THE PROPHECY LETTER

Daniel

The Prophecies of Daniel

Commentary by Harold E. Lafferty

By the best reckoning, the Prophet Daniel was active between the years BC605 and BC535. He was contemporary with his companion prophet Ezekiel for some of these years (the latter’s writings beginning from about BC610), but Ezekiel’s ministry seems to have concluded at about BC580.

Whereas Ezekiel lived among the exiles in their settlements around Babylon, Daniel was instead subjected to the rich life of the King and his choice servants – a fascinating feature of Daniel’s life that we shall consider early in chapter one.

Bullinger in his Companion Bible footnotes calculates the age of Daniel at his being taken to Babylon, as sixteen years of age. He must have been a precocious young man to have been chosen to represent God’s people in the court of Babylon!

The name Daniel means God (is) my Judge. As is true with numerous names of Bible characters, his name relates closely with his life in general and with his writings, which were dictated directly to him by Adonai YHVH, the LORD his God by visions, by dreams, and by verbal revelation.

But Daniel, unlike Ezekiel, being taken to Babylon along with many other choice, educated Jews, was to concentrate in the inspired word given him, upon the Jews’ interface with the other nations which were more far-flung in terms of distance and time, the present and future nations of his day, showing how Judah interrelated with these, and how the overall plan of God should move forward – even to the end time – in rich and fertile detail.

Other young, named, and educated Jews who were also taken to Babylon in this first wave of conquest by Nebuchadnezzar, were Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah – or Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, as they would be named by Ashpenaz, prince of the eunuchs (Daniel 1:3, 7). Re-naming of captives was a technique used to denigrate them, and illustrate that their captor had complete control of their persons, even having the power to change their names!

Daniel’s name was changed to Belteshazzar; he was of the seed royal, being of the king’s seed (verse 3). These new names have known meanings, which we shall consider early in chapter one.

His writings would mesh with and be a preamble to the later revelations of the Apostle John, which he received from the Lord Jesus on high, the Apocalypse. Indeed, the Apocalypse is considered by scholars as the addendum to Daniel, and adequately carries forward this line of prophecy, giving it a continuing character which is greatly enlightening and strengthening to the Gentile “seed royal,” the saints of later years.

In the General Classification of the Scriptures by Hebrew scholars, the book of Daniel is allied with the Psalms rather than the Prophets, as is the case with Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel.

The reason for this assignation is that, whereas the earlier three major prophets are concerned with the intra-Israelitish viewpoint of Israel’s contemporary and near-future destiny (for the most part), Daniel is considered an addendum to these: in addition, he has all their prophecies at his hand, as divine background information.

Instead of looking at Israel and Judah and its localized enemies, Daniel regards the coming complexities of the universal monarchies and their interface with Zion.

His commentaries adequately bridge the gap which otherwise should exist between the earlier and the latter-day prophecies.

Even the languages employed by Daniel to record his revelations concur with this foundational theme.

Most of the first portion (from chapter 2:4 through the end of chapter 7) is written in Chaldee (Aramaic), reflecting Daniel’s learning in that foreign tongue, yes, but also reflecting the historical records of his entire writings.

From the beginning of the 8th chapter to the end, Daniel employs the Hebrew language.

As some commentators have noted, this is a subtle indication that Daniel’s first writings concern the “times of the Gentiles” – the historical Gentile supremacy over Israel – while the latter portions are prophetic, and concern the “time of the end,” when those powers are divested of their control over the Land, and Israel is restored to its homeland in great numbers.

These later writings of Daniel treat mainly of the final processes of the LORD’s restoration of the kingdom to Israel (Acts 1:6).

It is our self-assigned project, if there be time and energy – and given our Father’s grace to do so – to carry this study forward into the detailed events of the Revelation, plainly showing how it continues and completes the vital revelations of Daniel, giving a seamless outline of events certain to come.

Our view of the Apocalypse is that the events revealed there (cf., Revelation 1:1) should “shortly (begin to) come to pass,” the obvious meaning of the Greek text – and that it should lead progressively to the final events of the work as revealed in Chapters 19-22.

The flow of the prophecy of Daniel reveals long-term future history as prophecy; it sketchily moves to the end time, furnishing critical details of those days in especially the eleventh and twelfth chapters. In a real sense, the Revelation overarches a grand portion of the content of these chapters, filling in details which we of the end time should readily recognize and from which we may profit greatly.

The details of the book of Daniel are absolutely riveting as to their commentary upon the internal workings of the Babylonian monarchy and society. We shall consider several of these important aspects in their rightful order.

Daniel 1

The Captivity of Judah

Historical Events Connected with its Beginning

Dan 1:1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah (BC606) came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it.

This was written by Daniel after his arrival in Babylon (BC605), so it addresses Nebuchadnezzar’s foray into Judah in 606BC. Nebuchadnezzar’s army set out on this mission at an earlier date, but was delayed by having to combat Pharaoh Necho at Carchemish; this delay brought him to Judah in BC606-04 – at precisely the time of the beginning of the “seven times” of Israel’s exile which was foretold by Daniel – a long period of oppression which only ended in 1917AD.

This is the first of three overthrows of the monarchy of Judah, the next two kings who ruled after Jehoiakim being puppets of Nebuchadnezzar who were allowed to continue to govern Judah on Babylon’s terms until being themselves overthrown due to continued rebellion against Nebuchadnezzar – an action which had been forbidden by YHVH as repeatedly seen in the writings of Jeremiah, for example.

Isaiah made reference to these “overthrows” of God’s kingdom of Israel in his words recorded in Ezekiel 21:27 - I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it: and it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him. [This verse may have other important implications as concerns the priesthood; let the student study this aspect of the prophecy for himself.]

This condition of being “no more” was finally imposed by the two additional dethronements of the Israelitish puppet-kings with the result that the Kingdom of God on the earth was attenuated for a very long time.

Its beginning years of recovery clearly began to resume at the terminal date of this long period of years – in 1917-18 – as the land emerged from subjection to the desolating Ottoman empire, in our opinion the “last king of the north.”

We admit that this is a point of disagreement with some, of course, but we believe amply proven by the close study of all the aspects of the Ottomans versus the Gogian confederacy of Ezekiel 38 and 39.

These are as different as daylight and darkness!

Only in the markedly notable Jewish year of 1917-18 could a clear progression begin toward the restoration of the kingdom to Israel, which at that date was again becoming patently feasible because the Land itself had been freed from its long-term oppressor, the Ottoman Empire, which resolutely forbade all but limited Jewish immigration to the Land.

Note carefully how every detail of this history is entirely governed by the hand of the LORD.

The beginning of these serial revelations of God’s hand is seen here:

Dan 1:2 And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God: which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god.

It was customary in paganism to establish stores of wealth, either from gifts or conquest, called Treasuries. There, such gifts, or otherwise acquired wealth, were stored and often not used in any way, but held as assets of the kings or priests as trophies of supremacy.

This is also a feature of Great Babylon’s contemporary churches.

In Toledo, Spain, we once visited the great basilica of Toledo, which contains a traditional Church “Treasury” – a subterranean vault equipped with a steel door such as those observed in bank vaults – which contained many extremely valuable items owned by the parish, one of which was an exquisite (but gaudy!) Filigreed gold clock made from several pounds of gold from the New World (brought back t0 Spain, it is said, by Columbus). The face of the clock is festooned by 1300 diamonds set as pavé!

Beside numerous valuable items within the Treasury, there were nearly 100 original paintings by the three greatest major Spanish artists – El Greco, Velasquez and Goya – adorning the hallways, the chapels and the nave of the basilica.

El Greco’s twelve separate paintings of The Twelve Apostles hang there in one gallery, all dozen of them on canvases of some 12 x 16-foot dimension, each one worth multiple millions of dollars (never to be sold, of course). Such works were acquired when these artists were often early in their careers and worked for a pittance. Others were donated to the Church (and sometimes confiscated by it) from the estates of deceased nobles of Spain.

At the Greek site of Delphi, the Oracle of Apollo, we have observed abundant archaeological evidence of similar “treasuries” – designated stone-masonry strongholds which protected huge stockpiles of valuable gifts sent to the priests and priestesses of Apollo by the multitudes of seekers of information from the “seers,” which supposedly answered their questions, or made valid judgments for them – for a fee, of course.

Dan 1:3 And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king's seed, and of the princes;

Ashpenaz is designated by the Hebrew Rab Sarasiym, master or chief of the eunuchs. His designation in 2Kings 18; 17 is therefore Rabsaris. He is a respected chieftain in Babylon, and one in authority – therefore a prince.

Dan 1:4 Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king's palace (Babylonian inscriptions have supported that within the palace there had been established special schools for specialized and concentrated advanced education such as those of today leading to the Masters and Doctrinal certificates), and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans.

Thus we learn that Daniel and his three companions were choice candidates for the Babylonian training cadre.

They were intended to bring the wisdom of their own Hebrew culture to Babylon and to incorporate valuable elements of it with the Babylonian philosophy.

The Chaldeans are not the same people as the Babylonians (Jeremiah 22:25), although a part of that group. They dwelt in southern Mesopotamia (Abram was from Ur of Chaldea) and were largely intellectuals who specialized in magic, sorcery, and other occult arts including astrology and necromancy. They were arms-length advisors to the king, as we shall see later.

Dan 1:5 And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king's meat (this menu was seriously flawed, decidedly not kosher, as we shall learn), and of the wine which he drank: so nourishing (i.e., intending to nourish) them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king.

This intended curriculum was not enforced in the case of Daniel and his three companions; it was merely intended for them. Some logical and intensive discussion brought a reprieve to Daniel and his three companions.

And now – their ritual re-naming with Chaldean names:

Dan 1:6 Now among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah:

Dan 1:7 Unto whom the prince of the eunuchs (this is Ashpenaz, cf., verse 3) gave names: for he gave unto Daniel the name of Belteshazzar; and to Hananiah, of Shadrach; and to Mishael, of Meshach; and to Azariah, of Abednego.

These names, as one would suspect, are completely pagan – and at complete odds with their Hebrew names. They invariably invoked the Babylonian “gods.”

Daniel in Hebrew means God (is) my Judge. His name became Belteshazzar. Belteshazzar is an abbreviated form of Balat-su-usur, and means “protect (O Bel) his life.”

Hananiah means Jah is gracious, or graciously given by Jah. His name became Shadrach, and derives from Sudur-Aku, meaning, command of Aku, the moon god of Babylon.

Mishael means who is (or. is as) El? His name became Meshech, meaning, probably Misha-Aku, or Who is as Aku?

Azariah means helper of Jah, or Jah has helped. His name became Abednego: server or worshipper of Nego.

We easily see how these new names entirely negated their native, godly names, and assigned them as subject to the Babylonian gods!

They thus fulfilled their basic purposes: to give the captives native names which denigrated them by attempting to erase their historic identities and brought their lives into closer proximity to the pagan mores and idols.

Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers contains the following notes on Isaiah 46: 1, where these gods are mentioned and described:

(1) Bel boweth down, Nebo Stoopeth.— Bel or Belus (“Lord “), is perhaps identical with Marduk or Merôdach, but see Note on Jeremiah 1:2. Nabu (“the Revealer”) was a kind of Assyrian Hermes. Isaiah sees the idols carried off as spoil, at the command of Cyrus, a heavy burden for the beasts that drag them. An inscription recently deciphered by Sir H. Rawlinson (Journal of Asiatic Society, Jan. 1880, quoted by Cheyne) presents the conduct of the conqueror under a somewhat different aspect. In that inscription he describes himself as a worshipper of Bel and Nebo, and prays to them for length of days. The king would seem from this to have been as wide in his syncretic liberalism [defined by Dictionary.com as “the attempted reconciliation or union of different or opposing principles, practices, or parties, as in philosophy or religion] as Alexander the Great was afterwards. How are we to reconcile the two? May we say that the prophet idealizes the policy and character of the king, or that the monotheistic element which appears in his treatment of the Jews (2Chronicles 36:22-23; Ezra 1:1-2) was, after all, dominant in his action, in spite of episodes like that indicated in the inscription. It is possible that the recognition of the Babylonian deities may have followed on the submission of the people, and been preceded by some rougher treatment. Anyhow the contrast makes it probable that the prophecy was not written after the inscription.”

Dan 1:8 But Daniel purposed in his heart (made the godly decision) that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.

We probably are asking, how would Daniel’s partaking of the king’s meat defile him?

In two ways:

First: their meats were offered to idols, thus making them forbidden for Israelites’ consumption because such would implicate each of them in the worship of those idols.

Second: abundant records indicate that the pagan Babylonians consumed all their meats with the blood – that is, omitting the kosher procedure of draining the blood from each slain animal; this feature would ceremonially defile Daniel; Leviticus 3:17 prohibited that practice, which likely also included the Babylonians’ consumption of the identifiable and separable fats of each animal as well. It shall be a perpetual statute for your generations throughout all your dwellings, that ye eat neither fat nor blood.

A footnote in E-Sword, on this verse, is comprehensive: eat neither: That is, neither the blood which is contained in the larger veins and arteries, nor the fat or suet which is within the animal, which exists in a separate or unmixed state, as (is true with) the omentum, or caul, the fat of the mesentery, or fatty part of the substance which connects the convolutions of the alimentary canal or small intestines, the fat of the kidneys, and whatever else of the internal fat was easily separable, together with the whole of the tail already described; for the blood which assumes the form of gravy, and the fat which is intermixed with the other flesh, might be eaten (it was impossible of separation). This law not only related to the sacrifices, but to all the cattle which the Israelites slaughtered for food.”

Now, the back-story as to how Daniel and his companions avoided the necessity of eating the king’s meat (including all his provisions): Daniel had become especially favored by the prince of the eunuchs – the person in charge of the captives.

Note the hand of God in this matter, too.

Dan 1:9 Now God had brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs.

Favour, we understand: but what was the “tender love” which the eunuch had for Daniel? The Hebrew word is racham, which means bowels, mercy, compassion, pity. It is one of the most compassionate words in the Hebrew language and is from a root word meaning “womb,” implicating the intense, tender love that an expectant mother has for the infant growing inside her – the most loving, considerate and caring attitude that one could have for another.

This was the attitude of Ashpenaz toward Belteshazzar! It obviously was of the same quality as the love and protective care that a father has for his son.

He, therefore, reasons with Daniel, pleading the intense danger of harm to himself if he allows these Hebrews to avoid the king’s prescribed fare.

Dan 1:10 And the prince of the eunuchs said unto Daniel, I fear my lord the king, who hath appointed your meat and your drink: for why should he see your faces worse liking (sadder: that is, thin and sadder-looking) than the children which are of your sort (your age group – or is there a more sinister meaning to this phrase)? then shall ye make me endanger my head to the king.

Since our first publication of this commentary, we have received important comments that are not only enlightening as to the meaning of this phrase but places a more sober light upon the plight of Daniel and his three friends.

Note that the “prince of the eunuchs” is the controlling authority over Daniel and his three notable companions. This, dear friends, is an indicator of the fate of these young Hebrews – they had been “made eunuchs” for the service of YHVH in the court of the king of Babylon.

We recall the words of the LORD Himself Who was commenting upon the dedication of certain ones “for the kingdom of heaven’s sake,” as they devoted their lives in His service.

He tells us of three kinds of eunuchs in Matthew 19:12 - For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.

The fates of these young Hebrews should come as no surprise to us, for the prophet had been informed of this certainty in Isaiah 39:7 - And of thy sons that shall issue from thee, which thou shalt beget, shall they take away; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.

In addition, none of the four are noted as having married or fathered children – a limitation which is the result of medical castration (to put it bluntly).

Additionally, Josephus, the Jewish historian, declares five or six times that the four youths “were castrated by Nebuchadnezzar.” In Chapter 10, page 313, he states that “he (the king) made some of them to be eunuchs.” Later, an editor of Josephus’ works added a footnote at the bottom of page 313: “That Daniel was made one of these eunuchs of which Isaiah prophesied in Isaiah 39:7, and the three children his companions seems to me plain....”

Such an heinous act upon either men or women was expressly forbidden by the Law of Moses – cf., Deuteronomy 23: 1.

We can be certain that Daniel and his three companions were not voluntarily “made eunuchs” but that the condition was forced upon them after they were taken captive and transported to Babylon.

Dan 1:11 Then said Daniel to Melzar (in Hebrew, The Melzar, or the steward (or butler) who had charge of the wine and food; he had been placed in direct, close charge of Daniel and his companions), whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah,

To meet this objection, the wise sixteen-year-old proposed a solution: that Melzar “prove” to himself and others for a short term that the alternate diet which Daniel desired would be more nourishing than the king’s meat.

It was a daring proposal, requiring faith on Daniel’s part that the LORD would bring the desired result!

Daniel asks that he and his companions be given “pulse” to eat.

Pulse is a comprehensive term for vegetables of all sorts – its purpose was to avoid the blood- and fat-contaminated meats offered to idols.

It would not seem possible to The Melzar that this diet could be beneficial, but his deep regard for Daniel moved him to agree to the brief test.

Dan 1:12 Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink.

Dan 1:13 Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the king's meat: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants.

We suppose that The Melzar decided it permissible to take a chance on this proposed regimen; surely ten days would not emaciate the Hebrew children! After the ten days, he would surely have a valid reason to insist on their consumption of the king’s diet.

Dan 1:14 So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days.

Dan 1:15 And at the end of ten days, their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king's meat.

The brief test worked wonderfully, praise be to the LORD!

