Tag Archives: Daniel

Daniel 6

There have been two proposed structures on Daniel 6. While both chiasms centre on the King’s belief in God, the breakdowns of the outer sections are quite different. The first draws attention to Daniel’s faith and the power of prayer; the second structure focuses more on the King and his spiritual journey.

 It may also be useful to consider this rough breakdown of the chapter:

 vs 1-5 Daniel is preferred in the kingdom and the jealousy of the presidents/princes

vs 6-9 The King writes and signs the decree

vs 10-13 Daniel prays to God and is accused for it

vs 14-15 The King attempts to deliver Daniel but fails

vs 16-17 Daniel is cast into the lion’s den

vs 18-22 God delivers Daniel

vs 23-24 Daniel restored and the accusers executed

vs 25-27 The King writes about the living God

vs 28 Daniel prospers

1st suggestion

A  (1-3)  Daniel preferred

a. It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom an hundred and twenty princes, which should be over the whole kingdom (H4437); (2) And over these three presidents; of whom Daniel was first: that the princes might give accounts unto them, and the king should have no damage.

b. (3) Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him;

a’. and the king thought to set him over the whole realm (H4437).

B  (4-5)   Rivals look to accuse Daniel.

a. (4) Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom;

b. but they could find none occasion nor fault;

c. forasmuch as he was faithful,

b’. neither was there any error or fault found in him.

a’. (5)Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God.

C  (6-9)  The unchangeable law of the Medes and Persians.

a. Then these presidents and princes assembled together to the king, and said thus unto him, King Darius, live for ever. (7) All the presidents of the kingdom, the governors, and the princes, the counsellers, and the captains, have consulted together to establish a royal statute, and to make a firm decree, thatwhosoever shall ask a petition of any Godor man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions. (8) Now, O king, establish the decree, and sign the writing,

b. that it be not changed,

c. according to the law of the Medes and Persians,

b’. which altereth not.

a’.(9) Wherefore king Darius signed the writing and the decree.

D  (10-13)  Daniel’s prayers in the face of threat.

a. (10) Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day,and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime. (11) Then these men assembled, and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God.

b. (12) Then they came near, and spake before the king concerning the king’s decree; Hast thou not signed a decree, that every man that shall ask a petition of any God or man within thirty days, save of thee, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions?The king answered and said, The thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not.

a’. (13) Then answered they and said before the king, That Daniel, which is of the children of the captivity of Judah, regardeth not thee, O king, nor the decree that thou hast signed, but maketh his petition three times a day.

E  (14)  The king’s concern

(14) Then the king, when he heard these words, was sore displeased with himself, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him: and he laboured till the going down of the sun to deliver him.

F  (15-16a)  The decree carried out

(15) Then these men assembled unto the king, and said unto the king, Know, O king, that the law of the Medes and Persians is, That no decree nor statute which the king establisheth may be changed. (16)Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions.

G  (16b)  Faith

Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee. 

F’  (17)  The decree carried out

(17) And a stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords; that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel.

E’  (18)  The King’s concern

(18) Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting: neither were instruments of musick brought before him: and his sleep went from him.

D’  (19-20)  Do Daniel’s prayers work?

(19)Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions. (20) And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel: and the king spake and said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions?

C’  (21-23)   The  laws nullified by faith in Daniel’s God

a. (21)Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever. (22) My God hath sent his angel,

b. and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me:

c. forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me;and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.

b’. (23)Then was the king exceeding glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him,

a’. because he believed in his God.

B’  (24)  Accusers destroyed

(24) And the king commanded, and they brought those men which had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions, them, their children, and their wives; and the lions had the mastery of them, and brake all their bones in pieces or ever they came at the bottom of the den.

A’  (25-28)  The God of Daniel preferred

(25) Then king Darius wrote unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you. (26) I make a decree, That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, and stedfast for ever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even unto the end.(27) He delivereth and rescueth, and he worketh signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, who hath delivered Daniel from the power of the lions. (28) So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian

2nd suggestion

A  (1-5)  Daniel preferred and envied

(1)  It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom an hundred and twenty princes, which should be over the whole kingdom; (2)  And over these three presidents; of whom Daniel was first: that the princes might give accounts unto them, and the king should have no damage. (3)  Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm. (4) Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him. (5)  Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God.

