Daniel is the Revelation of the Old Testament (1:1-21, 2:20-22, 44)

April 10, 2016

Book: Daniel

Daniel is the Revelation of the Old Testament (1:1-21, 2:20-22, 44)
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Daniel is the Revelation of the Old Testament

(1:1-21, 2:20-22, 44) Pastor Heo

Daniel’s Training in Babylon

1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. 2 And the Lord delivered Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along with some of the articles from the temple of God. These he carried off to the temple of his god in Babylonia and put in the treasure house of his god. 3 Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, chief of his court officials, to bring into the king’s service some of the Israelites from the royal family and the nobility— 4 young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king’s palace. He was to teach them the language and literature of the Babylonians.

5 The king assigned them a daily amount of food and wine from the king’s table. They were to be trained for three years, and after that they were to enter the king’s service. 6 Among those who were chosen were some from Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. 7 The chief official gave them new names: to Daniel, the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abednego. 8 But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. 9 Now God had caused the official to show favor and compassion to Daniel, 10 but the official told Daniel, “I am afraid of my lord the king, who has assigned your food and drink. Why should he see you looking worse than the other young men your age? The king would then have my head because of you.”

11 Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, 12 “Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.” 14 So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days. 15 At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food.

16 So the guard took away their choice food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables instead. 17 To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds. 18 At the end of the time set by the king to bring them into his service, the chief official presented them to Nebuchadnezzar. 19 The king talked with them, and he found none equal to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah; so they entered the king’s service. 20 In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom. 21 And Daniel remained there until the first year of King Cyrus.

20 and said: “Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his. 21 He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. 22 He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him.

2:44 “In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever.

This last verse is a revelation of the Messiah and his kingdom which will endure forever.

Daniel was in Babylon for the entire 70 years of captivity. He left at age 16 or 17 and was handpicked for government service. He became God’s mouthpiece for the Jews and the country at that time.

There are 12 chapters and 9 revolve around dreams – including God-given visions – trees, animals, beasts, images.

In his visions, Daniel shows God’s power in the world of man.

Three of the most powerful stories in the Bible are written in this book.

  1. Shadrach, Mishach, Abdednego in the fire.
  2. The writing on the wall (chp 5)
  3. Daniel in the lion’s den (chp 6)

But, beyond these three stories, this book remains a mystery to many – due to its visions and revelations. However, central to the theme = God’s power. And it is as relevant today as then.

Daniel = “God is my judge”

Daniel was born into a noble Jewish family. He was very wise and is one of the most well-known Bible characters about whom nothing negative is written. He is known for faith, prayer, non-compromise.

Babylonia overthrew the capital city of Assyria and defeated the Assyrian empire and Egypt in 605BC in the battle of Carchemish. Babylonia became the master of eastern Asia at that time. In that same year, Babylonia defeated Jerusalem and took the king and high class hostages (like Daniel and his 3 friends).

Let’s review each chapter roughly:

Chp 1

Babylon took Daniel and his 3 friends as hostages – but they were chosen for Babylonian government service – they received special training/education and offered special (royal) food. It was related to idolatry, so Daniel didn’t want to eat it.

Chp 2

King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream and he collected all the wise men of Babylonia to interpret it – but none could except Daniel. (The wise men said, “Tell us what your dream was and we will.” King said, “No, no, you tell me what I dreamed and then interpret it.” They said, “Only God can do that.” Daniel came and received a revelation and interpretation from God after prayer.)

[ Take a look at the paper ]

This is the image seen in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream.


  1. head – gold
  2. breast/arms – silver
  3. belly/thighs – brass
  4. legs – iron

A large stone rolled and hit the statue and destroyed it.

  1. Gold = Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom
  2. Silver = the next greatest (Persia)
  3. Brass = the third (Greece)
  4. Iron = the fourth (Rome)
  5. The feet (partly clay) = divided kingdom

Chp 3

There was a great statue and any time there was music, all people must bow down and worship that image. There is no mention of Daniel in this chapter. But his 3 friends didn’t fall down and worship that image. They were brought before Nebuchadnezzar. He gave them another chance, but they confessed their faith:

  • 3:16 “O King, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the fire, the God we serve is able to save us from the fire.”
  • 2nd “And even if he does not, we want you to know that we will never fall down and worship that image of gold.”


16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

The king was furious and ordered the furnace heated 7 times hotter than normal. Even the soldiers who threw them into the fire were killed by the heat. Yet, the three of them were untouched – even there was no smell.

Chp 4

The final story of Nebuchadnezzar – God humbled/humiliated him. He had a dream again – a large tree, but it was cut down and collapsed. No one could understand this except Daniel. “That tree is YOU. Like this, at first, you are very huge and strong and powerful, but like this, at your end, you will be very weak and driven away from your people. You will live among wild animals and eat grass like cattle.”

At the end, this is how Nebuchadnezzar did become – it was fulfilled literally one year later.

Chp 5

Beltshazzar (son (grandson) of Nebuchadnezzar) became king – the last king of Babylonia. He gave a huge banquet for his nobles – eating, drinking, singing – but in the middle of it all – a finger of a human hand appeared and wrote something on the wall. His face became pale and he was shaken. No one could interpret that except Daniel.

Sentence (Aramaic): “mene mene tekel persia”

“You will be destroyed” because of your pride/non-faith in God. That very night, Beltshazzar was killed and Darius conquered Babylonia – from this moment, Babylonia started to be destroyed.

