Watchman's Teaching Letter #61 May 2003
This is my sixty-first monthly teaching letter and starts my sixth year of publication. With this lesson, we will focus on the 4th chapter of Daniel. I have commented on this chapter several times before, but there is need to examine it in greater depth. The 4th chapter of Daniel must be approached differently than other passages as it is written somewhat, but not entirely, from a subsidiary position. While in this style, contained within its story many revelations are given. We can detect its indirect orientation as it starts and ends with Nebuchadnezzar’s (Nabonidus’) words, yet Daniel is the author. Why Daniel chose this style to reveal his prophecy is hard to resolve, and we can only speculate. Like novels of today it could just as well have started, “Once upon a time in the ancient empire of Babylon” etc., and ended “and they lived happily ever after.” But lying in-between the opening and end are major revelations. Unless we prepare ourselves for this mode of writing and get in the mood of Daniel’s theme, we may not get the entire thrust of his message. Being it is in this form, one must be able to separate fact from fantasy.
We are told in Daniel 12:9 that “the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.” So this explains why down through the centuries there have been so many whimsical interpretations of his prophecies. But those who have used the historical method of interpretation along with the year for a day principal have fared the best (Numbers 14:34 & Ezekiel 4:6). Therefore, when you hear false teachers speaking of a three and one half or seven literal years of tribulation, one can mark it down in his book that they don’t know what they are talking about, and sadly its the majority. There are all kinds of absurdities created when a literal interpretation is used! So it is quite apparent we are never going to grasp the prophecies of Daniel as long as we persist on a non-historical, literal interpretation! By not following the written Word, one makes a liar out of oneself every time! Therefore, it is quite impossible to understand Daniel 4 without the year-day principal inasmuch as it’s Biblical.
For example, 30 days (a month) of prophecy = 30 years; 12 months of prophecy = (30 X 12) or 360 literal years or a Biblical “time.” Therefore, whether it is stated as “a time, times, and a half of time”; “42 months”; or “1260 days”, in any of these forms it is always 1260 literal years. In other words, a “time” (360 years) plus “times” (720 years) plus “a half of time” (180 years) total in all (360 + 720 + 180) = 1260 literal years. In the case of the 42 months it is 42 X 30 = 1260, or again 1260 literal years. The stated 1260 days are simply 1260 years under the year-day principle. Welcome to the Biblical system of counting prophetic time. Once comprehending this principle, one can begin to recognize those who understand, and those who understand not. Even after conquering this hurdle, there are other problems with interpretation to overcome, but at least we have a start. All other issues aside, the measurement of prophetic time is critical in understanding Daniel as well as Revelation. Once understanding the prophetic time element, we can start placing historical events in their proper order. This also instills confidence in Biblical prophecy when we see all the pieces begin to fit together like a jigsaw puzzle.
As I presented in the last two lessons, all the evidence points to the Nebuchadnezzar of Daniel chapter 4 as being Nabonidus. There’s a reasonable possibility that Nabonidus may have been a son of Nebuchadnezzar by a non-royal wife. The evidence also strongly suggests that Nabonidus was a descendant of the satanic seedline of Cain. If all this is true, and I personally believe it is, it presents an entirely different picture of Daniel 4. As we will see, in this chapter, we are once more confronted with the element of prophetic time. Reading Daniel chapter 4, we already see at verse 3 an indication of the time covered in this passage: “How great are his signs! and how mighty are his wonders! his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion is from generation to generation.” We can deduct from this verse that this chapter, while it concerns itself with a narrow period under the rule of Nebuchadnezzar (Nabonidus) at Babylon, it is really covering many generations of the everlasting Kingdom of Yahweh.
