Daniel Lesson 17
Review of Daniel chapters 1-12
We will conclude our study of the prophet Daniel, the man highly esteemed by God, by reviewing all 12 chapters in the book of Daniel.
Chapter 1: Daniel’s fame and prosperity: Daniel 1:1-21
Chapter 2: Nebuchadnezzar’s vision of gentile world empires from Babylon to Christ. Daniel 2:1-49.
Chapter 3: The fiery furnace. Daniel 3:1-30.
Chapter 4: Nebuchadnezzar’s vision of the great tree and the vision fulfilled Daniel 4:1-37
Chapter 5: Belshazzar’s great feast, the writing on the wall and the fall of Babylon Daniel 5:1-31
Chapter 6: Daniel delivered from the lion’s den Daniel 6:1-28
Chapter 7: The four beasts and the second coming of Christ. Daniel 7:1-28
Chapter 8: Daniel’s vision of the ram and the goat. Daniel 8:1-27
Chapter 9: Daniel’s vision of the prophecy of the 70 weeks. Daniel 9:1-27
Chapter 10: Daniel’s vision of the Glory of God. Daniel 10:1-21.
Chapter 11: Daniel’s vision the Greek Empire divided among Alexander the Great’s 4 generals. Daniel 11:1-45
Chapter 12: Daniel’s prophecy of end time events. Daniel 12:2-3, his final message, 12:4-13.
Chapter 1. Daniel and his three friends, Mischeal, Azariah and Hananiah were taken captive to Babylon when Nebuchadnezzar laid siege on Jerusalem in 605 BC. The young teenage Hebrew boys immediately stood out when they refused to eat food that was forbidden by the Mosiac Law. They were young, separated from their family and in a foreign land, but they remained faithful to God.
[Daniel 1:18-20] At the end of the time set by the king to bring them in, the chief official presented them to Nebuchadnezzar. The king talked with them, and he found none equal to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah; so they entered the king’s service. In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom.
King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream that frightened him. Daniel, Mishael, Azariah and Hananiah whose Babylonian names were Belteshazzar, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, were very well educated in Jerusalem. The king valued education so he had these boys trained to speak the Babylonian language and they became wise men for the kingdom, advisors to the king. Nebuchadnezzar called in his wise men to interpret his dream but he required them to tell him the dream and interpret it too. They could not do this so the king ordered all the wise men in the kingdom to be killed. This included the four young Hebrew teenagers. Daniel immediately took the situation to God. God gave Daniel a special ability to interpret dreams and in Daniel’s sleep, God revealed the king’s dream and its meaning. The king’s dream was about a giant statue of a man who had a head of gold, chest and arms of silver, waist and thighs of bronze, legs of iron and feet of iron and clay mixed. Then a rock not cut by human hands struck the statue and it broke into many pieces. Daniel told the king that the head of the statue made of gold represented him and the Kingdom of Babylon which would be taken by another kingdom. The statue represented great empires that would rule over that part of the world, over Israel, from that time until the end when Christ comes back and destroys the last of the gentile nations. Nebuchadnezzar was so impressed by Daniel’s wisdom that he placed him over all the provinces in the Babylonian Empire and over all the wise men. At Daniel’s request, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were also made high officials in the kingdom.
[Daniel 3:31-34] You looked, O king, and there before you stood a large
statue—an enormous, dazzling statue, awesome in appearance. The head of the statue was made of pure gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of baked clay. While you were watching, a rock was cut out, but not by human hands. It struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and smashed them. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and gold were broken to pieces at the same time and became like chaff on a threshing floor in the summer.
Daniel chapter 3
Nebuchadnezzar was not pleased with the prophecy that his kingdom would be taken from him. So, he decided to show this great God in heaven and all the earthly kingdoms that Babylon would not be taken. He had a statue built that was ninety feet tall and covered in gold. When the giant statue was completed the king ordered the leaders of all his territories, all of his officials to be present for a dedication of his great statue and to fall down and worship it as a god.
Anyone who refused to worship the statue would be put to death in a blazing furnace. Some of the Babylonian officials were jealous of the high positions given to Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and knowing that they worshiped only their Hebrew God, decided to get rid of them by convincing the king that everyone in the kingdom would be required to fall down and worship the golden statue when they heard music played. The jealous officials reported to the king that the Hebrews had refused to worship the statue and King Nebuchadnezzar ordered that they be thrown into the burning furnace. King Nebuchadnezzar watched Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego walk around in the flames, an angel or Christ himself walking with them, all unharmed. They honored God and God delivered them.
[Daniel 3:26] Nebuchadnezzar then approached the
opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Out! Come here!” So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire.
King Nebuchadnezzar, filled with pride, walked on the roof of his palace admiring his kingdom that he had built in his might and his power in order to bring glory to himself. One year before, Nebuchadnezzar had a vision of a great tree that touched the sky. It was beautiful and had lots of fruit which provided food for all and also provided shelter for many animals. Then he heard a holy one from heaven call out to cut down the tree but leave the stump in the ground and let it live with the animals and plants until 7 times had passed. Immediately he heard a voice from heaven telling that his dream vision was about to come true. His kingdom would be taken from him and he would live in the fields like an animal, grow hair and nails like an animal, for seven years until he learned and acknowledged that the Most High God is sovereign over earthly kingdoms and He is in control of who rules over the kingdoms.
[Daniel 4:31-32] The words were still on his lips when a voice came from heaven, “this is what is decreed for you, King Nebuchadnezzar: Your royal authority has been taken from you. You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like cattle. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes.
At the end of seven years, Nebuchadnezzar raised his head to heaven and praised the Most High God. He was restored as king of Babylon and he sent a proclamation throughout his kingdom praising and giving glory to the King of Heaven.
Chapter 5 brings us to the end of the Kingdom of Babylon. The Medes and the Persians had already taken much of the Babylonian territory and were close to the city of Babylon. King Belshazzar decided to give a great banquet for a thousand people. He brought in the gold and silver dishes and goblets they had taken from the temple in Jerusalem and used them to eat and drink praises to his gods. Suddenly a hand began to write on the banquet chamber wall. No one could read the writing and the king was terrified. Daniel was called in to read the writing.
[Daniel 5:22-28] “But you his son, O Belshazzar, have not humbled yourself, though you knew all this. Instead, you have set yourself up against the Lord of heaven. You had the goblets from his temple brought to you, and you and your nobles, your wives and your concubines drink wine from them. You praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, Iron, wood and stone, which cannot see or hear or understand. But you did not honor the God who holds in his hand your life and all your ways. Therefore he sent the hand that wrote the inscription. This is the inscription that was written: Mene, Mene, Tekel, Parsin. This is what these words mean: Mene: God has numbered the days of your reign and brought it to an end. Tekel: you have been weighed on the scales and found wanting. Peres: Your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.”
That very night, Belshazzar was killed and the King of the Medes took over. But Daniel was safe and was made a high official in the Kingdom of the Medes and Persians. Daniel was 62 years old.
After a short time, Daniel impressed Darius, the King of the Medes and Persians so much that he was put in a position of power over the whole kingdom. Other administrators in the kingdom were jealous of Daniel but could not find anything to use against him except the worship of his Hebrew God. So, they presented an idea to the king that he should make a law of the Medes and the Persians that cannot be changed even by the king. This law that they proposed would require everyone all over the kingdom to worship only the king as a god for thirty days. This appealed to the king’s pride and he agreed. Daniel continued to pray to Jehovah God three times a day just as he always did. The jealous conniving advisories reported to the king about Daniel’s prayers to his God. King Darius gave the order for Daniel to be thrown into the den of lions. The king told Daniel that he hoped that his God would rescue him. At dawn the next morning the king rushed to the lion’s den and called to Daniel to see if he was still alive.
