Daniel - Lesson 18
Gabriel Explains the Vision
As Daniel is reading Jeremiah and praying, the angel Gabriel appears to Daniel to explain the vision to him. The numbers in the vision are symbolic but demonstrate that God has a plan and a time frame to accomplish it.
Gabriel Explains the Vision
I. Daniel is highly esteemed
II. Seventy Sevens
A. Numbers in prophecy are often symbolic
B. Jubilee years
C. Beginning of a process
D. Six things that take place during the seventy sevens
E. Description of different time periods
Join distinguished scholar and professor emeritus Dr. Tremper Longman for a study of the book of Daniel, a fascinating and inspiring part of the Bible. In this class, you'll explore six stories and four apocalyptic visions that all demonstrate God's control and ultimate victory, even in the face of evil and difficulty. Don't miss this opportunity to be encouraged and strengthened in your faith as you study the powerful messages of the book of Daniel with Dr. Longman.
Daniel is written in two parts. The first six chapters is history written in the form of a story. Chapters seven through twelve are apocalyptic literature. In the English Bible, it’s with the major prophets. In the Hebrew Bible it’s in the Writings. The Apocalyptic section has similarities to the book of Revelation. One of the main messages in the book of Daniel is that even if you are living in a culture that is toxic to your faith, living by faith can help you not only survive, but thrive.
By the time Daniel was written, the nation of the Jewish people was divided into the tribes of Israel in the north and Judah in the south. Assyria conquered Israel in 722 BC. Babylon overthrew Assyria in 612 BC then Judah in 605 BC. Daniel. Daniel and others were taken to Babylon and chosen to be trained as royal advisors.
Daniel and his friends were willing to learn the language, literature and divination practices of the Babylonians even though it was potentially toxic to their faith. They temporarily chose to eat vegetables and water rather than the food and wine that the other officials in training were eating. The performed at the top of their class.
Nebuchadnezzar summoned the royal magicians and sorcerers and required them to tell him what his dream was and give him an interpretation of the dream. Daniel is able to do this because of the wisdom God gives him.
Daniel reveals the dream and the interpretation because God revealed it to him. The parts of the statue represent different worldly kingdoms. The stone that crushes the statue represents God’s rule over the kingdoms. Nebuchadnezzar recognizes Yahweh as being powerful.
Daniel and his friends were thrown into a fiery furnace as punishment for not worshipping an image of Nebuchadnezzar. God miraculously saved them and Nebuchadnezzar promoted them to positions in the royal court.
This is a story of a contest between Daniel and his friends and the Babylonian wise men. A major theme is the pride of Nebuchadnezzar and how that affects the outcome. Some of the story is narrated in by Nebuchadnezzar in the first person. Nebuchadnezzar has a dream. The Babylonian wise men don’t give him an interpretation, but Daniel does. Nebuchadnezzar experienced judgment but God restores him.
As we read and study the Old Testament, we can gain insights into redemptive history and see examples of how we should live. It can sometimes be a challenge to determine the continuity or discontinuity of a passage. A major theme in Daniel 4 and throughout the Bible is how pride can hinder your relationship with God.
Belshazzar was a ruler in Babylon after Nebuchadnezzar died. During a banquet he hosted, he used the goblets from the temple in Jerusalem for his guests to drink out of. In the middle of a banquet, a hand appeared and wrote a message on the wall. Belshazzar called Daniel to interpret the message.
When Darius gave Daniel a position of authority in his government, the administrators underneath him were jealous. They devised a plan to trap Daniel and force Darius to execute him. God rescued Daniel and the administrators suffered the fate that they had planned for Daniel. The story shows that in spite of present difficulties, God is in control and it’s important to live a life that is faithful to him.
Daniel had a vision of four beasts that were frightening in appearance. An angel explained the significance of the beasts in terms of historical kingdoms but didn’t say specifically which ones.
Daniel and Jeremiah both had messages from God but the way God communicated to each of them was different. The word “apocalypse” comes from the first word in Greek in the book of Revelation which means to reveal or uncover something. Some characteristics of apocalyptic literature are visions, dreams, a binary point of view, highly figurative language and the theme of hope based in confidence in God’s control over people and events that seem chaotic and overwhelming.
