DANIEL

(580 B.C.)

15

     Daniel is the link between Old Testament prophecy and New Testament prophecy (Book of Revelation). It was written during the exile of Judah in Babylon, where the prophet Daniel serves in the King’s court. It’s topics, among others, include the "little horn" (the antichrist), the Fourth Kingdom (fourth beast), and the "70 week prophecy" (time table for key events). Daniel is a very important influence on the Qumran community of the Dead Sea Scrolls and New Testament scripture. Daniel, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the Book of Revelation are the three main sources of information concerning the antichrist.

Accuracy of Prophecy

     Daniel, chapter 11 contains some of the most specific and detailed prophesies in the Bible. It successfully predicts close to 400 years of world history. Starting from the Persian-Median empire (539 B.C.), it proceeds through Greece and Alexander the Great, Egypt and the Ptolemies, Syria and the Seleucids, and ends with the archetypical anti-Christ figure Antiochus IV Epiphanes (164 B.C.). I would estimate that there are several hundred accurate prophecies within this single chapter of Daniel alone. The prophecies are so specific and so detailed that many so called "critical scholars," who deny the possibility of any supernatural reality, have assumed and argued that these prophecies were written after the events had taken place. However, study of Aramaic documents in the recently discovered Dead Sea Scrolls argue strongly against such a late date for Daniel. Quoting from Secrets of the Dead Sea Scrolls, by Randall Price, 1996, we have the following:

. "90 percent of Daniel’s Aramaic vocabulary occurred in documents dated to the fifth century B.C. or earlier".
. "Persian loan words were Old Persian".
. "Greek loan words precede the fifth century B.C.".
. "Some syntactical forms in Daniel were shown not to have survived beyond the fifth century B.C., precluding any later date.".
. "The alternative date for Daniel in the sixth or fifth century B.C. has more in its favor today from the point of view of language alone than ever before." (Old Testament scholar Gerhard Hasel).

     Prophecy is real! It has much evidence in favor of its validity. Prophecy still concerns us and our future. Truth is being revealed in a strategic way to bring information to people at the right time. God’s plan is unfolding under our feet and beneath our awareness.

     To see for ourselves just how detailed and accurate this prophecy is, let’s now take a look at a small sample of Daniel’s prophecy in chapter eleven. We will focus in on the prophecy regarding Antiochus IV Epiphanes. He is the prototype of Caligastia’s (the devil’s) human personification, the antichrist.

     After Alexander the Great dies young (age 35) his empire is split up four ways (as prophesied) into North, South, East and West. The North and South are the two main players on stage. Egypt (South) and Syria (North) battle each other with Jerusalem in the middle. We are first introduced to Antiochus Epiphanes in chapter eight of Daniel:

Daniel 8:8
And the he-goat (Alexander the Great) magnified himself exceedingly, and when he was young and strong, the great horn (that he was) was suddenly broken; and instead (of him) there came up four notable horns, one toward each of the four winds of heaven (N, S, W, E). (Amplified Bible)

Daniel 8:9
Out of littleness and small beginnings came forth a horn
(North) whose presumption and pride grew exceedingly
toward the south (Egypt), and toward the east, and toward the
precious land (West, Israel). (Amplified Bible)

     Horns represent power, good or evil. The size of the horn is proportional to the magnitude of the power. Little horn equals little power and large horn equals great power.
     Notice that the little horn here, in Daniel 8, is different from the little horn of Daniel 12. In Daniel 8 the little horn is one (North) of the four horns (N, S, E, W) of the third beast and grows larger from Antiochus the Great through Antiochus IV Epiphanes his son. In Daniel 12, the little horn is a separate eleventh horn, which grows out from under three of the ten original horns (Kings) growing on the fourth beast (the messianic world Kingdom). Both little horns are manifestations of Satan’s or Caligastia’s power. Antiochus IV corresponds to the little horn of Daniel 8 and the little horn of Daniel 12 corresponds to the antichrist of our age, the messianic age. Many of the same characteristics of Antiochus IV Epiphanes may also be true of the antichrist figure yet to come and is therefore worthy of study.
     We now skip over to Daniel 11:21 through 11:45 where Antiochus Epiphanes is discussed in great detail. In order to give the reader a taste of this awesome demonstration of God’s omniscience, I will first give the verses 11:21 through 11:29 of Daniel (King James Version) and then follow this by its analysis given in Matthew Henry’s Commentary written in the 1700's. Remember that Daniel’s prophecy is written 300 to 400 years before the events take place! Matthew Henry’s historical information is taken directly from historical sources about the events prophesied. The following verses describe the arrisal of Antiochus Epiphanes from the lineage of Antiochus the Great and his first two (of three) expeditions to Egypt.

