Book of Daniel, Part One
Chapter 1 Personal History of Daniel
(Dan 1:1 KJV) In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it.
This is the beginning of the Babylonian captivity, which lasted 70 years. This is the first deportation of Jews from Jerusalem into Babylon, which took place in 605 BC. The second deportation was 8 years later in 597 BC under Jehoiachin. A third and final deportation took place in 586 BC, when the majority of the inhabitants of Jerusalem were carried off into captivity.
(Dan 1:2 KJV) And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God: which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god.
Nebuchadnezzar intended to take Jehoiakim to Babylon, but he died before he could be deported. Jehoiakim’s body was dragged by the Chaldean besiegers out of the gates and left unburied. This would be the ultimate insult to a rival king. Only a portion of the vessels were carried away and stored in the house of Nebuchadnezzar’s god Bel. Not all the vessels were taken away at this time, since Nebuchadnezzar intended to have Israel as a tributary state. He left enough vessels for the Jews to have their worship. All the vessels were subsequently taken away in the third deportation in 586 BC. The temple of Bel was the treasure house of Nebuchadnezzar. The vessels were restored to Jerusalem under Cyrus (Ezra 1:7).
(Dan 1:3 KJV) And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king's seed, and of the princes;
The prophecy about
this chain of events is in II Kings 20:17-18 and
describes how King Hezekiah showed his treasures
to the Babylonians, and Isaiah prophesied that
they would all be taken to Babylon, along with
even some descendents of King Hezekiah.
Nebuchadnezzar tells the master over his eunuchs
to bring certain of the young Israelites to
Babylon along with some of the king’s
descendents, as prophesied. Children refers to
youths 12-14 years old, and they were to be
handsome (i.e., no blemish), as shown in the
following verse. A handsome form in Oriental
thinking was indicative of mental power.
(Dan 1:4 KJV) Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king's palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans.
Nebuchadnezzar desired handsome and intelligent children, who could serve in his palace, and stand before the king. This refers to attendant courtiers and not eunuchs, which performed the more menial tasks in the king’s palace. The courtiers were often nobles in the country, and they functioned in the actual government of the king. Nebuchadnezzar wanted these courtiers to learn the language of Chaldea and the literature, which was Aramaic-Babylonian.
(Dan 1:5 KJV) And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king's meat, and of the wine which he drank: so nourishing them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king.
It was typical for the retainers and royal captives to be fed from the king’s table. The king’s meat refers to delicacies and the best fare. To stand before the king refers to occupying important positions in the king’s government, so the youths were to be judged by the king to see if they have the necessary knowledge needed to be assigned important positions in the court of the king.
This is a clear type of Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah representing the four end time churches of Philadelphia, Thyatira, Sardis and Laodicea, who will stand before Jesus at the Judgment Seat of Christ to determine if they will qualify for positions in the kingdom of heaven. We will see more facets of this typology in the coming chapters.
(Dan 1:6 KJV) Now among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah:
Judah was the noblest tribe, since it was the tribe of the king’s seed. Four children among this tribe were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. Daniel means God my Judge in the Hebrew; Hananiah means Whom Jehovah hath favored; Mishael means Who is Comparable to God; and Azariah means Whom Jehovah Helps.
(Dan 1:7 KJV) Unto whom the prince of the eunuchs gave names: for he gave unto Daniel the name of Belteshazzar; and to Hananiah, of Shadrach; and to Mishael, of Meshach; and to Azariah, of Abednego.
Daniel’s name was changed to Belteshazzer, which means “a prince favored by Bel”. Hananiah’s name was changed to Shadrach, which means inspired or illumined by the Sungod. Mishael’s name was changed to Meshnach, retaining the first syllable but substituting for El the name of the Babylonian earth goddess Shak, whose name was Sheshach. Azariah’s name was changed to Abednego, which means servant of the shining fire. Thus, the four youths were dedicated by the heathen to their four leading gods: Bel who is the Chief-god, the Sun-god, the Earth-god and the Fire-god.
(Dan 1:8 KJV) But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.
Daniel is depicted as being the leader in purposing in his heart not to defile himself with the king’s special food and wine. Daniel was not arrogant or rebellious in his actions, but he simply requested permission by his overseer not to defile himself with the special food. It was custom to throw a small part of the viands and wine upon the earth as an initiatory rite to consecrate the whole meal of the king’s food to the gods. Thus, if Daniel and his friends ate the food, they would be participating in idolatry by eating food that had been consecrated by the false gods of Babylon. This would have been defilement under the Mosaic Law.
(Dan 1:9 KJV) Now God had brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs.
Daniel was favored by the overseer, who actually cared for Daniel as described by the phrase “tender love”. The favor of others toward the godly is the action of God.
(Dan 1:10 KJV) And the prince of the eunuchs said unto Daniel, I fear my lord the king, who hath appointed your meat and your drink: for why should he see your faces worse liking than the children which are of your sort? then shall ye make me endanger my head to the king.
The overseer explains to Daniel his fear of the king if Daniel and his friends did not look healthy when the king saw their faces after the time of testing.
(Dan 1:11 KJV) Then said Daniel to Melzar, whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah,
Daniel suggested to the overseer a test to confirm to the overseer that the food they requested would keep them healthy. Melzar refers to the steward, or chief butler, entrusted by Ashpenaz with furnishing the daily portion of food to the youths. Melzar is not a proper name but a title or position of a servant. The name in Persian means “master of wine or chief butler”.
(Dan 1:12 KJV) Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink.
Daniel asked that they be fed “pulse”, which is vegetables, and water to drink for a period of ten days.
(Dan 1:13 KJV) Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the king's meat: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants.
After ten days the overseer was to look upon their faces and judge if they looked as healthy as the other children being fed the king’s fare. This was a simple test and would alleviate the fears of the overseer, who was clearly willing to let Daniel and his partners eat vegetables and water, but he was fearful of the king.
(Dan 1:14 KJV) So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days.
The overseer consented to this simple test. At the end of the ten days, the complexions of Daniel and his friends were actually fairer and healthier looking than all the children that ate the king’s food.
(Dan 1:15 KJV) And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king's meat.
At the end of the ten days, the complexions of Daniel and his friends were actually fairer and healthier looking than all the children, which ate the king’s food.
(Dan 1:16 KJV) Thus Melzar took away the portion of their meat, and the wine that they should drink; and gave them pulse.
At seeing the health of the youths, the chief butler took away the portion of their food and wine that they should drink, and gave them vegetables instead.
(Dan 1:17 KJV) As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.
