What does Daniel, Book Of mean in the Bible?


Holman Bible Dictionary - Daniel, Book of
High hopes and great expectations highlight the Book of Daniel. It provides the highest example of Old Testament ethics and the climax of Old Testament teaching about the future of God's people. It also provides Bible students some of the most perplexing questions they ever seek to answer. Too often so much ink is used talking about the problems that little information about the book itself can be learned. Thus this article will look at the facts and teachings of the book before investigating a few of the problems.
Literary Features Daniel combines characteristics of prophecy, wisdom, and apocalyptic writing into a unique type of literature. Matthew identified Daniel as a prophet (Matthew 24:15 ). The book addresses a current situation with a call for moral uprightness, as did the prophets. It also points to hope for the future rising out of God's words and promises. It focuses on the nations as well as Israel, as did the other prophets. It does not, however, use the literary forms of the prophets, particularly the standard formulas such as, “Thus says the Lord”; nor does it represent a collection of prophetic sermons.
As did the wisdom writers, Daniel served in a royal court counseling a ruler. He was highly-educated. The book seeks to instill moral wisdom in young persons. Yet it does not string proverbs or wisdom poetry together nor delve into the problems Job or Ecclesiastes tackled. It is wisdom literature and more.
Apocalyptic literature best describes Daniel for most Bible students. Apocalyptic writings originate from times of national, communal, or personal tribulations. See Apocalyptic . They make profuse use of symbols, numbers, figures of speech, and signs to interpret history and events during dreadful persecution and personal danger. They present visions of God and His future acts, describing in figurative language the future of peace and victory rising out of current troubles. Often a messianic figure stands in the center. Angels and demons are prominent. Generally, apocalyptic writings bear the name of ancient heroes such as Adam, Enoch, or Baruch, who demonstrated in their time the type of character needed in the current situation of the writer. See Apocalyptic .
The visions and angelic figures of Daniel along with its strongly figurative, symbolic language tie it closely to the apocalyptic. Its opening stories serve as the tie to times of persecution and call for moral living. The letters to the churches serve a similar function in Revelation.
Daniel uses two languages—Aramaic (Daniel 2:4-7:28 ) and Hebrew (Daniel 1:2-2:4 ; Daniel 8:1-12:13 )—plus loan words from Persian and Greek to write the complex work of prophecy, wisdom, and apocalyptic writing. This is apparently a combination of the language of worship (Hebrew) and the language of daily life (Aramaic). The two languages combine to form two distinctly separate sections of the book (1–6; 7–12), the first told in narrative form about Daniel and his friends with a historical conclusion (Daniel 6:28 ) and the second told in form of Daniel's visions.
Canon and Authority The basic twelve chapters of Daniel appear in the Hebrew Bible between Esther and Ezra in the last section called the Writings rather than in the Law or the Prophets. The Greek translation called the Septuagint introduced Daniel into the prophets and also introduced additional materials: the prayer of Azariah, the song of the three children, story of Susanna, Bel and the Dragon. See Apocrypha . The Christian church has followed the Septuagint in placing Daniel among the prophets, but Protestant Christianity has not accepted the additions, whereas the Catholic tradition has. All agree the basic Book of Daniel is God's authoritative Word for His people. Questions rise in interpretation not in the book's authority.
Unity Many things appear to separate Daniel into unrelated parts. The position of the person Daniel differs in various portions of the book. He is more central in Daniel 1-2 and Daniel 4-7 than in the rest of the book. In Daniel 1-6 Daniel is spoken of in the third person in the form of a biography. In Daniel 7-12 , however, Daniel speaks in the first person in the form of autobiography (except Daniel 10:1 ).
In Daniel 1-6 the dreams or phenomena come to heathen kings, but in Daniel 7-12 Daniel has the visions. In Daniel 1-6 Daniel is the one who interprets the dreams, but in 7–12 “someone” else interprets the dreams and visions to Daniel. Daniel 1-6 have simplicity, whereas Daniel 7-12 are complex.
The Book of Daniel acts as a unit despite these differences in languages used and types of literature employed. Each of the twelve chapters contributes to this unity. The unifying theme is that God expects His followers to maintain fidelity in face of threats, wars, legal pronouncements, or changing customs. God judges mankind constantly, and He also provides His presence and strength. God continuously judges.
