MY SCRIPTURE STUDIES

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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Order of Daniel

A couple of years ago I shared some thoughts with a key proponent the so-called "EU beast" or revived Roman Empire theology. This man has sold millions of books.

As we exchanged ideas, I wondered... does he still think that communism and socialism will be the global downfall?

The EU-Roman Beast confusion is just one story line tied to the book of Daniel that modern prophecy teachers have proposed. The thoughts here are for those who do not seek such interpretation of ancient prophecy. There is no purpose here to convince anyone of anything really, the goal is simply to provide information for the consideration of those who are seeking truth from the prophets of the Bible, not me.

Following the establishment of Israel in 1948 and the restoration of Jerusalem in 1967 many common sense people have realized that the geography of the Bible's prophecies are unchanging and that its word's of instruction have not changed either. Like the Ten Commandments, God's word is set in stone and like the Promised Land, prophecy has not moved to Rome. After 9/11, this has intensified a prophetic focus on the role of Islam worldwide.

One key to understanding Bible prophecy is to understand that we are to study the Word of God just as Daniel did looking for clues from "The Prophets" that declared the voice of God. Daniel knew the word of Amos 3:7 that were written 250 years before his time. We need to know them too. The future is not written in a New York Times best seller, it is declared by the prophets:
"Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets."
This was true for Daniel and it's true for you and I so be a Berean and study the Word of God.

Daniel was studying the scroll of the prophet Jeremiah when he read about the sevens, the Shemittah. God gives us His teaching and instruction for living and He gives us His appointed Feasts because He loves us and He wants us to understand His plan for the salvation of mankind. Our Heavenly Father teaches us some very simple guidelines about how we are to live and what He is going to do on His seven appointed days, His moedim.

It's the original message of the deceiver to fall for the idea that God does not mean what He says or that He changes His mind. Don't listen to that message any longer. It is a lie.


The western news media seeks to sanitize the truth, so much so, few people seem to realize that we are now living at the very precipice of the greatest persecution of Christians in history.


Persecution will grow from the dark side of Islam in the Middle East. A chaos of attacks emanating from extreme radical Islam like a sword of Jihad. The message comes directly out of the Koran.

The Bible has always focused light on the bulls eye of the Promised Land and the nations of peoples surrounding and opposing Jerusalem and the Jewish people. The Bible's focus, God's eye is on the Temple Mount, the place of God chose to put His name.

In discussion, with this best-selling author, I expressed concern for the teaching he presented which was based ill-conceived perceptions of the books of Daniel and Revelation as he inserted the Pope as the evil one, the United States as Babylon and the Church as a replacement for Israel. His "best seller" may have made this author rich and famous, but it seems he has 'added to and taken away' from Scripture in opposition to Deuteronomy 12:32.

Although some may be startled by the thought of it, we must carefully "consider" the words of Daniel just as they are written with a focus on Jerusalem if we are to ever understand the prophetic messages to be revealed. More so, we must realize Jesus (Yeshua) taught prophecy from Daniel when they asked Him about the timing of things to come as they looked at the Temple Mount. Both Matthew 24:15 and Mark 13:14 confirm this:
“Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand)…”
The “abomination of desolation” is referenced three times in Daniel 9:27; 11:31; 12:11.

Yeshua (Jesus) referenced Daniel's prophetic writings. This gives them great weight - so, read the book for yourself and as you do take out the chapter breaks. They are not there really.

Let the scroll of Daniel speak for itself as you read, and by doing so allow Scripture to define itself, allow the prophets to back up the words and pray that the Spirit of God will teach and unseal the prophetic book, not me. For that reason, this commentary does not offer resolution to any of the mysteries of the visions of Daniel, but it suggests that we must continue to study and keep an eye on history and the Middle East. To do that we must use discernment and prayer.

We might begin to tie things together by looking at the date information given by Daniel within the opening of each "chapter" as we like to call them. Bible publishers have numbered them, but this can dull a clear understanding of the words of the Bible whether it be Daniel or any other. Numbered chapters and verses are great in that they are used to get everyone to the same reading place in the scrolls, but can divert our attention if we use them to segment our reading and our understanding.

In addition, we need to seek the whole truth and not be dogmatic concerning "hidden" or "mysterious" interpretations of Scripture from seemingly missing or inserted information. Perhaps the message of Daniel recorded c. 622 BC - 536 BC can be seen more clearly if we just look carefully at the words and the chronology of the timelines recorded. We might re-consider the places, the people and the time tables of prophecy taught by so many today regarding the expectation of latter-day events and end time conflicts found in Daniel, especially in the vision recorded in chapters 8-12.

Why look at the plain reading?

Well, when we read the words for what they say, the message appears to be assembled a bit out of historic order from reading the chronologies noted in Daniel's text. Daniel's vision has a series of embedded clues. If we re-read the chapters within the historic order recorded by Daniel, then perhaps our understanding of the fulfillment of their prophetic words can be improved. In addition, and perhaps most importantly, if we step back and study the prophecies within the text that are supported by historic events and places that tie to other Biblical Scripture, then the prophetic message of Daniel might begin to unlock.

God promises to "open up" the words of Daniel in the latter days, so we must consider this promise as truth and stop inserting so-called fulfilled speculations. Daniel points to the need to history to unfold for us to understand, and because of that, this commentary on Scripture study does not purport to give "all" the answers, just some hints at the possibilities. If we speculate, we inadvertently try to pry the words open to fit our own perception and expectation. We have to also remember that prophecy is time dimensional, it cycles. If we don't realize that, then we may miss the Messiah Prince in Daniel's message.

