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Introduction to Daniel



Daniel was a man who had dealings with various kings in ongoing reigns, so in this book we see:

a) Kings of Babylon:

- Nebuchadnezzar (605 562). Chapters 1 to 4

- various lesser rulers concluding with Belshazzar (562 539). Chapter 5

- after which Babylon fell to Cyrus the Persian [who eventually sent Israel home]

b) The Persian-Medes Empire:

- Cyrus (539 530) [see 1:21, 6:28, 10:1]

Cambyses (530-522)

Darius I (522-486). Chapter 6


We should note that the author of Daniel only records the three kings who had significant interaction with Daniel

The start of the book sees Daniel being taken to Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar invaded Israel three times , when he came and took captives to Babylon from Judah. It started in  605 , when Daniel and his friends were taken. The account goes from Nebuchadnezzar to Belshazzar and finally to Darius I, although there appears to be another Darius in the background who is used as a marker in chapter


So why read Daniel? We usually ask this question first but it needs seeing in the historical context because, whereas Jeremiah prophesied at this time to Jerusalem and Israel, and Ezekiel to the exiles in Babylon, Daniel's activity throughout is seen in the royal court in Babylon. He is God's mouthpiece to the various kings of the all-powerful Babylonian and Persian empires and, indeed, his prophesies go way beyond those empires to others that follow.


The book of Daniel is in two parts, the first [chapters 1-6] which is all drama threats to life, dreams, prophecies and miraculous deliverances - and the second is all prophecies. [chapters 7-12]




Part 1: Historical Narrative

Ch.1 Daniel taken to Babylon

Ch.2 Daniel Interprets Nebuchadnezzar's dream

Ch.3 Nebuchadnezzar's idol & the Fiery Furnace

Ch.4 Nebuchadnezzar's Downfall & Restoration

Ch.5 The Judgment on Belshazzar

Ch.6 Darius throws Daniel to the lions


Part 2: Prophecies

Ch.7 A New Vision in Belshazzar's reign

Ch.8 The Second Vision in Belshazzar's reign

Ch.9 Daniel Prays for his people

Ch.10 Vision Preparation in the reign of Cyrus

Ch.11 The Vision Continues

Ch.12 The Vision Concludes  


Continue to chapter 1