15
Jan
12

The Prophecies of Daniel, Part 1

I love prophecy in the Bible, because it is always fulfilled.  This alone should make people stop and think about the veracity of the Bible – for these things were clearly written well in advance of the actual fulfillment.  That fact seems to be beyond argument.  And what are the chances that these prophecies just happened to be “coincidentally” right?  No, it is safe to say that God’s prophecy is accurate, true…and amazing.  Here are some explanations of each of the prophecies found in the book of Daniel.

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The first of many prophecies occurs midway through the book of Daniel.

In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream, and visions passed through his mind as he was lying on his bed. He wrote down the substance of his dream.  Daniel said: “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me were the four winds of heaven churning up the great sea.  Four great beasts, each different from the others, came up out of the sea.  The first was like a lion, and it had the wings of an eagle. I watched until its wings were torn off and it was lifted from the ground so that it stood on two feet like a man, and the heart of a man was given to it.” Daniel 7:1-4

There are many things to infer from this passage.  First, the vision takes place in a churning wind, and contains the portrayal of beasts.  It seems clear that the time of these four “beasts” (which are representations of four different nations) will be a time of war and strife.  And this is true, the following years experienced by Judah were a time of war and trouble.  The first beast, the lion, is an image of the kingdom of Babylon.  Babylon was the first kingdom to overtake Judah and exile her from her land.  There is further corroboration of this if we look at Jeremiah 4:5-7, in which the prophet likens Babylon to a lion (“A lion has come out of his lair; a destroyer of nations has set out.  He has left his place to lay waste your land.  Your towns will lie in ruins without inhabitant.”)

Further, Babylon was a strong kingdom under Nebuchadnezzar, but quickly became weak under his son Belshazzar.  In fact, the once-mighty kingdom was reduced to a city only – the entire “kingdom” of Babylon existing only within its four walls during Belshazzar’s reign.  Eventually, the kingdom was overrun by the Medo-Persian empire.  This future occurrence corresponds to the latter part of the passage – where the beasts wings are torn off, and it is given a weak heart.

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