Day 363 – December 29, 2022

Daniel 7, 8; Psalms 148; Proverbs 31:16–20; Revelation 20

Daniel 7, 8

1 In the first year of Belshazzar, king of the Chaldeans, Daniel saw a dream and visions in his head upon his bed. Then he wrote down the dream: 2 I, Daniel, looked on in my vision in the night, and behold, the four winds of heaven blew violently upon the great sea. 3 Then four large beasts came up from the sea, each different from the other. 4 The first was like a lioness, and it had wings like an eagle. I looked on until its wings were plucked out, and it was driven from the earth and made to stand on human feet; and a human heart was given to it. 5 After this, behold, there was a second beast like a bear. It rose up on one side and had three ribs in its mouth, between its teeth. Thus they said to it, “Arise, devour much flesh!” 6 After this, I kept looking and behold, there was another beast like a leopard, and it had the four wings of a bird on its back. There were also four heads on the beast, and authority was given to it. 7 After this, I looked and behold, a fourth beast, fearful, terrifying, and exceedingly strong. It had huge iron teeth, and it was devouring, breaking in pieces, and trampling underfoot whatever was left. It was exceedingly different from all the beasts before it, and it had ten horns. 8 I was especially noticing its horns, and behold, there was another horn, a little one. It came up among them, and the three horns of those before it were uprooted because of its presence; and behold, there were eyes like the eyes of a man in this horn, and it had a mouth speaking arrogant things.
The Ancient of Days
9 I continued to watch until thrones were put in place, and the Ancient of Days enthroned Himself. His clothing was white as snow, and the hair of His head was like pure wool. His throne was a fiery flame, and its wheels a burning fire. 10 A river of fire flowed from before Him. Thousands and thousands ministered to Him, and countless thousands stood before Him. The court was in session, and the books were opened. 11 Then I kept watching because of the sound of the arrogant words the horn was speaking. I watched until the beast was put to death and destroyed, and its body given to the burning flame. 12 As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, yet length of life was given them for a season and a time.
13 I continued to observe the vision in the night, and behold, One like the Son of Man was coming with the clouds of heaven, until He came to the Ancient of Days and approached Him. 14 Then dominion, honor, and the kingdom were given to Him, and all peoples, tribes, and languages served Him. His authority is an everlasting authority which shall not pass away, and His kingdom shall not be destroyed.
The Meaning of the Vision
15 My spirit within me trembled with fear, and the visions in my head troubled me. 16 Then I approached one of those who stood by and sought the precise meaning of all this from him. So he told me the precise meaning and made known to me the interpretation of the words:
17 “These four large beasts are four kingdoms. They shall arise on the earth, then be taken away. 18 After this, the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom and possess it unto ages of ages.”
19 Then I sought the precise meaning of the fourth beast, for it was different from all the others. It was exceedingly fearful, and its teeth were made of iron, and its nails of bronze. It was devouring, breaking in pieces, and trampling underfoot whatever was left. 20 The ten horns on its head and the other horn, which had eyes and a mouth that spoke arrogant things, and the vision of which I noticed more than the rest, came up and knocked down the three horns before it. 21 So I kept looking, and that horn made war with the saints and prevailed against them, 22 until the Ancient of Days came and gave His judgment in favor of the saints of the Most High. Then the time arrived, and the saints possessed the kingdom.
23 Thus he said: “The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom on the earth, which shall surpass all the kingdoms; and it shall devour all the earth, and trample and break it in pieces. 24 Its ten horns are ten kings. They shall arise, and after them another shall arise. He shall surpass all those before him in evils, and he shall humble three kings. 25 He will speak extremely arrogant words and wear down the saints of the Most High. He will devise a way to change times and law, and he shall be given authority for a time, times, and half a time. 26 But the court shall go into session, and they shall take away his dominion to consume and destroy it forever. 27 Then the kingdom, the authority, and the greatness of the kingdoms under heaven shall be given to the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him.”
  28 This is the end of my account. As for me, Daniel, my thoughts greatly troubled me. My countenance changed, but I kept the matter to myself.
The Ram and the Goat
1 In the third year of Belshazzar’s reign, a vision was revealed to me—to me, Daniel—after the one that appeared to me the first time. 2 I was in Shushan, in the palace, in the province of Elam; and I saw in the vision that I was by the Ulai River. 3 Then I lifted up my eyes and looked, and behold, one ram stood before the Ulai, and it had horns. The horns were high, but one was higher than the other; and the higher one came up last. 4 I saw the ram pushing westward, northward, and southward, and no animal could withstand him or deliver from his power; but he did according to his will and became great.
5 As I was considering this, behold, a male goat came from the southwest, across the surface of all the earth, without touching the ground; and the goat had a notable horn between its eyes. 6 Then he came to the ram that had the horns, which I saw standing before the Ulai, and he ran at him with furious power. 7 I saw him running at the ram, and attacking him savagely. He struck the ram and broke both his horns. There was no strength in the ram to withstand him, but he cast him to the ground and trampled him. There was no one that could deliver the ram from his power. 8 So the male goat became exceedingly great, and when he became strong, his large horn was broken, and four horns came up under him toward the four winds of heaven.
9 Then from one of them one strong horn came forth, strong and exceedingly great, toward the south and the east and toward the host. 10 He exalted himself to the host of heaven, and some of the heavenly host and stars fell to the earth; and he trampled them underfoot 11 until the chief captain delivered the host of captives. For because of him the sacrifice was thrown down; and it came about that he prospered, but the sanctuary was to become desolate. 12 For the sin offering was offered as long as there was sacrifice, but he cast righteousness to the ground; and although he did this, he prospered. 13 Then I heard one of the saints speaking, and another saint said to that one speaking, “How long will the vision stand, and the sacrifice be taken away, and the sin offering which was offered be desolated, and the sanctuary and host be trampled underfoot?” 14 He replied to him, “Until two thousand and three hundred days of evening and morning, then the sanctuary shall be cleansed.”
Gabriel Reveals the Vision
15 So it came about that when I, Daniel, saw the vision and sought to understand it, then, behold, the vision of a man stood before me. 16 I heard the voice of this man in the midst of the Ulai, and he called and said, “Gabriel, cause that man to understand the vision.” 17 Thus he came and stood near where I was standing; and when he came, I was astonished and fell on my face. Then he said to me, “Understand, son of man, for the vision is yet for the end of time.” 18 Now when he spoke with me, I fell on my face to the ground, but he touched me and stood me on my feet. 19 Then he said, “Behold, I will make known to you what shall take place in the last time of wrath, for the vision is yet for the end of time. 20 The ram you saw with its horns is the king of the Medes and Persians. 21 The male goat is the king of the Greeks, and the great horn between its eyes is the first king. 22 When that horn is broken and four horns stand under it, four kings from that nation shall arise, but not with its might.
23 “Then in the latter time of their kingdom, when sins are fulfilled, a king shall arise, shameless in countenance; and he will understand riddles. 24 His strength will be mighty, and he shall destroy terribly. He shall prosper and take action, and destroy the mighty and the holy people. 25 The yoke of his chain shall prosper. There will be treachery in his hand, and he shall magnify himself in his heart. He shall destroy many with deceit and stand for the destruction of many. He will crush them like an egg in his hand. 26 Now the vision of the evening and the morning that was told is true: therefore, seal the vision, because it refers to many days in the future.”
27 Then I, Daniel, fell asleep and was sick for days. After this, I arose and did the king’s business, and I wondered about the vision; but no one understood it.

