The tales establish Daniel's credibility as a righteous Jew whose God-given wisdom enables him to overcome the challenges
of exile and to point to God's redemption of Jews from foreign domination.
Four young Jews in the Babylonian court. This tale establishes the theme of adherence to Jewish identity and practice by pointing to the success, wisdom, and good
health of four young Jewish men who decline the delicacies and wine of the Babylonian king in order to observe Jewish dietary
The third year of the reign of King Jehoiakim was 606 BCE. Nebuchadnezzar assumed the throne of Babylon in 605 BCE, after he defeated Egypt and brought Judah under his rule. He besieged Jerusalem in 597 BCE during the reign of Jehoiachin (2 Kings 24.1–16
) and again in 587 BCE during the regency of Zedekiah (2 Kings 25.1–7
). Shinar: the location of Babylon (Gen 10.10; 11.2; Zech 5.11
The Babylonians trained persons from subject nations to serve in their courts. Palace master: Literally, “chief eunuch.” Chaldeans: Aramaic-speaking Neo-Babylonians, used in Daniel for wise men. Daniel and his companions were given Babylonian names.
The royal rations of food and wine are not kosher
and therefore are unsuitable for Jews (Lev 11; Deut 14
). Dream interpretation
is a mark of wisdom (Gen 40–41
God grants wisdom and understanding to those who adhere to divine requirements. The first year of King Cyrus was 539 BCE.
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