32. Daniel: Visions of the Future

Daniel, while enjoying a royal life, is deeply aware that he and his people are captives due to persistent disobedience. Knowing God’s patience and power, he prays for mercy for his nation in humble repentance and receives a big picture of the future from God.


  • Nebuchadnezzar’s visions
  • Belshazzar – writing on the wall
  • Daniel’s visions:
    • 4 beasts (ch 7)
    • Ram and goat (ch 8), Gabriel’s explanation
  • Gabriel’s response to prayer (ch 9) – 70 weeks
  • God’s response to prayer (ch 10-12)


  • Daniel had a gift for knowing and interpreting dreams. God gave kings visions of the future world which Daniel interpreted.
  • His faithful and fervent prayers led God to reveal to him future plans for the nation of Israel and the world.
  • Some of Daniel’s prophecies have come true.
  • Other prophecies map to the future also mentioned in the New Testament and Revelation.

Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream - Idol

The dream of Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon is interpreted by Daniel.

The dream unfolds the future kingdoms of the earth: Daniel 2:39-46

  • Babylon (gold)
  • Medo-Persia (silver)
  • Greek – 4 part (bronze)
  • Rome (iron)
  • Divided kingdom (iron and clay)
  • God’s kingdom

Other Royal Visions

These were more for the short term during their current period:

  • Nebuchadnazzar’s second vision
  • God brings down the great King
  • Balshazzar’s sees the writing on wall
  • The kingdom is given to Medes and Persians

Daniel’s vision of four beasts – ch 7

  • Lion with eagle’s wings (Rome)
  • Bear (Medes and Persians)
  • Leopard – 4 heads (Greeks)
  • Beast-10 horns representing world powers from which antichrist emerges – (1 very powerful horn) destroying 3 kingdoms (multiple kingdom united)
  • Christ’s kingdom rules earth

Daniel’s vision of ram and goat – ch 8

Gabriel’s interpretation

  • Ram with 2 horns – Medes, Persians
  • Goat – Greece
  • One powerful horn – Alexander
  • Little horn – Antichrist desecrates sanctuary for 2300 days

The Antichrist Daniel 8

Daniel’s Revelation New Testament Revelation
Vs 24 He will become very strong, but not by his own power. Rev 13:2 … and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.
Vs 24 He will cause astounding devastation and will succeed in whatever he does. Rev 13:3-4 All the world wondered after the beast… they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?
Vs 24 He will destroy the mighty men and the holy people Rev 13:7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them.
Vs 25 He will cause deceit to prosper, and he will consider himself superior.

Rev 13:5,13-14 It performs great signs…  it deceives those who dwell on earth.

2nd Thes 2:3-4,9-10 … who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship…

Vs 25 When they feel secure, he will destroy many and take his stand against the Prince of princes

1 Thess 5:2 While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them..

Rev 19:19 And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against him who was sitting on the horse (Jesus – the King of Kings)

Vs 25 Yet he will be destroyed, but not by human power. 2 Thess 2:8 The lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming.

Daniel and Gabriel – 70 weeks (Daniel 9)

24 “Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy place. 25 So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress. 26 Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off (killed) and have nothing (but not for himself),

One interpretation of 70 weeks (Dan 9)

  • In Ezra 7, Artexerxes gives a decree to rebuild temple in 457 BC.
  • In Nehemiah 2 in 444 BC Artexerxes [4] gives a decree to rebuild walls of Jerusalem.
  • The first 69 weeks (of years ie. 69*7 years), starting 444 BC. refer to the rebuilding of Jerusalem, and using Jewish calendar could date to death of Christ (anointed one).

Interpretation of 70 weeks (Daniel 9)

  • .. and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined. V 26
  • There appears to be a gap after the 69th week during which Jerusalem and the temple is destroyed. There are wars and desolation for the Jews.[1]
  • The end is (v 27), Christ’s final and ultimate victory The description of the final 7 years also seems to map to the 7 years of tribulation in ch 12, with the desolating sacrilege in the temple / abomination of desolation.

