BOOK OF DANIEL – May 15, 2019

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Daniel continues in Daniel 7:6, “After this I kept looking, and behold, another one, like a leopard, which had on its back four wings of a bird; the beast also had four heads, and dominion was given to it.” (NASB)

This is now the third beast that Daniel describes.

One point that many do not notice is the sequence of the four beasts. They do not appear simultaneously but follow in sequence to each other. Therefore, Daniel employs the term “After this” to note that each kingdom succeeds the previous one.

Unlike the second beast who we could relate to as resembling an animal known to us, this third beast, just like the first one is describing something in symbolic language. We know this by its description. No one has ever seen a leopard with four wings like a bird and four heads! They simply do not, and have never, existed. Once again, multiple theories have been exchanged as to what the symbolism means.

It is no mistake that the vision was given to Daniel depicting the leopard. The fur and markings of a leopard make it easy for them to be well camouflaged which allows them to be opportunistic hunters who prey on their victims and pounce at great speed. They can run up to 36 miles per hour, leap horizontally over 20 feet and jump vertically almost 10 feet high. Many of these characteristics are a clear reference to the king of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon, Alexander the Great. He succeeded his father, Phillip II in 336 BC at the young age of 20 and in just twelve years he created one of the largest empires of the ancient world, conquering the mighty Persian empire in the process.

As I mentioned, there are several suggestions as to the four wings of a bird. Some suggest this symbolizes additional swiftness, emphasizing the speed in which Alexander conquered the world. This idea does seem to fit well with how quickly Alexander subdued the nations he attacked. As king of Macedon (which prior to his father’s rule was merely a small state dominated by larger cities such as Athens, Sparta, and Thebes) Alexander succeeded in leading Greece into a federation of states, allowing him to embark on further domination. Throughout his military career, Alexander won every battle that he personally commanded.

With Greece clearly being referenced as the third beast (despite what liberals argue) and Alexander as leader of that kingdom, we can see why the four heads are significant to the symbolism. What I am about to say, which many believe is the correct interpretation of the four heads, is derived from what we know of history. Scripture does not give us the historical narrative of the Grecian empire. That is because the chronological dates of its history occurred between the end of the Old Testament and the beginning of the new one, known better to the Christian scholar as the Intertestamental Period. This was a period of approximately 400 years. The Persian dynasty lasted from 532 – 332 BC. Alexander’s defeat of the Persian’s occurring in this intertestamental period brought Greek rule to the world and as a result, Greek culture was promoted in every land Alexander had conquered. The Hebrew Old Testament was translated into the Greek Septuagint by 70-72 Jewish scholars during the third and second centuries BC. By the second and first centuries BC most people in Israel spoke Greek. Those who no longer understood Hebrew were able to have the Hebrew Scriptures in a language they could understand.

Alexander is never referenced directly in Scripture. But he is referenced indirectly at least four times in Daniel, with several more references alluding to his identity or that of his kingdom. He [or at least his kingdom] are clearly identified as the leopard. History confirms that Alexander suddenly died in 323 BC at the age of 33. On his deathbed, Alexander handed his signet ring to his senior cavalry officer, Perdiccus, who subsequently called several of Alexander’s generals together to discuss how and who would rule the divisions of the kingdom. Often the accepted thought is that his kingdom was divided between four generals. Calvin and Jerome believed these to be Ptolemy, Seleucus, Phillip, and Antigonus. Given the infighting that occurred, this may well be correct. Several assassinations followed as others were vying for power in the newly drawn up divisions of the kingdom. Modern commentators claim it was the four kings who appear approximately 22 years after the death of Alexander, after the overthrow of Antigonus at the battle of Ipsus in 301 BC, that finally became the four heads of their respective states. This view has resulted in claiming that Lysimachus was given Thrace and Bithynia, Cassander was given Macedonian and Greece, Seleucus controlled Syria and Babylonia as well as territories that extended as far as India, and Ptolemy controlled Egypt, Palestine and Arabia Petrea [also known as Rome’s Arabian Province].

Despite the infighting, what we can discern is that four kings, depicted as the four heads of the leopard, were generals in Alexander’s army that would eventually rule as a basileus (a Greek term for king) in their respective kingdoms.

As for the comment in the Scripture that dominion was given to it, it certainly shows the workings of God in arranging for all of this to occur. Alexander, who had an army of far fewer numbers, could never have defeated Persia without the providence of God. Nor could his kingdom have continued to grow into separate states without God’s direction. All of this was according to God’s will and purpose and we see it fulfilled in the prophecy of Daniel, written almost two hundred years before the events even took place.

