The Sky Is Falling (a.k.a. Election 2016)

(Excerpted from Story of God Bible Commentary, Daniel, pp 58-59) The message of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream that God is the one true king is as relevant in the twenty-first century as it was when Nebuchadnezzar caught a glimpse of the ages to come. World rulers and their empires are in God’s hands, and he directs the…

All (Animal) Guts, No Glory

It’s your lucky day. A while back I threatened to give you more information about some men in the king’s court, specifically, the “magicians and enchanters” (1:20). We’ve reached the second appearance of these characters, so the time has come, ready or not. After his lousy night of sleep, King Nebuchadnezzar called in the experts,…

Taking Stock

It’s taken only eight weeks to get through Daniel 1. Just wait until we get to chapter 7 (sometime in 2013, if we’re lucky). You ain’t seen nuthin’ yet. Before we turn the page to chapter 2, we’re going to pause and take inventory of what’s happened in chapter 1. It may be obvious to…

What’s His Beef?

We have barely met Daniel (v.6) before we learn that his name is changed to the more Babylonian appropriate “Belteshazzar,” which probably meant something like “Bel (oh, great Babylonian god!), protect his life!” (v.7). Having informed us of this fact, the narrator immediately reverts back to the name “Daniel” (v.8). This narrator will have nothing…

All the King’s Men

Daniel is the most famous person in the book of Daniel, followed by Nebuchadnezzar and Shadrach-Meshach-and-Abednego, but before he rises to fame, we encounter a number of his handlers. Chapter 1 introduces us to a cadre of officials with cameo appearances. In verse 3 we meet Ashpenaz, the king’s head honcho. English translations aren’t quite…

An Ancient Hyperlink

Hyperlinks aren’t really anything new under the sun. A book as ancient as the Bible has its own kind of hyperlink – though, unfortunately, they aren’t underlined in blue. You just have to pay close attention to notice them. There’s one in Daniel 1:2. “And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand,…