Book of Daniel
Chapter 2, Part 4
We now have the history of how Daniel and his friends became eunuchs in Nebuchadnezzar’s court. We know that they have honor and a deep love for the Father as they would not defile themselves with food and drink sacrificed to idols. We know that although they were trained in the occult, they kept their hearts pure before God.
We are now getting in to the meat of this book. In this chapter we will see the image made of metals and clay. This image, the four beasts of chapter 7, and the seventy weeks of chapter 9 make up, as McGee says, “…the backbone and ribs of prophecy.”
V. 1 – In verse one, it says that Nebuchadnezzar had “dreams.” In verse 3, Nebuchadnezzar said, “I have had a dream…” This might seem insignificant, but it isn’t. What this means is that he dreamt the same dream so many times “his spirit was so troubled that his sleep left him.” Nebuchadnezzar knew this dream was important and he was desperate to know its meaning. (Dreams, chalom (kah-lohm); Strong’s #2472: A dream or a vision in the night. This is from the root verb of the word chalam, to dream.)
V. 2 – That’s when the king gave the command to have all the occultists brought in: Magicians, astrologers, sorcerers, and Chaldeans and they “came and stood before him.” These men were trained for this purpose as were Daniel and his friends. They were his counselors, his advisors. They were considered connected to the other world where the gods could tell them what the king needed and they could pass it on to him. Wrong!
V. 3 – Nebuchadnezzar was “anxious” (worried, concerned, apprehensive, and frightened) to know what his dream meant. Remember, he had overcome and taken possession of the Assyrian Empire, the Syrian Empire and then the Egyptian Empire to become the leader of the greatest nation on earth thus far. He was overwhelmed by the responsibility. I think the Lord gave him this dream during his weak time, to show him what was coming. I believe the Lord made this prophecy as much for us as for the king.
V. 4 – When the men came before Nebuchadnezzar, each one trained in a different occult art, they were ready to play pass-the-buck with each other. If one form of divination didn’t work for interpreting the dream, they would use another. They felt certain they could encourage the king with their wisdom and knowledge and requested “…tell thy servants the dream, and we will shew the interpretation.”
Here we see the deception of the occult world. They asked the king to “tell the dream.” Anytime a person goes to a palm reader or a tarot card reader, etc… the psychic talks a lot. The reason being, if you give them enough accurate information, without even realizing you are doing it, they can surmise what has happened in your life till that time and can safely project what your course of action will bring about in your future. Don’t get me wrong. Some of these psychics have real demonic powers and can do unbelievable things. Most of them are charlatans and just want your money. In this case with Nebuchadnezzar, we can assume the power these men had was real to some extent.
V. 5 – Apparently the king knew how the occultists worked. He didn’t tell them the dream as a method of feeding them the answers that they could use to console their king. He told them to come up with the dream themselves. Smart thinking! Walvoord and Zuck have this to say in their commentary about Daniel. “Though the king may have made such a demand on the wise men previously and been satisfied with their answers, he evidently had never asked them to interpret a dream that he discerned had such significance. So he decided to test them. If they could predict the future by interpreting dreams, they should be able to reconstruct the past and recall the king’s dream.” I agree. If these men were hearing from a “god” they should know what the dream was and how to interpret it accurately.
The punishment for failing in this assignment was very harsh. The men would receive the death penalty and be cut into pieces, their homes burnt into “ash heaps.”
V. 6 – Conversely, if they were able to tell Nebuchadnezzar his dream and interpret it, they would receive great rewards. Honor was a valuable asset in the days of kings. If the king honored you, all man did too, whether they liked you or not.
V. 7 – Now these guys are getting scared. The king has never made such a request before or given such a penalty for lack of service. They get to begging him to tell them what his dream was. We know that the devil cannot read minds! That’s why they needed him to tell them what the dream contained. They knew there was no way they could uncover the dream themselves. It reminds me of children. “I’ll tell you a secret if you tell me one.” Only thing is, their lives are on the line.
