In the second six chapters of Daniel, we have what could be called “The Old Testament Book of Revelation.” Here we discover vision after vision which God showed to Daniel, so that His people might have the security and stability of knowing, through dark times, that:
1) Their God knows all that will come to pass;
2) He has control of coming events:
3) In the end His righteousness will triumph over evil.
The two biblical prophets to whom God revealed the future most plainly were Daniel (in the Old Testament book of Daniel) and John (in the New Testament book of Revelation). Both men were described as being especially beloved of God. Daniel is called by the angel, “O man greatly beloved” (Daniel 10:19); and of John we read, “The other disciple whom Jesus loved” (John 20:2). Seeing these visions was a great privilege withheld from ordinary men, “but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21).
The visions appeared to Daniel between 606 B.C., when Nebuchadnezzar conquered Jerusalem the first time, and 536 B.C., which was the third year of Cyrus the Persian (Daniel 10:1), and the first year of Darius the Mede (Daniel 11:1). Why, then, do some critics date the book of Daniel in the second century B.C., or more specifically, in 168 B.C.? The answer is threefold:
1) Some critics simply reject the idea from the start that God can enable men to prophesy the future in such accurate detail.
2) Daniel 8:11 seems to be a reference to King Antiochus IV of Syria’s desecration of the temple in Jerusalem in 168 B.C.
3) Since this seems to be the last predicted item before the New Testament era, they date the book of Daniel at this time, 168 B.C.
There is evidence, however, that at least by the year 270 B.C., when the Old Testament was translated into Greek in the Septaugint, that the book of Daniel was totally accepted as an unquestioned part of the Old Testament on the grounds of its having been written long before by Daniel, the prophet of God. Dead Sea Scroll manuscripts of Daniel show the book was revered and popular in the second century B.C.
Daniel 2:4-7:28 is written in Aramaic, a Semitic language related to Hebrew, quite possibly because Nebuchadnezzar, in one of his typical fits, ruled that during this period all writing would be in the leading world language of the day. Thus, as John wrote the New Testament book of Revelation with its many visions for God’s people, in Greek, the common language of his day, so also Daniel wrote the Old Testament book of visions at least partially in the common language of Daniel’s day, as a foretaste of what was to come.
The last six chapters contain so magnificent an array of visions that have already come true, that this section of the Bible alone proves that God indeed knows the future and has declared it to us through His servants the prophets.
51-1 The Vision of the Four Beasts
The empires in Daniel’s vision (chapter 7) are identical to the empires of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in chapter 2. The difference is that Nebuchadnezzar saw the four Gentile empires from man’s standpoint: he saw only their human glory. Daniel saw them from God’s viewpoint: corrupt and ruthless.
1) Daniel’s vision occurred in the first year of Belshazzar’s reign over Babylon (about 553 B.C.). So chronologically, Daniel’s vision in chapter 7 came before chapter 5, but the Holy Spirit inspired Daniel to insert it in the second half of the book of Daniel. The first half of Daniel (1-6) is historical and biographical and includes some generalized prophecy, and typology as well.
Chapters 7-12 prophesy details covering the Times of the Gentiles from the Babylonian captivity to the seven years of the Great Tribulation in the future, which is called “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7; cf. Revelation 7:14).
2) Chapter 7 spans the Times of the Gentiles, from Nebuchadnezzar (606 B.C.) to the Antichrist (the little horn), who will come to power, during the Great Tribulation.
Now let us compare Daniel’s vision of the four great beasts with Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of the image.
a) “The first was like a lion” (v. 4). This is the same as Nebuchadnezzar’s head of gold (Daniel 2:37, 38)—the Babylonian Empire. Nebuchadnezzar was the one outstanding king of this first Gentile world empire.
b) “A second, like a bear” (v. 5). This is the same as the breast and arms of silver (Daniel 2:32, 39) – the Medo-Persian Empire. Cyrus was the outstanding king of this second Gentile world empire. Cyrus, a Gentile who did not know Jehovah God, was selected by the Lord over a hundred years before he was born. God anointed Cyrus to do His will, and to deliver Israel from the Babylonians and help rebuild their temple (Isaiah 44:28-45:4; cf. Ezra 1:1-4).
c) “There was another, like a leopard” (v. 6). This is the same as the belly and thighs of brass (Daniel 2:32039) – the Greek Empire. Alexander the Great was the outstanding king of this third Gentile world empire.
