Saturday, November 28, 2009
This image, then, is a picture of world history. You can see that the materials in it decrease in weight (from gold to clay) so that the statue is top-heavy and easily pushed over. Men and women think that human civilization is so strong and enduring; really it is resting on brittle feet of clay. Note too that the value decreases: from gold to silver to bronze to iron to clay. Is mankind getting “better and better” as time goes on? No! Human civilization is actually getting cheaper and weaker. There is also a decrease in beauty and glory (gold is certainly more beautiful than iron mixed with clay); and there is a decrease in strength (from gold to clay) as we approach the end of human history. Each of the successive kingdoms had its own strengths, of course, and Rome exercised a tremendous military power, but through history civilization will become weaker and weaker. This explains why the Antichrist will be able to organize a worldwide dictatorship: nations will be so weak they will demand a dictator just to be able to survive.
Each of these kingdoms had a different form of government. Babylon was ruled by an absolute monarch, a dictator (see 5:19). The Medo-Persian empire had a king, but he worked through princes and established laws (see 6:1–3—and remember the “law of the Medes and the Persians” in Esther 1:19). Greece operated through a king and an army, and Rome was supposed to be a republic, but it was actually a rule of the military through laws. When you come to the iron and clay, you have our present governments: the iron represents law and justice, the clay represents mankind, and together they make up democracy. What is the strength of democracy? Law. What is its weakness? Human nature. We are seeing today that lawlessness comes when human nature refuses to be bound by God’s order and laws.
This entire picture is not a very optimistic one. Nebuchadnezzar saw that his own kingdom would fall one day and be replaced by the Medes and Persians. This happened in 538 B.C. (Dan. 5:30–31). The Medes and Persians would be conquered by the Greeks about 330 B.C.; and Greece would give way to Rome. The Roman Empire outwardly would disappear, but its laws, philosophies, and institutions would continue until this very day, taking us down to the “feet of clay.” The only hope for this world is the return of Christ. When He comes to the earth, it will be to conquer the nations (Rev. 19:11ff) and to establish His own glorious kingdom.
Wiersbe, W. W. (1993). Wiersbe's expository outlines on the Old Testament. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
Notes Dan 7:Also See Rev 13 & 17
raised … itself on one side—but the Hebrew, “It raised up one dominion.” The Medes, an ancient people, and the Persians, a modern tribe, formed one united sovereignty in contrast to the third and fourth kingdoms, each originally one, afterwards divided. English Version is the result of a slight change of a Hebrew letter. The idea then would be, “It lay on one of its fore feet, and stood on the other”; a figure still to be seen on one of the stones of Babylon [MUNTER, The Religion of Babylonia, 112]; denoting a kingdom that had been at rest, but is now rousing itself for conquest. Media is the lower side, passiveness; Persia, the upper, active element [AUBERLEN]. The three ribs in its mouth are Media, Lydia, and Babylon, brought under the Persian sway. Rather, Babylon, Lydia, and Egypt, not properly parts of its body, but seized by Medo-Persia [SIR ISAAC NEWTON]. Called “ribs” because they strengthened the Medo-Persian empire. “Between its teeth,” as being much grinded by it.
6. leopard—smaller than the lion; swift (Hab 1:8); cruel (Is 11:6), the opposite of tame; springing suddenly from its hiding place on its prey (Ho 13:7); spotted. So Alexander, a small king, of a small kingdom, Macedon, attacked Darius at the head of the vast empire reaching from the AEgean Sea to the Indies. In twelve years he subjugated part of Europe, and all Asia from Illyricum and the Adriatic to the Ganges, not so much fighting as conquering [JEROME]. Hence, whereas Babylon is represented with two wings, Macedon has four, so rapid were its conquests. The various spots denote the various nations incorporated into his empire [BOCHART]; Or Alexander’s own variation in character, at one time mild, at another cruel, now temperate, and now drunken and licentious.
four heads—explained in Da 8:8, 22; the four kingdoms of the Diadochi or “successors” into which the Macedonian empire was divided at the death of Alexander, namely, Macedon and Greece under Cassander, Thrace and Bithynia under Lysimachus, Egypt under PTOLEMY, and Syria under Seleucus.
dominion … given to it—by God; not by Alexander’s own might. For how unlikely it was that thirty thousand men should overthrow several hundreds of thousands! JOSEPHUS [Antiquities, 11.6] says that Alexander adored the high priest of Jerusalem, saying that he at Dium in Macedonia had seen a vision of God so habited, inviting him to go to Asia, and promising him success.
