Category Archives: Daniel

Come Hell or High Water, part 7

“And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness…” (Revelation 12:14)
“And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness…” (Revelation 12:14)

We continue now with our series on Revelation 12, a chapter that is an Exodus narrative in which the Woman is shown fleeing from the error of that proceeds from the mouth of the devil and seeking her place of safety in the wilderness. As we have noted in this series, the Woman of Revelation 12 must have taken her leave sometime between the end of the Diocletianic persecution (313 A.D.) and the rise of Roman Catholicism to the seat of civil power among the fragments of the Roman Empire in the last decade of the 4th century. Continue reading Come Hell or High Water, part 7

Come Hell or High Water, part 5

“And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness…” (Revelation 12:14)
“And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness…” (Revelation 12:14)

We continue this week with our series on the Woman of Revelation 12. As we have maintained thus far, the Flood of Revelation 12 is the sudden irruption of error toward the end of the fourth century, which error in practice became known to the world as Roman Catholicism. The flood that emerged from the Serpent’s mouth was nothing else than the sudden step-wise emergence and nearly universal acceptance of Roman Catholic doctrines beginning at the end of the fourth century. In our pursuit of the Woman of Revelation 12, we seek out those late fourth century saints who resisted the flood of error, and escaped from it. Continue reading Come Hell or High Water, part 5

Come Hell or High Water, part 4

“And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness…” (Revelation 12:14)
“And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness…” (Revelation 12:14)

We continue our series this week on the Woman of Revelation 12, turning our attention now to the Flight of the Woman, the Flood of Error from the Serpent and in particular the Woman’s resistance to the Flood by the Word of God. As we noted in part 2, the Flight, and therefore the Flood, must occur in the period of the Toes of Daniel 2—after the 5th Seal of Revelation 6 is opened but before the Little Horn of Daniel 7 accedes to civil dominion. As we described in Do Not Weep for Nicomedia, the 5th Seal occurred in 311 A.D., and as we described in The Fifth Empire, part 3, Roman Catholicism took up the mantle of civil power in 395 A.D.. The Flight and the Flood occur between those two events. This week, we begin to examine the fledgling resistance movement—the first signs of protest against the emerging Roman leviathan. What we find is a group of godly Christian men who, against all odds, stood on the Scriptures to withstand the Flood of error that proceeded from the mouth of the Serpent. The whole world was swept up in the novelties being introduced at the time, but the Church was not.
Continue reading Come Hell or High Water, part 4

Come Hell or High Water, part 3

“And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness…” (Revelation 12:14)
“And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness…” (Revelation 12:14)

In our previous installments of this series, we addressed the structure of Revelation 12 in which John provides a time frame for the events described, as well as the identity of the Woman and her Man Child as well as the duration of her time in the wilderness (Revelation 12:1-6).  As we noted in part 1, the time frame of the chapter covers the period of the persecution by the Little Horn of Daniel 8 for “time, times, and an half” (Daniel 12:7) through the persecution by the Little Horn of Daniel 7 for “time and times and the dividing of time” (Daniel 7:25). The chapter thus straddles not only the transition of the Woman from National Israel to Ecclesial Israel, but also the transition of world empires from Bronze to Iron to Iron & Clay in the statue of Daniel 2, from Legs to Feet to Toes. In part 2, we showed that the flight of the Woman must therefore occur in the period of the Toes of Daniel 2—after the  5th Seal of Revelation 6 but before the rise of the Little Horn of Daniel 7. Continue reading Come Hell or High Water, part 3

Legs of Iron, part 6

The Scriptures identify the transition from Legs to Feet.
The Scriptures identify the transition from Legs to Feet.

Historically, the church has had very little trouble identifying the time periods of the Gold, Silver, and Brass of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in Daniel 2. The time periods of the Lion, the Bear, and the Leopard are as easily identifiable in Daniel 7, as are those of the Ram and the He-goat in Daniel 8. Those figures represent a series of world empires, each dominating the world in succession—Babylon, Medo-Persia and Greece. Continue reading Legs of Iron, part 6

Legs of Iron, part 5

The Scriptures identify the transition from Legs to Feet.
The Scriptures identify the transition from Legs to Feet.

