Introduction to Hosea

Hosea

Almost a thousand years before the coming of the Savior, and through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the prophet foretold the end of sacrificial offerings and of the priesthood of Aaron (Hos. 3:4-5), and that the knowledge of the True God would spread through all the earth (Hos. 2:20-23). Hosea spoke also about Christ, how He would return from out of Egypt (Hos. 11:1; compare Mt. 2:15), that He would be resurrected on the third day (Hos. 6 and especially Hos.6:2; compare with 1 Cor.15:4), and that He would conquer death (Hos.13-14. Compare 1 Cor.15:54-55).

Hosea is the first of the twelve prophets in the Book of the Twelve. The Book of the Twelve Prophets was originally on one parchment roll because of the brevity of the text, and together formed one Book of the 24 Books of Hebrew Scripture. The Book of the Twelve follows the writings of the four Major Prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel. All together the 16 prophets are called the Latter Prophets, as they began writing after the Division of the United Kingdom of Israel.

Hosea – הוֹשֵׁעַ – parallels his own tragic marriage to his unfaithful wife Gomer (Chapters 1-3) to that of the covenant between God and Israel (Chapters 4-14).

Our commentary this week is taken from the Bible Commentary by Adam Clarke (1762–1832), a British Methodist minister and theologian. It is interesting sometimes to get a historical perspective on some of the more difficult or controversial topics in the Bible, and there are few more “difficult” than Hosea.

The rabbins say that Bura was his father, who is mentioned in the Chronicles, and was prince of the tribe of Reuben at the time when Tiglath-pileser carried some of the tribes of Israel into captivity. But if it be so, Hosea must be said to be of the tribe of Reuben; and a native of Beelmeon, beyond Jordan. This prophet lived in the kingdom of Samaria; and his prophecies for the most part have a view to this state, though there are likewise some particular things which concern the kingdom of Judah.

We read, in the introduction to his prophecy that he prophesied under the kings of Judah, Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, and under Jeroboam II., king of Israel. If he prophesied in the reign of all these princes, he must have lived a very long time; for there are a hundred and twelve years from the beginning of Uzziah‘s reign to the end of Hezekiah‘s reign.

He foretells that the people of Judah should still continue some time in their country after the captivity of the ten tribes; but that after this they themselves should likewise be carried captives beyond the Euphrates.

The children of this faithless woman are children of prostitution, since they imitate the idolatry of their mother. God gives these children the names of Jezreel, God will disperse; Lo-rechamah, or Without mercy; and Lo-ammi, Thou art no longer my people; to show, –

1.That God was going to revenge upon the house of Jehu, king of Israel, the sins which he had committed at Jezreel, when he usurped the kingdom of the ten tribes.

2.That the Lord would treat his idolatrous and sinful people without mercy.

3.That he would reject them, and no more look upon them as his people.

Order and Time in Which the Twelve Minor Prophets Flourished

1. Jonah Prophesied between 823 B.C. and 783 B.C. in the reign of Jeroboam II., king of Israel. See 2 Kings 14:25.

2. Amos prophesied from about 823 B.C. to about 785 B.C. in the reign of Uzziah, king of Judah, and in that of Jeroboam II., king of Israel. See Amos 1:1.

3. Hosea flourished from about 809 B.C. to about 698 B.C., in the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in that of Jeroboam II., king of Israel. See Hosea 1:1. [But see the observations above)

4. Micah flourished between 757 B.C. and 698 B.C., in the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. See Micah 1:1.

5. Nahum is supposed to have prophesied between 720 B.C. and 698 B.C., in the reign of Hezekiah.

6. Joel is supposed to have prophesied between 697 B.C. and 660 B.C., in the reign of Manasseh.

7. Zephaniah prophesied between 640 B.C. and 609 B.C., in the reign of Josiah. See Zephaniah 1:1.

8. Habakkuk is thought to have prophesied between 606 B.C. and 598 B.C., in the reign of Jehoiakim.

9. Obadiah prophesied soon after 587 B.C., between the taking of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, and the destruction of the Edomites by the same prince.
10. Haggai prophesied about 520 B.C. after the return from Babylon. See Haggai 1:1.
11. Zechariah prophesied from 520 B.C. to about 518 B.C.; and was contemporary with Haggai. See Zechariah 1:1.

12. Malachi is generally believed to have prophesied about 436 B.C.

The verb to return – שׁוּב or “shuv” is recorded in Hosea 3:5, 6:1, 12:6, 14:1, and 14:2, calling upon Israel to return to the Lord…which makes sense of the scripture “draw close to God THEN he will draw close to us as individuals.” [James 4:8]

The Gospel of Matthew 2:15 refers to Hosea 11:1 in a direct quotation, “Out of Egypt I called my son.” And St. Paul cites Hosea 2:1 and 2:25 (1:10 and 2:23 in this English translation) in Romans 9:25-26 concerning God’s free election, and Hosea 13:14 in First Corinthians 15:54-55 in a different way, that of the ultimate victory of life over death in the resurrection of the body through Christ’s passion, death, and resurrection.

