The story of Daniel in the lions' den is one that any child who has been to church probably knows. However, there is much more to Daniel's story. In 605 b.c., when Daniel was about fifteen years old, he was taken captive from Jerusalem and brought to Babylon. He spent the remainder of his life in Babylon and outlived many of the kings under which he served. The Lord gave Daniel dreams and visions, which Daniel passed on to his friends or to the rulers of Babylon, such as King Nebuchadnezzar.
The Book of Daniel is full of interesting stories that are relevant to young people as well as to adults. I have broken down the book into four parts. Part 1 covers only chapter 1 because I want to give you a picture of the city where Daniel and his friends were taken.
Let's take a quick look at what Daniel and the other captives saw when they entered the magnificent city of Babylon. According to Halley's Bible Handbook, the wall surrounding the city was sixty miles around, three hundred feet high, eighty feet thick and extended thirty-five feet below the ground so no enemies could dig under it. Each brick that made up the wall was one foot square and three or four inches thick. The wall had 250 towers and was protected by wide and deep moats filled with water. The wall was so wide that the Babylonians could have chariot races on it. What an awesome city!
To Daniel and the other captives, the city was the largest thing they had ever seen. They knew they would probably spend the rest of their lives there.
Daniel and his friends, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, faced things in Babylon that were contrary to the lifestyle they had grown up with. But they resolved to stay true to the Lord. Daniel did not stray from following the teachings of God that he had learned as a child in Israel.
Ashpenaz, Nebuchadnezzar's chief court official, oversaw their training and also was responsible for their diet. As we are told in verse 8 of chapter 1, Daniel chose not to defile his body with the royal food given to him. But Ashpenaz told Daniel, ''I am afraid of my lord the king, who has assigned your food and drink. Why should he see you looking worse than the other young men your age? The king would then have my head because of you'” (v. 10).
Daniel told the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel and his friends, ''Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink'” (v. 12). So Daniel and his friends ate only vegetables and drank only water for ten days. At the end of the ten days, they looked healthier than all the other boys who had eaten the royal food.
At the appointed time the chief official presented the boys to Nebuchadnezzar. The king talked with them and found none equal to Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, so they entered the king's service (v. 20). 'Daniel remained there until the first year of King Cyrus” (1:21).
In the next chapter, we will read how God enabled Daniel to interpret King Nebuchadnezzar's dreams.
Fill in the blanks on the worksheet and on the 'Go to the Word” sheet. May God bless you as you study His Word.
WORKSHEET: Daniel ch. 1
When Daniel was in his mid teens he was taken from his home in __________.
The wall surrounding the city was _____ miles around, _____ _______ feet high, _______ feet thick and extended _______-_____ feet below the ground so no enemies could dig under it.
Each brick that made up the wall was ____ _____ square and ______ or _____ inches thick.
The wall had ______ towers and was protected by wide and deep ______ filled with ______.
The wall was so wide that the Babylonians could have ________ _______ on it.
Nebuchadnezzar's chief court official, _________, oversaw the training of Daniel and his friends.
They were to be taught the ________ and __________ of the Babylonians (1:4).
He also gave new names to Daniel's three friends: _________, ________ and _________ (1:7).
Daniel did not stray from following the _________ of ____ that he had learned as a child in Israel.
Daniel and his friends ate only ___________ and drank only _____ for ten days.
At the end of the ten days, they looked _________ than all the other boys.
At the appointed time the chief official presented the boys to ________________.
The king found ______ equal to Daniel and his friends, so they entered the _______ ________.
Memory Verse: 'My soul will boast in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and rejoice” (Psalm 34:2).
Match each Scripture reference below with the correct verse, and then fill in the missing words.
Daniel 1:20 Daniel 1:17 Daniel 1:2 Daniel 1:8
Daniel 1:15 Daniel 1:21 Daniel 1:5 Daniel 1:12
'To these four young men God gave ________ and_____________ Daniel ______
of all kinds of literature and learning.”
'And Daniel remained there until the first ______ of King Cyrus.” Daniel ______
'But Daniel resolved not to _______ himself with the royal food and Daniel ______
wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to _______
'In every matter of _______ and ______________ about which the Daniel ______
king questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the
magicians and enchanters in his whole ________.”
''Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but Daniel ______
__________ to eat and ______ to drink.'”
'The king assigned them a daily amount of _____ and _____ from Daniel ______
'At the end of the ten days they looked _________ and better Daniel ______
__________ than any of the young men who ate the royal food.”
'And the Lord delivered Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, Daniel ______along with some of the _________ from the temple of God.”
 Henry H. Halley, Halley's Bible Handbook (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1974), 336-37.