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Daniel

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Daniel

Chapter 1

Introduction

A new home - no longer surrounded by the things of God. No longer influenced by parents and teachers. vs 1-2 A new knowledge - the old Jewish knowledge had to go and was to be replaced by the knowledge of the world, the wisdom of Babylon. vs 3-4 A new diet - Kong’s diet - contrary to the Jews diet. vs 5 New names vs 6-7 A daring test - the four refused to conform to the world. vs 8-16 God gave the four knowledge and understanding. Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds vs 17-20 Stayed in the service of Nebuchadnezzar until the first years of king Cyrus. vs 21
Taken captive at a young age - he was a teenager in the year 605 BC

Chapter 2

Rose to Prime Minister
Understanding Chapter 2 and 7 will help with the study of Revelation and other Bible prophecies. When Nebuchadnezzar first came to conquer Jerusalem, he was not the king. His father Nabopolassar was. Nebuchadnezzar was the heir apparent and was taking the reins of power during the training of Daniel and his friends. vs 1 Nebuchadnezzar had dreams and visions that disturbed him. He wanted the wise men to not only interpret the dreams but to tell him what he dreamed. When they could not, he ordered them to be killed. Including Daniel and his friends. vs 2-14 Daniel prayed and praised God. God revealed the dreams and what they meant. Daniel praised God and gave him all the glory (here and in 25-30) vs 14-23 Daniel revealed to the king and interceded for the other wise men. Babylon was the head of gold, Medo-Persian the chest and arms of silver, Greece the belly and thighs of bronze, Rome the legs of iron, Roman Empire the feet of clay and iron. Christ the rock and eternal kingdom. vs 24-45 The king promotes Daniel and gives him honor and glory. He received these because he was faithful to God, he did not compromise his convictions. Daniel did not keep the promotion for himself, but shared with his friends. vs 46-49
Stayed true to God, yet engaged with his captors. For at least 75 years.

Chapter 3

Some scholars have argued that this was written by someone after the captivity was over - as late as the Macabeeian period. This has been refuted.
Daniel is to the Old Testament what Revelation is to the New Testament.
Although the fiery furnace and the lesson of faith occurred over 2 thousand years ago, there are lessons for us today. The practical lesson. Nebuchadnezzar’s heart was not changed. He recognized God as a great god and ordered nothing bad to be said about him, but he did not repent of his sins and trust in him. This is the second time Nebuchadnezzar said God is the god. 1:47, 2:28Nebuchadnezzar tried to force the entire empire to be idol worshipers- to himself via the statue. He and his reign was the head of gold in his visions- so he was the greatest. Romans 13:1-7 tells us to obey rulers and laws, and Acts 4:18-21 and 5:27-32 make it clear that we are not to disobey the LORD by obeying the government. When the government tries to control our conscience and tell us how to worship, we are to obey God, regardless of the cost. The king gave the three friends of Daniel another chance, but the three stood fast and chose to burn rather than turn. There are three promises in this chapter. Persecution will happen if we are wholly dedicated to Christ. Preservation. God will not forsake His own. He may not keep us out of the furnace, but will be glorified by bringing us through it - in his will. Promotion. The three were better off having stood their faith. They got to experience walking with the Lord. They got to experience His glory. They got to be used to show God’s power and glory to others. And Nebuchadnezzar freed them and elevated them and our God. The doctrinal lesson. The Bible uses Babylon as a symbol of Satan’s system in the world. The Babylon system is Satan’s counterfeit. Opposing God’s truth and seeking to capture the hearts, minds and bodies of people. The name bab-el means the gate of God. It pretends to be the way to heaven, but it leads to hell. Revelation 17 and 18 shows the final development of this false system as a one world federation. True believers are not to become part of the world system (Rev 18:4-5). We are to take a stand and bear witness to God’s word. The prophetic lesson. Daniel is not present during this experience. When the church is out of the world, Satan will attempt to carry out his plans for enslaving the minds and bodies. 2 Thessalonians 2 and Revelation 13 both say that Satan will have a time after the Christians are raptured. The present world, although divided, is moving toward unification and a one world system. How many more generations will it be until there will be no borders? Before Christ reruns, we may have to go through the fiery furnace, but we should not fear, for he is with us. And it is better to go through the furnace to end in the presence of God than to live in the lake of fire for eternity.
Six different kingdoms are identified in the book of Daniel:

