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Background on the Book of Daniel


The Book of Daniel is one of the most popular yet one of the most misunderstood books in all of the Holy Scriptures. Most Christians are familiar with the wonderful tales in Daniel like the story of Daniel in the lions’ den and the courageous story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. However, when it comes to the prophecy and visions written about in this marvelous book, most Christians are uninformed and/or just plain scared and confused. This study will hopefully help to change that if you are one of these such Christians! Get ready as we study the Book of Daniel!

Daniel is written in both

The book has two distinct parts: a series of narratives and four

The dating and authorship of Daniel has been a matter of great debate. The traditional view holds that the work was written by Daniel. A more recent view maintains that the book was written or

Hebrew and Aramaic and is set during the Babylonian Captivity, a period when Jews were deported and exiled to Babylon. The book revolves around the figure of Daniel, an Israelite who becomes an adviser to Nebuchadnezzar, the ruler of Babylon from 605 BC - 562 BC.apocalyptic visions. Three of the narratives involve Daniel, who has a gift for interpreting the meaning of dreams and divine omens. Two other narratives feature Israelites who have been condemned for their piety being miraculously saved from execution. In the second part of the book, the author, in his later role as prophet reveals and partially interprets a set of visions which are described in the first person.redacted in the mid-second century BC and that most of the predictions of the book refer to events that had already occurred.

The first part, the first six chapters, comprises a series of lightly connected court tales, connected instructive narratives, or miracle tales. The first story is in Hebrew; then Aramaic is used from ch. 2:4, beginning with the speech of the "

Chaldeans" through chapter seven. Hebrew is then used from chapter eight through chapter twelve.

The second part, the remaining six chapters, are visionary, an early example of

apocalyptic literature, in which the author, now speaking in the first person, reveals a vision entrusted to him alone. This section also consists of text from two languages, part (to 7:28) written in Aramaic, the rest (chapters 8-12) in Hebrew. The apocalyptic part of Daniel consists of three visions and one lengthened prophetic communication, mainly having to do with the destiny of Israel.