Daniel - Wisely Weather the Winds of Life: Stand on Your Knees

 

Daniel 1 - Uprooted and Swept Away 4

Daniel 2 - Nebuchadnezzar's Dream: the Statue, the Wind, and the Rock 6

Daniel 3 - Don't Fall Down in the Heat - The Three Youths and the Fiery Furnace 8

Daniel 4 - The Tree Falls and Crazy Times *

Daniel 5 - When God's Hand Crashes their Party *

Daniel 6 - Awaiting the Dawn in the Lions' Den *

Daniel 7 - Four Monsters from the Stormy Sea *

Daniel 8 - The Ram and the Flying Goat *

Daniel 9 - Daniel's Prayer and the Forecast of the Seventy Sevens *

Daniel 10 - The Angel Battle to Deliver an Angelic Message *

Daniel 11 - High Pressure Turbulence from the North and South *

Daniel 12 - The Final Season: When Michael Arises, and So Do We *

 

 

Daniel - Wisely Weather the Winds of Life: Stand on Your Knees

December 10, 2013 version

 

Daniel is in essence two studies in one. While we can discover so much from God's words and prophecies through Daniel, we should not overlook the practical wisdom we can learn from his life too. Daniel was apparently raised well, but then he went out to a world that was at times very hostile, and at times very friendly towards him, sort of like our world today. When we go off to college, or when we get a new job, or when we move, or when the seasons of life change, we can encounter situations somewhat like Daniel. When direct attacks come we can often see them, but it may be that Christians have to fear from their avowed enemies than from their fake friends.

 

Daniel can be considered the Revelation of the Old Testament. Here are the similarities with other books of the Bible.

Concept or phrase

Daniel

Rest of the Bible

A beast with ten horns

Dan 7:4-7

Rev 13:1-3; 17:3

Wheels of fire on the heavenly throne

Dan 7:9

Ezek 1:15-28; 10:1-22

Ten thousand times ten thousand and the river of fire in heaven

Dan 7:10

Rev 19:14. See also Mt 16:27; Jude 14

Jesus comes with the clouds; every eye shall see Jesus return

Dan 7:13

Rev 1:7; Mt 24:30; Mk 13:26; Lk 21:27; Acts 1:11

Dragon casting down stars

Dan 8:10

Rev 12:4

Gabriel

Dan 8:16; 9:21

Lk 1:19

Corporate prayer of confession

Dan 9:4-19

Nehemiah 1:5-11

A flood, or river of water

Dan 9:26

Rev 12:15; Nahum 1:8

3 .5 years

Dan 9:26-27; 12:7,11

Rev 11:1-3; 12:6; 13:5

Abomination that causes desolation

Dan 9:27; 11:31; 12:11

Mt 24:15

Michael

Dan 12:1

Rev 12:7; Jude 9

The Book of Life

Dan 12:1

Rev 3:5; 13:8; 17:8; 20:12,15; 21:27; Lk 10:20; Ex 2:32-33; Ps 69:28

Coming to life again

Dan 12:2

Rev 20:4-5

Do / Do not seal up words of a prophecy

Dan 12:4

Rev 22:10

Parts of God's Revelation sealed up

Dan 12:9

Rev 10:4; Isa 29:11-12

Good and evil both increase

Dan 12:10

Rev 22:11

 

Dating of Daniel: Daniel was probably written at the end of his life or soon after his death. This would make it written about 535-530 B.C. Many Jewish youths were taken to Babylon in 605 B.C, and some commentators guess that Daniel was about 16 years old. This would make Daniel about 85 years old when the Persians captured Babylon.

Liberals very often say it much later, there primary reason being they deny the supernatural, and the accuracy and detail of the prophecies in the latter part of Daniel means either it truly was supernatural unless it was dated much later. Certain technical terms in Daniel 2 fell out of use centuries later and would likely not have been known.

The skeptical Asimov's Guide to the Bible p.596 claims it could have been written as late as 165 B.C. However, the Jewish historian Josephus in Antiquities of the Jews 11.8.5 (c.93-94 A.D.) records that when Alexander the Great approached Jerusalem (c.333 B.C.), the High Priest Jaddua met him and showed Alexander part of the book of Daniel where the Greeks would overcome the Persians. Alexander apparently was impressed, and left the Jews alone.

Origen (225-254 A.D.) says that when Alexander of Macedon came to Jerusalem, the Jewish high priest, clothed in his sacred robe met him. Alexander bowed before him, saying that he had seen someone with the same robe in his dream, announcing that he was to be the subjugator of all of Asia. Origen Against Celsus book 4 ch.50 p.565

 

The Language of Daniel: Daniel was written in Hebrew, except that Daniel 2:4b to 7:28 was written in Aramaic. Ezra was also written in Hebrew, except that Ezra 4:8-6:18 and Ezra 7:12-26 also were in Aramaic. Daniel 1-6 was written in 3rd person, while Daniel 7-12 in 1st person.

Some skeptics claim the book was written much later because of the Greek and Persian words.

Only three Greek words are in Daniel (Daniel 3:5,10,15), and all three of them refer to musical instruments. However, this does not show second century authorship, as Assyrian inscriptions say Greek captives were in Mesopotamia in the 8th century B.C. In addition, in the 7th century, the Greek Alcaeus of Lebos mentions that his brother was serving in the Babylonian army. Likewise The Expositor's Bible Commentary volume 1 p.247 also says, "There is little doubt that the names of the instruments in Daniel were Old Persian in character, and were assimilated by the Greeks into their own culture with some orthographic modifications. Consequently this particular argument is no longer important for the literary criticism of Daniel."

6 1/2 Persian words are in Daniel referring to administration (Daniel 6:1-4,6-7), and fell into disuse within a century after the Persian Empire fell to Alexander. As 735 Baffling Bible Questions Answered p.193 says, "...Daniel's correct use of these words simply cannot be explained if the author were an unknown second -century writer unfamiliar with the details of Persian government three hundred years before his time." (The word satrap is counted as a half, because it was actually a Medean word, which later was adopted by the Persians too.

 

Pre-Nicene Writers who refer to Daniel

Six manuscripts or fragments among the Dead Sea Scrolls (125 B.C. to 50 A.D.)

Theodotion the Jew's OT Translation

Hippolytus (222-235/236 A.D.)

Clement of Rome (97/98 A.D.) (allusion)

Origen (225-254 A.D.)

Letter of Barnabas (100-150 A.D.)

Against Novatian (c.246-258 A.D.)

Justin Martyr (c.138-165 A.D.)

Cyprian of Carthage (c.246-258 A.D.)

Melito/Meleto of Sardis (170-177/180 A.D.)

Firmilian of Caesarea (256 A.D.)

Theophilus of Antioch (168-181/188 A.D.)

Adamantius (c.300 A.D.)

Irenaeus of Lyons (182-188 A.D.)

Victorinus of Pettau (martyred 304 A.D.)

Clement of Alexandria (193-217/220 A.D.)

Athanasius (318 A.D.)

Tertullian (198-220 A.D.)

Lactantius (315-325/330 A.D.)

 

An Outline of the Book of Daniel

Scholars differ on the best way to outline the book of Daniel. There are two overall outlines to the book of Daniel. On one hand, chapters 1-6 are Daniel's life (and Nebuchadnezzar's visions) written in third person, and chapters 7-12 are Daniels visions, written in first person. The other way to outline the book is chapter 1 is Daniels early history in Hebrew, chapters 2-7 are written in Aramaic as Daniel's life prophesying the future of the Gentiles, and chapters 8-12 are written in Hebrew as the prophetic history of Israel. If we have puns (plays on words), could God have "plays on outlines"? Anyway, Here is a simple outline of the book of Daniel.

Dan 1-6 Daniel's Life

Dan 1 Daniel's Situation

Dan 2 Nebuchadnezzar's Dream of the Statue - start of Aramaic and prophecy to nations

Dan 3 Nebuchadnezzar Makes his Own Statue

Dan 4 Nebuchadnezzar's Dream of His Insanity

Dan 5 Belshazzar's Feast and Writing on the Wall

Dan 6 Darius' 30-Day Decree

Dan 7-12 Daniel's Visions

Dan 7 Vision of the Four Beasts

Dan 8 Vision of the Ram and the Goat - Start of Hebrew and history of Israel

Dan 9 Vision of the Seventy Sevens

Dan 10-12 Vision of the Greeks

 

Daniel 1 - Uprooted and Swept Away

 

Daniel lived in exciting times. Here is a brief chronology of events of Daniel's time.

722 B.C. Northern kingdom exiled by Assyria

605-562 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar reigns in Babylon

562-560 B.C. Evil-Merodach reigns in Babylon

560-556 Nergal-Sharezer reigns in Babylon

556-539 B .C. Nabonidus reigns in Babylon

553-539 Belshazzar reigns in Babylon

May-June 605 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar defeated the Egyptians at Carchemish.

Sept. 605 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar attacked Jerusalem

539 Persians capture Babylon

538 Exiles can return home

c.535 B.C. Approximate date of Daniel's death

 

1. Imagine that your country was conquered by either cruel communists or militant Muslims (take your pick). The churches were all burned down, large numbers of people were killed, and you and others were made slaves and shipped out of your country to another land. How would you feel? How do you think Daniel would have felt?

 

 

 

2. When you are going to part from a friend or child for a long time, it is good to be intentional about what advice you give. If you met a young man named Daniel, (or a young lady name Danielle), and they were leaving, what advice would you give them?

 

 

3. Can you give yourself advice (and take it)? Would you give yourself this advice, or emphasize something different?

 

 

 

4. If your child was raised well, but was taken to a pagan place, instead of staying safe at home, how would you fell as a parent? How did Daniel do? What things would Daniel have missed out on if he had just stayed in Judea?

 

 

 

5. On the other hand, Daniel said he was of either the royal family or nobility in Daniel 1:3-4. What do you think conquering armies often did to royals and nobles they conquered? Nothing is said in the book of Daniel about his parents. How do you think Daniel felt, in comparison to how Job felt?

 

 

6. Let's take a survey. How many of you have at least one biological kid who is a Christian walking with the Lord right now? How many of you have at least one biological kid who is not walking with the Lord right now? How many of you have one who is kind of "iffy"?

 

 

 

7. Daniel suffered severe consequence because of the great sins - of other people. The prophet Jeremiah was not listened too, the temple was destroyed, many people were killed, and Daniel was enslaved. Have you ever felt abandoned by God?

 

 

 

8. I think one of the most important phrases in the book of Daniel is what is NOT in the book. There is nothing in the book of Daniel that says "_______ ____", though it would certainly have been understandable if there was.

 

 

 

9. In Dan 1:1, did Nebuchadnezzar invade Judah in the third year of Jehoiakim, or in the fourth year as Jer 46:2 says?

 

 

 

10. In Dan 1:6-7, these four youths originally all had names that honored God. Then they received the following names:

Belteshazzar was the Akkadian word Belet-sar-usur, which meant, "Lady, protect the King".

Shadrach was probably the Akkadian verb Saduraku, which meant "I am fearful [of a god]". Alternately, it might come from Aku, the Sumerian moon god.

Meshach possibly was the Akkadian verb mesaku, which meant "I despised, contemptible, humbled [before my god]".

Abednego meant servant of [the god named] Nebo. Nebo was the Babylonian god of writing and vegetables. He was the son of Bel.

The names seemed to serve the purpose of reminding them that they were a conquered people, and exalting the Babylonian gods.

Why do you think they would consent to have those pagan names?

 

 

 

11. In Dan 1:8-14, why would the Jewish youths not eat this food?

 

 

 

12. In Dan 1:3-6 shows that these four were not the only youths taken from Judah for the king's service. Why do you think other youths are not mentioned anywhere in Daniel?

 

 

 

13. In Dan 1:12-16, was Daniel a vegetarian and not a wine drinker the rest of his life?

 

 

 

14. Daniel and the three other youths could have said, "since we have no choice" we must eat the food. On the other hand, they could have said, "we will die rather than eat that food." Do you think Daniel's course of action was best?

 

 

15. If you were uprooted from where you are at, from your family, friends, church, and Bible study, how would you fare? Are you thriving in the Lord? If so, are you thriving only because of the environment you are now in, or do you think you would thrive wherever the wind would blow you?

 

 

Daniel 2 - Nebuchadnezzar's Dream: the Statue, the Wind, and the Rock

 

 

Everyone has dreams; some are pleasant and some are nightmares. However, chapter 2 opens with Nebuchadnezzar being very "troubled" indicating that he knew this was no ordinary dream. He was troubled because of the ominous imagery, and he was desperate to know what it meant.

 

 

 

"rewards" is a singular (not plural) word, and has the idea of a present more than a reward. See Daniel : Key to Prophetic Understanding p.50 for more info.

 

 

1. If you get a dream or vision from God, would that mean you were more spiritual?

 

 

 

2. Whey do you think Nebuchadnezzar, a non-believer, received the dream from God, and not Daniel or another believer?

 

 

 

3. In Dan 2:4-16, what are at least four things this tells us about Nebuchadnezzar's character?

 

 

 

4. In Dan 2:4-13, are there people with this kind of character today?

 

 

 

5. Would you want a position as a wise man of Babylon, - after an opening was available? What are some kinds of lucrative jobs today, that if you were offered it, you would want to turn it down?

 

 

 

6. In Dan 2:20-23 what are at least four reasons why did Daniel might have spent so much time praising God after God revealed the meaning to him?

 

 

 

7. When something is lost, or we have a lack of something, we should pray to God about it. When we find it, or have the lack filled, how often should we pray a second time, thanking God?

 

 

 

8. In Dan 2:25 did Arioch really "find" Daniel among the exiles?

 

 

 

9. In Dan 2:29-30, why was it so important that Daniel say this part, even though it was not related to the dream?

 

 

 

10. In Dan 2:31-35, what are the characteristics of these metals?

 

 

 

11. In Dan 2:35a, what might the wind that swept them away represent?

 

 

 

12. In Dan 2:35b, what was the mountain that filled the whole earth?

 

 

 

13. In Dan 2:37-45, what were these four kingdoms in the "monarchy-colossus" and the mountain?

 

 

14. In Dan 2:38, why might Daniel say Nebuchadnezzar had dominion over mankind, the beasts of the field, etc.?

 

 

 

15: In Dan 2:44, how would Christ's kingdom break and destroy the other kingdoms?

 

 

 

16. In Dan 2:48-49, what was the final outcome of Nebuchadnezzar's harshness? What does this reveal about Nebuchadnezzar's character?

 

 

 

17. In Dan 2:46 (KJV), why did Daniel appear to accept oblation, incense, and worship from Nebuchadnezzar?

 

 

 

18. In Dan 2:28-3:1, did Nebuchadnezzar believe in God after that?

 

 

 

Daniel's God was greater than the king's god, and Daniel's god could set up or remove kings, regardless of whether they believed in Him or not.