Let's start by looking at the timeline and order of events shown in the beginning of each chapter.

Look at chapter nine. Many will would agree that Daniel's prophecy deals with the timing of Messiah's crucifixion and the subsequent destruction of Jerusalem that came about by Roman military leadership and their assembly of Legions. For critical insight on just "who" these "Legions" of men really were, we MUST consider the truth to be found in history because it will help define the people, the events to come and locations described by Daniel in the latter days that tie to the reigns of the kings that Daniel records.

The truth is, if we do our homework, we can quickly find that while the people who made up the command of the "Legions" some 2,000 years ago were indeed Roman, the men that actually attacked and destroyed Jerusalem some 40 years after Messiah's ministry began at His mikvah in the Jordan River were not soldiers from Italy. This is critical! In fact, the "Legions" were the very ancient enemies of Israel, they were from the same people groups that Joshua was told to drive out of the Promised Land.

The Legions were local warrior tribesmen recruited by the Romans from the people nations of the Middle East that surrounded Judea in 70 AD. Today, the same warrior people groups remain in those areas and like the days of antiquity, they do not worship YHVH, but another false god. This understanding is critical if we are to consider the identity of "the beast", the fanatical religious government empire of the latter days that has been reborn from the evil of the Ottoman Empire, emerging, opposing and surrounding Israel before all of our post 9/11 eyes as the beast does not acknowledge The God of Israel or their right to the land promised by God's covenant to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

By their service in the Roman military, the "Legion" recruits were granted the rights of Roman citizenship according to the historical record. Check this source: www.roman-empire.net . There are many others as well.
"The realms of so-called 'client kings' were largely seen as an extended part of the Roman empire. Very often these royal houses owed their position to Rome. As part of the arrangement between Rome and the client kingdoms, the kings had to provide troops for Roman campaigns. It was therefore not uncommon for the troops of such kings to fight alongside Roman forces in battle against the enemy.

For example Titus' army in Judaea was accompanied by forces of Agrippa II (Palestine), Sohaemus (Emesa) and Antiochus IV (Commagene) in AD 70. Some of the troops from these client kingdoms were even trained in a fashion similar to that of Romans, in order to be more effective on the battlefield when working in union with real Roman forces.

The annexation of Galatia as a Roman province brought the thirty cohorts of King Deiotarus under Roman command and saw them formed into a Roman legion (Legion XXII). Though this was clearly an exception. The vast majority of troops from annexed client kingdoms became auxiliary forces."
So, with that jolt to your senses, let's take a quick look at Daniel chapter nine. We will start there because after all, the end of this chapter is the words there are cited by many of today's "prophecy" teachers as giving mis-information related to a proposed end-time worldwide "peace treaty" pushed by a global leader, the so-called E.U. anti-christ...

As noted, for starters we need to wipe our trained opinions for a moment and study true "Legion" history and then re-read Daniel asking what is the "peace treaty" and is there a so-called E.U. antichrist to come?
“And he will confirm the covenant with many for one week:” Daniel 9:27
I’d like to ask you to consider something very important about God’s word… aren't “covenants” always made with God’s people by The Almighty and not with others? As you ponder that question, keep in mind, a Biblical covenant (Hebrew = bĕriyth) requires the shedding of blood.

So, in the Hebrew tradition of asking a question to seek the truth, is it possible for you to reconsider the "covenant" and the "week" of Daniel 9? Might we consider that Daniel describes the very same covenant he mentions just a few verses earlier in the beginning of the chapter?

Let's go back and look at the beginning:
“And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments” Daniel 9:4
Daniel is talking about the "Covenant" of mercy given to Israel in the wilderness from fire at the mountaintop: "the covenant of the LORD God of their fathers, which God made with them when He brought them forth out of the land of Egypt."

Daniel is writing of the eternal Covenant given at Mount Sinai to the people Israel! Not an end time peace treaty among men.

Now, before we delve further, let's go to the beginning of Daniel and look at it historically.

Daniel chapters 1-4 deal with the reign of the historic head of gold, Babylon's King Nebuchadnezzar. These four chapters clearly look to be written and numbered by publishers in sequential order according to the story line of Nebuchadnezzar during Judah's exile. This is seen in Daniel's dairy-like time-frame, but following these opening chapters, Daniel writes of the other rulers of Babylon and the time lines can get a bit confusing.

Let's look at the introduction and sequencing of these subsequent "chapters" to orient ourselves.

First, we must consider, Daniel did not write a codex of contiguous "chapters" as we do today. In fact, Daniel did not write a "book" at all, he wrote his accounts and visions in the form of a scroll. His words were penned continuously but at different, varying time periods, like flashbacks in a movie as noted by the kingly reigns he introduces in the beginning of each message.

Again, if Daniel were with us today and he wanted to gather up all his writings to review them with us, Daniel would not have a chapter and verse numbered "book" to read. Instead, he would have a scroll.

Indeed then, it appears the proper way to discern the historic order of the message means we need to consider the dating shown at the beginning of each vision. Here the accounts of the time periods and rulers were recorded dutifully in the scroll. Logically, one would think that Daniel put these time markers in his writings for a reason. Otherwise, no one but Daniel could discern the order in which each prophetic scroll was to unfold.

