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!
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.
7 is a major switch for several reasons therefore we will also switch
from a verse-by-verse article discussion to an analysis of the
recorded historical events that follow in the remaining chapters of
is the last chapter in Daniel that was originally written in Aramaic
(yup…not Greek or Hebrew)
is the beginning of Daniel having the visions instead of those in
charge of Babylon where he is asked to interpret.
switch to a narration and prophecies designated to the world of
believer but specifically to the Hebrew people; i.e. Israelis and
are getting very close to the end of Judeans’ 70 year captivity in
Daniel describes four beasts coming up from the sea. What did
Daniel’s vision represent, and what does it mean for us today?
No, this is not a sequential chapter according to history playing
out, but this is the order in which the Book of Daniel is recorded.
How do we know this? Regent king Belshazzar (555B.C.?) was discussed
and ended back in chapter 5. This dream or vision of Daniel came to
him during the first year Belshazzar’s reign. Why isn’t it
recorded back in chapter 5? Daniel 7:28 tells us that at this time
Daniel “kept this matter (vision) to himself” (Daniel 7:28).
vision of Daniel “while he lay in his bed (ESV) appears to parallel
chapter 2 when King Nebuchadnezzar had his statue dream made of gold,
silver, bronze, Iron legs and feet toes of Iron and clay mix. Daniel
saw in chapter 7:3 “four great beasts that came out of the *sea.”
word has been translated differently by commentators. Two
transliterations are thal’-as-sahandyawm.
Without going into a deep theological discussion, the word sea can
refer to a body of water OR a body of people; i.e a sea of people.
The first was like
and had eagle’s wings: I beheld till its wings were plucked; and it
was lifted up from the earth, and made to stand upon two feet as a
man, and a man’s heart was given to it.
And behold, another beast, a second, like
unto a bear,
and it raised up itself on one side; and it
three ribs in its mouth between its teeth; and they said thus unto
it: Arise, devour much flesh.
After this I saw, and behold, another, like
and it had four wings of a bird upon its back; and the beast had four
heads; and dominion was given to it.
After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a
dreadful and terrible, and exceeding strong; and it had great iron
teeth: it devoured and broke in pieces, and stamped the rest with its
feet; and it was different from all the beasts that were before it;
and it had ten horns.
I considered the horns, and behold, there came up among them
another, a little horn, before which three of the first horns were
plucked up by the roots; and behold, in this horn were eyes like the
eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things.
note that the 4th
beast (7:7) is not given an identity, only a description.
lion in verse 4 represents a description of an historical event which
had already been prophesied in Daniel’s earlier life in Babylon.
This verse (7:4) is a brief referring to King Nebuchadnezzar. He was
a mighty and unchallenged KING OF BABYLON and his conquered lands. He
lifted himself up above all his court and subjected peoples. Then his
“wings were plucked off.” This explains when he was reduced by
God to a common beast. As we studied in chapter 4, and in
Nebuchadnezzar’s own Chaldean words, he became like a beast of the
wild (insane). Time pasts before Nebuchadnezzar regains his sanity,
stood up like a man, is restored to his throne and accepts the God of
Daniel as the only true God.
Daniel 7:5 says, “And
suddenly another beast, a second, like a bear. It was raised up on
one side, and had three
ribs in its mouth between its teeth.
And they said thus to it: ‘Arise, devour much flesh!’”
This event will parallel text from the next chapter of Daniel but not
today. Some commentaries suggest the three
ribs are conquered
lands; the Lydian Empire of Asia Minor, the Chaldean Empire being
Babylon itself, and Egypt (525 B.C.). This author respectfully
disagrees. The bear (Persia) being turned on its side (7:5) had
turned on its Mede ally after the Babylonian conquest thus uniting
the two Empires into one kingdom.
Since Daniel mentions THREE RIBS
in the mouth of the bear and before the bear is instructed to “rise
up and devour much,” the three conquered territories or empires had
already been conquered; three ribs in his mouth. At this time, Egypt
had not been conquered by Persia and it didn’t happen until the
rule of Darius I also known as Darius the Great.
To keep historical/biblical records straight, the Persians tried unsuccessfully to conquer Greece around 490 B.C.; i.e. parts of Macedonia. They failed. This was also an event that Alexander the Great, son of King Philip of Macedonia, was taught not only by his father but by his tutor Aristotle. Alexander had it in mind to “pay back” the aggression of the Persians; i.e. Darius I doing so in 331 B.C. Alexander is represented in Daniel’s vision as a Leopard; quick and agile. The four wings and heads of this Leopard represent the four empires that evolved out of Alexander’s empire; i.e. (1) Greece and Macedon, (2) Thrace and Asia Minor, (3) Middle East-Asia and (4) Egypt-Palestine.
From this we get the two
dominant kingdoms back then and in prophecy representing the King of
the North and the King of the South; Ptolemy’s of Egyptian fame and
the Seleucids of Assyrian/Syrian fame. We would roughly identify
Seleucus’ kingdom as modern day Iraq, Persia, and Afghanistan. The
Ptolemy’s and Seleucids battled each other over and over. We have
discussed this in other articles written for ahabiblemoments.com
only touch upon it at this time due to space limitations.
JIV NOTE: For the aha
wonderers and New Testament buffs, the capital of the Seleucid empire
was the Antiochus of New Testament Apostle Paul fame.
