I. VALUE OF THE BOOK OF DANIEL
A. Daniel is a book of prophecy that gives assurance to God’s people about the future.
B. Daniel the man is an example to all those who study him.
C. Daniel was a leader who went against public opinion.
D. Suffering did not daunt Daniel’s purpose to live for God.
E. Daniel, as all prophetic books, gives hope to the believer.
F. The mills of God grind slowly yet they grind exceedingly small. God will eventually judge Gentile nations.
A. Daniel is the self-proclaimed author (7:1)
B. Daniel means “God is my judge.” Daniel is the story of God’s justice even in the face of Gentile persecution (2 Kg 14; Is 39)
· Dan= judge
· ie= my
· el= God
C. Three Daniels in the Old Testament:
· 1 Ch 3:1
· Son of Ithamar , with Ezra after the captivity (Ez 8:2; Ne 10:16)
· Author of the book of Daniel
E. Daniel lived during the sixth century B.C.
F. External evidence:
1. Jesus says Daniel is the author (Mt 24:15-16; Mk 13:14; Lu 21:20)
2. Talmud attributes the writing to Daniel
3. The writer of Daniel demonstrates knowledge of the sixth century:
· City of Shushan described as in the province of Elam (8:2)
G. Internal evidence: 7:1
H. If Daniel is a false writing [pseudepigraphical], and not written until the late Maccabean era (165 B.C.), how famous can he be?
1. If Daniel is not mentioned until 165 B.C., how famous could he be? Liberals claim that the author of Daniel faked some famous person’s name to pawn off his own views.
2. Ezekiel mentions Daniel before this date (14:14,20; 28:3). The date of Ezekiel is not disputed.
3. Daniel 1:6 says Daniel is the author.
4. Those who argue for the late date do so because they cannot accept that he wrote about prophecy that later came true.
5. The old proverb, then, comes true: “It is very difficult to prophesy, especially about the future!”
I. Conversion – under Jeremiah (Je 35: Da 9:2)
J. Contemporaries: Jeremiah, Habakkuk, Ezekiel, Obadiah
K. Personality: Da 6:23; Ezek 14:20; Ma 24:15
· Man of principle (1:8)
· Man of understanding (1:17)
· Man of prayer (6:10; chapter 9)
· Man of faith (6:4,23)
· Man of excellent spirit (5:12; 6:3)
· Man of humility (10:12)
M. Great in his own day yet without compromise
N. Born about 625 B.C., which was also the birth date of the Neo-Babylonian Empire. This was also the year Ashuruballit died – the last mighty king of Assyria.
O. Daniel lived until the fall of the neo-Babylonian Empire under the conquest of Cyrus, King of Persia.
P. Nineveh fell (612 B.C.) during Daniel’s lifetime. Babylon (Nabopolassar, with his son, Nebuchadnezzar) became the power center for western Asia.
Q. Daniel lived during the reign of Josiah, king for 15 years when Daniel was born.
R. There was a great revival in Israel during Daniel’s boyhood: (2 Kg 22:80-11; 23:2,21-23; 2 Ch 34:14-19; 35:1-19. This revival formed Daniel’s character.
S. Significance of Daniel:
· Spoke and wrote in exile
· Deported from Judah 605 B.C.
· Ministered to four world rulers (Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, Darius, Cyrus)
· He 11:33
A. Liberal dating: late second century – Daniel in the critics’ den.
1. Liberals hold that the book of Daniel was written in the late second century (after 168 B.C., probably 165 B.C.)
2. Liberals claim that Daniel is fiction written to challenge Israelites to rise up against Antiochus Epiphanes.
3. The place of Daniel in the “writings” indicates that it was written late; however, other books such as Job, the Davidic psalms and Solomonic writings were included in the “writings.”
4. Liberals also claim that Daniel wrote prophecies after the event and in the names of pseudo writers.
B. Conservative dating: early sixth century
1. The book claims to have been written by Daniel (7:1).
2. Qumran literature refers to Daniel, yet Qumran literature itself is dated from the Maccabean period; this makes it unlikely that Daniel was written during that period.
3. Language evidence: Daniel’s Aramaic [Daniel wrote primarily in Aramaic, not Hebrew] is closer to the sixth century than the second.
4. Book of Daniel placed in the Septuagint (LXX) by 285 B.C.
5. Josephus (Jewish historian of the first century) = “…Daniel which was given 408 years before…” narrating incidents of the struggle with Antiochus Epiphanes (died 165 B.C.).
6. Josephus asserts that Alexander the Great was shown the prophecies in Daniel by the high priest Juddua, and was so delighted that he offered to confer favor on the Jews. Alexander preceded Antiochus Epiphanes by 150 years.
7. 1 Macc 2:49-60 refers to Daniel and his three companions in such a way as to infer that Daniel was an extant book when 1 Maccabees was written.
8. Ezekiel mentions Daniel three times (Eze 14:14,20; 28:3). Ezekiel and Daniel were contemporaries.
9. Christ mentions Daniel (Mt 24:15; Ma 13:14)
10. Clay tablet with Belshazzar’s name
11. Clay tablet with both Belshazzar and Nabonidus
12. Clay tablet – Belshazzar as king’s son
13. Clay tablet – oath by Nabonidus and Belshazzar
14. Dozens of details known about his life
15. Jesus sets His seal on the credibility of Daniel’s predictions (Mt 24:15). Jesus lived in His humanity 150 years after Antiochus.
