Daniel 1:1-2

This the book of Daniel in the New International Version, with an explanation of the revelations that God has given us in it. May it be a blessing and comfort for you, as it's been for me. We have an available interlinear Bible is Hebrew (& Aramaic)-Spanish , but you can find several sites in English in the NET (Observe that you would find little differences in the words; it's because there are different versions of the compilation of the Hebrew Old Testament). Some examples:

Are you in some tough situation?
Are you asking yourself why is this permitted by God?

Before you go on, please read the two first verses in the book of Daniel, chapter one. You can hear how it sound here in Hebrew  and compare it with any one of the examples above. This work is always good, because even when the New International Version is a remarkable good work, there are often alternative renderings and the translations are always in development (then we read about new "revised versions").

Daniel 1:1-2

"In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Juda, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. And the Lord delivered Jehoiakim king of Juda into his hand, along with some of the articles from the temple of God. These he carried off to the temple of his God in Babylonia and put in the treasure house of his god".

The rendering is perfect (they used "Babylon" in the second verse because it's the same as Shinar).

What are these verses about?

Who's "Jehoiakim"?

Which year is that "third"?

What is the meaning of what's happening here?

Why should this story be relevant for me? (if you are a Christian, What's God saying to me in this verses?)

The Babylonian Empire was situated in a region called "Mesopotamia", between the rivers Tigris and Euphrates, mostly in the land now called Iraq. Babylon was one of the great Empires in ancient times, both in extension and duration. At the ascension of Nebuchadnezzar to the throne, 605 BC, the kingdom of Israel had been divided in two, a northern kingdom called "Israel" and a southern one called "Judah". The kingdom of the north was conquered by Assyria, Babylon's predecessor, and Babylon was expanding (this incursion of Nebuchadnezzar in Jerusalem was not the final one but, as we could say, was the "beginning of the end" for Judah).

Jehojakim was the king of Judah at that time. The 2nd Book of Kings, 23:36, states that he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. Now listen, the Book of Daniel is beginning in 605 BC, the first year for Nebuchadnezzar but the third of Jehojakim. This campaign is also notated in 2nd Kings 24:1, where we can read that Jehojakim became a vassal-king of Nebuchadnezzar (there's also information about his rebellion, the wars against him and the succession in the throne of his son Jehoiachin). The 2nd Book of Chronicles, 36:6, also points to the fact that Nebuchadnezzar took Jehoiakim as a prisoner and take him to Babylon, bounded with bronze shackles. Obviously he should turn back to Jerusalem, in order to reign there eight years more (he became a puppet of Babylon).

Now listen, the event that Nebuchadnezzar should take the utensils of the temple is far beyond a simple plundering, in the eyes of the Jewish people. The religion of the Old Testament was strongly connected with the temple of Jerusalem, to the point that even today you can see the Jews calling to God with tears in their eyes for the rebuilding of the temple, that was destroyed ca. 2000 years ago and in which place has been built a mosque. Consider what a big offense to God was that event (to take the holy utensils from the temple in Jerusalem)

Now put together the signification of these events: Jerusalem (not only the Jewish capital but the place where the temple was, which means the religious center) has been taken, the temple has been desecrated, the Jewish king has been taken as a prisoner and he comes back as a political puppet of the Babylonian Empire. Even more, the Jews were inclined to believe that Jerusalem was untouchable. It was the center of the national religion, it was the holy city where the temple of God was situated, it was the city of David, the beloved king of Israel to whom God had made many promises. God would never permit a conqueror to touch His holy city! Have you an idea now of the meaning of these two verses for the Jewish nation?

But this is not all. Now we see it as the beginning of the end. Nebuchadnezzar invaded Jerusalem under Jehoiachin in 597 BC and under Zedekiah - the last Jewish king - in 586 BC. This last campaign caused Judah to disappear as a nation, until the victory of the Maccabean Revolt, that would establish a reign of rather brief existence, and would fall before Rome.

The well known "Babylonian captivity", that lasted ca. seventy years, is the beginning of the tribulations and miseries that the Jewish people went through, for more than two millennia. The Persian Empire, that defeated Babylon, was well-disposed to them, and they were able to rebuild the city and the temple, as we read in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah. But the Greeks would oppress them again, and the Romans destroyed the nation and dispersed the Jews all around the world, in a pilgrimage without land, without home and been rejected everywhere. It was on may 14, 1948 that the God of heaven gave them back theirs land.

The book of Daniel is a vivid example about how could these Jews survive in that captivity, but not only "survive"; they became important statesmen in Babylon, because in the midst of that disaster that came over their nation, they trusted their God. The Jewish people abiding in the country of Israel nowadays has taken back the land which was promised to their forefathers by God, because they in almost two millennia trusted in a God so powerful to give them back the land that Rome took from them.

Is it or is not a Wonderful and Almighty God the God of Israel? If these examples of Daniel and his people make an impact in your heart, consider that this is the same God who send his Son Jesus Christ to die for us in a cross of shame. He did it because of our sins. If you have not received yet Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, and if you are in the situation we talked about at the beginning, compare it with that one of the Hebrews of the book of Daniel, and the whole people, and how God has lead them to victory. Satan has had always the task of convincing us that there is no solution, that your sins will keep you in a miserable condition, that God doesn't care about you and that there's no remedy for you. But if the Word of God and the history teach us something, it is that there's nothing impossible for God. God gave us His Son in order to save us - that's why He is called "Savior" - and this salvation is your victory in Jesus Christ. You need nothing but to ask Him for it! Pray to Him that He forgive your sins, receive Him as your Lord and Savior and follow Him! Maybe you would ask, but how? Jesus Christ died, didn't he? Let me tell you something: the death of Jesus Christ was "three days" long - actually, it's a figure of speech; He was in the tomb less than 48 hours - because He rose from the grave, He is alive, and He wants to be your friend, your guide, your brother and your Lord. Keep in touch with us in  somebodysay-hallelujah.blogspot.se and the Lord will talk to you - I'm absolutely sure about that, because I didn't know Him, and that's why I didn't have a communion with Him. But one day He pardoned me, He save me and He has been with me all this time, talking to me, comforting me, guiding me, encouraging me and correcting me when I'm wrong. He wants to do the same with every one!

May the Lord bless you. In the love of Christ, your brother

Israel Leonard

PS. Jesus comes soon!

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