So, as we look at the opening words and consider them, we have to keep in mind that Daniel provided no verse or chapter number as we separate the messages today. Daniel had no publisher, no editor, no word processor or blog. Daniel recorded his experiences and visions over the years and he even recorded his writings in two seemingly different languages, some chapters in Aramaic others Hebrew.

Daniel 2:4 to 7:28 are recorded in Chaldee Aramaic, that's just over half of the scroll. Certainly, none were written in Greek or English!

Chapters 2-7 are linked to the storyline of Daniel's life and times. After chapter 7, the scroll shifts from Aramaic to Hebrew for the remainder of the visions and prophecies experienced by Daniel. Aramaic was a bridge language dialect used by those speaking to both the Babylonian and Persian Empires, Hebrew was and is the language of the Hebrew people and its focus is on Israel and he Promised Land.

Fortunately, for validation, eight (8) sets of the scrolls of Daniel have been found among the Dead Sea scrolls within the caves of Qumran, Israel since 1947. They were discovered by Bedouin shepherds Jum'a and Muhammed ed-Dib just before the Hebrew language was restored to the covenant Promised Land of Israel.

These discoveries have destroyed the doubting words of earlier so-called Biblical scholars before the 1950's that said the prophetic timelines of Daniel regarding the Prince and the Messiah to come were too accurate, too precise to be written 500 years before Jesus walked and taught Torah in the Promised Land.

Naysayers based their assumptions on doubt claiming that the author could not have possibly known such details. These were people that had said the words of Daniel "had to" be written "after the fact" in the second century. These Bible critics were proven dead wrong as they claimed that the prophetic words of Daniel could not have been recorded in the sixth century and they mistakenly gave weight to the mixture of Aramaic and Hebrew as proof of a later date.

Thanks to the discoveries at Qumran, these men have all been found to be false teachers. Other witnesses prove Daniel was well-known by the second century. Both 1st Maccabees (2:59) and Baruch (1:15-3:3) allude to the record of Daniel.

Daniel's 69 week prophecy that gives the exact timing of the first coming of Messiah followed by the destruction of Jerusalem and The Temple sanctuary given to Daniel by Gabriel was fulfilled according to the Gabriel timeline:
"Know therefore and understand, [that] from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince [shall be] seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof [shall be] with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined." Daniel 9:25-26
As noted, the scrolls of Qumran show Daniel's message was not written in a single common language due to the shift from Aramaic and Hebrew.

Aramaic is a little-understood language today, it is actually ancient Chaldean, yet it survives. So do the Chaldean people. Believe it or not, the largest group of people that still use this language are based in Sweden. There are Aramaean Syriac churches all across Sweden as a witness to this. The Swedish Language Council says Sweden has one of the largest exile communities of Assyrian and Syriac Christians (also known as Chaldeans) with a population of around 100,000. Södertälje, which has the largest group of Assyrians than any other city in Europe, is home to 22,000 Assyrians, and 40,000 live in Stockholm County alone. This website link provides a global population breakdown: A total of 550,000 Assyrians live in Europe today with about the same count in the U.S. The largest Assyrian-Chaldean diaspora communities today are those of Södertälje, Sweden as well as Chicago and Detroit.

Before the discoveries of the scrolls at Qumran, there were no Hebrew or Aramaic manuscript copies of Daniel that were dated earlier than the late tenth-century A.D. The eight Dead Sea manuscripts of Daniel are very consistent among themselves, containing very few variations. The good news is this means that we now proof of a faithful record of the prophecies revealed to Daniel over 25 centuries ago.

So, let's get moving and review the order of Daniel. For reference, we will look at the assembly of the chapter numbering of the scrolls from the translators who ordered them in the book that we call "Daniel".

Chapter 9 is the focus of many prophecy students, so let's look there first at the historic timeline given in Daniel 9:1:
"In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans"
Chapter 7 is another chapter that has the focus of many prophecy students, so let's look to the beginning of Daniel 7:1 where we read:
"In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, [and] told the sum of the matters."
Now consider... Belshazzar was king of Babylon at the time of its fall to the Medes. Daniel interpreted the writing on the wall for Belshazzar and then the Medes crossed the river and killed King Belshazzar. This event is recorded in Daniel chapter 5.

Hum... did you see that? Belshazzar was killed in chapter 5, but if this is the same Belshazzar, there he is again in chapter 7. Perhaps this is a flashback? Let's look as more information unfolds. Besides his appearance in Daniel 7, Belshazzar is noted in these verses: Daniel 5:1,22,30 as well as Daniel 8:1. So let's take a look:
Daniel 5:1 Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and drank wine before the thousand.

Daniel 5:22 And thou his son, O Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this;

Daniel 5:30 In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain.

Daniel 8:1 In the third year of the reign of king Belshazzar a vision appeared unto me, [even unto] me Daniel, after that which appeared unto me at the first.
Now, let's go forward to Daniel chapter 9 to check out Darius. The scroll tells us of the timeline of Darius the Mede in the first verse. Darius was the king that took control of Babylon after Belshazzar was killed.

We might consider that Daniel put these leaders names in his scrolls so that we could follow the prophetic story along a timeline tracking the sequence of the events and the places he describes. Tis is important to consider the future.

Daniel tells us Darius the Mede ruled Babylon. History tells us Cyrus the Persian ruled Babylon after Darius.

Other verses that Daniel wrote of Darius the Mede other than chapter 9 include:
Daniel 6:1 It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom a hundred and twenty princes, which should be over the whole kingdom;

Daniel 6:28 So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.

