Those Who are Wise will Instruct Many
Comments for Study 11
Memory Verse: 33
BEFORE READING PLEASE CLICK HERE TO ANSWER THE QUESTIONS.
BEFORE READING PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR A MAP OF THE PERSIAN EMPIRE IN 500 B.C.
BEFORE READING PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR A MAP OF GREECE DIVIDED AFTER ALEXANDER DIED.
BEFORE READING PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR A MAP OF PALESTINE IN THE TIME OF THE MACCADEES.
BEFORE READING PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR A LIST OF MAJOR EVENTS FROM DANIEL'S TIME TO ROMAN TIMES.
BEFORE READING PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ ABOUT ISRAEL'S HISTORY.
BEFORE READING PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR A LIST OF ISRAEL'S KINGS AND PROPHETS.
* Daniel 10, 11, and 12 are one event in Daniel's life.
* Some modern "scholars" claim that most if not all of chapters 10, 11, and 12 were written after most of the events listed took place. Thus, most of these three chapters were history not prophecy when they were written. They also claim these chapters have historical errors and unfulfilled skipped prophecies. They claim that Daniel did not write chapters 10-12. Rather, someone in the second century B.C. who claimed to be Daniel wrote those chapters and that person got some of their historical facts wrong. Other scholars accept that all of the book of Daniel was written by him during the reigns of the people mentioned in the book. (Daniel 1:1, 2:1, 3:1, 4:1, 5:1, 6:1, 7:1, 8:1, 9:1, 10:1) Thus, all the events listed from Daniel's point of view were prophecy. One clear fact that supports this view is that Jesus claimed Daniel was a real person and the events recorded in chapters 10-12 were his. (Matthew 24:15) So who to believe, the sceptic "scholar" or Jesus? What remains then is to understand who the revelation (and its explanation that came in a vision) concerns and to what time it is prophecy for? Another question that needs to be answered is, how many times will the events be fulfilled? The answers (understanding) is aided by what is revealed in the New Testament, especially through Jesus' teachings and the apostles' writings on the time of the end (Daniel 12:4, 9, 13) including the book of Revelation.
* Daniel wrote the first chapter of his book in the Hebrew language. Chapters 2 thru 7 were written in Aramaic, the then common commerce language used throughout the Gentile nations. Chapters 8 thru 12 are written in Hebrew. Daniel was deliberate in writing in these two languages. The Hebrew chapters are about Israel's future (not just Judah), future from Daniel's point of view. The Aramaic chapters are about the Gentiles' future from Daniel's point of view. Jesus called it the time of the Gentiles. (Luke 21:24) Most of the events predicted in this book are history to us. The godless kingdoms referred to are the Gentile nations, and the kingdom of God are those who will partake in the millennial reign of Jesus (Yeshua) Christ (Messiah) centered about Jerusalem and Israel. Many of Jesus' parables explain about the kingdom of God.
I. His Empire Will Be Parcelled Out (2-4)
* The facts in this part are a repeat of what the Lord God had already revealed to Daniel in previous visions (Daniel 2, 7, 8, 9). Semitic prophecies like those found in Daniel and Revelation do not follow strict chronological order. Rather, they repeat facts several times; each in sequential order, each bringing more detail than the former, and each devoting more attention to the end of the general time line. Each retell jots back in time to remind us what was already revealed. So this part is a retell of what was already revealed to Daniel.
We can understand this concept in our own lives. Did a parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle ever tell you a story about their life over and over again? And in each retelling did more and more details come out so that the story got longer and longer? You've probably answered yes. Well, God does the same thing when revealing events concerning the future. The difference between a "old timers" story and God's revelations are that God' revelations are always true.
>1. How many more significant kings of Persia will come? (2a) Notice the wording.
* Daniel 11:2a "Now then, I tell you the truth: Three more kings will appear in Persia, and then a fourth"
* "Three more kings will appear in Persia" -Persia had a total of ten kings between their defeat of Babylon and being defeated by Greece. See link "Major Events from Daniel's Time to Roman Times" for a list.
* "then a fourth" -Xerxes I is the fourth Persian king after they defeated Babylon. He attempted to conquer Greece in 480, but failed. The word "Xerxes" is a transliteration of the Greek form of the Persian name, "Khshayarshan." In Hebrew it is "Achashverowsh" or (shortened) "Achashrosh" of Persia; or "Ahasuerus" or "Artaxerxes". Xerxes is the title (rather than name) of the Persian king Ahasuerus. Xerxes I succeeded his father Darius I and ruled 486-465 B.C. Esther, a Jew became his queen for a short period at a time the Jews were almost wiped out. The Persian empire fell to Greece in 331 B.C.
* See the relief to the right. This was Xerxes I, son of Darius the Great, whose portrait in stone shows him while he was still crown prince. Acceding to the throne in 486 B.C. he reigned until 465 B.C. Here he is wearing a tall hat and a long curled beard. His tight hand is outstretched and in his left hand he is holding some kind of lotus symbol. A long robe pleated at the side is worn under a wide/sleeved pleated cape, together with high/heeled shoes. Behind Xerxes I comes a magician with his head swathed in a cowl. He is followed by an esquire attached to the light cavalry of the imperial guard, armed with a battleaxe, a sheathed bow and short sword. Two guards with tall lances complete the scene (left). (The Bible as History in Pictures, Werner Keller)
* Two hundred years of Persian rule is passed over in one sentence because they are not relevant to the content of the revelation Daniel had received. (Daniel 10:1) The revelation dealt with the glorious land, the Temple and Daniel's people. For a discussion on just who are Daniel's people see the previous study commentary.
