Daniel 2

It’s hard not to focus on the statue in Daniel 2, but the statue is not the focus.  The focus is on the source of Daniel’s wisdom.  The details odf the dream and the level of Daniel’s insight only go to prove that God is in control of the world even when his chosen people are exiled to a distant land.

The head is Babylon, then the statue represents Medo-Persia and Greece.  Finally there is some debate as to whether the final part of the statue is Greece after Alexander or Rome.  I think it is Rome.  The remarkable thing, though, is all of this dream was locked inside Nebuchadnezzar’s head and God unlocked it.

Daniel 2

1 In the second year of his reign, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; his mind was troubled and he could not sleep. 2 So the king summoned the magicians, enchanters, sorcerers and astrologers[a] to tell him what he had dreamed. When they came in and stood before the king, 3 he said to them, “I have had a dream that troubles me and I want to know what it means.[b]

4 Then the astrologers answered the king,[c]“May the king live forever! Tell your servants the dream, and we will interpret it.”

5 The king replied to the astrologers, “This is what I have firmly decided: If you do not tell me what my dream was and interpret it, I will have you cut into pieces and your houses turned into piles of rubble. 6But if you tell me the dream and explain it, you will receive from me gifts and rewards and great honor. So tell me the dream and interpret it for me.”

7Once more they replied, “Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will interpret it.”

8 Then the king answered, “I am certain that you are trying to gain time, because you realize that this is what I have firmly decided: 9If you do not tell me the dream, there is only one penalty for you. You have conspired to tell me misleading and wicked things, hoping the situation will change. So then, tell me the dream, and I will know that you can interpret it for me.”

10 The astrologers answered the king, “There is no one on earth who can do what the king asks! No king, however great and mighty, has ever asked such a thing of any magician or enchanter or astrologer. 11What the king asks is too difficult. No one can reveal it to the king except the gods, and they do not live among humans.”

12 This made the king so angry and furious that he ordered the execution of all the wise men of Babylon. 13So the decree was issued to put the wise men to death, and men were sent to look for Daniel and his friends to put them to death.

14 When Arioch, the commander of the king’s guard, had gone out to put to death the wise men of Babylon, Daniel spoke to him with wisdom and tact. 15 He asked the king’s officer, “Why did the king issue such a harsh decree?” Arioch then explained the matter to Daniel. 16At this, Daniel went in to the king and asked for time, so that he might interpret the dream for him.

17 Then Daniel returned to his house and explained the matter to his friends Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. 18 He urged them to plead for mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that he and his friends might not be executed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. 19 During the night the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision. Then Daniel praised the God of heaven 20and said:

   “Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever;    wisdom and power are his. 21 He changes times and seasons;    he deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise    and knowledge to the discerning. 22 He reveals deep and hidden things;    he knows what lies in darkness,    and light dwells with him. 23I thank and praise you, God of my ancestors:    You have given me wisdom and power, you have made known to me what we asked of you,    you have made known to us the dream of the king.”

Daniel Interprets the Dream

24Then Daniel went to Arioch, whom the king had appointed to execute the wise men of Babylon, and said to him, “Do not execute the wise men of Babylon. Take me to the king, and I will interpret his dream for him.”

25Arioch took Daniel to the king at once and said, “I have found a man among the exiles from Judah who can tell the king what his dream means.”

26The king asked Daniel (also called Belteshazzar), “Are you able to tell me what I saw in my dream and interpret it?”

27 Daniel replied, “No wise man, enchanter, magician or diviner can explain to the king the mystery he has asked about, 28but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries. He has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in days to come. Your dream and the visions that passed through your mind as you were lying in bed are these:

29 “As Your Majesty was lying there, your mind turned to things to come, and the revealer of mysteries showed you what is going to happen. 30As for me, this mystery has been revealed to me, not because I have greater wisdom than anyone else alive, but so that Your Majesty may know the interpretation and that you may understand what went through your mind.

31 “Your Majesty looked, and there before you stood a large statue—an enormous, dazzling statue, awesome in appearance. 32 The head of the statue was made of pure gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, 33 its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of baked clay. 34 While you were watching, a rock was cut out, but not by human hands. It struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and smashed them. 35Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were all broken to pieces and became like chaff on a threshing floor in the summer. The wind swept them away without leaving a trace. But the rock that struck the statue became a huge mountain and filled the whole earth.

36 “This was the dream, and now we will interpret it to the king. 37 Your Majesty, you are the king of kings. The God of heaven has given you dominion and power and might and glory; 38in your hands he has placed all mankind and the beasts of the field and the birds in the sky. Wherever they live, he has made you ruler over them all. You are that head of gold.

39 “After you, another kingdom will arise, inferior to yours. Next, a third kingdom, one of bronze, will rule over the whole earth. 40 Finally, there will be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron—for iron breaks and smashes everything—and as iron breaks things to pieces, so it will crush and break all the others. 41 Just as you saw that the feet and toes were partly of baked clay and partly of iron, so this will be a divided kingdom; yet it will have some of the strength of iron in it, even as you saw iron mixed with clay. 42 As the toes were partly iron and partly clay, so this kingdom will be partly strong and partly brittle. 43And just as you saw the iron mixed with baked clay, so the people will be a mixture and will not remain united, any more than iron mixes with clay.