The 4th beast of unknown name or identity is a two-fold prophecy. First it is the Romans. They swept through all of the territories of Alexander’s divided empire.
Second, it represents a picture of the yet to come antichrist of End Time and the battles between him (Norther Kingdom Europe?) and the Southern Kingdom (Arabs and Muslims). A simple consideration is that the antichrist will demand he be worshipped and Muslims will not easily, if at all bow to a non-Muslim “king.” The antichrist is represented by the “little horn” that sprouts up amongst the ten original horns of the unidentified 4th beast.
these events are culminating on the earth others are transpiring in
heaven. A great judgment scene is before us (compare Psalms 2;
25:31-46, and Revelation
19:19-21). “The Ancient of Days” is identified by some as the
first and by others as the second person of the Godhead (Revelation
1:12-14; John 5:22).
The slaying of the “beast” (Daniel
7:11) means the destruction of the world-powers are represented
in their final form of the revived Roman Empire”…but there is no
peace on earth. I believe the northern nations and ¼ of the earth’s
land mass dominated by the king of the south are still at battle with
In verses 21-22 and 25, this
little horn makes war against the saints, speaks pompous words
against God, intends to change times and law, and persecutes the
saints for a “time and times and half a time” (literally three
and a half years, but using the day-for-a-year principle of Numbers
14:34 and Ezekiel 4:6, 1,260 years);
deal is sealed! The appointed King of Babylon, King Darius, has
followed his decree and the rules of the Medes and Persians. The pit
or den of Lions was sealed with Daniel in it. It is a bit of
encouragement to Darius, one might conclude, that Daniel is in with
the lions, a stone is brought to seal it, and Daniel is still alive.
This is in a huge contrast to what happened the next day with those
that deceived Darius.
And a stone was brought and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the
king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords;
that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel.
Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting:
neither were instruments of music brought before him: and his sleep
went from him.
are few mental traumas worse than remorse, for there is nothing that
can be done to change the circumstances – unless of course one
knows the one true God who, being outside of time, entered into His
creation at a specific
point in history
and paid once and for all for every wrong thing we have ever done,
said or thought thus wiping the slate clean. Here is no need or gain
to keep reminding one’s self of his or her transgression.
he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also
for the sins of the whole world.” (1John 2:2)
Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto
the den of lions.
And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto
Daniel: and the king spake and said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of
the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to
deliver thee from the lions?
It is a curiosity of how long a pause Daniel may have left before answering?! How anxious Darius must have been waiting for the other shoe to drop or the climax of anxiety at the steepest part of the roller coaster.
Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live forever.
My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that
they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocence was found in
me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.
incredible it must have been for Daniel to have spent a night in
safety knowing that God had sent His angel and that the loins
couldn’t harm him.
incredible also for us to know that our adversary, who roams about
like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour, cannot harm us
because we too are protected by the angel of the Lord (Hebrews 1:14
and 13:5). Was it the same for the three in the furnace? Throughout
the Old Testament the Angel of the Lord is no mere angel but the
commander of the armies of the Lord – i.e. possibly Jesus Christ
himself although he is not an angel, but part God.
would or might Jesus be identified as “the angel of the Lord” in
the Old Testament? Simple! He had not yet taken on an earthly body to
go to the cross in bodily form; half human and half God head. He was
not yet the Christ Messiah. He had a role and it may be that of “the
angel of the Lord God.”
Luke 10:19 “Behold,
I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over
all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”
was the king exceeding glad for him, and commanded that they should
take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den,
and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his
the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to
show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect
toward him.” (2
is someone else who was faultless yet betrayed, handed over to death,
went down into a pit, a stone was rolled into place and sealed to
stop someone from taking him out, yet He was taken ‘up
out of the den and *no manner of hurt was found upon Him, because He
believed in His God’ *
Except for the nail prints in His hands & feet, which will serve
as an eternal reminder of His love and sacrifice for you and I.
And the king commanded, and they brought those men which had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions, them, their children, and their wives; and the lions had the mastery of them, and brake all their bones in pieces or ever they came at [to] the bottom of the den.
We should not be envious of the workers of iniquity for their day is coming. David wrote: “Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb…… fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.
is exactly what happened to the wicked ones who plotted against
Daniel; their ‘sword’ did indeed enter their own heart.
this verse, Robert
says the following:
possibility of the destruction of the one hundred and twenty satraps
and their families by lions is shown from the fact that the monuments
of the kings of Assyria say that they had menageries containing “all
the animals of the mountains and of the plains,” including
elephants, panthers, and lions. Further, it is shown that lions at
that time were the pest of the Euphrates Valley, hundreds of them
being killed in a single hunting expedition, and that in one case
mentioned by Ashurnasirapal, king of Assyria, fifty young lions were
captured alive and shut up by him in the city of *Calach.”
(Robert D Wilson – Studies In Daniel) Once again, the Bible is not a
collection of quaint stories; it really is His-story. So why do we
continue to say “the Bible stories?”
Another name for Calach, sometimes spelled Kalhu is the ancient City
of Nimrud (Nimrod), a son of Ham who was a son of Noah on the Ark.
Then king Darius wrote unto all people, nations, and languages, that
dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you.
I make a decree, That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and
fear before the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, and stedfast
forever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his
dominion shall be even unto the end.