I. The Faithful Young Men in a Foreign Court (Daniel 1:1-6:28 )
A. Loyalty to God leads Daniel and his friends to high political positions (Daniel 1:1-21 ).
B. Interpretation of the king's dream leads to the king's confession of God and to important positions for the friends (Daniel 2:1-49 ).
C. Loyalty to God brings deliverance from the fiery furnace, royal decree protecting the right to worship God, and further promotion for the friends (Daniel 3:1-30 ).
D. Interpretation and fulfillment of the king's dream leads the king to praise God (Daniel 4:1-37 ).
E. Loyalty to God and His rewards allows interpretation of the handwriting on the wall, brings promotion in the kingdom, and spells doom for Babylon (Daniel 5:1-31 ).
F. Faithfulness in prayer despite secular laws overcomes conspiracy, brings deliverance from the lions' den, leads the king to command fear of the true God, and brings political prosperity (Daniel 6:1-28 ).
II. Daniel's Visions Point the Way Through Persecution to Hope (Daniel 7:1-12:13 ).
A. Vision of four beasts shows four kingdoms to be overcome by Son of man and saints of the Most High, who will reign forever (Daniel 7:1-28 ).
B. Vision of ram, he goat, and four horns points to passing of Persians, Medes, and of proud Greeks, one of whom will interrupt daily sacrifices of Temple for a while (Daniel 8:1-27 ).
C. Daniel confesses the nation's sins, seeks forgiveness, and learns meaning of Jeremiah's 70 weeks as pointing to Messiah and to desolation of Jerusalem (Daniel 9:1-27 ).
D. A heaven-sent vision shows that Scripture points to battles between north and south until the northern king proudly triumphs and persecutes the people of God's covenant, taking away their sacrificial system and desecrating the Temple, but facing disaster in the end (Daniel 10:1-11:45 ).
E. Heavenly intervention will bring the time of the end and the resurrection of God's faithful people (Daniel 12:1-13 ).
Meaning Daniel encouraged the reader to remain faithful to God, God's law, and to the scriptural traditions of God's people. War, danger, threat, heathen kings, temptation, greedy desire for luxury, prosperity, and position lead away from God's way. Daniel encouraged the faithful to stand firm in faithfulness to the heritage of Israel. This resolve is painted in a characteristic prophetic outline. The essence of the book appears in a condensed form (Daniel 1:1-8 ). Then the author enlarged upon the theme he had expressed (Daniel 1:8-6:28 ). Finally, in typical Hebrew parallelism, he explained the purpose of the book in full form (Daniel 7:1-12:13 ).
Daniel 1:8-6:28 shows how in history Israelite heroes stood firm in their resolve to stay true to God and their heritage. In six different situations an Israelite hero faced extreme pressure to forsake God and tradition for personal safety and gain. In each case the hero resisted threats or danger of loss of life with no assurance of victory other than his faith.
Daniel 7:1-12:13 brought these truths to bear upon an extremely tense situation. Throughout the book the author focused upon the “fourth kingdom,” that of a tyrannical despot. As the ancient heroes remained faithful, so people facing the despot could double their resolve and experience victorious faith. They faced the choice: believe a ruthless foreign conqueror, or stay true to the faith of the fathers and the God of their history.
Interpretation The literary features, authority, outline, and meaning of the book are rather clear. The historical setting and details of interpretation bring varying opinions. The basic issue is the nature of inspired prophecy and Daniel's relationship to prophecy. All agree that prophecy is both exhortation of a present generation to faithfulness and painting of a future hope. The point at issue among interpreters is the fidelity to detail that prophecy must contain and whether Daniel with its wisdom and apocalyptic overtones must have the same type of historical setting and perspective as do the classic prophets of Israel.
To simplify the picture, two major stances on Daniel can be summarized. The first sees Daniel standing in the precise line of previous prophets, so that every detail of his visions points to the future and not the past. This assumes that Daniel in the sixth century B.C. wrote the book and described the history of contemporary Babylonian, Median, and Persian history and future Greek, Ptolemaic, Seleuccid, Maccabean, and Roman history, as well as the events of end time. Those interpreters who use a dispensational system (see Dispensations) to interpret Daniel see antichrist , tribulation , and the final kingdom pictured in Daniel.
