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What is the age of Hananiah from the book of Daniel in the Bible?
July 27, 2015 1:28PM
A physical age is not mentioned except that he was a young man - perhaps a teenager. Additionally, there is no "age of Hananiah" as such mentioned in the book of Daniel. Hananiah was one of the notable Jewish trio from the Bible known as Shadrach [Hananiah], Meshach [Mishael], and Abednego [Azariah] of the famous "fiery furnace" in the 3rd chapter of Daniel's account.
However, the account does record a "three-year period" of training that Daniel and his three companions underwent that may be construed as an "age"... although Hananiah doesn't stick out any more than the others in this matter to have it assigned as "his alone."
"...the king ordered Ashpenaz, who was in charge of the palace officials, to bring to the palace some of the young men of Judah's royal family and other noble families, who had been brought to Babylon as captives... 'Make sure they are well versed in every branch of learning, are gifted with knowledge and good sense, and have the poise needed to serve in the royal palace. Teach these young men the language and literature of the Babylonians.'" (Dan.1:3-4 NLT New Living Translation)
"Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were four of the young men chosen, all from the tribe of Judah." (verse 6)
"When the three-year training period ordered by the king was completed, the chief official brought all the young men to King Nebuchadnezzar. The king talked with each of them, and none of them impressed him as much as Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. So they were appointed to his regular staff of advisers. In all matters requiring wisdom and balanced judgment, the king found the advice of these young men to be ten times better than that of all the magicians and enchanters in his entire kingdom..." (verses 18-20).
The only other possible "age of Hananiah" might be assigned to what came later to the youthful "Jewish trio" in chapter 3... but which would no more be the "age of Hananiah" than the "age of Mishael" or the "age of Azariah" also.
[Although I still wonder why Daniel wasn't thrown into the furnace, too... because he wouldn't have worshiped the statue, either. Perhaps the king's immediate palace officials, of whom Daniel was one, were exempt.] At any rate... as a result of this famous account:
"...Nebuchadnezzar said, 'Praise to the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego! He sent His angel to rescue His servants who trusted in Him. They defied the king's command and were willing to die rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. Therefore, I make this decree: If any people, whatever their race or nation or language, speak a word against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, they will be torn limb from limb, and their houses will be crushed into heaps of rubble. There is no other god who can rescue like this!' Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to even higher positions in the province of Babylon." (Dan.3:28-30 NLT)
So, while our reading of Daniel's account, today, may not prompt us to refer to any of it as "the age of Hananiah" -- those who lived at that time, and who fell under the authority of any of those three powerful Jews of sudden "high position in the province of Babylon" may well have felt the pressure of the moment, and thought of the period in which they were living as "the age of Shadrach," [Hananiah]; or "the age of Meshach, [Mishael];" or "the age of Abednego. [Azariah]"
But the biblical account makes no such distinction.