To all and perspective students of Aha Bible Moments Studies
The following is a sneak preview of our Zechariah study. Fascinating and futuristic; i.e. End Time prophecies. We blog this to students so each, if desired and willing, can begin looking into the book seeing just how well it compares to New Testament references. Please feel free to share it with others who want a better understanding of the bible outside of the “stories” so easily recalled but lacking spiritual application, historical depth, insight and depth perception.
The book of Zechariah is considered complex. It has three major sections. He is contemporary with Ezra, Nehemiah, Haggai, Zerubbabel, and probably Ezekiel. Even though he was born in Babylon he joined the original group of Judean Jews that returned to Jerusalem; a place Zechariah had never seen before the release of the Judeans by King Cyrus. Zechariah was born in Babylon.
There is suggestions that his latter day prophecies, chapters 9-14, were simultaneous with the Book of Esther; she in Babylon and Zechariah in Jerusalem. These two books make the Book of Esther more significant once we compare the prophetic application of Zechariah and the historical facts of Esther as queen of Persia. Esther is resultant of the hundreds of thousands of Judean Jews who DID NOT return from Babylon after King Cyrus released them to go home.
The below is a handout and reference as we discuss commentary per Zechariah.
Old Testament Zechariah quoted or found in the New Testament
Zechariah’s name means “The Lord Remembers.” The meaning of this name is even more significant in that the promises and insights given to Zechariah require that the Lord Remembers his covenants with Israel via Abraham, Isaac and Jacob with HIS son’s and eventually new covenants with the New Testament church of believers.
Zechariah, the 11th of the 12 Minor Prophets was a servant of God at a young age. He initially returned to a flattened Jerusalem and basically barren Judah with his grandfather Iddo the priest. This suggests his father Barachiah was no around or alive.
The book of Zechariah is fairly straight forward. He is contemporary with Ezra, Nehemiah, Haggai, Zerubbabel, probably Ezekiel and perhaps for a short time a very old Daniel. Even though he was born in Babylon he joined the small group of Judean Jews that returned to Jerusalem; a place Zechariah had never seen before the release of the Judeans by King Cyrus.
The possible latter half of Zechariah makes the Book of Esther more significant once we compare the prophetic application of Zechariah and the historical facts of Esther as Queen of Persia. Important to keep in mind that millions of Judeans we call Jews did NOT RETURN to Jerusalem when released by King Cyrus in 539 B.C. They remained in the Babylonian, Persian, Median, and Iraqi lands of old.
Although we have not independently verified the preciseness of the following dates (graph by alacin.blogspot.com) they broadly represent the sequence of events discussed in Ezra. Keep in mind that Ezra and Nehemiah were initially considered on book
Ahamoment: Queen Esther is also suggested by ancient regards to be entombed alongside or near where Daniel was buried. This is debatable but a true curiosity. They existed within a generation or two of each other in Persia. Daniel is one of a multitude of Judeans who did not return to Jerusalem even though it was he who petitioned King Cyrus I for the release of the Jews in Babylon. PS: There are over 26 Zechariah’s mentioned in the Bible. This is one major reason why sequencing and dates are important. PSS: Zechariah is also revered in Islam as a prophet.
JIV CAUTION: There have been and always will be biblical history revisionists. Wikipedia is often guilty of such even when it appears to only be a suggestion to question the accuracy or inerrancy of the Bible. Revisionists attempt to confuse the ignorant by suggesting the Zechariah slain between the Temple and the Alter was the father Zechariah of John the Baptist. Matthew 23:25 is clear. It is the Zechariah the son of Barachiah.
Caution #2: Wikipedia says: “Although there is an indication in Targum Lamentations that “Zechariah son of Iddo” was killed in the Temple,  scholars generally understand this as a reference to the death of a much earlier figure, Zechariah ben Jehoiada. ” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zechariah_(Hebrew_prophet))
Again…Read Matthew 23:25! Deception comes with their above statement: “scholars generally understand”. We ask, WHAT SCHOLARS? [Matthew 23:25]
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.
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.
previous article, the three friends of Daniel had just defied the
order to bow to the golden idol of Nebuchadnezzar. It was a set up
from the beginning but King Neb did not know that.
Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and fury commanded to bring Shadrach,
Meshach, and Abed-nego. Then they brought these men before the king.
the king had already said that whoever would not bow to the image
would be thrown into the furnace, yet he calls these men before him
to ask them personally. This would suggest that the king was keen to
give these men a second chance. We already know from the end of
chapter two that these men were in prominent governmental positions
in the province of Babylon (Dan 2:49), and no doubt the king wanted
to avoid having high ranking officials perform a public act of
defiance against him, particularly on this day when all the people
were gathered together on the plain of Dura.
spake and said unto them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and
Abed-nego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image
which I have set up?
still didn’t “get it.” The fact that the king addresses them by
name and the manner in which he does so again suggests that up until
this time they had had a good relationship with the king. The idea in
the Aramaic is ‘did you intend to do this, was it on purpose?’
The king is hoping that it was just a misunderstanding and was not
going to be something that would spoil his special day. But as we
will see, these men had purposed in their hearts (also see Dan 1:8).
is something that comes through meditation; you have to think about
what you’re going to do if you face this circumstance or that
circumstance. And when you are prepared and the circumstance happens,
you react to that which you have meditated on. So if you meditate on
that which will not be helpful, then when you are in that potentially
compromising situation you will do that which you have meditated on”.
is precisely why we are told to be transformed by the renewing of our
minds (Rom 12:12), and to ‘think on these things’ (see
Philippians 4:8), setting our affection on the things above (Col
3:2). When we think on these things there is no room for other
distractions or actions.
if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet,
flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of music,
ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if ye
worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a
burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out
of my hands?
king reiterates the decree and offers them a way out of this
situation… a second chance. How many of us would have had second
thoughts at this time? After all, to be given a second chance may be
God providing a way of escape. How easy it would have been to
rationalize that Idols are not real gods; surely it would have been
better to give in to king Neb’s command and ‘live to fight
another day’? Would bowing be such a bad thing if we didn’t mean
it in our hearts?
being those religious crowds in church. Often
we sing our songs in church on Sunday about being completely
abandoned, surrendering all, serving God with a whole heart etc. etc.
yet on Monday when we are asked questions by the world, how do we
answer? Do our lives demonstrate fruit ‘worthy of repentance’
(Luke 3:8)? We have all been there, backed into a corner with no
apparent way out. We start to reason to ourselves: “It’s not
really lying, the truth would do more harm than good”; “it’s
not really theft, just ‘borrowing’”; “It’s not really
wrong, it’s just… (fill in the blank)”; it’s not really
worshipping an idol to bow down and pretend…is it? Even
when quoting the Lord’s Prayer in unison,
it includes those who have no forgiveness of heart and those who have
not Jesus in thought, but themselves quoting a prayer for unsound
religious activity. “Forgive
us (me) our sin Lord just like the person sitting next to me does.”
idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. They have mouths,
but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: They have ears,
but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not: They have
hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not:
neither speak they through their throat. They that make them are like
unto them; so is every one that trusts in them. O
Israel, trust thou in the LORD: he is their help and their shield”
course we know that bowing was not an option to these three men, nor
could it be. The reputation of the God of Israel was on the line. The
king’s statue was a public act of defiance against their God and
the Chaldeans [religious Babylonian priests] were just waiting for
them to crumble. Yet these men knew the law which clearly stated:
“Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto
thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven
above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under
the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them:
for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the
fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of
them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love
me, and keep my commandments.” (Exodus
day God will find a way of asking you ‘Do you trust Me?” Chuck
scripture, those who have made great professions of faith have often
had that profession tested to a breaking point. It is the heating up
and subsequent hammering of steel that gives it its strength; molded
by God’s Spirit. A true example of Christianity.
who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?’
