiter at Elymais, he was slain.

 

V. 20 - The successor of the throne was Seleucus Philoparer who reigned only a short time. Syria was so in debt that taxes had to be raised. He sent to seize money from the temple in Jerusalem which is "The glory of the kingdom." Seleucus was murdered by his treasurer.

 

V. 21 - This vile person was Antiochus surnamed Epiphanes which means a madman. He was known to visit the common taverns, eating and drinking with the meanest fellows, foolishly jesting and throwing stones at passers-by. Living below the dignity of a king.

 

V. 22 - "The arms of the flood" - was the forces of Eumenes, king of Pergamus and his brother Attalus, also Rome helped. "The prince of covenant," this would have been Onisa the high priest. Antiochus removed him and put Jason in his place who had given him a large sum of money.

 

V. 23 - After Jason made a league with him, a wicked man named Menelaus offered Antiocush more money for the position, so acting deceitfully he removed Jason. Antiocus became stronger with the little people who were willing to fight for him.

 

Vs. 24-25 - Gaining power he invaded Egypt. Taking great spoil he went home to Syria. Being different then his fathers before him he shared his gain with others making more friends. We are told in 1 Maccabees 1:16-18 of his taking Egypt, and even though the king of Egypt fled, his generals stood firm to fight but could not stand and Egypt was defeated, and Memphis was taken.

 

V. 26 - Antiocus corrupted the ministers and officers of Egypt, those who had fed at Ptolemy's table betrayed him resulting in his defeat and because Ptolemy was Antiochus' nephew he was left in power under Antiochus.

 

V. 27 - Antiochus professing friendship and concern for his nephew's interest was deceitful, he turned the heart of his younger brother Physcon against him and also the people of Alexandra were led to renounce their allegiance. So at the same table they exchanged lies. NOTE, "Time appointed" used in Verses 24,27,29 and 35 meaning that God is still in control.

 

V. 28 - Antiochus returned to Syria very rich and set his attention on Jerusalem and especially the Jew's Covenant. In 1 Maccabees 1:21, says he entered proudly into the sanctuary and took away the golden altar and candlestick and all other furniture including the silver and gold and sent to his own land.

 

V. 29 - In the meantime the kingly brothers of Egypt had united and had gained political strength. When Antiochus saw that his treachery didn’t work, he marched again on Egypt, but not as before, when he arrived at Alexandria the ships of Chittim was there from Rome.

 

V. 30 - The Syria army in full march to take the city but when seven miles away they heard of the ships he stopped the troops to talk to the Roman general, Antiochus was commanded to stop the war against Egypt. Returning to Syria exceedingly angry he vented his rage against the Jews, sending 20,000 men against Jerusalem, plundered and set fire to the city. His army killed many people especially the poor. He polluted the temple so that the services could not be attended. It was the covenant that he was against, in order to establish his own worship of the gods of Greece and consecrate the temple to Jupiter. Many of the Jews had forsaken the covenant of God.

 

V. 31 - At the same time that Antiochus left Egypt, Rome had conquered Macedon  which was the end of Greece and the beginning of the Roman Empire, the last act of Antiochus was against the Jew's God. He polluted the sanctuary by installing ungodly priests. Zeph. 3:4, her prophets are light and treacherous persons...they have done violence to the law. They also took away the daily sacrifices and place an abomination on the alter. 1 Maccabees 1:54-57, tells how they set up the abomination of desolation upon the altar and built idol altars throughout the cities of Judah on every side and burned incense at the door of their houses, and in the streets. And when they had rent in pieces the books of the law, the king's commandment was that they should be put to death. This was only a type of another abomination that will be in the temple in the last days. There was another incident that happened in 132 AD. The Emperor Adrian of Rome, even after the Jewish temple was destroyed, built another temple to Jupiter on the same spot of the other temple, this was an abomination. The Jews rose up against the Romans and 80,000 men were slain.

