The Book of Daniel:
Daniel, like Ezekiel was a Jewish captive in Babylon. He was of royal or princely descent . For his rank and comeliness he was trained for palace service. In the polluted atmosphere of an oriental court he lived a life of singular piety and usefulness. His long life extended from Nebuchadnezzar to Cyrus. He was a contemporary of Jeremiah, Ezekiel , Joshua, the high priest of the restoration, Ezra, and Zerubbabel.
Daniel is the indispensable introduction to New Testament prophecy, the themes of which are, the apostasy of the Church, the manifestation of the man of sin, the great tribulation, the return of the Lord, the resurrections and the judgments. These, except the first, are Daniel's themes also.
But Daniel is distinctively the prophet of the "times of the Gentiles" .
His vision sweeps the whole course of Gentile world-rule to its end in catastrophe, and to the setting up of the Messianic kingdom.
Daniel is in four broad divisions:
1. Introduction. The personal history of Daniel from the conquest of Jerusalem to the second year of Nebuchadnezzar .
2. The visions of Nebuchadnezzar and their results.
3. The personal history of Daniel under Belshazzar and Darius.
4. The visions of Daniel .
The events recorded in Daniel cover a period of 73 years (Ussher).
trodden down of the Gentiles
The "times of the Gentiles" began with the captivity of Judah under Nebuchadnezzar (2Ch_36:1-21); since which time Jerusalem has been under Gentile overlordship.