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The Book of Daniel
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------The Book of Daniel-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
603 BC: Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream – His Wise Men Called
1 And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, wherewith his spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake from him.
-The “second year” of this verse concerns his reign as soul king, actually, he had reigned as co-regent with his father for several years in which some or all of the three-year time period took place. The dream which troubled him was sent by The Lord.
2 Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the astrologers, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, for to shew the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king.
-The king’s action in consulting priests and mediums is one of many proofs of the accuracy of this history, for in their difficulties, unconverted men seek help in every direction except for The Lord.
3 And the king said unto them, I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit was troubled to know the dream.
4 Then spake the Chaldeans to the king in Syriack, O king, live for ever: tell thy servants the dream, and we will shew the interpretation.
-Had the dream been told unto them, the “interpretation” they would have given would have been something made up out of their own minds and would not have been the true interpretation.
5 The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, The thing is gone from me: if ye will not make known unto me the dream, with the interpretation thereof, ye shall be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made a dunghill.
-The Lord directed this scenario that Nebuchadnezzar couldn’t even remember his own dream much less its meaning.
6 But if ye shew the dream, and the interpretation thereof, ye shall receive of me gifts and rewards and great honour: therefore shew me the dream, and the interpretation thereof.
-As Nebuchadnezzar had threatened these magicians and astrologers with death upon their lack of ability, now he promises them great riches if they will but only live up to their advertisement.
7 They answered again and said, Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will shew the interpretation of it.
8 The king answered and said, I know of certainty that ye would gain the time, because ye see the thing is gone from me.
-Their answer to him has the very opposite effect that they had hoped.
9 But if ye will not make known unto me the dream, there is but one decree for you: for ye have prepared lying and corrupt words to speak before me, till the time be changed: therefore tell me the dream, and I shall know that ye can shew me the interpretation thereof.
-The king now knows that their silence was due to the inability to answer.
Inability of the Wise Men
10 The Chaldeans answered before the king, and said, There is not a man upon the earth that can shew the king's matter: therefore there is no king, lord, nor ruler, that asked such things at any magician, or astrologer, or Chaldean.
-They were wrong. There was at least one man who could, but only because he knew The Lord. His name was Daniel.
11 And it is a rare thing that the king requireth, and there is none other that can shew it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.
-The king was wrong in using the word “gods.” There were no gods, only one God, Jehovah. The king would soon learn about Jehovah.
12 For this cause the king was angry and very furious, and commanded to destroy all the wise men of Babylon.
-The idea is, he had lost faith, at least to some degree to his gods, nebo and bel, whom his wise men represented.
13 And the decree went forth that the wise men should be slain; and they sought Daniel and his fellows to be slain.
Daniel’s Offer to Interpret the Dream and His Prayer for Help
14 Then Daniel answered with counsel and wisdom to Arioch the captain of the king's guard, which was gone forth to slay the wise men of Babylon:
15 He answered and said to Arioch the king's captain, Why is the decree so hasty from the king? Then Arioch made the thing known to Daniel.
-This proclaims Arioch, who is spoken of favorably by the Holy Spirit, seeking to find a way out of this dilemma.
16 Then Daniel went in, and desired of the king that he would give him time, and that he would shew the king the interpretation.
-“…And that he would shew the king the interpretation.” shows an assurance on Daniel’s part that The Lord would reveal such to him. God’s plan was being brought about exactly as designed by The Holy Spirit.
17 Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions:
18 That they would desire mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret; that Daniel and his fellows should not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.
-They called a prayer meeting.
The Dream Revealed to Daniel
19 Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.
-This passage means that the same dream that was given to Nebuchadnezzar was now given to Daniel and no doubt, that very night.
20 Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his:
-In this and the following passages, we are given an account of the total and absolute rulership and control by The Lord of all of His creation.
21 And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:
-“…he changeth the times and the seasons:…” has reference to the successive empires as allowed by The Lord and seen by Daniel in the vision of the night.
22 He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him.
-God is not only the God of nature, of providence, and of man but also of revelation. He can make known to man what otherwise man could never know. He is the very source of all light and enlightenment (1 Timothy 6:16).
23 I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast made known unto me now what we desired of thee: for thou hast now made known unto us the king's matter.
-Daniel now particularizes his reasons for praise and thanksgiving. He addresses God as the God of his fathers. He appeals to Him as the covenant God of Israel Who had led their fathers through the wilderness.
Daniel, Before Nebuchadnezzar, Glorifies God, Tells the King the Dream
24 Therefore Daniel went in unto Arioch, whom the king had ordained to destroy the wise men of Babylon: he went and said thus unto him; Destroy not the wise men of Babylon: bring me in before the king, and I will shew unto the king the interpretation.
25 Then Arioch brought in Daniel before the king in haste, and said thus unto him, I have found a man of the captives of Judah, that will make known unto the king the interpretation.
-How much that Daniel had revealed unto Arioch, if anything, we are not told.
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?