 

Daniel 3 - Don't Fall Down in the Heat - The Three Youths and the Fiery Furnace

 

1. In Dan 3:1, why did Nebuchadnezzar set up a golden image, since he recognized the true God in Dan 2:46-47?

 

 

 

2. What are some ways people try to play out what they think is their own destiny, - on their own terms?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. In Dan 3:1, why make such a narrow image of a man 90 feet tall by 9 feet wide?

 

 

 

4. In Dan 3:12, since only three Jewish boys refused to bow to this idol, does that mean Daniel bowed to the idol?

 

 

 

5. In Dan 3:12-13, exactly why would Nebuchadnezzar think he had the right to be "furious with rage"?

 

 

 

6. In Dan 3:17-18, were Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego confident that God would save them, or did they have some uncertainty? Should we have confidence that God will always save us?

 

 

 

7. In Dan 3:19, how did Nebuchadnezzar's attitude change so that he was "no more Mr. nice guy"?

 

 

 

8. In Dan 3:19, how could the fire be seven times hotter?

 

 

 

9. In Dan 3:25, who was the fourth man here?

 

 

 

10. In Dan 3:26, what is so strange about Nebuchadnezzar calling the Lord "the most High God, not only here, but in Dan 2:47 calling Him the God of gods?

 

 

 

11. In Dan 3:30, what end result did the people who accused Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in Dan 3:8 see? What is the number one reason who think God did that?

 

 

 

Daniel 4 - The Tree Falls and Crazy Times

 

1. In Dan 4:1-3, is this before Nebuchadnezzar's experience, or after?

 

 

 

2. In Dan 4:8-9,18, why did the king persist in calling Daniel Belteshazzar, and that the spirit of the "holy gods" is in him?

 

 

 

3. In Dan 4:10-17, why do you think God gave Nebuchadnezzar this dream?

 

 

 

4. In Dan 4:13,23, what is a "watcher"?

 

 

 

5. In Dan 4:33-37, when did Nebuchadnezzar temporarily leave the throne because he went insane?

 

 

 

6. In Dan 4:33-37, is there any extra-Biblical evidence that Nebuchadnezzar temporarily went insane?

 

 

 

7. In Dan 4:33-37, could the idea of Nebuchadnezzar acting like an animal have from Assyrian statues of bulls with human heads and bird's wings, as the skeptical Asimov's Guide to the Bible p.605 says is an attractive guess?

 

 

Daniel 5 -

When God's Hand Crashes their Party

 

1. In Dan 5:1 and Dan 5:30, who was Belshazzar?

 

 

 

2. In Dan 5:1, what was the political climate in which Daniel was living at this time?

 

 

 

3. In Dan 5:1, why in the world would the Babylonians feast at a banquet, with vast Medeo-Persian army outside the walls?

 

 

 

4. In Dan 5:2, where did the gold goblets originally come from?

 

 

 

5. In Dan 5:1-5, why do you think God choose to miraculously write on the wall, and announce their fate, at exactly this time?

 

 

 

6. In Dan 5:1-5, what promise or prophesy did God fulfill by having the writing on the wall?

 

 

 

7. In Dan 5:10, why would the "queen" introduce Daniel?

 

 

 

8. In Dan 5:25-28, could the guests read the writing on the wall?

 

 

 

9. In Dan 5:25-28, what is the meaning of Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin?

 

 

 

 

10. In Dan 5:25-28, how did the writing on the wall help Daniel?

 

 

 

11. In Dan 5:29, why was Daniel made the third highest ruler and not the second?

 

 

 

12. In Dan 5:29b, was it unusual that there would be a third ruler in the kingdom?

 

 

 

13. In Dan 5:30-31 and Dan 9:1, what is the difference between a Mede and a Persian?

 

 

 

14. In Dan 5:30-6:1 and Dan 9:1 very briefly, who was Darius the Mede?

 

 

 

15. In Dan 5:30-6:1; Dan 9:1 who was this Darius the Mede?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

16. In Dan 5:31; 6:1, 9:1, how do you pronounce "Darius"?

 

 

 

17. How would you act, if there was a "Belshazzar's banquet" to go to today?

 

 

Daniel 6 - Awaiting the Dawn in the Lions' Den

 

In our Bible, before the books of the twelve prophets, is the book of Daniel, which has twelve chapters. The subject matter of the book of Daniel is split between chapters 6 and 7. Up to chapter 6 is focused primarily on what happened to Daniel. Chapters 7 through 12 start to go back chronologically and tell more of his prophecies.

 

1. In Dan 6:1, who were the 120 princes?

 

 

 

2. In Dan 6:1-5, why were the princes out to get Daniel?

 

 

 

3. In Dan 6:6-9, how did they get all these officials throughout the empire to agree to this?

 

 

 

4. In Dan 6:6-9, why would Darius make this decree that they could not pray to any god or man for thirty days?

 

 

 

 

 

5. In Dan 6:10, should we always kneel or do another posture when praying?

 

 

 

 

 

6. In Dan 6:10, is it good to have a set time for prayer?

 

 

 

7. In Dan 6:10 should we pray towards Jerusalem? Will God hear our prayers better if we pray in a certain direction?

 

 

 

8. In Dan 6:10-11, what would you do if you wanted to honor God in something, when continuing to do so would mean financial loss, embarrassment, or worse?

 

 

 

9. In Dan 6:10-11, should Daniel have bought curtains? Metaphorically, when should we buy curtains today? And what about praying in secret?

 

 

 

10. In Dan 6:12, what were these lions like?

 

 

 

11. In Dan 6:14, why would it say Darius tried to rescue Daniel, since in Dan 6:16 the king ordered Daniel thrown into the lion's den?

 

 

 

12. In Dan 6:24, was it not cruel to cast the men's wives and children to the lions too?

 

 

Daniel 7 - Four Monsters from the Stormy Sea

 

1. Dan 7 occurred prior to Dan 6. Why do you think the order is this way?

 

 

 

2. In Dan 7:2, what do the winds of heaven represent? Why are there four winds?

 

 

 

3. In Dan 7:2, what does the sea represent?

 

 

 

4. In Dan 7:3-7,17-19, what are the four beasts?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. In Dan 7:3-7,17-19, instead of the Roman Empire, does the fourth beast represent the ideal Jewish state, as the skeptical Asimov's Guide to the Bible p.610-611 says seems more likely?

 

 

 

6. In Dan 7:5, what do the three ribs represent?

 

 

 

7. In Dan 7:7-9, 20,24, what are the ten horns?

 

 

 

8. In Dan 7:9, when the Ancient of Days came, why would thrones (plural) be set in place?

 

 

 

9. In Dan 7:9, what do the fire and wheels remind you of?

 

 

 

10. In Dan 7:10, what do the ten thousand times ten thousand and the river of fire coming out of the Ancient of Days remind you of?

 

 

 

11. Why is Dan 7:13-14 a good verse to share with Jews and Jehovah's Witnesses?

 

 

 

12. In Dan 7:16; 9:21 who is Gabriel?

 

 

 

13. In Dan 7:25, what is time oppression of the saints for a time, times, and half a time?

 

 

 

Daniel 8 - The Ram and the Flying Goat

 

1. In Dan 8:3-4, what is the ram?

 

 

 

2. Why would Dan 8:5 refer to the Empire of Alexander of Macedon as a goat?

 

 

 

3. In Dan 8:8, why did the four horns grow towards the four winds of heaven?

 

 

 

4. In Dan 8:9-11, is the little horn the same as the little horn of Dan 7:8?

 

 

 

5. In Dan 8:9-11, why did the little horn grow out, instead of just a part of one of the other horns?

 

 

 

6. In Dan 8:13-17, could the 2,300 evenings and mornings be a prophecy the 2,300 years from the decree of Artaxerxes [allegedly 457 B.C.] to the manifestation of the Bab in 1844 A.D. as Baha'is claim? (Some Answered Questions p.40-42)

 

 

 

7. In Dan 8:16; 9:21 and Dan 10:31,21; 12:1, what is interesting about the names Gabriel and Michael?

 

 

 

 

8. In Dan 8:17, why is Daniel called the Son of Man?

 

 

 

9. In Dan 8:27, why was Daniel "appalled" at the vision?

 

 

 

Daniel 9 - Daniel's Prayer and the Forecast of the Seventy Sevens

 

We already discussed the seventy sevens when we discussed Messianic prophecy, but we did not discuss Daniel's prayer.

 

1. In Dan 9:2, what was the 70 years of the destruction of Jerusalem?

 

 

 

2. In Dan 9:4-19, how does Daniel's prayer of corporate confession compare with Neh 1:5-11?

 

 

 

3. In Dan 9:23, how did this vision answer Daniel's question?

 

 

 

4. In Dan 9:24-27, how does this refer to the Messiah?

 

 

 

5. In Dan 9:24-27, since the New Testament writers quoted old testament prophecies as evidence that Jesus was the Messiah, why do none of them refer to one of the most amazing of all the Messianic prophecies, Dan. 9:24-27?

 

 

 

6. In Dan 9:24-27, what are the seventy weeks?

 

 

 

7. In Dan 9:24-27, could a week here be seven days instead of seven years?

 

 

 

8. In Dan 9:24-27, how do we know which is the correct decree?

 

 

 

9. In Dan 9:24-27, how do we know the decree in the 20th year of Artaxerxes I was 444 B.C., and how do we know it was not Artaxerxes II?

 

 

 

10. In Dan 9:24-27, why use a 360-day year?

 

 

 

11. In Dan 9:24-27, what is the rationale for saying there is a gap between the 69th and 70th year?

 

 

 

12. In Dan 9:24-27, how does this square with the view that Jesus was born 4-5 B.C?

 

 

 

13. In Dan 9:24, should this read "most holy one" or "most holy place"?

 

 

 

14. In Dan 9:25, is it reasonable to understand the Messiah the Prince to mean Cyrus of Persia, as the skeptical Asimov's Guide to the Bible p.614 says?

 

 

 

15. In Dan 9:26, what flood is scripture referring to? I have seen a translation that says "The end of it will be like a flood", but most say "with a flood". Did Jerusalem suffer a flood in 70 AD when the Roman's destroyed the temple? 

 

 

Daniel 10 - The Angel Battle to Deliver an Angelic Message

 

This is chronologically the latest vision in the book of Daniel, and it also contains the most detailed description of an angel.

 

1. In Dan 10:2-4, was Daniel right to mourn three full weeks?

 

 

 

 

2. In Dan 10:4, where is the Hiddekel River?

 

 

 

 

3. In Dan 10:4-9, what can we learn about this angel here?

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. In Dan 10:5-10,13-21, with whom was Daniel speaking?

 

 

 

 

5. In Dan 10:7,8,15-19, as well as Rev 1:17, why are people weak when they see a heavenly being?

 

 

 

 

6. In Dan 10:13,21; 12:1 who is the angel Michael?

 

 

 

7. In Dan 10:21, who is Michael the prince over?

 

 

 

8. In Dan 10:21, could Michael be Jesus Christ? Why not?

 

 

 

9. In Dan 10:21, what is the scripture of truth?

 

 

Daniel 11 - High Pressure Turbulence from the North and South

 

In the American Midwest, there is a phenomenon in summer called the "blue norther". The weather might be sunny and very hot, but you see off in the far north a line of dark blue clouds. You know that within two or three hours the temperature will drop by 30 degrees F, and here will likely be rain and maybe a thunderstorm. Under the Persians and later Alexander the Great times were peaceful in Judah, but out of the north great trouble would come. Today we will prophetically see what God was telling His people.

 

1. Do you think God is only interested in the big picture, or also in the details?

 

 

 

2. Most other prophecies in the Old Testament do not have this avalanche of detail; even other prophecies in Daniel. Why do you think there might be so many details here?

 

 

 

3. In Dan 11:1; 12:1, why is Michael called a "prince" when he is in fact an angel?

 

 

 

 

4. In Dan 11:1, why did the angel strengthen Darius?

 

 

 

5. Does Dan 11:1, contradict history, which says the Persian King who conquered Babylonia was Cyrus I, not Darius I?

 

 

 

6. To what does Dan 11:1-33 refer?

 

 

 

7. In Dan 11:31, what was the abomination that causes desolation?

 

 

 

8. In Dan 11:37-38, what exactly does the Hebrew word here for God mean?

 

 

 

9. In Dan 11:40-12:3, what does "Epiphanes" mean?

 

 

 

10. In Dan 11:45, how did Antiochus Epiphanes IV "come to his end, with no one to help him" (NKJV)?

 

 

 

 

Daniel 12 - The Final Season: When Michael Arises, and So Do We

 

 

There has been distress many times in history, and great suffering on a local scale. But this speaks of the final time, where the distress is so great that it is unequalled since the beginning of nations.

 

 

1. In Dan 12:1, what time is this?

 

 

 

2. Does Dan 12:2, indicate a separate resurrection for godly Jews?

 

 

 

3. In Dan 12:2, will "many" be raised, or will all be raised as Rev 20:5 says?

 

 

 

4. In Dan 12:6, who were the two beings here?

 

 

 

5. In Dan 12:6, do angels know everything?

 

 

 

6. Could Dan 12:6 refer to the Bab as Baha'is claim, since he appeared 1,260 years from the Hejira of Mohammed? (Some Answered Questions p.43)

 

 

 

7. In Dan 12:8-10, why did Daniel himself not understand what he was writing?

 

 

 

8. In Dan 12:9, how did they seal things back then?

 

 

 

9. In Dan 12:9; Rev 6:1-3; 10:4, why does God seal things up?

 

 

 

10. In Dan 12:9 and 1 Pet 1:10-11, since the prophets did not understand everything they were saying, does that somehow support the Jehovah's Witness Watchtower leadership of making false prophecies?

 

 

 

11. In Dan 12:10 and Rev 22:11, how are the pure purified, and the wicked continue to be wicked?

 

 

 

12. In Dan 12:11, what is the sign of the 1,290 days and 1,335 days?

 

 

 

13. In Dan 12:11-12, does the 1,290 days refer to the Baha'ullah being 1,290 years after Mohammed announced his mission as Bahai's claim in Some Answered Questions p.43-44?

 

 

 

14. In Dan, what would you do if you had knowledge of God's will as great as Daniel had?

 

 

Daniel 1 - Uprooted and Swept Away - My Answers

 

1. Imagine that your country was conquered by either cruel communists or militant Muslims (take your pick). The churches were all burned down, large numbers of people were killed, and you and others were made slaves and shipped out of your country to another land. How would you feel? How do you think Daniel would have felt?

A: Blown away. If you had trusted in anything in addition to God, it was probably wiped out now. Even though Daniel knew this was prophesied by Jeremiah, you might still question if God was in control, after seeing the earthly monument to Him destroyed. Daniel was apparently raised well, and he was obedient to God, but is life was anything but smooth sailing

 

2. When you are going to part from a friend or child for a long time, it is good to be intentional about what advice you give. If you met a young man named Daniel, (or a young lady name Danielle), and they were leaving, what advice would you give them?