In this series, we have been discussing the dating of John’s vision on Patmos based on the scriptural evidence. Although Irenæaus seems to place the vision at the end of the first century, other early writers of his era place it before Paul’s epistles and even as early as emperor Claudius, as we discussed in Part 1. While the external testimony is inconsistent and contradictory, we believe the date of the vision can be found based on the internal testimony, especially in light of the Danielic nature of the angelic narrator’s language in Revelation 17:10. Continue reading Legs of Iron, part 5

Legs of Iron, part 4

The Scriptures Identify the transition from Legs to Feet.
The Scriptures Identify the transition from Legs to Feet.

One thing that can be said of Jesus’ and John’s eschatology is that it is certainly Danielic. Jesus refers to Daniel both directly (Matthew 24:15, Mark 13:14) and indirectly (Matthew 21:44, 24:30, 26:64; Mark 13:26, 14:62) when speaking of the immediate and distant future. John’s descriptions of the dragon of Revelation 12, the sea beast of Revelation 13 and the scarlet beast of Revelation 17 are all derivative of the four beasts of Daniel 7. The scene of the throne room of Revelation 4-5 with “ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands” (5:11) surrounding the Lord is clearly resonant of the same scene depicted in Daniel 7:10 where “thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him.” Our eschatology, like Jesus’ and John’s, must be Danielic as well. Continue reading Legs of Iron, part 4

Legs of Iron, part 3

The Scriptures Identify the Transition from Legs to Feet
The Scriptures Identify the Transition from Legs to Feet

In the previous two weeks we have discussed the dating of the book of Revelation based on the internal evidence. As we noted last week, the angelic narrator provides textual cues as to the dating of the book, and three of those cues are found in Revelation 17: the placement of the “scarlet coloured beast” of Revelation 17 chronologically between the red dragon of Revelation 12 and the sea beast of Revelation 13; the description of the beast which “was, and is not; and shall ascend,” and the placement of the vision between the fifth and seventh king of the empire (Revelation 17:10). John’s narrator was clearly providing cues to the dating of the book, and was using Danielic imagery to do it. When understanding Revelation 17 through the lens of Daniel 2, there are only three possible periods during which Revelation could have been written—during the Legs, during the Feet, or during the Toes of the Statue. Last week we ruled out the period of the Toes because the vision takes place when the ten Toes or ten Kings are yet future, and “have received no kingdom as yet” (Revelation 17:12). This week, we will rule out the period of the Feet altogether. Continue reading Legs of Iron, part 3

Legs of Iron, part 2

The Scriptures Identify the Transition from Legs to Feet
The Scriptures identify the transition from Legs to Feet

Last week, we began a discussion on the date of authorship of the book of Revelation, highlighting the angel’s discussion with John regarding the “scarlet coloured beast … having seven heads and ten horns” (Revelation 17:3). That seven-headed, ten-horned beast is a figure used repeatedly in Revelation (Revelation 12:3, 13:1, 17:3), and shows the significant symbolic unity the book shares with Daniel’s prophecies in Daniel 7. The Four Beasts of Daniel 7 together have seven heads and ten horns (1 Lion Head, 1 Bear Head, 4 Leopard Heads, 1 Beast Head with 10 horns upon it). Whatever the differences that exist between the “red dragon” (Revelation 12:3), sea beast (Revelation 13:1) and the “scarlet coloured beast” (Revelation 17:3), they are unified in their symbolic relationship to Daniel 7. Because the beasts of Daniel 7 share a strong chronological unity with Gold, Silver, Brass and Iron kingdoms of Daniel 2, we can also draw on that chronological unity to understand the date of John’s vision.  Continue reading Legs of Iron, part 2

Legs of Iron, part 1

The Scriptures Identify the Transition from Legs to the Feet.
The date of John’s vision is contained in the Scriptures.

