Daniel, Book of

Daniel; Daniel 2; Daniel 3; Revelation 13; Daniel 4; Daniel 5; Revelation 18; Daniel 6; Daniel 7; Daniel 7:24; Daniel 8; Daniel 8:11; Daniel 8:17,19; Daniel 8:25; Daniel 8:23-25; Daniel 8:14; Daniel 9; Ezra 1:1; Ezra 1-3; Daniel 10:14,20; Daniel 11-12; Daniel 10-12; Daniel 11; Daniel 11:1-35; Daniel 11:21-35; Daniel 11:36-45; Daniel 11:36-39; Daniel 11:40-45; Isaiah 11:14; Daniel 12; Jeremiah 30:7; Matthew 24; Ezekiel 37; Revelation 22:10; Daniel 2:4
This book holds a peculiar place among the prophecies: its subject is the “Times of the Gentiles.” It is not an appeal to Israelites, but is mostly taken up with prophecies concerning the Gentile powers. The times of Gentile domination had begun by Nebuchadnezzar taking Jerusalem and being called king of kings, to whom God had given a kingdom, and made him ruler over all the children of men. God’s personal dealings with this monarch are recorded and the kingdoms that would follow are revealed.
The book divides itself into two portions: the first six chapters give Daniel’s interaction with the great monarchs; and the latter six chapters the visions and revelations made to Daniel himself. For the personal history of the prophet see DANIEL. The prophetical aspect of the first division begins with Nebuchadnezzar’s dream.
Daniel 2. Under the figure of the Great Image are described the four Gentile empires that were to succeed each other, further particulars of which were afterward revealed to Daniel. It is plainly manifested that these empires would depreciate. The first is compared to gold, the second to silver, the third to brass, and the fourth to iron and clay which would not mingle together. It is noteworthy that, notwithstanding this declaration, the great effort of many in modern days is to endeavor to unite the iron and clay, and others strive to make the clay (the mass of the people) the ruling power. The fourth empire will be resuscitated, for the Lord Jesus at His first coming did not set up His kingdom—He was rejected; but during the future renewal of the Roman empire God will set up a kingdom that shall subdue all others. The “stone” is Christ who will break in pieces all that oppose, and will reign supreme. This prophecy presents the moral deterioration of Gentile power, until it is supplanted by the kingdom of God.
Daniel 3. It is here uniformity of religion, established by the king, not by God—the principle of Church and State. Nebuchadnezzar commanded all to worship the image he had set up; but three faithful ones refused to obey, and were thrown into the fiery furnace. The king had to learn that the God of the Jews was the Most High God, who was able to set him and all his powers at defiance. The king acknowledged God’s power and sent a proclamation to that effect throughout his kingdom; though his subsequent history proves that he was not humbled. In the last days the faithful Jews will be in the furnace of tribulation for not complying with the Imperial religion. They will be delivered, and God will be glorified by the nations (compare Rev. 13). Thus is seen that the first characteristic of Gentile supremacy is idolatry.
Daniel 4. The dream and the interpretation shows that Nebuchadnezzar himself was the great tree to be cut down, and the prophet exhorted him to renounce his sins and reform his ways, and peradventure the judgment might be postponed. But his pride was not subdued, for at the end of the year he boasted of the great city which he had built by the might of his power and for the honor of his majesty; but not a word about God. He was driven among the cattle for seven years. It is a solemn thing to have to do with the living God; but God had mercy on the king, his reason returned, and the kingdom was restored to him. Now he could say, “I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and His ways judgment: and those that walk in pride He is able to abase.” He had learned God’s lesson, and we hear of him no more. In the last days the Gentile rulers, after having used their power as “beasts,” will acknowledge God as the source of all authority, and be brought into blessing in connection with Israel. The second characteristic which marked Gentile rule is that, refusing to own God, it descends to the level of a beast.
Daniel 5. About twenty-five years later Belshazzar was reigning at Babylon. The monuments have revealed that he was son of Nabonadius, or Labynetus, and was reigning with his father. Nabonadius was defending the kingdom outside in the open country, and though defeated was not slain; his son was besieged inside, and was slain that night while holding a festival to the gods. This accounts for Belshazzar promising that Daniel should be the third ruler in the kingdom. Thus the monuments have now cleared away that which with respect to this king had seemed to make scripture and the historians discordant, for previously the name of Belshazzar had not been discovered. Daniel faithfully reminded Belshazzar of how God had dealt with his father (or rather his grandfather) Nebuchadnezzar for his pride; adding that though the king knew all this he had lifted up himself against the God of heaven, and had desecrated the vessels of God’s house by drinking wine in them to his gods, and foretells his destruction. Type of the judgment on the Gentile world at the coming of Christ (compare Rev. 18). The third characteristic of imperial power is, that it is infidel and profane.
