Pronunciation: DAN-yul, DA-nee-el
Origin of name: Hebrew
Meaning of name: God is my judge
The Story Behind This Baby Name
There are two or three men named Daniel in the Bible. King David and his wife Abigail (see the Christian Meaning of Names for Abigail) had a son named Daniel. Nehemiah, the leader of Jerusalem’s wall-rebuilding, had a co-worker in construction named Daniel.
But the most famous Daniel by far is the prophet Daniel, of the book of Daniel in the Old Testament. This young man was taken captive by the Babylonians, enemies of Israel. Their captor, King Nebuchadnezzar, was quite impressed with Daniel and his other buddies captured from Israel, because “In all matters requiring wisdom and balanced judgment, the king found the advice of these young men to be ten times better than that of all the magicians and enchanters in his entire kingdom.”
Besides wisdom in administrative matters, Daniel was also gifted with the interpretation of dreams. After interpreting a very troubling dream for the king, Daniel was appointed ruler over “the whole province of Babylon, as well as chief over all his wise men.” Not bad for a kid who started as a Jewish political prisoner.
Daniel served not only King Nebuchadnezzar, but also his successor, King Belshazzar. Daniel interpreted for Belshazzar some mysterious writing put on the wall by disembodied fingers, declaring God’s message that Belshazzar’s pride had brought his downfall and that his days as king were numbered. That very night the king was assassinated, and Darius the Mede took his place.
Amazingly, Daniel’s administrative skill and wisdom was recognized by yet another king. Darius put Daniel in charge over the entire empire, supervising the princes who governed each province. Despite his popularity with the king, or more accurately, because of it, Daniel was the target of a political assassination. Knowing Daniel to be a man of God who prayed regularly throughout the day, his enemies tricked the King Darius into making a law that would send Daniel to a death sentence for his religious devotions.
Perhaps the best-known event of Daniel’s life is his night in the hungry lion’s den. After surviving this with a bit of angelic help, Daniel not only continued prospering under King Darius, but also during the reign of Cyrus the Persian. Over the course of his life, Daniel also recorded several prophetic visions found in the book of Daniel in the Old Testament.
Scriptures for the Bible Stories of the Boy Name Daniel
- Daniel and his companions find favor in captivity: Daniel 1
- Daniel interprets Nebuchadnezzar’s dream and is rewarded: Daniel 2
- Nebuchadnezzar has another dream that Daniel interpets: Daniel 4
- Daniel explains the writing on the wall for Belshazzar: Daniel 5
- Daniel survives the lion’s den and prospers under two more kings: Daniel 6
Variations of the baby name Daniel
Male: Dan, Danny, Danyel
Female: Danielle, Danyel, Daniella
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