The Jews considered the book of Daniel as fiction. This is probably why they didn't bother to notice that Jesus perfectly fulfilled Daniel's prophecy of the 70–7's. Certainly the additional material included with the Catholic version of the book is fiction, as are the books of Tobit and Judith.
Key prophetic passages...
(Daniel 1:1) In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it.
(Daniel 1:2) And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God: which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god.
(Daniel 1:3) And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king's seed, and of the princes;
Usually conquerors get rid of all the competent and smart people of their enemies knowing they will otherwise secretly harbor in their heart the obsession for revenge. Nebuchadnezzar apparently believed he could convert such as these into loyal servants of the state.
(Daniel 1:4) Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king's palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans.
Not only did Nebuchadnezzar plunder Israel's material goods, he also plundered the knowledge and training provided to certain children of Israel. All that remained was to enculturate and socialize them into the ways of the Chaldeans.
(Daniel 1:5) And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king's meat [food], and of the wine which he drank: so nourishing them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king.
(Daniel 1:6) Now among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah:
(Daniel 1:7) Unto whom the prince of the eunuchs gave names: for he gave unto Daniel the name of Belteshazzar; and to Hananiah, of Shadrach; and to Mishael, of Meshach; and to Azariah, of Abednego.
(Daniel 1:8) But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat [food], nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.
(Daniel 1:9) Now God had brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs.
(Daniel 1:10) And the prince of the eunuchs said unto Daniel, I fear my lord the king, who hath appointed your meat [food] and your drink: for why should he see your faces worse liking than the children which are of your sort? then shall ye make me endanger my head to the king.
(Daniel 1:11) Then said Daniel to Melzar, whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah,
(Daniel 1:12) Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse [beans and peas] to eat, and water to drink.
Daniel wished to be a vegetarian, perhaps because he didn't wish to eat meat offered to idols.
(Daniel 1:13) Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the king's meat [food]: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants.
Daniel believed and was proved right that by not eating meat he would be healthier and more mentally alert.
(Daniel 1:14) So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days.
(Daniel 1:15) And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king's meat [food].
Apparently a vegan diet without alcohol is healthier, and visibly so.
(Daniel 1:16) Thus Melzar took away the portion of their meat [food], and the wine that they should drink; and gave them pulse [beans and peas].
(Daniel 1:17) As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.
Apparently, knowledge and skill is a gift from God. Education is a godly pursuit.
Daniel could understand visions and dreams. This was a supernatural gift of God.
(Daniel 1:18) Now at the end of the days that the king had said he should bring them in, then the prince of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar.
(Daniel 1:19) And the king communed with them; and among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: therefore stood they before the king.
God blesses certain people with supernatural gifts — who knows why. Just as Jackie Evancho has the best singing voice in the world at a very young age, so also these four were wiser by far than all the others.
(Daniel 1:20) And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm.
Probably king Nebuchadnezzar said they were 10 times better; some sort of idiom. I can imagine the jealousy that captives would be given honor above the others; and so there was as we learn later. Naively, king Nebuchadnezzar seemed oblivious to it all.
(Daniel 1:21) And Daniel continued even unto the first year of king Cyrus.
(Daniel 2:1) And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, wherewith his spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake from [left] him.
(Daniel 2:2) Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the astrologers, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, for to shew the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king.
(Daniel 2:3) And the king said unto them, I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit was troubled to know the dream.
(Daniel 2:4) Then spake the Chaldeans to the king in Syriack, O king, live for ever: tell thy servants the dream, and we will shew the interpretation.
(Daniel 2:5) The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, The thing is gone from me: if ye will not make known unto me the dream, with the interpretation thereof, ye shall be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made a dunghill.
(Daniel 2:6) But if ye shew the dream, and the interpretation thereof, ye shall receive of me gifts and rewards and great honour: therefore shew me the dream, and the interpretation thereof.
(Daniel 2:7) They answered again and said, Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will shew the interpretation of it.
(Daniel 2:8) The king answered and said, I know of certainty that ye would gain the time, because ye see the thing is gone from me.
(Daniel 2:9) But if ye will not make known unto me the dream, there is but one decree for you: for ye have prepared lying and corrupt words to speak before me, till the time be changed: therefore tell me the dream, and I shall know that ye can shew me the interpretation thereof.
(Daniel 2:10) The Chaldeans answered before the king, and said, There is not a man upon the earth that can shew the king's matter: therefore there is no king, lord, nor ruler, that asked such things at any magician, or astrologer, or Chaldean.
They were of course mistaken because God showed Daniel the dream.
(Daniel 2:11) And it is a rare thing that the king requireth, and there is none other that can shew it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.
(Daniel 2:12) For this cause the king was angry and very furious, and commanded to destroy all the wise men of Babylon.
King Nebuchadnezzar was an evil and tyrannical dictator.
(Daniel 2:13) And the decree went forth that the wise men should be slain; and they sought Daniel and his fellows to be slain.
(Daniel 2:14) Then Daniel answered with counsel and wisdom to Arioch the captain of the king's guard, which was gone forth to slay the wise men of Babylon:
(Daniel 2:15) He answered and said to Arioch the king's captain, Why is the decree so hasty from the king? Then Arioch made the thing known to Daniel.
It seems many wicked rulers are subject to extreme rage attacks in which they order hasty executions.
(Daniel 2:16) Then Daniel went in, and desired of the king that he would give him time, and that he would shew the king the interpretation.
What did Daniel have to lose? He was able to assess the situation and calmly propose a course of action that at least offered some slim chance of hope.
(Daniel 2:17) Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions:
(Daniel 2:18) That they would desire mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret; that Daniel and his fellows should not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.
(Daniel 2:19) Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.
(Daniel 2:20) Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his:
Daniel's prayer of praise and worship to God.
(Daniel 2:21) And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:
(Daniel 2:22) He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him.
(Daniel 2:23) I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast made known unto me now what we desired of thee: for thou hast now made known unto us the king's matter.
(Daniel 2:24) Therefore Daniel went in unto Arioch, whom the king had ordained to destroy the wise men of Babylon: he went and said thus unto him; Destroy not the wise men of Babylon: bring me in before the king, and I will shew unto the king the interpretation.
By asking to spare the lives of his opponents Daniel hoped to increase his reputation with them, perhaps to relieve the animosity.
(Daniel 2:25) Then Arioch brought in Daniel before the king in haste, and said thus unto him, I have found a man of the captives of Judah, that will make known unto the king the interpretation.
(Daniel 2:26) The king answered and said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, Art thou able to make known unto me the dream which I have seen, and the interpretation thereof?
(Daniel 2:27) Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, shew unto the king;
(Daniel 2:28) But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these;
(Daniel 2:29) As for thee, O king, thy thoughts came into thy mind upon thy bed, what should come to pass hereafter: and he that revealeth secrets maketh known to thee what shall come to pass.
