Daniel Chapter 2, part 1

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The Book of Daniel is one of the most astounding books of the Bible. It is amazing for the prophecies contained in it that have already been fulfilled, and it is astounding for the prophecies specifically about the last days of the cur­rent epoch, known as the End time, that are yet to be fulfilled. The accuracy of the prophecies it contains, which include among other things the exact year that Jesus would be crucified, stand as a testament to its divinely inspired author and to his God. The fact that God, around 2,500 years ago, had these messages passed on to Daniel, many of which are directed to us in the twenty-first century, is proof of God’s love and concern for us. He wants us to be aware of the cataclys­mic events that are soon to come upon the world so that we can prepare for them and be part of the glorious victory with Him at the end of it all.

Examining prophecies that have been fulfilled also builds our faith in prophe­cies yet to be fulfilled, and God’s revelations today. Just as God was able to reveal these things to Daniel over two and a half millennia ago, He is also able to speak to us and reveal to His servants now, as Daniel was His servant then, what will happen in the very near future.

We can stand in awe of the insight into the dis­tant future that He gave Daniel, but we should also stand in awe that the God who spoke to Daniel can also speak to us today. He is as concerned about the world now as He was then, and He is concerned about you and me.

As we study Daniel’s amazing book, let it build in us the faith for the future God wants us to have, and also the faith in His Word — both the written Word and the living Word — that He wants to speak to you and me.

The second chapter of the book of Daniel is one of the best-known prophetic passages in the Bible. The chapter is set in the second year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, when he completed the conquest of Jerusalem (606 BC), Daniel and his friends Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were among the young Jewish nobility carried off to Babylon. The four were chosen for their intellect and beauty to be trained as advisors to the Babylonian court (Daniel 1), Daniel was given the name Belteshazzar, i.e., prince of Bel, or Bel protect the king! He was a slave in Babylon at the time of this chapter, and was still being trained with some fellow Jews as one of the King's wise men.

DAN.2:1 And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, wherewith his spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake from him.

DAN.2:2 Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the astrologers, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, for to show the king his dreams. So, they came and stood before the king.

DAN.2:3 And the king said unto them, I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit was troubled to know the dream.

DAN.2:4 Then spoke the Chaldeans to the king in Syriack, O king, live forever: tell thy servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation.

DAN.2:5 The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, the thing is gone from me: if ye will not make known unto me the dream, with the interpretation thereof, ye shall be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made a dunghill.

DAN.2:6 But if ye show the dream, and the interpretation thereof, ye shall receive of me gifts and rewards and great honor: therefore, show me the dream, and the interpretation thereof.

DAN.2:7 They answered again and said, Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation of it.

DAN.2:8 The king answered and said, I know of certainty that ye would gain the time, because ye see the thing is gone from me.

DAN.2:9 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 show me the interpretation thereof.

King Nebuchadnezzar had dreamt an outstanding, troubling dream, apparently recurring. He had been awakened from sleep by the dream. People in those days believed dreams to be significant, so Nebuchadnezzar was determined to find out the meaning of what he had dreamt.

He called together his magicians, astrologers, sorcerers, and the Chaldeans — in other words, the “wise men” — in order that they could tell him what he wanted to know. However, there was a problem. The King James Version translates it as “the thing is gone from me,” thus giving it the meaning that he had forgot­ten the dream. Perhaps the Living Bible puts it in the clearest way when it quotes Nebuchadnezzar as saying, “I tell you the dream is gone — I can’t remember it” (verse 5).

Interpreting a dream might not have been too hard for these fellows, but to tell the king what the dream was in the first place was totally beyond their powers.

Nebuchadnezzar was used to getting his way and would have none of their protests that he was asking the impossible. If they couldn’t tell him what he wanted to know, and do so quickly, then they were useless to him and he was going to execute them all.

DAN.2:10 The Chaldeans answered before the king, and said, there is not a man upon the earth that can show the king's matter: therefore, there is no king, lord, nor ruler that asked such things at any magician, or astrologer, or Chaldean.

DAN.2:11 And it is a rare thing that the king requires, and there is none other that can show it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.

DAN.2:12 For this cause the king was angry and very furious, and commanded to destroy all the wise men of Babylon.

DAN.2:13 And the decree went forth that the wise men should be slain; and they sought Daniel and his fellows to be slain.

Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, still being in their appren­ticeship, apparently were not in the court of the king when he pronounced his judgment on the wise men.