A second stance emphasizes Daniel's relationship to other apocalyptic literature in which writers often use the names of ancient heroes to describe history long past to bring a message to a present generation facing extreme persecution. Writing in the name of the ancient hero gives authority to the writing and protection in the situation of extreme danger. This stance views Daniel as the hero but not the author of the book. The author is an unknown inspired writer who lived in the time of Antiochus Ephiphanes shortly before 164 B.C. The author used contemporary methods of interpreting the prophecies of Ezekiel, Jeremiah, and others to give hope to his generation when many Jews were seeking favor with the Syrian government of Antiochus by adopting a Hellenistic life-style and ignoring Jewish traditions. He used biblical traditions and other knowledge of his day to review the history of Babylon, the Medes, Persia, Greece, the Ptolemies of Egypt, and the Seleuccids of Syria. He then pointed to an immediate future when God would judge Antiochus and his followers who enforced the present persecution of God's people. This interpretation may then take another step and say that the book lends itself to valid new interpretations in light of Jesus Christ and the Christian hope, but that these were not necessarily the main points of the original author.
Whichever stance one takes in interpreting the details of Daniel, the inspired book continues to give hope, strength, and courage to God's people, especially in times of persecution, and to call for ultimate faithfulness no matter the temptations faced.
J. J. Owens and Trent C. Butler
Easton's Bible Dictionary - Daniel, Book of
The historical part of the book treats of the period of the Captivity. Daniel is "the historian of the Captivity, the writer who alone furnishes any series of events for that dark and dismal period during which the harp of Israel hung on the trees that grew by the Euphrates. His narrative may be said in general to intervene between Kings and Chronicles on the one hand and Ezra on the other, or (more strictly) to fill out the sketch which the author of the Chronicles gives in a single verse in his last chapter: 'And them that had escaped from the sword carried he [1] away to Babylon; where they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia'" (2 Chronicles 36:20 ).
The prophetical part consists of three visions and one lengthened prophetical communication.
The genuineness of this book has been much disputed, but the arguments in its favour fully establish its claims.
We have the testimony of Christ (Matthew 24:15 ; 25:31 ; 26:64 ) and his apostles (1 Corinthians 6:2 ; 2 th 2:3 ) for its authority; and (2) the important testimony of (Ezekiel 14:14,20 ; 28:3 ).
The character and records of the book are also entirely in harmony with the times and circumstances in which the author lived.
The linguistic character of the book is, moreover, just such as might be expected. Certain portions (Daniel 2:4 ; 7 ) are written in the Chaldee language; and the portions written in Hebrew are in a style and form having a close affinity with the later books of the Old Testament, especially with that of Ezra. The writer is familiar both with the Hebrew and the Chaldee, passing from the one to the other just as his subject required. This is in strict accordance with the position of the author and of the people for whom his book was written. That Daniel is the writer of this book is also testified to in the book itself (7:1,28; 8:2; 9:2; 10:1,2; 12:4,5). (See BELSHAZZAR .)
Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Daniel, Book of
1. Authorship and Date . The first six chapters of this book contain a series of narratives which tell of ( a ) the fidelity of Daniel and his friends to their religion, and ( b ) the incomparable superiority of their God to the deities of Babylon. The remaining six chapters relate four visions seen by Daniel and the interpretation of them. Chs. 1 6 speak of Daniel in the third person; in 7 12 he is the speaker (yet see Daniel 7:1 , Daniel 10:1 ). But both parts are from the same pen, and the primâ facie impression is that of an autobiography. Porphyry argued against this in the 3rd cent. a.d., and it is now generally abandoned, for such reasons as the following: (1) In the Jewish Canon Dn. stands in the third division, ‘the Writings.’ Had it been the production of a prophet of the 6th cent. it would have been put in the second division, ‘the Prophets.’ (2) Neither the man nor the book is mentioned in the list of Sir 44:1-23 ; Sir 45:1-26 ; Sir 46:1-20 ; Sir 47:1-25 ; Sir 48:1-25 ; Sir 49:1-16 ; Sir 50:1-29 ( c [1] . b.c. 200): and Sir 49:15 seems to have been written by one who was not acquainted with the story. (3) There is no reason for believing that a collection of sacred writings, including Jer., had been formed in the reign of Darius, as is implied in Daniel 9:2 . (4) The Heb. of Dn. is of a later type than even that of Chronicles. The Aramaic is a West-Syrian dialect, not in use at the Bab. [1] court in the 6th century. More Persian words are employed than a Heb. author would be familiar with at the close of the Bab. [1] empire. In a document composed prior to the Macedonian conquest we should not have found the three Greek words which are here used. (5) There are inaccuracies which a contemporary would have avoided. It is doubtful whether Nebuchadnezzar besieged Jerusalem in b.c. 606 ( Daniel 1:1-2 ). The name ‘Chaldæans’ as designating the learned class is a later usage ( Daniel 2:2 ). Belshazzar was not ‘the king’ ( Daniel 5:1 ), nor was Neb. his ancestor ( Daniel 5:2 ; Daniel 5:11 ). Darius the Mede never ‘received the kingdom’ ( Daniel 5:31 ). Xerxes did not follow Artaxerxes ( Daniel 11:2 ) but preceded him. (6) The relations between Syria and Egypt, from the 4th to the 2nd cents. b.c., are described with a fulness of detail which differentiates Daniel 7:1-28 ; Daniel 11:1-45 from all OT prophecy: see the precision with which the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes is related in ch. 11; the events from 323 175 occupy 16 verses; those from 175 164 take up 25; at Daniel 11:34 the lines become less definite, because this is the point at which the book was written; at v. 40 prediction begins, and the language no longer corresponds with the facts of history. There can be little doubt that Dn. appeared about b.c. 166. Its object was to encourage the faithful Jews to adhere to their religion, in the assurance that God would intervene. The unknown writer was intensely sure of the truths in which he believed: to him and to his readers the historical setting was but a framework. Not that he invented the stories. We saw in the preceding article that the exiled Jews knew of a Daniel, famous for piety and wisdom. Round his name, in the course of the ages, stories illustrative of these qualities had gathered, and the author of our book worked up the material afresh with much skill.
2. Language, Unity, Theology . (1) From Daniel 2:4 b to Daniel 7:26 is in Aramaic . Four explanations have been offered: ( a ) This section was originally written in Aramaic, about b.c. 300, and incorporated, with additions, into the work of 166. ( b ) The corresponding portion of a Heb. original was lost and its place filled by an already current Aram. [4] translation. ( c ) The author introduced the ‘Chaldees’ as speaking what he supposed was their language, and then continued to write it because it was more familiar than Heb. to himself and his readers. ( d ) The likeliest suggestion is that the entire book was Aramaic, but would not have found admission into the Canon if it had not been enclosed, so to speak, in a frame of Heb., the sacred language.
(2) The unity of the book has been impugned by many critics, but it is now generally agreed that the question is settled by the harmony of view and consistency of plan which bind the two halves together. The text has suffered more or less in Daniel 1:20-21 , Daniel 6:20 , Daniel 7:5 , Daniel 9:4-20 , Daniel 10:4 ; Daniel 10:8-9 , Daniel 10:20 to Daniel 11:2 , Daniel 12:11 f.
(3) The theological features are what might be expected in the 2nd cent. b.c. Eschatology is prominent. The visions and their interpretations all culminate in the final establishment of the Kingdom of God. And in this connexion it should be mentioned that Dn. is the earliest example of a fully developed Apocalypse . The doctrine of the Resurrection is also distinctly asserted: individuals are to rise again; not all men, or even all Israelites, but the martyrs and the apostates. At no earlier period is there such an angelology. Watchers and holy ones determine the destinies of an arrogant king. Two angels have proper names, Gabriel and Michael. To each nation a heavenly patron has been assigned, and its fortunes here depend on the struggle waged by its representative above.
3. Text . The early Church set aside the LXX [5] in favour of the less paraphrastic version of Theodotion. In both translations are found the Additions to Daniel. (1) 67 verses are inserted after Daniel 3:22 , consisting of ( α ) the Prayer of Azarias . ( β ) details concerning the heating of the furnace , ( γ ) the Benedicite . These teach the proper frame of mind for all confessors, and dilate on the miraculous element in the Divine deliverance. (2) The History of Susanna , which demonstrates God’s protection of the unjustly accused and illustrates the sagacity in judgment of the youth who is rightly named Daniel , ‘El is my judge.’ (3) Bel and the Dragon , two tracts which expose the imbecility of idolatry, and bring out Daniel’s cleverness and God’s care for His servant in peril. Swete ( Introd. to OT in Greek , p. 260) rightly remarks that internal evidence appears to show that (1) and (2) originally had a separate circulation.
