Daniel may well have gone into exile before Ezekiel, brought to Babylon to be groomed as a future leader. At the beginning of the book we see him insisting on maintaining his Jewish traditions and faith, refusing to bow to foreign gods, and honored by God with good health, intelligence, the interpretation of dreams and protection from evildoers and lions. He becomes a powerful influence in the Babylonian court. Babylon falls in the time of Belshazzar when its leaders are too busy feasting to see the Medes and Persians attacking.
1. Read Daniel 7:1-13
In Revelation 4:6, John tells us of four beasts representing the earth standing at the throne of God. In Revelation 12, a ten-horned dragon attacks the woman (Israel), and in Revelation 13 the dragon call another beast out of the sea, followed by one from the land. Which beasts does this passage in Daniel make you think of?
2. Read Daniel 7:23-25
The rest of Daniel 7 gives us an angel’s interpretation of Daniel’s beasts, an analysis that very accurately describes the kingdoms which followed Babylon.
What might “ten” kings symbolize?
What might “time, times and half a time” symbolize?
3. Read Daniel 8:1-14
Daniel receives another vision, again with animals representing kingdoms, ending with the curious number 2,300
What does throwing the stars down to earth remind you of from Revelation?
Whose bodies were left in the street in Revelation? (see Rev 12:7-10)
4. Read Daniel 8:26
The angel again interprets Daniel’s vision. Lots of these events are recorded in the Deuterocanonical books of Macabees. In 171BC the High Priest was assassinated, but sacrifice didn’t end in the Temple until 167 BC—a gap of 2455 days if you add the full years, but, of course, we don’t know the precise dates, so two of those years should be shorter.
Why might John have been told to tell what he heard (Rev 22:10)?
5. Read Daniel 9:20-27
By now, Babylon has fallen to the Medes and Persians. Two angels are named in Daniel. Where does this one appear in the New Testament?
Seven is a very symbolic number, but that doesn’t stop it from being a specific number too. The Jews were in captivity from 605-444BC, then were sent back to rebuild Jerusalem, a process that took 49 years (7x7). Approximately 434 (62x7) years later the Messiah was cut off in AD 30-33 and Jerusalem destroyed in AD 70.
There are lots of different interpretations of that final “seven.” What justification, if any, do you see for interpreting the final seven as a symbol of the whole of time?
6. Read Daniel 10:4-6.
Have you seen someone who looks like this in Revelation and Ezekiel? (see Rev 2:18, Ezekiel 40:3)
7. Read Daniel 10:12-11:1
Daniel’s visions again describe what is now history. How do you feel about the idea of angels taking an interest in the affairs of kingdoms? The angel Michael is the second of two named angels in Daniel (See Jude 1:9).
8. Read Daniel 12:1
Why might you believe this chapter refers to events that haven’t happened yet?
9. Read Daniel 12:5-13
Do these images remind you of Revelation?
Is there anything comforting in these images?
10. Okay, let’s do the math.
The expression time, times and half a time should be familiar by now, and its interpretation as 3½ years. In Revelation 12 the number was 42 months or 1260 days.
What’s the difference between 1260 and 1290?
The Jews added one extra month of 30 days every 3 years. Do you think these numbers could represent the same thing?
What’s the difference between 1,290 and 1,335?
There are 1,290 days from the end of Tabernacles to the end of Passover 3½ years later. 45 more days will take you to Pentecost. What event might we be waiting for at the end of 1,335 days?