7. As Daniel lived under the kingdom of the first beast, and therefore needed not to describe it, and as the second and third are described fully in the second part of the book, the chief emphasis falls on the fourth. Also prophecy most dwells on the end, which is the consummation of the preceding series of events. It is in the fourth that the world power manifests fully its God-opposing nature. Whereas the three former kingdoms were designated respectively, as a lion, bear, and leopard, no particular beast is specified as the image of the fourth; for Rome is so terrible as to be not describable by any one, but combines in itself all that we can imagine inexpressibly fierce in all beasts. Hence thrice (Da 7:7, 19, 23) it is repeated, that the fourth was “diverse from all” the others. The formula of introduction, “I saw in the night visions,” occurs here, as at Da 7:2, and again at Da 7:13, thus dividing the whole vision into three parts—the first embracing the three kingdoms, the second the fourth and its overthrow, the third Messiah’s kingdom. The first three together take up a few centuries; the fourth, thousands of years. The whole lower half of the image in the second chapter is given to it. And whereas the other kingdoms consist of only one material, this consists of two, iron and clay (on which much stress is laid, Da 2:41–43); the “iron teeth” here allude to one material in the fourth kingdom of the image.
ten horns—It is with the crisis, rather than the course, of the fourth kingdom that this seventh chapter is mainly concerned. The ten kings (Da 7:24, the “horns” representing power), that is, kingdoms, into which Rome was divided on its incorporation with the Germanic and Slavonic tribes, and again at the Reformation, are thought by many to be here intended. But the variation of the list of the ten, and their ignoring the eastern half of the empire altogether, and the existence of the Papacy before the breaking up of even the Western empire, instead of being the “little horn” springing up after the other ten, are against this view. The Western Roman empire continued till A.D. 731, and the Eastern, till A.D. 1453. The ten kingdoms, therefore, prefigured by the ten “toes” (Da 2:41; compare Rev 13:1; 17:12), are the ten kingdoms into which Rome shall be found finally divided when Antichrist shall appear [TREGELLES]. These, probably, are prefigured by the number ten being the prevalent one at the chief turning points of Roman history.
8. little horn—little at first, but afterwards waxing greater than all others. He must be sought “among them,” namely, the ten horns. The Roman empire did not represent itself as a continuation of Alexander’s; but the Germanic empire calls itself “the holy Roman empire.” Napoleon’s attempted universal monarchy was avowedly Roman: his son was called king of Rome. The czar (Caesar) also professes to represent the eastern half of the Roman empire. The Roman civilization, church, language, and law are the chief elements in Germanic civilization. But the Romanic element seeks universal empire, while the Germanic seeks individualization. Hence the universal monarchies attempted by the Papacy, Charlemagne, Charles V, and Napoleon have failed, the iron not amalgamating with the clay. In the king symbolized by “the little horn,” the God-opposing,. haughty spirit of the world, represented by the fourth monarchy, finds its intensest development. “The man of sin,” “the son of perdition” (2Th 2:3). Antichrist (1Jn 2:18, 22; 4:3). It is the complete evolution of the evil principle introduced by the fall.
three of the first horns plucked up—the exarchate of Ravenna, the kingdom of the Lombards and the state of Rome, which constituted the Pope’s dominions at the first; obtained by Pope Zachary and Stephen II in return for acknowledging the usurper Pepin lawful king of France [NEWTON]. See TREGELLES’ objections, Da 7:7, “ten horns,”
Note. The “little horn,” in his view, is to be Antichrist rising three and a half years before Christ’s second advent, having first overthrown three of the ten contemporaneous kingdoms, into which the fourth monarchy, under which we live, shall be finally divided. Popery seems to be a fulfilment of the prophecy in many particulars, the Pope claiming to be God on earth and above all earthly dominions; but the spirit of Antichrist prefigured by Popery will probably culminate in ONE individual, to be destroyed by Christ’s coming; He will be the product of the political world powers, whereas Popery which prepares His way, is a Church become worldly.
eyes of man—Eyes express intelligence (Ez 1:18); so (Ge 3:5) the serpent’s promise was, man’s “eyes should be opened,” if he would but rebel against God. Antichrist shall consummate the self-apotheosis, begun at the fall, high intellectual culture, independent of God. The metals representing Babylon and Medo-Persia, gold and silver, are more precious than brass and iron, representing Greece and Rome; but the latter metals are more useful to civilization (Ge 4:22). The clay, representing the Germanic element, is the most plastic material. Thus there is a progress in culture; but this is not a progress necessarily in man’s truest dignity, namely, union and likeness to God. Nay, it has led him farther from God, to self-reliance and world-love. The beginnings of civilization were among the children of Cain (Ge 4:17–24; Lu 16:8). Antiochus Epiphanes, the first Antichrist, came from civilized Greece, and loved art. As Hellenic civilization produced the first, so modern civilization under the fourth monarchy will produce the last Antichrist. The “mouth” and “eyes” are those of a man, while the symbol is otherwise brutish that is it will assume man’s true dignity, namely, wear the guise of the kingdom of God (which comes as the “Son of man” from above), while it is really bestial, namely, severed from God. Antichrist promises the same things as Christ, but in an opposite way: a caricature of Christ, offering a regenerated world without the cross. Babylon and Persia in their religion had more reverence for things divine than Greece and Rome in the imperial stages of their history. Nebuchadnezzar’s human heart, given him (Da 4:16) on his repentance, contrasts with the human eyes of Antichrist, the pseudo son of man, namely, intellectual culture, while heart and mouth blaspheme God. The deterioration politically corresponds: the first kingdom, an organic unity; the second, divided into Median and Persian; the third branches off into four; the fourth, into ten. The two eastern kingdoms are marked by nobler metals; the two western, by baser; individualization and division appear in the latter, and it is they which produce the two Antichrists.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Daniel proceeds with confidence from the presentation of the dream to the predictive interpretation of it (2:36).
