Responding to the Critics: Sam Frost’s Fatal Admission on Daniel 7 – #2
As I noted in the first installment on Sam Frost’s admissions on Daniel 7, he evidently failed to think through what he was admitting to. When he admitted that Matthew, that Jesus and that John (in Revelation) “explicitly” (Frost’s word) applied Daniel 7 and the prophecy of the coming of the Son of Man to Jesus, the implications of this are totally destructive to Frost’s claims that Daniel is not Messianic.
Let’s remind ourselves of what Frost has admitted:
“As far as Daniel directly relating to Jesus…..Daniel 7.13,14 – a vision of “one like a son of man” that is left out of the interpretation that follows. All the characters are mentioned in the interpretation that follows, except one: the one like a son of man. This fact has puzzled many commentators…..even Daniel was puzzled (last verse). There have been a variety of ways to explain this, and I am sure you claim that yours (sic) and yours (sic) only is the only acceptable, irrefutable interpretation that settles all other alternatives (we should just sit at the feet of Don, shut up, and listen). Matthew explicitly picks up Daniel 7.13,14. The opening description of Jesus in Revelation 1.10-ff explicitly picks it up and applies it as fulfilled in Jesus.” (Copied and pasted from Frost’s FaceBook quote)
In the FB discussion,Frost tries to make something of the omission of “Son of Man” in the interpretation in Daniel 7:15f. In response, I noted that the interpretation in Daniel 7 also omits any reference to thrones or the “ten thousand times ten thousand.” Thus, Frost’s suggestion that the omission of the term “The son of Man” in the interpretation is meaningful carries no weight. His claim is merely deflective and obfuscatory. The fact that he admits that Matthew, Jesus and John “explicitly” apply the Son of Man prophecy to Jesus should be sufficient – to anyone honoring scripture – that the interpretation is in fact about Jesus, the Son of Man. Frost never responded to the fact that neither thrones or the tens of thousands are omitted from the interpretation in Daniel 7.
And, does the reader notice the ever so subtle comment by Frost? He calls attention to the fact that “the Son of Man” title is not mentioned in the interpretation. He says this omission has perplexed the scholars, and then adds “even Daniel was puzzled (last verse).” Frost is trying to convince the reader that Daniel was perplexed by the omission of the term Son of Man in the interpretation! But, that is no where stated nor implied. Daniel was perplexed by the vision he had been given. Frost was seeking to make a mountain out of nothing. His claim is illustrative of his misguided hermeneutic that I have addressed on several different occasions and will put to the test below.
With all of that said, let’s take a look at Frost’s admissions as we continue our Responding to the Critics exercise:
He tells us that Jesus is “explicitly” identified as the Son of Man of Daniel 7 by Matthew, Jesus and John in Revelation.
This means that Daniel 7 is a Messianic prophecy.
Since the inspired NT writers and Jesus applied Daniel 7 Messianically, it is patently wrong to deny that Daniel 7 was a Messianic prophecy. This cannot be over-emphasized!
To put this another way: A prophecy can never NOT MEAN what the NT writers said it meant. Thus, Jesus and the NT application of Daniel 7 is irrefutably Messianic, and since the NT writers also apply Daniel 2 and 9 and 12 to Jesus’ day, as we will see, this means that those chapters cannot be non-Messianic.
Now, since Daniel 7 foretold the coming of Jesus as the Son of Man, this logically demands that Daniel foretold the time of the coming of the Son of Man– i.e. in the days of the fourth kingdom (represented by the four beasts in Daniel 7:1f. You can’t accept that Daniel predicted the coming of Jesus without likewise accepting the time that Daniel predicted for the coming of the Son of Man – Jesus!
You must understand at this juncture that Frost denies that Daniel foretold the days of Rome. He recently denied that Daniel 2 foretold the Roman empire as the fourth kingdom. Contra the early patristics, the historical church and even the ancient Rabbis who most assuredly did see the fourth beast as the Roman empire, Frost tells us that this is false. (Instead, he appeals to modern scholarship). But, it is not false since he admits that Daniel 7 foretold the coming of Jesus as the Son of Man – because Daniel predicted the coming of the Son of Man in the days of the fourth empire – which was, of course, Rome!
