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Chuck Smith :: Study Guide for Daniel

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"FAITH COMES BY HEARING AND HEARING BY THE WORD OF GOD"

The prophecies in the Book of Daniel are so detailed and accurate that scholars who don't believe in the Bible as the inspired Word of God have trouble accepting Daniel as the author of his book. (See Daniel in the Critic's Den by Sir Robert Anderson)

When Daniel wrote about the Babylonian kingdom, he wrote in the Aramaic language. When he wrote about the Hebrews, he wrote in Hebrew. He also used three Greek words that were the names for three Greek instruments. He was well educated and used the Aramaic and Hebrew languages with ease.

DANIEL 1: DANIEL TAKEN CAPTIVE

v.1 Nebuchadnezzar besieged Jerusalem at the end of the third year of Jehoiakim's reign. He took the city in the fourth year (606 BC.).

v.2-3 Isaiah 39:1-7.

v.5 The young men were to be schooled for three years.

v.6-7 The names of the young Hebrew princes were changed to pagan Babylonian names. Daniel means "God is Judge," but his name was changed to Belteshazzar, which means "Bel's Prince." Hananiah means "Beloved of the Lord," but his name was changed to Shadrach, which means "Illumined by the Sun" Mishael means "Who is as God?" but his name was changed to Meshach, which means "Who is like Shach?" (Shach was a pagan god). Azariah means "The Lord is my help," but his name was changed to Abednego, which means "The Servant of Nego" (Nego was another pagan god).

v.8 Daniel was very young-about 15 to 20 years old-but he was determined to live a life of purity and commitment to God.

v.10 The prince of the eunuchs was afraid that Daniel and his friends would look weak and sickly if they didn't eat the meat and rich foods provided by the king.

v.12 "Pulse" means vegetables. Daniel chose to drink water instead of wine.

v.17-20 If we're diligent in our study, God will bless us with special wisdom, recall, and understanding (John 14:26).

DANIEL 2: GOD REVEALS THE DREAM AND ITS MEANING

v.2 The magicians practiced magical arts. The astrologers read men's fortunes in the stars. The sorcerers used witchcraft, enchantments, and contacted the spirit world.

v.5 The king couldn't remember his dream, so he ordered his Chaldean wise men to tell him what he had dreamed.

v.10-11 The Chaldeans confessed that they were unable to help the king and that only "the gods" could tell the king what he had dreamed. When God revealed the dream to Daniel, God received the glory.

v.13 Daniel and his friends were wise men and counselors in the king's court.

v.17 Daniel referred to his friends by their Hebrew names.

v.18 Daniel and his friends asked God to reveal the king's dream to them.

v.21 Daniel acknowledged that God appoints and removes kings.

v.27-28 Daniel gave the glory to God.

v.30 Daniel didn't try to strengthen his standing with the king by taking any credit for the work of God in his life. When God exercises His grace in us, we should minimize our part and maximize His part (Romans 12:3).

v.31 "Terrible" here means "awesome."

v.36 Daniel spoke with authority, because he knew God had shown the dream to him.

v.38-41 Nebuchadnezzar held absolute rule. Subsequent rulers were restricted by the laws of their empires. The golden head symbolized the autocratic rule of Nebuchadnezzar's Babylonian empire. The breast and arms of silver symbolized the divided Medo-Persian empire. The stomach and thighs of brass symbolized the Grecian empire of Alexander the Great. The legs of iron symbolized the Roman empire. The feet and toes of iron and clay symbolized the ten nations of the European Community (Common Market).

v.42-43 Since the days of the Roman empire there hasn't been a world governing empire. The European Community is just beginning to gain strength and recognition. It will rule the earth for less than seven years.

v.44 During the time of the European Community God will set up His Kingdom upon the earth. His Kingdom will be everlasting

v.45 Jesus is the stone that will put an end to the world governments.

v.47 Nebuchadnezzar acknowledged the God of Daniel.

v.48-49 Daniel was put in a high position close to the king.

