Daniel 2: What I/We/You/They Have Not Yet Believed

Ellen White did not understand the difference between law and principle. The Bible never calls the ten commandments the law. It calls the entire pentateuch the law. There are hundreds of commandments in the law that didn’t exist before this earth.

The issue with sin is not so much law as loyalty.

I believe she came to her preoccupation with the law to make sabbath keeping a central issue.

But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious…How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious? (2 Cor 7,8)


mostly…i don’t believe the Ten Commandments were the form of the law in eden, where there was only one husband and one wife…what use would the adultery commandment have served…for that matter, what use would the graven image commandment have served before anyone thought of constructing idols of birds or animals or imaginary gods…

since eden, my hunch is that there was a slow development in the condition and needs of humanity until the Ten Commandments were appropriate, full force, at sinai…if we spiritualize commandments like the graven image commandments, they continue to be relevant today…

as for heaven and the new earth, where no-one will marry or be given in marriage, the adultery commandment will likely need to morph into what was in eden, or in heaven before the fall…we don’t know the form of the law that will operate when we are redeemed, or even whether they will be reducible to Ten Commandments…perhaps they’ll resemble more the summary of christ, which is to love god supremely and one’s neighbour as oneself…

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Thanks Christopher. What you have listed is certainly the consensus interpretation of Daniel 2. However, I find a mismatch between that reading of Daniel and how Jesus proclaimed His kingdom.
Does Jesus’ lived experience interpret the prophecy or does the prophecy define what Jesus meant?
Are we repeating the same error as Jesus’ contemporaries by insisting on a visible kingdom?
I raise this point because as SDAs we tend to emphasise the second coming over the incarnation. But the main event in salvation history has already happened. Our reading of Daniel 2 contributes to this bias.
This is not to undermine hope in the second coming but to see that as guaranteed by the incarnation. Even as God’s kingdom (established without force) competes with other visible, violent kingdoms, it will eventually “crush all those kingdoms and … endure forever.”


In believing as you do, you certainly disagree with Ellen White, whom you adore more than the Scriptures. You also as you have expressed earlier, don’t believe either that Jesus died even for the angels and all the unfallen worlds as Ellen white believed and taught. Your unstable positions seems strange. As for me I don’t believe her position on both these points.

In heaven, there would be no question of marital relations as on earth while they recognise their own families and come close to them. Whereas in the new earth, I believe the family relations do resume as it had been in Eden before sin. Restoration means all that was original and was lost on account of sin on earth which includes the family ties.


i think your problem is that you don’t understand either point…

my guess is that the empire of rome is what spawned the papacy, and that it is the papacy that will be important at the end of time…the dream of nebuchadnezzar seems to deal with the defined people of god through time, and not lost humanity outside of that focus…it’s not a dream about the world in general…

Thanks for the various opinions.
I would like to add a few thoughts based on the discussion.

In Genesis 26:4-5 God reiterates the blessing given to Abraham by saying to his son Isaac, ‘because Abraham hearkened to my voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes and My laws.’

So, there was some form of the law in effect before Sinai for some people. I think a basic level of comprehension of right and wrong is inherent in everyone’s conscience but it appears God impressed certain further elements of His law upon certain individuals He specifically chose to carry out His will.

I see this idea echoed by Jesus in Luke 12:47-48, ‘And that slave who knew his master’s will and did not get ready or act in accord with his will, will receive many lashes, but the one who did not know it, and committed deeds worthy of a flogging, will receive but few. From everyone who has been given much, much will be required;’

This idea of varying punishment and reward based on what we have done with what we have had the opportunity to know appears again in Matt 11:20-24 in which Jesus said it will be more tolerable for Tyre, Sidon, and Sodom in the judgment than for Chorazin and Capernaum.

This leads one to the idea that those the Bible calls ‘overcomers’, those who will be chosen for positions of authority under Christ in the coming kingdom, are a subset of believers. They are those who have best used what they have been given (e.g., Matt 19:28, Luke 19:15-27; Rev 3:21).

I think one can apply a similar approach regarding angels and marriage. In Luke 20:34-36 Jesus says, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; for they cannot even die anymore, because they are like angels, and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.”

