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3.1.0 Daniel 1: Message & Development of Daniel

I. Daniel's Message

context: Dan. 1:1-3; 2:46-49; 5:1112; 5:29-6:3; 8:27-9:4

credit: E. G. Carle

A. The Truth of Daniel's Message

  • A Claim of Forgery

CLAIM: A 3rd Century Syrian named Porphyry assert the book of Daniel was not written by Daniel (circa 533 B.C.), but that it was a forgery written in the time of the Maccabees about 168 B.C. This would place the writing of the book well after the life of Autiochus Epiphanes. The premise of his claim was that it was "too accurate" to have been written before the events it foretold.


  • If the book was not written before 175-165 B.C., how does it appear in the Septuagint Greek Translation which we know was completed by 285 B.C.? Daniel appears in the Septuagint over 100 years before Porphyry claimed it had been written.
  • Also, Daniel's contempories: Zechariah, Ezra, Nehemiah all reference the book of Daniel centuries before Antiochus came ( Eze. 14:1420; 28:3).
  • Jesus also refers to this book.

Matthew 24:15 — When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)

  • When He describes himself as, "Son of man," in Mt 24:30 (Da 7:13); also as a "prophet," in Mt 24:15 (compare Mt 24:21, with Da 12:1, &c.); and in the moment that decided His life (Mt 26:64) or death, when the high priest adjured him by the living God.
  • Jesus' language in Matthew 21:44 would be a mystery if it were not a reference to the "stone that smote the image" in Daniel 2:34, 35, 44, 45.

Matthew 21:44 — And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.

Daniel 2:34,35 ‐ Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. 35 Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.

  • Also, in Luke 1:19-26, "Gabriel" is mentioned, whose name occurs nowhere else in Scripture, save in Daniel 8:16; 9:21.

  • Josephus' History

Josephus, the historian, wrote that when Alexander the Great came to Jerusalem 332 B.C. Juddua the High Priest read to him Daniel 8:5-8 in that God had foretold through his prophet Daniel this would happen.

  • Ashpenaz

Daniel 1:3 — And the king spake unto Ashpenaz (Rabsaris) the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king's seed, and of the princes;

  • Rabsaris (Ashpenaz) has been found upon an ancient brick preserved in the British Museum. In Aramaic, the word Rab interpreted means "Master" and Saris (saw-reece') means "Eunuchs".

B. The Theme of Daniel's Message

What is it all about? The Universal Sovereignty of God "God is still on the throne."2:28; 4:25 Notice 1:2; 2:37; 5:18

C. The Time of Daniel's Message

At the beginning of Babylonian conquest.This is how the book opens. "In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim King of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylonunto Jerusalem and besieged it." Dan. 1:1

Jeremiah 25:1 places this captivity in the fourth year of Jehoiakim Daniel in the third. Is this an error? Is the Bible wrong? The Jews counted every bit of a year as one year. Jeremiah is writing to the Jews. Daniel is writing more for the Gentiles. (9th month of the next year.) Also - The Babylonian conquest was in three stages. The servitude - the captivity - the destruction.

This is at the servitude stage - (3 years 9 months) Nebuchadnezzar demanded submission - Judah lost their independence -Nebuchadnezzar returned to Babylon wit choicest treasures.Daniel was taken - at about sixteen years old.

The history of Daniel covers about seventy five years.

D. The Aim of It -What does it set out to do? (They are in captivity.)

(1) To encourage the people of God to the sovereignty of God

to see the purpose of God and to put their faith in God.

(2) To give them prophetic truth -

Speaks much of the future end-time Second coming.

(3) It is a missionary account -

To give a missionary vision.

E. The Form of It - What form does this book take?

Divided into two equal parts -

First six chapters history -

Second six chapters prophecy -

Ch. 1-6 Daniel revealing God's secrets to kings

Ch. 7-12 Angels revealing God's secrets to Daniel

What is history and what is prophecy? What is the difference between them? History is the record of events - present and past. Prophecy is history written in advance.

How did these men write prophetically? II Peter 1:21

F. Why is the Book of Daniel different from the other prophetic books?

God is not speaking to His own people. You don't find "Thus saith the Lord." You don't find "My people" Isaiah - Hosea (Lo-Ammi - not my People.) In the closing chapters God says repeatedly "Thy people""Jehovah" hardly ever occurs in Daniel -Only in Ch. 9 - Daniel is grieving for his own people."Jehovah" is the covenant name for God. Not appropriate for Gentile world powers. The most usual name for God is "Adonai-Elohim" The Sovereign Lord God.

