1:21-21. THE CAPTIVITY OF JUDAH. HISTORICAL EVENTS CONNECTED WITH ITS BEGINNING.
3. Daniel and his companions.
4. Their attainments.
5. Their provision. [Appointment.]
6,7. Daniel and his companions.
8-16. Their provision. [Resolve.]
17-20. Their attainments.
Daniel = God will Judge, which accords with the character and contents of the book. Daniel was of the royal seed of Judah. See v.3. Daniel was about 15 years old at the time of this writing. He is mentioned 3 times by Ezekiel, his contemporary [14:14,20; 28:3], and once by our Lord. In Matt. 24:15 [Mark 13:14], the Lord referred also to Dan. 8:13; 9:27; 11:31; 12:11. In Matt 24:30; 26:64. Mark 14:62. Luke 22:69, He referred to Dan. 7:15. In Matt. 25:15-15, 20-22, He referred to Dan. 12:1. Daniel is an overlay of the Book of Revelation, lets you know before the fact. Lets you know how antichrist will make his appearance. Type of system in the end times. Babylon = confusion. Those who play church and never get around to digging into God's Word. Our only hope of being wiser than the serpent is to have the mind of Christ in us. That way we can know Him when He appears on Earth as the Christ [Anti Christ].
When Christ quoted [Daniel 9:27], He made the Book of Daniel part of the New Testament; part of the warnings to His elect, that they would not be deceived. Jesus Christ was talking about the seven seals, or things that would happen before the end of this earth age. That time when Jesus would come to set up His Kingdom on Earth for one thousand (1,000) years.
Jesus made Daniel's prophecy part of the seven seals, which are also backed up by others such as Paul in II Thessalonians 2. Daniel's gift was in seeing the future, and recording it for a time far into the future when the people living in that day would read the word, and not be deceived by Anti Christ.
Daniel lived during the same period as Ezra, the prophet. His prophecies were during the reigns of Nebuchadnezzar to Cyrus in the fifth century before the birth of Jesus.
Daniel's prophecies were given for the world rulers, for he and the Jews [the House of Judah] were in captivity. This is exactly as it will be in the end times. The Babylon of old was ruling the world, and the children of God were captive. The new Babylon [which means confusion] will hold and deceive God's people, and lead them right into Satan's [Anti Christ's] camp; except those few who can see past the traditions of men, and deceptions; and have the truth of God's word in their hearts and minds. We call those few "God's Elect".
Just as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were delivered up in a physical sense for their stand against the King of Babylon in Daniel's day; so the "elect" of God will be delivered up to make a stand when Anti Christ, the King of Babylon of the end time, rules the world. (See Revelation 2:9-10, Matthew 24:9-10, and Mark 13:9-10.) There will be a ten (10) day tribulation, or testing, and the elect will hold fast.
"Daniel" again means "God is my Judge", or in a different tense, "God will judge".
Dare to be a Daniel,
Dare to stand alone.
Dare to have a purpose strong,
and Dare to make it known!
Daniel 1:1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah
(It was in the 3rd year of Jehoiakim that Nebuchadnezzar set out from Babylon; and Daniel, writing here, speaks of the starting, not of the arrival at Jerusalem. In the 4th year Yahaveh says by Jeremiah [25:9], "I will send". The date would be 497 B.C. and Daniel's 16 year, as being born probably 513 B.C. [Jeremiah's 18th year].)
(Nebuchadnezzar did set out in Jehoiakim's 3rd year, but was delayed by fighting the battle with Pharaoh-necho at Carchemish. In the 4th year [Jer. 46:2], he carried out the object with which he had set out. Cp. 2 Kings 24:1, and 2 Chon. 36:6,7.)
(= may Nebo protect the crown. Nebo = the god who presides over the learning of letter.)
king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it.
(One of the 1st libraries that was well-stocked. The Babylonian plates and tablets found from here. He was a well educated man, so he had knowledge of how to conquer Jerusalem and how to rule over people in captivity. God used him. See Jer. 27:6.)
2 And the Lord
(= Yahaveh, the great "I Am That I Am")
gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God: which he carried into the land of Shinar
(This land is between the 2 rivers, Tigris and Euphrates, ref. to Gen. 10;10; 11:2; 14:1,9. Outside of the Pentateuch found only in Josh. 7:21. Isa. 11:11. Zech 5:11.)
to the house of his god; and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god.
(We see in Jeremiah 27:6 just who controls Nebuchadnezzar, and how Babylon gained its wealth and rule. "And now have I given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, My servant; and the beasts of the field have I given him also to serve him." Nebuchadnezzar was a servant of the Heavenly Father. God has a plan, and it is God who chooses who His servants are.
God did not stand for Judah on that day, but "gave" King Jehoiakim of Judah over to Nebuchadnezzar. God allowed the vessels of his holy temple to be hauled away and placed in the temples of heathen gods. Judah had sinned and God would not allow those sins to go unpunished.
