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Daniel 3:1 Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, the height of which [was] sixty cubits [and] its width six cubits; he set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon.

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      Da 3:1-30. NEBUCHADNEZZAR'S IDOLATROUS IMAGE; SHADRACH, MESHACH, AND ABED-NEGO ARE DELIVERED FROM THE FURNACE.

      Between the vision of Nebuchadnezzar in the second chapter and that of Daniel in the seventh, four narratives of Daniel's and his friends' personal history are introduced. As the second and seventh chapters go together, so the third and sixth chapters (the deliverance from the lions' den), and the fourth and fifth chapters. Of these last two pairs, the former shows God's nearness to save His saints when faithful to Him, at the very time they seem to be crushed by the world power. The second pair shows, in the case of the two kings of the first monarchy, how God can suddenly humble the world power in the height of its insolence. The latter advances from mere self-glorification, in the fourth chapter, to open opposition to God in the fifth. Nebuchadnezzar demands homage to be paid to his image (Da 3:1-6), and boasts of his power (Da 4:1-18). But Belshazzar goes further, blaspheming God by polluting His holy vessels. There is a similar progression in the conduct of God's people. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego refuse positive homage to the image of the world power (Da 3:12); Daniel will not yield it even a negative homage, by omitting for a time the worship of God (Da 6:10). Jehovah's power manifested for the saints against the world in individual histories (the third through sixth chapters) is exhibited in the second and seventh chapters, in world-wide prophetical pictures; the former heightening the effect of the latter. The miracles wrought in behalf of Daniel and his friends were a manifestation of God's glory in Daniel's person, as the representative of the theocracy before the Babylonian king, who deemed himself almighty, at a time when God could not manifest it in His people as a body. They tended also to secure, by their impressive character, that respect for the covenant-people on the part of the heathen powers which issued in Cyrus' decree, not only restoring the Jews, but ascribing honor to the God of heaven, and commanding the building of the temple (Ezr 1:1-4) [AUBERLEN].

      1. image--Nebuchadnezzar's confession of God did not prevent him being a worshipper of idols, besides. Ancient idolaters thought that each nation had its own gods, and that, in addition to these, foreign gods might be worshipped. The Jewish religion was the only exclusive one that claimed all homage for Jehovah as the only true God. Men will in times of trouble confess God, if they are allowed to retain their favorite heart-idols. The image was that of Bel, the Babylonian tutelary god; or rather, Nebuchadnezzar himself, the personification and representative of the Babylonian empire, as suggested to him by the dream (Da 2:38), "Thou art this head of gold." The interval between the dream and the event here was about nineteen years. Nebuchadnezzar had just returned from finishing the Jewish and Syrian wars, the spoils of which would furnish the means of rearing such a colossal statue [PRIDEAUX]. The colossal size makes it likely that the frame was wood, overlaid with gold. The "height," sixty cubits, is so out of proportion with the "breadth," exceeding it ten times, that it seems best to suppose the thickness from breast to back to be intended, which is exactly the right proportion of a well-formed man [AUGUSTINE, The City of God, 15.26]. PRIDEAUX thinks the sixty cubits refer to the image and pedestal together, the image being twenty-seven cubits high, or forty feet, the pedestal thirty-three cubits, or fifty feet. HERODOTUS [1.183] confirms this by mentioning a similar image, forty feet high, in the temple of Belus at Babylon. It was not the same image, for the one here was on the plain of Dura, not in the city.

JFB.


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Daniel Images and Notes

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 desolate.

The Old Testament - A Brief Overview

Bible Survey - Daniel
Hebrew Name - Dani-El "God is my judge"
Greek Name - Danil (Greek form of the Hebrew)
Author - Daniel (According to Tradition)
Date - 607 BC Approximately
Theme - The final kingdom of the Messiah
Types and Shadows - In Daniel Jesus was the fourth man in the fiery furnace

The First Day. Light.

Summary of The Book of Daniel

The prophet Daniel was actually taken captive during the Babylonian invasion on Jerusalem, the first attack in 607 BC. When Daniel came to Babylon he became a chief minister at Nebuchadnezzar's royal court. He became known as a man who could interpret dreams and visions. God did mighty miracles through Daniel that impressed King Nebuchadnezzar himself, so much so that he worshiped the Jewish God. Later when the Medes and Persians conquered Babylon King Cyrus ruled the Persian Empire. He also had visions that Daniel had given interpretation to. some of the great miracles mentioned in the Bible happened in the book of Daniel: the fiery furnace, the handwriting on the wall, and Daniel in the lion's den. Daniel can be seen in the Bible as the Empire predicting prophet, because he accurately  predicted the world governing empires before they came on the scene, first Babylon, second Persia, third Greece, fourth Rome, and in the last days would be another Roman empire where the antichrist would arise. At this time the Messiah will return and set up his everlasting kingdom. Daniel also predicted the exact day and year the Messiah would die. There is also a prophecy Daniel refers to as the 70th week, which speaks of a seven-year period in the future that will mark the second coming of the Messiah (Son of Man) coming with the clouds of heaven. - The above text is © Rusty Russell - Bible History Online and must be sourced for use on a website.

