Understanding Dark Sentences

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up (Daniel 8:23 KJV).

Who is this king? In what sense is he “understanding dark sentences?”

Our King James translators rendered the Hebrew for “dark sentences” as “riddle” throughout Judges chapter 14: Samson devised a puzzle to outwit the Philistines, but his treacherous wife Delilah nagged him to finally reveal the answer (verses 12-19). Recall the “hard questions” the Queen of Sheba brought to Jerusalem to test and define King Solomon’s wisdom (1 Kings 10:1; 2 Chronicles 9:1). Psalms (49:4; 78:2) twice refers to “dark sayings,” or “parables.” These enigmatic statements are profound, whose depths not immediately grasped. Remember the parables of Jesus Christ’s earthly ministry (cf. Psalm 78:2 and Matthew 13:34,35).

Daniel the Prophet saw, through Divine eyes, a king arising to reign over the nation Israel. That politician will not only be brutal, he will be endowed with satanic wisdom. As a philosopher, he will “understand dark sentences” (see 1 Corinthians chapters 1–3). Under Satan’s control, he too will be wise (Ezekiel 28:12), “subtil” (sneaky—Genesis 3:1), and noteworthy for his “cunning craftiness” (Ephesians 4:14). These “wiles of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11)— schemes or plots—dominate the world system even now, but they will culminate in one man. He is “the man of sin… the son of perdition” (2 Thessalonians 2:3), the personification of Satan’s lie program.

Very few understand the fact that the Book of Proverbs is God’s wisdom given to Israel so she can outsmart Satan and the Antichrist: “[1] The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel; [2] To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding; [3] To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity; [4] To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion. [5] A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels: [6] To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings. [7] The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

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