Lesson #1: Introduction, Outline: Daniel 1:1-5;

(1) - Daniel's father was an aristocrat from the tribe of Judah. Daniel's father and mother were believers. His parents led him to the Lord at a very early age, and they taught him the Word of God on a consistent basis. So that by the time Daniel was in his teens he was a spiritually mature believer. Daniel was one of a very few believers in history to have developed spiritual maturity before he developed physical maturity.

(2) - With all of his fantastic background and training, and his great spiritual development, Daniel was ready to assume a leadership role. But not leadership in his own country, because his country would be destroyed shortly. So Daniel, a Jew, will not rule in Israel. Daniel, a Jew, will rule over two great empires. Daniel will be the surviving ruler of the great Chaldean Empire, and he will be the number one ruler in his area in the Persian Empire under Cyrus the Great.

(3) - Two of the greatest rulers of all time who actually handled the business of organization and administration of great empires were Joseph and Daniel. Both Joseph and Daniel got their start with Bible doctrine early in life. From his early youth Daniel learned and applied the Word of God. He never compromised his stand on Bible doctrine no matter what the price.

(4) - The book of Daniel begins in the year 606 BC with Judah in apostasy and rebellion against God.

(5) - The events leading up to our first verse in Daniel chapter one are:

(A) - The Battle of Carchemish, in which the Pharoah of Egypt along with the remnant of the Assyrian army fought against the Chaldeans under Nebuchadnezzar.

(B) - Nebuchadnezzar, in his pursuit of the Egyptians came upon Jerusalem, laid seige to it and conquered it. Judah had been a vassal under the Pharoah of Egypt before this.

(C) - Nebuchadnezzar's father, Nabopolassar, died, and Nebuchadnezzar went back to Babylon, where he was crowned king.

(D) - When Nebuchadzezzar left Jerusalem, he took with him hostages in order to keep Judah in line. These hostages were taken from the families of the aristocrats or leaders of Judah, and Daniel was one of them.

(6) - The book of Daniel reveals God's care and faithfulness for born-again Jews who were spiritually mature, and it emphasizes the importance of knowing the Word of God.

(7) - The book of Daniel emphasizes spiritual factors which led to the Golden Age of Judah after their captivity in Babylon. The Golden Age began in 516 BC and continued to the time of Alexander the Great in 323 BC.

All national prosperity is based upon believers who are functioning daily in their learning and application of the Word of God and whose minds are completely filled with a frame of reference information of divine viewpoint obtained from the knowledge of the Word of God.

(8) - The book of Daniel will answer a lot questions spiritually, historically, and prophetically. Therefore, the book of Daniel is broken down into three areas:

(A) - Historical application, which will be the divine viewpoint of history.

(B) - Spiritual application, which will deal with the spiritual life of Daniel, with applications for us.

(C) - Prophetical application, which deals with future events.

Historical Background to Chapter One

The background of the book of Daniel is the rise of the Chaldean Empire.

(1) - The Chaldeans are not Babylonians. Technically, the Jews did not go into the Babylonian captivity, they went into the Chaldean captivity. The Chaldeans ruled in Babylon. The Babylonians and Chaldeans were two different races. The Babylonians were a conquered people at the time of Daniel.

(2) - The Chaldean Empire was founded by Nabopalassar in 625 BC. In 625 BC he took over the Babylonian Empire and formed the Neo-Babylonian Empire called Chaldea. He then revolted against the Assyrians. He had four sons, one of them was Nebuchadnezzar.

(3) - In 612 BC, he formed an alliance with the Medes and the Sythians and completely destroyed what was left of the Assyrian Empire.

(4) - Daniel 1:1 begins in the year 606 BC when Nebuchadnezzar as the commander of the Chaldean army confronted Pharoah Necho of Egypt at the Battle of Carchemish. The Chaldean army soundly defeated the Egyptian army and began to pursue them. The Chaldeans pursued the Egyptians right through Palestine. But when they came close to Jerusalem, Nebuchadnezzar saw the city and was very impressed with its beauty. So he stopped the pursuit of the Egyptians and laid seige to Jerusalem which he conquered in a very short time. Jerusalem was an Egyptian vassal at that time. Sometime during all this action Nebuchadnezzar's father, Nabopalassar, died. Nebuchadnezzar was then summond back to Babylon. To make sure that the Jews would stay loyal to him, he took about 50 hostages from the royal family of Israel, and Daniel was one of them.

(5) - Who were the kings of Israel at this time? Josiah was the last of the great kings in Judah. He died in 609 BC while fighting Pharoah Necho in the Battle of Meggido. Josiah reigned from 640 - 609 BC. He had three sons who survivded him.

