The Prophecy of Daniel      

A Bible Study  (chronological)   To navigate click on desired portion.

Introduction  
Background History    
Daniel 1 How did it all begin for Daniel?
Daniel 2 Nebuchadnezzar's Statue Dream
Daniel 3 The Statue becomes an Image
Daniel 4 Another Dream: the Tree is Felled
Daniel 7 Daniel's Vision of 4 Beasts
Daniel 8 The Ram and the Goat
Daniel 5   Belshazzar Challenges God
Daniel 9 God's Answer to Daniel's Prayer:
Daniel 6 A Night with the Lions; and an Angel!
Daniel 10-12 God's Plan Revealed
Daniel 112-39 Detailed Prophecy Fulfilled 530-164 BC
Daniel 1140 - 1213 Prophecy Not yet Fulfilled

 
Introduction         [Contents]

Daniel is a book about kings and kingdoms.
It prophesies 2,500 years of world empires and their rulers.
It proclaims the eternal kingdom of God ruled by the King of kings,
      and what must take place prior to this longed-for conclusion.
It testifies how the most despotic king Nebuchadnezzar was humbled
      step by step under the hand of the King of kings.
It confirms the fulfilment of all hope and dreams
      when the Anointed One will put an end to sin, atone for wickedness
      and bring in everlasting righteousness.
It is a book that will leave us prostrate before the throne of the Lord Almighty.
The faithfulness and the grace of God is revealed to such extent
      that our gratitude will know no bounds.
This book will give us courage to stand in days of increasing wickedness,
      for we stand, not alone, but beside the great 'I AM', the Lord of Glory.

Jesus quotes Daniel in 3 of his 55 recorded quotes from the Old Testament.
      Dan 713 (Math 2664), Dan 121 (Math 2421), Dan 1211 (Math 2415)
The scriptures record no sin of Daniel. One of the very few. Ezek 1414
Dan 11 - 24a and 8 - 12 are written in Hebrew, 24b - 7 in Aramaic.
      Daniel would have been fluent in both.
Several everyday expressions come from Daniel.  'The writing's on the wall', 'You're number's up' etc
Jews consider Daniel more as a statesman than a prophet.
      (In Tenach the book is placed among the 'writings', not the 'prophets')
Prophets interpret the past, discern the present and predict the future.
God's revelations to his prophet Daniel concerning the future are very precise.
      So some foolishly say that it could not have been written until about 150 BC.
      (They also say the same about Isaiah naming Cyrus)
      (and they deny that God can reveal to man such exact details)

Daniel 7-12 is apocalyptic. Much of Revelation is based on it.
God gives us details and an overview of 'the times of the Gentiles' (Lu 2124)
      He reveals much of what we need to know of world events at the end.
            (Though some would admit it is not all we would like to know!)
It is intended to inform us of God's plan so that we may be prepared for the great events of the last days,
      not to prove our own various theories (or to disprove those of others).
Parts of the visions are clearly interpreted, but others are 'sealed until the time of the end'. 129

Pray for humility and acceptance of 'mystery', when arrogant men demand to understand everything.
The purpose of God in Daniel (and Revelation) remains simple and profound.
Daniel stands as a great man of God in an evil empire.
We see the presence of the Living God in Babylon.
      The Eternal c.f. the temporary. Real power c.f. temporal power.

Daniel reveals the truth that it is the Sovereign Lord, not fate,
      who orders the 'end-time' events - their precise extent and timing.
      That God alone is the just Judge of all the earth.
      And he is the mighty, gracious and atoning Saviour.

Throughout world history God is sovereign,
      not the mighty Nebuchadnezzar or Napoleon or Stalin ...
Daniel refers to God as 'the Most High God' 13 times.
Do we gladly acknowledge the sovereignty of God in the details of our lives?

There is (and remains) a major battle for the souls of men.
      Satan does not give up easily.
This vicious Being was even allowed to crucify the Son of God;
      not knowing it was God's plan, and the very means of our salvation.
God punishes sin, and God intervenes to save.
The 'end-time' events are going to be very tough,
      but God remains the mighty Sovereign Lord.
Do not compromise or seek popularity; do not be deceived.  Math 244,11,24
      Trust in the faithful Lord. 'Be strong and very courageous'.  Josh 19

Mighty Angels are seen at work (good and evil).
      Michael and Gabriel are named.

God gave this assurance and instruction to the apostle John:
Then he placed his right hand on me and said:
"Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last.
I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever!
And I hold the keys of death and Hades.
Write therefor what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later."
 Rev 117-19

Daniel also wrote what he had seen about the present and the future.
      Thank God that his Word will never pass away.

Daniel's trust in the Sovereign Lord were not misplaced.
      The Lord God's faithfulness and grace are well proven in this great book.

 
Background History       [Contents]

Daniel was born when Josiah was king of Judea (622-609 BC) and Jeremiah was preaching in Jerusalem.  
      This was immediately after the wicked reigns of Manasseh and Amon.
      Assyria had earlier sent Israel (N. Tribes) into exile (722 BC).
Josiah regained the Coastal plain, Samaria, Meggido and Galilee.
      The Temple was refurbished, the 'Law' honoured, Passover celebrated
            and all the public idols destroyed.
      But the hearts of men are not so easily changed.
      Most included God with their old culture and satanic tradition.
The revival, though real for Josiah, was for most only skin deep.
      See early chapters of Jeremiah, who was preaching at the time.
In 609 Josiah was killed in battle with Pharaoh Neco.
      It was a brave, maybe even reckless act.
            But it did delay Pharaoh Neco until after Nabopolassar of Babylon
            (Nebuchadnezzar's father) had taken the Assyrian city of Harran.
      Neco made Jehoiakim, Josiah's grandson, king of Judah - and a vassal.
In 605 Nebuchadnezzar defeats Egypt at Carchemish (and at Hamath).
      Jehoiakim capitulates to Nebuchadnezzar without battle.
      Daniel and the 1st exiles are taken to Babylon.
In 601 Nebuchadnezzar and Neco fight again. This was an indecisive bloodbath.
      Jehoiakim rebels and foolishly sides with Neco. He ignores Jeremiah's warning.
In 597 Nebuchadnezzar takes Jerusalem. Ezekiel and others exiled to Babylon.
8 years later Zedekiah rebels.
      Jerusalem is besieged by Nebuchadnezzar for 18 months.
      City and Temple are totally destroyed in 586; and all the towns of Judea.
There is nothing squeamish about Nebuchadnezzar;
      no Geneva Convention to limit his killing and destruction.

Jeremiah is given freedom, but rebel Jews flee to Egypt taking Jeremiah.
      God is faithful to Jeremiah. He is greatly honoured in heaven, but not on earth.

The Jewish population in 606 was some 250,000
      After 3 exiles (605, 597 and 586) only about 20,000 Jews remained.
      Nearly 20,000 Jews were enslaved in Babylon.  2 Kgs 2414-16
            Of whom 4,600 were from Jerusalem.  Jer 5228-30
The plight of the few remaining Jews in Judea was dire.
      So was the life of the Jewish slaves in Babylon.

Daniel would have heard Jeremiah as a young man,
      and from Babylon he would have heard all about this destruction.
He would also have heard the prophet Ezekiel in Babylon.

 
Daniel 1   -   How did it all begin for Daniel?       [Contents]

The book opens in the 3rd year of Jehoiakim by Babylonian reckoning.
      It is the 4th year by Jewish reckoning (civil year starts in Oct).  Jer 251
      Jehoiakim, the grandson of Josiah, had begun to reign in late 609 BC.
      He paid the Egyptian tribute by a huge rise in taxes,
            which he also used to build himself a large sumptuous palace!

Nebuchadnezzar, the new king of Babylon arrived on the scene in 605.
      And the Lord delivered Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand.  Dan 12
      God did not protect this avaricious, God rejecting Judean king.
Nebuchadnezzar leaves Jehoiakim on the throne in Jerusalem,
      but takes the 'cream' of Judah's youth (including Daniel) to Babylon,
      together with some of the Temple treasures.
Why to Shinar (Babylon, Babel) ?  Gen 1010 111
      Judah practised idolatry.  2 Ch 3614  Jer 194,5
      And Babylon was the centre of idolatry!
Babylon (Babel) was founded by Nimrod,
      grandson of Ham, the cursed son of Noah.  Gen 106-10
Isaiah had prophesied this exile to Babylon over 100 years earlier.  Is 396,7
Jeremiah had been warning Judah for 22 years, but no one heeded it.
      Jer 45-18 514-17 61-26 720-29 911 1111 1211,17 1319 1411-18 1613 1811 193-15 204 ... etc

Nebuchadnezzar did not like the challenge of Yahweh.
      so Daniel and his 3 friends are re-named.  16,7
      It might also help them forget their Jewish origin. But in this he failed.

       Hebrew       Aramaic (Babylon)
DANIEL = God is my Judge BELTESHAZZAR = Bel protect his life or Prince of Bel
HANANIAH = Yahweh has been gracious SHADRACH = Command of Aku (moon-god) or Illumined by  Aku
MISHAEL = Who is like God is? MESHACH = Who is like Aku is?
AZARIAH = The Lord has helped ABEDNEGO = Servant of Nebo (writing, trade) (son of Bel).

 
Ashpenaz was the chief of the 'court officials'. (possibly 'eunuchs' AV)
The young men taken to Babylon were the very best -
      Intelligent, without deformation, eloquent, zealous, of good character.
Daniel, as a teenager, experienced peer-pressure to eat the best food.
      No doubt some said, Don't rock the boat - just do as you are told.
      The issue here is not Meat-eating .v. Vegetarian, but Obedience .v. Disobedience.
      The meat was non-kosher and had been offered to idols.
      Did eating non-kosher food really matter that much?
      Was it a vital 'faith' matter, or something insignificant?
Daniel was determined to obey God, even in little things.
      He was in his late teens when this first crucial test came.  Ps 11995-99
      Still an 'unknown', he had yet to win Nebuchadnezzar's favour.
Who taught him righteousness? His parents.
      Even in a wicked age with a wicked king (Jehoiakim).
Daniel was resolute, but not rebellious.
      He did not try to make everyone else eat only vegetables!
How did he object?
Nebuchadnezzar was probably the most powerful, despotic ruler that has ever lived.
      No one questioned his authority from 605 onwards if they valued their life!
      Ashpenaz had every reason to be afraid.
Daniel's suggestion of a 10 day test on vegetables was fair and sensitive.
      And they looked all the better for their new diet.
Why did Nebuchadnezzar give these special exiles 'royal food'?
      Lure of luxury to prevent any rebellion.
      Encourage them to be Babylonians, and forget about being Jewish.

In their training God gave the 4 young Jews knowledge and understanding.  117
They were trained in astronomy, mathematics, language, arts, etc
      After 3 years they were found to be far wiser than all the 'wise men',
            who had had a life-time of study and experience.  120
This was acknowledged by all, not just their Jewish peers.
      Their wisdom was God-given; it was not because of their diet.
      Their 1st class honours degree was God-planned and God-inspired.

Daniel remained in Babylon all his long life. He would never return to Jerusalem.
      i.e. for the next 66 years until 1st year of Cyrus (539)
We will see God had a most vital plan for this man and his nation. He still has!

But in the 2nd year of their 3 year training an incident occurred.  15 21
      It would change their lives - and that of the mighty Nebuchadnezzar!
      It would reveal God's plan for all the rest of world history !!

