My Scripture Studies
Removing the Blinders

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 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 thinking that the vortex of the Bible has somehow shifted West.

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 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 is unchanging and that God's word 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 realization has returned a prophetic focus on radical Islam and the Middle East.

A 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 declare the voice of God. Daniel knew the word of Amos 3:7 that was written 250 years before Daniel's exile to Babylon. We need to know the messages of the prophets too. The future is not written in a New York Times best seller, it is already declared by the prophets in God's Word:
"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, 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 and thier link to the exile.

Daniel knew God gives us His instruction about His appointed Feasts because He loves us and He wants those that seek truth to understand His plan for the salvation of mankind. Our Heavenly Father teaches us 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 may now living at the very precipice of the greatest persecution of Christians in history.

Persecution will grow from the dark side of radical Islam in the Middle East. A chaos of attacks emanating from extreme radical Islam like a sword of Jihad. The message by the way 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 tells us God's eye is on the Temple Mount, the place of God chose to put His name. This isn't just a Jewish concept either. Gentile kings by the names of Cyrus, Darius and Artaxerxes understood this. You can read what they had to say in the book of Ezra. Check it out for yourself.

Jumping back to my exchange with this best-selling author, I expressed concern for the teaching he presented which is based on ill-conceived perceptions of the books of Daniel and Revelation in which he inserted his theology that the Pope is the evil one, the United States is Babylon and perhaps worst of all, "the Church" is a replacement for Israel and the Jewish people. His "best seller" may have made him rich and famous, but 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 "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 as was promised to Daniel:

“Go your way, Daniel, for these words are concealed and sealed up until the end time." Daniel 12:9

I am certainly not saying I am unsealing the words given Daniel, but we must realize Jesus (Yeshua) taught from Daniel when the disciples asked Him about the timing of things to come as they stood at the Temple Mount. Both Matthew 24:15 and Mark 13:14 confirm what He said:
“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 focus on the cycle of prophecy is the “abomination of desolation” and it is referenced three times in Daniel 9:27; Daniel 11:31 and Daniel 12:11. Plainly Yeshua (Jesus) referenced these prophetic writings.

In 167 B.C. Antiochus IV Epiphanes Antiochus dispatched his armies against Jerusalem with 22,000 men. They attacked on the Sabbath, killing most of the men and enslaved the women and children.  Jerusalem’s walls were demolished and a Seleucid military garrison stationed immediately south of the Temple.

The Torah was outlawed resulting in the cessation of daily sacrifice. An altar to Zeus was erected over the altar of burnt offerings, and the worship of Zeus was instituted in the Temple. On December 25, 167 B.C., a pig was sacrificed on the altar to the pagan god Zeus of Olympus; this foreshadowed the “abomination that causes desolation” in Daniel 9:27, Daniel 11:31 and Daniel 12:11.

This history gives Daniel's words great weight - so read the book of Daniel.

Let the scroll speak for itself as you read, and by doing so allow Scripture to define itself and history to validate it. Allow the prophets to back up the words as a second witness and pray that the Spirit of God will teach and unseal the prophetic book.

As noted, this commentary does not offer resolution to unsealing the mysteries of the visions of Daniel, but it strongly suggests that we must continue to study The Scriptures and keep an eye on history, the Middle East and Jerusalem, not Rome and much prayer for discernment. And take note of Daniel's prayer. His prayer contains humility, worship, confession, and petition not assumption.

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 clearer understanding of the words of the Bible whether it be Daniel or any other book.

Numbered chapters and verses are good in that they can be used to get everyone on the same page in the scrolls, but they can also can divert the flow of the message and shift our reading and understanding. Remember, they are scrolls.

In addition, we need to seek the plain truth and not be dogmatic concerning "hidden" or "mysterious" interpretations of Scripture. Perhaps, the message of Daniel recorded circa 622 BC - 536 BC can be seen more clearly if we look carefully at the words and the chronology of the timelines recorded. We also need to 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 conflicts found in Daniel, especially in the vision recorded in chapters 8-12.

When we read the words for what they say, the chapters appear to be assembled a bit out of historic order from a reading of the chronologies noted in Daniel's text but Daniel's visions have a series of embedded clues to help us. Perhaps if we re-read the chapters with the historic order recorded by Daniel, then perhaps our understanding of the fulfillment of their prophetic words can be improved. 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 Scriptures, then the prophetic message of Daniel may begin to unlock.