Jezreel, Hosea’s first born…the Valley of Jezreel is also the same as the Valley of Megiddo; also known as Plain of Esdraelon. As a rule of thumb and logistics, this valley has historically been the pathway of invading armies. This will be true in End Time during the Battle of Armageddon [Revelation 14-16].This is why in End Times, those who align against Jerusalem (50 miles to the south) will assemble in Megiddo. This is also why Daniel’s prophecies of wars between the Kings of the north and the Kings of the south need to pass through Northern Israel; a place where large masses of military forces and equipment could be moved. In reality, this valley is a bridge passage between Europe, Africa, and Asia.

In was on the plains of Jezreel that Jehu’s army defeated the armies of Jezebel (2 Kings 9), beginning a bloodbath in the Northern Kingdom that would have consequences for years (cf. Hos 1:4-5).   And it was at Megiddo that King Josiah was killed in a fateful attempt to block Egyptian armies from using the pass to march north to lend aid to Assyrian armies trapped by the Babylonians (2 Kings 23:29).

NOTE: Within the territory of the tribe of Ephraim, the children of Israel brought the Tabernacle (Josh. 18:1), Making Shiloh a religious center for the Israelites even before Jerusalem

Farmland in the valley of Jezreel.

The path to the mound has a beautiful view of the valley where one of the most colorful stories in the Bible took place – the summer grape-harvest festival when the daughters of Shiloh came out dancing and the men of Benjamin sought brides from among them (Judges 21:15-23).  

But its modern-day beauty hides a bloody and violent history.

Here Jezreel’s rulers killed Ahab’s 70 sons, put their heads in baskets, and brought them to Jehu (2 Kings 10:1–11). Queen Jezebel murdered Naboth in his own vineyard in Jezreel (1 Kings 21:1–23) and later died after being thrown from a palace and devoured by dogs. Pharaoh Neco killed King Josiah in the Jezreel Valley (2 Kings 23:30).

To date and according to history, there have been no less than 34 battles in this valley. Four of these recorded battles were from the Crusades in the 12th century; Napoleon Bonaparte crushed the Ottomans in 1799. One major and remaining world-ending battle remains to be fought in this same Valley; i.e. Armageddon.

The Book of Hosea was a severe warning to the northern kingdom against the growing idolatry being practiced there; the book was a dramatic call to repentance. Christians extend the analogy of Hosea to Christ and the church: Christ the husband, his church the bride. Christians see in this book a comparable call to the church not to forsake the Lord Jesus Christ. Christians also take the buying back of Gomer as the redemptive qualities of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.

Hosea lived in the tragic final days of the northern kingdom, during which six kings (following Jeroboam II) reigned within 25 years (2Ki 15:817:6). Four (Zechariah, Shallum, Pekahiah, Pekah) were murdered by their successors while in office, and one (Hoshea) was captured in battle; only one (Menahem) was succeeded on the throne by his son. These kings, given to Israel by God “in anger” and taken away “in wrath” (13:11), floated away “like a twig on the surface of the waters” (10:7). “Bloodshed” followed “bloodshed” (4:2). Assyria was expanding westward, and Menahem accepted that world power as overlord and paid tribute (2Ki 15:19-20). But shortly afterward, in 733 b.c., Israel was dismembered by Assyria because of the intrigue of Pekah (who had gained Israel’s throne by killing Pekahiah, Menahem’s son and successor). Only the territories of Ephraim and western Manasseh were left to the king of Israel. Then, because of the disloyalty of Hoshea (Pekah’s successor), Samaria was captured and its people exiled in 722-721, bringing the northern kingdom to an end.

Theological Theme and Message

The first part of the book (chs. 13) narrates the family life of Hosea as a symbol (similar to the symbolism in the lives of Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel) to convey the message the prophet had from the Lord for his people. God ordered Hosea to marry an adulterous wife, Gomer, and their three children were each given a symbolic name representing part of the ominous message. Ch. 2 alternates between Hosea’s relation to Gomer and its symbolic representation of God’s relation to Israel. The children are told to drive the unfaithful mother out of the house; but it was her reform, not her riddance, that was sought. The prophet was ordered to continue loving her, and he took her back and kept her in isolation for a while (ch. 3). The affair graphically represents the Lord’s relation to the Israelites (cf. 2:4,9,18), who had been disloyal to him by worshiping Canaanite deities as the source of their abundance. Israel was to go through a period of exile (cf. 7:16; 9:3,6,17; 11:5). But the Lord still loved his covenant people and longed to take them back, just as Hosea took back Gomer. This return is described with imagery recalling the exodus from Egypt and settlement in Canaan (cf. 1:11; 2:14-23; 3:5; 11:10-11; 14:4-7). Hosea saw Israel’s past experiences with the Lord as the fundamental pattern, or type, of God’s future dealings with his people.

