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This summary of the book of Daniel provides information about the title, author(s), date of writing, chronology, theme, theology, outline, a brief overview, and the chapters of the Book of Daniel.
The book implies that Daniel was its author in several passages, such as 9:2; 10:2. That Jesus concurred is clear from his reference to " the abomination that causes desolation,' spoken of through the prophet Daniel" (Mt 24:15; see note there), quoting 9:27 (see note there); 11:31; 12:11. The book was probably completed c. 530 b.c., shortly after Cyrus the Great, king of Persia, captured the city of Babylon in 539.
The widely held view that the book of Daniel is largely fictional rests mainly on the modern philosophical assumption that long-range predictive prophecy is impossible. Therefore all fulfilled predictions in Daniel, it is claimed, had to have been composed no earlier than the Maccabean period (second century b.c.), after the fulfillments had taken place. But objective evidence excludes this hypothesis on several counts:
Objective evidence, therefore, appears to exclude the late-date hypothesis and indicates that there is insufficient reason to deny Daniel's authorship.
The theological theme of the book is summarized in 4:17; 5:21: "The Most High (God) is sovereign over the kingdoms of men." Daniel's visions always show God as triumphant (7:11,26-27;8:25;9:27). The climax of his sovereign rule is described in Revelation: "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ [i.e., Messiah, 'Anointed One'], and he will reign for ever and ever" (rev 11:15;da 2:44;7:27;s).
The book is made up primarily of historical narrative (found mainly in chs. 1 - 6) and apocalyptic ("revelatory") material (found mainly in chs. 7 - 12). The latter may be defined as symbolic, visionary, prophetic literature, usually composed during oppressive conditions and being chiefly eschatological in theological content. Apocalyptic literature is primarily a literature of encouragement to the people of God (see Introduction to Zechariah: Literary Form and Themes; see also Introduction to Revelation: Literary Form). For the symbolic use of numbers in apocalyptic literature see Introduction to Revelation: Distinctive Feature.