Overview: Daniel


The Book of Daniel. The story is set right
after Babylon’s first attack on Jerusalem and they had plundered the city and its
temple and taken a wave of Israelites into exile. Among them were four men from
the royal family of David. Daniel, whose later named Belteshazzar and his three friends, who you probably know by their Babylonian names: Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. This book
tells of their struggles to maintain hope in the land of their conquerors. The book’s design seems pretty simple at first– Chapters one through six contains
stories about Daniel and his friends in Babylon while chapters 7 through 12
contain the visions of Daniel about the future. But this two-part shape is made
even more interesting by another design feature. And that’s the book’s language. It begins in Hebrew, the language of the Israelites. But chapters 2 through 7 are written in Aramaic, a cousin language to
Hebrew spoken widely among the ancient empires. But then in chapters 8 through 12 it
goes back to Hebrew. This design shows how chapters 2 through 7 are a coherent section but it also highlights the importance of chapters two and seven for understanding the later chapters of the book. Let’s just dive in. Chapter one introduces the basic attention of the first half of the book. Daniel and his friends. They’re really wise and capable. And they’re recruited to serve in the
Royal Palace of Babylon. But they’re pressured to give up their
Jewish identity by living and eating like Babylonians and violating the
Jewish food laws found in the Torah. So they refuse and they choose faithfulness to the Torah and it puts them in danger. But God delivers them and they end up
being elevated by the king of Babylon. After this begins the Aramaic section
which you’ll see has this really cool symmetrical design. So first the king of Babylon has a dream that it turns out only Daniel is able to interpret. It’s about a huge statue made
of four types of metal and it symbolizes a sequence of kingdoms and the head is Babylon. But then a huge rock comes flying in and it shatters the statue and it becomes this huge mountain. Now this dream is the first of many symbolic visions in the book and this one introduces the basic
story line of them all. Daniel says that the statue represents a train of human kingdoms following from Babylon and they will all fill God’s
world with violence. But one day God’s kingdom
will come and will confront and humble the arrogant kingdoms of this world and fill the world with the healing justice of God’s reign and rule. After this,
chapter 3 tells the famous story of Daniel’s three friends who refused to bow
down and worship a huge idol statue, which like the statue in chapter 2
represents the king in his imperial power. So the friends are persecuted.
They’re thrown into a fiery furnace. But God delivers them from death and they’re exalted by the king who now acknowledges their God is the true one. After this come a pair of stories about two Babylonian kings, the father, Nebuchadnezzar and then his son, Belshazzar. They’re both filled with pride because of their imperial power. And so, like in chapter two, God warns them both through dreams and then visions, which also like chapter 2 only Daniel can interpret. He says that both kings are to humble themselves before God and both kings arrogantly resist. So Nebuchadnezzar is
stricken with madness. He becomes like a beast in the field. But then he humbles himself before God and his humanity returns to him. He’s restored as king. This is in contrast with his son
Belshazzar who doesn’t humble himself before God and he’s assassinated that
very night. Now these two stories draw this imagery from Genesis chapters one and two and Psalm 8 where humans are depicted as the
royal image of God. He has given them authority to rule over the beasts of the field, the birds of the air on behalf of God who is the world’s true king. But when human kingdoms forget that, when they rebel and make themselves and their power into a “god,” they become less than human like violent beasts who will face God’s justice. Which brings us to chapter six, the pair of chapter three. And this time it’s Daniel who is being persecuted because he refuses to pray and worship the king as a god. And so like the friends, he’s
sentenced to death and he’s thrown into a lion’s den. But God delivers him from
the beasts and like the friends, the king exalts Daniel and praises his God, which brings us to chapter 7. It’s the pair of chapter 2 and the center of the book where all its themes come together. It’s another dream but it’s Daniel’s this