1. The head of gold (2:37–38). Nebuchadnezzar was the king of kings to whom the God of heaven had given sovereignty over the world (cf. Jer 27:6–8). The head of gold symbolized him. Since Nebuchadnezzar was the embodiment of all that Babylon was, the head represented the Babylonian kingdom as well as its king. This symbolism was most appropriate for two reasons. First, Babylon was called the golden city (Isa 14:4) because gold was used profusely to decorate its shrines and public buildings. Second, the idea of world empire originated with the Babylonians. The policies which were formulated in Babylon continued to control succeeding empires even as the head controls the body (2:37f.).
2. The breast of silver (2:39a). The breast and arms of silver represented a kingdom inferior to Babylon which would subsequently arise. Most likely this is the Medo-Persian empire which assumed sovereignty over the Near East in 539 B.C. when Cyrus conquered Babylon. The symbolism here was significant for three reasons. First, the two arms appropriately indicate the two major ethnic components of this empire, viz., the Medes and the Persians. Second, the breast encloses the heart. Cyrus, the founder of this empire, is reputed to have displayed heartfelt charity on friend and foe alike. Third, silver was virtually equivalent to money. Thus the silver here may be intended to portray the more commercial spirit of this empire.
The question as to how the Medo-Persian empire was inferior to that of Nebuchadnezzar is difficult. Certainly the inferiority did not lie in geography, for the territory administered by Cyrus far exceeded anything Nebuchadnezzar ever ruled. The assertion of the moral inferiority of the Medo-Persian empire is debatable. Perhaps the inferiority of the second world empire was in the following areas. First, the Babylonian empire in the broadest sense was basically uninterrupted for two millennia. On the other hand, the Medo-Persian empire survived for but two centuries. Second, the second empire lacked the inner unity of the first.14 Third, in terms of influence and achievement the old Babylonian empire outranked the Medo-Persian by far.15
3. The belly of bronze (2:39b). The third kingdom appears to be the Greco-Macedonian kingdom founded by Alexander the Great. Again the symbolism was appropriate. First, bronze was the primary metal in instruments of war, and Alexander’s army was noted for its military prowess. Second, what began as a unit (the abdomen) divided itself into two separate parts which were never reunited. This may point to Syria and Egypt, the two great Hellenistic kingdoms which grew out of the empire of Alexander.
4. The legs of iron (2:40). Assuming that the second and third empires have been correctly identified, the fourth kingdom most likely is Rome. The iron might of Rome crushed and broke “all these in pieces.” Each successive kingdom had assumed the elements of the previous kingdom which it supplanted. So when Rome crushed the Hellenistic kingdoms (Syria and Egypt), it in effect crushed all the previous kingdoms.
5. The feet of iron and clay (2:41). The Roman empire would experience a second phase in which it would be a mixture of firmness (iron) and weakness (clay). This may represent the decline of Rome as it absorbed Germanic tribes and became a decadent dictatorship. No rival empire conquered Rome. The fourth empire did not fall so much as it crumbled from within.
6. The toes (2:42–43). Presumably the statue had ten toes. A wide divergence of opinion exists as to the meaning of this symbolism. The Adventists think in terms of ten kingdoms which at one point constituted the Roman Empire. Some modern students of prophecy suggest that a ten nation confederacy, a revived Roman Empire, will appear on the territory once ruled by Rome. Recent political and economic developments in Europe are regarded as the fulfillment of this prophecy. Ten, however, is the number of completeness. It probably was not intended to be taken literally here. Therefore, attempts to identify ten specific kingdoms are unreliable. The toes may designate all the kingdoms which would follow Rome on the stage of history. The iron and clay mixture could be a way of portraying attempts to forge alliances of diverse ethnic and linguistic groups.16
7. The stone (2:44–45). The stone cut out of the mountain without hands represented the messianic kingdom. God would set up that kingdom “in the days of those kings.” Daniel seems to use the terms kings and kingdoms interchangeably (cf. 7:17, 23). Therefore, the reference here is probably to the kingdoms just enumerated. During the span of time represented by the image, the God of Heaven would establish a kingdom of a different sort. That kingdom would be (1) indestructible, (2) non-transferable, (3) irresistibly powerful, and (4) eternal. Although it would coexist with the kingdoms of this world for a time, eventually it would triumph over all human government. Since this kingdom endures forever it cannot be the millennial kingdom which some anticipate. Daniel described the smashing of the image as a sudden, powerful and decisive blow. This probably represents the sweeping away of the world powers at the second coming of Christ.17
Smith, J. E. (1992). The Major Prophets. Joplin, Mo.: College Press.
magicians—properly, “sacred scribes, skilled in the sacred writings, a class of Egyptian priests” [GESENIUS]; from a Hebrew root, “a pen.”
The word in our English Version, “magicians,” comes from mag, that is, “a priest.”
The Magi formed one of the six divisions of the Medes.
astrologers—Hebrew, “enchanters,” from a root, “to conceal,” pactisers of the occult arts.
Note: We see a subtle carryove here from the previous chapter. Daniel "the writer" made it clear to all that his "gift" was from the one and true living God. Jehovah.
