Fausset's Bible Dictionary 
i.e. "God is my judge"; or as others, "the judge of God," as his Chaldee name Belteshazzar means "the prince of Bel." Probably from royal blood; compare Daniel 1:3 with 1 Chronicles 3:1, from whence it appears he bore the same name as David's son by Abigail (who is called Chileab in 2 Samuel 3:3 "like his father".) Carried to Babylon in Nebuchadnezzar's first deportation of captives, in the fourth ( Jeremiah 25:1; Jeremiah 46:2) or third ( Daniel 1:1 counting only complete years) year of Jehoiakim, the first of Nebuchadnezzar (acting under Nabopolassar in the last year of the latter's reign, but reigning alone not until the year after; as Daniel 2:1 proves, for after Daniel's three years' training the year is nevertheless called the "second" of Nebuchadnezzar, i.e. of his sole reign). Daniel was put in training with three others of the royal seed, still "children" ( Daniel 1:4), according to eastern etiquette, to become courtiers; and to mark his new position he received a Babylonian name, Belteshazzar (compare 2 Kings 23:34; 2 Kings 24:17; Ezra 5:14; Esther 2:7).
He gave a noble proof of faithfulness combined with wisdom at this early age, by abstaining from the food of the king's table, as being defiled with the usual idolatry at pagan feasts ( Daniel 1:8-16), living for ten days' trial on pulse and water, and at the end looking fairer and fatter than those fed on the king's dainties. Those who would excel in piety and wisdom must early subject the flesh to the spirit. Daniel experienced the truth of Deuteronomy 8:3. Ezekiel in the early part of his ministry refers to hint as a model of "righteousness" and "wisdom" ( Ezekiel 14:14; Ezekiel 14:20; Ezekiel 28:3), for Daniel had not yet become a writer. Noah before and at the flood, Job in the postdiluvian patriarchal age, and Daniel toward the close of the legal theocracy are made types of "righteousness."
So Ezekiel's reference, in what it alleges and in what it omits, exactly tallies with what we should expect, presuming that Ezekiel and Daniel lived and wrote when and where they are represented. Daniel's high position while still a mere youth ( Daniel 1:3-5; Daniel 1:11-16; Daniel 2:1), at the court of the Jews' conqueror and king, gave them a vivid interest in their illustrious countryman's fame for righteousness and wisdom; for in his person they felt themselves raised from their present degradation. As at the beginning of the covenant people's history their kinsman Joseph, so toward its close Daniel, by the interpretation of dreams (Daniel 2; Daniel 4), was promoted to high place in the court of their pagan masters. Thus, they both represented Israel's destined calling to be a royal priesthood among the nations, and ultimately to be the bearers of Messiah's light to the whole Gentile world ( Romans 11:12; Romans 11:15).
Daniel was made by Nebuchadnezzar, governor of Babylonia and president of the Babylonian "wise men," not to be confounded with the later Persian magi. Under Belshazzar Daniel was in a lower office, and was occasionally away from Babylon ( Daniel 5:7-8; Daniel 5:12) at Susa ( Daniel 8:2; Daniel 8:27). His interpretation of the mystical handwriting on the wall caused his promotion again, a promotion which continued under Darius and Cyrus. Under Darius he was first of the three presidents of the empire. Envy often follows high office which men so covet; so, by a law cunningly extorted by his enemies from the weak Darius, that none should offer petition to man or god except to the king for 30 days, as though it were a test of loyalty, on pain of being cast into a lions' den, Daniel was cast in and was delivered by God, who thus rewarded his pious faithfulness (Daniel 6).
It is an accordance with Medo-Persian ideas which flows from the truth of Scripture, that the mode of capital punishment under the Babylonian rule is represented as burning (Daniel 3), but under the Medes and Persians' exposure to wild beasts, for they would have regarded fire as polluted by contact with a corpse, while they approved the devouring of bodies by animals. Berosus calls the last Babylonian king Nabonidus, and says that he surrendered to Cyrus in Borsippa, and was assigned an honorable abode in Carmania. Rawlinson has shown that the Babylonian inscriptions at Ur (Umqueir) explain the seeming discrepancy. Belshazzar or Bel-shar-ezer (on the mother's side descended front Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel 5:11) was joint king with his father; having shut himself up in Babylon he fell there while his father at Borsippa survived. (See Belshazzar .) Berosus as being a Chaldaean suppressed all concerning Belshazzar, since it was to the national dishonor.
If Daniel's book had been a late one, he would have copied Berosus; if it had been at variance with that prevalent in Babylonia, the Jews there would have rejected it. His mention of Darius the Mede's reign, which profane history ignores (probably because it was eclipsed by Cyrus' glory), shows that he wrote as a contemporary historian of events which He knew, and did not borrow from others. He must have been about 84 years old when he saw the visions (Daniel 10-12) concerning his people, extending down to the resurrection and the last days. Though advanced years forbade his return to the Holy Land, yet his people's interests were always nearest his heart (Daniel 9; Daniel 10:12).
His last recorded vision was in the third year of Cyrus (534 B.C.), on the banks of the Tigris (Hiddekel) Daniel 10:1-4. In Daniel 3:2, Hebrew for "princes," Nebuchadnezzar summons his satraps ( 'Achashdarpni , Persian Khshtrapa ). Some allege that Daniel erroneously attributes to the Babylonians the satrapial form of government. But Gedaliah was virtually a satrap under Nebuchadnezzar in Judaea, i.e. a governor over a province, instead of its being left under the native kings ( 2 Kings 25:23). Berosus speaks of Nabopolassar's "satrap of Egypt, Coelosyria, and Phoenicia." Daniel writing for Jews under Persia at the time uses naturally the familiar Persian term "satrap" instead of the corresponding Babylonian term. (On Daniel's representation of the relation of the Medes to the Persians and Darius the Mede (possibly equating to Astyages, or his son, the former of whom Cyrus deposed and treated kindly) to Cyrus. (See Cyrus .)
The objection to Daniel on the ground that Susa, or at least its palace, was not built when Daniel saw the vision there, rests on Pliny alone, who alleges it to have been built by Darius Hystaspis. But the Assyrian inscriptions prove it was one of the most ancient Mesopotamian cities, and its palace (the Memnonium is the name the Greeks give it) famous centuries before Daniel. Darius Hystaspes was only the first to build at Susa a palace in Persian fashion. Daniel, like Moses, was trained in all the learning of the world; his political experience moreover, as a minister of state under successive dynasties of the great world powers, gave the natural qualifications to which God added supernatural spiritual insight, enabling him to characterize to the life the several world monarchies which bore or were to bear sway until Messiah's kingdom shall come with power.
Personal purity and selfrestraint amidst the world's corrupting luxuries ( Daniel 1:8-16; compare Moses, Hebrews 11:25; Joseph, Genesis 39:9); faithfulness to God at all costs, and fearless witnessing for God before great men ( Daniel 5:17-23), unbribed by lucre and unawed by threats ( Daniel 6:10-11); the holiest and most single-minded patriotism which with burning prayers interceded for his chastened countrymen (Daniel 9); intimate communion with God, so that, like the beloved disciple and apocalyptic seer of the New Testament, John, Daniel also is called" a man greatly beloved," and this twice, by the angel of the Lord ( Daniel 9:23; Daniel 10:11), and received the exact disclosure of the date of Messiah's advent, the 70 weeks of years, and the successive events down to the Lord's final advent for the deliverance of His people: these are all prominent characteristics of this man of God.
