An Overview of the Book of Daniel
Imagine predicting the future! What would it be like to receive a vision, write it down and then, hundreds and even thousands of years later, have these predictions come true? The book of Daniel just happens to fulfill this task. Daniel, a man of God, purposed in his heart to serve the Lord, and God was faithful and blessed Daniel. God revealed visions to Daniel that laid out world history, including “End Time” scenarios. In fact, this prophetic book is the key to understanding Bible prophecy—Old Testament writings that foretell the future. Interesting, you might say! Keeping this in mind, let’s start with a quick synopsis of the book of Daniel to better understand God’s divine plan.
The book of Daniel was written between the years 605 BC and 570 BC, in both Hebrew and Chaldeans (and also included a few Persian words). It is interesting that Christ quoted from Daniel three times in the New Testament. Also keep in mind that Daniel is the only book in the Bible that has a chapter (chapter 4) written by a Gentile king (King Nebuchadnezzar), declaring the signs and wonders of the most high God and the greatness of His works. As we read on, we notice that God used Nebuchadnezzar to punish the Jews for their disobedience, as stated in verse 2 of chapter 1: “The Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his [Nebuchadnezzar’s] hand.”
We then discover that this upright man Daniel was blessed by God and shown favor. Daniel was appointed by God to reveal dreams and to receive visions so that we may have insight into God’s plan for His people, the nations of the world and us, the saints of His church who are established through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
The book of Daniel can be broken down into two sections. Chapters 1 to 6 are narrative and historic, while chapters 7 to 12 are more about visions and dreams. Chapter 1 through chapter 2:3 and chapters 8 through 12 is written in Hebrew (the language of the Jews), whereas chapter 2:4 through chapter 7 are written in Chaldean (the language of the Gentiles). This is important to point out so that we can distinguish what is promised to the Jewish nation. We will also learn as we study the book of Daniel that there are visions that parallel the book of Revelation, whereas both Daniel and the apostle John have seen the same visions. So let’s get started!

Daniel Chapter 1
In chapter 1 of Daniel we read that the Lord gave Jerusalem into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar and that the vessels of the temple were carried off to Babylon. You might ask yourself, why would the Lord give His people into the hands of a Gentile king? The answer lies in Leviticus 25, where the Lord told Moses that there was to be a sabbath year of rest for the land every seven years. After every six years of sowing, pruning and harvesting, the fields were to be left unsowed and the vineyards not pruned during the seventh year. The Israelites did not obey God in this, and He punished them for seventy years, leading them into captivity and giving the land seventy years of rest. Reading on in Daniel, we discover that King Nebuchadnezzar instructed Ashpenaz (the head eunuch) to choose young men who were gifted with wisdom to study and serve in the king’s court. Daniel and three of his friends were among those chosen for this task. We then notice that Daniel and his friends were dedicated to the Lord in their service, and the Lord blessed them and exalted them to high positions within the king’s court.

In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it. And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God: which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god. And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king's seed, and of the princes; Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king's palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans. And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king's meat, and of the wine which he drank: so nourishing them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king. Now among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: Unto whom the prince of the eunuchs gave names: for he gave unto Daniel the name of Belteshazzar; and to Hananiah, of Shadrach; and to Mishael, of Meshach; and to Azariah, of Abednego. But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. Now God had brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs. And the prince of the eunuchs said unto Daniel, I fear my lord the king, who hath appointed your meat and your drink: for why should he see your faces worse liking than the children which are of your sort? then shall ye make me endanger my head to the king. Then said Daniel to Melzar, whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink. Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the king's meat: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants. So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days. And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king's meat. Thus Melzar took away the portion of their meat, and the wine that they should drink; and gave them pulse. As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams. Now at the end of the days that the king had said he should bring them in, then the prince of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. And the king communed with them; and among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: therefore stood they before the king. And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king enquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm. And Daniel continued even unto the first year of king Cyrus
(Dan. 1).
Daniel Chapter 2
In chapter 2 of Daniel, we read about a very strange dream that King Nebuchadnezzar had. Nebuchadnezzar then insists that the chief magicians, the astrologers and the sorcerers reveal his dream to him, without him giving them knowledge of what the dream was. This is perhaps because King Nebuchadnezzar wanted to see if these hired hands were worth their salaries. We must keep in mind that King Nebechadnezzer was a general of the Babylonian army. His father died during the siege of Jerusalem, and Nebechadnezzer became king; therefore his staff was appointed by his father. We are then told that these men could not reveal the dream to the king. Daniel, however, stated that the God of heaven could reveal and interpret this dream to the king. As we read on, we see Daniel seeking the Lord in prayer. Then the Lord gave Daniel the dream and its interpretation.

And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, wherewith his spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake from him. Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the astrologers, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, for to shew the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king. And the king said unto them, I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit was troubled to know the dream. Then spake the Chaldeans to the king in Syriack, O king, live for ever: tell thy servants the dream, and we will shew the interpretation. The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, The thing is gone from me: if ye will not make known unto me the dream, with the interpretation thereof, ye shall be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made a dunghill. But if ye shew the dream, and the interpretation thereof, ye shall receive of me gifts and rewards and great honour: therefore shew me the dream, and the interpretation thereof. They answered again and said, Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will shew the interpretation of it. The king answered and said, I know of certainty that ye would gain the time, because ye see the thing is gone from me. But if ye will not make known unto me the dream, there is but one decree for you: for ye have prepared lying and corrupt words to speak before me, till the time be changed: therefore tell me the dream, and I shall know that ye can shew me the interpretation thereof. The Chaldeans answered before the king, and said, There is not a man upon the earth that can shew the king's matter: therefore there is no king, lord, nor ruler, that asked such things at any magician, or astrologer, or Chaldean. And it is a rare thing that the king requireth, and there is none other that can shew it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh. For this cause the king was angry and very furious, and commanded to destroy all the wise men of Babylon. And the decree went forth that the wise men should be slain; and they sought Daniel and his fellows to be slain. Then Daniel answered with counsel and wisdom to Arioch the captain of the king's guard, which was gone forth to slay the wise men of Babylon: He answered and said to Arioch the king's captain, Why is the decree so hasty from the king? Then Arioch made the thing known to Daniel. Then Daniel went in, and desired of the king that he would give him time, and that he would shew the king the interpretation. Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions: That they would desire mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret; that Daniel and his fellows should not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven. Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding: He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him. I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast made known unto me now what we desired of thee: for thou hast now made known unto us the king's matter. Therefore Daniel went in unto Arioch, whom the king had ordained to destroy the wise men of Babylon: he went and said thus unto him; Destroy not the wise men of Babylon: bring me in before the king, and I will shew unto the king the interpretation. Then Arioch brought in Daniel before the king in haste, and said thus unto him, I have found a man of the captives of Judah, that will make known unto the king the interpretation. The king answered and said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, Art thou able to make known unto me the dream which I have seen, and the interpretation thereof? Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, shew unto the king; But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these; As for thee, O king, thy thoughts came into thy mind upon thy bed, what should come to pass hereafter: and he that revealeth secrets maketh known to thee what shall come to pass. But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living, but for their sakes that shall make known the interpretation to the king, and that thou mightest know the thoughts of thy heart. Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible. This image's head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth. This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king. Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory. And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold. And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth. And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise. And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters' clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure. Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and worshipped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odours unto him. The king answered unto Daniel, and said, Of a truth it is, that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou couldest reveal this secret. Then the king made Daniel a great man, and gave him many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief of the governors over all the wise men of Babylon. Then Daniel requested of the king, and he set Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, over the affairs of the province of Babylon: but Daniel sat in the gate of the king (Dan. 2).