B  (6-9)  The King signs the writing/decree of the Medes and Persians

(6)  Then these presidents and princes assembled together to the king, and said thus unto him, King Darius, live for ever. (7)  All the presidents of the kingdom, the governors, and the princes, the counsellors, and the captains, have consulted together to establish a royal statute, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions. (8)  Now, O king, establish the decree, and sign the writing, that it be not changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not. (9)  Wherefore king Darius signed the writing and the decree.

C  (10-13)  Daniel prays – the Presidents/Princes accuse.

(10)  Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime. (11)  Then these men assembled, and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God. (12)  Then they came near, and spake before the king concerning the king’s decree; Hast thou not signed a decree, that every man that shall ask a petition of any God or man within thirty days, save of thee, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions? The king answered and said, The thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not. (13)  Then answered they and said before the king, That Daniel, which is of the children of the captivity of Judah, regardeth not thee, O king, nor the decree that thou hast signed, but maketh his petition three times a day.

D  (14a)  The King’s reaction

(14a)  Then the king, when he heard these words, was sore displeased with himself,

E  (14b)  The King is concerned and attempts to deliver Daniel

(14b)  and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him: and he laboured till the going down of the sun to deliver him.

F  (15)  The law of the Medes and Persians

(15)  Then these men assembled unto the king, and said unto the king, Know, O king, that the law of the Medes and Persians is, That no decree nor statute which the king establisheth may be changed.

X  (16)  The King’s belief

(16)  Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee.

F’  (17)  The law carried out

(17)  And a stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords; that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel.

E’  (18-22) The King is concerned but learns that God has the power to deliver

(18)  Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting: neither were instruments of musick brought before him: and his sleep went from him. (19)  Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions. (20)  And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel: and the king spake and said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions? (21)  Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever. (22)  My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.

D’  (23a)  The King’s reaction

(23a)  Then was the king exceeding glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den.

C’  (23b-24)  Daniel is restored – the Presidents/Princes are executed.

So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God. (24)  And the king commanded, and they brought those men which had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions, them, their children, and their wives; and the lions had the mastery of them, and brake all their bones in pieces or ever they came at the bottom of the den.

B’  (25-27)  The King writes about the living God of Daniel.

(25)  Then king Darius wrote unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you. (26)  I make a decree, That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, and stedfast for ever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even unto the end. (27)  He delivereth and rescueth, and he worketh signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, who hath delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.

A’  (28)  Daniel prospers

(28)  So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.

 

Notes: The 2nd suggestion highlights the King’s experiences throughout this story and ultimately concludes with his acceptance and promotion of the living God of Daniel. The King’s signing of the decree in B is in contrast to his written commandment to fear God in B’; in B we read that everyone is subject to the law of the Medes and Persians and all the authorities of the Kingdom come together to make this decree – similarly in B’ Darius’ judgement is that everyone in the whole kingdom must obey this new statute to fear God.

In C’ we read of the outcomes of Daniel and his accusers – Daniel is saved alive because of his faith and the accusers are executed because of their treachery. Both the accusation and evidence of Daniel’s faithful relationship with God take place in C where again we have a contrast – Daniel prays and thanks God daily and the Presidents make their accusation.

After realising he has been tricked, a concerned Darius attempts to deliver Daniel in E. This concern is seen again in E’ where we read that he passed the night fasting, arose very early, went in haste etc. Whereas the King sets his heart to deliver Daniel in E, it is in E’ where the King learns that only God delivers – confirming his statement of belief in X – the turning point of the account.

Daniel 3:13-19

A (13) Then Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and FURY commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Then they brought these men before the king.

B (14) Nebuchadnezzar spake and said unto them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the GOLDEN image WHICH I HAVE SET UP?

C (15) Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of A BURNING FIERY FURNACE; and who is that God that shall deliver you OUT OF MY HANDS?

D (16) Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.

C′ (17) If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from THE BURNING FIERY FURNACE, and he will deliver us OUT OF THINE HAND, O king.

B′ (18) But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the GOLDEN image WHICH THOU HAST SET UP.

A′ (19) Then was Nebuchadnezzar full OF FURY, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: therefore he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated.

Daniel 3

Overall structure:

A. The King’s decree
    B. Accusation against Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.
        C. They are ready to give the answer of faith
    B’. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego vindicated.
A’.  The King’s new decree

1A. (1) Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof six cubits: he set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon.

1B. (2) Then Nebuchadnezzar the king sent to gather together the princes, the governors, and the captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellers, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the image which Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.