 
Daniel 2   -   Nebuchadnezzar's Statue Dreams       [Contents]

Nebuchadnezzar is probably under 30, bright, resolute and successful.
Like many young rulers he was probably impatient for change,
      and he was tired of the flattery and falsehood of his inherited 'wise-men'.  29b
      Magicians - sacred writings and tricks.
      Enchanters - worshipped stars, astrology.
      Sorcerers - demonic worship and clairvoyance.
      Chaldeans - Babylonian nationals.
He had had several dreams and in his mind they were muddled;
      he could not remember anything clearly;
            none of the bits seemed to fit together.  21
Why should he continue to support such a bunch of pretenders?
      He desired to separate the real from the false.

His death threat to the astrologers was not an idle one.
      He meant it, and they knew he did.
      They desperately tried to negotiate - and failed.
      They correctly said that no man can know the dream without being told.
The King is angry and dangerous; very dangerous!
He decides to eliminate the civil service, the whole administrative machinery.
      (It included Daniel, who was in his 2nd year at the 'Babylon University')
      But God had other plans for Daniel.
Daniel spoke to Arioch, with the same wisdom and tact as he had to Ashpenaz,
      and with no small degree of courage.  214
Why did the young Daniel succeed where his elders had failed?
      He trusted Almighty God - and he spoke the truth. c.f. 28,9

What would you do?
      Could you be an executor of a will without knowing what is written?
      Or build a house extension without any plans?
      Or write a computer programme without being given any specification?

Daniel had faith that God would reveal the dream in all its detail.
      Time was not on his side; but God was!
He arranges an all-night prayer meeting at home.  217-19
How did they pray?  Earnestly!
God reveals both Nebuchadnezzar's dreams and their meaning.
This is not the first or last time that truth is revealed by a exiled Jew!  Gen 4116,28  Ezek 324 - 517

Daniel's grateful respose to the revelation of God:
Praise the name of God forever and ever,
      for he alone has all wisdom and power.
He determines the course of world events;
      he removes kings and sets others on the throne.
He gives wisdom to the wise
      and knowledge to the scholars.
He reveals deep and mysterious things
      and knows what lies hidden in darkness,
      though he himself is surrounded by light ...
 220-22 (New Living Bible)

Arioch goes in haste to the king and says:
I have found a man ... (Men have not changed much!)

Daniel is marched in before the great Nebuchadnezzar and says:
No wise man, enchanter, magician or diviner can explain to the king
the mystery he has asked about, but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries.
He has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in days to come.
 227,28
Then with respect and without fear, he tells Nebuchadnezzar all that God had so accurately revealed.
Nebuchadnezzar had had several dreams.  21
      But there was no coherent theme;
            it was all mixed up, confused and incomprehensible.
God had told Daniel a single clear dream, which he relates.  231-36a
Nebuchadnezzar remains silent.
      He must have recognised the dream;
            the jigsaw was now complete and the picture clear.

Daniel continues: And now we will interpret it to the king.  236b
Nebuchadnezzar was shown that it is the Lord Almighty, the King of kings,
      who controls nations, not Nebuchadnezzar, nor any of his other gods.
He needed to hear that his kingdom would not last for ever.
      Three other world empires will soon follow it.
First mighty Babylon, the gold head.
Then Media/Persia, a silver chest and two arms.
      Just 65 years later Darius would conquer Babylon in a single night!  Dan 5
Then Greece, the belly and thighs of bronze.
      Alexander the Great in 333 BC would defeat the great Persian army.
Finally the 4th Kingdom, Rome, with legs of iron.
      Roman legions would conquer Greece and all Europe.

Each empire would appear precisely on schedule - God's schedule!  417 221
God's revealed plan would determine the rest of world history,
      not Nebuchadnezzar, nor any other mighty world ruler.

Furthermore God himself would establish a righteous and eternal kingdom.
This final part of the dream has yet to be fulfilled.
All too often today this part of the dream is forgotten;
      but it is the most important part.
Daniel describes the rock which destroys the whole statue.  244,45a
      i.e. all the cultures that our current civilisation is based upon.
      For Nebuchadnezzar, it was not the happy ending expected for Babylon.
The Rock is cut from a mountain, but not by human hand.  234
      Jesus was born of a virgin, by the Holy Spirit, not by the will of man.
At the end Christ, the mighty Rock will destroy the statue.  Rev 1821
All trace of the man-made empires will disappear suddenly and completely!
The Kingdom of God that Christ will build is very different.
      It will be eternal and it will be righteous.
      This kingdom is described in detail in the last two chapters of the Bible.
            Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth,
            for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away ...
 Rev 211
Christ, the Rock,
      The stone that the builders rejected, is become the head of the corner:
      this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes.
 Math 2142 Eph 220

This world is fantastic; every detail of creation encourages our worship of God.
      (How can men claim it all evolved by accident, without design and without power?)
But the next world, that our God creates, is even more fantastic.

Note that it is Christ, not the Church, who conquers.

Has any world ruler ever taken to heart this 'dream' revelation of God?
      Sadly, No.
Yet history proves the interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar's dream was true.
Over the next 500 years these 4 kingdoms each came into being.
Why should anyone doubt that the final kingdom of God will also come?

The mighty king Nebuchadnezzar falls prostrate before Daniel,
      a young Jewish exile. 'How are the mighty fallen?'!
His emotional response before the God of Daniel wouldn't last. It rarely does.
All men need a change of heart, a new birth.
      This is far more than an transitory emotional experience, however great.
            Emotions change, but a new birth continues for ever.

Daniel, a godly exiled Jew, was honoured as Joseph had been in Egypt.
Note that Daniel pleads for the other wise men.  224 c.f. 38 64
      He ensures that his 3 prayer partners, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, are also honoured.
      This is not 'jobs for the boys', for all 4 were found 10 times wiser ... 120
      Not just because of their 1st class hnours degrees at Babylon University,
            but because of God's revelation of Nebuchadnezzar's dream and its meaning.

God had not finished with this mighty Gentile king - not by a long chalk.
The teenager Daniel is given Babylon and all the civil service to administer.
      And the mighty King is truly humbled before Almighty God.

The dreams (written in Aramaic) show 'the times of the Gentiles'.
      2600 years of Gold - Silver - Bronze - Iron - Iron+Clay
Increasing strength and hardness, but decreasing value and weight.
Increasing military power but decreasing absolute power.
      (and increasingly brittle)
Nebuchadnezzar never had a general election!
Neither did Alexander or even the Caesars
      (though the latter were supposed to be subject to Senate)

In Dan 2 he sees these Gentile times as man sees them;
      bright, shiny, strong, valuable.
But none of the empires would last;
Later in Dan 7 he sees these kingdoms from God's perspective;
      ravenous, strong, destructive animals.
      The 4th one was to be so terrible that he could not even name it.

Beware of losing the main message of Daniel
      by trying to gain a too detailed interpretation of future events.
The Holy Spirit reveals the truth to Daniel before Cyrus was born,
      and centuries before Alexander or Pompey.
At the end there would be feet of clay and iron - which do not mix;
      a fragile confederation, an evil, brittle 'One World Government'.

But most important, this chapter of Daniel reveals:
      the Lord Almighty will build a new and glorious Kingdom.
      The righteous Kingdom of God that will be eternal.
      It is the Kingdom that he promised to Abraham and to David -
            and to all who believe in Jesus Christ and the sovereignty of God.

 
Daniel 3   -   The Statue becomes an Image.       [Contents]

It is now about 580 BC. Some 25 years had passed between Ch 2 and 3.
      And Nebuchadnezzar was not the sort of king to do nothing.
In 601 he had fought with Egypt. The result was inconclusive.
      Both sides retired badly hurt having suffered very heavy losses.
Seeing Babylon weakened, Jehoiakim, rebels and sides with Egypt.
      Jeremiah had warned him not to.  Jer 236,37
            (As also Isaiah had warned Hezekiah in his day.  Is205,6)
Nebuchadnezzar rebuilds his army and returns in 597. Jerusalem falls.
      More are exiled, including Ezekiel who becomes God's prophet in Babylon.
      Zedekiah was made king of Judah, but after 7 years he rebelled.
            (He should have learned from Jehoiakim's experience)
Nebuchadnezzar again marches his army the 800 miles to Jerusalem.
      after an 18 month siege he destroys the city and the Temple.
His army had recently returned from a 13 year siege of Tyre.
Meanwhile in Babylon Nebuchadnezzar is very busy building -
      well not personally, but all his slaves were busy 7 days a a week.
      Babylon enjoyed its famous hanging gardens,
      the city had 10 miles of surrounding walls 60 metres high
            with a roadway on top wide enough to race 7 chariots abreast!
      The Euphrates ran through the city for a guaranteed water supply.
      Babylon was secure and new - no slums.

Nebuchadnezzar had not forgotten the statue dream.
      But now all the statue was gold, not just the head.
            As often happens, God's revelation is distorted.
      He had rejected the idea of the subsequent 3 kingdoms.
      No one could overthrow the kingdom he had built.
      It was too big, too powerful and too secure to just disappear.
      He thought God was wrong! It wouldn't, it couldn't be destroyed.
      "Power corrupts ..." and King Nebuchadnezzar had absolute power.

The huge gold-plated image was probably positioned to reflect the sun,
      so all Babylon could marvel at it - and glorify Nebuchadnezzar.
      It was 60 cubits high (25 metres) x 6 cubits wide. (6 = man, imperfect)
            also Goliath 6 cubits tall.  1 Sam 174
"Zither, harp and pipes" are the only Greek-loaned words in Daniel.
      (some have used this to say it must have been written later)
Who had to worship this statue?
The Babylonians were not asked to worship the image,
      nor just given the opportunity to do so. They were commanded to.
The disobedient (of all nations and religions) would be burned alive!
Worshipping idols no problem to polytheists; but disaster for the Jews.
The Lord Almighty had commanded:
      You shall have no other gods before me.
      You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven
            above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.
      You shall not bow down to them or worship them ...
 Exd 203,4

This challenge to God's command will return at the end times.  Rev 1314-17

Why were they commanded to worship the image?
He not only desired, but felt he deserved the acclaim of all men.
Nebuchadnezzar had some justification for becoming proud
      of his military and building achievements.
      See in next chapter (430) as to how much pride had set in.
The image is not given a name; it was probably of Nebuchadnezzar.
      They neither serve your gods nor worship the image ...  312,14,18
He tried to initiate a state religion that worshipped him.
      He is not the first, nor last man to attempt this.

 
The Contest

Daniel was absent. (probably away on the king's business)
His 3 friends refused to bow before this piece of carved, gold-leafed wood.
God had commanded them not to worship images - and that was that.
      No if's or but's or exceptions. Ro 131
      To be uncompromising is often costly, even today.
Remember, they did not know that God had planned a glorious deliverance.

The astrologers made 3 Accusations of the disobedient Jews.
      Each designed to make the king angry - and they succeeded!
      They pay no attention to you, O king.
      They do not serve your gods.
      They do not worship the image of gold you have set up.  312
            (i.e. a very public challenge to his authority)
The 3 Jews had each given good service for 25 years,
      so he gives them a 2nd chance to obey.
But Nebuchadnezzar makes a great mistake: he also challenges God!
      What God will be able to rescue you from my hand?  315
      This is always a foolish thing to do!
The 3 saw the challenge immediately.
      But they did not presume that God would rescue them.
They just confirmed that it is God who would decide, not Nebuchadnezzar!
Their reply has inspired many martyrs down the ages.
      e.g. Mrs Wurmbrand in 'The Pastor's Wife' told her prison governor:
"I see that you are powerful and probably have papers about me that can decide my fate.
But God keeps records too, and neither you nor I would have life without him.
So whether you keep me here or set me free, I'll accept that as best for me."
Three days later her 'boss' was instructed to release her!

