God Knows it All

Posted: March 2, 2017 in Daniel, Uncategorized

Daniel 8, “God Knows it All”

As we get into Chapter 8, if some of what we read sounds familiar, that’s because it should.  Daniel goes from having a dream about four animalistic beasts representing various empires/kingdoms to two animalistic beasts representing empires/kingdoms.  In a sense, this second dream “zooms in” on a bit of the first, providing details unseen in the earlier vision.  The same thing will happen yet again with Daniel in Chapters 10-12, as that vision will contain specific details only briefly mentioned here in Chapter 8.

Why does God provide so much?  Because God knows so much.  God knows it all.  God knows all of history, from beginning to end – even the events that are still future to us are known as historical fact to God.  How?  God is all-knowing, and ever-present.  He has all knowledge, and He is always in existence.  Even His chosen name hints at this: He told Moses that His name is “I AM,” meaning the ever-existent one.  God always exists in past, present, and future – He is completely outside of time.  Time is something required for things that are created.  There is a beginning to the universe, and there will be an end to it as well.  Time is not required for God.  He is outside the linear continuum of time – something which our minds have difficulty comprehending.

Yet because God is outside of time, it tells us how God can so accurately recount the future.  There are no mysteries to Him.  There is no truth yet undiscovered.  There are no future decisions hidden from God, thus He can state it with pinpoint accuracy to anyone at any time.  To put it simply: God knows.

That is exactly what is on display through the visions He gives to Daniel.  God knows the future, so the future can be known to God’s people.

Although the vision is rather unsettling to Daniel, think for a moment how comforting that truth is.  To us, life is filled with all kinds of uncertainties.  We don’t know what our daily schedule is going to hold, much less are we able to predict what will happen with our families or even our nation.  Yet God is different.  God knows.  To a nation (such as the Jews) that was currently stuck in Babylonian captivity, taken far away from their homeland, they likely wondered often how the promises of God would ever come true.  God had promised them a Messiah and a permanent homeland, and at the moment, neither was visible.  Things were vastly different than what they had been during the years of the Davidic kingdom.  The whole world had turned upside-down for the Jewish people, and they couldn’t see how God’s promises could ever be fulfilled.  Why?  Because they could only see the present.  God could see the future.  God knew exactly the turnover of the world empires, how He would take His people back to the land, and how He would bring about the Messiah, etc.  He knew everything that would happen; His people needed to know that He knew.  We don’t necessarily need to understand everything about the future; we just need to know the God who does.  When our trust is in the God who knows everything, then we can have peace submitting ourselves to His plan.

The chapter is easily divided in half: there is the vision, and there is the interpretation.  Nothing needed to be guessed at by Daniel; it was all provided by God. (The God who knows it all!)

Daniel 8

  • The vision (1-14)

1 In the third year of the reign of King Belshazzar a vision appeared to me—to me, Daniel—after the one that appeared to me the first time.

  • Notice that once again, Daniel writes of a time prior to the fall of Babylon to the Medes & Persians.  The dream of Chapter 7 was given in the 1st year of Belshazzar; the dream of Chapter 8 was given in his 3rd year.  This is probably in the range of 551-550BC, still several years before the fateful feast of Belshazzar when he sees the (literal) writing on the wall. (539BC). One fact that is clearly apparent to Daniel is that the two dreams were tied together – he links this current one as a kind of sequel to the first.  Indeed, that is the case, as becomes evident throughout his description.
  • It’s worth mentioning that the original text reverts back to the Hebrew language in Chapter 8, from the Aramaic that had composed the majority of Chapters 2-7.  As the visions become more and more specific, there is more and more focus put upon the Hebrew people.  Although Daniel remained quiet about these visions for a while, they were clearly meant to eventually give aid and comfort to the people of Israel, and the Hebrew language makes perfect sense in light of that.

2 I saw in the vision, and it so happened while I was looking, that I was in Shushan, the citadel, which is in the province of Elam; and I saw in the vision that I was by the River Ulai.