* The nations and armies that are to cause problems for Daniel's people are the subject of the revelation (Daniel 10:1). Daniel had been appalled by the vision of the ram and goat (Daniel 8:27) mainly because how much evil will be in the world and inflicted on God's people. (Daniel 8:23-25) Daniel was also told that the Anointed One will be cut off and have nothing. He was also told the city and sanctuary will be destroyed again. (Daniel 9:26-27)
* The main theme of the revelation that Daniel had just received (Daniel 10:1) and is going to be explained here during a vision (Daniel 10:7-8) is the time of oppression which is to overthrow all that the loyal believer holds dear. Whereas the exile had been explained by the prophets and accepted in the end by the people as a judgement well deserved, this coming terror is not presented in these terms. It is rather the brutal attack of a megalomaniac against 'the holy covenant' (28). He will have such massive international support that opposition is ineffective and his armies will cause the death of many before he comes 'to his end' (45).That is the signal for unprecedented trouble, deliverance of the faithful and resurrection for judgment. (12:1-4) (Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries, Daniel)
* See the relief to the right. On the facade of the throne-room, the famous Apadana at Persepolis, archaeologists discovered a unique relief that might almost be a contemporary illustration of Xerxes' "banquet for all his nobles and officials. The military leaders of Persia and Media, the princes, and the nobles of the provinces were present." (Esther 1:1). Two long rows of Persian and Median dignitaries march in solemn procession at a New Year festival. Some of the Medes -with their tall round bonnets -wear the uniform of the royal horse guards, knee-length tunics and tight-fitting trousers, while others have draped over their shoulders a long cloak with sleeves. Some of the Persians wore tall pleated hats -have the short sword stuck in their belts on top of their pleated coats, others, like some of the Medes, wear the bow-and-quiver-sheath at their side. Above, servants leading the king's horses and war-chariot. The great feast that Xerxes I, the "Ahasuerus" of the Bible, made in the third year of his reign for his princes, his servants and his nobles, according to the biblical narrative, may have been the occasion for a secret conference of the general staff. For at that time, 482 B.C., preparations were already being made in Persia for the famous campaign of Xerxes against Greece (480 B.C.). This led to the conquest of Athens but ended with the destruction of the Persian fleet at the battle of Salamis. (The Bible as History in Pictures, Werner Keller)
>How is the fourth king different and what will he do? (2b)
* Daniel 11:2b "who will be far richer than all the others. When he has gained power by his wealth, he will stir up everyone against the kingdom of Greece.
* "When he has gained power by his wealth" -Xerxes I's power and wealth lead to his exalted pride. More about his reign can be learned in the book of Esther.
* "he will stir up everyone against the kingdom of Greece" -Xerxes I tried to expand the Persian empire by attacking Greece. He failed to conquer Greece and in the process so enraged the Greeks that it would lead to the fall of the Persian empire less than one hundred and fifty years later.
* The rest of the Persian kings, the ones that followed Xerxes I are not mentioned. After Xerxes the Persian Empire began to decline. Remembering that the revelation skips people and events helps in understanding it. Not mentioning every person and event is common amongst prophecies.
* The engraving to the right is by David Martin (1639-1721) published in 1700. Courtesy of the Digital Image Archive, Pitts Theology Library, Candler School of Theology, Emory University: http://www.pitts.emory.edu.
>2. What characterizes the mighty king's reign? (3)
* Daniel 11:3 "Then a mighty king will appear, who will rule with great power and do as he pleases."
* "Then" -Not immediately after, just after.
* "who will rule with great power" -No army was able to defeat the Greeks while Alexander the Great was alive.
* "do as he pleases" -No one succeeded in going against Alexander, not even his own people. He died of a strange illness, not in war nor was he assassinated.
>What happens to his kingdom when he dies? (4)
* Daniel 11:4 "After he has appeared, his empire will be broken up and parceled out toward the four winds of heaven. It will not go to his descendants, nor will it have the power he exercised, because his empire will be uprooted and given to others."
* "his empire will be broken up and parceled out... given to others" -After Alexander suddenly died his kingdom was divided amongst his four generals. The four generals did not always get along. They were: Antipater and Cassander controlled Macedon and Greece, Lysimachus controlled Thrace and Asia Minor, Seleucid I controlled Syria, and Ptolemy I controlled Palestine and Egypt. See study 8 commentary questions 2 and 8 for a detailed account of the chaos that followed Alexander's death.
* "the four winds of heaven" -The exile and post-exile prophets Jeremiah, Daniel, and Zechariah used the phrase "four winds of heaven". (Jeremiah 49:36, Daniel 7:1, 8:8, 11:4; Zechariah 2:6, 6:5) Jesus also used it during the Mount of Olives discourse. (Matthew 24:31; Mark 13:27) We can take the four winds as the four points of the compass representing all possible wind directions.
* The "four winds of heaven" reflect back to Daniel 7:1-3 where there they churned up the ocean of nations so that the four beasts came forth out of it. God is in control of all of the nations and peoples. As the wind moves the waters whipping and subduing it, so God moves the affairs of men. (Psalm 107:23-29) Jesus on more than one occasion calmed the waves and winds on The Sea of Galilee. He also walked on the water. These are great symbols of Jesus' control over the nations and peoples.
* "It will not go to his descendants" -Alexander's son was murdered. (See studies 7 and 8 for more information.)
* After Alexander died the Jews experienced trouble due to wars between two of the kingdoms that came from Greece. They were Selecid (Syria) and Ptolemaic (Egypt). Then the fourth beast of Daniel 7 (Rome) was very different its treatment of the Jews than the first three. The cruelty experienced under Rome was far greater than the saints, including Jesus' church had ever experienced under the first three beasts. So Daniel was very interested in the fourth beast. He wanted to know how long and why they would endure so much pain from the fourth beast. He is no different than the saints today who want to know the same.
* The mosaic to the right is a part of the Alexander Mosaic, representing Alexander the Great on his horse, Bucephalus. (c. 100 A.D.) The whole mosaic depicts Alexander attack against Darius III. A scared man is behind Alexander, and the man's head in Alexander's armor is a representation of Medusa. It was originally in the volcanic ash in the House of the Faun in Pompeii. (National Archaeological Museum of Naples)
>Considering 7:6 and 8:19-22, who was this mighty king?
* Daniel 7:6 "After that, I looked, and there before me was another beast, one that looked like a leopard. And on its back it had four wings like those of a bird. This beast had four heads, and it was given authority to rule."
* Daniel 8:19-22 "I am going to tell you what will happen later in the time of wrath, because the vision concerns the appointed time of the end. The two-horned ram that you saw represents the kings of Media and Persia. The shaggy goat is the king of Greece, and the large horn between his eyes is the first king. The four horns that replaced the one that was broken off represent four kingdoms that will emerge from his nation but will not have the same power."
