4 Truth Ministry

The Main Message of Daniel


By David Sheldon

Last Updated: March 25, 2022

Intro to Daniel

The Old Testament book of Daniel is like no other book of the Old Testament. It contains unique stories of fidelity to God, and there are numerous prophecies in the book as well. The prophetic revelations God gave to Daniel are quite distinct. So distinct, in fact, that an entire genre of literature has emerged from them. It is called “apocalyptic literature.” Apocalyptic literature can also be found in the book of Revelation, which is one of the reasons why the messages of Daniel and Revelation are so connected.

Author of Daniel

The book of Daniel was written by none other than the prophet Daniel (Matthew 24:15). He wrote his book during the Babylonian captivity (605-539 b.c.) and until his death (530 b.c.?). Daniel means “God is my judge” and Daniel truly knew that God was his judge. He was a very faithful and dedicated man of God which is evident throughout his book. Daniel’s allegiance to God is shown in Daniel 1:8 where Daniel doesn’t defile himself with the King’s food, as well as in his desire to seek God in prayer and carefully interpret the visions he received (Daniel 2:17-18). Daniel was committed to seek God’s guidance in all things.

Flowchart and Parallel Themes in Daniel

In order to understand the book’s main message, we must start by looking at “the forest”, the bird’s eye view of the book. Doing this allows us to see the way in which Daniel laid out the book. He was very diligent in recording specific parallel concepts in a rather organized fashion! Once we see the flow of chapters and their parallel themes, we can better understand the book’s main message.

Each of the multiple stories found in the book of Daniel correlates with another. For example, the following chapters correspond with each other:

    • Chapters 1 and 12
    • Chapters 2,7,8,11
    • Chapters 3 & 6
    • Chapters 4 & 5
    • Chapters 9 & 10
      (You can see this visually in the flowchart below. Download available.)

Chapter 1 shows the captivity of God’s people in history (Babylon) while chapter 12 shows the great liberation of God’s people into His kingdom at the end of the age.

Chapters 2, 7, 8, 11 reveal four great beasts (the earthly kingdoms of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome) that will be set against God’s people. A final beast will be destroyed and God’s kingdom will be ushered in.

Chapters 3 & 6 explain the false worship that Daniel was confronted with and his faith to withstand. He keeps his allegiance to the only true and living God, revealed in Scripture, who was to be worshiped. (Revelation 13 gives a future glimpse of a coming false worship that will be similar and will try the patience and faithfulness of God’s people.)

Chapters 4 & 5 tell the story of two rulers, Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar, whom a sovereign God brought under His judgments. This is a clear foreshadowing of the reality that all will be judged by God’s sovereign hand. There is no hiding from Him who sees all.

Chapters 9 & 10 comfort Daniel when he is reassured of God’s provision and protection of His people. He first is visited by the angel Gabriel who reveals the “70 weeks of Daniel.” Then there is the appearance of a man who reveals to Daniel that God and His angels are in the battle for His people and against the powers of this evil world.

(You can see this visually in the Parallel Themes chart below. Download available.)


Flowchart of the Book of Daniel


Parallel Themes and Main Message of Daniel


Chronology of Daniel

At this point, we should also note that the events of Daniel are not in chronological order. The actual chronology is: chapters 1-4, 7-8, 5-6, 9-12. Notice that chapters 5-6 and chapters 7-8 are flip-flopped with each other. Why did Daniel arrange the book this way? It is possible he was simply using a literary device. You can see the full timeline with known dates and events on our Chronology of Daniel page.

Daniel’s Main Message

Now that we have seen the major themes of each chapter, we can conclude that the main message of Daniel is that God is sovereign over everything! He does and will continue to work all things toward the establishing of His kingdom over all and specifically for His people.

This sovereignty of God can be seen from the very onset of the book. Daniel 1:1 says “In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it.” Nebuchadnezzar besieged Jerusalem – but it was God who was sovereignly at work because it then immediately states: “And the Lord handed Jehoiakim king of Judah over to him…” Daniel 1:2 (See 2 Chronicles 36:5-8). This should give us confidence and reassurance that God is sovereign over each of us even when it seems like He’s not working to our benefit! Like Psalm 103:19 says, “The Lord has established His throne in the heavens, And His sovereignty rules over all.”