God gave the four youths knowledge and skill in learning and wisdom, but he gave Daniel understanding in regard to visions and dreams. Thus, God made Daniel an interpreter of visions and dreams in a degree that eclipsed the Chaldean sages, who prided themselves in this field of study and accomplishment. This will be seen later when Daniel is given supernatural ability in the interpretation of dreams and visions.
Note: This verse
sets the stage for Daniel and his three friends
being a type of the four end-time churches
described in Revelation 2-3. Daniel will be seen
as a type of the Philadelphia church, who is
taken in the Firstfruits Rapture to sit in the
court of the king, while Shadrach, Meshach and
Abednego are left behind to go through the firey
trials of the tribulation period. We will
address this in more detail as we continue with
(Dan 1:18 KJV) Now at the end of the days that the king had said he should bring them in, then the prince of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar.
At the end of the three years all the youths were brought before the king to be tested.
(Dan 1:19 KJV) And the king communed with them; and among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: therefore stood they before the king.
Upon being tested by the king, none was found to equal Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah in their knowledge and wisdom. Therefore, they were promoted to leadership positions in the king’s court. They were placed in positions of favor near the throne.
(Dan 1:20 KJV) And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm.
Details are provided to show that Daniel and his friends were ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in the realm. This is confirmation of the knowledge and wisdom that God provided for them in verse 17 above.
(Dan 1:21 KJV) And Daniel continued even unto the first year of king Cyrus.
This chapter ends with the note that Daniel continued even unto the time of king Cyrus, when he conquered the Babylonian Empire and established the Empire of the Medes and Persians. The significance of this statement is that Daniel, who was one of the first captives in the Babylonian Exile lived to see the end of the seventy years in exile. Daniel 10:1 confirms that Daniel was still around in the third year of Cyrus. Daniel would have been in his early 80s when Cyrus conquered Babylon.
Chapter 2 King Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream of the Four Kingdoms
(Dan 2:1 KJV) And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, wherewith his spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake from him.
We know from verse 1:5 above that the children had been taken away by Nebuchadnezzar three years earlier, so why does this verse state the second year of Nebuchadnezzar? Nebuchadnezzar had first ruled as a vice-regent under his father Nabopolassar, but this verse dates his dream from the time of his sole sovereignty. Nebuchadnezzar ruled Babylon 605 BC-562 BC. Nabopolassar ruled Babylon 625 BC-605 BC. Nebuchadnezzar conquered the combined forces of Assyria and Egypt at the Battle of Carchemish in 605 BC, while Nabopolassar stayed in Babylon. Nabopolassar died on the 8th of Abu 605 BC, which was August 15th of 605 BC. Nebuchadnezzar sat on the throne as ruler on the 1st of Ululu 605 BC, which was September 7th 605 BC. The first complete year of reign for Nebuchadnezzar started in 604 BC. This information is from the Babylonian Chronicle 5: http://www.livius.org/cg-cm/chronicles/abc5/jerusalem.html
It was in the second complete year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign as sovereign king when he received his dream from God about the four primary kingdoms that would reign, beginning with Babylon the Great. Even though the dream was given to him, the interpretation was to come from an Israelite, the people of God. Heathendom is passive and Israel active pertaining to divine things, so the glory goes to the God of heaven.
The king’s dream
troubled him greatly, for he knew it was of
great significance, even though he did not know
the meaning. It is clear that God had impressed
upon him the significance of the dream.
(Dan 2:2 KJV) Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the astrologers, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, for to show the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king.
The king called the magicians, astrologers, sorcerers and Chaldeans to give him the dream and the interpretation. The Chaldeans were a particular order of priest-magicians, who wore the peculiar dress pictured on the gods and deified men in Assyrian sculptures. They probably belonged exclusively to the Chaldeans, which was the original tribe of the Babylonian nation. In like manner the Magians were properly Medes. The magicians were a group that had special knowledge in the occult, while the astrologers had special knowledge about the stars and the Massaroth. The sorcerers were the necromancers who supposedly received knowledge from departed spirits. These were the different groups of so-called wise men who had different knowledge and expertise in supernatural phenomena. They came to stand before the king to advise him regarding his dream.
(Dan 2:3 KJV) And the king said unto them, I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit was troubled to know the dream.
The king asks the different groups of Babylonian wise men to give him the dream and the interpretation, explaining that he was greatly troubled by the dream.
(Dan 2:4 KJV) 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.
The king is asked by the group called Chaldeans to give them the dream, so they could interpret it. They ask in the language of Syriac, which was the local Aramaic dialect of Northern Mesopotamia.
(Dan 2:5 KJV) 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.
The king has included a test for the wise men to confirm if their knowledge was truly supernatural, or just a hoax. The king refuses to give them the dream, and asks them to give the dream and the meaning of the dream. It seems clear that the king did not trust them, for he requires them to not only give the meaning of the dream, but also the dream. This makes perfect sense, since if they had supernatural knowledge of the meaning of the dream, then they should also be able to have supernatural knowledge of the dream itself.
The actual translation of “The thing is gone from me” is “The decree is gone forth from me”. The king is being adamant that they are to give him the dream and the interpretation. Clearly, the dream had not been forgotten, but the king added a test to determine if the wise men truly had supernatural knowledge. The validity of the king’s test is confirmed when Daniel gives the king the dream itself and the meaning of the dream. Daniel truly did have supernatural knowledge that came from the God of the universe.
(Dan 2:6 KJV) But if ye show the dream, and the interpretation thereof, ye shall receive of me gifts and rewards and great honour: therefore show me the dream, and the interpretation thereof.
The king promises to reward them greatly for giving him the dream and the meaning of the dream.
(Dan 2:7 KJV) They answered again and said, Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation of it.
The wise men ask again for the dream, so they might provide the interpretation.
(Dan 2:8 KJV) The king answered and said, I know of certainty that ye would gain the time, because ye see the thing is gone from me.
The king accuses them of trying to buy time, because it has been made clear to them that the king has decreed that they are to give both the dream and the meaning. At that time it was inappropriate for a king to decree or declare something to be a certain way, and then for the king to change his mind and declare something else. This was probably because it showed weakness or indecisiveness on the part of a sovereign ruler. We also see this similar situation when Daniel is thrown in the Lion’s den because the king had declared it. King Darius had made the decree and he could not go back on his word, regardless of how much he wanted to change the decree.
(Dan 2:9 KJV) But if ye will not make known unto me the dream, there is but one decree for you: for ye have prepared lying and corrupt words to speak before me, till the time be changed: therefore tell me the dream, and I shall know that ye can show me the interpretation thereof.
