Daniel 11b-12 - John Karmelich
This is Lesson 2 on Daniel 11and all of Chapter 12.
1. It is time to wrap up Daniel. All that is left is tell you the about the tribulation, Jesus' second coming, the Antichrist and explain what it has to do with our life today. (No problem. ☺)
a) Last week, we looked at prophecy (i.e., predictions) that already happened, and we learned what they have to do with our lives.
b) Today, we look at prophecy that will happen in the future and again, what is has to do our lives day.
c) The last 10 verses of Chapter 11 as well as all of Chapter 12 focus on the Antichrist.
i) It is all future prophecy to us today.
ii) Here is one thing I know for sure: it will happen.
a) If you've read the last lesson, you can see how literal Bible prophecy comes to pass. We trust that same level of literal prophecy coming to pass with future prophecy as well.
iii) Here is what we don't know: how it will come to pass.
a) For 2,000 years, Bible commentators have speculated how all of this comes to pass in the future.
(1) One can make some logical assumptions by reading the text.
(2) Every commentator, myself included, looks at the present and near future, and see how it could apply today.
(3) First of all, there is nothing wrong with that. The Bible is for personal application. Jesus also taught us to watch for the signs of his second coming. (See Luke 21:28)
(4) Therefore, I think it is important to look at the world today and see how this future prophecy could come true today.
(5) Will I be absolutely right in my predictions? Who knows, I like to think so. ☺
(6) The important point is simply to know that God's word will come true. The "how" is the fun part to speculate about.
2. This lesson is the continuation of a vision that covers from Chapters 10 through Chapter 12.
a) Chapter 10 is the introduction to that vision. It focuses on the people giving the vision.
b) Chapter 11, Verses 1-35 focus on events that were future to Daniel, but past tense to us.
c) Chapter 11, Verses 36 through the end of Chapter 12, focus on events future to us.
i) How do we know this?
ii) Well, for starters, what the angel is describing here does not match with anything that has happened in history. I'll give more details when we get to the individual verses.
iii) Second, it ties in with a lot of the end-time prophecies discussed in Revelation.
iv) Remember back in Chapter 9, God told Daniel that 70 "weeks of years" or 70 times 7-years are given for Israel. The first 69 x 7-years covers the scope of history described last week. That period ends with the 1st coming of Jesus.
a) There is a longtime gap between the 69th and 70th week. I discussed this in my second lesson on Daniel 9.
b) In a sense, the whole vision given in Chapters 10-12 are an expansion commentary of the time-frame given in Chapter 9, which covers this 70th "week-of-years" period.
d) In Bible prophecy it is not unusual for a prophet to describe a near-term event and then expand the scope of that prophecy to cover a broader term.
i) For example, in Ezekiel is giving a prophecy about the city-state of Tyre. He was directing the message to the king or prince of Tyre.
ii) This starts in Verse 1 of Chapter 28. But by verse 13, he says that the king of Tyre was "in the garden of Eden". Somehow I don't believe the king of Tyre was ever with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Even.
a) Ezekiel was expanding the scope of the prophecy to talk about how Satan was behind the powers of the king of Tyre.
iii) The point is simply that there is a style of Hebrew prophecy where you start by describing short-term events, and then expand to cover a greater base.
a) This style is important as the short scope prediction validates the prophet as a prophet. The long term or bigger scope is the key issue.
iv) Jesus himself used this style when the disciples asked Jesus about when his second coming was going to happen. When you read the account in Matthew 24, (or Mark 13 or Luke 21) there are some verses that were fulfilled in the short term and by Verse 15 in Matthew, Jesus expands the scope by saying "when you see the abomination of desolation" verse. We've discussed that in previous lessons, so I won't expand further. The point is there is often a short term and long term or short-scope and big-scope prophecy mixed together in the Bible.
3. Let's get started. Chapter 11, Verse 36: "The king will do as he pleases. He will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will say unheard-of things against the God of gods. He will be successful until the time of wrath is completed, for what has been determined must take place.
a) Verse 36 is a summary-sentence of the rest of the chapter. It is an overview statement.
i) The rest of the chapter and Chapter 12 gives more details.
ii) This "king" is another name for the Antichrist.
iii) The proof will become more obvious over the next few pages.
iv) Because Verse 36 is a key verse, I'm going to go into more detail of this verse.
b) The first sentence says it all: "The king will do as he pleases."
i) In fact, the rest of the verse is a natural reaction based on the first sentence.
ii) Show me a person who does whatever/whenever they want, i.e., no fear of God, no fear of a judgment day, no consciousness of the fact that what they are doing is wrong, and the rest of the comments of Verse 36 naturally follow.
c) Remember from last week that the last set of verses focuses on the life of the "King or the North", who historically was Antiochus IV. He ruled from present-day Syria, which is just north of Israel, but dominated the Israel territory during his life.