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BOOK OF DANIEL – May 14, 2019

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Due to our explanation of the liberal view identifying the second beast in Daniel 7:5, we must return to answer the rest of the verse. You will recall this beast resembled a bear and was said to be raised up on one side. In its mouth, between its teeth, were three ribs and it was told to devour much meat.

There have been several interpretations of why Daniel saw this beast raised up on one side. Some have said that this may refer to the bear changing from a prone position to one of a possible attack. Another idea is that it represents the uneven balance of power in the Medo-Persian empire. Yet others have suggested it means the bear was standing on its two hind legs.

None of these views can be accepted as the true and accurate meaning. Nor it is necessary for us to know. But one thing is certain. This beast has already been on the attack. In its mouth were three ribs. Daniel is likely describing metaphorically what we know as the Syrian brown bear which is native to the Middle East. It is omnivorous which refers to an animal or person that feeds on both plant and animal food origins.  Its general food habits are fruit, berries, seeds, plants, grasses, nuts, grubs, and small mammals.  But it will also enter agricultural land in former habitats and consume cultivated grains and domesticated livestock. Such habitat loss can cause incidences and conflicts with humans also. Remember, the verse we are discussing is symbolic. This symbolic description is telling us that something is being devoured. And it isn’t just one thing, but three.

We could easily lose what is being described here if we allow our minds to focus on the animal [the bear]. The bear is also a symbol. The bear is generally both feared and admired at the same time for its strength and power. It has also featured in both government and military symbols. As we have stated, Daniel reveals to us later in chapter seven that the four beasts represent four kingdoms.

Again, we must not stretch Scripture to mean or say something it does not. Several suggestions have been given as to what the three ribs indicate. One suggestion is that they represent three nations that have been devoured or conquered by the bear or, in this case, the second kingdom. One thought is that the three ribs represent Lydia that was conquered by the Medo-Persians in 546 BC, Babylon which we know was defeated in 539 BC, and Egypt that was devoured in 525 BC. Others have suggested that the ribs represent the three main components of the Medo-Persian empire namely Media, Persia, and Babylon. The truth is, we cannot be certain. While these suggestions may seem accurate, they cannot be accepted as correct. Even the comment as to the beast being told to devour much meat is contentious with some saying it refers to the meat on the ribs. To others, it refers to the Medo-Persians lust for further domination of other nations. By the very fact that ribs are seen in between the teeth of the bear seems to indicate the meat has already been consumed therefore a forceful argument perhaps can be made that it is representative of the lustful and ferocious appetite of the Medo-Persians wanting to devour even more territory. But again, we are not specifically given the answer.

The “they” who told the beast to devour much meat is also not identified. Nor is it important for us to know. It is the symbol and the message of what we are being told that we should focus on. Without a doubt, the second beast that resembled a bear was on the hunt. It had already eaten what appears to be three symbols and was told to eat more.

Now Daniel turns to the third beast.

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BOOK OF DANIEL – May 13, 2019

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Daniel describes the second beast for us in Daniel 7:5, “And behold, another beast, a second one, resembling a bear. And it was raised up on one side, and three ribs were in its mouth between its teeth; and thus they said to it, ‘Arise, devour much meat!’” (NASB)

Here we see a description that we can relate to, a bear. Daniel doesn’t specifically say it is a bear but that it “resembles” a bear. To resemble something requires the subject to have qualities or features, especially those of appearance, in common with (someone or something), that it looks or seems like.

What this bear-like creature is doing, however, is of importance. Daniel says the beast is raised up on one side and that it has three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. Here we must be careful not to go beyond the interpretation of Scripture by declaring what may, in fact, be incorrect. To be as honest and accurate as possible we can only offer what the Scripture appears to be saying or rather identifying. One thing is clear, that no one can argue about. That is that the second beast is referring to a kingdom. The question, which one?

Consulting many scholars, theologians, and interpreters will lead one to see that the prominent view is the liberal view which is held up and promoted. A simple search engine will reveal this to you. The liberal view is that the beast represents the kingdom of Media. This is in opposition to the conservative majority view of it being the Medo-Persian empire. I suppose if historians had ever thought of referring to this kingdom in the first place as the Persian-Media kingdom it would have saved a lot of confusion and needless debate. The theory of this beast being Media was, as we have mentioned, first invented by Porphyry and was revived in the 18th century. This is unfortunate and shows a deliberate attack on history and, more importantly, the Bible. The only other conclusion is to believe these people were deficient in their abilities to assimilate known historical facts. Allow me a moment to “educate” them as to the contents of history.

