Summary of passage: King Nebuchadnezzar was troubled by dreams. He asked his sorcerers, magicians, enchanters, and astrologers to interpret his dreams for him but if they were wrong, he’d kill them and destroy their houses. If they were right, he’d reward them. Not trusting his advisors, the King asked them to tell him the dream first, then the interpretation so he’d know they weren’t lying to him.
The advisors told him what he was asking was impossible. The King, angry, ordered all the wise men killed. Daniel, wisely, asked for time. He, Hannah, Mishael, and Azariah asked God for help. God answered. Daniel praised.
Daniel told the King his dream: Nebuchadnezzar dreamed of a statue made of various metals. A rock struck the statue and turned it into chaff, becoming a huge mountain and filling the earth. Daniel’s interpretation: the metals represented different kingdoms with the golden top being Babylon that will conquer one another. God will set up His kingdom which will conquer all and endure forever–that was the rock cut out of the mountain.
King Nebuchadnezzar praised God and rewarded Daniel with ruler over the entire province of Babylon. Daniel had Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego appointed administrators as well.
6a) Part personal Question. My answer: He praised His name, wisdom, and power. God changes times and seasons, He sets up kings and deposes them, He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning, He reveals deep and hidden things, He knows what lies in darkness and what light dwells within.
Daniel thanked and praised God for having given him wisdom and power, made known to him what he asked, and made known the dream.
I learned nothing I didn’t know before: God is ruler of all earthly kingdoms and people. He stands above and they exist only because He allows them to exist. His kingdom is the only eternal kingdom.
Summation: Praise for power, might, and communication to man.
b) Personal Question. My answer: Given us a house, given me hope my novel may be published by having agents interested in it, kept my husband’s job safe, healed some physical pain I’ve had this year, made my kids happy with all their activities, blessed us financially, and all the little daily things such as food, clothing, shelter, pets, etc.
7a) Kingdoms exist only because God allows them to exist. Kingdoms come and go upon God’s will. Only God’s kingdom is forever and eternal.
b) Personal Question. My answer: My faith and my life lies with Him. Period.
Conclusions: Similar questions we’ve had before for 7b–hope the Second Coming gives us. This passage relates to Revelation–the fact God’s kingdom is eternal and He will set up one that will never be destroyed (Second Coming). Great reminder that kingdoms (governments for us) are transitory by God’s design. Why worry over something God has? Good lesson despite the preponderance of personal questions.
End Notes: Debate continues over whether or not Nebuchadnezzar remembered the dream or not. It’s hard to say from this passage. What Nebuchadnezzar was asking from his advisors was not a stretch–their job was to be in contact with gods–the ones who sent Nebuchadnezzar the dream in the first place–so why shouldn’t they be able to tell it to him?
The Babylonians believed dreams were how the gods communicated to people. If you try to remember this, you can see how important this dream was to the King of Babylon and how important its interpretation would be.
Fun Fact: Daniel 2:4-7:28 is written in Aramaic. This is the only section of the Bible written in Aramaic. Only the book of Ezra is similarly split.
Why? Aramaic was the most common language of the people at this time (Alexander the Great is still 300 years away from conquering these peoples and spreading Greek culture and language throughout Asia). Scholars say the people would have been interested in these sections of the Bible so Aramaic made it accessible to more people. Furthermore, the astrologers spoke in Aramaic.
The astrologers knew only a god could interpret the dream. Obviously, no god they knew could.
Why kill all your intelligent men? Nebuchadnezzar was a new king at this time. Perhaps he was seeking a reason to rid himself of the old king’s advisors and start anew. He was probably also testing their loyalty to him and not to the old king (his father).
What do you do in a crisis? What Daniel did. Stay calm, ask God, listen and wait on God. Awesome!
The power of prayer with friends! Awesome!
God reveals Himself to us. It’s our job to understand His revelations–not to understand God’s ways.
Praising God indicates our faith.
Daniel gave God all the credit and diminished himself. Do we?
Note the order of the metals–from most precious to least: gold, silver, bronze, iron, clay–all destroyed by a mere rock–Jesus is the Rock.
The other three kingdoms: Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. Babylon was at the top because it was an absolute monarchy. The others were in a sense but by the time we get to Rome, power by the people had taken root. God is our absolute monarch and is the ideal kingdom.
Babylon lasted 66 years. Medo-Persia 208. Greece 185. Rome over 500.
This prophecy is still in the future. We will get to the number 10 (Daniel 7:24; Revelation 17:12). Rome was the last great empire and not one single event (the shattering of the statue) has eliminated governments today.
Interesting how man begins with gold and ends up as dust. Amazing God’s power and our insignificance.
Friends were promoted as well–they helped when they prayed together. Powerful!