The second part of the book (chs. 414) gives the details of Israel’s involvement in Canaanite religion, but a systematic outline of the material is difficult. Like other prophetic books, Hosea issued a call to repentance. Israel’s alternative to destruction was to forsake her idols and return to the Lord (chs. 6; 14). Information gleaned from materials discovered at Ugarit (dating from the 15th century b.c.) enables us to know more clearly the religious practices against which Hosea protested.

Hosea saw the failure to acknowledge God (4:1,6; 8:2-3; 13:4) as Israel’s basic problem. God’s relation to Israel was that of love (2:19; 4:1; 6:6; 10:12; 12:6). The intimacy of the covenant relationship between God and Israel, illustrated in the first part of the book by the husband-wife relationship, is later amplified by the father-child relationship (11:1-4). Disloyalty to God was spiritual adultery (4:13-14; 5:4; 9:1; cf. Jer 3; see note on Ex 34:15). Israel had turned to Baal worship and had sacrificed at the pagan high places, which included associating with the sacred prostitutes at the sanctuaries (4:14) and worshiping the calf images at Samaria (8:5; 10:5-6; 13:2). There was also international intrigue (5:13; 7:8-11) and materialism. Yet despite God’s condemnation and the harshness of language with which the unavoidable judgment was announced, the major purpose of the book is to proclaim God’s compassion and covenant love that cannot — finally — let Israel go

The book of Hosea has at least two perplexing problems. The first concerns the nature of the story told in chs. 13 and the character of Gomer. While some interpreters have thought the story to be merely an allegory of the relation between God and Israel, others claim, more plausibly, that the story is to be taken literally. Among the latter, some insist that Gomer was faithful at first and later became unfaithful, others that she was unfaithful even before the marriage.

The second problem of the book is the relation of ch. 3 to ch. 1. Despite the fact that no children are mentioned in ch. 3, some interpreters claim that the two chapters are different accounts of the same episode. The traditional interpretation, however, is more likely, namely, that ch. 3 is a sequel to ch. 1 — i.e., after Gomer proved unfaithful, Hosea was instructed to take her back.

8. Undying Love— The Story of Hosea and Gomer

The calendar on the wall indicated that it was about 760 years before Jesus was born. Jeroboam II was on the throne of the northern kingdom of Israel, and his military exploits had extended Israel’s borders farther than they had been since the days of Solomon’s glorious kingdom. Tribute money from subject nations was pouring into the treasury at the capital city of Samaria, and the people of Israel were enjoying a period of unprecedented prosperity.

As is often the case, with prosperity came moral and spiritual degeneration. Secularism and materialism captured the hearts of the people and sin ran rampant. The list reads like twentieth-century America: swearing, lying, killing, stealing, adultery, drunkenness, perversion, perjury, deceit, and oppression, to name but a few. But the thing that grieved the heart of God more than anything else was the sin of idolatry (Hos. 4:12, 13; 13:2).

Outline

  • Superscription (1:1)
  • The Unfaithful Wife and the Faithful Husband (1:2;3:5)
  • The Children as Signs (1:2;2:1)
  • The Unfaithful Wife (2:2-23)
    1. The Lord’s judgment of Israel (2:2-13)
    2. The Lord’s restoration of Israel (2:14-23)
  • The Faithful Husband (ch. 3)
  • The Unfaithful Nation and the Faithful God (chs. 414)
  • Israel’s Unfaithfulness (4:1;6:3)
    1. The general charge (4:1-3)
    2. The cause declared and the results described (4:4-19)
    3. A special message to the people and leaders (ch. 5)
    4. The people’s sorrowful plea (6:1-3)
  • Israel’s Punishment (6:4;10:15)
    1. The case stated (6:4;7:16)
    2. The judgment pronounced (chs. 89)
    3. Summary and appeal (ch. 10)
  • The Lord’s Faithful Love (chs. 1114)
    1. The Lord’s fatherly love (11:1-11)
    2. Israel’s punishment for unfaithfulness (11:12;13:16)
    3. Israel’s restoration after repentance (ch. 14

Article #40 – Daniel 12

Daniel 12 (conclusion)

Look up and read 1 Peter 1:10-12. It relates to Daniel 12

Q: In 1 Peter 1:10-12 how does Peter’s explanation help explain Daniel’s situation in these verses?

