Introduction to the Book of Daniel

2 min

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.

The first six chapters of the book of Daniel are a record of the major events that occurred in Babylon during his years of service. These chapters also record two prophetic visions given to Nebuchadnezzar during his time.

Chapter 1: 606 B.C. Capture and Education

Chapter 2: 603 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar's Image Dream —  Future World Empires

Chapter 3: 593 B.C. The Fiery Furnace

Chapter 4: 569 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar's Tree Dream — A Warning About His Own Future

Chapter 5: 539 B.C. The Fall Of Babylon

Chapter 6: 538 B.C. The Lion's Den

The last six chapters of Daniel are a record of the prophetic visions he received from God during his lifetime. These prophecies are some of the most remarkable in the Bible. They foretell the emergence of major world powers from that period to the end of earth's history, and they mark the exact time of the first coming of Jesus as the Messiah/Christ.

Chapter 7: 553 B.C. Four Great Beasts — Judgment

Chapter 8: 551 B.C. Ram and Goat — The 2300 Day Prophecy

Chapter 9: 538 B.C. 70 Weeks — The Messiah

Chapter 10, 11 and 12: 535 B.C. King of the North, King of the South — The Time of the End

The Historical section of Daniel sets the stage for the prophetic portion. From the stories of God's interaction with the rulers of Babylon(Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, Darius and Cyrus), we discover a loving and sovereign God in a great controversy with evil,  who works behind the scenes arranging events in the nations of the world to make "all things work together for good to them that love God" Romans  8:28. This pervasive theme continues throughout the prophetic section, culminating in a complete restoration of God's kingdom, people and sanctuary in the earth made new.

The Restoration Theme In Daniel:
Daniel 2: The Restoration of the Kingdom

Daniel 7: The Restoration of the King

Daniel 8,9: The Restoration of the Sanctuary

Daniel 10-12: The Restoration of God's People

Note: "B.C" means "Before Christ;" B.C. dates get smaller as the years go by because they are counting down to the birth of Christ.~(Amazing Prophecies)

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