Daniel 6. Darius the Mede had to learn the power of God, his own weakness, and the faithfulness of Daniel the servant of God. Daniel was saved from the lions, and the God of Daniel was proclaimed throughout the empire as the living God. Typically, Darius represents the last Gentile emperor, who will be worshipped; Daniel, the godly Jews who will be saved from the very jaws of destruction; his opposers, the future infidel accusers of God’s people. The fourth characteristic is self-exaltation.
Daniel 7. This begins the second part of the book. It gives the character of the Gentile kings, already noted in Daniel 4, as before God, and their conduct towards those who acknowledge God. The four empires prophesied of in Daniel 2 are here further described under the figure of “great beasts.” The lion is Chaldean; the bear, Medo-Persian; the leopard, Grecian (or Macedonian); and the fourth, which was like no living animal, Roman, distinguished as having ten horns (ten kings) (Dan. 7:2424And the ten horns out of this kingdom are 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. (Daniel 7:24)). Out of the last arises a little horn, a power which persecutes the saints for 3 1/2 years; but which is judged by the Ancient of Days, and the saints of the Most High, or rather of the high places, eventually take the kingdom. This power is doubtless the future Roman prince in the West, who will combine with Satan and the Antichrist, as in Revelation 13.
Daniel 8. The second and the third of the four empires are again prophesied of. Out of the third kingdom, the Grecian, after it was divided into four, arose a little horn, which magnified itself; and then follows the ceasing of the daily sacrifice at Jerusalem, “the pleasant land”; but in Daniel 8:1111Yea, 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. (Daniel 8:11) and part of 12 there is a change from “it” to “he”; and in Daniel 8:17, 1917So 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. (Daniel 8:17)
19And 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. (Daniel 8:19)
“the time of the end” is spoken of. Therefore, though the little horn refers to Antiochus Epiphanes (and though he caused the worship at Jerusalem to cease) a later and still future period is evidently referred to, and another king of Syria, who will stand against the Prince of princes, and shall be broken without hand (Dan. 8:2525And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand. (Daniel 8:25)). Daniel 8:23-2523And 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. 24And 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. 25And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand. (Daniel 8:23‑25) are distinctly future “in the latter time.” (In reference to the 2300 days of Daniel 8:1414And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed. (Daniel 8:14), see ANTIOCHUS)
Daniel 9. Daniel was a student of prophecy, and learned from Jeremiah that the desolations of Jerusalem were to last 70 years. These were almost accomplished, and Daniel confessed his sins and the sins of his people; he prayed for forgiveness, and for the sanctuary which was lying desolate; he begged God to hearken and do, to defer not for His own sake, because the city and the people were called by His name. While he was yet speaking Gabriel was sent with a communication, which embraced not only the re-building of Jerusalem in the days of Ezra and Nehemiah, but the coming of the Messiah, and the action of a prince (head of the Roman power) in the last of the seventy weeks. See SEVENTY WEEKS.
Chapter 10. Daniel mourned three full weeks. This was in the third year of Cyrus; in the first year Cyrus had proclaimed that God had charged him to rebuild the temple (Ezra 1:11Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying, (Ezra 1:1)). Some were elated at the small restoration in Ezra 1-3, but Daniel was still before God about His people, the previous chapter having revealed that 70 weeks (of years) would have to run on before blessing; Messiah would be rejected, etc. He did not go back to Jerusalem, but continued to mourn for God’s people and sought to understand the prophecies. One was sent to comfort Daniel, and he revealed the fact that unseen evil powers had delayed his coming the entire three weeks. The messenger said, “I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days....now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia: and when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come” (Dan. 10:14, 2014Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days. (Daniel 10:14)
20Then said he, Knowest thou wherefore I come unto thee? and now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia: and when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come. (Daniel 10:20)
). This introduces Daniel 11-12 (Daniel 10-12 being one). God’s answer is a revelation extending from the days of Daniel to the final blessing of God’s people. The city and sanctuary are in view in Daniel 9, here the people.
