Book of Daniel Summary
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Chapter 4hapter 4:  Nebuchadnezzar has another troubling dream which his cadre of soothsayers and magicians cannot interpret. Finally Daniel is brought before the king and he tells him of his dream.

The King sees a huge tree, which seemed to reach as high as heaven and filled the ends of the earth. Animals and birds made their homes there and the great tree provided food for all. The king sees a watcher and a holy one come down from heaven and command that the tree be cut down, Nevertheless leave the stump of its roots in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven.

Daniel is shocked and unable to speak for a moment. Finally he explains to the king that he is the mighty tree which will be cut down. He will lose his mind and wander the fields, eating grass like an oxen with the heart and mind of an animal. This madness will last until seven times pass over him (seven years), and he realizes that the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will. The tree stump left in the ground means he will be restored to his kingdom after he has learned his lesson that the heavens do rule...this is the will of the watchers and the holy ones.

Songe Nabuchodonosor arbre - 15th century - artist unknown Daniel advises him to behave righteously and show mercy to the poor in hopes that he may forestall this terrible fate. But a year later as the king was walking through Babylon, he bragged that he had built this great city by the might of my power and for the glory of my majesty. As the words were in his mouth, God struck him mad and he was driven from the world of men. He spent seven years eating grass and wandering with the beasts.

Finally, his senses returned to him and he raised his eyes to heaven and praised the everlasting God. His power and kingdom is restored to him and declares, "Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven; for all his works are truth, and his ways justice; and those that walk in pride he is able to abase."

Chapter 5: King Belshazzar, the son of Nebuchadnezzar throws a great party for a thousand of his lords. He commands that the vessels which were taken from the house of God in Jerusalem brought out and the king and his lords, his wives and his concubines, drank from them and they raised a toast to the gods of gold and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone.

Suddenly a hand appeared and wrote a strange message on the wall of the king's palace. The king was terrified and called for his soothsayers and enchanters. The king offered wealth and a position, third highest in the kingdom, for any who could reveal their meaning. None could interpret the writing on the wall. The queen told the king of Daniel who had served Nebuchadnezzar, his father. He had been of high renown as the greatest interpreter of dreams and that the spirit dwelt within him.

Daniel is brought before the king and offered wealth and power if he can explain the meaning of the words. Daniel says he has no interest in the wealth or power but will read the message for the king. He reads: "MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN." This is the interpretation of the thing: "MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and brought it to an end; TEKEL; thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting. PERES; thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians."

The king rewarded Daniel as he had promised, but that night the king was killed and the kingdom was received by Darius the Mede.

Chapter 6: Darius gave Daniel a high ranking position in his kingdom and Daniel was promoted to rule over the whole realm. Some of the other kings men were jealous of Daniel and tried to find some fault with him but because of his faithfulness, no error could be found. But they knew of his devotion to his god and devised a plan to use it against him.

Some counselors convinced the king to sign a decree that for one month, no man could pray to any god or petition any man but to Darius, the king. Daniel refused to obey, and with his windows open wide, prayed three times a day, facing Jerusalem.

The conspirators complained to the king that Daniel was breaking the kings law and must be punished. The king wanted to protect Daniel, but the lords insisted the kings law could not be changed. So, reluctantly, the king ordered Daniel to be locked into a den of lions overnight. As they rolled a heavy stone over the mouth of the den and it was sealed, the king remarked,
"Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee."

Heavy hearted, the king returned to his palace and passed the troubled night without sleeping. He rose early and hurried to the lions' den and called out to Daniel, "O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions?" and Daniel answered, "My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, and they have not hurt me."

Daniel in the Lions Den - Peter Paul Rubens - 1617 Daniel is brought out of the lions den, unharmed and the king ordered that the men who had accused him, and their families be thrown into the den of lions. They are all killed. Darius writes a letter to all peoples of the earth saying, "I make a decree, that in all the dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel; for he is the living God, and stedfast for ever, And his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed; and his dominion shall be even unto the end. He delivereth and rescueth, and he worketh signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, who hath delivered Daniel from the power of the lions."

Chapter 7: During king Belshazzar's first year, Daniel had a vision which he wrote down: Daniel sees the four winds of heaven blow upon the great sea. He sees four beasts rise up from the sea. The first was like a lion with eagles wings. The wings were plucked and it stood on two feet and became a man with a man's heart.
The second beast looked like a bear, raised up on one side. In his mouth were three rib bones. It is told,  "Arise, devour much flesh."  The third beast looked like a leopard which had four wings and four heads and dominion was given to it. The fourth beast was terrible and powerful with iron teeth that devoured all and stamped the residue with his feet. It also had ten horns.

Daniel studies the horns and sees a small horn which forces out three others by the roots. The small horn had eyes like a man and a mouth which spoke great things. Thrones were brought out and an ancient one sat. His clothes and hair were pure white and his throne was of flames with wheels of buring fire and thousands of thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.

The beast is slain, it's body destroyed and burned. The rest of the beasts lost their power but lived for a season and a time.

Then, Daniel sees coming with the clouds of heaven, one like the son of man, as in the ancient days, And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all the peoples, nations, and languages should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

Daniel is troubled and asks the truth concerning all he has seen. He is told the four beasts are four kings which shall arise out of the earth. But they will lose their kingdoms to the Saints of the Most High who will possess the kingdom forever and ever.

Daniel asks about the fourth beast, which was different from all the others. Which had the iron teeth and nails of brass. He asked about the little horn with eyes and mouth which spoke great things and which three horns fell out before it.

Daniel is told that the fourth beast is a fourth kingdom on the earth which is different from the other kingdoms. It will devour the whole earth and tread it down and break it into pieces. The ten horns represent ten kings which will rise from this kingdom and another will rise after them, different from the rest and will establish three kings. He will speak against God and wear out the saints. He will seek to change the times and the laws. And they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and half a time (three and a half years). But in the end, his kingdom will be destroyed and he will be judged. and the kingdom and the dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High: his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.

Daniel is changed after this vision and although troubled, keeps the matter in his heart.

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