Paul Harvey, during his daily radio broadcasts, made famous the statement “The Rest of the Story.” He would tell the unfamiliar stories behind the familiar stories of men, feats, events and situations. Did you know the same is true of many “bible stories” found in the Old and New Testament scriptures? The following may not be quite the same as Mr. Harvey’s reviews of history, events and people, but they can be just as stunning, revealing, informative, and mind opening.
This publication will look at dozens of these surprising “aha moments” from scripture. Some will startle, some readers will find them particularly satisfying, and some will realize that history and the Bible are the same thing; a review of what was and remains an actuality. The Bible stories in scripture are space-limited and cannot publish everything surrounding, coinciding, or consequential to these stories. Some Bible time events are well-known and others not quite as well known but none the less found in scripture with a correlating “aha moment”. NOTE: The Bible and history are contemporaneous.
Included in this website are messages from others who serve our God; i.e. studied individuals such as ministers and Bible teachers.
Let’s explore some of these aha moments in scripture and have a ton of fun while doing so!!
– Dr. J
Bible Devotions or Bible Study?
Bible Devotions are like paying the minimum amount due on ones credit card debt. One seldom gains ground. Bible study is like paying the monthly balance in full plus something extra. We gain ground quickly!
We left off in the previous article on Daniel 11 with Seleucid Philopator having been (supposedly) poisoned by his younger brother Mithradates; AKA: the notorious Antiochus IV. It is his actions that begin to parallel End Time prophecy regarding the battles between the King of the North and the king of the South. Yes, history identifies the biblical States as Syria and Egypt. These two nations may not be the End Time battling kings but their paths parallel with End Time prophecies.
JIV: In a previous article we pointed out two significant factors.
Israel (Jews) will not, perhaps “cannot” accept an End Time deceiver other than one of their own kind. We all know that the ‘Jews’ anticipate a Messiah as they do not accept Jesus as the one. They accept that their Messiah will come from within their own people and be from the Tribe of Judah; i.e. a JEW. This is a descendant of King David.
Muslims will not fold into or accept anything other than their own version of the future lead by a great Muslim; the 12th Inman (primarily held in very high esteem by the Shi’a. The Sunni branch of Islam does not have imams in the same sense as the Shi’a, an important distinction often overlooked by those outside of the Islamic religion. Both groups await the return of the 12th Inman or messiah who will judge the world converting all faiths to Islam; destroying abstainers, objectors, nonconformists.
So what does this mean? If anti-Christ is from either group, the other side of this same coin will be identified as a counterfeit. There will be a ruler of the north, possibly Europe Union often identified as the resurrected Holy Roman Empire, and a ruler in the Arab (south) being identified as the 12th Inman; Muhammad al Mahdi.
NOTE: We will have more to share on this touchy subject later but this helps set the stage for the following dual or parallel prophecies; prophecies already fulfilled plus End Time prophecy yet to be revealed.
21 “He [Seleucid Philopator] will be succeeded by a contemptible person [Antiochus IV Epiphanes “the Illustrious” using his own words. His birth name was Mithradites] who has not been given the honor of royalty [natural succession to the throne; held in contempt by those around him. He had poisoned his older brother Antiochus III]. He will invade the kingdom [Syrian Empire; his own country] when its people feel secure, and he [Antiochus Epiphanes; Life span; 215 B.C. to 164 B.C.] will seize it through intrigue. 22 Then an overwhelming army will be swept away before him; both it [Ptolemy VI Philometer, son of Cleopatra I] and a prince of the covenant [What covenant is not revealed but possibly The Law of Moses; this could have been the High Priest Jason or Onias III but in End Time parallel prophecy, this will be the Jerusalem Temple leadership] will be destroyed. 23 After coming to an agreement with him [Egypt and the Province of Israel], he will act deceitfully, and with only a few people he will rise to power [as will the anti-Christ]. 24 When the richest provinces [those areas supposedly protected by Rome as in an End Time revived Holy Roman Empire] feel secure, he [Epiphanes of the north] will invade them and will achieve what neither his father nor his forefathers did. He will distribute plunder, loot and wealth among his followers [close associates who support him; many deserters of Judaism]. He will plot the overthrow of *fortresses—but only for a time; [*the richest of the provinces under his control. He does this through lies, deceit and intrigue. “Only for a time” may suggest a parallel to End Time, the 7 year Tribulation with; perhaps it being only the last 3 ½ years of Daniel’s 70th week]
JIV AHA MOMENT: Here is from where the origins of the drawing a line (circle) in the sand statement so often used by politicians today. Antiochus Epiphanes invades Egypt that is ruled by his pharaoh nephew, Ptolemy Philometer, son of Cleopatra I. He is threatened by Rome. Withdraw his troops or be considered at-war with Rome. The Roman emissary who was in Egypt at this time demanded an answer from (Antiochus Epiphanes IV) before *stepping over the line in the sand”; an idiom. The Roman Emissary Gaius Popillius Laenas had drawn a circle around Antiochus Epiphanes IV in 168 B.C. a circle in the sand while they both stood on Egyptian soil. He agreed, then took his anger out in Jerusalem, Judaism, slaughtering 80,000 Jews and disgracing the Temple while returning to Syria.
We don’t have time or space to insert the entire setting of this passage’s parallel prophecy to End Time happenings but…
25“With a large army he will stir up his strength and courage against the king of the South [Egypt]. The king of the South [Ptolemy VI Philometer Physcon] will wage war [against Epiphanes of Syria] with a large and very powerful army, but he [Ptolemy VI Philometer Physcon; Egypt] will not be able to stand because of the plots devised against him [his own people and Satraps (sub-kings of sort) of Egypt plotted against him including true Egyptians; i.e. Nubians, desiring to replace their ‘GREEK’ Pharaoh with an Egyptian Pharaoh]. 26Those who eat from the king’s provisions will try to destroy him; his army will be swept away, and many will fall in battle. 27 The two kings [Ptolemy VI Philometer Physcon and Antiochus Epiphanes], with their hearts bent on evil, will sit at the same table and lie to each other, but to no avail, because an end will still come at the appointed time. 28 The king of the North will return to his own country with great wealth, but his heart will be set against the holy covenant [The Law of Moses being honored in former Israeli territories after being expelled from Egypt by Roman threats of war if he didn’t stand down; step out of the line in the sand]. He will take action [with great anger] against it [Israeli territory – Jews of the Tribe of Judah primarily in and around Jerusalem] and then return to his own country. 29 “At the appointed time he [Epiphanes of Syria] will invade the South again, but this time the outcome will be different from what it was before. 30 Ships of the western coastlands [Rome then; End Time Tribulation?] will oppose him, and he will lose heart. Then he will turn back and vent his fury against the holy covenant [Law of Moses and the Jews in the old Kingdom of Judah; 80,000 slaughtered]. He will return and show favor to those [false and self-centered priests of Judaism; those who preach a false religion rejecting traditional Judaism] who forsake the holy covenant.
31 “His armed forces will rise up to desecrate the temple fortress [Jerusalem] and will abolish the daily sacrifice. Then they will set up the abomination that causes desolation. 32 With flattery he will corrupt those (Jews) who have violated the covenant, but the people [True and Orthodox Jews of Jerusalem – the beginning of and rule of the Maccabeus revolt; 167 B.C. to 69 B.C.] who [Maccabee family of father and five sons] know their God will firmly resist him. [after 175 B.C. and just prior to 167 B.C.E. Antiochus Epiphanes of Syria plundered the Temple, captured (again) Jerusalem, offered pig sacrifices on the altar of God, and forbid circumcision, Sabbath worship, and possession of the Law of Moses; manuscripts. He died in 164 B.C.]; 3 ½ years after he began the abomination and desecration of the Temple. The antichrist will do the same thing in 3 ½ years; Jacobs Trouble – Jeremiah 30:7.]
