Dan 7

1In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel saw a dream and visions in his mind [as he lay] on his bed; then he wrotethe dream down [and] related the [following] summary of it.

  • In the first year of Belshazzar - the grandson of Nebuchadnezzar - it has been around 20 years since Neb died. - the kings that succeeded Neb were useless and Bel was the worst.
  • It has been around 50 years since the vision of Daniel 2

2Daniel said, "I was looking in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the great sea.

  • Old men will dream dreams Joel said Daniel was an old man by this time
  • the four winds of Heaven - God is the ruler of history and the shaper of the destinies of men - the wind of heaven is the spirit of God he stirs - he moves - he controls
  • the great sea - the picture of the masses of humanity the nations.  

3"And four great beasts were coming up from the sea, different from oneanother.

  • These beasts each represent an empire
  • They come up in succession one replacing another
  • They differ dramatically from one another
  • pay attention to the similarities between these beasts and the kingdoms of Daniel’s first vision - they are the same!

4"The first [was] like a lion and had [the] wings of an eagle. - This is Babylon

  • Like a lion -
    • the king of beasts - wild and strong, majestic and ferocious - dominant predator
    • even the color - golden like the golden head of the statue from chapter 2
  • wings of an eagle - 
    • the eagle is a symbol of swiftness - quick conquest and rulership
    • a symbol of the prophetic - Neb had the dreams

I kept looking until its wings were plucked, and it was liftedup from the ground and made to stand on two feet like a man;a human mind also was given to it.

  • The power was not yet diminished but the speed of conquest was removed
  • then the ferocity was diminished
  • and wisdom was given to it that it did not have before - the end of Nebs life he grew wise although the later kings were fools.

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 thusthey said to it, 'Arise, devour much meat! - This is the kingdom of the Medes and the Persians who conquered Babylon

  • Bear - fierce and powerful but lacking the majesty of a lion
  • Raised up on one side - seems to be rising from a position of rest and reaching out - it was laying dormant or quiet and now has been roused to action 
  • three ribs in its mouth - MedoPersia conquered for a while but then stopped for a time before attacking Babylon - the ribs are a picture of the feast it just had
  • commanded Arise and devour - once it began attacking again it did not stop until it was defeated - Babylon then the rest of the world then the attack on Greece made so famous in "300"

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. - This is the Greek Kingdom begun by Alexander the Great

  • The Leopard - considered next in dignity to the lion - clever and sneaky
  • Four wings - twice as speedy as the lion
  • Four heads - when Alexander died it was divided between his four generals

7"After this I kept looking in the nightvisions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrifying and extremely strong; and it had large iron teeth. It devoured and crushed and trampled down the remainder with its feet; - This was Rome

  • Dreadful and terrifying - the most dreadful conquests in human history
  • extremely strong - iron - hard and unyielding 
  • large iron teeth - as the picture from the statue strong beyond strong
  • devoured and crushed and trampled - the Roman empire didnt just conquer it MADE THEM ROMANS - bringing in Roman culture and ideas 

and it was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had tenhorns.

  • Now we make the switch from ROME of ancient times to Rome of future time - truly Rome has never ceased to rule culturally 

8"While I was contemplating the horns, behold, another horn, a little one, came up among them, and three of the firsthorns were pulled out by the roots before it; and behold, this horn possessed eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth utteringgreat [boasts].

  • will leave the rest of this interpretation until the angel interprets for us at the end of the chapter

The Ancient of Days Reigns

9"I kept looking Until thrones were set up, And the Ancient of Days took [His] seat; His vesture [was] like white snow And the hairof His head like pure wool. His throne [was] ablaze with flames, Its wheels [were] a burning fire.

  • This is the scene of judgement at the end of the age
  • thrones were set up means - His throne and the throne of those who would sit in judgment with him,  Saints and angels and heavenly authorities
  • The Ancient of Days - God himself the most ancient one
  • His vesture - his robe and clothing - were white speaking of holiness and purity
  • His hair was white - speaking of age and wisdom
  • His throne was ablaze - he was fiery and passionate - his heart is burning 

10"A river of fire was flowing And coming out from before Him; Thousands upon thousands were attending Him, And myriadsupon myriads were standing before Him; The court sat, And the books were opened.

  • a river of fire - no clue but awesome
  • he was attended by an UNCOUTABLE Number - these are his servants - and those being judged
  • the court sat - the cases were heard
  • the books were opened -
    • the lambs book of life
    • the book of remembrance Malachi 3:16
    • who knows what other books there are?