V. 8, 9 – The king is getting frustrated with them. He realizes the guys are trying to buy time to come up with something good. He doesn’t really trust them and is suspicious of their power and wisdom. The Berkley translation of the Bible says, “The king replied, ‘I see plainly that you are trying to gain time; because you see how capital punishment awaits you.’” This is actually a true translation of verse 8. Maybe these men failed the king before so that’s why he doesn’t trust them. That’s a good reason why he wanted them to tell the dream before the translation. If they could tell the dream, they were authentic. If not, they were fakes trying to mollify (calm, soothe) the king.
The king reiterates the fact that he made a decree against the occultists should they fail to tell him the dream and its interpretation. Now, in verse 9, we see the truth of Nebuchadnezzar’s suspicions. He says that if the men can’t tell the dream they have plotted against the king. They have agreed to speak ”lies and corrupt words” to him till the situation, the recurrent dream and the king’s lack of sleep, changes.
V. 10 – The Chaldeans (astronomers, astrologers, numerologists) came before the king and spoke, “There is not a man upon the earth that can shew the king's matter: therefore there is no king, lord, nor ruler, that asked such things at any magician, or astrologer, or Chaldean.” How true this is! No man can give the dream, only God can, and not the occultist’s gods, but the real living Jahweh. They try to make Nebuchadnezzar realize that his request is one no governmental leader has ever made before.
V. 11 – Still talking, they admit something to the king I’m sure they would rather not have had to. They said that no gods living in the flesh (demons) could tell the dream, only the God who does not live in the flesh. Jesus had not come yet, so God was not yet living in the flesh. We are now the temple of the Holy Spirit of God, but that’s because we were washed in the fountain and cleansed by the Blood and made the righteousness of God in Christ. These occultists were steeped in demonic activity, therefore, but had no access to the real God.
V. 12, 13 – The king was “angry and very furious.” In other words, he was flaming mad! He wasn’t messing around with these guys anymore. I can hear him shouting his command to kill the wise men as he waved his hands furiously through the air.
The decree was made and the manslayers sent out to find and kill all the wise men. What we must not forget is, Daniel and the three friends, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (Have you been practicing their God names?) were all wise men by this time too. It meant they would also be killed.
To me this study says that we must place our confidence in the only Living God, Jehovah. When we have questions or need information, He is the One who can supply it by His Holy Spirit in us. Don’t look to horror-scopes, psychics, Egyptian sand readers, or any other form of demonic arts to find your answer. They don’t know it until you reveal it in some way. If you have spoken something out, the devil heard it so the psychics have access to that information. The wise men could not gain the insight into his dream because Nebuchadnezzar had not told it out loud to anyone.
Book of Daniel
Chapter 2, Part 5
Now, before we begin tonight’s study in Daniel 2:14-23, I want to back up to verses 10 and 11 and refresh our minds a little. “The Chaldeans answered before the king, and said, There is not a man upon the earth that can shew the king's matter: therefore there is no king, lord, nor ruler, that asked such things at any magician, or astrologer, or Chaldean. And it is a rare (difficult) thing that the king requireth, and there is none other that can shew it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh. There are two truths we need to understand that in these verses that are setting the stage for a mighty demonstration of God’s power. There are two truths we need to understand that in these verses that are setting the stage for a mighty demonstration of God’s power. This is true because only the God of heaven can read the hearts and minds of men to know what’s hidden there. If this dream and interpretation were to be revealed by man, it would first have to come from God.
Second, they told the king what he was asking was too hard! In Genesis 18:14 , Moses asked this question, “Is anything to hard for the Lord?” No, nothing is too hard for God, but these guys knew they could not discern the king’s dream, nor give him an interpretation because they serve the wrong god.
V. 14 – We can see from this verse that Daniel was in the favor of God and that he was well liked by everyone. Although an edict issued by the king was to be carried out swiftly and without question, Arioch took the time to allow Daniel to speak with him and even to question him. Notice this, now: Daniel spoke with Arioch with wisdom and tact. In other words, Daniel didn’t lose his cool at the prospect of losing his head. He stayed in the peace of God and his confidence in God’s love for him never wavered.
