BOOK OF DANIEL – Shocked Response

Posted by on Apr 13, 2018 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on BOOK OF DANIEL – Shocked Response

Shocked Response

As we have learned previously, the groups of experts now standing before Nebuchadnezzar had an array of experience and documents to assist them in interpreting Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. All they needed was what they asked him as recorded in Daniel 2:4, “Then the Chaldeans spoke to the king in Aramaic: “O king, live forever! Tell the dream to your servants, and we will declare the interpretation.” (NASB) It should be apparent that, by their question, it was the norm for the dream to be interpreted. It is a normal question in our day too. When a young child is woken from a bad dream often the parent immediately asks them what has happened. Or, if your spouse said they had a nightmare, our immediate question is what was it about? Only until we read verse five do we see the problem. Daniel 2:5 says, “The king replied to the Chaldeans, “The command from me is firm: if you do not make known to me the dream and its interpretation, you will be torn limb from limb and your houses will be made a rubbish heap.” (NASB) One can only imagine how startled those assembled were. They reacted with shock and surprise, which would soon turn into fear and trembling for their very lives.

I have the utmost respect for many theologians and scholars who have spent their lives studying God’s word. I also have respect for those who have studied at seminary, etc. That being said, I am not afraid to disagree with some of these academics when Scripture is not saying what some purport it is. Case in point is the popular belief in some well-known translations of the Bible that Nebuchadnezzar forgot his dream. A careful reading of Daniel does not reveal Nebuchadnezzar forgot his dream. The popular belief that he did is a result of several older translations. The translation of the King James Version and The Authorized (King James) Version of the Bible are good examples. In Daniel 2:5a of these versions it reads, “The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, The thing is gone from me.” (Both the KJV and the AKJV render this verse the same) [Underline in Scripture mine]. Even when one looks at the original text this phrase is nowhere to be found. It is my belief (and many others) that Nebuchadnezzar never forget his dream. I say this for several reasons.

  1. The text never says he forgot it.
  2. Had he forgotten the dream then surely the magicians, conjurers, sorcerers and Chaldeans could have simply made up the contents of his dream and he would not have known.
  3. The fact that his sleep went away from him and he was anxious and troubled suggests he knew the dream but was lacking what it meant.
  4. Nebuchadnezzar, for reasons unknown to us, may have wanted to test his dream tellers to see how genuine they were.
  5. It was God’s plan all along to introduce Daniel into His purposes.

Up until the point of Nebuchadnezzar’s warning, you can imagine these experts standing there smiling, ready to give their verdicts on his dream. They were completely unprepared for his demands. It has been suggested and it is a valid comment that many of these experts were much older than Nebuchadnezzar, possibly being servants of his father before him. Being a new king he probably had a good idea whom he could trust, whom he had his doubts about or, indeed, he wanted to test the whole lot of them to see just how accurate their interpretations were. All that being said, if anyone was to say to you or me “tell me what my dream was last night and interpret it” then we would be just as clueless as those standing before Nebuchadnezzar. This points directly to my fifth point above and we will actually see Daniel confirming this later – that the only possibility of Nebuchadnezzar having his dream interpreted was by God Himself because it was God who had placed those dreams in Nebuchadnezzar as he lay sleeping.

As we will read in the forthcoming verses of Daniel chapter two, had God not acted providentially by having Daniel brought before the king, not only would he and his three friends have been put to death but all of those now standing before the court. If one thinks this was an idle threat by Nebuchadnezzar one only has to read what he did to Zedekiah in Jeremiah 52:9-11.