Why Daniel 11 Should Matter to Every Christian – by Wade Burleson (Former senior Pastor of Emmanuel Enid church in Oklahoma. Post-graduate work in theology and history from Luther Rice Seminary and Southern New Hampshire University respectively) (edited and abridged by Rod Stokes)
In an age of Christian skepticism and an enormous proliferation of religions, every believer in Jesus Christ should know why their Bible is trustworthy and reliable. Whereas no other religious book in the world contains even one prophecy that was later fulfilled, the Bible has hundreds, with Daniel 11 leading the charge as the most incredible prophecy of all. Daniel 11 and 12 contains a vision of the future that God gave to Daniel in 536 BC – a vision that encompasses 606 years (until the Messiah’s Second Coming and the complete destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in AD 70) – and is so precise, so startlingly accurate of the events that actually unfolded during the next six centuries, that beginning with the Enlightenment period, liberal scholars universally proclaimed that the book of Daniel had to have been written long after Daniel lived and after the historical events discussed in Daniel 11 had already occurred.
Liberals clung to their late dating of Daniel until the discovery of the Dead Sea scrolls in 1946. Then, it was made clear that ALL of the Old Testament books, including Daniel, were being used by the Jewish community centuries before the date liberal scholars decreed that Daniel had been written. The Dead Sea Scrolls discovery confirmed an early dating to Daniel, so the prophecies of Daniel were written on scrolls long before the events that fulfilled the prophecies occurred.
But occur they did! The precise fulfillment of the startling Daniel 11 prophecies provided further confirmation of the Bible as the Word of God and not man.
One of the weaknesses of the modern world, even the Christian church, is the lack of historical perspective. Without an understanding of the events of history there is little appreciation for the uniqueness of the Holy Writ. The Bible stands alone as the Word of God because of not only the number of prophecies given, but more pointedly, the one hundred percent fulfillment of that which was prophesied. Just a little brief review of Daniel 11 will show the importance of this great chapter to every Christian’s biblical understanding.
Remember that Daniel and the Jews were conquered by Babylon (586 BC) and were taken as captives back to Babylon (modern Iraq). The Babylonian king was feasting one night when a hand appeared and wrote on the wall “Mene, Mene, Tekel Upharson” (“You have been weighed in the balances and found wanting”). The judgment of God was coming upon Bayblon because of the wickedness of Belshazzar the King, and Daniel the Prophet told Belshazzar that God was removing the kingdom from him. That very night history records for us that the Medes and the Persians (The Persian kingdom) were secretly digging under the walls of Babylon and would conquer the Babylonians.
After the Persian kingdom’s conquest of Babylon, Daniel, concerned for his people the Jews, prayed and asked God to reveal to him when “the indignation” of the Jewish people would come to an end. The prophecy of Daniel 11 and 12 is a detailed history/time line of the events that would affect the Jewish people for the next 606 years.
For a more in-depth study see the related full “Study Series” (available upon request if not hyperlinked):