Book Excerpt: The Final Page of With the Clouds of Heaven

What a book the Bible is! There is nothing else like it. And to think that this unified book from the hands of so many individual literary geniuses transcends itself by imparting the knowledge of the living and true God. What a privilege to have such easy access to the text of Scripture in the original languages. For a taste of the Bible’s beautiful interconnectedness, here’s the final page of With the Clouds of Heaven: The Book of Daniel in Biblical Theology:

“The book of Daniel contributes to the Bible’s unfolding redemptive historical storyline. Like a plug in an outlet, the book joins itself to the Bible’s broader narrative, and as the currents course through the light of revelation shines on the way things will go until God brings about the promised consummation (see chapter 2). The literary structure of the book of Daniel (chapter 3) demonstrates that the biblical authors used wide-angle strategies to communicate (cf. chapter 9). The books of the Bible are like cathedrals, with architectural features that repay close examination. The four kingdoms prophesied by Daniel (chapter 4) are both historical and symbolic: historical in that they match the kingdoms between Daniel and the first coming of Christ; symbolic in that they encapsulate the tendencies and characteristics of the kingdoms of the world, which will continue until the kingdom of the world becomes the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ. Daniel’s seventy-week prophecy (chapter 5) informs John, who interprets Daniel’s seventieth week as the inter-advent period (chapter 9). The one like a son of man seen by Daniel (chapter 6) is identified with and distinguished from the Ancient of Days in a way that would be mysterious until Jesus came as both son of David and the incarnation of Yahweh. The interpretations of Daniel in early Jewish literature (chapter 7) attest historical, typological, and eschatological interpretive strategies similar to those employed by the authors of the New Testament. The New Testament authors (chapter 8) provide a Spirit-inspired interpretation of Daniel that was learned from Jesus, and in Revelation (chapter 9) John uses Daniel’s language, imitates his structure, points to the fulfillment of his prophecies, and clarifies the meaning of his seventieth week. When we consider broader biblical theological and typological structures (chapter 10), we see that Daniel seems to have seen himself as a new Joseph, forerunner of the new exodus.

God accomplished the anticipated new exodus salvation through the death and resurrection of Jesus, and he will yet once more shake the heavens and the earth as he did at Sinai. Then the kingdom that cannot be shaken (cf. Heb 12:26–28) will fill the earth, and the knowledge of the glory of the Lord will cover the dry lands as the waters cover the sea.”

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