Under what tree did all this take place (Dan 13:58-13:59)

“‘Now then,

Tell me!

Under what tree

Did you catch them

Being intimate

With each other?’

The second elder answered.

‘Under an evergreen oak.’

Daniel said to him.

‘Very well!

This lie will cost you

Your head.

The angel of God

Is waiting

With his sword

To split you in two.

Thus,

He will destroy you both.’”

Daniel asked the second elder the same question that he had asked the first elder. Under what tree did you find Susanna and her friend being sexually intimate with each other? The second elder said that they were under an evergreen oak tree, a large holly oak tree, quite different from the small mastic tree. Once again, Daniel told this elder, like the first elder, that his lying response would cost him his life. The angel of God was waiting with his sword to split him in two. Thus, both these lying old judges would be destroyed. Once again there is a Greek play on words with evergreen oak tree (πρϊνος) and split (καταπριση).

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The last of the ten kingdoms (Dan 7:24-7:26)

“As for the ten horns,

Out of this kingdom,

Ten kings shall arise.

Another shall arise after them.

This one shall

Be different

From the former ones.

He shall put down

Three kings.

He shall speak words

Against the Most High.

He shall wear out

The holy ones

Of the Most High.

He shall attempt

To change

The sacred seasons.

He shall attempt

To change the law.

They shall be given

Into his power

For a time,

Two times,

Half a time.

Then the court shall sit

In judgment.

His dominion shall be

Taken away,

To be consumed,

To be totally destroyed

To the end.”

Next, he explained that the 10 horns on the beast were the 10 Greek kings that succeeded Alexander the Great in his kingdom. However, there was a vehemence against the little horn king that overthrew the 3 kings. This was, of course, a reference to the Greek King Antiochus IV Epiphanes (175-163 BCE), who was different from the other Greek rulers. He spoke openly against the Most High God. He wore out God’s holy ones. He attempted to change the holy seasons and do away with the religious festivals. He also tried to change the Jewish law. He had power for a little while, before the final kingdom would come. Then his dominion would be taken away. He would be consumed and destroyed. 1 Maccabees, chapter 1, went into great detail about this king.

The son of man (Dan 7:13-7:14)

“As I watched

In the night visions,

I saw one,

Like a son of man,

Coming with the clouds

Of heaven.

He came

To the Ancient One.

He was presented

Before him.

To him,

Was given dominion,

Glory,

Kingship.

All people,

All nations,

All languages

Should serve him.

His dominion is

An everlasting dominion.

It shall not pass away.

His kingdom is one

That shall never be destroyed.”

Daniel also saw in his night visions, something like the son of man coming from heaven. This son of man went to the Ancient One and presented himself to God. However, he was given dominion, glory and kingship over all people, nations, and languages. Everyone would serve him, since his kingdom would last forever, and never be destroyed. This had been often interpreted as the coming of the Messiah, the savior. The usage of the term ‘son of man’ may be a reference to Jesus, since he and his disciples used this term. However, in the Book of Ezekiel, Yahweh used this term for Ezekiel. Here it may also mean a symbol of faithful Jews or the archangel Michael, although he might not be a son of man.

The little horn beast was killed (Dan 7:11-7:11)

“I watched then

Because of the noise

Of the arrogant words

That the horn

Was speaking.

And as I watched,

The beast

Was put to death.

Its body destroyed.

It was given over

To be burned

With fire.”

Daniel watched as the noisy arrogant little horn beast was killed. His body was burned and destroyed. There seemed to be a lot of anger at this little horn, the Greek King Antiochus IV Epiphanes (175-163 BCE), perhaps indicating the date of this work. 1 Maccabees, chapter 1, went into great detail about this king.

The decree about the living God of Daniel (Dan 6:26-6:27)

“I make a decree.

In all my royal dominion,

People should tremble,

People should fear,

Before the God of Daniel!

He is the living God!

He endures forever!

His kingdom

Shall never be destroyed!

His dominion

Has no end!

He delivers!

He rescues!

He works signs

In heaven!

He works wonders

On earth!

He has saved Daniel

From the power

Of the lions.”

King Darius made a decree for his royal kingdom. People were to fear and tremble before the God of Daniel, because he was a living God. He would endure forever. His kingdom will never be destroyed, since it has no end. He delivers people. He rescues people. He works signs and does wonders, both in heaven and on earth. Most of all, he has saved Daniel from the power of the lions. This is a universal declaration that all people in the whole world should realize what the God of Daniel has done for him. What a wonderful description of the role of God in human lives. Interesting enough, this great proclamation comes from this questionable Darius the Mede, and not an Israelite leader or prophet.

Daniel repeats the dream wish of the holy watcher (Dan 4:23-4:23)

“The king saw

A holy watcher

Coming down

From heaven.

He said.

‘Cut down the tree!

Destroy it!

But leave its stump!

Leave its roots

In the ground!

Let it be bound

With a band

Of iron,

As well as bronze,

In the grass

Of the field!

Let him be bathed

With the dew of heaven!

Let his lot be

With the animals

Of the field,

Until seven times

It passes over him!’”

Daniel then repeated the dream wish of the holy watcher or the angel from heaven. The tree had to be cut down and destroyed. However, this holy watcher or angel told the king to leave its stump and its roots in the ground. They were to bind this stump with an iron and bronze band in the grassy field, so that heavenly dew would fall on it. This tree has suddenly become a ‘he,’ a masculine personality that will have to suffer like the animals of the grassy field. This was to last at least 7 years or pass over him 7 times.

The small weak Israelites (Dan 3:14-3:15)

“O Lord!

We have become fewer

Than any other nation!

We are brought low

This day

In all the world,

Because of our sins.

In our day,

We have no

Ruler,

Prophet,

Or leader.

We have no

Burnt offerings,

Sacrifices,

Oblations,

Or incense.

We have no place

To make an offering

Before you.

We have no place

To find mercy.”

Azariah pointed out the weakness of Israel. They were weaker than any other country, because of their sins. Thus, today, they do not have any rulers, prophets, or leaders. They have no place to offer burnt offerings, sacrifices, oblations, or incense. They have no place to go to ask for mercy. Their country and the Temple in Jerusalem were destroyed.