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Daniel Lesson 11
Scripture for this lesson is taken from: Daniel 9, Jeremiah 29. Deuteronomy 7.
We are coming to the last half of the book of Daniel and I need to state that Daniel 2:4-7:28 are written in Aramaic which is a language used by the Babylonians and the Jews. These chapters cover the visions concerning the nations of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greek and Rome. Daniel chapters 8-12 are written in Hebrew because they focus mainly on the nation of Israel and what the future holds for them.
In chapter 8, Daniel had another vision of coming world kingdoms who would rule over Israel. He was taken to the Citadel at Susa which is in Persia where he was given this vision of the ram and the goat, representing the Kingdoms of the Medes and Persians and the Kingdom of Greece. His vision covered Antiochus Ephanies and his persecution of the Jews as well as the Antichrist who will rise up in the end time.
[Daniel 9:1] In the first year of Darius son of Xerxes (a Mede by descent), who was made ruler over the Babylonian kingdom.
A man that Daniel calls Darius the Mede became king over Babylon in 539 BC. He was the son of Xerxes which is Greek for the Hebrew name, Ahasuerus. He is the same king that took over Babylon at age sixty-two as given in Daniel 5:30-31.30 That very night Belshazzar, king of the Babylonians,[h] was slain, 31 and Darius the Mede took over the kingdom, at the age of sixty-two.
[Daniel 9:2-3] 2 in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, understood from the Scriptures, according to the word of the Lord given to Jeremiah the prophet, that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years. 3 So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes.
Daniel had been reading the writings of Jeremiah the prophet and discovered that Jeremiah had prophesied that Israel’s captivity in Babylon would last 70 years and those 70 years were about to come to an end.
[Jeremiah 29:10-14] 10 This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.
When Daniel realized from Jeremiah’s prophecy that the years of judgment for Israel because of their idolatry were coming to an end, he prepared himself for serious prayer time with God by fasting and humbling himself in sackcloth and ashes. Daniel loved God and he loved his people Israel, so he put all worldly things away from himself, out of his mind and prayed to God, asking what would happen to the Jewish people when the 70 years of captivity were over.
[Daniel 9:4] 4 I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed: “Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments,
Daniel begins his prayer by praising God for who His, what He is and what He does. He is a great and awesome God! Then Daniel says that God keeps His covenant of love. A covenant is an agreement between two or more entities, each promising to do certain things. Here Daniel described God’s love as a promise to love, with all the actions that come with a true, deep, unconditional love, to all of those who love and obey Him. Daniel here is
calling on Gods promise given in Deuteronomy 7:9: 9 Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.
Israel also had to keep their part of the covenant which was to love and obey God.
[Daniel 9:5-15] 5 we have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws. 6 We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes and our ancestors, and to all the people of the land. 7 “Lord, you are righteous, but this day we are covered with shame—the people of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel, both near and far, in all the countries where you have scattered us because of our unfaithfulness to you. 8 We and our kings, our princes and our ancestors are covered with shame, Lord, because we have sinned against you. 9 The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him; 10 we have not obeyed the Lord our God or kept the laws he gave us through his servants the prophets. 11 All Israel has transgressed your law and turned away, refusing to obey you. “Therefore the curses and sworn judgments written in the Law of Moses, the servant of God, have been poured out on us, because we have sinned against you. 12 You have fulfilled the words spoken against us and against our rulers by bringing on us great disaster. Under the whole heaven nothing has ever been done like what has been done to Jerusalem. 13 Just as it is written in the Law of Moses, all this disaster has come on us, yet we have not sought the favor of the Lord our God by turning from our sins and giving attention to your truth. 14 The Lord did not hesitate to bring the disaster on us, for the Lord our God is righteous in everything he does; yet we have not obeyed him. 15 “Now, Lord our God, who brought your people out o f Egypt with a mighty hand and who made for Daniel confesses sin for himself and for the people of Israel. He acknowledged to God that they were wicked, rebellious and had failed to keep the commandments of God. When God sent His prophets to plead with them to repent of their sins, they refused to listen. The judgment declared by God of 70 years in exile in Babylon was just and deserved
[Daniel 9:16-19] 16 Lord, in keeping with all your righteous acts, turn away your anger and your wrath from Jerusalem, your city, your holy hill. Our sins and the iniquities of our ancestors have made Jerusalem and your people an object of scorn to all those around us. 17 “Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of your servant. For your sake, Lord, look with favor on your desolate sanctuary. 18 Give ear, our God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your Name. We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy. 19 Lord, listen! Lord, forgive! Lord, hear and act! For your sake, my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name
After his lengthy confession to God of all of Israel’s sins, Daniel brings his requests before God. He pleads with God to turn His anger away from Jerusalem and the Holy temple of God because of their sin. He pleads with God to answer his prayer, not because they deserve it, but because of God’s mercy and His love and because the people bear His name. They are His people, Israel.