(Daniel 2:30) But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living, but for their sakes that shall make known the interpretation to the king, and that thou mightest know the thoughts of thy heart.
(Daniel 2:31) Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image [statue]. This great image [statue], whose brightness was excellent [dazzling], stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible [awe-inspiring].
(Daniel 2:32) This image's head was of fine gold, his breast [chest] and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass,
The parts of the statue...
(Daniel 2:33) His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay.
More body parts...
The farther into the future from the time of Christ for the feet and toes, the more far-fetched it all seems.
The feet and toes of iron and clay refer to the Roman Empire at the time of Christ, not to the Catholic Church and not to modern or yet-future political nations.
(Daniel 2:34) Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote [struck] the image [statue] upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake [broke] them to pieces.
Christ at his resurrection destroyed the Roman Empire. We might wonder about this since the western empire continued until 476 A.D., the eastern Byzantine Empire until 1453 A.D., the Holy Roman Empire until 1806 A.D., and the European Union is recent. But since the statue is likely and idol, meaning, people looked to political kingdoms to provide meaning and fulfillment in life; Christ came to provide eternal purpose — he destroyed these idols.
The stone broke the entire statue, not just the feet. We should wonder why the entire statue still existed since the kingdoms one by one were replaced with the subsequent ones; the statue should have slowly melted from the top down until finally all that remained was the feet which were then struck by the stone.
The stone which destroyed these political kingdoms was derived from a mountain and then it became a mountain (probably the same mountain). Perhaps the mountain refers to God's perfect dwelling where Christ originated; in taking on human flesh he became a mere stone, smaller and weaker, subject to torture and death.
When did this occur? Three possibilities and implications...
I'm very skeptical of interpretations involving modern Europe, or the Byzantine Empire, or the Papacy, or the European Union.
Christ's kingdom of the gospel of redemption is a kingdom just as much as the various political kingdoms: they involve souls (residing in the spiritual realm) having allegiance to a ruling power and living orderly lives via laws and customs.
Christ, the stone, at his crucifixion, death, and resurrection destroyed Satan's grip over the worldly kingdoms. The gospel message was preached to the whole world providing eternal redemption in Christ's kingdom culminating in the new heavens and new earth.
This vision has nothing to do with modern-day events, nor with the Catholic Church.
(Daniel 2:35) Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.
(Daniel 2:36) This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king.
In saying "we" Daniel is hoping to gain the freedom of his three friends as well.
(Daniel 2:37) Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory.
Notice the emphasis in these worldly kingdoms of power, strength, and glory. In the eternal kingdom, these belong to God and originate from God.
(Daniel 2:38) And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold.
(Daniel 2:39) And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth.
(Daniel 2:40) And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise.
(Daniel 2:41) And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters' clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay.
The Roman Empire was a divided kingdom in the sense that there were many diverse groups of peoples contained within it.
(Daniel 2:42) And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken.
(Daniel 2:43) And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.
(Daniel 2:44) And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.
During the days of the Roman Empire, God would set up a final permanent kingdom.
This verse demonstrates that this extended passage refers to the Church as Christ's kingdom. Notice that the eternal kingdom is set up in the time of the Roman Empire. Christ came to earth and was crucified during the Roman Empire. At his resurrection and at the establishment of the church on Pentecost, he set up his eternal kingdom in the church.
At the end of the world at the second coming, Christ will crush all political rule.
(Daniel 2:45) Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.
Notice that the final kingdom destroyed kingdoms which had already been destroyed (gold, silver, brass). Therefore, this final kingdom was above and beyond mere earthly kingdoms; its power, the power of God, could reach back in time as it were. Those redeemed who died before Christ came to redeem them were preached to by him and taken to safety from Abraham's bosom just before Christ's resurrection.
(Daniel 2:46) Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and worshipped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odours unto him.
I'm sure Nebuchadnezzar was happy to learn that he was the finest ruler of all time. Note that these lists of kingdoms begin with the then present day — there had been many great kingdoms before this which are simply ignored.
(Daniel 2:47) The king answered unto Daniel, and said, Of a truth it is, that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou couldest reveal this secret.
(Daniel 2:48) Then the king made Daniel a great man, and gave him many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief of the governors over all the wise men of Babylon.
Apparently, Nebuchadnezzar spared everyone, but the text doesn't specifically mention this. But these magicians and sorcerers aren't the ones trying to have Daniel killed in the next chapter, it is the other rulers who are probably jealous that Nebchadnezzar placed Daniel in such a prominent position above them all.
(Daniel 2:49) Then Daniel requested of the king, and he set Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, over the affairs of the province of Babylon: but Daniel sat in the gate of the king.
(Daniel 3:1) Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image [statue] of gold, whose height was threescore cubits [90 feet], and the breadth thereof six cubits [9 feet]: he set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon.
Tall and quite skinny. Apparently quite ugly. An engineering marvel. Probably only coated with gold.
Apparently Nebuchadnezzar wasn't content with being merely the gold head, he wanted to be the entire image. It didn't take him long to corrupt his new-found faith in Daniel's God.
(Daniel 3:2) Then Nebuchadnezzar the king sent to gather together the princes, the governors, and the captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the image which Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.
A common theme with tyrants and dictators that they set up special ceremonies for the people to worship them.
(Daniel 3:3) Then the princes, the governors, and captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, were gathered together unto the dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up; and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up.
(Daniel 3:4) Then an herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, O people, nations, and languages,
(Daniel 3:5) That at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up:
What was the nature of this worship? For many it was probably merely a public demonstration of obedience and loyalty to the king, probably out of fear. Others may have thought there were spiritual beings associated with this image. I doubt if anyone actually believed the physical object itself possessed spiritual power, but certainly an object of this size would invoke awe, like seeing a huge bridge over a gorge does for us today.
(Daniel 3:6) And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.
(Daniel 3:7) Therefore at that time, when all the people heard the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and all kinds of musick, all the people, the nations, and the languages, fell down and worshipped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.
Without electronics probably the horns and bagpipes dominated. Stringed instruments are much quieter, especially when plucked.
(Daniel 3:8) Wherefore at that time certain Chaldeans came near, and accused the Jews.
(Daniel 3:9) They spake and said to the king Nebuchadnezzar, O king, live for ever.
Most people want to live forever; no one really seeks death. Probably they thought there was some sort of life after death. No one really believed that the king would live forever on this earth.
(Daniel 3:10) Thou, O king, hast made a decree, that every man that shall hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, shall fall down and worship the golden image:
It is unlikely they thought the image was deity in some way. What they were really doing was giving homage to the king, expressing their loyalty to his rule, avoiding being executed for not bowing down. Similar to the fake crying in North Korea from people feeling extreme obligation to visibly mourn the passing of their leader.
(Daniel 3:11) And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth, that he should be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.
