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Daniel 2 Art
The King's Dream And The Prophet's Visions
Daniel And His Times
Daniel Commentary

Daniel 2 - Lecture 4
Daniel - Our God is An Awesome God - Part 1

Daniel -Our God is An Awesome God - Part 2

Daniel 2:1-11 Godliness in the Face of Pressure

Daniel 2:28-47 He's Got the Whole World in His Hands

Daniel 2:48-3:18 Characteristics of Convictions - Part 1

Daniel 2:1-23
Daniel 2:24-49

Daniel 2:1-30

Daniel 2:31-49
Daniel 2 Expository Commentary Notes

Daniel 2:1-7 Daniel's Critics in the Fiery Furnace

Daniel 2:3-12 Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon

Daniel 2:3-12 Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon - conclusion

Daniel 2 Prophecy

Daniel 2-7 The Sweep of Human History

Daniel 2:4 The Language Of God

Daniel 2:1-24 The Dream of Nebuchadnezzar

Daniel 2:34 The Mystic Stone

Daniel 2:34-35 The Mystic Stone

Daniel 2:36-45 The Sweep of Human History

Daniel 2:45 The Unfailing Word of God

Daniel 2:48 Daniel (Lecture Only)

Daniel 2:1-30 Nebuchadnezzar's Nightmares
Daniel 2:31-49 A Prophecy Of Kingdoms

Daniel 2:1-49 - The Dream Which Nearly Became a Nightmare

Daniel 1:1-4:37 Use Godly Tact and Discretion
Book of Daniel 01 Introduction, 02, 03, 04, 05, 07
Book of Daniel 06 Intro - Chronological Structure of Daniel

Daniel 2 Commentary - In depth - Recommended
Christian Dream Interpretation - Are Our Dreams from God?

How Did God Use Dreams and Visions in the Bible?

Does God Still Give Visions to People Today?

What Does the Bible Say About Nightmares?

What is the Meaning of Nebuchadnezzar's Dream in Daniel 2?

Daniel 2:1-40 Daniel 2:41-49
Daniel 2 Commentary
Daniel 2:1-13 Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah

Daniel 2:19-45 Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream

Daniel 2:1-49 The Course of World Empire, part I

Daniel 2:1-49 The Course of World Empire, part II

Daniel 2:1-45 God's Portrait of Man's History - I

Daniel 2:1-45 God's Portrait of Man's History - II

Daniel 2 Back to the future
Daniel 2:1-30: Forgotten Dream & Unforgettable Daniel

Daniel 2:1-30: Forgotten Dream & Unforgettable Daniel -Guide
Daniel 2:31-40: The Rise and Fall of the World--Part 1

Daniel 2:31-40: The Rise and Fall of the World--Part 1 -Guide
Daniel 2:41-43: The Rise and Fall of the World--Part 2

Daniel 2:41-43: The Rise and Fall of the World--Part 2 -Guide
Daniel 2:44-49: The Rise and Fall of the World--Part 3

Daniel 2:44-49: The Rise and Fall of the World--Part 3 -Guide

Daniel 2: Intro 2:1-3 2:4 2:5-9 2:10-13

Daniel 2:14-23 2:24-28 2:29, 30 2:31-35

Daniel 2:36-39 2:40-43 2:44, 45 2:46-49

Daniel 2:17-19 Devotional
Daniel 2 Commentary Notes (Constable's Notes Synch with Notes & Verses)
Daniel 2:The World According to God
Daniel 2:Do Dreams Today Contain Important Symbolism?
Daniel 2:1-3 Daniel 2:4-13 Daniel 2:14-16 Daniel 2:17
Daniel 2:18 Daniel 2:19-20 Daniel 2:21-23 Daniel 2:24-30
Daniel 2:31-35  Da 2:36-40 Da 2:41-42 Da 2:43-45 Da 2:46-49

Doctrine of Dreams (click for subscription info)
Daniel 2:1-30 Dreams and Interpretations, Part 1

Daniel 2:31-49 Dreams and Interpretations, Part 2

Daniel 2:36-45 Nebuchadnezzar's Dream

Daniel 2:44 The Coming Kingdom

Daniel 2:45 The Coming King

Daniel - On the Way to the Future - Recommended Overview
Daniel 2:19-45: When Dreams Come True

Daniel 2:32-45: The Last Act

Daniel 2:17-24 God is Lord Over All Times and Seasons

Daniel 2:24-49 Faithful Interpreters: God and Man Working Together

Daniel Devotionals - Seven Devotionals on Daniel 2
Daniel 2 Nebuchadnezzar’s Vision Of The Great Image (Classic Commentary)

Revival of Rome

Revival of Rome (separate article)

Prophecy of 10 Nation Confederacy

World History in Outline

The Rise and Fall of Rome

Bibliography on Daniel

Daniel 2: Nebuchadnezzar's Nightmare

Daniel 1-6 - Living Out a Biblical Worldview
Daniel 7-12 -Gaining Understanding of the Time of the End

Daniel 1-6 - You're A Brave Man, Daniel! - Study for Children Ages 8-12
Daniel 7-12 -Gaining Understanding of the Time of the End - Ages 8-12

Discovering What the Future Holds - 40 Minute Bible Study
Scroll to the Last page of this Pdf for Excellent Summary Timeline
Timeline of Ezekiel - Prophet During Daniel's Ministry

Daniel 2:1 Now in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; and his spirit was troubled and his sleep left him. (in: Da 1:1, 2, 3, 4, 5 2Ch 36:5, 6, 7) (Nebuchadnezzar: Da 2:3 4:5 Ge 40:5, 6, 7, 8 41:1-36 Job 33:15, 16, 17) (and his: Da 6:18 Esther 6:1)

Recall that while Daniel is a book of prophecy, the first 6 chapters deal primarily with his personal life and the last 6 chapters deal with prophecy, specifically prophecy that deals with the nation of Israel. In Daniel 2 we do encounter a great prophecy which outlines the history of the Gentile nations and their interaction with Israel.


Daniel 1 Daniel 2:4-7:28 Daniel 8-12
Written in
Written in
Written in

"No Compromise"

Prophetic Plan
for Gentile Nations
Prophetic Plan
for Israel


Harry Ironside has said that...

THIS second chapter has well been called “The A, B, C of prophecy.” I suppose it contains the most complete, and yet the most simple, prophetic picture that we have in all the word of God. (Ironside, H. A. Lectures on Daniel the Prophet. New York: Loizeaux Bros)

Note: If Daniel is the ABC's, then Revelation is the XYZ's of Bible prophecy!

Young's Literal - And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, dreamed hath Nebuchadnezzar dreams, and his spirit doth move itself, and his sleep hath been against him

Daniel 2 is the "backbone of Bible prophecy"!

Dr. John Walvoord opens his comments on Daniel 2 with these remarks...

Beginning with the second chapter of Daniel, the grand outline of the program of God for the period of Gentile supremacy and chastisement of Israel is presented for the first time. Tregelles, in his introduction to chapter 2 of Daniel, observes, “The book of Daniel is that part of Scripture which especially treats of the power of the world during the time of its committal into the hands of the Gentiles, whilst the ancient people of God, the children of Israel, are under chastisement on account of their sin.” (Samuel P. Tregelles, Remarks on the Prophetic Visions in the Book of Daniel, p. 6)

What is true of the book in general is especially true of chapter 2. Nowhere else in Scripture, except in Daniel 7, is a more comprehensive picture given of world history as it stretched from the time of Daniel, 600 years before Christ, to the consummation at the second advent of Christ. It is most remarkable that Daniel was not only given this broad revelation of the course of what Christ called “the times of the Gentiles” (Lk 21:24), but also the chronological prophecy of Israel’s history stretching from the rebuilding of Jerusalem to the second advent of Christ. These two major foci of the book of Daniel justify the general description of the book as world history in outline with special reference to the nation of Israel...

Few chapters of the Bible are more determinative in establishing both principle and content of prophecy than this chapter; and its study, accordingly, is crucial to any system of prophetic interpretation. (Daniel 2 Nebuchadnezzar’s Vision Of The Great Image)

Second year - Once again the "higher" critics pounce on this verse as evidence of the "inaccuracy" of this book, an attack they are forced to continue because to accept the literal, historical account of Daniel as written in the 6th Century BC is to be forced to accept a sovereign God Who knows the future and is behind the scenes bringing every prophecy to "letter perfect" fulfillment (let God's "Self Revelation" encourage your faith [Ro 10:17] for Jehovah Himself declares - Isa 42:9 44:7,8 46:9,10 45:21). So what does this mean? Ultimately, the authenticity of Daniel and his prophecies means these critics and all who have scorned and mocked God and His plan for the ages (2Pe 3:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7-note, 2Pe 3:8-note, 2Pe 3:9-note, 2Pe 3:10-note, 2Pe 3:11-note), have a Supreme Being before Whom they will one stand to give an accounting for their brief time on earth!

And so the second year is in fact the second according to the Babylonian computation, but the third year according to that of the Jews, who reckon from the time he was associated with his father. This corresponds to the calculation of the king's reign according to Babylonian computation in Da 1:1 =  third year of the reign of Jehoiakim, and according to Jewish computation in Jer 25:1, 46:2 = the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah. The following time frame is adapted from John Walvoord's book (Daniel 2 Nebuchadnezzar’s Vision Of The Great Image) based on the information from Wiseman's "The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings" (p159ff) and J. Finegan's " Handbook of Biblical Chronology" (p. 38).

May-June, 605BC

Babylonian victory by General Nebuchadnezzar over the Egyptians and remnants of the Assyrian army at the battle of Carchemish (ref) (3x in Scripture = 2Chr 35:20, Is 10:9, Jer 46:2) (Click location of Carchemish next to Euphrates in modern day Syria) (Another map of Carchemish) (Picture of Euphrates near Carchemish)

June-August, 605BC

1) Jerusalem falls to General Nebuchadnezzar
2) Daniel and his friends are taken captive and deported to Babylon.