(A) - Jehoahaz - Also called Shallum in II Kings 23:30-34; II Chronicles 36:1-4; Jeremiah 22:10-12. He reigned in 609 BC for about six months. Jehoahaz was the oldest son of Josiah. Pharoah Necho killed Josiah at the Battle of Meggido, then he came back to Jerusalem and placed Josiah's son, Jehoahaz on the throne of Judah as a puppet king. After a very short time Jehoahaz began to give Pharoah Necho some difficulty. So he was taken off of the throne, taken to Egypt and killed.

(B) - Jehoiakim - Also called Eliakim. He was the second son of Josiah, and he was placed on the throne of Judah by Pharoah Necho in 609 BC after Jehoahaz was removed. Jehoiakim ruled from 609 - 598 BC. After the Battle of Carchemish in 606 BC Jehoiakim became a vassal to Nebuchadnezzar. In other words, Jehoiakim was left on the throne of Judah by Nebuchadnezzar. But to make sure that Jehoiakim behaved himself and would not go back to the Egyptian Alliance, Nebuchadnezzar took some hostages to Babylon.

At that time in Judah there were two lines of political thought. One line favored staying loyal to Nebuchadnezzar, and the other line favored renewing the old alliance with Egypt and throwing off the yoke of Chaldea. For a long time Jeremiah's preaching kept everything on an even course. Jeremiah, through his preaching actually stopped the pro-Egyptian thought from succeeding. But eventually, in spite of Jeremiah's preaching, Jehoiakim revolted against Nebuchadnezzar in 598 BC. During the seige of 598 BC, Jehoiakim died and his son Jehoiachin took over as king.

(C) - Jehoiachin - Also called Jechoniah and Coniah. II Kings 24:6-17; 25:27-30; I Chronicles 3:16-17; II Chronicles 36:8-9; Esther 2:6; Jeremiah 22:24-28; 24:1; 37:1; 52:31; and Ezekiel 1:2. Jehoiachin ruled for about 100 days before he was forced to surrender to Nebuchadnezzar and the Chaldean army. But during his 100 day reign, Jechoiachin did more evil and more wickedness than what most people could do in a hundred years. Jechoiachin or Coniah was one of the reasons for the necessity of the virgin birth of Jesus Christ. In Jeremiah's prophecy Coniah, because of his intense evil, was told that he would never be included in the Davidic covenant, even though he was a descendant of David. (Jeremiah 22:24-30). After taking the city in 598 BC Nebuchadnezzar decided to take hostages again. But this time, instead of taking hostages from the royal family, he decided to take hostages from the spiritual leaders, and one of them was Ezekiel. When Nebuchadnezzar took over Jerualem in 598 BC, he took Jehoiachin captive and placed him in prison in Babylon. But he allowed Ezekiel to have freedom in Babylon.

(D) - Zedekiah - Also known as Mattaniah, ruled from 598 BC - 586 BC. In 598 BC when Nebuchadnezzar took Jersualem and imprisoned Jechoiachin (Coniah) he placed Zedekiah, the youngest son of Josiah on the throne. Zedekiah also ignored all of the prophecies concerning "going to Egypt for help." Jeremiah kept warning him until he put Jeremiah in prison. Zedekiah expelled all Chaldean diplomats and began to negotiate a new alliance with Egypt. Then in 586 BC Nebuchadnezzar returned the third time to Jerusalem, and this time his patience had worn out, so he totally destroyed the city and the temple, and took everyone into captivity. This is the background of Psalms 119 and Lamentations 3 This is the death march crowd.

(6) - In Daniel's day they had the liberals and the conservatives. Daniel, Ezekiel, Jeremiah and Isaiah were all followers of the conservative party. It was the liberals who were always convincing the leaders of Judah to go to Egypt for help. The liberals have always been opposed to the Word of God, while conservatives have always favored the Word of God. Political and theological Liberalism always destroys nations. Political and theological conservatism always strengthens nations. This is one of the great principles that is found in the book of Daniel.

Basic Outline of the Book of Daniel

(1) - The taking of Daniel and some of his frineds to Babylon. It also includes their Chaldean education, and their spiritual test. Daniel Chapter One.

(2) - Nebuchadnezzar's dream of the metallic man, and Daniel's interpretation of that dream. Daniel's interpretation actually gives the over all picture of the great empires down through history, beginning with Nebuchadnezzar and the Chaldean Empire, and ending with coming of Jesus Christ, the Jewish Messiah to set up His kingdom on the earth. Daniel chapter two.

(3) - Nebechadnezzar's construction of a large golden image, and his requirement that all were to worship it, or be thrown into a fiery furnace. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, three Jewish friends of Daniel, refused to bow the image and were thown into the fire, but were delivered through the fire. Daniel Chapter three.