[Daniel 9:20-23] 20 While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel and making my request to the Lord my God for his holy hill— 21 while I was still in prayer, Gabriel, the man I had seen in the earlier vision, came to me in swift flight about the time of the evening sacrifice. 22 He instructed me and said to me, “Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding. 23 As soon as you began to pray, a word went out, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed. Therefore, consider the word and understand the vision:
The man who has come to Daniel is the angel, Gabriel. As soon as Daniel began to pray, God sent the angel, Gabriel to earth to give Daniel the answer to his prayer. These verses along with some in chapter 10 give us an insight into the spiritual world around us that is awesome. God heard Daniel’s prayer immediately and He sent the angel, Gabriel, to deliver His answer to Daniel on the earth. It says that Gabriel flew swiftly, angel really do fly. They move back and forth between heaven and earth doing God’s work. We will learn more about the activities of angels in chapter 10.
Next week in Lesson 12 we will study God’s answer to Daniel’s prayer: What will happen to my people, Israel when the 70 years of captivity have ended? The Angel Gabriel gave Daniel the Prophecy of the 70 Weeks.
What are the lessons for us in the first part of Daniel chapter 9?
How to Pray? Daniel was highly esteemed by God and God heard his prayer immediately. This is how Daniel prayed.
Daniel’s prayer is like unto The Lord’s Prayer or the model prayer found in Matthew Chapter 6.
1. Daniel begins by earnestly searching for God. 2. He fasted. He put worldly things out of his mind and his life. 3. He put on sackcloth and ashes. He humbled himself. . 4. He began by praising God for who He is and all that He does. . 5. He confessed his sins and those of his people, Israel. 6. He brought his requests to God. He prayed for God’s mercy even though they did not deserve it.
2. Angels in the Spiritual world? 1. Gabriel was sent by God to deliver to Daniel the answer to his prayer. 2. Angels deliver messages and do the bidding of God. 3. There are Spiritual beings working all around us and we are totally unaware.
Daniel Lesson 10
Scripture for this lesson are taken from Daniel 8, Revelation 13
In Lesson 9, Daniel was given his 1st vision of future gentile kingdoms. The time was about 14 years before the fall of Babylon. In this vision Daniel saw four great beasts coming up out of the sea. His vision was like unto Nebuchadnezzar’s vision of the great statue that represented four future kingdoms. The beasts in Daniel’s vision were a lion which represented Babylon; a bear which represented the Kingdom of the Medes and Persians; a leopard with four heads which represented Greece divided among Alexander’s generals after his death; the terrifying beast with ten horns that became 7 horns and one of them was like a man with eyes and a mouth which represented kingdoms to come out of the old Roman Empire area in the end times. In Chapter 8, we are given details of the second and third world kingdoms of the visions, the Kingdom of Media and Persia and the Kingdom of Greece. The Kingdom of Babylon is nearing its end.
In chapter 8, Daniel had another vision about two years after his first one in chapter 7. This vision took place some 12 years before the fall of Babylon. Daniel is about 69 years old and the date is approximately 551 BC.
[Daniel 8:1-2] In the third year of King Belshazzar’s reign, I, Daniel, had a vision, after the one that had already appeared to me.2 In my vision I saw myself in the citadel of Susa in the province of Elam; in the vision I was beside the Ulai Canal.
The vision Daniel had in chapter 7 came to him in the form of a dream. In this vision in chapter 8, he appeared to be awake. Like in John’s vision in Revelation chapter 4 where he was taken up to heaven, Daniel is taken to another place. Daniel was most likely in Babylon and was taken in his vision to the Persian province of Elam, the city of Susa, also called Shusan, and beside a canal called, Ulai, that is about 900 feet wide. The scripture says Daniel is in the citadel of Susa. A citadel is a fortress protecting a town, sometimes incorporating a castle. Daris I built a huge citadel in this area about 510BC. It may or may not be what Daniel saw in his vision.Citadel of Darius I at Susa, which he built about 510BC .
King Ahasauerus and Queen Esther from the Book of Esther most likely lived in this citadel.
[Daniel 8:3-8] 3 I looked up, and there before me was a ram with two horns, standing beside the canal, and the horns were long. One of the horns was longer than the other but grew up later. 4 I watched the ram as it charged toward the west and the north and the south. No animal could stand against it, and none could rescue from its power. It did as it pleased and became great. 5 As I was thinking about this, suddenly a goat with a prominent horn between its eyes came from the west, crossing the whole earth without touching the ground. 6 It came toward the two-horned ram I had seen standing beside the canal and charged at it in great rage. 7 I saw it attack the ram furiously, striking the ram and shattering its two horns. The ram was powerless to stand against it; the goat knocked it to the ground and trampled on it, and none could rescue the ram from its power. 8 The goat became very great, but at the height of its power the large horn was broken off, and in its place four prominent horns grew up toward the four winds of heaven.
Daniel sees the goat with the large horn coming from the west attack the ram coming from the east. These verses describe Daniel’s vision of the two-horned ram coming from the east and the goat with a prominent horn in its forehead coming from the west charging to do battle. The prominent horn of the goat breaks off and in its place four large horns grow.