This preliminary examination was done at the end of ten days; it was far short of verse 5’s requirement that they be examined at the end of three years. That would be done later (as in this verse 15 – at the end of the days (of the trial run)).

Dan 1:16 Thus Melzar took away the portion of their meat, and the wine that they should drink; and gave them pulse.

It is evident to the student that the LORD had placed into the heart of The Melzar this compassionate regard for Daniel; otherwise, Daniel should have had little chance of success in his request!

Dan 1:17 As for these four children (these specific four), God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel (additionally) had understanding in all visions and dreams.

This God-provided skill would be life-saving more than once in the near future; but on at least one of these occasions, we note that Daniel gives all the credit for his abilities in dream interpretation to the God of Heaven. Daniel 2. In this admission, Daniel was also acknowledging that he was being given godly principles by means of dreams and night visions.

This was a prominent character trait of all God’s valid (not false) prophets – that they credited their abilities and fortunes to their heavenly Father.

Dan 1:18 Now at the end of the days that the king had said he should bring them in, then the prince of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar.

This occasion was doubtless at the end of their academic term, when not only their health but their intellectual abilities would be assayed.

The three years of intensive training had borne the fruit desired by the king. They passed their physical examinations and their “doctrinal” (oral) exams with flying colors!

Dan 1:19 And the king communed with them (examined the entire graduating class comprehensively); and among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: therefore stood they before the king.

Think of the honor here! These four young Jewish boys were accorded the privilege of standing at the court of the King of Babylon – the world’s most prestigious monarch of the time. Their opinions were highly regarded; their skills valued; their characters in complete synchrony with this pagan king, who saw in them the wisdom, the integrity, and the stability, elements which can only come from YHVH (although he probably did not admit that fact)!

Dan 1:20 And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king enquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm.

All four young men achieved the highest scores on this Final Exam! Their performance was spectacular! This is quite a determination, setting Daniel and his companions apart from all the other intellectuals of the realm! (And the wonders of pulse and water are extolled even today among the Vegans of our society!)

Dan 1:21 And Daniel continued even unto the first year of king Cyrus.

This forward-looking biographical note tells us that Daniel continued in his official capacity during the entire period of Babylonian supremacy over Israel. It does not say that he ceased functioning as a prophet at that time, but that he lived to see that hugely important epoch of history.

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Daniel 2

The Dream of Nebuchadnezzar

The Duration of Gentile Dominion

In complete agreement with the above-stated division of Daniel, the prophet has begun the first chapter in the Hebrew language and continues to utilize it down through verse 3 of this chapter.

Then he abruptly starts to record his narrative in the Chaldean tongue, which we term Aramaic.

Dan 2:1 And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, wherewith his spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake from him.

Dan 2:2 Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the astrologers, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, for to shew the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king.

Dan 2:3 And the king said unto them, I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit was troubled to know the dream.

Here the Prophet Begins to Write in Chaldean

Dan 2:4 Then spake the Chaldeans to the king in Syriack (in the Hebrew language this is Aramith, or Aramaic), O king, live for ever: tell thy servants the dream, and we will shew the interpretation.

We are informed by scholars that Syriack is the Western form of Aramaic, while Chaldean is the Eastern form of that language.

The wise men of Babylon are called before the king to perform an (humanly) impossible task, about which we learn early in the next verse.

The king is greatly troubled, and minces no words!

Dan 2:5 The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, The thing is gone from me (the great king has forgotten the dream, so he does what such kings do best: he storms and fumes at his servants, blaming them for his own inadequacies!): if ye will not make known unto me the dream, with the interpretation thereof, ye shall be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made a dunghill.

What greater pressure could be placed upon any servants? How futile their survival must have seemed to them at that moment!

By these words of Nebuchadnezzar, we perceive that the dream he had dreamt placed a great imperative upon him not only to recall it but to understand its message, given that it might be carrying a message!

In this principle, we come to realize that the God of the Universe also transmits His will to such men as this great pagan king; and that these men (and women), being extremely superstitious, usually pay rapt attention to their dreams. And if he cannot remember the dream and its contents, he is greatly troubled!

Dan 2:6 But if ye shew the dream, and the interpretation thereof, ye shall receive of me gifts and rewards and great honour: therefore shew me the dream, and the interpretation thereof.

But it is an impossible task for mere magicians and astrologers!

Dan 2:7 They answered again and said, Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will shew the interpretation of it.

Dan 2:8 The king answered and said, I know of certainty that ye would gain the time (that is, that you are “stalling” for time to figure out an approach to this problem!), because ye see the thing is gone from me.

Dan 2:9 But if ye will not make known unto me the dream, there is but one decree for you: for ye have prepared lying and corrupt words to speak before me, till the time be changed (that is, they shall have stalled successfully until the king perhaps remembers his dream): therefore tell me the dream, and I shall know that ye can shew me the interpretation thereof.

It seems from these comments that the king well understands the thought processes of his astrologers and Chaldeans – that they will freely lie to him about the dream to stall for time.

Dan 2:10 The Chaldeans answered before the king, and said, There is not a man upon the earth that can shew the king's matter: therefore there is no king, lord, nor ruler, that asked such things at any magician, or astrologer, or Chaldean.

They are, with respect – and with great fear and temerity – informing the king that his request demands exceptional talent far beyond their own, and has no human solution!

Dan 2:11 And it is a rare thing that the king requireth, and there is none other that can shew it before the king, except the gods (their idols? Get serious!), whose dwelling is not with flesh (and whose mouths cannot speak).

Dan 2:12 For this cause the king was angry and very furious, and commanded to destroy all the wise men of Babylon.

Uh-oh! Now they had done it. They had tugged on Superman’s cape! They had defied the Junkyard Dog!

They were doomed to certain death!

Dan 2:13 And the decree went forth that the wise men should be slain; and they sought Daniel and his fellows to be slain.

The despotic king had blindly included Daniel and his three companions with the other astrologers and magicians in his global condemnation of his staff of advisors and counselors. The reason for this non-thinking action, we suspect, is that the king had not had prior opportunity to test Daniel’s ability to interpret dreams – a skill that was not Daniel’s by dint of his own ability, but a gift from the Almighty.

Dan 2:14 Then Daniel answered with counsel and wisdom to Arioch the captain of the king's guard, which was gone forth to slay the wise men of Babylon:

Dan 2:15 He answered and said to Arioch the king's captain, Why is the decree so hasty from the king? Then Arioch made the thing known to Daniel.

Daniel and his companions were about to be slain for reasons previously unknown to them!

So Daniel wisely counsels Arioch to hold off the executions until Daniel has an opportunity to address this serious dilemma of the king.

He humbly requests an audience with the angry king – and gets it.

Dan 2:16 Then Daniel went in, and desired of the king that he would give him time, and that he would shew the king the interpretation.

Here is clearly seen the deep faith in God that was one of Daniel’s finest characteristics.

He was certain that the LORD would make known to him the content of the king’s dream and inform him of its meaning. It was an act of pure faith on Daniel’s part to request this extension of time; for Daniel trusted that the LORD would reveal the dream and its solution to him. It is the mark of much prayer and deliberation by Daniel in the things of the Spirit, this brand of faith!

Dan 2:17 Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions:

Dan 2:18 That they would desire mercies (that is, that all of them would pray fervently to God) of the God of heaven concerning this secret (in Chaldee, this raz, or mystery); that Daniel and his fellows should not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon – indeed, that their divine answer would save all their lives.

Dan 2:19 Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.

Note that it is ALWAYS the God of heaven who is working behind the scenes in this drama; He always provides the solutions to every challenge of the young Jewish men.

Dan 2:20 Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his:

Dan 2:21 And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:

Dan 2:22 He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him.

Dan 2:23 I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast made known unto me now what we desired of thee: for thou hast now made known unto us the king's matter.

Daniel’s Intervention

Now well equipped with not only the content of the dream but also its interpretation, Daniel makes a bold request: to be allowed his critical appearance before the king!

Dan 2:24 Therefore Daniel went in unto Arioch, whom the king had ordained to destroy the wise men of Babylon: he went and said thus unto him; Destroy not the wise men of Babylon: bring me in before the king, and I will shew unto the king the interpretation.

Here Daniel acts as the mediator for all the other magicians and wise men, even including his three compatriots, interceding for their lives with Arioch.

We can imagine the blessing of the relief, and the gratitude with which they regarded Daniel, and the appreciative and hopeful remarks that flowed through the ranks of the astrologers, magicians and Chaldeans at this news! Daniel, the Hebrew youth, might be able to save all of them from death!

Dan 2:25 Then Arioch brought in Daniel before the king in haste, and said thus unto him, I have found a man of the captives of Judah, that will make known unto the king the interpretation.

This was also a huge statement of faith by Arioch, who apparently had high regard for Daniel and his companions, and great confidence in him.

Dan 2:26 The king answered and said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, Art thou able to make known unto me the dream which I have seen, and the interpretation thereof?

It is a pithy question! “Art THOU able …? … And the answer of Daniel is, NO! BUT …

Dan 2:27 Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, shew unto the king;

Now Daniel, beginning his most serious and earnest ministry to the king of Babylon – begins to inform him of a King far more powerful than he (Nebuchadnezzar), Who actually gave this dream TO the king, caused him to forget it, and then gave Daniel the opportunity to display the special qualities of this (unknown to him) King of the Universe – this God in heaven!

Dan 2:28 But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these;

Dan 2:29 As for thee, O king, thy thoughts came into thy mind upon thy bed, what should come to pass hereafter: and he that revealeth secrets maketh known to thee what shall come to pass.

Was Nebuchadnezzar able to comprehend such lofty concepts?

Well … yes; we believe he was – a conviction formed by our later observation of his ultimate statement of at least verbal submission to the God of heaven.

Note carefully the humility of Daniel in this matter …

Dan 2:30 But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living, but for their sakes that shall make known the interpretation to the king, and that thou mightest know the thoughts of thy heart.

The Dream

Dan 2:31 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.

Dan 2:32 This image's head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass,

Dan 2:33 His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay.

The image is mostly metallic, and has five distinct parts, as named from head to feet.

Dan 2:34 Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands (without human hands – miraculously, or divinely), which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces.

Dan 2:35 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.

Dan 2:36 This is the dream, and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king.

The Interpretation

The details of the image which Nebuchadnezzar saw are rather straightforward. It actually was an accurate and comprehensive, capsular view of world history as it would concern the Jews. Other kingdoms and peoples are not the object of this vision.

Dan 2:37 Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory.

It is evident that Daniel is addressing the king in language the sense of which he is already familiar. Nebuchadnezzar attributed these powers to his own local gods – that they could confer such power and glory, and indeed had already done so in his own case. He understood the concept of heavenly or divine blessings at least in this context …

Dan 2:38 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.

These words elevated Nebuchadnezzar to the highest of honor; he must have been flattered to be designated the head of gold – the enduring, noncorrosive, beautiful, valuable and utilitarian precious metal of the ages even in that day!

Dan 2:39 And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee (silver being less valuable than gold), and another third kingdom of brass (a still less noble alloy of two parts copper and one part zinc), which shall bear rule over all the earth.

Dan 2:40 And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron (a still more common metal than the bronze alloy): forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise.

Note carefully that the quality of the metals and their inherent value even in that day, descended in quality and worth (value) from the head of gold to the legs and feet of iron – even then one of the basest of metals, although one of very high utility. The fifth element is mere clay.

Dan 2:41 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.

Dan 2:42 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.

Dan 2:43 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.

By simple inspection, the reader who is knowledgeable in history can understand how perfectly this forecast has fit its later outworking. Historical events have borne out this prophecy perfectly.

Today we see the nations of the Middle East – the area which is primarily the arena of this prophecy – populated with two kinds of peoples: Israel and the Arab (mixed) races of Islam. They have never mingled with one another very well.

But this is an incidental fact. The prophecy morphs away from the immediate territory of “Palestine” as the Eastern Roman Empire loses control oit'd that area.

We are forced to the conclusion that these elements must be construed as being on two levels; this stated (shallower, or earlier) one is of lesser importance to our thinking.

The more important level has to do with the standing up of the Image against Christ – an event which, by the way, we view as “Armageddon” because of the only event with which the term is prophetically associated – namely, the interface and conflict between Christ and Rome ... occurs in Europe and especially in Italy – primarily in the end-time, when the Image stands forth to oppose the expansion of Christ's Kingdom to its primary area of influence: Europe.

As an aside here, and just to address this concept of “Armageddon” on what seems an obvious level, we stress that the word “Armageddon” is mentioned only one time in all of scripture, and it is in Revelation 16: 16.

That label is placed on the events depicted in the context of that chapter, specifically concurrent with theseventh vial, which deals with the demise of “great Babylon” in verse 19. The following chapters follow on to describe the judgment of the “Great Whore” of that text. This is irrefutably the same time frame as the “falling” of the Little Stone upon the Image of Daniel 2.

In our thinking, the reckless tossing about of references to the War of “Armageddon” is settled by this narrative. NO earlier conflict of Christ, the Saints, and Israel with their enemies can rightly be labeled “Armageddon” PRIOR TO this conflict. It is a label SPECIFIC to this war, is applied ONLY to it, and to none other.

Therefore, the conflicts over Jerusalem (Phase One – the Christ destroying the Proximal Islamic powers) and Phase Two, the nascent Kingdom being assaulted by the Gogia host), can not properly be referred to as “Armageddon.”

That is a reckless disregard for concise scripturally described wars and should be refuted by all students of the Word.

It follows that NO attack against "Jerusalem" or "Israel" may be referred to as "Armageddon" because the term does not become operable prior to this indicated conflict.

Now to continue: perusal of remarks further down in this commentary makes this point entirely clear – that the modern day phenomenon of Islam versus Catholicism in Europe could have significance as being the iron and the clay feet of the Image which stands against Christ and His expanding Kingdom. It appears that this description ALSO does not come into play until the Phase Three conflicts come about; so any contention that the iron and the clay refer to the instability and brittleness of the Islamic powers versus Israel is not warranted.

Another reason is to reject this notion is that these forces (Islam and Israel) are adversaries with each other - not loosely confederated WITH each other and moderately arrayed against a different power (the expanding authority of the Kingdom).

One thing is certain: the toes of the Image cannot be divorced from the Image itself. Its control over “Palestine” was lost and its power base shifted to the West. Its western shift brings it into the precise venue of the Phase Three conflict of the expanding Kingdom at that time encroaching upon Rome’s hegemony over Europe, primarily, and the Ten Toe domains of the Holy Roman Empire...

That factor, then, is that the Roman Empire which had controlled the Land of Promise for many centuries was defeated, and its power over the Land (Israel) was removed.

But the oppressing Empire remained as the Pagan Roman Empire, and was a continuation of the entire functional anatomy of the Image of the dream in our opinion.

That Pagan Roman Empire was overthrown and replaced by the Holy Roman Empire (HRE) beginning with Charlemagne. Its territory is well known to have consisted of ten divisions making up its whole.

In subsequent history and through several permutations, the HRE has morphed into the European Community (EC) of today. So we can see that the ten toes of the Image must have the composition of Europe today – a mighty power which shall resist the “going forth” of the everlasting gospel – “Fear God, and give glory to Him” – which the EC will construe to be a commandment to knuckle under to the expanding Kingdom of God (the importance of which will be unknown to them, for that is not their “gospel,”) and to its King.

Note well the context of this portion of the Apocalypse: its events are coeval with the destruction of "Great Babylon" of that future day, and are therefore intimately connected with the Ten Toe character of the powers located there ...

It is at this time that the “everlasting gospel” is sent forth:

Revelation 14:6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, 7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. 8 And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.

The Image whose last iteration is that of the feet and toes of iron and clay (immiscible substances) is obviously destroyed as a whole raft of concepts (Romanism, including “Protestantism,” for they are essentially identical to one another) at this same time.

It is certainly evident that today we see the nations of the Middle East – the area which (could be) primarily the arena of this prophecy – populated with two kinds of peoples: Israeli and Arab (mixed) races of Islam. Their consideration here is a mere observation as to reality; we are making no connection of these elements with the toes of the Image of Nebuchadnezzar's dream of Daniel 2.

We are merely pointing out an interesting similarity – perhaps in some way a harbinger of things to come (?).

These have never mingled with one another very well and have always maintained a hostile interaction.

They are surely similar to iron and clay in character and constitution.

Israel might be seen as the iron component; the Arabs round about may be viewed as the clay. And we might observe, clay in two different contexts.

Firstly, they are mere men with little or no connection with God – i.e., people of the flesh, or clay in that sense.

Secondly, their ultimate strength is as friable and brittle as clay – either as clay pots which are easily broken, or as dusty, elemental clay which is of little utility in that native form.

Whether there is some superior meaning to this local and limited description we are unable to discern.

The baseline is that the two lines of peoples do not integrate well, or mingle, and have never been able to cohabit the same areas without endless conflict. This the main premise for the Phase One and Phase Two wars in the Land; but we doubt any reference to the feet and toes of the Image.

So are iron and clay – incompatible and immiscible.ing

But the greater, more extended picture, although seemingly similar to the earlier one, is far more meaningful and revelatory to Believers.

I stress this following consideration as being by far the weightier of this discussion and its primary symbolism.

Applying the details of the dream to the nations of the end time, we see the violent interface of a recently mixed society (Catholic and Islamic) in Western culture (represented by the feet and toes of the Image) with that of the Kingdom of Christ as it intrudes upon the West.