September 7, 605BC

1) King Nabopolassar dies
2) General Nebuchadnezzar son of Nabopolassar becomes king of Babylon

September 7, 605BC
to Nisan (March-April) 604BC

1) Babylonian dating of king's reign = no "credit" to Nebuchadnezzar.
2) Jewish dating king's reign = first year of Nebuchadnezzar.
3) First year of Daniel in "Babylon U"

Nisan (March-April) 604BC
to Nisan (March-April) 603BC

1) Babylonian dating = First year of Nebuchadnezzar
2) Jewish dating = Second year of Nebuchadnezzar
3) Second year of Daniel in "Babylon U"

Nisan (March-April) 603BC
to Nisan (March-April) 602BC

1) Babylonian dating = Second year of Nebuchadnezzar
2) Jewish dating = Third year of Nebuchadnezzar
3) Third year of Daniel in "Babylon U"
4) Year of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream

Had dreams - KJV more literal = dreamed dreams - Note that dreams is plural here and singular in Da 2:3. This suggests that there was one primary dream that recurred over several nights.

God used dreams elsewhere to give revelation to Gentile rulers - Abimelech (Ge 20:3) and Pharaoh (Ge 41:1-8). Note that dreams is plural in the Hebrew, suggesting that this was a recurring dream, which he describes as one dream in Da 2:3.

The writer of Hebrews records that God has used various methods to reveal Himself...

God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, Whom He appointed heir of all things, through Whom also He made the world. (Heb 1:1, 2)

Two vehicles God has used to reveal Himself include dreams and visions, Moses recording...

He (Jehovah) said, "Hear now My words: If there is a prophet among you, I, the LORD, shall make Myself known to him in a vision. I shall speak with him in a dream. (Nu 12:6)

Visions are divine presentations to a person's mind while that person is awake, as for example in Isaiah's famous vision of Jehovah (Isa 6:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, cp Jn 12:41 - Isaiah saw the glory of Jehovah = Jesus).

Dreams (02472) (chalom) describes  a series of thoughts, images, or emotions occurring during sleep. There are 16 dreams recorded in the OT (Ge 20:3, 6; 28:12; 31:10, 11, 24 ; 37:5, 9 ; 40:5 ; 41:1, 5 ; Jdg 7:13; 1Ki 3:5; Da 2:1; 4:5 ; 7:1 ) with Jacob having 3 dreams (Ge 31:10,11), three having 2 dreams (Joseph = Ge 37:5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 42:9; Pharaoh = Ge 41:15, 17, 22, 32,  Nebuchadnezzar - Da 2:1, 2, 3) and the rest only one dream (Abimelech = Ge 20:3, 6, Laban = Ge 31:24, Pharaoh’s cupbearer = Ge 40:5, 8, 9-11, Pharaoh’s baker = Ge 40:5, 8, 16-17, a soldier = Jdg 7:13, 15, Solomon = 1Ki 3:5, 15, Daniel = Da 7:1), indicating that the dreamers included Jews as well as pagan Gentiles (many of the latter having very troubling dreams as in Daniel 2!). Ten of these 16 dreams involved symbols which necessitated interpretation. The two main interpreters of dreams were Joseph and Daniel. In both the OT and NT God used dreams to reveal His will. (See also Dreams - Thompson Chain Reference Concordance)

Chalom - 55 verses - Ge 20:3, 6; 31:10, 11, 24; 37:5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 19, 20; 40:5, 8, 9, 16; 41:7, 8, 11, 12, 15, 17, 22, 25, 26, 32; 42:9; Nu 12:6; Dt 13:1, 3, 5; Jdg 7:13, 15; 1Sa 28:6, 15; 1Ki 3:5, 15; Job 7:14; 20:8; 33:15; Ps 73:20; Ec 5:3, 7; Is 29:7; Jer 23:27, 28, 32; 27:9; 29:8; Da 1:17; 2:1, 2, 3; Joel 2:28; Zech 10:2. NAS = dream(41), dreamer*(1), dreamers(1), dreams(22).

The following verses are all the uses of dream (Hebrew and Aramaic words for "dream") in Daniel = Da 1:17; 2:1, 2, 3, 9, 26, 28, 36, 45; 4:5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 18, 19; 5:12; 7:1)

The canon of Scripture is completed and has brought to close God's use of dreams to convey divine revelation. The writer of Hebrews records that...

God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways (including dreams), in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. (He 1:1,2)

Moses alludes to God's use of dreams as a mode of communication with His prophets writing...

He said (Jehovah is speaking), "Hear now My words: If there is a prophet among you, I, the LORD, shall make Myself known to him in a vision. I shall speak with him in a dream. Not so, with My servant Moses, He is faithful in all My household; With him I speak mouth to mouth, even openly, and not in dark sayings, and he beholds the form of the LORD...." (Nu 12:6, 7,8)

Jehovah gave strict guidelines for interpreting whether the dream was truly given as Divine revelation...

If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, 2 and the sign or the wonder comes true, concerning which he spoke to you, saying, 'Let us go after other gods (whom you have not known) and let us serve them,' 3 you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams; for the LORD your God is testing you to find out if you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. 4 "You shall follow the LORD your God and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him. 5 "But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has counseled rebellion against the LORD your God who brought you from the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of slavery, to seduce you from the way in which the LORD your God commanded you to walk (cp Jer 23:26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, Jer 29:8). So you shall purge the evil from among you. (Dt 13:1-5)

What about dreams today? Richard Ruble in his paper "The Doctrine of Dreams" wrote that...

Both Thomas Aquinas and A. J. Gordon believed that dreams in the post-Biblical era could come from God. However, it is doubtful that God has communicated with men by dreams since the close of the canon. Arthur B. Fowler says that God “could reveal His will in dreams today, but the written Word of God, and the indwelling Holy Spirit have made dreams of this sort unnecessary.”

There is no Biblical evidence for the contention that God speaks today in dreams. God speaks today in His Word (2Ti 3:16, 17). He has given the Holy Spirit to every Christian to lead him into the truth (John 16:13; 1Cor 6:19,20). With the Bible in his hand and the Holy Spirit in his heart, the Christian has ample provision for guidance into God’s perfect will. (
Doctrine of Dreams -- click for subscription info)

Dictionary Discussion - Holman Bible Dictionary

Articles from Got Questions?

How Did God Use Dreams and Visions in the Bible?

Does God Still Give Visions to People Today?

What Does the Bible Say About Nightmares?

What is the Meaning of Nebuchadnezzar's Dream in Daniel 2?

John MacArthur observes that in ancient times "It was not abnormal at all for God to speak in dreams. Now I would say it's abnormal today if God has finished his revelation. So don't go to sleep at night hoping you'll get a revelation from God in your dream. I don't think God is in a business of revelations anymore since Hebrews 1:2-note  says He's spoken unto us finally in these last days through His Son. I don't think there is any more revelation but in those days God chose to speak through dreams.  (The Forgotten Dream and the Unforgettable Daniel)

ETHER DREAMS - An Illustration - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., was a doctor. As such he was very interested in the use of ether. In order to know how his patients felt under its influence, he once had a dose administered to himself. As he was going under, in a dreamy state, a profound thought came to him. He believed that he had suddenly grasped the key to all the mysteries of the universe. When he regained consciousness, however, he was unable to remember what the insight was. Because of the great importance this thought would be to mankind, Holmes arranged to have himself given either again.

This time he had a stenographer present to take down the great thought. The either was administered, and sure enough, just before passing out the insight reappeared. He mumbled the words, the stenographer took them down, and he went to sleep confident in the knowledge that he had succeeded. Upon awakening, he turned eagerly to the stenographer and asked her to read what he had uttered. This is what she read: “The entire universe is permeated with a strong odor of turpentine.”  (Bits & Pieces, November 12, 1992, pp. 20-22)


Troubled (Hebrew Pa'am = 5v - Ge 41:8; Jdg 13:25; Ps 77:4; Da 2:1, 3) - disturbed,  in mental state of distress and worry; a deep disturbance inducing apprehension

Garland adds an interesting insight based on the Hebrew verb form - The hithpael stem indicates intensive reflexive action such that Nebuchadnezzar “was in mental state of distress and worry relating to the situation” such that he was causing his own anxiety. (Daniel Defended - 3.2 - Daniel 2)

Here is a man who was truly the king of the empire and who had what all men desire and yet he lacked one thing...peace.

This same scenario occurred in the life of Joseph...

Ge 41:8 Now in the morning his spirit (referring to Pharaoh) was troubled, so he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt, and all its wise men. And Pharaoh told them his dreams, but there was no one who could interpret them to Pharaoh...15 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I have had a dream, but no one can interpret it; and I have heard it said about you, that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.”

Sleep left him - more literally his sleep “was done for.” Although Daniel does not reference God, in context clearly the dream and its disturbing aspects which disturbed his sleep was ordained by God.

Esther 6 records a dream that disturbed another king (See Esther 1:2, 3 = King Ahasuerus; sleep disturbance Esther 6:1), a dream which God allowed in order to provide providential, miraculous deliverance of His people from utter destruction by the Persian king...