Nebuchadnezzar had come before to take Jerusalem, but because of a covenant with King Jeconiah, Nebuchadnezzar left the city unharmed. Jeconiah did not keep the covenant, and this angered God. (See Jeremiah 24:1-3.) This is why we read in Daniel 1:2, "And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his [Nebuchadnezzar's] hand, . . .".
The treasures that were taken from "the House of God" were the ones returned seventy (70) years later, under the restoration of the temple by Cyrus. This was under Ezra. (See Ezra 1:7.)
This is also an example of what will happen in this generation. God uses whatever and whoever He wants to straighten out His children when they stray and turn their backs on Him.
God allowed Nebuchadnezzar to conquer and in the last days God will allow Satan to rule His kingdom as Anti Christ; and Revelation 17:5 identifies that kingdom of Anti Christ as "Mystery, Babylon the great, the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth." Those "harlots" are any religions, religious forms, or doctrines which lead a Christian to follow Anti Christ.)
3 And the king spake unto Ashpenaz
(= horse nose.)
the master of his eunuchs,
(whence the title "Rab-saris" in 2 Kings 18:17.)
that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king's seed, and of the princes;
(Why would Nebuchadnezzar want to educate the youth? Babylon was the capital of learning and law for the world. To be able to use the talents of the newly conquered kingdom, it was vital they talked the same language.)
4 Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king's palace,
(The inscriptions show that there was a palace school with elaborate arrangements for special education. Knowledge begets knowledge.)
and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans.
(See Prof. Sayce's Babylonian Literature: which shows the existence of a huge literature and famous libraries, in which were arrangements for procuring books from librarians as in our own day. This was a special and important department. He needed these to communicate. The Chadeans had 5 different dialects. The Chadeans a name not peculiar to Daniel. From Genesis onward it is met with, especially in Jeremiah. They were distinct from the Babylonians [Jer. 22:25. Ezek. 23:23], and belonged to south Babylonia. Used here of a special class, well know as such at that time, and distinct from other learned classes. The word is used also in the wider sense of a nationality [5:30])
5 And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king's meat, and of the wine which he drank: so nourishing them three years,
(3 Years of teaching. God will take care of you even when you're in captivity. You can convert those that are holding you. 497,496,495 B.C. See 2:1. It does not say these years were concluded before the events of chapter 2 took place.)
that at the end thereof they might stand before the king.
6 Now among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah (= God's gift), Mishael (= who is as El?), and Azariah (= helped of Yah):
7 Unto whom the prince of the eunuchs gave names:
(In token of subjection. See 2 Kings 23:34; 24:17.)
for he gave unto Daniel the name of Belteshazzar;
(An abbreviated form of Balat-su-ŭsur = protect you [O Bel] his life, favored by Bel.)
and to Hananiah, of Shadrach;
(= the great scribe.)
and to Mishael, of Meshach;
(= guest of a king)
and to Azariah, of Abednego.
(= servant or worshiper of Nebo.)
8 But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat,
(This was because meat was killed with the blood, polluted [contrary to Lev. 3:17; 7:26; 17:10-14; 19:26], and offered to idols [Ex. 34:15. 1 Cor. 10:20. Cp. Acts 15:29]. Not because they were acting on vegetarian and temperance principles. In a polluted word, God knows what keeps us healthy.)
nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.
9 Now God had brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs.
(Intercessory prayer works. God can change minds. God softened the heart of the eunuch. To compare this to today's standards, when you go to a cafe that uses a lot of old grease and you're not used to it, it does effect your health for days. Even water from another area can cause sickness. The eunuch understood and loved Daniel, and allowed him his own diet.)
10 And the prince of the eunuchs said unto Daniel, "I fear my lord the king, who hath appointed your meat and your drink: for why should he see your faces worse liking than the children which are of your sort?
(Cp. Matt. 6:16.)
then shall ye make me endanger my head to the king."
(Daniel was a wise person.)
11 Then said Daniel to Melzar,
(= the steward or butler, who had charge of the wine,&c.)
whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah,
12 "Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days;
(Cp. the 10 days to end times when delivered up, Rev. 2:9,10. Amos 8.)
and let them give us pulse to eat,
(To avoid the idol-tainted meat.)
and water to drink.
13 Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the king's meat: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants."
(I.e. you be the judge. The test is a comparison between Daniel and those who ate the king's polluted meats.)
14 So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days.
15 And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king's meat.
16 Thus Melzar took away the portion of their meat, and the wine that they should drink; and gave them pulse.
(By obeying God, Daniel has control. It is interesting that the test days given in the end times, where Christians would be given over to Satan [Anti Christ] is going to be ten (10) days. (See Revelation 2:9-10.)
If the verses of Daniel are examples of what will occur in the end times; then we must relate this test to a test which will be upon us shortly. What is the famine of the end times?
