Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Bible Challenge: Day 302

The scriptures read are Daniel 11-12, Psalm 97 and Revelation 21.

Daniel 11. This chapter reads like a synopsis of Game of Thrones. The 4 Persian kings are probably the successors to Cyrus, who was king at the time. The powerful king is probably Alexander the Great. After his death, his empire was split up between his generals. Ptolemy 1 ruled Egypt and Seleucus eventually took control of Babylon. They fought a series of wars over Syria, its ports and trade routes. The last king of the North is Antiochus Epiphanes, who tried to suppress Judaism in Palestine. His actions led to the Maccabean revolt which eventually led to the last independent kingdom of Judea. The abomination of desolation was setting up an idol of Zeus in the Jewish temple.

Daniel 12. In verse 2 we get the first unequivocal reference to bodily resurrection in the Bible. We've seen hints in Job and Ezekiel but this is fairly clear.

The number of the days are of interest to those who like to calculate the last days, usually by converting the days to years. Literally 1290 is 3 years and 7 months of 31 days each (the Greek calendar, adjusting for the difference between solar and lunar years.)

Psalm 97. A soaring interpretation of this psalm with a beautiful and cosmic video.

Revelation 21. This is the culmination not just of Revelation but the whole Bible. The saga begins with God creating a paradise where people live in his presence. We turned this world into hell on earth. God redeems us and recreates the heavens and earth so that the epic ends with a paradise where people live in his presence. There is no death, mourning, pain or tears. As God says, "Behold! I make everything new!"

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