Eventually, Nebbucanazzer died and his son Belshazzar was appointed king.
Belshazzar decided to throw a party.
As they drank from the temple cups and mocked God, a hand appeared and wrote on the wall.
Belshazzar was terrified, so he sent for Daniel to interpret the writing, Daniel said;
“You have mocked God, ‘Your kingdom has been given to the Medes and the Persians.”
Then Belshazzar gave Daniel the third highest position in his kingdom.
The Persian army had redirected the river Babylon, by digging trenches and making a dam.
Now they were creeping into the city through the sewer system.
That night in 539 B.C. Belshazzar was killed and Babylon was captured by the Persians.
Darius was made king. Darius appointed three presidents, of whom Daniel was one.
King Darius considered making Daniel the head of the whole kingdom, second only to himself.
The other leaders became very jealous of Daniel, so they made a plan to trap him.
They suggested a new law, to pray only to the King. If anyone prayed to any other god, they should be cast into a den of lions.
The king had no idea what was going on, so he signed a law that could not be altered.
When the conspirators found Daniel praying, they went to the king saying;
“Daniel the Hebrew, is praying to his God three times a day.”
Darius couldn’t alter the law, so he sent for Daniel.
When they reached the lions den, the king said, “Daniel, your God will deliver you.”
The lions were kept back with fire and Daniel was made to enter.
These lions were only lightly fed, so they were away hungry.
A great stone was rolled over the mouth of the lion’s den, then sealed.
Suddenly, an angel appeared to protect Daniel.
King Darius was both angry and upset, as he considered this situation was his fault.
That night Darius couldn’t sleep.
Very early in the morning, the king made his way to the lion’s den.
“Daniel is your God able to deliver you from the lions?” Daniel shouted back “O king live forever.”
The king gave orders to release Daniel.
Darius was overwhelmed and he executed Daniel’s accusers.
Then Darius wrote a declaration to the entire world, proclaiming Daniel’s God to be the living God.
Daniel received from God, dreams, interpretations of dreams and visions of the future.
The first year when Belshazzar, the Babylonian was king, Daniel had a dream.
Daniel saw the four winds of heaven blow upon the great sea.
Then he saw four beasts.
The first beast was like a lion, with eagle’s wings.
The second beast was like a bear and it had three ribs between its teeth.
The third beast was like a leopard, with four wings.
The fourth beast was very powerful, it had iron teeth and ten horns.
An angel explained the dream to Daniel saying, “The four great beasts are four kingdoms that will arise from the earth.
Historically, it is believed that the first beast was Babylon which destroyed Jerusalem in 586 B.C. and was in power at the time of the vision.
The second beast was Persia when Persia conquered Babylon in 539.B.C. and Darius became king.
The third beast is believed to be Greece in 334 years before Christ, when Alexander the Great, began to conquer the Persian Empire.
The fourth beast is believed to be the Roman Empire, after the Romans conquered the Greeks.
Rome eventually took control of Jerusalem under General Pompey 63 years before Christ.
In the third year when Cyrus was king, a message was revealed to Daniel.
He was by the river, when he saw a vision of a man dressed in gold linen.
No strength remained in me, as I listened I fell into a deep sleep.
Daniel was told what would happen to his people, the Israelites in the last days.
There would be a time of great tribulation like never before.
At the time of the end the great prince who protects Daniel’s people, would stand up.
“At that time O’Daniel, everyone who is found written in the book of life, will be delivered!”
Daniel seal the book until the time of the end, when only the wise will understand. The captivity in Babylon lasted for seventy years.
In the story we have just told, the Persians conquered the Babylonians.
It was at this time that God spoke to Cyrus the king of Persia, to set the children of Israel free.
The historical records show that a remnant of 43,360 left the captivity, plus a further 7,337 servants but many Israelites remained, unwilling to leave their property.
520 years before Christ, at the urging of Haggi and Zechariah, Zerrubabel started to rebuild the temple.
The temple was completed five years later, on March 12th 515 B.C.
A short time later Ezra became the Temple priest.
Nehemiah the Kings head waiter left Babylon to start to rebuild the walls in Jerusalem,
In the year 479 B.C. the Jewess Esther, became Queen of Persia.
During this time Malachi, the last book of the Old Testament was written. The four hundred year period from Malachi to John the Baptist is known as the silent years.
The Temple was in a continual state of dis-repair
And the Persian Empire was eventually conquered by the Greeks.
Led by Alexander the Great 334 years before Christ.
Eventually the Romans conquered the Greeks and sixty-three years before the Messiah.
The Roman general Pompey the Great, took control of Jerusalem.
And so it was that the whole land of Israel, became part of the Roman Empire, just as Daniel had prophesied.
Under Herod 19 years before Christ, the rebuilding of the third temple began.
The next prophet of Israel was John the Baptiser, his message was, “Prepare the way for the Lord.”