1B’. (3) Then the princes, the governors, and captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellers, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, were gathered together unto the dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up;

1A’. and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

2A. (4) Then an herald cried aloud, “To you it is commanded, O people, nations, and languages, (5) That at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up: (6) And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace” (7)

2B. Therefore at that time, when all the people heard the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and all kinds of musick, all the people, the nations, and the languages, fell down and worshipped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.

2C. (8) Wherefore at that time certain Chaldeans came near, and accused the Jews.

2A’. (9) They spake and said to the king Nebuchadnezzar,  O king, live for ever. (10) Thou, O king, hast made a decree,  “that every man that shall hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, shall fall down and worship the golden image:  (11) And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth, that he should be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.”

2B’. (12) There are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the affairs of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; these men, O king, have not regarded thee: they serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

3A. (13) Then Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and fury commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Then they brought these men before the king.

3B. (14) Nebuchadnezzar spake and said unto them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up?  

3C. (15) Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?

3D. (16) Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.

3C’. 17) If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.

3B.(18) But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

3A.(19) Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego:

4A. therefore he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated. (20) And he commanded the most mighty men that were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace. (21)Then these men were bound in their coats, their hosen, and their hats, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.  (22) Therefore because the king’s commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceeding hot, the flame of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

4B.  (23) And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.

4C. (24) Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonied, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellers, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? 

4D. They answered and said unto the king, True, O king.

4C’. (25) He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.

4B’. (26) Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth, and come hither.

4A’. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, came forth of the midst of the fire. (27) And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king’s counsellers, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them.

5A. (28) Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him,

5B. and have changed the king’s word,

5C. and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.

5B’. (29) Therefore I make a decree, That every people, nation, and language, which speak any thing amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill:

5A’. because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort.

(30) Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, in the province of Babylon.

 

Daniel 2:36-45

A.(36) This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king.

B. a. (37) Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory. (38) And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold.

b.(39) And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee,

c. and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth.

d. (40) And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things:and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise.

e1 (41) And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters ‘clay, and part of iron,  the kingdom shall be divided;but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay.

e2. (42) And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong,  and partly broken.

e3 (43)  And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay,  they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.

C.(44) i.  And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed:

ii. and the kingdom shall not be left to other people,

ii’. but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms,

i’. and it shall stand for ever.

B’.(45)  Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the  iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold;

A’. the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter:and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.

Note: This proposal for an ABCB’A’ structure sees the boundaries AA’ as being the “interpretation” of the dream to the king. B is the explanation of the metals and clay, excluding the stone, and B’ describes the role of the  stone. C is the Kingdom of God which, unlike the image, will stand for ever. Within the B and C there are subunits that have interesting structures. Verse 41-43 give a threefold explanation of the iron and clay. The first addresses the dividing of the iron by the clay but explains that the strength of the iron was there.  The second adds that the division also means the feet and toes were partly weak because of the clay. The third focusses on the mixing – (intermarriage between Rome and the barbarians) – and the inevitable lack of cohesion, which is the explanation for the fragility of the toes and feet.

Daniel 2:29-36

A.(29) As for thee, O king, thy thoughts came into thy mind upon thy bed, what should come to pass hereafter:and he that revealeth secrets maketh known to thee what shall come to pass. 30 But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living, but for their sakes that shall make known the interpretation to the king, and that thou mightest know the thoughts of thy heart.

B. (31) Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible.

C.(32) This image’s head was of fine gold,

D. his breast and his arms of silver,

E. his belly and his thighs of brass,

F.(33) His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay.

G.(34) Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image  upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces.

F’.(35) Then was the iron, the clay,

E’. the brass,

D’. the silver,

C’. and the gold,

B’. broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them:and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.

A’.(36) This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king.

 

 

Daniel 9:1-19

A. 1 In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans;

B. 2 In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.

C. 3 And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes.

A. 4 And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments; 5 We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments:

B. 6 Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.

C. 7 O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day;

D. to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, that are near, and that are far off, through all the countries whither thou hast driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against thee.

C’. 8 O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face,

B’. to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers,

A’. because we have sinned against thee.

2B. 9 To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him; 10 Neither have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets.

2C. 11 Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice;

2B’. therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God,

2A’. because we have sinned against him.

3B. 12 And he hath confirmed his words, which he spake against us, and against our judges that judged us, by bringing upon us a great evil: for under the whole heaven hath not been done as hath been done upon Jerusalem.

