You are hereThe Man of Lawlessness, part two: The Falling Away

The Man of Lawlessness, part two: The Falling Away

  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/vaduva/planetpreterist.com/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 842.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument::init() should be compatible with views_handler::init(&$view, $options) in /home/vaduva/planetpreterist.com/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc on line 745.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/vaduva/planetpreterist.com/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 589.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home/vaduva/planetpreterist.com/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 589.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_boolean_operator::value_validate() should be compatible with views_handler_filter::value_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/vaduva/planetpreterist.com/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter_boolean_operator.inc on line 149.

By Duncan - Posted on 21 May 2010

This is part two of a four part series on the man of lawlessness. To start at the beginning (part one) go here: http://planetpreterist.com/content/man-lawlessness-part-one

Having examined some of Paul’s comments about the day of the Lord in 1 Thessalonians and the connections between the man of lawlessness and the king of the North, I shall now examine 2 Thessalonians 2 in more detail. According to Paul, the arrival of the man of lawlessness would indicate that the day of the Lord was imminent (2 Thess. 2:3). Given the OT background of the ultimate day of the Lord involving the judgment of God’s unfaithful old covenant people (Dan. 11:40-12:7; Joel 2:1-11, 3:12-17; Zeph. 1), and given Paul’s allusions to the earlier destruction of Jerusalem (e.g., Jeremiah 6) as well a near future capture of the Temple (2 Thess. 2:4), one would expect to find the fulfillment of what Paul is writing about in 2 Thessalonians 2 in the AD 70 destruction of Jerusalem and the Jewish nation. It would naturally follow that the man of lawlessness would have a key role in this soon-coming judgment on the Jews.

2 Thessalonians 2:1-4
1. Now brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you,
2. not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come.
3. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition,
4. who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

In 2 Thessalonians 2:4, Paul makes reference to the king of the North as described in Daniel 11:36:

Then the king will do according to his own will: he shall exalt and magnify himself above every god, shall speak blasphemies against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the wrath has been accomplished; for what has been determined shall be done.

The king of the North/man of lawlessness would oppose God and exalt himself; he would prosper until the wrath against Israel was completed (cf. Dan. 12:7). This was the Antichrist, the prince to come who would destroy Jerusalem and the Temple (Dan. 9:26-27).
Vine says the following on the man of lawlessness’ opposition to God:

He that opposeth – antikeimai = “to be set over against”; it is used of those who opposed the Lord Jesus, Luke 13:17; of those who oppose His people, 21:15; 1 Corinthians 16:9; Philippians 1:28; 1 Timothy 5:14; or His doctrine, 1 Timothy 1:10; and also of the mutual antagonism between the Holy Spirit and the flesh in the believer, Galatians 5:17. In LXX it is used of Satan, Zechariah 3:1, and of men, Job 13:24; Isaiah 66:6. The grammatical form here [in 2 Thess. 2:4], i.e., the participle with the article, makes a descriptive title = “the opponent.” John . . . called the same person “Antichrist” = “the opponent of Christ,” 1 John 2:18; thus the later title supplements and defines the earlier.18

The person to whom Paul refers as the man of lawlessness is the same person to whom John refers as the Antichrist. Both titles refer to the evil ruler who would oppose Jesus at “the last hour” (1 John 2:18), at the time of his Second Advent (2 Thess. 2:8). The term “Antichrist” can either mean one opposed to Christ or the one in place of Christ. Paul, in discussing the man of lawlessness, reveals that both ideas are valid; the Antichrist would be both the one who opposes God/Christ at his coming (2 Thess. 2:4; cf. Dan. 7:21-22; Rev. 19:11-19) and the one who attempts to take his place by demanding worship (2 Thess. 2:4; cf. Dan. 11:36-37; Rev. 13:14-15). As Sproul notes: “Paul does not call him [the man of lawlessness] ‘antichrist’ here, but Paul does describe his activity in terms of being both against Christ and a substitute for Christ.”19

HOW COULD THE THESSALONIANS THINK THE DAY OF THE LORD
HAD ALREADY ARRIVED?

Looking at 2 Thessalonians 2:2, there is some disagreement over whether the Thessalonians thought the day of the Lord had actually come or simply believed it was about to come.20 Given the common conception of the day of the Lord and the parousia (“coming,” v. 1) as happening in a visible blaze of glory, it is hard for some to understand how the Thessalonians could have believed the day of the Lord had already arrived. Commentator D. Michael Martin writes the following on this:

How then could the Thessalonians have believed that the day of the Lord had “come” (v. 2)? Might they have believed that that day was near but that it had not actually arrived? The perfect tense verb (enestēken) means “has arrived,” not “is imminent.” Elsewhere Paul used enestēken to signify “present” in contrast to future events (Rom 8:38; 1 Cor 3:22) and to speak of the “present” distress in which the church lived (1 Cor 7:26). When Paul did wish to describe the imminence of the parousia, he used different terms (see Rom 13:12; Phil 4:5) . . . It seems best then to allow enestēken its normal meaning and assume that the Thessalonians had heard that the day of the Lord had arrived in some immediate and climactic sense . . . Paul sought to defuse the situation not by arguing that the parousia was distant (the events described in vv. 3-9 could occur in fairly short order) but by highlighting intermediate events that distanced their immediate suffering from the event of the parousia.21

The mistake the Thessalonians made was not in thinking the day of the Lord was about to come; rather, it was in thinking it had already come. How could this be? Paul taught clearly that the day of the Lord and the parousia were essentially simultaneous (2 Thess. 1:7-10; 2:1-8). The fact that the Thessalonians believed the day of the Lord had come indicates that Paul’s teaching on the Second Coming differed significantly from that of most present-day eschatological scenarios. For example, if Paul were a current-day pre-tribulation dispensationalist, he would have corrected the Thessalonians in a very different manner than he did. He might have argued that if the day of the Lord had already come, they all should have been physically raptured to heaven by now (cf. 1 Thess. 4:16-17). Since this had not happened then obviously the day of the Lord had not arrived yet.

Instead of answering in the above manner, Paul simply provides two events that needed to transpire before the Second Advent occurred. First, a falling away (“rebellion,” NRSV) had to take place. In response to this, the man of lawlessness—the Antichrist—would be revealed (2 Thess. 2:3). Soon thereafter, the parousia would happen (2 Thess. 2:8). Again, Paul nowhere makes the argument that the saints would have already been raptured to heaven if the day of the Lord had begun.

Notice that Paul was discussing an event that was about to occur in the lifetime of his hearers, not thousands of years in the future (in a completely different Temple no less). In fact, Paul indicated that the mystery of lawlessness (which would give rise to the man of lawlessness) was already at work (2 Thess. 2:7; cf. 1 John 4:3; Rev. 13:18). This point cannot be stressed enough: Paul was referring to events that were going to take place within the lifetime of his readers—events that would happen in the then-standing Temple—not some supposed third Temple that, two thousand years later, has still not been built.

It should also be noted that Paul’s statement that the revelation of the man of lawlessness was an indicator of when the day of the Lord was about to happen is at complete odds with those who teach that Christians will be “raptured” before the Antichrist is revealed. Since Paul was giving his Thessalonian audience historical indicators so they could know when the day of the Lord was about to come, it would be nonsensical to give the Antichrist’s revelation as one of the (two) essential signs if the Thessalonian believers would not be around to witness his arrival.

THE FALLING AWAY
In 2 Thessalonians 2:4, Paul alludes to the fact that the ultimate day of the Lord would involve a first-century attack upon Jerusalem. This is consistent with the picture of the day of the Lord in the rest of Scripture (e.g., Joel 2; Zech. 14; Dan. 11:45-12:13, etc.). Although Paul does not explicitly mention the attack on Jerusalem by the man of lawlessness, it is implied (the attack is explicitly shown in Daniel 11:45 and the destruction of the Temple is explicitly shown in Daniel 9:26). The only way the man of lawlessness could take control of the Temple (“he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God”) is if he had successfully captured Jerusalem. The Jews, of course, would (and did) fight to the death to prevent such a blasphemy. They would never willingly allow a man to usurp the worship of God in the Temple.22

In 2 Thessalonians 2:3, Paul says that before the day of the Lord and its associated events would happen, the “falling away” would first occur. The Greek word for “falling away” is apostasia, which can mean either a religious falling away (“apostasy,” NASB) or a political falling away (“rebellion,” NRSV). In translating apostasia as “the falling away,” the translators of NKJV were somewhat noncommittal as to whether it refers to a religious or secular rebellion. It should be noted that the apostasia in no way refers to the so called rapture of 1 Thess. 4:14-17. (I shall discuss the rapture at the end of this chapter.)

In the Septuagint, apostasia is used for both religious apostasy and political revolt. While the only other NT use of apostasia (Acts 21:21) is a religious apostasy, the meaning of apostasia in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 refers to a political rebellion, the Great Revolt of the Jews. As a case in point, apostasia is the word which Josephus uses in discussing the Jewish revolt of AD 66.23 Regarding this meaning, Gentry writes:

We can make a good case for its referring to the Jewish apostasy/rebellion against Rome. Interestingly, Josephus calls the Jewish War an apostasia against the Romans: “And now I perceived innovations were already begun, and that there were a great many very much elevated, in hopes of a revolt [apostasia] from the Romans” (Life 4). “When John, the son of Levi, saw some of the citizens much elevated upon their revolt [apostasia] from the Romans, he labored to restrain them; and entreated them that they would keep their allegiance to them” (ibid., 10). Probably Paul merges the religious and political concepts, though emphasizing the outbreak of the Jewish War resulting from their apostasy against God.24 (brackets in original)

The New Jerusalem Bible actually translates apostasia in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 as “the Great Revolt”:

About the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, brothers, and our being gathered to him: please do not be too easily thrown into confusion or alarmed by any manifestation of the Spirit or any statement or any letter claiming to come from us, suggesting that the Day of the Lord has already arrived. Never let anyone deceive you in any way. It cannot happen until the Great Revolt has taken place and there has appeared the wicked One, the lost One, the enemy, who raises himself above every so-called god or object of worship to enthrone himself in God’s sanctuary and flaunts the claim that he is God.
2 Thessalonians 2:1-4 NJB (italics in original)

It was the Jewish apostasia against Rome, the Great Revolt in AD 66, which ultimately led to the revelation of the man of lawlessness. Titus, in response to this revolt, led the attack on God’s holy mountain on the ultimate day of the Lord in AD 70 (cf. Dan. 11:40-45).

WERE THE REBELLION AND THE REVELATION OF THE MAN OF LAWLESSNESS
TO BE CONCURRENT OR SEQUENTIAL?

There is some debate whether the rebellion and the revelation of the man of lawlessness are concurrent (i.e., the man of lawlessness causes the rebellion) or if they form a sequence. Martin writes the following on this:

The temporal relationship between the rebellion and the man of lawlessness is not certain. Because of the sequence of the statements in the verse [v. 3] one may assume that a general apostasy as a distinct event would precede and set the stage for a second event, the appearance of the lawless one. The adverb prōton’ (first in the NASB, not translated by the NIV) seems to support this temporal sequence. Its placement in the sentence slightly favors the understanding that the apostasy comes ‘first’ and then the lawless one is revealed. But this is not necessarily the case.25

It is my contention that 2 Thessalonians 2:3 lays out a chronological sequence. I say this for the simple reason that that is the way the events played out in history. First, the Jews rebelled against Rome, then Rome responded by sending Vespasian and Titus to invade the Holy Land (this is shown in Daniel 11:40-41). This led to the revelation of Titus as the man of lawlessness when he led the attack on God’s holy mountain in the early spring of AD 70 (Dan. 11:45). Titus captured the Temple and was worshiped there when his troops sacrificed to his image/name on their standards (cf. Dan. 11:36-37).26 These events follow precisely the chronological sequence given in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4. It should be remembered that the very reason why Paul wrote 2 Thessalonians was to provide a sequence of events so that the Thessalonians would know when the parousia was about to occur.

WHY WAS PAUL SO VAGUE ABOUT THE IDENTITY OF THE MAN OF LAWLESSNESS?
Some wonder why Paul is so cryptic in his discussion of the man of lawlessness. The answer to this is simple: Paul did not know his identity. The man of lawlessness had not yet been revealed (2 Thess. 2:3, 8). As I have discussed, Paul’s teaching on the day of the Lord was largely drawn from Daniel 11:36-12:13. While this section of Daniel provided the prophetic background for Paul’s discussion of the man of lawlessness, an exact identification could not be given until the lawless one actually came onto the scene. As it turned out, the Jewish revolt and the subsequent coming of the man of sin occurred more than fifteen years after Paul wrote his letters to the Thessalonians. Titus was a mere eleven years old when Paul wrote to the Thessalonians; his capture of the Temple would not happen for another nineteen years! Indeed, if Paul died during Nero’s reign, it is unlikely that he ever knew the exact identity of the man of lawlessness. As late as AD 69 it appeared that Vespasian would be the willful ruler who would lead the attack against God’s holy mountain in Jerusalem. However, with Vespasian’s accession to the Roman throne, it was finally revealed that his son Titus (the little horn of Dan. 7:23-27) would be the one through whom the coming demonic prince would work in destroying Jerusalem and the Temple (Dan. 9:26-27; Dan. 11:44-45; 12:7).

WHY NERO COULD NOT HAVE BEEN THE MAN OF LAWLESSNESS
Some attempt to identify Nero as the man of lawlessness. This is impossible, however. The man of lawlessness was to be worshiped in the Temple (2 Thess. 2:4), something never accomplished by Nero. In spite of this fact, Gentry holds that an intention of Nero to be worshiped in the Temple would be enough to fulfill this prophecy. Gentry maintains that the grammatical construction of 2 Thessalonians 2:4 “indicates a purpose intended—not necessarily a purpose accomplished” (emphasis in original).27 The unlikely assertion that the mere intention to be worshiped in the Temple was enough to fulfill 2 Thessalonians 2:4 is a rather strained attempt by Gentry to bolster his position that Nero was the man of lawlessness. Unfortunately, he cannot even show this much; there is no record that Nero ever had the intention of being worshiped in Jerusalem’s Temple.28

The almost certain identification of the man of lawlessness with the beast of Revelation (both are portrayed as the evil ruler who opposes Jesus and is defeated by the sword/breath of Jesus’ mouth at his parousia, 2 Thess. 2:8, Rev. 19:20-21)29 also presents a considerable problem for those who say Nero was the man of lawlessness. First, Nero died in mid-AD 68; how then could he be the one who was defeated by Jesus’ coming in AD 70? Second, Nero never set foot in Judea; how then could he be the one to capture the Temple and be worshiped there?

Not only does Nero not fit the criteria for the man of lawlessness, he does not fit the criteria for the (individual) beast. The beast was to be the one who would destroy harlot Babylon (Rev. 17:11-17). Gentry correctly says that first-century Jerusalem is the harlot city spoken of in Revelation. Nero didn’t destroy Jerusalem, Titus did. Nero was the sixth king—he was on throne when Revelation was written. The individual beast would be an eighth king—he had not come out of the abyss yet (Rev. 17:8-11). Nero can not be both the one who is and at the same time the one who has not come yet!

Nero certainly does not fit Daniel’s description of the king of the North (the ruler that Paul is referencing in his description of the man of lawlessness). Nero never invaded the Holy Land; how could he be the one who led the attack against God’s holy mountain in Jerusalem (Dan. 11:40-45)?

Even Gentry has to acknowledge that the only Roman leader who actually fulfilled the prophecy of 2 Thessalonians 2:4 of being worshiped in the Temple was Titus. Gentry writes the following on this: “the future emperor Titus actually accomplishes this ‘intention’ [of being worshiped in the Temple] when he completes the devastation of Jerusalem set in motion by Nero. Titus invades the Temple in A.D. 70 and his soldiers worship Rome within.”30 Gentry is attempting to associate Nero with Titus here in an effort to bolster his assertion that Nero was the man of lawlessness. The simple fact, however, is that it was Titus, not Nero, who fulfilled the prophecy of the man of lawlessness being worshiped in the Temple.

WHAT TEMPLE WAS THE MAN OF LAWLESSNESS TO TAKE CONTROL OF?
Some commentators, unclear on a first-century identification of the man of lawlessness, argue that the temple Paul was talking about really refers to the church. Beale writes the following along these lines:

What does it mean that the antichrist will sit in the temple of God? It does not refer to some future rebuilt temple in Israel, nor is it likely to refer to some past desecration of the temple in Jerusalem . . . It is more probable that the temple is a more specific metaphorical reference to the church as the continuation of the true cultus . . . Consequently, [2 Thess.] 2:3-4 teaches that the latter-day assailant will come into the midst of the church and cause it to become predominantly apostate and unbelieving. He will then try to take control of the church by carrying out further deception in it.31

Beale argues that the other places in Paul’s writings where he uses the phrase God’s temple, it is always a symbolic usage.32 While this is true, and initially sounds persuasive, it is not so compelling when one actually looks at the verses cited. Although Paul elsewhere uses the temple as a metaphor for both the church and the believer’s body (see below, underlined emphasis mine), he makes it quite clear that the literal Temple is not meant in those contexts:

Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.
1 Corinthians 3:16-17

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?
1 Corinthians 6:19

And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
2 Corinthians 6:16

Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostle and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
Ephesians 2:20-22

Now look at 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4; the obvious symbolism in the above verses simply does not exist:

Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. (underlined emphasis mine)

If we are going to follow Beale’s lead and allow the other places that Paul uses the phrase God’s temple to dictate the meaning of temple in 2 Thessalonians 2:4, one could almost as easily conclude that Paul was teaching that the man of lawlessness would take his place in the physical bodies of believers some time in the future! Martin makes the following cogent point on this question of whether Paul was referring to the literal Temple.

Paul commonly used naos [temple] metaphorically of the believer as the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 3:16-17; 6:19; 2 Cor 6:16). But here it must be used literally if the passage is to depict an observable, symbolic event the church could recognize as an indication of the nearness of the day of the Lord.33

It would be very strange if, in 2 Thessalonians 2:4, Paul was not talking about the Jerusalem Temple. First, Paul was writing c. AD 50, when the Temple was still in existence and would remain standing for another twenty years. Given that there is no indication whatsoever of a symbolic reference to the Temple in verse 4, the Thessalonians would have logically concluded that Paul was talking about the physical Temple in Jerusalem.

A second (more decisive) indication that Paul is referring to the Jerusalem Temple is the fact that he draws from Daniel 11:36-45 in his teaching in 2 Thessalonians 2. Daniel 11:36-45 describes the king of the North’s attack against God’s holy mountain (v. 45), his attack against the literal Jerusalem Temple at the end of the old covenant age. Thus, Paul is expounding on a section of Scripture that describes a physical assault on the Temple in Jerusalem. To say that Paul is, in this context, using the Temple as a symbol for the church makes absolutely no sense. Lastly, the object of Paul’s discussion is Jesus’ parousia (2 Thess. 2:1, 8). When Jesus discussed this topic of his Second Coming, it was clearly in the context of the assault and destruction of the Jerusalem Temple at the end of the age (Matt. 24:1-3).

TITUS’ CAPTURE OF THE TEMPLE
Titus was worshiped in the Temple after his capture of it in late summer of AD 70. Josephus relates that, as the Temple was burning, Titus’ troops brought in the Roman standards and offered sacrifices to them:

As the rebels had fled into the city, and flames were consuming the sanctuary itself and all its surroundings, the Romans brought their standards into the Temple court, and, erecting them opposite the Eastern gate, they sacrificed to them there, and with thundering acclamation hailed Titus imperator.34

The Roman standards would have held images of the reigning Caesar as well as his name (cf. Rev. 13:17):

Under the eagle or other emblem was often placed a head of the reigning emperor, which was to the army the object of idolatrous adoration (Josephus, The Jewish War 2,9,2; Suetonius, The Twelve Caesars Tiberius 48, Caligula 14; Tacitus, Annals 1.39,40; 4.62). The name of the emperor, or him who was acknowledged as emperor, was sometimes inscribed in the same situation (Suetonius, The Twelve Caesars Vespasian 6). . . . [Later, when] Constantine had embraced Christianity [in the fourth century AD], a figure or emblem of Christ, woven in gold upon purple cloth, was substituted for the head of the emperor.35

Since Titus was the son of the reigning emperor and had been given the title of Caesar by his father in AD 69, and since his troops were proclaiming him as Imperator—a title that, during this time in the empire, was almost exclusive to the emperor—there were almost certainly images of Titus on the standards. Since Titus had the same name as his father (Titus Flavius Vespasianus), it is certain that some form of his name was on the standards being worshiped.