 

V. 32 - Those who would listened to Antioachus and his words against the true God were seduced by his flattery and promises of favors, went into Apostasy. There were some that stood fast to God and He strengthen them and gave them courage even unto death, the Maccabee family was an example.

 

Vs. 33-35 - These verses are a type of the end time remanent who will believe God and receive Jesus as the Messiah.

 

All this sounds like a soap-opera between nations. God allowed these nations to fight battles on His holy land and the Jews  suffered much because they trusted not in their God. God knows all the deeds of these Gentile nations and it is recorded. A day is coming when all national powers will have to submit to God's King. Ps. 2

Chapter 11:36-45

V. 35 - What follows refers wholly to the end time, and is yet future. With verse 36 starts the third part of this last vision God gave to Daniel that is found in chapters 10, 11 & 12. The first two parts were necessary back ground for this main part. It speaks of the man of sin, the Antichrist that will be manifested.

V. 36 - God knows what is going to happen, He knows the hearts of men, He has prophesied and it will come to pass just as He said. The second part of the vision that we covered certainly showed how that which is history to us now, came to pass just as God Prophesied. "The king" mentioned in this verse is the final persecutor of Israel, the evil man of destiny. The vile person we read about last time, Antiochus, was simply a type of the more devilish blasphemer of the last days.

Notice, he shall do what he wills to do and he shall exalt himself, which is the essence of the devil. He shall put himself above everyone and everything. There will be none in the world greater than he and he will show himself as God Almighty. The Lord will allow him to go to the uttermost lengths in his self-willed exaltation and in his persecution of Israel. Prior to his coming, no man ever had the power to do all his will.

Our Lord Jesus Christ did His Father's will. Even Satan has not been given a free reign to accomplish all his will, but for a few years there will be a change. God will say to this devil-filled man, "Go ahead, accomplish all your desire, wreak your anger upon My people." The Jews in Israel will be his special target. He shall prosper "till the indignation be accomplished." Permission is given this man to do all that is in his will until God's wrath upon His people shall be satisfied. His doings will prosper until all God's purposes concerning Israel's punishment shall have been accomplished. God uses him as the instrument of Israel's chastening.

Vs. 37-38 - Some believe by V. 37 that he is an atheistic Jew, others think he is an apostate Christian rather than a Jew. But the real issue is this, he refuses allegiance to the God of the Bible, whether as revealed in the Old Testament or the New Testament. He regards not the triune God, for he regards not the Father, "the God of his fathers." Neither Christ, the Redeemer which was “the desire of all Jewish women” to give birth to the Messiah as prophesied in Isa. 7:14. Neither did he regard the Holy Spirit, "any God."

He regards the god of forces. He wants power and authority, so he bows to a god who will give this to him (Satan). Satan offered all this earthly power and authority to Christ and was rebuked by Him - Mt. 4:8-10. Satan has been waiting ever since for a man who on condition of worshiping him, that he would give all the glory and honor of supreme ruler upon the earth. He will literally usurp the office of Christ for 3 1/2 years. John describes him as the beast in Rev. 13:2 and the dragon (Satan) will give him his power, and his seat, and great authority. The Apostle Paul also refers to him in this guise - II Thess. 2:4,9.

V. 39 - The R.V. reads, "And he shall deal with the strongest fortresses by the help of a foreign god."  "He will divide the land for gain." Those that quickly surrender to him and best serve his purposes will be rewarded with a place of rulership in his kingdom. They will share his authority in a measure - Rev. 17:12,13. Christ's people are to share in His kingdom and its honors at His coming. God honors them that honor Him.

Notice it is the holy land that will be divided and portioned out. Rulership will be given to disloyal and apostate Jews, but trouble and opposition will come to the usurping ruler.

