Daily reading

Today’s reading is: Dan. 7-8; 5

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Daniel Chapter Seven

  1. This prophetic message came to Daniel in 553BC (Dan. 7:1).  Daniel was not told to deliver this message to Belshazzar, and was prompted by his own alarm to keep the matter to himself (Dan. 7:28). The handwriting on the wall, and the downfall of Belshazzar (Dan. 5) occurred in 539BC, or 14 years after Daniel received these visions.
  2. Daniel saw a dream (sing.) and visions (pl.).  This was either a long night of dreaming, or successive visions from night to night.
  3. This dream came to Daniel at 66 years of age, and would become the first of four great visions that Daniel would receive.
    1. Vision #2 (Dan. 8) came two years later.
    2. Vision #3 (Dan. 9:20-27) came twelve years after the second vision, shortly after the fall of Babylon to the Medio-Persian empire.
    3. Vision #4 (Dan. 10:1-12:5) came two years after the third vision.
  4. The subject matter of this vision is essentially the same as the subject matter of Nebuchadnezzar’s statue vision (Dan. 2).
  5. Daniel’s dream begins with a view of the four winds of heaven stirring up the great sea (Dan. 7:2).
    1. These are mighty angels of God who inflict His wrath upon the world (Jer. 49:36; Zech. 6:1-8; Rev. 7:1-3).
    2. Elect angels clash with fallen angels and the spiritual driving force behind human conquest begins.
  6. Daniel’s first glimpse of the four beasts (Dan. 7:3-8).
    1. A lion with eagles wings (Dan. 7:4).  This beast corresponds to the head of gold (Dan. 2:32a).
    2. A bear (Dan. 7:5).  This beast corresponds to the breast and arms of silver (Dan. 2:32b).
    3. A four headed, four winged leopard (Dan. 7:6).  This beast corresponds to the belly and thighs of bronze (Dan. 2:32c).
    4. A “beast” with large iron teeth and ten horns (Dan. 7:7-8).  This beast corresponds to the legs of iron and the feet of iron & clay (Dan. 2:33).
  7. Daniel’s first glimpse of heaven (Dan. 7:9-10).  A judicial trial is in view before the Ancient of Days (God the Father).
    1. Thrones (pl.) were set up, but no one was yet seated upon them (cp. 1st Cor. 6:2-3; Rev. 20:4).
    2. The Ancient of Days (God the Father) was seated in Judicial Authority (cf. Jn. 5:22,27; Rev. 20:11-12).
    3. Angelic beings (myriads upon myriads) were before the Judicial Seat (Heb. 12:22; Rev. 5:11). The opening of books refers to a review and judging of one’s stewardship.
  8. Daniel’s second glimpse of the fourth beast sees that beast destroyed (Dan. 7:11-12).
    1. The “little horn” had eyes like a man, and a mouth uttering great boasts (v.8).
    2. His boasts were directed against God, and the heavenly host (vv.8,11; Rev. 13:5-6).
    3. Daniel witnessed the end of this beast (v.11; Rev. 19:20).
  9. Daniel’s second glimpse of heaven (Dan. 7:13-14).  The Son of Man (Jesus Christ) is presented before the Ancient of Days (God the Father).
    1. The presentation of the Son of Man (Dan. 7:13 cp. Job 1:6; 2:1; Rev. 5:6-7).
    2. The exaltation of the Son of Man (Dan. 7:14; Heb. 1:5-14).
  10. Daniel approached one of the attending angels and asked for an explanation of these visions (Dan. 7:15-18).
    1. The four beasts are four kings who will arise from the earth (Dan. 7:17), but they are also represented as kingdoms (Dan. 7:23). 
    2. The kingdoms will not dominate the world forever, though, because the “saints” of God will receive the Kingdom of God on Earth. 
    3. This explanation & interpretation is consistent with Nebuchadnezzar’s dream (Dan. 2:36-45).
  11. Daniel’s third glimpse of the fourth beast (Dan. 7:21-22).
    1. The horn was engaged in warfare against God’s saints (v.21; Rev. 13:7).
    2. The horn’s dominion is removed by direct Judicial function of the Ancient of Days (v.22 cp. vv.10,14).
  12. Daniel recognizes that the fourth beast is the key one to study for the culmination of God’s plan for the Gentile dominion of the vacated Davidic throne (Dan. 7:19-27).
    1. The fourth kingdom will be different from all other kingdoms (Dan. 7:23; 2:40).
    2. The fourth kingdom will have ten kings arise (Dan. 7:24). These kings will reign over the ten toes of the Roman Empire (Dan. 2:41,42).
    3. The fourth kingdom will have a “different” king (Dan. 7:24). This is the antichrist, and he will subdue three kings (Dan. 7:8).
    4. His message is one of opposition to the Most High God (Dan. 7:25a). Anyone who serves the Most High becomes the enemy of Antichrist.
    5. His agenda includes making changes in time & law (Dan. 7:25b).
    6. His reign of terror will last for 3 ½ years (Dan. 7:25c).
    7. The court will sit for judgment, and Antichrist’s dominion is taken away forever (Dan. 7:26 cp. v.10; Rev. 19:20).