G. Part of this book is written Hebrew, Aramaic

  • in Hebrew Ch. 1-2:3 - 8-12. Part in Aramaic - the ancient language of Syria Ch. 2:4 - end of Ch. 7 Why do you suppose it is written in two languages? What concerns the Gentile Empires is written in their language Aramaic and what concerns the Jews is written in Hebrew.

H. The name of it

(1) The book is like a diary of Daniel. The name Daniel means "God is my judge, or judge of God."

Daniel 7:15 — I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me.

"I Daniel" - __No definite proof who wrote it__?. 7:15;8:1527;10:2,7

·Isa. 1:1 was Written by Isaiah

·Jer. 1:1 was Written by Jeremiah

·Eze. 1:3 was Written by Ezekiel

(2) Believed to be written by Daniel when in Captivity

606 BC carried into the land of Babylon between 16-20 years old. Daniel was a great man. Became a great statesman of Babylon. Considered as Prime Minister.

(3) It is all about Daniel

How did Daniel get promoted so quickly? "Daniel purposed in his heart" 1:8

(a) Not to defile himself

(b) Not to disobey God

(c) Not to disappoint his people

God exalted him because of his obedience. Daniel is referred to as the revelation of Jesus Christ in the O.T.

II. Daniel's Development

context: Daniel 1:1-21

credit: E. G. Carle

CHARACTER: the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual:

A. The Background -

(1) His birth - Vs. 3

"Of the kings seed"

Daniel and his fellows were of the tribe of Judah, the royal tribe and most likely of the house of David.

(2) His upbringing - Vs. 4

Daniel 1:4 Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king's palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans.

Moffatt "Intelligent in all branches of knowledge adept in learning accomplished scholars."

(3) Enduring hardship - Vs. 12

His kidnapping along with his peers was prophesied of by Isaiah.

Isaiah 39:7 — And of thy sons that shall issue from thee, which thou shalt beget, shall they take away; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.

(4) Education in Babylon - Vs. 4 (last part)

... and whom they might teach ...

Daniel 1:9 — Now God had brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs.

(5) Names and changes of names - Vs. 7

Hebrew Name Hebrew Definition Babylonian Name Babylonian Definition
Daniel God is my judge Belteshazzar the keeper of the hidden treasures of Bel
Hananiah Jehovah is gracious Shadrach Command of Aku (Moon god); the inspiration of the sun
Mishael He that is the strong God Meshach of the godess shach (venus)
Azariah Jehovah is my helper Abednego Servant of Nego - "the shining fire"

The changing of their Hebrew names was an attempt to destroy their faith in Jehovah and teach them in the gods of Babylon. By changing their names, the Eunuch also demonstrated his authority over them.

(6) Uncommon Faith

Daniel can also be compared with Joseph. Joseph served in Egypt as second in command only to Pharoah.

The weightiness of Daniel's life and ministry can also be understood in comparing his ministry in the courts of the kings of the world with that of Moses' in Pharoah's court.

The Lonely Olive Mill

B. The Outline of Chapter 1 -

The Siege - Vs. 12

The Captivity - Vs. 34

The Temptation - Vs. 5-7

The Proposition - Vs. 8-14

The Results - Vs. 13-21

C. The Test

(1) The resolution Vs. 8

Two reasons why he did not want to teat the kings' meat.

(a) Offered to idols

Lev. Ex.

(b) Not eat meat with blood

Babylonians did

(2) The request

Vs. 8-13

(a) An impossible request

Vs. 10

(b) Tries another avenue

Vs. 11-14

(3) The results

Vs. 15-20

(a) In the face - character comes out in the face

"Godliness promotes temperance and temperance heath and health a good complexion."

(b) In the head -

Vs. 17 "God gave them" margin "God made"

Vs. 20 "Ten times better"

D. The Endurance

Vs. 21 "Daniel continued"

"Godliness is great gain"

He outlived the Empire that took him.

(1) The influence of Babylon

The land - The gods - The worship

(2) The teaching of Babylon

Vs. 4

(3) The customs of Babylon

Wine - meat - Kings' threat - Kings' honor 2:48