The Book of Daniel


“God’s goal is to be All in all, when all are subject to Him.  In order to reach the consummation He reveals to His creatures, by numberless object lessons, their utter helplessness apart from Him.  Collectively as nations, as well as individ-ually, man is a failure, for the flesh will not be subject to God, nor the spirit give Him the worship which is His due. 

“Adam sinned at the first opportunity, and each one of his descendants experiences his own innate incapacity to do God’s will.  This they are shown in situations of infinite variety, either in this life or in the judgment to come.  Thus also with human government and religion.  When man congregates, he only emphasizes his Godless impotence.  

“Kings and high priests were never intended by God to fulfill their functions perfectly, but rather to fail in order to reveal their futility, so that God Himself will be the only Refuge of His creatures when every other one has disappointed.”  Concordant Studies in the Book of Daniel, p 9,10 

It is important to understand the purpose of the eons.  Those who think of the matter at all, wonder why God allows conditions so opposed to His apparent will, and why He does not interfere to set things right.  But as we continue to study the Bible and learn more about God’s ways, we see that all is in agreement with His ultimate intention.  In addition, the men of world prominence, who play their assigned roles without even realizing it themselves, may appear to us as monsters or men who are out of their minds, but we must remember that they are playing a part assigned to them by God Himself. 

Who was Daniel and when did he live? 

Jesus Himself spoke of Daniel as a prophet on the Tuesday before His crucifixion.  Jesus gathered His disciples together on the Mount of Olives and talked about the end of the world.  Jesus called attention to something said by Daniel almost 600 years earlier.  In doing so Jesus referred to him as “the prophet Daniel.”  Matthew 24:15 

Daniel the prophet was born into an upper-class family who reverenced the true God. He and his family lived in Palestine, in the area of Judah (Judea), around 622 B.C. 

What does the name Daniel mean? 

Daniel’s name is usually defined as Judge-of-God.  It is more properly translated as adjudicate (din) and Deity (El). The meaning of the word adjudicate is very close to the meaning of the word judge, which means to set right what is wrong.  We can see this clearly in Abraham’s question (Genesis 18:25), “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do judgment (AV, right)?”  It does not necessarily imply the infliction of evil, as most are taught. 

“It seems clear that Daniel’s name and prophecy deal not only with those crises in human history when God judges evil, but rather with the whole course of His operations when He disposes evil by adjudication.  It goes deeper than His will, and bares His intention.”  Ibid. p 12 

Why was Judah invaded by Babylon? 

Around 931 B.C., after the reign of King Solomon, the nation of Israel divided into two separate and quarreling nations – the kingdom of Judah in the south and in the north, the kingdom of Israel. Israel eventually fell into almost outright paganism and God sent prophet after prophet – Elijah, Amos, Hosea and others – over a period of two centuries to plead with the nation to return to God.  But they refused.  Finally, in 722 B.C, God finally “gave up” Israel to the Assyrians. 

As time continued, Judah also fell into apostasy and God sent Babylon to take them captive.  This was the captivity that involved Daniel and his three friends. 

What were the terrible sins of Judah?  “Dishonesty, injustice to the poor, murder, breaking the Sabbath, persecuting true prophets, favoring preachers who promised prosperity without condemning vice, and worshiping Baal (see Jeremiah 9:14; 17:19-27; 22:1-5,18).  The worship of Baal involved a variety of “sexual preferences” including premarital, extramarital, homosexual and bestial.  Sabbath breaking dishonored God and deprived people of a day of rest and a day of worship.”  God Cares, C. Mervyn Maxwell, p 20 

Daniel 1 is a short chapter but it shows God at work.  God “gives up” the Judaites to enable them to see the consequences of their rebel ways and to be led back to a higher way of life.  This is the way God demonstrates His “wrath,” by giving us up – to reap what we have sown.  But through this captivity, God trains Daniel to be the man he wants him to be.  Daniel does not have “free will” in this occurrence.  He is taken captive against his “will.”  God is in charge – and not man.  God will accomplish in us what He has promised – to be the Saviour of ALL mankind! 

How long was the trip from Palestine to Babylon for Daniel and his friends? 

The main army that took Daniel and his three friends captive, along with many others, probably averaged no more than about fifteen miles a day.  If so, it was after about two months that Daniel caught his first glimpse of Babylon’s skyline – dominated by its famous ziggurat, the Tower of Babel. 

What is the purpose of the Book of Daniel? 

