Words in italic type have been added for clarity. They are not found in the original Hebrew or Aramaic.
- The old testament prophetic book of Daniel cannot be understood without the new testament book of Revelation.
- “The New is in the Old contained; The Old is by the New explained.”~Augustine
- The Old is the new concealed. The New is the old revealed.
Daniel and His Friends Obey God
Daniel 1:1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it.
When the hostages arrived in Babylon Nebuchadnezzar was king.
- ► Name: “Babylon”: Located in modern day Iraq, the name Babylon is derived from the biblical “Tower of Babel”. The modern day English word “Babble” comes from the bible when God divided the languages of men at the Tower of Babel. Gen 11:1-9
- That which “was” “will be”.
Daniel 1:2 And the Lord (‘ăḏōnāy) gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his (Nebuchadnezzar’s) hand, with some of the articles of the house of God (‘ĕlōhîm) (the temple), 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.
Daniel 1:3 Then 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,
Daniel 1:4 young 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 (Lit. writing or book) of the Chaldeans.
Daniel 1:5 And the king appointed for them (the children of Israel) 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.
Daniel 1:6 Now from among those of the sons of Judah were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.
Daniel 1:7 To them the chief of the eunuchs (Ashpenaz) gave names: he gave Daniel the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abed-Nego.
Daniel 1:8 But 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 (Ashpenaz) that he might not defile himself.
Daniel 1:9 Now God (‘ĕlōhîm) had brought Daniel into the favor and goodwill (kindness) of the chief of the eunuchs (Ashpenaz).
- ►It is God’s working in Daniel’s life that brought about the favor of Ashpenaz.
Daniel 1:10 And the chief of the eunuchs (Ashpenaz) 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.”
Daniel 1:11 So Daniel said to the steward (Or: Melzar, a title) whom the chief of the eunuchs (Ashpenaz) had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah,
Daniel 1:12 “Please test your servants for ten days, and let them give us vegetables to eat and water to drink.
Daniel 1:13 Then 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.”
Daniel 1:14 So he consented with them in this matter, and tested them ten days.
Daniel 1:15 And 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.
Daniel 1:16 Thus the steward (Or: Melzar) took away their portion of delicacies and the wine that they were to drink, and gave them vegetables.
- In scripture, vegetables signify worldliness while fruit signifies spirituality. Vegetables usually grow under the ground or laying on the surface of the ground ie the earth, or world. Whereas fruit usually grows on trees or vines, in the air ie: of the Spirit.
Daniel found himself ruled by a gentile king in a worldly nation, renowned for its idolatry. He ate vegetables.
- Summary: The people of the world cannot understand how anything can be successful without the things of the world. Daniel and his friends operated in a higher reality which means making spiritual decisions.
Daniel 1:17 As for these four young men (of stability), God gave them knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.
- ►Note: God was the source of their knowledge, skills, and wisdom.
►Daniel, specifically, had understanding in visions and dreams.
Daniel 1:18 Now at the end of the (ten) days, when the king had said that they should be brought in, the chief of the eunuchs (Ashpenaz) brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar.
Daniel 1:19 Then the king interviewed them (Lit. talked with them), and among them all none was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; therefore they served before the king.
Daniel 1:20 And 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 (conquered territories).
- ►Magicians and astrologers were considered to be wise men, originating from Chaldeans. They are also known as the Magi in the New Testament who came to worship the newborn Jesus when they saw His star in the sky.
Daniel 1:21 Thus Daniel continued (serving in the palace) until the first year of King Cyrus (when the Persians defeated Belshazzar, king of Babylon) (70 YEARS ACCORDING TO THE PROPHECY OF JEREMIAH).
►the Seventy Year Prophecy
- Daniel was taken hostage in 605 BC at approximately 15 years of age. He served in the palace until the first year of King Cyrus in 535 BC for a total of 70 years fulfilling the prophecy of Jeremiah.
- Jeremiah 25:1 [Seventy Years of Desolation] The word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah (which was the first year of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon),
- Jeremiah 25:11 And this whole land shall be a desolation and an astonishment, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.
- Jeremiah 25:12 ‘Then it will come to pass, when seventy years are completed, that I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation, the land of the Chaldeans, for their iniquity,’ says the Lord; ‘and I will make it a perpetual desolation’.
- Jeremiah 29:10 For thus says the Lord: After seventy years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform My good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place.
- ►The meaning of the number 70: Gentile Nations
- There are seventy gentile nations.
- There were twelve palm trees and seventy wells.
- Exodus 15:27 Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve wells of water and seventy palm trees; so they camped there by the waters.
- The Three Babylonian Kings reigned seventy years. The chronology of the three Babylonian kings is given in the Talmud as follows: Nebuchadnezzar reigned forty-five years, Evil-merodach twenty-three, and Belshazzar was monarch of Babylonia for two years, being killed at the beginning of his third year on the fatal night of the fall of Babylon. A total of 70 years.
- Seventy has the factors of seven and ten. Seven is Perfection and Completion and Ten is the number of Authority.
- ►The Story of the defeat of the Babylonians. See Daniel chapter five for the account of Babylon’s demise.