Daniel is to the Old Testament what Revelation is to the New Testament. In fact, we cannot understand one without the other. Prophetically, Daniel deals with the times of the Gentiles, the period of time that began in 606 b.c., with the captivity of the Jews. It will end when Christ returns to earth to judge the Gentile nations and establish His Kingdom. In the various visions and dreams in the Book of Daniel we see the program of Gentile history from the arrival of Babylon to the conquest of the Medes, Persians, Greeks, and Romans, until the rule of the Antichrist just before the return of our Saviour, Jesus Christ. This book proves there is a God in heaven (chapter 2:28) and that the Most High ruleth the kingdom of man (chapter 4:25). Daniel makes it clear that God Almighty is sovereign in the affairs of this world. God can take the rulers off their thrones; He can defeat the strongest nations and turn them over to their enemies.
Daniel stands out as one of the greatest men of Old Testament history. That he was a real man in history is proven by Ezekiel 14:14; 28:3; Matthew 24:15; and Hebrews 11:33. He was a teenager in the year 605 b.c., when Nebuchadnezzar came to Jerusalem and began his conquest of Judah. There were several deportations of Jews to Babylon, and Daniel was in the first group because he was of the princely line. It was the practice of Babylon to deport "the cream of the crop" and train them for service in their own palaces. Daniel held several important positions and was promoted greatly because of his character and wisdom, and because of the blessings of God upon him. Nebuchadnezzar named him chief of the wise men and the ruler of the land, a position similar to a modern Prime Minister.
The personal history of Daniel is recorded in chapter 1. There are three different times of difficulty recorded in chapters 1--6. The testing of the four Hebrews when they arrived at Babylon is found in chapter 1. The fiery furnace is seen in chapter 3; and the lion's den in chapter 6. In each of these experiences, Daniel and his friends won the victory, but the first victory (chapter 1) was the foundation of the other two. Because these Jewish boys were faithful to God while they were yet teenagers, God was faithful to them in the years that followed.
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