BIBLE TIMELINE: DANIEL (500 B.C.)

(Message by Tanny Keng)

1. Life of Daniel (500 B.C.)

a) Daniel's name means 'judgment of God' or 'God my judge.' He was born into Judah's royal family and was likely a relative of King Zedekiah. It was during King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon's first of three attacks against Jerusalem that Daniel and his three friends (Hebrew names - Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego) become captives. They are transported to Babylon while still children.

i) "And the LORD gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his (Nebuchadnezzar's) hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God, which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god . . .

ii) "And the king spoke to Ashpenaz, the master of his officers, that he should bring some of the children of Israel, and of the king’s seed, and of the nobles; Young men in whom was no blemish, but who were handsome and skillful in all wisdom; and who had knowledge and understanding, even those who were able to stand in the king’s palace; and that he was to teach them the writing and the language of the Chaldeans . . . 

iii) "And among them were four of the sons of Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah" (Dan. 1:2-4,6, Holy Bible in Its Original Order - A Faithful Version (HBFV))

b) It is in Babylon that Daniel and his three friends, per the king's tradition, became Eunuchs (castrated). The Jewish historian Josephus alludes to this fact in his book on the history of the Jews.

i) "But now Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, took some of the most noble of the Jews that were children, and the kinsmen of Zedekiah their king, such as were remarkable for the beauty of their bodies . . . and delivered them into the hands of tutors, and to the improvement to be made by them. He also made some of them to be EUNUCHS " (Antiquities (History) of the Jews, Book 10, Chapter 10)

c) Daniel received special training in the royal court of Babylon. At an early age, he and his three friends received positions as "wise men" serving the king. He soon became known for his understand of "visions and dreams." The prophecies interpreted by (or given to) him include the following.

i) He interpreted Nebuchadnezzar's dream of a large image of a man. The image represents world empires from the time of Babylon to the End Time just before Jesus' return. (chapter 2)

ii) Nebuchadnezzar's dream of a large tree cut down, which represents him receiving the mind of an animal for seven years as punishment for his vanity and self-promotion. (chapter 4)

iii) He interpreted the "handwriting on the wall" by the finger of God that prophesied the end of the Babylonian empire. (chapter 5)

iv) Daniel was given the interpretation of his OWN dream of four great beasts. They are symbolic of world-ruling empires. (chapter 7)

v) Another of Daniel's own visions he was given an interpretation of was the one where he saw a ram and goat. They represented the then-future empires of Persia, Macedonia (under Alexander the Great) and the four smaller kingdoms created after Alexander's death. (chapter 8)

vi) He received the 'seventy weeks' prophecy that foretells the birth of Jesus and his death in 30 A.D. on a Wednesday. (chapter 9)

vii) He received a prophecy concerning the end time King of the North and South - the Bible's longest prophecy. (chapter 10-12)

d) Daniel eventually became a chief adviser to the King then the third ruler of the entire kingdom. Although he and his three friends held prominent positions in the government, they were not immune from persecution. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego got thrown into a fiery furnace for not worshiping a golden image of the king. A conspiracy against Daniel led him condemned to a den of lions. In each case, God’s miraculous power saved them from certain death.

e) Important events and people in the life of Daniel.

i) Babylon conquers Judah and Jerusalem. The total destruction of Jerusalem's temple and the pillaging of all her treasures occur.

ii) Interpretation of dreams given to King Nebuchadnezzar.

iii) Daniel's three friends miraculously survive being thrown into a fiery furnace for not worshiping an idol.

iv) Miraculously survives be thrown into a lion's den.

v) Babylon's King Belshazzar sees a levitating hand on a wall (known as the "handwriting on the wall"). His death occurs the same night and the empire falls to the Persians.

f) Daniel has the distinction of God considering him a pattern of righteousness along with Noah and Job (Ezekiel 14:14, 20) and a model of wisdom (Ezekiel 28:3).


The End ...

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