These mixed cultures are intractably incompatible – a fact which became expressly evident in the last of these end-times, when militant Islam began to make its presence and demands felt in the nations of the West, when immigration from East to West became a common occurrence, and as the nations of the West became seriously diluted with the peoples of the East, who in great numbers have ingressed Europe and even the Americas, bringing with them the backward beliefs, customs and “laws” of Islam, and strove to inculcate them into their new areas of settlement.

In this sense, we visualize the Western nations of today as being iron and clay in makeupa deeper, wider expression of the intimate interface seen today in Europe, two immiscible components which are increasingly at odds with each other. And within the last decade, the increase in their mixture has become more aggressive – more accelerated, and more intense.

This effect is in our day seen most markedly evident in Europe, which millions of Muslims have made their ultimate goal while fleeing from their native countries.

In Germany alone, over a million Muslim “refugees” have been admitted by the government of Prime Minister Angela Merkel, and have become extremely problematic to Germany’s internal security (who could have guessed?).

On New Year’s Eve, 2015, hundreds of young Middle Eastern and North African men molested, fondled, and even raped several hundred young German women during the confusion of the celebration of midnight on that evening.

Here again is concrete evidence that, not only are both now prominent in European society, the Clay of the East and the Iron of the West do not mingle successfully in social and civil affairs.

The immigrants have brought their heathen customs with them to Europe, and are forcefully insisting on their free exercise in spite of the historically established laws and customs to the contrary among the more civilized Europeans.

The foregoing comments are not meant to preclude other factors of disunity, of the immiscibility of the societies and cultures located within the territories of the Fourth Beast, now having morphed into the principal nations of Europe in the end time.

And Now, the End of the Matter!

Dan 2:44 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 (its monarch shall be immortal), but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.

This action is an inevitable sequel to the admixture of the clay to the iron – as Europe and the West (Catholic Europe) being iron weakened by the addition of clay.

As already stressed above, the earlier, local application of Arabs as clay and Jews as iron is hardly even comparable and is even incompatible in prophetic importance to the greater weight of the newly-constituted admixture of millions of the adherents to Islam into Europe of today, and the concurrent weakening of the social and political structure of Europe by this admixture.

It is an event which no one could have foreseen even twenty years ago and far less 150 years ago.

Note carefully that the issuance of the “everlasting gospel” is subsequent to (1) the obliteration of the “nations round about” Israel as well as (2) the later Gogian Host – because by the easily deducted sequence of events of these earlier conflicts. These ARE executed prior to the aggressive move of Christ now to expand His Kingdom to all the world – to the Catholic nations - and Christ’s meeting their instant and adamant and equal resistance to the rapid expansion of His authority now well outside the First Dominion of the Kingdom.

It is clear from the symbology utilized by Christ’s words, that the nations of Europe are a remnant of old Babylonian legends and religion.

The EU parliament building in Brussels is fashioned to resemble the Tower of Babel.

Europa riding the Bull is one of her major symbols.

She is the harlot of Rome riding upon the terrible fourth beast.

About her head are depicted twelve stars (Revelation 12:1), clothed with the sun, the moon at her feet.

It is an amalgamation of all the civilizations that have preceded her – a wondrous admixture of mythology, symbology, pure paganism, and the occult arts.

These are the relevant facts (in our opinion) concerning the makeup of the toes of the Image – the iron and the clay – the fragility of which makes the Image even more susceptible to the crushing force of the Little Stone which falls upon it with great momentum.

We realize that this suggestion (not original to the author of these notes) of the makeup of the clay as possibly being Islamic immigrants to Europe is a “new” factor in prophetic consideration, but I believe it must be given significance in light of the grave, and sudden incursion of Islam into Europe and the inexplicable allowance of that Trojan Horse into that community.

Only the infallible foreknowledge of our Father could have projected such an unlikely event over 2500 years ago! We do admit that there may be a different meaning of the makeup of the Ten Toes, but at the moment we do not see one.

Below this article we have reproduced a well thought-out article by a colleague on this specific subject. It is being made a part of these notes on Daniel with the author’s permission.

Dan 2:45 Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.

We see in this description of the aggression of Christ against the Image an “undesigned coincidence” of the terms of another well-known statement made by Christ Himself as He describes this phenomenon in these words:

Luke 20:17 And he beheld them, and said, What is this then that is written, The Stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner? 18 Whosoever shall fall upon that Stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.

On closer inspection, these words are a wondrously mixed metaphor (intentional, of course, to urge our full analysis!).

The Master, of course, is referring to Himself as the Stone “which the builders rejected.”

The same had become the “Head of the corner,” or in other phraseology, “the chief Cornerstone.”

Now look at the text more critically: a cornerstone is never intended to move or to be moved. It is entirely static – and stationary as to location until the building constructed upon it is demolished – an impossibility in this case because He is the Cornerstone of an everlasting Kingdom. THIS Stone had become the Chief Cornerstone, and as such would fulfill the first figure of a stationary stone.

The first phrase of verse 18 is sensible in that context: if one should stumble over (i.e., fall upon) a cornerstone he should probably suffer a broken bone – an arm or a leg. The stationary stone, being stumbled over, should do damage to the pedestrian!

But now carefully consider the second phrase of verse 18: it is a statement of a different case altogether.

Now the stone assumes mobility – completely uncharacteristic of an ordinarily static cornerstone. The phraseology draws sharp attention to the different application of the action by the conjunction, “but:” “... but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.”

The obvious correlation which we make is relevant to the conflicts (the “fallings” involving the Stone) of the end-times.

In our conception, the first two encounters of Christ with the enemies of Israel (and His own enemies: Micah 5: 1,2) are, in our thinking, first the conflict with the Proximal Islamic States in the land between the Rivers.

In this case, the Cornerstone is in place; now “Assyria” as well as the other listed foes of Psalm 83, “fall upon” that Cornerstone. They attack Him, “striking the Judge of Israel upon the cheek: Micah 5.”

They are destroyed, or “broken” as per the first phrase.

Then, in our thinking, and secondly, the Gogian host approaches, again “falling upon” the Cornerstone, Who is now not only within the Land but occupying the Throne of David in Zion.

Gog and his cohort attempt to assault that Stone – they “fall upon” it in the sense of attacking it – and are also “broken,” as in the first phrase.

Notice that in both these cases the ”falling upon” is that of the “pedestrian” or one who is either already within the Land and attacks the Stone, or in Gog’s case, one who enters the Land from outside its borders (Gog leading the Distal Islamic nations who accompany Gog) and they too are “broken” out of hand.

Now we come to a consideration of the Stone now actively striking the Image upon its feet.

This is an application of Jesus’ second condition of verse 18 above. Now the Stone has become mobile, and going forth from His place, “falls upon” some resistant power – in this case, the Roman System of “religion,” and “grinds it to powder.” Cf., Revelation 19: 20-21.

In out thinking, such “undesigned coincidences” as these subtle depictions of end-time events increase our convictions that we are interpreting the prophecies correctly ... and correctly understanding their core teachings, as they are so beautifully substantiated.

Dan 2:46 Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and worshipped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odours unto him.

The king reacts in a surprisingly humble manner!

We recall that Daniel had already rejected his worshipful words, giving all the credit and glory to YHVH.

But words were not the end of the king’s response to this interpretation – this message – which appealed very much to him: THOU art this head of gold! – meaning, of course, you are REPRESENTED BY this head of gold!

Dan 2:47 The king answered unto Daniel, and said, Of a truth it is, that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou couldest reveal this secret.

Nebuchadnezzar was a wise and perceptive sovereign! His immediate recognition of the greatness of the God of Daniel speaks to his credit. At this moment he was uncharacteristically (we suspect!) overwhelmed by the dream and its interpretation.

But would he maintain his humility and his regard for Daniel?

Dan 2:48 Then the king made Daniel a great man, and gave him many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief of the governors over all the wise men of Babylon.

We behold here the same reaction as Pharaoh exhibited in response to Joseph’s good judgment and his dream interpretations!

Daniel instantly became Head of State for Nebuchadnezzar – a great and powerful civil administrator; for the king recognized the spirit and power of his God resident within Daniel.

Dan 2:49 Then Daniel requested of the king, and he set Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, over the affairs of the province of Babylon: but Daniel sat in the gate of the king.

Daniel did not forget his companions’ part in obtaining the solution. All of them had prayed fervently to the Father for His intent for Babylon’s king – the substance and meaning of this mystery – and had been given liberally of His sufferance! <HEL 6N>

The Identity Of The Clay

The base on which the great image stood, of which king Nebuchadnezzar dreamed, was made of iron and clay mixed together. This unstable combination has given rise to the proverbial expression, “feet of clay.” Daniel recounted the dream to the king:

This image's head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. 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. 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 threshing-floors; 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 (Daniel 2:32-35).

In this first information about the dream, it is disclosed by the prophet that the feet of the image were part of iron and part of clay and that it is this part of the image that was struck by the stone. The prophet then provided additional interpretation to the king:

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. 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. 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. 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. 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. (Daniel 2:40-44).

The unusual characteristic of the feet and of the toes is that they were composed of two different mineral substances, iron and miry clay, and that these two substances did not mix together. As a result, although there was in the toes the strength of iron, that strength was compromised by the presence of the clay, and led to the prophet’s characterization of that which is represented by the image as “partly strong and partly broken.” The prophet is also very clear that it is in “the days of these kings,” that is, the nations and national governments represented by the toes, that the image is struck by the stone and gives way to the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth.

In the progression of the image, from the head to the toes, there are five different minerals described and the first four of them are metals: gold, silver, brass (an alloy of copper and zinc), iron and clay. The first four metals correspond to civilizations and cultures that dominated the earth for a period of history: Babylon (gold), Medo-Persia (silver), Greece (brass) and Rome (iron). If this identification then provides a key as to what the minerals correspond to, that is, to a particular civilization and culture, then it would imply that the clay must also answer to a civilization and culture.

Over the course of time, different suggestions have been brought forward as to which civilization and culture is represented by the clay. Nineteenth century expositors identified the clay with Russia but Russian influence and culture has not comingled with the rest of Europe. Russia retains its own identity as a nation with minimal ethnic representation in western European nations like England, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal and Italy. Others have identified the clay as that type of government system which we call democracy, a people-based republican form of government. This form of government continues to co-exist with monarchial government structures, in which the king or queen is the titular head of state, in countries like the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Sweden. The difficulty with this explanation of what the clay stands for is that it is not logically consistent with what the metals represent. Do they not represent civilizations and cultures distinguished, among other ways, by language? They did not represent different types of government.

One aspect of clay, in addition to its lacking the strength of the four metals, is that it would be considered the most inferior and the least valuable of the five substances of which the image is composed. If it represents a civilization and a culture, then it is one that is lower in prestige than those represented by Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome. Is there any such culture that could be identified that is comingled among the nations of Europe while not itself European?

The answer is, yes. In the past thirty years, many of the large European nations have developed significant Muslim minorities, composed of immigrants of different ethnicity but sharing in common Sunni Islam as their religion. Although some of these ethnic minorities are not Arab, Islam is an Arabic religion and arose out of Arabic civilization and culture. The foundational work on which Islam is based, the Koran, is through and through an Arabic book. European Muslims come from Turkey (Germany), Pakistan (England), the North African countries of Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria (France) and other parts of the Middle East such as Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon and from Asian countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, and the The Philippines. Iran, modern day Medo-Persia, although predominantly Islamic does not follow Sunni Islam and is therefore not part of the Arabic culture associated with this dominant form of Islam.

The European and Arabic civilizations have been in conflict ever since the Saracen warriors of the seventh and eighth centuries began their territorial conquest, conquering Spain in eight years from A.D. 711 to A.D. 718 and advancing as far north into the heart of Europe as the Pyrenees Mountains forming the border between France and Spain. On the other side of Europe, the Ottoman Turks advanced north into Europe, capturing Constantinople in 1453 (by them renamed Istanbul) and the Balkan peninsula before being stopped at the gates of Vienna in 1529. Many Bible expositors believe that these amazing conquests of European territory by those imbued with the Islamic religion are described in the 9th chapter of Revelation. The Muslims were eventually defeated and driven out of Spain by the 15th century. The Turkish Ottoman Empire became the Sick Man of Europe in the 19th century, losing most of its territories in Europe.

A phenomenon arose in Post-War Europe that, so far as this writer is aware, was not anticipated by Bible expositors. That phenomenon was immigration into Europe of Muslims where they have established substantial communities that are not well integrated into European society. That immigration has accelerated in the past thirty years. As birth rates in Western Europe declined to well below replacement levels, there was a labour shortage of indigenous European youth particularly for the more menial jobs like serving as maids in hotels and driving taxis. That need has been met by allowing immigration from Muslim countries where, with high birth rates and political instability in many cases, there was a keen desire to leave.

There is no disputing the fact that Muslims now form a significant minority in many European countries. Statistics on the percentage of the population that is Muslim tend to understate their importance for two reasons. First, they fail to capture that the Muslim population of Europe is, on average, substantially younger than its European counterparts with higher birth rates[1] and second, that the Muslim population tends to be concentrated in large population centres where it forms a substantially larger percentage of the population than it does for the nation as a whole[2]. Nor is there any disputing that the Muslim communities have remained separate and are not integrated within European society: there are parts of European cities where Muslim Sharia law is followed and that function in many ways as autonomous communities. Muslim communities are most common in western and northern Europe and least prevalent in central and eastern Europe. Russia is the exception. It also has a large Muslim population.

Many of us have been puzzled about the creeping Islamization of Europe and how it figures into Bible prophecy. If the clay is an indicator of Arabic culture and influence in Europe, it would explain the instability that the image would experience as a consequence.

Is the tentative identification of Arabic culture and Islamic civilization in Europe simply a case of opportunism, of fitting facts to the Bible after they occur? While it is possible to view the suggestion through this critical lens, it is also the case that certain things in Bible prophecy were not discernible beforehand and were only evident after they developed. No Bible expositor living in Europe in the nineteenth century could have easily anticipated that significant Muslim minorities would come to live in the great cities of Europe.

What scriptural evidence is there that the clay is a representation of Arabic culture and civilization as represented by Muslim societies? The evidence may be summarized as follows:

1. There is an unusual expression used in Daniel 2:43: And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men. The Aramaic word translated as “mixed” and “mingle” in this passage is the word arab. Is the Spirit conveying to us in this passage that the Arab culture will be intermingled with European culture and that the Arab culture will itself be derived from a mixture of many races?[3]

2. Clay, unlike the metals in the image, is not one substance or element. (Brass is an alloy of two elements. All the other metals in the image are unique elements). It is therefore an appropriate representation of Arabic culture which is truly a mixture of many peoples holding in common reverence for Mohammed and the Koran.

If this suggestion, that the clay refers to Arabic culture is correct, it helps put into perspective the Paris attack by Muslim extremists. This attack served to underscore the instability of the base of the image. It also indicates that the refugees created by the Syrian civil war that are flooding into Europe are fresh clay to mix with European society. It also points to the circumstances in the earth when the image is ready to be toppled by the stone’s striking it. Until the clay was comingled with European civilization, the image was not complete. Is it possible that we have been witnessing the preparation of the feet and toes of the image to be struck by the stone unfolding before our eyes?

James Farrar, Grimsby, Ontario

Published in e TPL “Other Items” 2015



[1] According to the Pew Research Center, based on tabulations done for 2010, Germany and France have the largest Muslim populations among EU countries at 4.8 million and 4.7 million respectively. Russia has the largest Muslim population at 14 million representing 10% of the population. The United Kingdom has just under 3 million Muslims. The percentage of Muslims in European population has increased from 4% in 1990 to 6% in 2010 and is expected to reach 8% in 2030. The median age of Muslims in Europe is 32 compared to 40 for all Europeans.

[2] The Muslim population of Amsterdam is estimated to be 24% of the totulation; of Birmingham, UK 27%; of Brussels, Belgium 26%; of Barcelona, Spain 18%; of Malmo, Sweden 20%; of Paris, France 15%; of Vienna, Austria 10%; of Copenhagen, Denmark 10%; of Frankfurt, Germany 12% [Source: Wikipedia]

[3] There are several references in the King James translation to the “the mingled people” in which, in the context, the Arabs are being described. See Jeremiah 25:19-24.

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Daniel 3

The Image Nebuchadnezzar Made

Daniel’s Companions: the Fiery Furnace

Dan 3:1 Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was threescore cubits , and the breadth thereof six cubits: he set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon.

Many readers have mistaken this “image” to be that of a human figure. But its proportions are not those of a human being, and as such would have appeared grotesque and distorted, being a ratio of one to ten. Human proportions are about one to six. There is no mention of its being set on a pedestal, whose height would have been included in the measurements.

So what is it?

The equivalent Chaldee word used of this “image,” is the Hebrew word that is used in Ezekiel 16:17, and in 23:14, tzelem, something shaped by cutting or carving – in that instance, shaped like a human being.

A Companion Bible footnote suggests that the figure was that of an ashera. A cubit ranges between 21 and 25 inches in length (for ease of calculation, say 24 inches average), so this “image” of 66 cubits would have been 132 feet tall and about 12 feet on each side. Note that the foundational measurements of this “image” are components of the number six – the number of man, or of the flesh – being 66 x 6 cubits! It is a purely fleshly concoction of a pagan king who was doing what pagan kings do best: forming some cockamamie scheme further to reinforce his “greatness” in the world, thereby impressing upon and greatly reinforcing his will and control over his subjects!

It was an obtrusive, showy structure to which the king would demand obeisance!

But whether it was a distorted human figure or an ashera, the Jewish captives were forbidden to worship it.

