Author: Ron Graham
—And his likeness to Joseph
Time ~ 7. Exile and Scattering
Span ~ 200 years
Books ~ Jer, Lam, Eze, Dan, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Obadiah, [Joel]
Figures ~ Jeremiah, Daniel
Begins with ~ Wars upon Israel and Judah
Ascendant empire ~ Babylon
Last lesson focused on Jeremiah, the prophet who was left with the remnant in Jerusalem after the Babylonians overthrew the kingdom of Judah and led most of its people into exile. But those who captives in Babylon also had a prophet in their midst, namely Daniel. This lesson is about him.
1 Daniel’s Devotion
Daniel is another example of complete faith and devotion toward God. From simple things like abstaining from meat so as to avoid eating anything unclean (according to Mosaic law), to the big issue of putting his life on the line, Daniel never wavers. In a world where it is demanded that astrology, magic, and idolatry be followed, Daniel refused and kept on following the true God.
2 Daniel Like Joseph
Daniel was among the first exiles to be deported to Babylon, and he was only a boy at the time. Daniel is like Joseph: through tribulation, remaining devoted to God, he rises to power in a heathen empire where astrology and idolatry is the way of life. Centuries before, God had placed his young servant Joseph in the court of Pharaoh in idolatrous Egypt.
Through many black moments and marvelous turns of events, Joseph rose to a position of great influence and authority in Egypt. Now God does the same thing in Babylon with his servant Daniel. He helps Daniel through trials, and he gives to Daniel the same miraculous power to interpret dreams.
3 Bible Summary (Daniel 1-9)
- Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, commence training to serve the king of Babylon in his court (1)
- Daniel deals wisely with his overseer regarding his refusal to break Mosaic food laws by eating the king's food (1).
- Nebudchadnezzar's dream of the statue (2)
- Daniel interprets the dream which the court magicians could not do (2)
- Head of gold = Babylonia (Chaldea)
- Chest and arms of silver = Medo-Persia
- Belly and thighs of brass = Greece
- Legs of iron, feet of iron and clay = Rome
- The stone = Kingdom of God
- Daniel and his companions are rewarded (2)
- Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego cast into the furnace (3)
- Nebudchadnezzar's dream of a tree cut down, it's stump drenched with dew for seven years (4)
- Daniel tells Nebudchadnezzar, "You are that tree!" (4)
- Nebudchadnezzar a madman in the wild (4)
- Belshazzar (son of Nebudchadnezzar) learns nothing from his father's experience, and honours himself instead of giving glory to God (5)
- The handwriting on the wall, Belshazzar's death (5)
- Darius the Mede receives the kingdom (6) Daniel holds highest rank in Babylon under Darius (6)
- Darius is tricked into throwing Daniel to the lions (6)
- Daniel survives and prospers (6)
- Daniel's dream of four beasts representing four empires, Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome (7)
- Daniel's dream of the ram (Persia) and the goat (Greece) followed by the rise and fall of Rome (8)
- Daniel looks forward to the end of the seventy-year captivity prophesied in the writings of Jeremiah (9)
- Daniel meets an angel and receives more revelations about future events (10 onwards).
4 A few facts about Daniel
- A prophet in Babylon at the time of the overthrow of Judah by the Babylonians (Chaldeans).
- He was among the first exiles to Babylon, and served God during the seventy-year captivity.
- Daniel was, in Babylonia, what Joseph had been in Egypt. He interpreted the king's dreams and was promoted to the highest rank.
- Daniel's Chaldean name was Belteshazzar
- His companions in the court were Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego (their Chaldean names).
- Contemporary with the vassal kings of Judah named Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin (Coniah), and Zedekiah who reigned in Jerusalem.