Sunday, January 23, 2011

Book of Daniel - Study

First we must review chapter 9, we learned the revelation of the 70 weeks of Daniel...70 (and, of course 7) is a key number in the Bible. Each of Daniel's 70 weeks is a 7 year period, making a total of 490 years. This figure of 490 years plays an important part in Scripture.

* There were 490 yrs. from the Exodus to the building of the Temple.
* There were 490 yrs. from the building of the first Temple to the building of the second Temple.

Our study review on Chapter 9 mentioned a study by Larkin that has figured out 7 periods of 490 years in the Word of God. Here they are from our review:

[1]. From Adam to Enoch
[2]. From Enoch to Noah
[3]. From Noah to Abraham
[4]. From Abraham to Moses
[5]. From Exodus to the 1st Temple
[6]. From the 1st Temple to the 2nd Temple
[7]. 490 years (actually 483 - the last 7 years yet to be fulfilled in the Tribulation) from (Neh. 2) to the triumphal entry of Jesus on Palm Sunday.

I love the internet where you can "Google" anything and find information at your fingertips. So I did a search on "Larkin" and found this reference from the website "Precept Austin" at

I scored a wells-worth of knowledge for my study of Daniel from this website...and want to include it here for our study.

Why Seventy Years?
The question of course arises, "Why did God choose seventy years to chastise the Israelites?" Was seventy just a number that God picked out of a hat? Was there a reason for it? Yes, there was a reason.

Back in the book of Leviticus, when God was giving Moses the laws for the people to obey, He said, Lev. 25:2-4 “...When you come into the land which I shall give you, then the land shall have a sabbath to the LORD. Six years you shall sow your field, and six years you shall prune your vineyard and gather in its crop, but during the seventh year the land shall have a sabbath rest, a sabbath to the LORD; you shall not sow your field nor prune your vineyard."

Then He warned that if they did not obey Him and observe the commandments, He would remove them from the land and scatter them among the nations. Lev. 26:34-35 ‘Then the land will enjoy its sabbaths all the days of the desolation, while you are in your enemies’ land; then the land will rest and enjoy its sabbaths. All the days of {its} desolation it will observe the rest which it did not observe on your sabbaths, while you were living on it.'

For 490 years, the Israelites lived in the land, but never gave it the sabbath rest commanded by God. Instead, they walked in wickedness and rebellion. God, in His compassion, kept sending the prophets to remind them, but they only mocked the prophets (2Chron 36:15-16). Finally, mercy had been exceeded, and it was time for justice. The Babylonians attacked, killing many, burning the temple, and stealing the treasures. 2Chr. 36:20-21 And 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.

Seventy sabbaths for the land had been ignored. Now, they were given back to the land. God had waited 490 years, but they never learned.

I find it interesting that Peter asked Jesus, Matt. 18:21 ...“Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?

The answer was not what we might expect. Instead, Matt. 18:22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. Seventy times seven - suddenly not a fancy figure of speech, but exactly how many times God had allowed the Israelites to be punished.

I found all this to be very fascinating to say the least. God is very purposeful in His plan and when you go and research His very Word, He reveals so much about Himself to us. Now let us begin with Chapter 10...

Chapter 10 of the Book of Daniel

Daniel 10:1-3 we find Daniel(who was called Belteshazzar) in prayer and mourning. "The time appointed was long". The answer to Daniel's prayer was a long time in coming. We are too often impatient for God's answer. God's Word tells us that Daniel had been in mourning three full weeks.

Daniel 10:2-3 "At that time I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks. I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over."

Daniel went on a three week fast of all but a basic, minimal diet. He was serious about his prayer.

Something I learned while studying Daniel 10-12 is, these 3 chapters of the Book of Daniel are the least read and studied Books. Further, commentators who have written on this book have given less space to these last three chapters than to any which preceded them. It was hard for me to find valuable, reliable resources to learn from and be able to share with you. So as I move forward with this study, it is with humility and reverence to God's Holy Word, that I approach it with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. So I might give at best, my human understanding of it.

Much was given to Daniel because he WAS a man of prayer. 10:4, is carefully placed in space and time. The Bible is history first, and also includes imagery, symbolism, poetry, and prophesy, but it is firmly anchored in history. Often the human authors were eyewitnesses of the events described. I have become convinced God the Holy Spirit is the Author behind it all, and He is Eyewitness to everything. AND we shall learn that, Daniel understood the message of this vision and it troubled him greatly.

Verse 5. "I lifted my eyes and looked, and behold, there was a certain man dressed in linen, whose waist was girded with a belt of pure gold of Uphaz."

This "certain man" has been the topic of many commentators. About half of them will tell you with great assurance that this is our Lord Jesus Christ, and many will state convincingly that it was not Him but rather a created angel.

I also found myself confused about this verse. I started thinking about how God reveals Himself to others. Our Lord imparts His nature, His character, HIMSELF, on those who have faith in Him. Certainly in this verse, the "certain man" was of impeccable appearance, suggesting the "robe of righteousness" (Isaiah 61:10) given in God through Christ. And in the following verse, we see the implied power of this being. So then I lean toward the position that this is our Lord – but the wondrous news is that He imparts HIMSELF to others.

