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Daniel Chapter 2
Based on the American Standard Version of 1901
by Charles Dailey

(Black underlined words match words in the Bible text.)
1) And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams; and his spirit was troubled, and his sleep went from him. Neb was comparatively new to leading the nation. His dream awakened him and kept him awake. Now he had royal insomnia.
2) Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the enchanters, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, to tell the king his dreams. So they came in and stood before the king. The dream triggered an early morning advisory meeting. The four categories of aides probably denotes representatives from all pagan factions of his advisory board. Daniel and his friends were excluded for some reason. It may have been hinted at in 1:20.
- Neb himself was a Chaldean. Ezra 5:12.
3) And the king said unto them, I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit is troubled to know the dream. We have an absolute monarch that wants the answers to his questions immediately. Or sooner. If he doesn't get them, heads will soon roll.
4) Then spake the Chaldeans to the king in the Syrian language, O king, live for ever: tell thy servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation. The original text becomes Aramaic at this point and continues to the end of chapter 7. This section relates primarily to the non-Jewish world.
5) The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, The thing is gone from me: if ye make not known unto me the dream and the interpretation thereof, ye shall be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made a dunghill. The king was hard on his support group. He hadn't forgotten the dream. He said, "The command from me is firm . . ." (NASB) Another translation says, "I meant what I said."
- His reasoning is: If they could divine the interpretation, then they could divine the dream as well. This would give him proof that their prophecies were valid.
- Failing, their lives and property were on the line. Their houses would be made into public toilets.
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. Conversely, if they could show the dream and its meaning, they would be heavily rewarded.
7) They answered the second time and said, Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation. Their terms - "Tell us the dream and we will tell the interpretation" did not match the king's term - "Tell me the dream and the interpretation." If they could just get the dream, they could make up any kind of meaning.
8) The king answered and said, I know of a certainty that ye would gain time, because ye see the thing is gone from me. Neb held firm. "I know for certain that you are bargaining for time, inasmuch as you have seen that the command from me is firm . . . " (NASB)
9) But if ye make not known unto me the dream, there is but one law 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. Neb knows that this is an important dream and he distrusts these advisors. He has already decided that their words are lying and corrupt.
- They would be hoping that things would become different if they stalled in giving an answer.
10) The Chaldeans answered before the king, and said, There is not a man upon the earth that can show the king's matter, forasmuch as no king, lord, or ruler, hath asked such a thing of any magician, or enchanter, or Chaldean. Their strategy changes to saying his requirements are impossible. They accuse him of acting differently than other kings. Accusing this boss wasn't safe, but they had already been consigned to death, so they had nothing to lose.
11) And it is a rare thing that the king requireth, and there is no other that can show it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh. Now it is suggested that only heavenly gods can do what the kings wants done. They're beginning to point to Daniel without knowing it.
- If a god is required that does not dwell with men, then, of course, they have no contact with him or his dream manuals.
12) For this cause the king was angry and very furious, and commanded to destroy all the wise men of Babylon. Neb was not just going to kill the advisors who were present at the meeting, but all of them. And that would include Daniel and his three friends.
- Paul Butler writes: "The king is enraged at these who have gained fame and fortune and power by claiming to know the deepest secrets of man and the gods - and they cannot even tell him what he has dreamed."
13) So the decree went forth, and the wise men were to be slain; and they sought Daniel and his companions to be slain. The fact that Daniel and his fellows shared in the decrees of destruction shows that they were included as official advisers.
14) Then Daniel returned answer with counsel and prudence to Arioch the captain of the king's guard, who was gone forth to slay the wise men of Babylon; Daniel is using some of the prudence that God has imparted to him. 1:20
15) he answered and said to Arioch the king's captain, Wherefore is the decree so urgent from the king? Then Arioch made the thing known to Daniel. Daniel inquired about this immediate death sentence and Arioch explained.
16) And Daniel went in, and desired of the king that he would appoint him a time, and he would show the king the interpretation. Leupold says, "The very audacity of Daniel's plan must have impressed Arioch."
- Probably Daniel himself did not approach the king, but used Arioch as a proxy (vs. 24) to offer hope to Neb and to get a reprieve. After all, dead advisors can't satisfy the king's desire for an explanation.
- It should be noted that Daniel does not know either the dream or its meaning at this point. He is operating with faith that God will intervene.
17) Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions: Following Daniel's offer to explain the dream there was one serious prayer meeting.
