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Old Testament Overview - Daniel

God is Ruler of the times of the Gentiles

Key Events:  God's people in the hand of the Gentiles (1-6)  (1) How not to conform to the world. (1)  (The pressure to conform 1:1-7) (The Lord delivers Jerusalem and King Jehoiakim, King of Judah, into Nebuchadnezzar's hands. 1:1-2)  (Nebuchadnezzar thought it was his power, not God's power, that conquered Israel. See Dan. 4:30: II Chron. 36:5-8; II Kings 20:12-21)  (The finest from the Jewish captives were chosen to be transformed into Babylonians who would become leaders among the Babylonian people. 1:3-7)  (Satan wants to transform us into his people, so he can use us for his purposes.)  (How to resist the pull of the world. 1:8-14)  (God supports Daniel's and his friends' resolve to continue in their Jewish practices and not to become Babylonians—they did not eat the Babylonian food, yet were healthier than those who did eat the food. 1:9-16)  (God favors Daniel and the others by gifting them supernaturally. 1:17)  (God favors them by giving them high positions in the Babylonian Empire. 1:18-21)  (2) The Gentiles in the hands of God—the times of the Gentiles symbolized by a metal statue. (2)  (The mighty Nebuchadnezzar is humbled by a dream. 2:1)  (The magicians are unable to pass his test—they could not describe the dream and then interpret it. 2:2-13)  (It cost them their lives.)  (Daniel seeks God's help and is then able to tell Nebuchadnezzar his dream and then he is able to interpret it. 2:14-35)  (The statue in his dream predicts that man's kingdom will fail (2:36-45)  (The gold head of the statue represents Babylon and Nebuchadnezzar, but the "God of heaven" gave him his power. 2:36-38)  (The "chest and arms of silver" would be Medo-Perisa; the  "belly and thighs of bronze" represent Greece and Alexander the Great; and its legs of iron represents Rome.  The "feet of iron and clay" appear to represent democratic rule.  The ten toes appear to represent ten kings or kingdoms in the last days.  The "rock" represents God's kingdom that will that will crush man's kingdom. 2:44-45)  (Man's kingdom rests on the unstable feet of clay mixed with iron, and it is crushed by God's kingdom.)  (Nebuchadnezzar humbles himself before Daniel and his God. 2:46-49)  (Daniel is given a high position in Nebuchadnezzar's kingdom.)  (3) God's people in the hands of the Gentiles—God preserves His people through a fiery trial (3)  (Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego's super dilemma.  Nebuchadnezzar commands everyone to bow before his huge golden statue and worship him or be thrown into a fiery furnace—"bow or burn!" 3:1-2 See Rev. 13:14-17)  (We will not bow no matter what! 3:8-12)  (Super defiance!)  (The music plays and all but three bow down.)  (The three stand strong before the furious emperor. 3:13-18)  (You will then die a super death—he has the furnace heated "seven times hotter." 3:19-23)  (God super delivers them from the fiery furnace. 3:24-27)  (While they are in the furnace, a fourth person suddenly accompanies them, and they come out of the furnace unburned.)  (Nebuchadnezzar Bows! 3:28-30)  (Nebuchadnezzar's goal was to have people see his greatness.  Instead, they see the greatness of God!)  (4) The Gentiles in the hands of God: the further humbling of Nebuchadnezzar (4)  (Nebuchadnezzar sends a state document declaring to the world the greatness of the God of Israel. 4:1-3)  (Nebuchadnezzar has a dream that frightens him. 4:4-5a)  (Nebuchadnezzar tells Daniel about his dream. 4:5b-18)  (It was a dream about a large tree.  A heavenly messenger told him to cut down the tree and bind it "with iron and bronze."  This symbolizes Nebuchadnezzar's personal fall when he became like an animal.)  (Nebuchadnezzar had developed too high an opinion of himself.  Instead of him seeing God as the center of the universe, he saw himself as the center of the universe.  He needed to be cut down so that he would see the truth about himself.)  (Daniel's interpretation—the great Nebuchadnezzar will fall like the great tree in his dream fell. 4:19-27)  (He will live like a wild animal for seven years. 4:25)  (But Nebuchadnezzar's kingdom will be restored to him. 4:26-27)  (Nebuchadnezzar's pride before his fall "twelve months later." 4:28-33 )  (He was boasting that he "built" Babylon by his "mighty power and for the glory of" his "majesty.")  (God predicts that because of his pride he will be humbled.  "Immediately what had been said about Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled. He was driven away from people and ate grass like cattle. His body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair grew like the feathers of an eagle and his nails like the claws of a bird." (4:33)   (Nebuchadnezzar looks to God and his sanity returns. 4:34-37)  (He may have come to personal faith in God.  He became "even greater" than before. 4:36)  (5) The Gentiles in the hands of God: the fall of Nebuchadnezzar's kingdom. (5) (The ball and the gall that led to the fall. 5:1-4)  (The Babylonians prepare an elaborate banquet while they are surrounded by the Medes and the Persians.  The new king, King Belshazzar, gives "orders" that the "gold and silver goblets" from God's temple be used in the banquet.  This was an act of blasphemy toward Israel's God.)  (The writing on the wall 5:5-9)  (A mysterious hand began to write on the wall of the room where the banquet was taking place.  This hand writing on the wall changed Belshazzar's voluntary defiance toward God to an involuntary shaking of his knees. 5:5-6)  (Belshazzar's magic men were unable to explain the meeting of the writing. 5:7-9)  (The queen remembers that Daniel could interpret messages from God. 5:10-12)  (Daniel is invited to the banquet hall. 5:13-17)  (Daniel now has an open door to talk to Belshazzar and those at the banquet.  If he had appeared earlier, they would have laughed at him and mocked him, now they are all ears.)  (Certainly, Daniel had prayed and waited until God gave him an open door.  How does this apply to us?)  (Daniel reminds Belshazzar how God humbled the great Nebuchadnezzar. 5:18-21)  (Daniel predicts the fall of Belshazzar and his proud kingdom. 5:22-30)  (The Medo-Persians conquered the Babylonian kingdom. "That very night Belshazzar, king of the Babylonians, was slain, and Darius the Mede took over the kingdom, at the age of sixty-two." (Daniel 5:30-31)  (6) God's people in the hands of the Gentiles: God rewards faithful Daniel when he was thrown into the lions' den. (6)  (Daniel was exalted to being one of the three that ruled over 120 Satraps in the Medo-Persian Empire. (6:1-3)  (Daniel's fellow rulers conspire against him by making a law that no one could pray "to any god" for "thirty days." 6:4-9)  (They appealed to the king's pride—people could only pray to him for "thirty days.")  (Daniel continues to pray to God "three times a day." 6:10)  (Daniel prayed with his "windows opened."  Doesn't this contradict Jesus' teaching that we should pray privately? See Matt. 6:5-7  Daniel, though, was not praying to impress people—in their pagan culture, praying to the Israeli God did not impress them, it repulsed them.  But Daniel was not intimidated and prayed anyway.)  (Daniel's enemies report him to the king, and he is thrown into the lions' den. 6:11-18)  (The king could not rescue Daniel, though he wanted to.  The laws of the Medes and Persians were superior to the king.  He had to obey them, even if he was the one who made the law.)  (God closes the mouths of the lions, and Daniel comes out of the lions' den untouched and alive. 6:19-23)  (Daniel's wicked enemies end up being eaten by the lions. 6:24-28)