But notice, to emphasize, that since Daniel 7 foretold the coming of the Son of Man in the days of the fourth beast this means that the fourth kingdom is Rome. This demands that Daniel 2 is also Messianic since it foretold (again as the ancient early church and the rabbis believed) the establishment of the kingdom in the days of the fourth empire. Daniel 2 and 7 are directly parallel in predicting the coming of four world empires, beginning with Babylon, and, extending all the way to Rome, and the days of the establishment of the everlasting kingdom.
In the days of the fourth empire:
“And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever” (Daniel 2:44).
The days being referenced are the days of the fourth kingdom. Frost says that the long standing view that the fourth kingdom was Rome is being increasingly questioned these days. For Frost, the non-Messianic application of Daniel is that the fourth kingdom / empire is Greece and the days of Antiochus. But, since Daniel 7 foretold the coming of the Son of Man in the days of the fourth beast / empire, then unless Jesus and the everlasting kingdom arrived in the days of Antiochus Epiphanes that countdown is untenable. You cannot – textually, or logically – divorce the coming of the Son of Man from the days of the fourth kingdom! Let’s look even closer at what Frost’s admission demands.
Notice the direct parallels (Remember that Frost has insisted that we honor the consistency in Daniel. Let’s see if he will actually honor it in light of what follows). We will then point out some glaring and substantive differences between Daniel 2, 7, 9 and 12 – and the prophecy of Daniel 8.
Daniel 2 –
The vision is focused on the last days (Daniel 2:28).
It is a vision of four world empires.
The kingdom of God, the stone cut out without hands, is established in the days of the fourth empire.
The fourth kingdom that had the element of “clay” (i.e. Israel, cf. Isaiah 64) is destroyed. This means that the “clay” i.e. Israel, is also destroyed in the days of the fourth kingdom.
That kingdom cut out without hands that is established in the days of the fourth kingdom will never be destroyed.
Please understand, as I have noted repeatedly in my discussions with Frost, that Israel was not destroyed in the days of Antiochus. However, Daniel 9 and Daniel 12 do foretell the total destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple.
I must focus at this juncture on the fact that Daniel 2 foretold the establishment of the kingdom “cut out without hands.” This means it was not the same kind of kingdom as the other earthly kingdoms. But, here is a critical point, national Israel, while it was a Theocracy to be sure, it was also a kingdom of man (cf. 1 Samuel 8– “Give us a king that we might be like the nations”). It was just as geo-centric, military, social and nationalistic as the other four kingdoms!
The question therefore is, was a kingdom that can never be destroyed, a kingdom not made with hands, established in the days of Antiochus Epiphanes? What is so significant here is that the NT (not to mention other OT prophecies) speaks of the Messianic Kingdom as the kingdom not made with hands– just as Daniel does! I should point out that this motif of “cut out without hands” has been all but universally recognized as reference to the spiritual kingdom of Messiah. But of course, Frost now denies this historical view.
As Timothy Gray notes: “The word ‘made with hands’ is found 14 times in the LXX, and in every case it describes man made idols. This observation is very consequential, for the description of the Jerusalem temple ‘as made with hands’ is not simply saying that the temple is of this world– man made– but that it has become an idol” (Timothy Gray, The Temple in Mark, (Grand Rapids; Baker Academic, 2008), 175).
Add to this that the kingdom and the temple were of the same order, the same nature, and you have a direct contrast between the kingdoms made with hands, and the New Covenant kingdom of Christ, not made with hands. So, once again, was a kingdom, not made with hands, established in the days of Antiochus Epiphanes? The answer is, unequivocally, No. And, it will not be an “answer” to say that Israel was restored. The kingdom that was restored under the Maccabees was the restoration of the geo-political, military, social, and national kingdom. It was not a “mountain cut out without hands.”
Daniel 7 –
It is a vision of four world empires, just like Daniel 2.
The vision does not extend beyond the days of the fourth kingdom.
Like in Daniel 2, the kingdom of God is established in the days of the fourth empire / beast.
It predicted the destruction of the persecuting power that trampled down the saints and their vindication at the coming of the Lord. (This is pretty clearly the one like the Son of Man in verses 13-14).
The kingdom is given to the saints and just like Daniel 2:44, will never be destroyed. It is the stone cut out without hands of chapter 2.
Daniel 9 –
The Seventy Week countdown takes us to the days of the Roman empire.
The vision is about the destruction of the persecuting city, the vindication of the messiah that was slain. And remember, once again, that Jerusalem and the Temple were not destroyed (as the text demands) in the days of Antiochus.
The vision is about the last end – the consummation of Israel’s covenant age there is no covenant history for Israel beyond the end of the seventy weeks and the overwhelming flood of destruction.
