Daniel Chapter 2
Daniel 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.”
We would believe that a person, who was as successful as Nebuchadnezzar, would not dream bad dreams. Wealth and fame do not make a person happy. In this particular case, the dream is an intervention from God.
God directs men, sometimes, by dreams and visions. Not all dreams are from God, but this one is. This dream is to elevate Daniel in the kingdom, as the dreams of the king of Egypt elevated Joseph to the second in command in the land.
“Second year”: Promotion of the 4 Hebrews after 3 years agrees with the year of promotion after the dream in the “second year.”
In the time of revelation, God spoke through the interpretation of dreams that He induced.
Daniel 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.”
The subjects of the land are at the beck and call of the king. When the king called them, they came. These astrologers were thought of as the wise men of the day. The job of these astrologers, magicians, and sorcerers was to advise the king on things of a spiritual nature. They told of future events, as well as giving advice. They do have some power, but it is limited. Their source is the devil.
Chaldeans could refer to all people native to Chaldea, or as here, to a special class of soothsayers who taught Chaldean culture.
Read, with me, what all believers are to do about things pertaining to this, in the following verse.
Acts 19:19 “Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all [men]: and they counted the price of them, and found [it] fifty thousand [pieces] of silver.”
God will not share your love. You must be loyal to God and not earthly astrologers, magicians, and sorcerers.
Daniel 2:3 “And the king said unto them, I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit was troubled to know the dream.”
The king was aware this bad dream was not caused by eating the wrong food for dinner, but was, in fact, a warning. He cannot continue on, without knowing the meaning of this dream.
Daniel 2:4 “Then spake the Chaldeans to the king in Syriac, O king, live for ever: tell thy servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation.”
These worldly wise men were smart enough to begin by saying something nice to the king. “Syriac” means they spoke in Syrian.
This seems like a reasonable request for the king to give them the dream, so they might interpret the dream.
This language, to which Daniel suddenly switches (in verse 4b), and retains through (7:28), was written with an alphabet like Hebrew, yet had distinctive differences. Aramaic was the popular language of the Babylonian, Assyrian, and Persian areas, and was useful in governmental and trade relations.
(Daniel 1:1-2:4a and 8:1-12:13 were written in Hebrew), possibly because the focus was more directly on Hebrew matters. (Daniel 2:4b-7:28), switches to Aramaic because the subject matter is centered more on other nations and matters largely involving them.
Daniel 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.”
Even though the king has forgotten the details of the dream, he is still greatly troubled by the dream. The astrologers, sorcerers, and magicians were supposed to be able to read the minds of their people. If they had the power they claimed to have, this would be no problem for them. The truth is they do not have power.
The threat of death should cause them to use all the power available to them to try to know the dream and its meaning. It is in the power of the king to kill them, if they do not please him.
Daniel 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.”
We saw in the previous Scripture, threat of cruel death, if they did not know and bring the meaning of the dream to the king. Now, we see they will be blessed greatly, if they can bring the king his dream.
This is a time of proving for them. They must prove their powers to the king.
Daniel 2:7 “They answered again and said, Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation of it.”
This is the second time they have requested the king to tell the dream to them. They have not understood his previous answer. He has forgotten the details of the dream.
Their mention of the fact they are servants to the king, is to show their willingness to interpret the dream, if it is in their power to do so.
The worldly men of human skill failed. (Verses 8-13), show how impossible it is for humans to truly interpret dreams from God. But Daniel, who trusted God in prayer, received His supernatural interpretation. He gave credit to God in his prayer and his testimony before Nebuchadnezzar. Later the king, too, gave God the glory.
Daniel 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.”
We can all relate to the king in this. At some time in our life, each of us has had a troubling dream, that we could not recall when we woke up. We are aware that the dream troubled us, but we cannot remember the dream. This is what has happened to the king.
Daniel 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.”
Astrology is calculated by the position of the moon and stars, and time is wasting away here. This one incident will prove to the king for all time, whether they have been lying about their powers, or whether they truly do have supernatural power.
This is much like the challenge that Elijah gave to the prophets of Baal. If they have power, prove it right now. The only thing that will save them is the dream and its interpretation.
Daniel 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.”
They have now made a truthful statement. No man can do these things. This can only be revealed by the True God. They were used to being asked about interpretations, but never to tell what the dream was, as well.
They are almost scolding the king for even asking for such a thing. They remind him, that no previous king has asked such impossibility.
Daniel 2:11 “And [it is] a rare thing that the king requireth, and there is none other that can show it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.”
We see in the following Scripture that even true interpretations are from God alone.
Genesis 40:8 “And they said unto him, We have dreamed a dream, and [there is] no interpreter of it. And Joseph said unto them, [Do] not interpretations [belong] to God? tell me [them], I pray you.”
God is the dream giver, and God is the true interpreter. Anything that is Impossible with man is possible with God.
Matthew 19:26 “But Jesus beheld [them], and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.”
Daniel 2:12 “For this cause the king was angry and very furious, and commanded to destroy all the wise [men] of Babylon.”
The king’s eyes were opened, and he realized these worldly men had no power at all. He had placed his faith in them, and they had failed him. He demanded that they be killed.
Daniel 2:13 “And the decree went forth that the wise [men] should be slain; and they sought Daniel and his fellows to be slain.”
Now, we see the command to kill all of the wise men extends to Daniel and his companions. The king has grouped them all together as liars and deceivers.