[Daniel 6:21-24] 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.
King Darius wrote a decree to be read all over his kingdom praising the God of Daniel.
About fourteen years before the fall of Babylon, God gave Daniel a vision of four beasts: a lion with wings like an eagle; a bear, raised up on one side with three ribs in its mouth; a leopard with four wings on its back and four heads; the fourth beast had large iron teeth that crushed and devoured its victims and trampled what was left and it had ten horns. As Daniel watched the last beast it grew another horn that uprooted three of the other horns. This horn had the eyes of a man and a mouth that spoke boastfully. Then he saw the Ancient of Days in Heaven, sitting on His throne with multitudes around Him in a court setting and the books were opened. As he continued to watch, Daniel saw the beast with the boastful mouth destroyed and thrown into a blazing fire and his kingdom will be defeated when Christ comes to reign forever and ever. An angel gave Daniel the meaning of the vision. The meaning to this vision is almost identical to Nebuchadnezzar’s vision in chapter 2, except that Daniel’s vision gave more information and more details. The great beasts represented Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome. Like the other vision, it skips the church age. The beast with horns, the one horn who spoke boastfully represents the Antichrist, the leader of the last world empire.
[Daniel 7:15-18] 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: 17 ‘The four great beasts are four kings that will rise from the earth. 18 But the holy people of the Most High will receive the kingdom and will possess it forever,—yes, forever and ever.
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 was approximately 551 BC. 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 he stood beside a canal called, Ulai. In his vision, Daniel saw a goat with a large horn coming from the west attack a ram coming from the east. The prominent horn of the goat broke off and in its place four large horns grew. As Daniel was tried to understand what he had seen, God sent the Angel, Gabriel, to explain to Daniel what it all meant.
[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 people and the daily sacrifice were given over to it. It prospered in everything it did, and truth was thrown to the ground.
The angel, Gabriel explained to Daniel that the vision described how the Kingdom of Greece who defeat Persia. Greece’s leader, which was Alexander the Great, would be cut off. He died in Babylon when he was about 33 years old. He was succeeded by four of his generals. “The king who would take away the daily sacrifice” part of the vision was fulfilled by Antiochus Epiphanies but the prophecy looks forward to the activities prophesied about the antichrist in the book of Revelations.
A man that Daniel called Darius the Mede, became king over Babylon in 539 BC. He was the son of Xerxes which is Greek for the Hebrew name, Ahasuerus. Daniel had been reading the writings of Jeremiah the prophet and he understood 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.
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. After his lengthy confession to God of all of Israel’s sins, Daniel pleaded with God to answer his prayer. 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.
[Daniel 9:24] 24 “Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy Place.
The prophecy covered 70 weeks of years or 490 years. The countdown began with Cyrus’ decree to free the Jews and continued to Israel’s rejection of the Messiah and Christ’s death on the cross. At that point the counting stopped. The church age is not included in this prophecy because God is not dealing with Israel. The prophecy picks up again following the rapture of the church and there is one week left that covers the years of the tribulation and Christ coming back to set up His Kingdom to reign 1000 years. The prophecy says that Israel’s transgression would not be over until they accept their Messiah which prophecy says will be during the tribulation.
Chapter 10 sets the stage for this last and 4th vision which gathers together the significant threads of prophecy, especially as they relate to the Holy Land and to the people of Israel. Our time frame now is about 536 BC. The Jews have been home in Israel for approximately two years. Daniel has been in Babylon 72 years. The events that Daniel saw in his vision in chapters 11 and 12 are a long time in the future concerning a great war and Daniel was given an understanding or meaning of the vision.
Daniel was on the bank of the Tigris River north of the city of Babylon when the angel, Gabriel, appeared to give him the final vision concerning the people of Israel.
[Daniel 10:10-13] 10 A hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees. 11 He said, “Daniel, you who are highly esteemed, consider carefully the words I am about to speak to you, and stand up, for I have now been sent to you.” And when he said this to me, I stood up trembling. 12 Then he continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. 13 But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia. 14 Now I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the future, for the vision concerns a time yet to come.”
The angel touched Daniel and helped him to stand as he spoke to him. We are told again how highly thought of Daniel is in the heavenly realm. Then the veil is lifted and Daniel is given a look into the unseen world of spiritual beings that work on the earth. These spiritual beings are both good and bad. Some doing the work of God and some doing Satan’s bidding. They are working in the movements of nations and as in this case, protecting the people of Israel.
The prophecy began with the angel, Gabriel explaining to Daniel that he had come to tell him what was written in the Book of Truth, the future as it related to Israel. He summed up the prophecy in these few words.
[Daniel 11:1-4] 1 And in the first year of Darius the Mede, I took my stand to support and protect him.2 “Now then, I tell you the truth: Three more kings will arise in Persia, and then a fourth, who will be far richer than all the others. When he has gained power by his wealth, he will stir up everyone against the kingdom of Greece. 3 Then a mighty king will arise, who will rule with great power and do as he pleases. 4 After he has appeared, his empire will be broken up and parceled out toward the four winds of heaven. It will not go to his descendants, nor will it have the power he exercised, because his empire will be uprooted and given to others.
In these verses, Gabriel told Daniel that after three more kings reigned in Persia, a new
king would take the kingdom and He would shortly be gone and his kingdom would be divided in four ways. This part of the prophecy came true when Alexander the Great conquered Babylon. He died there shortly and his kingdom was divided among four of his generals. The rest of this part of the prophecy focuses on two of the generals, Seleucus who ruled over Syria and Ptolemy I who ruled over Egypt because these two kings were dealing with Israel. For many years these two territories battled over control of Israel. A descendant of Seleucus, Antiochus Ephiphanies ruled over Israel and brought terrible persecution to the Jews Chapter 12
The last chapter in the Book of Daniel gave us the prophecy of the last week in the Prophecy of the 70 Weeks. Daniel was given details of the tribulation and Christ coming back to do battle with the gentile world nations.
[Daniel 12:1] “At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. 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.
This is talking about the Antichrist at the end time as described in Daniel’s prophecy as the 70th week, the time of the great tribulation. He will bring the greatest persecution that the people of Israel have ever endured. At that time Michael, whose name means “who is like God,” the arch angel, and Israel’s protector, will come to watch over and protect the people of Israel in their time of trouble. All those whose names are in the Book of Life, those who were faithful under the Mosaic Law and those who accept Jesus as their Savior under the New Covenant, will be delivered, will be saved.
Gabriel told Daniel to seal up the words of the scroll because these things will not come about until the end time. God had answered Daniel’s prayer by revealing to him what lay in store for His people Israel.
[Daniel 12:13] “As for you, 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.”
It is my prayer that you have been blessed by studying the fall of the northern and southern kingdoms and the Book of Daniel. We will be moving into the New Testament next for a composite study of the gospels of Luke and John.
Lessons we can learn from the Book of Daniel
1. Have the courage to be faithful to God’s teachings in all situations.
2. God provides whatever we need for any work He calls us to do.
3. Don’t forget to thank God for His provisions and blessings.
4. We are to worship no other gods.
5. There is not power like the power of God.
6. Nothing we have comes by our own hand. All things come from God.
7. God makes and breaks leaders according to His will.
8. Always pray regardless how desperate the situation is.
9. The righteous will be vindicated.
10. Christ has prepared an eternal home for the saints.
11. The world is headed for a time of terrible trouble.
12. There is a spiritual battle between the forces of God and those of satan over the souls of me.
13. Believe in bible prophecies. They are proven to come true.
14. Christ is coming for those who believe.
Next week, Luke chapter 1
Daniel Lesson 16
Scriptures for this lesson are taken from Daniel 11, 12, I Corinthians 15, Revelation 11, Matthew 17
Daniel Chapter 12 describes the Time of the End. Daniel chapters 10-12 are all a part of Daniel’s last vision that he received in 536 BC, two years after Israel had returned to their homeland following the 70 years of captivity. Daniel was on the banks of the Tigris River north and east of Babylon. An angel appeared to Daniel who was identified as the angel Gabriel in Daniel 9:21. Gabriel told Daniel about the future kingdoms who would reign over Israel.