Given Titus’ inflated ego from his triumph, and given how Daniel 11:36-37 and 2 Thessalonians 2:4 describe the large ego of the king of the North/man of lawlessness, it is probable that the only images on the standards were those of Titus. Having captured the Temple, Titus was not inclined to share his glory with anyone, even his father. Roman historian Michael Grant describes Titus’ conceit over his conquest of the Jews:

Titus’ capture of Jerusalem caused honours to be showered upon him in the east. At Memphis, in Egypt, as part of a traditional ritual, he allowed himself to be crowned with a diadem. For a short time too, eastern coinages issued in his name have him the prefix of imperator, to which only the emperor was entitled; and his legionaries, who greatly admired him were said to have hesitated initially whether to offer the throne to his father or to himself.
Moreover, after Titus’s success in Judaea, the senate voted him an independent Triumph. But this was soon afterwards converted into a joint Triumph with his father. For the situation had begun to get somewhat out of hand. Titus was conceited about the position he had won, regarding himself as the decisive factor in the rise of the dynasty to power, and showing little backwardness in parading this conviction.36

While I believe that Josephus’ version of what happened when Titus captured the Temple is enough to fulfill the prophecy of the man of lawlessness being worshiped in the Temple, I have suspicions that Josephus is not reporting all the facts. As mentioned previously, Josephus likely minimized or omitted Titus’ more reprehensible acts against the Jews. This would have been especially true when it came to Titus’ actions against God’s Temple. This probable minimization was not to preserve Titus’ reputation with the Romans as much as it was to preserve Josephus’ reputation among his fellow Jews (he had been Titus’ right-hand man in these events).37

The Roman historian Dio Cassius presents a very different picture than Josephus of Titus’ intentions concerning the Temple. Dio writes that it was the Roman troops who were afraid to violate the sanctity of the Temple and that Titus compelled them to profane it: “. . . the temple was now laid open to the Romans. Nevertheless, the soldiers because of their superstition did not immediately rush in; but at last, under compulsion from Titus, they made their way inside.”38

I believe that Jewish tradition gives an even more correct (albeit exaggerated) sense of Titus’ actions when he captured the Temple. The Babylonian Talmud records that Titus entered the Holy of Holies, spread out a scroll of the Law, and fornicated upon it with a harlot:

Vespasian sent Titus who said, Where is their God, the rock in whom they trusted? This was the wicked Titus who blasphemed and insulted Heaven. What did he do? He took a harlot by the hand and entered the Holy of Holies and spread out a scroll of the Law and committed a sin on it. He then took a sword and slashed the curtain. Miraculously blood spurted out, and he thought that he had slain [God] himself,39 as it says, Thine adversaries have roared in the midst of thine assembly, they have set up their ensigns for signs.40 (emphasis in original)

While admittedly a bit over the top, the account of Titus fornicating on God’s Law in the Temple’s most holy place certainly sounds like behavior consistent with the man of lawlessness! Interestingly, the curtain of the Temple, torn in two when Jesus completed his mission (Matt. 27:50-51), is again torn as Titus completes his own mission: Christ and Antichrist.

THE RESTRAINING OF THE MAN OF LAWLESSNESS
In 2 Thessalonians 2:6-7 Paul discusses how the man of lawlessness was being restrained at that time:

6. And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time.
7. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way.

Paul said that the man of lawlessness was being restrained until the time of his revelation. There has been much discussion by commentators over who and what was restraining the man of lawlessness. The “what” of verse 6 is the neuter participle; the “He” (or “he”) of verse 7 is the masculine participle. Russell Spittler observes that “in grammatical terms, what is restraining the Man of Sin is neuter, referring to an impersonal force, while He who now restrains is masculine, suggesting a personal figure”41 (emphasis in original). Unfortunately, we do not have Paul’s teaching on who and what were restraining the man of lawlessness; as a result, most of the discussion on this topic is speculative in nature.

The book of Revelation, written approximately fifteen years after the Thessalonian epistles, may be of some help in understanding who and what were restraining the Antichrist. As mentioned previously, the beast of Revelation is the same as the man of lawlessness, as both are shown to be the evil ruler that would be defeated by Jesus at his Second Coming (2 Thess. 2:8; Rev. 19:11-21). In Revelation, the “what” which was restraining the beast was the abyss (Rev. 17:8). That would mean that the “he” who was restraining the beast/man of lawlessness was either God or, more likely, one of his angels (cf. Rev. 9:1-11; 20:1-3). The fact that the restrainer was to be taken out of the way (2 Thess. 2:7) sounds much more appropriate of an angel rather than of God himself. It of course makes little sense for Satan or his forces to restrain evil.

In AD 40, the emperor Gaius (Caligula) ordered that a statue of himself be set up in the Jewish Temple. However, in AD 41, before his order could be carried out, Gaius was assassinated. This near-occurrence of a Roman Caesar being worshiped in the Temple appears to have been a possible case of the mystery of lawlessness “already being at work,” yet at the same time restrained (2 Thess. 2:7). The following from Beale aligns with my proposition that it was probably an angel restraining the demonic forces that would end up working through the man of lawlessness:

Possibly comparable to the activities of Paul’s “restrainer” [in 2 Thess. 2:7] is the observation of the following pattern of action in Daniel 10:13, 20-21: (1) a heavenly being together with Michael withstand (= restrain?) a malevolent angelic head of an evil world kingdom; (2) the two (together apparently) then depart from resisting the wicked angel; (3) afterwards, the two return to continue resisting the same hellish angel, who quickly passes from the scene only to be followed by another demonic heavenly being with whom they begin again their resisting activity. The word used for their withstanding is antechō, (also possibly rendered “hold,” “hold against,” “resist,” “cling to”), which could in some contexts overlap with the meaning of katechō, the word Paul uses in [2 Thess] 2:7. What further favors the angelic identification of the “restrainer” is the fact that Paul has already alluded to Daniel 11:31, 36 in [2 Thess.] 2:4 and the reference to “mystery” in [2 Thess.] 2:7 also ultimately derives from Daniel 2, which is the only place in all of the Old Testament where “mystery” occurs with an eschatological meaning. This enhances even more the possibility that Paul had in mind an angel like that in Daniel 10 who was resisting supernatural evil forces.42

[Duncan McKenzie, The Antichrist and the Second Coming: A Preterist Examination (Xulon, 2009), 344-360]

For part three go here: http://planetpreterist.com/content/man-lawlessness-part-three-destructio...

Endnotes:
18. W. E. Vine with C. F. Hogg, Vine’s Expository Commentary on 1 & 2 Thessalonians, 182-183.
19. R. C. Sproul, The Last Days According to Jesus, 179.
20. See Wanamaker, The Epistles to the Thessalonians, 240.
21. D. Michael Martin, 1, 2 Thessalonians, The New American Commentary, vol. 33, eds. E. Ray Clendenen and David S. Dockery (Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 1995), 227-229.
22. Josephus recorded an incident during the administration of Pontius Pilate (AD 26-36) that showed the Jews were ready to die to keep the Roman standards out of Jerusalem (Josephus, The Jewish War, 2, 9, 2). How much more violently would they react to a usurper being worshiped in the Temple?
23. Josephus, The Life of Flavius Josephus (Vita), 4 & 10.
24. Kenneth Gentry, Perilous Times: A Study in Eschatological Evil, 103-104.
25. D. Michael Martin, 1, 2 Thessalonians, 232.
26. Josephus, The Jewish War, 6, 6, 1.
27. Gentry, Perilous Times, 107.
28. Ibid., 107-110. While making the case that Nero was worshiped in Rome and Greece, Gentry can give no support to his contention that Nero had the intention to be worshiped in the Temple at Jerusalem. Gentry has to admit that Titus was the only Roman leader who was actually worshiped in the Temple (p. 110).
29. The beast faced Jesus at his coming in AD 70 (Rev. 19:11-21). Gentry would agree with me on the AD 70 timing although he would say it was merely a metaphorical coming of Jesus in judgment on Israel at that time, not the Second Advent. The problem for Gentry is that Nero died in mid-AD 68, making him dead for over two years by the time of Jesus’ AD 70 coming (whatever coming one wants to say that was). Given this fact, how could Nero be the beast (or the man of lawlessness) that faced Jesus at this AD 70 coming?
30. Gentry, Perilous Times, 110.
31. Beale, 1-2 Thessalonians, 209-210.
32. Ibid., 207-208.
33. D. Michael Martin, 1, 2 Thessalonians, 236.
34. Josephus, The Jewish War, 6, 6, 6 (!), trans. Gaalya Cornfeld, 429.
35. James Yates, “Signa Militaria” in A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, 1875, ed. William Smith, Bill Thayer’s Website, LacusCurtius, http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/secondary/SMIGRA*/Sign....
36. Michael Grant, The Twelve Caesars, 229.
37. Titus’ liaison to the Jews during the Jewish war, Josephus’ mission had been to convince the Jews to submit to Rome. If it was admitted that Titus had deliberately profaned and destroyed the Temple, Josephus would be even more loathed in the eyes of his fellow countrymen than he already was. Josephus, besides needing to please his financial backers (Vespasian and Titus), was attempting damage control in his writings to help his reputation with his fellow Jews and posterity.
38. Dio Cassius, Roman History, 15, 6, 2, Dio’s Roman History, vol. VIII, trans. Earnest Cary, 269.
39. In the original, it says Titus “thought that he had slain himself,” but the translator notes that this is a euphemism by the writers for claiming he had killed God. The blasphemy attributed to Titus was so repugnant that the Talmud writers dared not repeat it directly. Similarly, the sin that Titus committed with the harlot is not named (although it is clear what it was) because it was too blasphemous.
40. Hebrew-English Edition of the Babylonian Talmud, Gittin 56a, trans. Maurice Simon. Some parts of this section are clearly mythical. For example, the narrative goes on to say that Titus was killed by a gnat that bored into his brain, which is not how he died. Even though this section of the Talmud contains mythical elements, the part about Titus’ blasphemous attitude against God when he captured the Temple is consistent with Titus’ egotistical nature.
41. Russell P. Spittler, footnote on 2 Thessalonians 2:6-7 in the Spirit Filled Life Bible: New King James Version, 1836.
42. Beale, 1-2 Thessalonians, 216-217.

ThomasS's picture

Dear Duncan,

Could you publish the bibliography of your book (both volumes)?

Regards

Th.S.

Duncan's picture

Here are 48 pages worth of endnotes!

I do not have a separate bibliograpy for either volume. Here are my endnotes for volume I (I did not think they would all fit in but apparently they do!) As for volume II the footnotes have not been transformed to endnotes yet, so I am not able to put them in.

Chapter I: Introduction
1. Parousia is a Greek word for “coming” or “presence.” It is commonly used to refer to the Second Coming (Matt. 24:3, 27, 37, 39; 1 Cor. 1:7; 1 Thess. 2:19; James 5:8; etc.).
2. R. C. Sproul, The Last Days According to Jesus (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1998), 228.
3. Ibid., 158.
4. James Stuart Russell should not be confused with Charles Taze Russell, who was the founder of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. J. S. Russell should also not be confused with the skeptic Bertrand Russell. Interestingly enough, one of the main reasons that Bertrand Russell was a skeptic is because of the New Testament’s teaching of a very near (first-century) Second Coming. See R. C. Sproul, The Last Days According to Jesus, 11-14.
5. R. C. Sproul, The Last Days According to Jesus. Much of this book involves Dr. Sproul interacting with Russell’s book, The Parousia. Sproul agrees with much of Russell’s thinking, but expressed reservations about certain aspects of his position (e.g., Russell’s position on the timing of the resurrection).
6. R. C. Sproul’s foreword to J. Stuart Russell, The Parousia, new ed. (Grand Rapids, MI Baker, rep. 1983, 1999 [1887], vii, x.
7. Some have questioned whether the concept of a Second Coming is scriptural (see article by John Noē, “He Never Left,” http://www.prophecyrefi.org/breakthru.htm). While Noē brings up some good points, there is nothing wrong with the concept of the Second Coming (cf. Matt. 24:42-51; Acts 1:9-11; 3:19-21; etc.). Consider the parable of the minas (Luke 19:11-27). In that story a nobleman takes a long journey to receive a kingdom and then returns. When he comes again he sets up his kingdom and destroys those who didn’t want him to rule over them (i.e., the Jews, cf. John 1:11). It is at his second coming that his servants fully share with him in his rule (cf. Matt. 19:28; Rev. 2:25-27; 3:20-21). This equates with the full establishment of the kingdom of God (i.e., the millennium) at Jesus’ Second Coming (cf. 2 Tim. 4:1; Rev. 19:11-20:4).
8. Don Preston, Like Father, Like Son, On the Clouds of Glory: A Study of the Time and Nature of Christ’s Second Coming (Ardmore OK: JaDon Productions, 2006), 80-82.
9. Rabbi Hersh Goldwurm, Daniel: A New Translation with a Commentary Anthologized from Talmudic, Midrashic and Rabbinic Sources, ArtScroll Tanach Series, eds. Rabbis Nosson Scherman, Meir Zlotowitz (New York: Mesorah Publications, 1998), 201-203.
10. I am drawing from John Robinson’s work for the date of 1, 2, and 3 John. See John A. T. Robinson, Redating the New Testament (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers, originally printed by SCM Press, 1976), 352. For an extended discussion see pp. 254-311 of that work. There is also a very helpful online version of this section of Robinson’s book (with comments by a Paul Ingram) at the following web address: http://www.katapi.org.uk/RedatingTheNT/Ch9.htm.
Robinson maintained that the entire NT was written prior to AD 70. His reasoning for this was that if any of the books of the NT were written after the AD 70 destruction of the Temple they would have emphasized its destruction as proof of Jesus’ sacrifice making the old covenant system obsolete. None of the NT books make mention of the destruction of the Temple as a past event. This would certainly not be the case if any of them were written after AD 70. While I do believe that Revelation makes reference to the destruction of the Temple (in its discussion of the destruction of Babylon, Rev. 17-18), consistent with Robinson’s hypothesis, it was not a past event but a very soon-coming event when Revelation was written (Rev. 1:1, 3; 22:6, 10).
11. The fact that there was only the short reign of one ruler between the writing of Revelation and the coming of the beast confirms that the NASB (and NRSV) are correct when they translate the Greek mellei as “about to come” as opposed to the NKJV, which is more ambiguous on the timing by translating mellei as “will come.”
12. Some try to escape the ramifications of saying the NT authors were wrong about the timing of the Second Coming by saying that Jesus told his disciples that it was not given for them to know its timing (Acts 1:6-7). This does not get one out of the bind, however. It would just mean that the NT writers were both wrong and disobedient for teaching on something they were not supposed to teach on. One cannot say the NT is inerrant except for one of its basic teachings (i.e., the timing of the Second Advent). If the NT contains errors about the timing of the Second Coming, then its reliability, and thus the reliability of the Christian faith, becomes open to question.
13. Wayne A. Brindle, “Imminence,” The Popular Encyclopedia of Bible Prophecy, eds. Tim LaHaye and Ed Hindson (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 2004), 144.
14. It should also be noted that dispensationalists erroneously split the Second Coming into two comings. First, Jesus comes to take his church out of the world; then he comes with his church to defeat the Antichrist and set up a physical kingdom centered in Jerusalem. The Bible only shows one parousia, however. It happens right after the saints have gone through the tribulation (cf. Dan. 7:21-22).
15. Gary DeMar, Last Days Madness: Obsession of the Modern Church, 4th ed. (Atlanta: American Vision, 1999), 379-381.
16. C. S. Lewis, “The World’s Last Night and Other Essays” in The Essential C. S. Lewis (New York: Touchstone, 1996), 385.
17. op cit.
18. Charles C. Ryrie, “I John,” The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, ed. Everett F. Harrison (Nashville: The Southwestern Co., 1962), 1470.
19. William Biederwolf, The Millennium Bible (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1964), 535. Reprinted from original printing in 1924.
20. I shall discuss the date of John’s epistles as well as the rest of the NT later. My position, similar to that of John A. T. Robinson (Redating the New Testament), is that the entire NT was written before AD 70.
21. Kim Riddlebarger, The Man of Sin: Uncovering the Truth About the Antichrist (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2006), 80-87. Riddlebarger discusses B. B. Warfield and his disagreement with a composite picture of the man of lawlessness and the beast fused into an individual Antichrist. Riddlebarger takes a more moderate view and is thus open to the idea of a single Antichrist. We see Scripture clearly showing an opponent of God/Christ who appears at the last hour and is defeated by the Second Coming. Whether one calls this opponent “the Antichrist” or “the opponent of Christ” is really just a matter of semantics; the concept is the same. Scripture shows a specific individual who opposes God/Christ that is defeated by the Second Coming (Dan. 7:21-22; 2 Thess. 2:8; Rev. 19:11-21).
22. Titus’ campaign against Israel took three-and-a-half years, or forty-two months. It was from around March/April of AD 67 to August/September of AD 70.
23. Charles C. Ryrie, “I John,” The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, 1475.
24. W. E. Vine, An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, with Their Precise Meanings for English Readers (pp. 5-6 under the word “abolish”) in An Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, eds. W. E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger, William White, Jr. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1984).
25. It should be noted that the Hebrew word for “prince” in Daniel 9:26 is nāgîd, while the word for “prince” in Daniel 12:1 is sar. These two words have the same basic range of meaning, however (although nagid can carry a sense of a more exalted position). Both words can be variously translated as “prince,” “ruler,” “commander” or “chief.”
26. See Kenneth Gentry, The Beast of Revelation, revised ed. (Powder Springs, GA: American Vision, 2002).
27. It should be noted that the twelfth Caesar was Domitian (AD 81-96); he was the son of Vespasian and brother of Titus. Notice that the usual notion that Revelation was written during Domitian’s reign does not come close to aligning with Revelation’s announcement that it was written under the rule of a sixth king (Rev. 17:10).
28. Liberal preterists are more likely to identify Rome as harlot Babylon.
29. Robert H. Mounce, The Book of Revelation, rev. ed., The New International Commentary on the New Testament, eds. Ned Stonehouse, F. F. Bruce, and Gordon Fee (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing, 1998), 262.
30. Simon J. Kistemaker, Exposition of the Book of Revelation, New Testament Commentary, vol. 14 (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2001), 394-395.
31. The earliest suggestion we have to the riddle of 666 is given by Irenaeus (toward the end of the second century) in his work Against Heresies (5.30). The suggestions Irenaeus found noteworthy were Euanthas (the meaning of which is lost), Lateinos (i.e., the Roman Empire), and Teitan. Some commentators have suggested that Teitan may contain a reference to Titus. Along these lines, Barclay writes: “Teitan could be made to yield two meanings. First, in Greek mythology the Titans were the great rebels against God. Second, the family name of Vespasian and Titus and Domitian was Titus, and possibly they could be called the Titans.” William Barclay, The Revelation of John, Vol. 2, The Daily Study Bible Series, rev. ed. (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1976), 101.
32. Randall Price, “An Overview of the Antichrist.” World of the Bible Ministries, http://www.worldofthebible.com/Bible%20Studies/antichrist.pdf.
33. Philip Mauro, The Seventy Weeks and the Great Tribulation (Swengel, PA: Reiner Publications, 1975), 140-142.
34. Ibid., 150-157.
35. Ibid., 157-162.
36. Despite the glaring difficulties of Mauro’s position regarding the king of the North of Daniel 11:36-45, James Jordan has adopted it. In his book The Handwriting on the Wall: A Commentary on the Book of Daniel (Powder Springs, GA: American Vision, 2007), Jordan tries to apply Mauro’s position on the king of the North to the little horn of Daniel 7 (something even Mauro did not attempt). While Jordan is a very intelligent man, I find his commentary on Daniel to be quite esoteric and unconvincing. He sees the first ten horns on Daniel 7’s fourth beast as representing the first ten Caesars, Julius to Vespasian. I agree with him on that. He sees the eleventh little horn of the fourth beast, however, as not being a Roman power but a Jewish power. He says the little horn represents the line of the Herods as well as the Jews who rejected Jesus (p. 387). I find many of Jordan’s interpretations in Daniel to be fanciful; often the scriptural connections he makes are tangential and do not hold up.
For a devastating critique of Mauro’s position, see Thomas A. Howe, Daniel in the Preterist’s Den: A Critical Look at Preterist Interpretations of Daniel (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2008), 537-597. I agree with many of Howe’s criticisms of preterist interpretations of Daniel; I think his futuristic solutions are off-track, however.
37. The family name of Vespasian, Titus, and Domitian was Flavius. They are referred to as the Flavian dynasty.
38. Josephus, The Jewish War, 6, 9, 2, trans. Gaalya Cornfeld (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1982), 444.
39. Josephus, The Jewish War, 6, 8, 2, trans. Gaalya Cornfeld, 441.
40. In the original, it says Titus “thought that he had slain himself” but the translator notes that this is a euphemism by the writers for claiming he had killed God. Apparently, the blasphemy attributed to Titus was so horrendous that the authors of the Talmud believed it too repugnant to repeat directly. Similarly, the sin that Titus committed with the harlot is not named (although it is obvious what it was) because it was too blasphemous. It should be noted that blasphemy against God is a hallmark of the Antichrist (Dan. 7:25; 11:36-37; 2 Thess. 2:4; Rev. 13:5-6).
41. Hebrew-English Edition of the Babylonian Talmud, Gittin 56a, trans. Maurice Simon, ed. I. Epstein (London: Soncio Press, 1963). Some parts of this section are myth. For example, the narrative goes on to say that Titus was killed by a gnat that ate into his brain, which is not how he died. Even though this section of the Talmud contains elements of myth, I believe the part about Titus’ blasphemous attitude against God when he captured the Temple is based on fact. Titus was well known for his arrogance.
42. This was a foreshadowing of Jesus, who was much more than a prophet. While a prophet speaks the word of God, Jesus is the Word of God (John 1:1; cf. Is. 9:6-7).
43. Because I do not hold to the full preterist constraint that all prophecy must be fulfilled by AD 70, this prophecy of God bringing Israel back to the Land does not conflict with my position. A full preterist can not allow for post-AD 70 (new) fulfillment of prophecy. To do so would be to abandon their paradigm. Because of this they have to explain away the fact (or even the possibility) that God said he would bring back the Jews to the Land after he had dispersed them throughout the nations in AD 70.
44. It should be noted that Paul’s reference to the Jews being the enemies of Christians is a reference to the Jews’ persecution of the Christians in the first century. First-century Jews saw Christianity as a heretical cult which they sought to annihilate (cf. Acts 7:51-8:3; 17:1-14).
45. The way to God is no longer through the sacrifices of the old covenant Temple system but through the (once and for all) sacrifice of Jesus, the Lamb of God (Heb. 8:7-13; 10:1-25).
46. Most preterists say the current state of Israel has no prophetic significance; these preterists do not know what to make of the fact that the Jews are back in the Land again.

