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American Tract Society Bible Dictionary

Daniel, Book of

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This is a mixture of history and prophecy. The first six chapters are chiefly historical, and the remainder prophetical. It was completed about B. C. 534. The wonders related are of a peculiar and striking character, and were designed to show the people of God that, amid their degeneracy, the Lord's hand was not shortened that it could not save; and also to exhibit to their enemies that there was an essential difference between Jehovah and idols, between the people of God and the world. The prophecies contained in the latter part of the book extend from the days of Daniel to the general resurrection. The Assyrian, the Persian, the Grecian, and the Roman empires are described under appropriate imagery. The precise time of Christ's coming is told; the rise and the fall of antichrist, and the duration of his power, are accurately determined; the victory of Christ over his enemies, and the universal prevalence of his religion are clearly pointed out. The book is filled with the most exalted sentiments of piety and devout gratitude. Its style is simple, clear, and concise, and many of the prophecies are delivered in language so plain and circumstantial, that some infidels have asserted that they were written after the events they described had taken place. Sir Isaac Newton regards Daniel as the most distinct and plain of all the prophets, and most easy to be understood; and therefore considers that in things relating to the last times, he is to be regarded as the key to the other prophets.

With respect to the genuineness and authenticity of the book, there is the strongest evidence, both internal and external. We have the testimony of Christ himself, Matthew 24:15 ; of St. John and St. Paul, who have copied his prophecies; of the Jewish church and nation, who have constantly received this book as canonical; of Josephus, who recommends him as the greatest of the prophets; and of the Jewish Targets and Talmuds, which frequently cite his authority. As to the internal evidence, the style, the language, the manner of writing, perfectly agree with the age; and especially, he is proved to have been a prophet by the exact fulfilment of his predictions. This book, like that of Ezra, is written partly in Hebrew, and partly in Chaldee, the prevailing language of the Babylonians.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of the topics are from American Tract Society Bible Dictionary published in 1859.

Bibliography Information
Rand, W. W. Entry for 'Daniel, Book of'. American Tract Society Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/ats/d/daniel-book-of.html. 1859.

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