It is not stated in Daniel 3 why Daniel was not among the rulers summoned to worship Nebuchadnezzar's golden image. Perhaps he was on state business in some distant part of the empire where the summons had not time to reach him. The Jews' enemies found it more political to attack first the three nearer at hand before proceeding to attack Daniel, the most influential. The king also, regarding him as divine ( Daniel 2:46), forbore to summon him to worship the image, the self-deifying formation and setting up of which Daniel's own interpretation probably had suggested unintentionally to Nebuchadnezzar ( Daniel 2:37-39). As Daniel 2 and Daniel 7 go together, so Daniel 3 and Daniel 6; Daniel 4 and Daniel 5; the pair Daniel 3 and Daniel 6 shows God's nearness to save His saints, if faithful, just when they are on the point of being crushed by the world power.
The pair Daniel 4 and Daniel 5 shows God's power to humble the world power in the height of its impious arrogance; first Nebuchadnezzar, whose coming hypochondriacal exile among the beasts Daniel foretells with fidelity and tenderness; then Belshazzar, whose blasphemy he more sternly reproves. As Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refuse positive homage to the world power's image, so Daniel refuses it even negative homage by omitting even for a few days worship to Jehovah. Jehovah's power manifested for the saints against the world first in individual histories (Daniel 3; 6) is exhibited next in worldwide prophetical pictures (Daniel 2 and Daniel 7). God manifested His irresistible power in Daniel and his friends, as representing the theocracy then depressed, before the pagan king who deemed himself divine. Thus, God secured the heathen's respect for His covenant people which found its culmination in Cyrus' decree for their restoration and the rebuilding of the temple of Jehovah, whom he confessed to be preeminently "THE God of heaven" ( Ezra 1:1-4). Ezra 8:2 and Nehemiah 10:6 mention another Daniel, Ithamar's descendant.
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary 
Through the example of his life and the visions recorded in his book, Daniel had a great influence upon people of later generations. The name that Jesus most commonly used of himself, the Son of man, was taken from Daniel’s vision of the heavenly and universal king ( Daniel 7:13-14; Mark 2:28; Mark 14:62); the writer to the Hebrews used Daniel as an example of the person of true faith ( Hebrews 11:33); and John, in the book of Revelation, recorded visions that were based largely on those of Daniel (cf. Daniel Chapters 2,7 and 8 with Revelation Chapters 11, 12 and 13).
A man of faith
As a youth Daniel had been carried off captive to Babylon when Nebuchadnezzar first attacked Jerusalem (605 BC; Daniel 1:1-6). Being handsome and intelligent, he was trained to be a courtier in Nebuchadnezzar’s palace. He proved the genuineness of his faith in God by resisting the pressures upon him to conform to the ungodly ways of Babylon. God gave him success in his studies and the ability to interpret dreams ( Daniel 1:17; Daniel 1:20).
This ability enabled Daniel to interpret a puzzling dream for Nebuchadnezzar. As a reward he was promoted to chief administrator in Babylon and head over Nebuchadnezzar’s council of advisers ( Daniel 2:48). Daniel knew, however, that his success in interpreting Nebuchadnezzar’s dream came only through his faith in God ( Daniel 2:16-19; Daniel 2:24).
Daniel’s trust in God showed itself also in the fearless way he told Nebuchadnezzar of the judgment that would fall upon him because of his pride ( Daniel 4:19; Daniel 4:25). But Daniel had no joy in announcing the punishment, preferring rather that Nebuchadnezzar change his ways and so avoid the threatened judgment ( Daniel 4:27). In the time of a later ruler, Belshazzar, Daniel was even bolder in his denunciation of royal pride and arrogance ( Daniel 5:18-23).
Belshazzar was the last of Babylon’s rulers, for it was during his reign that Persia, under Cyrus, conquered Babylon. By this time (539 BC) Daniel was at least eighty years of age, but he was given one of the highest positions in the new administration ( Daniel 6:1-2; cf. Daniel 1:21; Daniel 5:30). When jealous fellow administrators laid a trap that they thought would force Daniel either to deny his God or be put to death, Daniel refused to deny his God and God saved him from death ( Daniel 6:5; Daniel 6:23).
One way Daniel maintained and demonstrated his faith was through prayer ( Daniel 2:17-23; Daniel 6:10). This applied not only to his involvement in great crises with heathen kings and governors, but also to his concern for the spiritual well-being of his own people, the Jews. On one occasion he humbly linked himself with the rebellious Israelite people as a whole in confessing their sin and asking God’s mercy ( Daniel 9:1-19), and in reply received God’s assurance of forgiveness ( Daniel 9:20-23). On another occasion his prayers were accompanied by three weeks of mourning and fasting ( Daniel 10:2-3), and once again his faith was rewarded by answered prayer ( Daniel 10:11).
The book of Daniel
Although the book of Daniel is commonly known as one of the Major Prophets, the Jews who arranged the books in their Bible included Daniel not among the prophets but among the miscellaneous writings. To them Daniel was a statesman who served God in a foreign palace, rather than a preacher who brought the message of God to his people. Nevertheless, the New Testament refers to Daniel as a prophet ( Matthew 24:15), for he was one through whom God revealed his purposes.
In broad outline, the purpose of the book of Daniel is to show to both Jews and foreigners that all nations and their rulers are under the control of God. The kingdoms of the world may fight against God, but in the end they must fall beneath the all-conquering power of his kingdom. The book of Daniel presents this message in two parts. The first deals with stories of selected people of God in a heathen country, the second with visions that God gave to his servant Daniel.
These revelations are concerned in the first place with the long period of confusion and conflict that followed the Persian period and reached its climax in the events of the New Testament era. Their meaning, however, is not limited to those events, for the New Testament writers apply features of them to the final triumph of God’s kingdom, which is yet to take place.
Because of the many visions recorded in it, the book of Daniel has characteristics of that kind of Hebrew literature known as apocalyptic (from the Greek apokalupto, meaning ‘to reveal or uncover’). In apocalyptic literature the visions are always strange, with weird symbolism that often features fierce beasts. The overall purpose is to picture great conflicts out of which God and his people triumph (see Apocalyptic Literature ).
Contents of the book
After Daniel and his friends proved their faithfulness to God during their time of testing in the Babylonian palace (1:1-21), an occasion arose where Daniel showed his remarkable ability to interpret dreams. Nebuchadnezzar had a dream which, Daniel explained, showed that God is the ruler of the world and he sets up and destroys kingdoms according to his will (2:1-49).
Daniel’s success at interpreting the king’s dream brought promotion for him and his friends, but this in turn brought jealousy from some of the other officials. They accused Daniel’s friends of treason for refusing to worship an idol that the king had set up, and had them thrown into a fiery furnace; but God saved them through their ordeal (3:1-30). When Nebuchadnezzar refused to heed Daniel’s warning of the danger of pride, God humbled him. Nebuchadnezzar was then forced to acknowledge that Daniel’s God was the one and only true God (4:1-37).
A succeeding king, Belshazzar, failing to learn from Nebuchadnezzar’s experience, brought about his nation’s destruction. In his reign Babylon fell to Persia (5:1-31). Daniel, now an old man but a leading official in the Persian administration, was the victim of a plot by jealous fellow officials. Though he was sentenced to death and thrown into a den of lions, God saved him (6:1-28).
The first of Daniel’s visions was of four beasts that symbolized the successive empires of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome. In spite of their increasing opposition to God and his people, God’s kingdom triumphed in the end (7:1-28). The next vision developed details of one of the four empires, namely, the Greek (8:1-27).