Daniel 11:1 Also I in the first year of Darius the Mede, [even] I, stood to confirm and to strengthen him.
Now, consider the possibility of a flashback... since Belshazzar was "killed" in chapter 5, why do we see him "alive" in later chapters of the book of Daniel?

We find him in chapters 6, 7 and 8 as well as chapters 9 and 11.

Each speak of Darius as running the show in Babylon. The prophetic message then is this: events in Babylon were important 2,500 years ago and they will be important to our future. What we need is an "increase of knowledge" in the latter days and Daniel promises that.

Amazingly, the eyes of Bible students shifted to Babylon after 9/11. In fact, the U.S. built its biggest, most expensive and heavily fortified U.S. Embassy on the planet there along the Tigris River.

If knowledge is to increase, we have to understand things, yet to make matters "seem" confusing at first, it seems chapter 10 which is a continuation of the Ram and Goat battle vision, yet it speaks of King Cyrus, not Darius. "Cyrus the Great" was the great ruler that ordained by his Persian decree that the Jewish people could return to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple. This is seen in 2Chronicles 36 and Ezra 1:1-4 at the end of 70 years of exile declared by Jeremiah 25 when 42,360 exiles returned to the Old City and began the restoration of the Old City.

Cyrus was a Persian king and he showed great favor on the Jewish people. Earlier, we noteed the fact that prophecy is dimensional in cycles. Get this: There have been three leaders in Persia (Iran) since Israel was restored as a latter day nation in 1948. The three are Shah Pahlavi, Ayatollah Khomeini and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Shah Pahlavi was known as the Shah of Iran. You may remember him as he led Iran before Iran's 444 day U.S. hostage crisis. The Shah's father was Reza Shah. He is the man that renamed Persia as he sought global approval for the name Iran. This renaming was like a tectonic shift. Why? Reza Shah was the first Iranian Monarch to pay respect to the Jewish people, he even prayed in synagogues in opposition to Iran's clerics.

The Jewish of Israel people thought of him as they did Cyrus… so take note, Cyrus was the king when the meaning of Daniel’s vision was revealed. Is the nation in a day, Israel the time marker to Daniel's vision of three Persian rulers and might it include the passing Reza Shah?

Daniel was told there will be 3 kings and the 4th shall be the richest (most powerful) and by his strength he will stir/awake all against the realm/dominion of Grecia. The word here is not Greece, it is 'Yavan'...

That decree of Cyrus was halted for a time, but it was reinstated by the decree of Artaxerxes as seen in Ezra 6:1-14. So, in the Biblical record, it appears that the 70 week prophecy first engages with Cyrus. Let's look at the testimony of YHVH in Isaiah 44:28:
"This is what YHVH says — your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: I am YHVH, the Maker of all things, who stretches out the heavens, who spreads out the earth by myself, who foils the signs of false prophets and makes fools of diviners, who overthrows the learning of the wise and turns it into nonsense, who carries out the words of his servants and fulfills the predictions of his messengers, who says of Jerusalem, ‘It shall be inhabited,’ of the towns of Judah, ‘They shall be rebuilt,’ and of their ruins, ‘I will restore them,’ who says to the watery deep, ‘Be dry, and I will dry up your streams, ’who says of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd and will accomplish all that I please; he will say of Jerusalem, “Let it be rebuilt,” and of the temple, “Let its foundations be laid."
This Messianic prophecy is repeated again in Isaiah 45:12-13:
"I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded. I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct all his ways: he shall build my city, and he shall let go my captives, not for price nor reward, saith the LORD of hosts."
The amazing thing to consider is that Cyrus the Great "may have" learned of his duty to declare the restoration of Jerusalem from God by the scroll of Isaiah which was written c. 740BC-680BC.

God's word is powerful. It reveals the cycle of history and prophecy in advance. The account of Cyrus is recorded by the historian Josephus in Antiquities of the Jews, Book XI. As a side note, it seems possible that the date of 536 BC given by Ussher and the canon of Ptolemy is potentially flawed. That's why we have to dig in as much as we can to understand.

There's a lot more to this timeline, but for now let's go back to Daniel and ask, why is Darius mentioned there again in chapter 11? Shouldn't Cyrus the Persian appear on the scene as leader after Darius the Mede? Perhaps there's something going on in the chronology of the chapters and how that might tie into the future.

Let's look at chapter 10:
In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a thing was revealed unto Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar; and the thing [was] true, but the time appointed [was] long: and he understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision. Daniel 10:1
Due to the prophetic flashbacks, the chapters appear to be out of order if we use the names of the kings and rulers of Babylon, (today's Iraq) as sequence markers... why is this?

Perhaps we might we learn if more we align history and the storyline along the names given by Daniel?

Remember, the chapter numbers don't really exist in scrolls of Daniel anyway. So if we reorder what we see, this might help us "unseal" the promised end-time message of the book which is the ultimate return of Messiah The King.

First, let's see where the scroll that was found to be a separate scroll at Qumran (Daniel chapter 12) might fit into Daniel's prophetic storyline...

Remember chapter 10 is timed with the Persian King Cyrus the great king. The end of chapter 10 speaks of Michael "your prince". Michael, or Miyka'el means "who is like God". Here we see that the great messenger "who is like God" gives Daniel a promise of a prophetic latter-day rescue for Israel as Persia threatens their survival:
"Then said he, Knowest thou wherefore I come unto thee? and now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia: and when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come. But I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and [there is] none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince." Daniel 10:20-21
Before we unroll the scroll forward to chapter 12, take a minute to think about what Daniel hears as Gabriel is speaking of the "one" that helps him, the "great prince" who is like God. Names are important in the Bible and since Michael literally means "who is like God". The great prince "who is like God" is THE focus of the message.

