DATE: 537 B.C.
AUTHOR: Daniel, from the Tribe of Judah DATE: 537 B.C.
The Prophet Daniel, whose name means “God is my judge,” was from the Tribe of Judah. He was taken captive, when a youth, in the first siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon in 605 B.C. He was made a statesman in the court of the heathen Babylonian monarchy and spent the rest of his long life there as a governmental official and a prophet of the true God. He claims authorship of this book in Daniel 12:4, and Jesus Christ identified him as a prophet in Matthew 24:15 and Mark 13:14. Although Daniel spoke God’s words as prophets did, he did not hold the prophetic office. Therefore, the book of Daniel is found in the third division of the Hebrew Bible, the “Writings,” rather than in the second, “The Prophets.” Throughout Daniel’s life, he was uncompromising and faithful to his God.
In 605 B.C., when Nebuchadnezzar took Daniel and other nobles as captives to Babylon, Daniel was given a place of prominence and responsibility in Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom (Daniel 2). After the King Nebuchadnezzar’s death, Daniel fell from favor but was not completely forgotten and was called to interpret the writing that appeared at Belshazzar’s feast (Daniel 5:13). Under Darius, he was made one of three prime ministers (Daniel 6:1). Daniel lived until the third year of Cyrus (536). His ministry was to testify to the power of God, with his words and by his life.
God was present with His people throughout their 70 years of exile in Babylon, and Daniel was a blessing to the people with his prophetic words of God’s plan for their future and His far future plans for the nation of Israel. In addition, Daniel also traced the course of Gentile world powers from his day to the second coming of Christ.
- Important prophecies in the book of Daniel include:
- the course of Gentile kingdoms (the future of Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome, Daniel 2 and 7)
- details concerning Medo-Persia and Greece (Daniel 8)
- more details concerning Greece (Daniel 11)
- the prophecy of the 70 weeks of years (Daniel 9:24-27)
- and the activities of Antichrist (Daniel 11:36-45).
Among the doctrines found in the book are:
- personal separation (Daniel 1:8; 3:12; 6:10; 9:2-3; 10:2-3)
- angels (Daniel 8:16; 9:21; 10:13, 20-21; 11:1)
- resurrection (Daniel 12:2)
- Antichrist (Daniel 7:24-25; 9:27; 11:36).
Favorite stories include those of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego (Daniel 3), and Daniel in the lions’ den (Daniel 6).
OUTLINE OF DANIEL
I. Daniel’s Dedication, 1:1-21
A. Daniel’s Circumstances, 1:1-7
B. Daniel’s Dedication, 1:8-16
C. Daniel’s Rise to Favor, 1:17-21
II. Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream: The Great Image, 2:1-49
A. The Dream Received by Nebuchadnezzar, 2:1-6
B. The Dream Revealed to Daniel, 2:7-23
C. The Dream Recited and Interpreted to Nebuchadnezzar, 2:24-45
D. The Promotion of Daniel, 2:46-49
III. The Fiery Furnace: A Lesson in Faith, 3:1-30
A. The Test of Faith, 3:1-12
B. The Demonstration of Faith, 3:13-18
C. The Vindication of Faith, 3:19-30
IV. Nebuchadnezzar’s Vision of the High Tree, 4:1-37
A. The Vision Narrated by Nebuchadnezzar, 4:1-18
B. The Vision Interpreted by Daniel, 4:19-27
C. The Vision Fulfilled by God, 4:28-37
V. Belshazzar’s Feast, 5:1-31
A. Belshazzar’s Contribution to the Feast: Unrestrained Sensuality, 5:1-4
B. God’s Contribution to the Feast: Handwriting on the Wall, 5:5-6
C. Daniel’s Contribution to the Feast: Announcement of Doom, 5:7-29
D. Darius’s Contribution to the Feast: Destruction of Babylon, 5:30-31
VI. Daniel in the Lions’ Den, 6:1-28
A. The Position of Daniel, 6:1-3
B. The Plot Against Daniel, 6:4-9
C. The Prayer of Daniel, 6:10-11
D. The Prosecution of Daniel, 6:12-17
E. The Protection of Daniel, 6:18-28
VII. Daniel’s Vision of the Four Beasts and the Ancient of Days, 7:1-28
A. Historical Data, 7:1-3
B. The Vision and the Interpretation, 7:4-28
VIII. Daniel’s Vision of the Ram, Goat, and Small Horn, 8:1-27
A. The Vision, 8:1-14
B. The Interpretation, 8:15-27
1. The ram, 8:15-20
2. The goat, 8:21-22
3. The small horn, 8:23-25
4. The effect on Daniel, 8:26-27
IX. Daniel’s Prophecy of Seventy Weeks of Years, 10:1-12:13
A. Historical Data, 9:1-2
B. Daniel’s Prayer, 9:3-19
C. The Prophecy, 9:20-27
X. Daniel’s Prophetic Panorama, 10:1-12:13
A. Daniel’s Vision, 10:1-9
B. Daniel’s Strengthening, 10:10-11:1
C. Prophecies Concerning the Nations, 11:2-45
1. Persia, 11:2
2. Greece, 11:3-4
3. Egypt and Aram, 11:5-20
4. Antiochus Epiphanes, 11:21-35
5. Antichrist, 11:36-45
D. Prophecies Concerning Israel, 12:1-13
Do not be anxious about anything. (Phil 4:6)
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must rightly remember who is in control. Our God is sovereign over all things, including COVID-19. As Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892) said, “The sovereignty of God is a soft pillow on which weary people lay their heads.”
Remember also God’s gracious promise, and that it is true and He is faithful to keep it: Hebrews 13:5 …”I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” The next verse remind us of the power that comes in trusting God and how we can live: Hebrews 13:6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man [or COVID-19] shall do to me.
God loves us, and in Christ we find confidence and calm in times of uncertainty and trouble. When we trust in God, fear is replaced with faith, stress is replaced with strength, anxiety is gone and hope abounds, problems become opportunities, and we are able to receive the blessings God has for us in the midst of difficult circumstances. Turn to Jesus. He will lead you to the still waters and give rest for your troubled soul.
This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast…Hebrews 6:19
Be Ready Always...
to give a reason for the Hope that you have (1 Peter 3:15). When you can’t share the gospel with your words, share it by leaving tracts that tell people about God's grace.
When leaving a tract, always be diligent to pray about the short gospel message. Pray that it be found by someone who is in need of Jesus’ saving grace, and pray that the person will have a tender heart and open ears to receive the gift Jesus desires to give them.
By the power of the Holy Spirit, even a small tract can help in turning a broken sinner from darkness to light.
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