11"Then I kept looking because of the sound of the boastful words which the horn was speaking; I kept looking until the beastwas slain, and its body was destroyed and given to the burning fire.

  • the sound of the boastful words the Horn was speaking - we’ll talk about it in a minute

12"As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was takenaway, but an extension of life was granted to them for an appointed period of time.

  • the other beasts will lose their power but they will continue to exist in some form for a time
  • perhaps this means that the nations will exist under the rule of Jesus but will not have power as empires or nations but just as states in Jesus kingdom - or cultures in Jesus kingdom  
    • in Revelation it says every nation tribe and tongue will worship Jesus so they will still exist
    • in the millennial kingdom all the kingdoms of the earth come to give tribute to Jesus the king of the whole earth

The Son of Man Presented

13"I kept looking in the night visions, And behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, And He came up to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him.

  • with the clouds of Heaven - Jesus quoted this verse Matt24:30 and Mark 14:62 - proclaiming that he himself was the one that would come
  • He came up to His Father God - He was presented and found WORTHY

14"And to Him was given dominion, Glory and a kingdom, That all the peoples, nations and [men of every] language Might serveHim. His dominion is an everlasting dominion Which will not pass away; And His kingdom is one Which will not be destroyed.

  • He is given Dominion - rulership, authority
  • He is given Glory - honor and reputation
  • and a kingdom
  • all humans now serve Him
  • His authority never ends after that
  • His kingdom is not capable of being destroyed

The Vision Interpreted

15"As for me, Daniel, my spirit was distressed within me, and the visions in my mind kept alarming me.

  • he was deeply troubled by these visions - they stirred him.  He was shaken
  • he didn’t understand

16"I approached one of those who were standing by and began asking him the exact meaning of all this. So he told me and made known to me the interpretation of these things:

  • He was still in a visionary state - “in the spirit” and the angels were there so he questioned one of them
  • Angels often are given the authority to reveal God to us

17These great beasts, which are four [in number], are four kings [who] will arise from the earth.

18But the saints of the Highest One will receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, for all ages to come.'

  • That is the overview - the point of the vision - the saints of the highest one will possess the kingdom forever!!!
  • saints - holy ones
  • Highest One - El Elyon - The Supreme or most high

19"Then I desired to know the exact meaning of the fourth beast, which was different from all the others, exceedingly dreadful,with its teeth of iron and its claws of bronze, [and which] devoured, crushed and trampled down the remainder with its feet,

20and [the meaning] of the ten horns that [were] on its head and the other [horn] which came up, and before which three [of them] fell,namely, that horn which had eyes and a mouth uttering great [boasts] and which was larger in appearance than its associates.21"I kept looking, and that horn was waging war with the saints and overpowering them 22until the Ancient of Days came and judgment was passed in favor of the saints of the Highest One, and the time arrived when the saints took possession of the kingdom.

  • He wanted to know specifically about the fourth beast - it was not like the others - it was the most terrible - it was not like anything he had seen or known about

23"Thus he said: 'The fourth beast will be a fourth kingdom on the earth, which will be different from all the [other] kingdoms and will devour the whole earth and tread it down and crush it.

  • This beast was not like anything anyone has ever seen
  • the other beasts were familiar, if ferocious - lion bear leopard - we’ve seen these before
  • we have never seen anything like this beast
  • we have never seen anything like this kingdom - it is exceedingly strong and terrible
  • This kingdom starts out as Ancient Rome - we know that from the descriptions in Dan 2 and from later in Daniel but it extends to the End time Antichrist Kingdom - a revived Roman empire.
  • Rome has never been surpassed in strength or size or duration it devoured and tread down and crushed everything it came in contact with.
  • The kingdom of the Antichrist will go further
  • the evil of the Antichrist kingdom will supersede anything in human history - Hitler, Stalin, etc - all nothing in comparison to the wickedness of this kingdom and this king

24As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings will arise; and another will arise after them, and he will be different from the previous ones and will subdue three kings.

