Daniel Chapter 1 [KJVwc]

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1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it. In the third year – Daniel was carried captive with Jehoiachim, king of Judah, eighteen years before the final captivity in the days of Zedekiah. R2492:3, R4873:1; Q80:1, Q94:2; HG58:1, HG518:5

Eleven years before Zedekiah. R2492:3*; B52

Of Jehoiakim – Often, by misinterpretation, applied to the times of Antiochus Epiphanes. R3630:1

Came Nebuchadnezzar – From this passage, we fix the date of Nebuchadnezzar's reign from the Bible date of Jehoiakim's reign. R1976:3

2 And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God: 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.
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; The king – Illustrating the King of Glory. R4873:5

That he should bring – Nothing gives us a higher opinion of the kings of ancient times, their willingness to recognize character and merit wherever it might be found, than does the record furnished in the book of Daniel. R2501:1, R3638:6

Of the children of Israel – With a two-fold object: to associate with the empire the learning and skill of the world, and to promote a friendly feeling between Babylon and the countries over which it held sway. R2493:1

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. Children – An illustration of Christians in this Gospel age. R4873:5

In the king's palace – Young Jewish captives were given opportunity to use their talents for the benefit of Babylon. R5796:2

To be fitted to constitute a board of wise men, counselors to the king. R4873:1

Teach the learning – Illustration of the school of Christ. R4873:5

A three-year course of education in the sciences. R2493:1

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. The king's meat – So that, being well nourished, they might be in their best physical and mental condition. R4873:2, R5796:2

They shared in the food prepared for the royal family. R5796:2

Good food--better probably, than they had been used to previously. R2493:5

6 Now among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: Daniel – "God is my judge." R2493:2, R3630:3

The names of the four young men (about 16 years of age) imply a parentage that was reverential and loyal to God. R3630:3

Daniel was 14 years old when carried captive to Babylon. R2492:3

He had a noble, amiable, winsome character. R2493:2

Hananiah – "God is gracious," "Jehovah is gracious." R2493:2, R3630:3

Mishael – "This is as God," "God-like." R2493:2, R3630:3

Azariah – "God is a helper," "Jehovah has helped." R2493:2, R3630:3

These four were evidently of noble birth and religious training. R4873:1, R2493:2

Chosen because of their brightness and general intelligence to be specialty educated for governmental positions. R3630:4

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. Gave names – Changing their names by no means changed their hearts, no more than did their being transported from the land of promise to Babylon. R3630:4

They were given these new names to break their identity with their native homes and establish an identity with the kingdom of Babylon. R2493:2

These new Babylonish names implied relationship or servitude to the deities of Babylonia. R3630:4

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. But Daniel purposed – Of the four, Daniel seems, from the first, to have been leader, and his leading seems to have been in the right direction. R2493:4

In his heart – The faithful, like Daniel, will set themselves to the attainment of their object at any cost. Their faith tells them that their object is worthy of their effort. R3631:4

All who receive the grace of God into good and honest hearts will surely experience a cleansing work. R3631:6

The Lord places us frequently where we have opportunities of choosing. It becomes a matter of character or principle with us what we choose. There is no virtue in choosing the only thing possible. R3631:3

Not defile himself – Physically or mentally, by eating such rich food; morally, by eating what had been offered to idols. R3630:5

To eat the king's meat would imply to the people that the young men were receiving blessings from the heathen gods. R5796:4

Daniel's objection to the food was instigated wholly by religious duty, because of varieties forbidden under the Law. R2493:5

They would rather deny themselves than violate God's Law, indicating a mental and moral discipline. R2493:6

It is a mistake to suppose that high living is specially conducive to intellectuality--not to mention spirituality. R4873:2

Clean spiritual provender is important to the Lord's flock. Those who come to a knowledge of the truth must abstain from all defiled spiritual food and from mingling with the Babylonians at their table. R2494:4

The Bible regulates the Christian in respect to what he eats, drinks, where he goes, what he does, what he reads, his companionship and even his very thoughts. R5796:5

The abstemious course, self-denial, self-restraint, is all important to the upbuilding of the character likeness of Christ. R3631:2

Sobriety and self-denial mean the king's favor, bringing satisfaction and restfulness of heart and mind, and peace with God and our consciences. R3631:5

"Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God." (2 Cor. 7:1) R3631:6

To be cleansed from filthiness of the spirit--evil thoughts, hatred, malice, strife, revenge, backbiting, evil speaking--is most important. R3632:1, R3631:6

How careful all should be not to bring into the church errors and false doctrines, misrepresentations of Scripture, to defile or stumble or injure any of the Lord s little ones. R3631:5

