Study questions, maps, charts, key words, history, background, outlines, and links to help you study the Old Testament book of Daniel.
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- The Book of Daniel addresses the question of how to live godly lives in a world dominated by hostile forces.
- Daniel was written at a key time in Jewish history when their whole world was turned upside down by the exile, the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple.
- The book of Daniel assumes a knowledge of the Old Testament and the history of Israel and Judah.
- Daniel was written at a time of great prophetic activity. Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel were all writing at the same time and Isaiah was shortly before them.
- The second half of the book of Daniel is written in Hebrew and the first half is written in Aramaic which was the lingua franca of the day. Other than a small section in Ezra, every other Old Testament book was written in Hebrew.
- According to Jewish tradition, Daniel was not categorized as a prophetic work, apparently because Daniel does not say “This says the Lord.” However, by content it is very much like the other prophetic works. Most prophetic works do not contain much specific, detailed prediction. Yet Daniel has the most predictions of any of the prophetic works.
- Daniel was deported to Babylon when he was 16 years old. His life and ministry span the 70 year period of Babylonian captivity.
- Ezekiel mentions Daniel 3 times as an example of righteousness (Ezekiel 9:23; Eze 10:11; Eze 10:19).
All the prophetic works help us understand the story of history and prepare us for the fact that at the end it will look like the cause of God is hopeless and faithfulness will seem foolish. The prophetic works present the gospel by asking the question, where will you turn when disaster strikes?
Timeline of the Captivity
- 722 BC – Northern kingdom taken into captivity in Assyria
- 612 BC – Babylonians and Medes conquer Assyria
- 605 BC – Babylonians battle Egyptians at Carchemish; Nebuchadnezzar becomes king of Babylon; The Babylonians invade Judah;First wave of deportation of Jews to Babylon; Daniel is taken captive and begins to prophesy
- 601 BC -Babylonians battle Egypt, both sides suffer losses; Judah decides to realign itself with Egypt
- 597 BC -Jehoachin becomes king of Judah; 597 BC -Babylonians capture Jerusalem; Second wave of deportation to Babylon from Judah; Ezekiel is taken captive to Babylon; Zedekiah becomes king of Judah
- 593 BC – Ezekiel begins to prophesy
- 586 BC – The Babylonians destroy Jerusalem and the Temple; Jerusalem’s walls and gates are burned with fire; Third wave of Jews deported to Babylon and the Babylonian Exile begins
- 539 BC – Persia overthrows Babylon.
Genre: Understanding Narrative
Genre: Understanding Prophecy
Background & Outlines
- Introduction to the Prophets
- Introduction to the Exile and Return
- Chart: Bible History at a glance
- Blue Letter Bible: Old Testament Timeline
- Jensen’s Survey of the Old Testament
- Bible Atlas: Babylon
- Bible Atlas: Babylonia
- Bible Atlas: Jerusalem
- Timeline of the Babylonian Captivity
- Who was Nebuchadnezzar?
- Daniel quotes in the NT
- Ray C Stedman: Overview of the Book
- John MacArthur: Author, Date, Background
- ESV: Introduction to Daniel
- ESV: The Global Message of Daniel
- NIV: Introduction to Daniel
- Hebrew Calendar
- Chronology of Events Related to Daniel (Reigns of various kings) – Tony Garland
- Biblehub: Chronology of Daniel
- James van Dine: Analysis of Daniel
- David Malick: An Introduction to the Book of Daniel
Maps from Bible-History.com
- The New Babylonian Empire and Daniel
- Kingdoms of the Ptolemies and the Seleucids
- The Tigris and Euphrates Rivers
- Mount Ararat and Babylon
Maps from Holman Bible Atlas
The Kingdoms of Israel and Judah
- The Kingdoms of Israel and Judah (1)
- The Kingdoms of Israel and Judah (2)
- The Kingdoms of Israel and Judah (3)
- The Campaign of Shishak
- Conflicts between Israel and Aram-Damascus
- The Omride Dynasty
- The Golden Ages of the 9th & 8th centuries BCE
- Phoenician Trade and Civilization
- Trade Routes throughout the Middle East
- Elijah and Elisha
- The Revolt of Jehu
- The Rise of Assyria
- Israel & Judah in the days of Jeroboam II and Uzziah
- The Assyrian Empire under Tiglath-Pileser III
- Fall of Samaria and Deportation of Israelites
- The Fall of the Kingdom of Israel
- Assyrian Districts after the Fall of Samaria
- Prophets of the 8th Century BCE
Judah Alone amid International Powers
- Hezekiah’s Preparation for Revolt
- Judah under King Hezekiah
- Hezekiah’s Jerusalem
- Sennacherib’s Campaign against Judah
- Assyria in the 7th century BCE
- The Rise of the Neo-Babylonian Empire
- The Reign of Josiah
- The Districts of Judah under King Josiah
- The Golden Age of King Josiah
- Nebuchadnezzar’s Campaigns against Judah
The Persian Period
