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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Does the Bible really say that? Excerpt from my book, 31

[Continuing a discussion of End Times prophecy.]

In his reference to Daniel in verse 14, Jesus was probably referring to one or all of these three sections of that book:

Daniel 9:27 He shall make a firm covenant with many for one week: and in the middle of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the offering to cease; and on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate; and even to the full end, and that determined, shall wrath be poured out on the desolate.

Some people get the idea of a seven-year tribulation, with a rapture at the halfway point, from this verse. (They take a week, seven days, as standing for a seven year period.) If that idea is correct, it would seem to be a second meaning, with the first one being the destruction of the temple, referred to by Christ (see above). It would also mean that a day is a symbol for a year. Perhaps. Perhaps not.

Daniel 11:16 But he who comes against him shall do according to his own will, and no one shall stand before him; and he shall stand in the glorious land, and in his hand shall be destruction. 17 He shall set his face to come with the strength of his whole kingdom, and with him equitable conditions; and he shall perform them: and he shall give him the daughter of women, to corrupt her; but she shall not stand, neither be for him. 18 After this shall he turn his face to the islands, and shall take many: but a prince shall cause the reproach offered by him to cease; yes, moreover, he shall cause his reproach to turn on him. 19 Then he shall turn his face toward the fortresses of his own land; but he shall stumble and fall, and shall not be found. 20 Then shall stand up in his place one who shall cause a tax collector to pass through the kingdom to maintain its glory; but within few days he shall be destroyed, neither in anger, nor in battle. 21 In his place shall stand up a contemptible person, to whom they had not given the honor of the kingdom: but he shall come in time of security, and shall obtain the kingdom by flatteries. 22 The overwhelming forces shall be overwhelmed from before him, and shall be broken; yes, also the prince of the covenant. 23 After the treaty made with him he shall work deceitfully; for he shall come up, and shall become strong, with a small people. 24 In time of security shall he come even on the fattest places of the province; and he shall do that which his fathers have not done, nor his fathers’ fathers; he shall scatter among them prey, and plunder, and substance: yes, he shall devise his devices against the strongholds, even for a time. 25 He shall stir up his power and his courage against the king of the south with a great army; and the king of the south shall war in battle with an exceeding great and mighty army; but he shall not stand; for they shall devise devices against him. 26 Yes, they who eat of his dainties shall destroy him, and his army shall overflow; and many shall fall down slain. 27 As for both these kings, their hearts shall be to do mischief, and they shall speak lies at one table: but it shall not prosper; for yet the end shall be at the time appointed. 28 Then he will return into his land with great substance; and his heart will be against the holy covenant; and he will take action, and return to his own land. 29 At the time appointed he shall return, and come into the south; but it shall not be in the latter time as it was in the former. 30 For ships of Kittim shall come against him; therefore he shall be grieved, and shall return, and have indignation against the holy covenant, and shall take action: he shall even return, and have regard to those who forsake the holy covenant. 31 Forces shall stand on his part, and they shall profane the sanctuary, even the fortress, and shall take away the continual burnt offering, and they shall set up the abomination that makes desolate. 32 Such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he pervert by flatteries; but the people who know their God shall be strong, and take action. 33 Those who are wise among the people shall instruct many; yet they shall fall by the sword and by flame, by captivity and by plunder, many days. 34 Now when they shall fall, they shall be helped with a little help; but many shall join themselves to them with flatteries. 35 Some of those who are wise shall fall, to refine them, and to purify, and to make them white, even to the time of the end; because it is yet for the time appointed. 36 The king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvelous things against the God of gods; and he shall prosper until the indignation be accomplished; for that which is determined shall be done. 37 Neither shall he regard the gods of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god; for he shall magnify himself above all. 38 But in his place shall he honor the god of fortresses; and a god whom his fathers didn’t know shall he honor with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things. 39 He shall deal with the strongest fortresses by the help of a foreign god: whoever acknowledges him he will increase with glory; and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for a price. 40 At the time of the end shall the king of the south contend with him; and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass through. 41 He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown; but these shall be delivered out of his hand: Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon. 42 He shall stretch out his hand also on the countries; and the land of Egypt shall not escape. 43 But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt; and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps. 44 But news out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him; and he shall go out with great fury to destroy and utterly to sweep away many. 45 He shall plant the tents of his palace between the sea and the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and no one shall help him.

This may be about the end times, but that’s not the mostly likely meaning, since Jesus seems to have referred to this passage in relation to the destruction of Jerusalem in the first century A. D. The original meaning of Daniel was also probably as a prophecy of the destruction of the temple before the time of Christ. (See the Wikipedia article on Antiochus Epiphanes.) It is possible that God intended these prophecies to be about both the destruction of Jerusalem and the end times. The prophecies about Christ’s early life, discussed above, all seem to have had at least two meanings.

There’s also this passage:
Daniel 12:7 I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand to heaven, and swore by him who lives forever that it shall be for a time, times, and a half; and when they have finished breaking in pieces the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished. 8 I heard, but I didn’t understand: then I said, my lord, what shall be the issue of these things? 9 He said, Go your way, Daniel; for the words are shut up and sealed until the time of the end. 10 Many shall purify themselves, and make themselves white, and be refined; but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand; but those who are wise shall understand. 11 From the time that the continual burnt offering shall be taken away, and the abomination that makes desolate set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred ninety days. 12 Blessed is he who waits, and comes to the one thousand three hundred thirty-five days. 13 But go you your way until the end; for you shall rest, and shall stand in your lot, at the end of the days.

These writings of Daniel, and the statements by Jesus in Matthew, are apocalyptic. Perhaps they are prophetic, also. We should always be careful in interpreting these kinds of Biblical literature.

The above is an excerpt from my recently self-published e-book, Does the Bible Really Say That?, which may be obtained free of charge, or purchased from Amazon for $0.99, which is the lowest price Amazon lets an author set. Scripture quotations are from the World English Bible, which is in the public domain.

The previous post in this series is here. God willing, the next post in this series will continue a discussion of this topic, prophecy. Thanks for reading.

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