Daniel - Lesson 2

Historical Background of Daniel

By the time Daniel was written, the nation of the Jewish people was divided into the tribes of Israel in the north and Judah in the south. Assyria conquered Israel in 722 BC. Babylon overthrew Assyria in 612 BC then Judah in 605 BC. Daniel. Daniel and others were taken to Babylon and chosen to be trained as royal advisors.   

Lesson 2
Watching Now
Historical Background of Daniel

I. Overview of Biblical History

A. Genesis

B. Exodus – Joshua

C. Judges

D. Samuel

E. Prophets

F. Historical context

II. Daniel Chapter 1

A. Nebuchadnezzar

B. Surrender a token of the deity/p>

C. Nobility taken

D. Hezekiah

E. New names

  • Join distinguished scholar and professor emeritus Dr. Tremper Longman for a study of the book of Daniel, a fascinating and inspiring part of the Bible. In this class, you'll explore six stories and four apocalyptic visions that all demonstrate God's control and ultimate victory, even in the face of evil and difficulty. Don't miss this opportunity to be encouraged and strengthened in your faith as you study the powerful messages of the book of Daniel with Dr. Longman.

  • Daniel is written in two parts. The first six chapters is history written in the form of a story. Chapters seven through twelve are apocalyptic literature. In the English Bible, it’s with the major prophets. In the Hebrew Bible it’s in the Writings. The Apocalyptic section has similarities to the book of Revelation. One of the main messages in the book of Daniel is that even if you are living in a culture that is toxic to your faith, living by faith can help you not only survive, but thrive.

  • By the time Daniel was written, the nation of the Jewish people was divided into the tribes of Israel in the north and Judah in the south. Assyria conquered Israel in 722 BC. Babylon overthrew Assyria in 612 BC then Judah in 605 BC. Daniel. Daniel and others were taken to Babylon and chosen to be trained as royal advisors.   

  • Daniel and his friends were willing to learn the language, literature and divination practices of the Babylonians even though it was potentially toxic to their faith. They temporarily chose to eat vegetables and water rather than the food and wine that the other officials in training were eating. The performed at the top of their class.

  • Nebuchadnezzar summoned the royal magicians and sorcerers and required them to tell him what his dream was and give him an interpretation of the dream. Daniel is able to do this because of the wisdom God gives him.

  • Daniel reveals the dream and the interpretation because God revealed it to him. The parts of the statue represent different worldly kingdoms. The stone that crushes the statue represents God’s rule over the kingdoms. Nebuchadnezzar recognizes Yahweh as being powerful.

  • Daniel and his friends were thrown into a fiery furnace as punishment for not worshipping an image of Nebuchadnezzar. God miraculously saved them and Nebuchadnezzar promoted them to positions in the royal court.

  • This is a story of a contest between Daniel and his friends and the Babylonian wise men. A major theme is the pride of Nebuchadnezzar and how that affects the outcome. Some of the story is narrated in by Nebuchadnezzar in the first person. Nebuchadnezzar has a dream. The Babylonian wise men don’t give him an interpretation, but Daniel does. Nebuchadnezzar experienced judgment but God restores him.

  • As we read and study the Old Testament, we can gain insights into redemptive history and see examples of how we should live. It can sometimes be a challenge to determine the continuity or discontinuity of a passage. A major theme in Daniel 4 and throughout the Bible is how pride can hinder your relationship with God. 

  • Belshazzar was a ruler in Babylon after Nebuchadnezzar died. During a banquet he hosted, he used the goblets from the temple in Jerusalem for his guests to drink out of. In the middle of a banquet, a hand appeared and wrote a message on the wall. Belshazzar called Daniel to interpret the message.

  • When Darius gave Daniel a position of authority in his government, the administrators underneath him were jealous. They devised a plan to trap Daniel and force Darius to execute him. God rescued Daniel and the administrators suffered the fate that they had planned for Daniel. The story shows that in spite of present difficulties, God is in control and it’s important to live a life that is faithful to him.

  • Daniel had a vision of four beasts that were frightening in appearance. An angel explained the significance of the beasts in terms of historical kingdoms but didn’t say specifically which ones.