Chapter II: Preliminary Considerations Regarding the Book of Daniel and the Coming of God’s Kingdom

1. It should be noted that the first part of Daniel (up to 2:4) is written in Hebrew. From Daniel 2:4 to the end of chapter 7, the book switches from Hebrew to Aramaic. At chapter 8, continuing to the end of the book, Daniel switches back to Hebrew. Miller suggests that a possible reason for this is that Aramaic, being the common language of Daniel’s day, “was reserved for the parts of the book that had universal appeal or special relevance to the Gentile nations, and Hebrew was employed for those portions that most concerned the Jews.” Stephen R. Miller, Daniel, The New American Commentary, vol.18, eds. E. Ray Clendenen and Kenneth A. Mathews (Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 2001), 48. No one knows definitively the real reason for the use of two languages in Daniel. Other theories on why the book is written in two languages can be found in Collins’ commentary on Daniel. John J. Collins, A Commentary on the Book of Daniel, Hermeneia Series, ed. Frank Moore Cross, (Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress Press, 1993), 12-13.
2. Stephen R. Miller, Daniel, The New American Commentary, vol.18, eds. E. Ray Clendenen and Kenneth A. Mathews (Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 2001), 23.
3. Miller, Daniel, 42-43. Miller’s discussion of this topic is worth reading.
4. J. Collins, A Commentary on the Book of Daniel, 1-2.
5. Miller, Daniel, 96-97.
6. There are, of course, exceptions to these generalizations. For example, Moses Stuart saw the Medes and Persians as one empire, and yet he saw the fourth empire as talking about the second century BC. Moses Stuart, Commentary on the Book of Daniel (Boston: Crocker & Brewster, 1850), 179. Stuart saw the fourth empire as being the four kingdoms that arose after Alexander’s death under the Diadochi with special emphasis on the Syrian division from which Antiochus IV arose (206-208).
7. Stuart is an exception to this. While he saw the Medes and Persians as being one empire, he ends up at the same place (Antiochus IV) as do those who count Media and Persia as the third and fourth empires.
8. Montgomery writes: “The first credit for this critical position must be given to the Pagan Porphyry.” James A. Montgomery, The Book of Daniel, The International Critical Commentary (New York: Scribner’s, 1927), 400.
9. Ibid., 23-24.
10 Edward J. Young, A Commentary on Daniel (Carlisle, PA: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1972), 319-320.
11. J. Collins, A Commentary on the Book of Daniel, 25.
12. One problem is the fact that Christians are usually presented with either the choice of the non-fulfillments (in terms of a second-century BC full establishment of the kingdom of God) of critical scholars or the vagaries of a future fulfillment (i.e., a revived Roman Empire) given by futurists. I am offering something in between these two extremes.
13. John E. Goldingay, Daniel, Word Biblical Commentary, vol. 30, eds. David A. Hubbard, Glenn W. Barker, and John D. W. Watts (Dallas: Word Books, 1989), 285.
14. Miller, Daniel, 37.
15 Brant Pitre, Jesus, the Tribulation, and the End of the Exile: Restoration Eschatology and the Origin of the Atonement (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2005), footnote on 304-305.
16. It should be noted that the resurrection in Daniel 12 is individual, not national. Compare this with Ezekiel 37. In that chapter, Ezekiel has a vision of a valley of dry bones (vv. 1-2). These bones come together to form a man. We are told that “these bones are the whole house of Israel” (v. 11). They all come to life and come back to the land of Israel (v. 12). This is speaking of a resurrection of the nation. It shows a positive outcome for all the “bones.” In contrast, Daniel 12:2 is speaking of the resurrection of individuals; some are resurrected to “everlasting life,” some to “everlasting contempt.” There is not a positive outcome for the whole nation here, only for certain individuals.
17. Of course if the Bible is just the product of men’s imaginations and not God’s inspired Word, then looking for consistency in it is just the wishful thinking of those who are naïve enough to believe that it is inspired.
18. While I see the little horn of Daniel 8 as referring to Antiochus IV, I see the little horn of Daniel 7 as referring to Titus. I discuss the differences between these little horns in the next chapter.
19. I shall argue that the abomination of desolation of Daniel 9:27 and 12:11 refers to Titus, while the abomination of desolation of Daniel 11:31 and the transgression of desolation of Daniel 8:13 refer to Antiochus IV. Josephus (Antiquities of the Jews, 10, 11, 7) had a similar view; he said that Daniel spoke of two abominations of desolation, one by Antiochus IV in the second century BC and one by the Romans in AD 70.
20. Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 18, 2, 2, in Josephus: Complete Works, trans. William Whiston (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 1978), 227. It should be noted that the literal rendering of Daniel 8:14 is that the spoiling of the Temple would last for “2,300 evening-mornings.” As the daily sacrifice consisted of a morning ritual and an afternoon ritual, some see the 2,300 evening-mornings as referring to 1,150 days (1,150 days x 2 sacrifices a day = 2,300 evening-mornings) which is about three years. It would seem that Josephus took this position.
21. The family name of Vespasian, Titus, and Domitian was Flavius. They are thus known as the Flavian dynasty.
22. J. Collins, A Commentary on the Book of Daniel, 312.
23. Goldingay, Daniel, 175.
24. Rashi writes the following on the eleven horns of the fourth beast:
and… ten horns Aram. וְקַרְנַיִן עֲשַׂר. The angel explained to him that these are the ten kings who would ascend [the throne] of Rome before Vespasian, who would destroy the Temple…
[the little eleventh horn was] speaking arrogantly words of arrogance. That is Titus, about whom the Rabbis, of blessed memory, said (Gittin 56b) that he blasphemed and berated and entered the Heichal with brazenness. (emphasis in original)
Chabad.Org Library: Judaica Press Complete Tanach. http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/16490/showrashi/true/jewis....
25. Bruce W. Longenecker, 2 Esdras (Sheffield Academic Press, 1995), 13-14.
26. That the author of 2 Esdras is starting his count of the rulers of Rome with Julius Caesar is made clear in 2 Esdras 11:13-17; 12:15. It is said that none of the rulers of this kingdom would rule as long, not even half as long, as the second ruler (2 Esdras 11:17). This only fits Augustus; thus, Julius was seen as the first ruler.
27. J. Collins, A Commentary on the Book of Daniel, 55.
28. Adela Yarbro Collins, “The Influence of Daniel on the New Testament” in John J. Collins, A Commentary on the Book of Daniel, 122-123.
29. According to my position, even if Daniel was written in the second century BC (which I do not believe), it would still be true prophecy. One would have to date the book after the AD 70 destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple (which is impossible) to make it a vaticinium ex eventu (a post-event “prophecy”).
30. Revelation 12 shows the full establishment of the kingdom of God in heaven at the ascension of Jesus. At the catching up of the male Child (i.e., Jesus’ ascension), Satan is cast out of heaven (Rev. 12:5-9; cf. John 12:31-32). In Acts 13:33-34, Paul said that the messianic psalm (Ps. 2:7) that declares, You are My Son, today have I begotten You, referred to God resurrecting Jesus from the dead. Revelation 12 is not showing Jesus’ physical birth but his spiritual birth, as the firstborn from the dead (Col. 1:18; Rev. 1:5; cf. Rom. 8:29). This explains why as soon as the male Child is “born” he is caught up to God’s throne. The kingdom had come at this point in heaven (Rev. 12:10) but not fully on earth (Rev. 12:12). The kingdom would come in its fullness on earth at the end of “a time and times and half a time” (Rev. 12:14). Daniel 12 gives the end of this time period as the AD 70 destruction of the Jewish nation (Dan. 12:7). Revelation 11 shows this also; the kingdom of God would be fully established on earth (Rev. 11:15) when those who were destroying the Land (of Israel) were destroyed (Rev. 11:15-18; cf. Matt. 21:33-45). This was the AD 70 destruction of the Jewish nation.
31. A mina was worth about three months’ wages.
32. Notice, the destruction of the subjects that didn’t want the nobleman to reign over them (Luke 19:14, 27; cf. John 19:15); this refers to the AD 70 destruction of the Jews. This destruction is repeatedly shown in conjunction with the time of the full establishment of the kingdom of God on earth (cf. Matt. 8:11-12; 21:33-45; 22:1-10; Rev. 11:15-18).
33. Although Titus’ reign as the eleventh Caesar was from AD 79-81, he was just a general when he destroyed the Jewish nation in AD 70; hence his designation as a “little” (eleventh) horn (Dan. 7:7-8).
34. Exceptions to this can be seen in Revelation 12. In Revelation 12:5, John saw a male Child who was to rule the nations with a rod of iron (Jesus the Messiah), who is caught up to God’s throne. This is unveiling the AD 30 ascension of Jesus, a past event from when John was writing (c. AD 65). Revelation 12:4 goes far into the past, showing the dragon sweep a third of the stars from the skies. This is probably an unveiling of the ancient fall of Satan and a third of the angels (cf. Rev. 1:20, 12:7).
It should be noted that while most of Revelation involves prophecy, this prophecy was to happen in the near future: “And he said to me, ‘do not seal the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand’” (Rev. 22:10).
35. I strongly agree with the following comment by Miller: “Biblical apocalyptic should be understood as an actual account of what the writer saw and heard rather than contrived literature employed by a writer merely as a communicative tool” (Miller, Daniel, 193). It is important to differentiate biblical apocalyptic from non-biblical apocalyptic. On the surface they appear the same; the difference lies in the fact that one is true and the other a counterfeit.
36. George Eldon Ladd, A Theology of the New Testament, Revised Edition, ed. Donald A. Hagner (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1993, reprinted 2002), 441.
37 George Eldon Ladd, A Commentary on the Revelation of John (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1972), 156-157.
38. 1. The little horn/beast is an eighth ruler (Dan. 7:8; Rev. 17:11).
2. The little horn/beast speaks great blasphemies against God (Dan. 7:8,11, 20, 25; Rev. 13:5-6).
3. The little horn/beast wages war against the saints and overcomes them (Dan. 7:21; Rev. 13:7).
4. The little horn/beast has a three-and-a-half-year reign of terror (Dan. 7:25; 13:5).
5. The little horn/beast is defeated in AD 70 by the coming of God/Christ (Dan. 7:21-22; Rev. 19:11-21).
6. The little horn/beast is thrown into the lake of fire at the time of the Second Coming (Dan. 7:11; Rev. 19:19-20).
7. The kingdom of God is established (what the NT shows as the beginning of the millennium) at the AD 70 defeat of the little horn/beast (Dan. 7:7-11, 21-27; Rev. 19:11-20:4).
39. Thomas Ice, “The Seventy Weeks of Daniel” in The End Times Controversy, eds. Tim Lahaye and Thomas Ice (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 2003), 335-336.
40. It should be noted that the Hebrew word for “prince” in 9:26 is nāgîd, while the word for “prince” in Daniel 12:1 is sar. These two words have the same basic range of meaning; however, they can be translated as “prince,” “ruler,” “leader.”
41. Goldingay, Daniel, 209-210.
42. J. Collins, A Commentary on the Book of Daniel, 331-333.
43. Ibid., 333. Citing Andre Lacocque, The Book of Daniel, trans. David Pellauer (Atlanta: John Know, 1979), 162.
44. Goldingay, Daniel, 313-314.
45. Goldingay, Daniel, 314.
46. Alan F. Johnson, Revelation in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Revised Edition: vol. 13 Hebrews-Revelation, eds. Tremper Longman III and David E. Garland (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2006), 716.
47. Smalley writes that the second use of “destroy” in Revelation 11:18 carries the meaning of “to ruin” in a moral sense: “The writer uses a play on words which balances the literal sense of complete destruction with its figurative counterpart of ‘to ruin’, in the sense of ‘(morally) deprave’ (similarly Rev. 2:2; 14:8; et al.) See BDAG 239b.” Stephen S. Smalley, The Revelation to John: A Commentary on the Greek Text of the Apocalypse (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2005), 293.
48. God has always been the supreme ruler of this world. Adam was given a princely rule over the world which apparently he relinquished to Satan (cf. Luke 4:5-7). This rule was taken back by Jesus, the second Adam, at the cross (Matt. 28:18; cf. 1 John 3:8). Although Satan lost his authority over this world at the cross, it was not until the AD destruction of those who were destroying the land of Israel that God took this great power and fully started reigning (Rev. 11:15-18; Dan. 2:40-45). It should be noted that this reign is supposed to be administered by God’s people (Dan. 7:23-27; cf. Luke 19:11-27).
49. Daniel 7:13-14 is showing the AD 30 ascension of Jesus, the Son of Man, to God the Father (cf. Rev. 12:1-5). Apparently Jesus made an initial ascension to his Father right after his resurrection (cf. John 20:11-18). This explains how it was that he said all authority in heaven and on earth had already been given to him in Matthew 28:18 (a reference to Daniel 7:13-14) even though he had not yet made his public ascension (Acts 1:1-11). I discuss this in more detail in the next chapter.

Chapter III: The Fall of the Magnificent Human Image at the Establishment of the Kingdom of God (Daniel 2)

1. Most of our rain comes from the oceans of the world.
2. A. Berkeley Mickelsen, Daniel & Revelation: Riddles or Realities? (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1984), 133.
3. In his commentary on Daniel, Moses Stuart attempts to take the critical position (i.e., that Daniel shows primarily the events surrounding Antiochus IV) and harmonize it with the NT teaching that the kingdom of God came in the first century AD. He maintains that Daniel 7 shows the kingdom of God being established after the fourth empire (Dan. 7:7-14). This position has at least two problems:
First, Daniel 2:44-45 says that the kingdom of God would be established either during the reign of the kings of the fourth empire or during the reign of the kings of all four empires. Either way, Daniel 2 does not say that the kingdom of God would be established after the fourth kingdom. Daniel 7 settles the matter, however, by clearly showing the kingdom being established during the fourth kingdom (Dan. 7:17-27).
Second, if Stuart’s position were correct, it would make Daniel 2 the sloppiest prophecy God ever gave. If the kingdom of God was to come in the first century AD, why would God stop showing empires in Daniel beyond the second century BC? If Stuart were right, why would God not even show the Roman Empire in Daniel, if indeed that empire would be in power when the kingdom of God intervened in history? If Stuart were correct, it would not make sense for God to leave out the Roman Empire in Daniel’s prophecy of the coming of the kingdom.
Stuart is a very persuasive writer; ultimately his position does not make sense, however. Daniel 7 does not show the kingdom of God being established after the demise of the fourth kingdom. The kingdom was to be established in the days of the ten kings of the fourth kingdom, when the little eleventh horn would arise (Dan. 7:23-27). It helps to understand that the visions of Daniel 7 show two events: the AD 30 ascension of Jesus, the Son of Man, to the Father (Dan. 7:13-14) and the AD 70 coming of God (the parousia) when the saints receive the kingdom of God (Dan. 7: 8-12, 21-27; cf. Rev. 19:11-20:4). I shall discuss this more in the chapter on Daniel 7.
4. The rock hitting the image at the establishment of God’s kingdom alludes to the Second Coming. This allusion becomes clearer in Daniel 7:19-22, which shows the coming of God at this time. The connection between the Second Coming and the full establishment of the kingdom becomes even more explicit in the NT (Luke 19:11-27; 21:25-32; 2 Tim. 4:1; Rev. 19:11-20:4).
5. John F. Walvoord, Every Prophecy of the Bible (Colorado Springs: Chariot Victor Publishing, 1999), 233-234.
6. See Hal Lindsey and C. C. Carlson, The Late Great Planet Earth (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1970), 94.
7. Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 18, 2, 2.
8. The fourteen-year gap between the reigns of Julius Caesar and Augustus (44-31 BC) was a period when Augustus shared the rule of the Roman Empire, first with Mark Antony and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, then just with Mark Antony. In 31 BC, Augustus became the sole ruler of the Roman Empire. Although he acknowledges that Augustus shared rule for the fourteen years, Josephus did not recognize this as a gap, giving the length of Augustus’ reign as “fifty-seven years” (Antiquities of the Jews, 18, 2, 2). This indicates that Josephus reckoned Augustus’ reign as beginning upon Julius Caesar’s death. Augustus was Julius Caesar’s designated successor and was the ruler over Rome proper even when he was sharing rule over other parts of the Empire with others. I might add that the numerical calculation of 2 Esdras 11:17 (“After you [the second king, i.e., Augustus] no one shall rule as long as you have ruled, not even half as long”) only works if you begin Augustus’ rule immediately after Julius’ death. This makes the length of Augustus’ reign to be fifty-seven years; none of the other twelve Caesars ruled for even half as long. If the author of 2 Esdras were recognizing a fourteen year gap, that would make Augustus’ reign about 43 years in length. Upon that calculation, the second longest reign (that of Tiberius, AD 14-37= 23 years) would be longer than half of Augustus’ reign. Thus, like Josephus, the first-century author of 2 Esdras was not recognizing any gap between the reigns of Julius and Augustus.
9. It should be noted that there is a small but vocal segment in preterism who argue that there is no such spiritual entity as the devil. If the devil is not a spiritual being, however, I do not know what tempted Jesus in the wilderness by offering him authority over the kingdoms of this world (Luke 4:5-7; cf. Rev. 13:4).
10. John A. T. Robinson, Redating the New Testament, 352.
11. Edward J. Young, A Commentary on Daniel, 77.
12. The first six Caesars—the Julio-Claudian dynasty—were related either by blood or marriage. Julius Caesar adopted his grand-nephew Augustus; Augustus was the stepfather of Tiberius. Gaius was the grandnephew of Tiberius; Claudius was the nephew of Tiberius. Nero was the nephew of Claudius, who adopted him as a son. There were reports that the short-lived emperor Galba wanted to adopt Titus as his heir (Suetonius, Lives of the Caesars, Titus 5). The tenth and eleventh Caesars of Rome, Vespasian and Titus (the little eleventh horn; Dan. 7:7-8, 23-24), were, of course, father and son, respectively.
13. I prefer the NASB’s translation “the kingdom of God is in your midst” to the NKJV’s “the kingdom of God is within you.” Jesus was speaking to the Pharisees and, clearly, the kingdom of God did not reside within them. Since the Pharisees were in the presence of Jesus, the kingdom was thereby in their midst (cf. Matt. 12:24-28).
14. At this point Revelation 1:7 is usually brought up as a proof text for a visible Second Advent: “Behold He is coming with clouds and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him.” This verse is often quoted by those who look for a future visible coming of Jesus. While this sounds very much like a visible public event, the reference to “every eye” seeing Jesus can be best understood (given the symbolic context of Revelation) as a symbolic use of eyes to represent understanding (see Eph. 1:18; cf. Matt. 13:14-15; Rom. 11:7-10). This explains why Revelation 1:7 states that even those who pierced Jesus would see him at his Second Coming. This is a very strange statement if it refers to physical sight: was there something wrong with the eyesight of those who crucified our Lord? If, on the other hand, every eye seeing Jesus meant that everyone would understand who he truly is, then Revelation 1:7 makes more sense. In this case, the sense of the verse would be as follows: Behold He is coming with clouds and everyone will understand who He is, even those who killed Him, the ones who least understood who He is (cf. Luke 23:33-34).
Given the above meaning, Revelation 1:7 does not teach a visible Second Coming that all will see; rather, it is saying that everyone will see (i.e., understand, comprehend) who Jesus is, the same idea that every knee will bow and tongue confess that Jesus is Lord (Phil. 2:8-11). This interpretation of Revelation 1:7 harmonizes with the fact that Jesus said the coming of the kingdom would not be an observable event (Luke 17:20-21), that it would be as a thief in the night (1 Thess. 5:2; Rev. 3:3; 16:15). This unseen coming of the Lord was about to happen when Revelation was written (c. AD 65):
Then he said to me, “These words are faithful and true.” And the Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel to show His servants the things which must shortly take place. “Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book . . . And behold I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.”
Revelation 22:6-7, 12; cf. Matthew 16:27-28
15. Those who want to make the nobleman’s journey into a far country last thousands of years should consider the fact that while it was a long journey, the nobleman arrived to the same generation he had left, not some distant future generation!

