Daniel Knows His Babylonian Literature

Daily Scripture readings for April, set #19:

- Ezekiel 48
- Job 17
- John 12:12-19
- 1 John 5:6-12

“And the name of the city from that time on shall be, The Lord Is There” (Ez 48:35). What was merely an attribute becomes an identity, and furthermore, an identity that wasn’t formerly but is now and “from that time on.”

“He has made me a byword of the peoples, and I am one before whom men spit” (Job 17:6). This chapter is about how terrible Job is feeling, but I don’t want to miss that he again credits God with his afflictions (it’s worth noting how frequently this happens in Job). We all know enough about the Job story to know that God rebukes him at the end of the book, but it will be interesting to see if the rebuke is because Job is incorrect to claim that God is the source of his suffering.

“And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written” (Jn 12:14). This clear fulfillment of prophecy and the way it is worded makes me wonder if Jesus ever states in the gospels that he is aware that his actions are fulfilling prophecy. Does anyone know if this is the case? A quick Google search didn’t turn anything up for me just now.

“Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life” (1Jn 5:12). It’s interesting that the “believing” is not present in this verse, but only “having.” The concept of belief is used elsewhere in John’s writings, but it just stands out to me that it isn’t used here.

Daily Scripture readings for April, set #20:

- Daniel, chapters 1-2
- Job 18
- John 12:20-36
- 1 John 5:13-21

“But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king’s food, or with the wine that he drank” (Dan 1:8). Don’t miss the fact that Daniel’s issue with potentially defiling himself is with only the FOOD of the Babylonians, though we see only a few verses earlier that he was forced to study the literature and language of this pagan nation. Verses 17-20 reveal that God himself gives Daniel and his friends great understanding and wisdom in the literature of the Babylonians. Daniel refuses to break God’s direct command, but is not afraid of immersing himself in the culture of Babylon.

“Surely such are the dwellings of the unrighteous, such is the place of him who knows not God” (Job 18:21). Bildad is listing all the ways that wickedness doesn’t end up profiting a man in the end. He’s correct, right? I’ve pointed this out before and I’ll do it again: the book of Job is confusing to me. God’s rebuke to Job’s friends (at the end of the book) comes because they spoke wrongly. Is this chapter an example of Bildad speaking wrongly? It sure doesn’t seem wrong.

“Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out” (Jn 12:31). A few years ago I spent some time studying the main views on the “millenium” concept found in Revelation 20. This verse would seem to support the “Post-Mil” and “A-Mil” positions.

“We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him” (1Jn 5:18). This is a really heavy-hitting verse. How should we understand the phrase “does not keep on sinning”? Should we assume that it means “never sins again”? I think all of us would admit that we have missed that mark entirely.

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2 thoughts on “Daniel Knows His Babylonian Literature”

  1. Steve – How ’bout when Jesus read in the Synagoge and said, “today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing”? I didn’t look up the chapter and verse but don’t you think Jesus is saying he is fulfilling prophecy here?

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