The Revelation of the Old Testament
While all the Old Testament prophets provide important details about future end-time events, the book that provides the most sweeping view—and that, in some ways, serves as a foundation for Revelation—is Daniel. Daniel is sometimes referred to as the “Revelation of the Old Testament” and is often included in Seminary level courses designed to study Revelation.
Eight of the twelve chapters in Daniel center on prophecy. Having a basic understanding of this prophetic two-thirds of Daniel sheds much light on world history and the end times. In Daniel 2 we read a sweeping (and amazingly accurate) prophecy concerning a statue that represents four successive world kingdoms (Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome) that would precede a loosely united end-time kingdom in the last days. In Daniel 7 we see these same kingdoms depicted as four beasts, followed by an end-time revived kingdom out of which will emerge an end-time evil ruler (seen as a little horn).
In Daniel 8 we see a more detailed view of Medo-Persia and Greece—particularly the conquests of Alexander the Great and the dividing of the Greek empire (prophesied more than two centuries before the events took place). Chapter 8 ends with some key details about the future evil end-times ruler.
In chapter 9 we learn about a 490-year period that provides the timing of the first coming of Christ, a mysterious gap period (that we now know as the church age—the period we currently find ourselves in), and a final seven-year period during which an evil ruler will come to power. The last four verses of chapter 9 are arguably the most important verses of the entire book. These four short verses contain an incredible prophecy that covers all of Jewish history from Daniel’s time to the end. This final seven-year period mentioned in the Daniel 9 prophecy is known to us as the tribulation. This period is detailed in the book of Revelation and makes up most of its content (Revelation 6:1–19:21).
In chapter 11 we find further detail about the future (from Daniels’ perspective) Greek Empire, then beginning in verse 36 the prophecy shifts to the evil end-time ruler. Daniel 11:36-45 provides several details about this ruler and the events that will take place during his reign. Chapter 12 continues this description and gives us key details about the last three-and-a-half years of the seven-year tribulation period.
A careful study of the visions of Daniel (particularly chapters 2, 7, 8, 9, 11, and 12) lays the foundation for studying Revelation. Daniel serves as a sort of blueprint or grid through which we can study Revelation. As you read through the prophetic passages in Daniel, much light will be shed on the events, timing, and symbolism of Revelation.
To learn more about the book of Revelation and how it impacts you today, purchase your copy of The Non-Prophet’s Guide™ to the Book of Revelation at your favorite online bookstore, OR VISIT: TheNonProphetsGuide.com for more information.