A: Remember the truth you learned. Even more important, remember the God you are close to. Rely on Him, and pray to Him to protect and take care of you and His people.

 

3. Can you give yourself advice (and take it)? Would you give yourself this advice, or emphasize something different?

A: Hopefully at least some times. Hopefully you would take, and follow , the same advice you gave others.

 

4. If your child was raised well, but was taken to a pagan place, instead of staying safe at home, how would you fell as a parent? How did Daniel do? What things would Daniel have missed out on if he had just stayed in Judea?

A: One might feel bad, and scared, if you were not trusting in God. They would educate him in their pagan ways, teach him to trust in divination and astrology, and use him in the service of their empire.

 

5. On the other hand, Daniel said he was of either the royal family or nobility in Daniel 1:3-4. What do you think conquering armies often did to royals and nobles they conquered? Nothing is said in the book of Daniel about his parents. How do you think Daniel felt, in comparison to how Job felt?

A: Job had his wealth and his children taken from him in one way. After that he had his health taken. Daniel might have felt similar, though his situation was not as severe. His home was destroyed, the temple was destroyed, his family might have been killed, and everything he cherished, except God, was left behind. He was going to an unknown place.

 

6. Let's take a survey. How many of you have at least one biological kid who is a Christian walking with the Lord right now? How many of you have at least one biological kid who is not walking with the Lord right now? How many of you have one who is kind of "iffy"?

A: Many Christian parents have at least one child that is not walking with the Lord. Ultimately it is the responsibility of the child to follow God; the parent cannot do it for them, though the parent might wish he or she could.

 

7. Daniel suffered severe consequence because of the great sins - of other people. The prophet Jeremiah was not listened too, the temple was destroyed, many people were killed, and Daniel was enslaved. Have you ever felt abandoned by God?

A: God's people might have been tempted to feel that way. That is why it was important that Jeremiah came first and told them that this was God's doing; it was intended that God would have this happen because of their sin. Daniel suffered the fury of the Babylonians along with the rest, not because of his sin per se, but because of the people's sin.

 

8. I think one of the most important phrases in the book of Daniel is what is NOT in the book. There is nothing in the book of Daniel that says "_______ ____", though it would certainly have been understandable if there was.

A: Nothing says "poor me". At no point in the book did Daniel say "pity me", or any idea that he felt sorry for himself, or that he wanted the readers to feel sorry for him. Of course if this was written after Daniel had a powerful position in the Persian Empire, Daniel saw that God could raised up anyone, even a captive slave.

 

9. In Dan 1:1, did Nebuchadnezzar invade Judah in the third year of Jehoiakim, or in the fourth year as Jer 46:2 says?

A: Both, and this was only one invasion, because the dating system used in Judah in the fifth century B.C. was different than the one used in Babylon.

There is an interesting side note here. As 735 Baffling Bible Questions Answered p.192 points out, no Jew writing centuries later would use a Babylonian calendar system that gave a year different from what Jeremiah wrote. Rather than being an error in the book of Daniel, this confirms that Daniel was written in the fifth century rather than later.

When Critics Ask p.291-293 explains the details of the two calendar systems. The "Nisan" calendar system Jeremiah (and the Assyrians) used started in Nisan (April). Jehoiakim because of Judah a few days after the new year, so the first [full] year would start the first day of the following year. Daniel used the "Tishri" calendar where the new year started in "Tishri" around October. The first [full] year of Jehoiakim's reign started on that the first day of Tishri. The Babylonian invasion took place in the summer of 605 B.C. Also, The Bible Knowledge Commentary : Old Testament p.1328-1329 adds that the Babylonians did counted the part of a new king's reign prior to the start of the new year as his first year, while the Jews did not.

See Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties p.284-285 for more info.

 

10. In Dan 1:6-7, these four youths originally all had names that honored God. Then they received the following names:

Belteshazzar was the Akkadian word Belet-sar-usur, which meant, "Lady, protect the King".

Shadrach was probably the Akkadian verb Saduraku, which meant "I am fearful [of a god]". Alternately, it might come from Aku, the Sumerian moon god.

Meshach possibly was the Akkadian verb mesaku, which meant "I despised, contemptible, humbled [before my god]".

Abednego meant servant of [the god named] Nebo. Nebo was the Babylonian god of writing and vegetables. He was the son of Bel.

The names seemed to serve the purpose of reminding them that they were a conquered people, and exalting the Babylonian gods.

Why do you think they would consent to have those pagan names?

A: They did not give their consent; they had no choice. Among themselves, they still used their Hebrew names in Daniel 2:17.

 

11. In Dan 1:8-14, why would the Jewish youths not eat this food?

A: Since these Jewish youths took the Old Testament dietary commands seriously, there were at least three reasons.

1. Some of this undoubtedly included pork, shellfish, perhaps camel meat, and other animals they were prohibited to eat. In addition, even the clean animals probably were cooked in the same pots as the unclean ones. They would have no idea what they were getting, of what kind of fat it was cooked in.

2. For even the clean animals, the Jews could not eat the blood. We do not hear of ancient cultures draining the blood before cooking the animals.

3. The meat might have been first sacrificed to idols, and perhaps they did not want to eat that meat.

4. There were other laws, such as one could not cook a young animal in its mother's milk.

Nothing prohibited them from having the wine, but they decided to just choose water instead.

 

12. Dan 1:3-6 shows that these four were not the only youths taken from Judah for the king's service. Why do you think other youths are not mentioned anywhere in Daniel?

A: Perhaps the other youths thought they had no choice and ate the food offered to them. Once the made that compromise, then they might make other compromises. But remember, you always have a choice.

 

13. In Dan 1:12-16, was Daniel a vegetarian and not a wine drinker the rest of his life?

A: No, because in Dan 10:2-4 when Daniel mourned for three full weeks, he changed his diet and did not take meat or wine. This indicates he did have those normally.

 

14. Daniel and the three other youths could have said, "since we have no choice" we must eat the food. On the other hand, they could have said, "we will die rather than eat that food." Do you think Daniel's course of action was best?

A: Daniel's course required trusting in God. He believed that God would keep them healthy, even though they were not eating the meat, or drinking the wine (which can reduce the ill-effects of bacteria-infested food).

 

15. If you were uprooted from where you are at, from your family, friends, church, and Bible study, how would you fare? Are you thriving in the Lord? If so, are you thriving only because of the environment you are now in, or do you think you would thrive wherever the wind would blow you?

A: You pastor, Christian parents, and Christian friends can be good for keeping your faith strong. However, if you relied on them as your sole support to keep your faith strong, then your faith might get shipwrecked once you separate from them. But if you are relying on the Lord first and foremost, then you should be as strong or even stronger.

 

 

Daniel 2 - Nebuchadnezzar's Dream: the Statue, the Wind, and the Rock - My Answers

 

"rewards" is a singular (not plural) word, and has the idea of a present more than a reward. See Daniel : Key to Prophetic Understanding p.50 for more info.

 

1. If you get a dream or vision from God, would that mean you were more spiritual?

A: No, because Nebuchadnezzar, was certainly not a believer when he received this dream.

 

2. Whey do you think Nebuchadnezzar, a non-believer, received the dream from God, and not Daniel or another believer?

A: It would not have meant much to Nebuchadnezzar if Daniel alone had received this dream and tried to tell Nebuchadnezzar what Daniel's dram meant. It had to be Nebuchadnezzar who had this dream, or else Daniels' words would not have credibility to Nebuchadnezzar.

 

3. In Dan 2:4-16, what are at least four things this tells us about Nebuchadnezzar's character?

A: Here are five things.

1. Nebuchadnezzar was capricious. He had these four Jewish youths trained, and after having them trained he was going to kill them along with al the other wise men, for something that no human could naturally do? Nebuchadnezzar was impressed with Daniel and his friends in Daniel 1:18-20, but they were going to be killed with the others in Daniel 2:17!

2. He was severe and harsh. In this part of the world, in Daniel 2:5 when they reduced a house to a pile of rubble, they did this by pulling out the wooden beams until everything collapsed. The family would still be in the house.

3. Nebuchadnezzar was full of fury.

4. Nebuchadnezzar was proud and arrogant.

5. Nebuchadnezzar was surprised that the astrologers answers him that no one could do this in Daniel 2:10-11. He seemed to have no clue as to how his words would make others fell or think. Or perhaps he did not care.

 

4. In Dan 2:4-13, are there people with this kind of character today?

A: To a lesser extent yes. Some people might be out to get you. Others, like Nebuchadnezzar, were not out to get Daniel, but rather did not care if he lived or not. Some people use things and love people. Others love tings and use people. Sometimes if you grow up in church you start to get the idea that most people are basically good and kind, because that is how most of the people that you know are. However, there are some mean people out there, as well as a lot of callous people.

In fact, there is a book that promotes this kind of ruthless amorality. It is called The Prince by Machiavelli.

 

5. Would you want a position as a wise man of Babylon, - after an opening was available? What are some kinds of lucrative jobs today, that if you were offered it, you would want to turn it down?

A: No, regardless of how much money I would make. All the money in the world would do no good if you and your family were killed because of some whim of the king.

However, Nebuchadnezzar was not necessarily more unreasonable than some other kings. According to Herodotus in History book 14 p.134, when the Scythian king got sick, he asked for three soothsayers to tell which person made him sick by that person swearing falsely by the king's hearth. If the accused person admitted it, the accused was executed. If the accused person denied it, then six more soothsayers were called, and if they did not pick out the same guy, then the original three soothsayers were bound and thrown on a cart with brushwood which was then set on fire.

This might be a case when a job might pay well, but there are still good reasons not take it. I think I will pass on trying to get a job as a royal soothsayer! Some jobs today, like working for organized crime, are not redeemable and you would not want. But some other jobs might be stressful, and you might get fired, but God wanted you there as a testimony to Him. For example, let's say you were elected as a politician where you had to choose between being beholden to one of two special interest groups. You could choose not to be beholden to any group, even though when the election came, you would have no campaign funds, get trounced in the election, and have to look for another job. Daniel was in a rather stressful job. But rather than run from that position, Daniel stood where God wanted him to be.

 

6. In Dan 2:20-23 what are at least four reasons why did Daniel might have spent so much time praising God after God revealed the meaning to him?

A: This is a very beautiful prayer, that is well-composed. There might be these four reasons.

1. If Nebuchadnezzar had executed all of the wise men, Daniel 2:18 shows that Daniel and his three friends would have been executed too. Daniel was grateful because of the safety of him, his friends, and others.

2. Even apart from the danger that passed, Daniel was specifically grateful that God revealed His mysteries to Him. We should be grateful when God reveals things to us by His word.

3. Daniel was generally grateful and in the habit of praying to God, three times a day in Daniel 6:10. Daniel was in the habit of praising God and thanking Him.

4. This prayer might actually have served as "protection" for Daniel. IT was obvious that no human could do this, without God's help. Daniel might have thought that he was rally something now, or that he was especially worthy of merit because he had such a close connection with God. This prayer was Daniel's acknowledgement that it was all God, and he did not do anything apart from what God had revealed to him.

 

7. When something is lost, or we have a lack of something, we should pray to God about it. When we find it, or have the lack filled, how often should we pray a second time, thanking God?

A: Every time we find what we were looking for, we should pray a second time, thanking God for positively answering our prayer.

 

8. In Dan 2:25 did Arioch really "find" Daniel among the exiles?

A: Not at all; Daniel came to Arioch. Most people could not approach Nebuchadnezzar directly, but Arioch could since he was commander of the king's guard. Often people wanted to take credit for things, claiming as their own initiative what others did. Christians should not be that way though.

 

9. In Dan 2:29-30, why was it so important that Daniel say this part, even though it was not related to the dream?

A: Daniel tried to emphasized that it was not because of himself being special that he got an answer, but it was because of God. When we do something good, do we try to get credit and build up ourself? If not, do we silently let others build us up, without protest, or do we acknowledge when God helps us.

 

10. In Dan 2:31-35, what are the characteristics of these metals?

A: Gold is the most precious, heaviest, and least hard. Silver is second, and iron the last. Ignoring the fact that gold statues were typically gold-plated, not pure gold, this showed that the Babylonian Empire would seem the best, most stable, and unchallenged. The Persian Empire always had revolts from Greeks, Egyptians, and internally. The Greek (Macedonian) Empire split into four parts immediately upon Alexander's death. The Roman Empire had more challengers than the other empires, and would seem the least secure (between the Gauls, Carthaginians, Germans, revolts, Huns, etc.) but it was the strongest. Of course there are other metals not mentioned in this dream. Likewise there are other empires not mentioned here, but they were not over the Jews. See Daniel: Key to Prophetic Understanding p.63 for more info.

 

11. In Dan 2:35a, what might the wind that swept them away represent?

A: The wind here is not just the sands of time, but more likely it would be God's working in history to fulfill the destiny He has planned.

 

12. In Dan 2:35b, what was the mountain that filled the whole earth?

A: This would be the Kingdom of God, inaugurated by Jesus Christ. This is Jesus destroying the nations. This is fulfilled at the Battle of Armageddon according to 1001 Bible Questions Answered p.291-292.

 

31. In Dan 2:37-45, what were these four kingdoms in the "monarchy-colossus" and the mountain?

A: They are the Babylonian (c.605-538 B.C.), Medeo-Persian (c.538 B.C.), Greek/Macedonian (c.333 B.C.), and Roman Empires. Here are three clues to help us arrive at the answer.

1. These were not just any four Empires, but four Empires that related to the Jews and superseded each other. Thus, Indian, Chinese, Mongol, and New World empires are not under consideration here.

2. Daniel 2:36-39 shows that the Neo-Babylonian Empire of Nebuchadnezzar is the first one. Thus, the Egyptian Empire cannot be one of the four, as it preceded the Babylonian Empire, yet existed in some form until Persian times. Likewise, the Assyrian Empire is not one of the four as it was destroyed forever prior to Nebuchadnezzar.

3. Jesus Christ, the Kings of Kings, will set up His kingdom during the time of the fourth empire.

Some liberals claim the Median and Persian Empire were counted as two empires, and the fourth empire was Alexander's Macedonian Empire. They say this because they believe Daniel was written after Alexander came to power. However, the Medean Empire was never distinct from the Persians, anymore than the Roman Empire was distinct, before, during, or after Julius Caesar's time.

 

14. In Dan 2:38, why might Daniel say Nebuchadnezzar had dominion over mankind, the beasts of the field, etc.?

A: While Nebuchadnezzar had dominion over the entire land of the fertile crescent, there might have been a more immediate reason. In the Babylonian New year Festival, they probably recited the Babylonian Epic of Creation, and the king was the representative of the god Marduk, who created everything. Daniel : Key to Prophetic Understanding p.65

 

15: In Dan 2:44, how would Christ's kingdom break and destroy the other kingdoms?

