Times Appointed Part 4
22nd August 2009, hej
This Article: (6 Pages)
1) Vision of the decree of the watchers
Nebuchadnezzar is given a dream speaking of a period of time
a watcher and an holy one came down from heaven; He cried aloud, and said thus, “Hew down the tree, and cut off his branches, shake off his leaves, and scatter his fruit:.. Nevertheless leave the stump of his roots in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth: Let his heart be changed from man's, and let a beast's heart be given unto him; and let seven times pass over him. This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High rules in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and sets up over it the basest of men. (Daniel 4:13-17)
Many may say this vision was fulfilled at that time (thought to be 582-575BC). However, in the prophets people's actions often parallel later events in the nations. It is a very long account for a simple outcome, that of Nebuchadnezzar praising the God of Israel, and has a lot of detail that is suggestive of events of much greater scope. The point is that the Most High rules in the kingdoms of men. Therefore, ever since this prophecy the God of Israel must have been setting up the 'basest of men' or else there is no point in it. Nebuchadnezzar when he came to himself was no longer 'base' as he had a soul to praise the King of heaven. No ruler of great empires since that time has done this.
There are remarkable circumstances here. Nebuchadnezzar had only recently done Yahweh's will and captured Jerusalem (597/598BC). Yahweh had told His people and their king through Jeremiah to submit to His appointed ruler, in this case, Nebuchadnezzar, but they had rebelled (see Ezekiel 17:12-19). This rebellion ended “the kingdom of the LORD (Yahweh)” on earth in 586/ 587BC when Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem and the temple and took away the remainder of the people. To this point Yahweh is openly working with Nebuchadnezzar, through dreams and the work of Daniel. Nebuchadnezzar had “thoughts of “what should come to pass hereafter” and through Daniel.
He that reveals secrets makes known to thee what shall come to pass. (Daniel 2:29)
He continues to do the work of Yahweh with the war with Tyre. He is given “wages” in his conquest of Egypt (Ezekiel 29:18-20). Bringing us to 582BC when he is involved in great building work in his city, and is tempted to think it was the might of his own power. Nebuchadnezzar was not the basest of men. He became base and is restored. He was in the symbol of his vision the tree made by Yahweh.
To understand the decree we need to know what the 'Holy Ones' are thinking. After Israel's rebellion they would be punished 7 times (Leviticus 26:18). But in Ezekiel there is a promise of a new tree,
In the mountain of the height of Israel will I plant it: and it shall bring forth boughs, and bear fruit, and be a goodly cedar: and under it shall dwell all fowl of every wing; in the shadow of the branches thereof shall they dwell. And all the trees of the field shall know that I Yahweh have brought down the high tree, have exalted the low tree, have dried up the green tree, and have made the dry tree to flourish... (Ezekiel 17:23-24)
This symbolic tree that will be planted in Israel is clearly the kingdom of God on earth. When Ezekiel sees the vision, Nebuchadnezzar is the tree.
But the tree is cut down. When was it cut down? Nebuchadnezzar's grandson knew of but despised Yahweh, however, he is judged and the writing on the wall explained “TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting. PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians” (Daniel 5:27-28). Was this the beginning of the rule by the basest of men? Yet Darius the Mede says,
I make a decree, That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, and stedfast for ever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even unto the end. (Daniel 6:26)
These are not the words of the 'basest of men'. After Darius comes Cyrus. Cyrus is spoken of by name,
Thus says Yahweh to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have held, to subdue nations before him (Isaiah 45:1)
Cyrus is not recorded as praising Yahweh. Cyrus did what he did from a policy that extended his rule, to make him the first great empire builder.
The end of the decree of the watchers is when rule on earth is openly influenced by Yahweh and when he no longer uses the 'basest of men'. In the symbol acted out by Nebuchadnezzar 'seven times' was seven years. On a day for a year of 360 days this is 2520 years. Normally 'a time' is 360 years, but if the full period acted out was measured by Hebrews and as normal adjusted over the seven years twice with an extra month, equating to the solar year of 365 days then the period where the “basest” of men will rule is 2555 years.
The kingdom of God is ruled by Nebuchadnezzar in 586BC when he takes Jerusalem and destroys the temple – (adjusted for the 4 years lost at Common Era is 590BC), giving and end at 1930 with a 360 day year, or 1965 with the solar adjusted year. The second date is when Jewish rule begins to be established in Jerusalem again. From the approximate date of the vision in 582BC (adjusted to 586BC) we have 1934 with a short year or 1969 with the long year. Again the second date is more significant. But these have passed and though the second dates define the beginning of the symbolic planting of the tree in the mountains of Israel, God's kingdom is still bound by the will of the 'basest of men'.
Cyrus, is of the type of the basest of men, as he takes control and names himself king of Persia in 546BC(550). This gives 1970 with the short year or 2005.
However, the most logical start date for the seven 'times' rule by the 'basest of men' is when Cyrus conquers and takes the empire of Babylon in 538BC(542), and so takes over control of the land of Israel. From this point in history humans think they control their own destiny and fight over the land of Israel. With a 360 day year this gives a period to 1978. With seven solar adjusted years of days, or 2555 years, the period of seven times finishes in 2013. Seven times from the decree to return by Cyrus in 537BC(541) ends in 2014. Cyrus was named “shepherd” (Isaiah 44:28) so the next king could date the start of the seven times period. Cyrus died in 530/29 BC(534/3) from this date the end is 2021/2.
As possible confirmation, in 1971 Iran celebrated a 2500th anniversary. The Islamic calendar doesn't adjust for solar years so it is only approximate, but 7 times ends 2026. They have been counting and made it a big event, so it may be a sign for this generation.
The 'seven times' may not have one start date but a period or era. Joshua took 5 years to conquer Canaan. Ezekiel 39 says there will be a 7 year clean up of the weapons in Israel. Therefore the end of the kingdoms of men could be an era. The end era could begin in 2014 and the last date of the longer 'times' will therefore be 2021/2 or(if the Iranian celebration was a marker) approx. 2026.