So now the drama begins …

Dan 3:2 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king sent to gather together the princes, the governors, and the captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the image (tzelem) which Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.

These eight classes of invited guests are here named by technical terms, which have been defined by research into the Babylonian society.

By their definitions, the student will be struck by the clearly descending order of importance of these officials – from princes to civil servants.

CB footnote -

1. Princes are satraps (royals – Ed.), including Daniel.

2. Governors are those subordinate to Daniel (cf. 2:48).

3. Captains are pashas (cf. Nehemiah 5:14); the Chaldee is pechah, a minor official. Note that these first three are governmental persons.

4. Judges are viziers or chief judges.

5. Treasurers are as named. Note that these two are courtiers.

6. Counsellors are judges of state.

7. Sheriffs are lawyers. Note that these two are legal as to identity.

8. Rulers are subordinate functionaries in general.

Dan 3:3 Then the princes, the governors, and captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, were gathered together unto the dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up; and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

Dan 3:4 Then an herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, O people, nations, and languages (this designation would include many of the captives which mighty Nebuchadnezzar had gathered from foreign lands to the capital),

Dan 3:5 That at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up:

Dan 3:6 And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.

We note that oppressive characteristic in Nebuchadnezzar that many such kings display. Their decrees are written in stone; disobedience to his “laws” always results in an horrible fate! The king’s skills in this arena are well honed …

Dan 3:7 Therefore at that time, when all the people heard the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and all kinds of musick, all the people, the nations, and the languages, fell down and worshipped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.

These strangely named instruments used to bring forth derision to my fellow students in early Sunday School classes; we could not visualize anything but an uncomfortably impolite instrument as a “sackbut” for example!

And we observe that the language confusion which had begun earlier IN Babylon still persisted to this day. Language is one of the most prominent divisors of any population, and Nebuchadnezzar’s society was having to contend with it.

Dan 3:8 Wherefore at that time certain Chaldeans came near, and accused the Jews.

Thus entereth the evil serpent of “office politics!”

Dan 3:9 They spake and said to the king Nebuchadnezzar, O king, live for ever.

Dan 3:10 Thou, O king, hast made a decree, that every man that shall hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, shall fall down and worship the golden image:

Dan 3:11 And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth, that he should be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.

Dan 3:12 There are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the affairs of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; these men, O king, have not regarded thee: they serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

These three newly-appointed civil servants – appointed by Daniel, and not by the king – were coming under close scrutiny; their competitors were watching them intently. And they were clearly men whom The King had placed over them, much to their own disliking!

Dan 3:13 Then Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and fury commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Then they brought these men before the king.

Dan 3:14 Nebuchadnezzar spake and said unto them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up?

Dan 3:15 Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?

The mighty king is showing his arrogance and supremacy, but he still has no experience with nor any inkling of a REAL Deity in heaven who regularly does miraculous things!

At the same time, as we shall see, the king is teachable!

Dan 3:16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.

It sounds as if they are confidently saying to the king, “Nebbie, we really aren’t concerned as to what your opinion on this matter is!”

Their next expression of disdain for the king indicates their deep faith in the LORD’s deliverance from any punishment that the king may authorize!

Dan 3:17 If it be so (if it be His will; they are not being presumptuous; the decision is not a matter of chance), our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.

Dan 3:18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

This statement of their faith is as strong as godly testimony ever has been; they are promising that even if God does not deliver them from the flames, that they will die willingly rather than observe the king’s despicable orders.

Condemnation of the Three

Dan 3:19 Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: therefore he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated.

How soon, and by what trivial confrontations do the mighty become incensed!

Dan 3:20 And he commanded the most mighty men that were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace.

Dan 3:21 Then these men (S, M, and A) were bound in their coats, their hosen, and their hats, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.

The three were clad in extremely combustible materials, and should almost instantly have evaporated in the extreme heat of the furnace. Even the executioners were killed by their near proximity to the deadly flames.

Dan 3:22 Therefore because the king's commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceeding hot, the flame of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

Dan 3:23 And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.

The king was there to enjoy the execution proceedings. He would be vindicated and exalted by their destruction. And their demise would be a deeply-impressed lesson upon all his other foreign captives who might think to disobey him in future.

But as a later notable author would say in future, The best-laid schemes o' Mice an' Men, Gang aft agley.[i]

Neither do these things go as planned by him.

Dan 3:24 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonied, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counselors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king.

Dan 3:25 He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the (a) Son of God.

One can imagine the astonishment and the chagrin of the king when he counts FOUR figures in the depths of the thunderous, consuming maelstrom of flame – the fourth one appearing as A (not the, for “the” is omitted in the text) a son of God, that is, an angel of the LORD.

We are immediately reminded of the clear and faithful words of David, in Psalm 34:7 - The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.

The astonied (astonished) king flies into action, taking personal charge of the entire proceedings (from a safe distance, we suppose), and addressing the Three Hebrews in subdued voice, now attenuated in tone, almost gently imploring … inviting the three servants of the most high God, to “come forth, and come hither (approach me).”

Dan 3:26 Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth, and come hither. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, came forth of the midst of the fire.

It almost sounds as if their plight had been a pleasant walk in the park!

The Three were thrown into the furnace bound firmly; they emerged on their own two feet, free, unfettered, unsinged, unharmed!

The collective reaction was of utter unbelief.

Amazingly, the fire had had no power upon their bodies, their hair, their coats, or even their odor!

Dan 3:27 And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king's counsellors, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them.

The perceptive, but otherwise intractable king, immediately sized up the affair, and with abject shamelessness, recognized and acknowledged the God of heaven in his next words:

Dan 3:28 Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king's word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.

To his credit, Nebuchadnezzar immediately gives the God of the Hebrews all the credit, even recognizing that He had sent an angel to deliver His people from the terrible sentence which the king had given!

He even recognized that God’s actions had changed the king's word, or sentence, and had delivered those men who had TRUSTED in their God!

For the second notable time, the King had experienced the omnipotence of YHVH, the God of Israel.

In further response, he also gives the People of the Jews his protection: he condemns anyone who speaks against the God of heaven!

Characteristically, his pronounced sentence upon any transgressor is extremely harsh and denigrating even to their memory.

Dan 3:29 Therefore I make a decree, That every people, nation, and language, which speak any thing amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort.

Hmmm … hadn’t the king already acknowledged the supremacy of the LORD in the affair of the Metallic Image of the Plain of Dura?

We must suppose that some years had passed and that he had just forgotten!

Dan 3:30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, in the province of Babylon.

Now it is the king’s turn to promote Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, within their civil positions over the kingdom!

He does so without hesitation; and in doing so, issues a firm decree against any further accusations ever being made about the God of the Hebrew children in future by any citizen of Babylon.

No further mention is made of the angel who had personally delivered them but, note well that Nebuchadnezzar had given voice to his own ready conviction as to the identity of that fourth “man” in the furnace.

Neither is he finished extolling his newly found (?) God. <HEL 6N>



[i] To A Mouse

by Robert Burns

Wee, sleekit, cowran, tim'rous beastie,

O, what a panic's in thy breastie!

Thou need na start awa sae hasty,

Wi' bickering brattle!

I wad be laith to rin an' chase thee,

Wi' murd'ring pattle!

I'm truly sorry Man's dominion

Has broken Nature's social union,

An' justifies that ill opinion,

Which makes thee startle,

At me, thy poor, earth-born companion,

An' fellow-mortal!

I doubt na, whyles, but thou may thieve;

What then? poor beastie, thou maun live!

A daimen-icker in a thrave 's a sma' request:

I'll get a blessin wi' the lave,

An' never miss't!

Thy wee-bit housie, too, in ruin!

It's silly wa's the win's are strewin!

An' naething, now, to big a new ane,

O' foggage green!

An' bleak December's winds ensuin,

Baith snell an' keen!

Thou saw the fields laid bare an' wast,

An' weary Winter comin fast,

An' cozie here, beneath the blast,

Thou thought to dwell,

Till crash! the cruel coulter past

Out thro' thy cell.

That wee-bit heap o' leaves an' stibble,

Has cost thee monie a weary nibble!

Now thou's turn'd out, for a' thy trouble,

But house or hald.

To thole the Winter's sleety dribble,

An' cranreuch cauld!

But Mousie, thou are no thy-lane,

In proving foresight may be vain:

The best laid schemes o' Mice an' Men,

Gang aft agley,

An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,

For promis'd joy!

Still, thou art blest, compar'd wi' me!

The present only toucheth thee:

But Och! I backward cast my e'e,

On prospects drear!

An' forward, tho' I canna see,

I guess an' fear! ###

Daniel 4

Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream of the Great Tree

His Deposition

Dan 4:1 Nebuchadnezzar the king, unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you.

Dan 4:2 I thought it good to shew the signs and wonders that the high God hath wrought toward me.

This preamble is probably written after the unusual events of this account. The completeness of the king’s transformation is evident in these words, and in the final paragraphs of this chapter.

Dan 4:3 How great are his signs! and how mighty are his wonders! his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion is from generation to generation.

Dan 4:4 I Nebuchadnezzar was at rest in mine house, and flourishing in my palace:

Dan 4:5 I saw a dream which made me afraid, and the thoughts upon my bed and the visions of my head troubled me.

The Dreamer dreams again!

But he is to be commended in his thinking that these dreams are meaningful messages to him from some perhaps higher authority. So he seeks counsel of the same tired, drowsy group of Babylonian philosophers. Finally, in desperation, he seeks out Daniel, having remembered the previous episodes.

Dan 4:6 Therefore made I a decree to bring in all the wise men of Babylon before me, that they might make known unto me the interpretation of the dream.

Dan 4:7 Then came in the magicians, the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers: and I told the dream before them; but they did not make known unto me the interpretation thereof.

Dan 4:8 But at the last, Daniel came in before me, whose name was Belteshazzar, according to the name of my god, and in whom is the spirit of the holy gods: and before him I told the dream, saying,

Dan 4:9 O Belteshazzar, master of the magicians, because I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in thee, and no secret troubleth thee, tell me the visions of my dream that I have seen, and the interpretation thereof.

Well … things are improving for Daniel; at least the king remembers the details of this current dream!

The Vision of the Great Tree

Dan 4:10 Thus were the visions of mine head in my bed; I saw, and behold a tree in the midst of the earth, and the height thereof was great.

Dan 4:11 The tree grew, and was strong, and the height thereof reached unto heaven, and the sight thereof to the end of all the earth:

Dan 4:12 The leaves thereof were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all: the beasts of the field had shadow under it, and the fowls of the heaven dwelt in the boughs thereof, and all flesh was fed of it.

It is a comprehensive account of Nebuchadnezzar’s own kingdom and its role to that day in human affairs.

Now comes the mysterious portion of the dream.

Dan 4:13 I saw in the visions of my head upon my bed, and, behold, a watcher and an holy one came down from heaven;

The Chaldean words mean an holy angel.

Dan 4:14 He cried aloud, and said thus, Hew down the tree, and cut off his branches, shake off his leaves, and scatter his fruit: let the beasts get away from under it, and the fowls from his branches:

Dan 4:15 Nevertheless leave the stump of his roots in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth:

At this point, whether the king realizes it or not, his premise changes.

The subject tree, which has been hewn down, and bound with iron and brass, seems no longer to be a tree, but has become a man, who metamorphoses into a beast!

Dan 4:16 Let his heart be changed from man's, and let a beast's heart be given unto him; and let seven times pass over him.

The man thus becomes a beast of the field! And his affliction is to last “seven times.” This period of seven times is not the same as the later “times of the Gentiles,” which is a much longer period; we define this period by actual historical accounts in the Babylonian inscriptions that Nebuchadnezzar did nothing of administrative importance for several years.

The action determined upon him has been determined by superior beings – the “watchers and the holy ones” – and have been decreed for a specific purpose: to teach the king additional characteristics of the God of heaven, over and beyond His power to rescue his faithful ones from fiery furnaces.

Dan 4:17 This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living (by which he means himself, the king) may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.

Dan 4:18 This dream, I king Nebuchadnezzar have seen. Now thou, O Belteshazzar, declare the interpretation thereof, forasmuch as all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known unto me the interpretation: but thou art able; for the spirit of the holy gods is in thee.

Dan 4:19 Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was astonied for one hour, and his thoughts troubled him.

The king takes note of the “astonishment” with which Daniel had been struck; he can see the anxiety and perplexity which clouds Daniel’s whole being. So he uncharacteristically tries to reassure Daniel: The king spake, and said, Belteshazzar, let not the dream, or the interpretation thereof, trouble thee.

The sense of this reassurance seems to be that the king is informing Daniel that whatever the content of the dream, he should feel entirely free to tell the king the interpretation regardless of its implications.

Does he suspect it is not good news?

At last, Daniel speaks in an humble, respectful mien indicating that the interpretation is not of his own will or intention. Belteshazzar answered and said, My lord, the dream be to them that hate thee, and the interpretation thereof to thine enemies.

By these sober words, we and the king learn that the news is not good: “… the dream be to them that hate thee.”

The Interpretation

Dan 4:20 The tree that thou sawest, which grew, and was strong, whose height reached unto the heaven, and the sight thereof to all the earth;

Dan 4:21 Whose leaves were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all; under which the beasts of the field dwelt, and upon whose branches the fowls of the heaven had their habitation:

Dan 4:22 It is thou, O king, that art grown and become strong: for thy greatness is grown, and reacheth unto heaven, and thy dominion to the end of the earth.

Dan 4:23 And whereas the king saw a watcher and an holy one coming down from heaven, and saying, Hew the tree down, and destroy it; yet leave the stump of the roots thereof in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts of the field, till seven times pass over him;

We note at this point in the narrative, that the cutting down of the tree, leaving but a stump of the tree represents an upheaval against Babylon and its king; and the brass and iron rings represent an even more future destiny of the series of kingdoms as well.

There appears to be an hidden meaning to these elements which is greatly significant; the reader may decided for himself.

Further comments are intended about these aspects of the dream at the conclusion of this chapter; we think the reader will find the conclusions absolutely riveting!

Dan 4:24 This is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the most High, which is come upon my lord the king:

Daniel rightly invokes the authority of the LORD on High; the interpretation is not his own, but is from the God of heaven.

Its message is dreadful … and foreboding to the king.

Dan 4:25 That they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and they shall wet thee with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.

This message would be impressed firmly upon Nebuchadnezzar, for he indeed needed to learn humility – and that there is a God in heaven who is far greater than he.

Dan 4:26 And whereas they commanded to leave the stump of the tree roots; thy kingdom shall be sure unto thee, after that thou shalt have known that the heavens do rule.

After he has thoroughly learned that principle, he should re-ascend the throne of Babylon as a new man – a newly refurbished servant of God Most High, albeit remaining a pagan!

Dan 4:27 Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by (doing acts of) righteousness, and thine iniquities by shewing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquillity.

Dan 4:28 All this came upon the king Nebuchadnezzar.

It appears that the king had been given a period of probation by the decree of Daniel.

But we shall see that his pride, a year later, was as strong as ever …

Dan 4:29 At the end of twelve months he walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon.

Dan 4:30 The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?

This arrogant and self-centered utterance is the trigger that the “watchers” were expecting! At that instant, a voice came from the heavens to him, pronouncing the execution of his sentence:

Dan 4:31 While the word was in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee.

Dan 4:32 And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.

The execution of the penalty is immediate!

Dan 4:33 The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles' feathers, and his nails like birds' claws.

This metamorphosis is known as lycanthropy – the conviction that a man has become a wolf, and the appearance of a man in the guise of a wolf. It is the source of the legends of the wolf-man, or lycanthrope, of Eastern European prominence (e.g., the history of the dreadful Count Dracula).

The seven times (years) progressed at a laborious pace as the seasons dragged on. The king’s sentence required seven literal years of desolation and debasement for him – but at the terminus, he seems to have been transformed into a completely different man!

It was almost interminable in coming …

However, just as suddenly as it had come, the syndrome vanished. Nebuchadnezzar, significantly, lifted up his eyes to heaven, causing his understanding to return to him.

He was instantly a new man – blessing and praising the God of heaven, Whom he adequately describes in his accolade, a gladsome series of utterances which include several additional features, or realizations, superadded to his understanding, which had not earlier been specified!

Dan 4:34 And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation:

Dan 4:35 And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?

Dan 4:36 At the same time my reason returned unto me; and for the glory of my kingdom, mine honour and brightness returned unto me; and my counsellors and my lords sought unto me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me.

This pagan king seems to have learned his lesson quite adequately. He re-ascended the throne upon his subects’ recognition of his new identity, and received a great blessing for it!

In the next verse he states his new credo:

Dan 4:37 Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.

We read no more of the history of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. He died, and was succeeded by other kings until the kingdom was overthrown.

The kingdom lasted 70 years before it was conquered by Darius the Persian, in BC 534 (the 70 years dated from BC 604).

The Stump Banded with Rings

of Iron and Brass

This relatively obscure prophecy of the destiny of Babylon’s empire, morphing as it did into the later Empires of Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome, has a significance which we should not overlook.

These Empires are significant only as to their dominance of Jerusalem and the Jewish people.

As stated above, the Babylonian Empire ceased to exist – was cut down, as was the tree of this vision – in BC534, after dominating Jerusalem and the Levant for seventy years.

When it was cut down by Cyrus the Persian, it was succeeded by what is called the Medo-Persian Empire. This was represented by the stump of the tree. Its roots which remained in the earth were those of Babylon, implying the carrying forward of Babylon’s philosophies and principles – the pagan application of law and political administration, and of religion.