d) “I saw…a fourth beast” (v. 7). The fourth beast in Daniel’s vision was unlike any other – he was dreadful and exceedingly strong, with teeth of iron (vv. 7, 8). He represents the same world power as the legs of iron and the feet of iron and clay (Daniel 2:40-43). The outstanding ruler (the Antichrist) of this empire is yet to appear. The ten horns in the head of the beast are the same as the ten toes of Nebuchadnezzar’s image (Daniel 2:41-44). These ten horns or ten toes represent the ten kings who will lead the revived Roman Empire during the Tribulation (Revelation 13:1). The first phase of the Roman Empire lasted over 650 years, longer than the other three empires combined. The second phase of the revived Roman Empire will last throughout the Great Tribulation. During this time, the little horn (Antichrist) will be in power. In the first half of the Tribulation he will befriend the Jews and confirm a covenant for seven years (Daniel 9:27). During the last half of the Tribulation he will be empowered by Satan (v. 25; cf. Revelation 13:2). He will dethrone three of the kings (v. 8). The other seven will become puppets (v. 20). The book of Revelation details the satanic powers he will exert during the three-and-one-half-year reign (Revelation 13:1-8). He will possess all the characteristics of Satan (Revelation 13:2). In the days of the ten kings with the little horn (the Antichrist), Christ will come and establish the kingdom of God upon earth (vv. 13, 22; cf. Daniel 2:34, 34, 44, 45; Luke 1:31-33; Revelation 11:15). When Christ comes, He will sit upon the throne of His human ancestor, King David (Isaiah 9:6, 7), and will rule in eternal righteousness (Hebrews 1:8, 9).
51-2 The Vision of the Ram and Goat
About two years after his first vision (Daniel 7:1), Daniel experienced his second vision (v. 1) during Belshazzar’s third year as king of Babylon. His first vision had covered the four Gentile empires. His second vision covered the second and third empires (Medo-Persian and Greek). During the reign of these two empires, about 339 years, some of the most amazing prophecies in the Bible were fulfilled. Chronologically, chapters 7 and 8 occurred before Belshazzar’s feast in chapter 5.
Daniel 1:1-2:3 because it was written in Hebrew, gave spiritual guidance and inspiration to the Hebrew captives. Daniel 2:4-7:28 was written in Aramaic, the popular language of the day, perhaps so that some of the Gentiles might read it and come to know the God of heaven and Nebuchadnezzar did (in chapter 4). Daniel wrote a portion of his book in Hebrew (8:1-12:13), so the Hebrew people could know God’s plan for their nation from the seventy years of captivity prophesied by Jeremiah (Jeremiah 25:11, 12), to the return of their Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ, at the end of the Great Tribulation.
Daniel was in Babylon when he had this second vision but was transported in the vision to Shushan (or Susa), in the province of Elam, north of the head of the Persian Gulf (v. 2). In a matter of moments, the God of heaven revealed to Daniel the future of Israel under the rule of the Medo-Persian and Greek empires for 339 years.
1) In his vision he saw by the river of Ulai a ram with one horn higher than the other (vv. 3, 4). As he was pondering the vision, there appeared before him what looked like a man, even as a voice between the banks of the river was saying, “Gabriel, make this man understand the vision” (vv. 15, 16). Gabriel said to Daniel, “The ram which you saw, having the two horns – they are the kings of Media and Persia” (vv. 19, 20). Darius was then the king of the Medes, and Cyrus (the stronger of the two) was the king of the Persians. In his first year’s reign, Cyrus had sent a written proclamation throughout his kingdom: “All the kingdoms of the earth the Lord God of heaven has given me. And He has commanded me to build Him a house at Jerusalem which is in Judah” (Ezra 1:2; cf. 6:1-3). Cyrus must have read Isaiah’s prophecy where Jehovah God called him by name, saying, “He is my shepherd, and he shall perform all My pleasure, saying to Jerusalem, ‘You shall be built,’ and to the temple, ‘Your foundation shall be laid’ ” (Isaiah 44:28).
Cyrus was called God’s anointed for God had said, “I will go before you and make the crooked places straight; I will break in pieces the gates of bronze and cut the bars of iron.” (Isaiah 45:1-7). God did all of this for the Jews who were captives in Babylon. Cyrus was chosen by God to bring about the Jews’ return to Judea, and the rebuilding of the city of Jerusalem and the temple. Those who first returned (approximately 50,000) came under Zerubbabel and Jeshua (Ezra 2:64). Upon arriving in Jerusalem, they immediately built the altar for their morning and evening burnt offerings to God (Ezra 3:1-7). The Jews gradually rebuilt the city of Jerusalem, the walls, and the temple under Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Zechariah.