(Daniel 3:12) There are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the affairs of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; these men, O king, have not regarded thee: they serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
The gods demand service, even false gods demand this. Or perhaps it is better to say, the purpose of having gods is to interact with them and, hopefully, to gain benefits from them. You serve the gods by offering gifts and worship and sacrifices and participating in various ceremonies and rituals. Also, by thinking about them and praying to them.
(Daniel 3:13) Then Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and fury commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Then they brought these men before the king.
(Daniel 3:14) Nebuchadnezzar spake and said unto them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up?
(Daniel 3:15) Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?
What kind of worship ceremony is this in which dissenters are executed?
(Daniel 3:16) Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.
They are saying they don't need to give an answer to this question about whether there is another God who can deliver them.
(Daniel 3:17) If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.
(Daniel 3:18) But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
(Daniel 3:19) Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: therefore he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one [a] seven times more than it was wont [usually] to be heated.
An example of the idiom "seven times". It doesn't mean the temperature will be seven times hotter or that there was seven times more fuel burning. It probably merely means that they heated it as hot as is possible because the king was so angry. Rage is not a virtue and it makes people do and say unrighteous things.
Seven times hotter — than what? Which system of units: Fahrenheit or Celsius or Kelvin? Perhaps they normally measured heat in terms of units called "times". Perhaps the usual heat used was six "times" or eight "times" but they heated it differently for this special occasion, perhaps to make it slower and more agonizing.
(Daniel 3:20) And he commanded the most mighty men that were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace.
(Daniel 3:21) Then these men were bound in their coats, their hosen, and their hats, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.
(Daniel 3:22) Therefore because the king's commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceeding hot, the flame of the fire slew [killed] those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
Probably these men who were killed didn't realize the furnace was so hot because it was not usually heated up so much. They got caught in the air currents or maybe slipped and fell. Apparently the furnace was below with the opening on top and you could look down inside from a distance.
(Daniel 3:23) And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.
(Daniel 3:24) Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonied, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king.
(Daniel 3:25) He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God [a son of the gods].
They could see into the furnace. The fourth person looked different, probably glowed with a brilliant white light. Perhaps they believed the gods glowed like the sun and there could be offspring of the gods like angels or maybe even angelic and glowy people.
(Daniel 3:26) Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth, and come hither. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, came forth of the midst of the fire.
The king could be heard even amidst the noise of the furnace. Probably he shouted and they barely heard him even at that. Perhaps they say him gesturing to come out; if he could see them they could see him.
(Daniel 3:27) And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king's counsellors, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them.
This is an easy miracle to explain using my Creative Frames theory; there is no violation of the laws of nature since God is not obligated to use the laws of nature in determining where to place objects at each moment. He usually uses the laws of physics to determine where to place all the objects but he doesn't have to. And objects don't move in space; they are placed in place from scratch at each moment. Each moment is the same as the first moment of creation; creation ex nihilo — out of nothing.
(Daniel 3:28) Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king's word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.
We should wonder whether Nebuchadnezzar's conversion experience was genuine. It's hard to imagine a true believer decreeing to cut people in pieces. This reminds me of many of the Christian rulers and religious leaders throughout church history who did the most horrible of things, often in the name of Christ, often against fellow Christians, often against those who were more holy than themselves. Certainly we can't judge whether such as these are among the redeemed, but we should not use them as examples of Christian living and, in my opinion, we should reject them as church leaders.
(Daniel 3:29) Therefore I make a decree, That every people, nation, and language, which speak any thing amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort.
A weird way of thinking. I'll restate it: because only God could keep these three safe from the furnace and is, therefore, the only true God; we should cut people in pieces who don't acknowledge this God. Nebuchadnezzar has no concept of how this God wishes we behave and think.
(Daniel 3:30) Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, in the province of Babylon.
It's odd that Nebuchadnezzar promoted these three merely because of a miracle. I would think you promote people based on their competency and ability to get the job done. How many times in history are people's lives ruined because someone is promoted based on family loyalty or some other criteria, rather than on their ability to do the job? Often, people gain their positions by violence and fear to coerce people into following them. Rulers should be virtuous, a trait lacking in most leaders; at least these three had that trait.
(Daniel 4:1) Nebuchadnezzar the king, unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you.
(Daniel 4:2) I thought it good to shew the signs and wonders that the high God hath wrought toward me.
(Daniel 4:3) How great are his signs! and how mighty are his wonders! his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion is from generation to generation.
(Daniel 4:4) I Nebuchadnezzar was at rest in mine house, and flourishing in my palace:
(Daniel 4:5) I saw a dream which made me afraid, and the thoughts upon my bed and the visions of my head troubled me.
(Daniel 4:6) Therefore made I a decree to bring in all the wise men of Babylon before me, that they might make known unto me the interpretation of the dream.
(Daniel 4:7) Then came in the magicians, the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers: and I told the dream before them; but they did not make known unto me the interpretation thereof.
(Daniel 4:8) But at the last Daniel came in before me, whose name was Belteshazzar, according to the name of my God, and in whom is the spirit of the holy gods: and before him I told the dream, saying,
(Daniel 4:9) O Belteshazzar, master of the magicians, because I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in thee, and no secret troubleth thee, tell me the visions of my dream that I have seen, and the interpretation thereof.
(Daniel 4:10) Thus were the visions of mine head in my bed; I saw, and behold a tree in the midst of the earth, and the height thereof was great.
(Daniel 4:11) The tree grew, and was strong, and the height thereof reached unto heaven, and the sight thereof to the end of all the earth:
(Daniel 4:12) The leaves thereof were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all: the beasts of the field had shadow under it, and the fowls of the heaven dwelt in the boughs thereof, and all flesh was fed of it.
(Daniel 4:13) I saw in the visions of my head upon my bed, and, behold, a watcher and an holy one came down from heaven;
(Daniel 4:14) He cried aloud, and said thus, Hew down the tree, and cut off his branches, shake off his leaves, and scatter his fruit: let the beasts get away from under it, and the fowls from his branches:
(Daniel 4:15) Nevertheless leave the stump of his roots in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth:
(Daniel 4:16) Let his heart be changed from man's, and let a beast's heart be given unto him; and let seven times pass over him.
(Daniel 4:17) This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.
(Daniel 4:18) This dream I king Nebuchadnezzar have seen. Now thou, O Belteshazzar, declare the interpretation thereof, forasmuch as all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known unto me the interpretation: but thou art able; for the spirit of the holy gods is in thee.
(Daniel 4:19) Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was astonied for one hour, and his thoughts troubled him. The king spake, and said, Belteshazzar, let not the dream, or the interpretation thereof, trouble thee. Belteshazzar answered and said, My lord, the dream be to them that hate thee, and the interpretation thereof to thine enemies.
(Daniel 4:20) The tree that thou sawest, which grew, and was strong, whose height reached unto the heaven, and the sight thereof to all the earth;
(Daniel 4:21) Whose leaves were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all; under which the beasts of the field dwelt, and upon whose branches the fowls of the heaven had their habitation:
(Daniel 4:22) It is thou, O king, that art grown and become strong: for thy greatness is grown, and reacheth unto heaven, and thy dominion to the end of the earth.
