Chapter 27: Daniel
Dan:1:1: In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it.
Dan:1:2: And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God: which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god.
Dan:1:3: And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king's seed, and of the princes;
Dan:1:4: Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king's palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans.
Dan:1:5: And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king's meat, and of the wine which he drank: so nourishing them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king.
Dan:1:6: Now among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah:
Dan:1:7: Unto whom the prince of the eunuchs gave names: for he gave unto Daniel the name of Belteshazzar; and to Hananiah, of Shadrach; and to Mishael, of Meshach; and to Azariah, of Abed-nego.
Dan:1:18: Now at the end of the days that the king had said he should bring them in, then the prince of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar.
According to this, Daniel (a.k.a. Belteshazzar) was schooled in the Chaldean tongue for three years prior to being presented to King Nebuchadnezzar.
Dan:1:19: And the king communed with them; and among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: therefore stood they before the king.
Dan:1:20: And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king enquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm.
Dan:1:21: And Daniel continued even unto the first year of king Cyrus.
Dan:2:1: And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, wherewith his spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake from him.
Dan:2:2: Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the astrologers, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, for to shew the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king.
Dan:2:3: And the king said unto them, I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit was troubled to know the dream.
Dan:2:4: Then spake the Chaldeans to the king in Syriack, O king, live for ever: tell thy servants the dream, and we will shew the interpretation.
Dan:2:10: The Chaldeans answered before the king, and said, There is not a man upon the earth that can shew the king's matter: therefore there is no king, lord, nor ruler, that asked such things at any magician, or astrologer, or Chaldean.
Dan:2:11: And it is a rare thing that the king requireth, and there is none other that can shew it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.
Dan:2:12: For this cause the king was angry and very furious, and commanded to destroy all the wise men of Babylon.
Dan:2:13: And the decree went forth that the wise men should be slain; and they sought Daniel and his fellows to be slain.
Dan:2:14: Then Daniel answered with counsel and wisdom to Arioch the captain of the king's guard, which was gone forth to slay the wise men of Babylon:
Dan:2:15: He answered and said to Arioch the king's captain, Why is the decree so hasty from the king? Then Arioch made the thing known to Daniel.
Dan:2:16: Then Daniel went in, and desired of the king that he would give him time, and that he would shew the king the interpretation.
There is a chronological problem here. Daniel had been brought to Babylon when Nebuchadnezzar was king. Daniel had waited three years prior to being presented to the king. At that presentation the king marveled at Daniel's understanding, which surpassed that of the magicians and astrologers. This evidently caused the king to group Daniel in with the "wise men" so that when they failed to interpret his dream he sought to kill Daniel along with them. But Daniel went on to interpret the dream, and thus saved himself and the other "wise men".
The problem is this: it is stated that the dream and the failure of the "wise men" occurred in the second year of his reign: at least a year before he had even met Daniel.
Dan:4:35: And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?
Elsewhere, the Bible tells us that God values the life of every sparrow, and much more so every human being (Mt. 10:29-31). Yet, in the above verse we are told that God counts all the inhabitants of the earth as "nothing"! We are also informed that he does as he pleases and no one can tell him what to do or challenge what he does. That would make prayer an exercise in futility.
Dan:2:48: Then the king made Daniel a great man, and gave him many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief of the governors over all the wise men of Babylon.
So, just like Joseph (who was made the most powerful person in Egypt next to the Pharaoh), Daniel was made the most politically powerful person in the kingdom of Babylon: second only to the king!
Dan:5:1: Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and drank wine before the thousand.
Dan:5:2: Belshazzar, whiles he tasted the wine, commanded to bring the golden and silver vessels which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple which was in Jerusalem; that the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, might drink therein.
Dan:5:3: Then they brought the golden vessels that were taken out of the temple of the house of God which was at Jerusalem; and the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, drank in them.
Dan:5:4: They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone.
Dan:5:5: In the same hour came forth fingers of a man's hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaister of the wall of the king's palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote.
Dan:5:6: Then the king's countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another.
Dan:5:7: The king cried aloud to bring in the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers. And the king spake, and said to the wise men of Babylon, Whosoever shall read this writing, and shew me the interpretation thereof, shall be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about his neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.
Dan:5:8: Then came in all the king's wise men: but they could not read the writing, nor make known to the king the interpretation thereof.
Dan:5:9: Then was king Belshazzar greatly troubled, and his countenance was changed in him, and his lords were astonied.
Dan:5:10: Now the queen, by reason of the words of the king and his lords, came into the banquet house: and the queen spake and said, O king, live for ever: let not thy thoughts trouble thee, nor let thy countenance be changed:
Dan:5:11: There is a man in thy kingdom, in whom is the spirit of the holy gods; and in the days of thy father light and understanding and wisdom, like the wisdom of the gods, was found in him; whom the king Nebuchadnezzar thy father, the king, I say, thy father, made master of the magicians, astrologers, Chaldeans, and soothsayers;
Dan:5:12: Forasmuch as an excellent spirit, and knowledge, and understanding, interpreting of dreams, and shewing of hard sentences, and dissolving of doubts, were found in the same Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar: now let Daniel be called, and he will shew the interpretation.
Dan:5:13: Then was Daniel brought in before the king. And the king spake and said unto Daniel, Art thou that Daniel, which art of the children of the captivity of Judah, whom the king my father brought out of Jewry?
Dan:5:14: I have even heard of thee, that the spirit of the gods is in thee, and that light and understanding and excellent wisdom is found in thee.
Well, of course Nebuchadnezzar's son -- Belshazzar -- would have heard of Daniel! Daniel was the "ruler over the whole province of Babylon"! (Dan 2:48) Belshazzar's father had issued a proclamation to "everyone" that told how great an interpreter of dreams Daniel was:
Dan:4:1: Nebuchadnezzar the king, unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you.
