The book of Daniel is a very intriguing book. The book opened up to reveal the demise of the Southern kingdom, now captured by Nebuchadnezzar and in the beginning stages of their Babylonian captivity. Their captivity was executed in 3 stages starting in 607 BC and culminated 8 years later in 597 BC, when the city of Jerusalem and the temple were destroyed. This captivity marked the beginning of the 70 year prophecy of captivity that Jeremiah predicted in Jeremiah 25:1-11.This captivity became the "Genesis" of the Dispensation of “Time of the Gentiles”, that period in modern history when the Gentile nations would be in power and in control of many of the world’s events. This period, according to the Bible that would last beyond the "Rapture" of the Christian Church and the "time" of "Jacob's Trouble", also known as the 7-year Tribulation Period and culminate at the beginning of the “Millennial Age”, when Jesus Christ comes back according to Revelation 19 and establishes His Millennial Kingdom and reign in Jerusalem for 1000 years. We are at this moment in history still in that dispensation.
Concerning Daniel: "Statesman....Prophet"
Daniel is considered one of four great prophets, even although he is not once spoken of in the Old Testament as a prophet, his life and prophecies are recorded in the Book of Daniel. According to Daniel 1:3, he was a descendant from one of the noble families of Judah and was probably born in Jerusalem about 623 B.C., during the reign of Josiah. At the first deportation of the Jews by Nebuchadnezzar (the kingdom of Israel had come to an end nearly a century before), or immediately after his victory over the Egyptians at the second battle of Carchemish, in the fourth year of the reign of Jehoiakim in 606 B.C.. Daniel and other three noble youths (Hananiah, Meshael, and Azariah) were carried off to Babylon, along with part of the vessels of the temple. There he was obliged to enter into the service of the king of Babylon, and in accordance with the custom of the age received the Chaldean name of Belteshazzar, i.e., "prince of Bel," or "Bel protect the king!" His residence in Babylon was very probably in the palace of Nebuchadnezzar, now identified with a mass of shapeless mounds called the Kasr, on the right bank of the river.
His training in the schools of the wise men in Babylon found in Daniel 1:4 was to fit him for service to the empire. He was distinguished during this period for his piety and his strict observance of the Mosaic law (Daniel 1:8-16), and gained the confidence and esteem of those who were over him. His habit of attention gained during his education in Jerusalem enabled him soon to master the wisdom and learning of the Chaldeans, and even to excel his compeers.(Taken from the Easton's Bible Dictionary, PC Study Bible formatted electronic database Copyright © 2003, 2006 Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)
Daniel's Role as a Major Prophet
We tend to think of Daniel simply as a prophet because of the prophetic dimension of his book, but we must remember that Daniel also served in multiple positions in both the Babylonian Empire under King Nebuchadnezzar as the supervisor over the Babylonian wise men, astrologers and magicians and in the Persian Empire under both King Darius and Cyrus the Great, king of Persia as an advisor in the Courts of foreign kings. Called to be a Prophet by Jehovah God, Daniel prophesied during the reign of King Jehoiakim, king of Judah. He remained in governmental service throughout the reigns of all the kings of Babylon and into the reign of Cyrus of Persia after the Persians became the dominant world power (Daniel 1:21, and Chapter 10:1). Daniel’s prophetic ministry started during the time of Kings Nebuchadnezzar and Cyrus, Daniel’s prophetic gifts can be broken up into 3 major Categories:
Daniel's Role as a Dream Interpreter
Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, "The secret which the king has demanded, the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, and the soothsayers cannot declare to the king. But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days. Your dream, and the visions of your head upon your bed, were these: As for you, O king, thoughts came to your mind while on your bed, about what would come to pass after this; and He who reveals secrets has made known to you what will be. But as for me, this secret has not been revealed to me because I have more wisdom than anyone living, but for our sakes who make known the interpretation to the king, and that you may know the thoughts of your heart.
"You, O king, were watching; and behold, a great image! This great image, whose splendor was excellent, stood before you; and its form was awesome. This image's head was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs* of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay.* You watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed together, and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; the wind carried them away so that no trace of them was found. And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.
