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The head of the palace staff, by God’s grace, liked Daniel, but he warned him, “I’m afraid of what my master the king will do. The Babylonian captivity lasted 70 years, which would put Daniel in his eighties at the beginning of Darius’ reign in Daniel 6. Whenever the king consulted them on anything, on books or on life, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his kingdom put together. He is the one who assigned this diet and if he sees that you are not as healthy as the rest, he’ll have my head!”, 11-13 But Daniel appealed to a steward who had been assigned by the head of the palace staff to be in charge of Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: “Try us out for ten days on a simple diet of vegetables and water. Not probably in general, but as Daniel 3:12 states, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. Baldwin J. G. ‘Daniel: Theology of’, in NIDOTTE, edited by W. A. VanGemeren, (Carlisle, Paternoster, 1996). The Chaldean king Nebuchadnezzar conquered the Land of Judea in 3319(442 BCE) and destroyedthe Holy Temple in Jerusalem. The issues of dating above reveal that many presume Daniel to be a compilation of at least two authors writing on different themes.»17 However while there are differences in emphasis between the two halves of the book there is also great overlap. This paper will argue that the message of Daniel is to answer these questions, and to show that the answer to the former is dependent on the answer to the latter. Bauckham R. J. See Gooding D. W. ‘The Literary Structure of the Book of Daniel and its Implications’. This summary of the book of Daniel provides information about the title, author(s), date of writing, chronology, theme, theology, outline, a brief overview, and the chapters of the Book of Daniel. It was not without struggle, and it cost him to do so. A few of these are discussed here and their effect on the message of the book will be mentioned below. As a result we should expect this to play into the message of the book as a whole. As was the standard practice ofinvading rulers, Nebuchadnezzar deported theJewish intelligentsia and forced them to relocate to Babylon. The head of the palace staff, by God’s grace, liked Daniel, but he warned him, “I’m afraid of what my master the king will do. Three main themes are shown in the court stories with regard to God’s sovereignty.»19 Firstly he is the one who reveals what is unknown: this begins at 1:17 and continues in chapter 2, 4 and 5. He didn’t use symbols to prevent us from understanding His messages. God’s sovereignty is seen in the visions in his ability to predict the future, and the correlate assumption that he is in control of the historical processes. Daniel’s prayer and thanksgiving»20 on the first of these occasions should be seen a paradigmatic of them all: God knows and controls all human events and can reveal them if he so wishes. Both the fall of Jerusalem and the return both took place within the time frame of the book. In fact the whole theme of Daniel’s God knowing and revealing the future, unlike the gods of Babylon, disappears»34 and the ‘predictions’ make no further claim on the reader.»35, This issue subtly but dramatically affects the message of the book: taking the apocalyptic prophecy as predictive sees it as assuring that God truly is in control, and so laying a foundation for the faithful life of the believer. Probably he was in some distant part of the empire on state business, and the general summons ( Daniel 3:2) had not time to reach him before the dedication. Copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson, The Message (MSG), The Message Bible--soft leather-look, sky blue, The Message: Solo - An Uncommon Devotional, The Message // REMIX 2.0, Soft Imitation Leather, Storm Black, The Message Bible, Black/Slate Leather-Look. Most of the others … Among them wereDaniel, Chananya,Mishael and Azaryia (from the tribe of Judah1), all extraordinarily gifted young princes,2select… Jan 12, 1992. The phrase Ancient of Days is unique to the book of Daniel. The eighth chapter of Daniel features an astounding vision of a male sheep and a male goat. Wenham G. J. Then compare us with the young men who eat from the royal menu. ‘Faithful to the End: A Pastoral Reading of Daniel 10-12’. or the twenty-first century a.d. We can identify with God’s people suffering the persecution of the world, and we too must know that ‘the historical processes may sweep over and will scar the people of God but their reward is sure.’»48. The Message of . The king then ordered that they be served from the same menu as the royal table—the best food, the finest wine. Assertions and evidences of God’s sovereignty A. The Apocalyptic