An Alphabetical Analysis
Volume 8 - Prophetic Truth - Page 125 of 304
'The Times of the Gentiles'
(with a brief note on Zephaniah)
The prophet that follows Jeremiah chronologically is Zephaniah, whose
prophecy immediately precedes the Captivity.  Something of the state of mind
that characterized the people at the time of their end can be gathered, not
only from the violence and deceit and prevalence of idolatry, but from such a
passage as Zephaniah 1:12, where the Lord threatens to punish those who say
'The Lord will not do good, neither will He do evil'.
At the end, a promise is given that glances at the root cause of the
confusion that has spread over the earth, namely, Babel's curse, for we read:
'For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all
call upon the name of the Lord, to serve Him with one consent' (Zeph.
Zephaniah, like most of the prophets, ends on the note of restoration,
'He will save', 'He will rest in His love', 'I will gather', 'When I turn
back your captivity before your eyes' (3:17 -20).  God promises Israel that
He will get them praise and fame 'in every land where they have been put to
shame', and because at long last 'the king of Israel, even the Lord, is in
the midst of thee' the promise stands 'thou shalt not see evil any more'
(3:15).  With these comforting thoughts we turn our attention to the next
prophecy on our list, the prophecy of Daniel.
Zephaniah uttered his prophecy immediately before the fall of Nineveh,
Daniel dates his opening words 'In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim
king of Judah', the year which Nebuchadnezzar set out to besiege Jerusalem
and take it.  Other nations and kings figure in this prophecy, some being
named, some being left unnamed, but all are seen as successors and continuers
of Gentile dominion over Jerusalem, which city will be trodden down of the
Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled (Luke 21:24).  The
prophetic forecast of Nebuchadnezzar's dream (Dan. 2) covers the whole period
of time from the deposition of the kings of Judah, until the setting up of
the kingdom under the Lord Jesus Christ, the true Messiah and king of Israel.
The book of Daniel falls into two great corresponding sections:
1 to 6.  The Historic Foreshadowing.  Now past.
7 to 12.  The Time of the End.  Yet to come.
The following structure will reveal the parallelism sufficiently to
justify the thought that what took place in the experience of Daniel himself,
was at the same time an anticipation and a guarantee of what is to come at
the time of the end.
Historic Foreshadowing
Dream.  Gentile Dominion.  'The Lord gave'.
Fiery furnace.  Like Son of God.
People, nations and languages.
Seven Times.  Madness.
Writing (kethab) explained.