Chapter IV: The Little Horn of the Fourth Beast (Daniel 7)

1. Titus became emperor in AD 79. Ultimately, however, the prince of Daniel 9:26 was a spiritual prince of the Roman people (cf. Dan. 12:1), that is, the spirit of Antichrist that worked through Titus.
2. G. K. Beale, The Book of Revelation, The New International Greek Testament Commentary, eds. I. Howard Marshall and Donald Hagner (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1999), 77. Of course, in terms of sheer volume, Isaiah comprises the largest number of allusions in Revelation (followed by Ezekiel and then Daniel).
3. In Revelation, the Son of Man is shown with the characteristics of the Ancient of Days (i.e., white hair, symbolic of the eternality of the Ancient of Days; Dan. 7:9; Rev. 1:14); Jesus is both God and Man. In Revelation, we are told that God “is to come” (Rev. 4:8). This coming of God is shown in the coming of Jesus, the Word of God, in Revelation 19:11-21 (cf. Rev. 1:4-8).
4. R. T. France, The Gospel of Matthew, The New International Commentary on the New Testament, ed. Gordon D. Fee (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2007), 396.
5. Gary DeMar, Last Days Madness: Obsession of the Modern Church, 4th Edition, 161-165.
6. I disagree with France that Matthew 24:30-31 is talking about the enthronement of the Messiah but not the parousia. See R. T. France, The Gospel of Matthew, 923-929, for his discussion.
7. I disagree with those who say the Son of Man represents the saints (for an example of this position see N. T. Wright, Jesus and the Victory of God, Christian Origins and the Question of God, vol. 2 (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1996), 518-519). The Son of Man coming to the Ancient of Days in Daniel 7:13-14 represents the AD 30 ascension of Jesus; this was the time of the full establishment of the kingdom of God in heaven (cf. Rev. 12:1-12). The saints receiving the kingdom in Daniel 7:21-27 is the AD 70 full establishment of the kingdom on earth at the Second Advent (cf. Matt. 21:33-45). The Antichrist was defeated at this time and Jesus’ followers received the kingdom (cf. Rev. 3:21; 19:11-20:4).
8. The Greek word gē, usually translated as “earth” in Revelation, is often better translated as “Land,” i.e., the land of Israel. For an explanation of the translation of the second use of “destroy” in Revelation 11:18 as figurative of moral destruction, see footnote 47 in chapter 2.
9. Note that the kingdom of God is established in heaven at this time (AD 30) but not yet on earth (notice how Satan was thrown to the earth unbound at Jesus’ ascension; Rev. 12:7-12). The kingdom in its fullness is set up on earth at AD 70 (cf. Matt. 21:33-45; Luke 19:11-27).
10. Stephen R. Miller, Daniel, 197.
11. Ibid., 198.
12. Edward J. Young, A Commentary on Daniel, 144-145.
13. Miller, Daniel, 200.
14. A. Berkeley Mickelsen, Daniel & Revelation: Riddles or Realities?, 134.
15. Sinclair Ferguson, Daniel, Mastering the Old Testament, vol. 19, ed. Lloyd J. Olgilvie (Dallas: Word Publishing, 1988), 153.
16. Rabbi Hersh Goldwurm, Daniel: A New Translation with a Commentary Anthologized from Talmudic, Midrashic and Rabbinic Sources, 199.
17. Growing up in the 1970s, I was introduced to the concept of a revived Roman Empire through the writings of Hal Lindsey. Lindsey, convinced that the European Common Market was the beginning of the revived Roman Empire, wrote, “We believe that the Common Market and the trend toward unification of Europe may well be the beginning of the ten-nation confederacy predicted by Daniel and the Book of Revelation” (Hal Lindsey and C. C. Carlson, The Late Great Planet Earth, 94). In 1970, there were six nations in the Common Market. In 1973, three more nations joined. Finally, in 1981, the tenth member state joined (Greece) but no little eleventh horn (Antichrist) appeared. Now the Common Market has become the European Union, and as of the writing of this book has twenty-seven member states with other countries looking to join. In spite of all this, dispensationalists are still waiting for a ten-state revived Roman Empire.
18. Mark Hitchcock, The Complete Book of Bible Prophecy (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House, 1999), 150-151. Hitchcock correctly says that the ten toes of Daniel 2 correspond to the ten horns of Daniel 7. He then says, however, that the ten toes are part of “Rome II,” splitting Rome into two empires (i.e., Rome I and Rome II). There is no indication of this Rome II in Daniel 7, however. The ten horns of the fourth beast are part of the ancient Roman Empire, not some prognosticated future revised Roman Empire.
19. A. Berkeley Mickelsen, Daniel & Revelation: Riddles or Realities?, 135.
20. The fourteen-year gap between the reigns of Julius Caesar and Augustus (44-31 BC) was a period during which Augustus shared in the rule of the Roman Empire, first with Mark Antony and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, and then just with Mark Antony. In 31 BC, Augustus became the sole ruler of the Roman Empire. Josephus did not recognize this gap (although he acknowledges that Augustus shared rule for the fourteen years, Antiquities of the Jews, 18, 2, 2) as he gives the length of Augustus’ reign as being fifty-seven years. See footnote 8 in chapter 3.
21. It should be noted that my interpretation has some similarities with that of James Jordan (i.e., that the first ten rulers of the fourth beast correspond to the first ten Caesars); my position significantly diverges from his at that point, however. Jordan, in his book The Handwriting on the Wall: A Commentary on the Book of Daniel, also sees the first ten kings of the fourth beast as representing the first ten Caesars (Julius-Vespasian), p. 382. He rather strangely, however, sees the little eleventh horn not as being Titus (the eleventh ruler in the sequence of Caesars), but as a corporate symbol representing the Herodian dynasty (i.e., Herod the Great, Herod Antipas, Herod Agrippa I, and Herod Agrippa II) as well as the Jews who rejected Jesus. He writes the following on this:
“. . . the Little Horn [of Dan. 7] is Herod the Great. Philip Mauro, in his The Seventy Weeks and the Great Tribulation, argues quite persuasively that the Godless King of Daniel 11 is Herod the Great. He does not make the connection to the Little Horn, but he might easily have done so because it fits admirably. Yet, as we have seen, the Little Horn here is not a particular king, but a group of people. This group is the false Jews with their king Herod. Because the Little Horn is first and foremost a corporate symbol and not a pointer to an individual, we cannot limit him to Herod the Great. At the very least, he is the line of Herods. But there is more. The Herods were true circumcised Jews, and were the kings of the Jews. They controlled who would serve as High Priest. Hence, the corporate symbol of the Little Horn must include not only the Herods, but all the false Jews who opposed Jesus, and the Jews and Judaizers who opposed the Apostolic Church.” p. 387
That is a lot of fulfillment to fit into such a little horn! I do not find Mauro’s interpretation of the king of the North to be persuasive at all; see my comments on his position on Daniel 11 in the first chapter of this book (for a more thorough refutation of the Herodian dynasty theory, see Thomas A. Howe, Daniel in the Preterist’s Den: A Critical Look at Preterist Interpretations of Daniel, 537-597). Even Mauro did not try to connect the Herodian dynasty with the little horn of the fourth beast. Jordan goes even further, however; he believes the little horns of Daniel 7 and 8 refer to the same ruler. He thus also tries to connect the little horn of chapter 8 with the Herodian dynasty (which is even more farfetched). He writes,
“We have seen that the little horn of Daniel 7 is that complex of enemies that includes the Herods with the Jews and Judaizers. There they are pictured as functioning in the time of the Roman Empire, of the Fourth Beast. The question before us now is whether the little horn of Daniel 8 has the same meaning. Given the identification in Daniel 7, we should entertain continuity of meaning first, and only abandon it if it proves impossible. Many careful expositors have identified the little horn of Daniel 8 with Antiochus Epiphanes . . . I believe the line of Herods and their priestly collaborators is again in view in Daniel 8.” p. 424
I find that none of this fits “admirably.” As I have discussed I see the little horn of Daniel 8 as being Antiochus IV. Concerning the three horns pulled out before the little eleventh horn of Daniel 7, Jordan writes:
“We are told that the Little Horn ‘subdues’ three of the Ten Horns. If we think of military might, this would clearly not apply to the Herods. But if we think of persuasion, it does. The Herods were most persuasive, and were always either visiting Rome to argue their case, or sending emissaries there. They subdued the Roman emperors in the sense of persuading them to let the Herods have power as their agents in the Land.” p. 388.
Again, I find these interpretations to be fanciful at best. Jordan would have one believe that each of the first ten rulers of the fourth beast represents a Caesar but the eleventh horn represents four Jewish rulers (the Herodian dynasty) and most of the Jewish nation. Jordan goes so far as to claim that the little eleventh horn is another beast: “This horn had eyes like a man and a mouth speaking great things. In other words, this horn is also another head, and is called another beast in v. 11” (p. 385). Daniel 7:11 says no such thing. The little horn is not another beast; he was part of the fourth beast: “I watched then because of the sound of the pompous words which the horn was speaking; I watched till the beast was slain, and its body destroyed and given to the burning flame.” v. 11. The beast slain in verse 11 is the fourth beast not the little horn who represents a fifth beast; Jordan is trying to add another beast here to prop up his argument! The little horn is the eleventh horn on the fourth beast, it arises after the first ten horns. It is the whole fourth beast that was destroyed (a major problem for Jordan’s position because the Roman Empire was not destroyed at AD 70).
Historically, the problem most preterist interpretations of Daniel run into is that the Roman Empire was not destroyed at AD 70. Because of this, some preterists have tried to connect the fourth beast with the Jews (who were destroyed at AD 70) to show a historical fulfillment. Like Jordan, Max King also tried to connect the Jews with the little horn of Daniel 7 (The Cross and the Parousia of Christ: The Two Dimensions of One Age-Changing Eschaton, self published in the United States: 1987, 318-319). As far as I can see, Jordan makes no mention of Max King. Apparently Jordan was either unaware of the similarities in their positions, or more likely, Jordan does not want to connect himself with King, the founder of full preterism.
My answer to the fact that the Roman Empire was not destroyed at AD 70 is that the rulers shown in Daniel and Revelation are ultimately spiritual rulers (cf. Dan. 10:13, 20-21; Rev. 11:7). In Revelation, the demonic beast from the abyss (Rev. 17:7-11) working through Titus destroys the harlot (unfaithful Israel) and then is destroyed by the parousia. Notice that in Revelation the beast (Rome) and the Jews (the harlot) are two separate entities; they are not part of the same entity. The harlot was initially aligned with the beast, but it throws her off and destroys her (Rev. 17). The beast is then destroyed by the coming of the Word of God (Rev. 19:11-21; cf. Dan. 7:21-22). This aligns with Daniel 7:11 which shows the whole fourth beast as being destroyed, not just the little eleventh horn. This is an insurmountable problem if one is simply saying that the beast was Rome (and necessitates Jordan’s gymnastics with the text). It was not Rome that Revelation shows being destroyed at this time; it was the demonic beast from the abyss that was thrown into the lake of fire at AD 70. It was the demonic confederation of rulers behind the pre-AD 70 Roman Empire that was destroyed at AD 70, not the Roman state.
22. B. W. Jones, The Emperor Titus (New York: St. Martins Press, 1984), 44-45.
23. Barbara Levick, Vespasian (New York: Routledge, 1999), 45.
24. Hersh Goldwurm, Daniel: A New Translation with a Commentary Anthologized from Talmudic, Midrashic and Rabbinic Sources, 201-203. Rashi’s commentary on Daniel 7 can be found here: http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/16490/showrashi/true/jewis.... I do not know how this traditional Jewish interpretation can escape the conclusion that the kingdom of God was fully established at AD 70. Daniel 7:17-27 shows the little horn overcoming the saints and then God coming to take away his dominion; it is at this time that the people of God possess the kingdom. If one says the little horn refers to Titus then it follows that God’s kingdom was fully established at AD 70.
25. Judah Nadich, The Legends of the Rabbis, vol. 1: Jewish Legends of the Second Commonwealth (Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, 1994), 350. The story as given by Nadich is taken from various rabbinic sources that are woven together (e.g., Gittin 56b; Leviticus Rabbah 22:3, 20:5; Ecclesiastes Rabbah 5:8). Although the account is partly legend (it ends with a fanciful account of Titus’ death), I am inclined to believe that it is based upon at least a kernel of truth concerning Titus’ arrogance and blasphemy when he destroyed the Temple.
26. J. Massyngberde Ford, Revelation, The Anchor Bible, vol. 38, eds. William F. Albright and David N. Freedman (New York: Doubleday, 1975), 222-223.
27. Gedaliah Alon, The Jews in Their Land in the Talmudic Age, ed. and trans., Gershon Levi (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Originally published: Jerusalem: Magnes Press, The Hebrew University, 1980-1984), 201.
28. Hersh Goldwurm, History of the Jewish People: The Second Temple Era, ArtScroll History Series, eds., Nosson Scherman and Meir Zlotowitz (Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications, 1982), 200-201.
29. Jacob Neusner, First Century Judaism in Crisis, Augmented Edition (New York: KTAV Publishing House, 1982), 183.
30. Ibid., 191.
31. Edward J. Young, A Commentary on Daniel, 161.
32. “Saints” (lit. holy ones) can refer to angels (cf. Dan. 4:17). In Daniel 7:27, however, Daniel is told that the kingdom would be given “to the people, the saints of the Most High.” Saints in this context are people not angels. The NT clearly shows that it is God’s holy people, not angels, sitting on thrones and receiving the kingdom (Matt. 19:28; Rev. 3:21; Rev. 20:4). For a discussion of the meaning of holy ones as God’s people, see Joyce Baldwin, Daniel: An Introduction and Commentary, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries, ed. D. J. Wiseman (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1978), 151-152. For the counterview that the “holy ones” are angels, see J. Collins, A Commentary on the Book of Daniel, 312-320.
33. The meaning of the holy people in Daniel is somewhat fluid. This is explained in the NT by the concept of physical Israel vs. true (or spiritual) Israel (Rom. 2:28-29). In light of the teaching of the NT, true Israel possessed the kingdom in AD 70 (Dan. 7:22) at the time that physical Israel’s power was shattered (Dan. 12:7; Rev. 11:15-18). All of Daniel’s people that were written in the book (Dan. 12:1, i.e., those of true Israel) were delivered at that time. In Revelation, we discover that the book described in Daniel 12:1 is the Lamb’s Book of Life (Rev. 20:15; 21:27); thus, the people who were delivered were believers in Jesus, the Israel of God (Gal. 6:14-16; cf. Luke 2:34). God’s people possessed the kingdom at the destruction of God’s unfaithful old covenant people (cf. Matt. 21:33-43).
34. Sulpicius Severus, Chronica 2.30.6-7. Quoted from B. W. Jones, The Emperor Titus, 54.
35. B. W. Jones, The Emperor Titus, 54. Jones suggests that Severus’ source was probably the lost writings of the Roman historian Tacitus or, less possibly, M. Antonius Julianus, the procurator of Judea in AD 70.
36. Samuel Krauss, “Titus” in The Jewish Encyclopedia, vol. XII, ed. Isidore Singer (New York: Funk and Wagnalls, 1916), 163.
37. Midrash Rabbah Lamentations 1:12.
38. Edward J. Young, A Commentary on Daniel, 259. It should be remembered that Daniel 2:4 to 7:28 is in Aramaic while the rest of Daniel is in Hebrew. Young saw the time period of “a time and times and half a time” as not being a literal time period but a symbolic one.
39. After the destruction of Jerusalem, there were three isolated pockets of resistance in the vicinity of the Dead Sea (the most famous being Masada) that resisted Rome until AD 73 or 74. The putting down of these resistors was mop-up, however. The power of the holy people was broken definitively in AD 70 with the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple (cf. Dan. 9:26). With the destruction of Jerusalem, Titus began his victory celebrations. By mid-AD 71, Titus was back in Rome with his father celebrating their victory over the Jews.
40. Josephus, The Jewish War, 6, 4, 5-8.
41. Paul Spilsbury, “Josephus on the Burning of the Temple, the Flavian Triumph and the Fall of Rome,” The Preterist Archive; http://www.preteristarchive.com/JewishWars/pdf/2002_spilsbury_josephus-t....
42. Dio Cassius, Roman History 15, 6, 2, in Dio’s Roman History, vol. VIII, trans. Earnest Cary (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1982), 269.
43. Josephus, The Jewish War 3, 5, 7, trans. Gaalya Cornfeld, 221.
44. Titus was given the title of Caesar by his father when Vespasian became emperor in AD 69.
45. Josephus, The Jewish War 6, 6, 6 (a most appropriately numbered reference for the Antichrist!).
46. Hegesippus was a second-century Jewish-Christian writer; most of his work is lost.
47. Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 3, 12.
48. Suetonius, The Twelve Caesars, Titus 8.
49. Samuel Krauss, “Titus” in The Jewish Encyclopedia, vol. XII, ed. 163.
50. Josephus, The Jewish War, 6, 9, 3.
51. Josephus, The Jewish War. 5, 3, 5.
52. Gleason L. Archer Jr., A Survey of Old Testament Introduction (Chicago: Moody Press, 1974), 398.
53. The Seleucid monarchs up to the time of Antiochus IV are the following:
1. Seleucus I Nicator 312-280 BC
2. Antiochus I Soter 280-261
3. Antiochus II Theos 261-246
4. Seleucus II Callinicus 246-226
5. Seleucus III Ceraunus 226-223
6. Antiochus III The Great 223-187
7. Seleucus IV Philopator 187-175
8. Antiochus IV Epiphanes 175-164
54. If the 2,300 evening-mornings refer to the total number of evening and morning sacrifices, then at a rate of two sacrifices per day that makes 1,150 days. If an evening-morning is figured as one day (cf. Gen. 1:5, 8, 13, etc.) then 2,300 days are in view here. Either way, the 2,300 evening-mornings do not equal the 1,260 days of a time and times and half a time (cf. Rev. 12:6, 14) during which the little horn of Daniel 7 overcomes the saints (v. 25; cf. Dan. 12:7, 11).
55. “A time” = 1, “times” = 2, “half a time” = ½; added together they equal 3½ (1 + 2 + ½ = 3½).
56. God would confirm the covenant during the period of a week (i.e., seven years). The first half of the week involved the establishment of the (new) covenant. This involved Jesus’ three-and-a-half-year ministry. After this first half of the seventieth week, the validity of Temple sacrifice was brought to an end. The last half of Daniel’s seventieth week would involve the coming of Titus, the one who would make Israel desolate. After Titus’ three-and-a-half-year “ministry” of death, the Jewish nation was left desolate and the new covenant was confirmed. I discuss this in greater detail when I reach Daniel 12:11.
57. The individual beast is the eighth king of the confederation of eight demonic kings in Revelation (Rev. 17:7-11; cf. Dan. 10:13). It is this eighth king, the beast from the abyss (Rev. 11:7), who is the Antichrist. I refer to the confederation of eight kings as the corporate beast. It should be noted that when Revelation talks about the beast, sometimes it is talking about the corporate beast (i.e., the eight rulers), other times it is referring to the individual beast (the especially powerful eighth ruler). This can be seen in Revelation 13. At first the corporate beast is in view; we are told of how a mortal wound to one of the heads of the beast had put it out of commission (Rev. 13:1-3). This is a reference to the death of Nero and its catastrophic effect on the Roman Empire. The corporate beast would come back to life, however, and this would lead to the coming of the individual beast. Thus in Revelation 13:4-8 the references begin to allude to the little horn of Daniel 7. In Revelation 13:5, the Antichrist (the individual beast) is said to speak “great things and blasphemies”; this corresponds to the “pompous words against the Most High” that the little horn speaks (Dan. 7:25). The individual beast is allowed to “make war with the saints and to overcome them” (Rev. 13:7), which corresponds to the little horn “making war against the saints and prevailing against them” (Dan. 7:21; cf. 7:25). The time that the individual beast overcomes the saints is given as forty-two months (Rev. 13:5; cf. 11:2), which corresponds to the “time and times and half a time” that the little horn overcomes the saints (Dan. 7:25).
58. Ladd, Revelation, 179.
59. For more on the differences between the little horns of Daniel 7 and 8 see Edward J. Young, A Commentary on Daniel, 275-294.
60. Joyce Baldwin, Daniel: An Introduction and Commentary, 142. One can attempt to escape the conundrum of the three beasts continuing to exist after the destruction of the fourth by saying that the three empires continued to exist as nations after their respective falls. This argument defeats itself, however. Using this logic, the Roman Empire was never destroyed either, as it continued to exist in some form as a national entity after its fall. Daniel 7:11, however, clearly shows that the fourth beast was destroyed at the AD 70 defeat of the little eleventh horn. This is shown in Revelation where the beast (from the abyss) is thrown into the lake of fire at Jesus’ Second Coming (Rev. 19:11-21). As long as one is only looking at physical rulers and empires, one will have problems understanding the sections of Scripture that show the full establishment of the kingdom of God (e.g., Dan. 2:40-45; 7:9-12; Rev. 11:15-18; 19:11-20:4).
61. See J. S. Russell, The Parousia, 519-525. It is too bad that Russell never integrated the book of Daniel into his discussion of Revelation (he rarely, if ever, mentions Daniel). Daniel gives strong support to Russell’s position on the millennium.
62. Element C looks a bit different in Daniel and Revelation. Daniel 7:10 gives the impression that all the ones before the throne are attending the One on the throne. In Revelation 20:12 the ones before the throne are the dead who are there for the judgment. It would thus seem that at least some of those before the throne in Daniel 7:10 must be there for the judgment. If not, then we are being shown a judgment with no one to be judged!
63. Again, opinions by full preterists vary on this. Some say it started in AD 26 at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. Some say it started in AD 30 at Pentecost. Some even say it started around AD 33 with the conversion of Paul.
64. Ephesians 2:5-6 is often cited at this point by those who seek to prove the millennium began at AD 30: “Even when we were dead in trespasses, [God] made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made you sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” It is argued that if believers were seated with Christ at AD 30 that would put them on thrones and thus an AD 30 beginning of the millennium is proved. If one looks at the context of Ephesians 2, however, it does not parallel Revelation 20:4. Satan is not portrayed as being bound in Ephesians 2; quite to the contrary, he is portrayed as being active. Ephesians 2:2 refers to Satan as “the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience.” That is quite different from him being bound and put in the abyss (as he is in Revelation 20:4). The time of the saints sitting on thrones that Daniel 7:9 and Revelation 20:4 speak of is the time of the regeneration at the full establishment of God’s kingdom at AD 70 (cf. Matt. 19:28; Luke 22:28-30).
65. Satan was totally defeated at the cross (John 12:31-32). His binding (in terms of his ability to deceive the nations, Rev. 20:3) began at AD 70. At the end of the millennium he is released from the abyss (I believe we are in that time currently). After his short time he (and all evil) is deposed of in the lake of fire (Rev. 20:7-10).
66. This sequence is also shown in Daniel 11:43-12:3. The Antichrist (the king of the North) attacks Jerusalem, resulting in the great tribulation (Dan. 11:45-12:1); this is followed by the resurrection (Dan. 12:2-3). All of the aforementioned events were to be completed by the AD 70 destruction of the Jewish nation (Dan. 12:7). This sequence is also shown in Revelation 11. The beast overcomes the two witnesses (a symbol of God’s people) in vv 1-11. They are resurrected and then the kingdom of God is fully established in vv. 12-19. This happens at the AD 70 destruction of those who were destroying the land of Israel (v. 18).
67. John Goldingay, Daniel, 179.
68. After Antiochus IV came Antiochus V (164-162), Demetrius I Soter (162-150), and Alexander Balas (150-145). See Edward J. Young, A Commentary on Daniel, 302-306.
69. It should be noted that the resurrection of Daniel 12:1-3 is clearly a resurrection of individuals; it is not a national resurrection (see Ezek. 37 for an example of a national resurrection). Revelation shows the resurrection as happening at the destruction of those who were destroying the land of Israel (Rev. 11:15-18).
70. In Revelation 1:13-14, One like a Son of Man (i.e., Jesus) is shown with the characteristics of the Ancient of Days (e.g., white hair, Dan. 7:9), symbolizing the fact that Jesus is both God and man.
71. If the eighth king is demonic (i.e., he comes out of the abyss), it makes sense that the other kings are also (cf. Dan. 10:13).
72. I left off the dates of Titus’ reign as emperor (AD 79-81) purposely; the Antichrist spirit was working through Titus in AD 70, when he was a little horn (a general). Although Titus went on to become the eleventh Caesar (a big horn, so to speak), the demonic spirit of Antichrist (cf. Rev. 17:8) worked through him in AD 70, before he became emperor. It was Titus who destroyed the Jewish nation and old covenant Temple system (what Revelation will show as harlot Babylon in Revelation 17-18). The demonic spirit from the abyss working through Titus was destroyed by the Second Coming in AD 70 (Dan. 7:21-22, 26; Rev. 19:11-20).
73. The usual liberal preterist position on the harlot of Revelation is that she represented Rome.
74. It was only through Jesus’ possession of the kingdom at AD 30 that the saints had the right to possess it at AD 70.
75. The skeptic would of course say that while Jesus appropriated this title for himself, it was not originally a prophecy about Jesus. The Bible, on the other hand, says that the very essence of prophecy points to Jesus (Rev. 19:10).
76. Stephen R. Miller, Daniel, 209.
77. See Joyce Baldwin, Daniel, 148-154. C. F. Keil, Ezekiel, Daniel, Commentary on the Old Testament, vol. 9, trans. James Martin and M. G. Easton (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2001), 645-647, 672-674; Stephen R. Miller, Daniel, 207-210.
78. Young, A Commentary on Daniel, 154, 156.
79. It could be argued that Jesus could not be referring to Daniel 7:13-14 because he had not yet ascended to his Father. When one examines the Gospel of John, however, it appears that Jesus made an initial ascension to the Father right after his resurrection (making a public ascension later, Acts 1:9-11). Right before this initial post-resurrection ascension, Mary saw Jesus. He told her, “I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father . . .’” (John 20:17). Since Jesus told Mary that he was about to ascend to his Father; I can only conclude that that is what he did. I believe that this was when Jesus received the universal authority that Daniel 7:13-14 shows being given to the Son of Man. It makes sense that Jesus would immediately present himself to the Father as the perfect sacrifice upon the completion of his mission. Because heaven is outside of our space/time continuum it would be no problem for Jesus to be back with his disciples the same evening (John 20:19). That Jesus had ascended to his Father would also explain why he told Thomas that it was now okay to touch him (John 20:27); previously he had told Mary that she could not touch him because he had not yet ascended (John 20:17).
80. Edward J. Young, A Commentary on Daniel, 156.
81. Ibid., 154.
82. Ibid., 156.
83. Ibid., 154.
84. Gary DeMar, Last Days Madness: Obsession of the Modern Church, 4th Edition, 160.
85. Some say that Jesus’ reference to himself as the Son of Man is more an allusion to Ezekiel (who is referred to as a son of man, i.e., a human being) and his ministry to Jerusalem (Ezek. 2:1-5) than the Son of Man of Daniel. While Jesus was likely alluding to both Daniel and Ezekiel in his Son of Man references, the high priest’s extreme reaction was most probably because he understood Jesus’ reference as pointing to himself as the One in Daniel 7:13-14 who shares God’s throne and authority. In regards to whether deity is intended in vv. 13-14, it should be remembered that deity is explicitly stated regarding the One who would administer the kingdom of God in Isaiah 9:6-7.
86. White can also symbolize righteousness (e.g., Rev. 19:8; 20:11). In the context of the Ancient of Days, however, it would seem that the white hair is symbolic of the advanced age, the eternality, of the Ancient of Days. Even if righteousness is what is symbolized by the white hair of the Ancient of Days, however, the fact remains that Revelation is showing a merging of the Ancient of Days and the Son of Man in Jesus.
87. N. T. Wright, The New Testament and the People of God (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1992), 296. See pages 289-297 for his full argumentation.
88. Ibid., 294-295.
89. Wright would argue that Revelation is a reinterpretation of the second-century pseudo-prophecies of Daniel. I of course have a fundamental disagreement with him on that. Even if Revelation were a reinterpretation of Daniel, however, it shows that the author of Revelation saw the image of the Son of Man as ultimately applying to Jesus, not the saints.
90. As I noted earlier, clouds are God’s mode of travel. One has to look at the context to see where he is traveling to and from.
91. R. T. France, The Gospel of Matthew, 1027-28.
92. Ibid., 1027, footnote.
93. Understanding the parables becomes much easier when one remembers that Jesus was speaking to first-century Israel (Matt. 15:21-28). In many of the parables, he was warning Israel of the soon-coming judgment in AD 70. Keeping the AD 70 destruction of Israel in mind is thus of great value in interpreting the parables. For example, the parable of the unjust steward (Luke 16:1-9) who was about to lose his position speaks of Israel. She would be losing her stewardship over God’s kingdom at AD 70 (cf. Matt. 21:33-43). Given this, Jesus was saying that it would be wise for the Jews to show mercy to others.
94. Josephus, The Jewish War, 6, 5, 4, trans. Gaalya Cornfeld, 428-429.
95. Tacitus, The Histories, Book 5, The Jews, trans. Kenneth Wellesley (New York: Penguin Books, 1975), 279.
96. Josephus’ hesitancy in interpreting Daniel 2 suggests that he thought the destruction of the fourth empire was the destruction of Rome (Antiquities of the Jews, 10, 10, 4). Josephus (who was a Pharisee) saw at least one of the abominations of desolation in Daniel (9:26-27) as referring to the desolation by the Romans in AD 70 (Ant. 10, 11, 7). Regarding the Jews viewing Rome as the fourth beast of Daniel, Beale writes: “In John’s day the beast from the sea [Rev. 13] would have been identified as Rome. This is also confirmed by the identification in Jewish writings of the fourth beast in Daniel 7 with Rome (Mid[rash] Rab[bah] Gen. 44.17; 76:6; Midr. Rab. Exod. 15:6; 25:8; Midr. Rab. Lev. 13:5; b. Abodah Zarah 2b; b. Shebuoth 6b; Mekilta de Rabbi Ishmael, Bahodesh 9.30-36; Pesikta Rabbati 14.15; Pesikta de Rab Kahana 4.9; Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer 28 . . . ” (G. K. Beale, The Book of Revelation, 684-685).

