Middle East Peace
The Great Image, Great Beasts (2)
The Fourth Part of the Image, the Fourth Great Beast
The book of Daniel is about the kingdom of this world during the Times of the Gentiles, to be succeeded by the kingdom of Christ at the end of the Times of the Gentiles. In this respect, Daniel deals with the last 2,600 years of Man’s Day, and then projects matters out into the following 1,000-year Lord’s Day.
The Times of the Gentiles exists for two main reasons:
1) Because of Jewish transgression.
2) To bring the Jewish people to the place of repentance, through Gentile persecution.
The Times of the Gentiles began about 605 B.C, with Nebuchadnezzar’s invasion of the southern kingdom of Judah (completing that which began over one hundred years earlier by the Assyrian invasion of the northern kingdom of Israel). At this time the Jewish people began to be uprooted from their land and transported to Babylon in the Mesopotamian Valley.
The scepter was removed from Israel’s hands and placed in the hands of the Gentiles at this time. And the scepter has remained and will continue to remain in the hands of the Gentiles until the appearance and destruction of the beast’s kingdom, Antichrist’s kingdom, yet future.
Antichrist’s kingdom, as Nebuchadnezzar’s, will be centered back in the Mesopotamian Valley, or in that proximity (Babylon, in history, was a city-state, with part of the kingdom centered in the Mesopotamian Valley and part in the proximity of this valley).
This man will be the last king of Babylon (which, in that day, will extend out from the Middle East into a worldwide kingdom). And once the Jewish people have been removed from his kingdom and placed back into their land, the scepter will be taken from the hands of the Gentiles and placed back in Israel’s hands. At this time, Gentile world power will be destroyed, and Israel will be elevated to the head of the nations, within a theocracy. Then, with the destruction of Antichrist’s kingdom, the Times of the Gentiles will be brought to a close.
The book of Daniel is the one book in Scripture that deals with this complete sequence of events, and the entire book is given over to revelation having to do, after some fashion, with this subject. That which is depicted by the “great image” in chapter two and the four “great beasts” in chapter seven deal with the same thing from two different vantage points.
These two sections of Scripture deal with Gentile world power throughout the Times of the Gentiles (throughout that time when the scepter is held by the Gentiles), and the overthrow of Gentile world power at the end of the Times of the Gentiles. And these two sections of Scripture, together, form the foundation upon which the remainder of the book rests.
Final Form of Gentile World Power
The emphasis in Daniel is exactly where it is seen in all other parts of Scripture where the subject is dealt with. It is upon the final form of the kingdom seen depicted by the fourth part of the great image in chapter two and the fourth great beast in chapter seven.
And, in a respect, all of the remainder of Daniel forms commentary on that which is depicted by the great image and the great beasts in chapters two and seven, with the book, particularly from chapter seven forward, centering on the final form and destruction of this Babylonian kingdom.
The types in Scripture having to do with this Babylonian kingdom deal with the final form of the kingdom and center on the Jewish people, the last king of Babylon, and the utter destruction of this kingdom.
The Psalms and the Prophets, when referring to this kingdom, do the same. Their message, as well, deals with the final form of the kingdom and centers on the Jewish people, the last king of Babylon, and the utter destruction of this kingdom.
And the book of Revelation, providing summary Scripture, as well, deals with the exact the same thing — the final form of the kingdom, the Jewish people, the last king of Babylon, and the utter destruction of this kingdom (chapters 6-19).
The book of Daniel is the one book in Scripture providing a complete, overall view of the kingdom of Babylon, dealing with all four parts, showing the complete picture of the kingdom of this world, from beginning to end. But, as elsewhere in Scripture, the emphasis in Daniel is on the final form of this kingdom.
In Daniel’s reiteration of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream about the great image in chapter two, Scripture devotes four verses to the dream itself — two verses describing the image (vv. 32, 33) and two more verses stating that which would happen when the final form of that which is depicted by the image appeared (vv. 34, 35).
