Daniel Taken to Babylon
Through the captivity of Daniel we have the book of Daniel which provides us with some of the most detailed and spectacular prophecies. Daniel’s prophecies are of Jesus Christ coming, both the first time and His second which we watch for now, the major empires that existed right from the time of Daniel to the end of the age of sin as well as both resurrections and the judgment of humanity.
Daniel 1:1-7 ESV explains how Daniel and other promising young people were taken to Babylon for training in Babylonian culture and literature. It was the sixth century before the birth of Christ and the world was alive with all forms of religious gods and knowledge such as:
· Construction of the Parthenon began which was later dedicated to the Greek goddess, Athena, and located on the Acropolis hill overlooking Athens.
· The Mayan civilization flourished in Mexico. Advances such as writing, epigraphy, and the calendar did not originate with the Maya; however, their civilization fully developed them. This is where we get the 12/21/12 date.
· Confucius lived and according to Chinese tradition, was a thinker, political figure, educator, and founder of the Ru School of Chinese thought. Fung Yu-lan, one of the great 20th century authorities on the history of Chinese thought, compares Confucius' influence in Chinese history with that of Socrates in the West.
· Buddha was born to the rulers of the Shakya clan. The legends that grew up around him hold that both his conception and birth were miraculous.
It was in a day when Daniel, who worshiped only one god, and an invisible God at that, stood out in the crowd. It was a time when God was calling Israel to return back unto Him, forsaking all the many false gods and idols of pagans. It was a time when Gods warnings had run out.
 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it.  And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with some of the vessels of the house of God. And he brought them to the land of Shinar, to the house of his god, and placed the vessels in the treasury of his god.
Israel had been warned time and time again by God’s prophets that Jerusalem would be taken. No matter how many prophets God sent or how many times He intervened for Israel, they continually went back to the pagan gods and the festivals of the surrounding nations, rejecting the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Due to their continual return to and worship of false idols that broke the very first commandment, half of Israel had already fallen into the hands of the Assyrians just after the death of King Solomon. Now forces under the leadership of prince Nebuchadnezzar were threatening Jerusalem.
Jeremiah 25:8-11ESV. “Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts: Because you have not obeyed my words, behold, I will send for all the tribes of the north, declares the LORD, and for Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and I will bring them against this land and its inhabitants, and against all these surrounding nations. I will devote them to destruction, and make them a horror, a hissing, and an everlasting desolation. Moreover, I will banish from them the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the grinding of the millstones and the light of the lamp. This whole land shall become a ruin and a waste, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.
Daniel states that the Siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar was near the end of the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim. Jeremiah places the overtaking of Jerusalem and the captivity of the Israelites in the fourth year of Jehoiakim. They are both correct for the battle started as Daniel stated in 605 BC but finished nine months later as Jeremiah reckons in 606 BC.
This is not the first time that Jerusalem had been overtaken by the Babylon Empire. The first was under the rule of Zedekiah where the inhabitants suffered great horrors which included famine. The second siege came upon Jehoiachin, the son of King Jehoiakim by Jehoiakim's wife Nehushta. Not only were many inhabitants captured under this siege, but the Temple was looted and all the sacred vessels were either taken or destroyed. Now upon Daniels capture, Jerusalem was again taken by Nebuchadnezzar. Jehoiakim, the king of Judah was bound and made ready to be taken as captive to Babylon, greatly humbled, he was granted permission to remain as ruler of Jerusalem under the direct authority of the king of Babylon.
Ezekiel 12:13 ESV And I will spread my net over him, and he shall be taken in my snare. And I will bring him to Babylon, the land of the Chaldeans, yet he shall not see it, and he shall die there.
In 586 BC, Jehoiakim could no longer handle being King by name only and attempted to escape. He was captured by the Chaldeans, his sons killed before him then his eyes plucked out before being taken to Babylon, thus fulfilling Ezekiel 12:13, yet he shall not see it.
The city of Jerusalem, including Solomon’s Temple was then destroyed and its inhabitants enslaved and brought to Babylon. Only a few farmers and shepherds were left behind, however they now worked for Nebuchadnezzar and their labours went to feeding the Babylonians.
Jeremiah 17:24-27 ESV “‘But if you listen to me, declares the LORD, and bring in no burden by the gates of this city on the Sabbath day, but keep the Sabbath day holy and do no work on it, then there shall enter by the gates of this city kings and princes who sit on the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they and their officials, the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And this city shall be inhabited forever. And people shall come from the cities of Judah and the places around Jerusalem, from the land of Benjamin, from the Shephelah, from the hill country, and from the Negeb, bringing burnt offerings and sacrifices, grain offerings and frankincense, and bringing thank offerings to the house of the LORD. But if you do not listen to me, to keep the Sabbath day holy, and not to bear a burden and enter by the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day, then I will kindle a fire in its gates, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem and shall not be quenched.’”