Daniel Chapter Eight

  1. Similar to Ezekiel’s spiritual journeys, Daniel is transported in his vision to Susa, the capital of the Persian province of Elam (Dan. 8:1-3).
    1. Susa is where Nehemiah will serve the Persian King Artaxerxes I (Neh. 1:1; 2:1).
    2. Susa is where Esther was brought to marry Ahaseurus (Xerxes I) (Est. 1:2; 2:3).
    3. Susa is the traditional burial site for Daniel, but no Scripture verifies this tradition.
  2. Daniel’s 2 beast vision (the ram and the goat) is a more precise vision amplifying the 4 beast vision (Dan. 8:3-12).  In the ram & goat vision the Lord expands His previous message concerning the bear and the leopard (Dan. 7:5-6).
    1. The two horned ram is the Medio-Persian empire (Dan. 8:3-4,20).
    2. The one-horned goat is the Greek Empire—specifically Alexander the Great (Dan. 8:5-7,21).
    3. The four-horned goat is the Greek Empire after Alexander—under Alexander’s four generals (Cassander, Lysimachus, Ptolemy, Seleucus) (Dan. 8:8,22).
    4. The small horn is the Seleucid King Antiochus IV (Epiphanes) (175-163BC) (Dan. 8:9-12).
      1. This is not the same as the little horn of the previous dream (Dan. 7:8ff.).
      2. That horn arises out of Rome, whereas this horn arises out of Greece (Seleucid Syria).
      3. The activities of the Greek little horn prior to the First Advent of Jesus Christ foreshadow in typology the activities of the Roman little horn prior to the Second Advent of Jesus Christ.
  3. Daniel’s prophetic briefing in the human realm coincides with a briefing in the angelic realm (Dan. 8:13-14).
  4. The angel Gabriel strengthens Daniel, and instructs him in the proper understanding of his dream (Dan. 8:15-26). 
  5. Gabriel urged Daniel to keep this prophetic message secret, but Daniel was too exhausted to go proclaim the message anyway (Dan. 8:26-27).

Daniel Chapter Five

  1. Chapter 5 details the fall of Babylon & the death of King Belshazzar.  Belshazzar was a coregent under his father Nabonidus (who avoided Babylon for over 10 years).
  2. Secular history identifies this night as the 16th of Tishri (October 12), 539BC.
  3. While a Persian army was besieging Babylon, Belshazzar was giving a great pagan feast (Dan. 5:1-4).
  4. God manifested His hand in the full view of Belshazzar’s audience (Dan. 5:5-6,9).  This hand proceeded to write a message on the wall (Dan. 5:5,8,25-28).
  5. Belshazzar’s supernatural advisory board was unable to read the writing or interpret the message (Dan. 5:7-8).
  6. The Queen Mother (grandmother) entered and offered to bring Daniel to the scene (Dan. 5:10-12).
  7. 80 year old Daniel comes in and rejects any reward offer that Belshazzar tries to make.  His burden is to give the gospel to a pagan king that will be killed that very night (Dan. 5:13-24).
  8. The inscription: מְנֵא מְנֵא תְּקֵל וּפַרְסִין menē’ menē’ teqēl uwpharciyn (Dan. 5:25).
    1. The words were Aramaic, but apparently in some script that the supernatural advisory board could not read.  Once Daniel read the words, the occultists could verify the meaning.
    2. Translation: numbered, numbered, weighed, divided.
    3. Interpretation: God has numbered your days and your number is up.  God has weighed your stewardship and found you lacking.  God has divided your kingdom between the Medes and the Persians.
  9. Belshazzar made good on his promise of “reward” and named Daniel the Third Ruler of Babylon (after his father Nabonidus and himself) (Dan. 5:29).
  10. God’s Word was fulfilled and Darius the Mede is appointed to rule the Persian province of Babylon (Dan. 5:30-31; 9:1).