Daniel - Lesson 3

By Stafford North


Background Information for the Teacher


  1. The student can tell about Nebuchadnezzar's conquest of Jerusalem and the deportation of the first captives to Babylon.
  2. The student can tell about the training program in which Daniel and his friends were placed.
  3. The student can explain the problem which arose and the courage and faith Daniel and his friends had in dealing with it.
  4. The student can explain how we might face similar problems today.


  1. Have a chalkboard, marker board, overhead, or PowerPoint ready. You may download the PowerPoint to make overhead transparencies. When you do, click"Pure Black and White" on the print dialogue box.)
  2. Have copies of the worksheet ready to hand out at the beginning of the class.
  3. Be sure all the students have Bibles.
  4. Have cards ready to distribute with all the passages you want someone to read aloud during the lesson.
  5. Have the Review Quiz available either as students come into the classroom so they can work on it prior to the start of class or to hand out near the beginning of class. To save time, especially if time for the teaching time is limited, it may work best to make the quiz sheet available before class actually starts.


Daniel and his three friends are young men taken to a foreign land where Jehovah is not recognized and where idolatry is the common practice. They are under the control of an absolute despot against whom an offense is punishable by death. Yet, when faced with either violating God's law or risking their lives, they show the courage and faith to obey.

Lesson Plan for Conducting the Class

Introduction: (about 10 minutes)

  1. Welcome visitors, make necessary announcements, check the roll, and sing songs and have a prayer. Songs might center on faith and courage: "I'm Not Ashamed," "Faith of our Fathers" "The Steadfast Love of the Lord," "Be Still and Know," "The Battle Belongs to the Lord."
  2. Go through the review quiz and let the students give the answers. All should check their papers as you go. Encourage all to be ready for the Review Quiz over today's lesson at the start of the next class period. Reviewing last week's lesson at the first of today's lesson is a very good way to increasing what students learn.
  3. Review the objectives for the lesson today.

Learning Experiences: (about 18 minutes)

  1. Read Jeremiah 25:1-11. Q: What does Jeremiah say will happen to the Kingdom of Judah? A: They will be completely destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar of the Babylonians. Q: Why will this befall them? A: Because they disobeyed God because of their evil practices and their idolatry. Q: In what year did Nebuchadnezzar come against Jerusalem. A: 606 BC. Q: How powerful was Babylon at this time? A: They had defeated the Assyrians in 612 BC and were now in the process of becoming the most dominant kingdom in the world. As this map shows, they eventually ruled the territory from far to the east of theEuphrates River all the way into Egypt and half of modern-day Turkey.
  2. Read Daniel 1:1-7. Q: What objects does Nebuchadnezzar take from Jerusalem to Babylon? A: Articles from the temple of God. Q: Where do these later appear in the story of Daniel? A: At Belshazzar's feast in Chapter 6 where the Babylonians drink from them. Q: What type of people are taken captive? A:Young men from the families of royalty and nobility who have no physical defect, who are handsome and smart. Q: Who are the four of these who are named? A:Daniel, Hannaniah, Mishael, and Azariah.
  3. Q: For what purpose will these be trained? A: To enter the king's service. Q:What will they study? A: At "Nebuchadnezzar U" they will study the language and literature of the Babylonians. A: How long with the program last? A: Three years.
  4. Q: What provision is made for feeding those in this training program? A: They will eat what comes from the king's table. Read Daniel 1:8-10. Q: What was Daniel's response to the food? A: He "resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine." Q: Although we are not told specifically, why might Daniel believe the food would defile him? A: It might not have been prepared in accordance with the Law of Moses or it might have been offered before idols.
  5. Q: What are some factors that make this a remarkable decision? A: Daniel is just a youth. He is in a foreign country. His country has been defeated by Babylon. He was in a subservient position of no authority or standing. He was risking his opportunity to be in an important position of service to the world's most powerful man. His life could well have been at stake by rejecting the food.
  6. Q: How does Daniel try to avoid defiling himself? A: He asks the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. Q: What is the response? A: The official refuses because he is afraid that he will be in trouble for allowing Daniel to depart from the prescribed food. Q: According to Daniel 1:2, and 17, what is happening behind the scenes? A: God is playing a role in this story. He delivered Judah into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar and he made the chief official sympathetic to Daniel, and He is giving them knowledge and understanding.
  7. Read Daniel 1:11-16. Q: After Daniel has been turned down by the chief official, to whom does he make his next request? A: The guard over him. Q: What does he propose? A: That he and his friends eat vegetables and drink water for ten days and then he can check their appearance? Q: What were the results? A: They looked better nourished and healthier than any of the other young men so the guard let them continue on this food.

Application: (about 16 minutes)

Remember to write applications you want to use in your own life on your application sheet which you should be keeping in your Bible.

    1. Q: What may we assume lay behind Daniel's refusal to defile himself? A: He had been taught the law of God and was committed to keeping it. Q: How did this likely happen? A: Since he was but a young man, it is highly likely that his family had trained him well. Q: What should we be doing to train our children so they would be willing to take such a stand even when they are in a new place and on their own? A: Such things as home Bible studies, seeing the example of parents and others, regular church attendance and involvement, Christian schools,teaching them to make decisions on their own.
    2. Q: What are some situations in which we might be called on to make a similar decision? A: (Be sure to get specific situations from your class on this answer.) Such things as deciding not to drink when others around us are, being honest on a test even if others are cheating, not going to a party when we know sinful things will be done there, telling the truth even if it will mean losing money or a sale or a job, turning away when someone starts to tell a dirty joke, turning off the TV when the language or message gets bad, telling someone we are a Christian and encouraging them to do the right thing with us, having the courage to invite our friends to church.
    3. Q: In what ways did Daniel's actions show his faith? A: He seems to have had an underlying trust in God that if he did the right thing, God would eventually bless him. Q: How can we develop a faith like this? A: By observing the lives of others who are faithful, by studying Bible cases of people of faith, by prayer that God will help us.
    4. A good way to remember how this lesson teaches us to act would be to recall these words: remember always, stand always, believe always.

Assignment: (about 1 minute)

      1. Review your notes to prepare for the review quiz next week.
      2. Read Daniel 2.

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