Introduction to the Book of Daniel Index
Research Material
"To reject Daniel is to reject the Christian religion" Sir Isaac Newton. (GB 5)

G. Burnside "Daniel - Prophecy Unfolds the Future":

  • Daniel was written for the "Latter Days". (GB 5)
      • The "latter days" must include the very "last day."
      • Daniel 2:28"God in Heaven... maketh known... what shall be in the latter days."
      • Daniel 12:4 "Daniel... shut up... to the time of the end."
      • Daniel 12:9 "Daniel.... close up till the time of the end."
      • Daniel 8:17 "Understand... the time of the end shall be the vision."
      • Daniel 8:19 "I will make thee know what shall be in the last"
      • Daniel 10:14 "To make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days."
      • Daniel 12:1 "Thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the Book."
        • Daniel's prophecy reveals to us what will happen in the mean time (GB 5)
      • The time of Christ's coming, His anointing by the Holy Spirit, His death, and the giving of the gospel to the Gentiles, were definitely pointed out. It was the privilege of the Jewish people to understand these prophecies, and to recognize their fulfillment in the mission of Jesus. Christ urged upon His disciples the importance of prophetic study. Referring to the prophecy given to Daniel in regard to their time, He said, “Whoso readeth, let him understand.” (Matthew 24:15). After His resurrection He explained to the disciples in “all the prophets” “the things concerning Himself.” (Luke 24:27). The Saviour had spoken through all the prophets. “The Spirit of Christ which was in them” “testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.” (1 Peter 1:11). (GB 5)
      • Daniel 8:17 "Understand... at the time of the end."
        • It was Gabriel, the angel next in rank to the Son of God, who came with the divine message to Daniel. It was Gabriel, “His angel,” whom Christ sent to open the future to the beloved John; and a blessing is pronounced on those who read and hear the words of the prophecy, and keep the things written therein. (Revelation 1:3).
        • The Lord God will do nothing, but He revealeth His secret unto His servants and prophets” (Amos 3:7). While “the secret things belong unto the Lord our God,” “those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever.” (Deuteronomy 29:29). God has given these things to us, and His blessing will attend the reverent, prayerful study of the prophetic scriptures.
        • As the message of Christ's first advent announced the kingdom of His grace, so the message of His second advent announces the kingdom of His glory. And the second message, like the first, is based on the prophecies. The words of the angel to Daniel relating to the last days were to be understood in the time of the end. At that time, “many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased” (Daniel 12:4). “The wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.” (Daniel 12:10). The Saviour Himself has given signs of His coming, and He says, “When ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand” ( Luke 21:31).“And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares” (Luke 21:34). “Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man” (Luke 21:36). (DA 234)
        • The attention of the people should be called to the momentous event which is so near at hand. The signs of the times should be kept fresh before their minds. The prophetic visions of Daniel and John foretell a period of moral darkness and declension; but at he time of the end, the time in which we are now living, the vision was to speak and not lie. When the signs predicted begin to come to pass, the waiting, watching ones are bidden to look up and lift up their heads and rejoice because their redemption draweth nigh. (5T 9, 10)
        • The message itself sheds light as to the time when this movement is to take place. It is declared to be a part of the “everlasting gospel” (Revelation 14:6) and it announces the opening of the judgment. The message of salvation has been preached in all ages; but this message is a part of the gospel which could be proclaimed only in the last days, for only then would it be true that the hour of judgment had come. The prophecies present a succession of events leading down to the opening of the judgment. This is especially true of the book of Daniel. But that part of his prophecy which related to the last days, Daniel was bidden to close up and seal “to the time of the end” (Daniel 12:4). Not till we reach this time could a message concerning the judgment be proclaimed, based on the fulfillment of these prophecies. But at the time of the end, says the prophet, “many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased” (Daniel 12:4).
          • The apostle Paul warned the church not to look for the coming of Christ in his day. “That day shall not come,” he says, “except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed” (2 Thessalonians 2:3). Not till after the great apostasy, and the long period of the reign of the “man of sin” (2 Thessalonians 2:3), can we look for the advent of our Lord. The “man of sin” (2 Thessalonians 2:3), which is also styled “the mystery of iniquity”(2 Thessalonians 2:7), “the son of perdition” (2 Thessalonians 2:3), and “that wicked” (2 Thessalonians 2:8), represents the papacy, which, as foretold in prophecy, was to maintain its supremacy for 1260 years. This period ended in 1798. The coming of Christ could not take place before that time. Paul covers with his caution the whole of the Christian dispensation down to the year 1798. It is this side of that time that the message of Christ's second coming is to be proclaimed.
          • No such message has ever been given in past ages. Paul, as we have seen, did not preach it; he pointed his brethren into the then far-distant future for the coming of the Lord. The Reformers did not proclaim it. Martin Luther placed the judgment about three hundred years in the future from his day. But since 1798 the book of Daniel has been unsealed, knowledge of the prophecies has increased, and many have proclaimed the solemn message of the judgment near. (GC 355-356) (GB 5)
  • Daniel went into captivity as a boy of 18. He died [around] 94, having served as Prime Minister, under three or four kings, in two world empires. Where is his equal in either sacred or profane history? (GB 14)
    • Daniel contains the greatest prophecies of the Old Testament. (GB 14)
    • Daniel gives the first line of prophecy that covers the history of the world to its end. (GB 14)
    • Daniel gives the first chronological prophecy of the coming Messiah. Thus no one can reasonably dare question the Christ. (GB 15)
    • Daniel is the only book in Scripture that was ever divinely sealed and then only until a God-given time. (GB 15)

Uriah Smith "Daniel and the Revelation":

