Sunday, February 10, 2008


I suppose many, many people know about Daniel. I mean the Daniel that is described in the Bible by the book of the same name. Not everyone has a book of the Bible much less a description of his life and faith.

The name, Daniel, means "judged by God" or perhaps "judge of God" or "God is my judge" or a few other variations. The Babylonians change his name though to Belteshazzar which means prince of bel, a title for various gods of Babylon.

We know quite a little bit actually about Daniel.

Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, chief of his court officials, to bring in some of the Israelites from the royal family and the nobility - young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king's palace.
Not too many of us can claim such good adjectives.

Daniel is famous for a number of things but arguably I suppose the most famous thing is his imprisonment in a lions' den.
So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions' den. The king said to Daniel, "May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!"

And Daniel's God did, too. This is even mentioned in the hall of faith chapter in Hebrews 11:
the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions,
Although it is interesting that he is not mentioned by name there.

When someone speaks about Daniel they almost always use him as a great example of someone who endures and survives and even prospers in his negative circumstances. Usually it is mentioned that he is delivered from being eaten by lions and so on.

But here's the thing that I find so interesting about Daniel. It is very likely that when he was taken into captivity that he was castrated and became an eunuch. I won't go into the reasons for this conclusion and I will say that the Bible is not explicit about it but it seems very likely to me.

There aren't many young men of noble heritage who are also handsome and strong and virile and vibrant and intelligent and so on that would look too favorably on becoming an eunuch.

You don't hear that particular thing discussed much about Daniel.


~Betsy said...

I learn a lot from reading your posts, Terry. Thanks for sharing.

nancy said...

i learn a lot as well. we almost named mark daniel. interesting post. thanks for sharing!