Daniel overview

This reading is Daniel.

Just scan the headings in the Book of Daniel and read any bits that stick out to you.

Daniel was written by . . . Daniel. There are twelve chapters. The first six cover Daniel’s life and the last six cover visions he was given and the prophecies (predictions) they contained. The last half is apocalyptic literature, which means an unveiling or a revelation. Some other books with apocalyptic literature include Revelation, Zechariah, and parts of Ezekiel.

Daniel was taken captive by the Babylonians when King Nebuchadnezzar took Jerusalem’s wisest men and most beautiful women back to Babylon. He was probably 16 or so at the time. Even though he was in a strange land with constant challenges to his faith, he remained steadfast in his loyalty to God.

Daniel contains some stories you may have heard many times (Daniel in the Lion’s den and Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the fiery furnace). Chapter five contains the origin of the saying “the handwriting is on the wall.” It also contains many things you have never heard of if reading it for the first time.

The most amazing thing about Daniel is the accuracy of the prophecies. Even most liberal scholars agree that Daniel accurately describes the reigns and activities of several empires covering several hundred years – they just think Daniel was written after the fact and is pretending to be prophecy. I think the evidence is on the side of the early writing and that all the critics issues have been well addressed. You can read more about the dating of Daniel here (Warning: it is a little dry).

Jesus obviously viewed Daniel as the real author, as shown in Matthew 24:15-16 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel . . .” That is a pretty good trump card regarding the dating debate, assuming you are talking to a Christian. It is encouraging that God shows us through his Word that He knows everything that will happen. Psychics can’t predict what will happen next week, yet God predicted the specific course of many countries covering hundreds of years with 100% accuracy. This is one of the proofs showing the reliability of the Bible. No other Holy Book contains confirmed prophecies like this. There are also some very specific prophecies about Jesus.

Hope you enjoy the study!

The next reading is Daniel 1.

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