Chapter 4

Babylon 606-539 BC (Chaldeans)Media-Persia 539-330 BCGreece 330- ~150BCRome ~150 BC- ~500 ADAntichrist’s kingdomChrist’s kingdom
Babylon 606-539 BC (Chaldeans)
Mede-Persia 539-330 BC
Greece 330- ~150BC
Rome ~150 BC- ~500 AD
Antichrist’s kingdom
Christ’s kingdom
This chapter is an official Babylon document written by Nebuchadnezzar. It is the story of his conversion - his testimony - written after his restoration to being the king. The dream received. It is was a time of peace and prosperity for the kingdom. God sent him a dream of what was to happen to him. His sins were going to catch up to him. He felt secure. He felt that he had accomplished all and that it was by his hand. The king shared his dream with the wise men that had boasted in chapter 2 that they could interpret anything, if only the king told them. But they could not. The wise of this world cannot understand or explain the things of God. The dream revealed. God revealed to Daniel the meaning. It was not something Daniel wanted to tell the king. He was terrified by the meaning, yet he revealed it per God’s revelation to him. A true prophet feels the burden of the message yet delivers it faithfully. Many people thing spiritual wisdom and knowledge always lead to joy and praise, most times they initially lead to silence and sorrow. God often uses a tree to represent an earthly kingdom. Babylon was a great and large kingdom, but it was not for Nebuchadnezzar to boast. God had made it for his purposes. And God shows Nebuchadnezzar what will happen if he doesn’t submit to God’s authority. If he didn’t humble himself. Daniel warned the king to repent and change his ways for perhaps God will give you forgiveness. God had spoken to Nebuchadnezzar at least twice before: the statue dream and the fiery furnace. Nebuchadnezzar had praised God for these, but had not accepted God as his God. The dream realized. God gave Nebuchadnezzar a year to consider and change, but he did not. He continued to be proud and boastful. There came a day of judgement and the King’s beastly nature was revealed for all to see.When God wants to humble you he can do it quickly and thoroughly. Nebuchadnezzar’s conversion experience lasted 7 years. At the end he praised God and honored and glorified him. He had learned that people of the earth are nothing and that God does as he pleases with his power. No one can hold back his hand. vs 34-35. The Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes and sets over them the lowliest of people. vs 17In verses 1-3, Nebuchadnezzar addresses all the people of the world and sends them a wish of prosperity and peace. In verse 2 and 3 he gives all glory to God and tells of his greatness. And ends in verse 37 with the grand ending - praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble.
Taken in 605 BC, he was active still in 539 BC when the kingdom was taken by Cyrus.