Then in verses 1-4, the dialog belongs to Nebuchadnezzar (Nabonidus) rather than Daniel. In verse 5, Nabonidus speaks of such a troubling dream, he consults all the usual “astrologers, Chaldeans, and soothsayers.” It should be evident that the Nebuchadnezzar of chapter 2 is not the same, for had it been, surely, after the failed dream-image interpretation experience by the usual prognosticators of chapter 2, he would have consulted Daniel from the first. Continuing in verse 8, we are told that Daniel was finally consulted about the matter. Then in verses 10-17 it describes Nabonidus’s dream-vision:
“10 Thus were the visions of mine head in my bed; I saw and behold a tree in the midst of the earth, and the height thereof was great. 11 The tree grew, and was strong, and the height thereof reached unto heaven, and the sight thereof to the end of all the earth: 12 The leaves thereof were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all: the beast of the field had shadow under it, and the fowls of the heaven dwelt in the boughs thereof, and all flesh was fed of it. 13 I saw in the visions of my head upon my bed, and behold, a watcher and an holy one came down from heaven; 14 He cried aloud, and said thus, Hew down the tree, and cut off his branches, shake off his leaves, and scatter his fruit: let the beast get away from under it, and the fowls from his branches: 15 Nevertheless leave the stump of his roots in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass; in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth: 16 Let his heart be changed from man’s, and let a beast’s heart be given unto him; and let seven times pass over him. 17 This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.”
Now let’s analyze to see what this passage is saying. In doing so, we will need to dissect each individual word and phrase for a proper interpretation. This is a passage which can’t be read over scantily, giving it only a lick and a promise, for there is much more here than first meets the eye.
In verse 10, we are told Nabonidus’s dream-vision was all about some kind of “tree.” Therefore, if we can determine what sort of tree this could possibly have been, we might just understand the subject of his vision. Of course, if you ask some of the anti-seedliners, they will say it simply means a “wooden tree” like they foolishly insist about the “tree of life” and “the tree of knowledge of good and evil” in Genesis 2:9. Before we are finished with this topic, we will understand beyond all doubt that this was no ordinary tree. We find a very interesting comment in The Bible Knowledge Commentary by Walvoord & Zuck, volume 1, page 1342:
“Previously Nebuchadnezzar [Nabonidus] had traveled to Lebanon to watch the felling of the great cedars to provide timber for his construction projects in Babylon. So he had witnessed the felling of mighty trees. The tree he saw in his dream was significant because of its size (vv. 10-11), its beauty and its fruit (v. 12). It provided food and shelter for all the animals and birds who lived under it or in it.”
While this is very intriguing, the “animals” and “birds”, like the tree, were no ordinary “animals” or “birds.” Once we discover that these terms are symbolic in nature, we are on our way to an understanding of what this passage is conveying, and this is true for most of the Bible. That’s why many people can’t comprehend Two Seedline!
The next important word we are faced with in speaking of the “tree” is the term “end” at verse 11 where it says: “... and the sight thereof to the end of all the earth.” It is #5491 in the “Hebrew-Chaldee Dictionary” in Strong’s, and its meaning is “end”, but we are directed to 5490 which says: “... sofe; from 5486; a termination:— conclusion, end, hinder part.” Going to 5486, we get: “... soof; a primitive root; to snatch away, i.e. terminate:— consume, have an end, perish, X be utterly.” To this, Gesenius’ seems to agree. To #5486 The New Brown-Driver-Briggs-Gesenius Hebrew-English Lexicon adds: “come to an end, cease.” We have to ask the question, does “end” mean chronologically or geographically, or both? As we will see, it’s not relevant. As stated here, “end of all the earth”, would seem to be geographically. While Babylon covered a lot of territory, it was far from covering the entire earth, and as there were other kingdoms around them, it didn’t mean that even in their general area. But if “end of all the earth” could symbolically apply to the Babylonian system from that time to our day, it would include “all the earth”, or to every corner of the earth, with no one being exempt. Anyway, that’s my interpretation, and if that’s the case, the time factor would have to be included. I say all this, for Babylon has to fall two times, Revelation 14:8.
