The name Daniel in the Bible
There are three or four Daniels mentioned in the Bible:
- A son of king David who is also known as Chileab (see 1 Chronicles 3:1 and 2 Samuel 3:3).
- The famous prophet who wrote the Book of Daniel and who was among the first exile wave to Babylon (Daniel 1:6). Jesus refers to this Daniel in His sermon on the coming tribulation (spelled Δανιηλ; Matthew 24:15, Mark 13:14).
- Daniel number three—possibly named after number two—is mentioned among the second wave of returning Israelites (Ezra 8:2).
- A "great sage," according to BDB Theological Dictionary, who may be the same as the famous Daniel, except that his name is דנאל (Danel; without the yod) in stead of the regular דניאל (Daniel). The prophet Ezekiel mentions him in Ezekiel 28:3.
Etymology of the name Daniel
The name Daniel consists of two parts:
The first part of the name Daniel comes from the Hebrew verb דין (din), meaning to judge, contend or plead:
The postfixed letter י (yod) indicates possession: my judging, contending, etc.
The final part of the name Daniel is אל (El), the abbreviated form of Elohim, the Hebrew denotation of the genus God:
The whole name Daniel would mean something like God Is My Judge (NOBSE Study Bible Name List & BDB Theological Dictionary) or, more interpretively, God Rules Me. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names reads Judge Of God.