The name Dani‘el means “God has judged.” This book is not written in reference to a judgment against Daniel, but through his writings, dreams, and visions, he stands as a judge against the Jewish people in Jerusalem and even Babylon in his present day to the ‘Mystery Babylon’ in the future. The visions and accounts reveal Daniel’s faithfulness to God and how God rewards his obedience to Torah.
TSome scholars believe the ‘little horn’ represents King Antiochus Epiphanes, who forced everyone in the Greek Seleucid empire to sacrifice to the Greek gods. When Antiochus came into Jerusalem, he ended the sacrificial system, he forced the Jews to stop obeying Torah, circumcising their sons, and observing the Sabbath. He forced them to eat unclean animals and sacrifice to foreign gods. Ultimately he desecrated the Temple in Jerusalem with pig’s blood and set an idol of Zeus in the Holy of Holies.
When studying Biblical dreams and visions, it is important to use Scripture to interpret Scripture or define Scripture. It is also important to remember that all Biblical prophecy revolves around Israel, the Jewish people, and Jerusalem. Daniel studied the prophets, especially the major prophets like Jeremiah and Ezekiel, so digging deeper into the Torah and Prophets will reveal Scriptures that define elements in the dreams and visions. The Scriptures given are only ‘spring boards’ to further depths of understanding.
Darius the Mede is also known as Cyrus the Great of Persia. This king plays a significant role in allowing the Jews to return to Jerusalem, rebuild the walls, and restore the Temple. It is speculated that Daniel died about 530 BCE as he was still alive when Cyrus the Great conquered Persia in 538 BCE. This means that Daniel would have witnessed the first wave of Jews returning to Jerusalem as prophesied by Jeremiah, but would have died about age 93 before the Temple was restored.