Daniel 7-9

When Nebuchadnezzar’s son became king, he had a dream that mirrored his father’s dream.  The beasts match the statue.

The prophecy

  • Four beasts come out of the sea
  • The first beast – like a lion, and like a man (Babylon)
  • The second beast – like a bear, with three ribs in its mouth –Medo-Persia-the 3 ribs are the three nations it “ate”-Lydia, Babylon, and Egypt
  • The third beast – like a leopard, with four heads- Greece (after Alexander the Great) was divided by 4 Generals.
  • A fourth, terrible beast, with 10 horns, three of which were plucked out by the roots after the appearance of an arrogant 11th horn, the little horn
  • The Son of Man is then seen approaching the Ancient of Days on clouds and is given an everlasting kingdom

Chapter 8  Stay with me….each dream is a layer on top of the last dream, giving more details.  The next dream talks about the goat and the ram.  Look below.Daniel Chapter 8 Prophecy Chart

This is one of those weird posts you might need to read twice to absorb,


Chapter 8 us a prophecy that will occur in the future (BUT is now in our History).  This was fulfilled during the 400 years between the Old Testament and the New Testament.  I am not kidding!!

What's Up With The Blank Page Between the Old and New Testament - San Fernando Valley (SFV) Church | Parks Chapel AME

19 He said: “I am going to tell you what will happen later in the time of wrath, because the vision concerns the appointed time of the end. 20 The two-horned ram that you saw represents the kings of Media and Persia. 21 The shaggy goat is the king of Greece, and the large horn between its eyes is the first king. 22 The four horns that replaced the one that was broken off represent four kingdoms that will emerge from his nation but will not have the same power.

Let’s make sure we understand.

  • The two-horned ram is Medo/Persia– Yup, makes sense. (from the East)
  • The goat is Greece.  and the 4 horns represent 4 nations. (from the West)
    • large horn: Alexander the Great
    • 4 horns-his weaker generals

Here is a quick glimpse.  After the captivity, the temple will be rebuilt and a man named Alexander (the Great) will conquer the ENTIRE area.  He will die and 4 greedy generals hatch a plan (fun word to say….hatch 🤪).  They subdivide the area into 4 governing areas.  (See, Alexander’s wife was pregnant when he died so they said, “we will do this until the heir of the throne is of age”. (big fat liars they were).  Well, the 4 generals were ”power-hungry” and eventually killed the child, the mother, and Alex’s brother.

Daniel 2:36-45 – The Four Kingdoms Identified » Kehila News Israel

Let’s take this a step further.  Go back to verse 8:9 (it is worth the time)

Out of one of them came another horn, which started small but grew in power to the south and to the east and toward the Beautiful Land. 10 It grew until it reached the host of the heavens, and it threw some of the starry host down to the earth and trampled on them. 11 It set itself up to be as great as the commander of the army of the Lord; it took away the daily sacrifice from the Lord, and his sanctuary was thrown down. 12 Because of rebellion, the Lord’s people and the daily sacrifice were given over to it. It prospered in everything it did, and truth was thrown to the ground.

Go back to the small map above.  See the 4 Generals.  There was a civil war between these idiots and it really came down to 2 of them…(Seleucid sand the Ptolemy).  The 8th king of the Seleucids, a man named Antiochus IV “prince of princes” grows in power.  He is a prototype of the Antichrist.  Antiochus is to the Jews what the Antichrist will be for us to come. (analogy if you are an English teacher)

How bad was Antiochus?? I will give you the top 10:

  1.  Killed 80,000 Jews
  2. slaved 40,000 more
  3. guarded off the temple so no one could make sacrifices
  4. on Sabbaths, he collected Jewish babies and killed them
  5. made idolatry mandatory
  6. put a statue of Zeus in the temple
  7. sacrificed a pig on the altar to the Lord
  8. forced priests to eat it
  9. burned scriptures
  10. made circumcision illegal

23 “In the latter part of their reign, when rebels have become completely wicked, a fierce-looking king, a master of intrigue, will arise. 24 He will become very strong, but not by his own power. He will cause astounding devastation and will succeed in whatever he does. He will destroy those who are mighty, the holy people. 25 He will cause deceit to prosper, and he will consider himself superior. When they feel secure, he will destroy many and take his stand against the Prince of princes. Yet he will be destroyed, but not by human power.

How does Antiochus fall??  Who will God raise up?? Ever hear of the Maccabees? (not the soccer team, the family)

Chapter 9:

70 weeks.

Daniel 9: Humble prayer and explanation of 70 weeks | Richard's Two Shekels

I am keeping this SUPER SUPER light like we are on a tour bus driving by a house.  God has a stopwatch in his hand.  He has Seventy periods of 7.  One for each Sabbath missed during the Captivity.  The clock started ticking when the Decree to rebuilt the temple started.  The stopwatch stopped (in God’s hand the week of the Crucifixion).  When Jesus comes again the stopwatch will start again and the next period of 7 will start.

I hope this helps.  If these 3 chapters were clear as mud, when we end the Old Testament it will all make sense.