God promises to "open up" the words of Daniel in the latter days, so wouldn't He use history to do that? Daniel points to the need for history to unfold for us to understand the scroll as it unrolls. Because of that, this commentary on my Scripture studies does not purport to give all the answers, just some hints at the possibilities.

If we speculate too much, we inadvertently try to pry the words open to fit our own perception and expectation by our interpretation.

We have to remember too, that prophecy is like a season, it cycles. If we don't realize that, then we may miss the Messiah Prince in Daniel's messages and confuse Him with another.

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

Look at chapter nine. Many Christians 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 may tie to the places and reigns of the kings that Daniel records.

The truth is, if we do some critical homework, we can quickly find that while the people who made up the command of the "Legions" some 2,000 years ago were 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 people groups native to the Middle East that surrounded Judea in 70 AD. Today, the same people remain in those areas and like the days of antiquity, they do not worship YHVH, but a 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 oppression of the Ottoman Empire, emerging, opposing and surrounding Israel before all of our post 9/11 eyes.

The beast does not acknowledge The God of Israel nor their right to the Temple Mount, Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria or any part of 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 historical records. Check this source: . There are many others as well that you can find on your own.
"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 sense of Roman Legions, let's take a quick look at Daniel 9. We will start there because after all, at the end of this chapter are the words cited by many of today's "prophecy" teachers giving mis-information related to a proposed end-time global "peace treaty" of a so-called E.U. anti-christ...

It's time 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 an 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” made with God’s people by The Almighty God of Israel 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 reconsider that Daniel describes the very same covenant he mentions just a few verses earlier in the chapter?

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 the 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 about the eternal covenant of lovingkindness, mercy and forgiveness given at Mount Sinai to the people Israel after they broke the first covenant by worshipping the golden calf! Not some end time peace treaty.

Now, before we dig in 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 seem a bit confusing, after all that was a long time ago.

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 on scrolls. 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.

Remember, 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.

So, it appears the proper way to discern the historic order of each message means we need to consider the dating shown at the beginning of each vision. 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, perhaps no one but Daniel would discern the order in which each prophetic scroll was to unfold.

So, as we look at the opening words and consider them, keep in mind 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 different languages, some chapters are in Aramaic and others Hebrew.

Daniel 2:4 to 7:28 are recorded in Chaldee Aramaic, that's just over half of the scroll. Certainly, none were ever 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 script to Hebrew for the remainder of the visions and prophecies experienced by Daniel. Aramaic was a bridge language, a 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 its people.

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 as the Hebrew language was restored and the Jewish people to 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. Their theories remind me of today's E.U. anti-christ proponents.

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

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

Daniel's famous 70 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 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 also 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, as you have seen, 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 solid 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.

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 that events in Babylon were important 2,500 years ago and they will be important in our future. What we need is an "increase of knowledge" in the latter days to understand God's word and Daniel was given that very promise.

Amazingly, the eyes of many Bible students shifted back 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 while it seems confusing at first, chapter 10 which is a continuation of the Ram and Goat battle vision, and 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 end the exile and return to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple. This is seen in 2Chronicles 36, Ezra 1:1-4 and Ezra 6:3 at the end of 70 years of exile declared in Jeremiah 25. Ezra 2:64 and Nehemiah 7:66 state that 42,360 exiles returned to Jerusalem in addition to their servants and began the restoration, but this decree is not THE "decree" of the counting to Messiah given as seven, sixty-two and seven weeks.

The decree that counts is God Almighty's decree, you can read it in Zechariah 1:16 and Haggai 1:1-2.

This had to happen in the timing of the Almighty's decree noted by Zechariah with the measuring line of Messiah:

"Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off..."

Cyrus is still a big deal in the Bible and he provides a connection with YHVH's decree and Messiah. Isaiah wrote about Cyrus by name at least 150 years before he was born. Cyrus showed great favor on the Jewish people and he ended the Babylon exile after 70 years.

Earlier, we noted the fact that Biblical prophecy is dimensional and in cycles. Those prophetic cycles run in sevens so Daniel was given a message about a cycle of seventy sevens (Shemittah ) that is greatly misunderstood.

The order of Daniel can seem confusing too.

In addition, the order of the Christian canon of the Bible we read today is confusing because the men of the Bible connect to Messiah's first trip to the planet but it can be missed due to the order of the modern Biblical canon. I like to call the order of the Bible Jesus read, Messiah's Bible. The order of the Bible Jesus read and taught is the same order of the Bible the Jewish people remain faithful to today.