Interpretation of the Dream

Daniel, in verses 37 to 45, gives the interpretation of the dream. From world history we can define these world empires as:

1. Head of gold represents Babylon
2. Chest and arms of silver represent Mede
and Persia
3. Belly and thighs of bronze represent the Grecian Empire
4. Legs of iron, feet part iron and part clay
represent the Roman Empire
5. Stone that struck the image and broke it into pieces represents the kingdom of Jesus Christ (this empire has not yet came to pass)

History reveals to us that Cyrus (Medes & Persians) conquered Babylon, followed by Alexander the Great (representing the Grecian Empire) and then Julius Caesar (Roman Empire). In verse 40 to 44 we read of this fourth kingdom reuniting, stronger and weaker nations/iron and clay coming together and becoming one. We must keep in mind that the Roman Empire was never conquered; it fell apart within (divided by Diocletian in 284 a.d., represented by the two legs of iron). Today’s Roman Empire would be what we in the twenty-first century refer to as the European Union or the European Community, where stronger and weaker nations came together and became one. Now let’s reflect back on World War II and what Nazi Germany did to Europe. Who would have ever thought that the Berlin Wall would come down and that these countries in Europe would reunite and become one, in addition to giving up the sovereignty of their currency and enter into a one-state economic system using the Euro.
Now that we have the hindsight of world history, we can see how Daniel’s prophecies have been fulfilled with the first four empires. It is also interesting to note that commentaries on Daniel dating back to the nineteenth century predicted the rise of the fourth empire (Roman Empire), and these commentaries were written before the World Wars. Let’s also keep in mind that in museums today we can find manuscripts of the Septuagint, which is the Hebrew Bible that was translated into Greek between 285 and 270 b.c. (prior to the Roman Empire conquest), which again shows the authenticity of the book of Daniel.

Daniel Chapter 3
In chapter 3 of Daniel, we read that Nebuchadnezzar decided (in spite of the dream that Daniel interpreted) that his kingdom would last forever. Therefore the king had a statue built of gold and commanded all to bow down and worship his image. This is interesting because it parallels Revelation 13:15, where an image was made and all men were forced to worship the image of the beast. In both Daniel and Revelation, those who did not bow down were sentenced to death. So let’s read on and get a better feel for what was happening.

Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof six cubits: he set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon. Then Nebuchadnezzar the king sent to gather together the princes, the governors, and the captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the image which Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up. Then the princes, the governors, and captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, were gathered together unto the dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up; and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up. Then an herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, O people, nations, and languages, That at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up: And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. Therefore at that time, when all the people heard the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and all kinds of musick, all the people, the nations, and the languages, fell down and worshipped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up. Wherefore at that time certain Chaldeans came near, and accused the Jews. They spake and said to the king Nebuchadnezzar, O king, live for ever. Thou, O king, hast made a decree, that every man that shall hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, shall fall down and worship the golden image: And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth, that he should be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. There are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the affairs of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; these men, O king, have not regarded thee: they serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up. Then Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and fury commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Then they brought these men before the king. Nebuchadnezzar spake and said unto them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up? Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands? Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up. Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: therefore he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated. And he commanded the most mighty men that were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace. Then these men were bound in their coats, their hosen, and their hats, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. Therefore because the king's commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceeding hot, the flames of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonished, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king. He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God. Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth, and come hither. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, came forth of the midst of the fire. And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king's counsellors, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them. Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king's word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God. Therefore I make a decree, That every people, nation, and language, which speak any thing amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort. Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, in the province of Babylon (Dan. 3).

As stated before, the king erected an image representing his kingdom to reign forever. We then notice that those who did not bow and worship the image were sentenced to death (which parallels Revelation 13:15). Reading on, we find that the three Hebrew men did not bow down and worship when they heard the instruments sound and so were sentenced to be cast into a fiery furnace. Nebuchadnezzar commanded that the furnace be heated up seven times hotter; in fact, it was so hot that the soldiers who threw the Hebrew men in were burnt to death. As a side note, according to Chuck Missler in his
Expositional Commentary on Daniel, today's archeologists have located these ancient-day furnaces in modern-day Iraq. Moving on, we read that these three men were walking in the fiery furnace, and a fourth one “like the Son of God” was with them. Now let’s keep in consideration that the Old Testament is Christ concealed and the New Testament is Christ revealed. This then would be a picture of Christ going through the fiery furnace with His people. This is a perfect example of the Rapture of the church and the 144,000 Jews that go through the tribulation period protected by God (Rev. 7:4). To illustrate this better, let’s take a closer look at the text of Daniel chapter 3.
To start, we should be aware of what is
not said in the text. We read of these three Hebrew men, yet there is no mention of Daniel. It is his book, yet he is not mentioned in this chapter. We know from Daniel chapter 6 that when the decree went out to worship the king, Daniel stayed faithful to God and continued with his daily prayers, and he was thrown into the lions’ den for his disobedience. Yet we do not read of him bowing down to the image in chapter 3. So the question is, where was Daniel? Although the text does not say, some scholars believe that since Daniel was in charge of the king’s affairs, perhaps he was out of the country on the king’s behalf. Perhaps the inspired writings of the Holy Spirit left Daniel out of this chapter to illustrate that Daniel was a type of the Church, which is pulled out or raptured prior to the great tribulation as seen in Revelation 3:10, whereas the other three Hebrew men represent the 144,000 Jews who are sealed or protected by God during the great tribulation, as we read in Revelation 7:4. In the book of Genesis, we also see a similar illustration. Noah and his family went through the flood (protected by God), while Enoch, who preceded Noah, was taken out or raptured if you will, “And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him” (Gen. 5:24). In Daniel 3:28 we read that the king praised the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who sent His angel and delivered them from the fiery furnace, and the king promoted these three Hebrew men and acknowledged the power of their God.

Daniel Chapter 4
Entering into chapter 4, we have King Nebuchadnezzar writing a letter to the whole world “unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth” and the King declaring the signs and wonders of our Lord. Keep in mind that this is the only chapter in the Bible that was written by a Gentile King. It is interesting that King Nebuchadnezzer gives praise to God and acknowledges His power, might and dominion over all things. The King then gives a recap of the dream that he had as well as Daniel’s interpretation that was given to Daniel from God!