No one had ever dared to challenge Nebuchadnezzar,
      and certainly not in public.
He was angry. And anger usually leads to bad decisions.
      i.e. to heat the furnace 7 times hotter.
      A lower heat would have caused the 3 much more pain!
      Several of his best soldiers were killed throwing the Jews into the furnace.

 
The Result

God wins the contest.
How can mere man expect to challenge Almighty God and win!?
Persecution and suffering for God brings extra courage
      and a special awareness of the presence of Jesus.
Nebuchadnezzar was amazed!
      The 3 were not destroyed in the furnace, and Son of God is seen walking with them.
How was the Son of God recognised and not seen as just a 4th man?
      The 3 were dark against the bright yellow flames.
            but the Lord was brighter than the x7 flames.  Math 172  Rev 2123
Their ropes were burnt, but their clothes and hair were not even singed!
The 3 obeyed Nebuchadnezzar when he called them to come out.
      God's intervention did not make them proud or arrogant.
      They remained Nebuchadnezzar's servants.
      But they would have loved to have stayed in the fire!
In the plan of God, the 3 are set free and are honoured,
      Not quite what the astrologers wanted!

But the statue remained and the Jewish God is added to Babylonian gods.
      Temporally put at the top of the list. c.f. 'You shall have no other gods'.
Being amazed at miracles is not the same thing as believing and being saved.

What do we learn from this great story?
Beware of powerful men or institutions.
      Democracy is not a guaranteed protection against injustice.
We should always obey the civil power except if it means disobeying God.
When does civil disobedience become the right way? Ro 131
Learn to determine when a government command is also a compromise.
      This would not have been the only incident in the previous 25 years.
      There were some 53 Temples in the city of Babylon.
      There must have been many dedications, 'rites', official services etc
God does not always deliver the saints from their ordeals,
      but he himself is always with them.  Is 432  2 Pe 33-14
Honest and true witness may well enrage Nebuchadnezzar or Islam or ...
      Muslims, New Agers, Humanists, Hindus are each deeply offended
            if anyone insists that there is only one God
            and one way of salvation through Jesus Christ crucified and risen.
      We will certainly be accused of being intolerant or narrow-minded.
They hate Christian worship and our total dependancy upon the Lord.
Humanists think they can manage without any god.
It is God who 'rides through the heavens', he created all of it by his word.
He alone is Master of the world today.
He always was and always will be the Sovereign Lord.

God does far more than we either ask or think.  Eph 320
      He not only rescued them from the fire,
            but God's name was honoured in heathen Babylon.
      ... in all things God works for the good of those who love him ...  Ro 828
      In all things, and at all times.
Have we learned to affirm this truth in our many circumstances?
      Or do we only expect God to make life easy for us?
Do not distort God's Word, embellish prophecy, or misapply his promises.
      Honour all God's Word, not just the popular parts.
      There is Judgement in the NT and mercy in the OT.
      If it is omitted the Cross becomes unnecessary.

This is the second time that Nebuchadnezzar is 'moved'. But where to?
      It was not yet to have faith in the God of Abraham alone.

Note that it is this issue that will always separate Protestants from Rome.
RC's will gladly affirm that salvation is by grace through faith in Christ.
      But they refuse to say that it is
            by grace alone, through faith alone in Christ alone.
      They add the necessity of church sacraments, penance and priestly absolution.
      Furthermore the threat of excommunication brings the fear
            that disobedience can cause you to loose your salvation.

 
Daniel 4   -   Another Dream: the Tree is Felled       [Contents]

The Dream  41-18

It is about 571BC; Nebuchadnezzar had reigned for nearly 35 years.
He tells us of his dream and it's fulfilment.
This chapter is the only part of the OT written by a Gentile.  (also Luke + Acts in NT)
It is his honest testimony, and certainly not the usual speech of a political despot.
He states clearly that he was wrong and needed to be humbled!
The proclamation was:
To the peoples, nations and men of every language, who live in all the world.  Dan 41a
It was sent out and read in every town square of his considerable empire.

May you prosper greatly.  Dan 41b
Did he think that prosperity was the best goal for men to aim at?
      Like wishing each other "A happy Christmas and a Prosperous New Year."
He tells of the signs and wonders of THE Most High God.  Dan 42
It can't have pleased the many religious leaders of Babylon.

What was Nebuchadnezzar's state of mind at this time?
      He was contented and prosperous.  44
Isn't this the aim of nearly all men?
While ease and riches may not be wrong; it is always highly dangerous.
The Son of God warned us about it many times.
      Math 621,33 Lu 624,25 1411 1613  also 1 Tim 66-10 2 Tim 32 Heb 135,6

Why did Nebuchadnezzar call the magicians first?
      Only when they failed did he seek Daniel.
      In the wisdom of God, all the others were seen to have failed - again!
Nebuchadnezzar's pleasant dream turned to a nightmare.
      He was not a man that was easily frightened.  Dan 45
He honours Daniel by using his Hebrew name.  Dan 48,19
      But he also uses the title Belteshazzar after the name of my god
      and the spirit of the holy gods is in him.
 Dan 48,9,19
      The 'other gods' were still not destroyed.  Dan 48,18
The title would not have pleased Daniel, but he let it pass without objection.
He reserved his thrust for what would be more important matters.

 
The Interpretation  419-27

Daniel was also alarmed when he was told the dream; why?
He had genuine concern for his master.
He saw immediately that the tree was Nebuchadnezzar.  Dan 422
That God had given him a 7 year suspended sentence.
It would end only when he acknowledged
      that God is the Sovereign Lord, not Nebuchadnezzar.
      And that there are no other gods.
Daniel has the courage to tell him that God was also instructing him
      to change his ways, to stop sinning and practice justice!
No man can build great edifices without exploitation and/or slave labour.
      e.g. Solomon, the Jewish builder and king, who "chastised with whips"  1 Kg 12
Compassion is a good antidote to pride.  Dan 427 Job 3314-17
Nebuchadnezzar accepts this rebuke.
      It says much about his respect for Daniel.

 
The Fulfilment  428-37

What did Nebuchadnezzar do about this instruction
      and the earlier two major God-events?
      (the statue dream and the 3 delivered in - not from - the fiery furnace.)
He may have followed God's instructions for a while; but it did not last.

Just 12 months later he was surveying Babylon from the palace roof.
The city stretched for about 3 miles and must have been a fantastic view:
      Palaces, temples, watchtowers, walls, river, green parkland, hanging gardens,
      new houses everywhere, no slums or decay, everything on a grand scale.
"And I built it all ... for the glory of my majesty"!  Dan 430
But pride comes before destruction ...  Prov 1618
He had been personally warned by God and now he chose to ignore the Almighty.
So God fulfilled his promise!
      He always does.
      When will men realise this?
Throughout history proud world leaders have often chosen to ignore the Lord Almighty;
with the inevitable result - Disaster!
"What a man thinks, that he is, or that he will soon become."
      See also Ro 122 2 Co 105

Why has God included this Gentile testimony in the Scriptures?
So that we may clearly know what God thinks of pride.
      Prov 112 1618 Amos 68 Acts 1223
Why does God so hate pride?
      Pride is like a cuckoo in a nest who pushes out all others.
      It has no room or need for God.  Ps 104 Dan 520
God is very soon forgotten.  Deut 810-20
It leads to captivity of the nation and slavery for the soul.  Jer 1317
God alone will be exalted.  Is 211
Satan rebelled because of pride.  Is 141-15
Why don't proud men always fall? It is God who chooses 'if' and 'when'.
      (Note: Pride is not the same as pleasure in good workmanship.  Gal 64)

What did Nebuchadnezzar say he learnt during these 7 years of madness?
      Only the kingdom of the Most High God will endure for ever.  Dan 43
      That Babylon would soon crumble, and so would the 3 world empires that succeed it.
      It is God who gives the kingdoms to whom he will.  Dan 417,25
      That God humbles the proud.  Dan 437 (often through difficulty.  Job 3314-17)

His sanity was restored only when he sought God in humility.

Who looked after the mad king for the 7 years (times)?  425
Jewish tradition records that it was Daniel.
Why didn't others kill the mad Nebuchadnezzar, and take the throne?
They had heard Daniel's prophecy; and rightly feared him and his God.

Why was Daniel not bitter against Nebuchadnezzar?
      He had destroyed the beloved Jerusalem and the Temple,
      and killed or enslaved 1000's of his Jewish kinsmen.
Daniel quickly recognised that it had been God who had ordered it,
      and their own wickedness had deserved it.  Dan 9  Ezek 58-17
They had refused God's warning given clearly by Jeremiah for 40 years.

Nothing more is known of this great King; he died the following year.
Nebuchadnezzar had been humbled.
With God's work accomplished; he fades from the Biblical stage.

Much remains of the brief and mighty kingdom of Babylon:
      In astronomy and maths. e.g. 360 degrees in a circle.
      At winter solstice they worshipped the rebirth of Tamuz (Sun god)
            by burning the branch of a tree, a Yule log (Yule =infant in Aramaic)
      Next day they celebrated by bringing the trimmed tree into the house.
      They worshipped a fertility god whose symbol was mistletoe.
Babylon (in Gk., or Bab-el in Heb.) has become a symbol of evil.  Rev 17,18

Daniel had prayed much for Nebuchadnezzar.
      He had served him with love and loyalty for over 40 years (605 to 562)
      What an outstandig example.

(Daniel 5 and 6 come later in this chronological study)

 
Daniel 7   -   Vision of 4 Beasts       [Contents]

Given by God in 553 BC - the 1st year of Belshazzar, grandson of Nebuchadnezzar.
Daniel was aged 65-70 (and now retired)
This is part of the prophetic section, and more difficult to understand.
Much will remain a mystery until the last days.
Jesus will reveal all that is required when it is needed.