  • The ten horns are ten kings - “arising out of this kingdom” these are not ten kings in a row - these ten kings will rule together - this is how we know we have not seen this part of the Roman empire yet - the will rule together
  • the little horn will arise AFTER THEM - so they will be ruling together then this little horn will arise
  • it is a little horn - he will not begin as a powerful leader - he will begin small in the midst of the ten kings
  • three of the first horns will be uprooted before it - He will KILL three of the ten kings that are ruling
  • he “possessed eyes like a man” - intelligence and foresight
  • he “had a mouth that uttered boastful things” - he will speak high and stirring rhetoric - the talk of Nimrod and Babel - "we will build a city, we will build a tower to Heaven, we will gain ourselves a Name” - human power and glory over that of the most high - he is the incarnation of the spirit of antichrist

25He will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law;and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time.

  • This is the boastful language of Antichrist - speaking out against the most high - belittling the Glory of God
  • wear down the saints - he will make war on the saints and, he was winning until judgment came from the Ancient of Days 
  • intend alterations
    • in times - feasts, holidays, calendars - Rome did all of these and the Antichrist will also
    • in law - over and in regards to religion in particular - who can worship who or what - Again Rome did all this and the Antichrist will do MORE

26But the court will sit [for judgment], and his dominion will be taken away, annihilated and destroyed forever.

  • In the end he will be removed by God and destroyed

27Then the sovereignty, the dominion and the greatness of [all] the kingdomsunder the whole heaven will be given to the people of the saints of the Highest One; His kingdom [will be] an everlastingkingdom, and all the dominions will serve and obey Him.'

  • THEN the saints will rule with Jesus 
  • all of the earth
  • for all of time

28"At this point the revelation ended. As for me, Daniel, my thoughts were greatly alarming me and my face grew pale, but I keptthe matter 

Dan 8

Next Vision - Chapter 8 comes 2 years later

1In the third year of the reign of Belshazzar the king a vision appeared to me, Daniel, subsequent to the one which appeared to me previously.

2I looked in the vision, and while I was looking I was in the citadel of Susa, which is in the province of Elam; and I looked in the vision and I myself was beside the Ulai Canal.

  • We will read the vision first and unpack it with the angel in verse 15 and following - 

3Then I lifted my eyes and looked, and behold, a ram which had two horns was standing in front of the canal. Now the two horns [were] long, but one [was] longer than the other, with the longer onecoming up last. 4I saw the ram butting westward, northward, and southward, and no [other] beasts could stand before him norwas there anyone to rescue from his power, but he did as he pleased and magnified [himself].

5While I was observing, behold, a male goat was coming from the west over the surface of the whole earth without touching the ground; and the goat [had] a conspicuous horn between his eyes. 6He came up to the ram that had the two horns, which I had seen standing in front of the canal, and rushed at him in his mighty wrath. 7I saw him come beside the ram, and he was enragedat him; and he struck the ram and shattered his two horns, and the ram had no strength to withstand him. So he hurled him to the ground and trampled on him, and there was none to rescue the ram from his power. 8Then the male goat magnified [himself] exceedingly. But as soon as he was mighty, the large horn was broken; and in its place there came up four conspicuous [horns] toward the four winds of heaven.9Out of one of them came forth a rather small horn which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and towardthe Beautiful [Land]. 10It grew up to the host of heaven and caused some of the host and some of the stars to fall to the earth,and it trampled them down. 11It even magnified [itself] to be equal with the Commander of the host; and it removed the regularsacrifice from Him, and the place of His sanctuary was thrown down. 12And on account of transgression the host will be givenover [to the horn] along with the regular sacrifice; and it will fling truth to the ground and perform [its will] and prosper. 13Then I heard a holy one speaking, and another holy one said to that particular one who was speaking, "How long will the vision [about] the regular sacrifice apply, while the transgression causes horror, so as to allow both the holy place and the host to be trampled?"14He said to me, "For 2,300 evenings [and] mornings; then the holy place will be properly restored."

Interpretation of the Vision

15When I, Daniel, had seen the vision, I sought to understand it; and behold, standing before me was one who looked like a man.

  • I believe this is Jesus commanding Gabriel to communicate with humanity for the first time

16And I heard the voice of a man between [the banks of] Ulai, and he called out and said, "Gabriel, give this [man] an understanding of the vision."

  • This is the first time Gabriel is mentioned in scripture - Gabriel seems to have a connection to thing having to do with messiah

17So he came near to where I was standing, and when he came I was frightened and fell on my face; but he said to me, "Son of man, understand that the vision pertains to the time of the end."