I. The Kings Dream (Note text chnages to Aramaic in verse 4. Very significant. This part of text is to the Gentiles)
dreams—It is significant that not to Daniel, but to the then world ruler, Nebuchadnezzar, the dream is vouchsafed. It was from the first of its representatives who had conquered the theocracy, that the world power was to learn its doom, as about to be in its turn subdued, and for ever by the kingdom of God. As this vision opens, so that in the seventh chapter developing the same truth more fully, closes the first part. Nebuchadnezzar, as vicegerent of God (Da 2:37; compare Je 25:9; Ez 28:12–15; Is 44:28; 45:1; Ro 13:1), is honored with the revelation in the form of a dream, the appropriate form to one outside the kingdom of God. So in the cases of Abimelech, Pharaoh, &c. (Ge 20:3; 41:1–7), especially as the heathen attached such importance to dreams. Still it is not he, but an Israelite, who interprets it. Heathendom is passive, Israel active, in divine things, so that the glory redounds to “the God of heaven.”
A. Disturbing : He has had a significant experience. He is troubled that he doen't understand.
B. Dan 2:3
There is a translation issue here. KJV implies that her has forgotten the dream or perhaps the recollection is cloudy. Who knows. I believe that the next few verses implies that he knows the dream but does not trust the interpretation. He feels that this is so important that he makes an unusual (possibly) demand.
2:5 The king replied to the wise men, “My decision is firm.If you do not inform me of both the dream and its interpretation, you will be dismembered and your homes reduced to rubble!
C. The response from the "wise men"
2:5-2:11 This is a clear self indictment that they pose, the stage is set for Jehovah to make himself known to these people King's and wise men alike.
There is not a man … that can show—God makes the heathen out of their own mouth, condemn their impotent pretensions to supernatural knowledge, in order to bring out in brighter contrast His power to reveal secrets to His servants, though but “men upon the earth”
therefore, &c.—that is, If such things could be done by men, other absolute princes would have required them from their magicians; as they have not, it is proof such things cannot be done and cannot be reasonably asked from us.
D: The Decree-Death to these pretenders.
2:15-There is some interprative issues with Daniel statement 2:15. That is the word (harsh), would Daniel or anyone question the King's intention? Could be urgent or untimely look at the relation to the next statement. Simply put Daniel asks for some time to PRAY.
Note: Daniel went in—perhaps not in person, but by the mediation of some courtier who had access to the king. His first direct interview seems to have been Da 2:25
E. God reveals- Note that Daniel goes to his friends to intercede with him, we are all at risk here.
Daniel's praise for a God who is real and knows the hearst of man. Note the prepatory statements related to the dream.
II. The Dream interpreted.
Note: Dan 2:25 "I have found a man"—Like all courtiers, in announcing agreeable tidings, he ascribes the merit of the discovery to himself [JEROME]. So far from it being a discrepancy, that he says nothing of the previous understanding between him and Daniel, or of Daniel’s application to the king (Da 2:15, 16), it is just what we should expect. Arioch would not dare to tell an absolute despot that he had stayed the execution of his sanguinary decree, on his own responsibility; but would, in the first instance, secretly stay it until Daniel had got, by application from the king, the time required, without Arioch seeming to know of Daniel’s application as the cause of the respite; then, when Daniel had received the revelation, Arioch would in trembling haste bring him in, as if then for the first time he had “found” him. The very difficulty when cleared up is a proof of genuineness, as it never would be introduced by a forger.
B. Daniel's words
2:27 Daniel replied to the king, “The mystery that the king is asking about is such that no wise men, astrologers, magicians, or diviners can possibly disclose it to the king. 2:28 However, there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and he has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in the times to come. The dream and the visions you had while lying on your bed are as follows.
Note: not … for any wisdom that I have—not on account of any previous wisdom which I may have manifested (Da 1:17, 20). The specially-favored servants of God in all ages disclaim merit in themselves and ascribe all to the grace and power of God (Ge 41:16; Ac 3:12). The “as for me,” disclaiming extraordinary merit, contrasts elegantly with “as for thee,” whereby Daniel courteously, but without flattery, implies, that God honored Nebuchadnezzar, as His vicegerent over the world kingdoms, with a revelation on the subject uppermost in his thoughts, the ultimate destinies of those kingdoms.
2:29 “As for you, O king, while you were in your bed your thoughts turned to future things. The revealer of mysteries has made known to you what will take place. 2:30 As for me, this mystery was revealed to me not because I possess more wisdom than any other living person, but so that the king may understand the interpretation and comprehend the thoughts of your mind.
2:31 “You, O king, were watching as a great statue – one of impressive size and extraordinary brightness – was standing before you. Its appearance caused alarm. 2:32 As for that statue, its head was of fine gold, its chest and arms were of silver, its belly and thighs were of bronze. 2:33 Its legs were of iron; its feet were partly of iron and partly of clay.2:34 You were watching as a stone was cut out, but not by human hands. It struck the statue on its iron and clay feet, breaking them in pieces. 2:35 Then the iron, clay, bronze, silver, and gold were broken in pieces without distinction and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors that the wind carries away. Not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the statue became a large mountain that filled the entire earth. 2:36 This was the dream. Now we will set forth before the king its interpretation.