Facts from Dan 7
    +
Explanation in Dan 7
Comments
The four winds of heaven churn up the sea.  72 Churning is God's initiative, as also in Rev 71
Jesus "rebukes" the threatening wind.  Mk 439
Four great beasts rise up out of the sea.  73
    +
= Four kingdoms.
    But saints will inherit eternal kingdom.  717,18
Daniel desires to know more.  719,20
They rise up out of troubled sea i.e. Gentile nations. Rev 1715
Satanic beast also rises out of the sea of wickedness
    and confusion.  Rev 131
Same 4 kingdoms as in Dan 2 - each made and ruled by evil men.
1. Lion with eagles wings.  74
Wings torn off
Rises on two feet
Given heart of man
Babylon. 606-539 BC
Lion is king of animals and Eagle is king of birds.
    i.e. Absolute power
Nebuchadnezzar had lions sculptured on his new Babylon buildings.
Daniel sees it as a symbol of man's pride that must fall.   Like Babel.
Nebuchadnezzar would have to live like an animal for 7 years,
    humbled, then raised.  Dan 4
2. Bear raised on one side.  75
Three ribs in it's mouth
Told to eat fill of flesh
Medes and Persians. 539-333 BC
Like a bear, big and powerful, but little tact or cunning strategy.
Army of ½ million!
'Raised on one side'. Persians predominate in alliance.
3 ribs = Babylon, Lydia (Turkey) and Egypt.
Crude and cruel in war and in peace.
3. Leopard with 4 wings.  76
Four heads
Given authority to rule
Greece. 333-63 BC
No faster animal than a leopard; and this one had four wings!
Alexander died at 33 in Babylon having marched ~30,000 miles.
He conquered all Asia Minor and ME, Egypt, Persia, and NW India.
4 heads = 4 Generals who succeeded him:
    Lysimachos (Turkey + Bulgaria)
    Antipater (Greece + Macedonia)
    Seleukos (Syria + Babylon)
    Ptolemy (Egypt)
4. Beast - Terrifying and powerful.  77,20
Iron teeth, Crushed victims,
Trampled on remainder.
Different from the others and had ten horns.
+
4th kingdom different - devours whole earth
    crushing all.  77b,20,23

10 horns = 10 kingdoms
    that come from 4th kingdom.  724a

Rome. 63 BC - 5th Cent' AD
    (split 395 AD Vatican + Byzantine).
So wild and terrible that no suitable animal name given to it.
Defeated all Europe, N.Africa and ME.
They killed 1000's in battle and later; many were enslaved.
'Different' from earlier empires is emphasised.
    More terrible! Federation. 2000 year interval.
No nation defeated Rome. Caesar's successors Czar + Kaiser.
    Czar's were called '3rd Roman Empire'.
10 horns = 10 blocks of World Nations to form 'New World Order'.
Iron legs become iron + clay feet with 10 toes.
    Brittle and unstable.  240-43
Little horn rises up
Uproots three of the 10 horns
Eyes of a man
Spoke boastfully.  78
Little horn wages war on saints
    and defeats them. 721
    +
After 10 kings, another and different king
    will arise arise from them.
    He subdues 3 of the 10 kings,
    Speaks against Most High,
    and will oppress saints for 3½ years.
    He tries to change the set times (Jewish Feasts)
    and the laws (Commandments).  724b,25
The Antichrist. The Beast and his false prophet of Rev 13.
Began little but became powerful.
Mouth became bigger too! Utters great blasphemy.  Rev 137
He who endures and overcomes will be saved.  Rev 2,3
    Math 1618 Rev 137,10b Math 249,10,21,22 Dan 127
    But also Joel 228
Saints will receive an eternal kingdom - at the end, not before.
No pre-tribulation rapture for the saints.  1 Th 415-56
Tries to cancel appointed times when God invites men to meet with him.
    e.g. Jewish Feasts, Sabbath etc.
Hates origin of AD and BC. Sets himself up above the Law
    c.f. 221 God determines time, Law, rulers,
        and fortunes of men; not Satan.
Ancient of Days takes his throne.
River of fire flows
Thousands attend him
Court sits and books opened.  79,10
    +
Then Court sits.  726a
Throne of God also seen by Isaiah 61-3 and in Rev 4,5
This special court is in heaven - unseen on earth.  Rev 2011-15
Book of life determines our destiny,
    other books detail the reward.
Boastful little horn is destroyed.  711
Others kings had been allowed to live,
    but without any authority.  712
    +
Beast is completely destroyed for ever.  726
Jesus destroys the Beast and False Prophet and all nations
    who attacked Jerusalem.  Rev 1911-21
The arrogant will receive their just reward.
Satan is bound for 1000 years.  Rev 202,7
During which Christ reigns on earth.  Is 22-4 Rev 204b
Then final battle, Satan thrown into fire for ever.  Rev 2010
Son of Man
given authority, glory and power
All people worship him
Rules everlasting Kingdom.  713,14
Judgement given in favour of saints
    who possess the Kingdom of God.  722
    +
Sovereignty of the kingdoms given
    to the saints.
God's kingdom will be everlasting.  727a
All rulers will worship and obey him.  727b
Jesus used this title.  Math 820 96 1023 1119 128 etc


New heaven and new earth.  Rev 21,22

 

 

 
"Every knee shall bow ..."  Phil 210  1 Co 1527

Daniel troubled, and asks meaning.  715,16
    +
Daniel is deeply troubled after being told.  728
Not troubled because of what he didn't know
    but because of what he did know!
Alarmed before explanation; even more alarmed afterwards!
Desired to know more accurately, so God told him.

Daniel sees Babylon, Media/Persia, Greece, Rome as God sees them -
      as proud ravenous beasts that seek to destroy.  Hos 137,8  Rev 132
Nebuchadnezzar saw them as the world sees them - as bright, valuable, strong, even beautiful.
      Hanging Gardens of Babylon considered one of the '7 Wonders of the World'.
What is your view of world history?

Nebuchadnezzar had built a fantastic kingdom; but it was only temporary,
      his great new kingdom of Babylon lasted just 66 years.
Soon, all that he had built would be left to become just a mound of sand in the desert.
Do we labour for what perishes or what endures?

 
Daniel 8   -   The Ram and the Goat       [Contents]

551 BC - 2 years after vision of Dan 7.
In this vision (and in remainder of Daniel) the focus is on the Jews.
      Dan 8-12 written in Hebrew (2-7 in Aramaic)
Accuracy and importance of Daniel's prophecy is assured -
The Archangel Gabriel is instructed to give him true interpretation. 816
      "Gabriel, tell this man the meaning of the vision."
Only Jesus has the authority to command the arch-angel Gabriel.

This vision covers 4 time periods:
      a) Immediate future (539 BC) when two-horned Ram will overthrow Babylon.
      b) Two centuries later when Goat would defeat Ram (333 BC).
      c) Nearly 4 centuries later (167 BC) when Antiochus Epiphanes would try to destroy Jews.
      d) And most importantly, as Gabriel emphasises 'The time of the end'.

Facts from Dan 8
    +
Explanation in Dan 8
Comments
Ram with two horns
One horn longer and grew up later
Charged W, N and S
Powerful - None could withstand him.  83,4
    +
Two-horned Ram is Medes and Persians.  820
Persians became predominant.
Ram's head = emblem of Persia.
Defeated Greece (W),
    Phrygia + Cappadocia (N),
    Egypt + Babylon (S).
Goat with single prominent horn.  85a
Came from the West so fast,
    feet hardly touched the ground!
Charged Ram with great anger.
Broke both Ram's horns and trampled on him.
No one to rescue him.  85b-7
    +
Shaggy Goat is the king of Greece.
Large horn is first king.  821
Alexander the Great. Not a fighter but an academic!
    Had vision for unified, Greek language, world government.
    Septuagint - a legacy of Greeks in Alexandria ~300 BC.
    Tutored by Aristotle (a brilliant strategist).
Aegean Sea = 'Goat' Sea.
Goat becomes great but horn broken.
4 horns grew in its place.  88
    +
4 horns = 4 kingdoms that replace broken horn,
    but will not have the same power.  822
Alexander dies in Babylon aged 33. "Nothing left to conquer!"
His 4 successors:
    Ptolemy (Egypt)
    Antipater (Greece +Macedonia)
    Seleukos (Syria + Babylon)
    Lysimachos (Turkey + Bulgaria)
None achieved the same power that Alexander gained.
Out of 4 horns grew another horn.
Increased in power towards S and E
    and towards Beautiful Land.
Threw some of starry host to ground
    and trampled them.
Set itself up to be as great as the Prince.
    Took away daily sacrifice;
        sanctuary brought low.
Prospered: truth thrown to the ground.
Heard one ask,
    "How long will sanctuary be trampled?"
    "2,300 evenings and mornings"  89-14
'Beautiful Land' = Israel.
Selucid king Antiochus IV, who arises from 4 horns.
Calls himself 'Epiphanes' = god.
Persecution of Jews started in Oct 169 BC.
    and lasted until Syrians were defeated by the Maccabees.
Temple defiled for exactly 3 years 15/25 Kislev 167 to 164.
2300 am + pm sacrifices =1150 days (3 years =1095 days)
    pig sacrificed on altar to Zeus 55 days after
    God's altar removed.
Rome defeats Greece 146, Lydia 133, Selucids 64 and Egypt 31 BC
Rome falls apart but is never defeated like Babylon, Persia, Greece.
Gabriel does not really explain 89-14 but says:
    "I am going to tell you what will happen
        later in the time of wrath."

At that time another will arise, like Antiochus,
    the same demonic character, but far worse!
(see below)
 
When rebels become completely wicked,
a stern-faced, master of intrigue will arise.
He becomes strong, but not by his own power.
Causes devastation. Successful.
Destroys holy people. Deceit prospers.
    considers himself superior.
Many destroyed when they feel secure.
He even attacks the Prince of princes,
    but he will be destroyed,
    though not by human power.  823-25
This 'Beast' and what he does is described in Rev 13.
During the Tribulation he arises out of the confused sea.
His power is totally satanic.
Proud, boastful, blasphemous, deceitful.
Gross wickedness will be normal
    and God's commandments abandoned.
The saints and especially the Jews will be destroyed
    or deceived.
But those who endure to the end will be saved.  Rev 137-10 1412,13
Many holy people will join the throng of martyrs.  Rev 69-11
Like Pharaoh, Sennacherib, Belshazzar etc,
    he will make war against God,
    and suffer the same consequences by the hand of the Lord Almighty.
God will order the time of his evil rule,
    and his final total destruction!
Jesus, the Rock will destroy the Beast
    and all the vain empires of men.
His holy Mountain will be established for ever.  Dan 244,45
Jesus speaks of the abomination as being in the future.  Math 2415
Seal up vision - it concerns distant future
Vision was beyond understanding.  826 124,9
Daniel is exhausted and appalled.  827
The vision is sealed,
    not to make it obscure, but secure for the future.
There was much that Daniel did not understand,
    but he saw enough of what was to happen to the Jews
    and was appalled.  Is 2819b

In these last two sections Gabriel reveals events of the Last Days.
What is our response to what is prophesied concerning the end time?
    Am I ready?
    Do I believe it or ignore it?   Is it too obscure, too divisive?
To endure we must be sure of the Scriptures, and of he who wrote them!
    He did so because we need to know the truth.
    We need to know that the Lord is faithful and the Almighty.

 
Daniel 5   -   Belshazzar Challenges God.       [Contents]

Nebuchadnezzar 605-562 dies
Amel-Marduk (son) 562-560 murdered by brother in law
Neriglissar (brother in law) 560-556 military Captain
Labashi-Marduk (son of Ner.) 556 murdered by Nabinidus
Nabinidus (son in law of Nebuchadnezzar) 556-539 lived mostly in Teima in Arabia
Belshazzar (son of Nabinidus) 553-539 co-regent with his father (grandson of Nebuchadnezzar)

Nabodinus retired to Teima.
Belshazzar became co-regent in Babylon 9 years after Nebuchadnezzar died.
... Nebuchadnezzar his father ...  52 (No word for grandfather in Aramaic)
Belshazzar reigned for 14 years, during which Cyrus had conquered
      all the kingdoms from Lydia (Turkey) to Afghanistan,
      and now he had turned south!
      [Cyrus II (the Great) came to the throne of Persia in 559 BC.
      10 years later he defeated his mother's father, the Median king Astyages,
      and took the title 'king of the Medes'. Probably = 'Darius the Mede'
      See New Bible Dictionary.]