33“Those [Jews of Jerusalem; 2 Maccabees 5:11–14] who are wise will instruct many, though for a time they [followers of the High Priest: Menelaus was HighPriest in Jerusalem from 171 B.C. to about 161 BC. He was the successor of Jason, the brother of Onias III.] will fall by the sword or be burned or captured or plundered. 34 When they fall, they will receive little help, and many who are not sincere will join them. 35 Some of the wise will stumble, so that they may be refined, purified and made spotless until the time of the end [JIV: This could be a reference to the 144,000 discussed in Revelations 14:3,4; 2nd Advent of Christ], for it will still come at the appointed time.
The King Who Exalts Himself (the interpretation of Daniel 11:1-35 has only some disagreement, BUT…)
From Dan 11:36 on, there is quite a diversity of opinions...
a. Some believe Antiochus Epiphanes is still the subject
b. Others suggest that a Roman emperor is being described (a possibility in my humble opinion)
*c. Still others believe it refers to someone yet to come [Antichrist? Very possible]
d. JIV: This is part of the watershed prophecy of short term (Antiochus) and a parallel End Time (antichrist); It is probable that the parallel (watershed) different-times prophecy begins at Daniel 11:21, not verse 36.
If this (*c) is correct, the kings (leaders) referred to from this point on in Daniel 11 is symbolic and refer to leaders we do not yet know. They may already be in power today, or very soon will be. It also means from this point forward in Daniel, the territories mentioned are symbolic as was the territories and rulers in Daniel 11:1-35 in actuality but now fulfilled in what we identify as “secular” history. Both forks of this parallel in prophecies from Daniel’s pen and parchment paper go nameless but the first half can be identified as we have done in this Daniel series. It was written BEFORE it played out as today’s history and End Time events are yet to become history.
Daniel 11 is a full discussion in and of itself. By taking historical records and comparing, perhaps better said…paralleling them to historical bible records of prophecy, we are able to identify proper names instead of the generic pronouns often used in chapter 11. This is a separate set of articles due to its length with added narratives mostly in red. The proper names of persons, places and things will be inserted in the following articles on Daniel. One of the major reasons Daniel 11 is written using pronoun descriptions instead of specific names, places, and things is its dual parallel prophecies with End Time events. Think on this factor then Daniel 11 will make more sense. We now “fill in the blanks” per the persons’, places and things of Daniel 11.
Daniel 11 (JIV insertion of the historical names referenced in Daniel 11)
1And in the first year of Darius the Mede [the first king referred to after the fall of Babylon to the Medes & Persians] the angel Michael took my stand to support and protect him.) (NOTE: Ever wonder WHY he (Michael) took a stand to protect Darius the Mede???? Allow us to submit a suggestion.
The Lion’s Den event occurred under Darius. He only ruled for two years but was the doorway through which Daniel transferred his Babylonian loyalties as a ruler to the Mede-Persian government over the same territories. It was at this time the 70 year Babylonian captivity was coming to an end. Daniel needed to have an inside track in order to approach the King of Persia (Cyrus). Cyrus knew about Daniel through Darius.
The Kings of the South and the North
2 “Now then, [the angel Michael is speaking] I tell you [Daniel] the truth: Three more kings will arise in Persia, and then a fourth, who will be far richer than all the others. [Cambyses, Smerdis, Darius the Great, Xerxes (aka: Ahasuerus)] When he [Xerxes/Ahasuerus; to whom Esther married] has gained power by his wealth, he will stir up everyone against the kingdom of Greece [Xerxes invaded Greece with land troops and a navy. Successful at first, he had to return to Babylon to put down a revolt there. He left behind a commander who lost the war with Macedonia-Greece but left great anger in the hearts of the Greeks]. 3Then a mighty king [Alexander the Great of Macedonia-Greece [356-323 B.C.]; invades Persia in retaliation for what Xerxes [Ahasuerus] of Persia [519 B.C.—died 465, Persepolis, Iran, Persian king 486–465 B.C., the son and successor of Darius] had done to Greece many years prior; Artaxerxes the V was in power in Persia when Alexander conquered this empire killing it’s royalty] will arise, who will rule with great power and do as he pleases. 4 After he [Alexander] has arisen his empire will be broken up and parceled out toward the four winds of heaven. It will not go to his descendants, nor will it have the power he exercised, because his empire will be uprooted and given to others. [Alexander’s Greek Empire, the major portions of it, was ultimately divided between four of his major generals; Ptolemy in Egypt, General Seleucus Nicator- who began the Seleucid (Syrian) empire, Greek General Cassander took control of Greece proper but was challenged by General Antigonus, and General Lysimachus who took control of Thracia between Greece and Turkey. This is the territory the Apostle Paul evangelized 300+ years later; N.T.]
Lao 5 “The king of the South [General Ptolemy I in Egypt] will become strong, but one of his formercommanders [Seleucus Ist Nicator; several of Alexander’s generals were fighting for the same territory] will become even stronger than he and will rule his [Seleucus Ist Nicator – Syrian empire] own kingdom with great power (history tells us that Seleucus became strong and took some of the Middle East including Syria from Antigonus). 6After some years, they (Egypt and Syria) will become allies. The daughter [Berenice] of the king of the South [Ptolemy Philadelphius] will go to the king of the North [Antiochus II] to make an alliance, but she will not retain her power [two years after the marriage-alliance Ptolomy Philadelphius in Egypt dies], and he [Antiochus II] and his power[ will not last. In those days she [Berenice] will be betrayed, together with her royal escort and her father and the one who supported her. [Laodice, the first wife of Antiochus retaliated for him divorcing her and marrying Berenice by first murdering him then Berenice, her children by Antiochus and all attendants were put to the sword]
7“One from her [Berenice’s] family line [her brother Ptolemy Euregetes – Egypt] will rise to take her place. He [Ptolemy Euregetes] will attack the forces of the king [Seleucus II] of the North [to avenge his sister Berenice. He attacks Seleucus II Callinicus, King of Syria] and enter his fortress; he will fight against them and be victorious. 8 He [King Ptolemy Euregetes of Egypt, Berenice’s brother] will also seize their [Syrian] gods,their metal images, and their valuable articles of silver and gold and carry them off to Egypt [the Southern Kingdom]. For some years he will leave the king of the North [Syria] alone. 9 Then the king of the North [Seleucus II] will invade the realm of the king of the South [Egypt] but will retreat to his own country. 10 His sons [Seleucus III and Antiochus the Great of Syria; 223 B.C. will prepare for war and assemble a great army, which will sweep on like an irresistible flood and carry the battle as far as his [Ptolemy Euegetes of Egypt] fortress. [The Syrians have limited success regaining former territory lost earlier by Seleucus II of Syria but does recapture the area of ancient Israel from the Ptolemy lll of Egypt, Berenice’s brother]
11 “Then the king of the South [Ptolemy Philopator; son of Ptlolemy lll] will march out in a rage and fight against the king of the North [Antiochus the Great] who will raise a large army, but it will be defeated. 12 When the army is carried off, the king of the South [Ptolemy IV Philopator] will be filled with pride and will slaughter many thousands, yet he will not remain triumphant. 13 For the king of the North [Antiochus the Great] will muster another army, larger than the first; and after several years, he will advance with a huge army fully equipped.
14“In those times many [An alliance of Syria, Philip of Macedonia/Greece, and many Jews] will rise against the king of the South [Egypt; i.e. Ptolemy IV Philopator]. Those who are violent among your own people [The Jewish Maccabean family and Zealot Jews of the defunct Kingdom of Judah] will rebel in fulfillment of the vision, but without success. 15 Then the king of the North [Antiochus III the Great] will come and build up siege ramps and will capture a fortified city [Jerusalem]. The forces of the South will be powerless to resist; even their best troops will not have the strength to stand. 16 The invader [Antiochus III the Great; Syria] will do as he pleases; no one will be able to stand against him. He will establish himself in the Beautiful Land [Israel of old; this is symbolic of the antichrist yet to come, prior to and including the 7 year Tribulation, to set himself up in the Temple of Jerusalem] and will have the power to destroy it [the “IT” being Jerusalem].