Interpretation of the Vision
[Daniel 8:15-22] 15 While I, Daniel, was watching the vision and trying to understand it, there before me stood one who looked like a man. 16 And I heard a man’s voice from the Ulai calling, “Gabriel, tell this man the meaning of the vision.” 17 As he came near the place where I was standing, I was terrified and fell prostrate. “Son of man,” he said to me, “understand that the vision concerns the time of the end.” 18 While he was speaking to me, I was in a deep sleep, with my face to the ground. Then he touched me and raised me to my feet. 9 He said: “I am going to tell you what will happen later in the time of wrath, because the vision concerns the appointed time of the end. 20 The two-horned ram that you saw represents the kings of Media and Persia. 21 The shaggy goat is the king of Greece, and the large horn between its eyes is the first king. 22 The four horns that replaced the one that was broken off represent four kingdoms that will emerge from his nation but will not have the same power.
As Daniel is trying to understand what he is seeing, God sends the Angel, Gabriel, to explain to Daniel what it all means.
The appearance of the heavenly being terrified Daniel and he fell to the ground on his face. Gabriel called Daniel “son of man” which is the term Jesus used form himself, meaning He was born human. Daniel said the angel raised him up from a deep sleep and told Daniel that he was going to explain the vision. He went on to clarify that the two horned ram that would come from the east was the Kingdom of the Medes and the Persians and the goat with the large prominent horn was the Kingdom of Greece that would come from the west. The two horns of the ram represented the two kingdoms of Media and Persia and the one large horn of the goat represented Alexander the Great, leader of Greece. The broken large horn represented Alexander’s death in Babylon in 323 BC. The four horns that grew in its place were Alexander’s four generals who divided his kingdom. But Greece never had the power it had under Alexander.
[Daniel 8:9-12] 9 Out of one of them came another horn, which started small but grew in power to the south and to the east and toward the Beautiful Land. 10 It grew until it reached the host of the heavens, and it threw some of the starry host down to the earth and trampled on them. 11 It set itself up to be as great as the commander of the army of the Lord; it took away the daily sacrifice from the Lord, and his sanctuary was thrown down. 12 Because of rebellion, the Lord’s peopleand the daily sacrifice were given over to it. It prospered in everything it did, and truth was thrown to the ground.
As is often the case with prophesy, this part of Daniel’s vision refers to two different occasions and time periods. History identifies the first occasion of the vision of the “Little Horn” as being Antiochus Epiphanes. Antiochus took the territory that was held by Alexander the Great’s general, Seleucus. Verse 9 says that the little horn moved and east toward the Beautiful Land, which refers to Israel. Antiochus outlawed Judaism and desecrated the Hebrew temple in Jerusalem by declaring himself a god. The day of worshiping him was on the Sabbath and in 167 BC he sacrificed a pig on the altar in the temple. The Jews revolted led by a priest named Mattathias, who led them to overthrow Antiochus’ control and gain independence from Greece. This time period between the Old and New Covenant came to be called the Time of the Maccabees. Remember, Daniel received his vision about 551 BC and the events concerning Antiochus Epiphanes took place in 167 BC some 384 years later.
Troops of Antiochus Epiphanies desolated the Temple in Jerusalem
(Luke 21:20) and did away with the daily sacrifice in 167 BC. Antiochus
then set up Jupiter on a horn of the altar resembling himself and offered
a pig as sacrifice on the altar. Daniel 9:27 says, “on a wing of the altar
will be an abomination that desolates.”
The temple referred to here would be what is called Zerrubbabel’s Temple. This temple was built after the exiles returned to Jerusalem from Babylon. Solomon’s Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC. The temple that was in Jerusalem during the time of Christ is called Herod’s Temple.
[Daniel 8:13-14] 13 Then I heard a holy one speaking, and another holy one said to him, “How long will it take for the vision to be fulfilled—the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, the rebellion that causes desolation, the surrender of the sanctuary and the trampling underfoot of the Lord’s people?” 14 He said to me, “It will take 2,300 evenings and mornings; then the sanctuary will be reconsecrated.”
Interpretation of the Vision
[Daniel 8:23-27] 23 “In the latter part of their reign, when rebels have become completely wicked, a fierce-looking king, a master of intrigue, will arise. 24 He will become very strong, but not by his own power. He will cause astounding devastation and will succeed in whatever he does. He will destroy those who are mighty, the holy people. 25 He will cause deceit to prosper, and he will consider himself superior. When they feel secure, he will destroy many and take his stand against the Prince of princes. Yet he will be destroyed, but not by human power. 26 “The vision of the evenings and mornings that has been given you is true, but seal up the vision, for it concerns the distant future.” 27 I, Daniel, was worn out. I lay exhausted for several days. Then I got up and went about the king’s business. I was appalled by the vision; it was beyond understanding.
Daniel asked Gabriel how long a time would the Jews suffer? How long would it be from the time the sacrifices were ended, the desolation and surrender of the sanctuary and the trampling of the Lord’s people would be over. His answer was 2300 evenings and mornings. There is a controversy among Bible scholars concerning this time period. Some believe the time began in 171BC when Onias, the legitimate High Priest was murdered and a non-legitimate line of priests took over the temple sacrifices. The time was completed when Antiochus died and the desecrations of the temple worship declined.