Daniel 11. Daniel 11:1-351Also I in the first year of Darius the Mede, even I, stood to confirm and to strengthen him. 2And now will I show thee the truth. Behold, there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia; and the fourth shall be far richer than they all: and by his strength through his riches he shall stir up all against the realm of Grecia. 3And a mighty king shall stand up, that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will. 4And when he shall stand up, his kingdom shall be broken, and shall be divided toward the four winds of heaven; and not to his posterity, nor according to his dominion which he ruled: for his kingdom shall be plucked up, even for others beside those. 5And 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. 6And in the end of years they shall join themselves together; for the king's daughter of the south shall come to the king of the north to make an agreement: but she shall not retain the power of the arm; neither shall he stand, nor his arm: but she shall be given up, and they that brought her, and he that begat her, and he that strengthened her in these times. 7But out of a branch of her roots shall one stand up in his estate, which shall come with an army, and shall enter into the fortress of the king of the north, and shall deal against them, and shall prevail: 8And shall also carry captives into Egypt their gods, with their princes, and with their precious vessels of silver and of gold; and he shall continue more years than the king of the north. 9So the king of the south shall come into his kingdom, and shall return into his own land. 10But his sons shall be stirred up, and shall assemble a multitude of great forces: and one shall certainly come, and overflow, and pass through: then shall he return, and be stirred up, even to his fortress. 11And the king of the south shall be moved with choler, and shall come forth and fight with him, even with the king of the north: and he shall set forth a great multitude; but the multitude shall be given into his hand. 12And when he hath taken away the multitude, his heart shall be lifted up; and he shall cast down many ten thousands: but he shall not be strengthened by it. 13For the king of the north shall return, and shall set forth a multitude greater than the former, and shall certainly come after certain years with a great army and with much riches. 14And in those times there shall many stand up against the king of the south: also the robbers of thy people shall exalt themselves to establish the vision; but they shall fall. 15So the king of the north shall come, and cast up a mount, and take the most fenced cities: and the arms of the south shall not withstand, neither his chosen people, neither shall there be any strength to withstand. 16But he that cometh against him shall do according to his own will, and none shall stand before him: and he shall stand in the glorious land, which by his hand shall be consumed. 17He shall also set his face to enter with the strength of his whole kingdom, and upright ones with him; thus shall he do: and he shall give him the daughter of women, corrupting her: but she shall not stand on his side, neither be for him. 18After this shall he turn his face unto the isles, and shall take many: but a prince for his own behalf shall cause the reproach offered by him to cease; without his own reproach he shall cause it to turn upon him. 19Then he shall turn his face toward the fort of his own land: but he shall stumble and fall, and not be found. 20Then shall stand up in his estate a raiser of taxes in the glory of the kingdom: but within few days he shall be destroyed, neither in anger, nor in battle. 21And in his estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honor of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries. 22And with the arms of a flood shall they be overflown from before him, and shall be broken; yea, also the prince of the covenant. 23And after the league made with him he shall work deceitfully: for he shall come up, and shall become strong with a small people. 24He shall enter peaceably even upon the fattest places of the province; and he shall do that which his fathers have not done, nor his fathers' fathers; he shall scatter among them the prey, and spoil, and riches: yea, and he shall forecast his devices against the strong holds, even for a time. 25And he shall stir up his power and his courage against the king of the south with a great army; and the king of the south shall be stirred up to battle with a very great and mighty army; but he shall not stand: for they shall forecast devices against him. 26Yea, they that feed of the portion of his meat shall destroy him, and his army shall overflow: and many shall fall down slain. 27And both these kings' hearts shall be to do mischief, and they shall speak lies at one table; but it shall not prosper: for yet the end shall be at the time appointed. 28Then shall he return into his land with great riches; and his heart shall be against the holy covenant; and he shall do exploits, and return to his own land. 29At the time appointed he shall return, and come toward the south; but it shall not be as the former, or as the latter. 30For the ships of Chittim shall come against him: therefore he shall be grieved, and return, and have indignation against the holy covenant: so shall he do; he shall even return, and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant. 31And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate. 32And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits. 33And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days. 34Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries. 35And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed. (Daniel 11:1‑35) is a history of the contests between the king of the north (Syria) and the king of the south (Egypt)—branches of the Grecian empire—often in the land of Palestine which lay between them. The prophecies are so definite that some critics have said they must have been written after the events. (The correspondence of history with the particulars given in this chapter will be found under ANTIOCHUS.) Daniel 11:21-3521And in his estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honor of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries. 22And with the arms of a flood shall they be overflown from before him, and shall be broken; yea, also the prince of the covenant. 23And after the league made with him he shall work deceitfully: for he shall come up, and shall become strong with a small people. 24He shall enter peaceably even upon the fattest places of the province; and he shall do that which his fathers have not done, nor his fathers' fathers; he shall scatter among them the prey, and spoil, and riches: yea, and he shall forecast his devices against the strong holds, even for a time. 25And he shall stir up his power and his courage against the king of the south with a great army; and the king of the south shall be stirred up to battle with a very great and mighty army; but he shall not stand: for they shall forecast devices against him. 26Yea, they that feed of the portion of his meat shall destroy him, and his army shall overflow: and many shall fall down slain. 27And both these kings' hearts shall be to do mischief, and they shall speak lies at one table; but it shall not prosper: for yet the end shall be at the time appointed. 28Then shall he return into his land with great riches; and his heart shall be against the holy covenant; and he shall do exploits, and return to his own land. 29At the time appointed he shall return, and come toward the south; but it shall not be as the former, or as the latter. 30For the ships of Chittim shall come against him: therefore he shall be grieved, and return, and have indignation against the holy covenant: so shall he do; he shall even return, and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant. 31And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate. 32And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits. 33And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days. 34Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries. 35And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed. (Daniel 11:21‑35) refers to Antiochus Epiphanes, type of the king of the north, or Assyrian of the last days: Compare also Daniel 8.