Imagination: An Introduction to Jewish Apocalyptic Literature, (Grand Rapids, Eerdmans, 1998), p91. Nebuchadnezzar took king and furnishings to the country of Babylon, the ancient Shinar. ‘Inspiration or Illusion: Biblical Theology and the Book of Daniel’. One young man, Daniel, affirmed that he did. The assertions of God’s sovereignty outlined above are for the purpose of encouraging faithful living by God’s people. This difference is seen as so clear cut by some that it is evidence of multiple authorship, e.g. 14-16 The steward agreed to do it and fed them vegetables and water for ten days. The message of Daniel 5 is the contrast it offers between Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar: Nebuchadnezzar is humbled by God, learns his lesson (he acknowledges the ultimate kingship of the God of Israel), and is restored to his throne; He said to Daniel, “Your God is beyond question the God of all gods, the Master of all kings. It is accepted that there is a change of emphasis here, but this is simply to say that faithfulness will mean different things at different moments: political powers may become less human and more set against God’s people, but now matter how threatening they appear God’s people can remain loyal knowing that victory lies ahead.»45 They must live life in the light of their convictions about the end just as the heroes of chapters 1-6 did.»46, These sections steel God’s people for times of great hardship. Goldingay J. E. ‘Daniel’, WBC, (Dallas, Word, 1989), p334. This is even more the case for Christians who know that the Son of Man has come once to defeat evil, will come again to establish his kingdom, and that they live in the last days of conflict. The head of the palace staff gave them Babylonian names: Daniel was named Belteshazzar, Hananiah was named Shadrach, Mishael was named Meshach, Azariah was named Abednego. It is accepted that Daniel comprises two genres: historical narrative and apocalyptic prophecy.»14 With regard to the apocalyptic sections it is important to recognise that  the mythical allusions serve to give expressive value to the particular powers referred to. But echoing through the centuries of history and resounding from the future that was revealed t God had allowed the unthinkable to happen. Daniel's Vision by the Tigris … 12 “Do not be afraid, Daniel,” he said, “for from the first day that you purposed to understand and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. while the visions come from the second, with some kind of incorporational theory hypothesised about the relationship between the two.»11 So, for example, Childs sees chapter 2 as true prophecy but chapters 7-12 written vaticinium ex eventu as a midrashic filling out of the details.»12 The arguments for and against second century material is summarised by Wenham.»13 The position taken here is for a complete sixth century writing, and the influence on the message of the book will be discussed below. This is a slideshow discussing the main, and mostly overlooked, message of the book of Daniel. So Davies says, ‘The message of visions is essentially that of the tales also: namely the triumph of the kingdom of God.’»18 We will assume an underlying unity of message while accepting that the different parts of the book may emphasise different elements of it. court plots, is debated and does not greatly affect interpretation. by Ronald S. Wallace God had allowed the unthinkable to happen. Walton J. H. ‘The Four Kingdoms of Daniel’, Wong G. C. I. The prophet Daniel wrote in symbolic language. Goldingay J. E. ‘Daniel’, WBC, (Dallas, Word, 1989), p315. None were a match for Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. Message of Daniel Theme: God’s Sovereignty over Kingdoms and History I. Daniel is the only one who can interpret the message: God will repay Belshazzar by handing over his kingdom to the Medes and Persians. While the dream of chapter 2 has clear predictive value with regard to ANE history, the immediate focus is not so much on the content of the revelation as the fact of it.»21, Secondly God’s sovereignty means he is able to act to save his people. Collins J. J. Although this can be overplayed as the court stories themselves contain visions, and the visions are not devoid of historical framing, for example 9:1-19. For example while foreign powers are presented more negatively in 7-12, the possibility of persecution in 1-6 is still present if only in a more intermittent manner. Childs B. S. Introduction to the Old Testament as Scripture, (Fortress Press, 1979), p614-618. Collins J. J. It is most common to divide the book into the court stories of chapters 1-6, and the visions of chapters 7-12. The focus of these chapters is so much on recognition of