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11-18-21 Bible Study (Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14)

Pastor’s Research Notes:

Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14

RSB: Chapter 7
the Ancient of Days was seated. The title “Ancient of Days” occurs in the Bible only in this chapter (vv. 13, 22). It is a designation for God on the throne and judgment.

Whitlock, L. G., Sproul, R. C., Waltke, B. K., & Silva, M. (1995). The Reformation study Bible: bringing the light of the Reformation to Scripture: New King James Version (Da 7:9). Nashville: T. Nelson.
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Tags: Da 7:9
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RSB: Chapter 7
His throne … Its wheels. The depiction of God’s throne resembles Ezekiel’s vision of the throne chariot of God (Ezek. 1:15–28).

Whitlock, L. G., Sproul, R. C., Waltke, B. K., & Silva, M. (1995). The Reformation study Bible: bringing the light of the Reformation to Scripture: New King James Version (Da 7:9). Nashville: T. Nelson.
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Tags: Da 7:9
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RSB: Chapter 7
One like the Son of Man. The Aramaic for “Son of Man” would otherwise mean “a human being” as opposed to the preceding “beasts.” The equivalent is used for Daniel in 8:17 and many times for Daniel’s contemporary, Ezekiel (e.g., Ezek. 2:1, 3, 6). But, in contrast to the “beasts” who misruled the earth, this One will rule as God intended before humanity’s fall (Gen. 1:26–28; Ps. 8:4–6). The expression “Son of Man” is used sixty-nine times in the synoptic Gospels and twelve times in the Gospel of John to refer to Christ. It is the title Jesus most often used of Himself.

Whitlock, L. G., Sproul, R. C., Waltke, B. K., & Silva, M. (1995). The Reformation study Bible: bringing the light of the Reformation to Scripture: New King James Version (Da 7:13). Nashville: T. Nelson.
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Tags: Da 7:13
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RSB: Chapter 7
Coming with the clouds of heaven. Elsewhere in the Old Testament it is only God who comes on the clouds (Ps. 104:3; Is. 19:1). Accordingly, the “Son of Man” originates in heaven and comes by divine initiative.
§ 7:14 all peoples … should serve Him. The “Son of Man” is Christ, the Messiah. Jesus referred this passage to Himself, and doing so caused the religious leaders of His day to accuse Him of blasphemy (Matt. 26:64, 65; Mark 14:62–64).
an everlasting dominion. He is given God’s sovereignty and exercises the rule symbolized by the stone that fell in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream (2:34, 35, 44, 45).

Whitlock, L. G., Sproul, R. C., Waltke, B. K., & Silva, M. (1995). The Reformation study Bible: bringing the light of the Reformation to Scripture: New King James Version (Da 7:13–14). Nashville: T. Nelson.
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Tags: Da 7:13–14
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LSBN: Chapter 7
Ancient of Days. God the Father. white as snow … pure wool. Symbolizes God’s eternity and holiness (cf Is 1:18). fiery flames. Throne, wheels, and stream (v 10) were all fiery, as was God’s appearance on Mount Sinai (Ex 19:16–18). On God’s throne, see p 1323.

Engelbrecht, E. A. (2009). The Lutheran Study Bible (p. 1410). St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House.
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LSBN: Chapter 7
7:9–12 The Ancient of Days presides over a court of judgment and condemns the fourth beast to be burned. This judgment scene, repeated in v 26, is a prelude to the final judgment, when all people will appear before the throne of God (Mt 25:32). For those who are in Christ Jesus, the verdict will be “not guilty” (Rm 8:1; 1Jn 2:1–2).

Engelbrecht, E. A. (2009). The Lutheran Study Bible (p. 1410). St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House.
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LSBN: Chapter 7
7:13 with the clouds. Different origin from the beasts, which came from the sea. See note, v 2. like a son of man. Daniel uses comparison as he did with the first three beasts earlier in the vision (“like,” vv 4–6). There is something special about this figure, however. This vision describes the commissioning of the Christ as our Lord and Savior. See note, Ezk 2:1; see also p 1080. presented. Introduced at the court of the Ancient of Days (vv 9–10).

Engelbrecht, E. A. (2009). The Lutheran Study Bible (p. 1410). St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House.
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LSBN: Chapter 7
7:14 In contrast to the beasts whose dominion was taken away (v 12), the Ancient of Days invested the “one like a son of man” with an everlasting reign. Just: “There would be two advents of His,—one in which He was pierced by you; a second, when you shall know Him whom you have pierced” (ANF 1:210). Cyr Jer: “We preach not one advent only of Christ, but a second also, far more glorious than the former. For the former gave a view of His patience; but the latter brings with it the crown of a divine kingdom. For all things, for the most part, are twofold in our Lord Jesus Christ: a twofold generation; one, of God, before the ages; and one, of a Virgin, at the close of the ages: His descents twofold; one, the unobserved, like rain on a fleece; and a second His open coming, which is to be. In His former advent, He was wrapped in swaddling clothes in the manger; in His second, He covers Himself with light as with a garment” (NPNF 2 7:104). dominion … kingdom. See note, 4:3. all peoples, nations, and languages. His reign defies all boundaries. everlasting. Contrasts with the reigns of others, which are subject to God’s limited plans for them.