2) The male goat from the west was Greece (vv. 5-8; 21). The words “without touching the ground” refer to the swiftness of the attack and conquest by the “notable horn,” Alexander the Great (v. 5). With foot soldiers and cavalry, Alexander conquered the Medo-Persian Empire in an unparalleled campaign (336-323 B.C.) of military conquest. The words “furious” (v. 6) and “rage” (v. 7) are the only adequate words to describe Alexander’s implacable hatred of the Persians, who for two centuries had humiliated and trampled on the beauty of the cities of Greece. His conquest of Persia, Palestine, Babylon, Egypt, and western India helped spread Greek culture and language everywhere, which is why the “good news” of the New Testament was later to be penned in Greek, the world language of the day.
3) The Greek Empire split into four parts (v. 8). Alexander the Great died suddenly at Babylon in 323 B.C., at the age of thirty-three. Upon his death, Alexander’s four generals (and then their heirs) became rulers of the conquered empire. These newly created Greek dynasties fought battle after battle to re-divide the conquered land. The four horns represent these kings, and correspond to the four wings and four heads on the Greek leopard in the vision in Daniel 7:6. Palestine became a football to be fought over by the Greek kings of Syria and the Hellenistic kings of Egypt.
4) Out of the Syrian-Greek horn was to come a persecutor of Judah (vv. 9-12). From the dynasty of the Hellenistic kings of Syria would arise Antiochus Epiphanes who persecuted Israel from 168-165 B.C. He was the little horn of the Greek Empire as well as a type of the little horn of the revived Roman Empire…the Antichrist. He sought to erase the worship of the one true and living God from the earth:
a) He ordered the Sabbath day to be violated.
b) He sprinkled God’s temple in Jerusalem with swine’s blood.
c) He set up an idol of Jupiter in the temple.
Over the next decade God used a pious, priestly family, the Maccabees (or “Hammers”), whose family name was Hasmon, to lead Israel to defeat huge Syrian armies. The temple was recovered, cleansed, and rededicated (165 B.C.). The security and freedom brought about by God through the Maccabees was maintained even when the Romans came in 63 B.C. God always destroys the persecutors of Israel and brings their works to nothing.
51-3 The Vision of the Seventy Weeks
This complex chapter is crucial to biblical prophecy. If we correctly interpret the seventy weeks (literally, seventy “heptads” or “sevens”) that “are determined for your people and for your holy city” (v. 24), we will better understand the things that will come to pass in the last days before the rapture of the church and the Great Tribulation. Most scholars translate “sevens” as periods of seven years, so seventy sevens would be 490 years. This would take us up to the coming of Christ; and the last week goes beyond, to the Tribulation.
It was through studying Daniel’s Seventieth Week that Leopold Cohn, a Russian rabbi, realized that the time for the coming of the Messiah had already passed, and he concluded that the Messiah must have come by A.D. 70! Cohn sought advice from an older rabbi who told him that you could find anything in New York, and to go to New York to find the Messiah. Cohn took the older rabbi quite literally, sold nearly all that he had to finance the journey to New York and there started his search for the Messiah. One day, as he was walking by a building, he heard singing. Entering the hall, he heard the gospel being preached and later that day accepted Jesus as his Messiah. He then bought a stable, and cleaned it out, procured folding chairs, and started holding gospel meetings of his own. Thus, from a literal understanding of this passage in Daniel was born the American Board of Missions to the Jews!
We must remember that all prophecy concerning Israel and the Messiah is linked to the period of “seventy sevens.” Also, we must allow Scripture to interpret Scripture (2 Peter 1:20, 21).
1) In the first year of Darius’ reign as king of the Chaldeans, Daniel began to understand Jeremiah’s prophecy about the seventy years of captivity (Jeremiah 25:11. 12). He noted the fact that for 490 years Israel had failed to keep even one sabbatical year for the land (Leviticus 25:1-7), so that now their God was collecting the entire seventy years they owed (vv. 1, 2).
