You remember that in chapter 1, Daniel was brought to Babylon as a captive, one of the princes of Israel, and he went through a three year grooming process to prepare him to be one of the king’s counselors. So, in the second year of Nebuchadnezzar the king it would mean that Daniel had now finished the preparation and was counted as one of the counselors or wise men in the court of Babylon. So, initiated now into his job, and it was quite an initiation at that.
The book of Daniel is one of the most exciting books of the Old Testament to me. I love the book of Daniel. We are going to go slow. We are just going to take one chapter at a time so you can fully absorb the marvelous prophecies of this book of Daniel. Like me, I trust that you will fall in love with this man of God who lived such a beautiful and exemplary life. I have come to just love Daniel as a person. He is one of those that I am looking forward to meeting when I get to heaven. I want to know what his feelings were when he was in the lion’s den. He is just an exciting, exciting man of God.
“To Finish the Transgression” . All of the rebellion of mankind against God will finally be at an end. God will destroy the present earth and the heavens in a great heat death (2 Peter 3:1). He will create a new heavens and earth from which a new order, or government completely orchestrated by God, will continue forever (Revelation 21:1). This will all come about as a result of the Messiah’s return to earth at the end of the seven year Tribulation, being inaugurated as “King of kings”. He is the subject of all 365 of these Old Testament prophecies, and the entire Bible itself.
Daniel tells us that this particular dream and vision came to him in the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon. Which means that Daniel at this time was probably some where around eighty-four to eighty-five years old still serving the Lord, still an instrument of God. God is speaking to him of the future.
In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters.
He sort of summed up the matter. He gave us the summation of the things that he saw in this vision or dream.
Matthew 21:5 “Tell the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your King is coming to you, Lowly, and sitting on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.’ ”
It was customary that when a magnificent king would make his entrance into a city, there would be great pomp and circumstance. Crowds were placed along the entrance route that were prepared for just such a great spectacle. No king ever came into a town or village in humility. The greatness of the king was underscored by the size of his entrance.
Zechariah the prophet wrote approximately 700 years before Jesus was born. He predicted that the greatest of all Kings would appear in Jerusalem, not with great spectacle, but in humility and simplicity. He would not arrive as most conquering kings, on a great stallion, but instead in the back of an unbroken foal of a donkey.
Whenever a king would arrive in a city on the back of a donkey, he was signaling that his arrival was in peace. When he came to conquer, he rode on the back of a great horse.
As Jesus arrives in Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, April 2, 32 A. D., he did so in perfect fulfillment of Zechariah’s prophecy. The people who had gathered at the entrance to Jerusalem, held palm branches to be waved at the arriving king, customary for that day. As Jesus makes his entrance into Jerusalem, for the first time in his three year ministry, He allows Himself to be proclaimed as “The Messiah, the Son of David”, in fulfillment of all the old testament prophecies. Up to that day, Jesus would not allow pressure from even His disciples, to announce Himself as the promised Savior. Jesus came to fulfill the prophecies about the coming Savior and there was an appointed day for that arrival and announcement. He would not be moved from that objective by the pressures of any man.
We are just about at the end of Daniel and I also get just a little bit nostalgic as I come to the end of a book like this. The Bible is just rich and full, and no matter where you are it is a blessing. But, there are some books that you just enjoy and some of the Bible characters that just really endear themselves to you, and Daniel is just such a Bible character. I love him. I am anxious to meet him. I hope to spend quite a bit of time with this fellow. He is just one of those men of God that I deeply admire.
If you have been a student of the Book of Daniel and found that it is a little difficult to understand when it comes to chapter 9, you are not alone. I have been studying this amazing book and specifically chapter 9 for almost 36 years. From the moment that I first heard the prophecy of the 70 weeks taught, I was held captive by it’s mystery.
To consider that the Lord revealed the exact date of His first coming to earth as being on Palm Sunday, April 6, 32 a.d amazed me.
For any serious student of the Bible, the study of Biblical Prophecy is the most fascinating aspects of devoting yourself to diligent Bible Study. Any person who can claim that the Bible is not the Word of God and has no relevance for today, has never studied the prophecies of Daniel chapter 9.
In some of the former commentaries on the Book of Daniel, there has been several errors in interpreting chapter 9 in relation to the actual historical events surrounding Daniel’s Prophecy.
One of these errors was that the 70 years of Israel’s captivity by Babylon was to end with the coming of the Messiah. We know from history that the actual captivity lasted only 62 years. According to Daniel chapter 9:25, the period of time from the captivity until the coming of the Messiah was 62 weeks of years plus 7 weeks of years.
The 70 weeks of years foretold by Daniel’s prophecy, or 490 years are actually related to the “Desolation’s of Israel”.
These errors came from the fact that some former interpreters of Daniel’s Prophecy did not distinguish between:
1. The Servitude of Israel.
2. The Captivity of Israel.
3. The Desolations of Israel.
The four world-wide kingdoms that Daniel saw in his night visions began with the Babylonians from 605-538 B.C. Nearly 700 years later, John would be given a virtually identical vision of these same events in the Book of Revelation.
The four beasts than Daniel saw; A Lion, A Bear, A Leopard, and a Dreadful Beast beyond earthly description, were a Prophetic view of the four kingdoms that would dominate the world over the course of human history.
The Lion represented King Nebuchadnezzar, King of the Babylonians.
The Bear representing King Cyrus of the Medo-Persian Empire.
The Leopard representing Alexander the Great who conquored the know world when he was just 32 years old.
The Dreadful and Terrible Beast coming in “The Last Days” from a revival of the old Roman Empire led by the one called the “Beast” or “The Antichrist”.
It is important to remember that these first three kingdoms described in the Book of Daniel, were predicted hundreds of years before they actually occurred in history. The accuracy of these prophecies in the Book of Daniel are so precise that skeptics have often stated that they must have been written after the events actually took place. They contend that any prediction with the detail that Daniel describes, would be impossible to predict before hand.
Therein is the point that we who study the Bible have been making all along. The Bible is the handwriting of God. His words and thoughts, recorded by “holy men of God who spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit”. The most convincing proof that the Bible is the Word of God is that of the 2,500 plus prophecies in the scriptures, over 2,000 of these have already been literally fulfilled exactly as they were predicted, without a single error.
Daniel 8:23-26 “And in the latter time of their kingdom, When the transgressors have reached their fullness, A king shall arise, Having fierce features, Who understands sinister schemes. His power shall be mighty, but not by his own power; He shall destroy fearfully, And shall prosper and thrive; He shall destroy the mighty, and also the holy people. “Through his cunning He shall cause deceit to prosper under his rule; And he shall exalt himself in his heart. He shall destroy many in their prosperity. He shall even rise against the Prince of princes; But he shall be broken without human means. “And the vision of the evenings and mornings Which was told is true; Therefore seal up the vision, For it refers to many days in the future.” Daniel was thrust into a world that he knew nothing about except for the prophecies given to him here concerning “Many days in the future”. The prophecy of Daniel chapter 8 gives us a description of some of those things that will occur during the time that the antichrist arises as a world ruler shortly after the Rapture of the Church.
Daniel is the indispensable introduction to New Testament prophecy. Within the pages of Daniel is the documented gentile history of the world (as it pertains to Israel), the coming of the Messiah, one commonly referred to as Antichrist and much more. We find themes of the apostasy of the Church, the manifestation of the man of sin, the great tribulation, the return of the Lord, the resurrections and the judgments. If I had to choose a favorite book of the bible, I would have to choose this one.