He delivereth and rescueth, and he worketh signs and wonders in
heaven and in earth, who hath delivered Daniel from the power of the
just as with Nebuchadnezzar, Darius now acknowledges and gives glory
to the God of Daniel, who is steadfast and whose kingdom is without
end! This may have also been a JIT…just in time event. He did not
reign in Babylon for very long. Recall that he was 62 years old when
appointed king over the realm of Babylon by King Cyrus of Persia.
this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of
Cyrus the Persian.
NOTE: Darius was a Mede and Cyrus was Persian; i.e. Medo-Persians.
The Persians of then are the Iranians of today. They are NOT Arabs.
What changed their attitude about the Jews since it was their
ancestors who set them free from 70 years of Babylonia captivity?
as Joseph had prospered because he trusted his God regardless of the
circumstances, so Daniel did prosper. Both also paid a price for that
commitment. Jesus said in Luke
therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who
will commit to your trust the true riches?”
He also told us to be as wise as serpents but as harmless as doves
(Matt 10:16). Paul tells us that Christians should work even harder
for their employers than the world does because we should work as
unto the Lord (see 1Tim 6:1; 2 Tim 4:9-10; Titus 2:7-10)
ends the first (historical) section of the book. Chapters 7-12 will
see Daniel having breathtaking visions that foretell the future of
the Medo-Persian, Greek, Roman and final world empire influence on
the Jews and Israel proper. We will be introduced to the ‘little
horn’ speaking great things, and we will see some of the most
incredible prophecies in the Bible that help to unravel the days that
we are living in right now and prove beyond doubt that Jesus Christ
is the Messiah of Israel who is destined to return and rule on the
throne of David and establish an everlasting kingdom.
were not known for their religious and theological insights but Sonny
and Cher, pop music artists, often sang a song…”And the Beat goes
on.” In this article we see that the inner man and evil continue
since the historical event of Cain and Able (Old Testament, Genesis
said these men, We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel,
except we find it against him concerning the law of his God.
testimony this is. It was clear to all, that Daniel was unwavering in
his relationship with his God. If this may be the only chink in our
life’s armor we need not worry! This also is a perfect example of
the “full armor of God as found in the New Testament…Ephesians
these presidents and princes assembled together to the king, and said
thus unto him, King Darius, live forever.
aside, Chuck Missler points out that the idea of kings and rulers
being immortal continues to this day but has its root in Genesis 6
with the Nephilim! Note one person is missing in this
the presidents of the kingdom, the *governors, and the princes, the
counselors, and the captains, have consulted together to establish a
royal statute, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a
petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he
shall be cast into the den of lions.
saw in chapter three with the Chaldeans trying to entrap Hananiah,
Mishael and Azariah, so we see here. Do you notice the lie in their
‘All the presidents…’ – no it wasn’t! Do not be put off by
people who try to unsettle you with ‘everyone knows….’ Or ‘all
scholars agree…’ type statements. Usually, the bolder the
statement the shakier the foundation. Governors are also identified
Their petition is calculated to appeal to the king’s ego; yet as is so often the case, behind the things that puff us up is a unwavering in his relationship with his God. One of deceit.
men started with jealousy, moved onto hatred, then onto scheming,
then onto lying and deceit. Sin will always take one further than
s/he wants to go, keep one longer than s/he want to stay, and costs
one more than s/he wants to pay.
O king, establish the decree, and sign the writing, that it be not
changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which
mentioned earlier in our study, whatever king Nebuchadnezzar said
went, He was the Law! And hence was represented as the head of gold
in chapter two. But now in the Medo-Persian kingdom, the king is now
bound by the law. Although Medo-Persian was physically larger than
Babylon, its power was not as great so was represented by silver and
not gold. Check our motives. Paul warned Timothy in
1 Tim 3:1-6 “This
is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth
a good work. A bishop then must be blameless…….Not a novice, lest
being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the
king Darius signed the writing and the decree.
decree of Darius the Mede with regard to the den of lions was easy of
execution, inasmuch as at that time lions were common in all that
part[s] of the world. The Assyrian kings were wont to hunt lions as a
pastime. Thus Tiglath–Pileser I says that he killed 920 lions in
one hunting expedition; and Ashurnasirpal says that he killed at one
time 120 lions and that at another time he captured 50 young lions
and shut them up in Calah and in the palaces of his land in cages and
let them produce their young. At another time he killed 370 strong
lions. In his menagerie [zoo], he says, also, that he had herds of
wild oxen, elephants, lions, birds, wild asses, gazelles, dogs,
panthers, and all animals of the mountains and of the plains, to show
to his people. Moreover, the Hebrew poets and prophets were familiar
with lions; the people, also, made proverbs concerning them; and
their heroes, such as Samson and David, are said to have slain them.”
– Studies In Daniel)
when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house;
and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he
was his custom for many years] upon
his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his
God, as he did aforetime.
is another significant verse. Jerusalem lay in ruins, Daniel had not
seen it for almost 70 years, and yet he prays towards it in
accordance to Solomon’s petition as recorded in
2 Chronicles 6:34-39: “If
thy people go out to war against their enemies by the way that thou
shalt send them, and they pray unto thee toward this city which thou
hast chosen, and the house which I have built for thy name; Then hear
thou from the heavens their prayer and their supplication, and
maintain their cause… and forgive thy people which have sinned
is where Mohammed decreed that all Muslims must pray toward Mecca.
prayer life was habitual and it was the easiest thing in the world
for him to pray when trouble arose. How often do we stumble at the
first hurdle when trials come simply because we are not in the habit
of taking everything to God in prayer? As the song goes… “all
because we do not carry; everything to God in prayer.”
kneeled upon his knees..”.