Then, in the interpretation of that which is depicted by the great image, Scripture devotes one verse to the head of gold (v. 38), one verse to both the breast and arms of silver and the belly and thighs of brass (v. 39), but six verses to the legs of iron and the feet part of iron and part of clay (vv. 40-45).
And the image is then seen struck at this final form (in both the dream and the interpretation) by a “stone . . . cut out of the mountain without hands.” The complete image is destroyed, and the Stone becomes a great mountain and fills the whole earth (vv. 44, 45; cf. vv. 34, 35).
Years later, in Daniel’s reiteration of his own subsequent dreams and visions about the four great beasts in chapter seven, Scripture devotes one verse each to the first three great beasts (vv. 4-6).
Then, beginning with verse seven and continuing through the remainder of the chapter (vv. 7-28), Scripture deals with things surrounding the fourth great beast, the stone from chapter two, and the destruction of the kingdom represented by this fourth great beast.
Then, in the interpretation of that which is depicted by these four great beasts, in chapter eight, the first beast is passed over without mention because that part of the image was about to become history. Though Belshazzar still ruled at the time of this vision (v. 1), the Medes and Persians would shortly conquer the kingdom (5:30, 31).
Thus, the interpretation begins with the second great beast, by picturing a ram with two horns (vv. 3, 4, 20). Then the third great beast is depicted by a male goat (vv. 5-8, 21, 22). And quite a bit of space is devoted to information concerning this male goat, apparently because the ruler associated with the fourth great beast (the “little horn” [7:8]) is seen coming out of a part of his kingdom (Alexander the Great’s kingdom).
Then, along with the latter part of chapter seven, the remainder of the book has to do with different aspects of revelation that mainly center on or have something to do with this man and his kingdom, depicted by the fourth part of the great image and the fourth great beast.
The Little Horn
The Prince of the Covenant
The little horn in Daniel 7:8, 20; 8:9 is none other than the future world ruler when the final form of the great image or the great beasts is seen — the Antichrist, the man of sin, the beast.
This is the man whom the Lord will raise up, place in the highest of regal positions, and use to bring the Jewish people into such dire straits that they will have nowhere to turn other than to the God of their fathers (cf. Exodus 3:1ff; 9:16; Daniel 4:17, 25, 26).
Thus, this is the man whom God will use to bring Israel to the place of repentance. The Caesars during the time Rome ruled the world couldn’t do it, the different Pogroms, Crusades, and Inquisitions during the Middle Ages couldn’t do it, The Third Reich during modern times couldn’t do it, but the man about to appear on the scene will be able to do it.
Jewish persecution under this man will far exceed anything that has ever occurred in the past, resulting in the actions of the wandering and persecuted Jewish people closing out 2,600 years of a human drama in which no Jewish person has ever wanted to participate but in which all Jewish individuals have had to participate.
As previously seen, this little horn will arise from one of the four divisions of Alexander the Great’s kingdom — the northern division, which covered what is today northern Iraq and parts of Iran, Syria, and Turkey (Daniel 8:9). This is the part of the world from which this man will arise, not from Europe but from the Middle East.
This man’s ten-kingdom federation is referenced through the use of “ten horns” in Daniel 7:7, 24, referring to “ten kings.” And he is said to subdue three horns (three kings [7:8]). But these subdued horns (subdued kings), couldn’t be three of the ten, for these ten horns (ten kings), are to reign with this man (Revelation 12:3; 13:1; 17:12).
Rather, let Scripture interpret Scripture, and the matter becomes clear.
Note the parallel verse in Daniel 8:9, referring to the four parts into which Alexander the Great’s kingdom was divided. The three horns, three kings, which he subdues can only be those who ruled the other three parts of the kingdom (the matter is viewed, with no break in time as seen in the prophecy [ref. Chapter 9 in this book, pp. 75-79], as if this kingdom still existed when the little horn comes into power [cf. Daniel 2:44, 45; 7:12], else he couldn’t be seen coming out of one part of the kingdom, then subduing those ruling the other three parts [Daniel 7:23, 24; 8:8-10, 21-23]).