V. 40 - Three kings are mentioned, we already read of the king, the Antichrist in Verse 36, and now we read of the king of the south, and the king of the north. Remember the four partitions of the former Grecian Empire and when Antiichus was on the scene, he was the king of the north. Yet his anti-type, the Antichrist will not be the king of the north as is very plain here for the king of the north could not push at himself. That is why we conclude that the Antichrist will come from the west. It is the only one of the partitions of the former Grecian empire that has not been accounted for in Daniel's prophecy.

We learned in chapter 7 that shortly after the Antichrist makes his first appearance upon the world stage, "he shall subdue 3 kings." In the beginning of that vision Daniel saw an unnameable beast with 10 horns, which represent 10 kings or 10 kingdoms which will constitute the beginning of the revived Roman Empire. Another little horn appears among the 10 horns. He puts down 3 of the first kings, thus leaving 7 kings or rulers over 7 nations which John saw in vision in Rev. 13:1. So John sees the end at a later stage than Daniel.

Even after the time of its first launching, trouble will arise. The peace and safety slogan will not be heard very long - I Thess. 5:3. War will again break out and greater will be the horror upon the earth than ever before, viewed in symbol in Rev. 8 & 9. The result of the destruction is in Rev. 17:10,11. Five of the 7 kings will be dethroned - one king is killed while the other must be the victorious one - "he is." But the one that had the deadly wound by the sword is raised from the dead. His deadly wound is healed and all the world wonders after him - Rev. 13:3-14. Being raised from the dead, is a counterfeit of Christ. He becomes the supreme ruler, empowered by Satan and quickly assumes leadership over all and puts down all rule.

V. 40 tells of this stage of his career and suggests an engagement of air, naval and land forces (whirlwind with chariots, horsemen and ships). He overcomes the world and shall overflow and pass over. The famed conquest of Alexander the great is nothing compared to his man. At the beginning of his reign, many of the nations are against his supremacy, yet at the end, he is victorious. There is a hint that three countries escape.

V. 41 - God preserves these 3 countries (Edom, Moab, and Ammon) for a special judgment because of their treatment of Israel - Isa. 11:11-14 & Ezek. 25:12-14; 38:14-23. The land of the Jews will not escape. This country was also the objective of Antiochus. He sought to bring the Jews a new religion, to force them to worship his choice of a god. Like-wise the Antichrist will enter the land and overcome the people, forcing the Jews to worship his image under threat of death.

We read in Ch. 9:27 how he will cause all sacrifice and oblation to cease. He will stop all worship of the true and living God. This is different from that of taking away the daily sacrifice mentioned in Ch. 8:11. When the nations make a covenant with the Jews the daily burnt-offering ceases as a condition.

This surrender of the offerings is the signal for God's surrender of the Jews (for their turning to the Antichrist, accepting him rather than Christ). Then later when this monster has come into his place of exaltation. He forbids all sacrifices. The Jewish religion is set aside. Everyone is commanded to worship this man and his image which he set up in the temple - Ch. 12:11 & Mt. 24:15.

Vs. 42-43 - Not only is all national power at his command but all the wealth of the world as well. He will seize all banks, vaults, etc. All is given into his hands for 3 1/2 years. He conquers Egypt. He is materially enriched, in honor and wealth and worship. The Libyans and Ethiopians yield to him.

V. 44 - Trouble from the north and east arise and it rouses up the beast to ferocious fury. He vents his wrath upon the people and destroys many. It is not clear whether the Jews are meant, but the next verse might lead us to think so.

V. 45 - This describes the final enthronement of the Antichrist. His palace is planted between the seas in the Holy Land, Jerusalem no doubt. There he meets his doom. John gives us a view of that time of conflict - Rev. 16:16. Armageddon means "hill of slaughter." It lies on the southern edge of the valley of Jehoshaphat or valley of Jezreel. There were many historic battles fought there and many victories won. The last great assault on Israel is the Gentile nations who purpose to destroy Israel and get possession of the land. The poor people will not be able to take the field against the combined forces, but will resist and stand against them in the Holy City. In that final assault, the Lord will fight for His people. The Antichrist will come to his end and none shall help him.

