What statement did Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon, make to his wise men whom he had assembled?
Dan 2:3-5 And the king said unto them, I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit was troubled to know the dream.
2:4 Then spake the Chaldeans to the king in Syriack, O king, live for ever: tell thy servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation.
2:5 The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, The thing is gone from me: if ye will not make known unto me the dream, with the interpretation thereof, ye shall be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made a dunghill.
NOTE–SANCTIFIED LIFE,PP34-THE FIERY FURNACE– In the same year that Daniel and his companions entered the service of the king of Babylon events occurred that severely tested the integrity of these youthful Hebrews and proved before an idolatrous nation the power and faithfulness of the God of Israel. While King Nebuchadnezzar was looking forward with anxious forebodings to the future, he had a remarkable dream, by which he was greatly troubled, “and his sleep brake from him” (Dan. 2:1). But although this vision of the night made a deep impression on his mind, he found it impossible to recall the particulars. He applied to his astrologers and magicians, and with promises of great wealth and honor commanded them to tell him his dream and its interpretation. But they said, “Tell thy servants the dream, and we will shew the interpretation” (verse 4).
The king knew that if they could really tell the interpretation, they could tell the dream as well. The Lord had in His providence given Nebuchadnezzar this dream, and had caused the particulars to be forgotten, while the fearful impression was left upon his mind, in order to expose the pretensions of the wise men of Babylon. The monarch was very angry, and threatened that they should all be slain if, in a given time, the dream was not made known. Daniel and his companions were to perish with the false prophets; but, taking his life in his hand, Daniel ventures to enter the presence of the king, begging that time may be granted that he may show the dream and the interpretation. To this request the monarch accedes; and now Daniel gathers his three companions, and together they take the matter before God, seeking for wisdom from the Source of light and knowledge. Although they were in the king’s court, surrounded with temptation, they did not forget their responsibility to God. They were strong in the consciousness that His providence had placed them where they were; that they were doing His work, meeting the demands of truth and duty. They had confidence toward God. They had turned to Him for strength when in perplexity and danger, and He had been to them an ever-present help.
REF-GENESIS 40:8 And they said unto him, We have dreamed a dream, and [there is] no interpreter of it. And Joseph said unto them, [Do] not interpretations [belong] to God? tell me [them], I pray you.
NOTE-SANCTIFIED LIFE,PP,35-36-The Secret Revealed-The servants of God did not plead with Him in vain. They had honored Him, and in the hour of trial He honored them. The secret was revealed to Daniel, and he hastened to request an interview with the king.The Jewish captive stands before the monarch of the most powerful empire the sun has ever shone upon. The king is in great distress amid all his riches and glory, but the youthful exile is peaceful and happy in his God. Now, if ever, is the time for Daniel to exalt himself, to make prominent his own goodness and superior wisdom. But his first effort is to disclaim all honor for himself and to exalt God as the source of wisdom: The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, shew unto the king; but there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days” (Dan. 2:27, 28). The king listens with solemn attention as every particular of the dream is reproduced; and when the interpretation is faithfully given, he feels that he can rely upon it as a divine revelation. The solemn truths conveyed in this vision of the night made a deep impression on the sovereign’s mind, and in humility and awe he fell down and worshiped, saying, “Of a truth it is, that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets” (verse 47).
NOTE: The King’s wise men fail him – The magicians practiced magic, using the term in its bad sense that is, they employed all the superstitious rites and ceremonies of fortunetellers, and casters of nativities, and the like. Astrologers were men who pretended to foretell events by the study of the stars. The science, or the superstition, of astrology was extensively cultivated by the Eastern Nations of antiquity, sorcerers were such as pretended to hold communication with the dead. In this sense, we believe, the word ‘sorcerer’ is always used in the scriptures. The Chaldeans here mentioned were a sect of philosophers similar to the magicians and astrologers, who made natural science and divinations their study. All these sects of professions abounded in Babylon. The result desired by each was the same – the explaining of mysteries and the foretelling of events, the principal difference between them being the means by which they sought to accomplish their object. The King’s difficulty lay equally within the province of each to explain; hence he summoned them all. With the king it was an important matter. He was greatly troubled and therefore concentrated upon the solution of his perplexity the wisdom of his realm.