Great question O’ king! Hmmmmn?
“He who seeks finds”! (Luke
Meshach, and Abed-nego, answered and said to the king, O
Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.
Aramaic word that the KJV translates as ‘careful’ is ‘chashach’
(khash-akh’) meaning to ‘have need of’. In other words they were
saying to the king ‘we have no need to answer you, we are not
accountable to you but to God’. It also implies that they were not
anxious about this situation. It also may mean they were not
defending their action; they could side-step it all. They ultimately
answer to God, not Nebuchadnezzar. Neb did not understand that.
it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the
burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O
is an incredible statement of faith that comes from a life deeply
rooted in God.
“Let them now that fear the LORD say, that his mercy endureth
forever. I called upon the LORD in distress: the LORD answered me,
and set me in a large place. The LORD is on my side; I will not fear:
what can man do unto me? The LORD taketh my part with them that help
me: therefore shall I see my desire upon them that hate me. It is
better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. It is
better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.”
“fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the
rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”(Matt
is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not
if not, be it known unto thee, O king, we will not serve thy gods,
nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
they make it clear, they will not bow down to this image or worship
any other foreign god. There is only one God for these men and they
will not compromise regardless of the cost. Remember that these men
lived before the cross and without knowing all that Jesus suffered
and endured to purchase our freedom.
amazing the lengths that some people will go to, to worship false
gods and follow false religions; all encouraged and offered up by
Satan himself and our free will. All the effort that was put into
making this statue, all the hours spent in rituals and practices that
have no eternal value. How much more should we, who know the Truth,
refuse to worship false gods, *whatever
form they come in,
and seek to serve our God with all our heart, mind, soul and
are times that a denomination may become the idol. Even to the point
of spiritualizing what the Word of God plainly states. Ministers
defend their seminary training by arguing their religious point of
view through the eyes of seminary instead of the Bible.
World War II when the British and allied forces had been pushed back
to the beaches of Dunkirk, France by the German army, being trapped
by the English Channel on one side and the approaching German’s on
the other, sent a simple three word message back home: “But
Immediately this was recognized as being a quote from the book of
Daniel and was understood to mean that the trapped British troops
would wait to be saved, but if not, they would die fighting and
standing up for their cause. This then led to the famous Dunkirk
evacuations where hundreds of military, merchant and private fishing
boats set sail across the Channel and dramatically rescued 350,000
British and allied soldiers.
been said that those in power in Britain understood, however if such
a message were to be sent today, the soldiers would likely perish.
Few know what the Bible says anymore.
October 1871, tragedy struck Chicago as fire ravaged the city. When
it was all over, 300 people were dead and 100,000 were homeless.
was one of those who tried to help the people of the city get back on
their feet. Spafford was a lawyer who had invested much of his money
into the downtown Chicago real estate and consequently had lost a
great deal to the fire. Also about this time his only son had died
leaving him with his wife and his four daughters. For two years
Spafford, who was a friend of evangelist Dwight Moody, assisted the
homeless, impoverished, and grief-stricken that had been ruined by
the fire. Eventually Spafford decided to take a family vacation to
Europe with the intention of meeting up with his friends Dwight Moody
and Ira Sankey who at that time were on one of their evangelistic
the last minute Horatio Spafford was delayed by some business so
decided to send his family on ahead; he would catch up with them on
the other side of the Atlantic. Their ship, the Ville de Havre, never
made it. Off Newfoundland, it collided with another ship, the Loch
Earn, and sank in a matter of minutes. Though Horatio’s wife, Anna,
was able to cling to a piece of floating wreckage (one of only 47
survivors among hundreds), their four daughters, Maggie, Tanetta,
Annie, and Bessie, died. Horatio received a telegram from his wife in
England informing him of this terrible tragedy; all it said were two
words: “saved alone.” Spafford boarded the next available
ship to be near his grieving wife. As his own ship passed by the area
where his daughters had died he was moved to write a song – the now
famous ‘It is well with my soul’. He met up with his wife and
they went on to meet up with Dwight Moody. “It is well,”
Spafford told him quietly. “The will of God be done.”
peace, like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows
roll; Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say, It is well, it
is well, with my soul.
Satan should buffet, though trials should come, Let this blest
assurance control, That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought! My sin, not in part but
nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more, Praise the Lord, praise
the Lord, O my soul!
me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live: If Jordan above me
pang shall be mine, for in death as in life Thou wilt whisper Thy
peace to my soul.
Lord, ‘tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait, The sky, not the
grave, is our goal; Oh trump of the angel! Oh voice of the Lord!
Blessèd hope, blessèd rest of my soul!
Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight, The clouds be
rolled back as a scroll; The trump shall resound, and the Lord
shall descend, Even so, it is well with my soul.
well, with my soul, It is well, with my soul, It is well, it is
well, with my soul.
the king made an image of gold, whose height was threescore cubits,
and the breadth thereof six cubits: he set it up in the plain of
Dura, in the province of Babylon.
move into chapter 3 some scholars place these events about 15-23
years after the events of Chapter 2. Whereas in Nebuchadnezzar’s
dream he saw an image made of different metals descending in value,
where the head of gold represented Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon, we are
now presented with an image made entirely from gold. The obvious
conclusion from this is that king Nebuchadnezzar has taken the
greeting wherewith he is greeted ‘O king live’ (Dan 2:2:4 / 3:9)
a little too far! It would appear that in erecting this image, king
Nebuchadnezzar is presumptuously asserting that his kingdom will be
an everlasting kingdom, seen by the fact that the whole image and not
just the head are made from gold, and therefore this is really an act
of defiance against the God of Heaven. As in the cartoon movie
it is “Mine; mine; mine!” He is trying to change the outcome of
his previous dream made of Gold, silver, brass, iron, and a clay-iron
mix (Daniel 2:31-35).
chapter is very much like the events that we will study in chapter 6
where Daniel’s enemies conspired against him and duped king Darius
into signing a decree that would entrap Daniel. These
Babylonian-Chaldeans do connive.
amazing that people are so insecure and jealous of others’
achievements that they will seemingly stop at nothing to remove the
competition. This is compounded when the ‘competition’ is either
morally upright or just a sitting President of the United States.
