Daniel the Prophet

Daniel the Prophet

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"'Therefore when you see the "abomination of desolation," spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place' (whoever reads, let him understand) . . ." (Matthew 24:15; compare Mark 13:14).

Jesus Christ clearly refers to Daniel as a legitimate Hebrew prophet, although the book of Daniel is not technically classified as a part of the Prophets, but of the Writings—the third major section of the Old Testament.

What major prophet places Daniel in some select company?

"'Even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in [a sinful land], they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness,' says the Lord GOD" (Ezekiel 14:14; compare Ezekiel 14:20).

Clearly, Daniel's spiritual credentials are of the highest caliber. He was considered an example of righteousness alongside Noah (a preacher of righteousness, 2 Peter 2:5) and the patriarch Job (one of the most righteous men who ever lived, Job 1:1-8).

What other gifts and qualities made Daniel so unusual?

"As for these four young men [including Daniel], God gave them knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams" (Daniel 1:17).

"Then he [the angel] said to me, 'Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words" (Daniel 10:12).

Humility before the great God is a vital key to spiritual success. Few have ever understood this principle better than the prophet Daniel. Further, it is an important key to unlocking the door to knowledge of God. Daniel himself said in praising the God of heaven: "He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding" (Daniel 2:21).

Daniel also had special understanding in "literature and wisdom" (Daniel 1:17)—essential qualifications for writing his book. That Daniel wrote the book bearing his name is certain (Daniel 9:2; Daniel 10:2). Says The New Bible Commentary: Revised: "The book of Daniel was a product of the exile and was written by Daniel himself" (p. 688). In his book he often speaks in the first person.

But, as Daniel 1:17 explains, God is the ultimate source of all this spiritual knowledge, understanding and wisdom—not human beings. Prophets like Daniel have distinguished themselves by becoming willing and humble instruments in His hands.

Are any of the "minor" prophets quoted by the apostles?

"As He says also in Hosea . . ." (Romans 9:25).

In another example, Acts 2:16-21, Peter quotes Joel 2:28-32 because the events on that Day of Pentecost were a direct and dramatic fulfillment of a portion of Joel's prophecy. After Christ's crucifixion, God's Spirit, on this particular day, was spectacularly poured out just as Joel had prophesied. Peter proclaimed that these events were a dramatic fulfillment of Joel's prophecy.

What great sign given by Christ is based on what happened to one of these 12 prophets?

"An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth" (Matthew 12:39-40). One third of the New Testament is composed of quotations from and allusions to the Old. These two parts of Scripture are closely linked and intertwined with each other. The apostles constantly used the Hebrew Bible in their writings.