- In this lesson, you gain a deeper understanding of the book of Daniel, focusing on its themes, historical context, and preparation for spiritual battles in a challenging cultural environment.
- You gain a deeper understanding of the Book of Daniel, its historical context, literary features, key themes, and significance within the Old Testament, while focusing on God's warfare against evil.
John the Baptist described Jesus coming as a warrior but the ministry of Jesus was different than what he expected. Since we live in phase 4, God gives us the power to fight spiritual battles. The God who led the people of Israel into battle in the Old Testament is the same God described in the New Testament who came as God in human form as Jesus.
The vision in Daniel 8 describes animals that represent kingdoms and individuals. While Daniel was seeing the vision, Gabriel came and explained its meaning. Antiochus Epiphanes fits the description of one of the horns in the vision. His persecution of the people of Israel and his desecration of the temple is similar to the way the anti-Christ is described in Revelation.
As Daniel is reading Scripture, he comes to the realization that what he is reading in the book of Jeremiah may actually be taking place at the time. His response is to begin by praying. He includes himself in confessing the sins of the people of Israel and appeals for God to rescue them from exile.
As Daniel is reading Jeremiah and praying, the angel Gabriel appears to Daniel to explain the vision to him. The numbers in the vision are symbolic but demonstrate that God has a plan and a time frame to accomplish it.
The final of Daniel’s four visions described in chapters 10-12. There is an introduction to the vision, description of the vision and instructions to Daniel. The answer to Daniel’s prayer was delayed because of spiritual warfare.
This vision covers the events surrounding the Persian and Greek rulers in the 3rd and 4th century BC. They are described in such detail that some people think it was written after they took place, not as a prophecy.
The righteous and the wicked have different fates in the after-life. Throughout Scripture there is progress of revelation. God is in control and he will be victorious. The prophecy that God gave Daniel describes events that will happen in the future. Celestial sources give final words to Daniel that are also addressed to readers of the book of Daniel. A theme that is emphasized throughout the book of Daniel is, in spite of present difficulties, God is in control and he will have the final victory. This is illustrated both in the stories of Daniel and his friends and in the visions of future events that Daniel has.
Daniel informs the imagery and message of the book of Revelation. They are the two books of the Bible with primarily apocalyptic themes. Daniel’s encounter with God and angels is similar to what John records in Revelation. Daniel is commanded to seal his prophecy and in Revelation, the seals are opened. The references Revelation to the beasts and three and a half years is also similar to Daniel.
Living in a toxic culture can be dangerous and risky, but when you live by faith, God can give you opportunities to thrive, succeed and be a testimony to God's power and love for people. A primary message of the prophecies of Daniel is that in spite of present difficulties, God is in control and he will have the final victory. God has not provided us with a precise date on the calendar for when that will happen, but he will accomplish his plan on his timetable.
