Daniel Chapter 11, Part 1

September 17, 2018 at 3:52 PM 1 comment

My wife and I just finished reading through the last few chapters of the book of Daniel. We got to talking about it and discussed the fact that there is so much actual future history from Daniel’s perspective highlighted in that chapter. Because of this, I decided to do a series of articles here that would break that entire chapter down with all of its historically future ramifications with at least some of it still being future from our modern-day standpoint as well.

Before I get into that chapter, I’d like to point out something. There are several schools of thought related to the entirety of the book of Daniel, including chapter eleven. As with everything else biblical, critics have come out of the woodwork to either downplay, attempt to negate, or even change the way they want us to look at this eleventh chapter of Daniel. In a broad brush stroke, some of the “concerns” these so-called higher critics have is applied to the entire book of Daniel, not just specific chapters, like chapter eleven.

We know that there are some critics who deny that this book was written by the prophet Daniel of the period before Babylon’s Nebuchadnezzar swooped down on Jerusalem, sacked the city over a period of several years, and took vessels from the Jewish Temple as well as many people captive to the center of the Babylonian Empire. Some of these captives included Daniel the prophet and his three friends, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

Critics who take this approach tell us it was actually a different “Daniel” who wrote much of the book of Daniel, including chapter eleven; a “Daniel” who came much later. They believe this for several reasons. First, they actually end up denying the cause and effect by God Almighty, the only Sovereign over the entire Creation. Second, they believe it makes more sense to understand chapters eleven and elsewhere in Daniel as written by someone who lived after the things written about actually occurred. Looking back then, their “Daniel” was in a perfect position to see what had already occurred and simply wrote about those events, looking backwards.

Critics who espouse this view do so because there is a great deal of actual history written in the pages of Daniel. In fact, there is so much accurate historical information within Daniel, they conclude it had to have been written by someone who lived well after those events occurred and simply wrote them down as though those events were still in the future. Hindsight, you know, is 20/20, right?

If their claim is true, then clearly, the Bible cannot be trusted at all and ultimately, that is their purpose, to cast doubt on God’s Word. If the book of Daniel was included in the Canon of Scripture because it was thought to be written by Daniel the prophet long before the events outlined in Daniel’s twelve chapters actually took place, but it turns out that this Daniel was truly a counterfeit, then wouldn’t that cast a huge shadow over the entirety of the Bible?

People like this enjoy believing that they are the captains of their own fate. They believe God is aloof, not really involved in human affairs and for God to reach into humanity’s timeline takes a great deal of effort on God’s part, if he’s really capable of it at all.

Regarding Daniel and especially chapter eleven, I’d like to state that we need go no further than the text itself to determine whether or not Daniel was the Daniel, the prophet who lived in Judah until he was forcibly removed by King Nebuchadnezzar and who ultimately died in Babylon, which ultimately became ruled over by the Medes-Persians and Greece’s Alexander the Great.

What in the text though tells us or seriously hints to us that the Daniel who wrote the book of Daniel, including chapter eleven, lived before many of the events he saw in visions and wrote down for us, instead of after those events? There are numerous times throughout the book of Daniel where we read that Daniel did not understand what he observed or heard.

It is important to comprehend the fact that Daniel saw many things unfolding and he heard wonderful conversations between angelic beings and God Himself. This occurred with numerous prophets of the Old Testament. They heard, they saw, they even experienced things that left them confused and bewildered. While he understood certain things (Daniel 9:22; 10:1), there were other times he understood little to nothing and things had to be explained to him (Daniel 8:16). It is clear that during these times, Daniel was greatly distressed because of what he saw. Surely, a person living after the events would not have been affected like that. How many of us are deeply affected by things like the Holocaust? Unless you actually see if unfolding or experience some of the atrocities, it cannot deeply impact our emotions.

In Daniel 12, Daniel was just privileged to see and hear things about the end times, things that would occur in the latter days. After he witnesses and hears this, Daniel responds by saying, “I heard, but I did not understand. Then I said, ‘O my lord, what shall be the outcome of these things?’” (Daniel 12:8 ESV)

Daniel is admitting that he did not understand what he had heard. I’m sure he understood the actual words used because they were expressed in a language he understood. However, he did not know the implication of what it all meant and he admits it. He did not understand how it connected to the historical narrative. However, if Daniel lived after these events occurred, surely he would’ve had great insight and might even have included actual names of the people mentioned in Chapter 11 specifically. He didn’t do that because names were not provided to him and he lived before these events actually occurred. It would be some time before these events actually played themselves out on the world’s stage and then history would know the names of those involved. If Daniel lived after these events occurred, why not include the names and more detail?