  • Daniel doesn’t necessarily state that he was in “Shushan” at the time of his vision.  Rather, it was “in the vision” that he saw himself in the Shushan citadel.  This particular city was a natural location for God to set Daniel, as it became the winter residence for many of the kings of Persia.  As God shows Daniel prophecies concerning Persia, it made sense to set him there.

3 Then I lifted my eyes and saw, and there, standing beside the river, was a ram which had two horns, and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher one came up last. 4 I saw the ram pushing westward, northward, and southward, so that no animal could withstand him; nor was there any that could deliver from his hand, but he did according to his will and became great.

  • Very specific information will be given about the ram (and the goat) later in Chapter 8, so it suffices to look only at the description for now.  This was a ram, with two horns – one being bigger than the other, so it appeared lopsided.  This surely would have called to mind the lopsided bear from the vision of Chapter 7, where one side of the bear was raised higher than the other.  And like the bear who had been given the command to “devour much flesh,” so this ram showed itself to be incredibly powerful.  Whichever direction the ram went, no animal was able to “withstand him.”  Whatever the ram wanted to do, he did, and none could stop him.
  • Interestingly, only three directions are mentioned in verse 4.  It pushed west, north, and south – but not east.  What seems unusual here, played out in history.  Later, the ram will be precisely identified as the empire of the Medes & the Persians.  And which way did they conquer?  West, north, and south.  They went as far as the Indus Valley, but did not push further into modern-India or China.
  • This ram wasn’t the only animal seen by Daniel…

5 And as I was considering, suddenly a male goat came from the west, across the surface of the whole earth, without touching the ground; and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes.

  • This almost sounds like a unicorn.  There have been goats surgically altered to have one horn – but this was natural.  Even here, this doesn’t seem to have been a deformity, so much as something that could be used as a massive weapon, as it was “between his eyes.”  This particular goat came out with incredible swiftness “from the west,” (which Greece was, in comparison to Persia) so quickly across the earth that his feet didn’t touch the ground.  This recollects the four-winged, four-headed leopard from Chapter 7, also notable for its speed.
  • This particular use of speed was its rush to battle…

6 Then he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing beside the river, and ran at him with furious power. 7 And I saw him confronting the ram; he was moved with rage against him, attacked the ram, and broke his two horns. There was no power in the ram to withstand him, but he cast him down to the ground and trampled him; and there was no one that could deliver the ram from his hand.

  • With incredible speed & power, the goat attacked the ram & conquered it.  Both horns (symbols of power) were broken, and the ram was totally overwhelmed and defeated.  This beast that had once conquered everything in its path & done whatever it was it wanted, now found itself humiliated, broken, and destroyed by the goat.
  • Though the goat seemed to be all-powerful, something happened…

8 Therefore the male goat grew very great; but when he became strong, the large horn was broken, and in place of it four notable ones came up toward the four winds of heaven.

  • At the height of strength for the goat, he lost the source of his power.  The large horn was broken, with four small ones rising in its place.  Again, this calls to mind the leopard, which had four heads – four seats of power.  Yet not all of these smaller horns were alike.  One stood out…

9 And out of one of them came a little horn which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the Glorious Land. 10 And it grew up to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and some of the stars to the ground, and trampled them. 11 He even exalted himself as high as the Prince of the host; and by him the daily sacrifices were taken away, and the place of His sanctuary was cast down. 12 Because of transgression, an army was given over to the horn to oppose the daily sacrifices; and he cast truth down to the ground. He did all this and prospered.

