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
Biblehub: Chronology of Daniel
James van Dine: Analysis of Daniel
David Malick: An Introduction to the Book of Daniel
Maps from Holman Bible Atlas
The Kingdoms of Israel and Judah
Judah Alone amid International Powers
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
The Nuttall Encyclopedia: Daniel
The Jewish Encyclopedia: Daniel
Bible Survey: 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
Dale Ralph Davis: The message of Daniel : His kingdom cannot fail
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
Treat these like you would any commentary: someone’s opinion.