  • That the book of Daniel was written by the person whose name it bears, there is no reason to doubt. Ezekiel, who was contemporary with Daniel, bears testimony, through the Spirit of prophecy, to his piety and uprightness, ranking him in this respect with Noah and Job: "If I send a pestilence into the land, and pour out My fury upon it in blood, to cut off from it man and beast" (Ezekiel 14:19); "though Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, as I live, saith the Lord God, they shall deliver neither son nor daughter; they shall but deliver their own souls by their righteousness" (Ezekiel 14:20). His wisdom, also, even at that early day, had become proverbial, as appears from the same writer. To the prince of Tyrus he was directed by the Lord to say, "Behold, thou art wiser than Daniel; there is no secret that they can hide from thee" (Ezekiel 28:3). But above all, our Lord recognized him as a prophet of God, and babe His disciples understand the predictions given through him for the benefit of His church: "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)" (Matthew 24:15), then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains" (Matthew 24:16). (US 15)
  • Though we have a more minute account of his early life than is recorded of that of any other prophet, yet his birth and linage are left in complete obscurity, except that he was of the royal line, probably of the house of David, which had at this time become very numerous. He first appears as one of the noble captives of Judah, in the first year of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, at the beginning of the seventy years' captivity, 606/605 B.C., Jeremiah and Habakkuk were yet uttering their prophecies. Ezekiel began soon after, and a little later, Obadiah; but all these finished their work years before the close of the long and brilliant career of Daniel. Three prophets only succeeded him, Haggai and Zechariah, who exercised the prophetic office for a brief period contemporaneously, 520-518 B.C., and Malachi, the last of the Old Testament prophets, who flourished a little season about 397 B.C. (US 15-16)
  • During the seventy years' captivity of the Jews, 606/605 - 536/535 B.C., predicted by Jeremiah (Jeremiah 25:11), Daniel resided at the court of Babylon, most of the time prime minister of that monarchy. His life affords a most impressive lesson of the importance and advantage of maintaining from earliest youth strict integrity toward God, and furnishes a notable instance of a man's maintaining eminent piety, and faithfully discharging all the duties that pertain to the service of God, while at the same time engaging in the most stirring activities, and bearing the weightiest cases and responsibilities that can devolve upon men in this earthly life. (US 16)
  • What a rebuke is his course to many at the present day, who, having not a hundredth part of the cares to absorb their time and engross their attention that he had, yet plead as an excuse for their almost utter neglect of Christian duties, that they have no time for them. What will the God of Daniel say to such, when He comes to reward His servants impartially, according to their improvement or neglect of the opportunities offered them? (US 16)
  • But it is not alone nor chiefly his connection with the Chaldean monarchy, the glory of kingdoms, that perpetuates the memory of Daniel, and covers his name with honor. From the height of its glory he saw that kingdom decline, and pass into other hands. Its period of greatest prosperity was embraced within the limits of the lifetime of one man. So brief was its supremacy, so transient its glory. But Daniel was intrusted with more enduring honors. While beloved and honored by the princes and potentates of Babylon, he enjoyed an infinitely higher exaltation in being beloved and honored by God and His holy angels, and admitted to a knowledge of the counsels of the Most High. (US 16)
  • His prophecy is, in many respects, the most remarkable of any in the sacred record. It is the most comprehensive. It was the first prophecy giving a consecutive history of the world from that time to the end. It located the most of its predictions within well-defined prophetic periods, though reaching many centuries into the future. It gave the first definite chronological prophecy of the coming of the Messiah. It marked the time of this event so definitely that the Jews forbid any attempt to interpret its numbers, since that prophecy shows them to be without excuse in rejecting Christ; and so accurately had its minute and literal predictions been fulfilled down to the time of Porphyry, A.D. 250, that he declared (the only loophole he could devise for his hard-pressed skepticism) that the predictions were not written in the age of Babylon, but after the events themselves had occurred. This evasion, however, is not now available; for every succeeding century has borne additional evidence to the truthfulness of the prophecy, and we are just now, in our day, approaching the climax of its fulfillment. (US 16-17)
  • The personal history of Daniel reaches to a date a few years subsequent to the subversion of the Babylonian kingdom by the Medes and Persians. He is supposed to have died at Shushan, or Susa, in Persia, about the year 530 B.C., aged nearly ninety-four years; his age being probably reason why he did not return to Judea with other Hebrew captives, under the proclamation of Cyrus (Ezra 1:1), 536 B.C., which marked the close of the seventy years' captivity. (US 17)

SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST BIBLE COMMENTARY VOLUMN 4, PAGES 743-754:

