Part 3

Does the book of Daniel’s prophecies fit into the rest of the Bible, secular history, and the world yet to be?

After 70 years in Babylon, a small percentage of the captive Judeans returned to the land of Judah. It was by written decree of their conquering Medes and Persians through King Cyrus of Persia. It took over 100 years for three different groupings of Babylonian Judeans to return to their homeland. They rebuilt both the temple and the city of Jerusalem, but it took many years. The books of Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther cover a  post-exilic prophetic period of Israeli history. Note in the Book of Esther that there remains a significant number of Jews in Babylon; enough for Haman to wish to exterminate all of them. Queen Esther appears in scripture some 50 to 60 years after the return of some Judeans, under Zerubbabel, to their former kingdom. Obviously there remained a goodly number of Jews in and around Babylon. The Book of Esther follows well the Book of Daniel.

The Old Testament concludes about 400 BC. There is a gap between the end of written Old Testament scripture and the beginning of the New Testament. If one did not realize it before, most of the resettled Jews in and around the former Kingdom of Judah, today called Israel, are mostly offspring of those JU-DEANS who returned to their homeland after the Babylonian exile. Others have returned since 1948. President Truman was surprised when the newly establish Jewish homeland in 1948 didn’t call themselves Judah. The New Testament “Jews” are the offspring of those whose ancestors returned from the Babylonian captivity. The Apocrypha books were written during this 400 years between the end of the Old Testament and the beginning of the New Testament.

NOTE: Matthew comes first in the New Testament but it was not the first New Testament book that was written. It is quite possible Mark wrote the first New Testament book.

The following is about the end of the short-term independence of Judah by the Maccabees and is from the Jewish History website. This is during the 400 silent years of the Bible.

The final period of Old Testament history is prior to the 400-years between the end of the Book of Ezra-Nehemiah and the birth of Christ. During this time, no eventually canonized Scripture was written. Ezra is usually credited with pulling the Old Testament together. Original Ezra and Nehemiah was one book. Technically, this 400 year is post-Old Testament and pre-New Testament. It is sometimes called the 400 Silent Years. This leads us to the time of the birth of Christ; about 4 or 3 BC. It is also when the Apocrypha Maccabeus books their a were written. The Maccabees ruled an almost autonomous Judah. This Maccabean Hasmonean dynasty ruled Judah between 167 to 63 BC. Rome ended that. Click here to read about this. The Bible student should make note that the number of “Jews” in Judah was much less after their release than pre-Babylonian captivity. MOST of the Judeans did NOT RETURN once they were released by King Cyrus of Persia.

During this 400-years of Bible silence, an evil ruler named Antiochus (IV) Epiphany [175 BC] of Syria killed many Judeans, desecrated their temple, set an idol of himself in the temple, and offered pigs as a sacrifice. (We ran into him in our earlier study on the Book of Daniel). Antiochus (IV) Epiphany history is a prophesied parallel to the New Testament tribulation and antichrist. It is not the same characters but there is a strong parallel of what Israel will endure in End Time. The Maccabees revolt [167 BC] occurred against and because of Antiochus (IV) Epiphany. Judaism of today celebrates Hanukkah in memory of this period in Israeli history. It is a parallel history to Daniel’s/Revelation prophecy of the Tribulation, Israel, and the antichrist.

This leads us to the New Testament birth, life, death, and resurrection of Christ. The Book of Daniel also addresses this Gentile, New Testament time. It is the 69th week of his 70 sevens vision found in Daniel (Daniel 9:24-27). Christ was born around 4 or 3 BC and died sometime around 30 AD. Right after Christ’s death and resurrection, the Church Age began. It continues up to this very day today. This involves the 70-7’s dream of Daniel 9:24-27. The 70th week of Daniel’s vision is the 7-year Tribulation. The Old Testament is about a nation and their God. The New Testament is about individual relationships with Jesus and the body of believers.

JIV NOTE: The entire New Testament was written and completed between the approximate dates of 36 AD and 100 AD. Islam [Mohammed] comes over 500 years later; in 610 A.D. The chronological order of the origin of the three dominant religions known today is and centered in Jerusalem…Judaism, then Christianity, then Islam.