* "a mighty king will appear" -Alexander the Great (336-323 B.C.) is the waist and thighs of Nebuchadnezzar's statue (Daniel 2:39), the leopard with wings in the vision in Daniel 7:6, and the goat's large horn in the vision in Daniel 8:21.
* The Greek army of Alexander the Great (334-330) moved quickly in its campaigns and conquests of countries. Greece made the largest empire then known to the world in a matter of four years.
* The mosaic to the right is the entire Alexander Mosaic. In 336 B.C. Darius III Codomanus became king of Persia. He was twice defeated by Alexander the Great, at Issus in 333 and at Gaugamela in 331 B.C. Alexander thus brought to an end the power of the Achaemenids and the empire of Persia. The famous mosaic that was preserved under the volcanic ash of Vesuvius at Pompeii gives an impression of the battle of Issus dating from about 100 B.C. Left, the head of Alexander; right, Darius III in battle. (The Bible as History in Pictures, Werner Keller)
>In the end what good does power and wealth gain? (Deut. 8:17-18; Psalm 89:47-48; Matthew 6:19-21)
* Deuteronomy 8:17-18 "You may say to yourself, 'My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.' But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today."
* Psalm 89:47-48 "Remember how fleeting is my life. For what futility you have created all men! What man can live and not see death, or save himself from the power of the grave?"
* Matthew 6:19-21 "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
II. Kings Come and Kings Go (5-32)
* The facts in this section were fulfilled after Alexander the Great and before Jesus' first coming. (See link above "Major Events from Daniel's time to Roman Times".) However, they are in part being fulfilled again in our time before Jesus' second coming.
>3. After the mighty king's empire is divided into four, what happens to one of them? (5)
* Daniel 11:5 "The king of the South will become strong, but one of his commanders will become even stronger than he and will rule his own kingdom with great power."
* "The king of the South" -Ptolemy I Soter (323-285 B.C.) of Egypt.
* The coin to the right is Seleucus I Nicator, showing himself riding a chariot drawn by elephants, a reminder of his successful campaigns with Alexander in India. Displayed at the Grand Palais.
* "one of his commanders" -Seleucus I Nicator (312/311-281/280 B.C.).
* "rule his own kingdom with great power" -Seleucus I was initially the underdog of the four generals. He first ruled Babylon and then added extensive territories to the east and west. See study 8 commentary questions 2 and 8 for a detailed account of the chaos that immediately followed Alexander's death.
* The bronze to the right is Seleucus I Nicator. Its a Roman copy from a Greek original, from Herculaneum. Now in the National Archaeological Museum of Naples.
>How does he treat his family? (6)
* Daniel 11:6 "After some years, they will become allies. The daughter of the king of the South will go to the king of the North to make an alliance, but she will not retain her power, and he and his power will not last. In those days she will be handed over, together with her royal escort and her father and the one who supported her."
* "they will become allies... alliance" -Ptolemy I and Seleucus I and their sons stopped fighting for awhile under a flag of truce.
* "The daughter of the king of the South" -Berenice, daughter of Ptolemy II Philadelphus (285-246/245 B.C.) of Egypt. Daughters were often given in marriage to the opposing king or prince when alliances were made. In most ancient cultures most men saw women, especially daughters as properties. Some cultures today still practice this form of domestic slavery.
* "the king of the North" -Antiochus II Theos (261/260-246 B.C.) of Syria.
* "she will not retain her power, and he... will not last" -Antiochus' former wife, Laodice, conspired to have Berenice and Antiochus put to death.
* "her father" -Berenice's father Ptolemy died at about the same time.
>How should daughters be treated? (Matt. 9:22; Luke 8:53-55; Ex. 21:7-11; Lev. 19:29, 22:12-13; Num. 27:8)
* Matthew 9:22 "Jesus turned and saw her. "Take heart, daughter," he said, "your faith has healed you." And the woman was healed from that moment."
* Luke 8:53-55 "They laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. But he took her by the hand and said, "My child, get up!" Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up. Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat."
* Exodus 21:7-11 "If a man sells his daughter as a servant, she is not to go free as menservants do. If she does not please the master who has selected her for himself, he must let her be redeemed. He has no right to sell her to foreigners, because he has broken faith with her. If he selects her for his son, he must grant her the rights of a daughter. If he marries another woman, he must not deprive the first one of her food, clothing and marital rights. If he does not provide her with these three things, she is to go free, without any payment of money."
* Leviticus 19:29 "Do not degrade your daughter by making her a prostitute, or the land will turn to prostitution and be filled with wickedness."
* Leviticus 22:12-13 "If a priest's daughter marries anyone other than a priest, she may not eat any of the sacred contributions. But if a priest's daughter becomes a widow or is divorced, yet has no children, and she returns to live in her father's house as in her youth, she may eat of her father's food. No unauthorized person, however, may eat any of it."
* Numbers 27:8 "Say to the Israelites, 'If a man dies and leaves no son, turn his inheritance over to his daughter."
>4. Why does the new southern king seem to invade the kingdom of the north? (7-8)
* Daniel 11:7-8 "One from her family line will arise to take her place. He will attack the forces of the king of the North and enter his fortress; he will fight against them and be victorious. He will also seize their gods, their metal images and their valuable articles of silver and gold and carry them off to Egypt. For some years he will leave the king of the North alone."
* "One from her family line will arise" -Berenice's brother, Ptolemy III Euergetes (247/246-221 B.C.) of Egypt, who did away with Laodice.
* "He will attack the forces of the king of the North" -Ptolemy III attacked Seleucus II Callinicus (246/245-226 B.C.) of Syria.
* "and enter his fortress" -Either 1) Seleucia (Acts 13:4), which was the port of Antioch, or 2) Antioch itself.
* "For some years he will leave the king of the North alone." -A cease of hostilities for an unspecified time.
* "their gods" -Images of Syrian deities, and also of Egyptian gods that the Persian Cambyses had carried off after conquering Egypt in 525 B.C.
* The coin to the right is Ptolemy III Euergetes, issued by Ptolemy IV to honor his deified father. The coin is on display in the British Museum.
