Daniel Commentaries & Sermons


Commentaries, Sermons, Illustrations, Devotionals

Click chart to enlarge
Charts from recommended resource Jensen's Survey of the OT - used by permission
Daniel Chart from Charles Swindoll
Another Daniel Chart


Verse by Verse In Depth Commentary
Bruce Hurt,MD


Precept Ministries International

Note: Please consider doing your own inductive study before you go to the commentaries, so that you will be able to intelligently assess the comments in these resources. This recommendation holds for every book of the Bible, but is especially critical in the prophetic sections of Scripture (Daniel, Revelation, Matthew 24-25, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, 2 Thessalonians 2, etc).

Lesson One (1-6) Overview

Lesson Two (7-12) Overview II

Lesson Three Daniel Goes to Babylon

Lesson Four The King's Dream: Statue & Stone

Lesson 5: Will You Bow or Burn?

Lesson Six: God Humbles Nebuchadnezzar

Lesson Seven Handwriting on the Wall

Lesson Eight Daniel in Lion's Den

Daniel 7-12 - Pt 2 - Gaining Understanding of the Time of the End — Download Lesson 1

Lesson One Overview of Daniel The Statue, Four Beasts

Lesson Two Time, Little Horn, & God

Lesson Three Coming Kingdom of God

Lesson Four History is His-Story

Lesson Five Prayer & 70 Weeks

Lesson Six "Highly Esteemed" of God

Lesson Seven Angels - Warfare - Prayer

Lesson Eight Prophecy Fulfilled!

Lesson Nine Abomination of Desolation (Only 1 Resource Available)

Lesson Ten The End of This Age Resurrection & Rewards

The Coming Prince

Sir Robert Anderson was the chief inspector for Scotland Yard. He was greatly respected for his skill as an investigator. When Anderson wasn't writing on subjects related to crime, he wrote books on Christian prophecy. He helped establish the fact that 69 of Daniel's 70 weeks have now transpired, and that the tribulation will be the 70th week.

See also Anderson's related work - Daniel in the Critics Den

Rosscup's review - The premillennial author presents a detailed work on the 70 weeks of Daniel 9. In this popular treatment he reckons the chronology of the first sixty-nine weeks from the decree of Artaxerxes (Nehemiah 2) to rebuild Jerusalem to the triumphal entry of Christ (Luke 19). He figures the exact number of days involved in 483 prophetic years which he believes would contain 360 days each, not 365 as Julian years. In his reckoning, the sixty-nine weeks end in A. D. 32 which poses a problem in light of more accepted views today that Christ died in A. D. 30 or 33. (Commentaries for Biblical Expositors - excellent resource)
Here is the Pdf of the book (contents below)

Daniel 1-3 Commentary


Daniel Lectures

(Note: These are the older lectures not the new revised Daniel series).

Book of Daniel

Study Notes
Book of Daniel

Greg Allen
Study Notes
Book of Daniel

Book of Daniel

Study Notes
Book of Daniel

Frequent illustrations

Study Series 1

Study Series 2

Expository Notes
Book of Daniel

Sermon Notes
Book of Daniel

Study Notes
Book of Daniel

Book of Daniel
Relating Prophecy to Piety

Daniel Commentary Notes

Sermon Notes
Book of Daniel
Mp3 Only

Study Notes
Book of Daniel

The Prophet Daniel: Key to the Visions
and Prophecies of the Book of Daniel

James Rosscup: Dividing the book of Daniel according to the languages in the original text, the writer gives a brief yet sometimes helpful survey of a dispensational interpretation. (Commentaries For Biblical Expositors - excellent resource)

Verse by Verse Commentary
Book of Daniel

Book of Daniel

Commentary Notes
Book of Daniel

Commentary Notes
Book of Daniel

For transcript click "Read"

2015 Series on Daniel

2007 Series on Daniel

Commentary on Book of Daniel
"March of the Empires"

70 Weeks of Daniel
On Daniel 9:24-27

Commentary Notes
Book of Daniel

Expository Messages
Book of Daniel

Sermon Series
Book of Daniel

10,000 Illustrations @ Bible.org

Book of Daniel
Mp3 Only

Commentary on Daniel

Sermons on Daniel

Book of Daniel

Highly Recommended

Thru the Bible
Daniel Commentary
Mp3 Audio











JOHN ANKERBERG - interviews of Jimmy DeYoung and Reginald Showers











GENE GETZ - brief videos discussing principles from the Book of Daniel

  • Daniel 1:1-2; God's Sovereignty and Human Freedom: Though God is sovereign and in control of the universe, we are responsible to obey His directives in the Word of God. Video
  • Daniel 1:3-8; Total Commitment: To make deliberate and wise decisions to live in God's will day by day, we must make a heart decision to honor God in all we do. Video
  • Daniel 1:9-21; Walking in Wisdom: We are to do all we can to win the trust and respect of non-Christians without compromising our biblical convictions. Video
  • Daniel 2:1-18;The Power of Prayer: When we encounter challenges that seem insurmountable, we are to pray and ask God for His power to do what is right. Video
  • Daniel 2:19-49; Honoring God: Though we are to make full use of our earthly talents and abilities to live in God's will, we?re always to honor and glorify Him for what He has accomplished through us. Video
  • Daniel 3:1-4:3;  Facing Persecution: We are to trust God to empower us to avoid any form of idolatry, regardless of the persecution we may experience. Video
  • Daniel 4:4-37; Prideful Tendencies: Even as believers, we must constantly be on guard against our human tendencies to be prideful and take inappropriate credit for our accomplishments. Video
  • Daniel 5:1-31;Learning from the Past: We are to learn from those who have gone before us, avoiding their mistakes and emulating their positive attitudes and actions. Video
  • Daniel 6:1-24;Living without Compromise: We are to practice our faith boldly, but with wisdom, discretion, and humility. Video
  • Daniel 7:1-28; Fulfilled Prophecy: We should become aware of those prophetic details that have not been fulfilled so we can be alert to how they may correlate with what is happening in the world today. Video
  • Daniel 8:26-27; Our Holy God: In view of the way direct encounters with God impacted biblical personalities physically, psychologically, and spiritually, we should be very cautious in claiming to have similar experiences. Video
  • Daniel 9:1-19; A Model Prayer: To pray effectively, we should acknowledge God's greatness, remind Him of His glorious promises, confess our sins, and be specific in our requests. Video
  • Daniel 9:20-23;Eternal Rewards: We are to walk in God's will so He will be pleased with our attitudes and actions and reward us at the judgment seat of Christ. Video
  • Daniel  9:24-27; Being Prepared: Though we don't know when Jesus Christ will return, we should always be prepared spiritually for this event. Video
  • Daniel 10:1-11; Strength in Weakness: When we feel the most inadequate we should consider it an opportunity to experience God's supernatural enablement. Video
  • Daniel 10:12-21; The Armor of God: We are to clothe ourselves with God's armor consistently so we can defeat Satan and his emissaries when they attack us in various ways. Video
  • Daniel 11:1-35; Prophetic History: We must understand that the Holy Spirit at times inspired prophets to record prophetic history that has been fulfilled before our time so that we will take seriously future events that are still to be fulfilled. Video
  • Daniel 11:36-12:13; The Great Tribulation: As members of the body of Jesus Christ (the church), we are to encourage one another with the great truth that we will not experience God?s wrath. Video

DANNY HODGES - brief sermon notes







CHARLES RAY- includes over 200 footnotes! Recommended!











WAYNE BARBER - see also


WAYNE BARBER - see also




WAYNE BARBER - see also


WAYNE BARBER - see also




WAYNE BARBER - see also
















Devotional Comments

Defender's Study Bible Notes
Book of Daniel

Introduction to Daniel

The book of Daniel has been subject to more criticism and rejection by critics than any book of the Bible except Genesis. This is essentially because of one reason only: the many remarkably fulfilled prophecies in the book. Critics who refuse to believe in God's ability to reveal future events through His prophets have gone to great lengths to impugn the traditional authorship. They have charged historical errors and linguistic anomalies, but the real reason is its prophecies.
The other supposed arguments have been well refuted. Its main historical "errors" were references to Belshazzar and Darius the Mede, who were unknown to secular history—at least until they finally were identified as real rulers in the annals of Babylon and Persia. Its supposed linguistic problems have been turned back on the critics by identification of foreign words in Daniel which would have been obsolete at the late date critics would like to ascribe to Daniel.
Daniel was recognized as a great, wise, and righteous man of God by his contemporary prophet Ezekiel (Ezekiel 14:14, 20; 28:3), and almost all the ancient authorities, both Jewish and Christian, accepted the authentic Danielic authorship. The question is conclusively settled, however, by the fact that Jesus Himself attributed the authorship of one of the book's most important prophecies to "Daniel the prophet" (Matthew 24:15).
There is every reason, therefore, to accept the authenticity of the book of Daniel. Its histories are valid histories and its prophecies are genuine prophecies, many of them fulfilled already and the others awaiting the closing days of the Gentile age.
As far as Daniel himself is concerned, he was among the "king's seed" (Daniel 1:3, 6)—that is, of royal blood—who were carried away from Judah into Babylonian captivity, with king Jehoiakim in the first wave of exiles. Daniel, with his three friends (Daniel 1:6), took a strong and uncompromising stand for God in this pagan environment, and God greatly used and honored him as a result.
Daniel served as a high official in Babylon under several kings, beginning with Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 2:48, 49), followed by Evil-Merodach, Nergal-sharezer, Labashi-marduk (none of whom are mentioned in Daniel) then under Nabonidus and Belshazzar, who was son of Nabonidus and co-regent with him in Babylon, at the time of the fall of Babylon to Persia (Daniel 5:29-31). He then continued under Darius the Mede and finally under Cyrus of Persia (Daniel 6:28). All of this seems to have occupied a total of almost seventy years (compare Daniel 9:2).
The book is written in the first person, Daniel asserting several times that he was the author (Daniel 8:1; 9:2, 3). A substantial part of the book, from Daniel 2:4-7:28, was written in Aramaic, presumably because that was the court language in Babylon and because those portions of his book dealt mostly with events centering in the Gentile kingdoms of the world, as distinct from those portions focusing especially on the nation of Israel and therefore written in Hebrew. Among the latter is the great prophecy of the seventy "weeks" (Daniel 9:24-27), giving a prophetic chronology anticipating the coming of Messiah, and then for the climactic events coming at the end of the age. The seventieth week is essential to the understanding of the book of Revelation in particular.

Daniel 1:2
into his hand. This event marked the beginning of Judah's seventy year captivity, prophesied by Jeremiah (2 Chronicles 36:6, 21; Jeremiah 25:1, 11).

land of Shinar. Shinar is confirmed here by Daniel as the name of the country of Babylon. Babel was founded by Nimrod in the land of Shinar at least 1500 years earlier. The land of Shinar is known to secular archaeologists as Sumer.

his god. The chief "god" of the Babylonians was Bel, also known as Marduk, or Merodach, possibly originally the deified Nimrod.

Daniel 1:3
children of Israel. Evidently, if these men were to "stand in the king's palace" (Daniel 1:4) and were placed under "the master of the eunuchs," the four Hebrew children must have consented to be made eunuchs in order to have a testimony for God in the Babylonian capital, fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah 39:5-7. These may well have been in the mind of Christ when He said that some "have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake" (Matthew 19:12).

Daniel 1:6
Azariah. All four of these chosen men of Judah must also have had godly parents, for they selected names for their sons that expressed their faith in God. Thus Daniel means "God is my Judge;" Hananiah means "The Lord's Beloved;" Mishael is "Who is as God?" and Azariah is "The Lord is my help."

Daniel 1:7
Abednego. The prince of the eunuchs evidently thought their names were inappropriate, so renamed them in honor of the gods of Babylon. Thus, Daniel became Belteshazzar ("Favored by Bel"); Hananiah became Shadrach ("Illumined by Rak," the sun god); Mishael was renamed Meshach ("Belonging to Shak," the wine goddess); and Azariah was changed to Abednego ("Servant of Nego," considered to be equivalent to Lucifer). One can imagine that this was deeply resented by these godly young men, who resolved more firmly than ever to stay true to the true God of creation, at all costs.