Chapter 12

THE MIRACULOUS DELIVERANCE

V. 1 - "And at that time" and what time is that? The time of the end (11:40) when the Antichrist will come on the scene and vent his fury on Israel.

Daniel does not disclose much of the Messiah's reign of glory. You may wonder why. Remember chapter 10:14 at the beginning of this last vision, Daniel brings us right up to that point of Messiah's reign. He shows us that which will introduce it, this gives us the execution of judgment that precedes the setting up of His Kingdom.

At that crisis time of unparalleled trouble for Israel (such as they never experienced before, greater than the holocaust) they shall be given supernatural help. God will fight for His people, when they shall come to their wit's end. Michael, the great warrior angel for Israel will stand up for their help. It will be a real turning point, not just a little victory of temporary deliverance but a complete and miraculous overthrow of all Israel's enemies. It will be the greatest battle ever fought. Michael is said to be their prince, the defender of Israel, their guardian angel. It is Israel's triumphant hour after centuries of defeat and misfortune. Their prophets have written of this triumphant hour. They will never again be hunted and trodden down. The clock will strike the hour of their resurrection. The dry bones will begin to shake and there will be a great awakening - Ezek. 37:1-14. Israel will arise from the ashes and put on her garments of Salvation and praise and sing with joy as she has never sang before.

In Rev. 12:7-9 we read of a war in the heavenlies, not where God's throne is but somewhere in the vast expanse above the earth. Amos 9:6, tells us there are spheres of vast extent, stories in the heavens builded by the great Creator. Some of which Satan and his forces (the wicked spirits) have ruled over. This war in heaven precedes the one on earth. When Satan is cast down, his time is short, he makes one last desperate effort to control the situation. It is Satan that stirs up the nations in a combined struggle to exterminate the Jews. For through them Christ shall reign over the earth. He is the King of the Jews. Their King shall reign when Satan has been bound in hell a thousand years. But Satan fights hard, resists with all his power, so there is trouble like there has never been before - Jer. 30:7. It is the travail time of Israel. Her birth pains, from which she shall come forth a nation new born - Isa. 66:8. She shall be purged, a glorious kingdom of priests to reign and bring blessing to the whole world.

Notice, not all the natural lineage of Abraham, living and dead or good or bad shall be saved. The deliverance and resurrection is for those that believe, everyone found written in the book. The nation will be new born, but as for the people they will be contrite and humbled, a new creation, a holy seed, a spiritual people.

V. 2 - This statement is of immense scope. There is a millennium in its embrace. The many of Israel that awaken to everlasting life precede the many that awaken to shame and contempt by a 1,000 years. Compare Jn. 5:28-29 and Rev. 20:6,7,11-15. But the point that stands out is the fact that there is going to be a resurrection. This is comforting to Daniel. Israel's faithful dead shall come forth out of their graves and participate in the glorious kingdom of Christ, but these shall not be part of the earthly population. They will have their glorified bodies and may visit and reign over the earth, but this will not be their abiding place - Mt. 19:28 & 8:11.

The earthly people will not enjoy their glorified bodies until the end of the millennium. We see that there are ranks in the resurrection of Israel. Some of the worthies of faith of Old Testament fame were raised up when Christ arose - Mt. 27:51,52. They have been in heaven for two millenniums already. They are a first rank, the full overcomers of their day. Heb. 11:35 - "they obtained a better resurrection." The second rank will arise when Christ will appear and call them out of their graves. But the restored nation will not enjoy their resurrection bodies until the end of the 1,000 years reign. But the rebellious will be cut off at 100 years of age in the Millennium, for there will be no toleration of wickedness - Isa. 65:20.

