A Fresh Look at Daniel - Part 7

Posted in: 2008
By Tom L. Ballinger
Jul 11, 2008 - 10:27:56 AM


Part VII

Daniel Chapter 8 (Continued)

While Daniel was watching the vision and trying to understand it, suddenly, standing next to him was a holy one who had the appearance of a man (V.15). Then, Daniel heard a man’s voice calling out and saying, “Gabriel, tell this man the meaning of the vision”
(V.16). Gabriel was the one standing next to Daniel.

Gabriel moved close to Daniel, causing Daniel to be terrified, and he fell prostrate upon his face; “Son of man,” Gabriel said to Daniel, understand that the vision concerns the time of the end (V. 17).

While Gabriel was speaking to him, Daniel states, “I was in a deep sleep on my face toward the ground: but he touched me, and set me upright” (V. 18). Then, Gabriel tells Daniel what will happen, later, in the time of indignation (i.e., the wrath of God), because the vision concerns the appointed time of the end (V. 19).

Twice, Gabriel gives the time when this vision is to transpire – “the time of the end.” At the appointed time, the “end” will come. Not the end of the world, but at the end of the Kingdom age which is still future. The language, here, is similar to what the disciples asked the Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew 24:3; “And as He sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto Him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?”

In plainer words, what the disciples asked were, What will be the sign of your Parousia and the consummation of the aion (age)? See the note on Verse Three in the Companion Bible.

The Interpretation

Gabriel tells Daniel that the two-horned ram which he saw represents two kings of Media and Persia (V. 20). These two kings belong to a future dispensation, the time of the end, and cannot be historical kings of the past. To insist that they do is nothing short of distortion of the truth.

The rough he goat represents the king of Grecia (Greece), and the horn between his eyes represents the first king (V. 21). The horn is the first king of Greece (a future Greece). When the goat’s horn, or king, is broken, four kingships stand up in its place, but they will be weaker than the first king (V. 22).

In the latter time of their reign, when the rebellions have come to the full, a stern-faced king (of fierce countenance), a master of intrigue, will arise (V. 23). At the consummation of the future eon, many nations, as outlined in the various dreams and visions, will start an open rebellion against the Lord’s world-wide government. Psalm 2:1-3 describes it; “Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.”

The master of intrigue will become mighty in power but not by his own power, and he shall destroy wonderfully; he will destroy the mighty men and the holy people (V. 24). The source of his power is not revealed to Daniel, here. His source of power is to be found in 2 Thessalonians 2:9-10 and Revelation 13:2. The mighty men are the “mighty ones.” Who are these mighty ones? We pointed out in Chapter Two, Verse Forty-Three that the iron mixed with miry clay may be the coming together of the fallen angels with the daughters of men and producing a hybrid race of men. In Genesis Six, where this first happened, the “sons of God” took the daughters of men, and their coming together produced “giants in the earth” – they were “mighty men” – “men of renown” (V. 4). The mighty ones in Daniel 8 could be the progeny of angels who left their first estate and cohabited with women all during the long period of the coming Kingdom of God. These mighty ones could be the tares in the Parable of the Tares in Matthew 13: 24-30. The parables in Matthew Thirteen all relate to the time of the Kingdom of God. He (the master of intrigue) will “destroy the holy people,” Israel, but not all of Israel – “But he that shall endure unto the end (i.e., the actual end, not consummation) the same shall be saved” Matthew 24:13.

Through his policy, he shall cause deceit to prosper, and he will consider himself to be superior. By peace (i.e., by their prosperity, or careless security), he will destroy many and will take his stand against the Prince of princes (Jesus Christ). Yet, he will be destroyed, but not by human hands (V. 25). The Jews who are not watchful, or circumspect, will be lulled into a sense of false security and will be killed by this satanically energized king. Yet, he will be destroyed, not with human hands, but by the spirit of His (Christ) mouth and by the brightness of His coming (Parousia).

Gabriel tells Daniel that the vision of the evenings and mornings that has been given you is true, but seal up the vision, “for it concerns the distant future” (NIV), that is to say, the time of the end, at Christ’s Coming.

Chapter Eight ends with, “And I Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days; afterward I rose up, and did the king's business; and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it” (V. 27). Daniel had no understanding of the vision. In Chapter Nine, he is given a further explanation of the vision.

Tom L. Ballinger