2) Daniel felt deeply burdened by his concern for the future of his people and the city of Jerusalem. In prayer he sought the mercy of God for Israel:
a) His prayer was bold – “I set my face toward the Lord God” (v. 3).
b) His attitude was humble – “to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes” (v. 3).
c) He confessed the greatness of God – “O Lord, great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and mercy with those who love Him, and with those who keep His commandments” v. 4).
d) He confessed the sins of the nation Israel – “We have sinned” (vv. 4-16).
e) His plea – “Now therefore, our God, hear the prayer of Your servant” (vv. 17-19).
3) The angel Gabriel interrupted Daniel’s prayer and revealed to him Israel’s future. Daniel wrote, “Yes, while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, reached me about the time of the evening offering. And he informed me…
a) ‘I have now come forth to give you skill to understand’;
b) ‘And I have come to tell you…consider the matter, and understand the vision’ (vv. 21-23).
God wanted Daniel to know and understand the seventy sevens of years that he had determined for Israel and Jerusalem. Israel had lived through sixty-nine sevens of years, or 483 years, with but seven years remaining judged upon them and their city.
4) “Seventy weeks are determined for your people and for your holy city” (v. 24). The Hebrew word for week is shauva, which literally means “seven.” But is this seven days or seven years? There is a clue in another chapter where Daniel said, “In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks” – or shauva, in the original (Daniel 10:2, 3). Here it means weeks of days, literally “three sevens of days.”
If the seventy weeks were weeks of days, this would mean that the holy city and the walls would be rebuilt and destroyed again, and the Messiah would be “cut off,” crucified (Matthew 27:35), and the six prophecies of Daniel (v. 24) would all come to pass in 490 days – obviously impossible.
The Hebrew people had sevens of years as well as sevens of days. For example, when Jacob had served Laban seven years for his daughter Rachel, he was given Leah, the first born, and Laban said unto him, “Fulfill her week, and we will give you this one also for the service which you will serve with me still another seven years” (Genesis 29:21-28). Here, one “week” is a seven of years.
5) The three periods of the seventy sevens of years:
a) The first period of seven sevens of years, or forty-nine years, began “in the month of Nisan [April], in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes”-445 B.C. (Nehemiah 2:1-8). Artaxerxes commissioned Nehemiah to rebuild Jerusalem and the walls (v. 25). See Ezra, Nehemiah, and Zechariah.
b) The second period of sixty-two sevens of years, or 434 years plus forty-nine years, totals 483 years with the Messiah (Christ) being cut off (crucified) in the month of Nisan [April] in A.D. 32. Allowing for Hebrew prophetic “years” of 360 days, this comes out to be exactly 483 years from the time Nehemiah was commissioned by king Artaxerxes to build the walled city.
Actually, that Hebrew calculation dates back to the Flood. According to the book of Genesis, the Flood began in the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, on the seventeenth day of the second month (Genesis 7:11); and the Flood came to an end on the seventeenth day of the seventh month (Genesis 8:4). This was a period of five months of thirty days each, exactly 150 days (Genesis 7:4). This indicates that as far back as the Flood, a year was reckoned to be 360 days, not 365 days as we calculate (v. 26).
c) The third period, the seventieth seven of years, or seven years plus 483 years, brings Israel down to the close of 490 years that Jehovah determined for the city and the people Israel. This is the Time of Jacob’s Trouble (Jeremiah 30:7) – the seven years of Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:21, 22; Revelation 7:13, 14).
In the synagogue at Nazareth our Lord read from Isaiah 61:1 and 2, ending with “the acceptable year of the Lord,” detailing the blessings of His First Advent in grace to Israel. He told them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing” (Luke 4:16-21). The next line in Isaiah reads (but is not quoting Christ), “And the day of vengeance of our God.” This is still in the future. Our Lord acknowledged the gap between His first and second comings, a gap surveyed in several Old Testament prophecies with comment.
Now there is a similar gap between verses 26 and 27. The 69 sevens of years, or 483 years were fulfilled by the crucifixion of Christ. However, the seventieth seven, or the last seven years, are still in the future because there are six prophecies that must be fulfilled during the seventy sevens of years before the 490 years determined for Israel come completely to pass. Gabriel said to Daniel (v. 24), “Seventy weeks are determined for your people and for your holy city:
a) “to finish the transgression” – the end of backsliding for the Hebrew nation, who will never again be apostate; this is yet future;
b) “to make an end of sins” – as a nation they will no longer make a practice of sinning; this is yet future;
c) “to make reconciliation for iniquity” – they will be reconciled to God by faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, their Messiah (Zechariah 12:9-11; Romans 11:25-27) – as a nation they will repent; this is yet future;
d) “to bring in everlasting righteousness” – this is God’s righteous kingdom that Christ will establish on earth when He comes again (Hebrews 1:8, 9; cf. Isaiah 9:6, 7; Revelation 19:11-16); this is yet future;
e) “to seal up the vision and prophecy” – there will be no more need for visions and prophecies for Israel, for all will have come to pass; this is yet future; “to anoint the Most Holy” – or the Most Holy Place, the kingdom temple; this is yet future.