"This is the dream. Now we will tell the interpretation of it before the king. You, O king, are a king of kings. For the God of heaven has given you a kingdom, power, strength, and glory; and wherever the children of men dwell, or the beasts of the field and the birds of the heaven, He has given them into your hand, and has made you ruler over them all — you are this head of gold. But after you shall arise another kingdom inferior to yours; then another, a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth. And the fourth kingdom shall be as strong as iron, inasmuch as iron breaks in pieces and shatters everything; and like iron that crushes, that kingdom will break in pieces and crush all the others. Whereas you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter's clay and partly of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; yet the strength of the iron shall be in it, just as you saw the iron mixed with ceramic clay. And as the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly fragile. As you saw iron mixed with ceramic clay, they will mingle with the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay. And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. Inasmuch as you saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold — the great God has made known to the king what will come to pass after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation is sure."
In Daniel chapter 2, we find his first appearance was as an interpreter of dreams. Daniel, after he and the 3 Hebrew boys prayed all night, goes to the king and interprets his dream. He conveys to the king that each metal in the image he saw in his dream represents a future world empire that would succeed his great empire and the stone that broke the image into pieces represented a never ending kingdom that would subdue his kingdom and every succeeding kingdom or empire that were to follow his. The kingdoms that would succeed Babylon were: The Medes and Persian Empire, The Greek Empire and the Roman Empire.
" Daniel Explains the Second Dream
"This dream I, King Nebuchadnezzar, have seen. Now you, Belteshazzar, declare its interpretation, since all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known to me the interpretation; but you are able, for the Spirit of the Holy God is in you.Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was astonished for a time, and his thoughts troubled him. So the king spoke, and said, "Belteshazzar, do not let the dream or its interpretation trouble you." Belteshazzar answered and said, "My lord, may the dream concern those who hate you, and its interpretation concern your enemies! "The tree that you saw, which grew and became strong, whose height reached to the heavens and which could be seen by all the earth, 21 whose leaves were lovely and its fruit abundant, in which was food for all, under which the beasts of the field dwelt, and in whose branches the birds of the heaven had their home — it is you, O king, who have grown and become strong; for your greatness has grown and reaches to the heavens, and your dominion to the end of the earth.
"And inasmuch as the king saw a watcher, a holy one, coming down from heaven and saying, 'Chop down the tree and destroy it, but leave its stump and roots in the earth, bound with a band of iron and bronze in the tender grass of the field; let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let him graze with the beasts of the field, till seven times pass over him'; this is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the Most High, which has come upon my lord the king:They shall drive you from men, your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make you eat grass like oxen. They shall wet you with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over you, till you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses. "And inasmuch as they gave the command to leave the stump and roots of the tree, your kingdom shall be assured to you, after you come to know that Heaven rules. Therefore, O king, let my advice be acceptable to you; break off your sins by being righteous, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor. Perhaps there may be a lengthening of your prosperity."
In the 4th chapter, Daniel's interprets Nebuchadnezzar’s “tree” dream, hewn at the command of an angel, warning the king that his arrogance would cause God to drive him insane for 7 years until the day he recognized that God is sovereign and all kingdoms, nations and people are subject to his sovereignty including the king himself.
"And this is the inscription that was written: MENE,* MENE, TEKEL,* UPHARSIN.*
This is the interpretation of each word. Mene : God has numbered your kingdom, and finished it; Tekel : You have been weighed in the balances, and found wanting; Peres : Your kingdom has been divided, and given to the Medes and Persians."* Then Belshazzar gave the command, and they clothed Daniel with purple and put a chain of gold around his neck, and made a proclamation concerning him that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom.
Daniel Role as a Interpreter of "Signs"
Daniel's third great appearance in the book is in chapter 5. It is there he is called upon to explain the extraordinary writing upon the wall of Belshazzar's palace, which foretold the end of the Babylonian empire and the incoming of the Medes and Persians. For this service Belshazzar as promised, decreed that Daniel was to be clothed with purple, a chain of gold put around his neck, and he was made the third ruler in the kingdom. As he revealed the meaning of the mysterious "handwriting on the wall," he made it plain that the Babylonian Empire would be defeated by the Medes and the Persians. This happened exactly as Daniel predicted in Daniel 5:13-31, and he continued as a servant in the court of the conquering Persian king.