Those who stand for truth are seen as an irritant to a society that
wants to be free from moral constraints. Jesus Himself confirmed
the world hates you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If
ye were of the world, the world would love his own but because ye are
not of the world…”, (John
reiterated this in
2 Tim 3:12 “Yea,
and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer
cubit is the measurement from the tip of your finger to your elbow.
Although this measurement varies among ancient cultures, it is
usually regarded to be about 18 inches. This would make the image
approximately 90ft tall, *9ft wide; a 9:1 ratio.
49 square feet at the base.
dimensions of this statue are more like the Obelisks of Egypt, and it
may well have been that on one of his expeditions Nebuchadnezzar
would have seen these erected to immortalize Egyptian Pharaohs and
deities and thus became part of the inspiration for him wanting to
build one himself. However, unlike an Obelisk, this was an image of a
NOTE: Archaeologists have unearthed a 45ft square & 20ft high
‘base’ in the plain of Dura which many now believe could have
been the base for this image, and would have been clearly visible
from the walls of Babylon.
not out of the question that this statue was of solid gold.
Archaeologists have also discovered a 40’ table in the ruins of
ancient Babylon made from solid gold and 15’ high solid gold
statues were found in the Temple of Murdoch; billions of dollars in
Nebuchadnezzar the king sent to gather together the princes, the
governors, and the captains, the judges, the treasurers, the
counselors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, to
come to the dedication of the image which Nebuchadnezzar the king had
Chaldean is tiphday
lawyers; the legal system.
king is obviously impressed with his creation. He calls for all the
leaders and chief people of the land to come giving their wide eyed
appreciation. There were about between 100 and 120 provinces in
Babylon at this time meaning that anywhere from 200,000 to 300,000
people could have gathered for this ‘grand unveiling’. From the
end of chapter two we know that Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (or
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego as they may be better known) were
promoted to oversee the affairs of the province of Babylon, hence the
reason they were invited. Daniel on the other hand we are told was
over the whole
province of Babylon, and chief
of the governors
over all the wise men of Babylon”. Thus
it would appear that Daniel was second only to the king. If this is
so and Daniel has so much influence before the king, then why, we may
ask, did Daniel not object to this gross act of idolatry? And why
does Daniel not appear to attend this event? These
are questions that we will return to later in our study.
the princes, the governors, and captains, the judges, the treasurers,
the counselors, the sheriffs (judicial
all the rulers of the provinces, were gathered together unto the
dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up; and
they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up.
fact that we have the same phrase repeated here suggests that Daniel
is recording this event, by copying the decree that had been written
by the king (or maybe a decree that was written for the king!).
an herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, O people, nations, and
that this is a command from the king and to people, nations and
languages – this is a diverse and mixed crowd from the known and
Babylonian conquered world.
at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut,
psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of music, ye fall down and worship
the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up:
instruments mentioned – the number of man (6). Hmmmm?
and idolatry have long been close companions. Even today in church
‘worship groups’ it is so easy to put the focus on the music
rather than the God whom we are supposed to be worshipping. Even some
of the music in today’s churches (buildings) has a catchy tune but
deliberate lyrics with no mention of God, salvation, Jesus or the
Holy Spirit. These are NOT worship songs of God.
of the root of this problem is that Satan appears to have been the
worship leader in heaven; heading up the praise team (see Ezekiel
28:13-15). It would seem that he has a great understanding of how
powerful and manipulative music can be. Music is a gift from God and
is intended to accompany our praise to Him (as even a casual reading
of the book of Psalms can confirm), yet in the wrong hands, it can be
used for evil with devastating results. Consider the lust, violence
and immorality that are communicated to young people through music.
Satan always distorts what God has made good. Satan also has a fake
copy of everything Jesus represents. Even back yard gardens have fake
plants mixed in with the good plants.
what we know of history, the Babylonians had a love for music. This
is prophetically seen in
Psalm 137:1-4: “By
the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we
remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst
thereof. For there they that carried us away captive required of us a
song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us
one of the songs of Zion. How shall we sing the LORD’s song in a
that today we do that in churches. But, it is better said that we
sing a strange song in God’s land.
whoso falls not down and worships shall the same hour be cast into
the midst of a burning fiery furnace.
things are out on the plain of Dura; the Image and a fiery furnace.
The furnace may have been built for the sole purpose of melting and
molding the gold for the statue.
at that time, when all the people heard the sound of the cornet,
flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and all kinds of music, all the
people, the nations, and the languages, fell down and worshipped the
golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.
is, all except three men who stood out like a sore thumb! Where
Daniel was at this moment is unknown. The many nations mentioned are
those who were in Babylon perhaps as ambassadors, visitors, or
at that time certain Chaldeans came near, and accused the Jews.
that it’s the Chaldeans again who had been humbled in chapter 2.
The meaning of accused is literally: ‘chewed them up’ by their
words. Oddly, the tens of thousands of captive Jews in Babylon
deserted their God for Babylon’s god-king. All but these three
stood for and by their faith. Might this be an example of End Time
so-called church believers? I suggest YES.
spake and said to the king Nebuchadnezzar, O king, live forever. This
is the greeting that the king wants to hear. In another sense, may
your power exist forever. After all, is this not the intent of the
Thou, O king, hast made a decree, that every man that shall hear the
sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer,
and all kinds of music, shall fall down and worship the golden image:
And whoso falleth not down and worships, that he should be cast into
the midst of a burning fiery furnace.
fact they repeat to the king his decree leads some to conclude that
they were the ones who had been responsible for getting the king to
write this decree in the first place as a way of trapping these Jews.
As we will mention and will again later, Daniel is not present at
this time, and it may well be that, knowing Daniel was away on
business, they seized this opportunity to entrap his friends. If
given the probability that this is some time after chapter two, they
may well have been plotting and planning this event for years. It had
to take a good deal of time to simply build the image.
Furnace is mentioned 30 times in the Bible (KJV), and always in
connection with tribulation and/or judgment.
There are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the affairs of the
province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego; these men, O
king, have not regarded thee: they serve not thy gods, nor worship
the golden image which thou hast set up.
discovery. One such example is in regard to Daniel’s three friends.
An archaeological dig in the area of ancient Babylon unearthed a five
sided clay cylinder now in the Istanbul museum with the names:
Hananunu – which is the Aramaic for Hananiah, Mishael-Mardach –
obviously a reference to Mishael, and Abou-Nebo, the Aramaic for
Abed-nego; these men are mentioned on the cylinder as having a
prominent place in the government, thus clearly identifying these men
as Daniel’s three friends as recorded in the Bible.
are accused not just for refusing to bow today, but for not
worshipping Nebuchadnezzar’s gods in the past – which the
Chaldeans suggest is defying the king himself. This was not an
impulse thing for these three men, but a predetermined purposing of
heart that was made from the moment they got to Babylon – they will
not be defiled! Other Jews of captivity may
also refused but were not the target of these evil men of Babylon.
at the rapture of the church will there still be churches
(denominations) with full houses? This is not a possibility but a
probability. The church of Jesus according to Ephesians 4:5 and 6 is
not a religion or a denomination. Denominations separate. They do not
unite as that would demand political-religious compromise and
correctness according to man’s law and standard.
in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams,
wherewith his spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake from him.
