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If I Were Told the Future - Lesson 5

The Book of Daniel

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Welcome to this first lesson on the organization of prophecies. Let’s pray:

Our Father,

Your Word has taught us the importance of prophecy, and we desire to invest our time in studying it, in order to better understand it.

Today we will more specifically probe the book of the prophet Daniel, its structure, its author, its message.

May Your Holy Spirit guide us as we open Your Book. In Jesus Christ we pray.


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Daniel 1:1,2

In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem, and besieged it.

And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God: which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god.


Thus begins the book of Daniel.

The action takes place in 606 B.C., as Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, has just invaded Jerusalem.

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2 Chronicles 36:5,6

Jehoiakim was twenty and five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem: and he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord his God.

Against him came up Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and bound him in fetters, to carry him to Babylon.


Why did Jerusalem fall into the hands of Babylon?

Simply because, after many warnings and calls to repent, always ignored by the Hebrew people and its rebellious kings, God finally decided to forsake them to their sad fate.

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Daniel 1:3-6 : Daniel’s entrance on the stage

And the king spoke to Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king’s seed, and of the princes; children in whom was no blemish, but well favored, and skillful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans.

And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king’s meat, and of the wine which he drank: so nourishing them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king.

Now among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.

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Ezekiel 28:3

«Behold, you are wiser than Daniel; there is no secret that they can hide from you.»


Among the Hebrew captives was young Daniel, who was then about 18 years old.

In spite of the difficult trials which he faced, Daniel remained faithful to his convictions.

By his loyalty to God, by his character and his deeds, Daniel left an indelible mark behind, even in the eyes of other Bible authors like Ezekiel, who was referring to him as an example of wisdom.

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Ezekiel 14:19,20

«Or if I send a pestilence into that land, and pour out My fury on it in blood, to cut off from it man and beast: though Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, as I live,»

said the Lord God,

«they shall deliver neither son nor daughter; they shall but deliver their own souls by their righteousness.»


God Himself, when He sought to enumerate examples of men who obtained righteousness through their close relationship with Him, did not hesitate to place the name of Daniel among those of Noah and Job!

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Outline of the book of Daniel

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Daniel 3:24,25

Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonished, and rose up in haste, and spoke, and said to his counsellors, «Did not we cast three men bound into the middle of the fire?»

They answered and said to the king, «True, O king.»

He answered and said, «See, I see four men loose, walking in the middle of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.»


Hebrews 11:33,34

Through faith, (...) [they] quenched the violence of fire.


The historical section of Daniel’s book relates events which are mentioned in the New Testament, such as the deliverance from the fiery furnace.

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Daniel 6:20-22

The king spoke and said to Daniel, «O Daniel, servant of the living God, is your God, whom you serve continually, able to deliver you from the lions?»

Then said Daniel to the king, «O king, live for ever. My God has sent His angel, and has shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me: for as much as before Him innocence was found in me.»


Hebrews 11:33

Through faith, (...) [they] stopped the mouths of lions.


The New Testament also refers to the deliverance from the lions’ den.

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Daniel 9:26,27

The people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. (...)

And for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate.


Matthew 24:15

[Jesus said,]

«When you therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, whoever reads, let him understand.»


And the New Testament also refers to the prophetic section of the book of Daniel, for example concerning «the abomination of desolation».

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Daniel 9:21,22

Yes, while I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation.

And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, «O Daniel, I am now come forth to give you skill and understanding.»


Luke 1:19

The angel answering said to [Zacharias], «I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak to you, and to show you these glad tidings.»


The book of Daniel reports that some prophetic informations were passed on by Gabriel, an angel sent by God.

This same angel also appears in the Gospel according to Luke.

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Daniel 11:36

The king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvelous things against the God of gods.


2 Thessalonians 2:3,4

For that Day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.


Paul also referred to Daniel’s words to describe the «man of sin».

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Daniel 2:44,45

The God of heaven shall set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.

For as much as you saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold.


Matthew 21:44

And whoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.


The stone, symbol of Jesus, had previously appeared in the book of Daniel.

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Daniel 7:13,14

I saw in the night visions, and, behold, One like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought Him near before Him.

And there was given Him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve Him.

His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.


Matthew 26:64

Nevertheless I say to you, Hereafter shall you see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.


Finally, Jesus described His return using Daniel’s exact expressions.

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Daniel 8:1

In the third year of the reign of king Belshazzar a vision appeared to me, even to me Daniel, after that which appeared to me at the first.


Although the historical section of the book of Daniel is certainly worth reading and meditating upon, we will instead linger on the prophetic part in this set of lessons.

A careful study of this section reveals close links between the prophecies of this book.

In fact, the obvious parallels which can be drawn from one symbol to another clearly show that these prophecies often describe the very same events.

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Let’s note the similar symbolism in these three prophecies of Daniel:

«After this I beheld, and see another, like a leopard, which had on the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it.» (Daniel 7:6)

«And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king. Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power.» (Daniel 8:21,22)

«And a mighty king shall stand up, that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will. And when he shall stand up, his kingdom shall be broken, and shall be divided toward the four winds of heaven; and not to his posterity, nor according to his dominion which he ruled: for his kingdom shall be plucked up, even for others beside those.» (Daniel 11:3,4)

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Another example of symbolism repeated in three prophecies:

«He shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.» (Daniel 7:25)

«A king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practice, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people.» (Daniel 8:23,24)

«And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white (...). And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvelous things against the God of gods.» (Daniel 11:35,36)

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A last example of parallel symbolism between three prophecies:

«I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the Most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.» (Daniel 7:21,22)

«And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.» (Daniel 8:25)

«He shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many. And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.» (Daniel 11:44,45)

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Daniel 2:45

The dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.


Daniel 8:26

And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true.


Daniel 11:2

And now will I show you the truth.


We will study each one of Daniel’s prophecies, their symbolism, their interpretation, taken from the Bible itself.

This is all the more important since we are often told that this book is a trustworthy source of truth.

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Matthew 24:15

[Jesus said,]

«When you therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, whoever reads, let him understand.»


As we have already seen, Jesus Himself referred to the book of Daniel and recommended that we probe it.

May this Bible prophecy study guide help us to reach this goal.

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Let’s thank God:

Almighty Father,

We want to express our gratitude for the gift of Your prophetic word which contains, among others, the book of Daniel.

Your Son Himself invites us to probe its content, and this is exactly what we wish to do by using this study guide.

May Your Spirit guide us, so that this quest may produce in each one of us good fruits that we will bear into eternity.

In Jesus Christ and for His glory we pray.


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