History of Daniel
The history concerning Daniel begins with the fall of Jerusalem, but why Jerusalem fell and under what circumstances it will be restored is the great theme intertwined within this book. Nebuchadnezzar besieged Jerusalem in the 3rd year of Jehoiakim (Daniel 1:1-2) and took the city the following year in 605 BC. This would have been in the 4th year of Jehoiakim (Jeremiah 25: 8-11. Daniel was taken to Babylon at this time; scholars suggest he may have been 14- 18 years old. Daniel along with the others selected to serve the king were entrusted to Ashpenaz the master of the eunuchs for a period of 3 years. During this 3 year time, they were educated in the learning and tongue of the Chaldeans. In the 2nd year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar (603 BC), the king had the statue dream and Daniel told the interpretation. Around 602 BC, all the Israelites entrusted to Ashpenaz were brought before the king for an interview. Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were found 10 times better in understanding than all the magicians and astrologers in Babylon. In the years to follow, Daniel along with his three friends were elevated to the highest offices in Babylon. Chapter 10:1 references the third year during the reign of Cyrus King of Persia; this would be around 534 BC. Daniel would now be about 85-90 years old. Many of the Jewish captives returned to Jerusalem in 536- 535 BC. Why Daniel stayed in Babylon is unclear but his love for God and his desire to understand, that which is a mystery, is insatiable?