The dating of the Book of Revelation has been a matter of no small controversy throughout the history of the church, some writers placing its authorship during the reign of Claudius (41 – 54 A.D.), others placing it during the reign of Nero (54 – 68 A.D.), and others placing it in the reign of Domitian (81 – 96 A.D.). In the realm of eschatology, Preterists choose an early date, while Dispensationalists and Historicists choose the later. It is not a matter that can be resolved by external testimony, because the external testimony itself is contradictory. But the internal evidence is quite compelling. Continue reading Legs of Iron, part 1

“The Kingdom of Earth is at Hand”

Jesus warned us about those who would say, 'The kingdom of earth is at hand!'
Jesus warned us about those who would say, ‘The kingdom of earth is at hand!’

When John the Baptist was sent forth preaching, he went about saying “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 3:2). When Jesus received the news that John had been imprisoned, He took up John’s message and went forth preaching, “Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). When His disciples tried “to make him a king,” Jesus fled from them (John 6:15). When Pilate questioned Him about His kingship, Jesus insisted, “My kingdom is not of this world … my kingdom not from hence” (John 18:36).  When the Pharisees asked him “when the kingdom of God should come” he said, “The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there!” (Luke 17:20-21). When His disciples asked him if He would “at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6), Jesus responded that the time for establishing an Earthly Kingdom was not theirs to know, and instead of seeking to establish an Earthly Kingdom, they should focus rather on the preaching of a Heavenly one: Continue reading “The Kingdom of Earth is at Hand”

Convention of the Angelic Narrators

The two banks of the Tigris River
Daniel’s Narrators were separated for a purpose.

Last week we concluded our analysis of Daniel 11, showing that it is a prophecy that spanned the period from Persia’s confrontation with “the realm of Grecia” and the rise of the Alexander in 336 B.C. (Daniel 11:2-3), until the waning days of his divided empire at the death of Pompey in 48 B.C. (Daniel 11:45). As we noted, the entire prophecy is fulfilled during the Greek period of Daniel’s visions, in a single Alexandrian Frame of Reference in which North, South and East refer to the same respective geographic territories from start to finish, and the “kings” of those cardinal directions are the kings that reign over those respective territories. Under the single frame approach, Daniel 11 ends just four years before Julius Cæsar was declared Dictator perpetuoDictator in Perpetuity, in 44 B.C.. The Empire of Rome had its first “king.” Julius was its first “emperor”—in function if not yet in name. He would be assassinated only two months later, but his descendants and relations would govern the Empire for the greater part of the next century. Continue reading Convention of the Angelic Narrators

The Single Frame Hypothesis

When Daniel 11 is read in a Single Alexandrian Frame of Reference, the Cardinal and Historical discontinuities disappear.
When Daniel 11 is read in a Single Frame of Reference, the cardinal and historical discontinuities disappear.

As our readers are aware, and as we explained in our article, The Shifting Frame, we maintain that Daniel 11 ought to be read in a single frame of reference from start to finish. The commentaries almost universally recognize what we call an Alexandrian Frame of Reference at Daniel 8:8 and 11:4. In those verses, Daniel’s narrators describe post-Alexandrian Hellenism as “four kingdoms” (Daniel 8:22) that are divided “toward the four winds of heaven,” North, South, East and West. For the rest of the chapter, the warring kings and the events related to them are described in terms of these cardinal directions. And yet, no sooner does the narrator of Daniel 11 establish an Alexandrian Frame of Reference at 11:4 than the commentaries introduce a Judæan Frame at 11:5. The reason for the introduction of a Judæan Frame is that the prophecy of a series of interactions between the North and the South—which ought to have been fulfilled between the kings of Asia Minor and Egypt—appears to have been fulfilled by the Seleucids and Ptolemies, ostensibly rulers of Syria and Egypt, respectively. The Judæan Frame, centered as it is on Judæa rather than on Alexander’s empire, is offered as the solution to the dilemma of a cardinal discontinuity that manifests at 11:6. Continue reading The Single Frame Hypothesis

Pirates in the Bay

The promontory of Coracesion, in the Bay of Pamphylia.
The promontory of Coracesium, in the Bay of Pamphylia.