The third year of Jehoiakim as we have already seen in article #7 was 606 B.C. This was the year when Nebuchadnezzar came up against Jerusalem, besieged it and eventually took the choice captives back to Babylon including Daniel and his friends. Josephus records that it was while Nebuchadnezzar was in Palestine that he got word that his father, King Nebopolassar, had died. In our way of thinking, Nebuchadnezzar actually became king in the autumn of 606 B.C. upon the death of his father. However the Babylonians (unlike the Jews) did not include the ascension year as part of a king’s reign. To the Babylonians, the first year of a king’s reign was counted from the first full year that he reigned. This makes 605B.C. King Nebuchadnezzar’s first year and 604 B.C. his second year. Daniel was taken to Babylon (as we have just noted) in 606 B.C. and we know from chapter one that he served a three-year apprenticeship before being presented to the king.
B.C. – Daniel’s 1st
year in training – Neb’s year of ascension
B.C. – Daniel’s 2nd
year in training – Neb’s 1st
year as king
B.C. – Daniel’s Final year in training – Neb’s 2nd
year as king
it would appear that it was during Daniel’s final year as a trainee
that Nebuchadnezzar had this dream. He would only be around 18 years
old. This explains why Daniel did not present himself before the king
when the king called for the ‘wise men of Babylon’. In fact, none
of the men that Ashpenaz was training for the king would have been
ready at this time, so those that presented themselves before
Nebuchadnezzar would no doubt have been the men who had served under
Nabopolassar, Nebuchadnezzar’s father; and as it becomes clear,
Nebuchadnezzar does not trust them!
ruled his empire and had complete authority; what he said went. There
was no government or cabinet that passed laws. It was all down to
what him and what he said (this is alluded to in the king’s dream
itself). No succeeding Babylonian ruler had this power. We see in
chapter 6 when king Darius (the Mede) signed a decree, he was bound
by the ‘law of the Meads and Persians’ (Dan 6:16). Although he
was the king, he was himself bound by the Medo-Persian law. Cyrus was
King of Persia while Darius the Mede was a sub king (Satrap) of
the king commanded to call the magicians, and the astrologers, and
the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, for to shew the king his dreams. So
they came and stood before the king.
The king is so disturbed that he calls for his royal advisors, he is evidently not bothered about how this will make him look. He just needs to know what this dream meant. Many dreams are an amalgamation or merger of thoughts and images that we have seen that day, or in recent days.
Some dreams are simply because we had too much pepperoni on the pizza before we went to bed. In the book of Daniel, there are many dreams recorded in the Bible such as those connected to Joseph in the book of Genesis (Joseph’s own dreams per the stars in the heavens, sheaths of hay, the butler and baker in prison, Pharaoh’s dream). In Job we read:
God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceived it not. In a dream,
in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in
slumberings upon the bed;” (Job
book of Acts, Peter quoted from the prophet Joel who said:
“And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour
out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters
shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old
men shall dream dreams” (Acts
JIV NOTE: This should be taken to heart for those denominational ministers and religions who say such things as prophesy, visions from God, and dreams are only things of the past. This is a bit like global warmers who say the last ice age ENDED X thousands of years ago but without explanation as to when it ended or what was the cause. Prophecy, visions and dreams have NOT ended.
and the astrologers, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans were
supposed to be experts in interpreting dreams. Archaeologists have
unearthed books containing formula whereby they would take the key
elements of a dream and come up with the interpretation. The
astrologers, sorcerers, and the Chaldeans were
not just superstitious nut cases as we may think from our
understanding of the terms; these were men of great learning and
would have been highly respected. Babylon was famous for its science
and discoveries. The division of the elliptic into 360o
came from Babylon and was probably done so because of the earth’s
orbit, which at that time may well have only been 360 days. Thus
these characters were no daily newspaper horoscope columnists – yes
they dabbled in the occult, but they tried to apply scientific method
to their practices.
magicians: – sacred scribes, involved in mystic writings and secret
Astrologers – ‘Enchanters’, involved in séances (talking to
the dead – and stars; Maji)
The Sorcerers – principally involved in using drugs and hallucinogenic; incantations etc. The Chaldeans: – the Babylonian priests.
the king said unto them, I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit was
troubled to know the dream.
the king explains the predicament. Man is created in God’s image.
He is Father, Son and Holy Spirit just as we have a body, mind and
spirit. Nebuchadnezzar’s spirit was troubled within him. He had a
dream but couldn’t even recall it in as much as he was troubled by
spake the Chaldeans to the king in Syriac, O king, live: tell thy
servants the dream, and we will shew the interpretation.
usual (and no doubt wise) way you address the most powerful man in
the known world, the Chaldeans get straight in there and ask the king
to tell them the dream and they would be only too pleased to give the
interpretation – no doubt their formula books at the ready.
IMPORTANT NOTE: In the original manuscripts the writing in this verse changes from Hebrew (which the book has been in up to now), into Aramaic (Syriac). It is significant that Daniel then uses Aramaic all the while he is referring to the Gentiles. Later in the book when the focus comes back to the Jews he will switch back to Hebrew (chapter 7, verse 28). Normally in the Bible we see the world through the lens of Israel, however in Daniel we get a rare glimpse at the world from a purely gentile perspective. Perhaps it also means that beginning in Daniel 2:4, the target market of the scriptures is to the gentiles of this world and End Time parallels.
people assume that the Bible was written in Hebrew (Old Testament)
and Greek (New Testament). In general this is true. There are parts
in both the Old and New that are in Aramaic. Aramaic itself is
closely linked to the original Hebrew and was a pictorial language;
i.e. letters themselves were shapes – little pictures – that
carried meaning with them. As
with original Hebrew,
their letter ‘A’ was written like an ox head and meant
‘strength’. Their letter ‘B’ was drawn like a tent and
symbolized a ‘house’. Thus when you put the two letters together,
‘A’ & ‘B’ you get AB = the Strength of the House – this
is their word for Father! We see this in the word ‘Abba’ Father.