Chapter 5

He lived through the reign of 4 mentioned rulers: Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, Darius, and Cyrus. In two kingdoms - Babylonian and Mede.
About 20 years pass between chapter 4 and 5. Nebuchadnezzar was succeeded by a son who reigned a few years and was assassinated by his own brother-in-law. He ruled 4 years and was killed in battle. The next two rulers ruled for a short time, the second being Nabonidus. He was the son-in-law of Nebuchadnezzar and was married to the widow of one of the previous kings. Nabonidus was king of the Babylonian empire and his son Belshazzar over the city of Babylon. While the events of chapter 5 take place, Nabonidus was a captive of the Medes and Persians for 4 months. Enjoying his feast. While Nabonidus was being held captive, Belshazzar held a feast in honor of the Babylonian God’s. It was the fall of 539 BC. The main idea of verses 1-4 is the drinking of wine and praise to false gods. Reference Jeremiah 51:7; Revelation 14:8; 17:1-5; and 18:3. Babylon is referenced as sin and worldly affairs. Satan’s kingdom. The statement in verse 4 is also restated in Revelation 9:20. Belshazzar not only wanted to drink wine and praise false gods, he was driven to abuse and use the the articles from the temple of God. The word father in verse 2 (and in verses 11 and 13) is a normal reference in the OT that can jump generations. It is a term for lineage, not specific genealogy as Nebuchadnezzar was Belshazzar’s grandfather. The Medes and Persians were already st the gates of Babylon when this feast is happening. Belshazzar was so confident that his city was impenetrable that he was partying. Somewhat a picture of today. Judgement is near and yet people are partying and worshipping their false gods. Revealing his fear. When Belshazzar saw the hand and writing, he became very scared. The wine and false sense of security could not keep him safe. A god he did not know was in his presence. He resorted to his wise men to read and interpret the writing. He made a very good promotion offer, but one that would be short lived. Yet they could not interpret the writing. Discovering his future. The queen, who was possibly the Queen Mother, possibly the widow of Nebuchadnezzar, who Nabonidus married to solidify his power, told Belshazzar about Daniel. At this time Daniel was old and retired from public service. As an honored member of the official family, he was probably invited to the banquet honoring the false gods, he would not have attended. Belshazzar summoned Daniel and made the same offer of promotion and honor. Daniel was not impressed and turned it down, but provided the interpretation of the writing. Before explaining the writing, Daniel gave Belshazzar a message from history about Nebuchadnezzar’s conversion. And a statement of the impending doom for Belshazzar and the Babylonian kingdom. vs 18-24. MENE (or MINA) is numbered TEKEL is weighedPARSIN (or PERES) is divided. Belshazzar heard the interpretation, but did not change. He gave Daniel what he promised, but did not repent nor change. Meeting his fate. Cyrus the Persian emperor defeated the Medes and then came down to Babylon. Darius was a Mede and the commander of Cyrus’s army. The army rerouted the river and went in and under the river gates. No one fought them because the leadership was all drunk from the religious feast. The army came right into the banquet hall and killed Belshazzar. Cyrus was the Emperor of the Mede - Persian empire. He gave Darius the Babylonian empire to rule over. God’s plan involves the rising and fall of empires and nations. Cyrus issued the decree that permitted the Jews to return to Israel and rebuild the temple. Bible believing Christians see the hand writing on the wall, but blind world rulers continue in their pride and pleasure, not realizing that the Lord is coming.
1:1 to 2:3 is written in Hebrew.

Chapter 6

2:4 to 7:28 is written in Chaldean.
The book is not arranged in chronological order. In the first half he is interpreting the dreams of others.
The historical order of the book is as follows:
(1) Captivity (605–604 B.C.)
(2) Dream of the image (602 B.C.)
(3) Nebuchadnezzar’s image
(4) Nebuchadnezzar’s tree dream
(7) The vision of the four beasts (556 B.C.)
(8) Ram and he goat vision (554 B.C.)
(5) Belshazzar’s feast—Babylon falls (539 B.C.)
(9) Vision of seventy weeks (538 B.C.)
(6) The lions’ den
(10–12) Closing visions
In the second half he is given visions of his own concerning the future of his people.
Daniel was in his 80’s when he was cast into the lions den.
In the first 6 chapters, there are three time of difficulty for the 4 Hebrews.
Their arrival The fiery furnace The lions den
They won victory, but the foundation for the victories was the very first victory - they were faithful to God when they were teenagers.
Four royal family and nobility from Judah were chosen to be indoctrinated into the Babylon culture and service to the king - Nebuchadnezzar.
Outline of the Book of Daniel
Daniel resolved to not defile himself with the king’s food and drink. Stayed vegan.