One supreme feature of all the future Empires was their practice of pagan religions in defiance of God’s people and His laws, “religions” generally based upon the beliefs of Babylon of old.

We have seen that in the vision, the stump was banded with bands of brass and iron.

Later in Daniel’s writings, we learn that brass represents the Grecian Empire, and that iron represents Rome.

We mentioned earlier that the “seven times” of Nebuchadnezzar’s lycanthropic episode was literally seven years in length, as deduced from Babylonian records.

But embedded in these seven years was a greater, implied period of “seven times” parallel to the Times of the Gentiles, which Jesus mentioned in Luke 21:24. There, speaking of the people of God, he said: And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.

That statement referred back to the first, historical captivity of the Jewish people, the first of whom had been removed to Babylon in ~BC604. At the time of Jesus’ utterance, the remnant of Judah, which had never regained its identity as a commonwealth, was on the verge of another deportation to all nations of the earth, continuing the Land’s captivity until the end of 2,520 years as dated from that earlier event.

Now, we recall that the captivity in Babylon was terminated in seventy years. The tree was hewn down in BC534. Does that date have prophetic significance?

Yes, it does!

If we calculate 2,520 years (seven “times,” or years of years) from BC534, we come to the year 1987AD.

Does this year have prophetic significance?

It does seem to have. The PLO began its first Intifada in this year – its internal struggle against Israeli “occupation” of its claimed tribal lands. It was an assault that was markedly different from the earlier ones – a new approach to “liberating” the Land.

This was in our view the beginning of the end of the final death throes of the Arab uprising against Israel, and signaled that the Jewish people had been returned to the Land permanently and irrevocably.

The active warfare of the Proximal enemies of the Jewish state had come to an hiatus; her enemies were now embarking upon a war of attrition against God’s people: a conflict characterized by bus bombings, terroristic attacks, vilification, and the de-legitimization of Israel, in an attempt to persuade the world to reject Israel and assist the PLO to displace the people and government so the land could become theirs. It seems a legitimate progression more deeply into the final conflict of this current era of conflict of the Arabs versus Jerusalem.

In that sense, it was a slightly different aspect of the “times of the Gentiles,” than the earlier liberation of the land of “Palestine” from the Ottoman Turk in 1917AD – an anniversary exactly 70 years earlier, the difference in years equaling the length of the Babylonian captivity.

As such, it is not a momentous fulfillment of the second period of 2,520 years, but is significant enough to make note of in this regard. <HEL 6N>


Daniel 5

Belshazzar’s Vision of the Hand: His Final Doom

The Prediction (at Belshazzar’s Feast)

The year is now approximately BC534 – the terminus of Babylon as an empire. The king is Belshazzar, son of Nabonidus, and actually a co-regent with Nabonidus, who had gone to meet the Medo-Persian armies. The line of succession from the first imperial king had been Nebuchadnezzar, Evil-Merodach, Nabonidus, and Belshazzar. (CB, Appendix 50)

Daniel is about 87 years of age at this time, and we learn elsewhere that Daniel realized that the Jewish captivity was coming to an end at the 70th year of their captivity – facts which he learned from the writings of Jeremiah 25: 11, 12, and other verses.

Dan 5:1 Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and drank wine before the thousand.

An historic note: this particular banquet hall was excavated many years ago, and measures 62 feet wide and 172 feet long, its walls decorated with beautifully painted, stucco (plaster) designs in the Babylonian custom, as verse 5. The tipping point of Belshazzar’s reign comes when he decides to desecrate the holy articles in his treasury which had been sacked from the Temple in Jerusalem ... such would be the “final straw” that would decide his fate and that of his kingdom.

Dan 5:2 Belshazzar, whiles he tasted the wine, commanded to bring the golden and silver vessels which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple which was in Jerusalem; that the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, might drink therein.

Dan 5:3 Then they brought the golden vessels that were taken out of the temple of the house of God which was at Jerusalem; and the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, drank in them.

Dan 5:4 They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone.

It was a celebration which arose as a stink in the nostrils of YHVH. While wildly celebrating their gods, they utilized the holy vessels which had been plundered from the Temple of the God of heaven! Unpardonable!

But his was merely the final decoration of Babylonian depravity, a set of practices and mores which were now at an end!

Dan 5:5 In the same hour came forth fingers of a man's hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaister of the wall of the king's palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote.

Dan 5:6 Then the king's countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another.

The king was not drunken enough to ignore this awful message of The Handwriting! He responds with the same old tired routine of his fathers: he calls for all his magicians and soothsayers – who, as usual in divine matters, are dumb as a gatepost.

Dan 5:7 The king cried aloud to bring in the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers. And the king spake, and said to the wise men of Babylon, Whosoever shall read this writing, and shew me the interpretation thereof, shall be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about his neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.

Dan 5:8 Then came in all the king's wise men: but they could not read the writing, nor make known to the king the interpretation thereof.

Dan 5:9 Then was king Belshazzar greatly troubled, and his countenance was changed in him, and his lords were astonied.

Dan 5:10 Now the queen, by reason of the words of the king and his lords, came into the banquet house: and the queen spake and said, O king, live for ever: let not thy thoughts trouble thee, nor let thy countenance be changed:

Dan 5:11 There is a man in thy kingdom, in whom is the spirit of the holy gods; and in the days of thy father light and understanding and wisdom, like the wisdom of the gods, was found in him; whom the king Nebuchadnezzar thy father, the king, I say, thy father, made master of the magicians, astrologers, Chaldeans, and soothsayers;

Dan 5:12 Forasmuch as an excellent spirit, and knowledge, and understanding, interpreting of dreams, and shewing of hard sentences, and dissolving of doubts, were found in the same Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar: now let Daniel be called, and he will shew the interpretation.

The queen was here shown to be a person of wisdom, and of much greater understanding than her husband. She advised him to call upon the now old and wizened man of God to make known the handwriting and its meaning for the king.

Dan 5:13 Then was Daniel brought in before the king. And the king spake and said unto Daniel, Art thou that Daniel, which art of the children of the captivity of Judah, whom the king my father brought out of Jewry?

Dan 5:14 I have even heard of thee, that the spirit of the gods is in thee, and that light and understanding and excellent wisdom is found in thee.

Dan 5:15 And now the wise men, the astrologers, have been brought in before me, that they should read this writing, and make known unto me the interpretation thereof: but they could not shew the interpretation of the thing:

Dan 5:16 And I have heard of thee, that thou canst make interpretations, and dissolve doubts: now if thou canst read the writing, and make known to me the interpretation thereof, thou shalt be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about thy neck, and shalt be the third ruler in the kingdom.

Dan 5:17 Then Daniel answered and said before the king, Let thy gifts be to thyself, and give thy rewards to another; yet I will read the writing unto the king, and make known to him the interpretation.

Dan 5:18 O thou king, the most high God gave Nebuchadnezzar thy father a kingdom, and majesty, and glory, and honour:

Dan 5:19 And for the majesty that he gave him, all people, nations, and languages, trembled and feared before him: whom he would he slew; and whom he would he kept alive; and whom he would he set up; and whom he would he put down.

Dan 5:20 But when his heart was lifted up, and his mind hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they (his selfish and arrogant characteristics) took his glory from him:

Dan 5:21 And he was driven from the sons of men; and his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild asses: they fed him with grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven; till he knew that the most high God ruled in the kingdom of men, and that he appointeth over it whomsoever he will.

Dan 5:22 And thou his son, O Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this;

Dan 5:23 But hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of his house before thee, and thou, and thy lords, thy wives, and thy concubines, have drunk wine in them; and thou hast praised the gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know: and the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified:

In his heart, Belshazzar knew all these truths; but his arrogance and pride had not let him accept them nor operate upon their basis in fact. Now he would be penalized – deposed and destroyed; and his kingdom should pass to Medo-Persia that very night.

The Writing of the Hand: Interpreted

Dan 5:24 Then was the part of the hand sent from him; and this writing was written.

Dan 5:25 And this is the writing that was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.

Dan 5:26 This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it.

Dan 5:27 TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.

Dan 5:28 PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.

The reward to Daniel, in contrast to the bitterness of the message he translated, true to the king’s word, was immediate.

It was also short-lived!

Dan 5:29 Then commanded Belshazzar, and they clothed Daniel with scarlet, and put a chain of gold about his neck, and made a proclamation concerning him, that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom.

Dan 5:30 In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain.

Dan 5:31 And Darius the Median took the kingdom, being about threescore and two years old.

This notation of age applies to Astyages, Cyrus’ father, who was senior regent at the time. Cyrus himself was about 40, as sourced from the histories of Herodotus.

We note here that “Darius” was an appellative, and denoted “The Maintainer,” and was used by Xerxes and others. We shall discuss this and other names at the end of this section.

This dramatic and catastrophic event was a short-term prophecy which Daniel brought forth for the king’s “edification,” a state of mind which he could not change in so short a time before being slain presumably by an agent of the LORD in that banquet hall, whether that agent was a Persian, a mutinous Babylonian, or simply in the melee that ensued in the savage Persian assault.

The message was Mene Mene Tekel Uparsin (or Peres). The first line was repeated: it said – for emphasis:

God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it. God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it.

Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.

Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.

The message was direct and concise.

We can be sure that later, after General Gobryas (see note further down) had taken the kingdom for Cyrus, and was occupying the city, that men showed him the actual handwriting that had appeared on the plastered wall, which Daniel interpreted for the king.

This short-term prophecy, as much as all those of the same duration, proved immediately, and beyond any doubt that the God of heaven was omniscient – able to see and foretell the future as accurately as if it had already come to pass! In addition it proved beyond any doubt that Daniel was favored by this Deity, and was His genuine prophet.

Every cogent, and honest person knew fully that the idols they worshipped could do no such thing; petitions to those superstitions were hit or miss at best – no better than the “predictions” (about 3% correct?) of the astrologers and “psychics” of this era!

This realization should have been humbling to Cyrus, and to Gobryas as well – to know that their victory had been ordained of the LORD of heaven.

We have noted above the meaning of the appellative, Darius, as “The Maintainer.”

Astyages was called “Darius.” See f.n., CB.

Cyrus, his son, was co-regent.

Gobryas, his general, took the city in the name of Cyrus – see Isaiah 45:1, where the victory is attributed to Cyrus.

The details of the conquest of Babylon, which was thought by almost every military person to be impregnable, was conquered by the Persian diversion of the River Euphrates which flowed through the city, and by the Persian soldiers pouring into the city through the dry river bed, which normally was protected by two-leaved gates over the waters of the river both upstream and downstream. This was specifically prophesied long before his time, in Isaiah 45: 1-3.

<HEL 6N>

Daniel 6

This chapter’s records shall end the historical section of Daniel.

From chapter 7:1, his writings are prophetical.

This account tells of the last severe trial for Daniel – his being thrown into a den of lions due to the jealousy of many of his co-rulers, presumably most of the “princes” here related.

This account concerns the successor Empire to Babylon, Medo-Persia, as ruled over by Darius. It has been conjectured (with seemingly quite a good basis for this decision) that this Darius is the same king as Ahasuerus of Esther 1:1, and Artexerxes of Nehemiah 2:1 – and that this man was also called Astyages as well as Arsames (Cambyses of the Herodotus histories).

Historical cylinders have been discovered revealing these facts, and that this Darius was the father of Cyrus the Great. This finding clears up much confusion that had existed prior to the finding of the cylinders which are the source of this information.

Daniel: the Den of Lions

Dan 6:1 It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom an hundred and twenty princes, which should be over the whole kingdom;

Dan 6:2 And over these three presidents; of whom Daniel was first: that the princes might give accounts unto them, and the king should have no damage.

The new governor of the Medes presumably noted the high level position of Daniel, and recognizing him as a non-citizen of Babylon who had risen to high office due to his abilities (as perceived by them), apparently continued to observe and maintain Daniel’s previous political position of authority.

Dan 6:3 Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm.

In presumably letting this fact be known to his nobles, the machinations of “office politics” again comes fiercely into play!

Dan 6:4 Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him.

This was an objective fact: Daniel was a loyal, trusted and trustworthy public servant in his public life.

But what about his private life?

Who did Daniel really serve?

Dan 6:5 Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God.

Dan 6:6 Then these presidents and princes assembled together to the king, and said thus unto him, King Darius, live for ever.

Dan 6:7 All the presidents of the kingdom, the governors, and the princes, the counsellors, and the captains, have consulted together to establish a royal statute, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions.

Same old ploy: compel Daniel to “show his colors” by their belief that he would not compromise his standing with YHVH; and they are correct.

Dan 6:8 Now, O king, establish the decree, and sign the writing, that it be not changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not.

Dan 6:9 Wherefore king Darius signed the writing and the decree.

Dan 6:10 Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.

Not only was Daniel subservient to the Almighty in prayer and supplication, he demonstrated his obedience by physically kneeling before the throne of God. Anyone who observed him in prayer observed his humility and dedication to the Father.

Dan 6:11 Then these men assembled, and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God.

Dan 6:12 Then they came near, and spake before the king concerning the king's decree; Hast thou not signed a decree, that every man that shall ask a petition of any God or man within thirty days, save of thee, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions? The king answered and said, The thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not.

Dan 6:13 Then answered they and said before the king, That Daniel, which is of the children of the captivity of Judah, regardeth not thee, O king, nor the decree that thou hast signed, but maketh his petition three times a day.

Dan 6:14 Then the king, when he heard these words, was sore displeased with himself, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him: and he laboured till the going down of the sun to deliver him.

The decree of the king had returned to trouble him severely, for he favored Daniel and did not wish him harmed.

But even the king had no recourse to his own binding edict!

Dan 6:15 Then these men assembled unto the king, and said unto the king, Know, O king, that the law of the Medes and Persians is, That no decree nor statute which the king establisheth may be changed.

The king was being arm-wrestled by his own officials – forced to comply with his own irrational law. But his detractors had no inkling as to the God of heaven and the power that He would wield. But it seems that the king himself realized that Daniel would be safe; otherwise, his words were a mockery.

Dan 6:16 Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee.

This unusual, faith-based remark of the king is sure indication that he had a close relationship with Daniel – perhaps even a father/son relationship. He also respected Daniel’s faith in his God.

Dan 6:17 And a stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords; that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel.

Dan 6:18 Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting: neither were instruments of musick brought before him: and his sleep went from him.

The anxiety of the king is apparent. He is anxious to determine the outcome of his inadvertent condemnation of Daniel.

Dan 6:19 Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions.

He calls with a woeful voice to Daniel:

Dan 6:20 And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel: and the king spake and said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions?

Dan 6:21 Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever.

Dan 6:22 My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions' mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.

It had been another walk in the park for Daniel!

Dan 6:23 Then was the king exceeding glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God.

Dan 6:24 And the king commanded, and they brought those men which had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions, them, their children, and their wives; and the lions had the mastery of them, and brake all their bones in pieces or ever they came at the bottom of the den.

Just as the very powerful men of Nebuchadnezzar’s army were destroyed, which went near the fiery furnace to throw Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah into the flames, so these powerful men were punished by their own instrument of destruction – even including their wives and their children – who would have been killed almost before they reached the floor of the den.

The lions’ mouths were no longer “stopped,” as they feasted on human flesh!

What a great salvation had God wrought for Daniel!

Dan 6:25 Then king Darius wrote unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you.

The only way that the earlier decree could be attenuated was through another decree which would provide a means of escape.

But the decree did not directly cancel the earlier decree (that was an impossibility), it simply provided an exception to it. The Children of Israel might now worship their God with impunity – freely, and without fear! Indeed, the king ordered all his subjects to “tremble and fear before the God of Daniel,” and gave his reasons for this new decree.

We cannot suppose from this that Cyrus OR his people became genuine, dedicated servants of God on the same plane as the Jews, although that is what the king seems to demand.

But the God of heaven was no longer to be disregarded in any affair, and the Jews’ worship of Him not to be forbidden by law.

Dan 6:26 I make a decree, That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, and stedfast for ever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even unto the end.

Dan 6:27 He delivereth and rescueth, and he worketh signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, who hath delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.

Dan 6:28 So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.

Daniel continues to prophesy until the third year of Cyrus (Daniel 10:1), after which his writings end abruptly – after he has successfully laid out a thorough preamble to the Apocalypse of John! <HEL 6N>


Daniel 7

The Dream of Daniel

The End of Gentile Dominion

Dan 7:1 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.

The events of this chapter happen three years earlier than those of Chapter 6. Daniel’s record is still being written in Chaldee (Aramaic) at this point – the language of the Gentiles – because it still follows on Daniel 2:44, leading up to what shall happen in “the days of these kings,” in the final analysis.

This prophetic outline by Daniel sketches details of the entire history of the Jewish people as subjected to the Gentiles up to the time when the Ancient of Days appears and puts down all their rule and authority and power.


Vision of the Four Beasts

Dan 7:2 Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea.

This raging “sea” is the sea of humanity. The “winds” are the turbulent influences upon this sea – the motions of the empires of men.

Dan 7:3 And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.

Dan 7:4 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.

Dan 7:5 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.

Dan 7:6 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.

Dan 7:7 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 7:8 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.

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The Details of the Beasts

We think it advisable to pause here, and comment upon the details of this strange apparition in the order of the appearance of the beasts. In doing so, we must ignore the thinking of commentators, most of whom out-guess themselves in striving to understand this vision. Some even opine that it is still future (these are Futurists), and do not recognize that the vision is a summary recapitulation of the four major empires as to their effects upon God’s people, and indeed therefore, upon history itself.

