Daniel 9 – Article #27

Contrary to some who have a basic grasp on the Book of Daniel, the “70 weeks” mention in this chapter has only some to do with the 70 year captivity of the Judeans from Judah. Once again be very cautious about trusting misleading information found on Wikipedia per almost anything scriptural.

Example: Here is what this “supposed authoritarian resource” says:

“The consensus among critical scholars is that chapters 1-6 of the Book of Daniel originated as a collection of folktales among the Jewish diaspora in the Persian/Hellenistic periods, to which the visionary chapters 7–12 were added during the persecution of the Jews under Antiochus IV in 167–163 BCE. The authors of the tales apparently took the name Daniel from a legendary hero mentioned in the Book of Ezekiel, and the author of the visions in turn adopted him from the tales.”
[From Wikipedia, Daniel 9, the free encyclopedia; emphasis mine]

Wikipedia uses dogma and misleading “authorities” trying to make a point that the Bible is A BOOK OF STORIES. Fundamentalists do a major disservice that inadvertently supports this Wikipedia philosophy by also identifying historical Bible events as “stories.” Call scripture for what it is…FACT, not a series of cute religious bedtime and Sunday school stories.

When speaking to true believers, those who strive to BE and LIVE (believe) a Christian life, we understand. But to the unbeliever, the unequally yoked church attender, or the church-only so-called Christian, the word story leaves much territory to wonder, rationalize, and justify wrong personal actualities.

Now to Daniel 9:

Daniel 9:2 is very specific about who the author is. Not some distant or future “add-on” to this incredible book. “I Daniel, understood the number of the years by books, which came of the Word of Jehovah to Jeremiah the prophet,…” [NKJV]. Daniel is a student of scripture. He is well read, especially of Jeremiah. In Daniel 9:2 he is probably referring to the passages found in Jeremiah 25 (*11 & 12) and chapter 29 (10-12).

*…this whole land shall be a ruin and a waste. And these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. [NKJV]

Daniel is specifically referring to the 70 year captivity of the Judean Jews. At the end of this chapter, we get a beginning glimpse of s future Jerusalem even today has yet to be fulfilled as a promise of God the Father.

At this point, Daniel goes deep into a prayer session with God. His prayer content and context references other bible scriptures (*future outcomes contained in past conditions put upon Israel by God) but that is not the discussion goal of this Daniel 9 article. Let’s look at Daniel’s prayer specifics. It is something we should learn to pattern. Not a prayer life of the Lord’s Prayer quoted in Matthew 6 and Luke 11. In these passages we are specifically instructed to go into our prayer closet, alone; not to stand or sit and pray aloud yet alone in unison. This would make for a very crowded prayer closet.

*EXAMPLE: Leviticus 26:40 – 42 This is a specific precondition for the redemption and return of Israel, not just the Judean Jews, but include from the “four corners of the earth” where Israeli Tribes and offspring now live. Most of these folks have lost contact with their chosen people identification given to them by God through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Gabriel

If we jump forward to 9:21 we read that Daniel’s prayer was so earnest and intense that God sent the angel Gabriel to speak with Daniel…directly! But, let’s not stray. In Daniel’s prayer he includes…

  1. Fasting
  2. Persistence
  3. Israel not listening to God’s Words
  4. The unrecognized shame of Israel. Note that Daniel is not praying about the Jews of Judah but of his entire family of scattered Israeli Tribes.
  5. Rejection of the prophets sent by God to both the northern and southern kingdoms of Israel and Judah.
  6. He calls Jerusalem “the city that bears HIS (God’s) name.”
  7. Daniel pleads for God’s wrath against Israel (Jerusalem) to cease
  8. It is not a request (petition) owed to Israel but it is for the sake of God’s name.

We so often miss one of Daniel’s major prayer points. He is not asking this for the sake of Israelis, but according Daniel 9:18b…”For we do not present our prayers before You on account of our righteousness’s, but because of Your great mercies.” [NKJV] . Note the “WE” in Daniel’s prayer. He is not praying for himself but for his entire people of Israeli descent.

In verse 19 Daniel lists priorities…

  1. “For your sake (God);
  2. …on account of your righteousness;
  3. …for your city (Jerusalem);
  4. …for your people called by your name.”

Let’s back up for a moment to verse 19. Daniel says and pleads with God that He answer his prayer petition for “the city Jerusalem AND for ‘those who carry His name’.” Give serious consideration for those who call themselves Christian today. There are many who identify as Christian but do little to “carry His name” in his or her daily walk in public and in worship.

From verse 23 forward (Daniel 9:23+) we arrive at a fork in the road of prophecies; two roads (context) but the same content. This is somewhat scriptural speculation but consider this. We know that the Tribe of Judah (Jews by a shortened inference name) was in their 69th or 70th year of captivity in Babylon. It was about to end and King Cyrus of Persia (modern day Iran) would release them to return to their original homeland. Verse 25 no longer is talking about the 70 year Babylonian captivity but of a future yet to be completed return and building of Jerusalem; i.e. Daniel’s 70 7s.