>What is the kingdom of the south and thus the kingdom of the north?
* "Egypt" -The kingdom to the south is listed here as Egypt (Ptolemaic), one of the four kingdoms created out of Greece after Alexander the Great died.
* "kingdom of the north" -Syria (Selecid) is the kingdom to the north. Syria is also one of the four kingdoms created out of Greece after Alexander the Great died.
* Since Israel became a nation again in 1948 A.D. these two kingdoms have been opposing Israel. The parallels with the past can't be ignored. For example the fighting in the late 1940s and the 1967 A.D. six day war between the Palestinians, Egypt, Syria and Israel. After this short war Jerusalem was for the first time in over 2,000 years under the control of the Jews. (Zechariah 12:1-2)
* Zechariah 14:2 speaks of a battle at Jerusalem, perhaps when the antichrist breaks the seven years treaty with Israel. It says, "I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it; the city will be captured, the houses ransacked, and the women raped. Half of the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be taken from the city." I do not know of a time in the past that this has ever happened. The Babylonian attack was in Zechariah's past. Alexander the Great did not fight against Jerusalem; he was welcomed in. The Maccabees didn't have a battle in Jerusalem like this. Rome gained Jerusalem with little resistance since Herod was allied with them. In 70 A.D. Rome all but emptied Jerusalem, killing many Jews and exporting many more into slavery all throughout the Romans empire. Israel didn't have control of Jerusalem again until after WWI. The battles in 1948 and 1967 A.D. was won by Israel. So this has to be a future war when all the nations will be against Judah and Jerusalem. The Bible speaks of several wars against Israel that will happen very soon. There will be a war against Jerusalem that will force Israel and the antichrist to sign a seven years treaty and I believe this will be very soon. Also, The Lord Jesus will destroy Israel's enemies at the end of the seven years, Armageddon, and at the end of his one thousand year reign. These two can hardly be called battles since none on the Lord's side are injured let alone are killed. So, Zechariah 14:2 seems to coincide with the antichrist being allowed to win against the saints for a time during the seven years of tribulation. (Daniel 11:31-32, 36-45; Revelation 6:9-11, 7:14)
* Zechariah 14:12-15 speaks of the outcome of the battle in 14:2. It does not say these will happen right after it. It says, "This is the plague with which the LORD will strike all the nations that fought against Jerusalem: Their flesh will rot while they are still standing on their feet, their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouths. On that day men will be stricken by the LORD with great panic. Each man will seize the hand of another, and they will attack each other. Judah too will fight at Jerusalem. The wealth of all the surrounding nations will be collected--great quantities of gold and silver and clothing. A similar plague will strike the horses and mules, the camels and donkeys, and all the animals in those camps."
* Joel 3:2-3 and Joel 3:9-16 also speaks of a war against Jerusalem, different than Zechariah 12 and 14. Joel 3:2-3 says, "I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will enter into judgment against them concerning my inheritance, my people Israel, for they scattered my people among the nations and divided up my land. They cast lots for my people and traded boys for prostitutes; they sold girls for wine that they might drink." Joel 3:9-16 says, "Proclaim this among the nations: Prepare for war! Rouse the warriors! Let all the fighting men draw near and attack. Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears. Let the weakling say, 'I am strong!' Come quickly, all you nations from every side, and assemble there. Bring down your warriors, O LORD! 'Let the nations be roused; let them advance into the Valley of Jehoshaphat, for there I will sit to judge all the nations on every side. Swing the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, trample the grapes, for the winepress is full and the vats overflow-- so great is their wickedness!' Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. The sun and moon will be darkened, and the stars no longer shine. The LORD will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem; the earth and the sky will tremble. But the LORD will be a refuge for his people, a stronghold for the people of Israel."
* Revelation 16:16-21 seems to be the same as Joel 3:2-3 and Joel 3:9-16. Revelation 16:16-21 says, "Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon. The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and out of the temple came a loud voice from the throne, saying, "It is done!" Then there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder and a severe earthquake. No earthquake like it has ever occurred since man has been on earth, so tremendous was the quake. The great city split into three parts, and the cities of the nations collapsed. God remembered Babylon the Great and gave her the cup filled with the wine of the fury of his wrath. Every island fled away and the mountains could not be found. From the sky huge hailstones of about a hundred pounds each fell upon men. And they cursed God on account of the plague of hail, because the plague was so terrible."
* See a map and picture of Megiddo Valley to the right. The book of Revelation says that armies will gather in the end times at a place "which in Hebrew is called Har-Magedon". (Revelation 16:16) This term literally means the Mount of Megiddo and refers to the ancient fortress of Megiddo that controlled the Valley of Jezreel. In English the word was transliterated as Armageddon, and the term came to be applied to the Valley of Jezreel which lies in front of Har-Magedon, running diagonally across Israel from Haifa to the Jordan River.
* Ezekiel 38 and 39 also speak of a war against Israel. Some point out that the nations mentioned in Ezekiel 38:5-6 as the allies of Russia (Gog) do not include a single Arab state with a border adjacent to Israel. The nations identified in Ezekiel are Persia (Iran), Cush (Egypt and/or Sudan), Put (Libya and possibly Algeria and Tunisia), and Gomer (Turkey), and Beth Togarmah (Turkey/Southern Russia). They point out that there is no mention of the nations that share a common border with Israel — namely, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, and Gaza (Palesinians).
* Psalm 83 also describes a war against Israel, though it appears to be different than the others above. The nations mentioned in Psalm 83 are Edom and the Ishmaelites (Jordan), Moab and the Hagrites (Jordan), Gebal (Jordan or Syria and Lebanon), Ammon (Jordan), Amalek (Palestinian), Philistia (Palestinian), Tyre (Lebanon), and Assyria (Iraq/Iran). These are not the same as Ezekiel 38-39. However, it could be that both lists make up the nations in the battle before the seven years of tribulation begins.