 

During the 10th to the late 7th century BC, the western portions of Media became dominated by the vast Neo-Assyrian empire. A series of Assyrian kings imposed vassal treaties upon the Median rulers with the promise of protecting them from other nations. A constant civil war had emerged in Assyria which culminated in the subjected peoples of the Medes, Babylonians, Chaldeans, Egyptians, Scythians, Cimmerians, Lydians and Arameans all ceasing to pay tribute to Assyria. This led to the Median king, Cyaxares, forming an alliance with king Nabopolassar (the father of Nebuchadnezzar) of the Neo-Babylonian empire who attacked Assyria between 616 -609 BC. In 609 BC the Medes captured Nineveh which led to the total collapse of Assyria. During this time period (616 – 609 BC) the Medes, Babylonians, Lydians, and Egyptians were all formidable powers. Cyaxares was succeeded by his son, Astyages, who is known to history as the last Median king. According to the Nabonidus Chronicle, in 553 BC Astyages launched an attack on Cyrus whose father, Cambyses I, king of Anshan, had married Astyages’ daughter Mandana. Astyages attack failed and he was captured by Cyrus but allowed to live. This ended the Median rule after hostilities ceased in 550 BC with the capture of the capital, Ecbatana. The transfer of power was now in the hands of the Persians under Cyrus who inherited all the vassals of the Median king Astyages that comprised of many of Cyrus’s relatives. These relatives retained prominent positions and stood next to Persians with many Medes employed as officials, satraps, and generals.

 

In 539 BC, Cyrus turned his attention to Babylonia. Again, the Nabonidus Chronicle is one of the lead sources of this known historical event, as is the Cyrus Cylinder commissioned by Cyrus himself.

 

Here then are the facts known to history.

Astyages was the last Median king (reigned from 585 – 550 BC)

The Median empire was defeated by Cyrus who was the Persian king in 550 BC.

Cyrus conquered Babylon in 539 BC

You will see when we get to chapter eight how Persia is described as growing bigger than Media. This was indeed true. Cyrus built an empire that composed the largest empire the world had yet seen. Over 200 years later, history would be introduced to Alexander the Great. So, one can see after the defeat of Astyages in 550 BC and the conquering of Babylon by Cyrus in 539 BC, there is no room for a Median king to have existed.

 

The final nail in the coffin of the liberal elite is that, to accept that the Medes are the second beast in Daniel 7:5, means one has to accept the lies and deceit of Porphyry, together with the claim that the book of Daniel is a forgery and, therefore, the prophecies contained therein are false as well.

In 1917, Robert Dick Wilson (1856 – 1930) wrote a book entitled “Studies in the Book of Daniel”. Wilson provided a solid defense against the nonsense that the liberal interpreters heralded. It is believed Wilson’s defense, which devasted the liberal arguments has never been successfully challenged. It is my hope, once we turn this blog series into a book, that I will detail those defenses to their fullest extent.

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BOOK OF DANIEL – May 3, 2019

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Daniel describes the second beast for us in Daniel 7:5, “And behold, another beast, a second one, resembling a bear. And it was raised up on one side, and three ribs were in its mouth between its teeth; and thus they said to it, ‘Arise, devour much meat!’” (NASB)

Here we see a description that we can relate to, a bear. Daniel doesn’t specifically say it is a bear but that it “resembles” a bear. To resemble something requires the subject to have qualities or features, especially those of appearance, in common with (someone or something), that it looks or seems like.

What this bear-like creature is doing, however, is of importance. Daniel says the beast is raised up on one side and that it has three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. Here we must be careful not to go beyond the interpretation of Scripture by declaring what may, in fact, be incorrect. To be as honest and accurate as possible we can only offer what the Scripture appears to be saying or rather identifying. One thing is clear, that no one can argue about. That is that the second beast is referring to a kingdom. The question, which one?

Consulting many scholars, theologians, and interpreters will lead one to see that the prominent view is the liberal view which is held up and promoted. A simple search engine will reveal this to you. The liberal view is that the beast represents the kingdom of Media. This is in opposition to the conservative majority view of it being the Medo-Persian empire. I suppose if historians had ever thought of referring to this kingdom in the first place as the Persian-Media kingdom it would have saved a lot of confusion and needless debate. The theory of this beast being Media was, as we have mentioned, first invented by Porphyry and was revived in the 18th century. This is unfortunate and shows a deliberate attack on history and, more importantly, the Bible. The only other conclusion is to believe these people were deficient in their abilities to assimilate known historical facts. Allow me a moment to “educate” them as to the contents of history.