Daniel's Role as a "Seer" (Dreams and Visions)
In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream and visions of his head while on his bed. Then he wrote down the dream, telling the main facts.*
Daniel spoke, saying, "I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the Great Sea. And four great beasts came up from the sea, each different from the other.
The first was like a lion, and had eagle's wings. (Babylonian Empire) I watched till its wings were plucked off; and it was lifted up from the earth and made to stand on two feet like a man, and a man's heart was given to it.
"And suddenly another beast, a second, like a bear. It was raised up on one side, and had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. (Medes and Persian Empire: a "dual Empire with 3 "ribs" : Lydia, Babylon and Egypt) And they said thus to it: 'Arise, devour much flesh!'
"After this I looked, and there was another, like a leopard, which had on its back four wings of a bird. The beast also had four heads, and dominion was given to it. (Greek Empire had 4 "Heads" Thrace, Macedonia, Syria, and Egypt))
"After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, exceedingly strong. It had huge iron teeth; it was devouring, breaking in pieces, and trampling the residue with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns". (Roman Empire: still in existence and prophesied to return to dominance in the last days.)
The Roman Empire has never has never been defeated fully. Even though the Roman Empire does not visible exist, the government system that personified the Roman Empire still is a controlling power among the nations. In the future, there will be a revived Roman Empire (currently being formed) that will comprise of 10 Federated Kingdoms (currently there are 13) in The European Commonwealth) who will be ruled by the last Roman Emperor and Gentile ruler: the Anti-Christ as head in the near future.
I was considering the horns, and there was another horn, a little one, coming up among them, before whom three of the first horns were plucked out by the roots. And there, in this horn, were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking pompous words. (The Anti-Christ) NKJV
Daniel, in the last six chapters operates as a seer of four visions of his own visions, all of these visions were revelations and deeper explanations of the “Nebuchadnezzan” vision given. God gave him a vision of "4 wild beasts" that described the character of the empires that would succeed the Babylonian Empire. Each one would have great influence on Israel, other nations as a whole, well as fulfilling the prophetic predicting of the final triumph of the Messiah's kingdom (pictured as the great stone hurled from heaven), striking the 10 toes of the colossal image, totally destroying the entire image and giving the Messiah complete triumph over all of the Gentile world empires.
I watched till thrones were put in place, And the Ancient of Days was seated; His garment was white as snow, And the hair of His head was like pure wool. His throne was a fiery flame.Its wheels a burning fire; A fiery stream issued And came forth from before Him. A thousand thousands ministered to Him,Ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him.The court* was seated, And the books "I watched then because of the sound of the pompous words which the horn was speaking; I watched till the beast was slain, and its body destroyed and given to the burning flame. 12 As for the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away, yet their lives were prolonged for a season and a time.
Daniel also had a vision of a "judgment Scene".
In this vision, Daniel revealed in these “personal prophecies” that the saints of God will be given the privilege of judging the world, and the destruction of the blasphemous king (The Anti-Christ) at the Lord's Second coming in Revelation 19. Daniel refers to this in Daniel 7:8, verse 25; and Chapter 11:36) These same prophecies that were forth told by Daniel, are further revealed in the New Testament by Paul in 1 Corinthians 6:2; and 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12.. The prophecy concerning the "Stone Kingdom" was also referred to us by Jesus Christ, as He referenced "the stone" smiting the image in Daniel 2:34-35, and in verses 44-45. Matthew wrote about this in Matthew 21:44. The final personal vision Daniel had was concerning Jesus, the Son of Man recciving the Kingdom of God.
Daniel's Role as an Official of the Kings:
It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom one hundred and twenty satraps, to be over the whole kingdom; and over these, three governors, of whom Daniel was one, that the satraps might give account to them, so that the king would suffer no loss. Then this Daniel distinguished himself above the governors and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king gave thought to setting him over the whole realm.