IV. PLACE IN THE CANON
A. The original canon had two divisions: the law and the prophets
B. Around the second century B.C., three divisions of the same books appeared: the law, the prophets and the writings.
· In the Hebrew canon, Daniel was not included among the prophets but in the writings with the historical books.
· Daniel’s role was not primarily to call the nation to repentance as a prophet but to serve God as an administration in a Gentile kingdom.
· The Massoretes who made the three-fold division did not view Daniel as a prophet because he was not ordained as a prophet. He was in government employment.
· Much of Daniel is history.
A. To give hope for the restoration of Israel
B. To sustain believers during crisis
C. To challenge believers to expect God’s purpose of history to be fulfilled
D. Not a history of the person Daniel
E. To reveal the comprehensive program of God culminating in the Second Advent especially as it relates to the Gentiles.
F. As the most important prophetic book of the Old Testament, Daniel constitutes an indispensable introduction to New Testament prophecy.
G. Daniel traces the “Times of the Gentiles” (Lu 21:24) from the captivity of Judah under Nebuchadnezzar until the Second Advent of Christ.
H. Daniel is a prophetic philosophy of history.
VI. CHARACTERISTICS OF THE BOOK OF DANIEL
A. Daniel provides history from the first invasion of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar in 605 B.C. and goes to the third year of Cyrus (536 B.C.).
B. Daniel is the most wide-ranging prophetic book in the Old Testament.
C. Daniel is written in both Hebrew [Jew’s language] and Aramaic [language of the Babylonians].
· 1:1 – 2:4a-Hebrew
· 2:4b – 7:28-Aramaic
· 8:1 – 12:13-Hebrew
D. The New Testament refers to every chapter of Daniel.
E. Every New Testament writer uses Daniel’s prophecies.
F. Daniel is the foundation to the book of Revelation.
G. The book of Daniel bridges the period between the Old Testament and the New Testament [400 years of silence otherwise].
H. Daniel is prophecy
I. In the K’thubhim (one of 5 later writings)
J. Daniel is a philosophy of history.
K. Daniel is the greatest book in the Bible on the subject of Gentile kingdoms.
L. Apocalyptic in character
M. Daniel’s prophecies speak almost entirely to the future of the Gentile nations.
VII. KEY WORD: “dominion”
VIII. FOCUS: “The time of the end” (2:28,29,45; 8:17,19,23,etc.)
IX. THEME: God is sovereign over the Gentile nations (2:44).
X. SETTING OF THE BOOK [1:1-2]
A. The Babylonians carried Daniel into exile to teach him the custom and language of the Chaldeans.
B. Daniel continued in Babylon throughout the seventy-year period of exile.
C. Nebuchadnezzar defeated Pharaoh-Necho, King of Egypt, in 605 B.C. at Carchemish on the Euphrates River (Je 46:2; 2 Ch 35:20). This made Babylon the world power.
D. Nebuchadnezzar plundered the Temple in Jerusalem and took away its golden vessels. With these, he took noble youth from Jerusalem back to Babylon.
XI. DANIEL THE MAN
A. Daniel was a Hebrew of noble birth.
B. Daniel was a statesman for Babylon.
C. He was taken captive as a youth by Nebuchadnezzar in 605 B.C. (1:1).
D. Daniel became an official in the court of Nebuchadnezzar and continued to serve other monarchs until the first year of Cyrus (536 B.C., Daniel 1:1-2, 21).
E. Jesus referred to him as a prophet in Matthew 24:15.
F. Ezekiel considered Daniel as an outstanding believer (Ezekiel 14:12-20; 28:1-3).
G. Daniel’s piety and wisdom were proverbial. Note how Ezekiel refers to him (Eze 14:14,20 28:3), not as a writer, but as exhibiting a character righteous and wise in discerning secrets.
H. Daniel was a prophet to the Gentiles for Gentiles.
I. Daniel served under four dynasties of the world’s greatest powers.
J. We can see Daniel’s spirituality, humility and dependence upon God in almost every chapter.
K. Daniel’s steadfastness to truth had no latitude and His faithfulness to God no longitude.
L. Daniel was a great man of prayer.
M. The book of Daniel covers Daniel’s age from 19 to 92.
- They gave Daniel a pagan name but he did not accept their pagan customs.
I. Prophecies connected to the Times of the Gentiles, 2:4-7:28
- The four world empires, 2:4-49
- God’s deliverance of the Hebrew children, 3:1-30
- God’s judgment on Gentile ruler number one, 4:1-37
- God’s judgment on Gentile ruler number two, 5:1-31
- God’s deliverance, 6:1-28
- Prophecy of four world empires, 7:1-28
II. Prophecies related to Gentile Powers and the Jews, 8:1-12:13
- Prophecies about the antichrist and Gentiles, 8:1-27
- The end time and the Jews, 9:1-27
- Prophecies about the antichrist and the Gentiles, 10:1-11:45
- The end time and the Jews, 12:1-13