Friday, January 15, 2016

Arab History in Daniel?


Daniel 10:14, 21:
Gabriel speaking to Daniel about the vision of the "certain man" (the Antichrist):

14 Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days. . . .
21 But I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince.

Chapter 23 of my 1993 book, Not One Stone, is entitled, "Arab History in the Book of Daniel?" and I contended that it is. I still hold the same interpretation.

In Chapter 11 of Daniel, the angel Gabriel, who is giving this prophecy to Daniel as an understanding of the vision in Chapter 10, is obviously giving a summary of future history. This corresponds to Nebuchadnezzar's dream of the statue, recorded in Daniel 2, from the time of Babylon to the end-time.

By the time of Chapter 11, Babylon had already been conquered by Medo-Persia (see Daniel 5:30), so the angel Gabriel begins in 11:1-4 with Medo-Persia which is followed by Greece.

After Greece, the angel goes to "the king of the south" (11:5) followed by "the king of the north" (11:6).

The "south" and the "north" are not identified by name in the text. One of the most prevalent theories imposed upon the passage in "study Bibles" and commentaries is that the south refers to the Ptolemies of Egypt and the north refers to the Seleucids of Assyria (332 - 168 BC). There is no scripture for this.
This theory originated during the years of pre-Christian history between Malachi and the New Testament. It first appears in the Maccabees' writings in the uninspired Apocrypha, and it alleges that the Seleucid king, Antiochus Epiphanies, fulfilled Daniel 11:21 onward.
Of course, I differ with this theory, as I understand 11:5-45 applies to the divided Arab empire from the 7th century onward.
In my studies of Arab history, Arab ancestry goes back to Abraham and Haggar in the book of Genesis, chapter 16. The offspring of the "mix" of Abraham, a Chaldean, and the Egyptian handmaid, Haggar, was ISHMAEL He is the father of the Arabs and is described as a "wild man" whose "hand will be against every man" (Genesis 16:12).
Ishmael also took an Egyptian wife (Genesis 21:21). He fathered twelve sons which dwelt in Havilah and Shur (Genesis 25:13-18). Havilah is the original name of the desert later to be called Arabia, and Shur is in the Sinai peninsula. Jeremiah 25:24 refers to the "kings of Arabia," and the "kings of the mingled [arab] people that dwell in the desert." The word for "mingled" is "Arab" in the original language (See Strong's Hebrew Dictionary, #6151).
The Ismaelites dwelt in Arabia until after the death of Muhammad who managed to make them Muslims. After his death, the Muslims invaded countries in the Middle East, conquering other people, and appropriating women for multiple wives to "mingle [arab] with the seed of men" (Daniel 2:43).
However, soon after Muhammad's death they split up into two major groups -- northern and southern -- over the issue of who is qualified to be the head man, the "Caliph." They have been warring over this ever since the 7th century. The factions became known as Sunni and Shia. I understand this division to be what is prophesied in Daniel 11 as to the north and south, corresponding to the "two legs" of the statue in chapter 2.
Eventually, out of this division comes the "vile person" (11:21) who is the "Little Horn" (Antichrist), the Beast of Revelation 13.
-- Bob L. Ross
(713) 477-2329

Monday, January 11, 2016

Prophecy Theories Die Hard

I stumbled upon a web site recently which apparently is extremely devoted to a particular "die hard" view of end-time Bible prophecy. The writer seems to be concerned about a growing understanding on the part of some others who hold that the Antichrist will come from the Middle East rather than the more popular modern theory that he will come out of Europe.
Among other things, the writer alleges that the view about the Antichrist's Middle East origin is due to the influence of recent happenings in that part of the world.

