THE DAILY BLOG ON THE BOOK OF DANIEL – MAY 14, 2020

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Let us take the time to explore deeper what Daniel meant when he told Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 2:28a, “However, there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will take place in the latter days.” (NASB) [Underline in Scripture mine]. We already know Daniel declared that it was Almighty God who reveals mysteries and it was He who had made known what Nebuchadnezzar desperately wanted to find out. Our focus in this passage is “what will take place in the latter days”. More specifically, we want to know what is meant by these “latter days” that Daniel refers to and what they represent? Also, what period of time does it include?

These are valid and important questions as we travel through Daniel, to understand what each part of the dream and, more importantly, its interpretation, means. When we get into the dream I hope you enjoy the ride because we effectively become time travelers with what is revealed. Remember, neither Nebuchadnezzar nor Daniel had any idea whom the dream was referring to. Even though Daniel gave the king the interpretation of the dream he still did not specifically name who was meant in the interpretation because he did not know. I make this point only because we do know who the interpretation was referring to because of the benefit of standing on the side of history looking back. In other words, the portion that has already taken place (as in history) is what we have seen (by means of historical record). We also know, by God’s Word, what is revealed in the portion of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream that is still yet to be fulfilled (future). We should realize how fortunate we are to be living at a time when we know more of this dream and interpretation than Nebuchadnezzar or Daniel ever did.

The portion of this verse “latter days” is the literal translation. When one looks at the Aramaic, together with the equivalent phrase in the Old Testament, we note the expression denotes the future. That being said, we still have to arrive when the exact time of the future occurs, and we can only achieve that by means of the context. What I mean by that is that, although the Aramaic word used in the text for latter is acharith, this word, with its equivalent phrase in the Old Testament, has different time elements in describing the future. Let me explain. A survey of several verses clearly refers to an eschatological time frame [which simply means a branch of theology concerned with the final events in the history of the world or of humankind]. However, several other verses speak of events in the nearer future.

Isaiah 2:1-5 is eschatological as it speaks of the future kingdom of Christ. The passage reads, “The word which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. Now it will come about that In the last days The mountain of the house of the Lord Will be established as the chief of the mountains, And will be raised above the hills; And all the nations will stream to it. And many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, To the house of the God of Jacob; That He may teach us concerning His ways And that we may walk in His paths.” For the law will go forth from Zion And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And He will judge between the nations, And will render decisions for many peoples; And they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, And never again will they learn war. Come, house of Jacob, and let us walk in the light of the Lord.” (NASB) (cf. Micah 4:1-5; Ezekiel 38:14-23; Daniel 10:14)

In Genesis 49:1 we are told, “Then Jacob summoned his sons and said, “Assemble yourselves that I may tell you what will befall you in the days to come.” (NASB  This was clearly something that was to happen in the near future during the time of Jacob blessing his sons which will play out further in God’s promises at the end times. (cf. Numbers 24:14; Deuteronomy 31:29; Jeremiah 30:24; 48:47; 49:39)

As we move further into Daniel chapter two it will reveal to us that the Daniel 2:28 reference to the “latter days” clearly involves the eschatological future time frame. But, rather than spoil those events here, we will read them later. Suffice it to say, the events refer to four empires (who are all part of the Gentile times) that appear before the coming kingdom of God. Three of those kingdoms have come and gone. The fourth kingdom’s prominence has also gone but it was never truly defeated. In that sense, there is still a continuance of that kingdom until the end of the Gentile times. I promise you, I will explain this concept to your satisfaction when we arrive at the passages that lays out the details of this kingdom. Despite what we hear in our world today of worldwide dominance by a nation or nations based upon their standing armies, or what nuclear deterrents they hold, there is no worldwide Gentile kingdom in Scripture between the time of this fourth kingdom to the end of the Gentile times. Therefore, from a Biblical perspective, we are still in the era of this fourth kingdom, as detailed in Daniel 2:40-44.

 

Bible quotations are taken from the following versions of the Bible.

New American Standard Bible (NASB), Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation.

 

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