D: What does it mean?
2:37 “You, O king, are the king of kings. The God of heaven has granted you sovereignty, power, strength, and honor. 2:38 Wherever human beings, wild animals,and birds of the sky live – he has given them into your power. He has given you authority over them all. You are the head of gold. 2:39 Now after you another kingdom will arise, one inferior to yours. Then a third kingdom, one of bronze, will rule in all the earth. 2:40 Then there will be a fourth kingdom, one strong like iron. Just like iron breaks in pieces and shatters everything, and as iron breaks in pieces all of these metals, so it will break in pieces and crush the others.2:41 In that you were seeing feet and toes partly of wet clay and partly of iron, so this will be a divided kingdom. Some of the strength of iron will be in it, for you saw iron mixed with wet clay. 2:42 In that the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of clay, the latter stages of this kingdom will be partly strong and partly fragile. 2:43 And in that you saw iron mixed with wet clay, so people will be mixed67 with one another without adhering to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay. 2:44 In the days of those kings the God of heaven will raise up an everlasting kingdom that will not be destroyed and a kingdom that will not be left to another people. It will break in pieces and bring about the demise of all these kingdoms. But it will stand forever. 2:45 You saw that a stone was cut from a mountain, but not by human hands; it smashed the iron, bronze, clay, silver, and gold into pieces. The great God has made known to the king what will occur in the future.70 The dream is certain, and its interpretation is reliable.”
The world power in its totality appears as a colossal human form: Babylon the head of gold, Medo-Persia the breast and two arms of silver, Graeco-Macedonia the belly and two thighs of brass, and Rome, with its Germano-Slavonic offshoots, the legs of iron and feet of iron and clay, the fourth still existing. Those kingdoms only are mentioned which stand in some relation to the kingdom of God; of these none is left out; the final establishment of that kingdom is the aim of His moral government of the world. The colossus of metal stands on weak feet, of clay. All man’s glory is as ephemeral and worthless as chaff (compare 1Pe 1:24). But the kingdom of God, small and unheeded as a “stone” on the ground is compact in its homogeneous unity; whereas the world power, in its heterogeneous constituents successively supplanting one another, contains the elements of decay. The relation of the stone to the mountain is that of the kingdom of the cross (Mt 16:23; Lu 24:26) to the kingdom of glory, the latter beginning, and the former ending when the kingdom of God breaks in pieces the kingdoms of the world (Rev 11:15). Christ’s contrast between the two kingdoms refers to this passage.
On ancient coins states are often represented by human figures. The head and higher parts signify the earlier times; the lower, the later times. The metals become successively baser and baser, implying the growing degeneracy from worse to worse. Hesiod, two hundred years before Daniel, had compared the four ages to the four metals in the same order; the idea is sanctioned here by Holy Writ. It was perhaps one of those fragments of revelation among the heathen derived from the tradition as to the fall of man. The metals lessen in specific gravity, as they downwards; silver is not so heavy as gold, brass not so heavy as silver, and iron not so heavy as brass, the weight thus being arranged in the reverse of stability [TREGELLES]. Nebuchadnezzar derived his authority from God, not from man, nor as responsible to man. But the Persian king was so far dependent on others that he could not deliver Daniel from the princes (Da 6:14, 15); contrast Da 5:18, 19, as to Nebuchadnezzar’s power from God, whom he would he slew, and whom he would he kept alive” (compare Ezr 7:14; Es 1:13–16). Graeco-Macedonia betrays its deterioration in its divisions, not united as Babylon and Persia. Iron is stronger than brass, but inferior in other respects; so Rome hardy and strong to tread down the nations, but less kingly and showing its chief deterioration in its last state. Each successive kingdom incorporates its predecessor (compare Da 5:28). Power that in Nebuchadnezzar’s hands was a God-derived (Da 2:37, 38) autocracy, in the Persian king’s was a rule resting on his nobility of person and birth, the nobles being his equals in rank, but not in office; in Greece, an aristocracy not of birth, but individual influence, in Rome, lowest of all, dependent entirely on popular choice, the emperor being appointed by popular military election.
As the two arms of silver denote the kings of the Medes and Persians [JOSEPHUS]; and the two thighs of brass the Seleucidae of Syria and Lagidae of Egypt, the two leading sections into which Graeco-Macedonia parted, so the two legs of iron signify the two Roman consuls [NEWTON]. The clay, in Da 2:41, “potter’s clay,” Da 2:43, “miry clay,” means “earthenware,” hard but brittle (compare Ps 2:9; Rev 2:27, where the same image is used of the same event); the feet are stable while bearing only direct pressure, but easily “broken” to pieces by a blow (Da 2:34), the iron intermixed not retarding, but hastening, such a result.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
II. Parents or Family note 1:6 Lit "Sons of Judah"
A. Dani el - God is my Judge (el- from Elohim) given Belteshazzar
B. Hanan iah - Yaweh has been gracious (iah or Yah from Yahweh) Shadrach
C. Misha el - "Who is what God is" Meshach
D. Azar iah - "Yahweh has helped" Abednego
III. Conviction "purpose" shows discipline Dan 1:8 lit. DAniel "placed on his heart" Why ?
A. Name changed showed ownership or authority
B. Attended school or taught in Babylonia ways. Discuss brainwashing vs education. Polytheistic
Contrast Assyrian vs Babylonian methods or assimilation.