At the time of Daniel’s visions, the Jews were still in captivity in Babylon, but expected to return to their homeland soon. In response to a prayer of Daniel on behalf of his people (9:1-19), God showed that he was now bringing his age-long purposes to completion. He would deal decisively with the whole problem of sin and bring in everlasting righteousness (9:20-27). Before that climax would arrive, however, the Jews would have intense suffering This would be so particularly during the Greek period, when they would suffer terrible persecution at the hands of Antiochus Epiphanes (10:1-12:13; for details see Greece ).
Easton's Bible Dictionary 
His training in the schools of the wise men in Babylon ( Daniel 1:4 ) was to fit him for service to the empire. He was distinguished during this period for his piety and his stict observance of the Mosaic law (1:8-16), and gained the confidence and esteem of those who were over him. His habit of attention gained during his education in Jerusalem enabled him soon to master the wisdom and learning of the Chaldeans, and even to excel his compeers.
At the close of his three years of discipline and training in the royal schools, Daniel was distinguished for his proficiency in the "wisdom" of his day, and was brought out into public life. He soon became known for his skill in the interpretation of dreams (1:17; 2:14), and rose to the rank of governor of the province of Babylon, and became "chief of the governors" (Chald. Rab-signin) over all the wise men of Babylon. He made known and also interpreted Nebuchadnezzar's dream; and many years afterwards, when he was now an old man, amid the alarm and consternation of the terrible night of Belshazzar's impious feast, he was called in at the instance of the queen-mother (perhaps Nitocris, the daughter of Nebuchadnezzar) to interpret the mysterious handwriting on the wall. He was rewarded with a purple robe and elevation to the rank of "third ruler." The place of "second ruler" was held by Belshazzar as associated with his father, Nabonidus, on the throne (5:16). Daniel interpreted the handwriting, and "in that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain."
After the taking of Babylon, Cyrus, who was now master of all Asia from India to the Dardanelles, placed Darius (q.v.), a Median prince, on the throne, during the two years of whose reign Daniel held the office of first of the "three presidents" of the empire, and was thus practically at the head of affairs, no doubt interesting himself in the prospects of the captive Jews ( Daniel 9 ), whom he had at last the happiness of seeing restored to their own land, although he did not return with them, but remained still in Babylon. His fidelity to God exposed him to persecution, and he was cast into a den of lions, but was miraculously delivered; after which Darius issued a decree enjoining reverence for "the God of Daniel" (6:26). He "prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian," whom he probably greatly influenced in the matter of the decree which put an end to the Captivity (B.C. 536).
He had a series of prophetic visions vouch-safed to him which opened up the prospect of a glorious future for the people of God, and must have imparted peace and gladness to his spirit in his old age as he waited on at his post till the "end of the days." The time and circumstances of his death are not recorded. He probably died at Susa, about eighty-five years of age.
Ezekiel, with whom he was contemporary, mentions him as a pattern of righteousness (14:14,20) and wisdom (28:3). (See Nebuchadnezzar .)
Bibliography Information Easton, Matthew George. Entry for 'Daniel'. Easton's Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/ebd/d/daniel.html. 1897.
Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary 
was a descendant of the kings of Judah, and is said to have been born at Upper Bethoron, in the territory of Ephraim. He was carried away captive to Babylon when he was about eighteen or twenty years of age, in the year 606 before the Christian aera. He was placed in the court of Nebuchadnezzar, and was afterward raised to situations of great rank and power, both in the empire of Babylon and of Persia. He lived to the end of the captivity, but being then nearly ninety years old, it is most probable that he did not return to Judea. It is generally believed that he died at Susa, soon after his last vision, which is dated in the third year of the reign of Cyrus. Daniel seems to have been the only prophet who enjoyed a great share of worldly prosperity; but amidst the corruptions of a licentious court he preserved his virtue and integrity inviolate, and no danger or temptation could divert him from the worship of the true God. The book of Daniel is a mixture of history and prophecy: in the first six chapters is recorded a variety of events which occurred in the reigns of Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, and Darius; and, in particular, the second chapter contains Nebuchadnezzar's prophetic dream concerning the four great successive monarchies, and the everlasting kingdom of the Messiah, which dream God enabled Daniel to interpret. In the last six chapters we have a series of prophecies, revealed at different times, extending from the days of Daniel to the general resurrection. The Assyrian, the Persian, the Grecian, and the Roman empires, are all particularly described under appropriate characters; and it is expressly declared that the last of them was to be divided into ten lesser kingdoms; the time at which Christ was to appear is precisely fixed; the rise and fall of antichrist, and the duration of his power, are exactly determined; and the future restoration of the Jews, the victory of Christ over all his enemies, and the universal prevalence of true religion, are distinctly foretold, as being to precede the consummation of that stupendous plan of God, which "was laid before the foundation of the world," and reaches to its dissolution. Part of this book is written in the Chaldaic language, namely, from the fourth verse of the second chapter to the end of the seventh chapter; these chapters relate chiefly to the affairs of Babylon, and it is probable that some passages were taken from the public registers. This book abounds with the most exalted sentiments of piety and devout gratitude; its style is clear, simple, and concise; and many of its prophecies are delivered in terms so plain and circumstantial, that some unbelievers have asserted, in opposition to the strongest evidence, that they were written after the events which they describe had taken place. With respect to the genuineness and authenticity of the book of Daniel, there is abundance both of external and internal evidence; indeed all that can well be had or desired in a case of this nature: not only the testimony of the whole Jewish church and nation, who have constantly received this book as canonical, but of Josephus particularly, who recommends him as the greatest of the prophets; of the Jewish Targums and Talmuds, which frequently cite and appeal to his authority; of St. Paul and St. John, who have copied many of his prophecies; and of our Saviour himself, who cites his words, and styles him "Daniel the prophet." Nor is the internal less powerful and convincing than the external evidence; for the language, the style, the manner of writing, and all other internal marks and characters, are perfectly agreeable to that age; and finally, he appears plainly and undeniably to have been a prophet by the exact accomplishment of his prophecies.
Smith's Bible Dictionary 
Dan'iel. (Judgment Of God).
1. The second son of David, by Abigail, the Carmelitess. 1 Chronicles 3:1. In 2 Samuel 3:3, he is called Chileab . (B.C. About 1051).
2. The fourth of 'the greater prophets'. Nothing is known of his parentage or family. He appears, however, to have been of royal or noble descent, Daniel 1:3, and to have possessed considerable personal endowments. Daniel 1:4. He was taken to Babylon in "the third year of Jehoiakim" (B.C. 604), and trained for the king's service. He was divinely supported in his resolve to abstain from the "king's meat" for fear of defilement. Daniel 1:8-16.
At the close of his three years discipline, Daniel 1:5; Daniel 1:18, Daniel had an opportunity of exercising his peculiar gift, Daniel 1:17, of interpreting dreams, on the occasion of Nebuchadnezzar's decree against the Magi. Daniel 2:14. Ff. In consequence of his success, he was made "ruler of the whole province of Babylon." Daniel 2:48. He afterwards interpreted the second dream of Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel 4:8-27, and the handwriting on the wall which disturbed the feast of Belshazzar. Daniel 5:10-28.
At the accession of Darius, he was made first of the "three presidents" of the empire, Daniel 6:2, and was delivered from the lion's den, into which he had been cast for his faithfulness to the rites of his faith. Daniel 6:10-23. Compare Bel and the Dragon 29-42. See Daniel 14:29-42. (Apocrypha)
At the accession of Cyrus, he still retained his prosperity, Daniel 6:28, compare Daniel 1:21. Though he does not appear to have remained at Babylon, compare Daniel 1:21, and in "the third year of Cyrus" (B.C. 534), he saw his last recorded vision, on the banks of the Tigris. Daniel 10:1; Daniel 10:4.
