Daniel was among the Jews who were carried off into captivity in Babylon about 2600 years ago.
Even though he was a captive, he received an education and rose to a high position in the Babylonian government. He later rose to a high position in the Persian government after the Persians conquered Babylon. Because of his faith in God he was persecuted by the Babylonians. At one point, he was thrown into a den of lions, but survived.
The Bible’s book of Daniel deals with many historical events of that era. His book also contains prophecies concerning the future. Daniel saw and described the great world empires that were to come. He also saw the power of God and of the Messiah (Jesus Christ) who was to come and undo the evil of this world.
The book of Daniel is divided into two parts. The first part is a collection of narratives about Daniel and his friends (Chapters 1 – 6). The second part is a collection of apocalyptic visions foreseeing the course of world history (Chapters 7 – 12).
After a three-year training period in Babylon, Daniel was found to be smarter than all of the skilled magicians and wise astrologers in Babylon, and was appointed as a counselor to King Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel held that position until the first year of the reign of King Cyrus.
Daniel stayed true to God and prayed three times a day. He refused to bow to idols, and would not eat the food or drink the wine furnished by the King. He ate only vegetables and drank water. Through his faithfulness, God gave him the power to interpret dreams, see into the future, and God gave him a long life.
The name Daniel means “God is my judge.” His book is the fourth book of the four Major Prophets.