Daniel

This is an in-depth study on the book of Daniel, which develops the story of Daniel and his friends living in exile among the Babylonian and Persian kings and how Yahweh used him to influence them and gave him visions of the things to come. This study is 13 hours long (recorded in 2020). This is worth 2 Bible CEUs.

 

icon-pdf Daniel Notes (1.11 MB)

 

Daniel Setting
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24:13 min
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Daniel Purpose, Themes, and Structure
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38:17 min
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Daniel 1:1-7
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21:35 min
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Daniel 1:8-21
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37:17 min
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Daniel Empires Overview
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19:09 min
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Daniel Empire Views
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30:00 min
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Daniel 2:1-28
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28:59 min
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Daniel 2:29-49
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36:27 min
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Daniel 3:1-7
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30:33 min
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Daniel 3:8-18
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27:07 min
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Daniel 3:19-30
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21:06 min
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Daniel 4:1-37
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34:49 min
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Daniel 5:1-9
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26:55 min
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Daniel 5:10-31
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23:39 min
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Daniel 6:1-28
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42:08 min
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Daniel 7:1-3
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26:43 min
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Daniel 7:4-6
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20:20 min
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Daniel 7:7-8
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30:26 min
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Daniel 7:9-14
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33:26 min
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Daniel 7:15-28
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13:03 min
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Daniel 8:1-27
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36:00 min
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Daniel 9:1-19
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16:25 min
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Daniel 9:20-24
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20:56 min
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Daniel 9:25-27
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38:42 min
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Daniel 10:1-21
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20:19 min
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Daniel 11:1-20
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36:04 min
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Daniel 11:21-45
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29:39 min
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Daniel 12:1-13
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15:51 min
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The title of the book of Daniel comes from the primary character in the story. There is extensive internal and external evidence that Daniel wrote the book probably late in his life, about 530 BC.[1] The most compelling evidence is a recent study that shows the First Testament canon was closed during the Maccabean period (167–142 BC), which means the book of Daniel would have to have been written, circulated, and widely accepted long before this date in order to have been accepted into the canon.[2] There are liberal scholars who believe the book was written in the 100s BC by someone claiming to be Daniel. They believe this because predictions of the empires after Babylon are so accurate that it had to have been written after the empires, since there is no prophecy. This is obviously an assumption that prophecy is not possible. Several times the book claims to be predicting events to come (Dan. 2:29-30; 4:24; 5:2-30; 7–12). And several times Daniel was told to write his visions down and seal them up so that it could be verified when it happened later (Dan. 8:26; 12:4, 9). The book claims the author is Daniel (Dan. 2:1; 5:1; 10:1 etc.). One cannot trust the writing of one claiming to be someone they are not.

Daniel is not a prophet. The First Testament never calls him a prophet and makes no effort to present him as a prophet in any kind of way. The two things that distinctly mark one as a prophet is, first, that Yahweh brings them into the divine council of Yahweh[3] and speaks directly to them and, second, they then go out and speak the will of Yahweh to the people. Daniel is never invited into the divine council of Yahweh; he only gets a glimpse of the throne, seen in Dan. 7, in the context of the earthly beasts coming out of the sea. Daniel was not made a part of the divine council of Yahweh. Yahweh never spoke to him; rather, He sent angels that gave Daniel dreamlike visions. In fact, the voice of Yahweh is never heard in the book. Daniel never spoke to his people; never said, “thus says Yahweh;” never led the people in any way; nor claimed any special gift.[4] The book of Daniel is not placed among the prophets in the Jewish collection of the First Testament, and many of the early church fathers did not consider him a prophet.

The purpose of the book of Daniel is to demonstrate the sovereignty of Yahweh over the affairs of humanity and the nations throughout history and into the future. With the sacking of Israel (northern kingdom) by the Assyrians in 722 BC and the sacking of Judah (southern kingdom) by the Babylonians in 586 BC, it would look to both the Jews and the pagan nations that Yahweh was not able to protect His chosen people or had abandoned them. Yahweh showed that not only had He not abandoned the Jews, but He had entered into exile with them. The stories in Dan. 1–6 show that Yahweh was not only able to take care of His people while in exile, but He was and is sovereign over the most powerful kings of the most powerful kingdoms of the world. He is the one who raises them up and puts them into power, therefore He is the one who can move them at will and bring them down (Dan. 2:20-23; 4:34-35; 5:18-21). Not only is Yahweh sovereign over the affairs of humanity in history, but Dan. 7–12 shows that Yahweh has already foreseen the future of His people and the surrounding nations and is able to direct them at will and bring them down before they even come into existence and power. Thus, He demonstrates through the life of Daniel and the visions He gave him that He is able to take care of His people in the midst of the seemingly all-powerful nations and throughout all time. And in the end, He will deliver them as He promised.

 

[1] For a more comprehensive discussion on the dating of the book of Daniel, see Gordan Wenham. Daniel: The Basic Issues.

[2] See Gerhard von Rad. Old Testament Theology II (Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd, 1965), p. 315.

[3] See Cory Baugher. The Divine Council of Yahweh, at www.knowingthebible.net.

[4] Samuel A Meier. Themes and Transformations in Old Testament Prophecy. Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2009.