Daniel 1:8
defile himself. The king's gourmet food would have been defiling to godly Jews in at least three ways: (1) it would have contained blood, contrary to Leviticus 17:10-14; (2) it would have included the meat of swine, forbidden in Leviticus 11:7-8; and, most seriously, (3) it would have been consecrated to the pagan gods of Babylon. Nevertheless, Daniel was gracious and respectful in making his request to be excused.

Daniel 1:16
pulse. The term "pulse" means any seed vegetable.

Daniel 1:17
wisdom. In Christ "are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Colossians 2:3). To those who sincerely study, believe, and obey God's Word and who are determined to stand for His truth in an ungodly society, God will provide the necessary wisdom and knowledge to accomplish the work He calls them to do.

Daniel 1:18
end of the days. Daniel and his friends were in Nebuchadnezzar's training program (actually, it was God's program, as a result of His overruling providence) for three years (Daniel 1:5). Significantly, this was also the length of time used by Christ in training His twelve disciples, as well as the time Paul spent with the Lord in the desert after his conversion (Galatians 1:15-18).

Daniel 1:19
stood they before the king. That is, they were accepted as accredited wise men to serve among the king's counselors. See Daniel 1:4-5, 20; also 2:13.

Daniel 1:21
continued. Thus Daniel survived in Babylon throughout the entire seventy year period of the Babylonian captivity (Ezra 1:1; Daniel 9:1-2).

Daniel 2:1
troubled. Nebuchadnezzar's spirit was "troubled," probably because, after he succeeded in establishing his kingdom as the most powerful in the world, he planned to require his subjects to worship him as a god, in the spirit of the coming world dictator of the last days (Revelation 13:15). Even though he could not recall his dream, he knew that it might somehow affect his plans.

Daniel 2:4
Syriac. From this point, significantly, Daniel's account is written in Aramaic (same as Syriac, the language of ancient Syria, and practically identical with the Chaldaic language of the Babylonians). It returns to Hebrew at Daniel 8. Thus the Babylonian section of Daniel is in the language of the Babylonians, a fact that helps confirm the authenticity of the entire book. Because of its remarkably fulfilled prophecies, skeptics and liberals have tried to assign its writing to a much later date, after the events prophesied had taken place. The internal evidence of the book, however, indicates that it could only have been written by a man fluent in the language of Nebuchadnezzar's court. The inclusion of certain Persian and Greek words in the account still further indicates that the writer was connected with the court of Nebuchadnezzar where he would have contact with emissaries from different nations. The authenticity of the book has been further confirmed by his contemporary Ezekiel (Ezekiel 14:14, 20; 28:3) and by Christ Himself (Matthew 24:15). Also note Hebrews 11:32.

Daniel 2:10
not a man upon the earth. These wise men, skilled in both human wisdom and the occult arts, no doubt able to communicate to some extent with demonic powers, nevertheless had to admit that there was a still greater source of wisdom and power that was beyond their own abilities. This would be a salutary admission by modern "wise men," if they only would do it.

Daniel 2:20
wisdom and might are his. In Christ "are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Colossians 2:3), and to Christ has been given "all power … in heaven and in earth" (Matthew 28:18).

Daniel 2:21
times and seasons. God established the sun, moon, and stars with their motions, to serve for the measurement of time and the establishment of seasons (Genesis 1:14). The great Flood may well have resulted in changes in these. For example, the year may have been 360 days long in antediluvian times (Genesis 7:11, 24; 8:4, 14), and the distinctiveness of the seasons was probably accentuated by the upheavals of the Flood.

understanding. See on Daniel 1:17.

Daniel 2:22
darkness. God "created darkness," but "God is light," He "dwelleth in the light," and needed only to divide "the light from the darkness" when He created heaven and earth (Isaiah 45:7; 1 John 1:5; 1 Timothy 6:16; Genesis 1:4).

Daniel 2:28
revealeth secrets. The Babylonian religious system maintained a variety of specially gifted and trained practitioners of the occult sciences—magicians, astrologers, sorcerers, Chaldeans, soothsayers (Daniel 2:2, 27)—but only the God of heaven can really reveal the future (which was the subject of Nebuchadnezzar's dream), for He controls the future.

Daniel 2:33
part of iron. The metals of Nebuchadnezzar's dream image follow a definite order corresponding to the empires they represent, decreasing in intrinsic value, but increasing in strength. That is, gold at the head is the most beautiful and valuable of the metals, iron in the legs is the strongest. These empires decrease in structural likeness to God's ideal theocratic kingdom, but increase in worldly strength and geographical extent.

Daniel 2:38
head of gold. This begins the remarkable prophecy—later fulfilled in detail over the centuries—of Nebuchadnezzar's dream image. The emperor was very pleased when he learned that the golden head of the image represented himself and his empire. The universality of this kingdom referred to its influence, rather than its geographical extent. Babylon was, indeed, the source (or "head") of all the world's false religions (Revelation 17:5) and materialistic greed (Revelation 18:3). It was conquered by the Medo-Persian empire in 538 b.c. (note Daniel 5:28).

Daniel 2:39
another kingdom. The "breast and arms of silver" represented the two-sided kingdom of the Medes and Persians, which would dominate the known world from 538 b.c. to 334 b.c., when it was to be conquered by Alexander the Great, of Greece (see Daniel 8:20-21).
kingdom of brass. The "third kingdom of brass (or bronze)," was the great Greek empire, which continued until defeated by Rome, which became a world empire under Augustus in 31 b.c.

Daniel 2:40
fourth kingdom. The fourth world kingdom, stronger than any before it, and longer in duration, dominated the world beginning about 129 b.c., becoming a monolithic empire under Augustus in 31 b.c., and continuing until its fall in a.d. 476. However, it divided in a.d. 285 under Emperor Diocletian into eastern and western branches, as indicated by the two legs of the image. The eastern leg, centered at Constantinople, did not fall until a.d. 1453.

Daniel 2:41
kingdom shall be divided. The two divisions of the Roman empire, centered at Rome and Constantinople, respectively, continued for a long time, as suggested by the length of the legs. After the fall of political Rome, the empire continued in ecclesiastical form, as the Roman and Byzantine Catholic churches. In fact, in an extended sense, they continue even into the modern era, in the context, not of political unity, but of culture, language, legal structure, civilization and government. The change from political Rome to ecclesiastical Rome, at the knees of the image, as it were, became the Holy Roman empire in the west and the complex of Orthodox churches in the east. The western branch expanded throughout western Europe and into the Americas, the eastern into northern Eurasia, but the essential character of the old Roman empire persisted in both for many centuries.

Daniel 2:42
partly broken. Gradually, the feudal economies of the various kingdoms began to disintegrate, with the king (or czar, or emperor, or other monarch) yielding more and more of his power to his subjects.

Daniel 2:43
seed of men. The change of character and directions suggested by the change in the image from legs to feet apparently marks the rapid rise to dominance of the "seed of men" in the two divisions of the old empire of Rome. In the West, the American revolution was the first of many republics and democracies. In the East, the later emergence of communism had similar implications, but this also gave way to kingdoms "partly strong and partly broken," continual conflict between totalitarianism and populism in the various nations.

Daniel 2:44
days of these kings. The term "these kings" would indicate that at the very end of the age, the old Roman empire would develop into ten dominant kingdoms (corresponding to the "feet and toes" of the image), five in the western division, five in the east. Although the prophecies implicit in the rest of the image have largely been fulfilled already, the prophecy related to these extremities has not. Thus, it is not yet possible to identify these final ten kingdoms. They are probably the same as the "ten horns" of the tribulation period (Revelation 17:12).

kingdom. This kingdom "that shall never be destroyed" can be nothing less than the millennial kingdom set up by Christ when He returns and "the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign for ever and ever" (Revelation 11:15).

Daniel 2:45
without hands. The establishment of this final kingdom by "the God of heaven" is in no way an accomplishment by Christians and the church. The kingdom is established "without hands" by the conquering Lamb. "With the breath of His lips shall He slay the wicked" (Isaiah 11:4; Revelation 17:14; 19:15).

Daniel 2:47
God of gods. The pagan king Nebuchadnezzar was willing to recognize the true God only as greater than all his own nature gods, but this is not enough. God is the only Creator and Redeemer; other gods are not just inferior gods, but false gods, and must be fully abandoned. The king's heart was not changed, as demonstrated by the events of Daniel 3 and 4.

Daniel 3:1
image of gold. The king, taken up with his importance as the golden head of the prophetic image to influence and direct the entire sequence of kingdoms that would come after him, arrogantly constructed his manufactured image entirely of gold, in effect proclaiming himself as destined to be the greatest man in world history.

threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof six cubits. An image with a height ten times its width would look more like an obelisk than a statue of a man. Possibly the king was trying to emphasize the long duration of his influence in the world. More probably, the height dimension included a high pedestal on which the statue rested.

Daniel 3:5
sackbut. A musical instrument like a lyre.

dulcimer. A stringed instrument.

all kinds of musick. This list includes several Greek instruments, identified in the original by their Greek names, and this has served as an excuse for liberals to attribute the book of Daniel to a late date. The fact is, however, that Greek culture was already well developed in Nebuchadnezzar's time and commerce between Greece and Babylon well established, so that such instruments were common in Babylon at this time. The king's proclamation (Daniel 3:4) acknowledged other languages in Babylon.

Daniel 3:10
worship the golden image. Nebuchadnezzar's ancient image is a type of the image of the "beast" during the coming great tribulation, and which likewise must be worshipped on pain of death (Revelation 13:15).

Daniel 3:18
not serve thy gods. This is a severe indictment of many modern Christian leaders who will not take a stand against evolutionary gods today—not because of a threatened furnace but because of fear of loss of academic standing.

Daniel 3:25
the Son of God. God is, indeed, able to "deliver us" (Daniel 3:17), sending "a son of God" (literal reading), one of His mighty angels, to defend and protect His children, if He so wills (note Psalm 34:7). This has often happened, even when they were not aware of his presence. In this special case, this Son of God may even have been the Angel of the LORD, the preincarnate Christ.

Daniel 3:28
delivered his servants. Nebuchadnezzar came to realize that God not only could reveal secrets but could also deliver those who trusted in Him; nevertheless, he still thought of Him as only "the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego." One must not only acknowledge God as a great God, but as the only true God of creation and as one's personal Redeemer, if he would be saved.

Daniel 4:3
great are his signs. Finally, through the humiliating experience of which he testifies in this chapter, the arrogant king acknowledged God as "the high God" (Daniel 4:2), whose "kingdom is … everlasting," whose dominion is worldwide and who is "the King of heaven" (Daniel 4:37).

Daniel 4:8
spirit of the holy gods. Even at this point Nebuchadnezzar, who had acknowledged (Daniel 2:47) that Daniel's God was the greatest of the "gods," was still thinking in polytheistic terms, assuming that Daniel was in touch with a number of "holy gods." Later he seemed to acquire a somewhat better understanding of God's unique majesty (Daniel 2:34-37).

Daniel 4:13
watcher. This distinctive name for one of God's holy angels occurs in the Bible only in this chapter (see also Daniel 4:17, 23). It does occur also in extra-Biblical literature (the book of Enoch). The term is insightful, suggesting that angels are watching us, actually "desiring to look into" God's dealings with us (1 Peter 1:12).

Daniel 4:16
seven times. This means seven years. See note on Daniel 7:25.

Daniel 4:17
the watchers. These "watchers" are mentioned in the Bible only in this chapter (Daniel 4:13, 17, 23). They are evidently synonymous with "the holy ones" who have come "down from heaven." They seem to represent a certain category of angels, dispatched in this case to bring disciplinary judgment on the presumptuous king Nebuchadnezzar. They are mentioned frequently in the apocryphal books of Enoch and Jubilees, where they appear to refer intermittently both to God's holy angels and also to certain fallen angels. Although we cannot see them, we need to know they are there, directly concerned at least with "watching" events on earth (1 Peter 1:12; Ephesians 3:10; Psalm 34:7, etc.).

basest of men. Arrogant, murderous, idolatrous Nebuchadnezzar was certainly among the "basest of men," yet God made him king over the mightiest kingdom of his age, to accomplish His will in judging His own chosen nation. The same seems often true today, when kings and presidents often are immoral and wicked. In a sense, God gives a nation the kind of leader its people deserve. Now and again, in response to repentance and confession by at least some of its people, God provides a godly leader to lead his nation back to God.

