The temple of Diana was located here. It was one of the seven wonders of the world. Paul spent three years here. Timothy labored here. Aquila, Priscilla, Apollos, Gius, Aristarchus, are all of Ephesus. It was a rich magnificent, commercial city with large harbors. There is not now a single house upon the sight of this ancient city. Near is a small Turkish village of Ayasaluk. Here Polycarp was burned at the stake in 168 A.D. when he was 86 years old. He was converted in A.D. 82. Ignatos tells us that he was Bishop at Smyrna in 108 A.D. Turtullian tells us that he was ordained by John. Polycarp was urged to say “Caesar is Lord” but refused . He was brought to the stadium and the proconsul urged him saying “swear and I will set you at liberty, reproach Christ. Polycarp answered 86 years I have served him and he never did me any injury, how then can I blaspheme my Lord and Saviour.” This church which was located 40 miles North West of Ephesus has been called the persecuted Church. The following message is being sent to the Bishop of the church at Pergamos. It was a large city and capitol of a province of Asia Minor. It had a large library of 200,000 volumes; also a famed temple of Ascuapius, the God of healing who was worshipped under the emblem of a serpent which believers in Christ believed to be the very symbol of Satan. This is still a medical symbol today. Satan is symbolized as a serpent 2 Cor. 11:3. The city is now called Bergama. This church was located in a city known for its trade guilds. Thytaria was famous for its purple dye and cloth. A very famous Christian known to us–Lydia–lived here. The tutelary god of the city was Tyrimnos. The first of the seven churches was seen as weakening its love yet it was faithful to judge false teachers, while the church at Thyatira was growing in love, and tolerant of false teachers. Both extremes must be avoided. There must be proper balance to our teaching. Unloving orthodoxy and loving compromise are both hateful to God. There is a tremendous lesson to be learned here. We can be zealous and orthodox like Ephesus and at the same time lose our love for Christ. Or like Thyatira grieve the Lord because of our tolerance.
When Daniel finished the Book Of Daniel he was told to "shut up the words, and seal the book," Dan 12:4. John was instructed just the opposite. "Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand." Rev. 22:10. Contrary to the speculations regarding another date it seems certain that John wrote the book about A.D. 96. We are first introduced to symbolism. It was a "spiritual code" only bible readers could understand this code. No officer (Government official) could cite any of this document against believers. However, do not get trapped into believing that the events described under symbols are not real. About 300 references to the Old Testament are found in this one book. If we anchor our ideas based on what the Old Testament teaches then we will have a true interpretation. If you are not grounded in the interpretation of Old Testament prophecies then you will not understand the code. In most cases I will refer you back to the Old Testament so you will see how the code was applied. If you are able to decode the Old Testament prophecies then you will be able in most cases to understand the New Testament prophecies. I have quoted the Old Testament Scriptures so the average reader can see clearly the meaning intended by the Holy Spirit and thus crack the code.
Michael the archangel has played an important role in chapters nine through twelve of this book. Every one who is written in the book of life will have everlasting life and the wicked will have shame and everlasting contempt. There will be a general resurrection of the dead and Jesus shall judge the world. In the meantime we who are wise need to shine brightly and turn many to righteousness. Daniel was told to seal the book. Daniel sees two standing on each side of the river and the one that was clothed in linen stood on the waters and swore that it shall be for time, times, and one half time. That is, that the time of Antichous was over. Cf. verse 11 the time of the abomination was over with. Finally Daniel would rest with his fathers till resurrection day.
Remember that in chapter ten, God revealed to Daniel what would befall his people in the latter end. In this chapter he downloads the whole story. First, the fourth king of Persia (Xerxes) will stir up the king of Greece (Alexander the great). Just at the peak of his triumphancy, Alexander will be broken and his kingdom divided towards the four winds of heaven. A novice at history will immediately realize that Alexander’s kingdom went to his four generals. The remaining part of the chapter tells the story of the king of the North (Syria) and the king of the south (Egypt). The king of the North (Antiochus) divorces Laodice in order to marry Bernice, the daughter of the king of the South. Their son would rule the North kingdom (Syria). The angel tells Daniel that this pre-nuptial marriage agreement will not stand. The exposition will tell about the divorce, disinheriting, poisoning, murder, and with them the historical fulfillment of prophecy.
Daniel mourned over the state of the nation. They had left Babylon but were still in Persia. For twenty-one days he fasts and prays. On April 24th. 537 B.C. he had a heavenly visitor. Daniel shook like a reed in a strong wind. He hears some reassuring words: Gabriel said that Michael had come to help him with the prince of Persia. Somehow the prince of Persia was trying to thwart heavens plans. Gabriel assures Daniel that his prayer had been heard but he had to attend a more urgent matter and now he had come to Daniels aid. Upon the news of what would befall his people in the latter days Daniel becomes weak and fell on the ground. The angel strengthened Daniel and encouraged him to be strong. The angel said he had to go and fight with the prince of Persia for the prince of Greece shall come. You will not need a master’s degree to figure this out. Here is a hint: The prince of Greece is Alexander the Great, the goat man who comes against the prince Persia. More details are waiting for you in the exposition.