Accuracy of Prophecy

Daniel 11:21 (KJV)
And in his estate (Antiochus the Great) shall stand up a vile
person (Antiochus Epiphanes), to whom they shall not give the
honour of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and
obtain the kingdom by flatteries.

Daniel 11:22 (KJV)
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.

Daniel 11:23 (KJV)
And after the league made with him he (Antiochus Epiphanes)
shall work deceitfully: for he shall come up, and shall become
strong with a small people.

Daniel 11:24 (KJV)
He (Antiochus Epiphanes) 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.

Daniel 11:25 (KJV)
And he shall stir up his power and his courage against the
king of the south (Egypt) 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 (King of the South) shall not stand: for they shall forecast
devices against him.

Daniel 11:26 (KJV)
Yea, they that feed of the portion of his (King of the South)
meat shall destroy him, and his army shall overflow: and many
shall fall down slain.

Daniel 11:27 (KJV)
And both these kings’ hearts shall be to do mischief, and they
shall speak lies at one table; but it shall not prosper: for yet the
end shall be at the time appointed.

Daniel 11:28 (KJV)
Then shall he (Antiochus Epiphanes) return into his land with
and his heart shall be against the holy covenant; and
he shall do exploits, and return to his own land.

Daniel 11:29 (KJV)
At the time appointed he (Antiochus Epiphanes) shall return,
and come toward the south; but it shall not be as the former, or as
the latter.

     Next, we have the commentary from Matthew Henry describing the historical records of this same event. The writing is somewhat difficult to follow at times and it is necessary to read it very carefully and slowly in certain parts. For the sake of clarity another commentary, Jamieson, will be presented following Matthew Henry and will cover the same ground. The bold type is the commentator’s and are the scripture phrases from the Daniel text being discussed.

Matthew Henry Commentary
All this is a prophecy of the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes, the
little horn spoken of before (Daniel 8:9), a sworn enemy to the
Jewish religion, and a bitter persecutor of those that adhered to it.
What troubles the Jews met with in the reigns of the Persian kings
were not so particularly foretold to Daniel as these, because then
they had living prophets with them, Haggai and Zechariah, to
encourage them; but these troubles in the days of Antiochus were
foretold, because, before that time, prophecy would cease, and
they would find it necessary to have recourse to the written word.
(Prophesy ceased because the Lord/Melchizedek, in semi-material form, left
his dwelling place in Jerusalem; author's comment.) Some things in this
prediction concerning Antiochus are alluded to in the New-Testament
predictions of the antichrist, especially Daniel 11:36, 37.

His character: He shall be a vile person. He called himself
Epiphanes –the illustrious, but his character was the reverse of his
surname. The heathen writers (historical sources) describe him to be
an odd-humoured man, rude and boisterous, base and sordid. He
would sometimes steal out of the court into the city, and herd with
any infamous company incognito – in disguise he made himself a
companion of the common sort, and of the basest strangers that came
to town. He had the most unaccountable whims, so that some took
him to be silly, others to be mad. Hence he was called Epimanes –
the madman. He is called a vile person, for he had been a long time
a hostage at Rome for the fidelity of his father when the Romans
had subdued him; and it was agreed that, when the other hostages
were exchanged, he should continue a prisoner at large.
(Matthew Henry Commentary)

