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The book of Daniel
Chapters One to Six
An historical perspective
Contents — Section One
As it was
Chapter One ........... Daniel's success
Chapter Two ............Nebuchadnezzar's dream
Chapter Three ..........Nebuchadnezzar's statue
Chapter Four ............Nebuchadnezzar's tree
Chapter Five ............Belshazzar's feast
Chapter Six .............Daniel in the lions' den
...I have added the notes and other references in small type.
Chapter 1 c. 606BC
1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon to Jerusalem, and besieged it. Note 1
2 And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God: which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god.
3 And the king spoke to Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children [teenagers] of Israel, and of the king's seed [family], and of the princes; 4 children in whom was no blemish, Note 2 but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king's palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans.
There are three groups mentioned here:-
1. An apostate church - Judah;
2. A false church - Babylon;
3. The true church - Daniel etc. 2 Kings 20:16-18;
5 And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king's meat [or food], and of the wine which he drank: so nourishing them three years, that at the end of it they might stand before the king [to be examined]. Note 3
6 Now among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: 7 To whom the prince of the eunuchs gave names: for he gave to Daniel the name of Belteshazzar; and to Hananiah, of Shadrach; and to Mishael, of Meshach; and to Azariah, of Abed-nego.
8 But Daniel purposed in his
heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the
king's meat [or food], nor with the wine which he drank:
therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might
not defile himself.
1 Corinthians 10:31 "Whether therefore you eat, or drink, or whatsoever you do, do all to the glory of God". They did this by by not requiring the life of another creature to please their taste. Note 4
9 Now God had brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs. "prince of eunuchs" = the leader of a section of the guards - a very trusted person. He liked Daniel because he followed his advice. Note 5
10 And the prince of the eunuchs said to Daniel, "I fear my lord the king, who has appointed your meat and your drink: for why should he see your faces worse liking [looking worse] than the children which are of your sort? Then shall you make me endanger my head to the king".
11 Then said Daniel to Melzar [one of the wardens], whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, 12 "Prove your servants, I beseech you, ten days; and let them give us pulse [vegetables] to eat, and water to drink. 13 Then let our countenances be looked upon before you, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the king's meat: and as you see, deal with your servants". Note 6
14 So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days. 15 And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king's meat. 16 Thus Melzar took away the portion of their meat, and the wine that they should drink; and gave them pulse [vegetables]. Note 7 ......................................... [Back to chapter ten]
17 As for these four children,
God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and
Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.
18 Now at the end of the days that the king had said he should bring them in, then the prince of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. 19 And the king communed with them; and among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: therefore stood they before the king. 20 And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm. Note 9
And Daniel continued [in government service] even to the first year of king Cyrus [of Medo-Persia]. c. 536BC (about 70 years). Note 10
On to ..........Chapter Two
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