A: It would break the other kingdoms in at least four ways.

Spiritually, demons have influence over kingdoms, as Daniel 10:13 shows.

Politically, kingdoms that claimed to be Christian, or at least pretended to be Christian, would rule much of the world, starting with the Roman Empire in Constantine's time (324 A.D.).

Culturally, A Christian worldview would dominate western thought for over fifteen hundred years.

Ultimately, (and this is most important) God the Son will come on the earth, set up His rule, every knee will bow to Jesus (Philippians 2:9-11), and all will be under His dominion (1 Corinthians 15:24-25).

 

16. In Dan 2:48-49, what was the final outcome of Nebuchadnezzar's harshness? What does this reveal about Nebuchadnezzar's character?

A: Nebuchadnezzar gave Daniel a high position and lavished gifts on him. Perhaps Nebuchadnezzar did this not out of love for Daniel, but rather to make an example of him so that others would want to loyally serve Nebuchadnezzar too.

 

17. In Dan 2:46 (KJV), why did Daniel appear to accept oblation, incense, and worship from Nebuchadnezzar?

A: A better translation than "worship" is "praise". One issue is whether or not Daniel was wise to accept this praise. However, even assuming Daniel acted properly, this was praise and definitely not worship, as no king would want to compromise his authority by worshipping one of his subjects.

 

18. In Dan 2:28-3:1, did Nebuchadnezzar believe in God after that?

A: Nebuchadnezzar at least believed that Daniel's God was to be reckoned with, especially since Daniel's God could set up and depose kingdoms. However, after that, in Daniel 3:1 Nebuchadnezzar set up an image that everyone had to bow down and worship.

 

 

Daniel 3 - Don't Fall Down in the Heat - The Three Youths and the Fiery Furnace - My Answers

 

1. In Dan 3:1, why did Nebuchadnezzar set up a golden image, since he recognized the true God in Dan 2:46-47?

A: While the book of Daniel does not imply either a short or long time interval between the vision and the statue, the two were likely related. Nebuchadnezzar might have gotten got the idea from his dream in Daniel 2. The Wycliffe Bible Dictionary p.831-832, points out that perhaps Nebuchadnezzar was trying to defy God's message given in the king's dream, that his kingdom would fall. Alternately, Nebuchadnezzar, on his own terms, was trying to fulfill the gold part of the dream.

 

2. What are some ways people try to play out what they think is their own destiny, - on their own terms?

A: People can see something as their destiny, fate, or God's choice for their life based on their talents and gifts, their circumstances, what others tell them, or just the opportunities they see. Adults do this, but high-schoolers and college students are told they must do this to decide their career, or sometimes the kind of spouse they want. Once they think that something is for them, they naturally might go through the following steps.

Have an idea of what one or more successful outcomes would be.

They want to first visualize and believe it,

Then get others to believe their perceived destiny

Take small steps to realize it while hedging their bets or "keeping their day job".

Test the waters and see how things go so far.

Sometimes they might "count the cost" and decide if the dedicated investment in time, money is worth the goal.

At some point take the leap, and go all in for it, realizing they are cutting off their other options.

Then they either make it, or else go with a lesser, fallback option, or feel depressed because they completely failed and think they won't get another chance to try anything. Or, they realize that there will be other days and other opportunities and they keep trying, perhaps at the same thing, or at something else.

The preceding might be a wise, natural way of accomplishing your goal, but notice that God has nothing to do with the preceding. Instead, why not start with prayer, and ask for God's leading on being successful on what God wants you to be, as well as keeping your eyes open for situations that would set you up for failure.

Then pray for God's leading, and then you can do the preceding steps, asking for God's guidance and help each step of the way.

 

3. In Dan 3:1, why make such a narrow image of a man 90 feet tall by 9 feet wide?

A: These were not necessarily the dimensions of the figure but of the statue. The sculpture probably was on a tall pedestal.

 

4. In Dan 3:12, since only three Jewish boys refused to bow to this idol, does that mean Daniel bowed to the idol?

A: No, because in both Daniel 1 and Daniel 6, Daniel showed that he would not do things disobedient to God. Daniel and other godly Jews were not caught, because they were not present there. When Critics Ask p.294 also mentions that since Daniel was a government official, he could have been out of town on business at the time.

 

5. In Dan 3:12-13, exactly why would Nebuchadnezzar think he had the right to be "furious with rage"?

A: The reason given to the king in verse 12 was that they paid no attention to Nebuchadnezzar's gods or his statue. However, that is probably just a cover for the real reason. Many idolators pagans do not pay that much attention to their gods. As one Hindu told me, it was not good to be too religious. If they learn something about the one true God, even if they think this might be true, they may not think it any more serious than the way they think about other gods. It was not because some people in the world were not worshipping Nebuchadnezzar's gods, because the Persians, Scythians, Lydians, and Egyptians did not worship those gods either.

The reason was that these men were knowingly and defiantly disobeying a direct order. It probably did not even occur to Nebuchadnezzar that there would be times when obeying the order of the True God of Heaven was more important than following the order of an earthly king. On one hand, his pride would be offended; on the other hand, if he did not severely punish them for disobeying an order, then other subjects might be more prone to disobey other orders of his too.

Be aware that today bosses and some government officials can be furious when a subordinate defiantly disobeys an order, and especially when others can see that too.

 

6. In Dan 3:17-18, were Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego confident that God would save them, or did they have some uncertainty? Should we have confidence that God will always save us?

A: They had some uncertainty, as shown by verse 18. But even if God was not going to save them, they would rather die in the blazing fire than compromise by bowing to the statue.

 

7. In Dan 3:19, how did Nebuchadnezzar's attitude change so that he was "no more Mr. nice guy"?

A: Before he thought he was kind to threaten them with being thrown into the fiery furnace, yet still give them one last chance. Now he no longer wanted to reason with them, but made the furnace hotter to make an example of them. In verse 22, it was so hot that even the soldiers throwing them in were burned up, but we have no indication that this even bothered Nebuchadnezzar at all. Many times kings and top leaders do not care about people, but about their position, and power derived fro their subordinates following them. Sometimes even leaders, who do care about people, can abandon their care if they are put in a defensive position.

 

8. In Dan 3:19, how could the fire be seven times hotter?

A: They could not measure the temperature of the fire. Rather, there were probably a number of air bellows used to feed oxygen to the fire, and seven (or seven times) as many were turned on to provide more heat. Long prior to this time, iron weapons were not very common because they could not make furnaces hot enough. But by the time of the Babylonians (and even earlier Assyrians) they could make furnaces that could melt and forge iron.

 

9. In Dan 3:25, who was the fourth man here?

A: This is generally believed to be a pre-incarnate appearance of Christ Himself. While it could simply have been an angel, Nebuchadnezzar's comment that the fourth "is like a son of God" opens that possibility that it could be Christ. Early church writers who said this were Christ were Irenaeus, Tertullian, Hippolytus, and Cyprian of Carthage

Hippolytus (225-235/6 A.D.) in fragment 3 (Commentary on Daniel) ch.2.93 p.188 also mentions that Jesus was in the furnace with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, though Jesus was not yet born on earth of a virgin. After Nicea Hilary and Augustine of Hippo taught the same. Jerome thought it was not Christ, but rather just an angel who prefigured in type Christ.

 

10. In Dan 3:26, what is so strange about Nebuchadnezzar calling the Lord "the most High God, not only here, but in Dan 2:47 calling Him the God of gods?

A: This is the same Nebuchadnezzar who set up the statute to worship in Daniel 3:1. Apparently it did not click in his mind that if there was a Most High God, then we should pay attention to what He says, and not worship other so-called gods.

 

11. In Dan 3:30, what end result did the people who accused Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in Dan 3:8 see? What is the number one reason who think God did that?

A: They saw the three Jewish youths promoted. The number one reason was probably NOT as a reward to Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. It was probably that God's name be magnified, and if others heard abut the promotion, they might be more inclined to listen to the Most High God. Jews especially, who might be tempted to drift away and assimilate, would be encouraged.

 

Daniel 4 - The Tree Falls and Crazy Times - My Answers

 

1. In Dan 4:1-3, is this before Nebuchadnezzar's experience, or after?

A: This is after Daniel's experience, because this first person account by Nebuchadnezzar is from the letter Nebuchadnezzar wrote later.

 

2. In Dan 4:8-9,18, why did the king persist in calling Daniel Belteshazzar, and that the spirit of the "holy gods" is in him?

A: Daniel spoke that he served the Most High God (singular), but Nebuchadnezzar apparently heard that as Daniel served the gods (plural). Many times when we say things, and people say they believe us, they still filter what we say through their worldview, and re-interpret our words to fit their pre-conceived ideas.

 

3. In Dan 4:10-17, why do you think God gave Nebuchadnezzar this dream?

A: It would not have the same credibility in the king's eyes if the dream was given to Daniel or someone else. It was not given to Nebuchadnezzar because he was more spiritual, or better than Daniel, or because Nebuchadnezzar was godly at all. God giving it to the most appropriate person was for God's purposes, and not due to any merit of Nebuchadnezzar.

 

4. In Dan 4:13,23, what is a "watcher"?

A: This would be a type of angel. Jewish apocryphal literature also mentions angelic watchers, but they might have been written after Daniel. At the very least, the apocryphal literature shows that the Jews were familiar with the concept of a watcher class of angels.

 

5. In Dan 4:33-37, when did Nebuchadnezzar temporarily leave the throne because he went insane?

A: Daniel 4 says that twelve months after this dream, God finally dealt with Nebuchadnezzar's pride and fulfilled this prophecy.

The Aramaic word here can mean "time or season" as well as "year". Thus, 735 Baffling Bible Questions Answered p.195 points out that this might be less than two years rather than seven years.

The Believer's Bible Commentary p.1080-1081,1092 adds that this mental condition is called boanthropy (meaning ox-man.) Dr. R. K. Harrison discusses a man he met with this condition in his Introduction to the Old Testament p.1114-1117.

See The Bible Knowledge Commentary : Old Testament p.1343 and the Wycliffe Bible Dictionary p.1190 for more info.

 

6. In Dan 4:33-37, is there any extra-Biblical evidence that Nebuchadnezzar temporarily went insane?

A: Perhaps. While the skeptical Asimov's Guide to the Bible p.605 says there is none, but The Expositor's Bible Commentary volume 7 p.63 mentions an interesting Aramaic Dead Sea scroll fragment found at Qumran in cave 4. It is a prayer attributed to Nabonidus that says, "The words of the prayer which Nabunai(d), King of Assyria and Babylon, the great king, prayed when he was smitten with an unpleasant skin-disease by the ordinance of God Most High in the city of Teima: ' I was smitten with an unpleasant skin-disease for seven years ... to the name of God Most High'" (This conjectural translation, dependent on several restorations of missing letters, was published by J.T. Milik in Revue Biblique, 63 (1956): 408; cf. Saggs, Babylon, p.154 for the English version above.) The Expositor's Bible Commentary volume 7 p.63 says this might be a late, partially legendary fragment, that either could contain a true account either of a skin disease of Nabonidus. But, it says, "... a careful examination of the Nabonidus fragment shows that it is far more likely to have been a late, garbled tradition of the illness of Nebuchadnezzar himself, if indeed it does not represent a later illness that actually befell Nabonidus personally (whose ten years of confinement to the North Arabian city of Teima [Teman] may have been partly occasioned by the illness.)".

The Expositor's Bible Commentary volume 1 p.246-247 says that the Prayer of Nabonidus is too mythical to be helpful, but adds that we still know of the madness of Nebuchadnezzar through Berossus, a third century Babylonians priest and historian, and the second century writer Abydenus, who said that Nebuchadnezzar was "possessed by some god or other", where he made a prophecy and disappeared from Babylon.

So, this evidence is certainly not conclusive, but it illustrates that the official Babylonian records and Greek history do not give all the details.

 

7. In Dan 4:33-37, could the idea of Nebuchadnezzar acting like an animal have from Assyrian statues of bulls with human heads and bird's wings, as the skeptical Asimov's Guide to the Bible p.605 says is an attractive guess?

A: Not likely. First of all, humans with heads of bulls were known in ancient Egypt and Crete from the time of Moses. Second, these were Assyrian statues, not Babylonian. Daniel would have less reason to write something about an "animal-man", than Moses who lived in Egypt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Daniel 5 - When God's Hand Crashes Their Party - My Answers

 

1. In Dan 5:1 and Dan 5:30, who was Belshazzar?

A: The Greek historian Herodotus, writing only about 90 years after the fall of Babylon, never mentioned Belshazzar and explicitly said the last king was Nabonidus. Until the 20th century, that was the final word on the subject apart from the Bible. This would be one of the things Christians would have to accept that there would be an explanation someday, without knowing the explanation.

However, in the 20th century archaeologists have found a cuneiform table, called the "Persian Verse Account of Nabonidus". Belshazzar was the firstborn son of Nabonidus, and after his first three years of rule (553 B.C.), Nabonidus went into voluntary exile for ten years in Tema in Arabia, and Nabonidus appointed Belshazzar as the ruler. Significantly, when the Persians conquered Babylon, Nabonidus was not even there; he was in Tema in the northern part of modern Saudi Arabia. When Critics Ask p.209 concludes on this, "Since Belshazzar was the subordinate of Nabonidus, his name was forgotten, because the ancient Babylonian and Greek historians were primarily interested in the reigns of the official kings. Daniel's record has proven to be amazingly accurate."

Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties p.286 mentions an "inscription of Nabunaid" uncovered at Ur. The earliest time archaeologists found any evidence of Belshazzar was in 1854 according to the New International Bible Commentary p.848. Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties p.286 also adds that other cuneiform documents say how Belshazzar presented sheep and oxen offerings at the temples of Sippar as "an offering of the king."

Now Herodotus is considered generally to be very accurate. If Belshazzar's co-regency (under Nabonidus) was so insignificant that Herodotus, writing 90 years later, overlooked it, how could anyone expect the book of Daniel to naturally get this correct, unless Daniel were written at this time? Since Daniel knew more about this than Herodotus, is it simply amazing that some liberal scholars in the late Twentieth century still considered Daniel as a second century book.

