Book of Daniel, part 9

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Features of the Apocalyptic Genre

  1. Account of visionary, history on cosmic scale
  2. Use of symbolism: animals, numbers, colors, metals, features (wings and horns)
  3. Revelation of God’s involvement in history (re-interpretation of suffering)
  4. Promise of divine intervention
  5. Air of mystery

Themes of Apocalyptic

Numbers in Apocalyptic

  1. The numerical value is not always significant
  2. The “mystique” of the number is what counts
  3. Consider how we regard the number “13” or “7” – on 7/7/07 lottery ticket sales were at an all-time high. Why?

Apocalyptic Numerology

Independence, Singularity, Wholeness.
[”Hear O Israel, the Lord thy God is ONE.”]
Companionship and Support.
Strengthening, Augmentation, Confirming
[Adam and Eve. Two witnesses to confirm.
“Where 2 or 3 are gathered in my name ...”]
A perfect number. Father, Mother, Child = Family. Home.
[Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.]
Indefinite. Incomplete. Unsatisfied. Unspecified amount of time.
Hope and waiting for 7 (Half of seven).
[A Time, times, and half a time. 42 months. 1260 days.]
The World and Cosmos.
Four directions, four corners, four winds, four walls.
Four elements. Four kinds of animal life.
[Ezekiel 1 – Four Creatures, Four Directions]
Counting and Measuring.
Five fingers on a hand. Decimal system.
Half of 10.
[Num. 3 – 5 shekels to redeem sons.
Tabernacle measurements are typically multiples of 5.]
Imperfection and Sin.
Defeat, falling short of seven.
Humans created on the sixth day.
[2 Sam. 21 – The six-fingered warrior from Gath.
The number of the beast: 666]
Perfection and Completion.
The perfect divine plus the perfect world. End of a cycle.
[Seven days of creation.
Leviticus 8 – Seven Days for the ordination of priests.]
Magnification and Human Completion.
[Ten horns, ten commandments, Ten Minas – Luke 19.
Multiples of Ten: 70, 100, 1000 make the impact of the base number greater.
100,000 is a Big Number!]
Perfect Religion.
A sure foundation.
3x4. The perfect divine multiplied by the perfect world.
[Twelve tribes of Israel, twelve apostles, 12x12x1000=144,000]

Daniel 7: Three Scenes

  1. The History of the World: Four Beasts and Four Kingdoms
  2. The Court of Heaven: The Throne of the Ancient of Days
  3. The Son of Man Arrives!

The History of the World

  1. Lion = Babylon
  2. Bear = Media
  3. Leopard = Persia
  4. Terrible Beast = Greece
    1. Jaws and Horns = Seleucid Rulers
    2. Boasting Horn = Antiochus IV Epiphanes

The Son of Man

So What?

  1. Imagine you are a suffering saint in the exile
  2. Imagine you are a suffering saint in the days of Antiochus Epiphanes
  3. The Son of Man is coming! Be faithful! Have hope!

Chris Benjamin

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Evening Sermon, 22 July 2007

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