Friday, June 05, 2009

Bible Study: Taking A Stand - Daniel - Introduction and Chapter 1

Overall theme – God is sovereign.

The names of the four main Hebrew characters attest to this:

Daniel means “God is judge”
Hananiah means “God is gracious”
Azariah means “God is my help”
Mishael means “Who is like God?”

These young men would have been about 12 or 13 years old at the time of their capture. Beth Moore’s study says they would’ve been around 15. Either way, this was probably an awkward and vulnerable time in these boys’ lives. They certainly would’ve latched onto each other under these circumstances. But how much would they have allowed the culture to affect them out of fear for their lives? The fact that they had each other (and each was probably close to God) probably kept them close to God and unwilling to compromise their beliefs.

Lessons For Life from Daniel:
• God rewards His faithful servants
• God will bless you in the midst of a storm
• Sometimes He needs you to acknowledge Him before He can bless you
• He is with His faithful servants in times of trouble
• He has the power to rescue us
• Don’t walk in pride! God will humble you!!
• God is in control of my life
• God controls all that touches my life
• He is worthy of our commitment to Him
• Don’t be afraid of what people do to you
• Hang in there! Life is temporary. God’s kingdom is eternal
• Keep praying! God hears and answers all
• Keep studying! Share what you learn from the Word

Chapter 1 – August 19, 2006; 03/14/07 (Beth Moore)

This portion is written in Hebrew.

1:1 – Story begins around 605 BC (3rd year of the reign of Jehoiakim (Eliakim)) – Chaldean (Babylonian) time-keeping didn’t include the accession year of a monarch. (NIV Study Bible)

Accession – the act of coming to high office or a position of honor or power. (Webster’s)

See 2 Kings 24.

The dates in Daniel don’t match those in Jeremiah 52. (597 BC – 3023 Jews taken into exile…)

Summer of 605 BC. (Daniel – Beth Moore)

1:2 – The Lord gave Jehoiakim into Nebuchadnezzar’s hand. (Judah was exiled to Babylon because they disobeyed God’s word regarding Sabbath years – NIV SB – Lev. 25:1-7; 26:27-35, 40-45; Jer. 25:1-12; 29:1-14 – letter to exiles. This wasn’t just a punishment, it served to fulfill God’s master plan!) This happened around 597 BC (Daniel – God’s Blueprint for Bible Prophecy – Kay Arthur).

Nebuchadnezzar’s practice was to conquer a land and take the most beautiful and intelligent (useful) people back to Babylon (the land of Shinar or Chaldea). He would only leave the poor behind to take whatever land they wanted and live in peace there (see 2 Kings 24:14). (Life App SB)

See Genesis 11:1-4, 8-9 – a desire to make a name for ourselves. Genesis 12:1, 11:31 – God wants us to leave our Babylons. (Daniel – Beth Moore)

See Isaiah 39:1-8 – Babylon had been coveting Judah’s treasures for years! (Daniel – Beth Moore)

See Jeremiah 6:13-15 – greedy for gain, priests practice deceit, they have no shame, they don’t even know how to blush… – This is happening in our culture now. (Daniel – Beth Moore)

1:3 – Eunuchs were chosen as high officials because it minimized assassination attempts since the eunuchs couldn’t have children and therefore wouldn’t try to take the throne. (KJV Word Study OT)

1:3-6 – Daniel and the other young men were nobles. They were handsome and intelligent. They were to receive the best food and training for 3 years, and then they were to enter the king’s service. Why 3 years? Is there Chaldean symbolism for the number 3?

According to a disputed article in Wikipedia:

However, Cheiro, and ancient numerological systems such as the Chaldean, do not necessarily agree with this system, leaning toward the either astrological, or the psychic/symbolic. Under these systems, the numbers 0-9 possess the following associations and colours:
0. - Nullify, Void, Space - Astrology: sometimes, space/infinity - Colour: Black
1. - Activation, New Beginnings, Consciousness - Astrology: Sun - Colour: Brown
2. - Duality, Duality of Physical/Non-Physical, Duality of Male/Female - Astrology: Moon - Colour: Red
3. - Creative, Perfection in Creation - Astrology: Jupiter - Colour: Orange
4. - Earth-based, Ego, Physical Solidity - Astrology: Uranus - Colour: Yellow
5. - Healing, Growth, Christic - Astrology: Mercury - Colour: Green
6. - New Ideas, Vision - Astrology: Venus - Colour: Blue
7. - Perfection, Creation, Completion, Physicality - Astrology: Neptune - Colour: Violet
8. - Infinity, Eternity, Non-Physical/Angelic - Astrology: Saturn - Colour: Silver
9. - End of a Cycle - Astrology: Mars and Pluto - Colour: Gold
The numbers following the cycle of 9 in base-10 are also assigned colours and associations such as the following examples:
10. - God, Universal Mind, the Intelligence of Space, the Wheel of Fortune - Colour: White
11. - New Cycle, New Beginnings, Courage - Colour: Maroon
12. - All Lineages, All Frequencies, Number of Total Variant Rays in Creation -
13. - Maturity, Totality, Completion -
18. - Good Luck. Long Life, Portent -
22. - Transition, Between Past and Future - Colour: Turquoise
33. - End of a Series of Cycles - Colour: Clear
144. - All Possibilities -

1:3-7 – They wanted those without pre-formed ideas, but with an aptitude to learn: blank slates that could be trained to do things Nebuchadnezzar’s way.

