Welcome to the World of Biblical Prophecy for History and Today

This Blog is intended to help myself and others gain the best understanding of the world around us through exploration of prophetic scripture. The Bible is the text book. Through these studies we will hopefully provide understanding to both believer and unbeliever alike. The way our God and our Savior Jesus distinguish themselves in the spiritual world is through prophetic means. In other words what the Bible teaches us through fullfillment of these prophecies shows us the truth. Let's take some prophetic journeys through history and at the same time learn about the world around us today. Please try and be patient with any typographical errors as I am my own typist and my own research staff. Thanks

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Daniel Extremity 8

Reflections of Things to Come

The events described by Daniel in this chapter come about approximately 2 years after the  previous events in chapter 7. The chapter is written in the Hebrew language which as opposed to Daniel 2:4 through the end of chapter 7 which was in Aramaic. The vision Daniel describes to us is a true vision or in other words an event which took place when he was awake as opposed to a night vision or dream. In the first verse Daniel makes it clear that this was different in form and time frame from what we explored in chapter 7.

Dan 8:1-2 KJV
(1) In the third year of the reign of king Belshazzar a vision appeared unto me, even unto me Daniel, after that which appeared unto me at the first.
(2) And I saw in a vision; and it came to pass, when I saw, that I was at Shushan in the palace, which is in the province of Elam; and I saw in a vision, and I was by the river of Ulai.

The Ulai river or canal as some refer to it at the time of Daniel was a body of water surrounding the city of Susa or Shushan. It divided the city from the territorial province of Elam. Some may recognize it by the Greek name the Euleus river.

Dan 8:3-6 KJV
(3) Then I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and, behold, there stood before the river a ram which had two horns: and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last.
(4) I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward; so that no beasts might stand before him, neither was there any that could deliver out of his hand; but he did according to his will, and became great.
(5) And as I was considering, behold, an he goat came from the west on the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground: and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes.
(6) And he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing before the river, and ran unto him in the fury of his power.

Once again we are dealing with the rise and fall of kingdoms and armies. There is something very interesting in verse 3 which seems to reach forward in history and parallels many of the world's current events. However we will wait until we receive the proper interpretation of the vision when Daniel receives it. In verse 5 we see a symbolic description of speed as the goat does not touch the ground. In this fashion the goat charges to meet the ram.

Dan 8:7-11 KJV
(7) And I saw him come close unto the ram, and he was moved with choler against him, and smote the ram, and brake his two horns: and there was no power in the ram to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground, and stamped upon him: and there was none that could deliver the ram out of his hand.
(8) Therefore the he goat waxed very great: and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven.
(9) And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land.
(10) And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them.
(11) Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down.

In case you may be wondering what choler is we can provide a reference from the King James Dictionary.
And he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing before the river, and ran unto him in the fury of his power. And I saw him come close unto the ram, and he was moved with CHOLER against him, and smote the ram, and brake his two horns: and there was no power in the ram to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground, and stamped upon him: and there was none that could deliver the ram out of his hand. (Dan_8:6-7)

This kingdom was able to wax greatly upon the earth because of the vastness of the ram's territory. This individual representing the little horn if you have not already guessed elevates himself to the status of a god. It's a certainty for some who may be reading this that the details are known. For the sake of those who may not be too familiar with Daniel's prophecies we will wait as stated earlier until the scripture allows the proper interpretation in order we might associate some additional information.

Dan 8:12-14 KJV
(12) And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practised, and prospered.
(13) Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?
(14) And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.

Out of the chaos following this kingdom's peak and division will come a leader which in the OT times could be referred to as the anti-god. This individual will raise himself to the status of a god and will cut off the religious laws such as the sacrifice. This is why the time frame is measured in mornings and evenings because there were 2 offerings every day. Many scholars tend to lean toward the fact this was talking about a 1,150 period consisting of what should have been 2 sacrifices per day.

Dan 8:15-19 KJV
(15) And it came to pass, when I, even I Daniel, had seen the vision, and sought for the meaning, then, behold, there stood before me as the appearance of a man.
(16) And I heard a man's voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision.
(17) So he came near where I stood: and when he came, I was afraid, and fell upon my face: but he said unto me, Understand, O son of man: for at the time of the end shall be the vision.
(18) Now as he was speaking with me, I was in a deep sleep on my face toward the ground: but he touched me, and set me upright.
(19) And he said, Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be.

Even as Daniel begins to seek understanding to what he just witnessed an angel we come to know is Gabriel appears before him. The voice heard between the river banks no doubt belonged to God. In providing the meaning of the vision we receive not only the outcome of these empires but also a prophetic mirror into our future in today's world.

Dan 8:20-27 KJV
(20) The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia.
(21) And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king.
(22) Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power.
(23) And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up.
(24) And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people.
(25) And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.
(26) And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true: wherefore shut thou up the vision; for it shall be for many days.
(27) And I Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days; afterward I rose up, and did the king's business; and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it.