Then going to verse 12 we read: “The leaves thereof were fair.” The “leaves” on a tree are symbolic of protection for the fruit, and the birds which might nest in its branches. This is simply comparing the leaves of the tree to Babylon’s protection of its inhabitants. Then it continues “and the fruit thereof much.” This simply is symbolic of great production both in crops and manufacture, with a surplus for export. Resuming in verse 12 it says, “and it was meat for all.” This, in symbolic language, is implying that all the inhabitants of Babylon lacked nothing. Continuing in the same verse it remarks, “the beast of the field had shadow under it.” This is as much as saying that in Babylon there were, like we have today, inferior races dwelling among them, and again the shadow produced by the leaves served as protection. Continuing in that verse “and the fowls of the heaven dwelt in the boughs thereof.” This is very similar to Revelation 18:2 where again it is making reference to Babylon where it speaks of “the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.” I am sure that in both Daniel and Revelation it is referring to the satanic seedline which we know today as “Jews.” Today, like in Babylon of old, we have that kind of people in the branches of our government.
The anti-seedliners would deny all this claming it’s all a matter of the “flesh.” If they really believe that, then they should use their ministries to convert the “Jews” from their wicked ways. For instance, if that’s the case, Ted R. Weiland could move his whole operation from Scottsbluff, Nebraska to Tel Aviv. It would only be a minor change on his stationary from Mission To Israel to Mission To Israeli. And If he, according to his own words, “appreciates the other races” so much, he could setup branch ministries in the Congo and at Hong Kong.
Verse 12 then ends “and all flesh was fed of it.” When it speaks of “all flesh” feeding off Babylon, it should be understood to mean they believed in and practiced “universalism.” This should give one a reasonably good depiction of the nature of the “tree” of Daniel chapter 4, but this is not the end of the story. Verses 13 & 14 then say:
“13 I saw in the visions of my head upon my bed, and, behold, a watcher and an holy one came down from heaven; 14 He cried aloud, and said thus, Hew down the tree, and cut off his branches, shake off his leaves, and scatter his fruit: let the beasts get away from under it, and the fowls from his branches.” Here Yahweh is announcing, through His messenger, to cut down the “tree” representing Babylon, with its economic, political, religious and universalist systems.
Verse 14 commands, “hew down the tree”, meaning to bring in the Medo-Persians (with the Scythian Israelites) and conquer her. After that the order goes out “and cut off his branches”, same as the “boughs” or branches of government under which the fowls [unclean birds] infiltrate mentioned in verse 12. Next the order is “shake off his leaves”, meaning break down the walls of protection, followed by “and scatter his fruit”, meaning dry up the production of food and cause industry to fail. Continuing we hear the words “let the beast get away from under it”, meaning, let the other races go somewhere else, followed by one last directive “and the fowls from his branches”, and if you will remember in lesson #59 how the Chaldean priesthood left Babylon for Pergamos where Revelation 2:12-13 states “Satan’s seat” is.
BUT LEAVE THE STUMP
We come now to the second half of the “watcher’s decree.” Now for anyone who is looking ahead to verses 25, 32-33, and believes that Nebuchadnezzar (Nabonidus) was condemned “to eat grass like an oxen” in an environment with animals for a literal period of seven years, should reconsider that position. I point that out, as the digestive system of a man can in no way consume grass as food. Now the cud-chewing bovine variety of beef-cattle, including the oxen and buffalo, have a four compartment stomach and can break down raw grass as usable food. Even then, if they eat to much grass in the green stage, it can make them terribly sick. There is no way Nabonidus, as a man, could have eaten grass for seven days, let alone seven years. For anyone who thinks he did, I invite him to make a single meal of grass, cooked in any manner or eaten raw, and he will wish he hadn’t within 24 hours. Yet in spite of this crystal-clear, explicit fact, many Bible commentaries make that claim. It’s about time we start using some common sense when reading Holy Scripture, and with common sense, we will continue. So we can safely conclude that Daniel in chapter 4 is speaking mostly in symbolic terms rather than literal! One exception being the “one hour” at verse 19.