- kingdom (35v) – Strong’s H4437 in Dan 2:27; Dan 2:39; Dan 2:40; Dan 2:41; Dan 2:42; Dan 2:44; Dan 4:3; Dan 4:18; Dan 4:26; Dan 4:34; Dan 4:36; Dan5:7; Dan 5:11; Dan 5:16; Dan 5:26; Dan 5:28; Dan5:29; Dan 6:1; Dan 6:3; Dan 6:7; Dan 6:26; Dan 7:14; Dan 7:22; Dan 7:23; Dan 7:24; Dan 7:27; Dan 8:21; Dan 9:1; Dan 10:13; Dan 11:4; Dan 11:17; Dan 11:17; Dan 11:20; Dan 11:21;
- vision (19v) – Strong’s H2376 or H2377 in Dan 2:19; Dan 7:2; Dan 8:1; Dan 8:2; Dan 8:13; Dan 8:15; Dan 8:17; Dan 8:26; Dan 9:21; Dan 9:24; Dan 10:1; Dan 10:14; Dan 11:14; Strong’s H4758 in Dan 8:16; Dan 8:26; Dan 8:27; Dan 9:23; Dan 10:1; Strong’s H4579a in Dan 10:8; Dan 10:16
- dream (18v) – Strong’s H2472 in Dan 2:3; Dan 2:4; Dan 2:5; Dan 2:6; Dan 2:7; Dan 2:9; Dan 2:26; Dan 2:28; Dan 2:36; Dan 2:45; Dan 4:5; Dan 4:6; Dan 4:7; Dan 4:8; Dan 4:9; Dan 4:18; Dan 4:19; Dan 7:1;
- dominion (10v) – Strong’s H7985 in Dan 4:3; Dan 4:22; Dan 4:34; Dan 6:26; Dan 7:6; Dan 7:12; Dan 7:14; Dan 7:26; Dan 7:27; Dan 11:5
- mystery (6x) – Strong’s H7328 in Dan 2:18; Dan 2:19; Dan 2:27; Dan 2:30; Dan 2:47; Dan 4:9; mysteries in Dan 2:28; Dan 2:29; Dan 2:47
- covenant (6v)- Strong’s H1285 in Dan 9:4; Dan 9:27; Dan 11:22; Dan 11:28; Dan 11:30; Dan 11:32
- ruler (5v) – Strong’s H7990 in Dan 2:10; Dan 4:17; Dan 4:25; Dan 4:32; Dan 5:21
Dictionaries & Encyclopedias
- Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology: Daniel, Theology of
- American Tract Society: Daniel
- Bridgeway Bible Dictionary: Daniel
- Chabad Knowledge Base: Daniel
- Easton’s Bible Dictionary: Daniel
- Fausset Bible Dictionary: Daniel, Book of
- Holman Bible Dictionary: Daniel
- Hastings’ Dictionary of the Bible: Daniel, Book Of
- 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica: Daniel
- International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: Daniel
- Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia: Daniel
- McClintock and Strong: Daniel, Book Of ; Daniel
- The Nuttall Encyclopedia: Daniel
- The Jewish Encyclopedia: Daniel
- Bible Survey: Daniel
- Hitchcock’s Bible Names: Daniel
- Ligionier.org Best Commentaries Book of Daniel
- Tim Challies Best Commentaries: Book of Daniel
- Commentary Reviews: Book of Daniel
- Calvin’s Commentary on the Bible: Book of Daniel
- Matthew Henry: Book of Daniel
- Albert Barnes Notes: Book of Daniel
- Reformation Study Bible Notes: Book of Daniel
- Geneva Study Bible: Book of Daniel
- Precept Austin Commentaries & Sermons: Book of Daniel
- Discovery House: Is There Life After Death?
- Discovery House: Just Before Heaven: The Judgment Seat of Christ
- Discovery House: Our Eternal Home
- Discovery House: Questions Skeptics Ask About Messianic Prophecy
- Discovery House: The Daniel Papers
- Discovery House: What Can We Know About The Antichrist?
- Discovery House: What Can We Know About The Endtimes?
- Discovery House: What Can We Know About The Second Coming?
- Discovery House: What Does The Bible Say About Hell?
- Edwin Yamauchi: Hermeneutical Issues In The Book Of Daniel
- Edwin Yamauchi: The Archaeological Background of Daniel
- Robert Thomas: The Mission of Israel and of the Messiah in the Plan of God
- Robert Anderson: Daniel in the Critics Den
- Will Pounds: Messianic Prophecies, types and applications in the Old Testament
- John Wheldon: What Can the Prophet Daniel Show us about Biblical Inerrancy
Treat these like you would any commentary: someone’s opinion.
- Book of Daniel – Bible Survey
- What are the Major Prophets and Minor Prophets?
- Who was Daniel in the Bible?
- Why did Nebuchadnezzar change Daniel’s name to Belteshazzar?
- Was Daniel made a eunuch in Babylon?
- What is a Daniel fast?
- Who was Nebuchadnezzar?
- What is the meaning of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in Daniel 2?
- What should we learn from the account of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego?
- Where was Daniel when his three friends were thrown into the fiery furnace for refusing to worship Nebuchadnezzar’s statue?
- Who was Belshazzar?
- What is the meaning of mene mene tekel upharsin? What is the meaning of the handwriting on the wall?
- Who were the satraps in the book of Daniel?
- What should we learn from the account of Daniel in the lion’s den?
- What are the four beasts in Daniel chapter 7?
- What is the little horn in the book of Daniel?
- Does the Bible mention Alexander the Great?
- What does it mean that God is the Ancient of Days?
- What does it mean that Jesus is the Son of Man?
- What does the Bible mean when it refers to the four winds?
- What is the prophecy of 2,300 days in Daniel?
- Why do Daniel and Revelation give varying counts of 1,260, 1,290, and 1,335 days for the tribulation?
- What are the seventy weeks of Daniel?
- What are the seventy sevens in Daniel 9:24-27?
- Who is the prince of Persia in Daniel 10?
- Who is the king of the South in Daniel 11?
- Who is the king of the North in Daniel 11?
- What is the Tribulation? How do we know the Tribulation will last seven years?
- What is the abomination of desolation?
- Who was Antiochus Epiphanes?