A Synopsis of the Story of Daniel in Babylon
Chapter One – Exile to Babylon – Advisors to the King
King Nebuchadnezzar conquers Jerusalem and sends 1000 youths to Babylon where they will do training for 3 years in order to become advisors to the king. The finest amongst them are Daniel, Chananyah, Mishael and Azariah.
Chananyah, Mishael and Azariah are given Babylonian names, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed Nego.
On behalf of his friends, Daniel refuses to eat the Kings food and drink the Kings wine. He cuts a deal with Ashpenaz, the Kings chief of staff, that he and his friends be given seeds and water. Because he stands up for his principles, God rewards them all with the gifts of knowledge, wisdom and understanding. In addition, Daniel receives insight into dreams and visions.
After three years they stand before the king in the Wisdom Game and are pronounced ten times smarter than any of the kings wizards and advisors.
Chapter Two – Tell Me My Dream
King Nebuchadnezzar has the same dream twice and forgets the dream each time.
Disturbed, he calls his wise men and proclaims – “Tell me my dream and tell me what it means!” They cannot do so, and the King orders all wise men in Babylon killed.
When Arioch the chief executioner tells Daniel he must kill him and his three friends, Daniel asks for one more night. During that night the four boys meditate and God reveals the dream and interpretation to Daniel.
Daniel then goes to King Nebuchadnezzar and tells him his dream and its meaning. Nebuchadnezzar is the first King of four kingdoms that will rule the world until God’s final kingdom is setup. Nebuchadnezzar is humbled by the interpretation, acknowledges God’s greatness and bows down to Daniel as if he were a God. Daniel objects to being bowed down to and berates the King for his actions. Nebuchadnezzar sends him away in anger.
Chapter Three – Bow Down!
Nebuchadnezzar, in rebellion to Daniel’s dream interpretation builds a statue 60 cubits high and 6 cubits wide and tells the public that when they hear the music from the orchestra, they have to bow down. Shadrach, Meshach and Abed Nego refuse to bow down. The Chaldeans catch them and report them to the King. Nebuchadnezzar has them bound and thrown into the fiery furnace. God sends an angel and saves them and Nebuchadnezzar sees the angel in the fire. He acknowledges that their God is the true God, and tells the three that they will never have to worship another God. Shadrach, Meshach and Abed Nego return to Jerusalem.
Chapter Four – Dream Number Two
Nebuchadnezzar has a dream and calls Daniel in for interpretation.
Daniel interprets that Nebuchadnezzar will be removed from his throne for seven years while he lives like a beast in the field.
After seven years he will recognize that God rules over man from above and be restored to his throne. Nebuchadnezzar asks if there is anything he can do to prevent this decree from being fulfilled. Daniel responds that the King should perform acts of charity and kindness. Nebuchadnezzar tries but he cannot change his evil ways and the dream comes to fruition.
The King dies and 50 years pass. This dream scene is done in a Modern Ballet/Dance.
Chapter Five – The Handwriting’s on the Wall
The Grand Wizard reports gleefully to King Belshazzar that the Israelites will never be redeemed. In celebration, King Belshazzar has a feast, drinking wine with wives, concubines and one thousand noblemen. They are eating and drinking off the dishes of the holy temple which King Nebuchadnezzar brought to Babylon from Jerusalem.
A hand comes down from heaven and writes strange letters on the wall.
None of the wizards can interpret it. The Queen mother tells King Belshazzar that back in the old days Daniel would advise and interpret dreams for his grandfather King Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel is brought in and he reads the writing on the wall.
He tells King Belshazzar – you will die tonight and God will give your kingdom to Media and Persia. King Belshazzar rewards Daniel for his interpretation and indeed gets murdered that night.
Chapter Six – In the Lions Den
King Darius from Media takes over. He establishes a government with three Grand Viziers and one hundred and twenty governors under him. Daniel is the lead Grand Vizier and the other two are jealous. They trick King Darius in making an edict that no praying can be done for thirty days except through the king.
Daniel prays with his windows open towards Jerusalem.
The Grand Viziers come in and catch him. King Darius reluctantly throws him in the Lions Den. King Darius tells Daniel, your God who you constantly serve must save you.
Darius cannot sleep all night. He comes back to the pit and calls out to Daniel. Daniel answers that God sent an angel to save him. Darius pulls Daniel from the Lions Den and makes a new decree – “The God of Daniel is a Living God”! He allows Daniel to return to Jerusalem and the musical ends!