While that perhaps could be the case with some, my own understanding of Antichrist's Middle East origin dates back to the early 1980's and was set forth in my little book on "The Little Horn of the Book of Daniel" (pages 72,73,89 etc.)
The very fact that even some Middle East nations are specifically mentioned by name as being conquered by the Antichrist is indicative of his center of operation (See Daniel 11:42, 43 where Egypt, Lybia, and Ethiopia are specified).
Three other Middle East nations are said to "escape out of his hand" (Daniel 11:41, Moab, Edom, and Ammon, which are now Jordan).
Daniel chapter 11:21-45 reveals that he will conquer "many countries" in the Middle East area, but he will also have considerable opposition (Daniel 11:32-35).
While the "European" theory has been made popular by several modern "prophecy teachers," books such as "Left Behind," and "study Bibles," it is significant that not a single European nation is mentioned by name in the book of Daniel. The Scriptures in Daniel focus on the Antichrist's activity in the Middle East if we must judge by what nations are mentioned by name.
One has to have a very expansive imagination to come up with a European Antichrist in the book of Daniel.
--Bob L. Ross
(713) 477-2329

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Sunni and Shia Muslims -- the difference


Daniel 11:5-6 -- King James Version (KJV):
5 And the king of the south shall be strong, and one of his princes; and he shall be strong above him, and have dominion; his dominion shall be a great dominion.
6 And in the end of years they shall join themselves together; for the king's daughter of the south shall come to the king of the north to make an agreement: but she shall not retain the power of the arm; neither shall he stand, nor his arm: but she shall be given up, and they that brought her, and he that begat her, and he that strengthened her in these times.

The news reports about the Middle East often use the terms "Sunni" and "Shia" (or "Shiite") in regard to the conflicting differences between Muslim nations such as Iran and Saudi Arabia. However, the reports seldom if ever define the differences. I have asked several people if they know the difference, and they don't know.

The basic difference dates from the 7th century A. D., after the death of Muhammed in 632, and it relates to qualifications for being the "caliph" (ruler) of the empire.

The Shia say the chief ruler musts be in the genealogical bloodline of Muhammad. The Sunni say that it is not necessary to be a bloodline descendant of Muhammed to be the supreme ruler.

The following link is to a web site where the difference is explained:

The Independent

My understanding of Daniel 11:5, 6 is that this difference between the Muslims was involved in the civil war conflict between Muhammed's widow, Aishah, the daughter of Abu Baker the first caliph, and Muhammed's cousin and son-in-law, Ali, who was married to Fatimah. These two went to war over their differences, which I understand to be referred to in Daniel 11:5, 6. Their conflict is known as "The Battle of the Camel."

I understand Abu Bakr to be the man who is called the "king of the south," Aishah to be the "king's daughter of the south," and Ali to be the "king of the north" in Daniel 11:6.

I do not understand this passage to refer to the Ptolemies of Egypt and the Seleucids of Assyria, as is often taught by writers, commentaries on Daniel, and notes in "study Bibles." This imposition on Daniel 11 apparently originated with Jewish sources which hold that Daniel's prophecies were fulfilled in pre-New Testament times.

However, the Keil and Delitzsch Commentary on Daniel discloses a dozen or more historical inaccuries in the Ptolemies/Seleucids theory on Daniel 11. I have one book which was written to present this theory, and the author, Walter K. Price, acknowledges he is "following the chronology" taught by a Jewish writer, Solomon Zeitlin (In the Final Days by Walter K. Price, page 114).

-- Bob L. Ross
(713) 477-2329

Monday, January 04, 2016

A "certain man" in Daniel 10:5


Daniel 10:5, 6 --
"Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz:
"His body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude."
I must warn you right up front that my understanding of this vision of Daniel chapter 10 differs extremely from what is often taught by others who comment on the vision. For instance, the following are just a few of the notables who teach that the vision depicts Christ:
Clarence Larkin: "Lord of Glory" (Commentary on Daniel, page 220.
John Gill: "Son of God" (Commentary)
John MacArthur: "He is described almost identically to Christ (Rev. 1:13, 14)" (MacArthur Study Bible, page 1245).