Chapter V: The King of the North and the End of the Age (Daniel 11:36-45)

1. The description of this glorious Man matches the description of Jesus in Revelation 1:10-18. One should also note that the important angels in Daniel are named (e.g., Gabriel in 8:16 and 9:21; Michael in 10:21 and 12:1); if this was an angel one would think Daniel would have been told his name. Compare this Being with the Angel in Revelation 10 (most probably a symbol of Jesus as the Angel of the Lord). The Angel in Revelation is the most glorious angel ever encountered in Scripture (he has the attributes of deity); that Angel is also not named. In addition he does an oath similar to the one by the glorious Man in Daniel 12:7 (Rev. 10:5-7; cf. Deut. 32:39-40).
2. Stephen R. Miller, Daniel, 290. Miller sees the Glorious Man of Daniel 10:5-6 as probably “the divine Messiah” (p. 281). He sees the one who gives the vision starting in v. 10, however, as an interpreting angel (the angel Gabriel). Miller does admit, however, that if v. 10 is referring to Gabriel “it is strange that his name was not given as in the previous two visions (cf. 8:16; 9:21),” p. 283. I do not see a change from the divine Messiah to an angel at Daniel 10:10 and am thus not surprised that he is not referred to as Gabriel.
3. Joyce Baldwin, Daniel: An Introduction and Commentary, 184-185.
4. The book of Daniel indicates its visions were seen during the seventy or so years following Daniel being taken to Babylon as part of the Babylonian captivity (c. 605 BC, Dan. 1:1-7). The visions of chapters 11 and 12 were seen toward the end of Daniel’s life, around 536 BC (Dan. 10:1).
5. H. C. Leupold, Exposition of Daniel (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1975), 513.
6. J. Collins, A Commentary on the Book of Daniel, 391-392.
7. Miller, Daniel, 291.
8. It should be noted that the futurist teaching that there is a gap of nearly 2,200 years between Antiochus in verse 35 and a future Antichrist in verse 36 is inconsistent with the context of Daniel 11.
9. Miller, Daniel, 305. Miller of course is not a preterist so he looks to a future end of the age that Daniel 11:36-12:13 is referring to.
10. C. F. Keil, Daniel, 807-808.
11. John E. Goldingay, Daniel, 305.
12. According to Goldingay, “quasi-predictions” interpret “recent history in the light of Scripture . . . [They are an attempt] to make sense of the past by relating it in the light of Scripture that implies grounds for trusting the actual prophecy’s portrait of what the future will bring, painted in the light of the same Scripture. When they speak about the past, they do so on the basis of having historical data, and scriptural text as a means of interpretation. When they speak about the future, they have only scriptural text, and are providing an imaginary scenario, a possible embodiment of that text, which is not to be pressed to provide (or be judged by) historical data. Its object is not to provide historical data but to provide scriptural interpretation of what the events to come will mean” (Ibid., 285). Goldingay seems to be saying that we should not judge the historical failure of the prophecy of Daniel 11:40-12:13 (or anywhere else in the Bible) because there is no such thing as real Bible prophecy. No matter how you slice it, if the author of Daniel was predicting a resurrection in the second century BC, he was way off base. Daniel 12:2 is the clearest picture of an individual resurrection in the OT; it is not talking about a national resurrection. It is hard to believe that the people of the first century AD would have paid much attention to Daniel if they had seen it as predicting the resurrection in the second century BC, and yet the book was held in high regard, most notably by Jesus (cf. Matt. 24:15).
13. J. Collins, A Commentary on the Book of Daniel, 388.
14. Sinclair Ferguson, Daniel, Mastering the Old Testament, vol. 19, ed. Lloyd J. Ogilvie (Dallas: Word Publishing 1988), 235.
15. Some try to escape this conclusion by saying that Jesus was talking about an abomination of desolation that would be like the one spoken of in Daniel, not that he thought Daniel spoke of a first-century abomination of desolation. Although one can try to make this case with the abomination of desolation, it can not be made with the resurrection and judgment. To say Jesus was speaking about a resurrection and judgment that was like the one Daniel spoke of in the second century BC makes no sense; there was no individual resurrection in the second century BC. If Daniel was in error, then Jesus was also.
16. a. The little horn/individual beast is an eighth ruler (Dan. 7:8; Rev. 17:11).
b. The little horn/individual beast speaks great blasphemies against God (Dan. 7:8,11, 20, 25; Rev. 13:5-6).
c. The little horn/ individual beast wages war against the saints and overcomes them (Dan. 7:21; Rev. 13:7).
d. The little horn/ individual beast has a three-and-a-half-year reign of terror (Dan. 7:25; 13:5).
e. The little horn/ individual beast is defeated in AD 70 by the coming of God/Christ (Dan. 7:21-22; Rev. 19:11-13,19-20).
f. The little horn/ individual beast is thrown into the lake of fire at the time of the Second Advent (Dan. 7:11; Rev. 19:19-20).
g. The kingdom of God is established (what the NT shows as the beginning of the millennium) at the AD 70 defeat of the little horn/ individual beast (Dan. 7:7-11,21-27; Rev. 19:11-20:4).
17. Ladd, Revelation, 230-231.
18. Miller offers eleven points of correspondence between Antiochus and the Antichrist. While Miller does not see Titus as the Antichrist, the points he brings up concerning Antichrist apply to Titus. See Stephen R. Miller, Daniel, 237-238.
19. C. F. Keil, Daniel, 803.
20. B. W. Jones, The Emperor Titus, 46-47.
21. Miller, Daniel, 306. Of course my application of the timing of these events to AD 70 is not traditional.
22. Judah Nadich, The Legends of the Rabbis, vol. 1: Jewish Legends of the Second Commonwealth (Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, Inc. 1994), 350.
23. J. E. H.Thomson, The Pulpit Commentary, vol. 13, Daniel Hosea & Joel, eds. H.D. M. Spence and Joseph S. Exell (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1961), 820.
24. Calvin’s Commentary on Daniel 11:36 (from the Calvin Translation Society edition), Calvin’s Commentaries; available from http://www.ccel.org/c/calvin/comment3/comm_vol25/htm/vi.xxxi.htm. Calvin saw the willful king of Daniel 11:36-45 not to be an individual king but the Roman Empire personified.
25. J. Collins, A Commentary on the Book of Daniel, 387.
26. Philip Mauro, The Seventy Weeks and the Great Tribulation, 145.
27. Sinclair Ferguson, Daniel, 237.
28. Judah J. Slotki, Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, revised by Ephraim Oratz, Soncino Books of the Bible, ed. A. Cohen (New York: Soncino Press, 1999), 98.
29. Young, Daniel, 249.
30. Josephus, The Jewish War, 6, 6, 1, trans. Gaalya Cornfeld, 429.
31. E. Mary Smallwood, Josephus: The Jewish War, rev. ed. (New York: Penguin Books, 1981), 453.
32. Gaalya Cornfeld, Josephus: The Jewish War, 429.
33. Josephus, The Jewish War, 2, 9, 2.
34. Suetonius gives an example of how the legions that supported Vespasian in his bid for the Roman throne marked “all the standards with his name.” Suetonius, The Twelve Caesars, Vespasian 6, trans. Robert Graves (New York: Viking Penguin Inc., 1979), 283.
35. Roman historian Catherine Edwards writes the following on this: “It had been customary for conspicuous victories to be marked in this way under the republic. However, under the principate [i.e., since the time of Augustus] it was almost unheard of for anyone other than the emperor himself to receive such an acclamation.” Catherine Edwards, Suetonius: Lives of the Caesars, trans. Catherine Edwards (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000), endnote, 352.
36. It is interesting that Josephus admitted that Titus went into the Holy Place of the Temple; he does not seem to want to admit that Titus entered the Holy of Holies (something writers of the Talmud said he did). In The Jewish War (6, 4, 7) Josephus talks of the wonderful furnishings of the Holy Place that Titus saw. This was not the Holy of Holies, which had no furnishings in it. Josephus said that the Holy of Holies was “unapproachable, inviolable and invisible to all” (The Jewish War, 5, 5, 5, trans. Gaalya Cornfeld). As I discussed earlier, our understanding of the full extent of Titus’ desecrations of the Temple is hampered by Josephus’ almost certain whitewash of what went on in the Temple when Titus captured it. Even given Josephus’ minimization of Titus’ actions, however, the worship of Titus at the Temple fulfills the prophecy of the Antichrist exalting himself above all gods and being worshiped in the Temple (cf. 2 Thess. 2:4).
37. Suetonius, The Twelve Caesars, Titus, 5, trans. Robert Graves, 294.
38. Michael Grant, The Twelve Caesars (New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 1996), 229.
39. Suetonius, The Twelve Caesars, Titus, 5, trans. Robert Graves, 294.
40. Josephus, The Jewish War, 4, 3, 10; Tacitus, The Histories, 5, 12.
41. What made the Jewish Temple the strongest of fortresses in Jewish eyes was not just its massive fort-like defenses but the fact that it was God’s house (cf. Ps. 27:4-5). No one could successfully lay siege to God’s Temple unless God allowed it; this was unthinkable in the Jewish mind (cf. Josephus, The Jewish War, 6, 2, 1).
42. The Encyclopedia Britannica gives the following information on Sarapis:
Sarapis also spelled Serapis. Greco-Egyptian deity of the sun first encountered at Memphis, where his cult was celebrated in association with that of the sacred Egyptian bull Apis (who was called Osorapis when deceased). He was thus originally a god of the underworld but was reintroduced as a new deity with many Hellenic aspects by Ptolemy I Soter (who reigned from 305–284 BC), who centered the worship of the deity at Alexandria.
The Sarapeum at Alexandria was the largest and best known of the god's temples. The cult statue there represented Sarapis as a robed and bearded figure regally enthroned, his right hand resting on Cerberus (the three-headed dog who guards the gate of the underworld), while his left held an upraised scepter . . . Among the Gnostics (early Christian heretics who believed that matter is evil and the spirit is good) he was a symbol of the universal godhead. “Sarapis,” Encyclopedia Britannica, .
I find it interesting that the Gnostics were associated with Sarapis. Some say that the “antichrists” John referred to in 1 and 2 John were adherents of an early form of what would become Gnosticism (1 John 2:18-19; 4:3; 2 John 7). If this is true, then I don’t think it is a coincidence that these antichrists were associated with the spirit of Sarapis, a demonic spirit that was so closely associated with the Antichrist.
43. Tacitus, The Histories, 4, 81-82. Suetonius’ version of events is a little different (Suetonius, The Twelve Caesars, Vespasian 7); he reports it was a lame man instead of a man with a withered hand. Also, in Suetonius’ version, Vespasian visited the Sarapis temple before he performed the miracles. These miracles were demonic imitations of those done by Jesus, the Christ, cf. Matthew 11:2-5. The manner in which Vespasian healed the blind man was eerily similar to the way Jesus had healed a blind man, by spitting on his eyes (cf. Mark 8:23).
44. To make sure this wasn’t a trick, Vespasian sent some of his troops to check on the man Basilides; they found him in ill health some eighty miles away from Sarapis’ temple. Tacitus, The Histories, 4, 82, trans. Kenneth Wellesley, 264.
45. Op cit. footnote.
46. Sarolta A. Takacs, Isis and Sarapis in the Roman World, Religions in the Graeco-Roman World, eds. R. Van Den Broek, H.J. W. Drijvers, H.S. Versnel (Leiden, Netherlands: E.J. Brill, 1995), 98.
47. Josephus, The Jewish War, 7, 6, 6, trans. Gaalya Cornfeld, 476.
48. Op cit. One could quibble and say that this was Vespasian leasing out the Holy Land, not Titus. It could have been Titus drafting the edict, however, leasing out the Land under his father’s name (as he had that power). Suetonius makes the following comments of Titus’ position of power when he returned to Rome from Judea in AD 71: “He now became his father’s colleague, almost his guardian; sharing in the Judaean triumph, in the Censorship, in the exercise of tribunician power, and in seven consulships. He bore most of the burdens of government and, in his father’s name, dealt with official correspondence, drafted edicts, and even took over the quaestor’s task of reading the imperial speeches to the Senate” (emphasis added). Suetonius, The Twelve Caesars, rev. ed., Titus 6, trans. Robert Graves, 294.
49. Miller, Daniel, 306.
50. Josephus: The Jewish War, book 1, preamble, 8-10, trans. Gaalya Cornfeld, 11-12.
51. Miller (Daniel, 309-310) sees two players in v. 40. His discussion of both positions, however, is helpful.
52. Walvoord sees three players in Daniel 11:40: John F. Walvoord, Every Prophecy of the Bible, 273-274.
53. Keil sees two players named in Daniel 11:40: C. F. Keil, Daniel, 807-808.
54. A. Berkley Mickelson, Daniel & Revelation: Riddles or Realities?, 208-209.
55. C. F. Keil, Daniel, 808.
56. See map of the Roman campaign in Josephus, The Jewish War, trans. Gaalya Cornfeld, 292. See also map in Chris Scarre, The Penguin Historical Atlas of Ancient Rome (New York: Penguin Books, 1995), 59.
57. Josephus, The Jewish War, 4, 10, 5, trans. Gaalya Cornfeld, 310.
58. B. W. Jones, The Emperor Titus, 46-47.
59. Josephus, The Jewish War, 5, 2, 1.
60. Cornfeld writes the following on this: “The riots in Alexandria: The historic facts are the following: At that time [AD 66] Roman troops were being concentrated in Alexandria (War II, 387) for an expedition against Ethiopia. However, all war schemes were stopped due to the events in Palestine….” Josephus: The Jewish War, trans. Gaalya Cornfeld, 194
61. Albino Garzetti, From Tiberius to the Antonines: A History of the Roman Empire AD 14-192 (New York: Methuen Inc., 1976), 229.
62. Ibid., 232-233.
63. Young, Daniel, 253.
64. Josephus, The Jewish War, 5, 2, 3.
65. Josephus, The Jewish War, 5, 3, 5.