Now if you are familiar with the Book Of Enoch, you are aware there are a group of angels who are called the “Watchers.” If you will recall, Daniel had contact with two other angels, Michael and Gabriel. Many of the anti-seedliners disclaim both devil and angel-kind. We will now read verses 15-17:
“15 Nevertheless leave the stump of his roots in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth: 16 Let his heart be changed from man’s and let a beast’s heart be given unto him; and let seven times pass over him. 17 This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.”
As we continue, we are told in verse 15, “Nevertheless leave the stump of his roots in the earth.” When we finally arrive at verse 22, it will be revealed, while it doesn’t state his name, that Nabonidus using the name of Nebuchadnezzar was the “tree.” It should then be evident that if the tree is Nabonidus, the stump and roots in some manner are also. Then we are introduced to a different element of the “stump”, “even with a band of iron and brass.” These are two of the four same metals of the dream-image at chapter 2, less the gold and silver. And if you will remember, the gold was Babylon; the silver was Medo-Persia; the brass was Greece; and the iron was Rome. To be consistent and because we are not instructed otherwise, we can once again be quite sure the iron band is Rome and the brass band Greece. As we can observe, the sentence was severe, but not entirely fatal to what the tree represented. And while Nabonidus was the tree that was cut down at the fall of Babylon, his political, economic and religious system continued living on. Next we are given a clue where the dying stump would subsist and under what conditions it would thrive, “in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven” At Matthew 13:38, in the parable of the wheat and the tares we are told “the field is the world.” But this passage speaks of “the tender grass of the field” and how can that be applied? Well, wheat is a product from a kind of grass, and the true Israelites were considered wheat in the parable just cited. Therefore, the “tender grass” can be no other than the White Adamic race. And once we can comprehend that, the “dew of heaven” can be no other than the knowledge of Yahweh and Gospel story. Now the stump is not the tender grass and the tender grass (wheat) is not the stump. In other words the tender grass (true Israel) is coexisting with the Babylonian stump. And while the knowledge of Yahweh is for true Israel only, the dying stump pollutes the knowledge of Yahweh with its poisonous byproducts, and that’s a perfect analogy of the Universal Roman Catholic Church which worships Naboninus’ Babylonian queen of heaven, teaching.
Another interesting thing we should take into account is the fact that the stump with its bands of iron and brass completely bypassed the Medo-Persian Empire as the stump had no band of silver. This is because the Medo-Persian Empire, under Cyrus and Darius, had developed an honest money system and had post roads for the free movement of truthful news and information. It is also because Nabonidus’ moon-god Sin religious system, as related in lesson #59, moved directly from Babylon to Pergamos, again bypassing the Medo-Persian Empire. Thus, out of the Grecian Empire came heavily influenced philosophy (the knowledge of men) which in church seminaries is called hermeneutics. And when Rome conquered Greece, all the Greek paganism along with Greek thought became part and parcel of Rome.
Continuing on in verse 15, it says, “and let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth.” It appears to be implying, let Nabonidus’ stump system be with the beasts (other races) in the grass (Israel wheat) of the earth. To be more emphatic, Nabonidus’ portion is with the beast (other races) in the tender grass (wheat) nations. Following in verse 16 we read, “Let his heart be changed from man’s and let a beast’s heart be given unto him.” Again, this is symbolic language suggesting that he, the Nabonidus stump political-economical-religious system, would have a similar mental disposition as a brute-animal. Also it should be noted the word “man’s” as used here is not #120 for Adam-man but #606, enash-man in Aramaic, and # 582 in Hebrew, enosh-man. It is quite evident, then, that Nabonidus was not related to us White people. Then the proclamation, “and let seven times pass over him.” Here again, we come face to face with the Biblical system for counting prophetic time. Inasmuch as a time is 360 years, “seven times” would equate to 2520 years to pass over the stump system. This is the seven times period of Nabonidus’ insanity.
