December 3

December 3




Author: Daniel


Daniel, who was of noble birth, was about 16 years old at the time of his deportation to Babylon (605 B.C.).  Some have suggested that he was made a eunuch in order to serve in King Nebuchadnezzar’s court.  The reasons for this are…

1-he and his friends were committed to the master of the eunuchs (1:3) and the prince of the eunuchs (1:7) for their preparation for service in the courts;

2-there is no mention of Daniel having a family;

3-Isaiah’s prophecy (39:6-7).

However, not everyone agrees with this suggestion…


1:3 officials.  Lit., eunuchs.  The word does mean those who were castrated, but it also stood for officials in general.  It is uncertain whether Daniel and his friends were emasculated (see 2 Kings 20:18).

The Ryrie Study Bible, footnote on Daniel 1:3, p. 1036


As part of the attempt to totally immerse Daniel and his friends into Babylonian society…their names were changed from Hebrew to the Babylonian language.  Each of their new names made reference to one of the diverse and multiple gods worshipped in Babylon…

Hebrew      meaning                      Babylonian     meaning


Daniel        God is my Judge          Belteshazzar   Bel will protect

Hananiah    God is gracious            Shadrach        Inspiration of the Sun

Mishael      God is without equal     Meshach         Belonging to the goddess of wine

Azariah      The Lord is my helper   Abednego        Servant of Nebo

Just as a matter of interest, the man given responsibility to train these young men for service had an interesting Babylonian name, himself…

1:3                                                                      Ashpenaz Horse’s nose


Time written & time covered in history:


"Daniel" means "God is my judge".  He was taken captive to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar in 605 B.C.  He lived until the third year of Cyrus of Persia, 536 B.C.  Nebuchadnezzar ("Nebo, protector of my frontier") reigned for 43 years (605-562 B.C.).  He had been sent to fight Egypt in 605 B.C. by his father (he defeated them at the battle of Carchemish, May-June).  He was called back home at the death of his father and was crowned as king in late July.  So, he was not yet king when he defeated Jerusalem in 605...the title was used prophetically.


Daniel was in Babylon from 605 B.C. and he was still there when Cyrus of Persia conquered Babylon in 538 B.C. (1:21). While some of the material Daniel wrote may have been penned earlier…he probably completed his book around 535 B.C.


Assyria had captured Israel 120 years earlier…

Date             part of Israel captured                         conquering King

734 B.C.       Galilee and north and east Israel            Tiglath-pilesar

721 B.C.       Samaria and the rest of Israel                Sargon

701 B.C.       Judah (200,000 inhabitants)                   Sennacherib


Babylon captured Judah…

Date             part of Judah captured

606 B.C.       Some captives taken to Babylon            Nebuchadnezzar

  • included Daniel

597 B.C.       10,000 captives taken to Babylon

  • included Ezekiel (25 years old at the time)
  • in 586 B.C. Jerusalem was burned by Nebuchadnezzar.  He could have destroyed it earlier but he wanted tribute money…and, it could be that Daniel had persuaded him to wait.

586 B.C.       Destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple

  • God had warned the people that this would happen more than 100 years before (Isaiah 39:6; Micah 4:10).

539 B.C        The decree of Cyrus for the return of the Jews…exactly 70 years after Daniel was taken captive (Ezra 1:1-2)

538 B.C.       The taking of Babylon by Darius and Daniel’s visitation by Gabriel

457 B.C.       The decree of Artixerxes Longimanus in the 7th year of his reign to build the city of Jerusalem (cf. Ezra 7:13-26)

444 B.C.       The decree of Artixerxes to restore and build Jerusalem in the 20th year of his reign (cf. Nehemiah 1:2-8)

4 B.C.           Birth of Jesus

33 A.D.         Crucifixion of Jesus


List of Babylonian Kings from 625 BC to 542 BC

King                                                          Period of Reign (Approx)

Nabopolassar                                             625-605 BC

Nabu-kudurri-usur II (Nebuchadnezzar)       605-562 BC

Amel-Marduk (Evil-merodach)                     561-560 BC

Nergal-shar-usur (Neriglissar)                     559-556 BC

Labashi-Marduk                                         556-556 BC

Nabu-naid (Nabonidus)                               555-539 BC

Bel-sharra-usur (Belshazzar)                      552-542 BC


Other world events contemporary with this time in history…

  • Construction on the Acropolis in Athens began
  • Mayan civilization flourished in Mexico
  • Aesop wrote his fables
  • Confucius and Buddha lived
  • Greek art began to truly excel
  • The Phoenicians made the first known sea journey around Africa
  • The Greeks introduced the olive tree to Italy


The Babylonian captivity lasted 70 years…606-536 B.C. (Jeremiah 25:11-12 had predicted this very amount of time).  Ezekiel was there from 597 to at least 570 B.C.  His prophecies began in 592 B.C. and continued for 22 years.  Daniel had arrived 9 years before Ezekiel and had already attained great fame (14:14,20).  Daniel lived in the palace and Ezekiel lived in the country.  Jeremiah was older…Ezekiel may have been his pupil…they preached very similar messages.  Ezekiel lived in Babylon and spoke to the exiles and Jeremiah lived in Jerusalem and spoke to the remnant of Jews that had been left there.  They both prophesied concerning the certainty of Judah’s punishment for sins.