Engelbrecht, E. A. (2009). The Lutheran Study Bible (p. 1410). St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House.
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Tags: Da 7:14
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LSBN: Chapter 7
Daniel’s vision climaxes with the installation of the Son of Man as eternal king. The vision is essentially ended with 7:14. Therefore, at this point, it is appropriate to compare the enthronement of the Son of Man in Daniel 7 with other passages in the OT that speak of the enthronement of the Messiah.
Two psalms are particularly relevant, and they follow much the same pattern as Daniel’s vision: Psalms 2 and 110. Both of these psalms speak of the decree of God concerning the Messiah’s installation as king. While not every element in Daniel is present in these two psalms nor is every element in the psalms present in Daniel, these three passages present complementary pictures of the enthronement of the Messiah. Jesus explicitly connects Psalm 110 and Daniel 7 in Mt 26:64 and Mk 14:62. The heavenly vision of Christ shown to Stephen at his martyrdom (Acts 7:55–56) probably reflects a combination of Psalm 110 and Daniel 7.

Engelbrecht, E. A. (2009). The Lutheran Study Bible (p. 1411). St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House.
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EOTV4:P: 7:1–28: God Shows Daniel in a Dream a Succession of Kingdoms, Followed by the Kingdom of God and His ‘Holy Ones’
The humanness of this figure contrasts with the beastliness of the first four kingdoms. Similarly, the ‘sea’ out of which the beasts come is a symbol of Chaos, in the mythological language that the Old Testament sometimes borrows (cf. Pss 46:2 [3]; 93:3–4; Isa. 17:12; Gen. 1:2). This sea-chaos symbolizes opposition to God’s created order (vv. 2–3). The human figure, in contrast, comes ‘with the clouds of heaven’ (v. 13). Clouds also symbolize the presence of God and the heavenly realm elsewhere (Exod. 13:21, and other ‘pillar of cloud’ passages in Exodus and Numbers; Ezek. 1:4, 28; Isa. 19:1). Like Adam, this human figure receives authority under God (cf. Gen. 1:26, 28, and Goldingay 1989, p. 168).

McConville, G. (2002). Exploring the Old Testament: The Prophets (Vol. 4, p. 119). London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.
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EOTV4:P: 7:1–28: God Shows Daniel in a Dream a Succession of Kingdoms, Followed by the Kingdom of God and His ‘Holy Ones’
In this scene, the ‘Ancient One’ (or ‘Ancient of Days’) is a way of speaking of God, who is God in long ages past and future (Ps. 41:13 [14]; 93:2). The image of a wheeled throne is like the vision of God in Ezekiel 1. Fire symbolizes God’s presence (Exod. 24:17; Deut. 4:11). Images of God enthroned and surrounded by heavenly beings are usually set in heaven (as in Job 1; 1 Kgs 22; Ps. 82:1), but this scene seems to be on earth, where the visions of the beasts are set. In the judgement, the last ‘horn’ of the fourth beast is destroyed (v. 11).

McConville, G. (2002). Exploring the Old Testament: The Prophets (Vol. 4, p. 119). London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.
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OTA: The Text in Its Ancient Context
The contrast between the four beasts and the one like a human develops further a dichotomy explored already in Daniel 4. The beasts are monstrous, defying created categories of order. Daniel first sees a beast like a lion with eagle’s wings, which appears to represent the Babylonian Empire. Echoing Nebuchadnezzar’s debasement and restoration of reason in Daniel 4, its wings are removed and it receives a human heart (7:4). The second beast, like a bear, may represent the Median kingdom; it is portrayed with ribs between its teeth and receives the command to feast on flesh (7:5). The third beast, representing the Persian Empire, is like a leopard with four wings and four heads; its mobility and gaze thus extend toward the four corners of the earth (7:6). The fourth beast, representing the Hellenistic Empires, is mutated more than all the beasts before it; with iron teeth, it eats and crushes; its feet smash what remains (7:7). Its ten horns embody the might and treachery of its kings; it has a mouth for boasting and eyes like a human’s (7:8). In each case, form mirrors ontology: predatory and mixed forms convey the violence of imperial rule, while quasi-human faculties of reason, sight, and speech call attention to empire’s distorting logic. After the body of the fourth beast is destroyed, sovereignty is given to one like a human. This human form gives bodily expression to the humane rule of the kingdom of the people of the holy ones of the Most High and links that rule with the angels, who, throughout the latter half of Daniel, are also described as sharing visible likeness to humankind.

Dempsey, C. J., Sweeney, M. A., Franke, C. A., Murphy, K. J., Bailey, W. A., Carvalho, C. L., … Coggins, R. J. (2014). Themes and Perspectives in the Prophets: Truth, Tragedy, Trauma. In G. A. Yee, H. R. Page Jr., & M. J. M. Coomber (Eds.), The Old Testament and Apocrypha (p. 814). Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press.
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Tags: Da 7:1–28
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OTA: The Text in Contemporary Discussion
For the writers of Daniel, the Seleucid Empire seduced, devoured, and exploited its subjects. For the seer of Revelation, it was Rome. In looking for the modern-day analogue to these ancient empires, American scholars have often pointed to the United States (Horsley). Yet political philosophers Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri contend that the role of empire no longer belongs to colonizing or occupying nation-states. In today’s global economy, transnational corporations and the economic systems that support their practices of exploitation and segmentation are the new empire.
Readers of Daniel 7 in the twenty-first century must analyze not only ancient text but also modern context. What is the nature of the political and economic systems in which we participate? Do they destroy and devour, seduce, and exploit, or do they enact justice for humankind and for the earth?