i) The reason we know this verse is not about him is by history.
ii) Some commentators try to say the rest of Chapter 11 is about Antiochus, but historically, the facts don't match up with these verses.
iii) Most conservative Jewish as well as Christian commentators believe that from Verse 36 and on, the message being given to Daniel is futuristic to us.
iv) Another reason we know this is we have coinage from Antiochus IV.
a) His coins honored the Greek gods and not himself.
b) Further, when he did the "abomination of desolation" in the Jewish temple, he didn't offer a sacrifice to himself, but to a Greek god.
v) This verse in Daniel says whoever "he" is, will magnify himself above all Gods.
a) That is not Antiochus IV.
d) Let's go on to the 2nd sentence: "He will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will say unheard-of things against the God of gods."
i) The world will look to this guy as the greatest leader of all time. He will accept this praise and encourage it.
ii) The last part of this verse is saying he will "blaspheme" the true God. How?
a) We don't know. The commentators are full of speculation.
b) Since this guy, who we call the Antichrist, will try to bring world peace, he will probably speak against the exclusitivity of following the true God. He's probably give an "all religions are right" type of speech.
c) Remember the world will follow this guy. He will be popular.
d) To be popular, he needs to speak what is appealing to man's ego.
iii) There is another popular theory among us "pre-tribulation-view types". ☺
a) I believe the rapture of the church will occur prior to this man coming to power. The phrase "will say unheard-of things against the God of gods" may be the antichrist giving an explanation of why/how the church disappears. Let's just say he doesn't give God the credit. ☺
(1) Remember that the Antichrist is not revealed until the tribulation period begins. (See 2nd Thessalonians 2:3 for a reference.)
(2) "God will send them (unbelievers during the great tribulation) strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2nd Thess. 2:11-12, NKJV)
e) Last sentence of this verse: "He will be successful until the time of wrath is completed, for what has been determined must take place."
i) The key phrase is "time of the wrath is completed".
a) Remember back to Daniel 9 and the 70 "weeks". These 70 "weeks" are determined for Israel. The prophecy of Daniel 10 through 12 is an expansion of what will happen to Israel over that 70 "weeks-of-years".
b) The phrase "is completed" refers to the end of the 70 "weeks".
ii) Another key word is "until". The antichrist will be successful until the time of wrath is completed. That is the key. It will not be forever. It will only be for a specific time.
a) This wrath period, we will discover in a few verses is actually the last 3.5 years of the 7-year period. The first 3.5 years will be a time of world-peace. Then the Antichrist will desecrate the temple and the wars begin.
iii) There is a parallel passage to this sentence in Revelation:
a) And he (Antichrist) was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months (i.e., 3.5 years). 6Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. (Revelation 13:5-6, NKJV)
iv) Let's look at the last phrase: "must take place". Why must (this) take place?
a) Stop and think about this: Millions will be killed because of this guy. Millions (billions?) will be deceived into turning from the true God to follow this guy to hell. Why must this take place?
b) For starters, let's call it an incentive factor for us to turn to God. ☺
(1) This message is sent as a warning. God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked. He wants all to turn to him for eternity.
(2) Say to them, 'As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, O house of Israel?' (Ezekiel 33:11, NIV)
c) Suppose there is no "great judgment". Suppose life just goes on forever and God continues to save those who turn to him and not save those who don't. The problem is then God is not perfect in judgment.
(1) Remember that God not only judges us individually, but corporately (as a group).
(2) God created man and He is in charge. Since man (corporately) sinned by turning away from God's commandments, which are instinctive to us (e.g., we instinctively know its wrong to steal, etc.), then God has to judge the world in order for him to be perfect in judgment.
d) Remember that this judgment is for Israel.
(1) Yes, millions or billions of Gentiles during the tribulation will also follow the Antichrist, but this prophecy focuses on Israel.
(2) The point here is that this guy, who most Jews will probably herald as being their Messiah, will deceive many Jews.
(3) Remember Satan is a deceiver. His desire is to be worshipped like God (See Isaiah 14:14). Therefore, God allows him one chance for the world and specifically Israel to be deceived by this man. God's love for all of us is that he warns us in advance, in detail about this guy's coming so we can be warned.