17 He [Antiochus the Great/symbolic anti-Christ] will determine to come with the might of his entire kingdom [Syrian/antichrist’s Empire] and will make an alliance with the king of the South. And he will give him [King of Egypt] a daughter [Cleopatra I, born in 204 BC]in marriage [alliances were often sealed by marriage between enemies so their offspring might rule both kingdoms] in order to overthrow the kingdom [Egypt], but his plans[c] will not succeed or help him [Cleopatra I ends up taking the side of her husband in Egypt; kingdom of the south]. 18Then he will turn his attention to the coastlandsand will take many of them [Israelis], but a commander [Scipio Asiaticus, a Roman general] will put an end to his insolence and will turn his insolence back on him. 19 After this, he will turn back toward the fortresses of his own country but will stumble and fall [died], to be seen no more. [The Cleopatra of Egyptian and TV movie fame came from this same family line born in 69 B.C. eventually married Julius Caesar, had a love affair with Mark Anthony; one son with Julius Caesar; three sons with Mark Anthony]
At this point the angel of the Lord, talking to Daniel, begins to focuses on Syria; King (of the north) Seleucid Philopator and his son Antiochus IV Epiphanes. It is at this point in scripture we begin to see the future diverging histories of what is now history and the End Time anti-Christ symbolisms]
20“His [Antiochus the Great] successor [Seleucid Philopator; his eldest son of Antiochus] will send out a tax collector [to tax the peoples in the lands of Israel robbing the Temple treasury] to maintain the [his personal] royal splendor. In a few years, however, he will be destroyed, yet not in anger or in battle. [He was poisoned; some believe, by his younger brother], Mithradates was soon to be named Antiochus the IV Ephiphanes, [who assumed the throne upon Seleucid Philopator’s untimely death by poison]
We pick it up at this point in our next article on Daniel 11.
ARTICLE #32 – OUTLINE of each Chapter in Daniel NOTE: The chapters of Daniel are not sequential as recorded
I. Daniel’s Dedication, 1:1-21 A. Daniel’s Circumstances, 1:1-7 B. Daniel’s Dedication, 1:8-16 C. Daniel’s Rise to Favor, 1:17-21
II. Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream: The Great Image, 2:1-49
A. The Dream received by Nebuchadnezzar, 2:1-6 B. The Dream revealed to Daniel, 2:7-23 C. The Dream recited then interpreted to Nebuchadnezzar, 2:24-45 D. The Promotion of Daniel in the Babylonian Empire, 2:46-49
III. The Fiery Furnace: A Lesson in Faith, 3:1-30
A. The Test of Faith, 3:1-12 B. The Demonstration of Faith, 3:13-18 C. The Vindication of Faith, 3:19-30
IV. Nebuchadnezzar’s Vision of the High Tree, 4:1-37 (chopped down but the stump remained).
A. The Vision Narrated by Nebuchadnezzar himself in the first-person, 4:1- 18 B. The Vision Interpreted by Daniel, 4:19-27 C. The Vision Fulfilled by God, 4:28-37
V. Belshazzar’s Feast, 5:1-31
A. Belshazzar’s Contribution to the Feast: Unrestrained Sensuality, 5:1-4 B. God’s Contribution to the Feast: Handwriting on the Wall, 5:5-6 C. Daniel’s Contribution to the Feast: Announcement of Doom, 5:7-29 D. Darius’s Contribution to the Feast: Destruction of Babylon, 5:30-31
VI. Daniel in the Lions’ Den, 6:1-28
A. The Position of Daniel, 6:1-3 B. The Plot Against Daniel, 6:4-9 C. The Prayer of Daniel, 6:10-11 [This is more like a prayer we should recite or follow as an example of prayer in church. The Lord’s Prayer was preceded by the command to do that prayer in a closed closet of private communion with God the Father] D. The Prosecution of Daniel, 6:12-17 E. The Protection of Daniel, 6:18-28
VII. Daniel’s Vision of the Four Beasts, ten horns, little horn and the Ancient of Days, 7:1-28
A. Historical Data, 7:1-3 B. The Vision and the Interpretation, 7:4-15 C. The interpretation 7:16-28
VIII. Daniel’s Vision of the Ram, Goat, and Little Horn, 8:1-27
A. The Vision, 8:1-14 B. The Interpretation, 8:15-27
1. The ram, 8:15-20 2. The goat, 8:21-22 3. The little horn, 8:23-25 4. The effect on Daniel, 8:26-27
IX. Daniel’s Prophecy of Seventy Weeks of 7 Years each week, 9:1-27; i.e. the seventy 7’s prophecies. We translate the 70-7’s as 70 weeks but this is incorrect Hebrew. Not weeks but seven years per each of the 70 years: 7 weeks; 62 weeks; 1 week (End Time anti-Christ).
A. Historical Data, 9:1-2 B. Daniel’s Prayer, 9:3-19 C. The Prophecy, 9:20-27
X. Daniel’s Prophetic Landscape, 10:1-12:13
A. Daniel’s Vision, 10:1-9 B. Daniel’s Strengthening, 10:10-11:1 C. Prophecies Concerning the Nations, 11:2-45
1. Persia, 11:2 2. Greece, 11:3-4 3. Egypt and Syria, 11:5-20 4. Antiochus Epiphanes, 11:21-35 (nicknamed Epiphmanes:‘the insane’by many of his vindictive but so-called friends and administrators) 5. Antiochus’s actions parallel those of the End Time Antichrist, 11:36-45
D. Prophecies Concerning Israel; Daniel 12:1-13
JIV Note: per my comments in bible classes or from the pulpit, God’s covenants with Israel and the covenants for the New Testament church can follow parallel lines but are not always in-common. Quick example: Israel is promised the “Promised Land;” physical property in the Middle East during the Millennial Reign. The church is promised a rapture and Heavenly Promised Land.
Ephesians 6:12, 13 “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to [take a] stand.” (Emphasis mine)
Self-Discussion: The Book of Daniel discusses the battles between angels, angelic forces and the necessity to be prepared for such deception and attacks of the prince of darkness. This Old Testament book gives us a better understanding of why Paul tells us in Ephesians 6 to put on the full armor of God; not to fight fellow mankind believers, but to resist the devil and his fallen legions in spiritual warfare [See Daniel 10 for examples].
This discussion between the angel Michael and Daniel in chapter 11 actually begins in Daniel 10:14 where he tells Daniel… “Now I have come to make you understand what will happen to your people(Israelites) in the latter days, for the vision refers to many days yet to come.” Daniel and the angel Michael are talking about Israel and the chosen people; not the church. What more could have happened to God’s chosen people since the split in the nation of Israel into two separate kingdoms; i.e. the total dispersion of the Northern 10 tribe Kingdom of Israel by the Assyrians into the hinterlands of the world and in Daniel’s time the Southern Kingdom of Judah to Babylon? These are latter day events yet to be fulfilled.
Only a very few of these Judeans (Jews) returned to Judah/Jerusalem with Zerubbabel, Ezra, and finally Nehemiah. The New Testament “Jews” are the descendants of those who returned from Babylon, not from the Assyrian diaspora or dispersion of the tribes from the Northern Kingdom.
Not just great stories—Bible history is part of what we refer to as secular history
As is my teaching style, it helps when one can put an event or series of events into perspective or within other historical events of secular history. Remember that the bible does not need to prove itself according to history. History needs to be placed against what the bible states. There is no revision of secular versus scriptural history but there are many who wish to revise scripture to make God what s/he wants instead of us as individuals being what God wanted upon our creation.