  1. God is not just in control of the timing as to when prophecy comes true, but the timing as to when the meaning of prophecy will be revealed. He is sovereign.
  2. There are things given in the Old Testament which have been hidden until God’s working moved from Israel to His church; i.e. age of the Gentile church. Other things had to be set up to fulfill what was revealed; so prophecy often describes a goal or end result, but not always the detailed, specific means. We confuse or do not understand the prophetic motive unless we can grasp the motivation.
  3. Daniel’s desire to know “what will be the outcome” as explained by Peter is something more focused on outcome than knowing the greater spiritual meanings behind it. We cannot understand faith until we practice it.

Q: What is the greater sign that is once again highlighted?

A: In Daniel 12:5-7, the greater sign concerning the timing and fulfillment was “as soon as they finish shattering the power of the holy people” – spiritual persecution. In v.10 of I Peter 1 it’s the purging, purification, and refinement of God’s people contrasted with those who continue to embrace sin. As Satan turns up the heat our personal impurities flow to the top as seen by others and our own knowledge of them. This is when an action-decision of each person must be made. Is his or her action one of skimming off the impurities that come to the surface or is it going to be a “well enough left alone” or “good enough” type of action each individual will take.

JIV NOTE: There is a great spiritual issue at work behind the events of the End Time that is separating the truly righteous from the wicked. What Christ said He’ll do at the end of that time is actually just confirming the behavior and choices individual’s embraced during his or her life own time. His judgment just puts the exclamation point, so to speak, to what has been going on spiritually the whole time. [Matthew 7:2 and Romans 2:6]

But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.” [Matthew 25:31-33]

BACK TO DANIEL 12:

Q: So what are the numbers associated with the End Times described in “days”?

A: The numbers given include 1,260; 1,290; 1,335.

Q: How do these numbers fit together? What exactly do they mean?

A: We don’t really know but many theologians do much guessing. They may be concurrent days, over lapping days, or different times given in [day-years]. We know they tell us something about the timing and relationships of things yet to come, but as yet it has not been precisely revealed. This may very well be some of what Daniel was told to “seal up.” However, when we synchronize the Jewish lunar calendar to the seasons, as needed they add an additional “leap month” of *Adar. In other words, there are times when a 3-1/2 year period can have both 1,260 AND 1,290 days.

* Adar was the last month the Jewish people spent in Egypt before the Exodus. Adar’s joy is so great, in part, because it serves as the opening to an even greater rejoicing: the miracles of Passover.

Q: What is the event that will trigger these things? What is the greater spiritual thing at work?

A: According to both Daniel here in 12:11 and Christ Himself in Matthew 24:15, it’s the “abomination of desolation”. This is the kick off or starting point to identified events; histories yet to be current events.

Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand) [Matthew 24:15]

JIV NOTE: We will know this when it happens. “When we see….” The righteous and studied believer will know but the ignorant will have no clue.

Many theories have come and gone concerning 1,260, 1,290, and 1,335 – and many continue to this day – but none of them can come true without the visible witness of the greatest spiritual deception attempted. “Many will be deceived…” This is where and when Satan through the person of the Antichrist sets himself up to be worshiped and attempts to supplant God including the Islamic Allah (H)himself. Nebuchadnezzar, Antiochus Epiphanes IV (during the time of the Macabees; 167 B.C. to around 30 B.C.), and Titus (the Roman destruction of Jerusalem; 70 A.D.) all teach us about this event. They mimicked it, setting up an idol of themselves to be worshiped in place of the One True God. Before we truly understand the numbers at the end of Daniel 12, we have to first understand and recognize the abomination of desolation, Satan’s great spiritual deception.

Conclusion

Many have concentrated on the individual events too much therefore missing the greater spiritual message and meaning accompanying each event:

  1. The most important thing is that one’s name is found to be written in the book of life; that is, a life devoted to Christ 24/7; a be-liever.
  2. This final, seven-year period, the 70th week of Daniel’s Seventy7s, holds a reward for all Believers. They can and may by personal choice be part of the Messiah’s millennial earthly kingdom to come.
  3. Those who come to know these things and study will come to understand them in the same way Daniel did, through earnest prayer, fasting, by meditating on and with study of God’s Word. This will not mean knowledge alone will decipher numbers and such. Knowledge does not mean understanding. Such people, defined here as having “insight”, (to be – to live) preach and live righteousness.
  4. There are greater spiritual events which will put these things into the proper context: persecution of the nation Israel, Israel’s restoration to Jesus as their Messiah, persecution of all Believers, and Satan’s attempt to spiritually pervert and deceive everyone through the person of the Antichrist in the work of the abomination of desolation. These things pertaining to the spiritual environment are the most important indicators and triggers for which we need to remain vigilant.
  5. As Peter explained, prophets such as Daniel – and even the angels themselves – are more interested in how these things speak of Jesus than how they fit together into some kind of timeline. So should we. The spiritual is far more important than the physical.
  6. The greater spiritual working during this last seven-year period is separating the sheep from the goats – the righteous from the wicked – which Christ Himself formally finalizes at the end. So the greater issue at work is the quality of each individual’s faithfulness.
  7. Overall, this is a call for spiritual endurance. It’s not a test of knowledge, but a test of faith.

