Teacher Notes

Bible Stories for Adults

God Saves Daniel's Three Friends

Daniel 1-3

Welcome and Announcements
    Next Week - God Saves Daniel from the Lions (Daniel 3-6)
    Bible Words to Remember:
      Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18

Opening Prayer

The Babylonian Empire (Genesis 11)
    How old was the city of Babylon? = Maybe world's oldest city
      Genesis 10:8-10 (1, 6) = Founded by Nimrod, Noah's great grandson
    What famous building was supposedly built in Babylon?
      Genesis 11:2, 4-5, 8-9 = Tower of Babel
    Located on Euphrates River, 50 miles south of Baghdad, Iraq
      Surrounded by 60 miles of walls up to 300 feet tall & 87 feet wide

    Old Babylonian dynasty - Amorites in 2000-1600 BC
      Then ruled by Hittites, Kassites, Assyrians
    Neo-Babylonian Empire founded in 625 BC by Nabopolassar, a Chaldean
      Allied with Medes (under Cyaxares) to conquer Assyria
      Sent his son, Nebuchadnezzar, to lead battles

    Nebuchadnezzar took throne when his father died in Sept 605 BC
      Built empire into top world power
      Very successful conqueror, builder, administrator
    Where did Nebuchadnezzar get his power and what was his reputation?
      Habbukuk 1:6-7 = God raised up Babylon; Ruthless, feared, self-promoting

    Nebuchadnezzar was succeeded by son, Nabonidus (Evil-Merodach) in 562 BC
    Nabonidus retired to Teima in Arabia, left his son Belshazzar in charge
      Cyrus the Mede (Persian) conquered Belshazzar & Babylon in 539 BC
    Although powerful, expansive & famous, Babylonian Empire only lasted 86 yrs

The First Deportation (2 Kings 24)
    When did Judah first become subject to Babylon?
      2 Kings 24:1 = Nebuchadnezzar invaded Judah during Jehoiakim, Judah made vassal 3yrs
    How did Nebuchadnezzar respond when Jehoiakim revolted?
      Daniel 1:1-2 = Nebuchadnezzar captured Jehoiakim & temple items and took to Babylon
    What did Nebuchadnezzar take back to Babylon with the first exile?
      2 Kings 24:13-16 = Anything & anybody of value were deported to Babylon
    What prophet was taken into exile with Jehoiachin?
      Ezekiel 1:2-3 = Ezekiel began prophesying while in exile in Babylon (5 yrs after exile)
    Israelites began speaking Aramaic in Babylon, Spoke Hebrew before exile

Nebuchadnezzar's Advisors (Daniel 1:1-7)
    What did Nebuchadnezzar do with the well-educated and capable men he captured?
      Daniel 1:3-5 = Had them trained and put into service as advisors & officials
    Who were some of these men in the group of Judah captives?
      Daniel 1:6-7 = Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, Azariah (~16 yrs old)
    What did their names mean? = Top 4 Babylonian gods: Chief-god, sun-god, earth-god, fire-god
      Daniel = God is my judge
        Belteshazzar = Bel's prince (Bel was chief god of Babylonians)
      Hananiah = The Lord is gracious
        Shadrach = Inspired by the sun god
      Mishael = Who is what God is? (Who is comparable to God?)
        Meshach = Kept first syllable, Added Shak for goddess Sheshack
      Azariah = The Lord helps
        Abednego = Servant of the fire god

Picky Eaters (Daniel 1:8-21)
    What problem did the four from Judah have with their special treatment?
      Daniel 1:8 = Didn't want to eat the royal food and wine
    Why was this a problem?
      Exodus 34:15 = Don't treaty with others, they'll invite you to eat their sacrifices
      Ezekiel 4:13 = People will eat defiled food in places where I send them
    Do we need to be careful about eating defiled food?
      Romans 14:14-15 (1 Cor. 10:25-28) = No food is unclean, don't eat if bothers others