Daniel 4-6

Chapter 4: Notice that Nebuchadnezzar wrote the first section.  He is the only gentile king that has any authorship in the Bible.  He tells the story of another dream.  He trusts Daniel and tells him the actual dream and waits for Daniel’s God to give him the interpretation.

Nebuchadnezzar II, the world's richest ruler

 

22 Your Majesty, you are that tree! You have become great and strong; your greatness has grown until it reaches the sky, and your dominion extends to distant parts of the earth.

23 “Your Majesty saw a holy one, a messenger, coming down from heaven and saying, ‘Cut down the tree and destroy it, but leave the stump, bound with iron and bronze, in the grass of the field, while its roots remain in the ground. Let him be drenched with the dew of heaven; let him live with the wild animals, until seven times pass by for him.’

The interpretation is the same as the statue.  BUT the last line is interesting!

Daniel 4 | Bible Teaching Notes

25 You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like the ox and be drenched with the dew of heaven. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes. 26 

SO WHAT HAPPENS!!!

HE DOES!!

34 At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever….

37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble.

WOW!!

If only his son listened to him that day!!


Chapter 5.  The writing is on the wall!  Literally!!

King Belshazzar is Nebuchadnezzar’s son.  He was heir to the throne.  He was having a party since he is now the new king and instead of Red Solo Cups…he is using the items stolen from the Holy Temple!  😡  Suddenly:

Daniel Chapter 5 - Belshazzer's Feast & The Writing on the Wall - YouTube

 

25 “This is the inscription that was written:

mene, mene, tekel, parsin

26 “Here is what these words mean:

Mene]: God has numbered the days of your reign and brought it to an end.

27 Tekel: You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting.

28 Peres]: Your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.”

That night History will tell us that as they were reading the writing on the Wall, Darius was already stopping up the water ducts and entering the palace.


The famous chapter 6.  Many of you know this story from your childhood, but there might be more than one of you today actually reading the real version in its context, chronologically for the first time.  So Enjoy every word.


28 So Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian.  (Think of the arms of the statue dream).

Daniel 1-3

Chapter 1:

We begin with the current events (read the overview from last night if you need help).

People: and their “name changes”

  • Nebuchadnezzar-(Name given from his father)”Nabu protect my eldest son”. (Nabu was a god)
  • Daniel-‘God is my Judge’ changed to Belteshazzar- “Protect the Life of the King.”
  • Hannaniah- “the Lord is Gracious”  changed to Shadrach meaning “Commander of Aku” (a Sumerian god)).
  • Mishael-“who is what God is” changed to Meshach meaning “Who Is What Aku Is?”
  • Azaraiah- “The Lord is our helper” changed to Abednego meaning “Servant of Nego (Nebo).”

The names were changed to make them “Babylonian citizens” in their eyes,  as well as the eyes of the Babylonians since they were being trained to serve in the king’s palace.

Daniel challenged the chief official on their dietary needs (according to the Law in Leviticus 7 and 11).  They performed a 10 day test period and passed with flying colors. (what do flying colors mean anyway?)  Actually, they were healthier than those who ate the royal food.

20 In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom.

21 And Daniel remained there until the first year of King Cyrus.

Wait!  We know that name from Isaiah!  King Cyrus!  The Persian who God uses to set the captives free!!


Chapter 2- The dream (that God put in his head).  He tells his magicians, enchanters, sorcerers, and astrologers not just to interpret the dream (anyone can make stuff up), but he says tell me what my dream was!  Uhhhh what??  Nebi knows their game of telling him what he wants to hear.  Long story short…(and this story reminded me of Joseph’s calling) God gives Daniel the dream and the interpretation.

31 “Your Majesty looked, and there before you stood a large statue—an enormous, dazzling statue, awesome in appearance. 32 The head of the statue was made of pure gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly, and thighs of bronze, 33 its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of baked clay. 34 While you were watching, a rock was cut out, but not by human hands. It struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and smashed them. 

Here is the interpretation:  Each material will get stronger but less valuable.

  • Head of Gold: represented the kingdom of Babylon which the LORD gave Nebuchadnezzar to rule.  The Gold symbolizes superior power, and eventually, it would be destroyed by a less inferior kingdom.
  • Chest and Arms of Silver: represented the kingdom of Medo-Persia which is the power that would take over Babylon.  Remember it this way, 2 arms, first one arm raised up (Darius the Mede) will conquer Babylon without even a fight and then the other arm, Persia, will gain control over.  But eventually will be conquered by a lesser nation…
  • Belly and Thighs of Bronze: represent Greece (whose is not even on the scene yet as a threat).  In 332 B.C. Alexander the Great will conquer the entire area.  It’s all Greek to me!  But eventually, Greece would be conquered by an even lesser kingdom.
  • Legs of Iron and Feet of Clay:  this evidently refers to the Roman Empire.  The kingdom would be a mixture of people who would not be united (one leg is East, the other is West).   The 10 toes will represent 10 future kings to come.
  • Finally the ROCK……WOW!! The rock was cut out , but not by human hands, and it will break the whole statue to pieces and will be carried away by the wind.  Then the stone will become a MOUNTAIN and will fill the whole earth!  Please tell me you just said AMEN out loud.  The stone in Chapter 2 is Jesus Christ.  Despite the wealth and power of all the nations, the promise of a covenant was made to Abraham and that promise will be fulfilled.