  • Daniel and Jeremiah both had messages from God but the way God communicated to each of them was different. The word “apocalypse” comes from the first word in Greek in the book of Revelation which means to reveal or uncover something. Some characteristics of apocalyptic literature are visions, dreams, a binary point of view, highly figurative language and the theme of hope based in confidence in God’s control over people and events that seem chaotic and overwhelming.

  • In this lesson, you gain a deeper understanding of the book of Daniel, focusing on its themes, historical context, and preparation for spiritual battles in a challenging cultural environment.
  • You gain a deeper understanding of the Book of Daniel, its historical context, literary features, key themes, and significance within the Old Testament, while focusing on God's warfare against evil.
  • John the Baptist described Jesus coming as a warrior but the ministry of Jesus was different than what he expected. Since we live in phase 4, God gives us the power to fight spiritual battles. The God who led the people of Israel into battle in the Old Testament is the same God described in the New Testament who came as God in human form as Jesus.

  • The vision in Daniel 8 describes animals that represent kingdoms and individuals. While Daniel was seeing the vision, Gabriel came and explained its meaning. Antiochus Epiphanes fits the description of one of the horns in the vision. His persecution of the people of Israel and his desecration of the temple is similar to the way the anti-Christ is described in Revelation.

  • As Daniel is reading Scripture, he comes to the realization that what he is reading in the book of Jeremiah may actually be taking place at the time. His response is to begin by praying. He includes himself in confessing the sins of the people of Israel and appeals for God to rescue them from exile.

  • As Daniel is reading Jeremiah and praying, the angel Gabriel appears to Daniel to explain the vision to him. The numbers in the vision are symbolic but demonstrate that God has a plan and a time frame to accomplish it.

  • The final of Daniel’s four visions described in chapters 10-12. There is an introduction to the vision, description of the vision and instructions to Daniel. The answer to Daniel’s prayer was delayed because of spiritual warfare.

  • This vision covers the events surrounding the Persian and Greek rulers in the 3rd and 4th century BC. They are described in such detail that some people think it was written after they took place, not as a prophecy.

  • The righteous and the wicked have different fates in the after-life. Throughout Scripture there is progress of revelation. God is in control and he will be victorious. The prophecy that God gave Daniel describes events that will happen in the future. Celestial sources give final words to Daniel that are also addressed to readers of the book of Daniel. A theme that is emphasized throughout the book of Daniel is, in spite of present difficulties, God is in control and he will have the final victory.  This is illustrated both in the stories of Daniel and his friends and in the visions of future events that Daniel has.

  • Daniel informs the imagery and message of the book of Revelation. They are the two books of the Bible with primarily apocalyptic themes. Daniel’s encounter with God and angels is similar to what John records in Revelation. Daniel is commanded to seal his prophecy and in Revelation, the seals are opened. The references Revelation to the beasts and three and a half years is also similar to Daniel.

Living in a toxic culture can be dangerous and risky, but when you live by faith, God can give you opportunities to thrive, succeed and be a testimony to God's power and love for people. A primary message of the prophecies of Daniel is that in spite of present difficulties, God is in control and he will have the final victory. God has not provided us with a precise date on the calendar for when that will happen, but he will accomplish his plan on his timetable.

