Introduction These transcripts are from Kay Arthur's lectures on the old course on Daniel and not the new lecture series circa 2006. They are provided as a service to the body of Christ with the written permission of Precept Ministries International. This material is the property of Precept Ministries International and all rights are reserved.
The transcripts are for the most part verbatim with deletions identified by the characters (...). The utilization of italics, bolding, hyperlinks and pop up notes represent editorial additions. Any written additions are identified by the designation "Ed note". All references are the NASB unless otherwise indicated.
Please note that these lectures by Kay Arthur supplement the excellent Precept Upon Precept inductive Bible study on the Daniel. Click on the link below and note that you can download lesson 1 free of charge.
Below are links to the excellent Precept study of the Revelation. If you are planning on doing this four part study, I would strongly encourage you to first complete the Daniel study, as knowledge of the prophecies in Daniel is critical to a full understanding of the prophecies in the Revelation. Note that for each part, you may download a PDF of lesson one at no charge.
If you can find a local Precept class studying Revelation, I would strongly encourage you to join the class, as I know of no other study available anywhere in the world that will equip you so thoroughly to discern the signs of the times and cause you to live expectantly as you look for Christ's Return!
- Daniel Resources from literal perspective
- Revelation Resources from a literal perspective
- Great Tribulation
- Day of the Lord
- Daniel's Seventieth Week - chart
- Daniel's Seventieth Week Charted Parallel with other Daniel prophecies
- Millennium 1 - Early Church drift from literal interpretation of Rev 20
- Millennium 2 - Context & events leading up to Millennium
- Millennium 3 - How OT describes Millennial Messianic Age
- Daniel 1 Commentary
- Daniel 2 Commentary -- Da 2:1-23
- Daniel 2 Commentary(2) -- Da 2:24-49
- Daniel 3 Commentary
- Daniel 4 Commentary
- Daniel 5 Commentary
- Daniel 6 Commentary
- Daniel 7 Commentary(1) -- Da 7:1-6
- Daniel 7 Commentary(2) -- Da 7:7-14
- Daniel 7 Commentary(3) -- Da 7:15-28
- Daniel 8 Commentary
- Daniel 9 Commentary(1)
- Daniel 9:24 Commentary
- Daniel 9:25 Commentary
- Daniel 9:26 Commentary
- Daniel 9:27 Commentary
- Daniel 10 Commentary
- Daniel 11 Commentary(1) -- Da 11:1-19
- Daniel 11 Commentary(2) -- Da 11:20-45
- Daniel 12 Commentary
by Kay Arthur
- Have you attained everything only to find it was nothing?
- Have you striven for the top and found yourself literally at the bottom?
- Has everything that means anything been taken away from you?
- Are you reduced to nothing?
- Have you been brought as low as you can go?
Then raise your eyes toward heaven...when everything else is gone, GOD IS ENOUGH!
If you take the truths of God's Word and live by then...the result? Your PEACE will abound.
Nebuchadnezzar's desire is that every person in every nation know that the MOST HIGH GOD is great, His dominion and kingdom are everlasting.
Daniel 4:34-35 "But at the end of that period I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever; for His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom endures from generation to generation. And all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, but He does according to His will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of earth; and no one can ward off His hand Or say to Him, 'What hast Thou done?'
THE HISTORICAL CONTEXT OF DANIEL 4
626- 539BC Neo-Babylonian Empire was the dominant world power, 539BC marking the defeat by the Assyrians.
612BC Nabopolassar (Nebuchadnezzar's father) conquered Assyria.
605 - 562BC Nebuchadnezzar’s rule
Babylonians were noted for keeping excellent records which has yielded much archeological data. These archeological discoveries show that the first half of Nebuchadnezzar's reign was a time of conquest and the second half was a time peace. Daniel 4 probably reflects events that occurred in the second half of Nebuchadnezzar's rule. His dream probably occurred somewhere during the time of 570-569BC.
586BC Nebuchadnezzar's third siege resulted in the destruction of Jerusalem. Now just imagine how he felt, having destroyed the Solomon's Temple, etc.