DANIEL 3: THE FIERY FURNACE

The events in this chapter foreshadow the resistance of the Jews to the worship of the Antichrist during the coming Great Tribulation period. King Nebuchadnezzar is a symbol of the Antichrist. The three Hebrew men that God protected in the furnace represent the 144,000 Jews God will seal and protect during the Tribulation. The golden image represents the image of the Antichrist that will be set up in the rebuilt Jewish temple. The fiery furnace represents the Great Tribulation. Daniel represents the Church, which will not be around during the Great Tribulation.

v.1 The king made the image of gold in defiance of the prophecy that his kingdom would one day fall to the Medo-Persian empire.

v.13 Revelation 12:13-17.

v.19 The Great Tribulation will be worse than any plague or calamity the world has ever seen (Matthew 24:21).

v.25 The three Hebrew men knew that God was able to protect them (v.17). The only things that burned were the ropes binding them. God will also deliver the 144,000 Jews from the Antichrist (Revelation Chapters 7 & 9).

v.26-29 King Nebuchadnezzar changed his attitude toward God (v.15).

v.30 Daniel isn't mentioned at all in this chapter. He would never have bowed to the image, so we have to conclude that he wasn't there. In the same way, the Church won't be here when the Great Tribulation comes upon the earth. We'll view it from heaven, where we will be with Christ. The tribulation we face as Christians comes from Satan and the world under his control. He constantly seeks to attack us and tear us down. The Great Tribulation predicted in Revelation 6-19 will come from God as His judgment on the world that has rejected His Son.

DANIEL 4: THE CONVERSION OF NEBUCHADNEZZAR

v.2 Nebuchadnezzar could see that God gives us signs and does wonders to testify of Himself to us.

v.3 Nebuchadnezzar was resting because he had conquered the world. He had led his armies into battle successfully and without fear. Now his thoughts and dreams were troubling and upsetting him.

v.13 The "watcher" was probably an angel. We're so concerned with the material world that we often forget how much the spirit world is involved in our lives (Ephesians 6:12). Satan often attacks us through our emotions. He can give us that depressed and out-of-sorts feeling. We need to recognize an attack of Satan, resist the attack (James 4:7), and rejoice that God has provided the victory for us through Jesus Christ our Lord!

v.22 King Nebuchadnezzar was the most powerful king of all world governments.

v.25 God wanted Nebuchadnezzar to realize that his kingdom and power were given to him by God. God gives kingdoms and rules the rulers (Luke 2:1-3).

v.33 Nebuchadnezzar went insane immediately after the voice spoke from heaven.

v.34-37 At the end of seven terrible years, Nebuchadnezzar was converted and submitted himself to God. Some people will go through seven years of the Great Tribulation before they will submit to God.

DANIEL 5: THE FALL OF BABYLON

There is a gap of perhaps 20 years between the preceding chapter and this one. King Nebuchadnezzar died and was replaced by a succession of men who were removed by their enemies. His grandson, Belshazzar, was co-ruler with another man when the events in this chapter took place. Cyrus, the King of the Persians and nephew of Darius (King of the Medes), was besieging Babylon. Belshazzar felt safe within the city's walls, because Babylon was extremely well-fortified and supplied with enough food and water to with stand many years of siege.

v.1 Belshazzar probably held this feast to show the lords he was confident that Babylon wouldn't fall to the enemy outside its gates.

v.2-4 Belshazzar defiled the consecrated vessels his grandfather, Nebuchadnezzar, had taken from the temple in Jerusalem. He used the vessels as wine goblets.

v.6 Isaiah 45:1.

v.10 This queen was probably the mother of Belshazzar.

v.11-13 Daniel was now about 88 years old. He apparently had been retired for some time and wasn't known in Belshazzar's court. The queen-mother spoke highly of Daniel and his wisdom. He had managed to lead a pure and godly life in the pagan court of Babylon.

