Sistine Chapel - Daniel
There are several dramatic stories in Book of Daniel with which Blake was thoroughly familiar. Blake's well known figure of Nebuchadnezzar is his representation of the powerful king who was reduced to the condition of a beast until he developed awareness. Daniel's accounts of the three prophets who were consigned to the furnace being accompanied by 'the son of man' influenced Blake's poignant accounts of characters being thrown into the furnaces of affliction to be made whole. The image of the man with legs of iron, loins of brass, breast of silver and head of gold was equally influential on Blake. But in his portrait of Daniel, Blake did not refer to these incidents but to the representation of Daniel among the prophets painted by Michelangelo on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
Copy after Michelangelo's Sistine Ceiling
 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.
 But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.
 And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.
 Hitherto is the end of the matter. As for me Daniel, my cogitations much troubled me, and my countenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart.
Descriptive Catalogue, (E 543) "The antiquities of every Nation Under Heaven, is no less sacred than that of the Jews. They are the same thing as Jacob Bryant, [P 44] and all antiquaries have proved. How other antiquities came to be neglected and disbelieved, while those of the Jews are collected and arranged, is an enquiry, worthy of both the Antiquarian and the Divine. All had originally one language, and one religion, this was the religion of Jesus, the everlasting Gospel. Antiquity preaches the Gospel of Jesus. The reasoning historian, turner and twister of causes and consequences, such as Hume, Gibbon and Voltaire; cannot with all their artifice, turn or twist one fact or disarrange self evident action and reality. Reasons and opinions concerning acts, are not history. Acts themselves alone are history, and these are neither the exclusive property of Hume, Gibbon nor Voltaire, Echard, Rapin, Plutarch, nor Herodotus. Tell me the Acts, O historian, and leave me to reason upon them as I please; away with your reasoning and your rubbish. All that is not action is not [P 45] worth reading. Tell me the What; I do not want you to tell me the Why, and the How; I can find that out myself, as well as you can, and I will not be fooled by you into opinions, that you please to impose, to disbelieve what you think improbable or impossible. His opinions, who does not see spiritual agency, is not worth any man's reading; he who rejects a fact because it is improbable, must reject all History and retain doubts only."