The last nine verses of Daniel almost seem anticlimactic. They are a postscript to the final, great vision, which is long, detailed, and comprehensive. That section traces the history of the world from the age of Daniel under the kings of Persia through the age of the Greeks up to the time of the persecutions under Antiochus Epiphanes. Then it skips ahead to the time of great persecution at the end of history and the end of that age by a general resurrection of all persons and the final judgment.
These are weekly articles that Pastor Steve writes for the White Mountain Independent newspaper.
TWO GREAT SCIENTISTS - TWO DIFFERENT WORLD VIEWS
“This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being … This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all; and on account of his dominion he is wont to be called Lord God.”
Following his death in April 1727, Newton lay in state in Westminster Abbey for a week. At the funeral, his pall was borne by three earls, two dukes, and the Lord Chancellor. Voltaire observed, “He was buried like a king who had done well by his subjects.” No scientist before or since has been so revered and interred with such high honor. (Isaac Newton – died April 1727)
“We are just an advanced breed of monkey on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the universe. That makes us something special. God is the name people give to the reason we are here. But I think that reason is the laws of physics rather than someone with whom one can have a personal relationship. An impersonal God.” (Stephen Hawking – died March 2018)
The ashes of Stephen Hawking will be interred next to the grave of Sir Isaac Newton at Westminster Abbey.
The earlier part of Daniel 11 has spoken of kings and alliances and battles. We have been able to give specific names and dates to these predictions. The same thing should be true for this section, even though we have not yet witnessed the rise or observed the careers of those prophesied. We have no reason suddenly to substitute a symbolic understanding of the words for a literal one.
The exceedingly wicked and contemptible king Antiochus Epiphanes has already been mentioned in Daniel, appearing first as “another horn” in the vision of the ram and goat of Daniel 8. In that vision he was identified as a ruler in the succession of Greek rulers going back to Alexander. Now this wicked ruler appears again, and many details about his career are prophesied.
The wise among the people shall make many understand, though for some days they shall stumble by sword, and flame, by captivity and plunder..…
Daniel saw only the earthly scene in chapter ten (as we do), and his mind was troubled. But God showed that He was in control of history. We are not told much about the spirit world in the Bible - only glimpses into the unseen world around us - but we are told what we need to know.
Daniel has been mourning here in chapter 10, for the trials God had shown were to come upon his people, and he had sought assurance from God that they would not be destroyed by the particularly intense persecution that the last part of the preceding vision describes. In fact, he may have been troubled by even more immediate concerns. The third year of the reign of Cyrus in Babylon would have been the year 535/534 B.C., just a few years before his death.
There are many different interpretations trying to tell what the ninth chapter of Daniel mean. In Hebrew the word “seven,” means “a group of seven” something. It could mean a week because a week is a group of seven days, but it does not actually mean week. And in this case, it is a group of seven years. If literal weeks are involved, the prophecy is meaningless. If weeks of years are involved, then the time period embraces the years from the giving out of the decree to rebuild Jerusalem to the days of Jesus Christ.
We do not show our spirituality when we abstain from prayer - “letting God do what God will do” - so much as reveal our carnality. The greatest women and men of God have been prayer warriors. After all that has been spoken and written by godly men on prayer, we need something better than that which is of mere human origin to guide us if we are to perform this essential duty.
The section of Daniel we now come to, (chapter 8) is a decisive passage for all the various systems of prophetic interpretation. It has two main parts: a prayer of Daniel, which is a model of devout, humble, and effective prayer petition; and a concluding revelation, which was God’s answer to that prayer. This concluding prophecy concerns the Lord Jesus Christ and is a prediction, not only of the nature of His earthly ministry, but even of the precise time of his appearing and death.
Even though Daniel’s loyalty to the emperor was established beyond question, Daniel was clearly prepared to swim against the tide of polytheism and assert his conviction that there was only one true God – the God of Heaven whom he worshipped. He was not prepared to compromise his position, even if the emperor commanded it. That left him open to accusations of being arrogant, narrow minded, bigoted, and anti-social. How could he possibly believe that he was right and the rest were wrong? Who did he think he was?