The Bible in a Year. 28 August.

If this is your first viewing, please see my Introduction before reading this.

28 August. Daniel chapters 1-2

The book of Daniel is placed immediately after Esther in the Hebrew scriptures (unlike the Christian Bible where Daniel is reckoned as a prophet). The exaggerated style of the telling of his story is not dissimilar to that of Esther, with the threat of murder being suddenly reversed and him being made provincial governor instead. But it seems that unlike Esther, Daniel was probably a real person, since he is referred to in the prophecies of Ezekiel.

What distinguishes Daniel from other books of the Old Testament, including the other prophets, is that God speaks to him through dreams – either his own or those of other people – and that the interpretation of those dreams clearly points to the future, rather than to present circumstances.  In this, and in the nature of the dreams, it has much in common with the Book of Revelation, and both are classed as ‘apocalyptic’.

Something else that is notable about the stories of Daniel is that he is so committed to the worship of God that he lets nothing distract from that. In these two chapters he (and his companions) refuse the Babylonian food and wine, insisting on a vegetarian diet; when he is given the gift of understanding the king’s dream, his first response is to praise God; and when he presents the interpretation to the king, he insists that it is God who has given it, not Daniel himself.  “To God be the glory” should be the response of everyone who recognises his work in our lives.