The Statue of Daniel's Vision - Iron & Clay = End Times | Bible knowledge, Book of revelation, Bible pictures

48 Then the king placed Daniel in a high position and lavished many gifts on him. He made him ruler over the entire province of Babylon and placed him in charge of all its wise men. 49 Moreover, at Daniel’s request, the king appointed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego administrators over the province of Babylon, while Daniel himself remained at the royal court.


Chapter 3-  Just when things were looking up, Nebuchadnezzar builds a statue made of all gold.  Ummm, did he “zone out” during the interpretation, or was his ego so big he didn’t believe he would fall to another nation.  (I think the latter)

His Number is 666, Part 3 – Sickle of Truth

 

Then the herald loudly proclaimed, “Nations and peoples of every language, this is what you are commanded to do: As soon as you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, you must fall down and worship the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.”

🤬

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego not only did not bow down, but they also said God will save them from the fire…and even if He chooses not to save us…we still won’t worship your false god or idol worship.  WOW!!!  Nebuchadnezzar ordered the furnace to be made SEVEN 😉 times hotter than usual.  So hot that even the guards that put the 3 men in were licked up by the flames.

Dan Notti - Where was Daniel when they were stoking the fiery furnace?

Word of the Day: Theophany: the appearance of God in human form. 

I usually shy away from pointing them out, we have read several of them, but this one…this one is my favorite!

The ending is bittersweet.

28 Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. 29 Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses are turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way.”

The first time I read it I loved it!

The second time I noticed what I underlined.

C’mon Nebi!    He is the ONLY God and He can be YOURS too!

Stay tuned….

 

Daniel Overview

The book of Daniel (Daniel 1) | larshaukeland

Don’t let this post overwhelm you.  Promise?  Some recap…lots of names.  Just chew on what you need to.

Timeline of where we are:

Look at the blue line.  Daniel was taken into the Babylonian Captivity by Nebuchadnezzar in 605 BC.

timeline for ezekiel and daniel - Saferbrowser Yahoo Image Search Results | Life timeline, Hebrew bible, Daniel

When Babylon invaded Judah, Nebuchadnezzar and his army took some noble captives to Babylon, including Daniel, plus some of the vessels from the Temple. This was the first of Judah’s three deportations (eviction notices) which the Babylonians took groups of Judahites to Babylon (All this is orchestrated by the Lord himself).

  • The king of Judah at that time was Jehoiakim.
  • Jehoiakim’s son Jehoiachin succeeded him in 598 B.C.
  • Jehoiachin reigned only three months and 10 days.
  • Nebuchadnezzar invaded Judah again.
  • At the turn of the year, in 597 B.C., he took Jehoiachin to Babylon, along with most of Judah’s remaining leaders, including Ezekiel, and the rest of the national treasures.

03 last five kings of juda

The third and final deportation took place approximately 11 years later, in 586 B.C. Jehoiakim’s younger brother Mattaniah,  Nebuchadnezzar changed his name to Zedekiah, was then Judah’s “puppet king”. He rebelled against Babylon’s leadership by secretly making a treaty with Egypt.

After an 18-month siege, Jerusalem fell. Nebuchadnezzar returned to Jerusalem, burned the temple, broke down the city walls, and took the remaining people to Babylon. He took Zedekiah as a prisoner to Babylon, then executed his sons, and put out his eyes before killing him too.  Mercy!

New Sermon Series for July 2018: 'Exiled in Babylon' » Lakeway UMC

The theme of this book is: ‘God is Sovereign’.  But what does that mean?  I struggle with “Christianese” words that we let roll off our tongue without really knowing what we are saying.  We have read about Pharaohs, Judges, Kings, and Rulers.   I looked up Sovereign in the Dictionary: it is not a ‘characteristic or an adjective…it is a noun.


sovereign

  • noun

Even though both Israel and Judah fell to enemy nations, the book of Daniel makes it crystal clear that the Lord remains absolutely sovereign over humans, nature, and the world itself. This book will give us Peace in the present day regardless of the political and religious circumstances we see or hear today.

Daniel is an apocalyptic book and an eschatological book.  

  • Eschatology refers to End Times or things to come,
  • Apocalyptic refers to final judgment.

The book is divided into two parts:

  • history (ch. 1—6),
  • prophecy (ch. 7—12).

Chronologically, this book will recall the present, to the near future, and to the far future.  Lots of cool visuals will be posted, so you will get this!   It’s WILD!  Some scholars have said that this book is so accurate that it had to be written after events as a history lesson.  Really??  Well, God blew that theory out of the water when the Dead Sea Scrolls were found and the book of Daniel was included in it! Ha! Take that!

Before today, if I said Daniel-many would say “Sure, the lion’s den guy”.

Daniel (biblical figure) - Wikipedia

That is chapter 6.  What about the other 11 chapters??

Feel free to read ahead. ❤️