v.18-22 Daniel was a faithful prophet, for he preached to Belshazzar before he gave the interpretation of the writing on the wall. Since Belshazzar knew the story of Nebuchadnezzar's pride, insanity, and conversion, he was guilty of willful defiance of God.

v.23 Belshazzar's worship and love had been lavished on material things that were inanimate, and he ignored the God who sustained his life. God is our life-support system.

v.26 "Mene" means "numbered" (Psalm 90:12).

v.27 "Tekel" means "weighed."

v.28 "U-pharsin" is the plural of "peres" which means "divided." The plural was used because Babylon was to be divided by the Medes and Persians.

v.30 Darius diverted the river Euphrates when the soldiers of Babylon were drunk. The drunken soldiers had neglected to bolt the gates, so Darius and his men were able to get into the city, despite all its elaborate fortifications (Isaiah 44:28-45, Jeremiah 50:38). The fall of Babylon foreshadows the fall of the great commercial center also called Babylon in Revelation 18. It appears that Babylon will be rebuilt by greedy men who love materialism as much as Belshazzar did.

v.31 "Threescore and two" is 62.

DANIEL 6: DANIEL IN THE LION'S DEN

v.1-2 Daniel was put in the position of rulership second only to the king.

v.4-5 Daniel had lived a faultless life in subjection to the authority of the king.

v.6 "Assembled together" literally means "came with haste and tumult."

v.7 The other two presidents and the princes obviously had not consulted Daniel about this decree. The decree was actually a very foolish one. People couldn't ask each other for help or favors for thirty days, since all requests were to be made to the king. The king apparently succumbed to the flattery of the princes without thinking through the effects of the decree. All the world governments deified their leaders. In the last world government that will come to power during the Tribulation, the Antichrist will put to death those who don't bow down and worship his image (Revelation 13:15).

v.10 Daniel was a loyal subject of the government, until the government tried to regulate his relations with God. Then he obeyed the higher law of God (Acts 5:28-29). Daniel probably prayed throughout the day as problems or blessings came up, and he also had an appointed time and place to pray three times a day. Daniel probably faced Jerusalem when he prayed, because of Solomon's prayer at the dedication of the temple (II Chronicles 6:34-39, 7:14).

v.11 The wicked princes probably gathered in the inner courtyard of Daniel's house to spy on him. Praise should be a greater part of our prayers. We often pray when we're under pressure and are asking God for something There's nothing wrong with asking God to meet our needs. He's interested in our needs, but it's also important to include times of praise and thanksgiving when we talk to Him.

v.12 "Came near" again is the word that indicates they "came with haste and tumult."

v.14 The king was bound by the law he had signed, unlike King Nebuchadnezzar who was able to change any law whenever he wanted to. The Medo-Persian rule was inferior to the absolute rule of Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 2:39).

v.15 For the third time, the wicked princes came before the king with "haste and tumult."

v.16 Apparently Daniel had made a strong impression on Darius. The king himself encouraged Daniel with the words of faith.

v.20 The king was still hoping Daniel had survived when he went to the lion's den in the morning. He had probably heard the story of the three Hebrew men in the fiery furnace and believed that Daniel's God was a powerful God. He asked Daniel if his God was able to deliver him from the lions (Jeremiah 32:27, Romans 4:20-21, Ephesians 3:20).

v.22 Hebrews 1:13-14.

v.23 Daniel wasn't hurt, because "he believed in his God" (Hebrews 11:33).

v.25-27 Darius here made a decree that couldn't be changed testifying to the might and greatness of God.

v.28 Daniel here symbolizes the 144,000 Jews who'll be protected from harm by God during the Great Tribulation.