44 “In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever. 45This is the meaning of the vision of the rock cut out of a mountain, but not by human hands—a rock that broke the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold to pieces.

   “The great God has shown the king what will take place in the future. The dream is true and its interpretation is trustworthy.”

46 Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell prostrate before Daniel and paid him honor and ordered that an offering and incense be presented to him. 47The king said to Daniel, “Surely your God is the God of gods and the Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries, for you were able to reveal this mystery.”

48 Then the king placed Daniel in a high position and lavished many gifts on him. He made him ruler over the entire province of Babylon and placed him in charge of all its wise men. 49 Moreover, at Daniel’s request the king appointed Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego administrators over the province of Babylon, while Daniel himself remained at the royal court.

Questions

  1. How does Daniel hear about the King’s dream?
  2. What is Daniel’s immediate response to the problem?
  3. What does Daniel do when he receives the answer?
  4. How do you respond to difficult problems?
  5. What do you do when God reveals the answer?

About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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11 Responses to Daniel 2

  1. Amy Kringle says:

    1. Because Arioch had come to put them to death.
    2. He immediately went to the king, asking for time, so that he could figure out what the dream meant before he was killed.
    3. He immediatley praised God for the answer.
    4. Usually I worry about it for a long time…and then talk to someone about it…and then pray about it. But I know I should pray about it first, then talk to someone, and don’t worry.
    5. I thank him for giving an answer.

  2. Sokloon Dy says:

    1. through Arioch, the commander of the king’s guard.
    2. He went to the king and asked for time so that he might interpret the dream.
    3. He praised the Lord.’
    4. Usually, i stress out and worry and act rashly.
    5. I thank Him!

  3. Cassie Clark says:

    1. They were summoned by Nebuchudnezzar
    2.He speaks to Arioch with wisdom.
    3.He told his friends to pray.
    4.With anxiety and prayer
    5.I feel peace and gratitude

  4. Melisa Guiles says:

    1. He is told by Arioch, when he came to kill all the wise men of the land.
    2. He asks the King for more time and then prays to God for an answer. He also asks his friends to pray as well.
    3. He praised God.
    4. Sometimes I try to figure it out by myself or go to others for help. Eventhough my first reaction should be to pray, it is often what I do after I have already failed.
    5. I praise Him for His help.

  5. Jessica Gentry says:

    1. Through Arioch
    2. He seeks to gain more time tfrom the king to figure things out.
    3. Daniel thanks and praises God.
    4. Often I respond to difficult problems by trying to act like everything is ok but inside worrying and feeling distressed, usually by the time that I have exhausted my own strength the Lord reminds me of His power and strength and turns my heart to lean on Him again.
    5. When God reveals the answer of what I should do,or solves the problem in front of me I try to praise Him and reflkect on His goodness, sometimes I am better at this than others.

  6. HeeJin,Choi says:

    1.How does Daniel hear about the King’s dream?
    -From Arioch When he came to execute the wise men of Babylon.
    2.What is Daniel’s immediate response to the problem?
    – Daniel asked Arioch to take him to king.
    3.What does Daniel do when he receives the answer?
    – He lifted God’s name and boasted about His wisdom.
    4.How do you respond to difficult problems?
    -Started wondering why it is and ask God through prayer.
    5.What do you do when God reveals the answer?
    – give thanks to God.

  7. HyeJin Lee says:

    1.How does Daniel hear about the King’s dream?
    Arioch explain what had happened to Daniel.
    2.What is Daniel’s immediate response to the problem?
    Daniel asks the king for more time so he could pray.
    3.What does Daniel do when he receives the answer?
    He praised the Lord.
    4.How do you respond to difficult problems?
    I pray to God and get advice from others.
    5.What do you do when God reveals the answer?
    I will praise the Lord and follow the answer.

  8. Kristin Goffinet says:

    1) Daniel asked the king’s officer why the king had issued such a harsh decree, and Arioch told him.
    2) He tells him to take him to the king so he can interpret the dream.
    3) He gives God the credit for giving this dream/revelation to the king.
    4) I often allow myself to stress and worry about it, and then I give it to the Lord in prayer.
    5) I thank him, but i know that I am never as grateful as I should be.

  9. Grace Yoo says:

    1. Daniel hears about the king’s dream from Arioch.

    2. Daniel’s immediate response to the problem is asking for more time and asking to take him to the king.

    3. Daniel praises God when he receives the answer.

    4. I respond to difficult problems by praying about them and trying to be more by myself to think things through.

    5. When God reveals the answer, I do the same and praise Him.

  10. Moon Jung Kim says:

    How does Daniel hear about the King’s dream? through Arioch,the commander of the king’s guard
    What is Daniel’s immediate response to the problem? Daniel went in to the king and asked for time, so that he might interpret the dream for the king
    What does Daniel do when he receives the answer?Daniel praised the God of heaven
    How do you respond to difficult problems? manytimes, I try to figure out how I can get through it and change things in the situation. Then later I realize I can’t do anything but only God can change things in the situation.
    What do you do when God reveals the answer?I pray God to thank to Him

  11. Sandra Tindle says:

    1. Daniel hears about the king’s dream when the men come looking for him to kill him.
    2. Daniel’s immediate response is to turn to God.
    3. Daniel goes to the king and tells him about his dream.
    4. I turn to God and to people around me, like family and wise friends.
    5. I act on what God wants me to do, most of the time.

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