The kingdom of Babylon, which was divided four ways at the time of Alexander the Great’s death — divided among his four generals — must be seen as one undivided kingdom in its final form.
Thus, the first thing mentioned is the “little horn” subduing three kings — referring, as previously seen, to those ruling the other three parts of the kingdom — showing the kingdom being brought back together again under one ruler.
Then the covenant that this man will make with “many” in Israel, along with his breaking this covenant, occupies a central place in these latter chapters in Daniel. This covenant lies at the center of Daniel’s Seventy-Week prophecy in chapter nine, and it is seen again through a large part of chapter eleven (vv. 21-45).
(The word “covenant” appears seven times in the book of Daniel, all in chapters nine and eleven [9:4, 27; 11:22, 28, 30 (twice), 32].)
The Mosaic Economy, the Temple Mount, the Temple
The covenant that the man about to appear will make with Israel will, of necessity, have to involve things in the Mosaic Economy, particularly things having to do with the Temple Mount and the Temple itself. This can be clearly seen both from events that will transpire in Israel during the first half of the Tribulation and from the way this man will break the covenant.
The Jewish people, during the first half of the Tribulation (actually, as will be shown later in this chapter, at or near the beginning of the Tribulation) are going to gain access to the Temple Mount, rebuild their Temple, and reinstitute the Old Testament sacrificial system.
Then, in the middle of the Tribulation, the man having previously made a covenant with Israel is going to break this covenant by stopping the previously instituted sacrifices occurring at the Temple.
And this Temple, of necessity, will have to be located not only on the Temple Mount but be at a particular place on this Mount. The Jewish people would not consider building their Temple in any place other than “the place where the LORD your God chooses,” referring to a place that He chose in past time, where the two previous Temples stood (Deuteronomy 12:11-14; 16:5, 6).
This man is going to walk onto the Temple Mount, enter into the Temple, and desecrate the Holy of Holies (the innermost part of the Temple, the dwelling place of God among His people in the Old Testament theocracy), declare himself to be God, and subsequently destroy the Temple and the city of Jerusalem.
And he will then set his sights on efforts to destroy and do away with the Jewish people, not only in Israel but worldwide. As Hitler sought to produce a Jew-free Europe, this man will seek to produce a Jew-free world, seeking to destroy the Jewish people from off the face of the earth (cf. Esther 3:5, 6; Psalm 83:3, 4; Daniel 9:27; 11:31, 32; 12:11; Matthew 24:15ff; Luke 21:20ff; 2 Thessalonian 2:3, 4; Revelation 12:1-17).
1) A Brief History of Israel, the Temple, and the Theocracy
There is really nothing more important to the Jewish people than a return to the things connected with the Mosaic Economy. And at the center of everything is a rebuilt Temple on the Temple Mount.
All of this can be clearly seen from that which occurred in 1967 in Israel during the Six-Day War. But first, in order to better understand that which occurred during this war, note a brief history of Israel over the past 3,500 years in relation to the Temple and the theocracy.
From the time of the construction of the Tabernacle during Moses’ day to the time of the Babylonian captivity, about eight and one-half centuries passed. And during all of this time, the people of Israel were in possession of the Tabernacle or the succeeding Temple, with a theocracy existing in the camp of Israel (discounting the time [about 100 years] that the ark of the covenant was separated from the Tabernacle and in the hands of the Philistines [1 Samuel 4:11; 2 Samuel 6:17]).
Then, the Jewish people were without their Temple during the seventy-year Babylonian captivity and the succeeding time that it took for the returning remnant to rebuild the Temple. This was the same Temple in existence when Christ was on earth the first time, though an extensive rebuilding and refurbishing process had occurred (John 2:18-21). And, as well, this was the Temple destroyed by the Romans, along with the city of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.
Thus, in the overall history of Israel — from Moses’ day to the destruction of the Temple and city of Jerusalem under Titus with his Roman legions in 70 A.D. — the Jewish people, throughout some 1,500 years of Jewish history, were, in reality, without a Temple for slightly less than one hundred years.