Another controversy concerns whether the prophecy relates totally to Antiochus or if it also refers to the Antichrist. Those who believe in the Rapture of the church and the 1000 year of Christ, believe that the prophecy was historically fulfilled with Antiochus Euphonies, but looks toward the future with Antiochus being a type of the antichrist.
[Revelation 13:1-6] 1 And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. 2 And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as [the feet] of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. 3 And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. 4 And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who [is] like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? 5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty [and] two months. 6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
Here the Apostle, John, described his vision that was given to him about 90AD, which is almost 260 years after the time of Antiochus Euphonies, yet the vision is very similar. The Antichrist would rise out of the territory of the old Roman Empire. His power would come from Satan and many will follow after him. The prophesies given in Daniel chapter 8 and Revelation chapter 13 will come about.
The vision so physically drained Daniel that he fainted and was sick for days. When he regained his strength he went back to his responsibilities to the king of Babylon. Since Daniel was not given times when these kingdoms would come now who their Kings and leaders would be, it was all confusing for him. But Daniel, as always trusted God.
Lessons for us from these scriptures:
- The prophesies in Daniel chapter 8 that have come to pass were foretold with such accuracy, we can be certain that those prophesies that are yet to come, will come and we need to be ready.
- Satan is alive and at work in our world, it is up to us to be aware and not give in to temptation
- Every day that passes, the end times drawer closer, witness to you family, friends and your neighbor before it is too late.
Next week: Daniel’s prayer and the Prophecy of the 70 Weeks.
Daniel: Lesson 9
Scripture for this lesson are taken from Daniel 7, Revelation 20 and 21.
In Lesson 8 Daniel Chapter 7, we studied about Daniel’s dream vision given to him by God about 14 years before the fall of Babylon. In this vision Daniel sees four great beasts depicting four nations that would rule over the Nation of Israel. This vision is the same vision given to King Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel Chapter 2. Nebuchadnezzar’s vision was of a giant statue made of gold, silver, bronze and iron with feet made of a mixture of iron and clay, with a stone not cut by man hitting the statue on the feet. This vision also represented the four great nations, Babylon, Medes and Persians, Greece and Rome. The fourth world empire represented Rome and then a new Rome that will rise up in the end times. This beast had ten horns and then one horn rose up in the middle with the face of a man and took three of the ten horns. This horn, like a man represented the Antichrist that will come. Daniel was very troubled by this vision and asked for an explanation. In the second half of Daniel Chapter 7 a heavenly messenger is sent to explain to Daniel the meaning of the vision. Daniel’s vision moved to a scene in heaven where he saw God on his throne and judgment books were opened. A man came through the clouds and approached the throne of God who Daniel described as the son of man which is the name that Jesus used for himself. This man was given authority, glory and sovereign power over all people and all nations on the earth. This man most certainly was Jesus Christ.
[Daniel 7:15-16] 15 I, Daniel, was troubled in spirit, and the visions that passed through my mind disturbed me. 16 I approached one of those standing there and asked him the meaning of all this. “So he told me and gave me the interpretation of these things.”
Daniel 7:10 tells us that ten thousands upon ten thousands stood before the throne of God. Daniel in his vision approached one of those standing before God and asked if he could explain the meaning of his vision. This is most likely an angel. The angel, Gabriel, will come to Daniel in chapters 9 and 10 to explain another vision.
[Daniel 7:17-18] 17 ‘The four great beasts are four kings that will rise from the earth. 18 But the saints of the Most High will receive the kingdom and will possess it forever—yes, for ever and ever.’
The angel told Daniel that the four great beasts are kings or kingdoms that would reign on the earth, kingdoms that would reign over Israel. But the holy people of God would possess and rule on the earth. Who are the saints of the Most High? The Nation of Israel, God’s holy people. All those who were judged righteous under the Old Covenant and all those who accept Christ under the New Covenant will receive the kingdom and reign with Christ.
What kingdom is this that will last forever and forever? The 1000 year reign with Christ on earth.
[Revelation 20:1-3] And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss,
and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time.
Eternity with God and Jesus. [Revelation 21:2-3] I saw the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them and be their God.
Here in verse 18, the angel interpreter gave to Daniel a brief overall meaning of the beginning to the end of the vision. In verse 19, he began to focus on the conflict leading to the end.
[Daniel 7:19-22] 19 Then I wanted to know the meaning of the fourth beast, which was different from all the others and most terrifying, with its iron teeth and bronze claws—the beast that crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. 20 I also wanted to know about the ten horns on its head and about the other horn that came up, before which three of them fell—the horn that looked more imposing than the others and that had eyes and a mouth that spoke boastfully. 21 As I watched, this horn was waging war against the holy people and defeating them, 22 until the Ancient of Days came and pronounced judgment in favor of the holy people of the Most High, and the time came when they possessed the kingdom.
Daniel added some details about his vision that he had not told before. He said that nails were made of bronze, that the little horn was stronger than the other horns, the little horn made war with the saints and prevailed against them, and that judgment was given to the saints of the Most High. The angel explains this part of the vision to Daniel in the next few verses.