In the prophecies of Ezekiel, mention is made of Daniel as a pattern of righteousness, Ezekiel 14:14; Ezekiel 14:20, and wisdom. Ezekiel 28:3. The narrative in Daniel 1:11 implies that Daniel was conspicuously distinguished for purity and knowledge at a very early age.
3. A descendant of Ithamar, who returned with Ezra. Ezra 8:2.
4. A priest who sealed the covenant drawn up by Nehemiah, B.C. 445. Nehemiah 10:6. He is perhaps the same as Daniel, 3 .
Holman Bible Dictionary 
1 Chronicles 3:1 2 Samuel 3:3 2 Ezra 8:2 Nehemiah 10:6
3. Daniel of Ezekiel 14:14 ,Ezekiel 14:14, 14:20; Ezekiel 28:3 is spelled differently in Hebrew from all the other forms in the Old Testament. This Daniel was a storied figure of antiquity mentioned with Noah and Job. He was famous for wisdom and righteousness. Due to the similarity in the spelling of the name and the common attributes of wisdom and righteousness, some interpreters identify this Daniel with the Daniel of the canonical book of Daniel.
Most interpreters, however, take note of the differences in the spelling and also the fact of antiquity. Some identify the “Daniel” of Ezekiel with “Danel” of ancient Ugaritic literature.
4. The most common usage of “Daniel” refers to the hero of the Book of Daniel. This young man of nobility was taken captive by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and elevated to high rank in the Babylonian and Persian kingdoms.
The Babylonians sought to remove all vestiges of Daniel's nationality and religion. For this reason, they sought to change the name of Daniel to Belteshazzar. ( Daniel 1:7; Daniel 2:26; Daniel 4:8-9 ,Daniel 4:8-9, 4:18-19; Daniel 5:12; Daniel 10:1 ).
Daniel was transported from Judah to Babylon in his early youth at the battle of Carchemish, 605 B.C. The text does not indicate his precise age. He was trained in the arts, letters, and wisdom in the Babylonian capital. Eventually, he rose to high rank among the Babylonian men of wisdom.
He was active throughout the long reign of Nebuchadnezzar (604-562 B.C.). No mention is made in Daniel of the times of Evil-Merodach (561-560 B.C.), Neriglissar (559-555 B.C.), or Labashi-Marduk (555 B.C.). However, much information is provided concerning Daniel's involvement during the reign of Nabonidus (555-539 B.C.). While Nabonidus was absent from his country for extended periods of time, he put his son Belshazzar in charge of the affairs of government.
Daniel was in Babylon when the forces of Cyrus, the Persian, captured Babylon. Successively, Daniel was a high governmental official during the reigns of Cyrus (539-529 B.C.) and Cambyses (529-522 B.C.). He served also during his old age into the reign of Darius I, the son of Hystaspes (522-486 B.C.). Daniel would probably have celebrated his one hundredth birthday during the reign of Darius.
He had outstanding physical attraction. He demonstrated at an early age propensities of knowledge, wisdom, and leadership. In addition to his wisdom, he was skilled in dream interpretation.
Throughout his entire life he demonstrated an unshakable faith in his God. It took courage to resist the temptations and threats which confronted him repeatedly. He recognized that God was continuously judging him. He remained faithful.
J. J. Owens
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary 
1. Called Belteshazzar by the Chaldeans, a prophet descended from the royal family of David, who was carried captive to Babylon, when very young, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim king of Judah, B. C. 606. He was chosen, with his three companions, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, to reside at Nebuchadnezzar's court, where he received a suitable education, and made great progress in all the sciences of the Chaldeans, but declined to pollute himself by eating provisions from the king's table, which would often be ceremonially unclean to a Jew, or defiled by some connection with idol-worship. At the end of their three years' education, Daniel and his companions excelled all others, and received honorable appointments in the royal service. Here Daniel soon displayed his prophetic gifts in interpreting a dream of Nebuchadnezzar, by whom he was made governor of Babylon, and head of the learned and priestly class. He seems to have been absent, perhaps on some foreign embassy, when his three companions were cast into the fiery furnace. At a later period he interpreted another dream of Nebuchadnezzar, and afterwards the celebrated vision of Belshazzar-one of whose last works was to promote Daniel to an office much higher than he had previously held during his reign, Daniel 5:29 8:27 .
After the capture of Babylon by the Medes and Persians, under Cyaxares and Cyrus, Daniel was continued in all his high employments, and enjoyed the favor of these princes until his death, except at one short interval, when the envy of the other officers prevailed on the king of the other officers prevailed on the king to cast him into the lion's den, an act which recoiled on his foes to their own destruction. During this period he earnestly labored, by fasting and prayer as well as by counsel, to secure the return of the Jews to their own land, the promised time having come, Daniel 9:1-27 . He lived to see the decree issued, and many of his people restored; but it is not known that he ever revisited Jerusalem. In the third year of Cyrus, he had a series of visions disclosing the state of the Jews till the coming of the promised Redeemer; and at last we see him calmly awaiting the peaceful close of a well-spent life, and the gracious resurrection of the just. Daniel was one of the most spotless characters upon record. His youth and his age were alike devoted to God. He maintained his integrity in the most difficult circumstances, and amid the fascinations of an eastern court he was pure and upright. He confessed the name of God before idolatrous princes; and would have been a martyr, but for the miracle which rescued him from death. His history deserves the careful and prayerful study of the young, and the lessons that it inculcates are weighty and rich in instruction.
2. The second son of David, also called Chileab, 1 Chronicles 3:1 2 Samuel 3:3 .
3. A descendant of Ithamar, the fourth son of Aaron. He was one of the chiefs who accompanied Ezra from Babylon to Judea, and afterwards took a prominent part in the reformation of the people, Ezra 8:2 .
People's Dictionary of the Bible 
Daniel ( Dăn'I-El, or Dăn'Yel ), Judgment Of God. 1. A son of David by Abigail the Carmelitess. 1 Chronicles 3:1. In 2 Samuel 3:3 he is called Chileab. 2. The name of one of "the greater prophets." Nothing is certainly known of his parentage or family. He appears, however, to have been of royal or noble descent, Daniel 1:3, and to have possessed great natural talents. Daniel 1:4. He was taken to Babylon in "the third year of Jehoiakim," and trained for the king's service. He and his companions resolved to abstain from the "king's meat" for fear of defilement. Daniel 1:8-16. At the close of his three years' discipline, Daniel 1:5; Daniel 1:18, Daniel had an opportunity of exercising his peculiar gift, Daniel 1:17, of interpreting dreams, on the occasion of Nebuchadnezzar's decree against the Magi. Daniel 2:14 ff. In consequence of his ability, by divine assistance, to reveal the dream to the king, he was made "ruler of the whole province of Babylon." Daniel 2:48. He afterwards interpreted a second dream of Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel 4:8-27, and the handwriting on the wall which disturbed the feast of Belshazzar. Daniel 5:10-28. At the accession of Darius he was made "first," according to the A. V., but the R. V. reads "one" of the "three presidents" of the empire, Daniel 6:2, and was delivered from the lion's den, into which he had been cast for his faithfulness in the worship of Jehovah. Daniel 6:10-23. At the accession of Cyrus he still retained his prosperity. Daniel 6:28, compare; Daniel 1:21, though he does not appear to have remained at Babylon, and in "the third year of Cyrus" he saw his last recorded vision, on the banks of the Tigris. Daniel 10:1; Daniel 10:4. In the prophecies of Ezekiel mention is made of Daniel as a pattern of righteousness, Ezekiel 14:14; Ezekiel 14:20, and wisdom, Ezekiel 28:3. The narrative implies that Daniel was distinguished for purity and knowledge at a very early age. Daniel 1:19. 3. A descendant of Ithamar, who returned with Ezra. Ezra 8:2. 4. A priest who sealed the covenant drawn up by Nehemiah. Nehemiah 10:6. He is perhaps the same as No. 3.
Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary 
The prophet of the Lord. His name is very significant, meaning, the judgment Daniel was descended from the royal family of David, and was carried away captive to Babylon when quite a youth. The Chaldeans artfully gave him the name of Belteshazzar, which signifies, master or lord of the treasure; by way, it is most likely, of causing him to forget the Lord God of his fathers. (See Daniel 1:7) We have this man's history in his writings, and in the accounts given of him by Ezekiel 14:14 for his great sanctity of life and manners. And his wisdom was so highly esteemed, that it became proverbial to denote a wise man by calling him Daniel. Hence, the prophet Ezekiel, ( Ezekiel 28:3) speaking, by the Lord's command, to the prince of Tyrus, speaks of his vanity and pride, as if he thought himself wiser than Daniel. The prophecies of Daniel concerning the Messiah were so bright and clear, that the modern Jews endeavoured to call in question their authenticity, but without effect. In fact, the corresponding fulfilment of the prophecy with the prediction, becomes the best and most decided testimony to their truth; for this is the seal of God the Holy Ghost. The death of this prophets in the place, and time, and manner, is not known. Some have thought, that he returned to Judea with the captives that returned with Ezra; but the word of God hath not noticed it, which renders it improbable. It is enough for us to be blessed with his ministry, in his inspired writings, while he lived, and to rest assured, that he died in the faith of that glorious Saviour, whose advent, and sufferings, and death, he was commissioned by the Lord so clearly to describe. This is enough for us to know. And the voice John heard from heaven concerning all such is conclusive and satisfactory. (See Revelation 14:13)
Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible 
DANIEL . 1. Two passages in the Book of Ezekiel ( Ezekiel 14:14-20; Ezekiel 28:3 ), written respectively about b.c. 592 and 587, mention a certain Daniel as an extraordinarily righteous and wise man, belonging to the same class as Noah and Job, whose piety availed with God on behalf of their unworthy contemporaries. All three evidently belonged to the far-distant past: Ezekiel’s readers were familiar with their history and character. Daniel, occupying the middle place, cannot be conceived of as the latest of them. He certainly was not a younger man than the prophet who refers to him, as the hero of the Book of Daniel would have been. For Daniel 1:1-3 makes the latter to have been carried into captivity in b.c. 606, a mere decade prior to Ezekiel 14:2 . See Abigail. 3 . A priest who accompanied Ezra from Babylon to Jerusalem ( Ezra 8:2 , Nehemiah 10:6 ). He was head of his father’s house, and traced his descent from Ithamar. At 1Es 8:29 the name is spelled Gamelus or Gamael , which probably rests on a corrupt Heb. text. Driver ( Daniel , p. xviii.) notes that amongst his contemporaries were ‘a Hananiah ( Nehemiah 10:23 ), a Mishael ( Nehemiah 8:4 ), and an Azariah ( Nehemiah 10:2 ); but the coincidence is probably accidental.’ It is, however, quite as likely that the author of Dn. borrowed the three names from Nehemiah.
Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament 
DANIEL. —The influence of Daniel on the Apocalyptic conceptions of the Gospels is profound (see Apocalyptic Literature). For the possible influence of Daniel 7:13 see Son of Man. The only passage in which the book is explicitly mentioned is Matthew 24:15, where the phrase τὸ βδέλυγμα τῆς ἐρημώσεως (‘the abomination of desolation’) is quoted. See art. Abomination of Desolation. It is to be noted that in the corresponding passage in Mark ( Mark 13:14), no mention is made of Daniel. In view of the accepted priority of Mark and his closer fidelity, and also of Matthew’s fondness for OT references, the absence of the clause raises the suspicion that it is not part of the original utterance, but a comment added by the latter Evangelist. In that case it would not be necessary to assume that Jesus meant to use the phrase in the same sense as it is used in Daniel. He may have only adopted or borrowed it as a current popular expression to describe some minatory event which He foresaw portending the forthcoming calamity.
A. Mitchell Hunter.
Morrish Bible Dictionary 
1. Second son of David, by Abigail the Carmelitess. 1 Chronicles 3:1 . Same as CHILEAB. 2 Samuel 3:3 .
2. Descendant of Ithamar, he returned with Ezra and sealed the covenant. Ezra 8:2; Nehemiah 10:6 .
Webster's Dictionary 
(n.) A Hebrew prophet distinguished for sagacity and ripeness of judgment in youth; hence, a sagacious and upright judge.
Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature 
(Heb. and Chald. — Daniyel', דָּנִיֵּאל ; also [ Ezekiel 14:14; Ezekiel 14:20; Ezekiel 28:3] in the shorter form Daniel' , דָּנַאֵל ; see below), the name of at least three men.
1. (Sept. Δαμνιήλ v. r. Δαλονϊ v Α , Vulg. Daniel.) King David's second son, "born unto him in Hebron," "of Abigail the Carmelitess" ( 1 Chronicles 3:1), B.C. cir. 1051. In the parallel passage, 2 Samuel 3:3, he is called CHILEAB. For the Jewish explanation of the origin of the two names, see Bochart, Hierozoic. 2:55, p. 663.
2. (Sept. and N.T. Δανιήλ , Josephus Δανιῆλος .) The celebrated prophet and minister at the court of Babylon, whose life and prophecies are contained in the book bearing his name. The exact meaning of the name is disputed. The full form ( דָּנִיֵּאל ) is probably more correct, and in this the Yod appears to be not merely formative, but a pronominal suffix (as אָהַלִיבָה , צוּרִיאֵל ), so that the sense will be God Is My Judge (C. B. Michaelis ap. Rosenm Ü ller, Schol . § 1). Others interpret the word as the Judge Of God , and the use of a Yod formative is justified by the parallel of Melchizedek, etc. (Hitzig, § 2). This interpretation is favored by the Chaldaean name, Belteshazzar ( בֵּלְטְשִׁאצִּר , 1:7, i.e. The Prince Of Bel ; Sept. [Theod.]; Βαλτάσαρ ; Vulg. Baltassar ), which was given to Daniel at Babylon ( Daniel 1:7), and contains a clear reference to his former name. Hitzig's interpretation ("Pala tschaiara = Erndhrer und Verzehrer") has nothing to recommend it. Such changes have been common at all times; and for the simple assumption of a foreign name, compare Genesis 41:45; Ezekiel 1:11; Ezekiel 5:14 (Sheshbazzar). (See Name).
Daniel was descended from one of the highest families in Judah, if not even of royal blood ( Daniel 1:3; comp. Josephus, Ant. 10:10, 1; of Zedekiah, according to Epiphan. Opp. 2:242). Jerusalem was thus probably his birth- place, though the passage ( Daniel 9:24) quoted in favor of that opinion is considered by many commentators as not at all conclusive. He appears to have possessed considerable personal endowments ( Daniel 1:4). He was taken to Babylon (while yet a boy, according to Jerome, adv. Jovin. 1:276, ed. Ven.; of twelve years, says Ignatius, ad Magnes. p. 56, ed. Cotel.), together with three other Hebrew youths of rank, Ananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, at the first deportation of the people of Judah in the fourth year of Jehoiakim, B.C. 606. He and his companions were obliged to enter the service of the royal court of Babylon, on which occasion he received the Chaldaean name BELTESHAZZAR (See Belteshazzar) (q.v.), according to Eastern custom when a change takes place in one's condition of life, and more especially if his personal liberty is thereby affected (comp. 2 Kings 23:34; 2 Kings 24:17; Esther 2:7; Ezra 5:14). In this his new career, Daniel received that thorough polish of education which Oriental etiquette renders indispensable in a courtier (comp. 3:6; Plato, Alcib. § 37), and was more especially instructed "in the writing and speaking Chaldaean" ( Daniel 1:4), that is, in the dialect peculiar to the Chaldaeans. (See Chaldee Language).
