A Survey of Daniel

Lesson ▪ 2000
Tags: Daniel


Background Information

The book as such

  • One of the “major prophets”
  • The shortest of the major prophets
  • Provides the most comprehensive look at the panorama of prophecy
  • Correlates heavily with the Olivet Discourse and the book of Revelation

Historical/geographical situation of the author

  • Deported from Judah to Babylon in 605 BC
  • Promoted to political stature by Nebuchadnezzar
  • Remained in dual prophetic/political office for a period of more than 60 years
  • Witnessed the transition of world powers from Babylonian Empire to Medo-Persian Empire

Structure of the Book

Chapters 1-6

Primarily narrative, relating events in Daniel’s life, showing his role in the two empires; prophecy that appears in this section is in the form of visions whose interpretation is provided; contains well-known stories of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego

Chapters 7-12

Primarily prophetic, describing Daniel’s visions concerning the future; contains less self-interpretation

Prophetic Highlights

The Metallic Image (chp 2; cf. chp 7)

  • Gold head: Babylonia
  • Silver chest and arms: Medo-Persia
  • Bronze belly and thighs: Greece
  • Iron legs: Rome
  • Feet of iron and clay: Successor to Rome

The Seventy Weeks (chp 9)

  • Came in context of prayer concerning the end of the seventy-year exile (cf. Jer 25.11)
  • God revealed that he would again work in function of seventy units of time, this time “weeks” (i.e., sevens--seven-year periods)
  • Upon conclusion of the seventy weeks, everlasting righteousness would be ushered in with the coming of Messiah’s kingdom
  • Period would begin with the command to rebuild Jerusalem (ca. 445 BC)
  • Predicts death of the Messiah and seven years of tribulation

Life Lessons

  • It is possible to remain pure in the face of opposition (1.8; cf. chps 3, 6).
  • God is sovereign in the affairs of men (2.20-21; 4.34-35).
  • God is the source of all truth (2.27-28, 47).
  • God will one day install his kingdom on earth (2.44).


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Teacher's notes (1 page)   8k v. 2 Mar 5, 2011, 9:14 PM Greg Smith
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