The king reconfirms his decree that they must tell the dream and the meaning of the dream to confirm the validity of the interpretation. This verse confirms the distrust the king had for the interpretation of the king’s dream by the different groups of wise men.
(Dan 2:10 KJV) 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.
The Chaldeans seem to be the highest level of wise men, since they serve as spokesmen for the rest of the groups. They must be very nervous at this point, since they state that no man upon earth could tell the king his dream, and that there is no king who would require such a thing of any magician, astrologer or Chaldean.
(Dan 2:11 KJV) 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.
The Chaldeans continue with their argument by stating that this request by the king is extremely rare, since there is no one who can provide this information, except the gods, and they do not dwell with humans. This is definitely a slap in the king’s face, since they are unconsciously demeaning the king for asking such a ridiculous task. We see the anger elicited in the king in the following verse.
(Dan 2:12 KJV) For this cause the king was angry and very furious, and commanded to destroy all the wise men of Babylon.
The king was angry at the Chaldeans’ statement and he reacted furiously to their supposition by commanding all of the wise men of Babylon to be destroyed.
(Dan 2:13 KJV) And the decree went forth that the wise men should be slain; and they sought Daniel and his fellows to be slain.
The decree went forth that all the wise men of Babylon were to be destroyed, since they could not tell the king his dream and the interpretation. Since Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were also wise men, they were included the decree to be slain.
(Dan 2:14 KJV) Then Daniel answered with counsel and wisdom to Arioch the captain of the king's guard, which was gone forth to slay the wise men of Babylon:
When they came to take Daniel away to slay him, he answered with prudence and wisdom to the captain of the king’s guard, Arioch, who had the task of slaying all the wise men.
(Dan 2:15 KJV) 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.
Daniel asked Arioch the reason for haste in killing all the wise men of Babylon. Arioch explained the situation to Daniel.
(Dan 2:16 KJV) Then Daniel went in, and desired of the king that he would give him time, and that he would show the king the interpretation.
Daniel requested from the king some time, so that he could give the king the interpretation of the dream. The king obviously allowed Daniel the time to determine both the dream and the interpretation.
(Dan 2:17 KJV) Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions:
Daniel went to his
fellow Jewish friends to tell them the situation
at hand, and to seek their help in petitioning
God for the revelation of the secret dream.
(Dan 2:18 KJV) 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.
Daniel asked his companions to petition God for the dream itself and for the interpretation of the dream, so that Daniel and his companions would not perish along with the other wise men.
(Dan 2:19 KJV) Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.
The secret dream and the interpretation were given to Daniel in a night vision, and Daniel blessed the God of heaven for showing him the secret matter. This giving of the dream to Daniel and the interpretation of the dream confirms the statement in verse 1:17, which states that God gave Daniel understanding in both visions and dreams. It is significant that the king’s information came in a dream, but the same information came to Daniel in a vision. A dream from God is significant in providing supernatural information of future events to individuals, but a vision is surer and confirms the certainty of the fulfillment of the events disclosed.
(Dan 2:20 KJV) Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his:
The term “bless” in
this verse means to extol as holy and to
glorify. Thus, Daniel praised the holiness of
God and glorified him for his omniscience and
omnipotence in providing the secret dream to
(Dan 2:21 KJV) And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:
The clause “he changeth the times and the seasons” means that God is in control of all events on earth, including the weather and environment. Nothing is outside of his dominion in the affairs of men and nature. This is the first aspect of the kingdom of God, where every molecule and atom in the universe is subject to his control. See my article on the kingdom of God at the following link: The Kingdom of God.
God is the One Who removes kings and sets up kings. There is no authority upon earth that is outside of God’s control. It is God who gives wisdom and knowledge to individual persons, and nothing happens that is not ordained by God. This verse is one of many that confirms the total and complete sovereignty of God over all things in the universe.
(Dan 2:22 KJV) He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him.
This is a continuation of the declaration of the omniscience of God, Who is the only one able to reveal all knowledge and secrets in the universe. He even knows what goes on in the nether world of darkness and evil, and He is the one who possesses all spiritual understanding.
(Dan 2:23 KJV) I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast made known unto me now what we desired of thee: for thou hast now made known unto us the king's matter.
Daniel thanks and praises God, Who is the God of the Jews and has provided Daniel with this wisdom and might. The wisdom pertains to the knowledge about the dream, and the might is Daniel’s ability to prevent the deaths of all of the wise men of Babylon. Thus, the might rests in Daniel’s ability to stay the king’s hand in carrying out a decree that would have resulted in the death of Daniel and his companions, as well as the Chaldeans, astrologers, magicians, sorcerers and other wise men in the court of the king.
(Dan 2:24 KJV) Therefore Daniel went in unto Arioch, whom the king had ordained to destroy the wise men of Babylon: he went and said thus unto him; Destroy not the wise men of Babylon: bring me in before the king, and I will show unto the king the interpretation.
Daniel approaches Arioch, the one in charge of slaying all the wise men of Babylon, and asks him not to kill the wise men of Babylon, since Daniel is able to reveal the interpretation of the dream. We know from verse 1:17 that Daniel had understanding in the interpretations of dreams and visions, so now that Daniel knew the actual dream that Nebuchadnezzar had, Daniel is now able to provide the interpretation.
(Dan 2:25 KJV) Then Arioch brought in Daniel before the king in haste, and said thus unto him, I have found a man of the captives of Judah, that will make known unto the king the interpretation.
No doubt Arioch did not relish the idea of slaying all the wise men of Babylon, so he quickly took Daniel to the king and tells the king about Daniel’s ability to interpret the king’s dream.
(Dan 2:26 KJV) The king answered and said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, Art thou able to make known unto me the dream which I have seen, and the interpretation thereof?
The king immediately checks with Daniel to be sure that he can provide both the dream and the interpretation.
(Dan 2:27 KJV) Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, show unto the king;
Daniel answers the king by confirming that what the Chaldeans had told the king was true about none of the wise men, astrologers, magicians or soothsayers was able to provide the actual dream given to the king. Daniel includes himself as one who does not have the required information, so he takes no credit for his knowledge about the dream.
(Dan 2:28 KJV) But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these;
Daniel gives all credit to his God for the revelation of the secret dream, and tells the king that God has made known to Nebuchadnezzar in his dream the events of the future, including the downfall of Babylon in the future and the kingdoms that would arise after Babylon’s downfall.
(Dan 2:29 KJV) As for thee, O king, thy thoughts came into thy mind upon thy bed, what should come to pass hereafter: and he that revealeth secrets maketh known to thee what shall come to pass.