This recapitulation is entirely appropriate in this prophetical consideration of the prophet, as his earlier account of them is included in his historical section.

Dan 7:4 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.

This beast symbolizes Babylon. Its national symbol was a winged lion.

The national museum of Turkey in Istanbul contains excavated, majestic, winged lion figures taken from the gates of Babylon – beautifully crafted, porcelainized figures of leonine menace and domination. It was the self-image of the Babylonian kings – and why not so? They had conquered everyone else in the habitable, and now dominated all commerce, law and “religion.”

However, their domination was about to end; their wings were “plucked” and as in Nebuchadnezzar’s case, its heart had been made humble and humane instead of vindictive and arrogant. After the traumatic period of his lycanthropy, the king had truly acknowledged the supremacy of the God of heaven, and at least in word had submitted to him. This is the picture of a man – not a beast, such as the lion.

This horrific vision of Daniel thus places before us symbolic beasts, which represent the four phases of domination of the people of God by the Gentiles. They give integral details which will allow us (in light of further revelation by Daniel) to characterize the four world empires which were to have complete dominance over the people of God until the end time.

And now, the second beast – a bear:

Dan 7:5 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.

This figure represented Medo-Persia.

The Medes were less powerful than their immediate successors; but their regnal periods were so closely related that they are termed the Medo-Persian Empire. This is the meaning of the phrase “it raised up itself on one side.”

The third beast is a leopard.

Dan 7:6 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 figure represents Greece. Skipping over the dominant Alexqnder in this figure, the beast’s wings represent the four divisions of Alexander’s legacy after his death – the four generals who were awarded smaller empires, being four portions of the greater domains.

The fourth beast is unnamable, but is described as dreadful and terrible.

Dan 7:7 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 7:8 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.

This beast represents Rome.

This was the most dominant of the empires of men as affecting the Jews and God’s people. It existed in several forms and over the longest time by far of its predecessors. Its kings were labeled by several various names; as an whole, they were vicious, bloody, heartless tyrants over all men under their control.

These characteristics are the “dreadful and terrible” aspect of the kingdom; it had great iron teeth.

We remember that the Image seen by Daniel in chapter two, had legs of iron, which represented the fourth dominant empire – Rome, eastern and western.

The prophet’s observation – that it devoured and broke in pieces other kingdoms and their citizens – is just what Rome did to far-flung nations. It put these down, summarily, and enforced Roman Law upon them.

Eventually the Empire of which it originally consisted, ended.

The old, pagan Rome was broken up into ten regions or states at that time, becoming the Holy Roman Empire. Horns are indicative of “powers” – so these are the ten horns of the fierce beast. Revelation 17:12.

The names of these ten states are unfamiliar to most readers. A thorough search of the Internet failed to yield a simple list of the basic ten states, as each was composed of multiple sub-parts with intricate names. But it remains a fact that there were ten basic political entities which composed the HRE. They are listed in detail in the narrative following, including the three which were put down by the papacy.

Verse 8 introduces a Little Horn which springs up amongst the basic Ten Horns. It begins as a “little” horn (power) but quickly gains the status of a dominant one! Daniel 11: 36; Revelation 13:5, 6.

In brief, this horn represents the Papacy – the Bishop of Rome – who Constantine assigned as chief potentate of these Ten Horns, all of whom became subject to this active, talkative, dominating Eleventh Horn!

In its development, the papal office – the “Holy See (Seat)” – was given physical domain over a tiny portion of the Italian capital – it was assigned the Vatican – and thus its leaders, the long series of bishops called popes, also became heads of the State.

It is the only nation upon earth which is, or ever has been headed by a principal church official; the pope is both “Vicar of Christ and Prime Minister!” – or Head of Church and Head of State.

This horn dictated that the Ten accept and teach the doctrine of the Trinity – that GOD consisted of three coequal and coeternal entities: “God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit” as their foundational principle.

But three of these polities refused to follow the papal diktat, and were turned aside by the pope; in a word, they were plucked up by the roots because they rejected the papal bull which required them to comply with Rome (the Vatican)!

But the eleventh horn has additional, recognizable characteristics: the prophet saw that, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.

These traits show the “horn” actually to be a man, if there were any doubt, and that his dominant features are “eyes” and “a mouth,” by which we believe the message is that the Pope of Rome SEES almost universally and SPEAKS with domination and coercion.

To this point, the Vatican, as a bona-fide State, has placed ambassadors (they are called Papal Nuncios) in nearly every capital city in the world; by this means, the pope has insight into the affairs of all these nations on an official and legitimate basis.

These are his “eyes.”

His mouth is well-known to be a king-maker and a king-breaker; in time past more than at the present, his word was impossible for anyone, even kings, to ignore, as some did to their extreme hurt!

This power exists even beyond its hegemony over the Jewish people – although its ambition remains in that vein – until the time revealed in the words of the next verse.

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Now, Daniel tells details of that end time. These events are beyond even our own present days, and portend what shall befall the domain of these kings in the last of the end time.

Dan 7:9 I beheld till the thrones (of all those kings) 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.

This is the first mention of the Ancient of Days, which in our opinion is, firstly, the God of the universe Who is described in Psalm 90, verse 2, by Moses: Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.

This title is used only three times in the scriptures – all of them in this chapter – in verses 9, 13 and 22, all of which please note.

In our consideration of this Personage we must realize that after His resurrection, the Lord Jesus Christ inherited the names of God, having become like Him in every way, then completely ”one” with the Father.

So in these descriptions, the delineation between the two may be difficult, although it is helpful to realize that Jesus may now be addressed as “God” in many ways, because He is the direct representative of His Father, although in scriptural reality a separate personage – Son of His Father.

Christendom regards these two as the same being, and erroneously refers to Jesus as “God the Son,” a title which is not found in the Bible either textually or conceptually.

We can therefore be assured that this is a picture of the Lord Jesus sitting on His throne of Judgment because of the narrative that follows …

Dan 7:10 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.

These “books” are evidently the Book of Life as well as the Other Book (Revelation 20:12) which is evident in the accounts of the Revelation.

We perceive a detail here which is integral to the expected flow of end time events; that the Ancient of Days (Jesus Christ) has returned to the earth and has put down the Image of Daniel 2the residue of the final distillation of the four empires as embodied in the last phase of it – then to be standing on its feet of part iron and part clay.

This Personage, called the Little Stone cut out of the mountain without hands in Daniel 2, smites the Image on the feet and grinds it to powder.

The Beast, which is closely allied with the Little Horn, survives longest, and is now destroyed by the Christ and His armies.

Later in these considerations, we shall address more completely the prophesied events of the end time. Suffice it to say at this point that the Image of Daniel 2 stands on its feet in Europe – the native home of the Beast upon which the Harlot sits (Revelation 17:3) – and is defeated summarily in that same arena, but progressively extending to the full breadth and width of Catholic influence in all the earth, for “Rome” (i.e., its “religion”) is to be completely eradicated from the earth, as Daniel now reveals:

Dan 7:11 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.

Dan 7:12 As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.

Their influence remained in their minds as the persistent beliefs of their former parishioners until the time when the Saints of the Most High go forth unto them to teach them the Truth of God as they should already have been taught!

A pointed reference to this occasion is recorded in the prophecy of Jeremiah 16:19 - O LORD, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction, the Gentiles shall come unto thee from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit.

This overarching population which is yet in ignorance consists of “the Gentiles.” This means ALL the Gentiles – even those of Christendom, whose instructions have been long since, invalid and counterfeit – the doctrine of the Trinity being one of the most basic of false dogmas.

Today there is a large group of “theologians” who define a SECT (implied: Apostate group!) as anyone who DOES NOT hold the doctrine of the Trinity.

It is therefore a position of honor to Christ’s brethren, NOT to hold that belief and not to suffer it to be taught among the saints of God. And for that matter, not even to be Gentiles any longer, but the adopted Sons and Daughters of the Almighty God, and Israelites indeed, having been “graffed in” (grafted into) that Good Olive Tree, which is Israel!

Dan 7:13 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.

In this reference there is illustrated a movement of position and entitlement of the Son of God as being in subjection to His Father – the Ancient of Days.

Dan 7:14 And there was given him (by His Father) 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.

Note carefully how perfectly this description of His legacy corresponds to the earlier description of the earthly Domain of the Father in heaven! – of the God of Daniel which Nebuchadnezzar was brought to recognize, Whose dominion was spoken of in exactly similar words!

The Son of Man (Jesus Christ, the One Man, returned to the earth with His Saints Who are then “one” with Him as Jesus was with His Father, as referenced in his fervent prayer of John 17), comes with the clouds of heaven (cf., also Matthew 26:64), and is given His kingdom by His Father.

His prayer at the Last Supper had been as written in John 17:20 - Neither pray I for these (the Apostles there present with Him) alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; 21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

That group of future Brethren include us of today who hold His words of truth.

With that kingdom he inherits also the title of Ancient of Days, for His being and purpose are identical with those of His Father.

But our comments have gone beyond this anxious stage of Daniel’s reaction to the vision. We return to his words …

Dan 7:15 I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me.

Daniel clearly does not understand the vision; he must await clarification.

The Dream Interpreted for Daniel

Dan 7:16 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.

Dan 7:17 These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth.

The messenger does not mince words; he leaps forward to the conclusion of the matter, reassuring the prophet and his readers that all is not lost – that good will come in the end with an encompassing victory of the saints of the Most High.

Dan 7:18 But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.

At this decisive moment, the day-to-day control of human affairs comes under the scepter of the Christ of the Second Advent and His now immortalized Helpers, the Saints. Their authority is pervasive, and their judgments unswervingly just and upright.

But there are details which need explanation.... In this narrative we receive some vital information about the end times, when these affairs shall move forward to their conclusion. It is information which is probably the first of its kind in Bible prophecy – the development of the Roman empire and its morphology of the future – the intricate convolutions of its future development into something different from its original constitution, something with deeply spiritual overtones ...

Dan 7:19 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;

Dan 7:20 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.

We perceive right away, from our reasonable knowledge of human history, that the prophet must be speaking of the Roman empire which is morphing into the Holy Roman Empire (HRE) and then of subsequent events.

For the record we list here the ten nations of the Holy Roman Empire.

Nations of HRE

Franks

Allemani

Lombards

Suevi

Anglo-Saxons

Burgundians

Visigoths

Heruli extinct 493

Vandals 534

Ostrogoths 538

At this time we will not comment further upon these entities …

Dan 7:21 I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;

This explanation is partially the basis for our commentary above.

See how well it corresponds to the practices of the papacy – with his rapacious treatment of all detractors – all those who believed the Truth and resisted the papal decretals.

In these brief words is comprehended the great body of Church transgression against every man who studied God’s Word, and who thought for himself, resisting and refusing the papal mandates, believing and teaching the Truth of God’s word without deference to man’s thoughts or influence – a commendable position by every standard of excellence.

In past ages, these acts of defiance were undertaken at great hazard; many of these faithful seekers for Truth lost their lives by being burned at the stake, by being torn by lions, by drowning, by starvation, by the excruciating torture of the rack or the cage, or being slain by the papal sword!

But, praise be to God, these acts of insolent depravity are destined to come to their end!

The picture next given is that the Saints of the Most High, taking the kingdom for Themselves and their Lord, “possess the kingdom” in contradistinction to their former estate of subjection to the laws of men, and to oppression by them.

In this transaction, the judged become the judges; and in a sense, the oppressed of the papacy become the oppressors of the papacy, all under the authority of the LORD, Jesus Christ.

Dan 7:22 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.

Dan 7:23 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.

Dan 7:24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are (represent) 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.

The history of the papacy is here clearly foretold, for this sequence of events is objectively what was to happen in the theater of the Beast.

Dan 7:25 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.

The text speaks of great opposition to the God which the papacy claimed to represent on earth. Church Law stands head and shoulders above Biblical teaching; that is the obtuse position of the Church as it goes forward with its program of trafficking in the souls of men!

This period of a time, times and a dividing of time, will be discussed later in this commentary, for its details would divert us from this present discussion.

The final result of these oppressive actions is that condemnational judgment comes to the Great Bishop of Rome. All his dominion and all his earthly possessions shall be removed from his greedy grasp forever – and his dominion, his wealth, and his prestige among men given to the Saints!

Dan 7:26 But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.

Only the Ancient of Days was able to overcome this powerful Little Horn.

Dan 7:27 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.

The erratic, greedy, irrational and war-waging intrusions of kings and emperors are thus terminated! Peace and righteousness are founded on the earth forever!

The family of man can now be instructed in righteousness and truth by its Redeemer and His Saints (and by Israel, in the end time Restored to His allegiance – and beginning to become a light unto the Gentiles!).

Dan 7:28 Hitherto is the end of the matter. As for me Daniel, my cogitations much troubled me (or baffled me), and my countenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart.

What man would not be disturbed by such weighty, momentous revelations!

Daniel’s vision had not been JUST a dream; it had been a comprehensive forecast of stupendous future events the significance of which no man could ever imagine!

And in the end of these days, Daniel would stand in his lot, as he would shortly be assured in Daniel 12:13.

Thus, the prophetical portion of Daniel begins with a complete overview of the major events which should fill the ages leading up to the inheritance of the kingdom by His Saints – an institution in which Daniel is assured a place! It is a decisive period of time whose events are further detailed by Jesus’ personal revelations in the Apocalypse.

However, as we shall now see, the LORD is ready to reveal to Daniel more of the exact details of the kingdoms of men, leading up to the establishment of the kingdom of God on the earth!

These revelations will contain vital prophecies which shall enlighten and strengthen believers far beyond the death of Daniel, bringing understanding and faith to those who engage themselves in and persevere in the ardent investigation of His word of life.

These will assist the faithful seekers to determine – to discern clearly –that the course of history really has been precisely foretold in much detail by the Almighty – a characteristic unique to Him in all the world – and shall result in unmovable conviction within their breasts, that their Father is faithful to His word in all things, and is mighty to the moving of nations and peoples to His Cause!

This is the end of Daniel’s prophecy as written in the Gentile language of the Chaldeans. From this point forward, his record is recorded in Hebrew, the language of the Lord. <HEL 6N>


Daniel 8

Two years elapsed without Daniel’s receiving another (recorded) vision from the LORD. But we may be sure Daniel was keeping the previous matters “in his heart” by meditating on them and considering their meaning.

As noted, the scroll now begins to be recorded in the Hebrew language, as it concerns specifically the involvement of the Jewish people with the extraneous powers of men beyond Daniel’s immediate association with Babylon.

This significant prophecy is magnificently detailed; as such, it generates great faith in God’s people – reassuring them that He is in complete control of all things, and that His Way shall “out.” A comprehensive commentary on this entire vision is recorded at the end of this chapter.

But first, we record the vision and its aftermath almost without commentary.

The Vision of the Ram and the He-Goat

Dan 8:1 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.

Dan 8:2 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.

This river of the vision represents first of all, the river of time. But is also represents a river in Asia Minor – the River Granicus – as we shall soon see.

Dan 8:3 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.

The ram represents the Medo-Persian power then arising in force in this time in history. The Persian faction was more powerful than was the Median portion. Together, they were imminently successful in their conquests...

Dan 8:4 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.

This is descriptive of the generally reckless abandon of the Medes and the Persians, whose rapid conquests are typified by their conquest of Babylon in Chapter 5.

Now a male goat enters the equation. The goat is a symbol of Greece – the power which overtook and destroyed the mighty Persian Empire. Alexander the Great was its moving force, the notable “horn” between its eyes, coming from Greece, in the west, or more exactly Macedonia.

Dan 8:5 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.

Dan 8:6 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.

Dan 8:7 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.

This narrative speaks of the decisive victories of Alexander against Persia, which began at the first assault of Alexander at the River Granicus.

Dan 8:8 Therefore the he goat waxed very great: and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and for it (in its place) came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven.

When Alexander died suddenly at an early age, he had no male heirs. The empire was therefore divided up between his four generals, two of which came to later prominence as to their relationship with God’s people: the Seleucids (Greece/Turkey) and the Ptolemies (Egypt).

Dan 8:9 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.

The narrative describes a later development of the Roman Empire, which succeeded Greece. It produced this “little horn” – the papacy – to be explained later in this commentary.

Dan 8:10 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.

Dan 8:11 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.

Dan 8:12 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.

The Cleansing of the Sanctuary

The 2300 Evening-Mornings

Dan 8:13 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?

Dan 8:14 And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.

This phrase comprehends more than simply the Hebrew term for “days” – i.e., evenings-mornings = one “day” – as this designation is that of the specific times of the evening and the morning sacrifices, or the continual sacrifice, the suspension of which is the subject of this prophecy. The “days” are seen immediately to mean “years,” the day for a year principle which is seen so often in Hebrew prophecy.

Dan 8:15 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.

Dan 8:16 And I heard a man's voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision.

Gabriel is the first angel who is actually named in God’s word. The second is Michael, which we shall encounter later in Daniel’s writings. Both these messengers are designated Archangels, or angels of a superior order!

Dan 8:17 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.

By this statement, we shall discover that he is referring to an extremely long-term prophecy beginning soon after Daniel’s time and extending to the time of the end of all things Adamic – all the things of the natural creation. It would not be understood until “the time of the end.”

Dan 8:18 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.

His deep sleep – and his being set upright – are symbolic of Daniel’s sleep in the dust of the earth, and of his resurrection in the end time. This interpretation is made sure by the text of the last words of this prophecy, where Daniel is told: But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest (or sleep, in the death state), and stand (be resurrected) in thy lot at the end of the days. Daniel 12:13.

