Nazarene Apocalypse ©2000
#51. Suppose there was to be another “oppression” on the People of God, something far into the future? Then, Jesus might use a pivot here in Matthew 24:22 where the Nazarene’s “great oppression” can accomplish two purposes, much as Daniel does. The first which applied, accurately as it turned out, the “great oppression” on Jerusalem of old; and, another, second, “great oppression” which occurs before the Return or Arrival (parousia) of the Messiah.
#52. Read Matthew 24:22 and what amounts to Luke’s commentary on it at Luke 21:24. Combining the two verses we would get this compound paraphrase: ‘Then there will be a Great Oppression and on account of the Chosen Ones those days will be cut short. ... Jerusalem will be trampled on by the nations until the appointed times of the nations are fulfilled.’ Now, doing the same, combining two verses,175 note Revelation chapter 7, verse14 and chapter 11, verse 12: ‘These are the ones who come out of the Great Oppression ... and the nations will trample the holy City for forty-two months.’ The similarity is not an accident. They are nearly identical and the later written 30 years after the destruction of Jerusalem. Revelation or Apocalypse, in affect, tells us the length of what Jesus called “the appointed times of the nations.” Forty-two (42) months, which equals 1,260 days or three and a half years. (Daniel 7:22; Revelation 11:2; 12:14; 13:5, 7) Now, the shocker: the Roman war against the Jews in Jerusalem covered the period from 66 to 70 AD (CE), or three and a half years, which equal forty-two months on the Jewish calendar.176
|175||COMBINING VERSES. This is something the Nazarene does at John 5:28, 29 when he combines Isaiah 26:19 and Daniel 12:2. He also often combines Daniel 7:13 and Psalm 110:1. (Matthew 16:27, 28; 26:64)|
|176||DAYS. The exact count of days from the beginning in the fall of the year 66 to the conquest of Masada in the spring of 73 was 2,300 days! Compare Daniel 8:9-19 and “the time of the end” on Jerusalem foretold centuries before. This period of war with the Jews was commemorated by the Romans by minting coins for five years of the conflict.|
#53. However, something else makes this much more interesting. Neither Jesus or John use these words for the first time about the oppressing or trampling of the People of God for a period of three and a half years! Both Jesus and John got them from the apocalyptic Book of Daniel written 200, 300, or 500 years before! Where? When looking for this we also wonder if Daniel foretold two “arrivals” or parousia of the King Messiah? What “oppression” of three and a half years did Daniel first prophesy centuries177 before Christ?
|177||CENTURIES BEFORE. Even if we accept the critics, it would still be parts of two centuries before the birth of Christ. If we accept the parchment pieces found in the Dead Sea Scrolls of the Qumran caves, then it would be at least parts of three centuries. If we accept Daniel’s own historical pinpointing of the exact time, it would be more than five centuries before. (Daniel 1:1; 2:1; 7:1; 8:1; 9:1-3; 10:1; 11.1) No where does the Bible begin a record with, “Once upon a time.” Even if we choose the Second Century BC, what Daniel foretells for the First Century AD, we still behold an outstanding prophecy!|
#54. Now, it is time to read Daniel chapter 7 a most pivotal apocalyptic chapters in the Bible. Take your time and do not worry if there are some things you do not understand at first. In the first section (Daniel 7:1-14) you will find a description of “four beasts” which, according to the angelic interpretation, mean “four kingdoms” plus another Kingdom, that of the Son of Man. What follows this vision is an explanation or interpretation by the angelic observer. (Daniel 7:15-27) For our purpose now, when reading this portion from Daniel 7:13-27, look and see if you can find two “arrivals” and a certain period of oppression. Take your time and read slowly, several times if needed.
#55. Did you find the word “came”178 or “coming”179 in verse 13 and again in verse 22? Did you find a “war with the Saints” and a “harassing” or “oppressing” or “wearing out”180 of the Saints, the People of the Most High, in verse 25? Is it fair to say that this must be the source for the 42 months in Revelation 11:2? Is this not the same length of “the appointed times of the nations” in Luke 21:24? What does it all mean?