The Gentiles in the hands of God: the Gentile beasts are no match for God! (7)  (1) Daniel's dream (7:1-14)  (Four beasts come out of a wind-churned sea. 7:1-3)  (A likely interpretation: the four beasts are four empires; the sea represents the people of the world; and the wind is the strife and storms of the world.) (The first beast is "a lion" with "the wings of an eagle." 7:4)  (The second beast is "a bear" lying on its side with "three ribs in its mouth." 7:5)  (The third beast is "a leopard" with "four wings." 7:6)  (The fourth beast was different than the other beasts—it has "iron teeth" and had "ten horns." 7:7)  (A little horn uproots "three of the first horns"  "This horn had eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth that spoke boastfully." See also 8:9) (Daniel sees the glory of heaven. 7:9-14)  (He saw the beast—the little horn—slain. See Rev. 19:20)  (Then, he saw "one like a son of man coming with the clouds of heaven."  "His dominion is an everlasting dominion.")  (Jesus refers to Himself as the Son of Man many times. See Matt. 8:20, 9:6, 10:23, 11:19, 12:8, 32, 40, 16:13, 27-28, 17:9, 19:28, 24:30, 25:31, 26:64  See also Acts 7:56; Rev. 1:13, 14:14)  (Daniel asks to have his dream interpreted. 7:15-16) (The four beasts are four kingdoms. 7:17-18)  (The fourth kingdom that "will devour the whole earth" and the little horn will be openly defiant of God will defeat God's people for 3 ½ years. 7:17-25 See also Daniel 9:27; Rev. 13:5-6)  (God will turn Satan's kingdom over to His saints. 7:26-28)  (It will be "an everlasting kingdom.") 

