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Introduction to the Book of Daniel

The Book of Daniel is one of the most controversial Book in the Bible. In fact, there’s even a book with the title “Daniel in the Critics Den”. It is historical and prophetic book. In fact, it is the key to understanding prophecy. The events recorded here are one of the most popular and most loved stories not only for children but for us adults. Daniel is a model for us to follow on how to live a Godly life in the midst of the crooked and perverse generation.


I. About the Writer:
A. Author – God, Holy Spirit (2 Tim. 3:16, 2 Pet. 1:21)
B. Writer: Daniel & King Nebuchadnezzar
1. Daniel – Hero of faith (Heb. 11:33)
2. In the OT Joseph is what John the Baptist was in the NT
3. Three times called “greatly beloved” (Dan. 9:23, 10:11,12)
4. Not one single fall in the life of Daniel
5. No single flaw, Daniel is like Joseph
C. Date of Writing: 600 B.C.
D. Coverage of History – About 70 years. 605 B.C.- Nebuchadnezzar, 530 B.C.- Cyrus. Daniel is over 90 years old when he died

II. About the Author
A. Daniel is a book
1. History – Chap. 1-6 is historical; the other chapters are both historical and prophetic.
2. Prophecy – In the OT he was one of the major prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah, & Ezekiel.
B. Daniel has some unusual Features
1. The Book is written in Hebrew & Aramaic
a. Hebrew – Daniel 1:1 to 2:3, & 8:1 to 12:13
b. Aramaic – Daniel 2:4 to 7:8
C. Concerns Jews – Hebrew
D. Concerns Gentiles – Aramaic
2. The fourth Chapter was written by Nebuchadnezzar
3. The eleventh Chapter gives God’s prewritten history.
E. Daniel is a KEY – it unlocks the book of Revelation

III. About the Critics
A. Daniel is One of the Most attacked books in the Bible
1. 17th Cent. A.D. attacked by Modernist & liberals because Chapter 11 gives a lot of prophecies. How could Daniel have known that?
2. Some words they say was written at later date 165 B.C.
a. There are 15 Persian words in the text
b. There are 3 Greek words – Chapter 3:5
c. The Aramaic – words dated to late Palestinian time (bet. Chap. 2 & 7)
B. B. Critics Answered
1. Daniel was historical character & contemporary to Ezekiel (Ezek. 14:14)
2. Daniel was a prophet, Jesus says so (Matt. 24:15, Mk. 13:14). Any attack on the Book of Daniel is an attack to Christ. (Lk. 24:27, 44, 45)
3. Daniel served in the Persian era so he can use Persian language.
4. The prophecies and miracles were too fantastic to believe
5. Of some alleged historical inaccuracies, such as:
a. An apparent discrepancy between Dan. 1:1 & Jer. 46:2 concerning Jehoiakim’s reign.
b. The reference to Nebuchadnezzar- is being king in Dan. 1:1 when in fact his father was the king at that time.
c. The lack of evidence for the existence of – Asphen (Dan. 1:3 Asphenaz)
d. The lack of evidence for the existence of Belshazzar-
e. The reference to the Chaldeans in Chap. 2 as a class when in fact they are a race of people
C. Archaeology has disproved a lot of critics.
1. Greek mercenaries are known to serve the Assyrian army.
2. If Daniel was written at the Maccabean time, you would expect a lot of Greek words but he used only a few.
3. Aramaic found in the Dead Sea Scrolls was not the same as in Daniel’s Aramaic.
4. Dan. 1:2 inscription has been found stating that Nebuchadnezzar put the spoils at the house of his god.
5. Inscription found by archaeologist about Asphenaz was in British Museum.
6. Clay tablets have been found about Belshazzar.
7. The apparent discrepancy- year of accession of a king.
8. Nebuchadnezzar actually co-reigned with his father.
9. Daniel also uses the term Chaldeans as a race in Babylon (Dan. 5:30).
10. Attacks on the miracles and prophecies of the Book of Daniel- they will always attack the miracles & prophecies in the Bible.

IV. About the theme
A. The theme of the book of Daniel can be best expressed by combining Dan. 2:28 with Dan. 4:25- talks about God of heaven and the highest ruleth in the kingdom of men. 3x (Dan. 4:17,25,32) “the most high ruleth in the kingdom of men” …
B. Other expression of the theme:
1. The universal sovereignty of God.
2. God is still be in the throne.

V. About the Setting
A. A. The Spiritual Conditional of Judah.
1. The Northern Kingdom of Israel had ceased to exist in 722 B.C. (2 kings 17:3-23). Shalmanasser took Israel at the time of Daniel.
2. Judah was the Southern Kingdom, comprising the tribe of Judah and Benjamin, centered at Jerusalem.
3. Judah was in a state of Moral & Spiritual apostasy (Jer. 25:1-14). She had violated God’s Sabbaths- Jer. 34:12-22.
4. Judah’s king was very wicked (2 Kings 23:36-37) The “straw which broke the camel’s back (Jer. 36:1-4, 20-24)
B. The Fall of Jerusalem – Nebuchadnezzar 606 B.C. first deportation 3000 Jews including Daniel (Dan. 1:1,2, 2 Chron. 36:5-7)
C. Note the name Nebuchadnezzar
1. Chaldean (different spellings). Jer. 29:3,21.
2. Hebrew – Jer. 29:21 Nebuchadrezzar.

VI. Theological Background of the Exile
A. A. Israel’s calling as God’s Special Nation (Ex. 19:5-6).
B. Israel’s Role: To be a mediator between God and other nations of the world, so that people of all nations could have the truth of the creator God and come under His blessing.
C. The Covenant Agreement
1. Faithfulness to the covenant stipulations would result in blessing, but disobedience would result in curses (Deut. 28-30, note esp. 28:1-2, 15).
2. Continued disobedience would result in exile from the land of promise (Deut. 28:36-37, 41; 29:22-28).
D. The Discipline of the Exile
1. The Northern kingdom of Israel: taken by the Assyrians (722 B.C.)
2. The Southern Kingdom of Judah: taken by the Babylonians (605-586 B.C.)
E. D. Why is the judgment so harsh? Israel was chosen to be a light to the nations to lead them out of darkness and idolatry, but they had disregarded their responsibility

VII. Conclusion:
There’s a lot to learn regarding this book. History, prophecy, testimonies that is hard to believe but true. The God of the Impossible, the Lord Jesus Christ, at work here guiding, saving, fulfilling prophecy. Learning is something but application is a different thing. We must be able to apply what we have learned or will be learning in this bo

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