How does the book of Daniel fit into Old Testament history? Daniel covers his life-history from about 605 BC, to around 535/530 BC. It is the 70-year Babylonian Exile. Daniel was forced into a Babylonian exile (present-day Iraq) around 606/605 BC. He was perhaps 15 years old. He served King Nebuchadnezzar and 2, perhaps 3 other Babylonian kings. He also served King Darius the Mede. Darius was the Medo-Persian general who temporary ruled over Babylon after his forces assaulted and captured Babylon. It is also him who was responsible for the history of Daniel in the Lion’s Den.

King Belshazzar’s history includes the infamous writing on the wall. Darius’ the Mede’s rule was temporary, about two years, and under the authority of the Persian king Cyrus. The Bible tells us General Darius was 62 years old when he assumed the role of an appointed king. There is often a good reason the Bible to sometimes includes such seemingly trivial information as one’s age . This is a time when a Bible student MUST pay close attention. Darius only ruled for two years, then retired. No secular record exists of him because he was simply Babylon’s interim King.

Daniel’s initial short-term prophesies are focused on the period between when he lived up through the time of Christ. He prophesies about the first advent of Jesus the Messiah or Christ and his yet pending second advent. Daniel gives detailed prophecies about long-term future events leading up to the end of the world i.e., the Millennial period. The Bible gives us little information during and after the Millennial period. Daniel’s parallel prophetic history of Antiochus IV Epiphany is a prophecy-in-kind of End Time. What happened to Jerusalem during his rule of terror is the parallel of the “Jews” during the Tribulation, aka, Jacob’s Trouble [Matthew 24:15-31].

There are two covenants given by God that are unchangeable and exist throughout the entirety of the Old and New Testament; the promise to Israel of a land free from outside influence, i.e., a Promised Land where they are honored as God’s chosen People by their neighbors, and the covenant of the Church Rapture and his 2nd Advent. Daniel basically covers this in his prophecies.

During the time of the Exodus of Israelis from Egypt, right before Moses’ death, and just before Israel began conquering the land of Canaan, God warned Israel through Moses the consequences of disobedience to God’s Law. We believe the same thing is true of the Canaanites Israel was to destroy and drive out of the Promised lands. It was promised to through Abraham who had lived there after he left Ur, Babylon. God used His personally Chosen People to bring judgment upon a people who originated from Ishmael and Esau. They totally rejected God. They knew better. God also used outside peoples to conquer the Old Testament Israelis. They too knew better.

The New Testament Jews of Jerusalem, then and now, are mostly descendants of those few Jews who returned from Babylonian exile under Zerubbabel, Ezra, then Nehemiah. See the scriptural sequence of Ezra, Haggai, Zechariah, and Nehemiah…click here. It is an eye-opener.

Deuteronomy 27:1 thru 28:48 summarize the warning and the promise that God gives Israel for their on and off obedience to His Law. In a very real way, God chose exclusively through Abraham to isolate a people of Israel. At the same time, through Abraham and Isaac, we get the Arabs. In an Identifiable power struggle in modern times, we get the age-old fight with Muslims over Jerusalem. Somehow, today this includes non-Arab and non-Israeli people; nations also taking sides. Jesus said that the WORLD hated him first. Satan hates God’s chosen people. He has and continues to try to destroy them, right up to and into the time of the Tribulation of Israel. This is not man’s design, but Satan’s. The proof of this is in the almost universal enemies of Israel.

God continues his warning through Moses in the verses following Deuteronomy 28:48. In the next few verses he prophesies:

The LORD will bring a nation against you from afar, from the *end of the earth, as the eagle swoops down, a nation whose language you shall not understand, a nation of fierce countenance who shall have no respect for the old, nor show favor to the young. Moreover, it shall eat the offspring of your herd and the produce of your ground until you are destroyed, who also leaves you no grain, new wine, or oil, nor the increase of your herd or the young of your flock until they have caused you to perish. And it shall besiege you in all your towns until your high and fortified walls in which you trusted come down throughout your land, and it shall besiege you in all your towns throughout your land which the LORD your God has given you. Deuteronomy 28:49-52 (NASB)

*End of the earth means the settled lands of civilization that is futuristic to this scripture. This would include America. As we see America disintegrate, and becomes less Godly, we see how easily political powers and social trends can move toward aligning against Israel.

Next week will be Part #4 of 5 in this series.

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