After graduating with high honors, Daniel and his three friends were appointed by Nebuchadnezzar to government positions (Dan. 1:19). Daniel’s political career spanned more than 70 years during the reigns of several Babylonian and Persian kings.
Oneirology, the study of dreams, became popular in the 17th century, but Daniel studied and interpreted dreams more than 500 years before Christ. Along with knowledge and skill in literature and wisdom, God had given Daniel the ability to unravel the mystery of dreams (Dan. 1:17).
8. Daniel was prone to fainting spells, breathlessness, and weakness.
Apparently receiving visions and revelation can be quite taxing. After receiving a vision describing future world governments, “Daniel, fainted and was sick for days,”
(Dan. 8:17). A visit and a vision from the angel Gabriel had a similar effect on him: “I (Daniel) had no strength left, my face turned deathly pale, and I was helpless.”
9. Daniel was twice visited by God’s archangel.
Most commonly known as the angel who appeared to Mary in the New Testament to announce the coming Messiah, we first read about Gabriel in Daniel 8:16. His first recorded biblical assignment was to help Daniel interpret a puzzling vision.
10. Daniel was an octogenarian when he was thrown into the lion’s den.
The chronology of Daniel’s life shows that he had been a faithful government servant for more than 70 years. During a regime change, his exemplary resume caught the eye of the incoming King Darius, who appointed him as one of three national governors. His jealous colleagues decided to off the elder statesman, but because he was above reproach, failed to find any “charge or fault” against him (Dan. 6:4). Determined to bring about his demise, they crafted a plan for religious persecution, convinced the unwitting king to sign it, and targeted Daniel for execution while he prayed in his room. Instead of throwing Daniel a well-deserved retirement dinner, King Darius wound up throwing Daniel in as the lions’ dinner.
Lions notwithstanding, Daniel’s commitment to integrity, devotion to the Lord, and unwavering faith make him a biblical hero worth studying. The Old Testament counterpart to the apostle John, God calls both men “beloved.” Five centuries apart, they wrote parallel and complementary end times prophecies that give us fascinating and frightening glimpses into the future. Most important, however, a study of the book of Daniel gives us a powerful example for how to live righteously in a society that does not honor God. Only 12 chapters long, the book of Daniel is a must-read.Content taken from 10 Things You Didn't Know about Daniel in the Bible, written by Lori Hatcher. To read the text version please click the link.