Through Prophets such as Jeremiah as well as many others God did not only warn them about false gods, but on keeping the Sabbath Holy unto Him. By bringing idols into the temple they had profaned the sacred vessels so God let their enemies; the Chaldeans and Nebuchadnezzar take them as trophies along with captives of the Royal family. God here used the Chaldeans to bring about the prophesied warnings of going against His will.
At this point Nebuchadnezzar’s father, King Nabopolassar, died and he had to return to secure the throne of Babylon.
 Then the king commanded Ashpenaz, his chief eunuch, to bring some of the people of Israel, both of the royal family and of the nobility,  youths without blemish, of good appearance and skillful in all wisdom, endowed with knowledge, understanding learning, and competent to stand in the king's palace, and to teach them the literature and language of the Chaldeans.
The exile of the Israelites, their royal family and nobility which included Daniel Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, fulfills the prophecies given in 2 Kings 20 and Isaiah 39 a century earlier.
In hopes of winning a political partner against the Assyrians, Hezekiah had shown representatives from Babylon around his treasuries which included the Temple sacred vessels. The failure to trust God to protect them was met with the fulfillment of prophecy that declared that the treasures he had shown the Babylonians along with some of his own descendants would be captured and carried off to Babylon.
When Daniel and his friends arrived in Babylon, they were handed over to Ashpenaz, the chief eunuch, (eunuch means court officer, in some cases they were castrated but not always) for they were both wise and without blemish, (being without blemish would mean that Daniel was not castrated) and he was to properly educate them in the Babylonian ways and customs.
After this three year training period, they were to be presented before the King, who would then assign them duties within his government.
 The king assigned them a daily portion of the food that the king ate, and of the wine that he drank. They were to be educated for three years, and at the end of that time they were to stand before the king.  Among these were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah of the tribe of Judah.  And the chief of the eunuchs gave them names: Daniel he called Belteshazzar, Hananiah he called Shadrach, Mishael he called Meshach, and Azariah he called Abednego.
The young captive slaves who were chosen for training as future eunuchs and other various government jobs were to be treated as per their future status. They were to be fed straight from the King’s own table and be given the King’s own wine as drink. However this did not mean that they still were not considered slaves, the process of stripping Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah of their Judean customs, and heritage and making sure they knew whom they now served started with the change of their name, names that honoured the true God over the ones that honoured their heathen Babylonian gods. It appears that this was by no means meant to compel them to change or reject their religion, for what was yet another God in a nation that worshiped hundreds.
· Daniel’s name signified, “judge for God” and was changed to Belteshazzar signifying “prince of Bel”.
· Hananiah, meant “gift of the Lord” which became Shadrach, meaning “servant of Sin” (the moon god).
· Mishael, means “who is what God is” and was changed to Meshach, which means “who is what Aku is” (Aku being the Sumerian equivalent of Sin, the name of the moon god).
· Azariah, signifies “whom Jehovah helps” who was renamed Abednego, the “servant of Nebo.”
Brother Chris Oct. 2011
Psalm 53…Friday September 23rd, 2011
We all have sinned and sin is an obstacle between us and God
ONLY GOD CAN ULTIMATELY SAVE US!
The fool says in his heart, there is no God
They are corrupt and their ways are vile, there is no one who does good.
God looks down from heaven….to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God.
When God restores let the people rejoice
O the foolishness of atheism Romans 3:10
People may say there is no God in order to cover their sin, or to have an excuse to continue in their sin
Many atheists and unbelievers are highly educated and highly intelligent.
FOOLS ARE THOSE WHO REJECT GOD, THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN SAVE THEM.
In our desire to do wrong we treat God as if he does not exist.
Rejection of God will turn into terror of God
David prayed for salvation to reach his people.
He also praised God for giving favor to an unworthy nation
Denying God separates us from our divine Father but we can choose to avoid this tragedy and in humility turn to so encounter divine grace
WHO HAS THE CURE FOR SIN AND DEATH?
OPEN YOUR HEART TO GOD TODAY and WATCH GOD ACCOMPLISH CHANGES IN AREAS YOU HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO CHANGE
NOW IS THE DAY OF SALVATION SO CHOOSE WISELY
study by Charlotte....September 2011