The Messiah was “cut off’ on Calvary over 1900 years ago. This means that the first 483 years of the seventy years are past; they were literally fulfilled in every detail. Doesn’t it stand to reason that the seventieth seven will also have a literal fulfillment? The Great Tribulation is yet to be.
We know from history that between verses 26 and 27 the church age occurred; this was a mystery to the prophets; none of the writers of the Old Testament books possessed any foreknowledge of the New Testament church (Ephesians 3:9; Colossians 1:26, 27).
6) The seventieth week – “Then he [the prince] shall confirm a covenant with many for one week” – or seven years (v. 27). There are two princes mentioned in this chapter:
a) “Messiah the Prince” (v. 25).
b) The prince that shall come – “the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary” (v. 26).
Christ the Messiah will not return to this earth until the end of the Tribulation (Revelation 19:11-21). The Roman army under Titus destroyed Jerusalem in A.D. 70. Therefore, this prince (v. 26) who ratifies the covenant with the Jews for seven years will be a Roman – the little horn of Daniel (Daniel 7:8). He is also “the man of sin” (2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4) and “a beast… out of the sea” – the sea being the ten kingdoms of the revived Roman Empire (Revelation 13:1-10). “In the middle of the week [seven years] he shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate” (v. 27; cf. Matthew 24:15-22). He will stop the sacrificial offerings and worship, and desecrate the Holy Place, the temple. However, before the seventieth week can come to pass:
a) A remnant of Israel and Judah will return and possess the land of Israel in troublesome times (Jeremiah 30:1-24). In 1948 Israel became a nation; this could be the beginning of the end of the Times of the Gentiles (Luke 21:24).
b) The temple will be rebuilt either before or during the first three-and-one-half years of the Tribulation. Unless the temple be rebuilt, the prophecy of the “abomination of desolation” (Matthew 24:15) spoken of by Daniel the prophet could not come to pass.
51-4 The Vision of the Angel in Linen
Daniel, chapters 10-12, is one complete vision in three parts. (Daniel’s pagan name, in the courts of Babylon and Persia, was Belteshazzar; meaning “the god Bel is strong.” However, from his daily walk everyone realized that his real name was Daniel, “God is my judge.”) This vision came to Daniel in the third year of Cyrus, 536 B.C. It was a true vision of coming events. “The appointed time was long” (v. 1). Chapters 11 and 12 cover the Times of the Gentiles from the Medes and Persians to the coming kingdom of God.
1) In Daniel’s vision he saw himself “by the side of the great river, that is, the Tigris,” where he saw “a certain man clothed in linen” (vv. 4-9), quite possibly our Lord Jesus Christ. The vision was an Old Testament Christophany, or appearance of Christ. Scripture should interpret Scripture. In Daniel we have an Old Testament Christophany, and in the book or Revelation (1:9-18) we have a New Testament Christophany which embraces Christ’s death, burial and resurrection.
2) “Then, suddenly, a hand touched me” (v. 10). The pre-incarnate Christ was not alone in this vision. It was the manifestation of an angel, perhaps Gabriel. The angel was sent by the Lord to answer Daniel’s prayer on the first day that he prayed. Gabriel was hindered by “the prince of the kingdom of Persia” (v. 13) who delayed him for twenty-one days until Michael (God’s warring angel) could come and help him defeat the evil prince – Satan, or one of his fallen angels from the kingdom of darkness (Ephesians 6:12). Christ, the Man in linen, did not need Michael to fight His battle and defeat Satan. When He was tested in the wilderness, He met Satan in his own kingdom of darkness and was victorious (Matthew 4:1-11) – for prayer can produce actions behind the scenes (vv. 12, 13). Yet there occurred a struggle for twenty-one days (v. 13), and from this we can each learn patience through the power of prayer. God hears and He works according to His will. He is accomplishing many things in the lives of men and nations. He may require us to wait many days, but prayer is answered.