Matthew Henry Commentary
His accession to the crown: By a trick he got his elder brother’s son, Demetrius, to be sent a hostage to Rome, in exchange for him, contrary to the cartel; and, his elder brother being made away with by Heliodorus (Daniel 11:20), he (Epiphanes) took the kingdom. The states of Syria did not give it to him (Daniel11:21), because they knew it belonged to his elder brother’s son, nor did he get it by the sword, but came in peaceably, pretending to reign for his brother’s son, Demetrius, then a hostage at Rome. But with the help of Eumenes and Attalus, neighbouring princes, he gained an interest in the people, and by flatteries obtained the kingdom, established himself in it, and crushed Heliodorus, who made head against him with the arms of flood; those that opposed him were overflown and broken before him, even the prince of the covenant, his nephew (Demetrius), the rightful heir, whom he pretended to covenant with that he would resign to him whenever he should return, Daniel 11:22. But, (Daniel 11: 23) after the league made with him he shall work deceitfully, as one whose avowed maxim it is that princes ought not to be bound by their word any longer than it is for their interest. And with a small people, that at first cleave to him, he shall become strong, and (Daniel 11:24) he shall enter peaceably upon the fattest places of the kingdom of Syria, and, very unlike his predecessors, shall scatter among the people the prey, and the spoil, and riches, to insinuate himself into their affections; but, at the same time, he shall forecast his devices against the strong-holds, to make himself master of them, so that his generosity shall last but for a time; when he has got the garrisons into his hands he will scatter his spoil no more, but rule by force, as those commonly do that come in by fraud. He that comes in like a fox reigns like a lion. Some understand these verses of his first expedition into Egypt, when he came not as an enemy, but as a friend and guardian to the young king Ptolemaeus Philometer, and therefore brought with him but few followers, yet those stout men, and faithful to his interest, whom he placed in divers of the strong-holds in Egypt, thereby making himself master of them. (Matthew Henry Commentary)

His war with Egypt, which was his second expedition thither:
This is described, Daniel 11:25,27. Antiochus shall stir up his power and courage against Ptolemaeus Philometer king of Egypt. Ptolemy, thereupon, shall be stirred up to battle against him, shall come against him with a very great and mighty army; but Ptolemy, though he has such a vast army, shall not be able to stand before him; for Antiochus’s army shall overthrow his, and overpower it, and great multitudes of the Egyptian army shall fall down slain. And no marvel, for the king of Egypt shall be betrayed by his own counselors; those that feed of the portion of his meat, that eat of his bread and live upon him, being bribed by Antiochus, shall forecast devices against him, and even they shall destroy him; and what defense is there against such treachery? After the battle, a treaty of peace shall be set on foot, and these two kings shall meet at one council-board, to adjust the articles of peace between them; but they shall neither of them be sincere in it, for they shall, in their pretenses and promises of amity and friendship, lie to one another, for their hearts shall be at the same time to do one another all the mischief they can. And then no marvel that it shall not prosper. The peace shall not last; but the end of it shall be at the time appointed in the divine Providence, and then the war shall break out again, as a sore that is only skinned over. (Matthew Henry Commentary)

Another expedition against Egypt: From the former (expeditions) he (Antiochus Epiphanes) returned with great riches (Daniel 11:28), and therefore took the first occasion to invade Egypt again, at the time appointed by the divine Providence, two years after, in the eighth year of his reign, Daniel 11:29. He shall come towards the south. But this attempt shall not succeed, as the two former did, nor shall he gain his point, as he had done before once and again; for (Daniel 11:30) the ships of Chittim shall come against him, that is, the navy of the Romans, or only ambassadors from the Roman senate, who came in ships. Ptolemaeus Philometer, king of Egypt, being now in a strict alliance with the Romans, craved their aid against Antiochus, who had besieged him and his mother Cleopatra in the city of Alexandria. The Roman senate thereupon sent an embassy to Antiochus, to command him to raise the siege, and, when he desired some time to consider of it and consult with his friends about it, Popilius, one of the ambassadors, with his staff drew a circle about, and told him, as one having authority, he should give a positive answer before he came out of that circle; whereupon, fearing the Roman power, he was forced immediately to give orders for the raising of the siege and the retreat of his army out of Egypt. So Livy and others relate the story which this prophecy refers to. He shall be grieved, and return; for it was a great vexation to him to be forced to yield thus. (Matthew Henry Commentary)

