INTRODUCTORY NOTES ON DANIEL
I. The Importance of the Book.
Sir Isaac Newton once said, "To reject Daniel is to reject the Christian religion." Jesus refers to Daniel in His great prophetic Olivet discourse (Matthew 24). Hence, that discourse can only be correctly understood in the light of the Book of Daniel. The Book of Revelation would ever be a sealed book if we had not the prophecies of Daniel and vice versa.
II. The Authenticity of the Book.
The authenticity of the book is beyond repudiation because Jesus placed His approval on Daniel's writings when He spoke of "Daniel the Prophet" in Matthew 24:15.
III. The Division and Analysis of the Book.
It is composed of two parts and it is written in two languages: Hebrew and Aramaic, the language of these Eastern empires. The reason for the different languages is very simple. What concerns these Eastern empires is written in Aramaic and what concerns the Jews is written in Hebrew.
The first six chapters record for us the personal history of Daniel the man, of his own personal separated and dedicated life and his ministry in the court of the king of Babylon where he interpreted the dreams of the king. These chapters have a very definite bearing upon the purpose of Daniel in setting before us the history of God's ancient people Israel during the "time of the Gentiles."
The last six chapters have to do with a series of visions which Daniel himself received at various times during his captivity in the land of Babylon, and contain for us one of the most complete of all the revelations in the Scriptures concerning the course of this age and particularly the time of the Tribulation Period.
The book deals with and reveals much about the "Times of the Gentiles" which is the period from the time of Daniel to the beginning of the Millenium or the coming of Christ to reign.
IV. The personality of the Writer of the Book.
Daniel who wrote the Book, was a godly young Jew of royal birth and he was among the captives taken to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar. He lived during the years of 606-534 B.C. He was contemporary with Ezekiel, Ezra, and Jeremiah.
He was a great man of faith. In the Faith chapter of the New Testament his name is not mentioned but his deeds are. Hebrews 11:33.
As a mere lad he was brought from Jerusalem to Babylon and in a short time he rose to the highest position in the empire. His dependence on God, his deep piety and humility are mentioned in nearly every chapter. He was a great man of prayer. The angel Gabriel addressed him thrice as "the man greatly beloved". Daniel means "God will judge".
V. The Purpose of the Book.
Bible students need to realize the following things about the Scriptures;
1. All Scripture has one primary interpretation.
2. All Scripture has several practical applications.
3. Many Scripture passages have also a prophetic revelation.
The Book of Daniel is given to us by the Holy Spirit to (1) illumine our minds about God's Plan of the Ages; (2) to exhort us to godly living by seeing the blessing of such a life as exhibited by Daniel.
He talked with angels and was the "the man greatly beloved:'