[Daniel 7:23-25] 23 He gave me this explanation: ‘The fourth beast is a fourth kingdom that will appear on earth. It will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth, trampling it down and crushing it. 24 The ten horns are ten kings who will come from this kingdom. After them another king will arise, different from the earlier ones; he will subdue three kings. 25 He will speak against the Most High and oppress his holy people and try to change the set times and the laws. The holy people will be delivered into his hands for a time, times and half a time.
The angel explained to Daniel that the fourth beast is a fourth kingdom, which we identify as Rome. The ten horns will come from the territory of this kingdom or the old Roman Empire. The other beasts, representing the former kingdoms continue to survive today in some form. Greece was absorbed by Rome in 146BC, but it became a nation in 1830. Lysimachus’ kingdom was taken by Rome in 133BC, but it became Turkey in 1924. Seleucids’ kingdom made up of Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Cyprus, Babylonia, Persia, Afghanistan and Pakistan were part of the Roman Empire but are independent nations now. Afghanistan became a nation in 1919, Lebanon 1943, Jordan in 1950, Pakistan in 1947 and Israel in 1948. Ptolemy’s Egypt was taken by Rome in 31BC and became a nation in 1922. Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylonia became Saddam Hussein’s Iraq with the same symbolism of the lion with wings of an eagle in 1932. So we see that the European kingdoms of ancient Rome are still with us today. Daniel’s vision shows us that the prophecy of the ten horns will be a kingdom or nation that will come out of the area of ancient Rome.
The king that will arise and subdue three of the kings of this later kingdom is described as a blasphemer who “will speak against the Most High and oppress his holy people and try to change the set times and the laws.” He will speak against God and persecute the people of God. He will change or forbid Jewish religious services traditions and feasts. Critics of these prophecies relate these activities to Antiochus Epiphanies who ruled the Seleucid Empire from 175 to 164BC. His actions against the Jews and what he did in Jerusalem are indeed described in Daniel’s prophecy. Antiochus Epiphanies’ real name was Mithradates but he changed it to Antiochus Epiphanies which means “God Manifest.” As did the Caesars of Rome, he declared himself to be a god. He was in Egypt when a rumor was spread that he had been killed. Following this, the events described below transpired.
Not long after this the king sent an Athenian senator to force the Jews to abandon the customs of their ancestors and live no longer by the laws of God; also to profane the temple in Jerusalem and dedicate it to Olympian Zeus, and that on Mount Gerizim to Zeus the Hospitable, as the inhabitants of the place requested…They also brought into the temple things that were forbidden, so that the altar was covered with abominable offerings prohibited by the laws. A man could not keep the Sabbath or celebrate the traditional feasts, nor even admit that he was a Jew. At the suggestion of the citizens of Ptolemais, a decree was issued ordering the neighboring Greek cities to act in the same way against the Jews: oblige them to partake of the sacrifices, and put to death those who would not consent to adopt the customs of the Greeks. It was obvious, therefore, that disaster impended. Thus, two women who were arrested for having circumcised their children were publicly paraded about the city with their babies hanging at their breasts and then thrown down from the top of the city wall. Others, who had assembled in nearby caves to observe the Sabbath in secret, were betrayed to Philip and all burned to death.” — 2 Maccabees 6:1–11
[Daniel 7:25] “The holy people will be delivered into his hands for a time, times and half a time.” The period of time is generally accepted to be 3 ½ years and seems to be a reference to the last half of Daniel’s seventieth week which we will deal with in chapter 9. Daniel’s seventieth week is also called the great tribulation. This period of time is found in Rev. 12:7 and Rev. 12:14. It is also the same time period as 42 months in Rev. 11:2 and 1260 days found in Rev. 12:6.
[Daniel 7:26-28] 26 “‘But the court will sit, and his power will be taken away and completely destroyed forever. 27 Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of all the kingdoms under heaven will be handed over to the holy people of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him.’ 28 “This is the end of the matter. I, Daniel, was deeply troubled by my thoughts, and my face turned pale, but I kept the matter to myself.”
The court, is the judgment seat of God. (Daniel 7:22). The “little horn” or antichrist will be judged and his power taken away. He received his power from Satan who is going to be thrown into the abyss for 1000 years. (Rev. 20:1-3). After this, the power and control of the nations on the earth will be given to the people of God, the believers and Jesus Christ will rule over them. All the nations will worship and obey the Lamb of God. Praise the Lord! Amen! This was the end of Daniel’s vision. He was so concerned that he turned pale, but he told no one.
Daniel’s prophesies so far and those yet to come cover the time period from the Babylonian Empire through the Roman Empire. Then it picks up with the last big world empire ruled over by the Antichrist, the tribulation period, the 1000 year reign of Christ and then the New Jerusalem, the everlasting Kingdom of God. What is left out is the Church Age where we are living now. Why is the Church Age not mentioned? We will deal with that in chapter 9.
Lessons for us from the 2nd half of Daniel:
- Eternal life with God and Jesus is for those who have accepted Christ as their Savior.
- The unsaved are not going .
- The “little horn”, the great deceiver is coming. Satan was defeated when Christ died on the cross, but satan wants to take as many human souls to hell with him as he can. Don’t be one of them.
- Many of Daniel’s prophesies have come true with remarkable accuracy. You can believe that the end time prophesies will come true also.