This is no longer the Hebrew in use.
was another biblical author who used both Hebrew and Aramaic, and in
the New Testament Jesus used Aramaic words, such as ‘Talitha cumi’
spoken to Jairus’ daughter in Mark 5:41.
king answered and said to the Chaldeans, The
thing is gone from me:
if ye will not make known unto me the dream, with the interpretation
thereof, ye shall be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made a
is some debate as to what Nebuchadnezzar is saying here; he is either
saying that he can’t remember the dream, or that the ‘thing’
that has gone [forth] from him is the command to interpret the dream;
it would seem more likely that it is the latter. J
would be a rather extreme judgment, but you can see what the king
wants. Frankly, a faulty translation of this verse gives the
impression that the king had forgotten his dream. He hadn’t
forgotten his dream. He knows the dream, senses its importance, and
refuses to divulge it to the wise men. Why? He wants to get a correct
interpretation of it. In the margin, the American Standard Version of
1901 translates “The thing
gone from me” as, “The word
gone forth from me.” In other words, Nebuchadnezzar is saying to
these men, “I will not change my mind about this judgment I am
pronouncing. Don’t beg me to tell you the dream—I’m not going
to do it. You are going to come up with the dream if I am ever to
listen to your interpretations.” The Berkeley Version has a helpful
translation at this point also: “The king answered the Chaldeans,
‘This word I speak, I mean! If you do not tell me the dream and
what it means, you shall be torn limb from limb and your houses will
be destroyed.’” Nebuchadnezzar is putting fear in these men. They
have to come up with the interpretation of the dream, but they first
of all have to give what the dream is.
wise men are fakes and know it. This is Nebuchadnezzar’s way of
separating the wise from the wise-guy.
if ye show the dream, and the interpretation thereof, ye shall
receive of me gifts and rewards and great honor: therefore show me
the dream, and the interpretation thereof. Just
in case being cut to pieces and having one’s house made into a
dunghill was not a big enough incentive, the king offers a reward for
whoever can tell him the dream and the interpretation.
answered again and said, ‘Let the king tell his servants the dream,
and we will shew the interpretation of it.’
was a real problem for them. They believed that they could interpret
dreams – if they had them! But without a dream to begin with, they
were well and truly stuck. A group of the scientists who believe that
they have become so clever they don’t need God. They explain to God
that they can now create life. God asks them if they could do it like
He did it – from the dust of the ground. They look at each other
and confidently assert that they could even do this, after all, the
essential ingredients that we are made of are found in the dust of
the earth. God decides to take them up on this challenge, so says ‘Go
ahead then. Create life from the dust of the ground’.
So the scientists bend down and pick up a few handfuls of dust to
head back to their laboratory. All of a sudden God interrupts them,
no you don’t. Get your own dust!”
“In those days and in that time, declares the LORD, the people of Israel and the people of Judah shall come together, weeping as they come, and they shall seek the LORD their God. They will seek directions to Zion.” (ESV)
This passage found in the 4th verse of Jeremiah 50 makes it clear that Jeremiah is no longer speaking of the imminent future but a far distant yet eminent or prominent future. It is one that is a conclusive impact upon mankind and all of God’s creation. How do we know that? Jeremiah is speaking of a time when all twelve Tribes of Israel will once again come together; “the people of Israel and the people of Judah shall come together.”
This gives us a setting and time for the rest of this chapter. The desolation of Babylon, figuratively that might be a location or symbolic of another place God calls (like) Babylon; for a nation or group of people out of the north will come up against her. Both man and beast will flee away. This must be a massive intrusion or invasion if even beasts of the wild and domesticated will flee. End Time will exceed even the wildest of anyone’s imagination or perception if only God himself knows the time.
The Hebrew for “nation” (v4) means a race or a people; non-Jewish peoples; Gentiles.” It is a bit of fascination to look at the word “north” in V3, for out of the north… The Hebrew here is Boreas…a north, north east wind. It is very close in spelling to the city the Apostle Paul visited in the New Testament; Berea. Today Boreas is a stronghold of ISIS and is called Aleppo. There is also a military outpost in another Berea near Macedonia, Greece. If we take Thayer or Strong for their translation(s), NNE would be the Boreas/ Aleppo. The map here shows, Berea, Greece/Macedonian would be NNW of Babylon.
Insight: this is from where the Bereans get their denominational name. According the the Wikipedia…In ancient times, the Bereans were the inabitants of the city of Berea, also known in the Bible as Beroea. [Acts 17:11]
Jeremiah 50:6 is something anyone who has followed this website has read many times before. There are a huge number of descendants of the twelve Tribes of ISRAEL who simply have forgotten or lost their DNA connection to their Hebrew roots. It read in 6b…They have forgotten their fold.” They do not connect the dots back to their original fold or roots of Israel. Even the one reading this article has a probably chance of being connected by DNA, like it or not.
Verse 50:7 needs a bit of explanation.
“All who found them (offspring of the lost tribes) have devoured them, and their enemies have said, ‘We are not guilty, for they have sinned against the LORD, their habitation of righteousness, the LORD, the hope of their fathers.’
We are not guilty because…! Out of the bible we find the excuse the Muslims and most Arabs, past and present, use to justify pushing today’s Israel into the sea and eliminating them from the face of the earth. It is too obvious to look in the mirror and see that members of Israel are not the only ones who have “sinned against the Lord.” For all have sinned and come short of the Glory of God [Romans 3:23].
Might the he-goat or ram of verse 8, Jeremiah 50, be a reference from which Daniel in the Book of Daniel; 8:21, he used the same terminology? Recall or learn that much of Daniel’s writing was inspired from what Jeremiah had written prior to their (Daniel’s) Babylonian captivity.
We do know from history that the Greeks (Alexander the Great) with their “forced captive military from conquered nations” invaded Babylon but only after it had already been conquered by the Medes and Persians 300 years earlier. We also know that the Medes and Persians amassed a significant and multi-national military that conquered Babylon killing King Belshazzar. He was the one who saw the writing on the wall and sought out Daniel to interpret it for him.
Babylon is in the southern part of Iraq today. Even though Saddam Hussain attempted to rebuild it, there is little there per population and much sand. However, we do not know or yet understand if the “Babylon” to which Jeremiah is referring is a symbolic area under God’s future judgement upon the return Of Jesus Christ as King of kings.
Jeremiah 50:15 can be explained by a photograph of today’s Babylon. Amazingly, there are actually funds and foundations established to try and bring Babylon back to its original greatness including the “hanging Gardens” and the Lion of Babylon monument of Nebuchadnezzar. In 2016, WMF and the State Board of Antiquities and Heritage launched a conservation program at Ishtar Gate in Babylon.
[ISV] Raise a battle cry against her on every side. She has surrendered, her pillars have fallen, her walls are thrown down. For this is the vengeance of the LORD. Take vengeance on her; as she has done, do to her. Jeremiah 50:15
Jeremiah 15:16 support the fact that Babylon practiced deportation of conquered lands. This verse tells us at the time of Babylon’s prophesied destruction, the occupants of foreign lands should “turn their face toward the own people and flee back to the land of their origin. Recall in a previous study of the Book of Daniel, we learned that less than1% of the Judean captives, including Daniel, return to Judah or Jerusalem when release by Cyrus the Great. See illustration on next page.
Captive in 606 B.C.
Released in 536 B.C.
