Shalom! My name is Adam Pastor

Welcome to ADONI MESSIAH which means
"My Lord Messiah" -
a fitting epithet to who Jesus (or Yeshua) is!

Here, I attempt to present the Apostolic Truths according to the Scriptures, that there is
One GOD, the Father, namely, YAHWEH,
and One Lord, GOD's only begotten Son,
Yeshua the Messiah.

And that one day YAHWEH will send His Son back to Earth to inaugurate the Everlasting Kingdom of GOD


Monday, June 04, 2018

Daniel 11 and 12: Final Rebellion and Ultimate Solution

In Daniel, chapters 11 and 12, we find a report of Daniel’s great last vision, which summarizes and amplifies the astonishing prophetic forecasts given him earlier in Daniel 2, 7, 8 and 9. This vision has prompted a host of conflicting interpretations — a surprising fact, since the vision is written in simple narrative style without the symbols of beasts, heads and horns found in the earlier revelations.

The reason for the many differing views of the final vision of Daniel can be traced to the assumptions held by commentators before they arrive at chapters 11 and 12. With a clear idea of what we are looking for, it is all too easy for us to read into the text what we think ought to be there. This is the very opposite of sound method. We must make every effort to ask the question: What does the text actually say, according to the ordinary rules of language? Applying this criterion of simple attention to the grammatical sense of the passage before us, we may be surprised that it has caused expositors so much difficulty.

(It is worth noting that sometimes the “plain” grammatical sense in English does not get you to the truth. There are ways of using language in Hebrew and Greek which are not the same as English. Even among English speakers a complete breakdown of communication can occur. Test yourself. What did I just say if I tell you, as a British English speaker, “I am mad about my flat”? The lesson is that sometimes one needs to understand Hebrew and Greek ways of thinking to make good sense of a passage of Scripture. If one does not have these skills then one should proceed with caution. It is easy to overestimate one’s ability in language and communication and Strong’s Concordance is not the final tool either. God has blessed us with some marvelous resources for Bible study in modern times. A classic example of misunderstanding occurs when English speakers hear Jesus say, “Glorify me with the glory which I had with you before the foundation of the world.” “Having something with someone” is not a normal English way of speaking. But in the Hebrew wisdom tradition it means having a reward promised and stored up with someone (God). It does not mean that you were actually alive at the time the promise was made.)

Back to Daniel: First we should note that in the introduction to the vision of Daniel 11 and 12 the angel declares that the content of the revelation has to do with the “last days” (10:14), an expression which elsewhere in the Bible describes the times just before and just after the establishment of the Kingdom of God worldwide at Jesus’ return to the earth. In Isaiah 2 and Micah 4 the “last days” are those in which the government or Kingdom of God will be established in Jerusalem and the nations “learn war no more” (Isa. 2:4), a state of affairs which evidently has not yet come to pass! In Deuteronomy 4:30 the latter days are the times of a final calamity upon Israel leading to their repentance.

This evidence ought to prevent us from imagining that Daniel 11 ends with a description of Antiochus Epiphanes (2nd century BC) or with events in AD 70. The resurrection of the dead obviously did not occur when Antiochus Epiphanes died, nor did it happen in AD 70! Proof of this fact is that the living Christians were not caught up together with the resurrected believers to meet the descending Jesus in AD 70. Paul taught that, at the resurrection, those alive in Christ “will be caught up to meet him in the air” (1 Thess. 4:17). If one thinks this event is over and finished, one has misunderstood the substance of the Christian Gospel.

The Range of the Vision 

Very clearly, what Daniel saw stretched into the far future. He was writing in the 6th century BC, yet he predicts the resurrection of the dead: “Many of those who are sleeping in the dust of the ground [literally ‘dustland’] shall awake, some to eternal life [literally ‘life in the coming age’]…” (Dan. 12:2).

When they awake, the righteous “shine like the sun in its strength” (12:3) — a prediction which Jesus, as the great interpreter of Daniel, places at the end of the age (see Matt. 13:43). This resurrection, of course, is the resurrection to occur at the second coming of Jesus
(1 Cor. 15:23, 51, 52; 1 Thess. 4:13ff; Luke 14:14; Rev. 11:18; 20:1-4).