Chp 6

First king Darius – Daniel had a very HIGH position in the government (like a Prime Minister) so other government workers hated him and conspired to kill him. They suggested a law to be made to kill him. “If anyone prays to any god except king Darius, he will be thrown into the lion’s den.”

Of course, Daniel knew that but he did as he usually did. He went home and prayed three times a day toward Jerusalem. He was arrested and thrown into the lion’s den.

Yet, the lion’s mouths were locked shut and the next day, those who threw him into the lion’s den were themselves thrown into the lion’s den. Even before they hit the floor, the lions jumped and crushed their bones.

Chp 7

Previous story – the first year of king Beltshazzar – Daniel had a dream: 4 animals

  1. lion,
  2. bear,
  3. leopard,
  4. unnamed – strong and terrifying

These four represent human kingdoms that will rise from the earth.

This dream matches Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in chp 2

  1. Babylonia = lion,
  2. Persia = bear,
  3. Greece = leopard,
  4. Unknown = Rome

Chp 8

In the third year of Beltshazzar, Daniel had another vision (revelation). He saw two animals (ram, goat).

  1. Ram = human kingdom of Medo-Persia
  2. Goat = Greece

In chronological order, chp 7, 8 should be before chp 6

Chp 9

Daniel studied the Scriptures of Jeremiah. During his study, he found/learned that they would be restored and returned within 70 years of the Exile. In this chapter, he prayed, fasting in sackcloth and ashes, repenting for the sins of his nation’s fathers. He prayed for forgiveness.

Chp 10-12

Daniel received a future revelation – the future of the Messianic kingdom. Thus, the book Daniel is full of revelations, dreams, and visions.

In the Bible, there is only one book “Revelation” but if we call it the last book of revelation in the NT, then Daniel is the book of revelation in the OT – eschatological

Matt 24 – Jesus talks about the signs of the End of the Age.

24:14 “This gospel will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations and THEN the end will come.” 15 “When you see standing in the holy place, the abomination of desolation (awful horror), spoken of through the prophet Daniel…

—let the reader understand— 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. 18 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. 19 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 20 Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath.

This ‘abomination of desolation’ is from Daniel 9:27, 11:31, 12:11 – and in Matthew, this is the only reference to Daniel in the NT

In Daniel, we can see the revelation of Christ:

7:13 “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. 14 He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.”

All kingdoms of the earth will be destroyed.

9:25 “Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. 26 After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be put to death and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed.”

Amen. (10 min more. OK)

Now, I’m beginning the body of the message. Up to now, this was the introduction.


From the book of Daniel, there are MANY lessons, but let me share only 3 (VERY important, key messages that we should apply in our daily lives as true Christians):

The Lord’s Prayer (6 items, 3 for God, 3 for ourselves):

The lesson from Daniel, the 3 for God can be applied in our practical lives.

  • “Our Father in heaven, #1 hallowed be your name…”
  • #2 “Your kingdom come,…”
  • #3 “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven…”

#1 Hallowed be your name

The problem is that in this earthly world, there are so many people who don’t know HOW holy he is. We need to let God sanctify through his holiness.

In Daniel, there are many Gentile kings (did not believe in God personally), yet they praised and worshiped God with their mouths because of the men of God.

2:46-47 “46 Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell prostrate before Daniel and paid him honor and ordered that an offering and incense be presented to him. 47 The king said to Daniel, “Surely your God is the God of gods and the Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries, for you were able to reveal this mystery.””

3:28-29 “28 Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. 29 Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way.””

4:37 “37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble.”

6:26-27 “26 “I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel. “For he is the living God and he endures forever; his kingdom will not be destroyed, his dominion will never end. 27 He rescues and he saves; he performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth. He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.””

Jesus says to us “You are the light of the world.” (I’m the light of the world – a dark, sinful, lost, unbelieving world) “Let your light shine before them so that they may see your good deeds and praise God.”

#2: Your kingdom come

2:44 “In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever.”

One of the key messages of the book of Daniel is that ALL the kingdoms of the earth (no matter how powerful) will be destroyed some day (history proves this – Egypt, Babylonia, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome – still today, there are many kingdoms – US, UK, Korea, etc – but only ONE will endure)

Thus, “Seek first his kingdom and righteousness and all these things will be added to you as well…”

  • With his first coming, the kingdom of the Messiah has come (begun),
  • but with his Second Coming, the Messianic Kingdom will be fulfilled.

Our bodies are in the kingdom of the earth, our spirits in the kingdom of the Messiah. We are living between “already” and “not yet.”

For example, if I’m Korean ambassador to Japan, my body is in Japan, but my spirit is in the Korean government – I’m doing the job of the Korean kingdom in Japan.

Bible says, “I am the ambassador of Christ.”

#3 Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven

12:3 “3 Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.”

Fix your eyes on the second part.

Remember all the time, righteousness does not mean “social justice” but “right relationship with God by believing in Christ as Lord” – “blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be filled.”

“Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness” (through revelation = Jesus Christ – 1 Cor. “Jesus Christ is our righteousness”)

This verse in Daniel “those who lead many to righteousness” = “those who win many to Christ” … will be stars in his kingdom forever and ever.

God bless us to be stars in his kingdom forever and ever.


Let’s pray.