The book of Luke tells us it was Jesus' custom to attend synagogue on the Sabbath. This is noted in Luke 4:16.

In the order of the Bible Jesus studied each Sabbath, the scroll of Chronicles was located at the end of the Hebrew Scriptures. The order of the last three scrolls looked like this:

  1. Daniel
  2. Ezra-Nehemiah
  3. Chronicles

There's a reason, these books point toward Messiah.

Chronicles is now divided into two books. It starts out with the Bible's storyline by providing a big list of historic Biblical genealogies. The same list is summarized in three sets of 14 notable generations in Matthew 1.

Like Matthew's opening, the purpose of Chronicles is to give hope in God’s eternal promise given to David by Nathan for a king, a new Jerusalem and a restored Israel. Nathan gave these prophecies "before" David triumphed over the Philistines and that fact is prophetic of Messiah second coming.

Nathan's words are a Messianic prophecy:

"When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me..." 2 Samuel 7:12-14 
"Your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever.” In accordance with all these words and all this vision, so Nathan spoke to David. 2 Samuel 7:17 

The seemingly hidden focus on the ancestry of Chronicles is on David's future successor and God’s covenant promise of the Messiah King that would come. That is why Chronicles is the perfect fit flowing into Matthew's introduction because the focus of the chronicle of the people named there points us right toward God’s promise to David that was delivered by Nathan for an everlasting King.

This is the very same promise of the seed that is seen in Genesis 3:15 as well as Genesis 22:18 that would come through David's family line of Judah.

When you read the last portion of the scroll in 2Chronicles 36 you’ll even see the connection to the timeline of the exile of 70 years because the Shemittah (7th year) rest of the land was not honored:

Then they burned the house of God and broke down the wall of Jerusalem, and burned all its fortified buildings with fire and destroyed all its valuable articles. Those who had escaped from the sword he carried away to Babylon; and they were servants to him and to his sons until the rule of the kingdom of Persia, to fulfill the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed its sabbaths. All the days of its desolation it kept sabbath until seventy years were complete. 2 Chronicles 36:19-21

Here Chronicles refers to Jeremiah 25:1-14, the very words that Daniel studied:

The word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah (that was the first year of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon), which Jeremiah the prophet spoke to all the people of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem:   
“For twenty-three years, from the thirteenth year of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah, to this day, the word of the LORD has come to me, and I have spoken persistently to you, but you have not listened.  You have neither listened nor inclined your ears to hear, although the LORD persistently sent to you all his servants the prophets,  saying, ‘Turn now, every one of you, from his evil way and evil deeds, and dwell upon the land that the LORD has given to you and your fathers from of old and forever.  Do not go after other gods to serve and worship them, or provoke me to anger with the work of your hands. Then I will do you no harm.’  Yet you have not listened to me, declares the LORD, that you might provoke me to anger with the work of your hands to your own harm. 
“Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts: Because you have not obeyed my words,  behold, I will send for all the tribes of the North, declares the LORD, and for Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and I will bring them against this land and its inhabitants, and against all these surrounding nations. I will devote them to destruction, and make them a horror, a hissing, and an everlasting desolation. Moreover, I will banish from them the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the grinding of the millstones and the light of the lamp.   
This whole land shall become a ruin and a waste, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.   
Then after seventy years are completed, I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation, the land of the Chaldeans, for their iniquity, declares the LORD, making the land an everlasting waste.  I will bring upon that land all the words that I have uttered against it, everything written in this book, which Jeremiah prophesied against all the nations. For many nations and great kings shall make slaves even of them, and I will recompense them according to their deeds and the work of their hands.”

The 70 years of exile is tied directly to the dishonor of Jubilee years in Israel’s 490 (70 x 7) year history from King David up to the exile to Babylon. The Babylonian exile lasted 70 years, one year for each dishonored Shemittah.

But then YHVH made a decree for restoration after 70 years and Messiah's arrival would be marked by the announcement of a coming Jubilee by Messiah in a synagogue in Nazareth. Read Luke 4 and you will see the reading of Isaiah and the proclamation of the favorable year of The Lord.