During that night the king could not sleep (literally = "sleep fled away") so he gave an order to bring the book of records, the chronicles, and they were read before the king.  It was found written what Mordecai had reported concerning Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king’s eunuchs who were doorkeepers, that they had sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus.  (Esther 6:1-2) (See also Ge 20:3)

Torrey's Topic

Visions in sleep -Job 33:15; Daniel 2:28
Often by imaginary Job 20:8; Isaiah 29:8
Excess of business frequently leads to -Ecclesiastes 5:3
God’s will often revealed in -Numbers 12:6; Job 33:15

Pretended to -Jeremiah 23:25-28; 29:8
Not to be regarded in -Deuteronomy 13:1-3; Jeremiah 27:9
Condemned for pretending to -Jeremiah 23:32

Vanity of trusting to natural Ecclesiastes 5:7

Put great faith in -Judges 7:15
Often perplexed by -Genesis 40:6; 41:8; Job 7:14; Da 2:1; 4:5
Anxious to have, explained -Genesis 40:8; Daniel 2:3
Consulting magicians on -Genesis 41:8; Daniel 2:2-4

God the only interpreter of Genesis 40:8; 41:16; Da 2:27-30; 7:16

Abimelech -Genesis 20:3-7
Jacob -Genesis 28:12; 31:10
Laban -Genesis 31:24
Joseph -Genesis 37:5-9
Pharaoh’s butler and baker -Genesis 40:5-19
Pharaoh -Genesis 41:1-7
Midianite -Judges 7:13-15
Solomon -1 Kings 3:5-15
Nebuchadnezzar -Daniel 2:1,31; 4:5,8
Daniel -Daniel 7:1-28
Joseph -Matthew 1:20,21; 2:13,19,20
Wise men -Matthew 2:11,12
Pilate’s wife -Matthew 27:19

Prosperity of sinners -Job 20:5-8; Psalms 73:19,20
Impure imaginations -Jude 1:8
Enemies of the church - Isaiah 29:7,8

See also: Nave's Topical Bible = Dreams

Daniel 2:2 Then the king gave orders to call in the magicians, the conjurers, the sorcerers and the Chaldeans to tell the king his dreams. So they came in and stood before the king. (Ge 41:8 Ex 7:11 Dt 18:10, 11, 12 Isa 8:19 19:3 Isa 47:12,13)

Related Articles:

What does the Bible say about magicians?

What does the Bible say about Astrology?

Should a Christian Consult Horoscopes?

What does the Bible say about divination?

Da 2:27 includes another group  "wise men" (a misnomer because the only real wisdom of worth is from God and they lacked divine wisdom) not mentioned in this passage (cp also Da 1:20 2:12, 13, 14, 18, 24, 48; 4:6, 18; 5:7, 8) and presumably a more general designation for the entire cadre of occultists and advisors since this term often is found by itself.

Oneiromancy - divination by means of dreams

Call in the magicians, etc. - Note that Daniel and friends are not in this group of prognosticators, even though Daniel had "entered the king's personal service" (Da 1:19) and had been found "ten times better than all the magicians and conjurers who were in all his realm." (Da 1:20). And so Daniel had not yet risen to the place of power and influence in Babylon, but God would soon bring Daniel to "center stage" emphasizing the overriding sovereignty of God in the affairs of man!

Magicians (Hebrew = chartom - 10v - Ge 41:8, 24; Ex 7:11, 22; 8:7, 18, 19; 9:11 [Moses caused plagues to come upon Egypt which the magicians could not reverse]; Da 1:20; 2:2) (Babylonian "magicians" = Da 1:20; 2:2 and is related to the corresponding Aramaic word for magicians in Da 2:10, 27; 4:4, 6; 5:11) - Always in the plural and means scribes, writers of hieroglyphics, Egyptian or Babylonian sages, magicians. They practiced the occult, sorcery, and incantations.

Baker - These people seem to have had knowledge of astrology or divination and were commonly associated with the magicians of Egypt in Pharaoh’s court. (Baker, W.. The Complete Word Study Dictionary: Old Testament: AMG Publishers)

Septuagint (LXX) = Greek word for magician = Epaoidos (Ex 7:11, 22; 8:3, 14, 15; Lev 19:31; 20:6, 27; 1Sa 6:2; 2Chr 33:6; Isa 47:9; Da 2:2, 27; 5:7, 8) = one who uses charms or incantations to get what one desires. An enchanter.

Conjurers (KJV = Astrologers). This Hebrew word is used only in Da 1:20 and Da 2:2 and because of its limited use has a meaning that can only be determined from these two contextual uses. It describes some variety of occultist but we can say no more.

The LXX translates conjurers with the Greek word magos. Thayer has an interesting note stating that...

a magus; the name given by the Babylonians (Chaldeans), Medes, Persians, and others, to the wise men, teachers, priests, physicians, astrologers, seers, interpreters of dreams, augurs, soothsayers, sorcerers etc. (Ed note: As discussed in more detail below, this is the word used in Mt 2:1, 7, 16 for the oriental wise men who discovered by the rising of the star that the Messiah had just been born and came to Jerusalem to worship Him). Magos is also used of false prophets and sorcerers in Acts 13:6, 8.

Sorcerers (Hebrew = kashaph - 6 uses = Ex 7:11; 22:18; Dt 18:10; 2Chr 33:6; Da 2:2; Mal 3:5) means to practice magi or sorcery. Properly meant to whisper a spell, i.e. to enchant or practise magic. It is used in context with words exhibiting a similar occult meaning in Dt 18:10 and 2Chr 33:6. The penalty for practicing sorcery in Israel was death (Ex 22:18). King Manasseh became deeply involved with the occult as recorded in 2Chr 33:6 (cp 2Ki 24:3, 4). Given the evil nature of this practice it is amazing that Daniel asked that these and the other wise men not be executed! (Da 2:24)

The Hebrew word is translated (Septuagint--LXX) with the Greek noun pharmakos (English = pharmacology) who is defined as "one who prepares and uses drugs for magical purposes or ritual witchcraft" (Friberg - Analytical Lexicon of the Greek NT) and is used in Rev 21:8-note "sorcerers" and Rev 22:15-note (pharmakos - 14x in Scripture = Ex 7:11; 9:11; 22:17; Dt 18:10; Ps 57:6; Mal 3:5; Jer 34:9; Da 2:2, 27; 5:7, 8; Rev 21:8; 22:15). The related word pharmakon is used in Rev 9:21-note and another related word pharmakeia [word study] is found in the list of the works of the flesh in Gal 5:20-note. Pharmakon describes the sorcery by which Babylon deceived all the nations (Is 47:9, 12; Re 18:23-note, cp use of the Egyptian sorceries = Ex 7:22).

Tony Garland comments - Drugs are used in association with sorcery because they place the practitioner into an altered state of consciousness whereby he or she becomes more open to contact with the demonic realm. The following account of a shaman from the Yanomamo tribe illustrates the connection between drug use and the demonic realm—a connection well-known even among “primitive” peoples: "I recently interviewed a man who had spent most of his life communing with spirit entities. There is no doubt as to his “authenticity.” He was a shaman, a medicine man and chief of his Yanomamo tribe, which resides deep in the Amazonian rain forest of Venezuela. At odds with the lie promoted in anthropological circles that the lives of primitive tribes-people are pure, natural and Eden-like and therefore best kept from outside influence —Chief Shoefoot and his peoples violent, fear-filled existence is documented in a book titled The Spirit of the Rain Forest, written by Mark Ritchie... As a young boy, Shoefoot was singled out as one sensitive to the spirit realm and subsequently initiated into the sorcerers world. Again, a shaman is one who, through knowledge and power obtained from the spirits, heals and guides his people. Although the initial process of enabling him to contact the spirits was brutal, involving days of food and water deprivation and having someone force hallucinogenic drugs into his system by blowing them up his nose, the spirits he met were at first benign and curiously captivating...Shoefoot increased his drug intake in order to go deeper into the spirit world to find more trustworthy and benevolent spirits. That led to even more wicked spirits (Luke 11:26), greater frustration, and intense despair. (from The Berean Call) (A Testimony of Jesus Christ - Rev 9:21)

Chaldeans (Da 2:2, 4, 5, 10) (NIV - translates them as "astrologers") - This word is used in the book of Daniel both in an ethnic sense (referring to the Babylonian people in general = Da 1:4, 5:30, 9:1) but in the present context (of the wise men/occultists) Chaldeans refers to a professional of Babylonian wise men which the NIV classifies as "astrologers" but we don't really know for certain what their specific role was in Babylon (Used with this meaning in Da 2:2, 4, 5, 10; 3:8; 4:7; 5:7, 11). The Apologetics Study Bible: Understanding Why You Believe.. This group may have been the leading advisors as they take the lead in speaking in the following passages.

Constable - Daniel prepared the reader for the failure of all the king’s counselors that follows by pointing out that there were many different groups of them.

Whitcomb makes the interesting observation  that...

The very careful records which Babylonian astronomers kept of the movements of planets, comets, and the phases of the moon were mainly for the purpose of determining the influence these "gods" might exert upon men and nations. Beginning about 747BC, very accurate records were handed down (and carefully recorded in Ptolemy's Almagest in the second century AD), so that the Babylonian astronomer Naburimannu (c. 500BC) was able to calculate the length of the year at 365 days, 6 hours, 15 minutes, 41 seconds—only 26 minutes and 55 seconds too long!...This is the caliber of men Nebuchadnezzar had in his court, which is God's way of showing us that the very best that men have to offer in the realm of worldly wisdom is utterly insufficient to solve even the most basic spiritual needs of the human heart. (Whitcomb, J. Daniel Everyman's Bible Commentary).

James Montgomery Boice commenting on this verse writes that "If God does not control our lives—from the actions of kings and others in positions of power to the most minute circumstances—then everything in life is uncertain (Ed: We are left in the hands of "fate" or "chance"). We are victims of circumstances, and whatever happens will happen. Que sera, sera! But if God is sovereign, as the Bible declares Him to be, and if He is our God—if the promises He makes and the actions He takes are certain of fulfillment—then we can be confident of the future and know that we will be able to live our lives in a way that will please God. (Boice, J. M. Daniel: An Expositional Commentary. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books)

Daniel 2:3 The king said to them, "I had a dream and my spirit is anxious to understand the dream." (Da 2:1 Ge 40:8 41:15)

Anxious - Same word in Da 2:1.