I think ‘that age’ refers to the next age. I believe the kingdom will be manifested in several coming stages and ages. Those in the first draft to immortality are those who have been proven worthy (are the overcomers) as decided by the judgment of our works at the end of this age.

I also think this goal of becoming like an angel was Paul’s aim that he spoke of in Phil 3:9-12 when he said he had not yet laid of something he called ‘the prize of the upward call of God’. He said he wanted to attain to the ‘out-resurrection’ from the dead (the only time he used that term).

Thus, only a small, select group of believers, those who share in ‘the fellowship of His sufferings’, and are being ‘conformed to Christ’s death’ will be honoured by becoming ‘like angels’, at least initially when we enter the next age.

So, they alone will not marry or be given in marriage.

Isaiah says God’s people will build houses, and tend vineyards and eat their fruit in the earth made new (65:21-23). I see this as reflective of the existence man had before sin so I agree with the idea that what was lost through sin will be restored. This will apply to the majority of believers, those who have been saved but not chosen to be ‘like angels’.

Making Paul say something so un-new testament as this you would have to have very strong evidence. Your argument falls far short. Especially because Jesus taught that there are no distinctions of greater honor in heaven. The first shall be last, and all!

"Did you not agree with me for a denarius? Take what is yours and go your way. I wish to give to this last man the same as to you. Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things? Or is your eye evil because I am good?’ So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few chosen.”

The New King James (Mt 20:13–16).

Well, that ought to open up a can of worms. Say one spouse dies and has been faithful in marriage, yet the surviving spose remarries. Now they are reunited in heaven and he, or she has another spouse and then after the thousand years they all return to the new earth. Polygamy again? Or has the spouse that remarried entered into adultery against her former faithful spouse and threw it all away?


Just to be clear, I’m not talking about being saved or lost. Paul said we are saved by grace through faith. In that sense we have all been treated equally. ‘For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all’ (Rom 11:32). Belief in what Christ did for us on the cross opens the way to new creation life. Rather, I am talking about how the kingdom unfolds, about each person’s role in the kingdom.

Part of being an overcomer is to forgive and sincerely place the interests of others ahead of your own. That is what Christ did on the cross and we are to have ‘the mind of Christ’. We are at different stages in that process.

We think it’s not fair to pay someone who worked all day the same as someone who worked an hour. I believe the point Christ was making was not that He will treat everyone equally, but that He will choose based on different criteria than men do.

Many will think like the Pharisee and James and John that they deserve places of honour in the kingdom. But those who take the lowest place at the banquet will be called forward. The last shall be first and many will be considered but only a few will be chosen for these positions of authority under Christ in the kingdom.

Not at all! When a spouse died, the marital covenant is annulled, allowing the surviving one to remarry and that annulled covenant is not remembered any more after translation and the present relationship would continue. This is my position, not imposing on any one.

So…the first empire was Babylon which ruled Mesopotamia until the second empire, Persia replaced it as the ruler of Mesopotamia. Next came the Seleucid empire which you refer to as the Greek empire which ruled Mesopotamia until…wait for it…they were supplanted by the Parthian empire which ruled Mesopotamia from 227 BC to 224 AD. Uh oh, that’s four. The next empire ruling Mesopotamia was Rome, sort of, but they were never able to hold it for long. Me thinks that history itself is the giant rock which destroys your image. Of course, you could adopt the dominant position that Daniel was written in the 160’s BC using its own view of history, written in the form of prophecy (after the events) to show how the Jewish people would finally overcome the rule of Antiochus IV who troubled their little corner of the world.


So, Bob pops up out of the ground and looks for Myrtle who is supposed to come up next to him as far as he has remembered. He asks Jesus “Where’s Myrtle?” Jesus answers “Well Bob, I annulled your marriage to her, and she’s over yonder with Freddy now. She doesn’t remember you anymore. Chin up now Bob. Let me wipe those tears for you”. “Well, how about the kids? Where are they at? Do I get to have a reunion with them, or are they with Freddy and Myrtle?” “Careful Bob, you’re pushing it”.


Bart, the Seleucid Empire is a division of the Greek Emire after it split in four. Seleucid was attacked on two sides: the Parthians attacked from the east, the Romans from the west. In 69 BC the two enemies made a treaty–the Euphrates would be the border. Six years later, the Roman commander Pompey conquered what was left of the empire of the Seleucids.