DANIEL 7: A VISION OF WORLD GOVERNMENTS

Daniel moves out of a chronological sequence to begin the description of his visions. These were the days when Daniel was retired from public service. Daniel in the Old Testament and John in the New Testament were given many great prophecies about the future. Both of them were close to 90 years old and "greatly beloved" by God (Daniel 9:23, John 19:26, 20:2, 21:7, 21:20).

v.2 The "sea" usually refers to the nations (Revelation 17:15).

v.3 The dream of Nebuchadnezzar was also about world governments, but Nebuchadnezzar's dream was from man's perspective. Daniel's dream was from the heavenly perspective (Revelation 13:1).

v.4 The man's heart given to the beast is probably symbolic of the conversion of King Nebuchadnezzar, the first world ruler.

v.5 The three ribs probably refer to the three kingdoms that comprised the Medo-Persian empire when it assimilated Babylon.

v.6 The Grecian empire built by Alexander the Great was divided into four parts, represented by the beast's four heads.

v.7 The Roman empire was awesome and powerful. The ten horns of this beast are the counterparts of the ten toes of the feet of iron and clay in Nebuchadnezzar's dream. The last world government will be a partial revival of the ancient Roman empire (Matthew 24:29-34, Jeremiah 24, Hosea 9:10).

v.8 Three of the ten nations of the European Community will give their power to the Antichrist.

The Antichrist (also called "beast") will be able to sway men by his persuasive speech (Revelation 13:5-6).

v.9 The "Ancient of days" means "days without beginning." The Ancient of days is a title given to Jesus and to God. The context helps us determine which one is indicated (Revelation 1:14-16, 5:11, Micah 5:2, John 1:1, 5:27).

v.10 This isn't the Great White Throne Judgment; it's the judgment by Jesus of the people who have survived the Great Tribulation (Matthew 25:31-46, 24:29-30).

v.14 In his dream, Nebuchadnezzar saw a stone that broke the image and then filled the earth. Daniel could see more clearly that the Son would destroy the world government and would be given an unending world dominion (Daniel 2:35, 44).

v.18 When we pray "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven," we're praying for this kingdom (Colossians 3:4, Revelation 1:6, 5:10, Psalm 2:9, Isaiah 9:7).

v.19-20 We usually describe this person as Antichrist, though the Bible calls him the beast and the son of perdition. As Jesus is the Son of God and does the will of the Father, the Antichrist will be like the son of Satan. He'll seem to have the answers for the world's problems, and he'll do miracles that will convince people to trust him (Revelations 13:2-8, 17:8). The "saints" in these verses are the Jews who have turned their hearts to God in the troubled times for Israel.

Many members of our government are members of the Trilateral Commission. Their ultimate goal is for one-world government. They'll send a copy of their goals and membership to those who write and ask for this information: The Trilateral Commission of North America, 345 East 46th Street, New York, NY 10017.

DANIEL 8: THE MEDO-PERSIAN AND GRECIAN EMPIRES

v.1 This vision came two years after the vision of Chapter 7.

v.3 The ram with two horns is the Medo-Persian empire. The Medes were the first to arise in power, but the Persians later rose to preeminence. The empire is commonly known as the Persian empire. The symbol on coins of the Persian empire was a ram.

v.4 The Medo-Persian empire didn't conquer the lands of the East.

v.5 The goat is the Grecian empire. The notable horn is Alexander the Great. The symbol on coins of the Grecian empire was a goat.

v.7 "Choler" means "anger".

v.8 Alexander the Great was a young man, only 32 years old and in the midst of his strength, when he died ("the great horn was broken"). After Alexander's death the Grecian empire was divided by four of his generals.

v.9 Out of one of the divisions of the Grecian empire came a little horn. This little horn was Antiochus Epiphanes from Syria. (Read about him in 1 and II Maccabees in the Apocrypha). He foreshadows the Antichrist of Chapter 7:8-26, the little horn who'll replace three of the ten horns. The Syrian empire spread south to Egypt, to the East, and to the "pleasant land" of Israel.

v.10 "Even to" should here be translated "even against." The "hosts of heaven" are the Jewish people, and the "stars" are the priests and spiritual leaders (Revelation 1:20). Antiochus Epiphanes persecuted and killed thousands of pious Jews.

