God is universal sovereign of all -- and is yet to be acknowledged as such by all men.
Daniel and Jonah differ from the other prophets in that their work was among foreign peoples. Their books are also unlike the other books of prophecy, in that they are largely historical. In both books, also, the supernatural element is unusually prominent.
Daniel was a prophet-statesman and his book deals with Babylon and the empires which should follow it until the coming of the divine kingdom. Of its twelve chapters, Daniel 1-6 are narrative, Daniel 7-12 are devoted to visions. From Daniel 2:4-7:28 the Aramaic language is employed; the opening and concluding sections are written in Hebrew. The latter part of the book is written in the first person, and as its unity is not disputed, the whole is to be ascribed to Daniel himself.
It opens with an account of the captivity of Daniel and his three friends, their fearless loyalty to the faith of their fathers, and their advancement in royal favor. While the heroic faith of his friends is manifested in their deliverance from the fiery furnace, Daniel himself is the prominent character in the history. He is distinguished for his ability not only to interpret dreams and visions but to reproduce such as had been forgotten. In his later life, after Babylon had passed into the hands of Persia, Daniel’s courage and faith received striding witness in his deliverance from the den of lions. This is the last recorded event in his life.
The symbolical visions which form the latter half of the book, with the dream of Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 2), set forth the successive establishment of four empires: Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome. The last empire then gives way to smaller kingdoms until the setting up of the kingdom of God, which is to include all the dominions of the earth.
In the vision of a future kingdom of righteousness, the book is at one with all prophecy. In this kingdom even the dead shall share, being raised from the dust of the earth to everlasting life. Much as there is in the book that is hard to understand, the prophecy of Daniel has always ministered to Christian faith, and the climax of its visions is still the hope of the Church. —Through the Bible Day by Day
The Prophet of World-Empires
I. Historical Section, Daniel 1-6
1. Daniel and His Friends Tested, Daniel 1
2. Nebuchadnezzar’s Forgotten Dream, Daniel 2
3. The Golden Image and the Fiery Furnace, Daniel 3
4. Nebuchadnezzar’s Second Dream, Daniel 4
5. Belshazzar’s Feast and Downfall, Daniel 5
6. Daniel Delivered from the Den of Lions, Daniel 6
II. Prophetical Section, Daniel 7-12
1. The Vision of the Four Beasts, Daniel 7
2. The Vision of the Ram and the He-Goat, Daniel 8
3. Daniel’s Prayer for Jerusalem and the Answer, Daniel 9
4. Daniel’s Vision by the River Hiddekel, Daniel 10
5. The Conflict of Nations, Daniel 11
6. The Last Judgment, Daniel 12 —Through the Bible Day by Day