Dr. Tremper Longman III
Gabriel Explains the Vision
Tremper Longman III [00:00:00] As we continue to take a look at chapter nine, the first part of Chapter nine, as Daniel is reading Jeremiah, he comes across references to the 70 year exile and that takes him to prayer because he has a sense that perhaps we're at the end of this period of time. And so he prays a penitential prayer that begins with an invocation of the awesome God, the awesome and mighty God. And that leads them to a confession of the sin that led to the judgment that they were that they are presently experiencing in 9:11 through 14. He describes the punishment and acknowledges that it's a just and righteous one. But then he appeals to God for mercy in verses 15 to 19. And as we now come to the next section of Daniel nine 20 to 27, we see that even as he is still praying. An angel comes and speaks to him. And indeed, that angel is Gabriel, whom we've already encountered. The one angel that I suggested has a specialty in delivering messages from God. Says while I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people is real and making my request to the Lord my God for His holy hill. Holy hill, of course. A reference to Mt. Zion on which the temple is built. Back in Jerusalem, while I was still in prayer, Gabriel, the man I had seen in the earlier vision, came to me in Swift flight about the time of the evening's sacrifice. He instructed me and said to me, Daniel, I've now come to give you insight and understanding. As soon as you began to pray. A word went out, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed. Therefore, consider the word and understand the vision. So notice this reference to Daniel is highly esteemed. The Hebrew is based on the verb Hammad, which is best known in the 10th commandment. You must not Hammad, you must not covet. But this is an expression that shows that Daniel was somebody who was deeply esteemed, desired, loved by God and the heavenly powers. And so Gabriel's come to help him understand the significance of the 70 years. Now, as we enter into a discussion of Gabriel's understanding, I think it's really important to acknowledge that there are real difficulties here, that there are enigmatic statements, and particularly as you think about it from Daniel's perspective, how it might not have struck him as something that he could take and plot on a calendar. And I don't think that's what the intention is of this of this of this interpretation of the 70 years. I think there are certain things that are absolutely clear. I'll point those out. I will also make some suggestions that I think are correct. But we also just simply have to acknowledge that there are certain things in Scripture that are enigmatic and in this case, I think purposely so I think we have to tread carefully here. We may have different differences of opinion on the interpretation of this, but I will start with something I already said before, and I will come back and repeat in a summary statement after we've worked our way through the whole book of Daniel. And that is my belief that these types of references, these talking about numbers, that they are highly symbolic and their real purpose isn't to, as I say, allow you to put it on a calendar, but rather to say that God's in control and he has a determinate, determined end in mind, definite end in mind. But that but that, you know, just like with the seven years, I think that's part of the message by the way to Daniel is, well, do you think the 70 years are coming to an end? Well, it's going to be extended in an important sense, 70 times seven years. So I'll start by saying that, you know, and this in my mind also kind of highlights the symbolic nature of it, is that 70 sevens are associated with the whole idea of jubilee years that we talk about in Leviticus chapter 25, Leviticus 25, verse eight. Let me turn to that passage says Count off seven Sabbath years, seven times seven years, so that the seven Sabbath years amount to a period of 49 years. So the point I want to make here is that if 70 sevens denote jubilee. If seven sevens and Leviticus 25 or say led to a jubilee year and the 50th year then 70 sevens and Daniel 9:24 is a ten fold ultimate jubilee that it's pointing toward. Peter Gentry, who teaches at Southern Seminary, he puts it this way, quoting him, 70 sabbaticals or periods of seven years required to bring in the ultimate jubilee. And I think that's a good way of sort of framing what Gabriel is talking about here. So now turning back to Daniel nine, but let me read the whole passage and then come back and take a look at it in more detail. But I think it's helpful to have the whole passage in mind as we look at the verses. He says in verse 24, seventy sevens are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy place, know and understand this from the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed one, the ruler comes. There will be seven sevens and 62 sevens. It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench. But in times of trouble, after the 62 sevens, the anointed one will be put to death and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood. War will continue until the end and desolation is have been decreed. He will confirm a covenant with many for one 7 in the middle of the seven. He will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation until the end that is decreed is poured out on him. Gabriel's response to Daniel's prayer, clearly in my mind, suggests that the end of the 70 years will not be a definitive end of the exile, but rather a beginning of a process. I mean, we can't deny the fact that even in the year he is praying is the year that Cyrus issues the decree that we read about at the end of Chronicles or at the beginning of Ezra chapter one that allows Jews to return and rebuild the temple. But it's not a definitive end of the you know, of Judah, the people of