The Interpretation of the Vision

of the Ram and the He-Goat

At this point in the scroll, the Spirit begins to make known to Daniel the meaning of the vision from the first words of it … and the interpretation concerns the ultimate end time.

Dan 8:19 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.

Note here that there is a certain time appointed for the “end” of these things. We are reminded of words of the psalmist who rehearses some of the events of the end time, beginning at the time when the dispersed of Zion shall be recovered, and returned to their Land. In these precious words, the Father reassures His people that He will not forget them.

The text begins in …

Psalm 102:12 But thou, O LORD, shalt endure for ever; and thy remembrance unto all generations. 13 Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion: for the time to favour her, yea, the set time, is come. 14 For thy servants take pleasure in her stones, and favour the dust thereof. 15 So the heathen (this term is “nations” and refers foremost and primarily to those “round about” His people) shall fear the name of the LORD, and all the kings of the earth (“earth” here is Hebrew eretz, or His Promised “earth” or Land; the phrases limit His intention to those who have taken over the lands between the Rivers) thy glory. 16 When the LORD shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory. 17 He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and not despise their prayer. 18 This shall be written for the generation to come: and the people which shall be created shall praise the LORD.

Note carefully that those words refer to His People being called to their homeland in the end time with a modicum of prayerful hope. This was the mien of many of the founders of modern Israel; they believed that their redemption lay in their return to His Land, and that the Almighty would turn to them in that eventuality.

Observers who have the perception of faith realize that the survival of modern Israel against their overburden of enemies is indeed a divine circumstance – that the angel of the LORD is indeed encamping round about His saints (dedicated ones, or sanctified ones – His chosen people).

But we return now to the delineation of the vision …

Dan 8:20 The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia.

Dan 8:21 And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king.

Dan 8:22 Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power.

Dan 8:23 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.

Here the Spirit’s revelation shifts from the purely political character of the victories of Greece (the rough goat) directly to the pagan/Catholic phase of the kingdom which succeeded Greece – namely to Rome. This may be definitively concluded by the words of verse 25, particularly, in which the reader learns that this king of “fierce countenance” shall stand up against the Prince of princes – i.e., the LORD Jesus Christ.

In these words, Daniel is being given a picture of events in a summary fashion, up to the point of Daniel’s re-awakening in the resurrection, and revealing to him the events of the very terminal history of the Gentile nations as related to the Jews.

Dan 8:24 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.

Dan 8:25 And through his policy also he shall cause craft (the Hebrew is mirmah, and means deceit or fraud – a perfect representation of what the Church has done to the pure Gospel of Christ!) to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace (this word is shalvah, not shalom, and indicates prosperity and abundance) shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.

Dan 8:26 And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true: wherefore shut thou up the vision (meaning, seal it); for it shall be for many days.

Dan 8:27 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.

The reason that none understood the vision was that the Almighty had commanded it be sealed, or “shut up.” It would come to its terminus many years, even centuries, in the future.

Daniel would continue to cogitate upon these mysterious visions.

Now we append a commentary on this prophecy published some years ago in The electronic Prophecy Letter (eTPL), which we believe to be comprehensive. It will explain to our own satisfaction many of the features of this vision.

The 2300 Evening-Mornings of Daniel 8

Or, The Sanctuary Cycle

One of the most extensive and comprehensive prophecies in the Bible is that of Daniel 8. It is known to us as the Prophecy of the 2300 Days (Evening-Mornings) – or, The Sanctuary Cycle. The term of the prophecy extended from ancient time all the way forward to our own days – to 1967 – nineteen years after the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.

In this article we intend to examine the prophecy thoroughly, and to establish its meaning with as much certainty as possible.

We begin by transcribing and commenting upon the relevant passages from the Authorized Version of E-Sword.

Daniel 8:1 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.

The time of (the initiation of) this vision is near the end of the Babylonian Captivity of Judah. The prophet was about to see a vision concerning the successor of Babylon, which would be Medo-Persia.

Dan 8:2 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.

Elam is the name then in use for the Babylonian province which would later become absorbed into Persia. The terminal year of Babylonian domination was nearing; Babylon’s conquest by the Medes and the Persians had just been accomplished, as noted, in Chapter 5 of Daniel.

Cyrus the Persian took the city in 539 BC. Belshazzar was the last king of Babylon – the one who, you remember – was given his Termination Notice by The Detached Hand, writing on the wall of his banquet hall the words Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin – “Thou art weighed in the balances and found wanting.”

Dan 8:3 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.

Later we shall find that this ram represented the successor to Babylon – the Medo-Persian Empire – the higher horn representing Persia, the stronger of the two factions; it succeeded the Medes. However, the kingdom is considered a bi-national affair – a dual entity – and is called Medo-Persia even by historians today.

Dan 8:4 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.

The Medes and the Persians were exceptionally strong and savage. They expanded their empire rapidly and widely. Their kings accomplished whatever they wished and Persia became great.

Dan 8:5 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.

This “he goat” came from the west – from Macedonia/Greece – and its champion was Alexander the Great, one of the great military geniuses of all history, who is represented by the notable horn between his eyes.

Horns, in scripture, are symbolic of strong powers. Grecian armies as led by Alexander were militarily so nimble they seemed to fly – to “touch not the ground.”

Dan 8:6 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.

Alexander attacked Persia initially at the River Granicus in 334 BC, a river of Turkey near Troy which flows into the Sea of Marmara located between the Bosporus and the Dardanelles. It was Alexander’s initial foray into Asia Minor and was expressly against the Persians.

Dan 8:7 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.

Eyewitness accounts of the Battle of the River Granicus are graphic in their description of the aggressiveness (“choler”) of the Greeks. Alexander himself – true to the practice of ancient kings – led his cavalry into action personally as the horsemen mounted on the huge, well-trained warhorses of Greece, rapidly forded the river and approached the Persians, confronting them on the eastern shore.

Alexander is said to have discerned the Persian generals who were also at the head of their army’s southern flank, in a group of horsemen on the shore.

He led the deadly Greek horsemen in their classic wedge-shaped charge across the river, directly into their midst and killed two of the leaders of the Persians, one a relative of the king.

He was so aggressive and involved in the hand-to-hand fighting, Alexander was at one point about to be killed by an axe-wielding Persian nobleman, but was rescued by one of his generals, Cleitus the Black, who delivered a death blow to the attacker.

The Persians were routed and with many of their leaders killed, retreated, but were pursued by the Greeks and many were slaughtered mercilessly.

This was the initial victory in a long line of conquests of Alexander and his superb forces. Alexander came close to death on this occasion but did recover from the axe blow he had received. It was the palpable beginning of an awesome career as a military tactician at the head of his small, agile, fierce and formidable army.

Dan 8:8 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.

With magnificent understatement, the text relates the following events; Alexander DID wax very great. But a few years later, after he had progressed eastward to the River Indus, he was persuaded by his weary soldiers to stop his eastward advance. He brought his army back to Babylon where Alexander is recorded as having died in 323BC while planning invasions of the Arabian Peninsula. His empire was divided among his four main generals, the four notable horns, which took control of the empire’s vast realms.

The subsequent account gives details of later history, including termination of the daily sacrifice and desecration of the holy place in Jerusalem by Rome in 70 AD, when the Temple was destroyed and the city destroyed. [But please see further discussion of these key verses (as to later history) at the end of this transcribed article.]

These details are not of particular interest in this study. The important fact is that this Battle of the River Granicus was the beginning of the period of 2300 evening-mornings (days), each of which equate to a solar year in the calendar. The date is reported by historians to have been early June, 334BC – a most important prophetic milestone.

In verse 13, a conversation between two saints is presented: Daniel 8:13 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.

This 14th verse gives the name to the prophecy: unto two thousand and three hundred days (after which) shall the sanctuary be cleansed: the Sanctuary Cycle thus was to be of 2300 days’ length.

The question even among these Revelators was how long the vision was to require for fulfillment – how much historical time should the daily sacrifices of the Law and the “transgression of desolation” occupy?

These actions were tantamount to giving both the host and the sanctuary to be “trodden under foot” – or subdued by the enemies of the Lord.

Simplified, the question was how long should it be until some tangible, palpable advance in Israel’s fortunes should be realized and the Sanctuary be ‘cleansed?’ – its fortunes beginning to be reversed on a noticeable and certifiable level?

2300 literal 24-hour days would pass without any such progress. So we recognize by fulfillment of the prophecy what specifically was indicated by that wording. The prophecy would actually require two thousand three hundred YEARS for fulfillment! – the familiar application in prophecy of “a day for a year.” How discouraged should Daniel and his companions have been if they had known that they would have to wait that long?

Dan 8:15 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.

Dan 8:16 And I heard a man's voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision.

Now we meet the archangel Gabriel, who appears, to explain the vision to Daniel.

Dan 8:17 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.

This is the simple and direct answer to the previous question: it should be “at the time of the end” that the vision should be completed! It was still an indefinite date for Daniel, but at least it now had a label.

Dan 8:26 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.

The simple meaning of these words is that the vision could not yet be understood by its recipient. Daniel would never, in his own time, be able to penetrate its meaning. Thus it was “sealed,” as have been other visions of the future – until the approaching time of its fulfillment.

Dan 8:27 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.

The impact of the vision was so severe that Daniel fainted, and was ill for several days. Soon he recovered and went about his business, but his record tells us that he was “astonished” at the vision, and that “none understood it.”

We are privileged to understand the vision more perfectly than Daniel, but only by having lived beyond the fulfillment of its terminal year. As witnesses to its end, we can look back at its term and understand it much more fully. This does not mean that there are not mysterious facets of it which we may not yet understand.

Dan 8:18 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.

Some have conjectured that the deep sleep of Daniel was equivalent to saying that he should go into the death state and sleep for some indeterminate time, then be resurrected, or “set upright,” at the last day.

We believe this a valid explanation of this scene – that Daniel would be alive in the resurrection when the Sanctuary should be ultimately cleansed.

But, at the same time, the process of cleansing the Sanctuary would begin much earlier – PRIOR to the final episode, at the time of the literal end of the 2300 evening-mornings (“days”). This outworking of the prophecy seems to be progressively playing out in history today – the time of the fulfillment of the vision.

The detailed explanation given by Gabriel goes into detail which is not relevant to the present discussion. The important fact is that he had defined the ultimate length of the prophecy.

We now determine that end point with exact calculations, as follows:

The he-goat with one notable horn attacked the ram with two horns at the River Granicus in the spring of 334 BC, stated by earlier scholars to have been June 7th.

We lapse the date forward 2,300 literal years (on the day for a year principle of prophecy) and find that at the year 0 BC/0AD, 334 years have elapsed. As the changeover is not two years but actually one, we subtract one year from the 334, resulting in 333 elapsed years.

Now, 2,300 minus 333 is equal to 1967 – or the monumental year of 1967 AD: the PRECISE YEAR AND DAY (June 7th) in which Israel annexed Jerusalem and the Temple Mount to its holdings never to relinquish them again!

What a spectacular event!

The extremely long prophecy of the 2,300 morning-evenings had been fulfilled PRECISELY as foretold by the Almighty through the prophet Daniel. For the first time since Daniel’s era, the Temple Mount – the site of the Temples of Israel which had been destroyed – was back in the sovereign hands of Israel!

The prophecy had according to best estimates, terminated on the EXACT DAY it had specified 23 centuries before!

This was the “official” terminus of the Sanctuary Cycle.

The Sanctuary site was now securely and eternally back in the hands of Israel.

But men – leaders, “shepherds” – are not always attuned to what is expected of them. General Moshe Dayan, the one-eyed Israeli leader who brought about that victory, was secular (not ‘religious’) so was not aware of the final destiny of Temple Mount (more likely was aware of the prophecy but didn’t believe it).

Being anxious to keep the peace with the Muslim religious authorities, Dayan gave the oversight of Temple Mount to the local Waqf the Moslem religious overseers – to control and administer!

It was a dire mistake; but did it take the Almighty by surprise?

No! It did not.

For He foreknew that Dayan would make this ‘mistake,’ so we easily perceive a ‘soft beginning’ to the process of the cleansing of the Sanctuary.

The process was here given its foundation, and its impetus toward total fulfillment, which lies yet some time in the future era. Israel’s conquest of the Mount had been an earnest of things to come – progressively, as God’s plan unfolded in the end time.

We can easily conjecture exactly how this process shall work itself out – how Israel shall in the near future overthrow the Waqf and its granted authority, and take the Temple Mount physically for its own use.

The process is not expected to be a simple one, but hinges entirely upon the timing of the Almighty One, Who shall send His Son at the time appointed.

The process will hinge upon the LORD Jesus Christ, in our opinion, and will not come about until He accomplishes the task of ridding the Temple Mount of all foreign influence and intervention.

In the first place, since the year 1967, when the Sanctuary Cycle reached its terminus, the Arabs of the Waqf have been jealously protective of the Temple Mount, even claiming that the Jews never had possession of it at any time in past history – a mark of the most abysmal ignorance of their “historians.”

They claimed just recently that the Temple Mount had been in Arab hands for all time; that the Jews had never maintained any presence there!

These statements belie all the facts of history. They are fabrications of the first order. But the character of these statements comply with Arab custom – that a mere statement given by their leaders about anything, whether false or not, becomes truth by their utterance!

Well, it isn’t truth!

The Muslim ‘god’ (Allah) is in no way equivalent to the Almighty Hebrew God – the uncreated Creator, the One in whom all men “live and move and have their being” as attested by the Apostle Paul at Mars’ Hill in Athens (Acts 17: 28).

Allah is a simple stone idol around seven inches tall, and was one of 360 similar idols inhabiting the Ka’bah from which Mohammed selected it to be ‘the one true god’ of Islam. He discarded the other 359 idols and venerated ‘allah the moon god.’ Islam is a continuation of the ancient worship of the moon god, who they believed was married to the sun god; their children were the stars.

So for nearly fifteen centuries, the blind Muslims have been led by the blind (also deaf, mute, and senseless) diminutive, crudely-carved stone idol of its founder’s irrational mind!

The precise fulfillment of the Sanctuary Cycle, doubtless to the very day, gives us immutable reason to put our trust in the Almighty, the God of Israel, and His Omnipotence and Omniscience.

There is no alternative answer for the profound accuracy of prophecies such as that of the Sanctuary Cycle, or the 2300 evening-mornings.

We wait patiently for progression in this ‘soft’ fulfillment of the prophecy, awaiting the final cleansing of the Sanctuary which shall be, in our studied opinion, the utter destruction of the Dome of the Rock as well as the Mosque Al-Aqsa on Temple Mount – and the demolition and complete removal of every vestige of Islamic occupation of that parcel of land.

Shall this result from an act of sabotage by Israeli interests? (It is possible!)

Or, shall it stand defiantly before God in His holy place until the earthquake of Christ’s Second Advent?

We cannot be sure, as no information is extant, except that the great earthquake which splits the Mount of Olives east to west, and elevates the Mount and the City of Jerusalem will surely be the demise of these pagan shrines if nothing previously destroys them.

At the present time, the wrath of the teeming millions of Islamic adherents would deter sabotage by any rational human being or agency. If Israel should march onto Temple Mount and dynamite these two Moslem shirnes, the entire Arab world would march upon Jerusalem for revenge; the onslaught would be overwhelming to Israel. So that is, we believe, not in the offing.

But an earthquake is another matter (although it will doubtless be attributed to the genius of Israel by the Arabs!) and the destruction will be irreparable.

That site, where stood the Holy of Holies in Solomon’s and Christ’s days, is expected to be elevated and flattened by the tectonic assault that the earthquake shall bring, and the site readied to accept construction of the gigantic, splendid, and spectacular Temple of Ezekiel’s Prophecy (cf. Ezekiel 40-48) – the Temple of God’s House, a House of Prayer for all people (Isaiah 56:7).

The summary of Daniel’s revelation is given in the last two verses of Daniel 8:

Dan 8:26 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.

Dan 8:27 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.

The vision therefore awaits its absolutely final end – that is, the Second Coming of the Lord from heaven, “Whom the heavens must receive until the times of the restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouths of all His holy prophets, since the world began.” (Acts 3:21)

That time is unknown to us at this time, but is absolutely certain to come! <eTPL February 2011 HEL> [End of eTPL article]

Now let us continue consideration of the details of the above text. In the appended article excerpted from eTPL, we inserted these words:

“The subsequent account gives details of later history, including termination of the daily sacrifice and desecration of the holy place in Jerusalem by Rome in 70 AD, when the Temple was destroyed and the city destroyed … These details are not of particular interest in this study.”

The “subsequent account” referenced in those words were the details of these verses, reproduce here for easy reference: our summary comments upon these are interspersed within the text here presented …

From the outworking of historical events which followed the Grecian era, we perceive in these words that the Spirit moved across a large amount of history without consideration of its details.

The Roman Empire succeeded Greece according to the record of history. But the Spirit does not here give details of that empire at all – but it does reveal details which occurred as the great Roman Empire came apart, broke into several component parts, and the developments which came resultant from that great event.

The Roman Empire as we learn from history broke up into ten components, which were called the Holy Roman Empire. Its first king was Charles the Great (Charlemagne) of the Franks.

Although we will omit a long discussion in this place of the myriad details of the breakup and subsequent events, suffice it to say that the entire lot of kingdoms was usurped by the Catholic Bishop of Rome, who assumed the name of “papa” or pope.