4. OK, better get moving, Verse 37: He will show no regard for the gods of his fathers or for the one desired by women, nor will he regard any god, but will exalt himself above them all. 38 Instead of them, he will honor a god of fortresses; a god unknown to his fathers he will honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and costly gifts.
a) If you read both of these verses together, the key phrase is "he regards no god but himself". The rest is mostly commentary on other gods he doesn't worship.
b) Notice the first phrase in Verse 37 that says, "no regard for the gods of his fathers".
i) Some people think the antichrist might by Jewish because of the "god of his fathers" reference.
ii) Personally, I can't build a case on this, but I may be wrong. He could have a Christian background and ignore "the god of his fathers". He could have a Muslim background and ignore "the god of his fathers".
a) Most conservative commentators believe that many Jews will believe the antichrist is their long awaited Messiah.
b) In order for the Jews and the world to accept this man as their Messiah, I suspect he might have some sort of Jewish (or Christian) family background in order for the Jews to accept him. In fact some believe he might even come from the United States because we are "pro-Israel".
c) The next phrase "no regard...for the one desired by women".
i) Some English translations give the impression he might be homosexual or simply not care about women.
ii) I disagree with this view. If you read these two verses in context, they are saying he has no desire for any god including the god "desired by women".
iii) A rabbinical interpretation (I agree with) is that this phrase is referring to the desire of Jewish women.
iv) The traditional great desire of Jewish woman is to be the mother of the Messiah.
d) Verse 38 says he will honor the "god of fortress".
i) This sounds like a contradiction. First the text says he magnifies himself above all gods, and then he says he honors this "fortress god".
a) I don't believe the "fortress god" is any specific god. That would be contrary to the previous text.
b) It probably means the antichrist will be a man-of-war. In other words, he gains his power and wealth by declaring war and conquering.
c) Think of "fortress" as a military fort.
d) It is interesting to think about the fact that through the centuries, people have thought of many world conquerors as being "the" antichrist because of this reference.
e) Throughout history, many have tried to unite the world "through war, for world-peace" and have failed. These leaders are a model and a foreshadow of what is to come, but were not "the" guy. God designed it this way, basically, to keep us on our toes and keep our focus on watching for the return of Jesus.
(1) "Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. (1st John 2:18, NIV)
e) Last phrase of Verse 38: "he will honor (the fortress god) with gold and silver…"
i) This antichrist "trusts" in war for his accomplishments. I believe the gold/ silver, etc. is a reference to financing his goals.
5. Verse 39: He will attack the mightiest fortresses with the help of a foreign god and will greatly honor those who acknowledge him. He will make them rulers over many people and will distribute the land at a price.
a) With the help of this "fortress god", he attacks "the mightiest fortresses". It is a colorful way of saying through military strength, he will conquer other places that already have strong military might.
b) The last part of the verse implies that the Antichrist will have other rulers under him and distribute the land he conquered "at a price", meaning he rewards other leaders who are loyal to him.
c) These wars are expanded upon in the Book of Revelation. The Book of Revelation spends a lot of time describing great wars and catastrophes upon mankind.
i) There is a theory that the apostle John, who wrote Revelation, was describing modern military war. John was trying his best to describe it using terminology of his day. Imagine trying to describe modern warfare with tanks and helicopters using a 1st century vocabulary. You would be using terms like parts of animals and beasts like John did in Revelation.
ii) Here's a verse from Revelation. Could John be describing tanks or helicopters using 1st century terms? :"I saw the horses in the vision: those who sat on them had breastplates of fiery red, hyacinth blue, and sulfur yellow; and the heads of the horses were like the heads of lions; and out of their mouths came fire, smoke, and brimstone" (Rev. 9:17, NKJV). (I don't know the answer. It's just interesting to think about! ☺)
6. Verse 40: At the time of the end the king of the South will engage him in battle, and the king of the North will storm out against him with chariots and cavalry and a great fleet of ships. He will invade many countries and sweep through them like a flood.
a) Now we get back to the "king of the south and the king of the north".
i) And you thought we were through with that last week! ☺
ii) Most commentators still argue that this is future, and not Antiochus IV, because nothing in history matched anything that happens from Verses 36-44.
b) This must mean that "king of the north" in the future is the Antichrist's realm.
c) It also means that the whole world will not just follow the Antichrist.
i) Whoever this future "South-king" is, he does not submit to the Antichrist.
ii) This is important to understand about man's rebellion.
a) Man in his rebellious free will, will not only turn against God, but in some cases, against Satan and the Antichrist as well.
b) After the tribulation is over, there is a 1,000-year period of the millennium where Jesus rules and reigns from Jerusalem.
c) During this time Satan is bound up. Despite that, Revelation 20 gives the impression there is still some rebellion. The point is that the root of rebellion is not all Satan's fault. A lot of it comes from our own heart.
d) Getting back to the South-king, I suspect the problem is as follows:
i) The North-king will make an alliance with Israel and allow them to rebuild the Temple. I don't see a lot of the Arab states to allow this guy to rise to power with the Jews' blessing no matter what he says. This is why the future "South-king" will rebel.
ii) Remember the antichrist grows in power by war. A lot of countries may not be too crazy about this guy invading their country to plunder their goodies. ☺
iii) Thus, we see a rising of an alliance by the South-king.
a) Personally, I see this as an alliance of several Arab lead countries, lead by Egypt, as we will read in a few verses. Remember that the "old" South-kings were based out of Egypt.
e) The last part of Verse 40 says in effect "the north-king", i.e., the Antichrist will win.