Dr. Tremper Longman III
Historical Background of Daniel
Lesson Transcript


Tremper Longman III [00:00:01] Welcome back. And now let's turn our attention to Daniel chapter one, the first of the six stories that are illustrating that primary theme of in spite of present difficulties, God is in control and he will have the final victory. The first couple verses will also allow us some time to situate Daniel one through six within the broader history of Israel and then the specific time that that this event took place. So, Daniel, chapter one, verse one in the third year of the reign of Yahya Kam, King of Judah, never as the King of Babylon, came to Jerusalem and besieged it. Okay, so bear with me now as I give a broad overview of Old Testament history that leads up to this, and then I'll slow down as I get closer to this event. But Old Testament historical books Genesis through the Book of Esther, covers an incredibly long period of time, beginning with the creation and ending with the post six select period. So the books of Esther and as are Nehemiah, give us two different perspectives on the post exile period, one from within Jerusalem and one Esther in the Diaspora. But as you know, again, just a quick overview. Genesis 1 to 11 talks about things in what we call the primeval history, beginning with creation and taking us up to the time of Abraham. It's all background to the call of Abraham and Genesis 12 one through three, where God calls Abraham to go to the land, He will show him, which turns out to be the land of Canaan, and makes him promises that help make him a great nation. But even more importantly, to focus in on, I think, is the fact that not only will he bless Abraham and his descendants, but through Abraham will bring blessing to all the other nations as well. And so then you have a well, traditionally we call it the patriarchal narratives. Now we tend to call it the ancestor narratives, Genesis 12 to 36. But I'll throw Joseph in here as well. And, you know, following the descent of these promises from Abraham to Isaac to Jacob, and then to the 12 sons of Jacob, whose name is changed to Israel. And of course, the 12 sons are the father figures for the later 12 tribes of Israel. And all that is background information to the even more important story in the Torah of the exodus from Egypt, which takes place in the first chapters of Exodus, and then leads to a longer narration of the wilderness wanderings and the giving of the law in the wilderness that be the books exodus through Deuteronomy. Afterwards, we come to the story of the conquest in the Book of Joshua, led by Joshua, at the end of which he just like Moses did at the end of his life. In the book Deuteronomy, he's addressing the second generation, the descendants of those who died in the wilderness, who had come up from Egypt and Deuteronomy is essentially leading them in a reaffirmation of their covenant commitments, the commitments that their forefathers had made on Mount Sinai. And at the end of the book of Joshua, Joshua does the same thing in Joshua chapter 24, and they reaffirm their commitment to follow Yahweh. And then, of course, we turn to the Book of Judges, and we see that they don't do that right. The Book of Judges is about that period of time between the death of Joshua and the rise of the monarchy that we read about in verse Samuel and the Book of Judges gives us a very dark picture of Israel during the. Time period, a time of moral corruption, spiritual confusion and political fragmentation. Now, these histories are giving us true perspectives on these period of times, but they're not being exhaustive and they're making a point. And the point that the book judges is making is that something better is needed. And according to the end of the book of judges, that something better is kingship. You know, everyone did what was right in their own eyes. There was no king in Israel. So the imperfect leaders known as the judges, who themselves grow increasingly problematic, especially with Samson at the end, has this yearning for something better and that something better is kingship. By the way, when I say that it's not giving us an exhaustive picture of the period of judges. The Book of Ruth is set within the period of judges, and of course, the Book of Ruth is a very sort of uplifting and encouraging story about. Not only God's loving kindness toward his people, but the kind of love and kindness they're showing to each other. But that aside, when we turn to Samuel, we have the rise of kingship. First of all, in a period that we call the United Monarchy, a very short lived begins kind of problematically where Saul gives way to David and then Solomon. But Solomon, who begins as the two central wise king, ends up being the quintessential foolish king, because of his love of foreign women and his worship of false gods, and because of that, the kingdom is split into two, a northern kingdom that breaks away from the southern kingdom, which we typically referred to as Judah. The Southern kingdom perpetuates the David dynasty. But as you read particularly the books of Samuel and Kings, we see that Kings of the North and kings of the South are corrupt. They I kind of like to talk about these various kings while the kings in the north there are 20 kings in the north and they all violate God's commands, particularly the law of centralization. Deuteronomy 12, which says you should only offer sacrificial worship at the central place once God chooses it, which is at the time the temple is built. But of course, Jeroboam, the first king of the north, builds two golden calf shrines in the northern city of Dan and the southern city of Bethel. And every