Somewhere hidden in the archives of Babylon was a copy of Jeremiah’s scroll. This scroll was probably sixty feet long, rolled on a cylinder and stored in a round elongated wooden or pottery cylinder and protected for safekeeping. Daniel’s eyes came to rest on the twelfth verse of the twenty-fifth chapter. Now he knows for sure that all the exiles (war prisoners children and grand children) will return to Jerusalem. Insomuch as time is drawing close when will it happen? After all God could rescind the agreement on the basis that Israel had not fulfilled their end of the bargain (Covenant). It is amazing that Daniel gets all that he prayed for and more than he bargained for. First Gabriel tells Daniel that he came to give him skill and understanding. Here is the sum of that understanding: From the Persian decree to rebuild Jerusalem to the rebuilding of the temple will be forty nine years, then four hundred and thirty four years later the Messiah will come, then three and one half years later he will be crucified and three and one half years later the Gentiles will be called to the kingdom. This commentary will give you all the details.
Standing by the river a vision comes to Daniel regarding a ram with two horns and one was taller than the other. Later in the chapter he tells us that the ram is the Medo-Persion Empire and the two horns are the two powers and that the highest horn is the Persians. He sees the ram pushing West, North and South and none could stop him. He had conquered all regions from the Caspian Sea to Egypt. Then he sees a goat with one horn, later in this chapter he identifies the goat as the king of Greece (Alexander the Great). Daniel sees the goat run into the ram with all his fury. When Alexander’s army met Darius on the field of battle, at Arbela, Granicus and at Issus he had thirty five thousand soldiers and Darius had five hundred thousand. In the first battle Alexander lost five hundred and Darius lost one hundred thousand. As the prophet says: ‘he ran into him with all his fury’. The goat became great (ruled the world) and his horn was broken (Alexander died) and four horns sprang up in it place. (His four generals will rule the world). A little horn sprang up from the Seleucid’s that ruled Syria, his name was Antiochus Epiphanies who attacked the Holy Land and desecrated the temple and took away the daily sacrifice for twenty three hundred days. The exposition section will describe in detail this foul character.
Out of the sea of humanity a storm is brewing. It is not a tornado or heavy rain but a political unrest resulting in the rise and fall of political regimes. In this chapter there are four beasts (kingdoms that acted like beasts). The four animals, lion, bear, leopard, and a nondescript animal representing four kingdoms. When Daniel wrote his prophecy only one of the kingdoms was in existence, but with the telescope of prophecy he unveils the future of world history. The lion represented the Babylonian empire, while the bear represented Medo-Persia and the Leopard represented Alexander the Great and the nondescript animal (which is called the fourth kingdom) represents the Roman Empire and the little horn that came up out of the fourth empire represents the papacy. This beast occupies the attention of Daniel more than any other because it would kill the saints, change God’s laws, and blaspheme God and finally after twelve hundred and sixty years lose its dominion.
Persia has just conquered the Babylonians and Cyrus is well informed that Daniel was third rank in the Babylonian kingdom. He therefore, puts Daniel in charge giving him the highest rank as a member of his new cabinet. The other one hundred and twenty princes were filled with envy that a Jew who was a war prisoner from Babylon should rule over them. So, they contrived a charge against Daniel for insubordination to a new law regarding prayer. Daniel did not start praying or stop praying---he continued to pray as usual. There followed a conspiracy, then an investigation, and an interdict. The scheme worked and Daniel is arrested, indicted, tried, convicted and sentenced. But the whole plan began to unravel and soon backfired and his accusers are put in the lion’s den. The outcome pleases the king and he sends a decree that everyone was to fear and revere the God of Daniel. Daniel was held in high esteem in both political regimes.
A Royal State Affair was planned. Invitations were sent out. The banquet was in full swing. Music, dancing, show girls, drinking—the whole gala affair. So, they brought out the consecrated vessels that they had obtained when they looted the temple at Jerusalem. Belshazzars impieties had gone too far, suddenly there is a mysterious writing on the wall of the palace. All it took to scare the daylights out of the king was a finger writing on the wall. All it took was four words. All of this was written in the secret language employed only in the king’s court. Daniel interpreted it to mean that Belshazzar’s time was up and that the Meads and Persians would prevail. Before the sun comes up the king is lying in a pool of blood and Babylon had passed into the hands of the Meads and the Persians.