Day 261

Daniel 10-12

The vision of a great future war described in chapters 10-12 takes place around 536 BCE; so around the end of the exile and before the rebuilding of the temple.

daniel jesusChapter 10

It’s interesting that at the time of the vision, Daniel notes that he was in mourning and had consumed no meat or wine (v 10:3). But back in chapter 1, weren’t we told that Daniel was a tee-totaling vegetarian anyway?

While on the banks of the Tigris River, Dan has sees the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come – or at least, some similar unnamed supernatural figure who foretells the future. Many people believe it was Jesus. The ghost explains that he is at war with Persia, and is assisted only by the archangel Michael – yes, the same guy who appears in the NT. (v 12-14)

Daniel 11

The author continues the description of a war between the kings of the north and the south. The blow-by-blow details continue on for verse after interminable verse as the kings plot against each other. In the end, the temple will become desecrated, and the daily sacrifices discontinued. (v 31). The king described in v 36-37, someone who exalts himself and blasphemes god, is apparently seen by some as the anti-Christ. I can barely make head nor tail of this chapter, but it’s pretty clearly part of the whole end-times prophesy thing.

Daniel-11-PropheciesChapter 12

Michael is back, standing guard over the nation. There will be great anguish, but all those whose names are written in the book (what book?) will be saved. Bodies will rise up, some to everlasting life, and some to everlasting disgrace. This is the first mention in the bible of the concept of everlasting life. Those who are favored will shine like stars in the sky – yup, rapture (v 1-4). How long until all these events are over? If you can figure out what v 7 and 11 mean, let us all know. But blessed are those who wait till the end, for the inheritance that’s set aside for them. It’s pretty obvious where these ideas are coming from – during the exile, the Jews were exposed to other religions in the area, notably Zoroastrianism, that included ideas of an afterlife and dying and rising gods. This is the stuff of fundamentalism. Not something I ever learned about at all, in my liberal church.

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