The book of Daniel essentially represents the fundamental role played by God towards the elimination of representatives of evil. According to Collins, Flint, and VanEpps (2002), “In Daniel 7, the monsters are four, coming from ‘the four winds of the world’ and emerging from the hostile sea. Daniel 7 zooms in on the latter, which symbolizes Antiochus Epiphanes. This monster is killed by God, as Lotan was in Ugarit by Baal. This amounts in Daniel to the eradication of evil, the eschatological fall of Satan” (p.129). Hence, this strengthens God’s supremacy over the acts of repression as executed by Antiochus Epiphanes.
Maccabees represents the fundamental role played by God with regard to the providence of divine protection from evil. This is seen in 1 Macc 3:22, “Wherefore the Lord himself will overthrow them before our face: and as for you, be ye not afraid of them.”
Enoch portrays the role played by God on account of judgment. In Enoch 90:24, “And the judgment was held first over the stars, and they judged and found guilty, and went to the place of condemnation, and they were cast into an abyss, full of fire and flaming, and full of pillars of fire.”
Role of violence
Violence is essentially treated as a positive virtue in strengthening the people acts of opposition and rebellion towards the repressive regime of Antiochus Epiphanes. According to Macc 6:4-5 “Wherefore he came and sought to take the city, and to spoil it; but he was not able, because they of the city, having had warning thereof, Rose up against him in battle: so he fled, and departed thence with great heaviness, and returned to Babylon” (The Bible: King James Version, 1997). In essence, the act of causing many evils on earth are closely associated with Antiochus Epiphanes, and more specifically as a factor of sin that is part of the Seleucid dynasty, which deserves to be eliminated from the earth’s existence through destruction.
On the assault of the gentiles on the Jews, violence is taken as a tool towards the achievement of liberation. Enoch 90:13, “…they cried to the ravens that they should break the horn of that ram, and they battled and fought it, and it battled with them and cried that its help might come”
Violence is also taken as a sacrifice element in the achievement of liberation. Daniel 8:13, “…How long shall the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?”
Role of Jerusalem and the covenant
Jerusalem was a major target by Antiochus Epiphanes in his bid to rule the world during which he instigated upon Jerusalem acts of oppression.
Jerusalem played a significant role in the establishment of a covenant that would see the people saved from Antiochus rule. In 1 Macc 4:10, “Now therefore let us cry unto heaven, if peradventure the Lord will have mercy, and remember the covenant of our fathers, and destroy this host before our face this day: that all the heathen may know that there is one who delivereth and saveth Israel.”
This covenant further signified the end of suffering among the people of Jerusalem after the takeover by Antiochus. In Daniel 9: 27, “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation…”
In the vision on the destruction of Jerusalem, we see symbolism of Antiochus rule and how this shall come to be ended. This can be seen in Enoch 89:66 “And the lions and tigers eat and devoured the greater part of those sheep, and the wild boars eat along with them; and they burnt that tower and demolished that house.”
Time and Place of ‘Victory’
In Enoch’s ‘dream visions specifically in the vision 90.28-38: ‘the New Jerusalem, the Conversion of the surviving Gentiles, the Resurrection of the Righteous, the Messiah’, gives a prophecy of the time when gentiles represented by Antiochus Epiphanes will be ultimately demolished. Enoch 29-30: reflects, “And I saw till the Lord of the sheep brought a new house greater and loftier than the first, and set up in the place of the first which had been folded up with it, and they carried it off and laid it in a place in the south of the land. And I saw all the sheep which had been left, and all the beasts on the earth, and all the birds of the heaven, falling down and doing homage to those sheep and making petition and obeying them in everything” (Charles et al, 1917).
Moreover, Daniel’s vision on the liberation of the people further supports the ultimate demolition of Antiochus. Daniel 9:26: “And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, …that shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end therefore shall be a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.” This fact is further supported in 1 Macc 15:10-11, “In the hundred threescore and fourteenth year went Antiochus into the land of his fathers: at which time all the forces came together unto him, so that a few were left with Typhon. Wherefore being pursued by King Antiochus, he fled unto Dora, which lieth by the sea side.”Here we seen Antiochus’s come back before ultimate destruction.
- Book of Matthew’s Opposition to Religion of Empire and Affirmation of Religion of Creation
- Matthew fundamentally opposes the belief systems promulgated by the religion of empire, which is elementally represented by the hierarchical structure of the oppressive Roman Empire. Matt 4:8 “Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and glory of them” (The Bible: King James Version, 1997). Here he symbolizes the expansive kingdom empire that stands afoot Jesus’ proclamation, which in essence proves Jesus’ supremacy over this empire the fact that He is being shown by Satan.
- Matthew represents the replacement of the religion of empire through a fundamental change of loyalty of its very servants as seen in the Centurion’s case. This is seen in Matt 8:9-10 in which the Centurion tells Jesus, “For I am a man under the authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard it, he marveled, and said to them that followed, Verify I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel” (The Bible: King James Version, 1997). Here it is evident of the lack of belief in the empire system by the Centurion himself by showing loyalty to Jesus’ supremacy.
Matthew fundamentally affirms the religion of creation during the transfiguration the ‘recreation’ of Moses and Elias represents a significant affirmation of the element of creation. According to Matt 17: 2-4, “And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee; and one for Moses, and one for Elias” (The Bible: King James Version, 1997). Hence, by bringing back ‘Moses’ and ‘Elias’ into life, this shows that brings in the belief that in deed the prophets are still existing and have a life in God’s kingdom.