Daniel was born in Judea about 622 B.C., to an upper class Jewish family, one of the numerous nobility of the royal time of David. When he was between seventeen and eighteen years old the Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar, conquered the Jewish nation and took a number of carefully chosen youth to Babylon to serve in his government. Daniel was one of these captives.
Nebuchadnezzar was a brilliant and aggressive ruler. Over the next forty-three years he developed Babylon into one of the greatest empires ever built. After his death a series of incompetent rulers openly defied God and so mismanaged Babylon that in 539 B.C., twenty-three years after Nebuchadnezzar death, Babylon fell to the armies of the Medo-Persian empire. For about seventy years Daniel served in high positions in both of these empires.