Daniel


A Den of Lions in Babylon?

A Den of Lions in Babylon?

In a previous post we argued that the most likely location for the events of Daniel 6 was Babylon, the place where Daniel had spent nearly his entire life. So what kind of den might have been located in Babylon? Lions do not naturally live in caves or dens. Their natural habitat is open grassland or open forest. Clearly the place where Daniel was to be executed was the place where captive lions were held. No such place has been found in Babylon (or elsewhere in the ancient Near East), but there......


Where Was Daniel's Den of Lions?

Where Was Daniel’s Den of Lions?

The author of Daniel does not state where the events of Daniel 6 (Daniel in the lions’ den) took place. There are several possibilities, all shown on the map above, but one appears most likely. The answer to this question affects how we envision the den of lions. Ecbatana was the historical capital of the Median empire. Ecbatana is located about 250 miles to the northeast of Babylon, across some pretty rough and mountainous ground. If Darius the Mede ruled from the old Median capital, Ecbatana would be the logical location for......


Who was Darius the Mede?

Who was Darius the Mede?

Darius the Mede is mentioned several times in the book of Daniel: Dan 5:31 – Darius the Mede received the kingdom at the age of 62; he was “made king” over Babylon. Dan 6:28 – “So Daniel enjoyed success in the reign of Darius and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.” Dan 9:1 – Darius was the son of Ahasuerus, of Median descent. Dan 11:1 – in the first year of Darius the Mede . . . The question comes from the fact that no ancient document or historian other than......


Babylon - How to Take a Strong City

Babylon – How to Take a Strong City

Ancient Babylon was a mighty city. Although ancient historians greatly exaggerated its size as well as the height and width of its walls, it was likely the largest city of its day. Excavations have shown that the city walls were built of mudbrick, using bitumen as mortar. The Ishtar Gate , which was located near the palace, was 45 feet tall and 32 feet wide, which probably reflects the approximate size of the rest of the city walls. The city proper was about 2 by 3 miles in size, although there may......


Belshazzar's Throne Room Identified

Belshazzar’s Throne Room Identified

Nearly all of the narrative sections of the book of Daniel (Dan 1-6) took place in and around the capital, Babylon. Daniel 5 records the night on which Babylon fell to the Medes and Persians. The crown prince, Belshazzar, was having a drinking party in the palace. Although exact details are lacking in the text, this probably took place in the throne room of the palace and the courtyard that faced it. The palace where Belshazzar lived was the one that had been built by Nebuchadnezzar a few decades earlier. It was......


Elijah, Daniel, and Miracles

Elijah, Daniel, and Miracles

Malachi ends his book with the pronouncement that Elijah the prophet would come before the great and terrible day of the Lord (Mal 4:5-6). This prophecy stumped the disciples of Jesus who were at the transfiguration. They saw Jesus in blazing white, flanked by Moses and Elijah (Mat 17:1-12). Afterward, they were puzzled at the appearance of Elijah, realizing that he was prophesied to return. They had just seen him, but then he had disappeared again, and Jesus begun to talk of his own death. The angel who announced the birth of......


Was Daniel a Eunuch?

Was Daniel a Eunuch?

It is suggested from time to time that Daniel and his friends may have served as eunuchs in the court of Nebuchadnezzar. This idea is illustrated, for example, in the 14th century illuminated manuscript shown above, which depicts the Hebrew captives being castrated. Where does this idea come from, and how reliable is it? The best case to be made for supposing that Daniel was a eunuch hangs on an implication and the translation of a Hebrew word. If you read the KJV (or ESV), you will find 7 references in Daniel......


Life and Times of Daniel

Life and Times of Daniel

As we start out a new Sunday School series on the book of Daniel it may be helpful to see Daniel in the midst of the events that were going on in his day. Daniel was born when the ruthless Assyrian empire still ruled the north. Egypt was still an independent nation to the south, and would remain independent until conquered by the Persian king Cambyses in 525 BC. We don’t know when Daniel was born, but perhaps it was around 620 BC. We do know that he was deported as a......