 

During the 10th to the late 7th century BC the western portions of Media became dominated by the vast Neo-Assyrian empire. A series of Assyrian kings imposed vassal treaties upon the Median rulers with the promise of protecting them from other nations. A constant civil war had emerged in Assyria which culminated in the subjected peoples of the Medes, Babylonians, Chaldeans, Egyptians, Scythians, Cimmerians, Lydians and Arameans all ceasing to pay tribute to Assyria. This led to the Median king, Cyaxares, forming an alliance with king Nabopolassar (the father of Nebuchadnezzar) of the Neo-Babylonian empire who attacked Assyria between 616 -609 BC. In 609 BC the Medes captured Nineveh which led to the total collapse of Assyria. During this time period (616 – 609 BC) the Medes, Babylonians, Lydians, and Egyptians were all formidable powers. Cyaxares was succeeded by his son, Astyages, who is known to history as the last Median king. According to the Nabonidus Chronicle, in 553 BC Astyages launched an attack on Cyrus whose father, Cambyses I, king of Anshan, had married Astyages’ daughter Mandana. Astyages attack failed and he was captured by Cyrus but allowed to live. This ended the Median rule after hostilities ceased in 550 BC with the capture of the capital, Ecbatana. The transfer of power was now in the hands of the Persians under Cyrus who inherited all the vassals of the Median king Astyages that comprised of many of Cyrus’s relatives. These relatives retained prominent positions and stood next to Persians with many Medes employed as officials, satraps, and generals.

In 539 BC, Cyrus turned his attention to Babylonia. Again, the Nabonidus Chronicle is one of the lead sources of this known historic event, as is the Cyrus Cylinder commissioned by Cyrus himself.

 

Here then are the facts known to history.

Astyages was the last Median king (reigned from 585 – 550 BC)

The Median empire was defeated by Cyrus who was the Persian king in 550 BC.

Cyrus conquered Babylon in 539 BC

You will see when we get to chapter eight how Persia is described as growing bigger than Media. This was indeed true. Cyrus built an empire that composed the largest empire the world had yet seen. Over 200 years later, history would be introduced to Alexander the Great. So, one can see after the defeat of Astyages in 550 BC and the conquering of Babylon by Cyrus in 539 BC, there is no room for a Median king to have existed.

 

The final nail in the coffin of the liberal elite is that, to accept that the Medes are the second beast in Daniel 7:5, means one has to accept the lies and deceit of Porphryr, together with the claim that the book of Daniel is a forgery and, therefore, the prophecies contained therein are false as well.

In 1917, Robert Dick Wilson (1856 – 1930) wrote a book entitled “Studies in the Book of Daniel”. Wilson provided a solid defense against the nonsense that the liberal interpreters heralded. It is believed Wilson’s defense, which devasted the liberal arguments has never been successfully challenged. It is my hope, once we turn this blog series into a book, that I will detail those defenses to their fullest extent.

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BOOK OF DANIEL – May 9, 2019

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Daniel 7:3 tells us, “And four great beasts came up out of the sea, different from one another.” (ESV) This scene is the result of what we discussed in verse two where the four winds were stirring the great sea. The beasts described as being different from one another does not only refer to their nation of origin but more importantly their actions. In Daniel’s time, wild beasts would strike terror into the minds of the individual who often had no protection from such animals. I dare say, if we saw such beasts without the guard rails and fences that protect us from them today, we would be terrified too. But there is a particular terror that we should note in the symbolic and supernatural descriptions of these beasts. Therefore, as you read each description of the beasts try and view them in the light of them being terrifying to you as they would have been to Daniel. As you read Daniel you will notice the different degrees of terror that occur in our writer’s mind, especially as he reaches the fourth beast. We should try to approach Daniel in the same way so we can fully understand the narrative. Verse three is simply telling us that, by God’s authority, these four great beasts emerged out of the Gentile nations.

Now we are about to be introduced to the first beast.