i) Verse 40 says that the antichrist will win quickly "like a flood"
7. Verse 41: He will also invade the Beautiful Land. Many countries will fall, but Edom, Moab and the leaders of Ammon will be delivered from his hand.
a) The "Beautiful Land" is a word-picture for Israel. Remember that Daniel was in Babylon and the land was in ruins at this time. God is stating his love for his people and the covenant with the land of Israel.
b) OK, John, let's face it. Verse 41 says Edom, Moab and the leaders of Ammon will be delivered from the Antichrist's hand. How do you expect me to believe this is future, when these lands/people no longer exist today? I was hoping you'd ask me that! ☺
i) First of all, we know it's not historic because it does not fit anything in history.
ii) Second, God often uses the ancient names of "lands" because we change them over the course of history. The territory of "Edom, Moab and Ammon" is the modern-day country of Jordan.
a) What this verse implies is that Jordan will escape the war and conquest of the Antichrist.
iii) There is an interesting cross-reference in Revelation to this idea of Jordan being a place-of-refuge for the Israelites during the tribulation:
a) So the serpent (Antichrist) spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman (Israel), that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood. 16But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood, which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. (Revelation 12:15-16, NKJV)
b) Remember the reference in Verse 40 how the antichrist will win a victory over the south "like a flood"? Notice the comparison to this set of word-pictures in Revelation. The idea of the "earth helped the woman" is the idea that there is a spot on the earth out of reach of the Antichrist. From Daniel, we know it is modern-Jordan.
c) In the rock-city of Petra, in Jordan, some Christian ministries have planted containers full of dried food supplies and scriptures to keep for the Jews who will escape here, thinking this tribulation will come soon.
8. Verse 42: He will extend his power over many countries; Egypt will not escape. 43 He will gain control of the treasures of gold and silver and all the riches of Egypt, with the Libyans and Nubians in submission.
a) The "Nubians" is part of modern Ethiopia. Based on Verse 42, the South-king" alliance will include Libya and Ethiopia.
b) Egypt today is a poor country based on living standards. However, Egypt is actually gold-rich based on the archeological digs of the Pharaoh's tombs. Egypt simply hasn't "cashed in" their gold for other resources, and the vast majority of Egyptians today live in poverty. But that gold exists, and the world leaders know it.
9. Verse 44: But reports from the east and the north will alarm him, and he will set out in a great rage to destroy and annihilate many.
a) Rebellion against the growth of the antichrist will come from the "north and east". My speculation is that the other Arab-states around Israel who don't like the growth of the Antichrist at their expense. The verse states that the antichrist will beat them back.
10. Verse 45: He will pitch his royal tents between the seas at the beautiful holy mountain. Yet he will come to his end, and no one will help him.
a) This verse is the wrap-up of the life of the antichrist. He will be based in Israel. The text says here he "pitch his royal tents between the seas at the beautiful holy mountain". This means he lives somewhere between the Mediterranean Sea the "holy mountain" which probably refers to the mountains of Jerusalem.
i) Because this guy is involved in war campaigns, I suspect he lives in tents as to stay mobile, to prevent assassinations. (Hey, it's just another theory. ☺)
b) Verse 45 is a promise. Remember that millions get killed because of this guy. Millions of Jews will pray for his downfall. The interesting thing to note about Verse 45 is despite his great rise to power, he will be destroyed one day and no one can help him.
i) But the beast (antichrist) was captured, and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf…The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. (Revelation 19:20, NIV)
11. OK, time for a breather before we hit Chapter 12. ☺
a) I've thrown out some speculative ideas about how the immediate future might unfold.
b) I don't claim to know how the Bible will come true, just that the Bible will come true.
i) The literal fulfillment of the first 35 verses of Chapter 11 tells me that Verses 36-45 will also be literally fulfilled one day. The "how" is fun to speculate upon, and all we can do is look at world events and try to see how.
c) So what does all of this have to do with our lives today?
i) First, remember that there is a judgment to come. It is a call for all to turn to God and a warning of what the future holds. It doesn't mean we panic. It means we let God work through us to show people how to achieve salvation through the horrors of this world.
ii) The false-assumption of the antichrist and the world is that "it is up to us to make the world a better place to live".
a) The antichrist preaches a man-centered religion.
b) Judaism and Christianity both preach a God-centered religion.
c) Man preaches, "It starts with us".
d) We preach, "It starts with God.
e) Man preaches, "If we just try hard enough, we can do it".
f) We preach, "Without God, we can't. Further, without us, God wont!
