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Antichrist's 'desire of women' in Daniel 11:37 et al.

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Question #1:  Given Daniel 11:37, which says that Antichrist will “Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all”, will Antichrist be androgynous (cf. also 1Tim.4:1-3)?

Response#1:  Let me start by giving you my interpretation of the central passage here, Dan.11:37. The key phrase in that passage is hemdath nashiym, which KJV translates "the desire of women". This is not a bad translation, but almost any translation here would risk being misleading. Here we have two nouns in a "construct", wherein the latter noun modifies the former one (an idiom common in Hebrew and unique to it). The possibilities for the relationship which the ruling noun (i.e., the second one = "women") bears to its modifier (the first one = "desire") may run the gamut of everything the word "of" can mean in English or the genitive case can mean in Greek (including in both examples the phenomena of objective and subjective genitives, one of which we surely have here given the verbal nature of the word "desire").

In the context of Dan.11:37 we have four sequential elements: 1) antichrist being unconcerned with the God of his fathers (i.e., the Lord); 2) antichrist being unconcerned with the hemdath nashiym; 3) antichrist being unconcerned with any god/gods at all; 4) antichrist as a result exalting himself over all gods.

Given that the other three elements all tend in the same direction (i.e., antichrist's mental estimation of other gods vs. himself), it is virtually certain that we should take the phrase hemdath nashiym in a similar way. This is why many interpreters and versions have attempted to identify the hemdath nashiym as a particular pagan god (Tammuz or Adonis being the most common). In my view it is not necessary to go to that extreme. In the history of Israel's other kings, it was more often than not their (often foreign) wives that led them astray into the worship of other gods. That was notably true of all of Solomon's wives and of Jezebel in the case of Ahab (cf. also the idolatrous behavior of the women of Jerusalem generally outlined in Jer.44).

Therefore I am inclined to understand the phrase hemdath nashiym as the natural balance to the phrase "God of his fathers" and as contrasting that phrase so that I would translate as follows:

He (i.e., antichrist) will have no regard for the God of his fathers (i.e., the Lord), nor those favored by their wives, nor will he have regard for any god [at all], for he will exalt himself above them all.
Daniel 11:37

As to 1Tim.4:1-3 and the trends abroad in the world at that time, I do believe it is true that the religious movement of antichrist will make great use of encouraging behavioral extremes, pronouncing them "holy" and acceptable whether they run to lasciviousness or, in this case, asceticism (please see the link: “The Beast's Prophet and the Worldwide Anti-Christian Religion”). In either case, marriage, which represents an avoidance of both extremes, will be discouraged by antichrist's religion (as this passage indicates). Whether we may glean from this any personal predilection on the beast's part remains to be seen. The one thing I think we can rule out is the beast being a happily and respectably married man. If nothing else, this would militate against his imitation of the true Messiah.

Please see also:

Antichrist and his Kingdom: The Beast: All about Antichrist

In our Lord Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #2: 

Do saints of this age and time have spiritual warfare, and what does it mean.?

Response#2:  

"Spiritual warfare" is not, technically speaking, a biblical term. The closest one can come to this is Ephesians 6:12 which I render as follows:

For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against [angelic] princes, against [angelic] authorities, against the cosmic powers of this [present] darkness, against evil spirits in the heavenly realms.
Ephesians 6:12

To understand what any given group/preacher thinks composes this "battle", one has to investigate their teaching specifically. What I believe Paul means by this, inspired by the Holy Spirit, is the overarching reality of the Christian life that we are not here for ourselves but for Jesus Christ, and as His disciples and servants we are the targets of the devil and his minions in a way that is not true of unbelievers. We have to appreciate this fact and learn to live our lives as "Christian soldiers", not taking the world's opposition personally, but ever being mindful of our role as representatives of the Lord who bought us. I have written extensively on this topic and would invite you to consult the following link:

        Satan's World System (The Satanic Rebellion, Part 4)

        Status Quo in the Devil's World (section V. of Bible Basics: Anthropology)

Yours in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob Luginbill

Question #3: 

Dr. Luginbill, I first want to thank the Lord for your ministry and I would like to say that I find your lessons very informative as well as eye opening, so much that they have caused me to examine myself and make some positive changes in my life. I totally agree with your perspective in a lot of areas. I don't believe that Christians will just coast through life without encountering any trials or tribulations. I see the vast majority of churches and Christians taking on that lukewarm attitude. I hear them speaking of the prosperity gospel, once saved always saved, and the pre-tribulation rapture. I don't know if its because I've had a rough life and have went through my share of trials and tribulations, but after becoming saved I never saw being saved as a walk in the park. I can see how through all of these teachings that the devil is setting up the church and some Christians for the great falling away. Its scary. I was curious Dr. Luginbill as to when you will have the rest of your Great Tribulation serious out. I'm anxiously awaiting it. I pray that the Lord continually blesses you and keeps you in your ministry.