In the last few weeks we have highlighted the significance of the Treaty of Apamea in 188 B.C., by which Rome imposed terms of peace upon Antiochus III after his devastating loss at Magnesia in 190 B.C.. As we noted in “When North was North…“, Asia Minor with Thrace comprised the Northern Kingdom under Lysimachus when Alexander’s empire was divided “toward the four winds of heaven” (Daniel 11:4). The North-South narrative only begins after the Seleucids have already taken the North from Lysimachus, and the Seleucids are then called “King of the North” by Daniel so long as they hold that territory. At Apamea, Rome evicted the Seleucids “from Europe and from all Asia on this side [of the] Taurus” (Polybius, The HistoriesBook 21.17.3), dispossessing them of the Northern territory. Magnesia and the subsequent treaty at Apamea are depicted in Daniel 11:18, and from Daniel 11:19-39 the Seleucids remain in view, but are never again called “King of the North.” This gives rise to two important conclusions: first, Syria is not the Northern Kingdom at 11:6, and second, the title “King of the North” does not attach to the particular dynasty, but rather to whomever happens to be ruling the particular geography. When the Seleucids possess Asia Minor and Thrace, they are “King of the North.” When they are evicted, they are no longer “King of the North.” Continue reading Pirates in the Bay

…and South was South

When Daniel says "King of the South," he is not referring to Egypt alone.
When Daniel says “King of the South,” he is referring not only to Egypt, but also to the territories south of the Taurus mountains.

Over the last few weeks we have addressed the matter of the four kingdoms that arose out of Greece after Alexander’s death in 323 B.C.. As we described in Reduction of the Diadochi, The Bounds of their Habitation, and The Shifting Frame, Asia Minor and Thrace together comprised the Northern Kingdom; Syria, Babylon and beyond, the Eastern. Yet even though the commentaries at Daniel 8:8 and 11:4 almost universally agree that Asia Minor with Thrace comprised the Northern Kingdom in an Alexandrian Frame of Reference, the commentaries just as universally shift to a Judæan Frame at Daniel 11:5. In that shifted frame of reference the “King of the North” in 11:6 is presumed to refer to Syria, which only two verses  earlier had been part of the Eastern Kingdom. No explanation is given for this change of reference except that it appears to make sense of the chapter, and further that the tradition of the shifting frame is to be received as authoritative for its antiquity. It is, after all, an ancient tradition. Continue reading …and South was South

When North was North…

"North" means "North," and "North" is exactly what Daniel meant.
“North” means “North,” and “North” is exactly what Daniel meant.

As we noted last week, the traditional approach to Daniel 11—whether Historicist, Dispensationalist, or Preterist—is to impose multiple frames of reference on the text, and then to interpret the chapter through those additional frames. One frame of reference—the only one explicitly identified in the chapter—is the Alexandrian Frame, centered on Alexander’s divided empire (Daniel 11:4). To this there is then added a Judæan Frame, centered on Israel, and then sometime later an Eschatological Frame, centered on the geographic location of a future antagonist who could be Antiochus IV, Imperial Rome, the Turks or Papal Rome, depending on the interpretation. The text does not so much as even hint at this shifting frame of reference, and yet it has been imposed upon Daniel 11 universally for almost two millennia to make sense of the chapter. Ironically, those additional frames of reference have had the opposite of the intended effect and have actually prevented us from making sense of it. Continue reading When North was North…

The Shifting Frame

What if "North" means "North"?
What if “North” means North?

Within the library of apocalyptic literature, Daniel’s visions certainly occupy a shelf of their own.  And yet his visions could conceivably be further subdivided into three different genres: the Dynastic, the Mosaic, and the Cardinal. Such a distinction between the three types of Daniel’s visions makes chapter 11 stand out in stark relief compared to the others, both in style and in content. When the unique aspects of the chapter are so recognized, chapter 11 is shown to be a continuous, uninterrupted narrative that was entirely fulfilled during the period of Greek rule that is signified by the Bronze, Leopard and He-goat periods of Daniel’s other visions. Continue reading The Shifting Frame

The Bounds of their Habitation

The Taurus Mountains form an intimidating barrier to all who wish to possess what lies beyond them.
The Taurus Mountains, here viewed from Cyprus, form an intimidating barrier to all who wish to possess what lies beyond them.