12. Chapter 12, Verse 1: "At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise.
a) The focus of Chapter 12 is on what will happen to Israel during this seven-year period. The focus of the last part of Chapter 11 was on the Antichrist during the same period.
b) This is only the first sentence of Verse 1. We'll cover the rest in a minute.
c) This verse does not mean that the angel Michael was asleep for a few thousand years and now, he's up again to fight for your people. ☺
d) It does mean that Michael's function as an (arch) angel to be Israel's top fighting angel.
i) Notice the first phrase "at that time"…what time? The end time!
ii) Let's go back to Verse 40 of the last chapter: "At the time of the end the king of the South will engage him.
a) The point is simply that this is an end-time reference.
b) This is simply further proof to me that this whole section of Daniel is dealing with end-time events.
iii) Remember that from the year 70AD until 1948, Israel did not exist as a country.
iv) Therefore, if Michael's main job is to "fight for Israel" i.e., nationally, he wouldn't have much to do for about 1,900 years. ☺ I believe this is what is meant by "at that time Michael…"
v) Since Israel now exists, does that mean the end times have started? No. The Bible clearly teaches that there is a final 7-year period. Since 1948 has come and gone, we can see that God is working toward getting to that final period, but it hasn't happened yet.
a) I heard a great story about Abraham Lincoln, who was a devout Bible student. Someone once walked up to him and said, "This is the time of the end." He stopped and thought about and replied, "No, it can't be. Israel's not back in the land yet."
13. Back to Verse 1: There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people--everyone whose name is found written in the book--will be delivered.
a) This verse has scary implications: There will be a time of distress greater than any previous time in history.
i) That means for Israel it is greater than the holocaust during W.W. II.
ii) The natural question is, how do you know this verse is not talking about that holocaust, or any other horrid-time in Israel's history.
iii) That is because the next verse of Daniel 2 says right after this time the resurrection of the dead will occur. I don't believe that's happened yet.
iv) As horrible as the holocaust was, it will be worse during this final 3.5 years of the 7-year period. (The first 3.5 years will be a time of world-peace during the rise of the Antichrist.)
v) There is a frightening parallel passage in the Book of Zechariah:
a) "Two-thirds of all the nation of Israel will be cut off and die, but a third will be left in the land. 9I will bring the third that remain through the fire and make them pure, as gold and silver are refined and purified by fire. (Zech 13:8-9 TLB)
b) This means that during the tribulation, 2/3 of Israel will die from the persecution of the Antichrist. This is why this verse in Daniel calls this period worse than any other in history.
b) Let's re-read the last sentence of this verse: "But at that time your people--everyone whose name is found written in the book--will be delivered."
i) This means that those who turn to Jesus during that time will be saved.
ii) I also want to add that this is written as a warning to the nation of Israel. I do believe multitudes of Jews will realize the errors of their ways and turn to Jesus during this time.
iii) You would be surprised how many Jews understand evangelical Christian theology. They know about the rapture and the Christian view of events of the end times. They don't agree with it, but they've heard of it. Now imagine these events happening as described in Daniel and Revelation and now realizing "oh, oh, we were wrong about Jesus" (cross ref.: Zechariah 12:10-14).
14. Verse 2: Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. 3 Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.
a) The King James says, "many" who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake.
i) No matter which Bible version you use, the key is that not all will arise from the dead at this time, but only some.
b) I have to admit this verse confused me for the longest time. I used to think this verse simply said in effect: At this time, the resurrection will occur, and some go to heaven and some go to hell. That is not what the text says.
c) You have to remember that the Bible clearly teaches there are two resurrections.
i) "They (believers) came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. 6Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. (Revelation 20:4b-6a, NIV).
d) This verse is talking about the first resurrection. Here is the "kicker": I believe everyone being discussed in these verses are being saved. Look at verse 2 again: "some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt."
i) I may be wrong here, but I think that everyone in this scene gets saved, only some will receive rewards in heaven and others will be barely saved. Notice the non-reward people get "shame and everlasting contempt". That is not the same as eternal damnation. "Shame and contempt" is bad, but not as bad as damnation. I think it refers to those who believe in God, but a very limited way, and they are "barely" saved.
ii) Based on Revelation 20, I believe the non-believers, who get eternal damnation are the ones judged in the 2nd resurrection.
15. Verse 4: But you, Daniel, close up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end. Many will go here and there to increase knowledge."
a) You can fill libraries with the commentaries just on this verse. What does phrases like "seal up the words" and "here and there" and "increase knowledge" refer to?
b) Many believe it refers to the present time because we are in the "information age".
i) Most adults are aware that world knowledge is far greater now than any time in human history. This is why they think the end times are close.
c) Personally, I see this verse differently. It is saying in effect "Daniel, you won't get this vision. But the people who live in or near the time of the end will get it.
i) Further it is saying that until this vision happens, "many will go here and there "and" increase knowledge or "to" increase knowledge depending upon your English translation.
a) It implies the world will go on for a long time until this happens. It may further imply that the "information age" is a sign that it coming soon.
