Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Journal Through the Bible: Week 79 Saturday

Daniel chapter 11

This is a continuation of the prophecy given to Daniel by the messenger, whom I think is a theophany appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ, that came to him during the third year of Cyrus' reign.

What follows is a prophecy given to Daniel of nations to come. We now look back on this prophecy as world history.

For instance, verse 2 tells of the number of Persian kings remaining and that the last one would stir up all against the Greeks. Darius Hystaspis (also known as Darius the Great, the ruler who was the Ahasuerus that married the Jewish beauty queen, Esther) had a grievance against the Greeks. Darius the Great had a son named Xerxes by one of his wives. Xerxes ascended his father's throne and took up the grudge match against Greece. He was defeated. The Persian Empire was then in serious decline while the Greek Empire was rising!

It is not my intention to interpret this passage but to answer the usual 4 questions for the sake of this journal. However, for a verse by verse explanation of the prophetic/historical events of this chapter see this article that I found today titled Daniel 11 - Prophecy Fulfilled. (Note that the author uses the NKJV but you can easily read along in any translation and the historical context remains.) The author does a thorough job of explaining the events that occurred following the death of Alexander the Great and leading up to the Abomination that makes desolate. (See verse 31.)

The Abomination was an attempt to establish a one-world religion. This resulted in the Maccabean Revolt because those who truly follow God will not agree to worship the world's religion. Daniel and his Hebrew friends understood this as well as anyone could!

The author also takes the interpretation further than many do by attributing verses 36-45 to Herod the Great, thus bringing the prophecy up to the time of the Messiah's birth. Very thought provoking.  You might note that he states that the prophecies might have dual meanings - like I have said several times myself when writing this Bible Journal - that were fulfilled in the Old Testament timeline and yet could be fulfilled at the very end of the New Testament timeline as well. We need to wait and see how that plays out. Perhaps in Heaven we will look back at these prophecies and say, "Remember when ..... happened at the time of Jesus' second coming just as Daniel 11 said?"

Any thoughts to add on these prophetic chapters?  Any answers to the 4 questions that I have missed?

Does God issue any commands?

  • There is no new command given but since the messenger continues his discourse with Daniel that he began in chapter 10 the same commands to stand, listen, and understand apply.

Does God make any promises?

  • God promised the rise and fall of nations in the Mediterranean region. These nations spanned the known world from parts of Europe, Africa, and Asia.

Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?

  • I believe it to be Jesus that is talking with Daniel and telling him of the events that would happen between Daniel's time and Jesus' own earthly time.

Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?

  • One instance where prophecy might have a dual fulfilling is in the case of verses 32-35. These verses are said to have been fulfilled in the time of Judas Maccabeus who withstood the Abomination of Antiochus Epiphanes. Many true to God died defending their faith. History might not repeat itself but Satan is so skillful at twisting the hearts of men that he often doesn't need to change his playbook. In the end times there will be/are people who find their faith in the true and living God outlawed. Many die defending it. Truth will ultimately prevail in the end times just as it did at the time of the Maccabeus family who cleansed the temple of its abomination.

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Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.
Psalms 19:14 (KJV)