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Daniel Overview

Daniel is the 27th book of the Old Testament and Bible.

Three of the most well-known Bible stories are in this book:

The three Jews in the fiery furnace; The handwriting on the wall; Daniel in the Lions Den

Daniel means “God is my judge.”

One of the few Bible characters nothing bad is spoken of.

3 times we read that in Heaven Daniel was “greatly treasured.” 9:23, 10:11, 19.

In 12:4 Daniel says he wrote the book! Daniel 9:27 attributed to Daniel the prophet by Jesus in Matthew 24:15.

Chapter 1 lets us know that Daniel was among the promising young men taken captive from Jerusalem to Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar in 605 B.C. Daniel was about 15 years old.

This happened during the reign of Jehoiakim. That makes Daniel a contemporary of Jeremiah and Ezekiel (who mentions Daniel 3 times).   

Daniel lived in Babylon throughout the 70-year captivity, being a prominent and trusted leader for several key leaders of two empires: Babylon and Persia.

Babylon was the wonder city of the ancient world; a city of gold.

The great Temple of Marduk was there, featuring golden images of the gods Bel and Ishtar. Babylon had 53 temples total; 180 altars to Ishtar. Babylon’s Hanging gardens one of the 7 wonders of ancient world. Nebuchadnezzar’s palace was vast.

The point is that Daniel was in Babylon when it was the ruling empire of the world.

The Book of Daniel was probably written shortly after the last recorded event (10:1) in 536 B.C.

The book is full of prophecies and dreams and their interpretation and meaning.

The book lays out coming events in the centuries after Daniel wrote in such a way that liberal scholars used to say they had to be written after the fact in the first century A.D.

But then they found the Dead Sea scrolls, some of which were written in the time when Medo-Persia ruled the world, including the Book of Daniel!  

Theme: God controls the kingdoms of men.

Daniel writes about events during an era of Gentile dominance, but prophecies of a Messianic Kingdom following the days of Gentile supremacy. 

Daniel underscores the Sovereignty of God, showing Him in control of all things. This does not mean, however, that His disciples won’t experience persecution and suffering. God is shown as especially faithful to those who take a stand for Him! (God uses individuals who serve Him!)

As the old song goes, “Dare to be a Daniel”  Philip Bliss, 1873

Dare to be a Daniel, Dare to stand alone!
Dare to have a purpose firm! Dare to make it known.

Daniel joins the other major prophets in having much to say about the future restoration of Israel under the Messiah.

In one of the most amazing prophecies of the Bible, Daniel gives the time of the first coming and death of Christ in chapter 9.

Key verse:  

And in the days of these kings the God of Heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.        -Daniel 2:44


Chapters 1            Written in Hebrew         Setting: Daniel’s integrity

Chapters 2-7        Written in Aramaic       Gentiles: powerless to oppose God

Stock up for Gentiles now, but it’s going down!

Chapters 8-12      Written in Hebrew         Israel: Blessed for obeying God

Stock down for Jews now, but it’s going up!

Just as Joseph had influence on Pharaoh, Daniel was placed to influence some major world leaders: Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, Darius, Cyrus

A closer look at The Book of Daniel:

1:1-6  605 B.C. Daniel and friends taken to Babylon

1:7     The world will try to change your name

Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, Azariah

Belteshazzar, Shadrach, Meshach, Abed-nego

1:8     Daniel determined that he would not defile himself

Their diet proves more effective than the Babylonian diet

Thus leading to the craze in Babylon at the time: the Jerusalem diet

1:17-21        God raises up Daniel, as He had done with Joseph!

Both Daniel and Joseph had no recorded sin; both ministered to Gentile nations; both influenced political leaders of their day; both refused to be defiled; both interpreted dreams for Gentile rulers; both arose from obscurity to national recognition.              -Elmer Towns

Ch.2   The dream interpreted!

Nebuchadnezzar played hard-ball – tell me the dream before you tell me the interpretation!

2:10   The wise men say, “No one can do that!”

2:28   Daniel says, “God can do that!”

Babylon; Media/Persia; Greece; Rome          Also In chapter 7 – see handout!

2:44-45        The Kingdom that will last forever!

Chapter 3     Nebuchadnezzar’s statue!   

3:17-18        Our God is able; We won’t bow down!

3:25   The fourth looks like a son of the gods!

Jesus meets us in the furnace!

Where was Daniel? Don’t know! Perhaps he was away on the king’s business.

Ch.4   Nebuchadnezzar’s chapter!!!

