Bible Book Summary
by Jay Smith
The genre of the book of Daniel is Narrative History, Prophetic Oracle, and it includes Apocalyptic material. The prophet Daniel wrote it around 530 B.C. and his writings records the events of the Babylonian captivity in 560-536 B.C. to which Daniel was a servant. It also describes the apocalyptic visions given by God, and reveals the events and plans for everyone’s future. Key personalities of this book include Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, Belshazzar, and Darius.
The purpose of this book is to provide a historical account how the Lord God protected and provided for His faithful followers while in captivity. It also includes a vision of future redemption and hope.
• In chapters 1-6, Daniel writes about his own life in captivity. He was selected to work for the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel (or his Babylonian name Belteshazzar), and his friends made bold and tough decisions and several times displayed their integrity to stand for Godliness instead of culture. They rejecting the king’s food, prayed when it was illegal to do so, and refused to bow to the king’s idol, for which they were thrown into a scorching furnace. Daniel interpreted the king’s dreams twice then was promoted as chief over all the wise men in Babylon. Yet, through all the great things that Daniel did He claimed it was God that did it through him and he gave all the glory to God, “It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things; He knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with Him” (2:22).
• Chapters 7-12 contain the visions that Daniel received from God and the events that are involved in his prophetic ministry. A portion of these includes the results of the earthly kingdoms that he lived in. They also mention the coming Messiah and the apocalyptic events to come. “As for me, I heard but could not understand; so I said, “My lord, what will be the outcome of these events?” He said, “Go your way, Daniel, for these words are concealed and sealed up until the end time” (12:8-9). To be continued...