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Daniel 6 & 9

09.08.2010

6 | I was surprised to learn today that by this point in the story Daniel was over 80 years old!  You always think of Daniel as a young guy in the lion’s den, but he was no spring chicken. 

The ESV Study Bible makes a good point about this story.  Without descrediting the historical truth of Daniel in the lion’s den, it’s also spiritually descriptive.  Daniel has spent almost his entire life in the metaphorical lion’s den of exile.  God provided protection for him in that larger sense, turning the situation for His greater glory, as exemplified by His protection in the immediate story.  Daniel can then be read as a stand-in for Israel, whom God has protected during the 70-ish years since the defeat of Judah. 

This connection is even more explicit since the lion was the royal symbol of Babylon.  As the Persians bring about the punishment of Babylon that had been foretold by Jeremiah, Habakkuk, and Ezekiel, God allows this episode of Daniel in the lion’s den to demonstrate what He had been doing over the previous 70 years.

9 | Daniel is well-versed in his scripture; note that he name-checks Jeremiah in chapter 9.  He is referencing Jeremiah’s prophecy (Jer. 25:11) that God would allow the Jews to be in exile for 70 years before bringing them back to their homeland.  As I believe I mentioned at the time, this is another one of those dual-time horizon promises.  Yes, they come back to the land and reestablish the temple, but it’s not the realization of God’s kingdom on earth just yet.  His redeeming work is still to be accomplished on a global scale, and the immediate return of much of the Jewish elite (including the Davidic line) to the Promised Land is a preparatory step for the Incarnation to come.

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