In verses 20-21 we learn that our 2 horned ram is the Media-Persian empire. We also learn that the goat with the prominent horn is the Grecian empire and Alexander the great. As we have mentioned before Alexander left his empire to 4 generals. One thing to keep in mind in all this is that this is a future look at these empires. We know that the vision took place approximately 553bc in the 3rd year of Belshazzar's reign. This would be approximately 230 years prior to Alexander's death. Once again we can list the division.

In 321bc the southern or Egyptian territory came under the rule of the Ptolemy
In 317bc the western or land of Macedon became Cassander's.
In 311bc the eastern portion including Babylon and Syria went to Seleucus.
In 306bc the northern portion called Asia Minor was initially claimed by Antigonus but was defeated by Lysimachus 5 years later.

This last area was the territory that controlled the Hebrew people and the holy city. This is also the territory that the fierce and cruel leader described in the rest of the passage rises from. His name was Antiochus Epiphanes and he reigned over the Seleucid empire for 12 years. The dates 175bc-163bc.

As the son and a potential successor of King Antiochus III, Antiochus became a political hostage of the Roman Republic following the Peace of Apamea in 188 BC. When his older brother, Seleucus IV followed his father onto the throne in 187 BC, Antiochus was exchanged for his nephew Demetrius I Soter (the son and heir of Seleucus). After King Seleucus was assassinated by Heliodorus, a usurper, in 175 BC, Antiochus in turn ousted him. Since Seleucus' true heir, Demetrius I Soter, was still a hostage in Rome, Antiochus, with the help of King Eumenes II of Pergamum, seized the throne for himself, proclaiming himself co-regent for another son of Seleucus, an infant named Antiochus (whom he then murdered a few years later).

When the guardians of King Ptolemy VI of Egypt demanded the return of Coele-Syria in 170 BC, Antiochus launched a preemptive strike against Egypt, conquering all but Alexandria and capturing King Ptolemy. To avoid alarming Rome, Antiochus allowed Ptolemy VI to continue ruling as a Puppet-king. Upon Antiochus' withdrawal, the city of Alexandria chose a new King, one of Ptolemy's brothers, also named Ptolemy (VIII Euergetes). Instead of fighting a civil war, the Ptolemy brothers agreed to rule Egypt jointly. This area also contained Judea.

In 168 BC Antiochus led a second attack on Egypt and also sent a fleet to capture Cyprus. Before reaching Alexandria, his path was blocked by a single, old Roman ambassador named Gaius Popillius Laenas, who delivered a message from the Roman Senate directing Antiochus to withdraw his armies from Egypt and Cyprus, or consider themselves in a state of war with the Roman Republic. Antiochus said he would discuss it with his council, whereupon the Roman envoy drew a line in the sand around him and said, "Before you cross this circle I want you to give me a reply for the Roman Senate" - implying that Rome would declare war if the King stepped out of the circle without committing to leave Egypt immediately. Weighing his options, Antiochus wisely decided to withdraw. Only then did Popillius agree to shake hands with him.

In the Bible we have very little history of what went on in Israel and Jerusalem during the reign of Greece. However we do have a very descriptive account of this time frame of Antiochus Epiphanes. It is an apocryphal book consisting of 1st and 2nd Maccabees. It provides us with a historical detail of Israel under the rule of Antiochus.

The Maccabees (Hebrew: מכבים‎ or מקבים, Makabim or Maqabim; Greek Μακκαβαῖοι, /makav'εï/) were a Jewish rebel army who took control of parts of the Land of Israel, which had been a client state of the Seleucid Empire. They founded the Hasmonean dynasty, which ruled from 164 BC to 63 BC, reasserting the Jewish religion, expanding the boundaries of Israel and reducing the influence of Hellenism. There are 4 books associated in the apocrypha attributed to the Maccabees.
In the 2nd century BC, the land of Judea and Israel lay between Ptolemaic Egypt and the Seleucid empire. Both Egypt and the Seleucid empire were states descended from the break up of Alexander the Great’s Greek empire. Since the rule of Alexander in 336–323 BC, a process of Hellenization had spread through the near East. When Antiochus IV Epiphanes (ca. 215–164 BC), became ruler of the Seleucid Empire in 175 BC, Hellenizing Jews had been long-established in Israel. They had built a gymnasium, competed internationally in Greek games, "removed their marks of circumcision and repudiated the holy covenant".

Let's slow down for just a moment and consider these last 3 actions described above. A gymnasium was built in the holy city. The proper definition and usage of the gymnasium follows.

The gymnasium in ancient Greece functioned as a training facility for competitors in public games. It was also a place for socializing and engaging in intellectual pursuits. The name comes from the Greek term gymnos meaning naked. Athletes competed in the nude, a practice said to encourage aesthetic appreciation of the male body and a tribute to the gods. Gymnasia and palestrae were under the protection and patronage of Heracles, Hermes and, in Athens, Theseus.

A typical Greek Gymnasium looked like this
The act of circumcision the everlasting covenant between God and Abraham was abandoned during the Hellenistic rule. The gymnasium had a lot to with this more than likely. Since the competitions and training took place in the nude it made it very easy to see who had and had not been circumcised. The act of circumcision was not practiced by the Greeks and Antiochus had ordered the custom to be abandoned.