If you are a Believer and someone asked you today… "who is like God", what would be the name you would give? Think about that, what's your answer... is it Jesus, Yeshua the Messiah?

I faithfully hope so.

Now, if you look closely you may notice chapter 12 continues in the theme where chapter 10 left off regarding Michael ("who is like God") when it states:
And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation [even] to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.

And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame [and] everlasting contempt. Daniel 12:1-2
This is the same hope in the promise found in the book of Revelation that follows after the king of the north desecrates Jerusalem for the last time in the prophetic cycle before Messiah returns as a re-run of Antiochus' run in with the Maccabees the desolation brought by Titus.

Let's look closer at the end-time delivery, resurrection and restoration to righteousness described here in Daniel chapter 12.
And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame [and] everlasting contempt. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever. Daniel 12:2-3
To link the narrative given in the opening of chapter 12, consider that it appears we need to go back to the end of chapter 10, not chapter 11 to link the message sequence of the Prince. Notice too, how Daniel is told that he will be given understanding as to latter-days, the end times.

By this alignment, we might see that Daniel's understanding is sequential (chapter 10 to chapter 12). The end time message is built sequentially, showing one King to another. First, Daniel was told of the time line of the end of the exile of Judah in Babylon, then he was told of the fulfillment of the Spring Feasts, the date of the birth of Messiah in the Fall Feast period and to top it off, Daniel was given the exact countdown of years to Messiah's death and resurrection again in the Spring Feasts.

Have you noticed a cycle?

Next, Daniel was prophetically shown Jerusalem's destruction by Titus' Legions in Daniel chapter 10. In chapter 12, the prophecy fast forwards in time as Daniel is told of the coming events of the 'end time' fulfillment of the time of trouble, another cycle that shows us God truly declares the end from the beginning.

These are the days that prophetically mark tribulation events at the time of the end of the exile and dispersion of all Israel around the globe that are rescued by Messiah, "who is like God" when He returns to Jerusalem at His second coming.

These latter days will engage the fulfillment of the Fall Feasts starting with the first of Tishrei and the Day of Trumpets, the ten days of awe and the Day of Atonement... the day of covering. They are preceded in Jewish history by the events of the 9th of Av. On Tisha B'Av, the Temple of Solomon was destroyed in 585BC on the 9th of Av by Babylon's king Nebuchadnezzar and again by Rome's Titus in 70AD.

This prophetic, appointed Feast season that the book of Daniel points us toward should not be confusing. We don't need to be confounded about the cycles or the mention of the "stars of righteousness" either. After all, in like fashion, they are a prophetic picture of the same "stars" (the descendants of faith) that were revealed to Abraham by God Almighty:
"That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which [is] upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies" Genesis 22:17

"And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed" Genesis 26:4
So, what shall befall the people of faith living in God's covenant in the latter days??
Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision [is] for [many] days. Daniel 10:14
The point of this commentary is that if we are to ever unseal Daniel's messages we may need to reconsider the order of the scrolls. By simply reading the opening lines of each chapter, it appears that chapters 7, 10 and 12 of Daniel focus on the time of the end, the latter days of "restoration" foretold in Ezekiel 37 and Hosea 2. And if we look closely, we can see that Daniel 9 deals with the time of the humble Messiah's crucifixion and return as well as the end of Judah’s time in Jerusalem and the Temple's destruction by the armies of the Roman Legions in 70 AD.

We might also understand that chapters 10 and 12 are a prophetic summary of the kingdoms, or people of the "end-time" that will rule over "Babylon". Today Babylon is labeled Iraq on the map and the Medes are now called the Kurds.

I believe the Book of Daniel will be unsealed in the Middle East headlines of post-Iraq war news as American and coalition troops withdraw protection and order from this ancient land of which includes Nineveh. Chaos will break out and perhaps the Medes (Kurds) will still play a vital role as the differences between Sunni and Shī'ah sects of Islam unfold prophetically in this ancient land. We should look for a resurgence of sorts of the kingdoms of the Medes and Persians but in a crude, evil form. After all, iron and bronze do not equal gold or silver.

So far, we have ignored the storyline of the 8th chapter, but in a deeper study on Daniel 8, we should re-evaluate just who is at the root of the final opposing radical latter day kingdom divides like iron and clay. Here's a clue, they fight among themselves, sponsor terrorism and oppose Israel at every chance!

Keys are found in the words in Daniel 10. Look at the sequence of the battles that are described. A man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz tells Daniel that he is returning to fight the prince of Persia, but once he is gone - the prince of Grecia or Yavan "shall come", this future aspect is from the Hebrew word "bow". This important because the "key" prophecy here from the messenger of heaven is found in the phrase "shall come", notice he does not say "has come."

Using the NASB translation, let's take a look at the messenger's words to Daniel at the conclusion of chapter 9 verses 25-29. Also consider that chapter 9 deals with Messiah's crucifixion and the subsequent end of Judah's control of Jerusalem by its murderous destruction that came from The Legions of Rome in 70 AD.

And there is more. If we know what 'really happened', we might know what 'will happen'. To know that, we must also know who the people, the Legions of Titus' Roman Legions really were in 70 AD. The identity of the 'Legions' is REALLY important as it will tell us more about the people that come against Jerusalem in these latter days. Remember, God declares the end from the beginning (see Isaiah 46:10).

