Daniel 2

Daniel 2

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Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream

In the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; his spirit was troubled, and his sleep left him. Then the king commanded that the magicians, the enchanters, the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans be summoned to tell the king his dreams. So they came in and stood before the king. And the king said to them, “I had a dream, and my spirit is troubled to know the dream.” Then the Chaldeans said to the king in Aramaic, “O king, live forever! Tell your servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation.” The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, “The word from me is firm: if you do not make known to me the dream and its interpretation, you shall be torn limb from limb, and your houses shall be laid in ruins. But if you show the dream and its interpretation, you shall receive from me gifts and rewards and great honor. Therefore show me the dream and its interpretation.” They answered a second time and said, “Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will show its interpretation.” The king answered and said, “I know with certainty that you are trying to gain time, because you see that the word from me is firm—if you do not make the dream known to me, there is but one sentence for you. You have agreed to speak lying and corrupt words before me till the times change. Therefore tell me the dream, and I shall know that you can show me its interpretation.” The Chaldeans answered the king and said, “There is not a man on earth who can meet the king’s demand, for no great and powerful king has asked such a thing of any magician or enchanter or Chaldean. The thing that the king asks is difficult, and no one can show it to the king except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.”

Because of this the king was angry and very furious, and commanded that all the wise men of Babylon be destroyed. So the decree went out, and the wise men were about to be killed; and they sought Daniel and his companions, to kill them. Then Daniel replied with prudence and discretion to Arioch, the captain of the king’s guard, who had gone out to kill the wise men of Babylon. He declared to Arioch, the king’s captain, “Why is the decree of the king so urgent?” Then Arioch made the matter known to Daniel. And Daniel went in and requested the king to appoint him a time, that he might show the interpretation to the king.

God Reveals Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream

Then Daniel went to his house and made the matter known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions, and told them to seek mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that Daniel and his companions might not be destroyed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision of the night. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven. Daniel answered and said:

  “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever,
    to whom belong wisdom and might.
  He changes times and seasons;
    he removes kings and sets up kings;
  he gives wisdom to the wise
    and knowledge to those who have understanding;
  he reveals deep and hidden things;
    he knows what is in the darkness,
    and the light dwells with him.
  To you, O God of my fathers,
    I give thanks and praise,
  for you have given me wisdom and might,
    and have now made known to me what we asked of you,
    for you have made known to us the king’s matter.”

Therefore Daniel went in to Arioch, whom the king had appointed to destroy the wise men of Babylon. He went and said thus to him: “Do not destroy the wise men of Babylon; bring me in before the king, and I will show the king the interpretation.”

Then Arioch brought in Daniel before the king in haste and said thus to him: “I have found among the exiles from Judah a man who will make known to the king the interpretation.” The king declared to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, “Are you able to make known to me the dream that I have seen and its interpretation?” Daniel answered the king and said, “No wise men, enchanters, magicians, or astrologers can show to the king the mystery that the king has asked, but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and he has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days. Your dream and the visions of your head as you lay in bed are these: To you, O king, as you lay in bed came thoughts of what would be after this, and he who reveals mysteries made known to you what is to be. But as for me, this mystery has been revealed to me, not because of any wisdom that I have more than all the living, but in order that the interpretation may be made known to the king, and that you may know the thoughts of your mind.

Daniel Interprets the Dream

“You saw, O king, and behold, a great image. This image, mighty and of exceeding brightness, stood before you, and its appearance was frightening. The head of this image was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its middle and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. As you looked, a stone was cut out by no human hand, and it struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold, all together were broken in pieces, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, so that not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.

“This was the dream. Now we will tell the king its interpretation. You, O king, the king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, and the might, and the glory, and into whose hand he has given, wherever they dwell, the children of man, the beasts of the field, and the birds of the heavens, making you rule over them all—you are the head of gold. Another kingdom inferior to you shall arise after you, and yet a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth. And there shall be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron, because iron breaks to pieces and shatters all things. And like iron that crushes, it shall break and crush all these. And as you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, it shall be a divided kingdom, but some of the firmness of iron shall be in it, just as you saw iron mixed with the soft clay. And as the toes of the feet were partly iron and partly clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly brittle. As you saw the iron mixed with soft clay, so they will mix with one another in marriage, but they will not hold together, just as iron does not mix with clay. And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever, just as you saw that a stone was cut from a mountain by no human hand, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold. A great God has made known to the king what shall be after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation sure.”

Daniel Is Promoted

Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face and paid homage to Daniel, and commanded that an offering and incense be offered up to him. The king answered and said to Daniel, “Truly, your God is God of gods and Lord of kings, and a revealer of mysteries, for you have been able to reveal this mystery.” Then the king gave Daniel high honors and many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon and chief prefect over all the wise men of Babylon. Daniel made a request of the king, and he appointed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego over the affairs of the province of Babylon. But Daniel remained at the king’s court.