572BC Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Tyre
Nebuchadnezzar saw the God who delivered the Hebrew boys as... the Most High God which corresponds to the Hebrew, El Elyon, (Ed note: Click here for "Names of God") which speaks of God's sovereignty or the fact that He rules over all mankind.
Ezekiel 29:17-20 "Now in the twenty-seventh year, in the first month, on the first of the month, the word of the LORD came to me saying, 'Son of man, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon made his army labor hard against Tyre; every head was made bald, and every shoulder was rubbed bare. But he and his army had no wages from Tyre for the labor that he had performed against it." Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD, "Behold, I shall give the land of Egypt to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. And he will carry off her wealth, and capture her spoil and seize her plunder; and it will be wages for his army. I have given him the land of Egypt (Ed note: Babylonian Chronicles imply that Babylon invaded Egypt about 568BC, having conquered Tyre about 4 years earlier. This verse clearly shows that God is sovereign over all nations) for his labor which he performed, because they acted for Me," declares the Lord GOD."
This section shows the kindness of God. God is saying in essence since Nebuchadnezzar worked hard to conquer Tyre without much spoil and so He would give him Egypt for his labor. Remember that God is showing this kindness to a pagan king who does not know Him. There are many men who do not know God and yet He is kind to them (cf, Ro 2:4 ''kindness of God leads you to repentance'')
Jeremiah 43:8-12 further illustrates El Elyon's sovereign rule over all the realm of mankind. "Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah in Tahpanhes (Ed note: located in the eastern delta region of Egypt), saying, 'Take some large stones in your hands and hide them in the mortar in the brick terrace which is at the entrance of Pharaoh's palace in Tahpanhes, in the sight of some of the Jews and say to them (Ed note: these Jews had fled Judea in an attempt to escape judgment but they would be discovered by God), 'Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, "Behold, I am going to send and get Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, My servant, and I am going to set his throne right over these stones that I have hidden; and he will spread his canopy over them (Ed note: the stones were buried over the exact spot where Nebuchadnezzar would rule when he invaded Egypt). He will also come and strike the land of Egypt; those who are meant for death will be given over to death, and those for captivity to captivity, and those for the sword to the sword. And I shall set fire to the temples of the gods of Egypt, and he will burn them and take them captive. So he will wrap himself with the land of Egypt as a shepherd wraps himself with his garment (reflecting the ease with which Nebuchadnezzar would defeat Pharaoh), and he will depart from there safely."
Jeremiah 44:26-30 "Nevertheless hear the word of the LORD, all Judah who are living in the land of Egypt, 'Behold, I have sworn by My great name,' says the LORD, 'never shall My name be invoked again by the mouth of any man of Judah in all the land of Egypt, saying, "As the Lord GOD lives." 'Behold, I am watching over them for harm and not for good, and all the men of Judah who are in the land of Egypt will meet their end by the sword and by famine until they are completely gone. 'And those who escape the sword will return out of the land of Egypt to the land of Judah few in number. Then all the remnant of Judah who have gone to the land of Egypt to reside there will know whose word will stand, Mine or theirs. And this will be the sign to you,' declares the LORD, 'that I am going to punish you in this place, so that you may know that My words will surely stand against you for harm.' "Thus says the LORD, 'Behold, I am going to give over Pharaoh Hophra king of Egypt to the hand of his enemies, to the hand of those who seek his life, just as I gave over Zedekiah king of Judah to the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, who was his enemy and was seeking his life.'"
God says that the Jews who think they can run to Egypt to escape His judgment will not escape from Him. As David declared ...you can't hide from Him even in the night (cf, Ps139:12 "Even the darkness is not dark to Thee, And the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to Thee.").
A similar event after Adam and Eve had sinned Genesis recording that after they sinned "Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings. And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. Then the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, "Where are you?" And he said, "I heard the sound of Thee in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself." (Ge3:7-10) God's question to Adam ''Where are you Adam?'' was not because God did not know where Adam was. The question forced Adam to explain why he was hiding. (Ed note: Note that God took the initiative in seeking out the sinners to re-establish a relationship with them).
In Jer 44:28 God declared that "all the remnant...will know whose word will stand, Mine or theirs" and without question God's Word will stand. You can try to deny it or resist it but God is God and His Word abides forever. Witness, for example, all the attempts by men over the centuries to try to destroy God’s Holy Word. God's Word and work will not be quenched and the gates of Hell will not prevail. So what do you and I need to do? We need to bring ourselves low before He has to flatten us. We need to recognize that alone He is the source of every good thing and we need to thank Him. Nebuchadnezzar did not recognize that all he had and had conquered (including Judah and Tyre) was from God, El Elyon. So it is in this context of Nebuchadnezzar's conquest of Israel and Tyre, that He had the "tree
Da 4:17 "This sentence is by the decree of the angelic watchers, and the decision is a command of the holy ones, in order that the living may know that the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind, and bestows it on whom He wishes, and sets over it the lowliest of men." The truth in this verse is so profound that if will embrace it, it will hold you through any tragedy.
It is fascinating to find that Nebuchadnezzar's father, Nabopolassar, wrote repeatedly ''I am a son of a nobody.'' As the Da4:17 states God "sets over it the lowliest of men."
Whatever it takes...no matter how much He has to humble you or what He has to take away from you, if you recognize and embrace this truth (God is over all) you will be enabled to experience peace in any circumstance and will find that God is enough because in God we have all that we need (cf "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." Phil 4:13)
Daniel looked different = a spirit of the holy gods (used to describe Daniel three times in chapter 4, Da4:8,9,18, and once in Da5:11). The question for us is "Can others see Him in you?" Because of the way you react do they ask themselves "How can you have such peace in the midst of a horrible trial?"
Ps 103:3 describes God as the One "Who pardons all your iniquities (Nebuchadnezzar was a man of great iniquity) and the One "Who heals all your diseases." Nebuchadnezzar may have suffered from the medical condition referred to as lycanthropy (Ed note: Describes the condition in which a human assumes the appearance or characteristics of an animal and is a form of insanity in which a person believes himself to be an animal and behaves accordingly. The Greek word is lykanthropia derived from lykos = wolf + anthropos = man) Daniel 4:34 records that "at the end of that period (? lycanthropy) I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever."
Has God brought you low?
If so then raise your eyes toward heaven,
so that your reason might return.
Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! 34 For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? 35 Or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to him again? 36 For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him [be] the glory forever. Amen." (Ro11:33-36) When God begins to move, man can't simply raise his fist and say ''What are You doing?'' God is the Most High God, totally sovereign, completely in control and not answerable to any man.
In (Isaiah 14:24-27) God is warning Judah of judgment but is also giving them hope (Ed note: God as a reflection of His sovereignty over nations, predicts the destruction of Judah's enemy Assyria). "The LORD of hosts has sworn saying, "Surely, just as I have intended so it has happened, and just as I have planned so it will stand, to break Assyria in My land, and I will trample him on My mountains. Then his yoke will be removed from them, and his burden removed from their shoulder. This is the plan devised against the whole earth; and this is the hand that is stretched out against all the nations. "For the LORD of hosts has planned, and who can frustrate it? And as for His stretched-out hand, who can turn it back?""
In (Isaiah 46:9-10) God testifies that He is absolutely sovereign, declaring "Remember the former things long past, for I am God, and there is no other; [I am] God, and there is no one like Me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things which have not been done (Ed note: proof of His sovereignty is His ability to control the future), saying, 'My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure."