Daniel 2:4 Then the Chaldeans spoke to the king in Aramaic: "O king, live forever! Tell the dream to your servants, and we will declare the interpretation." (in Aramaic: Ge 31:47 Ezra 4:7 Isa 36:11) (O king - Da 3:9 4:19 5:10 6:6,21 1Sa 10:24 1Ki 1:25,31 Ne 2:3 Mt 21:9 Mk 11:9,10) (tell: Da 4:7 5:8 Ge 41:8 Isa 44:25)


In Aramaic (Da 2:4KJV = "Syriack") - This was the lingua franca or common language of the Assyrian Empire as the diplomatic and commercial language because of its comparatively simple alphabetic script (cp 2Ki 18:26 which took place in about 701BC indicates few Jews could understand it). It's use parallels Daniel's prophecies that lay out the history of all subsequent Gentile empires (Da 2:4-Da 7:28). In Da 8:1 through the end of the book Daniel returns to the Hebrew language. It is interesting to note that Aramaic became more familiar to the Jews in captivity than Hebrew so that after they were released from captivity and a remnant returned to rebuild the Temple, Nehemiah records that "they read from the book, from the law of God, translating to give the sense so that they understood the reading." (Neh 8:8) Note that some commentators favor "translate" (NAS) to mean “to break down” the text into its parts so that the people could understand it, much like a preacher would do today in expository preaching of the Word. In any event we know that by the time of Jesus' day, Aramaic was the language in which He usually conversed.

Some critics of Daniel question whether this language was actually spoken in Daniel's day and use this to inject uncertainty as to the overall authenticity but modern scholarship has dealt a shattering blow to the "higher" critics as evidence has surfaced that Aramaic was used prior to the late date (e.g., 166BC) they postulate for the writing of Daniel.

Rob Salvato - we know from the (sentence) structure...that the Aramaic is consistent with the Aramaic writing style of the 6th century BC - The Aramaic used at the time of Christ had a different sentence structure.

Henry Morris on the other hand writes that "From this point, Daniel's account is significantly written in Aramaic (same as Syriac, the language of ancient Syria, and practically identical with the Chaldaic language of the Babylonians). It returns to Hebrew at Daniel 8:1. Thus, the Babylonian section of Daniel is in the language of the Babylonians, a fact that helps confirm the authenticity of the entire book. Because of its remarkably fulfilled prophecies, skeptics and liberals have tried to assign its writing to a much later date, after the events prophesied had taken place. The internal evidence of the book, however, indicates that it could only have been written by a man fluent in the language of Nebuchadnezzar's court. The inclusion of certain Persian and Greek words in the account still further indicates that the writer was connected with the court of Nebuchadnezzar where he would have contact with emissaries from different nations. The authenticity of the book has been further confirmed by his contemporary Ezekiel (Ezekiel 14:14,20; 28:3) and by Christ Himself (Matthew 24:15; Hebrews 11:33). (Defender's Study Bible)

Reginald Showers comments that "Since chapters 2-7 of Daniel deal with Jehovah’s rule over the Gentiles, Daniel wrote those chapters in the language that Gentiles could understand. Had he written them in Hebrew, their message would have been missed by most Gentiles of that time." (Showers, R. E. The Most High God : Commentary on the Book of Daniel. Bellmawr, NJ: Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, Inc)

O king (22x in Daniel = Da 2:4, 29, 31, 37; 3:9, 10, 12, 17, 18, 24; 4:22, 24, 27; 5:10, 18; 6:7, 8, 12, 13, 15, 21, 22)

Live forever - Language calculated to please the king (cp 1Ki 1:31, Neh 2:3, Da 3:9, 5:10, 6:6, 6:21)

Tell us the dream - The chicanery and inadequacy of the wise men is exposed! To meet this requirement required divine revelation, something they did not possess.

Daniel 2:5 The king replied to the Chaldeans, "The command from me is firm: if you do not make known to me the dream and its interpretation, you will be torn limb from limb and your houses will be made a rubbish heap. (Da 3:29 1Sa 15:33 Ps 50:22 58:7) (Rubbish heap - Dt 13:16 Jos 6:26 2Ki 10:27 Ezra 6:11)

The command from me is firm - Note that the KJV rendering gives the opposite sense - "The thing is gone from me", implying the king could not remember the details. Obviously he knew he had a dream or he would not have given these commands. The Greek Lxx uses a verb that conveys the sense that the specifics of the dream had been forgotten. The upshot is that either mode of translation may be correct and there is not enough information to allow one to be dogmatic in separating there two possibilities. The fact that the immediate context calls for the wise men to make the dream known tends to support the fact that he was unable to remember the specifics of the dream. Either way the pressure would be on the wise men and occultists for they now they had to start from scratch as it were.

The NET Bible is dogmatic (but not everyone agrees) - It seems clear from what follows that Nebuchadnezzar clearly recalls the content of the dream, although obviously he does not know what to make of it. By not divulging the dream itself to the would-be interpreters, he intends to find out whether they are simply leading him on. If they can tell him the dream's content, which he is able to verify, he then can have confidence in their interpretation, which is what eludes him. The translation "the matter is gone from me" (cf. KJV, ASV), suggesting that the king had simply forgotten the dream, is incorrect.

Charles Ryrie -It is uncertain whether or not the king had forgotten the dream. If not, he was putting his wise men to the ultimate test, asking them to recall the past in order to give credence to their predictions about the future.

You will be torn - The typical penalty for disobedience to an oriental king's command was destruction of person (dismemberment was well known among the despotic tyrannical ancient rulers as the mode of killing a person) and property (see Ezra 6:11, 7:26)

Gleason Archer describes one method of dismemberment: the victim was tied to four trees with a rope at each limb. The trees were bent inwards and tied together at the top; then the top rope was cut and the body was snapped into four pieces

Whitcomb - Nebuchadnezzar's ability to follow through on such threats was amply confirmed by his treatment of the Judean king Zedekiah (2Ki 25:7), Ahab and Zedekiah (two Jewish rebels in Babylon, Jer. 29:22), and the three friends of Daniel (Dan. 3). (Ibid)

Rubbish heap (3x Ezra 6:11 = "refuse heap", Da 2:5, 3:29)- KJV is more dramatic = "a dunghill". The idea is their homes will be made veritable piles of useless rubble or refuse.

The Apologetics Study Bible notes that "Herodotus, the Greek historian, related a similar instance in which Darius I (about 100 years later) massacred his wise men with the result that the group was almost annihilated (Histories 3.79). Examples of houses and temples being made into refuse sites or public toilets as a mark of contempt are also known from ancient times; Jehu did the same to the temple of Baal in Samaria (2Ki 10:27). (The Apologetics Study Bible: Understanding Why You Believe)

Driver - The violence and peremptoriness of the threatened punishment is in accordance with what might be expected at the hands of an Eastern despot; the Assyrians and Persians, especially, were notorious for the barbarity of their punishments.

Daniel 2:6 "But if you declare the dream and its interpretation, you will receive from me gifts and a reward and great honor; therefore declare to me the dream and its interpretation." (Da 2:48,  5:7,16,29 Nu 22:7,17,37 24:11 ) (reward -  Da 5:17)

Da 2:48 Then the king promoted Daniel and gave him many great gifts, and he made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon and chief prefect over all the wise men of Babylon.

But - Always pause and ponder this term of contrast.

Daniel 2:7 They answered a second time and said, "Let the king tell the dream to his servants, and we will declare the interpretation." (Da 2:4,9 Ec 10:4)

A second time - If Nebuchadnezzar had truly forgotten the dream as the KJV suggests (Da 2:5KJV) and excellent expositors like John MacArthur favor, then why not just "make up a dream" and then give the interpretation. If Nebuchadnezzar truly had forgotten the dream, this ploy would potentially work to appease him. This seems to be the greatest argument against the premise that he had totally forgotten the dream. How else could he possibly assess whether or not they were describing the dream he actually had.

Daniel 2:8 The king replied, "I know for certain that you are bargaining for time, inasmuch as you have seen that the command from me is firm, (Eph 5:16 Col 4:5)

Bargaining for time - It's amazing how many of the sayings we have in our language come from the Bible ("you're just trying to buy time"!) We see the impotence of the occult in the realm of the divine! If you are intrigued by the supernatural, passionately pursue God not the devil, He created!

Daniel 2:9 that if you do not make the dream known to me, there is only one decree for you. For you have agreed together to speak lying and corrupt words before me until the situation is changed; therefore tell me the dream, that I may know that you can declare to me its interpretation." (there is only one - Da 3:15 Esther 4:11) (for you - 1Ki 22:6,22 Pr 12:19 Isa 44:25 Eze 13:6,17,19 2Co 2:17) (until - Da 2:21 5:28,31 7:25) (I may know Isa 41:23)

Dream...interpretation - Nebuchadnezzar raises the bar on the wise men, for only someone with supernatural insight could give both the dream and its interpretation and this sets the stage for God's supernatural revelation through His choice servant Daniel.

Or loosely paraphrased - You know that if you can't tell me my dream, you're doomed. I see right through you—you're going to cook up some fancy stories and confuse the issue until I change my mind. Nothing doing! First tell me the dream, then I'll know that you're on the up and up with the interpretation and not just blowing smoke in my eyes." (Msg)

Daniel 2:10 The Chaldeans answered the king and said, "There is not a man on earth who could declare the matter for the king, inasmuch as no great king or ruler has ever asked anything like this of any magician, conjurer or Chaldean.

