In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a thing was revealed to Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar; and the thing was true…
The law of gradual development seems to pervade the government of God, and may be treated alike in the material and spiritual departments of his administration. The revelation which God has given to men has grown into its completeness. The primal promise to our common parents in paradise, was the first faint ray that emanated from the common sun of righteousness; but as the morning of the race wore on, that solitary beam expanded, through the Abrahamic covenant, the Mosaic economy and the prophetic writings, unto at length, foreheralded by the Baptist as the morning star, the Divine luminary arose "with healing m his wings." What was thus characteristic of revelation as a whole is equally apparent in the communications made to individual prophets. Daniel, in this wonderful series of predictions, goes on from the general to the particular, and brings in at every stop new details by which accuracy may be tested, and by which, if his writings stand the ordeal which they have themselves prepared, his inspiration may be abundantly established. The date of the present revelation was the third year of Cyrus, King of Persia. This, therefore, is the last communication which he gave to his people, and the last glimpse which we get of himself. He had not set out, probably on account of his extreme old age, with the exiles who returned to Jerusalem after the issuing of the edict of Cyrus. The testimony of tradition is that Daniel died at Susa... This description of the conflicts in the spirit-world between the rival angels foreshadows the opposition encountered by Zerubbabel, Ezra, Nehemiah, and their compatriots during the reigns of the Persian kings, Darius, Hystaspis, Xerxes, and Artaxerxes, and also that which, at a later time, the descendants of the restorers of Jerusalem met with at the hands of the Syrian representatives of the Greek Empire. The prophecy in the eleventh chapter may be divided into three parts, increasing in circumstantiality as they advance. There is first, a brief description of the Persian and the Greek Empires; then a sketch of the more important events in the struggles between the kings of Syria and Egypt; and third, a detailed and minute account of the character and actions of Antiochus Epiphanes... It remains that I should look for a moment at the opinion of those who believe that we have in this prediction a reference to the Antichrist of the New Testament as well as to Antiochus. For such an idea we can find no sure foundation. There is nothing in the chapter to indicate that a transition from one subject to another has been made. Some refer the prophecy to the Papacy; but it is a question not yet settled whether the papacy really is the Antichrist of the New Testament. Learn from this portion,
1. That God prepares his people for special trial by special grace. His assistance is ever beforehand with our emergency. The relation of this portion of God's word to the circumstances of the people under Antiochus is precisely that of all his promises to our trials, temptations, and necessities. Every promise of God is a prophecy.
2. That faith in the Invisible is essential to our getting the full benefit of Scripture. Much may be gained from it in history and in morals, even if we should repudiate everything that is supernatural in its pages. To obtain the utmost benefit from its words, we must accept its revelation of that which is hidden from mortal sight. The promises of Jesus are not to us like the legacies of one long dead. They are the assurances of a living and present, though unseen friend, and when so accepted they are full of power. The Bible will be to us no better than the moral maxims of Antoninus or Epictetus, unless we receive its revelation of the unseen in connection with its forecasts of prophecy and promise.
(William M. Taylor, D.D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a thing was revealed unto Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar; and the thing was true, but the time appointed was long: and he understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision.
WEB: In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a thing was revealed to Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar; and the thing was true, even a great warfare: and he understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision.