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Summary: A Summary of the book of Daniel

Daniel – Summary

Daniel Outline

I. God’s Man in Babylon (1-6)

a. Daniel’s Preparation (1)

b. Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream (2)

c. The Fiery Furnace (3)

d. Nebuchadnezzar’s Humiliation (4)

e. Handwriting on the Wall (5)

f. The Lion’s Den (6)

II. God’s Prophet for Israel (7-12)

a. His Vision of the four beasts (7)

b. His vision of the Ram and the Goat (8)

c. His Vision of the 70 Weeks (9)

d. His Vision of Israel’s Tribulation and Triumph (10-12)

Message

I. God’s Man in Babylon (1-6)

a. Daniel’s Preparation (1)

The Babylonian monarch Nebuchadnezzar attacks and conquers Jerusalem. He orders Ashpenaz, the head palace official, to begin training some of the most promising Jewish captives for public service. Daniel (Belteshazzar, Hananiah (Shadrach), Mishael (Meshach), and Azariah (Abednego) are among those chosen.

Determined not to defile himself by eating the king’s food and wine, Daniel seeks permission to eat other, more wholesome food. The prince of the eunuchs feared death if the four Hebrews diet made them look worse. So Daniel suggests a 10 day test.

The result is that these four boys are healthier than the rest, and at the end of the training programme Nebuchadnezzar declares that the four young men are ten times smarter than all the magician and astrologers in his kingdom. Daniel now begins his service in Babylonian politics.

b. Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream (2)

The king has a disturbing dream and he calls his wise men and commands them to tell him what he dreamt and what the dream means. As the wise men are unable to do this they are sentenced to death.

Daniel learns that he and his friends are among those to be executed, although absent from the initial meeting, and he asks the king for more time. After he and his friends pray, God tells Daniel the dream and its meaning, he then praises God for His omnipotence and omniscience.

Daniel reveals the dream to the king, he saw a huge statue with a gold head, silver chest and arms, brass belly and thighs, iron legs, and feet that were a mixture of iron and clay. Then a massive rock was cut out from a mountain and it struck the feet, smashing them to bits so that the whole statue collapsed.

Daniel then gives the dreams meaning. The statue represented four successive Gentile powers – Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome. The Stone represented Christ and His coming Kingdom that will one day destroy this pagan power.

An amazed Nebuchadnezzar recognises the superiority of Daniels God and he appoints Daniel to be ruler over the entire province of Babylon as well as chief over all his wise men.

c. The Fiery Furnace (3)

Nebuchadnezzar builds a gold statue that is 90 feet high and 9 feet wide. All of the political leaders are summoned to the statues dedication and when the music plays all are to bow down and worship the gold statue. All those who refuse to bow down will be thrown into a fiery furnace.

The king is then told that Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego have refused to bow down and the king offers the three men a second chance. They still refuse to bow. Nebuchadnezzar orders the men to be thrown into the furnace which has been heated 7 times hotter than usual.

Looking into the fire an amazed king sees that not only are the three men still alive, but they have been joined by the Son of God. The king calls the three men out of the fire and out they walk, not even smelling of smoke. Nebuchadnezzar then imposes the death sentence on anyone who speaks against God and Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego are promoted to higher positions.

d. Nebuchadnezzar’s Humiliation (4)

The king issues a special decree throughout the kingdom testifying to God’s awesome power, however, the king becomes proud of his achievements and is given a second dream. He sees a large tree reaching up to heaven and spreading out over the earth. Then a “holy one” cuts down the tree and says that this represents a man who will lose his mind and live like a beast for seven years.

Daniel identifies the tree as Nebuchadnezzar who will suffer from a divinely caused insanity as a result of his pride. However, in seven years, after he acknowledges God’s power, his kingdom will be restored. Daniel urges the king to repent and avoid this terrible judgement.

Refusing to repent, the king remains arrogant, boasting to everyone about his achievements and the building of Babylon. As predicted, the king is given a beasts mind for seven years. Upon receiving his right mind and being restored to the kingdom, Nebuchadnezzar, praises, extols and honours Daniel’s God.

e. Handwriting on the Wall (5)

We move on some years and we see that Belshazzar is now king of Babylon and he is having a feast to which he invites a thousand of his lords. He then asks for the vessels Nebuchadnezzar took from the temple. As he and his guest are drinking wine from the holy vessels and praising their gods, Belshazzar sees a hand write a message on the wall, and he is filled with fear.

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