And though the Glory did not return to the Temple built following the Babylonian captivity, which would have resulted in a restored theocracy, the shadow of regality remained. That’s plain from Jesus’ statement regarding the place that the scribes and Pharisees occupied 2,000 years ago, as seen in Matthew 23:2. The scribes and Pharisees were seen as individuals occupying “Moses’ seat.”
However, things have been quite different in this respect for the past nineteen and one-half centuries. Since 70 A.D., when the Temple was destroyed by the Romans under Titus, the people of Israel have been without a Temple — something completely unprecedented in the 3,500-year history of the nation.
Never in Israel’s history, prior to the destruction of the second Temple, had generations of Jews come and gone without direct contact with either the Tabernacle or the Temple; and until the recent establishment of Israel as a nation in the land once again (on May 14, 1948), the issue of a third Temple could not even be raised.
All of this though began to change with the establishment of the nation in the land once again, and it is about to change even more, in a very real and tangible way. Israel is about to have a third Temple, and then a fourth.
2) A Third Temple — How?
The question is not, “Will a third Temple be built?” The Word of God is clear on this matter. A Temple will exist in the land during the days of Antichrist, and his assuming power over the earth in the middle of the Tribulation is closely connected with action that he will take concerning this Temple.
As previously seen, Antichrist will, at this time, desecrate the Temple; and he will subsequently destroy the Temple.
The question concerning the building of a third Temple should thus be, “How…?,” or “When…?,” not “Will…?”
There are two major events that have occurred during modern times, with a third yet to occur, which can only be seen as progressively setting the stage for a rebuilding of the Temple:
1) The first was the establishment of the New State of Israel in 1948.
2) The second was the capture of the Old City of Jerusalem (the place of the Temple Mount and thus the Temple site) during the Six-Day War of 1967.
3) The third will be that day when the Temple Mount (a part of the Old City still controlled by the Moslems) will come under Jewish control once again.
During the battles that immediately followed Israel’s declaration of independence on May 14, 1948, the Old City of Jerusalem was lost to the Arabs; and the Jews were subsequently barred from this part of Jerusalem. This situation persisted for twenty years; but during the Six-Day War of 1967, Israel captured certain portions of land previously controlled by the Arabs, and among these portions of land was the coveted Old City of Jerusalem.
And at the very point of conquest, the interest of the captors became focused on one thing in the Old City — the Wailing Wall, also called “the Western Wall.” This wall was the only visible, surviving part of the second Temple; and it was to this place that the captors of the Old City desperately wanted to go.
And in many cases, because of unfamiliarity with the Old City, guides had to be employed to direct the troops to the Wailing Wall. Then, as word began to spread, it was not long before governmental leaders, rabbis, and others began to enter the Old City for the express purpose of going to the Wailing Wall.
They came, stood before the wall, and prayed and wept; and during the days and years since, they have continued to come to stand there, to pray and to weep.
For the Jewish people, there is presently no place on earth like the Wailing Wall. This is the closest they can presently come to their Temple, the central place of a past theocracy and the central place of worship for the people ruling in the theocracy.
And the entire matter dates all the way back to the days of Moses — almost three and one-half millennia. It is then no wonder that they continue to frequent this place day after day after day, standing before this wall, praying and weeping.
But the Wailing Wall is still not enough. The Jewish people want that which the Wailing Wall only portends, calls to mind. They want their Temple once again; because they know that without the Temple there can be no restoration of the kingdom and the accompanying Glory.
Unfortunately though, the Temple site, located just beyond the Wailing Wall, is seemingly occupied at the present time by the Dome of the Rock (a Moslem shrine). And Jewish law prohibits the disturbance of any religious shrine in Israel.
In keeping with this law, after the Israeli troops captured the Old City of Jerusalem in 1967, Jewish authorities turned over responsibility of the Temple Mount to an Islamic charity.
Then, to further complicate matters, the Dome of the Rock is not just any religious shrine. It dates all the way back to 691 A.D. and is the third most sacred site in the world for the followers of Islam (after Mecca and Medina).