King Pekah of Israel [700’s B.C.] along with his ally King Rezin of Aram, threatened Judah and its main city of Jerusalem. Ahaz, the king of Judah, called upon King Pul [Tiglath-Pileser III] of Assyria to intervene. He did intervene therefore defeating Israel (the Northern Kingdom) then executed King Rezin of Aram (Damascus).
Assyria was a Semitic nation, but not Israeli, from the 24th century BC to 608 BC.
Assyrians were offspring of Shem’s (Noah’s ark) eldest son *Elam: Genesis 10:22, Ezra 4:9. *Elam itself was once an empire called the Elamites now part of Iran. The person Elam was a son of Shem making him a grandson of Noah.
At this time, Damascus was not the capital of Syria. It was a large city-state in its own rights.
Assyrians attacked the Kingdom of Israel (ten northern tribes) first dispersing the East of Jordan tribes of Gad, Reuben, and the half tribe of Manasseh in 732 B.C. [2 Kings 16:9].
720 BC: Assyria invades the remaining tribes of the northern kingdom of Israel including a few cities within the borders of the Kingdom of Judah. All captives are exiled to unsettled lands to the north, east, and west specifically mentioned, it includes the cities of the Medes.
JIV NOTE: This plays significantly into the Babylonian captivity of the southern Kingdom of Judah 120 years later, the 70 year Babylonian captivity, and to connect the dots……the invasion of Babylon by the MEDES and Persians and eventually Queen Esther of the Book of Esther.
Daniel of Babylonian fame was a contemporary of Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Zerubbabel. These men were exiled from the southern Kingdom of Judah or were born during Babylonian captivity. Interestingly, they all were in the service of the government of Babylon; Daniel also served within the Mede-Persian government of Babylon.
Daniel lived during the time of Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar, father and grandson, who were kings of Babylon, and the Mede-Persian ruler Cyrus (Darius?).
He lived in Babylon during the entire 70 year captivity and several years beyond.
Daniel never left Babylon after being exiled from Judah. He continued to serve in the service of the Persian conquerors of Babylon.
Sequence of nations:
The nation Israel of Saul, David and Solomon co-existed with Assyria
Israel divided into two separate kingdoms: the Kingdom of Israel to the north with ten tribes and the Kingdom of Judah to the south with 2 tribes plus many stragglers from the northern kingdom who were faithful to Judaism and Jerusalem.
Ten tribes to the north are dispersed in the 700 B.C. over a period of 20 plus years; first by Tiglath-Pileser III [sometimes called King Pul], then Shalmaneser V, finally by Sargon II; all were kings of Assyria. Time period around 740 B.C.E. to around 720 [?] BC.
Kingdom of Judah continued to exist for another 120 years; until about 606 BC.
Babylon rebels against and overthrows Assyria; 637 BC to around 612 BC. The overthrow of the Kingdom of Judah followed.
Nebuchadnezzar (606 BC) of Babylon invades the Kingdom of Judah and begins a series of dispersions bringing Judean Jews [including Daniel] to Babylon. [Daniel 1:1-4]
605 BC.; 597 B.C.; 586 BC. [the three reasonably close dates of Judean dispersion and exile to Babylon]
Daniel becomes an advisor and dream interpreter for Nebuchadnezzar [Daniel 2:1-49]
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego face the fiery furnace [Daniel 3:1-30]
Nebuchadnezzar goes insane and eats grass with the wild animals of his kingdom [Daniel 4:1-37] His wings are plucked and he is made to stand up like all other men (Daniel 7:4)
Daniel interprets the finger of God writing on the wall to *Belshazzar
*Belshazzar is the grandson of Nebuchadnezzar; overthrown by Medo-Persians (Cyrus of overall all Persia; Darius the Mede was temporarily king of the conquered Babylon). Belshazzar was not the sole king of Babylon during this overthrow. His father made him co-regent of Babylon itself.
King Cyrus, the first Persian king over the Mede-Persian conquered empire of Babylon, signs a decree releasing all Israeli captives within this conquered empire; [538 B.C. – Ezra 1:2-4; 6:2-5] Darius the Mede ruled first but for less than two years. Daniel tells us that this Darius was already 62 years old at the time of the overthrow. He was not King of Persia but a satrap king of Babylon proper.
Daniel and the Lions’ den historical event occurred under the Mede-Persian ruler Darius [Daniel 6:1-28], not Nebuchadnezzar.
The prophetic future according to the dreams of Daniel
The 4 beasts [Daniel 7:1-28]
Daniels dream of the goat and the ram [Daniel 8:1-28]
Daniels 70 week or years dream [Daniel 9:1-27]
Daniel views the end of times (Recall a previous study article: Are We There Yet?) [Daniel 10:1 – 12:13]
Kingdom of JudahOutline of the Book of Daniel (chapter 11:1-40: Rev. Dr. Jstark)
There is almost as much prophecy in the book of Daniel as there is contention over the prophecies themselves. Daniel was one of the first of three different diasporas from the Kingdom of Judah by Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon; 606/5, 597/6, 586/5, 4 B.C. (approximate dates) He was a close friend of *Shadrach, **Meshach and ***Abednego of the fiery furnace fame; Daniel 1-3. Their Hebraic names were *Hananiah (חֲנַנְיָה), **Mishael (מִישָׁאֵל) and **Azariah (עֲזַרְיָה). These three “teenagers” were exiled to Babylon at the same time as was Daniel.
JIV NOTE: There are significant ahamoments when we look at the origin and meanings of many biblical name. Please be reminded: Hananiah (Shadrach) means “God who is gracious;” Mishael (Meshach) means “Who is like God;” and Azariah (Abednego) means “God is our help, or God has helped”.BONUS: Daniel means “God is my judge.” These Old Testament name meanings stated as a sentence reveal a New Testament message: God is gracious; who can be like God; God is my help/salvation (and) God will be my judge.
Just as interesting are their Babylonian name meanings: Shadrach means “command of Aku”, Aku being the name of the Babylonian god of the moon; Meshach means “who is (or can be) what Aku is?” Abednego means “servant of Nebo,” the Babylonian god of wisdom. This is no Hebraic or Babylonian (Chaldean) verbiage coincident but great insights inspired of God. This is what it means to STUDY the Word[s] of God.
While studying the Book of Daniel, we must keep in mind that the name Babylon is used within other scripture as concerns other yet unfulfilled End Time prophecy. That in and of itself does not always mean the Babylon of Daniel times. The use of the name Babylon is symbolic or analogous of characteristics of events of end times. We cannot look at the Book of Daniel without including some references to other supportive End Time scriptures that remind us of End Time prophecies by Daniel. This is particularly true of Daniel 11.
PS: His traditional grave site is identified as being in Susa, Iran. Susa today is the city of Shuster in Iran’s district of Khuzestan. This in itself is located within an even more ancient settlement of the Elamites…a former empire named after one of the five sons of Shem; ELAM [Shem’s children: Elam, Ashur, Arphaxad, Lud and Aram, in addition to daughters. Genesis 10:21, 22]
In a broad sense, the Book of Daniel prophecies can be defined under four categories:
Prophecies of things in the distant future (from that point in time, that is up to its fulfillment)
Prophecies of imminent events soon to happen
Prophecies of intermediary or mid-time events plus End Time events of week 70 in Daniel’s vison of the Seventy 7’s.
Words of support and encouragement to not vacillate but remain in the faith.
There are only 12 chapters in the Book of Daniel unless one includes Susannah (chapter 13), Beland the Dragon (chapter 14). So much that is relevant to current events were prophesied at the time of Daniel; predictions and warnings of things to shortly happen, and a look into the future including our current era, is crammed into such a short book of the Bible; twelve canonized chapters. CAUTION: If a believer does not know and somewhat understand these prophecies in Daniel 11, s/he will never recognize them as they play out today.