Daniel 11:36-4536And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done. 37Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all. 38But in his estate shall he honor the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honor with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things. 39Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain. 40And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over. 41He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon. 42He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape. 43But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps. 44But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many. 45And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him. (Daniel 11:36‑45). The Spirit here, as elsewhere, passes from the type to the fulfillment at the end of the days, leaping over the present interval. Daniel 11:36-3936And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done. 37Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all. 38But in his estate shall he honor the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honor with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things. 39Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain. (Daniel 11:36‑39) is a parenthesis and refers to Antichrist as a king: he will be a Jew and not regard “the God of his fathers,” nor the Messiah as “the desire of women,” nor regard any known god; but will set himself up above all. Yet apparently he will honor the god of war (for which nations are getting ready).
Daniel 11:40-4540And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over. 41He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon. 42He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape. 43But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps. 44But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many. 45And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him. (Daniel 11:40‑45). This is the final contest between a king of the North and a king of the South. The king of the North (elsewhere spoken of as “the Assyrian,” antitype of Epiphanes) succeeds and passes into “the glorious land,” and is generally victorious (but not against Edom and Moab, and the children of Ammon: these are judged later by the instrumentality of Israel (Isa. 11:1414But they shall fly upon the shoulders of the Philistines toward the west; they shall spoil them of the east together: they shall lay their hand upon Edom and Moab; and the children of Ammon shall obey them. (Isaiah 11:14)). Like Sennacherib’s host of old, he will be smitten by the hand of God.
Daniel 12. This is the deliverance and blessing of the Jewish remnant. Michael, their champion in the heavenlies, stands up for them. There is to be a time of great trouble such as never was (compare Jer. 30:77Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble; but he shall be saved out of it. (Jeremiah 30:7); Matt. 24). Many of Israel that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake: some to millennial blessing, and some to judgment. This is not the resurrection of the dead, but a national rising of all Israel from among the Gentiles, like the rising from the valley of dry bones in Ezekiel 37: a remnant only will enter the kingdom. Daniel was told to seal up the book to the time of the end (compare Rev. 22:1010And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand. (Revelation 22:10)). He heard one ask, “How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?” The reply is “a time, times, and a half”—3 1/2 years, the last half-week of Daniel’s 70 weeks. Two other periods are given: 1290 days from the time of the daily sacrifice being taken away: this is 30 days beyond the 3 years. Then blessed is he that waiteth and cometh to the 1335 days—full blessing. Daniel was told to go: he should stand in his lot at the end of the days.
Much of this remarkable prophecy stands alone, though it has many links that fit exactly with other prophecies. A general knowledge of prophecy wonderfully helps the understanding of any part of it, in this or in any other book. It is important to remember that Daniel’s prophecy embraces the “times of the Gentiles”—running on from the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar to the restoration of the Jews when ruled over by the Son of David. The present governments or states of Europe may be said to be the representatives of Gentile supremacy, but through the depreciation of the Roman empire by the mixture of the iron and clay. The Church and the Gospel have no place in Daniel.
The book is not all written in Hebrew: from Daniel 2:44Then spake the Chaldeans to the king in Syriack, O king, live for ever: tell thy servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation. (Daniel 2:4) to the end of Daniel 8—namely, what concerns the Gentiles—is written in what is there called Syriac, or Aramaic-usually called Chaldee, the Gentiles’ tongue.