Cyrus' proclamation reads:

"Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom and also put it in writing: “Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, ‘The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever is among you of all his people, may the LORD his God be with him. Let him go up.’” 2 Chronicles 36:22-23

But when we dig in and study we can see it is not actually Cyrus that connects the timeline for the first arrival of the Messiah, it is God Almighty that sets the prophetic time and we find this proclamation in Zechariah, not Chronicles:

"Therefore thus says the LORD, 'I will return to Jerusalem with compassion; My house will be built in it,' declares the LORD of hosts, 'and a measuring line will be stretched over Jerusalem.'” Zechariah 1:16

Open Daniel 9 and as you read, imagine that you can see Daniel praying in Babylon after reading the scroll of Jeremiah, which proclaims the 70-year timeline of exile. While praying, the messenger of God appears to Daniel with a promise connected but not seen as Zechariah 1 and Haggai 1 are not mentioned in Daniel 9:2, but are they really hidden or revealed?

"I, Daniel, observed in the books the number of the years which was revealed as the word of the LORD to Jeremiah the prophet for the completion of the desolations of Jerusalem..."

"Know therefore and understand that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time. And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing.
And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed." Daniel 9:25-26

Daniel was told there are a series of Shemittah years before the Messiah of the Kingdom of God was to come. He was also told that Jerusalem will see destruction again and Judah will go into dispersion until the time before Messiah's return and the ultimate redemption when the Messiah of God returns as King to restore Jerusalem and the Kingdom once and for all.

Why two trips for Messiah?

That answer can be seen in king David and Absalom's story. It is described in the book we call Samuel. King David fled Jerusalem when Absalom was chosen by others just as Barabbas was chosen as shown in Matthew 27, but David came back restored as king as will Yeshua.

Yeshua ascended the Mount of Olives just a David did and Yeshua faced his conspirator Judas there with the Roman soldiers just as David faced Shimei, the son of Gera:

And the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah. 2Samuel 2:4
And David knew that the LORD had established him king over Israel, and that he had exalted his kingdom for the sake of his people Israel. 2Samuel 5:12 
But Absalom sent secret messengers throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, “As soon as you hear the sound of the trumpet, then say, ‘Absalom is king at Hebron!’” With Absalom went two hundred men from Jerusalem who were invited guests, and they went in their innocence and knew nothing. And while Absalom was offering the sacrifices, he sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David’s counselor, from his city Giloh. 
And the conspiracy grew strong, and the people with Absalom kept increasing.
And a messenger came to David, saying, “The hearts of the men of Israel have gone after Absalom.” Then David said to all his servants who were with him at Jerusalem, “Arise, and let us flee, or else there will be no escape for us from Absalom. Go quickly, lest he overtake us quickly and bring down ruin on us and strike the city with the edge of the sword. 2Samuel 15:10-14
When King David came to Bahurim, there came out a man of the family of the house of Saul, whose name was Shimei, the son of Gera, and as he came he cursed continually. And he threw stones at David and at all the servants of King David, and all the people and all the mighty men were on his right hand and on his left. And Shimei said as he cursed, “Get out, get out, you man of blood, you worthless man! 2Samuel 16:5-7 
And behold, the Cushite came, and the Cushite said, “Good news for my lord the king! For the LORD has delivered you this day from the hand of all who rose up against you.” The king said to the Cushite, “Is it well with the young man Absalom?” And the Cushite answered, “May the enemies of my lord the king and all who rise up against you for evil be like that young man.” And the king was deeply moved and went up to the chamber over the gate and wept. And as he went, he said, “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!” 2 Samuel 18:31-33

Now Israel had fled every man to his own home. 
And all the people were arguing throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, “The king delivered us from the hand of our enemies and saved us from the hand of the Philistines, and now he has fled out of the land from Absalom. But Absalom, whom we anointed over us, is dead in battle. Now therefore why do you say nothing about bringing the king back?” 
And King David sent this message to Zadok and Abiathar the priests: “Say to the elders of Judah, ‘Why should you be the last to bring the king back to his house, when the word of all Israel has come to the king? You are my brothers; you are my bone and my flesh. Why then should you be the last to bring back the king?’ And say to Amasa, ‘Are you not my bone and my flesh? God do so to me and more also, if you are not commander of my army from now on in place of Joab.’” And he swayed the heart of all the men of Judah as one man, so that they sent word to the king, “Return, both you and all your servants.” So the king came back to the Jordan, and Judah came to Gilgal to meet the king and to bring the king over the Jordan.