* The Bible seems to speak of at least three more times that Israel will be attacked by groups of nations and/or all the nations. The first is just before the seven years of tribulation which will be the cause of the seven year truce between Israel and the antichrist. (Ezekiel 38-39 and/or Psalm 83) The second is at the end of the seven years of tribulation when Jesus comes again. (Revelation 16:16-21) Half way through the seven years the antichrist will break the Israeli seven year contract and enter the yet to be constructed temple in Jerusalem proclaiming himself God. Many Jews will flee Jerusalem but it does not seem there will be a battle in Jerusalem at that time. The third is after Jesus one thousand year reign when Satan is released and then defeated once and for all time. (Revelation 20:7-10)
* Amos three hundred years before Zechariah stated that once Israel is re-established in their land it will remain theirs. It says, "I will plant Israel in their own land, never again to be uprooted from the land I have given them,"
* For information on the future of believers in Jesus read the manuscript The Believer's Future - Hope that Inspires found on this site.
>What reasons do they continually fight each other? (9-13)
* Daniel 11:9-13 "Then the king of the North will invade the realm of the king of the South but will retreat to his own country. His sons will prepare for war and assemble a great army, which will sweep on like an irresistible flood and carry the battle as far as his fortress. Then the king of the South will march out in a rage and fight against the king of the North, who will raise a large army, but it will be defeated. When the army is carried off, the king of the South will be filled with pride and will slaughter many thousands, yet he will not remain triumphant. For the king of the North will muster another army, larger than the first; and after several years, he will advance with a huge army fully equipped."
* "His sons" -Seleucus III Ceraunus (226-223 B.C.) and Antiochus III (the Great) (223/222-187 B.C.) sons of Seleucus II.
* The coin on the left is Antiochus III (the Great). The coin is on display in the British Museum. The coin (front and back) on the right also of Antiochus III (the Great). The back of the coin displays Apollo seated left on omphalos, nude but for a slight drapery on right thigh, holding an arrow in his right hand and the left hand resting on a bow.
* "his fortress" -Ptolemy's fortress at Raphia in southern Palestine.
* "Then the king of the South" -Ptolemy IV Philopator (221-203 B.C.) of Egypt.
* "march out in a rage" -One of the reasons for war and violence is a lack of control of emotions, especially hate and rage.
* "the king of the North" -Antiochus III.
* "who will raise a large army, but it will be defeated" -The battle at Raphia (the most southern city in modern Gaza) in 217 B.C. is said to be one of the largest battles ever fought in the Levant, with over a hundred thousand soldiers and hundreds of elephants.
* "filled with pride" -Pride is another cause of war and violence.
* "slaughter many thousands" -The historian Polybius records that Antiochus lost nearly 10,000 infantrymen at Raphia in Gaza in 217 B.C.
>How are God's people to be different? (Luke 22:24-26)
* Luke 22:24-26 "Also a dispute arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest. Jesus said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves."
* We follow Jesus example and teacher.
>5. What is meant by "your people"? (14)
* Daniel 11:14 "In those times many will rise against the king of the South. The violent men among your own people will rebel in fulfillment of the vision, but without success."
* "In those times" -The original Hebrew is "et".
* "the king of the South" -Ptolemy V Epiphanes (203-181 B.C.) of Egypt.
* The coin to the right is Ptolemy V Epiphanes.
* "The violent men among your own people will rebel" -Jews who joined the forces of Antiochus III (the Great).
* "in fulfillment of the vision"
* "but without success" -The Ptolemaic general Scopas crushed the rebellion in 200 B.C.
* The battle of Panium in 198 B.C. outcome was that Syria (Seleucid) took over Palestine from Egypt (Ptolemaic).
>What does the fact there there are violent people among them tell us about what was happening to Israel during this time?
* Israel was not only constantly the victim of the empires to their north and south, but some Jews chose sides and joined in on the battles. The divisions amongst the Jews in Jesus' time originated in this these shifting alliances. Some Jews chose to follow God by picking up swords and bow and arrows. The choosing of sides and taking up arms lead to battles being fought around the walls of Jerusalem.
>How is this similar to what has and will continue to happen to Jesus' church? (1 John 2:18-19)
* 1 John 2:18-19 "Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us."
* 1 John 2:22 "Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist--he denies the Father and the Son."
* 1 John 4:2-3 "This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world."
* 2 John 1:7-11 "Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch out that you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully. Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take him into your house or welcome him. Anyone who welcomes him shares in his wicked work."
* Matthew 7:15-16 "Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles?"
* Matthew 24:4-5 "Jesus answered: "Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many."
* Also in Mark 13:5 and Luke 21:8.
* Mark 12:38-40 "As he taught, Jesus said, "Watch out for the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and be greeted in the marketplaces, and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. They devour widows' houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. Such men will be punished most severely."
* Romans 16:17-18 "I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people."
>6. What is the Beautiful Land and what happens to it, being in the middle of the two kingdoms? (15-20)
* Daniel 11:15-20 "Then the king of the North will come and build up siege ramps and will capture a fortified city. The forces of the South will be powerless to resist; even their best troops will not have the strength to stand. The invader will do as he pleases; no one will be able to stand against him. He will establish himself in the Beautiful Land and will have the power to destroy it. He will determine to come with the might of his entire kingdom and will make an alliance with the king of the South. And he will give him a daughter in marriage in order to overthrow the kingdom, but his plans will not succeed or help him. Then he will turn his attention to the coastlands and will take many of them, but a commander will put an end to his insolence and will turn his insolence back upon him. After this, he will turn back toward the fortresses of his own country but will stumble and fall, to be seen no more. His successor will send out a tax collector to maintain the royal splendor. In a few years, however, he will be destroyed, yet not in anger or in battle."
* "a fortified city" -The Mediterranean port of Sidon.
* "The invader will do as he pleases" -Antiochus III (the Great) of Syria (Seleucid), who was in control of Palestine by 197 B.C., the year after he took it from Egypt (Ptolemaic).
* "the Beautiful Land" -The Beautiful Land is use to describe the promised land, the territory the Jews were allowed to live in after they came back from exile. (Jeremiah 3:19; Daniel 8:9, 11:16, 11:41) The Jews were allowed to return to the promised land, but only as subjects of first the Mede-Persian Empire, then the Greek Empire, then the Ptolemaic Kingdom and finally the Seleucid kingdom.