Chapter VI: The Great Tribulation and the End of the Age (Daniel 12:1-13)

1. Smalley writes that the second use of “destroy” in v. 18 carries the meaning of “to ruin” in a moral sense: “The writer uses a play on words which balances the literal sense of complete destruction with its figurative counterpart of ‘to ruin’, in the sense of ‘(morally) deprave’ (similarly Rev. 2:2; 14:8; et al.). See BDAG 239b.” Stephen S. Smalley, The Revelation to John: A Commentary on the Greek Text of the Apocalypse, 293.
2. Baldwin, Daniel: An Introduction and Commentary, 204.
3. Although there were still a few isolated pockets of resistance left to be taken care of after AD 70 (e.g., Masada), with the fall of Jerusalem in late summer of AD 70, the Jewish nation was shattered and scattered to the nations. By mid-AD 71 Titus was back in Rome celebrating the “triumph” of the destruction of the Jewish nation with his father.
4. It should be noted that the Man in Daniel 12:7 holds up two hands in his oath. Holding up a hand in an oath is not uncommon in the Bible (e.g., Gen. 14:22; Ezek. 20:5-6). Holding up two hands, however, is not found anywhere else in the Bible. The usual meaning attached to it by commentators is the solemnity of the oath. This may be the meaning, but were any of the other biblical oaths less solemn? As to why the Man raises both hands, could it be because he is both God and man (swearing by both natures)? Because it happens nowhere else in the Bible it is impossible to provide a definitive answer to this question.
5. Hebrew-English Edition of the Babylonian Talmud, Gittin 56a, trans. Maurice Simon.
6. Deuteronomy 32:36 says that at this time of the end of God’s old covenant people “the Lord [would] judge His people and have compassion on His servants, when He sees that their power is gone and there is no one remaining, bond or free.” Daniel 12:2 shows this judgment of God’s people, as some rise to everlasting life and others to everlasting contempt. The writer of Hebrews referenced this judgment and said it was about to happen in his day (at the Second Coming), that it would happen in “a little while” (Heb. 10:37).
Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the LORD [Deut. 32:35]. And again, “The LORD will judge His people” [Deut. 32:36]. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God . . .“For yet a little while, and He who is coming will come and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith; but if anyone draws back, my soul has no pleasure in him” (Heb. 10:28-31, 37-38).
7. At AD 70 God would destroy his unfaithful people (Deut. 32:22-27; cf. Is. 65:11-15) and establish his faithful servants (cf. Matt. 21:33-46; Rev. 19:1-9), which would include Gentiles (Deut. 32:43).
8. Baldwin, Daniel: An Introduction and Commentary, 209-210.
9. Young, Daniel, 263-264; Baldwin, Daniel, 210.
10. See C. F. Keil, Daniel, 692-696.
11. J. E. H. Thomson, The Pulpit Commentary, vol. 13, Daniel, Hosea & Joel, 340-341.
12. Emil Schurer, A History of the Jewish People in the Time of Jesus Christ, Second Division, vol. 1, trans. Sophia Taylor and Peter Christie (Hendrickson Publishers, 1998, reprinted from the edition originally published by T& T Clark: Edinburgh, 1890), 303-304.
13. Josephus, The Jewish War, 2, 17, 2, trans. Gaalya Cornfeld, 185.
14. B. W. Jones, The Emperor Titus, 36. See also Josephus, The Jewish War, 3, 4, 2. Josephus doesn’t give the exact time of Titus’ coming to Israel but indicates that it was in winter of early AD 67.
15. Any suggestion that the abomination of desolation Jesus spoke of involved the Romans sacrificing to their standards at the end of the war is wrong; it would make Jesus a false prophet. The time for those in Judea to flee was at the beginning of the war, not the end. By the end of the war one would either be dead or a prisoner, most likely the former. Jesus had said that when Jerusalem was surrounded by armies that would be the time to flee (Luke 21:20-24). The first time Jerusalem was surrounded by armies during this period was in November of AD 66. These were the Roman armies under Cestius, the governor of Syria. Josephus tells us that right after this encompassing by armies “many prominent Jews abandoned the City like swimmers a sinking ship” (The Jewish War, 2, 20, 1). Some of these people were no doubt believers heeding the words of Jesus. Titus’ coming to the Holy Land happened about three months later.
16. For a discussion of the intercalated month see J. Collins, A Commentary on the Book of Daniel, 400.
17. Goldwurm writes the following on Yossipon: “The name given to an ancient Jewish history quoted often by Rashi and other early writers. The author gives his name as Joseph ben Gorion and mentions that he wrote a parallel history for the Romans. His account of the destruction of the Temple is written in eye-witness style and resembles Josephus very much. All this raises speculation whether this book is Josephus’ Hebrew version of his history.” Rabbi Hersh Goldwurm, Daniel: A New Translation with a Commentary Anthologized from Talmudic, Midrashic and Rabbinic Sources, 350.
18. Goldwurm, Daniel, 265.
19. For the most part Josephus used the Macedonian calendar in his writings. Like the Jewish calendar, the Macedonian calendar was based on the moon, with each new month beginning with the new moon. The Macedonian calendar, while having different names for the twelve months of the year, corresponded exactly with the Jewish calendar. We know this from the writings of Josephus, who occasionally gave the Jewish month together with the corresponding Macedonian month. Finegan in his Handbook of Biblical Chronology writes the following on this:
In his Jewish Antiquities and Jewish War Josephus commonly uses Macedonian month names and from time to time adds their Jewish equivalents. In Antiquities 1, 3, 3 he states that Dios and Marheshvan are the same and that this was the second month. This means that in a year beginning in the fall, Hyperberetaios = Tishri was the first month. He also says that Xanthikos and Nisan are the same and are the first month of the year for divine worship and for ordinary affairs. Again in Antiquities 3, 10, 5 he equates Xanthikos and Nisan and states that this month begins the year. Also in Antiquities 11, 5, 4; 12, 5, 4; and 12, 7, 6 he equates Apellaios and Kislev and makes no difference between the twenty-fifth day in the one month and in the other . . . In Josephus therefore, the Macedonian months may be taken as fully and exactly equivalent to the Jewish months . . . .” (underlined emphasis mine). Jack Finegan, Handbook of Biblical Chronology (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1964), 73.
Josephus recorded that the end of the siege of Jerusalem happened on the eighth of Gorpiaios AD 70 (the month of Gorpiaios corresponds to the time around August and September). The eighth of Gorpiaios on the Macedonian calendar would have corresponded to the eighth of Elul on the Jewish calendar. When one adds forty-five days to the eighth of Elul, one comes to the twenty-fourth of Tishri AD 70 (Tishri corresponds to the time around September/October on our calendar). This is a significant date in that the twenty-fourth of Tishri is the first day past the consummation of the celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles (in Israel the last day of the feast is the twenty-second, but outside of Israel an extra day of the feast is celebrated on the twenty-third).
20. Zechariah 14 talks about the fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles in the context of the capture of Jerusalem on the day of the Lord. I shall discuss Zechariah 14 in my next chapter, “The Day of the Lord.”
21. J. Stuart Russell, The Parousia, New Edition, Preface to the New Edition. See also pp. 165-169.
22. Josephus, The Antiquities of the Jews, 10, 11, 7, Josephus’ Complete Works, trans. William Whiston, 227. It would appear that in Josephus’ mind the seventy weeks of Daniel ended at AD 70 (Dan. 9:26-27).
23. Some would say that Jesus’ mention of Daniel’s abomination of desolation in the Gospels did not mean that Jesus thought Daniel actually prophesied a first-century AD event. Rather (these people would say) Jesus was indicating that a first-century event would happen that was like the abomination of desolation in the second century BC that Daniel was talking about. This is definitely not what Josephus was saying; he was saying that Daniel was giving true prophecies, some of which found their fulfillment in the first century AD.
24. Miller, Daniel, 272.
25. Ibid., 272-273. Miller thinks this refers to a future Antichrist, however.
26. Kenneth L. Gentry, Perilous Times: A Study in Eschatological Evil (Texarkana, AR: Covenant Media Press, 1999), 23, 32. I agree with Gentry that Daniel 9:26-27 parallel each other. I disagree, however, with his contention that the destruction of Jerusalem falls outside the seventy weeks (pp. 24-25). The seventy weeks were determined for the Jews and Jerusalem (v. 24). It is incongruous to say that the destruction of Jerusalem falls outside the seventy weeks related to it.
27. When one compares Daniel 9:26 with Daniel 12:1 (which also talks about a ruler and his people), Daniel 12:1 is similarly referring to a spiritual prince (the angel Michael) and his people (cf. Dan. 10:13, 20-21).
28. The reference in v. 26 to the destruction of Jerusalem coming by way of “a flood” speaks of a foreign army invading the Holy Land. The OT uses the image of a flood to represent a foreign power overflowing its borders and sweeping into the Land (cf. Dan. 11:10, 22, 40 NIV; Is. 8:5-10). This happened when the Roman armies flooded into the Holy Land in AD 67 (cf. Matt. 24:36-39).
29. That the second half of Daniel’s seventieth week is separated from the first half is also shown by the fact that the last half of the seventieth week keeps showing up in Scripture as the time period of three-and-a-half right before the AD 70 Second Advent (cf. Dan. 7:21-25). This last half of Daniel’s seventieth week would be the period when the Antichrist would overcome the Jews/saints (Dan. 7:25; Rev. 13:5-7). It would be the time of the great tribulation; it would end with the resurrection at the time of the destruction of the Jewish nation (Dan. 12:1-7; cf. Rev. 11). This hardly fits AD 33, which would be the end of the seventy weeks if there was no gap between Messiah being cut off and the coming of the one who would make the Jewish nation desolate.
30. Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed twice, the first time by Nebuchadnezzar in 586 B.C., the second and last time by Titus in AD 70, cf. Josephus, The Jewish War, 6, 10, 1.
31. Baldwin, Daniel, 171.
32. Some say the “he” of Daniel 9:27 (“Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week”) refers not to the Messiah of Daniel 9:26 but to the Antichrist, the prince to come. This interpretation says that a future Antichrist will make a covenant with the Jews for seven years which he breaks after three-and-a-half years. While this is grammatically a possible interpretation of Daniel 9:26-27, when one looks at the rest of Scripture, it has no support. Nowhere does Scripture speak of the Antichrist making a seven-year covenant with the Jews (or anyone else); the timeframe associated with Antichrist is always three-and-a-half years (e.g., Dan. 7:25; 12:7; Rev. 11:2; 13:5, etc.).
33. Young, A Commentary on Daniel, 209.
34. Interestingly, there is a Jewish tradition that supports the idea that the Jewish sacrificial system was invalid after the death of Jesus. Every year on the Day of Atonement a scapegoat (which symbolically carried Israel’s sin) would be driven into the wilderness. When the scapegoat had reached the wilderness (indicating that Israel’s sin was forgiven) a crimson wool thread tied to the Temple would turn white. According to Jewish sources, this thread never turned white during the last forty years of the second Temple. Zev Vilnay, Legends of Jerusalem, The Sacred Land, vol. 1 (Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society of America, 1973), 115-116. This story is consistent with the idea that from the time of the death of Jesus in AD 30 to the destruction of the Temple in AD 70, Israel’s sin ceased to be atoned for by the sacrifices and offerings of the Temple.
35. Many resist the idea that there is any gap in the seventy weeks. I disagree with this, although I also disagree with those who say there is a two-thousand-year gap. That there is a gap between the first half of the seventieth week and its second half can be seen in the fact that the last half of the week is shown as happening right before the Second Coming (Dan. 7:21-27; Rev. 13:5). Also the events that the seventy weeks were to accomplish (e.g., sealing up of vision and prophet, v. 24) were fully accomplished in AD 70, not AD 33. If the first and second half of the seventieth week are not separated, then Daniel’s seventy weeks would be teaching that vision and prophet were sealed up at AD 33. The first half of Daniel’s seventieth week ends with Jesus putting an end to the legitimacy of sacrifice in AD 30; the second half ends with the consummation of God’s judgment being poured out on desolate Israel in AD 70 (Dan. 9:27). The last half of the seventieth week (a time, times, and half a time) ended with the shattering of the Jews (Dan. 12:7). It should be noted that Jesus associated the abomination of desolation with the destruction of Jerusalem (Matt. 24:15, 34; Luke 21:20). This refers to the events leading up to AD 70, not AD 33, and necessitates a gap between the first half and second half of Daniel’s seventy weeks.
36. Miller, Daniel, 272-273.
37. George R. Beasley-Murray, Jesus and the Last Days (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1993), 410. Beasley-Murray writes, “In Mark 13:14 . . . the neuter to bdelygma [abomination] is followed by a masculine participle, hestekota, ‘standing where he ought not.’”
38. Titus would eventually take the Roman standards into the Temple. This was at the end of the war, however, which would make Jesus’ warning for those in Judea to flee to the mountains totally useless (Matt. 24:15-16; Mark 13:14).
39. The Mishnah (Kelim 1:6-1:9) speaks of ten degrees of holiness of the Holy Land; these increasing areas of holiness begin with the land of Israel and culminate with the Holy of Holies. Josephus recorded the following spoken by the Jews (in AD 40) to the Roman legate who had orders to set a statue of Caligula in the Temple: “They explained it was not permissible for a graven image of God, let alone of a man, to be placed not only in their sanctuary but in any ordinary place in the country.” Josephus, The Jewish War, 2, 10, 4, trans. Gaalya Cornfeld, 158.
40. Stanley B. Frost, “Abomination that Makes Desolate” in The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, eds. George Arthur Buttrick and Emory Steven Bucke (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1962), 14.
41. Describing the Roman standards that Pontius Pilate brought into Jerusalem (c. AD 26-36), Josephus said the following: “He introduced into Jerusalem by night and undercover the effigies of Caesar that are called standards.” Josephus, The Jewish War, 2, 9, 2, trans. Gaalya Cornfeld, 155. There was such uproar over the Roman standards standing in the holy city (standing where they ought not) that they had to be withdrawn. It would be when those in first-century Judea saw these Roman standards (the idols of desolation) on Jewish soil that they should flee (Matt. 24:15-16; Mark 13:14; Luke 21:20).
42. James Strong, The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible Hebrew and Chaldee Dictionary, 56.
43. Young, Daniel, 218.
44. Biblos.com Parallel Bible: http://kjt.biblecommenter.com/daniel/9.htm.
45. It should again be noted that the abomination of desolation mentioned in the Gospels is not talking about the Romans worshiping their standards in the Temple in AD 70. One would be quite lucky to still be alive at that point (although Josephus said that at this time it was the dead who were more lucky) and it would be impossible to flee.
46. Young, Daniel, 218-219.
47. Jesus said that the coming of the kingdom would not be an observable event (Luke 17:20-21). He also said that his coming would not be to one physical location but would instantaneously fill the whole earth, just as lightning fills the sky (Matt. 24:26-27). This coming was a spiritual event; it would happen in AD 70 when the Roman eagles had gathered around the dead body (i.e., devoid of the Spirit) that Jerusalem had become (v. 28).
48. It should be noted that there is no recapitulation at Revelation 20. In Daniel 7:21-22 God comes and defeats the Antichrist and then the saints possess the kingdom of God. In Revelation 19:11-21 the Word of God comes and defeats the Antichrist and then the saints possess the kingdom in Revelation 20:1-4.
49. This sequence is shown in Revelation. The beast (from the abyss) destroys harlot Babylon (i.e., Jerusalem, cf. Ezek. 16) in Revelation 17-18 and then the beast is destroyed by the Second Coming in Revelation 19.
50. The word usually translated as “earth” in Revelation (Gr. gē) is often better translated as “Land” (i.e., the land of Israel).

