Who was the author? The Holy Spirit inspired the book of Daniel through a man named Daniel, named in the book as the author, who was among the first Jews taken from Judah and Jerusalem to exile in Babylon.
What is the book? The book gives historical details of several events related to Daniel's life and tells of the prophetic and apocalyptic visions God revealed to Daniel. The book supplies several key visions that not only prophecy of Jesus but also play a role in His identification and teaching.
Where was it written? In all likelihood, the book of Daniel was written in Babylon.
When was it written? The book of Daniel was probably written just after Cyrus, the leader of the Medes and Persians, captured Babylon in 539 B.C.
Why? The book of Daniel emphasizes God's triumphant rule over all human kingdoms on earth. Individual earthly rulers will come and go, but faithfulness to God is what matters, as in the end His rule is all that endures forever.
How? In the historical narratives related to Daniel's life, the conflict with and victory of faith figure prominently, even as individual rulers of earthly kingdoms are in play, variously persecuting or delivering God's people. In the prophetic visions revealed to Daniel, rich symbolism is used to encourage and comfort those people undergoing persecution, focusing primarily on the last things.
For further reading on the book of Daniel:
- Keil, C.F. and F. Delitzsch. Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament, Volume IX: Ezekiel, Daniel, translated by James Martin and M. G. Easton and published as three volumes in one. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, reprinted August 1985. (There are some 506 pages on Daniel.)
- Kretzmann, Paul E. Popular Commentary of the Bible: The Old Testament, Volume II, The Poetical and the Prophetical Books. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1924. (This volume, one that is in our Grace library, has 32 pages on Daniel.)