Daniel explains to the king that he was on his bed thinking about the future, and the One who reveals secrets gave Nebuchadnezzar the events of the future in a dream.
(Dan 2:30 KJV) But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living, but for their sakes that shall make known the interpretation to the king, and that thou mightest know the thoughts of thy heart.
Daniel stresses that the secret dream was not given to Daniel because of any special wisdom that Daniel possessed, but it was given so the king could know the events of the future, since he was thinking about these events in his deeper thoughts before going to sleep. The clause “for their sakes that shall make known” is a Chaldee idiom, and means “to the intent that the interpretation may be made known to the king.” The clause “the thoughts of thy heart” refers to the subject of thought before falling asleep.
(Dan 2:31 KJV) Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible.
Daniel proceeds to tell the king his dream by describing the image that Nebuchadnezzar saw in his dream. There was only one image—even though it was made of different metals, representing different kingdoms. The contrast in the dream is the kingdoms of the world versus the kingdom of heaven. Though the kingdoms were different, they were essentially one and the same world power, and this world power would be supplanted in the end by the kingdom of heaven. Daniel makes it clear that the image was very bright and terrifying.
(Dan 2:32 KJV) This image's head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass,
Daniel describes the details of the image: 1) head of fine gold, 2) breast and arms of silver, 3) belly and thighs of brass, and in the following verse, 4) legs of iron and 5) feet part iron and part clay.
(Dan 2:33 KJV) His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay.
The metals of the image declined in quality and specific gravity from the head to its toes. Gold weighs more than silver, silver more than brass, and brass more than iron. Thus, the stability of the image decreases with the different kingdoms, until it arrives at the feet of iron and clay, which is very unstable.
We know from Daniel’s interpretation of the dream that Nebuchadnezzar as king of Babylon is the head of gold. We know from Daniel’s other prophecies and history that Cyrus as head of the Medo-Persian Empire is the breast and arms of silver. The Greek Empire under Alexander the Great is represented by the belly and thighs of brass. The legs of iron represent the Roman Empire, which ended up with two divisions in the East and the West. The final form of the Roman Empire is represented by the Ten Toes of iron and clay, and it is yet to be established, but the time is very short. The revival of the Roman Empire in the European Economic Community in the 50s is certainly the beginning stages of the final form of the Roman Empire. Currently, the European Union has 27 members, but something will happen that will result in a Confederation of Ten States with America representing the 11th State. The final form of this empire will consist of ten kings plus the Antichrist, who is the eleventh king. This final form of Gentile rule over the earth will be partly strong, as the iron is strong, but it will be held together loosely, just as clay does not bond together with iron. We do not yet know which ten European Countries will make up the ten toes, but it is clear that America is the eleventh, and will be ruled over by Antichrist who is the eleventh horn. We will address this is more detail in later chapters.
(Dan 2:34 KJV) Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces.
Daniel continues to describe the dream in which Nebuchadnezzar is observing the image until a stone is cut out without benefit of human hands, and the stone smites the image on its feet made of iron and clay. At this point the feet break into pieces.
Of course, the stone typifies Jesus Christ and his Second Coming in Power and Glory to take over the reign and rule of the earth. He will set up his kingdom and all the kingdoms of the earth will end permanently. This kingdom is a literal, corporeal kingdom with Jesus Christ as the sovereign king. This is the kingdom that Christians have been praying would come for two thousand years. Contrary to popular opinion this kingdom has not yet commenced.
(Dan 2:35 KJV) Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.
The stone strikes the image on the feet, but the result is the destruction of the whole image, including the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver and the gold. The image was broken into many pieces and the wind carried them away like the chaff being blown away when wheat is winnowed late at night. No place was found for the pieces, but the stone that struck the image became a “great mountain”. A mountain in Scripture typifies a kingdom, and this kingdom filled the whole earth.
(Dan 2:36 KJV) This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king.
Daniel completes his recitation of the dream of Nebuchadnezzar, and he will now proceed with the interpretation of the dream.
(Dan 2:37 KJV) Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory.
Daniel tells Nebuchadnezzar that he is a king of kings with a kingdom, great power and strength and glory. However, Daniel makes it very clear that God is the One Who sets up kings, and God is the one who gave him this kingdom.
Dan 2:38 KJV) And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold.
Nebuchadnezzar was given sovereign rule over a large portion of the earth, including all kinds of people, the animals of the field and the birds of the air. Daniel identifies Nebuchadnezzar as the head of gold.
(Dan 2:39 KJV) And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth.
Daniel tactfully relates to the king that another kingdom of inferior quality would arise. This kingdom is identified as Medo-Persia in 5:28 and 8:20. Also, a third kingdom of brass would arise after the Medo-Persian Empire. The Greeks were celebrated for the brazen armor of their soldiers.
(Dan 2:40 KJV) And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise.
Daniel also relates that a fourth kingdom would arise that would be strong as iron. Daniel addresses the character of the Roman Empire rather than its territorial extent. In righteous retribution, the Roman Empire in its final form would break other kingdoms into pieces, but it shall at last be broken into pieces by the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is a literal kingdom with the heavens reigning over the earth, and many in the Church will reign and rule in this kingdom from the New Jerusalem.
Note: It is very important for the Christian to understand that the word “kingdom” literally means “king’s dominion” and it refers to the actual reign of a king and not a place where the kingdom is established. Numerous Christians erroneously believe that to enter the kingdom means to enter into heaven, but this is not the meaning of the word. A Christian who enters the kingdom of God actually enters into the reign and rule of the sovereign king, Who is Jesus Christ. When the time comes, Jesus Christ will establish his kingdom. Christians are not currently building the kingdom of God. This is something that Jesus will do when He returns in power and glory to establish his reign over the earth. Christians who qualify will enter into the kingdom with Jesus, but numerous Christians will fail to enter into the kingdom because of sin and disobedience. This is not a failure to enter heaven, but a failure to enter into the reign and rule of Jesus Christ. A failure to enter the kingdom is the loss of the reward of the inheritance, which is to reign and rule in the kingdom of heaven.
(Dan 2:41 KJV) And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters' clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay.
Daniel continues with a description of the final form of the Roman Empire, seen in the image as the feet and toes of mixed clay and iron. This final form of the empire is also described in Revelation as the Ten-Horned Beast, or a confederation of ten nations linked together loosely with a woman controlling the beast. The woman is the Antichrist, who will be the eleventh horn.
(Dan 2:42 KJV) 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.
Since clay does not mingle or bond with iron, the kingdom will be partly strong within the individual nations, but the empire will not have a strong bond between them. We can see this in the European Union where the individual nations are strong, but there are differences and rivalries among the nations.