3) Angels are assigned to watch over God’s people. The words, “Michael your prince” (v. 21) show that there exists an assigned bond between certain people and/or nations and God’s angels (Hebrews 1:14).
4) It is God’s will that both His Old Testament people, Israel, and His New Testament people, the church, should “understand what will happen to” them “in the latter days” (vv. 14, 21). Prophecy should not be ignored, for it can give us stability during difficult days (Matthew 24:6). We should know that whatever happens to us personally or as a nation, God triumphs, as do we as His ransomed children, in the near future (Revelation 3:11; 22:12, 17).
51-5 The Vision of the Struggling Kings
This chapter is as detailed and complex as any in the entire Bible. Once we admit that Almighty God does indeed reveal the future, we begin to appreciate and accept the wondrous detail and specific prophecies in this chapter as an outflowing of His omnipotence and omniscience. Knowing the future, He assures its certainty. Christ testified that the book of Daniel is inspired, genuine, and true (Matthew 24:15) because it is from God. Let us review this chapter’s content and direction:
1) Verse 2. The four great and powerful rulers of Persia were Cyrus, Ahasuerus (Cambyses), Darius, Hystaspes, and Xerxes. Malachi, the last Old Testament author, ended the Old Testament canon in 420 B.C. During this intertestamental period (420-4 B.C.) the Jews were living in the far-flung Persian world.
2) Verses 3, 4. Alexander the Great of Greece, at twenty years of age, inherited the Macedonian armies of his assassinated father, Philip II, and united the Greek city-states to the south by threat of annihilation. In thirteen years (336-323 B.C.) he conquered the western world. At his early death in Babylon, his conquered world split into four warring quarters which pitted Hellenistic general-kings against one another for the next 150 years (Daniel 7:6; cf. 8:21, 22).
3) Verses 5-12. Two of these kingdoms, Syria and Egypt, continually fought over Israel (323¬-200 B.C.), which lay as the prize between them. Syria was “the king of the North” and Egypt “the king of the South.” The king’s daughter (v. 6) was Bernice, daughter of Ptolemy II, the Greek ruler of Egypt, who had married Antiochus Theous of Syria. Bernice was poisoned by him. Verses 7-9 speak of her brother, Ptolemy Energetes of Egypt. Verse 11 tells of Ptolemy Philopater of Egypt, victorious over and possessor of Palestine; verse 12 bemoans his later licentious life.
4) Verses 13-20. Antiochus III (reigning 200-187 B.C.), greatest of Greek-Syrian kings, is mentioned in verses 13-19. While attempting to conquer Egypt, he recaptured Palestine for Syria at the Battle of Panias (198 B.C.). Verse 17 describes his futile attempt at marrying into Egypt through his daughter, Cleopatra (not the famous Cleopatra, queen of Egypt 150 years later). Verses 18 and 19 predict Antiochus’ battle with the Romans as well as his death. Verse 20 foreshadows his short-lived follower, Seleucus Philopater (reigning 187-176 B.C.), who imposed taxes.
5) Verses 21-30. Antiochus IV, the Greek ruler of Syria, was also called Epiphanes, meaning “illustrious,” but because of his evil ways, he was notorious as Epimanes, or “maniac.” Verses 21 and 23 called him vile and his reign deceitful. Verses 25-29 recount how the Romans, fearing Syria would become a rival to their fast-rising empire, in 168 B.C., forbade him to enlarge his kingdom (v. 30).
6) Verses 30-35. When the Romans checked Antiochus’ plan to attack Egypt, in rage he unleashed his army upon Jerusalem, which he hated because of the Jews’ rejection of the Greek Jupiter cult. Verse 31 describes how he polluted the holy temple by sprinkling it with the blood of a pig (ceremonially unclean animal), and erecting within it a statue of Jupiter. The non-canonical, intertestamental (apocryphal) book of 1 Maccabees describes the revolt of the pious Jews, 168-165 B.C., under the courageous and consecrated leadership of Judas the Maccabee (“Hammer”). Relying on God’s strength and name, Judas “turned to flight the armies of the aliens” (Hebrews 11:34). The Hebrew feast of Hanukkah celebrates the recapture and rededication of the temple in Jerusalem in the month of Kislev (December), 165 B.C., and the consequent burning of the olive oil lamps for eight days (John 10:22, 23).