Doctrinal Theme(s):

God the Keeper-ch. 1

God calls us to a life of holiness (1:8; Ezekiel14:14-20; 28:3)

God the Revealer of Secrets-ch. 2

God knows all things (including the future)

God is in control of all things (2:19-22)

God the Deliver-ch. 3

God will protect His people (3:13-18)

God the Potentate-ch. 4

God the Judge-ch. 5

God the All-Powerful-ch. 6

God hears our prayers (6:10-24)

God hears our confession of sin (9:3-19)



Subject/Theme                                                                        Chapter

Daniel’s Journey from Jerusalem to Babylon                         Daniel 1

Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream of a Statue…the Future                 Daniel 2

  • Head (gold)                                      Babylonian empire
  • Breast & arms (silver)                       Medo-Persian empire
  • Stomach & thighs (bronze)               Greek empire (Alexander)
  • Legs (iron)...feet, toes                      Roman empire (2-East & West, last days-10 nations)

Nebuchadnezzar’s Demand for Worship…the Furnace          Daniel 3

Nebuchadnezzar’s Nightmare of a Tree…the Fall                   Daniel 4

Belshazzar’s Party…the Handwriting on the Wall                   Daniel 5

Darius’ Demand for Worship…the Lion’s Den                        Daniel 6

Daniel’s Vision of the 4 Beasts (553 B.C.)                               Daniel 7

  • Lion/eagle/2 feet/human mind           Babylonian empire
  • Bear Medo                                       Persian empire
  • Leopard/4 wings/4 heads                  Greek empire
  • Iron teeth/10 horns/another horn       Roman empire
  • Daniel’s Vision of the Ram & the Goat (551 B.C.)                   Daniel 8
  • Ram                                                Medo-Persian empire
  • Goat                                                Greek empire
  • Daniel’s Prayer for His People (539 B.C)                                 Daniel 9
  • He studies the prophecies of Jeremiah (25:11-12; 29:10)
  • He discovers that the period of exile is approaching an end9:25    from the time of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the coming of the Messiah will be seven weeks (49 years) and threescore and two weeks (62 weeks or 434 years).  Adding 49 and 434, one arrives at a figure of 483 years, all but seven of the 490 years involved in the seventy weeks.  Note the following table:
  • 606 B.C.  some captives taken to Babylon Nebuchadnezzar
  • 9:24    seventy weeks=seventy sets of seven years (each day of a week equals a year)=490 years
  • included Daniel

539 B.C   The decree of Cyrus for the return of the Jews…exactly 70 years after Daniel was taken captive (Ezra 1:1-2)

538 B.C.  The taking of Babylon by Darius and Daniel’s visitation by Gabriel

457 B.C.  The decree of Artixerxes Longimanus in the 7th year of his reign to build the city of Jerusalem (cf. Ezra 7:13-26)

444 B.C.  The decree of Artixerxes to restore and build Jerusalem in the 20th year of his reign (cf. Nehemiah 1:2-8)

4 B.C.      Birth of Jesus

33 A.D.    Crucifixion of Jesus

Calculating from 444 B.C. to 33 A.D., one arrives at 478 years rather than the 483 years required.  However, this is due to our reckonings, which are based upon the solar year of 365 days; whereas the Jewish calendar was based upon lunar years of 360 days.  When the two calendars are adjusted, and one must do so for accuracy, a difference of about eight years will be discovered.  Allowing an additional year for the transition from B.C. to A.D., the date of 33 A.D. is the date at the end of the sixty-ninth week when Christ is cut off (v. 26).

Daniel’s Vision of God (531 B.C.)                                            Daniel 10

    • Revelation 1:12-17 (Christophany…an appearance of the pre-incarnate Christ)Daniel’s Vision of Persia, Egypt, Rome & the Last Days         Daniel 11
    • 10:13  Prince of Persia…demonic activity, a malignant spirit…who tries to keep Daniel from receiving this vision
  • An incredibly accurate telling of future history and events
  • Antiochus Ephiphanes is a type of the Antichrist12:2    Daniel speaks of two resurrections Daniel 1-2Daniel’s Journey from Jerusalem to Babylon                         Daniel 1Daniel 1:1-2-Jehoiakim was the oldest son of the godly king Josiah.  He was made king in place of his younger brother by Pharaoh Neco, of Egypt, in 609 B.C.  He wasted state funds on a palace for himself (Jeremiah 22:13-19) and destroyed the writings of Jeremiah.  He was first a vassal to Egypt and then to Babylon.  He was captured by Nebuchadnezzar in 605 and taken to Babylon. He died in 598 B.C.Daniel 1:8-Daniel "made up his mind that he would not defile himself" by eating meat that had not been slain in accordance with Mosaic Law and had been offered to a pagan god (cf. Exod. 34:15).


