Understanding The Bible
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Dr. Clarence E. Mason, Jr.
Philadelphia College of Bible
OLD TESTAMENT PROPHETIC BOOKS
DANIEL: Introduction and Simple Outline
NAME: His name means "God is my Judge" or "My God is Judge."
OCCASION: He is taken captive to Babylon in the first of the three stages of Judah's captivity. Only some of the choice young men and artisans were taken. Daniel and his fellows were, like picked young men from other conquered nations, brought in to the palace school for Babylonian diplomatic training. It was felt that, since they no longer had a homeland to which to be loyal, they would be more likely to fully serve Babylon, since their only personal hope in life was to make their lot easier by superior service to the king, who had honored them by choosing them for his service. They would not be tempted, as a native Babylonian might, to take part in any uprising against the king, as lie was known to them only as their benefactor. As foreigners, they would be unlikely to have any contacts with any Babylonians who might plot against the king.
DATE: The third year of Jehoiakim (2 Ki. 24:1), which is the first year of Nebuchadnezzar's accession, but counted as the second year of Nebuchadnezzar in the Babylonian style of reckoning. Whitcomb dates him 605-536 BC.
There are three deportations:
605 BC - a few nobles and clever males like Daniel (2 Ki. 24:1)
597 BC - at Jeconiah's overthrow and removal (2 Ki. 24:10-16)
586 BC - at Zedekiah's fleeing when Jerusalem fell after eleven years of siege (2 Ki. 25; Jer. 39,52)
CONTEMPORARIES: Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Obadiah.
VIEWPOINT: "The God of heaven ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will. . .the heavens do rule..." (Dan. 4:25-26). Thus, the origin of the phrases--"the kingdom of heaven" and "the kingdom of God." Perhaps the full wording should be "The kingdom of the God of heaven." The terms are used synonymously, obviously. Thus, since Israel has failed through disobedience, the theocracy ends and the "times of the Gentiles" begin. These will continue until Jesus Christ sets up His kingdom at His second coming to earth (Rev. 19-20).
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