Daniel was young when Nebuchadnezzar came to Jerusalem and began his conquest of Judah. There were several deportations of Jews to Babylon and Daniel was in the first group because he was of the princely line (Dan 1:1-6). He was made a eunuch in the palace of the king of Babylon; thus, fulfilling about 100 years later the prediction of Isaiah 39:7. Daniel died in his eighties in about 534 BC. He lived through the reign of four rulers: Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, Darius, and Cyrus. He stayed pure throughout his life and was mightily used by God. Daniel the prophet was a contemporary of the prophets Ezekiel and Jeremiah (Ezek 14: 14, 28:3).
Daniel deals with the “times of the Gentiles” (Lk 21:24), which is the period of time that began in 605 BC with the captivity of Jerusalem and will end when Christ returns to earth to judge the Gentile nations and establish His kingdom.
In the various visions and dreams in Daniel, we see the program of Gentile history from the rise of Babylon through the conquests of the Medes, Persians, Greeks, Romans, and to the rule of the Antichrist in the tribulation period. One of the great lessons of the book is that “the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will” (Dan 4:25).
I. Personal History of Daniel (1)
From conquest ofJerusalem to second year of Nebuchadnezzar
Il. The Interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s Dreams (2-4)
A. The dream of the image (2)
B. The golden image and fiery furnace (3)
C. The dream of the tree (4)
Ill. Personal History of Daniel (5-6)
Under the reigns of Belshazzar and Darius
A. Handwriting on the wall (5)
B. The lion’s den (6)
IV. The Visions of Daniel (7-12)
A. Vision of four beasts (7)
B. Vision of the ram and he goat (8)
C. Prayer and the revelation of 70 weeks determined upon Israel (9)
D. His final vision of the future (10-12)