* "he will give him a daughter in marriage in order to overthrow the kingdom" -Antiochus III (the Great) gave his daughter Cleopatra I in marriage to Ptolemy V in 194 B.C.
* "Then he will turn his attention" -Antiochus III (the Great).
* "to the coastlands and will take many of them" -The coastlands is Asia Minor and perhaps also mainland Greece. Declaring himself the "champion of Greek freedom against Roman domination", Antiochus III (the Great) waged a war against the Roman Republic in mainland Greece in autumn of 192 B.C. only to be defeated.
* "a commander will put an end to his insolence and will turn his insolence back upon him" -The Roman consul Lucius Cornelius Scipio Asiaticus, who defeated Antiochus at Magnesia in Asia Minor in 190 B.C.
* "will stumble and fall, to be seen no more" -Antiochus died in 187 B.C. while attempting to plunder a temple in the province of Elymais.
* "His successor" -Seleucus IV Philopator (187-175 B.C.) was the son and successor of Antiochus III (the Great). His realm consisting of Syria (now including Cilicia and Judea), Mesopotamia, Babylonia and nearer Iran (Media and Persia).
* "will send out a tax collector to maintain the royal splendor" -To pay the Romans, Seleucus IV sent his minister Heliodorus to Jerusalem to seize the Jewish temple treasury. On his return from Jerusalem, Heliodorus assassinated Seleucus IV, and seized the throne for himself. The true heir Demetrius, son of Seleucus, was now being retained in Rome as a hostage, and the kingdom was seized by the younger brother of Seleucus, Antiochus IV Epiphanes. Antiochus managed to oust Heliodorus and an infant son of Seleucus, also named Antiochus, was formal head of state for a few years until Epiphanes had him murdered.
* "he will be destroyed, yet not in anger or in battle." -Seleucus IV was the victim of a conspiracy engineered by Heliodorus.
>What are some of the descriptions of the kings in verses 21-28?
* Daniel 11:21-28 "He will be succeeded by a contemptible person who has not been given the honor of royalty. He will invade the kingdom when its people feel secure, and he will seize it through intrigue. Then an overwhelming army will be swept away before him; both it and a prince of the covenant will be destroyed. After coming to an agreement with him, he will act deceitfully, and with only a few people he will rise to power. When the richest provinces feel secure, he will invade them and will achieve what neither his fathers nor his forefathers did. He will distribute plunder, loot and wealth among his followers. He will plot the overthrow of fortresses--but only for a time. With a large army he will stir up his strength and courage against the king of the South. The king of the South will wage war with a large and very powerful army, but he will not be able to stand because of the plots devised against him. Those who eat from the king's provisions will try to destroy him; his army will be swept away, and many will fall in battle. The two kings, with their hearts bent on evil, will sit at the same table and lie to each other, but to no avail, because an end will still come at the appointed time. The king of the North will return to his own country with great wealth, but his heart will be set against the holy covenant. He will take action against it and then return to his own country."
* "He will be succeeded by a contemptible person who has not been given the honor of royalty" -Seleucus' younger brother, Antiochus IV Epiphanes (175-164 B.C.) seized power while the rightful heir to the throne, the son of Seleucus (later to become Demetrius I), was still very young.
* "He will invade the kingdom when its people feel secure, and he will seize it through intrigue." -Syro-Palestine.
* "prince of the covenant" -The high priest (Daniel 8:22). This was either Onias III (deposed in 175 B.C. and then murdered in 171 B.C.), his brother Jason, Menelaus, or Ptolemy VI. The high priest during Antiochus' time were his puppets and who bought the position for a price. Antiochus IV Epiphanes marks the interference of the secular state in things spiritual. A precedent had been set which Roman emperors would not be slow to follow and which has become a common place in today's politics. To remove from office and subject to persecution and death those who are legitimately set over God's people is to attack the originator of the covenant, God Himself.
* "he will act deceitfully, and with only a few people he will rise to power" -Antiochus IV.
* "When the richest provinces feel secure" -Either of Palestine or of Egypt.
* "He will plot the overthrow of fortresses" -In Egypt.
* "The king of the South will wage war with a large and very powerful army" -Ptolemy VI.
* "The two kings, with thier hearts bent on evil" -Antiochus IV and Ptolemy VI, who was living in Antiochus's custody.
* "his heart will be set against the holy covenant" -In 169 B.C. Antiochus IV plundered the temple in Jerusalem, set up a garrison there and massacred many Jews in the city.
* Most commentators agree that the horn that "started small" (Daniel 8:9-12) is Antiochus IV Epiphanes, who during the last few years of his reign (the last years being 168-163 B.C) made a determined effort to destroy the Jewish faith. He in turn served as a type of the even more ruthless beast of the last days, who is also referred to in Daniel 7:8 as a "little horn". Antiochus was to extend his power over Israel, "the Beautiful Land", and defeat the godly believers there, many of whom died for their faith. Then he set himself up to be the equal of God and ordered the daily sacrifices to end. Eventually the army of Judas Maccabeus recaptured Jerusalem and rededicated the temple to the Lord (December 165 B.C.), still celebrated by Jews today.
* See a picture of a Antiochus IV Epiphanes coin.
>7. When the north king's invasion of the south is stopped who does he take his anger out on? (29-30)
* Daniel 11:29-30 "At the appointed time he will invade the South again, but this time the outcome will be different from what it was before. Ships of the western coastlands will oppose him, and he will lose heart. Then he will turn back and vent his fury against the holy covenant. He will return and show favor to those who forsake the holy covenant."
* "ships of the western coastlands will oppose him." -"Western coastlands" is "Kittim" in Hebrew referring to the island of Cyprus first ruled by Greece, then the Assyrians, and finally Rome as well as all the lands west of Cyprus. Roman vessels under the command of Gaius Popilius Laenas frightened the Syrian leader Antiochus IV Epiphanes when he was attempting to invade Egypt. Gaius faced Antiochus with an ultimatum by drawing round him a circle and ordering his to respond before stepping out of it. Ships on the coastlands have always been a concern to nations. Syria is currently engaged in a civil war though many of its enemy combatants are from other countries. The Syrian president, Al-Assad was losing the war so he decided to use illegal chemical weapons against his enemies. The distribution of chemical weapons are controlled by the wind so often many children die and are seriously harmed when the wind changes. America's President Obama sent ships to the coast of Syria and demanded Al-Assad turn over the chemical weapons or he would bomb Syria's capital. Just as the Roman ships frightened Syria, so the USA ships frightened Syria. In response to the USA, Syria's ally Russia also sent ships to the coast of Syria. Then through secret meetings Al-Assad was eventually encouraged by their ally Russia to turn over the chemical weapons (something that as of this writing has not happened). History has repeated itself.