Gen 17:11-13 KJV
(11) And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you.
(12) And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed.
(13) He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.

In this action alone the people were in repudiation of God.

While Antiochus was busy in Egypt, a rumor spread that he had been killed. The deposed High Priest Jason gathered a force of 1,000 soldiers and made a surprise attack on the city of Jerusalem. An official Antiochus appointed as High Priest, Menelaus, was forced to flee Jerusalem during a riot. On the King's return from Egypt in 167 BC enraged by his defeat, he attacked Jerusalem and restored Menelaus, then executed many Jews.

2Ma 5:11-16 KJVA (King James Version with Apocrypha)
(11) Now when this that was done came to the king's car, he thought that Judea had revolted: whereupon removing out of Egypt in a furious mind, he took the city by force of arms,
(12) And commanded his men of war not to spare such as they met, and to slay such as went up upon the houses.
(13) Thus there was killing of young and old, making away of men, women, and children, slaying of virgins and infants.
(14) And there were destroyed within the space of three whole days fourscore thousand, whereof forty thousand were slain in the conflict; and no fewer sold than slain.
(15) Yet was he not content with this, but presumed to go into the most holy temple of all the world; Menelaus, that traitor to the laws, and to his own country, being his guide:
(16) And taking the holy vessels with polluted hands, and with profane hands pulling down the things that were dedicated by other kings to the augmentation and glory and honour of the place, he gave them away.

To consolidate his empire and strengthen his hold over the region, Antiochus decided to side with the Hellenized Jews by outlawing Jewish religious rites and traditions kept by observant Jews and by ordering the worship of Zeus as the supreme god. This was anathema to the Jews and when they refused, Antiochus sent an army to enforce his decree. Because of the resistance, the city was destroyed, many were slaughtered, and a military Greek citadel called the Acra was established.

2Ma 6:1-16 KJVA
(1) Not long after this the king sent an old man of Athens to compel the Jews to depart from the laws of their fathers, and not to live after the laws of God:
(2) And to pollute also the temple in Jerusalem, and to call it the temple of Jupiter Olympius; and that in Garizim, of Jupiter the Defender of strangers, as they did desire that dwelt in the place.
(3) The coming in of this mischief was sore and grievous to the people:
(4) For the temple was filled with riot and revelling by the Gentiles, who dallied with harlots, and had to do with women within the circuit of the holy places, and besides that brought in things that were not lawful.
(5) The altar also was filled with profane things, which the law forbiddeth.
(6) Neither was it lawful for a man to keep sabbath days or ancient fasts, or to profess himself at all to be a Jew.
(7) And in the day of the king's birth every month they were brought by bitter constraint to eat of the sacrifices; and when the fast of Bacchus was kept, the Jews were compelled to go in procession to Bacchus, carrying ivy.
(8) Moreover there went out a decree to the neighbour cities of the heathen, by the suggestion of Ptolemee, against the Jews, that they should observe the same fashions, and be partakers of their sacrifices:
(9) And whoso would not conform themselves to the manners of the Gentiles should be put to death. Then might a man have seen the present misery.
(10) For there were two women brought, who had circumcised their children; whom when they had openly led round about the city, the babes handing at their breasts, they cast them down headlong from the wall.
(11) And others, that had run together into caves near by, to keep the sabbath day secretly, being discovered by Philip, were all burnt together, because they made a conscience to help themselves for the honour of the most sacred day.
(12) Now I beseech those that read this book, that they be not discouraged for these calamities, but that they judge those punishments not to be for destruction, but for a chastening of our nation.
(13) For it is a token of his great goodness, when wicked doers are not suffered any long time, but forthwith punished.
(14) For not as with other nations, whom the Lord patiently forbeareth to punish, till they be come to the fulness of their sins, so dealeth he with us,
(15) Lest that, being come to the height of sin, afterwards he should take vengeance of us.
(16) And therefore he never withdraweth his mercy from us: and though he punish with adversity, yet doth he never forsake his people.

According to Josephus a Jewish historian in his account named the The Wars of the Jews in the 1st chapter records that the daily sacrifice was stopped for 3 years and 6 months. Below is a passage from Josephus in the Wars of the Jews book 1 chapter 1.

2. Now Antiochus was not satisfied either with his unexpected taking the city, or with its pillage, or with the great slaughter he had made there; but being overcome with his violent passions, and remembering what he had suffered during the siege, he compelled the Jews to dissolve the laws of their country, and to keep their infants uncircumcised, and to sacrifice swine's flesh upon the altar; against which they all opposed themselves, and the most approved among them were put to death. Bacchides also, who was sent to keep the fortresses, having these wicked commands, joined to his own natural barbarity, indulged all sorts of the extremest wickedness, and tormented the worthiest of the inhabitants, man by man, and threatened their city every day with open destruction, till at length he provoked the poor sufferers by the extremity of his wicked doings to avenge themselves.

