Archive for January 6th, 2018

I am a firm believer in the need to understand a whole book and its context in the Bible, in order to grasp any of its separate parts.  As the poet Blake said: ‘we murder to dissect’, and chapter 10 of Daniel, as it stands among the more difficult parts of the Bible, is particularly prone to this difficulty.  This is necessary before we even begin to apply its message to our Christian context.

These are Bible notes, so only scratching the surface of this task can be done here.  As individual bible readers it is up to all of us to do the leg work.

Daniel is still in Babylon, the three-part return of the exiles to Jerusalem is well underway.  Daniel is nevertheless part of these people; a Jew through and through; his whole life committed to this dream of return and the coming of the messianic kingdom here on the Earth.  His close relationship with God through obedience and prayer mean he is as much a part of these people as any of the key players returning to Jerusalem and overseeing the restoration of the temple and worship – such as Nehemiah and Ezra.  Clearly, as the visions Daniel is given show, God thinks so too!

Daniel’s state of mind is one of anguish and grief (v.2).  The visions stir up great conflict and tension in his mind.  On the one hand the visions seem to be coming true – the exiles are returning to Israel, but on the other, Daniel sees a Great War (v.1) and previously (chapter 9 in the 70 weeks vision) future turmoil, war and challenge ahead for his beloved people, before the messianic kingdom finally prevails.

He needs more information, his mind putting at rest.  An angelic being, a bit like Jesus in Revelation 19:12, yet needing Archangel Michael’s help (v.13), (so probably not a pre-incarnate vision of Jesus) is sent to give it.  There has been a delay of three weeks (v.13), as clearly the battles the Jews have had to undergo here on the Earth find their source in spiritual conflict – waged by spiritual enemies of God and his people.

Daniel already knows that many empires affecting his people will rise and fall; from his own visions and those of others (chapter 2).  The overall thrust of the message is, though the future from Daniel’s stance, (and history from ours) will be bloody, God WINS.

As Christians we understand the kingdom has come, at least part 1 has in the ministry of Jesus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Pray that part 2 will come soon, as all Daniel’s visions reveal surely one day it must.

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