Dempsey, C. J., Sweeney, M. A., Franke, C. A., Murphy, K. J., Bailey, W. A., Carvalho, C. L., … Coggins, R. J. (2014). Themes and Perspectives in the Prophets: Truth, Tragedy, Trauma. In G. A. Yee, H. R. Page Jr., & M. J. M. Coomber (Eds.), The Old Testament and Apocrypha (p. 815). Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press.
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Tags: Da 7:1–28
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IVPBBCOT: 7:1-28: Vision of the Four Beasts
7:9. Ancient of Days. In Canaanite mythology the head of the pantheon is El, an aged deity addressed by the title “father of years.” In the Mesopotamian Anzu Myth the ancient one is a goddess, Mami, whose son defeats the monster (Anzu) and is granted dominion.
7:9. throne with wheels. A wheeled throne flaming with fire is also described in Ezekiel’s throne vision (Ezek 1, 10). The prototypes of wheeled thrones go back to the end of the third millennium as pictured on cylinder seals. These were simply chariots or carts used for processions for the image of the deity. Some seal impressions even picture composite creatures drawing the vehicle. Continued use of thrones with wheels can be seen in reliefs down into the ninth and eighth centuries.
7:10. books opened. Every royal court in the ancient world kept records of day-to-day activities and detailed accounts of the events that transpired. The actions of the beast/king would have been logged, and that record is now brought out to provide evidence as he is brought before the divine court for judgment.

Matthews, V. H., Chavalas, M. W., & Walton, J. H. (2000). The IVP Bible background commentary: Old Testament (electronic ed., Da 7:9–10). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
Tags: Da 7:9–10
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IVPBBCOT: 7:1-28: Vision of the Four Beasts
7:13–14. son of man. The phrase “son of man” is simply a common Semitic expression to describe someone or something as human or, at least, humanlike. In Israelite theology, Yahweh is the high God and also is portrayed as the rider on the clouds. In Canaanite mythology, the roles described here are filled by the god El, the high god of great age (see comment on 7:9) and his son, Baal, the rider on the clouds. In one of the Baal myths, Yamm, who represents the chaos of the sea, is defeated, and Baal is declared king and granted everlasting dominion. In the cosmic conflict myths of Mesopotamia (such as Enuma Elish or the Anzu Myth) a deity (Marduk and Ninurta respectively) defeats the threatening chaos and regains authority and dominion for the gods and for himself. Daniel has been trained in such literature, and his revelations build on that familiarity, though the common motifs are entirely repackaged. Intertestamental literature such as the book of 1 Enoch as well as New Testament and early Christian literature identifies the son of man with the Messiah.

Matthews, V. H., Chavalas, M. W., & Walton, J. H. (2000). The IVP Bible background commentary: Old Testament (electronic ed., Da 7:13–14). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
Tags: Da 7:13–14
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SSOTILCWSB: The Text—Daniel 7:9, 10
Daniel’s vision in chapter 7 is a flashback from the Persian period (Cyrus took Babylon in 539 B.C.) to the Babylonian period, during the first year of Belshazzar’s reign, perhaps 553 B.C. Belshazzar was really the second ruler, co-regent with his father Nabonidus, who spent most of his time with the army in the west. God gave Daniel that vision to announce again his absolute rule over all the world—bad news for unbelievers, who were subject to his judgment, but good news to the faithful, who were promised a share in the coming righteous kingdom.
The vision of the four beasts from the sea (the stormy Middle East, not the Mediterranean) expands on the dream which God gave to Nebuchadnezzar of the statue of four metals described in chapter 2. The Neo-Babylonian Empire is characterized by the regal and dangerous lion, made swift by the addition of eagle wings (the winged lion was a Babylonian symbol). The Medo-Persian Empire is pictured with a bear’s strength, gnawing on the meaty bones of its three greatest conquests: Lydia, Egypt, and Babylon. Alexander’s kingdom is represented as a leopard, fast and deadly, with four wings and heads (the generals who divided up the enormous kingdom when Alexander died). Rome is described as an unnamed beast, the most frightening of all, crushing and eating its victims.

Wendland, E. H. (Ed.). (1984). Sermon Studies on the Old Testament (ILCW Series B) (pp. 382–383). Milwaukee, WI: Northwestern Publishing House.
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SSOTILCWSB: The Text—Daniel 7:9, 10
At the outset we should remember that Daniel was not seeing an actual, literal representation of what God’s throne looked like. The same cautions with which the exegete works in reading St. John’s Revelation certainly apply here. Visions are intended to be rich in symbolism. Interpretation of every detail is not as important as recognizing the point which the visions are to make. It is a mistake, for instance, to belabor the interpretation of the ten horns of the fourth beast, trying to identify which Roman emperors are the ten.

Wendland, E. H. (Ed.). (1984). Sermon Studies on the Old Testament (ILCW Series B) (pp. 383–384). Milwaukee, WI: Northwestern Publishing House.
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NIVAC Da: Heavenly Power (7:9–14)
In essence, we have gone up the chain of being. Evil human kingdoms were described as horrifying hybrid animals; the divine realm is imaged as human beings. The association is perfectly appropriate in a broader biblical view because, after all, Genesis 1:27 tells us that God created men and women in his own image.

Longman, T., III. (1999). Daniel (p. 186). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.
Tags: Da 7:9–14
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NIVAC Da: Heavenly Power (7:9–14)
The first figure is called the “Ancient of Days.” He is God, specifically in his role as judge. As such, he is imaged as an old and presumably wise human judge sitting in his courtroom. The second figure, “one like a son of man,” is more startling in his Old Testament context. He is riding the cloud chariot, which is the prerogative of God alone.