- It was at Daniel's house, not at the library of the Chaldean. They had nothing to offer.
18) that they would desire mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret; that Daniel and his companions should not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. The Chaldeans were correct that the answer would not come from earth.
- Daniel and company were getting a potent lesson on the mercy of God. It was His mercy or their death.
- Praying friends are valuable friends.
19) Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a vision of the night. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven. God revealed the dream and its meaning to Daniel in a night vision. Daniel, in turn, blessed the God of heaven. His life had been spared along with many others.
20) Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever; for wisdom and might are his. The exact form of the blessing is recorded.
- Daniel expresses God's superior power.
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 have understanding; Daniel expresses that God is in charge of the rise and fall of kingdoms and cultures.
22) he revealeth the deep and secret things; he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him. Daniel expresses that God adds to the naturally acquired wisdom and knowledge of advisors.
- God has inexhaustible stores of information.
23) I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast now made known unto me what we desired of thee; for thou hast made known unto us the king's matter. Daniel expresses that his own wisdom and might are anchored in the wisdom and might of God.
- Daniel further expresses thanksgiving for answering the prayer of the four men for information about the dream.
- It should be noted that the elements of the prayer are not necessarily new information, but they were items that were expressed to God. Some of our prayers should take that model.
24) Therefore Daniel went in unto Arioch, whom the king had appointed to destroy the wise men of Babylon; he went and said thus unto him: Destroy not the wise men of Babylon; bring me in before the king, and I will show unto the king the interpretation. Daniel even intervened on behalf of his pagan colleagues. He resisted the opportunity to say, "Kill all of the pagan advisors and leave us alive."
- These phonies owed their lives to Daniel, but they didn't remember very long. In the next chapter, they denounced him. 3:8.
- Now Daniel has made the commitment again. He will show the interpretation. Failure at their point would get a lot of paid politicians killed.
25) Then Arioch brought in Daniel before the king in haste, and said thus unto him, I have found a man of the children of the captivity of Judah, that will make known unto the king the interpretation. Note the haste here. Lives were at stake.
- The record sounds like Arioch was making claims that are different than what happened. Politicians!
26) The king answered and said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, Art thou able to make known unto me the dream which I have seen, and the interpretation thereof? Belteshazzar was, of course, his court name and did not include a reference to Jehovah God (the EL portion of Daniel).
- Neb inquired about the dream as well as its meaning.
27) Daniel answered before the king, and said, The secret which the king hath demanded can neither wise men, enchanters, magicians, nor soothsayers, show unto the king; Daniel had been trained in the secrets of the courtiers so he knew their limitations.
- Daniel first took the opportunity to show the impotence of the advisors to the king. Daniel was not broad-minded.
28) but there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and he hath made known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these: Paul Butler writes: "What a wonderful opportunity for Daniel to plant the seed of Truth in the mind of a pagan monarch. What courage it took to stand in the presence of such an absolute despot who considered himself a god and speak of The Living God. Daniel's courage was born of his faith in God and his knowledge of the situation - the extremity of Nebuchadnezzar's anxiety."
29) as for thee, O king, thy thoughts came into thy mind upon thy bed, what should come to pass hereafter; and he that revealeth secrets hath made known to thee what shall come to pass. Daniel also revealed the king's inner meditations, further demonstrating his power to reveal the dream and its meaning.
- The Great Revealer of Secrets had communicated with King Nebuchadnezzar. This is further evidence of a living God.
30) But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living, but to the intent that the interpretation may be made known to the king, and that thou mayest know the thoughts of thy heart. Daniel downplayed his role in this revelation.
- God wanted Neb to understand the future. This message is from a living and powerful God and he controls the future.
31) Thou, O king, sawest, and, behold, a great image. This image, which was mighty, and whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the aspect thereof was terrible. Neb has seen the image of a large metallic man in his dream. He was a worshiper of images (ch. 3:4) and this made the dream all the more disturbing. - This image glowed and was frightening to the all-powerful Nebuchadnezzar.
32) As for this image, its head was of fine gold, its breast and its arms of silver, its belly and its thighs of brass, The specific gravity of gold is 19.32; of silver, 10.5; of brass, 8.56; and iron is 7.894. The value of the metals declined lower in the image.
33) its legs of iron, its feet part of iron, and part of clay. The iron portion in the bottom quarter of the image was even less valuable, being mixed with clay.
34) Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon its feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them in pieces. There was an intervention at this point that implies a mountain standing next to the statue. A stone was cut out of the mountain without hands - by some divine force - and it rolled down and destroyed the bottom of the statue. The valuable metals in the top of the image collapsed as well.
35) Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken in pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing-floors; and the wind carried them away, so that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth. The rolling stone pounded the image until it was blown away and the stone grew to be a kingdom and filled the earth.
- It should be easy for us to share Nebuchadnezzar's fright over what he had seen. Did the statue represent his empire? It didn't, but how was he to know without Daniel's guidance?
36) This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king. Daniel has established his credibility by describing the kings's inner feeling plus the dream in its entirety. Now its time for the meaning.
37) Thou, O king, art king of kings, unto whom the God of heaven hath given the kingdom, the power, and the strength, and the glory; Neb is also called the king of kings in Ezekiel 26:7. - All of Neb's power, strength and glory have been granted by the God of heaven.
38) and wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the birds of the heavens hath he given into thy hand, and hath made thee to rule over them all: thou art the head of gold. Nebuchadnezzar was ruler over much of the civilized earth. Babylon is in present-day Iraq and Saddam Hussein had started to rebuild Babylon with a view to restoring its former glory. The site is located about an hour south of Baghdad. At this writing, it is held by the U. S. military.
- The image of the metallic man was certainly flattering to Nebuchadnezzar.
39) And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee; and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth The kingdom that followed Neb was the Medo-Persian Empire. Following that empire was the Greek and finally the Roman Empire. See the chart on the next page.
40) And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron, forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things; and as iron that crusheth all these, shall it break in pieces and crush. The Roman Empire lacked the wealth of the empires before it. It is referred to in Luke 2:1.
41) And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters' clay, and part of iron, it shall be a divided kingdom; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. Paul Butler writes: "The strongest claim of the Roman empire to be the iron kingdom is found first in the length of its duration the best proof of its strength. Babylon lasted only 70 years Medo-Persian empire lasted 200 years the Greek 130 years while the Roman empire in its undivided state lasted some 500 years . . . "
42) And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. Some religious groups of today claim to be the fifth kingdom, but there is no fifth kingdom mentioned.
- Some commentators see 10 toes, hence 10 kingdoms eventually. While this may be, it has to be inferred from the text because it is not stated.
One speculation has it that the clay is the mix of eastern and western cultures.
43) And whereas thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men; but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron doth not mingle with clay.
44) And in the days of those kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed, nor shall the sovereignty thereof be left to another people; but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. In the days of the Roman Empire God will set up His own kingdom. Unlike those before it, this kingdom is permanent and politically stable. Eventually it will overcome all other kingdoms and will stand for ever.
- In the days of the Roman Empire, Jesus said the kingdom was to be established very soon and that Peter would unlock it. Matthew 16:18-19. After the church began on Pentecost following Jesus' resurrection, the kingdom was spoken of as present. Colossians 1:13.
45) Forasmuch as thou sawest that a stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure. Daniel summarizes the dream and restates that God has let Neb in on the meaning.
- The sun rose and set on the Empires of man, but the sun never sets on the Kingdom of God. It is world-wide and everlasting.

46) Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and worshipped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odors unto him. Daniel had made it clear to Neb in verse 30 that he was only a servant of God. Paul Butler writes: "We believe Nebuchadnezzar was simply showing his respect for Daniel and at the same time doing obeisance through Daniel as the accredited representative of the God who had the power to reveal secrets. Notice that Nebuchadnezzar does not in any way call Daniel a god. It is evident, therefore, that the king is worshiping and sacrificing to Daniel's God through Daniel as an intermediary."
47) The king answered unto Daniel, and said, Of a truth your God is the God of gods, and the Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou hast been able to reveal this secret. Neb further acknowledged Daniel's God as superior to all other deities.
48) Then the king made Daniel great, and gave him many great gifts, and made him to rule over the whole province of Babylon, and to be chief governor over all the wise men of Babylon. Daniel was moved from being an advisor to being the ruler of Babylon, Neb's trophy city, as well as governor of his wise men.
- Neb was delighted to learn that he had a representative of the God of heaven in his own court.
- These were the rewards that Neb had promised in verse 5. Consider Daniel's young age at this time.
49) And Daniel requested of the king, and he appointed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, over the affairs of the province of Babylon: but Daniel was in the gate of the king. Daniel remembered his three buddies and had them appointed as local administrators while he became the closest consultant to Nebuchadnezzar on national and international affairs.
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