C. Becoming part of the actual government.
D. Eating at the King's table.
See Prov 4:23. Also 1 Sam. 2:30
Why was this on Daniels heart, a young man in a strange place and culture. The only thing I can see is it is about how he was raised, Josiah's influence, a humble heart. Note how he sets about his purpose.
IV. The Method
A. Reason and Tact with Conviction and Purpose, which I believe God noticed. He honored God with this.
B. Daniel was turned down by the Overseer.
C. Humble approach to the Warden. Dan. 1:12
D. God delivers on a humble request to allow Daniel to honor him, no chains removed, no great miracle, no fasting. Dan 1:14
E. God "endows" these young men with "knowledge" and "skill". Dan1:17
F. The 3 years of training ends with Neb. impressed with these still young advisors.
Note Nebs ruled from 605 to 539BC
From last weeks discussion/review, it is reasonable to conclude that Daniel predates the 165BC period that most scholars assert. This viewpoint asserts that prophetic material in Daniel is in fact legitimate and the study will continue in that perspective.
Daniel 1:1 (Hebrew 1:1-2:4a)
Discussion: Jehoiakim date See Jer. 25:1, 2 Kings 24:1, 2 Chron 36 5-8
Historical Perspective is :
Hebrew system uses asscension year as first year.
Babylonia uses nonasscension. Which describes the first(partial) year as an asscension year.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Daniel 1:1 - 2:4a-Hebrew language
Daniel 2:4b - 7:28-Aramaic language
Daniel 8:1 - 12:13-Hebrew language
This book bears the simple title, ”Daniel,“ not only because he is one of the chief characters portrayed in the book but more so because it follows a custom (though not a consistent one) of affixing the name of the author to the book he wrote. Little is known of Daniel’s family background. From the testimony of his contemporaries he was known for his righteousness (Ezek. 14:14, 20) and his wisdom (Ezek. 28:3). He is mentioned in these passages with Noah and Job, who were historical people, so Daniel was also a historical person, not a fictional character.
Daniel was born into the royal family and was of noble birth (Dan. 1:3, 6). He was physically attractive and mentally sharp (1:4). He lived at least until the third year of Cyrus, that is, till 536 b.c. (10:1). Therefore he must have been a young man when he was taken captive by Nebuchadnezzar in 605 b.c. (In 1:4 Daniel was one of the ”young“ men of Israel.) If he were 16 when captured, he was 85 in Cyrus’ third year.
The prophecy of Daniel is the first great book of apocalyptic literature in the Bible. The Greek word apokalypsis, from which comes the English ”apocalypse,“ means an unveiling, a disclosing, or a revelation. Though all Scripture is revelation from God, certain portions are unique in the form by which their revelations were given and in the means by which they were transmitted.
Apocalyptic literature in the Bible has several characteristics: (1) In apocalyptic literature a person who received God’s truths in visions recorded what he saw. (2) Apocalyptic literature makes extensive use of symbols or signs. (3) Such literature normally gives revelation concerning God’s program for the future of His people Israel. (4) Prose was usually employed in apocalyptic literature, rather than the poetic style which was normal in most prophetic literature.
In addition to Daniel and Revelation, apocalyptic literature is found in Ezekiel 37-48 and Zechariah 1:7-7:8. In interpreting visions, symbols, and signs in apocalyptic literature, one is seldom left to his own ingenuity to discover the truth. In most instances an examination of the context or a comparison with a parallel biblical passage provides the Scriptures’ own interpretation of the visions or the symbols employed. Apocalyptic literature then demands a careful comparison of Scripture with Scripture to arrive at a correct understanding of the revelation being given.
If Daniel is the author as the book claims, then it written after the Babylonian captivity when Daniel and other young men were taken captive to Babylon in 605 when Nebuchadnezzar subdued Jerusalem. But for various reasons, this date has been disputed with many critics arguing that Daniel is a fraudulent book which was written in the time of the Maccabees in the second century B.C. rather than the sixth century B.C. Concerning the arguments against the authorship of Daniel in the sixth century Ryrie writes:
The first attack on the traditional sixth century B.C. date for the composition of the book came from Porphyry (A.D. 232- 303), a vigorous opponent of Christianity, who maintained that the book was written by an unknown Jew who lived at the time of Antiochus Epiphanes (175-163 B.C.). This view was widely promoted by scholars of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries for the following reasons: it is alleged that Daniel could not have made these predictions, since they were accurately fulfilled and could therefore have been written only after the events occurred; Persian and Greek words used in the book would have been unknown to a sixth-century Jewish author; the Aramaic used in 2:4-7:28 belongs to a time after that of Daniel; and there are certain alleged historical inaccuracies. In answer, we observe that predictive prophecy is not only possible but expected from a true prophet of God. Since Daniel lived into the Persian period, he would have known Persian words. The presence of Greek words is easily accounted for, since one hundred years before Daniel, Greek mercenaries served in the Assyrian army under Esarhaddon (683) and in the Babylonian army under Nebuchadnezzar. Recent discoveries of fifth century B.C. Aramaic documents have shown that Daniel was written in a form of Imperial Aramaic, an official dialect known in all parts of the Near East at that time. Alleged historical inaccuracies are fast disappearing, especially with the information provided by the Nabonidus Chronicle as to the identity of Belshazzar (5:1) and with evidence that identifies Darius the Mede with a governor named Gubaru (5:31).