We also see God’s sovereignty clearly in chapters 2, 7, 8, 11 when Daniel relates his dreams and visions, and they so carefully predict how the kingdoms of this world will unfold. These prophecies, which were written during the sixth century b.c., find incredibly accurate fulfillment in past history. Some are yet to be fulfilled and God will perfectly carry them out according to Scripture!

Next, we see God’s sovereignty in His judgments of Kings Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar in chapters 4 & 5. We see His sovereign protection over His own people in chapters 3 & 6 during two different kingdoms: Babylonian (Nebuchadnezzar) and Medo-Persian (Darius).

So even in the midst of trouble, God causes all things to work together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose! (Romans 8:28) Does the book of Daniel reassure you of this? It should.

Further, in chapters 9 & 10, Daniel steps out in faith to inquire of God and His provisions for the future of His people. He not only was told of God’s provisions, but also God’s protections. God had/has a sovereign plan for Israel as seen in the 70 weeks of Daniel, and God is present and sends help for His own, even via angels, in the midst of every battle that is waged. Can the people of God bring glory to Him in trusting that the provisions and the battle are really His? Can you?

And of course, Daniel 12 ends with the perseverance of God’s own people at the end of this present evil age and the reality that – God will win in the end! Are you ready?

For More on Daniel and End Time Events

To consider the identity of Belshazzar: Belshazzar on Bible Hub
To consider the identity of Darius the Mede: Darius in the Bible – Got Questions
To further research the historical complexities of Belshazzar and Darius the Mede:
Historical Evidence of Belshazzar & Darius the Mede – BibleHistory.net

Or reference: Keil & Delitzsch, Commentary on the Old Testament, Ezekiel & Daniel, Volume 9, p. 597-606 & 617-622 – Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody, Massachusetts, March 2006.

The Chronology of Daniel – By David Sheldon
Prophecies Concerning the Final World Kingdom – By David Sheldon
End Time Events: A Brief Overview – By David Sheldon
The Church’s New Agenda – By David Sheldon
The Beast From the Sea – By David Sheldon
Babylon in Revelation – By David Sheldon

Todd Friel on the Israel-Hamas War

Watch this video by Todd Friel of Wretched regarding what Christians should know about the Israel-Hamas war.

Who Are Gog and Magog?

Gog and Magog are found in an Old Testament prophecy of a war against Israel in Ezekiel 38-39. The following breakdown gives insight into the meanings of these names.

Is The War of Ezekiel 38-39 The Same War As The Battle of Armageddon?

A look at the wars prophesied about in Ezekiel 38-39 and Revelation 16 & 19.

War On Israel – Ezekiel 38-39

With the tremendous turmoil currently taking place in the world, we should consider an Old Testament prophecy some Bible scholars think is yet to be fulfilled. Ezekiel 38 & 39 speaks of a war against Israel in the last days.

Are You Prepared? The Coming Global System

As we approach the final days as described in Daniel and Revelation, it is important that pastors speak up and sound the warnings of what to expect and look for!

End Time Events: A Brief Overview

The Bible describes many end time events that occur before the Second Coming of Christ. In this article, we discuss two: 1) the Final Apostasy of the church, and 2) a worldwide rebellion of fallen mankind.

The Church’s New Agenda

Have you noticed the stumbling block of the gospel has taken a back seat to other things in many churches? The visible church’s overarching goal has become “to connect.”

Will Christians Know Who The Antichrist Will Be?

Ever consider what Scripture says about the Antichrist? Outlined here, certain end-time events clue Christians into the kind of person it will be.

Resolute Book on Amazon
Somewhere East of Eden

Sign Up For Our Newsletter!

Never miss a beat with 4 Truth Ministry updates emailed directly to your inbox.
(We send one email every few months.)
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Related Articles

The Chronology of Daniel

The Chronology of Daniel

The book of Daniel is not in chronological order. Here is a timeline of known dates and events to assist you in studying the book. The actual chronology is chapters 1-4,7,8,5,6, 9-12

read more