There are many ways to pray, and limitless places to pray, but
shutting yourself away and praying on your knees seems to make our
physical body more in tune with the spiritual. Pray in closets as
instructed by Jesus three versus before he examples the Lord’s
Pray…not in auditorium or sanctuaries. It blocks out distratcions
around us. Peter made the error of being distracted by the roaring
and raging seas or environment around him when he sank into it. Jesus
“But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou
hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy
Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly” (Matt
In probably Jesus’ most intense prayer in the garden of Gethsemane
“he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down,
and prayed,” (Luke
book of Acts we read of Peter when he prayed for Tabitha (also called
Dorcas) after she had become sick and died; we read:
“But Peter put them all forth,
and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to the body said,
Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she
sat up.” (Acts
NOTE): It is said that Peter was known as ‘old camel knees’
because of the calluses on his knees. He spent in many hours in
prayer while on his knees.
we address the Creator God of the Universe we should do so with
humility and privacy of heart. Not as the Pharisees on a street
we get to the real meat of this verse:
kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks
before his God, as he did aforetime.
of us, if we are honest, struggle to pray once a day ‘on our knees’
or in our prayer closet i.e. actually putting time aside specifically
to pray. It is of course right and proper that we pray ‘on the go’,
Paul said that we should
without ceasing” (1
Thes 5:17), “praying
always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit” (Eph
However, this is not to be a substitute for going into our room,
shutting the door and spending some quality time with God. For Daniel
on the other hand, this was a way of life,
…as he did aforetime.
Daniels prayer should embody our prayers.
“All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient:
all things are lawful for me, but
I will not be brought under the power of any”
also important to notice how Daniel behaves in this situation, for
the days are coming where those who would accuse us will be watching
our every move, looking for an opportunity to entrap us.
In Canada it is an offence to declare that Jesus is the only way
under their ‘hate crimes’ laws. In various European countries
pastors have been arrested for taking a Biblical stand against
homosexuality. It is most likely theologically true that the church
won’t go through the Great Tribulation, but we would be naive if we
thought we would escape persecution altogether. Jesus said that in
this world we would be persecuted, and that the world would hate us
these men assembled, and found Daniel praying and making supplication
before his God.
whole thing was such an obvious set-up. If ‘these men’ refers to
the same crowd mentioned in verses 4 & 5, it may have been all
120 satraps and the other two presidents.
they came near, and spake before the king concerning the king’s
decree; Hast thou not signed a decree, that every man that shall ask
a petition of any God or man within thirty days, save of thee, O
king, shall be cast into the den of lions? The king answered and
said, The thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and
Persians, which altereth not.
had no need to ask if the king had signed such a decree because they
had written it and taken it to him to sign in the first place. Their
sole purpose was to REMIND HIM of the decree. During Neb’s time he
was the law.
Now the king was under
answered they and said before the king, That Daniel, which is of the
children of the captivity of Judah, regardeth not thee, O king, nor
the decree that thou hast signed, but maketh his petition three times
their plan comes to light, as does the fact that they had been
watching him. Notice how they try to insult Daniel and put him down:
Daniel, which is of the children of the captivity of Judah’
– INSINUATING: ‘this guy is only a slave and from Judah at that’.
the king, when he heard these words, was sore displeased
and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him: and he labored till the
going down of the sun to deliver him.
that the king is not cross with Daniel. He is cross with himself for
being so naive. How quick we are to try and undo what has been done
when we realize the error of our ways. How was 62 year old Darius
going to explain this to Cyrus next time he was in town and asks to
speak to that incredible old Jewish man? Hmmm? I fed him to the
Then these men assembled unto the king, and said unto the king, Know,
O king, that the law of the Medes and Persians is, That no decree nor
statute which the king establisheth may be changed.
Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into
the den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God
whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee.
no way out the king does what he had to do. Did Darius have faith
that God would deliver Daniel, or was he just hoping? Probably more
of a hopeless way of excusing himself from the decree. In short, he
puts the responsibility of the outcome in the God of Daniel. Similar
to trying to “wash his hands” of the whole deal (Matthew 27:24).
is slain by the Medes (Persians) and Darius is set to rule of the
conquered Babylon. Do not confuse bible facts with nay-sayer
historians who claim Cyrus was the ruler. Yes he was at this time;
Asian ruler along with the more loosely knit confederation (of sort)
Medes. Cyrus ruled the empire. Darius, for a very short time, ruled
Babylon. The Bible gives us facts we often miss the reason for why.
Things like proper names and places; in this case the Bible
specifically gives us the age of Darius in the very last verse of
chapter 5. He was 62 years old.
should ask ourselves since such information is seldom given if it is
given for a reason? Darius ruled for a short time then either died or
stepped down into retirement. He is NOT the King Darius on the throne
of Babylon 40 years later. However, the Book of Esther comes within
the next 40 years.
6 Daniel 6:1
pleased Darius to set over the kingdom an hundred and twenty princes,
which should be over the whole kingdom;
mentioned at the end of our study of chapter 5, there is some debate
over the identity of Darius. Critics have pointed to Daniel’s
assertion that Darius the Mede was king of Babylon as proof that the
book of Daniel was not an eyewitness account, but rather the work of
a much later author who was confused about the details of this
period. Critics are quick to make bold assertions that are based on
biased opinions rather than objective facts. Professor
Robert Dick Wilson
who spent a lifetime studying these things states:
“This confusion is a matter of evidence. With all due deference to
other scholars, I am firmly convinced that no man today has
sufficient evidence to prove that the author of Daniel was confused.
