The Daniel dilemma – part one


The main challenge that the book of Daniel encountered. Came from those that believed the book was not first off written by Daniel and in turn was not written in 540 to 530 B.C. Many imply the book was written in the 200 B.C. time frame.
Why is this so important? Why must we accept and understand that the Book of Daniel was written by Daniel and was complete before his death which is stated to have occurred in 530 B.C.?
This is the dilemma.
First off you need to understand that this book was not just written for the Jewish people as all the other book of the Old Testament (OT) were originally written for. This book was also written for the Gentiles and signaled the beginning of the rule of the Gentile nations over the world. This is seen in the way Daniel wrote this book. The beginning and the end of the book is written in Hebrew. As all other book of the OT were written, with the exception of Ezra. The middle of the book though is written in Aramaic (2:4 – 7:28). This is the common tongue at the time throughout the Middle East. It also stayed this way well into the time of the Roman Empire. It is still used in some form by many Middle Eastern Christian Churches.
These parts of the Book of Daniel that were written in Aramaic deal specifically with Gentile nations within the Middle East. For the focal point is the nation of Israel, so it deals only with those nations that will have an effect upon it, which included Greece and the Roman Empire. This is something that really needs to be understood. Many in today’s Christian culture reject in some part the Judaism of the OT. They feel that only Christianity is the focal point of the Bible. This is the furthest thing from the truth.
Abraham is the father of the Jewish and as well as the Islamic nations. Jesus, the Son of God, was born to a descendant of David. Both Joseph and Mary have a direct lineage to David, the first king of the united tribes of Israel. Christianity came from Jesus Christ who was raised upon the books of the OT. At the age of twelve His knowledge of these books, which included Daniel. Far exceeded the understanding of the Bible by the Pharisees and Sadducees at that time and was noted as such (Luke 2:46-47). So Christianity is the “grandchild” of Abraham. And the Bible teaches that we must honor our fathers and mothers, even to the point of the source of our faith. So any that deny Israel, and the Jewish people, deny God.
This non-focus on Israel as the focal-point has led to many misinterpretations of this book by those that have not taken the time to truly study the Bible and history itself. This is why it is extremely important to study the Bible. Not just read it. As is the case of the book of Daniel, knowing history is extremely important as well. For within the book of Daniel is facts related to not only Israel, but Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and the Roman Empire. Without knowledge of this history of these nations misunderstanding the book of Daniel comes into play and so causes the rise of false teachings and teachers.
First we need to understand the four Gentile world dominate kingdoms. As shown above these are Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome. The last of these is the most complicated to understand, but when taken in context with the statute of four layers you come to a better understanding, and once again see that Israel is the focal point as well.
Babylon is the first major Empire of any true note that affected the Middle Eastern area. Many times this empire changed hands, but the one that dealt with Israel was the Assyrian rule which began in 911 B.C. and ended during the book of Daniel in 619 B.C. This version of the empire at its apex, which is approximately 671 B.C. reached from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean down into Egypt itself. The boarder cities were Susa, Ecbatana, Musasir, Tushpa, Kanish, Tarsus, and Dumah and reached down to Jeb in Egypt. To give you a more up to date imagery, the eastern boarder would conform for the most part to the border between Iraq and Iran. Its northern border went from Van, Turkey to the Lake of Tuz just south, southeast of Ankara. The western border starts at the north at this lake down to between Silifke and Adana, along the entire eastern coast of the Mediterranean. It then extended into the Egypt just west of Al Hammam down south to Mut and then met the Red Sea near Halaib. Its southern border extended from the Gulf of Aqaba in a near straight line to the Persian Gulf.
Why I went into so much detail describing this area? Is due to the fact that this area is all the land mass that the book of Daniel deals with. Even though Greece and Rome are not in this area today. At one point during their conquests they held domain over this area, which is why they are a part of the prophecies within the book of Daniel. The land mass within these prophecies never changes. However the effects to each of these empires especially the last does constitute the overall lands, and cultures they have affected, due to their existence within the Gentile world. So to make this clear. The prophecies within the book of Daniel deal exclusively within the lands of the Middle East, that deal with the original boarders of the Babylonian/Assyrian Empire. In today’s terms that that means Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Kuwait and parts of Saudi Arabia and Turkey. So when a direction is mentioned within the prophecies it conforms to an area within these boundaries. In the book of Revelation this area also conforms to the boundaries of the city of New Jerusalem.
In the prophecy of the statue four nations are given reference to, but not truly identified. The head is, which is shown to be Babylon. However the other, even though described, are not given identity. This changes in chapter seven. Here the seven nations are given identification for those that have the eyes to see and the ears to hear.

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