In addition to his duties as seer and as interpreter of signs and dreams, Daniel also stood high in the governmental service of Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, and Darius the Mede, and perhaps also of Cyrus. The Book of Daniel, our only reliable source of information on this subject, does not tell us much about his civil duties and performances. It does say, however, that he was chief of the wise men, that he was in the gate of the king, and that he was governor over the whole province of Babylon under Nebuchadnezzar; that Belshazzar made him the third ruler in his kingdom; and that Darius made him one of the three presidents to whom his hundred and twenty satraps were to give account; and that he even thought to set him over his whole kingdom. In all of these positions he seems to have conducted himself with faithfulness and judgment.
While in the service of Darius the Mede, he aroused the antipathy and jealousy of the other presidents and of the satraps. Unable to find any fault with his official acts, they induced the king to make a decree, apparently general in form and purpose, but really aimed at Daniel alone. They saw that they could find no valid accusation against him, unless they found it in connection with something concerning the law of his God. They therefore caused the king to make a decree that no one should make a request of anyone for the space of thirty days, save of the king. Daniel, having publicly prayed three times a day as he was in the habit of doing, was caught in the act, accused, and on account of the irrevocability of a law of the Medes and Persians, was condemned in accordance with the decree to be cast into a den of lions. The king was much troubled at this, but was unable to withhold the punishment. However, he expressed to Daniel his belief that his God in whom he trusted continually would deliver him; and so indeed it came to pass. For in the morning, when the king drew near to the mouth of the den, and called to him, Daniel said that God had sent His angel and shut the mouths of the lions. So Daniel was taken up unharmed, and at the command of the king his accusers, having been cast into the den, were destroyed before they reached the bottom.
Daniel's Prayer Life
Daniel was also a person of deep piety. His book is characterized not only by prophecies of the distant future but also by a sense of wonder at the presence of God. From his youth Daniel was determined to live by God's law in a distant land. Daniel had a deep prayer life. In every instance where a important decision was made either for something of a personal nature of when pressed into duty as a seer or a dream interpreter. Daniel prayed 3 times a day from his window as he faced toward Jerusalem in his worship of Jehovah.. In moments of crisis, Daniel turned first to God in prayer before turning to the affairs of state (Daniel 2:14-23). His enemies
even used his regularity at prayer to trap him and turn the king against him. In Daniel Chapter 6, the grace of God protected Daniel In the second part of his book, as Daniel prayed and meditated to God, God gave him four new visions that further explained the meaning of the colossal image that was made of different metals and miry clay. After one of his stunning prophecies (chapter. 9), Daniel prayed a noble prayer of confession for his own sins and the sins of his people. This prayer was based on Daniel's study of the Book of Jeremiah (Daniel 9:2). He was a man truly devoted to God.
Daniel's Prophetic Predictions: "The End Times"
"After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, exceedingly strong. It had huge iron teeth; it was devouring, breaking in pieces, and trampling the residue with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns. I was considering the horns, and there was another horn, a little one, coming up among them, before whom three of the first horns were plucked out by the roots. And there, in this horn, were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking pompous words".