(Daniel 4:23) And whereas the king saw a watcher and an holy one coming down from heaven, and saying, Hew the tree down, and destroy it; yet leave the stump of the roots thereof in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts of the field, till seven times pass over him;
(Daniel 4:24) This is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the most High, which is come upon my lord the king:
(Daniel 4:25) That they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and they shall wet thee with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.
(Daniel 4:26) And whereas they commanded to leave the stump of the tree roots; thy kingdom shall be sure unto thee, after that thou shalt have known that the heavens do rule.
(Daniel 4:27) Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by shewing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquillity.
(Daniel 4:28) All this came upon the king Nebuchadnezzar.
(Daniel 4:29) At the end of twelve months he walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon.
(Daniel 4:30) The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?
(Daniel 4:31) While the word was in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee.
(Daniel 4:32) And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.
(Daniel 4:33) The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles' feathers, and his nails like birds' claws.
(Daniel 4:34) And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation:
(Daniel 4:35) And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?
(Daniel 4:36) At the same time my reason returned unto me; and for the glory of my kingdom, mine honour and brightness returned unto me; and my counsellors and my lords sought unto me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me.
(Daniel 4:37) Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.
(Daniel 5:1) Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and drank wine before the thousand.
(Daniel 5:2) Belshazzar, whiles he tasted the wine, commanded to bring the golden and silver vessels which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple which was in Jerusalem; that the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, might drink therein.
(Daniel 5:3) Then they brought the golden vessels that were taken out of the temple of the house of God which was at Jerusalem; and the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, drank in them.
(Daniel 5:4) They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone.
(Daniel 5:5) In the same hour came forth fingers of a man's hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaister of the wall of the king's palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote.
(Daniel 5:6) Then the king's countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another.
(Daniel 5:7) The king cried aloud to bring in the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers. And the king spake, and said to the wise men of Babylon, Whosoever shall read this writing, and shew me the interpretation thereof, shall be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about his neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.
(Daniel 5:8) Then came in all the king's wise men: but they could not read the writing, nor make known to the king the interpretation thereof.
(Daniel 5:9) Then was king Belshazzar greatly troubled, and his countenance was changed in him, and his lords were astonied.
(Daniel 5:10) Now the queen by reason of the words of the king and his lords came into the banquet house: and the queen spake and said, O king, live for ever: let not thy thoughts trouble thee, nor let thy countenance be changed:
(Daniel 5:11) There is a man in thy kingdom, in whom is the spirit of the holy gods; and in the days of thy father light and understanding and wisdom, like the wisdom of the gods, was found in him; whom the king Nebuchadnezzar thy father, the king, I say, thy father, made master of the magicians, astrologers, Chaldeans, and soothsayers;
(Daniel 5:12) Forasmuch as an excellent spirit, and knowledge, and understanding, interpreting of dreams, and shewing of hard sentences, and dissolving of doubts, were found in the same Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar: now let Daniel be called, and he will shew the interpretation.
(Daniel 5:13) Then was Daniel brought in before the king. And the king spake and said unto Daniel, Art thou that Daniel, which art of the children of the captivity of Judah, whom the king my father brought out of Jewry?
(Daniel 5:14) I have even heard of thee, that the spirit of the gods is in thee, and that light and understanding and excellent wisdom is found in thee.
(Daniel 5:15) And now the wise men, the astrologers, have been brought in before me, that they should read this writing, and make known unto me the interpretation thereof: but they could not shew the interpretation of the thing:
(Daniel 5:16) And I have heard of thee, that thou canst make interpretations, and dissolve doubts: now if thou canst read the writing, and make known to me the interpretation thereof, thou shalt be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about thy neck, and shalt be the third ruler in the kingdom.
(Daniel 5:17) Then Daniel answered and said before the king, Let thy gifts be to thyself, and give thy rewards to another; yet I will read the writing unto the king, and make known to him the interpretation.
(Daniel 5:18) O thou king, the most high God gave Nebuchadnezzar thy father a kingdom, and majesty, and glory, and honour:
(Daniel 5:19) And for the majesty that he gave him, all people, nations, and languages, trembled and feared before him: whom he would he slew; and whom he would he kept alive; and whom he would he set up; and whom he would he put down.
(Daniel 5:20) But when his heart was lifted up, and his mind hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him:
(Daniel 5:21) And he was driven from the sons of men; and his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild asses [donkeys]: they fed him with grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven; till he knew that the most high God ruled in the kingdom of men, and that he appointeth over it whomsoever he will.
Technically a wild donkey is an ass, but I prefer to use the word "donkey" since some people may not know the proper use of these terms.
(Daniel 5:22) And thou his son, O Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this;
(Daniel 5:23) But hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of his house before thee, and thou, and thy lords, thy wives, and thy concubines, have drunk wine in them; and thou hast praised the gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know: and the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified:
(Daniel 5:24) Then was the part of the hand sent from him; and this writing was written.
(Daniel 5:25) And this is the writing that was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.
(Daniel 5:26) This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it.
(Daniel 5:27) TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.
(Daniel 5:28) PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.
(Daniel 5:29) Then commanded Belshazzar, and they clothed Daniel with scarlet, and put a chain of gold about his neck, and made a proclamation concerning him, that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom.
(Daniel 5:30) In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain.
(Daniel 5:31) And Darius the Median took the kingdom, being about threescore and two years old.
(Daniel 6:1) It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom an hundred and twenty princes, which should be over the whole kingdom;
(Daniel 6:2) And over these three presidents; of whom Daniel was first: that the princes might give accounts unto them, and the king should have no damage.
(Daniel 6:3) Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm.
(Daniel 6:4) Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him.
They had to resort to making Daniel's religious practice illegal in order to get rid of Daniel. He was breaking no laws and was, in fact, an exemplary citizen and government administrator. It is hard to understand why these men would wish to get rid of someone so holy and competent. Probably jealousy and envy; perhaps his presence reminded them of their sinful, wicked, and immoral ways. They didn't like it that Daniel was promoted above all of them because of his righteousness. Presumably, Daniel was also more competent and skilled in administration and politics and diplomacy than these others. Darius was a wise enough ruler to know that competent people should rule. But this course had it pitfalls as Daniel therefore became a target.
(Daniel 6:5) Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God.
(Daniel 6:6) Then these presidents and princes assembled together to the king, and said thus unto him, King Darius, live for ever.
(Daniel 6:7) All the presidents of the kingdom, the governors, and the princes, the counsellors, and the captains, have consulted together to establish a royal statute, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions.
(Daniel 6:8) Now, O king, establish the decree, and sign the writing, that it be not changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not.
(Daniel 6:9) Wherefore king Darius signed the writing and the decree.
