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  • The book of Daniel concerns the destiny of Israel apportioned out by God, the contents of the seventy weeks (Dan. 9:24-27). It also concerns human government from Nimrod to Antichrist. Because Israel and human government are for Christ, this book also reveals certain aspects of Christ, who is the center and the circumference, the centrality and the universality, of God’s move. In particular, it reveals Christ’s death (Dan. 9:25-26), His appearing in His second coming (Dan. 2:34-35, 45), His receiving dominion and a kingdom (Dan. 7:13-14), His being the companion of the suffering witnesses of God (Dan. 3:23-25), and His excellency (Dan. 10:4-9).

    The central thought of Daniel is that the ruling of the heavens (Dan. 4:26), i.e., of the God of the heavens (Dan. 2:37, 44), over all human government on earth matches God’s eternal economy so that Christ would terminate the old creation for the germination of the new creation and would smash and crush the aggregate of human government and establish the eternal kingdom of God.

  • The origin of Babylon was Babel in the land of Shinar, which is Chaldea (Gen. 11:2, 9, 28; Dan. 1:1-2, 4). For the children of Israel to be taken captive to Babylon means that they were captured back to the place of the worship of idols (Jer. 50:1, 38), i.e., back to Babel, to the original place where their forefather Abraham had worshipped idols (Josh. 24:2-3). Abraham was called by God out of Chaldea to Canaan to worship God (Acts 7:2-4). By this, the worship of the unique God, which had been lost through Adam’s fall, was resumed (Gen. 12:5-8). Eventually, because of their degradation God’s people were taken back to the very place out of which Abraham had been called. See note Jer. 50:11a, par. 1, and note Jer. 50:151.

  • In the deportation to Babylon the testimony of God’s elect in the worship of the unique God, Jehovah, was utterly destroyed by the carrying of some of the vessels of the temple of God into the land of Shinar and the putting of these vessels into the temple of idols (2 Chron. 36:6-7).

  • Daniel is a book of the divine revelation concerning God’s economy (see note 1 Tim. 1:43d, par. 1). In chs. 1—6 this book presents God’s economy not in theology or in teaching but in a series of six cases as illustrations to show what God’s economy is and how God’s economy can be carried out.

  • I.e., a dialect of Akkadian used by the wise men of Babylon (cf. Dan. 2:2).

  • Nebuchadnezzar’s devilish temptation was first to seduce the four brilliant young descendants of God’s defeated elect, Daniel and his three companions, to be defiled by partaking of his unclean food, food offered to idols. The king’s choice provision was defiling, unclean, for it had been offered to Nebuchadnezzar’s gods. For Daniel and his companions to eat that food would have been to take in the defilement, to take in the idols, and thus to become one with Satan (cf. 1 Cor. 10:19-21). In principle, this was a temptation to eat the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which joins man to Satan (cf. Gen. 3:1-6). When Daniel and his companions refused to eat Nebuchadnezzar’s unclean food and chose instead to eat vegetables (vv. 8-16), in principle they rejected the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and took the tree of life, which caused them to be one with God (cf. Gen. 2:9, 16-17).

  • Lit., of them; referring to the years.

  • In his devilish tempting of Daniel and his companions, Nebuchadnezzar also changed their names, which indicated that they belonged to God, to names that made them one with idols (vv. 6-7). The name Daniel, meaning God is my Judge, was changed to Belteshazzar, meaning the prince of Bel, or the favorite of Bel (Isa. 46:1); the name Hananiah, meaning Jah has graciously given, or favored of Jah, was changed to Shadrach, meaning enlightened by the sun god; the name Mishael, meaning Who is what God is? was changed to Meshach, meaning Who can be like the goddess Shach? and the name Azariah, meaning Jah has helped, was changed to Abed-nego, meaning the faithful servant of the fire god Nego.

  • Daniel fought the battle by countering the devil’s temptation with bold rejection (vv. 8-13). God honored Daniel’s fighting (vv. 14-20), and Daniel and his companions became the overcomers among the remnant of God’s defeated elect. Because of the captivity of God’s elect in Babylon, apparently God was defeated in His interests on earth. Actually, He preserved His worship and testimony through the young overcomers. The elect were defeated, but the young overcomers were victorious. Their victory was God’s victory. Because of this victory God could boast to Satan that in the midst of Babylon, God still had some overcomers who were victorious over Satan’s devices. Eventually, it was through the overcomers among God’s captured elect, such as Daniel and his companions, that God was able to turn the age and bring a remnant of His captured people back to the land of Canaan (see note 1 Kings 19:181).

  • Lit., he.

  • God blessed Daniel with longevity, so that he lived through the captivity of seventy years (Jer. 25:11) and saw the release and return of the captives beginning from the first year of Cyrus, the king of Persia, after the fall of Babylon (v. 21; 6:28; Ezra 1:1-5).

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