The Book of Daniel reveals “the folly and futility of man and the wisdom and ability of God.  It will lead to distrust of His creatures, but enable us to rest in perfect repose on the God Who is operating the universe in accord with the counsel of His will.” (Ephesians 1:11) Ibid, p 24  

Vegetarianism and Your Health
Daniel, Chapter 1

Chapter 1 (Concordant literal translation) 

Vs 1,2  In the third year of the kingdom of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, comes Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, to Jerusalem and is besieging it.  Yet God is giving into his hand Jehoiakim, king of Judah, and at the end, the furnishing of the house of God.  Then he is bringing them to the land of Shinar, to the house of his gods and the furnishings he brings to the treasure-house of his gods. 

Jehoiakim, king of Judah, did evil in the sight of God.  Although he was the son of the good king Josiah (2 Kings 23:34), he did not follow in his father’s footsteps, but was guilty of special abominations (2 Chron 36:8).  The presence of the king of Judah as a captive in the city of his conqueror, Babylon, was a standing symbol of the end of the Davidic line of kings and the commencement of the era of rule by unbelievers (mistranslated Gentiles). 

Yet God uses all of the many enemies of His true followers for their good. 

“Throughout this prophecy there are two main currents:  the political and the religious.  These are indicated at the very beginning.  Not only did Nebuchadnezzar carry away the king and some of the royal family to Babylon, but also furnishing from the house of God.  So the name and fame of God, along with the house of David, were brought down into the dust at the same time. 

“In his prophecy, Daniel is as much, or more, concerned with worship as with rule.  Though the restoration of the sanctuary is more important than the throne, both are inseparably united,” as they will be at the end of time, in our present day.  Concordant Studies of the Book of Daniel, p 28 

Vs 3-7  “Speaking is the king to Ashpenaz, the grandee of his eunuchs, to bring of the sons of the grandees of Israel, and of the seed royal, and of the highborn; boys in whom there is no blemish at all, who are of good appearance. 

“Those intelligent in all wisdom, and knowing knowledge, and understanding what is known, and who have vigor in them to stand in the palace before the king, he is to teach them the script and language of the Chaldeans (Babylonians). 

“Assigning is the king to them the day’s menu in its day, from the dainties (not “meat”) of the king, and from the wine of the king’s feasts.  They are to grow up three years, and at their end they are to stand before the king. 

“Now there are among them (of the sons of Judah) Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah.  When the chief of the eunuchs is giving names to them, he is naming Daniel Belteshazzar, Hananiah Shadrach, Mishael Meshach, and Azariah Abednego. 

In such a vast empire as Nebuchadnezzar’s, ruling over many peoples and language-groups, provision seems to have been made for an intelligent and efficient administration.  There would be a special call for officials acquainted with the customs and languages of the conquered nations, to administer their affairs at the central government. 

“The candidates for these offices were carefully chosen.  Their ancestry, their physical fitness and appearance, and their mental capacity, as well as a personality fir for the royal residence, were all considered in selecting the students for this school of statecraft. . . The interest which Nebuchadnezzar took in this school is shown by his personal supervision of the diet of his charges, and by his sharing with them the dainties and the drinks that graced his own board.  Ibid, p 30 

There was only one matter that appeared to be objectionable about Daniel and his three friends, and that was their names.  Each one included the name of God, either – el, the Deity, or – iah, meaning Jehovah (from Ieue).  Daniel and Mishael used the former, and Hananiah and Azariah had the latter. 

Daniel means “Adjudication-by-the-Deity.”  Mishael is formed from “who-(is)-what-Diety.”  Hananiah is “given (by) Jehovah,” and Azariah is “helped (by) Jehovah.”  The Babylonian names given to Daniel and his companions are variously interpreted.  Like the Hebrew names, they seem to include the names of gods in their composition.  Bel corresponds to Baal.  Jeremiah prophesied concerning the gods of Babylon (Jer 50:2)  “Seized is Babylon! Shamed is Bel! Dismayed is Merodach!” 

Daniel refuses the King’s food  (The following is the Concordant literal version.) 

8   Yet determining is Daniel in his heart that he will not sully himself with the dainties of the king, or with the wine of his feasts.  When he is seeking permission from the chief of the eunuchs that he not be sullying himself,

9   God is showing Daniel kindness and compassion before the chief of the eunuchs,

10  Saying is the chief of the eunuchs to Daniel, I am fearing my lord the king who assigned your food and your drink.  Why shall he see your faces more languid and feeble than the other boys who are of your deportation?  You make me indebted to the king with my head!”

11  Saying is Daniel to the steward whom the chief of the eunuchs assigned over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah,

12  “Pray, try out your servants ten days.  They shall give to us of the seed-foods of the land, and we will eat; and water, and we will drink.