His rage and cruel practices against the Jews: This is that part of his government, or mis-government rather, which is most enlarged upon in this prediction. In his return from his expedition into Egypt (which is prophesied of, Daniel 11:28) he did exploits against the Jews, in the sixth year of his reign; then he spoiled the city and temple. But the most terrible storm was in his return from Egypt, two years after, prophesied of Daniel 11:30. Then he took Judea in his way home; and, because he could not gain his point in Egypt by reason of the Romans interposing, he wreaked his revenge upon the poor Jews, who gave him no provocation, but had greatly provoked God to permit him to do it, Daniel 8:23. (Matthew Henry Commentary)
He had a rooted antipathy to the Jews’ religion: His heart was against the holy covenant, Daniel 11:28. And (Daniel 11:30) he had indignation against the holy covenant, that covenant of peculiarity by which the Jews were incorporated a people distinct from all other nations, and dignified above them. He hated the law of Moses and the worship of the true God, and was vexed at the privileges of the Jewish nation and the promises made to them. Note, that which is the hope and joy of the people of God is the envy of their neighbours, and that is the holy covenant. Esau hated Jacob because he had got the blessing. Those that are strangers to the covenant are often enemies to it. (Matthew Henry Commentary)

     Next, I will give another commentary, Jamieson, Fausset & Brown, on the same verses 11:21 thru 11:29 for your further study. Matthew Henry Commentary was written in the 1700’s and Jamieson was written in the 1800’s. As you can see, this information and knowledge has been covered over by the prejudices of the so-called Modern age. There is much truth just beneath the surface of our false assumptions, waiting to be rediscovered. The information in brackets are the historical sources referred to.  The bold letters are the biblicalverses being commented on.

Daniel 11:21 Jamieson
   vile -- Antiochus called Epiphanes, that is, "the illustrious," for
vindicating the claims of the royal line against Heliodorus, was
nicknamed, by a play of sounds, Epimanes, that is, "the madman,"
for his mad freaks beneath the dignity of a king. He would carouse
with the lowest of the people, bathe with them in the public baths
(sound familiar? my comment),  and foolishly jest and throw
stones at passers-by [POLYBIUS, 26.10].  Hence, as also for his crafty
supplanting of Demetrius, the rightful heir, from the throne, he is termed "vile."
they shall not give…kingdom: but…by flatteries -- The nation shall
not, by a public act, confer the kingdom on him, but he shall obtain
it by artifice, "flattering" Eumenes and Attalus of Pergamos to help
him, and, as he had seen candidates at Rome doing, canvassing the
Syrian people high and low, one by one, with embraces [LIVY, 41.20].

Daniel 11:22 Jamieson
shall they be overflown…before him -- Antiochus Epiphanes shall
invade Egypt with overwhelming forces.
prince of the covenant --Ptolemy Philometer, the son of Cleopatra,
Antiochus’ sister, who was joined in covenant with him. Ptolemy’s
guardians, while he was a boy, sought to recover from Epiphanes
Coelo-Syria and Palestine, which had been promised by Antiochus
the Great as Cleopatra’s dowry in marrying Ptolemy Epiphanes.
Hence arose the war. Philometer’s generals were vanquished, and
Pelusium, the key of Egypt, taken by Antiochus, 171 B.C.

Daniel 11:23 Jamieson
TREGELLES notes three divisions in the history of the "vile
which is continued to the end of the chapter: (1) His
rise (Daniel 11:21,22). (2) The time from his making the
covenant to the taking away of the daily sacrifice and setting up
of the abomination of desolation (Daniel 11:23-31). (3) His
career of blasphemy, to his destruction (Daniel 11:32-45); the
latter two periods answering to the "week" of years of his
"covenant with many" (namely, in Israel) (Daniel 9:27), and
the last being the closing half week of the ninth chapter. But
the context so accurately agrees with the relations of Antiochus
to Ptolemy that the primary reference seems to be to the "league"
between them. Antitypically, Antichrist’s relations towards
Israel are probably delineated. Compare Daniel 8:11,25 with
Daniel 11:22 here, "prince of the covenant."
work deceitfully -- Feigning friendship to young Ptolemy, as if
he wished to order his kingdom for him, he took possession of
Memphis and all Egypt ("the fattest places," Daniel 11:34) as
far as Alexandria. with a small people -- At first, to throw off
suspicion, his forces were small.