God, being a vassal state of Persia. So I think the major import of Gabriel's words here is that the exile in a sense, is going to be extended beyond 70 years. But during this period of time, described as 77 of years, the following are going to happen. So you get this, first of all, kind of a general statement of what's going to happen during this entire period of time in verse 24 and then in verse 25 and following becomes even more complex in a sense. When Gabriel divides up this period of time into sort of subsections. But let's take a note here. Of the six things that take place during the 77. The first is finishing of transgression. The second is the end of San. The third is Atonement of the Wicked. Fourth bringing of everlasting righteousness. Five, sealing up a vision and prophecy and six anointing of the most holy. Now I'll come back and talk about different understandings of that. But the first to describe the end of sin. Now, one question is, is this the end of sin among God's people, or is that the end of sin for all people? I'm going to point out some questions that kind of remain in our minds. The third moves beyond the end of sin to God's act of removing the consequences of sin. And of course, that's the meaning of atonement. Atonement is a reconciliation after a fracture with God created by our sin. The English word can. I don't know whether there's a folk etymology or a true etymology. It doesn't make any difference to me. It's helpful to think about the concept at one moment. You know, the act of atonement brings a sinner back into relationship with God. So those first three kind of deal with negative things, right? Sin, transgression and well, it's not a negative thing. But then atonement is dealing with the effects of sin and transgression. So the next three interesting, interestingly enough, move beyond eradicating the negative to something more positive. So the completion of the 70 sevens will also see introduction of everlasting righteousness. Then we have the feeling of the prophetic word and vision. Now, feeling can mean different things in different contexts. One meaning of sealing is sort of sealing it away, sealing up a scroll, for instance, so you can't read it until it's unsealed. But there's another sense of sealing, which means authentication or, you know, and I think that's what it means here. I think here it means more likely the fulfillment of prophecy and vision. And in that sense, it may be referring to, you know, the fulfillment, the completion of Jeremiah's expectation of the end of of the exile. Now, the final six is where there is some disagreement about what it might mean, because is it talking as the and the translation suggests. To anoint the most holy place. In other words, the temple probably, or as many others think, particularly since we're going to be talking about an anointed one in the following paragraph, is it referring to a person rather than to a place? And so that's a matter of debate. My own feeling is that it likely is referring to a person rather than place. So and in support of that too. When you think about anointing, you do tend to think about people being anointed, right? Kings and priests get anointed cause Jesus is the ultimate king, the anointed one. And so that may be another reason to think that why I might be attracted to the idea that you have a person here. But I don't think the tabernacle or the temple was ever anointed or it isn't referred to in that way. So that's kind of a comments on verse 24. And as I say. The next few verses when Gabriel now sort of passes out different time periods within the 70 sevens, that's where it gets even a little bit more complex. So know and understand this from the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the anointed one, the ruler comes. There will be seven sevens and 62 sevens. It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. Okay, so how might we understand this? So it begins with the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem. Perhaps the most. Natural way to understand that decree is, again, the Cyrus decree that Cyrus says go back and rebuild the temple. Though there are other decrees issued by later Persian kings as well, including artists, including artist circuses, who decrees that as they go back and restore the law or that later Nehemiah goes back and rebuilds the walls. But maybe the best way of understanding this and notice that we're working from not from Daniel's perspective. I mean, Daniel's hearing this perhaps in the year that Cyrus issues the decree to go back and rebuild Jerusalem. We're looking at it from the perspective of the 21st century, reading it through the lens of the New Testament and even later Old Testament scripture that wasn't available to Daniel. But that's what we should do. And so perhaps one way of understanding this and again, in my opinion, this only works if you take these as symbolic numbers rather than literal numbers, is to think that the first seven is during this period of time, beginning with Cyrus and then encompassing the work of Ezra and Nehemiah at the end of the book at Nehemiah, there is this idea that that the work has been completed now. My is a fascinating book and many ways, but it's only after Ezra and they have Maya's completion of their projects that in Nehemiah chapter nine through 11, sorry, nine through 12 you have a covenant renewal, a kind of celebration of the completion of the work. So maybe that's the period of time that is meant by the first seven. It would be a period of time from 539 B.C. to approximately 444 B.C., which is not 49 years, not literally, but again, I'm taking these numbers symbolically. I should point out, it goes on to say, but in times of trouble. But in times of trouble. So. Now, Maya does not end with the 12th chapter. It's kind of this is what makes Nahum a fascinating book to me. It ends with chapter 13, which is after