Jesus Christ, King of Kings and Lord of Lords!
“In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshipped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed” (Daniel 7:13, 14 NIV).
Now listen to this song of praise of angels singing in a loud voice:
“Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honour and glory and praise!” (Revelation 5:12 NIV).
I Daniel’s Dream of Four Beasts (Chapter 7)
This dream of Daniel is a further explanation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of Chapter 2 in which he saw “an enormous, dazzling statue, awesome in appearance.” In this dream of Daniel, instead of metals, he sees four beasts representing four kingdoms. Each of these beasts were different from each other and came up out of the sea (here sea represents peoples or nations other than the land of Israel) (7:3).
Lion with wings of an eagle—BABYLON
Bear with three ribs in its mouth—MEDO PERSIA
Leopard with four heads and four wings—GREECE
Terrifying, frightening, very powerful with large iron teeth with ten horns —ROME. A little horn uproots three. It had eyes like that of a man and a mouth speaking boastfully. He is the Antichrist, the coming world ruler.
II The Ancient of Days and the Son of Man (7:9, 10, and 13, 14).
The Ancient of Days:
Daniel is shown an awesome vision of God here. He is called the Ancient of Days. He is called so because “From everlasting to everlasting you are God!” (Psalm 90:2b).
He is shown seated on His throne. God is always shown as seated on His throne. It shows that He is in absolute control of whatever is happening in the universe and that He is unchanging in spite of all upheavals and changes that happen on earth. “But you remain the same, and your years will never end” (Psalm 102:27 NIV).
His clothing is shown as white as snow showing His holiness and the hair of His head is shown as white like wool showing His infinite wisdom. His throne was flaming with fire which showed His fierce judgement. Its wheels were all ablaze (Compare what Ezekiel saw of the glory of the Lord in Ezekiel 1:26—28).
A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before Him. It shows that God cannot be approached without Him enabling you to go to Him (through the blood of the Lamb). Thousands upon thousands attended Him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him (Ref. Psalm 68:17). Remember He is the Lord Almighty; the King of glory (Psalm 24:10).
The court was seated. This is a heavenly court. Thrones (in v.9 it is in plural perhaps referring to the throne of Christ and the twenty-four elders –Revelation 11:16) were set in place; that is how the description began. And the books were opened. Read also Revelation 20:11 to 15 to know more about this judgement and the Book of Life. [some other references are Exodus 32:32, 33, Psalm 69:28, Malachi 3:16, Luke 10:20). (Another book that is mentioned in Daniel is the Book of Truth/Daniel 10:21).
The Son of Man:
Daniel is shown the vision of one like a son of man. No doubt it is Jesus Christ. Jesus Himself used this title for Himself many times in the gospels (e.g. Matthew 8:20) because He was fully God and fully man at the same time. He was seen coming with the clouds of heaven. Some scholars believe that it refers to His ascension to heaven (Acts 1:9). But many others think that it points to His second coming (Ref. Jesus’ words in Matthew 26:64). He is given authority, glory and sovereign power and everlasting dominion and a kingdom that will never be destroyed. The rock cut out of a mountain, but not by human hands, that became a huge mountain filling the whole earth (Ref. Daniel 2) is this same Jesus Christ!
III The Meaning of the Dream
The dream troubled Daniel very much (7:15, 28). It is not easy to see visions of God’s purposes and judgements and not be disturbed by it. The explanation given to Daniel by someone (possibly an angel) (v.16). gives us the following details:
The four beasts are four successive kingdoms that will come on earth.
The little horn is someone who rises to power out of the fourth kingdom having ten horns (this is the kingdom of Rome). As this is yet to happen, we can expect a revival of the Roman Empire in the last days. Remember that in Ch. 2 the statue’s legs had 10 toes. The 10 horns here are the same. And they are ten kings who will be in power at the same time (see 7:24). But then a new king will come (i.e. the little horn) and will subdue three of these kings.
And he will then:
● speak against the Most High (the mouth that spoke boastfully in v. 8)
● oppress God’s people (possibly the Jewish Christians)
● he will try to change the set times and laws
● the saints (the believers) will be handed to him for three and a half years (v. 25) [the expression used here is a time, times and half a time].
