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Please read the Introductory Notes to this commentary.

For a glossary of unfamiliar terms, CLICK HERE. For assistance in
pronouncing Hebrew terms, a pronunciation guide is located HERE.

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Introductory Notes and Outline
1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12
Apocryphal Chapters:  3   13   14  


Daniel:
The Rise and Fall of Kingdoms
Introductory Notes

The Book of Daniel is a sixth-century BCE document written in Hebrew and Aramaic which describes events that occurred during Israel’s Babylon captivity and predicts events that are to occur centuries in the author’s future, including events to occur in the Acharit Hayamim (Last Days). In the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible), it is found in the Ketuvim (Writings), while in Christian Bibles it is grouped with the Major Prophets. The book divides into two parts, a set of six court tales in chapters 1-6 written mostly in Aramaic, followed by four apocalyptic visions in chapters 7-12, written mostly in Hebrew. The deuterocanon (“second canon”) contains three additional stories: the Song of the Three Holy Children, Susanna, and Bel and the Dragon, which only appear in the Septuagint version of Daniel.

The book’s influence has resonated through later ages, from the Dead Sea Scrolls community and the authors of the Gospels and Revelation, to various movements from the 2nd century to the Protestant Reformation and modern millennialist movements — on which it continues to have a profound influence.

Literary Style

The Book of Daniel, like the Book of Revelation, is called an apocalypse, as are Isaiah 24-27 (the “Isaiah Apocalypse”) and the visions of Zachariah. “Apocalypse” (Greek ajpokavluyiß, apokalupsis) means unveiling, a disclosure of things that were previously unknown. Whenwickedness seemed supreme in the world, and evil powers were dominiant, HaShem gave an apocalypse to show the real situation behind that which was apparent, and to indicate the eventual victory of righteousness ovr unrightwousness. Apocalyptic writing uses many figures and sumbols. HaShem has used this literary form to convey His truth to His people.

Date and Author

The author of this book, Dani'el, whose name means “God is my Judge,” was taken to Babylon as a youth in the first deportation under Nebuchadnezzer. He soon excelled in wisdom in this land which was famous for its wise ment, and ultimately rose to become among the three highest officials in the Medo-Persian Empire (Dan 5:29; Dan 5:1-3). His life in Babylon extended to at least 530 BCE. That Daniel himself was the author is suggested in several passages (e.g., Dan 9:2; Dan 10:2). Yeshua cited Daniel as the author when He spoke of “‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel” (Mt 24:15, quoting Dan 9:27, Dan 11:31, and Dan 12:11). The book was probably completed about 530 BCE, shortly after King Cyrus the Great of Persia captured the city of Babylon in 539.)

Critics who claim a later date for the authorship do so based on the erroneous assumption that predictive prophecy is impossible (Isa 41:26; Mark 10:27); therefore (they claim) the book must have been composed no earlier than the time of the Maccabees (2nd century BCE). [MORE HERE]

Theme

Daniel is a book of kings and kigdome, of thrones and dominions. While inlding a number of historical records,it embodies prophecies of the sequence of kingdoms during “the times of the Goyim (Gentiles”) (Luke 21:24) and portrays the end of this period. It voices the only prophecy in the Tanakh (Dan 9:24-27) that sets the time of Messiah’s first appearance.

The historical events in Daniel, occurring at the beginning of the times of the Goyim, illustrate events prophetically set forth in the book as taking place at the end of this period and culminating catistrophically in the termination of Gentile world rule at Messiah’s return. Thus, the persecution of the children of God in chapters 3 and 6 foreshadows the more severe and universal persecution to take place in the Acharit HaYamim (End Times) (Dan 7:25; Dan 8:24; Dan 12:1); likewise, the blasphemous repudiation of the God of Israel, as in Dan 5:1-4 and Dan 6:5-12 will appear in a more universal form and even greater intensity at the end of the age (Dan 7:25; Dan 9:26; Dan 11:37-38).[1]

The book is referred to and quoted often in the Apostolic Writings and is the key to the proper understanding of the Book of Revelation. It exercised a great influence upon the early Messianic Community, and its scheme of four successive empires dominated European historiography until the middle of the eighteenth century.

Structure

Additions to Daniel (Greek text [LXX] tradition)

The Septuagint (Greek) text of Daniel is considerably longer than the Hebrew, due to three additional stories: they remain in Catholic and Orthodox Bibles but were rejected by the Protestant movement in the 16th century on the basis that they were absent from Jewish Bibles.