Longman, T., III. (1999). Daniel (pp. 186–187). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.
Tags: Da 7:9–14
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NIVAC Da: Heavenly Power (7:9–14)
Like the image of the sea, the image of the cloud rider is an ancient one by the time we come to Daniel 7:13. Cloud imagery associated with the Lord’s appearance is as old as the Exodus and the pillar of cloud by day and the fire by night (Ex. 13:21). During the climactic theophany on Sinai, the mountain was covered by a cloud (19:16). In the tabernacle, God appeared in the cloud that was present in the Most Holy Place (Lev. 16:2).
We learn of the vehicular cloud, however, in the Psalms and Prophets. God is the cloud rider in Psalm 68:4:
Sing to God, sing praise to his name,
extol him who rides on the clouds—
his name is the LORD—
and rejoice before him.
In Psalm 104:3–4 we read:
He makes the clouds his chariot
and rides on the wings of the wind.
He makes winds his messengers,
flames of fire his servants.
The Old Testament prophets also use the cloud-riding image in clear judgment/war contexts. Note Isaiah 19:1 and Nahum 1:3:
See, the LORD rides on a swift cloud
and is coming to Egypt.
The idols of Egypt tremble before him,
and the hearts of the Egyptians melt within them.
The LORD is slow to anger and great in power;
the LORD will not leave the guilty unpunished.
His way is in the whirlwind and the storm,
and clouds are the dust of his feet.
Like the sea image, the motif of God riding clouds also has an ancient Near Eastern background. This connection may be most closely observed in the literature from Ugarit. Baal, the chief deity and primary divine warrior of that culture, is often called the “Rider on the Clouds.” Indeed it is one of his most common epithets:
“Hearken, O Puissant Baal:
Give heed, O Rider on the Clouds.”23
This example could be multiplied many times. Baal was the god of the thunderstorm in the Ugaritic pantheon. His cloud-riding was appropriate to his function.
Thus, Daniel 7:1–14 presents the reader with two image clusters. On the one hand, we have four beasts and horns, which represent depraved human kingdoms; on the other hand, we see two human figures, the Ancient of Days and one like a son of man, who image the divine realm. The identity of the “one like a son of man” has been a difficult one through the history of interpretation. We will reserve discussion of this critical issue for the section on Contemporary Significance.
The vision is more than descriptive of these two realms: human evil and divine judgment. It also narrates a conflict between the two, with a certain and clear conclusion. “The beast,” presumably the boastful horn, was destroyed, while the one like the son of man was exalted and given an eternal kingdom. In a word, though human evil thrives in the present, God is in control and will have the final victory. The implicit message to God’s people is: “Remain faithful in spite of appearances.” The interpretation of the vision that follows bears this message out.

Longman, T., III. (1999). Daniel (pp. 187–188). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.
Tags: Da 7:9–14
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Daniel (NAC): (7) The Destruction of the Fourth Beast (7:9–12)
There is a startling contrast here. In vv. 7–8 the Antichrist is blaspheming the God of heaven, but in vv. 9–10 the sovereign Lord is shown sitting upon his throne, calmly preparing for the day of judgment. Whitcomb comments: “A greater contrast between two connecting verses can hardly be imagined.”42 Montgomery observes that “the scene of the Divine Session with the coming of the Son of Man is appropriately sublime, one which has no equal among the other apocalypses for simplicity and reserve.”43

Miller, S. R. (1994). Daniel (Vol. 18, p. 204). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.
Tags: Da 7:9–12
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Daniel (NAC): (7) The Destruction of the Fourth Beast (7:9–12)
7:9 An awesome scene is now unfolded before Daniel’s eyes as the “Ancient of Days” (the eternal God) takes his seat upon the throne and exercises his prerogative as the great Judge (or Chief Justice) of the universe. Young thinks that the other “thrones … set in place” are for angels,44 but they are more appropriately understood to be for the saints. Identical symbolism in Rev 20:4 seems to remove any doubt that believers will sit upon these thrones, and other Scripture passages teach that the saints will in some manner participate in the judgment (cf. Luke 22:30; 1 Cor 6:2; Rev 3:21).45

Miller, S. R. (1994). Daniel (Vol. 18, p. 204). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.
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Daniel (NAC): (7) The Destruction of the Fourth Beast (7:9–12)
Clothing worn by the “Ancient of Days” was “white as snow,” symbolizing the absolute moral purity (cf. Isa 1:18; Rev 1:14) of the divine Judge. Holy angels always appear in white garments as well. God is holy, and because he is holy, he judges sin. In this context it is primarily the sin of the evil empire and its leader that is under consideration.

Miller, S. R. (1994). Daniel (Vol. 18, p. 204). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.
Tags: Da 7:9
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Daniel (NAC): (7) The Destruction of the Fourth Beast (7:9–12)
In Scripture “the books” are symbolic of God’s memory of the deeds, words, and thoughts of every person who has ever lived (cf. Exod 32:32; Dan 12:1; Luke 10:20; Rev 20:12). A frightening scene is set forth here. Someday “the books” will be opened, and each individual will be judged according to what is written in them. Of course, one’s eternal destiny will be determined by whether one’s name is written in “the book of life” (cf. Dan 12:1; Rev 20:12, 15). After this is established, the reward of the believer or the degree of punishment for the lost will be fixed by what is inscribed in the record books.

Miller, S. R. (1994). Daniel (Vol. 18, p. 205). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.
Tags: Da 7:10
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Daniel (NAC): (8) The Kingdom of God (7:13–14)
Third, only one person may properly be identified as the “son of man,” and that person is Jesus Christ as the New Testament apostles and Christ himself confirmed.