Daniel 4:22
thy dominion. The Babylonian empire was thus recognized as the most important in the world at this time, capable at least in principle of extending itself through the whole world.

Daniel 4:30
great Babylon. Babylon was, indeed, a magnificent city and considered the most beautiful city in the ancient world. Located along the mighty Euphrates, it covered at least six square miles, contained great walls and palaces, and its hanging gardens are recognized as one of the world's seven wonders.

that I have built. One of the many evidences of the authenticity of Daniel is his knowledge that much of the greatness of the city of Babylon was due to Nebuchadnezzar's building activities. A writer four hundred years after Nebuchadnezzar would not have known this fact, which is now abundantly verified by archaeology.

Daniel 4:33
driven from men. This period of Nebuchadnezzar's strange madness has been somewhat cryptically mentioned in the writings of the later Babylonian historian Berosus.

Daniel 4:37
able to abase. This is proud Nebuchadnezzar's final testimony. He had learned that God gives kingdoms to "whomsoever He will," even "the basest of men" (Daniel 4:17), and he himself had been "abased" to confirm this.

Daniel 5:1
Belshazzar. Belshazzar (meaning "Bel protect the king") was long believed by skeptics to have been a non-existent mythical personage; this contention was used by critics as proof that the book of Daniel was written much later than Biblical scholars have surmised. Historians and archaeologists later proved, however, that Belshazzar did exist and was actually co-regent in Babylon at the time of the Persian conquest. Nebuchadnezzar was his "father" (Daniel 5:2) in the ancestral sense. His actual father Nabonidus, who was either a son or son-in-law of Nebuchadnezzar, was king at the time, but he was away in Arabia on an archaeological reconstruction project. The Medo-Persian army was outside of Babylon and possibly had either captured Nabonidus or at least had cut him off from returning to the city. Belshazzar, ruling in his place, and knowing of the threat to the city but feeling secure behind its great walls, had the effrontery to make a great feast and drink wine in praise to Babylon's many nature gods.

Daniel 5:4
drank wine. Belshazzar, who certainly must have heard of his grandfather's humiliation and possible conversion to the God of Israel, used the temple vessels from "the house of God" (Daniel 5:3) in what must have been a drunken orgy. As a result of this final and greatest blasphemy of Belshazzar, God could no longer endure Babylonian insolence.

Daniel 5:5
man's hand. This was probably an angel sent from God with His message of judgment. Angels can appear as men (e.g., Genesis 19:1, 15-16), so undoubtedly can materialize as any part of a man's body.

Daniel 5:10
the queen. The queen was not Belshazzar's wife, for all his wives and concubines were already at his feast (Daniel 5:3). Probably as his mother, or even grandmother, she remembered Daniel and his unique abilities.

Daniel 5:11
spirit of the holy gods. See note on Daniel 4:8.

Daniel 5:13
Jewry. That is, "Judaea."

Daniel 5:16
have heard of thee. The king had only "heard" of Daniel, who had evidently been more or less ignored during the twenty-two years or so since the death of Nebuchadnezzar.

third. The king could not have made Daniel the "second ruler," as Pharaoh had done for Joseph (Genesis 41:40-43), for that was his own position. His absent father, Nabonidus, was first ruler.

Daniel 5:30
In that night. While the Babylonians were feasting, the Persians had entered the city through the channel of the Euphrates River, which they had diverted, and caught them completely unprepared, confident that their great walls could not be breached. This was about 539 b.c.

Daniel 5:31
Darius. Darius the Mede has been identified as the general, Gobryas, who was then "made king over the realm of the Chaldeans" (Daniel 9:1) by the Persian emperor Cyrus (Daniel 10:1).

Daniel 6:1
Darius. This Darius should not be confused with the later Persian emperor, Darius the Great. The Darius in Daniel was evidently one of the greatest generals in the armies of the emperor Cyrus, and was known in secular history as Gobryas. As conqueror of Babylon, he was given great responsibility over much of Babylonia.

Daniel 6:2
Daniel was first. Daniel had been a prominent and respected leader in Babylon for most of Nebuchadnezzar's forty-year reign. Belshazzar was slain by the Chaldeans about twenty-two years later, and Darius had no doubt been informed about Daniel's interpretation of the handwriting on the wall. He soon recognized Daniel's unique abilities and rewarded him with a very high position. Daniel was probably over eighty years of age by this time.

Daniel 6:5
not find any occasion. What a testimony, and example, for believers. No wonder his contemporary Ezekiel (Ezekiel 14:14) ranked him with Noah and Job as the most godly of men.

Daniel 6:8
which altereth not. See note on Esther 1:19; note on Esther 8:3. Also note Daniel 6:12, 15.

Daniel 6:16
den of lions. Excavations among the ruins of Babylon uncovered this den, containing an inscription indicating that this was where "wild beasts" killed "men who anger the king."

Daniel 6:22
his angel. Angels are ministering spirits to believers, and are very powerful and wise. Many of the Bible's miracles, such as this, involve intervention by angels in the timing or rates of otherwise natural events and processes.

Daniel 6:26
the living God. Daniel had undoubtedly witnessed to Darius concerning the true God, but Darius had been manipulated by his advisers to forbid Daniel to pray to God. Now, however, Daniel's faithfulness and faith unto death, if need be, had convinced Darius that God was real.

Daniel 6:27
hath delivered Daniel. A large basalt statue of a lion standing over a prone man was found on the palace grounds in Babylon in 1784, dating from the time of Darius' reign there. However, the lion seemed not to be attacking the man, but protecting him. It has been suggested by some archaeologists that the statue was commissioned by Darius to commemorate Daniel's deliverance in the lions' den (note Daniel 6:26). The inscription originally on the statue had been hacked off, possibly by men who did not like its testimony.

Daniel 6:28
reign of Darius. These reigns were not successive reigns, but contemporaneous. Cyrus ruled the entire Medo-Persian empire, Darius only one of its provinces, Babylonia.

Daniel 7:2
four winds. The "four winds" are seen in vision as striving for mastery over the waves of the great Mediterranean Sea, not one after the other, but all together.

Daniel 7:3
up from the sea. The interpretation in Daniel 7:17 tells us that the sea is the earth, or land, and the beasts are four kings, or kingdoms.

diverse one from another. These kingdoms do not represent successive historical kingdoms, as in Daniel's image (which would be redundant), but contemporaneous kingdoms striving with each other (like the four winds) in the last days. This follows clearly from the fact that all four kingdoms were still future in Daniel's vision (Daniel 7:17), whereas Babylon was about to fall at the time and Persia would take over. Furthermore, the beast representing the fourth kingdom was slain before the first three (Daniel 7:11-12).

Daniel 7:4
eagle's wings. Nations commonly are represented as symbolic animals. Of the nations currently prominent, one thinks immediately of the British lion and the American eagle in connection with the first beast. The plucking of its wings, and its transmutation into a man are not explained and evidently are events yet to be fulfilled. It may be that the wings (ability to mount aerial invasions or defenses) will be somehow prevented from use by the Anglo-American alliance. Perhaps, also, the eventual destruction of the fourth beast (Daniel 7:11) will coincide with spiritual revival in the first beast—but these are only speculations.

Daniel 7:5
bear. If the lion and eagle represent an Anglo-American alliance, possibly in association with other western nations, then the "bear" would seem to depict Russia and its allies. This colossus has, indeed, "raised itself up" more in its western side than in the east. It did (and does) "devour much flesh," in terms of its baleful influence and control over so many other nations (at one time, almost half the world).

three ribs. The "three ribs" are enigmatic in prophetic meaning, but may possibly refer to the three Baltic states (Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia), still under the strong influence—if not domination—of Russia.

Daniel 7:6
leopard. The leopard, yellow with dark spots, could possibly represent an alliance of the pantheistic nations of the East (China, Japan, India, Indochina, perhaps suggesting the four heads, with all insisting on equal authority). Revelation 16:12 speaks of "the kings of the east" marching toward Armageddon from the other side of the Euphrates. The "four wings of a fowl" are of uncertain meaning, but may simply denote that other Oriental nations are involved, in addition to the four heads. A strong union of these far-eastern nations would surely pose a serious threat.

Daniel 7:7
fourth beast. This powerful nondescript beast will gain control over the others and assume the characters of all. It is probably the same as the beast of Revelation 13:2, which will be like a leopard, a bear, and a lion, but with the nature of the old Dragon. It may also be the same as the final phase (feet and toes) of Nebuchadnezzar's dream image. For a very brief period, this beastly federation will control the whole world (Daniel 7:23; Revelation 13:7).
before it. The word "before" is not a chronological term. The other three nations are not "before" the fourth chronologically, but confrontationally. Note use of the same word in Daniel 7:10, 13, 20.

Daniel 7:8
little horn. This "little horn," suddenly appearing among the others, is the one called "the beast" in Revelation 13:11-13, to whom "ten kings" (Daniel 7:24) will give their power and honor.
mouth speaking great things. These "great things" are both "flatteries" of men, and "marvellous things against the God of gods" (Daniel 11:32, 36).

Daniel 7:9
Ancient of days. The "Ancient of days" seems to be the Father (Daniel 7:13) receiving the Son of man, yet His appearance is like that of the Son of man as described in Revelation 1:13-15. This phenomenon emphasizes the doctrine of the Trinity—one God in three persons, but not three Gods. "The "wheels" associated with the throne may suggest the cherubim (Ezekiel 1).

Daniel 7:12
prolonged. The fourth beast kingdom, led by the Beast, who is the man of sin, with all who have received his "mark" (Revelation 13:18; 14:9-11; 19:20), will be cast into the lake of fire. The other three beast kingdoms may have enough sheep left among their citizenry (Matthew 25:33-34) so that their nations will be able to continue as distinct nations during the millennial period that follows.

Daniel 7:14
given him dominion. In Nebuchadnezzar's dream, he saw a mountain which would fill the earth, and Daniel explained this as a kingdom set up by the God of heaven (Daniel 2:35, 44). Now, in Daniel's vision, the king of this everlasting worldwide kingdom is seen to be the Son of man (Daniel 7:13), the title assumed for Himself, and frequently used by the Lord Jesus Christ. The presentation of the kingdom to the Son of man by the Ancient of Days is described more fully in Revelation 5:6-14.

Daniel 7:22
Ancient of days. See also Daniel 7:9, 13. This unique title occurs only three times, all in this chapter.

Daniel 7:25
dividing of time. This unusual expression means 3½ years. A "time" is a year, "times" means two years, and "the dividing of time" means half a year (compare Revelation 12:6, 14, where this expression is seen as equivalent to 1260 days—that is, 3½ years of 360 days each).

Daniel 8:1
In the third year. At this point in his book, Daniel returns again to using the Hebrew language rather than Aramaic, presumably because by this time (the third year of Belshazzar), his influence with the leaders of Babylon had become minimal and he was writing mainly for his own people of Judah. However, his later experience in the lion's den during the reign of Darius, as recorded in Daniel 6, was again written in Aramaic, probably as a testimony to Darius and his Persian nobles, as well as to the Babylonians remaining in the city. The Persians were probably fluent in the language of the Chaldeans. It is noteworthy that Daniel's visions as recorded in Daniel 7, 8, 9, and probably those in Daniel 10, 11, 12 as well, were given and probably recorded before the history account in Daniel 6.

Daniel 8:2
Shushan. Daniel was translated in his vision to the capital of Persia even before the Persians had conquered Babylon. Furthermore, his vision then prophesied the eventual defeat of Persia by Greece, as well as the still more distant break-up of the Grecian empire. It is not surprising that those who deny supernatural divine inspiration must try to assign the book of Daniel to a later period.

Daniel 8:3
two horns. The ram is Medo-Persia, with the higher horn representing Persia and the lower Media (Daniel 8:20).

Daniel 8:4
no beasts might stand. When this was written, Babylonia was still dominant, but the Medo-Persians were rising, and Daniel saw that, eventually, not even Babylon could stand against them.