It one of my greatest [JIV: Jim’s Introspective View] challenges and honors to research and annotate Daniel 11 using the actual names of historical characters instead of the generic or pronoun person, place, or thing used in scripture. Chapter 11 of Daniel is possibly the most controversial in this great Old Testament book. The contentiousness of chapter 11 is not so much over what it contains, but the pinpoint accuracy of it. It is so accurate, some theologians and self-proclaiming wise-guys insist Daniel had to be written “after the fact” by someone else, then inserted into the Book of Daniel. There are some who call themselves Christian who have difficulty understanding that our sovereign Lord is the Aleph – Tav [Hebrew]; knows the beginning and the end; the Alpha – Omega [Greek]…Plus all of history that falls within these two place-markers.
You will find a general overview outline of the Book of Daniel in the next article page(s), then a following, by-name conversion of Daniel 11. If there is an error on my behalf when inserting names into the place and descriptive names used in chapter 11, I accept responsibility. One can only be sure if s/he looks it up him or herself. If God or Jesus says it… do not question it. We teach but YOU must decide.
Our next article covers the historical background and sequence of this time in history. This setting will benefit those who wish to pull together histories that are too often divided between secular and bible events.
Chapter 10 is essentially a repeat, or perhaps better stated, a reminder of chapter 8. Don’t stop here though. In chapter 9 the gravity of “sealing up” the information given to Daniel in chapter 8 overwhelms him. *Chapter 11 and 12 continue this Hebrew concern but all four of these chapters add to our understanding. In a sense it is like all (most?) speech instructors tell students is the center to good speech arrangements. Tell whomever what it is what will be discussed therefore setting the stage (chapter 10). Then tell the basics of what is the purpose and content of the speech or lecture (chapter 11). Finally, step three is to remind the listener what was said (chapter 11). More on this as we proceed through the remainder of Daniel.
RE-Chapter 8: For those who missed this article in ahabiblemoments chapter 8 is about Daniel being in Susa, a ram with two horns; one came later but grew larger. Then out of the west comes a goat with ONE HORN and whose feet do not touch the ground. It breaks the two horns of the ram. Soon the significant single horn of the goat out of the west is itself broken. In its place grow 4 smaller horns. These are the historical events of Greece (Macedonia; Alexander the Great) breaking the stranglehold of the Medo-Persia Empire. When Alexander dies, his world empire is broken into four smaller kingdoms. Eventually the two dominant offshoot general/kings from Alexander’s world conquest become embattled with each other; i.e. the example of end time king of the north and king of the south.
However, in chapter 8 Daniel is told to seal up this vision” for the time being. Why? The latter or ending portion of chapter 8 essentially shifts gears from near future to End Time events. It becomes a prophecy about the end of time and the anti-Christ. Even though Daniel is told to “seal up the vision” we get an insight or introduction to the End Time (Jacob’s Trouble).
Daniel in chapter 10 is walking along or standing on the banks of the Tigris River. He is not alone as other men are with him. In other bible passages this same river is called the Hiddekel in Hebrew.
*JIV: For the curious bible student, this same general location or as noted in Exodus is where the four river heads identify the location of the Garden of Eden.
*JIV (Jim’s Introspective View)
Daniel 10:1 gives the setting:
The third year of King Cyrus of Persia (not the king of Babylon; a satrap-ruler governs there and is subject to the King of Persia; i.e. Cyrus)
Daniel receives this information
There was (will be) a great conflict; personal and global (Chapter 11)
Daniel understood the meaning
V2 Daniel goes into mourning and becomes sick over vision.
JIV: At this point we have a plethora of theological opinions. Some look at verses 5 & 6 as describing a great angel. After years of thought and study, this author no longer subscribes to the opinion that it is Jesus before his New Testament re-appearance as the Messiah. More likely if is a very high-ranking angel of great significance from heaven. We provide evidence of this toward the end of this article. It matters not so much as to who it is that appears on the river bank, but to the message presented to Daniel of a time yet to come. Again, later in this article it is explained why this “man-like being” is probably an angel.
Daniel 10:7 tells us that Daniel was not alone. Men were with him. They sensed something that brought fear to their hearts and being but did NOT HEAR or see the vision. They feared so much that they fled the area in a panic. In a way this is repeated in Acts 9; Paul’s road to Damascus. Oddly and as reported by 1967 news media, the Israeli Six Day War against its Arab and Muslim neighbor countries of Jordan, Egypt and Syria and early in the conflict, similar overwhelming fear overcame the Egyptian armed forces in the Sinai Peninsula in 1967. So much so that they fled on foot abandoning armament, running tanks, and artillery.
“Israel’s losses in the battles with Egypt were 275 soldiers killed and 800 wounded, very high for a country of only 2 million, but comparatively light considering the size of the battles and the magnitude of the victory. Egypt’s losses were much higher — according to statements by President Nasser more than 11,500 soldiers were killed, and independent estimates put the number of wounded as high as 50,000.” (Barker, p 76)
Of course Daniel is not writing about a war of great fear but he does state in verse one, “it was a great conflict” in his vision. This could be a personal conflict of Daniel’s or the ones that Daniel 11 discusses. Verse 8 in chapter 10 reflects or parallels this article’s reference to the Six Day War between Arabs, Egypt specifically, and the fear that overwhelmed the Egyptians. We use this comparison only to help the reader assimilate or grasp Daniel’s fear when he was probably looking at the Holy One’s personal representative; a high ranking angel. The men with Daniel had fled.
Daniel 10:8 So I was left alone and saw this great vision, and no strength was left in me. My radiant appearance was fearfully changed, and I retained no strength. [ESV]
The purpose of an appearance of this angelic being was to help Daniel understand the signs and things of the future. Daniel 10:14 clearly states that he came to make him (Daniel) understand “WHAT IS TO HAPPEN TO YOUR PEOPLE IN THE LATTER DAYS.”
The argument against this strikingly dressed man-like being as possibly describing Jesus in verses 5 and 6 is Daniel 10:11. It is highly doubtful that whoever is the *(bad guy) angel of Persia, he could not hold Jesus back for 21 days.Jesus would not require the assistance of the angel Michael. [See Daniel 10:12 and 13]
There is one to consider regarding Christians today and our prayer life. This is the fact that the three-times-a-day prayer life of Daniel still required a wait of 21 days before hearing back from God. This gives us insight as to the two powers of today; God and Satan. How many times have we prayed expecting an answer from God on our timetable, not God’s? This means that Daniel did not stand up from his prayer beginning in Daniel 9:3, go for a walk along the river banks (chapter 10) that afternoon or evening and find his prayer answer and understanding.
Daniel 9:16 is very telling. Daniel states to the angel or messenger… “Then I opened my mouth and spoke. I said to him who stood before me, “O my lord, by reason of the vision pains have come upon me, and I retain no strength.” [ESV]. Daniel must have seen more than his physical body and mind could handle. He was “LEFT WITHOUT STRENGTH.”
We close this article with a bit of insight or perhaps theological speculation. Our motto at ahabiblemoments is: We Teach – You Decide. It is up to the reader to challenge one’s self as to his or her bible knowledge and this following connection.
The “manlike being” asks Daniel if he understood. Daniel does not answer. This “angel” is about to depart to assist angel Michael in the battle with the evil and Satanic “prince of Persia.” So what is the connection? The Jews who remained in Babylon and did not return to Jerusalem when released by King Cyrus, were not now going to be without challenges against their very existence. This takes us to the Book of Esther. Esther, Mortdecai, King Ahasuerus often identified in history identified as king Xerxes I (reigned 486–465 BCE) and Haman the Agagite. In short, the angel of the Israel is Michael [Daniel 12:1] who is holding back the evil angel of Persia at this time in Daniel [10:13], but he will require help for a very near future event and continuing for well over 2500 years to this present day.