Miller, S. R. (1994). Daniel (Vol. 18, p. 209). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.
Tags: Da 7:14
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Daniel (NAC): (8) The Kingdom of God (7:13–14)
Another important truth is set forth in this passage. Two persons are clearly distinguished in vv. 13–14, the “son of man” and the “Ancient of Days.” If the “son of man” is Christ, then the “Ancient of Days,” who is also deity, must be God the Father. Here then is an Old Testament glimpse of the plurality of persons in the Godhead. The Son is presented to the Ancient of Days that he might receive his Father’s gift, namely, a universal kingdom (cf. Ps 2:6–9).

Miller, S. R. (1994). Daniel (Vol. 18, p. 210). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.
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NBC: 7:1–14 Four Beasts, One Man
Ch. 7 both introduces the second half of the book and links its two sections together

Ferguson, S. B. (1994). Daniel. In D. A. Carson, R. T. France, J. A. Motyer, & G. J. Wenham (Eds.), New Bible commentary: 21st century edition (4th ed., p. 756). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press.
Tags: Da 7:1–14
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NBC: 7:1–14 Four Beasts, One Man
In content the vision in this chapter is reminiscent of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in ch. 2. There, however, the focus was on the successive powerful kingdoms which stood against the kingdom of God but were ultimately overpowered by it; here it is on the depravity but short-lived character of those kingdoms (represented by bestial figures) by comparison with the everlasting kingdom of God.

Ferguson, S. B. (1994). Daniel. In D. A. Carson, R. T. France, J. A. Motyer, & G. J. Wenham (Eds.), New Bible commentary: 21st century edition (4th ed., p. 756). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press.
Tags: Da 7:1–14
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ECB: A. The Vision (7:1–14)
The fourth and most terrifying is the beast which oppresses kingdoms. It has ten horns, from which comes another horn uprooting three of the original horns. This horn looks like a human face and is full of pride. After the fall of Rome kingdoms continued to rise and fall. These kingdoms are symbolized by the ten horns. Ten is a symbol of completion and need not be limited to a future kingdom consisting of “ten” nations, which some call a revival of the Roman Empire. This kingdom is to be more powerful, extensive, despotic, and awe-inspiring than the previous kingdoms.
Suddenly there arises “another horn, a little one” (v. 8). This little horn comes naturally from the other horns, but uproots three of the first horns in the process. It has the eyes of a man and a mouth that speaks boastfully (v. 20).

VanGemeren, W. A. (1995). Daniel. In Evangelical Commentary on the Bible (Vol. 3, p. 596). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.
Tags: Da 7:1–14
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CBC Eze, Da: Notes
the books were opened. In the Babylonian creation story, at an assembly of the gods (cf. 7:9), the destinies of everything are decreed and written on tablets (the Tablets of Destiny; COS 1.111, II.43, 160–163). Some helpful parallels to this scene are found in 1 Enoch 14:18–23 (Collins 1993:299–301). In Daniel, books are opened before the “Ancient One,” surrounded by his holy angels.

Carpenter, E. (2010). Daniel. In P. W. Comfort (Ed.), Cornerstone Biblical Commentary: Ezekiel & Daniel (Vol. 9, p. 396). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.
Tags: Da 7:10
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CBC Eze, Da: Commentary
The third beast (7:6) possessed speed, as indicated by its wings and leopardlike appearance. Habakkuk used the leopard as a symbol of speed and swiftness (Hab 1:8, NLT mg). The wings on its back emphasize its great speed and mobility. This type of imagery indicates the nature of the kings and armies involved; Alexander was still planning further conquests and organizing an empire just before he died; he had forced his army on endless marches eastward. He had desired a positive oracle for his Persian crusade and had forced one out of the Pythia (high priestess) at Delphi. She proclaimed that he was “invincible,” and he used this word as one of his regular titles for himself (Green 2007:7, 14). Speedy army marches were the pride of ancient kings and generals. The Assyrian King Sargon II (722–705 BC) had bragged about how he made all of the contingents of his military move with great speed over the land (ANET 286). V. Hanson says of Alexander’s army, “No army before or after was so finely organized and so independent of lengthy support trains and camp followers. Yet to support Alexander’s army for a single day—infantry, cavalry, support troops, baggage and pack animals—over 250 tons of grain and forage alone were required, and over 70,000 gallons of water” (1999:177). The number four is significant in the identification of this beast; chapter 8 helps to narrow down the possibilities (8:5, 21). Based on history and the symbolic fourfold features of this beast, it appears to represent the Greek kingdom under its first and most famous king, Alexander the Great, and his four successors (he is mentioned more clearly in 11:3).

Carpenter, E. (2010). Daniel. In P. W. Comfort (Ed.), Cornerstone Biblical Commentary: Ezekiel & Daniel (Vol. 9, pp. 399–400). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.
Tags: Da 7:1–14
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CBC Eze, Da: Commentary
In a brief life span of 33 years, Alexander traveled and conquered the world from Macedonia to the Indus River in India and back to Babylon, where he died. He left no capable offspring to inherit his throne; thus, his relatives, officials, generals, and others all vied for position, eventually engaging in the “wars of the diadochi (successors)” (V. Hanson 1999:323–381). By 305 BC, and after numerous political and military intrigues and battles, four divisions of Alexander’s kingdom emerged, each with its own “head”: Cassander in the west, Lysimachus in the east, Seleucus in the north, and Ptolemy in the south (cf. Green 2007:34–38; V. Hanson 1999:323–381; Lucas 2009:557; Shipley 2000:33–59). The imagery regarding this kingdom will be more fully developed in chapters 8 and 11 (see commentary there).