Dan:4:2: I thought it good to shew the signs and wonders that the high God hath wrought toward me.
Dan:4:7: Then came in the magicians, the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers: and I told the dream before them; but they did not make known unto me the interpretation thereof.
Dan:4:8: But at the last Daniel came in before me, whose name was Belteshazzar, according to the name of my god, and in whom is the spirit of the holy gods: and before him I told the dream, saying,
When Nebuchadnezzar was instructing his son on the rulership of the kingdom, he would had to have introduced him to the second most powerful man in that kingdom: Daniel.
So, why is it that when Belshazzar experienced something that needed interpreting, he didn't seek out Daniel immediately? Why did he even bother with the "magicians and astrologers" whom his father must've told him were brain-dead when it came to this sort of thing? Why did Belshazzar's mother have to tell him about Daniel as if he were unacquainted with the man who was running his kingdom for him?
Daniel then went on to interpret the writing:
Dan:5:24: Then was the part of the hand sent from him; and this writing was written.
Dan:5:25: And this is the writing that was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.
Dan:5:26: This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it.
Dan:5:27: TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.
Dan:5:28: PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.
Daniel claimed that the writing was: MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN. Yet, he interpreted the words MENE, TEKEL, and PERES. So, what did UPHARSIN mean? And why did he give the interpretation of a word that was not written? I would say that Daniel's interpretation was obviously flawed, but surprisingly -- and despite the propensity for kings to murder messengers of bad tidings -- Belshazzar rewarded him:
Dan:5:29: Then commanded Belshazzar, and they clothed Daniel with scarlet, and put a chain of gold about his neck, and made a proclamation concerning him, that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom.
But actually this was a demotion, since Belshazzar's father had previously appointed Daniel second in command (Dan 2:48).
Later, the Medes conquered Babylon, and Darius became the new king over Daniel. Despite the fact that Daniel had served his enemy, Darius put Daniel in charge. But when others grew jealous, they tricked the king into signing an irrevocable law that landed Daniel in the lions' den.
But Daniel survived:
Dan:6:22: My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions' mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.
Dan:6:23: Then was the king exceeding glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God.
Dan:6:24: And the king commanded, and they brought those men which had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions, them, their children, and their wives; and the lions had the mastery of them, and brake all their bones in pieces or ever they came at the bottom of the den.
Daniel claimed that God saved him from the lions because: "innocency was found in me". But the plotters' children were also innocent. So why didn't God save them from the lions as well?
According to the book of Daniel, the angel Gabriel imparted the following information to Daniel:
Dan:9:24: Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
Dan:9:25: Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
Dan:9:26: And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
This information was imparted in the first year of Darius (Dan 9:1).
So, 70 weeks from that date, Jerusalem should have begun to be restored. That's less than a year and a half, so we would expect that the "going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem" would've occurred in the second or third year of Darius. In harmony with this, we read:
Hag:1:1: In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, in the first day of the month, came the word of the LORD by Haggai the prophet unto Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, saying,
Hag:1:2: Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, This people say, The time is not come, the time that the LORD's house should be built.
Gabriel went on to state that the Messiah would arrive 69 weeks after that date (seven weeks plus threescore plus two weeks (7+60+2=69) (Dan 9:25). Again, this is a time period slightly less than a year and a half. That would put the arrival of the Messiah in the third or fourth year of Darius.
We have the writings of the "minor prophets" which cover this time period:
Zech:7:1: And it came to pass in the fourth year of king Darius, that the word of the LORD came unto Zechariah in the fourth day of the ninth month, even in Chisleu;
Ezra:6:15: And this house was finished on the third day of the month Adar, which was in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the king.
In fact, Nehemiah covers the time period at least up until the 32nd year of Artaxerxes:
Neh:13:6: But in all this time was not I at Jerusalem: for in the two and thirtieth year of Artaxerxes king of Babylon came I unto the king, and after certain days obtained I leave of the king:
Artaxerxes became king after Xerxes' 21 year reign, and Xerxes became king after Darius' 35 year reign. So, the "Old Testament" covers the time period through which the Messiah was supposed to arrive, and continues for 84 years after that time. Yet no mention is made of the Messiah having arrived to fulfill Daniel's prophecy.
Again: the Messiah should have arrived (according to the information Daniel supposedly received from Gabriel) in the third or fourth year of Darius. Yet this obviously did not take place. These two verses in the book of Daniel are the only occurrences of the word "Messiah" in the entire "Old Testament". So, this is the only real prophecy in the "Old Testament" concerning the "Messiah" -- and it failed.
Darius reigned from 521 - 486 BCE. So, the fourth year of his reign would've been 518 BCE. If Jesus supposedly was born somewhere around 4 BCE (during the time of Herod), then he was born 514 years too late. Clearly then, Jesus' birth did not fulfill the only prophecy in the "Old Testament" about the "Messiah".
Dan:11:36: And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.
How can there be a "God of gods" when "God" previously stated:
Isa:43:10: Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.
Isa:45:5: I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me:
If there are no other gods, then there can be no such thing as a "God of gods".
Dan:11:37: Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.
Dan:11:38: But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things.
How can it be that this king shall "not regard any god" when at the same time he shall "honor the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not"?
Dan:12:7: And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.
This man or angel in Daniel's vision clearly flew in the face of Jesus' teaching to never swear:
Mt:5:34: But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne:
Mt:5:35: Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King.
Mt:5:36: Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.
Mt:5:37: But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.
If what this person or angel had to say "came of evil", then I guess we shouldn't pay it much heed.