This all adds up to a pyramid or stratus of people. Like a pyramid the largest numbers of the ALL in the world is base line. As individuals advance up the pyramid the number included is no long the “ALL” but whittled to some.

Action

Desire

Understand

Knowledge

Awareness

Awareness, Knowledge and even Understanding are a choices personal to everyone, The denomination or particular church cannot make this an actuality. We teach but individuals must decide.

Desire and Action come from the choice to do something about it. We can opt to remain ignorant, but that is a choice. We can understand the consequences but still not opt to follow Christ 24/7. Our action of accepting the truth or rejecting it is tethered to the final judgment of us by God.

Thank you for following this extensive study of Daniel. All rights to use this study are free but not for sale or reproduction to be sold. Gods Plan of Salvation (our GPS) is not for sale. It too is a choice…YOURS!

Article #39 – Daniel 12

We are using a question and answer approach to chapter 12 of Daniel. We now continue…

Q: What might one suppose is the meaning in Daniel 12:4 of “many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase”?

A: It sometimes appears today that many fundamentalist theologians wish to believe that this is a reference to the present, modern age on-earth wherein transportation and knowledge have greatly increased and few understand its impending meaning. However, since all things prophetic are consistently made up of earthly activities which are influenced by and tied to heavenly activities…

…consider this alternative: It speaks of a time when a great many will be stirred up to inquire into Scripture the same way as Daniel was in his reading of Jeremiah and realizing the time of fulfillment of God’s Word was at hand. (Daniel 9) Nothing will be spared in the pursuit of the meaning of Scripture and, with the blessing of God, biblical knowledge will increase and things will appear nearer and plainer than ever. It’s a prelude to fulfilling a condition that will be present in the Millennial Kingdom:

  1. They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain,
  2. For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord (but understanding is lacking)
  3. As the waters cover the sea but will be no more (Revelation 20:1)

JIV NOTE: God created man for his purposes, not ours. We are to communicate with him THEN he will communicate with us through gained knowledge AND understanding. Our response today should be exactly like that of Daniel; to walk constantly in the light and path of the Lord God. Daniel prayed three times a day; none of them had to do with his daily meals.

Read Daniel 12 verses 5-7 (NASB; below)

5. Then I, Daniel, looked and behold, two others were standing, one on this bank of the river and the other on that bank of the river.

6. And one said to the man dressed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, “How long will it be until the end of these wonders?”

7. I heard the man dressed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, as he raised his right hand and his left toward heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever that it would be for a time, times, and half a time; and as soon as they finish shattering the power of the holy people, all these events will be completed.

Point: This is a general summation of events described of the first few verses in Daniel 12. There are a great many biblical instances of 3-1/2 years or 42 months or 1,260 days. Examples:

  1. The apostasy of the little horn. Is 3-1/2 years. (Daniel 7:25)
  2. The holy city is trodden by the Gentiles for 42 months. (Revelation 11:2)
  3. The beast exercises power for 42 months. (Revelation 13:5)
  4. The two witnesses preach and have power for 1,260 days, and remain unburied for 3-1/2 days. (Revelation 11:3, 9, 11) THEN to the shock of the entire world, they come back to life and ascend to heaven in view of all.

Just because we know these things occur in Daniel’s 70th week of his Seventy 7’s vision, just because some things it contains last half of a seven does not necessarily mean they have to occur sequentially or exclusively in the first half or the second half of the 7 year tribulation called Jacob’s Trouble. They may overlap in some manner. There are other references that seem to teach us something about these past and pending events.

  1. Israel halted in the wilderness 42 times. (Numbers 33:1-50)
  2. The famine and drought brought about through Elijah lasted 3-1/2 years. (Luke 4:25; James 5:17)
  3. Christ’s earthly ministry lasted for 3-1/2 years.
  4. The “Man of Sorrows” will be cut off in the midst of the week. (Daniel 9:27)

The most important information for us is the event mentioned at the end of v.7, “as soon as they finish shattering the power of the holy people”. There is a greater sign of spiritual persecution which we should be sensitive to far more than trying to figure out the beginning and end of these or any unspecified and dated periods of time. The greater issue is bearing up spiritually and withstanding persecution. Christ spoke of this in depth in His Olivet Discourse per End Times in Matthew 24, 25. This not only included End Time of anti-Christ but included that it is not just a literal persecution and battle with Israel, but with all Believers. Even though the “comforter” [John 14:12…the giving of the comforter and restrainer Satan; 2 Thessalonians 2:7…present in believers during the Tribulation but no long restraining the evil one]

At this point it might do some good for use to recall Ecclesiastes 10:2…”A wise man’s heart inclines him to the right, but a fool’s heart to the left.

