7.21 Daniel -- Deportation

Daniel was among the first group of Jews deported from Judah to Babylon.  He was taken to Babylon in 605 BC, following the Battle of Carchemish (although some argue for a deportation in 602), during the reign of Jehoiakim (Dan 1:1-2).  Thereafter, he made no further reference to events occurring in Judah.  Though he lived through the catastrophic fall of Jerusalem in 586 and even the beginnings of the restoration in 539, he did not mention either event.

 

He must have been very young when taken captive:

        Daniel remained there until the first year of King Cyrus (Dan 1:21).

        Since Cyrus began his rule in 539, 65 years had passed since Daniel was exiled.  There is no record that he ever returned to his homeland.

        

Daniel lived (and served the court) during the reigns of the following Babylonian kings:  Nebuchadnezzar, Nabonidus and Belshazzar.  These were discussed in the Exile history section.  One other king mentioned in the book is a mystery:

         "Darius the Mede” is probably either Cyrus himself (539-530) or Gubaru, his governor in Babylon.  Those who take the former view read Dan 6:28, "the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian" as "the reign of Darius, that is, the reign of Cyrus the Persian."   Biblically, Cyrus is of great importance as the pagan king, foretold by Isaiah (Isa 44:26-28Isa 45:1-13), who was moved by God to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem (2 Chr 36:22-23Ezra 1:1-4).  Darius the Mede could not have been Darius 1 of Persia ("the Great"), because the latter did not begin his rule until 522 BC, which had to have been a decade or more after Daniel's death.

        

Daniel was a contemporary of both Ezekiel and Jeremiah, but unlike either of them.  They were vitally connected to the ongoing catastrophe of Jerusalem's destruction, whereas Daniel was far removed from contemporary events.  Daniel's visions were concerned with the succession of empires and the end-times: apocalyptic. 

        

Our purpose is not to decipher the events, symbols and persons in his visions -- there are many other works that do this -- but to detect any racial teachings or implications.