v.11 The "prince of the host" is the Lord. Antiochus Epiphanes stopped the daily sacrifices in the temple and defiled the sanctuary.

v.13 King Nebuchadnezzar described the spiritual beings as "watchers" and "holy ones." Daniel called the watchers "saints" and was able to hear their comments.

v.14 Daniel was told that the sanctuary would be cleansed in 2,300 days. The sanctuary was cleansed by Judas Maccabaeus on December 25, 165 B.C.

v.15-16 Gabriel took the form of a man to speak to Daniel about the visions. Perhaps Jesus told Gabriel to explain the vision to Daniel, for Gabriel is a messenger of God.

v.18 Daniel apparently passed out from fear, but Gabriel lifted him up.

v.19 The "last end of the indignation" is the last part of the Great Tribulation. The Old Testament refers to the Great Tribulation as the "indignation" because it'll be an outpouring of God's judgment on a wicked world. Gabriel is showing Daniel the parallels between the vision Daniel had just seen and the activities of the Antichrist.

v.21 Gabriel makes it very clear that the "great horn" on the goat is Alexander the Great the first king of Greece.

v.23 Now Gabriel moves ahead to the Great Tribulation and describes the Antichrist (beast). The earth is under Satan's control and dominion right now, but he'll hand over his power to the Antichrist (Matthew 4:8, Revelation 13:4).

v.24 "Wonderfully" here means "with awesome power and terrible force."

v.25 The Antichrist's "peace" plan will deceive the people of the earth. When the Antichrist stands up against Jesus Christ, he'll be broken by the word Jesus speaks. The power of God is so great that no physical force will be necessary to break the Antichrist.

v.26 Gabriel affirms that this vision is a true prophecy of future events.

v.27 Daniel reacted physically to these spiritual experiences by fainting and becoming sick for some days. Daniel probably didn't tell the vision (v.26) The people around him probably didn't understand his weak and dazed condition.

DANIEL 9: DANIEL'S PRAYER

v.1 The Chaldeans were the Babylonians.

v.2 Daniel was a student of prophecy and was well aware of the events of his time. Students of Bible prophecy walk in the light and understanding of what God has revealed. Daniel read the prophecies of Moses (Deuteronomy 28:25) and Jeremiah (Jeremiah 29:10-11). He knew that the captivity would last 70 years.

v.3 Since Daniel knew that the 70 years were almost ended, he began to seek God, probably to discover whether God had any specific instructions for him in the repatriation of Israel. Though Daniel was 90 years old, he had authority in the court of Darius. We should make ourselves available to God each day so that He can use us for His purposes. Fasting, wearing uncomfortable sackcloth, and putting on ashes were ways the Jews afflicted themselves to show God they were sincere.

v.4-5 Daniel confessed that God had kept His part of the covenant but that the Jews had failed to keep their side. God's covenants with us are conditional on us keeping our side of the agreement. People often blame God for the judgment they have merited, rather than admitting their errors and asking for His forgiveness.

v.6 An honest confession will bring deliverance. As long as we attempt to justify ourselves and defend our actions, we'll get nowhere with God, because God knows us better than we know ourselves. Our confession of sins opens the door for His mercy, grace, and forgiveness. Daniel knew that the Jews had persecuted and killed the prophets of God who had come to warn the people about their sins.

v.7 Daniel acknowledged that God's judgment of the Jews was righteous.

v.12 God had given so much to the Jews when He made them His chosen people that they were under a greater responsibility to obey Him than those who were more ignorant (Luke 12:48).

v.14 Proverbs 28:13.

v.16-19 Daniel didn't base his requests on man's righteousness or goodness, but on God's mercy and for His sake.

v.21 The time of "evening" prayer was 3 p.m.

v.24 "Weeks" here is actually "sevens." Some of the six things prophesied have already happened, and others are in the future. Jesus made an end of transgressions and sins and reconciled man to God when He sacrificed Himself on the cross.