time. And ironically he cannot understand the dream until an angelic messenger explains it to him. He sees a series of
four beasts: the one like a lion then like a bear, then one like a winged
leopard. Each of these symbolizing an arrogant kingdom. And last of all is a super beast identified as a really evil empire and it has lots of horns — a common
symbol for kings in the Old Testament. And there’s one specific horn who is an image of an arrogant king who exalts himself above God and persecute God’s people. Now they are symbolized by a figure
called the “Son of Man” who is an image for both God’s covenant people but also
for their King from the line of David. But then all of a sudden, God, who is
called the Ancient of Days, comes and He sets up His throne. He destroys the super
beast and He exalts the Son of Man on the clouds where he comes up to sit at
God’s right hand and share in God’s rule over the nations. We can look back now
and see how all of these stories in the first half fit together. The three stories of faithfulness despite persecution. These are meant to offer hope to God-suffering people among the nations. But they suffer because human kingdoms have rebelled against God and become beasts. And so these visions encourage patience that God’s people are to wait for him to bring his kingdom and rule over our
world and vindicate his suffering people. But it raises the question about when
God is going to do that and that’s what these final three visions set out to
explore. In chapter 8, Daniel has another vision about the final two beasts of chapter 7. But this time they are symbolized by a
ram who we’re told is an image of the empire of the Medes and Persians. And then by a goat who is an image of ancient Greece. And out of the goat come a whole bunch of horns, one of which symbolizes the evil king
from chapter 7. And we’re told more about him.
That he will attack Jerusalem and exalt himself above God and defile the temple with idols. However in the end he will be destroyed by God who will exalt His people and His kingdom. Now by chapter 9, Daniel is very puzzled especially as to when all of this is going to take place. So he consults the scroll of the prophet Jeremiah where God said that Israel’s
exile would only last 70 years so for Daniel the 70 years is almost up
and so he asked God to fulfill His promise
soon. But an angel comes and informs him that Israel’s sin and rebellion has
continued and so their time of exile and oppression will continue on seven times longer than Jeremiah envisioned. Daniel is deeply disturbed by this and
he has one final vision. We’re shown the same sequence of
kingdoms. It’s Persia and then Greece and Alexander the Great followed by lesser
kings all leading up to this final king of the north, who will invade Jerusalem, set up idols in the temple and exalt himself above God. But then all of a sudden this king comes to ruin. Now there’s been endless debate about what all of these visions refer to. Many see a clear connection to the exploits of the Syrian king Antiochus in the 160s BC. He killed many faithful Jews in
Jerusalem and set up idols in the temple. Others think it points forward to the
Roman Empire’s role in the execution of Jesus and the destruction of Jerusalem
and the Temple in AD70. And still others think it will be fulfilled in future events that have yet to happen when Jesus will return. Now the problem is that the symbols and the numbers they don’t quite match any of these views perfectly. But it opens up the possibility that in a sense they are all right. The book of Daniel has been designed to offer hope to all future generations of God’s people. It did so in the days of Antiochus’
Empire and it has ever since. This is why Jesus could use imagery from Daniel to describe and confront the oppressive leaders he confronted in Jerusalem. This is why John the visionary who wrote the Revelation could adapt Daniel’s visions and apply them to Rome of his
day and also all future oppressive empires. And so the point of Daniel is
that all generations of readers can find here a pattern and a promise. It’s a pattern that human beings and
their kingdoms become violent beasts when they glorify their own power, when they redefine right and wrong and don’t acknowledge God is their true king. But Daniel also holds out a promise that one day God will confront the Beast. He will rescue His world and His people by bringing His kingdom overall nations. And so for every generation, this book
speaks a message of hope that should motivate faithfulness. And that’s what the book of Daniel is all about.