Daniel 7:4 reads, “The first was like a lion and had the wings of an eagle. I kept looking until its wings were plucked, and it was lifted up from the ground and made to stand on two feet like a man; a human mind also was given to it.” (NASB)

There is little dispute, even amongst liberal and conservative interpreters, that the description of the first beast is of none other than Babylon. As chapter seven is a parallel of chapter two there is also no doubt that this specifically refers to the time of Nebuchadnezzar. Lions in antiquity have long been associated with Chaldean history. The Ishtar Gate was the eighth gate to the inner city of Babylon. It was constructed in about 575 BC by Nebuchadnezzar on the north side of the city. Dedicated to the Babylonian goddess Ishtar, the gate was constructed using a rare blue stone called lapis lazuli with alternating rows of dragons and aurochs. Through the gate ran the Processional Way, which was lined with walls covered in approximately 120 lions on glazed bricks.

The reference to the lion having eagle’s wings is obviously metaphorical. As the center for pagan worship, the Babylonians worshipped many gods. If the lion was meant to refer to the god Ishtar, the eagle represented a sun god. Notwithstanding these points is the fact that the prophet Ezekiel referenced Babylon as an eagle in Ezekiel 17:3,7 (cf. Jeremiah 4:7,13). The points that Ezekiel made give clear and unambiguous reference to Nebuchadnezzar as being a swift conqueror of nations.

The dialog changes as we notice Daniel says he “kept looking” as the lion’s wings were plucked. It was then lifted up from the ground and made to stand on two feet like a man and a human mind was given it. One must remember that Nebuchadnezzar’s fall from power (which resulted in him becoming like a beast for seven times before being restored to his throne) was witnessed by Daniel. He saw it and wrote about it. Many have concluded that the reference to the clipped wings (etc.) is speaking of that episode in Nebuchadnezzar’s life. That, indeed, may well be the case and it certainly can be considered a possibility in terms of it referring to this lion with plucked wings being lifted and given a human mind. Nebuchadnezzar had lost his until God chose to restore it. So, this could well be a picture of Nebuchadnezzar who was one, if not the, most powerful ruler of a Gentile nation. One other theory is that Daniel already knew what had happened to Nebuchadnezzar when he had his dream. This has created the thought with some that after the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Babylon was never the same. That is indeed true. Several kings followed Nebuchadnezzar, but none had his success.  So, in that way, those of this theory suggest Babylon lost much of its power. This theory does not, however, answer the point as to the human mind being given to the lion.

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Book of Daniel – May 7, 2019

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So that we do not become confused, we will discuss Daniel’s dream in several portions. Today we will read verses two through eight of Daniel chapter seven. “Daniel declared, “I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the great sea. And four great beasts came up out of the sea, different from one another. The first was like a lion and had eagles’ wings. Then as I looked its wings were plucked off, and it was lifted up from the ground and made to stand on two feet like a man, and the mind of a man was given to it.  And behold, another beast, a second one, like a bear. It was raised up on one side. It had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth; and it was told, ‘Arise, devour much flesh.’  After this, I looked, and behold, another, like a leopard, with four wings of a bird on its back. And the beast had four heads, and dominion was given to it.  After this, I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, terrifying and dreadful and exceedingly strong. It had great iron teeth; it devoured and broke in pieces and stamped what was left with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns.  I considered the horns, and behold, there came up among them another horn, a little one, before which three of the first horns were plucked up by the roots. And behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things.” (ESV)

There is a lot of information in these seven verses and we need to walk carefully through each verse. It is important to do this methodically as Daniel chapter seven is perhaps the most prophetic chapter of the whole book. Miss something or interpret it incorrectly and our whole structure concerning what will occur at the end of this world as we know it will be skewered. God’s message through Daniel gives us a clear understanding of who and what to expect. The book identifies the characters of the past and of the future. While God does not give us all the answers, the roadmap He does provide is enough for us to know the characters in play.

In verse two Daniel says he sees the four winds of heaven stirring up the great sea. This should be seen as symbolic language. Let us look at each description separately.

 

The four winds of heaven

Some interpret the four winds to mean the four compass points of north, east, south, and west. This may be true in that winds coming from all directions would have a global effect. Scripture often mentions wind in relation to God’s providential acts (cf. Jeremiah 23:19; 49:36; 51:16; Zechariah 6:1-6; 7:14; Revelation 7:1-3). These acts are associated with the results upon human beings, particularly, the nations associated with these humans. Here is where we should note that nothing occurs without God’s purpose and will. Notice what the four winds are doing. They are stirring up the sea. So, the language of these four winds correctly interpreted means that it is God who directs the forces of these winds so that the nations that are spoken about, i.e. the four kingdoms or beasts, are set in motion.