The Gentiles in the hands of God: more about the beasts and the beast (8)  (1) Daniel has a vision of a ram who charges and tramples over everyone to the west, north, and south. (8:1-4)  ("One of the horns was longer than the other . . ."  The "ram" with one horn "longer than the other" is Medo-Persian Empire.  The Persians were stronger than the Medes—the "longer" horn.)  (Then, he sees a goat with one horn that changes to four horns that conquers the ram. 8:5-8)  (The goat represents the Greek Empire of Alexander the Great.  After he died, his kingdom was divided into four parts—the four horns.)  (Out of one of the horns came another horn that started small and became great—it conquered God's people and took away the daily sacrifice. 8:9-12)  (These verses describe Antioches Epiphanes—this historical person describes what the Antichrist will be like.)  (Daniel is given the meaning of the vision. 8:13-27)  (The ram is Medo-Persia, the goat is Greece, the single horn on the goat is "the first king," and the four horns are the four divisions of his kingdom after he dies.  The last horn is "a stern-faced king" who will be empowered by Satan to "destroy" "the holy people." See Rev. 13:2  "He will be destroyed.") (Antioches Epiphanes put a statue of Zeus in the Holy of Holies and required that it be worshiped with sacrifices of pigs' meat.) 

God's people in the hands of the Gentiles: God's judgment on Israel (9)  (1) Daniel understands Jeremiah's prophesy of God's judgment on Israel for their sin and pleads with God for His mercy on them. (9:1-3)  (He understands that God's judgement would last 70 years. See Jer. 25:11-12; II Chron. 36:21; and Lev. 26:33-35)  (Daniel's prayer for God's mercy. 9:4-19)  (Daniel's exaltation of God. 9:4)  (Daniel's confession of Israel's sin. 9:5-14)  (Daniel's pleas for mercy. 9:15-19)  (Daniel's greatest concern is for God and His purposes, His reputation, His righteousness, and His people.)  (God's answer to Daniel's prayer. 9:20-27)  (The angel Gabriel gives Daniel God's answer. 9:20-23) (It would take not just 70 years of exile to deal with Israel's sin, but 70 7s of years. 9:24)  (The sevens are seven years, for the last seven is divided into two halves of 3 ½ years. See also Dan. 7:25, 12:7; Rev. 11:2-3, 12:6, 13:5  Israel's months were 30 days.  Three and one half months, then, would be 1260 days. See Rev. 11:3  It would also equal "42 months." See Rev. 11:2)  (69 sevens after "the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem—445 B.C.," "the Anointed One will be cut off." 9:25-27)  (69 sevens is 7 sevens and 62 sevens added together.)  (69 sevens equals 483 years.  It has been computed that 483 years from 445 B.C. takes us to A.D. 32.  Jesus' triumphal entry about that time may be predicted here—when "the Anointed One" was "cut off" through crucifixion.  God predicted through the angel Gabriel the exact time when Jesus "the Anointed One" was rejected by Israel—"cut off.")  ("The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary." 9:26  The Antichrist's people the Romans will destroy Jerusalem.)  (The seventieth week 9:27)  (The Antichrist will make a peace treaty for seven years, then he will break the treaty.) (The "abomination that causes desolation" will be similar to Antioches Epiphanes putting a statue of Zeus in the Holy Holies and offering pig's meat to it.  It also referred to in Matthew 24:15 and Revelation 13:11-18.)

God's people in the hands of the Gentiles: the final vision. 10-12)  (1) Introduction to the vision. 10:1-11:1)  (Daniel prays and fasts for three weeks and then receives a heavenly visitor. 10:1-6)  (Daniel grows weak before the glorious angel and faints. 10:7-11)  (After he is strengthened by the angel, he learns that the angel was delayed by a satanic prince of Persia. 10:12-14)  (The vision overwhelms Daniel and he swoons. 10:15-19)  (The angel will battle some more with the prince of Persia, and then the satanic prince of Greece will come. 10:20-11:1)  (The archangel Michael supported the angel against satanic princes of Persia and Greece.  Michael is God's angel who watches over Israel.)  (2) Daniel's vision of the near future after Daniel. (11:2-35) (There would be three more Persian kings. 11:2)  (Then, there would be a mighty king whose kingdom would be divided into four parts after his death—Alexander the Great's kingdom. 11:3-4)  (The wars between the kings of the regions to the north and south of Israel are described. 11:5-20)  (The descriptions of these wars and intrigues describe what actually happened historically.)  (The rule of Antioches Epiphanes is described. 11:21-35)  (He gave himself the name "Epiphanes"—the illustrious one.  The Jews called him "Epimanes"—the mad one.  He became ruler of the northern kingdom using deceit and intrigue.)  (He "will be set against the holy covenant"—he attempted to turn Israel into a Greek country in culture and religion.  When he tried the second time to conquer Egypt, he was run out of Egypt by the Romans who were just beginning to gain power.  His humiliation results in his attacking Israel with great "fury."  This is when the abomination of desolation took place—he set up a statue of Zeus in the Holy of Holies and sacrificed pigs to give as an offering—animals that were unclean to the Jews.)  (Remember, all the predictions in Daniel 11 were given before they happened.)  (The Antichrist is predicted. 11:36-45)  (A man in our future will be like Antioches Epiphanes, only much worse.)  (He will put himself above every false god and even above God Himself. 11:36-37)  (Military might will be his only god. 11:38-39)  (He will conquer the kingdoms of the North and the South. 11:40-43)   (And he will invade Israel—"the Beautiful Land.")  (He will come to his end after conquering Israel—"He will pitch his royal tents between the seas at the beautiful holy mountain.  Yet he will come to his end." 11:44-45 See Rev. 19:11-21)  (But God's people will be delivered. 12:1-4)  ("There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then." See also Jer. 30:7; Joel 2:1-2; Matt. 24:21)  (Satan will have his way for a short time. See Zech. 12:1-14, 13:8-9, 14:1-2)  (The resurrection of the dead will take place. 12:2-3)  (This vision is for the end times. 12:4)  (Two additional angels appear and ask the angel that has been speaking to Daniel how long it will take for Israel to be broken.  The angel says it will take 3 ½ years-"a time, times, and a half a time." 12:5-7)  (Even Daniel did not understand—"the words are closed up and sealed until the time of the end." 12:8-10)  (God's breaking process will work on "the wise;" "the wicked will continue to be wicked.")  (The angel reveals there will be additional days beyond the 1260 days—1290 days and 1335 days. 12:11-12)  (The extra 30 days after the 1260 days could be the time it will take for the trumpet judgments and the bowls of wrath to take place.)  (What about the 1335 days?  The extra days may be the time it will take to clean up what is left from the final war, plus the time to set up the millennial rule of Jesus Christ.)  (Daniel was to continue with his life, and we are to continue with our lives until the end comes. 12:13)

