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Nocturne’s Reaping® : Prelude

 

Chapter 10

 

 

Lark spent more than two months in a prison transport ship before being ushered into a smaller transport carrier. That carrier would take her the rest of the way to Prison Colony Beta. All of the prisoners had been kept in very small rooms — rooms that were the length of a small bed. Lark had thought that under the circumstances this was the only advantage to being small. Even so, the tight space began to wear on Lark. Still, when the prison officials came to deliver Lark to the vehicle that would deliver her to her final destination Lark felt as though she’d have been happy to remain in that coffin forever. But that wasn’t an option. The only options were to either stand up and walk out or be hauled away by force. Given that Lark wanted to avoid being noticed, she chose to comply. What good would the other option do anyway?

The seating on the transport carrier consisted of long metal benches. Every prisoner was chained to a spot on the bench. It was sort of unreal the way Lark was being treated the same way any other prisoner would be. One would have thought she was as imposing as the roughest of the men. Oh well, Lark concluded, this was the reality.

Lark noticed that the carrier was going through a sort of landing tunnel. The lights pulsated over her head. There was a strange reddish haze, sort of like a fine clay dust, surrounding the lights. It not only created an ominous haze — it also gave Lark a bad impression of the environmental quality of the prison planet.

Lark was tempted to look around to see how the other prisoners were reacting but then thought better of it and looked down. Suddenly, and without warning, the prison transport carrier stopped. The abruptness of the stop almost caused Lark to slide into the man next to her. Fortunately, she was able to brace herself before that happened. The chains were then unhooked from the bench yet remained on the prisoners’ wrists.

“Everyone stand.” a female prison guard stated.

Lark had her shoebox on her lap; she managed to hold it between her elbows as she stood. Still, Lark stood before the others. She then reddened. “Too eager,” she thought, “too eager and too visible.” She felt better when the others started to stand one by one as well. Eventually, even the most reluctant prisoner stood, and they were filed out of the transport carrier and into the hot barrenness of the prison planet outside. The prisoners were left, still bound, next to a large rock. Boxes, presumably of supplies, were left nearby. Then, the guards, weapons drawn, backed up toward the prison transport carrier. The hatch was finally closed.

Dust swirled around as the transport carrier lifted. The carrier then turned around, headed into the free-standing tunnel, and was gone. Lark was disturbed by the abandonment but didn’t dare ask anyone else what was happening. No one else bothered to speak either. Still, eventually someone would have to … then again, maybe not.

Then suddenly, the wind picked up, and the dust swirled again. Only, as it turned out, it wasn’t the wind. It was a gang of men on hover vehicles heading for the group. The one in the lead was a pale, rough, tall yet stocky teenager with a purple mohawk and various piercings on his face. His nose was wide, and his eyes were somewhat puffy. He was the first to dismount his vehicle and seemed to have a leader’s air of authority. He laughed as he approached the handcuffed group and proceeded to look over the lineup.

“Oh, poor things, still cuffed.” He laughed like a hyena.

Lark looked down and wrung her hands as the man approached. This wasn’t good.

“And look they’re thirsty. Two, give them some water.”

A lackey began spraying the crowd with a high-powered hose, which was attached to one of the hovercrafts. The gang laughed. Suddenly, the leader stopped right in front of Lark.

“What’s this? You’ve got to be kidding me!” the teen said in reference to Lark.

The others laughed again.

“I’d be doing this one a favor putting her out of her misery!” the leader joked to the others. “But the question is how to do it.”

“Go ahead and kill me.” Lark growled at him.

“What’s that?” The leader focused his attention back on Lark.

“Go ahead and kill me. You’re going to anyway.”

“Yeah right. Sure.” the leader scoffed.

Suddenly, the man put his hands on Lark’s throat and lifted her in the air. Lark looked down at him with intense anger and defiance. He stopped smirking and stared back at her with a cold yet curious expression. The man then dropped Lark, and she fell forcefully to the ground. Lark’s shoebox fell to the ground with her. Lark gasped as the newly-created mud flowed over the precious contents. She picked up her treasures as best as she could with her still shackled hands. But as she did, her emotions seemed to drift away.

“Leave her alone.” the leader finally muttered. “This girl, number twelve, as well as numbers eight, ten, thirteen and eighteen will come back with us. The rest we’ll drop off at the mines.”

The leader then stared at Lark until she looked up at him.

“By the way, little girl, you may call me Leader Monrage.” After saying those words to Lark, he quickly turned his attention back to the others. “All right, recruits. You are the lucky ones. This prison colony may be your home for now, but don’t get used to it. None of us are going to be here forever.”

What did that mean? Under the circumstances, it didn’t sound good.

