Lets start our Bible Study of the Book of Daniel:
I must mention to all of you that we will be using an incredible software that anyone and everyone should and could download for free, created by Rick Meyers. I am also including the Website Link http://www.e-sword.net/; I am using the Literate Translation just because is the one that is more directly translated from the original writings with the exception of the “Septuagint” Translation which you will also find among the many selection (that you can download for free from e-Sword website). So lets start.
Dan 1:1 LITV
(1) In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it.
In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah…
In Palestine the accession year of a king was counted as the first year of the reign. Daniel dates this from the point of view of the Babylonian, see also:
Jer 25:1 LITV
(1) The Word that was to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah. It was the first year of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon.
In terms of putting on perspective on time this is estimated to be 605B.C. Jehoiakim was the eldest of a godly king called Josiah and Pharaoh Nechoh made him king in place of his younger brother. He was a vassal to the Egyptian king for four years (609B.C. to 605B.C.) and to the Babylonian king then after. Jeremiah had being in the ministry for about 23 years asking to the people of God to change their ways or prepared to pay for their sins their consequences. But we must not forget that we are talking about Daniel, and during this event Daniel was a young child, well educated in every way.
So as the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar I (for the purposes of understanding this event and this Book we are going to call this king Nebuchadnezzar I, understand this is not the name that he is known historically) was on his war tour, he desire after conquering the empire of Egypt on the battle of Carchemish in May-June 605B.C., on his way back he besiege Judah. This was due to the important and strategic position of it in the known world at the time. Nebuchadnezzar I was not a Babylonian king yet, as son of Nabopolassar (at the time the real king of Babylonia), success after his dad’s dead and reigned for a total of 43 years in power. The captivity came because of Israel’s idolatry and failure to keep the sabbatical year of the land (please read 2nd Chronicles 36:14-21)
Dan 1:2 LITV
(2) And the Lord gave Jehoiakim, king of Judah, into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God, which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god. And he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god.
Please notice in verse 2 how without the knowledge of the Babylonian king, God punished His people for their disobedience. There is also noticeable, how God give the vessels of the house of God to the king Nebuchadnezzar I. I always heard many preachers, religious leaders and many others always using this element for their emphasis of how God felt against the people of God, in a way does show such thing, but in my own personal opinion, I see it as if God really does not care for such simplicities and frivolous things, and so He God) let it go as an indication of Him being a God of no Physical temple, important element that made the God of Israel so unique in every way, especially when He Himself was without image. So the humiliation was not for God but for the people of Israel. Keep in mind that this is a point to study in a future Bible Study, especially as we know that “we are the temple of God” (please read 2Co_6:16 And what agreement does a temple of God have with idols? For you are a temple of the living God, even as God said, “I will” dwell in them and “walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” Lev. 26:12; Ezek. 37:27 ).
This event of Babylonia besiegingJudah is noticed in 2nd King chapter 24 and chapter 25.
Another point in this verse 2 is that is talking about the vassals being taken to the temple of their god in the city of Shinar.
See how Shinar became the city where the empire of Babylon was located after the flood.
Based on www.JewishEncyclopaedia.com Shinar was the Hebrew name of a land which included both Babylon and Erech, corresponding to North and Southern Babylon. Amraphel is identical with Hammurabi, also proves that Shinar included Northern Babylonia, making it very difficult to establish the original location.
Please read Gen 10:8-11 below;
Gen 10:8-11 LITV
(8) And Cush fathered Nimrod; he began to be a mighty one in the land.
(9) He was a mighty hunter before Jehovah; so it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before Jehovah.
(10) And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.
(11) From that land he went forth to Assyria and built Nineveh, and Rehoboth the city, and Calah,
Also please read Gen 11:1-2
Gen 11:1-2 LITV
(1) And the whole earth was of one lip and of one speech.
(2) And it happened, as they pulled up stakes from the east, they found a level valley in the land of Shinar. And they lived there.
