The self-exaltation of the king (Dan 11:36-11:37)

“The king

Shall act

As he pleases.

He shall exalt himself.

He shall consider himself

Greater than any god.

He shall speak

Horrendous things

Against the God of gods.

He shall prosper

Until the period of wrath

Is completed.

What is determined

Shall be done.

He shall pay no heed

To the gods

Of his ancestors,

Or to the one beloved

By women.

He shall not pay respect

To any other god.

He shall consider himself

Greater than all.”

Gabriel continued to tell Daniel about King Antiochus IV, who acted as he pleased. He exalted himself. He believed that he was greater than any god. He even spoke horrendous things against the God of gods, the Israelite God. He would continue to prosper, until the time of wrath was completed. This arrogant king did not even pay homage to the gods of his ancestors, or to the gods that women loved. He did not pay respect to any other gods. He seemed to have been intrigued by the Greek gods and wanted to be a god himself. He considered himself greater than any of the other gods.

The king recognizes the God of Daniel (Dan 2:47-2:47)

“The king said to Daniel.

‘Truly!

Your God is

The God of gods!

Your God is

The Lord of kings!

Your God is

A revealer of mysteries!

You have been able

To reveal this mystery!”

Next, the king made a profession of faith in the God of Daniel, not the God of Israel. He said that Daniel’s God (not Yahweh) was the God of gods, the Lord of the kings. These were all great Greek concepts. More important to him was the fact that Daniel’s God had helped to reveal the mystery of his dream.

Thanksgiving to Yahweh (Ps 136:1-136:3)

“O give thanks to Yahweh!

He is good.

His steadfast love endures forever.

O give thanks to the God of gods!

His steadfast love endures forever.

O give thanks to the Lord of lords!

His steadfast love endures forever.”

Psalm 136 is another fairly long psalm without a title, with an emphasis on giving thanks to Yahweh for all that he has done for his people. The haunting refrain, “His steadfast love endures forever” is repeated after every verse as a congregational response throughout this psalm. They were to give thanks to Yahweh because of his steadfast enduring love. He was the God of gods and the Lord of the lords.

The happy ones in Zion (Ps 84:5-84:8)

“Happy are those

Whose strength is in you!

Happy are those

In whose heart are the highways to Zion.

As they go through the valley of Baca,

They make it a place of springs.

The early rain also covers it with pools.

They go from strength to strength.

The God of gods will be seen in Zion.

Yahweh!

God of hosts!

Hear my prayer!

Give ear!

O God of Jacob!”

Selah

The happy people are those who put their strength in Yahweh. The happy people are on their way to Zion. Even when they are in the valleys, there will be springs of water and gentle early morning rains. They go from strength to the strength of Yahweh, who is the God of gods, as if there were other false gods. Then there are the pleas for the God of Jacob, Yahweh, to give an ear and listen to his prayers. This section ends with the musical interlude meditative pause of Selah.