You probably know most of the prophets in the Bible like Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Daniel, and the others with Old Testament books named for them, but the bible identifies many more prophets. In this blog series we will get to know most of the prophets of the Bible, the ones with books named with books after them, and those whose names you may not know at all.
In case you forgot here’s what the word prophet means and how someone is given that title. The English word prophet in the Old Testament comes from the Hebrew word “nabiy” which means “spokesman” or “speaker”. The Greek word for prophet is “prophētēs”, which can mean “one who speaks forth” or “advocate.” Prophets are also called “seers,” because of their spiritual insight or their ability to “see” the future, as directed by God.
This is the fourth post in the series.
The Hebrew name Daniel means God is my Judge.
Jesus Himself calls Daniel a prophet and refers to the prophecies spoken of by him.
Matthew 24:15 (HCSB) 15 “So when you see the abomination that causes desolation, spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place” (let the reader understand). to that prophecy in our study.
Daniel is also mentioned in the book of another prophet Ezekiel who we will address later. Daniel is portrayed as a righteous man along with Noah and Job.
Ezekiel 14:12-14 (HCSB)12 The word of the LORD came to me:13 “Son of man, if a land sins against Me by acting faithlessly, and I stretch out My hand against it to cut off its supply of bread, to send famine through it, and to wipe out ⌊both⌋ man and animal from it,14 even ⌊if⌋ these three men—Noah, Daniel, and Job—were in it, they would deliver ⌊only⌋ themselves by their righteousness.” ⌊This is⌋ the declaration of the Lord GOD.
Ezekiel 14:20 (HCSB)20 even ⌊if⌋ Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, as I live”—the declaration of the Lord GOD—“they could not deliver ⌊their⌋ son or daughter. They would deliver ⌊only⌋ themselves by their righteousness.
Daniel who was from a prestigious royal family, was one of the first group of exiles taken to Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar on his conquest of the nation of Judah.
Daniel 1:3-7 (HCSB)3 The king ordered Ashpenaz, the chief of his court officials, to bring some of the Israelites from the royal family and from the nobility--4 young men without any physical defect, good-looking, suitable for instruction in all wisdom, knowledgeable, perceptive, and capable of serving in the king’s palace—and to teach them the Chaldean language and literature.5 The king assigned them daily provisions from the royal food and from the wine that he drank. They were to be trained for three years, and at the end of that time they were to serve in the king’s court.6 Among them, from the descendants of Judah, were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.7 The chief official gave them ⌊other⌋ names: he gave the name Belteshazzar to Daniel, Shadrach to Hananiah, Meshach to Mishael, and Abednego to Azariah.
From the time that he was taken into captivity Daniel never deviated from God’s Law, even at the threat and attempts of death, beginning with he and his friends being groomed to become part of Nebuchadnezzar's royal administration.
Daniel 1:8, 15, 18-20 (HCSB)8 Daniel determined that he would not defile himself with the king’s food or with the wine he drank. So he asked permission from the chief official not to defile himself. 15 At the end of 10 days they looked better and healthier than all the young men who were eating the king’s food.18 At the end of the time that the king had said to present them, the chief official presented them to Nebuchadnezzar.19 The king interviewed them, and among all of them, no one was found equal to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. So they began to serve in the king’s court.20 In every matter of wisdom and understanding that the king consulted them about, he found them 10 times better than all the diviner-priests and mediums in his entire kingdom.
Daniel became a trusted adviser of and served in prominent positions in the governments of several Babylonian and Medo-Persian rulers.
Daniel 2:1 (HCSB)1 In the second year of his reign, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams that troubled him, and sleep deserted him.
Daniel 2:24 (HCSB)24 Therefore Daniel went to Arioch, whom the king had assigned to destroy the wise men of Babylon. He came and said to him, “Don’t kill the wise men of Babylon! Bring me before the king, and I will give him the interpretation.”
Daniel 2:48 (HCSB)48 Then the king promoted Daniel and gave him many generous gifts. He made him ruler over the entire province of Babylon and chief governor over all the wise men of Babylon.
Daniel 5:1 (HCSB)1 King Belshazzar held a great feast for 1,000 of his nobles and drank wine in their presence.
Daniel 5:12 (NLT)12 This man Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar, has exceptional ability and is filled with divine knowledge and understanding. He can interpret dreams, explain riddles, and solve difficult problems. Call for Daniel, and he will tell you what the writing means.”
