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Christmas and the Prophet Daniel?

Did you know there's a connection between the Prophet Daniel and the events of our Lord's birth? Check out this fascinating link between the survivor of the lion's den, and the Lion of the Tribe of Judah in today's new NB Bite!

Although most of us know the story of Daniel, one of his works is often overlooked. King Nebuchadnezzar gave the prophet Daniel the high office of “…ruler over the whole province of Babylon and chief prefect over all the wise men of Babylon”(Dan. 2:48). In other words, Daniel was appointed the head of the wise men of Babylon. Why is this important?

As Christmas approaches, we will see pictures and hear stories about the "Wise Men" (or, as they are often called, the Magi), following the stars from the East to honor Jesus Christ, the newborn King. Many scholars believe that the Magi were Persians from Babylon.

Have you ever wondered what motivated the wise men to travel over a thousand miles to Bethlehem? How did the Babylonians know about the Jewish prophecies, and what made them believe that this star was the one who would lead them to the newly born King?

The Magi must have had clear, unmistakable astronomical/astrological information to lead them to such a strong quest. In Matthew 2:2 the Magi show that they saw something remarkable in the sky that convinced them to make the long and dangerous journey to Jerusalem.

How would events in the heavens let the Magi know that the King of the Jews has been born?

This is where Daniel the prophet comes in. Not only was Daniel the leader of the wise men (the Magi) of Babylon, but also his prophecy concerning the coming King became known everywhere in the ancient Near East. Even the Romans knew his prophecy about the future King of Israel.

Because of this, the first century wise men (Magi) could have studied the writings of Daniel and perhaps other Jewish writings that Daniel would have referred, such as the book of Isaiah. This connection between Daniel and the Magi may help explain why, almost six hundred years later, these particular wise men (Magi) from Babylon are said to be expecting the King of the Jews to come to Judea. The Magi could have followed the star because of what they learned from the book of Daniel the prophet. It could be argued that Daniel's work helped the Magi, many centuries after Daniel's death, to connect the dots between light in the night sky and the "Light of the World".

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