Babylon was a big and wealthy city.
Euphrates ran through city + canals,
      walls over 10 miles long, 250ft high and 87ft wide at the top,
      watchtowers every 200ft and 100ft higher than the walls,
      over 50 temples + 300ft(?) Temple Tower (Ziggurat),
      (Jacob's Ladder was probably the steps around the side of a Ziggurat)
      Hanging Gardens and Nebuchadnezzar's Palace.
      All clean, new, modern buildings - no expense spared; plenty of slaves.

Belshazzar had food, water, security, and pleasures in abundance.
He had inherited great prosperity and power.
He had seen his grandfather go mad; and he knew why, but took no notice.
He had 'kicked over the traces', like Hezekiah's son, Manasseh.
He was proud, hedonistic and wicked.
He desired to impress his friends and boost morale, so what does he do?
      He gives party for 1000 of the greatest and best names in the land!
      (A banqueting hall 173' x 56' with white plastered walls has been excavated)
It was a drunken orgy; and he chose to defile the Jewish Temple vessels.
No foreigners or their foreign 'gods' can defeat mighty Babylon.
      So he thought!
Even Nebuchadnezzar in his pride had respected the God of the Jews.
      But not Belshazzar: and he has contempt for Darius,
            worse, far worse, he has contempt for the God of Israel!
      Many have found to their cost, the folly of such action.
            e.g. Pharaoh, Goliath, Sennacherib, Jezebel, ...

What does God do to such men or women?
David had sought God's answer - he asked "Why do the wicked prosper?"
      So had Jeremiah.  Jer 127-17 Ps 733,17 Ps 37
God had told both of them the same answer.
In Babylon, 500 years after David, (and 50 years after Jeremiah), God had not changed his answer.
It is like the man who wrote a letter to his local newspaper boasting that he had ploughed,
      sowed, sprayed and harvested a bumper crop, all on Sunday.
      Underneath, the Editor wrote, "God does not always settle his accounts in October!"
      In fact God was to settle his account with Belshazzar that very night!

In Babylon they were enjoying 'wine, women and song',
      when suddenly fingers appeared and wrote on the wall.
      Just the fingers; no arm or body were visible.
The finger of God is mentioned in  Exd 819 Exd 3118 Jn 88 Lu 1120
Belshazzar was more than a little alarmed!
His face went white, his knees knocked and his legs gave way.  Dan 56,9
      But it was through fear, not repentance.
Similar to those outside when God shut the door of Noah's Ark?
      Or for Egyptian army at the Red Sea, or for the evil men of Sodom?
What will men do in the last days, when the seals are broken, the warning trumpets sound
      and finally the bowls of wrath are poured out one by one?
They will still refuse to repent!  Rev 615-17, 96,20,21
      Indeed they will curse Almighty God.  Rev 169,11,21

No one could tell the king what the writing said.
Belshazzar is even more alarmed.
The Queen - not present - is told. (Nebuchadnezzar's wife or daughter)
She came and told the king of Daniel.
      Like Naaman's Jewish slave girl  (2 Kgs 53)
      and Pharaoh's wine steward.  (Gen 419-13)
It never occurred to Belshazzar to consult the righteous and elderly Daniel.
He offers him the third position in the kingdom.
      Daniel rightly refuses his promised gift.
      He knew it was worthless! (and besides he was now over 80)
      Like Abraham, who refused the gifts of the 5 kings.  Gen 1421-24
      (Belshazzar's father Nabinidus is still alive, so he was second or co-regent)

Daniel has no trouble in reading what was written
      and revealing what God had already told him;
      Same as God told David and Jeremiah concerning 'the end of the wicked'.

First Daniel gives him a humiliating history lesson.
He does not respect Belshazzar like he did Nebuchadnezzar.  Dan 227 419
      You knew all this but have not humbled yourself.  Dan 522
      You have set yourself up against the Lord of heaven.  Dan 523
      You praised the gods of silver (and sex).  Dan 523

Then he interprets. Therefore ...
Men who live for frivolity and pleasure will not do so for long.  Job 48
Many know about God (Belshazzar did), yet refuse to repent or believe.
What is the problem?
They deny the helplessness of man and the need for God's salvation.
The necessity for the Cross seems foolish to their 'wisdom'.  1 Co 118 319,20
Belshazzar desecrated the Temple vessels showing his contempt for all gods.
No man can insult Almighty God and get away with it.
Harvest will always come sooner or later - in this case it was sooner!  Gal 67

Mene (Heb. Wt Minas 600gm  1 Kg 1017 Ezra 269)
1st meaning = numbered. Your days are numbered,
God numbers our days. Don't waste them. Ps 9012
He is the judge of all men. The last number has now been called.
When?   Now!

Mene 2nd Hebrew meaning is to appoint.  Dan 249 312 - and to DIS-appoint!

Tekel (Heb. Wt Shekel 10gm)  Is 4012
= To balance, to weigh. You have been weighed against a true standard
      and found to be light.   Prov 162 (+motives)
Why 'light'? Because his heart was wicked.

Peres (half a Minas) means to divide or distribute.
Kingdom divided and given to Medes and Persians.
Parsin is plural of Peres (x 2). also Paras = Persians
The words were three common weights;
      and in God's scales of justice Belshazzar just did not measure up to any of them.

How? King to die and Babylon to be overthrown.
How did God achieve this judgement?
Unknown to Babylon, Darius the Mede had done some remarkable civil engineering.
      (Was this very sloppy intelligence or contempt for Darius?).
About 20 miles north, he had diverted the Euphrates into a lake.
While they feasted, he marched into Babylon up the dried up river bed.
So That very night Belshazzar was slain and Babylon overthrown.  530

In the Bible this account of Belshazzar's end follows chapter 4 for a good reason.
It makes a distinct contrast between the destiny of two kings:
      Nebuchadnezzar who is humbled and repents,
      Belshazzar who refuses, ridicules God and is destroyed.
Any reader with wisdom will take good heed to this contrast.
      All men should realise that God's Word is not just for kings.
Daniel chapter 6 reveals the conclusion of a third king - Darius the Mede.
      People must fear and reverence the God of Daniel.
      For he is the living God and he endures for ever;
      his kingdom will never be destroyed ...
      he rescues and he saves ...
 626,27   (i.e. Daniel from the hungry lions)
God's desire is also to 'rescue and save' all men from sin and its consequences.

Babylon falls and exits from the world stage; but not Daniel.
The prophecy of Isaiah and Jeremiah are fulfilled.  Is 216-10 Jer 5137,42,64
Now the head of gold was finished: Babylon had lasted just 66 years.  Dan 239
In one evening the great Babylonian Empire ended.
      But the evil spirit of Babylon (Babel) would continue to thrive.
      The naturally corrupt heart of man will always welcome it.

In the 'last days', Babylon (symbolising unstable economy and evil, greedy and blasphemous foundations)
      and the Gentile kingdoms will suddenly fall - in just one hour!  Rev 18
And deservedly so. They too will actively insult God, not just ignore him.
Humanism says God does not exist; New Age says God is in everything.
Proud, indulgent man rejects God and thinks he is free to decide what is right and wrong.
He can choose to do so; but if he rejects God, he will pay a high price!
He denies Creation by God and substitutes the 'Evolution theory'.
So as promised, Almighty God removes his protection.  Ro 118-32
      And the result - homosexuality, same-sex marriage and a 'depraved mind'.

On Sunday we say, 'Keep it special', but not 'holy' to the Lord Almighty.
On Monday we abolish the Law of God. Everyone can decide what feels right.
On Tuesday we say 'enjoy safe sex, whenever and with whoever, male or female, what does it matter!?'
On Wednesday we make divorce easy. 'Promises are made to be broken'.
On Thursday we legalise abortion, the mass murder of the unborn. What a cry!
On Friday we encourage greed with easy debt; have today, pay tomorrow.
On Saturday we claim rights without responsibility, the State will provide ...
Then we find that 'there is no such thing as a free lunch' and Almighty God is angry!!

All day our gracious God spreads out his hands towards a rebellious people.  Is 652
Most still ignore or even ridicule him - but for how long?

Note: In this judgement of Babylon,
      God was bringing about the return of the exiled Jews to Judah
      and the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem.
Daniel is spared: God has more work and revelation to give this righteous old man.
Cyrus will release the Hebrew slaves - and make Daniel his Prime Minister.
      Daniel will show him  Is 4424-457 written about 150 years earlier!

 
Daniel 9   -   God's Answer to Daniel's prayer       [Contents]

It was 539 BC.  the 1st year of the reign of Darius the Mede.  91
      1st year of his reign over Babylon.
      If same person as Cyrus II, then 20th year as king of Persia.
The Babylonian empire had just ended, now the Medes / Persians ruled;
      just as God had revealed in the dreams in Dan 2 and 7,
      though timing of each empire was not revealed.
Daniel would have known about the rising power of Medes / Persians
      in the North before Belshazzar's great and last feast. 
The writing on the wall did not surprise Daniel, he was waiting for it.
      He remembered what others had forgotten.

Daniel, now over 80 and retired, what would he be doing?
      Probably asking God concerning his plan for the Jews.
      He had been in Babylon the idol-worshipping centre of the world for 66 years,
            surrounded by heathen Temples. And Jerusalem was still in ruins.
He certainly would be asking God concerning his plan for the Jews.
To find out he turns to the Word of the Lord to Jeremiah.
      He considered it as 'Scripture' (the revealed truth).

This whole land (of Israel) shall become a ruin and a waste,
      and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.
      Then after seventy years are completed, I will punish the king of Babylon
      and that nation, the land of the Chaldeans, for their iniquity, declares the Lord,
      making the land an everlasting waste.
  Jer 2511,12

When 70 years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you
      and fulfil my gracious promise to bring you back to this place.
 2910

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.
 Dan 92

The destruction of Babylon would be for ever;
      but 'the desolation of Jerusalem' (Dan 92,17) would last for 70 years.
There were 3 stages of exile to Babylon:
      605 (Daniel+3), 597 (Ezekiel) and 586 (Jerusalem and Temple destroyed)
There were 3 stages of return to Jerusalem.
      538 (Joshua and Zerubbabel), 458 (Ezra), 445 + 425 (Nehemiah)
Temple rebuilding was completed in 516, exactly 70 years after destruction.
It seems that the 'desolation of Jerusalem' that Daniel 'understood',
      was the years the Temple would remain destroyed (586 to 516),
      but the 70 years 'serving Babylon' could be a 'round figure' 605 to 539,
            although the main exile was from 586 to 538 (only 48 years).

Why were the Jews exiled to Babylon?
      Idol worship, widespread wickedness and the offering of their children to Molech.
            Hab 12-4  Zeph 14,5,12  Jer 110 213 51,31 614 3235 253  Ezek 1649
Why did God declare 70 years?
      No Sabbaths given to the land for 490 years (1076-586?).  2 Ch 3621

It is 539 BC, so still another 23 years before the prophesied the Temple destruction.
No Temple was a devastating blow to the Jews.
      No more sacrifices for sin; the meeting place for God and man abandoned.
      And the Name of God was dishonoured,
It is clear that, like Joseph, Daniel will never return to Jerusalem.
      He knew he would never live to see the Temple and city rebuilt.
But he does see that God has a definite plan to restore Judah. 
      (unlike Northern tribes of Israel that were permanently exiled in 722)

What does Daniel do?
He prays earnestly - with truth, with confession and with fasting.
      He is rightly and deeply concerned; but he is not confused.
Scripture revealed both the just cause of exile; and the sure hope of restoration.

