THE DAILY BLOG ON THE BOOK OF DANIEL – MAY 13, 2020

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Daniel is now before King Nebuchadnezzar. We read in Daniel 2:26-28, “The king said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, “Are you able to make known to me the dream which I have seen and its interpretation?” Daniel answered before the king and said, “As for the mystery about which the king has inquired, neither wise men, conjurers, magicians nor diviners are able to declare it to the king. However, there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will take place in the latter days. This was your dream and the visions in your mind while on your bed.” (NASB) Daniel informs us here that he had been introduced by Arioch and likely was presented to the king by the Babylonian name he had been given. So he is announced to the king as Belteshazzar. This order you will recall was the king’s and was carried out by Ashpenaz in Daniel 1:7. So we are simply reading Daniel speaking of himself and being addressed as Belteshazzar before the court. Nebuchadnezzar asks Daniel if he can first tell him the content of his dream and then its interpretation. The inference here is that Nebuchadnezzar may have lost any hope that anyone could know the contents of his dream. Again, I and others do not necessarily believe that Nebuchadnezzar had forgotten his dream but used that as a test to ensure the wise men were telling the truth.

As Daniel answers the king I think for a brief moment, as he hears Daniel’s reply, he may have thought Daniel was going to say the same things as the wise men. Daniel does, in part, but with a twist. Daniel tells the king, in effect, that what the wise men had said was partly true. No wise men, conjurers, magicians, or diviners could tell him the content of his dream. If you did not realize the significance of this statement then re-read the sentence. Daniel is actually rebuking the king for his impossible and unjust decree. The wise men had no way of knowing so they were speaking the truth when they said they could not possibly know the dream. Daniel confirms this to be the case. Imagine the scene for a moment. It would not be hard for us to imagine Nebuchadnezzar begin to immediately think the same of Daniel as he did of the wise men. Except, for the next word out of Daniel’s mouth.

Most English translations use the word “But” as the next word Daniel says. The word in the original text is beram which is Aramaic and is defined as “however” which is what the NASB uses. Equally, and perhaps because this Aramaic word has an uncertain derivation, the use of the word “nevertheless” has also been used to echo what Daniel said.

Any of the three words would suffice for Daniel is immediately making a statement by the use of “But”, “However”, or “Nevertheless” that there is one who knows the contents of the dream and its interpretation and Daniel is quick to reveal who that person is. The next three things Daniel says are remarkable as he is face to face with the most powerful ruler on earth!

  1. Daniel tells Nebuchadnezzar that there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries.

Here Daniel is separating truth from falsehood. He is putting Nebuchadnezzar on notice that it is only a God in heaven that is able to tell him the content of his dream. Why? Because God put that dream there. He was the author of it.

  1. Daniel tells Nebuchadnezzar that God has made known to Nebuchadnezzar what will take place in the latter days.

Now, while this has significance for Nebuchadnezzar during his lifetime the greater majority of those latter days would not. Many of those things (in latter days) to take place would happen thousands of years later and some are still yet to occur. So, while this dream is given to Nebuchadnezzar he is merely an instrument that God used to reveal the time of the Gentiles, its duration and what would happen thereafter. Importantly, built within that timeframe, the Messiah would also appear.

  1. This was your dream and the visions in your mind while on your bed.

Here Daniel is about to reveal the contents of the dream and its interpretation. In Daniel 2:29 we have its specific reference. This Scripture reads, “As for you, O king, while on your bed your thoughts turned to what would take place in the future; and He who reveals mysteries has made known to you what will take place.” (NASB)

Simply put, Nebuchadnezzar’s dream only partly affects him personally. All the events are future from that time stamp. Some of the events would occur in his lifetime but, as we study Daniel further, many more would occur long after Nebuchadnezzar had lived. Daniel then tells Nebuchadnezzar that God had chosen to reveal those things to Nebuchadnezzar.

We will speak more on Daniel’s description of the latter days in these verses when we return.

 

Bible quotations are taken from the following versions of the Bible.

New American Standard Bible (NASB), Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation.

 

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