V. 15, 16 – Now, watch this! Daniel asked Arioch why the king had issued a decree calling for the killing of all wise men and Arioch, the one sent out to perform the slayings, explained it to Daniel.
“At this, Daniel went to the king…” Wait! Daniel, his three friends, and all the wise men were supposed to be killed, not have audience with the king! Arioch allowed Daniel to walk away from him unharmed! Not only that, he allowed Daniel to enter the kings presence! I wonder what could have been the penalty for disobeying the edict: Death, maybe? Now you see why I said that Daniel was in God’s favor. As we learned before, Daniel was in the king’s favor because Nebuchadnezzar thought him and his companions the best of all the men that came from Israel .
It’s not clear if all the wise men were given a chance to have a last word before their death, but I doubt any of them were allowed to walk in and have a conference with the king.
Daniel’s request to the Nebuchadnezzar was, “Stop the killing and give me time to confer with my God.” He knew that God would not only reveal the king’s dream to him, but its interpretation as well. Amazingly, we know Nebuchadnezzar agreed because –
V. 17 – Daniel was allowed to return to his home where he could explain to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah what was going on.
V. 18 – In the vernacular of today, Daniel’s conversation with the guys might sound like this. “Hey guys, listen up. Nebu had a dream that’s got him quaking in his shoes. He called his trusted wise men to him and they can’t help him. I volunteered to find out what his dream was and its interpretation. Get on your knees, boys, and pray like you never prayed before and ask God to clear up this mystery so we won’t be killed along with the rest of the wise guys.”
V. 19 – God often revealed truths by dreams and visions (Genesis 46:2; Numbers 12:6; Job 33:14). The prayers of the four were answered, the interpretation set in Daniel’s mind. Please understand that before this time, these four men prayed daily, according to Jewish custom, at least three times per day. They were not new to the act of petition and supplication before God. It was because of their spirit connection to God that He could reveal what they needed at this time. I’m sure it never occurred to the wise men to ask God for what they needed to preserve their lives. Their prayer and worship went to false gods, never to the one True God and Father. Daniel and company knew the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob intimately (Psalm 91:15).
You can’t not pray then suddenly, when a problem arises, think you can drop to your knees and get what you want. God is merciful and gracious, and He might grant your petition, but being in daily contact with the Father prepares you to know how to approach Him with expectation. When we see through our daily communion with God all He’s willing to do for us, we come to the throne with calm assurance, not with fear and trepidation.
V. 20, 22 – What was Daniel’s response to God’s revelation of the dream and interpretation? Did he jump out of bed, throw his pants, and run shouting, “Nebu, I got it!” No! Daniel immediately began to praise the Name of God. We see this kind of praise in other places in Scripture also. Check out Leviticus 22:2; Deuteronomy 28:58; Isaiah 23:3, and Matthew 6:9.
The Name of God is to be kept holy – revered – in our sight.
Once He had blessed the Name of God, Daniel began to praise Him for His attributes.
1. God has wisdom and power.
2. It’s God who changes the times and the seasons.
3. It is God who sets up kings (presidents) and takes them down.
4. God gives wisdom to the wise (James 1:5; I Kings 4:29 ) and knowledge to the discerning.
5. God reveals deep, hidden things. He knows what lurks in the darkness. He is fully Light.
V. 23 – Daniel then continued his praise with giving God thanks (I Chronicles 16:8; Psalm 100:4; I Corinthians 15:57; I Thessalonians 5:18).
We have a wonderful example of the kind of thanks Daniel gave to God in Luke 17:11-19. Jesus had healed ten lepers. Of the ten, only one realized what had happened to them, spun around, and with a loud voice, began to praise God. He then threw himself at Jesus’ feet and gave Him thanks. The scathing commentary here to the Jews was, “…and he (the former leper) was a Samaritan.” Samaritans were considered by Jews to be as low as dogs, but this Samaritan was the only one of the ten men healed to honor God for His great gift. Jesus asked, “Didn’t I heal ten men? Yet, only this foreigner had the decency to thank me?”