Vision interpreted (ch 10)

Daniel sees a man – probably Jesus

5 ..man dressed in linen, whose waist was girded with a belt of pure gold of Uphaz. 6 .. his eyes were like flaming torches, his arms and feet like the gleam of polished bronze, and the sound of his words like the sound of a tumult. Daniel 10

Compare with John’s vision of Jesus in Revelation

..like a son of man, clothed in a robe.. girded across His chest with a golden sash. 14 .. His eyes were like a flame of fire. 15 His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been made to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters. Rev 1

Vision interpreted (Cont'd. ch 11)

Prophesy on:

  • Rise and fall of Babylon, Persia, Greece (with division into four), Antiochus; desolating sacrilege. Dan 11:1-35 these events happened before Christ’s first coming
  • Bridge (time gap from Christ’s time till 7 years prior to second coming) – 35 Some of those who have insight will fall, in order to refine, purge and make them pure until the end time; because it is still to come at the appointed time. V 35
  • Antichrist, desolating sacrilege; final war, his final destruction. v. 36 onward. (70th week – last 7 years, tribulation Christ’s second coming)

Vision interpreted (Cont'd. ch 12)

  • Great tribulation, rapture and judgment. (v 1-3) – this is a description of those last 7 years (70th week)
  • Time frame: 3.5 years (time, times and half a time), till (another) desolating sacrilege (first one was before Christ’s first coming, second, before Christ’s second coming)/ “1290 days till holy people are shattered.”
  • Another 3.5 yrs- 1330 days for Christ’s complete victory.
  • After this His royal reign of 1000 years will commence on this earth – which will never be the same

Confusions in Daniel

  • There are two similar sets of events prior to Christ’s first coming and prior to Christ’s second coming which could be confusing as there are:
  • >1 anointed one/ prince (in 70 weeks) in different versions
  • >1 reference to Rome – past and futuristic
  • >1 King of North and King of South (in fact there are several of these world powers referred as King of North and King of South over the ages)– past and futuristic
  • >1 abomination of desolation or desolating sacrilege – past and futuristic

Confusions in Daniel

  • > 1 period of 7 years (last vision) – also 2300 days (ram and goat vision)
  • > 1 period of 3.5 yrs (approx) – 1290, 1330 days, time, times, half a time – past and futuristic. (last vision)
  • Last week of 70 weeks could describe both first and second coming of Christ (ch 9:24,25) – dual referencing
  • In ch. 12 righteous and wicked rise in one sentence (in Revelation there is 1000 years in between these two events)
  • These apparent confusions are actually dual referencing – similar events reoccurring – a biblical pattern

In the interim…

But you, Daniel, keep this prophecy a secret; seal up the book until the time of the end, when many will rush here and there, and knowledge will increase. – Daniel 12:4

Even Daniel may have been confused and only now we are beginning to piece things together. Knowledge will continue to increase for the anointed ones as time goes by.

Recap – Royal Visions

Long Term Vision – Powers through the ages till Christ reigns

  • Nebuchadnezzar’s first vision: The idol represented Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome, (+ revived Rome – current age), God’s rule

Short Term Visions – occurred during their reigns

  • Nebuchadnezzar’s second vision: tree followed by his fall
  • Belshazzar – writing on the wall followed by his fall

Recap – Daniel’s Visions

  • 4 beasts (ch 7) representing Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome, (+revived Rome – current age), God’s rule
  • Ram and goat (ch. 8) Gabriel’s explanation: Represent the antichrist’s predecessors – powers on earth – Babylon, Persia, Greece, desolating sacrilege, Antichrist rise and fall, Christ’s rule.
  • Daniel’s prayer and Gabriel’s response (ch 9) – 70 weeks for Christ’s return: Key events are the rise and fall of Jerusalem, Christ’s death, desolating sacrilage, Antichrist.
  • Daniel’s prayer and God’s response (ch 10)  World powers – Babylon Persia, Greece; (Ch 11) The antichrist and predecessors – Antiochus, desolating sacrilages; (Ch 12) End times, Christ’s final victory and rule.


1.What gave Daniel’s prayers such power that God’s response was so prominent.

