The Israelites settled in Canaan in 1451 BC. Their time there was characterized by spiritual and economic ups and downs. There were times of fervor for Jehovah, the God of the Bible, and more times of apostasy, in which they worshiped the forces-of-nature based gods of the surrounding peoples, complete with human sacrifices, idolatry and sexual immorality. In around 975 BC, the Israelites split themselves into two kingdoms, the northern kingdom made of ten tribes, and the southern kingdom made of two tribes, Judah and Benjamin. [Judah was a dominant tribe, and the term "Jew" owes its origin to the word "Judah"]. The northern kingdom was less stable and more prone to apostasy than its southern counterpart. Just as God had warned earlier, he sent judgment in the form of foreign invasion. The Assyrian Empire (headquartered in what is now Iraq) was the first major threat to Israel. To the right is the obelisk
of Shalmaneser 3, an Assyrian emperor. The second (from the top) of the five pictures shows the northern Israelite king Jehu bowing down before him and giving him tribute.
In 722 BC, emperor Shalmaneser V of Assyria conquered the northern kingdom of Israel, and deported 10 of the 12 tribes of Israel to Assyria (Northern Iraq). In 626 BC, the Assyrian Empire was taken over by the Babylonians, (Babylon is in southern Iraq) and in 588 BC, Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon captured Jerusalem and deported the remaining two tribes of Israel to Babylon. This was the beginning of the Jewish Diaspora.
Daniel was one of the Jewish exiles in Babylon. He worked as an official under the kings of Babylon, and later Media and Persia. God gave prophecies through an angel to Daniel. This is what the angel told Daniel:Prophecy # 10: “Seventy weeks are decreed regarding your people, and regarding your holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make atonement for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Holy of Holies. Know, therefore, and understand [that] from the going forth of the word to restore and to rebuild Jerusalem, to Messiah [the] Prince, [shall be] seven weeks and sixty two weeks.” – Daniel 9:24, 25Prophecy # 11: “[Immediately], Messiah shall be cut off, but not for himself” – Daniel 9:26aProphecy # 12: "The people of a coming ruler will destroy the city and the sanctuary, and there shall be war and desolation till the end” – Daniel 9:26b
These prophecies (10-12), delivered in around 537 BC seem quite cryptic at first sight, but so startling is their fulfillment, that they alone are sufficient evidence that the Bible is indeed written by God! See the details here