DANIEL
by the prophet Daniel
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Daniel, the Book of [EBD]

The historical part of the book treats of the period of the Captivity. Daniel is "the historian of the Captivity, the writer who alone furnishes any series of events for that dark and dismal period during which the harp of Israel hung on the trees that grew by the Euphrates. His narrative may be said in general to intervene between Kings and Chronicles on the one hand and Ezra on the other, or (more strictly) to fill out the sketch which the author of the Chronicles gives in a single verse in his last chapter: 'And them that had escaped from the sword carried he [i.e., Nebuchadnezzar] away to Babylon; where they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia'" (2 Chronicles 36:20).

The prophetical part consists of three visions and one lengthened prophetical communication.

The genuineness of this book has been much disputed, but the arguments in its favour fully establish its claims.

  • We have the testimony of Christ (Matthew 24:15; 25:31; 26:64) and his apostles (1 Corinthians 6:2; 2th 2:3) for its authority; and (2) the important testimony of (Ezekiel 14:14,20; 28:3).

  • The character and records of the book are also entirely in harmony with the times and circumstances in which the author lived.

  • The linguistic character of the book is, moreover, just such as might be expected. Certain portions (Daniel 2:4; 7) are written in the Chaldee language; and the portions written in Hebrew are in a style and form having a close affinity with the later books of the Old Testament, especially with that of Ezra. The writer is familiar both with the Hebrew and the Chaldee, passing from the one to the other just as his subject required. This is in strict accordance with the position of the author and of the people for whom his book was written. That Daniel is the writer of this book is also testified to in the book itself (7:1,28; 8:2; 9:2; 10:1,2; 12:4,5). (See BELSHAZZAR .)


Daniel, the Book of [SBD]

Dan’iel, The book of,

stands at the head of a series of writings in which the deepest thoughts of the Jewish people found expression after their close of the prophetic era. Daniel is composed partly in the vernacular Aramaic (Chaldee) and partly in the sacred Hebrew. The introduction, Dan. 1-2:4 a, is written in Hebrew. On the occasion of the "Syriac" (i.e. Aramaic) answer of the Chaldeans, the language changes to Aramaic, and this is retained till the close of the seventh chapter (2:4 b-7). The personal introduction of Daniel as the writer of the text, 8:1, is marked by the resumption of the Hebrew, which continues to the close of the book. ch. 8-12. The book may be divided into three parts. The first chapter forms an introduction. The next six chapters, 2-7, give a general view of the progressive history of the powers of the world, and of the principles of the divine government as seen in the events of the life of Daniel. The remainder of the book, chs. 8-12, traces in minuter detail the fortunes of the people of God, as typical of the fortunes of the Church in all ages. In the first seven chapters Daniel is spoken of historically ; int he last five he appears personally as the writer. The cause of the difference of person is commonly supposed to lie int he nature of the case. It is, however, more probable that the peculiarity arose from the manner in which the book assumed its final shape. The book exercised a great influence upon the Christian Church. The New Testament incidentally acknowledges each of the characteristic elements of the book, its miracles, (Hebrews 11:33,34) its predictions, (Matthew 24:15) and its doctrine of angels. (Luke 1:19,26) The authenticity of the book has been attacked in modern times. (But the evidence, both external and internal, is conclusive as to its genuineness. Rawlinson, in his "Historical Evidences," shows how some historical difficulties that had been brought against the book are solved by the inscription on a cylinder lately found among the ruins of Ur in Chaldea. --ED.)


Daniel [ISBE]


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