Daniel – Part 2
By Dennis Huebshman
In case someone may think I overlooked Nebuchadnezzar’s first dream in part 1, I purposely held it until now because it belongs in the Prophesy section. A note to remember, Daniel was written around the 6th. Century BC and many have thought it was actually written much later because the events given were so accurate, and that a different person actually wrote this book. God is not controlled by time as we are, and He is in the past, present and future all at once, He gave Daniel the message to give to us. Also, even Jesus referred to this book directly about the “abomination of desolation” (Matthew 24:15; Mark 13:14 and Luke 21:20) and figuratively when He made the Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem at the time specified by Daniel over 400 years earlier. Paul also referred to the desolation in 2 Thessalonians 2:4.
When Nebuchadnezzar had a troubling dream, he refused to tell the content to anyone, but demanded it be revealed and interpreted or all his court people would be killed. Daniel was a captive from Jerusalem and probably in his middle to late teens when this occurred, and he went to the Lord in prayer. Afterward, he requested an audience with the King, and he was not only able to tell the King what the dream was, but what it meant. He told of a great statue which had a head of gold, chest and arms of silver, belly and thighs of bronze and legs of iron with feet of iron and clay. He made sure he told Nebuchadnezzar that his God Jehovah was the one who really revealed the dream.
The interpretation was Nebuchadnezzar was the head of gold and represented the current empire. The chest and arms of Silver were the Medes and Persians who were in control next followed by the Bronze Belly and Thighs as the Greek Empire headed up by Alexander the Great. The fourth were the legs of Iron which represented the Roman empire with the feet of Iron and Clay which would be a revived Roman Empire in the latter days from which the final anti-christ would come. Daniel did not go into great detail other than give a brief description of each empire and all except for the Head of Gold were to be in the future. After this, Nebuchadnezzar gave the youthful Daniel a high position in his court along with many gifts and made him the main prefect over all the wise men of Babylon.
In Chapter 7, we’re told it was the 1st. year of Belshazzar’s reign in Babylon. The handwriting in Chapter 5 was in the 3rd. year, so his rule was very short because Darius took over on that very night.
Daniel had a vision and 4 beasts came up from the sea. The beasts represented the same kingdoms as Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in Chapter 2. They were a lion with eagle’s wings which was Babylon; lopsided bear with 3 ribs in its mouth which represented Medo-Persia; leopard with 4 wings and 4 heads which was the Greek empire and finally a terrible beast with iron teeth and 10 horns which was both the Roman empire and the revived Roman Empire in the far future. Revelation 13 has the same animals mentioned but on one beast that came up from the sea.
Daniel had visions of the coming empires on the earth all the way through the tribulation, and so far, his order of events has been perfect. This should be no surprise because they were given to him by the overall perfect God of our Creation. The 10 horns of the 4th. Beast represents 10 kings of the tribulation and also are in Revelation 13. It’s amazing that Daniel and John so many centuries apart had very similar visions. The mention of the “little horn” is understood to be satan’s final and most deadly anti-christ and for some reason he takes out 3 of the 10 kings. He becomes the ruler causing all the world to worship him in the presence of the “Ancient of Days” (God). Then a “Son of Man” (Jesus the Messiah) was given authority to destroy the anti-christ and set up His kingdom that would not be destroyed. Because Daniel was not given the “Mystery” spoken of by Paul (Rapture), his reference to the “saints” are the believers of the tribulation and millennium.
Before going on to chapter 8, an up-to-date news report has brought Daniel’s prophecy a bit closer. When the European Union was formed, everyone thought this would be the setting up of the 10 kingdoms of the end times. However, the number grew to 28 nations, and suddenly this didn’t appear to be relevant any more. Just recently, Emmanuel Macron, President of France and part of the New World Order announced a proposal he was putting forth to form a strong 10-nation coalition to run all the business concerning Europe and all surrounding countries of the Old Roman Empire. This would bring the 10 kings of Daniel 7 and Revelation 13 closer to being formed. Hasn’t happened yet, but with the atmosphere of this rapidly changing world, anything is possible especially with God.
Chapter 8 is Belshazzar’s 3rd. and final year as king of Babylon. Daniel had another vision and this prophecy has been fulfilled already. It was of a ram and a goat. The ram had two horns, one longer than the other and represented the Medes and Persians. There came a goat with one horn which represented Greece and the kingdom of Alexander the Great, and in Verse 7, the ram is defeated by the goat which Alexander did. However, he had no heirs and 4 smaller horns arose after the one horn was broken which was the death of Alexander at 33 years of age. These were the 4 kings that took over after his death and from one of them came a smaller horn that would be a prelude to the anti-christ of Revelation. This was Antiochus IV Epiphanes who around 167 BC ravaged the Jews in Jerusalem. He was the first mention of “abomination of desolation” in the Temple because he sacrificed a pig on the altar and forced the Jews to either offer pigs as sacrifice and eat the meat or die. This was part of the period that was between the Old and New Testaments. It should be noted, the final anti-christ will desecrate the Jewish temple mid-way through the Tribulation, but how he will do it is not given. It does show there will be a 3rd. Temple built in Jerusalem before the 2nd. actual set-foot on earth coming of Jesus. Antiochus died in 164 BC from disease.
Chapter 9 begins with prayer from Daniel for all his people because he had been reading the works of Jeremiah and found the time for the Jews to be returned from captivity was very near. (Jeremiah 29:10) All the way through verse 19, Daniel acknowledges Israel was justly punished and confessed all the transgressions that had taken place. He called out for forgiveness on their behalf. Daniel at this time was probably 85-90 years of age.
Gabriel returns to give Daniel further insight into the future. This is where the 70 weeks of Daniel are given, and each group of 7 weeks is actually 7 years, and 70 groups of 7 would be 490 years. This would be broken down to 7 weeks of 7 (49 years) to rebuild Jerusalem which had been destroyed. The second period would be 63 weeks of 7 or a total of 441 years when the Messiah would return to set up His Millennial kingdom. However, after 483 years (69 weeks total), the Messiah would be cut off or killed and the final 7 years would be put on hold until a future time when the fullness of the Gentiles takes place. (Romans 11:25) By the year 444 BC, the decree had been issued for the rebuild and the countdown started.
While I had hoped to do this in 2 sections, there will be one more. Even though this is sort of a Reader’s Digest version of Daniel, it’s necessary to include more information to give a clearer picture.
The final section will be Chapters 10 through 12.