This little horn (referred to as coming from the Roman Empire) is later understood as the Antichrist or the World Dictator who will rule the world just before Jesus comes back to earth. It is at the time of his rule that Jesus will come back to earth and destroy him (Remember the rock that struck the statue in Daniel 2). He will then be thrown into the blazing fire (v. 11) (Read Revelation 19:19, 20 where when Jesus Christ comes to make war with the beast (i.e. the little horn) is captured and is thrown into the fiery lake of burning sulphur.
Then Jesus Christ will rule. “His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him” (Daniel 7:27b NIV). At the same time the kingdom will be handed over to the saints. That means, if you obey Jesus on earth, you will also rule with Him.
Read Psalm 2 in the context of Daniel 7. In that Psalm the victory and rule of Jesus as King was predicted some 700 years before Daniel’s time! Read also Isaiah 9:7 where it says, “Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.” So Jesus will rule from Zion or Jerusalem!
IV Daniel’s Vision of a Ram and a Goat (Chapter 8)
This vision also drained Daniel emotionally as well as physically (see verse 27). Gabriel is the angel who was given the task of explaining the meaning of the dream to Daniel.
● Alexander the Great (The Large Horn)
The two-horned ram represented the kings of Media and Persia (the silver part of the image of Daniel 2 and represented by the Bear in Daniel 7). The shaggy goat is the king of Greece, and the large horn between his eyes is the first king (v. 21). This is a clear reference to Alexander that Great. Since Daniel had this vision probably around 550 B.C., it can be noted that the arrival of Alexander on the scene was precisely predicted some 200 years before it happened!
Not only that, the manner of his conquest was also predicted. See Daniel 8:5 where it says that this goat came “suddenly,” “from the west,” “crossing the whole earth without touching the ground.” The swiftness with which Alexander conquered the then known world of that time is part of history! He was the one who put an end to the Persian Empire. And then he died of a sudden disease and his kingdom was split into four (see verse 8). That is also part of history.
● Antiochus Ephiphanes (a small horn that grew in power)
(Daniel 8:9—14). Important Note: This small horn is different from the little horn of Chapter 7. That little horn comes out of the Roman Empire. It comes up among the 10 horns and uproots 3 others before taking power.
It should be
often has an
forward to a
But this small horn comes out of the Greek Empire from among the four divisions (four horns) of Alexander’s broken kingdom.
Thus the prediction in Daniel 8:9 about the small horn from the Greek Empire
is primarily about Antiochus Epiphanes IV and was fulfilled in history. At the same time the events described here will also have a similar and larger
fulfilment in the coming days during the time of the Antichrist who is also known as the Beast in Revelation and as the little horn that came out of the 10 horns of the Roman Empire as mentioned in Daniel 8.
Antiochus followed a policy of persecuting the Jews who trusted God and finally in 168 B. C. took control of the Jewish temple. There he erected an idol of Zeus and desecrated the altar by offering pigs on it (which is abominable to the Jews). This idol became known to the Jews as the “abomination that causes desolation” (Daniel 11:31). This will also have a future fulfilment when an image (or something similar that will defile) will be set up inside the temple that is yet to be built.
This is what was referred to by Jesus Christ when He talked about the end: “So when you see standing in the holy place `the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand” (Matthew 24:15 NIV). What Jesus spoke of had an immediate fulfilment when the Roman armies invaded the temple in A. D. 70 and destroyed it completely. This temple has to be rebuilt for the future fulfilment of this prophecy.
The Continuation of the Prophecy about Antiochus (Daniel 11:21—35).
Here he is talked of as a contemptible person (v. 21). After suffering a serious opposition in one of his campaigns he will turn back and vent his frustration on the temple and the Jewish people who trust in their God. He will put others who forsake God in the temple services (this happened exactly in history) (v. 30).
