Shalom, everyone! The Book of Daniel chapter two presents the fate of the House of Yisrael until the time of our final redemption. In the first part of this study, we will examine the circumstances surrounding the “forgotten” dream of Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar, its very serious implications for the sages of Babylonia, including Daniel and his companions, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, and its relevance to the future of the House of Yisrael in the End of Days. The scriptural references are taken from Mechon-Mamre.org:
- Daniel 2:1 ~ “And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams; and his spirit was troubled, and his sleep broke from him.”
- Daniel 2:2 ~ “Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the enchanters, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, to tell the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king.”
- Daniel 2:3 ~ “And the king said unto them: ‘I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit is troubled to know the dream.'”
In the second year of his reign, King Nebuchadnezzar had a dreams which bothered his spirit, and left him unable to have a good night’s sleep. Most peculiar thing about this situation is that Nebuchadnezzar himself forgot this dreams, yet the dreams continued to bother him any way, leaving him unable to sleep comfortably. The king summoned four groups among the sages of Babylonia to help him remember his dream and interpret it: The necromancers, the astrologers, the sorcerers and the Chaldeans.
A necromancer practices necromancy, the practice of divination involving communicating with the deceased by either summoning their spirit as a ghost or raising them bodily. The necromancer does this for the purpose of knowing the future, or to discover some hidden knowledge or mystery. The astrologer practices astrology, the study of the movements and positions of celestial objects (sun, moon, planets, stars etc.) for the purpose of divination, knowing the future, human affairs and events on earth. The sorcerer is a practitioner of magic or witchcraft, for the purpose of achieving specific objectives or attaining knowledge using supernatural means. The Chaldean has two meanings: A descendant of the original inhabitants of Babylon, the Akkadians; or an astronomer or star gazer, one who studies astronomy, the study of celestial objects, their origins, phenomena and their evolution. In the context of the story of Nebuchadnezzar‘s forgotten dream, the Chaldeans were astronomers.
- Daniel 2:4 ~ “Then spoke the Chaldeans to the king in Aramaic: ‘O king, live for ever! tell thy servants the dream, and we will declare the interpretation.'”
- Daniel 2:5 ~ “The king answered and said to the Chaldeans: ‘The thing is certain with me; if ye make not known unto me the dream and the interpretation thereof, ye shall be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made a dunghill.”
- Daniel 2:6 ~ “But if ye declare the dream and the interpretation thereof, ye shall receive of me gifts and rewards and great honour; only declare unto me the dream and the interpretation thereof.'”
When the necromancers, astrologers, sorcerers and Chaldeans appeared before King Nebuchadnezzar, he tells them that he dreamt a dream but his spirit was agitated to know the dream. The Chaldeans, speaking in Aramaic, wished him long life, and asked him to tell them the dream so that they could interpret it. Nebuchadnezzar responded by telling the group that he had forgotten the dream, and threatened them that if they could not tell him about his dream and the interpretation thereof, that they would be killed and their houses destroyed. On the other hand, he promised them great rewards if they successfully tell him and the dream and the interpretation.
- Daniel 2:7 ~ “They answered the second time and said: ‘Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will declare the interpretation.'”
- Daniel 2:8 ~ “The king answered and said: ‘I know of a truth that ye would gain time, inasmuch as ye see the thing is certain with me,”
- Daniel 2:9 ~ “that, if ye make not known unto me the dream, there is but one law for you; and ye have agreed together to speak before me lying and corrupt words, till the time be changed; only tell me the dream, and I shall know that ye can declare unto me the interpretation thereof.'”
Once again the Chaldeans asked Nebuchadnezzar to tell them his dream so that they could give the interpretation. The king then accused them of trying to buy time because of his decree which could not be reversed, for them and their houses to be destroyed. He also accused them of lying to him and trying to deceive him until the time changes, or the beginning of a new season. Exasperated, the king then changed his original request and asked them to just to remind him of his dream, then he would know whether they could interpret it or not.
- Daniel 2:10 ~ “The Chaldeans answered before the king, and said: ‘There is not a man upon the earth that can declare the king’s matter; forasmuch as no great and powerful king hath asked such a thing of any magician, or enchanter, or Chaldean.”
- Daniel 2:11 ~ “And it is a hard thing that the king asketh, and there is none other that can declare it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.'”
- Daniel 2:12 ~ “For this cause the king was angry and very furious, and commanded to destroy all the wise men of Babylon.”
- Daniel 2:13 ~ “So the decree went forth, and the wise men were to be slain; and they sought Daniel and his companions to be slain. “
The Chaldeans then made a fatal error. They told the king that there was no human being who could do as he asked, only the angels who dwelt in the heavens. They also told him that no other king or leader had ever made such a request of their own sages, giving the king the impression that he was irrational or even insane. Naturally, the king felt insulted by the response of the Chaldeans. He flew into a rage and ordered that all the sages of Babylonia be put to death. As this decree was being implemented, Daniel and his companions, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, were also sought to be put to death.
- Daniel 2:14 ~ “Then Daniel returned answer with counsel and discretion to Arioch the captain of the king’s guard, who was gone forth to slay the wise men of Babylon;”
- Daniel 2:15 ~ “he answered and said to Arioch the king’s captain: ‘Wherefore is the decree so peremptory from the king?’ Then Arioch made the thing known to Daniel.”