Isaiah (45:1-6) records "Thus says the LORD to Cyrus His anointed (Ed note: Hebrew transliteration is "messiah" used here to refer to Cyrus, the king God set apart for His purposes, specifically issuing a decree permitting the Babylonian captives to return to Judah), whom I have taken by the right hand, to subdue nations before him, and to loose the loins of kings; to open doors before him so that gates will not be shut: I will go before you and make the rough places smooth. I will shatter the doors of bronze, and cut through their iron bars. And I will give you the treasures of darkness, and hidden wealth of secret places, in order that you may know that it is I, the LORD, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name. For the sake of Jacob My servant, and Israel My chosen one, I have also called you by your name. I have given you a title of honor though you have not known Me. I am the LORD, and there is no other. Besides Me there is no God. I will gird you, though you have not known Me that men may know from the rising to the setting of the sun that there is no one besides Me. I am the LORD, and there is no other, the One forming light and creating darkness, causing well-being and creating calamity (KJV = "evil", NIV = "disaster"). I am the LORD who does all these."
At the time of Isaiah's prophecy, the future Persian emperor Cyrus was not even born! This whole passage emphasizes God's sovereign control over all the circumstances and events of life. And so whatever it takes for you and I to "look up" and recognize that God is totally sovereign is worth it.
Why does God create adversity?
("I am the LORD...causing well-being and creating calamity")
God does so that we might run to Him; that we might know that He is God; that we might find out what is real, true, lasting and abiding; that the dead might find peace; that those in turmoil might find peace; that those in want might find all of their needs supplied; that we who so desperately need to be loved might discover the truth that "I have loved you with an everlasting love’’ and "’with lovingkindness I have drawn you to Myself’’.
In Jeremiah 29:11 God (speaking to Israel but applicable to all the redeemed, to every believer) declares "I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope."
In (Job34:10-15) Elihu explains to Job that God is not unjust or wicked! (Ed note: the context is Elihu answering Job's charge that God has wrongly afflicted an innocent man) Elihu says "listen to me, you men of understanding. Far be it from God to do wickedness, and from the Almighty to do wrong. For He pays a man according to his work, and makes him find it according to his way. Surely, God will not act wickedly, and the Almighty will not pervert justice. Who gave Him authority over the earth? And who has laid on Him the whole world? If He should determine to do so, if He should gather to Himself His spirit and His breath, all flesh would perish together, and man would return to dust. But if you have understanding, hear this, listen to the sound of my words."
Even Satan needs permission to sift the child of God
In (Luke 22:31-32) Jesus declared to Peter "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded [permission] to sift (Ed note: Grain was shaken in a kind sieve, leaving the grain and allowing the separated chaff to be thrown away) you like wheat, but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers."
Job 1-2 teaches us that Satan has no authority to do as he pleases without God's permission. In Job 1 we read "Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. And the LORD said to Satan, "From where do you come?" Then Satan answered the LORD and said, "From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it." And the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil." Then Satan answered the LORD, "Does Job fear God for nothing? "Hast Thou not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? Thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But put forth Thy hand now and touch all that he has; he will surely curse Thee to Thy face." Then the LORD said to Satan, "Behold, all that he has is in your power, only do not put forth your hand on him." So Satan departed from the presence of the LORD." (Job1:6-12)
Why does even Satan need permission from God? Because of Da 4:35 which declares that God "does according to His will in the host (KJV=army) of heaven."
Beware of greatness, strength, power, plenty
Moses warned Israel that "...when the LORD your God brings you into the land which He swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you, great and splendid cities which you did not build, and houses full of all good things which you did not fill, and hewn cisterns which you did not dig, vineyards and olive trees which you did not plant, and you shall eat and be satisfied, then watch yourself, lest you forget the LORD who brought you from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery." (Deut 6:10-12)
The warning for all of us is to be careful when you have much, because then you think you don’t need God and your heart turns away from Him. We are often better off spiritually when we are physically needy (which was certainly true in Nebuchadnezzar's case).
How long (after Daniel had interpreted the dream for him) did God give Nebuchadnezzar to repent? " "Twelve months later he (Nebuchadnezzar) was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon." (Da 4:29) So God gave Nebuchadnezzar one full year to respond to what He had spoken to him in a dream. We too so often hear a warning from the Lord and nothing happens so we think we are "okay". Beware!