Daniel 11:24 Jamieson
peaceably -- literally, "unexpectedly"; under the guise of friend-
ship he seized Ptolemy Philometer.
he shall do that which his fathers have not done -- His predecessors,
kings of Syria, had always coveted Egypt, but in vain: he alone
made himself master of it.
scatter among them…
prey -- among his followers (1 Maccabees 1:19).
forecast his devices against…
strongholds -- He shall form a studied
scheme for making himself master of the Egyptian fortresses. He
gained them all except Alexandria, which successfully resisted
him. Retaining to himself Pelusium, he retired to Judea, where,
in revenge for the joy shown by the Jews at the report of his death,
which led them to a revolt, he subdued Jerusalem by storm or stratagem.
for a time -- His rage shall not be for ever; it is but for a time limited
by God. CALVIN makes "for a time" in antithesis to "unexpectedly,"
in the beginning of the verse. He suddenly mastered the weaker
cities: he had to "forecast his plans" more gradually ("for a time")
as to how to gain the stronger fortresses.

Daniel 11:25 Jamieson
A fuller detail of what was summarily stated (Daniel 11:22-24).
This is the first of Antiochus’ three (Daniel 11:29) open invasions of Egypt.
against the king of the south -- against Ptolemy Philometer.
Subsequently, Ptolemy Physcon (the Gross), or Euergetes II, was
made king by the Egyptians, as Ptolemy Philometer was in Antiochus hands.
great army -- as distinguished from the "small people" (Daniel 11:23)
with which he first came. This was his first open expedition; he
was emboldened by success to it. Antiochus "entered Egypt with
an overwhelming multitude, with chariots, elephants, and cavalry"
(1 Maccabees 1:17).
stirred up -- by the necessity, though naturally indolent.
not stand -- Philometer was defeated.
they shall forecast, &c. -- His own nobles shall frame treacherous
"devices" against him (see Daniel 11:26). Euloeus and Lenoeus
maladministered his affairs. Antiochus, when checked at last at
Alexandria, left Ptolemy Philometer at Memphis as king, pretending
that his whole object was to support Philometer’s claims against the
usurper Physcon.

Daniel 11:26 Jamieson
they that feed of…his meat -- those from whom he (Philometer)
might naturally have looked for help, his intimates and dependents 
(Psalms 41:9, John 13:18); his ministers and guardians.
his army shall overflow -- Philometer’s army shall be dissipated
as water. The phrase is used of overflowing numbers, usually in
a victorious sense, but here in the sense of defeat, the very numbers
which ordinarily ensure victory, hastening the defeat through mis-
management.
many shall fall down slain -- (1Maccabees 1:18, "many fell
wounded to death"). Antiochus, when he might have slain all in
the battle near Pelusium, rode around and ordered the enemy to be
taken alive, the fruit of which policy was, he soon gained Pelusium
and all Egypt [DIODORUS SICULUS, 27.77].

Daniel 11:27 Jamieson
both…to do mischief -- each to the other.
speak lies at one table -- They shall, under the semblance of
intimacy, at Memphis try to deceive one another
it shall not prosper -- Neither of them shall carry his point at this time.
yet the end shall be -- "the end" of the contest between them is
reserved for "the time appointed" (Daniel 11:29, 30).

Daniel 11:28 Jamieson
(1 Maccabees 1:19, 20, &c).
against the holy covenant -- On his way back to Syria, he attacked
Jerusalem, the metropolis of Jehovah’s covenant-people, slew
eighty thousand, took forty thousand prisoners, and sold forty
thousand as slaves (11 Maccabees 5:5-14).
he shall do exploits -- He shall effect his purpose. Guided by
Menelaus, the high priest, he entered the sanctuary with blasphemies,
took away the gold and silver vessels, sacrificed swine on the alter,
and sprinkled broth of the flesh through the temple (11 Maccabees 5:15-21).

