Ezekiel 40** Daniel was of noble birth, if not one of the royal family ofJudah. He was carried captive to Babylon in the fourth year ofJehoiachin, B. C. 606, when a youth. He was there taught thelearning of the Chaldeans, and held high offices, both under theBabylonian and Persian empires. He was persecuted for hisreligion, but was miraculously delivered; and lived to a greatage, as he must have been about ninety-four years old at thetime of the last of his visions. The book of Daniel is partlyhistorical, relating various circumstances which befel himselfand the Jews, at Babylon; but is chiefly prophetical, detailingvisions and prophecies which foretell numerous important eventsrelative to the four great empires of the world, the coming anddeath of the Messiah, the restoration of the Jews, and theconversion of the Gentiles. Though there are considerabledifficulties in explaining the prophetical meaning of somepassages in this book, we always find encouragement to faith andhope, examples worthy of imitation, and something to direct ourthoughts to Christ Jesus upon the cross and on his gloriousthrone. * The captivity of Daniel and his companions. (1-7) Theirrefusal to eat the king's meat. (8-16) Their improvement inwisdom. (17-21)
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