The future of Jerusalem is now identified in Daniel’s prayer to be “built unto the Messiah the Prince.” God is never identified as the Messiah; Jesus is. God is never referred to as a Prince. Only Jesus is. So the parallel or fork in the road of prophecies is obvious. Judeans would be release after 70 years of Babylonian captivity but Jerusalem is destined to be the Kingdom of the Messiah Prince; Jesus. This is a reference to the future millennial reign. We will discuss that in part, in our next Daniel article. Prior to this verse, the Jerusalem under discussion was for the right of the captured Jews of Judah to return home.

Daniel 9:25 in the ESV puts it this way:

Know therefore and understand that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time.

The very next verse identifies (anti-Christ) as one who will destroy the city and the Temple. Bear in mind, Nebuchadnezzar had already done this several decades earlier.

The prince identified in verse 26 is lower case; not Prince as written earlier in chapter 9, but as prince of the people. We will pick it up at verse 26 in the next article. It is a discussion in and of itself.

The Book of Daniel – According to Wikipedia

attentionThe following is some of what the Book of Daniel and other canonized biblical books prophecy will happen as we close in on end time. This is despicable verbiage designed to do one thing…discredit Daniel and the Bible as the reliable and infallible Word of God. This is what high school and college students are exposed to today and we as true believers do nothing to stop it. This makes us as weak in our stand for God and Christ as Wikipedia is now violating Christianity, the Bible, and God himself.

caution[Wikipedia]: “The Book of Daniel is not regarded by scholars as a reliable guide to history. The broad consensus is that Daniel never existed, and that the author appears to have taken the name from a legendary hero of the distant past mentioned in the Book of Ezekiel. The book that bears his name is an apocalypse, not a book of prophecy, and its contents form a cryptic allusion to the persecution of the Jews by the Syrian king Antiochus IV Epiphanes (reigned 175–164 BCE). There is broad agreement that the stories making up chapters 1–6 are legendary in character, and that the visions of chapters 7–12 were added during the persecution of Antiochus, the book itself being completed soon after 164 BCE.

Daniel 5 and Daniel 6 belong to the folktales making up the first half of the book. The language of Daniel 5 (“Belshazzar’s Feast”), for example, follows ancient Near Eastern conventions which are in some cases precisely those used in Daniel. Daniel 6 (“Daniel in the Lions’ Den”) is based on a classic Babylonian folk-tale called “Ludlul-bel-nemeqi”, telling of a courtier who suffers disgrace at the hands of evil enemies but is eventually restored due to the intervention of a kindly god (in the story in Daniel, this is the God of Israel): in the Babylonian original the “pit of lions” is a metaphor for human adversaries at court, but the biblical tale has turned the metaphorical lions into real animals.”

cropped-minijim1Dr. Jstark
September 2018

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darius_the_Mede

 

 Revelation 11 – Part 2 of the Two Witnesses

Watch For Wildlife. Large SUV in Front of a Deer in Deep Forest at Night. Road Danger at Night. Deer Crossing. Wildlife Photo Collection.

The two witnesses of Revelation 11 have as much identity speculation as does a deer that might dash across the road in front of someone’s car during the time of the year when bucks have lost their horns. We can speculate on size, possible weight of that particular deer, shade or color of its coat, how it loped across the street, or whether a couple of deer crossed prior to this particular deer as the buck tends to lead from behind. Whatever is one’s guess, we really don’t know the make and model of the daring deer that challenges the front end of one’s car, SUV, or truck.

The same is true as to the identities of the two witnesses who proclaim Christ in Jerusalem for 1260 days; up to the point where the beast from the abyss declares war on them. They are slain and their bodies remain in the heat of the Middle East sun for 3 ½ days as a witness to the power of the anti-Christ or the beast. We might insert here that this is during the Tribulation Period and most likely during the first half of this 7 year period of time. WHY? This is when the beast from the abyss makes his power insertion and entrance to the world scene declaring him-self to be god. It is an interesting puzzle to sequence and fit each event such as:

  1. The arrival of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse;
  2. The revealing of the man of evil;
  3. The false prophet;
  4. The false and acceptable one world church (council of Popes perhaps;
  5. The opening of the 7 Seals;
  6. The 7 trumpets and their messages;
  7. The 7 vials or bowls of plagues poured out on those who…
  8. …take the Mark of the Beast (when does this happed?);
  9. The church? Is it here or raptured?
  • The 2,000,000 man army that moves against Jerusalem;
  • The rebuilt Temple of Judaism;
  • The agreement of peace between the anti-Christ and Israel;
  • The return to Israel of the Lost ten Tribes (pending, already happened or a spiritualized symbolic event)
  • The beast that rises out of the sea with heads and horns… is this spiritualized? A combination of global or European uniting of nations?
  1. Existence of a one world government?
  • What about the question as to when the King of the North and the King of the South wage wars against each other? Who are they and when does this happened? What about the “rumor” of forces coming from the North and East?
  • Is Armageddon [Har Megeddo] the battle ground or simply a staging place for the massive armies preparing to attack Jerusalem?
  • Why might these forces from the south, north, and east unite? Against whom?

