Scripture Queries and Answers: Daniel 7-9; Revelation 13, 19

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 8
Q.—Dan. 7; 8; 11; Rev. 13; 19, The article in B.T. for Feb. pp. 212, 13 raises questions. “Who can doubt?” says the writer. I can for one, what is taught of the king of the north as “like the second Beast.” Why is he not the second beast? or “King” of Dan. 11:3636And 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. (Daniel 11:36)? F.C.J.
A.—It ought not to be a difficulty that as Dan. 7 treats of the Western Empire with its head which Rev. 13 and 17 declare is to be revived, but destroyed by the Lord's appearing, so Dan. 8 tells us of a great offshoot, north-east of Palestine, from the third or Greek empire which is to afflict the chosen people at that “time of the end,” with both craft and violent power. This therefore is quite distinct from the internal enemy of God who reigns in the land and is a Jew, in fact the Antichrist. Whereas the king in chap. 8 answers to “the overflowing scourge,” the retribution for “the covenant with death and agreement with hell,” the contract between the Roman Empire and the apostate king. Though for all three is the same doom, they ought to be distinguished. Compare Isa. 30, which tells of “the king” as well as the Assyrian or the north-eastern power, as Rev. 19 tells it of the western empire with its ally the king of the Jews in that day. It is clearly the same power which in Dan. 11 is designated as “the king of the north” in distinction from “the king of the south” (or, of Egypt), with “the king” between them. But here again, the distinction is plain, however many may have failed to see it. We should rather compare the king “of fierce countenance and understanding dark sentences” to a quasi-Solomon than to a rabbi. But the sense is the same if the degree differs; and it is natural enough for an oriental Gentile to affect wisdom and entangle the Jews before he turned to besiege and overwhelm them. But this could not be the policy of the false Messiah or of his Roman ally. Compare a Gentile; for so described is the prince of Tire (Ezek. 28:33Behold, thou art wiser than Daniel; there is no secret that they can hide from thee: (Ezekiel 28:3)).
In short Dan. 7 and 8 must not be confounded. One is western, the other eastern; and both distinct from the willful king of Dan. 11:3636And 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. (Daniel 11:36), who will have his ally in the one, his antagonist in the other, at the time of the end, when all three perish awfully. Their judgment with the subsequent one of Gog (Ezek. 38; 39), the last of the hateful and persistent foes of Israel, will be a large part of God's lesson whereby the world's inhabitants learn wisdom, and bow to Messiah's kingdom and personal reign for a space without example, before the heavens and earth that are now melt into the new heavens and earth wherein dwelleth righteousness, the eternal state, when God is all in all.