The kingdom of everlasting righteousness hasn't yet come to power, all the visions and prophecies haven't yet been fulfilled; so the book cannot yet be closed and sealed. The "most Holy" has yet to be anointed.

The Old Testament prophets didn't see the two aspects of the coming of the Messiah. Though they faithfully wrote as God directed them, they couldn't reconcile the seeming diversities concerning the Messiah (Ephesians 3:3-5).

When Jesus read the Scriptures in Isaiah, He stopped halfway through the prophecy, because the first half concerned only His first coming (Isaiah 61:1-4, Luke 4:16-21).

v.25 The angel foretells of the commandment to restore and rebuild Jerusalem given by King Artaxerxes on March 14, 445 B.C. The prophecy was based on a Babalonian 360-day calendar. 483 years, 360 each is 173,880 days after March 14, 445 B.C., that day being April 6, 32 A.D. Jesus rode into Jerusalem on that day, April 6, 32 A.D. (Psalm 118:22-26, Luke 19:28-44, Romans 8:22,23, Zechariah 9:9).

v.26 The Messiah was to be "cut off" without receiving His share of the kingdom. The "prince" of Rome spoken of here was Caesar Nero. He ordered his general, Titus, to destroy Jerusalem. The soldiers tore the city down stone by stone to the ground. The end of the nation was to come with a dispersion of the Jews. The Jews were followed by wars and desolations wherever they went.

v.27 The seventieth seven will begin when the Antichrist makes a covenant with Israel for a 7-year period (Isaiah 28:14-17). There are several hints in the Bible that tie Caesar Nero to the Antichrist. It appears that the same demon that controlled Nero will enter the European leader who will arise from the ten nations, and he will be the Antichrist (Revelation 17:8-11, 13:17-18).

Some Bible teachers believe that the Church will go through the Great Tribulation. They feel that God is through with the nation Israel and all the prophetic references that deal with Israel actually refer to the Church. This misinterpretation of Scriptures has led to confusion over prophecies that are actually quite clear and simple (Matthew 24:15-22, Romans 11:1).

This 7-year period will not start while God is still working in the Church to bring forth a Bride for Christ. Once the Church is complete, God will take it up to heaven. Then He'll turn to Israel and make the Jews His special people once again.

After three and one-half years the Antichrist will put a stop to the daily sacrifices and prayers in the rebuilt temple. 1,290 days from this day Jesus will come to earth with His Church to establish His Kingdom and to fulfill the other prophecies concerning the Messiah that haven't yet been fulfilled (Matthew 24:15-22, II Thessalonians 2:4, Revelation 12:14, Isaiah 16:1-4).

DANIEL 10: SPIRITUAL BATTLES

v.1 Daniel was about 90 years old and had probably retired from public service. Daniel 1:21 refers to his public service. Daniel knew that the vision was a prophecy of the far-distant future.

v.3 Daniel avoided pastries, meat, and wine during his semi-fast.

v.4 Daniel was fasting during the Passover feast. The Hiddekel is the Tigris River.

v.5-6 Daniel's description of Jesus parallels the description by John in Revelation 1:12-16.

v.8 Daniel reacted to this vision the same way as many do when they see God (Isaiah 6:1-5, Luke 5:8).

v.10-11 It appears that an angel helped Daniel get up and began to talk to him.

v.12 From the first day Daniel began his fast, his prayers were heard by God and the angel was sent to Daniel with God's message.

v.13 The powers of darkness work through the rulers of this world. Satan, the prince of this world, is the power behind the world's governments and systems in rebellion against God. There's constant warfare in the spiritual world over the control of people's lives. Through prayer we're able to bind the works and power of the enemy and to battle for God's side (Ephesians 6:12, 1 Peter 1:12, II Corinthians 10:4, Matthew 16:19).

v.14 The prophecies the angel had for Daniel concerned Israel in the very distant future.

v.17 Daniel was a very old man and probably somewhat weakened by his fast, so the wonder of the vision took his remaining strength.

v.19 The words of the angel were spoken in faith, and Daniel was strengthened. When Jesus speaks the word of faith to us, we can argue or obey.

v.21 Michael is the prince of the people of Israel. He was the only one to stand up for Israel against the world powers.