Psalms 148

1 Alleluia; of Aggeus and Zacharias.
Praise the Lord from the heavens;
Praise Him in the highest.
2 Praise Him, all you His angels;
Praise Him, all you His hosts.
3 Praise Him, sun and moon;
Praise Him, all you stars and light.
  4 Praise Him, you heavens of heavens,
And you waters above the heavens.
5 Let them praise the Lord’s name,
For He spoke, and they were made;
He commanded, and they were created.
6 He established them forever and unto ages of ages;
He set forth His ordinance, and it shall not pass away.
7 Praise the Lord from the earth,
You dragons and all the deeps,
8 Fire and hail, snow and ice,
Stormy wind, which perform His word,
9 Mountains and all the hills,
Fruitful trees and all cedars,
10 Wild animals and all cattle,
Creeping things and flying birds,
11 Kings of the earth and all peoples,
Princes and all judges of the earth,
12 Young men and maidens,
Elders with younger,
13 Let them praise the Lord’s name,
For His name alone is exalted;
His thanksgiving is in earth and heaven.
14 And He shall exalt the horn of His people,
A hymn for all His saints,
For the children of Israel, a people who draw near to Him.

Proverbs 31:16–20

16 Strongly girding her loins,
She strengthens her arms for work.
17 She experiences work as a good thing,
And her lamp is not quenched all night.
18 She extends her arms to do profitable things,
And she applies her hands to the spindle.
19 She opens her hands to the poor
And reaches out with her fruit to the needy.
20 Her husband is not anxious about those at home
When he spends a long time elsewhere,
For all her household are clothed.

Revelation 20

1 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
2 He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years;
3 and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.
The Saints Reign with Christ 1000 Years
4 And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
5 But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.
Satanic Rebellion Crushed
(cf. Ezek. 38; 39)
7 Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison
8 and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea.
9 They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them.
10 The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
The Great White Throne Judgment
11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them.
12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.
  13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works.
14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.

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