Daniel 8:5
he goat. This "he-goat" represents the Greek empire (Daniel 8:21), which Daniel prophesied would eventually conquer the Medo-Persian empire, just as he had prophesied the latter would conquer the Babylonian empire. These events, of course, came to pass as predicted. The fact that the ram is Medo-Persia and the goat is Greece provides further indication that the bear and leopard in Daniel 7 were not these two kingdoms, as many take them to be, but rather two great kingdoms of the end-times.

notable horn. This "notable horn" on the goat is said to be the "first king" of the future conquering Greek empire (Daniel 8:21)—none other than the famous Alexander the Great, whose conquests were so swift that it seemed like his legions "touched not the ground" as they advanced.

Daniel 8:8
great horn was broken. Alexander, fully as arrogant as Nebuchadnezzar had been, boasted of his exploits and complained that there were no more worlds to conquer, then soon died as a dissolute young man.

four notable ones. This unlikely prophecy was fulfilled when Alexander's four generals divided up his kingdom after his death. Ptolemy took over the southern parts of his empire, Lysimachus the northern, Cassander the western, and Seleucus the eastern.

Daniel 8:9
little horn. This "little horn" is evidently the same as the "little horn" of Daniel 7:8, the Beast of the end-times, also known as the Antichrist. He cannot be (as some expositors believe) Antiochus Epiphanes, one of the Syrian kings in the dynasty established by Seleucus. Although he did manifest the character of an antichrist, Antiochus did not become as great as "the host of heaven" (Daniel 8:10) or do the other things described in Daniel 8:10-14 and Daniel 8:22-25. When Gabriel interpreted the vision to Daniel, he said specifically that it was "the time of the end" (Daniel 8:17).

Daniel 8:10
waxed great. This person, said specifically to come forth out of one of the four divisions of Alexander's empire, must be possessed and energized by Satan himself, for in no other way could he be said to wax as great as "the host of heaven," a term used throughout the Bible only for either stars or angels or both. In the New Testament, he is called "that man of sin … the son of perdition" (2 Thessalonians 2:3), and it is clear that when men worship him as he demands, they actually are worshiping Satan (Revelation 13:4).

Daniel 8:11
the daily sacrifice. The statements of this passage could only be literally applied to Satan, who brought down many of the angelic "stars" with him when he "magnified himself" against God. Further, he will (through his possessed "son") take away the daily sacrifice in the restored temple during the tribulation period (see Daniel 9:27; 11:31; Matthew 24:15).

Daniel 8:14
two thousand and three hundred days. According to the interchange between the two "saints" (Daniel 8:13), who were evidently two holy angels, the sanctuary which was desolated by the replacement of the daily sacrifice by the image of the beast (Daniel 9:27; 11:31; 12:11) will be purged and cleansed 2300 days later. But also see Daniel 12:11, 12. There are many things that must happen in that seven-year period, at the very climax of history.

Daniel 8:23
dark sentences. This dark king, learned in occultism and lying wonders, possessed and controlled by the devil, will arise "in the latter time." There have been many antichrists, but the great Antichrist has not yet arisen.

Daniel 8:24
destroy the mighty and holy people. He will not only stop Jewish sacrifices but will attempt genocide on the entire chosen people.

Daniel 8:25
shall be broken. When He finally confronts Christ, he will quickly be "broken without hand," simply by "the breath of His lips" (Isaiah 11:4).

Daniel 9:2
seventy years. See Jeremiah 25:11-12. Daniel, now an aged man, had been in Babylon since the very beginning of the prophesied seventy year period of exile. He realized from studying his Bible that this time had almost been accomplished.

Daniel 9:3
prayer and supplication. Daniel realized that God desires us to claim His promises in prayer. Thus the fulfillment of a divine prophecy can also be understood as an answer to a believer's prayer. Over and over, Christ has promised to come again, yet John closes the revealed Word of God with a prayer: "Even so, come, Lord Jesus" (Revelation 22:20).

Daniel 9:5
from thy judgments. Although Daniel is recognized in Scripture as almost uniquely righteous (Ezekiel 14:20), he confesses himself a sinner and even as sharing in the sins of his nation.

Daniel 9:21
fly swiftly. Angels fly very swiftly, but not instantaneously. Gabriel flew from God's presence above all heavens to Daniel's presence on earth in the time it took for Daniel to pray his prayer of seventeen verses in length.

Daniel 9:24
Seventy weeks. The word for "weeks" is actually "sevens;" in the context, it obviously means "seven-year periods." Daniel had been meditating on God's promise that the captivity of his people would be seventy years, but then Gabriel brought the message that, not just seventy years, but seventy sevens of years, were determined on his people. That is, God would be dealing with Israel as His covenant people for a period of 490 years. The events prophesied for these 490 years are critical for the proper understanding of eschatology and prophecy. Furthermore, the remarkable fulfillment of the key portions of the prophecy of the seventy weeks is certainly one of the strongest evidences for the supernatural inspiration of Scripture.

finish the transgression. Much of the prophecy has been fulfilled, but not all. Its complete accomplishment (e.g., "an end of sins," "everlasting righteousness") awaits the second coming of Christ. Consequently, since far more than 490 years have already passed, there must be at least one significant gap implied in its development. This seems to be clear in the following verses. However, many eminent expositors have understood it as an unbroken sequence, terminating in the first coming and death of Christ.

Daniel 9:25
commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem. The 490-year period begins with the commandment to rebuild the holy city. Some have taken this to be the decree of the emperor Cyrus, in about 536 b.c., recorded by Ezra. This is unlikely, because that commandment only decreed the rebuilding of the temple (Ezra 1:3). Evidently there was no formal commandment to rebuild the city itself until the time of Nehemiah, when a later Persian emperor, Artaxerxes, did make such a decree (Nehemiah 2:4-8). This was in about 446 b.c.

seven weeks. The 490-year period is divided into three components, 49 years, 434 years, and 7 years, respectively, in duration. The first was evidently to be occupied with the actual completion of the streets and walls of the city, in "troublous times," as described in the books of Nehemiah and Malachi. Perhaps most significantly, the 49-year period did terminate with Malachi's prophecy, which marked the close of Old Testament revelation.

threescore and two weeks. After the 49-year period was to be another period of 434 years before Messiah would come as Prince of Israel. This period between the two Testaments was marked by the fulfillment of some of Daniel's other prophecies—the fall of Persia, the rise of Greece, then of the great Roman empire and, in Israel, the conflicts with Egypt and Syria and the wars of the Maccabees. In all, there would be 69 weeks, or 483 years, "unto the Messiah the prince."

Daniel 9:26
Messiah be cut off. If the 483-year period began in 446 b.c., its terminus would seem to be in a.d. 37. However, there is much evidence that what might be called a "prophetic year" was 360 days instead of 365¼. The original created year was apparently twelve 30-day months (compare Genesis 7:11, 24; 8:3, 4). Also, the year associated with the end-times seems to be the same (Revelation 11:2-3). If this factor were applied to the 70-week prophecy, then 483 calendar years would only be 476 prophetic years. Allowing for the fact that Jesus was actually born about 4 b.c. (this was the date when King Herod died, soon after Jesus was born), then the terminal date of the prophecy becomes sometime in a.d. 30, the year when Jesus was between 33 and 34 years of age. This, of course, is the year of His crucifixion, when He was "cut off, but not for Himself." This prophecy was given in about 536 b.c., well over half a millennium before its fulfillment. The probability that Daniel could guess the date of the manifestation and crucifixion of the Messiah is essentially zero. Only supernatural inspiration can account for fulfilled prophecies like this. In fact, these events were fulfilled almost two centuries even after the date assigned to Daniel by liberal scholars who deny that such prophecies can be valid!

prince that shall come. The "prince that shall come" is obviously not "Messiah the prince," for He will have been cut off." In the context of the previous prophecies given by Daniel, this prince can be none other than "the king of fierce countenance" of the preceding chapter (Daniel 8:23).

the sanctuary. The city and sanctuary were destroyed by the Roman general (later emperor) Titus in a.d. 70. This would indicate that the coming evil prince would be a great leader from one of the many nations which eventually developed out of the old Roman empire.
a flood. The "flood" marking the end of the destruction of Jerusalem can also be translated "overflowing," probably referring to the great dispersion of the Jews into all nations, enforced by the Romans in a.d. 135.

desolations are determined. A better translation might be, "and unto the end wars and desolations are determined." When Messiah, the Prince of Peace, was "cut off," peace was permanently cut off from the world as well. This is another remarkable prophecy. In the 1900-plus years since, there have been "wars and rumours of wars" (Matthew 24:6) in one part of the world or another practically every year since that time. In the current world (2004), probably over forty local wars are raging in various parts of the world.

Daniel 9:27
he shall confirm. The antecedent of "he" must be the person last mentioned, that is, "the prince that shall come" (Daniel 9:26), the one whose "people" had destroyed the city. The context in these verses seems clearly to preclude any reference to Messiah. This can be none other than the future Antichrist.

one week. Finally the seventieth week begins, with a treaty made by the Antichrist with the Jews, apparently allowing them to reestablish their temple and its ceremonies in Jerusalem. But note that this "week" of seven years only begins after the following events have taken place after the sixty-ninth week was finished: (1) The Messiah has been cut off, or put to death (a.d. 30); (2) Jerusalem and its temple have been destroyed (a.d. 70); (3) The Jewish people have been exiled into all the nations (a.d. 135); (4) Wars and desolations persist in the world to the end (at least from a.d. 135 to the present, and beyond).

midst of the week. The future seven-year period will be divided into two halves. The first 3½ years will see the ancient temple worship restored in Jerusalem, under the protection of "the prince that shall come," who will have achieved sufficient power by this time to make such a treaty (see note on Daniel 7:25; notes on Daniel 8:23-25; etc.). The last half will begin when he breaks this treaty, and demands worship of himself and his Satanic master, setting up his own image in the holy place (Matthew 24:15-21; Daniel 8:9-12; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4; etc.). Much of the book of Revelation is occupied with the details of this climactic seven-year period of world history.
overspreading of abominations. The "overspreading of abominations" can be paraphrased as the "ultimate in blasphemous idolatry." "Abomination" is a word often used in Scripture for an idol, and "overspreading" refers to wings. Replacing the mercyseat in the holy place in the temple will be the image of the Beast, and the wings shadowing his image will replace the outstretched wings of the cherubim. Christ called this "the abomination of desolation" (Mark 13:14). In citing this event as still future, Christ acknowledged that Daniel was, indeed, a prophet.

Daniel 10:1
third year of Cyrus. According to Daniel 1:21, the prophet Daniel "continued" to the first year of Cyrus. This was the end of Jeremiah's prophesied seventy years, and Cyrus at that time gave the first decree for Jews to return to Jerusalem (2 Chronicles 36:22-23). Presumably Daniel, being an aged man by this time, "retired" from his court position at this time. However, he continued to live at least another two years, receiving the vision (Daniel 10:7) of this chapter "in the third year of Cyrus."

Daniel 10:4
river, which is Hiddekel. See Genesis 2:14. This is another name for the Tigris River.

Daniel 10:6
appearance of lightning. The description of this "certain man" (Daniel 10:5) is essentially identical with the description of the glorified Christ in Revelation 1:13-16, and identified by John as "one like unto the Son of man" (Revelation 1:13). We must conclude that this vision of Daniel was in some sense a manifestation of the preincarnate Christ, sent to answer Daniel's persistent prayer (Daniel 10:12). Note also that, because of his consistent godliness and prayers, Daniel is thrice called "a man greatly beloved" (Daniel 9:23; 10:11, 19).

Daniel 10:13
prince of the kingdom of Persia. This verse provides a remarkable insight into the reality and might of the principalities and powers under the rule of Satan, "the prince of the power of the air" (Ephesians 2:2). Although Satan is not omnipresent, he has a highly organized host of evil angels at his command. Here, even the "angel of the Lord" enlisted the help of the archangel Michael to penetrate the demonic hosts of the evil angel assigned by Satan to oversee the kingdom of Persia, the nation dominant in the world at that time (see also Jude 9; Revelation 12:7-9). The "prince of Grecia" is also mentioned (Daniel 10:20) as another powerful principality in Satan's hierarchy. On the other hand, Michael is called "your prince" (Daniel 10:21), implying that God also has high angels assigned to nations, Michael being associated with Israel.