(Daniel 6:10) Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.
(Daniel 6:11) Then these men assembled, and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God.
(Daniel 6:12) Then they came near, and spake before the king concerning the king's decree; Hast thou not signed a decree, that every man that shall ask a petition of any God or man within thirty days, save of thee, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions? The king answered and said, The thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not.
(Daniel 6:13) Then answered they and said before the king, That Daniel, which is of the children of the captivity of Judah, regardeth not thee, O king, nor the decree that thou hast signed, but maketh his petition three times a day.
(Daniel 6:14) Then the king, when he heard these words, was sore displeased with himself, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him: and he laboured till the going down of the sun to deliver him.
(Daniel 6:15) Then these men assembled unto the king, and said unto the king, Know, O king, that the law of the Medes and Persians is, That no decree nor statute which the king establisheth may be changed.
(Daniel 6:16) Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee.
(Daniel 6:17) And a stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords; that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel.
(Daniel 6:18) Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting: neither were instruments of musick brought before him: and his sleep went from him.
(Daniel 6:19) Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions.
(Daniel 6:20) And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel: and the king spake and said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions?
(Daniel 6:21) Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever.
(Daniel 6:22) My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions' mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.
(Daniel 6:23) Then was the king exceeding glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God.
(Daniel 6:24) And the king commanded, and they brought those men which had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions, them, their children, and their wives; and the lions had the mastery of them, and brake all their bones in pieces or ever they came at the bottom of the den.
(Daniel 6:25) Then king Darius wrote unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you.
(Daniel 6:26) I make a decree, That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, and stedfast for ever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even unto the end.
(Daniel 6:27) He delivereth and rescueth, and he worketh signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, who hath delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.
(Daniel 6:28) So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.
(Daniel 7:1) In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters.
(Daniel 7:2) Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea.
The reason for the division of the surface of the earth into 4 quadrants is the configuration of the human body having left and right, front and back. In noticing the movements of the wind it is natural to establish some sort of frame of reference such as east and west (the movement of the sun and moon and stars), and north and south. Perhaps Daniel remembered the Mediterranean Sea and storms.
(Daniel 7:3) And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.
(Daniel 7:4) The first was like a lion, and had eagle's wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man's heart was given to it.
(Daniel 7:5) And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh.
Whether the "they" that spoke refers to the three ribs?
(Daniel 7:6) After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it.
Alexander the Great's kingdom fragmented into 4 kingdoms after his death.
(Daniel 7:7) After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.
This kingdom, the Roman Empire, had 10 rulers.
(Daniel 7:8) I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.
Notice the horns can see and talk; not surprising since they are kings.
(Daniel 7:9) I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.
The energy and power of each kingdom, of each ruler, resides as a living entity in the spiritual realm. All aspects of reality are living including ideas, symbols, power over others, culture, etc. Although they may not be aware of it, in the spiritual realm, rulers sit on actual thrones composed of spiritual substance. In the spiritual realm we have a spiritual body corresponding to the physical body; we sometimes become aware of it in dreams. Therefore, images such as these in this verse are strictly literal, no need to invent arbitrary allegories or symbolism to explain everything.
(Daniel 7:10) A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand [1,000] thousands [1,000s] ministered unto him, and ten thousand [10,000] times ten thousand [10,000] stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.
The text says "10,000 10,000". The largest number they had a word for was 10,000. It does not say to multiply these together; it's hard to image why they would. Perhaps they merely string together impressive numbers to highlight the awesomeness, in this case: 1,000 1,000s ministered, and 10,000 10,000 stood. Very impressive.
(Daniel 7:11) I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.
Notice the sequence of judgments...
Notice this verse goes back in time a few verses. This kind of thing occurs often in prophecy (and history). This is why it is misguided to insist that various passages of prophecy are strictly chronological. They are, rather, short vignettes telling the story by topic and moving back in forth in time, each vignette tells the story to its natural conclusion, then another topic is introduced again following to its natural conclusion.
(Daniel 7:12) As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.
The rest of the beasts are also living but they were not cast into the lake of fire until later.
Facts about the beasts...
(Daniel 7:13) I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.
This refers to Jesus. Notice he has a human nature which he took on at the incarnation and deified at the resurrection. This human nature is now forever part of God's nature.
(Daniel 7:14) And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.
Once these spiritual creatures (beasts, horns) having political dominion over humans are removed and judged, the Spirit of Jesus will rule over all. His kingdom will be the only kingdom with no competition from the powers of darkness. Just as God was to rule over Israel rather than a king, so also with Christ's kingdom.
(Daniel 7:15) I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me.
(Daniel 7:16) I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things.
(Daniel 7:17) These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth.
The beasts are kings, that is to say, from the perspective of humans, the kingdoms are ruled by kings (horns). But behind the scenes in the spiritual realm, each beast corresponding to each kingdom is a living creature because everything in the spiritual realm is living. (I prefer a strictly literal method of interpretation.) Each kingdom has one or more human kings (horns) and other rulers (horns) corresponding to it; and these of course each have a soul in the spiritual realm as do we all. So it is proper to refer to the kingdom (beast) by referring to any of its rulers (horns, kings).
(Daniel 7:18) But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.
The redeemed will take possession of the kingdom of Christ; he will give us rulership over it on his behalf. Notice it is human nature to desire to rule. This aspect of human nature will still be present in the new heavens and new earth. The problem is, Satan has usurped the workings of this in the spiritual realm and ruined it all.
(Daniel 7:19) Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet;
(Daniel 7:20) And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows.
(Daniel 7:21) I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;
(Daniel 7:22) Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.
(Daniel 7:23) Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.
(Daniel 7:24) And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.
(Daniel 7:25) And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.
(Daniel 7:26) But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.
(Daniel 7:27) And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.
(Daniel 7:28) Hitherto is the end of the matter. As for me Daniel, my cogitations [thoughts] much troubled me, and my countenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart.
(Daniel 8:1) In the third year of the reign of king Belshazzar a vision appeared unto me, even unto me Daniel, after that which appeared unto me at the first.
(Daniel 8:2) And I saw in a vision; and it came to pass, when I saw, that I was at Shushan in the palace, which is in the province of Elam; and I saw in a vision, and I was by the river of Ulai.
(Daniel 8:3) Then I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and, behold, there stood before the river a ram which had two horns: and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last.
(Daniel 8:4) I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward; so that no beasts might stand before him, neither was there any that could deliver out of his hand; but he did according to his will, and became great.
(Daniel 8:5) And as I was considering, behold, an he goat came from the west on the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground: and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes.
The goat is Hellenistic Greece and the horn is Alexander the Great. Notice the phrase "whole earth" only refers to the lands around Palestine; it excludes China, the Americas, Australia, Europe, Russia, most of Africa.
(Daniel 8:6) And he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing before the river, and ran unto him in the fury of his power.
