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Daniel and Revelation explained : Daniel

 Daniel and Revelation explained
Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers – Chapter 3 : The Holy Scriptures – Pages 112-119.
The Study of the Books of Daniel and the Revelation [* COMPILED FROM VARIOUS PUBLICATIONS, AND FROM MANUSCRIPTS OF LARGE CIRCULATION.] God’s Spirit has illuminated every page of Holy Writ, but there are those upon whom it makes little impression, because it is imperfectly understood. When the shaking comes, by the introduction of false theories, these surface readers, anchored nowhere, are like shifting sand. They slide into any position to suit the tenor of their feelings of bitterness. . . . Daniel and Revelation must be studied, as well as the other prophecies of the Old and New Testaments. Let there be light, yes, light, in your dwellings. For this we need to pray. The Holy Spirit, shining upon the sacred page, will open our understanding, that we may know what is truth. . . .
There is need of a much closer study of the word of God; especially should Daniel and the Revelation have attention as never before in the history of our work. We may have less to say in some lines, in regard to the Roman power and the papacy; but we should call attention to what the prophets and apostles have written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit has so shaped matters, both in the giving of the prophecy and in the events portrayed, as to teach that the human agent is to be kept out of sight, hid in Christ, and that the Lord God of heaven and His law are to be exalted. Read the book of Daniel. Call up, point by point, the history of the kingdoms there represented. Behold statesmen, councils, powerful armies, and see how God wrought to abase the pride of men, and lay human glory in the dust. . . .
The light that Daniel received from God was given especially for these last days. The visions he saw by the banks of the Ulai and the Hiddekel, the great rivers of Shinar, are now in process of fulfillment, and all the events foretold will soon come to pass.
Consider the circumstances of the Jewish nation when the prophecies of Daniel were given.
Let us give more time to the study of the Bible. We do not understand the word as we should. The book of Revelation opens with an injunction to us to understand the instruction that it contains. ‘Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy,’ God declares, ‘and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.’ When we as a people understand what this book means to us, there will be seen among us a great revival. We do not understand fully the lessons that it teaches, notwithstanding the injunction given us to search and study it.
In the past teachers have declared Daniel and the Revelation to be sealed books, and the people have turned from them. The veil whose apparent mystery has kept many from lifting it, God’s own hand has withdrawn from these portions of His word. The very name ‘Revelation’ contradicts the statement that it is a sealed book. ‘Revelation’ means that something of importance is revealed. The truths of this book are addressed to those living in these last days. We are standing with the veil removed in the holy place of sacred things. We are not to stand without. We are to enter, not with careless, irreverent thoughts, not with impetuous footsteps, but with reverence and godly fear. We are nearing the time when the prophecies of the book of Revelation are to be fulfilled. . . .
We have the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ, which is the spirit of prophecy. Priceless gems are to be found in the word of God . Those who search this word should keep the mind clear. Never should they indulge perverted appetite in eating or drinking.
If they do this, the brain will be confused; they will be unable to bear the strain of digging deep to find out the meaning of those things which relate to the closing scenes of this earth’s history.
When the books of Daniel and Revelation are better understood, believers will have an entirely different religious experience. They will be given such glimpses of the open gates of heaven that heart and mind will be impressed with the character that all must develop in order to realise the blessedness which is to be the reward of the pure in heart.
The Lord will bless all who will seek humbly and meekly to understand that which is revealed in the Revelation. This book contains so much that is large with immortality and full of glory that all who read and search it earnestly receive the blessing to those ‘that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein.’
Result of True Study One thing will certainly be understood from the study of Revelation – that the connection between God and His people is close and decided.
A wonderful connection is seen between the universe of heaven and this world. The things revealed to Daniel were afterward complemented by the revelation made to John on the Isle of Patmos. These two books should be carefully studied. Twice Daniel inquired, ‘How long shall it be to the end of time?’
‘And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? And He said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. 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. And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days. But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.’
It was the Lion of the tribe of Judah who unsealed the book and gave to John the revelation of what should be in these last days.
Daniel stood in his lot to bear his testimony which was sealed until the time of the end, when the first angel’s message should be proclaimed to our world. These matters are of infinite importance in these last days; but while ‘many shall be purified, and made white, and tried,’ ‘the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand.’ How true this is! Sin is the transgression of the law of God; and those who will not accept the light in regard to the law of God will not understand the proclamation of the first, second, and third angel’s messages. The book of Daniel is unsealed in the revelation to John, and carries us forward to the last scenes of this earth’s history.
Will our brethren bear in mind that we are living amid the perils of the last days? Read Revelation in connection with Daniel. Teach these things.
Unconquerable Forces Waiting Those who eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God will bring from the books of Daniel and Revelation truth that is inspired by the Holy Spirit. They will start into action forces that cannot be repressed. The lips of children will be opened to proclaim the mysteries that have been hidden from the minds of men.
We are standing on the threshold of great and solemn events. Many of the prophecies are about to be fulfilled in quick succession. Every element of power is about to be set to work. Past history will be repeated; old controversies will arouse to new life, and peril will beset God’s people on every side. Intensity is taking hold of the human family. It is permeating everything upon the earth. . . .
Study Revelation in connection with Daniel, for history will be repeated. . . . We, with all our religious advantages, ought to know far more today than we do know.
Angels desire to look into the truths that are revealed to the people who with contrite hearts are searching the word of God and praying for greater lengths and breadths and depths and heights of the knowledge which He alone can give.
As we near the close of this world’s history, the prophecies relating to the last days especially demand our study. The last book of the New Testament Scriptures is full of truth that we need to understand. Satan has blinded the minds of many so that they have been glad of any excuse for not making the Revelation their study. But Christ through His servant John has here declared what shall be in the last days; and He says, ‘Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein.’
The books of Daniel and the Revelation should be bound together and published. A few explanations of certain portions might be added, but I am not sure that these would be needed.
This is the suggestion that I made to Elder Haskell [*SEE APPENDIX.] which resulted in the book he published. The need is not filled by this book. It was my idea to have the two books bound together, Revelation following Daniel, as giving fuller light on the subjects dealt with in Daniel. The object is to bring these books together, showing that they both relate to the same subjects.
A message that will arouse the churches is to be proclaimed. Every effort is to be made to give the light, not only to our people, but to the world. I have been instructed that the prophecies of Daniel and the Revelation should be printed in small books, with the necessary explanations, and should be sent all over the world. Our own people need to have the light placed before them in clearer lines.
The vision that Christ presented to John, presenting the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, is to be definitely proclaimed to all nations, people, and tongues. The churches, represented by Babylon, are represented as having fallen from their spiritual state to become a persecuting power against those who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. To John this persecuting power is represented as having horns like a lamb, but as speaking like a dragon. . . .
As we near the close of time, there will be greater and still greater external parade of heathen power; heathen deities will manifest their signal power, and will exhibit themselves before the cities of the world; and this delineation has already begun to be fulfilled. By a variety of images the Lord Jesus represented to John the wicked character and seductive influence of those who have been distinguished for their persecution of God’s people. All need wisdom carefully to search out the mystery of iniquity that figures so largely in the winding up of this earth’s history. . . . In the very time in which we live, the Lord has called His people and has given them a message to bear. He has called them to expose the wickedness of the man of sin who has made the Sunday law a distinctive power, who has thought to change times and laws, and to oppress the people of God who stand firmly to honour Him by keeping the only true Sabbath, the Sabbath of creation, as holy unto the Lord.
The perils of the last days are upon us, and in our work we are to warn the people of the danger they are in. Let not the solemn scenes which prophecy has revealed be left untouched. If our people were half awake, if they realised the nearness of the events portrayed in the Revelation, a reformation would be wrought in our churches, and many more would believe the message. We have no time to lose; God calls upon us to watch for souls as they that must give an account. Advance new principles, and crowd in the clear-cut truth. It will be as a sword cutting both ways. But be not too ready to take a controversial attitude. There will be times when we must stand still and see the salvation of God. Let Daniel speak, let the Revelation speak, and tell what is truth. But whatever phase of the subject is presented, uplift Jesus as the centre of all hope, ‘the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright and morning Star.’
Dig Deeper We do not go deep enough in our search for truth. Every soul who believes present truth will be brought where he will be required to give a reason of the hope that is in him. The people of God will be called upon to stand before kings, princes, rulers, and great men of the earth, and they must know that they do know what is truth. They must be converted men and women. God can teach you more in one moment by His Holy Spirit than you could learn from the great men of the earth. The universe is looking upon the controversy that is going on upon the earth. At an infinite cost, God has provided for every man an opportunity to know that which will make him wise unto salvation. How eagerly do angels look to see who will avail himself of this opportunity! When a message is presented to God’s people, they should not rise up in opposition to it; they should go to the Bible, comparing it with the law and the testimony, and if it does not bear this test, it is not true. God wants our minds to expand. He desires to put His grace upon us. We may have a feast of good things every day, for God can open the whole treasure of heaven to us. – Review and Herald, February 18, 1890.
DANIEL
General Notes
Daniel was born in Judea c. 623 BC to an upper-class Jewish family; he was of the royal line of David. During 606 BC / 605 BC when Daniel was about 17 years old, the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar conquered the Jewish nation, Jerusalem fell and Daniel and his companions were taken captive to serve in the Babylonia government.
From 605 BC until his death in 562 BC, Nebuchadnezzar ruled and developed Babylon into a great empire. However in 23 years and through bad ruler-ship, Babylon was conquered by Cyrus the Great in 539 BC and became a colony of Achaemenid Persia. For a little while, Darius the Mede ruled in Babylon. Darius the Mede is mentioned in the Book of Daniel as king of Babylon between Belshazzar and Cyrus the Great, but he is not known to history, and no additional king can be placed between the known figures of Belshazzar and Cyrus. However, “Babylon was besieged by Cyrus, nephew of Darius the Mede, and commanding general of the combined armies of the Medes and Persians” [Prophets and Kings 523.1].
Daniel was recognised as a prophet by Christ – Matthew 24:15.
The Ministry of Daniel was during the Neo-Babylonian period: 605-539 BC.
The book of Daniel, named after its principal character, was written in the 6th century BC by a man well versed in Babylonian affairs. The facts about such knowledge, which were lost after the 6th century BC, have only relatively recently been re-established through archaeological finds.
The book of Daniel falls into two parts: chapters 1-6 being mainly historical and chapters 7-12 mainly prophetic.
The first 6 chapters of Daniel record the major events that occurred in Babylon during approximately 70 years of his Babylonia captivity and service. These chapters also record 2 prophetic visions given to Nebuchadnezzar during this time.
Chapter 1: 606 BC – Capture and Education.
Chapter 2: 603 BC – Nebuchadnezzar’s Image Dream – Future World Empires.
Chapter 3: 593 BC – The Fiery Furnace.
Chapter 4: 569 BC – Nebuchadnezzar’s Tree Dream – A Warning about His Own Future.
Chapter 5: 539 BC – The Fall of Babylon.
Chapter 6: 538 BC – The Lion’s Den.
The last 6 chapters of Daniel record his prophetic visions received from God. These prophecies foretell the emergence of major world powers from that period to the end of earth’s history; also the time of the first coming of Jesus as the Messiah / Christ.
Chapter 7: 553 BC – Four Great Beasts – Judgement.
Chapter 8: 551 BC – Ram and Goat – the 2300 Day Prophecy.
Chapter 9: 538 BC – 70 Weeks – The Messiah.
Chapters 10-12: 525 BC – King of the North, King of the South – The Time of the End.
1. Especially for Last Days.–Read the book of Daniel. Call up, point by point, the history of the kingdoms there represented. Behold statesmen, councils, powerful armies, and see how God wrought to abase the pride of men, and lay human glory in the dust. God alone is represented as great. In the vision of the prophet He is seen casting down one mighty ruler, and setting up another. He is revealed as the monarch of the universe, about to set up His everlasting kingdom–the Ancient of days, the living God, the Source of all wisdom, the Ruler of the present, the Revealer of the future. Read, and understand how poor, how frail, how short-lived, how erring, how guilty is man in lifting up his soul unto vanity. . . .  [4BC 1166.4]
The light that Daniel received direct from God was given especially for these last days. The visions he saw by the banks of the Ulai and the Hiddekel, the great rivers of Shinar, are now in process of fulfillment, and all the events foretold will soon have come to pass (Letter 57, 1896).  [4BC 1166.5]
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.
Jehoiakim’s 3rd regnal year according to the Jewish calendar and verified by archaeological discoveries lasted from the autumn of 606 BC to the autumn of 605 BC.
In the third year – Jeremiah said it would be the fourth year – difference is due to how king years were counted when beginning to reign.
Jehoiakim [‘My God raises up’] was the second son of Josiah and his name was changed from Eliakim by his Egyptian overlord.
At the time that Nebuchadnezzar came against Jerusalem his father, Nabopolassar, had not died; his death occurred on Ab 8 [August 15?] and on Elul 1 [September 7?] Nebuchadnezzar ascended the throne.
City of Babylon – history – part of kingdom founded by Nimrod, the great grandson of Noah (Genesis 10:8-10).
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.
Shinar being a term for Babylonia.
For more than a thousand years since the First Dynasty, the chief god of the Babylonians was Marduk – more often called Bel [‘lord’].
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;
Ashpenaz was possibly a Persian who, like many foreigners, had won rank and honour in the service of the Chaldeans.
After the destruction of Samaria in 723/722 BC, when the ten northern tribes ceased to exist as a separate nation, the kingdom of Judah remained the sole representative of the descendants of Jacob or Israel; hence during the Exile and post-exilic period the name of Israel is used to designate the representatives of the southern kingdom.
According to custom, royal hostages were also taken (this time from the house of Judah) to receive an Egyptian training prior to their ‘replacement’ on the throne of a deceased satellite [Palestine or Syrian] king.
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.
Young men, rather than Children, both physically sound and handsome were considered indispensable to officers of high rank among the ancient Orientals.
Attain 17th year before young men could enter into service of Persian kings – Daniel had reached 18 (4T570).
Age of ‘young men’ – cf. Genesis 44:20, 46:21 – Benjamin about 30 and father of 10 sons.
Chaldeans – members of the Aramaean tribe whose early settlement was in Lower Mesopotamia and who had taken over the rulership of Babylonia when Nabopolassar founded the Neo-Babylonian dynasty.
5-17. Daniel risked death by choosing to reject the king’s food and drink, but he determined to be true to God and obey the dietary requirements set out in His law. See Leviticus 11; 17:12; Deuteronomy 14:3-21. Daniel also knew that the royal diet would not be good for his health. Instead of “choice food” Daniel asked for pulse – plant foods such as grains, fruits and vegetables – and instead of wine he asked for plain water.
The ten-day test showed that Daniel and his friends were noticeably healthier than those who ate the king’s rich foods. Modern science has shown that the best diet for optimal health is a plant-based, high fiber and low cholesterol diet. People who choose these foods tend to live longer, have more energy and be more mentally alert. The key word is “defile,” which in Hebrew means just that, to “pollute, defile.” Thus, for these young men, the issue was not just healthful living or a mere personal preference; it was a moral issue as well.
1:5 And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king’s meat, and of the wine which he drank: so nourishing them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king.
three years by inclusive reckoning – from the ascension of Nebuchadnezzar to the 2nd year of the king’s reign – see Daniel 1:18 & 2:1.
1:6 Now among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah:
Daniel – God is my judge – a very common name among Semitic people.
Hananiah – Yahweh is gracious – at least 14 different Old Testament individuals carried this name.
Mishael – Who belongs to God? – borne by several Biblical characters.
Azariah – Yahweh helps – frequent Biblical name.
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.
Belteshazzar – Bel protect his (the king’s) life?
Shadrach – a (possible) corruption of Marduk.
Meshach – explanation not known.
Abednego – servant of (the god) Nabu.
8. No Different Plan Now.–When Daniel was in Babylon, he was beset with temptations of which we have never dreamed, and he realized that he must keep his body under. He purposed in his heart that he would not drink of the king’s wine or eat of his dainties. He knew that in order to come off a victor, he must have clear mental perceptions, that he might discern between right and wrong. While he was working on his part, God worked also, and gave him “knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.” This is the way God worked for Daniel; and He does not propose to do any differently now. Man must cooperate with God in carrying out the plan of salvation (RH April 2, 1889).  [4BC 1166.6]
An Intelligent Decision.–As Daniel and his fellows were brought to the test, they placed themselves fully on the side of righteousness and truth. They did not move capriciously, but intelligently. They decided that as flesh-meat had not composed their diet in the past, it should not come into their diet in the future, and as wine had been prohibited to all who should engage in the service of God, they determined that they would not partake of it. The fate of the sons of Aaron had been presented before them, and they knew that the use of wine would confuse their senses, that the indulgence of appetite would be-cloud their powers of discernment. These particulars were placed on record in the history of the children of Israel as a warning to every youth to avoid all customs and practises and indulgences that would in any way dishonor God.  [4BC 1166.7]
Daniel and his companions knew not what would be the result of their decision; they knew not but that it would cost them their lives; but they determined to keep the straight path of strict temperance even when in the courts of licentious Babylon (YI Aug. 18, 1898).  [4BC 1167.1]
1:8 But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.
Daniel – a pious Jew – would choose not to eat:
unclean meats
beasts not killed according to Levitical law (Leviticus 17:14-15)
meat where a portion had first been offered as a sacrifice to pagan gods
luxury and unhealthful food/drink – would be contrary to the strict principles of temperance.
and for Daniel and his 3 friends the added desire to avoid:
flesh-food diets – such would interfere with the physical, mental and spiritual development.
More than a desire or a hope for goodness – they willed to do right and to shun evil.
Victory possible only by the right exercise of the will (SC48) and by their faith in God.
9. Good Behavior Gained Favor.–This officer saw in Daniel good traits of character. He saw that he was striving to be kind and helpful, that his words were respectful and courteous, and his manner possessed the grace of modesty and meekness. It was the good behavior of the youth that gained for him the favor and love of the prince (YI Nov. 12, 1907).  [4BC 1167.2]
1:9 Now God had brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs.
God works with those who cooperate with him – Divine power + human effort (PK482)
God acted but Daniel’s character was doubtless one of gentleness, courtesy and fidelity to win the favour of his superiors.
1:10 And the prince of the eunuchs said unto Daniel, I fear my lord the king, who hath appointed your meat 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.
1:11 Then said Daniel to Melzar, whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah,
Melzar – guardian or warden (akkadian) – actual name of the immediate tutor is not known.
1:12 Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink.
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: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants.
From childhood, these young men had been trained in strict habits of temperance. They knew of the degenerating effects of a stimulating diet, and had long ago determined not to enfeeble their physical and mental powers by indulgence in appetite.
1:14 So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days.
ten days – not a long time to see a visible change.
15. Daniel’s Tempters.–In taking this step, Daniel did not act rashly. He knew that by the time he was called to appear before the king, the advantage of healthful living would be apparent. Cause would be followed by effect. Daniel said to Melzar, who had been given charge of him and his companions: “Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat and water to drink.” Daniel knew that ten days would be time enough to prove the benefit of abstemiousness. . . .  [4BC 1167.3]
Having done this, Daniel and his companions did still more. They did not choose as companions those who were agents of the prince of darkness. They did not go with a multitude to do evil. They secured Melzar as their friend, and there was no friction between him and them. They went to him for advice, and at the same time enlightened him by the wisdom of their deportment (YI Sept. 6, 1900).  [4BC 1167.4]
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.