King of the North in the Book of Kings is evaluated as to whether they continue in the sin of Jeroboam son of the bot, which is the perpetuation of those Kapu shrines. But then when you turn to the south with all these Davidic descendants, it's better, but not much better. You know, it's like I about 13 of the Kings are extremely problematic in that they've introduced or allowed to continue idols within the temple and have allowed so-called high places to flourish. Those are our shrines up in the hills. Maybe they are dedicated to Yahweh. We're not sure. But you're not supposed to have shrines dedicated even to Yahweh outside the temple. Seven of the Kings Jehoshaphat. A good example, takes the idols out of the out of the temple, but still allows the high places to flourish. So I give them a C, 13 F's, seven C's, two A's. You know Hezekiah and Jose in terms of following God's command concerning the concerning the worship of God at the central place. And there are other things within the book of Samuel Kings, of course, that also the authors point to, because Samuel Keynes's a history written during the period of the Exile, which is answering a very specific question. Remember what I said about biblical books being written to their contemporary audience? And so Samuel Kings is being written or coming to its final form during the period of the exile. Since the last thing mentioned in the book is the release of King Yahya Chin from Babylonian prison during a period of time when a king name Mal Marduk, is ruling in Babylon. So that's right smack dab in the middle of the exile. So it seems right to think that Samuel Kings is addressing its contemporary audience, saying. Answering their question, Why are we in exile? Well, you're an exile because you've broken the law of Deuteronomy, and now the curses of Deuteronomy are coming on you. Whereas Chronicles, as you might know, gives a much more positive, you know, kind of skips over some of the more dark stories of Samuel King's. But its final form is during the post exotic period and then to entering different questions like how do we relate to the past and how should we act now? But the point is, because of the continuing sin of the kings and the people of Israel, as we approached the time of Daniel, you know, God is sending prophets like Jeremiah in Ezekiel to warn the people that because of their sin, God is going to come in judgment. By the way, I think one way to understand the Prophet in the Old Testament is as a covenant lawyer and covenant lawyer. So and indeed, it's interesting and striking that that the prophets tend to use or frequently use legal language like calling on witnesses and and bringing a case against. And it's based on a text like Deuteronomy, which has law and then has the rewards and punishments. If you follow the law, you'll be rewarded in these ways. If you disobey the law, these following penalties will come which include things like exile and defeat and battle. And so when Israel breaks the law, God sends his legal team of Jeremiah and Ezekiel to confront the people by saying, Look, you've broken the law, you're committing idolatry, you're committing adultery, you're lying, you're cheating. People are. And but again, most importantly, you're not worshiping the true God. And if you don't, then God will judge you. God will bring the Babylonians against you. So so just to give you a little bit of a broader ancient near Eastern context, as well as we approach the time of Daniel and where Nebuchadnezzar is all of a sudden going to appear on the scene. Let me let me give that a little bit of context, too. So. 626. B.C. is an important date in ancient near Eastern history. Before this time period, the Assyrian Empire is the dominant empire now. Unfortunately, this is where my Luddite ism is problematic in that I don't have. Painting apps to show you on PowerPoint. But just think of the Assyrian Empire had the core of its power and what today is northern Iraq, where the Kurds are. It's a Mesopotamian power, which means that is between the Tigris and Euphrates. So the Assyrians are their power center is in the northern part of Iraq, whereas the Babylonians, their power center, is in the southern part of Iraq, near Baghdad by the city of Babylon, is like 60 miles from today's Babylon. So in the period of time before, let me put 626, I was thinking about drawing a map and I thought better of it. I would just encourage all of you out there to maybe Google the map. 626 B.C. Before this time, the Assyrians are dominant, the Babylonians are a vassal, which means that they're subject to the Assyrians. They're paying annual tribute. They have their own king, But he's kind of a puppet of the Assyrian king, so they've tried to rebel a few times beforehand. As a matter of fact, the history of the ancient Near East after 2000 B.C. is kind of going back and forth between the Syrians being dominant and the Babylonians being dominant. But during the period of Assyrian dominance is also when the Assyrians not only make Babylon their vassal, but then their armies go into Syria and down to Israel. And in 722 B.C., they defeat the northern Kingdom of Israel and incorporate it into their empire, deporting some of the population away and importing foreign other foreign vassal people into the northern kingdom where they intermarry with the native, some of whom have fled to the southern kingdom. But, but it affects, you know, the gene pool, so to speak, and also produces what we call the Samaritans who play a role in the books of Ezra Nahum and also in the New Testament. But in 626 B.C., a king named NAB, a police officer, the king of Babylon rebels against the Assyrians. The