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Prophets After the Exile

(Category 12 of 16)

Watch our Read Scripture video on the book of Daniel, which breaks down the literary design of the book and its flow of thought. There is one Read Scripture video dedicated to the book of Daniel, which aims to help you see its unique contribution to the story of Jesus, but also how they work within the Bible’s overall framework.

The story of Daniel motivates faithfulness despite exile in Babylon. His visions offer hope that God will bring all nations under His rule.

Explore Daniel

DANIEL: (RS)

 

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The book of

DANIEL

DANIEL’S life and ministry bridge the entire seventy-year period of Babylonian
captivity. Deported to Babylon at the age of sixteen, and handpicked for government
service, Daniel becomes God’s prophetic mouthpiece to the gentile and
Jewish world declaring God’s present and eternal purpose. Nine of the twelve
chapters in his book revolve around dreams, including God-given visions involving
trees, animals, beasts, and images. In both his personal adventures and
prophetic visions, Daniel shows God’s guidance, intervention, and power in the
affairs of men.
The name Daniye’l or Dani’el means “God Is My Judge,” and the book is, of
course, named after the author and principal character. The Greek form Daniel in
the Septuagint is the basis for the Latin and English titles.
 
 

Daniel and His Friends Obey God

1

1 IN the third year of the reign of aJehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it.
2 And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with asome of the articles of 1the house of God, which he carried binto the land of Shinar to the house of his god; cand he brought the articles into the treasure house of his god.
3 Then the king instructed Ashpenaz, the master of his eunuchs, to bring asome of the children of Israel and some of the king’s descendants and some of the nobles,
4 young men ain whom there was no blemish, but good-looking, gifted in all wisdom, possessing knowledge and quick to understand, who had ability to serve in the king’s palace, and bwhom they might teach the language and 1literature of the Chaldeans.
5 And the king appointed for them a daily provision of the king’s delicacies and of the wine which he drank, and three years of training for them, so that at the end of that time they might aserve before the king.
6 Now from among those of the sons of Judah were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.
7 aTo them the chief of the eunuchs gave names: bhe gave Daniel the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abed-Nego.
8 But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself awith the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.
9 Now aGod had brought Daniel into the favor and 1goodwill of the chief of the eunuchs.
10 And the chief of the eunuchs said to Daniel, “I fear my lord the king, who has appointed your food

CHAPTER 1 References

1 a2 Kin.
24:1, 2
2 aJer. 27:19,
20 bZech. 5:11
c2 Chr. 36:7
1The temple
3 aIs. 39:7
4 aLev. 24:19,
20 bActs 7:22
1Lit. writing
or book
5 aDan. 1:19
7 a2 Kin. 24:17
bDan. 2:26;
4:8; 5:12
8 aHos. 9:3
9 aGen. 39:21
1kindness
11 1Or Melzar
16 1Or Melzar
17 a[James
1:5–7] bActs
7:22 c2 Chr.
26:5
19 aGen. 41:46
1Lit. talked
with them
20 a1 Kin. 10:1
21 aDan. 6:28;
10:1

and drink. For why should he see your faces looking worse than the young men who are your age? Then you would endanger my head before the king.”
11 So Daniel said to 1the steward whom the chief of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah,
12 “Please test your servants for ten days, and let them give us vegetables to eat and water to drink.
13 “Then let our appearance be examined before you, and the appearance of the young men who eat the portion of the king’s delicacies; and as you see fit, so deal with your servants.”
14 So he consented with them in this matter, and tested them ten days.
15 And at the end of ten days their features appeared better and fatter in flesh than all the young men who ate the portion of the king’s delicacies.
16 Thus 1the steward took away their portion of delicacies and the wine that they were to drink, and gave them vegetables.
17 As for these four young men, aGod gave them bknowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom; and Daniel had cunderstanding in all visions and dreams.
18 Now at the end of the days, when the king had said that they should be brought in, the chief of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar.
19 Then the king 1interviewed them, and among them all none was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; therefore athey served before the king.
20 aAnd in all matters of wisdom and understanding about which the king examined them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers who were in all his realm.
21 aThus Daniel continued until the first year of King Cyrus.

