Daniel chapters 2, 7, 8, 9, 10-11, 12, overview WhyProphets.com
The book of Daniel
and You

Other numbers:
, 1290,
2300 "days"
70 weeks

the ruins of ancient empires
All of Daniel's kingdoms have fallen or will fall - except for one.

See also: | More prophecies from Daniel | The "little horn"
Abominations of Desolations | Michael and the Ancient of Days

A quick overview of Daniel

Daniel has 12 chapters (if we ignore the apocrypha). We can split them into half - history and prophecy. There is a bit of history and prophecy in both parts, so we can ignore the foolish efforts by some textual critics to claim that they were once physically separate books. Let's start with chapters 1 through 6, the history half:

Chapter 1: the king's meat

This chapter introduces the book and how Daniel came to be in Babylon, and how he gained favour. No predictions here.

Chapter 2: the statue

This is the famous vision of the statue, and a stone that destroys it, representing the kingdoms of this world and the kingdom of God. This is the first, the most memorable, and probably the most important of all the historical prophecies. It is discussed at length on another page.

Here, the last kingdoms of the world are those that come after Rome (the feet with ten toes). These represent those kingdoms that exist right up to the time that the kingdom of God takes over - that is, the last days. So these kingdoms are the European nations (which took over from Rome) and their children - including the USA. THIS MEANS YOU! In ancient kingdoms, the ordinary people didn't have much say. But modern western kingdoms are democracies, and the citizens (to a greater or lesser extent) rule. THIS MEANS YOU AND ME! Daniel is talking about us!

Finally, the kingdom of God takes over. Daniel makes clear that this is composed of the saints - that is, the believers. Are you a believer? Are you part of the kingdom of God as described by Daniel? If so, this means you.

Chapter 3: the fiery furnace

Nabonidus (mistakenly recorded as Nebuchadnezzar in the King James Version) sets up an idol to worship. No predictions here.

Chapter 4: the king's madness

No long-term predictions here. One well known group uses this prophecy of "seven times" to place the second coming of Christ at 1914. However, there is no suggestion of anything like that (even if the numbers did add up) - it is all neatly and completely fulfilled within the same chapter.

Chapter 5: the writing on the wall

No long-term predictions here. Just the short-term prediction (fulfilled the very same night) of the fall of the city of Babylon.

Chapter 6: the lions' den

Everyone knows this story! No long-term predictions here.

Left: Darius the Mede,
hunting lions

The second half of the book of Daniel

Chapter 7: the four beasts

This seems to cover the same material as seen in the vision in chapter 2, but with more detail. Instead of four parts of a statue, we have four beasts representing four kingdoms. More detail is given to the end of the last kingdom (the fourth). In chapter 2, it was shown as ten toes. Here it is ten horns, and another horn is described in detail. The third kingdom is described as having four heads. The fourth kingdom is discussed in detail in Revelation, and elsewhere on this web site.

As noted above, this chapter refers to you. The last kingdoms, those that come after Rome, continue until the very end (7:8-9, 24). If you are a citizen in one of these kingdoms (Europe, or those nations like the USA whose cultures are inherited from Europe), especially if you have the vote, then these kingdoms mean you. But if you are one of "the people of the saints of the most High" (7:27) then you play an even more important role.

It should be noted that being in the kingdom of God does not mean physically leaving Rome, but spiritually leaving it. After all, Paul established a church in Rome, and Christ told us to "render unto Caesar what is Caesar's" (e.g. pay our taxes). We should therefore be active within the world, but not be part of its values.

The precise identities of "the Ancient of Days", or Michael (chapters 10-12) are not essential to the flow of events, but if you want a discussion, click here. For a quick summary of all the symbols and likely meanings (without explanation), click here. Abominations that make desolate are discussed in the context of interpretation in general and the 1290 prophecy in particular.

Chapter 8: the Ram and the Goat

Once again, more detail. The ram and goat are identified as Media/Persia and Greece. Greece has four horns (note the four heads in the last chapter), the four kingdoms that result from the division of the Greek empire. This chapter focuses on Medo-Persia and Greece, but also gives more details about the "little horn", and introduces the "fierce king" who is involved with the blasphemy and persecution.

On first reading it may seem that this is a different "little horn" than in chapter 7 (chapter 7 mentioned 10 kings at the time, chapter 8 mentions 4), but this it is probably the same little horn. Chapter 7 does not contradict chapter 8 regarding the 4 or 10 horns. Chapter 7 tells when the little horn became prominent, while chapter 8 tells when it began - a different topic.

This chapter is discussed in detail here.

Chapter 9: the seventy weeks

Daniel is concerned at all this about future kingdoms, and prays on behalf of his people. He is rewarded with a vision of the time until the Messiah. The numbers are discussed elsewhere in this web site.

No detailed references to the last days here.

Chapter 10: the Lord speaks to Daniel

A short chapter, in which Daniel is comforted and supported. On the identity of Michael, click here for a discussion

Chapter 11: kings of the North, the South, etc.

This chapter is traditionally interpreted as referring to Antiochus IV, but being traditional doesn't make it right. So what might it actually refer to? As noted in another part of this web site, God's meaning must be simple or it's not much use. Since the events of this chapter are not all paralleled or explained elsewhere, the simplest explanation is that it does not really matter too much who is being discussed. The message seems to be that world history is full of politics, and that is bad for the covenant people.

Maybe someone who knows world history better than me will find it all obvious. But for now the Lord has not seen fit to explain it in the same way he has explained the other chapters. This is not to say that I could not produce an interpretation that is just as good as the lame attempts at fitting it to Antiochus. I simply believe that our job as Bible readers is not to speculate, but simply to read what is there.

If you really insist on an interpretation, click here.

Chapter 12: the restoration of the gospel

This chapter refers to the time when people will awake to the message of the gospel and rise - it is discussed in detail elsewhere It finishes with Daniel checking the key dates for these events. The important numbers are "1290" and "1335". These and the identity of Michael are discussed on other pages.

Conclusion: Daniel made very easy.


It's all about five kingdoms (and one horn)

  1. Babylon
  2. Media/Persia
  3. Greece (which splits into four)
  4. and Rome (which splits into 10).
    During these 10 last kingdoms, another power (horn) arises, which has power over the saints for 1260 "days"
  5. Finally the kingdom of God appears and replaces them all.

There. The book of Daniel was easy, wasn't it?

the bottom line

Daniel is all about the eventual triumph of the saints. Are you one of the saints?

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