1. There would be three more kings who would reign over Persia.
2. The last king, Xerxes or Ahasuearus would evoke the wrath of Greece.
3. A great king would rise out of Greece, but would die young.
4. The Grecian kingdom would be divided into 4 areas and given to his 4 generals.
5. Of these 4 kingdoms, the king of the north (Syria) and the King of the South (Egypt) would struggle for power for 150 years.
6. Out of the northern kingdom (Syria) a king who would exalt himself over the other kings and would promote himself as a god.
7. The antichrist will rise, declare himself to be a god and will be victorious until Jesus comes again and defeats him at Armageddon.
[Daniel 11:45] 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. [Daniel 12:1]
“At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. 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.
This is talking about the Antichrist at the end time as described in Daniel’s 70 week, the great tribulation. He will bring the greatest persecution that the people of Israel have ever endured. At that time Michael, whose name means “who is like God,” the arch angel, and Israel’s protector, will come to watch over and protect the people of Israel in their time of trouble. All those whose names are in the Book of Life, those who were faithful under the Mosaic Law and those who accept Jesus as their Savior under the New Covenant, will be delivered, will be saved.
This terrible time of trouble (the tribulation) and distress will be brought on by Satan. The main target is the people of Israel, but all people still living will be involved. If you believe in the Rapture of the church, described in 2Thessolanians 4:12-18, then you believe that the church will be taken out before the tribulation begins or before the last half of the tribulation. Satan still wants to destroy Israel, God’s chosen people.
Satan has been trying to destroy the people of Israel all through history. He tried to use the Moabites and the Midianites to destroy the Israelites during the wilderness wonderings by using the prophet, Balaam. God would not allow Balaam to curse Israel.
Satan tried to use Haman, in the Kingdom of Persia to destroy Israel, but God used Esther and Mordecai to protect them.
Satan used Hitler in the 1940’s to try to destroy all the Jews but God used the United States and European nations to save them.
Satan will continue to try to destroy Israel as long as he has power.
[Daniel 12:2] 2 Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. Those “multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake” refers to the resurrection of those who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Messiah and their personal savior. This is generally referred to as the second resurrection. Jesus was the first to be resurrected but the first resurrection of believers occurs just before the tribulation or at the end of the first half of the tribulation at the rapture. Some believe that the Old Testament believers will be resurrected at this time but I think that Daniel 12:13 indicates that the Old Testament saints will be resurrected after the tribulation.
[I Corinthians 15:20-23] 20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death
came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him
[Daniel 12:3] 3 Those who are wisewill shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever. 4 But you, Daniel, roll up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end. Many will go here and there to increase knowledge
Those who are wise I believe refers to believers who study God’s Word, learn for themselves what it says and what it means, then follow the teachings of Christ. Let God’s Word be their guide and their life a witness to others. Those who teach and preach the gospel, reaching many lost souls will shine in the spiritual life to come. Daniel is then instructed to seal up the scroll, the prophecy that has been given to him. Seal it up until the time of the end. The time of the end has not come yet. Daniel was then told that knowledge would increase greatly. Think how fast knowledge is increasing now. In the last 100 years people have gone from traveling in a horse and buggy to flying to the moon. That is a very great increase in knowledge.
[Daniel 12:5-7] 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?” 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.”
Daniel is standing on one bank of the Tigris River and there seems to be an angel there with him and one on the other side of the river. Another angel, probably, Gabriel, out in the river on top of the water was speaking to Daniel. One of them asked when these things would be fulfilled. The man standing above the waters lifted his left hand to heaven and swore by God who is the authority, He who lives forever and ever, that it would be for a time and times and a half. Time and times and a half is interpreted as being 3 ½ years. This would be the last half of the last week of Daniel’s 70 week prophecy, the last half of the tribulation. Many Jews will be killed and those who will be left alive will be scattered for their own protection.
[Daniel 12:8-13] 8 I heard, but I did not understand. So I asked, “My lord, what will the outcome of all this be?” 9 He replied, “Go your way, Daniel, because the words are rolled 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.
In verse 6, one of the angels asked when and now Daniel wants to know when all these things will take place? But no answer was given. It would be a very long time. Down through the years many will hear and listen and believe, but there are also many who won’t. Those who are filled with the desires of this world will be led by satan and will not understand until it is too late. But those who are wise will understand.
[Daniel 12:11-13] 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. 13 “As for you, 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.”
This is talking about the second half of the tribulation. When the Antichrist breaks his covenant with Israel, abolishes the sacrifices and sets a statue, probably of himself up in the temple, then there will be 3 ½ half years of terrible trouble for all those living during that time, but especially for Israel. John describes this time in [Revelation 11:3-6] 3 And I will appoint my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.” 4 They are “the two olive trees” and the two lampstands, and “they stand before the Lord of the earth.” 5 If anyone tries to harm them, fire comes from their mouths and devours their enemies. This is how anyone who wants to harm them must die. 6 They have power to shut up the heavens so that it will not rain during the time they are prophesying; and they have power to turn the waters into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they want.
During the 3 ½ years of the last part of the tribulation, God has designated two witnesses
to prophesy and teach the word of God. They will have great power and God will protect them so that they cannot be harmed. Who these two witnesses will be is uncertain. Tradition says that they will be Moses and Elijah. Elijah did not die but God took him. Moses it says was buried by God to a place unknown. When Jesus took Peter, James and John up on the mountain where He was transfigured, Moses and Elijah talked to Him from heaven.
The two witnesses from Revelation Chapter 11 that will prophesy for 1260 days or 3 ½ years.
[Matthew 17:1-3] After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2 There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. 3 Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.
We have three time periods given in Daniel 12. We have 3 ½ years which is the same as 1260 days using the calendar year from the Old Testament as 360 days in a year. Then we have 1290 days which is an additional month following 1260 and then there is 1335 days which is 45 days after the 1290 days.
Revelation 11:3 told us that the two witnesses were able to preach their prophecy and teachings for 1260 days before they were killed. This will be the end of the 42 months and the time for Jesus to come back. We have some divine judgments prophesied such as the judgment of the nations as told in Matthew 25:31-46 and the re-gathering and final judgment of Israel prophesied by Ezekiel in Ezekiel 20:34-38. The end time judgments will take some time and this could account for the extra days. That is one possible explanation.
The ever faithful Daniel is promised that he will rest for a period; he will die, and then be resurrected with the Old Testaments saints to receive his reward.
Lessons we can learn from Daniel chapter 12
1. Those who accept Christ as their savior need not fear the tribulation because they will be taken up to be with Jesus.
2. Those who choose not to believe in Jesus will face a time of trouble like has never before been seen on the earth.
3. The time of the end is sealed up and known only by God. The wise will listen and be ready.
4. Those who lead many to Christ will shine like the stars in the heavens in the next life.
Next week we will do a review of the Book of Daniel
DANIEL [Lesson 15]
Scriptures for this lesson are taken from Daniel 2 and 11, Matthew 4 and 24; 2 Thessalonians 2; and Revelation 13.
In Daniel Lesson 14 we studied the prophecies of Alexander the Great taking Babylon, how he died in Babylon and his kingdom was then divided by his four major generals who called themselves kings. The prophecy then focuses on the two generals or kings that at different times ruled over Israel. The prophecy has taken us through Daniel 11:20 and as we move into the next verses we will study the prophecy and history of the King of the North who was Antiochus Epiphanes.