Daniel 11:29 Jamieson
At the time appointed -- "the time" spoken of in Daniel 11:27.
return -- his second open invasion of Egypt. Ptolemy Philometer
suspecting Antiochus’ designs with Physcon, hired mercenaries
from Greece. Whereupon Antiochus advanced with a fleet and an
army, demanding the cession to him of Cyprus, Pelusiuim, and
the country adjoining the Pelusiac mouth of the Nile.
it shall not be as the former -- not successful as the former
expedition. Popilius Loenas, the Roman ambassador, met him at
Eleusis, four miles from Alexandria, and presented him the decree
of the senate; on Antiochus replying that he would consider what
he was to do, Popilius drew a line round him with a rod and said,
"I must have a reply to give to the senate before you leave this
circle." Antiochus submitted, and retired from Egypt; and his
fleets withdrew from Cyprus.
or as the latter -- that mentioned in Daniel 11:42, 43 [TREGELLES].
Or, making this the third expedition, the sense is "not as the first or
as the second" expeditions [PISCATOR]. Rather "not as the former,
so shall be this latter" expedition [GROTIUS].

From this small sample I think you can see for yourself just how amazingly detailed and accurate these prophecies are. Anyone interested in studying this further can do so at www.biblestudytools.net under commentaries about Daniel (Matthew Henry and also Jamieson, Fausset and Brown).

Changing topics, next consider this verse from the Amplified Bible:

Daniel 12:4 (Amplified)
But you, O Daniel, shut up the words and seal the Book
until the time of the end. Then many shall run to and fro
and search anxiously (through the Book), and knowledge
[of God’s purposes as revealed by His prophets] shall be
increased and become great.

Amos 8:12 (Amplified)
And (the people) shall wander from sea to sea and from
the north even to the east; they shall run to and fro to seek
the word of the Lord (inquiring for and requiring it as one
requires food), but shall not find it.

     These two verses above reveal that there will be a great thirst for the proper understanding of prophecy near the end of the messianic age, and that God’s purposes will be progressively revealed through "greater understanding of His prophets of old." Many will be confused in their search for God’s truth. The Qumran community, of the Dead Sea Scrolls, foretell a final prophet called "the interpreter of the law" who reveals God’s truth through an inspired interpretation of the Olden Prophets. This demonstration of God’s omniscience through His prophets is one of the major events to unfold during the end and completion of this age.

God next tells us through Daniel:

Seventy Weeks Prophecy

Daniel 9:24 (Amplified)
Seventy weeks (of years or 490 years) are decreed upon
your people and upon your holy city (Jerusalem), to finish and
put an end to transgression (1), to seal up and make full the
measure of sin (2), to purge away and make expiation and
reconciliation for sin (3), to bring in everlasting righteousness
(4), to seal up vision and prophecy and prophet (5), and to
anoint a Holy of Holies (6).

     Since we haven’t ended the age yet, this means that transgression (against the will of God) is not yet finished, that the "full measure of sin" has not yet been attained, that full righteousness has not yet come, and that prophecy remains incompletely fulfilled and incompletely interpreted. Continuing:

Daniel 9:25 (Amplified)
Know therefore and understand that from the going forth of
the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem (King Artaxerxes
on March 14th, 445 B.C.) until the coming of the Anointed One, a
Prince, shall be 7 weeks (of years = 49) plus 62 weeks (of years =
434, total = 483 years); the city shall be built again (2nd temple)
with square and moat in troublous times. (my parentheses)

Daniel 9:26 (Amplified)
And after sixty-two weeks (of years) the Anointed One shall
be cut off (or killed) and shall have nothing (and no one)
belonging to (or defending) Him. And the people of the
(other) prince who will come will destroy the city and the
sanctuary (Roman War A.D. 70). Its end shall come with a
flood (of terror and war); and even to the end there shall be
war, and desolations are decreed. (my parentheses)