In this dialect were composed all the writings of the ecclesiastical order, containing the substance of all the wisdom and learning of the time, and in the knowledge of which certainly but few favored laymen were initiated. That Daniel had distinguished himself, and already at an early period acquired renown for high wisdom, piety, and strict observance of the Mosaic law (comp. Ezekiel 14:14; Ezekiel 14:20; Ezekiel 28:3; Daniel 1:8-16), is too evident from passages in the truly authentic Scriptures to require any additional support from the ill-warranted apocryphal stories concerning the delivery of Susannah by the wisdom of the lad Daniel, etc. A proper opportunity for evincing both the acuteness of his mind and his religious notions soon presented itself in the custom of the Eastern courts to entertain the officers attached to them from the royal table (Athenaeus, 4:10, p. 145, ed. Casaub.). Daniel was thus exposed to the temptation of partaking of unclean food, and of participating in the idolatrous ceremonies attendant on heathen banquets. Like Joseph in earlier times, he gained the favor of his guardian, and was divinely supported in his resolve to abstain from the "king's meat" for fear of defilement ( Daniel 1:8-16). His prudent proceedings, wise bearing, and absolute refusal to comply with such customs, were crowned with the divine blessing, and had the most important results. Another reason of a sanitary nature may also be assigned for this temperance, as it is probable he was at this time undergoing the curative process after emasculation, in accordance with the barbarous custom of Oriental courts. (See Eunuch).
At the close of his three years' discipline ( Daniel 1:5; Daniel 1:18), Daniel had an opportunity of exercising his peculiar gift ( Daniel 1:17) of interpreting dreams (comp. Herod. 1:34; Diod. Sic. 2:29) on the occasion of Nebuchadnezzar's decree against the Magi ( Daniel 2:14 sq.). In consequence of his success, by the divine aid — like Joseph of old in Egypt — he rose into high favor with the king, and was entrusted with two important offices — the governorship of the province of Babylon, and the head-inspectorship of the sacerdotal caste (Daniel 2). (See Magi).
Considerably later in the reign of Nebuchadnezzar we find Daniel interpreting another dream of the king's, to the effect that, in punishment of his pride, he was to lose for a time his throne, but to be again restored to it after his humiliation had been completed (Daniel 4). Here he displays not only the most touching anxiety, love, loyalty, and concern for his princely benefactor, but also the energy and solemnity becoming his position, pointing out with vigor and power the only course left for the monarch to pursue for his peace and welfare. Under the unworthy successors of Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel and his merits seem to have been forgotten, and he was removed from his high posts. His situation at court appears to have been confined to a very inferior office (comp. Daniel 8:27); neither is it likely that he should have retained his rank as head inspector of the order of the Magians in a country where these were the principal actors in effecting changes in the administration whenever a new succession to the throne took place. We thus lose sight of Daniel until the first year of king Belshazzar ( Daniel 5:7-8), when he was both alarmed and comforted by two remarkable visions (Daniel 7, 8), which disclosed to him: the future course of events, and the ultimate fate of the most powerful empires in the world, but in particular their relations to the kingdom of God, and its development to the great consummation. He afterwards interpreted the handwriting on the wall which disturbed the feast of Belshazzar ( Daniel 5:10-28), though he no longer held his official position among the magi ( Daniel 5:7-8; Daniel 5:12), and probably lived at Susa ( Daniel 8:2; comp. Joseph. Ant. 10:11, 7; Bochart, Geogr. Sacr. 3, 14).
After the conquest of Babylon by the united powers of Media and Persia, Daniel, being made first of the "three presidents" of the empire (comp. 1 Esdras 3:9), seriously busied himself under the short reign (two years) of Darius the Mede or Cyaxares II with the affairs of his people and their possible return from exile, the term of which was fast approaching, according to the prophecies of Jeremiah. In deep humility and prostration of spirit he then prayed to the Almighty, in the name of his people, for forgiveness of their sins, and for the Divine mercy in their behalf; and the answering promises which he received far exceeded the tenor of his prayer, for the visions of the seer were extended to the end of Judaism (Daniel 9). In a practical point of view, also, Daniel appeared at that time a highly-favored instrument of Jehovah. Occupying, as he did, one of the highest posts of honor in the state, the strictness and scrupulousness with which he fulfilled his official duties could not fail to rouse envy and jealousy in the breasts of his colleagues, who well knew how to win the weak monarch, whom they at last induced to issue a decree imposing certain acts, the performance of which they well knew was altogether at variance with the creed of which Daniel was a zealous professor (comp. the apocryphal Bel and the Dragon). For his disobedience the prophet suffered the penalty specified in the decree; he was thrown into a den (q.v.) of lions, but was miraculously saved by the mercy of God — a circumstance which enhanced his reputation, and again raised him to the highest posts of honor. He had at last the happiness to see his most ardent wishes accomplished — to behold his people restored to their own land. Though his advanced age would not allow him to be among those who returned to Palestine, yet did he never for a moment cease to occupy his mind and heart with his people and their concerns ( Daniel 10:12). At the accession of Cyrus he still retained his prosperity (6. 28; comp. 1:21; Bel and the Dragons 2), though he does not appear to have remained at Babylon (comp. Daniel 1:21). In the third year of Cyrus he had a series of visions, in which he was informed of the minutest details respecting the future history and sufferings of his nation, to the period of their true redemption through Christ, as also a: consolatory notice to himself to proceed calmly and peaceably to the end of his days, and then await patiently the resurrection of the dead at the end of time.
From that period the accounts respecting Daniel are vague and confused (see Prideaux, Connection, 1:206). According to the Mohammedan tradition (D'Herbelot. Bibl. Or. 1:561) he returned to Judaea, held the government of Syria, and finally died at Susa (Rosenm Ü ller, Schol. p. 5, n.), where his tomb is still shown (Ouseley's Trav. in Persia, 1:422; 3, 564), and is visited by crowds of pilgrims (see Loftus, Trav. in Chaldaea, p. 320 sq.). Ezekiel mentions Daniel as a pattern of righteousness (14:14, 20) and wisdom (28:3); and since Daniel was still young at that time, some have thought that another prophet of the name must have lived at some earlier time (Bleek), perhaps during the captivity of Nineveh (Ewald, Die Propheten, 2:560), whose fame was transferred to his later namesake. Hitzig imagines (Vorbemerk. § 3) that the Daniel of Ezekiel was purely a mythical personage, whose prototype is to be sought in Melchizedek, and that the character was borrowed by the author of the book of Daniel as suited to his design. These suppositions are favored by no internal probability, and are unsupported by any direct evidence. The order of the names "Noah, Daniel, and Job" ( Ezekiel 14:14) seems to suggest the idea that they represent the first and last historic types of righteousness before the law and under it, combined with the ideal type (comp. Delitzsch, p. 271). On the other hand, the narrative in Daniel 1:11 implies that Daniel was conspicuously distinguished for purity and knowledge at a very early age (comp. the apocryphal Hist. of Susan. 45), and he may have been nearly forty years old at the time of Ezekiel's prophecy (B.C. 592). See Alexander, De Daniele (in his Hist. Eccl. 3, 566); Robinson, Script. Char. ii; M'Gavin, Life of Daniel (1832); Evans, Script. Biog. 2:174; Williams, Char. Of O.T. p. 301; Kennedy, Daniel, his Life and its Lessons (Lond. 1858); Knox; Reflections on Daniel's Life and Character (Lond. 1849). (See Prophet).
