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Summary: Daniel chapter 3, What Kind of God do we serve?

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Introductory Material

The Book of Daniel 6th Century

• The Author of this book is Daniel. His name means “God is my Judge”. The book is named after him since he is the principle character and author. In Daniel 12:4 he claimed to write the book. From Chapter 7:2 and thereafter, he used the first person. The Jewish Talmud gives Daniel credit for having written the book and Christ said in Matt 24:15 15 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand. . ." He was quoting Daniel 9:27.

• Daniel is mentioned by name by his contemporary Ezekiel on three occasions: Ezek. 14:14, 20; 28:3. He is also known as Belteshazzar, “Bel Protect His Life.”

• Name/Author: The name "Daniel" was on of the "youth" taken to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar to be trained in the service of the King's palace in the third year of Jehoiachim (605). This was the first of three deportations (the other two in 597 with Jeehoiachin and the aristocracy and others in 587/86 when Jerusalem was destroyed).

Date & Authorship:

Because of the precise predictions in the book, most theologians accept this book as history rather then predictive prophecy (written about 164 B.C). However, there is much proof against this. The language of Daniel is much earlier then the second century. Also, the LXX (about 200 B.C) and other qumran scrolls indicates that Daniel was in full form when they written. The book could have been finished by the last quarter of the 6th century.

Historical Purpose:

To comfort the exiled people of Judah with news that there nation would be restored, thus they should remain faithful to YHWH in the midst of emperor worship.

Doctrinal Purpose:

• Condemns the existing powers of the world and demonstrate YHWH is the true God of the gods and gives hope of His future Kingdom. Theologically, the book stresses the sovereignty of God. "The absolute sovereignty and transcendence of God above all angels and men literally permeates the book."

• "The theme running through the whole book is that the fortunes of kings and the affairs of men are subject to God's decrees, and that he is able to accomplish his will despite the most determined opposition of the mightiest potentates on earth."

• "The collapse and fall of both Israel and Judah notwithstanding, the book of Daniel makes crystal clear that the Lord God remains absolutely sovereign over human affairs. This is apparent in the present, despite political and religious conditions that might suggest otherwise, and in the future, when there would be no doubt in anyone's mind. Merrill highlighted three aspects of Yahweh's sovereignty that Daniel reveals: His sovereignty over all, the sovereignty of fallen man, and the restoration of God's universal dominion.

Outline of Daniel:

• Historical record of Daniel and Friends (1-6)

• Dreams and Visions of Daniel (7-12)

Context from pervious chapter: 2:1-13. An unusual turn of events take place in chapter two. King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream and called the Magicians to interpret the dream. The only catch was, he could not or would not tell them what the dream was. They would have been glad to interpret the dream if he could have told them its content. It is very possible that the king had not forgotten the dream but he just wanted to test them to see if they really did have the wisdom of the gods. Daniel had just interpreted a dream that king Nebuchadnezzar had after Daniel and Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego prayed all night together.


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