ESV - 1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it.
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The prophet Daniel served God for about 70 years through the period of the Babylonian Empire and part of the Persian Empire, Daniel 6:28. As with all the prophetic books, the prophet’s name guides in considering its theme. Daniel’s name means “God is (my) judge.” The book of Daniel gives a panoramic view of some of the kingdoms of the earth which have had their glorious histories, but there is a King and Judge who shall surpass them and judge them, Daniel 2:21, 44, 7:13-14, 8:25, 11:40. God is called the “God of heaven,” Daniel 2:18-19, 2:28, 37, 44; the “Most High God,” Daniel 3:26, 4:2, 17, 24, 32, 34, 5:18, 21; the “living God” Daniel 6:20, 26; and “the great and awesome God,” Daniel 9:4. God is also called the “Ancient of Days,” which speaks of Him being eternal, the one having supreme authority and having the power to judge, Daniel 4:17, 7:9, 13, 22. The book starts with the powerful Babylon Empire in control. Daniel and his friends were victorious because of their confidence in their God, knowing they must answer to Him, Daniel 1:8, 20, 3:17-18. Through the experience of the three friends of Daniel escaping the intense fire, Nebuchadnezzar acknowledged their God, Daniel 3:28-29. Then, Daniel 4 is the testimony of Nebuchadnezzar who recognized God’s power, Daniel 4:1-3. He seems to have been judged and chastised by God for his pride. When he was restored to his kingdom, he praised and honored God, Daniel 4:34, 37. There were times when God overruled kings. When King Belshazzar lifted himself against the Lord of heaven, Daniel 5:1-23, that night the kingdom changed hands, Daniel 5:30-31. Also, the unchangeable decree of King Darius was overturned by the living God, so that Daniel’s life was spared, and his accusers were defeated, Daniel 6:26-27. In Daniel 7-12, there are several visions of great earthly kingdoms as described here. Daniel 7 (and Daniel 2) – Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome Daniel 8 – Persia, Greece Daniel 11 – Persia, Greece, Syria (North), Egypt (South) These momentary kingdoms ended with the coming of God’s everlasting kingdom, Daniel 7:27. Daniel pleaded in prayer to God as one pleads before a judge, Daniel 9:4-19. As he prayed concerning the seventy years ending the captivity, Daniel 9:2, the Lord revealed to him the seventy weeks (sevens) of years to when the millennium would come, Daniel 9:24-27. The book of Revelation by the apostle John is like the book of Daniel. Both men were entrusted with panoramic visions with graphic symbols of the future times all the way to the establishment of God’s kingdom. Both saw God as the judge of all people and nations. Both saw the destruction of Jerusalem in their lifetime – Daniel witnessed it done by Babylon and John by Rome. Both were loved by God, Daniel 10:11, John 13:23. As suggested by the name of Daniel meaning “God is judge,” God is revealed throughout the book of Daniel as the ultimate judge of all.
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