God’s sovereignty that immediate questions such as the whether these kings were actually converted or not, is not even raised. This is because these sections cover sequential but overlapping time periods, indicating that the author has consciously ‘started again’ in chapter 7.»4 There is also a concomitant change in style from stories to visions»5 and a move from Daniel being an interpreter, to requiring interpretation.»6. Daniel 1:8 But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the royal rations of food … The emphasis in chapters 8 and 9 is that the timing of various events is already set. Assertions of His sovereignty 1. One young man, Daniel, affirmed that he did. In chapter 10, we were told that Daniel “understood the message and had an understanding of the vision” (verse 1). Gabriel announced, “Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city.” The objects of God’s decree are the Jews and Jerusalem. Beloved and chosen by God to foretell future events, Daniel the prophet prophesied as moved by God through visions and dreams about what was going to happen throughout history, including what would happen to Daniel’s people in the “latter days” ( Daniel 10:14) and to the whole world. The Apocalyptic Imagination: An Introduction to Jewish Apocalyptic Literature, (Grand Rapids, Eerdmans, 1998), p108. Reassurance of God’s sovereignty is achieved through the book in the following ways. The Book of Daniel, also called The Prophecy Of Daniel, a book of the Old Testament found in the Ketuvim (Writings), the third section of the Jewish canon, but placed among the Prophets in the Christian canon.The first half of the book (chapters 1–6) contains stories in the third person about the experiences of Daniel and his friends under Kings Nebuchadrezzar II, Belshazzar, … After three years of training they would be given positions in the king’s court. While this hardship comes more intensely in different times it is generally true for all God’s people throughout time.»47 In that sense the predictions of second century history have relevance for those living in the sixth century b.c. 1 1-2 It was the third year of King Jehoiakim’s reign in Judah when King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon declared war on Jerusalem and besieged the city. The Apocalyptic Imagination: An Introduction to Jewish Apocalyptic Literature, (Grand Rapids, Eerdmans, 1998), p98-99. The Master handed King Jehoiakim of Judah over to him, along with some of the furnishings from the Temple of God. This increases the theological import of the prophecy and allows it to transcend a specific historic event.»15. Ralf prepared a number of slideshows on the book of Daniel, which I hope to put up soon. Daniel was a young man of Jewish nobility taken into captivity by Nebuchadnezzar in the third year of Jehoiakim and renamed Belteshazzar. ‘Daniel: The Basic Issues’, Themelios, 2, 2, (1977), p51. As Daniel made no attempt to hide his activity, he was seen praying and arrested. When Nebuchadnezzar's son King Belshazzar uses the vessels from the Jewish temple for his feast, a hand appears and writes a mysterious message on the wall, which only Daniel can interpret; it tells the king that his kingdom will be given to the Medes and Persians, because Belshazzar, unlike Nebuchadnezzar, has not acknowledged the sovereignty of the God of Daniel. This is when the whole lions’ den episode takes place. Hence those propounding this view speak of a call to ‘naked faith.’»36, Other elements in the apocalyptic section add to this reassurance of sovereignty. The Apocalyptic Imagination: An Introduction to Jewish Apocalyptic Literature, (Grand Rapids, Eerdmans, 1998), p92. That is the climatic final picture of chapter 7 and 12.»39 Chapter 8 asserts the final destruction of the forces opposed to God, and chapter 9 reassures that God’s final purposes (9:24) will be brought to pass. . This is an understatement – so far it has been over 2540 years since the message was originally given! Scripture: Daniel 10. The message of Daniel, and of Dale Ralph Davis, is meant to bolster faith and faithfulness; “If you are Jesus’ disciple, you are simply called to keep on going, to keep slogging on in your worship of Christ, to keep refusing to bow to the latest idol” (168). 