My original motivation for studying Daniel’s last three chapters was an eagerness to re-discover the prophecies and their meanings. So, I jumped right into chapter 11. Then came 12, and then back to 10. Then it seemed important to add the following observations, which I knew had to precede the “meat” of the work. For if there is any doubt in the reader’s mind that the words given the church are truly a prophecy from God, I fear the power of the words will be lost.
Never has God given so many facts so clearly in one place, about anything. It is no accident that the 12 chapters of Daniel have seen the critic’s blows more than any other passage of Scripture. Let us examine together the criticisms first, answer them, then enjoy the marvelous word Daniel received. I hasten to affirm that it is the Holy Spirit who gives faith. We believe Daniel because we believe Daniel. The same Spirit who lived in Him lives in us. And Daniel, the man and the book, need not be defended in any way that has not been allowed for in the Word itself. Faith comes by hearing that Word. So please allow the following to be only reminders of what the Word already says, and rejoice that God has spoken.
Evidence for Daniel takes many shapes. For example, Daniel Weston 4:30 gives true details of Nebuchadnezzar’s building activities that only a person of that time would have known. There are particulars of dress and customs and religion that only Daniel could have known, living in that era. Nebuchadnezzar’s reference to himself in 4:17 as the “basest” of men matches perfectly later inscriptions attributed to his family, a group of shepherds. And, by 450 BC, Belshazzar was unknown in history, not to be re-discovered until our day. But Daniel knew him. Then there are the other prophecies. The 70-weeks prophecy of chapter 9 states that from the decree to rebuild Jerusalem in 444BC until the cutting off (crucifixion) of Messiah will be 483 years. Using only 360-day years, as the Bible does, we are brought to 33 AD, the year of Jesus’ death.
I rejoice in what the critics have done for us! Those who deny the prophetic nature of Daniel 11 on the basis of its too-perfect history have let us know up front that what appears to be history and that which we know is prophecy, is indeed perfect!