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In the Book of Daniel the text states that God gives the kingdoms of men to whomever He chooses:

Daniel 4:17: "This sentence is by the decree of the angelic watchers And the decision is a command of the holy ones, In order that the living may know That the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind, And bestows it on whom He wishes And sets over it the lowliest of men."

On the other hand, during one of his temptations, Satan told Jesus:

Luke 4:5-6: "All this authority I will give you, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I will give it to whomever I wish.”

How are we to harmonize these passages?

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  • Satan was lying or bluffing?? See John 8:44.
    – Dottard
    Jul 21 at 9:48
  • bestows it on whom He wishes ... this has been delivered to me - I see no formal contradiction.
    – Lucian
    Jul 21 at 9:57
  • @Dottard, but notice that Jesus didn't refute the claim. He rejected what was asked of him, but didn't say anything about what was offered. Jul 21 at 13:32
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How is Luke 4:5-6 to be reconciled with Daniel 4:17?

There is no contradiction,

Luke 4:5-6: "All this authority I will give you, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I will give it to whomever I wish.”

Jesus did not deny that the kingdoms of the world were Satan’s to give. Later, he called Satan “the ruler of this world.” (John 12:31; 16:11) Toward the end of the first century C.E., the apostle John wrote: “We know we originate with God, but the whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one.” (1 John 5:19) This does not mean God has relinquished his sovereignty over the earth. Remember that Satan, when offering Jesus rulership over the political kingdoms, stated: “I will give you all this authority . . . because it has been delivered to me.” (Luke 4:6) Delivered by whom? --God

Similarly, the State exercises its authority only because God as Sovereign Ruler permits it to do so. (John 1ohn 19:11NASB)_

During His interrogation By Pilate , Jesus said to him

11 Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over Me at all, if it had not been given to you from above; for this reason the one who handed Me over to you has the greater sin.”9:11) Thus, “the existing authorities” can be said to “stand placed in their relative positions by God.”

Governments,act as God,s public servants,in that they provide necessary services, maintain law and order, and punish evildoers. (Romans 13:1, 4, 6)NET

Submission to Civil Government

1 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except by God’s appointment,[a] and the authorities that exist have been instituted by God. 4 for it is a servant of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a servant of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil.6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing.

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There is no contradiction, in fact, these two passages fully support each other. I can’t ‘see’ the issue you ‘see’. Nevertheless lets look a little closer ...

DANIEL 4:17 ’This decision is by the decree of the watchers, And the sentence by the word of the holy ones,

The watchers is an Aramaic term for angels. And here, the watchers are ‘judging’ Nebuchadnezzar. Later we see a confrontation between Michael (arch-angel) and the Prince of Persia.

DANIEL 10:13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days:

Clearly neither Persia nor Babylon were ruled or ‘overseen’ by entities not fully aligned with God, yet being allowed to operate with full authority. The reason for this is found in Torah.

DEUT 32:8 When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, when he divided mankind, he fixed the borders of the peoples according to the number of the sons of God.

God allocated the nations to “sons of god”, angels! He put them over them. Essentially the people at the Tower of Babel rejected God, so he gave them over. And add to this the fact that Satan via Adam became the god of this world.

2 COR 4:4 In their case the god of this world [snip]

The ‘angels’ confined to the spiritual realm ‘around’ the earth are Satan’s ‘tail’, (Rev 12), and every ‘tail’ has a ‘head’ that tells the ‘tail’ what to do. (The Hebraic concept of ‘head and tail’ is crucial to understand in order to be able to interpret some parts of the Old Testament/Revelation.)

So, in summary, there is no contradiction between Daniel 4 and the offer of these kingdoms to Jesus in the temptation accounts in the Gospels. In both incidents, there was only one ‘pulling the strings’ - Satan. The two sections you quote are in full agreement with each other.

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Daniel 4:17 English Standard Version

The sentence is by the decree of the watchers, the decision by the word of the holy ones, to the end that the living may know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will and sets over it the lowliest of men.’

A: The Most High gives the kingdom of men to whom he will.

Luke 4:

5And the devil took him [Jesus] up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, 6and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will.

B: All the kingdoms of the world have been delivered to the devil.

Unifying A and B, the Most High gave the kingdoms of the world to the devil.

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