The holy city is in disgrace (Dan 9:15-9:16)

“Now!

O Lord!

Our God!

You brought

Your people

Out of the land

Of Egypt

With a mighty hand.

You have made

Your name

Renowned

Even to this day.

We have sinned.

We have done wickedly.

O Lord!

In view of your righteous acts,

Let your anger,

Let your wrath,

We pray,

Turn away

From your city Jerusalem,

Your holy mountain.

Because of our sins,

Because of the iniquities

Of our ancestors,

Jerusalem

With your people

Have become a disgrace

Among all our neighbors.”

Daniel continued with this prayer to God, reminding him how he had brought them out of Egypt with a mighty hand. His name was renowned. However, they had sinned and done wicked things. Thus, God, the Lord, had a righteous anger and wrath. Daniel wanted God to turn away from the holy mountain, the city of Jerusalem, because it had become a disgrace to all its neighbors. Their sins and the iniquities of their ancestors have brought disgrace to Jerusalem and its people.

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A very destructive king (Dan 8:23-8:25)

“At the end of their rule,

When the transgressions

Have reached

Their full measure,

A king of bold countenance,

Skilled in intrigue,

Shall grow strong in power.

He shall cause

Fearful destruction.

He shall succeed

In what he does.

He shall destroy

The powerful,

The people of the holy ones.

By his cunning,

He shall make

Deceit prosper

Under his hand.

In his own mind,

He shall be great.

Without warning,

He shall destroy many.

He shall even rise up

Against the Prince of princes.

But he shall be broken,

But not by human hands.’”

Gabriel continued his explanation of the vision. He pointed out that one of the last rulers would be skilled in intrigue and grow strong in power. The obvious allusion is to King Antiochus IV Epiphanes. He would successfully destroy others by getting rid of powerful people, even the holy ones, without warning. His cunning would make deceit prosper. 1 Maccabees, chapter 1, goes into great detail about this king. In his own mind, he would be great. He would even go against the Prince of princes. Finally, God, not human hands, would break him.

Daniel falls into a trance (Dan 8:18-8:18)

“As Gabriel

Was speaking

To me,

I fell into a trance,

Face to the ground.

Then he touched me.

He set me

On my feet.”

Daniel continued his first person singular recounting of this story. As the archangel Gabriel was speaking to him, he fell into a trance or deep sleep with his face to the ground. Then Gabriel touched him, as if to wake him. Then Gabriel put him on his feet.

The little horn takes over the sanctuary (Dan 8:11-8:12)

“The little horn

Acted arrogantly,

Even against

The Prince

Of the host.

It took

Regular burnt offering

Away from him.

It overthrew

The place

Of his sanctuary.

Because of wickedness,

The host

Was given over

to it,

Together

With the regular burnt offering.

It cast truth

To the ground,

It kept prospering

In what it did.”

Thus, this King Antiochus IV Epiphanes, the little horn, conquered Palestine and violated the sanctuary of God, the Prince of the hosts around 167 BCE. He acted arrogantly against God, by taking away the regular burnt offerings from the sanctuary. This little horn was successful in taking over the host or people of the Temple as well as doing away with the regular offerings to God. He cast truth to the ground, while he continued to prosper and do whatever he wanted to do.

Daniel prays to God (Dan 6:10-6:10)

“Although Daniel knew

That the document

Had been signed,

He continued to go

To his house.

It had windows

In its upper room

Open toward Jerusalem.

He got down

On his knees

Three times a day

To pray

To God.

He praised him

As he done previously.”

Daniel knew that his fate had been sealed. The king had signed the decree. However, that did not faze him. He continued to pray in his house that had open windows facing Jerusalem on the second floor or the upper chambers. He got down on his knees, as he usually did, 3 times a day. He then prayed and praised God, as he had done so often before.

The call for the king to repent (Dan 4:26-4:27)

“As it was commanded

To leave the stump,

As well as the roots

Of the tree,

Your kingdom

Shall be reestablished

For you,

From the time

That you learn

That Heaven is sovereign.

Therefore,

O king!

May my counsel

Be acceptable to you!

Atone

For your sins

With righteousness!

Atone

For your iniquities

By showing mercy

To the oppressed!

Thus,

Your prosperity

May be prolonged!”

Daniel continued with the interpretation of the dream. Just as the stump and the roots of the tree remained, so too the king would be restored or reestablished in his kingdom, as soon as he recognized the heavenly control of all kingdoms. Daniel gave him some more advice. The king was to atone for sins by doing right and good things. He was to atone for his iniquities by showing mercy to the oppressed. If he did this, his prosperity would be prolonged.

Let the earthly waters bless God (Dan 3:55-3:57)

“Bless the Lord!

You springs!

Sing praise to him!

Highly exalt him forever!   

Bless the Lord!

Seas!

Rivers!

Sing praise to him!

Highly exalt him forever!   

Bless the Lord!

You whales!

All that swim

In the waters!

Sing praise to him!

Highly exalt him forever!” 

The 3 men continued their hymn of praise. This time, they wanted the earthly waters, and all that live in them, to bless the Lord by praising and exalting him. The division of the waters was into springs, seas, and rivers, since there was never any thought of an ocean. However, the one fish that they do mention is a whale.