Note: Verse 31 and Daniel 9:27 place this abomination of desolation in the future. Christ, two hundred years later in A.D. 32, spoke of this “abomination of desolation” (Matthew 24:15). Thus He showed that the abomination by Antiochus was to be taken as a foreshadowing of the public blasphemy yet to be committed by Antichrist in the middle of the seven years of Tribulation (Daniel 9:27). This would identify the Antichrist to those on earth at the time, and would launch the beginning of the final half of the seven years of “the Great Tribulation,” stopped at last by Christ’s return, in glory, at Armageddon (Matthew 24:25, 21, 31). Paul also confirmed this event (2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4). The theory that the Roman general Titus committed this abomination in A.D. 70 does not fit the history of those events. Titus did not desecrate the temple (his soldiers burned it against his orders); he never blasphemed God in it as Paul describes in 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4. There was no opportunity for flight after the temple was captured, as would be necessary to reflect Matthew 24:15-18. The “tribulation” of the Jews in A.D. 70 chiefly took place before, not after, the seizure of the temple, as would have been required by Matthew 24:15, 21. Furthermore, Christ did not come again “immediately after the tribulation of those days” (Matthew 24:29). The abomination of desolation lies ahead, and Middle East events point to its imminence. When it occurs it will again be like that of Antiochus IV who is the prototype of the Antichrist – the little horn of Daniel 7:7, 8 and the Beast “out of the sea” in Revelation 13:1-10.
7) Verses 36-45. Scenes in Scripture sometimes shift from one location immediately in view to one in a distant vista. For example, Isaiah 14:4-17, addresses the king of Babylon, then shifts to Satan who stands behind him. In Ezekiel 28:2 the king of Tyre is the subject, but in verses 12-19 the shift is to Satan behind the king. So it is here: verse 36 shifts us to the satanic Antichrist, who is so much like Antiochus, Epiphanes, and more. The Antichrist is here described in terms similar to the “little horn” of Daniel 7:8, 24, 25, the “man of sin” of 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4, and the “beast” of Revelation 13 who will reign supreme over all nations. “He was given authority to continue for forty-two months” (Revelation 13:5). Today it is frequently speculated that he will be the ruler of the west (Rome revived – a confederated Europe); that the “king of the South” (v. 40) will vile the now-confederated Arab nations; that the “king of the North” (vv. 40, 44) is the head of the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics; and that “the east” (v. 44) is a confederation led by China. The events will happen in God’s own time (Matthew 24:36; Acts 1:7), and he, the Antichrist, will at last be destroyed (v. 45) at Armageddon (Revelation 16:16; cf. 19:11-21).
51-6 The Vision of the Angel’s Oath
This wonderful book of prophecy closes with another Christophany (a pre-incarnate appearance of the glorious Christ). “I heard the man clothed in linen” who “swore by Him who lives forever” (v. 7; Hebrews 6:13). A great lesson from this book is that God, His Word, and His Christ live on forever, while evil and its satanic forces will one day be removed for eternity. Praise God for His grace that brought Jesus to bear our sins, that we too might one day abide by His side always.
1) The main events of the end (vv. 1-3):
a) “Michael” shall “stand up…[for] the sons of your people” (v. 1). This refers to the future. Revelation 12:7-10 describes Michael warring with Satan and casting him out of heaven, as Satan makes his final attempt to destroy Israel and the Tribulation saints—those who believe on Christ during the final seven years (Revelation 12:13).
b) It shall be “a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation” (v. 1). Christ said “there will be great tribulation” (Matthew 24:21, 22; cf. Revelation 7:13, 14).
c) “Your people shall be delivered” (v. 1). So states Revelation 12:11, 14-16, as well as Zechariah 12:9; 13:9, and 14:3, 4.
d) The dead will be resurrected (v. 2). This is the clearest Old Testament testimony to the Resurrection. It was pronounced in its absolute fullness only after Christ Himself conquered the grave and death for us forever (Revelation 1:18; cf. 1 Corinthians 15:35-44).
e) There will be rewards for 144,000 from the twelve tribes of the children of Israel, as well as for a great host of Gentiles who will evangelize the nations during the tribulation, having turned many to righteousness—in heaven they will shine “like the stars forever and ever” (v. 3; cf. Revelation 7:1-17). Saved souls of all denominations will receive a special reward in heaven (1 Thessalonians 2:19, 20).
