Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream is troubling him, and so he seeks the usual counsel of wise men to interpret it. In the ancient cultures, a king’s dream was important to him for knowing what he might have to prepare for. But the dream that God had given him had been made so important that he wanted to be certain that the one who interprets it does not do so falsely. So his command to the wise men is that they will tell him his dream first – and then interpret it. Of course none of them can do that; and the king orders all of the wise men destroyed – an order which would include Daniel and his companions (verses 12-13).
In a show of great faith, Daniel requested an appointment with the king to make the interpretation (verses 14-16). He prays and has Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego) pray as well; and the Lord makes the dream and its meaning known to him. He praises God for the knowledge in verses 20-23, and gives him the credit in verses 27-28 when he appears before the king. Daniel recounts the dream first, and then interprets it to Nebuchadnezzar in verses 31-45. The statue in the dream is a representation of the four great kingdoms that would dominate the history of the world. The current Babylonian empire was the first. The Medo-Persian empire ruled by Cyrus beginning in 539 b.c., and then Greece, under Alexander the Great, in about 331. These latter two are explicitly named in his vision in Daniel 8:20-21. The fourth is the Roman Empire. After that, the God of heaven would establish an everlasting kingdom (verse 44), pointing to the Christ. Compare verses 44-45 to Luke 20:17-18.
Nebuchadnezzar shows his gratitude in verses 46-49, and made Daniel chief prefect over all the wise men of Babylon. At Daniel’s request, he appointed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego over the affairs of the province. These young men, by being in position to look out for the welfare of the society they lived in, would be promoting their own welfare as well – just as Jeremiah had advised in Jeremiah 29:5-7.
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog. All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility. When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com. For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.