Read the Text
If you take a course on the Jewish canonical literature in a secular context, such as at a state university, there is a good chance you will be told that Daniel was actually written in the time of the Maccabees around 164 BC, not back in the 6th century in the time of the Babylonians and the Medes and Persians. You will also be taught that the sequence of the empires in Nebuchadnezzar’s image in Daniel 2 and in Daniel’s vision of the four beasts coming out of a stormy chaotic sea in Daniel 7 goes like this: Babylon, Media, Persia, and then Greece. But in Daniel’s vision in Chapter 8 the heavenly interpreter in the text tells us the sequence of the empires.
“Gabriel said, ‘Look, I will make known to you what will be later in the time of indignation, the appointed time of the end. The two-horned ram that you saw represents the kings of Media and Persia. The hairy billy goat is the king of Greece, and the large horn between his eyes is the first king. The four horns that took the place of the one that was broken represent four kingdoms that will emerge from his nation but will not have the same power.” Daniel 8:19-22
The reason why liberal scholars don’t see Rome as the fourth empire is that, even dating Daniel in the third century, they would still have to accept that he looked into the future and saw the unique power of the Roman Empire. So they ignore the clear statement of the text that the one ram, the bear-like beast, raised up on one side is the Medo-Persian Empire.
What strikes me is that Daniel indicates that God has given him not only vision of the Roman Empire, but also how its people will cut off the Messiah, and yet in a future still future to us this Messiah will return from heaven to rule the world. We have to decide whether we will believe Daniel, God’s inspired prophet, or the shifting opinions of human experts even if they do have a Ph. D. after their name.
LORD, thank you for many scholars who in humility do seek to read and track the texts they are studying, scholars who do acknowledge how their points of view influence their judgments and interpretations. Help us prepare our young people so that they will not turn away from the faith because of biased attacks against the Bible.
For more from Dave Wyrtzen please visit TruthEncounter.com!