Synthetic Outline of the Book of Daniel

Taken from Grace and Truth Magazine 1923



The value and usefulness of the Synthetic Principle becomes evident when it is applied to the Books of the Bible. The literary form of each book has been produced by the Holy Spirit. The Writers of the Bible were men of widely different training and origin. They were men of vastly differing outlooks upon life. Some were men so destitute of schooling that we of today would say they were ”untrained men." Some were men of the highest training of their day. Within every book in the Bible is an absolutely perfect literary structure, based upon alterations and introversions. Did all these men go to the same school? No, that was impossible. for their lives were scattered over sixteen centuries. Besides, as we have said, some were without any schooling: of any sort. Whence, then this astonishing ability to produce literary structures every one of which is a gem? Whence this amazing uniformity of literary formation in the productions of men whose, minds Were by nature so widely divergent? There is but one answer to these queries. God Himself inspired the literary form as well as the doctrinal content of every book and chapter and line in the Bible.

The Old Testament book hearing the name of the Prophet Daniel is a striking: example of the activity of the Synthetic Principle. The book is an introversion of seven meembers (See figure 2). The opening: member is covered by chapter one, which sets forth Israel in Bondage. It is a time of severest trouble. during which a faithful remnant miraculously grow and get fat on a starvation diet. This chapter presents the nation of Israel in three divisions.

(1) The nation at large. left. by Nehuchadnezzar, in the land.

(2) The larger group of prisoners at Nehuchadnezzar’s court. These were willing: to eat the king's meat (representing the lost of Israel).

(3) The smaller group of prisoners at Nehuchadnezzar’s court. These were unwilling to eat the king's meat (Daniel and his companions).

Thus this chapter becomes a clear type of Israel in the Great Tribulation, for in that future dispensation of judgment Israel shall be in three divisions perfectly corresponding to the groups as set forth in this type. Turn to the 12th chapter of Daniel and there see the. other extreme of the introversion. Chapter 12 answers to chapter 1. Again Israel is seen in a time of terrible trouble and again the. Holy Spirit sets forth the nation as being divided into three divisions. The three divisions as set forth in Daniel 12 are:

(l) The nation at large, being the group whose names are found written in the book,—thy shall awake unto everlasting life.

(2) The group whose names were not found written in the book, the lost of lsrael,—these shall awake unto shame and everlasting contempt.

(3) This group is a group of soul-winners. the Elect Remnant. They have turned many to righteousness and shall shine as the stars for ever and ever.

The startling correspondence between chapter 1 and chapter 12 is a revelation of the presence of the Synthetic Principle. It is the hand of God which has placed this wonderful method of literary formation in the Bible. And let it be observed. this literary form does not obscure the message, but is so employed by the Spirit that the message is made more plain. The chapters we have so briefly considered are. a demonstration of this, for as we have been investigating the literary form we have been brought into direct contact with clear prophetic truth concerning Israel in the coming period of terrible tribulation.

The entire balance of the Book of Daniel is a further illustration of this principle. Nehuchadnezzar's vision in chapter 2 answers to Daniel’s visions in chapters 7 to 11. The two chapters of mighty faith-filled heroism answer to one another.—The Fiery Furnace incident of chapter 3, and the Lions' Den incident of chapter 6. The remarkable thing about these various sections is that each one, considered separately and distinctly. points to the dispensation of Israel's trouble when the Anti-Christ shall be manifested in all his blasphemous rage and fury upon the earth. The Fiery Furnace and Lions' Den are type prophecies showing that God shall protect His people and bring them through the coming tribulation more than conquerors. The central section of this beautiful introversion is the Babylon section. It is a type prophecy that the evil influence of Babylon shall predominate in the coming tribulation. but that the consummation of that future. period of horrible trouble shall be the filial fall of Babylon.

This mould, into which the Spirit of God has cast the book of Daniel. is of such beauty as to charm the heart of the student of Biblical literature. prove the accuracy and activity of the principle which we are studying, and bring new delight and joy to the heart of him who is a simple believer in the absolute reliability of the Bible.