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DANIEL 2:1

Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream

2

1 Now in the second year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; aand his spirit was so troubled that bhis sleep left him.
2 aThen the king gave the command to call the magicians, the astrologers, the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans to tell the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king.
3 And the king said to them, “I have had a dream, and my spirit is anxious to 1know the dream.”
4 Then the Chaldeans spoke to the king in Aramaic, a“O1 king, live forever! Tell your servants the dream, and we will give the interpretation.”
5 The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, “My 1decision is firm: if you do not make known the dream to me, and its interpretation, you shall be acut in pieces, and your houses shall be made an ash heap.
6 a“However, if you tell the dream and its interpretation, you shall receive from me gifts, rewards, and great honor. Therefore tell me the dream and its interpretation.”
7 They answered again and said, “Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will give its interpretation.”
8 The king answered and said, “I know for certain that you would gain time, because you see that my decision is firm:
9 “if you do not make known the dream to me, there is only one decree for you! For you have agreed to speak lying and corrupt words before me till the 1time has changed. Therefore tell me the dream, and I shall know that you can 2give me its interpretation.”
10 The Chaldeans answered the king, and said, “There is not a man on earth who can tell the king’s matter; therefore no king, lord, or ruler has ever asked such things of any magician, astrologer, or Chaldean.
11 “It is a 1difficult thing that the king requests, and there is no other who can tell it to the king aexcept the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.”
12 For this reason the king was angry and very furious, and gave the command to destroy all the wise men of Babylon.
13 So the decree went out, and they began killing the wise men; and they sought aDaniel and his companions, to kill them.

God Reveals Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream

14 Then with counsel and wisdom Daniel answered Arioch, the captain of the king’s guard, who had gone out to kill the wise men of Babylon;

CHAPTER 2 References

1 aGen. 40:5–8;
41:1, 8; Job
33:15–17;
Dan. 2:3; 4:5
bEsth. 6:1;
Dan. 6:18
2 aGen. 41:8;
Ex. 7:11; Is.
47:12, 13;
Dan. 1:20;
2:10, 27; 4:6;
5:7
3 1Or understand
4 a1 Kin. 1:31;
Dan. 3:9; 5:10;
6:6, 21 1The
original language
of
Daniel 2:4b
through 7:28
is Aramaic.
5 a2 Kin.
10:27; Ezra
6:11; Dan.
3:29 1The
command
6 aDan. 5:16
9 1Situation
2Or declare to
me
11 aGen. 41:39;
Dan. 5:11 1Or
rare
13 aDan. 1:19,
20
15 1Or harsh
18 a[Dan. 9:9;
Matt. 18:19] 19 aNum. 12:6;
Job 33:15;
[Prov. 3:32];
Amos 3:7
20 aPs. 113:2
b[1 Chr. 29:11,
12; Job 12:13;
Ps. 147:5; Jer.
32:19; Matt.
6:13; Rom.
11:33] 21 aPs. 31:15;
Esth. 1:13;
Dan. 2:9; 7:25
bJob 12:18;
[Ps. 75:6, 7;
Jer. 27:5; Dan.
4:35] c1 Kin.
3:9, 10; 4:29;
[James 1:5] 22 aJob 12:22;
Ps. 25:14;
[Prov. 3:22] bJob 26:6; Ps.
139:12; [Is.
45:7; Jer.
23:24; Heb.
4:13] c[Ps.
36:9]; Dan.
5:11, 14;
[1 Tim. 6:16;
James 1:17;
1 John 1:5] 23 aPs. 21:2, 4;
Dan. 2:18, 29,
30 1Lit. word
25 1Lit. sons of
the captivity

15 he answered and said to Arioch the king’s captain, “Why is the decree from the king so 1urgent?” Then Arioch made the decision known to Daniel.
16 So Daniel went in and asked the king to give him time, that he might tell the king the interpretation.
17 Then Daniel went to his house, and made the decision known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions,
18 athat they might seek mercies from the God of heaven concerning this secret, so that Daniel and his companions might not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.
19 Then the secret was revealed to Daniel ain a night vision. So Daniel blessed the God of heaven.
20 Daniel answered and said:

a“Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, bFor wisdom and might are His.
21 And He changes athe times and the seasons; bHe removes kings and raises up kings; cHe gives wisdom to the wise And knowledge to those who have understanding.
22 aHe reveals deep and secret things; bHe knows what is in the darkness, And clight dwells with Him.
23 “I thank You and praise You, O God of my fathers; You have given me wisdom and might, And have now made known to me what we aasked of You, For You have made known to us the king’s 1demand.”