Carpenter, E. (2010). Daniel. In P. W. Comfort (Ed.), Cornerstone Biblical Commentary: Ezekiel & Daniel (Vol. 9, p. 400). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.
Tags: Da 7:1–14
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LBD: Chaos
CHAOS Describes the state of disorder that would exist in the absence of a divinely imposed order on the cosmos. In biblical and ancient Near Eastern literature, the supreme gods brought order to the universe and subdued the forces of chaos. The chaotic unpredictability and latent threat of the sea (ים, ym) resulted in its coming to represent these forces of chaos in ancient literature such as the Baal Cycle, where one of Baal’s main conflicts is a battle against the god of the sea, Yamm (the same Semitic word as the Hebrew for sea, yam). Baal’s eventual victory symbolizes the triumph of order over chaos. In addition to the sea itself, chaos could be represented as a great sea serpent or dragon (תנין, tnyn), variously known as Leviathan, Rahab, or Tiamat. In the Mesopotamian creation epic Enuma Elish, the god Marduk defeats the great sea monster Tiamat. The German word Chaoskampf, meaning “battle against chaos,” is often used as a technical term in biblical scholarship to refer to this story pattern of a deity battling the forces of chaos, either in the form of the sea or a sea monster.

Barry, J. D., Bomar, D., Brown, D. R., Klippenstein, R., Mangum, D., Sinclair Wolcott, C., … Widder, W. (Eds.). (2016). Chaos. In The Lexham Bible Dictionary. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
Tags: Chaos
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NIVAC Da: Divine Victory (7:15–28)
The best way to view the imagery of Daniel 7 is not in terms of four specific evil empires, but as four kingdoms symbolically representing the fact that evil kingdoms (of an unspecified number)27 will succeed one another from the time of the Exile to the time of the climax of history, when God will intervene and once and for all judge all evil and bring into existence his kingdom.

Longman, T., III. (1999). Daniel (p. 190). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.
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RSB:ESV2015E: Chapter 7
7:3 four great beasts. These four “beasts” may represent four kingdoms (vv. 17, 23) or, like the four winds of heaven (v. 2), they may represent all future kingdoms. The identification here corresponds closely to the four kingdoms of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in ch. 2.

Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2015). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (2015 Edition) (p. 1477). Orlando, FL: Reformation Trust.
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Tags: Da 7:3
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RSB:ESV2015E: Chapter 7
great sea. The sea is a common figure for the restlessness and dangerous turmoil of sinful men and nations (see v. 17; cf. Is. 17:12, 13; 57:20). It is also the home of evil monsters such as Leviathan (Ps. 74:13, 14).

Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2015). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (2015 Edition) (p. 1477). Orlando, FL: Reformation Trust.
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Tags: Da 7:2
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RSB:ESV2015E: Chapter 2
The four kingdoms have been widely understood since the Jewish historian Josephus (writing in the first century A.D.) to be the empires of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. Others understand them to be Babylon, Media, Persia, and Greece, a sequence in agreement with the liberal critical view that the book was written during the period of Greek ascendancy in the Middle East. Darius’s appeal to the single “law of the Medes and Persians” (6:12; cf. 5:28) agrees with the first order of empires.
The only certain identification between the portions of the image and specific world empires is Nebuchadnezzar (Babylon) as the head of gold. It is plausible that four represents completeness here: rather than seeking to describe particular kingdoms, the sequence describes the consistent downward trend in world history, not toward greater glory and unity but toward greater dishonor and chaos until the kingdom of God arrives on earth and fills it with its glory. The rock that crushes all of the kingdoms of this world is Christ (Luke 20:18). He is the mystery of the ages, the One in whom God will unite all things in His glorious kingdom (Eph. 1:9, 10).

Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2015). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (2015 Edition) (p. 1468). Orlando, FL: Reformation Trust.
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Tags: Da 2:37–40
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ECB: 7 The Rise and Fall of the Four Beasts
Scholars generally agree that the lionlike beast represents Babylon, but they variously identify the ravenous bear, four-headed leopard, and iron-toothed, multi-horned anomaly. The most widely adopted suggestions include their successive equation with the Medo-Persian Empire, Greece, and Rome (favored by an early dating of Daniel), or Media, Persia, and Greece (favored by a late dating of the book). Following the early dating, the leopard stands for the Greek Empire, split between Alexander the Great’s four generals after his death, and the “little horn” stands for the Roman emperor Nero, infamous for his brutal persecution of Christians. For others, the antichrist of Revelation embodies the double fulfillment of the prophecy applied to Nero. With the late dating, the boastful, 11th horn of the fourth beast represents Greece’s Antiochus IV, whose desecration of the second temple in Jerusalem sparked the Jewish “Maccabean” revolt in the 2nd century.

Fee, G. D., & Hubbard, R. L., Jr. (Eds.). (2011). The Eerdmans Companion to the Bible (p. 448). Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.
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ECB: 7 The Rise and Fall of the Four Beasts
The appearance of the “Ancient of Days” (God), seated on a chariot-throne (cf. Ezekiel 1, 10), inaugurates judgment day for the beasts (v. 9; cf. Rev. 1:14). The court session commences with the opening of “the books,” which record earthly deeds (v. 10; cf. Rev. 20:12). The multihorned beast suffers immediate death and destruction. Its reign of terror over the “saints” lasts “a time, times, and half a time,” which some take to mean “a year, [plus two] years, [plus] half a year,” that is, three and a half years (v. 25; cf. Rev. 12:14; but see 4:16, 25, 32, where “time” means an unspecified period). The intent of the boastful horn to “make war with the holy ones” illustrates its lust for divine status. The other beasts lose their power but receive a stay of execution (v. 12; cf. vv. 25–26). The imagery in Revelation 13 derives from this chapter. A humanlike being (“son of man”), who comes “with the clouds” (symbol of God’s presence), receives from the Ancient of Days everlasting dominion over an eternal kingdom, which succeeds and subsumes the dominions of the deposed beasts (vv. 18, 27; cf. 2:34–35, 44–45).