J. Taylor.
Morrish Bible Dictionary - Daniel, Book of
This book holds a peculiar place among the prophecies: its subject is the "Times of the Gentiles." It is not an appeal to Israelites, but is mostly taken up with prophecies concerning the Gentile powers. The times of Gentile domination had begun by Nebuchadnezzar taking Jerusalem and being called king of kings, to whom God had given a kingdom, and made him ruler over all the children of men. God's personal dealings with this monarch are recorded and the kingdoms that would follow are revealed.
The book divides itself into two portions: the first six chapters give Daniel's intercourse with the great monarchs; and the latter six chapters the visions and revelations made to Daniel himself. For the personal history of the prophet see DANIEL. The prophetical aspect of the first division begins with Nebuchadnezzar's dream.
Daniel 2 : Under the figure of the Great Image are described the four Gentile empires that were to succeed each other, further particulars of which were afterwards revealed to Daniel. It is plainly manifested that these empires would depreciate. The first is compared to gold, the second to silver, the third to brass, and the fourth to iron and clay which would not mingle together. It is noteworthy that, notwithstanding this declaration, the great effort of many in modern days is to endeavour to unite the iron and clay, and others strive to make the clay (the mass of the people) the ruling power. The fourth empire will be resuscitated, for the Lord Jesus at His first coming did not set up His kingdom — He was rejected; but during the future renewal of the Roman empire God will set up a kingdom that shall subdue all others. The 'stone' is Christ who will break in pieces all that oppose, and will reign supreme. This prophecy presents the moral deterioration of Gentile power, until it is supplanted by the kingdom of God.
Daniel 3 : It is here uniformity of religion, established by the king, not by God — the principle of Church and State. Nebuchadnezzar commanded all to worship the image he had set up; but three faithful ones refused to obey, and were thrown into the fiery furnace. The king had to learn that the God of the Jews was the Most High God, who was able to set him and all his powers at defiance. The king acknowledged God's power and sent a proclamation to that effect throughout his kingdom; though his subsequent history proves that he was not humbled. In the last days the faithful Jews will be in the furnace of tribulation for not complying with the Imperial religion. They will be delivered, and God will be glorified by the nations: cf. Revelation 13 . Thus is seen that the first characteristic of Gentile supremacy is idolatry .
Daniel 4 : The dream and the interpretation shows that Nebuchadnezzar himself was thegreat tree to be cut down, and the prophet exhorted him to renounce his sins and reform his ways, and peradventure the judgement might be postponed. But his pride was not subdued, for at the end of the year he boasted of the great city which he had built by the might of his power and for the honour of his majesty; but not a word about God. He was driven among the cattle for seven years. It is a solemn thing to have to do with the living God; but God had mercy on the king, his reason returned, and the kingdom was restored to him. Now he could say, "I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgement: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase." He had learned God's lesson, and we hear of him no more. In the last days the Gentile rulers, after having used their power as 'beasts,' will acknowledge God as the source of all authority, and be brought into blessing in connection with Israel. The second characteristic which marked Gentile rule is that, refusing to own God, it descends to the level of a beast.
Daniel 5 : About twenty-five years later Belshazzar was reigning at Babylon. The monuments have revealed that he was son of Nabonadius, or Labynetus, and was reigning with his father. Nabonadius was defending the kingdom outside in the open country, and though defeated was not slain; his son was besieged inside, and was slain that night while holding a festival to the gods. This accounts for Belshazzar promising that Daniel should be the third ruler in the kingdom. Thus the monuments have now cleared away that which with respect to this kinghad seemed to make scripture and the historians discordant, for previously the name of Belshazzar had not been discovered. Daniel faithfully reminded Belshazzar of how God had dealt with his father (or rather his grandfather) Nebuchadnezzar for his pride; adding that though the king knew all this he had lifted up himself against the God of heaven, and had desecrated the vessels of God's house by drinking wine in them to his gods, and foretells his destruction. Type of the judgement on the Gentile world at the coming of Christ: cf. Revelation 18 : The third characteristic of imperial power is, that it is infidel and profane.