Syrians have grown weaker and now a philosopher sort of smells blood in the water and he rebels against throws begins to throw off the yoke of the Assyrians novel Philosophy is not mentioned in the Bible. We have ancient near Eastern sources that we can supplement our understanding of this period of time. My PhD actually is in ancient Assyrian ology where I had to learn Akkadian and Sumerian and other languages like that. I was doing it in order to know more about Old Testament background. So after my first year of my career where I did some technical work and a Siri ology, I've, I've kind of broadened my interest. So don't ask me to translate a Akkadian text on site. But Nava Plosser is the king he rebels against the Assyrians. The next big event is 612 B.C. because of course the Assyrians don't go quietly, which is when not a philosopher, along with another group from western Iran called the Medes, defeats the city of Nineveh. This is anticipated, by the way, in the minor prophet Nahum. If you haven't read Nahum for a while, take a look at the book of Nahum. My first commentary written back in the 1980s was a commentary on the book of Nahum and it's a fascinating book. And so 612 B.C, they defeat the capital city of Nineveh, the remnants of the. Assyrians relocate to northern Syria around the city of Kaka Mesh. Under a new king called Asher Oubaali. Which means in I know enough Akkadian, remember enough Akkadian to know that that means Assyria lives. It's kind of like kind of surely a name he took on to kind of say in your face, Babylon. But not for long. Because in 609 B.C., and this we read about in the Book of Kings and Chronicles as well, the Egyptian pharaoh Neco mobilizes his troops. And marches them up the coast through Israel to come and support Ashiru Bartlet and the Assyrians. So the Egyptians interest in this is too. They're worried about the Babylonians. The Babylonians are growing in power, and they're afraid the Babylonians are going to start to exert their influence in their zone of influence, which includes Judah at this time. But. The King of Judah in 609 B.C. is one of those two good kings, Josiah, And he mobilizes his troops from Babylon and he goes up and ambushes Nikko at the city of Megiddo and is defeated and killed. That is Josiah is defeated and killed. And this is an interesting question in and of itself. Why good King Josiah was killed. And Chronicles explains that by saying that when Neco told him that he was doing Yahweh is bidding by going up to Kaka Marsh. Josiah didn't believe him as he should have. I mean, you can imagine putting yourself in Josiah's sandals, so to speak. Why? That would be a difficult hermeneutical task. But. But that. That's the way the Chronicles explains Josiah's death. And indeed, if it was God's will, which I think it was, that NECA would go up to support. Asher abolished. It was so that Egypt and the Assyrians would be defeated by the Babylonians. So at the Battle of Kakamega in six or nine B.C., the Assyrians are now done. They're done. The Egyptians retreat through Judah. And here's where we're also getting closer to. To the Book of Daniel. Again, they. Start manipulating. The Egyptians use their influence. They may have been defeated by the Babylonians, but they're still a formidable power, especially related to Judah. And so right after Josiah was killed in 609 B.C., his son Jho has becomes king. Joe as becomes King 609 B.C. But as Neco retreats to back from the Battle of Kharkov, Mass, he opposes Jehovah as from the throne, presumably because Jehovah has would have continued his father's pro Babylonian policies and replaced them with your Holy Kim. Okay, so your idea, Kim, as our guy mentioned in Daniel, chapter one versus one and two. So he begins to rule in 609 B.C. and we can only presume that Neco does this because he will be much more open to Egyptian influence against Babylonian influence. And. And by the way, it is interesting that Neco is savvy enough to know that he just can't put anybody on the throne. He puts another descendant of David because your Hoya Kim is actually another son of Josiah. So like other sons of David on the throne, he is not intent on following Yahweh or listening to the prophets. But that brings us to Daniel, Chapter one. Again, let me read it because it's been a while. In the third year of the reign of your Hoya, Kam King of Judah. Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. So a couple of things that happened and it says three years, but. We usually refer to what's happening in Daniel one one in following as 605 B.C., we read about this King Nebuchadnezzar. Who is the son of Nabil Pallas or Nabil Pallas, or dies in 605 B.C. in the crown Prince Nebuchadnezzar, who had been leading his armies, becomes the king and he is the most successful neo Babylonian king. Judged by his governing and expanding the Babylonian empire. And part of that expansion is what takes place here. He beseeches it and in essence makes them vassals of the Babylonian empire. He does not depose the king. The king stays on the throne, but he has to, as a vassal, simply follow Babylonian directions. We don't hear about it, but almost certainly the Babylonians set up a garrison within Jerusalem at this time. We also know that they would be paying annual tribute to the Babylonian king. But two things happened here in Daniel chapter one that are just typical of this type of situation. Two things that we see in other cases in in ancient Near Eastern history, where a country becomes a vassal of another country. And the first thing is that that country would turn over a token of their deity to the conquering country, who would then take