King Nebuchadnezzar has a puzzling dream. None of his experts could interpret it for him. But the LORD God reveals its meaning to Daniel.
VERSE 1. In the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams; and his spirit was troubled, and his sleep went from him.
dreams. This is plural. It seems to suggests a recurrence of the same dream.
VERSE 2. Then the king commanded that the magicians, the enchanters, the sorcerers, and the Kasdim be called to tell the king his dreams. So they came in and stood before the king.
Kasdim. Some texts say “Chaldeans.” It probably refers to astrologers.
VERSE 3. The king said to them, “I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit is troubled to know the dream.”
VERSE 4. Then the Kasdim spoke to the king in the Syrian language, “O king, live forever! Tell your servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation.”
With this verse, the text switches from Hebrew to Aramaic. It continues along in Aramaic until 7:28.
Tell your servants the dream. The wise men are desperate.
VERSE 5. The king answered the Kasdim, “The thing has gone from me. If you don’t make known to me the dream and its interpretation, you will be cut in pieces, and your houses will be made a dunghill.
VERSE 6. But if you show the dream and its interpretation, you will receive of me gifts and rewards and great honor. Therefore show me the dream and its interpretation.”
But if you show the dream. By not telling them what his dream was, Nebuchadnezzar was testing the credibility of his astrologers. If they couldn’t tell him his dream, they were fakes.
VERSE 7. They answered the second time and said, “Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation.”
VERSE 8. The king answered, “I know of a certainty that you are trying to gain time, because you see the thing has gone from me.
VERSE 9. But if you don’t make known to me the dream, there is but one law for you; for you have prepared lying and corrupt words to speak before me, until the situation changes. Therefore tell me the dream, and I will know that you can show me its interpretation.”
you have prepared lying and corrupt words. Even king Nebuchadnezzar in Babylon had to deal with false prophets.
VERSE 10. The Kasdians answered before the king, and said, “There is not a man on the earth who can show the king’s matter, because no king, lord, or ruler, has asked such a thing of any magician, or enchanter, or Chaldean.
VERSE 11. It is a rare thing that the king requires, and there is no other who can show it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.”
VERSE 12. Because of this, the king was angry and very furious, and commanded that all the wise men of Babylon be destroyed.
VERSE 13. So the decree went out, and the wise men were to be slain. They sought Daniel and his companions to be slain.
They sought Daniel and his companions. Daniel and his friends were counted among the “wise men” to be executed.
VERSE 14. Then Daniel returned answer with counsel and prudence to Arioch the captain of the king’s guard, who had gone out to kill the wise men of Babylon.
VERSE 15. He answered Arioch the king’s captain, “Why is the decree so urgent from the king?” Then Arioch made the thing known to Daniel.
VERSE 16. Daniel went in, and desired of the king that he would appoint him a time, and he would show the king the interpretation.
show the king the interpretation. Daniel is the only “wise man” who can provide the interpretation.
VERSE 17. Then Daniel went to his house and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions:
VERSE 18. that they would desire mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret; that Daniel and his companions would not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.
desire mercies of the God of heaven. Daniel knows that what is humanly impossible is, in fact, possible for God. In fact, for God, nothing is impossible!
this secret. Daniel knows the power of praying together. Where two or three agree in prayer, the Lord Jesus says, their request will be granted.
Daniel and his companions. They covenant to pray together. They ask the One God to reveal the secret of the dream to them. They know that nothing is impossible for the One God!
VERSE 19. Then the secret was revealed to Daniel in a vision of the night. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.
revealed to Daniel in a vision. Daniel received a vision from the LORD God.
God did not make them wait. He gave them the answer, and he gave it to them Right Now!
of the night. The vision was given in the night.
VERSE 20. Daniel answered, “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever; for wisdom and might are his.
VERSE 21. He changes the times and the seasons. He removes kings, and sets up kings. He gives wisdom to the wise, and knowledge to those who have understanding.
VERSE 22. He reveals the deep and secret things. He knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with him.
VERSE 23. I thank you, and praise you, you God of my fathers, who have given me wisdom and might, and have now made known to me what we desired of you; for you have made known to us the king’s matter.”
I thank you, and praise you. Daniel acknowledges that what he has is from God.
made known to us the king’s matter. The LORD God revealed the answer to Daniel.
VERSE 24. Therefore Daniel went in to Arioch, whom the king had appointed to destroy the wise men of Babylon. He went and said this to him: “Don’t destroy the wise men of Babylon. Bring me in before the king, and I will show to the king the interpretation.”