 

2. In Dan 5:1, what was the political climate in which Daniel was living at this time?

A: After Nebuchadnezzar of previous chapters died in 562 B.C., there were troubled times. Historians actually call this empire the Neo-Babylonian Empire, to distinguish it from the past Empire under Hammurapi. Here are the kings

627-605 B.C. Nabopolassar (Nabu-apal-usur)

605-Aug/Sept./562 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar II (Nabu-kudurri-usur)

562-August 560 B.C. Evil-Merodach (Amel-Marduk) Nebuchadnezzar's son (assassinated)

560-556 B.C. Neriglissar (Nergal-Sharezer) Nebuchadnezzar's son-in-law

May-June 556 B.C (2 months) Labashi-Marduk (assassinated)

556-539 B.C. Nabonidus (Nabu-na'ia)

553- October 11 or 12/539 B.C. Belshazzar (Bel-shar-usur) (co-regent)

October 11 or 12.539 B.C. Persian governor Ugbar of Gutium captures Babylon

According to the Greek historian Herodotus (1:191) the way they captured it was ingenious. They built a large "lake" to temporarily divert the water of the Euphrates River. Then at night, they waded under the wall where the Euphrates River was and surprised the Babylonians, who were feasting.

See the New International Bible Commentary p.848 and The Bible Knowledge Commentary : Old Testament p.1344-1345 for more info.

 

3. In Dan 5:1, why in the world would the Babylonians feast at a banquet, with vast Medeo-Persian army outside the walls?

A: Perhaps it was general pride in their defenses, or else a sudden "in your face" show of bravado. The city wall was massive, and part of the wall was (seemingly) impossible to attack because the Euphrates River flowed under it. The city was built to hold food supplies for 20 years.

Also Nabonidus' mother was a high priestess of the moon god at Haran. He restored many temples, including the temple at Haran to the moon god, Sin. So perhaps one reason for taking out the vessels from the Temple in Jerusalem was to show the superiority of their gods. A related reason might have been to undo the influence of Nebuchadnezzar, promoting the God of Daniel.

 

4. In Dan 5:2, where did the gold goblets originally come from?

A: Solomon made a lot of gold and silver for the Lord's Temple about 950 B.C. The interesting thing about gold is that even if you bury it in the ground, it does not tarnish or corrode. We don't know if they took the silver goblets from the temple, and the silver was protected from tarnishing, or if the silver goblets were not from the temple. On the other hand, while the Septuagint, Vulgate, and Theodotion all say gold and silver goblets, the Aramaic only says gold goblets.

 

5. In Dan 5:1-5, why do you think God choose to miraculously write on the wall, and announce their fate, at exactly this time?

A: Two reasons. First, they were using expensive things given to God's temple to praise pagan gods. Second and perhaps related, that night they would be slain by the Persians. The Persians by the way, took over Babylon, but did not destroy Babylon until years later.

 

6. In Dan 5:1-5, what promise or prophesy did God fulfill by having the writing on the wall?

A: In Jeremiah 27:21-22, God said the holy vessels would be stored in Babylon, until the day He visited the vessels, and then they would be returned to Jerusalem. The Babylonians did not get much chance to use them though, before the writing on the wall appeared.

 

7. In Dan 5:10, why would the "queen" introduce Daniel?

A: Belshazzar did not think to do this, which indicates he did not have much association with Daniel, and did not value his advice. This is 23 years after Nebuchadnezzar's death, so Daniel was much older now. The "queen" here might have been the queen mother, perhaps a wife of Nebuchadnezzar, who remembered Daniel and brought him.

 

8. In Dan 5:25-28, could the guests read the writing on the wall?

A: The four words were written in Aramaic, and Aramaic was widely spoken in Babylonia as well as Persia, so probably all those who could read could read the words. However, deciphering this riddle was another story.

 

9. In Dan 5:25-28, what is the meaning of Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin?

A: Scholars are unsure of the meaning of these Aramaic words. There are three possibilities, and a play on words could include more than one.

a) They are words that referred to money. The mina, shekel, and half-mina were common coins. The Wycliffe Dictionary of Biblical Archaeology p.170 has a picture of a one mina weight from the time of Nebuchadnezzar.

b) They meant numbered, numbered, weighted, and divisions.

c) "u" in upharsin can mean "and". pharsin is the plural of peres, which would sound like their word for Persian.

 

10. In Dan 5:25-28, how did the writing on the wall help Daniel?

A: Many people would certainly hear that Daniel predicted the Persians would defeat the Babylonians. A speculation is that if the Persians heard of this, they would be favorably impressed with Daniel, and they would be more likely to retain Daniel as a high official.

 

11. In Dan 5:29, why was Daniel made the third highest ruler and not the second?

A: Belshazzar could not offer Daniel anything higher, as Nabonidus was the highest ruler, and Belshazzar himself was the second.

 

12. In Dan 5:29b, was it unusual that there would be a third ruler in the kingdom?

A: No, both Assyrian and Babylonian inscriptions mention having a third ruler in the kingdom. The "third ruler" might be like a vizier, or "manager" under the king and his successor. Having a deeper line of succession woud also be safer if the top two kings got killed suddenly. See the New International Bible Commentary p.858 for more info.

 

13. In Dan 5:30-31 and Dan 9:1, what is the difference between a Mede and a Persian?

A: This question is more complicated than it first appears. Three points to consider in the answer.

1. The Medes and Persians were two distinct but related peoples. The Medes were very closely related to the Scythians and lived in central Iran, while the Persians lived in ancient Elam in southwestern Iran. The two peoples were always closely allied together, with the Medes being the dominant partner. This changed under Cyrus (a Persian who was one-fourth Mede), when he defeated his Median grandfather Astyges in 625 B.C.. From then on, the Persians had the dominant role, and Herodotus 3.91-96 says the Medes had to pay the annual tax to the Persian Empire.

2. However, Herodotus 1.135 also says the Persians adopted Median dress. "As Widengren notes, 'both Medes and Persians were often called simply Medes by the Greeks, and this usage evidently dates from the first contact between Greeks in Ionia and Iranians of the west." The Persians were known as Medes down to the age of Demosthenes (fourth century B.C.)." (Persia and the Bible p.56-57)

3. In the Bible, they were considered collectively as one people, "Medes and Persians", in Daniel 6:8,12,15, and "Persians and Medes" in Esther 1:3,14. Persia and the Bible p.57 also says that both were termed just "Medes" in Isaiah 13:17ff and Jeremiah 51:11,28).

 

14. In Dan 5:30-6:1 and Dan 9:1 very briefly, who was Darius the Mede?

A: Most think he was the first governor of Babylon, named Gubaru, though some think it was Cyrus himself. The reason it says Darius is either:

a) a manuscript copyist error,

b) a throne name for Cyrus, or

c) the Jews did not have a good transliteration for "Gubaru".

See the next question for a more extensive answer.

 

15. In Dan 5:30-6:1; Dan 9:1 who was this Darius the Mede?

A: First are some historical facts, then some Biblical observations, and finally the three views.

1. Historical Facts

1.1 The Medes' history is reconstructed exclusively from Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian, and Greek sources, since no Medean writing has been found. The careful Greek historian Herodotus noted that he had heard four different accounts of the childhood of Cyrus. Ctesias was another Greek historian, but he was not very reliable.

1.2 In 625 B.C., the Medes conquered the Persians, and the Medes ruled over them until 553 B.C.

1.3 From 553 to 550 B.C., the Persian Cyrus the Great revolted, and succeeded with the help (in 550 B.C.) of the Medean chief Harpagus. The Medes still had the highest position after the Persians, and as the 1956 and 1972 editions of Encyclopedia Britannica say, "many noble Medes were employed as officials, satraps and generals."

1.4 Astyages (Medean Ištumegu) was the Medean King Cyrus overthrew in 550 B.C.. The historian Ctesias says that Cyrus treated Astyages well, and made him a satrap of Barcania or Hyrcania, but Oebares (Babylonian Ugbaru) killed Astyages.

1.5 In the Persian Empire, Medea was one of the 20 satrapies of the Persian Empire, but it was divided into two parts for taxation purposes. As a side note the 20 satrapies were subdivided into 120 districts, which were also sometimes called satrapies, but were more properly hyparchs.

1.6 Ugbaru, the Babylonian governor of Gutium (according to the Nabonidus Chronicle), defected to the Persians and became general of the Persian army that overthrew Babylon on 10/11 or 10/12 539 B.C. He died 11/6/539 B.C., almost a month later. While we do not know his ancestry, the liberal Anchor Bible Dictionary vol.2 p.39 points out that Babylonians used the word Gutium to refer to the Northeast, and the Medes were in the northeast part of the Persian Empire. It also mentions that the historian Berossus lists Gutium with the tyrants of the Medes.

1.7 Cyrus himself was with other troops at Opis when Babylon was cpatured, and Cyrus did not enter Babylon until 10/29/539 B.C. Cyrus was said to be the grandson of Astyages, through Astyages' daughter Mandane. However, the Wycliffe Bible Dictionary p.424 point out that this was not the Persian Emperor, because Darius here was "made king". Of course Daniel was called a "king" too in Daniel 5:29, and he was not an emperor.

1.8 Gubaru/Gaubaruwa (whom Xenophon the Greek confused with Ugbaru), was appointed the governor of Babylonia for a year or two by Cyrus.

1.9 Darius I, the son of Hystaspes/Vishtaspa, was a Persian (not a Mede) who became King in 522 B.C., after Cyrus and the false Bardiya reigned. Darius I was involved in putting down a revolt in Babylon in 520 B.C., 19 years after Persia conquered Babylon. Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties p.287 points out that he was in his twenties when he began his rule, not 62 years old. The liberal Anchor Bible Dictionary vol.2 p.39 says that his inscriptions say "I am a Persian, son of a Persian".

1.10 In the ancient world, Pharaohs and kings often had their birth-given name, and a second name given when they ascended the throne.

1.11 The Persian word Darius "Darayawush/Dareyawaes" is related to the Persian word dara which means king. Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties p.288 says this might be title as well as just a proper name. The liberal Anchor Bible Dictionary p.39 also points out that darayarahu means "He who holds firm the good". This is the reason for the theory that Darius was a throne name.

1.12 Within a year or two of the capture, Cyrus made his son Cambysis governor of Babylon, replacing Gubaru.

1.13 In the Old Testament there are a number of copyist errors, especially on numbers and names. For example, the Greek version of Proto-Theodotion says "Artaxerxes", and not "Darius" in Daniel 6:1. In particular, there are a number of additions to the Greek translation (Septuagint) in the book of Daniel. Jerome mentions that while the early church generally used the Septuagint, they did not use the Septuagint of the book of Daniel, but rather the Greek version of Theodotion. Apparently, they saw too many problems with the Septuagint in Daniel.

1.14 All our "Hebrew" copies of Daniel have the middle section of Daniel, 2:4b-7:28, written in Aramaic, not Hebrew. Either it was originally written in Aramaic, or it was translated from an earlier Hebrew manuscript.

2. Biblical Observations

The Darius in Daniel was a Mede, 62 years old, who had 120 administration districts under him. He was the son of Ahasuerus. He could make decrees, and he was worshipped. In Daniel 6:6, he was called a king. From Daniel 9:1, this Darius, was emphasized to be a Mede, not the Persian Darius. Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties p.287 mentions that the usual work malak means became king, but the word here homlak, which is a passive and means made king. The liberal Anchor Bible Dictionary vol. 2 p.39 also points this out. Thus a higher ruler made him ruler. Also, the phrase "all the earth" could be translated as "all the land".

3. Identity of Darius the Mede

Since Darius was the one who took over Babylon, there are three choices.

3.1 Cyrus: This was really Cyrus, and the incorrect name was transcribed, similar to how in Jeremiah 27:1 Jehoiakim was incorrectly transcribed in a majority of Hebrew manuscripts when both the context and other manuscripts show it was Zedekiah. While Cyrus was a Persian, his mother, Mandane, was a Mede and the daughter of Astyages, and the Persian chief Cambyses. Either he really was a quarter Mede and a grandson of the previous king, or else he just claimed to be to keep the support of the Medes.

3.1.1 Since many kings had throne names, Cyrus might have had a throne name of Darius the Mede. Daniel 6:28 could be translated as "reign of Darius, "even the" reign of Cyrus the Persian" This view is advocated by D.J. Wiseman, and John F. Walvoord speaks well of this view in Daniel : The Key to Prophetic Interpretation p.134. The Bible Knowledge Commentary : Old Testament p.1347 also mentions this view but prefers the Gubaru view that follows. Other examples of synonyms or throne names being used in the Bible are:

Joram for Jehoram (2 Kings 8:23)

Jehoash for Joash (2 Kings 12:1)

Coniah for Jeconiah (Jeremiah 22:9)

Shallum for Jehoahaz (Jeremiah 22:11, 2 Kings 23:30-34)

3.1.2 Cyrus did not have the throne name of Darius. The name Darius got in here as a copyist error, confusing Cyrus' conquest of Babylon in 539 B.C. with Darius' conquest of Babylon in 522 B.C.

3.2 Gubaru is mentioned here, since Cyrus appointed him the governor of Babylon, as When Critics Ask p.295 espouses. However, we have no historical record saying whether or not Gubaru was a Mede. Either Darius was how the Hebrews would refer to Gubaru, or else a confused Hebrew scribe put in the name Darius. While Gubaru was replaced by Cambyses after a year or two, Daniel never mentions anything beyond the first year. Governors could be called "kings", because the Behistun Rock says that Hystaspes was "made king" by Cyrus, as Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties p.287-288 says.

3.3 (not an answer) Darius here some might think might really be Darius I (a Persian), and there would be a 19-year gap between the Babylonians being overthrown in Daniel 5:30, and Darius mentioned at the end. However, this is highly unlikely because the book especially notes that this Darius was a Mede. Furthermore, no Bible verse says this Darius was over all the Medes and Persians, but rather that he was made king over just the Babylonians.

In summary: Since the third view is unlikely, the person intended here is either

S1. Gubaru, the first governor of Babylon under Cyrus, or

S2. Cyrus. Either Darius was a throne name for Cyrus, or the scribes had a manuscript error, where it should have said Cyrus.

Copyist errors and changes are not unknown in the Old Testament, and the Septuagint of the book of Daniel has a number of known changes.

 

16. In Dan 5:31; 6:1, 9:1, how do you pronounce "Darius"?

A: The Cruden's Concordance and The New International Dictionary of the Bible p.254 have da-RI-us, with the a and u short, the i long, and the accept on the second syllable. Hebrews would pronounce it daryawesh, and Greeks pronounced it Darious. Now a Mede or Persian would pronounce Darius' name similar to "Darayawush / Dareyawaes".

 

17. How would you act, if there was a "Belshazzar's banquet" to go to today?

A: Sometimes there might be a get together today where God's honor will be mocked. Like Daniel, we might not seek to even go. But if things don't go well there, and we are asked to help, or explain things, hopefully we would glorify God in the wisdom of our answers.

 

 

Daniel 6 - Awaiting the Dawn in the Lion's Den - My Answers

 

In our Bible, before the books of the twelve prophets, is the book of Daniel, which has twelve chapters. The subject matter of the book of Daniel is split between chapters 6 and 7. Up to chapter 6 is focused primarily on what happened to Daniel. Chapters 7 through 12 start to go back chronologically and tell more of his prophecies.

