Chapter One of Daniel

Chapter One of Daniel can be sub-divided into four headings.

1. Daniel is taken captive with Jehoiakim (vv1-2)

2. Daniel a candidate for Court service (vv3-7)

3. Daniel the Conscientious Objector (vv8-16)

4. Daniel the Courtier with honours (vv17-21)

1. Daniel is taken captive (vv1-2)

The name “DanielGates of bayblonmeans “God is my judge.” Like Ezekiel, Daniel was carried with the captives to Babylon. As many as 100,000 Jews were killed at that time. Ezekiel was taken in the second invasion.

When Daniel was carried captive to Babylon, he was about 18 years of age (vv1-2). We may reflect on Psalm 137 to see the distress that was upon the nation of Judah.

He and others with him were styled children (Daniel1:4). Normally court training started in Babylon at 12 years of age.

Daniel lived in Babylon at least 70 years – “until Cyrus” (1:21; 10:1). He was then too old to return to Palestine. His life would therefore extend through the three periods – before, during, and after the captivity.

2. Daniel a candidate for Court service (vv3-7)

Daniel was of royal descent (v1:3), trained in court etiquette and educated in the Torah, Hebrew writings and other former prophets. He was well versed in Scripture.

He was admitted to the Babylonian Court service, and lived a pure and saintly life in a vile heathen court. In Ezekiel 14:14 he is referred to as especially righteous, and in Ezekiel 28:3 as wise.

The head eunuch gave new names to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, [1] (v7), a custom that rulers often did when they ascended the throne.

Daniel’s name which signifies “God is my Judge,” was changed to Belteshazzar – Bel, protects the king, the depository of the secrets of Bel.

Hananiah’s name, which signifies, “The Lord has been gracious to me,” was changed to Shadrach –”Let God preserve us from evil.”

Mishael, whose name signifies, “He who comes from God,” was changed to Meshach, – “He who belongs to the goddess Sheshach,”

Azariah, which signifies, “The Lord is my Helper,” was changed to   Abed-nego – “the servant of Nego,”

3. Conscientious Objector – uncompromising (vv8-16)

Daniel and his friends’ character of faith were shown when they were not afraid to reject the king’s food.

It may have been for many reasons such as quality, but the most obvious one reason is in regards to the violating of the food laws.

It is possible the food was unclean like a pig, or it had been strangled with the blood in it or the animal had been sacrificed to an idol all of which were forbidden by the Jewish law.

4. Courtier with honours (vv17-21)

danielHe rose to the highest position in Babylon, and exercised great influence over two empires, Babylonian, Median and Persian the Medo-Persian. The Medians and Persians ruled jointly and it was under Darius -We see Daniel serving in Babylon.

Daniel 1:20 And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king enquired of them, and he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm. 21 And Daniel continued even unto the first year of king Cyrus. (KJV)

So high was Daniel’s reputation he lasted through five Babylonian and four Medo-Persian kings.

In many respects his record is unique. No failure of any kind is recorded of him. In this he resembles Joseph, as he does also in his high position in a foreign, heathen court, and was used by God to interpret royal dreams.

[1] Commentary on the Bible, by Adam Clarke, [1831]

Tony Smits B.Th and Dr. Ian Traill

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Traillblazer Ministries heart of Support

5 thoughts on “Chapter One of Daniel

  1. Thank you for your teachings holy servant of our Lord Christ Jesus. Am growing spiritually in ‘Vincent’s morning and evening Ian Class.’ Blessings.


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