Daniel C elena Hairston Daniel, which means God is my judge, was an intelligent young man that came from a well-known family. He was captured by the Babylonian during the first attack on Jerusalem (Daniel Microsoft Encarta 2001). He was wanted by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon who wanted him for his royal court during the time that the Hebrews lived in exile in Babylon. While Daniel lived in exile he and his friends, Hannah, Michael and Azar iah were enrolled in a three-year program for nobles. Their training came from the king s chief eunuch, Ashpenaz, who gave them each a Babylonian name: Daniel became Belteshazzar and the others became Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (Daniel 1: 7). After their strict training they were brought before the king.

He found them not only more advanced than the other students but also much wiser than others on the royal court. From then on Daniel worked in the royal court until the overthrow of the Babylon Empire. While Daniel was there King Nebuchadnezzar had a distressing dream. The wise men on his royal court could not tell him what the interpretation of the dream was he ordered them all killed.

When Daniel and his friends heard about what was going on they began to pray and that night God gave Daniel a vision that revealed the kings dream. Daniel went the next morning and told the king about his vision and interpreted to him. The king was very surprised at what God had revealed to Daniel and made Daniel perfect over all the wise men of the region and governor of the Babylon. After time King Nebuchadnezzar set up an idol and demanded everyone worship it, forgetting that he had recognized the God of the Jews as the supreme God. Daniel and his friends refused to comply with the wishes of Nebuchadnezzar. Angry, Nebuchadnezzar ordered that the three Hebrews be thrown into a furnace.

The furnace was so hot that the servants ordered to throw them in wer burned to death. Nevertheless, God sent an angel into the furnace to protect Shadrach, Meshach and Abend ago and they walked out of the furnace without even the smell of smoke on them. This event, which showed the power of the Jewish God once again, amazed King Nebuchadnezzar and he issued a statement that demanded his subjects to recognize and honor the Most High the might God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (Daniel 3: 19-29). Also, during Nebuchadnezzar s reign he had a dream that he told to his interpreters and wise men. They could not interpret the dream, so Daniel was called in. Daniel interpreted the dream saying that in order to humble Nebuchadnezzar God would teach him that he ruled everything by making him like an animal eating grass for food.

Daniel worried about the dream, warned the king to acknowledge his sins and show compassion to the needy so that he would continue to prosper. The king did not take heed to Gods warning which was given to him in that dream and one day while King Nebuchadnezzar was recounting his accomplishments, he was struck with some form of insanity, which made him start behaving like an animal he ate grass and lived in the fields. While he lived in the fields his hair grew long and his fingernails grew as long as claws. Eventually his sanity was recovered and from then on he worshiped God and his greatness was restored. King Belshazzar, Nebuchadnezzar s son and successor, threw a party in which thousands of nobles attended. During the festivities they drank wine from holy temple vessels, which Nebuchadnezzar had stolen from the temple at Jerusalem, and poured out some of the wine to the pagan gods.

Suddenly a hand wrote a message on the palace walls. Belshazzar unsure of what to do asked his interpreters to decipher the writing, but the could not and Belshazzar called for Daniel to interpret the dream. Daniel was now an elderly man, he reminded the king of how Nebuchadnezzar was punished by God for his pride and warned him that by dishonoring the holy vessels he had turned himself against God. The writing on the wall was interpreted that Belshazzar s days were numbered and that his kingdom would fall and be divided. That very night Belshazzar was killed and his kingdom was overtaken by Darius the Mede (Daniel 5: 25-31).

Darius the Mede made Daniel on of the most powerful men in the kingdom. Many people were jealous of him and tried to discredit him by attacking his religion. King Darius was persuaded to pass a law that said that everyone must worship the king alone for a month and if they did not they would be thrown into the lions den. Daniel did not obey the king s orders; he continued to openly pray to the Hebrew God three times a day. Some of the people who were jealous of Daniel told King Darius of Daniels actions and he had no choice but to throw him into the pit with the lions. Daniel was safe because as God sent an angel into the fiery furnace God sent an angel and shut the lions mouths (Daniel 6: 22).

The king was relieved when he saw that Daniel was unscratched. After Daniel was released he had Daniel s accusers and their families all thrown into the lions den. King Darius issued a statement calling for all his people to honor the God of Daniel. These events show how God put Daniel in a position to influence the Babylonian Empire, and they also showed how faithful the Jews trusted God to take care of them among his enemies. Works Cited Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia 2001, web Copyright 1997 -2002 The Bible King James Version Daniel 1: 7, Daniel 3: 19-29, Daniel 5: 25-31, Daniel 6: 22.