By Tyson Thorne

December 11, 2018

Intro Daniel Large

Daniel is one of the most remarkable books in the Bible. Divided between it’s powerful telling of history and it’s prophetic revelations it has likely been the most studied book of the Bible. Even so, it is not without its detractors. Liberal scholars claim it is a complete work of fiction. Early on the complained that King Belshazzar (whose story is told in chapter five) never existed. Then in 1854 British Consul G J Taylor proved them wrong by unearthing ancient scrolls referring to the King's son, Belshazzar. As embarrasing as this was, it wouldn’t keep them from attempting to diminish this important text. 

The liberal scholars then claimed the book was written during the time of the Maccabean Revolt about 165 BC. They claim it was written as a tale of revolution used to inspire the Jewish people to revolt. Conservative scholars are quick to point out that the book of Daniel speaks well of some Gentile rulers, not something one would expect if it was meant to inspire the people to revolt against a Gentile nation. Even so, I believe the best argument for the historicity and reliability of Daniel is found in Matthew 24.15.16 where Jesus says, "So when you see the desolating sacrilege standing in the holy place, as was spoken by the prophet Daniel (let the reader understand), then those in Judea must flee to the mountains." Jesus believed Daniel was a real person and that his prophecies were accurate, and I think he’d know.  

Author and Date of Writing 

Daniel is real then, and would have been taken into captivity in 605 BC. That means the book was probably written about 540 BC, a few years before Daniel’s death in 536 BC.Since it was written during the time of the captivity, it’s purpose was to inform and encourage the Jewish community. Paul Benware, professor at Moody Bible Institute wrote in his Survey of the Old Testament: 

"Since Daniel lived and ministered in the city of Babylon, it must be assumed that [Daniel's] primary audience was the Jews of the captivity. But the contents of the book indicate that all of Israel needed to know and understand its prophecy. The book would have encouraged Israel by revealing that God was not through with them as a nation. God did have an order of events for the future, and Israel had a significant place in this program.” 

Basic Outline of Daniel 

I. Personal History of the Prophet, 1 

II The Prophetic History of the Gentiles, 2-7 

III. The Prophetic History of Israel, 8-12

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