Daniel 11:2
shew thee the truth. The detailed prophecies in Daniel 11, meticulously fulfilled later over several centuries, constitute one of the chief arguments of liberals against the traditional authorship of Daniel. Critics argue that such intricate fulfillments are not possible. But the Angel of the Lord, who dictated these prophecies to Daniel, called them "the truth."

three kings in Persia. The three kings and their reigns that succeeded Cyrus (Daniel was writing in the first year of Cyrus and his deputy king Darius—Daniel 11:1), were: Cambyses (529-522 b.c.), known also in terms of his title Ahasuerus (Ezra 4:6); Smerdis (522-521 b.c.), also known by the title Artaxerxes (Ezra 4:7); and Darius Hystapses (521-485 b.c.), mentioned in Ezra 4:24.

realm of Grecia. The fourth king was Xerxes (486-465 b.c.), notorious for his great army and navy campaigns against Greece, only to suffer bitter defeat. He is probably the same as the Ahasuerus who was king in the days of Esther (Esther 1:1).

Daniel 11:3
with great dominion. This mighty king is none other than Alexander the Great (334-323 b.c.). After more than another century of Persian power, and Graeco-Persian wars, Alexander decisively defeated the Persians and swiftly conquered the other nations of his day. He was the "he-goat" of the prophecies of Daniel 8:5-7, 21.

Daniel 11:4
four winds of heaven. The rapid division of Alexander's dominion after his death into four parts is noted again here (see on Daniel 8:8, 22), because these divisions are directly involved in the subsequent history.

Daniel 11:5
king of the south. Here begins a detailed prophecy of the future conflicts that would develop between two of the divisions of Alexander's empire—the descendants of Ptolemy I in Egypt and those of Seleucus I in Syria. These are identified as "the king of the south" and "the king of the north," in view of their geographical relations to the land of Israel. Their conflicts are outlined because of their impact on Israel, located directly between them.

great dominion. The king of the north, Seleucus, became stronger than Ptolemy. Each line continued through many successors, only the more important of which are enumerated in the prophecy. Thus, a number of generations are ignored, but the major developments and trends are clearly outlined.

Daniel 11:6
king's daughter. This reference was fulfilled in Bernice, daughter of Ptolemy II (Ptolemy Philadelphus), who was married to Antiochus Theos, third king of Syria. Many intrigues, including many assassinations and many battles, marked the ensuing histories.

Daniel 11:7
branch of her roots. The brother of Bernice, Ptolemy Energetus, the successor of Ptolemy Philadelphus, invaded and sacked Syria in revenge for the assassination of Bernice.

Daniel 11:10
his sons. These are sons of the northern king, including the one who would soon become known as Antiochus the Great, king of Syria. He passed through Israel to get to Egypt.

Daniel 11:11
king of the south. Ptolemy Philopater gathered his own army and defeated the approaching Syrians.

Daniel 11:15
king of the north. Antiochus the Great returned with a larger army. In order to reach Egypt, he had to go through Israel, which was then under Egyptian control.

Daniel 11:16
glorious land. The "glorious land" is Israel (see also Daniel 11:41), which was repeatedly overrun and devastated by the Egyptian and Syrian armies in their ongoing wars.

Daniel 11:17
daughter of women. The "daughter of women" was the first Cleopatra, then a child and still under the care of her mother and a nurse. She was the daughter of Antiochus, and he espoused her to the young Ptolemy Epiphanes, son of the Egyptian king, who had enlisted the Romans to help him in opposing Antiochus. When the wedding was eventually consummated, however, Cleopatra sided with her husband against her father.

Daniel 11:18
a prince. Scipio Asiaticus, leader of the Roman army in Asia Minor, defeated the large naval forces brought against him by Antiochus. The latter was later slain in trying to raise the tribute laid on him by the Romans.

Daniel 11:21
vile person. The "vile person" was Antiochus Epiphanes, the second son of Antiochus the Great, and he was indeed one of the most morally degraded of men. He usurped the Syrian throne from his brother's son by trickery (his brother, Seleucus Philopater, had been assassinated while trying to "raise taxes"—note Daniel 11:20—to pay the tribute the Romans had imposed on his father).

Daniel 11:29
come toward the south. Antiochus Epiphanes had carried out one successful invasion and plundering of Egypt (Daniel 11:25), and had also plundered Israel in the process. This second foray into Egypt, however, would be repelled by the Romans.

Daniel 11:31
abomination that maketh desolate. Antiochus Epiphanes here becomes a type of the final Antichrist (compare Matthew 24:15, where Christ emphasized that the prototypical "abomination of desolation" was still to come). It is believed that Epiphanes, aided by traitorous Jews, sacrificed a sow on the altar and erected a statue of Zeus in the temple at Jerusalem. The motive behind this was his ambition to unify the great empire left him by his father (extending all the way to India) by compelling all the people to adopt the Graeco/Roman system of culture and pantheistic religion.

Daniel 11:32
do know their God. These blasphemous acts of Antiochus Epiphanes stirred the faithful Jews to revolt. Led by an aged priest, Mattathias, and his sons—especially Judas—a successful war of independence was waged against Antiochus, ending in 165 b.c., a date still commemorated annually in the Jewish feast of Hanukkah. These men became known as the Maccabees (a word meaning "hammer") and their descendants ruled Israel until it was conquered by the Romans in 65 b.c.

Daniel 11:33
many days. Just as in the seventy weeks prophecy, in which a very long time gap was implied in the little phrase, "and unto the end" (Daniel 9:26), so here a similar gap is indicated by the phrase "many days." In the first a long period of wars and desolations was predicted; here, a long period was foretold in which the Jews would "fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil." The whole period of the church-age is passed over, because the subject of the prophecy is centered only upon God's dealings with the nation of Israel in relation to the other nations.

Daniel 11:35
time of the end. The prophecies of chapter 11 up to this point in the chapter have all been fulfilled, in much more specific detail than covered in these footnotes, constituting a most remarkable testimony to supernatural inspiration of the Scriptures. Now, however, the prophetic vision and message leap over the centuries to "the time of the end," and the rest of Daniel focuses once again on the last days.

Daniel 11:36
the king. This king, appearing at the time of the end, is clearly that "king of fierce countenance" (Daniel 8:23) of whom Daniel had learned in a vision several years earlier. He is also "the prince that shall come" of whom Gabriel had prophesied that same year (Daniel 9:1, 26; 11:1).
against the God of gods. Claiming to be the greatest of all men, representing the highest attainment of the cosmic evolutionary process, and energized by Satan himself, this man, the final Antichrist, will briefly attain world dominion, but only until God's "indignation be accomplished"—that is the "day of God's wrath," the great tribulation, the seventieth week of the prophetic calendar.

Daniel 11:37
God of his fathers. This phrase, "the God of his fathers," would indicate that the Antichrist would come from a national heritage that once was Christian. Daniel 8:9 indicated, also, that he would come from one of the four divisions of the Greek empire; and Daniel 9:26, that he would be from one of the nations that developed out of the Roman Empire. These nations are all part of "Christendom."

Daniel 11:38
God of forces. Worship of the "god of forces" can only refer to some form of evolutionary pantheism, and any such system must ultimately lead to Satanism. Satan will give this king his power (Revelation 13:2), enabling him to require that all men worship him as the great man-god of the world.

Daniel 11:40
king of the south. The king of whom these verses speak is obviously neither "the king of the south" nor "the king of the north," for both will fight him. From Daniel 11:4-32, the king of the south had been the Egyptian empire and the king of the north the Syrian empire, but both of these will have been reduced to relatively minor kingdoms by the time of the end (see notes on Ezekiel 29:14-16; notes on Ezekiel 38:1-23; and notes on Psalm 83). Therefore, these terms as used here—especially "the king of the north"—must evidently refer to future alliances of some kind. Whoever they are, they will soon be defeated, giving the Satanic king full control of all their "countries."

Daniel 11:41
glorious land. Israel is the "glorious land;" it will probably be at this time that the evil king will break his covenant with Israel, making his "abomination of desolation," spoken of by Daniel the prophet, "stand in the holy place" (Matthew 24:15).

Ammon. Edom, Moab, and Ammon no longer exist as nations, but their former regions, now largely mountainous desert wilderness, may well serve as the refuge for the faithful Jews at this time (Revelation 12:6, 14-16).

Daniel 11:43
precious things of Egypt. The control of the king over the riches of Egypt confirms that, in the context of these end-times, the "king of the south" (Daniel 11:40) involves more than Egypt.

Ethiopians. Libya and Ethiopia seem to be associated with Egypt during this climactic seven-year period of the end-times. This may suggest that other African and Moslem nations also associated together comprise "the king of the south" along with Egypt, Libya and Ethiopia. The latter two were affiliated with the Gog-Russian confederacy (Ezekiel 38) which will have been recently decimated in its attempted invasion of Israel. Evidently the remnants of their armies, combined with Egypt and other Muslims, will unite to oppose the Beast-king, possibly because of his seven-year treaty with Israel. Nevertheless, they will be defeated.

Daniel 11:44
out of the east. Apparently, the "king of the east" and the "king of the north" represent the latter-day developments in the regions that once were the eastern and northern divisions of the empire of Alexander the Great. Thus, the "king of the north" would probably involve at this future date Turkey and the other northern remnants of Gog's confederacy, as well as Syria and Iraq. The "kings of the east" probably includes Iran, as well as India, China and Japan (note also Revelation 16:12). The "west" is not mentioned in these verses because probably the western nations are where the fierce king has first had his base of power and operations.

Daniel 11:45
holy mountain. It seems that, at this time, the Beast, having defeated the kings of the south, east and north, will break his treaty with the Jews, set up his image in the temple at Jerusalem and (probably) his capital at rebuilt Babylon (see notes on Revelation 17; 18; notes on Zechariah 5:5-11; etc.), ruling essentially the whole world for the second half of Daniel's seventieth week (note Revelation 13:5).

Daniel 12:1
Michael. See notes on Daniel 10:13.
time of trouble. This is the "great tribulation," the last half of Daniel's seventieth week, following the placement of the "abomination of desolation" in the temple's holy place (Matthew 24:15, Daniel 9:24-27).

thy people shall be delivered. During this terrible "time of Jacob's trouble" (Jeremiah 30:7), the true Israelites will be protected in the wilderness (Revelation 12:6, 14), and prepared to receive Christ when He returns at the end of the great tribulation (Zechariah 12:10; Romans 11:25, 26).

Daniel 12:2
awake. This is an explicit promise of the future bodily resurrection of the dead, as recorded in one of the key prophetic books on the Old Testament. This is not, as some claim, a strictly New Testament doctrine. At this point (as in John 5:29), however, the thousand-year time interval between the resurrection of the saved and lost is not mentioned, since it is not relevant to the context and also (in view of the following verse) inconsequential in relation to eternity (Revelation 20:4-6).

everlasting contempt. Those who now look with contempt on the Bible and Biblical Christianity will eventually experience "everlasting contempt" on themselves—as well as "everlasting fire" (Matthew 25:41), and "everlasting destruction" (2 Thessalonians 1:9).

Daniel 12:3
stars for ever. The wise will live forever and, for the analogy to be meaningful, the stars also must shine forever (note also Psalm 148:3-6; etc.). The universal "curse" on God's creation, which now causes everything to decay and entropy to increase, will have been removed (Revelation 22:3), so no stars will thenceforth die.

Daniel 12:4
run to and fro. The word "run" actually means "race." That is, at the time of the end, the world will see "many"—evidently all over the world—racing back and forth, and this phenomenon would help students of God's promises begin to "unseal the book," and see that His return is near. It is significant that until the past two centuries, riding on a swift horse was the fastest way to travel. Today we have moved from horses to railroads to autos to airplanes to space ships.

knowledge shall be increased. Knowledge (or "science") has been tremendously increased—not only in the understanding of prophecy, but in practically every area of study and practice. Our modern scientific understanding and control of the world's systems, processes and living creatures is in line with God's primeval dominion mandate (Genesis 1:26-28), and is further indication of the near-approach of "the end."

Daniel 12:11
thousand two hundred and ninety days. There are evidently 1260 days from the setting of the image in the temple until the Beast is destroyed by the returning Christ (Revelation 13:5; 19:19, 20). Possibly the additional thirty days is allowed for the multitudes living around the world to gather together to the judgment of the nations (the Gentiles), at the throne of Christ in Jerusalem (Matthew 25:31-32).