2.Why does God want to hide the future? (12 v 4,10)

3.What are some common aspects of all dreams (other than short term)? What can we learn?

4.What lessons can we learn from Daniel’s life and influence (on heaven and earth)?

Historic and Eschatoligical Mapping of Daniel 11 and 12 (The Kings of the North and South are the antichrist's predecessors - the final antichrist is also a king of the north)

Xerxes (Persia), Philip, Alexander (Greece)

  • Daniel 11:2 And now I will tell you the truth. Behold, three more kings are going to arise in Persia. Then a fourth will gain far more riches than all of them; as soon as he becomes strong through his riches, he will arouse the whole empire against the realm of Greece. 3 And a mighty king will arise, and he will rule with great authority and do as he pleases.

Greece: Ptolemy, Seleucus, Lysimachus, Cassander

  • Daniel 11:4 But as soon as he has arisen, his kingdom will be broken up and parceled out toward the four points of the compass, though not to his own descendants, nor according to his authority which he wielded, for his sovereignty will be uprooted and given to others besides them.

Ptolemy, called Soter, King of Egypt

  • Daniel 11:5 “Then the king of the South will grow strong, along with one of his princes who will gain ascendancy over him and obtain dominion; his domain will be a great dominion indeed.

Antiochus 2, Laodice, Bernice (Ptolemy’s daughter)

  • Daniel 11:6 After some years they will form an alliance, and the daughter of the king of the South will come to the king of the North to carry out a peaceful arrangement. But she will not retain her position of power, nor will he remain with his [l]power, but she will be given up, along with those who brought her in and the one who sired her as well as he who supported her in those times.

Bernice’s brother, Ptolemy III (South), Selucus II, (North)

  • Daniel 11:7 But one of the descendants of her line will arise in his place, and he will come against their army and enter the fortress of the king of the North, and he will deal with them and display great strength. 8 Also their gods with their metal images and their precious vessels of silver and gold he will take into captivity to Egypt, and he on his part will [o]refrain from attacking the king of the North for some years. 9 Then the latter will enter the realm of the king of the South, but will return to his own land.

Selucus III, Antiochus III (north), Ptolemy IV (south) – Battle of Raphia

Attacks with 20000 killing tens of thousands:

  • Daniel 11:10 “His sons will [q]mobilize and assemble a multitude of great forces; and one of them will keep on coming and overflow and pass through, that he may [r]again wage war up to his very fortress.
  • 11 The king of the South will be enraged and go forth and fight [s]with the king of the North. Then the latter will raise a great multitude, but that multitude will be given into the hand of the former. 12 When the multitude is carried away, his heart will be lifted up, and he will cause tens of thousands to fall; yet he will not prevail.

Ptolemy Epiphenes attacked by Antiochus III + Philip (Macedonia) +Jews

  • Daniel 11:13 For the king of the North will again raise a greater multitude than the former, and [u]after an interval of some years he will [v]press on with a great army and much equipment. 14 “Now in those times many will rise up against the king of the South; the violent ones among your people will also lift themselves up in order to fulfill the vision, but they will fall down.

Antiochus the great captures Judea over Egypt, gives daughter Cleopatra to Ptolemy Epiphenes

  • Daniel 11:15 Then the king of the North will come, cast up a siege ramp and capture a well-fortified city; and the forces of the South will not stand their ground, not even their choicest troops, for there will be no strength to make a stand. 16 But he who comes against him will do as he pleases, and no one will be able to withstand him; he will also stay for a time in the y]Beautiful Land, with destruction in his hand. 17 He will set his face to come with the power of his whole kingdom, bringing with him a proposal of peace which he will put into effect; he will also give him the daughter of women to ruin it. But she will not take a stand for him or be on his side. 18 Then he will turn his face to the coastlands and capture many. But a commander will put a stop to his scorn against him; moreover, he will repay him for his scorn. 19 So he will turn his face toward the fortresses of his own land, but he will stumble and fall and be found no more.