The famine is for the void of the teaching and hearing of the Word of God. There will be no "meat" of the word, only milk. How can you stand in battle when the only thing you're fed is milk? You can't! For the battle in the end times is a spiritual battle, fought with words. My friend, Satan [Anti Christ] is the expert, however, you have the power to withstand him. Your only defense is in the preparation of your mind; through the Word of God.
That preparation includes knowing the signs of the end times, the "parable of the fig tree", and the ability to identify the first Christ that comes as the fake, the false one, called Anti Christ. We must know the good meat from the bad meat spiritually. Satan's lies will look like "good meat" or truth, when, in fact, it is bad, false, poisonous meat that will kill not only your body, but your soul. The world will eat it up, including many churches, for they have not been taught the difference. Don't you be one of them.
We'll see later in Daniel how Satan does come in. He won't come in through war, or in fear, or even belittling people; he comes in as "Christ", the redeeming savior, and many are going to be deceived.
What is a real tragedy is that most of the Christian world is illiterate, for their studies of God are so fragmented and picked apart by "one verse" preachers promoting their traditions, their congregations are like scattered sheep. At Anti Christ's return to earth in the near future, we will see these congregations stumble and wallow as they follow their trusted pastor right into Anti Christ's sheep fold.
How can we not fall into this trap? Through a chapter by chapter, verse by verse, study of God's word, using the proper tools. A bible (King James Version) with a good concordance, using and matching by number to the Hebrew-Chaldean, and Greek dictionaries, and a good dictionary. Strong's is the best. Then study under a gifted teacher; gifted through the Holy Spirit, and knowledgeable of the entire Word of God, with common sense and understanding in serving our Living God. So, beware of the polluted spiritual food to be passed out in these final days.)
17 As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom:
(But they had to work at it. Learning is a process that uses all of your senses. That process uses your eyes, ears, nose and tongue. Understanding is discernment; to know right from wrong, good from bad, and even seeing through those hidden traps that would snare you.)
and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.
(Daniel had a super gift, even to understand all visions and dreams.)
18 Now at the end of the days
(3 years had passed. See Daniel 1:5. I've heard people say, "The Holy Spirit hit me and i had instant knowledge of the word." It doesn't work that way, nor does God work that way.
To learn is to study [a time process], and to study is to absorb. All true wisdom comes from one source, our Heavenly Father. He knows everything, however, you and I have to work for it. Daniel not only learned of the ways of the Babylonians, but the ways of God, and the Anti Christ that will come first. To be able to fully understand just takes time.)
that the king had said he should bring them in, then the prince of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar.
19 And the king communed with them; and among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah:
(God's hand was on them.)
therefore stood they before the king.
(You can learn or study a topic for three (3) years and still not fully understand the common application of the field of study. As Daniel and his three (3) friends stood before the king, Nebuchadnezzar questioned them to see and test their knowledge "in all matters". When you pray for wisdom and knowledge, His spirit, the Holy Spirit, will open your mind so you can understand and retain knowledge with discernment. Daniel was ready for his final exams.)
20 And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king enquired of them, he found them ten times better
(10 = Ordinal perfection, testimony; Law and responsibility.)
than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm.
21 And Daniel continued even unto the first year of king Cyrus.
(I.e. during the whole period of the Babylonian supremacy over Israel for 69 years [495-426 B.C.]. It does not say that he did not continue longer, but that he lived to see that important epoch. Cp. 10:1. Cp with Joseph in Egypt. Cyrus = the sun. 1 of 4 people named by God. As these four (4) young men stood before the most powerful man in the world, in that day, King Nebuchadnezzar; the knowledge and understanding wasn't just better, but ten (10) times better. Daniel feared and loved the Lord, he was committed to all areas of his life. King David said in Psalm 111:10, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever."
God opened Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah's minds and mouths, and the wisdom of God flowed forth. These young men of their early twenties spent three (3) full years in training; it wasn't a burst of instant wisdom, but a proper attitude (fear of God) and a will to stand by God's principles, when the entire "kingdom of Judah" went whoring after the ways of Babylon.
This is a type of end time prophecy, when the Babylon of the tribulation rules, and the king of this coming Babylon, "Anti Christ", offers you his polluted "spiritual meat"; that of love, brotherhood, one-worldism, and all other forms of peace and tranquility to pamper and soothe your fleshly mind, in order to cause you to worship "him". He will test you, as Jesus was tested in the wilderness in Matthew 4:1-16.
Satan will and can offer you the world, for it is his to give; wealth, fame, love, anything. If you have a weakness he will know it and soothe it, and if you are looking for a rapture, he will even fake that for you. For the world is his for that five (5) month period and he can, and will, do as he pleases with it, and the people, except God's elect. Who are the elect?
The elect are those who have prepared themselves, just as Daniel and his three (3) friends did in the old Babylon. They know what to expect, for they understand what will happen prior to that Seventh (last) trumpet; sounding the return of our Lord Jesus Christ.
It is God who gives us wisdom and protects His own. God will do that in the tribulation Babylon for His elect, just as He did for Daniel in old Babylon.)