There are no records to substantiate the assertions of confusion.
Neither is it clear to the critics nor can they make it clear to
others, that the author of Daniel either did not understand the facts
with regard to Darius the Mede, or clearly express himself about
them.” (Studies in Daniel)
the various opinions put forward, the ones favored by most scholars
are as follows:
was not the name of a person but simply a title meaning “holder of
the scepter”. Certainly there are five later Persian rulers with
the same name, which lends some support to this argument.
of the British Museum puts forward the idea that Darius was indeed a
title and our character in question was in fact Cyrus himself.
Scholars have noted that the closing verse of this chapter could
also be translated in such a way as to imply that Darius is Cyrus.
(JIV: It is translated this way in the footnotes of the N.I.V.)
view is that Darius was Cambyses, the son of Cyrus, although his age
as revealed at the end of chapter 5 would seem to discount this; as
would the fact that this would then leave a gap of approximately
four months with no king over Babylon from the death of Belshazzar
until Cambyses was eventually appointed as king of Babylon in 538
BC. However, it is wise to take note that Daniel even mentions his
age at his ascension to the throne of Babylon. There is often a
reason why God leads writers of scripture to make such statements.
the view that seems most consistent
with what we know from the Bible and history is that Darius the Mede
was Gubaru, the general of Cyrus’ Mede army who had taken Babylon
on the night of Belshazzar’s feast, aged about 62. Cyrus rewarded
Gubaru with a regional governorship for capturing the capital of the
Babylonian Empire. What we do know from the ‘Nabonidus Chronicle’
and Josephus is that
on October 12th
Gubaru entered Babylon at night, killing Belshazzar and conquering
the city without a fight since the Babylonian army was not even
Cyrus entered the city, being met at the gates by Daniel with a
scroll of Isaiah in his hand. Over 150 years earlier Isaiah had
saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb,
I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the
heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself; That
frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners mad; that
turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish; That
confirmeth the word of his servant, and performeth the counsel of his
messengers; that saith to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be inhabited; and to
the cities of Judah, Ye shall be built, and I will raise up the
decayed places thereof: *That
saith to the deep, Be dry, and I will dry up thy rivers:That
saith of Cyrus,
He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: **even
saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple,
Thy foundation shall be laid. Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to
whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I
to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be
shut; I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I
will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars
of iron: And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden
riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the LORD,
which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel….” (Isaiah
44:24 – 45:6)
Note that Isaiah even mentions the access of the Medes and Persians into Babyloon; the river that has been dried up (diverted) so the troops simply walked in under the water gates of the river that flowed into Babylon.
**This is the prophecy of
Isaiah almost 200 years earlier that the “captive” Judeans would
be released to return to Jerusalem by a king named Cyrus.
a few weeks before, Cyrus had instructed Gubaru to take the
‘impenetrable’ city of Babylon by diverting the river Euphrates
into a canal upriver so that the water level dropped “to
the height of the middle of a man’s thigh” (Herodotus).
Thus the city’s flood defenses were rendered useless and the
Persian army was able to march right into the city through the river
bed. As Cyrus is now reading this portion of Isaiah he must have been
‘blown away’. Not only does this Jewish prophet, who had been
dead for 150 years, mention him by name, but the passage describes
how the city would be taken and the fact that Belshazzar’s loins
– something that was no doubt common knowledge by now.
approximately one and a half years later in 537 BC, went on to sign a
decree allowing the Jews to return to their homeland and rebuild
their temple all by Daniel’s beckoning of him. This decree is
recorded at the end of 2 Chronicles and at the beginning of Ezra:
“Now in the first year of *Cyrus
king of Persia
[NB: 539 to 538 = Ascension year, therefore 538 to 537 = first year
that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled
the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made
a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in
writing, saying, Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of
heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath
charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who
is there among you of all his people? His God be with him, and let
him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the
LORD God of Israel, (he is the God,) which is in Jerusalem. And
whosoever remaineth in any place where he sojourned, let the men of
his place help him with silver, and with gold, and with goods, and
with beasts, beside the freewill offering for the house of God that
is in Jerusalem.” (Ezra
*King of the Persian Empire
therefore over the appointed King Darius of Babylon.
addition to this decree recorded in the Bible the above is a
cylinder, now known as the ‘Stele of Cyrus’, which now resides in
the British Museum. On the cylinder are the words:
any battle, he entered the town, sparing any calamity:…I returned
to sacred cities on the other side of the Tigris [river], the
sanctuaries of which have been ruins for a long time… and
established for them permanent sanctuaries. I also gathered all their
former inhabitants and returned to them their habitations”
‘Stele of Cyrus’ – British Museum, London
to the ‘who is Darius?’ question: From archaeological discoveries
we know that Cyrus was known as ‘king of lands’ (i.e. ruler of
the empire), and because the empire was so vast, it was normal to
appoint kings over districts or regions. Thus it is reasonable that
Cyrus would have appointed someone he trusted to be king of Babylon,
and who better than his trusted general Gubaru who had just taken the
city for his king? This starts out as a plausible theory but is soon
confirmed by rereading the closing verse of chapter
Darius the Median took the kingdom, being about threescore and two
we read ‘and Darius became king…’ but that is not what this
verse states. What we are told is that ‘Darius the Median took the
word translated ‘took’ is ‘qebal’
(Aramaic) meaning ‘to acquire’, also translated elsewhere as
‘receive’ or ‘take’. As we have already mentioned, it was
Gubaru (AKA: Darius) who acquired the kingdom on behalf of Cyrus,
thus this verse would seem to identify Darius the Mede as Gubaru.