  • At this point, the dream becomes wildly unpredictable.  What had been a focus upon the animals, is now upon the horns of the conquering animal, and one horn in particular.  It lengthened & grew all the way to the point of reaching the land of Israel (“the Glorious Land”).  Literally, it grew “to/toward the Glorious / the Beautiful,” speaking of the place that is more glorious than all – without question, a reference to Israel, the place where God chose to put His temple, and allow His glory to reside.
  • So this horn has grown to Israel, and specifically to Jerusalem (considering the mention of the “sanctuary”) and what happens?  It grows even to the heavens, casting some of the stars down to the ground.  It exalted itself to the point that the horn claimed to be “as high as the Prince” of the stars, making itself like God, coming against God’s sanctuary and opposing the daily sacrifices.
  • Please note that although this wild horn exalted himself, this was something he was allowed to do.  In verse 12, “an army was given over to the horn…”  This was not something the horn achieved for himself; this was something that was allowed to him.  By whom?  By none other than the Lord God, the very Prince who was opposed by the horn.  God is sovereign over every corner of the universe, and God is sovereign over even His enemies. The enemy certainly hates and opposes God, but he cannot go beyond what God allows him to do. 
    • This is wonderful news for the Christian!  Through our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, we belong to Almighty God.  Although Satan buffets us, accuses us, attacks us, and tempts us, he cannot rip us out of the Father’s hand!  As Paul writes, Romans 8:38–39, "(38) For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, (39) nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."  Satan & his minions are allowed to act against us in many ways, but not even his principalities or powers can separate us from the love of God.  As a child of God, you forever belong to God – the Lord Jesus has assured you of that.  Thus whatever else comes our way, we can rest safe and secure in the love of the Father.
    • Not only is this good news for the Christian, this is terrible news for the devil.  After all, if God only allows Satan certain liberties, that means that Satan will eventually be held to account for those things…and he will!  God’s sovereignty over the devil ensures that God’s plan over the devil will come to fruition, and that includes Satan being forever cast into the lake of fire (right alongside his minions, Antichrist and the false prophet).  Because God is sovereign, God wins.  Terrible news for the devil; great news for us!

13 Then I heard a holy one speaking; and another holy one said to that certain one who was speaking, “How long will the vision be, concerning the daily sacrifices and the transgression of desolation, the giving of both the sanctuary and the host to be trampled underfoot?” 14 And he said to me, “For two thousand three hundred days; then the sanctuary shall be cleansed.”

  • After seeing the vision, Daniel now overhears a timeframe for it to take place.  Keep in mind, the 2300 “days” (hold that word for now) does not apply to the entirety of the dream, with the rise of the ram, the goat’s conquering, etc.; it applies only to the “daily sacrifices and transgression of desolation.”  IOW, it applies to the part of the dream when the little horn arises to the point that he/it finally cuts off the daily sacrifices in the temple.
  • The figure itself needs to be examined just a bit.  At first glance, it appears to be fairly straightforward.  2300 days, divided over a roughly 360 day year (which would have been standard for prophecy) is around 6.4 years (6.3 of our calendar years).  Yet, there’s a bit of a question whether or not “days” is the proper translation, as the normal Hebrew word for days (יוֹם ) is not used here.  Instead, this is a combination of the words for “evening” and “morning,” (עֶ֣רֶב בֹּ֔קֶר ) literally saying “until evening morning 2300” (as indicated by NASB, ESV & others).  Thus the question becomes: is Daniel told 2300 days, or 2300 evening & morning sacrifices – i.e., 1150 days?  If that’s the case, then the timeframe drops dramatically from 6.4 years to 3.2 years – a figure that lines up far more closely not only with the accompanying event in history, but the prophetic event that it typifies in the future.
  • The interpretation (15-27)

15 Then it happened, when I, Daniel, had seen the vision and was seeking the meaning, that suddenly there stood before me one having the appearance of a man. 16 And I heard a man’s voice between the banks of the Ulai, who called, and said, “Gabriel, make this man understand the vision.”