Daniel 12:12
thousand three hundred and five and thirty days. An additional forty-five days is noted here, with blessing being promised only to those that are still there at the end of that period. Perhaps this forty-five days is occupied in the actual judgment of the nations. Those who are seen by Christ as "goats" during this great judgment time will be doomed "into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels" (Matthew 25:33, 41). To His sheep, however, He will say: "Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world" (Matthew 25:34), and they will be enabled to enter, still in their natural bodies, the great millennial kingdom of Christ, where they will serve as the initial generations inhabiting the earth during that glorious period. The resurrected saints will also be there, in teaching and governing capacities (Revelation 20:4, 6). Daniel himself will be there and "stand in thy lot at the end of the days" (Daniel 12:13).


These notes tend to be somewhat more technical but often yield very helpful insights. Below are some samples. For all the notes on each verse click the associated link.

  • Daniel 1
    Da 1:1 The third year of the reign of Jehoiakim would be ca. 605 B.C. At this time Daniel would have been a teenager. The reference to Jehoiakim’s third year poses a serious crux interpretum, since elsewhere these events are linked to his fourth year (Jer 25:1; cf. 2 Kgs 24:1; 2 Chr 36:5–8). Apparently Daniel is following an accession year chronology, whereby the first partial year of a king’s reign was reckoned as the accession year rather than as the first year of his reign. Jeremiah, on the other hand, is following a nonaccession year chronology, whereby the accession year is reckoned as the first year of the king’s reign. In that case, the conflict is only superficial. Most modern scholars, however, have concluded that Daniel is historically inaccurate here.

    Da 1:1 King Nebuchadnezzar ruled Babylon from ca. 605–562 B.C

    Da 1:1 This attack culminated in the first of three major deportations of Jews to Babylon. The second one occurred in 597 B.C. and included among many other Jewish captives the prophet Ezekiel. The third deportation occurred in 586 B.C., at which time the temple and the city of Jerusalem were thoroughly destroyed.

    Da 1:2 The land of Babylonia (Heb “the land of Shinar”) is another name for Sumer and Akkad, where Babylon was located (cf. Gen 10:10; 11:2; 14:1, 9; Josh 7:21; Isa 11:11; Zech 5:11).

    Da 1:3 The word court official (Hebrew saris) need not mean “eunuch” in a technical sense (see Gen 37:36, where the term refers to Potiphar, who had a wife), although in the case of the book of Daniel there was in Jewish literature a common tradition to that effect. On the OT usage of this word see HALOT 769–70 s.v. סָרֹיס.

    Da 1:4 The language of the Chaldeans referred to here is Akkadian, an East Semitic cuneiform language.

    Da 1:6 The names reflect a Jewish heritage. In Hebrew Daniel means “God is my judge”; Hananiah means “the Lord is gracious”; Mishael means “who is what God is?”; Azariah means “the Lord has helped.”

    Da 1:7 The meanings of the Babylonian names are more conjectural than is the case with the Hebrew names. The probable etymologies are as follows: Belteshazzar means “protect his life,” although the MT vocalization may suggest “Belti, protect the king” (cf. Dan 4:8); Shadrach perhaps means “command of Aku”; Meshach is of uncertain meaning; Abednego means “servant of Nego.” Assigning Babylonian names to the Hebrew youths may have been an attempt to erase from their memory their Israelite heritage.

    Da 1:14 The number ten is sometimes used in the OT as an ideal number of completeness. Cf. v. 20; Zech 8:23; Rev 2:10.

    Da 1:21 The Persian king Cyrus’ first year in control of Babylon was 539 B.C. Daniel actually lived beyond the first year of Cyrus, as is clear from 10:1. The purpose of the statement in 1:21 is merely to say that Daniel’s life spanned the entire period of the neo-Babylonian empire. His life span also included the early years of the Persian control of Babylon. However, by that time his age was quite advanced; he probably died sometime in the 530’s B.C.
  • Daniel 2
    Da 2:4 Contrary to common belief, the point here is not that the wise men (Chaldeans) replied to the king in the Aramaic language, or that this language was uniquely the language of the Chaldeans. It was this view that led in the past to Aramaic being referred to as “Chaldee.” Aramaic was used as a lingua franca during this period; its origins and usage were not restricted to the Babylonians. Rather, this phrase is better understood as an editorial note (cf. NAB) marking the fact that from 2:4b through 7:28 the language of the book shifts from Hebrew to Aramaic. In 8:1, and for the remainder of the book, the language returns to Hebrew. Various views have been advanced to account for this change of language, most of which are unconvincing. Most likely the change in language is a reflection of stages in the transmission history of the book of Daniel.

    Da 2:5 It seems clear from what follows that Nebuchadnezzar clearly recalls the content of the dream, although obviously he does not know what to make of it. By not divulging the dream itself to the would-be interpreters, he intends to find out whether they are simply leading him on. If they can tell him the dream’s content, which he is able to verify, he then can have confidence in their interpretation, which is what eludes him.

    Da 2:25 Arioch’s claim is self-serving and exaggerated. It is Daniel who came to him, and not the other way around. By claiming to have found one capable of solving the king’s dilemma, Arioch probably hoped to ingratiate himself to the king.

    Da 2:33 Clay refers to baked clay, which—though hard—was also fragile. Cf. the reference in Da 2:41 to “wet clay.”

    Da 2:36 Various suggestions have been made concerning the plural “we.” It is probably the editorial plural and could be translated here as “I.”

    Da 2:39 The identity of the first kingdom is clearly Babylon. The identification of the following three kingdoms is disputed. The common view is that they represent Media, Persia, and Greece. Most conservative scholars identify them as Media-Persia, Greece, and Rome.

    Da 2:43 The reference to people being mixed is usually understood to refer to intermarriage.
  • Daniel 3
    Da 3:1 There is no need to think of Nebuchadnezzar’s image as being solid gold. No doubt the sense is that it was overlaid with gold (cf. Isa 40:19; Jer 10:3–4), with the result that it presented a dazzling self-compliment to the greatness of Nebuchadnezzar’s achievements. According to a number of patristic authors, the image represented a deification of Nebuchadnezzar himself. This is not clear from the biblical text, however. Aram “sixty cubits.” Assuming a length of 18 inches for the standard cubit, the image would be 90 feet (27.4 m) high. Aram “six cubits.” Assuming a length of 18 inches for the standard cubit, the image would be 9 feet (2.74 m) wide. The dimensions of the image (ninety feet high and nine feet wide) imply that it did not possess normal human proportions, unless a base for the image is included in the height dimension. The ancient world knew of other tall statues. For example, the Colossus of Rhodes—the huge statue of Helios which stood (ca. 280–224 B.C.) at the entrance to the harbor at Rhodes and was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world—was said to be seventy cubits (105 ft or 32 m) in height, which would make it even taller than Nebuchadnezzar’s image.

    Da 3:2 The specific duties of the seven types of officials listed here (cf. vv. 3, 27) are unclear. The Aramaic words that are used are transliterations of Akkadian or Persian technical terms whose exact meanings are uncertain. The translations given here follow suggestions set forth in BDB.

    Da 3:5 The word zither (Aramaic קִיתָרוֹס [qitaros]), and the words for harp (Aramaic פְּסַנְתֵּרִין [pésanterin]) and pipes (Aramaic סוּמְפֹּנְיָה [sumponéyah]), are of Greek derivation. Though much has been made of this in terms of suggesting a date in the Hellenistic period for the writing of the book, it is not surprising that a few Greek cultural terms, all of them the names of musical instruments, should appear in this book. As a number of scholars have pointed out, the bigger surprise (if, in fact, the book is to be dated to the Hellenistic period) may be that there are so few Greek loanwords in Daniel.

    Da 3:9 O king, live forever! is a comment of typical court courtesy that is not necessarily indicative of the real sentiments of the speaker. Ancient oriental court protocol could sometimes require a certain amount of hypocrisy.

    Da 3:12 Daniel’s absence from this scene has sparked the imagination of commentators, some of whom have suggested that perhaps he was unable to attend the dedication due to sickness or due to being away on business. Hippolytus supposed that Daniel may have been watching from a distance.

    Da 3:23 The deuterocanonical writings known as The Prayer of Azariah and The Song of the Three present at this point a confession and petition for God’s forgiveness and a celebration of God’s grace for the three Jewish youths in the fiery furnace. Though not found in the Hebrew/Aramaic text of Daniel, these compositions do appear in the ancient Greek versions.

    Da 3:25 The phrase like that of a god is in Aramaic “like that of a son of the gods.” Many patristic writers understood this phrase in a christological sense (i.e., “the Son of God”). But it should be remembered that these are words spoken by a pagan who is seeking to explain things from his own polytheistic frame of reference; for him the phrase “like a son of the gods” is equivalent to “like a divine being.”

    Da 3:28 The king identifies the “son of the gods” (v. 25) as an angel. Comparable Hebrew expressions are used elsewhere in the Hebrew Bible for the members of God’s angelic assembly (see Gen 6:2, 4; Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7; Ps 29:1; 89:6). An angel later comes to rescue Daniel from the lions (Da 6:22). (Ed Comment: While this may be a created angel, the alternative view is that this was in fact the Angel of the LORD, a pre-incarnate Christophany. We will have to wait until heaven to know for sure - 1 Cor 13:12).
  • Daniel 4
    Da 4:15 The function of the band of iron and bronze is not entirely clear, but it may have had to do with preventing the splitting or further deterioration of the portion of the tree that was left after being chopped down. By application it would then refer to the preservation of Nebuchadnezzar’s life during the time of his insanity.

    Da 4:16 Aramaic “its heart.” The metaphor of the tree begins to fade here and the reality behind the symbol (the king) begins to emerge. The seven periods of time probably refer to seven years.

    Da 4:25 Nebuchadnezzar’s insanity has features that are associated with the mental disorder known as boanthropy, in which the person so afflicted imagines himself to be an ox or a similar animal and behaves accordingly.
  • Daniel 5
  • Daniel 6
  • Daniel 7
  • Daniel 8
  • Daniel 9
  • Daniel 10
  • Daniel 11
  • Daniel 12

Radio Bible Class

Updated March 10, 2015


Courageous Living in Turbulent Times

Daniel Sermon Notes

Daniel Commentary (1879)
Voices from Babylon: or, The Records of Daniel the Prophet

Sermon Notes Daniel
Calvary Chapel

Commentary on Daniel


Sermons on Daniel
All his sermons on Daniel

Devotionals on Daniel

Expository Series on Daniel

Moody Bible Institute


Verse by Verse Commentary
Grant Richison

Daniel: The Key To Prophetic Revelation

(Note: This is Dr Walvoord's entire original book of Daniel)

Rosscup - In the opinion of the reviewer, this, Stephen Miller’s effort, and Wood’s 1972 work are the finest overall commentaries of a popular nature on Daniel by premillennial dispensational scholars to date. Walvoord weaves into the work an up-to-date understanding of archaeological and historical confirmations of Daniel that offset the critics and also gives a solid reasoning for a premillennial perspective of Messianic prophecy. He very capably answers the late-daters of Daniel, argues that the four kingdoms of Daniel 2 and 7 are Babylon, Media-Persia, Greece, and Rome, and deals with most problem areas in adequate detail. Still he manages to keep the great theme of the work before the reader. (Ibid)

Peninsula Bible Church


There is considerable disagreement on how the book of the Daniel should be interpreted. Therefore it is strongly recommended that you consider performing your own inductive study prior to consulting any commentaries. The single best inductive study in my opinion is the Precept Ministries International study on Daniel (click here), the understanding of which is crucial to an accurate interpretation of the prophecies in the book of the Revelation. To state it another way, a full understanding of the book of the Revelation is impossible without an accurate understanding of the book of Daniel.

The following is adapted from the introduction to the Revelation Resources because Daniel is replete with prophecies, some of which have been fulfilled (assuming a literal approach) and some of which are yet to be fulfilled. The approach one takes to the interpretation of the future prophecies in the book of the Revelation will greatly influence how one interprets the future prophecies in the book of Daniel. The following chart summarizes the four main "schools" of interpretation regarding the prophecies in the Revelation.