Just prior to this resurrection Daniel foresaw a “time of trouble such as never was” (12:1). This period of unparalleled distress features prominently in Jesus’ own prediction of the events leading up to the end of the age: “For then shall be a time of trouble such as never was...” (Matt. 24:21).

Obviously Jesus took this last vision of Daniel with the utmost seriousness, seeing in it an inspired forecast of the calamitous events destined to occur on earth just prior to his return. There is much more to the vision besides the announcement of the great tribulation and the following
resurrection of the faithful. The remaining material is most instructive, because it tells of the difficult times associated with the period of final tribulation immediately prior to the resurrection and the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth.

A Simple Narrative 

For those not familiar with the account of the future given in Daniel 11 and 12, it will be helpful to take a Bible and read straight through the entire revelation, noting particularly 11:21-12:13. It is important to observe that the resurrection (12:1-2) follows immediately upon the death of the tyrant whose career is described in 11:21-45.
[Verse 45: he shall come to his end]

We emphasize again: The wicked ruler in question obviously cannot be Antiochus Epiphanes who died in 164 BC! He did not die just before the resurrection. Nor can it be Nero, whose death, in the first century AD, was also not followed by the resurrection of the dead.

A very basic law of language dictates that a pronoun — “he” in our passage — describes a single individual unless there are very clear reasons in the context to show otherwise. We have no difficulty in discerning that a new personage appears on the prophetic screen in Daniel 11:21. He replaces his predecessor who dies in the previous verse (11:20). Once on the stage, the “vile person” forms the subject of a long passage extending to his death in 11:45. “He comes to his end” in the holy land.

Unfortunately many commentators have disregarded the normal laws of language and proposed that we are dealing in these verses (11:21-45) with a long span of time far beyond the lifetime of a single individual. Fortunately the data we are given allows us to be absolutely sure that the climax of the career of the “vile person” (11:21) occurs just 1290 days before the end of the age (12:11). This limits the events of 11:31 onwards to a period of about 3½ years.

In order to get our bearings we must note carefully the critically important time information supplied by the revealing angel in Daniel 12:7, 11. Remember that chapters 11 and 12 contain a single vision. Daniel 12:5- 13 forms a postscript to the vision. Daniel is allowed to ask some important follow-up questions about the length of time allotted to the activities of the “vile person” presented to him in 11:21-45.

The answer to Daniel’s question about the duration of the awful events of chapter 11 is most enlightening. The information is simple and clear: “From the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away and the Abomination of Desolation is set up there will be 1290 days” (12:11).

In order to grasp the point we naturally look back at the events of the vision to see where in the account the setting up of the Abomination of Desolation took place. We find this crucial event in 11:31 at the height of the career of the “vile person” who came on the scene in verse 21.

1290 days is a little over 3½ years. We can be sure, then, that from the moment the Abomination of Desolation is set up there will be a final time of trouble, at the end of which “all these things” (12:7), including, of course, the resurrection (12:2), will be accomplished. The fixed terminus for this marvelous vision is the future resurrection of the faithful dead (as later clarified in the NT).

The Vile Person 

The single individual described as the “vile person” (11:21) is seen in conflict with another ruler — the King of the South. The “vile person” is designated throughout the vision as the King of the North. These two rulers struggle for power in the area of Israel and even sit at a conference table and lie to each other! (11:27). Ships from the West have recently troubled the northern king and this stirs him into a rage. He then receives cooperation from some who forsake the faith (11:30). This in turn leads to his causing the interruption of sacrifices and the placing of the Abomination of Desolation (11:31). This King of the North then harasses “those who have understanding,” marches southwards, and following a final battle with the King of the South, comes to his end in Israel between the Mediterranean sea and the holy mountain, Jerusalem (11:32-45).
(Again, this is not a description of Nero!)

This relatively simple account of the evil King of the North (11:21-45) has received strange treatment at the hands of expositors. Frequently the invaluable time information given in Daniel 12:7, 11 has simply been ignored. This has allowed commentators the “liberty” of placing centuries of time between what they think was the setting up of the Abomination of Desolation and the end of the age. However, careful attention to the remarks of the angel reveals that from the arrival of the Abomination to the end of “all these things” (12:7) there are 1290 days (12:11). This fact naturally proves that the events described from Daniel 11:31 (where the Abomination appears) still lie in the future.