  • We can understand Daniel’s confusion!  He had received an incredible vision, but hardly understood a lick of it.  Even if he had been able to piece together the first part of the dream from what he had learned years earlier from his previous dream, the second part of the growing horn & 2300 evening/mornings would have left him dumbfounded.  Daniel was an incredibly smart man, wise in the ways of God, but he didn’t know everything.  He needed an interpretation, and thankfully God graciously gave him one.  God wanted Daniel to understand, so He commanded one of His angels to explain things to him.
    • There are some things that God intentionally leaves unexplained to unsaved people.  When Jesus spoke in parables, it was specifically so that they would hear and not understand, see & not perceive (Mt 13:13-14).  However, that was to the unbeliever; not the believer.  To the disciples, Jesus gave the explanation.  God wants us to understand His word.  Obviously we don’t always understand every single Scripture, and there are some teachings that are hotly debated among Bible-believing Christians as to the correct interpretation.  But that does not mean that God neither wants us to understand, nor has left us without the ability to understand.  He has given us His word, which we can read with our own eyes – He has given us His Spirit, who indwells us and teaches us, guiding us into all truth (Jn 16:13).  He has equipped the Church with pastors and teachers, the Spirit Himself being our ultimate Teacher (1 Jn 2:27).  We may not understand everything at first glance, but we do have the opportunity to understand, if we only take advantage of it.
    • So do it!  Especially as American Evangelicals, we have resources at our fingertips, that the majority of Christians throughout history could not have imagined.  Whole libraries of information are available to us for absolutely free – whereas past Christians in other cultures would consider themselves blessed if they only had a Bible written in their own language.  We have zero excuse to remain in ignorance regarding any Biblical teaching.  Use what God has given you to grow in your understanding of His word.  Not only will you know the Bible better, you will know your God better.  And that is exactly what God desires!
  • BTW – notice the angel to whom God tasked with explaining the vision to Daniel: Gabriel.  This is the same angel specifically named in Luke 1, who appeared to Mary with the explanation of what would happen to her in her pregnancy with Jesus.  He was also the angel who spoke with Zacharias in the temple regarding John the Baptist, and most likely the angel who appeared to Joseph in his dream prior to receiving Mary as his betrothed wife.  Only four angels are specifically named for us in Scripture: Michael, Gabriel, Lucifer (who fell and became Satan), and an angel who rules over the bottomless pit by the name of Apollyon (Rev 9:11).  Interestingly, Gabriel usually seems to appear in connection with Messianic messages and visions, though this first appearance is only slightly connected.  It’s possible that he was also the angel in Chapter 7 who gave the interpretation to Daniel, though that angel is technically unnamed.  His name means “man of God,” surely appropriate for a being that gave the good news of God’s Messiah to mankind!
    • One other thing: here, as in most other examples of angelic appearances, the angel looked like a man.  There are other angelic beings such as cherubim and seraphim that are more like beasts, but these & other messengers seen in the New Testament have the appearance of men.  They don’t look like babies, or little girls in dresses.  More often than not, they fit the description of warriors.  These are beings whom no one would want to meet on a bad day, which is seen by how humans invariably respond to them (as did Daniel)…

17 So he came near where I stood, and when he came I was afraid and fell on my face; but he said to me, “Understand, son of man, that the vision refers to the time of the end.”

  • Daniel fell on his face out of sheer terror – and understandably so.  When men and women in the Bible encounter angels, they don’t think “Oh, look how cute they are – let’s go pinch their cheeks!”  No – men fall on their face, as if they were dead…overwhelmed by the powerful person in front of them.  Yet as powerful as the most powerful of the angels may be, he does not hold a candle to Almighty God!  Satan believed that he could take the place of God, so caught up was he in his own glory.  He quickly learned otherwise!  No matter how powerful Satan may be, he is still infinitely outmatched by the Father.  Even at the height of his power, the devil is still just another created being, whereas God is the Creator.  God trumps Satan every time!
  • Regarding the vision, Gabriel wanted Daniel to understand “that the vision refers to the time of the end.”  That begs the question: the end of what?  The end of Babylonian Empire?  The Jewish Captivity?  The end of time itself?  He goes on to explain…

18 Now, as he was speaking with me, I was in a deep sleep with my face to the ground; but he touched me, and stood me upright. 19 And he said, “Look, I am making known to you what shall happen in the latter time of the indignation; for at the appointed time the end shall be.