27 Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, shew unto the king;
-There is a shade of rebuke to the king implied in Daniel’s answer. He asks this question, no doubt, at the instigation of The Holy Spirit.
28 But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh 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;
-What shall be in the latter days is revealing indeed. Those who claim that Daniel’s prophecies have no reference to the last days, but instead, were fulfilled at the time of Christ, evidently have not read this verse.
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 maketh known to thee what shall come to pass.
-The idea of Daniel’s statement is to let the king know that this dream and its interpretation is of tremendous import, hence the reason for the king being so troubled as to know what it was and its meaning.
30 But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living, but for their sakes that shall make known the interpretation to the king, and that thou mightest know the thoughts of thy heart.
-Daniel gave all glory to The Lord. As well, in all of this, The Lord took pity on those heathen sages. Such is God, and such is His mercy. “…and that thou mightest know the thoughts of thy heart.” presents the beginning of the appeal of The Holy Spirit to this heathen monarch, which quite possibly, ultimately resulted in his salvation.
31 Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible.
-The two words, excellent and terrible, both characterize the history of Gentile powers from the days of Nebuchadnezzar and continuing on to the coming of Christ with His saints. Excellent and terrible things often exist side by side. When Christ sets up His Millennial Kingdom, only that which is excellent will exist. The “…great image…” would portray all the world empires for the future as they related to Israel.
32 This image's head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass,
33 His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay.
-The Holy Spirit outlines the successive kingdoms by a representation of precious metals, iron, and clay.
34 Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces.
-The stone is The Lord Jesus Christ and symbolizes His Second Coming. “…without hands,…” is an expression emphasizing the absence of all human instrumentality and the act of God alone. This destroys the popular belief that Christianity will take over the world with the Gospel gradually conquering all of mankind. Actually, Bible Christianity ultimately will cover the entirety of the earth, but only after The Second Coming, even as this verse proclaims.
35 Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.
-This portrays the Second Coming of The Lord and the destruction of all gentile powers, meaning that, never again, will gentile power hold sway. For that time is forever ended. After the Second Coming, Christ will set up His Kingdom of Righteousness with Israel then being the predominant nation in the world and remaining that way forever. Hence, the promises made to the patriarchs and prophets of old will be fulfilled in totality.
The Interpretation – Head of Gold is Babylon
36 This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king.
37 Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory.
-This confirms the statement of Daniel in verse 21. He removes kings and sets up kings.
38 And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold.
-This head of gold represented the Babylonian empire which was the greatest of all, at least as far as splendor and glory were concerned.
Breast and Arms of Silver – Medo-Persia/Belly and Thighs of Brass – Grecia
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 first kingdom, after Babylon, is the Medo-Persian empire, which would replace the Babylonian empire, and which would come up in a few years. It would be inferior only in grandness and glory, not in strength. The third kingdom mentioned here is the Grecian empire, which will proclaim the rise of Alexander the Great. It would come about in a little over 200 years from this time.
Legs of Iron - Rome
40 And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise.
-This fourth kingdom is the Roman empire and is represented by legs of iron. It would be the strongest of all.
Feet of Iron and Clay – Revised Roman Empire
41 And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters' clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay.
-All that we have previously studied represents empires that have come and gone. However, the feet and the toes of this statue of iron and clay, represent that which is to come.
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.
-This verse represents the ten-nation confederation with the toes of the feet symbolic of this confederation which will greatly oppose Israel in the very near future.
43 And whereas thou sawest 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 is not mixed with clay.
-Their confederation will not succeed because of the miry clay which expresses that some of the kingdoms are weak. As stated, this will take place in the near future.
The Stone – The Kingdom of Heaven on Earth Under The Messiah
44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.
-This verse is basically the same as verses 34 and 35. It portrays the coming of The Lord and the Millennial Kingdom which He will bring about.
45 Forasmuch as thou sawest that the 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.
-Inasmuch as the king has seen all of this in his dream, he consequently now has no excuse to continue worshiping his dead idols. He should, rather, worship the Great God Who has made known to the king which shall come to pass hereafter.
46 Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and worshipped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odours unto him.
-There is no indication that Daniel accepted this worship.
47 The king answered unto Daniel, and said, Of a truth it is, that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou couldest reveal this secret.
-The world “answered” supports the conviction that Daniel refused divine honors and directed the king away from himself to God. In his statement, Nebuchadnezzar concedes that Jehovah is the greatest, at least as it regards the revealing of secrets.
48 Then the king made Daniel a great man, and gave him many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief of the governors over all the wise men of Babylon.
-Therefore, next to the king, Daniel was the most powerful man in the world. He was also looked at as the wisest man in the world and rightly so.
49 Then Daniel requested of the king, and he set Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, over the affairs of the province of Babylon: but Daniel sat in the gate of the king.
-“…but Daniel sat in the gate of the king.” means that he was appointed prime minister, the most powerful position in the world at that day other than the king himself. The gate means the door to the king.