1:16 Thus Melzar took away the portion of their meat, and the wine that they should drink; and gave them pulse.
pulse – food derived from plants, such as cereals and vegetables. As per Jewish tradition, berries and dates would have probably been included; dates being a part of the staple food of Mesopotamia.
17. God’s Blessing No Substitute for Effort.–When the four Hebrew youth were receiving an education for the king’s court in Babylon, they did not feel that the blessing of the Lord was a substitute for the taxing effort required of them. They were diligent in study; for they discerned that through the grace of God their destiny depended upon their own will and action. They were to bring all their ability to the work; and by close, severe taxation of their powers, they were to make the most of their opportunities for study and labor.  [4BC 1167.5]
While these youth were working out their own salvation, God was working in them to will and to do of His good pleasure. Here are revealed the conditions of success. To make God’s grace our own, we must act our part. The Lord does not propose to perform for us either the willing or the doing. His grace is given to work in us to will and to do, but never as a substitute for our effort. Our souls are to be aroused to cooperate. The Holy Spirit works in us, that we may work out our own salvation. This is the practical lesson the Holy Spirit is striving to teach us (YI Aug. 20, 1903).  [4BC 1167.6]
17. Because Daniel and his friends were faithful God blessed them with superior wisdom and intelligence.
17, 20. Honor Without Exaltation.–Daniel and his three companions had a special work to do. Although greatly honored in this work, they did not become in any way exalted. They were scholars, being skilled in secular as well as religious knowledge; but they had studied science without being corrupted. They were well-balanced because they had yielded themselves to the control of the Holy Spirit. These youth gave to God all the glory of their secular, scientific, and religious endowments. Their learning did not come by chance; they obtained knowledge by the faithful use of their powers; and God gave them skill and understanding.  [4BC 1167.7]
True science and Bible religion are in perfect harmony. Let the students in our schools learn all they possibly can. But, as a rule, let them be educated in our own institutions. Be careful how you advise them to go to other schools, where error is taught, in order to complete their education. Do not give them the impression that greater educational advantages are to be obtained by mingling with those who do not seek wisdom from God. The great men of Babylon were willing to be benefited by the instruction that God gave through Daniel, to help the king out of his difficulty by the interpretation of his dream. But they were anxious to mix in their heathen religion with that of the Hebrews. Had Daniel and his fellows consented to such a compromise, they would, in the view of the Babylonians, have been complete as statesmen, fit to be entrusted with the affairs of the kingdom. But the four Hebrews entered into no such arrangement. They were true to God, and God upheld them and honored them. The lesson is for us. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Letter 57, 1896).  [4BC 1167.8]
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.
The 4 young men learned the skills and sciences of the Chaldeans without adopting the intermingled heathen elements.
Daniel – chosen by God as the special messenger to interpret the dreams in Chaldean format.
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.
Not after 36 months but after the allotted time – by inclusive reckoning covered:
Nebuchadnezzar’s ascension year
his 1st calendar year, beginning at the next New Year’s Day after his ascension
his 2nd regnal year.
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.
Examination conducted personally by Nebuchadnezzar.
In physical strength and beauty, in mental vigour and literary attainment, they stood unrivalled (PK485).
The questions asked may have required the explanation of riddles – a favoured sport in the court life of the Oriental countries. Babylonians also masters in the solving of mathematical and astronomical problems. Also, the reading and writing of the difficult cuneiform (wedge-shaped) script. (The hundreds of characters of the old Hittite, Babylonian, Assyrian and Persian writing were impressed by the wedge-shaped facets of a stylus.)
20. Spirituality and Intellect Grow Together.–As in the case of Daniel, in exact proportion as the spiritual character is developed, the intellectual capabilities are increased (RH March 22, 1898).  [4BC 1168.1]
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.
1:21 And Daniel continued even unto the first year of king Cyrus.
Some 70 years later after the events described in verse 1.
Daniel lived on, but informs the reader that he went into captivity and lived to participate in the end of the Exile which lasted 70 years.
Chapter 2 deals with a dream that Babylon’s ruler had; an important dream but one which he could not remember.
The beast vision in Chapter 7 parallels Chapter 2 but greater detail is given.
1-11. The Chaldeans were highly educated advisors to King Nebuchadnezzar.
“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Corinthians 2:14. The Holy Spirit blesses the humble sincere searcher after truth with understanding that the “wise men” of the world are unable to comprehend.
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 him.
2:2 Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the astrologers, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, for to show the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king.
2:3 And the king said unto them, I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit was troubled to know the dream.
The end of the first section of writing in Hebrew.
2:4 Then spake the Chaldeans to the king in Syriack, O king, live for ever: tell thy servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation.
Daniel now writes in Aramaic until the end of chapter 7, whereupon the rest of the book is in Hebrew.
Syriack – the Hebrew word for Aramaic – The royal family and the ruling class of the empire were Aramaic-speaking Chaldeans originating from southern Mesopotamia.
The Aramaeans – important Semitic people having a language of many dialects.
(Babylonian being the tongue of the native population of Babylon).
O king, live for ever – cf. Daniel 6:21.
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.
cut in pieces – dismembered – cut from limb to limb. The Assyrians and Babylonians were notorious for such cruelty and barbarity.
dunghill – refuse heap – ruin.
2:6 But if ye show the dream, and the interpretation thereof, ye shall receive of me gifts and rewards and great honour: therefore show me the dream, and the interpretation thereof.
2:7 They answered again and said, Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation of it.
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.
The fabric of his faith was built around a belief that the gods communicated with men through the various channels represented by these men. (cf. spiritualism.)
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 show me the interpretation thereof.
decree – sentence or penalty.
2:10 The Chaldeans answered before the king, and said, There is not a man upon the earth that can show the king’s matter: therefore there is no king, lord, nor ruler, that asked such things at any magician, or astrologer, or Chaldean.
2:11 And it is a rare thing that the king requireth, and there is none other that can show it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.
rare – difficult.
2:12 For this cause the king was angry and very furious, and commanded to destroy all the wise men of Babylon.
The command was in keeping with the customs of the times – but a bold step as they were the learned classes of society.
Babylon – perhaps the city rather than the whole realm of Babylonia.
13-19. God chose Daniel, a man of upright character, to be His representative to the court of the most powerful empire in the world. God honoured Daniel’s fervent prayer, and provided him with the interpretation of the king’s dreams.
Daniel took no credit to himself, but instead directed all the glory and honour to God. Because of his faithfulness and honesty the king eventually promoted Daniel to a high position in the government of Babylon.
2:13 And the decree went forth that the wise men should be slain; and they sought Daniel and his fellows to be slain.
Proof that they were already members of the profession of ‘wise men‘.
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 was tactful in approaching his superiors.
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.
2:16 Then Daniel went in, and desired of the king that he would give him time, and that he would show the king the interpretation.
Daniel’s previous faithfulness in lesser things now opened the door to greater things.
Daniel’s request differed from the Chaldeans – they wanted dream details – Daniel wanted time to interpret the dream.
2:17 Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions:
Obedient May Speak Freely.–Those who live in close fellowship with Christ will be promoted by Him to positions of trust. The servant who does the best he can for his master, is admitted to familiar intercourse with one whose commands he loves to obey. In the faithful discharge of duty we may become one with Christ; for those who are obeying God’s commands may speak to Him freely. The one who talks most familiarly with his divine Leader has the most exalted conception of His greatness, and is the most obedient to His commands (MS 82, 1900).  [4BC 1168.2]
The history of Daniel, if all was written, would open chapters before you that would show you the temptations he had to meet, of ridicule, envy, and hatred; but he learned to master the difficulties. He did not trust in his own strength; he laid his whole soul and all his difficulties open to his heavenly Father, and he believed God heard him, and he was comforted and blessed. He rose superior to ridicule; and so will every one who is an overcomer. Daniel acquired a serene and cheerful state of mind, because he believed God was his friend and helper. The taxing duties he had to perform were made light because he brought the light and love of God into his work. “All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth” to such as walk in them (YI Aug. 25, 1886).  [4BC 1168.3]
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 and his companions could approach God with strong faith and implicit confidence because, to the best of their knowledge and ability, they were living up to His revealed will. (1 John 3:22)
2:19 Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.
Daniel’s first response is to thank God for answered prayer.
2:20 Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his:
name – often used in the Bible synonymously with ‘character’.
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 recognises that God alone changeth the times and the seasons (cf. Daniel 7:25 where a power on earth ‘thinks to change times and laws’). It is God’s prerogative to remove and set up kings as only He has the destiny of nations under His control ( cf. Daniel 7:25).
The LORD delights to bestow wisdom upon those who will use it wisely.
2:22 He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him.
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.
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 show unto the king the interpretation.
Daniel’s first concern was to plead for the wise men of Babylon.
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.
Arioch, perhaps in ignorance of Daniel’s interview with the king (v16), appears to take the undeserved credit.
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?
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, show unto the king;
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 directs the king to the God of the Hebrews, whose people the king had just conquered.
God had revealed to him the future developments – from that time until Christ’s second coming – not to satisfy his curiosity but for instruction, to awaken in his mind a sense of personal responsibility toward heavenly programme.
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.
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.
2:31 Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible.
image – a statue.
terrible – dreadful.
2:32 This image’s head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass,
4 (metals) is often linked with the world. 4 metals being symbolic of mankind.
fine (or pure) gold.
thighs – the upper part of the hips.
brass – bronze (or copper).
2:33 His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay.
The precise brass/iron transition on the legs is not clear.
clay – earthen vessel or a potsherd rather than the clay itself – i.e.. ‘moulded clay’ or ‘earthware’.
2:34 Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces.
stone – no ordinary stone but one cut and formed by God.
cut out – quarried or broken out.
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.
threshingfloors – a common illustration.
36-38. Nebuchadnezzar was shown the “political” future of the world. The “head of gold” is a fitting symbol for Babylon’s incomparable luxury and magnificence. Babylon was followed by the nations of Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome which eventually separated into the nations of Europe.
Each succeeding kingdom was to be inferior to the previous. Yet each kingdom was also stronger in military might than the ones that came before. This prophecy reveals the basic outline of the major prophecies of Daniel and Revelation: they start in the prophet’s day and extend to the end of time.
2:36 This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king.
Daniel includes his prayer partners.
37-42. A Dual Representation.–The image revealed to Nebuchadnezzar, while representing the deterioration of the kingdoms of the earth in power and glory, also fitly represents the deterioration of religion and morality among the people of these kingdoms. As nations forget God, in like proportion they become weak morally.  [4BC 1168.4]
Babylon passed away because in her prosperity she forgot God, and ascribed the glory of her prosperity to human achievement.  [4BC 1168.5]
The Medo-Persian kingdom was visited by the wrath of heaven because in this kingdom God’s law was trampled under foot. The fear of the Lord found no place in the hearts of the people. The prevailing influences in Medo-Persia were wickedness, blasphemy, and corruption.  [4BC 1168.6]
The kingdoms that followed were even more base and corrupt. They deteriorated because they cast off their allegiance to God. As they forgot Him, they sank lower and still lower in the scale of moral value (YI Sept. 22, 1903).  [4BC 1168.7]
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.
Nebuchadnezzar attributes his regnal success to his god Marduk – Daniel corrects in a kind manner.
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.
Thou art this head – Nebuchadnezzar was the Neo-Babylonian Empire personified.
Babylon embellished in an abundance of gold. Jeremiah (51:7) likens Babylon to a golden cup.
The Neo-Babylonian golden kingdom – the first of the 4 great kingdoms of this world (605 BC – 539 BC).
To capture Babylon, Cyrus and Darius, with the Medes and Persians, drained the Euphrates River and southerly marched along the river bed into Babylon. Babylon fell in 539 BC – Daniel 5.
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.
The Medo-Persian silver kingdom – the second of the 4 great kingdoms of this world (539 BC – 331 BC).
Silver being an inferior metal to gold. Medo-Persian Empire inferior to Neo-Babylonian Empire.
The origin of the Medes and Persians is unclear – Around 2000 BC, a number of Aryan tribes, led by Madai (Medes) began to migrate from southern Russia into northern Persia. Persians were among Aryans by 9th century BC. By 675 BC, a king was established in city of Anshan – but vassals of the Median king. In 553/550 BC, Cyrus became king of Persia and defeated Astyages of Media – the Persian Empire then dominant power over Median Empire as foretold by Isaiah 45:1. Babylon taken in 539 BC by strategy. Cf. also Daniel 7:6 and refer to BC 773/4.
brass – bronze or (copper).
The Persian Empire was overthrown by Alexander the Great in 331 BC at the Battle of Arbela.
The Grecian brass kingdom – the third of the 4 great kingdoms of this world (331 BC – 168 BC).
The Greeks were overthrown by the Romans in 168 BC at the Battle of Pydia.
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.
The Roman iron kingdom – the fourth of the 4 great kingdoms of this world (168 BC – 476 AD).
Between 168 BC – 476 AD the great empire of Rome was broken up and divided by 10 tribes / nations – the Lombards, Franks, Ostrogoths, Visigoths, Burgundians, Suevi, Heruli, Vandals, Alemanni and Anglo-Saxons. These kingdoms are represented in the nations of Europe today: Italy (the Lombards), France (Franks), England (Anglo-Saxons), Austria, Belgium, Holland, Spain (Visigoths), Portugal (Suevi), Germany (Alemanni), Switzerland (Burgundians). (Daniel 2:41-43 & Daniel 7:24.)
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.
42-44. The nations of Europe represented by the “iron mixed with miry clay,” have attempted many times to “mingle themselves” into a single alloy. But the prophecy says, “they shall not cleave [join] one to another.” The military might of these nations has failed to reunite them as an empire, as have treaties, alliances and diplomacy.
The royal families of Europe had intermarried their children so frequently that as the time of World War 1 they were all related to one another. Many have tried to put these nations together again; Charlemagne (AD 800), Napoleon Bonaparte (1800), Kaiser Wilhelm 1 (1914-1918), and Adolf Hitler (1939-1945). All have failed. This prophecy shows that the next great event in world history is the coming of the kingdom of God, which will destroy all earthly powers, and will continue forever.
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.
toes – 10 No. – correspond to the 10 horns of the 4th beast (Daniel 7:7).
part of iron, and part of clay– mixed as miry clay – Rome had lost its iron tenacity and strength – successors were manifestly weaker.
partly strong – the barbarian kingdoms differed greatly in military prowess.
partly broken– literally, ‘fragile’ or ‘brittle’.
43. Iron and Clay–Mingled Churchcraft and Statecraft.–We have come to a time when God’s sacred work is represented by the feet of the image in which the iron was mixed with the miry clay. God has a people, a chosen people, whose discernment must be sanctified, who must not become unholy by laying upon the foundation wood, hay, and stubble. Every soul who is loyal to the commandments of God will see that the distinguishing feature of our faith is the seventh-day Sabbath. If the government would honor the Sabbath as God has commanded, it would stand in the strength of God and in defense of the faith once delivered to the saints. But statesmen will uphold the spurious sabbath, and will mingle their religious faith with the observance of this child of the papacy, placing it above the Sabbath which the Lord has sanctified and blessed, setting it apart for man to keep holy, as a sign between Him and His people to a thousand generations. The mingling of churchcraft and statecraft is represented by the iron and the clay. This union is weakening all the power of the churches. This investing the church with the power of the state will bring evil results. Men have almost passed the point of God’s forbearance. They have invested their strength in politics, and have united with the papacy. But the time will come when God will punish those who have made void His law, and their evil work will recoil upon themselves (MS 63, 1899).  [4BC 1168.8]
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.
History has verified this prophecy:
605 BC-539 BC Babylon flourished
539 BC-331 BC Persian Empire
331 BC-168 BC Greece
168 BC-476 AD Rome ruled with a strong and cruel iron grip
476 AD-today Nations have remained separate and divided.
miry clay – Rome had lost its iron tenacity and strength – successors were manifestly weak.
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.
The stone (Daniel 2:45) smashes down upon modern-day earthly country-kingdoms and obliterates them; covering the entire planet.
Symbolic of Christ’s Second Coming.
Hence nations will remain separate and divided.
45-47. The validity of this prophecy has been borne out of history. Babylon was overthrown by Medo-Persia, which was in turn conquered by Greece, which was then overcome by Rome. Rome, rather than suffering defeat from another world power, slowly dissolved into the nations of Europe.
There is only one part of this prophecy that remains to be fulfilled. God will “set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed.” He will restore this world to the original beauty and perfection of Eden, and His people to a life of health and happiness. See Revelation 21 and 22.
We can have confidence that all these things will come to pass because God Himself has promised. For “the dream is certain and the interpretation thereof sure.”
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.
stone – ‘a single stone’ in both Aramaic and Hebrew languages – a hewn stone – cut without hands.
without hands – this kingdom has a superhuman origin – founded by the mighty hand of God.
46. A Divine Revelation.–Nebuchadnezzar felt that he could accept this interpretation as a divine revelation; for to Daniel had been revealed every detail of the dream. The solemn truths conveyed by the interpretation of this vision of the night made a deep impression on the sovereign’s mind, and in humility and awe he “fell upon his face, and worshipped.” . . .  [4BC 1169.1]
Nebuchadnezzar saw clearly the difference between the wisdom of God and the wisdom of the most learned men of his kingdom (YI Sept. 8, 1903).  [4BC 1169.2]
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.
fell upon his face – a mark of respect and reverence – frequently noted in Old Testament.
It is not known whether the oblation (a bloodless offering) and sweet odours (incense) were carried out – Daniel could have again pointed out the revelation was from God. Alternatively, Daniel could have accepted that Nebuchadnezzar’s limited knowledge of the true God lead him to believe he could worship through Daniel. A strict reading of the second commandment of the Decalogue brings such acts into serious question.
47. A Reflector of Light.–Through the Hebrew captives the Lord was made known to the heathen in Babylon. This idolatrous nation was given a knowledge of the kingdom the Lord was to establish, and through His power maintain against all the power and craft of Satan. Daniel and his fellow-companions, Ezra and Nehemiah, and many others were witnesses for God in their captivity. The Lord scattered them among the kingdoms of the earth that their light might shine brightly amid the black darkness of heathenism and idolatry. To Daniel God revealed the light of His purposes, which had been hidden for many generations. He chose that Daniel should see in vision the light of His truth, and reflect this light on the proud kingdom of Babylon. On the despot king was permitted to flash light from the throne of God. Nebuchadnezzar was shown that the God of heaven was ruler over all the monarchs and kings of earth. His name was to go forth as the God over all gods. God desired Nebuchadnezzar to understand that the rulers of earthly kingdoms had a ruler in the heavens. God’s faithfulness in rescuing the three captives from the flames and vindicating their course of action showed His wonderful power.  [4BC 1169.3]
Great light shone forth from Daniel and his companions. Glorious things were spoken of Zion, the city of the Lord. Thus the Lord designs that spiritual light shall shine from His faithful watchmen in these last days. If the saints in the Old Testament bore such a decided testimony of loyalty, how should God’s people today, having the accumulated light of centuries, shine forth, when the prophecies of the Old Testament shed their veiled glory into the future (Letter 32, 1899)!  [4BC 1169.4]
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.
your God is a God of gods – Marduk had only been called ‘lord of gods’ / ‘lord of kings’.