DANIEL 11: PROPHECIES OF FUTURE KINGDOMS

v.1 The angel is speaking here. He helped establish Darius as king in the first year of his reign.

v.2 There were three other kings of Persia after Cyrus: Ahasureus, Artaxerxes, and Darius. These were followed by a fourth, Xerxes, who trained an army of two million men. After training his army, he attacked and conquered Greece.

v.3 The "mighty king" here is Alexander the Great.

v.4 The prophecy here says that Alexander would be cut off in his prime. His kingdom was divided between four of his generals.

v.5 The "king of the south" was Ptolemy, the general who ruled Egypt. The "king of the north" was Seleucus, the general who took Syria. Israel was between the two kingdoms and suffered from the continual warfare between them.

v.6-7 The kings of Egypt and Syria made a peace pact after Ptolemy helped Seleucus regain control of Syria. To seal the bargain Ptolemy gave his daughter, Berenice, to Seleucus for his wife. Seleucus divorced his wife and married Berenice. However when Ptolemy died, Seleucus left Berenice and took back his former wife. She poisoned Seleucus and had Berenice and her son assassinated. Then the former wife's son became the new Syrian king.

v.7-8 Berenice's brother was now the Egyptian king. He invaded and defeated Syria to avenge his sister's death. He took the fortresses and plundered Syria of its gods, gold, and costly vessels.

v.10 The king of Syria and his brothers attacked Egypt.

v.11-12 Egypt again fought with Syria and again defeated her, but the Egyptian king didn't follow up his victory by strengthening his position.

v.13-14 Syria again attacked Egypt. Some of the Jews turned against their brothers to help the Syrian king.

v.16 The "glorious land" is Israel.

v.17 The Syrian king gave his daughter, Cleopatra, to the young Egyptian king. However, Cleopatra turned against Syria and stood with Egypt. She was very ambitious for Egypt and began to make political deals with Rome, a rising power.

v.18-19 The Syrian king began to attack Rome along the shores of Asia Minor. He was defeated, and the terms of peace called for him to pay huge taxes. He was killed when he tried to plunder a temple for tax money.

v.20 His son was mysteriously poisoned.

v.21 Antiochus Epiphanes was the next king of Syria. He won his throne by flattery.

v.22-23 Antiochus killed any people he perceived were a challenge to his reign.

v.24 Antiochus hated the Jews. He killed and enslaved thousands of them.

v.25 He attacked Egypt and defeated her.

v.28-29 He again tried to attack Egypt, but the Roman navy fought him off.

v.30-31 Antiochus was angry and frustrated by the Roman defense. He lashed out at Israel and on God's temple. His sacrifice of a pig on the holy altar was "the abomination which maketh desolate." Antiochus is a symbolic Antichrist. The Antichrist will also stop the daily sacrifices and prayers in the temple and will pollute the sanctuary with the demand that he be worshipped. This will be the "abomination of desolation."

v.32 Judas Maccabaeus and other young Jewish men were angered by the pollution of the temple. They took revenge on Syria.

v.33-35 This prophecy concerns the plight of the Jews and the sufferings they have endured. They will still be in great danger until the end of the Great Tribulation. Though the United States has been a close ally of Israel, our country has lately been moving away from this position (because of our dependence on Arab oil). When we finally abandon Israel, Russia will feel free to attack her without any retaliation from the U.S.

v.36 The king described here is the Antichrist. He'll put himself forward and seek the people's worship and praise just as Satan has always craved worship (Isaiah 14:12-14, Matthew 4:8-10, II Thessalonians 2:4).