Scofield Reference Bible: "The vision of the glory of God" (Daniel 10, chapter heading.
Could you believe these notable men and others who hold this interpretation are mistaken and that the "certain man" vision actually depicts the ANTICHRIST?
I do believe for certain that they are wrong.
In the early 1980's when I began to study Daniel as never before, I noticed that so many writers were simply "going along" with previous sources, just repeating the same ideas. You could almost wrap up all the comments on Daniel 10 in one package and toss it aside, they were so similar in interpretation.
I could never accept the foregoing interpretation, and I became certain that the "certain man" vision represented the Antichrist. And here is why:
1. All of the symbols adorning and embellishing the "certain man" are impressive, but they fall far short of the superior symbols pertaining to Jesus Christ in Revelation 1:13-16.
In my "Little Horn" book in chapter 7 I discuss the contrasting symbolism item-by-item. I urge you to do the same, and I think you will see that the symbolisms are not "almost identically." The symbols associated with Christ are far superior to those of the "certain man."
The "gold of UPHAZ" is associated with idolatry in
Jeremiah 10:3-9

The "beryl" is associated with Satan in Ezekiel 28:13.

The face of the "certain man" was "as the appearance of lightning" (10:6), whereas the countenance of Christ was "as the sun shineth in its strength" (Rev. 1:16). You can look at lightning all day and all night, but you can't look at the sun but for an instant!

The eyes of the certain man "as lamps" but not equal to the eyes of Christ which are "as a flame of fire" (Rev. l:14).
His arms and feet "like in colour to polished brass" -- which does not match the superior symbolism of Christ's feet which were as "fine brass as if they burned in a furnace" (1:15).
The voice of a "multitude" is not comparative to Christ's voice as the "sound of many waters" such as an ocean (1:15).
2. The effect on Daniel was a degenerating effect -- See 10:8. He was corrupted.
3. The angel Gabriel, who was sent to interpret the vision, goes on to do so in chapter 11 (Daniel 10:14, 21; 11:1-45). After the historical summary presented in 11:1-20, from 11:21 thru 11:45 Gabriel describes the "vile person" who becomes the wilful "king" (11:36), the end-time Antichrist.
4. This same person depicted by the "certain man" in Daniel 10:5 is the same certain man who is responsible for the "abomination of desolation" in Daniel 11:31 -- the future Antichrist (Matthew 24:15).5.
The angel Gabriel's interpretation tales the interpretation of the "certain man" to the end-time events just prior to the return of Jesus Christ (11:15-12:1).
-- Bob L. Ross
(713) 477-2329
Read my previous articles on prophecy at

Saturday, January 02, 2016

Daniel: already fulfilled?


C. H. Spurgeon (1834-1892), of unforgettable stature in Christian history, referred to a commentary on the book of Daniel as setting forth the "absurd hypothesis" that all of Daniel's prophecies were fulfilled in the period between the Old and New Testament -- that is, the years between Malachi and Matthew (See Spurgeon's Commenting and Commentaries, page 126, review #770).
A good friend and customer, a former missionary to Honduras, was in my book store recently, and I raised the question of his views on the prophecies in Daniel.
"They have all been fulfilled," he said, and indicated they were fulfilled before the coming of Christ.

I then asked, in as gentle a manner as I could muster, "If they have all been fulfilled before Christ, what did Jesus mean in Matthew 24:15 when He referred to the 'abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet,' as being yet in the future?"

He instantly replied, "I have got to go," and immediately left the store.

The theory that Daniel's "abomination of desolation" had a pre-New Testament fulfillment by Antiochus Epiphanes is a Jewish idea first alleged in the Jewish book of First Maccabees 1:54, which appears in the Apocrypha. Later,the first century Jewish historian, Flavius Josephus, bought into this alleged past fulfillment, and the idea has since gained a place in many subsequent sources. No one knows what the "abomination of desolation" is, and it is not defined in the Scriptures. Certainly, Josephus, a Pharisee priest, did not know.

Also, Josephus apparently is the "father" of the idea that Daniel also prophesied of Rome's destruction of Jerusalem in A. D. 70. Quite a number of sources have passed this idea along, but these ideas about Daniel's prophecies cannot be substantiated by Scripture or history.

 Although we find these alleged fulfillments often accepted and perpetuated in commentaries and notes in so-called "study Bibles," there is nothing in Daniel about Antiochus Epiphanes, Rome, or A. D. 70; Daniel's prophecies are about the end-time.

 -- Bob L. Ross
(713) 477--2329