God is in control, despite appearances. Daniel declares the sovereignty of God over the shifting political, social and moral scenes of life on earth. He protects, prospers, promotes and preserves His people. Daniel is a mixture of prophesy and narrative.
The first section contains some of the most inspiring stories in the Bible. It has been called the “Book of Revelation” of the Old Testament. Daniel documents the years surrounding the Babylonian captivity. He was a prophet during the years of Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, Darius, and Cyrus.
In Daniel, God is glorifying Himself through His sovereignty over history, so that He might demonstrate His superior goodness in the salvation sinners, the damnation of the wicked, and for the preservation of His people for His eternal glory, and their eternal joy.
The author identifies himself as Daniel throughout the book, which Christ also confirms. The book also includes a chapter written by King Nebuchadnezzar (Dan. 4).
Daniel delivered his last prophecy in the 3rd year of Cyrus’s reign (536 B.C.). He wrote down his prophecies sometime after this date.
“Therefore Daniel went to Arioch, whom the king had appointed to destroy the wise men of Babylon. He went and said thus to him: ‘Do not destroy the wise men of Babylon; take me before the king, and I will tell the king the interpretation.’
Then Arioch quickly brought Daniel before the king, and said thus to him, ‘I have found a man of the captives of Judah, who will make known to the king the interpretation.’ ”
“Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, ‘O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.’ ”
“And at the end of the time I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me; and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever:
“For His dominion is an everlasting dominion,
And His kingdom is from generation to generation.
All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing;
He does according to His will in the army of heaven
And among the inhabitants of the earth.
No one can restrain His hand
Or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’ ”
When did Daniel prophesy?
During the 70-year Babylonian captivity.
How old was Daniel when he was taken captive?
16 years old.
What time period does the book of Daniel cover?
After Nebuchadnezzar had a dream, what did he command his servants to do?
He demanded that they tell him what his dream was, along with its interpretation (Dan. 2:2).
What did Nebuchadnezzar say he would do to his servants if they could not tell him his dream?
Cut them in pieces and make their houses an ash heap (Dan. 2:5).
When Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, what did he command all the people to do?
He told them to fall down and worship it (Dan. 3:4–5).
What would be done to the person who refused to worship Nebuchadnezzar’s image?
They would be cast immediately into a burning fiery furnace (Dan. 3:6).
What did Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego do while everyone else bowed down to the image?
They refused to worship it (Dan. 3:12).
What did Nebuchadnezzar do to them when they refused?
He had them cast into the burning fiery furnace (Dan. 3:20).
What happened while they were in the fiery furnace?
The fire did not consume them (Dan. 3:24–27).
What was Nebuchadnezzar’s response when Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego came out alive and untouched by the flames?
He blessed God (Dan. 3:28–29).
What was Nebuchadnezzar’s second dream about?
A giant tree, which “a holy one” said would be cut down (Dan. 4:10–16).
What was Daniel’s interpretation of the dream?
Nebuchadnezzar would be driven from his kingdom and left to graze in a field, until he recognized that God rules in the kingdom of men (Dan. 4:19–27).
What did Nebuchadnezzar say that brought down the judgment of God?
“Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty?” (Dan. 4:30–33).
What was the judgment that God brought down on Nebuchadnezzar?
He was driven from his kingdom and left to eat grass like an ox (Dan. 4:31–33).
What happened to Nebuchadnezzar after the judgment?
He blessed the Most High, and his kingdom was restored (Dan. 4:34–36).
Which section of Daniel contains Nebuchadnezzar’s testimony of the sovereignty of God?
Who was Belshazzar?
He was the king of Babylon, the son of Nebuchadnezzar (Dan. 5:1, 2, 11,18).
What happened at Belshazzar’s feast?
A man’s hand appeared and wrote a message on the palace wall (Dan. 5:5).
Who did the queen recommend to Belshazzar as one who could interpret the writing?
Daniel (Dan. 5:10–12).
What did the inscription on the wall mean?
Because of his wickedness, Belshazzar’s kingdom would come to an end, and instead be given to the Medes and the Persians (Dan. 5:25–28).
What was the law that went out under King Darius’s reign, and what was the punishment for breaking it?
No one was allowed to pray to any god or man except Darius for 30 days. Anyone who disobeyed would be cast into the den of lions (Dan. 6:7–8).
What was Daniel’s response to King Darius’s law?
He prayed and gave thanks to God, as he had before (Dan. 6:10).
What did the governors and satraps do when they found out Daniel was praying to God?
They went to King Darius and demanded that he punish Daniel (Dan. 6:13–15).
What did God do to the lions while Daniel was in the lions’ den?
He shut the lions’ mouths (Dan. 6:22).
What decree did King Darius issue after Daniel came out of the lions’ den?
He commanded that everyone tremble and fear before the God of Daniel
What did Daniel dream about during the first year of Belshazzar’s reign?
Four great beasts (Dan. 7:2–14).
What was the interpretation of Daniel’s dream?
The four beasts represented four kingdoms. The fourth kingdom would be divided between 10 kings. One king would be different than the others, and subdue three kings. This king would speak pompous words and persecute the saints but eventually, his dominion would be taken away, and the saints would receive an everlasting kingdom (Dan. 7:15–28).
What animal defeated the ram in Daniel’s vision?
A male goat (Dan. 8:5–7).
Who interpreted Daniel’s vision of the ram and goat?
The angel Gabriel (Dan. 8:16).
When did Daniel have the vision of the glorious man?
In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia (Dan. 10:1).
How does Daniel describe the glorious man in his vision?
He was clothed in linen, girded with gold of Uphaz. He had a body like beryl, a face like the appearance of lightning, eyes like torches of fire, arms and feet like burnished bronze, and spoke words like the voice of a multitude (Dan. 10:5–6).
What did Daniel prophesy regarding Greece and Persia?
Three more kings would arise in Persia. The fourth and richest king of Persia (Xerxes) would war against Greece. Afterwards, a mighty king (Alexander the Great) would arise, but his kingdom would be divided among those who were not his family (Dan. 11:2–4).