The vision is about the establishment of the kingdom – the bringing in of everlasting righteousness.
Daniel 12 –
✪ Daniel 9 & 12 are parallel– Frost admits this – while denying application to the days of Rome. But, we have weighed that claim in the balances and found it lacking.
✪ Daniel 12:3 is about the establishing of the kingdom, the righteous shining forth in the eternal kingdom (v. 3, which is directly parallel to Daniel 7:21f) where the saints are given the kingdom and rule forever– just as also in Daniel 2 the indestructible kingdom is established.
✪ The vision of Daniel 12 entails the time when the power of the holy people is completely shattered. That was NOT the time of Antiochus, as has been proven in previous articles. The shattering of the power of the holy people is parallel to the total destruction of the city and the sanctuary in the overwhelming flood of destruction of Daniel 9:26-27.
✪ Daniel 12 entails the vindication of the martyrs. This is the judgment of the little horn of Daniel 7 for persecuting the saints, It is the judgment on Jerusalem of Daniel 9:27 for killing Messiah.
✪ The vision is about the time of the end – the consummation of Israel’s covenant age. Her power would be completely shattered. There is no covenant history for Israel beyond this point– just as in Daniel 9 Israel’s covenant history is confined to the seventy weeks. And, as in Daniel 7, the eschatology of the text, the coming of the Lord, cannot be extended beyond the days of the fourth empire.
✪ Just as Daniel 9 foretold the bringing in of everlasting righteousness, Daniel 2 foretold the everlasting kingdom of God. Daniel 7 also foretold the establishment of the indestructible kingdom and Daniel 12 foretold the establishment of the kingdom where the righteous saints shine and rule with eternal life, i.e. in the eternal kingdom!
This is perfect harmony, perfect parallelism. Perfect consistency.
Let me say this again, since it is so important: Since Frost agrees and admits that Matthew, Jesus and John all directly (“explicitly” per Frost) apply the prophecy of the Son of Man of Daniel 7 to Jesus, then, of logical necessity, that means that the time of the fourth kingdom, is the time of Jesus. You cannot divorce the coming of the Son of Man from the time when Daniel said the Son of Man would come! What a horrific hermeneutic that would be!
You must catch the power of this! Here is my argument simply stated
Daniel 7 foretold the coming of the Son of Man.
Matthew, Jesus and John explicitly applied the prophecy of Daniel 7 to Jesus as the fulfillment of Daniel 7 – Sam Frost.
But, Daniel 7 posited the coming of the Son of Man in the days of the fourth empire.
Therefore, Jesus’ coming as the Son of Man in fulfillment of Daniel 7 was in the days of the fourth empire.
Following up on that, we have this:
Jesus’ coming as the Son of Man in fulfillment of Daniel 7 was in the days of the fourth empire of Daniel 7.
But, Jesus appeared in the days of Rome (Luke 3:1f).
Therefore, the fourth empire of Daniel 7 was Rome.
We can express it like this:
Daniel 2 predicted the establishment of the everlasting kingdom in the days of the fourth empire / kingdom.
Daniel 7 predicted the establishment of the everlasting kingdom in the days of the fourth empire / kingdom.
The days of the fourth empire in Daniel 7 are the days in which Jesus as the Son of Man came in fulfillment of Daniel 7 – i.e. the days of Rome.
Therefore, the days of Daniel 2, the time of the establishment of the everlasting kingdom in the days of the fourth empire / kingdom were the days of Rome.
This falsifies Frost’s contention that Daniel 2 and Daniel 7 extend no further than the last days of the Grecian empire and Antiochus. If he identifies the four kingdom count as some have done: i.e. ➔ Babylon, ➔ Medes, ➔ Persians, ➔ Greece, then of necessity, according to the demands of the text, the everlasting kingdom of heaven was established in the days of Greece and the Son of Man came in the days of Antiochus!
An additional thought here about Frost’s hermeneutic. You will recall that he calls our attention to the fact that Daniel 7:15f – which is the interpretation of the vision given earlier – does not mention the Son of Man. This is supposedly significant. For Frost, missing words demand missing doctrine. But, he called our attention to the similarities between Daniel 8 and Daniel 9. And there is some similar language. However, the perfect harmony between the chapters illustrated above, with the historical realities that belie application to Antiochus demand that we look for other solutions. By this we mean that there are certain significant and substantive differences between Daniel 2, 7, 9 and 12 – and chapter 8– that demand, in spite of similarity of language, that these other chapters looked far beyond Antiochus. We have already cited some of those difficulties but consider now, as we continue to Respond to the Critics, some other disparities between Daniel 8 and the other prophecies mentioned above.