Beautiful view of Jerusalem city, Israel

It is easy to understand the confusion when these and many more mentioned factors such as the drying up of the Euphrates River, the armies from the East and the North need to FIT into this same period of *time. However, one may think it is beyond human minds to conceive of these this occurring within a 7 year period of time plus the return of Jesus Christ at the sounding of the 7th trumpet, Mount of Olives splitting north and south along recently discovered fault line that runs through the center of it. [I wonder if John of Revelation was also a gifted seismologist or if he simply wrote what the angel told him]?

*Daniel, Jude, Revelation, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Malachi only to mention a few books of the Bible that address the above issues of End Time.

These questions and other Tribulation issues will all be answered during this series on End Time, but drinking from a fire hose is very difficult. Therefore we will reduce the water flow and sip at each item pulling them together as best as scripture will allow. This approach is the Learning Curve; i.e. awareness first, beginnings of understanding, comprehension of the puzzle pieces that match, building the framework around the entire puzzle first, the desiring to fill in the spaces with pieces that logically fit together.

The Two witnesses:

Some denominations and seminarians want to think it is not limited to two key prophets/witnesses. This is clearly mistaken as scripture identifies the masculine terms of “they, them and these.” They are men… there are two of them.

Many speculate that the identity of one of the witnesses is Elijah. Malachi 4:5 tells us… “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes. The obvious question from this verse is what or when will be the “great and awesome day of the Lord?” This great and awesome day of the Lord piece of the puzzle fits well with the 7th trumpet. We can consider Joel 2:31, Leviticus 23:36-37, Revelation 11 and Jeremiah 16:14-16 just to mention a few passages pointing to this same event. What is that event? When Christ sets foot on the Mt. of Olives, it splits along natural east-west fault lines pushing massive mountains north and south [Zachariah 14:4]. This is when Christ and heavenly hosts declare earth as now his kingdom. This will stir up the leaders of other nations. They will put aside their warring differences and attempt to attack this “self-declaring king” in Jerusalem; i.e. Jesus Christ.

However, this does not explain the BEFORE in the great and awesome day of the Lord.” Since it is the slaying of these witnesses that reveals and establishes the evil one (dragon/beast) as a power who sets up his throne in the Jerusalem Temple, we are most likely looking at the termination of the two witnesses at the end of the first 3 ½ years of the Tribulation and the beginning fo what the bible identifies as Jacob’s troubles; Matthew 24:15-22.

But, what about the identity of the two Tribulation Witnesses? The answer is similar to the deer that darts in front of our speeding car in the spring. It has no antlers so we can’t be sure. The Children of Israel were led out of 400 years of semi-captivity in Egypt. They were established in Goshen by the son of Jacob… Joseph. This is *lower Egypt along the forks in the Nile River that feed into the Mediterranean Sea. This second return to Jerusalem (Israel; Zion) is another exodus from where they were scattered then migrated back in the 700’s and 600’s B.C. by the Assyrians, Babylonian’s, Medes and Persians.

*Over the history of Egypt there were often an upper and lower Egypt ruled by two different Pharaohs. When united they were ruled by one Pharaoh.

Some religious sects identify these two witnesses as the 144,000 witnesses described earlier in Revelation {Revelation 7 & 14). Others try to persuade the bible student it is Elijah’s spirit in John the Baptist that returns to earth. Let’s think this through a bit more logically.

There are two men who never died according to scripture: Elijah who was taken up in a fiery chariot [II Kings 2:11] and Enoch [Genesis 5:22 & 24] who walked with the Lord and was no more.

Now turn to Hebrews 9:27. Some theologians try hard to convince themselves that this is not applicable to these two witnesses. They try to drive a wedge between Hebrews 9:27 and the two witnesses who are finally slain by the evil beast from the abyss. Why complicate understanding? Just as the judgement days, the pouring out of the vials, the blowing of the trumpets, and the Millennial Reign of Christ is fact. Why not consider the puzzle piece here as the two men of God who had never died. We actually don’t know for certain, but the pieces of our Tribulation time and two witnesses puzzle fits together nicely.

In all fairness we should acknowledge Luke 1:17 where it points out that John the Baptist will come in the spirit of Elijah. This timing is after the birth of Jesus and John the Baptist was a forerunner and contemporary of Christ. This being said, a good bible student must allow for this possibility when we add Matthew 11:11a to this mix of guesses and speculate.

Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist.

Then, it is just as possible that the two witnesses are or will be men of that day; known to the social media during this time of the Tribulation. We don’t know so anyone’s conclusion even if supposedly supported by scripture is still debatable. What is important is one’s personal relationship to Jesus Christ. Avoid the Tribulation period altogether and be a part of the Rapture.

Dr. jStark