2) A sealed book until the end (v. 4):
a) “The words are closed up and sealed” (v. 9). Until Christ came and the New Testament church was formed, the understanding of prophetic details was veiled. In Revelation 6:1 Christ is shown unsealing a book and revealing the events during the seven years of Tribulation.
b) “Many shall run to and fro” (v. 4). The end time will be characterized by excessive activity.
c) “Knowledge shall increase” (v. 4). The end time will be characterized by an explosion of worldly knowledge and information.
3) An angelic oath for the end (vv. 5-10). When asked, “How long?” the angel swears that it will be “time, times, and half a time,” or that already familiar three-and-one-half-year period of the final “great tribulation” (Matthew 24:21; cf. Daniel 9:27; Revelation 13:5). This is paralleled in Revelation when there is a similar angel, here too lifting up his hand to heaven, similarly standing astride water and land , swearing there should be “delay no longer” (Revelation 10:6). The angel announces that the Tribulation events have at last arrived. (Revelation 11-13). During this time Satan, through Antichrist, persecutes Israel and all those left on earth who will not wear the Mark of the beast, which is 666 (Revelation 13:16-18). God commences to judge, destroy, and remove Satan’s kingdom from the earth (Revelation 16:1, 2, 10).
4) Days beyond the end (vv. 11, 12). Verse 11 speaks of thirty days beyond the 1,260 of the great tribulation (Revelation 12:6). Verse 12 attaches a blessing to the time of seventy-five days after the 1,260. Possibly these refer to the calendar of God’s final judgments and rewards as Christ establishes His millennial reign on earth (Matthew 25:31-46). It may be that by seventy-five days after Armageddon and Christ’s glorious coming, the millennial reign will at last be established in all of its prophesied perfections. Hence he that waits for this time is blessed.
5) Abiding until the end (v. 13). This is what Christ commanded Peter in John 21:22: “You follow Me.” Everyone is called to serve God faithfully during all the days He has given, and find rest and peace in His service. Then, because Jesus died on the cross in their stead, all “will arise to your inheritance at the end of the days” (v. 13; cf. 1 Corinthians 3:11-15).
Master Outline 51 – Daniel the Prophet: His Vision
 What could we call the last six (6) chapters of the book of Daniel?
 What do we discover in the last six chapters of Daniel?
 What three (3) things did God want his people to know?
 What did the angel call Daniel?
 What are three (3) reasons why some cities try to date the Book of Daniel in the second century B.C.?
 What does the evidence show?
 What are six (6) visions we see in the last six chapters of Daniel?
 The empires in Daniel’s vision in chapter 6 are identical to what?
 What is the one difference in the two men’s vision?
 The first six chapters of Daniel deals with what two (2) aspects?
 What is the span of time covered in chapter 7?
 Compare the four (4) great beasts of Daniel with Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of the image.
 When Christ comes where will He sit, and how will He sit?
 How long was it between Daniel’s first vision and the second?
 What events did Daniel’s second vision cover?
 Daniel 1:1-2:3 was written in what language?
 Daniel 2:4-7:28 was written in what language?
 Where was Daniel when he had his second vision, and where was he transported to?
 What did the male goat represent in Daniel’s second vision?
 What transpired after Alexander the Great’s death?
 What three (3) ways did Antiochus Epiphanes seek to erase the worship of the true and living God?
 What took place in 165 B.C., and by what family?
 God always destroys the _____________________ of Israel and brings their works to
 Who through studying the 70th week realized the need for salvation?
 What are five (5) points of Daniel’s prayer in Daniel 9?
 Who interrupted Daniel’s prayer, and for what reason?
 Describe the three (3) periods of seventy sevens of years.
 What is the one thing none of the Old Testament writers possessed any foreknowledge of?
 Who are the two (2) Princes mentioned in Daniel 9?
 When will Christ the Messiah return to this earth?
 What has to happen before or during the first 3 1/2 years of the Tribulation in order for prophecy to be fulfilled?
 What does the name “Daniel” mean?
 In interpreting Scripture, we should use what?
 What can we learn from Daniel’s delay in prayer?
 Who are assigned to watch over God’s people?
 Why should prophecy not be ignored?
 What was Daniel’s fifth vision?
 Did Christ authenticate the book of Daniel?
 The “Abomination of Desolation” mentioned in Daniel 9 and 11 are indicating a future event. TRUE or FALSE. Explain.
 The Book of Daniel closes with what?
 The great lesson from the book of Daniel is that what three (3) things live on forever?
 What is everyone called to do?