Daniel 7:25 MEANING

Daniel 7:25
(25) And he shall speak.--The marks of identification of the little horn are--(1) blasphemy of God; (2) persecution and affliction of the saints; (3) attempts, apparently ineffectual (he will "think to change"), against all institutions, whether of Divine or human authority: in short, a general spirit of lawlessness and unbelief. It appears that the little horn, the Antichrist of the last days, or the beast, will be successful for a time in his blasphemies and persecutions, but in the end he will be destroyed. (See 2 Thessalonians 2:8.)

Time and times and the dividing of time.--This is frequently explained to mean three years and a half. Those who adopt this explanation assume that by "times" a dual is implied, which in Chaldee is represented by the plural. They next assume that by "a time" is meant one year, resting their assumption partly on Daniel 4:16, and partly on a comparison of Daniel 12:7 with Revelation 13:5; Revelation 11:2-3. This gives a sum of three years and a half, which is interpreted either literally, or explained to mean half a sabbatical period, or half some divinely-appointed period symbolised by the number "seven." According to the second interpretation, Daniel teaches us that the days of tribulation shall be shortened (Matthew 24:22). But it may be questioned whether "years" are intended in Daniel 4:16. Also the language in Daniel 12:7 is very obscure. A more correct view of the prediction is that the reign of Antichrist will be divided into three periods--the first long, the second longer, the third shortest of all. It also appears that the last is to be the severest time of trial. It may be remarked that in Daniel 9 the seventy weeks are divided into three periods, forming a similar series, 7 + 62 + 1 = 70.

Verses 25-27. - And he shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaved, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him. The versions do not present much of note in, ver. 25, save that the Greek versions imply that dominion over all is given to the oppressors. Throughout the Septuagint has traces of explanatory expansion. He shall speak words against the Most High. The word "against," letzad, is really "to the side of." This clause may refer to blasphemy against God, but more naturally refers to self-exaltation to a place alongside of God. Shall wear out the saints of the Most High. Persecute them, or maintain war against them; the natural meaning of the word is "afflict." And shall think to change times and laws. It ought not to be "laws," in the plural, but "law." It may refer to the marked changes introduced into the calendar by Julius Caesar. Certainly the law or constitution of the Roman state was changed by him. And they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. Who shall be given into his hands? It is usually assumed that it is the saints; but the LXX. asserts that it is universal dominion that is given into the hands of the oppressors. We have no right to assume that 'iddan, "a time," means "a year;" it is really any defined time. Certainly it does approximate to the time during which the temple was polluted with heathen offerings; but it also coincides with equal accuracy to the campaigns of Vespasian and Titus against the Jews. Vespasian landed in Galilee in the beginning of A.D. , and Jerusalem fell on September 5, A.D. 70. There was thus, approximately, three years and a half occupied by this war. But "centuries" might also be meant. From the birth of our Lord, on whom the oppression was first exercised, till the accession of Constantine, was three centuries and a portion of a century. The judgment shall sit. Not necessarily the last judgment, but the evil that is being done comes before God for judgment. The taking away of the kingdom and dominion is immediately at the end of the period indicated by "a time and times and a dividing of time." The dominion was not taken away from Epiphanes then, nor from Vespasian; it did, however, pass from the heathenish empire when Constantine ascended the throne. At the same time, any such purely limited explanation is against the whole symbolic character of this vision. It is a period of time measured by "seven" halves. The times may receive their definition, not from the calendar, but from their spiritual import or dynamic content. The three years of our Lord's ministry is of more moment for the history of the race than all the millennia that preceded it.

7:15-28 It is desirable to obtain the right and full sense of what we see and hear from God; and those that would know, must ask by faithful and fervent prayer. The angel told Daniel plainly. He especially desired to know respecting the little horn, which made war with the saints, and prevailed against them. Here is foretold the rage of papal Rome against true Christians. St. John, in his visions and prophecies, which point in the first place at Rome, has plain reference to these visions. Daniel had a joyful prospect of the prevalence of God's kingdom among men. This refers to the second coming of our blessed Lord, when the saints shall triumph in the complete fall of Satan's kingdom. The saints of the Most High shall possess the kingdom for ever. Far be it from us to infer from hence, that dominion is founded on grace. It promises that the gospel kingdom shall be set up; a kingdom of light, holiness, and love; a kingdom of grace, the privileges and comforts of which shall be the earnest and first-fruits of the kingdom of glory. But the full accomplishment will be in the everlasting happiness of the saints, the kingdom that cannot be moved. The gathering together the whole family of God will be a blessedness of Christ's coming.And he shall speak great words against the most High,.... Or, "at the side of the most High" (p); setting himself up as a rival, and upon an equality with him; taking the names and characters of holiness, infallibility, yea, of deity itself, unto him; claiming a power to forgive sin, which is peculiar to God; and preferring his own laws, doctrines, and traditions, to the word of God:

and shall wear out the saints of the most High; by his wars with them, and murders and massacres of them; by taking away their lives and their substance; so lessening their numbers, and weakening their strength and power, wear them out, as a garment is wore out, as the word (q) signifies; utterly consume and destroy them, at least in his own apprehensions; which will be the case when the witnesses will be slain, Revelation 11:8, and especially will wear out their patience, or however thoroughly exercise it. The word (r), in the Arabic language, signifies "to afflict and handle roughly"; and such usage the saints have met with, more or less, in all ages, from the man of sin.

And think to change times and laws: to alter the forms and constitutions of kingdoms, and the customs and usages of them; yea, to set up and pull down kings at pleasure; see Daniel 2:21, or to change the use of times and seasons, by setting apart days as holy for canonized saints; and appointing such days in a week, and such a season in the year, for abstinence from meats; and even to change the laws of God and man, by dispensing with both, and making new ones of his own:

and they shall be given into his hand; either the saints he makes war with, and wears out, who shall be overcome by him; or the times and laws, which he shall not only have it in his mind and purpose to change, but shall have it in his power to do it, and shall do it:

until a time, and times, and the dividing of time; by "a time" is meant a year, the longest part of time; by "times", two years; and "the dividing of time", half a year; in all three years and a half, which is the same with 1260 days, or forty two months, the time of the witnesses prophesying in sackcloth, and of the reign of antichrist; so long shall he continue, exercising his power and authority, his wrath and rage, and blasphemy, and no longer; see Revelation 11:2.

(p) "ad regionem, sive latus Altissimi", Calvin; "juxta Altissimum". Cocceius; "ex parte Altissimi", Munster. (q) Sept.; "deteret", Junius & Trmellius, Piscator; "abolebit", Montanus; "absumet" Munster; "consumet", Vatablus. (r) "ingrato et duriore modo tractavit, affixit", Giggeius apud Golium, col. 325. Erpenius apud Castel. col. 363. So Michaelis on the place observes.

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