Daniel

What Is the Book of Daniel About?

Time: 3 Minutes

Hey Friend!

Our editorial team wrote this book introduction for you. We hope it helps you find your bearings in the Bible story, and inspires you to open this book of the Bible!

If you’re looking for drama, read Daniel. If you’re looking for courage to live a godly life under great pressure, read Daniel.

An Israelite teenager and three of his friends are trafficked out of their homeland by the mightiest nation in the world, Babylon. They had endured a siege so sickening there’s a book of the Bible devoted to weeping over its trauma (the book of Lamentations). In the wake of this event—the destruction of Jerusalem and Solomon’s temple—Daniel and his friends find themselves displaced.

Due to their good looks, intelligence, and connection to Israelite royalty, they end up in the King of Babylon’s service (Daniel 1:3-4). Somehow, this traumatized teen becomes the most revered counselor in the kingdom of Babylon. Daniel retains his beloved status even when the Persian Empire takes over Babylon (Daniel 2:48; 6:25-28).

The book of Daniel is in our Bible to show us that these grand events on the world’s stage are all orchestrated by a divine Playwright. It helps us to see that God is at work on a global scale. He’s not just the God of Israel—he is the Most-High God whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and whose dominion endures from generation to generation (Daniel 4:2-3).

The book of Daniel is in our Bible to show us that these grand events on the world’s stage are all orchestrated by a divine Playwright. It helps us to see that God is at work on a global scale.

Arguably the greatest scene in Daniel is a hazy image of the Ancient of Days (God), and the Son of Man, who is a preview of the promised Messiah to come—the long-awaited King of Israel (Daniel 7).

Although Daniel and his people are living in exile, as a consequence for Israel’s sin, Daniel’s own position and the prophecies he receives provide proof that God has not given up on his people or on his promises. God’s people are the apple of his eye (Deuteronomy 32:9-10), his promises to them will never fail, and his kingdom, of which they are a part, will never crumble.

King David’s dynasty will still have a King on the throne (2 Samuel 7:12-16), and there’s a King coming who will reign over the whole world forever. The book of Daniel prepares us to meet Jesus, the prophesied Son of Man, whose rule extends over all nations and times (Philippians 2:9-11).

Daniel can hold your attention—it’s full of weird dreams, it tells the future, and it recounts people walking through fire unharmed. In the book of Daniel, God turns a king into a llama, God lets Daniel have pet lions for a night, and tells us the life story of one of the most righteous men to ever live (Ezekiel 14:14).

The book of Daniel will also encourage you. Although Daniel lived among royalty, he never belonged. He was a prisoner in the palace—a Jew, not a Babylonian (Daniel 3:12). He was a minority in a majority culture absolutely opposed to his own. Daniel lived a long life far from home, in a spiritually dark environment, surrounded by people who hated him and mocked his faith. Yet Daniel understood that his God—the God of Israel—was the true Lord of all kingdoms, times, and nations. His love for and allegiance to the King of kings enabled him to endure.

Daniel lived an exemplary life of faith and persevered in ordinary obedience (Daniel 6:10). If you want to live as a faithful follower of Jesus in a world that is opposed to him, read Daniel’s story, and let it encourage you to give your heart fully to King Jesus.

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