It was Daniel who approached the Mede-Persian conquering king and told him of the promise of the God of Heaven. Cyrus not only released those in Babylon, but his entire Kingdom. The Book of Esther proves that many Jews (Tribe of Judah) did not return. She became queen of King Xerxes (AKA: Ahasuerus)
Many times I have been asked who wrote the Book of Esther. There are two viable candidates; Mordecai and Nehemiah. In Esther 9:20 we find that Mordecai “wrote these things down.” However we also know the Nehemiah was a servant (and prophet of God; 486 B.C. to 464 B.C.)
Verse 18 and 19 tells us (actually reminds us) that God judged the Assyrians through the Babylonians and the Babylonians were judged through the Medes and Persians. God will again return and forgive the remnant of the Twelve Tribes to their Promised Lands. This has not yet happened even though we have a place called Israel today. The twelve tribes have not yet been recalled by the returning of Jesus Christ. Verse 20 says that there will be a remnant and God will “pardon” them.
Jeremiah 50:24 may hint of God’s judgement of the world by identifying this world as Babylon. You will all be judged because you challenged the Lord. V25: “…a work of the Lord GOD of the Heavenly Armies will be in the land…” Again in verse 29 God says “repay Babylon (the world?) for her deeds” against the Lord God. Why might this be the world and only symbolically identified as Babylon? In verse 33 both Israel and Judah are identified as those who have been oppressed. It was only the Judeans who were captive in the biblical Babylon. Then in verse 34 we read (ESV) that it is the world that will get rest.
Verse 37 states… “all the foreign troops that are in her midst.” Whose midst? Those within the territories of the Promised Lands. This could very well be a reference to the 200,000,000 man army discussed in Revelation 16:12. The [ESV] “drought in her waters” could also refer to the drying up of the Euphrates as it runs through Babylon also seen in Revelation 16:12. In verse 41 we read that this invading army included many kings from many nations in the north (antichrist?).
Verse 46…”certainly the world will tremble” in fear.
Is it ironical, paradoxical or prophetic? The very same land Jeremiah 47 is talking about, Philistia, is still a major issue to Israel today; Gaza Strip. It has been a thorn in the side of Israel/Judah since Israel of old was established as a confederation of tribes in the Book of Judges. The Tribe of Dan was to destroy them but instead abandoned their Joshua assigned territory. They went north of Israel, conquered Laish, a city of isolated Sidonians, and renamed it Dan.
Philistia/Gaza has been there a long time. Jeremiah, as he prophesied in chapter 46 the troubles of Egypt, he in Jeremiah 47 warns them of their present and future fate…God’s direct judgement.
Egypt currently borders Gaza. It was the same in Jeremiah’s time. For him to warn these people as God commanded, it would be a short journey to get there. What is of some interest in chapter 47 is stated in the first verse of chapter 47, “…before Pharaoh struck down Gaza.” However, Jeremiah warns them of a flood tide enemy from the north. Egypt is located to the south of Gaza, Babylon is due-east. Jeremiah 47:2…”Thus says the LORD: Behold, waters are rising out of the north…” Commentaries often take the easy way out and forget geography in that process.
There is little reason to question whether or not Babylon overran this territory as it moved into Egypt to do the same thing. However, it remains there today; Gaza Strip, Palestinians, sworn enemies of Israel. Could there be more to this passage in Jeremiah? Of course there could. It may be as much a future prophecy as it was an imminent one. Recall that Jeremiah’s prophesy against Egypt was two-fold; pending and End Time. This force from the north as the “flood waters or a torrent” could also include an attack by the Antichrist; i.e. the King of the North (Europe) against the King in the south (Muslim confederation or Caliphate in the south). It is highly unlikely Muslims will accept the Antichrist as their 12 Imam. That is not how the end is written in their “book.”
There is another strong thought about timing. While Nebuchadnezzar was besieging Judean cities (Jerusalem included), history tells us that the Pharaoh of Egypt attacked Gaza. It is likely that this Pharaoh was Pharaoh Necho. He attacked and smote Gaza, either when he came to Carchemish [the battle of] to confront the Assyrians, or when he returned from there, after he had slain King Josiah of Judah who had foolishly aligned with Assyria.
This map shows where Ur is located. It is almost directly east of Israel, thus Philistia/Gaza strip. Ur is the land from where Abraham came. It was identified as the Land of the Chaldeans. Ur is the city, part of what we would see today as Kuwait at the head of the Persian Gulf and outlet of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. See Genesis 11:31.
Since the descendants of Philistia (Dirty Arabs) still live in this area it does not fit with the rest of chapter 47. We read that they will be in such a panic they will even leave their children behind [47:3]. This author is not familiar with any other secular or biblical sources saying that this already happened. History seems to tell us that this small portion of land is occupied by a people who historically are perpetual occupants. Egypt in contrast to the Assyrians and later the Babylonians, did not remove a conquered people to other lands or the hinterlands of unoccupied or sparsely occupied territories. Pharaoh Necho would not have removed them.
Jeremiah 47: 6 & 7 make a good case for this being the judgement of God in End Time. He commanded his sword to punish and will not recall it.
(ESV) Ah, sword of the LORD! How long till you are quiet? Put yourself into your scabbard; rest and be still!
How can it be quiet when the LORD has given it a charge? Against Ashkelon and against the seashore he has appointed it.”
Might this include another invasion of this land yet to happen? An invasion that God ordains upon the Hezbollah and anti-Israeli occupants of Gaza; i.e. Ashkelon. God’s judgements continue in chapter 48. Now it is Moab, offspring of Lot through one of his daughters.
We should keep in mind that when discussing the harlot, the Great City of Babylon and the dragon [in some senses], we are discussing political, economic, and religious institutions; each distinct. There are three different positions from which to study these three involved factors. Each of the three is connected to one another one way or another but each of these three institutions has their individual destructions; i.e. the kings and rulers; the great wealth and economies through Babylon, the merchants and those made wealthy because of her; the false prophet and false religious institution.
EXAMPLE: In chapter 17 we have the religious aspect of these three institutions: the harlot, Great City of Babylon (by name only) and the multi-horned/headed dragon. In chapter 18 we probably have the political and economic factors. Babylon is not only a false religious system but one of political impact and economies.
In a very real sense, chapter 20 sets the stage for the binding of Satan, the thousand year millennial reign of God and His son Jesus, the New Jerusalem and the eventual new heaven and new earth. We also find the Great White Throne judgment of those who have died in the past “since the creation of earth.”
Verse 1-5 in Revelation 22 is distinct as is Ezekiel 47:1-12 but similar in context. Chapter 21 is also a distinct point in time. We can find the WHEN by reading verses within each reference. All are end time issues. The Ezekiel passage is the millennial reign as is Revelation 20 from the binding of Satan to his release and judgment. Revelation 21:1 explains this is the New Earth and New Heaven “for the old [first] heaven and earth are passed away” [Revelation 20:11].