Allusion has been made above to the comparison which may be instituted between Daniel and Joseph, who stand at the beginning and the close of the divine history of the Jews as representatives of the true God in heathen courts (Auberlen, Daniel, p. 32,33). In this respect the position of Daniel must have exercised a powerful influence upon the form of the revelations conveyed through him; and in turn the authority which he enjoyed renders the course of the exile and the return clearly intelligible. By station, by education, and by character, he was peculiarly fitted to ful fil the work assigned to him. He was not only a resident in a foreign land, like Jeremiah or Ezekiel, but the minister of a foreign empire, and of successive dynasties ( Daniel 2:48; Daniel 6:28). His political experience would naturally qualify him to give distinct expression to the characteristics of nations in themselves, and not only in their relation to God's people. His intellectual advantages were as remarkable as his civil dignity. Like the great lawgiver who was "trained in all the wisdom of the Egyptians," the great seel was trained in the secrets of Chaldaean wisdom, and placed at the head of the school of the Magi ( Daniel 2:48). He was thus enabled to preserve whatever was true in the traditional teaching of the East, and to cast his revelations into a form suited to their special character. But, though engaged in the service of a heathen prince and familiar with Oriental learning, Daniel was from the first distinguished by his strict observance of the Mosaic law (1. 8-16; comp. 6:10, 11) In this way the third outward condition for his work was satisfied, and at the close of the exile he offered a pattern of holiness for the instruction of the Dispersion of after times (comp. Auberlen, DANIEL, p. 24, etc.). (See Book Of Daniel).
Various apocryphal fragments attributed to Daniel are collected by Fabricius (Cod. Pseud. V. T. 1:1124), and his wisdom is extravagantly lauded by the Rabbins (Gemara, Yoma); but it is surprising that his fame in later times seems to have been obscured (Hottinger, Hist. Orient. 92). Comp. Epiph. Vit. Dan. ii, p. 243, ed. Petav.; Vit. Dan. ap. Fabric.; Josephus, Ant. 10:11, 7. (See Apocryphal Additions To Daniel).
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia 
dan´yel ( דּניּאל , dānı̄yē'l , דּנאל , dāni' - ēl , "God is my judge"; Δανιήλ , Daniḗl ):
(1) One of the sons of David ( 1 Chronicles 3:1 ).
(2) A L evite of the family of Ithamar ( Ezra 8:2; Nehemiah 10:6 ).
(3) A prophet of the time of Nebuchadnezzar and Cyrus, the hero and author of the Book of Daniel.
1. Early Life
We know nothing of the early life of Daniel, except what is recorded in the book bearing his name. Here it is said that he was one of the youths of royal or noble seed, who were carried captive by Nebuchadnezzar in the third year of Jehoiakim, king of Judah. These youths were without blemish, well-favored, skillful in all wisdom, endued with knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability to stand in the king's palace. The king commanded to teach them the knowledge and tongue of the Chaldeans; and appointed for them a daily portion of the king's food and of the wine which he drank. After having been Thus nourished for three years, they were to stand before the king. Ashpenaz, the master or chief of the eunuchs, into whose hands they had been entrusted, following a custom of the time, gave to each of these youths a new and Babylonian name. To Daniel, he gave the name Belteshazzar. In Babylonian this name was probably Belu-lita-sharri-usur, which means "O Bel, protect thou the hostage of the king," a most appropriate name for one in the place which Daniel occupied as a hostage of Jehoiakim at the court of the king of Babylon. The youths were probably from 12 to 15 years of age at the time when they were carried captive. (For changes of names, compare Joseph changed to Zaphenath-paneah ( Genesis 41:45 ); Eliakim, to Jehoiakim ( 2 Kings 23:34 ); Mattaniah, to Zedekiah ( 2 Kings 24:17 ); and the tw names of the high priest Johanan's brother in the Sachau Papyri, i.e. Ostan and Anani.)
Having purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the food and drink of the king, Daniel requested of Ashpenaz permission to eat vegetables and drink water. Through the favor of God, this request was granted, notwithstanding the fear of Ashpenaz that his head would be endangered to the king on account of the probably resulting poor appearance of the youths living upon this blood-diluting diet, in comparison with the expected healthy appearance of the others of their class. However, ten days' trial having been first granted, and at the end of that time their countenances having been found fairer and their flesh fatter than the other youths', the permission was made permanent; and God gave to Daniel and his companions knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom, and to Daniel understanding in all visions and dreams; so that at the end of the three years when the king communed with them, he found them much superior to all the magicians and enchanters in every matter of wisdom and understanding.
Daniel's public activities were in harmony with his education. His first appearance was as an interpreter of the dream recorded in Dan 2. Nebuchadnezzar having seen in his dream a vision of a great image, excellent in brightness and terrible in appearance, its head of fine gold, its breast and its arms of silver, its belly and its thighs of brass, its legs of iron, its feet part of iron and part of clay, beheld a stone cut out without hands smiting the image and breaking it in pieces, until it became like chaff and was carried away by the wind; while the stone that smote the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth. When the king awoke from his troubled sleep, he forgot, or reigned that he had forgotten, the dream, and summoned the wise men of Babylon both to tell him the dream and to give the interpretation thereof. The wise men having said that they could not tell the dream, nor interpret it as long as it was untold, the king threatened them with death. Daniel, who seems not to have been present when the other wise men were before the king, when he was informed of the threat of the king, and that preparations were being made to slay all of the wise men of Babylon, himself and his three companions included, boldly went in to the king and requested that he would appoint a time for him to appear to show the interpretation, Then he went to his house, and he and his companions prayed, and the dream and its interpretation were made known unto Daniel. At the appointed time, the dream was explained and the four Hebrews were loaded with wealth and given high positions in the service of the king. In the 4th chapter, we have recorded Daniel's interpretation of the dream of Nebuchadnezzar about the great tree that was hewn at the command of an angel, Thus prefiguring the insanity of the king.
Daniel's third great appearance in the book is in chapter 5, where he is called upon to explain the extraordinary writing upon the wall of Belshazzar's palace, which foretold the end of the Babylonian empire and the incoming of the Medes and Persians. For this service Daniel was clothed with purple, a chain of gold put around his neck, and he was made the third ruler in the kingdom.
Daniel, however, was not merely an interpreter of other men's visions. In the last six chapters we have recorded four or five of his own visions, all of which are taken up with revelations concerning the future history of the great world empires, especially in their relation to the people of God, and predictions of the final triumph of the Messiah's kingdom.