94-6 God who keeps his covenant is contrasted with us who have disobeyed,
      sinned, rebelled and did not listened to the prophets ...
97,8 Lord, you are righteous but we are covered with shame ...
99 The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving ...
911 All Israel has transgressed ... refusing to obey you.
912,14 You have fulfilled the words spoken against us ... bringing great disaster.
913b Yet we have not sought the favour of the Lord our God ... or repented.
917-19 Our God hear our prayers ... because of your great mercy,
      and because your city and your people bear your name

"Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks."  Lu 645

Here we see Daniel's heart.
      He is not trying to impress others - he is alone before God.
      It is not something he had to do to get what he wants from God.
      It is the overwhelming feeling of need for God's mercy.
      It is the pleading of his soul, laid bare before God.
      It is a heart that is prepared to trust God to fulfill his answer.
How different the world would be if we all had a heart like Daniel.

1. He confessed his own sin and that of the people.
      He includes himself - 'we' and 'my', not 'they' have sinned.  95,6,20
      The devil is like a fly; he hates clean places.
      Daniel is truly ashamed of the sins.  He doesn't call them mistakes!
      He is heart-broken and offers no excuses.
      He fully admits that he deserves God's punishment.

2. He pleads with God for forgiveness,
      and to restore the desolate sanctuary.
      The appeal to God is based upon God's promise,
      It is for the sake of the Name of God, and for God's glory.  919
      It is not for Daniel or even Israel's benefit.
      Daniel's longing is for a righteous Jerusalem, not just a rebuilt city, or even a rebuilt Temple.
      His living in Babylon for the previous 66 years,
            in the world centre of idol worship, must have enhanced this desire.

How does the Lord Almighty respond to such prayer?
      He is not surprised. He knew the heart of his servant Daniel.
            And he always knows what is about to take place.

God sends the mighty archangel Gabriel.
      It is significant that Gabriel came to Daniel 12 years earlier (Dan 8),
            and would also appear to Zechariah (Lu 119) and to Mary (Lu 126)
            Each occasion concerned the coming of the glorious Saviour and King.
      See how eager the Father is to complete his plan of redemption.
            As soon as you began to pray, an answer was given ...  Dan 923
      One day Daniel’s great longing will be fulfilled.
            Is 22-5   Dan 235  Is 2816,17  Jer 313-17 336-9,15,16
      So what was heaven’s answer?
            Not surprisingly it concerns the Jewish nation.

But first, God wants Daniel to know something else.
      Daniel ... you are highly esteemed ...  Dan 922,23
      Mary was called 'highly favoured' by Gabriel.  Lu 128
      John was called 'greatly beloved' and God gave each of them revelation.
Oh how great is the kindness of God to undeserving men.

Only now does Gabriel tell Daniel how and when it will happen.
      70 'sevens' (70x7 years = 490) are required.
            (This is much more than just rebuilding the Temple)
            Old Daniel would be long gone, but he saw the day and believed.
            Like when God revealed the same truth to Abraham.
      But how will God achieve the longing of Daniel?
      What would he have to do? What was God’s eternal plan?
            To put an end to sin.
            To atone for wickedness. (Atone = Heb. Kaphar)
            To bring in everlasting righteousness
            To seal up vision (sealed to make vision secure, not obscure).
            And to anoint the most holy.
      What a fantastic list!
      This is the very heart of this Book. (Yet so often omitted)

These words from heaven must have thrilled Daniel.
He joined Abel, Noah, Abraham ... who rejoiced to see the day of Jesus.
Were each of these promises were completed by Jesus, when the Messiah was crucified at Calvary?
      Yes, in a sense; but also no.

Yes, God has graciously completely forgiven all my sin; but sin has not yet ended.
Yes, God has given us his gift of everlasting righteousness, but we must 'keep the faith'.
Yes, God has fulfilled his plan for the Messiah to come once to put an end to sin;
      Jesus, 'the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world' has come.

But the world still shows that universal righteousness has not yet arrived!
First, the Anointed One will come, 'but in times of trouble'.  925
      Then, 'the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing'.  926
            He will be crucified and buried in an empty tomb.
Then at the end, Jesus must came again to complete the promise
      to all those longing for his return
      to seperate the righteous and the wicked
      and to establish his glorious Kingdom.   Heb 928b
Only he can overthrow the satanic Beast who will then be ruling the world
      with the false prophet in the last days.  Rev 1919,20

Gabriel instructs Daniel to seal up the vision and the prophecy.  924
      This is not to obscure the vision, but to secure it in wicked times;
            for many years will pass before these days are completed.

The detail of the 'Seventy sevens' remains to some degree a mystery.
One point is certain; the proclamation has a definite and sure fulfilment,
      even if we don’t and cannot know the precise timing of it.

The 70 sevens (490 years) is split into three sections. 7x7, 62x7 and 1x7
      Gabriel explains, and he expects Daniel to 'Know and understand ...'!  925
From the word to restore Jerusalem to the coming of the Anointed One
      will be 7 sevens and 62 sevens.
  (7x7 + 62x7  = 483)  925
But there were 4 possible known proclamations:
      538  Proclamation of Cyrus to rebuild Temple.  Ezra 11-4  2 Ch 3622,23
      520  Darius I  to governor of Trans-Euphrates
                  re-issues decree of Cyrus.  Ezra 61-15
      458  Artaxerxes to Ezra  Ezra 7
      445  Letter with Nehemiah to rebuild city wall.  Neh 21-9

Subtracting 483 years from each of these gives:
      538-483=55 BC    520-483=37 BC  458-483=26 AD  445-483=39 AD
The 'Coming of the Anointed One' was either at his birth in 5/6 BC
      or when he entered Jerusalem as King on a donkey in 30 AD

Why is the 483 only approximate, when God is always accurate?
And why is the first 69x7 split into 7x7 and 62x7?
      I don't know.

Some claim the use of a Babylonian 360 day year - 12 x 30 day months.
      (62+7) x 7 = 483 years x 360 days = 173880 days
      173880 days = 476 years 21 days (using 365.25 days/year)
      and using 444 for the letter to Nehemiah instead of 445
      444 - 476 = 33 AD (no 0 AD).
      If Jesus was born in 3 BC and died in 33 AD aged 35,
            He began his ministry 'about 30', probably 31½.
      But this seems a bit too 'clever'.
Jews and Greeks each used lunar months.
      Jewish months have always begun at new moon.  (29 or 30 days/month)
            To keep the seasons correct a 13th month (2nd of Adar) is added
                  in 7 of the 19 'Metonic' years.
Egypt and Rome used a solar year of 365 days, with a leap year every 4 years.

It is tempting to try to sort out the 'years', but doing so usually obscures
      the events which God has promised,
      and those he has and will fulfill.

After the 62 sevens,
      the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing.
  926a
At the first coming of the Messiah: the Anointed One came,
      when Jesus was crucified he was 'cut off' from his Father,
      and from among his people.   Ps 221  Jn 111  Exd 1215,19 (yeast = sin)
The crucifixion of Jesus may seem like a failure that achieved nothing,
      but by his sacrifice he made complete atonement for my sin.

The people of the ruler who will come
      will destroy the city and the Sanctuary.  926b

Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD.

Then there is a 'Gap' of about 2,000 years,
      like that found between Rev 125 and 6  also Is 611,2a and 2b

The end will come like a flood.  926c
      In Israel flash floods that rush down the dry limestone wadi's often cause fatalities.
      The end will come like that when the world least expects it;
            and only the alert elect are ready and longing for Jesus to return.

      The city and sanctuary will be destroyed - again, suddenly. AD 70  926a
            Wicked leaders at the end will attack Jerusalem.  Rev 19, Zech 121-6 142-5

War will continue until the end and desolations have been decreed.  926d
      During the 'times of the Gentiles' men will continue at war;
            forever striving to gain more no matter how much it costs (others!).
      Rev. prophesies 3 major world wars; none of which have yet occurred.
            Rev 61-8  ¼ die when 4 horsemen are released. (first 4 seals opened).
            Rev 1911-21 At the end when Beast is defeated by the returned Jesus Christ.
            And after the Millennium reign of Christ, the Gog/Magog war.  Rev 207-10
      The world has always hated the Jews and will continue to do so.  Math 246,7
            No ME peace treaty will stop war with Israel for more than a brief moment.
      At the end all nations will attack Jerusalem.
            They will pay a high and unexpected price!  Zech 121-9 141-11
      At the first Passover the Lord Almighty went through the land;
            in every house without the blood of the Lamb on the doorposts, all the firstborn were killed.
      At the 'final Passover' it will not be just the firstborn who will die, but all men who are without Christ.
      Passover is a fantastic opportunity to receive God's mercy.
            It is also a dire warning of the eternal and just judgement of God.

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.  927a
He (the Anti-Christ) shall make a covenant (a Peace Treaty)
This treaty will probably be between Israel and her Arab neighbours,
This treaty will only last for 3½ years (the first half of the 7 years).
But "The treaties of men are founded on fear and honoured when convenient."
Mohammed broke his covenant with his Koreish tribe after 24 years.
      (Arafat and now Abbas often mentioned this in their Arabic speeches.  I wonder why?!)
The Anti-Christ will put an end to sacrifice and offering.
      Does this 'end to sacrifice' assume a third Temple?  Some think so.
      More likely it is the stopping of all true public worship of the Lord Almighty
            The worship that Satan hates; and desires for himself.

And on a wing of the Temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation,
      until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.
  927b
The Anti-Christ will set up an abomination in Jerusalem.
      Is this the Mosque of Omar with the 'Golden Dome',
            that has inscribed in Arabic around the eaves, "God has no son"! ?
'wing' in Heb. = wing, corner or pinnacle. 
Is this desolation/abomination  70 AD, later or both?  Math 2415
Is it the 'man of lawlessness'?  2 Thes 21-4
Maybe the Anti-Christ will accept the 3 temptations that Jesus refused.
Whatever is set up, it will cause desolation for all.
      There is no doubt that Islam causes desolation.
            See the many local wars all over the globe.
      And extreme Islam causes extreme desolation.
Most Western (Christian?) nations have now become wicked:
      legalised homosexuality, only 50% marry, abortion murder,
      evolution theory replaces creation, broken Sabbath etc.
The life of the abomination and whoever puts it there will be short.
      The Lord Almighty will never abdicate his power or his purpose,
      nor abandon the people he has chosen, whose names are written in the Book of Life.
      God remains in control - always.  2 Thes 25-12 + Dan 1145

Daniel, exiled for 66 years in the world's idol-worshipping capital,
      had asked God for Jerusalem to be rebuilt, a righteous city.  916-19
God's answer to him is  'more than we can ask or think'.  Eph 320

God promised Daniel
      to put an end to sin
      to atone for wickedness
      and bring in everlasting righteousness.

The Temple was rebuilt in 516BC  and the City walls were rebuilt in 445 BC.
But this is not what Daniel pleaded for.
      His consistent, overwhelming desire was for the Anointed One to come,
      to establish his eternal righteous kingdom on earth
      to provide the atoning sacrifice of the perfect Lamb of God.
      He knew that only the Anointed One could make this wicked world righteous.

God sent Gabriel to tell Daniel his dreams were just what he had planned!
      Planned and agreed from before the dawn of time and creation.
      Written, signed and sealed.
      The ink is indelible and the parchment is indestructible.