"Indignation" here refers to the Great Tribulation. It's God's indignation against a sinning world (Isaiah 26:19-21).

v.37 This Scripture has led many people to believe that the Antichrist will be an apostate Jew. He may be homosexual. The "desire of women" could refer to every Jewish woman's hope that she would bear the child who would bruise the serpent's head (Genesis 3:15). Jesus was the Child who fulfilled this prophecy with His atoning death on the cross. So this verse could mean that the Antichrist will not regard God or Jesus.

v.38 The Antichrist will worship and be obsessed with military force. He'll build a huge and expensive army equipped with tremendous military hardware.

v.39 The Antichrist will make a covenant with Israel. He'll work out a Middle East peace plan that will divide the land of Israel for his gain. The covenant will be broken by the Antichrist after three and one-half years when he stops the sacrifices in the temple and demands that he himself be worshipped as God. At this point those Jews who are close to God will flee to the Jordanian rock city of Petra (Matthew 24:15-21, Isaiah 16:1-4, Revelation 12:14-17, [Sela is Petra])

v.40 The "chariots" will be tanks.

v.41 The "glorious land" is the land of Israel. Ammon is Jordan and Iraq.

v.43 The Antichrist will be at the borders of Libya and Ethiopia. It will probably be a planned attempt to conquer the continent of Africa.

v.44 The Antichrist's European federation of nations begins to move against Africa, passing through Israel and taking Egypt. The Chinese will send their armies, along with the remnant of the Russian army, to battle his forces (Revelation 16:12). These armies will meet in the Valley of Megiddo for the great and final battle of Armageddon.

v.45 The Antichrist wlll set up his throne in Jerusalem and will seek to rule the world from there. Jesus will destroy the Antichrist with the words from His mouth (Jude 14-15, Colossians 3:4, Revelation 19:11-17).

Jesus wants us to understand the prophecies in Daniel (Matthew 24:15).

DANIEL 12: THE END OF THE VISION

v.1 Michael is the angel who oversees Israel. Michael and his angels will fight Satan and his angels, and they will cast Satan and his angels out of heaven (Revelation 12:7-9). Satan will return to earth in fury, for he'll know that his days are numbered. At this time the Antichrist sets up his throne in Jerusalem and breaks the covenant with Israel. The Great Tribulation will begin. It will last for three and one-half years and will be the second half of the final 7-year period prophesied earlier (Daniel 9:27). It will be the worst time the world will ever know (Matthew 24:21).

v.2 This verse may refer to the second resurrection (Ephesians 4:8-10, 1 Peter 3:18-20, Matthew 27:52-53, Isaiah 61:1, II Corinthians 5:1-8, Revelation 20:5-6). This verse could refer instead to the resurrection of the nation Israel (Ezekiel 37:1-14).

v.3 Psalm 111 :10.

v.4 The Holy Spirit has opened up our understanding of the Book of Daniel in these last days, because the information in it wasn't for earlier times. God told John not to seal the Book of Revelation and even promised a blessing to those who would read and understand it (Revelation 1:3, 22:10).

v.5-6 Jesus was the "man" clothed in linen. The "men" were probably angels.

v.7 A "time" is a year, "times" is two years, and "an half time" is half a year. This equals three and one-half years (Revelation 10:5-6).

v.9 The Book of Daniel was to be sealed until these end times we're living in today.

v.11 The Bible doesn't reveal what will happen during the 30 days between the 1,260th and 1,290th day at the end of the Great Tribulation.

v.12 In the 45 days between the 1,290th and 1,335th day, Jesus will judge all the nations of the earth. Those who are spared until the 1,335th day will be allowed to enter into the glorious Kingdom Age with Jesus (Matthew 25:31-46).


Used With Permission

© The Word For Today. We thank Chuck Smith, The Word For Today and Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa for their permission to utilize this work.

Psalm 138:2

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