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An Overview of The Book Of DANIEL

  Introduction: The Book Daniel shows a prophetic history of Gentile world power from the reign of King Nebuchadnezzar to the coming of ...



The Book Daniel shows a prophetic history of Gentile world power from the reign of King Nebuchadnezzar to the coming of Christ

Daniel shows God’s sovereignty in relation to gentile world empires and revealed Him as the One controlling and overruling in their affairs, until the time of their destruction at the coming of Christ


Memory Verse: Those who do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with flattery; but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits (Daniel 11:32).



The book of Daniel is traditionally believed to have been written in the 6th cent. BC. by Daniel, a Palestinian Jew taken captive along with others, to Babylon, by King Nebuchadnezzar's army, about 605 BC.

 He was believed to have been taken to Babylon in the 3rd year of King Jehoiakim (II Chronicles 36:4-7), around 8 years before Ezekiel.

Daniel and three other young me were stationed at the court of Nebuchadnezzar for special training in the learning of the Chaldeans


Those that were taken to captivity were noble men – prince and princesses


The language of the book is partly Hebrew and partly a dialect of Aramaic, which has been called Chaldee, or Biblical Aramaic.



The book isn't intended to give an account of Daniel's life. No wonder it says nothing about his lineage or age. It also recounts just few of the events of his long career.

It also doesn't aim to fully account for the history of Israel during the exile in Babylon.



It shows how the God of heaven controls and directs the forces of nature and the history of nations by His providential guidance, miraculous interventions, foreknowledge and immense power, to accomplish His eternal redemptive plan for His servants and people.


Ø  God is revealed in the book of Daniel as the ultimate sovereign God (YAHWEH).

Ø  He had severally warned His people, Judah, but they chose to reject His words and directives, treating them with reckless abandonment.

Ø  God, who would not also condone sin, gave them up to their enemies. The Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar, utterly devastated their land and the temple, took them captive out of the Promised Land to a strange land of the enemies


Daniel and 3 other Hebrew men had their name changed.


Hebrew Name


Babylonian Name


God is Judge



Jehovah is Gracious



Who is he that is God



Hehoval has helped






Ø  The first six chapters are largely narrative, with some prophecies interspersed. They narrate the life of Daniel from his exile in Babylon up to his old age.

Ø  The last six chapters are largely prophetic, with only a bit of narrative regarding how each vision came to him.




Ø  Chapter 1: Daniel trained in royal service

o   Daniel and his 3 Israelites friends are drafted into training for royal government service.

o   Daniel his 3 friends refuse to eat the royal food (verse 8).

o   They found favour and come to excel in their studies.

o   Verse 17: As for those 4 children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams

Ø  Chapter 2: Nebuchadnezzars image dream

o   In response to an unexpressed desire of the part of Nebuchadnezzar to know about the future of his empire, God showed him a dream which was interpreted by Daniel: gave the king a revelation of the rise, progress and fall of Gentile world power during that period described by Christ as “the time of the Gentiles – Luke 21:24”

o   An unusual image w/ gold head, silver upper body, bronze lower body, iron legs, iron clay feet

o   Daniel interprets the parts as picturing world empires to come.




Ø  Chapter 3: The golden image fiery furnace

o   Nebuchadnezzar made a golden image which he commands all to bow down and worship.

o   Daniel's companions refuse to worship the image were thrown in a fiery furnace.

o   God rescued them in the midst of the fire  - A 4th man in the furnace

Ø  Chapter 4: Nebuchadnezzar's tree dream

o   A mighty tree is cut down, leaving only stump roots.

o   Daniel judgment to come for pride of Nebuchadnezzar.

o   Dream fulfilled Nebuchadnezzar’s pride, madness, recovery.

Ø  Chapter 5: The handwriting on the wall

o   Belshazzar uses the sacred dishware from God’s temple, an abominable act

o   A mysterious message appears written on the wall – MENE, MENE, TEKEL, PERES; Daniel interpreted it as: verse 25

v MENE: God has numbered the days your reign and brought it to an end

v TEKEL: You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting

v PERSIN: Your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians

o   Daniel was elevated and made 3rd in the kingdom

o   Belshazzar was assassinated


Ø  Chapter 6: Daniel in the lions' den

o   Daniel was punished for praying to God instead of the king

o   God protected Daniel from the lions, but his accusers are later devoured.






Ø  Chapter 7 : Daniels’s dream of the four beasts – Gentile World History

o   Lion (Babylon), bear (Medo-Persian) conquered Lydia, Egypt and Babylon, leopard (Greece), terrible beast appeared (Roman)

o   A throne with the Ancient of Days

o   Son of Man receives universal kingdom.

Ø  Chapter 8 -12:

o   The vision of the ram and goat in chapter 8 foretold the coming conflict between Greece and Persia

o   The vision of the seventy weeks prophesied of the coming of the Messiah – Chapter 9 – Daniels’s prayer

o   Daniel’s last vision (chapters 10-12) was of the glory of God, overthrow of Persia by Greece, the kings of the north and south, and the great tribulation and the deliverance




God has sent us into this world to represent Him, to shine and give flavour to the earth (Matt. 5:13ff). We are to influence the world like Daniel who positively influenced the Babylonian king and his kingdom for the glory of YAHWEH. Sadly, so many so called Christians today are sources of ungodliness and wickedness in the land. They have lost their flavours as salt, and refused to shine as light to this dark and godless generation. God commands us to evangelise (Mk. 16:15-16). Hope you are not part of those who have tactically neglected this divine assignment, running after the perishable things of this world. Daniel influenced his world to the extent that King Darius could decree and declare to all nations on earth that they should fear and tremble before the God of Daniel (6:25-27; cf. 2:47). Our constant interactions and relationships matter a lot to turn the world around for Christ.





For Discussion

·           The fact that Daniel was told to shut up the words, and seal the book... (12:4) is a strong internal evidence that Daniel wrote this Book (cf. chaps. 7-10. How does the words of our Lord Jesus in Matt. 24:15; Mk. 13:14 (cf. 11:31; 12:11) confirm this?

·         Daniel encourages God's people that God would keep His promises to Abraham and David—the Messiah would come (9:24-27); His kingdom would soon fill the entire earth (2:35,44), and His saints would rule and reign with Him (7:22, 27).

·         Read 3:29; 6:26-27; cf. 9:3-19. How does Daniel show how God manifests Himself in a way that makes even foreign rulers who earlier think He is too weak to deliver His people, to greatly respect Him?

·         Daniel's teachings on angels and the resurrection are more detailed than elsewhere in the OT. He peculiarly attributes names, ranks and functions to them. As to resurrection, see 12:2.

·         The Book portrays the kingdom of God as an everlasting one, unlike the kingdoms of men, like those in Daniel. Also, a kingdom is coming that will totally put to an end the kingdoms of men—the Second Coming and reign of Christ.

·      What can the NT Christian learn from how the young but well-nurtured Daniel refused to sacrifice his eternal destiny upon the altar of the gentile king's delicacies (1:8)?

        What makes Daniel and his 3 friends risk their lives for YAHWEH on different occasions when they were prohibited from worshipping Him, by their foreign captors?


Christ Apostolic Church Surrey Docks Bible Study - Unified CAC Bible study



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