100 Replies to “Overview: Daniel

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  2. The Bible Project

    This was awesome! I loved it for three main reasons.

    1. Your art is quite amazing, detailed, and…striking

    2. I believe in God and I love him…simple reason, and a pretty expected

    3. I just completed a youth group study of Daniel, and it's one of my favorite books

  3. I have to agree with you on the final prophecy scripture reveals the prophecy usually shows multiple prophecies next to each other for example all the Messianic prophecies are right next to end times prophecy another example is the statue in Nebuchadnezzar's dream a can be both a Messianic prophecy how Christ will begin his kingdom I his death burial and Resurrection but it can be also a prophecy of the end times when Christ destroys Babylon the great the statue itself when completed can symbolize Babylon the great because Babylon was the head and the head is made of gold

  4. I'm in awe and so grateful to have stumbled across this lession course. Not only is it eye opening for myself but I now feel I have something to help teach my children. It's simple and creative, and keeps me wanting to learn more. Thank you for this creation and I pray God blesses it and the creators..amen.

  5. Daniel chapter 13 is a very cool history. It brings a lot of references of Genesis 3 and portrait Daniel has a judge (his name means "God is my judge).

  6. Actually the Seven periods mentioned in the book of Daniel that Israel's exile is way longer than 490 years, but 365*7= 2555 years.
    If you read the end of 2nd book of Kings, the King of Judah Jehoiakim's third year was the start of exile (the year 607BC). Count 2555 years exactly from that year gets to 1948, when the State of Israel was once again established. However, no human can foresee anything more than two thousand years, Daniel is not to be blamed.

  7. Feb 10th 2019. The ram faces the goat in the super bowl. The goat receives the sixth ring. The king of the North battles the ice king in the final season of G.O.T. The dragon will seek to devour the child. Thank you for our guidance Oh Lord.

  8. While these videos are reliable and an invaluable tool to the lives of all the saints who view them, I would exhort all my brothers and sisters by saying to not let this replace your reading of the scriptures. I'm sure The Bible Project would agree that these videos are meant to help assist you in your understanding of the scriptures and not replace your time spent reading it. God bless you all, brothers and sisters.

  9. Globalization is the ultimate beast or anti Christ. Leftist politicians that want nation states to give up their sovernty and ultimately democracy for the supposed good of the planet. This is already well on it's way to being a reality.

  10. also its written in chiasm f0rm where the 2 ends are merrisms 0r types 0r anti types 0f each 0ther and they b0th lead t0 the centre 0f the story A, B, C, B, A

  11. I actually did a sermon on Daniel 6 for our youth ministry and I watched VeggieTales to prepare for it! Haha

    It was my first sermon ever.

  12. Daniel encountered the Archangel Gabriel right.
    The Archangel Gabriel also appears to Muhummad and the Quran and gave them both different visions of his version of Revelation Chapters endings.

  13. Our Heavenly Father choose his own prophets of whom he had direct contact with like Moses Abraham Noah Enoch Jesus Christ of whom helped Christ build his Covenant in the Old Testament.

  14. Christ himself told that no man knoweth the hour of his return.
    The Revelation Chapters told us that 1/ 3 fell from Heavenly Places with Santa Revelation Chapters 1:14 old testament.

  15. Belshazzar was no his son, but his grandson. His son is law was the actual king, Nabonidus. Belshazzar was the second in command.

  16. Thank you for this amazing video!! This is filled with information. God bless The Bible Project.

  17. I really like the detailed exposition and The Bible Project.

    The book of Daniel is one book that has exact prophecies and even though the rulers of this world have a common prince making their actions similar, Daniel is speaking about specific events of the future.

    I am saying this because, if it was important to God to reveal these things before they ever started, it is important not to generalize because people might not deem it important to understand it's meaning.

    We might not have a full understanding now but by the help of God's Spirit we will know what we ought to know per time.

    I am not for controversy but even if a person's view does not seem harmful it doesn't mean it can be incorporated (they can use other portions of scripture to support).

    Too much deceit is flying about and it would be better not to leave any loose ends, it could be fatal for many.

    God bless.

  18. Since the beast has many horns , couldn't that mean that it represent more than one empire? For example the Romans and TODAY'S SOCIETY which has forgotten Jesus and puts us humans and technology as Gods? Just thinking. I believe Jesus is coming soon, and he will explain us everything!
    One is for sure! We don't know when he comes, but we do know THAT he comes! Amen !

  19. Thank you for this . Such a great insight into Daniel and provides further understanding into this! Love it. Praise the Lord

  20. This was really well done video, thanks for making it. I am actually an atheist but I thought the story would be interested because I'm a fan of history (I'm actually a really big fan of the historical Kingdom of Babylon). It is interesting to consider the role Babylon plays in the Book of Daniel which creates a really compelling story of oppression and how faith can overcome the evils of humanity. Thanks for explaining it so well. I'm interested to see how you would interpret the narrative of this message when considering it from a historical perspective. In the book of Daniel, the Babylonians are presented as this antagonist which drives the narrative forward (to make an interesting story which teaches an important message). But historically the Babylonians are regarded as extraordinarily forward thinking and tolerant people (think about the fact that they conquered Israel and didn't just murder everyone, that is better than we can say of the British Empire), and it certainly changes the flavor of the story when it is viewed from that perspective.

