II. Historical Setting, Authorship, And Date
The book of Daniel spans the time period of 605 to 536 B.C., which involves both the Babylonian Empire and the beginning of the Persian Empire. Daniel, with others, was taken into exile when Babylon conquered Judah. The first four chapters are placed in the reign of Nebuchadnezzar (605-561 b.c.); 5, 7, and 8 in the reign of Belshazzar. Ch. 6 relates the fall of Babylon to the Persians in 539. The remaining chapters belong to the next three years.
Through the centuries, most Jewish and Christian scholars have accepted Daniel as valid prophetic prediction and, most have regarded Daniel as a historical person of the sixth century b.c. Most critical scholars and a few conservative scholars differ with this assessment of the book. Both the Hebrew and Aramaic of Daniel can fit into the sixth and fifth centuries b.c.