Even more important is to build a firm foundation from your own inductive study of Daniel before you consult even the most respected commentary, otherwise you may be confused by the diversity of interpretations!

The four views of interpretation of Revelation are summarized in the following chart. If you would like to see which "school" of interpretation your favorite commentator espouses, click here for a list of authors who are categorized by their main interpretative approach. Although there are probably some exceptions, the authors in this list undoubtedly take a similar interpretative approach to the unfulfilled prophecies in Daniel (Click here to see Daniel Commentaries categorized by the approach to the important prophecy in Daniel 9:24-27)

John MacArthur (any of his sermons or publications are highly recommended) nicely summarizes the "interpretative challenges" in Daniel noting that

The main challenges center on interpreting passages about future tribulation and kingdom promises. Though the use of Imperial Aramaic and archeology have confirmed the early date of writing, some skeptical interpreters, unwilling to acknowledge supernatural prophecies that came to pass (there are over 100 in Daniel 11 alone that were fulfilled), place these details in the intertestamental times. They see these prophecies, not as miraculously foretelling the future, but as simply the observations of a later writer, who is recording events of his own day. Thus, they date Daniel in the days of Antiochus IV Epiphanes (175–164 b.c., Daniel 8; 11:21–45). According to this scheme, the expectation of the Stone and Son of Man (Da 2, Da 7) turned out to be a mistaken notion that did not actually come to pass, or the writer was being intentionally deceptive."

MacArthur takes a literal approach to the interpretation of Daniel (an approach also taken by this website) noting that there will be a literal

"future 7 year judgment period (cf. Da 7:21,22; 11:36-45; 12:1) and a literal 1,000 year kingdom (cf. Rev. 20) after Christ’s second coming when He will reign over Israelites and Gentiles (Da 7:27)...an era before and distinct from the final, absolutely perfect, ultimate state, i.e., the new heaven and the new earth with its capital, the New Jerusalem (Rev 21,22). The literal interpretation of prophecy, including Daniel, leads to the premillennial perspective.

Finally MacArthur adds that there are specific interpretative challenges such as

interpreting numbers (Da 1:12,20; 3:19; 9:24-27); identifying the one like a Son of Man (Da 7:13,14); determining whether to see Antiochus of the past or Antichrist of the far future in Da 8:19-23; explaining the “seventy sevens” in Da 9:24-27; and deciding whether Antiochus of Da 11:21-35 is still meant in Da 11:36-45, or whether it is the future Antichrist. (MacArthur, J. J. The MacArthur Study Bible. Nashville: Word Pub)


Preterist (from Latin praeter meaning "past") holds that through use of symbols and allegory, the Revelation deals with events that were fulfilled in John's time and that it was written primarily to provide hope and comfort to the first century church persecuted by Rome. For example, this view interprets the beasts of (Rev 13) as imperial Rome and the imperial priesthood. The preterist view is held by many modern scholars, especially liberals and those who deny that the Revelation predicts specific future events.


Views the Revelation as a symbolic or allegorical prophetic survey of church history from the first century up to the Second Coming of Christ and was the view espoused by most of the "reformers". This view however has been largely discounted as it does not adequately address the prophesy in the Revelation. The discerning reader needs to be aware that the historicist view is reflected in most of the "older" commentaries (many of which are public domain works easily accessible on the internet) including the works of John Knox, Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Wesley, Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, C. H. Spurgeon, Matthew Henry, Adam Clarke and Albert Barnes. Unless you understand their historicist approach to prophesy, you may become very confused when reading these older "classic" commentaries. Note that with the exception of Spurgeon, these works are not included in the list of resources. It is also important to realize that many of these "classic" commentaries tend to treat many of the promises to Israel as now having their primary application to the church, and this view is firmly disavowed by this website. An example of a historicist interpretation is the belief that the strong angel of Rev 10 symbolizes the Reformation and that the harlot in Rev 17 represents the Roman Catholic church.


Maintains that Revelation is not predictive prophecy, but a symbolic portrait of the cosmic conflict between the forces of good and evil. In this view the Revelation becomes merely a collection of stories designed to teach spiritual truth. Some refer to this method of interpretation as "Spiritual".


Interprets Revelation 4-22 as predictive of future end time historical events preceding, during and after the return of Jesus Christ, the establishment of His 1000 year, millennial kingdom on earth, followed by the creation of a new heaven and new earth. Variations of this view were held by the earliest expositors, such as Justin Martyr (d. 164), Irenaeus (d. c. 195), et al. This futurist approach has enjoyed a revival since the 19th century and is widely held among evangelicals today.

Note that as best I can discern, most of the resources listed below interpret the book of Daniel using a literal ("futuristic") approach.

The interpretative approach taken by this website regarding Revelation 4-22 and the prophetic sections of the book of Daniel is that these passages describe literal people, places and events that will be fulfilled in the future. As someone has well said "If the plain sense makes good sense seek no other sense lest it result in nonsense." Many of the resources on this page espouse a similar literal interpretative view, but this does not necessarily mean that we agree with every comment in all of the resources.

Bob Deffinbaugh notes that

"What makes the Book of Daniel most profitable for some makes it most problematic for others. Daniel is one of the great Old Testament prophets, and these prophecies have a great deal to say about things yet to come. For the Bible-believing Christian this puts Daniel on the “must read” list. For the unbelieving skeptic, it puts the message and meaning of this great book on the “hit list.” Much that is written about Daniel, then, is written from a critical perspective. Daniel is profitable for the Christian because it describes life in Babylon during the dark days of the captivity of the Jews, in fulfillment of the prophecies God had given this wayward people. Finally, Daniel is a most profitable book because it describes the life of a very godly man, living in an ungodly world."

The wide divergence of interpretative views in the realm of Scripture prophecy makes it imperative that the discerning reader be a "true blue" Berean (Acts 17:11) and perform his or her own inductive study prior to consulting any commentary, tape set, web site or sermon, lest he or she become mired down in confusing rhetoric and specious speculation. The Prophecies in Daniel and the Revelation of Jesus Christ were written to edify, equip, encourage and bless the saints, not to hopelessly confuse or divide them. Maranatha!

Addendum: Clearly any list of "Best Commentaries" on the Book of Daniel is going to be significantly influenced by one's interpretative view of Scripture (literal,  figurative/allegorical, etc). That said, there are 3 sites that usually come up on a Google search of "best commentaries" so let's briefly "review" the "review sites:"

(1) Best Commentaries - A helpful feature in this list is that it provides a notation regarding the view of the commentary on the millennium - Amillennial (often a non-literal approach to prophecy) versus Pre-millennial (usually reflects a literal interpretation of the text). You will note for example that the top two commentaries are both amilennial and as Rosscup's critique says both are somewhat "fuzzy" (my words) in regard to their interpretation of eschatological or prophetic passages, which would seem to me to be a serious deficiency in a commentary on a book in which 8 of the 12 chapters have some of the most incredible prophetic texts in all of Scripture!  Read Rosscup's comments on three of the top five ranked Daniel commentaries- (#1) John Goldingjay (#2) Joyce Baldwin and (#5) Temper Longman. The take away is that the reader needs to be very discerning in any list of "best commentaries" lest he or she be misled as to the true interpretation. The best defense against this trap as mentioned above is to first do your own inductive Bible study of the text under the tutelage of the Holy Spirit and then you will in fact be able to comment on the commentaries! (See consulting conservative commentaries) Remember, while the commentary is usually written by someone with several degrees after they name, if you are a born again believer in Jesus Christ, you have "the Spirit of truth" (Jn 14:17) indwelling you, and He is every ready and able to lead you into all truth independent of whether or not you have an academic degree! Please do not misunderstand - I highly value the academic expertise of the commentaries written by those who are authorities in their field, but ultimately we must be like the ancient Berean followers of Christ "examining (literally "sifted up and down"!) the Scriptures daily, to see whether these things (the sermons preached, doctrine taught, and commentaries written)" are truly reflective of an accurate handling of "the Word of Truth." (Acts 17:11-note, 2 Ti 2:15-note

(2) Ligonier Ministries Top Commentaries on the Book of Daniel - Suffice it to say that not even one of the top 5 commentaries on their list interprets Daniel 9:24-27 as a prophecy which has a yet future final fulfillment. 

(3) Best Commentaries on Daniel - This is Tim Challies' list which is similar to Ligonier's, so it is not surprising that there is not one of these works (the one by Davis may be an exception but his comments on Da 9:24-27 are still somewhat vague) that sees Daniel 9:24-27 as having a component that his yet to be fulfilled in the future. 

In summary, if you believe that the safest approach to interpretation of the Bible is literal, then suffice it to say you will likely be disappointed by the majority of the offerings of "best commentaries on Daniel." Therefore the watchword is "Caveat Emptor" when you go to either study or to purchase a commentary on the prophetic book of Daniel. Hopefully, the list below will give some guidance. And as you have surely already surmised, the majority of the works listed on this page of Daniel Commentaries and Sermons are from sources that seek to interpret the text literally, and also interpret figurative language (e.g., the statute in Daniel 2, the 4 beasts in Daniel 7, etc) with a literal interpretation. Remember that although the language of a text may be figurative or metaphorical, in the final analysis God always intends it to have a literal meaning.

For more discussion on the origin and spiritual danger of the allegorical method of interpretation especially as applied to prophetic books like Daniel click here for Anthony Garland's analysis. He also has an interesting discussion on Understanding Symbols and FiguresAbuse of Numbers in Biblical Interpretation and Literal Interpretation of Numbers.

Recommended Resources
(And Some that are not recommended)

The first group of resources below accepts Daniel 9:25-26 as a prophecy of the Messiah and allows for a "Gap" Between Daniel's 69 and 70th Week. The works in this first group seek the normal, literal interpretation and would in general be classified as "futurists" and millennialists.

Disclaimer: Note that categorizing an entire work and/or writer's interpretative approach is undoubtedly somewhat subjective so if you see a commentary that you know is inappropriately classified, please email your concern and it will be researched and corrected as needed.

  • Anderson, Sir Robert: Daniel in the Critic's Den and The Coming Prince

    Rosscup - A popular, brief premillennial exposition of Daniel by an expositor who is a master of synthesis. Campbell taught Bible exposition at Dallas Seminary for many years. He illustrates vividly and gears the work for lay people. (Commentaries For Biblical Expositors - excellent resource)

    Rosscup - In a very systematic and thorough way, the author delves into Daniel to compare the amillennial, premillennial and postmillennial interpretations. He defends the premillennial view and presents several arguments to show that it is superior. It is a penetrating work and very valuable to have. In an appendix, he gives seven arguments in support of his view that the new heavens and new earth will come at the beginning of the millennium and not at the end. Many will disagree that the Bible supports this idea.. (Commentaries For Biblical Expositors - excellent resource)

    James Rosscup: A light, cursory exposition is along popular and premillennial lines, using a lot of long quotes and doing little more than outline prophetical matters. But it has some good principles for application. For the most part, one would derive more benefit from various works that offer so much more than the appeal of packaging. (Commentaries For Biblical Expositors - excellent resource)

    James Rosscup: Miller provides a careful premillennial, dispensational explanation on details, such as on Dan. 2, 7, and 11–12. His introduction upholds Daniel in the sixth century B. C. as author, and reviews the history of criticism, answering main reasons some use for a second century date, among other things. In the commentary, he offers competent light on many problems, and shows he is aware of views, often giving copious reasons for his own. He describes what the fiery furnace looked like (115), and has good discussions on such details as the Son of Man (7:13–14), and a defense of a premillennial view in 7:15ff, and a gap before the seventieth seven in 9:27 with the seven coming right before Christ’s Second Advent. Along premillennial lines it ranks close to Leon Wood’s work, and on discussing critical viewpoints offers more. (Commentaries For Biblical Expositors - excellent resource)

    Rosscup - A dispensational survey, documenting his use of scholarly literature and mingling exegesis and devotional elements. His dispensational interpretations are fairly standard. .(Commentaries For Biblical Expositors - excellent resource)

    The second group listed below accepts Daniel 9:25-26 as Prophecy of the Messiah but does not interpret a Gap between Daniel's 69 & 70th Week

    Most of these works interpret Daniel's 70th week as literally following the 69th week and interpret the he in Daniel 9:27 as the Messiah and not the Antichrist. Basically most of these writers also do not accept the 1000 year reign of Messiah on earth (i.e., they are amillennialists) as mentioned in Revelation 20.