Outline of the Book of Daniel

The personal history of Daniel Chapters 1-6
Maintain Godly walk
Interpreting dreams and visions
Faith in God
The prophetic ministry of Daniel Chapters 7-12
Vision of the four beasts
Vision of the ram and he goat
Prayer of confession
Final vision of the future

Chapter 1

The Jews had refused to repent and obey the LORD, so the Babylonian army came in 606 BC and conquered the land. It took the best youths to Babylon from training in the kings courts. The four are described as physically strong and handsome, socially experienced and well liked, mentally keen and well educated, and they were spiritually devoted to the LORD.
A new home - no longer surrounded by the things of God. No longer influenced by parents and teachers. vs 1-2
A new knowledge - the old Jewish knowledge had to go and was to be replaced by the knowledge of the world, the wisdom of Babylon. vs 3-4 God’s people often have to study things that do not agree with God’s word. They learned what was being taught, but kept what God said as true and did not abandon their faith.
A new diet - King’s diet - contrary to the Jews diet. vs 5
Given new names by the chief official. vs 6-7
Daniel (God is my judge) renamed to Belteshazzar (Bel protect life)
Hananiah (Jehovah is gracious) renamed to Shadrach (the command of the moon god)
Mishael (Who is like God) renamed to Meshach (who is like Aku)
Azariah (Jehovah is my helper) renamed to Abednego (the servant of Nego)
A daring test - the four refused to conform to the world. They did not compromise. vs 8-16
Daniel resolved to not defile himself with the king’s food and drink. In just 10 days of being faithful - “they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food”. Stayed vegan.
they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food
The New International Version. (2011). (). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. Stayed vegan.
God gave the four knowledge and understanding.
Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds vs 17-20
Stayed in the service of Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonian kingdom until the first years of king Cyrus. vs 21

Chapter 2

Understanding Chapter 2 and 7 will help with the study of Revelation and other Bible prophecies.
When Nebuchadnezzar first came to conquer Jerusalem, he was not the king. His father Nabopolassar was. Nebuchadnezzar was the heir apparent and was taking the reins of power during the training of Daniel and his friends. vs 1
Nebuchadnezzar had dreams and visions that disturbed him. He wanted the wise men to not only interpret the dreams but to tell him what he dreamed. When they could not, he ordered them to be killed. Including Daniel and his friends. vs 2-14
Daniel prayed and praised God. vs 14-23
Daniel boldly confronted the executioner and went in directly to the king. says the righteous are bold as a lion”. The four spent the next hours in fervent prayer to God. God revealed the dreams and what they meant. Daniel praised God and gave him all the glory (here and in 25-30)
Daniel praised God and gave him all the glory (here and in 25-30)
Daniel praised God and gave him all the glory (here and in 25-30)
Daniel revealed to the king what the dream meant and interceded for the other wise men.
Daniel revealed to the king and interceded for the other wise men.
Babylon was the head of gold, Mede-Persian the chest and arms of silver, Greece the belly and thighs of bronze, Rome the legs of iron, Roman Empire the feet of clay and iron. Christ the rock and eternal kingdom. vs 24-45
Babylon was ruled by an absolute monarch. The Mede-Persian empire had a king but worked through princes and established laws (). Greece operated through a king and an army, and Rome was supposed to be a republic, but was actually ruled through the military and laws. When you come to the fee, the iron represents law and justice, the clay represents mankind - and together they represent a democracy. The weakness of the law is human nature. We can see today that lawlessness comes when human nature refuses to be bound by God’s order and laws.
The picture for Nebuchadnezzar was good and bad. His empire was the head of gold, but it would not last forever. This happened in 539 BC with the Medes and Persians. The Medes and Persians would last until about 330 BC when the Greeks would conquer them. The Roman empire would take over and then outwardly disappear, but its laws, philosophies and institutions remain to this day.
The king promotes Daniel and gives him honor and glory. He received these because he was faithful to God, he did not compromise his convictions. Daniel did not keep the promotion for himself, but shared with his friends. vs 46-49