Let's look at Daniel's words in chapter 9 with some [inserts] for "possible" discernment on the first fulfillment of Daniel's prophecy:
So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree [first given by King Artaxerxes to Ezra] to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince [Yeshua-Jesus] there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks [49 years + 434 years = 483 years]; it will be built again [the walls of Jerusalem rebuilt by Nehemiah], with plaza and moat, even in times of distress [Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite oppressed Nehemiah]. Daniel 9:25-29
It is important to know that a "Horonite" was from Bethoron. They got this name because they worshiped the Canaanite god Horon.

God declares the end from the beginning. Did you know that today, the two Palestinian-Muslim villages of Beit Ur al-Foqa‎, "Upper house of straw" and Beit Ur al-Tahta‎, "Lower house of straw" preserve part of the original Canaanite name for the towns Upper and Lower Bethoron?

Let's look closely at the text and [re-consider] more:
"Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off [crucifixion] and have nothing, and the people [Arabs, Syrians and Egyptians] of the prince [Titus] who is to come will destroy the city [Jerusalem] and the sanctuary [the Holy of Holies - the Temple]. And its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined [desolations for Jerusalem and as history tells us, for the Roman people too].

"And he [Yeshua-Jesus] will make a firm covenant [the covenant of eternal life] with the many [believers] for one week [Passover week. The week lamb of God was inspected 4 days in Jerusalem, then following death of the lamb of God Yeshua-Jesus, He arose on the third day, the day of First Fruits], but in the middle of the week Passover crucifixion day] he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering [Yeshua-Jesus is the ultimate offering. Sacrifices and offering stopped 40 years later in 70 AD with the destruction of the Temple and it altar];

And...on the wing of abominations will come one [Titus] who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed [prophesied by Messiah as recorded in Matthew 24] is poured out on the one who makes desolate."
God tells us that He placed His name in Jerusalem and chose The Temple Mount. For the sake of His name, He will also not let the one that offends Jerusalem go unpunished. And always keep in mind, like the Feast Days of YHVH, prophecy is cyclical. That's what declaring the end from the beginning is referencing. God tells us what goes around comes around.

There is another abomination coming to Jerusalem, Jesus warned that would happen, but that is for another study. The conclusion of seventy weeks have a future too and they are tied to understanding the Feast Days and the Covenant instruction of The Lord that always uses sevens throughout the word of God.

Many call the last Spring Feast many call "Pentecost" due to the 50 days of counting. The Jewish people properly call it Shavuot. Shavuot is from the Hebrew word meaning which is "weeks". God tells us:
"And your shall observe the feast of weeks of the first fruits of wheat harvest, and the feast of in-gathering..." Exodus 34:22
We are to observe these appointed days. If we realize that there is one Feast "of weeks" a year, then can we observe that seventy of these "weeks" is, well... 70 years of Shavuot feast days. With that observation, Daniel 9:24-25 might also be considered as:
Seventy [feasts of] weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.

Know therefore and understand, [that] from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince [shall be] seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
When did a man's decree last bring forth a commandment to restore Jerusalem?

Could there be a tie to U.N. Resolution 181?

Resolution 181 is the U.N. decree, the resolution that went forth on none other than a Sabbath day: November 29, 1947. Do we need to consider this day as a part of the storyline of Daniel? If so, are we to count and add 69 years to watch for Jerusalem in times of trouble all around Israel.

If so, that time to watch may arrive around November 2016. Come tho think of it, that will be an election year in the U.S. and as usual the United Nation will meet that year. It will be the 70th year of the international gathering of the nations in New York at the UN.

Most Bible scholars say Daniel describes 69 weeks of years. Consider, the nation of Israel was declared by the UN on November 29, 1947. Although not weeks of years, if we simply add 69 calendar years to that 1947 date we arrive again at 2016 and it is potentially a Jubilee, a year of restoration. Perhaps as a nation, Israel will begin to see restoration in relationships that have been broken. If we add 70 Biblical years from the Hebrew calendar, we arrive at the same time, the end of 2017.

As we saw in Daniel 9:25, Daniel states: "the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times."

The Hebrew word for "street" seen here in Daniel is "rĕchob" it actually means open place or plaza. Do you know the location of a key plaza with a "wall" in Jerusalem today? Do you think that people call the Kotel, the "plaza" by the Western Wall" this name by chance or coincidence? It is the plaza area near the Western Wall that is considered the base of the Temple Mount.

Let that soak in and let's look back to the Roman destroyer Titus. He was "poured out".

This is a prophetic description used in the book of Daniel. To understand this, we might consider what actually happened to Titus "the Roman" after he destroyed Jerusalem, its 600,000 citizens as well as the Temple and the Altar where Titus as an act of abomination and desecration to God's authority sacrificed to the Roman standards and idols that he had placed within the Temple court.

Much like Sodom and Gomorrah, destruction and desolation were "poured out" a few short years later on the reign of Titus. In God's world, what goes around comes around. Here's what happened:

Titus returned to Rome in June of 71AD after he burned Jerusalem to the ground and left no stone unturned. A few years later he became Emperor of Rome after the death of his father Vespasian in 79AD. Titus finally ruled the Roman Empire, but his reign ended abruptly in fire. Many may know the history, but many may not have put the story lines together. Here's the connection:

Everyone has heard of the famous Mount Vesuvius, it is the site of perhaps the most famous explosive volcanic eruption on Earth, and certainly the most written about. It explosively erupted in 79AD in Italy. Yes that's right, 79AD is the very year Titus became Emperor of the Roman Empire. The shaking and eruption of Mt. Vesuvius fire bombed and buried the city of Pompeii under tons of hot cinder and volcanic ash that preserved the ruins of the city and its inhabitants eternally in stone.