Response#3:  

Thanks so much for your encouraging e-mail! Nothing gives me greater pleasure than to learn that these studies have been helpful for the spiritual growth and encouragement of my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. I of course agree with your perspective entirely. I certainly don't enjoy tribulation and don't seek it for myself or anyone I care about, and I pray for deliverance from all trouble for all those for whom I pray. But it is a fact that we are tested and that without testing we wouldn't grow up the way the Lord wants us to. Without tribulation, moreover, it would be all too easy to fall into a morbid over-focus on this life and its "rewards" when in our heart of hearts we are really more concerned with what Jesus will say to us on that day of days than anything we might possibly "get" or "achieve" on earth (or at least we should be).

As to your question, first, I maintain an e-mail notification list for all major new postings, and would be happy to add your name if you so desire. The list generates about two or three e-mails a year (I don't send out any announcements of the weekly e-mail response postings as these are regular occurrences). Second, I am currently working on Coming Tribulation 5: Armageddon and the Second Advent (there are two more sections to come after that; see Coming Tribulation). I hope to have this out some time next year.

In our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob Luginbill

Question #4: 

Why is the number 40 used to identify events in the bible? We have 40 days of fasting, 40 days of rain or there any more occasion for this number?

Response#4:  

The following link gives a response to a similar question about the number 40 in the Bible which you might find helpful: "The Number Forty"

As I point out in the above listed response, the number 40, especially when applied to measures of time, seems to have the significance of divine "full sufficiency". That is, it is a length of time which is more than sufficient to demonstrate whatever is being demonstrated by God. The forty days of rain were sufficient to show that everything has been properly and sufficiently inundated; the forty days of Christ's testing were sufficient to show that He had been properly and sufficiently put to the test; the forty years of wandering in the wilderness were proper and sufficient to prove God's faithfulness to the faithless Exodus generation (and to prepare the next generation for entering into the land; cf. Deut.8:2-4). Thus forty would seem to be God's "more than enough" number:

    for Moses to properly commune with the Lord in reception of the Law (Deut.10:10)

    for the spies to thoroughly examine the land (Num.13:25)

    for maximum allowable punishment according to the Law (Deut.25:3)

    for David's rule over Judah and Israel, typical of Christ's to come (2Sam.5:4)

    for Elijah to reach Horeb, a journey long enough to show his determination to get away (1Ki.19:8)

    for sufficiently punishing Egypt (Ezek.29:11)

There are a few other instances in scripture (all of which can be accessed by means of any good concordance), though many of the occurrences of the number go back to one of the above references (especially to Israel's forty years in the wilderness).

Hope this is helpful to you.

In our Lord.

Bob Luginbill

Question #5: 

If as you say Deuteronomy 18:18 does not refer to Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, to whom was the reference made in Isaiah 29:12? For in the Qur'an it says: "No does he say (aught) of (his own) Desire. It is no less than inspiration sent down to him: He was taught by one Mighty in Power." [Qur'an 53:3-5]. Then compare this with Isaiah 29:12 in the American Standard Version: “and the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee; and he saith, I am not learned.”

Response#5:  

I certainly stand by my earlier exegesis of Deuteronomy 18:18 (see the link: "The prophet of Deuteronomy 18:18"). As you can no doubt see from the translation of Isaiah 29:12 which you supply (ASV), interpreting this verse in the way you suggest strains all credulity. Read this verse in any version in the context of all of Isaiah chapter 29 (and of the preceding verse 11 in particular) and it is clear enough even to those unfamiliar with Old Testament prophecy that these verses are making a hypothetical point (note the "if" in most versions, represented by the English subjunctive mood in the ASV "and the book is delivered" = in modern English "should the book be given").

