James Hamilton, associate professor of biblical theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, has written a helpful book explaining the place of the Old Testament book of Daniel in biblical theology. I read the book in preparation for my sermon series on the book of Daniel at Farmdale Baptist Church. It served as a great introduction to the book and the larger themes of redemptive history that are prominent in the book.
Hamilton uses the chiastic structure of Daniel to summarize the message of Daniel into one sentence. I find this to be a helpful and concise, yet comprehensive explanation of the message of Daniel. It reflects the overall structure of the book and accounts for the content of each chapter (see below).
Daniel encourages the faithful by showing them that though Israel was exiled from the land of promise, they will be restored to the realm of life at the resurrection of the dead, when the four kingdoms are followed by the kingdom of God, so the people of God can trust him and persevere through persecution until God humbles proud human kings, gives everlasting dominion to the son of man, and the saints reign with him.
James M. Hamilton, Jr. With the Clouds of Heaven: The Book of Daniel in Biblical Theology. New Studies in Biblical Theology 32. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2014, 83.
The book is not available in the US until next month (September 2014), but you can pre-order the volume here. If you can’t wait until then, consider ordering the book from the UK where it has already been released.