PROPHECY: [Daniel 11:21-24] 21 He will be succeeded by a contemptible person who has not been given the honor of royalty. He will invade the kingdom when its people feel secure, and he will seize it through intrigue. 22 Then an overwhelming army will be swept away before him; both it and a prince of the covenant will be destroyed. 23 After coming to an agreement with him, he will act deceitfully, and with only a few people he will rise to power. 24 When the richest provinces feel secure, he will invade them and will achieve what neither his fathers nor his forefathers did. He will distribute plunder, loot and wealth among his followers. He will plot the overthrow of fortresses, but only for a time.
HISTORY: Antiochus Epiphanes became ruler of the northern territory of Syria in 175 BC. In Daniel chapter 8:9-14 he is referred as the “little horn”. The deceiving Little Horn with the mouth that lies. Fulfilled by Antiochus Epiphanes, the prophecy looks forward to the Antichrist The power of the Greek territories was declining as Rome began to rise. Antiochus was power hungry and money hungry. Like his predecessors he robbed the territories under his control. He disliked the Jewish people and his goal was to convert Jerusalem into a center for Greek culture.
PROPHECY: [Daniel 11:25-28] 25 With a large army he will stir up his strength and courage against the king of the South. The king of the South will wage war with a large and very powerful army, but he will not be able to stand because of the plots devised against him. 26 Those who eat from the king’s provisions will try to destroy him; his army will be swept away, and many will fall in battle. 27 The two kings, with their hearts bent on evil, will sit at the same table and lie to each other, but to no avail, because an end will still come at the appointed time. 28 The king of the North will return to his own country with great wealth, but his heart will be set against the holy covenant. He will take action against it and then return to his own country.
HISTORY: In 170 BC, Antiochus gathered a large army and moved against the King of the South which was Egypt conquering all except the city of Alexandria. At that time he captured King Ptolemy but in order to avoid any problems with Rome he allowed Ptolemy to continue to rule as a puppet king. The two countries made these agreements but neither was faithful to keep them. Antiochus plundered Egypt and took great riches back to Syria. In verse 28, it says that Antiochus really wanted to focus his power and energies against Jerusalem. He removed the High Priest and appointed one of his choosing.
PROPHECY: [Daniel 11:20-30] 29 At the appointed time he will invade the South again, but this time the outcome will be different from what it was before. 30 Ships of the western coastlands will oppose him, and he will lose heart. Then he will turn back and vent his fury against the holy covenant. He will return and show favor to those who forsake the holy covenant.
HISTORY: In 168 BC Antiochus once again invaded Egypt. This time he his goal was to capture Cyprus on the Mediterranean Sea. Gaius Popillius Laenas, an old ambassador of Rome met him and demanded that he leave Egypt and if he did not leave, he would be attacked by Rome. He left. This map shows the coin with Antiochus’ picture, and the meeting with the Roman ambassador near Alexandria, Egypt.
PROPHECY: [Daniel 11:31-35] 31 “His armed forces will rise up to desecrate the temple fortress and will abolish the daily sacrifice. Then they will set up the abomination that causes desolation. 32 With flattery he will corrupt those who have violated the covenant, but the people who know their God will firmly resist him. 33 “Those who are wise will instruct many, though for a time they will fall by the sword or be burned or captured or plundered. 34 When they fall, they will receive a little help, and many who are not sincere will join them. 35 Some of the wise will stumble, so that they may be refined, purified and made spotless until the time of the end, for it will still come at the appointed time.
HISTORY: While he was in Egypt, a rumor spread in Jerusalem that he had died. The former High Priest, Jason, attacked Jerusalem and retook the position of High Priest. When Antiochus returned from Egypt in 167 BC, he attacked Jerusalem, put his man back in as High Priest and executed many of the Jews. He banned Jewish religious practices such as animal sacrifice, keeping the Sabbath feasts and circumcising the infant
boys. Mothers who still circumcised their babies were killed and their families with them. The Jews were required to worship Zeus as their supreme god. The Jews refused to give up their worship of Jehovah and to worship Zeus, so Antiochus sent an army in to enforce it. Antiochus sacrificed a pig on the altar at the temple and put a statue of Zeus in the Holy of Holies.
The Maccabees were a Jewish religious group that led a revolt against Antiochus and won. Following their victory they came into Jerusalem triumphantly. In Greek and Roman mythology, he is the king of the gods The green area is the territory that the Maccabees ruled They set up Jonathan Maccabeus as High Priest and he ritually cleansed the temple and reestablished the sacrificial system
and Jewish religious feasts. When they were preparing to
start the temple worship again they only had enough oil to burn in the Menorah, the seven branch candle stick that lit the Holy Place for one day. It took seven days to prepare the oil and during these seven days this one day supply continued to burn. From this miracle came the Feast of Lights or Feast of Dedication. It is today called Hanukah and the Hanukah menorah has eight candlesticks representing the eight days this oil burned. Jews celebrate Hanukah on December 25th the same day as Christians celebrate Christmas. The Maccabees ruled until 160 BC.
PROPHECY: [Daniel 11:36-39]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. 37 He will show no regard for the gods of his ancestors 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 ancestors he will honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and costly gifts. 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.
The prophecies up through verse 35 have been fulfilled in history. Beginning with verse 36, the prophecy moves past the church age into the end times. The time is the last week of Daniel’s Prophecy of the 70 Weeks that we studied in chapter 9. In verse 36 we are told what the Antichrist will be like: he will be powerful and able to do his own will; he will demand to be worshiped as a god; in other passages we are told that his power will be given to him by Satan; he will reign and rule over the earth; he will be accepted as the Messiah; he will make a covenant with the Jews; he will allow them to rebuild their temple.
[Matthew 24:15-16] 15 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation, spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.
This prophecy sounds like Antiochus putting the statue of Zeus in the Holy of Holies, but this prophecy was given by Jesus to his disciples 200 years after those events occurred. This is referring to the activities of the Antichrist.
[2 Thessalonians 2:3-4] 3 Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. 4 He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.
The prophecy was proclaimed by Paul to the church at Thessalonica about 51 AD.
[Revelation 13:4-8] 4 People worshiped the dragon because he had given authority to the beast, and they also worshiped the beast and asked, “Who is like the beast? Who can wage war against it?” 5 The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise its authority for forty-two months. 6 It opened its mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven. 7 It was given power to wage war against God’s holy people and to conquer them. And it was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. 8 All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the Lamb’s book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world.
This prophecy was given the Apostle, John, by Jesus Himself (Rev 1:17-18] while John was in prison on the Isle of Patmos about 95 AD. I have given you these New Testament prophecies to show that this prophecy given to Daniel was still in the future in 95 AD. There are Jews in Jerusalem who have banded together for the purpose of rebuilding the temple. The temple institute has already started making the priests robes, the silver basins to carry the blood of the sacrifices, copper bowls the priests use to wash their hands. They are training young men in school how to butcher the animals for sacrifice. They are getting ready for their Messiah to come. When asked how you will know the Messiah, the Jews say that He will lead us in the rebuilding of our temple. They are ready to accept the antichrist. The dragon is Satan who will give power to the beast, the Antichrist who will do Satan’s bidding. Satan will make him powerful, cause all the people on the earth to worship him except those who believe in Jesus.
[Matthew 4:8-10] 8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor.9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” 10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.
Satan promised to give Jesus power and control of all the nations of the world when he tempted Him at the beginning of His ministry. Jesus, knowing what He came to do, rejected Satan. Satan will give the same offer to the Antichrist after the church age and when the end is near. Jesus refused to worship satan, He completed His ministry and died on the cross for our sins. The Antichrist will accept. What would our eternal situation be if Jesus had bowed down to satan?
