Only God’s kingdom will prevail and endure. All other political powers are fleeting, already they are passing away.

Despite human pretensions, history demonstrates the impermanence of political power and governments. Rome endured for a thousand years, but its empire fell all the same. Like life itself, political power is fleeting, and it often collapses quickly and unexpectedly when its allotted time expires. Only the reign and realm of God will last forever.

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Only Daniel was able to reveal the troubling dream of the King, unveiling the future of kings and empiresDaniel 2:1-49.

The second and third chapters present a single story told in two parts. First, Nebuchadnezzar dreamed of an enormous image composed of several materials, which Daniel interpreted, demonstrating the sovereignty of God over history. Second, the king attempted to implement his dream by erecting a great golden image in the “plain of Dura.”

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Daniel and his three companions refused to participate in the religious rituals of the Babylonian World-Power.

Upon arrival in Babylon, Daniel was confronted with a predicament. If he consumed the food and drink of the king, it might impinge on his ritual impurity. While he might have wished to avoid eating “unclean” meat, more likely, his concern was that consuming the “king’s delicacies” would mean participation in the idolatrous rituals of the Babylonian court.

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Daniel began to inquire into the predicted end of the Babylonian Captivity recorded in the book of Jeremiah Daniel 9:1-2.

Daniel received the revelation about the “seventy weeks” in the “first year” of Darius the Mede; that is, shortly after the fall of the Neo-Babylonian Empire to the “Medes and Persians.” And his inquiry and prayer indicate that the events in chapter 9 occurred before the return of the first Jewish exiles to Jerusalem after the decree of Cyrus the Great.

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After praying for the restoration of Israel, the angel Gabriel appeared and began to explain the “vision” to Daniel Daniel 9:3-23.

After contemplating the prophecy from Jeremiah, Daniel began to pray and repent for the sins of Israel. He did not seek revelation into the meaning of Jeremiah’s prophecy, for he understood its prediction perfectly well (“I understood by the writings the number of the years”). Instead, he confessed the sins of the nation, just as Jeremiah had instructed.

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