In this prophecy, the fact that he abolished the daily morning and evening sacrifices has also been mentioned (v. 31). “But the people who know their God will firmly resist him” (v. 32b). This was also fulfilled in history as a group of Jews under their leader Judas Maccabeus rose against him and succeeded in removing the idol from the temple and purified the temple in the month of Kislev (Jewish month equivalent to December) 165 B.C. [The memory of this is celebrated by Jews as Hanukkah festival every year] In fact that was also predicted in Daniel 8:14! And may devout Jews lost their lives in the process.
V Daniel the Bible Student
We all have been blessed with a full Bible. But it took tens of thousands of godly men and women’s efforts to get it into our hands. Many of them were persecuted, tortured and torched to death for translating the Scriptures to native tongues. Many people heroically smuggled Bibles and Bible portions to persecuted lands in the 20th century. In many countries, even today, possessing a Bible or its portions is illegal and can fetch a person possessing it imprisonment or death penalty. Never forget that it is the blood of many men and women which has given you the privilege and freedom to have a Bible in your own language. And also thank God for the missionaries who came to our land to bring us literacy and education so that we could understand the Bible. Therefore value the Bible that you have. Cherish it and treasure it above your life. Hold on to it and never let it go. For the Word says: “How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Your word is a lamp to my feet and light to my path” (Psalm 119:9, 11, 105 NIV).
Daniel and His Bible (Chapter 9:1, 2)
Daniel never had the New Testament. But he had access to many other books of the Old Testament including that of Jeremiah. How he was able to keep a copy (a scroll) of it with him when he was carried into exile as a young boy is unknown. But we can safely assume that Daniel loved the Scriptures so much that he read it regularly even while he was busy with an influential position in the Babylonian court.
Daniel had been in the land of Babylon for nearly 66 years. He was now a man above eighty years of age. That was the time when Darius took over the kingdom. But then Daniel “understood from the Scriptures, according to the word of the Lord given to Jeremiah the prophet, that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years” (Daniel 9:2 NIV), The portion referred to here is Jeremiah 25:11, 12 which says: “This whole country will become a desolate wasteland, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon seventy years. But when the seventy years are fulfilled, I will punish the king of Babylon and his nation, the land of the Babylonians, for their guilt.” Remember the Bible says, “The Lord confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them” (Psalm 25:14 NIV). Daniel was a man who feared God. So God confided in him. What about you?
VI Daniel the Man of Prayer
What would you do if you were in Daniel’s position? You would have called all your friends and told them that you’ve discovered from the Bible that God is going to bring deliverance. Perhaps you would arrange a celebration party. Not Daniel.
When he understood that deliverance was promised in the Bible he “turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes” (9:3 NIV). Great prayer, as many men and women of God have experienced, is born out of a humble but genuine and intense reading of the Scriptures.
Dear friend, God’s promises in the Bible are like cheques. Imagine that someone wrote a cheque in your name for $ 2511. But you keep it at home. And look at it every day. Perhaps keep it under your pillow when you sleep. If you behave so, the money will never be yours. It is in the Bank itself; but not yours. To make that money yours, you have to present the cheque in the Bank and expect the Bank to honour that cheque. Likewise Daniel presented God with the Promise Cheque God Himself had given and asked Him to fulfil the promise!
And what a lesson on prayer this prayer is. Let us learn some priceless lessons from it.
● He exalts God in His prayer
● He confesses his own sins and the sins of his people (no excuses are made)
● He pleads with God to save His people, to fulfil God’s promises (not because of their merit, but for God’s own sake and His honour).
● Thanksgiving (Refer Daniel Chapter 6)
How He Addressed God
He says, “O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with all who love him and obey his commands” (v. 4). Then Daniel says, “Lord, you are righteous” (v. 7). That means that He does no wrong. He continues to say, “The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him” (v. 9). He reminds God that He is still their God even in the time of this captivity, “Now, O Lord our God, who brought your people out of Egypt with a mighty hand and who made for yourself a name that endures to this day” (v. 15).
When you pray always talk about God in a right manner. Remember what He has revealed about Himself in His Word. He is holy and righteous. Compare the Israelite’s great public prayer of confession in Nehemiah 9. It begins thus: “Blessed be your glorious name, and may it be exalted above all blessing and praise” (Nehemiah 9:5b NIV).