The Taurus Mountains of Asia Minor were formed long ago by the collision of the European, African and Arabian tectonic plates. They climb out of the the quiet shores of Lake Eğirdir in the west like a youth emerging from a refreshing swim, and then stand up and run on a southeasterly course toward the Bay of Pamphylia on the southern coast. Here they have left only a narrow sliver of arable land as a gift to the brigands and pirates who would one day terrorize the shipping lanes of the Mediterranean from the isolated cove. From Pamphylia, the mountains have come to full stature and tightly hug the shoreline, their feet playing in the waves of the Mediterranean. They form an imposing and deadly barrier to any who might dare to approach them. As an indication of the relative speed of the colliding plates, the Taurus as viewed from Cyprus (shown above) appear almost as a towering cliff or as a cresting wave of rocks about to crash down upon the watery plain of the Mediterranean. Now nearing  Cilicia the rocky crags have briefly turned due east and then, as if losing interest in the sea, proceed northeasterly, leaving the plains of Cilicia as another gift to the pirates, situated as they were between the Taurus mountains of Asia Minor and the Amanus mountains of Syria.  Here at Cilicia the Taurus mountains become the Anti-Taurus, and continue on their course until they reach the southeastern shores of the Black Sea to be united with their sister range, the Pontic Mountains that have served in a similar capacity along the northern coast. Continue reading The Bounds of their Habitation

The Rise of Antiochus IV

"Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers ... " (Daniel 11:37)
“Neither shall he regard the god of his fathers … ” (Daniel 11:37)

As we have highlighted in the preceding weeks, when examined in their context, the events of Daniel 8 and 9 culminate in the rise and fall of Antiochus IV, king of Syria, from 175 – 163 B.C.. The context of Daniel 9 is fundamentally Mosaic rather than Messianic, and its basis is the Leviticus 26 Protocol. The fulfillment of Daniel 9 is found in the restoration of the Temple under the First Covenant, using Ezekiel’s instructions, as we described in All the Evenings and Mornings. Notably, the background of the successive chastisements prescribed in Leviticus 26 is Jewish idolatry, sabbath violations, and profanation of the sanctuary (Leviticus 26:1-2). The objective of the successive chastisements under Leviticus 26 is that the Jews “confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers,” and that “their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity” (Leviticus 26:40-41). As Ezekiel prescribed to the Jews in captivity, “if they be ashamed of all that they have done” they will restore the Temple in accordance with “the pattern” he was given for them (Ezekiel 43:11), and as Gabriel prophesied, the final outcome of the Seventy Weeks was that the Temple would be anointed in accordance with the instructions in Exodus 40 (Daniel 9:24). In 164 B.C., in what would become the first celebration of Hannukha, the Jews finally rededicated the Temple as prescribed and prophesied. It was the conclusion of the Seventieth Week of Daniel 9, the objective of which was for the Jews to repent of their idolatry, sabbath violations and sanctuary profanations, by restoring the Mosaic order according to Ezekiel’s pattern. These events were prophesied to occur under the period of Greek rule, in the aftermath of the four-way division of Alexander’s empire, as described in Daniel 8. Having laid this groundwork, including the Reduction of the Diadochi last week, we now proceed with an analysis of Daniel chapter 8. Continue reading The Rise of Antiochus IV

Reduction of the Diadochi

"...and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven." (Daniel 8:8)
“…and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven.” (Daniel 8:8)

One of the most critical phases in Western Civilization is the period of post-Alexandrian Greece prior to the rise of Rome. It is the period following Alexander’s death in 323 B.C. when his kingdom was divided, leading up to the period of Rome’s dominance on the world stage. That period weighs heavily in any discussion of Danielic eschatology, especially Daniel chapters 8 and 11, because in those chapters, he prophesies about exactly that period in history—the division of Alexander’s kingdom and the wars that followed. The fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecies of the period are foundational to Christian eschatology, and much of what John saw in Revelation draws on the imagery and symbolism of Daniel’s several visions of the post-Alexandrian Greek empire. For this reason, a comprehensive Christian eschatology cannot be developed without knowledge of the era. And yet, from an historiographical perspective, it is one of the darkest periods in human history, for very little written evidence exists from which a complete story can emerge. Thus, at the period in history when our need for data is most critical, the historical record is least generous.
Continue reading Reduction of the Diadochi