Breaking the Thread of the Story 

For various reasons expositors have been unhappy with the straightforward narrative presented by Daniel 11 and 12. It may come as a surprise to readers that the pronoun “he” referring to the King of the North (11:21- 45) has been made to apply to a completely new subject, namely a third power in addition to the Kings of the North and South. ...
The Maccabean theory, which applied the Abomination of Desolation (Dan. 11:31) exclusively to the Syrian leader Antiochus Epiphanes (ruled 175-164 BC), ran into the obvious difficulty that Jesus himself spoke of the Abomination of Desolation as future to his own time! This view “virtually challenges the authority of the Master.” [1]  It was a failure to note how Jesus understood the prophecy. Jesus referred this Abomination to a time still in the future (Matt. 24:15). We are here at a crucial point in our discussion. Why, when Jesus says that Daniel prophesied the arrival of the Abomination of Desolation just before the Second Coming, do some commentators insist that Daniel did not see beyond the career of Antiochus Epiphanes? The fundamental question revolves around the acceptance or nonacceptance of the truth of Jesus’ words.

What Does Jesus Say? 

The application of Daniel 11:31 to a Syrian ruler in BC times does indeed challenge the authority of Jesus himself. Commentators have not apparently trembled at the idea of challenging Jesus. Speaking around 30 AD Jesus declared that those living in Judea were to flee “when you see the Abomination of Desolation spoken of by Daniel standing in the holy place” (Matt. 24:15). This authoritative understanding of the prophecy of Daniel is the only one that should have been allowed by expositors. Strangely, this has not been the case. Jesus’ very simple directed link between Matthew 24:15 (the appearance of the Abomination of Desolation) and its appearance in the vision of Daniel (11:31, 12:11) has been almost entirely disregarded.

Furthermore the information supplied by the angel in Daniel 12:7, 11 should have prevented all attempts to stretch the contents of Daniel 11:21ff over centuries of time. The angel expressly says (12:11) that 1290 days will be the length of the persecution inflicted by the wicked tyrant who sets up the Abomination of Desolation in Daniel 11:31. Then “all these things will be accomplished” (12:7). This plain information should have warned expositors against treating the pronoun “he” (11:31-45) as a piece of elastic and stretching it over hundreds of years! The result was dissolving the prophecy and emptying it of its meaning.

Jesus places the Abomination of Desolation of Daniel 11:31 at a time in the future. He connects it with the fall of Jerusalem immediately preceding his return (see Matt. 24:15, 21, 29-31). A final fulfillment in AD 70 is therefore ruled out, because Jesus did not return immediately after the events of that year. The angel places the Abomination 1290 days from the end (Dan. 12:11). Even apart from this data we could have known that the Abomination was a feature of the very close of this age, because the pronoun “he” — the King of the North, 11:21-45 — very obviously refers to a single individual, as a repeated pronoun always does in a narrative passage.

A distinguished professor of the Old Testament wisely said of Daniel 11: “It is contrary to all sound principles of exegesis to suppose that, in a continuous description, with no indication whatever of a change of subject, part should refer to one person and part to another, and ‘the king’ (Dan. 11:36) should be a different king from the one whose doings are described in verses 21-35.” [2]

Henry Cowles, D.D., who taught the book of Daniel for 25 years to young men preparing for ministry, expressed his conviction that Daniel 11:21-45 describes the career of a single King of the North: “The bonds of philological connection are of the strongest kind. It would seem to be simply impossible for one accustomed to study, observe and obey the laws of philology, and to interpret language in view of what it is, to have even the least doubt on this point.” [3]

The professor’s remarks are a pointed and much needed corrective to much exposition of Daniel 11 and remind us that we are first and foremost bound by the normal rules of language when we read the Bible. We are also bound, if we claim to be Christians, to accept the interpretation which Jesus puts on a given passage. Fortunately his express reference (Matt. 24:15) to the Abomination of Desolation found in Daniel 11:31, 12:11 (as well as 9:27) removes all doubt as to how Daniel’s words are to be applied. Certainly they cannot refer to Antiochus Epiphanes (except, perhaps, as a “type” or foreshadowing) when Jesus refers them to the future!

