20
Jan
12

The Prophecies of Daniel, Part 6

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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Daniel starts another cycle of visions in chapter 8, and we are led again through some of the kingdom overthrows which will occur in the future.  This vision starts differently than the others, as its first reference is to the Medo-Persian empire and not to Babylon.  At the time of this vision, Babylon is nearly done as a world ruler.

“In the third year of King Belshazzar’s reign, I, Daniel, had a vision, after the one that had already appeared to me.  In my vision I saw myself in the citadel of Susa in the province of Elam; in the vision I was beside the Ulai Canal.  I looked up, and there before me was a ram with two horns, standing beside the canal, and the horns were long. One of the horns was longer than the other but grew up later.  I watched the ram as he charged toward the west and the north and the south. No animal could stand against him, and none could rescue from his power. He did as he pleased and became great.” Daniel 8:1-4

Verse 20 of this chapter tells us that this ram is indeed the Medes and Persians – truly a two-headed kingdom, as it was a joining of two empires.  And, as the prophecy intimates, Darius of the Medes ruled first, even though the Mede empire was the weaker of the two.  Darius died two years later, at the age of 64, and Cyrus of Persia took his place.  Thus, the longer horn came up later, exactly as prophesied.

It is worth noting, too, that we see the ram charging in only three directions of the compass – west, north, and south.  If this had just been some boastful story-telling instead of true prophecy, I believe the author would have named all four points of the compass.  But only three directions are named, because the Medes and Persians only conquered in three directions – Lydia to the west; Babylon, Egypt and Nubia to the south; and the Scythians to the north.  The Medo-Persians did not conquer toward the east!  Isn’t that an amazing and very specific fulfillment of prophecy!

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