Nebuchadnezzar acknowledges Daniel’s God is infinitely superior to the Babylonian gods.
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.
Daniel’s aim was to exalt God before king / country.
King gave the rewards along with the position of ‘chief prefect’.
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 remembered his comrades – they shared in prayers (2:18); they shared in the reward.
gate – the place where Oriental kings sat as judges and where chief councils convened (Genesis 19:1).
Chapter 3:1-5. A Last Day Image.–By many, the Sabbath of the fourth commandment is made void, being treated as a thing of naught; while the spurious sabbath, the child of the papacy, is exalted. In the place of God’s laws, are elevated the laws of the man of sin,–laws that are to be received and regarded as the wonderful golden image of Nebuchadnezzar was by the Babylonians. Forming this great image, Nebuchadnezzar commanded that it should receive universal homage from all, both great and small, high and low, rich and poor (MS 24, 1891).  [4BC 1169.5]
1-2. The image from Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in chapter 2 foretold Babylon’s fall to the interior kingdoms of silver, brass and iron. Not willing for his empire to cease, the king made this image entirely of gold, proclaiming that Babylon would never end. This was a direct challenge to the God of heaven who is in control of the nations of this world.
Daniel 3:1 Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof six cubits: he set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon.
No date is given for Chapter 3 events – certainly after events of 2nd chapter and before the king’s madness (cf. 3:28-29 and 4:34-37). A 570/569 BC court almanac, listing the highest state officials in office that year, makes no mention of Daniel and his 3 friends; therefore events of Chapter 3 may have been later than Nebuchadnezzar’s reign – alternatively, Daniel was away on king’s business (or sick).
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.
princes – An Aramaic word of Hurrian origin; used from Sargon II time (722-705 BC). Designated officials at the head of satrapies – the largest divisions of the empire.
governors (or prefects) – these officials administered provinces – each a part of a satrap.
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.
4-26. Daniel’s three friends were forced to decide between true and false worship. This story is a fitting illustration of the cosmic battle between good and evil which is taking place in our world today. This theme runs through both the books of Daniel and Revelation.
The three Hebrews showed strong faith when they chose to trust God regardless of whether or not he would deliver them.
God may not deliver us from trouble, but He will be with us as we go through adversity. See Deuteronomy 4:30, 31; 31:6, 8.
3:4 Then an herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, O people, nations, and languages,
Only after all had gathered came the command to worship the image.
3:5 That at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of music, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up:
A Babylonian orchestra is described.
harp – not of Babylonian origin but possibly introduced by Greeks.
3:6 And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.
fiery furnace – not many ancient examples of this kind of death penalty are on record (Jeremiah 29:22).
3:7 Therefore at that time, when all the people heard the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and all kinds of music, all the people, the nations, and the languages, fell down and worshipped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.
3:8 Wherefore at that time certain Chaldeans came near, and accused the Jews.
The accusing party were members of the same caste as the Jews.
Racial and nationalistic antagonisms were not involved, rather professional envy and jealousy.
3:9 They spake and said to the king Nebuchadnezzar, O king, live for ever.
A similar greeting to Daniel 2:4.
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 music, shall fall down and worship the golden image:
3:11 And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth, that he should be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.
12. We ought to obey God rather than men. Acts 5:29. These three Hebrew youths, imbued with the Holy Spirit, declared to the whole nation their faith; that he whom they worshipped was the only true and living God. … These lessons have a direct and vital bearing upon our experience in these last days.
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.
3:13 Then Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and fury commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Then they brought these men before the king.
14. This act of bowing the knees to the great image was understood to be an act of worship. But such an act was homage to be rendered to God alone––the Sovereign of the world, the Ruler of the universe; and these three Hebrews refused to give such honour to any idol even though composed of pure gold. In doing so, they would, to all intents and purposes, be bowing to the king of Babylon.
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?
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 music, 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?
3:16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.
careful – to be in need of.
Defendants response (RSV) – We have no need to answer you in this matter.
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.
If – this introduction particle should not be taken as an indication of doubt in God’s plan to save; LXX has no introduction particle.
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.
19. Something Unusual Anticipated.–When the king saw that his will was not received as the will of God, he was “full of fury,” and the form of his visage was changed against these men. Satanic attributes made his countenance appear as the countenance of a demon; and with all the force he could command, he ordered that the furnace be heated seven times hotter than its wont, and commanded the most mighty men to bind the youth, and cast them into the furnace. He felt that it required more than ordinary power to deal with these noble men. His mind was strongly impressed that something unusual would interpose in their behalf, and his strongest men were ordered to deal with them (ST May 6, 1897).  [4BC 1169.6]
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 seven times more than it was wont to be heated.
Increase heat in furnace probably produced by an extraordinary supply of chaff and crude oil.
Oil – many open oil wells in Mesopotamia.
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.
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.
3:22 Therefore because the king’s commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceeding hot, the flame of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
23. But the Lord did not forget His own. As His witnesses were cast into the furnace, the Saviour revealed Himself to them in person, and together they walked in the midst of the fire. In the presence of the Lord of heat and cold, the flames lost their power to consume. [PK 508.3]
When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walketh through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. Isaiah 43:2.
From his royal seat the king looked on, expecting to see the men who had defied him utterly destroyed. But his feelings of triumph suddenly changed. The nobles standing near saw his face grow pale as he started from the throne and looked intently into the glowing flames. In alarm the king, turning to his lords, asked, “Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? . . . 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.” [PK 509.1]
These lessons have a direct and vital bearing upon our experience in these last days.
The Children of God today must not expect to meet less of persecution and trial than did these ancient worthies. Just as long as we are followers of Christ we must be witnesses for him. Tribulation will assuredly come; for Satan knows that Christ has purchased salvation for the whole world, and he is determined to wrest every soul possible out of his hand. [ST, September 2, 1897 par. 7]
3:23 And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.
At this point the manuscripts of the oldest translations of Daniel, the LXX and Theodotion follow on with 68 (Apocryphal) verses of ‘The Song of the Three Holy Children’.
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.
25. Christ Revealed by Captives.–How did Nebuchadnezzar know that the form of the fourth was like the Son of God? He had heard of the Son of God from the Hebrew captives that were in his kingdom. They had brought the knowledge of the living God who ruleth all things (RH May 3, 1892).  [4BC 1169.7]
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.
like the Son of God. – LXX – like an angel of God. RV / RSV – like a son of the gods.
Christ joined them in their trial.
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.
Notwithstanding his polytheiestic concepts, Nebuchadnezzar acknowledged the God of these Hebrews as ‘the most high God‘.
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.
28. Associates Understood Faith.–These faithful Hebrews possessed great natural ability and intellectual culture, and they occupied a high position of honor; but all these advantages did not lead them to forget God. All their powers were yielded to the sanctifying influence of divine grace. By their godly example, their steadfast integrity, they showed forth the praises of Him who had called them out of darkness into His marvelous light. In their wonderful deliverance was displayed, before that vast assembly, the power and majesty of God. Jesus placed Himself by their side in the fiery furnace, and by the glory of His presence convinced the proud king of Babylon that it could be no other than the Son of God. The light of heaven had been shining forth from Daniel and his companions, until all their associates understood the faith which ennobled their lives and beautified their characters (RH Feb. 1, 1881).  [4BC 1170.1]
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.
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.
Nebuchadnezzar exceeded his rights when he sought by force to compel men to honour the God of the Hebrews (PK511).
dunghill – refuse heap – ruin.
3:30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, in the province of Babylon.
promoted – to cause to prosper / to promote – such as by money, province administration or by more elevated title.
Chapter 4:1-3 being the preface and 4-18 being the dream. These verses are Nebuchadnezzar’s personal testimony of God’s love and patient persistence with a heathen king. This is the only part of the Old Testament written by a non-Hebrew.
Daniel 4:1 Nebuchadnezzar the king, unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you.
The narrative of Chapter 4 is recorded in the form of a royal proclamation.
The once proud monarch has become a humble child of God (PK521).
4:2 I thought it good to show the signs and wonders that the high God hath wrought toward me.
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.
4:4 I Nebuchadnezzar was at rest in mine house, and flourishing in my palace:
at rest – Nebuchadnezzar was in undisturbed possession, i.e. Chapter 4 is set in the last half of his 42 year reign.
4:5 I saw a dream which made me afraid, and the thoughts upon my bed and the visions of my head troubled me.
afraid – a sudden unexpected occurrence – the dream was so explicit that the king sensed that it contained some evil message for him (PK516); it was this that alarmed him.
This was the last dream which God gave to Nebuchadnezzar.
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.
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.
Nebuchadnezzar turns to the Chaldeans for an explanation before asking Daniel to explain – even though, on a previous occasion, he had demonstrated his superior skill and wisdom.
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,
of the holy gods or ‘of the holy God’.
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.
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.
behold, a tree – Divine wisdom frequently employs parables and similitudes as vehicles for the transmission of truth.
The ancients were accustomed to seeing a meaning in every extraordinary dream – God used the agency of a dream on this occasion.
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:
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.
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;
a watcher – not ‘keeping watch’, rather ‘being watchful’.
Recognised as bearing the credentials of the God of heaven (PK578); see also Ed 174-178.
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:
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:
leave the stump – cf. Job 14:8 & Is 11:1; also Daniel 4:26 cf. 36 – ultimate sprouting typified the restoration of Nebuchadnezzar from his sickness (v. 24 & 25); not continued dynasty supremacy.
with a band – possibly physical chains that would bind the king in his maniacal condition (Jerome).
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.
heart – indicates nature; the king would take on the nature of a beast.
seven times – LXX – seven years. Nebuchadnezzar’s ordeal lasted seven years.
17-18. It is not by the might of armies, by the wisdom of rulers or by the progress of civilizations that the rise, prosperity and fall of kingdoms is determined; it is by the sovereignty of God. See Proverbs 21:1; Psalm 24:1-2.
Whether the rulers in our world today are noble or corrupt, God is still in charge, making all things work together to fulfil His purposes. Romans 8:28.
17. Men of Destiny Watched With Vigilance.–The Lord God omnipotent reigneth. All kings, all nations, are His, under His rule and government. His resources are infinite. The wise man declares, “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.”  [4BC 1170.2]
Those upon whose actions hang the destinies of nations, are watched over with a vigilance that knows no relaxation by Him who “giveth salvation unto kings,” to whom belong “the shields of the earth” (RH March 28, 1907).  [4BC 1170.3]
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.
watchers – plural i.e.. a heavenly council or assembly.
the living – i.e. the surrounding (heathen) nations.
ruleth – God ordains, permits or intervenes.
basest – low(ly) – humbled (5:22) and abase (4:37).
Refer to Ed 174-176/8.
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.
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.
astonied – to be appalled, perplexed or, probably embarrassed.
The king clearly saw the consternation on Daniel’s face – then he speaks in the 3rd person (cf. Ezra 7:13-15 and Esther 8:7-8).
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;
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:
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.
unto heaven – Daniel uses Oriental court language and idioms to explain.
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;
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:
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.
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.
Insane king not killed for a vacant throne – superstitious ancients thought that mental disturbances were caused by evil spirits who would possess the instigator or seek other grievous revenge.
27. For a time the impression of the warning and the counsel of the prophet was strong upon Nebuchadnezzar; but the heart that is not transformed by the grace of God soon loses the impressions of the Holy Spirit. Self–indulgence and ambition had not yet been eradicated from the king’s heart, and later on these traits reappeared. Notwithstanding the instruction so graciously given him, and the warnings of past experience, Nebuchadnezzar again allowed himself to be controlled by a spirit of jealousy against the kingdoms that were to follow. His rule, which heretofore had been to a great degree just and merciful, became oppressive. Hardening his heart, he used his God–given talents for self–glorification, exalting himself above the God who had given him life and power. [PK 519.1]
For months the judgement of God lingered. But instead of being led to repentance by this forbearance, the king indulged his pride until he lost confidence in the interpretation of the dream, and jested at his former fears. [PK 519.2]
A year from the time he had received the warning, Nebuchadnezzar, walking in his palace and thinking with pride of his power as a ruler and of his success as a builder, exclaimed, “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honor of my majesty?” [PK 519.3]
4:27 Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by showing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquillity.
break off thy sins by righteousness – God’s judgements may be adverted by repentance and conversion (Is 38:1,2 & 5, Jeremiah 18:7-10).
showing mercy – king admonished to practice righteousness towards all subjects and to exercise mercy towards the oppressed, miserable and poor (Micah 6:8) (Ps 72:3-4, Is 11:4).
4:28 All this came upon the king Nebuchadnezzar.
4:29 At the end of twelve months he walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon.
God’s time of twelve months – no Nebuchadnezzar change in way of life.
in the palace – literally ‘ upon the palace’.
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?
At least 2 inscriptions found in excavated ruins of Babylon testify to this proud boast.
Actual building of Babylon occurred after the Flood – Nebuchadnezzar’s father commenced the rebuilding, he completed only completed the works and built the extensions.
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.
fell – cf. Is 9:8 – lighted.
This immediate utterance lead to Nebuchadnezzar’s humiliation – had others also heard these heavenly words?
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.
33. Some Today Like Nebuchadnezzar.–We are living in the last days of this earth’s history, and we may be surprised at nothing in the line of apostasies and denials of the truth. Unbelief has now come to be a fine art, which men work at to the destruction of their souls. There is constant danger of there being shams in pulpit preachers, whose lives contradict the words they speak; but the voice of warning and of admonition will be heard as long as time shall last; and those who are guilty of transactions that should never be entered into, when reproved or counseled through the Lord’s appointed agencies, will resist the message and refuse to be corrected. They will go on as did Pharaoh, and Nebuchadnezzar, until the Lord takes away their reason, and their hearts become unimpressible. The Lord’s Word will come to them; but if they choose not to hear it, the Lord will make them responsible for their own ruin (NL No. 31, p. 1).  [4BC 1170.4]
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.
An unpublished cuneiform tablet in British Museum mentions a man who ate grass like a cow – the insanity could have been such where men think themselves to be animals and imitate the beast’s manner of life; alternatively, perhaps unique?
34-37. The Holy Spirit worked on Nebuchadnezzar’s stubborn heart for many years before he surrendered his life to the God of heaven. The patience God showed toward Nebuchadnezzar gives us home as He continues to work with us and those we love.
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:
end of the days – after 7 years.
lifted up mine eyes unto heaven – The king’s return of reason occurred with his recognition of the true God. From brute beast to a being bearing the image of God.
The first desire of the once proud king is to praise God.
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?
This verse has close parallels with Isaiah 40:17 & 43:13.
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.
In simple Semitic narrative, v36 repeats v34.
returned unto me – Nebuchadnezzar also gained his royal dignity and his throne.
sought unto me – the King, monitored for improvement, then regents of state brought him back to restore the government to him.
37. Nebuchadnezzar Thoroughly Converted.–In Daniel’s life, the desire to glorify God was the most powerful of all motives. He realized that when standing in the presence of men of influence, a failure to acknowledge God as the source of his wisdom would have made him an unfaithful steward. And his constant recognition of the God of heaven before kings, princes, and statesmen, detracted not one iota from his influence. King Nebuchadnezzar, before whom Daniel so often honored the name of God, was finally thoroughly converted, and learned to “praise and extol and honour the King of heaven” (RH Jan. 11, 1906).  [4BC 1170.5]
A Warm and Eloquent Testimony.–The king upon the Babylonian throne became a witness for God, giving his testimony, warm and eloquent, from a grateful heart that was partaking of the mercy and grace, the righteousness and peace, of the divine nature (YI Dec. 13, 1904).  [4BC 1170.6]
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.
Nebuchadnezzar’s conclusion – as a converted sinner he now recognises the righteousness of God, confesses God as the King of heaven (PK521).
1-2. In the twenty-three years since the death of Nebuchadnezzar, a series of incompetent rulers had brought Babylon to the edge of ruin. The Medo-Persian army under Cyrus the Great was attacking from the north. The king of Babylon, Nabonidus, left his son Belshazzar in charge of the kingdom and went out to do battle. Two days before Belshazzar’s feast, Nabonidus had surrendered the battlefield without a fight and fled. Meanwhile, one of Cyrus’ generals, Darius the Mede, rushed his forces to the walls of Babylon and laid siege to the city. But the city was well situated to handle a siege. Its walls were tall and strong. Its storehouses bulged with food. And the Euphrates river brought water right through the middle of the city.
Daniel 5:1 Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and drank wine before the thousand.
Belshazzar – ‘Bel, protect the king!’ – 1st born son of Nabonidus, the last king of the Neo-Babylonian Empire.
the king – Recuperating from an illness in Lebanon, just before setting out on a campaign against Tema in western Arabia, Nabonidus entrusted the kingship to his eldest son. This was in the 3rd year – if regnal year, then winter of 553/552 BC. Belshazzar, as coruler, then controlled the affairs of Babylonia while his father resided in Tema for many years.
a great feast – The feast took place on the night Babylon fell to Cyrus’ forces. The feast occurred just after the fall of Sippar and only a few days after the lost battle at Opis.
Babylon was accustomed to drinking/revelling all night long during this festival – perhaps, one of those that monachs gave for their courtiers.
Other known festivals:
King Ashurnasirpal II – feast to open new palace – fed, wined and housed 69,574 people for 10 days.
Persian kings – fed 15,000 people every day.
Alexander the Great – 10,000 guests took part at his wedding feast.
Esther 1:3-12 describes a similar feast.
Belshazzar felt recklessly secure in his capital, protected by strong walls and a canal system which could flood the surrounding country if attacked.
before the thousand – usually the king ate in a separate hall – only on exceptional occasions did he eat with his guests.
See 4BC798 for room detail.
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.
tasted the wine – Belshazzar was intoxicated; with reason dethroned and with enhanced lower impulses and passions, the king took the lead in the riotous orgy [PK523].
vessels – carried away from Jerusalem on 3 occasions:
Some of the Temple vessels removed in 605 BC when Nebuchadnezzar took captives (Daniel 1:1&2).
Most of those precious metals remaining – taken in 597 BC when king Jehoiachin went into captivity (2 Kings 24:12&13).
Rest of metal objects – mostly bronze – taken in 900 BC when Temple was destroyed (2 Kings 25:13-17).
his father – His grandfather [PK522]; the word is elsewhere used to mean ‘ancestor’ (1 Chronicles 2:7) and can also refer to a non-blood tie ‘predecessor’ (An Assyrian inscription calls the Israelite king Jehu, ‘a son of Omri’ – actually, Jehu was the exterminator of the whole house of Omri (2 Kings 9:10).
his wives, and his concubines – Both Aramaic words are synonyms, meaning ‘concubines’.
One (higher) class may have been from respectable, noble homes.