Space does not permit a demonstration of the various other attempts which have been made to insert a third power into the narrative of Daniel 11:21-45. A straightforward reading of the passage leads us to believe that the future will reveal an end-time struggle between the tyrannical King of the North (i.e., from a Middle Eastern area such as Syria or Iraq, the northern division of the ancient Kingdom of Greece; see Dan. 11:4-6 and Note below) and the King of the South (presumably Egypt). Inserting into the narrative powers from other geographical regions breaks the thread of the story which formed Daniel’s crowning vision. Surely this ultimate revelation given to Daniel and the church, as recipients of Holy Scripture, must inspire us to vigorous evangelism before the dark days of the final enemy of God arrive.

Since this article was written in 1988, events in the Middle East have focused attention on the area of ancient Assyria (Iraq). It is precisely from this part of the world (and not the European Common Market, not specifically mentioned in the Bible) that the Bible expects the evil and oppressive tyrant of the latter days to arise.
See my article “The Assyrian in Messianic Prophecy”.
However, nothing in the Bible known to this writer tells us when the end-time events will begin. Hence the need for watchfulness. 


It is interesting that the distinguished premillennialist, Theodore Zahn, states (c. 1900) that the final evil ruler in Revelation (much of which is based on Daniel) is “without question” derived from “the Graeco-Macedonian [kingdom] and its ‘typical’ pre-Christian antichrist, Antiochus Epiphanes.” [4]
In Daniel 11 and 12 it seems clear that Antiochus is a “type” of the yet future tyrant. Antiochus was a Syrian king.

... Lactantius (c. 250-330 AD), clearly expected the Beast (Antichrist) to arise in Syria: “Another king shall arise out of Syria, born from an evil spirit...and he will constitute and call himself God, and will order himself to be worshipped as the Son of God, and power will be given him to do signs and wonders. Then he will attempt to destroy the temple of God and persecute the righteous people; and there will be distress and tribulation such as there never has been since the beginning of the world.” [5]  Lactantius speaks of the tyrant arising “from the extreme boundaries of the northern region” (ch. 16). ...Victorinus (c. 280 AD), refers Micah 5:5 to the antichrist: “There shall be peace for our land...and they shall encircle Assur [Assyria], that is antichrist, in the trench of Nimrod.” [6]
Assyria is the approximate equivalent of modern Iraq.
(Victorinus also speaks of Babylon as the Roman state, since that was the enemy of his day.)

It is not always recognized that the seventieth week of Daniel 9:24-27 is taken by Jesus to be a period just before his return. Jesus places the Abomination shortly before his Second Coming (Matt. 24:15ff). Matthew 24:29 says that “immediately after” the tribulation initiated by the Abomination, Jesus will come back in power and glory. This fact is crucial to a fair reading of prophecy. Daniel expects the Abomination to appear in the seventieth “week” (Dan. 9:27). Jesus expects the Abomination (and therefore the seventieth week) just before his return.

That the seventieth “week” was future and close to the end of the age was understood in 243 AD by Hippolytus (De Pascha Computus). This fact is noted in the Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics: “The one ‘week’ is taken off as belonging to the eschatological period in the future” (Vol. 3, p. 606). Irenaeus also expected a 3½-year tribulation and a rebuilt temple: “For three and a half years, during which time, when he [antichrist] comes, he will reign over the earth.” [7]
Irenaeus sees the antichrist, not just Antiochus, in the eighth chapter of Daniel and quotes Daniel 9:27 as a prophecy of the final reign of the antichrist “for three years and six months.”

The seventieth week of Daniel 9 was seen as future and close up to the Second Coming by the earliest church fathers who wrote in detail on prophecy. Montgomery notes that this “apocalyptic” (i.e. futurist) reading of the last period of seven years is the one found in the gospels, and it is adopted by Irenaeus and Hippolytus. [8] ...

[1] Clarence Hewitt, The Seer of Babylon, p. 340.
[2] S.R. Driver, Commentary on Daniel, Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges, p. 193.
[3] Daniel, with Notes Critical, Explanatory and Practical, p. 448.
[4] Introduction to the New Testament, Vol. III, p. 441.
[5] Divine Institutes, Book 7, ch. 17.
[6] Commentary on the Apocalypse, ch. 7.
[7] Against Heresies, Book 5, chs. 25, 26.
[8] International Critical Commentary on Daniel, p. 394.

The above article was taken from Focus on the Kingdom, July 2011.