VERSE 25. Then Arioch brought in Daniel before the king in haste, and said this to him: “I have found a man of the children of the captivity of Judah who will make known to the king the interpretation.”
VERSE 26. The king answered Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, “Are you able to make known to me the dream which I have seen, and its interpretation?”
Daniel. This was his Hebrew name. It means “God has judged.” It is a name that honors the LORD God.
Belteshazzar. His Babylonian overlords gave Daniel this new name. It means “Lady, protect the king.”
VERSE 27. Daniel answered before the king, and said, “The secret which the king has demanded can’t be shown to the king by wise men, enchanters, magicians, or soothsayers;
VERSE 28. but there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and he has made known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days. Your dream, and the visions of your head on your bed, are these:
God in heaven. Daniel begins with a subtle evangelization of the king.
From this point onward in the biblical narrative, we will increasingly see the LORD God referred to as the “God of heaven.”
VERSE 29. “As for you, O king, your thoughts came on your bed, what should happen hereafter; and he who reveals secrets has made known to you what will happen.
VERSE 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 you may know the thoughts of your heart.
VERSE 31. “You, O king, saw, and behold, a great image. This image, which was mighty, and whose brightness was excellent, stood before you; and its appearance was terrifying.
The different parts of this image stand for successive world empires:
The head was of fine gold stands for Nebuchadnezzar (verse 32)
The breast and its arms of silver stands for the Medes & Persians (verse 32)
The belly and its thighs of bronze stand for Alexander the Great (verse 32)
The legs of iron stand for the Roman Empire (verse 33)
The feet part of iron, and part of clay stand for the divided Roman Empire (verse 33)
VERSE 32. As for this image, its head was of fine gold, its breast and its arms of silver, its belly and its thighs of bronze,
head was of fine gold. This represents Nebuchadnezzar himself.
breast and its arms of silver. This represents the successors of Nebuchadnezzar: the Medes & Persians.
belly and its thighs of bronze. This represents the successor of the Medes & Persians: Alexander the Great.
legs of iron. This represents the successor of Alexander the Great: the Roman Empire.
feet part of iron, and part of clay. This represents the successors of the Roman Empire: the divided Roman Empire.
VERSE 34. You saw until a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet that were of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces.
VERSE 35. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were broken in pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors. The wind carried them away, so that no place was found for them. The stone that struck the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.
The stone that struck the image. Jesus Christ is the Rock Foundation. Are you building your life on the solid rock of Jesus Christ? Read more »
VERSE 36. “This is the dream; and we will tell its interpretation before the king.
VERSE 37. You, O king, are king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, the strength, and the glory.
VERSE 38. Wherever the children of men dwell, he has given the animals of the field and the birds of the sky into your hand, and has made you rule over them all. You are the head of gold.
You are the head of gold. The statue’s head is Nebuchadnezzar himself.
VERSE 39. “After you, another kingdom will arise that is inferior to you; and another third kingdom of bronze, which will rule over all the earth.
another kingdom. The Medes & Persians.
another third kingdom of bronze. The statue’s belly and thighs are Alexander the Great, of Greece.
VERSE 40. The fourth kingdom will be strong as iron, because iron breaks in pieces and subdues all things; and as iron that crushes all these, it will break in pieces and crush.
The fourth kingdom. The statue’s legs are the Roman Empire.
VERSE 41. Whereas you saw the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, it will be a divided kingdom; but there will be in it of the strength of the iron, because you saw the iron mixed with miry clay.
the feet and toes. The statue’s feet are the divided Roman Empire.
VERSE 42. As the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom will be partly strong, and partly broken.
VERSE 43. Whereas you saw the iron mixed with miry clay, they will mingle themselves with the seed of men; but they won’t cling to one another, even as iron does not mix with clay.
VERSE 44. “In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, nor will its sovereignty be left to another people; but it will break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it will stand forever.
a kingdom which will never be destroyed. This is the kingdom of Jesus Christ!
VERSE 45. Because you saw that a stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God has made known to the king what will happen hereafter. The dream is certain, and its interpretation sure.”
VERSE 46. Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell on his face, worshiped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an offering and sweet odors to him.
VERSE 47. The king answered to Daniel, and said, “Of a truth your God is the God of gods, and the Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, since you have been able to reveal this secret.”
your God is the God of gods. Daniel has very powerfully evangelized king Nebuchadnezzar.
VERSE 48. Then the king made Daniel great, and gave him many great gifts, and made him rule over the whole province of Babylon, and to be chief governor over all the wise men of Babylon.
VERSE 49. Daniel requested of the king, and he appointed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego over the affairs of the province of Babylon; but Daniel was in the king’s gate.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.