Daniel Explains the Dream

24 Therefore Daniel went to Arioch, whom the king had appointed to destroy the wise men of Babylon. He went and said thus to him: “Do not destroy the wise men of Babylon; take me before the king, and I will tell the king the interpretation.”
25 Then Arioch quickly brought Daniel before the king, and said thus to him, “I have found a man of the 1captives of Judah, who will make known to the king the interpretation.”
26 The king answered and said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, “Are you able to make known to me the dream which I have seen, and its interpretation?”
27 Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, “The secret which the king has demanded, the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, and the soothsayers cannot declare to the king.

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28 a“But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar bwhat will be in the latter days. Your dream, and the visions of your head upon your bed, were these:
29 “As for you, O king, thoughts came to your mind while on your bed, about what would come to pass after this; aand He who reveals secrets has made known to you what will be.
30 a“But as for me, this secret has not been revealed to me because I have more wisdom than anyone living, but for our sakes who make known the interpretation to the king, band that you may 1know the thoughts of your heart.
31 “You, O king, were watching; and behold, a great image! This great image, whose splendor was excellent, stood before you; and its form was awesome.
32 a“This image’s head was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and 1thighs of bronze,
33 “its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of 1clay.
34 “You watched while a stone was cut out awithout hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces.
35 a“Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed together, and became blike chaff from the summer threshing floors; the wind carried them away so that cno trace of them was found. And the stone that struck the image dbecame a great mountain eand filled the whole earth.
36 “This is the dream. Now we will tell the interpretation of it before the king.
37 a“You, O king, are a king of kings. bFor the God of heaven has given you a kingdom, power, strength, and glory;
38 a“and wherever the children of men dwell, or the beasts of the field and the birds of the heaven, He has given them into your hand, and has made you ruler over them all—byou are this head of gold.
39 “But after you shall arise aanother kingdom binferior to yours; then another, a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth.
40 “And athe fourth kingdom shall be as strong as iron, inasmuch as iron breaks in pieces and shatters everything; and like iron that crushes, that kingdom will break in pieces and crush all the others.
41 “Whereas you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; yet the strength of the iron shall be in it, just as you saw the iron mixed with ceramic clay.
42 “And as the toes of the feet were

28 aGen. 40:8
bGen. 49:1
29 a[Dan. 2:22,
28] 30 aActs 3:12
bDan. 2:47
1Understand
32 aDan. 2:38,
45 1Or sides
33 1Or baked
clay, also vv.
34, 35, 42
34 a[Zech. 4:6] 35 a[Rev.
16:14] bHos.
13:3 cPs.
37:10, 36 d[Is.
2:2, 3] ePs.
80:9
37 aJer. 27:6, 7
bEzra 1:2
38 aDan. 4:21,
22 bDan. 2:32
39 aDan. 5:28,
31 bDan. 2:32
40 aDan. 7:7,
23
42 aDan. 7:24
1Or brittle
44 aDan. 2:28,
37 b[Luke
1:32, 33] cIs.
60:12 1Or
crush 2Lit.
put an end to
45 aDan. 2:35
46 aActs 10:25;
14:13 bEzra
6:10
47 aDan. 3:28,
29; 4:34–37
b[Deut. 10:17] 48 a[Prov.
14:35; 21:1] bDan. 2:6
cDan. 4:9; 5:11
49 aDan. 1:7;
3:12 bEsth.
2:19, 21; 3:2
1The king’s
court

CHAPTER 3 References

1 1About 90
feet
4 1Lit. with
strength

DANIEL 3:4

partly of iron and partly of clay, aso the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly 1fragile.
43 “As you saw iron mixed with ceramic clay, they will mingle with the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay.
44 “And in the days of these kings athe God of heaven will set up a kingdom bwhich shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; cit shall 1break in pieces and 2consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.
45 a“Inasmuch as you saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold—the great God has made known to the king what will come to pass after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation is sure.”