(Daniel 8:7) And I saw him come close unto the ram, and he was moved with choler [anger] against him, and smote the ram, and brake his two horns: and there was no power in the ram to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground, and stamped upon him: and there was none that could deliver the ram out of his hand.
(Daniel 8:8) Therefore the he goat waxed [became] very great: and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven.
Alexander the Great died at the height of his power. After he died the kingdom was divided into four parts.
(Daniel 8:9) And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed [became] exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant [beautiful] land.
The little horn refers to Antiochus Epiphanes. The beautiful land is Israel.
(Daniel 8:10) And it waxed [became] great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them.
These next few verses expand on the theme of Antiochus Epiphanes' dealings with the beautiful land of Israel.
(Daniel 8:11) Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down.
(Daniel 8:12) And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practised, and prospered.
(Daniel 8:13) Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?
(Daniel 8:14) And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days [evenings and mornings]; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.
The temple was cleansed after the victory of the Maccabees against the Seleucids. This was just over 3 years after the temple was desecrated.
2,300 evenings and mornings. There was a morning and an evening sacrifice, so this is 1,150 days (3 years plus 55 days) in which the sacrifice was absent. Antiochus Epiphanes set up a pagan altar about two months before removing the altar.
Notice the vision ends with the cleansing of the temple by the Maccabees after its desecration by Antiochus Epiphanes.
(Daniel 8:15) And it came to pass, when I, even I Daniel, had seen the vision, and sought for the meaning, then, behold, there stood before me as the appearance of a man.
(Daniel 8:16) And I heard a man's voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision.
The angel Gabriel provided some more info.
(Daniel 8:17) So he came near where I stood: and when he came, I was afraid, and fell upon my face: but he said unto me, Understand, O son of man: for at the time of the end shall be the vision.
Daniel's vision concerns events at the time of the end, in other words, events yet-future for Daniel. In other words, they are future prophecy.
(Daniel 8:18) Now as he was speaking with me, I was in a deep sleep on my face toward the ground: but he touched me, and set me upright.
(Daniel 8:19) And he said, Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be.
The vision occurred at the time of the end. This ended with Antiochus Epiphanes.
(Daniel 8:20) The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia.
(Daniel 8:21) And the rough goat is the king of Grecia [Greece]: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king.
The goat is Hellenistic Greece and the horn is Alexander the Great.
(Daniel 8:22) Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power.
Alexander the Great died at the height of his power. After he died the kingdom was divided into four parts.
(Daniel 8:23) And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up.
This verse refers to the latter time of the Seleucids. The Seleucid Empire ended in 63 B.C. when the final dwindling territory was swallowed-up by the Roman Republic. But this is likely not what is referred to. The Seleucid empire began in 312 B.C. and the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes was 175 — 164 B.C. which is during the latter time of their kingdom. So trying to link the Roman Empire and a yet-future Antichrist isn't true to the text.
(Daniel 8:24) And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people.
Antiochus Epiphanes killed and enslaved large numbers of Jews.
(Daniel 8:25) And through his policy also he shall cause craft [deceit] to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.
The Jews were taken by surprise by Antiochus Epiphanes' sudden wrath against them. He had been involved with conquests in Egypt. The civil war of Jews against Jews prompted his intervention which suddenly turned savage.
Those using this passage to refer to a yet-future Antichrist interpret the phrase "Prince of princes" to refer to Jesus who returns again. But it can just as easily be interpreted to refer to God, and this is a more natural interpretation in the context; nothing else in this passage even hints at events future from those of Antiochus Epiphanes' day.
Antiochus Epiphanes died suddenly from sickness.
(Daniel 8:26) And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true: wherefore shut thou up the vision; for it shall be for many days.
(Daniel 8:27) And I Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days; afterward I rose up, and did the king's business; and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it.
No one, including Daniel, had any idea what the vision meant. In like manner, we should not be too surprised if yet-future prophecies don't make any sense to us.
(Daniel 9:1) In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans;
(Daniel 9:2) In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy  years in the desolations of Jerusalem.
(Daniel 9:3) And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:
(Daniel 9:4) And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments;
(Daniel 9:5) We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments:
(Daniel 9:6) Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.
(Daniel 9:7) O LORD, righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, that are near, and that are far off, through all the countries whither thou hast driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against thee.
(Daniel 9:8) O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee.
(Daniel 9:9) To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him;
(Daniel 9:10) Neither have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets.
(Daniel 9:11) Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him.
(Daniel 9:12) And he hath confirmed his words, which he spake against us, and against our judges that judged us, by bringing upon us a great evil: for under the whole heaven hath not been done as hath been done upon Jerusalem.
(Daniel 9:13) As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the LORD our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth.
(Daniel 9:14) Therefore hath the LORD watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us: for the LORD our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice.
(Daniel 9:15) And now, O Lord our God, that hast brought thy people forth out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and hast gotten thee renown, as at this day; we have sinned, we have done wickedly.
(Daniel 9:16) O LORD, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain: because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy people are become a reproach to all that are about us.
(Daniel 9:17) Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord's sake.
(Daniel 9:18) O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies.
(Daniel 9:19) O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name.
(Daniel 9:20) And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God for the holy mountain of my God;
(Daniel 9:21) Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation.
(Daniel 9:22) And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding.
(Daniel 9:23) At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision.
(Daniel 9:24) Seventy  weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
The weeks are weeks of years. Seventy weeks = 70 x 7 years = 490 years.
In this verse there is no hint of a gap in the sequence of years.
The following will be completed by the end of the 490 years...
The Jews should have done these things in embracing Jesus as the Messiah. After the 490 years, their time has passed, they can no longer do these.
People often measure these times based on a lunar year of 360 days instead of the solar year. This is absurd! Every culture bases its society on the seasons; these are solar, not lunar. This passage says nothing about converting months to days and counting years using these artificial years (which aren't really a year at all!) Every calendar system had ways of reconciling lunar months with solar years by adding extra days or months every so often.
In this verse the Jewish nation was being commanded by God to put an end to their transgressions against God that led to their captivity in Babylon (the context of this passage). They were to introduce the Messiah to the world who would bring forgiveness for sin. Notice that the focus of the Jewish nation is Jerusalem with the temple which makes it a holy city. In destroying the temple of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. God indicated he is finished with the Mosaic covenant. It was to be a covenant of righteousness. The same goes for the Catholic Church. If Christ's Church was intended to be a global institution (which I doubt it was) it must be righteous. It often wasn't righteous so we should expect God to not honor that, to honor only truth and righteousness. Why would God place another corrupt institution (Catholic Church) in the place of the previous one (Israel) which he destroyed for its corruption? It just doesn't make sense.
Why would God replace a corrupt Jewish nation with a corrupt Church? The answer: he didn't. The new covenant is not a nation, not a world-wide institutional Church managed by bishops who were all-too-often worldy and corrupt. The new covenant consists of the gospel message and those who believe it and live it in faith.
