Bombarded 24-7 with bad news it’s normal to be stunned and paralyzed by fear. So when Daniel saw visions of the world wide power of Alexander the Great, the division of his Empire, and then the brutal persecution of his people by Antiochus Epiphanes, he didn’t understand what all of it meant, but he did understand enough. It made him sick, out of action for several days in bed.
“The vision of the evenings and mornings that has been told to you is true, but keep it a secret because it is not to become reality for many days. Then I, Daniel, fell sick for many days. Then I got up and went about the king’s business, but I didn’t understand completely my vision.” Daniel 8:26-27
We can be thankful that God allowed Daniel to share his secret vision with us, and now that we know the events of Antiochus IV’s career, we have a clearer understanding of what it all meant. In Daniel 8:14 we are told that the time of persecution will last 2, 300 days or six years and four months. We know that Judas Maccabees cleansed the sanctuary in December of 164 BC. If we count back from this date, we come to the fall of 170 BC. This is the exact time when Antiochus had Onias III, the legitimate High Priest, murdered at the request of Menelaus, the priest Antiochus put in place because of a bribe.
God allowed Daniel in on the secret about what would happen several hundred years after his life, and what gives me great confidence is that 160 years after the Lord ended Antiochus’ reign of terror, He sent the Prince of princes into the world to be born in Bethlehem.
LORD, faced with disturbing breaking news on a constant basis, help me to be honest like Daniel about how sick both emotionally and physically this constant bombardment makes me, but help me also to get up and be about your business, a King far more worthy than the King of Babylon.
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