Concerning The Rule of Antichrist
According to Larkin’s book entitled “The Book of Daniel”, Daniel describes the “Little horn as waxing exceedingly great, toward the South, toward the East, and toward the Pleasant land (Palestine). This “horn” (Antichrist) waxed greatly, even unto the host of Heaven, casting down some of the Host and stars to the ground and stamp upon them. The Angel Gabriel called him “A king of fierce countenance, an “understander” of dark sentences. Gabriel said this king will stand up, being empowered by superhuman strength, (Satan) destroying wonderfully, prospering and practicing and shall destroy the mighty and the Holy People (the Jews).The
Antichrist's primary work is deception. Satan’s work reaches its climax in the Antichrist, who receives his authority and power from the dragon, Satan (Revelation 13:4)
The work of Satan through the Antichrist is clearly rooted in the prophecies of Daniel. Daniel spoke of a dreadful beast with ten horns and one little horn (Daniel 7:7-8). The Antichrist will be the sum total of all the beasts referred to in Daniel Chapter 7 . He will speak arrogant, boastful words; and he will be aided by the False Prophet who will make the entire earth worship him and receive his identification mark according to Revelation 13:16-17. The number of the beast, according to the Apostle John, is 666-a mysterious code name. We do know that "6" in the Bible represents man. Anyone who accepts this mark and swears allegiance and worships the Antichrist will experience severe and eternal doom through the wrath of God from the pouring out of out of His "vial" and "bowl" judgments. The Antichrist will make war against Christ and His army, but he is finally captured and is "cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone"
Concerning the European Union
The European Union is comprised of a federation of 10 nations, represented by the 10 horns in Daniel 7:7. Their ruler will be the Antichrist. It is also the “revised” Roman Empire, though not visible in the sense of what we call a “visible empire, yet visible through these 10 kingdoms in political influence, economic power and the laws they abide by as a union. In Dr. Clarence Larkin’s book “The Book of Daniel”, it’s a weaker version of the old Roman Empire, which was known for its “iron” clad rule. The 10 toes as Daniel revealed were consistent of both iron mixed with miry clay. Iron represents an “imperialistic” rule combined with “democracy”. This type of government is called a “democratic monarchy”. This final empire, like the once visible Roman Empire will have a emperor and, according to the latter day prophecy of Daniel, this Roman monarch (Antichrist) will be the last ruler of a Gentile kingdom. In the beginning of his rule, he will use democracy to obtain his goal as ruler, brokering a peace treaty for 7 years with Israel, then after 3 and ½ years
break the covenant and revert to ”imperialistic” or dictator rule. This type of government is swayed mostly by self centered politicians and other demagogues that promote their own selfish agendas as they take power in and control of the government. .The European Union is currently in place, and is comprises currently of 13 nations. Daniel predicted that 3 nations will be subdued by the “little” horn (Antichrist). This can possibly happen in this century given the unstable conomic and political climate currently going on in Europe and worldwide.
Concerning Global Increased Knowledge
But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall incr
Before the second stage of the second coming of the Messiah (Jesus Christ), there will be a sharp increase of knowledge and powe According to Daniel 12:4, many people shall run to from and knowledge will increase. There would be an advance in knowledge on all the subjects of religion, Our own age has furnished a good illustration of the meaning of what Gabriel revealed to Daniel. Jesus proclaimed in Matthew 24:14:” And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come”. Even now with the advent of satellite and cable, programming of Biblical subjects and fiber optic technology, the airways in these modern times have been filled with still more and more knowledge of the Lord. Because of the advent of worldwide broadcasting, many have been purified by hearing the Word of God and accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and personal Savior.
The “wise” shall understand that the increase of the knowledge of God was prophetic and the advent of television programming like TBN Broadcasting Network and The Word Network are part of that prophetic fulfillment. These “new converts” are said to have been made purified and made white and tried, but those who are wicked shall became more wicked.
In Daniel Chapter 11, there are several prophecies that have already been fulfilled. This is a partial list of some of those prophecies:
- There would be a succession of 3 “prominent” Persian kings: They are: Cambyses, Smerdis, and Darius Hystaspis. A 4th king would go to war with Greece named Xerxes.
- The Greeks (The 3rd of the 4 future Empires) under the leadership of Alexander the Great would defeat the Median-Persian Empire and rule with great dominion and have a distinction that surpassed all conquerors that came before him.
- After the death of Alexander the Great, The Greek Empire would be divided into four parts- Thrace, Macedonia, Syria, and Egypt.
- And the king of the south shall be strong, and one of his princes; and he shall be strong above him, and have dominion; his dominion shall be a great dominion.
Berenice, daughter of Ptolemy, king of Egypt, married Antiochus, king of Syria. and agreed to a truce from war on condition that Antiochus would put away his wife Laodice and her children, which he did. Berenice brought an immense fortune to her husband, all things appeared to go on well for a time, but she’s never reign. Antiochus recalled his former wife Laodice and her children; and Laodice, fearing that he might recall Berenice, poisoned him,