16. Verse 5: Then I, Daniel, looked, and there before me stood two others, one on this bank of the river and one on the opposite bank. 6 One of them said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, "How long will it be before these astonishing things are fulfilled?"
a) Remember back in the beginning of this vision in Chapter 10 that Daniel was standing at the bank of the Tigris River, in Babylon.
i) Daniel was shown all of this vision of what is going to happen to Israel, which is roughly 700 miles away.
ii) Yet he is still standing by this riverbank. Now he sees two men standing by the banks of the river, one on each side, and another standing over the river.
a) Most commentators agree that these two men are angels. Many, including myself believe the one standing over the river is Jesus himself.
(1) Which means when Jesus walked on the water (Matthew 14:26, et. al.) with the apostles, it may not have been the first time, since the angel in this verse is standing above the river. ☺)
b) Another reason I believe the one standing above the river is Jesus is because one of the other two "men" asked the guy above the river asked when these events would occur. Only God himself would know the answer to that question, thus I believe this is Jesus.
17. Verse 7: The man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, lifted his right hand and his left hand toward heaven, and I heard him swear by him who lives forever, saying, "It will be for a time, times and half a time. When the power of the holy people has been finally broken, all these things will be completed."
a) The last part of Verse 6 was one of the two men besides the river asking, "when will all of this end-time stuff take place?" Verse 7 and 8 are the answer to the question.
b) The first part of the answer gives the length of this vision.
c) The second part tells when this vision will end.
d) What is not said, is when all this is going to being. So in that sense, the question is not answered.
i) We are not privileged to know that answer. Only God the father knows.
said, "But no one knows the date and hour when the end will be—not even
the angels. No, nor even God's Son. Only the Father knows."
(Matthew 24:36, The Living Bible)
e) Let's go back to the length of this vision.
i) He said it would be for time, times and half a time.
ii) We covered this phrase back in Chapter 7. The word "times" is a "dual" as in two times. The concept is similar to the English-word "both", which means two of something. Therefore times (1x) plus "times" (2x) plus half a time (.5x) equals 3.5 times which is the final 3.5 years when all of this horror occurs.
f) The last part of this verse is also troubling: "When the power of the holy people has been finally broken, all these things will be completed."
i) It doesn't say, "when Satan is defeated, all of this will be completed, it says when the power of the holy people has been broken". What does that mean?
ii) A clue is in Revelation: "The Dragon (Satan) gave him power (antichrist) to fight against God's people and to overcome them, and to rule over all nations and language groups throughout the world. (Revelation 13:7, TLB).
a) The "breaking of the holy people's power" is a reference to the antichrist having victory over the Israelites during this 3.5-year period.
18. Verse 8: I (Daniel) heard, but I did not understand. So I asked, "My lord, what will the outcome of all this be?"
a) Daniel didn't get it. Remember in Verse 4 God told Daniel to "seal up these words until the time of the end". That means Daniel was not to be able to comprehend all of this end-time vision.
b) Verse 9 will be God telling Daniel (in effect, again) that he isn't allowed to get it.
19. Verse 9: He replied, "Go your way, Daniel, because the words are closed up and sealed until the time of the end. 10 Many will be purified, made spotless and refined, but the wicked will continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand, but those who are wise will understand.
a) God is telling Daniel in effect, "It's none of your business. You have done everything I have asked of you, and for that you will be rewarded greatly in heaven. Just do as your told, write all of this down, and let me worry about this. " ☺
b) Verse 10 focuses on maturity of the believers and the growing immaturity of those who turn their back on God.
i) In some ways, Verse 10 is what God is calling me to do through these studies. I want to teach you more about the Word of God so you can grow in your relationship to God. The idea behind making you "spotless and refined" is about our growth in our relationship with God.
ii) The negative side of this verse means that those who start their life by turning away from the true and living God will continue to grow away from God.
a) Spend some time talking with elderly people about this. It amazes me to meet people who have turned away from God most of their lives. They usually end up bitter people. Those who follow God all of their lives are usually happier and joyous as they grow older.
20. Verse 11: From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the abomination that causes desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days. 12 Blessed is the one who waits for and reaches the end of the 1,335 days.
a) Boy, are the libraries full of commentaries on this verse! ☺
b) Let's be blunt: The bible does not say exactly what this means. We can do some logical speculation, but that's about it. Until these days actually happen, we won't know what it means.
c) With that said, here we go: If you take 3.5 years times a 360 day year (see my lesson on Daniel 9 part 2 as to why it's a 360 day year and not 365 days.) it comes out to 1,260 days. In summary 3.5 years x 360 days equals 1,260 days.
i) Yet here in Daniel we have 1,290 days and 1,335 days. So there is another "30 day period" and another 45-day period (1,335-1,290=45) period after that.
d) So what happens during this 30 and 45 day extra period after the 3.5 years is done?
i) From what I've read, the most-likely event to occur that this is when Jesus sets up his 1,000 year millennium kingdom.
ii) Maybe the millennial temple is built during this time period as described in detail in Ezekiel Chapters 40-48.
iii) In Matthew 25, Verses 32-32, Jesus describes how the nations will be judged. This event probably occurs during this window of time.
iv) Again, it is all speculation. We'll just have to wait and see.