(Dan 2:43 KJV) And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.
The nations will group themselves into a coalition of nations to benefit economically and militarily, but the differences and rivalries among the nations will remain, which will make the empire unstable. Many leaders have tried to unify the Roman Empire again as it was under the Caesars, but no one has been successful. The Antichrist will be successful in doing this for a short period of time, but the empire will be destroyed by Jesus Christ when He returns in power and glory to reign and rule over the nations.
(Dan 2:44 KJV) And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven 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 for ever.
In the days of these ten kings the God of heaven will set up his kingdom with Jesus Christ as the sovereign ruler over the whole earth. This kingdom is called the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of Heaven, the Millennial Kingdom and a few other names in Scripture. This kingdom will destroy and replace all earthly kingdoms that have ruled in the past six thousand years, and this kingdom will never be destroyed or replaced by another. Many have thought the kingdom would only last 1000 years, since it is described in Scripture as lasting for a millennium. The truth is that Jesus Christ and his saints will rule and reign for one thousand years with a rod of iron. At the end of the thousand years all opposition and transgression will be completely wiped out and there will be no unsaved people left on the earth at that time. Consequently, the necessity for reigning and ruling with a rod of iron will dissipate, so this aspect of the kingdom will cease. At that time all men will have been made perfect in both the heavenly and earthly aspects of the kingdom, so righteousness will reign among all people without the necessity of enforced righteousness. There will be no one left on the earth with a depraved and rebellious nature, so the rod of iron will no longer be needed. The kingdom of God will continue throughout eternity
(Dan 2:45 KJV) Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.
Daniel concludes his interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in reiterating the destruction of all earthly kingdoms by God’s kingdom. Daniel tells Nebuchadnezzar again that God has shown the king the future, and that the dream is certain and the interpretation is sure.
(Dan 2:46 KJV) Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and worshipped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odours unto him.
Nebuchadnezzar falling before Daniel and worshipping is the showing of obeisance and honor to Daniel’s God and not to Daniel personally. This is seen in the following verse where the king pays honor and respect to Daniel’s God. An oblation is a religious offering and sweet odors refer to divine honors. We see the same situation in churches today when members go to the altar at the foot of the pastor and give gifts to the deacons who pass the collection plate. They are not worshipping the pastor and they are not necessarily giving gifts to the pastor—even though the pastor’s salary is paid from these gifts. The actions of the king in this verse are clearly the bestowment of gifts and honors to Daniel’s God. Otherwise, Daniel would have strongly objected to the actions of giving gifts and honors to himself. Daniel has already disclaimed any credit in verse 30 for giving the dream and the interpretation to the king.
(Dan 2:47 KJV) The king answered unto Daniel, and said, Of a truth it is, that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou couldest reveal this secret.
In accord with the explanation of the previous verse, the king proclaims Daniel’s God as the God of gods, Lord of kings, and revealer of secrets, and this is based on Daniel’s revelation of the king’s dream. This confirms that the king is giving credit to Daniel’s God and not Daniel himself.
(Dan 2:48 KJV) Then the king made Daniel a great man, and 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.
The king greatly honored Daniel and gave him many gifts. Daniel was also promoted to be governor over the administrative division of Babylon and the chief administrator over all the wise men of Babylon.
(Dan 2:49 KJV) Then Daniel requested of the king, and he set Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, over the affairs of the province of Babylon: but Daniel sat in the gate of the king.
Daniel asked the king to make his friends Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego administrators over the affairs of Babylon, while Daniel governed from the primary administrative office. The statement that Daniel sat in the gate of the king means he was primary governor over the affairs of Babylon.
Chapter 3 The Image of Nebuchadnezzar
This chapter narrates the historical facts of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego being cast into the fiery furnace. There is nothing that hints that this story is not literally true. The events are definitely supernatural, but still true and literal. There is however a typological prophecy of the four end-time churches of Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea in this story. Daniel is a type of the Philadelphia church, while Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego are types of Thyatira, Sardis and Laodicea. The key to the type is that Daniel is not subject to the fiery furnace, just as Philadelphia is not subject to the fiery trials of the tribulation period. However, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego are cast into the fiery furnace, portraying the trial by fire of Thyatira, Sardis and Laodicea during the 42 months of the tribulation period.
(Dan 3:1 KJV) Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof six cubits: he set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon.
The story commences with Nebuchadnezzar’s construction of a great image of gold 60 cubits tall and six cubits wide. The disproportionate measurements of the image probably mean that the image of a man actually stood on a base that was quite tall. The Septuagint adds in this verse that it was the 18th year of Nebuchadnezzar or 587 BC. This was one year prior to the fall of Jerusalem. Daniel and his friends would have been in their early thirties at this time.
The plain of Dura still retains its name today and on one of several mounds a giant pedestal has been found that may have been the pedestal on which the image stood. Clearly, the interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream declaring him as the head of gold influenced his decision to build this giant image of gold in honor of himself.
(Dan 3:2 KJV) Then Nebuchadnezzar the king sent to gather together the princes, the governors, and the captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the image which Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.
Nebuchadnezzar summoned virtually every important person in the kingdom to come to the dedication of the golden image. Since Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were rulers over the affairs of the province of Babylon, they were certainly required to attend the ceremony of dedication. The “princes” were the satraps or chief representatives of the king and would have been the top leaders over the provinces of Babylon. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego would most likely have been included in the group. Satrap was a Medo-Persian term and not Babylonian. The governors were the civil administrators, and the captains were the prefects or the military commanders. The judges were those skilled in the law and were the administrators of the law. The treasurers administered the funds of the kingdom, and the counselors were advisers to those in authority. The sheriffs were those who passed judgments in legal matters. The “rulers of the provinces” were probably subordinates to the satraps.
(Dan 3:3 KJV) Then the princes, the governors, and captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, were gathered together unto the dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up; and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up.
All important leaders in the kingdom of Babylon were gathered together to dedicate the image. They were required to stand before the image that the king had set up in preparation for worship and honor to the image. Although not stated, the image was almost certainly that of Nebuchadnezzar.
(Dan 3:4 KJV) Then an herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, O people, nations, and languages,
At the appropriate time a herald cried out to the people commanding them of the appropriate action at the time to be signaled by the various instruments.
(Dan 3:5 KJV) That at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of music, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up:
The signal was to be the sound of various instruments. The elaborate preparation of the image and the addition of various musical instruments were clearly designed to make the occasion an emotional one, just as decoration and music are employed in religious ceremony today.