NOTE: King Ahasuerus and Esther appear on the scene within 50 years of this event in Daniel 10. Daniel had remained in Babylon after the departure of some Judeans back to Jerusalem (536ish B.C.). The overlap of Zerubbabel, Ezra and Nehemiah all fall within this time period in history. They very possibly knew each other and Esther knew of them.
We do not know who is the “manlike being” who appeared in Daniel 10. The evil angel of Persia withstood him from coming to Daniel to address his chapter 9 prayer for 21 days. This unknown being then returns to continue this angelic fight. The evidence is that the battle between Israel and Persia, today’s Iran, still exists. Iran and those like Haman of Persia vow(ed) to drive Israel into the sea. The battles in the heavens above and upon this earth over God’s Holy City of Jerusalem are present to this very day. The hate of Satan against the People (God’s chosen) of Israel has not retreated.
Chapter 11 is very far-reaching in history and history yet to be played out. By necessity of these prophesied future events (chapter 11) will be broken down into several articles. It is one of the most challenged and challenging prophetic chapters of the bible. We will as best can be done, name names as these historical and end time events are foretold in Daniel 11.
We are devoting this section of our Book of Daniel Study to a much misunderstood prophecy; i.e. Daniel’s conversation with the angel Gabriel per the end of Judean Babylonian captivity, End Time, and an end time future Israel. We begin by clarifying to whom this message is referring. This is answered in verse 24 of chapter 9.
Dan 9:24 “Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place.
“Seventy WEEKS are decreed…” This is in stark contrast to the number 70 mentioned earlier in this chapter. Daniel 9:2 states “seventy YEARS.” It is not a switch of words but a switch in times prophesied. This use of years in early chapter 9 and weeks later in chapter 9 is the fork in the road of the same main road of prophecy. Daniel 9 is talking about the people of Judah in the early verses; the people of all Israeli Tribes in the latter few verses.
“…about YOUR people” This targeted [as explained in a previous article] message/prophecy of Daniel 7:4 to the end of the chapter, is written in Hebrew. Why? It is to and about the Hebrew people called Israelites. This in no way suggests this includes the Church. Gabriel is talking to DANIEL and about Daniel’s (his) people. This does not include the generic mention of Gentiles or the Gentile churches. Keeping within the context of chapter 9, Daniel just finished an incredible prayer (Article #27) regarding the “people of Israel.” Gabriel is telling Daniel about a future Israel, a future Jerusalem, a future Kingdom of the world.
“AND (about) your Holy City (Jerusalem)” This holy city is not about some other city in the world where there is a center of debate, power, or global focus, past or present. It is Jerusalem! It is easy to see that this city has consumed much of history even since this Gabriel-to-Daniel revelation up to this present day. Only God has the rights to Holy. Only he is sovereign. Only he can proclaim a city as Holy. Gabriel is not talking about the city of Jerusalem but the Millennial Holy City of Jerusalem.
“…to finish the transgression” What is transgression? Interestingly in the Lord’s Prayer the word transgression is also used in some translations; i.e. “forgive us our transgressions”. Transgression means in both the Book of Daniel’s Hebrew (peh’-shah) and the Greek (debts, transgressions, sins; of-i’-lay-mah or par-ap’-to-mah) error of its ways. Daniel 9:4 is specific…TO END or FINISH THE TRANSGRESSION. The 70 year Babylonian captivity was about over but the errors of Israel’s ways still exist to this day. Can anyone even suggest Jerusalem is now without error or conflict? Gabriel is telling Daniel that an end time is coming when it too will end in Jerusalem.
“…to put an end to sin” Now in verse 24 we read that not only will the transgressions of and in Jerusalem be ended, but so will the way of (all) sin. In order for this to be even partially true, Satan must be handicapped or bound in such a way as to have no influence over man [see Revelation 20:1-10]. This should end any debate or question per the millennial reign of Jesus IN Jerusalem. This is not to be some other god by another name. That is blasphemy and violates the second commandment.
“…and to atone for iniquity” Atone? “Religious believers are known to atone for their sins, but even students can atone for past failures by acing a later exam or two. But, even if this “supposed” student aced every exam thereafter, s/he still has the blemish of the failed exam. The word atone came to the English as a contraction of the words at and one. This verb means to “make amends or reparations for an offense or wrong doing” [Google search]. However there is a difference with our earthly definition of atone and that of God. Jesus atoned for our sin at the cross of Calvary. But! It is conditional atonement; “If we believe Jesus is the son of God and is the resurrected Messiah”. That will be atonement, but not as suggested in the above student exam example: as if we never failed a previous exam.” Only God can do that. This should give a better understanding of our sins being cast as far to the east from the west [Psalms 103].
JIV NOTE: Mark 7:6-9 is paramount to our denominational ways of worship, multiple doctrines of faith, and the fallacy of denominational practices. This author has be questioned many times as to “which seminar did you attend and within what denomination were you ordained?” My answer is…I belong to the same denomination as Matthew, Paul, Mark, Silas, Barnabas and the Roman jailor who accepted Christ. Half of the time I am then asked, which denomination is that?
“…to bring in everlasting righteousness” Everlasting? Is there any question as to the meaning of everlasting? O-lawm’ in the Hebrew means: “properly concealed, the point of vanishing.” Back up one paragraph in our discussion of atone[ment]. Human atonement suggests that a couple of aced exams atone for a previous lower test grade. Everlasting or o-lawm’ means there will never be another oops on an exam (Romans 8:10-12). Sin will then be put to death. Satan is no more. To even think one can atone for a bad grade is too much like works equal salvation.
Now for the down-side to this article and Daniel 9:24 if in fact it is a down-side. Gabriel tells Daniel to NOT record some of what he is told. It is to be sealed up as regards what he saw and heard. This means much of the specifics are not recorded by Daniel.
Verse 25…(NIV) “Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One,[a] the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble.”
Between this moment in history (chapter 9) with the soon Babylonian supported restoration of Jerusalem, to the coming of an anointed one… we have a defined period of time. “There shall be seven weeks.” This means 70 sevens or 70 X 7 = 490 years; each identified but not necessarily concurrent periods of time. Not concurrent? Not probable per the wording. Each of three segments identified is self-contained. First is a period of 7 sevens. Next will be a period denoted as 62 sevens. This adds up to 69 prophetic years of two specifically identified as periods of time; 7 + 62 = 69. The math leaves one of the 70 sevens still unidentified. This is addressed in the final verse of Daniel 9…
Verse 27 And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week [7years], and for half of the week [3 ½ years] he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.”
This (he) is the anti-Christ in this final or 70th week. No wonder Daniel was told to seal it up. Only the Father knows. Matthew 24:36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”
To keep this less confusing than other commentators often make it, let’s look at it as it is intended and as it is written; in three sections of non-concurrent or overlapping events. It is three identified periods of time that of themselves add up to the number 70.
7 weeks times 7 equals 49 prophetic years. This is how long it took to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem AFTER King Cyrus released the Tribe of Judah to return to their homelands and rebuild the Temple. This extended period of time is discussed in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah. Zerubbabel brought the first of his tribe back to Jerusalem but they only laid the foundations for the Temple. Then they ceased that work in order to rebuild their own homes. They hadn’t even bothered to rebuild the walls around Jerusalem.
62 additional weeks times 7 equals 434 prophetic years. This year-count does not begin when the people under Zerubbabel’s leadership returned. It begins when the Temple is completed and rededicated.
*The missing and final week of Daniel’s 70 sevens is 7 equals 7; one prophetic week; this is the 7 years of the Tribulation, anti-Christ, and the last or final desolation of Jerusalem.
