Glenn Beck invoked a prophecy on his radio program today, November 13, 202. He did so in connection with the Progressive political agenda. Unfortunately, the prophecy he invoked is not about the point he sought o make with it. Nor was his explanation of that prophecy accurate. In short, Beck showed his lack of spiritual understanding — especially of the Prophetic Word. Ignoring the details of this fact, which is an entirely separate issue, I’d like to address the prophecy Beck invoked. We look now to Daniel 7:25.
OK, before we start, I want to make this very clear: I realize that this can be a very touchy subject, especially for believers who have been taught a certain understanding of End Times prophecy. It just so happens that I have come to hold a very different understanding of this passage, and it differs a great deal from the most common teachings on Daniel. Explaining why I hold my understanding is long, complicated and very involved. It would require a small book to be written to explain it all. Since I realize I could very well be wrong in my understanding, and because I I have no desire to fight with other believers, what I am going to ask is that you simply hear me out and give consideration to what I am about to explain. If you have questions, please feel free to ask in the comments section below. On the other hand, if, after you give me a fair hearing, you still disagree, then we can part as friends with different understandings. My only goal here is to warn any Beck listeners who may find this post against the Scriptural mistakes Beck made on the radio this day.
Now, with that said, let us start here:
Daniel 7:25 New American Standard Bible
To begin with, I am well aware that we are dealing with an entity identified as, ‘the little horn,’ from Dan 7:24. I am equally aware that the great majority of believers see this ‘little horn’ as a man: usually as the man who is known as the Antichrist. While I will hold out that this is a possibility, I happen to disagree with this understanding. rather, I think we are dealing here with the same entity named in Dan 9:26. There is a great deal of Scriptural support for this, but it requires some in-depth study into the Hebrew language and forms of poetry to understand. So, for those who may already have this foundation, the primary reason I believe the ‘little horn’ may also be ‘the Prince who is to come’ is because Daniel is a bifidic prophecy containing several chiasms. It just so happens that these two figures appear to line up, or run parallel in the two halves of the bifid, as well as within the chiasims.
The next thing I want to point out — and this starts to get at the heart of why I objected to Beck’s explanation of this prophecy — is the statement that this little horn will seek to ‘alter the times and law.’ We need to understand that a simple check of the interlinear translation may not be of much help to us here. This is because this section of Daniel was written in Chaldean (Aramaic). Therefore, we cannot make a direct comparison of the words used in Dan 7:25 for times and laws to any of the Hebrew words translated the same way in the rest of the TANAKH (i.e. Old Testament). Given this fact, the Chaldean here does seem to indicate an, ‘appointed time, epoch, time,’ and the law, ‘a decree of Medes or Persia, or the law of God in non-Jewish mouths.’
OK, so, let’s deal with the easiest of these two words first. ‘The Law of God in non-Jewish mouths’ is easy. The ‘Law of YHWH’ is nothing less than TORAH (i.e. the Teachings).
The second word is a little trickier, and requires a bit of supposition on our part. But, essentially, we are dealing with a Chaldean word that means, ‘a set or appointed time, an epoch.’ So, where do we find an equivalent to this idea in the Hebrew of the TANAKH? Let me offer a strong possibility:
In each of these passages, Moses is writing about the Sabbaths, the Jubilees and the Feasts of the Lord, all of which are wrapped up in the Scriptural notion of the Sabbath. Therefore, we could think of ‘the appointed times’ as YHWH’s Sabbaths. In which case, Dan 7:25 would then read:
25 And he will speak against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in YHWH’s Sabbaths and TORAH; and they will be handed over to him for a time, times, and half a time.
This leaves us with the last part of this prophecy: what is meant by, ‘time.’ Well, in this case, it is a different word than what is used in, ‘the times.’ Once again, we are dealing with a Chaldean word. It can but does not have to mean, ‘time,’ as in a period or duration of time. What’s more, given how it is used elsewhere in scripture, especially Dan 2:21 and 7:12, we should not be too hasty to assume that the idea of a year is intended in Dan 7:25. We should at least hold out the possibility that the ambiguous period of time is in view here — or even something much different.
As I said when I started this post, I hold a very different understanding of the prophecy found in Dan 7:25. I believe my understanding aligns better with the whole of the Prophetic Word, as well as with the greater Spiritual themes which run throughout the whole of Scripture. I also believe that the actual written Scriptures, especially when read through an Ancient Hebrew Cultural context, supports my understanding. However, as I said before, I hold out the possibility that I am wrong. The only thing about which I am certain is that Dan 7:25 does not speak specifically to the Progressive political agenda being pushed in America today. To be sure, the two are connected, but not in the way Glenn Beck tried to connect them. He’d have done better to cite John’s description of the spirit of antichrist in making such connections, but not the little horn. Dan 7:25 is about something far bigger and grander in scope and depth.