Compare their statement with the magicians to Pharaoh when they could not duplicate Moses' feats - they recognized it as supernatural declaring "This is the finger of God." (Ex 8:16-19)

Daniel 2:11 "Moreover, the thing which the king demands is difficult, and there is no one else who could declare it to the king except gods, whose dwelling place is not with mortal flesh." (Da 2:27,28 5:11 Ge 41:39 Ex 8:19 Mt 19:26) (Whose - Ex 29:45 Nu 35:34 1Ki 8:27 2Ch 6:18 Ps 68:18 113:5,6 132:14 Isa 8:18 57:15 66:1,2 Joel 3:21 Jn 1:1, 2, 3,14 14:17,23 2Co 6:16 Rev 21:3)

Ryrie - In effect, the wise men admitted that their previous interpretations were inaccurate and deceptive. (The Ryrie Study Bible: New American Standard Translation: 1995. Moody Publishers)

No one...except gods - This admission by the wise men reflects the bankruptcy of human wisdom and occult powers to give divine revelation. To be sure Satan has power but his power is limited by God's sovereign control. The admission of the inability of anyone except the "gods" to meet the king's stipulations sets the stage for God's revelation to and through His choice servant Daniel who had been prepared for the task in the previous chapter (Da 1:17). Their pagan gods were little "g-o-d-s" but our God is capital "G-o-d" and He desires to communicate with us. In fact, He desired so much to do so that He became flesh so that man could understand Him (Jn 1:18, 14:9 17:6). The Word became flesh (Jn 1:14) because God wanted us to understand His heart and desire for us through Jesus Christ to walk in intimacy with Him. And so Daniel and we have a God Who not only desires to communicate but does communicate with His creatures...

Dt 4:7 For what great nation (referring to Israel, the chosen people) is there that has a God so near to it as is the LORD our God whenever we call on Him?

Amos 3:7 Surely the Lord GOD does nothing unless He reveals His secret counsel (primary meaning = confidential speech -- speaks of intimate communion - same word in Ps 25:14) to His servants the prophets.

Comment: In other words the Sovereign God does nothing in Israel without first revealing it to His prophets who speak His words to the people. This passage says that when a prophet proclaims God’s Word, it is a warning to His people that He is about to do something important. Amos is saying that the judgment of Israel is inevitable and thus the LORD reveals His intentions to those who are in fellowship with Him. In our day, God has spoken with finality through His Son (He 1:1, 2-note) and His written Word, so there is no further need of new revelation. Dear pastor-teacher, let us remember that the great need of the day is to teach and proclaim and warn with His pure, trustworthy Word as it has been revealed without adding to it or taking away from it (cp Dt 4:2, 12:32, Pr 30:6, Re 22:18-note, Re 22:19-note).

Adam Clarke - Such secrets of God are revealed to them (His prophets), that they may inform the people; that, by repentance and conversion, they may avoid the evil, and, by walking closely with God, secure the continuance of His favour.

Disciple's Study Bible...

God's ability to reveal the mysteries of the future to His servant shows He is the only God. Belief in one true God is not simply a dogmatic statement of faith. It is a valid interpretation of the experiences of history. (Disciple's Study Bible)

Gods...whose dwelling place is not with mortal flesh - Their belief that the gods did not live among men was true. Why? Because their gods didn't even exist! People today chose to believe in "gods" which don't exist, because those "gods" of their own imagination allow they to live anyway they desire with no fear of judgment and condemnation (but also with no hope of salvation!)

Ray Pritchard - Historians tell us that the Babylonians wrote books about how to interpret dreams but they were utterly unable to retrieve the dream itself. In the words of Joseph Seiss, “If these men failed, it was the laying prostrate of all the wisdom, power, and art of man.” Write over their failure the verdict of Ecclesiastes, “Vanity of vanities. All is vanity.” (The World According to God)

Daniel 2:12 Because of this the king became indignant and very furious and gave orders to destroy all the wise men of Babylon. (Da 3:13 Job 5:2 Ps 76:10 Pr 16:14 Pr 19:12 Pr 20:2 Pr 27:3,4 Pr 29:22 Mt 2:16 Mt 5:22)

Job 5:2 “For vexation slays the foolish man, And anger kills the simple.

Because of this (for this reason) - What reason? The fact that now the king realizes his wise men weren't so wise! The rationalization and excuses of the wise men provoked the ire of the king.

Indignant and very furious - Septuagint (Lxx) (TH) has thumos and orge respectively. One description wasn't enough to express his boiling anger!. Very furious signifies he was “in a furious rage, implying anger to a very great degree.” (Swanson) Remember this is his response to the wise men who tried to explain the impossibility of the king's request! To contradict or refuse the king's command was an offense punishable by death. This would not be the last time we encounter Nebuchadnezzar's anger management problem...

Dan 3:13 Then Nebuchadnezzar in rage and anger gave orders to bring Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego; then these men were brought before the king.

Proverbs speaks to a monarch's propensity toward anger...

Pr 16:14 The wrath of a king is as messengers of death, But a wise man will appease it.

Pr 19:12 The king’s wrath is like the roaring of a lion, But his favor is like dew on the grass.

Pr 20:2 The terror of a king is like the growling of a lion; He who provokes him to anger forfeits his own life.

NET Bible note - Aram “was angry and very furious.” The expression is a hendiadys (two words or phrases expressing a single idea).

To destroy - execute, slay, kill. Compare Daniel 5:19 where Daniel addresses King Belshazzar...

Dan 5:19 “And because of the grandeur which He (God) bestowed on him (referring to King Nebuchadnezzar), all the peoples, nations, and men of every language feared and trembled before him; whomever he wished he killed, and whomever he wished he spared alive; and whomever he wished he elevated, and whomever he wished he humbled.

Comment: Only God has the final say on life and death. In First Samuel we read "The LORD kills and makes alive; He brings down to Sheol and raises up." (1Sa 2:6)

Wise men - This would include the four classes that were before the king as well as all others such as Daniel and his companions who had been given wisdom and understanding (Da 1:20).

Daniel 2:13 So the decree went forth that the wise men should be slain; and they looked for Daniel and his friends to kill them. (decree: Da 6:9-15 Esther 3:12, 13, 14, 15 Ps 94:20 Pr 28:15, 16, 17 Isa 10:1) (and they: Da 1:19,20 6:12)

So - See discussion of terms of conclusion

Should be slain - The NKJV translation reads "they began killing the wise men." This reading implies the killing had begun. In fact some writers suggest the carnage had begun, but most commentaries and translations do not favor this interpretation. For example the NET Bible translation reads "about to be executed" with the explanatory note that "The Aramaic participle is used here to express the imminent future."

Daniel 2:14 Then Daniel replied with discretion and discernment to Arioch, the captain of the king's bodyguard, who had gone forth to slay the wise men of Babylon; (with: 2Sa 20:16, 17, 18, 19, 29, 21, 22 Ec 9:13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18) (captain of Ge 37:36 Jer 39:9 52:12,14)

NET Note: Aramaic = "returned prudence and counsel." The expression is a hendiadys.

Then Daniel - Praise God for these words (same phrase in Da 2:17, 19), for God had prepared and equipped His choice servant for such a time as this (Da 1:9, 17).

As an aside when you are reading and studying Scripture (especially prophetic passages) be alert for the conjunction "then" as this marks the sequence of events and helps organize the chronology of the passages you are studying. See discussion of the importance of expressions of time.

Note what Daniel did not do - He did not panic! He did not overreact! He did not become "paralyzed" by fear! He was young in years but wise in the ways of God (yes, there is hope for godly teens today!), and recognized that a humanly impossible situation could only be resolved by divine intervention! Our obstacles are God's opportunities to show Himself great and mighty in our behalf! Therefore...


Discretion (Lxx = boule = to resolve as result of inner deliberation) and discernment (Lxx = gnome = describes the mind as the instrument of knowing and then a "way of thinking" = BDAG) - This description of Daniel is reminiscent of the truths in Pr 15:1 (A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.) and Col 4:5, 6 (gracious speech - see notes). Once again Daniel was tactful, tasteful and wise in his approach to the very man who had been assigned to take his life (cp Da 1:11, 12, 13). If you find yourself in a humanly impossible situation like Daniel, remember Daniel 2. Don't reflexively react, don't panic, don't be brash or argumentative, but be like Daniel, discreet and discerning.

As an aside, while there is no mention of the Holy Spirit, a survey of the NT demonstrates that one of the aspects of a person's actions which are controlled (when the person is surrendered to the Spirit) is speech (e.g., note the first verb in both English and the original Greek in Eph 5:19 after Paul commands us to be filled with the Spirit in Eph 5:18!). The fact that Daniel responds with "discretion and discernment" and not panic, not compliant, not anger, etc, strongly suggests his gracious speech was controlled by the Holy Spirit.

Daniel could have easily become frightened, for after all this was truly a real life or death circumstance. He manifested the truth of the proverb which teaches the principle that...

The fear of man (We fear man's criticism, rejection, being left alone) brings a snare (the trap is to become a man pleaser and try to do whatever it takes to make men like us), but he who trusts in the LORD will be exalted (Click discussion of this great Hebrew word "sagab" - this same verb is used in Pr 18:10 translated in NAS as "safe" - the idea being lifted up and out of danger). (Pr 29:25)

Webster's 1828 English Dictionary defines "discretion" as "Prudence, or knowledge and prudence; that discernment which enables a person to judge critically of what is correct and proper, united with caution; nice discernment and judgment, directed by circumspection, and primarily regarding one’s own conduct." Discretion is action based on caution.

Source of: 1 Ch 22:12; Pr 1:1–4; 8:12
Persons endowed with: 2 Ch 2:12; Da 2:14 (cf. Pr 26:16)
Benefits of: Pr 2:11; 19:11
Exhortation concerning: Pr 3:21; 5:2
Lack of: Pr 11:22
In Christian women’s dress: 1Ti 2:9

Captain of the king's bodyguard - The chief of the executioners.

Daniel 2:15 he said to Arioch, the king's commander, "For what reason is the decree from the king so urgent?" Then Arioch informed Daniel about the matter. (Da 2:9)

Then Arioch - Note that this was to be a date with an executioner, not a time for conversation. That Arioch would respect Daniel's query and take time to inform this one who was condemned to death speaks of Arioch's regard which in turn takes us back to Da 1:9 (cp Joseph Ge 39:21, 22, 23) and the good hand of the Lord upon this young man who had chosen the uncompromising path (Da 1:8).

