The Book of Daniel was written during a time when the Jews were suffering greatly under the persecution and oppression of a pagan king. Using stories and accounts of visions, the writer encourages the people of his time with the hope that God will bring the tyrant down and restore sovereignty to God's people.
The book has two main parts: (1) Stories about Daniel and some of his fellow-exiles, who through their faith in God and obedience to him triumph over their enemies. These stories are set in the time of the Babylonian and Persian Empires. (2) A series of visions seen by Daniel, which in the form of symbols present the successive rise and fall of several empires, beginning with Babylonia, and predict the downfall of the pagan oppressor and the victory of God's people.
Outline of Contents
Daniel and his friends 1.1—6.28
Daniel's visions 7.1—12.13
a. The four beasts 7.1–28
b. The ram and the goat 8.1—9.27
c. The heavenly messenger 10.1—11.45
d. The time of the end 12.1–13