“It’ll take hard work. People who don’t pull their own weight will be sent to the mines with the rest. We’re not just going to escape. There’s more to it than that. We will succeed. We will triumph. If you can’t help with that, you’re of no use to me.”

Lark let her eyes lose their focus; she stared straight ahead with a blank expression. Somehow, it gave Lark just the slightest bit of comfort to know she could go numb like this. It seemed to have a positive effect on those around her, too. This man Leader Monrage, in particular, seemed to leave her alone when she suppressed her emotions. His former fascination with committing violence against her was seemingly gone … at least for now. Apparently, Lark was to be almost an appendage, a tool to be used by him. At least there was something of value to being viewed as useful. Lark refocused back on the leader. Leader Monrage, meanwhile, was skimming the crowd. Eventually, his eyes fell upon Lark again.

“You are no longer who you were. Now, you are a member of our syndicate. You will be called the numbers that you were assigned from now on. Fortunately for you, the number twelve was available.” He smirked. “Anyway, you will no longer use your former names. You will not be a part of the rest of them anymore. Your past is dead.”

Lark didn’t react to that, though her eyes did shift. If he thought Lark was going to give up the mementos from her parents, he had another thing coming.

“I mean it, girl. You’ll now be known as Twelve.” Leader Monrage called out.

Lark looked down again. There was nothing left to say.

 

Copyright © Jennifer Alice Chandler 2015

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Nocturne’s Reaping® : Prelude

 

Chapter 9

Lark sat down in one of the pews while one of her former teachers from the Bible school class comforted her. Eventually, they moved into the church library. Once there, the woman prepared Lark some tea. By the time the tea was ready, Lark’s eyes had dried up.

“I don’t want to pry, but is there a concern about your being here … with your conviction, I mean?”

Lark looked off to the side.

“My sentence expired a long time ago. I just wasn’t expected to live that long.”

The woman clutched her cup. It was so strange to her that Lark was there. In some ways, the girl looked exactly the same. In other ways, it was almost as though the woman were looking at a complete stranger.

“I never understood why they would send a child there. We didn’t hear about it until after.” she said. She reached out her hand and placed it on top of Lark’s. “We would have been there if we had known. Still, I’m glad you’re all right.” she added.

Lark looked up at her. She took up the woman’s hand briefly and squeezed it gently. Then, she let it go.

“I didn’t do it.” Lark mentioned softly. “But I did lie … I did lie.”

The woman nodded slowly.

“Are you going to be here awhile?” she asked suddenly. “On Colony 9, I mean.”

“I don’t know.” Lark answered, growing uncomfortable.

Lark’s pulse began to race. She didn’t want to talk about her job — the reason she survived. Maybe it was silly, but she didn’t want anyone to think less of her. But then, her lying for her cousin had probably made them think differently about her. Why should their opinion bother her now? Then again, maybe it always had.

“Well, you’re welcome here anytime. I’m sure the pastor would love to see you.”

Lark nodded.

“Thank you.” Lark looked down. “I’ll keep that in mind, but I should go. They’ll be locking up soon.”

Lark stood.

“Thank you … for being here.” Lark told her.

“Yes, of course.” the woman returned.

Lark smiled. Then, she turned and headed out of the church and back onto the street. She walked swiftly back toward the docking port. Fortunately, she made it to the cruiser before curfew. On one hand, it was silly; the officer of the ship shouldn’t be locked out for being late. On the other hand, those were Leader Monrage’s orders. So, head cast downward, she headed past the guard and toward her room as fast as she could. She quickly opened the door to her room then locked it behind her. Once safely inside, she leaned her back against the door and breathed out heavily. Cinnamon stretched out and began heading toward her owner.

“I’m glad to see you, Cinnamon.” Lark offered. “I need you.”

Though it surprised Lark there was still water left in her eyes to cry with, tears were set to fall from them nonetheless. Then suddenly, there was a knock at the door of Lark’s room. Lark blinked the tears away then turned toward the door. She hesitated at the knob.

“Yes?” she uttered with some reservation.

“It’s me Captain Smithson.”

Lark opened the door slowly. She found that Captain Smithson was taken aback for some reason.

“What is it?” she questioned him.

“I just saw you rush in. I was concerned something was wrong.”

Lark looked down for a moment. Her left hand, which held the door open, began to shake slightly.

“It has nothing to do with the ship.” she responded.

“You then?”

Lark looked up at him.

“We all have issues.” Lark acknowledged.

“Yes, that’s true enough. I did hear there may be a meeting between Leader Monrage and someone soon. Maybe it has something to do with why we’re here on Colony 9.”

Lark just looked at him.

“I thought you may be as curious as I am about why we’re here in the middle of nowhere.”