     The two verses above predict the rebuilding of the 2nd temple over a 49 year span, followed by the killing of the Anointed One (Jesus) 62 weeks or 434 years later, which works out to be A.D. 38, close to the actual crucifixion date of Jesus. The total weeks so far, up to the death of Jesus, the Anointed One of 9:26, is 69 and there is a pause in the prophecy after Jesus’ death for 2000 years while the Christian Age is traversed, until the final week (the 70th) begins a 7 year period of trials during the messianic end of the age. These dates and time periods are in excellent agreement with the facts of history so far and there is every reason to believe they will continue to be accurate in the future. The last verse of this chapter pertains to the events of the final seventieth week.

Daniel 9:27 (Amplified)
And he (Antichrist) shall enter into a strong covenant with the many
for one week (7 years). And in the midst of the week he shall cause
the sacrifice and offering to cease (for the remaining three and
one-half years); and upon the wing or pinnacle of abominations
(shall come) one who makes desolate, until the full determined
end is poured out on the desolation.

     "He" of the first line of 9:27 is the antichrist of the upcoming messianic period who "makes a covenant with many for one week." This covenant is probably one or another of the Middle East agreements between modern Israel and the surrounding Arab nations. I suspect that it will be the one which may presently be forthcoming. The next line talks about the antichrist causing sacrifice and offerings (presumably in the Temple) to cease at mid-week (3.5 years). However, there is presently no Temple to cease sacrifices. (Presently, the Arab, Dome of the Rock sits on top of the Temple Mount.) So either there is a 3rd temple to be built soon, or this verse is not being interpreted properly. However, other scripture implies that the 3rd Temple will be built after Melchizedek arrives rather than before, again yielding a contradiction to 9:27. Hopefully, further study will clarify this point.

     Chapter 12 of Daniel covers some events at the end of the age that are discussed elsewhere.
     Chapter 7 is also important and describes the fourth and last beast (Kingdom) with ten horns (kings/rulers) followed by an eleventh "little horn" who "plucks up" 3 kings by their roots, meaning probably that the little horn takes their powers to himself from an "inside" position. This little horn then "makes war with the Saints" (probably those who elect God’s will) and prevails until Melchizedek enters the scene and brings "release to the captives." (See end of Dead Sea Scrolls chapter for more on beast and antichrist).
     One final point, before leaving Daniel, is the recognition of the behind the scenes activity of a variety of celestial beings, who shape and influence human history. It would appear that negative beings such as Caligastia (devil) and Satan have had their greatest impact on human history as a result of their influence on key individuals in diverse spheres of influence (academic, intellectual, economic, political, etc.). For example, Nietzsche represents the flowering and culmination of a long and flawed line of German philosophy. The slope is slippery and starts with seemingly innocuous and even well-intended errors which pass off as truth. Through such influence, a whole class of "intelligentsia" has been lead astray and the world has followed along unaware. One is left to ask how and where may such influences be manifesting themselves today? Only one clue is necessary. Wherever power is, there lies in wait those who would use power to further their own ends. It is said that absolute power corrupts absolutely and that every man has his price. Evil tends to be much better organized, goal oriented, and assertive than good on our world and I’m afraid that the reigns of power (all types) have been and are in the hands of those who would use them to further their own ends rather than for the welfare of those that are in their charge. This leadership elite of mankind has become so powerful that a superhuman effort will be needed to overcome it.
     Chapter 2:1-49 discusses Nebuchadnezar’s dream of the great image, which symbolizes the kingdoms of man and their final destruction by the eternal Kingdom of God. The final kingdom of man has feet of iron and clay. The iron is strong and unyielding and the clay is weak and fragile (like human nature). Perhaps the iron represents authoritarian and the clay democratic nations. Irregardless, these verses end with a divine kingdom "made not with human hands" that "breaks in pieces and consumes" all the kingdoms of man gone before it. This is the Kingdom of heaven and earth, which "shall stand forever." Rebellion and isolation are ended, full restoration then takes place, and Melchizedek’s comprehensive plan for rehabilitation is completed. Next in line is Haggai.

Haggai

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