Read Daniel verses 8-13 (below)

8. As for me, I heard but could not understand; so I said, “My lord, what will be the outcome of these events?

9. He said, “Go your way, Daniel, for these words are concealed and sealed up until the end time.

10. Many will be purged, purified and refined, but the wicked will act wickedly; and none of the wicked will understand, but those who have insight will understand. (Emphasis mine)

10. Many shall purify themselves and make themselves white and be refined, but the wicked shall act wickedly. And none of the wicked shall understand, but those who are wise shall understand.

11. And from the time that the regular burnt offering is taken away and the abomination that makes desolate is set up, there shall be 1,290 days.

`12. Blessed is he who waits and arrives at the 1,335 days.

13. “Go your way until the end. You shall rest and will stand in your allotted place at the end of [the] days.

I con not understand

I could not understand (v8)? If Daniel could not understand and then was told to “seal up these words,” the ones he did not understand. Why then do we speculate? Daniel did not understand and was told to seal it up. That is simple to grasp even in our minds today. In a way it is like a time capsule. Things are put into it, sealed, and then stored away in such a manner that it will not be easily retrieved. Once it is retrieved, all will know what it contained and perhaps better said, what it contains. This is Daniel’s time capsule. Following generations from this point in scripture will not know what it means (contains) until the End Time is here.

Go your way (Daniel) until the end. We are given clues and watch lists of things that must happen before the millennial kingdom. Even the evil or lawless one must be revealed. Look at how the church (true believers and followers of Christ) has gradually wandered away from the Church of Acts. Just as Daniel was told in the final verse of his book, we will also stand in our allotted place at the end of [the] days. Which “PLACE” will yours be? A place of good intentions is not redemption.

The next article concludes our Daniel studies; Article #37c.

Our next series will be on the Book of Hosea!

Rev. Dr. Jstark

Article #38 – Daniel 12

Study Note: Daniel 12:1 is a precise actuality statement so often skimped or stinted in bible studies by teachers, preachers, and students.

The result in a study of chapter 12 is often a pinching out of its actual content, context, plus its very feasible identification of the unidentified figures or characters mentioned throughout this chapter. Please keep in mind and per this website’s platform…every denomination or those individuals who claim or believe in his or her mind that they are born again often ignore the signs given in Daniel 12 as to what to look for per the beginning of End Time. What is their motive to not wish to grasp this scripture?

Denominations need to examine the Book of Acts to see that the original church was a gathering place of expectant and practicing believers; those who “BE” along with “LIVE” the Word of God. The Apostle Paul warns (1 Timothy 6:3) of those wolves who were already worming their different opinions and eventual “denominational” differences into the original Christian church. We should not see this as much as singular focus(es), but too much denominational differences and emphasis is usually “at the expense of knowing and understanding the totality of the Word of God.” Denominations isolate a group and as a group, insulate that same group from other (differing denominational doctrines) believers. This was NOT the church in the Book of Acts.

Allow us to put it in very simple terms. As Christians, we are to be united without compromise in order to be a team of believers. If our concentration is on only one or a few faces on a team it divides. It does not unite or even make for a good team. Similarly, a football team has individual players and player positions, but then so does Christianity through the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. Together they make a powerful team when correctly coached. No, a wide receiver coach does not advise the corner backs or offensive tackles. Christianity is a common denominator. Far too many of those who claim Christ never practice the position the Holy Spirit assigns to him or her. There is no position called the “bench.” The positions on a Christian team are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord [I Corinthians 12:4 & 5]

Daniel 12:

Right out of the chute Daniel 12:1 identifies a specific in the angel Michael. Let’s take a question and answer approach to this final chapter in Daniel.

Please Read Verses 1-4 of Daniel 12

Q: What does “at that time” refer to?

A: Remember that originally there were no chapter and verse markings. Chapters 10-12 should be read as a single chapter. There is no break in the conversation between the end of chapter 11 and the beginning of chapter 12. Daniel 12 begins with… “at that time” referring to what has just been described in chapter 11 as the actions of the Antichrist. The same is true between the end of chapter 10 and the beginning of chapter 11. “at that time” helps us understand these chapters are one.

Q: What might be significant about the fact that it is Michael who is specified here and not Christ the Messiah?