    One could reinterpret the message of the story in that context to be how two groups of people who are legitimately at odds at each other can harbor calcified beliefs which get in the way of a solution. Both groups in the story have understandable problems towards the others. The Israelites were robbed of their kingdom and asked to do things against their beliefs. The Babylonians were just conquering a piece of valuable land (due to trade networks) which they had as legitimate a claim to the land as the only recently ruling Israelites did. Further, they treated their defeated opponents with mercy and dignity, giving them land and productive meaningful lives. They asked for loyalty in payment of that generosity. Both groups harbored really ingrained beliefs which made the situation worse. The Babylonians needed that show of respect in a very particular way which was unnecessary. The Israelites did not appreciate the mercy they were shown and their inability to "love thy neighbor" drove the tension in the story. And the story gives us a guide to how these social issues can be dealt with today. The adoption of a culture of mutual inclusivity which Cyrus the Great of Persia was famous for.

    Thanks again for the video!

  21. Belshazzar was Nebuchadnezzar’s grandson through his daughter Nitocris. Belshazzar calls Nebuchadnezzar his “father” in Daniel 5:13, but this is a generic use of the word father, meaning “ancestor.”

  22. I love this series, but I think your interpretation here in Daniel and in Ezekiel are quite off the mark. I haven't listened to any beyond these two.

  23. Exactly the Hebrew mind is about patterns. The Greek mind is about linear one time.

  24. The whole problem about the prophecies is witch interpretation method we use. (Preterism, futurism or historism). The one that matches all is the symbols and these predicted prophetic periods is historism. From the time of the prophet to the end time.
    People just need to study it all the time. We learn new exiting things every time we study the Bible properly.
    God bless you.

  25. I think the apocypha book of Judith could actually explain what it might have meant. In the apocrypha he used Judith to kill Holerfernes (his second in charge) to protect the Israelites from Nebechadnezzer. In that book he thought he was god ans was mad that nobody would go to war with him and was afraid of him so he started seeking revenge on the kingdoms. Just a thought

  26. The notable point is that this book was written during the age after Alexander the Macedonian conquered the Middle East, not in the Babylonian exile. Daniel only uses the Babylon language just to point to the Greek oppressors, so it’s widely accepted that the evil king truly is the Greek king of the Seleucids Antiochos IV Epiphanes

  27. Little Horn why do you betray yourself? Do you not see the serphant as it is? Has he blinded you as an illusion? No true father begs others for the corpses of prophets. And when you fall into the abyss, your father too will posess your corpse.

  28. Should not have referred Alexander the great. Only notice in chapter 8 the he goat and Alexander actually counterdict the other for similarities.

  29. The stories about what happened to the the Babylonian leader is not historical accurate. Another from the list of false prophets of the Bible. The Book of Revelation is a continuation of false prophecy by the so call author of John.

  30. The all knowing God cannot explain prophecy in plain language but through allegory….are you kidding me? This is the same God that has a chosen people. Stop portraying your imaginary Hebrew God as a bigot.

  31. So inclusive and very well presented. You have brought this book out of black n white and into living color.

    Thank you, and bless you.

  32. 💜 it…. I’m in Daniel 7 and got so confused with the imagery…thank you for simplifying it!!!

  33. May God multiply your blessings for all the effort you take to make these great teaching videos. I from India promise you my prayers.

  34. Having read some of the negative comments below about how you guys have steered clear of “controversy“ by giving an overview makes me wonder if they understand what an overview is. It appears to me that some folks want everything in one spot, but that is not how overviews work. Also, controversial items are just that, controversial. The design of the Bible project is not rooted in debate, platforming, or controversy. That is plain to see having looked at and carefully listened to all of your other videos.

    I am a gospel preacher and have been preaching the gospel both locally and as a foreign missionary since 1997. I have found your content to be remarkably well done; it’s apparent that a lot of sincere and well-studied work goes into this which many people cannot begin to fathom.

