Author: Ron Graham
—And the great world empires
Time ~ 7. Exile and Scattering
Span ~ 200 years
Books ~ Jer, Lam, Eze, Dan, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Obadiah, [Joel]
Figures ~ Jeremiah, Daniel
Begins with ~ Wars upon Israel and Judah
Ascendant empire ~ Babylon
Daniel, one of the exiles in Babylon, was given the power to interpret dreams and visions of the kings. He also had visions himself.
1 Studying Daniel’s Visions
Daniel's visions, from a Bible student's point of view, contain three levels of information:
The first level is what the Bible student needs to know in order to make sense of Daniel's prophecies. This is the information given in Nebudchadnezzar's dream of the image of metals (Dan 2), representing a succession of four great empires (Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Grecian, and Roman).
The second level is more detailed information (such as in Daniel 11), which the student can match to historical events, but only if the student is willing to study a fair bit of history.
The third level is a small amount of material that seems to defy explanation, such as the numbers of days in chapter 12. The student should be careful not to spend an inordinate amount of time on this level.
2 What Daniel Foresaw
In visions, Daniel foresaw the entire period from the Babylonian captivity until the Messiah came and established his kingdom throughout the world. God knew the future, and he would ensure that his plan unfolded over the centuries just as he willed. God revealed his plan to Daniel and other prophets long before it came to pass.
3 Bible Summary (Daniel 7-12)
- Daniel's dream of four beasts representing four empires, Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome (7)
- Daniel's dream of the ram (Persia) and the goat (Greece) followed by the rise and fall of Rome (8)
- Daniel looks forward to the end of the seventy-year captivity prophesied in the writings of Jeremiah (9)
- The angel Gabriel appears to Daniel (9)
- "Seventy weeks" are allotted to Jerusalem (9)
- "Seven weeks" of Medo-Persian rule
- "62 weeks" of Grecian rule
- "one week" during Roman rule (Messiah comes)
- Daniel speaks with an angel again (10)
- The angel tells Daniel many details about the future after the Babylonian captivity (11)
- Three more Persian kings (Cambyses, Gaumata, Darius I)
- Then a fourth king (Xerxes) invades Greece
- The Grecian empire begins to gain power
- The North (Syria) attacks the South (Egypt).
- Egypt and Syria form a shaky alliance
- Syria invades Asia Minor and Greece but repelled
- Syria twice more attacks Egypt but fails
- Syria turns on the Jews and destroys Jerusalem
- Syria rages and ravages, but comes to nothing
- Daniel given a glimpse of the distant future —the resurrection at the end of the world (12)
Other prophets also make reference to the period from the Babylonian captivity to the coming of Messiah, but a detailed study is beyond the scope and purpose of "The Times of Israel" series.
4 Daniel's Prophecies Chart
|EMPIRE||DAN 2||DAN 7,8||DAN 9|