In the Old Testament tradition prophet Daniel is listed among the great ptophets. According to the legend Daniel lived in the period of Babylonian captivity, in the 6th century B.C.
In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim (BC 606), Daniel and his friends Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were among the young Jewish nobility carried off to Babylon. Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were given the Babylonian names, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, respectively.
By Divine Wisdom from his God, YHVH, he interpreted dreams and visions of kings, thus becoming a prominent figure in the court of Babylon. Eventually, he had apocalyptic visions of his own that have been interpreted as the Four monarchies.
The time and circumstances of Daniel's death have not been recorded. However, tradition maintains that Daniel was still alive in the third year of Cyrus according to the Tanakh (Daniel 10:1). He would have been almost 100 years old at that point, having been brought to Babylon when he was in his teens, more than 80 years previously.
The Book of Daniel is a book in the Hebrew Bible. The book tells of how Daniel, and his Judean companions, were inducted into Babylon during Jewish exile, and how their positions elevated in the court of Nebuchadnezzar. The court tales span events that occur during the reigns of Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, and Darius the Mede. The book concludes with four Divine prophetic visions.
The introduction of the Book of Daniel is written in Hebrew, the body is written in Aramaic, then the Masoretic text concludes the book with a return to Hebrew. The book consists of a series of six third-person narratives followed by four apocalyptic visions in the first-person.
In the traditionalist view, Daniel is the author of the Book of Daniel, written in the mid 6th century BC. Daniel in rabbinic literature is not counted in the list of Prophets. In the Jewish canon, the Tanakh places the Book of Daniel with the Ketuvim writings. Among conservative Christians, Daniel is considered a prophet and is included amongst the major prophets in the Christian canon of the Old Testament. In the view of mainstream critical analysts, the author was an anonymous writer living in the Maccabean period under Antiochus IV Epiphanes, of the 2nd century BC, who compiled ancient legends with a pseudepigraph of "visions".

Daniel's ministry as a prophet began late in life. Whereas his early exploits were a matter of common knowledge within his community, these same events, with his pious reputation, serve as the basis for his prophetic ministry. The recognition for his prophetic message is that of other prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel whose backgrounds are the basis for their revelations.

From Chapter 7 to the end of the book of Daniel, Apocalyptic literature, vision is being described, supposedly from the perspective of Daniel. This marks a change in the narrative from Daniel interpreting to messengers of God interpreting for Daniel. Daniel dreams of four beasts that come out of the sea: a lion with eagles wings, a bear with three tusks, a leopard with four wings and four heads, and a beast with iron teeth, ten horns and one little horn and human eyes. These beasts are all present at a convening of the divine counsel. Presiding over the counsel is the Ancient of Days, which may, in fact, be the Israelite God. The Ancient One proceeds to put to death the beast with the one little horn. Daniel also describes the fates of the other beasts saying that while their dominion was taken away, their lives were prolonged. This introduction leads into a series of dreams and visions where these events are expressed in greater detail.

Scholars argue that each of these beasts represent an emperor or kingdom that ruled over the Israelites. The first being Babylonian Empire, then Median Empire, then Persian Empire, and finally the Greeks. The horns of the last beast may be symbolic of the rulers that replaced Alexander the Great upon his death, culminating with the little horn, or Antiochus IV.There are additional details in the text that allude to Antiochus IV, including some form of desecration to the temple and persecution. The final message of the second half of Daniel is that God will deliver the people from oppression, the latest of which is Antiochus IV.