2Ma 8:1-6 KJVA
(1) Then Judas Maccabeus, and they that were with him, went privily into the towns, and called their kinsfolks together, and took unto them all such as continued in the Jews' religion, and assembled about six thousand men.
(2) And they called upon the Lord, that he would look upon the people that was trodden down of all; and also pity the temple profaned of ungodly men;
(3) And that he would have compassion upon the city, sore defaced, and ready to be made even with the ground; and hear the blood that cried unto him,
(4) And remember the wicked slaughter of harmless infants, and the blasphemies committed against his name; and that he would shew his hatred against the wicked.
(5) Now when Maccabeus had his company about him, he could not be withstood by the heathen: for the wrath of the Lord was turned into mercy.
(6) Therefore he came at unawares, and burnt up towns and cities, and got into his hands the most commodious places, and overcame and put to flight no small number of his enemies.

One of the more popular moments of martyrdom to the faithful Jews was known simply as the woman with 7 sons. Each of the sons speak their faith to their tormenters. For those who may wish the history of the matter is detailed in 2 Maccabees 7.

2Ma 7:1-42 KJVA
(1) It came to pass also, that seven brethren with their mother were taken, and compelled by the king against the law to taste swine's flesh, and were tormented with scourges and whips.
(2) But one of them that spake first said thus, What wouldest thou ask or learn of us? we are ready to die, rather than to transgress the laws of our fathers.
(3) Then the king, being in a rage, commanded pans and caldrons to be made hot:
(4) Which forthwith being heated, he commanded to cut out the tongue of him that spake first, and to cut off the utmost parts of his body, the rest of his brethren and his mother looking on.
(5) Now when he was thus maimed in all his members, he commanded him being yet alive to be brought to the fire, and to be fried in the pan: and as the vapour of the pan was for a good space dispersed, they exhorted one another with the mother to die manfully, saying thus,
(6) The Lord God looketh upon us, and in truth hath comfort in us, as Moses in his song, which witnessed to their faces, declared, saying, And he shall be comforted in his servants.
(7) So when the first was dead after this number, they brought the second to make him a mocking stock: and when they had pulled off the skin of his head with the hair, they asked him, Wilt thou eat, before thou be punished throughout every member of thy body?
(8) But he answered in his own language, and said, No. Wherefore he also received the next torment in order, as the former did.
(9) And when he was at the last gasp, he said, Thou like a fury takest us out of this present life, but the King of the world shall raise us up, who have died for his laws, unto everlasting life.
(10) After him was the third made a mocking stock: and when he was required, he put out his tongue, and that right soon, holding forth his hands manfully.
(11) And said courageously, These I had from heaven; and for his laws I despise them; and from him I hope to receive them again.
(12) Insomuch that the king, and they that were with him, marvelled at the young man's courage, for that he nothing regarded the pains.
(13) Now when this man was dead also, they tormented and mangled the fourth in like manner.
(14) So when he was ready to die he said thus, It is good, being put to death by men, to look for hope from God to be raised up again by him: as for thee, thou shalt have no resurrection to life.
(15) Afterward they brought the fifth also, and mangled him.
(16) Then looked he unto the king, and said, Thou hast power over men, thou art corruptible, thou doest what thou wilt; yet think not that our nation is forsaken of God;
(17) But abide a while, and behold his great power, how he will torment thee and thy seed.
(18) After him also they brought the sixth, who being ready to die said, Be not deceived without cause: for we suffer these things for ourselves, having sinned against our God: therefore marvellous things are done unto us.
(19) But think not thou, that takest in hand to strive against God, that thou shalt escape unpunished.
(20) But the mother was marvellous above all, and worthy of honourable memory: for when she saw her seven sons slain within the space of one day, she bare it with a good courage, because of the hope that she had in the Lord.
(21) Yea, she exhorted every one of them in her own language, filled with courageous spirits; and stirring up her womanish thoughts with a manly stomach, she said unto them,
(22) I cannot tell how ye came into my womb: for I neither gave you breath nor life, neither was it I that formed the members of every one of you;
(23) But doubtless the Creator of the world, who formed the generation of man, and found out the beginning of all things, will also of his own mercy give you breath and life again, as ye now regard not your own selves for his laws' sake.
(24) Now Antiochus, thinking himself despised, and suspecting it to be a reproachful speech, whilst the youngest was yet alive, did not only exhort him by words, but also assured him with oaths, that he would make him both a rich and a happy man, if he would turn from the laws of his fathers; and that also he would take him for his friend, and trust him with affairs.
(25) But when the young man would in no case hearken unto him, the king called his mother, and exhorted her that she would counsel the young man to save his life.
(26) And when he had exhorted her with many words, she promised him that she would counsel her son.
(27) But she bowing herself toward him, laughing the cruel tyrant to scorn, spake in her country language on this manner; O my son, have pity upon me that bare thee nine months in my womb, and gave thee such three years, and nourished thee, and brought thee up unto this age, and endured the troubles of education.
(28) I beseech thee, my son, look upon the heaven and the earth, and all that is therein, and consider that God made them of things that were not; and so was mankind made likewise.
(29) Fear not this tormentor, but, being worthy of thy brethren, take thy death that I may receive thee again in mercy with thy brethren.
(30) Whiles she was yet speaking these words, the young man said, Whom wait ye for? I will not obey the king's commandment: but I will obey the commandment of the law that was given unto our fathers by Moses.
(31) And thou, that hast been the author of all mischief against the Hebrews, shalt not escape the hands of God.
(32) For we suffer because of our sins.
(33) And though the living Lord be angry with us a little while for our chastening and correction, yet shall he be at one again with his servants.
(34) But thou, O godless man, and of all other most wicked, be not lifted up without a cause, nor puffed up with uncertain hopes, lifting up thy hand against the servants of God:
(35) For thou hast not yet escaped the judgment of Almighty God, who seeth all things.
(36) For our brethren, who now have suffered a short pain, are dead under God's covenant of everlasting life: but thou, through the judgment of God, shalt receive just punishment for thy pride.
(37) But I, as my brethren, offer up my body and life for the laws of our fathers, beseeching God that he would speedily be merciful unto our nation; and that thou by torments and plagues mayest confess, that he alone is God;
(38) And that in me and my brethren the wrath of the Almighty, which is justly brought upon our nation, may cease.
(39) Than the king' being in a rage, handed him worse than all the rest, and took it grievously that he was mocked.
(40) So this man died undefiled, and put his whole trust in the Lord.
(41) Last of all after the sons the mother died.
(42) Let this be enough now to have spoken concerning the idolatrous feasts, and the extreme tortures.

