Let’s Look Closer: Daniel’s following vision zeros in on the next two kingdoms following Babylon, the Persian Empire, and the Greek Empire. God gives Daniel unique insight into the future of Daniel’s nation, Israel. There is amazing detail in God’s predictions of the future. Events that are in the past for us.
The alliance that defeats Babylon is Media and Persia, with the Persians eventually becoming dominant. The Greeks, led by Alexander the Great, conquered the Persians, but Alexander died at a young age and his empire was split into four regions ruled by his four generals. One of those generals is succeeded by a king who calls himself Antiochus Epiphanes.
Epiphanes means “God manifest.” Instead of considering himself a representative of the gods, he considers himself a god. He also carries out ruthless military campaigns against the people of Israel. Given the accuracy of these predictions, it’s hard for historians to understand how Daniel could have written this before the events happened.
Takeaway: We can be encouraged in this! Even during the intense persecution under the rule of Antiochus, the people of Israel knew that God had it all figured out. Regardless of who rules over us, we know God has not been taken by surprise and has it all figured out. We don’t need to lay awake worrying on election nights. We don’t need to find underhanded ways to oppose powers we believe are standing against the will of God. We must keep our eyes on a God who will defeat all human kingdoms and rule forever.