Daniel Chapter 1 and 2

The Book Of Daniel

I intended to write a story about Daniel in the Lion’s den.  But  as I began to look for  that particular  story  it became obvious that the  original story  teller in this book was truly a master wordsmith so we will begin where  he did. 

The Book of

Daniel 1

1In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. 2And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with some of the articles of the house of God, which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the articles into the treasure house of his god.

3Then the king instructed Ashpenaz, the master of his eunuchs, to bring some of the children of Israel and some of the king’s descendants and some of the nobles, 4young men in whom there was no blemish, but good-looking, gifted in all wisdom, possessing knowledge and quick to understand, who had ability to serve in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the language and literature of the Chaldeans. 5And the king appointed for them a daily provision of the king’s delicacies and of the wine which he drank, and three years of training for them, so that at the end of that time they might serve before the king. 6Now from among those of the sons of Judah were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. 7To them the chief of the eunuchs gave names: he gave Daniel the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abed-Nego.

Daniel writes most of this story using Daniel as the third person even though I think he could have said I did, etc.  The story unfolds better the way he tells it.  The day and time when it  began was  when   Jerusalem was conquered by a king from what we call Iraq.

Nebuchadnezzar was not only a brilliant military tactician,  he  understood politics, managing people, environmental responsibility, establishing a dynasty and  was one of the geniuses  of the  world at that  time. 

He conquered Judah because it was in his opinion the most important portion of Israel.

At the time of the conquest he killed very few of the people but forced them into submission by a siege.  He did this I am sure because of divine inspiration.  We need to remember that no matter who the present ruler is among men that


God is in Charge

God shapes the course of history!

When the  victory  was  decisive the plan was to get slaves from among the Jews.

In order to be able to control the slaves  it was important to have Jews in charge of giving orders in  Hebrew  to the  slaves,  So Ashpenaz was instructed to select some of the cream of the crop of the best young men in the upper class  of the Jews.

They were to be taught what  Nebuchadnezzar deemed  important.

These young men had been completely schooled in the Torah and were prepared to be leaders of the Jewish people.  The timing of their capture was precisely when they were ready to assume their role as teachers so they had great faith in their God.

Remember, God  is  in Charge!


Their names would be changed to be in line with Chaldean tradition, the  boss’ orders.

Daniel was to be called Belteshazzar.   Hananiah was to be called Shadrach;

Mishael was to be called Meshach;   and finally  Azariah  was to be  called Abed-Nego.



8But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. 9Now God had brought Daniel into the favor and goodwill of the chief of the eunuchs. 10And the chief of the eunuchs said to Daniel, “I fear my lord the king, who has appointed your food and drink. For why should he see your faces looking worse than the young men who are your age? Then you would endanger my head before the king.”

Here is where the   Jewish training is  part of the character of Daniel  and he is guided to convince the Chaldean conqueror to  allow them to eat the  food their religious training  demanded.  Nebuchadnezzar had the  power of life and death over his  eunuchs.  If  they disobeyed his  orders they could be decapitated instantly.   Life was  cheap in that land.



11So Daniel said to £the steward whom the chief of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, 12“Please test your servants for ten days, and let them give us vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13Then let our appearance be examined before you, and the appearance of the young men who eat the portion of the king’s delicacies; and as you see fit, so deal with your servants.” 14So he consented with them in this matter, and tested them ten days.

15And at the end of ten days their features appeared better and fatter in flesh than all the young men who ate the portion of the king’s delicacies. 16Thus the steward took away their portion of delicacies and the wine that they were to drink, and gave them vegetables.

17As for these four young men, God gave them knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.  18Now at the end of the days, when the king had said that they should be brought in, the chief of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. 19Then the king £interviewed them, and among them all none was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; therefore they served before the king. 20And in all matters of wisdom and understanding about which the king examined them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers who were in all his realm. 21Thus Daniel continued until the first year of King Cyrus.

This last sentence was inserted by Daniel to show he had a long time appointment.  The story in the Bible goes on but  it is NOT after the  reign of Cyrus,   RGS Jr.

Daniel 2

1Now in the second year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; and his spirit was so troubled that his sleep left him. 2Then the king gave the command to call the magicians, the astrologers, the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans to tell the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king. 3And the king said to them, “I have had a dream, and my spirit is anxious to know the dream.”

4Then the Chaldeans spoke to the king in £Aramaic, “O king, live forever! Tell your servants the dream, and we will give the interpretation.”

5The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, “My decision is firm: if you do not make known the dream to me, and its interpretation, you shall be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made an ash heap. 6However, if you tell the dream and its interpretation, you shall receive from me gifts, rewards, and great honor. Therefore tell me the dream and its interpretation.”

