7, 605 to March/April 604– Nebuchadnezzar, is made king of
to replace his father Nabopolassar. This is called the “year” of accession
for Nebuchadnezzar. It is Daniel’s first year of training
March-April 604 to March-April 603 – Called Nebuchadnezzar’s first year as king.
This is Daniel’s second year of training.
March-April 603 to March-April 602 – Called Nebuchadnezzar’s second year as
king. This is Daniel’s third year of training.
“Second year” of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign:
Daniel would be 16-20 years old at this time.
“troubled” is from root means “to strike”
“he could not sleep” literally means “His sleep was done (finished) upon him”
Nebuchadnezzar and other kings had a whole state department dedicated to this very thing (interpreting dreams) since the Babylonians believed dreams to be from the gods who were communicating with them.
“Dreamed dreams” can mean he had been having these dreams for some time.
God had spoken to other Gentiles in dreams: Abimelech (Gen. 20:3) and Pharaoh (Gen. 41:1-8)
Together the above mentioned make up a group that seem to be known as “wise men” or “magi”
“in Aramaic” probably does not mean to say the astrologers spoke in Aramaic since they most likely spoke to the king in his native language of Akkadian. Instead, “in Aramaic” indicates that a switch to the Aramaic language from Hebrew occurs here in Daniel’s writing. Aramaic continues to be used until the end of chapter 7 at 7:28.
The wise men had manuals and rules for interpreting dreams. But, they first had to know the nature and details of the dream.
Literally says, “the command from me is firm.”
The king clearly has not forgotten the dream as the KJ indicates since the wise
men continue to ask for an interpretation.
If the king did not remember the dream then this would have been a good chance
for the wise men to fabricate a dream and convince him this was the.
The penalty is dismemberment and their homes becoming garbage dumping
Herodotus records Darius I slaughtering his wise men or magi almost to the point of annihilation about 100 years after Nebuchadnezzar’s threat.
Nebuchadnezzar was a young man and may have been suspicious of the older wise men’s loyalty, frustrated with their old, worthless superstitions or even wanted to surround himself with his own, younger, hand picked wise men.
Rewards, promotion, marriage into royal line
The wise men know Nebuchadnezzar knows his dream
Stalling for time because:
Nebuchadnezzar would know these wise men had no contact with the spiritual world if they could not retrieve his dream. He would know they had great claims of spiritual power, but were in reality powerless.
Also, Nebuchadnezzar could figure out a general interpretation of the dream: it involved the image of a great man who was attacked, destroyed and turned to dust by an outside force. Nebuchadnezzar has only been king for 2-3 years and is still on unstable ground considering he is still at war with many countries and may be facing internal rebellion that could come through these wise men. He doesn’t know who to trust plus the dream seems to indicate some kind of overthrow.
The wise men give two responses to Nebuchadnezzar:
The king was so angry that it appears the executions began without any more delay. Why wait? The wise men have already admitted they cannot produce.
The Aramaic participle translated “to put to death” can be translated “were being killed”. Several translators and commentators translate it this way.
“guard” is from “tabbah” which means “to slay”. The kings guards were his executioners. Arioch was the chief executioner.
“tact” is literally “taste” from “te‘em” which means Daniel spoke words that were perfect fit for the situation.
If Daniel’s training had been completed he would have joined the ranks of the wise men as a councilor to the king not as a Babylonian priest. There were many classes that made up the group called wise men.
Daniel asks Arioch, “Why such a harsh decree? What caused the king to start executing wise men?”
Daniel goes to Nebuchadnezzar and asks for time.
Daniel indicates just the opposite of what the other wise men had indicated:
Nebuchadnezzar gives Daniel time.
Four teenagers pray for revelation and receive the most comprehensive revelation of world history ever given by God.
A night vision gave Daniel the dream but also revealed the mystery of the revelation in the dream.
God has wisdom to design and plan
God has power to execute his wisdom
God changes times and seasons = God is beginning the age of the Gentiles
God sets up and deposes kings = God will control Gentile history
God is the source of the wise man’s wisdom and the discerning man’s knowledge
God reveals, God knows, God has light
God is the God of Daniel’s fathers
God gave Daniel wisdom to know the dream and power to save the wise men
God has answered Daniel’s request.