Confession of Sin
This is a hallmark of Daniel’s prayer. Daniel confesses that they had sinned and done wrong. He says that they have not obeyed God’s holy Word but have disobeyed. They had not listened to the truth; what God’s servants the prophets told them in God’s name. They were unfaithful to God; so God scattered them. All judgements promised in God’s Word in the Law of Moses had now come upon them. Daniel would have remembered Deuteronomy 28:15—68 where God spoke about all the curses that will be theirs if they disobeyed their God (see Daniel 9:11—14).
When you pray remember to always confess you sins to God. Do not try to make excuses. Daniel confessed his own sins (see Daniel 9:20). Read I John 1:5—10 to know how the blood of Jesus purifies you from all sin; and how when you confess your sins, God is faithful and just to forgive your sins and purify you from all unrighteousness.
Daniel Pleads with God (Daniel 9:17—19).
Daniel pleads with God to turn away from His anger against them. He wants God to hear his prayer for God’s sake. He reminds God that the City Jerusalem bears His name. He tells God, “We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy” (v. 18).
When you pray, always remember to exalt God’s name. Be concerned about God’s honour rather than about your honour. Moses, Joshua and Hezekiah are examples of people who prayed thus (Exodus 32:11, Joshua 7:9, Isaiah 37:14—20). Base your plea on God’s mercy!
[Note: Daniel possibly saw the beginning of the answer to his prayer soon when King Cyrus came to the throne soon after he understood from the Book of Jeremiah that the captivity was going to end. In fact, God had predicted this king by name nearly 100 years before his birth through prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 44:28, 45:1—13). This king passed a decree that the Jews in Babylon could return to Jerusalem. See 2 Chronicles 36:22, 23 and Ezra 1:1—4. Daniel might have seen the beginning of the answer to his prayers because in Daniel 1:21 it says, “And Daniel remained there [i.e. In the Babylonian court] until the first year of King Cyrus.”
This is from Daniel Chapter 6. We had seen Daniel’s habit of prayer in the last lesson. As we look at Daniel 6:10, it says, “Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before” [emphasis added].
This is what Paul also wrote about. You need to pray with thanksgiving: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6, 7). [emphasis added].
Daniel would have surely enjoyed this peace inside the lion’s den for no prayer of his is recorded while he was inside the lion’s den!
Learn to pray with thanksgiving. This pleases God!
Answer to Prayer
● Some answers to prayer come immediately. For example this prayer of Daniel is answered immediately even as he was praying. The Angel Gabriel was sent to him (we should not expect angels to come to us when we pray. Such instances are rarest of the rare and the angel Gabriel was sent this time because it involved the revealing of God’s prophetic timetable for the crucifixion of Jesus to bring salvation to the world and His people in particular. Remember that it was Angel Gabriel who was sent to both to Zechariah as well as Mary because it involved the Saviour’s birth).
But immediate answer to prayer is something promised in God’s Word. For example, Isaiah 65:24 says, “Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.” And we find another example in Genesis 24 where God answers the prayer of the servant of Abraham as he went searching for a wife for Isaac: “Before he finished praying, Rebekah came out with her jar on her shoulder” (v. 15).
● Some answers are delayed due to resistance. In Chapter 10 it is recorded that Daniel was praying for three weeks (v. 2) before an answer came to him. A heavenly messenger, very awesome in appearance gives him understanding this time. But the answer was delayed because “the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days” (Daniel 10:13). We need not try to find out anything about this beyond what is written. It is enough to know answers to prayers are often resisted by evil spiritual forces.
Paul wrote about this , “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12 NIV). Paul does not recommend an unholy interest in studying about these evil forces BUT he recommends something else: “Therefore put on the full armour of God” (v. 13) which includes the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God and prayer enabled by the Spirit of God.
Note: On both occasions of prayer we find that God’s answer was given the moment Daniel started praying. See Daniel 9:23 which says, “As soon as you began to pray, an answer was given” and Daniel 10:12 which says, “Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them.” Daniel was “highly esteemed” in God’s eyes (Daniel 9:23, 10:11, 19).