See 1 Timothy 4:7-8 – “Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives' tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” (Daniel – Beth Moore)

1:4 – Babylon idolized youth, beauty and intelligence. Look at the description given by the king of what sort of people to capture for his service. (Daniel – Beth Moore)

1:4-5 – scholars suggest 3 possible reasons for taking the young noblemen: (KJV Word Study OT)
- as hostages, to ensure their families’ loyalty to Babylon.
- To develop educated men for service to Babylon.
- To teach them Babylonian ideals and to use them as liaisons between Babylon and Judea.

The academic program would have included mathematics, astronomy, history, science and magic. These young men demonstrated not only aptitude, but also discipline. This character trait, along with integrity, served them well in their new culture. (Life App SB)

This education would have also included oneiromancy (divination through dreams) and hepatoscopy (divination through examination of the liver). (Daniel – Beth Moore)

See Isaiah 47:8, 10 – “I am and there is none besides me” – Babylonian mentality. (Daniel – Beth Moore) Doesn’t this motto seem to ring true in society, today?

1:5 – Babylon characterizes complete overindulgence. (Daniel – Beth Moore)

1:6 – the names of the young men were listed in alphabetical order in the original language, not necessarily “order of importance”. (Daniel – Beth Moore)

They were four among many.

1:7 – the king changes the Hebrew’s names to make them more Babylonian. This was how the king attempted to change their spiritual loyalties as well – from God to Babylon’s gods. (Life App SB)

Their new names and meanings are: Belteshazzar – Bel will protect; Shadrach – inspired of Aku; Meshach – belonging to Aku; Abednego – servant of Nego.

Actually, renaming was God’s idea! He began this practice back in Genesis. (Daniel – Beth Moore) This is one of the enemy’s tactics: to take something with godly roots and twist it for his own purposes.

1:8 – Daniel exercises self-control rather than indulging in Babylonian culture. He sets a good example. KJV says he “purposed”. NIV says he “resolved”. NLT says he “made up his mind”. Daniel refuses to begin relying on the king instead of God. And he was committed to obedience to God. (Life App SB)

see Jeremiah 52:1-6 – due to the famine in Jerusalem during the siege, rich foods would have been a greater temptation.

The boys’ behavior is extremely commendable considering the culture shock they would have experienced going from a sheltered life to the neon lights where anything was available to them! (Daniel – Beth Moore)

See Colossians 3:1 – everything is permissible, but not beneficial. 1 Corinthians 6:12 – we are not under OT law. (Daniel – Beth Moore)

1:9 – God caused the official to show favor to Daniel. God is always in control. (Similarity to Joseph)

1:10 – the official confesses his fear of the king. (I would be, too. The king was a violent man. See his threats in 2:5-6 and 3:29)

1:11-14 – Daniel asks the official to test him and the others for 10 days eating only vegetables and drinking water. The official agreed.

The number 10 in numerology often symbolized completeness. (NIV SB)

The number ten symbolized absolute completeness. The court to the Tabernacle was ten times ten ells long, and five times ten ells wide, and in the Holy of Holies the Ten Commandments were preserved. (Wikipedia)

1:12 – The Babylonians were trying to change the Jews’ thinking by educating them, their loyalty by changing their names, and their lifestyle by changing their diet. Without compromising, Daniel came up with a creative solution. (Life App SB)

vegetables - “zeroa” – that which grows from sown seed – includes vegetables, fruits, grains and grain breads. (Daniel – Beth Moore)

1:15-16 – after 10 days, the young men looked healthier than all of the others, so the official allowed them to continue this diet.

1:16 – In the modern day, we are plagued by overindulgent choices. (Daniel – Beth Moore)

1:17 – God blessed these boys with knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. This knowledge was of a pagan culture, but God used this to put these men in the position to be powerful witnesses for Him. These men pursued excellence even in this foreign society (Life App SB) – we should do the same in our workplaces and social circles where we may be the only Christian influence. God also blessed Daniel with the ability to understand visions and dreams. (Another Joseph parallel)

1:18 – 3 years later – 602 BC – the chief official presents the 4 to King Nebuchadnezzar.

1:19-20 – the king spoke with them and was impressed. He found them to be 10 times better than all of the magicians and enchanters in the kingdom, so they entered his service. (See The number 10… above)

1:21 – Daniel remained in Babylon until the first year of King Cyrus. (539 BC – Daniel would spend about 70 years in Babylon – NIV SB) (536 BC according to Blueprint – Arthur)

1 comment:

Daniel said...

I am here, I was always witness on earth for entire life as reborn. I already knew what's going on since.
Daniel was 2nd son of God. Jesus was 1st son of God. I tried to tell you all of what's going on since. Then don't forget in old testament of Levi; Chapter 19, line 14. That's what God was talking about.
Daniel