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.
Nebuchadnezzar extols the name of the Most High God because of his signs, wonders, and kingdom of dominions. This king had a dream and none of the Astrologers, Chaldeans, or Soothsayers could decipher it. He summons Daniel, of whom he had named Belteshazzar after the name of his god, in whom he said was the ‘spirit of the gods’. The dream was about a tree, which grew as high as the heavens and could be seen from the ends of the earth. Then a divine being came and cut the tree down, but from the stump came up new growth. Daniel gave the following explanation of the dream to mean that the tree represented the king and that he would be cut down to size and he would act like a lunatic and think that he was an animal for seven years after which he would regain his senses and again reign as king.
A large sum of money was spent in erecting an Image of gold on the plains of Dura. Everybody who was ‘somebody’ was invited to the dedication. It was a common thing for kings to erect images of themselves. At this state affair everyone was asked to bow and worship the image. Since the ten commandments forbade image worship the three Hebrew children (probably 46 years old) refused to give homage to the Idol. These men went all the way with God. They are not going to worship a graven image. Tied up with ropes they are cast into the furnace that was heated with extreme heat. Suddenly the king sees four men in the fire and they are unhurt. The real God appears in the very furnace from which he had made his god. The angry king now is forced to recognize the real and only god. This supernatural appearance cut the legs out from under the king. Read the whole story and see for yourself.