V. 3 - The "wise ones" refers exclusively to Israel for that is all Daniel understands. He knows nothing of the church. There will be some men of understanding that shall instruct others. There were some in former days, also in the days of the Maccabees, and there will be some wise ones in those still darker days. These loyal ones shall shine, spiritual teachers that will instruct and exhort the believing remnant. They shall shine in that darkness and later their glory will be manifested to the whole world. They will adorn the nation.

V. 4 - Daniel's prophecy was sealed, for the nation did not understand the prophecy. The vail was upon their heart, but in their hour of need, they shall understand. They shall run through the pages of Daniel searching the Scriptures to find the deep things. When their eyes are opened, they will find some rich hidden treasure. Such illumination as few Christians have never found. They will not set listless and inattentive as the Word is given out. "Knowledge shall be increased" - the Jews will understand the situation. They will find that the end is at hand and they will rest in hope.

Vs. 5-8 - Two other persons appear beside the Glorious Man which has been with Daniel since the beginning of the vision (Ch 10:5). The Glorious Personage appears above the waters. The other two are standing on the back of the river, one on the right, the other on the left. One calls to the Man upon the waters, 'How long unto the end of these wonders?'  The Man lifts up His hands and swears by Him that liveth forever that 3 1/2 years shall be the exact time in which these closing wonders shall be consummated. It agrees exactly in length and purpose with the statements of chapter 7:25 and 9:27. It refers to the time when the Antichrist shall have absolute power in his hands and shall devastate the Jews. God will allow it for Israel's chastening. But when His purpose is accomplished, He will suddenly put an end to the false despot and his kingdom.

 The Jews for that determined time will be utterly helpless and shut up to the mercy of God. They will learn the hopelessness of trusting the flesh (not only their own, but all flesh). They will call upon the Lord, not just with their mouth but with their heart. The Lord will preserve a third part of that nation and plant them as a seed in the renewed earth when He is King. Their cry to Him will be answered when they humble themselves, then He will look on them in grace. - Isa. 64:1; Isa. 66:2; Mt. 23:39; Isa. 25:9.

Vs. 9-10 - We read in verse 8 that Daniel heard the conversation between the heavenly visitors, but he did not understand the meaning. The Messenger does not endeavor to make it any clearer. It is not the time for him to understand. He would not be on earth when these wonders would come to pass, so it was not necessary for him to understand everything. But the people of the end of which he is a type, there will be the opening of the prophecy to them. Even unto us at this present time.

Daniel is assured that he is a prophet. His words shall stand till the time of the end. The Messenger also guarantees that all that is declared to Daniel shall be fulfilled.

V. 10 - Many shall suffer, their faith tried in the furnace of affliction. They shall come forth in victory, purified. The fiery trial which will melt the wise and prudent will only harden the heart of the foolish. The following verses give us 2 more measurements as to end time events.

V. 11 - The first of these time dates, 1290 days is the days between the date that "the daily sacrifice is interrupted and the abomination of desolation is set up. We know from an earlier revelation (9:27) that it is set up in the midst of the week or 7 years. So reckoning backward from that time, brings us to 30 days before the beginning of the 7 years of 1260 days. When we get our starting point, then the remainder of our study of these time dates will be simplified.

So the basic offering, the daily burnt offering is taken away just 30 days before the covenant with the false prince is ratified. For the Jews to give up this principal offering will be equivalent to the letting go of their faith in the Messiah. Thus proving the nation not believing in the God of their fathers (a sign of their apostate condition). They can blame no one but themselves when the trouble comes.

V. 12 - The second measuring line - 1335 days, gives us the very day of Christ's appearing to the Jew. Beginning at the very same time as the tribulation and counting brings us to 75 days after its close. No doubt those days will be spent in mourning and supplication for the one they have pierced. The Jews that will endure to the end of the tribulation will be blessed indeed, for the Lord will appear and take vengeance on their enemies.

V. 13 - Daniel's life was at its close, happy in the anticipation of that coming day. He had been faithful here, so how much greater shall be his service in that glorified place in the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ. He will the be rewarded for the things done in his body.