INTRODUCTION TO DANIEL
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AFTER READING PLEASE CLICK HERE TO ANSWER THE QUESTIONS TO STUDY ONE.
BEFORE READING PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR A MAP OF THE ASSYRIAN EMPIRE
BEFORE READING PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR A MAP OF THE BABYLONIAN EMPIRE.
BEFORE READING PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR A MAP OF THE PERSIAN EMPIRE IN 500 B.C.
BEFORE READING PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR A MAP OF GREECE DIVIDED AFTER ALEXANDER DIED.
BEFORE READING PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ ABOUT ISRAEL'S HISTORY.
BEFORE READING PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR A LIST OF ISRAEL'S KINGS AND PROPHETS.
BEFORE READING PLEASE CLICK HERE TO VIEW OLD TESTAMENT BOOKS TIMELINE.
BEFORE READING PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR A LIST OF MAJOR EVENTS FROM DANIEL'S TIME TO ROMAN TIMES.
Before analyzing the test of any book of the Bible, it is well to learn the historical background.
Also, it is best to make a "skyscraper" view of its general contents. Accordingly, this introduction is divided into two parts: background and survey.
- TIME AND AUTHOR
- Time: 605 B.C. to just before Daniel's death (no later than 500 B.C.). The book's writing date has been contested because some believe the book is not prophecy, but history recorded hundreds of years after the facts. Some believe it was written after the events in the visions took place, stating anywhere from 180 B.C. to 130 B.C. No proof of the claim exist. Facts in the Bible and from archaeology prove this claim false including Jesus' claim that Daniel was a real person and author of the book. (Matthew 24:15)
- Place: the city Babylon
- Author: Daniel. Some claim that Daniel did not write the visions as stated in the time section above. As stated there, there is not proof of this claim.
- Main teaching: God is Sovereign Lord over all men in all ages. (Daniel 2:47, 4:37, 6:26)
- PROCEEDING EVENTS
Around 400 years are between David's anointing as king of Israel till his dynasty ends with the kingdom of Judah's defeat first through Egypt and then through Babylon. In 609 B.C. the kingdom of Judah was defeated and taken over by the Egyptians. (2 Kings 23:33-34) Egypt, south-west of Judah made Judah a colonial state of Egypt. At that time the Egyptians killed Judah's king. The Jews then anointed Jehoahaz (Shallum) as king (609 B.C.), but Egypt exercised her sovereignty over Judah and quickly replaced Jehoahaz with Jehoiakim. (2 Kings 23:33-34)
In 605 B.C. the Babylonians from the north attacked and defeated Egypt. (2 Kings 24:1-7) Judah then became a colonial state of Babylon Empire but was permitted to keep its own national, spiritual, and cultural identity.
In 597 B.C. Jehoiakim, the son of Josiah, the kings of Judah rebelled against Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, miserably defeated Jehoiakim. Because of this rebellion Nebuchadnezzar completely destroyed Jerusalem, Judah's capital, as well as many other major cities.
Through the three attacks against the kingdom of Judah Nebuchadnezzar killed many Jews and took many captives into exile in Babylon. Among these including Daniel and his friends mentioned in this book. Ezekiel, the author of the former book was also taken captive. Jeremiah the prophet was brought to Egypt as a very old man. The captivity of Israel lasted 70 years. (This count starting from Nebuchadnezzar's initial defeat of Egypt and Judah in 605 B.C.)
- ABOUT DANIEL
Daniel was of the tribe of Judah and from the royal line of David. (1:3)
In his time Daniel was famous for his wisdom throughout the world. (Ezekiel 28:3) Before his captivity he was trained in Jewish culture and the Bible (as it was then). At the beginning of his captivity he was trained in the best university in Babylon the world power.
Daniel is distinguished for his holy life. God equates his righteousness with Noah and Job. (Ezekiel 14:12-14) His counterparts also recognized his righteousness. (Daniel 6:5) Daniel was known as a man of prayer. (Daniel 6:10)
Daniel position was a counselor to the king. He worked in the courts and councils of some of the greatest monarchy the world had; Nebuchadnezzar, Cyrus, and Darius.
None of Daniel's family is mentioned, neither his parents nor any descendants. His parents were probably killed by the Babylonian army. He was probably a eunuch. (Isaiah 39:7)
- ABOUT THE BOOK
Daniel wrote the first chapter in the Hebrew language. Chapters 2 thru 7 were written in Aramaic, the then common commerce language used throughout the Gentile nations. Chapters 8 thru 12 are written in Hebrew. Daniel was deliberate in writting in these two languages. The Hebrew chapters are about Israel's future (not just Judah), future from Daniel's point of view. The Aramaic chapters are about the Gentiles' future from Daniel's point of view. Jesus called it the time of the Gentiles. (Luke 21:24) Most of the events predicted in this book are history to us. The godless kingdoms referred to are the Gentile nations, and the kingdom of God are those who will partake in the millennial reign of Jesus (Yeshua) Christ (Messiah) centered about Jerusalem and Israel. Many of Jesus' parables explain about the kingdom of God.
COMPARISIONS OF THE FOUR MAJOR PROPHETS
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