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Tuesday, October 9 2012
The Prophet Daniel: A Child Of The Exile
The LORD (i.e. Jesus Christ; see Who Is The LORD?) divided the United Kingdom of Israel into "Israel" and "Judah" because of King Solomon's idolatry (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Solomon). The LORD then had the Kingdom of Israel gradually conquered and taken away by the Assyrians because of their idolatry; the "lost ten tribes" were totally exiled by 721 BC (see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Lost Ten Tribes). The Kingdom of Judah fell into idolatry in exactly the same manner, so the LORD had them gradually taken away by the Babylonians (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Back To Babylon). Judah fell completely by 586 BC, however there were incremental exiles leading up to the final fall. Among them was that during the reign of King Jehoiakim of Judah - a puppet king who had been installed by the Egyptian Pharaoh Necho.
"23:31 Jehoahaz was twenty and three years old when he began to reign; and he reigned three months in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Hamutal, the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. 23:32 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his fathers had done. 23:33 And Pharaohnechoh put him in bands at Riblah in the land of Hamath, that he might not reign in Jerusalem; and put the land to a tribute of an hundred talents of silver, and a talent of gold. 23:34 And Pharaohnechoh made Eliakim the son of Josiah king [see Kings of Israel and Judah] in the room of Josiah his father, and turned his name to Jehoiakim, and took Jehoahaz away: and he came to Egypt, and died there. 23:35 And Jehoiakim gave the silver and the gold to Pharaoh; but he taxed the land to give the money according to the commandment of Pharaoh: he exacted the silver and the gold of the people of the land, of every one according to his taxation, to give it unto Pharaohnechoh." (2 Kings 23:31-35 KJV)
As was the case for Israel, then Israel and Judah, the LORD had their kingdoms destroyed because of the evil that they committed - forsaking the LORD for idolatry (see Israel In History and Prophecy: The New Covenant).
"23:36 Jehoiakim was twenty and five years old when he began to reign; and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem [see Israel In History and Prophecy: Kingdom Of Judah]. And his mother's name was Zebudah, the daughter of Pedaiah of Rumah. 23:37 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his fathers had done." (2 Kings 23:36-37 KJV)
Jehoiakim went from being a puppet of the Egyptian Pharaoh to a puppet of the Babylonian Emperor. When the LORD withdrew His protection of Judah, they were attacked and overwhelmed by all aggressors, big and small, until the Babylonians took them as booty for themselves.
"24:1 In his days Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up, and Jehoiakim became his servant three years: then he turned and rebelled against him. 24:2 And the LORD sent against him bands of the Chaldees, and bands of the Syrians, and bands of the Moabites, and bands of the children of Ammon, and sent them against Judah to destroy it, according to the word of the LORD [i.e. Jesus Christ; see What Does Word of God Mean To You?], which he spake by his servants the prophets. 24:3 Surely at the commandment of the LORD came this upon Judah, to remove them out of his sight, for the sins of Manasseh, according to all that he did; 24:4 And also for the innocent blood that he shed: for he filled Jerusalem with innocent blood; which the LORD would not pardon.
The account is also found in Chronicles, with additional detail.
"36:1 Then the people of the land took Jehoahaz the son of Josiah, and made him king in his father's stead in Jerusalem. 36:2 Jehoahaz was twenty and three years old when he began to reign, and he reigned three months in Jerusalem [see Israel In History and Prophecy: Jerusalem]. 36:3 And the king of Egypt put him down at Jerusalem, and condemned the land in an hundred talents of silver and a talent of gold. 36:4 And the king of Egypt made Eliakim his brother king over Judah and Jerusalem, and turned his name to Jehoiakim. And Necho took Jehoahaz his brother, and carried him to Egypt.
"Now among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah"
The prophetic book of Daniel begins with the account of the exile of the people of Judah during the reign of Jehoiakim, as we read in Kings and Chronicles.
"1:1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it. 1:2 And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God [see The Holy Place In History And Prophecy]: which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god." (Daniel 1:1-2 KJV)
The Babylonian king then declared that some of the royal princes of Judah were to serve in the king's palace.
"1:3 And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king's seed, and of the princes; 1:4 Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king's palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans. 1:5 And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king's meat, and of the wine which he drank: so nourishing them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king." (Daniel 1:3-5 KJV)
Among those royal princes were Daniel, who the Babylonians called Belteshazzar.
"1:6 Now among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: 1:7 Unto whom the prince of the eunuchs gave names: for he gave unto Daniel the name of Belteshazzar; and to Hananiah, of Shadrach; and to Mishael, of Meshach; and to Azariah, of Abednego." (Daniel 1:6-7 KJV)
As stated repeatedly in the verses quoted above, and again repeatedly below, Daniel and the other princes of Judah were assigned under the authority of the "prince of the eunuchs."