The Dome of the Rock stands over the site from which Moslems believe Mohammed ascended (leaped) to heaven. And to even further complicate matters beyond the preceding, the El Aksa Mosque, built after the Dome of the Rock, is also on the Temple Mount.
Thus, even though the Jewish people control the Old City of Jerusalem, they do not control the Temple Mount; and, under Jewish law, they are prohibited from disturbing Moslem structures on this site.
Not only is this the case, but for Israel to disturb these structures under present conditions, especially the Dome of the Rock, would inflame the entire Moslem world.
Officials in Israel today, viewing this situation, state, “Anything seen as a threat to the Dome of the Rock would be highly provocative to Moslems.” And the head of the Supreme Moslem Counsel in Jerusalem echoed the attitude of the followers of Islam toward this place some years back when he stated, “The Moslems are prepared to die for this place [a statement actually referring to the Temple Mount, which would include land upon which both the Dome of the Rock and the El Aksa Mosque are built]”; and there are over one-half billion adherents to Islam worldwide today.
What then will transpire to allow Israel access to this site? If an answer can be provided, it would have to be within the framework of the covenant yet to be made between the man of sin and Israel.
As previously seen, the man of sin will break his covenant with Israel by stopping the Jewish sacrifices, entering into the Holy of Holies, and declaring himself to be God (cf. Daniel 9:26, 27; 11:30-32; Matthew 24:15; 2 Thessalonian 2:3, 4; Revelation 11:1, 2).
In view of this, the ratifying of the covenant will somehow evidently involve or allow a restoration of the Mosaic Economy, with its Temple and sacrificial system.
Accordingly, this man will evidently be the one to bring about a solution to the present dilemma in which the Jewish people find themselves. We know from Daniel 11:39 and Joel 3:2 that he will be instrumental in dividing the land (establishing borders) in the Middle East; and the Temple site, located on the Temple Mount, the most important piece of real estate, not only in the land of Israel, but on earth, could only form the major part of the territory in view.
To move beyond the preceding thoughts though is to move beyond information that Scripture provides. But, things that we can know for certain are these:
1) A seemingly intractable situation presently exists, denying the Jews access to their Temple site.
2) The seemingly intractable situation will one day be resolved, giving the Jews access to this site (and this is one reason, among others, that Antichrist undoubtedly fits into the picture, bringing about a resolution to the problem in that coming day).
3) The Jews will rebuild their Temple, and, seemingly, it will have to be built where the Dome of the Rock now stands (ref. Rabbi Shlomo Goren’s calculations in the next section, Section 3, pp. 91-93). It must be built, as the two previous Temples, in the “place where the LORD your God chooses” (Deuteronomy 12:11-14; 16:5, 6).
In 1903, Great Britain offered the Jewish people land for Zionistic purposes in British East Africa. The Jewish people though would not even consider such an offer. They were interested in one tract of land alone — the land in the Abrahamic covenant.
In like manner, as previously seen, the Jewish people would never consider building their Temple on any site other than where it had stood on two previous occasions.
The Jews have an affinity for a particular land insofar as the nation is concerned, and they have the same affinity for a particular place in that land insofar as the Temple is concerned.
3) A Third Temple — When?
Note the words of General Shlomo Goren, chief rabbi of the Israeli armed forces, as he stood at the wailing wall on June 7, 1967 following the capture of the Old City of Jerusalem during the Six-Day War (June 5-10).
“We took an oath today, while capturing the city. On our blood we took an oath that we will never give it up, we will never leave this place. The Wailing Wall belongs to us. The holy place was our place first, our place and our God’s place. From here we do not move. Never! Never!”
After the Old City of Jerusalem had fallen to the Israeli troops during the Six-Day War in June 1967, the commander of these troops stood at the Wailing Wall and announced:
“None of us alive has ever seen or done anything so great as he has done today.”
Defense Minister Moshe Dayan stood at the Wailing Wall that day and vowed:
“We have returned to the holiest of our holy places, never to depart from it again.”