  • Daniel 1:3-7-Nebuchadnezzar ordered that the young men of the royal court of Israel be trained in the literature and language of Babylon for 3 years so that they could be of service to him...among them were Daniel, Hananiah Mishael, and Azariah.
  • 12:8-10 Daniel doesn’t understand everything and is told to go his way, some things are not yet to be revealed
  • Daniel’s Vision of the Tribulation Period                                 Daniel 12
  1. That he would not defile himself: The ancient Hebrew word defile carries the thought of polluting orstaining (see also Isaiah 59:3, Zephaniah 3:1, and Malachi 1:7). That Daniel requested that he might not defile himself implies that he explained the spiritual basis for his request. He didn't make it seem that he wanted to avoid the king's food out of other reasons.
  2. Therefore he requested: Isn't Daniel making a big deal over a little thing? Yes, but the only way to go on with God is by being faithful in little things. We might ask, "Daniel, why bring religion into it?" But Daniel realized that his relationship with God touched every area of his life, even what he ate. Significantly, the very root of sin goes back to eating forbidden food.
  3. That he might not defile himself: Why did Daniel and his friends consider the king's food defiled? First, it undoubtedly was not kosher. Second, it was probably sacrificed to idols. Third, it implied fellowship with Babylon's cultural system.
  4. Daniel did not object to the name given to him, because he knew whom he was - you could call him what you liked. Daniel did not object to the Babylonian education, because he knew what he believed. Daniel did object to the food from the king's table, because it to eat it was direct disobedience to God's word.
  5. "By eastern standards to share a meal was to commit one's self to friendship; it was of covenant significance." (Baldwin)

iii. Nor with the wine which he drank: God did not forbid drinking wine. Nevertheless, in pagan cultures most wine and meat was dedicated to the gods, so Daniel refused it.

David Guzik :: Study Guide for Daniel 1,


Daniel 1:9-16-Daniel’s decision honored God…so God moved in the heart of the commander so that he was willing to work with the request.

Daniel 1:17-20-"And God gave them knowledge and intelligence..." of human matters.  Daniel also understood visions and dreams.

Daniel 1:21-Daniel was still alive when Cyrus, king of Persia conquered Babylon (538 B.C., cf. Ezra 1:1). He lived a few years longer after this event (10:1).


Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream of a Statue…the Future                 Daniel 2


Daniel 2:1-6-Nebuchadnezzar had a dream and demanded that the magicians tell him what the dream was, and what it meant...or else, they would die. They asked that he tell them what the dream was.  However, in order to test their true abilities he not only demanded that they tell him the interpretation…but that they also tell him what it was that he had dreamed, in the first place.  Daniel and his friends were evidently included in this group.


2:2 magicians.  Textual scribes of the religious ritual. conjurers.  Enchanters. sorcerers.  Those who deal in magic potions; also enchanters. Chaldeans.  Not all the Babylonians (as in 1:4) but a class of wise men priests.

The Ryrie Study Bible, footnote on Daniel 2:2, p. 1308


Daniel 2:7-13-They tried again to get the king to tell them what the dream was…but he said that they were just stalling for time because they didn’t really have the ability to discern dreams, at all. They claimed that no man could do this and that no king had ever requested it, before.  This infuriated the king and he sent out orders to have them all killed.

Daniel 2:14-23-Daniel asked the king for more time so that he might determine the interpretation. The king agreed.  Daniel and his friends prayed and God revealed to him what the dream was and what it meant.  They praised God as the one who is in control of all things and makes them known.

Daniel 2:24-45-When brought before the king, Daniel gave God credit for revealing the dream to him.  He then interpreted it to the king.  He told the king that his dream is about the "latter the future" (:28-29).  He said that the kings dream was of a great statue...and the statue's parts represented different times and kingdoms in the future.

  • Head (gold)                                 Babylonian empire
  • Breast & arms (silver)                  Medo-Persian empire
  • Stomach & thighs (bronze)          Greek empire (Alexander, 333 B.C.-63 B.C.; cf. 8:20-21)
  • Legs (iron)...feet, toes                 Roman empire (2 Empires…East & West; in the last days it would be comprised of 10 nations)


Daniel 2:46-49-Amazingly...the king "fell on his face and did homage to Daniel", saying, "Surely, your God is a God of gods and a Lord of kings..."  He promoted Daniel and gave him great authority. He made Daniels friends to serve along with him.


Prayer: Father, it matters not whether men recognize You, or not…regardless, You are the sovereign ruler of the universe.  You have control over all things and all people.  I pray that You will help me to be more aware of this in my own life.  To trust You…no matter how difficult, or bleak, the situation may appear.  Help me to have faith like Daniel.  Help me to know how to pray so that I hear Your voice.  Help me to live in such a way that even the lost will acknowledge You.


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