Daniel: Who was Daniel?

The Book of Daniel was written by a prophet named Daniel.  Daniel is categorized under the Major Prophets of the Bible.  Daniel lived in Babylon under several rules.  He had friends that were taken with him that he kept fellowship with.  He never wavered in his faith or his walk with God.  But who was Daniel?

Who was he?

Daniel lived in Babylon from 605 – 538 AD.  He was born in 620 AD.  Through multiple rules/regimes, Daniel rose to 2nd in command.  He was by far the wisest of the “wise men”, mainly because he consulted God, not false teachings or dark spirits.  God saw him fit for interpretation of dreams and visions.  Daniel was a prophet living in captivity.  

How Daniel ended up in Babylon

Daniel 1:1 (ESV) In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. 

The first thing we learn is that Judah, Daniel’s home, was besieged.  Daniel was a young man, probably in his teens, when these events took place.  When the king besieged them, he also helped himself to some of their items in the temple, and enslaved a group of their people.

Daniel 1:3 Then the king commanded Ashpenaz, his chief eunuch, to bring some of the people of Israel, both of the royal family and of the nobility, 4 youths without blemish, of good appearance and skillful in all wisdom, endowed with knowledge, understanding learning, and competent to stand in the king’s palace, and to teach them the literature and language of the Chaldeans.

Daniel fit this category.  He was taken and made to be a Eunuch.  We know that Daniel was taken.  We know that he was put through “Babylon University”, but it isn’t written specifically that he was a Eunuch.  How do we know he was?  

First, it should be noted that he was under the handling of the Master Eunuch.  If this alone isn’t enough to convince you, there is also evidence in 2 Kings.

2 Kings 20:18 And some of your own sons, who will come from you, whom you will father, shall be taken away, and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.”

Is it really important that we know Daniel is a Eunuch?  I believe it is.  Daniel had unwavering faith while living in Judah.  He was then kidnapped and made into a Eunuch.  What if he was engaged to be married?  What if he wanted to have kids?  We don’t know what future plans he had.  This was all out the window now.  Daniel had every reason to be bitter and angry.  But what was he?  No.  Daniel remained steadfast in his faith.

Daniel had unwavering faith!

Daniel showed his unwavering faith several times throughout the book of Daniel.  In chapter 1, Daniel refused to eat the king’s food or drink the king’s wine, and instead challenged it against his diet.  He didn’t seem to care what the repercussions were.  He trusted his faith and didn’t want to compromise his relationship with God.  

We see in chapter 2 that Daniel turned immediately to God for answers to the king’s dream.  He didn’t second guess it.  He told the soldiers that he would deliver the meaning of the dream, then went to prayer with his friends.

In chapter 4 he didn’t hold back telling the king about his painful 7 years coming.  In chapter 5 he didn’t fluff the writing on the wall that the king was going to die.  In chapter 6 he didn’t stop praying to God and faced a den of lions.  In Daniel 7-12 he saw some amazing visions about the end times.  His faith was steadfast.  His faith was unwavering.  His faith was contagious.  

Was Daniel talked about in any other book?

He was mentioned by Jesus himself.

Matthew 24:15 “So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.

This is the only other place Daniel is mentioned.  There are other places where “Daniel” is written, but it is not him.  

Conclusion

Daniel could have been bitter, eaten at the king’s table, and coasted his bitter life out very easily.  Instead, he chose to stick with God, and God blessed him, even while living under evil rulers.  There are many life applications we can pull from the book of Daniel.  I would encourage you to read it.  Read it slowly and carefully, paying attention to how Daniel and his friends carried themselves.  

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Daniel+1&version=ESV

Written by Dan
This is my collection of bible study lessons and book reviews. I am the Executive Pastor of Cross Waves Church and graduate of the Willmington School of the Bible, part of the Liberty University Rawlings School of Divinity.