Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Daniel Study | Session 1 | 1:1-5

Today we begin a new weekly study through the book of Daniel. We will look at verses 1-5 where we will find that King Nebuchadnezzar had carried away the southern kingdom of Judah and will look to the Scriptures to find out why and for how long. 

The prophecies in the Book of Daniel are so detailed and accurate that scholars who don't believe in the Bible as the inspired Word of God have trouble accepting Daniel as the author of his book. As we study this book together, I suggest you refresh your memory of the book of Revelation. It has been said that “Daniel is to the OT what Revelation is to the NT.”

The author has never been disputed as other than Daniel himself (7:15, 8:1, 9:2, 9:20, 10:2). Jesus also confirms this in Matt. 24:15.

Daniel lived in the sixth century before the birth of Jesus, i.e., 538 B.C.

By this writing, we know that Daniel was a very educated man. He writes in Aramaic, Hebrew, and some Greek. 

Chapter 1
Jerusalem Besieged
v.1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it. Nebuchadnezzar besieged Jerusalem at the end of the third year of Jehoiakim's reign in 606 BC (2 Kings 6:24-7:2 in fulfillment of Lev. 26:27-33). He did this only after Jehoiakim whom he had set up as king rebelled against him (cf. 2 Kings 23:36-24:1). 

King Nebuchadnezzar
Nebuchadnezzar was the world’s first great monarch. He ruled the entire known world at that time. His kingdom was Babylon.

Historical Background
350 years earlier at the death of King Solomon the kingdom was divided. The two southern tribes became came under Rehoboam and were called Judah. And the ten northern tribes came under Jeroboam and became Israel. This split occurs in I Kings 12:2-16. The divided kingdoms would never be reunited again. As time passed the ten northern tribes were conquered by the Assyrians ~ 701 BC. And in 606 the southern kingdom of Judah fell to the Babylonians under King Nebuchadnezzar. Thus began the Babylonian captivity which we will see will last for 70 years.

Punishment Allowed
v.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. Notice it says that the "Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand." This clearly means that God was allowing Judah to be punished. Why? – Idolatry and disobedience (cf. Jeremiah 25:1-12; 29:10-14). Why 70 years? Leviticus tells us that it was because they refused to give the land a rest every seven years as commanded (cf. Lev. 25:1-7, 26:33-35). They were in the land for 490 years. Therefore, 490/7=70. This will come into view better when we get to 9:1-3.

Fulfilled Prophecy
vv.3-4 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; Children in whom was no blemish, 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. This is also fulfilled prophecy as foretold in Isaiah 39:1-7. And, of course, among these selected was Daniel and his three friends.

Schooled Three Years
v.5 The king assigned them a daily amount of food and wine from the king's table. They were to be trained for three years, and after that they were to enter the king's service. The young men were to be schooled for three years before they were to be brought before the king for service in his court. The training was obviously to teach them the customs and language of the Babylonians. It was no doubt also an attempt at indoctrination.

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