Premillennialism in the Book of Daniel -- By: Kenneth L. Barker

Journal: Masters Seminary Journal
Volume: TMSJ 04:1 (Spring 1993)
Article: Premillennialism in the Book of Daniel
Author: Kenneth L. Barker


Premillennialism in the Book of Daniel

Kenneth L. Barker1

Among six passages in Daniel that pertain to a promised future kingdom, three are most relevant to premillennialism: 2:31–45; 7:1–27; 9:24–27. By means of Daniels interpretation of Nebuchadnezzars dream-vision of a statue, 2:31–45 prophesies about five kingdoms that will appear in sequence, the last of which comes in the form of a Messianic stone that will crush the ones before it and and fill the whole earth. Daniel 7:1–27 covers the same ground from a different perspective. Here Daniel receives a two-part vision, the former part including four beasts that represent kingdoms and the latter, the Ancient of Days and the Messianic Son of Man. Subsequent interpretation details the Son of Mans subjugation of these kingdoms to Himself after a period of tribulation. The prophecy of the seventyweeks in 9:24–27 supplies additional data regarding a premillennial return of the Messianic ruler to set up an earthly kingdom. These data include such things as the time-frame of the Messianic rulers first and second advents and the purposes of the two advents. All three passages correlate most easily with what is taught throughout Scripture about a premillennial return of Christ.

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Theme, Scope, and Hermeneutical Approach

This article is an overview of evidence for premillennialism in the Book of Daniel, a key verse of which is Dan 2:44: “In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever.”2 The article could just as appropriately have been entitled “The Most High God Is Sovereign,” for the Lord rules “over the kingdoms of men” (Dan 5:21; cf. 4:17, 25, 32). Indeed, “the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ” (Rev 11:15; cf. Ps 2:2) is the central focus of biblical theology.

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