Let’s look at Daniel 4:8: 8 All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the Lamb’s book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world.
The Lamb’s Book of Life has the names of all those who have believed in Jesus Christ This tells us that everyone on the earth will believe in the Antichrist except those who have accepted Jesus as their Savior. It also tells us that it was God’s plan for Jesus to come to earth as a sinless man and die for man’s sin from the time of creation. God knew that mankind would sin and from the beginning planned for his redemption.
[Daniel 11:40-44]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. 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. 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 Cushites in submission. 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.
The prophecy describes a series of three battles. About this future prophecy, interpreters disagree. This is one interpretation that fits the other prophecies in Daniel. The 1st conflict may describe the establishment of the 10 kingdoms of the old Roman Empire. The 2nd battle may be where the antichrist takes 3 of the 10 kingdoms. The 3rd conflict may take place in the middle of Daniel’s 70th week half way through the tribulation and before the 2nd advent of Christ. The 10 kingdoms under the Antichrist would fight the countries to the north (Russia) and the east (China) of the old Roman Empire. After his victory, the Antichrist would lead his nations down to Jerusalem to set up his royal palace. The 10 kingdoms three taken over by the antichrist
[Daniel 2:31-35] 31 “Your Majesty looked, and there before you stood a large statue—an enormous, dazzling statue, awesome in appearance. 32 The head of the statue was made of pure gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, 33 its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of baked clay. 34 While you were watching, a rock was cut out, but not by human hands. It struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and smashed them. 35 Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were all broken to pieces and became like chaff on a threshing floor in the summer. The wind swept them away without leaving a trace. But the rock that struck the statue became a huge mountain and filled the whole earth.
The feet and toes of the statue represent the 10 nations that will rise out of the old Roman Empire. Iron mixed with clay means they are not strong. The rock not cut by hands, represents Jesus Christ, the “smiting stone,” as He comes to do battle with the gentile nations in the end.[Daniel 11:45] 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.
The Antichrist will set up his palace on the holy mountain which is Mt. Moriah, the temple mount. When he faces the army of Christ, no one will be able to help him. He will be doomed, finally.
Lessons we can learn from Daniel chapter 11:
1. God knows the future and gave these accurate prophesies to Daniel. We can be sure that the prophesies given later that have not come to pass yet, will in God’s time. We have to be ready.
2. There is an end of sin coming, Jesus will be victorious.
3. There are angels active in our world helping us to fight off the temptations that Satan throws at us.
4. There is a terrible time of tribulation coming for those who do not believe in Christ.
For Lesson number 16, we will study the great tribulation, the resurrections, and God’s last message to Daniel.
Daniel [Lesson 14]
Scripture for this lesson taken from Daniel 10, Matthew 24, 2 Peter 1.
In Daniel Lesson 13, the date was about 536 BC and Daniel was given another vision concerning the Nation of Israel. Daniel was so upset that he had been fasting and mourning for 21 days. This was during the time of Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The Angel Gabriel came to give him understanding of the vision but he was called away to Babylon to deal with the forces of Satan over the activities of the Persian King. The situation was so difficult that the Angel Michael was called to assist Gabriel. Gabriel told Daniel that he would soon have to return to do further battle with these forces when the Greeks took over the Persian Empire. Now in Daniel Chapter 11:1-20, Gabriel gives Daniel understanding of the remaining four kings that would rule over the Persian Kingdom and the Kings that would rule over the Kingdom of Greece. These nations would rule over Israel in their near future. We will study Daniel Chapter 11 in two parts, verses 1-20 and then 21-45. “It was the eleventh chapter of Daniel with its detailed prophecy of about two hundred years of history that prompted the philosopher Porphyry (third century A.D.) to attack the book of Daniel as a forgery. In his study, Porphyry established the fact that history corresponded closely to the prophetic revelation of Daniel 11:1-35, and the
correspondence was so precise that he was persuaded that no one could have prophesied these events in the future. Accordingly, he solved the problem by taking the position that the book of Daniel was written after the events occurred, that is, it was written in the second century B.C. This attack prompted Jerome to defend the book of Daniel and to issue his own commentary, which for over one thousand years thereafter was considered the standard commentary on the book of Daniel. Modern critics of Daniel have not gone much beyond the basic premise of Porphyry, namely, that such detailed prophecy is impossible, and, therefore, absurd and incredible.” (taken from “The Key to Prophetic Revelation” by John F. Walvoord).
My personal comment to all who deny the authenticity of the Book of Daniel is this: The prophecy was not from Daniel but from God. I believe that God does know the future in every detail. Jesus, Himself attested to the prophesies in Daniel in Matthew 24:15-16 15 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.
[Daniel 11:1-3] 1 And in the first year of Darius the Mede, I took my stand to support and protect him.2 “Now then, I tell you the truth: Three more kings will arise in Persia, and then a fourth, who will be far richer than all the others. When he has gained power by his wealth, he will stir up everyone against the kingdom of Greece. 3 Then a mighty king will arise, who will rule with great power and do as he pleases.
Gabriel told Daniel that he took a stand to support Darius the Mede when he first came to power which was 539 BC. It was 536 BC when Gabriel came to give Daniel this information. He says that 4 more kings are going to rule in Persia and then the Kingdom of Greece would take over the empire led by a mighty king who would do as he pleases. This was the prophecy. History tells us that there were 4 more kings who ruled over the Persian Empire: Cyrus, Cambyses, Darius Hystapes and the fourth was Xerxes I also called Ahasuearus. Traditionally Xerxes I or Ahaseuarus was the King of the Persians and the husband of Queen Esther who reigned from 486 – 465 BC. That is about the right time period for this prophecy. [Esther 1:1-2] This is what happened during the time of Xerxes, the Xerxes
who ruled over 127 provinces stretching from India to Cush: 2 At that time King Xerxes reigned from his royal throne in the citadel of Susa, 3 and in the third year of his reign he gave a banquet for all his nobles and officials. The military leaders of Persia and Media, the princes, and the nobles of the provinces were present. Xerxes ruled from Susa which is a city in Persia. The 127 provinces are the territories of
the Persian Empire. It is likely that this huge banquet that Ahasuearus or Xerxes gave for all his governors over the Empire was to raise money to finance a campaign against Greece. In 480 BC Xerxes I fought Greece in the Bay of Salamis. The Battle of Salamis was in 480 BC and Xerxes I reigned from 485 to 465 BC so it must have been Xerxes I. A leading statesman of Athens at the time was a general named Themistocles. He believed that the smaller Athenian ships could defeat the larger heavier ships of the Persians. On his throne of gold overlooking the Bay of Salamis, Xerxes watched as the big, clumsy Persian ships ran into each other and were disabled so that the smaller, lighter Grecian ships were able to defeat his army [Daniel 11:3-4] 3 Then a mighty king will arise, who will rule with great power and do as he pleases. .4 After he has appeared, his empire will be broken up and parceled out toward the four winds of heaven. It will not go to his descendants, nor will it have the power he exercised, because his empire will be uprooted and given to others.