Chapter VII: The Day of the Lord in the Old Testament

1. Sometimes looking at the first place a certain image or concept is introduced in the Bible can reveal significant information as to how that image is subsequently used in the Bible.
2. I see the historical correlates of the fourth through seventh bowls as being the following: With the fourth bowl, the sun (i.e., a ruler) is allowed to scorch men; this is probably referring to Nero’s persecution. With the fifth bowl, the kingdom of the beast is eclipsed as darkness comes on it. This speaks of the confusion that came on the Roman Empire in mid AD-68 with the death of Nero. With the sixth bowl, the Euphrates is dried up. The Euphrates was an ideal boundary of Israel (cf. Gen. 15:18). This allowed for the invasion of Israel, leading to her destruction. With the seventh bowl, Babylon (i.e., Jerusalem) is judged. Babylon was the great city where Jesus was crucified (Rev. 11:8; 17:18). This is referring to the AD 70 destruction of the Jewish nation on the ultimate day of the Lord (cf. Dan. 11:40-12:7; Matt. 22:1-10; Rev. 19:1-9).
3. I imagine that the main reason dispensational leaders seldom discuss the Bible’s symbolic use of cosmic catastrophe is because it severely undermines their literal hermeneutic.
4. In the Hebrew Bible the Hebrew word for Lord was read whenever the text had Yahweh. In the LXX the Greek word for Lord was (probably) substituted in the places that had Yahweh. What had been the day of the Lord (Yahweh) in the OT becomes the day of the Lord (Jesus) in the NT. See Charles A. Wanamaker, The Epistles to the Thessalonians, A Commentary on the Greek Text, The New International Greek Testament Commentary, eds. I. Howard Marshall and W. Ward Gasque (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1990), 179. The identification of the day of the Lord (Jesus) in the NT with the day of the Lord (Yahweh) in the OT is a strong statement that the first Christians (who were of course Jewish) closely associated Jesus with Yahweh.
5. W. E. Vine with C.F. Hogg, Vine’s Expository Commentary on 1&2 Thessalonians (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1997), 112.
6. N. T. Wright, Jesus and the Victory of God, 321. Wright is quoting himself here from his book The New Testament and the People of God (London: SPCK; Minneapolis: Fortress, 1992), 359. Wright notes that this “conclusion [of Jerusalem being equated with Babylon] may be held by some to carry implications for the reading of Rev. 17-19.” Ibid., footnote, 358. In Revelation, God’s unfaithful old covenant people are portrayed as harlot Babylon; the harlot is destroyed. This is what God had said would happen to the children of Israel in the “latter days”; they would “rise and play the harlot” (i.e., they would be unfaithful to the covenant) and be destroyed (Deut. 31:16-17, 29).
7. Don Preston, The Elements Shall Melt with a Fervent Heat: A Study of 2 Peter 3 (Ardmore, OK: JaDon Productions, 2006), 92.
8. France notes that the allusions in Matthew 24:29 are most closely related to the judgment of Babylon in Isaiah 13:10 and Edom in Isaiah 34:4. R. T. France, The Gospel of Matthew, 921-922.
9. Josephus, The Jewish War, 5, 2, 1.
10. The Romans cut down all the trees for 100 square miles around Jerusalem for siege equipment and crosses (to crucify prisoners). The Romans consumed all the food stuffs in Judea and had to get food from surrounding provinces (Josephus, The Jewish War, 5, 12, 4). Josephus comments on all the beautiful gardens surrounding Jerusalem that were laid waste by the advancing Roman army, cf. Joel 2:3. He said that the destruction of Jerusalem was so thorough one couldn’t even tell that a city had been there (The Jewish War, 6, 1, 1). In a similar manner Josephus likens the effects on the land of the 40,000+ man army of the rebel leader Simon to that of locusts (The Jewish War, 4, 9, 7).
11. In Revelation 21:9-10 an angel tells John he is going to show him the bride; what the angel shows him is the New Jerusalem. This is not a “bait and switch” on the part of the angel. The New Jerusalem is another symbol of the bride (just as Babylon is another symbol of the harlot, Rev. 17:18).
12. The fact that the New Jerusalem is likened to the mother of believers and also to believers themselves as the bride of Christ is no more inconsistent than the fact that Jesus is likened to both a shepherd (the Good Shepherd) and a sheep (the Lamb of God). Symbols that are inconsistent (if taken literally) are often used to highlight different aspects of biblical truths. For example, Isaiah 62:1-5 says that mother Zion would marry her sons (v. 5); if taken literally that is incest.
13. According to Paul, Isaiah 65 is contrasting old covenant Israel with new covenant believers (Rom. 10:19-21; cf. 9:22-33).
14. According to Paul (Rom. 11:25-36) physical Israel will be grafted back into the tree of true Israel sometime in the future. I believe this is beginning to happen in our time but will only fully happen after the Gog and Magog invasion (Ezek. 39:21-29). I believe we are currently in the time at the end of the millennium when the Gog and Magog invasion happens (Rev. 20:7-10). I will discuss this in the next volume of this series where I examine the Antichrist and the Second Coming as it is shown in Revelation.
15. Ladd was quite correct when he noted the following about the New Jerusalem:
“The redeemed church has already been likened to a bride ([in Rev.] 19:7) who is joined with her Lord at the marriage supper of the Lamb. The heavenly Jerusalem, the seat of the abode of the redeemed in the new order is also likened to a bride. One wonders if John means to identify the heavenly Jerusalem with God’s redeemed people, even as the church is likened to the temple of God in the New Testament (1 Cor. 3:16; Eph. 2:21). If so, the details of the description of the holy city are altogether symbolic terms in describing the redeemed church.” George Eldon Ladd, A Commentary on the Revelation of John, 276-277.
16. One can see some of these coins at http://www.amuseum.org/book/page15.html, or just google “Judea Capta coins.”
17. The NASB and NRSV have the word “earth” instead of “land” in Zephaniah 1. If you look at the context of chapter 1, however, it is talking about the judgment of Judah and Jerusalem on the day of the Lord (v. 4). I thus think the NKJV’s translation of “land” (of Israel) being burnt up is the correct one. The NKJV, NASB, and NRSV all agree that in Joel 2 (v. 3) it is the land of Israel that would be burnt up on the day of the Lord.
18. New Jerusalem is not a physical city. It is not a giant cube in the sky that God’s people live in (its length, breadth, and height are all said to be equal, Rev. 21:16); rather, it is a symbol of the totality of God’s faithful old and new covenant people (Rev. 21:12-14). That the New Jerusalem is cube-shaped is symbolic; the “city” is in the shape of a cube just as the holy of holies in the Temple was cube-shaped (1 Kings 6:20). The New Jerusalem is shaped like the holy of holies to symbolize that God’s presence dwells there (Rev. 21:1-3). The New Jerusalem is the Jerusalem that nothing unclean would enter after Jesus’ parousia (Rev. 21:27; 22:14-15). This is the Jerusalem whose walls would be called “Salvation” and her gates “Praise” (Is. 60:18). This is the Jerusalem that is the “mother” of those who are part of the new covenant (Gal. 4:26; cf. Is. 66:7-13). This is the Jerusalem that her sons and daughters (which would include Gentiles) would be gathered to on the ultimate day of the Lord (Is. 60; 66). This is the Jerusalem that God would be a wall of fire around (Zech. 2:4-5). This was the Jerusalem that no foreigner or anybody who was not holy would ever set foot in again (Joel 3: 17; Zech. 14:20-21; Rev. 21:9-10, 23-27). For a discussion of the concept of the New Jerusalem as a symbol of God’s people see Robert H. Gundry, “The New Jerusalem: People as Place, not Place for People,” Novum Testamentum XXIX, 3 (1987), 257.
19. I believe that Jesus’ reference to one being taken from Jerusalem and one left in Matthew 24:36-44 alludes to the reference to half taken and half left in Zechariah 14:2. The half left refers to the remnant who are left in the New Jerusalem.
20. This discussion brings up an important principle of hermeneutics: the NT is the final interpreter and authority on the meaning of a given OT passage. One has to integrate the NT in one’s interpretation of the OT. Dispensationalists are notorious for ignoring this principle. Too often it conflicts with their literal physical interpretations of Scripture. Dispensationalists usually say that Zechariah 14 is talking about physical changes in geography that will happen in earthly Jerusalem at some time in the future (e.g., the Mount of Olives split in two in v. 4; a life-giving river in v. 8). They see this as the time of the millennium, a time when Jesus will literally sit on David’s throne and physically rule over the world from Israel.
21. Gary DeMar, Last Days Madness: Obsession of the Modern Church, 4th ed., 441.
22. This is not teaching any kind of universalism. While the whole world became the kingdom of God at AD 70 (Dan. 7:21-27; Rev. 11:15-18) everybody is not part of the kingdom. In the first century, Rome ruled most of the then known world. Just because a person lived in the Roman Empire, however, did not mean he was necessarily a citizen of the Roman kingdom; indeed most were not. The citizens of the kingdom of God are those who are part of the New Jerusalem bride. These are the ones with access to the tree and water of life (Rev. 22:1-3, 14-15). To be a citizen of the kingdom of God one must come to the Lord (Rev. 22:17).
23. Matthew Henry, "Commentary on Zechariah 14," Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible Crosswalk.com, http://bible.crosswalk.com/Commentaries/MatthewHenryComplete/mhc-com.cgi....

Chapter VIII: The Day of the Lord in the New Testament

1. See R. C. Sproul, The Last Days According to Jesus, pp. 103-104 for the many variations on the phrase the day of the Lord (e.g., the day of Christ, the day of the Lord Jesus, the day of God, etc.).
2. Most of Paul’s letters begin with some form of the following: “Grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 1:7; cf. 1 Cor. 1:9; 2 Cor. 2:2; Gal. 1:3; Eph. 1:2-3, etc.). This conveys a sense of equivalence yet distinction between God the Father and the Lord Jesus (cf. Heb. 1:1-12).
3. N. T. Wright, Jesus and the Victory of God, Christian Origins and the Question of God, vol. 2, 321. Wright is quoting himself here from his book The New Testament and the People of God, 333.
4. When Jesus spoke of these things and his coming at the end of the old covenant age, his disciples were shocked. They asked him where these horrible events that those in Judea were to flee from (Matt. 24:28) were to happen. They certainly could not happen in the holy city of Jerusalem--could they? In answer to this, Jesus told the disciples that where the corpse was would be where the eagles gathered (Luke 17:20-37 NASB). Jerusalem and her Temple became like a dead body (i.e., devoid of the Spirit) after rejecting Jesus (Matt. 23:37-38). With the Jewish war of AD 67-70 the Roman eagles (on their standards) were indeed gathered around the lifeless city (cf. Matt. 21:33-43; 22:1-14; Rev. 11:1-2).
5. Kenneth L. Gentry, Perilous Times: A Study in Eschatological Evil, 88-91. Elsewhere Gentry emphasizes that he sees the AD 70 coming of Jesus as metaphorical not literal:
To clear the record, orthodox preterists do not believe that Jesus literally came in A.D. 70. References to his judgment coming upon the Jews are metaphorical statements, apocalyptic images of divine wrath poured out in history, no more literal than God's coming against Egypt in Isaiah 19:1. Ken Gentry, “The Historical Problem with Hyper-Preterism,” When Shall These Things Be? A Reformed Response to Hyper-Preterism, ed. Keith A. Mathison (Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., 2004), 53.
I do not believe Jesus’ Second Advent at AD 70 was literal either (if by “literal” Gentry means physical); it was a spiritual coming. Gentry’s distinction between a metaphorical coming in Matthew 24:3-35 versus a literal coming in Matthew 24:36-25:46 creates as many problems as it solves. It would mean that the parousia/coming that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 24:27 was metaphorical, while the parousia/coming that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 24:37 and 39 was literal. I do not see Jesus making a distinction between two different kinds of parousiai in Matthew 24-25. The disciples asked about Jesus’ parousia (Matt. 24:3), not about his parousiai.
6. David Chilton (before he became a full preterist) tried to rationalize this in the following manner: [Rev. 11:18. is] “not the final judgment at the Last Day, but rather the historical vindication and avenging of the martyred saints, those who had suffered at the hands of ungodly Israel . . . .” (emphasis in original). David Chilton, The Days of Vengeance (Ft. Worth: Dominion Press, 1987), 291. Revelation 11:18 reads as follows: “The nations were angry and Your wrath has come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints, and those who fear Your name, small and great, and should destroy those who destroy the earth” [Gr. gē: land] cf. Lev. 18:24-30. The verse is clear; it is talking about the dead being judged at the AD 70 destruction of Israel. Chilton changed his position and recognized AD 70 as the time of the final advent and resurrection shortly before his untimely death in 1997. The judgment and resurrection of course continue past this time (past the fall of Babylon/Jerusalem) cf. Rev. 14:6-13.
7. Kenneth Gentry says the coming of Jesus in Revelation 19:11-21 is not the Second Advent but is Jesus' AD 70 judgment coming against Jerusalem. This is a common "orthodox" partial preterist teaching. In discussing Revelation 19 Gentry writes:
In conjunction with the marriage feast preparations, the bridegroom appears. In fact, his divorce and the capital punishment of his adulterous wife-prostitute [harlot Babylon in Rev. 17-18; cf. Ezek 16] provide the very justification for this celebration and new marriage (19:11-18). The lesson of Revelation now becomes clear: Christ gloriously appears as a warrior-bridegroom, punishing faithless Jerusalem and taking a new bride . . . Though the imagery of this passage [Rev. 19:11-21] suggest to many the Second Advent (and there certainly are many correspondences), it more likely refers to AD 70, which is a distant adumbration of the Second Advent. Actually Revelation 19 more fully explicates the theme John announces in 1:7, which itself originates in Christ teaching in Matt. 24:29-30. And remember: This judgment coming of Christ, mentioned in both Revelation and Matthew 24, are near in time to the original audiences (Matt. 24:34; Rev. 1:1, 3; 22:6, 10) . . . In Revelation 20:7-15 we witness the Second coming and final judgment. But since this is so distant from John’s day, he only quickly mentions them. Ken Gentry, “A Preterist View of Revelation” in Four Views on the Book of Revelation, ed. C. Marvin Pate (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1998), 81, 86.
I see the judgment of Gog and Magog in Revelation 20:7-10 (cf. Ezek. 38-39), but I do not see the Second Advent that Gentry claims is there.
8. Gary DeMar, Last Days Madness: Obsession of the Modern Church, 4th edition, 199-200.
9. David Chilton, “Looking for a New Heavens and a New Earth,” The Preterist Archive, http://www.preteristarchive.com/Preterism/chilton-david_p_02.html.
10. Josephus, The Jewish War, 3, 7, 1.
11. Boxal writes the following on Revelation 1:1: “The manner in which Jesus transmits the revelation is also significant for interpreters. Jesus made it known by signs: although the verb sēmainō can be simply translated ‘indicate’ or ‘make known’, it is related to the word for ‘sign’ (sēmeion). The choice of this verb should alert the reader to be attentive to the symbolic nature of the visions as they unfold (Beale [The Book of Revelation, The New International Greek Testament Commentary] 1999; 52).” Ian Boxall, The Revelation of Saint John, Black’s New Testament Commentaries, gen. ed. Morna D. Hooker (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2006), 25, emphasis in original.
12. In Deuteronomy 31 God told Moses the following about the future destruction of the children of Israel:
Behold, you will rest with your fathers; and this people will rise and play the harlot with the gods of the foreigners of the land, where they go to be among them, and they will forsake Me and break My covenant which I have made with them. Then My anger shall be aroused against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide My face from them, and they shall be devoured. And many evils and troubles shall befall them, so that they will say in that day, “Have not these evils come upon us because our God is not among us?”
Deuteronomy 31:16-17
This is what Revelation shows. Harlot Israel (Babylon) is devoured by the Roman beast, the Antichrist (Rev. 17:16). The harlot is dressed in the clothes of the high priest (Rev. 17:3-6). Her merchandise is the merchandise of the Temple and its sacrifices (Rev. 18:11-13). This is drawn from Ezekiel 16 where Jerusalem is portrayed as a harlot dressed in attire, and eating food associated with the tabernacle (Ezek. 16:9-14). In the sixth century BC Jerusalem’s lovers that she was playing the harlot with would turn on her and destroy her (Ezek. 16:37-43). This is exactly what Revelation 17-19 is showing. In the first century unfaithful Israel was playing the harlot with Rome. The Roman beast would turn on her and destroy her. The plagues of Babylon (pestilence, mourning, famine, and burning, Rev. 18:8 NASB) are exactly what happened to Jerusalem at AD 70.
13. This of course assumes Peter was the author of both 1 and 2 Peter.
14. I see the following sequence in Revelation. Revelation 17-18 shows the AD 70 destruction of harlot Jerusalem (cf. Ezek. 16:31-43) by the beast (the demonic ruler from the abyss that worked through Titus). Revelation 19:1-9 shows the rejoicing of God’s people at this time as the marriage of the Lamb has come (cf. Matt. 22:1-10). Revelation 19:11-21 shows the Second Advent as Jesus defeats the beast and then the saints inherit the kingdom of God in Revelation 20 (cf. Dan. 7:21-27). As I discussed in my examination of Daniel 7, Revelation 20:1-6 and 11-15 form one judgment (not two) that takes place at the AD 70 beginning of the millennium (cf. Dan. 7:7-11; Matt. 25:31-46). Revelation 20:7-10 is a prophecy of what will happen at the end of the millennium; it is the only place in Revelation that talks about the distant future. The new heaven and new earth with its New Jerusalem bride coming to earth (Rev. 21:1-2, 9-10) returns to the subject of the AD 70 marriage of God to his people (Rev. 19:1-9). It thus speaks of the full establishment of new covenant order at the destruction of God’s rebellious old covenant people (cf. Is. 65:1-17). The old covenant heaven and earth flee at the time that the new covenant heaven and earth are established (cf. Heb. 8:13). This was the spiritual regeneration of this world that was to happen at the judgment of Israel (Matt. 19:28). It was the time that the kingdom of this world became the kingdom of God at the destruction of those who were destroying the Land (Luke 22:28-30; Rev. 11:15-18).
15. Roy Edmund Hayden, footnotes on Jeremiah 4:23, 25 in the Spirit Filled Life Bible: New King James Version, eds. Jack Hayford, Sam Middlebrook, and Jerry Horner (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1991), 1062.
16. That the New Jerusalem is both the new covenant mother of Jesus (Rev. 12:1-5) and at the same time his wife (Rev. 21:9-10) is not inconsistent; rather it is an example of the fluidity of apocalyptic images as well as the fact that Jesus is both God and man (cf. Matt. 22:41-46). Ian Boxal writes the following on this:
Heaven and earth are not the only things to be renewed, however [in Rev. 21]. [In Revelation 21:2] John also sees the holy city, a new Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God. Isaiah 65:17-18 had linked the new heavens and new earth with the re-creation of Jerusalem, and Revelation picks up on this link. But this is not a totally new city, although it appears utterly renewed and purged of anything that might threaten its purity. We have come across this city before. The holy city or ‘beloved city’ has been a symbol for the faithful Church, particularly in its precarious state of being attacked by enemies (Rev. 11:2; 20:9). Furthermore, following ancient conventional language, the city is also a woman, prepared like a bride dressed for her husband (like Isaiah’s Jerusalem: Isa. 49:18; 52:1; 61:10), the Lamb’s bride whose wedding day was announced at 19:7-8. She is also, almost certainly, the woman clothed with the sun, the symbol of God’s people who gave birth to the male child and was then rescued from the clutches of the dragon (12:1-6). In the fluid symbolism of the Apocalypse, Mother Zion has returned to marry one of her own: Isaiah has provided the precedent for this mother to marry her sons, and for God to rejoice over Jerusalem the bride (Isa. 62:5). Literally, this would represent the most perverse kind of incest; understood apocalyptically, it proclaims the most intimate of relationships between God in Christ, God’s people, and the community of which they are part (emphasis in original). Ian Boxall, The Revelation of Saint John, 294.
As man, Jesus was the firstborn of the New Jerusalem mother (Rev. 12:1-5; cf. Is. 66:7; Rev. 1:5). As God, Jesus is the Husband of the New Jerusalem bride (Rev. 21:1-2, 9-10; cf. Is. 54:5-6; Hosea 2:14-23). Both of these pictures of the New Jerusalem speak of God’s new covenant people; they do not refer to a literal city (cf. Heb. 12:18-24).
17. The creation of a new heaven and earth in Isaiah 65-66 speaks of the creation of a new covenant and a new people (cf. 1 Pet. 2:4-10); it is the same in 2 Peter 3 and Revelation 21-22.
18. I need to say something about the date of Revelation here. I hold to the early date of writing for Revelation, that it was written around AD 65 during the reign of Nero. The more common view that Revelation was written around AD 95 toward the end of Domitian’s reign (AD 81-96) does not fit what the book says about itself in terms of when it was written. In Revelation 17:10 we are told that the seven heads of the beast are seven kings, and that “five have fallen, one is . . . .” Thus, Revelation was written under the sixth king of Rome. The first twelve Caesars are: (1) Julius, (2) Augustus, (3) Tiberius, (4) Caligula, (5) Claudius, (6) Nero, (7) Galba, (8) Otho, (9) Vitellius, (10) Vespasian, (11) Titus, and (12) Domitian. The statement that five have fallen one is fits the date of Nero’s reign (AD 54-68) quite well. The latest one can legitimately make five have fallen one is fit would be to start the count with Augustus (using the argument that Julius was a dictator not an emperor) and leave out the short-lived rulers (Galba, Otho, and Vitellius). Even doing this puts the writing of Revelation during the reign of Vespasian (AD 69-79) well before the end of Domitian’s reign.
19. Jesus’ comment “For if they do these things in the green wood, what will be done in the dry?” (Luke 23:31) is a reference to the tree of Israel. The reference to the green wood vs. the dry wood contains an allusion to water as a symbol of God’s Spirit (cf. John 7:37-39). If Israel killed her Messiah when she had access to God’s Spirit (symbolized by water, thus the green wood) imagine how evil she would become when the influence of the Spirit was removed, when the wood was dry (cf. Matt. 23:37-38).
20. Josephus, The Jewish War, 6, 7, 3, trans. Gaalya Cornfeld, 435. Also see The Jewish War, 6, 9, 3; 7, 2, 2. Also see Joachim Jeremias, Jerusalem in the Time of Jesus, trans. F. H. and C. H. Cave (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1975, copyright SCM Press 1969), 15.
21. G. K. Beale, The Book of Revelation, 839.
22. Ibid. 840-841.
23. David Chilton, The Days of Vengeance, 412.
24. Arthur M. Ogden, The Avenging of the Apostles and Prophets: Commentary on Revelation, 2nd ed. (Somerset, KY: Ogden Publications, 1991), 320. Suetonius said that Vespasian consulted the oracle of the god of Carmel when he and Titus came to Judea (The Twelve Caesars, Vespasian 5).
25. David E. Aune, Revelation 6-16, Word Bible Commentary vol. 52b, eds. Bruce Metzger, David Hubbard and Glen Barker, NT ed. Ralph Martin (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1998), 898. Whether the Legio in the great plain was in existence in AD 70 I don’t know. Even if it was not, the point remains that Megiddo was a natural gathering place and route for the final siege of Jerusalem in AD 70.
26. Ladd, Revelation, 136
27. Moses Stuart, A Commentary on the Apocalypse, vol. II (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2001; previously published by Andover: Allen, Morrill and Wardwell, 1845), 195.
28. Beale, The Book of Revelation, 838.
29. Revelation 20:7-10 is an exception to this. I see the final demise of Satan as still future to us.
30. I concur with Robinson’s pre-AD 70 date for the epistles of John as well as the rest of the NT. Robinson gives an approximate date for the epistles of John as 60-65 AD. John A. T. Robinson, Redating the New Testament, 352. For an extended discussion see 254-311 of that work.