It was because of this Samaritan’s grateful heart that he was not only healed of the disease like the other nine, but was also completely restored, made whole. This man now had nothing missing and nothing broken from his body. He was whole and complete as the day he was born. Daniel’s gratitude will serve him well too.
Daniel was thankful that God gave him the wisdom and power to know the answer to their prayers by making known the dream and interpretation to him.
Book of Daniel
Chapter 2, Part 6
V. 24, 25- When Daniel had filled the Lord’s ears with praise and worship he went immediately to find Arioch. He wanted to make sure Arioch didn’t continue with the massacre of the wise men. To paraphrase Daniel, he said, “Don’t kill all the wise men, Arioch, take me to the king and I will disclose his dream and the interpretation of it.”
Arioch, himself not really wanting to keep killing all those guys, sped Daniel before Nebuchadnezzar. I can hear Arioch now, “Hey, Nebu, look what I found! One of the princes you really like from Judah claims he can tell you all about your dream!” What’s wrong with this claim? Daniel volunteered to find out the information the king required. Arioch did not “find” Daniel. I’m sure that Arioch’s impure motive was to see what reward he might get for uncovering the wisest man in the land and delivering him to Nebuchadnezzar.
V. 27-28 – The king was suspicious. If his wise men that had been with him for years, some handed down from his father, could not recount or interpret his dreams, what made this young man think he could? We’ll soon see. So Nebuchadnezzar asked him the same question he had all the others, “Can you make known to me what I dreamed and interpret it?” I love Daniel’s answer. This was evidence of his great faith and wisdom when, “Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers (who call on false, ligeless gods), shew unto the king; But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days.” In other words, Daniel was making it very clear to the king that he was not the dream teller or interpreter, but the one true God of heaven was. So – why did Daniel think he could do what the other wise men could not? He had an uncompromised faith in his God.
This is the God who reveals secrets in dreams, visions, and Words of knowledge to His prophets (Amos 3:7). This is the God who owns men’s dreams (Genesis 40:8). This is the God Daniel had already laid down his life for by not eating and drinking of the king’s table and would again. This is the God for whom Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah would be tossed into the fiery furnace. The God who could and did reveal the dream is the only living God! He was their Source.
When you have difficulty in your life, how do you handle it? Do you run screaming to man to help you, or do you bow your heart before the Lord in faith trusting that He will reveal the answer(s)?
We will all face adversity from the wicked one (I Corinthians 10:13, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”)
We will all endure persecution for His name’s sake (Matthew 5:11, 12, “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”)
Of these two choices, having a melt-down or having faith, Daniel chose faith.
The “latter days” mentioned here by Daniel are also known as the “times of the Gentiles”. That is to say, in the Book of Daniel we will see into the future of the Gentiles from Nebuchadnezzar’s dream through the Tribulation. The “times of the Gentiles” is not the same as the “fullness of the Gentiles”. The “times of the Gentiles” is till Jesus takes His throne at the end of the Tribulation. The “fullness of the Gentiles” is the rapture of the church. We need to remember the distinction between the “last days” and the “latter days”. Let me put it so that you get a picture in your mind. The “Last days” are fulfilled at the rapture of the church; the “latter days” in the Tribulation.
Then Daniel begins to tell Nebuchadnezzar his dream, “Thy dream and the visions of thy head upon thy bed are these…”
V. 29 Nebuchadnezzar was a small king when he took the throne. Through shrewd manipulations, he became a world leader, to that time the most powerful king ever. This was worrisome for him and he laid on his bed nights pondering who might steal the throne, assassinate him, or depose him.
In the eyes of man, my ministry is small; yet, I’ve had nights in my life where I laid in bed staring at darkness thinking, “God, am I doing what You want me to? Did You really call me into this ministry, or did I just want it so went ahead of You and did it? Is my ministry secure?” Praise God I don’t have these doubts any more. He is my Source and my Stronghold, my ever present help in times of trouble (Psalm 18:2; 91:2).