    • Baldwin, Joyce G: Daniel: An Introduction and Commentary. (Inter-Varsity Press, 1978). (Baldwin makes an odd comment that "The numbers are symbolic and not arithmetical; by the time 69 sevens have passed, God's allotted seventy is almost complete" She goes on to add that "to him (Daniel) the 70 years covered the whole of future time, and the coming of the kingdom looked from his vantage-point like one event.")

    Rosscup - The main contribution of this brief work is in the many references to literature in Baldwin’s sometimes broad reading and awareness. Baldwin is also helpful in referring at times back and forth from liberal to conservative views (cf. on resurrection, Da 12:2), so that the reader sees the difference in interpretative systems. One is disappointed in what she does (or fails to do) with some texts, such as Da Da 7:12, “the rest of the beasts.” Cf. by comparison Leon Wood. Baldwin’s work seems to lack a grasp of eschatological details whereas Walvoord, Wood etc. are more clear-cut in a consistent system they can verify in a meaningful way from Scripture.A dispensational survey, documenting his use of scholarly literature and mingling exegesis and devotional elements. His dispensational interpretations are fairly standard. .(Commentaries For Biblical Expositors - excellent resource)

    • Barnes, Albert: Barnes Notes on the Old Testament (ca 1942)
    • Calvin, John: Calvin's Commentaries (mid 1500's)

    Rosscup - This work appeared first in Latin in 1561. The reader will find much judicious comment with spiritual perception on the character of Daniel. The prophetical view Calvin advocates is amillennial, so one will see how he explains and defends that perspective on such passages as Daniel 2, 7, 9, 11, and 12. (Commentaries For Biblical Expositors - excellent resource)

    • Clarke, A: Clarke's Commentary: Daniel (ca 1850's)
    • Gill, John: Exposition of the Old and New Testaments (ca mid-1700's)
    • Henry, Matthew: Matthew Henry's commentary on the whole Bible (1706)
    • Jamieson, R., Fausset, & Brown: A commentary, critical and explanatory (1871) - This is one of the better older commentaries and tends to interpret Scripture literally!
    • Keil, C. F., & Delitzsch, F: Commentary on the Old Testament (1866-1891) (Presents a difficult to follow discussion which seems to conclude the 70th week correlates with the end times in which Antichrist is exterminated, but they interpret the "seven's" symbolically and thus do not formally espouse a "gap") 
    • Longman, Tremper III. Daniel (NIV Application Commentary)

    James Rosscup: A Westmont College professor posits sixth century B. C. material in Daniel, but his work is soft toward late-daters, even toward one who denies the possibility of supernatural prophecy in Dan. 7–12 (23). Longman seeks to resolve alleged inaccuracies as in Da 1:1–2 (43), difficult phrases such as “ten times better” in Da 1:20 (54), usually meeting them head-on in a substantial commentary of 313 pp. He is of the opinion in Daniel 7:1-6 that the four beasts represent an unspecified number of evil kingdoms that will succeed one another from the exile to Christ’s future coming (190). Many principles help readers in application, but too often the comments on prophecy mislead or leave uncertainty, not help one have a sound view. (Commentaries For Biblical Expositors - excellent resource) (Bolding added for emphasis)

    • Young, E J: The Prophecy of Daniel (1949)

    Rosscup (writing on Young's "The Messianic Prophecies of Daniel") has this comment - This is a solid work showing how an outstanding fairly recent amillennial scholar deals with so crucial a book on eschatology. It reveals the vital points at which he attacks dispensationalism. The commentary is very good in its verse by verse exegesis but is weak in eschatology, as shown by his treatment of Daniel 9:24–27 and the “stone” in chapter 2. He fastens upon the dispensational teaching that the kingdom of the future will be a thousand years, then argues from chapter 2 that the kingdom has to be eternal. Actually, dispensationalists are misrepresented here, for they believe in both. (Commentaries For Biblical Expositors - excellent resource) (Bolding added for emphasis) (Ed comment: It is indeed a sad paradox that in a clearly prophetic book like Daniel, the writer of a commentary on Daniel would be assessed as "weak in eschatology." And yet Young's work on Daniel is the #1 ranked commentary by Ligonier Ministries! So what is the upshot? As alluded to above, one must be very careful not to rely too heavily on the so-called "best commentary" lists!) 

    • Geneva Study Bible: Study Notes (1599)
    • Mauro, Philip: The Seventy Weeks and the Great Tribulation (1921)
    • Leupold, H. C.: Exposition of Daniel (Baker Book House, 1949)

    Rosscup -  This amillennial work is quite detailed and helpful in showing the amillennial type of approach to the crucial prophecies, The work by Young, however, is better.(Commentaries For Biblical Expositors - excellent resource)

    • New Bible Commentary (Sinclair Ferguson)

    This last group does not believe Daniel 9:24-27 is a prophecy of the Messiah and thus these works generally equate with a liberal school of (non-literal) interpretation

    This group generally argues that Daniel was written in the second century (late date) after all the historical events prophesied had come to pass and thus they conclude that the entire book represents the author's (not the original Daniel) interpretation of past history. In general the commentators this non-Christological group attempts to find fulfillment of the Daniel's 70 Weeks in the events leading up to the persecution of Antiochus Epiphanes. In 168 B.C., a pagan altar was constructed on top of the great altar of burnt sacrifices, and a pagan sacrifice was offered under the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes. This act precipitated the Maccabean revolt which Antiochus attempted unsuccessfully to put down with great cruelty (167-164 B.C.).

    The works below have some excellent aspects from an academic aspect but on prophet passages "be a Berean"! (Acts 17:11-note) Note that several of these works are published by companies that one normally considered conservative evangelical sources, but clearly that does not guarantee that the contents are thoroughly conservative and evangelical. Examine every commentary (including the notes you are now reading!) carefully. Hold fast (present imperative = command to make this one's lifestyle) to those that are true (cf 1Th 5:21-note). The only way you will personally be able to achieve this goal is to learn to study the Scriptures inductively (Click introduction to inductive Bible study).

    Solid food (as prepared by careful inductive study) is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil (see Hebrews 5:14-note)

    • Goldingay, John E: Daniel. Word Biblical Commentary. Volume 30 (Dallas: Word Books, 1989) (For example he writes that "There is no reason to refer it exegetically to the first or second coming of Christ.", page 260)

    Rosscup - Immense research in books and journals has gone into this. It has excellent footnote details, many word studies, and a long, learned discussion on introductory matters that is quite informative for many. It summarizes the history of interpreting Daniel from the LXX to Goldingay’s work. Goldingay favors a second century date and sees much fulfillment of prophecy in Maccabean times; it is history written after things happen. He feels the author stretches history at times, and favors saying that the fourth empire in Daniel 7 is an elephant. Often numbers are symbolical. The work has much to offer on literature and views in many cases but is not of reliable value in handling prophecy, in the minds of premillennialists. (Commentaries For Biblical Expositors - excellent resource)

    • Brown, R. E., Fitzmyer, J. A., & Murphy, R. E: The Jerome Biblical commentary (1968)
    • Matthews, V. H., Chavalas, M. W., & Walton, J. H: The IVP Bible background commentary: Old Testament (InterVarsity Press, 2000)
    • Montgomery, James A: A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Book of Daniel. The International Critical Commentary. (1964)

    Rosscup: This is a detailed study of the text from a critical standpoint, and is, in this regard, very helpful to the serious student who is dealing with problems. Often the work is in a dense fog on prophetical positions, fostering confusion. (Commentaries For Biblical Expositors - excellent resource)

    • F F Bruce: A popular commentary series edited by F. F. Bruce and William Barclay (Abingdon Press) is full of modernistic thought and historical-critical discussion and specifically in the volume dealing with Daniel, the book of Daniel is said to have been written after the fulfillment of the events prophesied therein. In the same volume we are told that we cannot know who authored the book of Daniel (though Jesus Christ strongly implies that Daniel wrote it -- he certainly spoke it - Mt 24:15!).
    • Russell, D. S: Daniel. The Daily Study Bible series. (Westminster John Knox Press, 1981)

    This is by the famous author of The Method and Message of Jewish Apocalyptic (1964), later General Secretary of the Baptist Union of Great Britain. The series purports to have experts in their field write in a form that will appeal to the general public. Russell dates Daniel ca. 165 B. C., using arguments such as vocabulary and style. These have been answered well in favor of a 6th century date by such men as Edwin Yamauchi, Greece and Babylon. Yet there is much elucidation from careful scholarship even for evangelicals whose studies lead them to different conclusions. Russell in typical liberal fashion sees the parts of the image as depicting Neo-Babylon, Media, Persia and Greece. The fulfillment of God’s Kingdom is not in a far off kingdom (that, says Russell, is strained and fanciful exegesis), but in the writer’s own time. His hopes were not realized, for the kingdom did not come literally in the way he expected in his day (p. 54). Yet Russell does believe in the New Testament hope of the kingdom at the end of history. On 12:2, he says wrongly that the earlier Hebrews had no belief in individual life beyond the grave (p. 218). While the work often does not offer reliable help that understands the writer’s expectation in the futuristic way the writer most naturally seems to mean it, there is much to open up vividly many of the verses on other details. The work is helpful if one wants to see how a liberal mind deals with what is said. (Commentaries For Biblical Expositors - excellent resource)


    By Kay Arthur

    Revelation Part 3

    • Lecture 00 Knowing Revelation Takes Away the Fear
    • Lecture 01 Knowing Who God Is & Living Accordingly
    • Lecture 02 Who Do You Bow Down To?
    • Lecture 03 When Will the Mystery of God be Finished?
    • Lecture 04 Date Setting and The Return of Christ
    • Lecture 05 Matthew 24 and the Coming of the Son of Man
    • Lecture 06 When Does the Tribulation Begin?
    • Lecture 07 Why Is It So Important to Understand the Jew?
    • Lecture 08 Is God Finished With the Jews?
    • Lecture 09 This Land is Your Land...Forever!
    • Lecture 10 What Happened to the Old Testament Promises Regarding Israel?
    • Lecture 11 A Prophecy Regarding Israel: The Beginning of the End

    Revelation Part 4

    • Lecture 00 Where are the leaders? The Strong and Courageous? Those valiant for God's absolutes?
    • Lecture 01 The Lord Jesus Christ is Returning: You Can Count on It!
    • Lecture 02 Are the Events of Revelation Past? Happening Now? Or Yet Future?
    • Lecture 03 It's the Last Hour! Don't be Misled by the Devil's Antichrists
    • Lecture 04 What Will it be Like When the ''Real'' Antichrist Comes?
    • Lecture 05 When Will the Antichrist rear his Destructive head?
    • Lecture 06 The Devil's Beauty & Beast
    • Lecture 07 Who is the Great harlot Babylon?
    • Lecture 08 The Day of the Lord is Coming
    • Lecture 09 Where Will the Church be When the Day of the Lord Comes?
    • Lecture 10 What & When is Armageddon?
    • Lecture 11 When Jesus Returns to the Earth Where Will the Church Be?
    • Lecture 12 Where is the Church in the Book of the Revelation?
    • Lecture 13 Where is the Church in the 1000 Year Reign?



DISCLAIMER: Before you "go to the commentaries" go to the Scriptures and study them inductively (Click 3 part overview of how to do Inductive Bible Study) in dependence on your Teacher, the Holy Spirit, Who Jesus promised would guide us into all the truth (John 16:13). Remember that Scripture is always the best commentary on Scripture. Any commentary, even those by the most conservative and orthodox teacher/preachers cannot help but have at least some bias of the expositor based upon his training and experience. Therefore the inclusion of specific links does not indicate that we agree with every comment. We have made a sincere effort to select only the most conservative, "bibliocentric" commentaries. Should you discover some commentary or sermon you feel may not be orthodox, please email your concern. I have removed several links in response to concerns by discerning readers. I recommend that your priority be a steady intake of solid Biblical food so that with practice you will have your spiritual senses trained to discern good from evil (Heb 5:14-note).