  • How exactly Daniel fell into “a deep sleep” in the middle of this explanation is anyone’s guess.  Perhaps, as happened at the end of the vision, Daniel fainted & uses this phrase as a synonym.  Whatever happened, he didn’t sleep long.  Gabriel had an explanation for him, and he needed to be awake (at least, awake within his dream/vision) to receive it.
  • What Gabriel confirms is that the “time of the end” is the “latter time of the indignation.”  In other words, he is pointing out what will happen leading up to the event that the sacrifices are taken away, and the desolation takes place within the Jerusalem sanctuary.  That said, there is enough ambiguity within the phrase to the see the parallel to a much later event – something that will happen during the Great Tribulation in the latter days.  In either case, the time has been “appointed” by God – it’s all a part of His sovereign plan.  Again, God knows exactly what is going to happen.  All He is doing here (via the angel) is informing Daniel about it.
    • God knows all things.  In His sovereign plan, He has appointed exactly what will happen at the end.  That’s something in which we can take much comfort!

20 The ram which you saw, having the two horns—they are the kings of Media and Persia. 21 And the male goat is the kingdom of Greece. The large horn that is between its eyes is the first king. 22 As for the broken horn and the four that stood up in its place, four kingdoms shall arise out of that nation, but not with its power.

  • This is incredibly specific!  Keep in mind that this was given to Daniel several years before Babylon fell to the Medes & Persians (the 3rd year of Belshazzar – vs. 1), and yet there is absolutely no hidden meaning or ambiguous code at all concerning the empires yet to rise.  First would be the “kings of Media and Persia,” represented by the ram with two horns.  The lopsidedness of the horns reflects the lopsidedness of the empire, with vastly more power residing among the Persians.  Just as the ram went everywhere it wanted and did anything it wanted, so did the Medes and Persians run rampant over the ancient near east, conquering whatever kingdom in which it set foot.
  • Yet it didn’t last.  It was replaced by the “kingdom of Greece,” specifically through the rapid rise of Alexander the Great, represented by “the large horn.”  Alexander was incredibly powerful in his brief time, able to conquer the known world by the time he was thirty.  Yet neither did his rule last, as he died as the young age of 32 – the large horn being broken.  In his place arose four competing dynasties – the “four kingdoms” seen by Daniel in his dream.  None were as strong as the initial kingdom of Alexandrian Greece, but they maintained control of the general area until the rise of the Romans (something seen in earlier visions by Daniel, but it wasn’t the subject here).  These four kingdoms were: (1) the Ptolemies in Egypt, (2) the Seleucids in Mesopotamia, (3) the Attalids in Anatolia (Turkey), and (4) the Atignoids in Macedonia.  Daniel will receive much more specific information about the Ptolemies and Seleucids in Chapters 11-12, as they have the most interaction with the Jewish people.
  • But again, notice the specificity!  Alexander wouldn’t rise for another 200 years (approximately) – and to know even the four kingdoms into which his would split…that’s astounding!  That’s God.  God knows the details.  God knows the intricacies.  There is not a nation in the world of which God does not know every intimate detail.  And that’s not only true regarding kingdoms and nations, but individuals.  Jesus said that the very hairs on our head are numbered (Mt 10:30).  And for some of us, that’s a decreasing figure, and God even keeps track of that! J  Our God knows us!  How wonderful – how astounding!  David wrote, Psalm 8:3–4, "(3) When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained, (4) What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him?"  Of all the things in the universe to which God pays attention, He even pays attention to us!  Granted, David wrote this of God’s concern for mankind as a whole, but this is still true on an individual level.  The psalms go on to say how we are fearfully & wonderfully made – how God formed each of us individually within our mothers’ wombs (Ps 139:13-14).  God knows you!  God knows you inside & out.  He knows your needs, your desires, your fears, and your joys.  He knows everything about you, and loves you as the kindest Father loves His beloved children.  Is that not a God in whom we can rejoice?  The God who knows us intimately…and loves us anyway?  Praise God for the personal knowledge He has of us!
  • So that’s the ram, the goat, and the four horns.  What about the 4th horn that grew to prominence and caused trouble for the Jews?  That is what Gabriel goes on to explain…

23 “And in the latter time of their kingdom, When the transgressors have reached their fullness, A king shall arise, Having fierce features, Who understands sinister schemes. 24 His power shall be mighty, but not by his own power; He shall destroy fearfully, And shall prosper and thrive; He shall destroy the mighty, and also the holy people.

