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Daniel 2 Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream

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  Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream

In Daniel 2:1-16 Nebuchadnezzar had a dream, and he asked his wise men to interpret it for him. If the wise men did not interpret the dream, they would be executed.

This is a Bible Study. Have your own Bible handy to look up the references I mention.
If you do not have a Bible, I suggest BibleGateway. Com.

1. Nebuchadnezzar was having dreams.

He “was troubled in his sleep, wondering about the future of this great empire he had founded: where was it all going to end?” (McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible: Volume III: [Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983], 533)

2. Then the king commanded the wise men to stand before him.

The function of the magicians “was to repel demons and evil spirits by means of special spells and incantations.” (Phillips, John. Exploring the Book of Daniel: An Expository Commentary. [Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 2004], 44)

The “enchanters refers to the power of necromancy of communication with the dead, but can also be understood as astrologers.” (Walvoord, John F. Daniel. [Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2012], 61)

“Sorcerers are those who practice sorcery on incantations.” (Walvoord, 61)

“The Chaldeans were a special class, distinct from the ordinary Babylonians (Jeremiah 22:25; Ezekiel 23:23), and belonged to southern Babylonia.” (Phillips, 45)

Troubling Dream

3 One night a dream troubled Nebuchadnezzar

OK, guys, you “wise men” you. Tell me my dream!

They were supposed to have all the answers. If he told them the dream, they would tell the king some made up story hoping it would satisfy him.

“The king was not at all convinced of the integrity of this ragtag-and-bobtail collection of notables.” (Phillips, 45)

4. In this verse the Chaldeans took the lead and asked the king to tell them the dream so they could drum up some story to tell the king.

Starting with this verse to the end of chapter 7, Daniel changed from writing in Hebrew to Aramaic.

“The Aramaic section deals primarily with Gentile world power (‘the times of the Gentiles’)…The Hebrew portions of the book of Daniel are more concerned with matters of special import to the Jewish people.” (Phillips, 45)

“Israel has gone into Babylonian captivity. God has taken the scepter out of the line of David, and He has put in gentile hands. It will stay there until the day He takes the scepter back.” (McGee, 534)

5. The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, nope, you tell me my dream.

He is not have any part of it.

The king is not changing his mind.

If you do not make known to me the dream and its interpretation,

A threat?

This is what will happen to you:

You shall be torn limb from limb, and your houses shall be laid in ruins.

Reward Program

6. Ok, guys there is an alternative here.

You shall receive from me gifts and rewards and great honor.

You will be signed up for the kings’ reward program!!! I know I am trying to be funny!

But first, you gotta tell me my dream and its interpretation.”

“The farsighted king could not see any reason why his psychics and soothsayers, if they had the powers that they claimed, should not be expected to recount his dream for him.” (Phillips, 46)

7. Nope, tell me the interpretation of my dream and you will live.


8. You are stalling!

9. If you do not tell me my dream, I have already told you what will happen to you.

“Nebuchadnezzar feels these men have been feeding him a great deal of malarkey, and he is now putting them to a real test.” (McGee, 535)

You have all gotten together and agreed to lie to me telling me corrupt things.

They were hoping that the king would change his mind after a good night’s sleep.

Tell me the dream!!! Then I will know you are legitimate.

10. There is no one alive who can do what you are asking. No royalty has ever asked for such a thing.


11. It is too difficult. Only the God’s could do what the king asks.

“Here come the backup excuses:

  • No one on earth can do what you ask.
  • No king has ever asked this before.
  • Only the gods have this information, and they never share it with human beings.”

(Gangel, Kenneth O. Holman Old Testament Commentary. [Nashville: B&H Publishing Group, 2001], 42)

“This paves the way for Daniel to come onto the scene.” (McGee, 535)

12. The king was extremely irate and issued a command to have all the wise men killed.

Furious Genesis 40:2; 41:10

You done it now. You really made the king mad!

13. Because of the kings mandate all the wise men are to be killed. This included Daniel and his friends.

“The king’s decree includes Daniel and his brethren. Although they are just being trained, they were being taught by the same crowd in which the king has now lost confidence.” (McGee, 536)

Wisdom from Daniel

14. Then Daniel replied with wisdom and sensitivity to Arioch, the captain of the king’s guard, who had gone out to kill the wise men of Babylon.

“The nature of Daniel’s response is worth noting. Although the wise men previously could hardly be accused of discourtesy, there seems to be an additional dignity and calmness in Daniel’s approach to the problem.” (Walvoord, 67)

15. When Daniel was approached by Arioch, the king’s captain, he asked him why would the king want everyone killed?

Several translations use the word “harsh.”

Daniels gentle question and attitude allows Arioch to make the matter known to Daniel.

Ephesians 5:6 Proverbs 15:1 Psalm 43:1

16. Daniel had been before the king before, so he ignored protocol and went directly to the king.

Also, he wanted to show the interpretation to the king.

“Yes, he would interpret the dream; he just needed some time. Time for what? Time for prayer. Time to share his problem with his friends whose lives were also at stake. Time to see what the Almighty God would do when all other gods had failed.” (Gangel, 44)

Gangel, Kenneth O. Holman Old Testament Commentary. Nashville: B&H Publishing Group, 2001
McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible: Volume III: Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983
Phillips, John. Exploring the Book of Daniel: An Expository Commentary. Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 2004
Walvoord, John F. Daniel. Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2012

Going to School                                                          God Reveals the Dream

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