“Yeah, but I wouldn’t say that too often if I were you.” Lark warned.

“Just to you.” he said.

“Well, that’s good. Still, I wouldn’t think much of it. Leader Monrage’s plans are never easy to understand.”

“Yeah, I guess I’ll just have to get used to it then … for now.”

Captain Smithson looked as though he was about to turn away. Suddenly, he stopped.

“Oh, and by the way, you looked good like that.”

Captain Smithson smiled and walked away. Lark touched her face. In her rush to catch up with Celeste, she had forgotten to put her uniform on.

 

***

 

The next day, a message was waiting for Lark on her in-room computer. There was to be a mandatory meeting held by Leader Monrage in the control room. Perhaps this was what Captain Smithson was alluding to: the mysterious meeting between Leader Monrage and a contact on Colony 9. Still, if everyone was going to be there it seemed unlikely too many secrets were going to be revealed. It seemed more likely Leader Monrage wanted to make sure that none of the crew members were out and about today, so they wouldn’t see something they shouldn’t.

“Hmm … what are you up to here, Leader Monrage?” Lark asked herself. “Not that you confide your secret agendas to me.”

Lark looked over at her uniform, which she had laid upon a chair, with a certain sense of dread.

“What is the point?” she wondered. “It’s just a check-in, after all. No point in putting that stuff on just to take it off a little while later, right, Cinnamon?”

Cinnamon seemed to mew assent, so Lark dressed in her normal clothes and headed for the control room.

“Officer Twelve on deck!” one of the crew members called out when she arrived.

All turned. Of course there were a lot of surprised looks, but Lark pretty much expected that. Also, Captain Smithson had that same wide-eyed look from the previous night.

“About your business.” Lark announced.

Just then, Leader Monrage’s voice boomed out from behind Lark.

“What is this, business casual day?” Leader Monrage demanded.

Lark turned around towards him. Leader Monrage was glaring at her with intensity.

“What? You don’t appreciate who you are now?” he put forth. “You want to go back to that? Remember what happened the last time you were that person?”

Lark just stared at him unflinchingly.

“Then again, I’ve forgotten how much you resemble … sort of. Maybe you’d like to accompany me to my meeting. It might make things interesting. You know how I like to keep people on their toes. So, be sure to stay just like this.” Leader Monrage hissed bitterly. “By the way, that’s an order not a suggestion.”

Leader Monrage then turned to another man, who had accompanied him.

“Take the roll call.” Leader Monrage stated. “And the rest of you — you’re to stay on the ship today. No excuses. I won’t be pleased if I find out anyone has disobeyed me — anyone. That is all.”

With that, Leader Monrage stormed out of the control room.

 

Copyright © Jennifer Alice Chandler 2015

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Matthew 24

 

And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and His disciples came to Him for to shew Him the buildings of the temple.

And Jesus said unto them, “See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”

And as He sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto Him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the world?

And Jesus answered and said unto them, “Take heed that no man deceive you.

“For many shall come in My name, saying, ‘I am Christ’; and shall deceive many.

“And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

“For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.

“All these are the beginning of sorrows.

“Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for My name’s sake.

“And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.

“And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.

“And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

“But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

“And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

“When ye therefore shall see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)

“Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:

“Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:

“Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.

“And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!

“But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath Day:

“For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

“And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.

“Then if any man shall say unto you, ‘Lo, here is Christ,’ or ‘there’; believe it not.

“For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

“Behold, I have told you before.

“Wherefore if they shall say unto you, ‘Behold, He is in the desert’; go not forth: ‘behold, He is in the secret chambers’; believe it not.

“For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be.

“For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.

“Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

“And then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

“And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

“Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:

“So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it [Or, He] is near, even at the doors.

“Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

“Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away.

“But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but My Father only.

“But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be.

“For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,

“And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be.

“Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

“Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

“Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.

“But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.

“Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of Man cometh.

“Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?

“Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.

“Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.

“But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, ‘My lord delayeth his coming’;

“And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken;

“The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,

“And shall cut him asunder [Or, cut him off], and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 24: 1-51)

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Matthew 23

 

Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to His disciples,

Saying, “The scribes and Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat:

“All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.

“For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.

“But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments,

“And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues,

“And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.

“But be not ye called Rabbi: for One is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.

“And call no man your father upon the earth: for One is your Father, which is in heaven.

“Neither be ye called masters: for One is your Master, even Christ.

“But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.

“And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

“But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.

“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.

“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.

“Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, ‘Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor!’

Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold?

“And, ‘Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever sweareth by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty [Or, debtor, or, bound].’

Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift?

“Whoso therefore shall swear by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things thereon.

“And whoso shall swear by the temple, sweareth by it, and by Him that dwelleth therein.