Who is the one whom God esteems? The Bible says, “This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word” (Isaiah 66:2b NIV). Daniel was humble, was broken at heart because of his sins and the sins of his people and he also stood in awe of God’s unchanging Word.
Don’t you want to be one esteemed by God? If so pray for the will of God to be done in your life so that God’s name may be glorified. Pray that God may fulfil His purposes in and through your life.
VII God’s Prophetic Timetable Revealed
Therefore, consider the message and
understand the vision:
24 “Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your
people and your holy city to finish
transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for
wickedness, to bring in everlasting
righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy
and to anoint the most holy.
25 “Know and understand this: From the
issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild
Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler,
comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-
two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and
a trench, but in times of trouble. 26 After the
sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be cut
off and will have nothing. The people of the
ruler who will come will destroy the city and
the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood:
War will continue until the end, and
desolations have been decreed. 27 He will
confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’
In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end
to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the
temple he will set up an abomination that
causes desolation, until the end that is decreed
is poured out on him. [NIV text directly taken from Bible gateway.com]
There are many different interpretations given for this passage. Here only the most relevant are highlighted.
● Seventy ‘Sevens’ stands for 70 X 7 years.
● The first three things said in verse 24 namely, “to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness” are directly related to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
● The last three things namely, “to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy” can only have a future fulfilment when Jesus Christ comes back to earth a second time. Zechariah 14:4 anticipates Jesus coming back to stand on the Mount of Olives and Malachi 3:1 anticipates Jesus Christ suddenly coming into His temple (Malachi’s prophecy had an initial
fulfilment with John the Baptist and Jesus; but it will have a larger fulfilment in days to come.).
● The prophetic timetable starts with the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem. (The temple was destroyed by Nebcuhadnezzar in 586 B.C. But this decree includes the rebuilding of the city too not just the temple.) There were three decrees issued by the kings of those times (536 B. C., 457 B. C. and 444 B. C.). But the most likely date is that of 457 B. C. when Artaxerxes issued decree to Ezra (Ezra 7:12—26).
● From that time to the Anointed One (i.e. Jesus Christ) there would be seven `sevens’ and sixty-two `sevens’. That means 49 years (during which time the rebuilding of Jerusalem was completed) plus 434 years which totals 483 years. [Refer Ezekiel 4:6 to find how days can be used to represent years.]
● If you count 483 years from 457 B. C. you come to A. D. 26. But one year has to be added since there is no year between 1 B. C. And 1 A. D. So that brings us to the year 27 A. D. when Jesus began His public ministry.
● The prophecy says that after 483 years (i.e. after 7 sevens + 62 sevens) “the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing” (v. 26). After 3 and 1⁄2 years of public ministry Jesus Christ was crucified in 30 A. D. (most likely date). So we find that God had revealed to Daniel a remarkable timetable showing the time of Jesus’ death.
● The prophecy continues to say, “The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary.” This was exactly fulfilled when Romans under Titus destroyed Jerusalem and the temple completely in A. D. 70.
● “War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed.” Let us look at what Jesus said: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places” (Matthew 24:7 NIV). Jesus did not promise a world peace without Him being acknowledged as the Prince of Peace. Troublesome days lie ahead for this world. Be warned!
● “He will confirm a covenant with many for one `seven.’ In the middle of the `seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering” (Daniel 9:27a). This brings us to the last week of the seventy weeks. That is the last seven years. It starts when a ruler would make a treaty with the people of Israel. But when 3 1⁄2 years are over he will break this treaty.
● “And on a wing of the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.” Since the Jewish temple is now destroyed, it has to be rebuilt before this treaty can be broken. Many Bible Scholars think that a world ruler would come who would allow the Jewish people to build their temple. But he will break the treaty by setting up “an abomination that causes desolation” (see also Daniel 11:31) like how Antiochus Epiphanes did erect an image of Zeus in the temple. But he will be destroyed in the end. [This world ruler is the little horn of Daniel 7 that came from among the 10 horns of the Roman kingdom (4th Beast) and uprooted three horns. He would be the Antichrist.]
