Friday, June 19, 2009

Daniel 11 Pt. 2

Antichrist returns into his land with his booty from his trip south, and his heart is against the holy covenant. Some people interpret this holy covenant as being a peace treaty antichrist has made with Israel, but it says a holy covenant. A sacred covenant. This would be referring to God’s covenant with His people Israel to give them a world reigning nation, not some treaty by antichrist. Satan is very against God fulfilling this promise. He wasn’t able to stop the Messiah from being born, but if he can stop the promise God made to Israel that they would have a kingdom reigned over by the Messiah, Satan will have proved God a liar. Even though Satan lost the big battle when Christ died for our sins, he still wants to win any battle he can (although he can’t). If he could make God a liar, he would win. (but he won‘t). The verse says that he will do “exploits”. In fact there is no word at all in the Hebrew. This word is an insert word to finish the sentence as in the original it simply says he will “do”. In other words, keep busy doing things. Then it says again that he will return to his own land. One by necessity must assume that whatever these things are he has been doing to keep busy have taken him away from his land, since he is returning yet again. Now we are told that the appointed time has come (ostensibly for the end) and he will again make a push at the southern kingdom. But it won’t turn out as it did before. Ships from Chittim (This can mean “islands” or “from the opposite shores”) will come against him, and he will have to return to his land, this time very depressed. He is indignant against the holy covenant and again does things, even having intelligence with the Jews who are not believers in God. The word intelligence here means it in the way we think of military intelligence today. And arms (basically this means forces as in armed forces) do his work for him by polluting the temple. They shall take away the daily sacrifice and they will place an abomination that will desolate (stun and devastate are two of the definitions for desolate) the temple. Stun is a good word as this will stun the world. As we will see later, an image of antichrist (not Zeus this time) will be set up and people forced to worship him. Those that do wickedly against the covenant (against God’s people and the temple) he will corrupt even further by his deceit and flattery. But the people of God will be strong (in the Lord) and be able to do things. Those that understand (those who have studied God’s Word and know what is going on and what to expect), will teach others (those who will listen). But still these will be persecuted in a variety of ways. When they do fall, there will be some who try to help, but not from a sincere belief in what they are teaching. Of those that fall, some fall to try them, to purge them, and to make them clean. They have not been living lives that were quite right with the Lord. And this will continue up to the end.

Next it says that the king (antichrist) will do whatever he wants, and will exalt himself as a god above all other gods, and will speak marvelous (this word marvelous also translates as miraculous and wondrous, or by our standards, unbelievable) things against God. He will continue to reign and prosper until the indignation (this translates as fury of God’s displeasure) is accomplished. God is allowing antichrist to do this to purge the saints and punish the world. This (antichrist’s reigning) is not God’s wrath, (that is yet to come) it is a time of severe tribulation, but He is allowing it for the purposes of purging and punishing. What has been determined (or agreed upon as we will see later) must be done. The antichrist will not regard (understand or give any importance to) the God of his fathers. He will not regard (again to understand or give any importance to) the desire (this also translates as delight) of women, nor will he regard any god - not even the heathen ones, for he makes himself out to be god. Now there is debate as to what the phrase the desire of women means. Some think this means he will be a homosexual, and in this day and age that is not a far-fetched idea. What makes that seem out of place though, is that just before and just after that phrase it is speaking of his regard of God or gods. It seems incongruous to put homosexuality in the middle of those two. Another way to understand the phrase is that Daniel is speaking to a Jewish audience. A Jewish woman’s fervent desire was to be the mother of the Messiah that would save the nation. They knew one was promised, and they all desired to be the one who would bring him into the world. The word in the dictionary seems to be a noun not a verb, so that would seem to indicate the second interpretation. This would then fit within the other two. He would not have any regard for Christ. This would seem then to say that he has no regard for God, Christ or even the pagan gods.

In the place of the real God he will honor the God of forces (defenses, fortresses, or war). This would seem to indicate his “god”, as it were, is military might and war. We know he magnifies himself and sets himself up as a god. He only worships the power that brings him the worship of others. From the word "forces" it would seem that he believes in having military power (bombs, nukes, armies, etc.) that instills fear in others. He will honor a god his fathers didn’t know with treasures. This would seem to indicate, since we know that worship of any god other than the true god is worship of Satan, that his fathers worshiped the true God. This could indicate his lineage is of Jewish or Christian antecedents. While he sets himself up as a god, he is still possessed by a demon, and the demon knows that Satan is his boss and he needs to acknowledge him. He will do all this in the most fortified places by the power of a “strange” (foreign or heathen) god. Ultimately this is speaking of Satan, as we know he will empower antichrist and he is the heathen's god after all. He will acknowledge and give glory to this god of his. Again, we know that he is Satan’s facsimile of a “son”, just as Christ is God’s Son. He will have “them” (we must assume this is his ten cohorts) rule over many people and will divide the land up for what appears to be financial purposes.

[update on October 25, 2010 - New information brings new light to this passage, and a more thorough discussion of it can be found within the Revelation chapter 20 blogs, under "Re-evaluated Scriptures". As will be seen in later blog entries, it appears that the antichrist will be the Muslim Mahdi. As such some of the above now makes new sense. He honors a god that his fathers did not know. A Muslim's ancestor's during Daniel's time would have not known Allah. He was the god that Mohammed declared to be god, and was not known as "the" god by the people of that area until after Mohammed. Also Allah is a god of war, a god of forces or military might. Islam is a religion of jihad. Conversion is accomplished by force if necessary, and death is the option if refusal is the choice. As for not regarding the desire of women, Muslim women in Muslim countries are considered lower than the low when it comes to their desires. He won't care what they might like. Their desires will be irrelevant to him. They will wear clothes that completely cover them, including obscuring their vision, and they will do as told. ]

At the time of the end the king of the south (still an unidentified nation) will push against him, and the king of the north (again unknown quantity) will come against him suddenly with a lot of armed forces. He will push back against both kings and go into their countries and will overpower them. He will enter into Israel and overthrow a bunch of countries. Edom, Moab, and Ammon will be the only ones to escape this. There may be a reason for this as we will see later. He will continue to extend his power base into Egypt and other countries, including Ethiopia, Libya and no doubt others, taking their wealth away from them. News from the east (country unknown) and north (Russia?) will trouble him and anger him. He will be bent on destroying everyone. He will set up his palace or home between the seas (Mediterranean and Dead) in the holy mountain. In other words the temple mount. He will come to an end and nobody will help him to stop that from happening.

This is a long list of military battles. One has to be very on top of the news in the Middle East to keep on top of all of these battles. More important than the battles is the information on the abomination of desolation. It will be this event that we will see Christ referencing when telling the disciples about what to expect at the end of days just before His return. It is because of Christ’s reference to this event that we can start putting together the timeline that begins here in the book of Daniel.

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