"The book of Daniel is especially fitted to be a battleground between faith and unbelief. It admits of no half-way measure. It is either divine or an imposter." (E. B. Pusey)
Nebuchadnezzar attacked Judah three times starting in 605 B.C. slightly more than a hundred years after the Northern Kingdom fells to the Assyrians. The second invasion occurred in 597 B.C. Jehoiachin had to surrender Jerusalem and go into captivity with the leaders of Judah (2 Kings 24:10–14). Ezekiel was one of the priests who was taken into captivity on this second invasion. The third, and final invasion happened in 586 B.C. when Jerusalem was utterly destroyed and the people of the land were taken to Babylon. Jeremiah was in the city when this happened.
The book of Daniel begins with Nebuchadnezzar coming to Jerusalem during the days of King Jehoiakim. So, Daniel and his friends, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah were taken to Babylon during the first invasion. According to Boice, while the stories of Daniel involve these men, the most important event is the articles taken, by Nebuchadnezzar, from the temple and placed in the temple of his god in Babylon. This is the theme of the book and key to everything else, according to Boice.
As the Jews were taken into captivity and their city destroyed, it was as if the things of God were taken into captivity also. For Nebuchadnezzar and the people of Babylon, this was the indication and belief that their god had conquered the God of the Jews. The Jews had completely lost sight of any relationship with the Lord. He was not present in their heart. He was not the driving force of their life, their motivation, source of hope, strength and life. They had grown to seek these things in other places. This, brought them to captivity, into a strange land, other gods ruled there. Suddenly, they became aware of what they had lost. The articles of the temple must have become so symbolic to the covenant honoring worship of Yahweh and the promises that came with obedience and subsequent relationship with their God.
Many must have thought that all was lost and abandoned any hope of restoration. Yet, had they heard the prophets, they would have heard of a time that was coming; a day and time when salvation is complete, redemption of fulfilled and complete. God's ways and plan have never been at the mercy of the faithfulness of His people, not then, not now. There is one God, Sovereign over all the nations, from the ends of the earth to the heavens and under the earth, across all time from eternity past to eternity future. This is the basis for the book of Daniel.
Daniel interprets the dream
The Dream is fulfilled
Interpretation of the Dream