Nebuchadnezzar the king, unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you. thought it good to shew the signs and wonders that the high God hath wrought toward me. How great are his signs! and how mighty are his wonders! his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion is from generation to generation. I Nebuchadnezzar was at rest in mine house, and flourishing in my palace: saw a dream which made me afraid, and the thoughts upon my bed and the visions of my head troubled me. Therefore made I a decree to bring in all the wise men of Babylon before me, that they might make known unto me the interpretation of the dream. Then came in the magicians, the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers: and I told the dream before them; but they did not make known unto me the interpretation thereof. But at the last Daniel came in before me, whose name was Belteshazzar, according to the name of my God, and in whom is the spirit of the holy gods: and before him I told the dream, saying, O Belteshazzar, master of the magicians, because I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in thee, and no secret troubleth thee, tell me the visions of my dream that I have seen, and the interpretation thereof. Thus were the visions of mine head in my bed; I saw, and behold a tree in the midst of the earth, and the height thereof was great. The tree grew, and was strong, and the height thereof reached unto heaven, and the sight thereof to the end of all the earth: The leaves thereof were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all: the beasts of the field had shadow under it, and the fowls of the heaven dwelt in the boughs thereof, and all flesh was fed of it. I saw in the visions of my head upon my bed, and, behold, a watcher and an holy one came down from heaven; He cried aloud, and said thus, Hew down the tree, and cut off his branches, shake off his leaves, and scatter his fruit: let the beasts get away from under it, and the fowls from his branches: Nevertheless leave the stump of his roots in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth: Let his heart be changed from man's, and let a beast's heart be given unto him; and let seven times pass over him. This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men. This dream I king Nebuchadnezzar have seen. Now thou, O Belteshazzar, declare the interpretation thereof, forasmuch as all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known unto me the interpretation: but thou art able; for the spirit of the holy gods is in thee. Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was astonied for one hour, and his thoughts troubled him. The king spake, and said, Belteshazzar, let not the dream, or the interpretation thereof, trouble thee. Belteshazzar answered and said, My lord, the dream be to them that hate thee, and the interpretation thereof to thine enemies. The tree that thou sawest, which grew, and was strong, whose height reached unto the heaven, and the sight thereof to all the earth; Whose leaves were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all; under which the beasts of the field dwelt, and upon whose branches the fowls of the heaven had their habitation: It is thou, O king, that art grown and become strong: for thy greatness is grown, and reacheth unto heaven, and thy dominion to the end of the earth. And whereas the king saw a watcher and an holy one coming down from heaven, and saying, Hew the tree down, and destroy it; yet leave the stump of the roots thereof in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts of the field, till seven times pass over him; This is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the most High, which is come upon my lord the king: That they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and they shall wet thee with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will. And whereas they commanded to leave the stump of the tree roots; thy kingdom shall be sure unto thee, after that thou shalt have known that the heavens do rule. Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by shewing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquillity. All this came upon the king Nebuchadnezzar. At the end of twelve months he walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon. The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty? While the word was in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee. And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will. The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles' feathers, and his nails like birds' claws. And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation: And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou? At the same time my reason returned unto me; and for the glory of my kingdom, mine honour and brightness returned unto me; and my counsellors and my lords sought unto me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me. Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase (Dan. 4).

Reading through Chapter 4, we see King Nebuchadnezzar calling upon Daniel to interpret his dream. In verse 8, the king called Daniel by his Hebrew name. This would imply that Daniel and the king had a close relationship; the text would support a personal bond between these two men. We then notice in verse 19 that Daniel was troubled and in fact felt compassion for the king, as he asked that the dream might come upon the king’s enemies and those who hated him. Another interesting fact about the book of Daniel is that, like in the book of Revelation, Daniel always gives the reader an interpretation of the visions or dreams. As we read on, we discover that the king had received a message from God. Nebuchadnezzar was caught up in his pride and became arrogant, bragging about his great city and kingdom. God hates pride and therefore had to strip Nebuchadnezzar of his kingdom (for a seven-year period) until the king could humble himself and revere the true and living God. The text tells us that within an hour, Nebuchadnezzar became like a wild beast. It is interesting that according to Missler in his
Expositional Commentary on Daniel in 1946 Dr. Raymond Harrisons observed a mental disorder like this in a man in his early twenties. The disorder lasted for five years. Doctors refer to this disease or disorder, a psychiatric state in which the patient believes he is a wolf or some other animal, as lycanthropy. This seems to fit the description of Nebuchadnezzar in verses 32 to 33!
Daniel Chapter 5
Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and drank wine before the thousand. Belshazzar, whiles he tasted the wine, commanded to bring the golden and silver vessels which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple which was in Jerusalem; that the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, might drink therein. Then they brought the golden vessels that were taken out of the temple of the house of God which was at Jerusalem; and the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, drank in them. They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone. In the same hour came forth fingers of a man's hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaister of the wall of the king's palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote. Then the king's countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another. The king cried aloud to bring in the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers. And the king spake, and said to the wise men of Babylon, Whosoever shall read this writing, and shew me the interpretation thereof, shall be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about his neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom. Then came in all the king's wise men: but they could not read the writing, nor make known to the king the interpretation thereof. Then was king Belshazzar greatly troubled, and his countenance was changed in him, and his lords were astonied. Now the queen by reason of the words of the king and his lords came into the banquet house: and the queen spake and said, O king, live for ever: let not thy thoughts trouble thee, nor let thy countenance be changed: There is a man in thy kingdom, in whom is the spirit of the holy gods; and in the days of thy father light and understanding and wisdom, like the wisdom of the gods, was found in him; whom the king Nebuchadnezzar thy father, the king, I say, thy father, made master of the magicians, astrologers, Chaldeans, and soothsayers; Forasmuch as an excellent spirit, and knowledge, and understanding, interpreting of dreams, and shewing of hard sentences, and dissolving of doubts, were found in the same Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar: now let Daniel be called, and he will shew the interpretation. Then was Daniel brought in before the king. And the king spake and said unto Daniel, Art thou that Daniel, which art of the children of the captivity of Judah, whom the king my father brought out of Jewry? I have even heard of thee, that the spirit of the gods is in thee, and that light and understanding and excellent wisdom is found in thee. And now the wise men, the astrologers, have been brought in before me, that they should read this writing, and make known unto me the interpretation thereof: but they could not shew the interpretation of the thing: And I have heard of thee, that thou canst make interpretations, and dissolve doubts: now if thou canst read the writing, and make known to me the interpretation thereof, thou shalt be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about thy neck, and shalt be the third ruler in the kingdom. Then Daniel answered and said before the king, Let thy gifts be to thyself, and give thy rewards to another; yet I will read the writing unto the king, and make known to him the interpretation. O thou king, the most high God gave Nebuchadnezzar thy father a kingdom, and majesty, and glory, and honour: And for the majesty that he gave him, all people, nations, and languages, trembled and feared before him: whom he would he slew; and whom he would he kept alive; and whom he would he set up; and whom he would he put down. But when his heart was lifted up, and his mind hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him: And he was driven from the sons of men; and his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild asses: they fed him with grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven; till he knew that the most high God ruled in the kingdom of men, and that he appointeth over it whomsoever he will. And thou his son, O Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this; But hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of his house before thee, and thou, and thy lords, thy wives, and thy concubines, have drunk wine in them; and thou hast praised the gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know: and the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified: Then was the part of the hand sent from him; and this writing was written. And this is the writing that was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN. This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it. TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting. PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians. Then commanded Belshazzar, and they clothed Daniel with scarlet, and put a chain of gold about his neck, and made a proclamation concerning him, that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom. In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain. And Darius the Median took the kingdom, being about threescore and two years old
(Dan. 5).