V. 30 – Nebuchadnezzar, on the other hand, had a lot to lose. He had fame, respect, wealth, power, etc… I’m sure his mind churned with doubts about the reliability and faithfulness of those serving him. But Daniel had no such doubts. He knew the God whom He served and that He was able to reveal the “mysteries.” Look at what Daniel said to the King. I’ll give it to you from the King James and Amplified translation, “But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living, but for their sakes that shall make known the interpretation to the king, and that thou mightest know the thoughts of thy heart” (Daniel 2:30 KJV).
“But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than anyone else living, but in order that the interpretation may be made known to the king and that you may know the thoughts of your heart and mind (Daniel 2:30 AMP).
Nebuchadnezzar was concerned for the future of his kingdom. He wanted to know if his empire would endure forever. This dream was God’s answer to his questions, except God didn’t give the king the wisdom to understand it, or to the wise men to reveal it. He gave the information to Daniel so that God might be glorified. Daniel let the king and all in attendance who could hear him, and any who would later hear the story, know that GOD and GOD alone could reveal the hidden truths of the king’s mind and heart.
Book of Daniel
Chapter 2, Part 7
One thing that was revealed to me today during my study time in Daniel is that Nebuchadnezzar’s government was a shadow of what would be in the last days. (Remember the last days are the ones we are in now and will end with the rapture of the church.) Our government now is trying to do what Nebuchadnezzar did to Daniel, which is removing all our religious freedoms through new legislation. No Bible or prayer in school, no Ten Commandments in schools or government buildings, no public prayer at sporting events, etc… are all the same thing as telling Daniel he could not pray to the living God whom he served.
This is also a type of government that will be in effect during the Tribulation. People will not be allowed to worship God and Jesus but will be required to receive the mark of the beast and worship him in the temple (Matthew 24:15; Mark 13:14). Those who worship God will be in danger of losing their lives in horrible ways.
V. 31, 33 – Daniel begins the revelation of the dream. “You, O king, were watching and behold a great image!” I borrowed a depiction of the image from another site. Look here to see it. This picture is pretty powerful looking, but can you imagine how Nebuchadnezzar felt when he saw it in full color and size in his dream? By this we can understand his apprehension and why he wanted only the truth of the dream to be told him. Some Bible teachers say that Nebuchadnezzar could not tell his wise men the dream because he could not recall it. I doubt seriously that he could forget such an image as this one. It’s more realistic to believe that he wanted to make sure the wise men would not have opportunity to make up some interpretation of false hope, which is what they always did. That’s why in verse 9, Nebuchadnezzar said to the Chaldeans, “But if ye will not make known unto me the dream, there is but one decree for you: for ye have prepared lying and corrupt words to speak before me, till the time be changed: therefore tell me the dream, and I shall know that ye can shew me the interpretation thereof.”
Notice the image is made up of many of the building elements the people of that day used, from the most valuable, gold for the head, to the cheapest, clay for the feet. Babylon was one of the wealthiest empires in the in ancient times. The gold head was the appropriate element to use for that empire. We will see more on this later.
V. 34, 35 – Watch this! The “Stone that was cut out without hands” demonstrates to us God’s sovereign power over history and the governments of the world. This specially cut Stone is Jesus. Some people have said the stone is King Cyrus who overthrew Babylon for the Medes and the king that God used to free His people so they could return to Israel. This is not possible as the Stone became a huge mountain that “filled all the whole earth.”
One way to understand that this Stone is Jesus is that He went for the feet of the statue to strike it and cause it to be crushed, not the head. The image didn’t just break apart; it became like the powder on the threshing floors and blew away leaving no trace of what had been. Only Jesus will ever accomplish this when He takes His place as King of Kings. Cyrus went for the head (Babylon). Jesus will knock the feet out from under all those empires, take complete rule, and will never to lose it again. He will be the King Mountain.
This reminds me of the veil over the Holy of Holies in the temple the day Jesus was hanged and died on the cross. The veil did not rip at the bottom creating and open door for us, it was rent from the top to the bottom destroying the veil that separates us from God completely. We now have full access (Ephesians 3:12) to the throne of God and do not require High Priests to perform sacrifices for the forgiveness of our sin.