Daniel 9:1-3 (NLT)1 It was the first year of the reign of Darius the Mede, the son of Ahasuerus, who became king of the Babylonians.2 During the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, learned from reading the word of the LORD, as revealed to Jeremiah the prophet, that Jerusalem must lie desolate for seventy years.3 So I turned to the LORD God and pleaded with him in prayer and fasting. I also wore rough burlap and sprinkled myself with ashes.
Daniel 10:1 (NLT)1 In the third year of the reign of King Cyrus of Persia, Daniel (also known as Belteshazzar) had another vision. He understood that the vision concerned events certain to happen in the future—times of war and great hardship.
Two of the most known stories in the Bible are connected with Daniel.
The first is the story of Daniel’s friends Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and the fiery furnace.
Daniel 3:19-20 (HCSB) 19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was filled with rage, and the expression on his face changed toward Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He gave orders to heat the furnace seven times more than was customary,
20 and he commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and throw them into the furnace of blazing fire.
Daniel 3:19-20, 24-27 (HCSB) 19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was filled with rage, and the expression on his face changed toward Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He gave orders to heat the furnace seven times more than was customary,20 and he commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and throw them into the furnace of blazing fire. 24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar jumped up in alarm. He said to his advisers, “Didn’t we throw three men, bound, into the fire?” “Yes, of course, Your Majesty,” they replied to the king.25 He exclaimed, “Look! I see four men, not tied, walking around in the fire unharmed; and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”26 Nebuchadnezzar then approached the door of the furnace of blazing fire and called: “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, you servants of the Most High God—come out!” So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out of the fire.27 When the satraps, prefects, governors, and the king’s advisers gathered around, they saw that the fire had no effect on the bodies of these men: not a hair of their heads was singed, their robes were unaffected, and there was no smell of fire on them.
The other is Daniel surviving a night in a lion’s den.
Daniel prayed for forgiveness for the nation.
Daniel was the prophet who prayed that the declaration of another prophet, Jeremiah, that Judah’s exile would come to an end after 70 years.
Jeremiah 29:10 (NLT)10 This is what the LORD says: “You will be in Babylon for seventy years. But then I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised, and I will bring you home again.
Daniel 9:2-3 (NLT)2 During the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, learned from reading the word of the LORD, as revealed to Jeremiah the prophet, that Jerusalem must lie desolate for seventy years.3 So I turned to the LORD God and pleaded with him in prayer and fasting. I also wore rough burlap and sprinkled myself with ashes.
While those are interesting stories and events the most important parts of the book of Daniel in the Bible are his prophecies, which came to him from God in dreams and visions about what was going to happen in the future including what would happen to Daniel’s people, the Jews in the “last days” and to the whole world at the end of time as mankind knows it.
The prophecies appear in Daniel Chapters 2, 5, and 7-12.
Daniel 10:12-14 (HCSB)12 “Don’t be afraid, Daniel,” he said to me, “for from the first day that you purposed to understand and to humble yourself before your God, your prayers were heard. I have come because of your prayers.13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia opposed me for 21 days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me after I had been left there with the kings of Persia.14 Now I have come to help you understand what will happen to your people in the last days, for the vision refers to those days.” 14 Now I am here to explain what will happen to your people in the future, for this vision concerns a time yet to come.”
Daniel 11:40, 12:1-3 (HCSB)40 “At the time of the end, the king of the South will engage him in battle, but the king of the North will storm against him with chariots, horsemen, and many ships. He will invade countries and sweep through them like a flood. 12 1 At that time Michael the great prince who stands watch over your people will rise up. There will be a time of distress such as never has occurred since nations came into being until that time. But at that time all your people who are found written in the book will escape.2 Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake, some to eternal life, and some to shame and eternal contempt.3 Those who are wise will shine like the bright expanse ⌊of the heavens⌋, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.
Throughout his time of captivity as an adviser to the kings of his nation’s captors Daniel held on to and exhibited his beliefs and practices despite in pagan rulers. He was a shining example of devotion to God for all his Jewish brethren and for us today. Because of his devotion God allowed him to see into the future for his people and for all believers of Jesus Christ.
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Donald Jacobs is an ordained minister with the spiritual gift of teaching. He is the Associate Pastor of a non-denominational church in Los Angeles, CA.