This is also consistent with Daniel 9:1 where we are told that Darius
‘made king over the realm of the Chaldeans’
(made = ‘malak’ (Aramaic) ‘to induct into royalty’).
is also sometimes written as Ugbaru or Gobryas [Greek])
over these, three governors of whom Daniel was first: that the
satraps might give accounts unto them, and the king should have no
from verse one, Darius had 120 governors with three presidents or
governors overseeing everything. Daniel was the chief president,
second to the king himself.
this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes….
only did Daniel outrank all the other government officials, we are
told that he was preferred above them all. Now, human nature being
what it is, you can almost hear the murmuring in the background
already ‘who does he think he is…?. He was just a captive Jew
from Judah.’ Daniel continued his government ranking from
Nebuchadnezzar to Darius.
an excellent spirit was in him;
whole life seems to be an example of what God can do in a life that
is yielded to Him. We are called to be salt and light in this world,
that men may see our good works and glorify our Father in Heaven
(Matt 5:13-16). We are to be an example in word, conversation,
charity (love), spirit, faith, purity and work (1 Tim 4:12). We are
to work hard for our employers (Colossians 3:23) so that the name of
our God and His doctrine are not blasphemed (1 Tim 6:1). We are to
allow no corrupt communication to proceed from our mouths, but only
that which is helpful and will build others up (Ephesians 4:29).
the king thought to set him (Daniel)
the whole realm.
did not go down well with the other non-Judean [Jews] officials. No
doubt Darius had enlisted some of the best men of Babylon and added
them to his own Persian staff, probably people that had served with
him in the army. Now this ageing Jewish exile is almost being made
king! This hate for the local, once captive Judeans reveals itself
once again in the Book of Esther some 40 years later. Mordecai was
set up for death as he was a Jew hated by the royal court; Haman.
commonly identified as Xerxes I, reined 486–465 BCE).
Esther was his queen.
the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel
concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault;
forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault
found in him.
is a powerful motivator. It overrides common sense and logical
“For jealousy is the rage of a man: therefore he will not spare in
the day of vengeance. He will not regard any ransom; neither will he
rest content, though thou givest many gifts.”
the ‘ball of jealousy’ is rolling, nothing will stop it. But
notice again, despite trying to find fault in Daniel there was
nothing in his life that he had to hide, no secret sins, nothing to
article we discover the events that followed. It picks up in verse 5
of Daniel 6. This reminds me of a gospel Chorus/Song back in the 60’
with words that go something like this…
NOTE: This article is rather long and for which I must ask the
reader’s persistence. This section of Daniel is or has no natural
break-point without breaking the context of verses 9 – 30. The
website editor of this webpage article may opt to break it into two
articles. We now pick up at the point King Belshazzar sees the
writing on the wall;
a phrase we often use in our modern culture. This is even true of
agnostics and bible critics. They too use this phrase.
was King Belshazzar greatly troubled, and his countenance was changed
in him, and his lords were astonied.
verse 6 Belshazzar was troubled and his countenance changed. Now he
is really worried (Aramaic = exceedingly terrified) and it is
would appear from the word ‘astonied’ = shebash (Aramaic), that
his lords were ‘perplexed’ because of the king’s reactions.
Wasn’t this the king who had thrown a party to demonstrate his
invincibility? Now he has not only wet his pants in public, but has
turned white as a sheet because no one can explain what this writing
have seen the king make four major mistakes:
Pride (verse 1)
defiance of the God of Heaven (verse 2)
to excess (verse 3)
false gods (verse 4)
do people in such open rebellion not know why judgment has come upon
them. The king’s conscience had already convicted him before a word
had been spoken. People are wise after the event, but arrogant
before; thinking to avoid being caught is their only real concern.
Just like Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 3:15 “and
who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands”
all of Belshazzar’s actions were an open taunt to God. We see that
same incredible attitude with Antichrist in Rev 13 where he
blasphemes the God of Heaven (Rev 13:6). There is HUGE parallels
between Daniel and End Time.
the queen, by reason of the words of the king and his lords, came
into the banquet house: and the queen spake and said, O king, live
forever: let not thy thoughts trouble thee, nor let thy countenance
person referred to here as the queen is what we would understand as
the queen mother, and from the writings of the Greek historian
Herodotus, it would appear to be Nitocris, wife of Nabonidus and
daughter of Nebuchadnezzar, whom Herodotus mentions as a woman of
extraordinary prudence. However, this could have been Neb’s now
elderly and widowed wife.
is a man in thy kingdom, in whom is the spirit of the holy gods; and
in the days of thy father light and understanding and wisdom, like
the wisdom of the gods, was found in him; whom the king
Nebuchadnezzar thy father, the king, I say, thy father, made master
of the magicians, astrologers, Chaldeans, and soothsayers;
heard of the king’s problem she makes her way to the banquet hall
and suggests Daniel as the man to interpret the writing. As
Nebuchadnezzar’s daughter [grandmother?] either would have been
well acquainted with Daniel and his exploits during her father’s
reign, and seems to put in a public ‘dig’ saying that
Nebuchadnezzar had learned his lesson late in life. You never
listened to him in ‘your’ life yet alone learn the lesson he did.