They heard about the sentence from Arioch, the captain of the king’s guard, when he came to enforce the decree, which applied to them as well. Their lives on the line, Daniel took an enormous step of faith. He convinced Arioch to bring him before the king. Daniel told the king that he would be able to answer the matter if he was given a little time. The text of chapter 2 makes it obvious that Daniel at this point didn’t know the answer, but he had faith that he could get it from God.

DAN.2:14 Then Daniel answered with counsel and wisdom to Arioch the captain of the king's guard, which was gone forth to slay the wise men of Babylon:

DAN.2:15 He answered and said to Arioch the king's captain, why is the decree so hasty from the king? Then Arioch made the thing known to Daniel.

DAN.2:16 Then Daniel went in, and desired of the king that he would give him time, and that he would show the king the interpretation.

DAN.2:17 Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions:

DAN.2:18 That they would desire mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret; that Daniel and his fellows should not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.

DAN.2:19 Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.

God came through for them, just as He does for all those who, in faith and trust, put Him on the spot and expect the miraculous. The dream was revealed to Daniel, and you can read his wonderful prayer of thanksgiving and praise to God in the following text:

DAN.2:20 Daniel answered and said, blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his:

DAN.2:21 And he changes the times and the seasons: he removes kings, and sets up kings: he gives wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:

DAN.2:22 He reveals the deep and secret things: he knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him. (Dan.4:17, Jam.1:5)

DAN.2:23 I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast made known unto me now what we desired of thee: for thou hast now made known unto us the king's matter.

DAN.2:24 Therefore Daniel went in unto Arioch, whom the king had ordained to destroy the wise men of Babylon: he went and said thus unto him; destroy not the wise men of Babylon: bring me in before the king, and I will show unto the king the interpretation.

DAN.2:25 Then Arioch brought in Daniel before the king in haste, and said thus unto him, I have found a man of the captives of Judah that will make known unto the king the interpretation.

DAN.2:26 The king answered and said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, art thou able to make known unto me the dream which I have seen, and the interpretation thereof?

Picture the scene: before the greatest potentate on earth, the teenage apprentice wise man stands. Daniel doesn’t tell us that he was nervous, but if he was like most of us, you can be sure his knees were knocking. Under sentence of immedi­ate death if he didn’t deliver, the lives of all his colleagues also in his hands, Daniel begins to address the king.

Daniel, seeing a chance to show how superior God was in comparison with the idols and incantations of the heathen wise men, first highlights the inability of all the other wise men to be able to tell the dream. Some of them were probably Daniel’s teachers, with years of training. He then tells the king that there is a God in heaven who can tell the dream and give its meaning. He informs Nebuchadnezzar that God had revealed to him the future.

DAN.2:27 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, show unto the king;

DAN.2:28 But there is a God in heaven that reveals secrets, and makes known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these. Daniel gave God the glory.

DAN.2:29 as for thee, O king, thy thoughts came into thy mind upon thy bed, what should come to pass hereafter: and he that revealed secrets makes known to thee what shall come to pass.

DAN.2:30 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 might know the thoughts of thy heart.

Daniel made it clear that it wasn’t because he was so smart or gifted that he was able to describe the dream, but that God had done it to keep the king from killing all the wise men. “For their sake” could also mean for the people who will live in “the latter days.” And that further, God wanted the king to know about the future.

DAN.2:31 Thou, O king, saw, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible.

DAN.2:32 This image's head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass,

DAN.2:33 His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay.

DAN.2:34 Thou saw till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces.

DAN.2:35 Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.

DAN.2:36 This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king.

Daniel launches into the description of the forgotten dream. The king had dreamt that he had seen a great statue with a head of gold, arms and breast of silver, belly and thighs of bronze, two legs of iron, and feet of iron and clay.

Then a stone had come and struck the image on the feet and the whole image had crumbled into dust and was blown away. The stone then became a great mountain and filled the earth. The king must have been thunder­struck as the details of his dream came flooding back into his own mind.

Don’t miss the complete, amazing interpretation of this dream in part 2.

You can receive Jesus at this very moment. It is a free gift of God. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

If you haven’t done it yet, please pray this simple prayer:

"Dear Jesus, I want to know You personally. Please forgive all my faults. I accept that You are the Son of God and that You died for me. I invite You into my heart and life. Thank you for your gift of eternal life and please fill me with Your Holy Spirit. Help me to read and understand Your Word. Amen"

Compiled and edited by Gaetan from multiples sources. gaetan.goye@gmail.com

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