The great sea

In the view of the Scripture passage and the subsequent powers who came to become world powers, many interpret the great sea to be the Mediterranean. A word of caution is required here. While the view may appear to be centered on the Mediterranean this is no ordinary storm that the four winds stir. Indeed, when we get to discuss the fourth beast and what will finally come out of it, which is futuristic, one could argue we are referencing global activity of this beast as we term global today. Nevertheless, the center of attention about what comes out of this fourth beast does involve the area of the Mediterranean in the future. While the first three kingdoms/beasts affected the “global” population, we must remember this was in the context of what was considered the known world at that time. Clearly, the fourth kingdom/beast, and what eventually is produced, will affect the entire globe as we know it today. The word “sea” very often refers to nations and its peoples. We can see a clear indication of this in Isaiah 17:12-23 and 57:20. So, when we read of the four winds of heaven stirring up the great sea, we can be confident this refers to God’s providential actions among the Gentile nations. This merely is giving us the background as to how these kingdoms/beasts arise and by what authority they are allowed to come into being in the first place.

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BOOK OF DANIEL – May 6, 2019

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Most conservative theologians uphold the view that offers the most plausible explanation of Daniel chapter seven. This author shares that same view for the most part. I say that because it is not a plausible explanation of man per se but rather a support of the truth of Scripture. Ultimately, the choice for the reader of Daniel is faith in the truth of Daniel or faith in those who claim it to be false. This is what some would call critical interpretation. This is defined as critical analysis which is to examine something that someone has said. It means to study the individual parts of the work. The format and content of this blog are based upon the belief that the books that make up the canon of Scripture are indeed the infallible, inerrant Word of God. As such, the true believer accepts the Bible as Sola Scriptura (Scripture alone) as being God’s own Word written down for our instruction and teaching. So, while many will state that they hold to the most plausible explanation of Daniel, this plausibility must rest on the truth of what God has provided His followers to understand and accept as coming from Him. Any other position forces a person to not only reject Daniel, but also God, and certainly the prophecies relating to His Son, Christ Jesus.

Daniel 7:1 tells us, In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel saw a dream and visions of his head as he lay in his bed. Then he wrote down the dream and told the sum of the matter.” (ESV) I purposely isolated verse one for discussion because you may be wondering that Belshazzar is already dead based on our reading of Daniel chapter five. And you would be correct. What we see mentioned here is a previous time period. In other words, Daniel is returning to a previous event. This event probably dates to around the year 553 BC or fourteen years before the fall of Babylon by the Medo-Persians. You may recall, Nabonidus, the actual king of Babylon [as Belshazzar was merely a Co-Regent] took the throne in 556 BC. Three years later he left Babylon under the control of Belshazzar. This hierarchy is mentioned indirectly in Daniel 5:16 where Belshazzar promised Daniel the position of the third ruler in the kingdom. This confirms that Belshazzar, as Co-Regent, was the second in command with Nabonidus being the first as king.

So, what is the purpose of Daniel returning to a dream that is not dissimilar to the dream of Nebuchadnezzar in chapter two? And why is Daniel now returning to the time of Belshazzar that we discussed in chapter five? These questions are intriguing and interesting, and the answers are relevant to our study.

First, Daniel is confirming, by the known dating we have, as to the reign of Nabonidus and Belshazzar as Co-Regent, that these events are inextricably connected to the sixth century BC. This removes any doubt as to the accuracy of the dating of the book of Daniel. Yes, the naysayers can scream all they want to, but they cannot ignore the fact that by linking Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in chapter two to Daniel’s dream in chapter seven that the time frame of world history, according to the Bible, is the correct one – the sixth century BC.

Secondly, by returning to the dream that Daniel had during the reign of Nabonidus and subsequently seeing Belshazzar sit on the throne as Co-Regent informs us that Daniel knew that events would unravel as to the stability of the kingdom of Babylon. He knew by God using him to interpret the dream of Nebuchadnezzar that Babylon would eventually be overthrown. He knew what type of tyrant Belshazzar would prove to be. If you will, he knew the measure of the man in Belshazzar and it did not bode well for Babylon. But his dream (that we will learn more of in the next several verses) while still supporting Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, is far more detailed and, in some ways, more frightening and horrific. Nebuchadnezzar’s dream used an image as the vehicle of Divine revelation of the world powers in the form of a man with different metals to differentiate the kingdoms. Daniel’s dream speaks of beasts as opposed to kingdoms and is viewed from the eyes of God’s prophet. Nebuchadnezzar’s dream can be viewed as glorious in man’s eyes as to world history and the ensuing world powers. But Daniel’s dream views world history from God’s view and shows the depravity of man, his immorality and brutality.

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