as an excellent spirit, and knowledge, and understanding,
interpreting of dreams, and shewing of hard sentences, and dissolving
of doubts, were found in the same Daniel, whom the king named
Belteshazzar: now let Daniel be called, and he will shew the
because Daniel cared for her father for the seven years of chapter 4,
she seems to be fond of Daniel and presents a brief resume´ that is
bound to impress. She acknowledges (in verse 11) that the spirit of
the ‘holy gods’ is in him and boldly declares that he will shew
the interpretation. This shows her faith not only in Daniel but in
his ‘Gods’ – plural: Father, Son & Spirit, OR, perhaps she
herself had not learned the same lesson of ONE GOD.
was Daniel brought in before the king. And the king spake and said
unto Daniel, Art thou that Daniel, which art of the children of the
captivity of Judah, whom the king my father brought out of Jewry?
would have been around 80 plus years old by now, and it is clear from
this verse that his reputation had preceded him. JIV: He also had not
returned to Judah/Jerusalem with Zerubbabel, Ezra, or Nehemiah. The
few Judeans that left Babylon upon being released was less than one
percent. There are millions of their descendants remaining in Iran
and Iraq today but most of them have since intermarried and forgotten
have even heard of thee, that the spirit of the gods is in thee, and
that light and understanding and excellent wisdom is found in thee.
the pride once more of Belshazzar “even I have heard of you, so you
must be something!” The question could well be asked, why Daniel
wasn’t called to start with if he had such a reputation. My guess?
Possibly for the same reason that is mentioned in the comments on
Daniel 4:6, 7 – see also Ephesians 5:13.
And now the wise men, the astrologers, have been brought in before
me, that they should read this writing, and make known unto me the
interpretation thereof: but they could not shew the interpretation of
And I have heard of thee, that thou canst make interpretations, and
dissolve doubts: now if thou canst read the writing, and make known
to me the interpretation thereof, thou shalt be clothed with scarlet,
and have a chain of gold about thy neck, and shalt be the third ruler
in the kingdom.
the king explains the predicament that the other ‘wise’ men
couldn’t solve and offers Daniel rewards including to be made third
ruler in the kingdom. The reason that third ruler in the kingdom was
offered is that, as we have noted, Nabonidus was king, Belshazzer was
appointed king of Babylon while Nabonidus was away, thus the #1 and
#2 spots were already filled. This
is additional evidence that this is a historically accurate record.
Critics and ‘so-called (Wikipedia) scholars’ scoffed for years
claiming that Daniel was wrong and must have been written many years
after this time because no record had been found of Belshazzar being
king of Babylon. However, competent research and archaeological
discoveries have now completely vindicated Daniel and in fact have
demonstrated that Daniel had to be an eyewitness of these events.
Daniel answered and said before the king, “Let thy gifts be to
thyself, and give thy rewards to another; yet I will read the writing
unto the king, and make known to him the interpretation.”
now much older and less concerned about political correctness,
basically tells the king where to put his gifts! He will explain the
writing and give the interpretation anyway. All through the book
Daniel demonstrates that he doesn’t work for man but for God.
O thou king, the most high God gave Nebuchadnezzar thy [grand]
father a kingdom, and majesty, and glory, and honor:
And for the majesty that he gave him, all people, nations, and
languages, trembled and feared before him: whom he would he slew; and
whom he would he kept alive; and whom he would he set up; and whom he
would, he put down.
Daniel starts to read the writing and interpret the message, he gives
this self-edifying little king a history lesson about a real king who
had real authority! Read on….
(…) But when his heart was lifted up, and his mind hardened in
pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory
And he was driven from the sons of men; and his heart was made like
the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild asses: they fed him
with grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven;
till he knew that the most high God ruled in the kingdom of men, and
that he appointed over it whomsoever he will.
explains to Belshazzar what happens to those who are proud before God
and underlines the ultimate lesson: that the most high God rules in
the kingdom of men, and he appoints over it whomsoever he will.
Either Belshazzar already knew of the happenings to Nebuchadnezzar or
he missed the history lesson per his family passing it on.
thou his son, O Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou
knewest all this;
stage is set. Daniel knows by this time tomorrow all would end but
feared not for his own life. Daniel already knew this was not about
him but the end of this kingdom to which he had been brought as a
hast lifted up thyself against the LORD of heaven; and they have
brought the vessels of his house before thee, and thou, and thy
lords, thy wives, and thy concubines, have drunk wine in them; and
thou hast praised the gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood,
and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know: and the God in whose
hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not
picture this situation: In the middle of his big party, with a
thousand of his lords present, a hand ‘out of nowhere’ writes on
the wall. The king has an ‘accident’ and turns as white as a
sheet. The best men of the land are unable to help him. By now word
was out about what has happened. His mother hears about it, comes in
and embarrasses him yet further; eventually an 81-year-old man is
called who, in front of a thousand lords, criticizes him openly. We
haven’t even gotten to the interpretation of the writing yet!
is a classic case of God resisting the proud, and should serve as a
graphic example that pride is an abomination to the Lord (see
was the part of the hand sent from him; and this writing was written.
now interprets the writing no longer delaying the preponderance of
evidence. Time is short and even shorter for Belshazzar.
this is the writing that was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.
tradition says that this writing was in the form of an encrypted
Hebrew code called ‘Atbash’.
is not the only time that encrypted words are found in the Bible. In
Jeremiah 25:26 there is another example of Atbash
encrypted form of ‘Babylon’), and in Isaiah 7:6 there is an
example of another form of encryption called Albam (there the word
encryption of Remaliah).
