Introduction to Daniel
It has been a long month of Unlocking Revelation. We did not have the time to unlock everything, but we opened Pandora’s box if you will. Now that the series is over, we are going to take an in depth look at the book of Daniel. Remember that Daniel and Revelation are closely linked (Daniel is told to close this book in Daniel 12 and in Revelation 10 we see a book being opened and digested). We invite you to study the book of Daniel along with us and we will share some highlights in future blog posts to help stimulate your study!
First off, who wrote the book of Daniel?
Daniel 12:4,5,9 reveal that this was written by Daniel. This seems like a silly question to ask, but remember there are other books in the Bible that may not have been written by their namesake (Looking at you 1 and 2 Samuel).
The setting for the book of Daniel occurs when the first round of captives are taken to Babylon from the kingdom of Judah. God had been warning His people to repent and turn from their ways. The books of Kings and Chronicles reveal the history of Israel (northern kingdom) and Judah (southern kingdom) after Solomon. You’ll find that the majority of kings did wicked things in God’s eyes. God kept sending prophets to warn them that disaster was coming. However, the northern kingdom of Israel continued to do wicked things until they were taken captive by the Assyrians. The southern kingdom of Judah held on a little longer, but they too met the same fate as their northern neighbor. There were several rounds of captives taken to Jerusalem before Babylon came and completely destroyed Judah in the time of Jeremiah. Daniel was taken in the third year of Jehoiakim (Daniel 1:1) – so he was a part of the first round of captives. There was still a kingdom of Judah, but they were quickly losing their autonomy.
How is Daniel structured?
There are 12 chapters in Daniel. The first six are historical, they deal with stories about Daniel and his experiences in Babylon. The last six are prophetic, dealing with visions and pertaining to the time of the end.
As we study Daniel, we’ll see that it is like a funnel. Daniel 2 gives us a broad outline of history from Daniel’s day to ours. Daniel 7 covers the same time frame with even more details. Daniel 8 and 9 go deeper into Daniel 7, and Daniel 10-12 goes even deeper. At some point your study in Daniel will seem repetitive, but as we dig deeper into this book you’ll see why it is structured in that way.
Daniel is essential to understanding prophecy in general in the Bible. The book was written for the time of the end. In Unlock Revelation, we learned that we are living in the time of the end, so anything this book has to share is applicable in our lives today. It may seem overwhelming, it will seem redundant, it may even sound confusing. But part of the challenge in understanding contributes to the joy of figuring something out. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us here. We will answer some questions here and reply back to you as soon as we can!
Before we finish, we want to let you know there are three ways to interpret prophecy. Not everyone will agree with how we look at Daniel, but fyi:
Preterism – the prophecy has already happened, these people believe that Daniel’s prophecies happened in the 2nd century B.C. (advocated by Luis del Alcazar)
Futurism – the prophecy will eventually happen, these people believe that Daniel’s prophecy will eventually happen, but not a concern for us now. (advocated by Francisco Ribera)
Historicism – the prophecies began and continue to occur throughout history beginning in Daniel’s day. We will look at the prophecies in Daniel accounting for the historical context.
Here’s to learning more about Jesus and how much He loved us by sharing this information for our benefit! Cheers 🙂