|178||CAME. King James Version in Daniel 7:13, 22.|
|179||COMING. New Jerusalem Bible in Daniel 7:13, 22. In the LXX Greek this is erchomenos which is the word Jesus uses as a synonym for parousia in Matthew ch 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21: In Daniel 7:22 the word is elthen or “arrive.” The Nazarene also uses this word in these same Gospel accounts. In this Aramaic translation of Daniel 7:13, 22 the word attah occurs which means “arrive.”|
|180||WEARING OUT. This is the wording in the KJV in Daniel 7:25. “Torment” in NJB; “oppress” in Baumgartner’s translation of the Aramaic. “Harass” in the JPS Tanakh. The Hebrew bela may be rendered “oppress” and thus be the original source for the “great oppression.”|
#56. Let us review what you have read and studied. In Daniel 7:1-14 you read about four kingdoms which would rise in the earth from Daniel’s time.181 Most scholars for centuries have agreed this begins with Babylon and proceeds through Persia, Greece, and ends with Rome. During the life-time of this fourth and last kingdom, Rome, the vision of verse 13 takes place, ‘Behold, one like a Son of Man came with the clouds of the heavens.’ Now, many have applied this to the second coming of Christ.182 But, look at it carefully. Judging from verses 10 and 16, where was Daniel when he saw the vision? It sounds like he was in heaven. If this be so, then when he says someone like a human183 being “came” or was “coming” (Greek erchomenos; Aramaic attah), what direction must this be? The answer is simple, for the rest of the verse says, ‘and he came to the Ancient of Days.’ To heaven! To God! The words are similar to those of Jesus in John 6:62, ‘Therefore, what if you see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before?’ Is it fair to state that what Daniel saw was an ascension, a coming toward God in heaven, an arrival before the heavenly throne?
|181||DANIEL 7: There has been an earlier vision of the march of Biblical world powers in chapter 2 and we will review this later.|
|182||SECOND COMING. Some object to this term. If Jesus came a first time but promised to return, what could one call this Second Coming? If he was present during his first visit, what would one call his Second Presence with his disciples?|
|183||HUMAN. Jerome’s Latin Vulgate of the Fourth Century uses hominid here in Daniel 7:13.|
#57. So, do we have a first or initial “coming” here? Is it not an ascension from earth to heaven on clouds? When did something like this occur? Where in the Bible is there a case of someone human-like, like a son of man, who left earth behind, ascending on clouds toward heaven? Well, is it not right there in Acts chapter 1, verses 9-11 in the account of the ascension of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, the Son of Man? So, Daniel 7:13 applies to the same events described in Acts 1:9-11. Has anyone missed the thought that Daniel actually foretold, not only the coming and going of certain world powers, but also the ascension of Christ? (Luke 24:51)
#58. If some Bible critics judge Jesus and his followers as false prophets because they think the Gospels were written after the destruction of Jerusalem, what will they do with Daniel who foretells the same thing centuries before Christ? Including the ascension of the Son of Man, whom Jesus claimed to be, at least 300 years before Christ!
#59. Did you find the second occurrence of the word “came”? (Aramaic attah; Greek elthen) It is right there in verse 22 of Daniel chapter 7, ‘And the Ancient of Days came (arrived) and judged in favor of the People who are the Saints of the Most High . . . (and then adding verse 27) and the Kingdom and the Power were given to the Saints of the Most High.’ This would be the second “coming” or “arrival” in Daniel chapter seven. Did you notice that there is a period of time marked off just before this second “coming”? How long was this war of harassment or period of “oppression”? Daniel 7:25 pinpoints the length: ‘Time, appointed times, and half a time.’ This is a Biblical way of saying three and a half years. It is exactly equal to 42 months or 1,260 days. How do we know this? Because the Bible’s last book Apocalypse also uses this same expression in chapter 12, verse 14; and then explains it to mean 1,260 days. This also equals 42 months according to Revelation 13:5, 7. Do not worry about all the details for we will come back to all of this when we examine the Apocalypse later. You can see, can you not, that “time, times, and a half a time” mean three and a half years?
#60. So, if we have read all of this correctly, there are to be, counting from Daniel, four major Biblical “kingdoms” with some strong relationship with Israel. The last of these is Rome. It is during the Roman period that God comes to judge that Latin nation which executed His Son. Then the Son ascends to heaven to receive his own victorious Kingdom. What follows? The Roman “beast” is ultimately “slain”184 and then this government has its successors as it were in the form of “ten kings.” After these fragments of Rome materialize, another king, or “little horn” ( a small power), is to rise. This “little horn” (or, Small Power) will subdue three of the original ten and will go on to war with the Saints for three and a half years. Nothing in this indicates how much time must occur for all of these developments to take place, but it must be considerable.
|184||SLAIN. The angel likely telescopes centuries to the final demise of Rome.|
#61. This is consistent with Jesus’ own parable, which he gave in response to some who thought the Kingdom would come right then when Christ was alive.185 It is recorded in Matthew 25:19 and Luke 19:12. If we combine the two, they read this way: ‘A man of noble birth went his way to a distant land to receive to himself a Kingdom, and after a long time, to return.’ No one could predict how long “after a long time” might prove to be. Certainly the Nazarene does not believe this to be imminent. But, judging from Daniel, those historical things mentioned above regarding Rome and its fragmentation into ten parts with the rise of a remarkable eleventh, must all take place first. We will return to all of this later when we look into the visions of the Apocalypse. We wonder if this has anything to do with our time or the entering into the 21st century?
|185||KINGDOM APPEAR THEN? Luke 19:11 gives us the reason for Jesus’ response: ‘(Jesus) spoke the parable because they were thinking the Kingdom of God was going to manifest itself immediately.’|
Nazarene Commentary 2000©
Mark Heber Miller
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