John is instructed to write out what he has seen and heard. Do not keep it a secret [Revelation 21:5b]. Daniel was told to NOT write all that he had seen and heard for it was for another time in history yet to be played out. This is probably what Daniel also saw in Old Testament time. The Apostle Paul is post crucifixion and New Testament.
It is likely that Revelation 22:2, which talks about twelve manners of fruit cannot be the new Heaven and Earth. Why? Eternity by definition means there is no longer “time.” As one person (originator unknown) put it some time ago… eternity is the total absence of time. There is also no longer a need to heal nations after the Great White Throne judgment at the end of the Millennial Kingdom. We don’t know if such will still exist after the white throne judgment.
Revelation 22:5 skips ahead in its own time capsule; “..and there shall be no more night.” This suggests that since there is no distinction between a day time hour and a night time hour; there must no longer be anything called TIME. Although much of Revelation is sequential or “at the same time” reports by John, he sometimes follows a given topic through to its end before returning to the concurrent or chronological events.
A most likely scenario is that twelve manner of fruits [22:2] is during the Millennial Reign itself. We do not understand what is on the other side of the wall dividing current earth and heavens and when eternity, which by default means time does not exist, begins. We do know from chapter 21 that tears are no longer, there is no more death or sorrow, hell and hades are cast into the lake of Fire…
In a simple way, chapter 22 of Revelation is God putting his stamp of finality on his initial plan for man from the creation of earth, that is, the Garden of Eden. John is told a second time, now by an angel in 22:9 & 10 that he is not to keep this information and prophecies to himself. We read in the verses following 9 & 10 that the world will continue to be as it has since the fall of Adam and Eve up to the point of Jesus Christ and God’s “living amongst us” [21:3].
When Christ does return the second time he will bring his rewards with him. This is a point needing clarification. The Greek for the word reward (misthos) can mean a good thing or a bad thing; i.e. everyone’s JUST reward for what s/he has done during his or her life on earth [v12]. God again points out that He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last [v13].
In verse 14 we must go back to the only other times the Tree of Life is mentioned: Genesis 2:9; 3:22; 3:24 and once again in Revelation 22:14. We begin in the bible with the Tree of Life and no one being able to pick its fruit and eat of it to that restriction being removed in Revelation 22. “Those who do his commandments have right to the tree of life.” In some way of thinking, God will re-institute the Garden of Eden without the ability of Satan to again interfere of influence whose occupying it.
With verse 16 it is not John talking. It is Jesus himself authenticating the truths and correctness of the Book of Revelation. Jesus is declaring his position as a descendant of King David per his physical birth and right to the throne. He also has another right that is found in John 1…
Joh 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Joh 1:2 He was in the beginning with God.
Joh 1:3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.
Joh 1:4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men.
Joh 1:5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
Jesus is the word; Jesus is God.
Can we lose our salvation? This is addressed in a backhanded way in the one of the final verses of the bible; i.e. 22:19…
“…if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.”
One can only take away something that the losing individual originally had, right?
Before we get into chapter 18, let’s understand something. The Harlot or whore of Revelation is not a person; she is an institution; a great city according to 17:18. She confides, shares, and connives with government leaders to milk the public of wealth and uses great deceit. It is led by a religious organization located within this city; i.e. the Harlot. The false prophet is the leader of this religious deceptiveness; i.e. the false church and the false prophet.
Babylon is the reference only location from where this “governing association” with this false church organization functions or operates [17:18]. If one is to make an educated guess, this is probably Rome. It is all under the influence of Satan until he takes over directly during the second half of the Tribulation; either through the resurrected false prophet or through the beast. At that time Satan himself will call the shots. Recall in chapter 17 this Babylon falls out of grace with its associates and God destroys it in “in one hour.” Those who make great wealth from her existence mourn her loss as do many others who have made fortunes from her existence and their alliance with her will wail from a distance [Rev. 18:9]
The great John Walvoord wrote: “…two separate parts or stages of the fall, answering to the two aspects in which Babylon is contemplated, referring first to Babylon in mystery, as a system or spirit of false worship, and second to Babylon as a city, in which this system or spirit is finally embodied
The burning of the “the woman whore” by the beast with ten horns in chapter 17 is probably the city itself (Rome?). Consider this. The false institution and religion during the first half of the Tribulation is only incited and encouraged by Satan. During the second 3 ½ years of the Tribulation, called “the Great Tribulation,” Satan steps in as the guy, the man, the one to fear and worship. The false prophet of the first three and one-half years in the Tribulation may still be around. Some theologians believe that he dies during this great scourge of “Babylon/Rome” and is resurrected but now possessed by Satan or one of his demons.
A wise person would also keep in mind that Isaiah 1:21; Jeremiah 2:20; Ezekiel 16:1–43; and Ezekiel 23, do refer to Jerusalem as a harlot. However, Jerusalem does not fit as cleanly as does Rome for this end time prophecy. Their partial destruction is coming but at the hands of Satan himself.
This chapter begins with an angel of great power and Illumination upon the earth… meaning those alive at this time will bear witness to this proclamation of:
“Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great!’ She has become a dwelling for demons and a haunt for every impure spirit, a haunt for every unclean bird, a haunt for every unclean and detestable animal.
3 For all the nations have drunk the maddening wine of her adulteries. The kings of the earth committed adultery with her, and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries.”
Oddly, this does little to draw in more believers and followers of Jesus Christ at this time in end history yet to happen. However, verse 4 of Revelation 18 is the basis of how some believe to be the timing of the Church Rapture. “Come out of her, my people…” This may or may not be true of the church such as what is called The Rapture. There will still be those who are “God’s people” at this time. We also know some are still on earth at the end of the 7 year Tribulation. This may be the church (v4) or it may simply be those believers who are on location and are told to evacuate to avoid the judgment coming down from heaven upon her. To come out of her tells us that it is a location; probably Rome or perhaps Jerusalem but this website supports the likeliness that it is Rome. It is the great wealth and the fact that it is the false prophet and a place of great luxury that puts the hat of demise on Rome, not Jerusalem at this time. But, Jerusalem (Jews and other members of the 12 Tribes) still hangs in the balance and will suffer greatly for rejecting the Messiah of the gospels.
Revelation 17:15 – 19 describe how these merchants and great masses of wealth attributed to the whore lament over her demise. Verse 20 however tells us that there are “people of God” still on earth [and in heaven?]. They are told to REJOICE over her judgment.
Verse 21 is often misunderstood. It reads: “Then a mighty angel picked up a boulder the size of a large millstone and threw it into the sea, and said: “With such violence the great city of Babylon will be thrown down, never to be found again” [NIV translation]. The second half of this verse says… “with such or similar violence.” It is a comparison, not a method of her destruction for it is quick. A human example would be like kicking a stool leg at night in your bare feet. It is sudden and without remorse. It is totaled! We see this in the remained of chapter 18; no more life in this city; no more business transacted; no more music or trade; no more weddings; no more… (You name it, and it will be forever gone). Actually with a literal view of this passage, there simply is no more Rome (city).