Daniel and His Friends Promoted

46 aThen King Nebuchadnezzar fell on his face, prostrate before Daniel, and commanded that they should present an offering band incense to him.
47 The king answered Daniel, and said, “Truly ayour God is the God of bgods, the Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, since you could reveal this secret.”
48 aThen the king promoted Daniel band gave him many great gifts; and he made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and cchief administrator over all the wise men of Babylon.
49 Also Daniel petitioned the king, aand he set Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego over the affairs of the province of Babylon; but Daniel bsat in 1the gate of the king.

The Image of Gold

3

1 Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was 1sixty cubits and its width six cubits. He set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon.
2 And King Nebuchadnezzar sent word to gather together the satraps, the administrators, the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the judges, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the image which King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.
3 So the satraps, the administrators, the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the judges, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces gathered together for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up; and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up.
4 Then a herald cried 1aloud: “To

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DANIEL 3:5

you it is commanded, aO peoples, nations, and languages,
5 “that at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, you shall fall down and worship the gold image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up;
6 “and whoever does not fall down and worship shall abe cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.”
7 So at that time, when all the people heard the sound of the horn, flute, harp, and lyre, in symphony with all kinds of music, all the people, nations, and languages fell down and worshiped the gold image which King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

Daniel’s Friends Disobey the King

8 Therefore at that time certain Chaldeans acame forward and accused the Jews.
9 They spoke and said to King Nebuchadnezzar, a“O king, live forever!
10 “You, O king, have made a decree that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, shall fall down and worship the gold image;
11 “and whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.
12 a“There are certain Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego; these men, O king, have bnot paid due regard to you. They do not serve your gods or worship the gold image which you have set up.”
13 Then Nebuchadnezzar, in arage and fury, gave the command to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. So they brought these men before the king.
14 Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the gold image which I have set up?
15 “Now if you are ready at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, and you fall down and worship the image which I have made, agood! But if you do not worship, you shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. bAnd who is the god who will deliver you from my hands?”
16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed- Nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, awe have no need to answer you in this matter.
17 “If that is the case, our aGod whom we serve is able to bdeliver us from the burning fiery furnace,

4 aDan. 4:1;
6:25
6 aJer. 29:22
8 aDan. 6:12,
13
9 aDan. 2:4;
5:10; 6:6, 21
12 aDan. 2:49
bDan. 1:8;
6:12, 13
13 aDan. 2:12;
3:19
15 aLuke 13:9
bEx. 5:2
16 a[Matt.
10:19] 17 a[Is. 26:3, 4] b1 Sam. 17:37
18 aJob 13:15
22 1Or harsh
24 1High officials
25 aIs. 43:2
b[Ps. 34:7] 1Or
a son of the
gods
26 a[Dan. 4:2,
3, 17, 34, 35] 1Lit. door
27 aHeb. 11:34
28 a[Ps. 34:7,
8] 1Or angel

and He will deliver us from your hand, O king.
18 “But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we aworship the gold image which you have set up.”

Saved in Fiery Trial

19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was full of fury, and the expression on his face changed toward Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. He spoke and commanded that they heat the furnace seven times more than it was usually heated.
20 And he commanded certain mighty men of valor who were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, and cast them into the burning fiery furnace.
21 Then these men were bound in their coats, their trousers, their turbans, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.
22 Therefore, because the king’s command was 1urgent, and the furnace exceedingly hot, the flame of the fire killed those men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed- Nego.
23 And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.
24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished; and he rose in haste and spoke, saying to his 1counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?” They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.”
25 “Look!” he answered, “I see four men loose, awalking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like bthe1 Son of God.”