Chapter 3

Although the fiery furnace and the lesson of faith occurred over 2 thousand years ago, there are lessons for us today.
The practical lesson.
Nebuchadnezzar’s heart was not changed. He recognized God as a great god and ordered nothing bad to be said about him, but he did not repent of his sins and trust in him. Nebuchadnezzar said God is the god in verse 2:47.
Nebuchadnezzar tried to force the entire empire to be idol worshipers- to himself via the statue. He and his reign was the head of gold in his visions- so he was the greatest.
tells us to obey rulers and laws, and and make it clear that we are not to disobey the LORD by obeying the government. When the government tries to control our conscience and tell us how to worship, we are to obey God, regardless of the cost.
The king gave the three friends of Daniel another chance, but the three stood fast and chose to burn rather than turn.
There are three promises in this chapter.
Persecution will happen if we are wholly dedicated to Christ.
Preservation. God will not forsake His own. He may not keep us out of the furnace, but will be glorified by bringing us through it - in his will.
Promotion. The three were better off having stood their faith.
They got to experience walking with the LORD.
They got to experience His glory. They got to be used to show God’s power and glory to others. And Nebuchadnezzar freed them and elevated them and our God.
They got to experience His glory.
They got to be used to show God’s power and glory to others.
And Nebuchadnezzar freed them and elevated them and our God.
The doctrinal lesson.
The Bible uses Babylon as a symbol of Satan’s system in the world. The Babylon system is Satan’s counterfeit. Opposing God’s truth and seeking to capture the hearts, minds and bodies of people.
The commonly accepted Israelite debater, playing on likeness between two words, may say that although in the Babylonian language (Akkadian) “Babel” means the “gate of god” (Bab-ilu), in Hebrew it means “confused.” It pretends to be the way to heaven, but it leads to hell.

The putative Israelite polemicist, playing on likeness between two words, may have wanted to say that although in the Babylonian language (Akkadian) “Babel” means the “gate of god” (Bab-ilu), in our language (Hebrew) it means “confused.”

The name bab-el means the gate of God. It pretends to be the way to heaven, but it leads to hell.
and shows the final development of this false system as a one world federation. True believers are not to become part of the world system (). We are to take a stand and bear witness to God’s word.
The prophetic lesson.
Daniel is not present during this experience. When the church is out of the world, Satan will attempt to carry out his plans for enslaving the minds and bodies. and both say that Satan will have a time after the Christians are raptured. The Antichrist will conquer the nations and establish a totalitarian government. The Antichrist will set up his own image and force the world to worship it. The 144,000 Jewish believers will be sealed by the LORD and protected. They will not bow down to the Antichrist.
The present world, although divided, is moving toward unification and a one world system. How many more generations will it be until there will be no borders? Before Christ reruns, we may have to go through the fiery furnace, but we should not fear, for he is with us. And it is better to go through the furnace to end in the presence of God than to live in the lake of fire for eternity.

Chapter 4

This chapter is an official Babylon document written by Nebuchadnezzar. It is the story of his conversion - his testimony - written after his restoration to being the king.
The dream received.
It is was a time of peace and prosperity for the kingdom. God sent him a dream of what was to happen to him. His sins were going to catch up to him. He felt secure. He felt that he had accomplished all and that it was by his hand.
The king shared his dream with the wise men that had boasted in chapter 2 that they could interpret anything, if only the king told them. But they could not. The wise of this world cannot understand or explain the things of God.
The dream revealed.
God revealed to Daniel the meaning. It was not something Daniel wanted to tell the king. He was terrified by the meaning, yet he revealed it per God’s revelation to him. A true prophet feels the burden of the message yet delivers it faithfully. Many people thing spiritual wisdom and knowledge always lead to joy and praise, most times they initially lead to silence and sorrow.
God often uses a tree to represent an earthly kingdom. Babylon was a great and large kingdom, but it was not for Nebuchadnezzar to boast. God had made it for his purposes. And God shows Nebuchadnezzar what will happen if he doesn’t submit to God’s authority. If he didn’t humble himself.
Daniel warned the king to repent and change his ways for perhaps God will give you forgiveness. God had spoken to Nebuchadnezzar at least twice before: the statue dream and the fiery furnace. Nebuchadnezzar had praised God for these, but had not accepted God as his God.
The dream realized.
God gave Nebuchadnezzar a year to consider and change, but he did not. He continued to be proud and boastful.
There came a day of judgement and the King’s beastly nature was revealed for all to see.
When God wants to humble you he can do it quickly and thoroughly.
Nebuchadnezzar’s conversion experience lasted 7 years. At the end he praised God and honored and glorified him. He had learned that people of the earth are nothing and that God does as he pleases with his power. No one can hold back his hand. vs 34-35. The Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes and sets over them the lowliest of people. vs 17
In verses 1-3, Nebuchadnezzar addresses all the people of the world and sends them a wish of prosperity and peace. In verse 2 and 3 he gives all glory to God and tells of his greatness.
And ends in verse 37 with the grand ending - praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble.

