Dan 7-9; Psalm 91; John 19
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The following text is from the English Standard Version.
In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel saw a dream and visions of his head as he lay in his bed. Then he wrote down the dream and told the sum of the matter.
Daniel declared, ”I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the great sea.
And four great beasts came up out of the sea, different from one another.
The first was like a lion and had eagles’ wings. Then as I looked its wings were plucked off, and it was lifted up from the ground and made to stand on two feet like a man, and the mind of a man was given to it.
And behold, another beast, a second one, like a bear. It was raised up on one side. It had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth; and it was told, ‘Arise, devour much flesh.’
After this I looked, and behold, another, like a leopard, with four wings of a bird on its back. And the beast had four heads, and dominion was given to it.
After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, terrifying and dreadful and exceedingly strong. It had great iron teeth; it devoured and broke in pieces and stamped what was left with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns.
I considered the horns, and behold, there came up among them another horn, a little one, before which three of the first horns were plucked up by the roots. And behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things.
As I looked, thrones were placed, and the Ancient of days took his seat; his clothing was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames; its wheels were burning fire.
A stream of fire issued and came out from before him; a thousand thousands served him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him; the court sat in judgment, and the books were opened.
I looked then because of the sound of the great words that the horn was speaking. And as I looked, the beast was killed, and its body destroyed and given over to be burned with fire.
As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but their lives were prolonged for a season and a time.
I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him.
And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.
‘As for me, Daniel, my spirit within me was anxious, and the visions of my head alarmed me.
I approached one of those who stood there and asked him the truth concerning all this. So he told me and made known to me the interpretation of the things.
These four great beasts are four kings who shall arise out of the earth.
But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, forever and ever.’
‘Then I desired to know the truth about the fourth beast, which was different from all the rest, exceedingly terrifying, with its teeth of iron and claws of bronze, and which devoured and broke in pieces and stamped what was left with its feet,
and about the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn that came up and before which three of them fell, the horn that had eyes and a mouth that spoke great things, and that seemed greater than its companions.
As I looked, this horn made war with the saints and prevailed over them,
until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was given for the saints of the Most High, and the time came when the saints possessed the kingdom.
‘Thus he said: ‘As for the fourth beast, there shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be different from all the kingdoms, and it shall devour the whole earth, and trample it down, and break it to pieces.
As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings shall arise, and another shall arise after them; he shall be different from the former ones, and shall put down three kings.
He shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and shall think to change the times and the law; and they shall be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time.
But the court shall sit in judgment, and his dominion shall be taken away, to be consumed and destroyed to the end.
And the kingdom and the dominion and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High; their kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey them.’
‘Here is the end of the matter. As for me, Daniel, my thoughts greatly alarmed me, and my color changed, but I kept the matter in my heart.”
In the third year of the reign of King Belshazzar a vision appeared to me, Daniel, after that which appeared to me at the first.
And I saw in the vision; and when I saw, I was in Susa the capital, which is in the province of Elam. And I saw in the vision, and I was at the Ulai canal.
I raised my eyes and saw, and behold, a ram standing on the bank of the canal. It had two horns, and both horns were high, but one was higher than the other, and the higher one came up last.
I saw the ram charging westward and northward and southward. No beast could stand before him, and there was no one who could rescue from his power. He did as he pleased and became great.
As I was considering, behold, a male goat came from the west across the face of the whole earth, without touching the ground. And the goat had a conspicuous horn between his eyes.
He came to the ram with the two horns, which I had seen standing on the bank of the canal, and he ran at him in his powerful wrath.
I saw him come close to the ram, and he was enraged against him and struck the ram and broke his two horns. And the ram had no power to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground and trampled on him. And there was no one who could rescue the ram from his power.
Then the goat became exceedingly great, but when he was strong, the great horn was broken, and instead of it there came up four conspicuous horns toward the four winds of heaven.
Out of one of them came a little horn, which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the glorious land.
It grew great, even to the host of heaven. And some of the host and some of the stars it threw down to the ground and trampled on them.
It became great, even as great as the Prince of the host. And the regular burnt offering was taken away from him, and the place of his sanctuary was overthrown.
And a host will be given over to it together with the regular burnt offering because of transgression, and it will throw truth to the ground, and it will act and prosper.
Then I heard a holy one speaking, and another holy one said to the one who spoke, ”For how long is the vision concerning the regular burnt offering, the transgression that makes desolate, and the giving over of the sanctuary and host to be trampled underfoot?”
And he said to me, ”For 2,300 evenings and mornings. Then the sanctuary shall be restored to its rightful state.”
When I, Daniel, had seen the vision, I sought to understand it. And behold, there stood before me one having the appearance of a man.
And I heard a man’s voice between the banks of the Ulai, and it called, ”Gabriel, make this man understand the vision.”
So he came near where I stood. And when he came, I was frightened and fell on my face. But he said to me, ”Understand, O son of man, that the vision is for the time of the end.”
And when he had spoken to me, I fell into a deep sleep with my face to the ground. But he touched me and made me stand up.
He said, ”Behold, I will make known to you what shall be at the latter end of the indignation, for it refers to the appointed time of the end.
As for the ram that you saw with the two horns, these are the kings of Media and Persia.
And the goat is the king of Greece. And the great horn between his eyes is the first king.
As for the horn that was broken, in place of which four others arose, four kingdoms shall arise from his nation, but not with his power.
And at the latter end of their kingdom, when the transgressors have reached their limit, a king of bold face, one who understands riddles, shall arise.