Urgent - Or the idea could be why is the king's decree so severe or harsh, although one would thing Daniel's discretion and discernment would impede any remarks that smacked of criticism of the king.

Daniel 2:16 So Daniel went in and requested of the king that he would give him time, in order that he might declare the interpretation to the king. (Requested - Da 2:9, 10, 11 , 1:18,19)

So Daniel went in - How is this possible? He wasn't even called in the first gathering of wise men. And yet he enters the king's presence, the very one who had just angrily ordered his death! Is this not another manifestation of the good hand of the LORD upon His choice vessel of honor granting him favor and compassion in the sight of his conquering captors? (cp Da 1:9, cp Solomon's prayer 1Ki 8:50) And as Pr 29:25 attests the best "antidote" for fear of man is a trust in God (which includes a reverential awe - fear God and you have no need to fear man!)

Faith is an "action verb", when you truly know and believe what Jehovah alone is the LORD and there is no other (Isa 45:5), then you are prepared to display strength and take action (Da 11:32b)

Other Scriptures attest to the fact that it was no small thing to obtain an audience with an oriental king (Esther 4:11, 16, 5:1, 2, 3, cp Es 8:1, 2, 3, 4). It's amazing how one individual "sold out" wholly to God and His purposes, can be used in such strategic ways that in turn affect countless numbers of individuals (true of both Daniel and Esther!).

Herodotus informs us, that ever since the reign of Deioces, king of Media (Ed: The kingdom that followed Babylon), for the security of the king's person, it was enacted that no one should be admitted into his presence; but that if any one had business with him, he should transact it through the medium of his ministers.

Requested of the king - Recall that when we last saw the king (Da 2:12), he was enraged to put it mildly. And so this easy entree and subsequent request reminds one of the wise saying by Solomon that...

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. (Pr 15:1, cp Pr 16:7)

In order that he might declare the interpretation - This is the confident language of one who is living by faith in the Most High God, not by sight (1Co 5:7). Surely Daniel was aware of the story of how God had shown favor and ability to interpret dreams to Joseph who like Daniel was also a captive under the prevailing pagan world leader Pharaoh (Ge 39:2, 4, 41) But note that Daniel speaks only of interpretation of the dream, not the description of the dream. Presumably the fact that he did not state "you must first tell me the dream" but stated directly and confidently he could interpret the dream if he was given time (and as it turns out the time he asked for was time needed to call a prayer meeting).

Gleason Archer notes that...

Never before had an interpreter of dreams—not even Joseph in Egypt—been required to reconstruct the dream itself. But Daniel had confidence that Yahweh could even do this unprecedented miracle and do it for his own glory.

Daniel 2:17 Then Daniel went to his house and informed his friends, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, about the matter, (friends - Da 1:7,11 3:12)


Then Daniel - Note the sequence of events - Daniel did not go back and consult the "magic" books of Babylon, but to call a prayer meeting to consult the Most High God of the Universe! Daniel 1:17 tells us he had been granted a special gift of understanding "all kinds of visions and dreams". And yet even with this gift, he still makes the wise choice to humble himself before the Giver of every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift and seek His face in prayer.

Thomas Watson wrote "God is to be trusted when His providences seem to run contrary to His promises."

Daniel 2:18 so that they might request compassion from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that Daniel and his friends would not be destroyed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon (they might: Da 3:17 1Sa 17:37 Esther 4:15, 16, 17 Ps 50:15 91:15 Pr 3:5,6 Isa 37:4 Jer 33:3 Mt 18:12,19 Ac 4:24-31 12:4 Ro 15:30 2Ti 4:17,18) (from the God of heaven - Ge 18:28 Mal 3:18 2Pe 2:9)


So that - Explains the purpose of their meeting. Prayer is always more effective than panic! And praying together "in one accord" (Acts 4:24 = homothumadon = literally one and the same mind and purpose - all through Acts -  Acts 1:14 2:1 2:46 4:24 5:12 7:57 8:6 12:20 15:25 18:12 19:29) can even "shake buildings" (Acts 4:31)

Request compassion - Daniel had requested the king of Babylon for time and here he and his friends requests the King of heaven for compassion, one of  the great characteristics of our God, Who manifests boundless mercy, pity, and love toward His undeserving people. One cannot help but note also the striking contrast of the mercies of God contrasted with the merciless tyrannical decree of death for all the wise men. The wise men could not communicate with their gods, but Daniel and his friends knew they could get in touch with the living God and so they did not panic but instead prayed. A good pattern for saints of all ages to follow. Panic time should be prayer time. Wouldn't you loved to have been at this little prayer meeting? Beloved, when you are praying for your life you are really praying with passion and power! (cp the prayer meeting in Acts 12:1,2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)

Jon Courson has a pithy comment "Nebuchadnezzar took his problems to bed. Daniel took his to God—and what a difference that makes." (Jon Courson's Application Commentary. Thomas Nelson)

Note that King Solomon had prayed over 300 years earlier for God to make His chosen people "objects of compassion before those who have taken them captive, that they may have compassion on them" (1Ki 8:50, cp 2Chr 30:9) Could the compassion Daniel and his friends were experiencing in this section be in part an answer to Solomon's ancient prayer? Do we really understand the "timeless" significance of our prayers to the Almighty (cp Rev 5:8-note, Re 8:3-note, Re 8:4-note)? I think not (certainly speaking for myself).

Tony Garland in his comments on Rev 5:8 says "The continual cries of God’s elect throughout history are like the fragrance of incense which rises to God (Ps 141:1, 2). “And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them?” (Lk 18:7). Malachi spoke of a time when incense would be offered to God, not just in the Temple, but across the entire world. Not just by the priests of Israel, but by all the Gentiles. This offering pictures the global prayer which even now ascends from the saints as a memorial to His throne (Mal. 1:11; Acts 10:4). When on our knees we are contributing to the contents of these bowls. “And who can reckon up the volumes and oceans of such entreaties, which remain to this day unanswered? But, not one of them is lost. They are carefully treasured in golden bowls.” (note)

Compassion (Aramaic = Rahamiyn) - Compare the Hebrew cognate (Hebrew = raham) used 42 times in the OT and most refer to God's mercy as in the following references (Ge 43:14 Dt 13:17 2Sa 24:14 1Ki 8:50 1Chr 21:13 2Chr 30:9 Neh1:11 9:19, 27, 28, 31 Ps 25:6 40:11 51:1 69:16 77:9 79:8 103:4 106:46 119:77 119:156 145:9 Isa 54:7 63:7,15 Je 16:5 42:12 Da 9:9,18 Ho 2:19 Zech 1:16).

The Psalmist speaks to this episode in Daniel 2 testifying that...

He also made them objects of compassion (Raham) in the presence of all their captors. (Ps 106:46, cp God's promise to the Jews who remained in Jerusalem after the first deportation [which they refused! Je 43:2!] Jer 42:11, 12)

Comment (Spurgeon): Having the hearts of all men in his hands he produced compassion even in heathen bosoms. Even as he found Joseph friends in Egypt, so did he raise up sympathizers for his captive servants. In our very worst condition our God has ways and means for allaying the severity of our sorrows: he can find us helpers among those who have been our oppressors, and he will do so if we be indeed his people.

This improved feeling towards the Jews through God's influence appears in Da 1:9; as Joseph similarly had his captivity improved by God's favour (Ge 39:21). So Evil Merodach, King of Babylon, treated kindly Jehoiachin, king of Judah (2Ki 25:27). --A. R. Fausset.

Daniel contemporary Jeremiah had this great promise on prayer...

Call to Me, and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty (fenced in, inaccessible, like a fortified city) things, which you do not know. (Jer 33:3)

Comment:  Note the meaning of "mighty" is inaccessible implying that God is able to reveal that which has formerly been hidden ("inaccessible").

The psalmist writes...

Psalms 50:15-note Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I shall rescue you, and you will honor Me."

Daniel and friends followed the instructions that centuries later were given by Paul to the saints at Philippi...

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  (Philippians 4:6-note, Php 4:7-note)

Daniel was a righteous man (Ezekiel 14:14, 20) and so it is not unexpected that their prayers were "energetic" for "The effective (energeo) prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much." (Jas 5:16)

God of heaven (literally "of heavens") (This exact phrase in NAS 24x in 23v - Ge 24:3, 7; 2Chr 36:23 = even acknowledged by Cyrus a pagan king!; Ezra 1:2; 5:11, 12; 6:9, 10; 7:12, 21, 23; Neh 1:4, 5; 2:4, 20; Ps 136:26; Da 2:18, 19, 37, 44; Jonah 1:9; Rev 11:13; 16:11) - The Babylonians worshiped the creation and Anu their presumptive "god of heaven" but Daniel's God (and our God) is the only true God of heaven!

Would not be destroyed - God is always bigger than your biggest problem. And although it is true He is the God of heaven, we need to remember (especially when we are hit by unexpected tragedy, severe testings, afflictions of various kinds, etc) that our God is a heavenly God Who's ear is ever near His beloved children. Do you believe that? Your answer may be "yes" but the truth is that you real "yes" is not just vocalized but put into practice by pleading with Him for mercy. In those crisis times we need to remember the truth about God. And we need to run to Him, and as we run to Him and as we seek Him, we find our answers...

Isaiah 59:1 Behold, the LORD'S hand is not so short that it cannot save; nor is His ear so dull that it cannot hear.

Psalm 139:7-note Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? 8 If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. 9 If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, 10 Even there Your hand will lead me, And Your right hand will lay hold of me.

So when (not "if" but "when") the crisis comes remember these great truths about your God of heaven.


Illustration of Facing your problems with prayer - Some fifty years ago, one bitter January night, the inhabitants of the old town of Sleswick were thrown into the greatest distress and terror. A hostile army was marching down upon them, and new and fearful reports of the conduct of the lawless soldiers were hourly reaching the place.

In one large, spacious cottage dwelt an aged grandmother with her widowed daughter and her grandson. While all hearts quaked with fear, this aged woman passed her time in crying out to God that he would "build a wall of defense round about" them, quoting the words of an ancient hymn.