The passages from Maccabees although not considered inspired scripture offer detailed descriptions of this terrible ruler that was shown in Daniel's vision. One thing is certain the faith of the mother and her 7 sons is very inspiring. If you are familiar with the scriptures concerning the antichrist you probably have noted very many patterns of behavior. If you are not do not despair as we will take a serious look into our future which Daniel connects with his prophecies. We can look briefly at some of these now.

A Little Food for Prophetic Thought

In learning this history concerning Antiochus Epiphanes we see very distinct features that we can expect to find in an individual we know as the antichrist. First let's briefly look back to Daniel 8:3.

Dan 8:3 KJVA
(3) Then I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and, behold, there stood before the river a ram which had two horns: and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last(H314).

We noted before how the Persian empire was the stronger of the Medes and Persians. One thing that should be pointed out is that the word which indicates a time frame way further down the line than what most of the chapter concentrates upon. It's a word we have studied or mentioned much in our looks into the future. You can put the situation together for yourself but looking at the state of affairs in the middle east today Iran also known as Persia might be worth keeping an eye on. 

אחרן אחרין achăryôn 'achărôn
akh-ar-one', akh-ar-one'
From H309; hinder; generally late or last; specifically (as facing the east) western: - after (-ward), to come, following, hind (-er, -ermost, -most), last, latter, rereward, ut(ter)most.

With this being mentioned let's touch upon the characteristics of the anti-god which will be shared with the antichrist. As we read in the historical works the whole problem concerning Israel and Jerusalem begins over land. The temple mount will be the hot spot in the future that drives the nations to animosity toward Israel.

Antiochus Epiphanes effectively stopped the ritual sacrifices in addition to the other Jewish covenant customs such as circumcision, the laws and offered swine blood upon the altar. The sacrifice was stopped for 42 months or 3years and 6 months. The antichrist in Revelation will break a peace treaty not yet brokered in the midst of a 7 year period. The book of Revelation describes this as 1,260 days or 42 months at 30 days each.

The antichrist will offer the same type of worship plan as Antiochus. That being his way or face death. This is centered around the infamous mark of the beast of Revelation 13.

There will be much martyrdom once people realize who the antichrist actually is. The antichrist will also do away with not only Jewish but also Christian customs. The antichrist just as Antiochus will offer peaceful existence for those who obey him. Through this false peace many will be destroyed just as we have read in the Maccabees. The fact that many will follow this peace will present physical and spiritual death with God.

We can stop here for now. There will be much more to cover.

As always Thank You and God Bless

Rev 12:10-11 KJVA
(10) And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
(11) And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Daniel Extremity 7

Daniel Chapter 7
Visions of History and the End

In chapter 5 we looked at the writing on the wall. In the process we moved ahead in time to the grandson of king Nebuchadnezzar's rule. To be more specific we moved into the last year of Belshazzar's reign and the downfall of the empire to the Medes and Persians. Now we are going back in time to the 1ST year of Belshazzar's reign. We have a reversal of situations in the fact that we are going to be dealing with dreams and visions of Daniel. As we will discover the subject matter is very similar to what we encountered with the dreams of Nebuchadnezzar in chapters 2 and 4. It's very possible we might have to make 2 sections of study with this particular chapter. With this all being said let's begin our journey through Daniel chapter 7.

Dan 7:1-3 KJV
(1) In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters.
(2) Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great(H7229) sea(H3221).
(3) And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.