Key People: Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, Nebuchadnezzar, Arioch, Belshazzar

Key Verses:  1:8, 9-16, 2:31,49, 3:1-30, 5:5-7, 25-28, 6:1-28, 7:1-28, 8:1-27,    9:4-9, 20-27, 10:12-14, 11:21-35, 36-12;1, 2-3, 4, 8-10

Key Teachings:  We need to separate ourselves from the world—not let it shape us into its mold. (1)  Nebuchadnezzar's dream of a statue predicts the kingdoms of the Gentiles being crushed by God's kingdom. (2) There is a time to take a stand for God. (3)  God can humble even the mightiest of kings, so he can humble anyone. (4)  God can open a door for us to speak to the world—sometimes we can only pray and wait. (5)  If God enables us to excel, expect there to be those who, out of jealousy, seek to tear us down. (6:1-16)  Rulers like beasts will rule until God's kingdom replaces them. (7-8)  Our nation's sins are our sins. 9:3-14)  (There is a spiritual battle taking place between God's angels and Satan's angels. (10:12-14)  The last days will purify the wise, but the wicked will be hardened by it. (12:8-10)

Old Testament Overview Studies

Old Testament Overview
Table of Contents
Old Testament Overview Outline
Old Testament Overview Genesis
Old Testament Overview Exodus to Deuteronomy
Old Testament Overview Furniture of the Tabernacle
Old Testament Overview Dress of Priests and High Priest
Old Testament Overview Dress of High Priest
Old Testament Overview Canaan: What Can it Teach Us?
Old Testament Overview Israel, God's Kingdom
Old Testament Overview Moses—Failure the Backdoor to Success
Old Testament Overview The Mosaic Covenant
Old Testament Overview The Ten Commandments
Old Testament Overview The Offerings
Old Testament Overview Uncleanness
Old Testament Overview The Priesthood
Old Testament Overview The Festivals
Old Testament Overview The Nazirite Vow
Old Testament Overview Joshua to Ruth
Old Testament Overview Prophecies of the Redeemer—Genesis to Ruth
Old Testament Overview I and II Samuel
Old Testament Overview Saul and David Compared
Old Testament Overview Jonathan and David Compared
Old Testament Overview The Davidic Covenant
Old Testament Overview I And II Kings
Old Testament Overview Israel's and Judah's Kings
Old Testament Overview Divided Kings who Divided
Old Testament Overview Criticisms of God's Actions in the Old Testament
Old Testament Overview Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther
Old Testament Overview Ruth and Esther Compared
Old Testament Overview Job to Song of Solomon
Old Testament Overview Proverbs: Wise Man or Fool?
Old Testament Overview Isaiah
Old Testament Overview Jeremiah
Old Testament Overview Daniel
Old Testament Overview Hosea
Old Testament Overview Joel
Old Testament Overview Amos
Old Testament Overview Obadiah
Old Testament Overview Jonah
Old Testament Overview Micah
Old Testament Overview Nahum
Old Testament Overview Habakkuk
Old Testament Overview Zephaniah
Old Testament Overview Haggai
Old Testament Overview Zechariah
Old Testament Overview Malachi