It was June of 2015, almost three years ago.
Gardening season was well under way. The water hoses were laid out and connected, and the seeds were planted. All the crop plants had sprouted and so row after row of raised beds was sporting new greenery. Corn, tomatoes, green beans, peppers, watermelon, and so many other good things were going to be had, Lord willing. Practicing for the Second Signpost has its benefits.
The days were getting hotter in Colorado, so the daily afternoon thunderstorms were welcome. The pea plants were already producing their pods which were swelling up with delicious sweet peas. (If you’ve only eaten peas from a grocery store you don’t know what you’re missing!)
Anyway, sales of Daniel Revisited were advancing. It seemed the Signpost interpretation of end-time prophecy was becoming known.
One thing was bothering me, though. And I gave it to the Lord in prayer. It seemed no one had a problem with Daniel 8 being fulfilled completely in the end times. After all, it said so three times in that chapter. But a few had a problem with the horsemen of Revelation 6 and of the vision of Daniel 7, paralleling Daniel 8. I didn’t see a problem; it seemed obvious to me the three passages went together.
Between Revelation 6 and Daniel 7 being in question, it was Daniel 7 that seemed the most important passage to me. Perhaps it wasn’t articulated enough in Daniel Revisited, but Daniel 7 seemed the cornerstone of signpost theory to me, not Daniel 8. Daniel 7 laid out the four events via the four beasts, it seemed.
I thought about this. If a few had a problem, likely more would as the signpost interpretation became more widespread. I rejected the idea that it was their problem. No, if the signpost interpretation was true, it had to be seen by everyone in the church. And to be seen by everyone, the disposition of Daniel 7 in regards to the signposts had to become obvious.
Was there another way to see Daniel 7? Was there another way to explain it? Was the truth of it something else entirely that I had missed? Was there another argument that fell on the side of the signposts or against it? I gave this problem to Him.
After a week or two of praying about all these things, asking the Lord to show me the way to go, to show me what to pray for—I finally asked Him to guide me into wisdom on Daniel 7. The journey to the Chronicles started just as the journey to Daniel Revisited started—with a prayer.
After laying the problem at our Savior’s feet, in the remaining days of June, my mind started thinking of many of the chapters of Daniel, not just Daniel 7. Why, for instance, did Daniel 3 and Daniel 6 also seem similar to each other? I say “also” because Daniel 2 and Daniel 7 are similar to each other. Each of those two chapters tells of a progression of kingdoms, but represented by metals or beasts. Daniel 3 and 6 tell of God’s saints, serving God, getting in trouble with their government, being punished, and then being rescued by God. And what of Daniel 4 and 5? Two kings encountered God, trembled from fright in the encounter, and either repented and was saved, or mocked and rejected God and lost everything.
The six chapters of Daniel formed three twin pairs.
I knew about these chapters of Daniel since early Sunday school times. They contain some of the most popular stories in the Bible—the fiery furnace, the lion’s den, and the writing on the wall. But it seemed I couldn’t stop thinking of these things as these chapters swirled about in my head. Why are they filling my thoughts now? Why the emphasis on thinking of them? It must be God working, I thought.
And why are these six chapters of Daniel originally written in Aramaic? The whole Old Testament was written in Hebrew except one verse in Jeremiah, a smattering of verses in Ezra, and those six chapters of Daniel.
For literally decades, I had never given a second thought about Daniel 2–7 beyond the individual stories, nor to the reason why they were written in Aramaic. As June gave way to July, just as the garden plants were growing taller and about to bear fruit, so too, this swirling of thought was going to bear fruit, though of course I didn’t know it at the time.
As it turned out, the seemingly plain stories taught in those six chapters and the obscure fact they were set apart and written in Aramaic, was the key to understanding Daniel 7, and in fact all of Daniel, and all the prophetic books. I came to realize later we don’t even fully understand Daniel 2! Yes, Daniel 2 shows us the kingdoms in the past as metals, and Daniel 7 shows us the same kingdoms in the end-times as beasts, but there is much more to both chapters.
God was answering my prayer.