(ESV)


Daniel 2 Commentary

by Hank Workman

It was an impossible situation.

King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream he couldn’t remember. All he knew was when he woke up he was terrified. Calling all sorcerers, magicians and the likes together he told them they must recall his dream and tell what it means. “No one could do such a thing,” they responded. Irrationally he declared if they couldn’t do so they would be killed and ordered them and all wise men to be slaughtered.

Daniel heard of this decree and sought answers eventually landing before the king himself requesting time to find the answer. Returning to his other 3 friends, they went before God seeking an answer to an impossible situation.

I pause and consider Daniel’s first response here was to get the facts. He certainly would have heard ‘rumors’ as to what the king had declared and I’m sure the streets were filled with all kinds of tales. But he sought audience with an adviser and then went before the king. But the second thing far more important, Daniel sought out the King.

So many times we hear of something that causes inward stress or struggle. We begin to formulate in our minds how we should respond, what we should do and so forth. We may even make action plans and act on them. But Daniel’s response was to go to the true King, who knows everything, upon whom kingdoms rise and fall, who sets leaders in place and brings about their tumble. This pattern will show itself again and again with Daniel. He went and prayed for wisdom and discernment, hidden things to be revealed that he would know what to do, how to respond and have insight only God can give.

Now you pause a moment. What have been the things that have completely bombarded your thoughts of late? Where are you struggling with something that seems impossible? Where does it feel as though life itself is in the balance? Our first response should be but often is not, to go to the King and seek answers. He knows. We speculate. He directs. We formulate.

I’ll be honest, when I get hit with things that cause concern or stir struggle, my initial response is to go through every scenario as to what this could mean and where it could go.   It’s the worst-case scenario every time. If I stay in this state, this mind of mine continues to irrationally blow things up. It is only when going before God, pleading for the Holy Spirit to reveal insight that my rest comes; peace is found; direction is given. He alone has the insight, he gives such wisdom and insight into everything that comes our way, instructing us how to respond, how to rest, and more importantly, trust Him.

God faithfully showed Daniel not only the dream, which was a wild picture of a statue with the body parts made up of many different elements from clay to gold, but revealed what stuck terror. A stone fell upon this image and completely annihilated everything becoming dust in the wind. It was a prophetic dream of kingdoms to come ending with the Kingdom of God Himself. Nebuchadnezzar threw himself to the ground in reverence of the god of Gods who gave Daniel such insight.

We are hit daily at times an impossible situation. It’s easy for us to act on our own thinking and respond in ways that bring more stress. The challenge for us all from this chapter is to seek counsel and wisdom from the true King who knows all things, never caught off guard as ourselves, and provides everything we need in how we respond and go forward.


Daniel 2 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

What does Daniel’s interpretation mean?

He tells us that the gold represents King Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylonian Empire. Three greater kingdoms would come after the reign of Babylon (silver, bronze, and iron). With each level, there would be a balancing of power and a lessening of mind and influence but an increase in strength. King Neb’s Babylon was considered gold because it was an absolute autocracy. It was ruled by King Neb alone and stood for 66 years.

Persia would conquer Babylon as a monarchial oligarchy. This meant the nobles were equal in some ways to the king. The Medo-Persian Empire is represented by silver and would rule for 208 years.

“As silver is inferior to gold, so Medo-Persia was inferior to Babylon, not in size but in its effectiveness in governing its people.”

Nelson’s New Illustrated Commentary

Next comes Alexander the Great’s Grecian Empire. It was the largest kingdom which was prophesied by Daniel in verse 39 when he says it “shall rule over all the earth.” The Grecian Empire stood for 185 years and is represented by bronze.

Finally, there is the Roman Empire. A democratic imperialism, it would be represented by iron. The Romans would rule for more than 500 years.

“Since Roman history provides no fulfillment of this federation of kings (which seems to number ten, because of the number of toes, and passages like Dan 7:24 and Rev 17:12) this prophecy must still be future.”

David Guzik

Many believe that Rome will be revived under the influence of the Antichrist. Of course, there is more to the dream. A stone not cut by human hands destroys all the empires in one strike. “Not cut by human hands” would indicate divine intervention. Jesus is described as “the stone the builders rejected” in Psalm 118 as well as a “stone of offense and a rock of crumbling” in Isaiah 8. Zechariah 3 provides a striking resemblance to the prophecy of Daniel.

For behold, on the stone that I have set before Joshua, on a single stone with seven eyes, I will engrave its inscription, declares the LORD of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of this land in a single day.

Zechariah 3:9 ESV

The stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth. This is what we must cling to. No matter what your interpretation may be in regards to the End Times, we can all agree that the Kingdom of Jesus Christ will shatter every other kingdom of this world both physically and spiritually. The certainty of this prophecy was realized by Daniel in ancient times and it is still being revealed to us today!

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