  • TITLE:
    • The book is named after its principal character Daniel. The practice of naming Old Testament books for their main hero is demonstrated by other books such as Joshua, Samuel, Esther, Job, etc. Such a title does not necessarily indicate authorship, although that may be included as well, as is the case with the book of Daniel. (4BC 743)
  • AUTHORSHIP:
    • The traditional view of both Jews and Christians is that the book was written in the 6th century B.C., and that Daniel was its author. In favor of the correctness of this traditional view are the following points of evidence: (4BC 743)
      • The claims of the book:
      • The author well acquainted with history:
        • Only a man of the 6th century B.C., well versed in Babylonian affairs, could have provided some of the historical facts found in the book. The knowledge of these facts was lost after the 6th century B.C., not being recorded in other ancient literature after that time. Relatively recent archeological finds have once more brought these facts to light. (4BC 743)
      • The testimony of Jesus Christ:
        • Quoting a passage from the book, Jesus Christ mentions Daniel as author (Matthew 24:15). For every Christian believer this testimony should be convincing evidence. (4BC 743)
    • The book falls into two clearly distinguishable parts, the first (Daniel 1 thru 6) mainly historical, and the second (Daniel 7 thru 12) mainly prophetic; yet the book is a literary unit. In support of such unity the following arguments can be listed: (4BC 743)
      • The various parts of the book are mutually related one to another:
      • The historical part:
        • The historical part contains a prophecy (Daniel 2) [which is] closely related [to the] theme [in] the prophecies found in the latter part of the book (Daniel 7 thru 12). (Daniel 7) contains a further development of a theme presented in (Daniel 2). Also, a relationship between the historical and the prophetic elements is evident. The historical section (Daniel 1 thru 6) constitutes an account of God's dealings with one nation, Babylon, and the role of this nation in the divine plan. The account was designed to be an illustration of God's dealings with all nations (ED 175-177). Like Babylon, each of the successive world empires graphically portrayed in the prophetic portion of the book was given an opportunity to know the divine will and to cooperate with it, and each was to be measured by the fidelity with which it fulfilled the divine purpose. Thus the rise and fall of the nations depicted in the prophetic portion is to be understood in terms of the principles set forth in the historical portion, as they operated in the case of Babylon. This fact binds the two sections of the book together as a unit and provides a basis for understanding the role played by each of the successive world empires. (4BC 744)
      • Literary unity:
        • The literary unity of the book can be so well demonstrated that representatives of most schools of thought generally recognize it. The Composition, general channel of thinking, and the expressions used in the two languages employed are so common to all parts of the book that the claims of those who assign certain pats of the book to one author, and others to a second, appear pointless. (4BC 744)
        • Among the hundreds of manuscript fragments found in the first Qumrdn cave are three from the book of Daniel. They have been published by D. Barthelemy and J. T. Milik in Discoveries in the Judean Desert 1: Qumran Cave 1 (Oxford, 1955), pp. 150-152. The fragments were written by two scribes and belong wither to two separate scrolls or to a single scroll in which (Daniel 1 and Daniel 2) were written by one scribe, and (Daniel 3) by another. (4BC 744)
          • The fragments contain parts of the following 22 verses: Daniel 1:10-17; Daniel 2:2-6; Daniel 3:22-30. A comparison of this text with the Masoretic shows 16 variants, none of which, however, affects the meaning of the passage. Nine of these 16 are spelling variants, each affecting only one letter; two of these seem to be spelling errors; the other seven are variously spelled also in the Masoretic text. Four additions are found: one of the conjunction "and," and one of the particle "that" before an "if"; two words have a vowel letter added. Once a vowel letter occurring in the Masoretic text is not found in the fragments. Two verbal endings seem to be scribal errors. The list shows that the differences are so insignificant that they would not be noticeable in a translation. This is a strong proof that the Hebrew text of Daniel is now in substantially the same form as it was at least in the time of Christ. (4BC 744)
          • It is of further interest that the fragment of Daniel 2 covers the passage in which the transition occurs from Hebrew to Aramaic (Daniel 2:4). At that point a space is left between the last Hebrew word and the first Aramaic word, thus making a distinct break between the language sections. It is also noteworthy that, in agreement with the Masoretic text, these fragments do not contain the apocryphal song of the three children (Daniel 3:23). (4BC 744)
          • Daniel was in Babylon during these eventful days. He must have seen the Babylonian armies depart for their several campaigns against his homeland, and witnessed their victorious returns and the arrival of captured Jews. Among the captives were the young king Jehoiachin with his family (2 Kings 24:10-16), and later the blinded king Zedekiah (2 Kings 25:7). During these years Daniel must also have been aware of the political agitation that was going on among the exiled Jews, which resulted in Nebuchadnezzar's burning to death some of the chief instigators. It was this agitation that caused Jeremiah to send a letter to his captured compatriots urging them to lead a quiet and peaceful life in Babylonia (Jeremiah 29). (4BC 745)
  • HISTORICAL SETTING:
    • The book of Daniel contains (1) a record of certain historical incidents from the life of Daniel and his three friends, who were Jewish exiles in Babylonian government service, and (2) a record of a prophetic dream of King Nebuchadnezzar, interpreted by Daniel, together with records of visions the prophet himself had received. Although the book was written in Babylonia during the Exile and shortly thereafter, its purpose was not to provide either a history of the Jewish exile or a biography of Daniel. The book relates high-light experiences of the statesman-prophet and his associates and was complied with specific objectives in mind. (4BC 744-745)
    • First of all Daniel presents brief information concerning the reason for his being found in the public service of the Babylonian king (Daniel 1). Having been taken to Babylon in the first captivity in 605 B.C., during the course of Nebuchadnezzar's first Syrian campaign, Daniel and other princes of royal blood were chosen to be trained for government service. The initial 19 years of Daniel's stay in Babylonia were the last years of Judah's existence as a kingdom, albeit subject to Babylon. The futile anti-Babylonian policies of Judah's last kings brought one catastrophe after another upon the Jewish nation. (4BC 745)
    • King Jehoiakim, during whose reign Daniel had gone into captivity, remained loyal to Babylon for a few years. Eventually, however, he acceded to the policy of the pro-Egyptian party in Judah, and rebelled. As a result the country suffered military invasions, its citizens lost their liberty and were taken into captivity, and the king lost his life. His son and successor, Jehoiachin, after a brief reign of only three months, saw the armies of Babylon return to mete out punishment for disloyalty. He, together with thousands of the upper-class citizens of Judah, went into captivity in 597 B.C. His successor, Zedekiah, apparently attempted to remain loyal to Babylon. However, being weak and vacillating, he could not long withstand the overtures of Egypt and the anti-Babylonian sentiment of his chief advisers. As a result Nebuchadnezzar, weary of the repeated revolts in Palestine, decided to put an end to the kingdom of Judah. For two and a half years the Babylonian armies ravaged Judah, took and destroyed the cities, including Jerusalem, with its Temple and its palaces and led the majority of the inhabitants of Judah into captivity in 586 B.C. (4BC 745)
    • During all these years Daniel and his three friends quietly and loyally performed their duties as royal officers and subjects of the realm. After their scholarly training they became members of the elite group called Chaldeans, who served the king as advisers. It was then that Daniel had the unique opportunity of explaining to Nebuchadnezzar the dream of future empires (Daniel 2). As a result Daniel was appointed to a position of exceptionally high rank, which he seems to have held for many years. This office gave him the opportunity of acquainting the king with the power of the God of heaven and earth, whom Daniel and his friends served. How long Daniel retained this position is not known. He seems to have lost it before 570 B.C., since his name is not found in a contemporary "Court and State Almanac," written in cuneiform, which lists the chief offices of Nebuchadnezzar's government holding office at that time. No other court and state almanacs for the reign of Nebuchadnezzar are extant. In fact, Daniel is not mentioned in any contemporary non-Biblical source. (4BC 745-746)
    • The absence of Daniel's name in this document is not strange, since we do not know how long Daniel remained in public office. Only four principal events during Nebuchadnezzar's reign are recorded in the book of Daniel, and Daniel played a role in three of them:
      • 1) The education of the Jewish princes during the king's first three years of reign, including his accession year (Daniel 1).
      • 2) The interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar's dream in the king's second regnal year (Daniel 2).
      • 3) The dedication of the image in the plain of Dura, which the resulting experience of Daniel's friends in an unspecified year (Daniel 3).
      • 4) Daniel's interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar's dream, announcing that the king would suffer madness for a period of seven years, which probably occurred during the king's last years (Daniel 4). (4BC 746)
    • Nothing is known of Daniel's activities during the years of Nebuchadnezzar's incapacity. We likewise do not know what Daniel did after the king regained his faculties and throne, or whether his services were demanded during the reigns of the succeeding kings, Amel-Marduk (the Biblical Evil-Merodach), Nergal-shar-usur, Labashi-Marduk, and Nabonidus. However, he was permitted to observe the mighty empire of Nebuchadnezzar become morally weak and corrupt under kings who were assassins of their predecessors. He also must have watched with more than ordinary interest the cometlike rise of King Cyrus in Persia to the east, since a man by that name had been mentioned in prophecy as Israel's liberator (Isaiah 44:28; Isaiah 45:1). In 553 B.C., (the year in which Cyrus probably became master over the Median Empire) it is also possible that Daniel saw Nabonidus appoint his son Belshazzar to rule over Babylonia, while Nabonidus himself set out to conquer Tema in Arabia. It was during the first three years of Belshazzar that great visions were given to Daniel (Daniel 7; Daniel 8), and the man who so far had been known only as an interpreter of dreams and visions became one of the great prophets of all time. (4BC 746)
    • The Babylonians demanded Daniel's services once more, during the night of Babylon's fall, in 539 B.C., to read and interpret the handwriting of doom on the wall of Belshazzar's festal hall. After the Persians became masters over Babylon and its empire, the new rulers made use of the talents and experience of the old statesman of a past generation. Daniel again became a chief counselor of the crown. It was presumably he who brought the prophecies of Isaiah to the notice of the king (PK 557), which prophecies influenced the Persian ruler to issue the decree that ended exile for the Jews and restored to them a homeland and a Temple. During this later term of Daniel's public office there was an attempt on his life by his envious colleagues, but the Lord marvelously intervened and delivered His servant (Daniel 6). Additional important visions were received during these last years of Daniel's life, first under Darius the Mede (Daniel 9), and then under Cyrus (Daniel 10 thru 12). (4BC 746)
