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Bible Dictionaries

Morrish Bible Dictionary

Daniel the Prophet

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One of the tribe of Judah and of the royal family of David, he was carried to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar. He was chosen, as one who was well favoured and without blemish, to stand before the king, and to be taught the learning and tongue of the Chaldeans; his name being changed to BELTESHAZZAR. He was to be fed with the king's meat and to drink the king's wine, but Daniel resolved not to be thus defiled; the food had probably been offered to idols. He requested that he and his companions might be allowed to live upon vegetable food and water for a few days, and God blessed this faithfulness and when tested they were found well nourished. God also gave them knowledge and skill in learning, and to Daniel He gave understanding in all visions and dreams.

This was soon to be put to the proof, for the king having had a remarkable dream, which perhaps he had forgotten, he required the wise men to tell him the dream as well as its interpretation; or he may have intended it as a test. If by help of the gods they were able to give the true interpretation, the same gods could enable them to recall the dream. But they declared that this was an unheard-of demand. The magic and astrology of Chaldea was not equal to it, and Daniel and his companions were in danger of being destroyed with all the wise men; but they turned to the God of heaven and prayed to Him, and the dream was revealed to Daniel in a night vision. Daniel thanked and worshipped the God of his fathers. It was the vision of the Great Image. Its revelation had such an effect on the king that he did homage to Daniel, and said Daniel's God was the God of gods and the Lord of kings. He made Daniel ruler over the whole of Babylon and chief governor over all the wise men of Babylon. He sat in the gate of the king. Daniel was also able to interpret the dream that foretold Nebuchadnezzar's lunacy. He was next called to interpret the writing on the wall at Belshazzar's feast, and was made third ruler of the kingdom; but the city was taken and the kingdom fell into other hands.

Darius in settling the government made three presidents over 120 princes or satraps, and Daniel was first of the three. This raised their jealousy and they laid a plot to destroy him, finding nothing on which to accuse him except concerning his piety. Spite of the king's decree (which they had instigated) that no one should ask a petition of God or man for thirty days except of the king, Daniel still three times a day prayed and gave thanks to his God, having his window opened towards Jerusalem: cf. 1 Kings 8:47-49 . On his being accused thereof Darius was grieved, but saw no way of keeping the law and saving Daniel, so he was cast into the lions' den. Darius spent the night in fasting, and in the morning he found that Daniel's God had been able to save him from the lions. He was rescued and his enemies were cast into the den. A decree was then sent throughout the kingdom that all should fear the God of Daniel, 'for He is the living God.' "So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian." Daniel 6:28 .

This closes the history of Daniel in connection with the kings of Babylon and Persia. It reveals him as faithful to his God first, and then faithful to those whom he served. He was greatly concerned for the welfare of Israel, and confessed their sins as his own. God answered and blessed him, and revealed His purposes to him; gave him favour with those he served, and preserved him from the malice of his enemies. He is twice classed with Noah and Job as a faithful one. Ezekiel 14:14,20 . He typifies the faithful Jewish remnant during the Gentile supremacy, in bondage yet possessing the secret of the Lord. Finally through them the Gentiles magnify their God.

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography Information
Morrish, George. Entry for 'Daniel the Prophet'. Morrish Bible Dictionary. 1897.

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