Chapter IX: The Man of Lawlessness (2 Thessalonians 2)

1. Beale has the following comments on why he thinks man of lawlessness is the original designation for the opponent of Christ in 2 Thessalonians 2: “Some good manuscripts, as well as the majority, have ‘man of sin’ instead of man of lawlessness. The latter reading is also attested by quality witnesses and is more probable for at least two reasons: (1) lawlessness (anomia) is relatively rare in Paul (five times outside of 2 Thess 2), so a scribe more likely would have changed an original lawlessness to ‘sin’ than vice versa; (2) reference to the mystery of lawlessness in 2:7 appears to presuppose an earlier mention of lawlessness.” G. K. Beale, 1-2 Thessalonians, The IVP New Testament Commentary Series, series editor Grant R. Osborne (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarstiy Press, 2003), 204, footnote.
2. F. F. Bruce, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, Word Bible Commentary, vol. 45, gen. eds. Bruce Metzger, David Hubbard, and Glenn Barker, N.T. ed. Ralph P. Martin (Waco, TX: Word Books, 1982), xxxiv-xxxv.
3. See Charles A. Wanamaker, The Epistles to the Thessalonians: A Commentary on the Greek Text, 17-28.
4. Bruce, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, 152.
5. G. K. Beale, 1-2 Thessalonians, 189.
6. Tacitus, Histories, Book 1, 11.
7. Josephus, The Jewish War, 6, 5, 2, trans. Gaalya Cornfeld, 424.
8. Beale, 1-2 Thessalonians, 142-43, footnote.
9. Kenneth Wellesley, Tacitus: The Histories (New York: Penguin Books, 1975), 9-10.
10. Jerusalem became a dead body--a corpse--when God’s Spirit left her after she rejected Jesus (Matt. 23:37-38). Just as the body without the spirit is dead (James 2:26), so Jerusalem was dead without God’s Spirit.
11. Josephus, The Jewish War, 6, 9, 3, trans. Gaalya Cornfeld, 450.
12. This probably has the dual connotation that he would be one who destroys (Dan. 11:44) and be one who would be destroyed (Dan. 11:45; cf. Rev. 17:11).
13. It should be noted that the partial preterist distinction between the great tribulation (which they say happened at AD 70) and the resurrection (which they say occurs at a future final advent) does not hold up to scrutiny. Daniel 12:1-2 depicts the two events as occurring sequentially; the resurrection happened at AD 70 right after the great tribulation. The resurrection, of course, continues from that time for those who are in Christ. It is therefore more correct to say that the resurrection began at AD 70.
14. In his teaching on Daniel 11:36-12:13, Paul is not reinterpreting a second-century BC event to describe what he was expecting in the first century (unless one wants to say the resurrection happened in the second century BC; Dan. 12:2). In 2 Thessalonians 2, Paul was elaborating on the soon-coming fulfillment of Daniel 11:36-12:13.
15. Beale, 1-2 Thessalonians, 206.
16. Some try to connect this with the transfiguration. To say only some would be alive for the coming that Jesus was talking about does not fit the transfiguration, however; it would happen a mere six days later. Moreover, the transfiguration was not the time when Jesus came with the angels and rewarded each man according to their works. That is a reference to the judgment at the end of the old covenant age (cf. Dan. 12:1-3; cf. James 5:7-9), not the transfiguration. Jesus was saying that this judgment would happen in the lifetime of some of his hearers (cf. Rev. 22:10-12).
17. The Greek word that Paul uses for the “falling away” in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 is apostasia; it is the same word that Josephus uses for the Great Revolt of the Jews in AD 66. I discuss this in greater detail later in the chapter.
18. W. E. Vine with C. F. Hogg, Vine’s Expository Commentary on 1 & 2 Thessalonians, 182-183.
19. R. C. Sproul, The Last Days According to Jesus, 179.
20. See Wanamaker, The Epistles to the Thessalonians, 240.
21. D. Michael Martin, 1, 2 Thessalonians, The New American Commentary, vol. 33, eds. E. Ray Clendenen and David S. Dockery (Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 1995), 227-229.
22. Josephus recorded an incident during the administration of Pontius Pilate (AD 26-36) that showed the Jews were ready to die to keep the Roman standards out of Jerusalem (Josephus, The Jewish War, 2, 9, 2). How much more violently would they react to a usurper being worshiped in the Temple?
23. Josephus, The Life of Flavius Josephus (Vita), 4 & 10.
24. Kenneth Gentry, Perilous Times: A Study in Eschatological Evil, 103-104.
25. D. Michael Martin, 1, 2 Thessalonians, 232.
26. Josephus, The Jewish War, 6, 6, 1.
27. Gentry, Perilous Times, 107.
28. Ibid., 107-110. While making the case that Nero was worshiped in Rome and Greece, Gentry can give no support to his contention that Nero had the intention to be worshiped in the Temple at Jerusalem. Gentry has to admit that Titus was the only Roman leader who was actually worshiped in the Temple (p. 110).
29. The beast faced Jesus at his coming in AD 70 (Rev. 19:11-21). Gentry would agree with me on the AD 70 timing although he would say it was merely a coming of Jesus in judgment on Israel at that time, not the Second Advent. The problem for Gentry is that Nero died in mid-AD 68, making him dead for over two years by the time of Jesus’ AD 70 coming (whatever coming one wants to say that was). Given this fact, how could Nero be the beast (or the man of lawlessness) that faced Jesus at this AD 70 coming?
30. Gentry, Perilous Times, 110.
31. Beale, 1-2 Thessalonians, 209-210.
32. Ibid., 207-208.
33. D. Michael Martin, 1, 2 Thessalonians, 236.
34. Josephus, The Jewish War, 6, 6, 6 (!), trans. Gaalya Cornfeld, 429.
35. James Yates, “Signa Militaria” in A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, 1875, ed. William Smith, Bill Thayer’s Website, LacusCurtius, http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/secondary/SMIGRA*/Sign....
36. Michael Grant, The Twelve Caesars, 229.
37. Titus’ liaison to the Jews during the Jewish war, Josephus’ mission had been to convince the Jews to submit to Rome. If it was admitted that Titus had deliberately profaned and destroyed the Temple, Josephus would be even more loathed in the eyes of his fellow countrymen than he already was. Josephus, besides needing to please his financial backers (Vespasian and Titus), was attempting damage control in his writings to help his reputation with his fellow Jews and posterity.
38. Dio Cassius, Roman History, 15, 6, 2, Dio’s Roman History, vol. VIII, trans. Earnest Cary, 269.
39. In the original, it says Titus “thought that he had slain himself,” but the translator notes that this is a euphemism by the writers for claiming he had killed God. The blasphemy attributed to Titus was so repugnant that the Talmud writers dared not repeat it directly. Similarly, the sin that Titus committed with the harlot is not named (although it is clear what it was) because it was too blasphemous.
40. Hebrew-English Edition of the Babylonian Talmud, Gittin 56a, trans. Maurice Simon. Some parts of this section are clearly mythical. For example, the narrative goes on to say that Titus was killed by a gnat that bored into his brain, which is not how he died. Even though this section of the Talmud contains mythical elements, the part about Titus’ blasphemous attitude against God when he captured the Temple is consistent with Titus’ egotistical nature.
41. Russell P. Spittler, footnote on 2 Thessalonians 2:6-7 in the Spirit Filled Life Bible: New King James Version, 1836.
42. Beale, 1-2 Thessalonians, 216-217.
43. Wanamaker, The Epistles to the Thessalonians, 258.
44. W. E. Vine, An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, with Their Precise Meanings for English Readers (pp. 5-6, under the word “abolish”) in An Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words.
45. W. E. Vine with C. F. Hogg, Vine’s Expository Commentary on 1 & 2 Thessalonians, 191.
46. Tacitus, The Histories, 1,10, trans. Kenneth Wellesley, 27.
47. F. F. Bruce, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, 173.
48. Suetonius, The Twelve Caesars, rev. ed. Vespasian, 7, trans. Robert Graves (New York: Penguin Books, 1986), 284.
49. Tacitus, The Histories, 1, 10, trans. Kenneth Wellesley, 263-264.
50. Kenneth Wellesley, Tacitus: The Histories, 264, footnote 2.
51. Josephus, The Jewish War, 5, 9, 4, trans. Gaalya Cornfeld, 385-386.
52. Suetonius, The Flavian Emperors: A Historical Commentary, The Deified Titus 3, trans. Robert Milns, Brian Jones, and Robert Milns (London: Bristol Classical Press, 2002), 23.
53. Suetonius, The Twelve Caesars, rev. ed. Titus, 7, trans. Robert Graves, 295.
54. Ibid., Titus 8, 296.
55. Ibid., Titus 10, 297-298.
56. Ibid., Titus 10, 298.
57. Gentry, Perilous Times, 101.
58. R.T. France, The Gospel of Matthew, 891. Like Gentry, France looks for a future final advent of Jesus.
59. D. Michael Martin, 1, 2 Thessalonians, 155. It should be noted that Martin is a futurist, not a preterist, and thus looks for the gathering of God’s people to happen in the future.
60. Gentry, Perilous Times, 100-102.
61. Don Preston, “The Second Coming: Why We Should Still Be Waiting – A Response to Dr. Russ Jurek (Part 3),” http://planetpreterist.com/news-2554.html.
62. Beale, 1-2 Thessalonians, 137.
63. See Don Preston, The Elements Shall Melt with Fervent Heat: A Study of 2 Peter 3, 218-219.
64. The resurrection has been a continuing process since AD 70, as believers in Jesus receive their resurrection bodies upon their deaths. Heaven is no longer populated with souls awaiting the resurrection (as was the situation during the period of AD 30-70; cf. Rev. 6:9-11).
65. See Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43, for more symbolic representations of this AD 70 end of the age gathering.
66. Mounce gives the following reference on this: “In the Itinerarium of Antonius, Palestine was said to be 1664 stadia from Tyre to El-Arish (on the borders of Egypt).” Robert H. Mounce, The Book of Revelation, rev. ed., 281 footnote.
67. George Eldon Ladd, A Commentary on the Revelation of John, 202.
68. G. B. Caird, The Revelation of Saint John, Black’s New Testament Commentary, ed. Henry Chadwick (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1966), 195. I disagree with the rest of Caird’s analysis of Revelation 14. He argues that both gatherings in the chapter are of the elect (pp. 191-193).
69. James Stuart Russell, The Parousia, preface to the new edition. See also pp. 165-169. Russell proposed that those Christians who were ready for Christ’s return were raptured physically in AD 70. Russell cites the parable of the ten virgins (Matt. 25:1-13) to support his contention that only those Christians who were ready at Christ’s coming were taken. I disagree with Russell’s interpretation of this parable; Jesus told the five foolish virgins that he did not know them, not that they could come to the wedding feast later when they were ready. If a physical rapture did happen in AD 70, I would expect all living Christians to have been raptured at that time, not just those who were “ready.” We strongly doubt that a literal physical rapture happened at AD 70, however. Either way, the important point is that Jesus said this gathering, whatever it entailed, was to happen before the generation listening to him had passed away.
70. Edward Stevens, Expectations Demand a Rapture (Bradford, PA: International Preterist Association, 2002). Stevens differs from Russell in that he is a full preterist (i.e., Stevens believes all prophecy was fulfilled by AD 70). Stevens makes at least two changes to Russell’s rapture position. The first is that he believes all true Christians were taken in the rapture. The other change that Stevens makes is extending the range of the parousia from AD 70 to AD 66-70, making it a three-year-long event.
71. Ian D. Harding, Taken to Heaven in AD 70 (Bradford, PA: International Preterist Association, 2005).
72. R. C. Sproul, The Last Days According to Jesus, 156-158.
73. I am not sure what verses Dr. Sproul thinks refer to the “consummation of the kingdom”; I would guess he means Revelation 20:11-15. I see Rev. 20:4, 11-12 as forming one throne scene, not two (cf. Dan. 7:9-10). I thus see the consummation of the kingdom as being the future end of evil that Revelation 20:7-10 shows. As I mentioned in chapter IV, Revelation 20:4 and 20:11-15 are usually considered to make up two throne scenes—one at the beginning of the millennial reign (Rev. 20:4) and one at the end (Rev. 20:11-15). Daniel 7, however, depicts all five of the elements found in Revelation 20:4 and 20:11-15 (thrones put in place, God takes his throne, the dead standing before the throne, books opened, as the judgment begins) as happening in one throne scene at the beginning of the saints’ possession of the kingdom. The judgment was to begin at the beginning of the full establishment of the kingdom (Matt. 16:27-28; 25:31-46; cf. James 5:7-9; Rev. 22:12). Thus, I see the consummation of the kingdom as not shown in Revelation 20:11-15, but in vv 7-10 (which is a parenthetical digression of the final demise of Satan at the end of the millennium).
74. G. R. Beasley-Murray, The Book of Revelation, The New Century Bible Commentary, eds. Ronald Clements and Matthew Black (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1981), 315.
75. David Chilton, The Days of Vengeance, 424.
76. See my article “The Merchandise of Babylon,” The Antichrist and the Second Coming http://sites.google.com/site/antichristandthesecondcoming/the-merchandis....
77. That the NASB’s translation of mellei as “about to” come is correct is confirmed by the context; we are told that there was only the short rule of one king between the then ruling king (when Revelation was written) and the soon-coming individual beast (Rev. 17:8-11). It should be remembered that kings were coming and going at quite a fast pace during this time; AD 69 was the year of four emperors. The demonic beast was about to come out of the abyss in the first century, not some two thousand years in the future (cf. 1 John 2:18).
78. I agree with dispensationalists that the Gog and Magog invasion (which will involve Russia, Iran, Libya and others) will happen in the not too distant future (cf. Ezek. 38-39). I disagree with them on where this invasion fits in the prophetic timetable, however. The Gog and Magog invasion happens at the end of the millennium (Rev. 20:7-10). Because this does not fit the dispensationalist framework, they have to hypothesize two Gog and Magog invasions, one right before the beginning of the millennium and one at its end!
79. George Eldon Ladd , A Theology of the New Testament, Revised Edition, Donald A. Hagner, Ed. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1993, reprinted 2002), 597.

ThomasS's picture

Thanks! Very nice!!

Regards

Th.S.

Recent comments

Poll

Should we allow Anonymous users to comment on Planet Preterist articles?
Yes absolutely
23%
No only registered users should comment
77%
What are you talking about?
0%
Total votes: 43