The other – women brought for money or captured in war.
3-4. Belshazzar defied the God of heaven, and desecrated the sacred golden vessels taken from the temple in Jerusalem.
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.
5:4 They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone.
praised the gods – The drunken heathen sang songs in honour to their Babylonian gods, whose images adorned the various temples of the city.
5-9. Presence of Unseen Guest Felt.–A Watcher, who was unrecognized, but whose presence was a power of condemnation, looked on this scene of profanation. Soon the unseen and uninvited Guest made His presence felt. At the moment when the sacrilegious revelry was at its height, a bloodless hand came forth, and wrote words of doom on the wall of the banqueting hall. Burning words followed the movements of the hand. “Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin,” was written in letters of flame. Few were the characters traced by that hand on the wall facing the king, but they showed that the power of God was there.  [4BC 1170.7]
Belshazzar was afraid. His conscience was awakened. The fear and suspicion that always follow the course of the guilty seized him. When God makes men fear, they cannot hide the intensity of their terror. Alarm seized the great men of the kingdom. Their blasphemous disrespect of sacred things was changed in a moment. A frantic terror overcame all self-control. . . .  [4BC 1170.8]
In vain the king tried to read the burning letters. He had found a power too strong for him. He could not read the writing (YI May 19, 1898).  [4BC 1171.1]
5-6. While the drunken revers drank toasts to their idols out of the golden cups which had been sanctified to God, a mysterious hand appeared and wrote on the wall God’s judgement upon Babylon. See vss. 26-28.
5:5 In the same hour came forth fingers of a man’s hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaster of the wall of the king’s palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote.
upon the plaster – the walls to the hall were covered with white plaster made of fine plaster of Paris.
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.
were loosed – cf. Isaiah 21:3 – Belshazzar was troubled by an accusing conscience; he realised that his empire was in mortal danger from:
past political blunders
his own immorality
his army’s recent disastrous defeat
his current sacrilegious acts.
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 show 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.
scarlet – purple – a better translation from the Aramaic. Purple – the royal colour of antiquity.
The ancient royal purple was deep purplish red in colour, more nearly like crimson.
chain of gold – a common custom over many centuries (i.e. Egypt – Genesis 41:42).
the third ruler – Belshazzar was only a coruler (coregent) with his father – the second ruler in the kingdom where Nebuchadnezzar was first.
The highest position that Belshazzar could bestow was that of third ruler in the kingdom.
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.
Then came in all – Having addressed those men at the banquet (Daniel 5:7), now all the king’s wise men came into the banquet hall in response to the Belshazzar’s command.
they could not read – No reason is given and any explanation would only be conjecture.
However, the words were:
in Aramaic (Daniel 5:26-28)
of dazzling brilliance (EGW Supplementary material refers to v5-9)
so cryptic that their individual meanings did not reveal the concealed message.
5:9 Then was king Belshazzar greatly troubled, and his countenance was changed in him, and his lords were astonied.
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:
the queen – The queen mother – Oriental custom that none but a ruling monarch’s mother would dare to enter into the king’s presence without being summoned (cf. Esther 4:11, 16 where the wife of a king endangered her life).
In 547 BC, Nabonidus’ mother, Belshazzar’s grandmother, had died – an extensive official court mourning had occurred – together with the respectful tone of king’s letters to their mothers, such action shows the exalted position of a queen mother.
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;
There is a man – The queen mother, a representative of the earlier generation, remembered the event over 50 years earlier with Nebuchadnezzar. Under different and God-rejecting policies, Daniel would have been retired from public Babylonial service.
spirit of the holy gods – cf. Daniel 4:8&9 – similar wording suggests that the queen mother may have been a daughter of Nebuchadnezzar.
5:12 Forasmuch as an excellent spirit, and knowledge, and understanding, interpreting of dreams, and showing 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 show the interpretation.
doubts – knots – difficult tasks or problems.
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?
Art thou that Daniel …? – Daniel was no longer the president of the magicians at the king’s court (Daniel 2:48&49). Since Nebuchadnezzar’s days, Babylon had rejected God’s will (Daniel 4:28-37; 5:23) and Belshazzar had been hostile towards the principles and the state policy that Daniel represented. Soon (Daniel 6:1-3), Daniel would enter the service of Persia whose rulers also disapproved of the official Babylonian policy.
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.
spirit of the gods – Belshazzar omits the adjective ‘holy’ when repeating the queen mother’s words (Daniel 5:11) and those earlier of Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 4:8).
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 show the interpretation of the thing:
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.
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.
Let thy gifts be to thyself – Daniel showed continual loyalty to God. What advantageous gift would be beneficial from a man who had blasphemed God and was to loose his kingdom later that night (Daniel 5:30)?
5:18 O thou king, the most high God gave Nebuchadnezzar thy father a kingdom, and majesty, and glory, and honour:
Nebuchadnezzar – Daniel first reminds Belshazzar that God gave his grandfather the kingdom. Belshazzar had rejected those experiences learned by Nebuchadnezzar, despite knowing about his grandfather’s fall through sin and pride (Daniel 5:20&21).
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.
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:
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.
22-24. Belshazzar knew all of God’s dealings with his grandfather, Nebuchadnezzar, yet he persistently chose to turn away from the light and remain in darkness.
5:22 And thou his son, O Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this;
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 now reminds Belshazzar of what has just occurred.
5:24 Then was the part of the hand sent from him; and this writing was written.
25-31. That very night God’s judgement on Babylon was fulfilled. Darius had the seasonally low waters of the Euphrates river diverted, and under the cover of darkness his en waded under the city walls where they found the river gates still open. Once inside, they slew the unsuspecting guards and took control of the city.
Daniel lived long enough to see the first part of Nebuchadnezzar’s vision of the image fulfilled. Daniel 2. Babylon did come to an end and another kingdom took its place.
The fall of Babylon to the Medes and Persians in Daniel’s time foreshadows the fall of modern-day spiritual Babylon. See Revelation 17 and 18.
5:25 And this is the writing that was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.
this is the writing – still visible upon the wall for Daniel to read the 4 words – the meaning to each word requiring Divine illumination.
5:26 This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it.
MENE – ‘numbered’ or ‘counted’.
By Divine illumination, Daniel interpreted ‘God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it’.
27. God Reads the Secret Devisings.–It is for the eternal interest of every one to search his own heart, and to improve every God-given faculty. Let all remember that there is not a motive in the heart of any man that the Lord does not clearly see. The motives of each one are weighed as carefully as if the destiny of the human agent depended upon this one result. We need a connection with divine power, that we may have an increase of clear light and an understanding of how to reason from cause to effect. We need to have the powers of the understanding cultivated, by our being partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. Let each one consider carefully the solemn truth, God in heaven is true, and there is not a design, however intricate, nor a motive, however carefully hidden, that He does not clearly understand. He reads the secret devisings of every heart. Men may plan out crooked actions for the future, thinking that God does not understand; but in that great day when the books are opened, and every man is judged by the things written in the books, those actions will appear as they are. . . .  [3BC 1160.2]
The Lord sees and understands all dishonesty in planning, all unlawful appropriation in any degree of property or means, all injustice in man’s dealing with his fellow men . . . [Daniel 5:27 quoted] (RH March 8, 1906).  [3BC 1160.4]
5:27 TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.
TEKEL – ‘weighed’.
Belshazzar had been weighed by God and found lacking in moral worth.
5:28 PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.
PERES – Unlike the other words, which are passive participles of verbs, this word is a noun – singular in form – meaning ‘share’ or ‘portion’.
UPHARSIN – plural form – ‘pieces’. Thy kingdom is broken in pieces.
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.
Then commanded Belshazzar – The king fulfilled his promise to Daniel.
5:30 In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain.
In that night – Cyrus’ army, commanded by Gobryas, entered the palace and ‘the impious king of Babylon’ was slain. Nabonidus, absent from Babylon at that time, surrendered and Cyrus sent him to distant Carmania.
5:31 And Darius the Median took the kingdom, being about threescore and two years old.
Darius – a title (rather than a name) of several Persian kings.
Darius the Median – (grand)son of Ahasuerus (Daniel 9:1). Possibly Darius I – king of Persia (Ezra 4:4).
took the kingdom – Cyrus’ conquest of Babylon occurred in 539 BC.
Cf. parallels with final fall of Babylon (PK531-8).
1-28 Near the end of his life, Daniel faced a death decree as did his friends in chapter 3.
Again worship was the issue. Would he obey the king’s law or would he be loyal to the God of heaven?
He willingly faced death with unswerving fidelity to his heavenly Father, and God chose to deliver him.
In the end time, God’s faithful people will also face a death decree. See notes on Revelation 16.
Daniel 6:1 It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom an hundred and twenty princes, which should be over the whole kingdom;
Darius the Mede – Cyaxares II – called Ugbaru in the Nabonidus Chronicle, was the son of Astyages, the son of Ahasuerus who was Cyaxares I.
Astyages, had a son (Darius) and a daughter (Mandane – who married a Persian and bore Cyrus – the Persian.
Darius the Median upon the death of his father he became king – aged about 62 years old (Daniel 5:31)
his reign was honoured by God [PK556]
the angel Gabriel sent ‘to confirm and to strengthen him’ – Daniel 11:1
becomes a special friend of Daniel (according to the Greek historian Zenophon)
dies shortly after the fall of Babylon – only one regnal year is mentioned in Bible
about two years of fall of Babylon [PK556/7]
was the last Median ruler – Cyrus the Persian, his niece and also his son-in-law, then ruled.
Cyrus the Persian son of Mandane, daughter of Astyages
a general under his uncle, Darius the Median
conquered Babylon in 539 BC, visited uncle and offered him gifts and a palace in Babylon
in return, Darius gives his daughter as well as the kingdom
has son, Cambyses.
Cyrus the Persian – also called Gubaru in the Nabonidus Chronicle
lived for many years after the conquest of Babylon.
Darius I – beginning of the Median Empire.
hundred and twenty – cf. Ester 1:1 where Xerxes governed 127 provinces.
princes – Daniel 3:2 – designated officials at the head of the largest divisions of the empire.
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.
three presidents – no non-Biblical sources of this administrative body.
Daniel was first – Daniel was one – see Daniel 2:9, 4:19, 7:5, 16 where the same word is rendered ‘one’.
The aged prophet soon distinguished himself by conscientious service.
Seldom is a prime minister of a conquered kingdom appointed as a high official by the conqueror – usually executed, but Persians valued his abilities and integrity.
Princes were to guard against loss of revenue and other damage (cf. Ezra 4:13-16 with respect to records).
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.
an excellent spirit – Daniel’s hallmark of recognition – queen mother had noticed – see 5:11-12.
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.
against Daniel – While the king elevated Daniel in the interests of crown and empire; a spirit of jealousy naturally arose among Median / Persian dignitaries when a Jew occupied the position that they thought was rightfully theirs – cf. Lucifer in heaven.
any error or fault – Daniel was by now an elderly statesman in his mid 80’s (law of health and reliance upon God).
5. An Unenviable Position.–Daniel’s position was not an enviable one. He stood at the head of a dishonest, prevaricating, godless cabinet, whose members watched him with keen, jealous eyes, to find some flaw in his conduct. They kept spies on his track, to see if they could not in this way find something against him. Satan suggested to these men a plan whereby they might get rid of Daniel. Use his religion as a means of condemning him, the enemy said (YI Nov. 1, 1900).  [4BC 1171.3]
5. Daniel held the responsible position of prime minister in the kingdom of Babylon, and there were those who were envious of Daniel among the great men of the court, and they wanted to find something against him that they might bring an accusation against him to the king.
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.
They would have noticed that Daniel was absent from his office every Sabbath (day of rest). They reasoned that his set time prayers would interfere with the discharge of his official duties.
6:6 Then these presidents and princes assembled together to the king, and said thus unto him, King Darius, live for ever.
Not everyone would have assembled – only those heavily laced in jealousy.
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.
All – but one was Daniel! – doubtless a lie as many probably not consulted.
A decree of this nature – entirely alien to Persians but Darius the Mede evidently signed.
Note: Cyrus the Persian king rebuilt Babylon’s destroyed temples; Darius claimed that the False Smerdis (a Magian from Media) had destroyed temples through spirit of intolerance.
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.
altereth not – irrevocable – cf. Ester 1:19, 8:8 and Darius II (BC812).
6:9 Wherefore king Darius signed the writing and the decree.
The ageing king had fallen victim to the flattery of these men; later on he would recognise their evil plot.
10. Undeviating Integrity Is Only Safe Course.–It may be a difficult matter for men in high positions to pursue the path of undeviating integrity whether they shall receive praise or censure. Yet this is the only safe course. All the rewards which they might gain by selling their honor would be only as the breath from polluted lips, as dross to be consumed in the fire. Those who have moral courage to stand in opposition to the vices and errors of their fellow men–it may be of those whom the world honor– will receive hatred, insult, and abusive falsehood. They may be thrust down from their high position, because they would not be bought or sold, because they could not be induced by bribes or threats to stain their hands with iniquity. Everything on earth may seem to conspire against them; but God has set His seal upon His own work. They may be regarded by their fellow men as weak, unmanly, unfit to hold office; but how differently does the Most High regard them. Those who despise them are the really ignorant. While the storms of calumny and reviling may pursue the man of integrity through life, and beat upon his grave, God has the “well done” prepared for him. Folly and iniquity will at best yield only a life of unrest and discontent, and at its close a thorny dying pillow. And how many, as they view their course of action and its results, are led to end with their own hands their disgraceful career. And beyond all this waits the judgment, and the final, irrevocable doom, Depart (ST Feb. 2, 1882)!  [4BC 1171.4]
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.
his house – most ancient and modern Mesopotamian houses have flat roofs with a raised up apartment in one corner – containing latticed windows for ventilation – such rooms providing ideal seclusion places for prayer.
toward Jerusalem – Daniel’s windows faced towards Jerusalem – his boyhood city – probably never revisited.
(Cf. 1Kings 8:33, 35 & Psalm 5:7; 28:2 – the holy city, the holy oracle.)
he kneeled – the Bible records various prayer postures:
sitting – David (2 Samuel 7:18)
bowing – Eliezer (Genesis 24:26), Elijah (1Kings 18:42)
standing – Hannah (1Samuel 1:26)
kneeling – Ezra (Ezra 9:5), Jesus (Luke 22:41), Stephen (Acts 7:60). Also see Ps 95:3-6, PK48 and GW178.
three times a day – later Jewish tradition offered prayer at the 3rd, 6th & 9th hours of the day (counted from sunrise). Morning sacrifice – 3rd hour; evening sacrifice – 9th hour. 3 daily prayers became a fixed custom with every orthodox Jew – also adopted into the early church.
6:11 Then these men assembled, and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God.
found Daniel praying – As a man of God, Daniel continued with his regular prayer habits.
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.
The accusers first remind Darius of his decree and its binding implications.
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.
of the captivity – The hatred and contempt of the accusers portrayed Daniel as a foreigner, a Jewish exile, rather than refer to his official position. The accusers sought to undermine the king’s credibility through highly honouring Daniel; they aimed to convince Darius that his special friend was ungrateful and traitorous in character.
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.
deliver him – The ageing king now recognises that he has been trapped and, spending the rest of the day, tries to find a legal loophole so that Daniel and the Median / Persian law are saved.
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.
assembled – Daniel’s enemies returned to the king in the evening – to claim their prey, knowing they had a legal right to demand his execution.
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.
deliver thee – cf. Daniel 3:15 where Nebuchadnezzar had uttered such words under similar conditions. God had performed miracles in the days of Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar. Darius now trusts that Daniel’s God will deliver him.
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.
sealed it – Totally unnecessary as the wild animals would swiftly tear to pieces their prey.
Cautionary act only when lions would not harm Daniel.
Official sealing by king and his lords served:
as guarantee to Darius that Daniel would not be killed by any other means
to assure Daniel’s enemies that no attempt could be made to save him.
Sealed Egyptian tombs – may provide clue to method used for sealing an opening:
door closed
plaster covered and while still wet
seals stamped all over wet plaster
cylindrical roll seals used in lieu – numerous examples excavated in Mesopotamia –
common among Assyrians, Babylonians and Persians.
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.
instruments of musick – obscure Aramaic word only used here in the Bible.
6:19 Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions.
very early in the morning – dawn – king Darius went in haste at first light.
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?
lamentable – full of anxiety – the voice betrayed Darius’ inner restlessness, anxiety and bitter remorse.
servant of the living God – Darius was acquainted with Daniel’s God.
6:21 Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever.
O king, live for ever – cf. Daniel 2:4.
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.
shut the lions’ mouths – Daniel’s deliverance attributed to an act of faith (Hebrews 11:33).
innocency was found in me – before being thrown to lions, Daniel’s enemies would have taken any defence as a sign of weakness or fear; now Daniel declares his innocence.
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.
take Daniel up – the requirements of the royal decree now enacted – to cast Daniel into the den of lions (Daniel 6:7) implied the death sentence rather than the act of execution. Now, no constitutional restrictions prevent the king from removing Daniel from the lions’ den.
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.
they cast them – the angry king now acted in typical fashion.
the number cast – less than 122 (Daniel 6:1&2) – not everyone involved with the plot.
their children, and their wives – A Persian custom testified by Herodotus and Ammianus Marcellinus.
6:25 Then king Darius wrote unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you.
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.
I make a decree – Darius issues edict – similar to Nebuchadnezzar’s early edict.
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.
6:28 So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.
in the reign – sentence construction permits Cyrus to be a co ruler with, or successor to, Darius.
The book of Daniel is not in strict chronological order – events of chapter 5 & 6 occurred after those in the 7th chapter but the historical narrative of Chapters 1 – 6 is carried through to its conclusion.
The 7th chapter is a parallel vision to Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in Chapter 2, but in greater detail.
The Daniel 2 vision was given to a heathen king; the Daniel 7 vision given to Daniel shows more clearly the nature of worldly kingdoms under the symbols of beasts.
Vision symbols:
beasts – kingdoms, empires – Daniel 7:2, 3
sea or waters – peoples, multitudes –Revelation 17:15
winds – strife, commotion, war Jeremiah 25: 31-33; 49;36, 37
horns – kings, powers – Daniel 7:24.
1. This concludes the narrative of Daniel’s life and begins the account of his visions and prophecies. In chapter 2 we saw the image of four metals symbolizing the four great world empires from Daniel’s day to the end of time; in this chapter we have four beasts that represent the same kingdoms in more detail.
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.
had a dream – saw a dream – being a parallel vision to the one in Chapter 2.
he wrote – the dream was recorded for future generation preservation – see Daniel 12:9.
sum of the matters – a summary; the important details; the salient points.
2-7. Messiah’s Ensign, a Lamb.–To Daniel was given a vision of fierce beasts, representing the powers of the earth. But the ensign of the Messiah’s kingdom is a lamb. While earthly kingdoms rule by the ascendancy of physical power, Christ is to banish every carnal weapon, every instrument of coercion. His kingdom was to be established to uplift and ennoble fallen humanity (Letter 32, 1899).  [4BC 1171.5]
2-3. In verse 23 the angel says: “The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon the earth.” Even today we portray nations with animal symbols (US: Eagle, Russia: Bear, England: Lion, etc.).
