About Jesus Steve Sweetman
Mhy Commentary On the Book Of Daniel
This Section - Chapter 1
commentary is based on the New International Version of the Bible, 1994
edition. Chapter titles in
this commentary are the same as those found in the NIV Bible, making for
Book of Daniel is a prophetic and historical book that is found in the Old
Testament. Originally, most of
the Old Testament was written in Hebrew, the language of the Jews.
During the first century while Jesus was on earth, and in
subsequent years, Jews for the most part did not read the Hebrew version
of the Old Testament. They
read what is known as the Septuagint, which is a Greek translation from
the Hebrew text translated between 285 and 270 B. C..
606 B. C. Nebuchadnezzar, a general in the Babylonian Empire army attacked
captivity of the Jews is known as the 70 years of judgement by God on
is interesting to me that Daniel lived to be very old, maybe 100 years
old, and only twelve chapters are written in his book.
Did he have more prophecies than what appears in this book?
We donít know, but it might just well be that the prophecies that
were recorded were all that he received from God.
The interesting point to me is that Daniel spent most of his life
in captivity, had a few, albeit very important prophecies, and is known as
a great prophet for all of eternity. It
goes to show that greatness in Godís eyes is not necessarily great in
manís eyes. It might just be
possible that a man would live a whole life and do one great thing for the
Lord, and that might be Godís will for him.
should note that the first six chapters of Daniel are historical, while
the last six are prophetic. We
also note that the book was written in Hebrew except from chapter 2 verse
4 to the end of chapter 7. These
chapters tend to deal with the Gentile world and thus were written in the
Chaldean language, the language of
verse 1 we see
was a young and ferocious king of the Babylonian Empire.
He attacked Judah
in 606 B. C. as a general in the Babylonian army and took the spoils home
with him. Like many other
warring nations in those days, the winner would keep what was valuable for
themselves, unlike the
verse 2 we note that it was ďthe Lord who delivered Jehoiakim into
Nebuchadnezzarís hands. God
Himself was behind the captivity and exile of
need to understand that God judged Israel. We also need to understand
that we see God judging Gentile nations in the Old Testament as well.
The other thing we really need to understand is that this is not an
Old Testament thing God used to do. He
still judges nations, and He still causes nations to both rise and fall.
He is behind the nations of the world more than we can ever know.
also note that Nebuchadnezzar took the valuable articles from the Jewish
temple back to
is a very important ancient
Kingdom and some of its importance affects us today.
Astrology was greatly developed in Babylonian society.
We have 60 seconds in a minute and 60 minutes in hour and 24 hours
in a day. This came from
note in the KJV the name "Shinar".
important verses to read concerning
verses 3 to 6 we see that Nebuchadnezzar ordered his chief official to
find the best young men of Jewish nobility and bring them to be trained in
the ways of the Babylonians so they could be used in the service of the
king. These young men had to
be strong, good looking, and intelligent.
Daniel was one of these young men.
So, right away we learn something about Daniel, right down to his
verses 6 and 7 we see that three other notable young men were chosen along
with Daniel. Their Jewish
names all had God in their meaning. Hananiah
(Jewish for "Jehovah has favored") was renamed Shadrach.
Mishael (Jewish for "who is what God is") was renamed
Meshach. Azariah (Jewish for
"who Jehovah helps") was renamed Abednego. The renaming of the
names of these men show you to what extent Nebuchadnezzar went to using
what was valuable to the Jews for himself. He
even used the good men and called them by Babylonian names.
also note that the name "Daniel" means "God is judge",
or "Godís judges". How
appropriate, since Daniel is all about God's judgment, both on
verse 8 we see that Daniel decided not to defile himself by eating the
food that was made in the kingís kitchen.
One Babylonian religious ritual was to throw a little bit of the
food and wine one would drink and eat on the ground as an offering to the
gods. Daniel would have viewed
this participation in a pagan food ritual as idolatry.
Daniel stood for Godly truth. He
would not participate in idol worship, no matter the cost, something we
should incorporate into our own lives.
We have many idols in our modern society.
We can't give ourselves to them.
verse 9 we see Godís involvement in Danielís life.
The text says that God was behind the kingís official decree
granting Daniel his request, even though he did so with great reluctance.
The official was afraid of the king.
If Daniel did not eat properly and looked sickly to the king that
meant the official was not doing his job and he would be executed on the
spot. Nebuchadnezzar was noted
for roasting men at the stake.
and the guard, the chief official put in charge of the Jewish men, made a
deal. Daniel would eat what he
wanted for ten days and if he looked sickly he would eat the kingís food
but if he didnít, heíd eat kosher food.
The official agreed to Danielís plan and after 10 days Daniel
looked better than everyone else.
This shows Daniel's trust in His God.
He believed that if He obeyed God, God would make him healthy.
I'm not promoting Hyper Faith here or the Prosperity Gospel because
I do not believe in either. I'm
promoting trust in God.
see in verse 17, with the use of the pronoun "them", that at
least the other aforementioned three men were in agreement with Daniel and
did not eat the kingís food either.
This suggests to me that Daniel was a leader among the Jewish men.
verses 18 to 21 we note that after the three year period of training was
over the chief official brought the four Hebrew young men into the
presence of the king who was greatly impressed.
They had more wisdom and understanding than the kingís own
magicians. Thus God granted
these men favour in the eyes of this fairly wicked king, yet it was not
for their safely sake alone. God
had plans for these men to be a witness of Him to the worldly king.
God would use these men to accomplish His will among the nations of
should note here that the four Jewish men were being trained to be wise
men, magi, or magicians. I
make this point because Babylonian tradition is that that these men would
be castrated in the hopes that their sexual drive would not interfere with
the wisdom they were to possess. The
problem is that castration does not really limit ones ex drive.
21 tells us that Daniel stayed in the courts of the king until, or at
least into the rule of King Cyrus. King
Cyrus was the Persian king who had attacked and defeated the Babylonian
king at the time, thus