    • In any study of the book of Daniel two points call for special examination:
      • THE HISTORICITY OF DANIEL:
        • Since the first major attacks on the historicity of Daniel were made by the Neoplatonic philosopher Porphyry (A.D. 233-304), the book has been under fire of critics, at first only sporadically, but during the past two centuries, constantly. As a result the majority of Christian scholars today consider the book of Daniel the product of an anonymous author who lived about the time of the Maccabean revolt, in the 2d century B.C. (4BC 746-747)
        • These scholars set forth two main reasons for ascribing so late a date to the book of Daniel:
          • 1). Since, as they assert, certain prophecies point to Antiochus IV Epiphanes (175-163 B.C.), and since, according to their concept, most prophecies - at least those that have been demonstrated to have had an accurate fulfillment - were written after the events described had occurred, Daniel's prophecies, according to their claims, must be dated in the time following the reign of Antiochus IV.
          • 1.a)This argument has no validity for one who believes that the inspired prophets of old actually made accurate predictions concerning the course of history. (4BC 747)
          • 2). Since, according to their contentions, the historical sections of Daniel record certain events that disagree with historical facts known from available sources, these disagreements can best be explained by assuming that the author was removed from the actual events so much in space and time that he possessed but a limited knowledge of what had actually happened in the 7th and 6th centuries B.C., 400 years earlier. (4BC 747)
          • 2.a) This argument deserves more detailed attention because of the seriousness of the claim that Daniel contains historical inaccuracies, anachronisms, and misconceptions. For this reason a brief discussion of the historical trustworthiness of Daniel is here presented. (4BC 747)
            • 2.a.1) Madness of Nebuchadnezzar:
              • It is true that Daniel describes some events that even today cannot be verified by means of available ancient source material. One such event is the madness of Nebuchadnezzar, which is not mentioned in any extant ancient records. The absence of verification for a temporary incapacity of the greatest king of the Neo-Babylonian Empire is not a strange phenomenon in a time when royal records contain only praiseworthy narratives (Daniel 4:36). (4BC 747)
            • 2.a.2) Darius the Mede:
              • Also enigmatic is Darius the Mede, whose real place in history has not been established by reliable non-Biblical source material. Hints as to his identity are found in the writings of Greek authors and fragmentary information from cuneiform sources. (4BC 747)
            • 2.a.3) Historical Difficulties:
              • The other so-called historical difficulties that puzzled conservative commentators of Daniel a hundred years ago have been solved by the increase of historical knowledge provided by archeology. Some of the more important of these now-solved problems are here listed: (4BC 747)
            • 2.a.4) Chronological Discrepancy:
              • The supposed chronological discrepancy between Daniel 1:1 and Jeremiah 25:1. Jeremiah, who, scholars generally agree, is a trustworthy historical source, synchronizes the 4th year of Jehoiakim of Judah with the 1st year of Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. However, Daniel speaks of King Nebuchadnezzar's first conquest of Jerusalem as taking place in Jehoiakim's 3rd year, apparently implying that Nebuchadnezzar's 1st year coincided with the 3rd year of Jehoiakim. Before the discovery of contemporary records revealing various systems of reckoning the regnal years of ancient kings, commentators found in difficult to explain this seeming discrepancy. They tried to solve the difficulty either by supposing a coregency of Nebuchadnezzar with his father Nabopolassar or by assuming that Jeremiah and Daniel dated events according to different systems of reckoning, Jeremiah using a Jewish and Daniel the Babylonian system. Both explanations are today out of date. (4BC 747)
              • The whole difficulty has been solved by the discovery that Babylonian kings, like those of Judah at the time, counted their regnal years according to the "accession-year" method. The year in which a Babylonian king came to the throne was not reckoned as his official 1st year, but merely the year of his accession, and his 1st year, meaning his 1st full calendar year, but did not begin until the next New Year's Day, when, in a religious ceremony, he took the hands of the Babylonian god Bel. (4BC 747-748)
              • We also know from Josephus (citing Berosus) and a Babylonian chronicle that Nebuchadnezzar was on a military campaign in Palestine against Egypt when his father died and he succeeded to the throne. Hence Daniel and Jeremiah completely agree with each other. Jeremiah synchronized Nebuchadnezzar's 1st regnal year with Jehoiakim's 4th year, whereas Daniel was taken captive in Nebuchadnezzar's accession year, which identifies with Jehoiakim's 3rd year. (4BC 748)
            • 2.a.5) Nebuchadnezzar the great builder of Babylon:
              • According to the Greek historians, Nebuchadnezzar played an insignificant role in the affairs of ancient history. He is never referred to as a great builder or as the creator of a new and greater Babylon. That this honor is usually ascribed to Queen Semiramis, who is given a prominent place in the history of Babylonia, is evident to every reader of classical Greek histories. (4BC 748)
              • Yet the contemporary cuneiform records, unearthed by the archeologist during the last hundred years, have entirely changed the picture derived from classical writers, and have corroborated the account of the book of Daniel, which credits Nebuchadnezzar with the building (rebuilding) of "this great Babylon" (Daniel 4:30). Semiramis, called Sammu-ramat in cuneiform inscriptions, it has now been discovered, was a queen mother of Assyria, regent for her infant son Adad-nirari III, and not a queen over Babylonia as the classical sources claimed. The inscriptions have shown that she had nothing to do with any building activity in Babylon. On the other hand, numerous building inscriptions of Nebuchadnezzar prove that he became, in a sense, the creator of a new Babylon by rebuilding the palaces, temples, and the temple tower of the city, and by adding new buildings and fortifications. (4BC 748)
              • Such information none but a writer of the Neo-Babylonian age could have, for it had been completely lost by the time of the Hellenistic era. The presence of such information in the book of Daniel greatly puzzles critical scholars who do not believe that Daniel was written in the 6th century, but rather in the 2nd. A typical example of their dilemma is the following statement of R.H. Pfeiffer, of Harvard University: "We shall presumably never know how our author learned that the new Babylon was the creation of Nebuchadnezzar . . . , as the excavations have proved" (Introduction to the Old Testament [New York, 1941], pp. 758, 759). (4BC 748)
            • 2.a.6) Belshazzar, king of Babylon:
              • The fact that the name of this king had not been found in any non-Biblical writings of antiquity, while Nabonidus always appeared as the last Babylonian king prior to the Persian conquest, was regularly used as one of the strongest arguments against the historicity of the book of Daniel. But the discoveries of the last hundred years have refuted all critics of Daniel in this respect and vindicated the trustworthiness of the prophet's historical narrative with regard to Belshazzar in a most impressive way. (4BC 748)
            • 2.a.7) The languages of the book:
              • Like Ezra, Daniel was written partly in Hebrew and partly in Aramaic. Some have accounted for the use of two languages in the case of Ezra by assuming that the author took over Aramaic documents with their accompanying historical descriptions, and incorporated them into his books, otherwise written in Hebrew, the national tongue of his people. Such an interpretation does not fit the book of Daniel, where the Aramaic section begins with (Daniel 2:4) and ends with the last verse of Daniel 7. (4BC 749)
              • Following is a partial list of the many explanations of this problem offered by scholars, together with some observations . . . which seem to speak against the reasonableness of these explanations:
                • 1) That the author wrote the historical stories for the Aramaic-speaking people and the prophecies for the Hebrew-speaking scholars.
                  • 1.a) Yet the Aramaic in Daniel 2 and Daniel 7, both great prophecies, speaks against the correctness of this view. (4BC 749)
                • 2) That the two languages point to two sources.
                  • 2.a) This view cannot be correct, because the book bears a strong stamp of unity, as even many radical critics have acknowledged (4BC 749)
                • 3) That the book was written originally in one language, either Aramaic or Hebrew, and parts of it were later translated.
                  • 3.a) This view leaves unanswered the question as to why only sections were translated into the other language and not the whole book. (4BC 749)
                • 4) That the author issued the book in two editions, one in Hebrew and another one in Aramaic, so that all classes of people could read it; that in the time of the Maccabean persecution parts of the book were lost, and those parts that were salvaged from both editions were put together without any changes.
                  • 4.a) This view suffers from the fact that it cannot be proved to be correct, and that it deals with too many uncertainties. (4BC 749)
                • 5) That the author began to write in Aramaic at the point where the Chaldeans addressed "the king in Syriack [literally, Aramaic]" (Daniel 2:4), and continued in this language as long as he was writing at that time, but that when he resumed writing(with Daniel 8:1) he used Hebrew. (4BC 749)
                  • [This] last view appears to lead in the right direction, for the various sections of the book seem to have been written at different times. As a trained government official Daniel spoke and wrote in several languages. He probably wrote some of the historical narratives and visions in Hebrew and others in Aramaic. On the basis of this assumption, Daniel 1 was written in Hebrew, probably in the 1st year of Cyrus, and the narratives of Daniel 3 thru 6 in Aramaic at various times. The prophetic visions were recorded mostly in Hebrew (Daniel 8 thru 12), although the vision of Daniel 7 was written in Aramaic. The account of Nebuchadnezzar's dream of the future monarchies (Daniel 2), on the other hand, was written in Hebrew up to the point where the Chaldeans' speech was quoted (Daniel 2:4), and then continued in Aramaic from this point to the end of the narrative. (4BC 749)
                  • When, at the end of his life, Daniel collected all his writings into one book, he may not have deemed it necessary to translate certain parts in order to unify the book linguistically, knowing that most of his readers were bilingual - a fact evident from other sources. (4BC 749)
                  • It may further e noted that the existence of two languages in Daniel cannot be used as an argument for a late date of the origin of the book. Those who date the origin of Daniel in the 2nd century B.C., also have the problem of explaining why a Hebrew author of the Maccabean period wrote part of the book in Hebrew and part of it in Aramaic. (4BC 750)