A: Michael is identified exclusively with and the protector of the people of Israel regardless of where one of them lives on planet earth. It indicates that the things occurring here in Daniel are specific to the literal nation (people) of Israel. If the Messiah were specified, it would speak of the church composed of both Jew and Gentile. It’s yet another indication that God is not yet done with Israel and has plans yet to be fulfilled.

Q: What is “the book” referred to here in 12:1? 12:1 states, ”At that time your people will be delivered, (whose) everyone whose name is written in the book.”

A: The Book of Life, those of God’s chosen people obtaining salvation through Christ. This statement may be a signpost that the church has already been raptured. This is not an ALL INCLUSIVE statement. First it refers to YOUR PEOPLE (Daniel’s) then it specifically refers to those from this select grouping whose names are written in the book.

Q: So what does this indicate about those of Israeli descent who will be then rescued?

A: They have experienced a spiritual revival and accepted Jesus as their Messiah. (This is spoken of through other prophets as well.) This is not an automatic inclusion of Israelis who reject Christ as Messiah.

Q: And what occurs shortly after Israel’s rescue?

A: The “time of distress” comes to a close and there is a resurrection. The Time of distress is the final 3 ½ years of the Tribulation known best as Jacob’s Trouble; Jacob, the progenitor of the 12 Israeli tribes.

Q: Is v.2 describing the final and ultimate resurrection of all people for Final Judgment?

A: No. Scripture corroborates that there is an initial resurrection timed with the beginning of Messiah’s Millennial Reign (Bema Seat Judgement), followed by the ultimate and final resurrection of everyone for final disposition (Great White Throne Judgement).

*For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. [I Thessalonians 4:16]

Rapture concept word cloud background

Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.” (This passage is a great and multiple points discussion, study and clarification by itself) [Revelation 20:4-6]

JIV NOTE: In reality, it won’t matter whether you believe in the Rapture of the Church and whether or when it comes in relation to these events because believers are all going to be under God’s will and timing regardless. The more important factor is whether or not one’s individual name is “written in the book”; whether or not we choose Christ over everything else.

Q: Why will “those who have insight…shine brightly”? Of what is this speaking? [Daniel 12:3]

A: It’s a general reference to the role and responsibility of the teachers and preachers of the Gospel during the future end of times as described in Daniel 10-12. They are not merely preaching about the need for salvation, but fulfilling Christ’s mandates to “make disciples” (Matthew 28:19) by teaching and holding ourselves plus others who claim Christ to living according to the biblical standards of righteousness, putting into personal practice God’s Word to us.

JIV NOTE: In previous articles we define the word “believe” according to scripture as a two part word. To BE-to LIVE…be-lieve! This defines a disciple. In other words, a student of Bible who lives out his or her actions according to God’s will, not our will.

Q: What is the contrast of the personal message to Daniel in v.4 during Daniel’s time, versus that to John in Revelation 22:10?

  1. In Revelation the Apostle John was told: “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near.” Daniel is told to “Seal up these words” for now. It is a future prophecy of time yet to come.

JIV NOTE: The timing and perspective given through Daniel 10-12 is one of looking at two future events yet to occur; one sooner and one at End Time. John is looking back on one fork of a dual prophecy; one portion or prong of the two-pronged prophecy as already fulfilled between 530 B.C. and the birth of Jesus. The second prong is still unfulfilled during the life of John; probably around 90 A.D. But, it has similar characteristics.

Article #37 – Daniel Study

Daniel Study – Article #37

AN INTERESTING STUDY and insights of Daniel and perhaps Bible Codes:

In reading several studies and web-pages on the names given to Daniel and his three friends, we find some very interesting information.

Here is a brief summary:

For example, in a study done by William Shea (Andrews University Seminary Studies, Spring 1988) it is inferred that the Babylonian names given to Daniel and his three friends may have been purposely corrupted by Daniel! Now, the Hebrew names of these young men showed that they were worshippers of the true God, Jehovah!

Hananiah — Jehovah (God) is gracious
Mishael — who belongs to or is like God
Azariah – Jehovah (God) helps
Daniel — God is my judge

Daniel 4:8 reveals that king Nebuchadnezzar renamed these Hebrews after his gods! New names were given to these captives from Israel, not just to blend them into the Babylonian court, but to change their allegiance from their God to the gods of Babylon.

Daniel, who wrote the BOOK OF DANIEL, and who wouldn’t even eat the king’s food not only because it contained unclean meats, but also contained the meats offered to the Babylonian gods, would no doubt be very much troubled by these Babylonian names and thus even when using them in his accounts changed them slightly.

Daniel’s friend, Azariah, (Jehovah helps) was renamed Abednego according to scripture. “Abed” means “servant” but we find no god named “nego”. For the name to be authentically referring to a “Babylonian god” it should read “servant of some god “. However, if the name is read Abednebo— then we have a well-known Babylonian god! Nebo was the Babylonian god of wisdom. This could be a translation issue; Abednego should be translated Abednebo. The “B” and the “V” in Hebrew are interchangeable letters.

