Ezekiel 40

** Daniel was of noble birth, if not one of the royal family of

Judah. He was carried captive to Babylon in the fourth year of

Jehoiachin, B. C. 606, when a youth. He was there taught the

learning of the Chaldeans, and held high offices, both under the

Babylonian and Persian empires. He was persecuted for his

religion, but was miraculously delivered; and lived to a great

age, as he must have been about ninety-four years old at the

time of the last of his visions. The book of Daniel is partly

historical, relating various circumstances which befel himself

and the Jews, at Babylon; but is chiefly prophetical, detailing

visions and prophecies which foretell numerous important events

relative to the four great empires of the world, the coming and

death of the Messiah, the restoration of the Jews, and the

conversion of the Gentiles. Though there are considerable

difficulties in explaining the prophetical meaning of some

passages in this book, we always find encouragement to faith and

hope, examples worthy of imitation, and something to direct our

thoughts to Christ Jesus upon the cross and on his glorious

throne.

* The captivity of Daniel and his companions. (1-7) Their

refusal to eat the king's meat. (8-16) Their improvement in

wisdom. (17-21)

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