Daniel Lesson 1
“The Revelation of the Old Testament”
KEY VERSES: Daniel 2:20, 21 – “Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are His: And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:”
THEME: The theme of Daniel is built around the man. “Man greatly beloved . . .” Three times Daniel is spoken of by these terms (Daniel 9:23; 10:11; 10:19) The touch of God upon his life made it so. God touched him to 1. Make him see (8:18, 19); 2. Give him skill (9:21, 22); 3. Make him stand (10:10, 11); 4. Make him speak (10:16); and 5. Make him strong (10:18).
DATE: 605 – 536 B.C. Daniel was a teenager when taken into captivity by Nebuchadnezzar during the first siege of Jerusalem in 605 B.C. He was an old man in his late eighties by the time the captivity was over and the events had all been recorded.
WRITER: Daniel – Daniel was well-equipped to write the Book, having been a statesman who held high office under three successive kings (Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, and Darius). He had lived through the whole seventy years of captivity and saw the return under King Cyrus, as recorded in the Book of Ezra. He was of royal blood and from a high-ranking family. (See Daniel 1:3). He was handsome, cultured, and intelligent. (See Daniel 1:4). Our attention is called to his purity (1:8), his consecration (9:3,4) his wisdom (1:4, 17, 20), his courage (5:17, 6:10), his humility (2:30; 9:5-8), his unselfishness (2:49), and his love (1:9; 10:11,19). He had been ministered to himself by both of heaven’s recorded archangels, Gabriel and Michael. (See Daniel 9:21; 10:13). He speaks more about the coming antichrist than any other Old Testament writer. Ezekiel, a contemporary, refers to “the righteousness of Daniel,” comparing him with Noah and Job. (See Ezekiel 28:3). Jesus quoted Daniel during his Olivet Discourse. (See Matthew 24:15).
WRITTEN: Daniel is written in two sections . . . Chapters 1 – 6 HISTORY; Chapters 7 – 12 PROPHECY (Visions and Interpretations. Dr. W.A. Criswell said, “You would think that Daniel was writing the headline for tomorrow’s newspaper.” Daniel is to the Old Testament what Revelation is to the New Testament. The unusual feature of Daniel is that the central portion (2:4) through 7:28) is written in the Aramaic language. Daniel bookmarks the third of five great periods of miracles in the Bible. The periods are 1. The time of Moses and Joshua; 2. The time of Elijah and Elisha; 3. The time of Daniel; 4. The time of Christ and His Disciples; and 5. The time of Peter and Paul. 2
THE BOOK: No. in the Bible: 27th of 66 Books in Bible No. of Chapters: 12 No. in Order of Writing: 5th of 17 Books of Prophecy No. of Verses: 357
PURPOSE: To reveal that God controls, not only in the lives of Hebrew captives, but also the mighty empires of the earth. God called Daniel to expose the gods of the heathens as powerless, lifeless idols and to prove the reality and supremacy of the one, true God of heaven and earth.
DIVISIONS: Historical Section (Ch. 1-6). 1. Times of Testing (Ch. 1-3). 2. Times of Triumph (Ch. 1-6). Prophetic Section (Ch. 7-12). 1. Controlling the Future (Ch. 7-10). 2. The Course and Climax of the Future (Ch. 11-12).
FACTS: Assyria had defeated the Northern Kingdom (ten tribes). Judah had lost much of her power (two tribes). The Syrian kingdom had been conquered by Nebuchadnezzar (Babylon). Nebuchadnezzar invaded Judah and defeated her (606-586 B.C.) Nebuchadnezzar had carried approximately 10,000 chief men to Babylon. Daniel, the Hebrew Children, Ezra, Ezekiel, and others were in the wave of captives. The captivity lasted seventy years. Daniel had been captured when he was sixteen (in the first invasion). Ezekiel was captured eight years later.
ATTACK ON THE BOOK: 1. None of the sixty-six Books have suffered as much attack as Daniel. 2. Sixteen centuries of enemies have viciously and violently attached this Book. 3. The liberal world rejects it as forgery and fraud. 4. The attack has been given in four areas: a. Historical, its enemies claim inaccuracy and historical error; b. Philosophical, they claim there are linguistic irreconcilables; c. Prophetical, they say it is prophetically impossible; and d. Doctrinal, they claim there are doctrinal mistakes. 5. Its critics object to Daniel’s word about the resurrection and angels. Their real objection, of course, is supernatural.
OUTLINE: 1. Carried into Babylonian Captivity. 2. Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream. 3. The fiery furnace incident. 4. The tree vision. 5. The handwriting on the wall. 6. The Lions’ Den. 7. The vision of four beasts. 8. The ram and he-goat vision. 9. The seventy weeks of Daniel. 10. The sky full of demons. 11. Looking into the future. 12. Trouble brewing toward the end.
MISCELLANEOUS: 1. The image of chapter two. a. Head of Gold – Babylon – 606-539 B.C.; b. Chest and Arms of Silver – Persia – 539-331 B.C.; c. Stomach and Thighs of Brass – Greece – 331-323 B.C.; and d. Legs and Feet of Iron and Clay – Rome – 322 B.C-476 A.D. 2. Contrasting the godless kingdoms of the world and the Kingdom of God. “And four great beasts came up from the sea…” Daniel 7:3; “…Behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds …” Daniel 7:13. a. Babylon pictured by a Lion – Nebuchadnezzar; b. Persia pictured by a bear – Cyrus; c. Greece pictured by a leopard – Alexander the Great; d. Rome pictured by a one horned monster with terrible teeth – Roman Caesars and the prophetical anti-christ; e. Everlasting Kingdom pictured by Son of Man – Lord Jesus Christ. 3. Much information is given on the Tribulation period in Daniel chapter twelve. “… A time of trouble such as never was…” Daniel 12:1 a. Helper in the Tribulation – Michael the Archangel (12:1); b. Length of the Tribulation – Three and one-half years (See 12:7-1,260 days; 12:11-1,290 days; 12:12-1,335 days); c. Interest concerning the tribulation – Both Angels and Old Testament Prophets (12:5-8); d. Salvation during the Tribulation (12:1, 10); e. Signs proceeding the Tribulation – Increase in speed and increase in knowledge (12:4); and f. The resurrections following the Tribulation (12:2, 3).
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