There does not appear to be a given explanation to Daniel in the verses that follow to the end of chapter twelve, which is also the end of the book of Daniel. Daniel has to be content with the following statements:

“Go your way, Daniel, for the words are shut up and sealed until the time of the end. Many shall purify themselves and make themselves white and be refined, but the wicked shall act wickedly. And none of the wicked shall understand, but those who are wise shall understand. And from the time that the regular burnt offering is taken away and the abomination that makes desolate is set up, there shall be 1,290 days. Blessed is he who waits and arrives at the 1,335 days. But go your way till the end. And you shall rest and shall stand in your allotted place at the end of the days.” (Daniel 12:9-13 ESV)

Daniel is essentially told that the words that he heard and the things he saw in chapter twelve (and also bits and pieces of other chapters, including chapter eleven), are mainly for the very end of days leading up to the physical return of Jesus to this earth. Daniel was told to seal up the book. He was not to hide it. He was to actually ensure everything was written down and a proper seal was placed on the scroll itself. It would be passed down through the ages and today, it is in our possession.

The book of Daniel will be around when the second portion of the Tribulation starts to occur (after the Antichrist creates the “abomination of desolation” spoken of in Matthew 24 and 2 Thessalonians 2). People alive then will run to and fro trying to determine what’s happening in the world. To that end, the book of Daniel will be of great help. Daniel (and Ezekiel, Revelation, and a number of other prophetic books), will literally illuminate the path for those who come to believe in Jesus during the Tribulation during this upcoming most difficult time on earth. Yet, Daniel did not comprehend portions of it during the time he lived.

If we look at chapter eleven of Daniel, we notice the lack of any specific names in that chapter, except for Darius (a title of the ruler Cyrus over the Medo-Persian Empire; Daniel 11:1). We note labels like “king of the south” or “king of the north” and others, but there are no specific names associated with these people. This, coupled with the fact that Daniel notes in the text that he failed to understand things, helps us conclude that if this Daniel had lived after these events occurred, it would’ve been a simple thing to include the names of these people in the text. Daniel did not do this, indicating that he had no idea who they were and because of that, could not include their names in the text. Certainly, God could’ve told Daniel just like He told Isaiah about upcoming specific rulers (like Cyrus in Isaiah 44:28) before they appeared on the scene, but He chose not to do so. Interestingly enough, higher critics also use this as an excuse to argue that Isaiah was not written by the actual prophet Isaiah, but by someone who simply adopted the name Isaiah and who came after the fact. Looking back, this Isaiah imposter was able to see the historical facts and simply wrote about them.

So, as far as “higher critics” are concerned, you cannot win with them. If the text does not include pertinent information like names, it was because the writer lived after the event, looked back and wrote about those events as if they were yet future, trying to keep an air of mystery about it. If names were included, the same is said to be true. In other words, regardless of any facts or actual implications, higher critics enjoy panning the accuracy of Scripture by arguing that these were not truly prophetic books, with the authors looking forward from their vantage point to things that had not yet happened. They argue that these prophets actually looked back on the events, writing about them as if they were still in front of them but were actually behind them. It’s deceptive at best and ultimately, it all comes down to this question: how big is God? For the higher critic, God is abysmally small, inept, and little more than a “force” in this world that can be used for good if people will take hold. If not, then evil wins.

Just so that no one is wondering, my point of view regarding Daniel is that it was written by the prophet Daniel, who lived in Jerusalem but was taken captive by Nebuchadnezzar of the Babylonian Empire. Daniel lived out the remainder of his life away from Jerusalem and saw numerous kings come and go before he himself died. As we go through that chapter, understand that the perspective presented here will be that Daniel lived before many to most of these events occurred and some events in Daniel have not yet occurred.

Next time, we’ll start unpacking Daniel 11.

Entry filed under: Atheism and religion, christianity, Demonic, devil worship, eternity, israel, Judaism, Political Correctness, Politically Correct, Politics, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, salvation, Satanism, second coming. Tags: , .

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1 Comment

  • 1. Daniel 11, Part 2 | Study - Grow - Know  |  September 25, 2018 at 10:46 AM

    […] our previous article, the first one in this series, we tackled some introductory aspects of Daniel 11. If you have not read that particular article, […]

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