As we read in verse 2, Belshazzar ordered his servants to bring out the gold and silver vessels that Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the temple some seventy years earlier (see 2 Chronicles 36:18). In doing this, Belshazzar was mocking the true and living God and was now seeking to worship the god of gold and pleasure. The Lord then wrote on the wall “Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin.” We then read that Belshazzar’s countenance changed and the joints of his loins were loosed (in other words, his legs became weak and his knees knocked together).
Belshazzar was so troubled by this that he granted a reward to whoever could read the writing on the wall and interpret its meaning. When none of his staff could interpret the writing, the queen told Belshazzar about Daniel. Daniel was then sent for and met with Belshazzar. It is interesting in verse 14 that Belshazzar had heard of the Spirit of God in Daniel’s life and acknowledged his reputation. Keep in mind that Belshazzar is a lot like other non-believers; they have heard of the power of Christ, testimonies, evidence and facts of the things that the Lord has done, yet they will not accept the truth of the living God! Daniel then goes on to speak to Belshazzar and recaps the life of Nebuchadnezzar. It is also noted in verse 22 that Belshazzar knew all of these things, yet still he would not humble himself as his grandfather did. Daniel then explains the meaning:
mene means your days are numbered, tekel means you are found guilty, peres (rendered upharsin) means your kingdom will be divided. We then read that Belshazzar was slain that very night. God’s judgment came upon him. Now God’s prophecies are starting to unfold!
Let’s recap a bit to get a better understanding of what the Lord has planned. We read earlier that the Jews were taken to Babylon because they broke the commandments of the Lord. Leviticus 25:4 stated that the Jews would work the land for six years and on the seventh year they would give the land a rest and not farm. The Jews did not obey, and in 2 Chronicles 36:21 we are told that the land would lay desolate for seventy years. This is why the Jews were taken to Babylon and led into captivity—because of their disobedience. Daniel, being a Bible scholar and a devoted reader of the Word, knew that the seventy years of captivity was coming to an end, and he knew and understood the writing on the wall. History tells us that Darius the Mede took control of Babylon on October 12, 539 b.c., along with his general, Cyrus the Persian, who entered the city on October 29 539 b.c. (hence the prophecy stated that the kingdom would be divided by the Mede and Persian empires). It is also very exciting that history documents this event.
In Isaiah 45:1-7, 200 years prior to Cyrus’s birth, our Lord calls Cyrus by name and prophesies how Cyrus would take the city of Babylon:

Thus saith the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut; I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight…that thou mayest know that I, the Lord, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel…I am the Lord, and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things (Isa. 45:1-7).

History shows that Darius and Cyrus took the city without force by backing up the river Euphrates and entered the city by the water tunnels beneath the walls. Cyrus then entered the city through the unlocked gates, which were left open. The writings of Josephus (Antiq. XI, I.2) confirm that Daniel presented Cyrus with Isaiah 45, showing Cyrus that God has named and appointed him to fulfill this task. Cyrus was so in awe of this that he arranged for the Jews to leave Babylon and to rebuild their city. Cyrus in fact supported the Jews with financial incentives and military protection. Today, if you visit the British Museum, you can read the famous Cyrus Cylinder (discovered in Babylon in March 1879 where it was placed in the foundations of the city wall soon after Cyrus's conquest of the city in 539 b.c.), stating that without any battle, he entered the town, sparing any calamity. “In peace I returned to (these) sacred cities on the other side of the Tigris, the sanctuaries of which have been ruins for a long time…and established for them permanent sanctuaries. I (also) gathered all their (former) inhabitants and returned (to them) their habitations” (source: This can also be found in Ezra 1:2: “Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The Lord God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah.”
Daniel Chapter 6
Going into chapter six we have the second world leadership establishing their rule, and we find Daniel put into a position of rulership second only to King Darius (prime minister, if you will). Daniel was a godly man who was blessed by the Lord. As a side note, it is interesting that other than Christ, Daniel and Joseph are the only two people in the Bible that did not have fault against them. Although they confessed sin in their hearts and prayed for their people, there is no mention of fault documented against them. There are also a lot of parallels between Daniel and Joseph—ability to interpret dreams, being lifted to high positions, used mightily by God, accused by peers, etc.

