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Daniel 1:17 “As for these four young men, God gave them knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams. 18 Now at the end of the days, when the king had said that they should be brought in, the chief of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. 19 Then the king interviewed them, and among them all none was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; therefore they served before the king. 20 And in all matters of wisdom and understanding about which the king examined them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers who were in all his realm. 21 Thus Daniel continued until the first year of King Cyrus.”

 

 1:17

As for these four young men, God gave them knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.

God was in the business of preparing these four young men for His purposes.  God gave them “knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom.”  “Knowledge” has to do with mental agility and logic.  He gave them skill in literature and wisdom.  These young men were well-read and they acquired the ability to use what they knew.  God also gave them understanding in visions and dreams.   That is, they had a supernatural knowledge of prophecy and eschatology.  Today, God speaks through the closed canon of Scripture. 

The book of Daniel was read and studied by the Lord Jesus

·        Matthew 24:15 alludes to Daniel 9:27; 11:31; 12:11

·        Matthew 24:21 alludes to Daniel 12:1

·        Matthew 24:30 alludes to Daniel 7:13

·        John 5:28,29 allude to Daniel 12:2

The apostle John especially alludes to the book of Daniel.  The study of Daniel is a prerequisite to the study of the book of Revelation because of the many allusions to Daniel in the book of Revelation.  Both books are books of prophecy.  Both books speak of the tribulation, the final Anti-Christ, the coming of the Messiah and the final triumphal kingdom. 

1:18

Now at the end of the days, when the king had said that they should be brought in, the chief of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar.

The phrase “end of days” refers to the end of the three years of training and testing.  The chief of the eunuchs brought the four young men before Nebuchadnezzar for a personal interview. 

1:19

Then the king interviewed them, and among them all none was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; therefore they served before the king.

Nebuchadnezzar depended on Daniel and his three friends throughout his reign as king for knowledge about the future. 

1:20

And in all matters of wisdom and understanding about which the king examined them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers who were in all his realm.

None equaled the four young men in “wisdom and understanding.”  They were ten times better than the magicians and astrologers.  Evidently, they were given positions of significant responsibility in the government of Nebuchadnezzar.  The four young men had the capacity to distinguish between a genuine dream and one that had no revelatory meaning. 

1:21

Thus Daniel continued until the first year of King Cyrus.

Daniel continued in the service of the court until the overthrow of the Babylonian Empire by Cyrus in 539 B.C.  God honored his resolve to serve Him without compromise.  Daniel served as God’s spokesman to the Gentiles.  He would have been approximately 90 years of age if he began his career about 605 B.C.  Daniel was probably released from his responsibilities when Cyrus issued his decree in favor of the Jews (Ezra 1:1-4). 

This verse does not say that Daniel died in the “first year of King Cyrus” (539 B.C.) Critics claim that the statement that “Daniel continued until the first year of King Cyrus” is an inaccuracy because Daniel 10:1 says that Daniel was given a revelation in the third year of Cyrus.  This is so much flimflam because this verse does not say or imply that Daniel did not continue after the first year of Cyrus.  The purpose of Daniel’s statement about King Cyrus is to show that Daniel’s career spanned the entire period of Persian domination of Babylon. 

Daniel does not reveal much about his relationship with Cyrus; however, Cyrus proclaimed an emancipation of the Jews recorded in Ezra 1:1-4 and 2 Ch 36:22-23.  Daniel may have given Cyrus the prophecy of Jeremiah that was fulfilled in 536 B.C., the first year of Cyrus. 

PRINCIPLE: 

God blesses faithfulness. 

APPLICATION: 

God blesses faithfulness.  Like Daniel, we have every reason to follow the philosophy of the world system.  Again, like Daniel, we have the choice to follow God no matter what the cost might be.  We are either conformed to this world or transformed by God.  A transformed life is a powerful and fruitful life.  A conformed life is barren and powerless. 

Ro 12:1 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

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