  • Gabriel is glorious - Daniel is frightened by him
  • Please hear this!!! this is about the end times!  This vision shows the path to the Antichrist through Alexanders kingdom - this was NOT fulfilled earlier than that - there are those who believe it was.

18Now while he was talking with me, I sank into a deep sleep with my face to the ground; but he touched me and made me standupright. 19He said, "Behold, I am going to let you know what will occur at the final period of the indignation, for [it] pertains to the appointed time of the end.

  • He is strengthened by Gabriel to hear this
  • he is told this is about the “final period of indignation” - this is the first mention of the abomination of desolation which will be revealed much more fully later and it totally connected to Antichrist
  • AGAIN - this is at the time of the end - that’s twice now we have been told

The Ram’s Identity

20"The ram which you saw with the two horns represents the kings of Media and Persia.

  • No questions now - its the Medes and Persians

The Goat

21"The shaggy goat [represents] the kingdom of Greece, and the large horn that is between his eyes is the first king.

  • This is Alexander the Great
  • he moved unbelievably fast - “without touching the ground"

22"The broken [horn] and the four [horns that] arose in its place [represent] four kingdoms [which] will arise from [his] nation, although not with his power.

  • When Alexander died he left no heir and appointed no successor - his generals split the kingdom into 4 kingdoms

23"In the latter period of their rule, When the transgressors have run [their course], A king will arise, Insolent and skilled in intrigue.

 

24"His power will be mighty, but not by his [own] power, And he will destroy to an extraordinary degree And prosper and perform[his will]; He will destroy mighty men and the holy people.

  • He is GIVEN power for this particular moment in history - but even his power is limited by God
  • He will seem endlessly powerful - he will SAY he is endlessly powerful - but Christ will come and destroy him in the end

 

25"And through his shrewdness He will cause deceit to succeed by his influence;

  • This is the “Great delusion” that is spoken of in 2 Thes 2 - God sends a strong delusion - the Antichrist is the carrier of this delusion
  • Jesus said that even some of the elect would be fooled by him - Matt 24   

And he will magnify [himself] in his heart,

  • he will believe his own press - as they say - he will buy into his own lies about himself

And he will destroy many while [they are] at ease.

  • If we are not watchful we will be pulled into this delusion!

He will even oppose the Prince of princes

  • He will oppose Christ directly - in word and in dead and finally and ultimately at Armageddon - 

But he will be broken without humanagency.

  • he will be sent to the lake of fire

26"The vision of the evenings and mornings Which has been told is true; But keep the vision secret, For [it] pertains to many days[in the future]."

  • so he is told to “shut up the book” because it is about future days

27Then I, Daniel, was exhausted and sick for days. Then I got up [again] and carried on the king's business; but I was astoundedat the vision, and there was none to explain [it].

 

  • Is this Antiochus epiphanies? - yes and no.
    • Biblical prophecy often has two fulfillments - a shadow or type and then the ultimate fulfillment later
    • I believe Antiochus was an attempt by Satan to raise up Antichrist - 1 John 2:18 says there have been and are many anitchrists -
      • Satan does not know the times appointed by God any better than we do
      • he has attempted many times to raise this leader up and has been thwarted by God - by the one who holds it back (2 Thes 2) WE DONT KNOW WHO THIS IS FOR SURE.
    • YES -

      • i. Antiochus Epiphanes exerted his dominion toward the south, toward the east, and toward the land of Israel.
        ii. Antiochus Epiphanes murdered other rulers and persecuted the people of Israel (cast down some of the host and some of the stars to the ground, and trampled them).
        iii. Antiochus Epiphanes blasphemed God and commanded idolatrous worship directed towards himself (exalted himself as high as the Prince of the host).
        iv. Antiochus Epiphanes put a stop to temple sacrifices in Jerusalem (by him the daily sacrifices were taken away).
        v. Antiochus Epiphanes desecrated the temple (the place of His sanctuary was cast down).
        vi. Antiochus Epiphanes opposed God and seemed to prosper (he cast truth down to the ground. He did all this and prospered).

    • NO - 
      • the 2300 days thing doesn’t really fit very well - there are a couple ways you can look at it but it never fits perfectly
      • Gabriel told Daniel twice that this was a prophecy about the end times - Antiochus came over 100 years before Jesus.
      • the passages about rising up to the Heavens and throwing down stars etc - feel stretched if they apply to Antiochus - but not so much with Antichrist
      • He did not throw down the sanctuary - he robbed it but did not destroy it

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