The Jews considered the book of Danielas 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.
(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.
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 1:8) 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 1:10) 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 wished to be a vegetarian, perhaps because he didn't wish to eat meat offered to idols.
Daniel believed and was proved right that by not eating meat he would be healthier and more mentally alert.
Apparently a vegan diet without alcohol is healthier, and visibly so.
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.
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.
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.
Apparently they believed in eternal life, perhaps in the spiritual realm after death.
(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 2:9) 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.
King Nebuchadnezzar was an evil and tyrannical dictator.
It seems many wicked rulers are subject to extreme rage attacks in which they order hasty executions.
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's prayer of praise and worship to God.
(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 2:28) 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 2:30) 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].
The parts of the statue...
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.
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 mountainand 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 kingdomof 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.
In saying "we" Daniel is hoping to gain the freedom of his three friends as well.
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 2:41) 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.
(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.
(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.
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.
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 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 3:5) 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 3:7) 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.
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 3:12) 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 3:15) 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?
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 3:19) 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.
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 3:24) 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.
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.
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 4:8) 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 4:12) 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 4:14) 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 4:17) 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 4:21) 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 4:23) 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 4:25) 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 4:27) 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 4:32) 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 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 5:5) 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 5:7) 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 5:10) 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 5:15) 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 5:19) 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 5:21) 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: 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.
(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 5:29) 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 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 6:7) 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 6:10) 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 6:12) 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 6:15) 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 6:20) 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 6:22) 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 6:26) 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.
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 7:4) 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.
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 allegoriesor symbolism to explain everything.
(Daniel 7:10) A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.
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.
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 7:14) 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.
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).
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 7:23) 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 7:25) 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 7:27) 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 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.
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 8:7) 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.
Alexander the Great died at the height of his power. After he died the kingdom was divided into four parts.
The little horn refers to Antiochus Epiphanes. The beautiful land is Israel.
These next few verses expand on the theme of Antiochus Epiphanes' dealings with the beautiful land of Israel.
(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?
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.
The angel Gabriel provided some more info.
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.
The vision occurred at the time of the end. This ended with Antiochus Epiphanes.
The goat is Hellenistic Greece and the horn is Alexander the Great.
Alexander the Great died at the height of his power. After he died the kingdom was divided into four parts.
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.
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 Antichristinterpret 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 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 9:4) 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 9:7) 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 9:11) 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 9:15) 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 9:18) 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 9:21) 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 9:24) 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 Jerusalemwas 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 Nehemiahbecause 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 weeksis 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 10:6) 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 10:11) 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.
(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 10:19) 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 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 11:2) 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.
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 11:6) 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 11:10) 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 11:15) 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 11:17) 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.
The vile person is Antiochus Epiphanes.
(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 11:30) 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.
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 DiscourseJesus 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.
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.
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.
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 11:39) 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.
Octavius exactly did this.
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.
Notice that a prerequisite for eternal redemption is turning others to righteousness. The corrupters of the world are in big trouble.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 24:16and fled to Pella.
Rest refers to the time after death. Standing refers to the resurrection. Notice that the word "end" refers to death.
King James Version