Most people have heard of Daniel. He is the man who said his prayers and would not give up even when they threw him into a den of lions. God was with Daniel, delivered him from the lions' mouths and Daniel became an example of faith to believers ever since.
As a teenager Daniel and his three friends were taken captive by the cruel Babylonian army who first besieged Jerusalem in 605 BC. Daniel was subsequently relocated and educated in Babylon. Very early on he determined to honour God and found that God honoured him. Daniel rose to become one of the leading civil servants, serving in both the Babylonian and Medo-Persian empires.
The book of Daniel is divided into two parts. Chapters 1 to 6 contain (mainly) narrative history of Daniel and his friends. How they stood against the pressure to conform to the secular idolatry of their day. Chapters 7 to 12 contain (mainly) a series of and visions and prophecies about the future. He accurately prophesied the rise and fall of the three other empires that succeeded the Babylonian and governed the land of Israel. As clearly as any of the other major prophets Daniel wonderfully spoke of the coming of the Messiah Jesus Christ and His death for our sins. An understanding of Daniel's prophecies helps us to understand how to interpret other prophetical books including Ezekiel and Revelation.
Daniel's name translated means: "God is Judge". As a boy Daniel saw the judgement of God upon his own people the Jews, for their sins. Through life's trials, as Daniel stood for God, he saw God vindicate him again and again. As an old man Daniel lived to see the judgement of God upon the same Babylonian empire that had destroyed Jerusalem years before. His life speaks powerfully to us today and to all who stand for God in a hostile and secular culture.