Book of the Week 27: Daniel

Hebrew Name: Dani’el 

Human Author: Daniel                                                       

OT or NT: Old Testament

Number of Chapters: 12

Basic Facts

  1. Daniel is the twenty-seventh book of the Bible.
  2. In terms of literary genre, Daniel is classified as a book of prophecy.
  3. The Hebrew name for Daniel is Dani’el, which means “God is my judge.”
  4. Daniel was a prophet living among the exiles of Judah in Mesopotamia during the Babylonian and Persian periods.
  5. Daniel was given prophetic visions concerning both the future and the Messiah.

Story of the Book

Daniel is broken up into two basic sections: 1) the life and ministry of Daniel and 2) the prophetic visions of Daniel concerning both the future and the Messiah. The section on the life and ministry of Daniel includes these stories:

  • The fall of Jerusalem
  • Daniel and his friends Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego find favor with Nebuchadnezzar
  • Daniel interprets the king’s dream
  • The fiery furnace
  • Nebuchadnezzar’s madness
  • The writing on the wall
  • Daniel in the lion’s den

All these stories demonstrate God’s power and wisdom as God works through Daniel and his friends to reveal His power and sovereignty.

The next section includes the dreams and visions God revealed to Daniel including the following:

  • The four beasts
  • The ram and the goat
  • The prayer of Daniel for mercy
  • The seventy “sevens” 
  • The kingdoms of Greece in the south and the north
  • The abomination of desolation
  • The end of days

These visions of Daniel conclude the book as God reveals to Daniel the kings and kingdoms which were coming in the future, including a vision of the end of days when all of the visions of Daniel would be fulfilled.

Jesus Foreshadowed in Daniel

The Book of Daniel prophesies about the final victory over evil that God will have once and for all. Daniel receives visions about a figure who is described as the son of man in Daniel 7:13-14, which says, “I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.” This son of man is later revealed to be Jesus Christ as He is to come on the clouds of heaven (Matthew 26:64). Jesus is given dominion and glory and a kingdom (Revelation 11:15), all peoples and nations and languages are to serve Him (Matthew 28:18-20; Revelation 7:9-12), His dominion and His kingdom will be everlasting (Psalm 45:6-7; Hebrews 1:8-9), and His kingdom would never be destroyed and would last forever (Revelation 11:15; Revelation 22:3-5). There are more examples of the way Jesus is foreshadowed in the book of Daniel, but this is one of the most prominent. Here in the book of Daniel we get a powerful glimpse of the eternal scope and dominion of the reign of the coming messiah. It is later revealed in the book of Revelation that this messiah is Jesus the Christ, and His kingdom and his dominion will last into all of eternity. All those who have faith in Christ will reign with Him in paradise forever (Revelation 22:3-5).