a period of time. Nehemiah, who had been serving as governor, the Persian governor of Judah during the time of the wall building and the covenant renewal gets called back to Persia for a period of time. But then in Nehemiah 13 he comes back again and what he finds disturbs him. And Chapter 13 is a series of complaints on Nehemiah's part as he sees people who have the priests have rented rooms to dubious characters. And so now Maya throws them out. They're violating the Sabbath and doing other things that show that, well, you know, there's still more work to be done. There's still trouble. And so but again, I think that it is probably a reasonable interpretation of the seven to cover that period of time. But then you have 62/7, 62 sevens which stretch from the completion of the of the building of Jerusalem to the anointed one. And if we take the anointed one here as a reference to Christ, then 62/7 would describe the period of time from the mid fifth century B.C. into the first century A.D. But again, not literal numbers, but rather symbolically. I think I think that works. And then it says after the 62 sevens, the anointed one will be put to death and we'll have nothing perhaps where to take this as a reference to the crucifixion of Christ. Then it says the people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood. War will continue until the end and tessellations have been decreed. He will confirm a covenant with many for one 7 in the middle of the seven. He will put an end to sacrifice an offering. And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation until the end that is decreed as poured out on him. Just to give you a sense of how difficult this may be to understand and why we need to be careful of being overly dogmatic in our interpretation is that there are two schools of thought here. One of them is taking well. First of all, I'll point out one of the problems is that throughout this latter section, the person is referred to simply as he without an obvious antecedent. And so some people think it continues to be a reference to the Anointed One Christ and others think that this is a different ruler and indeed the Antichrist. So there's one school of thought who thinks that all these things happen within the time of Christ and in the years after his crucifixion and resurrection. And then there's another school of thought that thinks there's a large gap of time between the first 69 sevens and the final seven, and that the final seven refers to things that are associated with the second coming of Christ. I think, you know, we can't be dogmatic, though. I lean toward the first view that though there are some issues and if you take that approach. But let me tell you what I have in mind as I read this. It says, The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood. Could this be a reference to the Roman destruction of Jerusalem under Titus in 70 A.D. in response to a Jewish rebellion? Could it be? And then the reference to he will confirm a covenant with many for one 7. Is this a reference to the New Covenant that's confirmed with Jesus for the many and is many here not just plurality, but also diversity? The idea of Gentiles and Jews being invited into the New Covenant in the middle of the seven, he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. You know that in a sense, the destruction of the temple brings to an end sacrifice and offering. Jesus also brings an end to sacrifice an offering in the sense that he fulfills them. Right. And at the temple, he will set up an abomination that causes desolation until the end that is decreed as poured out on him. While at this point that he doesn't seem to be Jesus. Right. And. And that's why I. One of the things I think that sort of propels the idea of that final Antichrist is mentioned or perhaps we might think that that the Romans and perhaps Titus is this figure who becomes like Antiochus epiphanies before him, a figure of the Antichrist. Well, so I hope my hope would be. Well, let me put it this way. I recently got an email from a friend who hadn't read my commentary on Daniel yet, and he was complaining to me that he was reading interpretations of Daniel nine and found them either overly dogmatic or, as he put it, overly squishy. And when I wrote him back, I said, Well, I take it from what you've said, you haven't seen my commentary yet. That's fine. I think you'll probably put it in the squishy category rather than the dogmatic category. But in my comments this morning, I'm actually being a bit less squishy than I am in my commentary by suggesting that as long as we take these numbers symbolically and also hold our interpretation somewhat loosely, that that it's reasonable to suggest, again, kind of summarizing that the first seven, the first seven years is a reference to a period of time between the Cyrus decree and the completion of Niemeyer's work that the next 62 weeks of years refers to the time period between the end of Hamas work and the coming of Christ, and that the that the final seven is referring to things that happened, you know, at the time of Jesus and in the year soon after. So that's my view. It has its continuing problems or questions surrounding it. But I think every view does. Again, I believe that these numbers and apocalyptic literature are intentionally ambiguous. So that it's difficult to put it into an apocalyptic calendar. And even my suggested interpretation, you'll notice this after the fact, you know, we're looking at it after the fact. It wasn't something that Daniel could say, Oh, well, then 490 years from now, such and so. But just like he reacted to the 70 years of Jeremiah, it they're symbolic numbers, but they point to a reality. He knew that and he prayed to God that this might be the moment of the end of the exile. So that's my thinking about this. Interesting, though, difficult passage, and I'd love to have questions or comments.