Look at Daniel 8 in contrast with the other chapters mentioned.
✘ In Daniel 8 it is concerned with the end of the Grecian empire of the Ptolemies and Selucids, “the last days of their kingdom.” We are thus given an explicit identification of the end of this vision. It is the end of Antiochus and his kingdom. However, in contrast, Daniel 9 and 12 (and I would suggest even chapter 7) is about the end of Israel – not the pagans. This is a totally different focus, and the additional fact that Israel did not come to an end in the days of Antiochus or at the end of the 70 week countdown as proposed by Frost shows that the disparity between the chapters is substantive.
✘ Daniel 2, 7, 9 and 12 are about the establishing of the kingdom of God. Daniel 8 has no such discussion. The subject is not even mentioned, even though in Daniel 2, 7 and 12 the destruction of the persecuting power results in the establishment of the kingdom. No such contrast, no such discussion, no such subject is in chapter 8.
✘ Daniel 2, 7, 9 and 12 are about the bringing in of the everlasting kingdom of righteousness and the (righteous) people of God. As has been noted in previous articles, in the days of Antiochus there was NO ONE– do you catch the power of this?? – NO ONE, to make the Atonement, put away sin and bring in everlasting righteousness. The proper blood line of priests ended with the murder of Onias III, as Sam Frost has admitted. Without that genealogically certified priesthood, Daniel 9:24 could not be fulfilled in the days of Antiochus! This is seemingly an insurmountable problem, and even though this issue has been pressed on Frost, he has refused to even address it.
Now, in Daniel 8 there is not so much as a syllables’ mention of the making of the Atonement, the putting away of sin and the bringing in of everlasting righteousness or the establishment of the indestructible kingdom. There is not a word about the coming of the Son of Man. Now, since Frost wants to make an issue of the absence of any mention of the Son of Man in the interpretation of Daniel 7, one wonders why the total absence of any mention of these critical tenets or of the Son of Man is not significant in Daniel 8?
Frost will almost certainly ignore all of this, saying (if he comments at all) as he has on two different occasions now, that my comments are not worthy of comment. On 3-13-18, on FaceBook, he said: “I do not value Preston’s ‘criticism.’” He says he just does not have the time to respond to my questions and articles, although he does have, of course, time to write lengthy blog articles attacking me.
Let me close by noting, once again, that Frost is running counter to the church history that he so cherishes and often appeals to for his “orthodoxy” – and to condemn me. The indisputable fact is that throughout 2000 years of church history, as well as Jewish history and Rabbinic writings, the fourth kingdom of Daniel 2 and 7 was Rome! That is the “orthodox view!” But, Frost assures us that he has been studying diligently for “over a year,” and has come to his (unquestionably) unorthodox views! Even though I have also been studying this issue (for literally many years), and came to agree with the consensus view of Jewish ancients, with church history and with scholarly consensus, per Frost, I am unorthodox and I am not even a Christian.
So, in closing this installment, let me reiterate what cannot be over-emphasized. Sam Frost’s admission that Daniel 7 foretold the coming of Jesus as the Son of Man:
1. Annuls his denial of any Messianic prophecies in Daniel.
2. Falsifies his claim that the fourth empire of Daniel 2 & 7 is the Grecian empire under Antiochus. As stated above, there was no one to make the Atonement, to put away sin, and bring in everlasting righteousness in the time of Antiochus. No one!
3. His admission negates his non-Messianic application of Daniel 2 & 7 unless he is able to show that the everlasting kingdom, a kingdom not made with hands, was established in the days of Antiochus Epiphanes.
4. His admission therefore falsifies his rejection of Rome as the fourth empire of Daniel 2 and Daniel 7.
5. Since the bringing in of everlasting righteousness (Daniel 9) and the time of the righteous shining in the kingdom at the time of the end (Daniel 12:3) are synchronous and parallel with Daniel 2 & 7, (unless Frost wishes to deny a link between the everlasting kingdom and the world of everlasting righteousness) this likewise means that Daniel 9 and 12 are Messianic prophecies of the coming of Jesus in the days of Rome, and his coming in judgment as the Son of Man.
More to come as we continue our Responding to the Critics series on Daniel, so stay tuned!