Daniel 6 : Darius the Mede had to learn the power of God, his own weakness, and the faithfulness of Daniel the servant of God. Daniel was saved from the lions, and the God of Daniel was proclaimed throughout the empire as the living God. Typically, Darius represents the last Gentile emperor, who will be worshipped; Daniel, the godly Jews who will be saved from the very jaws of destruction; his opposers, the future infidel accusers of God's people. The fourth characteristic is self-exaltation.
Daniel 7 : This begins the second part of the book. It gives the character of the Gentile kings, already noted in chapter 4, as before God, and their conduct towards those who acknowledge God. The four empires prophesied of in Daniel 2 are here further described under the figure of 'great beasts.' The lion is Chaldean; the bear, Medo-Persian; the leopard, Grecian (or Macedonian); and the fourth, which was like no living animal, Roman, distinguished as having ten horns (ten kings), Daniel 7:24 . Out of the last arises a little horn, a power which persecutes the saints for 3-1/2 years; but which is judged by the Ancient of Days, and the saints of the Most High, or rather of the high places, eventually take the kingdom. This power is doubtless the future Roman prince in the West, who will combine with Satan and the Antichrist, as in Revelation 13 .
Daniel 8 : The second and the third of the four empires are again prophesied of. Out of the third kingdom, the Grecian, after it was divided into four, arose a little horn, which magnified itself; and then follows the ceasing of the daily sacrifice at Jerusalem, 'the pleasant land;' but in Daniel 8:11 and part of verse 12 there is a change from 'it' to 'he;' and in Daniel 8:17 and Daniel 8:19 'the time of the end' is spoken of. Therefore, though the little horn refers to Antiochus Epiphanes (and though he caused the worship at Jerusalem to cease) a later and still future period is evidently referred to, and another king of Syria, who will stand against the Prince of princes, and shall be broken without hand. Daniel 8:25 . Daniel 8:23-25 are distinctly future: 'in the latter time.'*
* In reference to the 2300 days of Daniel 8:14 , see under 'Antiochus '
B.C. 175 ANTIOCHUS IV., Epiphanes (third paragraph)
Daniel 9 : Daniel was a student of prophecy, and learned from Jeremiah that the desolations of Jerusalem were to last 70 years. These were almost accomplished, and Daniel confessed his sins and the sins of his people; he prayed for forgiveness, and for the sanctuary which was lying desolate; he begged God to hearken and do, to defer not for His own sake, because the city and the people were called by His name. While he was yet speaking Gabriel was sent with a communication, which embraced not only the rebuilding of Jerusalem in the days of Ezra and Nehemiah, but the coming of the Messiah, and the action of a prince (head of the Roman power) in the last of the seventy weeks. See SEVENTY WEEKS.
Daniel 10 : Daniel mourned three full weeks. This was in the third year of Cyrus: in the first year Cyrus had proclaimed that God had charged him to rebuild the temple. Ezra 1:1 . Some were elated at the small restoration in Ezra 1 - 3, but Daniel was still before God about His people, the previous chapter having revealed that 70 weeks (of years) would have to run on before blessing; Messiah would be rejected, etc. He did not go back to Jerusalem, but continued to mourn for God's people and sought to understand the prophecies. One was sent to comfort Daniel, and he revealed the fact that unseen evil powers had delayed his coming the entire three weeks. The messenger said, "I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days . . . . now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia: and when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come." Daniel 10:14,20 . This introduces Daniel 11 and 12 ( Daniel 10,11 , and 12: being one). God's answer is a revelation extending from the days of Daniel to the final blessing of God's people. The city and sanctuary are in view in Daniel 9 , here the people.
Daniel 11 : Daniel 11:1-35 are a history of the contests between the king of the north (Syria) and the king of the south (Egypt) — branches of the Grecian empire — often in the land of Palestine which lay between them. The prophecies are so definite that some critics have said they must have been written after the events. The correspondence of history with the particulars given in this chapter will be found under ANTIOCHUS. Daniel 11:21 to 35 refer to Antiochus Epiphanes, type of the king of the north, or Assyrian of the last days: cf. also Daniel 8 .