In verse 2 Daniel speaks of the great sea. Scholars debate over the actual symbolization being either the Mediterranean Sea or the raging sea of humanity. In word study we can see where the diversity comes from.

(Chaldee); corresponding to H7227: - captain, chief, great, lord, master, stout.

By contraction from H7231; abundant (in quantity, size, age, number, rank, quality): - (in) abound (-undance, -ant, -antly), captain, elder, enough, exceedingly, full, great (-ly, man, one), increase, long (enough, [time]), (do, have) many (-ifold, things, a time), ([ship-]) master, mighty, more, (too, very) much, multiply (-tude), officer, often [-times], plenteous, populous, prince, process [of time], suffice (-ient).

Have you ever heard someone say there is more than way to correctly interpret scripture? Here we have a perfect example of this. We can obtain dual meaning of this according to the world scene as it was in Daniel's day. In actuality as we discover moving through this prophetic vision we are dealing with both in this case.

ים yâm
(Chaldee); corresponding to H3220: - sea.

ים yâm
From an unused root meaning to roar; a sea (as breaking in noisy surf) or large body of water; specifically (with the article) the Mediterranean; sometimes a large river, or an artificial basin; locally, the west, or (rarely) the south: - sea (X -faring man, [-shore]), south, west (-ern, side, -ward).

As we can see by putting the 2 words together in this case the meanings have no problem co-existing with one another. This is demonstrated by literal translation. Some may think this is a cheap way out of a tough verse but as we progress people can see for themselves how both of these meanings come into the picture.

1Co 14:33 KJV
(33) For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.
Dan 7:3 KJV
(3) And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.

Daniel uses the same word for sea in this passage as he did in the above. Out of the churning sea stirred by the 4 winds arise these 4 beasts. The 4 winds representative to the 4 corners of the world and the chaos that comes forth from warfare which consumes the earth.

Dan 7:4-7 KJV
(4) The first was like a lion, and had eagle's wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man's heart was given to it.
(5) And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh.
(6) After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it.
(7) After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.

Dan 2:31-35 KJV
(31) Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible.
(32) This image's head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass,
(33) His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay.
(34) Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces.
(35) Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.

The followers of God are often symbolized as sheep. In the times of the OT the sheep were specifically the nation of Israel. The leaders of Israel represented as shepherds of the flock. Jesus is the shepherd not only for Israel but for the entire earth. The vision runs parallel to Nebuchadnezzar's dream of chapter 2 in the sense of the order of world empires arising. The shepherd who separates the goats and the sheep or the good from the evil.

Mat 9:35-36 KJV
(35) And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.
(36) But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.

Mat 25:31-33 KJV
(31) When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
(32) And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
(33) And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

This was also the case of David in the OT.

1Sa 17:34-37 KJV
(34) And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father's sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock:
(35) And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him.
(36) Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God.
(37) David said moreover, The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the LORD be with thee.

The Lord works in mysterious ways as we can see and feel in our spirit when the words of the Bible rise up from the pages and speak to us. This passage can be seen as a snapshot to David's authority and the history of Israel and her enemies. David was a protector of the nation of Israel just as he was over his father's flocks. In verse 36 we can understand the symbolization quite clearly. The verse compares Goliath who is the uncircumcised Philistine as an enemy combatant for a warring nation. The verse directly describes this warring nation as lion and bear. The next passage from Hosea also speaks heavily to our spirit of understanding. The passage is considered as a prophecy directed at the tribe of Ephraim.

Hos 13:6-10 KJV
(6) According to their pasture, so were they filled; they were filled, and their heart was exalted; therefore have they forgotten me.
(7) Therefore I will be unto them as a lion: as a leopard by the way will I observe them:
(8) I will meet them as a bear that is bereaved of her whelps, and will rend the caul of their heart, and there will I devour them like a lion: the wild beast shall tear them.
(9) O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help.
(10) I will be thy king: where is any other that may save thee in all thy cities? and thy judges of whom thou saidst, Give me a king and princes?

Please compare verses 7 and 8 to Daniel 7:4-7.

Dan 2:38 KJV
(38) And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold.

Dan 7:4 KJV
(4) The first was like a lion, and had eagle's wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man's heart was given to it.

Just as Nebuchadnezzar was shown by God his kingdom and those that would follow we have Daniel in a different symbolization seeing the same events unfolding. Jeremiah also described in prophetic vision the down fall of Jerusalem using language demonstrated in the following passage. This prophecy is directed toward Zion and Israel.

Jer 4:6-13 KJV
(6) Set up the standard toward Zion: retire, stay not: for I will bring evil from the north, and a great destruction.
(7) The lion is come up from his thicket, and the destroyer of the Gentiles is on his way; he is gone forth from his place to make thy land desolate; and thy cities shall be laid waste, without an inhabitant.
(8) For this gird you with sackcloth, lament and howl: for the fierce anger of the LORD is not turned back from us.
(9) And it shall come to pass at that day, saith the LORD, that the heart of the king shall perish, and the heart of the princes; and the priests shall be astonished, and the prophets shall wonder.
(10) Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! surely thou hast greatly deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, Ye shall have peace; whereas the sword reacheth unto the soul.
(11) At that time shall it be said to this people and to Jerusalem, A dry wind of the high places in the wilderness toward the daughter of my people, not to fan, nor to cleanse,
(12) Even a full wind from those places shall come unto me: now also will I give sentence against them.
(13) Behold, he shall come up as clouds, and his chariots shall be as a whirlwind: his horses are swifter than eagles. Woe unto us! for we are spoiled.

