THE DAILY BLOG ON THE BOOK OF DANIEL – MAY 7, 2020

Posted by on May 7, 2020 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on THE DAILY BLOG ON THE BOOK OF DANIEL – MAY 7, 2020

At first sight, there appears an odd statement in Daniel 2:13b which says that “they” [these being Arioch and those who were composed of Nebuchadnezzar’s bodyguards] looked for Daniel and his friends to kill them. The sentence immediately implies they did not know where Daniel and his friends were. Also, why does the Scripture go from the scene of Nebuchadnezzar’s court to immediately looking for Daniel and his friends? What happened to all the other wise men? A simple reasoning of Scripture should convince the reader there is no ambiguity involved. If every action and event that occurred in the Bible was written down, the Bible would not be a single book but a whole library to hold its contents. The Apostle John elaborates this very point in John 21:25 saying, “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written.” (NASB) Here John is confirming the point that it does not require every single detail in order for us to grasp the message that God is giving. God’s word is sufficient and complete for our understanding. The plans and purposes of God is the golden thread that traverses Scripture from Genesis through to Revelation. Part of that thread is the book of Daniel.

The translation of the word “looked” in the NASB Bible on this occasion is an unfortunate one. The word used in the original text is bea which occurs twelve times in the Hebrew Scriptures. This word means request, petition or to seek. It corresponds to the Aramaic word baah which means to inquire or search. So when we are told Arioch and his men looked for Daniel, the Scripture is telling us he was seeking Daniel. Rather than the implication that Arioch looked for Daniel and his friends to immediately kill them, he actually sought to find them.

This, indeed, opens up how the dialog with Arioch and Daniel was able to occur. We can see this by the next verses in Daniel 2:14-15, “Then Daniel replied with discretion and discernment to Arioch, the captain of the king’s bodyguard, who had gone forth to slay the wise men of Babylon; he said to Arioch, the king’s commander, “For what reason is the decree from the king so urgent?” Then Arioch informed Daniel about the matter.” (NASB) Evidently, Daniel was able to reason with Arioch with his people skills using his discretion and discernment. We have said earlier in our studies that, by God’s providence, over the life of Daniel, people appeared to have no problem in listening to him. Daniel’s reputation had obviously been noticed by many in the court after Nebuchadnezzar’s testing of him when he went before the king after his training. The Scriptures are silent as to whether Daniel had met Arioch before these events. Given the fact that he, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah had been in training and had “graduated” over three years of study by this point, it is likely that they would have met him, and possibly knew him well. Daniel is shown here to be both respectful and careful in his question, which is a valid one, by reasoning with Arioch. This could imply that there was some level of relationship with the two. He asks for the reason that the decree had been ordered and why it was so urgent. Again, I think the inference that the two had some kind of relationship or even respect for one another is shown by Arioch’s answer. We are told Arioch informed Daniel of the matter. To be informed means having or showing knowledge of a particular subject or situation, based on an understanding of the facts of the situation. Had Arioch not known Daniel then he could have simply swept any questions aside and put the Hebrews to death right there and then, or arrested them in readiness for their executions. But no, he took the time to explain to Daniel the facts of what had transpired. As the king’s captain of the bodyguard he would have been present in the court while Nebuchadnezzar issued his decree. It is no different in the security detail of heads of state in our day where the ruler is open to possible attacks or assassination attempts. Wherever Nebuchadnezzar went his security detail were present. We are not told of how long the conversation between Arioch and Daniel lasted but we are told what happened next in condensed form. Daniel 2:16 tells us, “So Daniel went in and requested of the king that he would give him time, in order that he might declare the interpretation to the king.” (NASB) There are a couple of things to note in this verse which are very compelling. Before we get to them we are told Daniel went into the king. This is the condensed version I am talking about and it reflects what we said at the beginning of this blog – that we are not given every single detail as to scenes. Given the discretion and discernment Daniel showed toward Arioch, he would not have simply jumped up and marched himself into the king. Neither would Arioch have allowed him to. There is no indication in Scripture that Daniel had that level of access or that he knew the king that well. Of course, proper protocol would have been observed. No doubt Daniel asked Arioch for permission to speak with the king which, despite whether or not Arioch himself had to go through other channels to gain permission, was inevitably granted.

Now, for the compelling points of this verse. Daniel asks the king for more time in order that he could provide him with the interpretation. You will recall, the king flatly refused the wise men any further time accusing them of delaying in the hope that he would change his mind. Instead, he ordered their executions. Secondly, Daniel only mentions the interpretation. He never speaks of the dream, just the interpretation, enforcing the point that the dream is the delivery system, the interpretation is the message that God has for Nebuchadnezzar. In addition, what is fascinating is that a pagan king wants answers to what his dream meant. And yet that dream’s interpretation would affect every man, woman and child from then until the conclusion of this world’s existence.

Daniel is clearly given the time because of what we will read next 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.

 

MDR Ministries © 2020. All Rights Reserved.