                  • It is true that the orthographic (spelling) peculiarities of the Aramaic sections of Daniel are related most closely to those of the 4th-3rd century Aramaic of Western Asia. This would seem to be due to a modernization of the language, a characteristic noticeable also in most of the Hebrew books of the Bible. Orthography cannot reveal the date of writing any more than the latest revision of the English Bible can be taken as proof that the Bible was originally written or translated in the 20th century A.D. The orthographic peculiarities can at most indicate at what time the latest revisions in spelling took place. (4BC 750)
                  • Among the Dead Sea scrolls there are several fragments of Daniel dating from the 2nd century B.C. At lease two of these preserve that section of (Daniel 2) where the change is made from Hebrew to Aramaic, and show clearly the bilingual character of the book at that time. (4BC 750)
  • THEME:
    • The book of Daniel might appropriately be called a handbook on history and prophecy. Predictive prophecy is a preview of history; history is predictive prophecy passing in review. The element of predictive enables God's people to see the things of time in the light of eternity, alerts them for effective action at appropriate times, facilitates personal preparation for the final crisis, and provides a firm basis for faith upon fulfillment of the prediction. (4BC 750)
    • The four major lines of prophecy in the book of Daniel set forth in brief outline, against the background of world history, the experiences of God's people from the days of Daniel down to the close of time. "The curtain is drawn aside, and we behold, above, behind, and through all the play and counterplay of human interest and power and passions, the agencies of the All-merciful One, silently, patiently working out the counsels of His own will" (PK 500). Each of the four lines of prophecy reaches a climax when "the God of heaven" sets "up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed" (Daniel 2:44), when the "Son of man" (Daniel 7:13) receives "everlasting dominion" (Daniel 7:14), when opposition to the "Prince of princes" is "broken without hand" (Daniel 8:25), and when God's people are delivered forever from their oppressors (Daniel 12:1). The prophecies of Daniel thus provide a divinely constructed bridge from the precipice of time to the boundless shores of eternity, a bridge over which those who, like Daniel, purpose in their hearts to love and serve God, may pass by faith from the uncertainty and distress of the present life to the peace and security of life everlasting. (4BC 750)
    • The historical section of the book of Daniel reveals, in most striking manner, the true philosophy of history (Ed 173-184). This section stands as a preface to the prophetic section. By providing a detailed account of God's dealings with one nation, Babylon, the book enables us to understand the meaning of the rise and fall of other nations outlined in the prophetic portion of the book. Without a clear understanding of the philosophy of history as revealed in the narrative of the role of Babylon in the divine plan, the role of the other nations that succeeded Babylon on the screen of prophetic vision cannot be fully understood or appreciated. For a summery of the divine philosophy of history as set forth by inspiration see (Daniel 4:17). (4BC 750)
    • In the historical section of the book we find Daniel, God's man of the hour, brought face to face with Nebuchadnezzar, the genius of the Gentile world, that the king might have opportunity to know Daniel's God, the Arbiter of history, and to cooperate with Him. Nebuchadnezzar not only was monarch of the greatest nation of the time but was also eminently wise, and had an innate sense of justice and right. He was, in fact, the leading personality of the Gentile world, "the mighty one of the heathen" (Ezekiel 31:11), raised to power for a specific role in the divine plan. Of him God said, "now have I given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant" (Jeremiah 27:6). As the Jews went captive to Babylon it was desirable that they be held under a hand that was firm without being cruel (according to the standards of that day). Daniel's mission at the court of Nebuchadnezzar was to secure the submission of the king's will to the will of God in order that the divine purpose might be realized. In one of the dramatic moments of history God brought together these two great personalities. (4BC 751)
    • The first four chapters of Daniel narrate the means by which God secured the allegiance of Nebuchadnezzar. First of all, God needed a man who would be a fit representative of the principles and policies of heaven at the court of Babylon, so He chose Daniel to be His personal ambassador to Nebuchadnezzar. The means God employed to bring Daniel, a captive, to the favorable attention of Nebuchadnezzar, and the means by which Nebuchadnezzar came to have confidence, first in Daniel and then in Daniel's God, illustrate the manner in which God uses men today to accomplish His will on earth. God could use Daniel because Daniel was a man of principle, a man of sterling character, a man whose chief business in life was to live for God. (4BC 751)
    • Daniel "purposed in his heart" (Daniel 1:8) to live in harmony with all the revealed will of God. First, God brought him "into favour and tender love" (Daniel 1:9) with the officials of Babylon. This prepared the way for the second step, the demonstration of the physical superiority of Daniel and his companions (Daniel 1:12-15). Then followed a demonstration of intellectual superiority. "God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom" (Daniel 1:17), with the result that they were considered "ten times better" (Daniel 1:20) than their closest competitors. Thus in personality, physique, and intellect Daniel proved to be markedly superior to his fellow men, and thereby won the confidence and respect of Nebuchadnezzar. (4BC 751)
    • These events prepared Nebuchadnezzar to meet Daniel's God. A series of dramatic experiences - the dream of (Daniel 2), the striking deliverance from the fiery furnace (Daniel 3), and the dream of (Daniel 4) - demonstrated to the king's satisfaction the knowledge, power, and authority of Daniel's God. The inferiority of human knowledge, exhibited in the experience of (Daniel 2), led Nebuchadnezzar to admit to Daniel, "Of a truth it is, that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets" (Daniel 2:47). He freely acknowledged that the wisdom of God was superior, not only to human wisdom, but even to the supposed wisdom of his own gods. The incident of the golden image and the fiery furnace led Nebuchadnezzar to admit that the God of heaven "delivered his servants" (Daniel 3:28). His conclusion was that no one in all his realm should "speak any thing amiss against the God" of the Hebrews, in view of the fact that "no other God" can "deliver after this sort" (Daniel 3:29). Nebuchadnezzar now recognized that the God of heaven was not only wise but powerful, that He was not only omniscient but omnipotent. The third experience - the seven years during which his own vaunted wisdom and power were temporarily removed - taught the king not only that "the most High" is wise and powerful but that He exercises that wisdom and power to rule in human affairs (Daniel 4:32). He has wisdom, power, and authority. It is significant that the first act Nebuchadnezzar performed after his reason returned to him was to "praise and extol and honour the King of heaven" and to acknowledge that "those that walk in pride" as he had done for so many years, God "is able to abase" (Daniel 4:37). (4BC 751-752)
    • But the lessons Nebuchadnezzar personally learned over a period of many years largely failed to benefit those who succeeded him upon the throne of Babylon. The last ruler of Babylon, Belshazzar, openly defied the God of heaven (Daniel 5:23) in spite of the fact that he was acquainted with the experience of Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 5:22). Instead of working in harmony with the divine plan, "Babylon became a proud and cruel oppressor" (Ed 176), and in the rejection of the principles of heaven wrought its own ruin (Ed 177). The nation was weighed and found wanting (Daniel 5:25-28), and world dominion passed to the Persians. (4BC 752)
    • In delivering Daniel from the lions den, God demonstrated His power and authority before the rulers of the Persian Empire (Daniel 6:20-23; PK 557) as He had previously before those of Babylon. An edit of Darius the Mede acknowledged "the living God" and admitted that He is "stedfast for ever" (Daniel 6:26). Even "the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not" (Daniel 6:8), was obliged to yield before the decrees of "the most High," who "ruleth in the kingdom of men" (Daniel 4:32). Cyrus was favorably impressed by the miraculous evidence of divine power exhibited in the deliverance of Daniel from the lions' den (PK 557). The prophecies outlining his role in the restoration of Jerusalem and the Temple (Isaiah 44:26 thru Isaiah 45:13) also made a deep impression upon him. "His heart was profoundly moved, and he determined to fulfill his divinely appointed mission" (PK 557). (4BC 752)
    • Thus the book of Daniel gives a demonstration of the principles according to which God's wisdom, power, and authority operate through the history of nations for the eventual accomplishment of the divine purpose. "God exalted Babylon that it might fulfil" His "purpose" (Ed 175). It had its period of test; it :failed, its glory faded, its power departed, and its place was occupied by another" (Ed 177; Daniel 4:17).
    • All four visions of the book of Daniel are concerned with the struggle between the forces of good and evil on this earth from the time of Daniel to the establishment of the eternal kingdom of Christ. Inasmuch as Satan uses the powers of earth in his effort to thwart God's plan and to destroy God's people, these visions introduce those powers through which he has been most active. (4BC 752)
    • The first vision (Daniel 2) deals primarily with political changes. Its primary objective was to reveal to Nebuchadnezzar his role as ruler of Babylon, to make known to him "what should come to pass hereafter" (Daniel 2:29). (4BC 752)
    • As if to supplement the first vision, the second (Daniel 7) emphasizes the experiences of God's people during the sovereignty of the powers mentioned in the first vision, and forecasts the ultimate victory of the saints and God's judgment upon their enemies (Daniel 7:14; Daniel 7:18; Daniel 7:26; Daniel 7:27). (4BC 752)
    • The third vision (Daniel 8 and Daniel 9), supplementing the second, emphasizes Satan's attempts to do away with the religion and people of Christ. (4BC 753)
    • The fourth vision (Daniel 10 thru 12) summarizes the preceding visions and covers the ground with more detail than any of the others. It amplifies the subject of the second vision and that of the third vision. The focus of its emphasis is on "what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days" (Daniel 10:14), and "the time appointed was long" (Daniel 10:1). The narrative outline of history covered in (Daniel 11:2-39) leads up to "the latter days" (Daniel 10:14) and the events of "the time of the end" (Daniel 11:40). (4BC 753)
    • The prophecies of Daniel are closely related to those of the book of Revelation. In a large measure Revelation covers the same ground but gives particular emphasis to the role of the Christian church as God's chosen people. Thus details that may be obscure in the book of Daniel are often clarified by comparison with the book of Revelation. That part of his "prophecy which related to the last days Daniel was bidden to close up and seal 'to the time of the end'" (Daniel 12:4; GC 356), when, through a diligent study of the book, "knowledge" of its import would be "increased" (Daniel 12:4). Though "that portion of the prophecy of Daniel relating to the last days" (Daniel 12:4; AA 585), John was specifically instructed to "seal not the sayings of the prophecy" of his book, "for the time is at hand" (Revelation 22:10). Thus , for a clearer interpretation of any portions of the book of Daniel that tend to be obscure, we should search carefully the book of Revelation for light to dispel the darkness. (4BC 753)
  • OUTLINE:
Daniel 1...contains a condensation of all the basic messages of the books of Daniel and Revelation. (C. Mervyn Maxwell, God Cares Vol. 1, p. 15)