(4) - Nebuchadnezzar's vision of a tree, and his mental insanity. Daniel Chapter Four.

(5) - The feast of Nebuchadnezzar's grandson, Belshazzar in 539 BC. The miraculous handwriting on the wall, and Daniel's intrepretation of it. The fall of Bablylon to the Persians, and Darius the Mede becomes the king. Daniel Chapter five.

(6) - The plot against Daniel. Daniel in the lion's den. Daniel Chapter Six.

(7) - Daniel's vision of the four beasts: the lion, the bear, the leopard, and a dreadful and terrible beast without name. The interpretation of Daniel's vision. Daniel Chapter Seven.

(8) - Daniel's vision of the ram and the goat, and the interpretation of it. Daniel Chapter Eight.

(9) - Daniel's prayer for his people, and the vision of the seventy weeks. Daniel Chapter Nine.

(10) - Daniel's visions by the great river called Hiddekel. Daniel Chapter Ten.

(11) - Daniel's prophecy of the king of the south and the king of the north. Daniel Chapter Eleven.

(12) - Daniel's prophecy of the end time. Daniel Chapter Twelve.

Daniel 1:1;

VS 1: - In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and beseiged it.

In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah - This is 606 BC. We know from our background study that Jehoiakim replaced his brother Jehoahaz after he had only reigned for six months in the year 609 BC. Jehoiakim was placed on the throne of Judah by Pharoah Necho of Egypt in the year 609 BC. Beginning in that year Judah became an Egyptian vassal. Therefore, we know that "the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim" was 606 BC.

King of Judah - According to II Samuel 5:15, it says that David ruled the tribe of Judah for seven and a half years, and then after the civil war, and the resistence from the house of Saul ended, David captured the Jebusite city of Jerusalem, made that the capital and became king over all Israel. During David's reign of 33 years he united all of the Jewish tribes and actually formed the United kingdom of Israel. After David's death in 1015 BC his son, Solomon maitained the United Kingdom of Israel until his death in 975 BC.

When Solomon's son Rehoboam took over the throne of Israel there was much discention and the kingdom split. The Northern Kingdom of ten tribes called Israel with its captial in Samaria, and the Southern Kingdom of two tribes called Judah with its capital in Jerusalem.

The survival of these two rival kingdoms was due mainly to the spiritual factor. In other words, because of such men as Elijah and Hosea in the Northern Kingdom, and Amos and Isaiah in the Southern Kingdom. God spared these kingdoms from disaster because of the positive volition of belivers in both kingdoms. But when negative volition toward God became consitely intense God destroyed the Northern Kingdom in 721 BC by the powerful Assyrian army.

Positive volition lasted a little longer in the Southern Kingdom. But eventually negative volition became quite consistent, and in 609 BC, with the death of King Josiah of Judah at the hands of Pharoah Necho of Egypt, Judah moved into the God's cycles of national discipline and became a vassal to Egypt. This brings us up to our passage in Daniel 1:1.

Literally, "In the third year of the reign of of Jehoiakim king of Judah (606 BC)."

Came Nebuchadnezzar - Nebuchadnezzar was not coming specifically to take Jerusalem. He was actually in pursuit of the Egyptian army after he had defeated them at the Battle of Carchemish on the Euphrates River. But when he came upon Jerusalem, he stopped the pursuit and layed siege to the city.

King of Babylon - Nebuchadnezar was actually king of the Chaldean Empire whose headquarters and capital was in Babylon.

Unto Jerusalem, and besieged it - The siege did not last very long. Possibly a week to ten days at the most. Remember that Judah was a vassel to Egypt and Nebuchadnezzar and the Chaldean army had just defeated the armies of the Egyptian Empire. So after all this, what could Judah ever hope to accomplish in fighting the Chaldeans?

EXPANDED TRANSLATION VERSE 1: "In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah (606 BC), came Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon (pursuing the Egyptians after the Battle of Carchemish) to Jerusalem and laid siege to it." (1)

VS 2 - And the Lord gave Jehoiakim the king of Judah into his hands, with a 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.

And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand - In other words, Nebuchadnezzar took over Jerusalem, Judah and Jehoiakim with them. This was simply another phase of God's national discipline upon Israel because of her negative attitude toward God and His Word. After Nebuchadnezzar took over the kingdom of Judah and its king, Jehoiakim, he placed Jehoiakim back on the throne of Judah as a vassal to the Chaldean Empire in Babylon.

Literally, "And the Lord delivered Jehoiakim king of Judah into Nebuchadnezzar's hand."

