The author of the Book of Daniel identifies the Prophet Daniel as its author (Daniel 9:2; 10:2). And in Matthew 24:15, Jesus mentions Daniel as the author!! This book was likely written between 540 and 530 B.C.
In 605 B.C., King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had conquered Judah and deported many of its inhabitants to Babylon including Daniel. Daniel served in the royal court of Nebuchadnezzar and several rulers who followed Nebuchadnezzar. This book records the actions, prophecies, and visions of the Prophet Daniel. Remember Jeremiah told his story from inside of Judah before, during, and after the sieges by Babylon. Ezekiel was taken in the second siege and was warning HIS people while living in Babylon. Daniel tells his story from inside the castle where the royal family lives.
NOW… Daniel was taken in first siege and final siege where he chose to live for God even while in the castle of King Nebuchadnezzar!!! Daniel belonged to a family of high rank when he was taken into captivity to Babylon in the first invasion by Nebuchadnezzar (Ezekiel, who we just read was taken in the second wave, about 8 years after him). Daniel was about 16 years old. Daniel lived to be over 90 so he saw it all! He saw the Babylonian Empire fall and the Medo-Persia empire grow. He served under many different kings, Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, Darius and Cyrus. Daniel’s entire adult life was spent inside Babylon. Talk about living FOR God and ONLY for God…..Daniel will show us how living for God in a world that mostly does not care for or believe in God CAN be done with great confidence, humility, and focus on God.
As we read the Book of Daniel we will witness Daniel and his three friends remain faithful, courageous, and devoted to our God and God blessed their faithfulness and obedience through promotions in the king’s service (Daniel 1:17-20). In chapters 2-7 Daniel will be the ONLY one who is able to interpret the king’s dream and guess who Daniel gives the credit too??? Then the king throws Daniel’s friends into the hottest furnace possible (because they refuse to idolize him)…..three go in but Nebuchadnezzar sees four…..will they make it out of the fiery furnace??
Nebuchadnezzar’s son Belshazzar will blatantly misuse items taken from the Temple in Jerusalem. God sends Belshazzar a message that ONLY Daniel can interpret. Daniel’s message will not be well received and he will be thrown into the lion’s den……will he survive?
Chapters 8-12 contain a vision involving a ram, a goat, and several horns – also referring to future kingdoms and their rulers. Chapter 9 records Daniel’s “seventy weeks” prophecy. God gave Daniel the precise timeline of when the Messiah would come and be cut off. The prophecy also mentions a future ruler who will make a seven-year covenant with Israel and break it after three and a half years, followed shortly thereafter by the great judgment and consummation of all things. Daniel is visited and strengthened by an angel after this great vision, and the angel explains the vision to Daniel in great detail.
This is such an awesome book of a man who NEVER took his eyes off God, regardless of his circumstances. And, God used Daniel powerfully not just in his time…but for all times. We will see some topics concerning the second coming of Jesus Christ and the great judgment just as we saw in Ezekiel.
A few key verses from Daniel are: Daniel 1:19-20, “The king talked with them, and he found none equal to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah; so they entered the king’s service. In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom.”
Daniel 3:17-18, “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”
Daniel 4:34-35, “His dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation. All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: ‘What have you done?’”
Keep in mind that the scriptures of the fiery furnace and Daniel in the lions’ den are a foreshadowing of the salvation provided by Christ. God provided a way of escape for the men in the fire just as HE has provided a way for us to escape the fires of hell (1 Peter 3:18.) God provided an angel to shut the lion’s mouth so Daniel would be saved from death and Jesus Christ is our provision from the dangers of the sin that threatens to consume us….here …..today!!
We will see that God has a plan, and His plan is down to the intricate detail. God knows and is in control of the future. Everything that God has predicted has come true exactly as He predicted. Therefore, we can believe and trust with great confidence and faith that the things He has predicted for the future will one day occur exactly as God has declared.
In addition to having a plan we will see God as a Keeper, Protector, a Revealer, a Deliverer, a Judge, and of course All Powerful. The book is divided into tow main sections:
A historical narration in chapters 1-6.
An Eschatology, and a prophecy of Revelation (Chapters 7-12)
The original book was written in Hebrew except some of the first half which was written in Aramaic, which was becoming the commercial and diplomatic language of the time. The city of Babylon was perhaps one of the grandest most luxurious city’s ever. Babylon came to its zenith while Daniel was there under Nebuchadnezzar, who reigned for 45 years.
Babylon , will however be captured (in a day!!) by the Medes and Persians, but will remain an important city for years to come. I remember reading in Isaiah the prophecy of Babylon’s future:
Babylon, the jewel of kingdoms,
the glory of the Babylonians’ pride,
will be overthrown by God
like Sodom and Gomorrah. She will never be inhabited
or lived in through all generations;
no Arab will pitch his tent there,
no shepherd will rest his flocks there.
But desert creatures will lie there,
jackals will fill her houses;
there the owls will dwell,
and there the wild goats will leap about.
Hyenas will howl in her strongholds,
jackals in her luxurious palaces.
Her time is at hand,
and her days will not be prolonged.
So…buckle up and get ready for the ride through Daniel!!!
Sharing HIS love,