VIII The World Ruler or The Antichrist (Ref. Daniel 11:36—45)
This passage is difficult to interpret. Bible Scholars differ greatly in its interpretation. But one thing they are agreed is that there are many references in this passage that can be only fulfilled by the coming World Ruler.
For example, v. 36 which says, “He will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will say unheardof things against the God of gode.” Remember the little horn of Daniel 7 that came out of the 10 horns. What did Daniel find so unique about it? This horn had a mouth that spoke boastfully (Daniel 7:8, 11). This World Ruler is yet to come! But in all major descriptions of him his end is also talked about (Ref. Daniel 7:11, Daniel 11:45, 2 Thessalonians 2:8 where he is called “the lawless one,” Revelation 19:20 where he is called “the beast.”).
[Note: Daniel 11 is a prophetic overview of some 200 years of the history of the Greek kingdom from the time Alexander the Great overthrew the Persian kingdom. Though the descriptions here are difficult to understand, Bible Scholars are all agreed on its exact fulfilment in history. It is amazing to note that Alexander appeared on the scene around 334 B. C. But Daniel wrote these prophetic words around 550 B. C. nearly two centuries before it happened. It tells us that God is in control of history to minutest detail. And the same God tells you, “Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows” (Luke 12:7 NIV). “You will hear of wars and rumours of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed” (Matthew 24:6 NIV).].
IX Highlights of Daniel Chapter 12 The Great Tribulation
The Great Tribulation
[Daniel 12:1 talks about Michael. He is closely connected with the protection of the Jewish people (Ref. Daniel 10:21).. He is also identified as an archangel in Jude 9. (New Testament)]
Daniel now talks about “a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of the nations until then.” Jesus referred to this in Matthew 24:21, 22. Another reference is Revelation 7:14. It will definitely a time of great persecution for the Jewish people. This could be what Jeremiah referred to as a “time of trouble for Jacob” (Jeremiah 30:7).
The Hope of the Resurrection
“Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt” (12:2). The hope of the resurrection was clearly shown to Daniel. In fact, all people who die will be resurrected. But some will reign with God and others will burn in hell. Even the Book of Daniel ends with the personal promise of his resurrection from the dead and him receiving his reward (v. 13). Even Prophet Isaiah was given a glimpse of the blessed hope of the resurrection of those who trust God: “But your dead will live; their bodies will rise. You who dwell in the dust, wake up and shout for joy. Your dew is like the dew of the morning; the earth will give birth to her dead” (Isaiah 26:19 NIV). Read also Jesus’ words in John 11:25, 26. Dear young friends, do you have the hope of the resurrection?
What is Wisdom? Of course it is “the fear of the Lord.” But here is revealed one more important aspect of wisdom. “Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever” (v. 3). “He who wins souls is wise” (Proverbs 11:30). Read James 5:19, 20 also in this context.
X Daniel and His Response to Visions
● Daniel never sought to have a vision or a dream. God was pleased to reveal these things to him.
● But Daniel asked for understanding (e.g. Daniel 7:16).
● In spite of explanations given many times he was deeply troubled and could not understand the meaning (Daniel 7:28, 8:27, 12:8).
● Angelic appearances took a physical and emotional toll on him. It was too much to bear. He often fell prostrate (i.e. face down to the ground) and fell into a deep sleep. He had to be touched, encouraged and strengthened by heavenly messengers before he could listen to them (Ref. Daniel 8:17, 18; 10:7—11, 15—19).
● Daniel was finally asked to close up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end (Daniel 12:4). He was told that many will go here and there (some people think that this talks prophetically about largescale travel and transportation of these days) to increase knowledge (many think that this talks about the knowledge explosion of the 20th and 21st centuries).
● But he was told that the wise will understand. From Daniel 12:10 it seems that the wise are those who “will be purified, made spotless and refined.” Unless by God’s help we maintain a pure living we will not be able to understand because it is clearly written, “None of the wicked will understand.”
Daniel 7:13 One like a Son of Man, Coming with the Clouds
Daniel 8:19 Vision Concerns the Appointed Time of the End
Daniel 11:31 The Abomination that Causes Desolation
Daniel 11:32 The People Who Know Their God Will Firmly Resist Him
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