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Showing posts from March, 2021

Two "Little Horns"?

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The “little horn” is named in two visions. Is it the same figure in each case, or two different individuals?  -  Daniel 7:7-8, 8:9-14 .  The figure called the “ little horn ” figures prominently in Daniel’s visions, and it is explicitly named in the vision of the “ fourth beast ” and that of the “ ram and goat .” It is reasonable to assume both visions refer to the same figure. The historical references in the first vision are enigmatic, in the second, they are explicit. The careful comparison of parallels between the two visions is vital - [ Acropolis Photo by  Cristina Gottardi  on Unsplash ].

War Against the Saints

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SYNOPSIS  - Language from Daniel’s vision of the “little horn” that waged war against the “saints” is applied in Revelation to the church – Daniel 7:21 .  In the interpretation of the image of the “ little horn ,” this malevolent figure made “ war on the saints and prevail over them .” That same image is reapplied in the book of Revelation to the “ war ” of the “ Dragon ” and his vassals against the “ saints ,” those who “ follow the Lamb wherever he goes .” Similarly, descriptive language from this same vision was applied by the Apostle Paul to the coming “ man of lawlessness .” - [ Photo by Helena Lopes on Unsplash ].

THAT Son of Man

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The “one like a Son of Man” from Daniel is the source of Christ’s self-designation, the “Son of Man”  –  Daniel 7:13-14 .  In the gospel accounts, the “ Son of Man ” is the most frequent self-designation found on the lips of Jesus, a term derived from Daniel’s vision of the one “ like a Son of Man ” who received the “ dominion and kingdom ” from the “ Ancient of Days .” And at the end of the age, “ all the tribes of the earth ” will mourn when “ they see  the Son of man coming in the clouds  of heaven .” Jesus is “ that  Son of Man ” - [ Photo by  Josh Applegate  on Unsplash ].

Fourth Beast

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The fourth beast is the focus of the vision, especially its “little horn with a mouth speaking great things”  -  Daniel 7:7-14 .  The fourth “ beast ” is described in more detail than the first three.  It is the focus of the vision, especially the “ little horn that was speaking great things .” The other “ beasts ” provide background information for the rise of this kingdom. Unlike the first three, it has no analog in the animal kingdom. It is an unnatural creature with “ iron teeth ” and “ ten horns ” - [ Photo by Showkat Chowdhury on Unsplash ].

Bear and Leopard - Identities

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In Daniel’s vision, how do we identify the second and third kingdoms, the “Bear” and the “Leopard”?   -   Daniel 7:5-6 .  Daniel saw “ four beasts   ascending ” from the sea. Each of the first three featured characteristics from the animal kingdom: the winged lion, the bear, and the leopard with two pairs of wings. The fourth beast did not resemble any known animal. It was a horrifying monstrosity with “ great iron teeth ,” “ ten horns ,” and another “ little horn, with a mouth speaking great things .” - [ Acropolis - Photo by Cristina Gottardi on Unsplash ].

Prayer and Visitation

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After praying for the restoration of Israel, the angel Gabriel appeared and began to explain the “vision” to Daniel  -  Daniel 9:3-23 .  After contemplating the prophecy from  Jeremiah , Daniel began to pray and repent for the sins of Israel. He did not  seek revelation into the meaning of Jeremiah’s prophecy, for he understood its prediction perfectly well (“ I understood by the writings the number of the years ”). Instead, he confessed the sins of the nation, just as Jeremiah had instructed - [ Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash ].

Word of Jeremiah

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Daniel began to inquire into the predicted end of the Babylonian Captivity recorded in the book of Jeremiah  -  Daniel 9:1-2 .  Daniel received the revelation about the “ seventy weeks ” in the “ first year ” of Darius the Mede; that is, shortly after the fall of the Neo-Babylonian Empire to the “ Medes and Persians .” And his inquiry and prayer indicate that the events in chapter 9 occurred before the return of the first Jewish exiles to Jerusalem after the decree of Cyrus the Great - [ Photo by Paula Guerreiro on Unsplash ].

Final Week - Abomination

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The final “week” of the prophecy includes verbal links to the other visions of Daniel, especially the “abomination of desolation”  –  Daniel 9:27 .  The “ seventy weeks ” prophecy concludes with several unanswered questions. However, the prophecy is not the end of the matter. Clear verbal links connect it to the visions of chapters 7 and 8, and to the subsequent vision in chapter 11; it is one part of a larger whole. The complete picture becomes clear when all the visions of  Daniel  are considered - [ Caesar - Photo by Ilona Frey on Unsplash ].

After Sixty-Two Weeks

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After the first sixty-nine weeks, a malevolent “leader” appeared who corrupted the city and “desolated” the sanctuary  –  Daniel 9:26 .  The final “ week ” of the prophecy culminates in the desecration of the sanctuary and the cessation of the daily burnt offering. The “ seventy weeks ” is part of a series of visions about “ what things must come to pass in later days ,” all of which culminate in the establishment of the kingdom of God and the vindication of the saints. All the visions in the book are connected by verbal and conceptual links - [ Jerusalem -  Photo by Sander Crombach on Unsplash ].

First Sixty-Nine Weeks

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SYNOPSIS  -  The first sixty-nine “weeks” lay the groundwork for the tumultuous events of the final or “70th week”  –  Daniel 9:25 .  Next, the interpreting angel described the first sixty-nine “ weeks ” of the “ seventy weeks ” prophecy, although only briefly. As he declared at the start, “ seventy weeks are  divided  upon your people and upon your holy city .” After presenting the  redemption  that would be realized at the end of the prophecy, the angel described its three subdivisions of “ seven weeks ,” “ sixty-two weeks ,” and “ one week ,” presumably, consecutive periods of 49, 434, and 7 years. - [ Photo by Jazmin Quaynor on Unsplash ].

Word to Return

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The “word to return” that marks the start of the prophetic period refers to the original prophecy of the captivity in Jeremiah  –  Daniel 9:25 .  Understanding the “start date” of the “ seventy weeks ” period is vital to its interpretation. When the period  began  determines when it will  end . Fortunately, the interpreting angel provided Daniel with that information: “ From the going forth of  the word  to return and to build Jerusalem .” Unfortunately, precisely what he meant by this “ word ” is not immediately clear - [ Photo by Timothy Eberly on Unsplash ].

Six Redemptive Goals

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The angel outlined six redemptive goals to Daniel that would be completed by the end of the "Seventy Weeks"  –  Daniel 9:24 .  The prophetic period is divided into three divisions - the initial period of “ seven weeks ,” the second segment of “ sixty-two weeks ,” and the final period of “ one week .” And the latter is subdivided further into two “half weeks.” At the start of the prophecy, the angel listed six redemptive goals that must be achieved by the end of all seventy “ weeks ” - [ Photo by Gerald Berliner on Unsplash ].

End-Time People of Jesus

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The church is the battlefield where the final war is being waged between the Lamb and the “Ancient Serpent,” Satan .  The book of  Revelation  was sent to seven first-century churches in Asia to address their real-life trials and tribulations. But in the process, it presents messages relevant to all churches throughout the present age. Their daily struggles become the microcosm of the vast cosmic battle that is being waged even now between Jesus and the “ Dragon ” - [ Photo by  Nathan Jennings  on  Unsplash ].