In addition, how can the use of relatively few Greek words be explained if the book was written around 170 B.C., when a Greek-speaking government had controlled Palestine for 160 years? One would expect the presence of many Greek terms. Also, the Qumran documents (Dead Sea Scrolls), dated only a few decades before the alleged second-century writing of Daniel, show grammatical differences that indicate they were written centuries, not decades, after Daniel. Further, the scrolls of Daniel found at Qumran are copies, indicating that the original was written before the Maccabean era.70
Date, Author arguments synopsis:
ARGUMENT 1: Daniel was not listed among the famous Israelites by Ecclesiasticus 44:1ff. Since this document was in existence by 180 B.C., Daniel must have lived at a time later than 180 B.C.
RESPONSE: Among the Qumran discoveries were manuscripts and fragments from the Book of Daniel. “Since the [Qumran] community was itself Maccabean in origin, it testifies to the way in which Daniel was revered and cited as Scripture in the second century B.C.” 7 Harrison points out that Ecclesiasticus not only omits any direct reference to Daniel, but also to Job and all the Judges except Samuel, as well as Kings Asa and Jehoshaphat. Mordecai and even Ezra himself are also omitted.8 Harrison further points to allusions to Daniel by this same author (Ben Sira) in some of his other writings. He alludes to Daniel in Maccabees (1 Macc. 2:59ff.), Baruch (1:15-3:3), and Sibylline Oracles (III, 397ff.).9
ARGUMENT 2: In the Hebrew Text of the Old Testament, the Book of Daniel is not included in the second section (the prophets), but in the third (the writings).10 This shows that Daniel was not considered one of the earlier prophets. The book must therefore be a later work.
RESPONSE: In the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament) Daniel is listed with the prophets, indicating the translators, like Jesus, accepted Daniel as one of the prophets. Daniel was not a typical prophet like Isaiah or Jeremiah. His ministry was more like that of Joseph. Both were interpreters of dreams in a foreign land. Inclusion among the writings does not indicate anything about the date of the book. Job, for example, is included among the writings and is generally regarded to be a very old book.
ARGUMENT 3: The language of the Book of Daniel argues for a late date. Certain Persian and Greek words are used which originated later than the 6th century B.C. The Aramaic used in Daniel is “late” in form.
RESPONSE: Each individual language argument falls apart under scrutiny. The more we learn about the language of Daniel’s day, the more critical arguments collapse.11
ARGUMENT 4: Daniel was incorrect when he wrote (1:1) that Nebuchadnezzar’s conquest of Jerusalem occurred in the “third year of Jehoiakim” because Jeremiah spoke of it as being in the “fourth year” (Jeremiah 25:1, 46:2). Daniel’s error can be explained by the fact that he did not live in those days but wrote at a later time.
RESPONSE: It should first be noted that Daniel did not say Nebuchadnezzar defeated Jerusalem in the third year of Jehoiakim, but only that he took certain people captive to Babylon. Secondly, the Palestinian method of reckoning the number of years of a king’s reign from the time of his accession differed from that of the Babylonian method. The Babylonian method did not count the year of a king’s accession; the Palestinian method did. Thus, Daniel (by the Babylonian method) spoke of the event as being in the third year of Jehoiakim’s reign, and Jeremiah (by the Palestinian method) as being in the fourth.12
I differ with the presuppositions and premises of the critical scholars not only because of the basis of their arguments, but because of the implications of their views. I differ not only with “where they are coming from” but also with “where they are going.” Consider some implications of the critical view of Daniel. If their arguments are true, then these implications must be faced:
(1) The critical view of Daniel makes Scripture merely human, denying its divine and supernatural character. By eliminating the supernatural element from prophecy, one removes the divine. The critical view believes God did not speak through Daniel, men did.
(2) The critical view of the Book of Daniel makes “Daniel” a fictional character, not a real person. This means that the piety of Daniel (and his three friends) was fictional and that there is no real link between the practical piety of Daniel and his prophecies.
(3) The critical view of Daniel legitimizes falsehood by employing a fabricated story to teach the truth. One of the purposes of divine prophecy is to reveal the truth while exposing falsehood. The critical view makes the prophecy of Daniel a falsehood. How then can it proclaim God’s truth?
(4) The critical view of Daniel, by inference, demeans all biblical prophecy. If the divine revelation of future events is rejected in Daniel, then we must reject it elsewhere in the Bible as well. The prophecies of the Bible pertaining to the future to which we presently look for hope and comfort, cannot be a supernatural revelation of the future and thus are worthless. To reject Daniel because it is prophecy is to reject all prophecy.