God revealed the same seemingly impossible truth to Jeremiah.  Jer 321-44
      He would rebuild Jerusalem. Nothing is too hard for God.
      Rebuilt not just with houses, but with righteousness, truth and justice.

God's answer to Daniel's prayer in Dan 9
      is the crown of all God's revelation to Daniel -
      and sadly it often remains the least known.

Daniel would have read and believed  Jer 235,6  Zech 1210  Is 22-4
      see also Deut 429,30  Jer 308-11  Rev 713-17  Math 2421-31  Heb 928

 
Daniel 6   -   A Night with the Lions; and an Angel!       [Contents]

Belshazzar and Babylon had fallen to Darius about a year previously, in 539.
Darius the Mede (or Cyrus)  also appoints Daniel to the top position as PM.
      This is more remarkable than it appears at first sight:
      Daniel had been the Prime Minister for Nebuchadnezzar, but not Belshazzar.
            He is old (about 80), he is righteous and he is Jewish!

The Persian 'Civil Service' were jealous of this still most able, God-appointed man.
They felt exposed by his truth, integrity, wisdom and selfless loyalty.
They hated him. Like Cain, Joseph's brothers, king Saul, Cardinal Wolsey ...
      and the religious leaders in the days of Jesus, this hatred led to attempted murder.
      Let us take great care that jealousy and hatred have no root in our hearts.

The Persians could find no corruption, no wrong decisions or negligence.
      Daniel is totally honourable in all things.  Unique!
      No sleaze, no slush fund, no secret love affairs, no private pension plan.
      'Every man has his price'  -   except Daniel.
What does it say about the Mede or Persian leaders, or leadership today?
      Are there still some men like Daniel who are honest and wise?
      Democracy encourages deceit and spin;
            leaders need votes so must appear to do what the people want.
      Dictators do not need popular support.
Only other man in scripture without recorded fault (except Jesus) was Joseph.
      (and he was also made 'Prime Minister' in foreign land, Egypt)
But even these two noble men were not without sin. 
      Like us, they needed and looked forward to their Redeemer.
The conspirators had to make a new law;
      one they knew Daniel would break, and would appeal to Darius' pride.
      'For 30 days all prayer should be to Darius, and not to any (other) god.'

This was cunning:
      Persian rulers were considered to be the son and representative
            of the chief god, to whom they prayed.
No Jew could accept that Darius was a god or even the son of a god,
      but it was no problem for the Median polytheists.

In the plan of God, Darius didn't see through their intrigue.
      Always beware of the praise (flattery) of men,
            when deserved, and especially when it is not deserved!

Daniel remained faithful to the Lord,
      he continued to pray 3 times each day, (3 x 365 x 66 years = 72,270 !)  1 Kg 833,44
     Facing Jerusalem (all Synagogues are built facing Jerusalem)
Though the Temple was still in ruins, he knew it was God's plan to rebuild it.
Babylon was the centre of evil.
Jerusalem stood for God's choice, God's presence, and God's salvation.
      The place to which God's Messiah would come as Saviour and later as King.
      The place where God would one day establish his righteous and eternal kingdom.
Daniel knew (and taught) that the future for all people lay not in Babylon,
      the great city Nebuchadnezzar had built,
      but in the city that he had destroyed - Jerusalem.
      (The legacy of Daniel taught the Magi to seek Messiah in Jerusalem)

Daniel was never too busy or too old to pray;
      nor was it ever too dangerous!
What did Daniel pray?  Dan 93  Ps 57
      His exceptional ability did not stop Daniel seeking God's help.  611
            Indeed, it was the reason for it.
      His prayer was out of need, not for a 'photo opportunity'.
      He gave thanks - he had learned to trust God,
            whether he knew or did not know the outcome.
Why kneel, when many stood or sat to pray?
      Jesus Lu 2241  Stephen Act 76  Peter Act 940  Paul Act 2036
      Generally today Jews stand, the 'Free Church' sit, and C of E kneel.
      Evangelicals are often strong on intimacy, but weak on reverence.
Daniel's stability and trust in the Lord Almighty had its roots in good habits.
Prayer is a most excellent habit; specially designed to satisfy the thirsty soul.
      God stills our churning thoughts and reveals his truth, his sure plans,
            Especially when prayer is based upon the Word of God.
      But it requires our consistent discipline and priority.

What was the conspirators accusation?
      Daniel, the Jew!, pays no attention to the King, he still prays to his God.
      They could not have put it more emotively.
Darius now sees through their plan.  And he is very upset.
      Not with Daniel, nor the conspirators, but with himself for being duped.
      Although he had only been one year in office,
            he knew that Daniel was totally loyal and trustworthy.  63

But once signed, even Darius could not change the law.
Rule Books can be helpful - national, Church or family,
      but men will always make or find loopholes and exceptions.

God can change the natural laws - he divides the Red Sea, stills the storm,
      knocks down a city wall, or changes the habits of hungry lions.
Note: 'Lions' as a punishment replaces Babylonian 'Fire'
      which was sacred to the Zoroastrian Persians.
Darius hopes that somehow God would deliver Daniel; he is in earnest.
      He spends a sleepless night, he fasted, and there was no music.
The anguished Darius went to the den expecting Daniel to be no more.
      He refers to Daniel as servant of God, not of Darius.
      Was your God able to deliver you?  Yes!
Daniel was with the angel throughout the long hours of the night.
      Have you ever wondered what they talked about?
God's sparing of Daniel from hungry lions did not make him immortal;
      but Jesus did!

Darius may have lost his fingernails in his agitation, but Daniel lost nothing.
      No hurt was found on him.
      No doubt he recalled how God had also rescued his 3 friends
            in the '7 times hotter' furnace some 40 years earlier.  Dan 2

Darius writes:
"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. He rescues and he saves."
 Dan 626,27
Almighty God, the God of Daniel, is honoured.
He had proved who is the one and only true God.
An edict with this message was sent throughout Persia.
      Like the humbled Nebuchadnezzar's testimony in Dan 4.
      And unlike Belshazzar.
Daniel records God's dealing with these three kings.
      He purposefully writes of them in three successive chapters. (Dan 4,5,6)
God's servant, Daniel, had been faithful for nearly 70 years.
      He has had a great effect on all the known world.
      He caused two most powerful heathen kings to send worldwide edicts
            about Almighty God, the God of Israel, of Daniel and the whole world.

The conspirators received their just reward.
God had publically vindicated Daniel, and he avoided the mark of the Beast!!
Note that Darius proclaimed the judgement, not Daniel.
      Take care not to retaliate to injustice or insult.  Ro 1219  Lu 2334  Act 760
God will be just in his judgement; we probably would not be.

Daniel sought, knew and observed the commands of God.
      He prospered.  Josh 16-9
Jewish prosperity in foreign lands has always caused anti-Semitism.
      But God has promised that they will somehow survive!
Today we see that God remains faithful;
      even if Israel is corrupt and in great difficulty.

It is the Lord Almighty who determines the ultimate destiny of all men.

Jesus was also sentenced by the law to die,
      He was put in a tomb and sealed with a stone;
      He was raised and now lives for ever.  Jn 197

 
Daniel 10-12   -   God's Plan Revealed       [Contents]

Daniel has a vision.
We generally think of visions as being good, desirable.
      God telling us what we want to hear and long for.
But this vision was very different:
      Its message was true and it concerned a great war.  101
      And the war was on earth.
Daniel mourns and fasts for 3 weeks by the river.
Why fast when God had revealed putting at end to sin?  Dan 924
      Daniel is distraught at the suffering his people will have to endure.
The cost of war is always high. In WW1 over 20m died.  In WW2 at least 60m died.
      War materials alone cost  >£200,000 million each for US, UK, and Germany,
            not including war damage to buildings, shipping etc.
      Today (2015) the world spends  $1,600 billion / year on 'defence'. (SIPRI)
      Imagine what could be done if the world lived without the threat of war!

In 537 BC the cost had been high.
      The Jews had experienced wholesale exile, death and destruction.
      The first of the three batches of exiles to Babylon had known 68 years of slavery.

It was now 2 years after Cyrus had allowed all Jews to return to Jerusalem,
      but only a few had made the 1,000 mile journey.
When they got 'home' all was not well.
      Had the others 'given up' or were they just too comfortable?
Temple rebuilding started, but had now stopped - too many enemies.

Daniel sought with tears to find out what God's plan meant.
God reveals it to him, and we are told in Dan 10-12.
First he sees the Man, whose face was like lightning ...
      and whose voice was like the sound of a multitude.  105-9

What was God like?
      He has a body; we are like him, made in the image of God.
      Moses saw his back.
      He has a heart, hands, fingers, mouth, feet, eyes, ears, hair, head, face ...
      He has a voice - sometimes quiet, sometimes like thunder.
      He has breath, a countenance, wears linen clothes with golden girdle.
      He eats, lives in heaven, sits upon a throne, rides on the wings of the wind.
      He has feelings, grief, anger, joy. He can repent and be jealous.
      He can hate, love, have pity. He takes pleasure and delight in people.
      He hates all wickedness. Justice requires that he has and will judge all sin.
      He has a mind and intelligence, he has a will, a plan and power.
      He loves truth, righteousness, justice, mercy, integrity, consistency.
      He has love, hope, compassion, faith, reason, ingenuity.
Some men have seen the Lord. OT and NT, pre and post Resurrection.

Gen 181-33
Josh 513-15
Is 61-6
Dan 105-7,16,18
Dan 79-11
Act 93-8
Lu 2415-35
Lu 2436-51
Jn 2014-17
Jn 2019-23
Jn 2026-29
Jn 214-14
Jn 114 149
Rev 112-19
Rev 41 - 61

Daniel fell on his face, he had no strength left. I am not surprised!
Jesus says, "Fear not, I have been sent to make you understand."  1012
Only the Lord and Michael fight for Israel.   Dan 1021 -  but what an Army!
Delayed by battle with demonic prince of Persia.
This vision is for the last days, not Daniel's day.
Again Daniel is told that he is 'highly esteemed', but he still needs to be strengthened.  Dan 1015-19
       Jesus provides for us to be strengthened too.   Act 931 Col 111

What does Gabriel tell Daniel?
That he willl soon have to go and fight first Persia and then Greece.
3 more kings of Persia, then mighty king of Greece. The kingdom is then divided into 4.
North (Selucid) and South (Ptolemy) great rivals, with Israel in between.  112-4
There follows detailed prophecy for time until Antiochus Epiphanes.  115-39
All is fulfilled  (see appendix below for the details)
Then there is a gap, (a long gap of over 2000 years),
      with no prophecy or fulfilment yet; because it is for the time of the end.

A mighty king from the North (Antichrist) will extend power over 'Beautiful Land.'
Yet he will come to his end, and no one will help him.  1140-45

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.
Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake:
      some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.
 121,2

Many will go here and there to increase knowledge.  124
At the end (technical) knowledge will increase (Google etc); but wisdom decrease.