Her grandson asked why she prayed for a thing so entirely impossible as that God should build a wall about their house, that should hide it; but she explained that her meaning only was that God should protect them.

At midnight the dreaded tramp was heard, an enemy came pouring in at every avenue, filling the houses to overflowing. But, while most fearful sounds were heard on every side, not even a knock came to their door; at which they were greatly surprised. The morning light made the matter clear; for, just beyond the house, the drifted snow had reared such a massive wall that it was impossible to get over it to them.

"There!" said the good woman triumphantly: "do you not see, my son, that God could raise up a wall around us?"

Daniel 2:19 Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven; (was revealed: Da 2:22,27, 28, 29 4:9 2Ki 6:8, 9, 10, 11, 12 Ps 25:14 Amos 3:7 1Co 2:9,10) (in a night vision: Da 7:7 Nu 12:6 Job 4:13 33:15,16 Mt 2:12,13)

Then - When is "then"? Or what is this time phrase associated with? Clearly the answer is that the revelation came when they prayed!

The mystery was revealed - The "mystery" (secret or hidden truths) appears in OT only in the Aramaic section of Daniel (= "key word" = Da 2:18, 19, 27, 28, 29, 30, 47; 4:9), where raz (Aramaic) is given the translation of musterion [word study] ("mystery") by the Septuagint (LXX). The Lxx translates "revealed" with the verb apokalupto [note] (cp the noun which is the "title" of John's Revelation = apokalupsis [word study]) which means literally to "take the cover away from" and so to uncover, lay open that which had been veiled or covered up and so to disclose it.

George Muller once made a statement that could well be applied to Daniel in this circumstance...

If our circumstances find us in God, we shall find God in our circumstances.

Mystery - previously hidden truth now divinely revealed. The secret counsels of God remain hidden from the ungodly (to them they are a true "mystery" as the word is commonly used in English) but when these truths are revealed to the godly, they are understood by them. The mystery is not in the fact that the truths are difficult to interpret, but that they are impossible to interpret until their meaning is revealed at which time the truth becomes plain. Mysteries in the Scripture fall into two categories. Some have already been revealed, and among these are the incarnation of Christ and the salvation of sinners. Others are yet to be seen, such as the general resurrection, the coming Antichrist, and the evil of the last day. It is comforting to realize that all the mysteries which bear on our salvation are already revealed to readers of Scripture.

In a night vision - Not a dream but a supernatural, nocturnal revelation. A vision represents a visual (or it could be auditory) event that reveals some truth which is otherwise unknown.


Then - Then what? Then he expresses his gratitude. The context suggest this is his immediate response (Oh, how I need to learn from Daniel). He did not run to Arioch but to God. Daniel seems to always maintain a proper divine perspective. In fact in the following passages we see this takes the form of a hymn of praise and adoration. 

Daniel blessed - (cp Ps 113:1,2, Ps 103:1,2, cp He 13:15-note) The word (barak corresponding to the Aramaic "berak") translated bless in this context means to give honor to or to speak good of and so Daniel spoke good words about God, specifically declaring 7 things that give glory to God. The important point is that Daniel first gave credit to the One to Whom all credit (glory) belongs. Do we receive answers to prayer and get so excited over the answer that we forget to thank the Giver? Are we like the one cleansed leper who returned to give thanks to Jesus or like the 9 who never returned? (Lk 17:12, 13, 14, 15,16, 17, 18, 19)

Daniel 2:20 Daniel said, "Let the Name of God be blessed forever and ever, For wisdom and power belong to Him. (Blessed: Ge 14:20 1Ki 8:56 1Ch 29:10,20 2Ch 20:21 Ps 41:13 50:23 Ps 72:18,19 103:1,2 113:2 115:18 145:1,2) (for wisdom: Da 2:21, 22, 23 1Ch 29:11,12 Job 12:13,16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22 Ps 62:11 147:5 Pr 8:14 Jer 32:19 Mt 6:13 Jude 1:24 Rev 5:12)

The Name - God's Name speaks of all He is encompassing all of His attributes. It represents His self-revelation, an expression of His revealed character (see on site studies on His various Names which show different facets of His character - Name of the LORD is a Strong Tower: Summary) In short, the Name of God includes many names, each of which indicates a vital truth concerning Him. To study these Names is to grow in knowledge and understanding of God (see Name of the LORD is a Strong Tower: Why Should You Study It?).

W. H. Griffith Thomas discusses the importance of the Name of God in his paper on John's Gospel writing that...

The sphere in which life becomes ours and is enjoyed by us is found in the words in His name (Jn 1:12, 2:23, 20:31). The word name is characteristic of John, and the two prepositions (eis and en) in connection with it are also among the features of this Gospel. The name stands in Holy Scripture for the nature or revealed character of God, and not a mere label or title. It is found very frequently in the Old Testament as synonymous with God Himself in relation to man.  It is found very frequently in the Old Testament as synonymous with God Himself in relation to man; for example: “The name of the Lord is a strong tower” (Pr 18:10-note). “In the name of the Lord will I destroy them” (Ps 118:10); and: “Shall the enemy blaspheme thy name?” (Ps 74:10).

In the New Testament the same usage is perfectly clear. For example: “In the name of Jesus” (Php 2:10-note), “Baptizing them into the name” (Mt 28:19, Lk 24:47). In the fourth Gospel we have “Into the name” (eis) as the object of faith (Jn 1:12; 2:23; 3:18, cp Ac 3:16). Then we have “In the name of the Father” (Jn 5:43 ; 10:25), referring to the divine authority and power with which our Lord came. The same phrase occurs no less than nine times in chapters fourteen through seventeen . Then our Lord is said to have manifested and made known His Father’s name to the disciples (Jn 17:6, 26). These passages clearly show the importance and significance of the name as standing for the revealed character and will of God in Christ. Thus, to have life in His name (Jn 20:31) is to have it in union with what we know of Him and of His manifested character and revealed will. Life is thus “in Christ” and not outside or apart from Him.  (The Purpose of the Fourth Gospel - Pt1 - W. H. Griffith Thomas - Bibliotheca Sacra Vol 125:499, Page 262, July, 1968)

Wisdom and power belong to Him - What a contrast God's wisdom is with the "best" wisdom of man (the Babylonian wise men!). Not only does God possess wisdom to order the world, but He alone possesses the power to bring about His purposes and plans. It follows that if we lack wisdom in a given situation, we should seek the All Wise God for James declares...

if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, Who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. (Jas 1:5-note, but he must ask in faith = Jas 1:6-note;, cp Heb 11:6-note)

Daniel 2:21 "It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men And knowledge to men of understanding. (He changes: Da 2:9 7:25 11:6 1Ch 29:30 Es 1:13 Job 34:24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29 Ps 31:14,15 Ec 3:1-8 Jer 27:5, 6, 7) (He removes: Da 4:17,32 1Sa 2:7,8 Job 12:18 Ps 75:5,6 113:7,8 Pr 8:15,16 Lk 1:51,52 Ac 13:21,22 Rev 19:16) (He gives: Ex 31:3,6 1Ki 3:8, 9, 10, 11, 12,28 4:29 10:24 1Ch 22:12 2Ch 1:10, 11, 12 Pr 2:6,7 Lk 21:15 1Co 1:30 Jas 1:5,17 3:15, 16, 17)

God is behind the scenes
controls the scenes He is behind.

Changes the times and epochs - The flow of Human History is not determined by earthly rulers but by the hand of God. History is truly "His" Story and He controls the times and epochs of history either in an active or permissive manner.

This description speaks especially of God's attributes of sovereignty, omnipotence and providence over the history of mankind. How interesting to see the little horn (the coming antichrist) try to change times (Da 7:25)

Things don't just happen to those who love God,
They're planned by His own dear hand,
Then molded and shaped, and timed by His clock;
Things don't just happen--they're planned.

Providence is derived from the Latin word providere meaning to foresee or to attend to. The word providence according to Noah Webster's 1828 English Dictionary means...

Foresight; timely care; particularly active foresight or foresight accompanied with the procurement of what is necessary for future use, or with suitable preparation.

In theology, the care and superintendence which God exercise over His creatures. He that acknowledges a creation and denies a providence, involves himself in a palpable contradiction; for the same power which caused a thing to exist is necessary to continue its existence. Some persons admit a general providence, but deny a particular providence, not considering that a general providence consists of particulars. A belief in divine providence, is a source of great consolation to good men. By divine providence is often understood God himself

See excellent article by Walter A. Elwell - Providence of God

Calvin may have been correct when he uttered the following statement...

There is nothing of which it is more difficult to convince men than that the providence of God governs this world.

Job spoke of God's sovereignty (and omnipotence) when he declared...

