Scripture Reading: Daniel 21-31
It was not until the 1400’s that the vision of Daniel 11, the chapter we have been studying, was “put smoothly” into history. Rabbi Hoffman of thetorah.com writes, “Don Isaac Abarbanel (1437-1508) was the first rabbinic Bible commentator to understand how Daniel’s visions fit smoothly the course of the Hellenistic period from the Wars of the Diadochi (the generals who reigned after the death of Alexander the Great, and ultimately split up his vast empire) to Antiochus Epiphanes . Abarbanel was able to weave together Daniel and the historical events leading up to the Hasmonean rebellion”
This rebellion was the Maccabean revolt against the “king of the North” , the same revolt that the Jews celebrate Hanukkha (Festival of Lights) after the rededication of the temple. The king of the North at this time was named Antiochus Epiphanes. The verses of Daniel from 21-31, speak of details regarding the conquests and defeats of this individual.
Antiochus Epiphanes, was an evil king, some comparing him to the Antichrist. In Daniel 31, quoted above, many believe the reference to the abomination relates to the historical fact that “he offered swine meat on the altar in the temple’, writes Oliver B. Greene in his book and commentary on Daniel. The Jews quickly revolted and defeated the king, sending him back to the north.
Today spend time, asking is there anything in your life that defiles God? Ask Him to reveal this to you and then pray for forgiveness. We all do things that defile or disgust God. Thankfully He is a God of mercy, grace and redemption. We have one more day before we leave this vision behind. It is amazing to unpack so much in just 31 verses. I hope you have learned a little history this week, at least the history of the time period between the return of the exiles from Babylon to Jerusalem until Jesus was born. No one can call these “silent years”.