His power shall be great–but not by his own power; and he shall cause fearful destruction and shall succeed in what he does, and destroy mighty men and the people who are the saints.
By his cunning he shall make deceit prosper under his hand, and in his own mind he shall become great. Without warning he shall destroy many. And he shall even rise up against the Prince of princes, and he shall be broken–but by no human hand.
The vision of the evenings and the mornings that has been told is true, but seal up the vision, for it refers to many days from now.”
And I, Daniel, was overcome and lay sick for some days. Then I rose and went about the king’s business, but I was appalled by the vision and did not understand it.
In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, by descent a Mede, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans–
in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, perceived in the books the number of years that, according to the word of the LORD to Jeremiah the prophet, must pass before the end of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years.
Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes.
I prayed to the LORD my God and made confession, saying, ”O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments,
we have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from your commandments and rules.
We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.
To you, O Lord, belongs righteousness, but to us open shame, as at this day, to the men of Judah, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to all Israel, those who are near and those who are far away, in all the lands to which you have driven them, because of the treachery that they have committed against you.
To us, O Lord, belongs open shame, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against you.
To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against him
and have not obeyed the voice of the LORD our God by walking in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets.
All Israel has transgressed your law and turned aside, refusing to obey your voice. And the curse and oath that are written in the Law of Moses the servant of God have been poured out upon us, because we have sinned against him.
He has confirmed his words, which he spoke against us and against our rulers who ruled us, by bringing upon us a great calamity. For under the whole heaven there has not been done anything like what has been done against Jerusalem.
As it is written in the Law of Moses, all this calamity has come upon us; yet we have not entreated the favor of the LORD our God, turning from our iniquities and gaining insight by your truth.
Therefore the LORD has kept ready the calamity and has brought it upon us, for the LORD our God is righteous in all the works that he has done, and we have not obeyed his voice.
And now, O Lord our God, who brought your people out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and have made a name for yourself, as at this day, we have sinned, we have done wickedly.
‘O Lord, according to all your righteous acts, let your anger and your wrath turn away from your city Jerusalem, your holy hill, because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and your people have become a byword among all who are around us.
Now therefore, O our God, listen to the prayer of your servant and to his pleas for mercy, and for your own sake, O Lord, make your face to shine upon your sanctuary, which is desolate.
O my God, incline your ear and hear. Open your eyes and see our desolations, and the city that is called by your name. For we do not present our pleas before you because of our righteousness, but because of your great mercy.
O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive. O Lord, pay attention and act. Delay not, for your own sake, O my God, because your city and your people are called by your name.”
While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my plea before the LORD my God for the holy hill of my God,
while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the first, came to me in swift flight at the time of the evening sacrifice.
He made me understand, speaking with me and saying, ”O Daniel, I have now come out to give you insight and understanding.
At the beginning of your pleas for mercy a word went out, and I have come to tell it to you, for you are greatly loved. Therefore consider the word and understand the vision.
‘Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place.
Know therefore and understand that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time.
And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed.
And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.”
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the LORD, ”My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.
A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.
You will only look with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked.
Because you have made the LORD your dwelling place–the Most High, who is my refuge–
no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.
On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the adder; the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.
‘Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name.
When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”
Then Pilate took Jesus and flogged him.
And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head and arrayed him in a purple robe.
They came up to him, saying, ”Hail, King of the Jews!” and struck him with their hands.
Pilate went out again and said to them, ”See, I am bringing him out to you that you may know that I find no guilt in him.”
So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, ”Behold the man!”
When the chief priests and the officers saw him, they cried out, ”Crucify him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, ”Take him yourselves and crucify him, for I find no guilt in him.”
The Jews answered him, ”We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has made himself the Son of God.”
When Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid.
He entered his headquarters again and said to Jesus, ”Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no answer.
So Pilate said to him, ”You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?”
Jesus answered him, ”You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.”
From then on Pilate sought to release him, but the Jews cried out, ”If you release this man, you are not Caesar’s friend. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.”
So when Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called The Stone Pavement, and in Aramaic Gabbatha.
Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover. It was about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, ”Behold your King!”
They cried out, ”Away with him, away with him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, ”Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered,.We have no king but Caesar.”
So he delivered him over to them to be crucified.So they took Jesus,
and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called the place of a skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha.
There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them.
Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It read, ”Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.”
Many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and it was written in Aramaic, in Latin, and in Greek.
So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, ”Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but rather, ‘This man said, I am King of the Jews.”’
Pilate answered, ”What I have written I have written.”
When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his garments and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier; also his tunic. But the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom,
so they said to one another, ”Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be.” This was to fulfill the Scripture which says, ”They divided my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.”So the soldiers did these things,
but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.
When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, ”Woman, behold, your son!”
Then he said to the disciple, ”Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.
After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), ”I thirst.”
A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth.
When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, ”It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
Since it was the day of Preparation, and so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away.
So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him.
But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs.
But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water.
He who saw it has borne witness–his testimony is true, and he knows that he is telling the truth–that you also may believe.
For these things took place that the Scripture might be fulfilled: ”Not one of his bones will be broken.”
And again another Scripture says, ”They will look on him whom they have pierced.”
After these things Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus, and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took away his body.
Nicodemus also, who earlier had come to Jesus by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds in weight.
So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews.
Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid.
So because of the Jewish day of Preparation, since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.
The reading plan I’ve chosen is from Bible Class Material and it’s a 5 day plan, with weekend days to catch up or get ahead or just take a break!