The mighty king who would arise was Alexander the Great, from Macedonia which became part of the Empire of Greece. In 331 BC Alexander took Babylon. At the age of 33 he died in Babylon. Some historians say he was poisoned, some say he died of pneumonia, no one really knows for sure. Following his death, his empire was not given to his young sons but was divided among his four major generals Alexander the Great’s empire was divided into four nations following his death. Antigonus became the ruler of Macedonia; Lysimachus ruled over Asia or Asia Minor; Seleucus ruled Syria and Ptolemy ruled over Egypt. [Daniel 11:5-6] 5 “The king of the South will become strong, but one of his commanders will become even stronger than he and will rule his own kingdom with great power. 6 After some years, they will become allies. The daughter of the king of the South will go to the king of the North to make an alliance, but she will not retain her power, and he and his powerwill not last. In those days she will be betrayed, together with her royal escort and her father and the one who supported her. The rest of the prophecy focuses on the King of the North which was Seleucus who ruled
over Syria and the King of the South who was Ptolemy I who ruled over Egypt. The reason the prophecy focuses on these two is because they are the ones that will affect Israel. Remember the prophesies are concerned about Israel. Verse 5 describes a power struggle between Seleucus who was joined by Ptolemy I of Egypt and together they defeated Antigonus , making Seleucus in control of all the lands from Asia to India. In verse 6 the prophecy is about the King of the South or Egypt in 285 BC who was Ptolemy II Philadelphus whose daughter was Berenice. A marriage was arranged between Berenice and Antiochus II Theos, King of Asia to make an alliance between Asia and Egypt. Antiochus II Theos already had a wife, Laodiceia whom he was forced to divorce in the alliance. After a few years, Ptolemy II died. Antiochus then took back his first wife. But the first wife was very bitter about having been set aside so she murdered her husband, Antiochus and his Egyptian wife, Berenice as well as their infant son. Verse 6: 6 After some years, they will become allies. The daughter of the king of the South will go to the king of the North to make an alliance, but she will not retain her power, and he and his power will not last. In those days she will be betrayed, together with her royal escort and her father and the one who supported her. [Daniel 11:7-9]7 “One from her family line will arise to take her place. He will attack the forces of the king of the North and enter his fortress; he will fight against them and be victorious. 8 He will also seize their gods, their metal images and their valuable articles of silver and gold and carry them off to Egypt. For some years he will leave the king of the North alone. 9 Then the king of the North will invade the realm of the king of the South but will retreat to his own country. In 246 BC there was a new King in Egypt, Ptolemy II Euergetes who defeated the King of the north or Asia, Seleucus Callinicus. He took princes hostage and spoils of idols, silver and gold. In 217 BC, Asia attacked Egypt but was defeated. Verse 9: 9 Then the king of the North will invade the realm of the king of the South but will retreat to his own country. [Daniel 11:10-19] 10 His sons will prepare for war and assemble a great army, which will sweep on like an irresistible flood and carry the battle as far as his fortress. 11 “Then the king of the South will march out in a rage and fight against the king of the North, who will raise a large army, but it will be defeated. 12 When the army is carried off, the king of the South will be filled with pride and will slaughter many thousands, yet he will not remain triumphant. 13 For the king of the North will muster another army, larger than the first; and after several years, he will advance with a huge army fully equipped. 14 “In those times many will rise against the king of the South. Those who are violent among your own people will rebel in fulfillment of the vision, but without success. 15 Then the king of the North will come and build up siege ramps and will capture a fortified city. The forces of the South will be powerless to resist; even their best troops will not have the strength to stand. 16 The invader will do as he pleases; no one will be able to stand against him. He will establish himself in the Beautiful Land and will have the power to destroy it. 17 He will determine to come with the might of his entire kingdom and will make an alliance with the king of the South. And he will give him a daughter in marriage in order to overthrow the kingdom, but his plans will not succeed or help him. 18 Then he will turn his attention to the coastlands and will take many of them, but a commander will put an end to his insolence and will turn his insolence back on him. 19 After this, he will turn back toward the fortresses of his own country but will stumble and fall, to be seen no more. The battles between Asia and Egypt continued for about 50 years. This passage describes a series of attacks on Egypt by Antiochus the Great, King of Asia. This Antiochus was very ambitious and he went after Greece where he was defeated. He was succeeded by Seleucus IV Philopater, who was then succeeded by Antiochus IV Epiphanes, the terrible persecutor of the Jews. His actions are prophesied in Daniel 11:21-35 which we will study next week. [Daniel 11:20] 20 “His successor will send out a tax collector to maintain the royal splendor. In a few years, however, he will be destroyed, yet not in anger or in battle. The king that this prophecy described was Seleucus IV Philopator, the King of Asia. At that time the Asians were being pressed by the Romans to pay heavy taxes of 1,000 talents each year. To raise this money Seleucus levied heavy taxes over all the provinces under his rule which included the Jews. He hired a tax collector named Heliodorus to collect from the Jews who was told to plunder the temple. Shortly after this happened, Seleucus disappeared. His demise opened the door for Antiochus Epiphanes. Through this passage I have attempted to give you the prophecy given in Daniel and the historical events that happened and fulfilled the prophecy. You can see the accuracy and minute details of the prophecy that were so accurately fulfilled in history which gave fuel to the theory that Daniel was written about 100 BC after the persecutions of the Jews by Antiochus Epiphanes. But I stand with my earlier statement;the prophecy came from God through the Angel Gabriel, not from Daniel. What can we learn from Daniel 11:1-20? 1. All scripture is true and given by God. [2Peter 1:20-21]20 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. 21 For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. 2. As we have seen in this lesson that God’s prophecies are true, accurate and come to pass in due time. Therefore we can be assured that those prophecies that are in our future will come to pass and we have to be prepared. Next week, Daniel 11:21-4.
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DANIEL [Lesson 13]
Scripture for this lesson are taken from Ezra 1, Daniel 10.
In Daniel chapter 10 we began a study of Daniel’s fourth and last vision. In Lesson 12, we studied Daniel’s vision of the Prophecy of 70 Weeks where God answer’s Daniel’s prayer about what will happen to Israel following the 70 years of captivity in Babylon. Daniel chapter 10 is the prologue or introduction to Daniel’s last vision which we will study in Daniel chapters 11 and 12. Chapter 10 sets the stage for this last and 4th vision which gathers together the significant threads of prophecy, especially as they relate to the Holy Land and to the people of Israel.
[Ezra 1] In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah, the Lord moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and also to put it in writing: 2 “This is what Cyrus king of Persia says: “‘The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. 3 Any of his people among you may go up to Jerusalem in Judah and build the temple of the Lord, the God of Israel, the God who is in Jerusalem, and may their God be with them. 4 And in any locality where survivors may now be living, the people are to provide them with silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and with freewill offerings for the temple of God in Jerusalem.’” 5 Then the family heads of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and Levites—everyone whose heart God had moved—prepared to go up and build the house of the Lord in Jerusalem. 6 All their neighbors assisted them with articles of silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and with valuable gifts, in addition to all the freewill offerings. 7 Moreover, King Cyrus brought out the articles belonging to the temple of the Lord, which Nebuchadnezzar had carried away from Jerusalem and had placed in the temple of his god. 8 Cyrus king of Persia had them brought by Mithredath the treasurer, who counted them out to Sheshbazzar the prince of Judah. 9 This was the inventory: gold dishes 30, silver dishes 1,000, silver pans 29, gold bowls 30, matching silver bowls 410, other articles 1,000. 10 In all, there were 5,400 articles of gold and of silver. Sheshbazzar brought all these along with the exiles when they came up from Babylon to Jerusalem.
Cyrus released the Jews, ended their exile according to God’s schedule in 539-538 BC. We learned in Lesson 12 that Zerubbabel, a descendant of King David and Jeshua the High Priest led over 42,000 Jews back to Jerusalem and they began to rebuild the temple. You notice in verse 7 that King Cyrus the gold and silver bowls and plates that the Babylonians took from the temple in Jerusalem when they destroyed it in 586 BC.
[Daniel 10:1] In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia, a revelation was given to Daniel (who was called Belteshazzar). Its message was true and it concerned a great war. The understanding of the message came to him in a vision.
