hapter 1: In approximately
the year 605 BC
Jerusalem is besieged by King
Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. Judah is defeated and vessels
of the house of God are
carried back to the
land of Shinar
along with Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. As educated youths
of noble heritage, in
whom was no blemish, but well-favored, and skillful in all wisdom,
and endued with knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had
ability to stand in the king�s palace.
They are placed
under the care of
of the eunuchs to be
trained in the way of the Chaldeans, that is to interpret oracles
for the king. They are given new names by the master of the
eunuchs, unto Daniel
name of Belteshazzar; and to Hananiah, of Shadrach; and to Mishael,
of Meshach; and to Azariah, of Abed-nego.
king decrees that they should receive a portion of the food and wine
from his table for three years and then they should be brought before
him. Daniel refuses to be defiled by the Kings food and wine and asks
the master of the
eunuchs if he may eat only vegetables and water.
The master feels kindly towards Daniel but is worried the king will
have his head if the young men do not thrive under his care.
convinces the master of eunuchs to allow them ten days to prove they
will not suffer and indeed after ten days, they are fairer and fatter
of flesh than the other boys who had eaten the kings' food. So Daniel
and his friends are allowed to continue with their meager diet,
as for these four youths, God gave them knowledge and skill in all
learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and
dreams. When the
three years had passed and the trainees were brought before
Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were found to
be ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters that
were in all his realm.
Sometime later, King has
dreams that he cannot remember upon waking that are troubling him and
making him unable to sleep. He calls in the
magicians, and the enchanters, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans,
to tell the king his dreams.
But the interpreters cannot help him if he cannot remember the dream
and protest that what he asks is known only to the gods. The king is
furious and orders them all killed. Daniel convinces the king that if
he will give him some time, he will give the interpretation.
King agrees and Daniel shares the problem with his companions. They
pray to God to reveal the secret so they will not be killed. Daniel
is given a vision during the night and the next morning he is brought
the king to reveal the meaning.
Daniel tells him that
none of his wise men, enchanters, magicians, nor soothsayers could
solve this problem but
there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets. He
tells the king that his dream was of a giant statue, its
head was of fine gold, its breast and its arms of silver, its belly
and its thighs of brass, its legs of iron, its feet part of iron, and
part of clay.
hits the clay and iron feet with a rock and the statue crumbles to
dust which is carried away by the wind. The stone which struck the
statue becomes a great mountain which fills the whole earth.
explains that Nebuchadnezzar is the head of gold and he will be
followed by an inferior kingdom, then another which will rule over
the entire earth. This will be followed by a fourth kingdom which
will be as strong as iron but fractured and broken. During these
times, God will set up a
kingdom which shall never be destroyed, nor shall the sovereignty
thereof be left to another people; but it shall break in pieces and
consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.
King that the dream and it's meaning are
certain. The king is so impressed with Daniel's revelation that
declares your God is the
God of gods, and the Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets.
He promotes Daniel to be governor of all of Babylon and chief of all
it's wise men. Daniel takes care to see his companions are given
prestigious positions in the city, but Daniel remains a close
confidant of the king.
3: King Nebuchadnezzar
made himself a giant statue of gold and summoned all the officials and
of the provinces to come to the dedication of the statue. He
commanded that everyone should fall down and worship the statue or be
thrown into a fiery furnace. Most of the people did as he commanded
but The Chaldeans complained to the King that the companions of
Daniel refused to worship their gods or his statue.
ordered Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego brought before him and asks
if he has them killed for refusing to worship the statue, will their
god deliver them from the fiery furnace? The companions answer that
if it is Gods will they will be delivered but they will not worship
his gods or his image either way. The king is furious and orders the
furnace to be stoked and the men tossed in.
furnace was so hot that the men who brought Shadrach, Meshach, and
Abed-nego to it were killed by the heat. The companions fell into the
flames but Nebuchadnezzar was astonished to see four men walking in
the fire. He asked if they hadn't thrown but three men in. He
answered and said, "Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of
the fire, and they have no hurt; and the aspect of the fourth is like
a son of the gods."
king called to them and they came out of the fire, unharmed. Even
their clothing was unscorched. Nebuchadnezzar declared, "Blessed
be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, who hath sent his
angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have
changed the king�s word, and have yielded their bodies, that they
might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God."
king decreed that death would be the penalty for anyone who spoke
against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego because no other
god could perform such miracles. The king then promoted them all.