The Book of Daniel by Taylor G. Bunch:

  • The book of Daniel is the Apocalypse of the Old Testament and sustains the relation to it as does the Revelation to the New. The two books are very closely related and should be studied together. "Daniel is the key to Revelation and Revelation is the key to Daniel. Both are complete together: divided they are incomprehensible." [The Vision of Patmos, Davis, page 10]. The book of Daniel not only contains some of the greatest prophecies, but also some of the most fascinating stories of Biblical literature. Almost every boy and girl places Daniel at the head of the list of Bible heroes. Carried captive into Babylon when but a mere lad, Daniel quickly rose from slavery to fame and he outranked in wisdom, character and statesmanship the most renowned men of his own or any other age. He died at the age of 94 having served as prime minister under three or four kings in two world empires. Where else do we find such a successful and spectacular career in either sacred or profane history? (TCB 1)
  • The first six chapters constitute the historic portion of the book and records the experiences of Daniel and his three companions while serving the kings of Babylon and Medo-Persia. These historic events are recorded in the order in which they transpired. The last six chapters, or the second half of the book, is prophetic and was written in the order in which the visions were given. If the entire book were put together in its chronological order, Daniel 7, Daniel 8, and Daniel 9 would appear between Daniel 4 and Daniel 5. The division into the historic and prophetic portions was not only for the sake of convenience, but also because the historic portion was originally written mostly in Syriac, the dialect of the educated and cultured classes among the Chaldeans. The remainder was written in Hebrew. This book contains the greatest prophecies of the Old Testament and the first to give a consecutive history of the world to the end. It also contains the first chronological prophecy of the coming of the Messiah with the time of His advent so definitely located that no reasonable man dare question the divinity of Christ. (TCB 1)
  • The purpose of the entire book was stated to Daniel by the angel Gabriel as record in (Daniel 10:14). "The latter days" must include the very last day of human history and therefore the book should be of special interest to us. Each of its four great lines of prophecy reaches to our own time and on into the future. Each of Daniel's four great lines of prophecy reaches to our time and on into the future. The chief purpose of these prophecies is also stated in (Daniel 2:28; Daniel 8:17; Daniel 8:19),"For the vision belongeth to the time of the end." - (RV). The importance of the book of Daniel will increase as the end of the time of the end approaches. (TCB 1)
  • Only Sealed Book:
    • The book of Daniel is the only book of the Bible that was ever divinely sealed, and then only till a certain time (Daniel 12:4; Daniel 12:9; Daniel 12:10). Later we will prove that we are now living many years this side of the beginning of the period spoken of as "the time of the end" (Daniel 12:9). This is not the end [of time] but a period of time just before the end [of time] during which time signs of the end are given and preparations for the end are made by the people of God. These verses indicate that when this time is reached the book of Daniel will be unsealed and studied and understood. "Many shall search diligently in it, and knowledge shall be manifold." - Danish. Many shall search it through, and the knowledge shall be great." - German (Van Ess). More than 45 translations of this text give the same meaning. The book of Daniel was opened and unsealed by a world [wide] message calling attention to its prophecies. This message and the opening of the only book of Scripture ever sealed is pictured in (Revelation 10:1-11). This message was given to the world during the early part of the 19th century. In giving instruction to His people living in the time of the end or just before His return, Jesus urges us to both read and understand the book of Daniel. (Matthew 24:15). That He is speaking to us is evident from (Matthew 24:15; Matthew 24:32; Matthew 24:33; Matthew 24:34). It is the generation that witnesses the coming of Christ. (TGB 1-2)
  • Preachers and people looked upon the book of Revelation as mysterious and of less importance than other portions of the Sacred Scriptures. But I saw that this book is indeed a revelation given for the special benefit of those who should live in the last days, to guide them in ascertaining their true position and their duty. God directed the mind of William Miller to the prophecies and gave him great light upon the book of Revelation.... If Daniel's visions had been understood, the people could better have understood the visions of John. But at the right time, god moved upon His chosen servant, who, with clearness and in the power of the Holy Spirit, opened the prophecies and showed the harmony of the visions of Daniel and John and other portions of the Bible, and pressed home upon the hearts of the people the sacred, fearful warnings of the Word to prepare for the coming of the son of man. Deep and solemn conviction rested upon the minds of those who heard him, and ministers and people, sinners and infidels, turned to the Lord and sought a preparation to stand in the judgment. (EW 231)
  • Our ministers are not doing their whole duty. The attention of the people should be called to the momentous event which is so near at hand. The signs of the times should be kept fresh before their minds. The prophetic visions of Daniel and John foretell a period of moral darkness and declensions; but at the time of the end, the time in which we are now living, the vision was to speak and not lie. When the signs predicted begin to come to pass, the waiting, watching ones are bidden to look up and lift up their heads and rejoice because their redemption draweth nigh. (5T 9-10)
  • To us who believe have been committed the oracles of God. The books of Daniel and Revelation are full of matter which concerns every one of us. We should study these books, and let the Lord God of Israel communicate the truth to us, so that we may be able to communicate the truth to others who live in these last days. The Lord would have His people learn of Jesus. God forbid that those for whom He has wrought shall become highminded and be left to their own way as was the king of Babylon. (13MR 65)
  • Generally speaking, the presentation of something new so attracts the attention of most people that they desire to learn more about it; however, this is not true of those things pertaining to religion. (RC 6)