  • In interpreting this figure, we need to keep in mind a couple of things.  (1) He is represented by one of the four horns that came out of the goat.  (2) Rome is not mentioned in this vision at all.  The reason we need to keep this in mind is that although this sounds so much like a description of Antichrist, it isn’t.  The previous dreams Daniel either received or interpreted showed Antichrist rising up out of a conglomeration of ten kings (not four), which was based in the Roman (not Grecian) empire.  Because Scripture cannot contradict Scripture, the interpretation of this particular king must be different than the person identified as the “pompous” horn of Chapter 7.  That does not mean there cannot be parallels between the two, nor that there can be no foreshadowing.  In fact, the Bible makes it plain that this particular ruler does foreshadow Antichrist, and Jesus says as much when He teaches about the abomination of desolation (Mt 24:15 – much of this will be discussed in Chapter 9).
  • So if this is not Antichrist, who is he?  This is a reference to a Seleucid king by the name of Antiochus IV Epiphanes.  Just as God prophesied, Antiochus was someone who “understood sinister schemes,” and was treacherous in his dealings.  Although to this point in their history after being returned to their homeland, the Jews were mostly free to worship according to custom & the Scripture, Antiochus changed all of that.  He massacred the Jews, forbade the daily sacrifices in the temple, and went so far as to sacrifice pigs on the Jerusalem altar. 
  • When the prophecy says “he shall destroy the mighty and also the holy people,” it is likely a reference to the earlier part of the vision when Daniel say the host of heaven & stars cast down to the ground.  Although Scripture usually refers to angels as the “heavenly host,” and even uses this same imagery in reference to Satan taking a third of the angels with him in his fall, Scripture also refers to the Hebrews being like the stars in number (Gen 15:5), and uses the same language to refer to the Hebrew armies coming out of Egypt (Exo 12:41).  Thus Antiochus Epiphanes could easily be described as trampling down the “host of heaven,” as he massacred thousands of Jewish people.

25 “Through his cunning He shall cause deceit to prosper under his rule; And he shall exalt himself in his heart. He shall destroy many in their prosperity. He shall even rise against the Prince of princes; But he shall be broken without human means.