Winds in Bible prophecy depict war, strife and bloodshed. See Jeremiah 25:31-33. The “Four winds” indicates that the strife is coming from all directions of the compass. See Matthew 24:31. The “sea” and waters symbolize many people. See Revelation 17:15. So beasts arising from the turbulent waters symbolize nations arising from wars among many peoples.
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.
winds – used in symbolic vision to denote activity or some form of energy. Compare Ezekiel 37:9-14 where Divine energy revives the lifeless nation of Israel.
The winds of Daniel strove upon the great sea causing four great beasts (empires) to emerge which would shape world history politically, diplomatically and by their warlike force.
four winds – four compass points – political activity in various parts of the earth. Jeremiah 49:36 cf. Daniel 8:8, 11:4; Zechariah 2:6, 6:5 margin.
strove – to stir up – with continued action.
great sea – symbolic: Sea – nations of the world; Great sea – of humanity in all ages. Revelation 17:15 cf. Isaiah 17:12, Jeremiah 46:7.
7:3 And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.
four … (beasts) is often linked with the world.
beasts – kingdoms / empires – Daniel 7:2.
These beasts symbolise nations that arose out of the seas of people – land already occupied – the Near East and Europe.
v17 – ‘four kings, which shall arise out of the earth’; rather v23 – ‘kingdoms’.
They represent the same four world powers symbolised by the metallic image of Chapter 2.
came up – these world powers would rule not contemporaneously but successively.
diverse – compare the different metals presented in Daniel 2:38-40.
4. Babylon is fitly represented by a “lion.” See Jeremiah 4:7; 50:17, 43-44. Just as gold is supreme among the metals so the “lion” is king among beasts and the “eagle” is king of the birds. Babylon’s rise from a basal state of Assyria to ruler of the known world was breathtakingly swift. In the 21 years after Babylon gained its independence from Assyria, it had conquered the surrounding nations, and become the most powerful empire in the region; thus the “eagle’s wings” portray speed. See Habakkuk 1:6-8.
Later, this nation ceased to expand and conquer, represented by the wings being “plucked” off. After the death of Nebuchadnezzar the succeeding kings of Babylon chose to ignore God’s low and mock him. See note on Daniel 5:22. Then Babylon lost its lion-like nobility. It was given a “man’s heart” and made to stand upon its “feet as a man.”
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.
lionhad eagle’s wings – symbol for Babylon (605 BC – 539 BC). Babylonian objects of art often depict a winged lion. Lion + eagle was a common motif – sometimes with claws or a beak. Similarly, the eagle with a lion’s head.
lion – noted for strength – is king of beasts – represents the empire of Babylon
eagle – power and flight range – is king of birds – at height of its glory.
Nebuchadnezzar – cf. Jeremiah 4:7, 50:17,44; Lam 4:19; Ezekiel 17:3,12; Habakkuk 1:8 – ruled Babylon from Mediterranean to Persian Gulf, from Asia Minor to Egypt.
plucked – the lion was no longer able to fly like an eagle upon its prey – less powerful rulers followed Nebuchadnezzar in the kingdom of Babylon.
lifted up – a lion standing erect like a man is indicative of lion-like quality loss.
a man’s heart – King Richard’s nickname – ‘lion hearted’ – unusual courage and boldness. Conversely a ‘man hearted lion’ indicates cowardice and timidity.
In declining years, Babylon became weak and enfeebled through wealth and luxury – fell victim to the Medo-Persian kingdom.
5. The next kingdom, corresponding to the chest and arms of silver from the image of Daniel 2, is Medo-Persia. Persia was dominant over Media; which is represented by the “bear” “raise up” “on one side” The “three ribs” in the bear’s mouth likely represent the major kingdoms which Medo-Persia conquered – Babylon, Lydia (in Turkey), and Egypt. At the height of its power this empire has conquered more than six times as much land as had its predecessor Babylon. It did “devour much flesh.”
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.
a bear – Medo-Persian or Persian Empire (539 BC – 331 BC) – corresponding to the silver part of the image in Daniel 2:39. Silver inferior to gold; bear (in certain respects) inferior to lion.
Bear is cruel and rapacious – characteristics attributed to Medes (Isaiah 13:17-18).
raised up itself on one side – or, ‘it raised up one dominion’.
2 parts – a few years before the dual empire conquered Babylon, the Persians became the dominating power over the Medes – see Daniel 2:39.
three ribs – Lydia, Babylon and Egypt were conquered by the Medo-Persian Empire.
6. Medo-Persia was defeated by Macedonian Greece, represented as a “leopard” with “four heads” and “four wings.” The “four wings” represent unprecedented swiftness. See Habakkuk 1:6. The conquests of Macedonian Greece under Alexander the Great were more rapid than even those of Babylon. In just three short years, from 334-331 BC, he conquered the entire Persian Empire. The leopard is more agile and swift than a lion or bear, yet more frail. Alexander died in 323 BC at the age of thirty-two. His four strongest generals (Cassander, Lysimachus, Ptolemy, and Seleucas), divided the kingdom amongst themselves, symbolized by the leopard’s “four heads.”
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.
like a leopard – a fierce, carnivorous animal, swift and agile in its movements (Habakkuk 1:8 cf. Hosea 13:7).
The power succeeding the Persian Empire is identified as ‘Grecia’ in Daniel 8:14.
The ‘Grecia’ of Daniel was the semi-Greek Macedonian Empire of Alexander the Great, which inaugurated the Hellenistic period.
But not until Alexander’s day could reference be made to the ‘first king’ (8:21) of a Greek empire who was ‘a mighty king’ with ‘great dominion’ (11:3).
Cf. also Daniel 2:39 and refer to BC773/4.
In 338 BC – Alexander’s father, Philip, had united most of the city-states of Greece under his control.
In 336 BC – Alexander succeeded to the throne of Macedonia, a semi-Greek state on the northern border of Greece.
In 334 BC – Alexander entered Persian territory.
In 331 BC – He founded the city of Alexandria before directing his armies to Mesopotamia, the heart of the Persian Empire. At 25 years of age, the world’s greatest empire lay open to the young king. Turkistan was attacked by 329 BC and he reached north-west India in 327 BC.
In 323 BC, he made his capital in Babylon but later that year, after heavy drinking, fell ill and died of ‘swamp fever’ (ancient name for malaria).
During the next 43 years, much bloodshed occurred as Alexander’s generals and subsequent satraps fought for supremacy of total or partial control of his empire.
Before the time of Christ, the 3 Hellenistic kingdoms of Macedonia, Syria and Egypt had become Roman provinces.
Four wings of a foul – the leopard, although swift, is given four rather than two wings to denote the superlative speed (1 decade) by which Alexander and his Macedonians came into possession of the world’s greatest empire.
7. The previous empires were represented by some of the most ferocious animals of prey; but this “beast” is represented by a frightful monster. This is a fitting figure of the Roman Empire which dominated the world with its iron legions. The “iron teeth” of this monster give it a direct parallel to the iron in the image in Daniel 2:40.
It was Rome that ruled the Mediterranean world when Jesus lived on earth, and it was the Roman governor, Pilate, who set Him to the cross, where he died for the sins of all mankind. The “ten horns,” like the leopard’s “four heads,” show a splintering of the kingdom into multiple parts. See notes on vs. 24-25.
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.
8. Verse 24 tells us, “The ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings.” So this horn is a little kingdom. See notes on vs. 24-25.
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.
Even in modern times certain animals have come to represent nations:
United States has its eagle
Russia has its bear.
The little horn comes out of the forth beast (nation / kingdom, or king – v.17).
Has manlike eyes and a very boastful mouth.
9-10. In Daniel 2 we saw a stone crush the statue to powder, then fill the whole earth, vividly portraying the time when these nations will be judged and destroyed. At that time God will set up His kingdom and reign forever.
This chapter adds the fact that God will “sit” for a solemn day of judgement before He sets up His “everlasting dominion.” See vs. 9-12, 22 and 26. His verdict will be both just and merciful, because He commits the judgement to His Son, who gave His life for us. John 5:22, 27.
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 scene after probation has closed.
10 (Revelation 20:12). An Unerring Register.–There is an unerring register kept of all sins committed. All man’s impiety, all his disobedience to Heaven’s commands, are written in the books of heaven with unerring accuracy. The figures of guilt rapidly accumulate, yet the judgments of God are tempered with mercy, until the figures have reached their appointed limit. God bears long with the transgression of human beings, and continues through His appointed agencies to present the gospel message, until the set time has come. God bears with divine patience with the perversity of the wicked; but He declares that He will visit their transgressions with a rod. He will at last permit the destructive agencies of Satan to bear sway to destroy (MS 17, 1906).  [4BC 1171.6]
Accurately recorded in the books of heaven are the sneers and trivial remarks made by sinners who pay no heed to the call of mercy when Christ is represented to them by a servant of God. As the artist takes on the polished glass a true picture of a human face, so God daily places upon the books of heaven an exact representation of the character of every individual (MS 105, 1901).  [4BC 1171.7]
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.
Judgement day – the day of reckoning.
11-12. The territory and subjects of the three previous kingdoms were not destroyed even though they ceased to exist as separate empires. In contrast, the fourth kingdom ends in the lake of fire and has no existence beyond. See Revelation 19:20.
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.
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.
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.
clouds – Christ’s appearance is frequently associated with clouds – see; Acts 1:9; Revelation 1:7; 10:1; 14:14; cf. Psalm 104:3; 1 Thessalonians 4:17.
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.
7:15 I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me.
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.
7:17 These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth.
A beast being a political power – it can also describe a religious power [Revelation 13:8].
7:18 But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.
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;
A diverse nation from the three earlier beasts:
Babylon, Persia and Greece; whose kingdoms came to an end.
The same nation as represented by the iron legs of the great metal statue (Chapter 2) – Rome with its cruel powerful iron weapons.
20-25. “The ten horns” of the beasts, like the feet of iron mixed with clay in Daniel 2, predicted that the Roman Empire would fragment into ten parts. Barbarian tribes invaded the empire’s territory from the north and east and eventually became the nations of modern Europe.
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.
horns – kings or powers – Daniel 7:24.
The little horn grows more stout, more powerful than any of the 10 horns.
Arising out of the pagan Roman Empire, only one European power fits this description – papal Rome – the Roman Catholic church.
Under Roman Empire, popes had no temporal powers.
When Roman Empire had disintegrated into barbarous kingdoms, the Roman Catholic church grew to dominate Europe in both religious affairs and secular affairs – for 1260 years, from 538 AD – 1798 AD.
7:21 I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;
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.
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.
The rule of the Roman Empire was world-wide and dominating.
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.
Around 490 AD, Europe had 10 kingdoms:
Anglo-Saxons
Franks
Suevi
Visigoths
Burgundians
Alamanni
Lombards
Ostrogoths
Heruli
Vandals. Cf. Daniel 2:40-43.
Prophecy fulfilled when Papal Rome (little horn) defeats three of these nations:
493 AD – Heruli defeated.
534 AD – Vandals vanquished by Emperor Justinian, who ruled the eastern half of the Roman Empire in Constantinople.
538 AD – Justinian’s General Belisarius removes Ostrogothic power from Rome during a 20 year campaign against the Ostrogoths in Italy.
These 3 nations were supporters of Arianism, the most formidable rival of Catholicism.
The papal Rome steps to power:
330 AD – Emperor Constantine moved the political capital from Rome to Constantinople – Bishop of Rome became comparatively free from imperial control.
c 496 AD – Conversion of Clovis (leader of the Franks) to the Roman faith gave pope a political ally willing to fight church battles (barbarian invaders were still mainly Arians). For 12 centuries the sword of France, the ‘eldest son of the papacy’, was an effective agent for conversion of men to the church of Rome and maintaining papal authority.
533 AD – Emperor Justinian wrote 2 official letters – had the force of royal edits – which recognised the pope’s ecclesiastical supremacy as ‘head of all the holy churches’ in both the east and west, and he legally confirmed the bishop of Rome as the ‘head of all the holy priests of God’.
538 AD – With the papacy freed from the domination of the Arian kingdoms Justinian’s decrees became effective. The power and the authority of the papacy grew and grew.
One by one the other 7 kingdoms became catholic or yielded to Catholicism – the pope emerged as the leading figure of Europe.
25 (Exodus 31:13; Ezekiel 20:12). A Signpost Turned Around.–The Lord has clearly defined the road to the city of God; but the great apostate has changed the signpost, setting up a false one–a spurious sabbath. He says: “I will work at cross-purposes with God. I will empower my delegate, the man of sin, to take down God’s memorial, the seventh-day Sabbath. Thus will I show the world that the day sanctified and blessed by God has been changed. That day shall not live in the minds of the people. I will obliterate the memory of it. I will place in its stead a day bearing not the credentials of heaven, a day that cannot be a sign between God and His people. I will lead the people who accept this day, to place upon it the sanctity that God placed upon the seventh day. Through my vicegerent I will exalt myself. The first day shall be extolled, and the Protestant world shall receive this spurious sabbath as genuine. Through the non-observance of the Sabbath God instituted, I will bring His law into contempt. The words, ‘A sign between me and you throughout your generations,’ I will make to serve on the side of my sabbath. Thus the world will become mine. I will be ruler of the earth, prince of the world. I will so control the minds under my power that God’s Sabbath shall be an object of contempt. A sign? I will make the observance of the seventh day a sign of disloyalty to the authorities of earth. Human laws shall be made so stringent that men and women will not dare to observe the seventh-day Sabbath. For fear of wanting food and clothing, they will join with the world in transgressing God’s law; and the earth will be wholly under my dominion.”  [4BC 1171.8]
The man of sin has instituted a false sabbath, and the professed Christian world has adopted this child of the papacy, refusing to obey God. Thus Satan leads men and women in a direction opposite to the city of refuge; and by the multitudes who follow him, it is demonstrated that Adam and Eve are not the only ones who have accepted the words of the wily foe.  [4BC 1172.1]
The enemy of all good has turned the signpost round, so that it points to the path of disobedience as the path of happiness. He has insulted Jehovah by refusing to obey a “Thus saith the Lord.” He has thought to change times and laws (RH April 17, 1900).  [4BC 1172.2]
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.
think to change times and laws
Jesus, who during 33 years, would have experienced over 1700 Sabbaths but never once did He speak to change the Sabbath day; nor is it recorded anywhere in the Bible that Sunday – the old pagan day of sun worship – should be the day of worship to God. Cf. Matthew 5:17.
An angel tells that this ‘person’, this world power, shall speak against God, persecute His saints and shall think he has changed God’s sanctified Sabbath day from Saturday (7th day) to another day (Sunday – 1st day) through an alteration of God’s eternal and unchangeable 10 Commandments.
For God’s Word to be true, there must be a world power that has thought to change God’s laws; history shows us the evidence.
The papacy has changed God’s eternal Laws:
The 1st commandment permits some gods, but ‘no strange gods’
The 2nd commandment against images has gone
The 4th commandment does not recognise the 7th day as holy
The 10th commandment has been split in two to retain ten commandments.
The church of Rome altered the stone tablet handwriting of God to more accurately reflect their compromising attitude towards paganism. Paganism relied heavily on sun worship and idol worship, so by changing these laws the church of Rome found it easier to accommodate the pagan peoples they had conquered.
In the 11th century, pope Gregory VII proclaimed the perfection of the Roman church. He put various propositions forward which included:
The church had never erred; nor would it ever err
That he, as pontiff, had the power to depose emperors (cf. Daniel 2:21)
No-one could reverse any decision that he had made
It was his prerogative to reverse the decisions of all others.
Thus the Roman church’s claim to infallibility.
By example of the pope’s authority:
In January 1077 the German emperor, Henry IV, for presuming to disregard the pope’s authority was declared to be excommunicated and dethroned. Terrified and threatened by his own princes (papal led), Henry made peace with Rome. With wife and faithful servant he crossed the Alps in winter to humble himself before pope Gregory. In an outer court and in miserable dress (head and feet exposed) he had to wait 3 days, fasting and making confession, before pardon was granted by the boastful pope (it was his duty to pull down the pride of kings).
7 biblical references cite the time that the anti-christ power will be permitted to wage war against God’s true church.
Dan. 7:25, 12:7, Revelation 11:2, 11:3, 12:6, 12:14 and 13:5.
Using a biblical calendar of 360 days with 12 30-day months:
1260 days = 42 months = 1 year (time) + 2 years + 1/2 year.
Thus all verses specify the same amount of time.
Literal or prophetic time?
Numbers 14:34 – After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, [even] forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, [even] forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise.
Ezekiel 4:6 – And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year.
God, having recorded His code on file, now through later inspired writings uses the same code for us to interpret His prophecies. By inspiration, God informed both Daniel and John on the isle of Patmos of extremely important prophecies that incorporated the periods of ‘days’. Through Holy Spirit guidance and past prophecy fulfilment, man has been able to predict future events and obtain a clear view of past history through the surety of God’s Word.
538 AD + 1260 ‘day’ years = 1798 AD.
Exactly to the year the papacy suffered its ‘deathblow’.
The victories of Napoleon’s armies in Italy placed the pope at the mercy of the French revolutionary government, which now advised that the Roman religion would always be a persistent enemy of the republic. The government urged Napoleon to destroy the centre of unity of the Roman church. This occurred in 1798 when the French army, led by General Berthier, marched into Rome, proclaimed the end of political rule of the papacy and took the pope prisoner. Exiled in France the pope died.
God permitted papal Rome to rule for 1260 years to demonstrate to the universe the anti Christ power of disobedience and blasphemy; by contrast, Christ’s ministry lasted for three and a half years = 1260 days.
26-28. The climax of this prophecy is God’s final judgement. The beast and the little horn power are judged and their kingdom is taken away; at the same time the verdict is made in favour of the saints and dominion is given to them.
These same events were portrayed in Daniel 2 when the stone crushed the statue of power and filled the whole earth.
God will set up His everlasting kingdom full of love, joy and peace; there will be no sickness or death. Revelation 21:3-4.
7:26 But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.
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.
7:28 Hitherto is the end of the matter. As for me Daniel, my cogitations much troubled me, and my countenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart.
The original written language for the remainder of Daniel now returns back to Hebrew.
1-2. Daniel received this vision 12 years before the fall of Babylon. Since Babylon was about to be overthrown, the vision of this chapter begins with Medo-Persia. This chapter is also a repeat of chapter 7 with more emphasis on the judgement scene.
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.
third year of the reign of king Belshazzar – i.e. 551 BC – as first year was 553 BC.
at the first – refers to vision of Daniel 7.
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.
was at Shushan – present in vision only, rather than bodily.
similar transportations:
the visit of Ezekiel to Jerusalem (Ezekiel 8:3)
John to the wilderness (Revelation 17:3)
also Ellen G White (EW32,39) cf. Paul re. 2 Corinthians 12:3
palace – citadel or acropolis
Greek historian Xenophon – Persian kings later used city as a winter residence, spent rest of year at Babylon or Ecbatana.
Elam – probably still a Babylonian province at time of vision.