Coincidence or not, the last eruption there was in 1944, the same year that Adolf Hitler ordered the deportation of 600,000 Hungarian Jews in 1944 to the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp, the site of horrific mass Jewish murder not unlike that almost 2,000 years earlier in Jerusalem.

As to Emperor Titus, during his short reign, the city of Rome was plagued by horrific disease, pestilence and a three-day fire that destroyed vast portions of the capitol city of the Roman Empire. Then, just two years later, Titus suddenly and mysteriously died in 81AD at the age of 42. Ironically, many historians believe Titus may have died of a disease he took on from his lover Berenice, the sister of Julius Agrippa II who was married three times prior to living with Titus outside of wedlock in Rome.

As Paul Harvey used to say... "now you know the rest of the story" about Titus.

The righteous prophet Daniel was shown these things about Titus and Jerusalem, but if we are to properly understand the "end times"... the so-called EU anti-christ and the revived Roman Empire theories must quickly vanish from view if we are to really understand Daniel's visions and the prophetic cycles of the Bible. After all, the Bible is about the Middle East and the people there.

Believe it or not, the Bible is about the Promised Land and the nations that surround Israel, it's not about the land of amber waves of grain, purple mountain majesties or the red, white and blue. It is certainly not about the Vatican or St. Paul's Cathedral either.

The focus of the Bible is plain and simple, it is about Israel. Always has been, always will be.

Daniel's prophecies begin with Nebuchadnezzar's dreams. This vision is about the seven "gentile" governments that opposed Jerusalem over the course of 2,520 years from 604 BC to 1917. Incredibly, it was in 1917 when British General Edmund Allenby and the horse mounted cavalry he led which included none other than the Egyptian Expeditionary Forces under his command, fought for Jerusalem during the heavy rainstorms that year. Allenby fought against the 7th and 8th Armies of the Ottoman Empire.

Under General Allenby's command, they took The Old City of Jerusalem the day before the start of the festival of lights (Hannukkah) which commemorates the release and re-dedication of the Temple by the Maccabee hammer from the Seleucid dynasty 2,000 years before following the Maccabee's revolt. The Hasmonean's rule of Jerusalem continued until 37 BC when an Idumean known as 'Herod the Great' became ruler of Israel by the appointment of Rome.

Some called Herod the Great, "King of the Jews" but he wasn't even a Jew, he was from Idumaea, aka Edom.

Herod was an Edomite for crying out loud!

That might give us a clue on God's instruction to the army of Israelites after they left Egypt. God told Moses they were to pass by and leave Edom alone. Had they fought and utterly destroyed them, Herod's role in the restoration of the Temple would have never been fulfilled. This foreign hand is not unlike the accession of Cyrus the Great of the Persian Empire some 500 years earlier. Like Cyrus before him, Herod made the restored the city of Jerusalem and made the rebuilding of the Temple possible in preparation for the Messiah.

Allenby's 1917 story is captured in the historical website called Colonial Film: "The proceedings in Jerusalem were captured on film by Harold Jeapes, a cameraman working for the War Office Cinematograph Committee (WOCC) in Palestine and Egypt." You can view the silent 14 minute screen reel of the story as General Allenby entered Jerusalem.

The Jubilee year of 1917 was also marked by the Balfour Declaration "that made public the British support of a Jewish homeland in Palestine".

Since 1917, and the end of World War I, the world has been SUPER CHARGED with "end-time" Biblical prophecy and growing understanding of the words of Daniel that race toward us like birth pains.

British General Allenby opened the city of Jerusalem and this set the world stage in motion for the return of the Jewish people, and Messiah. To top it off, Allenby may have done this some 69 Biblical Jubilee years after the Exodus from Egypt!

That might point us to the 70th Biblical Jubilee after the Exodus. The year was 1967, and for six days the armies of Israel fought against against Syria, Jordan and Egypt. At the conclusion of the Six Day War, Jerusalem was retaken by the Jewish people for the first time since Titus and the Legions held control of the city and the Temple Mount.

Jerusalem is now divided by three "religions" if you will. You may not realize it, but the 'three parts' we see there today was foretold long ago in Revelation 16:19 and today the world seeks to divide Jerusalem, severing it as the Capitol of Israel as a part of the establishment of a so-called Palestinian state.

When this happens, you had better be watching and ready with plenty of oil in your proverbial lamp. It will be a time of darkness, a time of trouble tied to the timeline and events related to the fall of Iraq (Babylon):
"And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath." Revelation 16:19
The three parts dividing religion in Jerusalem today are 1) Muslim, 2) Jewish and 3) Christian. General Allenby even referenced this in his proclamation to Jerusalem:
"To the Inhabitants of Jerusalem the Blessed and the People Dwelling in Its Vicinity:

The defeat inflicted upon the Turks by the troops under my command has resulted in the occupation of your city by my forces. I, therefore, here now proclaim it to be under martial law, under which form of administration it will remain so long as military considerations make necessary.