Audience Member [00:29:07] My first comment is if Gabriel thinks this is clarifying anything, understand he really needs to go back to school and learn how to clarify.
Tremper Longman III [00:29:16] Yeah. Yeah.
Audience Member [00:29:17] That just doesn't clarify anything. Yeah, but it is interesting. I've often wondered if prophecy in general is not to give us a road map to the future, but so that when we get there, we look back. Oh, that's what it was. And I think that's what you're saying. And it's kind of it's a confirming thing. Yeah. More than a road map for the future.
Tremper Longman III [00:29:39] Well, I that is what I was intending to imply, but I was I want to say thank you for making that point much more clear.
Audience Member [00:29:47] I just I've never heard anyone say that. So does helping. I want a trace without doing a road map. I'm going to grace the actors through this because they get confused. So we start up in verse 25. You have the anointed one who's defined as the rule. Right. Okay, Let's just say he's the good guy. Yeah, right, right, right. When you get to the he at the end of the last verse, he's the bad guy. Yeah, yeah, that's fair. That's fair. So fair. You have. You have two actors. And the question in my mind is, when did the pronoun shift from the good guy to the bad guy? Yeah. Right. And so. But the people of the ruler. Yeah, because the anointed one is defined as the ruler. The people are the ruler. It sounds to me like they're. Yeah, they're followers of the good guy. I'm just. I'm trying to be indefinitely.
Tremper Longman III [00:30:43] Yeah. No.
Audience Member [00:30:44] Right. Is that fair?
Tremper Longman III [00:30:45] That's fair. And one understanding of that is that it's a reference to the Jews whose sin brings on the destruction of the temple. I'm not saying that that's okay. So. But then again, there are others who say, no, the this the rulers already the bad guy here.
Audience Member [00:31:03] Well, okay, so then in the first he in verse 27, that's the real question. Have we shifted have we shifted to whoever this bad guy is.
Tremper Longman III [00:31:14] Yeah. I though, of course, the first sentence he will confirm a covenant with many for one seven could refer not to say the New Covenant or the Covenant in the Divine Human sense, but a kind of He's gathered people to himself because covenant is a kind of treaty. Mm hmm. So? So it could be a transition to a negative he in 27. Okay. That's why I'm saying, you know, any time you have such a dramatic difference between those who want to see Christ and reference here and others who want to see the Antichrist here, who do see and not want to see. But, you know, you have in an ambiguity, I always take biblical ambiguities as intentionally ambiguous. Yes, I would say yeah.
Audience Member [00:32:12] Okay. But it is fair to say we've gone from to use normal nomenclature. We've gone from Jesus to the Antichrist.
Tremper Longman III [00:32:23] Possibly, possibly, possibly, possibly.
Audience Member [00:32:26] Good guy to a bad guy.
Tremper Longman III [00:32:27] Yeah.
Audience Member [00:32:27] So two actors.
Tremper Longman III [00:32:29] Yeah, But again, if so, the question then becomes, which Christ are we talking about? Are we talking about the ultimate in Christ? Are we talking about Antiochus epiphanies? Are we talking about Titus? So that that's. That's also. An open question. Yeah.
Audience Member [00:32:58] Yeah. One last thing. I assume that people that want to take the numbers, not symbolically, but specifically, that they would point out that 70 times seven is really roughly the time frame from the rebuilding of the temple to Jesus's death. I mean, you're get to twist. You got it year. The numbers are squishy in that sense, but they're kind of. Yeah. Similarly about the right thing. Right. And that would be an argument for a more literal view of the numbers, I'm assuming.
