Archive for January 8th, 2018

Today’s passage is one of the Bible’s hardest chapters. Filled with details we struggle to get our heads around, it is tempting to skim-read it and move on to something we can more easily understand. Fortunately, we do not need all the answers! There are a great many scholars who have devoted study to the book of Daniel, and it is to them we can turn as we seek God for His truth.

Background-wise, we are within the reign of Darius, but three kings are referred to (v.2) which were Cyrus (nephew and successor of Darius), Cambyses (son of Cyrus) and Darius Hystaspes. The fourth king was Xerxes who, indeed, was considerably richer than his predecessors, benefitting from their hoarding of wealth! The mighty king (v.3) is Alexander the Great, powerful not only in his native Greece, but over considerable areas of the known world, extending into India. However, on his death, his mighty kingdom was fragmented as his generals took over and the main power lay in the hands of the kings of Egypt (the south) and Syria (the north).

  1. 5-35 make fascinating reading in conjunction with a commentary. I found the John Gill exposition (at particularly helpful and recommend you take a look.

Verses 36 onwards describe Antiochus Epiphanes, a king who in time became a type of anti-Christ. So, whilst we can read details of his actual life and actions, there are more general principles to glean. “The king will do as he pleases.” Isn’t this the motto of our generation (and those preceding, to be honest)? Refusing to accept the King of kings, this man considered himself god-like in his eyes. He even introduced a new god to the Syrians: Jupiter Olympius, previously unheard of among his people. This was a powerful and misguided use of his reign. He may have known success and increase to his territory, but his end is prophesied to be bitter (v.45). Attempting anything in our own strength is dangerous, not only to ourselves but to everyone around us. Where we are given fields of influence, we must submit them to God’s lordship. If we are in a position of caring for others, it must be as their servant, not their master. Let the lives of those like Antiochus serve as warnings to us.













Spend some time thinking on these words in Philippians 2: Jesus, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant…Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name…

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