Jer 49:19-22 KJV
(19) Behold, he shall come up like a lion from the swelling of Jordan against the habitation of the strong: but I will suddenly make him run away from her: and who is a chosen man, that I may appoint over her? for who is like me? and who will appoint me the time? and who is that shepherd that will stand before me?
(20) Therefore hear the counsel of the LORD, that he hath taken against Edom; and his purposes, that he hath purposed against the inhabitants of Teman: Surely the least of the flock shall draw them out: surely he shall make their habitations desolate with them.
(21) The earth is moved at the noise of their fall, at the cry the noise thereof was heard in the Red sea.
(22) Behold, he shall come up and fly as the eagle, and spread his wings over Bozrah: and at that day shall the heart of the mighty men of Edom be as the heart of a woman in her pangs.

The symbolic references of Babylon and Nebuchadnezzar being sent on his way and seen by Daniel as the lion which sprouts wings of an eagle. The lion representing strength and courage and the eagle's wings representing the vast area and speed which the empire spread its territory. The heart of a man represents Nebuchadnezzar's judgment of pride in chapter 4 in which he was transformed into a beast and humbled when he was granted human status after the 7 years.

Dan 2:39 KJV
(39) And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth.

Dan 7:5 KJV
(5) And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh.

According to what we learned in chapter 5 this kingdom which follows belongs to the Medes and Persians. The chest and arms of silver in Nebuchadnezzar's dream of the metallic statue. The Persians represented by Cyrus were noted to be the strongest of the 2 nations. This might be representative to the bear raising up on one side. There are some different associations to the 3 ribs in the bear's mouth. Some commentators feel they are symbolic of kings. Others have described the merging of Babylon,the Medes and the Persians as the 3. Personally the ribs being devoured seems representative to the preceding 3 empires which existed. The 3 would be Egypt, Assyria and Babylon. The Persian empire was the single largest empire in world history. It covered an area of over 3 million square miles. Each successive empire as we have discussed before devoured the one preceding.

Isa 44:24-28 KJV
(24) Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;
(25) That frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners mad; that turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish;
(26) That confirmeth the word of his servant, and performeth the counsel of his messengers; that saith to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be inhabited; and to the cities of Judah, Ye shall be built, and I will raise up the decayed places thereof:
(27) That saith to the deep, Be dry, and I will dry up thy rivers:
(28) That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid.

Isa 45:1-7 KJV
(1) Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut;
(2) I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron:
(3) And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the LORD, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel.
(4) For Jacob my servant's sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me.
(5) I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me:
(6) That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else.
(7) I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

Dan 7:6 KJV
(6) After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it.

This would be the Grecian empire. The leopard noted for its swift movement as did Alexander the Great conquer the known world in 12 years. This took place from 334bc to 323bc culminating in his death. The 4 wings are another symbolization of the speed with which he conquered the 4 preceding empires. We are now up to 4 on our list consisting of Egypt, Assyria, Babylon and Media-Persia. It's noteworthy of keeping track because these will play an important part in the prophecies of Revelation 17. The dominion given by God as opposed to Alexander's might. Alexander considered himself to be a god.
In the description of the 4 heads we have the division of Alexander's empire to his 4 generals. Upon his death bed Alexander was asked who would inherit the empire. His answer was to the strongest. The breakdown of this as follows:
The territory of Macedon and Greece went to Cassander.
The territory of Thrace and Bithynia fell to Lysimachus
Egypt fell under the rule of Ptolemy
Syria to Seleucus

Dan 2:40-44 KJV(40) And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise.
(41) And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters' clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay.
(42) And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken.
(43) And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.
(44) And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.

Dan 7:7 KJV(7) After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.

This would be the 2 legs of iron of the metallic statue of chapter 3. It was different from the rest in the areas of government and overall power from those preceding. We also have a connection between the 10 toes of the metallic statue and the 10 horns of this beast. The beast itself represents the Roman empire. In the case of these last 2 empires we can see a connection to the great sea representing the Mediterranean Sea. How is this done? It is accomplished through the rise of the Grecian and Roman empires. The empires arose from the western world as it was known at that time. There was no given beast to which this empire could be symbolized it was so great and terrible.

On the subject of the 10 horns we encounter more diverse opinions. Let's do a word study and we can pick things up from there.

קרן qeren
keh'-ren (Chaldee); corresponding to H7161; a horn (literally or for sound): - horn, cornet.

קרן qeren
From H7160; a horn (as projecting); by implication a flask, cornet; by resemblance an elephant’s tooth (that is, ivory), a corner (of the altar), a peak (of a mountain), a ray (of light); figuratively power: - X hill, horn.

