BOOK OF DANIEL – The Final Word

Posted by on Oct 23, 2018 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on BOOK OF DANIEL – The Final Word

The Final Word.

If you recall when we discussed the way in which Cyrus’s army entered the city of Babylon virtually undetected, then you realize the immanency of the interpretation by Daniel. Belshazzar and the nobles of his court had very little time left. As the Medes and Persians routed the city they were inching their way closer to the king’s banquet.

Daniel 5:29 tells us, “Then Belshazzar gave the command, and Daniel was clothed with purple, a chain of gold was put around his neck, and a proclamation was made about him, that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom.” (ESV) Scripture is silent as to whether this was a vain attempt on Belshazzar’s part in the hope of receiving some reprieve from the interpretation’s edict. Perhaps he thought he could bargain with Daniel in speaking to his God to avoid the calamity. Perhaps he did not believe the interpretation, although that does not fit the narrative because he had trembled at seeing the writing on the wall. Whatever the reason, there is a strong irony to the culmination of these events.

Daniel knew any worldly honors were short-lived. He instinctively knew they were even shorter in Belshazzar keeping his promise to cloth Daniel in purple with a gold chain around his neck and to appoint him the third ruler of the kingdom. Imagine being Daniel for a moment. Now an old man, brought to Babylon as a captive of a pagan empire. Being torn away from his family and his Jewish roots as a mere boy. The loss of his privileged position in Jewish society. Seeing Jerusalem’s beautiful temple being looted and hearing of its total destruction years later. And yet, this once majestic empire’s last act would be to appoint one of those captives as its last highest ranking official before its entire demise. It is the very captive whom God used to predict Babylon’s downfall, together with the ensuing world powers who would each take their place during the time of the Gentiles. It is the same captive who spoke of God being the ruler of heaven and earth and who would establish His everlasting kingdom by means of His Son. Man may think they have control of their own destiny but God is the one who has the final say as to each one’s final destination.

Daniel 5:30-31 concludes this chapter by revealing, “That very night Belshazzar the Chaldean king was killed. And Darius the Mede received the kingdom, being about sixty-two years old.” (ESV) Not only do we have the secular narratives of Herodotus and Xenophon but we have confirmation of Babylon’s destruction in several Scriptures. You can read these events in Isaiah 13:17-22; 21:1-10; Jeremiah 51:33-58. Notice Isaiah chapter twenty-one specifically mentions the Medes (verse two) and that they would conquer those eating and drinking (verses four and five), a likely reference to Belshazzar and his nobles. Jeremiah is even more explicit in Jeremiah 51:57-58 where God tells his prophet, “I will make drunk her officials and her wise men, her governors, her commanders, and her warriors; they shall sleep a perpetual sleep and not wake, declares the King, whose name is the Lord of hosts. “Thus says the Lord of hosts: The broad wall of Babylon shall be leveled to the ground, and her high gates shall be burned with fire. The peoples labor for nothing and the nations weary themselves only for fire.” (ESV)   

The first kingdom, the Babylon that was described in the vision of the statute whose head was of gold, was now laid waste, never to rise again. Although, it does represent, in type, the downfall of the unbelieving world that will occur in the future, either in our own lifetime or later.

As we move into chapter six we travel to the second kingdom, Mede and Persia