 

1. In Dan 6:1, who were the 120 princes?

A: They were not sons of Darius, but rather 120 administrators. There were 20 provinces, called satraps, but they were subdivided into 120 districts, sometimes also called satraps, though really "hyparchs". These people were not generals of armies but accountants, "that the king might not suffer loss." Imagine having someone who was not only wise, but you knew you could trust to have integrity even when you were not watching him. The king probably would have greatly valued Daniel, and that is why he was one of the top three accounting officials.

 

2. In Dan 6:1-5, why were the princes out to get Daniel?

A: Perhaps for two reasons.

Jealousy: Daniel was an outsider, a Jew, who was suddenly promoted above them.

Cold-hearted Practicality: Even if they did not have any hatred or ill-feelings toward Daniel, some unscrupulous people have no qualms about eliminating rivals in order to get ahead.

So the first thing they did was engage in a "fishing expedition". In other words, since many officials had corruption, they could go exploring to discover Daniel's corruption and expose it. Perhaps they thought that selectively exposing Daniel's corruption or negligence, though not other officials, was all they had to do. When they unexpectedly discovered that they could find none, in verse 5 they went with "plan B", and looked for something in God's law. Not everyone who looks into God's word is doing so for good motives.

 

3. In Dan 6:6-9, how did they get all these officials throughout the empire to agree to this?

A: They did not. Perhaps they predicted the other officials would acquiesce to this demand. Note that if a typical pagan official agreed with suggesting this decree, he would have no idea that the whole point of this was to get Daniel and possibly other Jews. Alternately, perhaps they never would have got agreement at all and knew they misrepresented that they would even be able to get agreement. Also note that they told Darius a lie when they said the officials have "all" agreed. Daniel would not have agreed.

 

4. In Dan 6:6-9, why would Darius make this decree that they could not pray to any god or man for thirty days?

A: While scripture does not say, we can speculate on a few reasons.

Rubber stamp: Darius was told (perhaps falsely) that all the other administrators agreed with this. (They certainly did not all agree, as Daniel did not.) Since Darius trusted his people, he merely signed what they said.

Empire Cohesion: A large and powerful group of subjects, the Babylonians, were until recently independent and fighting the Persian Empire. This would reinforce to both the Babylonians and the former subjects of the Babylonian Empire that they were no longer under the Babylonians but now the Persians. So they would have to stop worshipping Marduk, or other Babylonian gods for thirty days, because the Persians would be considered greater since they can command the halt of worship of other gods. Of course those who refused would be unmasked as traitors and dealt with.

Vain pride: The king would be honored, not only that people were worshipping and praying to him, but they would not be praying to anyone else for thirty days.

Inattention: Governing the Babylonians gave him a lot to do, and he had not thought of the effect of his decree on Jews and on Daniel. Most other peoples would assent to this, and in his mind, why would the Jews be different than any others?

 

5. In Dan 6:10, should we always kneel or do another posture when praying?

A: No and Yes. No, the Bible does not command us to have any particular posture when praying. Sometimes people prayed

Kneeling (Ezra 9:5-6; Daniel 6:10; Luke 22:41; Acts 7:59-60; Ephesians 3:14)

On their face (Genesis 17:17,18; Joshua 6:7-9; Matthew 26:39)

Kneeling or face on the ground (Mark 14:35)

Standing (Genesis 18:22-23; 24:11-13; Nehemiah 9:4-5)

Sitting (2 Samuel 7:18; 1 Kings 19:4)

Lying down on their bed (2 Kings 20:2)

Unable to change their position (Judges 16:28; Nehemiah 2:3-4; Jonah 2:1; Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34; Luke 23:46).

However, yes we are free to assume whatever posture is conducive to the prayer we are praying. See 1001 Bible Questions Answered p.235 for more info.

 

6. In Dan 6:10, is it good to have a set time for prayer?

A: Yes. While nothing in the Bible says we have to have any specific set time, many have found it helpful to have a set time. David regularly prayed to God in the mornings in Psalm 5:3. God enjoyed Daniels' prayers three times a day in Daniel 6:10. Consistent prayer takes discipline, and having a set time can help with that. See 1001 Bible Questions Answered p.455 for more info.

 

7. In Dan 6:10 should we pray towards Jerusalem? Will God hear our prayers better if we pray in a certain direction?

A: In New Testament times the direction towards which we pray does not matter. In the Old Testament there is not a command to pray towards Jerusalem, or towards the temple, but perhaps Daniel was thinking of Solomon's prayer where He specifically asked God to hear those who prayed towards the temple and towards Jerusalem in 1 Kings 8:29,42,44,48. God spoke and answered Solomon's prayer in 1 Kings 9:3-9 in an encouraging, positive way, but God did not say anything about hearing prayers better facing any direction. In fact, God said though the temple looked very imposing, the day will come when people will be appalled at the temple site.

 

8. In Dan 6:10-11, what would you do if you wanted to honor God in something, when continuing to do so would mean financial loss, embarrassment, or worse?

A: I would try to see if there was a way to continue to do a thing and not suffer loss. However, not only should Christians not be evil, they should avoid the appearance of evil. In the days of the early church, Christians were commanded to sacrifice to the Emperor as a God. Many Christians chose torture and death over idolatry. But others were weak and sinned by sacrificing. If someone paid a bribe so that they did not have to sacrifice but the bribed public official said that they did, they were still dishonoring God by having the appearance of sinning by sacrificing.

 

9. In Dan 6:10-11, should Daniel have bought curtains? Metaphorically, when should we buy curtains today? And what about praying in secret?

A: Praying in secret, away from unbelievers is good, but Jesus command to pray in secret in the New Testament (Matthew 6:5-8) not the Old, and the New Testament was not given yet. Curtains would not have done any good, because the men already knew that he prayed, and they would have just come to see him anyway, as they did in Daniel 6:11.

 

10. In Dan 6:12, what were these lions like?

A: Until people hunted them to extinction, lions roamed the Mideast. Many people, especially the Assyrians and Persians, were fond of hunting them. Samson killed a lion in Israel in Judges 14:5. An interesting article titled Asia's Last Lions is in The National Geographic Magazine June 2001 p.46-61. Asiatic lions were somewhat smaller than African lions, have shorter manes, and have a fold of skin on their undersides that African lions lack. Their range was from north central India through Iraq, all the way to Greece, Bulgaria, and Albania.

 

11. In Dan 6:14, why would it say Darius tried to rescue Daniel, since in Dan 6:16 the king ordered Daniel thrown into the lion's den?

A: Because both are true. Here was a powerful non-believer, who probably thought of himself as a good and just leader, who generally wanted to help Daniel, but his allegiance to following the customs was greater than his allegiance to doing what was right. Today there are many people who often want to do what is right, but their custom or precedent is the ultimate standard, and is more important than their conscience of following God.

 

12. In Dan 6:24, was it not cruel to cast the men's wives and children to the lions too?

A: The Bible does not say the Persians were never cruel, or that they always did the correct thing. However, compared to the Assyrians, who gloried in torture, the Persians appeared kind.

 

 

Daniel 7 - Four Monsters from the Stormy Sea - My Answers

 

1. Dan 7 occurred prior to Dan 6. Why do you think the order is this way?

A: The previous chapters all had to do with Daniel's life. These are visions that do not have any interaction with Daniel's life. This vision occurred around 556-553 B.C.

 

2. In Dan 7:2, what do the winds of heaven represent? Why are there four winds?

A: The four winds could be the spirits behind the four empires.

The Expositors Bible Commentary vol.7 p.85 says the four winds are kept under control, until their release, by four angels in Revelation 9:14. However, there is scant evidence for this.

 

3. In Dan 7:2, what does the sea represent?

A: The sea likely represents the throng of humanity. The Expositor's Bible Commentary vol.7 p.85 says the same.

 

4. In Dan 7:3-7,17-19, what are the four beasts?

A: Daniel 7:17 says these are four kings or kingdoms. They are Babylon, Medeo-Persia, Greece / Macedonia, and the Roman Empire. Here is how they fit the imagery.

Lion with eagle wings: Creatures appearing like winged lions covered the magnificent-looking Ishtar Gate in Babylon. Also, the facade of Nebuchadnezzar's throne room in the Verderasiatisches Museum in Berlin shows lions originally painted in yellow, white, blue, and red. A picture of this is in the book Babylon by Joan Oates p.150.

Babylon was referred to as a lion Jeremiah 4:7. Babylon's horses were swifter than eagles in Jeremiah 4:13. Babylon and Egypt were both referred to as eagles in Ezekiel 17:3,7. Later, the Babylonians treated the Jews well, when Daniel was in the court. Habakkuk 1:8-9 is not relevant here, as the Babylonian horses are compared to leopards and wolves, as well as eagles.

Bear raised on one side: The Medeo-Persian Empire had two parts, with the Persian side being dominant.

Leopard with four wings and four heads: Though a leopard is the fastest large land animal, reaching speeds of 60 miles (97 km) per hour, a leopard with four wings would be even faster. Alexander the Macedonian conquered the entire Persian Empire and parts of even India in a breathtaking thirteen years. After his death in 333 B.C., the empire was divided up among his four generals (called the Diadochi). While the leopard of Africa was not a typical symbol of the Greeks, no other predatory animal could represent the speed of Alexander's conquests any better.

Iron-toothed beast: The fourth beast was different, had horns, and was arrogant. The Roman Emperors had themselves declared as gods, and even had annual sacrifices made to them.

In addition, many see a dual fulfillment of this prophecy, with the Antichrist coming from a revived Roman Empire.

The skeptical Asimov's Guide to the Bible p.610 claims the leopard was the Persian Empire, its four heads were four kings known to Daniel, and the fourth beast was Alexander's Empire. Asimov says this because Asimov tries to separate the Median Empire from the Persian Empire. However, the Medes, aside from assisting the Babylonians in destroying Assyria, fighting the Scythians, and merging with the Persians, had no other independent effect on world history.

See The Bible Knowledge Commentary : Old Testament p.1350-1351, the Believer's Bible Commentary p.1082-1083, 1001 Bible Questions Answered p.290-291, and The Expositor's Bible Commentary vol.7 p.85-87 for more info.

 

5. In Dan 7:3-7,17-19, instead of the Roman Empire, does the fourth beast represent the ideal Jewish state, as the skeptical Asimov's Guide to the Bible p.610-611 says seems more likely?

A: No. Unless Asimov thinks the Jews thought an ideal Jewish state was a terrible, evil thing, Asimov is very confused here. Daniel 7:7 says, "...before me was a fourth beast - terrifying and frightening and very powerful. It had large iron teeth; it crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left... it had ten horns." In Daniel 7:11 (NIV) says, "...I kept looking until the [fourth] beast was slain and its body destroyed and thrown into the blazing fire." It is God who kills the fourth beast, so this fourth beast is certainly not a godly state.

 

6. In Dan 7:5, what do the three ribs represent?

A: There are three different views.

Preceding Persia were three kingdoms: Egypt, Assyria, and Babylon. Technically Persia did not conquer Assyria, because Assyria was already absorbed in the Babylonian Empire, which Persia conquered.

Conquered by Persia were three Empires: Egyptian, Babylonian, and Lydian. Most Empires up to this time conquered only one preceding Empire. However, Persia conquered three.

Tusks instead of ribs is how the NRSV translates this. However, the preceding two answers could apply to the tusks, so this is somewhat of a moot point.

Conclusion: Since the ribs were in the bear's mouth, it had to be three kingdoms "eaten" by the bear. Thus, Egypt, Babylon, and Lydia are the correct interpretation.

 

7. In Dan 7:7-9, 20,24, what are the ten horns?

A: Daniel 10:24 tells us these are kings. The last king may be the Antichrist in the revived Roman Empire. Ten horns on a scarlet beast are discussed in Revelation 17:3,12-14.

 

8. In Dan 7:9, when the Ancient of Days came, why would thrones (plural) be set in place?

A: Multiple thrones for the Father, and the Son of Man. However, "the court of was seated in Daniel 7:10b, so it would be elders and perhaps even us, who judge angels.

 

9. In Dan 7:9, what do the fire and wheels remind you of?

A: Ezekiel 1:15-28; and 10:1-22.

 

10. In Dan 7:10, what do the ten thousand times ten thousand and the river of fire coming out of the Ancient of Days remind you of?

A: In Revelation 19:14 the armies of heaven are following Christ, who has a sharp sword coming out of his mouth.

 

11. Why is Dan 7:13-14 a good verse to share with Jews and Jehovah's Witnesses?

A: It mentions the Ancient of Days (the Father), and one like the Son of man coming to the ancient of days, then authority given to the son of man, and people properly worshipping Him. This refers to Jesus Christ.

 

12. In Dan 7:16; 8:16; 9:21 who is Gabriel?

A: Gabriel is the archangel who was a messenger to Daniel, and later a messenger to Mary the mother of Christ in Luke 1:19,26. See 1001 Bible Questions Answered p.65 for more info.

 

13. In Dan 7:25, what is time oppression of the saints for a time, times, and half a time?

A: This is the same as the three and a half year period of half of the tribulation in Daniel 9:27 and Revelation 11:3; 12:6,14.

 

 

Daniel 8 - The Ram and the Flying Goat - My Answers

 

1. In Dan 8:3-4, what is the ram?

A: This represents the Empire of Medeo-Persia. The longer horn that came up later was Persia, the dominant part of the Empire. See the Believer's Bible Commentary p.1084 and The Bible Knowledge Commentary : Old Testament p.1355-1356 say the same.

 

2. Why would Dan 8:5 refer to the Empire of Alexander of Macedon as a goat?

A: Scripture does not say. However, a myth in Alexander's time was that Alexander had two horns growing out of his head to show his semi-divine status.

 

3. In Dan 8:8, why did the four horns grow towards the four winds of heaven?

A: These are the four generals of Alexander who took over his empire after his death. Cassander got Macedonia, Lysimachus got Thrace and Asia Minor, Seleucus got Syria, Mesopotamia and Persia, and Ptolemy got Egypt.

 

4. In Dan 8:9-11, is the little horn the same as the little horn of Dan 7:8?

A: No, because the horn in Daniel 8:9-11 grow out of the third empire, not the fourth. Both the Seleucids and Romans had rulers intent on destroying God's people.

 

5. In Dan 8:9-11, why did the little horn grow out, instead of just a part of one of the other horns?

A: The little horn would be the Seleucid king, Antiochus Epiphanes. He was not actually a descendant of Seleucus. Antiochus Epiphanes is definitely referred to here, but this could also be a dual prophecy, with the second fulfillment being during the Tribulation.

 

6. In Dan 8:13-17, could the 2,300 evenings and mornings be a prophecy the 2,300 years from the decree of Artaxerxes [allegedly 457 B.C.] to the manifestation of the Bab in 1844 A.D. as Baha'is claim? (Some Answered Questions p.40-42)

A: No, there are four problems with this.