13  Our appearances shall be seen before you, and the appearance of the boys who are eating the king’s dainties.  According to what you shall see, do with your servants.” 

At the time the King James Version of the Bible was made, “meat” was the common word for food of any kind.  We still use that word for the edible part of any food, as the meat of a nut.  

Daniel and his friends refused to eat of the king’s “dainties”, the luxurious diet of the king that undoubtedly included flesh food, and they refused wine, so they would keep their minds clear for communication with God and for learning.  They wanted seeds, most probably sprouted seeds which contain up to 600% more nutrition than cooked food, and water in their place.  Daniel chose the best available food in order to present a well-nourished, healthy, and clear-headed appearance after ten days. 

The word used in the Vulgate version of the Bible for “meat” is pulse which denoted the edible seeds of leguminous plants, such as beans, peas, lentils, etc., as well as seeds such as sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, etc., and seeds of grains, such as wheat, oats, rice, etc., all of which can be sprouted to release their enormous nutrition in its natural form with all the enzymes intact. 

In fact, it is possible, even though the Bible doesn’t tell us, that Daniel and his friends at this diet on their two-month walking journey from Judah to Babylon.  They were probably eating this diet at home, so could have taken seeds along in a mesh-knit bag attached to their belt.  As they passed a stream, they could dip the bag into the water to keep the seeds moist so they would sprout.  In this way, they could have superior nourishment for their entire trip. 

The vital reproductive power of a plant is centered in its seed, hence this, when edible, is often of exceptional nutritional value.  When leaves die they decay, but when the seed “dies” by being planted, it begins a new life.  

The king’s diet was undoubtedly cooked, devitalizing the food, but Daniel’s food was vivifying, it had its life-force in it. 

14  Now he (the chief of the eunuchs) is hearkening to them in this thing and trying them out ten days,

15  and at the end of the ten days, their appearance is seen to be better and plumper in flesh than any of the boys who are eating the king’s dainties.

16  Hence the steward keeps on bearing away their dainties and the wine, their drink, and is giving to them seed foods.

17  To these boys, the four of them, God gives knowledge and intelligence in every script, as well as wisdom; in addition Daniel is given understanding in every vision and in dreams.

18  And at the end of the days the king says to bring them in. 

19  Then the chief of the eunuchs is brining them before Nebuchadnezzar.   Speaking is the king with them, and of them all, none is found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah.

20  Henceforth they are standing before the king; in every matter of wisdom and of understanding which the king seeks of them, he is finding them tenfold above all the sacred scribes and magi which are in all his kingdom.  Hence they are honored by the king; he constitutes them chiefs,

21  and he finds them wiser in word than all those in his land and in his kingdom.  Thus Daniel continued on till year one of Cyrus, the king of Persia. 

“The word “dainties” is related to the Hebrew word pahthah or phthe, entice.  In the King James Version it is also rendered deceive, silly, flatter, persuade, allure.  It was prepared to please the palate, not to nourish the body.  It was made to satisfy the sensuous appetites, to gratify the soul, not to help the understanding, to strengthen the spirit.”  Ibid. p 38 

Clearly the king and his court were “living to eat” not “eating to live.” 

But Daniel and his three friends were eating a raw, vegan vegetarian diet, the diet planned by God, the diet given to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, the diet given by God to the Israelites in the wilderness.  Manna, a vegan raw diet, rained down from heaven by God, representing Jesus who would come as the “Bread from Heaven, the most superior nutrition available, and the Israelites turned up their nose and said, “We loathe this light bread.” 

No wonder practically the entire World-wide Christian church of today, calls Vegetarianism a “Doctrine of Devils.”  They have fallen so far into apostasy they can no longer understand truth.  Oswald Chambers, author of one of the best-selling Christian books of all time, My Utmost for His Highest, says, “One of the worst consequences of sin is – no longer recognizing that it is sin.” 

It is probable that the chief of the eunuchs did not “stop” the king’s diet from being delivered to him for Daniel and his three friends, as this would have aroused suspicion in the king’s kitchen and might have been brought to the king’s attention.  Instead, it is likely that the chief of the eunuchs took the extra “dainties” for himself and his friends. 

At the end of the three years, all of the boys are brought before the king to be examined and the Judean captives excel above all the rest.  Not only that, but it seems that Nebuchadnezzar had found them so far advanced that he called in the best men in the kingdom, the sacred scribes and the magi, undoubtedly mature wise men – not boys, and yet the four Judean boys were found far ahead of them also. 

This proves the profound impact of God’s natural diet on both the body and the mind!  These four boys were healthier, stronger, smarter, better learners and had more wisdom than any others in the entire kingdom of Babylon.