The cornet is a wind instrument like the French horn. The flute is a piped instrument, but was not blown transversely as our flute, but by mouthpieces at the end. The sackbut was a triangular stringed instrument with short strings making a high sharp sound. The psaltery was a kind of harp, and the dulcimer was a bagpipe with two pipes through a leather bag that emitted a melancholy sound pleasing to the ear. The musical instruments were clearly planned to elicit an emotional response during the worship of the image.
(Dan 3:6 KJV) And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.
The worship of the image was clearly obligatory, as a penalty was declared for failure to fall down and worship the image. Nebuchadnezzar’s previous confession of God did not prevent him from being a worshipper of idols, as each nation had its own idols, but in addition to these they worshipped the idols of other nations. The exclusive worship of one god was only found among the Jews at this time, so Nebuchadnezzar clearly did not anticipate a problem with the worship of his image. Currently, three religions require exclusive worship of one god and those religions are Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
This worship of the image of Nebuchadnezzar is a clear type of the coming worship of Antichrist. The worship of Antichrist will also be obligatory in the middle of the tribulation period with the institution of the Mark of the Beast.
The penalty for not worshipping the image was to be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. Capital punishment will also be used in the coming worship of Antichrist.
NOTE: This historical event is also a figurative type of the coming tribulation period, when the three churches of Thyatira (Catholic), Sardis (Protestant) and Laodicea (Charismatic/Pentecostal) will be cast into the first half of the tribulation period to be severely persecuted by the fires of the tribulation period. This testing will last for 42 months before the Main Harvest Rapture of the remainder of the Church takes place. Daniel is a type of the Philadelphia church, which is removed before Antichrist appears to persecute the Christians. This is why Daniel was not subject to the mandate to bow down and worship the image of gold.
(Dan 3:7 KJV) Therefore at that time, when all the people heard the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and all kinds of music, all the people, the nations, and the languages, fell down, and worshipped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.
At the appropriate time when the music played all people from every nation and tongue were to fall down and worship the golden image. The people from every nation and tongue typifies the Church, which is composed of people from every nation and tongue throughout the world.
(Dan 3:8 KJV) Wherefore at that time certain Chaldeans came near, and accused the Jews.
Apparently, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego had known about the worship service and were purposely absent from the service. However, the original sect of Chaldeans knew about their absence and their exclusive worship of One God. These Chaldeans came near to the king and broached accusations against these Jewish men for their failure to attend the service and worship the image.
(Dan 3:9 KJV) They spake and said to the king Nebuchadnezzar, O king, live for ever.
These Chaldeans spoke in address to the king, and spoke with the customary exclamation of salute to the king.
(Dan 3:10 KJV) Thou, O king, hast made a decree, that every man that shall hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of music, shall fall down and worship the golden image:
The Chaldeans repeat to the king the orders from the king about hearing the music and falling down to worship the golden image.
(Dan 3:11 KJV) And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth, that he should be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.
They also repeat the penalty required for failure to bow down and worship the image, which was to be cast into the burning fiery furnace.
(Dan 3:12 KJV) There are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the affairs of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; these men, O king, have not regarded thee: they serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
The Chaldeans identify the “certain Jews” who were set over the affairs of the province of Babylon as Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. There is obvious jealousy in these accusations because of the positions occupied by Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. They told the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in a manner that would incite the king to anger against these three Jews.
(Dan 3:13 KJV) Then Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and fury commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Then they brought these men before the king.
Nebuchadnezzar in his great anger commanded Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to be brought before him.
(Dan 3:14 KJV) Nebuchadnezzar spake and said unto them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up?
Nebuchadnezzar asks the three Jews if it is true that they do not serve the king’s gods, nor worship the golden image, which the king set up.
(Dan 3:15 KJV) Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of music, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?
Nebuchadnezzar gives the three Jews another opportunity to bow down and worship the image. The king also specifies the penalty of death in the fiery furnace for failure to bow down and worship.
(Dan 3:16 KJV) Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.
The three Jews respond to the king in a matter of fact manner. A paraphrase of the last clause is “O Nebuchadnezzar, we will answer you honestly and truthfully in this matter.
(Dan 3:17 KJV) If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.
They continue to answer the king by stating that their God is able to deliver them out of the fiery furnace. They also express absolute confidence in their belief that God will deliver them out of the king’s hand. There is a distinction here between being delivered out of the fiery furnace, and being delivered out of the king’s hand. They will be delivered out of the king’s hand whether they live or die, but God may even deliver them out of the fiery furnace.
(Dan 3:18 KJV) But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
The three Jews also state that even if their God decided not to deliver them out of the fiery furnace, they will still not serve the king’s gods nor worship the golden image, which the king set up.
(Dan 3:19 KJV) Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: therefore he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated.
This refusal to worship the golden image greatly angered the king, and his attitude toward Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego greatly changed at their refusal to worship his image.
(Dan 3:20 KJV) And he commanded the most mighty men that were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace.
The king ordered some of his strongest soldiers to tie up the three and throw them in the fiery furnace.
(Dan 3:21 KJV) Then these men were bound in their coats, their hosen, and their hats, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.
Then the three men were bound in all of their clothes, including their hats and to be cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. As stated earlier their being cast into the fiery furnace is a prophetic type of the three churches of Thyatira, Sardis and Laodicea being cast into the fires of the tribulation period. This is also a devotional type of Christians being tried in Gehenna fire, which is the judgment fire of God. The importance of the three men being case into the fire with all their clothes portrays the fact that Christians will have their works tried by Gehenna fire. Clothes in Scripture typify the works of a person. This is seen in the fig leaves that Adam and Eve made for themselves. It is also seen in the Scriptures that talk about not being found naked at the time of the Judgment Seat of Christ. It is also seen in the bride who sews her own wedding dress. It is the works of the Christian that will be tried in Gehenna Fire. We will discuss this in more detail in the following verses.
(Dan 3:22 KJV) Therefore because the king's commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceeding hot, the flame of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
The exceeding heat of the furnace depicts the mighty destructive power of Gehenna fire, which is the destroying fire of God. Gehenna fire is the destroying fire of God, and it is able to kill or destroy both body and soul. The bodies of unbelievers will be destroyed in Gehenna fire and the souls of Christians can be destroyed in Gehenna Fire. The hats on the three men typify soul salvation, as seen in the helmet of salvation in the whole armor of God. The slaying of the soldiers depict the killing of bodies by Gehenna Fire.
(Dan 3:23 KJV) And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego fell down into the middle of the fiery furnace. As stated above, the three men in the fiery furnace typify various future events, such as the three churches in the fires of the first half of the tribulation period, the judgment by fire of all Christians at the Judgment Seat of Christ and the time of Jacob’s trouble, when the Jews upon the earth will be greatly persecuted by Antichrist during the last half of the tribulation period.