Chapter 5

About 20 years pass between chapter 4 and 5. Nebuchadnezzar was succeeded by a son who reigned a few years and was assassinated by his own brother-in-law. He ruled 4 years and was killed in battle. The next two rulers ruled for a short time, the second being Nabonidus. He was the son-in-law of Nebuchadnezzar and was married to the widow of one of the previous kings. Nabonidus was king of the Babylonian empire and his son Belshazzar over the city of Babylon.
While the events of chapter 5 take place, Nabonidus was a captive of the Medes and Persians for 4 months.
Enjoying his feast.
While Nabonidus was being held captive, Belshazzar held a feast in honor of the Babylonian God’s. It was the fall of 539 BC.
The main idea of verses 1-4 is the drinking of wine and praise to false gods. Reference ; ; ; and . Babylon is referenced as sin and worldly affairs. Satan’s kingdom.
The statement in verse 4 is also restated in . Belshazzar not only wanted to drink wine and praise false gods, he was driven to abuse and use the the articles from the temple of God.
The word father in verse 2 (and in verses 11 and 13) is a normal reference in the OT that can jump generations. It is a term for lineage, not specific genealogy as Nebuchadnezzar was Belshazzar’s grandfather.
The Medes and Persians were already st the gates of Babylon when this feast is happening. Belshazzar was so confident that his city was impenetrable that he was partying. Somewhat a picture of today. Judgement is near and yet people are partying and worshipping their false gods.
Revealing his fear.
When Belshazzar saw the hand and writing, he became very scared. The wine and false sense of security could not keep him safe. A god he did not know was in his presence.
He turned to his wise men to read and interpret the writing. He made a very good promotion offer, but one that would be short lived. But they could not interpret the writing.
Discovering his future.
The queen, who was possibly the Queen Mother, possibly the widow of Nebuchadnezzar, who Nabonidus married to solidify his power, told Belshazzar about Daniel. At this time Daniel was old and retired from public service. As an honored member of the official family, he was probably invited to the banquet honoring the false gods, he would not have attended.
Belshazzar summoned Daniel and made the same offer of promotion and honor. Daniel was not impressed and turned it down, but provided the interpretation of the writing.
Before explaining the writing, Daniel gave Belshazzar a message from history about Nebuchadnezzar’s conversion.
Then Daniel presented the message of the impending doom for Belshazzar and the Babylonian kingdom. vs 18-24.
MENE (or MINA) is numbered
TEKEL is weighed
PARSIN (or PERES) is divided.
Belshazzar heard the interpretation, but did not change. He gave Daniel what he promised, but did not repent.
Meeting his fate.
Cyrus the Persian emperor defeated the Medes and then came down to Babylon. Darius was a Mede and the commander of Cyrus’s army. The army rerouted the river and went in and under the river gates. No one fought them because the leadership was all drunk from the religious feast. The army came right into the banquet hall and killed Belshazzar.
Cyrus was the Emperor of the Mede - Persian empire. He gave Darius the Babylonian empire to rule over. God’s plan involves the rising and fall of empires and nations. It was Cyrus who issued the decree that permitted the Jews to return to Israel and rebuild the temple.
Bible believing Christians see the hand writing on the wall, but blind world rulers continue in their pride and pleasure, not realizing that the Lord is coming.
Chapter 6
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