קרן qâran
A primitive root; to push or gore; used only as denominative from H7161, to shoot out horns; figuratively rays: - have horns, shine.

As we can see the 10 horns that would represent 10 rulers or sources of authority which would come out of the Roman empire. Something to keep in mind pertaining to this is that there are 2 legs to the statue in chapter 3. There are a total of 10 toes with 5 each per legs and feet. Personally this would indicate 5 nations or leaders quite possibly from eastern and western nations in the future tense. Many consider the formation of the European Union to represent the 10 horns. Again a personal opinion from yours truly in the reading of this word is that there are 2 aspects to the Roman empire so to place these horns on European nations alone would seem to take away from the prophecy. This is one of those items you can look upon for yourself but we will look further into this matter.

Dan 7:8-12 KJV
(8) I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.
(9) I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.
(10) A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.
(11) I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.
(12) As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.

According to Daniel a little horn which is not part of the 10 rises up among the others which has consumed 3 of the others. This little horn speaking proud and boastful things is what we will come to know is the antichrist. In verse 9 we have a picture of the thrones in heaven and the throne of God Himself prepared for judgment and opening the books of life and death. The other beasts although stripped of their power are permitted to continue until these set judgments are completed.
Dan 7:13-14 KJV
(13) I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.
(14) And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

In this passage Daniel no longer is seeing through symbolic means but a real literal picture of the kingdom of Jesus being established. This is in accordance with the word of God. In this we see that no type of image or symbol was to be graven upon the walls and structure of the temple in order that the people would not become accustomed to worshiping an image or idol depicting a false god. All of the subjects of the kingdom are seen and described in the previous passage. This of course would coincide with the metallic statue of Nebuchadnezzar being destroyed and a never ending kingdom of the Lord. Amen!

Dan 7:15-21 KJV
(15) I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me.
(16) I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things.
(17) These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth.
(18) But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.
(19) Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet;
(20) And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows.
(21) I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;

Unable to fully comprehend all the happenings taking place Daniel becomes grieved. In expectation of explanation he asks one of the angels for interpretation to what is going on. The angel explains what the 4 beasts represent and how in the future 1 shall arise out of the kingdoms of the earth that will make war with the saints and actually be victorious. However as we start the next passage we discover this victory is very short lived.

Dan 7:22-23 KJV
(22) Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.
(23) Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.

The coming of God the Ancient of days to pronounce judgment in favor of the saints. This would in essence be judgment against this horn representing the antichrist. His ultimate fate being consumed in fire according to verse 11. The explanation of this 4th frightening and terrible beast is given and we know and understand this kingdom to be the Roman empire.

Dan 7:24-25 KJV
(24) And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.
25) And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

If you remember in one of earlier studies we covered a passage spoken by Jesus.

Mat 5:17-18 KJV
(17) Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
(18) For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

This is why every little part of scripture becomes very important at times. Notice in verse 24 the word “after”. This as we have studied again in earlier journeys through scripture can have a very significant place in biblical prophecy. Let's once again take a look at this.

אחר 'achar
(Chaldee); corresponding to H310; after: - [here-] after.

אחר 'achar
From H309; properly the hind part; generally used as an adverb or conjugation, after (in various senses): - after (that, -ward), again, at, away from, back (from, -side), behind, beside, by, follow (after, -ing), forasmuch, from, hereafter, hinder end, + out (over) live, + persecute, posterity, pursuing, remnant, seeing, since, thence [-forth], when, with.

The importance in this is in the timing which as this word indicates will be way off into the future. The other key word in the verse

שׁנא shenâ'
(Chaldee); corresponding to H8132: - alter, change, (be) diverse.

שׁנא shânâ'
A primitive root; to alter: - change.

עדּן ‛iddân
(Chaldee); from a root corresponding to that of H5708; a set time; technically a year: - time.

This passage informs us that this horn representing the antichrist will be different from the preceding that had risen before it. As we looked at earlier many scholars feel that the formation of the EU(European Union) represents the 10. We also looked at some reasoning within the prophecy that indicates nations from both western and eastern parts of the Roman empire. This horn or the antichrist will be given authority for 3 ½ years. Now consider these two facts briefly and carefully.

The horn representing the antichrist is not of the previous 10 nations or kings.

The fact that this horn will be diverse indicates a total shift away from the principles of the
Roman empire. This indicates that this horn may not belong to the western or eastern empires of Rome.

Dan 7:26-28 KJV
(26) But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.
(27) And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.
(28) Hitherto is the end of the matter. As for me Daniel, my cogitations much troubled me, and my countenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart.

The chapter ends with the affirmation that this will take place and the judgments covered above will take effect. In this we have the final destruction of the earthly kingdoms of cruel oppressors and tyrants in favor of the Lord and Savior Jesus. It's possible Daniel's perplexity toward the situation revolved around anxiousness for the fulfillment and a state of mind which was very consumed with all this. This would only be natural as we who follow prophetic events are anxious for the return of the Lord.

As always Thank You and God Bless