Prophecy:

  • Failing to read the prophecies in the light of Christ's work of salvation caused the Jews to misunderstand the prophecies they knew so well. Unless our interpretations of prophecies reveal Christ we, too, will fail to grasp their true meaning. The Jews were led to reject Christ because of their misinterpretation of the prophecies concerning Israel: they forgot or overlooked the moral purpose of prophecy -- "personal salvation from sin" "Thou shalt call His name Jesus: for He shall save His people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21). . . . The Jews were expositors of prophecy "but without spiritual insight"; they did not study the prophecies in the light of God's moral purpose; they did not study the prophecies so that by them they would be strengthened to overcome sin in the heart. And yet it was for this purpose that they were given. (LFW 19, 20)
  • While the Jews desired the advent of the Messiah, they had no true conception of His mission. They did not seek the redemption from sin, but deliverance from the Romans.... They had studied the prophecies, but without spiritual insight.... Pride obscured their vision. They interpreted prophecy in accordance with their selfish desires. (DA 30)

King James Remnant Study Bible:

  • The stories of Daniel in the lions' den (Daniel 6); Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace (Daniel 3); and that of a disembodied hand writing on a wall (Daniel 5) are familiar to many children who are taught the Bible. But beyond these stories, the Book of Daniel, like the Book of Revelation, is an example of apocalyptic or symbolic literature. More than one hundred prophecies in one chapter alone (Daniel 11) have been fulfilled. (p.915)
  • Daniel could have easily given in to self-pity when he was taken along with his fellow citizens of Judah to Babylon in 605 B.C. - long before Esther's time. But instead, Daniel focuses on this fact: Although the Babylonians flexed their military might at Judah's expense, God is still in control even in desperate times. (p.915)

DATES:

  • Daniel's life and ministry spanned from the time of his being deported to Babylon (605 B.C.) through the fall of Babylon. He then saw the emergence of a new world power, the Medo-Persians, of whom Darius the Mede was the first king, ruling from 539-536 B.C. He was followed by Cyrus the Persian. Daniel died about 535 B.C. (p.915)
  • The Book of Daniel was probably written after the reign of Cyrus began in about 536 B.C. Some critics, however, have argued for a later writing date (around the time of the Maccabees, second century B.C.). But their arguments stem from disbelief that Daniel could have predicted world events with such accuracy (Daniel 11), and thus someone else must have written the book after the events came to pass. Belief in God's ability to give His servants visions of the future, however, allows us to trust that Daniel himself saw the visions and recorded them. (p.915)
  • Another argument in favor of the later writing date stems from Daniel's use of Aramaic in (Daniel 2 thru 7). While some believe that the Aramaic used comes from a later time period, it actually is an earlier form of Imperial Aramaic. (p.915)

AUTHOR:

  • Daniel is believed to be the author, abased on the use of writing in the first person, starting in Daniel 7:2. Another point in favor of Daniel as the author comes through (Daniel 12:4): "But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end." A quote from Daniel 9:27 is attributed to Daniel by Jesus Christ Himself in Matthew 24:15. (p.915)
  • In the time of Daniel, the southern kingdom of Judah is subordinate to Babylonia. The overthrow of the southern kingdom of Judah came in three stages. In 605 B.C., Nebuchadnezzar conquers King Jehoiakim and carried a small number of hostages to Babylon including Daniel. He then attacked again in 597 B.C., taking ten thousand hostages, including Ezekiel and King Jehoiakim's son, Jehoiachin. In 586 B.C., Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the city and scattered the remainder of the kingdom of Judah. (p.915)
  • When the forces of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon first invaded Jerusalem, Daniel was among those taken to live in Babylon. Because of their pleasing looks and intelligence Daniel and his friends Hananiah (Shadrach, Mishael (Meshach), and Azariah (Abed-nego) were tapped for government positions. Although they were given new names reflecting the gods of the Babylonians in order to indoctrinate them in the ways of the Babylonians, Daniel and his friends clung to their belief in the one God of Israel. (p.915)
  • Throughout the Book of Daniel and in the Book of Ezekiel (Ezekiel 14:14), Daniel is seen as a man of outstanding character and faith. Like Joseph, Daniel could interpret dreams. His prophetic ability made him a valuable asset during the reigns of Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, Darius, and Cyrus. But beyond interpreting the dreams of kings, Daniel had visions of world events well beyond his time. (p.915)

MEANING OF THE NAME:

  • The name Daniel is the Greek version of Daniye'l, a Hebrew word meaning "God Is My Judge." (p.915)