Rabbi Shlomo Goren, along with the preceding quote, stood at the Wailing Wall on that day and cried out:
“We have taken the city of God. We are entering the Messianic Era for the Jewish people…”
Why did the chief rabbi of the Israeli armed forces, the troop commander, and the defense minister view the Wailing Wall after this fashion? Why did the chief rabbi of the Israeli armed forces further associate Jewish possession of the Wailing Wall with the nearness of the Messianic Era? The answer is singular and very simple: This site not only reflects on a past Temple and theocracy but it also portends a future Temple and theocracy.
General Shlomo Goren, from 1967 to 1994 (the time of his death), became a leading authority on the Temple Mount. A few years before he passed away, he called attention to a well-worn personal map of this Mount, dated June 21, 1967 (two weeks after the Israeli army captured the Old City). His calculations and recalculations of the area during about two decades led him to only one conclusion: A third Temple would have to be positioned in the same place where the Dome of the Rock is presently located.
When asked about how this could be brought to pass, his reply was simply, “It’s a big problem.”
The Prince of the Covenant
The “big problem” concerning a particular piece of real estate on the Temple Mount though will one day be resolved. And it will seemingly be resolved through the covenant that the rider on the white horse in Revelation 6:1, 2 will make with Israel.
Scripture clearly reveals what the nation of Israel is about to do concerning a third Temple, along with that which will then occur. The Jewish people will shortly build a third Temple, and it will be built during the opening months of the Tribulation.
Note how Daniel 8:13, 14 reads in a somewhat round-about way of revealing when this Temple will be built:
Then I heard a holy one speaking; and another holy one said to that certain one who was speaking, “How long will the vision be, concerning the daily sacrifices and the transgression of desolation, the giving of both the sanctuary and the host to be trampled under foot?”
And he said to me, “For two thousand three hundred days; then the sanctuary shall be cleansed. [220 days (7 months, 10 days) short of the full 2,520 days (7 years)].”
According to these verses, there will be “two thousand three hundred days” from the point when sacrifices begin in the rebuilt Temple to the end of the Tribulation. This would place the beginning of sacrifices in this Temple in the eighth month of the first year of the Tribulation.
Thus, Daniel 8:13, 14 places the building of the Temple during the first seven or eight months of the Tribulation. This fact fits perfectly with the covenant to be made between Antichrist and Israel at the beginning of the Tribulation, as well as the fact that the Jewish people will be offering sacrifices in a rebuilt Temple three and one-half years later when this man breaks his covenant with Israel.
The event that will mark the beginning of the Tribulation is the ratifying of a covenant between the man of sin, the Antichrist, and Israel. This, correspondingly, is the event that will mark time resuming in Daniel’s Seventy-Week prophecy, with time then continuing until the remaining seven years in the prophecy have been fulfilled.
(For additional information on this covenant that a man about to arise on the scene of world affairs will make with Israel, refer to Chapter 5, “Rider on the White Horse,” in the author’s book, Distant Hoofbeats.)
God has placed Israel in the midst of the nations (Ezekiel 5:5); and God looks upon and deals with the nations, not just in the Middle East but worldwide, through Israel (Deuteronomy 32:8-10; Zechariah 2:8; cf. Genesis 12:1-3). Thus, the place that Israel occupies in the Middle East — whether at “peace,” or at “war” — has direct ramifications affecting all of the Gentile nations, beginning in the Middle East and extending from there worldwide.
And it is evident from things stated in Daniel’s prophecy that the covenant that “prince who is to come” will make with “many” in Israel will have to do, at least in part — either directly or indirectly — with a restoration of the Mosaic Economy, evidently somehow guaranteed by this man. Israel will, through some means, be allowed to rebuild her Temple on the Temple Mount and re-institute the Old Testament priesthood and sacrifices (evident from things seen in Daniel, Matthew, Mark, Luke, 2 Thessalonians, and Revelation).
