These are notes collected from studying with brothers in Christ. Anything good comes from the Lord. Everything else is from us!
Daniel introduction ~
Looking ahead to Daniel:
- The book spans all 70 years of the Babylonian captivity (which Ezekiel was at the beginning of – and even makes mention of Daniel, thus he must have been already ascending as a prominent person in Israel/Babylon)
- Thus, the 3 boys must have been relatively young when they go into the fiery furnace at the beginning, while Daniel was an old man when he went into the lion’s den at the end (70 years later).
- Ch. 1, 3, 5-6 are historical chapters
- Ch. 2, 4, 7-12 are prophetic chapters
- Ch. 2 & 7 – show panoramic vision of future world events: 5 kingdoms will arise – (1) Babylon, (2) Medo-Persia, (3) Greece, (4) Rome…and don’t forget (5) God’s Kingdom–the one that’s ultimately victorious!
- The first 3 kingdoms (as well as God’s kingdom) finds more description in the other prophetic chapters.
- That leaves Roman kingdom untouched for the most part in Daniel. But the last vision of Daniel mirrors the beginning of Revelation. And thus, Revelation seems to pick up where Daniel ended. Think of them as 2 book-ends. I think Revelation focuses a lot on Rome, picking up where Daniel left off.
- Ch. 7 and 12 talk about a “little horn” — this speaks to Antichrist (as fleshed out in more detail in the N.T.).
A few reflections on Daniel:
- I never caught how many references are made to the temple. Multiple chapters keep mentioning this. But it makes sense in light of God’s heart for his dwelling place–which becomes fulfilled in his church (the temple of God today).
- Reading Ezekiel and Daniel back-to-back like this made me realize how many references are made to both books in the book of Revelation. In fact, I think Daniel and Ezekiel are probably the 2 most referenced books in the book of Revelation (just a guess). And it occurred to me that both of those books are the only books written inside Babylon itself. Which becomes a theme of Revelation: the church leaving its “Babylonian Captivity”. I believe that is a refernce to false Christianity / false church that has happened over history of Christianity (sadly happens today A LOT too).
- O.T. prophecies about Jesus tend to have a “small” fulfillment (that is, a historic event with people of that time) and then the “large/main” fulfillment of Jesus Himself. Example: 2 Sam. 7 talks about a son of David who will be an eternal king (obviously, Jesus), but then talks about him as someone who sins and needs correction (that was Solomon, obviously not Jesus!). So the small fulfillment was with Solomon. But the ultimate “big” fulfillment was Jesus as the eternal king and Son of David. With that in mind…I see a similar thing happening in the “little horn” of Daniel. On one level, this seems a clear reference to Antichrist (the N.T. makes this pretty clear, using concepts and language Daniel mentions about the “little horn”). But there are parts of Daniel that make it clear it’s talking about someone named “Antiochus Epiphanies” (who would come and do some nasty things to God’s people around 150BC). That used to puzzle me, but I was reflecting on Messianic prophecies this time around of reading Daniel, and saw how it follows that same pattern. That is, the “big” fulfillment is Antichrist, but the “small” fulfillment is Antiochus Epiphanies.