Daniel 11: Has It Already Happened? Or is it Prophecy?

(Today’s post by Adam Cooper)

Daniel 11:2-20

daniel_11Okay. Anytime you begin cracking open the amazing and intriguing book that is Daniel it is easy to get completely and total overwhelmed by the prophetic imagery contained within. However, being able to look back on history with 20/20 hindsight makes this book a little more palatable than it was to its original audience. Either way Daniel is a wealth of information and imagery that has fostered copious theological discussion throughout the ages and unfortunately for you this will not be the last one you ever read. In fact, I plan to steer clear of the prophetic explanations and focus more on the prophetic implications.

In this portion of Daniel we hear about the kingdoms that are represented in a historical dance for power in that region of the world. Commentaries discuss the story of Berenice and Ptolemy Philadelphus of Egypt and Antiochus of Assyria and Babylon and the deal that was made to in hopes of ending aggression. Hopes were shattered for peace when Ptolemy died and Antiochus took back his former wife. The story is actually very interesting but the more important fact is the prophetic nature of Daniel’s comments and how we see those very verses fulfilled in that account.

Others see an even more prophetic nature within these verses and associate the scenes mentioned as being related to end times. Whether the scene has already been played out in history or whether it is yet to come, Daniel has established a tremendous lineage of accuracy with his visions. God has provided many levels of information throughout the living, breathing text of the Bible and I believe it is possible that both interpretations are accurate.

To the Jews of the time Daniel stood as a prophetic warning of events yet to come. To us, Daniel accomplishes the same throughout its curious words.

As we approach the Christmas season it is important that we look back on the history of Christ and what He was able to accomplish in His brief Earthly ministry. As God in human form He humbled Himself to experience the human condition first hand: temptations, struggles, prejudices, and even death. But it is also important to see the promise, and I would say warning of His future return. Jesus was, is, and always will be the only thing that can save us from ourselves.

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