Contrary to the Lord's counsel through the prophet Jeremiah, the Jews had looked to Egypt for deliverance from the Babylonians. The Babylonians, under Nebuchadnezzar, conquered the Egyptians at Carchemish about 605 B.C. This conquest marked the beginning of the end of the Egyptian empire as a world power. Nebuchadenezzar sacked Jerusalem in about 597 B.C. and took many soldiers, artisans, and members of noble families, including Daniel, into exile. The Jews that remained behind rose up again, and in about 587 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar returned and destroyed Jerusalem and banished many more Jews into Babylon.
The book of Daniel in the Old Testament is a record of events in the life of Daniel the prophet who served the people of Judah during their captivity in Babylon. Daniel is the author of this book and was a young man when the books begins and in his eighties when the book ends. This book demonstrates how to live the gospel even when those around us may not or when our circumstances make it difficult. It also prophesies of the triumph of the kingdom of God over all other powers and kingdoms in the world. The one central theme of the book of Daniel is that God has power over all the earth, both individuals and nations.
Some key principles to look for in reading the book of Daniel are: 1) obedience to the Lord's commandments brings temporal and spiritual blessings; 2) Prophets have the power to prophesy of the future and to interpret signs and dreams; 3) Great moral courage is necessary to always choose the right; 4) The Church is the kingdom of God that has been established on earth in the latter days. This kingdom will grow and fill the world.