Joel Richardson, like so many other wingnuts, fancies himself an expert on Biblical “prophecy.” And like every other self-declared expert on the subject over the last 2000 years, he’s convinced that events today are the fulfillment of “prophecy” and that we are living in the end times.
Now, I have always interpreted the vision to pertain to the historical empires of Medo-Persia and Greece, and then the little horn, while being partially fulfilled in the life of Antiochus Epiphanes, to be ultimately fulfilled in the last days through Antichrist. Many other commentators hold to this view as well. Although I have more than 100 commentaries on the book of Daniel, I had never really considered any other view until I read “Daniel Revisited” by Mark Davidson. In that book, Davidson, taking a radical futurist perspective, makes some excellent points that I had simply never considered. When we actually read the explanation of Gabriel, the truth is that he does not make any such break in the vision, placing some of it in history and some of it the future. He simply says that the vision pertains to the time of the end. And then he says it again.
If the ultimate meaning of the entire vision is eschatological, pertaining to the time of the end, while it may certainly maintain a historical partial fulfillment, it may also very well speak of two forthcoming regional wars. The first war would be Iran “butting” as it were to the west, the north and the south – into the nations of Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and perhaps Bahrain, Azerbaijan and as far as Israel and Egypt. But after this, Turkey in the east would launch a counter offensive. After this time, it appears as though out of the ashes of these wars, in the region stretching from Nineveh (Mosul) to Turkey, we should expect to see the Antichrist arise, starting small but then gaining in power. With Iran already declaring that it will enter the fray in Iraq to respond to the ISIS offensive, the beginning of Daniel’s vision may very well be beginning to unfold right in front of us. Am I saying that this is absolutely how it is going to happen and that “this is that?” Not yet, but I think we can all acknowledge that what is now unfolding in Iraq and Iran makes this all a very real possibility.
You know, the “prophecies” in the Bible truly are wondrous things. They have the ability to be fulfilled hundreds of times over, in every single generation for at least 2000 years. But don’t worry, I’m sure this time they aren’t completely full of shit and are interpreting acid trips and bad dreams in a totally rational way.