Decoding Daniel - an in depth Bible study of the book of Daniel

| Daniel Bible Study | About the Author | Bibliography |
 
 
Introduction to Daniel

Why Study the Book of Daniel?

Purpose of Daniel

Great Conflicts Unveiled

Daniel the Prophet

Structure and Themes

Style and Interpretation

Ancient Translations

Daniel In the Critics' Den

Historical Background

The City of Babylon

Daniel the Prophet

The book of Daniel is named for its main character and author. Daniel means either “God is my Judge” or “God is Judge.” The meaning depends on whether the Hebrew Yod (y “i”), in the middle of the word, is taken as a first person suffix or merely as a connective.

Daniel is called a prophet by our Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 24:15). However, he does not fit the typical mold of the biblical prophets since his recorded prophecies were not delivered to Israel until after the exile. He did not hold the office of prophet among the Israelites and it appears he had little contact with his own people during the seventy years of exile.

The lineage, appearance, character, and ability of Daniel are exceptional. Daniel’s parents are not mentioned, but we know he was “of the king’s seed” and “of princes” (1:3), a circumstance
itself remarkably foretold by the eighth century B.C. prophet Isaiah.

And some of your descendants, your own flesh and blood who will be born to you, will be taken away, and they will become eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon (Isaiah 39:7).

“Eunuch” denotes an official, officer or chamberlain and it comes from the word castrate, since many eunuchs suffered such a fate. In view of the fact that Daniel is described as a “young man without any physical defect” (Daniel 1:4), Isaiah’s use of “eunuch” simply indicates an official.

From the testimony of a contemporary, Daniel was known for his righteousness (Ezekiel 14:14, 20) and known by Yahweh for his wisdom (Ezekiel 28:3). He is mentioned in those passages with Noah and Job, who were historical people, so Daniel was also a historical person, not a
fictional character.

Nebuchadnezzar, one of the most capable of ancient rulers, expected to have in his regime the best talent his new empire could provide. He found none equal to Daniel the statesman. Daniel was a man of perception, purpose, principle, prayer, purity and power. He was touched five times by heavenly beings: (1) to make him see (8:18-19); (2) to give him skill (9:21-22); (3) to make him stand (10:10-11); (4) to make him speak (10:16); and (5) to make him strong (10:18).

What God thought of Daniel is revealed when he is addressed as “highly esteemed” by heavenly beings (Daniel 9:23; 10:11, 19). Daniel stands as one of the most admirable of God’s servants in the OT. From boyhood through old age, Daniel never compromised his faith in God. He was a man of conviction and courage to the end. He dared to be a Daniel!

Bible Studies by Bob Conway

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