It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom an hundred and twenty princes, which should be over the whole kingdom; And over these three presidents; of whom Daniel was first: that the princes might give accounts unto them, and the king should have no damage. Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm. Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him. Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God. Then these presidents and princes assembled together to the king, and said thus unto him, King Darius, live for ever. All the presidents of the kingdom, the governors, and the princes, the counsellors, and the captains, have consulted together to establish a royal statute, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions. Now, O king, establish the decree, and sign the writing, that it be not changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not. Wherefore king Darius signed the writing and the decree. Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime. Then these men assembled, and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God. Then they came near, and spake before the king concerning the king's decree; Hast thou not signed a decree, that every man that shall ask a petition of any God or man within thirty days, save of thee, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions? The king answered and said, The thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not. Then answered they and said before the king, That Daniel, which is of the children of the captivity of Judah, regardeth not thee, O king, nor the decree that thou hast signed, but maketh his petition three times a day. Then the king, when he heard these words, was sore displeased with himself, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him: and he laboured till the going down of the sun to deliver him. Then these men assembled unto the king, and said unto the king, Know, O king, that the law of the Medes and Persians is, That no decree nor statute which the king establisheth may be changed. Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee. And a stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords; that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel. Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting: neither were instruments of musick brought before him: and his sleep went from him. Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions. And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel: and the king spake and said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions? Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever. My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions' mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt. Then was the king exceedingly glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God. And the king commanded, and they brought those men which had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions, them, their children, and their wives; and the lions had the mastery of them, and brake all their bones in pieces or ever they came at the bottom of the den. Then king Darius wrote unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you. I make a decree, That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, and stedfast for ever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even unto the end. He delivereth and rescueth, and he worketh signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, who hath delivered Daniel from the power of the lions. So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian (Dan. 6).
From the text we know that Daniel was a blessed man and God was with him. We find that Daniel’s peers were envious of Daniel and plotted against him. Keep in mind that this is Satan’s tactic, to plot against believers and tear them down. As we read on we notice that Daniel knew of the king’s decree, yet he continued to worship his Lord.
There are a few things to point out about Daniel. First of all, Daniel was in his mid to late eighties, and he still obeyed the laws of worship. Three times a day he would kneel and face Jerusalem to pray. Secondly, in spite of the decree, Daniel had full and obedient trust in the Lord. He had walked with the Lord for nearly ninety years, and he did not fear mankind. He took a stand and worshiped God openly in spite of the decree. Just imagine the faith and trust Daniel had. If only we as believers could have such a strong devotion to our Lord! We seem to get caught up in the flesh and the problems of this world instead of heeding the will of the Spirit. As the Bible states, “The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matt. 26:41). Let us pray that our Lord Jesus Christ gives us a heart and spirit like Daniel’s.
Moving on, we read that Darius was sadden when he found out that Daniel was found guilty of breaking the decree. The king was so troubled that he could not sleep. Yet he knew of the power of Daniel’s God and believed that Daniel would be spared from the lions. Please keep in mind that Darius was not a believer. However, in the morning he hurried to Daniel, calling upon Daniel’s name, anticipating that Daniel would be spared. Shouldn’t we as believers have the same faith? After all, we read the Bible, we have the evidence of the Holy Spirit working in our lives, we have His sure Word that predicts the future, yet we cannot grab hold of His promises and let Him take complete control of our lives. Daniel lived his life in fear of God and no one else. Daniel purposed in his heart to worship the true and living God, and the Lord was always with him. In verses 25 to 27 we then read that Darius acknowledged to the world that the God of Daniel is the true and living God, who saves His people. So now we have had Nebuchadnezzar, Cyrus and Darius proclaiming the power of our Lord. We then read that Daniel continued to prosper in the kingdom.

Daniel Chapter 7
Chapter 7 goes back in time to when Belshazzar was still in control (it occurs between chapters 4 and 5 chronologically). Although chapters 1 to 6 are mostly narrative, about Daniel’s career and rise to power, and chapters 7 to 12 are more about visions and dreams, chapters 2 to 7 are unique because they lay out Gentile history, past and future, from the eyes of Israel. Chapters 2 and 7 present the same vision; however, chapter 2 is from the eyes of man and chapter 7 is from God’s viewpoint. Daniel gives us a summary of the dream (verses 2 to 27), and then the interpretation is given. So let’s read on!

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. Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another. The first was like a lion, and had eagle's wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man's heart was given to it. And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh. After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it. After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns. I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things. I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened. I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame. As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time. I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed. I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me. I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things. These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth. But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever. Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet; And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows. I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom. Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. And 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. And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him. Hitherto is the end of the matter. As for me Daniel, my cogitations much troubled me, and my countenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart (Dan. 7).
So we start with four great beasts representing the four world kingdoms. First the lion, which is a symbol for Babylon (see Jer. 4:7 & Jer. 50:17); we can also speculate that the “man’s heart” that “was given to it” could perhaps be a reference to King Nebuchadnezzar acknowledging God. Next we have the bear, which symbolizes the Medes and the Persians joining forces to conquer Babylon (under Darius and Cyrus). The third kingdom was the leopard, which represents Alexander the Great and his Grecian empire, while the four heads of the vision represent Alexander's four generals—Casandra, Lasimakas, Salukes and Talame. It is also interesting to note that a lion devours, a bear crushes and a leopard springs upon its prey. As we look back at the history of these empires, we will find these same similarities in their quests to conquer.
Moving along, we have the fourth beast; yet he is unlike any of the other beasts. This beast represents the Roman empire, which was the last world ruler on earth and is prophesied to rise up again. History shows that the Roman empire (as seen in chapter 2) was not defeated, yet was divided (as represented by the legs of iron) by Diocletian in 284 a.d. It then broke up in 476 a.d. and then fell apart within, representing the toes mixed with iron and clay (stronger and weaker nation). Here in chapter 7, Daniel emphasizes the feet that trampled the residue of the nations. If we parallel this with Daniel chapter 2, we read that in later days the feet or toes unite together and become one. We now believe that this is a reference to the establishing of the European Union, which is now growing. Daniel prophesied that out of this Roman empire would come a world superpower, which would set up a one-world government and assign kings to certain regions of the world. A leader will emerge and take control of the world while speaking blasphemy against the true and living God. We can also read about this in Revelation 13. This is referring to the world leader that arises out of the Roman empire or of Roman descent. We also read in Revelation 6 about this world leader appearing, riding a white horse and carrying a bow (keep in mind that there is no mention of arrows). The Greek word in the text has the same meaning as the Hebrew word found in Genesis when God made a covenant with Noah with a rainbow, where the bow was a reminder of the covenant. We are told in Scripture that this world leader comes in bringing peace and prosperity and makes a covenant with many for a time. (We will look closer at this when we get to chapter 9.) Finally Daniel ends the chapter with the last and everlasting kingdom that is reigned in by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Yes, our glorious Lord, who died on the cross and shed His precious blood for the forgiveness of our sins, will come back (Rev. 19) to reign on earth and sit on the throne of David.
Daniel Chapter 8
Scripture states in Amos 3:7 that the Lord reveals dreams and prophecies to His servants. In Daniel chapter 8 we have Daniel’s second dream. Chapter 8 occurs about twelve years prior to chapter 5 and two years after chapter 7. In Daniel’s dream he finds himself in Shushan (historically Shushan is 230 miles east of Babylon and was the home of Esther). Let’s go ahead and read on!

In the third year of the reign of king Belshazzar a vision appeared unto me, even unto me Daniel, after that which appeared unto me at the first. And I saw in a vision; and it came to pass, when I saw, that I was at Shushan in the palace, which is in the province of Elam; and I saw in a vision, and I was by the river of Ulai. Then I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and, behold, there stood before the river a ram which had two horns: and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last. I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward; so that no beasts might stand before him, neither was there any that could deliver out of his hand; but he did according to his will, and became great. And as I was considering, behold, an he goat came from the west on the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground: and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes. And he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing before the river, and ran unto him in the fury of his power. And I saw him come close unto the ram, and he was moved with choler against him, and smote the ram, and brake his two horns: and there was no power in the ram to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground, and stamped upon him: and there was none that could deliver the ram out of his hand. Therefore the he goat waxed very great: and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven. And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land. And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them. Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of the sanctuary was cast down. And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practised, and prospered. Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed. And it came to pass, when I, even I Daniel, had seen the vision, and sought for the meaning, then, behold, there stood before me as the appearance of a man. And I heard a man's voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision. So 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. Now as he was speaking with me, I was in a deep sleep on my face toward the ground: but he touched me, and set me upright. And 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. The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia. And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king. Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power. And 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. And 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. And 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. And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true: wherefore shut thou up the vision; for it shall be for many days. And I Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days; afterward I rose up, and did the king's business; and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it (Dan. 8).