“And he that shall swear by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by Him that sitteth thereon.

“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.

“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.

Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.

“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.

“Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous,

“And say, ‘If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.’

“Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets.

“Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.

Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?

“Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:

“That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.

“Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!

“Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.

“For I say unto you, Ye shall not see Me henceforth, till ye shall say, ‘BLESSED IS HE THAT COMETH IN THE NAME OF THE LORD.’ ” (Matthew 23: 1-39)

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Daniel 9

In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans;

In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.

And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:

And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love Him, and to them that keep His commandments;

We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from Thy precepts and from Thy judgments:

Neither have we hearkened unto Thy servants the prophets, which spake in Thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.

O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto Thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, that are near, and that are far off, through all the countries whither Thou hast driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against Thee.

O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against Thee.

To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against Him;

Neither have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in His laws, which He set before us by His servants the prophets.

Yea, all Israel have transgressed Thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey Thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against Him.

And He hath confirmed His words, which He spake against us, and against our judges that judged us, by bringing upon us a great evil: for under the whole heaven hath not been done as hath been done upon Jerusalem.

As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the LORD our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand Thy truth.

Therefore hath the LORD watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us: for the LORD our God is righteous in all His works which He doeth: for we obeyed not His voice.

And now, O Lord our God, that hast brought Thy people forth out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and hast gotten Thee renown, as at this day; we have sinned, we have done wickedly.

O Lord, according to all Thy righteousness, I beseech Thee, let Thine anger and Thy fury be turned away from Thy city Jerusalem, Thy holy mountain: because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and Thy people are become a reproach to all that are about us.

Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of Thy servant, and his supplications, and cause Thy face to shine upon Thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord’s sake.

O my God, incline Thine ear, and hear; open Thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by Thy name: for we do not present our supplications before Thee for our righteousnesses, but for Thy great mercies.

O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for Thine own sake, O my God: for Thy city and Thy people are called by Thy name.

And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God for the holy mountain of my God;

Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation.

And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding.

At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision.

Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy.

Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince, shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for Himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.

And he shall confirm the [Or, a] covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the 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, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate [Or, upon the desolator] (Daniel 9: 1-27).

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Daniel 8

 

In the third year of the reign of King Belshazzar a vision appeared unto me, even unto me Daniel, after that which appeared unto me at the first.

And I saw in a vision; and it came to pass, when I saw, that I was at Shushan in the palace, which is in the province of Elam; and I saw in a vision, and I was by the river of Ulai.

Then I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and, behold, there stood before the river a ram which had two horns: and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last.

I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward; so that no beasts might stand before him, neither was there any that could deliver out of his hand; but he did according to his will, and became great.

And as I was considering, behold, an he goat came from the west on the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground: and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes.

And he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing before the river, and ran unto him in the fury of his power.

And I saw him come close unto the ram, and he was moved with choler against him, and smote the ram, and brake his two horns: and there was no power in the ram to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground, and stamped upon him: and there was none that could deliver the ram out of his hand.

Therefore the he goat waxed very great: and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven.

And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the Pleasant Land.

And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them.

Yea, he magnified himself even to [Or, against] the Prince of the host, and by Him [Or, from Him] the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of His sanctuary was cast down.

And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practised, and prospered.

Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation [Or, making desolate], to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?

And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.

And it came to pass, when I, even I Daniel, had seen the vision, and sought for the meaning, then, behold, there stood before me as the appearance of a man.

And I heard a man’s voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision.

So he came near where I stood: and when he came, I was afraid, and fell upon my face: but he said unto me, Understand, O son of man: for at the time of the end shall be the vision.

Now as he was speaking with me, I was in a deep sleep on my face toward the ground: but he touched me, and set me upright.

And he said, Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be.

The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia.

And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king.

Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power.

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.

And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people.

And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace [Or, prosperity] shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.

And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true: wherefore shut thou up the vision; for it shall be for many days.

And I Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days; afterward I rose up, and did the king’s business; and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it (Daniel 8: 1-27).

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Daniel 7

 

In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters.

Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea.

And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.

The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and [Or, wherewith] it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given to it.

And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh.

After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it.

After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.

I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.

I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of Days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head like the pure wool: His throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.

A fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him: thousand thousands ministered unto Him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.

I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.

As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.

I saw in the night visions, and, behold, One like the Son of Man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him.

And there was given Him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve Him: His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me.

I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things.

These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth.

But the saints of the Most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.

Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet;

And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout that his fellows.

I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;

Until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the Most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.

Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.

And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.

And he shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.

And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him.

Hitherto is the end of the matter. As for me Daniel, my cogitations much troubled me, and my countenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart (Daniel 7: 1-28).

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