Sunday School Bible Survey:      DANIEL

Theme: The universal sovereignty of God

Key word: Dominion

Key verse: "And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed" (Daniel 7:14).

From the Scofield Study Bible:
Daniel, like Ezekiel was a Jewish captive in Babylon. He was of royal or princely descent (1:3). For his rank and comeliness he was trained for palace service. In the polluted atmosphere of an oriental court he lived a life of singular piety and usefulness. His long life extended from Nebuchadnezzar to Cyrus. He was a contemporary of Jeremiah, Ezekiel (Ezekiel 14:20), Joshua, the high priest of the restoration, Ezra, and Zerubbabel.

Daniel is the indispensable introduction to New Testament prophecy, the themes of which are, the apostasy of the Church, the manifestation of the man of sin, the great tribulation, the return of the Lord, the resurrections and the judgments. These, except the first, are Daniel's themes also.

But Daniel is distinctively the prophet of the "times of the Gentiles" (Luke 21:24, refs.). His vision sweeps the whole course of Gentile world-rule to its end in catastrophe, and to the setting up of the Messianic kingdom.

Daniel is in four broad divisions:

  1. Introduction. The personal history of Daniel from the conquest of Jerusalem to the second year of Nebuchadnezzar (1).
  2. The visions of Nebuchadnezzar and their results (2-4).
  3. The personal history of Daniel under Belshazzar and Darius (5, 6).
  4. The visions of Daniel (7-12).

The events recorded in Daniel cover a period of 73 years (Ussher).


  1. Our Lord said in Matt. 24:15, "When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)."
  2. Ezekiel 28:3 says, "Behold, thou art wiser than Daniel; there is no secret that they can hide from thee."
  3. These Scriptures indicate the importance of the book of Daniel, but the book of Daniel has been attacked vehemently by the liberals. Sir Robert Anderson defended the book of Daniel in Daniel in the Critics' Den.
  4. Sir Isaac Newton was correct when he said: "To reject Daniel is to reject the Christian religion."
  5. The book of Daniel is one of the most important prophetic books, and constitutes an indispensable introduction to Bible prophecy.
  6. Daniel deals with the revelation of the antichrist, the seven-year tribulation period, the second coming of Christ, and the establishment of the millennial kingdom.
  7. For many years God was warning backslidden Israel, through the prophets, to repent. Finally, judgment came when God allowed the northern kingdom of Israel to be carried into captivity by the Assyrians in 722-721 BC.
  8. Judgment came a little later for the southern kingdom of Judah when Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, besieged the city of Jerusalem in 606 BC.
  9. Then in 598 BC, Nebuchadnezzar took more people back to Babylon, including the prophet Ezekiel. Finally, in 587 he burned Jerusalem to the ground.
  10. Therefore, God's judgment against Judah was carried out in three stages; and the book of Daniel starts out with the first phase in approximately 606 or 607 BC.
  11. We know more about Daniel than any other prophet. His name means, "God is my judge." He was of royal or princely descent (cf. 1:3), and was deported to Babylon in the first invasion in 606 BC.
  12. Daniel eventually became a close advisor to King Nebuchadnezzar and despite the heathenism and corruption surrounding him, he maintained an excellent testimony in Babylon. He kept himself separated unto God, and unspotted from the world.
  13. Daniel was a great man of faith, piety, humility, and dependence upon God. There is not one thing negative recorded about Daniel in the Bible.
  14. And 2,600 years later, God is still looking for dedicated men and women like Daniel.


  1. Daniel's Visions During the Reign of King Nebuchadnezzar, and His Personal History up till the Reign of King Cyrus (1—6).
  2. Visions Under Kings Belshazzar, Darius, and Cyrus (7—12).
  • Daniel's history and his consecration (1).
  • Nebuchadnezzar's dream and Daniel's interpretation (2).
  • Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego delivered from the fiery furnace (3).
  • Nebuchadnezzar's dream concerning the tree, Daniel's interpretation, and the fulfillment of it (4).
  • King Belshazzar's drunken feast and the end of the Babylonian Empire (5).
  • Daniel delivered from the lion's den (6).
  • Daniel's dream concerning the four beasts (kingdoms) and the second coming of Christ (7).
  • Daniel's vision of the ram and the rough goat and its interpretation (8).
  • Daniel's prayer and the prophecy of the seventy weeks (9).
  • The vision of the glory of God (10).
  • Visions of Daniel from the reign of Darius up to the end time (11 & 12).


  1. Daniel's prophecies describe the rise and fall of the Gentile world powers, the revived Roman Empire, the great tribulation, and the glorious second coming of Christ.
  2. King Nebuchadnezzar's dream in chapter 2 and Daniel's dream in chapter 7 deal with the same prophecy but from two different perspectives.
  3. Nebuchadnezzar's vision is from man's perspective -- a "great image, whose brightness was excellent" and whose "head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass" (2:31, 32).
  4. Daniel's vision is from God's perspective. Daniel saw four wild beasts (7:3), and the fourth was "dreadful and terrible" and "exceeding dreadful" (7:7, 19).
  5. From this fourth beast (Rome) comes the "little horn" (the antichrist) who will be slain by the Son of man at His second coming (7:9-14).
  6. John Phillips wrote, "The downward trend is evident in Nebuchadnezzar's dream. The focus descends from the head to the feet, from gold to silver to copper, copper to iron, and from iron to clay. It descends also from the head (the seat of the intellect) to the breast (the seat of the vital organs), from the breast to the belly (the seat of the digestion), and from the belly to the feet which walk in the dust" (Exploring the Scriptures).
  7. Chapters 2 and 7 are the key prophetic chapters. Chapter 8 gives great detail to the two great world empires that succeeded Babylon, Media-Persia and Greece.
  8. More details are given in Daniel 11, and the prophecies fill in the gap between Malachi and Matthew. In perfect sequence Daniel predicted the rise and fall of Alexander the Great, the division of his empire into four parts, the conflicts between Syria ("king of the north") and Egypt ("king of the south"), the persecution of the Jews under Antiochus Epiphanes ("a vile person" -- 11:21 and a picture and type of the coming antichrist), and the Maccabean revolt (11:32-35).
  9. Because these incredible prophecies have been accurately fulfilled, liberal critics have taught that the book of Daniel is a forgery. They simply cannot accept the supernatural visions, dreams, and prophecies.
  10. However, the book of Daniel has always been supported by Jews and Christians, as well as by the Lord Jesus Himself, who referred to "Daniel the prophet" (Matthew 24:15).
  11. Daniel's prophecy of the seventy weeks (9:24-27) is the key to understanding all Bible prophecy. Its importance goes beyond the doctrine of eschatology (last things).
  12. Alva McClain said, "Probably no single prophetic utterance is more crucial in the fields of Biblical Interpretation, Apologetics, and Eschatology" — Alva McClain.

These are simple Sunday School survey notes. They are not for sale. The author used many outlines from popular Bible teachers such as C.I. Scofield and J. Vernon McGee, and he has tried to give credit when using their material.

—  Pastor James J. Barker  —