Chapter 1 [of Daniel] provides an introduction to the whole book. It relates early events in the lives of Daniel and his three Hebrew contemporaries, but the emphasis is on Daniel’s decisions. These choices formed the basis for his character, and his character and abilities accounted for the unusually long and successful career that he enjoyed in the service of several monarchs. His godly character also provides a key concerning God’s choice of him to receive and transmit the remarkable revelations of the future that this book contains. God’s choice of Daniel was sovereign, but Daniel’s choices qualified him to serve as God intended (cf. 1Ti 1:12).
Structurally, the chapter is a chiasm with the first 14 verses presenting a tension and the last 7 providing the resolution.“The first chapter . . . is introductory. It sets forth the moral condition suited to enlightenment in the ways and counsels of God. . . .
“If we are going to get the mind of God in studying this book, we must remember that it consists of revelations, deliverances and visions given to a spiritually-minded man who was separated from the iniquity of his day; and if we are to understand it, we also need to be spiritually-minded, and to walk apart from all that is unholy, all that would hinder progress in divine things.”(H. A. Ironside, Lectures on Daniel the Prophet, pp. 10, 11.)
A. Babylonia assumes supremacy over Israel (Dan 1:1-2)
. . . B. Young men taken and subjected to pagan training (Dan 1:3-7)
. . . . . . C. Daniel seeks to remain faithful to his God (Dan 1:8-14)
. . . . . . C^ Daniel remains faithful to his God (Dan 1:15-16)
. . . B^ Young men triumph in their pagan training (Dan 1:17-20)
A^ Daniel proves supreme over the Babylonians (Dan 1:21)
To see how Daniel chapter one fits into the chiastic structure of the whole of the book of Daniel, see post # 2 in this thread (here).
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