- Imagine what is will be like living on earth with Christ as King!!
Daniel Lesson 8
Scripture for this lesson will be taken from Daniel Chapter 7, Revelation Chapters 1 and 17, Ezekiel 1
In Daniel chapter 6 the Medes and Persians had taken Babylon and Darius the King had declared that he was going to make Daniel the head of all the governors over the provinces of the kingdom. Some of the other leaders in the kingdom were jealous of Daniel and convinced the king to make a Law of the Medes and Persians which could not be changed even by the king, declaring a thirty-day worship festival of the king as a god. The unsuspecting but prideful king agreed and signed the law. Daniel’s jealous enemies informed the king that Daniel was worshiping his God and not the king as the law required. Punishment for worshiping another god was death in the lion’s den. Reluctantly the king ordered that Daniel be thrown in with the lions. When God protected Daniel and he was safe the following morning, King Darius sent a proclamation to go all over his kingdom praising and honoring the God of Daniel.
At the beginning of chapter 7, Daniel was given a vision by God in the first year of Belshazzar the king of Babylon which would make the time frame about 553 BC, some 14 years before the fall of Babylon and between the events of Daniel chapters 4 and 5. This vision gives Daniel the same information given in Nebuchadnezzar’s vision in Daniel Chapter 2. Both visions are a panorama of history from the Kingdom of Babylon to the Kingdom of the Messiah or the 1000 year reign of Christ. All the kingdoms that will reign over Israel until the Messiah or God once again reigns as King of Israel.
[Daniel 7:1-3] In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream, and visions passed through his mind as he was lying in bed. He wrote down the substance of his dream. 2 Daniel said: “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me were the four winds of heaven churning up the great sea. 3 Four great beasts, each different from the others, came up out of the sea.
Daniel was asleep in his bed when he was given this dream vision. He realized the importance of this vision and he wrote it all down so he would not forget. Remember in Daniel chapter 2 Nebuchadnezzar had a dream about a giant statue that was divided into sections made of gold, silver, bronze, iron, and iron and clay mixed. This vision represented the nations that will rule over Israel in their future. God gave Daniel the ability to interpret Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. Now Daniel was having the dream. He saw the winds of heaven or the powers of God stirring up the great sea which refers to the people and nations of the earth. The four beasts coming out of the sea represent four great world empires.
Nebuchadnezzar’s Vision Four Great World Empires
[Daniel:7:4] 4 “The first was like a lion, and it had the wings of an eagle. I watched until its wings were torn off and it was lifted from the ground so that it stood on two feet like a human being, and the mind of a human was given to it.
This first beast is a lion that represents Babylon, like the head made of gold in Nebuchadnezzar’s vision. The lion is a common representation of royal power. Solomon has twelve lions on either side of the steps leading up to his throne and winged lions guarded the gates of the royal palace of Babylon. The plucking off of its wings probably represents God humbling Nebuchadnezzar by causing him to be like a beast that lived outside as an animal for seven years and then restoring the kingdom to him.
[Daniel 7:5] 5 And there before me was a second beast, which looked like a bear. It was raised up on one of its sides, and it had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. It was told, ‘Get up and eat your fill of flesh!’
This beast represents the Kingdom of the Medes and Persians. It corresponds to the silver chest of Nebuchadnezzar’s vision. The raised side probably represents the Persia which was the more powerful side of the kingdom. The three rib bones in its mouth may represent Babylon, Lydia and Egypt. These three nations were conquered and oppressed by the Medes and Persians like an animal is ground and devoured in the mouth of a bear.
[Daniel 7:6] 6 After that, I looked, and there before me was another beast, one that looked like a leopard. And on its back it had four wings like those of a bird. This beast had four heads, and it was given authority to rule.
This beast represents the Nation of Greece. It corresponds to the hips and thighs of bronze in Nebuchadnezzar’s vision. The leopard is extremely fast. Alexander the Great, the head of the Macedonian army conquered nations with great speed and he was the instrument for setting up the monarchy of Greece. History says that Alexander died in Babylon of pneumonia at the age of 32. The four wings on the leopard’s back and its four heads represent Alexander’s four generals who divided the kingdom after Alexander died. These four kingdoms were: Macedonia under Antipater, or Cassander; Egypt under Ptolemy; Syria under Seleucus; and Asia under Antigonus, or Lysimachus.
[Daniel 7:7-8] 7 After that, in my vision at night I looked, and there before me was a fourth beast—terrifying and frightening and very powerful. It had large iron teeth; it crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. It was different from all the former beasts, and it had ten horns.
8 While I was thinking about the horns, there before me was another horn, a little one, which came up among them; and three of the first horns were uprooted before it. This horn had eyes like the eyes of a human being and a mouth that spoke boastfully.
The fourth beast was frightening with great iron teeth. This kingdom corresponds to the legs of iron on Nebuchadnezzar’s statue vision. It represents the eastern and western areas of the Roman Empire. This monarchy answers to the legs and feet of iron in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. The Roman army gobbled up nations with an iron hand and brought them under Roman rule. This beast was such a powerful monster that there was no beast in nature to compare. The ten horns represented ten kingdoms. These kingdoms correspond to Nebuchadnezzar’s vision where the statue had ten toes. The ten horns and ten toes are ten nations that will be established after the fall of the Roman Empire. This is the same as John describes in Revelation 17:12. [Revelation 17:12] “The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but who for one hour will receive authority as kings along with the beast.
