Thursday, September 18. Daniel 6 – 8

There are three important visions in Daniel you should not miss.

The first is in chapter 2 where Daniel interprets the king of Babylon’s dream. Three kingdoms are to follow that of the Babylonians, but those kingdoms are not named.

The second is in chapter 7 where Daniel has a dream of four beasts, each representing a future kingdom. But again, the kingdoms are not named.

In chapter 8, Daniel has a dream of two animals, a ram and a goat. Here, we are told they represent two kingdoms, that of Persia (which was to follow that of Babylon) and that of Greece.

In biblical interpretation, one should seek the meaning that would have been understood by the book’s first readers. But in this case, other than what is plainly written (the mention of Persia and Greece), it would be difficult for the first readers to know much else. Their descendants would come to understand it through the events of history but for the first readers, the meaning is unattainable. I believe that is what is meant by the sealing of the vision.

What’s going on?

The kingdom of Greece, at Alexander the Great’s death, was divided into four parts (8:22), each ruled by one of Alexander’s generals. Chapter 8 assures the readers that though one of these divisions will become stronger than the rest, and take a position against God (the Prince of Princes) and His people, he will be destroyed by the Lord.

As we move into this section of Daniel, it will be tempting to see historical figures in the presentation, but the first readers would not know them. How would they read it?

As a light into the future.

Though they might return to their homeland from Babylon, their trust must always be in the Lord. Governments will come and go, and oppression will be ever-present, but those who hold to God’s hand will always be secure.

We need to remember that.