Tremper Longman III [00:33:29] Yeah. I think, though, again, not precisely literal. Right. Right. So, I mean, once you move from one to move away from precisely literal. Yeah. It means you can't really use it as apocalyptic calendar. I'm going to come back at the end to address the more general question to which is, is there anything in the Bible that in Daniel, in Revelation elsewhere, that would allow contemporary interpreters to think that they could determine either the approximate time or the exact time that Christ is going to return, in other words? And this would include not just numbers, but also the so-called signs of the time in the New Testament. And and so you have on the one hand, somebody like how Lindsey, as a modern example of somebody who looks at the biblical material in the late sixties, maybe 1970, I forget exactly when. All I know is, he said, in the light of biblical testimony, in reference to contemporary events, it's hard to believe that Christ won't come back after Christ won't come back, but that it's hard not to believe that Christ will come back sometime before the mid-seventies. All right, so you get that. And then I debate and I'll recount something about this debate. A guy named hell named Harold Camping. I debated him in 1994 when he had published a book talking about how Jesus was going to come back at a specific date, September 1994. You would think that after the many, many, many, many failed prognostications along those lines, people would give up on them, but they don't. You know, so I want to address that later. Yeah. Paul.
Audience Member [00:35:43] So I've heard it said that one of the problems of looking at prophetic literature is that we are looking at timeline in a linear fashion in this way, but the actual prophets would be looking at it sort of from an end point. It's really hard for them to see what's close and what's far away.
Tremper Longman III [00:36:00] Yeah. Yeah.
Audience Member [00:36:01] You agree with that?
Tremper Longman III [00:36:03] Yeah. I mean, I think we saw that yesterday with John the Baptist, right, to where John the Baptist is thinking that the prophecies of the Old Testament from Daniel seven Zacharias 14 Malachi four are all happening now, but he doesn't see that Jesus is coming back in and twice or once more after the first coming, the way that I was taught. Another kind of visual image is, you know that. Which is the same as yours, Paul. But I. This brings back that the profit, I don't know, somehow on a platform or something is looking across mountains and it looks like a plane to them. And then, but there's then a gap which I guess, you know, might provide some justification to those who want to see a period of time between the first 69 sevens and the final seven, which, you know, I have to admit, it's not an impossible idea. That's just not one that I think is as probable as the one that I lean toward.
Audience Member [00:37:21] As a as a parting note and in reference to your comment about the people keep doing this over and over and over again, I'll never forget walking around campus on October 27th, 1988, and I heard the radio going that Jesus was read this guy's book, Jesus coming back on October 28, 1988.
Tremper Longman III [00:37:42] Yeah, Yeah.
Audience Member [00:37:43] Which is that was the next day. That's right. And then at the end of the announcement, the narrator says, Allow 3 to 4 weeks for delivery.
Tremper Longman III [00:37:53] Well, while we're on that kind of line of thought and not probably going to get into the course, remember when the first Iraq war broke out, John Valve third and I forget his name, Dyar at Dallas Seminary. So heard they published two bucks talking about how the first Iraq war fits into prophecy and says that Christ is going to come back again. It's published by our friends at Tyndale House with who also did the Left Behind series. I think it's kind of both. So I was talking to my friend Ron Beers after the war ended without Christ coming back, and they had sold hundreds of thousands of copies of this. And he said, I said to him, Wow. He said, Yeah, we still have 50,000 copies. And they've stopped selling. And I said, Rob, that's got to be a problem. And he goes, Oh, no, we'll just put it in the warehouse. And the next time a conflict breaks out in the Middle East, we'll just slap a new cover on. So, I mean, that I mean, I don't want to give the wrong impression. Ron's a very spiritual guy, and he is not motivated by the bottom line. I mean, he keeps every publisher keeps in mind the bottom line. But I remember there was another similar type of thing, not about the end times, but remember the old Bible codes probably still going on where this guy, this Jewish guy, you know, did a study with the help of computers and discovered like every 50th letter spells out and prominent rabbi names. And then Christians picked it up and discovered, you know, if you do every hundredth letter in the Hebrew Bible or in a certain section, it'll say something like, Jesus Christ is coming in the future and Tyndale is going to publish this. And I think dead. But Ron tried to use me as a buffer. He goes, Can you write an evaluation of it so I can share it with the marketers who want to sell it? And they said I called it Christian pornography, but it was still published. And somebody said, You can't do this with Moby Dick. But of course somebody with a computer then did it with Moby Dick.