    Did the official just tell Daniel to eat what is put in front of him?
      Daniel 1:9-10 = No, but he was afraid Nebuchadnezzar would get mad
    How did Daniel convince the official to let him eat what he wanted?
      Daniel 1:11-16 = After 10 day test with veggies & water, the 4 were healthier than others

    How did the four from Judah test out after the 3 year training?
      Daniel 1:17-20 = Blessed by God, they were 10 times better than any other royal advisors
    How long did Daniel remain in Babylon?
      Daniel 1:21 = Until Cyrus of Persia (spanned Babylonian Empire)

A Dream for the Wise Men (Daniel 2:1-12)
    What troubled Nebuchadnezzar during his second year?
      Daniel 2:1-3 = He had a dream that troubled him, wanted its meaning
    Why did the wise men have trouble explaining the dream?
      Daniel 2:4-6, 10-11 = Neb also required them to tell him the dream
    How did Nebuchadnezzar respond when the wise men said they couldn't do it?
      Daniel 2:7-9, 12 = He distrusted them and sentenced all to death

Daniel's Opportunity (Daniel 2:13-28)
    Who was included in the group to be put to death?
      Daniel 2:13-15 = Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego
    How did Daniel stop the mass execution?
      Daniel 2:16-19 = Got another day, prayed with friends, God revealed mystery to him
    How did Daniel reply when Nebuchadnezzar asked him to reveal the dream?
      Daniel 2:26-28 = Only God in heaven can reveal mysteries

Daniel's Interpretation (Daniel 2:31-49)
    What was the dream?
      Daniel 2:31-35 = Statue of gold,silver,bronze,iron/clay broken by rock that filled earth
    What did the dream mean?
      Daniel 2:36-40, 42 = Four declining world powers (Babylonian, Persian, Greek, Roman)
    What was the rock?
      Daniel 2:44 = Kingdom that would last forever, never be destroyed
    What kingdom was this referring to?
      2 Peter 2:11 = The eternal kingdom of our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ

    How did Nebuchadnezzar respond to Daniel's explanation? = Praised Daniel's god,
      Daniel 2:46-49 = Made Daniel governor & head advisor; Made S/M/A officials
    What kind of reputation did Daniel get among the Judah exiles?
      Ezekiel 14:13-14 (20) = In same righteous league as Noah & Job
      Ezekiel 28:3 = Known for his wisdom

Nebuchadnezzar's Statue (Daniel 3:1-23)
    How proud of himself was Nebuchadnezzar?
      Daniel 3:1-2 = Built 90'x9' gold statue of self, ordered important people to the dedication
    Could he think of anything else that would give himself more limelight?
      Daniel 3:4-6 = Ordered everyone everywhere to bow & worship his statue when band played

    How did this help the wise men who were jealous of the four from Judah?
      Daniel 3:8-9, 12 = They turned in S,M&A for not bowing to the statue
    Did Nebuchadnezzar accept the accusation?
      Daniel 3:13-15 = He gave the 3 a chance to be guilty or innocent before him
    Did the three save themselves by bowing to the statue?
      Daniel 3:16-18 = No, they stood up for their faith

    How did Peter later summarize the reply of Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego?
      Acts 5:29 = We must obey God rather than men!
    Did Nebuchadnezzar change his mind about his egotistical law?
      Daniel 3:19-23 = Had furnace heated 7x hotter & threw them in, soldiers killed by heat

Hananiah, Mishael & Azariah in the Fiery Furnace (Daniel 3:24-30)
    Furnace was probably a lime kiln
      Walkway to opening in top for adding raw materials
      Opening at the bottom for extracting the fused lime
    What happened to the three men in the blazing furnace?
      Daniel 3:24-27 = They were protected and unharmed by God's angel

    How did Nebuchadnezzar interpret what he saw?
      Daniel 3:28 = That God had sent his angel to rescue the three
    Did Nebuchadnezzar give up his other gods and turn to God?
      Daniel 3:29 = No, he stayed polytheistic, prohibited offenses against god of Hebrews
    How did he deal with Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego?
      Daniel 3:30 = Promoted them

Closing Prayer

Copyright © 1997 by Kurt Rosenhagen

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