* I find it interesting a that a few months after USA, Russia, and Syria came to an agreement on the chemical weapons, Russia invaded the Urkrain and Al-Assad have all but won the civil war. We are waiting to see the outcome of these latest intense world events.
* When I attempt to talk to some Christians about the current world situation they reply, "War and rumor of wars" implying we shouldn't concern ourself with current world events or even talk about such things. That is not what Jesus meant. Rather he was telling us not to worry. Then he said, "Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened." (Matthew 24:32-34) We are not to worry; but we are to watch and patiently wait in anticipation to Jesus' return.
* "he will show favor to those who forsake the holy covenant" -Apostate Jews (32) sided with him for gain.
* Antiochus IV Epiphanes stole from one place to bargain with the loot in another for selfish gain. Following this example politicians today take money from some in the form of taxes and give some of it to others so that they can stay in office. They use terms like "redistributing the wealth", "a chicken in each pot", and "social security and stability".
* The Roman historian, Livy (who derived his information from Polybius) marked Antiochus's second campaign to Egypt a turning point in his country's history. The great Antiochus IV Epiphanes was reduced to size and from this point on had to bow to the superior might of Rome. (Tyndale Old Testament Commentary -Daniel)
* Numbers 24:23-24 "Then he uttered his oracle: "Ah, who can live when God does this? Ships will come from the shores of Kittim; they will subdue Asshur and Eber, but they too will come to ruin."
>What are some of the things he does? (31)
* Daniel 11:31 "His armed forces will rise up to desecrate the temple fortress and will abolish the daily sacrifice. Then they will set up the abomination that causes desolation."
* "desecrate the temple fortress" -The temple was fortified to repeal enemy armies, to no avail.
* "abolish the daily sacrifice" -The daily morning and evening sacrifice, which had been laid down as a requirement in Numbers 28:2-8 was taken away and replace to force a false religion on people. This refers back to the vision of the two-horned ram and the shaggy goat. (Daniel 8:14, 26)
* "set up the abomination that causes desolation" -See question below.
* Antiochus IV Epiphanes used religion as a weapon to advance his cause. He tried to unite people under a flag of religion and government and succeeded. Nebuchadnezzar had attempted this on one occasion with the gold statue and failed because three refused to obey which eventually lead to Nebuchadnezzar's humiliation. (Daniel 3) Like Antiochus IV Epiphanes a ruler is coming who will make religion his main tool in imposing his will, and so will precipitate a conflict between commitment to the one true God, revealing to His people, and the worldly-wise, unscrupulous way of life advocated by diplomacy. In the unequal struggle God's faithful servants would go through intense suffering. The era of the persecution of "the church" had begun. (in part from Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries -Daniel) Consider these words in Revelation 13:11-18, "Then I saw another beast, coming out of the earth. He had two horns like a lamb, but he spoke like a dragon. He exercised all the authority of the first beast on his behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed. And he performed great and miraculous signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth in full view of men. Because of the signs he was given power to do on behalf of the first beast, he deceived the inhabitants of the earth. He ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived. He was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that it could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name. This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man's number. His number is 666."
>8. What is "abomination that causes desolation"? (9:27, 11:31, 12:11; Matt. 24:15-21; Luke 21:20-24)
* Daniel 7:24-26 "After them another king will arise, different from the earlier ones; he will subdue three kings. He will speak against the Most High and oppress his saints and try to change the set times and the laws. The saints will be handed over to him for a time, times and half a time. But the court will sit, and his power will be taken away and completely destroyed forever."
* Daniel 8:9-14 "Out of one of them came another horn, which started small but grew in power to the south and to the east and toward the Beautiful Land. It grew until it reached the host of the heavens, and it threw some of the starry host down to the earth and trampled on them. It set itself up to be as great as the Prince of the host; it took away the daily sacrifice from him, and the place of his sanctuary was brought low. Because of rebellion, the host [of the saints] and the daily sacrifice were given over to it. It prospered in everything it did, and truth was thrown to the ground. Then I heard a holy one speaking, and another holy one said to him, "How long will it take for the vision to be fulfilled--the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, the rebellion that causes desolation, and the surrender of the sanctuary and of the host that will be trampled underfoot? It will take 2,300 evenings and mornings; then the sanctuary will be reconsecrated."
* Daniel 8:23-25 "In the latter part of their reign, when rebels have become completely wicked, a stern-faced king, a master of intrigue, will arise. He will become very strong, but not by his own power. He will cause astounding devastation and will succeed in whatever he does. He will destroy the mighty men and the holy people. He will cause deceit to prosper, and he will consider himself superior. When they feel secure, he will destroy many and take his stand against the Prince of princes. Yet he will be destroyed, but not by human power."
* Daniel 9:27 "He will confirm a covenant with many for one 'seven.' In the middle of the 'seven' he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing [of the temple] he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him."
* Daniel 12:11 "From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the abomination that causes desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days."
* Matthew 24:15-21 "So when you see standing in the holy place 'the abomination that causes desolation,' spoken of through the prophet Daniel--let the reader understand-- then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let no one on the roof of his house go down to take anything out of the house. Let no one in the field go back to get his cloak. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. For then there will be great distress, unequalled from the beginning of the world until now--and never to be equalled again."
* Mark 13:14-20 "When you see 'the abomination that causes desolation' standing where it does not belong--let the reader understand--then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let no one on the roof of his house go down or enter the house to take anything out. Let no one in the field go back to get his cloak. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! Pray that this will not take place in winter, because those will be days of distress unequalled from the beginning, when God created the world, until now--and never to be equalled again. If the Lord had not cut short those days, no one would survive. But for the sake of the elect, whom he has chosen, he has shortened them."