We should be careful to have our bodies as clean, pure and holy as possible. R3631:6

We must fight against our own appetites in all the affairs of life. R3631:2

"If any man defile the temple of God, him will God destroy." (1 Cor. 3:17) R3631:5

King's meat – Daniel recognized that his health of mind and body would be better if he abstained from these. R3630:5

The Bible does not prohibit the use of flesh food. Our Lord and the apostles ate meat. R5796:3

Nor with the wine – Gluttony and the use of alcoholic liquors stupefy the brain. R3631:1

The Scriptures do not forbid alcoholic liquors, but they indicate a blessing upon those who abstain, as well as upon eunuchs. R5796:4

A lesson in favor of total abstinence from intoxicants. R1403:1

9 Now God had brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs. Daniel – Specially favored of the Lord with visions and revelations. R2493:2

Into favour – Because of his meekness. gentleness and general nobility of character. R5796:2, R4873:2, R2493:2

This favor meant the jealousy and enmity of his associates. R3631:4

Whosoever will live godly in the present time shall suffer persecution. R3631:4

Prince of the eunuchs – The steward having charge of the students. R3630:6

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. Endanger my head – Not only cost him his position, but his very life. R3630:6

11 Then said Daniel to Melzar, whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, To Melzar – To the Melzar, the butler. R2493:6

12 Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink. Prove thy servants – They were seeking to develop characters in accord with the will of God for a better earthly resurrection. R3631:2

Seeking a course that not only would have divine approval, but also cause as little trouble, inconvenience and displeasure to others as possible. R2493:6

As ours will be a higher reward, our trial of faith will be more crucial. R3631:3

Give us pulse – Very plain and inexpensive vegetable diet. R2493:5, R4873:3, R5796:3

Vegetables, particularly peas and beans, which contain all the elements necessary for proper nutrition. R5796:3, R3630:5

Nothing is gained by simply abstaining from Babylonian portions and starving spiritually. Whoever abstains from the defiled food must seek and use the simple and undefiled food which the Lord provides. R2494:5

It is well nigh impossible to be strong in willpower in respect to important things if lax and pliable in respect to the less important. R2494:1

Christians are left to their own judgments as to what food would best nourish them for the Lord's service. R5796:3, R4873:6

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.

14 So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days.
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. Countenances appeared fairer – There is a general operation of divine law that whosoever seeks to live conscientiously, cleanly, honestly, will have compensations in his own heart and life. R5796:5

16 Thus Melzar took away the portion of their meat, and the wine that they should drink; and gave them pulse. Melzar took away – To the amusement of their associates, who would consider them foolish for choosing simple fare when they might have king's food. R3631:1

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. Children – Youths. R4873:3

Knowledge and skill – Not wholly miraculous under natural laws, boys with enough character for self-denial for righteousness' sake would also have enough character in all their affairs and studies. R2493:6

Daniel had understanding – The specially favored of the favored four, his portion included visions and revelations. R2493:2

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. At the end of the days – After the three-year course, when

Daniel was seventeen. R2494:1

Picturing the end of this age. R4873:5

Bring them in – Picturing the test of examination for those in the school of Christ. R4873:5

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. Before the king – Their exaltation in his realm paid them for their self-denials and their loyalty to God and to principle. R5796:4

Sobriety and self-denial mean not only disappointments, trials, deprivations and oppositions, but they mean also the King's favor. R3631:5

Though not a type, there is a certain correspondency between this position and that occupied by those called to joint-heirship with Jesus Christ. R2494:2

"Dare to be a Daniel" --the Daniel spirit is a possibility with every person. R4873:5, R2494:4, R3631:4

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. Ten times better – As a natural result of their courage and strength of character. R2493:5

The result of devoting their lives in doing the divine will. R4873:4, R5796:5

The four were advanced to positions far higher than they would ever have attained in their own land. R4873:2

Corresponding to those called to joint-heirship in the Kingdom with Christ. R2494:4

It paid the young Hebrews well for their self-denials and their loyalty to God and to principle. R5796:5

Astrologers – Enchanters. R4873:4

21 And Daniel continued even unto the first year of king Cyrus. And Daniel – Who lived to be over 100 years of age. R2492:3; HG518:6

See comments on Dan. 1:1. Our Daniel, our Leader, o R2494:4

King Cyrus – Signifies "the sun"; corresponding to the prophecy of Christ-- "The Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in his beams." (Mal. 4:2) R2498:4

Illustration of Messiah, King of kings and Lord of lords, who, with his faithful, will shortly overthrow mystic Babylon and possess the world. R2498:4

The "seventy years desolation" ended with the first year of Cyrus, BC 536. R2509:3

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