With part of the vessels of the house of God - The word "part" refers to "a portion, or some of" the "vessels," referring to "utensils, instruments, furniture, or items" used in "the house of God," referring to the Temple that Solomon built about 400 years before. We will see these items from the Temple used in a drunken party in Daniel chapter five. The chapter that centers on "the handwriting on the wall" incident.

Literally, "And the Lord delivered Jehoiakim king of Judah into Nebuchadnezzar's hand, along with a portion of the items from the house of God (the Temple)."

Which he carried into the land of Shinar - This refers to the southern part of the land of Mesopotamia. The land between the rivers (the Tigrus and Euphrates Rivers). This was where Babylon was located.

To the house of his god - "The house of his god" refers to the Babylonian Pantheon where all of the statues of the Chaldean gods were housed. The Chaldeans had four basic gods, and we will see them later on in our study.

And brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god - The treasure house is that part of the heathen temple where items of value were kept and guarded.

EXPANDED TRANSLATION VERSE 2: "And the Lord delivered Jehoiakim king of Judah into Nebuchadnezzar's hand, with some of the items from the house of God (the Temple), which he carried back to the land of Shinar and Babylon to the house of his god, and he brought the items of the Temple of Jerusalem to the treasure room of his god."

Beginning in verse 3 the scene moves to Babylon and that is where it stays through chapter five.

VS 3 - And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king's seed, and of the princes;

And the king spake unto Asphenaz the master of his eunuchs - This refers to King Nebuchadnezzar "commanding Asphenaz," the "prince, officer or master" "of the eunuchs." The word "eunuchs" is a translation of the Hebrew word CARIC meaning, "to castrate, to make a minister of the state." Because of the statement "no blemish" in verse four, the definition of "eunuchs" in verse three would be "minister of state." This is because castration would be a blemish on physical beauty.

Literally, "And King Nebuchadnezzar commanded Asphenas the prince of the eunuchs."

That he should bring certain of the children of Israel This refers to "certain one" from the hostages taken from Israel.

And of the king's seed and of the princes - This refers to the royal family of Israel. the family of David.

Isaiah foretold this in Isaiah 39:7, "And of the sons that shall issue from thee, which thou shall beget, shall they take away; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon."

EXPANDED TRANSLATION VERSE 3: "And king Nebuchadnezzar commanded Asphenaz the prince of the eunuchs, that he should bring with him certain ones from the children of Israel, ones from the king's family, and ones from the family of the princes."

VS 4 - Children in whom was no blemish, but well-favored, and skillful 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.

Chilren in whom was no blemish - The Hebrew word for "children" is JELED meaning, "a lad, a child," and refers to a child who is actually a young teen-ager. The phrase "in whom was no blemish" is actually a Hebrew idiom referring to physical beauty. This means that they had to free from scars, birth-marks, or deformaties.

But well favored This means "well favored" in the sense of "handsome or good looking." In other words, their physical features had to be perfect and they had to be handsom and good looking.

Skillful in all wisdom - This means that they had to be superior intellectually. Their previous education as royal children was a big factor.

Cunning in knowledge - This means that they had to be able to apply the "wisdom" they possessed.

Understanding science - This refers to the ability to understand technical and mechanical things.

And such as had ability in them - This refers to all those who passed the requirements just listed.

To stand in the king's palace - In other words, those who were selected would serve in the administration of the king's government.

And whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans - This refers to teaching them the Chaldean culture and the Chaldean language.

EXPANDED TRANSLATION VERSE 4: "Teenager who have outstanding physical beauty, good looking in appearance, superior intellectually, able to apply skills in all areas of learning, and those who have such abilities in them, choose them to work in the administration of the king's government, and these also should be taught the culture and the language of the Chaldeans."

VS 5 - And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king's meat, and of the wine which he drank: so nourshing them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king.

Although an education such as this did not in itself violate the religious standards of these Jewish youths, their environment and circumstances they found themselves soon presented them with some real challenges.

And the king appointed a daily provision of the king's meat and of the wine which he drank - This means that Nebuchadnezzar "assigned or designated" a "daily porition" of his own best food for these captives from Judah. The phrase "the king's meat" refers to "the king's food." These Jewish captives were to have the same food that the king had, which was the best food and the best wine available.

So nourshing them three years - This was how long the brainwashing school was to last.

That at the end thereof they might stand before the king - This means that at the end of their three year brainwashing course, they would function in the king's administration with royal duties and royal responsibilities.

EXPANDED TRANSLATION VERSE 5: "And the king provided a daily portion of food and wine from his own table nourishing them for three years, at which time they would stand before the king with royal responsibilitie and duties." (2)

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Copyright 2000 by Robert H. Kreger. All rights reserved. Anyone is allowed to reproduce this material and distribute it, but it may not be sold under any circumstances whatsoever without the author's written consent.