The Book of Daniel
Daniel 6:15-16 - Then these men assembled unto the king, and said unto the king, Know, O king, that the law of the Medes and Persians [is], That no decree nor statute which the king establisheth may be changed. Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast [him] into the den of lions. [Now] the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee.
Daniel 7:13-14 - 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.
Daniel 9:24-27 -
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 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
The Old Testament - A Brief OverviewSummary of The Book of Daniel
Daniel was a youth of Jerusalem, apparently of aristocratic standing (1:3), who had been carried to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar when Jerusalem fell. He quickly distinguished himself in Babylon by refusing to eat the "dainties" which the king had set before him and by exercising his unusual ability to interpret dreams (1:8-16). In time he was brought before Nebuchadnezzar to offer an interpretation of a puzzling dream which the king had dreamt; his explanation so impressed Nebuchadnezzar that Daniel was allowed to rise to a place of great prominence in the kingdom. His famous delivery from the lion's den came after he had become the victim of a plot to cause him to lose favor in the eyes of Darius the Mede, the conqueror of Babylon who had also shown favor to Daniel.
Although the book purports to have come from Daniel, and Jesus Himself confirmed Daniel as the author, considerable opposition to Daniel being its actual author has been advanced. The first critic of the genuineness of the book was Porphyry of Tyre, a neo-Platonic philosopher of the third century AD who asserted that it had been written by a person living in the second century BC during the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes. The main ground for his theory was his rejection of the possibility of predictive prophecy. Since the book presented such an accurate picture of events in the time of Antiochus Epiphanes, it was therefore concluded that it was written not in the sixth century BC (the time of the captivity), but at a date after the events "predicted" had already taken place, and was therefore a fraud.
In addition to the basic argument of Porphyry, later critics have assigned a late date to the book due to certain historical references claimed to be in error or anachronistic, the apocalyptic style of writing, and the language of the book, which is claimed to come from a period later than the sixth century BC.
The question of the date of writing is closely bound up with authorship. The Bible and history confirm that Daniel was the author of this book, therefore it was written between 605 BC and 533 BC, possibly closer to the latter date. Those who believe he was not, claim that it is probable that the book was written in the second century BC.
The text of the book has come down to us partly in Hebrew and partly in an Aramaic dialect. Attempts to explain this all contain a certain amount of conjecture and it is unlikely that a perfectly acceptable solution will be found.
The contents of the book may be analyzed further as follows :
Outline of the Book of Daniel
Daniel is divided into two sections of six chapters each. Chs. 1-6 are largely historical, explaining how Daniel came to be in the court of Nebuchadnezzar and of his rise to power. It tells of Nebuchadnezzar's dream of the image which Daniel interpreted to refer to the current kingdom and three world powers which would arise after it and of the kingdom of God "a kingdom which shall never be destroyed" which would arise during the era of the last of these great empires. This section also includes the account of the deliverance of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from the fiery furnace and of the handwriting on the wall which spelled out the defeat of Belshazzar at the hands of the Medes and the Persians.
The second section, chs. 8-12, describes visions which Daniel received concerning the great world powers of the future and the kingdom of God.
The Greek translation of Daniel contains additions not found in the Hebrew and Aramaic text. These additions are found as separate books in the Apocrypha and are called The Song of the Three Holy Children, the History of Susanna, and Bel and the Dragon.
The value of the book of Daniel may be seen in its assurance to God's people that their situation in exile was not permanent, that God would keep his promise to Abraham, and that the Jews would still be the channel through which all nations would be blessed. It is a grand tribute to the providence of God and His lordship of history and the universe.Daniel
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