1. What caused Nebuchadnezzar to have his spirit troubled?
He had dreamed dreams: “And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, wherewith his spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake from him” (Daniel 2:1).
- This was what we might call having nightmares (Daniel 4:4-5).
- Dreams had been used by God to send messages in times past both in clear and unclear visions (Genesis 20:1-8, Genesis 28:10-17, Genesis 31:11, Genesis 31:24, Genesis 37:1-11, Judges 7:13-15, I Kings 3:5-15, etc.).
- Dreams were a medium wherein God communicated with man (Numbers 12:6 and I Samuel 28:6).
- Dreams were miraculous, prophetic in this sense (Acts 2:17). Thus, the ceasing of them with spiritual gifts (I Corinthians 13:8-13) applies.
- When it came to dreams from God, truth had to be measured against them (Deuteronomy 13:1-5).
2. Who did Nebuchadnezzar look to for help with his troubles?
The Chaldean magicians, astrologers, and sorcerers: “(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. (3) And the king said unto them, I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit was troubled to know the dream” (Daniel 2:2-3).
- We are going to see another king in Babylon do something similar (Daniel 5:1-9).
- Remember, it wasn’t impossible for evil men to do wonders so this is not an extremely unreasonable thought (Exodus 7:8-13, I Samuel 28:3-21, I Kings 22:1-28, II Chronicles 33:1-6, Matthew 24:24, II Thessalonians 2:3-12, and I John 4:1-6).
- The language of one’s spirit troubling that person is an indicator that they are troubled within (i.e. Daniel 7:15 and II Corinthians 2:13).
3. What did the king require of those he sought help from so that he would know they were not speaking corrupt words before him?
They not only needed to interpret the dream, but also tell him his dream as well: “(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. (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. (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. (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. (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” (Daniel 2:4-9).
- This is where we begin to see how that God’s servant was going to stand out and frustrate the liars (Isaiah 44:21-26).
- The test was to show that they could know. This would confirm their knowledge (Isaiah 41:21-24).
- It is inferred that Nebuchadnezzar didn’t even trust them. In this, he was wiser than Israel had recently been (Jeremiah 7:8).
- They were going to be punished if they couldn’t deliver or rewarded if they did. That’s fair for those who promise something and cannot deliver (Proverbs 12:17; Proverbs 19:9).
4. What caused the king to command the destruction of all the wise men of Babylon?
“(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. (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.
(12) For this cause the king was angry and very furious, and commanded to destroy all the wise men of Babylon. (13) And the decree went forth that the wise men should be slain; and they sought Daniel and his fellows to be slain” (Daniel 2:10-13).
- “There is not a man upon the earth” is an understandable conclusion for those whom were NOT familiar with what God had done through His prophets (I Kings 13:1-6, II Kings 5:1-14, II Kings 13:21, II Kings 20:8-11, etc.). It was God who worked wonders, therefore saying man could not is not entirely inaccurate (Psalms 89:1-11).
- Then they are again partially correct proclaiming that it is a work of “god’s (that’s the false point - Deuteronomy 6:4) not in the flesh (Isaiah 57:15 and John 4:24).
- These partial truths caused the wrath of the king (Proverbs 20:2 and Proverbs 28:15-17).
5. What did Daniel do when he heard the king’s decision to destroy the wise men of Babylon?
He sought to intervene and have the king give him the time to interpret the dreams of the king: “(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.
(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” (Daniel 2:14-16).
- Why is the decree so hasty (Proverbs 14:29 and Ecclesiastes 7:9)?
- Daniel wanted time to step up and show the interpretation (Proverbs 16:14).
6. What did Daniel tell Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah?
That they needed to desire the mercies of God so they didn’t perish with the wise men of Babylon: “(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” (Daniel 2:17-18).
- As God’s men, they knew to whom to look (Psalms 30:10, Psalms 50:14-15, and Psalms 107:19).
7. Why did Daniel thank and praise God?
The Lord revealed to Daniel what he desired - the dream and the interpretation thereof: “(19) Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven. (20) Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: (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: (22) He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him. (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 2:19-23).
- We know, as far back as the days of Joseph being imprisoned in Egypt, that God worked through prophets to interpret dreams (Genesis 40:1-41:45).
- Remember: “As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams” (Daniel 1:17). Now, they needed to “stir” up their gift (II Timothy 1:6-7).
- God revealed this secret to Daniel (Amos 3:7).
- Daniel credits GOD as GOD having wisdom and might (Psalms 57:5, Psalms 62:11, and I Corinthians 10:31).
- Things were where God desired them (cf. Jeremiah 27:1-11 and Jeremiah 29:1-16).
- God is the revealer of secret things (Psalms 44:21, Daniel 2:28-29, and I Corinthians 4:5).
- God knows (Proverbs 15:3 and Jeremiah 23:24).
- God revealed and gave wisdom to Daniel (II Peter 1:20-21).
© 2019 This study was prepared for a Bible class with the Sunrise Acres church of Christ in El Paso, TX by Brian A. Yeager.