Main Divisions

The Book of Daniel may be divided into three main sections:

Chiastic structure in the Aramaic section

There is a recognised chiasm (a concentric literary structure in which the main point of a passage is placed in the centre and framed by parallel elements on either side in “ABBA” fashion) in the chapter arrangement of the Aramaic section. The following is taken from Paul Redditt’s Introduction to the Prophets:[2]

Outline

I. Daniel’s Early Life in the Babylonian Court (chapter 1)

A. Daniel in Nebuchadnezzar’s Palace (vv 1-7)

B. Daniel’s Purpose of Heart (vv 8-21)

II. Nebuchadnezzar’s Vision of the Image (chapter 2)

A. The Forgotten Dream (vv 1-13)

B. Daniel Requests Time & Prays for Wisdom (vv 14-18)

C. The Secret Revealed to Daniel (vv 19-30)

D. The Dream of the Great Image (vv 31-35)

E. The Interpretation: First World Empire,
     Babylon Under Nebuchadnezzar (vv 36-38)

F. Second and Third World Empires, Medo-Persia and Greece (v 39)

G. Fourth World Empire, Rome (vv 40-43)

H. The Kingdom of God, Messiah Reigns on Earth (vv 44-45)

I. Daniel Promoted (vv 46-49)

III. The Deliverance of the Three Hebrew Youths (chapter 3)

A. Nebuchadnezzar’s Pride: the Golden Image (vv 1-7)

B. Three Hebrews Refuse to Worship the Image (8-18)

C. Daniel’s Companions Protected (vv 19-25)

1. The Prayer of Azariah (LXX)

2. The Song of the Three Holy Children (LXX)

C. Nebuchadnezzar Recognizes the Deliverance of HaShem (vv 26-28)

D. Nebuchadnezzar’s Decree; Three Hebrew Promoted (vv 29-30)

IV. The Vision and Humbling of Nebuchadnezzar (chapter 4)

A. The King’s Proclamation to all Nations (vv 1-3)

B. Nebuchadnezzar’s Vision of a Great Tree (vv 4-18)

C. Daniel Interprets the Vision (vv 19-27)

D. The Vision Fulfilled; the King Restored (vv 28-37)

V.  Daniel’s Experience Under Belshazzar (chapters 5)

A. Belshazzar Defiles the Temple Vessels (vv 1-4)

B. The Handwriting on the Wall (vv 5-9)

C. Daniel Interprets the Handwriting (vv 10-31)

VI. Daniel Under Darius (Chapter 6)

A. Darius’ Governors (vv 1-3)

B. The Governors Plot Against Daniel (vv 4-9)

C. Daniel’s Steadfastness in Prayer (vv 10-15)

D. Daniel in the Lions’ Den (vv 16-24)

E. Darius’s Decree (vv 25-28)

VII. Daniel’s Vision of the Four Beasts (chapter 7)

A. The Dream (vv 1-3)

B. First World Empire, Babylon (v 4)

C. Second World Empire, Meo-Persia (v 5)

D. Third World Empire, Greece (v 6)

E. Fourth World Empire, Rome (v 7)

F. Final form of the Last Human Empire: Ten Kings and Little Horn (v 8)

G. Coming of the Son of Man (vv 9-12)

H. Scene in Heaven (vv 13-14)

I. Interpretation of the Beast Vision (vv 15-23)

J. HaSatan’s Blasphemous Leader (vv 24-28)

VIII. The Prophecy of the Defeat of the Persians by the Greeks;
          the Desecration of the Temple (chapter 8)

A. Vision of the Ram and Goat (vv 1-8)

B. The Little Horn (vv 9-14)

C. Interpretation of the Vision (vv 15-29)

D. The Identity of the Ram (v 20)

E. Identity of the Goat and His Successors (vv 21-22)

F. The King of Fierce Countenance (vv 23-27)

IX. Daniel’s Prayer and the Prophecy of the Seventy Weeks (chapter 9)

A. The Vision of the Seventy Weeks (vv 1-2)

B. Daniel’s Confession and Prayer (vv 3-19)

C. The Seventy Weeks of Years (vv 20-27)

X. Daniel’s Final Vision (chapters 10-12)

A. The Vision of the Glory of God (10:1-9)

B. Conflict of Holy and Unholy Angels (vv 10-21)

C. From Darius to the Man of Sin (11:1-20)

E. Antiochus Ephiphanes, the Syrian King Who Will Hurt Israel (vv 21-35)

E. Prophecy Concerning the Willful King (vv 36-45)

F. The Great Tribulation (12:1)

G. The Resurrections (vv 3-4)

H. HaShem’s Last Message to Daniel (vv 4-13)

 

Chapter 1

_______________

 1. I personally believe that the rise of world-wide radical Islam and the efforts of Radical-Left elements of the United States Government to totally obliterate God from our country strongly suggest that we are very near the end of the time of the Goyim. Please feel free to disagree. [RETURN]

 2. Redditt, Paul L. (2008). Introduction to the Prophets. Eerdmans. [RETURN]

 

Page originally posted on Thursday, 18 June 2020
Added additional comments and outline on Wednesday, 08 July 2020

Page last updated on Tuesday, 29 June 2021 04:43 PM
(Updates are generally minor formatting or editorial changes.
Major content changes are identified as "Revisions”)

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