Wrong type of years: 1844 (A.D.) + 457 (B.C.) -1 (no 0 A.D.) = 2300 (365.25 day years). However, prophetic years in the Bible are 360-day religious years, no 365.25 day years.

Wrong duration: 2,300 is evenings and mornings, and nothing in Daniel says "evenings and mornings" are years.

Wrong starting point: The decree was in the 20th year of the reign of Artaxerxes according to Nehemiah 2, so the starting point was 445/444 B.C., not 457 B.C.. 457 B.C was merely a decree from Artaxerxes confirming Cyrus' earlier decree that the Jews could return to Jerusalem.

Wrong ending point: If you look at the rest of the words, not just the numbers, 2,300 evenings and mornings is the time when the sanctuary was brought low until the sanctuary is reconsecrated. Baha'is would have to mean that God's sanctuary was trampled and brought low when this Persian named Artaxerxes became king; it remained low through the time of Jesus until the Bab.

Conclusion: The only things Baha'u'llah got wrong were the duration, starting point, and ending point. In other words, everything!

 

7. In Dan 8:16; 9:21 and Dan 10:13,21; 12:1, what is interesting about the names Gabriel and Michael?

A: Daniel is the only Old Testament book where angels are named. Of course, both Gabriel and Michael appear in the New Testament too. Gabriel is in Luke 1:19,26, and Michael is in Jude 9 and Revelation 12:7.

 

8. In Dan 8:17, why is Daniel called the Son of Man?

A: This simply means that Daniel was a human, a son of Adam. The Son of Man also refers to Christ too. In Daniel 7:13-14 this Son of Man, (Jesus Christ) received worship.

 

9. In Dan 8:23-25, why would God allow this?

A: This sounds very catastrophic. The rebels have become completely wicked, there will be astounding devastation, destroying the mighty men and the holy people. The king will not just allow deceit, but cause it to prosper. Furthermore, this prophecy knows that God knew all of this and allowed it to happen.

 

10. In Dan 8:27, why was Daniel "appalled" at the vision?

A: Daniel was so overwhelmed by the devastation of this vision, that with the stress he fell ill. While scripture does not say why Daniel was so shocked, we can see the probable reasons. This vision and the others showed that God was in control of history. But even so, Daniel was appalled at the terrible things that would happen, both to God's people and God's sanctuary. Since God was in control of history, why would God allow this to happen?

Today it is possible that we could get appalled at what God permits to happen. But we need to remember that God knows what He is doing, - better than we do.

 

 

Daniel 9 - Daniel's Prayer and the Forecast of the Seventy Sevens - My Answers

 

We already discussed the seventy sevens when we discussed Messianic prophecy, but we did not discuss Daniel's prayer.

 

1. In Dan 9:2, what was the 70 years of the destruction of Jerusalem?

A: The seventy years, would be 360-day years. This is almost exactly 69 of our years. This was from 605/604 B.C. to 538/537 B.C. See the discussion on Jeremiah 29:10 for more info.

 

2. In Dan 9:4-19, how does Daniel's prayer of corporate confession compare with Neh 1:5-11?

A: Here are seven common elements.

1. Both prayed in regards to what they saw should have been happening but was not. In Nehemiah's case it was the external event of the city not being built, and in Daniel's case it was the internal event of the 70 years of Jeremiah being almost over.

2. Both fasted and mourned - Daniel in sackcloth and ashes, and Nehemiah not, presumably because he was the cupbearer to the king.

3. Both start out mentioning God's greatness and his covenant of mercy.

4. Both intermix the sins of the people with God's just punishment.

5. Both mention not obeying the law of Moses.

6. All Christians know that we should pray prayers of confession, but there are different types of prayers of confession. These were both confession for the people as a whole. These were from a "historical confession" as opposed to an "emotional confession" as in Jeremiah. Their historical confession stresses what they did, God's just punishment, what they did next, etc.

7. Both conclude with asking God to do something. Daniel asks that God turn His anger away from Jerusalem, while Nehemiah merely asked that God make the king favorable toward his request.

 

3. In Dan 9:23, how did this vision answer Daniel's question?

A: Daniel prayed that the people would return and Jerusalem would be rebuilt as God promised in Jeremiah 25:11-14. God not only repeated to Daniel that this would happen, God told him some of the details of then, and the how the exact timing of that would lay the groundwork for a future time when the Messiah would come.

 

4. In Dan 9:24-27, how does this refer to the Messiah?

A: In Daniel 9:25,26, the word "anointed one" is recognized by both Jews and Christians as the Messiah. See Hard Sayings of the Bible p.318-320 for more info.

 

5. In Dan 9:24-27, since the New Testament writers quoted old testament prophecies as evidence that Jesus was the Messiah, why do none of them refer to one of the most amazing of all the Messianic prophecies, Dan. 9:24-27?

A: While I do not know for certain why the gospel writers did not refer to Daniel 9:24-27, I have a guess. They predominantly wrote on what Jesus said Himself. Jesus might not have publicly mentioned that prophecy because He would not want to give the false impression that they were in God's will to crucify Him, or that they were forced to do this because of a prophecy. It was their own responsibility that they crucified Him, and the prophecy that announced that fact did not lessen their guilt.

 

6. In Dan 9:24-27, what are the seventy weeks?

A: Here is what they are, when they started, and when they were fulfilled.

1. These are seventy weeks of years. If the "weeks/sevens" were weeks of days, it would be incredible to say that people would rebuild the entire city in 42 workdays. Here is what Jews themselves said about the "sevens", when this prophecy should come to pass, and how it relates to the Messiah.

1a. Maimonides (Rabbi Moses Ben Maimon): "Daniel has elucidated to us the knowledge of the end times. However, since they are secret, the wise [rabbis] have barred the calculation of the days of Messiah's coming so that the untutored populace will not be led astray when they see that the End Times have already come but there is no sign of the Messiah" (Igeret Teiman, chapter 3 p.24.)

1b. Rabbi Moses Abraham Levi: "I have examined and searched all the Holy Scriptures and have not found the time for the coming of Messiah clearly fixed, except in the words of Gabriel to the prophet Daniel, which are written in the 9th chapter of the prophecy of Daniel (The Messiah of the Targums, Talmuds and Rabbinical Writers, 1971) p.141-142

(These two quotes were taken from The Creator Beyond Time and Space by Mark Eastman, M.D. and Chuck Missler (The Word for Today, 1996)).

2. The starting point is March/April 444 B.C. Daniel 9:25 explicitly states the starting point was the decree to restore and rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. This decree is given in Nehemiah 2, and this is 444 B.C. Note that it is not Cyrus' 538/537 B.C. decree to allow the Jews to return home, and it is not Artaxerxes's decree in 458 B.C. (Ezra 7:11-26) allowing the Jews to take back the gold and silver that the Babylonians looted from Solomon's Temple. The early Christian writer Julius Africanus, writing 232-245 A.D.) also mentions the command during Nehemiah's time as being the starting point. (Ante-Nicene Fathers volume 6 p.135)

3. 360-days years are used. The Jewish religious year was 12 months of 30 days each. Thus 7 sevens is 49*360 = 17,640 days. 7+62=69 sevens is 173,880 days. 1 seven is 2,520 days. Skipping the details of converting 360-day years to 265.25 day years (and 1 B.C. to 1 A.D. is 1 year, not 2), this gives dates of:

3a. 396/395 B.C. (June/July) the city will be rebuilt.

3b. 32/33 A.D. (March/April + 5 days) The Messiah will be killed. The Believer's Bible Commentary p.1092 says that Anderson computed this to April 6, 32 A.D. Dr. Harold Hoehner comes up with 33 A.D.

3c. Skipping a period of time (for reasons given in the next answer), the end times will be a period of 7 * 360/365.25 = 6.9 of our years.

God wanted to point out to people when His Messiah would come, and for those who cared to look, it is very clear.

See the Believer's Bible Commentary p.1085-1087, Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties p.289-292, The Bible Knowledge Commentary : Old Testament p.1361-1365, The Complete Book of Bible Answers p.256-257, and 1001 Bible Questions Answered p.285-286 for more info.

 

7. In Dan 9:24-27, could a week here be seven days instead of seven years?

A: No. Daniel was praying about the prophecy of Jeremiah, which is in years. Also in Daniel 9:25, it would be hard to rebuild the city in just 7 days. Hard Sayings of the Bible p.318-320 says that since the whole sabbatical year was laid out in terms of sevens, equating the "sevens" with years was not a problem for Jewish listeners, especially since the Jubilee was once every seven years in Leviticus 25.

 

8. In Dan 9:24-27, how do we know which is the correct decree?

A: There were in fact three decrees: For the Jews to return in 538/7 B.C., Artaxerxes' decree in 458 B.C. for the Jews to get back the gold and silver from their Temple, and Artaxerxes' decree in 444 B.C. However Daniel 9:25 explicitly says the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem (not the Temple). Artaxerxes' decree of 444 B.C. is the only decree that fits this description.

The early Christian writer Julius Africanus, (232-245 A.D.) also discusses this in Ante-Nicene Fathers volume 6 Five Books of the Chronology of Julius Africanus ch.16.1 p.134. He mentions the command during Nehemiah's time as being the starting point. (p.135)

 

9. In Dan 9:24-27, how do we know the decree in the 20th year of Artaxerxes I was 444 B.C., and how do we know it was not Artaxerxes II?

A: When Artaxerxes became king by defeating his brother Hystaspes in Bactria, this was almost immediately known in Egypt by January 2/3, 464 B.C., as the Elephantine Papyrus Cowley #6 proves. This first "reigning year" was counted as starting April 13, 464 B.C. The fired Athenian general Thucydides, who was also a historian, wrote about Artaxerxes I, as did the historians Ctesias and Diodorus Siculus (1st century B.C.).

We know this was Artaxerxes I (not II) because a Papyrus found in Elephantine Island, Egypt (Cowley #30), dated 407 B.C. mentions the sons of Sanballat, the governor of Samaria. (There was a Persian fort made up of Jewish mercenaries at Elephantine).

See Persia and the Bible p.242,247-248 for more info.

 

10. In Dan 9:24-27, why use a 360-day year?

A: Why use a 365.25-day year, since the Bible never does? The Jewish religious year was always 12 months of 30 days each. Periodically, the Jews added an extra month to get the calendar back in sync with the seasons. In the Bible, a 30-day month goes back to Noah in Gen 7:11,24; 8:3-4. Besides all the references to religious months in the Old Testament, in the New Testament 30 days is a month in Revelation 11:3,4. The early Christian writer Julius Africanus, writing 232-245 A.D.) also mentions converting from a 365.25 day year to the Jewish year. He said the Jewish year was 29.5 days, with 3 extra months added every 8 years. (Ante-Nicene Fathers volume 6 p.137)

 

11. In Dan 9:24-27, what is the rationale for saying there is a gap between the 69th and 70th year?

A: Four points to consider in the answer.

1. Nothing in Daniel indicates that the last seven is immediately after the 69 sevens.

2. In contrast, Daniel 9:25 implies the 7 sevens and 62 sevens are one unit until the Messiah comes. There is no mention of the last seven being combined with any other period.

3. After the Messiah is cut off and has nothing, a number of events are listed that are not associated with either the middle period (62 sevens) or the last seven. Namely, the people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and Temple, the end will come, war will come, and desolations. The last seven is not said to include these events. It only includes the ruler who will come making a covenant, and 3 1/2 years later breaking this covenant.

4. Many theologians call the gap before the last seven by a specific term, to describe a mystery God did not reveal until later. The term they use is "the church age".

In conclusion, treating the 69 sevens as one unit without treating the last seven, and mentioning a number of events between the end of the 69th seven and the start of the last seven, strongly implies a gap before the start of the last seven.

 

12. In Dan 9:24-27, how does this square with the view that Jesus was born 4-5 B.C?

A: This prophecy neither supports nor refutes that view. The Bible does not say Jesus was thirty when he began his ministry. Rather, Luke 3:23 says that Jesus was about thirty years old

 

13. In Dan 9:24, should this read "most holy one" or "most holy place"?

A: The Hebrew and Septuagint both simply say "most holy".

 

14. In Dan 9:25, is it reasonable to understand the Messiah the Prince to mean Cyrus of Persia, as the skeptical Asimov's Guide to the Bible p.614 says?

A: No, Asimov apparently is confused on this point. According to Daniel 9:25 there will be 69 "sevens" of years, before the Messiah comes. Cyrus already came when Daniel was written. In addition, the Messiah is killed (cut off) in Daniel 9:26.

 

15. In Dan 9:26, what flood is scripture referring to? I have seen a translation that says "The end of it will be like a flood", but most say "with a flood". Did Jerusalem suffer a flood in 70 AD when the Roman's destroyed the temple? 

A: Jerusalem is on top of Mt. Zion, so it is not subject to floods of water, and none occurred in 70 A.D. In Hebrew the word "like" is not there, but the Hebrew word can be translated overflowing, so some translations apparently put in "like a flood" to reflect that, there is no indication this has to do with water.

The Expositor's Bible Commentary p.116 says, "More literally, this might be rendered thus: 'And the end of it will be in the overflowing, and unto the end there will be war, a strict determination of desolations' or 'the determined amount of desolations.' The general tenor of this sentence is in striking conformity with Christ's own prediction in the Olivet Discourse (Matt. 24:7-22)."

 

Daniel 10 - The Angelic Battle to Deliver a Message - My Answers

 

This is chronologically the latest vision in the book of Daniel, and it also contains the most detailed description of an angel.

 

1. In Dan 10:2-4, was Daniel right to mourn three full weeks?

A: Yes. Mourning does not mean depression, or a psychological problem. There are times for believers to mourn, just as there are times to rejoice.

 

2. In Dan 10:4, where is the Hiddekel River?

A: This was another name for the Tigris River. He don't know why Daniel used this uncommon word for the River, but sometimes common things can seem unfamiliar when we can seen more of what will happen in the future. Some universities with great Christian seminaries, such as Yale, Harvard, and Princeton, have been changed and become unfamiliar in the last century or so.

 

3. In Dan 10:4-9, what can we learn about this angel here?

A: There are at least three things.

Physically the angel was dressed in linen, which would be white, with a gold belt. The angel sounds both difficult to look at, and handsome to look at, at the same time. His face like lightning would be so bright you would not want to look at it.

The effect on the others was for them to run in terror, even though they did not see the angel. The effect on Daniel was to drain his strength, and then fall down in a deep sleep.

Even though this angel was resisted by the Prince of Persia for 21 days, he did not look any the worse for being resisted so long.

We are not angels, and we will not become angels. Nevertheless we can find a few similarities between the angel and what our character should be. Our life and message should be attractive and winsome for others. Yet, people will feel conviction when they hear God's message. People's desire to sin should be reduced when they are around us, if we are having an impact on their lives.