"It will be for a time, times and half a time. (3½ years)
      When the power of the holy people has been finally broken,
      all these things will be completed."
 127b
All this will happen during the 2nd half of the 7 year Tribulation.
It will be a very tough time for all. See Math 2421,22

"Go your way, Daniel, because the words are closed up and sealed until the time of the end.
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."
129,10
This vision shall divide all who read it. The Wise shall purify themselves and be ready.
      The Wicked shall not understand, they reject God and do nothing.
At the end much that is now a mystery will become clear.
      There are many surprises in store.
Seal up the vision, keep it and add nothing.
      The words are closed up and sealed until the time of the end. 124,9

The vital message of the prophet Daniel is:
It is the Lord Almighty who plans and appoints.
He will faithfully fulfill all that he has revealed.
He has provided atonement for sin,
He will bring in everlasting righteousness.

 
Appendix - Daniel 112-39   -   Detailed Prophecy Fulfilled  530-164 BC       [Contents]

It is so exactly correct that some say it must have been written later!

Verses in Dan 11       Fulfilment
2  (After Cyrus),  3 more kings will appear in Persia.
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 Greece.
Cambyses, Smerdis, and Darius I (530-486)
Xerxes (486-465) attacks the Greece in 480.
He fails to conquer Greece,
     and they never forgave his brutality (Bear)
3,4  A mighty king will appear who will rule with great power
      and do as he pleases.
After he has appeared, his empire will be broken up,
      and parcelled out to the four winds of heaven.
It will not go to his descendants,
      nor will it have the power he exercised,
      because the empire will be uprooted and given to others.
Alexander the Great (336 - 323)
Greece Turkey Egypt Syria Persia, Pakistan
     W.India are each conquered in turn.
He was never defeated!
Alexander dies, aged 32 in Babylon
4 Generals took command.  Both Alexander's sons are murdered
5  The king of the South (Egypt) will become strong.
But one of his commanders (Syria) will become even stronger
      and he will rule his kingdom with great power.
Ptolemy I (a Greek, ruled Egypt. 323-285)
Seleucus I (a Greek, ruled Syria. 311-280).
Initially ruled Babylonia
      then added Syria and Persia.
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.
He and his power will not last.
In those days she will be handed over, together
      with her royal escort and her father
      and one who supported her.
Antiochus II marries Bernice daughter of Ptolemy II
Bernice and her son and Antiochus II
      are murdered by Laodice,
      the former wife of Antiochus II.
Ptolemy II dies.  The alliance fails!
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.
Ptolemy III (246-221) the brother of Bernice
 gets his revenge. He defeats and kills Laodice.
Captures Antioch and/or its port of Seleucia.
8  He will also seize their gods, metal images and valuable
      articles of silver and gold and carry them off to Egypt.
For some years he will leave the king of the North alone.
Ptolemy III took the Syrian idols
     and the Egyptian idol
     which Cambyses had taken in 525
9  Then the king of the North will invade the realm of the king
      of the South but will retreat to his own country.
Seleucus II (246-226) lost his fleet in a storm
      and is defeated.
10  His sons will prepare for war and assemble a great army,
      which sweep like an irresistible flood
      and carry the battle as far as his fortress.
Seleucus III (226-223) + Antiochus III ('the
     Great' 223-187) (both sons of Seleucus II)
     advance to Raphia (Gaza).
11  The king of the South will march out in rage
      and fight against the king of the North,
      who will raise a large army, but it will be defeated.
Ptolemy IV (221-203) with army of 70,000
      defeats Antiochus III at Raphia in 217.
12  When the army is carried off the king of the South
      will be filled with pride and slaughter many thousands,
      yet he will not remain triumphant.
10,000 killed and 4,000 prisoners
Ptolemy IV was an indolent king.
He feasted and failed to 'follow up' his victory.
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.
Antiochus III went East and returned mightier.
14  In those times many will rise against the king of the South.
The violent men among your own people will rebel
      in fulfilment of the vision, but without success.
Ptolemy V (203-181) (General Scopas)
      crushed the rebellion of resurgent Jews
      who had joined Antiochus III in 200
15  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.
Scopas then went to Sidon,
     which fell to Antiochus III ??

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.
Antiochus III wins battle of Panium in 198,
Control of Israel transfers from Ptolemy to
     Seleucid rule.
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 will give him his daughter in marriage in order to overthrow
      the kingdom, but his plans will not succeed or help him.
Antiochus III gives Cleopatra in marriage
   to Ptolemy V in 197  hoping that together
   they could defeat the growing threat of Rome.
But Cleopatra wisely refuses to fight Rome.
18  Then he will turn his attention to the coast lands and will take
      many of them, but a commander will put an end to his
      insolence and will turn his insolence back on him.
Antiochus III turns his forces on Greece,
     and conquers much. But is defeated by
     Roman Generals Glabrio at Thermopolae
     in 191,  then by Scipio at Magnesia in 190.
19  After this, he will turn back towards the fortresses of his own
      country but will stumble and fall, to be seen no more.
Antiochus III returns duly humiliated,
     and is murdered in a Baal temple while
    trying to extract a larger tribute for war.
20  His successor will send out a tax collector to maintain the
      royal splendour.

In a few years, however, he will be destroyed,
      yet not in anger or in battle.
Son, Seleusus IV (181-175). Rome could be
bribed so sends finance minister Heliodorus,
to collect tax + temple treasure.
Heliodorus has a vision, returns home
     and poisons Seleusus IV
21  He will be succeeded by a contemptible person
      who has not been given the honour of royalty.
He will invade the kingdom when it's people feel secure,
      and he will seize it through intrigue.
Demitrius was true heir and young son of
   Seleusus IV but he was very young and held
   hostage in Rome.  Antiochus IV who was a
   younger brother of Seleusus IV,
   bribed people with lower taxation
   and pretended to be guardian to Demetrius.
22  Then an overwhelming army will be swept away before him;
both it and a prince of the covenant will be destroyed.

Ptolemy VI (181-146) attacks Antiochus IV with
a large army. Defeated at Pelusium in 170.
Antiochus IV appoints Ones III as 'Hellenised'
High Priest, who is then murdered.
23  After coming to an agreement with him,
      he will act deceitfully, and with only a few people
      he will rise to power.
Antiochus IV follows up victory and
     successfully invades Egypt. He establishes
     protectorate. But people not satisfied for
     long. Taxes were not reduced.
Antiochus IV's popularity quickly faded.
24  When the richest provinces feel secure, he will invade them
      and 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.
In 168 Antiochus IV again invades Egypt
     and captures Alexandria. Robbed rich areas
     like Galilee and literally scattered money
     in the streets, to try and gain popularity.
25,26  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 will not be able to stand because of plots against him.
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.
Antiochus IV's success in the 168 campaign
was partly due to the intrigue that surrounded
      the still young king Ptolemy VI.
A divided command looses the war. Many killed on both sides.
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.
Ptolemy VI agrees to Antiochus IV 's coronation at Memphis.
But 'Watch this space' - Antiochus IV is about to be defeated.
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.
(Recap. This is how it will happen.)
A. IV returned home in 170 with much wealth.
Sees Jerusalem as a potential threat if they
      side with Egypt. Posts garrison?
29  At the appointed time he will invade the South again, but this
      time the outcome will be different from what it was before.
Invades Egypt again in 168
      but his success is short-lived because ...
30 Ships from the western coast lands 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 favour to those who
      forsake the holy covenant.
Ships arrive from Cyprus with Roman Consul
Laenas who publicly humiliates Antiochus IV
      demanding that he leaves Egypt.
Antiochus IV ambitions are ended, so he
     takes it out on the Jews.  Apostate Jews
     who supported him are given authority.
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.
Antiochus IV defeats Jerusalem in 167.
Coveted and took its wealth.
Defiles the Temple on 25th Kislev.
After 55 days he builds an altar to Zeus
      and sacrifices pig.
     40,000 Jews sold as slaves many killed
Forbids Bar-mitzvah, Shabbat, Jewish feasts ..
32  But those who know their God shall do great exploits. Mattathias Maccabee kills first apostate priest
      who sacrifices pig in Modin
      20 miles NW. of Jerusalem.
Sons kill Syrian Apelles and his soldiers.
      (Mattathias dies soon afterwards)
Judas and his 4 brothers lead guerilla war.
They defeat A. IV's men and free Jerusalem.
This scripture encouraged them to trust God.
Temple cleansed on 25th Kislev after exactly
      1150 days or 2300 sacrifices. 813,14
      =3 years + 55 days (see above)
One day's lamp oil lasted for 8 days!
Miracle celebrated by Jews ever since at the
     the feast of Hanukkah.
33-35  Those who are wise will instruct many, though for a time
      they will fall by the sword or be burned or captured or plundered.
When they fall, they will receive a little help,
      and many who are not sincere will join them.
Some wise will stumble, so that they may be refined, purified and
      made spotless until the time of the end,
      for it will come at the appointed time
Israel then independent but at war until
      Roman occupation by Pompey in 63 BC.
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.
The last coins of A. IV bear "Theos" = god
    Antiochus and calls himself 'Epiphanes'
    (= god revealed, made known)
The Rev 13 Beast has similar characteristics
37  He will show no regard for the gods of his fathers or for the one
      desired by women, nor will he regard any god,
      but will exalt himself above them all.
Antiochus IV forsook Apollo and Tammuz (Ezek 8;14)
38  Instead of them he will worship the god of fortresses;
      a god unknown to his fathers he will honour with gold and silver,
      with precious stone and costly gifts.
Antiochus IV worships Jupiter (Zeus), the god of war.

39  He will attack the mightiest fortresses with the help of a foreign
      god and will greatly honour those who acknowledge him.
He will make them rulers over many people and will distribute the
      land at a price.
Of this there is no fulfilment in the days of
Antiochus. He fades and the Antichrist is seen.
He will say, 'I am god; you shall all worship
    me'.   Those who refuse will be persecuted.  See Rev 13

 
Daniel 1140 - 1213   -   Prophecy Not yet Fulfilled       [Contents]

1140-45
South will again attack North (Antichrist).
North will react with fury and attack with mighty army and navy.
North will invade various lands on the way, including Israel.
Moab, Edom and most Ammon (Jordan) will escape.
North will overthrow many countries as far as Libya and Ethiopia.
Egypt will lose her treasure.
News from East and North will alarm him,
so returns in anger, destroying as he goes.
Halts between Jerusalem and the Sea.
There his time will run out! No one will help him.

121-13
Michael shall fight for you in heaven against satanic forces.
Greatest time of anguish for Jews in their history.
All whose names are written in the Book shall be delivered.
Everlasting life or everlasting shame and contempt.
Wise will shine like stars and turn many to righteousness.
Daniel, seal this book, it is complete and it is for end times.
Many shall run to and fro and knowledge shall increase.
Angel asks, 'How long till end of these wonders?'
A time, 2 times and ½ a time after power of God's people has been crushed.
Many will be purified, refined and shall understand.
Wicked will continue in their wickedness and not understand.
From ceasing of burnt offering to setting up of abomination that makes desolatefor 1290 days.
Blessed is he who waits and comes to 1335 days.

Christians have been granted the great privilege of being grafted into the house of Israel.  Rom 1117
But this means that we shall also share the suffering of the Jews prophesied in Daniel.
      How different this is from the deception that Christians have all the good promises of God
            while the Jews are left to the suffering that so appalled the Prophet,
            and which Jesus tells us is sure to come upon the elect.  Math 249, 21, 22
"This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints."  Rev 1310b
Let us be ready and not deceived.
Let not wickedness cause our love to grow cold.
We shall yet sing the song of Moses, the servant of God and the song of the Lamb:
      "Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty.
      Just and true are your ways, King of the ages."  Rev 153

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