The Story of Daniel

Chapter 2

Nebuchadnezzar, forgetting his dream, requires it of the Chaldeans by promises and threatenings, 1-9. They, acknowledging their inability, are judged to die, 10-13. Daniel, obtaining some respite, reveals the dream, 14-18. He blesses God, 19-23. He, staying the decree, is brought to the king, 24-30. The dream, 31-35. The interpretation, 36-45. Daniel's advancement, 46-49.

1 And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, with which his spirit was troubled, and his sleep broke from him. 2 Then the king commanded to call the magicians, the astrologers, the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans to declare to the king his dream. So they came and stood before the king. 3 And the king said to them, "I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit was troubled to know the dream."

4 Then the Chaldeans spoke to the king in Syriac, "O king, live forever. Tell your servants the dream and we will reveal the interpretation." 5 The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, "The thing has gone from me. If you will not make known to me the dream, with its interpretation, you shall be cut in pieces and your houses shall be made a dunghill. 6 But if you make known the dream and its interpretation, you shall receive from me gifts, rewards, and great honor. Therefore, tell me the dream and its interpretation." 7 They answered again and said, "Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will reveal its interpretation." 8 The king answered and said, "I know of certainty that you would gain the time, because you see the thing has gone from me. 9 But if you will not make known to me the dream, there is but one decree for you, for you have prepared lying and corrupt words to speak before me, until the time is changed. Therefore, tell me the dream and I shall know that you can tell me its interpretation." 10 The Chaldeans answered before the king, and said, "There is not a man upon the earth who can disclose the king's matter, for there is no king, lord, nor ruler who has asked such things of any magician, astrologer, or Chaldean. 11 And it is a rare thing that the king requires, and there is no other who can reveal it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh."

12 For this cause the king was angry and very furious, and commanded to destroy all the wise men of Babylon. 13 And the decree went forth that the wise men should be slain. And they sought Daniel and his fellows to be slain.

14 Then Daniel answered with counsel and wisdom to Arioch the captain of the king's guard, who had gone forth to slay the wise men of Babylon. 15 He answered and said to Arioch the king's captain, "Why is the decree so hasty from the king?" Then Arioch made the thing known to Daniel. 16 Then Daniel went in and desired of the king that he would give him time so that he might reveal to the king the interpretation.

17 Then Daniel went to his house and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions, 18 That they would desire mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret, so that Daniel and his companions should not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.

19 Then the secret was revealed to Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven. 20 Daniel answered and said,

"Blessed be the name of God/
forever and ever,/
for wisdom and might are his.

21 And he changes the times and the seasons./
He removes kings, and sets up kings./
He gives wisdom to the wise,/
and knowledge to those who know understanding.

22 He reveals the deep and secret things./
He knows what is in the darkness,/
and the light dwells with him.

23 I thank you, and praise you,/
O God of my fathers,/
who has given me wisdom and might,/
and has made known to me now what we desired of you,/
for you have now made known to us the king's matter."

24 Therefore, Daniel went into Arioch, whom the king had ordained to destroy the wise men of Babylon. He went and said thus to him: "Do not destroy the wise men of Babylon. Bring me in before the king and I will explain to the king the interpretation."

25 Then Arioch brought in Daniel before the king in haste, and said thus to him: "I have found a man of the captives of Judah who will make known to the king the interpretation." 26 The king answered and said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, "Are you able to make known to me the dream which I have seen, and its interpretation?" 27 Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, "The secret which the king has demanded, the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, and the soothsayers cannot reveal to the king. 28 But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets and makes known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Your dream and the visions of your head upon your bed, are these. 29 As for you, O king, your thoughts came into your mind upon your bed about what should come to pass hereafter, and he who reveals secrets makes known to you what shall come to pass. 30 But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living man, but to the intent that the interpretation may be made known to the king, and that you may know the thoughts of your heart.

31 "You, O king, saw, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before you, and its form was awesome. 32 The head of this image was of fine gold, his chest and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, 33 His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. 34 You were looking until a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay and broke them to pieces. 35 Then the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold were broken to pieces together and became like the chaff of the summer threshing-floors, and the wind carried them away so that no place was found for them. And the stone that smote the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.

36 "This is the dream, and we will tell its interpretation before the king. 37 You, O king, are a king of kings, for the God of heaven has given you a kingdom, power, strength, and glory. 38 And wherever the children of men dwell, or the beasts of the field, or the birds of the heaven, he has given into your hand and has made you ruler over them all. You are this head of gold.

39 "And after you another kingdom inferior to you shall arise, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth.

40 "And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron, because iron breaks in pieces and subdues all things. And as iron that breaks all these, it shall break in pieces and bruise. 41 And whereas you saw the feet and toes, part of potter's clay and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided, but there shall be in it some of the strength of the iron, because you saw the iron mixed with the miry clay. 42 And as the toes of the feet were part of iron and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly broken. 43 And whereas you saw iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the descendants of men, but they shall not cleave to one another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.

44 "And in the days of these kings the God of heaven shall set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed. And the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. 45 Because you saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold, the great God has made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter. And the dream is certain, and its interpretation sure."

46 Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face and worshiped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odors to him. 47 The king answered to Daniel, and said, "Of a truth it is that your God is a God of gods, a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing you could reveal this secret." 48 Then the king made Daniel a great man, gave him many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief of the governors over all the wise men of Babylon. 49 Then Daniel requested of the king, and he set Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego over the affairs of the province of Babylon, but Daniel sat in the gate of the king.


Matthew Henry Commentary - Daniel, Chapter 2[➚]


John Gill's Chapter Summary:

The subject of this chapter is a dream which Nebuchadnezzar had dreamed, but had forgot, upon which he calls his magicians and astrologers together to tell him it and the interpretation of it, threatening them with death if they did not, and promising them great rewards and honor if they did (Daniel 2:1-6); they urge the unreasonableness of the demand and the impossibility of the thing, which so highly incensed the king, that he ordered their immediate destruction (Daniel 2:7-13); Daniel and his companions being in danger, he goes in to the king and desires time, and he would show him what he had dreamed, which being granted, he spent it in prayer to God (Daniel 2:14-18); and the thing being revealed to him, he gave thanks to God (Daniel 2:19-23); and being introduced to the king, he both told him his dream and the interpretation of it, which concerned the four monarchies of the world and the everlasting kingdom of the Messiah (Daniel 2:24-45); upon which he was highly honored and greatly promoted by the king (Daniel 2:46-49).

[v.35] - "no place was found for them" - The Greek text of the Septuagint here in this verse for that phrase exactly matches the Greek in Revelation 20:11.