Daniel 11:36-45 . The Spirit here, as elsewhere, passes from the type to the fulfilment at the end of the days, leaping over the present interval. Daniel 11:36-39 are a parenthesis and refer to Antichrist as a king: he will be a Jew and not regard 'the God of his fathers,' nor the Messiah as 'the desire of women,' nor regard any known god; but will set himself up above all. Yet apparently he will honour the god of war (for which nations are getting ready).
Daniel 11:40-45 . This is the final contest between a king of the North and a king of the South. The king of the North (elsewhere spoken of as 'the Assyrian,' antitype of Epiphanes) succeeds and passes into 'the glorious land,' and is generally victorious (but not against Edom and Moab, and the children of Ammon: these are judged later by the instrumentality of Israel. Isaiah 11:14 ). Like Sennacherib's host of old, he will be smitten by the hand of God.
Daniel 12 : This is the deliverance and blessing of the Jewish remnant. Michael, their champion in the heavenlies, stands up for them. There is to be a time of great trouble such as never was: cf. Jeremiah 30:7 ; Matthew 24 . Many of Israel that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake: some to millennial blessing, and some to judgement. This is not the resurrection of the dead, but a national rising of all Israel from among the Gentiles, like the rising from the valley of dry bones in Ezekiel 37 : a remnant only will enter the kingdom. Daniel was told to seal up the book to the time of the end: cf. Revelation 22:10 . He heard one ask, "How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?" The reply is "a time, times, and a half " — 3-1/2 years, the last half-week of Daniel's 70 weeks. Two other periods are given: 1290 days from the time of the daily sacrifice being taken away: this is 30 days beyond the 3-1/2 years. Then blessed is he that waiteth and cometh to the 1335 days — full blessing. Daniel was told to go: he should stand in his lot at the end of the days.
Much of this remarkable prophecy stands alone, though it has many links that fit exactly with other prophecies. A general knowledge of prophecy wonderfully helps the understanding of any part of it, in this or in any other book. It is important to remember that Daniel's prophecy embraces the 'times of the Gentiles' — running on from the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar to the restoration of the Jews whenruled over by the Son of David. The present governments or states of Europemay be said to be the representatives of Gentile supremacy, but through the depreciation of the Roman empire by the mixture of the iron and clay. The Church and the Gospel have no place in Daniel.
The book is not all written in Hebrew: from Daniel 2:4 to end of Daniel 7 . — namely, what concerns the Gentiles — is written in what is there called Syriac, or Aramaic — usually called Chaldee, the Gentiles' tongue.
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Daniel, Book of
This is a mixture of history and prophecy. The first six chapters are chiefly historical, and the remainder prophetical. It was completed about B. C. 534. The wonders related are of a peculiar and striking character, and were designed to show the people of God that, amid their degeneracy, the Lord's hand was not shortened that it could not save; and also to exhibit to their enemies that there was an essential difference between Jehovah and idols, between the people of God and the world. The prophecies contained in the latter part of the book extend from the days of Daniel to the general resurrection. The Assyrian, the Persian, the Grecian, and the Roman empires are described under appropriate imagery. The precise time of Christ's coming is told; the rise and the fall of antichrist, and the duration of his power, are accurately determined; the victory of Christ over his enemies, and the universal prevalence of his religion are clearly pointed out. The book is filled with the most exalted sentiments of piety and devout gratitude. Its style is simple, clear, and concise, and many of the prophecies are delivered in language so plain and circumstantial, that some infidels have asserted that they were written after the events they described had taken place. Sir Isaac Newton regards Daniel as the most distinct and plain of all the prophets, and most easy to be understood; and therefore considers that in things relating to the last times, he is to be regarded as the key to the other prophets.
With respect to the genuineness and authenticity of the book, there is the strongest evidence, both internal and external. We have the testimony of Christ himself, Matthew 24:15 ; of St. John and St. Paul, who have copied his prophecies; of the Jewish church and nation, who have constantly received this book as canonical; of Josephus, who recommends him as the greatest of the prophets; and of the Jewish Targets and Talmuds, which frequently cite his authority. As to the internal evidence, the style, the language, the manner of writing, perfectly agree with the age; and especially, he is proved to have been a prophet by the exact fulfilment of his predictions. This book, like that of Ezra, is written partly in Hebrew, and partly in Chaldee, the prevailing language of the Babylonians.

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