Have you ever noticed a husband and wife who love each other so much that there is a blurring of just who is who? So is the blending of you into Christ. In this verse, is this Christ, or a being He lovingly created? Hard to tell, isn’t it? For that reason I more convinced it is the pre-incarnate Christ.

Verse 6. "His body also was like beryl, his face had the appearance of lightning, his eyes were like flaming torches, his arms and feet like the gleam of polished bronze, and the sound of his words like the sounds of a tumult."

Now, verse 6 pulls me strongly to a belief that this is the pre-incarnate Christ. That is, we are seeing our Lord as He "was" in eternity or is, or will be. In Revelation 1:11-18, a Person is written about and there is no doubt that John the beloved is describing our Lord: "One like the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the feet, and girded about the chest with a golden band. His head and His hair were white like wood, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; His feet were like a fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters." John "fell at His feet as dead" (1:17) and Daniel (10:9) was about to do the same thing.

Verse 7. "Now I, Daniel, alone saw the vision, while the men who were with me did not see the vision; nevertheless, a great dread fell on them, and they ran away to hide themselves."

Thomas Merton wrote, "All people need enough solitude in their lives to enable the deep inner voice of the soul to be heard." Daniel was alone now, but it was because the men who were with him – ran away!

This quote from Gordon Watt is comforting to me when I feel alone in my Christian walk: "Victory for God is never won by the multitude; the man who dares to go alone where others hold back, will find himself alone, but he will see the glory of God and enter into the secrets of eternity."

Remember the Apostle Paul had a similar experience on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:3-9) in that he saw the Risen Christ (right before he was struck blind) – the men with him "were speechless, hearing a voice but seeing no one." The men Daniel wrote about were afraid because they did not know God personally, like Daniel did.

There is a process in this "knowing" – when I meet someone, we are not instantly "friends." First we meet, and then we get to know one another. The same in my relationship with God. The more I get to knowHim...the better I am able to see things with His Eyes, to hear things with His ears, to love things as He loves. I hope you understand my point. We become sensitive to who that person is. Their needs become important and we even put aside our needs in relation to theirs.

God extends His Hand of friendship in Christ Jesus. We just need to take that Hand, and He will indeed do the rest. OH, that we would not be like the men who ran away, but like Daniel, who saw the Lord.

Paul was allowed to see the Lord, early in his walk, but the experience first blinded him (he was soon healed from that blindness), and then came the years in Damascus (Galatians 1:15-18), in which he was blessed to get to know his new Friend. If we want God, if we want to really know Him, we must travel a road where we will meet Him, face-to-Face.

In verse 19 we find that Daniel has been strengthen and made to listen to the Angel of the Lord.

"And he said, ‘O man of high esteem, do not be afraid. Peace be with you; take courage and be courageous!’ Now as soon as he spoke to me, I received strength and said, ‘May my Lord speak, for you have strengthened me.’"

Daniel is made to listen...he receives strength. Much like the word we see in Isaiah (35:3-4) "Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.”

I love what I find in Daniel 10:19, because it reminds me of the healing power of the Father.

1) He will heal your fear. God intends that you will trust in Him, to the extent that you will no longer need to be afraid.
2) He will give you peace. You can count on it – you will eventually know the peace of God.
3) Courage. Gideon (Judges 6-8) is interesting, because God took an essentially fearful little guy, and turned him into a man who acted in concert with the will of God.
4) Strength. He will make you strong for all situations. But it will not be your strength (II Corinthians 12:9), it will be His Strength in you; and you will become useful in the service of God.

Verse 21. "However, I will tell you what is inscribed in the writing of truth. Yet there is no one who stands firmly with me against these forces except Michael your prince."

This angel had a job to do, as indicated in verse 20, including a battle with the forces of evil, in the spiritual realm. Paul has told us we are in battle too ("we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places" – Ephesians 6: 12). In that context, Paul told us to arm ourselves (Ephesians 6:10-17) and protect ourselves, with truth, righteousness, the preparation of the gospel of peace, faith, and salvation. He continues in verse 18, that we are to be "praying always." The "preparation of the gospel of peace" was a factor here, for the angel was sent that Daniel would know what "is inscribed in the writing of truth," the written Word of God.

That is what God counts as valuable for us. All of us have certain goals. You may want to help others in life, or be a good friend. You may want to make a lot of money, give good advice to others, be a good worker, or whatever. But God’s first choice for you is that you will be "rightly dividing the Word of truth" (II Timothy 2:15). He wants you to find true faith in all areas of your life, especially in times of trouble, for He wants to protect you from the "forces" mentioned here in Daniel. The kind of faith we need "comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God" (Romans 10:17). We need His Word. We need His word to strengthen our very soul.

Daniel lived in a time of persecution, but he found comfort in knowing that God transcended the political limits and destiny of Israel.

Daniel realized that there are events that take place beyond human understanding. Daniel was comforted to know that God will not forget those who follow Him.

"Your word, LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens." Psalm 119:89

Mama Barb

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