"1:8 But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. 1:9 Now God had brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs. 1:10 And the prince of the eunuchs said unto Daniel, I fear my lord the king, who hath appointed your meat and your drink: for why should he see your faces worse liking than the children which are of your sort? then shall ye make me endanger my head to the king." (Daniel 1:8-10 KJV)
Daniel refused to eat the food that was served to them in the Babylonian palace, very likely because it included items declared unclean according to the LORD's dietary laws.
"1:11 Then said Daniel to Melzar, whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, 1:12 Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink. 1:13 Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the king's meat: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants. 1:14 So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days." (Daniel 1:11-14 KJV)
Daniel proved that eating clean foods was superior. The dietary laws are about health.
"1:15 And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king's meat. 1:16 Thus Melzar took away the portion of their meat, and the wine that they should drink; and gave them pulse." (Daniel 1:15-16 KJV)
While they were being given their education by the Babylonians, the LORD also "gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom." As we will cover in this series, Daniel in particular "had understanding in all visions and dreams."
"1:17 As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams." (Daniel 1:17 KJV)
When their education was complete, "in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm." Daniel would thereafter serve the Babylonian kings, right until the fall of Babylon to Persia.
"1:18 Now at the end of the days that the king had said he should bring them in, then the prince of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. 1:19 And the king communed with them; and among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: therefore stood they before the king. 1:20 And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm.
Fact Finder: Did the LORD declare in a prophecy to Isaiah that some of the princes of Judah would be "eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon"?
This Day In History, October 9
768: Carloman I and his older brother Charlemagne were crowned Kings of The Franks - a Germanic (ancestors of the present day German, Dutch and Flemish people) tribe that controlled much of Europe. The present-day German name for France is Frankreich, meaning empire of the Franks, while the present-day name "France" itself is derived from the Latin term Francia - which was merely a translation of the Germanic term.
1000: The approximate date that Norse explorer Leif Ericson discovered "Vineland," located somewhere along the east coast of North America around modern-day Newfoundland. His arrival came nearly 500 years before another European, Christopher Columbus, "discovered America" (see also Thanksgiving In History and Prophecy). In both cases, it was no discovery for the people who had already been inhabiting the entire continents of North and South America for thousands of years.
1238: James I of Aragon conquered Valencia and founded the Kingdom of Valencia.
1264: The Kingdom of Castile conquered the city of Jerez. The city had been under Muslim occupation since 711.
1470: Henry VI of England was restored to the throne.
1514: The marriage of Louis XII of France and Mary Tudor.
1635: Roger Williams was banished from the Massachusetts colony for advocating religious freedom through the separation of church and state (it didn't take long for the "New World" to begin behaving like the "Old World"). He founded Providence, Rhode Island a year later.
1701: The Collegiate School of Connecticut was founded by the English pioneers in New England. In 1718, it was renamed Yale College after British East India Governor Elihu Yale.
1776: Spanish missionaries established a colony in California that they named San Francisco.
1799: The British frigate HMS Lutine sank off the Dutch coast. The ship's bell was later salvaged and mounted in the insurance underwriter's room of Lloyd's of London. From then to now the bell is tolled on receipt of important news such as a ship sinking.
1820: A proclamation rejoining Cape Breton to Nova Scotia was issued. Cape Breton became part of the colony of Nova Scotia in 1763 but it remained largely undeveloped until 1784 when it became a separate colony for Loyalist refugees from the New England colonial rebellion. Successive waves of Scottish immigrants and the return of the Acadians were followed by the reuniting of the two colonies.
1854: During the Crimean War, the siege of Sebastopol begins.
1870: Rome was incorporated into Italy by royal decree.
1890: Clement Ader of France made the first heavier-than-air machine flight, 13 years before the Wright brothers. Ader used a steam engine, while the Wright brothers had a much lighter gasoline engine, which enabled the Wright brothers to make the first "sustained" flight.
1934: Alexander I, king of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes 1921-1929, and Yugoslavia 1929-1934 after he changed the name of the country to Yugoslavia, was assassinated by a Croatian terrorist in Marseilles along with French foreign minister Louis Barthou, while negotiating an alliance.
1967: Ernesto ("Che") Guevara, Argentine-born doctor, leftist revolutionary, was executed by Bolivian troops after his capture the day before while he was attempting to start a revolution there.
1983: 17 South Korean officials, 4 of them cabinet ministers including foreign minister Lee Bum-Suk, were assassinated in a bomb blast while visiting Rangoon, Burma. Three officials of the North Korean military, who slipped into the country before the bombing were later charged with the murders.
1989: An official Soviet Union TASS news agency report stated that a UFO landed in Voronezh, Russia.
1992: A 13 kilogram fragment of a meteorite that entered the Earth's atmosphere struck and destroyed an unoccupied 1980 Chevrolet Malibu that was parked in a driveway in Peekskill, New York.
2006: North Korea reportedly tested its first nuclear bomb.