*We are told in Daniel 9:24 that this final 7 prophetic years will be troubled times; time period often identified as Jacob’s Trouble. Once again, Jacob is the progenitor of the twelve Tribes of Israel. These are the Israelites. This is not the Church as some wish to associate the event. Jacob fathered the Tribes of Israel. God through Jesus gave birth to the Church.
To graph these events on a calendar only subjects the entire scripture in the final four verses of Daniel 9 to human speculation. Take scripture for what it says. These are three identified periods of time. Currently are in what the bible refers to the “Time of The Church” or sometimes called the time of the Gentiles. This is true up to the final 70th week. Scripture is explicit; this (final week) is the time of Jerusalem, Israel, Jacob’s Trouble. NOT the Church. That is theological and denominational speculation.
It has been and continues to be a frustration to find something other than False Biblical Histories and interpretations of Daniel’s 70-7s prophecy. This is a time to take the bible literally. Do not create mathamatical “fits” for the numbers. This leads to all sorts of interpretations, deductions, and denominational theological planks. Just read it and believe. The facts in the below graphs are the simplest and likely the most practical. Some of the dates may be in question of precise year but NOT the sequence of the events. Certainly not the facts of the prophecy.
These charts are provided for the 39% (=/-) of people in this world who are visual learners. It is to help us put Daniel’s (chapter 9) seventy 7s into a pictured perspective. We are not giving specifics of speculator dates; time of year, year, or even decade or century. This is God’s and God’s only choice. He is patient, longsuffering, caring and allowing but…his judgement is coming just as scriptures tell us. Even Jesus states that he does not know the time. His disciples asked him this question in Matthew 24. At best Jesus gives his disciples and us the conditions that will exist; a list of warnings and events of circumstances prior to his return and the Tribulation of the anti-Christ.
There are many theological “authorities,” especially multiple denominational doctrines that have alternate interpretations. Some even believe we are already in the tribulation since we “make it for ourselves” in our daily living. We Teach – You Decide!
Contrary to some who have a basic grasp on the Book of Daniel, the “70 weeks” mention in this chapter has only some to do with the 70 year captivity of the Judeans from Judah. Once again be very cautious about trusting misleading information found on Wikipedia per almost anything scriptural.
Example: Here is what this “supposed authoritarian resource” says:
“The consensus among critical scholars is that chapters 1-6 of the Book of Daniel originated as a collection of folktales among the Jewish diaspora in the Persian/Hellenistic periods, to which the visionary chapters 7–12 were added during the persecution of the Jews under Antiochus IV in 167–163 BCE. The authors of the tales apparently took the name Daniel from a legendary hero mentioned in the Book of Ezekiel, and the author of the visions in turn adopted him from the tales.” [From Wikipedia, Daniel 9, the free encyclopedia; emphasis mine]
Wikipedia uses dogma and misleading “authorities” trying to make a point that the Bible is A BOOK OF STORIES. Fundamentalists do a major disservice that inadvertently supports this Wikipedia philosophy by also identifying historical Bible events as “stories.” Call scripture for what it is…FACT, not a series of cute religious bedtime and Sunday school stories.
When speaking to true believers, those who strive to BE and LIVE (believe) a Christian life, we understand. But to the unbeliever, the unequally yoked church attender, or the church-only so-called Christian, the word story leaves much territory to wonder, rationalize, and justify wrong personal actualities.
Now to Daniel 9:
Daniel 9:2 is very specific about who the author is. Not some distant or future “add-on” to this incredible book. “I Daniel, understood the number of the years by books, which came of the Word of Jehovah to Jeremiah the prophet,…” [NKJV]. Daniel is a student of scripture. He is well read, especially of Jeremiah. In Daniel 9:2 he is probably referring to the passages found in Jeremiah 25 (*11 & 12) and chapter 29 (10-12).
*…this whole land shall be a ruin and a waste. And these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. [NKJV]
Daniel is specifically referring to the 70 year captivity of the Judean Jews. At the end of this chapter, we get a beginning glimpse of s future Jerusalem even today has yet to be fulfilled as a promise of God the Father.
At this point, Daniel goes deep into a prayer session with God. His prayer content and context references other bible scriptures (*future outcomes contained in past conditions put upon Israel by God) but that is not the discussion goal of this Daniel 9 article. Let’s look at Daniel’s prayer specifics. It is something we should learn to pattern. Not a prayer life of the Lord’s Prayer quoted in Matthew 6 and Luke 11. In these passages we are specifically instructed to go into our prayer closet, alone; not to stand or sit and pray aloud yet alone in unison. This would make for a very crowded prayer closet.
*EXAMPLE: Leviticus 26:40 – 42 This is a specific precondition for the redemption and return of Israel, not just the Judean Jews, but include from the “four corners of the earth” where Israeli Tribes and offspring now live. Most of these folks have lost contact with their chosen people identification given to them by God through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
If we jump forward to 9:21 we read that Daniel’s prayer was so earnest and intense that God sent the angel Gabriel to speak with Daniel…directly! But, let’s not stray. In Daniel’s prayer he includes…
Israel not listening to God’s Words
The unrecognized shame of Israel. Note that Daniel is not praying about the Jews of Judah but of his entire family of scattered Israeli Tribes.
Rejection of the prophets sent by God to both the northern and southern kingdoms of Israel and Judah.
He calls Jerusalem “the city that bears HIS (God’s) name.”
Daniel pleads for God’s wrath against Israel (Jerusalem) to cease
It is not a request (petition) owed to Israel but it is for the sake of God’s name.
We so often miss one of Daniel’s major prayer points. He is not asking this for the sake of Israelis, but according Daniel 9:18b…”For we do not present our prayers before You on account of our righteousness’s, but because of Your great mercies.” [NKJV] . Note the “WE” in Daniel’s prayer. He is not praying for himself but for his entire people of Israeli descent.
In verse 19 Daniel lists priorities…
“For your sake (God);
…on account of your righteousness;
…for your city (Jerusalem);
…for your people called by your name.”
Let’s back up for a moment to verse 19. Daniel says and pleads with God that He answer his prayer petition for “the city Jerusalem AND for ‘those who carry His name’.” Give serious consideration for those who call themselves Christian today. There are many who identify as Christian but do little to “carry His name” in his or her daily walk in public and in worship.
From verse 23 forward (Daniel 9:23+) we arrive at a fork in the road of prophecies; two roads (context) but the same content. This is somewhat scriptural speculation but consider this. We know that the Tribe of Judah (Jews by a shortened inference name) was in their 69th or 70th year of captivity in Babylon. It was about to end and King Cyrus of Persia (modern day Iran) would release them to return to their original homeland. Verse 25 no longer is talking about the 70 year Babylonian captivity but of a future yet to be completed return and building of Jerusalem; i.e. Daniel’s 70 7s.
The future of Jerusalem is now identified in Daniel’s prayer to be “built unto the Messiah the Prince.” God is never identified as the Messiah; Jesus is. God is never referred to as a Prince. Only Jesus is. So the parallel or fork in the road of prophecies is obvious. Judeans would be release after 70 years of Babylonian captivity but Jerusalem is destined to be the Kingdom of the Messiah Prince; Jesus. This is a reference to the future millennial reign. We will discuss that in part, in our next Daniel article. Prior to this verse, the Jerusalem under discussion was for the right of the captured Jews of Judah to return home.
Daniel 9:25 in the ESV puts it this way:
“Know therefore and understand that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time”.
The very next verse identifies (anti-Christ) as one who will destroy the city and the Temple. Bear in mind, Nebuchadnezzar had already done this several decades earlier.
The prince identified in verse 26 is lower case; not Prince as written earlier in chapter 9, but as prince of the people. We will pick it up at verse 26 in the next article. It is a discussion in and of itself.
“Bible History IS Secular History when given the truth, whole truth, and nothing but the truth.”