5. Official of the Kings
In addition to his duties as seer and as interpreter of signs and dreams, Daniel also stood high in the governmental service of Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, and Darius the Mede, and perhaps also of Cyrus. The Book of Dnl, our only reliable source of information on this subject, does not tell us much about his civil duties and performances. It does say, however, that he was chief of the wise men, that he was in the gate of the king, and that he was governor over the whole province of Babylon under Nebuchadnezzar; that Belshazzar made him the third ruler in his kingdom; and that Darius made him one of the three presidents to whom his hundred and twenty satraps were to give account; and that he even thought to set him over his whole kingdom. In all of these positions he seems to have conducted himself with faithfulness and judgment. While in the service of Darius the Mede, he aroused the antipathy of the other presidents and of the satraps. Unable to find any fault with his official acts, they induced the king to make a decree, apparently general in form and purpose, but really aimed at Daniel alone. They saw that they could find no valid accusation against him, unless they found it in connection with something concerning the law of his God. They therefore caused the king to make a decree that no one should make a request of anyone for the space of thirty days, save of the king. Daniel, having publicly prayed three times a day as he was in the habit of doing, was caught in the act, accused, and on account of the irrevocability of a law of the Medes and Persians, was condemned in accordance with the decree to be cast into a den of lions. The king was much troubled at this, but was unable to withhold the punishment. However, he expressed to Daniel his belief that his God in whom he trusted continually would deliver him; and so indeed it came to pass. For in the morning, when the king drew near to the mouth of the den, and called to him, Daniel said that God had sent His angel and shut the mouths of the lions. So Daniel was taken up unharmed, and at the command of the king his accusers, having been cast into tile den, were destroyed before they reached the bottom.
Besides the commentaries and other works mentioned in the article on the Book of Daniel, valuable information may be found in Josephus and in Payne Smith's Lectures on Daniel .
Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature 
Dan´iel (judge of God), a celebrated prophet in the Chaldean and Persian period. There are in the Bible two other persons of the same name: a son of David , and a Levite of the race of Ithamar .
Daniel was descended from one of the highest families in Judah, if not even of royal blood . Jerusalem was thus probably his birth-place.
We find him at the age of twelve or sixteen years, already in Babylon, whither he had been carried together with three other Hebrew youths of rank, Ananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, at the first deportation of the people of Judah in the fourth year of Jehoiakim. He and his companions were obliged to enter the service of the royal court of Babylon, on which occasion he received the Chaldean name of Belshatzar, according to Eastern custom when a change takes place in one's condition of life, and more especially if his personal liberty is thereby affected (comp.;;; ).
In this his new career, Daniel received that thorough polish of education which Oriental etiquette renders indispensable in a courtier, and was more especially instructed 'in the writing and speaking Chaldean' . Already at an early period he had acquired renown for high wisdom, piety, and strict observance of the Mosaic law (comp.;;; ). A proper opportunity of evincing both the acuteness of his mind, and his religious notions, soon presented itself in the custom of the Eastern courts to entertain the officers attached to them from the royal table. Daniel was thus exposed to the temptation of partaking of unclean food, and of participating in the idolatrous ceremonies attendant on heathen banquets. His prudent proceedings, wise bearing, and absolute refusal to comply with such customs, were crowned with the Divine blessing, and had the most splendid results.
After the lapse of the three years fixed for his education, Daniel was attached to the court of Nebuchadnezzar, where, by the Divine aid, he succeeded in interpreting a dream of that prince to his satisfaction, by which means—as Joseph of old in Egypt—he rose into high favor with the king, and was entrusted with two important offices—the governorship of the province of Babylon, and the head-inspectorship of the sacerdotal caste (Daniel 2)
Considerably later, in the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, we find Daniel interpreting another dream of the king's, to the effect that, in punishment of his pride, he was to lose, for a time, his throne, but to be again restored to it after his humiliation had been completed (Daniel 4). Here he displays not only the most touching anxiety, love, loyalty, and concern for his princely benefactor, but also the energy and solemnity becoming his position, pointing out with vigor and power the only course left for the monarch to pursue for his peace and welfare.
Under the unworthy successors of Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel and his deservings seem to have been forgotten, and he was removed from his high posts. His situation at court appears to have been confined to a very inferior office (comp. ); neither is it likely that he should have retained his rank as head inspector of the order of the Magians in a country where these were the principal actors in effecting changes in the administration whenever a new succession to the throne took place.
We thus lose sight of Daniel until the first and third year of king Belshazzar , generally understood to have been the last king of Babylon (called by profane writers Nebonnedus), but who—to judge from;;; —was, more probably, the son and successor of Nebuchadnezzar, usually called Evil-Merodach, though passing in Daniel by his Chaldean title and rank. After a reign of two years, this monarch was assassinated by his brother-in-law Neriglissar. Shortly before this event Daniel was again restored to the royal favor, and became moral preacher to the king, who overwhelmed him with honors and titles in consequence of his being able to read and solve the meaning of a sentence miraculously displayed, which tended to rouse the conscience of the wicked prince.
Under the same king we see Daniel both alarmed and comforted by two remarkable visions (Daniel 7-8), which disclosed to him the future course of events, and the ultimate fate of the most powerful empires of the world, but in particular their relations to the kingdom of God, and its development to the great consummation.
After the conquest of Babylon by the united powers of Media and Persia, Daniel seriously busied himself under the short reign (two years) of Darius the Mede or Cyaxares II with the affairs of his people and their possible return from exile, the term of which was fast approaching, according to the prophecies of Jeremiah. In deep humility and prostration of spirit, he then prayed to the Almighty, in the name of his people, for forgiveness of their sins, and for the Divine mercy in their behalf: and the answering promises he received far exceeded the tenor of his prayer, for the visions of the Seer were extended to the end of time (Daniel 9).
In a practical point of view also Daniel appeared at that time a highly-favored instrument of Jehovah. Occupying, as he did, one of the highest posts of honor in the state, the strictness and scrupulousness with which he fulfilled his official duties could not fail to rouse envy and jealousy in the breasts of his colleagues, who well knew how to win the weak monarch, whom they at last induced to issue a decree imposing certain acts, the performance of which, they well knew, was altogether at variance with the creed of which Daniel was a zealous professor. For his disobedience the prophet suffered the penalty specified in the decree: he was thrown into a den of lions, but was miraculously saved by the mercy of God—a circumstance which enhanced his reputation, and again raised him to the highest posts of honor under Darius and Cyrus (Daniel 6).
He had, at last, the happiness to see his most ardent wishes accomplished—to behold his people restored to their own land. Though his advanced age would not allow him to be among those who returned to Palestine, yet did he never for a moment cease to occupy his mind and heart with his people and their concerns .
In the third year of Cyrus, he had a series of visions, in which he was informed of the minutest details respecting the future history and sufferings of his nation, to the period of their true redemption through Christ, as also a consolatory notice to himself to proceed calmly and peaceably to the end of his days, and then await patiently the resurrection of the dead at the end of time.
From that period the accounts respecting him are vague, sometimes confused, and even strange; and we hardly need mention the various fables which report his death to have taken place in Palestine, Babylon, or Susa.
The Nuttall Encyclopedia 
A Hebrew of fine physique and rare endowment, who was, while but a youth, carried captive to Babylon, and trained for office in the court of the king; was found, after three years' discipline, to excel "in wisdom and understanding" all the magicians and enchanters of the realm, of which he gave such proof that he rose step by step to the highest official positions, first in the Babylonian and then in the Persian empire. He was a Hebrew prophet of a new type, for whereas the old prophet had, for the most part, more regard to the immediate present and its outlooks, his eye reached forth into the future and foresaw in vision, as his book has foretold in symbol, the fulfilment of the hope for which the fathers of his race had lived and died.
- Daniel from Fausset's Bible Dictionary
- Daniel from Bridgeway Bible Dictionary
- Daniel from Easton's Bible Dictionary
- Daniel from Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary
- Daniel from Smith's Bible Dictionary
- Daniel from Holman Bible Dictionary
- Daniel from American Tract Society Bible Dictionary
- Daniel from People's Dictionary of the Bible
- Daniel from Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary
- Daniel from Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible
- Daniel from Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament
- Daniel from Morrish Bible Dictionary
- Daniel from Webster's Dictionary
- Daniel from Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature
- Daniel from International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
- Daniel from Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature
- Daniel from The Nuttall Encyclopedia