While Daniel thought about the ten horns, a little horn or king subdues and takes over three of the kingdoms. There are seven kingdoms of the ten left. The Little Horn will be the ruler of the seven remaining kingdoms. The Little Horn is the beast or the Antichrist. This fourth beast then represents the kingdoms that will rise out of the old Roman Empire in the end times and the Antichrist will rule over these nations. Other scriptures that refer to the Antichrist are: Daniel 9:26; Daniel 12:11; Matthew 24:15; Revelation 13:1-10; Revelation 19:20; 2Th. 2:3-8.
[Daniel 7:9-10] 9 As I looked, “thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat. His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool. His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze.10 A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before him. Thousands upon thousands attended him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The court was seated, and the books were opened.
As Daniel watched he had a vision of the Ancient of Days on His throne. This of course refers to God on His throne in heaven. Daniel’s description is like unto that given by Ezekiel in EZ 1:25-28. [Ezekiel 1:25-28] 25 Then there came a voice from above the vault over their heads as they stood with lowered wings. 26 Above the vault over their heads was what looked like a throne of lapis lazuli, and high above on the throne was a figure like that of a man. 27 I saw that from what appeared to be his waist up he looked like glowing metal, as if full of fire, and that from there down he looked like fire; and brilliant light surrounded him. 28 Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him.
Also we have the description given by the apostle John in Revelation 1:12-15. [Revelation 1:12-15] 12 I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and among the lampstands was someone like a son of man, dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. 14 The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. 15 His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters.
This vision shows God in a court of justice representing judgment.
[Daniel 7:12-14] 11 Then I continued to watch because of the boastful words the horn was speaking. I kept looking until the beast was slain and its body destroyed and thrown into the blazing fire. 12 (The other beasts had been stripped of their authority, but were allowed to live for a period of time.) 13 In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. 14 He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.
We have two leaders in this passage. First the beast, the Antichrist, the head of the last world kingdom is destroyed. The second is the son of man, Messiah, Jesus Christ comes back to earth to take His throne and rule over the earth for 1000 years. He will reign over Israel and all those who believe in Jesus, the family of God.
At the bottom of Nebuchadnezzar’s statue vision there was a stone not cut out with hands that crushes the feet of the statue. That stone is Jesus Christ coming back and crushing the gentile nations or that led by the Antichrist. Daniel’s vision was more defined as to the meaning of the final world kingdom.
In two visions, one given to Nebuchadnezzar as a statue and one given to Daniel as beasts, God reveals the future of the world nations from Babylon to the Millennial reign.
In lesson 9 we will study the interpretation given to Daniel of his beast vision.
What can we learn from this part of Daniel Chapter 7?
- Worldly nations are led by worldly and sinful people.
- God uses nations to bring judgment upon other nations.
- The prophecies and vision given by God have and will come about.
- Jesus is coming again to establish His kingdom.
- The eternal kingdom is for those who believe in Jesus Christ as Savior.
- The Bible is not just a book, it is the past, the present and the future. It is wise to study it and follow its teachings.
DANIEL: LESSON 7
The scriptures for this lesson are taken from Daniel 6
At the end of chapter 5, Babylon had been taken by the Medes and the Persians and the new King is given as Darius the Mede. Darius the Mede is most likely the same person as Cyrus the Persian. We need to understand the relationship between the Median and Persian kingdoms. Cyrus was half Persian and half Median. His mother was the daughter of the King of the Medes who had ruled over the Persians. Cyrus rallied the Persians in rebellion against his grandfather, Astyages, the King of the Medes. The rebellion was successful and Cyrus became King of the Medes and the Persians.
[Daniel 6:1-3] It pleased Darius to appoint 120 satraps to rule throughout the kingdom, 2 with three administrators over them, one of whom was Daniel. The satraps were made accountable to them so that the king might not suffer loss. 3 Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom.
Daniel was made third ruler over the Babylon Kingdom. We are now into the Kingdom of the Medes and Persians. Daniel had been demoted from third ruler in the kingdom to one of three administrators who ruled over the 120 satraps or governors of the kingdom. This was still a very high position in the kingdom. Daniel had done such a good job that the king was going to promote him to ruler just under the king himself. Why would Daniel accept such a responsible position in this new government when he was near 90 years old? God had blesses Daniel and used him all the years he was in Babylon. Now the next kingdom had come to power and God was going to use him again. Many thousands of Hebrews were still in this kingdom and Daniel would be able to protect them.
[Daniel 6:4-5] 4 At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent. 5 Finally these men said, “We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God.”
These two verses tell us a lot. 1. Daniel was very good at his job. He was fair and honest and capable. 2. Other men in the government were jealous and ambitious for his position. 3. Daniel’s faithfulness to God carried over from his personal life to his work. These men who wanted rid of him were aware of his relationship to his God and there was nothing they could use against him unless it had something to do with his worship practices.
[Daniel 6:6-9] 6 So these administrators and satraps went as a group to the king and said: “May King Darius live forever! 7 The royal administrators, prefects, satraps, advisers and governors have all agreed that the king should issue an edict and enforce the decree that anyone who prays to any god or human being during the next thirty days, except to you, Your Majesty, shall be thrown into the lions’ den. 8 Now, Your Majesty, issue the decree and put it in writing so that it cannot be altered—in accordance with the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.” 9 So King Darius put the decree in writing.
These enemies of Daniel are pretty clever. They appeal to the king’s pride and are suggesting a new law establishing a 30-day worship festival were King Darius would be the god worshiped. The king had no idea that this was a ploy on their part to be rid of his favorite administrator. A law of the Medes and the Persians, once it was signed by the king could not be changed, not even by the king. We see this law again in the book of Esther when Haman plotted to have all the Jews killed.
[Daniel 6:10-12] 10 Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before. 11 Then these men went as a group and found Daniel praying and asking God for help.12 So they went to the king and spoke to him about his royal decree: “Did you not publish a decree that during the next thirty days anyone who prays to any god or human being except to you, Your Majesty, would be thrown into the lions’ den?” The king answered, “The decree stands—in accordance with the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.”
Daniel reacted to this new law by going to his room, bowing down toward Jerusalem and praying to God just as he always did three times a day. I believe he had absolute faith in God to protect him.
[Daniel 6:13-16] 13 Then they said to the king, “Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, Your Majesty, or to the decree you put in writing. He still prays three times a day.” 14 When the king heard this, he was greatly distressed; he was determined to rescue Daniel and made every effort until sundown to save him. 15 Then the men went as a group to King Darius and said to him, “Remember, Your Majesty, that according to the law of the Medes and Persians no decree or edict that the king issues can be changed.” 16 So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions’ den. The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!”
Daniel is at peace placing his total faith in God. King Darius is in a panic. He probably realizes now that he has been used and he can’t do anything about it. He obviously depends on Daniel to take care of his kingdom having great respect for him. All he can do is hope that Daniel’s God will protect him.
[Daniel 6:17-24] 17 A stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the rings of his nobles, so that Daniel’s situation might not be changed. 18 Then the king returned to his palace and spent the night without eating and without any entertainment being brought to him. And he could not sleep. 19 At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den. 20 When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?” 21 Daniel answered, “May the king live forever! 22 My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, Your Majesty.” 23 The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den. And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God. 24 At the king’s command, the men who had falsely accused Daniel were brought in and thrown into the lions’ den, along with their wives and children. And before they reached the floor of the den, the lions overpowered them and crushed all their bones.
While Daniel spent the night perfectly safe by God’s protection, King Darius was in a panic. He couldn’t eat, or sleep all night. At dawn he rushed to the lion’s den to see if Daniel was still alive. When he called to Daniel, Daniel answered “My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight.” Daniel went on to say he had never wronged the king in any way. When Daniel was lifted out of the den of lions, the king had the men who had accused Daniel along with their wives
and children thrown in with the lions. They were devoured before they reached the den floor. Justice from a righteous God!
Why did they have a den of lions? That area years before was filled with lions. They killed them out for the safety of their people and flocks. The rulers kept some lions to be used in a ritual hunt as a reminder to the people that their rulers could protect them.
[Daniel 6:25-27] 25 Then King Darius wrote to all the nations and peoples of every language in all the earth: “May you prosper greatly! 26 “I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel. “For he is the living God and he endures forever; his kingdom will not be destroyed, his dominion will never end. 27 He rescues and he saves; he performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth. He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.” 28 So Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian.
King Darius sends out a proclamation throughout all his kingdom to all the provinces acknowledging the God of Daniel as the living God. Not a god of stone or wood, but the living God. He orders all the people in his kingdom to fear this God and have reverence for Him. Does this mean the Darius or Cyrus believed only in Jehovah God. Not likely. But he believed that God is real and powerful and can perform great miracles. What a witness this was and far reaching to many nations and peoples. It is amazing to see how God uses something bad like Daniel thrown to the lions into a great far-reaching witness to His power and majesty.
Verse 28 in Aramaic reads, “Or Darius, that is, the reign of Cyrus
Here in Oklahoma in the last two days we have experienced one of the most powerful and destructive tornadoes ever. People have been killed and thousands of homes destroyed. The Christian people here in Oklahoma and over the country have responded in such a great way to help those who were affected in this tragedy giving millions of dollars in money and supplying material things that were needed immediately by those who were homeless. He is the living God and is working his miracles in Oklahoma. I pray that His work here at this time will be a great witness to those millions who are watching around the world on television.
This is the tornado that hit Moore, Oklahoma, May 20, 2013, leaving piles of rubble where beautiful homes stood the day before.
What can we learn from Daniel chapter 6?
- We are never too old to be used by God. If He calls don’t be afraid to answer regardless of your age.
- We should live the Christian life at home, at church and at work. Wherever we are.
- God will protect and provide if we only have the faith.
- God is working in the world, in the United States, in Oklahoma and in our lives.