"I was watching in the night visions, and behold, One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him. Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed." Daniel 7:13-14

Daniel was among the Jewish captives who were brought to Babylon from Jerusalem after Nebuchadnezzar conquered the city. Daniel was still a youth but apparently of high status (Daniel 1:3). He was of such a high status that he was considered one of the wise men of the court of Babylon .He was quickly recognized in Babylon for his devotion to the one God Yahweh, and he refused to eat of the "dainties" which were brought to him by the king's servants. He also became recognized as the interpreter of dreams (Daniel 1:8-16), because when King Nebuchadnezzar being disturbed by a dream asked his own wise men to interpret they could not. Daniel offered to give the king the interpretation and the King was very appreciative to Daniel, he was so impressed that he allowed Daniel to rise to a place of great prominence in Babylon. Later when Babylon fell to the Persians the Jews had new masters over them, and Daniel was quickly recognized as a very special man and he had favor with the king of Persia. This caused many of those in authority to scrutinize Daniel and to look for flaws in his character and they could not find any. They developed a plot which forced the King to have Daniel thrown in the lion's den. The King recognizing their treachery and hoped for Daniel's deliverance, and when the Lord saved Daniel from the mouth of the lions Darius ordered his own leaders to be thrown into the lion's den and they were torn in pieces immediately.

Daniel the Empire Predicting Prophet

Daniel is clearly seen as the Empire predicting prophet. He was an interpreter of dreams, and God revealed through his interpretations his plans for the kingdoms that would rise to power in world history. At that time Babylon was in power, and in fact a world governing Empire in the ancient world. But Daniel said that Babylon would be defeated by the Medes and the Persians who would become a world governing empire. Then Greece would come and dominate the world, and after Greece the Romans would become a world governing empire. Then Daniel predicted that way in the future a final world governing empire would rise that would be like Rome, but different in that it would consist of 10 kings, and then finally 1 king who would rise to power. This 1 king would be a man referred to in the Bible as the antichrist. This would all take place in the final seven-year period known as the 70th week of Daniel. At its consummation the Lord will return, he will crush the enemy, and he will set up a kingdom, an everlasting kingdom, which will never be destroyed.

The 70 weeks of Daniel

The 70 weeks in Daniel are mentioned in Daniel 9, and they refer to a prophecy of Daniel where he claims that the king of Persia will release the Jews to rebuild their Temple in Jerusalem. When he makes this decree the Jews are to begin counting, and after 70 weeks (7 year periods or 490 years) the kingdom of the Messiah will be established on earth. But something interesting would happen, at the end of the 69th week (483 years) the Messiah will be "cut off" which indicates His death. The final seven year period is suddenly thrown into the future, to the time of the end of the world. This final seven year period is described in the book of Revelation as a time of the Messiah taking back the earth. It is divided into two 3 1/2 year periods and directly in the middle is when the antichrist sets up his throne in Jerusalem and reveals himself as God. Certain portions of this final seven years are mentioned in other prophetic books of the Bible like Zechariah.

Daniel, The Author of His Book

Daniel was the author of this book, and this was confirmed by Jesus himself, but there has been considerable criticism about the book of Daniel because of the accuracy of the prophecies. Many claim that these had to been written after the fact, and that Daniel could not possibly have known so much detail about the future. The first major critic of the genuineness of the book of Daniel was Porphyry of Tyre, a Greek philosopher of the third century AD who claimed that the book of Daniel had been written by a person living in the second century BC during the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes. His main reason for rejecting the book of Daniel was centered around the person of Antiochus Epiphanes, whom Daniel claimed was a prototype of the Antichrist. Daniel's prophecies written a few hundred years prior but were very very accurate in their detail. Many other critics have tried to discredit the book of Daniel, but the Bible and history have confirmed that Daniel was the author of this book, and therefore was written at the time of the Persian Empire (sixth century BC).

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. Daniel 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, Daniel 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 book of Daniel assures God's people that their situation in exile would not be permanent, that God would keep his promise to Abraham, he would keep his promise through Jeremiah the prophet that they would return after 70 years. And he would also keep his promise that the Jews would still be the channel through which all nations would be blessed. The book of Daniel is a grand tribute to the providence of God and His lordship of history and the universe.

The First Day. Light.

Daniel Resources

The Divided Kingdom
The Northern Kingdom of Israel
The Southern Kingdom of Judah
The Assyrian Captivity
The Babylonian Captivity
The Return From Babylon
The Prophets
The Messiah

The Book of Daniel

More About the Book of Daniel
Daniel in the Picture Study Bible
Timeline of the Ancient World
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