Prophecies in Daniel Yet to Be Fulfilled
Are there prophecies in Daniel that are yet to be fulfilled? The answer is yes and we will see this as we go through this study on Daniel.
Daniel 2, 7, 8, 11, 12
If you have never sat down and read these chapters in Daniel in this sequence – 2, 7, 8, 11, 12 – it may be helpful to do so now. They give an overall view of Four World Kingdoms which were to unfold from Daniel’s time forward.
These Four World Kingdoms are given in dreams/visions of both a Great Statue and Beasts. We now know from history that these four kingdoms were Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome.
A good study Bible or commentary might help you see these kingdoms and the texts associated with each. This could be helpful because the contents of these prophecies overlap at a number of points. So, although it is helpful to keep them separate and distinct, it is also helpful to see how they relate to each other.
Some of the prophecies concerning the fourth kingdom, Rome, are yet to be fulfilled. As we will see in this article, there is a rise of an end-time world kingdom out of this fourth kingdom.
→ Read Daniel 2:31-35, 40-45
The King’s Dream (vs. 31-35)
“You, O king, were watching and behold, there was a single great statue; that statue, which was large and of extraordinary radiance, was standing in front of you, and its appearance was awesome. The head of that statue was made of fine gold, its chest and its arms of silver, its belly and its thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, and its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. You continued watching until a stone was broken off without hands, and it struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay, and crushed them. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed to pieces all at the same time, and they were like chaff from the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away so that not a trace of them was found. But the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the entire earth.”…. (vs. 31-35)
The Interpretation (vs. 40-45)
“Then there will be a fourth kingdom as strong as iron; just as iron smashes and crushes everything, so, like iron that crushes, it will smash and crush all these things. And in that you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, it will be a divided kingdom; but it will have within it some of the toughness of iron, since you saw the iron mixed with common clay. And just as the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of pottery, so some of the kingdom will be strong, and part of it will be fragile. In that you saw the iron mixed with common clay, they will combine with one another in their descendants; but they will not adhere to one another, just as iron does not combine with pottery. And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever. Just as you saw that a stone was broken off from the mountain without hands, and that it crushed the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold, the great God has made known to the king what will take place in the future; so the dream is certain and its interpretation is trustworthy.” (vs. 40-45)
In these texts, Daniel relays to King Nebuchadnezzar both his dream and its interpretation. It reveals how this fourth kingdom of Rome is knit together and then divides. The kingdom that emerges from this fourth kingdom will be mixed and not adhering to one another “in their descendants.” In other words, there will be individual nation-states that will emerge from Rome. This interpretation sets the stage for the revival of this Roman kingdom by use of the ten toes imagery (vs 34 & 42) and the stone (God’s kingdom) striking the statue on its feet of iron and clay, crushing them.
→ Read Daniel 7:7-8, 11
“After this I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and extremely strong; and it had large iron teeth. It devoured and crushed, and trampled down the remainder with its feet; and it was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns. While I was thinking about the horns, behold, another horn, a little one, came up among them, and three of the previous horns were plucked out before it; and behold, this horn possessed eyes like human eyes, and a mouth uttering great boasts.” (vs. 7-8)
“Then I kept looking because of the sound of the boastful words which the horn was speaking; I kept looking until the beast was killed, and its body was destroyed and given to the burning fire.” (vs. 11)
This describes the fourth beast of Daniel’s dream. The ten horns of this beast would most likely correspond to the ten toes of the statue in Daniel 2. There is another horn that arises. This “other” horn is the final “boastful” world ruler – the Antichrist.
→ Read Daniel 7:19-26
“Then I desired to know the exact meaning of the fourth beast, which was different from all the others, exceedingly dreadful, with its teeth of iron and its claws of bronze, and which devoured, crushed, and trampled down the remainder with its feet, and the meaning of the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn which came up, and before which three of the horns fell, namely, that horn which had eyes and a mouth uttering great boasts, and which was larger in appearance than its associates. I kept looking, and that horn was waging war with the saints and prevailing against them, until the Ancient of Days came and judgment was passed in favor of the saints of the Highest One, and the time arrived when the saints took possession of the kingdom.