In Daniel’s vision we have our first appearance in the Bible of the angel known as Gabriel (as a side note, Gabriel is always the messenger, whereas Michael is the warrior). Gabriel told Daniel that he would interpret the dream for him. This is interesting, because Gabriel now spoke of the rise of the Medes and the Persians, who would overthrow Babylon ten years later, as well as the Grecian empire that would rise to power over 200 years later to overthrow the Medes and the Persians. The Grecian empire led by Alexander the Great in 334 b.c. (represented by the large horn), who died at an early age; his kingdom was then given to his four generals. Next Gabriel spoke about the fourth kingdom, which will come back to power and is driven by demonic powers (verse 24); this charismatic leader will deceive many until his kingdom is broken, yet not by human hands. This is a reference to Jesus Christ returning to the earth with his saints (that’s us, the true believers), as noted in Revelation 19. Then Daniel was told to seal up the vision, for it is in reference to many days in the future.
As believers we often ask the Lord for a sign of His presence, a reassurance or confirmation of His will in our lives. We ask Him for signs or evidence, yet His Word, Scripture, has been given to us so that we should not be ignorant of His power. He has foretold the past, present and future with 100 per cent accuracy, yet we still ask for a sign. We say, “Lord, show me and I will believe,” and the Lord says, “Believe and I will show you!” The Lord has told us all things from beginning to end, from Genesis to Revelation. Yet we often falter in our faith. Yes, we know that it is hard to be in this world yet not of this world. Sometimes we get so caught up in our daily routines and in our fleshly selves that we forget about His promises and our eternal life in His presence. Just think back to our forefathers in America. They read their Bibles, and they believed in God’s promises. Could you imagine reading the book of Revelation 200 years ago? It must have seemed really strange to read verses that talk about nations and countries being wiped out in one hour! After all, the means of warfare were horses and rifles until cannonballs came along. Or how about reading about a cashless society and having a mark implanted in your right hand or forehead? Would that seem like complete nonsense? Yet today we see that it is possible with modern-day technology. Yet these brothers and sisters had true faith to build a nation on “In God we trust”! The laws of our land were based on the ten commandments, and the people feared God. Today we have taken God out of schools, we have taken the ten commandments out of our courts and the only thing that states “In God we trust” is our currency, which according to Revelation 13:17 will be done away with when the world enters into a cashless society. As stated in Amos 3:7, the Lord reveals His secrets to His people.
Daniel Chapter 9
Chapter 9 of Daniel is known as the seventy weeks of Daniel. It foretells the first and second coming of Christ to the exact day. Please keep in mind that when our Lord said, “of that day and hour knoweth no man” (Matt. 24:36), He was referring to the Rapture of the Church. This an is event that is a mystery, and no time frame is giving. The Rapture is when Christ comes for His church (1 Thess. 4:15; 1 Cor. 15:51-53), whereas in the second coming, Christ comes with His church (Rev. 19:11-16). Here in Daniel we are told of the first advent of Christ, when Christ was to ride into Jerusalem (the triumphant entree). Daniel 9:25-26 states that there are 69 X 7 years or 483 years from the time the decree is sent out to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem until the Prince shall come. In Nehemiah 2:1-9, we find that Artaxerxes signed the decree in the month of Nisan (in 445 b.c.) and supplied Nehemiah with guards, funds and material to go rebuild the wall (this decree is also part of historic records), which would have put Christ riding in on a donkey on the ninth of Nisan in 32 a.d. (read Sir Robert Anderson’s The Coming Prince for more details). Therefore Christ wept in Luke 19:41-42, stating, “Oh, Jerusalem, if you had only known that this was your day” (author’s paraphrase). I suggest that if the Jews would have read their Scripture they would have known that this day was arranged and foretold in Scripture. Also keep in mind that from this point on, blindness has been covering the eyes of the Jews until the fullness of the Gentiles come in (Rom. 11:25). As stated in Daniel 12:11, when the world leader stops the sacrifices in the temple, there will be 1290 days until Christ returns with His church.

In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans; In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem. And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes: And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments; We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments: Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land. O LORD, righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, that are near, and that are far off, through all the countries whither thou hast driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against thee. O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee. To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him; Neither have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets. Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him. And he hath confirmed his words, which he spake against us, and against our judges that judged us, by bringing upon us a great evil: for under the whole heaven hath not been done as hath been done upon Jerusalem. As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the LORD our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth. Therefore hath the LORD watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us: for the LORD our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice. And now, O Lord our God, that hast brought thy people forth out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and hast gotten thee renown, as at this day; we have sinned, we have done wickedly. O LORD, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain: because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy people are become a reproach to all that are about us. Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord's sake. O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies. O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name. And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God for the holy mountain of my God; Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation. And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding. At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision. Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate (Dan. 9).

Chronologically, Daniel 9 would fit in one year after Belshazzar’s feast in chapter 5. We are told that it was the first year of Darius’s reign. Daniel was studying the Word of God, and he understood that the seventy weeks (or years) were ending. Keep in mind that Daniel always kept the Word in his heart. We read that Daniel was confessing his sins along with sins of his people. In verse 21 we notice that it was about the time of the evening offering. Keep in mind that there had not been an offering or a temple for over seventy years, yet Daniel still remembered from his youth the times and procedures to offer his worship to the true and living God. In verse 23, Gabriel again appeared to Daniel, and this time he called Daniel “beloved.” I find this very interesting, because John was referred to as “one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved” (John 13:23). John received the Book of Revelation and Daniel the beloved received this Old Testament prophecy. The two books parallel each other in many ways.
Moving on we have the seventy weeks of Daniel, starting in verse 24. Gabriel tells us that six things are determined for the Jews and the Holy City. Three of these six have been fulfilled in the first sixty-nine weeks (or weeks of years). The last week (or the last seven-year period) has not happened as of yet. The first three were accomplished by Christ appearing, dying for our sins and rising from the dead. The last three will be accomplished when Christ comes back with His Church and sets up His millennial reign.

Daniel Chapter 10
Chapter 10 of Daniel is a prelude to and introduction for chapters 11 and 12. What is most interesting about this chapter is that it gives us insight on the spiritual realm and the rankings of angels. Let’s read on!

In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a thing was revealed unto Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar; and the thing was true, but the time appointed was long: and he understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision. In those days I Daniel was mourning three full weeks. I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled. And in the four and twentieth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, which is Hiddekel; Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz: His body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude. And I Daniel alone saw the vision: for the men that were with me saw not the vision; but a great quaking fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves. Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me: for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength. Yet heard I the voice of his words: and when I heard the voice of his words, then was I in a deep sleep on my face, and my face toward the ground. And, behold, an hand touched me, which set me upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands. And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling. Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia. Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days. And when he had spoken such words unto me, I set my face toward the ground, and I became dumb. And, behold, one like the similitude of the sons of men touched my lips: then I opened my mouth, and spake, and said unto him that stood before me, O my lord, by the vision my sorrows are turned upon me, and I have retained no strength. For how can the servant of this my lord talk with this my lord? for as for me, straightway there remained no strength in me, neither is there breath left in me. Then there came again and touched me one like the appearance of a man, and he strengthened me, And said, O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be unto thee, be strong, yea, be strong. And when he had spoken unto me, I was strengthened, and said, Let my lord speak; for thou hast strengthened me. Then 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. But I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince (Dan. 10).
This chapter starts off with a historical background of the reign of Cyrus. Later it speaks of the future empire (the Grecian empire, note verse 20) that came to power hundreds of years later. We read of Daniel, this godly man who at that time was about ninety years old and likely retired from his political office and unable to travel to Jerusalem to worship (most likely due to age and health). Reading on, we note that it was the first month, which would be Nisan or Passover, and Daniel fasted for three weeks. Daniel started fasting on the 3rd of Nisan and finished on the 24th (always keep in mind that when the Holy Spirit gives us specific dates in the Bible, there is a significant reason). Reading on, we find Daniel at the Tigris river; he lifted up his eyes and saw a vision, yet the people around him did not see the vision (although something terrified them so that they left). This parallels Paul’s experience on the road to Damascus when he encountered Christ.
The vision of Jesus Christ seems to be very similar to the vision John had of Christ in Revelation 1:12-17.

And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last (Rev. 1:12-17).

After Daniel saw the vision of Christ, he fell down without strength. Then an angel touched Daniel and comforted him. Scholars believe that this angel was Gabriel. The angel went on to say that when Daniel humbled himself and first started praying, his prayers were heard and the angel was dispatched. However the mighty powers of the Prince of Persia (meaning Satan or one of his high-ranking demons) detained this angel, and the mighty archangel Michael was called in to release the angel so that he could get to Daniel.
What I like most about the Bible is that it gives us insight on what is going on around us. I use the acronym B.I.B.L.E. as Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth. No matter what situation we are facing, the Bible can comfort us with the story of a similar experience. Here we have an insight into the spiritual realm, the ranking of powers and forces. Let’s not forget about the book of Job, where Satan has access to God’s throne and we read of the dialogue between Satan and God. It is in this passage that we are assured that the Lord will never give us more then we can handle and, in fact, He is always there watching over and protecting us. Although as Christians we are promised trials and tribulation in this world, we do have the promise that He has overcome this world and the things of this world (John 16:33). Abiding in Christ gives us the power to live for eternity. In Ephesians 6 we get another glimpse of spiritual warfare, the ranking of Satan’s demons and then, most importantly, what we must do for protection—put on the armor of God.
Getting back to Daniel, it is interesting that the day Daniel started praying, an angel was sent to comfort him and answer his prayer, yet the angel was held back or detained by the spiritual realm. This gives us great insight into the battles that are going on around us and how Satan tries to hinder our prayer life and relationship with the Lord. Yet we know that our prayers are heard and action is being taken. Our Lord is all-knowing, and I believe that the key to all of our prayers is to trust in the Lord and pray that His will be done in our lives. We have to keep close to our heart that Romans 8:28 states that “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Remember prayer is not getting God to do what we want; prayer is a relationship with our Father, asking Him to let His will be done in our lives. He knows our hearts, thoughts and desires, and as long as our will is His will, He will give us the desires of our hearts.
Daniel always confessed the sins of his people. He was never selfish in prayer, and he was obedient to the will of God. It was never about Daniel, yet it was always about his servanthood unto the Lord. I believe this is why Daniel received such visions and had such a beautiful relationship with the Lord. So keep in mind that if our prayers are not answered right away, it could be because of selfishness on our part or spiritual warfare in the angelic realm, or perhaps the Lord has a better plan and is delaying His work to fulfill His perfect plan in our lives. Remember that when Lazarus was sick, the word was sent to the Lord to come and heal, yet our Lord delayed His healing touch. Mary and Martha were mad, upset and let down, yet the Lord had a bigger plan. Yes, He tested their faith, and instead of a healing He did a resurrection (see John 11). Our God is an awesome God, and all things are possible through Jesus Christ. It is best summed up in Genesis 1:1: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” The first sentence of the Bible tells us of the power and deity of our Lord, while Christ’s last words in the book of Revelation refer to His return. “Surely I come quickly” (Rev. 22:20). That’s right—the Great “I am” of the Bible shall return.
To sum up the tenth chapter, we have history, giving us the time frame as the third year of Cyrus reign (534 b.c.), Daniel fasting in prayer for twenty-one days, a vision of Jesus Christ, an angel sent to Daniel yet detained by demonic forces, Michael the archangel interceding, Daniel being strengthened by the angel, Daniel the Beloved who is highly esteemed by God, a glimpse of the next empire to come (the Grecian empire, which will be elaborated on in the next chapter) and finally a passage that refers to “the scripture of truth,” which is the Word of God, the vision that will be given to Daniel in chapter 11.
Daniel Chapter 11
As we move into chapter 11, we discover that it fills in some of the details of chapter 9 and it gives us more details of the last three of the four world empires found in Daniel 2 as well as the beast in chapter 7. Chapter 11 takes the image and the beast and now gives us a clearer picture of them, yet this time we see them as nations. In these thirty-five verses we have the details of the major rulers of the Persian empire as well as the third empire, headed by Alexander the Great, who died and left his four generals to divide up the regions. It starts out with Darius the Mede (539 b.c.) and concludes with Antioch Epiphanes (175-164 b.c.). It is interesting that between verses 11 and 35 we do not read of the fourth empire. The Roman empire is skipped, and verse 36 goes right to the last world leader, the Antichrist, whom comes out of the Roman empire or of Roman descent. Let’s continue on!
Also I in the first year of Darius the Mede, even I, stood to confirm and to strengthen him. And now will I shew 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. And a mighty king shall stand up, that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will. And 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. And 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. And 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. But 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: And 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. So the king of the south shall come into his kingdom, and shall return into his own land. But 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. And 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. And 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. For 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. And 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. So 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. But 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. He 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. After 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. Then he shall turn his face toward the fort of his own land: but he shall stumble and fall, and not be found. Then 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. And in his estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries. And with the arms of a flood shall they be overflown from before him, and shall be broken; yea, also the prince of the covenant. And after the league made with him he shall work deceitfully: for he shall come up, and shall become strong with a small people. He 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. And 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. Yea, they that feed of the portion of his meat shall destroy him, and his army shall overflow: and many shall fall down slain. And both of 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. Then 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. At the time appointed he shall return, and come toward the south; but it shall not be as the former, or as the latter. For 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. And 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. And 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. And 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. Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries. And 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. And 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. Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all. But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things. Thus 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. And 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. He 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. He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape. But 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. But 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. And 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 (Dan. 11).