Then it continues, “This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones.” There are certain angels who have specific jobs, and are assigned to watch over the destinies of certain countries and situations and are under the command of the Almighty. Whether or not the various nations are aware of it, they will in some way fulfill the purposes of Yahweh (and that doesn’t mean non-Israel peoples will inherit the Kingdom with Israel). They emphatically will not! The next verse 17 verifies this where it says, “to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.” Here the words “the living” pertain only to Adamic man, for he only had the breath of life of Yahweh breathed into him, Genesis 2:7. So when we grasp that seven times are going to pass over Nabonidus’ stump, we can be sure the Almighty has a purpose for it, and that it will be fulfilled exactly on time. Then we see one more very important matter added to this mandate, “and setteth up over it the basest of men.” All we need do is look back over history from the time when this decree was made to the present day and observe the various emperors, czars, kings, Kaisers, dictators, prime ministers and presidents and thereby we can plainly see that they were indeed the “basest of men.” The only ones who amounted to anything at all were those kings descended from the House of David of the Tribe of Judah. And surely many of our presidents would have to be placed in the “basest” category. This phrase alone should prove beyond all doubt that the “seven times” were not seven literal years, but 2520 years of the insanity of Nabonidus! How can one place the plural word “men” in the space of seven literal years? It can’t be done, for it is speaking of a prophetic 2520 years for these “basest of men”! And that is what we’ve had!
The only question at this point is, from what point in time do we start counting the “seven times”? For the answer to that we need to know when the “tree” was fully felled. While the Babylonian Empire was conquered at 539 B.C., the last usurper to attempt to restore the empire was Nebuchadnezzar IV in 521 B.C. It would seem reasonable that Cyrus hadn’t really secured his conquest until that last usurper was eliminated. It could only be at that point the “tree” was down to stay. Once that point is established, all one need do is add 2520 years and allow one year for B.C. to A.D. conversion plus any variation for New Years day. We keep our New Years day January 1st but Babylon celebrated theirs in the Fall of the year. Therefore, adjustments would have to be made for all these varying factors.
But we must remember that this is all a dream-vision to Nabonidus, and probably in his dream he counted it as seven literal years. Then at the end of his imagined seven years’ insanity he fantasized he was restored. That also was but a dream. The reason the vision was given to Nabonidus is because his “stump system” would fulfill it. Now if we will keep in mind that this is all a dream on the part of Nabonidus, we can separate the literal from the long range prophetic significance. Let’s now take up the reading of Daniel chapter 4 once more skipping to verse 20:
“20 The tree that thou sawest, which grew, and was strong, whose height reached unto the heaven, and the sight thereof to all the earth; 21 Whose leaves were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all; under which the beasts of the field dwelt, and upon whose branches the fowls of the heaven had their habitation: 22 It is thou, O king, that art grown and become strong: for thy greatness is grown, and reacheth unto heaven, and thy dominion to the end of the earth. 23 And whereas the king saw a watcher and an holy one coming down from heaven, and saying, Hew the tree down, and destroy it; yet leave the stump of the roots thereof in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts of the field, till seven times pass over him; 24 This is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the most High, which is come upon my lord the king: 25 That they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and they shall wet thee with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will. 26 And whereas they commanded to leave the stump of the tree roots; thy kingdom shall be sure unto thee, after that thou shalt have known that the heavens do rule. 27 Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by shewing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquillity. 28 All this came upon the king Nebuchadnezzar.”
You probably noticed the language from verses 20 to 28 were a repeat of former verses, and because we had established their meaning, you could comprehend the text to a greater degree. There were two things, though, that I underlined for emphasis. The second item that I underlined which should be taken into account is at verse 26 where it said, “thy kingdom shall be sure unto thee” In a sense, this became true, but Nabonidus would never live to see it though, and I doubt if Daniel explained it to him in that manner. The one thing which we are certain, it has undeniably been 2520 years of insanity! Now verses 29-31:
“29 At the end of twelve months he walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon. 30 The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty? 31 While the word was in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee.”