(Dan 3:24 KJV) Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonied, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king.
The king became astonished when he saw the figures of four men in the middle of the fire instead of three men. The following verse clearly identifies this fourth individual as the Son of God, and we know that this is the preincarnate Christ, which is identified in theological textbooks as a Christophany. It is the appearance of the Christ before His incarnation as Jesus. The literal teaching is clear that Christ was with the three men in the fiery furnace, and the typological teaching is clear that Christ will be with the three churches in the tribulation period, with the individual Christians at the Judgment Seat of Christ and with the Jews during their tribulation during the last half of the tribulation period.
(Dan 3:25 KJV) He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.
The three young men were walking in the middle of the fire but the fire did not hurt them, and the fourth one with them was Christ, as stated above. As stated earlier the fiery furnace is a type of Gehenna fire, which is the judgment fire of God. This fire will try the works of all of God’s people and if Jesus Christ is with them in the fire, no hurt will come to them. As stated in the New Testament in Revelation, overcomers will not be hurt by the second death, which is the Lake of Fire or Gehenna fire.
NOTE: All Christians will be baptized in Gehenna fire to try their works. If their works consist of gold, silver and precious stones, then the works will not be burned and they will receive a reward. If the works are wood, hay and stubble, then the works will be burned up in Gehenna fire, which is the destroying fire of God.
(Dan 3:26 KJV) Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth, and come hither. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, came forth of the midst of the fire.
In his astonishment, Nebuchadnezzar comes near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace and asks Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to come forth and they came out of the fire.
(Dan 3:27 KJV) And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king's counsellors, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them.
And all the people saw the men come out of the fire. The men were about 30 years old at the time of the trial by fire. The fire had no effect on the men and not a hair of their head was singed, neither were their clothes burned and they did not even smell of smoke. The same will be true of faithful Christians who are baptized in Gehenna fire. Their lives will pass through the fire with no effect on them. Clothes symbolize the works of Christians, so the type portrays that their works came through the fire without even smelling of smoke, much less being destroyed by fire.
(Dan 3:28 KJV) Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king's word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.
Nebuchadnezzar then speaks and blesses the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and credits their God for sending the angel to deliver them from death, negating the king’s order that they were to be burned to death. They were no longer ordered to worship the golden image.
(Dan 3:29 KJV) Therefore I make a decree, That every people, nation, and language, which speak any thing amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort.
Nebuchadnezzar makes another decree that no one will be allowed to speak anything against Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego’s God, and if they do, they will be cut to pieces and their homes would be destroyed.
(Dan 3:30 KJV) Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, in the province of Babylon.
The king then promotes Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the affairs of Babylon.
Chapter 4 The Second Dream of Nebuchadnezzar
It has been calculated that
Nebuchadnezzar’s second dream occurred in about
his 35th year of reigning as king, so
this would be about 17 years after the incident of
the fiery furnace in chapter 3.
The King’s Proclamation (4:1-3)
(Dan 4:1 KJV) Nebuchadnezzar the king, unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you.
Nebuchadnezzar makes a proclamation to all the people of the earth about his knowledge of the God that reigns in the affairs of men. God had clearly shown the king that He is able to preserve those who put their faith and trust in Him.
(Dan 4:2 KJV) I thought it good to show the signs and wonders that the high God hath wrought toward me.
Nebuchadnezzar declares that it was through the miraculous signs and wonders that God had revealed to him that he had learned of the power and might of God, and God is sovereign and exerts his will in the affairs of men and in His eternal kingdom. Nebuchadnezzar makes it clear that God rules according to His will and He uses those He chooses as his instruments. To resist the will of God is foolishness at best.
(Dan 4:3 KJV) How great are his signs! and how mighty are his wonders! his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion is from generation to generation.
Nebuchadnezzar exclaims how great the signs are of God and how mighty are his wonders. He also attests to the “everlasting kingdom” of God and how God’s dominion encompasses all generations.
The King’s Tree Dream (4:4-18)
(Dan 4:4 KJV) I Nebuchadnezzar was at rest in mine house, and flourishing in my palace:
Nebuchadnezzar proceeds to relate the details of his second dream. When Nebuchadnezzar had this dream he was at rest in his house and he was very prosperous in his palace.
(Dan 4:5 KJV) I saw a dream which made me afraid, and the thoughts upon my bed and the visions of my head troubled me.
As in the first dream, this second dream made Nebuchadnezzar afraid, and his contemplations about the dream and the ideas that he conjured up in his own mind in regard to the dream greatly troubled him.
(Dan 4:6 KJV) Therefore made I a decree to bring in all the wise men of Babylon before me, that they might make known unto me the interpretation of the dream.
The king followed his previous actions in calling for the wise men of Babylon that they might interpret the dream for him.
(Dan 4:7 KJV) Then came in the magicians, the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers: and I told the dream before them; but they did not make known unto me the interpretation thereof.
This time the king actually relates the dream to the wise men of Babylon, but they did not make known the interpretation of the dream to the king. Apparently, the wise men had become a little wiser and did not attempt to make up an interpretation of the dream. The question naturally arises why the king called in the wise men first, when he already trusted in Daniel’s ability to not only interpret dreams, but to actually relate the dream. It is my belief that the king intended to call in Daniel anyway, but he wanted to test the wise men to see what they would say about the dream. The wise men probably had an inkling that the king would also call in Daniel, so they did not attempt to deceive the king with a contrived interpretation of the dream.
(Dan 4:8 KJV) But at the last Daniel came in before me, whose name was Belteshazzar, according to the name of my god, and in whom is the spirit of the holy gods: and before him I told the dream, saying,
The phrase “But at the last” supports my conclusion that the king desired to see what the wise men would say about the dream before he called in Daniel to give him the true interpretation of the dream. As stated above, this was probably a test for the wise men and they passed the test by deferring to Daniel as the interpreter of dreams. Daniel was in a high level position in the kingdom, so he was not a member of the counsel of wise men. It may be that the king was simply following protocol in asking the wise men to interpret the dream before he went to Daniel.
The king calls Daniel by his Babylonian name, which was derived from the pagan god Bel. The king makes reference to the fact that the spirit of the holy God resides in Daniel, so the king acknowledges that Daniel’s God is the true holy and righteous God of all creation. This is confirmed in the proclamation in the first three verses. In spite of this acknowledgement, the king was still serving his god. The word for God can be little g or capital G, but it is in the plural. It can still be translated as God, even though plural, since God is a Trinity. The word Elohym is also translated as God even though it is also plural.