Both of these forms of encryption are fairly simple forms of
transposition, where one letter is consistently used to replace
Hebrew & Aramaic reads right to left – all languages flow
toward Jerusalem! If we look at a globe with Jerusalem in the center,
countries west of it write left to right, those east write right to
left; this may be a coincidence, but then again..(?).
would appear that Daniel was familiar with this form of encryption,
as he has no difficulty in interpreting it before the king: (of
course, he also had the eyes and help of God)
Initially this may strike us as simply interesting, however when we
stop to consider who the author of scripture actually is, the fact
that God has placed hidden codes in the Bible is staggering. This is
what the ancient Rabbis would call a ‘remez’
hint of something deeper. In a previous study we found ‘Bible
coding’ by using names and their definitions to read as a paragraph
and statement. This Bible Code is true of Daniel’s name along with
his three compatriots.
What a powerful deterrent to adding or subtracting to a portion of
scripture because it is difficult or unpopular, when, by altering the
surface text (as many liberal and politically correct ‘Christians’
are wont to do) they may in fact corrupt the bible code. Subtracting
from the Bible one inadvertently removes the code itself; perhaps
even their name from the Book of Life! This gives me a personal and
different understanding of predestination. If one is predestined to
become a son (child) of God that is one thing. But… if one is
predestined BE a child of God; that is something quite different. The
same is true of translations. An incorrect translation will corrupt
any Bible code hidden from the eyes of the casual reader.
word of God is pure. Do not add to His words lest He rebuke you and
you be found a liar”.
Also read Revelation
echoes in Psalm 119:160 “Thy word is true from the beginning.” If
it is pure and true then there is nothing that we can add or subtract
to improve it. We should simply fall before our God who has given us
His Word, which we are told in Psalm 138:2 He has exalted above all
His name! If blasphemy – the misuse of His name – is to be
judged, how much more the misuse of His Word!
This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God hath numbered thy
kingdom, and finished it.
TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.
PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.
king Belshazzar’s worst fears are realized, his time of playing
games with the God of Israel is over, and in the most dramatic
this verse come two phrases that are still used today ‘you’re
number’s up’ and ‘weighed and found wonting’. It is
incredible the number of words and phrases that people use every day
that originate from the Bible, yet most people have no idea, and
worse still, no regard for this most incredible book.
is a play on words here as well with the word ‘PERES’. In both
Hebrew and Aramaic there are no vowels so the word would have been
written as ‘P R S’ with the vowels inferred. However without the
vowels the sound and meaning can alter. Take for example the words
CaT and CoT. Without the vowels all we would read is C_T. And so it
is here with Peres; if the ‘e’ (which makes the word mean
‘divided’) is replaced with an ‘a’ we get the Aramaic word
for ‘Persians’! Surprised are you???? So was I during my studies.
Then commanded Belshazzar, and they clothed Daniel with scarlet, and
put a chain of gold about his neck, and made a proclamation
concerning him, that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom.
that Daniel was bothered; the kingdom only had a few hours to go!
Besides, Belshazzar’s grandfather Nebuchadnezzar had already put
him in charge of Babylon many years earlier [Daniel 2:48] Also,
several years earlier, Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 2:48 had already made
Daniel the ruler over all things pertinent to the running of
In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain.
And Darius the Median took the kingdom, being about threescore and
two years old.
Belshazzar, as all proud people will be, is cut down. David said in
Psalm 7:9 “Oh
let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end; but establish the
just: for the righteous God tries the hearts and reins.”
Recall that Belshazzar’s father was away with the army of Babylon.
We have little information as to what happens to him and his missing
forces, but they were not there to defend Babylon. Some historians
suggest he had already been defeated in battle with the Medes. This
is likely to be why it was the Mede Darius who was made ruler in
in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of
him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked
devices to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not
thyself in any wise to do evil. For evildoers shall be cut off: but
those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth. For yet
a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt
diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. But the meek
shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the
abundance of peace. The wicked plot against the just, and gnash upon
him with his teeth. The Lord shall laugh at him: for he sees that his
day is coming.” How
true this was for Belshazzar who was made a public spectacle in front
of his one thousand lords yet was humiliated by the God of heaven
whom he had rejected.
sweeps aside the mighty Babylonian kingdom, the head of gold (cf Dan
2); and in comes the Medo-Persian empire – the chest and arms of
silver (Daniel 2). He did this in part as the Babylonians did not
treat the captive Judeans with dignity or mercy.
is some debate over the identity of Darius the Mede. We will deal
with that in chapter 6. What we do know is that he was about
sixty-two years old when he became ruler of Babylon in 539 B.C. It
should be noted, that the first actual year for a Babylonian king was
reckoned as their ascension year. What we would consider their 2nd
year would therefore be their first regal year. Thus 539-538 =
Darius’ ascension year; 538-537 B.C. = Darius’ 1st year.