Could it be that Daniel had such an aversion to calling his friend the “servant of Nebo” that he purposely corrupted his Babylonian name?

Found on a list of an ancient Babylonian clay tablet is the name Arbenebo–Official of the royal prince. This name is the equivalent to the Aramaic name Abednebo and may in fact be the first mention of one of Daniel’s friends found outside of the Bible.
Apparently this Abednego (Abednebo) was given the position as secretary to the crown prince Amel-Marduk (called Evil-Marduk in the Bible).

Misheal was renamed Meshach
Another name found on the list of that same clay tablet is Meshaku-Marduk – Official to Nebuchadnezzar. Marduk was the name of a Babylonian god. If Marduk is dropped from the name we end up with the name Meshaku which is very similar in pronunciation to Meshach.

The Hebrew Mishael means “Who is like God?”
Meshach (Meshaku) means “Who is like Aku?”
Aku was the Babylonian god of the moon.

Hananiah (Jehovah keeps him or Jehovah is gracious)
was renamed Shadrach Or Shadaku which means “Command of Aku”. Aku being the moon god.

William Shea of Andrews University Seminar Studies came to the conclusion that Daniel’s given name was not really Belteshazzar, but Belshazzar, — the same as the king that perished that night when Babylon fell. He entitled his study “Bel(te)shezzar meets Belshazzar”.

Now if Abednego’s name was slightly changed to avoid being called a servant of a false god, could it be that Daniel’s name, Belteshazzar, was also slightly changed ? The “shazzar” part means “protect the king”, thus “Belte” should be the name of a Babylonian god. But we find no god by that name in Babylon. However, Bel, is another name for Nebuchnezzar’s favorite god, Marduk.

In Dan. 5 King Belshazzar seems opposed to calling Daniel by his name Belteshazzar. Why so? “If the Hebrew wise man that stood before Belshazzar bore the same name as the king himself, it would have been natural for the king to have been restrained to have used his own name for him.”

We also find in a tablet writing that Amel-Marduk had as his chief officer one named Belshazzar. We also know that *Amel-Marduk released from house-arrest the exiled Hebrew monarch Jehoiachin, and elevated him and honored him above all of the other kings who were captive in Babylon. *Some translations call him Evil-Marduk but not evil.

BELSHAZZAR MEANS BEL PROTECT THE KING

With these thoughts concerning Bel(te)shazzar and Belshazzar, what lessons can we learn from the two men with the same name.

The one served the gods of gold, silver, bronze, iron, wood and stone, but neither the god “Bel” nor any of these gods could protect him from the invading Med-Persian forces.

The other served the God of heaven, not the Babylonian god, his story continues in the promises that he will be among those who inherit the earth in the final everlasting kingdom of God.

Belshazzar means “Bel protect the king”.

Bel obviously could not protect king.

I don’t know what the “te” stands for, but I like to think it means “not”. How fitting that Daniel should change the Babylonian name assigned to him to “Bel not protect the king”– especially in the light of this history–(and the history in Daniel 4 as well) Only by trusting and following the God of heaven is their safety.

AMIL-MARDUK, WAS HE A BELIEVER?

Another question that arises from this study is:

Might the unpopular Amil-Marduk, son of Nebuchadnezzar, been unpopular due to his Jewish favoritism or following in the new faith of his father Nebuchadnezzar? The only mention of him in the scriptures is his act of liberating the Jewish king.

2 Kings 25.27-30 and Jeremiah 52:31-34
And it came to pass in the seven and thirtieth year of the captivity of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, that “Evil (Amil)-Merodach”, king of Babylon in the year that he began to reign, did release Jehoiachin king of Judah out of prison; And he spake kindly to him, and set his throne above the throne of the Kings that were with him inBabylon; And changed his prison garments: and he did eat bread continually before him all the days of his life.

With Abednego as his secretary, Daniel as his chief officer, and the former king of Jerusalem as a favored member of his court, one wonders if this king, Amil-Marduk, who reaped the wrath of the Babylonian hierarchy and was assassinated, might have continued in his father Nebuchadnezzar’s new faith; something the powerful priestly society in Babylon would not tolerate. Once he was assassinated, there was no remaining honor or respect for the God of creation. Of course, secular history would NOT mention this as it would require recognizing God for who He is.

Christians serve the Only God Who came to die so they might live.

Thus Belshazzar’s rebellion against the God of Heaven would not have been his alone, but also of Babylon itself. As God has done to so many other nations, He punishes a nation along with the leader(s) when they [Babylonians] openly reject God. For more understanding of this rejection by the Babylonians, see the Book of Esther.