This is, in part, fulfillment of Revelation 6:10 and Revelation 14:10. One is the promised vengeance of those believers who are slain by the evil of this time and the other a warning by example of pending destruction. Both are found in the same ending verse of Revelation 18.
In our next chapter blog, C19, we get a better idea per the celebration of God’s destruction of the Revelation Babylon. It is all part of what God is recorded to say, “It is done;” Revelation 16:17 and again in 21:6.
Her judgment, Babylon, comes in one day. This reminds me of Daniel 5 where Belshazzar is destroyed within a day of Daniel telling him he is doomed.
The rich fool lost his possessions in one day according to Luke 12:16-20. This is the same for Babylon of Revelation.
The name or word antichrist can mean either the opposite ofChrist OR instead of Christ. In our study it is probably both; the “opposite” as in opposing AND “instead of” such as a Satanic substitute. This would include the ancient worship of idols or a future “false christ” performing miracles as a form of persuasion that HE is the Christ; not the one from the New Testament. Jesus specifically warns about this. When Jesus Christ returns to earth it is not to demonstrate anything, but to take possession of his earth and out of the hands and influence of Satan. He will appear in the eastern skies, put foot on the Mount of Olives and claim his kingship as King of kings. He will NOT be some political figure. His appearance is at the very end of the 7 year Tribulation and after the last 7 plagues.
The rider on the white horse in the apocalypse comes to make peace; a false sense of security for Israel AND the rest of the turbulent waters or nations of this world. The word antichrist never appears in Revelation. It only appears in 1 John (3 times; twice in one verse) and once in 2 John. Of course this is the same John who writes Revelation but never uses the word anti-Christ in this final book in the bible.
*This in and of itself suggests it could be of the Tribe of Judah or Levi who is the real antichrist. This may also suggest that this is why the nation of Israel accepts the peace treaty offered by this leader. He is a Jew!?
In Revelation 12 John presents this beast as the extension of the fourth beast of Daniel 7, connecting his empire with the characteristics of the great empires of the past. This final world empire will have the catlike vigilance of a leopard, the lumbering but crushing power of a bear, the authority and ferociousness and stalking power of a lion. In chapter 13 he describes the “beast” as a combined creature of Daniel’s dream; resembling a leopard; feet of a bear; mouth like a lion but a singular beast. In the Book of Daniel these world powers had yet to come. In Revelation, it is the combined power represented by these animals that force the world into a singular governed economy. These animals are popularly recognized as Babylon, Mede-Persian, Greek, then, Rome.
It is a fascinating discussion per 13:2b:
The dragon will give this critter His power; His throne; great authority. Certainly Satan has in the past and continues to make earth HIS DOMAIN and possession. He gives it all to this critter from the Sea. This is very similar to Matthew 28:18. Christ makes this claim of power and authority as from God his biological the Father.
Verse 3 tells of the deadly wound at which the whole world must be aware. However, there is no indication as to who is the one striking this deadly blow to him; It SEEMED (hōs) to have a deadly blow to one of its heads. This same Greek word is translated as something that appears to be so, but is not definitive. “…and all the world wondered after the beast.” This [first] beast is not an institution, nationality, or organization as many denominations and theological theorists suggest, but a person. This is Satan’s effort to once again parallel anything and everything God created or did, including the sacrifice and resurrection of one of his own if not a direct bodily possession of a man who is dead but possessed of Satan and then appears to be alive. Scary thought!
What we have so far in Revelation 13:1-10:
Beast from the Sea
A dragon who gives this beast from the sea his powers, throne, and authority.
A wounded head among the multi-headed beast that “appears” to be fatal.
A step back, but Daniel 7 is the parallel scripture to Revelation 13
NOTE: It is good to recall or learn that the 4th beast of Daniel 7 is NOT IDENTIFIED as a creature he recognizes. Daniel 7:19… “the fourth best is diverse from all the others.” This is probably so as the other three beasts can be identified to kingdoms in the past. The fourth beast is described but of unknown quantities, symbolisms, and prophetic clarity. This is also true of Revelation 13:1 & 11.
Another fascinating note is the language used in Daniel 7:26; i.e. the word “THEY.” “…and THEY shall take away his dominion to consume and to destroy it unto the end.” It is the court according to scripture, but who is the court? This is worth researching on one’s own in order to take ownership of the results.
At verse 4 of chapter 13 we see that mankind will be deceived but accepting to the worship of this 1st beast AND the Dragon father. The warning comes in chapter 14 that if anyone who worships this beast and/or its image, they have committed the eternal sin for which there is no longer any forgiveness.
There are some, however, who believe this to fit the passage that reads, “he was, then is not, but then is again” [Revelation 17:11]. This might be the rise, death then resurrection of the old Roman Empire through the Vatican; i.e. the Pope’s:
1 global power until the 1700’s when Napoleon stripped him of it,
2 noninvolvement in secular world affairs for several hundred years after Napoleon,
3 revived involvement in politics and environmental discussions as we see it today.
Verses 4 & 5 suggest the same thing that God did for his son Jesus while he was on earth and right after his resurrection; he gave all power/authority in heaven and earth to Jesus his son – Matthew 28:18. This was right after his resurrection (read Ephesians 1:20-23). This again is a parallel to and a false deception propagated by Satan himself when he simulates this with his false trinity. There is often discussion of the meaning or purpose or function of the “little horn” in Daniel 7:8. One might suggest this is the “Son of Satan” just as Jesus is the Son of God. Martin Luther and John Calvin believed this little horn to be Islam. He is the one who rises up as the little horn and plucks three rebelling horns out of his circle or power.
Stay tuned while considering the following:
Question: Do these passages suggest that predestination is established for certain pre-identified individuals or for those who use his/her free will to follow Christ? [Blue Letter Bible]
– The work of Jesus was ordained before the foundation of the world (1 Peter 1:20)
– God chose His redeemed before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4)
– *Names are written in the Book of Life before the foundation of the world (Revelation 17:8)
– The kingdom of heaven was prepared for the redeemed before the foundation of the world (Matthew 25:34)
Answer: No! These passages mean that God preordained his chosen people Israel to be a light unto the rest of the world even though they have failed so to do, and, FROM the point of creation of the earth, man, and its inhabitants. *This passage is misquoted from Revelation 17:8. 17:8 does not say the names are written before the creation of the world, but since or from the point of creation forward “names are written into the book of life.” The Ephesian passage is written out of context. God has chosen us (to be) in him before the foundation of the world. This is what he hoped for Adam and Eve. They failed him.
Mankind has a free will of choice. Once we accept Christ as Lord and Savior, we fall into the predestination of becoming a child of God; brother to Jesus. It is predestined that those who accept Jesus and follow him will have salvation. Those who chose to follow and worship him are predestined to be called children of God. It is discussing the who but the process of HOW it happens.