    I appreciate positive criticism, but I also appreciate when people are more balanced in their statements. To be sure you guys are doing a fine work educating the “masses” in an overview, birds-eye fashion allowing people to do their own study having a better overall understanding of things to begin with. Good hermeneutic, fine exegesis and approach. Thank you very much for your ministry. I pray God is glorified in it.

    Duane Patton
    Vancleave Church of Christ
    Vancleave Mississippi

  35. I see this coming true today. Trump, Netanyahu, MBS, Putin. Also China and Iran. They are the kingdoms of today. It has been 70 years of Israel's independence. But as Daniel says that because of their rebellion, God will prolong their true deliverance. Right now every leader is corrupted by the Saudi Government. Prince Salaman controls the purse strings and calls the shots. I believe he owns these leaders. They all are joined together somehow. They all are enriching themselves, while their civilians are becoming more and more deceived by these leaders. All of them employ terrorism in some way to keep us thinking that their is a enemy apart from them. When in fact this ugly beast is within our own governments. They pay these terrorists to do their dirty work. Their greed covets land and resources. The USA is moving in on control of the Latin Americas. The Saudis and Russia are moving to control all of the middle east. They need Iran out of the way. They are using the USA and Israel to do it. It's all about oil and land. Eventually they will all go after Israel and the USA and may God help us all. This is just my take on it. Dont know if its fact. I'm no prophet.

  36. I love the bible project. I stumbled upon it accidentally roughly 2 months ago. Since then I’ve told or shown many of my friends and family about it. The way the videos are drawn out before your eyes with the narration in play, gives a whole new take on reading the books of the bible. So, it gets a big 5* rating from me .🙏😇

  37. Thanks for your work (The Bible Project) and your wisdom to stick with generalization – More than enough to continue placing trust in God which is really the answer for all humanity.

  38. I like this channel, but towards the end there's a part that I don't quite agree with, the numbers and the symbols actually agree and are totally accurate, this was a prophecy that was actually very detailed covering a long span from the time of Daniel to the very end of this world when Gods kingdom shall reign Supreme. The numbers are there for a reason and they add up quite perfectly and alarmingly so for the Christian awaiting the second coming of Jesus Christ

  39. This was great! I was confused by which kingdoms and times the visions were referring to, but the pattern and the promise makes sense and gives so much hope!

  40. Magnificent. I am in the process. Of building a feature wall in my bedroom all ALL the bible project scrolls. I came to daniel and watched and stared at my wall with tears coming down my face.
    PEOPLE OF GOD-THE WORD OF GOD IS

    MAGNIFICENT!!!!!!!

  41. ISAIAH 27 – DANIEL
    “I, the Lord, keep it, I water it every moment; lest any hurt it, I keep it night and day.” (Isaiah 27:3)

    WORDS BY: FATHER

    "This was My promise to Daniel and to all those who do My will. I will cover you with My feathers and you shall have My protection from all adversaries. The lions, the fiery furnace? That’s the least to say. There will be far greater things which My faithful ones will be saved from. Many opposing threats are coming to the Church and many will not be prepared for such darkness. However, the ones who are prepared are those who will have My favour come upon them like Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, and Daniel. Even so, this favour comes at a price – discipline and devotion. They were the two things they had in their hearts and they are the two things My people need more of. Why the emphasis on these two areas for? Without any incentive to be disciplined the people will cast off all restraint, worshipping gods of whomever they will. And without devotion, you will sell yourself out when the slightest pressures of life come. These two together form the heart of a warrior, and a warrior can stand at all cost.

    Do not consider it strange when you fall into various trials and the enemy comes to taunt you with threats. A lot of times it is because you are doing something right and he is threatened by the harm you can do. This is why he attacks and this is why you must push harder against all odds when he does. Life is constantly telling you a story. If situations are telling you to fear, then do the opposite. If it is telling you to react in an ungodly manner, then respond out of love. Like Daniel who kept his devotion to Me despite the degree, you must keep your heart loyal to Me. Then you will experience My full covering as I, the Lord, will keep you night and day lest any hurt you."

  42. I love the Bible Project, and I look forward to every video but your explanation of Daniel 9 was very lacking and disappointing.

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