For the Jewish people to attempt something of this nature today, under present conditions and circumstances, would, as previously stated, present insurmountable problems. If they tried to do this today, the Moslem world surrounding Israel on three sides would undoubtedly erupt, for a Moslem shrine (reputed to be the third most holy place in the world for Moslems) presently occupies the spot on the Temple Mount where many believe that the Temple will have to be erected. And even if the Jews sought to build a Temple any other place on the Temple Mount today, similar insurmountable problems would exist.
But in that coming day things will somehow be quite different. They will have to be different. And this man will apparently possess the ability to bring about the necessary changes to make possible that which man would find impossible today.
In Daniel’s prophecy of the Seventy Weeks, where this man and the covenant are first introduced, as previously stated, things related to both his making and then breaking the covenant occupy center-stage. In reality, things surrounding the two together (his making and then breaking the covenant) comprise all that is revealed about this man in the prophecy of the Seventy Weeks.
Then, following the reference to “prince who is to come” (9:27), he is seen as “the prince of the covenant” (11:22). And Scripture again refers to this covenant several times during things revealed concerning his reign (11:28, 30-32). And the things revealed about this man and the covenant in these subsequent verses have to do with exactly the same things introduced in Daniel 9:27, when he breaks the covenant.
Once the covenant is broken by this man entering into the rebuilt Temple and declaring himself to be God (2 Thessalonian 2:4; cf. Daniel 9:26, 27; 11:30-39), the most horrific time this earth has ever seen will break out overnight. It is at this moment in time that the Jewish people living in the land are told to not take time to pick up anything but to run for their lives, with only that which they have in their possession or on their backs (Matthew 24:15-22).
This man is going to have an affiliation with those who forsake the covenant; he will pollute the sanctuary, take away the daily sacrifice, and make it desolate. He will “corrupt with flattery” those who side with him against the covenant. He will “do according to his will,” exalting and magnifying himself “above every god” (Daniel 11:30-32, 36; cf. Daniel 9:27; Matthew 23:37-39). He will not regard any God [the true God, or false deities of the Gentiles). Rather, he will “honor a god of fortresses [power]” (Daniel 11:36-38).
But, after all has been said and done — following this man’s reign of terror, with the nations lying in ruin, and millions on top of millions slain (one-fourth of the population of the earth [Revelation 6:8], which by today’s count would exceed one and one-half billion) — this man is going to “come to his end, and no one will help him” (Daniel 11:45; cf. Isaiah 14:15-17; Jeremiah 4:23-28).
And Israel, in that day…
The story is told and re-told, different ways and through different means, time after time after time in Scripture. But, though that which God has revealed concerning Israel’s future is dealt with over and over, few seem to know that much about any of these things.
Though all of this information is available, and has been for millennia, with the end being told before the beginning (Ecclesiastes 3:14, 15), man, down through the centuries has ignored that which God has revealed and has continued to try the impossible — to do away with the Jewish people. And the last of those attempting the impossible is about to appear on the scene.
Through it all the Lord is seen sitting in the heavens, laughing (Hebrews, a contemptible type laugh [Psalm 2:4]) at man’s feeble efforts to thwart His plans and purposes. Then, in the final analysis of His sovereign control over all things, God will deal with the nations “in His wrath” (Psalm 2:5ff; cf. Revelation 6:14-17).
And in that day (Malachi 4:1), following “the Sun of righteousness” arising “with healing in His wings” (Malachi 4:2), matters as they presently exist on the earth will be completely reversed (Malachi 4:3).
Israel, so to speak, will stand on the eastern banks of the Sea, singing the victor’s song, with the waters of the Sea covering and destroying the enemy that had sought their destruction (Exodus 15).
Israel, so to speak, will walk out of the furnace heated seven times hotter than normal, completely untouched by the fire, while those casting them into the fire will be slain by the fire (Daniel 3).
Israel, so to speak, will walk out of the lion’s den, completely untouched by the lions, while those responsible for their being cast into the den will be slain by the lions (Daniel 6). The preceding is where matters are headed, and God has laid all of it out in His Word for any and all who would want to see and know these things.
Thus says the LORD of hosts: “In those days ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve of a Jewish man, saying, ‘Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.’” (Zechariah 8:23)