God brings Nebuchadnezzar low for 7 years because of his pride

In 576 BC he had a mental breakdown. His wife Amyti and the priest kept his secret an illness and ruled secretly in his place to keep the kingdom intact. In 569 BC his illness was healed and he returned to rule until his death in 562 BC.

4:34-35        Neb’s “testimony”

Chapter 5     The handwriting on the wall!

5:17   Keep your gifts, Belshazzar!

The Nadunidus Chronicle confirms his existence as a leader in Babylon, co-regent with Nabonius, Neb’s son-in-law.

5:22   You have not humbled your heart!

5:23   You have not glorified the God who holds your life-breath in His hand and who controls the whole course of your life

5:25   The writing on the wall!

Mene Mene Tekel Parsin

God has numbered the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end

You have been weighed in the balance and found wanting

Your kingdom has been divided and given to the Medes and Persians

5:30   That very night Belshazzar was killed

Ch.6   Daniel in the Lion’s Den

6:16   Darius prays for Daniel!  (v. 18 Fasting)

Darius was a title, Gubaru was the man’s name -governor of Babylon under Cyrus.

Ch.7   Vision of the 4 beasts

Lion with Eagle’s wings            Babylon

Bear                                           Media/ Persia        

4 Headed Flying Leopard          Greece        

Iron Teeth/ 10 horns                  Rome

7:8 Little horn here is Roman/ future antichrist

7:9     Ancient of Days/ Son of Man

7:10   And the books were opened before the Ancient of Days

This is about Jesus!

So Jesus is shown in chapter 2 and 3 and 7 and 9

Son of Man prophesied about 500 plus years before he became the Son of Man

Do my chart here – Son of God, Son of Man!

7:17-18        These are four kings, but the holy ones will receive the kingdom!

7:21-22        The Fourth King makes war against the saints, defeated by the Ancient of Days; Antichrist will be defeated.

7:25             Holy ones handed over to him for 3 and a half years – the second half of the 7 year tribulation; the time of Great Tribulation

Ch. 8  Vision from Susa

A Ram and a Goat!         

          8:20   Ram is Media Persia

          8:21   Goat is King of Greece: Alexander

8:8     Four horns from its place: Alexander’s kingdom divided in four

8:9 little horn here is from Greece – Antiochus IV Epiphanes/ Defiles temple

8:17   Vision refers to the time of the end

8:19   Here to tell you what happens at the conclusion of the day of wrath, the time of the end

Remember the Blue Ridge Mountain view of Prophecy: Daniel sees events a few decades out, a few centuries out, a few thousand years out!

Ch. 9  Daniel’s Prayer

9:2     Daniel interprets Jeremiah literally!     70 years!

9:11   The promised curse!

9:17   Show Your favor…for the Lord’s sake (not our sinful selves)

9:18   Key verse

For we are not presenting our petitions to you based on our righteous acts, but based on Your abundant compassion…Hear…Forgive…listen…act…for your own sake!

9:20-27       Key Prophetic Timeline verses!

A Top 10 Prophesy of Old Testament!

But first of all…

9:23   Angelic activity as a result of prayers

9:24   70 weeks are decreed: To put an end of sin…to bring in everlasting righteousness

9:25   From issuing of decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince will be 7 weeks + 62 weeks.

It looks like each week is a period of 7 years.

9:26   After the 62 weeks (69 weeks), the Messiah will be cut off (Isaiah 53).

Three decrees to re-build Jerusalem by Persian Kings: 536 B.C., 457 B.C., 445/444 B.C. The one that fits Daniel 9 the best is the one in 445/444 B.C.

Various ways to count 483 years of 360 days from then, but they all take you to the time when Jesus was ministering and died on the cross.

See God’s Stopwatch by Robert Jeffress – Read it if time!   

The people of the coming prince will come (Antichrist)

9:27   He will make a firm covenant with many for 1 week.

But in the middle of the week he will stop temple offerings until his destruction is poured out. This goes along with the Great Tribulation in Revelation 6-19

Ch. 10          Daniel meets an Angel

10:12           I have come because of your prayers!

10:13           Spiritual warfare: Battle between Michael and Prince of Persia!

WOW!         That really gets the mind to thinking!            Revelation 12

10:20           And then the Prince of Greece; Michael needed to fight!

Ch. 11          Fireworks show of prophecies, mostly of the next 300-400 years, but also including more about the Antichrist of the end times.

Ch. 12          Grand Finale!

12:1   One of the most quoted OT verses in the New.

In the End Times Michael will rise up! Revelation 12:7

All people found written in the book will escape!

12:3   is awesome!

12:11 Rest, then rise to your destiny at the end of days!