Rome won! Rome became the next Juggernaut world empire-replacing the Greek Empire.

This liberal attempt to discredit Daniel has been completely disproved. Bart, you just are not in touch with the latest scholarship on this subject.

You were discussing the Persians later here. Old Perian loan-words are found in Daniel and these words have been determined to be of the very Old Persian, or Achaemedian tongue (539-332 BC;) Bruce Waltke, “The Date of the Book of Daniel.” Bibliotheca Sacra 133 (1976): 319-329. D. J. Wiseman, “Babylonia.” New Bible Dictionary (1982):114-119. The conclusion by Scolars is that an Israelite would not know these Persian loan-words in the 2nd century BC.
Daniel was truly writing in the 6th century BC then the Old Persian words in the book are understandable. Cyrus was a Persian, and Daniel would have had learned Persian to retain his position in Cyrus’ government. Bruce Waltke, “The Date of the Book of Daniel.” Bibliotheca Sacra 133 (1976): 319-329.

The canonicity of Daniel is supported by the so-called 4QFlorilegium 100 B.C, (4Q174) in the Dead Sea scrolls. These employ the quotation formula "which is written in the book of Daniel the prophet. Such a formula is typical of quotations from canonical Scripture at Qumran. It is similar also to Matthew 24:15, where Jesus refers to “Daniel the prophet.”

Daniel was already canonical at Qumran at about 100 B.C., how could it have become so quickly canonical if it had just been produced a mere half century before as liberal scholars who do not believe in inspiration wish to date it?

All agree in the fact that the caves were sealed, and the site abandoned in 68 AD, and that the manuscripts in them could not have been written after that date.

Robert Vasholz says: " Many morphological forms were thought to be ‘late’ or 2nd century are now established as early as the eighth to the fifth centuries BC [by the Elephantine papyri of the sixth century and Old Aramaic treaty texts from Sefire]," (Robert Vasholz, pg.316) “Qumran and the Dating of Daniel.” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 21 (1978): 315-321.


Some syntactical forms found in Daniel did not survive past the fifth century BC, for example the preposition Ie before a king’s name, and the “Assur Ostracon (seventh century BC) which agrees with the word order in Daniel.”

As a final note on the literary style, AK Grayson’s Babylonian historical-Literary Texts, demonstrated, according to Joyce Baldwin, that in style, form, and rationale there is a striking resemblance [between parts of Daniel and tablets of ancient Babylonian prophecy] which it is by no means easy to account for knowledge of this [Babylonian] cuneiform literature in the second century Palestine. [But] Israel would have had Babylonian influence on all sides during the exile" (Joyce Baldwin, “Some Literary Affinities of Daniel,” pg. 99- The Tyndale Bulletin 30 (1979)

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Well, I don’t want to be charged as being a heretic and then excommunicated, so, please don’t tell it to anyone, but I am “Bible only.” It’s an effective way to stay out of those nonsensical discussions about non-biblical beliefs. If it’s not in the Bible, it’s non-Biblical, so simple. And if it’s non-Biblical, why bother wasting so much time discussing it?

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Very amusing piece of imagination! I guess you know the answer for your question.

Regarding the question of which husband the woman will have in the resurrection, I think we have overlooked part of Jesus’ explanation.

In the Matthew and Mark accounts Jesus tells the Sadducees they err because they do not know the Scriptures nor the power of God.

The Scripture says this about marriage in Gen 2:24, ‘Therefore a man will leave his father and his mother and be joined to his wife, and they will become one flesh.’

Is the answer to the Sadducee question simply that they fail to see how God has planned something different in the future? Is marriage an earthly ordinance for our age designed to satisfy our emotional and psychological needs of companionship and the physical need of our flesh for sexual gratification? If our resurrected spiritual bodies will not have these needs, marriage will no longer be required or relevant.

In the same passage, Jesus also says, ‘For He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living. You therefore do greatly err.’

Ecclesiastes 12:7 says, ‘then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.’ So, in some sense (and I don’t mean in a sentient way because there is no body) one’s spirit is alive in God after one’s physical death, hence God sees all as ‘alive’.

If so, perhaps God will make known to this spirit in some way the change regarding marriage and we will not be confused about it upon our resurrection.

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