Daniel is a pretty cool book. Even though it's only 12 chapters, Daniel has crazy kings killing people, guys who are thrown into a furnace and don't burn up, crazy kings killing people, wacked out dreams and crazy kings killing people. Did I mention that it has crazy kings killing people? That seems like a prerequisite for books in the Old Testament, huh?
Daniel is the last of the so called "Major Prophet" books, which started with Isaiah. (I bet Hosea is ticked that he didn't make the cut.) When the book starts out, the Israelites are under Babylonian rule and Daniel and a few of his homies have been hand selected (because they are awesome) to serve in the king's palace. These are the kinds of guys that could do multiplication and division... in their head! That's how smart they were!
Daniel, You're so Dreamy
Daniel's specialty was interpreting dreams and one day the King (Nebuchadnezzar) started having dreams and was "troubled and he could not sleep." Rough life as an ancient king, huh? Anyways, Nebby gathers his Babylonian Mensa crew and is like "I've got some crazy dreams. If you can interpret them for me, I'll give you whatever you want" Awesome, right? The Mensa dudes are all "cool, Nebby. Tell us the dreams." But Nebby ain't stupid. He realizes that the Mensa dudes could say anything and be like "there you go. Dream interpreted. Now here's my list of stuff I want. And I'd like iphone 4 first. The 150 inch HDTV can wait since I heard they were backordered." Instead, Nebby's like "just to make sure I can trust you, tell me what my dream was. That way I know you're the real deal." The Mensa dudes are like "no one can do that. It's impossible!" King Nebby dons the crazy hat and says "In that case, I will have you and all the other wise men in Babylon executed" Whoa! Kill all the smart people? Now that's a great way to ensure that your country devolves. Danny is summoned, says "let's do some chillin' on the killin'," interprets the dream and the king makes Danny and his homies really important people in the kingdom.
A Lion's gotta eat too
Perhaps the most popular story in the book (and this week's design) is Daniel and the Lion's den. Danny is set up by people who are jealous of him and the king ends up with his hands tied and has to throw Danny into a den of lions. Most people didn't come out of that den alive, but ole' Danny is protected by Yahweh so he just curls up to the lions, pets them under the chin and they start purrin'. Awwww.... Cute story, huh? Lest you forget we are in the Old Testament, the king decides that a fair punishment for the people who set Danny up would be to throw them into the lion's den. And their wives. And their children. Yup, we're still in the the Old Testament. Next week we start getting minor with Hosea.