BIBLE: Daniel Chapter 1- Headline “Grabble On” [Shadows, Types, Patterns, Symbolism]

Words in italic type have been added for clarity. They are not found in the original Hebrew or Aramaic.

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Daniel 1

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.

►Symbolism:

  1. Babylon is spiritually symbolic for idolatry, which God calls “harlotry”.
    • Revelation 17:5 (prophetic: when the Antichrist sets up his reign in Jerusalem during the seven years of tribulation and declares that he, the Antichrist, is ‘god’). And on her (Jerusalem’s) forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH
  2. Babylon is called the mother of Harlots along with any nation which follows her idolatry.
  3. Babylon is symbolic for idolatry and globalism, Sodom is symbolic for debauchery and Egypt for worldliness.
    • Revelation 11:8 And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city (Jerusalem) which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.
    • The Harlot in Revelation who sits on the beast is the city of Jerusalem where the Antichrist rules his global power. At the beginning of the seven year tribulation the Jews believe the Antichrist is their “Messiah”… he signs a seven year peace treaty … and then betrays them. He attacks Jerusalem, then sets up his unholy government from Jerusalem while attempting to annihilate the Jews.
    • Jerusalem is Revelation’s “Babylon” written on the Harlot’s head. Babylon is in Jerusalem.
  4. Babylon instituted the first banking system charging exorbitant interest rates linked to its temples. Its temples of worshiping false gods were used for idolatry, a corrupt economic system, and prostitution.
    • The Encyclopedia Britannica (1943 Ed., Vol. 3, “History of Banks,” p. 67) notes that the Babylonians had developed a banking system “as early as 2000 BC.” The same article notes that the banking system began as an invention of the sun-god temples, and it states: “the temples of Babylon…were also the banks.” This Britannica article cites a document from that period which mentions a person who had borrowed silver and that: “He will pay the sun-god’s interest. At the time of the harvest he will pay back the sum and the interest upon it.” Farmers were even then borrowing money from banks to plant their crops. About 575 BC, there was the Igibi Bank of Babylon…the records of this bank show that it “loaned on crops, attaching them in advance…loaned on signatures and on objects deposited, and received deposits on which it paid interest.” We know that modern banking practices had their origins with the sun-god temples of ancient Babylon in Mesopotamia. The description of Babylonian banking practices in the 6th century BC gives us an insight into Babylonian banking practices in previous centuries as well.
    • Gwendolyn Leick’s book, The Babylonians, pp. 88-89 states that typical Babylonian interest rates were “20-33%,” and adds the following about Babylonian business practices: “…they would squeeze from the primary producers as much return as possible…such ‘capitalist’ practices contributed…to the impoverishment of the farming population. More and more [producers] lost control over their means of production by having to sell their fields, boats, livestock and…enter into a serf-like dependency on their creditors.” Leick adds that these money lending practices were “intimately linked to…temple institutions.”
Daniel 1: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.
  • ►Note: “His god” accentuates Babylon’s idolatry.
Daniel 1: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: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: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.

►In 605 BC Daniel and his friends begin their 3 year training program probably ending in 603 BC, which would be the same year Daniel interpreted Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of a statue made of various medals.

►How is the number three used in the Bible? Some examples are as follows:

  1. On Mount Carmel Elijah had the sacrifice doused with water three times
  2. Moses’ mother was able to hide her baby for three months (Exod 2:3; cf. Acts 7:20; Heb 11:23)
  3. Three encapsulates the Trinity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
  4. The Resurrection happened after three days.
  5. After two days He will revive us, on the third day He will restore us. Hosea 6:1-2

It is a spiritual motif of spiritual activity and completeness: beginning, middle, and end.

In creation there are a significant number of threes:

  1. Accounting of Time: Hours, minutes, seconds – Past, present, future
  2. Physical Dimensions: Height, width, and depth
  3. Man: Mind, soul, spirit
  4. Matter: Gas, liquid, solid
  5. Words: Spoken, written, living
  6. Family: Father, mother, children,

Symbolically, the number 3 signifies wholeness, divine perfection, and creativity.

Daniel 1:Now from among those of the sons of Judah were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.
Daniel 1: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.
  • ►The meanings of their names:
Meanings of Daniel and His three friends names
Daniel 1: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:Now God (‘ĕlōhîm) had brought Daniel into the favor and goodwill (kindness) of the chief of the eunuchs (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.
    ►What does the number four mean?
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.
  • Ten is symbolic of a foundation, a cornerstone. The young men are setting a foundation for the relationship between the Babylonians and the Jews.
  • Ten is the number of accountability: We have ten fingers and we are accountable for the work of our hands. We have ten toes and we are accountable for our walk in life.
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).
  • ►Why ten times better? The number ten is used repeatedly in Daniel chapter one: ten days and ten times better. The number ten is significant. (See Daniel 1:14)
  • ►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).

See: Bible: Daniel Chapter 1 – “Babble On” (Prophecy) 70 years of captivity.

  • ►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 Gentile 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 is has the factors of seven and ten. Seven is Perfection and Completion and Ten is the number of Authority.

Review on the symbolic meaning of numbers.

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