(Daniel 9:25) Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven  weeks, and threescore and two  weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
When the decree to rebuild Jerusalem was issued, the Jews should have started a countdown. They would have noticed that Jesus appeared on the scene after the 7 + 62 = 69 weeks of years. The Messiah appeared 483 (69 x 7 = 483) years after the decree was given. This verse doesn't specifically mention which aspect of the Messiah's life is referred to: whether his birth, or introduction to the Jewish nation as Messiah, or his death.
People often make much of the idea that the decree referred to is from Nehemiah because the street and wall is referred to, but the context is the spiritual life of the Jewish nation with their focus on temple worship. Notice carefully: the timer starts with the decree to restore and build Jerusalem, not with the building of the street and the wall. The first step in rebuilding Jerusalem was the building of the temple, the spiritual focus of the Jews (and this did involve building a wall).
I have no idea why there is a division between the 7 and 62 weeks; perhaps the times of trouble lasted 49 years (7 x 7 years).
(Daniel 9:26) And after threescore and two  weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
Jews and Christians alike believe the city mentioned is Jerusalem and the destruction of the city and sanctuary refers to the destruction in 70 A.D. by the Romans. The end of the Jewish war with Rome was as a flood and the desolations got worse and worse, finally resulting in death or forced slavery for hundreds of thousands.
The "prince that shall come" was Titus, and the "people of the prince" the Romans.
Two events are mentioned after the 7 + 62 weeks: (1) Messiah is cut off, and (2) Jerusalem and the temple are destroyed. The second is not part of the 70–7's, but the second is because it is referred to the next verse as being part of the final 7.
(Daniel 9:27) And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one  week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation [offering] to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
Who is the "he"? Titus, or the Messiah, or a yet-future Antichrist? Since the motif of weeks is again referred to, we should assume that the Messiah is again being referred to. During this final 7 year period, the Messiah confirms his covenant, the new covenant, the New Testament, and causes the sacrifice and oblations of the Jewish temple worship to cease. In opposing the Messiah of God and killing him and killing Stephen, the Jewish leaders disqualified themselves from God's grace and their sacrifices and oblations were no longer honored by God. To demonstrate this fact, 40 years later God destroyed the temple.
The end of the final 7 years is the martyrdom of Stephen and the scattering of the non-Jewish Christians out of Jerusalem. At this point, the gospel is proclaimed to the Gentiles in earnest. Up until then, Christianity existed primarily in Jerusalem.
(Daniel 10:1) In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a thing was revealed unto Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar; and the thing was true, but the time appointed was long: and he understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision.
(Daniel 10:2) In those days I Daniel was mourning three full weeks.
(Daniel 10:3) I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.
(Daniel 10:4) And in the four and twentieth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, which is Hiddekel;
(Daniel 10:5) Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz:
(Daniel 10:6) His body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude.
(Daniel 10:7) And I Daniel alone saw the vision: for the men that were with me saw not the vision; but a great quaking fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves.
(Daniel 10:8) Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me: for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength.
(Daniel 10:9) Yet heard I the voice of his words: and when I heard the voice of his words, then was I in a deep sleep on my face, and my face toward the ground.
(Daniel 10:10) And, behold, an hand touched me, which set me upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands.
(Daniel 10:11) And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling.
(Daniel 10:12) Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.
The first words angels usually say are, "fear not". It is scary encountering the spiritual realm. We should not be afraid of it though; at death we will experience it.
There is interaction between the spiritual realm and the physical world. Events in the spiritual realm trickle down causing corresponding events in the physical realm. We may think our prayers and desires of the heart get lost and are unheard, but not so. We may never see the result but the new heavens and new earth will finally make everything clear.
(Daniel 10:13) But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.
(Daniel 10:14) Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days.
(Daniel 10:15) And when he had spoken such words unto me, I set my face toward the ground, and I became dumb.
(Daniel 10:16) And, behold, one like the similitude of the sons of men touched my lips: then I opened my mouth, and spake, and said unto him that stood before me, O my lord, by the vision my sorrows are turned upon me, and I have retained no strength.
(Daniel 10:17) For how can the servant of this my lord talk with this my lord? for as for me, straightway there remained no strength in me, neither is there breath left in me.
(Daniel 10:18) Then there came again and touched me one like the appearance of a man, and he strengthened me,
(Daniel 10:19) And said, O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be unto thee, be strong, yea, be strong. And when he had spoken unto me, I was strengthened, and said, Let my lord speak; for thou hast strengthened me.
(Daniel 10:20) Then said he, Knowest thou wherefore I come unto thee? and now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia: and when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come.
(Daniel 10:21) But I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince.
Daniel 11:2-35 refers to the time from Cyrus the Great and Antiochus Epiphanes. The events match the biblical text so perfectly that some insist the book of Daniel was written afterwards.
(Daniel 11:1) Also I in the first year of Darius the Mede, even I, stood to confirm and to strengthen him.
(Daniel 11:2) And now will I shew thee the truth. Behold, there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia; and the fourth shall be far richer than they all: and by his strength through his riches he shall stir up all against the realm of Grecia [Greece].
Kings of Persia.
(Daniel 11:3) And a mighty king shall stand up, that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will.
Alexander the Great.
(Daniel 11:4) And when he shall stand up, his kingdom shall be broken, and shall be divided toward the four winds of heaven; and not to his posterity, nor according to his dominion which he ruled: for his kingdom shall be plucked up, even for others beside those.
The split into 4 kingdoms after Alexander the Great dies.
(Daniel 11:5) And the king of the south shall be strong, and one of his princes; and he shall be strong above him, and have dominion; his dominion shall be a great dominion.
(Daniel 11:6) And in the end of years they shall join themselves together; for the king's daughter of the south shall come to the king of the north to make an agreement: but she shall not retain the power of the arm; neither shall he stand, nor his arm: but she shall be given up, and they that brought her, and he that begat her, and he that strengthened her in these times.
(Daniel 11:7) But out of a branch of her roots shall one stand up in his estate, which shall come with an army, and shall enter into the fortress of the king of the north, and shall deal against them, and shall prevail:
(Daniel 11:8) And shall also carry captives into Egypt their gods, with their princes, and with their precious vessels of silver and of gold; and he shall continue more years than the king of the north.
(Daniel 11:9) So the king of the south shall come into his kingdom, and shall return into his own land.
(Daniel 11:10) But his sons shall be stirred up, and shall assemble a multitude of great forces: and one shall certainly come, and overflow, and pass through: then shall he return, and be stirred up, even to his fortress.
(Daniel 11:11) And the king of the south shall be moved with choler, and shall come forth and fight with him, even with the king of the north: and he shall set forth a great multitude; but the multitude shall be given into his hand.
(Daniel 11:12) And when he hath taken away the multitude, his heart shall be lifted up; and he shall cast down many ten thousands: but he shall not be strengthened by it.
