For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
Romans 15:4



 A Bible Study - Commentary by Jim Melough

Copyright 2001 James Melough


Of all the OT types of Christ, few are more easily discerned than that of Daniel as set before us in the sixth chapter of the book bearing his name.

His preeminence, and the reason for it, “because an excellent spirit was in him” (verse 3), prepare us to see him as a type of the Lord Jesus Christ preeminent above all others, having in Him an excellent spirit.

The envious “presidents and princes” seeking “to find occasion against Daniel,” clearly foreshadow the envious Jewish leaders who sought occasion against Christ, “... they took counsel together for to put Him to death,” Jn.11:53.  And as it was with Daniel so was it with Christ, “They could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him” (v.4).  Their confessed inability to find any fault implies a scrutiny of Daniel’s life that had yielded nothing to justify their hatred and envy; and so was it with Christ: He was condemned only on the false charge of blasphemy - His claim to be the Son of God (Mk 14:61-64).

Having inveigled Darius into signing a decree that was virtually Daniel’s death warrant, they thought they had accomplished their evil purpose (v.9).  “Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he had aforetime” (v.10).  The Lord also, knowing that His death was written in the Scriptures, would not deviate from the path of obedience.  (It is to be noted incidentally that Daniel’s praying with his windows open towards Jerusalem wasn’t bravado.  He was simply obeying the command given by Solomon in 1 Ki 8:46-51).

The princes’ cunning manipulation of Darius that resulted in Daniel’s loyalty to God being equated with disloyalty to the king, bears remarkable resemblance to the Jews’ manipulation of Pilate, “If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar’s friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar,” Jn 19:12.

“Then the king ... was sore displeased with himself, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him” (v.14).  The conduct of Darius and Pilate is identical, “And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release Him,” Jn 19:12.  The blood lust of the enemy, however, would be satisfied with nothing less than the death of both Daniel and Christ, for in both cases the hatred emanated from the same evil source, Satan.

The reluctance with which Darius finally delivered Daniel to the will of his enemies is but the OT figure of the reluctance with which Pilate delivered Christ to the will of His.

None but the spiritually blind will fail to see the parallel between the placing of the stone on what was meant to be Daniel’s tomb, and the similar placing of a stone on the mouth of the cave that was Christ’s tomb (Mt.27:60).  Nor will even the unbeliever refuse to acknowledge the remarkable “coincidence” that in both cases the stones were sealed to prevent any frustration of the enemy’s purpose.

In the case of Daniel it is recorded that, “The king ... passed the night fasting” (v.18).  There was a restless night associated also with the death of Christ, “When he (Pilate) was set down on the judgment seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him” Mt 27:19.

The arrival of the sorrowing king at the supposed tomb of Daniel “very early in the morning” is reminiscent of the coming of the weeping women to the tomb of Christ, “very early in the morning” (Mk 16:2).  And the joy of Darius upon discovering that Daniel was alive, prefigures that of the women upon hearing the angel’s words, “He is not here: for he is risen.... And they departed ... with fear and great joy,” Mt 28:8.

Daniel’s experience, however, was but a shadow of the terrible reality endured by Christ.  Daniel, unscathed, could assure the king, “My God hath sent His angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me” (v.22); and “Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him” (v.23).  It was very different for Christ.  When He was delivered up to the will of His enemies there was no protecting angel to “shut the lion’s mouth.”  When He was “taken up out of the den,” it was the print of the nails in His hands and feet, and the spear wound in His side, that convinced the doubting Thomas that it was He Who stood before them (Jn 20:27).

The prosperity of Daniel throughout the reigns of Darius and Cyrus; the destruction of his enemies; and the universal honoring of God, point to the coming Millennium, when all of these things will be fulfilled in fullest measure in connection with Christ.

We might note in passing, that Daniel’s being used to portray the experiences of Christ, doesn’t preclude his being used also to portray the Tribulation experiences of the believing remnant.  Like him, they too will be hated, persecuted, and “cast into the lions’ den.”  But God’s hand will preserve them through the trial; and the Millennium will reveal that they too will have suffered no hurt, for their enemies will be destroyed, and the martyrs raised to eternal life, while the survivors will be brought out of the Tribulation into the Millennium where they will enjoy the beneficent reign of Christ over a redeemed and transformed earth; and God will be glorified to the uttermost bounds of creation.


     Scripture portions taken from the Holy Bible, King James Version
© 2000-2005 James Melough