6-7 Four young men from Judah—Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah—were among those selected. Collins J. J. Gooding D. W. ‘The Literary Structure of the Book of Daniel and its Implications’. This ability to intervene and overrule in human affairs is the concluding note of both these chapters.»22, Thirdly God’s sovereignty is seen in his dealings with secular rulers: Nebuchadnezzar is humbled because of his pride until he acknowledges God’s sovereignty;»23 and the removal of Belshazzar, who failed to learn from Nebuchadnezzar, reinforces this message.»24 There is also repeated reference through the Aramaic section to God’s everlasting kingdom in comparison to the transience of earthly kingdoms.»25, In addition the use of particular names for God in this section stress the fact that he is the sovereign Lord of all the earth and not simply the covenant God of Israel.»26 As a result the stories present a sovereign God who rules over all humankind.»27, The visions of chapters 7-12 are overlapping and complementary pictures of subsequent ANE history. The pressure to syncretism or apostasy is acute but examples are given of those who do not bow to them and whose faithfulness God honours.»41 This section therefore emphasises how life is to be lived in diaspora.»42 The life style encouraged allows great involvement in the life of the Gentile nation as far as conscience allowed, and shows that while faithfulness to God will entail great dangers it is in fact the key to success.»43, The encouragement of faithfulness continues in 7-12: the course of world history is already determined, therefore the action of the wise person is to ‘understand and takes one’s position accordingly’»44, i.e. The number “seventy” appeared earlier in chapter 9 when the prophet was reading in the book of Jeremiah about the desolations of Jerusalem ending after “seventy years… Goldingay J. E. ‘The Book of Daniel: Three Issues’, Themelios, 2, 2, (1977), p49, and Goldingay J. E. ‘Daniel’, WBC, (Dallas, Word, 1989), p183. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been … Goldingay J. E. ‘The Book of Daniel: Three Issues’, Themelios, 2, 2, (1977), pp45-49. The message of Daniel is that because God is sovereign and his eternal kingdom will reign, his people should and must be faithful to him. Message is not only designed to teach, but also to inspire Christians to obey the Great Commission in reaching the lost. His people were in exile in Babylon. In Daniel we see God exercising his sovereign wisdom over all world affairs, even the actions of the most powerful individual rulers of his day. This message grows out of the book’s primary theme: the kingdom of God — its king, its … Davies P. R. ‘ Eschatology in the Book of Daniel’. Dale Ralph Davis explores the background, discusses significant interpretive issues and problems, and offers a lively exposition of Daniel’s message, which may be summed up in the words of Jesus: “The end is not yet . Arnold W. T. ‘Theology of Daniel’, in EDBT, edited by W. A. Elwell, (Carlisle, Paternoster, 1996), p140. Dumbrell W. J. Humphries W. L. ‘A Life-style for Diaspora: A Study of the Tales of Esther and Daniel’. Chapters 2 and 7 have visions of four kingdoms followed by God’s kingdom, chapters 3 and 6 have rescues from execution and chapters 4 and 5 have Gentile kings exalting themselves against God. 8-10 But Daniel determined that he would not defile himself by eating the king’s food or drinking his wine, so he asked the head of the palace staff to exempt him from the royal diet. Whether the narrative is of a more specific genre e.g. Daniel 4:27 12/4/16 This morning I want to use Daniel as a model evangelist. 3-5 The king told Ashpenaz, head of the palace staff, to get some Israelites from the royal family and nobility—young men who were healthy and handsome, intelligent and well-educated, good prospects for leadership positions in the government, perfect specimens!—and indoctrinate them in the Babylonian language and the lore of magic and fortunetelling. remain faithful. . Baldwin J. G. ‘Is There Pseudonymity in the Old Testament’. Gamie J. G. ‘On the Intention and Sources of Daniel I-VI’. Without this predictive element it becomes a call to trust that God is control without any basis to believe that he is. The book of Daniel differs from the majority of Hebrew prophecy: it contains literature of an apocalyptic genre, focuses on political powers in the Ancient Near East (ANE), and does not mention the fall of Jerusalem or return from exile.»1 The characters of the book are the first exiles from Jerusalem and it is the issues which confront them which form the heart of its message.»2 Their life in exile raises questions about the relationship between God’s people and foreign nations, and, by implication, the relationship between God himself and those nations. 