The point being made here by Isaiah under the guidance of the Spirit is that this vision of impending divine judgment is meaningless to those in Israel who have already rejected God. Spiritually, they are in a deep sleep, so deep that even their (false) prophets and seers are unwilling and unable to respond to God's words of warning (v.10). Therefore the whole vision is incomprehensible to them (v.11). It is just as if it were a sealed scroll (if the person receives it be learned) - he can't read it because it is sealed; and, if unsealed, it is just as if it were to be given to an uneducated person - he can't understand it because he can't read (v.12).

Both of these persons are hypothetical. Neither part of the verse is a reference to any particular person. The negative and ominous tone of this prophecy (of impending judgment) continues throughout the chapter until in verse 18 the prophet Isaiah comes to the end of his warning of impending judgment and proclaims the promise of eventual deliverance with the return of the Messiah. "In that day" even the deaf will hear the truth and even the blind will see it. The irony is that in the prophet's day those with ears refuse to hear and those with eyes refuse to see the truth of God. For this reason the vision (v.11) is like a sealed or an unintelligible book - because the people of Israel refused to repent and to accept instruction from their God. Thus it is with much of the world today who refuse to accept the gift of Jesus Christ so as to be saved.

Hope this helps with your question.

In the Name of Him in whom alone the truth is revealed unto eternal life, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Bob Luginbill

Question #6: 

I have some questions about the trumpet judgments of Revelation.

1. Are the effects of the 7 trumpets of Revelation 'global' or focused on the 'middle-east', especially Israel, designed to warn and provoke global repentance or more narrowly targeted at the middle-east and Israel's repentance?

2. Are these 7 trumpets (plagues) God's final warning to Israel prior to His 'revelation of the Antichrist and the release of the Beast Out of the Bottomless Pit'?

3. Is the second trumpet concerned with 'sea or seas' and if a singular sea then which one?

4. Is the 3rd trumpet an 'asteroid' which slams somewhere into the middle-east, maybe even Israel, poisoning fresh water supplies?

5. Are trumpets 2 & 3 designed to 'dry up Israel's fresh water resources' thus encouraging her repentance?

Response#6:  

I have written fairly extensively and in detail on the trumpet judgments. You can find this material at the following link:

        The Trumpet Judgments: Section III of part 3A of the Coming Tribulation

There are some 70 plus occurrences of the Greek word for earth (ge) in Revelation, and in every one the entire world is meant, rather than the land of Israel. In a similar way, with one exception, the Greek word for sea (thalassa) always occurs with the definite article in Revelation, always in the singular, and always refers to the sea in toto as opposed to dry land worldwide (the one exception is the heavenly sea of Rev.4:6). That the worldwide land and sea are always meant can also be seen by their being paired together in this sense (e.g., Rev.14:7: "Worship Him who made the heaven, the earth, and the sea"). Therefore I do not see any way to restrict these judgments to Israel. They are "local" only in the sense that some of the first four are concentrated in particular geographic areas (i.e., #2 is the result of a meteor strike at a definite place), but they all have worldwide effects (n.b., the last three are entirely worldwide). This all certainly squares with the underlying theological import of the Tribulation as I have attempted to sketch it out since part one of the Coming Tribulation series, namely, as a worldwide judgment (in respect to which the seven trumpets sound a worldwide warning).

Israel will certainly have her share of the trouble, and a lion's share at that (it is the "time of Jacob's trouble" after all), especially given that antichrist will reside there more or less continuously from its mid-point onward, and that the entire Armageddon campaign will have as one of its ancillary objects the eradication of the Jewish people (ultimately unsuccessful: cf. Rev.12).

I interpret the trumpet judgments as warnings to the world, and the bowl judgments as retribution upon the world, and I believe that scripture is solidly behind this view (see from part one of Coming Tribulation section III, "The General Character of the Tribulation"). While Israel will certainly be equally the target of the trumpet judgments' warnings - as much as the rest of the world, Israel will be the beneficiary of a worldwide evangelism effort, divinely conceived and executed, the likes of which have never been seen before (please see from part 2B of Coming Tribulation, section V, The Sealing of the 144,000; and from part 3A, section V, "The Two Witnesses").

In Him who knows all things, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. May He ever lead us into all truth.

Bob L.

 


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