However, lest any of you be alarmed by reason of your experience at the hands of the enemy who has retired, I hereby inform you that it is my desire that every person pursue his lawful business without fear of interruption.

Furthermore, since your city is regarded with affection by the adherents of three of the great religions of mankind and its soil has been consecrated by the prayers and pilgrimages of multitudes of devout people of these three religions for many centuries, therefore, do I make it known to you that every sacred building, monument, holy spot, shrine, traditional site, endowment, pious bequest, or customary place of prayer of whatsoever form of the three religions will be maintained and protected according to the existing customs and beliefs of those to whose faith they are sacred.

Guardians have been established at Bethlehem and on Rachel's Tomb. The tomb at Hebron has been placed under exclusive Moslem control.

The hereditary custodians at the gates of the Holy Sepulchre have been requested to take up their accustomed duties in remembrance of the magnanimous act of the Caliph Omar, who protected that church."
Just as Daniel described would happen, three parts now divide Jerusalem. They are: 1) Muslim, 2) Jewish and 3) Christian. They are in fact religious divisions - of people.

Yet, on a modern map of the city we label the Old City with four quarters. That's a bit confusing and it keeps us from understanding Yeshua's words in Revelation. On a map, we see: 1) the Muslim Quarter, 2) the Jewish Quarter, 3) the Christian Quarter and 4) the Armenian Quarter.


But least we forget, the Armenians adopted 'Christianity' as their official state religion back in 286AD so in reality there are three divisions in Jerusalem today. Want more proof?

The Jewish Virtual Library states: "In fact, during the Camp David Summit, leaders of the Armenian church insisted the Christian and Armenian Quarters were inseparable and expressed their preference for international guarantees."

When we think of the storyline of the visions of Daniel, we think of the Redeemer and we think of Michael ("who is like God").

It's amazing that among General Allenby's many medals of distinction he was awarded around the globe, he received the two that provide a parallel link to Daniel's visions: 'Grand Cross of the Order of the Redeemer' and the 'Order of Michael the Brave'!!

We must consider the reality seen in these events that point to the truth of prophecy and the order of Daniel and perhaps many may begin to unfold in the history we will see in 2017, 100 years from Allenby during the 50 Jubilee of the reunification of Jerusalem. If we do, the "latter-day" ram and goat vision described in Daniel 8 may come into better focus because of this promise given to Daniel: "knowledge shall increase".

Joel Richardson, the author of an eye-opening book titled The Islamic Antichrist really got me to thinking about the possibility of a coming attack on Jerusalem and I believe such an attack dramatically points to a western engagement, perhaps from Turkey as Daniel 8 may prophetically refer to this conflict as the ultimate war between the East and West.

Am I saying that this is what must happen?

No... but Daniel clearly prophesies that East will oppose West. Many say that the prophecy is over and out and all about Alexander the Great's conquest in the Middle East around 320 BC, but there are a couple of basic problems with that being the only fulfillment of this great prophecy:
1) Alexander's troops could not come from the west "without touching the ground" like today's troops that are brought in by sea or air (Daniel 8:5).

2) Also simply consider... that any event around the year 320 BC can't be considered an "end time" prophecy can it?
History repeats, prophecy is a cycle.

So, it is probable that Alexander's conquests were a "shadow picture" of things to come - - in the end just as they were declared. See Daniel 8:19 for the proof text:
"...Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be."
When we consider the end game of prophecy, it is important that we don't plug things in to try to get the Scriptures to fit one's theology and just accept the common view or that something that occurred in the past is the grand finale.

Instead, we might let the Scriptures speak for themselves because the Bible repeatedly says are not to add to or take away from the Scriptures (see Deuteronomy 4:2; Deuteronomy 12:32; Proverbs 30:5-6; Psalms 119:160).

Daniel's end time vision starts in chapter 8. There we see Daniel was told there will be 3 kings and the 4th shall be the richest (most powerful) and by his strength he will stir/awake all against the realm/dominion of Grecia. Is Yavan Turkey?

Daniel tells us the 4th king enters into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown before Michael ("who is like God") stands up. Isaiah ties in some of the details.
Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD of hosts, O my people that dwellest in Zion, be not afraid of the Assyrian:

he shall smite thee with a rod, and shall lift up his staff against thee, after the manner of Egypt. For yet a very little while, and the indignation shall cease, and mine anger in their destruction.

And the LORD of hosts shall stir up a scourge for him… Behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, shall lop the bough with terror: and the high ones of stature shall be hewn down, and the haughty shall be humbled. And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse… Isaiah 10:24-26; 33; Isaiah 11:1
The battle depicted by Daniel 8 may be imminent. So we must attempt to keep up with the unfolding story lines that define the visions that made Daniel sick for days as he may have caught glimpses of the future of a battle.

Update August 8, 2013: Here's a link to an insightful blog post by Billy Humphrey, the director of the International House of Prayer Atlanta entitled: Organizing The Book of Daniel Chronologically.

Mr. Humphrey outlines the book of Daniel in simple chronologic order and explains: "In my owns studies I found that as I organized the book chronologically it became easier for me to understand the story line. Hopefully this will serve as a helpful tool for you as you study the Book of Daniel."

If you want to dig in even further into the prophecies of the book of Daniel, you may want to consider a graphic perspective on the timelines of 70 weeks, 1290 days, 1335 days and much more given to Daniel as well as other key events described in the Scriptures that are marked by the prophetic headlines of world history.

If you like, you can consider my "work in progress" as an Excel file and download the Timelines of Daniel here.


Shalom.