Daniel 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:”
It seems that “Arioch” was the chief executioner. He was seeking out all the wise men to kill them, on orders from the king. The wonderful thing about God is the fact He can turn an impossibility into a miracle. What was impossible for the worldly wise will not be impossible for someone like Daniel.
Daniel speaks the Words of God that flow through him. God caused Daniel to be brave enough to speak up to Arioch, here.
Daniel 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.”
Daniel and his friends were not even aware of what had taken place with the king and the (worldly wise men). This is a request from Daniel to give him and his friends a chance to see what they could do.
Daniel knew that his God was the real God, and could reveal these secrets. The question, “Why is the decree so hasty from the king?” is a very legitimate question. God had to intervene for Daniel to be able to ask this question.
The haste was because the king was angered.
Daniel 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.”
Notice, Daniel speaks for himself. We know that the executioner would not speak for Daniel, fearing for his own life. Daniel has confidence that God will reveal this to him.
Daniel was obviously held in high esteem, as his ready access to the king demonstrates.
The men, who had been asked at first, did not ask for extra time. They had said it was impossible. They also said the king was in error asking for such a thing. Kings do not like to hear they are in error.
Daniel 2:17 “Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions:”
Daniel believed God would save them by revealing this dream to him. He als, knew the importance of the prayer of agreement. Daniel knew how he believed, but he also had confidence in the prayers of his friends.
Even though Daniel had special, God given abilities, he and his friends still had to pray.
These 3 are the same as Shadrach, Meshech, and Abednego.
Daniel 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.”
In the book of Genesis, we see that many times the sinful are saved from death along with the righteous. God will do whatever necessary to protect His own.
Genesis 18:28 “Peradventure there shall lack five of the fifty righteous: wilt thou destroy all the city for [lack of] five? And he said, If I find there forty and five, I will not destroy [it].”
In this verse, Daniel believes that God will stay the hand of the executioner for these 4 men.
Daniel 2:19 “Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.”
God hears the prayers of the righteous.
James 5:16 “Confess [your] faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
The prayers of Daniel, and his 3 friends, have been answered. God reveals the dream to Daniel. Whether this night vision is like a dream, I cannot tell. Notice, Daniel praised God for the dream.
Verses 20-23: This praise to God sums up the theme of the whole book, namely that God is the One who controls all things and grants all wisdom and might.
Daniel 2:20 “Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his:”
Daniel is recognizing that the praise goes to God. Daniel is fully aware that his abilities lie in the abilities of God that flow through him. It is God’s wisdom and strength.
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:”
Notice with me, where the power, wisdom, and gifts come from.
Exodus 31:3 “And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship,”
God sends His Spirit within us to empower us to do the task He has set before us.
1 Corinthians 1:30 “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:”
Daniel 2:22 “He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what [is] in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him.”
God reveals the secrets to His children.
Psalms 25:14 “The secret of the LORD [is] with them that fear him; and he will show them his covenant.”
Those who are true believers in God are not in darkness. We dwell in the Light. Darkness symbolizes evil. Light symbolizes truth in God. Christians are filled with the Light of God, because He dwells within us. We are not in darkness, that we might stumble and fall.
Daniel 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.”
Daniel is quick to recognize where this knowledge came from. True wisdom is a gift to man from God. God has revealed the king’s dream and the interpretation to Daniel. God has manifested Himself to Daniel, and He will manifest Himself to the king through Daniel.
The gods of this world are nothing compared to Almighty God. God brings the false religions of the world down, and elevates the One True God in this revelation.
Daniel 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.”
The execution of the wise men of Babylon has been stopped. God will help His children. Many times, the world around them is blessed by the overflow.
That is the case here. God’s answer to Daniel’s prayer not only saves him and his 3 friends, but saves the worldly wise men, as well. Daniel now desires to see the king, and tell him the dream and interpretation.
Daniel Chapter 2 Questions
1. When did Nebuchadnezzar dream dreams that troubled him?
2. What is a false concept we have of wealth and fame?
3. Are all dreams from God?
4. What is the purpose of this dream?
5. Who did the king call to interpret his dream?
6. What were the astrologers thought to be?
7. What had the king realized about this dream?
8. What were these worldly wise men smart enough to do?
9. What did they ask the king to do, before they could interpret the dream?
10. Why can the king not tell them about the dream?
11. Why did the king believe they could do this for him?
12. What would cause them to try harder than usual?
13. What will happen, if they cannot interpret the dream?
14. What do they ask the king the second time?
15. Why did they mention they were servants of the king?
16. How can we relate to the king in this?
17. If they cannot tell him of his dream, what is the decree against them?
18. How is astrology calculated?
19. What will their inability to interpret this dream prove to the king?
20. What was their answer to the king, when he wanted them to tell him what his dream was?
21. Who, among fleshly people, could do what the king asked?
22. Who did Joseph say interpretations belong to?
23. How did the king react to their answer?
24. What did the king say to do with the wise men?
25. Who was “Arioch”?
26. How did Daniel find the courage to speak to Arioch?
27. What did Daniel ask Arioch?
28. Who went to ask for extra time from the king?
29. Who did Daniel share the news of the dream with?
30. What did they all do?
31. How was the secret revealed to Daniel?
32. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man ___________ _________.
33. Name some of the things God does in verse 21?
34. Who are the secrets of God revealed to?
35. Who did Daniel go to, to get permission to see the king?