I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. (Job 42:2)

David - The LORD has established His throne in the heavens; and His sovereignty rules over all. (Psalm 103:19)

C H Spurgeon - There is no attribute more comforting to His children than that of God’s Sovereignty. Under the most adverse circumstances, in the most severe trials, they believe that Sovereignty has ordained their afflictions, that Sovereignty overrules them, and that Sovereignty will sanctify them all. There is nothing for which the children ought more earnestly to contend than the doctrine of their Master over all creation—the Kingship of God over all the works of His own hands—the Throne of God and His right to sit upon that Throne. On the other hand, there is no doctrine more hated by worldings, no truth of which they have made such a football, as the great, stupendous, but yet most certain doctrine of the Sovereignty of the infinite Jehovah. Men will allow God to be everywhere except on His throne. They will allow Him to be in His workshop to fashion worlds and make stars. They will allow Him to be in His almonry to dispense His alms and bestow His bounties. They will allow Him to sustain the earth and bear up the pillars thereof, or light the lamps of heaven, or rule the waves of the ever-moving ocean; but when God ascends His throne, His creatures then gnash their teeth. And we proclaim an enthroned God, and His right to do as He wills with His own, to dispose of His creatures as He thinks well, without consulting them in the matter; then it is that we are hissed and execrated, and then it is that men turn a deaf ear to us, for God on His throne is not the God they love. But it is God upon the throne that we love to preach. It is God upon His throne whom we trust. (Divine Sovereignty )

Ray Pritchard tells a humorous story related to sovereignty noting that "this is a clarifying doctrine. It teaches us that there is no such thing as luck, chance, fate or coincidence. You can have God or chance, but you can’t have both. When a cowboy applied for health insurance, the agent routinely asked if he had had any accidents during the previous year. The cowboy replied, “No. But I was bitten by a rattlesnake, and a horse kicked me in the ribs. That laid me up for a while.” The agent said, “Weren’t those accidents?” “No,” replied the cowboy, “They did it on purpose.” The cowboy realized that there are no such things as “accidents.” How about you, Christian? Do you believe that some things catch God by surprise? In the words of a good friend, “God is too sovereign to be lucky." (Read Pastor Pritchard's entire message and see also his series of 16 messages on Our Awesome God) (See also list of sermons by Dr Pritchard that relate to God's sovereignty)

Gleason Archer adds that "God determines when in history events are to take place and how long each process or phase in history is to endure. Thus Yahweh not only decreed the fall and destruction of Jerusalem in 587 B.C.—an event future for Daniel in 602 B.C.—but also the exact number of years the captivity would last (cf. Da 9:2). The rulers of earth may imagine they have attained power by their own might, but it is only by God's choice that they are permitted their transient authority. At any time he may remove them from their thrones and set up others in their place (Da 2:21a).

He removes kings and establishes kings (Job 12:18, Ps 75:6,7) - In this way God orders history, through His removal and establishment of world rulers. Nebuchadnezzar's dream and interpretation give clear testimony to God's sovereign control over kings and kingdoms. See one such removal in Daniel 4 in reference to King Nebuchadnezzar (Da 4:17, 32, cp God's tearing the Kingdom from Solomon in 931BC - 1Ki 11:11, 12, 13, 14) And He even controls kings once they are established (Pr 21:1) without jeopardizing their free will or negating their personal responsibility (accountability) for their decisions! Oh, what a marvelous mystery!

Nebuchadnezzar has taken God's people into captivity, but only because God wanted to purify His people. This verse says that no king, no dictator, no president, etc, is a self-made man. God had raised Nebuchadnezzar up to be used during this 70 year period of disciplining (even though Nebuchadnezzar reigned only about the first 43 years).

Gives wisdom to wise men - Quite an pithy pun, for the pagan "wise men" had failed to receive divine wisdom and were unable to address the king's request.  Daniel comments on man’s complete dependence upon God for wisdom from above (Da 2:30).


God's sovereignty overrules every calamity. Let's take a brief look at His sovereignty over historical events. Did you know that two great leaders, Prime Minister Winston Churchill and President Franklin Roosevelt, almost died before the World War II began? In December 1931, Churchill was struck by a car as he crossed Fifth Avenue in New York City. In Miami in December 1933, an assassin's bullet barely missed Roosevelt and killed the man standing beside him. Both leaders survived and contributed mightily to the defeat of Hitler. Why did they survive to lead their nations in this time of crisis? Because God was in control back then and He is still in control. God is sovereign over nations causing their leaders to rise and to fall (Da 2:21; 4:32, 33, 34, 35; 5:21). The prophet Habakkuk complained that it didn't seem right for God to use wicked Babylon to discipline Israel, but God assured him that this did not mean evil would triumph. God was in control and would one day bring about perfect justice

"Is it not indeed from the LORD of hosts That peoples toil for fire, And nations grow weary for nothing? For the earth will be filled With the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, As the waters cover the sea. (Hab 2:13, 14).

Dear brother or sister in Christ, rest assured that your times are also in the omnipotent, omniscient God's hands. No matter what may happen in this world, He is always in control!

This Is My Father’s World
Oh, let me ne'er forget
That though the wrong seems oft so strong,
God is the Ruler yet.
--M D Babcock


God Still Rules - As the year 1999 came to a close, great leaders of the century were remembered, including Prime Minister Winston Churchill and President Franklin Roosevelt. During World War II, they led Great Britain and the United States to defeat Nazism and Fascism.

Did you know that both men nearly lost their lives before the war began? In December 1931, Churchill was struck by a car as he crossed Fifth Avenue in New York City. In Miami in December 1933, an assassin's bullet barely missed Roosevelt and killed the man standing beside him.

Both leaders could have died, but they survived. Why? I believe God wanted these two men alive to lead their respective nations to victory over the enemy.

The Bible teaches that God causes nations and their leaders to rise and fall (Da 2:21; 4:32, 33, 34, 35; 5:21). When Habakkuk complained that it didn't seem right for God to use wicked Babylon to discipline Israel, the Lord assured the prophet that this did not mean evil would triumph. God was still in control and would one day bring about perfect justice (Habakkuk 2:13, 14).

We too can be sure that our times are in God's hands. No matter what may happen in this world, God still rules! — David C. Egner

This is my Father's world—
Oh, let me ne'er forget
That though the wrong seems oft so strong,
God is the Ruler yet. —Babcock

God's sovereignty
overrules any calamity.


God Moves In A Mysterious Way
William Cowper

God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea
And rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never failing skill
He treasures up His bright designs
And works His sovereign will.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings on your head.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.

Behind The Throne - By Herbert Vander Lugt - During my lifetime I have seen evil men rise to political and military power, make colossal blunders, and pass off the scene. Even good leaders leave a record that includes mistakes and weaknesses.

The first chapter of Esther shows us the pride of King Ahasuerus, head of the mighty Persian Empire. He hosted an elaborate festival designed to display his riches and splendor. After 7 days of partying, the king gave orders to his servants to bring Vashti, his queen, before the revelers so they could see her great beauty. But Queen Vashti refused to come, humiliating the great king of Persia (Esther 1:12-18-

Ahasuerus was furious and sought counsel from the wise men of his kingdom. They advised him to remove Vashti as queen and “give her royal position to another who is better than she” (v.19). God used these unusual events to place a Jewish girl in a strategic position to preserve His people from destruction.

God’s name is not mentioned in the entire book of Esther, but the message in chapter 1 comes through loud and clear: God can bring good out of everything, even when flawed and mistake-prone humans are involved. He is the real power behind the throne.

We comprehend Him not,
Yet earth and heaven tell,
God sits as sovereign on the throne,
And ruleth all things well.

The most powerful ruler is but a pawn
in the hand of the King of kings.
Proverbs 21:1

Daniel 2:22 "It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things; He knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with Him. (reveals: Da 2:11,28,29 Ge 37:5, 6, 7, 8, 9 41:16,25, 26, 27, 28 Job 12:22 Ps 25:14 Isa 41:22,26 42:9 Mt 13:13 Ro 16:25,26 1Co 2:9, 10, 11 Eph 3:5) (knows: Job 26:6 Ps 139:11,12 Jer 23:24 Lk 12:2,3 Jn 21:17 1Co 4:5 Heb 4:13) (and the: Da 5:11,14 Ps 36:9 104:2 Jn 1:9 8:12 12:45,46 1Ti 6:16 Jas 1:17 1Jn 1:5)

He who reveals (cp Job 12:22) - As discussed below mystery in Scripture is truth previously hidden, which is revealed by God alone to those to whom He chooses to reveal it. There is no other way for man to know about the future except through a revelation from God (Da 2:19).

Amos records that "Surely the Lord God does nothing Unless He reveals His secret counsel To His servants the prophets. (Amos 3:7, cp 2Ti 2:21 "prepared for every good work")

In Isaiah we read "Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: 'I am the first and I am the last, And there is no God besides Me. 'Who is like Me? Let him proclaim and declare it; Yes, let him recount it to Me in order, From the time that I established the ancient nation. And let them declare to them the things that are coming And the events that are going to take place. (Isaiah 44:6, 7, cp  Isa 41:22,26 42:9)

We could not comprehend the Scriptures unless God had chosen to reveal the profound truths in them to us..

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. But a natural man (unbeliever) does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. (1Cor 2:12, 13, 14)

Peter gives us the NT perspective on God's revelation of the profound and hidden things to Daniel...

But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation (not saying one cannot interpret prophecy but that the prophecy is not a matter of "self" revelation but Spirit revelation as the following context clearly teaches), for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God. (2Peter 1:20, 21-note)

Darkness...light - God "created darkness," (Isa 45:7-note) but "God is light" (1Jn 1:5, Ps 36:9-Spurgeon's note) and thus darkness hides nothing from Him (Ps 139:12-Spurgeon's note; cp Jer 23:24, Lk 12:2, 3, He 4:13). Darkness speaks of things that are hidden, in context future events as described in the king's dream. Compare Ex. 14:19, 20.

Daniel 2:23 "To You, O God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise, For You have given me wisdom and power; Even now You have made known to me what we requested of You, For You have made known to us the king's matter." (thanks: 1Ch 29:13 Ps 50:14 103:1, 2, 3, 4 Isa 12:1 Mt 11:25 Lk 10:21 Jn 11:41) (for You: Ge 32:9, 10, 11 Ex 3:15 1Ki 8:57 18:36 1Ch 29:10 2Ch 20:6) (who have given: Da 2:20,21 Pr 8:14 21:22 24:5 Ec 7:19 9:16,18) (and have: Da 2:18,29,30 Ge 18:17 Ps 25:14 Am 3:7 Jn 15:15 Rev 1:1 5:5)

God of my fathers (cp Ge 31:42) - "Fathers" could be a reference to the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and indirectly to the Abrahamic Covenant made with the "fathers".

Notice the pronouns (I...me...me...we...us) in which Daniel includes his 3 friends.


Daniel 1 Commentary
Daniel 2:24-49 Commentary

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Last Updated February 21, 2015