 

4. In Dan 10:5-10,13-21, with whom was Daniel speaking?

A: This glorious being was an angel of God. We do not know his name, and it was not necessarily Gabriel, who spoke to Daniel earlier. It definitely was not Michael, as Michael helped this angel later.

 

5. In Dan 10:7,8,15-19, as well as Rev 1:17, why are people weak when they see a heavenly being?

A: When a person on earth comes in contact with God's holiness, or the holiness reflected in His angels, they not only feel sinful and inadequate, but they physically lose their strength. In Isaiah 6:5 Isaiah was in terror, saying "Woe is me".

 

6. In Dan 10:13,21, 12:1 who is the angel Michael?

A: Daniel 10:13 simply says he is one of the chief princes. Daniel 10:21 says he is the chief prince of Israel, and Daniel 12:1 says he is "the great prince." The New Testament tells us more. Revelation 12:7 says he is the archangel who led the armies of heaven against the dragon. Jude 9 says he disputed with Satan over the body of Moses and said "The Lord rebuke you." See 1001 Bible Questions Answered p.65 for more info.

 

7. In Dan 10:21, who is Michael the prince over?

A: Michael was the prince over the Jewish people. In the other two times Michael appears in scripture, he is contending about something. In Jude 9, Michael the archangel said "The Lord rebuke you" to Satan. In Revelation 12:7 it is Michael who is fighting against the dragon in Heaven.

 

8. In Dan 10:21, could Michael be Jesus Christ?

A: No. Unlike Jehovah's Witnesses say, Michael is not Jesus Christ. One reason is that in Jude 9, Michael said for the Lord (Jesus) to rebuke Satan; Michael did not rebuke Satan himself. See 1001 Bible Questions Answered p.339 for more info.

 

9. In Dan 10:21, what is the scripture of truth?

A: There are two similar views.

a) The Bible which had been revealed up to that time. This includes the Torah and most of the prophets.

b) "God's record of truth in general, of which the Bible is one expression" (Daniel : The Key to Prophetic Revelation p.250).

 

Daniel 11 - Pressure from the North and South - My Answers

 

1. In Dan 11, do you think God is only interested in the big picture, or also in the details?

A: When you read this entire chapter, the length of this passage, as well as all of the details of who defeated who when, show that God is very detail-oriented, in addition to looking at the overall big picture.

 

2. In Dan 11, most other prophecies in the Old Testament do not have this avalanche of detail; even other prophecies in Daniel. Why do you think there might be so many details here?

A: Scripture does not say, but there are two likely reasons.

First, if you draw a line on land connecting Syria in the north and Egypt in the south, the line passes directly through Israel. You have to go out of your way somewhat to go through Ammon, Moab, and Edom. In this seesaw of battles and fortunes many of the battlefields were in Israel.

Second, there was a 400 year gap where there were no prophets or prophecies given for God's people. This gap was finally broken when John the Baptist, the forerunner, came. But during these four centuries, God's people could lose heart, or think they were out of God's plan, with this long silence. The gap might have been to build expectation for John the Baptist, who built the expectation for the Messiah. But they were not forgotten during this gap; just prior to this, Daniel gave the details to show that God foreknew the history and the armies they would encounter.

 

3. In Dan 11:1; 12:1, why is Michael called a "prince" when he is in fact an angel?

A: We observe that Michael is called one of the chief princes in Daniel 10:13; an angel is called a man in Daniel 10:5, or looked like a man in Daniel 10:18. Gabriel is called a man in Daniel 9:21. It is said to be a human hand writing on the wall in Daniel 5:5. In fact, the word "angel" is only used in Daniel 3:28 (by Nebuchadnezzar) and 6:22 (by Daniel). When Daniel uses the word angel in Daniel 6:22, he is referring to the effect of an angel stopping the mouths of the lions, and not anything that is visible. The word "messenger" is used in Daniel 4:13,17,23.

In Daniel's way of writing, he writes what he says, whether it be the shape of a man or a hand. Daniel only used the term "angel" once, when there was no physical appearance to see. God did not have an angel appear for no purpose, but every time it was to convey a message. Perhaps we should not be concerned about seeing angels, but rather benefitting from their effects in our lives.

 

4. In Dan 11:1, why did the angel strengthen Darius?

A: This probably does not refer to physical strength or health, but rather to strengthening his position to become king and to remain king.

 

5. Does Dan 11:1, contradict history, which says the Persian King who conquered Babylonia was Cyrus I, not Darius I?

A: Neither Cyrus I nor Darius I captured Babylon. The man who captured Babylon was a general under Cyrus, name Gubaru (Gobryas in Greek). This was likely the individual mentioned here under the name Darius. Gubaru was an interesting man. He was actually the Babylonian governor of Gutium, who defected to the Medes and Persians.

For the contrary view that Darius here was Cyrus, see the Concordia Self-Study Commentary p.577, 581-82 for more info. See Bible Difficulties and Seeming Contradictions p.66-67 for more info. In addition, see the two questions on Daniel 5:30-6:1.

 

6. To what does Dan 11:1-33 refer?

A: Both The Bible Knowledge Commentary : Old Testament p.1367 and the New Geneva Study Bible says these refer to the Persian kings: Cambyses II (530-522 B.C.), Pseudo-Smerdis (Guatama) 523/522-522/521 B.C.), Darius I (550-522/521-486 B.C.), and Ahasuerus (Xerxes in Greek) (486-465/464 B.C.) The skeptical Asimov's Guide to the Bible p.616 says the same.

The fourth king, Xerxes, invaded Greece. It was later, in verse 3, that Alexander the Great (356-336-324 B.C.) conquered the Persian Empire.

Finally, Alexander's empire was split into four parts. Cassander ruled Macedonia

Lysimachus ruled Thrace and Anatolia

Seleucus (312-281 B.C.) ruled Syria, and

Ptolemy (I Soter) (323-285 B.C.) ruled Egypt.

The Believer's Bible Commentary p.1092 points out that Daniel 11:5-33 refer to the leaders of Syria and Egypt, and not to the same two rulers all throughout the text.

 

7. In Dan 11:31, what was the abomination that causes desolation?

A: This prophecy had both a foreshadowing under Antiochus Epiphanes and a fulfillment that is future to us.

Antiochus Epiphanes desecrated the Temple. He entered the Holy of Holies, and according to one account put a pig's head there.

According to Hippolytus' Fragment 2 from his Commentaries (p.184) (225-235/6 A.D.) Daniel's abomination of desolation occurs during the end-times when the Antichrist comes.

See 735 Baffling Bible Questions Answered p.198 and 1001 Bible Questions Answered p.290-291 for more info.

 

8. In Dan 11:37-38, what exactly does the Hebrew word here for God mean?

A: The Hebrew word, elohim, has two meanings. It can refer to the One True God, or it can refer to false gods. The English word God/god is the same. However, unlike the English, elohim is a plural form, so it is The "royal we" for the One True God, and it can mean gods (plural). In Daniel 11:37-38, "gods of his fathers" refers to false idols, and "the one desired by women" refers to a false God (probably Tammuz). See 1001 Bible Questions Answered p.288 for more info.

 

9. In Dan 11:40-12:3, what does "Epiphanes" mean?

A: It means illustrious, or self-evident. As a side note, the Believer's Bible Commentary p.1092 and The Bible Knowledge Commentary : Old Testament p.1369 say the Jews had another nickname for him, "Epimanes", which means madman. A photograph of a coin showing Antiochus Epiphanes, with the title "God manifest" is in The Journey from Texts to Translations p.52.

 

10. In Dan 11:45, how did Antiochus Epiphanes IV "come to his end, with no one to help him" (NKJV)?

A: Antiochus IV (Epiphanes) reigned from 165-163 B.C. He was humiliated when the Roman Senate forbade him to invade Egypt again. The Anchor Bible Dictionary volume 1 p.271 says that Appian Syr. 66 says that Antiochus IV withdrew to Tabae and died of consumption in late 164 B.C.

 

 

Daniel 12 - The Final Season, When Michael Arises, and So Do We - My Answers

 

1. In Dan 12:1, what time period is this?

A: This and Daniel 11 refer to the future time during the Great Tribulation, when the Antichrist reigns. Matthew 24:21 says it is referring to the abomination that causes desolation referred to in Daniel. See the Believer's Bible Commentary p.1091, The Bible Knowledge Commentary : Old Testament p.1372, The NIV Study Bible p.1318, The Nelson Study Bible p.1442-1443, The Expositor's Bible Commentary volume 7 p.149-152, and 1001 Bible Questions Answered p.287.

In Mt 24:21, the phrase about the distress matches exactly the Greek in Theodotion's translation of Daniel 12:1. (Theodotion was a Jew who made a Greek translation of the Old Testament after the New Testament was written.)

In the early church, Hippolytus bishop of Rome (225-235/6 A.D.) in his Commentary on Daniel 12 also says this refers to the time of the Antichrist.

 

2. Does Dan 12:2, indicate a separate resurrection for godly Jews?

A: No for two reasons.

If a passage discusses something that happens to one people, and a second passage mentions the same thing happening to other people, putting the two together does not indicate whether they will be raised together or separately.

But in this particular case, Daniel 12:2 says "your people - everyone whose name is found written in the book" While this could mean only elect Jews, it more naturally means everyone who is elect.

By the way, two later Jewish rabbis who affirmed these refer to physical resurrection are Saaidah the Gaon and Ibn Ezra, according to 1001 Bible Questions Answered p.280.

See 1001 Bible Questions Answered p.139 for more info.

 

3. In Dan 12:2, will "many" be raised, or will all be raised as Rev 20:5 says?

A: Both, in at least two events. The righteous will be raised from the dead first, and later all will be raised by the end of the Millennium in Revelation 20:5. Daniel 12:2 is the oldest passage of Scripture that says the ungodly will be raised as well as the godly. See When Critics Ask p.296 and The NIV Study Bible p.1318 for more info.

 

4. In Dan 12:6, who were the two beings here?

A: These are two angels. The river here is the Tigris River (Daniel 10:4), not the Euphrates, which is more to the west. Therefore, these angels probably are not to be identified with the four angels at the Euphrates River in Revelation 9:14-15.

 

5. In Dan 12:6, do angels know everything?

A: No, they do not know everything about the future, because one of the angels asked when this would happen. In 1 Peter 1:12, angels longed to look into the things coming of Christ.

 

6. Could Dan 12:6 refer to the Bab as Baha'is claim, since he appeared 1,260 years from the Hejira of Mohammed? (Some Answered Questions p.43)

A: No. They claim this because 3 .5 times or 3 .5 lunar 360-day years is 360 * 3 .5 = 1260 days. They say a day is a year, and the Bab appeared 1,260 lunar years from the Hejira of Mohammed.

First of all days does not mean years here. Second, the starting date they want to use is not what the Bible says. You have to also read what the end point is in Daniel 12:1-4. At this time multitudes of people will be raised from sleeping in the dust, and Michael, who protects the Jewish people will arise. This certainly did not happen; especially since the Holocaust happened after this.

Basically Baha'is take nearly every Bible prophecy that proclaims future knowledge or deliverance, and begs the question by applying it to Baha'u'llah. Then they can say, "See, this prophecy was fulfilled, therefore Baha'u'llah is true."

 

7. In Dan 12:8-10, why did Daniel himself not understand what he was writing?

A: Daniel understood the individual words, but not the meaning nor the significance. Unlike most writings in the Bible, this part was "mechanically dictated", in that Daniel merely wrote down what he heard from the angel.

Today, sometimes people will give up on understanding anything about something if they cannot understand everything. If you do not understand everything about love, does that mean you should not love anybody else? If you cannot understand everything about God, does that mean you cannot understand anything? - Of course not.

See Hard Sayings of the Bible p.320-321 for more info.

 

8. In Dan 12:9, how did they seal things back then?

A: When a deed or other important document was needed, scribes would write two identical copies. One would be "public" and one would be sealed up and stored away in a safe place. They would seal a scroll by rolling it up, and each scribe would place his wax seal over it, so that if anyone tried to open it or tamper with it, the seal would be broken. If anyone tried to change the public copy, they could go to the sealed up copy and verify the original text.

 

9. In Dan 12:9; Rev 6:1-3; 10:4, why does God seal things up?

A: There are three possible reasons.

a) God does not want people to know some things, at least until a future time. But God could have just not said anything, rather than said something that would be sealed up.

b) God wants us to realize now there is something important to know, that we will not learn until later.

c) Perhaps God does not want Satan or demons to hear this information about the future.

 

10. In Dan 12:9 and 1 Pet 1:10-11, since the prophets did not understand everything they were saying, does that somehow support the Jehovah's Witness Watchtower leadership of making false prophecies?

A: No. Though the prophets did not fully understand everything, they truthfully, accurately, and faithfully communicated to us everything the God of truth wanted them to reveal. Likewise Jonah was not a false prophet, because the book of Jonah shows he communicated correctly, and that the prophecy of Nineveh's destruction was conditional on their repentance. (Of course, their destruction was not really taken away, only postponed.)

See Understanding Jehovah's Witnesses p.52-53 for more info.

 

11. In Dan 12:10 and Rev 22:11, how are the pure purified, and the wicked continue to be wicked?

A: Once we have turned to God and repented from some sins, God still has a lot of work to do to develop our Christlike character and free us from other sins. We should not be discouraged with ourselves if you do not show complete Christlike character soon after coming to Christ. We also should not be discouraged with other brothers and sisters in the Lord, when they do not show complete Christlike character immediately.

Revelation 22:11 also say the wrong, and the vile, will continue to be wrong and vile; the right and holy will continue to be right and holy. There is not merely an "inertia" but also a trajectory that naturally leads sinners to more sin, and those who seek God to more righteousness.

 

12. In Dan 12:11, what is the sign of the 1,290 days and 1,335 days?

A: A religious year was 360 days. 1,290 days is just over 3 years 7 months. 1,335 days is exactly 45 days later.

 

13. In Dan 12:11-12, does the 1,290 days refer to the Baha'ullah being 1,290 years after Mohammed announced his mission as Bahai's claim in Some Answered Questions p.43-44?

A: Baha'u'llah made his claim 19 years after the Bab, so one would think they would say it was 1,279 years. However, since that does not fit 1,290 years, they move the starting date back to approximately when Mohammed said he was a prophet.

 

14. In Dan, what would you do if you had knowledge of God's will as great as Daniel had?

A: Daniel knew much beyond the people of his time; much beyond what anyone could naturally know. He used his knowledge to instruct others, encourage us, and warn others, even kings.

But we all have knowledge even greater than Daniel had. We know about the Messiah, and much more about His future coming too. But we should not be proud of the knowledge we have, but rather use our knowledge for others, as Daniel did.

Daniel knew how to weather the storms of life. Whether uprooted or secure, in a palace or lion's den, Daniel was a man for all seasons. Whatever times we live in, we should be the same.


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