(5) To accept the critical view of Daniel is to demean the rest of the Scriptures, the authors of Scripture, and our Lord Jesus Christ Himself. Kraeling said it. We have a high view of Daniel because Jesus did. But if such a view of Daniel is wrong, then all those who have esteemed Daniel highly were wrong, including our Lord. If the Book of Daniel is less than our Lord thought it was, our Lord must be less than we have thought Him to be. Our view of Christ will either determine our estimation of Daniel, or our (critical) estimation of Daniel will diminish our view of Christ.
2 The New Testament in Greek and English, published by the American Bible Society in 1966, lists in its index of quotations (pp. 897-907), every chapter of Daniel as being quoted in the New Testament. It also shows that most of the books of the New Testament quote the Book of Daniel. While not every New Testament book cites Daniel, virtually every New Testament author does, including all the gospel writers, Paul, Peter, James, Jude, and the writer to the Hebrews. One-hundred-thirty-three New Testament references were listed here, citing 68 references in Daniel.
Kraeling, who holds this view, represents it in these words:
For the Christian reader Daniel is a prophetic book. This is because he is called a prophet in the New Testament (Matt. 24:15) and because of the profound influence, especially of the visions, on Jesus and early Christianity. In our English Bible the book of Daniel follows Ezekiel. Not so in the Hebrew Bible, where it stands not among the prophets but among “the Writings.” From the standpoint of the book’s own suppositions the author (at any rate of the visions) was a man living in the time of the Chaldean and Persian kings. But this, in the view of all critical scholars, is a masquerade. Since prophecy, as we have seen, was virtually outlawed in the second century B.C., the idea came up to publish predictions under the name of some wise man or prophet of long ago. The pattern was provided by ancient Egyptian tales of wise men or seers who prophesied to a ruler about what would happen in the future—how his dynasty would end in social chaos and be replaced by a new one bringing blessing to the country. Jewish authors took over the pattern but gave it a new importance by providing a finale consisting of judgment over a current empire that had trodden down their people and the coming of the kingdom of God or of the Messiah. Thus was born the apocalyptic literature of which Daniel is the oldest specimen.4
Daniel J. Boorstin has said: "The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance--it is the illusion of knowledge."
In 609 b.c. the Assyrians sought the help of Egypt, and Pharaoh Neco II led an army from Egypt to join Assyria. Josiah, the king of Judah, hoping to incur favor with the Babylonians, sought to prevent the Egyptians from joining Assyria and met the Egyptian army at Megiddo. Josiah’s army was defeated and he was killed in this attempt (2 Kings 23:28-30; 2 Chron. 35:24).
Pharaoh Neco proceeded to join the Assyrians and together they assaulted Babylon at Haran but were unsuccessful. Assyria seems to have passed from the scene at that time, but conflict continued between Egypt and Babylon.
In 605 b.c. Nebuchadnezzar led Babylon against Egypt in the Battle of Carchemish. Egypt was defeated, and Carchemish was destroyed by the Babylonians in May-June of that year. While pursuing the defeated Egyptians Nebuchadnezzar expanded his territorial conquests southward into Syria and toward Palestine. Learning of the death of his father Nabopolassar, Nebuchadnezzar returned from Riblah to Babylon in August 605 to receive the crown. Then he returned to Palestine and attacked Jerusalem in September 605. It was on this occasion that Daniel and his companions were taken to Babylon as captives. Perhaps Nebuchadnezzar considered them hostages to warn the people in Judah against rebellion. Or the young men may have been taken to Babylon to prepare them for positions of administrative leadership there if Nebuchadnezzar should have to return to subjugate Judah. Returning to Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar reigned for 43 years (605-562).
Nebuchadnezzar returned to Judah a second time in 597 b.c. in response to Jehoiachin’s rebellion. In this incursion Jerusalem was brought in subjection to Babylon, and 10,000 captives were taken to Babylon, among whom was the Prophet Ezekiel (Ezek. 1:1-3; 2 Kings 24:8-20; 2 Chron. 36:6-10).
Nebuchadnezzar returned to Judah a third time in 588 b.c. After a long siege against Jerusalem the city walls were breached, the city destroyed, and the temple burned in the year 586. Most of the Jews who were not killed in this assault were deported to Babylon (2 Kings 25:1-7; Jer. 34:1-7; 39:1-7; 52:2-11).
The restoration of the Jews back to their land was made possible when in 539 b.c. Cyrus overthrew Babylon and established the Medo-Persian Empire. Having a policy to restore displaced peoples to their lands, Cyrus issued a decree in 538 that permitted the Jews who so desired to return to Jerusalem (2 Chron. 36:22-23; Ezra 1:1-4). About 50,000 Jewish exiles returned to the land and began to rebuild the temple. This was in keeping with Daniel’s prayer (Dan. 9:4-19). The temple was completed in 515 b.c. (Ezra 6:15). (See the chart ”The Three Returns from Exile,“ in the Introduction to Ezra.) From the first subjugation of Jerusalem (605 b.c.) until the Jews returned and rebuilt the temple foundation (536) was approximately 70 years. From the destruction of the temple (586) until the temple was rebuilt (515) was also about 70 years. So Jeremiah’s prophecy about the 70-year duration of the Babylon Exile was literally fulfilled (Jer. 25:11-12).
Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1983-c1985). The Bible knowledge commentary : An exposition of the scriptures (1:1325). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.