8-10 But Daniel determined that he would not defile himself by eating the king’s food or drinking his wine, so he asked the head of the palace staff to exempt him from the royal diet. But echoing through the centuries of history and resounding from the future that was revealed to him, came the proclamation: The Lord is King--even in Babylon! Why Daniel was not summoned does not appear. DANIEL. The book of Daniel is often read for its contribution to our understanding of end-times events, but sometimes Christians have been so obsessed with this that we have missed its main message: God is in control, no matter how things look, and his kingdom will one day fill the earth. It was not without struggle, and it cost him to do so. Just as military planners send secret messages in code to keep the enemy from intercepting and understanding them, so God has cloaked prophecy in symbolic language. I have translated it into English. These are the words you will be thinking when you finish "The Message of Daniel" by Dale Ralph Davis, as it is one of the most well exit books on Daniel that I have had the privilege of reading. It is no surprise then that Revelation picks up many motifs from Daniel and encourages believers to stand firm because of God’s final victory. The supremacy of other nations both in the exile and even after the return would cause them to wonder if loyalty to the God of Israel was worthwhile. A number of scholars assert the visions are written vaticinium ex eventu as a ‘prophetic declaration of faith in divine control over history’.»32 This view sees writing history in this supposedly predicted way as affirming a belief that ‘God is somehow in control’.»33 However if it is written retrospectively it remains unclear what control God possesses. It, and the later visions are primarily ones of assurance: the saints below may assuredly know that the course of history does not run blindly on, uncontrolled, but even now behind the wings of history the authoritative moves which affect the ultimate future of men have already been set in place.»31, This point makes the issue of dating exceptionally important. Daniel was taken to Babylon as a young man—likely before he had finished puberty. The Apocalyptic Imagination: An Introduction to Jewish Apocalyptic Literature, (Grand Rapids, Eerdmans, 1998), p109. The message of Daniel is that because God is sovereign and his eternal kingdom will reign, his people should and must be faithful to him. The Master handed King Jehoiakim of Judah over to him, along with some of the furnishings from the Temple of God. Daniel's Experience and Ours. 19-20 And so they took their place in the king’s service. The book of Daniel has much to say to the global church today. Daniel 1:8-9 “But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king’s food, or with the wine that he drank. Collins J. J. Follow Desiring God on Facebook. From former pastor and professor Dale Ralph Davis, this replacement volume in the Bible Speaks Today Old Testament commentary series offers a reliable exposition of the visionary book of Daniel for pastors and lay commentary readers. At the end of the time set by the king for their training, the head of the royal staff brought them in to Nebuchadnezzar. A variety of issues affect the interpretation of Daniel. And he solves all mysteries, I know, because you’ve solved this mystery.” 48-49 Then the king promoted Daniel to a high position in the kingdom, lavished him with gifts, and made him governor over the entire province of Babylon and the chief in charge of all the Babylonian wise men. Goldingay J. E. ‘Daniel’, WBC, (Dallas, Word, 1989). So let’s say he was between 10 and 18 years of age. This book is parts of the ever-growing series called "The Bible Speaks Today", produced by IVP Academic. ‘Daniel: The Basic Issues’, Themelios, 2, 2, (1977), pp49-52. Dillard R. B. and Longman T. The terms used are God in heaven, God of heaven, King of heaven, Lord of heaven, God of gods, Lord of lords, great God, living God, Most High. Humphries W. L. ‘A Life-style for Diaspora: A Study of the Tales of Esther and Daniel’. Collins J. J. Collins J. J. Graham Beynon is minister of Avenue Community Church - a recent church plant in Leicester. 13 However, the prince of the kingdom of Persia opposed me for twenty-one days. ‘The Rise of Apocalyptic’. Daniel 8. With much regret the king gave the order for Daniel to be thrown into the lions’ den, but not without a prayer that Daniel’s God would rescue him (Daniel 6:16). Was God realy in control? Using Daniel as an example, this message explores three essential of evangelism, regardless of style. Direct theological statements (2:20-22, 47; 3:28-29; 4:3) “Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: And he changeth… Gurney R. J. M. ‘The Four Kingdoms of Daniel 2 and 7’, Themelios, 2, 2, (1977), pp39-45. 17-19 God gave these four young men knowledge and skill in both books and life. Note that this vision and prophecy contains the true message of God but Daniel understands that its fulfillment [its appointed time] is a long way off. 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