21. Verse 13: "As for you (Daniel), go your way till the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days you will rise to receive your allotted inheritance."
a) God's final word to Daniel, is to go on, live out the rest of your life and at the end of "the days", he will be resurrected to receive his inheritance.
b) Everybody understand Daniel now? If you answered honestly, you'll keep studying like me! ☺
22. One final application to us before we wrap up.
a) We spent a lot of time here in Daniel talking about end-time stuff. Some good Christians never think about this. Others overly obsess on it. The Bible spends a good amount of space on end-time predictions. We should spend as much time on it as God does, which means to have balance. That means neither to ignore it, nor obsess on it.
b) I believe God does it to keep us focuses on the long-term.
i) It is so easy to get caught up in the moments of life, to worry about what is happening today or tomorrow
a) "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." (Matthew 6:34, NKJV)
ii) The purpose of looking at the big-picture of the Bible is to not get too caught up in the day-to-day aspects of life, but to realize God has a much bigger picture for us to focus upon.
a) Let me give you an illustration. When you are on a boat, and the boat is rocking, how do you prevent from getting seasick? Wise sailors will tell you to "keep your eye on the distant horizon". That is always level.
b) That is the same idea God is trying to get across here. To keep our eyes on the horizon. Keep a look out for the return of Jesus. We don't know the day or hour of his return. But he wants us to keep watch.
(1) Jesus said, "Then they (those living during this time) will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28Now when these things begin to happen, look up (that's us!) and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near." (Luke, 21:27-28, NIV)
23. Let's pray: Father, we thank you for these lessons on Daniel. Although we may not fully comprehend all of the details of future plans, we do know that they will happen. Help us to remember it is not so much how it will happen but the fact that it will happen. Let all of this be an incentive to our lives to be a witness to a dying world around us. Help us to remember that you love all of mankind, and that you work through us to be witness to that world. We ask for boldness, for obedience, for wisdom and understanding so that the Spirit may work through us to shining examples to be your witnesses. For we ask this in Jesus' name, Amen.
24. I have two supplements to this lesson. Both are optional reading. ☺
a) Below is something for my Roman Catholic readers. There are 2 additional chapters in Daniel in the Roman Catholic Bible that are neither in the Protestant Bible nor in the Hebrew Bible. I will discuss "why" below.
b) The second is a Bibliography of my sources for further reading.
Appendix #1: Discussion of the Additional Daniel Text in the Roman Catholic Bible
1. The purpose of this section is not to do a verse-by-verse analysis of this section.
a) I just wanted to give an overview as to what they are, and why they are not accepted as part of the Bible canon of Judaism nor Protestant Christianity.
2. First of all, let me discuss each of the 3 sections:
a) Addition #1: In Daniel Chapter 3, this is the story of Daniel's 3 friends who are thrown in the furnace. Their names were Shadrach; Meshach; and Abednego.
i) In the Catholic Bible, there is an additional 66 verses where Abednego prays for his two friends in the fire and then comes the verses where they are rescued and let out.
b) Addition #2: This is Chapter 13. It is the story of a woman named Susanna.
i) In summary, she is falsely accused of adultery. Daniel interrogates her two accusers. Daniel finds the two accusers guilty of false accusations and in the end, these two guys get killed.
c) Addition #3: This is Chapter 14. It is the story of Bel and the dragon.
i) In summary, there is a Medo Persian god named Bel. King Cyrus worshipped this god and gave the god sacrifices. The sacrifices "mysteriously" disappeared and the king thought the god took them. Daniel discovered that priests of the god stole the sacrifice and showed King Cyrus this is a false god.
ii) In the second part of this story, "how Daniel caused to die a great dragon that the Babylonians worshipped, and that the king wished him to adore as "a living god". Catholic Bible Encyclopedia".
3. All three sections are part of a larger body of work commonly known as the apocrypha.
a) This is a collection of books that are part of the Catholic Bible, but not the Protestant Bible, nor the Jewish Bible.
b) All the books are part of the Old Testament. The New Testament is identical for the Catholics and the Protestants.
4. Here is the "pro-arguments" for inclusion.
a) Between 300- 200 BC when the Old Testament was translated into Greek. These books were included in the translation.
b) When the Roman Emperor Constantine declared Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire, it was the first time Christianity was publicly recognized. There were no more persecutions. Constantine ordered a scholar to make him an "official" Bible. This man's name was Jerome. This Bible was the Christian standard for centuries. It included the Books of the apocrypha, which includes this section of Daniel.
c) When the Reformation started, the Roman Catholic Church had a major meeting of all their scholars to decide once again, whether or not these books belong in the Bible. They decide that they did.