3C. 13 As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the LORD our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth.

3B’. 14 Therefore hath the LORD watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us: for the LORD our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice.

3A’. 15 And now, O Lord our God, that hast brought thy people forth out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and hast gotten thee renown, as at this day; we have sinned, we have done wickedly.

Note: This is a very helpful outline because it emphasises that all Israel have sinned by departing from the voice of God, and still they hadn’t sought forgiveness. Daniel therefore prays on their behalf.

Is there an ABA’ pattern in his final words which emphasises the forgiveness and restoration will depend upon recognising God’s righteousness and for the Lord’s sake?

A. 16 O Lord, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain: because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy people are become a reproach to all that are about us.

B. 17 Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord’s sake.

A’. 18 O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name:for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies. 19 O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name.

Daniel 1

A  (1-2)  In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it. 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.

B  (3-4)  And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king’s seed, and of the princes; Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans.

C  (5)  And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king’s meat, and of the wine which he drank: so nourishing them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king.

D  (6)  Now among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah:

E  (7)  Unto whom the prince of the eunuchs gave names: for he gave unto Daniel the name of Belteshazzar; and to Hananiah, of Shadrach; and to Mishael, of Meshach; and to Azariah, of Abednego.

F  (8)  But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.

G  (9-10a)  Now God had brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs. And the prince of the eunuchs said unto Daniel, I fear my lord the king, who hath appointed your meat and your drink:

H  (10b)  for why should he see your faces worse liking than the children which are of your sort? then shall ye make me endanger my head to the king.

I  (11-12)  Then said Daniel to Melzar, whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink.

J  (13)  Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the king’s meat: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants.

I’  (14)  So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days.

H’  (15a)  And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children

G’  (15b)  which did eat the portion of the king’s meat.

F’  (16)  Thus Melzar took away the portion of their meat, and the wine that they should drink; and gave them pulse.

E’  (17)  As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.

D’  (18-19a)  Now at the end of the days that the king had said he should bring them in, then the prince of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. And the king communed with them; and among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah:

C’  (19b)  therefore stood they before the king.

B’  (20)  And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king enquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm.

A’  (21)  And Daniel continued even unto the first year of king Cyrus.

Note: The Hebrew words translated ‘gave’ in E and E’ (v7 and v17) are different, but are used together in a large number of passages where they appear to be synonymous (e.g. Deut 7:15, 17:15).

Daniel 2:12-28

A 12 For this cause the king was angry and very furious, and commanded to destroy all the wise men of Babylon. 13 And the decree went forth that the wise men should be slain; and they sought Daniel and his fellows to be slain. 14 Then Daniel answered with counsel and wisdom to Arioch the captain of the king’s guard, which was gone forth to slay the wise men of Babylon: 15  He answered and said to Arioch the king’s captain, Why is the decree so hasty from the king? Then Arioch made the thing known to Daniel.

B (16) Then Daniel went in, and desired of the king that he would give him time, and that he would shew the king the interpretation.

C (17-18) Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions: That they would desire mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret; that Daniel and his fellows should not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.

D (19) Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision.

E (19b-20) Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven. Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his:

F (21-22) And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings:  he giveth wisdom unto the wise,
and knowledge to them that know understanding: He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him.

E’ (23) I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might,

D’ (23b) and hast made known unto me now what we desired of thee: for thou hast now made known unto us the king’s matter.

C’ (24) Therefore Daniel went in unto Arioch, whom the king had ordained to destroy the wise men of Babylon: he went and said thus unto him; Destroy not the wise men of Babylon:

B’ (24b-25) bring me in before the king, and I will shew unto the king the interpretation. Then Arioch brought in Daniel before the king in haste, and said thus unto him, I have found a man of the captives of Judah, that will make known unto the king the interpretation.

A’ (26-28a) The king answered and said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, Art thou able to make known unto me the dream which I have seen, and the interpretation thereof? Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, shew unto the king; But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days.

Note: The central section may itself have a chiastic structure

F (21-22)

a. And he changeth the times and the seasons:

b. he removeth kings, and setteth up kings:

c. he giveth wisdom unto the wise,
and knowledge to them that know understanding:

b’. He revealeth the deep and secret things:

a’. he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him.

Note: One reason for thinking this is that aa’ are linked is Genesis 1 where we are told that the lights are for seasons.