* Luke 21:20-24 "When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! There will be great distress in the land and wrath against this people. They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled."
* 2 Thessalonians 2:4 "He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God's temple, proclaiming himself to be God."
* "abomination that causes desolation" -An abomination is something filthy and loathsome. The abomination that causes desolation is an idol which a man will set up.
* "abomination" -Abomination is something that elicits great dislike or abhorrence.
* "desolation" -Desolation means a ruin or a wasteland.
* Replacing something in the place of God places creation and man before God. Since it has happened already twice and will happen again. The abomination that causes desolation is evidence of our spiritual condition; that is, not putting God first in worship, service, and our life. It is inverted creation order.
* The Syrian Antiochus IV Epiphanes first profaned the temple in December, 164 B.C. by pouring swine's blood and broth on the alter and building an alter to Jupiter in the Holy Place. Later, Rome also did this during what they called "The Jewish Wars". In 70 A.D. the conqueror of Jerusalem for Rome set up the Roman plague (see also Luke 13:1) on the temple and Jerusalem was soon completely destroyed. This will be done another time, during the seven years Daniel speaks of, just before the second coming of Christ.
* See study 8 commentary question 6 for more information concerning Antiochus IV Epiphanes instituting sacrifices to his gods in the temple.
* Mark adds "does not belong" because only the high priest, descendants of Levi, were allowed to go in the this area, and that only once a year after they had been purified by the sprinkling of blood. (Heb. 9:1-8)
* Soon someone will again set up something that God greatly dislikes that causes ruin on a wing of the temple. When this happens everyone can be warned to leave Judea to the mountains for trouble times will come. The temple in Jerusalem has not been built yet. However excavations, satellite images, plans, and preparations have been started ever since Israel gained control of Jerusalem in 1967 A.D. Stones have been cut, all the temple artifacts are made, the priest's clothing is finished, the priests have been identified and are trained. Everything is ready except the building being finished.
* This is not the rapture of the church, the congregation/body of Jesus. This will happen after a seven year treaty has been signed between the antichrist and Israel.
>What does this tell us about the nature of the prophecy so far?
* Much of the prophecy this far had been fulfilled before Jesus' first coming. However, Jesus made it clear that as least some of it will happen again before his second coming.
* Since this is true we can understand the apostles warnings to the churches (congregations).
>How can we resist flattery that lead to sin? (32)
* Daniel 11:32 "With flattery he will corrupt those who have violated the covenant, but the people who know their God will firmly resist him."
* "flattery" -Flattery is insincere praise.
* "With flattery he will corrupt those who have violated the covenant" -Antiochus IV Epiphanes did this. He made covenants without the slightest intention of inconveniencing himself to keep them, motivated by desire for his own aggrandizement. Like him, the antichrist will be lying when he says kind things to the Jews. Some religions are encouraged to lie to those who do not share in their beliefs in order to seduce them into believing they are safe just before they are attacked.
* "the people who know their God will firmly resist him" -Some Jews who were faithful to God did not believe Antiochus. The same will be true when the antichrist is revealed.
III. Those Who Are Wise (33-35)
>9. What do the wise do in the mist of wars and blatant sin? (33; and 2 Tim. 3:16-17)
* Daniel 11:33 "Those who are wise will instruct many, though for a time they will fall by the sword or be burned or captured or plundered."
* 2 Timothy 3:16-17 "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."
* "Those who are wise will instruct many" -Bible teaching is very important in any and all generations. Jesus told us, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (Matthew 28:18-20)
* "though for a time" -The time is not specified here.
* Every believer in Jesus has been persecuted. Every generation has had the church somewhere physically attacked. We should be prepared.
>Even though doing the work of God what may happen to the wise?
* "fall by the sword or be burned or captured or plundered" -We should be prepared that this could happen to any believer at anytime and anywhere.
* Matthew 10:21-22 "Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved." See also Mark 13:12-13 and Luke 21:16-19.
>What two things can the wise expect? (34)
* Daniel 11:34 "When they fall, they will receive a little help, and many who are not sincere will join them."
* "When they fall" -Persecuted.
* "they will receive a little help" -The Holy Spirit has been given us. We will be helped.
* "many who are not sincere will join them" -The church has always had people who do not truly believe. If Jesus' ministry had Judas, will not the church have people like him?
* The apostles wrote the congregations about false believers amongst them. Paul said, "I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears." (Acts 20:29-31)
>What word of encouragement did Jesus give us for times like these? (John 16:33)
* John 16:33 "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
* We should always fix our eyes on Jesus and the glory to come when enduring trials, troubles, and hardships.
>10. What does it mean to stumble and why does it happen to even the wise? (35a)
* Daniel 11:35a "Some of the wise will stumble, so that they may be refined, purified and made spotless..."
* "Some of the wise will stumble" -They will sin and/or follow false teachers for a while.
* "so that they may be refined, purified and made spotless" -The Lord Jesus knows what he is doing in our lives. We face temptations just as he did. He did not fail. We may fail. When we do we learn our errors and repent and ask for forgiveness.
* 1 John 2:1-2 "My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense--Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world."
>What will surely come? (35b)
* Daniel 11:35b "...until the time of the end, for it will still come at the appointed time."
* "the time of the end" -The original Hebrew is "et qes". This is the end of the age we are in. God is taking care of his people so that we will be able to stand at the judgment seat of Christ.
* "the appointed time" -The original Hebrew is "moed" and can be translated "congregation", "synagogue", "feast", "season", and "solemn assembly". The KJV has "because it is yet for a time appointed".
* I was once teaching a young man on this topic. He grew worried that when he would fall to sin and then die before he repented and asked for forgiveness. I told him, God is not like that. He does not wait around for us to sin and then kill us so that we are condemned. He loves his children. He makes a way for us to turn to him in repentance asking for forgiveness. Yet, if we resist him, what other hope is there for us? So if you are in sin turn to our loving Father and ask for forgiveness.
>What does this tell us about who is in control even though it seems like the world is out of control?
* God is in total control. He has it all planned out. Nothing suprises him. Nothing can stop his plan. No one can overcome the will of God.
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