In whatever else the ancient magicians and astrologers may have been efficient, they seem to have been thoroughly schooled in the art of drawing out sufficient information to form a basis for some showed calculation, or of framing their answers in such an ambiguous manner that they would be applicable whichever way the events turned. In the present case, true to their cunning instincts, they called upon the king to make known to them his dream, if they could get full information respecting this, they could easily agree on some interpretation which would not endanger their reputation. They addressed themselves to the king in Syriac, a dialect of the Chaldean language which was used by the educated and cultural classes. From this point to the end of Daniel 7, the record continues in Chaldaic, the language spoken by the king.
After being threatened with death if they did not make known the dream and the interpretation, what did the wise men say to the king?
Dan 2:10-11 The Chaldeans answered before the king, and said, There is not a man upon the earth that can show the king’s matter: therefore [there is] no king, lord, nor ruler, [that] asked such things at any magician, or astrologer, or Chaldean.
2:11 And [it is] a rare thing that the king requireth, and there is none other that can show it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh man upon the earth that can show the king’s matter(the dream
NOTE: These verses contain the record of the desperate struggle between the wise man and the king. The former sought some avenue of escape, since they were caught on their own ground. The king was determined that they should make known his dream, which was no more than should be expected from their profession. Some have severely censured Nebuchadnezzar in this matter, as acting the part of a heartless unreasonable tyrant. But what did these magicians profess to be able to do- to reveal hidden things, to foretell events, to make known mysteries entirely beyond human foresight and penetration, and to do this by the aid of supernatural agencies. There was therefore nothing unjust in Nebuchadnezzar’s demand that they should make known his dream. When they declared that none but the gods whose dwelling was not with flesh could make known the king’s matter, it was a tacit acknowledgement that they had no communication with these gods, and knew nothing beyond what human’s wisdom and discernment could reveal. For this cause the king was angry and very furious. He saw that he and all his people were being made the victims of deception. While we cannot justify the extreme measures to which he resorted, dooming them to death, and their house to destruction, we cannot but feel a hearty sympathy with him in his condemnation of a class of miserable impostors. The king would be no party to dishonesty or deception.
DANIEL AND THE DREAM
After the wise men had thus confessed their inability to do what the king required, who offered to interpret the dream?
Dan 2:16-18 Then Daniel went in, and desired of the king that he would give him time, and that he would show the king the interpretation.
2:17 Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions:
2:18 That they would desire mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret; that Daniel and his fellows should not perish with the rest of the wise [men] of Babylon.
NOTE: (Daniel and the Revelation pgs 32-35) – Daniel to the rescue. In this narrative we see the providence of God working in several remarkable particulars. It was providential that the dream of the king should leave such a powerful impression upon his mind as to raise him to the greatest height of anxiety, and yet the thing itself be held from his recollection. This led to the complete exposure of the false system of the magicians and other pagan teachers. When put to the test to make known the dream, they were unable to do what they professed was entirely within their power. It was remarkable that Daniel and his companions, so lately pronounced by the king ten times better than all his magicians and astrologers, should not have been consulted in this matter. But there was providence in this. Just as the dream was held from the king, so he was unaccountably restrained from appealing to Daniel for a solution of the mystery. Had he called on Daniel at the first to make known the matter, the magicians would not have been brought to the test. But God would give the heathen systems of the Chileans the first chance. He would let them try and ignominiously fail, and then confess their utter incompetency, even under the penalty of death, that they might be the better prepared to acknowledge His intervention when He should finally manifest His power in behalf of His captive servants, and for the honor of His name.
After Daniel and his fellows had sought God earnestly, how was the dream and its interpretation revealed Daniel?
Daniel 2:19 The secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision
REF-Numbers 12:6 If there be a prophet among you, he will make himself known to him
REF-Job 33:14-18 For God speaketh once, yea twice, [yet man] perceiveth it not.
33:15 In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed;
33:16 Then he openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction,
33:17 That he may withdraw man [from his] purpose, and hide pride from man.
33:18 He keepeth back his soul from the pit, and his life from perishing by the sword.