DANIEL HAD LIVEDmany years in the beautiful capital cities of the eastern kings, and he had helped these kings rule the people. But during those many years (for he was now old) he had never forgotten his childhood home in Jerusalem nor the temple of the Lord, which Nebuchadnezzar and his soldiers had destroyed.
Daniel had read the letters that Jeremiah the prophet had written to the captive Jews in Babylon, and he knew Jeremiah had prophesied that the Jews might return again to their own land after seventy years.
And now, when he was an old man, Daniel knew the seventy years would soon be passed, and he longed to see his people return again and rebuild the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem.
Instead of praying three times everyday for himself and for his people, now Daniel sometimes prayed all day long. Sometimes he refused to eat his food because he wished to have more time to spend alone, talking with God.
And he even dressed himself in sackcloth and sat in ashes when he prayed, to show God that he was very sorry for his sins and for the sins of his people.
And Daniel’s earnest prayers were heard. One evening while he was praying an angel came to talk with him. This angel had come one time before, when God had caused Daniel to see a wonderful vision; but this time the angel came to comfort Daniel to see a wonderful vision; but this time the angel came to comfort Daniel.
He said, “O Daniel, you are a man greatly loved by the Lord, and you shall know what shall come to pass in after years.”
And the angel told Daniel about the coming of the Savior, Jesus Christ, who should suffer and die for the sins of the people.
Daniel, after he became a very old man, continued to do business for the King. And when Darius died, the new King, Cyrus, took Daniel to his capital city in Persia and kept him there for a helper. And Daniel continued to pray earnestly even while he did business for the new King.
One day during the rule of king Cyrus, Daniel and several companions were by the riverside when all at once Daniel saw a heavenly visitor stand before him. The face of this heavenly visitor shone like lightning and his eyes like fire.
Even his arms and his feet shone like polished brass. Daniel could not look upon him, and fell to the ground. The men who were with Daniel did not see the heavenly visitor, but they felt the earth trembling beneath their feet and they ran away in fear.
As Daniel lay on the ground like one dead, the angel came and touched him. Then Daniel rose up on his knees, and the angel spoke. And his voice sounded like a multitude of voices. At first Daniel could not answer, for he had no power of speech left in him. But the angel touched his lips and caused strength to return into his body. And Daniel talked long with his heavenly visitor. And all these things he afterwards wrote in a book.
Daniel was one of the greatest prophets, as well as a great man in the country where he lived. By his courage and trueness to God he caused several heathen kings to respect the religion of the Jews, and he lived to see the time when King Cyrus allowed the Jews to return again to Judah.
Tomorrow: The Home-Coming of the Jews