The Book of Daniel is one of the most astounding books of the Bible. It is astounding for the prophecies contained in it that have already been fulfilled, and it is astounding for the prophecies specifically about the last days of the current epoch — known as the Endtime — that are yet to be fulfilled. The accuracy of the prophecies it contains, which include among other things the exact year that Jesus would be crucified, stand as a testament to its divinely inspired author and to his God. The fact that God, around 2,500 years ago, had these messages passed on to Daniel, many of which are directed to us in the twenty-first century, is proof of God’s love and concern for us. He wants us to be aware of the cataclysmic events that are soon to come upon the world so that we can prepare for them and be part of the glorious victory with Him at the end of it all.
Examining prophecies that have been fulfilled also builds our faith in prophecies yet to be fulfilled, and God’s revelations today. Just as God was able to reveal these things to Daniel over two and a half millennia ago, He is also able to speak to us and reveal to His servants now, as Daniel was His servant then, what will happen in the very near future. We can stand in awe of the insight into the distant future that He gave Daniel, but we should also stand in awe that the God who spoke to Daniel can also speak to us today. He is as concerned about the world now as He was then, and He is concerned about you and me.
As we study Daniel’s amazing book, let it build in us the faith for the future God wants us to have, and also the faith in His Word — both the written Word and the living Word — that He wants to speak to you and me.
The aim of this book is to deal with all of the Book of Daniel. It will cover the history of the time, the main protagonists and the roles they played, the fulfilled prophecies, and the prophecies that are yet to be fulfilled.
The Book of Daniel can be roughly divided into two parts. The first six chapters tell of events that happened to Daniel and people he knew. The last six are largely prophecies and visions about the future. However, the book doesn’t neatly divide in this way, as the second chapter deals with an amazing dream about the future and is one of the most remarkable prophetic passages in the whole Bible.
We will only be dealing with the version of Daniel that appears in the Protestant and Jewish Bibles. The Catholic and Orthodox versions contain writings attributed to Daniel — namely the chapters on Susanna, and Bel and the Dragon — that are placed in the Apocrypha.
The Book of Daniel is controversial. For a start, it was written in two languages — the first part in Hebrew, the middle section in Aramaic, and the last part in Hebrew again. That, critics of the book say, is indicative of more than one author. Also, much is made by skeptics about the fact that the book is so precise and successful in predicting events that occurred in the centuries immediately following Daniel’s death. They therefore declare that it must have been written several centuries after Daniel died, by a later writer or writers, and was only attributed to Daniel to make it look like he had predicted the future.
And there are other controversies. Some of these have already been laid to rest, while others still need to be resolved to everyone’s satisfaction. Several of them will be addressed as we progress through the book. However, we must remember that many times God requires us to believe by faith. He likes to see us take Him at His word simply out of love for Him and trust in Him. We are usually willing to give those we love the benefit of the doubt; can we not do as much for God?
It is intended that the text of the Bible's Book of Daniel should be read along with the text in this book, chapter by chapter. The twelve chapters of this book coincide with the twelve chapters of the Book of Daniel. Links to the New King James Version of the Bible’s Book of Daniel provided by BibleGateway.com can be found at the beginning of each chapter of this book.