Let’s start with verse 2, which will lay out the history of the Persian leaders. The angel said that there would be three kings and then a fourth who would have great riches. History has labeled these kings that followed Cyrus as:

1. Cambyses, 529 b.c.
2. Pseudo Smerdes, 522 b.c.
3. Darius Hystaspis, 521 b.c. (also mentioned
in Ezra 5 and 6)
4. Xerxes, 480 b.c. (who went up against Greece and lost)

Verse 3 states, “And a mighty king shall stand up, that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will.” History defines this mighty king as Alexander the Great, who overthrew the Medio-Persian Empire, and Greece became the third world empire in 335 b.c. Next we read that this empire stands up (or comes to power), yet it is broken and given to the four winds of the earth. History tells us that when Alexander died (at the age of thirty-two), he did not have an heir to his throne, so his kingdom was divided by his four generals:

1. Cassander, who took Macedonia
2. Lysimachus, who took Asia Minor
3. Seleucus Nicator, who took Syria and the
Middle East
4. Ptolemy, who took Egypt

Next we have the southern empire, which is Egypt, headed by Ptolemy I Soter, 323 to 285 b.c., starting to build an alliance with the king of the north, or Syria, headed by Seleucus I Nicator, 312 to 281 b.c. “At the end of [some] years” the north and the south join together in marriage, when Ptolemy II Philadelphus (285 to 246 b.c.) gave his daughter Berenice in marriage to Antiochus Theos. From here on through the next fifteen or so verses, we have deception of battles and rulers coming and going, up to verse 21 in which we are introduced to Antiochus Ephipanes, 175 b.c. We then read in verse 31 that Antiochus places the “abomination that maketh desolate” in the temple in Jerusalem. In verse 32 we have God raising up the Maccabean revolution, which is during the time period between the Old and New testaments. (For more information on this time period, read 1st and 2nd Maccabees in the Apocrypha.)
Most historians have tried to late-date the book of Daniel, mainly because of chapter eleven being so precise and accurate in regards to world history. These are people who cannot face the fact that our God is all-knowing and that He has given us His Word in advance. We can read Scripture and know that from Genesis to Revelation our Lord is all-knowing. Instead of the Lord given us modern-day prophets, He has given us history prewritten—past, present and future. It is also interesting to note that during the Grecian rule, the whole world spoke Greek. Therefore, in order for the Jews to read and understand their scriptures, the Old Testament was translated into Greek (this is called the Septuagint) by seventy Jewish scholars at the library in Alexandria between 285 and 270 b.c. Keeping this in mind, the Septuagint (which included the book of Daniel) was in print before the events foretold in verse 6 of chapter 11 happened.
Now lets plunge into the future—that’s right, things to come. Our Lord has been 100 per cent accurate thus far with His Word; therefore I am going to “by faith” believe that what He says will happen, will surely come to pass. I always like to quote Revelation 13:16-17 when I think about the future. This passage talks about a cashless society, where no one can buy or sell without taking a mark in their right hand or forehead. I have a Bible that was printed in 1687, and it does have this passage in it. Again I marvel at the faith of our early Fathers who read these passages and could not even imagine such technology. Yet today, with modern-day electronics, ATMs, point of sales systems, and so on, we now see that someday it will come to pass. So I would like you to think hard about Scripture, about what the Lord is telling us. Remember that our Lord is a loving God and He does not wish for any to perish, yet for all to repent and put their trust in His Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who shed His blood so that we may have everlasting life (see 2 Peter 3:9).
So verse 35 is the last verse of the past and verse 36 brings in the Antichrist, or future world leader. This is the beginning of the last seven years of world history, which is ushered in by this charismatic world leader, who comes to power by seeming to bring peace and prosperity. We can also read about him in Revelation 6:2, where he is described as the rider of the white horse. The scriptures tell us that he is loved by all for the first three and a half years of his reign, and then he shows his true colors and the nations of the world rise up against him, as seen here in verse 40 to 43. Next we read that the kings of the east come up against him (see Revelation 16:12) along with the kings of the north, and this begins to set the stage for the final battle, which will take place in the valley of Megido.
Daniel Chapter 12
Chapter 12 now concludes the vision that began in chapter 10. Keep in mind that when the angel came to Daniel, he stated, “Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people [the nation of Israel] in the latter days [the last seven years of world history, or the seventieth week of Daniel]: for yet the vision is for many days [in the future]” (Dan. 10:14).

And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever. But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. Then I Daniel looked, and, behold, there stood other two, the one on this side of the bank of the river, and the other on that side of the bank of the river. And one said to the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, How long shall it be to the end of these wonders? And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished. And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand. And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days. But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days (Dan. 12).

As we read chapter 12 we notice that Michael the Arch Angel will stand up for the people of Israel during troublesome times. We are told that this will be like no other time on the face of the earth, yet at the end of the time the Just shall be delivered and shine in righteousness. We then read that Daniel is told to seal up the book until the time of the end, and then knowledge shall increase and people will understand what is written! Could we be near the End? How much longer will the Lord hold back His judgement? I find it interesting that Daniel was told to seal up the book whereas John (the writter of Revelation) is told not the seal up His words “because the time is at hand.” Keep in mind that we are now living on God’s grace, and He promises to return for His people and to judge the unrighteous. He has given us specific signs, times and seasons: a description of the state this world will be in prior to His coming! And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the days of our Lord’s return. So the question is, are we living and looking for Christ? The Bible states that we should be ready and anticipate His coming at any moment. Remeber the scriptures tell us that first He comes to gather His bride (the church) and then He returns with His Church (Rev. 19) for the final judgement. Our Lord said, “No man knows the day nor the hour of the coming of the Son of man.” If He were to come today, would we be ready?
In the writing of Daniel, our Lord has given us divine insight to His Word. As stated by Christ in Matthew 5:18, “Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” Christ has stated that His Word will come to pass. The Bible was written so that we would not be ignorant of things to come. We are held accountable for what we know. What will you do with God’s only Son, Jesus Christ? You are either for Him or against Him. Our God is a loving God, and He does not want any to perish but for all to come to repentance and accept His son, who died on the cross (2 Pet. 3:9). Our Lord is a gentleman. He will never force His way upon you, but He will be there to accept you with open arms.
As born-again Christians, we have been promised that He will keep us from this great tribulation that will come upon the earth. “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth” (Rev. 3:10). Jesus has promised eternal life for those who accept Him and follow Him. To be a child of God, you need to ask Christ to come into your life, admit that you are a sinner, repent of your sins and follow Christ. Remember the Lord knows your heart and when you accept Him, He will fill you with His Holy Spirit, who will guide you and provide for you.
May the peace and grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ reside in your hearts.