Read Daniel 11:16-28. Though the text is difficult, what images can you find that appear elsewhere in Daniel?
A transition in power from the Hellenistic kings to pagan Rome seems to be depicted in Daniel 11:16: “But he who comes against him shall do according to his own will, and no one shall stand against him. He shall stand in the Glorious Land with destruction in his power” (NKJV). The Glorious Land is Jerusalem, an area where ancient Israel has existed, and the new power that takes over that area is pagan Rome.
The same event is also represented in the horizontal expansion of the little horn, which reaches the Glorious Land (Dan. 8:9). So it seems clear that the power in charge of the world at this point is pagan Rome.
Some additional clues in the biblical text reinforce this perception. For example, the “one who imposes taxes” must refer to Caesar Augustus. It is during his reign that Jesus is born, as Mary and Joseph travel to Bethlehem for the census (Dan. 11:20). Also, according to the prophecy this ruler will be succeeded by a “vile person” (Dan. 11:21). As history shows, Augustus was succeeded by Tiberius, an adoptive son of Augustus. Tiberius is known to have been an eccentric and vile person.
Most important, according to the biblical text, it was during the reign of Tiberius that the “prince of the covenant” would be broken (Dan. 11:22). This clearly refers to the crucifixion of Christ, also called “Messiah the prince” (Dan. 9:25; see also Matt. 27:33-50), as He is put to death during the reign of Tiberius. The reference to Jesus here as “the prince of the covenant” is a powerful marker that helps show us the flow of historical events, again giving readers powerful evidence of God’s amazing foreknowledge. God has been right on all that has come before in these prophecies, so we can surely trust Him on what He says will happen in the future.
|Even amid all political and historical events, Jesus of Nazareth, “the prince of the covenant”, is revealed in the texts. How does this help show us that despite all the upheaval and political intrigue, Jesus remains central to Scripture?|