And Shimei the son of Gera, the Benjaminite, from Bahurim, hurried to come down with the men of Judah to meet King David. And with him were a thousand men from Benjamin. And Ziba the servant of the house of Saul, with his fifteen sons and his twenty servants, rushed down to the Jordan before the king, and they crossed the ford to bring over the king’s household and to do his pleasure. And Shimei the son of Gera fell down before the king, as he was about to cross the Jordan, and said to the king, “Let not my lord hold me guilty or remember how your servant did wrong on the day my lord the king left Jerusalem. Do not let the king take it to heart. 2Samuel 19:8-18

Not only did Yeshua come from the family line of David. Yeshua fulfills the prophecy of Amos in His resurrection:

"In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins..." Amos 9:11

When we make the connection that after Barabbas was chosen to live, Judah as a people group still had another round of exile ahead of them before the kingdom of God returns as Yeshua returns and people say: “Let not my lord hold me guilty or remember how your servant did wrong on the day my lord the king left Jerusalem. Do not let the king take it to heart." 

Daniel's prayer is unfolding today and it started with the restoration of the land of Israel in 1948 and Jerusalem in 1967, the Temple Mount remains desolate of prayer but just for a little while longer:

“O Lord, according to all Your righteousness, I pray, let Your anger and Your fury be turned away from Your city Jerusalem, Your holy mountain; because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and Your people are a reproach to all those around us. 
Now therefore, our God, hear the prayer of Your servant, and his supplications, and for the Lord’s sake cause Your face to shine on Your sanctuary, which is desolate. O my God, incline Your ear and hear; open Your eyes and see our desolations, and the city which is called by Your name; for we do not present our supplications before You because of our righteous deeds, but because of Your great mercies. O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and act! 
Do not delay for Your own sake, my God, for Your city and Your people are called by Your name.” Daniel 9:16-19

The rejection of the king will soon end, its almost time for Messiah King to return, O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and act!

Daniel was honored by the coming promise:

“At that time Michael shall stand up,
​​The great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people;
​​And there shall be a time of trouble,
​​Such as never was since there was a nation,
​​Even to that time.
​​And at that time your people shall be delivered,
​​Every one who is found written in the book.
And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake,
​​Some to everlasting life,
​​Some to shame and everlasting contempt.
Those who are wise shall shine
​​Like the brightness of the firmament,
​​And those who turn many to righteousness
​​Like the stars forever and ever.

“But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase. Daniel 12:1-4

In regard to Messiah's return consider Israel was restored as a latter day nation in 1948. God's word is powerful and it impacts history. It reveals the cycle of prophecy in advance.

There's a lot more to this so let's go back to Daniel and ask, why is Darius mentioned there 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
Perhaps due to what appear as prophetic flashbacks, the chapters seem 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 realign history and the storyline along the names given by Daniel. Remember, the chapter numbers don't really exist in the scrolls of Daniel anyway. So if we review what we see, this might help us "unseal" the sealed end-time message of the book which is the  return of Messiah The King.

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

Remember Daniel chapter 10 is synced with the Persian King Cyrus the great king. The end of 10th chapter speaks of Michael "your prince." Michael, or Miyka'el means "who is like God." Here we see that the messenger "who is like God" may give Daniel the promise of a prophetic latter-day rescue for Israel as Persia (Iran) 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 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 this 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?

Michael it seems is a shadow picture of Messiah "who is like God."

Now, if you look closely you may notice chapter 11 and 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 resurrection hope in the promise found in the book of Revelation. Daniel 11 and Daniel 12 describes that this follows after the king of the North clashes with the king of the South and moves to desecrate Jerusalem and the Temple Mount for the last time in the prophetic cycle before Messiah returns. I appears to be a virtual re-run of Antiochus' battle with the Maccabees and the desolation brought on Jerusalem by the Legions of Titus.

The king of the North and the king of the South is presented as a confrontation of religious ideals described in Daniel 11 as... "kings shall arise in Persia." This can be seen today as the Middle East is divided between a Shi’ite kingdom of the North (Iran) and a Sunni kingdom of the South (Saudi Arabia). Islam is divided like toes of iron and clay between North and South over their vastly different interpretations and aspirations for leadership of the Islamic world in the Middle East, i.e. the objective for religious and government rule by a Caliphate.

Today's North-South split among the Islamist nations is between the Sunni majority led by Saudi Arabia and the Shia minority led by Iran and don't forget the Palestinians, Hamas and Hezbollah are proxy allies of Iran.

Of the total Muslim population, about 15% are Persian Shia Muslims and some 85% are Arab Sunni Muslims.

Let's look at the vision Daniel witnessed: "Then the king of the south, moved with rage, shall come out and fight against the king of the north."

And it seems the navy of the "West" (Kittim) will be engaged in conflict: "For ships of Kittim shall come against him, and he shall be afraid and withdraw, and shall turn back and be enraged and take action against the holy covenant. He shall turn back and pay attention to those who forsake the holy covenant."

That holy covenant in part is the one that started with Abraham, aka the promised land.

Daniel references the ships of Kittim. This reference is nothing new, it comes direct from the third prophetic oracle of Balaam in the book of Exodus when Balaam lifted up his eyes and saw Israel camping tribe by tribe. And the Spirit of Elohim came upon him, and he took up his discourse and said:

"Come, I will let you know what this people will do to your people in the latter days.” 
“Alas, who shall live when Elohim does this?
    But ships shall come from Kittim
and shall afflict Asshur and Eber;
    and he too shall come to utter destruction.”
Numbers 24:14; Numbers 24:24

Balaam tells king Balak that he is only saying what YHVH has told him to say.

The ships from Kittim will afflict Asshur and today Asshur is still known as the location of settlement of Ishmael's descendants in the area near Baghdad, Iraq where they lived in aggression toward all the tribes related to them.

Most will agree we are living in the latter day so pay attention...

Just five years ago in 2003, the Iraq war also called the Second Persian Gulf War, broke out as an armed conflict with the invasion of Shi’ite Iraq by a United States led coalition that in devastation overthrew the government of Saddam Hussein.  When U.S., British and coalition troops poured into to Iraq in March 2003 two years after 9/11 fearful of weapons of mass destruction, they were just a fraction of the number of troops deployed in 1991 to defend Kuwait because they relied on the overwhelming military technology of the U.S. led coalition (the realm of Greece).

Today, the Shi’ite's are a powerful coalition of Islamic nations that cause nothing but trouble today with aggression with the Arab Sunni tribes related to them in the religion of Ishmael's descendants. They are led in the North by Iran with Iraq, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, Syria and even Lebanon can be considered since the scenic nation has been infused by Hezbollah as a militant proxy of Iran and backed in many ways by Russia's war machine.

Not only that, since its revolution in 1979, the Islamic Republic of Iran has been led by two Supreme Leaders, Grand Ayatollahs Ali Khamenei and his predecessor Ruhollah Khomeini.

Iran's supreme Persian leader is the highest ranking political and religious authority of Iran and the armed forces including Iran's navy with many ships along the Persian Gulf.

The judicial system, education and all media are also under the Supreme Leader's control.

In Iran, only the Supreme Leader can declare war and peace. The role is indeed that of the Persian king of the North.

Daniel 11:2 states: "And now I will tell you the truth. Behold, three more kings are going to arise in Persia. Then a fourth will gain far more riches than all of them; as soon as he becomes strong through his riches, he will arouse the whole empire against the realm of Greece."

If this speaks of Iran's Supreme Leaders as well as Saddam Hussein then are we are close to this prophecy recorded by Daniel that points toward a fourth leader?

Ruhollah Khomeini and Saddam Hussein are no longer with us and Ali Khamenei has led Iran since 1989 and his tenure in 2008 is naturally approaching its latter days. After all, he will turn 70 in six months. Is it possible there is just more to go before the words of Daniel 11:3 ring true - - he will rule with great authority and do as he pleases?

Could doing as he pleases include obtaining weans of mass destruction with nuclear warfare capability from Russia?

Looking south, the Sunni Islamic coalition is led by Saudi Arabia and its Sunni Arab allies include nations such as Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Ethiopia, Algeria, Kuwait, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Sudan, Tunisia, and the United Arab Emirates mostly backed by the United States. Not only that, the leader of Saudi Arabia is indeed a king and the nation's rule includes its princes much like the words of Daniel 11:5.

Israel, the tiny glorious, beautiful land stands in the middle, like a dividing line between Sunni and Shia descendants of Ishmael.
“At the time of the end, the king of the South shall attack him, but the king of the north shall rush upon him like a whirlwind, with chariots and horsemen, and with many ships. And he shall come into countries and shall overflow and pass through. He shall come into the glorious land. And tens of thousands shall fall, but these shall be delivered out of his hand: Edom and Moab and the main part of the Ammonites." Daniel 11:40-41
An end-day battle is on the horizon but don't forget, more importantly there is an end-time delivery, resurrection and restoration to righteousness described 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, let's consider we may need to go back to the end of chapter 10 to link the sequence of the gospel message of "the Prince" to come.

