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Daniel ( ; Assyrian: ܕܢܝܐܝܠ, Daniyel; Arabic: دانيال,Persian: دانيال, Dâniyal or Danial, also Dani, داني ; Danyal; Greek: Δανιήλ, Dhanil; Turkish: Danyal) is the central protagonist of the Book of Daniel. The name "Daniel" means "God is my judge": Dan means "judgment" or "he judged", "i" is the hiriq compaginis meaning "of" (not to be confused with the modern Hebrew first person possessive suffix -i), and "El" means God.This article describes Daniel, from the Book of Daniel, which is a book of the Bible. The historicity of Daniel, which is a subject of dispute, is discussed at Book of Daniel. This section describes him within the setting of the history that the Bible describes.

At a young age, Daniel was carried off to Babylonmarker where he was trained in the service of the court under the authority of Ashpenaz. Daniel became famous for interpreting dreams and rose to become one of the most important figures in the court and lived well into the reign of the Persian conquerors. He retained his high position there and had influence in the decision to restore the Jews to their homeland.

Christianity regards Daniel as a saint and as prophet. Judaism considers the Book of Daniel a part of its canon (Jewish Law), but does not regard Daniel as a prophet. Islam also regards Daniel as a prophet, though he is not mentioned explicitly in the Quran.

Bold text'== Prophet ==In the context of the books of the Bible, Christians refer to Daniel as one of the four major prophets. This does not refer to importance of the prophet, but size of their writings. The other "major" prophets include: Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel. Dreams and visions and revelations are sometimes associated with prophecy in the Bible, such as expands.

Modern Judaism does not count Daniel among the prophets. For this, three reasons are given:
  1. Daniel never spoke directly with God. According to the Torah, prophets (nevi'im) speak with God, not to intermediaries like angels. Daniel saw angels and never spoke with God. This is the primary reason Daniel is not considered a prophet.
  2. In Judaism a prophet (navi) speaks to his or her generation, not to future generations. The Prophets in the Tanakh (e.g., Isaiah, Ezekiel) spoke primarily to their generation, but their message was also pertinent to the future. Daniel's visions were for the future, not for his generation.
  3. A prophet must be called to a mission of reform or admonishment of his people, and not merely receive God's Spirit or be able to interpret dreams. Like Joseph before him and Mordechai after him, Daniel was a court Jew who served his people whilst serving his king, but did not engage Jewry with a mandate from on high to preach repentance and redemption. He is therefore considered a righteous man, a man beloved, a man of wisdom and piety, though not quite a prophet.

  • In Rashi's commentary to the Talmud (1st Chapter of Megillah) he shows that to be qualified as a prophet, one needs to spread the message one hears. Daniel's prophecies are relevant for the future, for they cryptically state what will be in days to come. However, Daniel's prophecies were not spread to the population as implied by the text itself.


The prophet Ezekiel, with whom Daniel was a contemporary, describes a Daniel as a "pattern of righteousness (14:14, 20) and wisdom" (28:3). In the Book of Daniel, the name is spelled with a middle letter suggesting the i of that name — but this letter is not included in Ezekiel, suggesting that the reference there may be to another person, possibly the "Danel" ("Judgement of God")known from Caananite Ugaritic literature (such as the Epic of Aqhat and Anat), whose reputation for wisdom and righteousness had made him legendary. (Vowel-points were not added to the consonantal Hebrew text before well into the Common Era, and the scribes may then have slipped in a vowel-point for "i" as a middle syllable.)


In the Deuterocanonical portion of Daniel known as Bel and the Dragon, the prophet Habakkuk is miraculously transported by an angel to take a meal to Daniel while he is in the lions' den. In response, Daniel prays, "Thou hast remembered me, O God; neither hast thou forsaken them that seek Thee and love Thee".


The Tomb of Daniel is the traditional burial place of the biblical prophet Daniel. There are six different locations all claimed to be the site of the tomb: Babylonmarker, Kirkukmarker and Muqdadiyah in Iraqmarker, Susamarker and Malamir in Iranmarker, and Samarkandmarker in Uzbekistanmarker.

Liturgical commemorations

On the Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar, the feast days celebrating St. Daniel the Prophet together with the Three Young Men, falls on December 17 (during the Nativity Fast), on the Sunday of the Holy Forefathers (the Sunday which falls between 11 and 17 December), and on the Sunday before Nativity. Daniel's prophesy regarding the stone which smashed the idol ( ) is often used in Orthodox hymns as a metaphor for the Incarnation: the "stone cut out" being symbolic of the Logos (Christ), and the fact that it was cut "without hands" being symbolic of the virgin birth. Thus the hymns will refer to the Theotokos (Virgin Mary) as the "uncut mountain"

In the West, the Roman Catholic Church commemorates Daniel on July 21.

He is commemorated as a prophet in the Calendar of Saints of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod together with the Three Young Men (Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego), on December 17.

Rabbinic literature

See also


External links

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