What a privilege to be given time to read another book! Especially this book of Daniel! All comments will be based on the NKJV
I know I have encouraged you to do this before, but I am going to do so again:
1. Don’t just accept my word, or anyone’s word, for things relating to Scripture. Acts 17:11. It’s your responsibility to search the Scriptures to find truth, and to discard what you can’t find written in It.
2. I’d also encourage you to read Daniel as literally as possible. The Bible does tell us when things are symbolic by using words like “A shadow of the good things to come” Heb 10:1, “Which things are symbolic ” Gal 4:24, and then the Bible also interprets symbolism eg: Rev 12:9. When we read about the dragon in Revelation, we know we can substitute “dragon” for “satan”. And these are just a few examples.
We begin by reading Daniel 1:1-2. As a backdrop to this book, we are going to do a quick history lesson. It is going to involve quite a bit of reading, but it sets the stage for this book.
In Daniel chapter 1-6 we learn many principles on how to live G-dly lives in a godless place.
The first principle we learn in this book relates to the name ‘Daniel”. Daniel means “G-d is my judge”.
G-d sees everything we do and hears everything we say. (2 Cor 5:10) We will make wise decisions, and therefore live in a way that is pleasing to G-d, if we live constantly aware of this principle.
v1 Jehoiakim (also called Eliakim) was the son of Josiah, one of the kings of Judah: 2 Kings 23:31-37,
2 Kings 24:1-4, 2 Chron 36:2-7. The Babylonian captivity was a drawn-out process (a siege takes time). It lasted for approximately 18 years from the time Nebuchadnezzar came onto the scene until the destruction of the temple – and, therefore, final captivity [Which happened in the days of King Zedekiah (2 Chron 36:11-21)]
For Nebuchadnezzar: see Habakkuk 1:5-11, Jeremiah 27:5-22.
v2 Jehoiakim, along with some of the temple furniture and some of the noblemen (see the verses in Jeremiah), were taken to Babylon near the beginning of these 18 years. (Daniel and his three friends were most likely sent to Babylon at this stage – at the beginning of the 18 years). Some of the furnishings, from the temple of G-d, were placed into the temple of Nebuchadnezzar’s gods in Babylon.
Note: biblehub.com is a really great site to reference verses and get a clearer idea of what verses (especially more obscure verses) mean.