"Babylon the Great"
"The king reflected and said, 'Is this not Babylon the great, which I myself have built as a royal residence by the might of my power and for the glory of my majesty?" (Da 4:30) What Nebuchadnezzar declares is the essence of "humanism" or of man doing great things for man, with man as the center of everything. This certainly describes one of the modern day "gods" in America. Nebuchadnezzar's assessment of Babylon may have been that it was "great" but in fact "magnificent" Babylon was filled with decadence, vice, brutality, sorcery, etc!
In Jeremiah 27 God says in essence "Look at what I gave you, Nebuchadnezzar", countering Nebuchadnezzar's boast of "Look at what I have done." Jeremiah records "In the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah the son of Josiah, king of Judah, this word came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying--thus says the LORD to me-- "Make for yourself bonds and yokes and put them on your neck, and send word to the king of Edom, to the king of Moab, to the king of the sons of Ammon, to the king of Tyre, and to the king of Sidon by the messengers who come to Jerusalem to Zedekiah king of Judah. And command them to go to their masters, saying, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, thus you shall say to your masters, (note especially verse 5-6) "I have made the earth, the men and the beasts which are on the face of the earth by My great power and by My outstretched arm, and I will give it to the one who is pleasing in My sight. "And now I have given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, My servant, and I have given him also the wild animals of the field to serve him. And all the nations shall serve him, and his son, and his grandson, until the time of his own land comes; then many nations and great kings will make him their servant. nd it will be, that the nation or the kingdom which will not serve him, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and which will not put its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, I will punish that nation with the sword, with famine, and with pestilence," declares the LORD, "until I have destroyed it by his hand. But as for you, do not listen to your prophets, your diviners, your dreamers, your soothsayers, or your sorcerers, who speak to you, saying, 'You shall not serve the king of Babylon.' For they prophesy a lie to you, in order to remove you far from your land; and I will drive you out, and you will perish. But the nation which will bring its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon and serve him, I will let remain on its land," declares the LORD, "and they will till it and dwell in it." (Jer27:1-11)
Hanging gardens of Babylon
Seventh Wonder of the World
"Babylon the great" was filled with pagan temples and most Babylonians had great fear of demons. But their so-called gods could not predict the future as could Daniel's God. Nebuchadnezzar was indeed in deep darkness. But if God can rescue Nebuchadnezzar, then it does not matter how deep the darkness or pit you or your loved one is trapped in -- God is still able to reach down and pull you out.
Click to enlarge
Nebuchadnezzar's "ziggurat" (see drawing above) was 288 feet high. Babylon had a majestic processional street with the Ishtar gate (see illustration below) at the north end. From a human perspective "Babylon was great". But God declares "I am the LORD, that is My name. I will not give My glory to another" (Isa 42:8) and so in an instant, the head of gold, King Nebuchadnezzar, was brought low.
Click to enlarge
During America's Great Depression in 1929, many men jumped to their death, because they failed to recognize that God is always in control. We all need to remember that even if circumstances are difficult and trying, it is still the "goodness of God" which "leads you to repentance." So when you are brought low, look up and say "Lord I am Yours. I am putty in Your hands. Do to me as you please." God will take that "band off the stump" of your life and He will bring you back and give to you even as He gave to Job (see Job 42:12ff), far more than you had before. Why? Because then you have true life and you have it eternally and you have the blessed assurance that whatever comes into your life will be filtered through His fingers of love. The Most High God, El Elyon, holds you in His sovereign, omnipotent hand, and no one can touch you without His permission.
The God that reduced Nebuchadnezzar to an animal is also the same God that sent His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ "Who although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross." (Phil 2:6-8) God is love and His supreme demonstration of His love for prideful mankind is the gift of His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him may not perish but have everlasting life. Whatever it takes for God to bring you to the point that you know Who He is, He will do it in love and it will be filtered through His fingers of love. Then you can say that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For whom God foreknew, He predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son. This is what God did to Nebuchadnezzar. He wants to do the same with you, beloved.
Bow now before He has to bring you low
There is great peace in knowing that God rules...
In the realm of mankind
Over the hosts of heaven
Over the inhabitants of the earth
As God has planned
So it shall come to pass