Fee, G. D., & Hubbard, R. L., Jr. (Eds.). (2011). The Eerdmans Companion to the Bible (p. 448). Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.
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CSB Study Bible: Notes: Chapter 7
A little … horn represents a king who starts small in power but becomes dominant. The little horn’s eyes like the eyes of a human indicates its shrewdness and its mouth that was speaking arrogantly points to its boasting blasphemously against God (cp. v. 25). This little horn is a future world ruler whom Scripture also calls “the coming ruler” (9:26); the king who “will do whatever he wants” (11:36); “the man of lawlessness,” “the man doomed to destruction” (2Th 2:3); “the beast” (Rv 13:1–10); and the “antichrist” (1Jn 2:18).

Rydelnik, M. (2017). Daniel. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1338). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
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Tags: Da 7:8
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LSBN: Chapter 7
Readers should be cautious about unequivocally linking representations in Daniel’s visions with specific rulers; they might represent a succession of rulers for a particular kingdom. Because kings of Babylon (1:1), Media and Persia (5:31; 8:20; 10:1), and Greece (8:21) are mentioned in Dn, the first three beasts may be associated with these kingdoms.

Engelbrecht, E. A. (2009). The Lutheran Study Bible (p. 1412). St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House.
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LSBN: Chapter 7
ten horns … ten kings. Rather than representing specific rulers, the number may be symbolic of the kingdom’s greatness. See p 217. another shall arise. The little horn (vv 8, 20). put down three kings. The little horn will defeat three kings or kingdoms. See note, v 17.

Engelbrecht, E. A. (2009). The Lutheran Study Bible (p. 1412). St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House.
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Tags: Da 7:24
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SFLSB: Chapter 7
Although details of Daniel’s dream are at times difficult to interpret, the main emphasis is clear: history will continue to be filled with turmoil. Yet God, who is the Lord of international politics, will still be involved, until He makes a final intervention. Furthermore, His faithful shall continue to survive during, and at times be delivered from, pressure.

Hayford, J. W. (Ed.). (1997). Spirit filled life study Bible (electronic ed., Da 7:1). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.
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Tags: Da 7:1
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SFLSB: Chapter 7
Daniel’s dream would have been about 550 B.C. This would have been some 10 years before the events of ch. 5.
7:4 As with the kingdoms of the great image of ch. 2, the identity of the kingdoms represented by the various beasts is difficult. It is generally agreed that they represent three successive kingdoms. The main interpretations are that the lion represents Babylon, the bear represents either Media or the Medo-Persian Empire, and the leopard represents either Persia or Greece.
7:7 The interpretation of the fourth beast depends on one’s interpretation of the previous three. If the third beast represents Persia, this is Greece; if it represents Greece, this is Rome. Ten horns symbolize an unspecified and yet complete number of kings within the fourth kingdom.
7:8 God’s sovereignty over kings is seen in His plucking out three of the first horns. Dispensational interpretation sees the fourth kingdom as Rome with another horn generally being regarded as its Caesars.
EDITORIAL NOTE: Classical interpretation sees the fourth kingdom and another horn as representing Greece and Antiochus Epiphanes.
In either case, this little one clearly embodies the antichrist spirit and becomes an archetype of the Antichrist of the Book of Revelation (see vv. 21-27).

Hayford, J. W. (Ed.). (1997). Spirit filled life study Bible (electronic ed., Da 7:1–8). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.
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Tags: Da 7:1–8
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SFLSB: Chapter 7
Classical interpretation does not associate the “time and times and half a time” with a literal three-and-one-half-year period. Rather, it views it as representing an indefinite, divinely controlled time period. In referring to Antiochus Epiphanes, it indicates his destructive time will end when God so deems. The same is true with reference to the final ploys of the Antichrist.

Hayford, J. W. (Ed.). (1997). Spirit filled life study Bible (electronic ed., Da 7:25). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.
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Tags: Da 7:25
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FW:PRCL:YCV4: Theological Perspective
While the setting of Daniel is the exile, that time period is too early for the book in its present form. Even if some sections were handed down from tales of court conflict in the exilic period, the final shaping of the book was almost certainly around 169 BCE. Daniel 7, written in Aramaic, borrows the four kingdom motifs found in chapter 2. It is an encouragement to the saints of God to be faithful in all adversity.

Spinks, B. (2010). Theological Perspective. In D. L. Bartlett & B. B. Taylor (Eds.), Feasting on the Word: Preaching the Revised Common Lectionary: Year C (Vol. 4, p. 218). Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press.
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Tags: Theological Perspective
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FW:PRCL:YCV4: Theological Perspective
The vision is of a great sea, churned by the winds of heaven, out of which come four huge beasts. This recalls the opening of Genesis, when a mighty wind swept over the face of the deep, which was part of the abyss, on the verge of chaos. Even when tamed by the creating and ordering word of God, the sea was the home to countless living creatures, including the monsters Leviathan and Rahab. No wonder, therefore, that with the churning of the deep, other monsters are found to lurk within.

Spinks, B. (2010). Theological Perspective. In D. L. Bartlett & B. B. Taylor (Eds.), Feasting on the Word: Preaching the Revised Common Lectionary: Year C (Vol. 4, p. 218). Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press.
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Tags: Theological Perspective
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FW:PRCL:YCV4: Theological Perspective
The four that rise to make their appearance in this vision are hideous and unnatural in form; for the prophet they represent hideous dynasties that have tried and still try to usurp the kingdom of God. In this case they probably represent the Neo-Babylonian, Median, Persian, and Greek empires and their rulers. Such monsters still arise periodically on the stage of history, always wreaking devastation and destruction in their attempts to become the only kingdom of the whole earth. The devastation of World War II and the Holocaust provides obvious examples, but countless more recent perpetrators of barbarism and wickedness across the globe could easily be listed.
This fact is a reminder also of the monsters and beasts that often lurk within, in the deep psyche of humankind, where they can often lead to disturbed minds and self-destruction. At certain times and under certain circumstances, they tip over, emerging under the guise of political and religious leadership and bringing destruction across the world. In such situations the saints of God are sorely tested, both on account of the general injustices that prevail and because of their own persecution. In the context of World War II, the Confessing Church and Dietrich Bonhoeffer bear witness to what may be needed.

Spinks, B. (2010). Theological Perspective. In D. L. Bartlett & B. B. Taylor (Eds.), Feasting on the Word: Preaching the Revised Common Lectionary: Year C (Vol. 4, p. 220). Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press.
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FW:PRCL:YCV4: Theological Perspective
The power given to the saints of God is, of course, quite different from the power of the “beasts” of history. The church (when it is really being church and not trying to be a kingdom) does not depend on force, and in fact renounces the sword. It has no iron teeth or metal claws. All it has is a mouth that announces the promise of the gospel and God’s reign. In the ebb and flow of human history, with the many outrages that are perpetrated against humankind, it is easy to become disillusioned and give up all hope.
The saints of God are to take heart. The victory of God’s kingdom is not in doubt, and this has been sealed and settled in the death and resurrection of the Son of God. That event is God’s declaration that there are ultimate standards in the universe of right and wrong, good and bad, justice and injustice. The horrendous evils perpetrated by hideous beasts have no legitimate place in creation and will certainly have no place in the new creation. The resurrection of the Son is God’s ultimate stand against all evil and his condemnation of it.
The saints will still experience the testing of faith. There will still be martyrs, but they, and we, shall be part of that whole company of heaven who will forever sing the praises of God, in the thrice holy chant of the seraphim: “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns” (Rev. 19:6b). The Bride is clothed with fine linen, which “is the righteous deeds of the saints” (Rev. 19:8b).

Spinks, B. (2010). Theological Perspective. In D. L. Bartlett & B. B. Taylor (Eds.), Feasting on the Word: Preaching the Revised Common Lectionary: Year C (Vol. 4, p. 222). Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press.
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FSB: Introduction to Daniel
The book of Daniel gives comfort to those who are oppressed and dealing with tragedies.

Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
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FSB: Introduction to Daniel
The book of Daniel is set during the Babylonian exile (Dan 1:1–3). When King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon defeated the Egyptians at the battle of Carchemish (605 BC), Judah came under his authority. He then entered Jerusalem and took many prominent citizens to Babylon, including Daniel and three of his friends. Several years later, Nebuchadnezzar again deported people from Judah to Babylon (597 BC; see 2 Kgs 24:11–16). These captives included the prophet Ezekiel. A decade after that, a final rebellion by King Zedekiah brought the full weight of Nebuchadnezzar’s wrath against Judah. Jerusalem and its temple were destroyed, and the remaining population was taken to Babylon (586 BC; see 2 Kgs 24:18–25:21). Daniel spent his entire adult life in Babylon—even after the Babylonians were conquered by the Persians in 539 BC (Dan 1:21; 10:1).

Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
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FSB: Introduction to Daniel
The date of the book of Daniel’s composition is debated, with some arguing for a sixth-century BC date and others arguing for a date as late as the second century BC. It could be that Daniel recorded at least the visions in the latter half of the book (which are narrated in the first person) in the sixth century BC and the complete book did not reach its current form until much later. Reasons often given for the later date include the book’s language and its detailed account of events that occurred in the second century.

Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
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FSB: Introduction to Daniel
Overall, Daniel teaches us to persevere. It teaches us to refuse to let the world’s stories distract us from the story that God is telling. We are to resist the empire that wants us to think that actions like praying and showing integrity are insignificant; when in reality these actions provide opportunities for God’s power to break through.

Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
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FSB: Introduction to Daniel
Outline
•Daniel’s experiences in Babylon (Dan 1:1–6:28)
•Daniel’s visions of future events (Dan 7:1–12:13)

Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
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LBD: Outline of Daniel
Outline of Daniel
The book begins with a series of separate stories:
•Ch. 1—Daniel and three colleagues are exiled to Babylon and refuse to eat food sacrificed to idols
•Ch. 2—Daniel interprets Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of a statue composed of four metals
•Ch. 3—Three men resist worshiping an idol and are thrown into the fiery furnace
•Ch. 4—Nebuchadnezzar has a dream and is humbled
•Ch. 5—King Belshazzar gives a feast at which a hand writes on the wall
•Ch. 6—Daniel is rescued from Darius’ lions
A series of visions and interpretations are then recounted:
•Ch. 7—Daniel has a vision of four monstrous beasts
•Ch. 8—Daniel has a vision concerning history
•Ch. 9—Daniel prays for restoration and receives a dream interpreting Jeremiah’s 70 years
•Chs. 10–12—Daniel fasts and receives a terrifying vision

Silverman, J. M. (2016). Daniel, Book of. In J. D. Barry, D. Bomar, D. R. Brown, R. Klippenstein, D. Mangum, C. Sinclair Wolcott, … W. Widder (Eds.), The Lexham Bible Dictionary. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
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Tags: Daniel, Book of
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