“…no trace of them was found.” When Jesus takes His throne after the Millennium there will be not trace on earth of any governments, or any of their followers. The new heaven and new earth will be here and we will never again experience evil. Once the “Great Mountain” is in place, the kings who have invaded and taken over other nations will finally be done away with.
V. 36-38 – God and Daniel will now interpret the dream for the king. I’m sure by this time he has Nebuchadnezzar’s full attention. Can you hear the king’s thoughts? “How on earth did he know that? I’ve not told anyone the content of the dream?” Daniel did not know it by anything in the earth as the wise men might know things. Daniel knew it directly from God.
Look at what Daniel said. God gave this kingdom of power, strength, and glory to Nebuchadnezzar as a fulfillment of prophecy. The prophets of old had told about the captivity of Israel into Babylon . “I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that ye shall soon utterly perish from off the land whereunto ye go over Jordan to possess it; ye shall not prolong your days upon it, but shall utterly be destroyed. And the LORD shall scatter you among the nations, and ye shall be left few in number among the heathen, whither the LORD shall lead you. And there ye shall serve gods, the work of men's hands, wood and stone, which neither see, nor hear, nor eat, nor smell. But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul” (Deuteronomy 4:26 -29).
By God’s plan, Nebuchadnezzar ruled the first great world kingdom. Of the four great nations who have ruled the world, Nebuchadnezzar did the best job. He was the head of gold on the image. He ruled and no one questioned that he had the right to. That he took Israel captive was according to God’s plan alone or he would not have been able to conquer Judah or Jerusalem. Nebuchadnezzar's kingdom ruled the world from 606-538 B.C. and was considered one of the mightiest empires ever.
V. 39 – “But after you shall arise another kingdom inferior to yours…” This demonstrates that each successive kingdom is inferior to the one before. The chest and arms of silver refer to the Medo-Persian Empire. Led by Cyrus, Medo-Persia conquered Babylon and reduced it to ruins. Medo-Persia ruled the world from 538 B.C. to 331 B.C. This kingdom, although strong in power to conquer Babylon, was inferior to Babylon.
The third kingdom, belly and thighs of bronze (also called brass), was the Greek Empire. Alexander the Great led the Greeks to conquer the Medes and the Persians in the battle of Arbela in 331 B.C. to 63 B.C.
V. 40 – The fourth and final kingdom made of iron is Rome, 63 B.C. - 475 A.D. Iron is not pretty, but it’s strong. If you hit gold or silver with iron, you will cause damage. This “iron” kingdom crushed all the others before it and, by cruel and wicked means, assimilated all the nations into it’s self.
V. 41-43 – One study I read said that the feet of clay and iron is the United States. That is not possible as the US is a sovereign nation unto itself. Empires are made up of several countries under one rule. Some might say, “Well, you have Alaska and Hawaii.” We do, but we did not conquer them and take over. We offered them what they needed and they voted to become part of this country.
The Roman Empire at one time consisted of Italy, France, Great Britain, Germany, Spain, and North Africa. These are all individual nations now under their own rule, but not because the Roman Empire was overthrown by another nation or kingdom. The Roman Empire fell apart from within. It could not sustain itself.
The feet of clay and iron are the Roman Empire revived. Rome has always been a divided kingdom. Walvoord says, “Though Rome succeeded in conquering the territories that came under its influence, it never could unite the people to form a united empire.” Rome was strong as iron, crushing the nations and conquering them, but remained weak in every other way.
The rebuilding of Rome has been tried many times by various people. Charlemagne, Napoleon, Hitler, and Mussolini all tried to bring Rome back to power. It will not be done until God calls home the church and allows the antichrist to come to power. He is the one to whom God will give the power to bring that kingdom back together. Notice though that the kingdom is made up of two elements; clay and iron. The power of the iron in the first Roman Empire will be diluted by the clay of antichrist in her second rule. Again, we know that each kingdom is progressively weaker than the former one.