5. Here is the "con-arguments" against inclusion.
a) There are no copies of any of the apocrypha in Hebrew. All the other books of the Old Testament where written in Hebrew with some minor exceptions where it was written in the cousin-language of Aramaic.
b) The 1st Century historian Josephus's did not include them.
c) The ancient Hebrew commentaries did not recognize them as inspired by God.
d) Jesus Christ or any of the apostles never quoted them.
e) Most Church Fathers in fact rejected them.
6. I personally see the reasons why they are excluded:
a) Why have a 66-verse prayer by Abednego in the middle of the fiery furnace.
i) It doesn't follow with the rest of that story.
ii) Remember they all 3 were thrown in the fire. Nebuchadnezzar saw them along with the "Son of Man", and then the three were ordered to come out. It doesn't follow that Abednego had time for a long prayer here.
b) As to the last two chapters, it doesn't follow the "logic" of the book:
i) The first six chapters give stories of the life of Daniel.
ii) The last six focuses on end-time prophesy and end with Jesus' return.
iii) So why is there an additional two chapters at the end talking about Daniel's heroics?
a) That alone makes me suspicious that these two chapters belong here.
7. Finally, we a commentary from the Catholic "The New American Bible".
a) This is the most common Roman Catholic Bible sold in the United States.
i) It has the complete text of the Catholic Bible along with their own commentary.
b) Among the commentary for Daniel, is this comment on the last two chapters (paraphrasing) "While the Protestant Bible and the Hebrew Bible does not recognize these chapters, it has been the traditional view of the church that they are included. These last two chapters may have been written by another Daniel.
c) That's a nice "politically correct" way of saying the writers of this commentary don't think the last two chapters are involved.
8. In conclusion, I didn't see any doctrine in these writings in Daniel that are contrary to Christian theology, but I don't believe they are part of the Bible canon as inspired by God.
a) The problem with the Bible is we don't have God coming back to Mt. Sinai telling us which books belong and which don't. ☺
b) Therefore we have to use our best judgment based on consistency, historical accuracy, and prophecy fulfilled.
i) All the books and chapters in question are in the Old Testament. There is no dispute over the New Testament. Therefore, we as Christians can also use the New Testament as a "test" of whether or not an Old Testament book belongs in the canon. The test is did Jesus, or any of the apostles make reference to that book as being inspired by God.
"If I have seen further, it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants."
Without prayer and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, all these commentaries are useless. My weekly prayer was for God to show me the things He wanted me to learn, and second, the lessons He wanted me to pass on in my writings. I have quoted many sources throughout these lessons. If any of these writers appeal to you, I invite you to read or listen to further commentaries as listed below. I have also quoted other sources not listed, and those names are usually listed in the lessons. These other authors were usually quoted from the materials listed below and taken from those sources.
First and foremost, the greatest commentary on the Bible is the Bible itself. I mostly quote The New International Version (NIV), The New King James Version (NKJV), The King James Version (KJV) and the paraphrased-translations: The Living Bible (TLB) and the Good News Bible (GNB). The Bible text used is from the NIV. I use the NIV in my text, as it is currently the most popular. I don't have a particular favorite translation and I use lots of translations.
Here are the commentaries I have referenced over the past lessons, (in no particular order).
1. Faith Under Fire: A Study in Daniel 1-6 by Alistair Begg; The series includes 5 cassette tapes containing 18 broadcast messages. It is available at http://www.gospelcom.net/tfl/
2. Commentary on Daniel by Jon Curson. It is in book form from Harvest House Publishing. It is also available via MPG at http://www.joncourson.com/teaching/teachings.asp?book=daniel
3. Commentary on Daniel by David Guzik. It is available for free in text format. The web address is http://calvarychapel.com/simivalley/library_commentaries.html His commentary is also published in book format.
4. Daniel: Prophet of the Ages by Dr. David Hocking. Diadem Productions, 1998, in book and CD-ROM formats. The audio messages are also at http://www.hopefortoday.org/html/radio_program.cfm
6. Audio Commentary on Daniel by Chuck Smith, from the "6,000 series". It is available at Chapel Store, at Calvary Chapel, Costa Mesa, CA. Ordering information is available through http://www.thewordfortoday.org/
7. The Expositor's Bible Encyclopedia, Zondervan Publications, (via CD-ROM 1998 release). This is a multi-volume encyclopedia with notes on every verse of the Bible. (It is available at Christian bookstores.) Paperback books are published on individual Bible books from this source.
8. The Life Application Bible, Zondervan Publishing http://www.zondervanbibles.com/0310919770.htm
9. Nelson's Quick Reference Chapter-by-Chapter Bible Commentary Warren Wiersbe, Nelson Publishing 1991. (It is available at Christian Bookstores.)