The holders of this serial office are identifiable as the “little horn” which emerged from the ten kingdoms. The pope of Rome was the head of state as well as head of church – an unique office in the annals of human government. He thus commanded the greatest degree of power over the men and women in his domain – roughly the continent of Europe today.

Dan 8:9 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.

Dan 8:10 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.

This language is reflective of the power that the pope of Rome wielded over his subjects. He corrupted the plan of salvation to suit his own needs. He exalted himself over all the affairs of men and women, changing ovservances such as Passover (it became “Easter”) and laws, as well as the calendar. He persecuted the true believers who had resisted his corruption of God’s Truth, subjecting them to torture and death by horrible means, as well as other despicable treatment.

The Inquisition was his invention. The sale of “indulgencies” emanated from his “see” (the seat, or chair of “St. Peter”) and from “God’s house” which in his terminology is St. Peter’s basilica in Vatican City, Italy. He controlled the kings over all the countries within his sphere of influence, treating them as servants to his authority and office.

It was in this manner that he cast down the “stars of heaven” (the ruling classes) and trampled on the residue.

Dan 8:11 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 (God’s) sanctuary was cast down.

The papal “root” was in pagan Rome, the Empire. He elevated himself above the Roman emperor, subjecting the empire itself to his whims.

Rome had assaulted and sacked Jerusalem in 70 AD, and burned the Temple of God. In so doing, it took away the daily sacrifice which was offered there perpetually.

Dan 8:12 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.

These words briefly summarize the authority that the Empire and then the pope exerted over the early scholars of the words of Jesus Christ – the words of salvation itself, which He had taught His disciples and followers.

The pope of Rome changed all these, dictating that the eternal Creator was actually three gods – “God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost” – the latter two of which are completely unscriptural and without merit.

The concept destroys the unity of the faith preached by Jesus, and takes away any possibility of salvation by any of that persuasion, for salvation cannot be based upon false premises.

It proclaims Christ to be “divine” from His conception and birth, and His mother to be “immaculate” as to her nature. It ascribes all evil to an external agent – actually to a “fallen angel” called Lucifer – and denies any personal responsibility of every man and woman of having sinned because of the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, or the pride of life – the three causes of sin specified by divine revelation in I John 2:16, q.v.

The Prophecy of the 2300 Days would leap over all and bracket these events, stretching from before their beginning to the end of all things Adamic, in which the obliteration of the Little Horn should be accomplished.

As the Sanctuary is now nearing its final cleansing in all verity, so shall come the reversal of the destruction of the decay and death into which the Pope of Rome has brought down the principles of God’s true Plan of Salvation.

Indeed, the elevation of the cleansed Sanctuary is integrally joined to the destruction of the Beast, the Harlot, and the False Prophet of the end time.

Suffice it to say here that the details of this great conflagration are better elaborated in an associated discussion of the prophecies of the Apocalypse, which we intend to insert in the near term, into the web site of The electronic Prophecy Letters, at this URL:

http://sites.google.com/site/prophecyletters2013/ (new eTPL site)

Meanwhile, if readers have burning questions about these affairs they are invited to email the author of these commentaries at helafferty@gmail.com for more urgent discussions. He will strive to accommodate your questions if he feels capable. <HEL 9P>


Daniel 9

Daniel is now nearing the end of his career as prophet. We cannot be certain when he died, as there is no record of that event.

The understanding, of which Daniel speaks, concerning the 70 years of the captivity, probably had not been known to him prior to this occasion. He tells the reader here that it was IN the first year of Darius’ reign that he understood this from the scroll of Jeremiah. The text of the message is found beginning in Jeremiah 25: 10 ...

Jeremiah 25:10 Moreover I will take from them the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones, and the light of the candle.

Jer 25:11 And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.

Jer 25:12 And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished, that I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, saith the LORD, for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans, and will make it perpetual desolations.

Jer 25:13 And I will bring upon that land all my words which I have pronounced against it, even all that is written in this book, which Jeremiah hath prophesied against all the nations.

Daniel 9:1 In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans;

Dan 9:2 In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.

Dan 9:3 And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:

Dan 9:4 And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments;

Dan 9:5 We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments:

Daniel here is an effective intercessor for his people of Judah, similar to Moses, Elijah, Samuel and others. The subject of his intercession is the restoration of Jerusalem and the promised return of the people to Judah to its homeland from Babylon.

Daniel’s confession here graciously includes himself among the transgressors of the Almighty’s will, although he has not personally done so. Is so including himself, he identifies strongly with the people of his charge, and effectively mediates for them with YHVH.

Dan 9:6 Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.

Dan 9:7 O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, that are near, and that are far off, through all the countries whither thou hast driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against thee.

Dan 9:8 O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee.

Dan 9:9 To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him;

Dan 9:10 Neither have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets.

Dan 9:11 Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him.

A cursory search reveals several extensive iterations of the curse that was poured upon them if they disobeyed the Almighty.

For your perusal, here are most of them: Leviticus 26:14-46; Deuteronomy 27:15-26; 28:15-68, 29:20-29, 30:17-19, 31:17-18; 32:19-42, q.v.

Dan 9:12 And he hath confirmed his words, which he spake against us, and against our judges that judged us, by bringing upon us a great evil: for under the whole heaven hath not been done as hath been done upon Jerusalem.

This note on the verse appears in E-Sword:

“for under:” The destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, and the condition of the Jews during almost eighteen centuries, have far more exceeded all the miseries of the capture of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans, and in the Babylonish captivity, than those miseries exceeded the judgments inflicted on other nations; for the guilt of crucifying the Messiah, and rejecting his gospel, was immensely more atrocious than all their other transgressions.

Dan 9:13 As it is written in the law of Moses (see list above), all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the LORD our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth.

Dan 9:14 Therefore hath the LORD watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us: for the LORD our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice.

Dan 9:15 And now, O Lord our God, that hast brought thy people forth out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and hast gotten thee renown, as at this day; we have sinned, we have done wickedly.

Following Daniel’s lengthy confession of the sins of his people, he now pointedly asks for the soon recovery of Jerusalem, acknowledging that its desolation is directly due to the people’s sin, and their reproach by all their neighboring nations.

Dan 9:16 O Lord, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain: because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy people are become a reproach to all that are about us.

Dan 9:17 Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord's sake.

Dan 9:18 O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies.

Daniel acutely realizes that neither he nor the people have sufficient righteousness upon which to base his petition; so he appeals to the infinite mercy of the Almighty.

Dan 9:19 O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name.

Gabriel’s Second Appearance to Daniel

Dan 9:20 And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God for the holy mountain of my God;

Dan 9:21 Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation.

The vision of which he speaks here is that of 8:16.

Gabriel also spoke to Zecharias, the father of John Immerser, in Luke 1:19, giving him the sign of muteness until his son was born, after which he was to name his newly born son, John.

Daniel would presume that Gabriel would address the immediate resolution of his fervent request for the restitution of the people to their City, and its rebuilding.

He did not, as we shall see.

Dan 9:22 And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding.

Dan 9:23 At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision.

Who commanded Gabriel to perform this mission? It was without any doubt, the Almighty Himself, who responded to Daniel’s prayer instantaneously!

But Gabriel’s message is not that which Daniel expected!

Instead, Gabriel embarks upon a prophetic revelation of far greater duration, and of far greater consequence than the temporal (and temporary!) restoration of the people to Jerusalem, although that element was included in the words which he now spoke to Daniel.

The short prophecy encompasses their restoration, but leaps forward to the time when their ultimate Redemption would be accomplished and assured by the actions of One Who was coming – One called Messiah!

The temporary resolution of their alienation from their City was thus shown to be a minor inconvenience as compared to their need for permanent redemption!

The Almighty was about to demonstrate not only His divine guidance in this affair, but also His prescience in that matter.

The Prophecy of the Seventy Weeks would consist of several layers of significance; would be precise as well as concise; and would be a milestone in prophetic revelation that would illustrate not only His regard for His people (not for their sakes, but for the sake of His holy name), but would also reveal the Enactor of the Plan, as well as resolve the as-yet unstated process which would result in their Ultimate Restoration as His eternal People – the attainment of Redemption for them – and ultimately for all men and women of the earth who should hear his message.

Here are the exquisite details of the prophecy:

The Prophecy of the Seventy Weeks

Dan 9:24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.

Dan 9:25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

Dan 9:26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off (seven weeks plus 62 weeks = 69 weeks; Messiah was to be cutoff “after” 69 weeks), but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come (Titus, the Roman general) shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.

Dan 9:27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week (the seventieth week; but by His death, he should cause the sacrifice and the oblation (the Law) to cease): and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation (the consummation of His Plan in the end time), and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

Exactly similar to the previous prophecy regarding the Sanctuary Cycle, this one, too, would be fulfilled in a precise time-frame, in strictly concise detail as foretold by Gabriel!

At this juncture, we shall insert an article written some years ago to unravel the details of this great prophecy – ultimately one of the longest-term prophecies in the scriptures – for it consists of a double layer of significance, in our opinion.

Prophecy of the Seventy Weeks: Part I

The following is the consideration of a prophecy which is generally misunderstood by many who have applied themselves to its understanding. We need to understand the message of this important prophecy so that we don’t allow misconceptions to cloud our understanding of this vital prophecy, which wondrously proves the veracity of scripture and the omniscience of our Father – His intimate foreknowledge of events future to that earlier time as well as to our time.

In Daniel nine, beginning at verse 24, the Archangel Gabriel was sent to speak to Daniel. Now, as one will remember, Daniel was of the “seed royal,” and was among the captives of Judah who had been taken to Babylon during the Exile and had been elevated to be one of the chief rulers in Babylon.

In verse 2, we learn that Daniel had recently “understood by books the number of the years whereof the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolation of Jerusalem.” (cf., Jeremiah 25:11, 12)

In other words, the time of Judah’s captivity was almost at an end: it was nearly time for them to return to their beloved Land and rebuild Jerusalem and its desecrated Temple, which they subsequently did under Ezra, Zerubbabel and Nehemiah.

Daniel asks in prayer for an understanding of what is about to happen.

The “man Gabriel” comes upon the scene in verse 21.

But instead of informing Daniel of immediate events, he gives the Prophecy of the Seventy Weeks: it is an important long-term prophecy which would begin within the next 80 years from Daniel’s day. The prophecy obviously benefits us later believers far more than it could have benefited Daniel!

24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city,

TO finish the transgression,

AND to make an end of sins,

AND to make reconciliation for iniquity,

AND to bring in everlasting righteousness,

AND to seal up the vision and prophecy,

AND to anoint the most Holy.

25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for Himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.

27 And He shall confirm the covenant with many for one week; and in the midst of the week (indeed, at its half-way point!) he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolator.

Please note first the notable use of the figure of speech known as polysyndeton, meaning “many ands,” in which many closely connected elements are shown to be interconnected and extremely relevant to each other.

Now, first, let’s ask some thoughtful questions about this great prophecy so that we may understand it more easily …

1. What did the prophet mean by the term “weeks?”

2. Whose commandment went forth “to restore and build Jerusalem?”

3. When did that commandment go forth?

4. Why did he give the peculiar structure of the prophecy, viz., 7 weeks + 62 weeks + “after” (vs. 24) – “after” the 62 weeks’ termination – which is the 70th week?

5. In which week would He “confirm the covenant with many” and was it integral to the other weeks – that is, was it continuous with the 69th week?

Consider these facts:

A. The historical lapse of literal weeks in Daniel’s life proved that weeks of SEVEN literal days each, were NOT meant by Gabriel. The next year and a half brought no fulfillment of the prophecy that was sensible.

B. “Weeks” here is the Hebrew word shebuah, which Strong confirms in his Hebrew Lexicon as meaning, literally “sevened” – just “sevened” – which, he says, means a seven of years, or seven years, or a “Sabbath” of years” as it is expressed in Leviticus 25: 8.

C. So, in vs. 25, the prophecy reads, literally, “seven sevened and threescore and two sevened …” Taking Strong’s definition of SEVEN YEARS, the text now reads, “seven seven-years and threescore and two (62) seven-years,” or 7 x 7 years plus 62 x 7 years.

D. So, calculating these, 7 x 7 years = 49 literal years, and

62 x 7 years = 434 literal years.

Both of which add to 69 x 7 years = 483 literal years.

E. This covers nearly the entire course of the plainly given prophecy and indicates that 483 years would elapse from the time of the decree until the appearance of Messiah the Prince, as verse 25 states.

It’s a straightforward revelation to this point, is it not?

F. We must ask, would those years be precise – or just approximate? We shall see that they are as precise as precise can ever be!

G. We still have not accounted for the last seven years of the prophecy, or the seventieth “week.” When that is added as another “week” of seven years, the total becomes SEVENTY weeks. The entire period of the prophecy is therefore 70 “sevens,” or a total of 490 literal calendar years when all the six requirements of the prophecy were to be completed – at least in some conditional, preliminary, or provisional manner.

H. Now, we must ask, WHOSE commandment went forth “to restore and rebuild Jerusalem,” and …

I. WHEN did it go forth? This date commences the prophetic “weeks” and helps us understand it fully!

So Daniel’s immediate problem was just what decree is meant, and who gave it? How could he accurately determine the starting point of this prophecy?

That is also our problem!

But it is easy to solve “after the fact” because it is historically verifiable that at least three similar decrees were issued during that era. Our job is made somewhat easier by knowing that one of them will be 483 years prior to “Messiah the Prince,” or, the manifestation of the Son of God.

That period would occupy the first two sections of the prophecy, i. e., the seven weeks and the threescore and two weeks (62 weeks), or 69 weeks…

There were three similar decrees issued by kings in that era. They were those of:

Cyrus the Persian 533 BC

Artaxerxes Longimanus to Ezra the Scribe 455 BC

Artaxerxes Longimanus to Nehemiah 442 BC

One of these three dates will doubtless be the beginning of the Seventy Weeks!

As we are aware, the Hebrew year, by decree of the Almighty, spun itself out in seven year cycles. Just as every seventh day was a Sabbath DAY, so every seventh year was a Sabbath YEAR; the coming of the seventh of seven Sabbath Years (7 x 7 = 49 years) ushers in the fiftieth year; this fiftieth year is designated a Year of Jubilee.

This was known as the Jubilee Cycle. The Day of Atonement occurring in this 49th year was extremely consequential and beneficial for Israel, had they observed it properly.

Just in passing, we believe that the Jubilee Cycles had a definite and known beginning date, as one would expect from the perfect, ordered Father of Israel. That beginning date is thought by some to be 1435 BC, which will come into consideration later in this discourse.

Another question we might suggest, is why the peculiar structure of the prophecy? Why speak of seven weeks and threescore and two weeks, then of a final week which was divided into halves?

We believe that Gabriel was giving to Daniel (and to us!) a subtle hint that this prophecy has ultimately to do with the Jubilee Cycles in a greater sense, and with the ultimate execution of the six goals of the prophecy in an obviously extended sense.

As you may have noticed, this prophecy on the surface covers a time period equal to exactly TEN Jubilee Cycles of 49 years each – a factor which we will also bring into play later in this discussion.

Not only is it ten Jubilee Cycles in length, but its beginning and ending dates are upon specific anniversaries of the Jubilee years – a factor which militates for this being the correct, conclusive meaning of this utterance.

We ask, additionally, in which week would he confirm the covenant with many? and would it follow immediately upon the completion of the 69th week?

The reason we mention this is that contemporary “Christian scholars” believe the 70th week was separated from the previous 69 and shall be brought forward to an era future to our time when they expect “the Antichrist” to step in for the final seven years to try to foil the plan of God!

It isn’t a valid consideration, and we are about to explain why it isn’t!

To this point, we have noted that 69 weeks were set to elapse “until Messiah the Prince,” which we must conclude to be the time when Messiah was revealed to Israel. It reflects the time of His recognition AS Messiah, as the Son of God, by miraculous events. It does not indicate the time of His sacrifice; these are separated by exactly three and one half years, as most folk know.

If our assumption is correct, His exact day of recognition AS Messiah will be the exact day on which Jesus of Nazareth stepped forth from the crowd at Aenon on the Jordan and requested that John’s baptism be administered to Him.

It was the first time in His adult life that the voice of God thundered forth crying, This is My beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased (Matthew 3: 17) . The Spirit of God descended upon Him, publicly anointing Him with power from on high – and so He became “Messiah,” or “Anointed,” or the Anointed Savior.

If that very special event occurred at the end of the 69th week of the prophecy, or the beginning of the 70th week, it shall be the key to our accurate understanding of the entire prophecy.

Going back to the known dates of the three decrees to restore and rebuild Jerusalem, we ask, does ONE of these dates satisfy the prophecy?

Yes! One of them fits precisely! We determine that in this way:

483 years (69 weeks) minus the decree of 455 BC occupies, obviously 455 years Before Christ (BC) plus the remainder of the years which lapsed after the BC/AD changeover until His revelation to Israel. Subtracting 455 years from 483 years leaves 28 years to be fulfilled after the BC/AD event. Since there is no year designated ZERO BC or ZERO AD, we must subtract one year from the chronological sequence and come to the year 27 AD, which I believe is the correct year for Jesus’ baptism at age 30.

This date is precisely 483 years after the decree of Artaxerxes Longimanus commissioning Ezra to return to Jerusalem and build the city in 455 BC!

Now, at this time, the Seventieth Week begins: AD 27. Jesus’ three and one half year ministry also begins concurrent with this date. W. H. Carter in his book Times and Seasons has some wonderful observations on this special time (pp 248-249):