BOOK OF DANIEL – Some Introductory Notes on Daniel Chapter 7

Posted by on May 1, 2019 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on BOOK OF DANIEL – Some Introductory Notes on Daniel Chapter 7

Some Introductory Notes on Daniel Chapter 7

Before we begin the second half of our blog series on the book of Daniel it is worth stating several things to set the tone, especially with regard to Daniel Chapter 7. You may or may not be aware, but this chapter is unique in the pages of the Old Testament. How so? It is unique in that the details contained and interpreted correctly by expositors of the text provide us with the most comprehensive details of prophecy of future events. It is for that very reason I decided when I first did a verse by verse blog on the book of Revelation (which we subsequently published as a book) that I wanted to follow up with a blog series on the book of Daniel. This too will be published as a book. Probably more than any two books of the Bible, Daniel in the Old Testament and Revelation in the New gives us an outline to follow as to future events that will occur. So, as we approach chapter seven and the subsequent chapters you will need to stay focused and aware that much of what is written is symbolic, prophetic, and future in its timing and interpretation.

Some theologians and scholars argue that the four world powers mentioned in Daniel are Babylon, Media, Persia, and Greece. While they may offer what appears to be a strong argument for such belief sadly, they are wrong. As we shall see, this incorrect belief is based primarily on the fact that Darius the Mede is mentioned, as we saw earlier, in Daniel 5:31; 6:1, 6, 9, 25 and 28. Therefore, they argue that Media was the second world power. Their basis is that there was, in fact, a Median Empire. No historian argues this point. But one simply must look at the rise and fall of the Median Empire to see that this belief of Media being the second world power identified in the book of Daniel is historically incorrect.

The history of the Median empire is well documented. From the 10th to the late 7th Centuries BC the western portions of Media fell under the vast Neo-Assyrian Empire. Several Assyrian kings imposed vassal treaties upon the various Median rulers and offered them protection from other nations.  Between 622–612 BC the Assyrian empire, which had been in a state of constant civil war since 626 BC, began to unravel. Many of the nations that were under subjection to the Assyrian Empire [which included Medes, Babylonians, Chaldeans, and Egyptians] stopped paying tribute to Assyria. Neo-Assyrian dominance over the Medians came to an end during the reign of the Median King Cyaxares who, in alliance with King Nabopolassar of the Neo-Babylonian Empire, attacked and destroyed the strife-riven empire between 616 and 609 BC. This newly found alliance helped the Medes to capture Nineveh in 612 BC, which resulted in the eventual collapse of the Neo-Assyrian Empire by 609 BC. The Medes were subsequently able to establish their Median Kingdom with Ecbatana becoming their royal capital. After the fall of Assyria, a unified Median state was formed which, together with Babylonia, Lydia, and ancient Egypt, became one of the four major powers of the ancient Near East.

Cyaxares was succeeded by his son, King Astyages. In 553 BC Cyaxares’ maternal grandson Cyrus the Great, the King of Anshan/Persia, a Median vassal, revolted against Astyages. In 550 BC, Cyrus finally won a decisive victory resulting in Astyages’ capture by his own dissatisfied nobles, who promptly turned him over to the triumphant Cyrus. After Cyrus’s victory against Astyages [who was the last king of Media], the Medes were subjected to their close kin, the Persians. In the new empire, the Medes retained a prominent position in honor and war. They stood next to the Persians and their court ceremony was adopted by the new sovereigns. During this time, many noble Medes were employed as officials, satraps, and generals. This brief history is important for us to log because it removes any doubt that a Median Empire was in existence during the descriptions that Daniel mentions of the four world empires in the book bearing his name.