(Daniel 11:13) For the king of the north shall return, and shall set forth a multitude greater than the former, and shall certainly come after certain years with a great army and with much riches.
(Daniel 11:14) And in those times there shall many stand up against the king of the south: also the robbers of thy people shall exalt themselves to establish the vision; but they shall fall.
(Daniel 11:15) So the king of the north shall come, and cast up a mount, and take the most fenced cities: and the arms of the south shall not withstand, neither his chosen people, neither shall there be any strength to withstand.
(Daniel 11:16) But he that cometh against him shall do according to his own will, and none shall stand before him: and he shall stand in the glorious land, which by his hand shall be consumed.
(Daniel 11:17) He shall also set his face to enter with the strength of his whole kingdom, and upright ones with him; thus shall he do: and he shall give him the daughter of women, corrupting her: but she shall not stand on his side, neither be for him.
(Daniel 11:18) After this shall he turn his face unto the isles, and shall take many: but a prince for his own behalf shall cause the reproach offered by him to cease; without his own reproach he shall cause it to turn upon him.
(Daniel 11:19) Then he shall turn his face toward the fort of his own land: but he shall stumble and fall, and not be found.
(Daniel 11:20) Then shall stand up in his estate a raiser of taxes in the glory of the kingdom: but within few days he shall be destroyed, neither in anger, nor in battle.
(Daniel 11:21) And in his estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries.
The vile person is Antiochus Epiphanes.
(Daniel 11:22) 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) And after the league made with him he shall work deceitfully: for he shall come up, and shall become strong with a small people.
(Daniel 11:24) He shall enter peaceably even upon the fattest places of the province; and he shall do that which his fathers have not done, nor his fathers' fathers; he shall scatter among them the prey, and spoil, and riches: yea, and he shall forecast his devices against the strong holds, even for a time.
(Daniel 11:25) And he shall stir up his power and his courage against the king of the south with a great army; and the king of the south shall be stirred up to battle with a very great and mighty army; but he shall not stand: for they shall forecast devices against him.
(Daniel 11:26) Yea, they that feed of the portion of his meat shall destroy him, and his army shall overflow: and many shall fall down slain.
(Daniel 11:27) 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) Then shall he return into his land with great riches; and his heart shall be against the holy covenant; and he shall do exploits, and return to his own land.
(Daniel 11:29) At the time appointed he shall return, and come toward the south; but it shall not be as the former, or as the latter.
(Daniel 11:30) For the ships of Chittim shall come against him: therefore he shall be grieved, and return, and have indignation against the holy covenant: so shall he do; he shall even return, and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant.
(Daniel 11:31) And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.
This is a reference to Antiochus Epiphanes. During his last few years he tried to destroy the Jews. He abolished temple worship and set up a pagan altar in the temple. In the Olivet Discourse Jesus refers to the abomination of desolation as occurring at the time of the destruction of the temple. Therefore, he was not referring to this verse in Daniel.
(Daniel 11:32) And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.
Notice the 2 groups of Jews here. They were in the midst of a Jewish civil war which Antiochus Epiphanes exploited. The good guys, the Maccabees, won.
(Daniel 11:33) And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days.
(Daniel 11:34) Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen [helped] with a little help: but many shall cleave [remain faithful] to them with flatteries.
(Daniel 11:35) And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed.
Commentators typically claim the action jumps to a yet-future time of the Antichrist. There does seem to be a jump in time here, but perhaps only to the time of Herod the Great. The Hasmoneans ruled until 37 B.C. and this dynasty fills the gap rather nicely, beginning as it does shortly after the victory of the Maccabees (the Hasmoneans) and subsequent struggles after this.
Herod the Great fulfills these prophecies perfectly.
(Daniel 11:36) And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.
Commentators typically claim the action jumps to a yet-future time of the Antichrist. But it fits Herod the Great perfectly, it flows from the preceding context perfectly, and it leads in to the following verses perfectly.
Herod the Great was so brash as to kill all the children under 2 years old in Bethlehem to kill the Messiah.
(Daniel 11:37) Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.
Herod was technically Jewish. He had no regard for that religion nor for the coming Messiah nor for human life in general; he even murdured those in his family including his wife.
(Daniel 11:38) But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things.
(Daniel 11:39) Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain.
Notice another break in the action. It refers to the time of the end again.
(Daniel 11:40) And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.
If this refers to a yet-future Antichrist, notice he is not a global ruler as is usually assumed.
The king of the North is Octavius. The king of the south is Mark Antony in alliance with Cleopatra of Egypt. The war was fought exactly as described. Herod was tangled-up in all this as well, seeking to survive amidst the rapidly changing political realities.
(Daniel 11:41) He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon.
Octavius exactly did this.
(Daniel 11:42) He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape.
(Daniel 11:43) But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps.
(Daniel 11:44) But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many.
(Daniel 11:45) And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.
Herod's death described perfectly.
(Daniel 12:1) And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.
The phrase "at that time" refers to the time of incarnation of Jesus Christ.
(Daniel 12:2) And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
(Daniel 12:3) And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.
Notice that a prerequisite for eternal redemption is turning others to righteousness. The corrupters of the world are in big trouble.
(Daniel 12:4) But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.
The time of the end is the time of Jesus and the Apostles. All this information was revealed then and we find it in the New Testament.
(Daniel 12:5) Then I Daniel looked, and, behold, there stood other two, the one on this side of the bank of the river, and the other on that side of the bank of the river.
(Daniel 12:6) And one said to the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?
The end refers to the final destruction of the Jewish temple in 70 A.D.
(Daniel 12:7) And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.
The Jewish War culminating in the destruction of the temple lasted 3–1/2 years. Notice that this verse doesn't mention what event is at the start of the 3–1/2 years; perhaps that info is given in verse 11.
(Daniel 12:8) And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?
(Daniel 12:9) And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.
The time of the end is the time of Jesus and the Apostles. All this information was revealed then and we find it in the New Testament.
(Daniel 12:10) Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.
(Daniel 12:11) And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate [destruction] set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.
1,290 days = 3–1/2 years + 12 or 30 days. In 66 A.D. the Jewish revolutionaries stopped the sacrifices on behalf of the Romans, triggering the Jewish war which led to the destruction of the temple in 70 A.D. Notice that it does not say that there are 1,290 days from the time the daily sacrifice is stopped until the abomination of desolation; it could very well be that both these refer to the same event — a desecration of the temple by allowing someone other than the priests to make decisions about the temple worship.
(Daniel 12:12) Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.
1,335 days = 1,290 days + 45 days. Perhaps these are blessed because they avoid the war altogether by escaping; perhaps it refers to the Christians who heeded Jesus' warning of Matthew 24:16 and fled to Pella.
(Daniel 12:13) But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot [for you allotted inheritance] at the end of the days.
Rest refers to the time after death. Standing refers to the resurrection. Notice that the word "end" refers to death.
King James Version