Ulai – an unidentified river.
Classical writers place Susa on the Euleus or on the Choaspes; possibly a canal between Choaspes and Coprates rivers.
3-4. Verse 20 identifies this “ram” as Medo-Persia. The “two horns” represent the 2 parts of the empire with the Persians, the younger of the two nations, becoming dominant over the Medes. See also noes on Daniel 7:5.
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.
a ram which had two horns – symbolic representation of the kings of Media and Persia – explained by angel in Daniel 8:20.
higher than the other – Persia, rose after Media, became dominant power when Cyrus defeated Astyages of Media in 553 BC or 550 BC. Medes then treated as confederates rather than conquered inferiors.
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.
pushing westward, and northward, and southward – Medo-Persian Empire much larger than its predecessor, Babylon.
Cyrus conquered Lydia in 547 BC and Babylon in 539 BC.
Cambyses extended conquests south into Egypt and Nubia in 525 BC.
Darius Hystaspes went north against the Scythians in 513 BC.
Persian army successes – In days of Ahasuerus the empire extended from India to Ethiopia (Esther 1:1).
Persian monarch was titled ‘king of kings’ or ‘king of the countries’.
5-8. Verses 21 and 22 identify the “goat” as Greece the “notable horn between his eyes” was Alexander the Great, who came from the west and defeated the armies of Persia. Alexander died without an heir at the height of his power. His generals fought each other until there were only four left, represented by the “four horns.” See also notes on Daniel 7:6.
The two animals used to represent Medo-Persia and Greece are not wild animals of prey, but clean animals used in the sanctuary service. The next power to come into view is represented by a horn. The focus of this vision is how this power affects God’s Sanctuary, His people and His work of saving souls from sin.
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.
he goat – represents Greece, the Macedonian Empire of Alexander – explained by angel in Daniel 8:21; see also Daniel 7:6.
from the west – Greece lay west of the Persian Empire.
touched not the ground – this swift description depicts the astonishing speed and completeness of Alexander’s conquests; see also Daniel 7:6.
notable horn – represents the first great Grecian king – Alexander the Great; see Daniel 7:21 and parallel prophecy of Daniel 11:3&4.
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.
8:7 And I saw him come close unto the ram, and he was moved with choler 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.
moved with choler – to be enraged – Choler is Old English for ‘anger’.
The Persian Empire was completely destroyed; the royal city of Persepolis, whose monumental ruins still stand, was destroyed by fire.
8:8 Therefore the he goat waxed 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.
waxed very great – magnified himself completely.
Prophecy predicted that Alexander, the great horn, would fall while his empire was at the pinnacle of power.
Aged 32, Alexander died of a fever – cf. Daniel 7:6.
four notable ones – Alexander’s empire was divided into 4 Macedonian (or Hellenistic) kingdoms – cf. Daniel 7:6 & 11:3,4.
9-12. We know from Daniel 2 and 7 and from history that the power which followed Greece was Rome. In chapters 2 and 7 it was shown in two phases: Pagan Rome and Divided Rome. We saw in Chapter 7 that the religious power of Papal Rome rose to dominate the divided empire.
This vision represents power. The physical actions of Pagan Rome against God’s people are symbolic of Papal persecution of God’s people and their true worship.
8:9 And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land.
them – the ‘winds’ or ‘horns’ of Daniel 8:8.
out of one of them – if ‘winds’ – from one of the four compass points, another power would arise.
the power succeeding Greece is Rome (cf. Daniel 2:40 & 7:7.
a little horn – represents Rome, in both pagan and papal phases.
Daniel, in vision, saw pagan, imperial Rome – warring against Jewish people and early Christians –
and papal Rome – warring against the true church down through the ages until today and Christ’s Second Coming.
toward the south – Egypt was long an unofficial protectorate of Rome.
By 168 BC, Egypt was in Rome’s hand – Antiochus Epiphanes, seeking to make war on the Ptolemies, was ordered out of the country.
Egypt, still under Ptolemaic administration, was a pawn of Roman Eastern policy before becoming a Roman province in 30 BC.
toward the east – the Seleucid Empire lost it’s westernmost lands to Rome about 190 BC and became the Roman province of Syria around 65 BC.
pleasant land – the land of Palestine – incorporated into the Roman Empire in 63 BC.
8:10 And it waxed 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.
host of heaven and the stars represent ‘the mighty and the holy people’ as interpreted by the angel in Daniel 8:24.
stamped upon them – In fury, Rome has persecuted God’s people so often throughout the centuries.
In the days of the tyrants (Nero, Decius and Diocletian), in pagan times and also papal times, she has never hesitated to deal harshly with those whom she chooses to condemn.
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.
prince of the host – a reference to Christ, who was crucified under the authority of Rome – cf. Daniel 8:25, 9:25 & 11:22.
by him – ‘from him’ i.e. from ‘the prince of the host’.
daily– continual or regular.
place – site.
Cf. ‘for the house of God to set it up in his place’ (Ezra 2:68), & Jerusalem’s destruction was soon to occur (Daniel 9:26).
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 practiced, and prospered.
cast down the truth – truth loaded with papal tradition and obscured by superstition.
13-14. A day in Bible prophecy equals one literal year, so the 2300 days allotted for the events in this vision are 2300 years. See Ezekiel 4:6; Numbers 14:34. This time period cannot be 2300 literal days – a little over 6 years – because this vision encompasses the Persian, Grecian, Roman, and Papal powers, and because verses 17 and 19 state that the vision extends to the end of time.
The angel does not give the starting date in this chapter but we know that is sometime during the reign of Medo-Persia (539-331 BC), which was the first kingdom in this prophecy. The exact starting date is given in chapter 9.
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?
the transgression of desolation – term covers both pagan and papal systems of false religion, being in conflict with God’s truth.
8:14 And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.
unto me – LXX, Theodotion and the Syriac read ‘unto him’.
days – evenings, mornings.
In real time:
A ‘day’ is set by the rotation of the earth.
A ‘month’ by the movement of the moon around the earth.
A ‘year’ by the earth circling the sun.
The ‘week’ of 7 days is a period of time unique from all others – God established this period of time in honour of the creation of this planet. On the seventh day God rested from His work -not because He was tired but as an ensample to us; the Sabbath was to be a day of rest for all mankind. The importance of this special observance may be seen by God’s action when He blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it; also it became the 4th commandment of the Decalogue. In the 4th commandment alone is found the mark and seal of God – name, title and territory over which He rules and has authority. Such credentials were found in government seals used to officially identify national laws and authorise legal documents. After Moses led the Israelites out of their Egyptian captivity, God put His 10 commandment law for His people in writing high upon Mt. Sinai in Arabia. Those who rejected observing the Sabbath faced being cast out and even stoned to death – Exodus 31:14 – after 40 years, by this approach, the Israelites were being taught how to be obedient to God. Another example is given in Exodus 16, where God sent manna from heaven but no manna fell on Sabbath; God providing a double portion upon each Friday. Each week the Sabbath is a constant memorial to mankind’s creation and our Creator. Incidentally, the Sabbath runs from Friday’s sunset to Saturday’s sunset – ‘even’ starts ‘at the going down of the sun’ (see Deuteronomy 16:6 and Mark 1:32; study also Joshua 8:29; Genesis 28:11; Psalms 113:3, 136:8-9; 2 Samuel 23:4; Mark 16:2. The evening occurring before the morning (Genesis creation day verses.)
The 2300 days began at the same point that the 70 weeks (Daniel 9:24-27) began – 457 BC.
The 70 weeks are part of the 2300 days; the residual part being 1810 days.
Using the day for a year principle given in Numbers 14:34 and Ezekiel 4:6, 457 BC + 2300 years = 1844 AD.
Note that as 1 AD follows 1 BC then a time interval of 2300 years is given by 2301 ‘fence posts’; there being no zero BC/AD.
Arising from the great religious awakening of the early 1800’s, William Miller (1782-1849) and others proclaimed the imminent return of Jesus. Christ did not came as expected in 1844 and, after the great disappointment where many people gave up their faith, further Bible study and prayer by a few led to a different understanding of the ‘sanctuary’. After studying the duties that were performed by the Old Testament Jewish temple priests, they saw that Christ would have similar duties to perform in the ‘heavenly sanctuary’ before final atonement would be completed.
15-22. The angel Gabriel is given a divine command to instruct Daniel so he will “understand the vision.” However, Daniel faints before Gabriel can give him the starting date of the 2300 days/years. Daniel later states that no one understood the vision, vs. 27.
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.
sought for the meaning – Daniel, like many prophetic message bearers, needed to study the message.
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.
Gabriel – Other Gabriel references – Daniel 9:21, Luke 1:11-20, 26-33 and also the prophetic message bearer to John (Revelation 1:1 and DA99)
– stands in the presence of God (Luke 1:19), and occupies Satan’s fallen position (DA99 & 693).
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.
the time of the end – the coming of Jesus (2 Thessalonians 2:8).
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.
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.
8:20 The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia.
8:21 And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king.
rough – hairy or shaggy.
great horn – a symbol of Alexander the Great.
first king – of the Greco-Macedonian world empire (cf. Daniel 7:6).
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.
four kingdoms – cf. Daniel 7:6.
23-25. This power is broken “without hand” (vs. 25), an expression alluding to the rock cut out without hand that destroys the image of Daniel 2.
By a quick comparison of the “fourth Beast” and its “little horn” from chapter 7 with the “little horn” of chapter 8, we see that they both represent the same power:
Daniel 7:
21 “make war with the saints”
8 “mouth speaking great things”
19 “exceeding dreadful”
11 “beast was slain… given to the burning”.
Daniel 8:
24 “destroy the mighty and the holy people”
11 “magnified himself”
23 “king of fierce countenance”
25 “broken without hand”.
This power, represented here in Daniel 8 as a blending of Pagan and Papal Rome, has throughout the course of its history fulfilled the prophecies in this chapter.
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.
latter time – the empire of Rome gradually replaced the weak divisions of the Macedonian Empire.
8:24 And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practice, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people.
8:25 And through his policy also he shall cause craft 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.
craft – deceit.
Prince of princes – Christ – sentenced by a Roman governor:
nailed to the cross by Roman hands
pierced in His side by Roman spear.
26-27. The angel explained all parts of the vision except the 2300 days (evenings and mornings) and the cleansing of the sanctuary. Where the interpretation for these parts of the vision would be expected, Daniel instead told to close up the vision.
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.
evening and the morning – relates to the 2300 day / year time prophecy of Daniel 8:14.
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.
Daniel did not understand; in Daniel 9, the angel Gabriel comes back to explain the outstanding portion of the vision; then tells of the seventy week prophecy.
1-19. It is now 538 BC Thirteen years have passed since the vision of Daniel 8. Babylon has just recently fallen to Medo-Persia. The Jews have been in captivity for 68 years, their temple lying in ruins.
Daniel is worried that the 2300 days and cleansing of the sanctuary from Daniel 8 that were not explained to him may refer to an extended captivity.
He knows that according to Jeremiah 29:10 the seventy years of Jerusalem’s desolation are almost over. Yet he understands the conditional nature of certain prophecies (Jeremiah 18:1-10; Leviticus 26), so he fears that perhaps because of his people’s sins their time in exile may extend to 2300 years, vs. 5-6, 15, and 16.
These things weigh heavily on his mind, so he intercedes in prayer for his people. Though Daniel was a devout prophet, he identifies himself with God’s rebellious people.
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;
son – grandson.
The Medes were an ancient Iranian people who lived in an area known as Media (north-western Iran – formerly Persia) and who spoke the Median language.
2. God Prepares the Way.–While those who had remained loyal to God in the midst of Babylon were seeking the Lord and studying the prophecies foretelling their deliverance, God was preparing the hearts of kings to show favor to His repentant people (RH March 21, 1907).  [4BC 1172.4]
The Persians as conquerors had not executed Daniel but because of his abilities and integrity as a prime minister, had appointed him as a high official. Although busy with state affairs Daniel still studied God’s Word to understand the vision revealed to him in Chapter 8 and the soon return of the Jews after 70 years of captivity.
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.
3-19. Prophecy and Prayer.–Daniel’s example of prayer and confession is given for our instruction and encouragement. For nearly seventy years, Israel had been in captivity. The land which God had chosen for His own possession was given into the hands of the heathen. The beloved city, the recipient of heaven’s light, once the joy of the whole earth, was now despised and degraded. The temple that had contained the ark of God’s covenant and the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy-seat, was in ruins. Its very site was desecrated by unholy feet. Faithful men who knew of the former glory were filled with anguish at the desolation of the holy house that had distinguished Israel as God’s chosen people. These men had been witnesses to the denunciations of God because of the sins of His people. They had been witnesses to the fulfillment of this word. They had been witnesses also to the promises of His favor if Israel would return to God, and walk circumspectly before Him. Aged, gray-headed pilgrims went up to Jerusalem to pray amid its ruins. They kissed its stones, and wet them with their tears, as they entreated the Lord to have mercy on Zion, and cover her with the glory of His righteousness. Daniel knew that the appointed time for Israel’s captivity was nearly ended; but he did not feel that because God had promised to deliver them, they themselves had no part to act. With fasting and contrition he sought the Lord, confessing his own sins and the sins of the people (RH Feb. 9, 1897).  [4BC 1172.5]
9:3 And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:
to seek by prayer – Prayer continued – Daniel still needed to understand “the vision of the evening and morning” [8:26].
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;
 I prayed – on behalf of the people of God. Verses 4 –19 record one of the outstanding prayers of the Old Testament.
dreadful – Awe–inspiring or revered.
keeping the covenant – God fulfils His part; man is to blame if the covenant is broken.
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:
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.
the prophets – Most prophets had failed to notify the people of their spiritual neglect and their directive guidance.
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.
The righteousness of God is contrasted with the unrighteousness of Israel.
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.
9:9 To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him;
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.
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.
is poured – Moses had foretold that a curse would descend upon all who wilfully disobeyed God’s Law [Lev. 26:14–41; Deut. 28:15–68].
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
thy holy mountain – Instead of being a light to the world, Jerusalem and Israel were a byword and reproach to all nations.
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.
sanctuary – The sanctuary in Jerusalem had laid in ruins throughout the captivity and needed re–building.
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.
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.
defer – Daniel is anxious that the promised deliverance occurs on time.
20-23. This is a continuation of the vision in chapter 8, most of which was already explained to Daniel. The only thing that was not interpreted for him was chapter 8:13-14 – the section on the 2300 days and the cleansing of the sanctuary.
In this chapter Gabriel tells him about a period of 490 years concerning the Messiah, the Jewish nation, and the temple. Daniel also receives a significant clue that allows us to pinpoint the beginning of both this 490 year period and the 2300 year prophecy.
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;
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.
Gabriel – The first 3 sections of the vision of Chapter 8 had been given by Gabriel. He now returns to finalise his task.
Previously the aged Daniel had “fainted, and was sick certain days”. Now stronger he has his prayer answered.
oblation – “meat offering” in KJV but an evening grain offering in the temple according to Levitical law.
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.
skill and understanding – in relation to the 70 years’ captivity foretold by Jeremiah [29:10] and the 2300 days that would occur before the cleansing of the sanctuary.
9:23 At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to show thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision.
24. Everlasting Righteousness Brought In.–Through His chosen agencies God will graciously make known His purposes. Then the grand work of redemption will go forward. Men will learn of the reconciliation for iniquity and of the everlasting righteousness which the Messiah has brought in through His sacrifice. The cross of Calvary is the great center. This truth acted upon will make Christ’s sacrifice effectual. This is that which Gabriel revealed to Daniel in answer to fervent prayer. It was of this that Moses and Elijah and Christ talked at His transfiguration. By the humiliation of the cross He was to bring everlasting deliverance to all who would walk after Him, giving positive evidence that they are separated from the world (Letter 201, 1899).  [4BC 1172.6]
24. A portion of the 2300 year time period has been set aside for the Jews and Jerusalem. This verse groups the first three items, and links them with the second trio:
1. “to finish the transgression”
2. “to make an end of [seal] sins”
3. “to make reconciliation for iniquity”.
1. “to bring in everlasting righteousness”
2. “to seal up the vision and prophecy”
3. “to anoint the most holy”.
In the first trio God deals with all sins by His sacrificial death and glorious resurrection within this seventy-week period. The second group reveals that Christ’s death and resurrection accomplishes everlasting righteousness, confirms the vision’s authenticity, and anoints the heavenly sanctuary for use.
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.
One of the most amazing and incredible prophecies in the Bible.
An angel came to Daniel, who lived 500 years before Christ, and told him when the Messiah would come, for how long He would teach and when He would be put to death.
At the time of the vision, Jerusalem and the temple were still in ruins.
In Ezra three decrees are recorded:
1st in the first year of Cyrus – c537 BC
2nd in the reign of Darius I – c520 BC
3rd in the seventh year of Artaxerxes in 457 BC. Ezra 7:7-26.
Only the 3rd makes any genuine provision for the restoration of the civil state as a complete unit.
This was the first, subject to Persian over-lordship, to give the Jewish state full autonomy; they then had Seventy weeks.
Seventy weeks = 490 ‘days’ = 490 years.
thy people – The Jewish nation.
to finish – God, in restraint, would suffer long with the Jews as their cup of iniquity was filled.
Israel would fail to finish their transgression and make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity.
to seal up – to confirm or to ratify.
to anoint the most Holy – Not relating to a person but to the anointing of the heavenly sanctuary prior to the time of Christ’s inauguration as high priest.
25-27. These verses outline events to take place during the seventy weeks; they also have a definite structure of two groups of three.
1. “unto the Messiah the Prince”
2. “shall Messiah be cut off”
3. “shall cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease”.
1. “the street shall be built again, and the wall”
2. “shall destroy the city and the sanctuary”
3. “and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate”.
The first group concerns the Messiah, and takes place within the seventy week time period. The second trio concerns Jerusalem and an opposing prince, and is not limited to the seventy weeks.
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.
The seventy weeks or 490 years is divided up:
49 years and the restoration of Jerusalem would be complete
(Jerusalem fully restored in 408 BC)
Then 434 years before Christ started His public ministry
(Christ baptised in 27 AD)
Leaving just the ‘seventieth week’
(27 AD – 34 AD).
going forth of the commandment – God declares to Daniel that an instruction will be given to rebuild and restore Jerusalem; then the time prophecy will start.
Messiah – Anointed one.
street – a broad place.
wall – A trench or city moat.
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.
cut off – Jesus would have a violent death.
the city and the sanctuary – relating to the destruction in 70 AD by the Romans.
with a flood – in the sense of an overwhelming event.
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 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.
Christ is ‘cut off’ (v.26) in the midst of the week
(Christ is crucified in 31 AD)
The authorities in Jerusalem tolerated the preaching of the Apostles for 3 and a half years; then Stephen (first deacon chosen by church – SR260 & foremost of first seven deacons – AA97) was stoned to death in 34 AD – the first Christian martyr.
34 AD – Jewish nation ‘sealed its rejection of Christ (of the gospel – DA233) by the persecution of His disciples, and the apostles turned to the Gentiles’ – GC410; the gospel being taken to the gentiles following Stephen’s death.
