John Lilburne's journal about Daniel's prophecy of the kingdoms.
0905 L Tue 27 Nov 2001
Today the news is that several hundred U.S. Marines are in Afghanistan, near the last main Taliban stronghold of Kandahar. The fall of empires in today's first reading seems relevant. It is from Daniel 2:31-45.
The New Jerome Biblical Commentary discusses when this was written. It says there are overwhelming arguments that it was written shortly before 164 B.C.This is much later than when Nebuchadnezzar reigned from 605-562 B.C.
The kingdoms Daniel is foretelling would have been understood by the audience of the time as those of the Babylonians, the Medes, the Persians, and the Greeks. The Greek's empire is discussed in detail as a divided kingdom. But God's kingdom will shatter all of them and "it shall stand for ever".
The intention of the human author in about 164 B.C. would have been to encourage the Jews to have remained faithful to their ancestral religion against the lures of the Greek empire. For Christians it seems to a prophecy of Christ's kingdom.
Copyright J.R. Lilburne, 27 November 2001.