that back to their temple. Now, typically that is the statue or idol of the main god. We even know that, say when? ELAM Hundreds of years before defeated Babylon. ELAM As a nation state, also in western Persia. But at one point they defeated Babylon. I think it was the 12th century B.C. The Babylonians had to turn over a statue of their chief, God Marduk, and that was placed in the primary temple in Elam. And there's an interesting Texas actually translated for my dissertation called The Marduk Prophecy, though it's kind of an autobiographical statement by the god minded self who talks about his journeys, about how he went to Islam, and then about how he came back to Babylon. It's a little bit like capture the flag, by the way. You know, it's like showing that one nation has dominance over another. In the Bible, just I just reminded myself, you get a similar situation in the early chapters of Samuel, where the Philistines defeat Israel under the leadership of the Judge Eli's sons, and they take the Ark of the Covenant and place it in the Temple of Dagon. Now here in Israel, since there is no statue of Yahweh, which is prohibited, which is pretty unique in the ancient Near East and the Ark of the Covenant seems to be gone. At this stage they do the third best thing, which is to take the various articles that are used in temple rituals, probably forks and spoons, but also goblets that will reappear in Daniel Chapter five when Belshazzar will toast his pagan gods using those goblets. And of course, we'll comment on the significance of that in the story when we come to Daniel. Chapter five. So it says. And the Lord delivered you like him. King of Judea in his hands, along with some of the articles from the Temple of God. These He carried off to the temple of His God in Babylonia and put in the treasure house of His God again. Typical ancient near Eastern practice, signifying that the conquering country now controls the vassal country. There are also texts that that go one of two ways theologically with this. One is that our God is stronger than your God, and that's why your God is now in our temple. But there are also there's something called the apology of Assyrian King called to cutting the nerve, to which Rather explains that as your God has come over to our side. So we don't know how the Babylonians are spinning this, but in either case, they are thinking that they are dominant, they're in control, Right. And their God is in control. But notice a very subtle messaging that goes on in verse two again. Despite a present difficulty. God is in control. And that's signaled by verse two, and the Lord delivered Yahya come, King of Judah, and there his hand. I mean, that is subtle but clear. It looks to you like never Kinison. The Babylonians have all the power, but they only have the power because Yahweh is letting them do it. Now, it's not explaining it further like the prophets do, or saying No Kings does, that God is doing that because of the sin of the people, that this is an act of God's judgment against the Jordanians. But you can see how that fits into that theme we've been talking about. Now, the second typical result of. Taking another country as a vassal is that people from the royal household would be taken as well. You might think of them a little bit as political prisoners. But on the other hand, what we're going to see is that they're going to the Babylonians are going to kind of reprogram. They're going to attempt to reprogram these young Jude day and in order to serve the interests of the Babylonian empire, first three, then the king ordered Ashkenazi chief of his court officials to bring into the king's service some of the Israelites from the royal family and the nobility, young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand and qualified to serve in the King's Palace. He was to teach them from the language and literature of the Babylonians. Okay, so let me pause here and talk a little bit about what's going on. Again, these taking these young men. And he is now going to reprogram them and he is going to try to shape them intellectually, politically and also physically. We'll see when he feeds them a particular type of diet of choice, food and wine. But let me also. Suggest that they were also transformed in yet another way that you might not immediately see on the surface of it. First of all, the Hebrew behind chief of the court official so often asked the chief of the court officials is actually a translation of a Hebrew phrase, Rob Cerise. Rob Cerise, Which means. Chief of the Unix chief of the UNIX. And it reminds us that not always, but often in ancient near Eastern courts, that those servants who were associated with the court were made eunuchs. Does this suggest that as part of the transformation of Daniel and three friends that they too were made eunuchs? Well, there's a passage in Isaiah 39 that again suggests that that's a real possibility. Isaiah 39 takes us back about, oh, how many years? Probably almost a hundred years to the reign of King has a khaya. Now, Hezekiah was a good king in many respects, but he has a problem here in Isaiah 39 at this time. At the time of Hezekiah, a serious the dominant power Babylon's ah Basil. But Babylon is considering rebelling against Assyria all the way back at the time of Hezekiah. And so the king, a man named Marduk Bala Dan, has come to the court in Jerusalem to try to get Hezekiah to join him in a rebellion. So it says at that time Marduk Bala Dan, son of Bala Dan King of Babylon, sent Hezekiah letters in the guess because he had heard of his illness and recovery. Hezekiah received the envoys gladly and showed them what was in his storehouses, the silver, the gold, the spices, the fine olive oil, his entire armory and everything found among his treasures. There was nothing in his palace or in all his kingdom that Hezekiah did not show them. Then Isaiah, the prophet, went to King Hezekiah and asked, What did those men say? And where did they come from? From a distant land, Hezekiah replied. They came to me from Babylon. The Prophet asked, What did they see in your palace? They saw everything in my palace, Hezekiah said. There's nothing among my treasures that I did not show them. Now, as background here, the prophets and Isaiah in particular is representing God's viewpoint that. Judah should never enter into an alliance with a foreign nation. And so. So this is why Hezekiah's actions here are so problematic. Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, Hear the Word of the Lord Almighty. The time will surely come when everything in your palace and all that your predecessors have stored up until this day will be carried off to Babylon. Nothing will be left, says the Lord and some of your descendants, your own flesh and blood, who will be born to you, will be taken away. And they will become eunuchs in the palace of the King of Babylon. So this is what suggests to me that that Daniel three friends is part of their being Reprogramed by the Babylonian king were made eunuchs. Hezekiah's response here I have to comment on. It is interesting because the word the word of the Lord you have spoken is good, Hezekiah replied. Very thought. There will be peace and security in my lifetime, which I would talk about the difference between Samuel Kings and Chronicles earlier. And there's another difference between the two in that Samuel Kings emphasizes what we call delayed retribution because remember, it's trying to answer the question, why are we in exile? And the answer is you're in exile because of your sins, but also the accumulated sins of your forefathers. Then you have a story like First Kings 13, where an unnamed prophet comes and announces the very future destruction of Jeroboam's Temple under the during the during the leadership of King Josiah hundreds of years later delayed retribution. Chronicles, on the other hand, tells a lot of stories of immediate retribution. Somebody sends and they wake up with leprosy the next morning. And the reason why Chronicle selects to tell those stories is because, of course, they're trying to keep the contemporary audience from sinning and getting them back into trouble with God. And truth be told, like Hezekiah, I think we all kind of think like Hezekiah that if I know I do something and. I will be punished or my children or grandchildren will be punished. That's much more of a of a subject that would keep me from setting than, say, if I knew my great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great grandchildren. So to any case. So back to Daniel. We can't be sure, but it seems to me that this is a real possibility. And why I'm trying to point these things out, by the way, is because. It's going to contrast with where we'll hear Daniel and the three friends actually protesting. If if this is the case, they're not saying you can't make us eunuchs. And as we read on, they also don't vocally object, though I'm sure they didn't like it that they had their names changed. You know, I'll come back to verse four and five, But but let me comment on verse six where it says, Among those who were chosen were some from Judah, Daniel Hanna, Nya, Michele and Azariah. The chief official gave them new names too. Daniel The name belt the shirts are to Hannah Nya, Shadrach to Michele Meshack and Azariah Abednego. Now, you know, if somebody want to change my name from Trumper to, you know, Rupert or something, I, I might be a little offended since temper is a family name. My great grandmother's maiden name and all that. But there's no great significance to the meaning of the name Tremper. It actually comes from the French, which means to dip or to moisten or to wet. And when I was at Yale and graduate program, one of my neighbors was an expert in medieval French. And he said to me, Oh yeah, that means your ancestors were either armor makers or bagel dippers. And I thought, depending on what mood I'm in, I want to own one of those, too. But, you know, it really doesn't go to the heart of who I am in terms of my religion, as these names do. So Daniel means God is my church hand and I am means your way is gracious to me. Michel means who is like God? And as a Rya means your way is my helper. And they changed their names to Delta shirts are Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Now, some of these, we can't determine exactly what they mean. Their Akkadian name spelt the Qataris clearly an Akkadian name and we can translate that. Part of the problem is when you take an Akkadian name and change it into Hebrew, it kind of obscures the Akkadian meaning. But Delta shots are the name given to Daniel means the goddess or the divine lady protects the king. Abednego. Abed is clearly means servant of a negro is probably some reference to a pagan god. So. So it's clearly going on here again, as they're trying to Babylonianize these men by giving them Babylonian names that praise Babylonian deities. Now. We don't hear of any protests. Like don't call me that. And because if they did, they'd run into a lot of trouble. But my point is that these four men are the type who, if they felt that they would be violating their relationship with the away, they wouldn't hesitate to die for their faith. Again, as we will learn when the three friends say, even if Yahweh doesn't save us, we're still not going to bow to your golden statue.