“This is what he said: ‘The fourth beast will be a fourth kingdom on the earth which will be different from all the other kingdoms, and will devour the whole earth and trample it down and crush it. As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings will arise; and another will arise after them, and he will be different from the previous ones and will humble three kings. And he will speak against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be handed over to him for a time, times, and half a time. But the court will convene for judgment, and his dominion will be taken away, annihilated and destroyed forever.” Daniel 7:19-26
This text describes the unfolding of the final world kingdom and the “exploits” of a particular “horn” which we refer to as the Antichrist. It would seem, looking back, that the events described here do not relate to any historical figure. Therefore, it is still a future event. God will allow this final world ruler, the Antichrist, to persecute Israel for 3 ½ years (time, times & half time of verse 25) just before he is destroyed by God.
→ Read Daniel 11:36-45
“Then the king will do as he pleases, and he will exalt himself and boast against every god and will speak dreadful things against the God of gods; and he will be successful until the indignation is finished, because that which is determined will be done. And he will show no regard for the gods of his fathers or for the desire of women, nor will he show regard for any other god; for he will boast against them all. But instead he will honor a god of fortresses, a god whom his fathers did not know; he will honor him with gold, silver, precious stones, and treasures. And he will take action against the strongest of fortresses with the help of a foreign god; he will give great honor to those who acknowledge him and will make them rulers over the many, and will parcel out land for a price.”
“And at the end time the king of the South will wage war with him, and the king of the North will storm against him with chariots, horsemen, and with many ships; and he will enter countries, overflow them, and pass through. He will also enter the Beautiful Land, and many countries will fall; but these will be rescued out of his hand: Edom, Moab, and the foremost of the sons of Ammon. Then he will reach out with his hand against other countries, and the land of Egypt will not escape. But he will gain control over the hidden treasures of gold and silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt; and Libyans and Ethiopians will follow at his heels. But rumors from the East and from the North will terrify him, and he will go out with great wrath to eliminate and annihilate many. And he will pitch the tents of his royal pavilion between the seas and the beautiful Holy Mountain; yet he will come to his end, and no one will help him.” Daniel 11:36-45
This is an even greater unfolding of the description of Antichrist and his exploits, even to the details of his final battle and destruction by God.
→ Read Daniel 12:1-2, 5-7, 11-13
“Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt.”…(vs. 1-2)
“Then I, Daniel, looked, and behold, two others were standing, one on this bank of the stream and the other on that bank of the stream. And someone said to the man dressed in linen, who was above the waters of the stream, “How long will it be until the end of these wonders?” And I heard the man dressed in linen, who was above the waters of the stream, as he raised his right hand and his left toward heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever that it would be for a time, times, and half a time; and as soon as they finish smashing the power of the holy people, all these events will be completed.”…(vs.5-7)
“And from the time that the regular sacrifice is abolished and the abomination of desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days. Blessed is the one who is patient and attains to the 1,335 days! But as for you, go your way to the end; then you will rest and rise for your allotted portion at the end of the age.” (vs.11-13)
This final chapter of Daniel mentions the Archangel Michael rising up for Israel during great distress. There is also reference to both the resurrection of the righteous and the condemned. There are some specific days mentioned as to the timing of putting an end to sacrifices and the abomination of desolation.
As various scholars have looked at these texts of Scripture, they have come up with some varying viewpoints. Some see these prophecies as already having been fulfilled or possibly some having a “recurring” fulfillment. It is indeed difficult to attempt to draw specifics from things that are “visionary” or “symbolic”.
But, if we would interpret symbols in their set biblical contexts and be careful not to surmise, and, if we look at some of the specific and clear teaching about events that occur in didactic rather than symbolic language, I believe we can only come to one conclusion – the events are still in the future.
You may be able to tell from going through this study that the events of Daniel’s life are not placed in chronological order in the book. The Chronology of Daniel will help you see the timeline, and The Main Message of Daniel gives more insight about the book’s themes as well.