CHRIST IN DANIEL:

OVERVIEW:

  • The book of Daniel is the last of the major prophets in the Old Testament. It [foretells] the passing of eras as kings rise to power only to be conquered by others in addition to revealing the history of the [nations] through to the end of time when Jesus returns to gather His remnant people. This compact book can be divided into two sections: (p.916)
    • (1) Daniel 1 - 6, God's Sovereignty in Daniel's life:
      • God's promise to allow His people to be conquered by the king of Babylon (Jeremiah 20) comes to pass as the people of Judah find themselves [carried] off to Babylon. But God protects Daniel and his friends as they trust in God for strength to hold on to their integrity in a permissive society with hostile peers. God's sovereignty is apparent in the test of trust in choosing which food to eat (Daniel 1), through the interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar's dreams (Daniel 2; Daniel 4), in the overturning of executions (Daniel 3; Daniel 6), and in prophesying the dissolution of Belshazzar's kingship (Daniel 5). (p.916)
      • Nebuchadnezzar's dream of a statue (Daniel 2:24-45) shows the kingdoms that rose to prominence in the order that ultimately happens on the world stage: The Babylonians (605-539 B.C.), the Medes and Persians (539-331 B.C.), the Greeks (331-168 B.C.), and the Romans (168 B.C.-A.D. 476). These powerful kingdoms, however, are seen as chaff (Daniel 2:35) in comparison to God's eternal kingdom. As (Daniel 2:44) affirms: "And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever." (p.916)
    • (2) Daniel 7-12, God's Sovereignty over History:
      • The narrative of Daniel's life gives way in favor of Daniel's account of his prophetic visions: the four beasts (Daniel 7) - another vision representing the Babylonians, Medes and Persians, the Greeks, and Romans; the ram (the Medes and Persians) and goat (Greece and Alexander the Great) (Daniel 8); and in Daniel 11, we see the previous visions of Daniel expanded, beginning with Medo-Persia through the end of time. Babylon had already lapsed into history at this point, so it is not expounded upon. The Book of Daniel ends with a prophecy of end-times, when the faithful are resurrected (Daniel 12). (p.916)

UNLOCKING DANIEL:

  • Key People:
    • Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, Abed-nego, Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, Darius, Cyrus
  • Key Events:
    • 1) Daniel and his three friends propose a diet that honors God (Daniel 1).
    • 2) Daniel interprets Nebuchadnezzar's dream and saves the lives of the king's advisors (Daniel 2).
    • 3) Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego are thrown in the fiery furnace for their refusal to worship an golden idol (Daniel 3).
    • 4) Nebuchadnezzar is humbled by God (Daniel 4).
    • 5) Belshazzar sees a hand writing on the wall, which signals the end of his dominion (Daniel 5).
    • 6) Daniel is thrown into a den of lions for his persistence in prayer (Daniel 6).
    • 7) Daniel sees a vision of four beasts (Daniel 7).
    • 8) Daniel intercedes for his people and is told the meaning of his prophecy of seventy weeks (Daniel 9).
    • 9) Daniel's prophecies and visions describe kingdoms to come (Daniel 10; Daniel 11), and end-time events (Daniel 12). (p.916)
  • Key Word:
    • Sovereignty:
      • The rise and fall of many kingdoms serves as a contrast to the eternal kingdom of the sovereign God of Israel. God is the ultimate mover and shaker who remains in control as conquers come and go. Although this time of exile was a bleak one for Israel; God still cared for His people. (p.916)
  • Key Verses:
    • Daniel 2:20:
      • "Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his:"
    • Daniel 2:21:
      • "And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:"
    • Daniel 2:22:
      • "He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him."
  • Key Chapter:
    • Daniel 9:
      • Daniel intercedes for his people and receives the "seventy week" prophecy. This prophecy points to the coming of the Messiah and its fulfillment includes Christ's ministry. (p.916)

The NIV Study Bible:

  • Author, Date and Authenticity:
    • The book mentions Daniel as its author in several passages, such as Daniel 9:2 and Daniel 10:2. That Jesus concurred is clear from His reference to "'The abomination that causes desolation', spoken of through the prophet Daniel" (Matthew 24:15), quoting Daniel 9:27; Daniel 11:31; Daniel 12:11. The book was probably completed [in] 530 B.C., shortly after the capture of Babylon by Cyrus in 538.

The Story of Daniel the Prophet by Stephen N. Haskell:

  • Author's Preface:
    • The world is flooded with fictitious reading of all grades. The unreal is presented in the most fascinating style while too often the living truths taken from God's Word are presented in a heavy, somber style. The Bible is the most interesting of all books. It is adapted to every mind. In the Story of Daniel the Prophet, a few of the interesting facts in regard to God's dealings with His people have been gathered into a simple narrative. (SNH 3)
    • The book is the result of much prayerful study. It is sent forth with an earnest prayer, that in the hands of the parents it may be the means of making the study of the Bible in the family a blessing to young and old; and that the teacher in the schoolroom may see precious rays of light flashing from its pages, pointing both teacher and pupil to the Great Divine Teacher. (SNH 3)
    • God grant that as it falls into the hands of the careless and unbelieving, they may be influenced to read, and as they read, may behold the beauty of our God, and be led to worship toward His holy temple. (SNH 3)
    • We trust that while its simplicity will attract many who might not be inclined to read a deep argumentative treatise, the most studious will find food for thought, and thus become better acquainted with the character of our Heavenly Father. Those who wish to enter into a more comprehensive study, will find that the marginal references open up many veins of precious ore in the deep mines of God's Word. (SNH 3)
    • We earnestly pray that even the skeptic may not cast it aside; but that he may give it a careful reading, and while tracing the fulfilled prophecy in the history of the world, learn to prize the Word of God. (SNH 3)
    • Throughout the entire book the special providence of God over those who are faithful to Him is brought out in clear contrast to the fate of those who ignore His guiding hand. The truth is the same, whether in the history of nations or individuals. (SNH 4)
    • As the Story of Daniel the Prophet goes forth on its mission of love for the Great Master, may it prove a blessing to all classes, young and old, rich and poor, learned and unlearned. S.N.H. (SNH 4)
  • INTRODUCTION:
    • The prophecies of the Bible are like rare diamonds lying hidden in the solitude of the mine. The practical eye of the prospector discovers the gems, and intuitively reads their value; and the skillful hand of the lapidary brings out their many-faced beauties in all their sparkling glory. Every facet shines like the sun. One can not exhaust a diamond; neither can one exhaust the prophecies. New facets remain to be polished, to add their brilliant reflection to the whole. In the prophecies as many features appear as there are different temperaments that men bring to their study. (SNH 7)

Unfolding Daniel's Prophecies by Roy Allan Anderson:

  • This book Unfolding Daniel's Prophecies has been long awaited by the readers of Dr. Anderson's excellent Unfolding the Revelation.

A new Book on Daniel and Revelation by Russell Crutcher:

  • Forward:

Secrets of Daniel by Jacques B. Doukhan:

  • PROLUGE:

Daniel - Wisdom to the Wise by Zdravko Stefanovic:

  • FOREWORD:

Tidings out of the Northeast by Mar Alden Swearingen:

  • Preface:

Daniel: A Reader's Guide by William H. Shea:

  • Preface: