Daniel, whose name means "God is judge", was of the royal family of Judah. Carried away to Babylon as a hostage after the capture of Jerusalem, Daniel, then a boy of about fourteen, was educated at the royal Babylonian palace and employed as a page. Endowed by God with profound wisdom he had a great influence at the Babylonian court and was thus able to aid his fellow Jewish captives. He prophesied the fall of Babylon, the coming of Christ, the King of Kings and the establishment of his universal Church. In the year 536 B.C. Daniel was still living in Babylon and held in honour by Cyrus, the Persian king and conqueror of Babylonia. There is nothing certain about the time or circmstances of Daniels death.
1. Daniel and his friends win a place at Nebuchadnezzers
court. Daniel arrived in Babylon about 6O5 B.C. Good looks and natural ability secured a
place for him and his friends among those selected for special training. The Babylonians
did not observe Jewish rules on clean and unclean food. In order not to compromise their
religion Daniel and his friends restricted themselves to a vegetarian diet. Daniel 1:1-21.
2. Nebuchadnezzar has a dream but then forgets it and demands that his diviners, magicians, wise men should discover the dream and interpret it. When they fail to do this they are sentenced to death. Before the sentence can be carried out Daniel offers to assist Nebuchadnezzer with his dream. In the night Daniel has a vision giving details of Nebuchadnezzers dream and of its interpretation. His explanation to the king leads to him being given high honour, governerships and being appointed chief of magistrates. Daniel 2:1-49.
3. Forgetting Daniels God, Nebuchadnezzer has a massive golden statue made and demands that everyone worship it. Daniels friends Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refuse to worship and are thrown into the blazing furnace. Four men are seen to be walking around in the furnace. He calls them out of the fire. They come out unharmed and Nebuchadnezzer decrees in favour of the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Daniel 3:1-30.
4. Nebuchadnezzer is stricken with madness. He has a dream which Daniel interprets. The madness is caused by Nebuchadnezzers pride. He is made to live like an animal but God is at work in the depths of his now humble mind and he worships the one true God his reason restored. Daniel 4:1-37.
5. Belashazzars feast. Nebuchandnezzers son, Belshazzar, is feasting using goblets taken from the temple when a mysterious hand begins to write on the wall; mina, mina, shekel, half-shekel. Belshazzar is frightened and eventually Daniel is called to interpret the meaning which is that Belshazzars reign is numbered, he has been weighed and found wanting, his kingdom is to be given to the Medes and Persians. That very night Belshazzar is slain and Darius the Mede took over the kingdom. Daniel 5:1-31.
6. Daniel in the lions den. Daniels enemies trap him by getting the king to sign a decree that anyone who prays to god or man, except to the king, during the next thirty days will be put into the lions den. Daniel is now an old man and no more likely to change his ways than when he was young. He is found praying and the kings decree is carried out. The king cannot sleep and goes to the den in the early morning to find Daniel alive. Those who had accused him are thrown to the lions. Daniel 6:1-28.
1. The four beasts, being four kingdoms. Daniel 7:1-28.
2 . Daniels vision of a ram and a goat. The vision concerns the end of time. Daniel 8:1-27.
3. Daniels prayer. The seventy years captivity spoken of by Jeremiah is almost up. Daniel pleads with God for the return of his people to their homeland. The latter part of this chapter seems to point to the death and rejection of Christ. Daniel 9:1-27.
4. Following a long fast Daniel is given a vision of an awe-inspiring glorious figure like Johns vision in Revelation 1:12-16. He is given insight into the continual battle raging in the spiritual realm. Michael is the special guardian angel of the Jewish people. Daniel 10:1-21 & 11:1.
5. The struggle for power. This chapter gives an amazingly accurate fulfilment of the history of the Greek empire. Daniel 11:2-45.
6. The end times - deliverance. Daniel is the first Old Testament book to speak explicitly of resurrection. When that day comes all troubles are past. All evil will be done away. Daniel 12:1-13.
1. The story of Susanna and the elders. Susanna is maliciously
accused of adultery. Daniel sits in judgement and the elders lies are confirmed.
2. The idol Bel. Daniel refuses to worship the idol and sets a trap for the priests and their familes so that the king will see through their deceit. Daniel 14:1-21.
3. Once again Daniel refuses to worship an idol, a serpent. And again he is cast into the lions den. This time it is seven days before they return to discover his fate. They find him sitting in the midst of the lions. Daniel 14:22-42. B.C.