Our time frame now is about 536 BC. The Jews have been home in Israel for about two years. Daniel has been Babylon 72 years. The events that Daniel will see in his vision in chapters 11 and 12 are a long time in the future about a great war and Daniel was given an understanding or meaning of the vision.
[Daniel 10:2-3] 2 At that time I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks. 3 I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over. Again we have three verses here that are an overall picture of the explanation and understanding of the vision that will be explained in the verses that follow. Daniel was so upset by this vision that he mourned for three weeks. During this time he ate and drank only what was necessary. The captivity is over but the Jews are still scattered. Some have gone home to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem, but now he learns that they must go through a great war. He mourned for three weeks, 21 days. [Daniel 10:4-6] 4 On the twenty-fourth day of the first month, as I was standing on the bank of the great river, the Tigris, 5 I looked up and there before me was a man dressed in linen, with a belt of fine gold from Uphaz around his waist. 6 His body was like topaz, his face like lightning, his eyes like flaming torches, his arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze, and his voice like the sound of a multitude. Daniel further dates his vision as being the 24th day of the first month. This first month of the Jewish year is Nisson, the 14th day of Nisson is Passover and the next week is the Feast of Unleavened Bread. This is the most important time of the Jewish year, so Daniel would be concerned and thinking about his people. The Tigris River is just north of Babylon about 35 miles.
The man dressed in linen, a belt of fine gold, with bright body and a face like lightning is considered by some to be Christ. However, I believe that it is the angel Gabriel who appeared to in Daniel 8:16 and in Daniel 9:21. That better fits the text. [Daniel 10:7-9] 7 I, Daniel, was the only one who saw the vision; those who were with me did not see it, but such terror overwhelmed them that they fled and hid themselves. 8 So I was left alone, gazing at this great vision; I had no strength left, my face turned deathly pale and I was helpless. 9 Then I heard him speaking, and as I listened to him, I fell into a deep sleep, my face to the ground. We learn in these verses that Daniel was not alone standing on the bank of the Tigris River. The others did not see the angel but they must have seen or heard something because if frightened them so much that they ran away and hid. As the angel spoke to Daniel, he fell into a deep sleep on the ground. It sounds like he passed out from fright. [Daniel 10:10-13] 10 A hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees. 11 He said, “Daniel, you who are highly esteemed, consider carefully the words I am about to speak to you, and stand up, for I have now been sent to you.” And when he said this to me, I stood up trembling. 12 Then he continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. 13 But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia. 14 Now I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the future, for the vision concerns a time yet to come.”
The angel touched Daniel and helped him to stand as he spoke to him. We are told again how highly thought of Daniel is in the heavenly realm. Then the veil is lifted and Daniel is given a look into the unseen world of spiritual beings that work on the earth. These spiritual beings are both good and bad. Some doing the work of God and some doing Satan’s bidding. They are working in the movements of nations and as in this case, protecting the people of Israel. We learn that both the angels Gabriel and Michael were working at that time with the King of Persia. It sounds like Gabriel had struggled with Satan’s angel over the activities of the Persian King and God sent Michael to assist Gabriel. The struggle was so difficult that it took 21 days for them to complete their mission. During that 21 days or three weeks, Daniel had been in a state of mourning. Gabriel then went back to Daniel to finish giving him God’s message concerning what would happen to Israel. I believe that God’s concerns and actions have not changed from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant. There is still a spiritual battle going on around us over the activities of nations. The forces of God will continue to battle against the forces of Satan over the souls of man until Jesus Christ comes back. [Daniel 10:14-17] 14 Now I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the future, for the vision concerns a time yet to come.” 15 While he was saying this to me, I bowed with my face toward the ground and was speechless. 16 Then one who looked like a man touched my lips, and I opened my mouth and began to speak. I said to the one standing before me, “I am overcome with anguish because of the vision, my lord, and I feel very weak. 17 How can I, your servant, talk with you, my lord? My strength is gone and I can hardly breathe.” The events in Daniel’s vision are for the far future. Daniel was so upset about what was in the vision that he was weak and could hardly speak. Remember, Daniel is an old man, at least 90 years old.
[Daniel 10:18-21] 18 Again the one who looked like a man touched me and gave me strength. 19 “Do not be afraid, you who are highly esteemed,” he said. “Peace! Be strong now; be strong.” When he spoke to me, I was strengthened and said, “Speak, my lord, since you have given me strength.” 20 So he said, “Do you know why I have come to you? Soon I will return to fight against the prince of Persia, and when I go, the prince of Greece will come; 21 but first I will tell you what is written in the Book of Truth. No one supports me against them except Michael, your prince. The angel strengthened Daniel once again and encouraged him to be strong and to have peace in his heart. Then he told Daniel that he would soon have to go back and do battle with the prince of Persia. This was one of Satan’s angels that Gabriel battled. Then Persia was taken by Alexander the Great and Greece was the nation that ruled over Israel. Greece had its angel that Gabriel had to fight against. So each nation that rules over Israel has a satanic being attached. Gabriel was there to do God’s will and protect Israel.
What can we learn from Daniel chapter 10?
1. Cyrus the Persian King released the Israelite captives exactly when God through the prophets Jeremiah and Isaiah said that he would. God’s prophecies always come true. 2. God still protects us today just as He protected the Israelites in the Old Covenant. His angels are here watching over us, even though we are unaware.
3. The forces of Satan are working around us trying to keep people from accepting Christ and tempting the christians to sin and destroy their witness. 4. If we love God and humbly and sincerely seek Him in prayer, I believe that He will answer.
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DANIEL Lesson 12
Scriptures for this lesson will be taken from: Daniel 9, Ezra 1, Nehemiah 2, Matthew 24, and IThessalonians 4 In Daniel Lesson 11, we studied the first part of chapter 9 where Daniel had been reading the prophecy of the prophet, Jeremiah. Jeremiah prophesied that Israel would be in exile for 70 years. Knowing that the 70 years of exile were about over, Daniel went to God in prayer asking what would happen to Israel after their exile. God then sent the angel, Gabriel, to give Daniel the answer to his prayer. [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:
As soon as Daniel began to pray, God heard him. Gabriel said that Daniel was highly esteemed. God was pleased with Daniel’s life, his worship and his prayer. God sent His angel Gabriel to tell Daniel what will happen to Israel when the 70 years of exile are over. [Daniel 9:24] 24 “Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy Place. Here in verse 24, Gabriel gives a summation of the answer to Daniel’s prayer. Israel is about to be released from their 70 years in exile, but their punishment for sin is not over. God established Israel as His people for a reason. They had a twofold mission: to be an example and a teacher for the rest of the world about God and to bring forth the Messiah. They failed as an example and teacher, to tell the world about their God, who He is and to teach them His laws. They failed to live their lives as an example for others to see. They did, however, bring forth the Messiah, and then rejected Him. Israel’s transgression will not be finished until they accept the Messiah and are made right with God as a nation. This prophecy of the 70 weeks tells how long it will be before Israel is right with God. Daniel asked God in his prayer what would happen to Israel and this is God’s answer. The length of time is 70 weeks times 7. The weeks are years, so that makes 70 years times 7 which makes a total of 490 weeks-years. The chart below hopefully will make the prophecy a little easier to understand.
Before we go to the next two verses I would like to discuss the number 7. In scripture, 7 is the number for completeness. The number 3 stands for God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit, the triune God. Four is the number for man. Man is complete with God, 3 +4=7. All through the Bible from Genesis through Revelation the number 7 stands for completeness, perfection. From the creation being completed and God resting on the 7th day to the 7th bowl judgment in Revelation we see the number 7. In Daniel’s 70th week it is finished. The Lord Jesus will reign.
[Daniel 7:25] 25 “Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble.
From the time the word is given to restore and rebuild Jerusalem. We have two time periods here to look at. When the 70 years of captivity is over, the Jews will be released by the King of the Medes and the Persians.
[Ezra 1:1-4] In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah, the Lord moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and also to put it in writing: 2 “This is what Cyrus king of Persia says: “‘The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. 3 Any of his people among you may go up to Jerusalem in Judah and build the temple of the Lord, the God of Israel, the God who is in Jerusalem, and may their God be with them. 4 And in any locality where survivors may now be living, the people are to provide them with silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and with freewill offerings for the temple of God in Jerusalem.
The prophecy of Jeremiah the prophet is fulfilled at the end of the 70 years of exile. God moved the heart of King Cyrus to release the Israelites and let them go home. He also proclaimed that they should go back to Jerusalem, all those who chose to, and they should build a house for the God of Israel which would be the temple. Those Israelites who chose to stay there were help those who went back to Jerusalem by giving them silver, gold, animals and other goods for an offering for the house of God. This took place about 536 BC. Zerubbabel, a descendant of King David and Jeshua the High Priest led a over 42,000 Jews back to Jerusalem and began to rebuild the temple.
[Nehemiah 2:1-5] In the month of Nisan in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was brought for him, I took the wine and gave it to the king. I had not been sad in his presence before, 2 so the king asked me, “Why does your face look so sad when you are not ill? This can be nothing but sadness of heart.” I was very much afraid, 3 but I said to the king, “May the king live forever! Why should my face not look sad when the city where my ancestors are buried lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?” 4 The king said to me, “What is it you want?” Then I prayed to the God of heaven, 5 and I answered the king, “If it pleases the king and if your servant has found favor in his sight, let him send me to the city in Judah where my ancestors are buried so that I can rebuild it.” 6 Then the king, with the queen sitting beside him, asked me, “How long will your journey take, and when will you get back?” It pleased the king to send me; so I set a time.
Nehemiah is an Israelite who has the very high position of Cup Bearer to King Artaxerxes, King of the Persians. The best way to get rid of a king in ancient times was to poison him. So the men who served the king’s drink and food were highly trusted and valued. When the king noticed Nehemiah’s sad countenance, he asked what Nehemiah wanted from him. Nehemiah requested permission to leave the king’s service for a period of 12 years (Nehemiah 5:14). During that time he wanted to go to Jerusalem and see that the city and the walls and gates were rebuilt. It was in the king’s interest to see this work accomplished because Jerusalem was in his territory and he collected taxes from them. If the city was fortified and productive it would mean more income for him. The date for this event is generally accepted to be 445BC. Looking at the chart for the Prophecy of the 70 Weeks, you will see that the Decree to rebuild Jerusalem is the beginning of the prophecy of what will happen to Daniel’s people when the 70 years of exile are completed. From the time Artaxerxes gave the decree for Nehemiah to go to Jerusalem until the city was rebuilt is 7weeks times 7 which is 49 years. This generally fits the historical time table. [Daniel 9:26] 26 After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be put to death and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed.
From the time the temple and the city of Jerusalem were rebuilt until the Anointed One, Jesus Christ, would be put to death was to be 62 weeks of years, 62 x 7 = 434 years. This too, generally fits the historical time table. These years in Israel’s history are called the “silent years” because there was no prophet of God in Israel giving the people God’s Word. The next and last of the Old Covenant prophets was born 6 months before the Messiah. He was John the Baptist. The people of Israel had been back in their promised land for about 500 years and God had sent the Messiah for whom they had been waiting a very long time. When Jesus came He came as the suffering servant who must die for the sins of mankind. He came as a lowly carpenter with no possessions of His own. But the Jews were expecting the Messiah to raise a large army and overthrow Roman rule and Israel would once again be a powerful, independent nation like in the time of David. Jesus was not the Messiah they were expecting so they, as a nation, rejected Him.
At this point the prophecy has covered 69 of the 70 weeks. There is one week left. The last week of the prophecy covers the times of the tribulation. The years in between are left out. Why? God has answered Daniel prayer about what will happen to Israel after the exile. The prophecy is about Israel. Remember, I stated earlier that God gave Israel a twofold mission: to teach the world about God and His laws and to bring forth the Messiah. The Messiah was born from the Jewish people, but they failed miserably in their mission to keep God’s laws and be an example to the world. So, when Israel rejected their Messiah, God gave their mission to the Gentiles. He established the church and sent the Holy Spirit to indwell the believers and guide the church.
I believe that the church age is not mentioned because God is not dealing with Israel. When the temple (Zerubbabel’s temple) was built after the exile, there is no record that the Holy Presence of God ever came to dwell in that temple with Israel as He did in the original tabernacle and in the temple built by Solomon. (for reference see the last lessons in the Fall of Judah) During the Church Age God dwells with the Gentiles through the Holy Spirit as the church seeks to win the peoples of the world to Jesus. “The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary.“ The people of the ruler refers to the Romans. Titus, a general in the Roman army came to Jerusalem in 70 AD and destroyed the temple and the city once again.
The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed. This part of the prophecy seems to mean that from the time of the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans there will be trouble, war and desolation for Israel until the end of the prophecy or through the 70th week. Our history proves this part of the prophecy to be true. The Jews in Palestine as a nation ceased to exist until about the time of the last century. During WWII, Hitler did his best kill them all. Following WWII, Israel became an independent nation in 1948.
[Daniel 9:27] 27 He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on Him.”
If you will notice on the chart of the Prophecy of 70 Weeks, following the Church Age I have placed the rapture of the church. This event is given to us in the letter to the church at Thessalonica, written by Paul about 51 AD.
[1 Thessalonians 4:16-18] 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.
Whether the rapture of the church will occur before the tribulation begins or half way through it is debatable. This is a promise that Christians will not have to endure the terrible times of the tribulation. The church will be taken out and God will once again deal with the Nation of Israel and so the countdown of the last week of the prophecy begins. 27 He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven. This appears to refer to the antichrist who will make a covenant with the Jews to allow them to observe the temple sacrifices in their rebuilt temple. Daniel 12:11 tells us that he will break his covenant with Israel after 3 ½ years and the abomination of desolations, the judgments of Revelation, will be poured out upon Israel.
[Matthew 24:15-20] 15 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. 18 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. 19 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 20 Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again. 22 “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. 23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time.26 “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27 For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28 Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather. 29 “Immediately after the distress of those days “‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’
Jesus is describing the terrible bowl judgments that will come upon the earth at the end. There are many who believe that all of these prophecies have already come true and they do not believe in the 1000 year reign of Christ. Personally, I do not think anything has occurred yet like what is described here by Jesus in Matthew chapter 24. My answer to all is to read the scriptures, study for yourself and decide what you believe. But the most important thing is to accept Christ as your savior and the exact interpretation of end time prophecy does not matter all the much. Be prepared.
[Daniel 9:24] 24 “Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy Place.
This is the beginning of the prophecy where Gabriel sums it all up in one sentence. After 70 7’s or 70 weeks of years, then Israel’s atonement for wickedness will be at an end. They will once again be right with God.
Lessons we can learn from this study:
- First and foremost, God will not tolerate sin.
- The people of Israel had the Old Covenant scriptures for over 400 years before the Messiah came, but they still rejected Him. We have now had Old and New Covenant scriptures for over 2000 years. Have you accepted Christ?
- The ministry of teaching the world about God and Jesus fell to the Gentiles when Israel rejected their Messiah. It is our responsibility now as Christians to carry on that mission. Are you doing your part?
- The events prophesied in Daniel’s Prophecy of the 70 Weeks have come to pass through the 69th week. Why would anyone believe that the prophesies of the last week would not also come about? Are you ready?
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