Selucus IV poisoned by tax collector Hellodorus. Rise of Antiochus Epiphenes, banquet with Ptolemy III (Dual)

  • Daniel 11:20 “Then in his place one will arise who will send an oppressor through the Jewel of his kingdom; yet within a few days he will be shattered, though not in anger nor in battle. 21 In his place a despicable person will arise, on whom the honor of kingship has not been conferred, but he will come in a time of tranquility and seize the kingdom by intrigue. 22Daniel 11:The overflowing forces will be flooded away before him and shattered, and also the prince of the covenant. 23 After an alliance is made with him he will practice deception, and he will go up and gain power with a small force of people. 24 In a time of tranquility he will enter the richest parts of the realm, and he will accomplish what his fathers never did, nor his ancestors; he will distribute plunder, booty and possessions among them, and he will devise his schemes against strongholds, but only for a time. 25 He will stir up his strength and courage against the king of the South with a large army; so the king of the South will mobilize an extremely large and mighty army for war; but he will not stand, for schemes will be devised against him. 26 Those who eat his choice food will destroy him, and his army will overflow, but many will fall down slain. 27 As for both kings, their hearts will be intent on evil, and they will speak lies to each other at the same table; but it will not succeed, for the end is still to come at the appointed time

Antiochus Epiphenes, plunders and desecrates temple, massacres Jews (Dual referencing)

  • Daniel 11:28 Then he will return to his land with much plunder; but his heart will be set against the holy covenant, and he will take action and then return to his own land.
  •  29 “At the appointed time he will return and come into the South, but this last time it will not turn out the way it did before. 30 For ships of Kittim will come against him; therefore he will be disheartened and will return and become enraged at the holy covenant and take action; so he will come back and show regard for those who forsake the holy covenant. 31 Forces from him will arise, desecrate the sanctuary fortress, and do away with the regular sacrifice. And they will set up the abomination of desolation. 32 By smooth words he will [ao]turn to godlessness those who act wickedly toward the covenant, but the people who know their God will display strength and take action.

Antiochus Epiphanes, gap referring to present

  • Daniel 11:32 By smooth words he will turn to godlessness those who act wickedly toward the covenant, but the people who know their God will display strength and take action.
  • 33 Those who have insight among the people will give understanding to the many; yet they will fall by sword and by flame, by captivity and by plunder for many days. 34 Now when they fall they will be granted a little help, and many will join with them in hypocrisy. 35 Some of those who have insight will fall, in order to refine, purge and make them pure until the end time; because it is still to come at the appointed time.

Antiochus, Future Antichrist-Dual Referencing

  • Daniel 11:36 “Then the king will do as he pleases, and he will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will speak monstrous things against the God of gods; and he will prosper until the indignation is finished, for that which is decreed will be done. 37 He will show no regard for the gods of his fathers or for the desire of women, nor will he show regard for any other god; for he will magnify himself above them all. 38 But instead he will honor a god of fortresses, a god whom his fathers did not know; he will honor him with gold, silver, costly stones and treasures. 39 He will take action against the strongest of fortresses with the help of a foreign god; he will give great honor to those who acknowledge him and will cause them to rule over the many, and will parcel out land for a price.

The Future Antichrist

  • Daniel 11:40 “At the end time the king of the South will collide with him, and the king of the North will storm against him with chariots, with horsemen and with many ships; and he will enter countries, overflow them and pass through. 41 He will also enter the Beautiful Land, and many countries will fall; but these will be rescued out of his hand: Edom, Moab and the foremost of the sons of Ammon. 42 Then he will stretch out his hand against other countries, and the land of Egypt will not escape. 43 But he will gain control over the hidden treasures of gold and silver and over all the precious things of Egypt; and Libyans and Ethiopians will follow at his heels. 44 But rumors from the East and from the North will disturb him, and he will go forth with great wrath to destroy and annihilate many. 45 He will pitch the tents of his royal pavilion between the seas and the beautiful Holy Mountain; yet he will come to his end, and no one will help him.
  • Ref Rev 12:13-16

Rapture, Tribulation, Second coming (Ch 12)

  • Daniel 12:1 “Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued. 2 Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt.

God’s eternal Kingdom

  • Daniel 12:3 Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.
  • 4 But as for you, Daniel, conceal these words and seal up the book until the end of time; many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase.”


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