The Jews at this time lost their inheritance as a nation. ‘Then the message of salvation, no longer restricted to the chosen people, was given to the world’ – GC328. Since then man comes to God, as a individual, through the shed blood of Christ.
The moment that Christ died, unseen hands ripped apart the veil in the holy temple (Matthew 27:51). The veil was heavy and strong – 3? or 4? thick – and ripped from top to bottom. By this action God gave notice to Israel that it was unnecessary to continue their sacrificial services – the Lamb of God had paid in full.
The temple priests sewed it back up and continued offering their sacrifices until the temple was torn down and destroyed in 70 AD – just as Jesus had said in Matthew 27:40.
Zechariah 12:10 – ‘This scene Christ foresaw when He beheld the city and wept over it. In the temporal ruin of Jerusalem He saw the final destruction of that people who were guilty of the blood of the Son of God.’ – GC580
the oblation to cease – Sacrifices and oblations would loose their significance when Jesus made His voluntary sacrifice.
overspreading – wing. Daniel pictures himself as being carried along upon the wing of continual oblations.
the consummation – the end of the Jewish nation.
desolate – desolater.
Chapter 10 provides the setting in Daniel’s experience for his 4th great prophecy – recorded in Chapters 11 & 12. The main body of the prophetic narrative begins 11:2 and closes 12:4; the remainder of chapter 12 being likened to a prophecy postscript.
1-12. It has been 70 years since Daniel was taken captive. He is now 87 years old.
This is Daniel’s last vision. It is recorded in chapters 10-12. Chapter 10 is the introduction; it offers a fascinating look at the supernatural intervention that takes place behind the scenes of history.
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.
536/535 BC as calculated from the fall of Babylon, by either the spring or fall year.
Daniel, who was 18 when taken captive in 605 BC (4T570), was about 88 years of age.
king of Persia – Daniel’s only prophecy dated in terms of Cyrus’ reign – seems to confirm that whole empire was now ruled by the Persians (contrast 9:1).
Cyrus – initially a prince of the little country of Anshan (in highlands of Iran) – within a few years, overthrew the kingdoms of Media, Lydia and Babylonia – united them under his rule into the largest empire yet known.
time appointed – Except for Job 7:1 & 14:14 and in this verse, the Hebrew word (occurs 500 times in Old Testament) is related to an army, to warfare or hard service; thus Daniel 10:1 emphasises an intensity of struggle.
he understood – the 3 other visions (chapters 2; 7; 8-9) were couched in highly symbolic terms; the final revelation was given largely in literal language.
10:2 In those days I Daniel was mourning three full weeks.
mourning – cause not specifically stated – probably about the time when there was a heightened Samaritan opposition against the Jews who, during the reign of Zerubbabel, had recently returned from exile (Ezra 4:1-5; PK571-2).
Events may have occurred before or after laying the foundation stone (Ezra 3:8-10) of the Temple – depends upon chronological interpretation of this period.
Significant fact – that for three full weeks, the angel was struggling to influence Cyrus (10:12&13) – indicates that a vital decision of the king was at stake.
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.
pleasant bread – i.e. delicacies.
Daniel ate only the simplest food and just enough to maintain his strength.
anoint myself – Daniel gave up the personal luxury of soothing the skin in the very hot, dry climate – popular among ancient people.
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;
four and twentieth day – the only exact day reference in the book of Daniel – but which calendar?
Babylonian – Persian calendar (year beginning in Spring) – then 1st month of Cyrus’ 3rd year would be about March / April 536 BC.
Otherwise, by the Jewish calendar (new year in the Fall), the time would be about March / April 535 BC.
Since the 3 weeks ended on 24th, Daniel’s fast began on 4th and extended through the Passover season – the degree of feast observance during captivity is not known.
Hiddekel – the Tigris; the smaller of the 2 great rivers of Mesopotamia.
5-7. Christ Appeared to Daniel.–No less a personage than the Son of God appeared to Daniel. This description is similar to that given by John when Christ was revealed to him upon the Isle of Patmos. Our Lord now comes with another heavenly messenger to teach Daniel what would take place in the latter days. This knowledge was given to Daniel and recorded by Inspiration for us upon whom the ends of the world are come (RH Feb. 8, 1881).  [4BC 1173.2]
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:
a certain man – the heavenly Being approached in human form (cf. Genesis. 18:2, Dan. 7:13 & Revelation 1:13).
The description given is close to that given when Christ appeared to John.
Identified as Christ in SL50, GC470-471 and He was accompanied by another heavenly being.
Uphaz – unknown location – Jeremiah 10:9 is only other reference – may have been Ophir which was famous for its fine gold (1Kings 9:28) – similar Hebrew characters.
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.
beryl – perhaps the place at which the product was obtained.
lamps of fire – cf. Revelation 1:14 – a number of parallels with Revelation chapter 1 now follow.
polished brass – cf. Revelation 1:15.
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 alone saw – Revelation given to the Lord’s chosen servant.
Presence of heavenly being was felt by those with the prophet cf. Saul & companions (Acts 9:3-7; 22:6-9).
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.
remained no strength – cf. Revelation 1:17.
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.
deep sleep – other Hebrew occurrences only in Judges 4:21; Ps 76:6; Daniel 8:18; Jonah 1:5-6. Usage here seems to mean ‘to be benumbed’.
10:10 And, behold, an hand touched me, which set me upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands.
hand touched me – cf. Ezekiel 2:2; 3:24; Revelation 1:17 – the hand of Gabriel (PK571-2).
set – ‘to cause to tremble’, ‘to set tottering’ – Daniel is lifted from ground in the form of a complete collapse – his strength is still insufficient to support himself without trembling.
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.
greatly beloved – translated ‘pleasant’ in Daniel 10:3.
Second time that Daniel is reassured that God loves him (cf.. Daniel 9:23).
12-13. Right Counsel Versus Evil Counsel.–[Daniel 10:12, 13 quoted.] By this we see that heavenly agencies have to contend with hindrances before the purpose of God is fulfilled in its time. The king of Persia was controlled by the highest of all evil angels. He refused, as did Pharaoh, to obey the word of the Lord. Gabriel declared, He withstood me twenty-one days by his representations against the Jews. But Michael came to his help, and then he remained with the kings of Persia, holding the powers in check, giving right counsel against evil counsel. Good and evil angels are taking a part in the planning of God in His earthly kingdom. It is God’s purpose to carry forward His work in correct lines, in ways that will advance His glory. But Satan is ever trying to counterwork God’s purpose. Only by humbling themselves before God can God’s servants advance His work. Never are they to depend on their own efforts or on outward display for success (Letter 201, 1899).  [4BC 1173.3]
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.
Fear not – cf. Revelation 1:17.
Words of encouragement to the trembling prophet, and
Reassurance that Daniel’s praying for 3 weeks had been heard from the beginning by God.
13. An Invisible Struggle.–We have before us in the Word of God instances of heavenly agencies working on the minds of kings and rulers, while at the same time satanic agencies were also at work on their minds. No human eloquence, in strongly set forth human opinions, can change the working of satanic agencies. Satan seeks continually to block the way, so that the truth shall be bound about by human devising; and those who have light and knowledge are in the greatest danger unless they constantly consecrate themselves to God, humiliating self, and realizing the peril of the times.  [4BC 1173.4]
Heavenly beings are appointed to answer the prayers of those who are working unselfishly for the interests of the cause of God. The very highest angels in the heavenly courts are appointed to work out the prayers which ascend to God for the advancement of the cause of God. Each angel has his particular post of duty, which he is not permitted to leave for any other place. If he should leave, the powers of darkness would gain an advantage. . . .  [4BC 1173.5]
Day by day the conflict between good and evil is going on. Why is it that those who have had many opportunities and advantages do not realize the intensity of this work? They should be intelligent in regard to this. God is the Ruler. By His supreme power He holds in check and controls earthly potentates. Through His agencies He does the work which was ordained before the foundation of the world.  [4BC 1173.6]
As a people we do not understand as we should the great conflict going on between invisible agencies, the controversy between loyal and disloyal angels. Evil angels are constantly at work, planning their line of attack, controlling as commanders, kings, and rulers, the disloyal human forces. . . . I call upon the ministers of Christ to press home upon the understanding of all who come within the reach of their voice, the truth of the ministration of angels. Do not indulge in fanciful speculations. The written Word is our only safety. We must pray as did Daniel, that we may be guarded by heavenly intelligences. As ministering spirits angels are sent forth to minister to those who shall be heirs of salvation. Pray, my brethren, pray as you have never prayed before. We are not prepared for the Lord’s coming. We need to make thorough work for eternity (Letter 201, 1899).  [4BC 1173.7]
13-21. Who is “Michael?” His name means the one “who is like God.” Strong’s #H4317.
In the Bible, Jesus is the one who is said to be like God. Philippians 2:6; John 1:1. He is called “your Prince” in this verse and in verse 13. Our true Prince is Jesus. Isaiah 9:3; Acts 3:15; 5:31.
“Michael” is called the Archangel in Jude 9 (Archangel means “chief” or leader of the angels). Jesus is not an angel. He is the Son of God. He never had a beginning and will never have an ending. Revelation 1:8. He is eternal. John 8:58. He participated with His Father in this world’s creation. John 1:1-3. He existed before the angels and created them. Hebrews 1:3-4. They are happy to follow His commands.
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.
prince – Hebrew word occurs 420 times in Old Testament but never with the meaning of ‘king’. The heavenly Being who appeared to Joshua at Jericho is termed ‘the captain of the Lord’s host (Joshua 5:14-15); Daniel similarly uses this word (Daniel 8:11,25; 10:13,21; 12:1).
The text describes a supernatural being [Satan – the prince of this world (i.e. the kingdom of Persia)] standing in opposition to the angels of God. The issue relates to the welfare of God’s people and Michael (Daniel 12:1) was involved.
withstood me – A glimpse of the mighty battle going on between the forces of good and evil.
The 21 day struggle for the control of the mind of Cyrus – Daniel praying to God for 3 weeks without an apparent answer – Daniel unaware of the struggle.
Satan – not destroyed – not even at the death of Christ – the whole universe had to understand the end product of Satan’s rebellion – the angels at Christ’s death still had to comprehend more about the great controversy.
God allows Satan a degree of freedom – while through His Spirit and His angels He pleads with men to resist evil and follow right.
Satan claims that God is a tyrant – God shows Himself as a God of love.
The king of Persia, by his own free will, finally makes his choice for good rather than evil.
In this Chapter, the veil that separates heaven from earth is drawn aside and the struggle between the powers of light and darkness is revealed.
Michael – the name Michael only appears in apocalyptic passages (Daniel 10:13,21; 12:1; Jude 9; Revelation 12:7) in instances where Christ is in direct conflict with Satan.
Michael – ‘who [is] like God? – cf. Isaiah 14:14 ‘be like the most High’ – a comparison with other scriptures identifies Michael as Christ – Jude 9 (‘the archangel’); 1 Thessalonians 4:16 (‘the voice of the archangel’); John 5:28 relates to the Son of man. [Also EW164 cf. DA421.]
I remained there – the presence of God’s angel was able to abide when the evil angel was forced to leave.
kings of Persia – 2 Hebrew manuscripts read ‘kingdom of Persia’; ancient versions read ‘king of Persia’.
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.
in the latter days – cf. Genesis 49:1; Numbers 24:14; Deuteronomy 4:30 – the expression refers to the final events of history.
10:15 And when he had spoken such words unto me, I set my face toward the ground, and I became dumb.
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.
like the similitude – Gabriel veiled his brightness and appeared in human form (SL 52).
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.
10:18 Then there came again and touched me one like the appearance of a man, and he strengthened me,
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.
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.
10:21 But I will show 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.
noted – to inscribe or to write down.
scripture – a writing.
none that holdeth – there is no one who exerts himself.
your prince – Michael is spoken of as being your [plural Hebrew pronoun] prince in sharp contrast with the prince of Persia.
Michael being the champion over Satan.
1. The language of Daniel 11-12 is not symbolic in the same way that it is in chapters 2, 7 and 8. There are no images, beasts, or horns. Just the same, its language is cryptic, almost like a code. Each sentence condenses quantities of information, and many metaphors are employed.
These qualities have led to a variety of interpretations. There are, however, two very useful guidelines that all interpretations must follow to be acceptable:
1. This vision begins with a reference to King Cyrus and ends with God’s people delivered. So just like the other prophecies of Daniel, this one does not focus in on a narrow span of history but covers a long time span from the prophet’s day to the end of the world. This also means there should be some parallels that can be identified between this vision and the previous ones.
2. Within the text are several specific phrases that can be accurately pinned to certain historical events or time periods.
Daniel’s prayer had been offered “in the first year of Darius” (verse 1), the Median monarch whose general, Cyrus, had wrested from Babylonia the scepter of universal rule. The reign of Darius was honored of God. To him was sent the angel Gabriel, “to confirm and to strengthen him.” Daniel 11:1. Upon his death, within about two years of the fall of Babylon, Cyrus succeeded to the throne, and the beginning of his reign marked the completion of the seventy years since the first company of Hebrews had been taken by Nebuchadnezzar from their Judean home to Babylon. [PK 556.4]
Daniel 11:1 Also I in the first year of Darius the Mede, even I, stood to confirm and to strengthen him.
Also I – continuation of the angels statement in Daniel 10:21 – unfortunate chapter division.
The vision was given in the 3rd year of Cyrus [Revelation 10:1].
Gabriel informs Daniel that Darius the Mede has been honoured in heaven (PK556) in the first year of Darius.
In that year Gabriel had visited Darius to confirm and to strengthen him.
2. The “fourth” king of Persia after Cyrus was Xerxes (Greek name for Ahasuerus), the husband of Queen Esther, who ruled at the height of Persian power and wealth. He raised a huge army with contingents from forty different nations and attacked Greece around 480 BC.
The Persian invasion was eventually repelled, but it roused a burning desire on the part of the independent city states of Greece to unite and average themselves on the Persians. There is much more detail on the rulers and activities of this kingdom than we have seen in previous visions.
11:2 And now will I show 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.
the truth – after background and introduction (Daniel 10:1 – 11:1), the substance of the fourth great revelation begins.
three kings in Persia – those that followed Cyrus on the Persian throne:
Cambyses 530 – 522 BC
? the False Smerdis (Gaumata, whose Babylonian name was Bardiya)
a usurper 522 BC
Darius I 522 – 486 BC.
the fourth – Xerxes – identified with Ahasuerus of the book of Esther [Esther 1:1].
far richer – Xerxes was particularly proud of ‘the riches of his glorious kingdom [Esther 1:4, 6-7].
Herodotus, who wrote at length of Xerxes, refers to his military might – over 40 nations furnished troops for Xerxes’ army.
stir up all – a historical fact that Xerxes stirred up the nations of the world against Greece.
In 490 BC – Darius the Great (predecessor of Xerxes), attempting to subdue the Greeks, had been stopped at Marathon.
By the time of Xerxes, the Greek peninsula remained the only important area in the eastern Mediterranean not under Persian domination.
With the accession of Xerxes, new plans were laid for the conquest of Greece.
Herodotus records that, by 480 BC, the Persian Empire was in arms against the Greeks who were defeated at Thermopylae. Athens was take and partially burned and the Greek navy (under Themistocles) bottled up by superior squadrons in the Bay of Salamis (on coast of Attica, near Athens) – but Persian ships were in too tight formation to manoeuvre effectively – many were sunk – only a fraction escaped and Persian sea forces were eliminated from the struggle for Greece.
In 479 BC – Greeks decisively defeated Persian troops at Plataea and drove them forever from Greek soil.
The Greek successes against the Persians at Salamis and Plataea prevented Western civilisation from being engulfed by Oriental despotism – the subsequent history of Europe may have been different. Athens recognised the importance of sea power and established itself as the head of a maritime empire.
Grecia – Hebrew word ‘Javan’ in Genesis 10:2 – the Greeks, or Ionians, were descendants of Javan.
3-4. These two verses deal with Alexander’s conquests and the subsequent four divisions of his kingdom. This is the end of the obvious and easy sections of this prophecy.
11:3 And a mighty king shall stand up, that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will.
a mighty king – ‘a valiant (warrior) king’ in Hebrew – Alexander the Great (336-323 BC).
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.
when he shall stand up – In 323 BC – Alexander had scarcely reached the pinnacle of his power – suddenly became ill – died 11 days later [cf. Daniel 7:6].
shall be broken – Alexander left no immediate family successors who could hold his empire together and in less than 25 years his territory was divided up between four of his leading generals.
the four winds – the four quarters of the compass – cf. 4 heads of the leopard [Daniel 7:6] and 4 horns of the goat [Daniel 8:8, 22].
not to his posterity – Alexander’s posthumous son was called king but was killed while still a child in the power struggle between the generals for empire rulership.
5-15. These verses deal with the intricate details of the rulers and activities of the divided kingdom of Greece. Ultimately two of these divisions came to dominate to such an extent that the Bible record accurately portrays them under the titles of “The King of the North,” and “The King of the South.”
The enemies of Israel, such as Babylon and Egypt, always attacked from the north and the south. Thus “The King of the North” and “The King of the South” came to symbolize the adversaries of God’s people. This entire vision depicts these enemies as warring powers whose battles adversely affect God’s people.
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.
The 2 kingdoms emerging from Alexander’s empire which mainly affected the Jews, who were located in Palestine, were:
Syria – ruled by the Seleucids – located in the north, and
Egypt – ruled by the Ptolemies – located in the south.
The king of Egypt at this time was Ptolemy I Soter [also called son of Lagus] from 323 BC – 285 BC who, as one of Alexander’s best generals, established the most enduring of all Hellenistic monarchies.
one of his princes – Seleucus I Nicator [323 BC – 281 BC] who made himself ruler of most of the Asiatic part of the empire.
strong above him – Seleucus I Nicator became stronger than the Egyptian king.
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.
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:
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.
Egypt – proof that Egypt was the king of the south.
their godsprecious vessels of silver and of gold – their bounty formerly taken by the Persians was now returned to Egypt by Ptolemy III Euergetes.
he shall continue – he shall refrain from attacking the king of the north.
Ptolemy III Euergetes died in 222 BC.
11:9 So the king of the south shall come into his kingdom, and shall return into his own land.
return into his own land – About 240 BC Seleucus II Callinicus was defeated and forced to return to Syria empty-handed.
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.
his sons – Seleucus III Ceraunus and Antiochus III the Great.
Seleucus III Soter, called Seleucus Ceraunus, born c. 243 BC – 223 BC), was a ruler of the Hellenistic Seleucid Kingdom, the eldest son of Seleucus II Callinicus and Laodice II. After a brief reign of three years (225–223 BC), Seleucus was assassinated in Anatolia by members of his army while on campaign against Attalus I of Pergamon. Within 2 years, Ptolemy III Euergetes also died in 222 BC.
overflow, and pass through – In 219 BC, Antiochus III the Great initiated his campaign for southern Syria and Palestine by retaking Selucia, the port of Antioch. His campaign then conquered Palestine from his rival, Ptolemy IV Philopator [who reigned 221 BC – 204 BC] and the Transjordan.
