Dave Burnette's Commentary

Daniel Chapter 1

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Daniel
Date Penned: BC 536 (Covering Events BC 605-536)
Overview: Daniel's Life (c 1-6)
Theme: Daniel is Counselor to King Nebuchadnezzar (c 1-6)
Message: Daniel becomes the King's Counselor (v 1-21) 

Daniel: Chapter 1 Commentary

(1:1) Daniel was born during the middle of Josiah's reign around 2 Kings chapter 22 and grew up during the king's reforms. During this time he probably heard Jeremiah, a prophet he quoted in chapter 9. Josiah was killed in a battle against Egypt, and within four years the Southern Kingdom of Judah had returned to their evil ways. In 605 BC Nebuchadnezzar  became king of Babylon. In September of that year, he swept into Palestine and surrounded Jerusalem, making Judah his subordinate state. To demonstrate his dominance, he took many of Jerusalem's wisest men and most beautiful women to Babylon as captives. Daniel was among this group.

(1:2) Nebuchadnezzar, the supreme leader of Babylon, was feared throughout the world. When he swept into a country, defeat was certain. After a victory, the Babylonians usually took the most valuable people back to Babylon and left only the poor behind to take whatever land they wanted and live peacefully there. This system fostered great loyalty from conquered lands and ensured a steady supply of wise and talented people for Babylon's civil service. 

(1;3,4) The language of Chaldea (Babylon) was Aramaic (Syriac). Babylon's academic program would have included mathematics, astronomy, and history, with a strong dose of alchemy and magic. 

(1:7) Nebuchadnezzar changed the names of Daniel and his friends because he wanted to make them Babylonian, in their own eyes and in the eyes of the Babylonian people. New names would help them assimilate into the culture. Daniel, which means "God is my Judge '' in Hebrew, was changed to Belteshazzar, "he whom Bel favors" Bel was the chief Babylonian god. This was how the king attempted to change the religious loyalty of these young men from Judah's God to Babylon's god.

(1:8) Daniel chose not to eat this food because the meat was probably pork or some other forbidden food found in Leviticus chapter 11. it was not prepared according to Jewish law, and had probably been sacrificed to idols. Although Daniel was in a culture that did not follow God's Laws, he still obeyed them himself.

(1:9) It is easier to resist temptation if you have thought through your convictions well before the temptation arises. Daniel and his friends made their decision to be faithful to the laws of God before they were faced with the king's delicacies, so they did not hesitate to stick with their convictions. Sometimes we get into trouble because we have not previously decided where to draw the line. Before such situations arise, decide on your convictions. Then when the temptation comes, you will be ready.

(1:12) The Babylonians were trying to change the thinking of these, jews by giving them a Chaldean education, their loyalty by changing their names, and their lifestyle by changing their diet. Without compromising, Daniel found a way to live by God's standards in a culture that did not honor God. Wisely choosing to negotiate rather than to rebel, he suggested an experimental 10-day diet of vegetables (pulse) and water, instead of the rich foods and wine the king offered. As God's people, we may adjust to our culture as long as we do not compromise God's laws.

(1:17) Daniel and his friends learned all they could about their new culture so they could do their work with excellence. But while they learned they maintained their allegiance to God. We can be in the world and not of the world as we love sinners not compromising on sin. 

(1:20) The King's advisers were masters at communicating their message so that it sounded authoritative, as if it came directly from their gods but Daniel interjected God's message into his  communication. The King was far more pleased with them than with his previous advisers, magicians, or astrologers. 


Dave Burnette's Life Application


Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we start the Book of Daniel with Chapter 1. In our text today we see Daniel becoming the King's Counselor while not eating the King's meat because of who He was. In making application we see that there are many today that are in authority that would have us compromise on our Christian standards or values. The true test comes when we are forced to choose who we will serve? God or Man. How about you? Who will you choose? Let us learn from our text today and the life of Daniel who chose to serve God over man and God's Favor was unleashed in his life.


Daniel 1

Daniel 1

 1In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it.

 2And 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.

 3And 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;

 4Children 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.

 5And 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.

 6Now among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah:

 7Unto 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.

 8But 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.

 9Now God had brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs.

 10And 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.

 11Then said Daniel to Melzar, whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah,

 12Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink.

 13Then 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.

 14So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days.

 15And 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.

 16Thus Melzar took away the portion of their meat, and the wine that they should drink; and gave them pulse.

 17As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.

 18Now 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.

 19And the king communed with them; and among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: therefore stood they before the king.

 20And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king enquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm.

 21And Daniel continued even unto the first year of king Cyrus.