Friday, May 8, 2015

Daniel, Day 5 Readings

A Vision of Four Awful Beasts and the End of the Jewish Exile in Babylon 

Today's reading is the final vision of Daniel.  It promises a horrible period of tribulation at the hands of increasingly violent governments.  There will be periods of war as great powers emerge and conquer other great powers.  Amid this turmoil, some small groups will sometimes rise to local power before being squelched by the more powerful empires.

At the end of this clash of empires (which fairly accurately describes three or four centuries of history in the ancient near-East), the hand of God will return and take charge.  The faithful will be protected against the anguish of the surrounding chaos and restored.  In fact, some will come back to life and be judged: those of God's chosen people who were wise and faithful will be rewarded, while those who were foolish and unfaithful will be punished.  This prophecy at the end of Daniel is the first explicit promise in the Bible of life beyond this earthly life.

Read Daniel 10:18-12:13  (NIV)   (NRSV)   (CEB)
[links to Bible Gateway open in a new window]

Reading the Bible in Its Entirety

If you are planning to read the Bible in its entirety, you should read Daniel 10-12 today.