Following is a quote from Wikipedia; a reference source ahabiblemoments.com seldom encourages and often discourages as a reliable source for knowledge, total truth and research information. They are obviously changing their historical perspectives at the expense of bible facts. In some resource reference they go so far as to simply call the bible a book of stories that at best are half-truths, not historical reports. In this case (below quote) the reader is initially given historical facts and future reality perspectives on history and theology. Keep in mind that the bible is not a religion and history is not the truth, whole truth and nothing but the complete truth. The Bible is part of secular history; not separate to or removed from the annals of history.
Daniel 8 (the eighth chapter of the Book of Daniel) tells of Daniel‘s vision of a two-horned ram destroyed by a one-horned goat (a possible allegory for the transition from the Persian to the Greek eras in the Near East), followed by the history of the “little horn”, which is Daniel’s code-word for the Greek king Antiochus Epiphanes.
The subject of the vision is Antiochus’ oppression of the Jews–he outlawed Jewish customs such as circumcision, Jewish monthly/Lunar calendar, dietary restrictions, and Sabbath observance, made ownership of the Torah scroll a capital offense, and built an altar to Zeus in the Temple (the “abomination of desolation“). His program sparked a popular uprising which led to the retaking of Jerusalem and the Temple by Judas Maccabeus (164 BCE). [Wikipedia, opening paragraphs]
Note: Beginning in this chapter through the end of the book, Daniel is written in Hebrew… TO THE HEBREW (Israelites) people. Daniel 2:4b – 7:28 is written in the language of Babylonian Gentiles at that time; Aramaic sometimes called Chaldean. The reason for the switch from Aramaic to Hebrew is a modern day marketing rule-of-thumb. “Write to the intended target market even at the expense of those not part of the targeted market.” From here to the end of Daniel it is all about Jerusalem, Israel, Israelis, anti-Christ and the second coming of the King of kings; Jesus. Also often missed is the fact that up until now, Daniel was involved in dream interpretation (Chapters 24b-7:28). This chapter is called a “VISION”…a view into the future. Daniel had a dream (7:1). Within it was a vision.
What was this vision? It was of a ram (two horns) and a goat (one horn). There is an abundant amount of historical evidence for these animals being representative of Greece and Persia. Most simply is the fact that the Ram “did not touch the ground.” This refers to the rapidity of Alexander’s army conquests. The ram had two horns; i.e. the Medes and Persians. The goat had but one horn; i.e. Alexander’s Greek/Macedonian army. It moved with the speed of a leopard. Daniel 8:3 states:
(NIV) I looked up, and there before me was a ram with two horns, standing beside the canal, and the horns were long. One of the horns was longer.than the other but grew up later.
Simply put… The Medes had been an empire far longer then had the Persians. However, the Persians turned on their Mede allies after defeating Babylon, conquered them, and with combined powers of both became the larger (longer) of the two horns. Verse four describes its growth as a power…until it bumped up against the Greek city-states (Sparta and Athens) and Macedonia (490’s B.C.). It was with regards to this history in which Aristotle taught his student Alexander, son of Macedonian King Philip; i.e. Alexander the Great. He grew up and was well trained as a military leader. He sought revenge on Persia but had to conquer many other kingdoms while in-route.
JIV NOTE: Xerxes, son of ‘Darius the Great’ is one of the Persian kings identified as Ahasuerus in the biblical Book of Esther. In contrast, the 62 year old Darius who initially conquered Babylon was “made king” over Babylon, not the Babylonian Empire. That ruler was Cyrus, king of Persia. He appointed Darius as a satrap-king over Babylon, but not the entire Persian Empire.
Ray C. Stedman wrote back 1969: [https://www.raystedman.org/old-testament/daniel/the-great-propagandist]
The eighth chapter of Daniel contains a different kind of little prophecy than any we have seen before. In the other prophetic sections of the book we have had a more or less direct view of future events brought before us Chapter 2 was a long-range telescopic view, looking down the whole range of time beginning with Daniel’s own day and running on down to the end beyond our own day. Part of it is now fulfilled and part of it is yet unfulfilled. In Chapter 7 we had what we might liken to a zoom camera approach, which moved in to the events of the last days before our Lord’s return, wherein we saw the condition of the earth politically, and especially centering around the Mediterranean Sea. We were stirred to note that events of our own day were perhaps beginning to produce the final shape of things.
But now, in Chapter 8, we see events which were future as far as Daniel was concerned but have and have yet to be fulfilled in history. Some three hundred years after the prophet Daniel uttered these words, they were, for the most part, fulfilled….we have an historic fulfillment which in turn becomes a prediction of another event. That is exactly what we find in the eighth chapter of Daniel.
Now that we have identified the ram with two horns and the leopard-like speed of the goat with one pointed horn…out of the west (8:5), consider another unique factor per Daniel 8.
(ESV)”…a male goat came from the west across the face of the whole earth, without touching the ground. And the goat had a conspicuous horn between his eyes.” This verse begs the question: might this also represent a missile fired from across the Atlantic? The one horn perhaps between the eyes of the missile guidance or painted on the missile itself? “…across the face of the whole earth???? Hmmm? Fired from afar across the FACE OF THE EARTH!
Let’s pause here for a moment and look more closely at verses 5-9.
We use the YLT [Young’s Literal Translation] in the following as it is very close in context, content and verbiage of the original Hebrew. Note the highlighted text.
Dan 8:5 `And I have been considering, and lo, a young he-goat hath come from the west, over the face of the whole earth, whom none is touching in the earth; as to the young he-goat, a conspicuous horn is between its eyes.
Dan 8:6 And it cometh unto the ram possessing the two horns, that I had seen standing before the stream, and runneth unto it in the fury of its power.
Dan 8:7 And I have seen it coming near the ram, and it becometh embittered at it, and smiteth the ram, and breaketh its two horns, and there hath been no power in the ram to stand before it, and it casteth it to the earth, and trampleth it down, and there hath been no deliverer to the ram out of its power.
Dan 8:8 `And the young he-goat hath exerted itself very much, and when it is strong, broken hath been the great horn; and come up doth a vision of four in its place, at the four winds of the heavens.
Dan 8:9 And from the one of them come forth hath a little horn, and it exerteth itself greatly toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the beauteous land ;
In the time following Daniel’s vision and in verse 8 we read that the GREAT HORN of the goat was broken off being replaced by “four horns.” Alexander the Great had many Generals. After his death and after some infighting, the Alexandrian conquered lands were divided between four of his generals; eventually becoming the empire of the Seleucides (Kings of the north) and Ptolemy’s (Kings of the south primarily Egypt). Judah, today’s Israel, became the battle ground of these wars and conflicts between these kingly empires and future leaders of the north and leaders of the south [study Daniel 11]. Armageddon? The valley and lands of Megiddo is only 60 some miles north of Jerusalem on today’s modern maps.
Daniel 8:9 begins a transition from a historical time to a future prophetic time that closely relates to the yet unfulfilled time of times with anti-Christ; the small horn that comes up from one of the four. He throws down the worship and sacrifices in Jerusalem and sets himself up to be the center of worship. Verse 14 tells us this will be 2,300 evenings and mornings. Angel Gabriel, in 8:14 – 26, explains to Daniel precisely what this vision means and that it has a double interpretation; one that followed in the next 300 to 400 years of history and one that refers to End Time. The final verse assures us that this is a spiritual battle with earthly subjects. The rise of the “power” against God is not defeated by human hands. Verse 25…And he shall even rise up against the Prince of princes, and he shall be broken—but by no human hand. (emphasis mine)
As we move through the remainder of Daniel, keep in mind this has to do with Jerusalem. Not Washington D.C., Moscow, London or any other center of power. They, as was Nebuchadnezzar, may well be the pawns that play out a history yet to happen, but this boils down to the original problem on earth that began with the fall of Adam and Eve. It is between God and Satan.