Babylonians worshipped more gods than one; there were Rach, Shach and Nego, from whom Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, are supposed to have their names given them by the Chaldeans, Dan_1:7. Rach is thought to be the sun, whose priests were called Rachiophantae, observers of the sun; Shach, to which Sheshach is referred by some, Jer_51:41, for which a feast was kept once a year for five days, when servants had the rule and government of their masters; and Nego either was worshipped for the sun, or some star, so called from its brightness. Venus was also had in veneration with the Babylonians, whom they called Mylitta; in whose temple many acts of uncleanness and filthiness were committed, as Herodotus (x) relates. And, besides these, there were Merodach, Nebo, and Bel; of which see Isa_46:1, the latter seems to have been their chief deity, and who was called Jupiter Belus; and with whom were the goddesses Juno and Rhea. And in the city of Babylon stood the temple of Bel, or Jupiter Belus, which was extant in the times of Herodotus, and of which he gives an account (y), and is this:
“the temple of Jupiter Belus had gates of brass; it was four hundred and forty yards on every side, and was foursquare. In the midst of the temple was a solid tower, two hundred and twenty yards in length and breadth; upon which another temple was placed, and so on to eight. The going up them was without, in a winding about each tower; as you went up, in the middle, there was a room, and seats to rest on. In the last tower was a large temple, in which was a large bed splendidly furnished, and a table of gold set by it; but there was no statue there; nor did any man lie there in the night; only one woman, a native of the place, whom the god chose from among them all, as the Chaldean priests of this deity say.”
Diodorus Siculus says (z) it was of an extraordinary height, where the Chaldeans made observations on the stars, and could take an exact view of the rise and setting of them; it was all made of brick and bitumen, at great cost and expense. Here the vessels of the sanctuary were brought by Nebuchadnezzar, to the praise and glory of his idols, as Jarchi and Jacchiades observe; to whom he imputed the victory he had obtained over the Jews.
Very probably this temple of the Babylonian god was the chapel Herodotus (a) speaks of, where was a large golden statue of Jupiter sitting, and a large golden table by it, and a golden throne and steps, reckoned by the Chaldeans at eight hundred talents of gold. And Diodorus Siculus (b) relates that there were three golden statues, of Jupiter, Juno, and Rhea. That of Jupiter was as one standing on his feet, and, as it were, walking, was forty feet in length, and weighed a thousand Babylonian talents (computed three millions and a half of our money). That of Rhea was of the same weight, sitting upon a throne of gold, and two lions standing at her knees; and near to them serpents of a prodigious size, made of silver, which weighed thirty talents. That of Juno was a standing statue, weighing eight hundred talents; in her right hand she held the head of a serpent, and in her left a sceptre set with precious stones; and there was a golden table, common to them all, forty feet long, fifteen broad, and of the weight of fifty talents. Moreover, there were two bowls of thirty talents, and as many censers of three hundred talents, and three cups of gold; that which was dedicated to Jupiter weighed a thousand two hundred Babylonian talents, and the other six hundred. Here all the rich things dedicated to their god were laid up, and here the king of Babylon brought the treasures and rich vessels he took out of the temple of Jerusalem; and to this agrees the testimony of Berosus (c), who says, that with the spoils of war Nebuchadnezzar took from the Jews and neighbouring nations, he adorned the temple of Belus. The riches of this temple, according to historians, are supposed to be above one and twenty millions sterling (d), even of those only which Diodorus Siculus gives an account of, as above.
(s) Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 24. (t) Geograph. l. 5. c. 18. (u) Apud Joseph. Antiqu. l. 1. c. 4. sect. 3. בית אלהיו “domum deorum suorum”, Cocceius, Michaelis. (x) Clio, sive l. 1. c. 199. (y) Ibid. c. 181. (z) Biblioth. 1. 2. p. 98. Ed. Rhodoman. (a) Clio, sive l. 1. c. 183. (b) Biblioth. I. 2. p. 98. (c) Apud Joseph. Antiqu. l. 10. c. 11. sect. 1. (d) Vid. Rollin’s Ancient History, vol. 2. p. 70. and Universal History, vol. 4. p. 409.