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.
moved with choler – to be enraged.
a great multitude – Historian Polybius cites the army of Antiochus III the Great as numbering 62,000 infantry, 6,000 cavalry and 102 elephants.
Ptolemy IV Philopator’s troops seemed to be about the same number as Daniel 11:12 cites many ten thousands. Historian Polybius cites 70,000 infantry, 5,000 cavalry, and 73 war elephants.
given into his hand – The Battle of Raphia, also known as the Battle of Gaza, was a battle fought on 22 June 217 BC near modern Rafah between the forces of Ptolemy IV Philopator, king and pharaoh of Ptolemaic Egypt and Antiochus III the Great of the Seleucid Empire during the Syrian Wars. It was one of the largest battles of the Hellenistic kingdoms and was one of the largest battles of the ancient world. The battle was waged to determine the sovereignty of Coele Syria.
The two largest of the Hellenistic kingdoms, Ptolemaic Egypt and the Seleucid Empire, were bitter enemies, and repeatedly fought for control of Syria. These were the Syrian Wars. The Fourth Syrian War began in 219 BC Ptolemaic Egypt was ruled by Ptolemy IV, and the Seleucid Empire was ruled by Antiochus III the Great. By 217 BC, Antiochus and the Seleucid army advanced through Syria. Ptolemy’s self interests led his ministers, advisors and generals to make serious preparations. Both kingdoms disputed Syria. The Seleucid and Ptolemaic armies met near the small Syrian town of Rafah. Antiochus initially set up his camp at a distance of 10 (about 2 km) and then only 5 stades (about 1 km) from his adversary’s. Many skirmishes took place before the battle due to this proximity. One night, Theodotus the Aetolian, formerly an officer of Ptolemy, sneaked inside the Ptolemaic camp and reached what he presumed to be the King’s tent but Ptolemy was absent and so failed to assassinate him.
This is the only known battle in which African and Asian elephants were used against each other. Ptolemy’s elephants were the now extinct North African elephants (Loxodonta africana pharaoensis) from North Africa and Eritrea. Much smaller than their Indian (Elephas maximus), or Bush (Loxodonta africana africana) cousins, they were typically around 8 foot high at the shoulder; Antiochus’ were the larger Asian elephants, brought from India. According to Polybius, the African elephants could not bear the smell, sound, and sight of their Indian counterparts. The Indian’s greater size and strength easily routed the Africans.
According to Polybius, the Seleucids suffered a little under 10,000 infantry dead, about 300 horse and 5 elephants, 4,000 men were taken prisoner. The Ptolemaic losses were 1,500 infantry, 700 horse and 16 elephants. Most of the Seleucids’ elephants were taken by the Ptolemies.
Ptolemy’s victory secured the province of Coele-Syria for Egypt, but it was only a respite; at the Battle of Panium in 200 BC Antiochus defeated the army of Ptolemy’s young son, Ptolemy V Epiphanes and recaptured Coele Syria and Judea.
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.
not be strengthened – Ptolemy IV Philopator failed to make the best use of his victory at Raphia near Gaza.
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.
shall return – Against a young king Antiochus III the Great seized the opportunity and attacked the Egyptians; in 201 BC he invades Palestine again.
after certain years – Probably 16 years from 217 BC [Battle of Raphia] to 201 BC [Antiochus III the Great second campaign against the south].
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.
the robbers of thy people – The Romans, during the reign of Antiochus III the Great, showed an interest in the affairs of Syria and Egypt.
In 63 BC they robbed the Jews of their independence and 70 AD destroyed the Temple and city of Jerusalem.
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.
mount – siege-works.
the most fenced cities – the main example being the fortified city of Gaza which fell to Antiochus III the Great in 201 BC.
arms – a symbol of strength.
16-20. This section applies to the Pagan Roman Empire; it is the “King of the North” that “none shall stand before.” In 63 BC the Roman General Pompey interceded in a Jewish civil war and declared Judea a Roman protectorate.
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.
glorious land – Palestine.
The conquest of Palestine described here is believed to be that of Pompey. In 63 BC, Pompey [Pompey the Great] intervened in a dispute between 2 brothers, Hyrcanus and Aristobulus, who were rivals to the throne of Judea.
Verses 17-19 are generally applied to Julius Caesar, ending with his assassination. Caesar Augustus, who, at the time of Christ’s birth, decreed that “the entire world should be taxed” (Luke 2:1), is pointed out in verse 20.
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.
the daughter of women – An expression possibly referring to Cleopatra, the daughter of Ptolemy XI.
Cleopatra was placed under Roman guardianship in 51 BC and 3 years later became the mistress of Julius Caesar who had invaded Egypt. After Julius Caesar was assassinated turned her affections to Mark Antony, the rival of Caesar’s heir, Octavian. In 31 BC, Octavian [later Augustus] defeated the combined forces of Cleopatra and Antony at Actium. The next year Antony’s suicide [engineered by Cleopatra?] paved the way for the new victor. Then Cleopatra, finding that she could not integrate herself with Octavian, committed suicide.
The Ptolemaic dynasty of Egypt ended with Cleopatra’s death and from 30 BC Egypt was a province of the Roman Empire.
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 isles – sea lands or sea coasts.
Julius Caesar was drawn from Egypt by unrest in other parts of the empire. The party of Pompey was soon defeated on the coastlands of Africa.
In the course of his Gallic Wars, Julius Caesar invaded Britain twice: in 55 and 54 BC The first invasion, in late summer, was unsuccessful: gaining the Romans little else besides a beachhead on the coast of Kent. The second invasion achieved more: the Romans installed a king, Mandubracius, who was friendly to Rome, and they forced the submission of Mandubracius’s rival, Cassivellaunus. No territory was conquered and held for Rome; instead, all Roman-occupied territory was restored to the allied Trinovantes, along with the promised tribute of the other tribes in what is now eastern England.
a prince – a military commander or man in authority.
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.
stumble and fall – In 44 BC, Julius Caesar was assassinated in Rome.
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.
a raiser of taxes – one who causes an oppressor to pass through.
Luke 2:1 records that Caesar Augustus, who succeeded Julius Caesar, issued a decree that all the world should be taxed.
21-24. There are two different yet worthwhile views in the interpretation of the next two sections; both have good evidence to support them.
The first view is that this is still Pagan Rome with verse 22 being a reference to this power’s part in Christ’s death.
The second is that the prophecy here shifts over to Papal Rome, with verse 22 referring to the papacy setting itself up against Christ, corresponding to “magnified himself even to the prince of the host” in Daniel 8:11.
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.
a vile person – Caesar Augustus was succeeded by Tiberias [14 AD – 37 AD]. He was an eccentric, misunderstood and unloved person.
they shall not give – they did not give.
Tiberius Claudius Nero was born on 16 November 42 BC In 39 BC, his mother Livia divorced his father and married Octavian, the future emperor Augustus in 27 BC Tiberius had a brilliant military career and with his younger brother Drusus helped carry out the expansion of the Roman empire along the Danube and into modern day Germany (16 BC – 7 BC, 4 AD – 9 AD).
In 11 BC, Augustus forced Tiberius to divorce his wife Vipsania and marry Julia, Augustus’ daughter. In 6 BC, Tiberius abruptly retired to Rhodes. In 2 AD, he returned to Rome and in 4 AD, with Augustus’s grandsons both dead, Tiberius was adopted as Augustus’s son. Tiberius in turn adopted his nephew Germanicus (great-nephew of Augustus). He then went on campaign in northern Germany, securing the frontier and returning to Rome a hero.
Tiberius succeeded Augustus in 14 AD. Initially, his rule was positive. He improved the civil service and restored Rome’s financial condition. However, Tiberius lacked Augustus’ natural rapport with the Senate and he became increasingly unpopular. This contrasted strongly with the popularity of the charismatic Germanicus, his expected successor. When Germanicus died in 19 AD, it was widely believed that Tiberius had poisoned him in order that his own son, Drusus, should succeed. But in 23 AD, Drusus died, throwing open the question of the succession.
Tiberius’s reliance upon the ambitious and brutal Sejanus, the head of the Praetorian guard (the imperial bodyguards), resulted in allegations of tyranny. In 27 AD, Tiberius retired to Capri, never returning to Rome. Two years later, realising that Sejanus was trying to seize power, Tiberius had him executed. In 35 AD, Tiberius made Gaius (son of Germanicus) and his own grandson, Gemellus, joint heirs.
Tiberius died on 16 March 37 AD and was succeeded by Gaius, also known as Caligula.
peaceably – After a reign of more than 40 years Augustus died peacefully in his bed in 14 AD. Aided by his mother, Livia, Tiberius then peacefully ascended the throne even though he was only a stepson of his predecessor.
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.
arms of a flood – Showing power with his flood-like armies, Tiberius was successful in military campaigns in Germany, Armenia and Parthia.
prince of the covenant – a reference to the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
Jesus was crucified in 31 AD in the reign of Tiberius [14 AD – 37 AD] and upon the order of his procurator of Judea, Pontius Pilate.
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.
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.
25-30. Under the first interpretation – that this is still Pagan Rome – this passage refers to the civil war between Octavian Augustus as “King of the North” in conflict with Mark Antony and Cleopatra in Egypt as “King of the South” in 31 BC.
Under the second interpretation this section refers to the crusades which Papal Rome as king of the north launched to reclaim the Holy Land from the Muslims, “the King of the South,” around AD 1095-1272.
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.
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.
they that feed – a reference to royal favourites.
Throughout the reigns of the Roman Caesars, successors obtained the throne often via the violent death of their predecessor.
overflow – be washed or be swept away.
Cleopatra, frightened by the din of battle, withdrew from Actium, taking her 60 ships supplied by the Egyptian navy. Antony followed her and thus giving victory to Augustus.
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.
 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.
Then shall he return – a possible reference to the siege and destruction of Jerusalem by Titus in 70 AD.
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.
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.
31-35. “The abomination that maketh desolate” refers here to the Church of Rome and points to the Reformation period and the persecution of “heretics” by the Roman Catholic Papacy.
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.
stand – stand up.
pollute – to profane.
Possibly a reference to the sacrificing of children to a heathen god.
sanctuary of strength – the holy place or the refuge.
The earthly sanctuary in Jerusalem was surrounded by fortifications.
The heavenly sanctuary, where Christ pleads His blood on behalf of sinners, is the pre-eminent place of refuge.
abomination that maketh desolate – the work of the papacy.
Jesus identified the Roman armies surrounding the city as the abomination of desolation [Matthew 24:15].
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.
he – the papacy.
flatteries – smooth, slippery things.
do exploits – a reference to those who opposed the papal encroachments and kept their faith [e.g. the Waldenses, the Albigenses, etc..
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.
shall instruct many – those living within the jurisdiction of Rome and beyond would, in times of peace and persecution, still “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations” [Matt 28:19].
fall – God’s people, down through the centuries, have been targeted because of their witness and faith.
many days – this period being the same as the 1260 days [years] during which the power of apostacy most blatantly blasphemed God.
11:34 Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries.
a little help – God in His wisdom does not always see fit to deliver His saints from death but martyrs know that their life was “hid with Christ in God” [Colossians. 3:3].
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.
make them white – God sometimes permits His children to suffer so that their characters may be purified and made fit for heaven.
Christ “learned … obedience by the things which he suffered” [Hebrews 5:8].
time of the end – the end of the 1260 years – see also Daniel 8:17; 11:40 & 12:4, 9 where the same expression occurs.
By comparison with DA 234; 5T 9, 10 and GC 356, 1798 AD marked the beginning of the time of the end.
a time appointed – an expression applied to Israel’s appointed meetings with God; the time of the end is an appointed time in God’s programme of events.
36-39. This description of the Papal church parallels closely the descriptions of the “little horn” in Daniel chapter 7 and the “little horn” in Daniel chapter 8.
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.
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.
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.
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.
40-45. These verses depict the events leading up to the destruction of the Papacy. Which is portrayed as “the king of the north.” The rise and fall of this same power, at the end of time, under the symbolism of Babylon the Great, is portrayed in Revelation 17:7-11.
What we know from the text is that “the King of the North” will face an adversary symbolized by “the King of the South,” and God’s faithful people are caught in the middle. This indicates that Catholicism will be attacked in some manner by “the King of the South” at “the time of the end.”
Some scholars believe that the “King of the South,” who opposes Catholicism at the time of the end, is atheism and/or its philosophical offspring, communism. They believe it could be atheism because, like Egypt in the Old Testament, it declares, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice?” They think it might be communism because of its power and atheistic views.
In verse 45 the Papacy is said to place “his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain.” In scripture “Holy Mountain” refers to both God’s true Church on Earth and to heaven itself, where Jesus carries on His high priestly ministry today. Ezekiel 28:12-15; Isaiah 65:25; Daniel 9:16; Zechariah 8:3; Joel 3:17. Thus, scholars see in these verses a picture of Satan, through the Papacy, putting itself between the “seas” (the people) and the “glorious holy mountain” (God’s true church and Christ’s sanctuary ministry in heaven).
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.
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.
11:42 He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape.
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.
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.
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.
Verses 12:1 – 12:4 form a continuation of Daniel Chapter 11.
1. The vision finishes with events at the end of time: the close of probation, the time of trouble coinciding with the seven last plagues, the Second Coming of Christ and the establishment of His everlasting kingdom. See Revelation 19-21.
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.
at that time – or ‘in that time’ – refers to the time of the disappearance of the power at the end of chapter 11. Events of Daniel 11:45 and 12:1 may occur simultaneously or, alternatively, one may proceed and the other follow on immediately afterwards.
Michael – cf.. Daniel 10:13 – the divine Champion in the great controversy takes action to deliver His people.
stand up – Christ arises to deliver His people (GC613, 633, 641-2 & 657).
prince – cf.. Daniel 10:13.
standeth for – ‘who stands over’ giving protection.
time of trouble – Christ’s mediation ceases and God’s Spirit is withdrawn from men:
Pent up powers of darkness descend with indescribable fury upon the world
Scene of strife such as no pen can picture (GC613-4).
delivered – outcome is not in doubt (cf. 7:18,22,27 & 10:14).
the book – the book of life.
2-3. The words “shall awake” here speak of the resurrection of the dead. The righteous at the glorious Second Coming of Christ are raised to meet their Redeemer and receive life everlasting. The wicked dead will be raised later to receive their reward.
For information on other special resurrections in the Bible see Jude 9; Matthew 17:1-8; 26:64; 27:50-53.
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.
shall awake – a special resurrection precedes Christ’s second advent ‘All who have died in the faith of the third angel’s message’ will arise at that time (GC637; Revelation 1:7). Also those who pierced Him are raised – SOP quote relating to John 19:34.
contempt – Hebrew word used only here and in Isaiah 66:24 – ‘to repel’ i.e. the abhorrence of sin – which will ensure that sin will never again mar the harmony of the universe.
3. (Psalm 8:3; 147:4; Daniel 12:3). Each to Give His Measure of Light.–Every shining star which God has placed in the heavens obeys His mandate, and gives its distinctive measure of light to make beautiful the heavens at night; so let every converted soul show the measure of light committed to him; and as it shines forth the light will increase and grow brighter. Give out your light, . . . pour forth your beams mirrored from heaven. O daughter of Zion, “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee” (Letter 38, 1890).  {4BC 1153.3}
3. Stars and Gems in Crown.–By living a life of devotion and self-sacrifice in doing good to others, you might have been adding stars and gems to the crown that you will wear in heaven, and laying up unfading, eternal treasures (MS 69, 1912).  [4BC 1174.1]
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.
they that be wise – those who teach / those who are prudent / those who have insight.
4-10. Instead of interpreting the vision for Daniel, the angel says, “seal the book” until “the time of the end.”
In the early 1800’s, many honest and Godly Bible students around the world, independent of one another, begin to unravel the correct meaning of the book of Daniel. See Revelation 10:8-11; 14:6-7.
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.
shut up the words – cf. Daniel 8:26 (similar admonition) – not the whole book of Daniel was to be closed until 1798 but only that part of Daniel’s prophecy dealing with the last days (AA585, DA234). After prophecy fulfilment then the message proclaimed (GC356). Cf. the ‘little book open’ in the hand of the angel of Revelation 10:1-2 (TM115).
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.
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?
wonders – 3 wonders as 3 time prophecies in Daniel 12 – 1260, 1290 and 1345.
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.
a time, times, and an half – 7 biblical references cite the time that the anti-christ power will be permitted to wage war against God’s true church.
Dan. 7:25, 12:7, Revelation 11:2, 11:3, 12:6, 12:14 and 13:5.
Using a biblical calendar of 360 days with twelve 30-day months:
1260 days = 42 months = 1 year (time) + 2 years + 1/2 year.
Thus all verses specify the same amount of time.
God permitted papal Rome to rule for 1260 years to demonstrate to the universe the anti Christ power of disobedience and blasphemy; by contrast, Christ’s ministry lasted for three and a half years = 1260 days.
12:8 And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?
12:9 And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.
10. The Wicked Lack Understanding.–[Daniel 12:10 quoted.] The wicked have chosen Satan as their leader. Under his control, the wonderful faculties of the mind are used to construct agencies of destruction. God has given the human mind great power, power to show that the Creator has endowed man with ability to do a great work against the enemy of all righteousness, power to show what victories may be gained in the conflict against evil. To those who fulfil God’s purpose for them will be spoken the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” The human machinery has been used to do a work that is a blessing to humanity; and God is glorified.  [4BC 1174.2]
But when those to whom God has entrusted capabilities give themselves into the hands of the enemy, they become a power to destroy. When men do not make God first and last and best in everything, when they do not give themselves to Him for the carrying out of His purposes, Satan comes in, and uses in his service the minds that, given to God, could achieve great good. Under his direction, they do an evil work with great and masterly power. God designed them to work on a high plane of action, to enter into His mind, and thus to acquire an education that would enable them to work the works of righteousness. But they know nothing of this education. They are helpless. Their powers do not guide them aright; for they are under the enemy’s control (Letter 141, 1902).  [4BC 1174.3]
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.
11-13. The 1290 days begins with the “daily” taken away and the “abomination that maketh desolate” set up. In this text the “abomination” that is set up in the Roman Papal system. The best explanation so far is that this time period starts in AD 508. At this time the question of supremacy between the Catholic and Arian branches of Christianity was settled in favour of Catholicism by the subjection of the Arian tribes by Clovis, king of the Franks.
Using the day for a year rule, this makes the 1290 days end in 1798 at the same time as the 1260 days/years. If we start the 1335 days at the same time it brings us to 1843, very near the end of the 2300 days/years of Daniel 8:14.
12:11 And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.
daily – Hebrew word means continual – same as Daniel 8:11.
12:12 Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.
13. Daniel Standing in His Lot Now.–[Daniel 12:9, 4, 10, 13 quoted.] The time has come for Daniel to stand in his lot. The time has come for the light given him to go to the world as never before. If those for whom the Lord has done so much will walk in the light, their knowledge of Christ and the prophecies relating to Him will be greatly increased as they near the close of this earth’s history (MS 176, 1899).  [4BC 1174.4]
12:13 But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.