- Daniel 2:16 ~ “Then Daniel went in, and desired of the king that he would give him time, that he might declare unto the king the interpretation.”
When Arioch, King Nebudchadnezzar‘s chief executioner, located Daniel and his companions, to carry out the king’s decree against all the sages of Babylonia, Daniel appealed to Arioch, asking him why the king made this destructive decree so suddenly. Arioch relayed the story to Daniel, who then made a request of the king to give him time to relate the interpretation of the dreams.
- Daniel 2:17 ~ “Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions;”
- Daniel 2:18 ~ “that they might ask mercy of the God of heaven concerning this secret; that Daniel and his companions should not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.”
- Daniel 2:19 ~ “Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a vision of the night. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.”
The king agreed to give Daniel more time because Daniel was allowed to return to his home. There he, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, prayed to YAH beseeching Him for mercy and to reveal the secret of the king’s forgotten dreams, so that Daniel and his three companions would not be destroyed along with the rest of the sages of Babylonia. YAH responded by revealing the king’s dreams to Daniel in a night vision.
- Daniel 2:20 ~ “Daniel spoke and said: Blessed be the name of God from everlasting even unto everlasting; for wisdom and might are His;”
- Daniel 2:21 ~ “And He changeth the times and the seasons; He removeth kings, and setteth up kings; He giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding;
- Daniel 2:22 ~ “He revealeth the deep and secret things; He knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with Him.”
- Daniel 2:23 ~ “I thank Thee, and praise Thee, O Thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast now made known unto me what we desired of Thee; for Thou hast made known unto us the king’s matter.”
Daniel then blessed YAH for the revelation of Nebuchadnezzar’s forgotten/ Daniel‘s blessing reminds us that YAH is in control of all things, known and secret. He controls times and seasons. It is He who raises up and removes leaders from their positions. It is He who grants knowledge and wisdom, and reveals secrets. Daniel thanked and praised YAH for answering his and his companions’ prayer of revealing the king’s dream.
- Daniel 2:24 ~ “Therefore Daniel went in unto Arioch, whom the king had appointed 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 declare unto the king the interpretation.'”
- Daniel 2:25 ~ “Then Arioch brought in Daniel before the king in haste, and said thus unto him: ‘I have found a man of the children of the captivity of Judah, that will make known unto the king the interpretation.'”
Daniel then went to Arioch, the king’s chief executioner, to request an audience with the king. Daniel implored Arioch not to destroy the sages of Babylonia, but bring him before the king so that he could give the king the interpretation of his forgotten dream. Arioch then brought Daniel before King Nebuchadnezzar, telling the king that he found a man from among the exiles of Judah who could make known the interpretation of the dream.
- Daniel 2:26 ~ “The king spoke 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?'”
- Daniel 2:27 ~ “Daniel answered before the king, and said: ‘The secret which the king hath asked can neither wise men, enchanters, magicians, nor astrologers, declare unto the king;”
- Daniel 2:28 ~ “but there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and He hath made known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the end of days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these:”
The king asks Daniel whether he could tell him about his forgotten dream and its interpretation. Daniel told the king that none of the sages were capable of revealing the dream or its interpretation, however, only the God of Heaven could reveal the secret of the dream, and that the dream was a prophecy of the future, specifically of the End of Days. Daniel gave credit to YAH for the revelation of the king’s dream and its interpretation.
- Daniel 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 revealeth secrets hath made known to thee what shall come to pass.”
- Daniel 2:30 ~ “But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living, but to the intent that the interpretation may be made known to the king, and that thou mayest know the thoughts of thy heart.”
Daniel then reminds the king that the dream was not revealed to him because he had more wisdom than any other being. The dream was revealed so that the king would know what occupied his thoughts.
- Daniel 2:31 ~ “Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This image, which was mighty, and whose brightness was surpassing, stood before thee; and the appearance thereof was terrible.”
- Daniel 2:32 ~ “As for that image, its head was of fine gold, its breast and its arms of silver, its belly and its thighs of brass,”
- Daniel 2:33 ~ “its legs of iron, its feet part of iron and part of clay.”
- Daniel 2:34 ~ “Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon its feet that were of iron and clay, and broke them to pieces.”
- Daniel 2:35 ~ “Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken in pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing-floors; and the wind carried them away, so that no place was found for them; and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.”
- Daniel 2:36 ~ “This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king.”
The dream Daniel revealed to King Nebuchadnezzar was about a giant statue of a man, with its head made of fine gold, its breast and arms made of silver, its belly and thighs made of brass (some translations say copper), its legs made of iron, and its feet made of a mixture of iron and clay. A stone, hewn without human hands, then struck the statue at its feet made of iron and clay, crumbled the feet then the rest of the statue together. The remains of the statue became as chaff which was then blown away by the wind with no trace left. The stone that destroyed the statue became a great mountain which filled the entire earth.
In part two of this study, we will examine the interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar‘s dream of the statue made of gold, silver, brass/copper, iron, and clay.
Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream of the Statue – Daniel Chapter 2
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