Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Daniel-Introduction

Before we begin in Dan 1, we are going to do a brief introduction. Daniel was taken to Babylon in the first deportation of the people in 605 BC. Other princes of Israel were also taken and this book gives us specific events in the life of Daniel and his three friends who worked in the Babylonian regime. The book focuses on his experiences, as well as his three friends, with prophecies that will apply to the Jewish people.

After Daniel is trained he becomes a “chacham” or a wiseman and gets a chance to interact with the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar. As a result, he is promoted to a high rank and gets a chance to tell the king about Yehovah. Later, Daniel is asked to give his advice during the night Babylon fell and interprets some handwriting on a wall. After the Persians take Babylon, he is employed as an experienced advisor to the Persian king, and Daniel’s enemies try to destroy him, but Yehovah intervenes and saves him. Daniel receives many important visions during the reigns of the last few Babylonian kings and several Persian kings. Yeshua himself regarded the prophecies of Daniel as history, even though the book is not considered to be part of the Nevi’im or the “prophets” in the Tanak because he was not appointed or ordained as a prophet in the book in the usual ways as we have seen, not is called a prophet in the book. However, Yeshua considered him a prophet in Matt 24.15, and we agree with that. In the Septuagint (LXX) this book was included as a part of the Nevi’im. One reason Daniel was considered a prophet by some Jewish scholars is because he was not “street preaching” prophet who admonished the people, but a government official. Yet, his writings turned out to be very prophetic.

Daniel was about 15 years old when he was deported to Babylon and lived to be an old man, but the Bible is silent about his death. His ministry coincided with Ezekiel and Jeremiah and the writing of the book was between 605 and 536 BC. This date can be derived from the events referenced during the reign of the kings of Judah, Babylon, and Persia. Nebuchadnezzar, Cyrus, and Yehoiakim are historical figures, and using the dates of these kings will give us reliable dates.

This book was written to encourage the exiles and shows them that Yehovah is in control, even in the midst of all the calamity. The nations are subject to the will of God, not the will of man, and he will preserve his people through trouble. By revealing future history, Yehovah is able to prepare and encourage his people to come to the realization that there is hope for the future.

This book was also written in Hebrew and Aramaic. Hebrew is used in Dan 1.1 to 2.4, and chapters 8-12. Aramaic is used from Dan 2.4 to 7.28. Aramaic was the common language used in Assyria, Babylon, and Persia. Why did Daniel write sections of his book in a “foreign language?” Because Daniel’s message was not only to the Jewish people but to the nations as well. The Aramaic portion of this book would be accessible to any literate Greek, Babylonian, or Jew in Daniel’s day and after. Daniel’s prophecies about the rise and fall of the nations in the future were so accurate some scholars thought the book could not have been written by Daniel in captivity, but by others after the fact. However, many Jews and Christians have no problem with the supernatural aspects of this book because Yehovah is fully capable of revealing the future in minute detail to whoever he wishes.

This book also lays the foundation for the coming of the Messiah by foretelling the month and year of his death and the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. It also tells us about the second coming of the Messiah by discussing events in the latter days that will lead up to his return. In addition, it gives us valuable information about the False Messiah, the abomination of desolation, the building of the Messianic Temple, and the return of the people in the Day of the Lord to their inheritance discussed in Ezek 40 through 48.

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Tying into the New Testament

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