7They answered again and said, “Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will give its interpretation.”

8The king answered and said, “I know for certain that you would gain time, because you see that my decision is firm: 9if you do not make known the dream to me, there is only one decree for you! For you have agreed to speak lying and corrupt words before me till the time has changed. Therefore tell me the dream, and I shall know that you can give me its interpretation.”

10The Chaldeans answered the king, and said, “There is not a man on earth who can tell the king’s matter; therefore no king, lord, or ruler has ever asked such things of any magician, astrologer, or Chaldean. 11It is a difficult thing that the king requests, and there is no other who can tell it to the king except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.”

12For this reason the king was angry and very furious, and gave the command to destroy all the wise men of Babylon. 13So the decree went out, and they began killing the wise men; and they sought Daniel and his companions, to kill them.

Obviously Daniel and  his men were considered to be part of the elite  wise men.  Here is where we see the  hand of the Lord.  Daniel is wise enough to stop the Slaughter of the wise men and so gains considerable power among  their ranks and then goes on to not only  tell the king  what he had dreamt but to interpret the  dream.

This dream according to many  Biblical  scholars forecasts a great portion of  world history.  It is  the  sort of  proof that  God knows what will happen and He should because  He is in  charge.  This is  the  dream.   RGS Jr.

24Therefore Daniel went to Arioch, whom the king had appointed to destroy the wise men of Babylon. He went and said thus to him: “Do not destroy the wise men of Babylon; take me before the king, and I will tell the king the interpretation.”

25Then Arioch quickly brought Daniel before the king, and said thus to him, “I have found a man of the £captives of Judah, who will make known to the king the interpretation.”

26The king answered and said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, “Are you able to make known to me the dream which I have seen, and its interpretation?”

27Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, “The secret which the king has demanded, the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, and the soothsayers cannot declare to the king. 28But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days. Your dream, and the visions of your head upon your bed, were these: 29As for you, O king, thoughts came to your mind while on your bed, about what would come to pass after this; and He who reveals secrets has made known to you what will be. 30But as for me, this secret has not been revealed to me because I have more wisdom than anyone living, but for our sakes who make known the interpretation to the king, and that you may know the thoughts of your heart.

31“You, O king, were watching; and behold, a great image! This great image, whose splendor was excellent, stood before you; and its form was awesome. 32This image’s head was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and £thighs of bronze, 33its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of £clay. 34You watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. 35Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed together, and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; the wind carried them away so that no trace of them was found. And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.

36“This is the dream. Now we will tell the interpretation of it before the king. 37You, O king, are a king of kings. For the God of heaven has given you a kingdom, power, strength, and glory; 38and wherever the children of men dwell, or the beasts of the field and the birds of the heaven, He has given them into your hand, and has made you ruler over them all-you are this head of gold. 39But after you shall arise another kingdom inferior to yours; then another, a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth. 40And the fourth kingdom shall be as strong as iron, inasmuch as iron breaks in pieces and shatters everything; and like iron that crushes, that kingdom will break in pieces and crush all the others. 41Whereas you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; yet the strength of the iron shall be in it, just as you saw the iron mixed with ceramic clay. 42And as the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly fragile. 43As you saw iron mixed with ceramic clay, they will mingle with the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay. 44And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. 45Inasmuch as you saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold-the great God has made known to the king what will come to pass after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation is sure.”

This is the remarkable prophecy  made  hundreds of years before it happened.

Verse 32 is  Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom, the  head of Gold.

Verse  39 The chest and  arms will be the  Persian kingdom,

Next comes Alexander the Great  (the bronze kingdom) followed by the  four divisions   of his 4  generals.

Verse 40 The iron kingdom was the Roman Empire which lasted 400 years and is known as the  Pax Romana.  It literally broke and crushed everything it dominated.

The last part of the 40th verse describes how and why the Roman Empire collapsed.

The Bible scholars agree that we are living in the time of the dispersed kingdoms.

The next stage is when the prophecy of verse 44 which is the Kingdom God himself will build and Jesus Christ will be the triumphant king.  

46Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell on his face, prostrate before Daniel, and commanded that they should present an offering and incense to him. 47The king answered Daniel, and said, “Truly your God is the God of gods, the Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, since you could reveal this secret.” 48Then the king promoted Daniel and gave him many great gifts; and he made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief administrator over all the wise men of Babylon. 49Also Daniel petitioned the king, and he set Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego over the affairs of the province of Babylon; but Daniel sat in £the gate of the king.

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