Prophet Daniel

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Who was the prophet Daniel?

The life of the prophet Daniel is recorded in the book that shares his name. Daniel means "God is my judge." There is not much know about the early years of his life, but he appears to have been of the upper class, perhaps even from a royal family. It is recorded that he was taken to Babylon as a teenager in 605 B.C.

He began service to the royal court and abstained from unclean food (Daniel 1:8-16). Three years later, Daniel was brought before the King to interpret the King's dream. The king was pleased and made Daniel "ruler over the whole province of Babylon" and "chief prefect over all the wise men of Babylon" (Daniel 2:48). In Chapter 4, we learn that Daniel interpreted another of Nebuchadnezzar's dreams.

Nelson's Bible Dictionary comments: "Daniel remained in governmental service through the reigns of the kings of Babylon and into the reign of Cyrus of Persia after the Persians became the dominant world power (Daniel 1:21; 10:1). Daniel was also a person of deep piety. His book is characterized not only by prophecies of the distant future but also by a sense of wonder at the presence of God. From his youth Daniel was determined to live by God's law in a distant land (see Dan 1). In moments of crisis, Daniel turned first to God in prayer before turning to the affairs of state (Daniel 2:14-23). His enemies even used his regularity at prayer to trap him and turn the king against him. But the grace of God protected Daniel (Daniel 6). . .So the Book of Daniel is more than a treasure of prophetic literature. It also paints a beautiful picture of a man of God who lived out his commitment in very troubled times. We should never get so caught up in the meanings of horns and beasts that we forget the human dimension of the book-the intriguing person whose name means 'My God is Judge.'"1



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