What does Daniel 1:21 mean?
ESV: And Daniel was there until the first year of King Cyrus.
NIV: And Daniel remained there until the first year of King Cyrus.
NASB: And Daniel continued until the first year of Cyrus the king.
CSB: Daniel remained there until the first year of King Cyrus.
NLT: Daniel remained in the royal service until the first year of the reign of King Cyrus.
KJV: And Daniel continued even unto the first year of king Cyrus.
NKJV: Thus Daniel continued until the first year of King Cyrus.
Verse Commentary:
God gave Daniel a lengthy ministry. His service as a faithful representative of the Lord extended from Nebuchadnezzar to King Cyrus of Persia. By divine grace, Daniel lived and ministered throughout the reigns of Nebuchadnezzar in 604—562 BC, Evil-Merodach in 562—560 BC, Neriglissar in 560—556 BC, Labashi-Marduck in 556 BC, the co-rules of Nabonidus in 556—539 BC and Belshazzar in 553–539 BC (Daniel 5:1), and into the reign of Cyrus the Great of Persia.

In His providence, God also favored the Israelite patriarch Joseph with a long stretch of influence in Egypt. His ministry began at age thirty in Pharaoh's court and continued until he died at the age of 110 (Genesis 41:46; 50:22). Daniel's ministry to the Gentiles foreshadowed a prominent New Testament figure, who lived into his nineties and faithfully proclaimed God's Word. This was John, one of Jesus' original disciples. Apparently, the Romans thought that by banishing John to the isolation of Patmos they would silence him. Yet, from Patmos, John wrote the Revelation of Jesus Christ that promises blessing to whoever reads it, to whoever hears it, and to whoever obeys it (Revelation 1:3).
Verse Context:
Daniel 1:17–21 completes an introduction to Daniel's role in advising the kings of Babylon. Because Daniel and his three friends honored the Lord, they were blessed with exceptional skills and abilities in their roles. Their extraordinary value will factor into later incidents where the Hebrew captives must decide between their own lives or faithfulness to God (Daniel 3; 6).
Chapter Summary:
When Daniel was young, Babylon conquered Jerusalem and took many of its treasures and people back to their land. Daniel was chosen to become an advisor due to his good looks and bright mind. Along with other boys, he was educated and given a Babylonian name. Daniel and several friends demonstrate faithfulness to God by avoiding foods that might be unclean. They also excel in their roles. This leads Daniel to become an important advisor regarding dreams and visions, as described starting in chapter 2.
Chapter Context:
Daniel was taken captive when Babylon conquered the nation of Israel. The first chapter of the book establishes his history, his level of natural talent, and the depth of his faith. This is followed by a series of prophetic interpretations tied to Gentile nations in chapters 2—7. Chapters 8—12 focus on prophecies more closely related to the nation of Israel. Many of these details are restated or expanded in the book of Revelation.
Book Summary:
The book of Daniel contains famous Old Testament stories and prophecies. Daniel was taken from the Israelite people and made an advisor for a conquering empire. He demonstrates faithfulness and wisdom during many years serving in this role. Though Daniel does not deliver a public message, Jesus refers to him as a "prophet" (Matthew 24:15). The first portion of the book mostly describes Daniel's interpretations of dreams and other events. The second portion looks ahead to the end times. Daniel is classified in English Bibles as a "major" prophet, meaning the book is relatively long and the content has broad implications. The book of Revelation echoes and expands on many of the same themes.
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