"Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever." Daniel 12:3
Who was Daniel?
As a young man of 16 years, Daniel was exiled from Jerusalem, in 605BC, when Babylon conquered Jerusalem. Daniel and his three friends were selected for special training and service in the court of King Nebuchadnezzar, because they were "good-looking, gifted in all wisdom, possessing knowledge and quick to understand, who had ability to serve…" Daniel 1:4. Although in exile, in a foreign land, Daniel rose to the highest levels of leadership under three kings, yet without compromising his Faith. Daniel means: "God is my Judge."
One of the Greatest Prophets
Daniel was a contemporary of the prophets Ezekiel, Habakkuk, Jeremiah, and Zephaniah. Ezekiel described Daniel as one of the most righteous and wise examples of integrity, along with Noah and Job (Ezekiel 14:14). Our Lord Jesus quotes from the prophet Daniel in Matthew's Gospel.
The Book begins in 605BC when Babylon conquered Jerusalem and exiled Daniel and other nobles from Jerusalem to Babylon. It continues to the demise of the Babylonian Empire in 539BC when the Medo-Persian Empire conquered Babylon (5:30-31), and goes on to the rule of the Persian king Cyrus, who gave permission for the exiles to return and rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem (10:1).
Nebuchadnezzar ruled Babylon for 45 of its 70 years of existence. Babylon ruled the most powerful empire that had existed up to that time. Daniel lived through the whole 70 years of Babylon’s existence, seeing its rise and fall.
Daniel bridges the entire 70 years of the Babylonian captivity (605-536BC); (Daniel 1:1-9; 1-3). Daniel is referred to by the Book of Hebrews as one of "…the prophets; who through faith… stopped the mouths of lions" Hebrews 11:32-33.