Nebuchadnezzar Praises God

26 Then Nebuchadnezzar went near the 1mouth of the burning fiery furnace and spoke, saying, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, servants of the aMost High God, come out, and come here.” Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego came from the midst of the fire.
27 And the satraps, administrators, governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together, and they saw these men aon whose bodies the fire had no power; the hair of their head was not singed nor were their garments affected, and the smell of fire was not on them.
28 Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, who sent His aAngel1 and delivered His servants who trusted in Him, and they have frustrated the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they should

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except their own God!
29 a“Therefore I make a decree that any people, nation, or language which speaks anything amiss against the bGod of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego shall be ccut in pieces, and their houses shall be made an ash heap; dbecause there is no other God who can deliver like this.”
30 Then the king 1promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego in the province of Babylon.

29 aDan. 6:26
bDan. 2:46, 47;
4:34–37 cDan.
2:5 dDan. 6:27
30 1Lit. caused
to prosper

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PSALM 55

Trust in God Concerning the Treachery of Friends

To the Chief Musician. With 1stringed instruments. A 2Contemplation of David.

1 GIVE ear to my prayer, O God, And do not hide Yourself from my supplication.
2 Attend to me, and hear me; I aam1 restless in my complaint, and moan noisily,
3 Because of the voice of the enemy, Because of the oppression of the wicked; aFor they bring down trouble upon me, And in wrath they hate me.

4 aMy heart is severely pained within me, And the terrors of death have fallen upon me.
5 Fearfulness and trembling have come upon me, And horror has overwhelmed me.
6 So I said, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest.
7 Indeed, I would wander far off, And remain in the wilderness. Selah

8 I would hasten my escape From the windy storm and tempest.”

9 Destroy, O Lord, and divide their 1tongues, For I have seen aviolence and strife in the city.
10 Day and night they go around it on its walls; aIniquity and trouble are also in the midst of it.
11 Destruction is in its midst; aOppression and deceit do not depart from its streets.

12 aFor it is not an enemy who reproaches me; Then I could bear it. Nor is it one who hates me who has bexalted himself against me; Then I could hide from him.

PSALM 55 References

title 1Heb.
neginoth
2Heb. Maschil
2 aIs. 38:14;
59:11; Ezek.
7:16 1wander
3 a2 Sam. 16:7,
8
4 aPs. 116:3
9 aJer. 6:7
1speech, their
counsel
10 aPs. 10:7
11 aPs. 10:7
12 aPs. 41:9
bPs. 35:26;
38:16
13 a2 Sam.
15:12
14 aPs. 42:4
15 aNum.
16:30, 33 1Or
Sheol
17 aDan. 6:10;
Luke 18:1;
Acts 3:1; 10:3,
30
18 a2 Chr. 32:7,
8
19 a[Deut.
33:27] 20 aActs 12:1
bPs. 7:4
1treaty
21 aPs. 28:3;
57:4; [Prov.
5:3, 4; 12:18] 22 a[Ps. 37:5;
Matt. 6:25–34;
Luke
12:22–31;
1 Pet. 5:7] bPs.
37:24 1shaken
23 aPs. 5:6
bProv. 10:27

13 But it was you, a man my equal, aMy companion and my acquaintance.
14 We took sweet counsel together, And awalked to the house of God in the throng.
15 Let death seize them; Let them ago down alive into 1hell, For wickedness is in their dwellings and among them.

16 As for me, I will call upon God, And the LORD shall save me.
17 aEvening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, And He shall hear my voice.
18 He has redeemed my soul in peace from the battle that was against me, For athere were many against me.
19 God will hear, and afflict them, aEven He who abides from of old. Selah Because they do not change, Therefore they do not fear God.

20 He has aput forth his hands against those who bwere at peace with him; He has broken his 1covenant.
21 aThe words of his mouth were smoother than butter, But war was in his heart; His words were softer than oil, Yet they were drawn swords.

22 aCast your burden on the LORD, And bHe shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be 1moved.

23 But You, O God, shall bring them down to the pit of destruction; aBloodthirsty and deceitful men bshall not live out half their days; But I will trust in You.

 
 

DREAM  IT => PLAN  IT => DO  IT

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