Understanding the Book of Daniel

The Book of Daniel is rich in historic details and distant prophetical events. Of all the prophetic Old Testament books, the book of Daniel is one of the most important. The writings contained within this book, predicted events hundreds and thousands of years into the future. A little over half of the events predicted by Daniel have already taken place; these predictions were on target and 100% correct. The remaining predictions are set to take place, in what I hope, is the not too distant future. In order to properly comprehend this prophetic book, you must first understand why God subjected Israel to Gentile domination and secondly what Empires have dominated Israel in the past and what nations will dominate Israel in the future

The Book can be divided up in various ways. One way to divide the book is by the language in which it was written. Chapters 1:-2:3 and Chapters 8:1- 12:13 are written in Hebrew. Chapters 2:4 – 7:28 were written in Aramaic. Why the book was penned down in this way is unclear. Some scholars have suggested that what concerns the Gentile Empires has been written in Aramaic and what concerns Israel is written in Hebrew. I do not hold to that opinion. I believe this book may have been penned down both by Daniel and also by a scribe as Daniel dictated, but I do not any have proof of this assumption. Another way to divide this book is by themes.These themes fall into three distinct categories.

  • Background information concerning the prophet and his friends.
  • Dreams and visions seen by the kings of Babylon.
  • Dreams and visions seen by Daniel.

These three themes are distinctive but sometimes overlapping. While, I do not believe the book is written with the intention of developing these 3 subjects, it will behoove the reader to categorize the information in this manner. Such departmentalizing will allow the reader to grasp a time line for both past and future events.