I read a scientific fact that interested me and thought to share it. Walvoord says ”If iron and clay are put into a crucible (vat), heated to the melting point, and poured into a mold, when the pour has cooled the iron and clay remain separate. The clay can be broken out which leaves a weak casting.”
The next, and last great Empire will be that of Jesus the Christ, the Son of God.
Book of Daniel
Chapter 2, Part 8
V. 46 – Daniel gave Nebuchadnezzar what he wanted, the truth about his dream. This caused Nebuchadnezzar to react in a dramatic way toward Daniel. He fell on his face before Daniel and offered before him the praise that was due to God.
Remember, Nebuchadnezzar is a heathen king who only knows to worship idols, things, and himself. For Nebuchadnezzar to prostrate himself at Daniel’s feet before the king’s court was quite unexpected. Nebu did say he would richly reward anyone who could tell him the dream, but this was out of character for any king. Bob Deffinbaugh, Th.M. said, “The response of Nebuchadnezzar is truly amazing. Imagine Sadam Hussein, falling before a Jewish Christian, acknowledging the God of Israel as the only true God, and falling prostrate before one of His servants. Nebuchadnezzar was a much greater man, in power and in reputation.” Pride alone would have kept Hussein on his throne. But, this king saw the truth of who Daniel’s God really is.
V. 47 – Daniel, a young Jew who was taken captive by Nebuchadnezzar now has the leader of the country who defeated his country at his feet. This could have led Daniel into pride, but his God was too powerful in him to allow that. I believe that, because of the course the conversation took after the king’s statement to burn incense, that Daniel directed Nebuchadnezzar’s worship to God even as Peter did Cornelius (Act 10:25) and the angel did John (Revelation 19:10).
“The king answered Daniel…” What was he answering? We can see that in verse 45 where Daniel said, “The dream is certain and its interpretation sure.” Allow me to paraphrase the king’s answer here in verse 47. “You’re right, Daniel! None of my wise men could tell me the dream or its meaning but you. For sure your God is the God of gods, Lord of kings, and the Revealer of secrets since He gave you this information so you could reveal it to me” (Deuteronomy 10:17). This honor to God by Nebuchadnezzar would have pleased Daniel far more than any homage the king paid him. The diligence with which Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah prayed was responsible for saving the lives of many wise men, including themselves.
I’d like to point something out here for our edification. The reason God was able to use Daniel for this purpose was that Daniel maintained a clean heart before God. He prayed daily and always abided by what the Lord had given Moses in the Law. Daniel never deviated from the truths of the Law to gain anything for himself. His only desire was to be in contact with God so that He could lead and direct him.
V. 48 – In 2:6, Nebuchadnezzar told his wise men that if they could tell the dream and interpret it, he would shower them with gifts and great honor. Apparently a man of his word, the king gave Daniel the gifts and rewards. He honored him by setting him up as ruler of the entire province of Babylon and making him chief administrator over all the wise men (Proverbs 14:35; 21:1). Daniel would now sit in the gate as a judge. McGee says he was as a Supreme Court Justice. He was also a prime minister or head of Babylon’s parliamentary system.
V. 49 – “Also Daniel petitioned the king…” Can you hear Nebuchadnezzar now, “Whatever you want, Daniel, name it.” Daniel remembered his friends. He asked the king to promote them as well. After all, they were kinsmen and instrumental in Daniel’s revelation through their diligent prayer and seeking in his behalf. These three were now in positions of responsibility under Daniel.
One thing to remember about their positions is, when Judah would come to Babylon in captivity in 597 and 586 B.C., Daniel and his friends would be in the best political positions to be able to help them. This was definitely a God thing. From the young boys’ exile to Babylon, their training, their ability to look better and be smarter than all others without defiling themselves from the king’s table, to the telling of and interpretation of the dream were all part of the plan of God to set these men up in position. Daniel was able to gain favor with the people around him because he was in the favor of God. He was in the favor of God because he placed God and His will before his own desires. Let’s read II Chronicles 16:9a, “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.” Daniel lived up to this promise and God used him mightily.
Rev. Suzanne L. Taylor
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