Take notice too, how Daniel is told that understanding as to latter-days, end times will come.

In this North-South conflict of Persian Shiite and Arab Sunni, we might see that Daniel's understanding is sequential (chapter 10 to chapter 12). The end time message is built comparing one king to another.

First, because of his faithfulness and prayer, Daniel was told about the time line to the end of the exile of Judah in Babylon. To top it off, Daniel was given the countdown of years to Messiah's death and resurrection again in the Spring Feasts before the destruction of the old city of Jerusalem and the Temple sanctuary.

Have you noticed the cycle?

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

Take note, declaring the end from the beginning meets the very definition of a cycle.

Daniel portrays 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 will be rescued by Messiah, "who is like God" when He returns to Jerusalem at His second coming to defend the Jewish people. We can know this speaks of the Jewish people because the tribes taken to Babylon we of Judah, Benjamin and Levi:

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. Daniel 12:1

These latter days will engage the fulfillment of God's plan, the Fall Feasts starting with the first day of Tishrei and the Day of Trumpets, the ten days of awe, the Day of Atonement... the day of covering before the victory celebration week of Shavuot, the Feast of Tabernacles.

Perhaps the latter days are preceded by events already marked in the cycle of Jewish history and the cycle of events on 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 cycle 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 land 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
This is another reference to Balaam's prophecy of the latter days and point of this commentary is that if we are to ever unseal Daniel's messages we need to consider the order of the scrolls and the order of historic events and where they occur.

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 life 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 two kingdoms, or people of the "end-time" that will rule over Assyria and Babylon. Today, Babylon is labeled Iraq on the map and the Medes are now called the Kurds and of course there is Iran to the North and Saudi Arabia to the South.

What goes around comes around. I believe it's possible the book of Daniel will be unsealed in the Middle East headlines of post-Iraq war news as American and coalition troops withdraw protection, law and order from this ancient land of which includes Nineveh. Chaos will break out and perhaps the Medes (Kurds) will play another vital role as the conflict between the Sunni and Shī'ah sects of Islam unfold prophetically.

If so, 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 the final opposing radical latter day kingdom that divides like iron and clay.

There are keys 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 s 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 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 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 those that offend 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, it's a part of the cycle but that is for another study. The conclusion of seventy weeks have a future too and they are tied to understanding dividing of North and South as well as 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 simply 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 that 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 that includes the division of Shia and Sunni in the North and the South?

If so, that time to watch may arrive after November 2016. Come to think of it, that will follow an election year in the U.S. and as usual the United Nations will meet again. 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 remained broken for a long time.

If we add 70 Biblical years from the Hebrew calendar, we arrive at the same time, the end of 2017 and the focus of conflict may well be on the North and the South.

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 in an act of abomination and desecration to God's authority sacrificed to the Roman 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. Again, 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 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" at least 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 misplaced EU anti-christ and the so-called revived Roman Empire theories quickly vanish from view as we begin to understand Daniel's visions and the prophetic cycles of the Bible.

After all, the Bible is about the Middle East and the people living there.

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 Rome, 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 dream. 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.

If this happens in your view, you 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 a rise of the prominence of Jerusalem on the global stage:
"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, three parts now divide Jerusalem. They are: 1) Muslim, 2) Jewish and 3) Christian. They are in fact religious divisions - of people all with a wall between them.

Yet, on a modern map of the city we label the Old City with four quarters. That can be 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. Not only that the Christian Armenians were nearly destroyed by radical Islam as millions were killed in the Armenian Genocide that began in 1914.

Want more proof on Jerusalem?

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 must think of the Redeemer when 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 knowledge may begin to unfold in 2017, 100 years from Allenby during the 50th Jubilee of the reunification of Jerusalem. If knowledge unfolds, the "latter-day" ram and goat vision described in Daniel 8 may come into better focus because of the 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 an 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 war between the East and West.

Am I saying that this is what must happen?

No, I am not... 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 must let the Scriptures speak for themselves because the Bible repeatedly says are not to add to or take away from them (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 Iran?

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 the 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."