Saturday, February 07, 2009

Daniel foretells the Great Apostacy

Daniel 7
1 In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters. 2 Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. 3 And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another. 4 The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given to it.

[First Beast is the Babylonian Empire]

5 And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh.

[Second Beast is the Persian Empire]

6 After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it.

[Third Beast is the Greek Empire that split into 4 parts: Egypt, Syria, Turkey and Greece]

7 After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.

[Fourth Beast is the Roman Empire]

8 I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.

[The 10 horns are 10 Roman Emperors until Emperor Vespasian in 69-79 AD]

9 I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. 10 A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.

[100 million present at some great future event when the Saints are led by the "Ancient of Days"]

11 I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame. 12 As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time. 13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. 14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

[Speaks of the restoration which should occur during the days of the kings represented in Dan 2 by the feet of Iron and Clay which is today in the Last Days. Christ Christ will come in the clouds of heaven at His second coming to receive His kingdom from the "Ancient of Days" which refers to Father Adam.]

15 ¶ I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me. 16 I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things. 17 These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth.

[Four Empires: Babylonian, Persian, Greek, and Roman]

18 But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever. 19 Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet;

[The Roman Empire would be greater than all the 3 previous]

20 And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows.

[The small horn was the son of Vespasian, Titus, who was left at Jerusalem and destroyed the Temple, crucified over 3600 Jews outside the walls of the city, and brought many Jews to Rome as slaves as well as looted the treasures of the temple].

21 I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;

[Titus and the Roman Empire prevailed against the saints and the kingdom of God as also John said (Rev. 13: 7), and the church went into apostasy and the western world went into the Dark Ages (Rev. 12: 6)]

22 Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom. 23 Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. 24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.

[Titus and his father Vespasian built the great Roman Amphitheater, and after destroying Jerusalem and the temple Rome was cursed with fire, drought, famine, mount Vesuvius eruption, and plagues. Titus blamed the Christians and had them martyred]

25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

[wear out the saints refers to the Apostasy, and the Roman Empire creating the Catholic Church which attempted to "change the times and the laws" of the Church. The time, times, and half a time refers to a symbolic 3 1/2 year period which was the length of time of the famine of Elijah. This is referring to the spiritual famine of Apostasy that would occur during the Dark Ages also spoken of in Amos 8:11].

26 But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. 27 And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him. 28 Hitherto is the end of the matter. As for me Daniel, my cogitations much troubled me, and my countenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart.


Anthony E. Larson said...

Whoa! I hardly know where to start. Where did you get this interpretation of Daniel? I see nothing in LDS doctrine that even remotely resembles your interpretation. However, I have seen comparable assessments produced by various Millennialist, Christian ministers, all of it badly misguided in my opinion. Why does any Latter-day Saint give credence to the doctrine of flawed religions? You wouldn't go to one of these frauds to be baptised, would you? Then, why buy into their interpretation of prophecy?

The imagery Daniel used and the story he tells was current Babylonian sacred tradition at the time. He was rehearsing their their traditions to relate them to to Hebrew tradition and the gospel - the very same thing John did in his Revelation. Read the story of Marduk and the monster/dragon Tiamat. Daniel was not talking about the future; he was rehearsing the past. You've got it all turned around. I can show you authentic Babylonian art that depicts these strange beasts. They are sacred images or icons from the past, not portents of future events - in spite of Daniel's use of the future tense (which may well have been a change introduced by later translators).

Joseph Smith gave us a few keys to understanding prophetic symbolism that are consistent with ancient, prophetic usage. But, we seem to be loathe to accept them. Odd, don't you think, since we accept everything else he taught? May I humbly suggest you read my research on these things to see how the prophets saw them?

BRoz said...

Yes, Daniel does use traditional Babylonian imagery at the time, but he is foretelling the future.

John decribes the same dream but combines all the beasts into one because John in Revelations was describing the present and the beast represented the Roman Empire. The vision likely has multiple fulfillment and is a type of the Last Days.

BRoz said...

"in spite of Daniel's use of the future tense (which may well have been a change introduced by later translators)."

So you believe there are errors in the Bible introduced by the process of translation?

Joseph Smith is greatly criticized for suggesting this. Athough he was of the opinion that the Bible is fully correct but some plain and precious things are missing and some verses are rendered using ambiguous language opening the door for many interpretations.