  • At this point, the reference to Antiochus is suddenly no longer as clear.  He did certainly “rise against the Prince of princes” when he placed a statue of Zeus in the Jerusalem temple, forcibly sacrifice swine flesh on the holy altar, and forbid worship.  All of that was an affront to the Holy God – not to mention his persecution of God’s chosen people.  No doubt he exalted himself above God, totally ignoring the protection and covenant God had with His own.
  • Yet if this is true of Antiochus Epiphanes, how much more is it true of Antichrist?  Paul writes of him: 2 Thessalonians 2:3–4, "(3) Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, (4) who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God."  To the Thessalonians who worried whether or not they had somehow missed the 2nd Coming of Christ, Paul assured them that not even the preliminary signs had yet come.  The rapture had not occurred, nor had the Great Tribulation even begun.  Before Jesus came back in power and glory would be the rise of Antichrist – the man of sin / son of perdition – who would exalt himself against God, even proclaiming himself to be God.  In John’s visions, he saw Antichrist speaking great blasphemy against God (Rev 13:6), and the false prophet causing an idol of Antichrist in the temple to speak and be worshipped (Rev 13:15).  What Antiochus did was unspeakably evil, yet it only foreshadowed the horrendous future crimes of Antichrist.  He will launch a full-on assault against God, persecuting and slaughtering future saints by the multitude.
  • Yet don’t miss the silver lining: he’s limited.  Gabriel tells Daniel that Antiochus (and the future person he represents) “shall be broken without human means.”  Antiochus had his reign of terror over the Jews, but God judged him.  The Jews certainly resisted his tyrannical rule under the leadership of Judas Maccabaeus, but Antiochus was nowhere close to Jerusalem when the Maccabeans had the victory.  As soon as he heard the news, he vowed revenge, but God had other plans.  According to 2 Maccabees: 2 Maccabees 9:5–7, "(5) But the all-seeing Lord, the God of Israel, struck him with an incurable and invisible blow. As soon as he stopped speaking he was seized with a pain in his bowels, for which there was no relief, and with sharp internal tortures— (6) and that very justly, for he had tortured the bowels of others with many and strange inflictions. (7) Yet he did not in any way stop his insolence, but was even more filled with arrogance, breathing fire in his rage against the Jews, and giving orders to drive even faster. And so it came about that he fell out of his chariot as it was rushing along, and the fall was so hard as to torture every limb of his body."  (We do not trust 1-2 Maccabees as inspired Scripture, but useful historical information.)
    • What was true of Antiochus will also be true of Antichrist.  No human method or plot will take him down.  He will be broken without human means – he will be broken by the hand and will of God.  Antichrist will lead his earthly armies out to battle against the Lord Jesus at His return, and with just a word, the battle will be over.  Antichrist & the false prophet will be forever cast into the lake of fire. (Rev 19:19-20)  The Son of God will have the complete & total victory!

26 “And the vision of the evenings and mornings Which was told is true; Therefore seal up the vision, For it refers to many days in the future.”

  • Thus Gabriel wraps up the interpretation.  The 2300 evening and mornings (most likely the sacrifices, for 1150 days) would be the time from the temple’s desecration to the time that the temple was cleansed.  With the original abomination of desolation taking place December 16, 167BC, and the restoration of the temple taking place in 164-163BC, the 1150 day timeframe fits perfectly.  God’s word always proves literally true…always.
  • Why should Daniel “seal up the vision”?  Because it concerned events centuries yet in the future.  Remember, Babylon had not yet fallen.  The entire Persian empire would need to pass, along with the death of Alexander & rise of the four kings before the rest would take place.  Thus Daniel was to seal it up…but he wasn’t supposed to keep it a secret.  This prophecy may not have applied directly to Daniel, but it certainly applied to his people.  Future generations would need to know…which is why Daniel wrote his book.  The people of God could read his words, and be prepared for what was to come.
    • So can we!  This is the wonderful thing about Biblical prophecy.  We don’t study it so that we can win games of Bible trivia, or score points in debates with people who disagree with us in our interpretations.  We study Bible prophecy so we can know the will of our God.  We study it so we can be reminded of His power & omniscience.  The God who has perfectly predicted the things of the past can be trusted to perfect predict the things of the future.  We can glory in His knowledge, for He knows it all!  (Not glory in our knowledge; glory in God!)

27 And I, Daniel, fainted and was sick for days; afterward I arose and went about the king’s business. I was astonished by the vision, but no one understood it.

  • As with the earlier vision, Daniel was overwhelmed & disturbed.  We read it & wonder why he was so bothered by it – but we’ve got 2500+ years of history on him.  We’ve seen how these things have been fulfilled with 20/20 vision.  He was seeing it for the first time, and he was physically & spiritually overwhelmed.  If we were in the same position, we would have been the same way.

Conclusion:
The good news is that we don’t have to be physically exhausted by the glorious knowledge of God – we can rejoice in it!  Our God knows the workings of the world, and superintends it all.  He is sovereign over every empire & even over every enemy.  He plan is at work, and we can trust it to work out perfectly.

What has happened as of late in which you’ve had difficulty trusting God?  Not only does He know His plan and will for your life; He knows you!  He knows your thoughts & insecurities – even your every sin.  And He loves you.  In Christ Jesus, He loves you more than you can imagine.  Trust Him & His plan.  He’s proven Himself right every time…He always will.

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