Obviously, this is not part of the dream, but it does show he had no respect for Daniel’s interpretation. What is interesting is the last part of verse 31 where it says, “The kingdom is departed from thee.” Truly, if this is Nabonidus, it would be a proper statement, for it was during his reign that Babylon fell to the Medo-Persians, although he was at Tema in the Arabian Desert and had left his son Belshazzar in charge of the city. Later, Nabonidus would be captured at Babylon. He was an archaeologist, and was considered by secular historians a “mad king.” Nabonidus was mad all right, he had a bad case of “moon-madness.” Fortunately, we have much evidence concerning Nabonidus from a secular historical viewpoint, and it’s not hard to see why Daniel might have pictured him in that light. Let’s now read verses 32 to 37 in such a light:
“32 And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will. 33 The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles’ feathers, and his nails like birds’ claws. 34 And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation: 35 And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou? 36 At the same time my reason returned unto me; and for the glory of my kingdom, mine honour and brightness returned unto me; and my counselors and my lords sought unto me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me. 17 Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of Heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.”
From this ending, one might get the idea that Nabonidus turned from his sinful ways, and as some might say, ‘became a Christian.’ Nothing could be farther from the truth! Nabonidus was far from being an Israelite, the only Kingdom people. Daniel is simply illustrating, how in the end, all heathen (other races) will have to recognize and admit that Yahweh is the only living, all wise Elohim, although His Salvation is not for them. This can be proved from many passages of Scripture. It seems that the Almighty takes great pleasure in showing all the non-Israelite peoples that His Redemption is not for them!
As has been pointed out before, Daniel’s writings are mostly in symbology, and in most cases cannot be taken entirely in a literal manner. If we do so, we will get into trouble every time. Another thing you might have noticed with this passage is the fact that the symbology is repeated throughout the chapter several times. Whenever this phenomenon is encountered in Scripture, it is for the purpose of emphasis, as the matter is extraordinarily important. As the terms “seven times” “stump” “tender grass” are repeated two, three and four times in the same text, Daniel is imploring you to learn the symbolical meaning. Actually, the basic theme concerning the “seven times over the stump” is reiterated four times in slightly varying language, so the symbology is of very great significance. Had it meant only seven literal years, once would have sufficed. The ball is now in your court, and you will have to settle this matter for yourself. One will have to admit, there is a considerable difference between 7 literal years and 2520 prophetic years, and also 1260 literal days (sometimes stated “42 months” or in other cases, “time, times, and a half of time”) and 1260 prophetic years!
It should be noted at verse 23, the command from the “watcher” was to “hew down” and “destroy” the tree which represented Nabonidus (v. 22) , but at the end of the chapter, Nabonidus was seemingly restored. We can’t have it both ways, as he was either destroyed or he wasn’t. Therefore, the only way Nabonidus was restored was in a symbolic sense in the analogy of a decaying “stump”, after the fact. We still have that corrupt stump among us today, and the only restoration we can have is the total destruction of the “stump” system which it represents. And the only restoration which might be applicable would be the exposure of those advocating and promoting the stump system, and having them have to admit there is only one True Elohim, and His “living tree” system. Daniel really isn’t contradicting himself if we perceive him in the correct manner!
It is hard to find anything beneficial from the various Bible commentaries on this chapter, but occasionally one can chance on an interesting remark. The International Bible Commentary by F. F. Bruce et. al., on verse 15 makes the observation that the “bands” around the “stump” might be for the purpose of stunting its re-growth so it doesn’t get out of control, or to make sure it’s going to eventually die. Well, that’s a tantalizing thought! Bruce also suggests the possibility of the bands being used “to protect against damage.” I would have to agree with the former. Bruce also points out that the term time in “seven times” in Aramaic only means “a specific period.”
Another interesting observation is by the Commentary on the Whole Bible by Jamieson, Fausset & Brown on verse 13; “watcher and an holy one — rather, ‘even an holy one.’ Only one angel is intended, and he not one of the bad, but of the holy angels. Called a ‘watcher’, because ever on the watch to execute God’s will ... The idea of heavenly ‘watchers’ under the supreme God (called in the Zendavesta of the Persian Zoroaster, (Ormuzd) was founded on the primeval revelation as to evil angels having watched for an opportunity until they succeeded in tempting man to his ruin, and good angels ministering to God’s servants ...”