The questioning of Zechariah (Zech 4:4-4:5)

“I said to the angel

Who talked with me.

‘What are these?

My lord!’

Then the angel

Who talked with me

Answered me.

‘Do you not know

What these are?’

I said.

‘No!

My lord.’”

Zechariah questioned the angel who had been talking to him.  He wanted to know what did this vision meant.  The angel then responded to Zechariah by asking him the same question.  He seemed bewildered that Zechariah did not understand this vision about the lampstands and the olive trees.  However, Zechariah was very respectful by calling the angel “lord.”

The second vision about the four horns (Zech 1:18-1:19)

“I looked up!

I saw four horns!

I asked the angel,

Who talked with me.

‘What are these?’

He answered me.

‘These are the horns

That have scattered

Judah.

They have scattered

Israel.

They have scattered

Jerusalem.’”

Zechariah looked up and saw 4 horns.  Then he asked the angel that had been talking to him about what these horns were.  The angel told him that these 4 horns represented the powerful nations of the world who had scattered the people of Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem.

Do not worry (Dan 12:9-12:12)

“He said.

‘Go your way!

Daniel!

The words are

To remain secret.

They are to be sealed

Until the time of the end.

Many shall be

Purified,

Cleansed,

Refined.

But the wicked

Shall continue

To do wickedly.

None of the wicked

Shall understand.

But those who are wise

Shall understand.’”

The man in the linen clothes told Daniel not to worry.  Daniel was to go on his way.  These words were secret.  Thus, they would be sealed up until the end times.  Many had to be purified, cleansed and refined until then.  The wicked would continue to do wicked things, since they have no understanding.  However, the wise ones understand what is going on.  This is a kind of back handed slap at Daniel, since he claimed he did not understand what the angel had been telling him.

The terrible king (Dan 11:21-11:21)

“In his place,

Shall arise

A contemptible person.

Royal majesty

Had not been conferred on him.

He shall come in

Without warning.

He shall obtain

The kingdom

Through intrigue.”

Now we have the real villain, probably a contemporary of the writer of this Book of Daniel, King Antiochus IV Epiphanes (175-164 BCE), who took over from his brother, King Seleucus IV. He was the one mentioned earlier in thus work, about the famous little horn in chapter 7, in the dream of King Nebuchadnezzar. Gabriel, the angel, described him as a contemptible person, claiming that the royal majesty was not conferred on him. King Antiochus IV was involved in some kind of intrigue that kept the son of King Seleucus from being king. However, he was the younger brother of the king and his father had been king, so that he some legal standing.

The upset king (Dan 3:24-3:25)

“Then King Nebuchadnezzar

Was astonished.

He rose up quickly.

He said to his counselors.

‘Was it not three men

That we threw bound

Into the fire?’

They answered

The king.

‘True!

O king!’

He replied.

‘But I see four men

Unbound,

Walking

In the middle

Of the fire.

They are not hurt.

The fourth one has

The appearance

Of a god.’”

After the long Septuagint prayer of Azariah, we are back at the Hebrew or Aramaic text of the Book of Daniel. Now King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished and upset. He thought that he had put 3 men, tied up, into the furnace. Instead, he saw 4 men, not tied up, walking around in the middle of the furnace. He even remarked that one of them looked like a god, which was the angel.