(Dan 4:9 KJV) O Belteshazzar, master of the magicians, because I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in thee, and no secret troubleth thee, tell me the visions of my dream that I have seen, and the interpretation thereof.
Nebuchadnezzar expresses complete confidence in Daniel because the spirit of the holy God is in him, and he also states that there is no secret that gives Daniel trouble. The king calls Daniel “master of the magicians” because he was wiser than all the others and not because he was their leader. This reiterates the statement above that the king intended to come to Daniel all alone to get the true interpretation of his dream. The king then asks Daniel to interpret his dream. Daniel does not have to give the dream first as he did in the image of the man given earlier.
(Dan 4:10 KJV) Thus were the visions of mine head in my bed; I saw, and behold, a tree in the midst of the earth, and the height thereof was great.
The king relates the dream to Daniel in its several parts with details. In his dream there was a tree that was very strong and its height reached unto heaven, and the tree could be seen from all over the earth.
Note: In Scripture, a tree symbolizes an earthly kingdom. This will be confirmed in the interpretation that Daniel gives later.
(Dan 4:11 KJV) The tree grew, and was strong, and the height thereof reached unto heaven, and the sight thereof to the end of all the earth:
The tree grew and was strong, and the height of the tree reached unto heaven and could be seen from all over the earth.
(Dan 4:12 KJV) The leaves thereof were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all: the beasts of the field had shadow under it, and the fowls of the heaven dwelt in the boughs thereof, and all flesh was fed of it.
The leaves were pretty to look at and the fruit of the tree was plentiful and sufficient for everyone. The beasts of the field had shade under this tree, and the fowls of the heaven dwelled in the branches of the tree. The beasts of the field represent all of mankind and the fowls of the heaven typify beings in the spiritual realm—both good and evil. Thus, the saved and the unsaved of earth were part of this kingdom, and the good and evil spirit beings dwelled in this kingdom. We know from the interpretation by Daniel seen later that the tree symbolizes Nebuchadnezzar and his kingdom.
(Dan 4:13 KJV) I saw in the visions of my head upon my bed, and, behold, a watcher and an holy one came down from heaven;
In Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, a watcher (i.e., messenger) who is a “holy one” comes down from heaven and makes a proclamation.
(Dan 4:14 KJV) He cried aloud, and said thus, Hew down the tree, and cut off his branches, shake off his leaves, and scatter his fruit: let the beasts get away from under it, and the fowls from his branches:
The messenger proclaims that the tree is to be cut down, and its branches are to be cut off and its leaves removed and its fruit scattered. The beasts were run off from the tree and the fowls were forced to leave its branches.
(Dan 4:15 KJV) Nevertheless leave the stump of his roots in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth:
Even though the tree is to be cut down, the stump is to be left with it roots intact and a band of iron and brass was to be around the stump. The stump was to remain in the tender grass of the field, and it was to be wet with the dew of heaven. The tree’s portion was to be with the beasts of the earth and in the grass of the earth.
(Dan 4:16 KJV) Let his heart be changed from man's, and let a beast's heart be given unto him: and let seven times pass over him.
The tree was to be given a heart of a beast (i.e., changed from the heart of a man) and seven times were to pass over him. We know that the literal interpretation of this passage places Nebuchadnezzar as the tree, and he was to have the heart of a beast for seven years. A “time” is a year, so seven times is seven years.
Note: The tree literally symbolizes Nebuchadnezzar and his kingdom. Throughout Scripture a kingdom and a king cannot be separated. There can be no king without a kingdom and no kingdom without a king, so Scripture equates the two. Also, the beasts of the field represents the base nature of mankind without the supernatural intervention of God via the Holy Spirit. The stump with its roots symbolizes the origin and source of nutrients for the king and his kingdom. Thus, the stump with its roots typifies God as the source of life, nourishment and growth of the kingdom. Thus, the tree can be hewn down, but the stump and roots remain intact, as the source of the tree. This is seen in Nebuchadnezzar’s proclamation of the sovereignty of God and the One who sets up kings and kingdoms. He is also the one who brings down kings and kingdoms.
(Dan 4:17 KJV) This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.
This matter of the tree being cut down is by the decree of the watchers (i.e., messengers) and the word of the holy ones. Holy ones in the plural refer to the Trinity of God, including God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. The Trinity is seen in Scripture starting in Genesis and continuing through Revelation. The most High refers to God the Father and his kingdom, which encompasses all kingdoms of the earth and everything in the universe. Even Satan as the god of this earth is still subject to the authority of God the Father. God the Father rules over everything in the universe, and includes his control over the atoms, the molecules, and everything that exists. There is not one atom running loose in the universe that is not controlled by our heavenly Father.
This verse is clear that God even sets up over the earthly kingdoms the basest of men, who do not subject themselves in obedience to God the Father. However, He is in authority over them and their kingdoms and earthly reign are subject to his oversight and decisions about how long they endure.
(Dan 4:18 KJV) This dream I king Nebuchadnezzar have seen. Now thou, O Belteshazzar, declare the interpretation thereof, forasmuch as all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known unto me the interpretation: but thou art able; for the spirit of the holy gods is in thee.
Nebuchadnezzar confirms that this is the dream that he had, and he beseeches Daniel to declare the interpretation of the dream. The king confirms that all the wise men of the kingdom could not interpret the dream, but he expresses complete confidence that Daniel will be able to interpret the dream, since the spirit of the Holy God is in him. Nebuchadnezzar is 100% correct in his assessment of Daniel’s ability and influence by the Holy Spirit.
The Vision Interpreted (4:19-27)
(Dan 4:19 KJV) Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was astonied for one hour, and his thoughts troubled him. The king spake, and said, Belteshazzar, let not the dream, or the interpretation thereof, trouble thee. Belteshazzar answered and said, My lord, the dream be to them that hate thee, and the interpretation thereof to thine enemies.
Daniel was astonished and troubled by the dream for a moment in time. The original of the word translated “one hour” often means a moment or a short time. It is highly doubtful that Daniel made Nebuchadnezzar wait one hour before he started interpreting the dream. Clearly, Daniel immediately knew the interpretation of the dream, and he was troubled by its meaning. It seems clear that Daniel had come to respect Nebuchadnezzar over the years in service to him. It is also clear that Nebuchadnezzar respected Daniel. Many kings would have punished a prophet who gave a negative dream interpretation, but Nebuchadnezzar assured Daniel that he could speak freely. Daniel begins his interpretation by stating that he would prefer that the dream and the meaning of the dream were for his enemies, but Daniel must speak the truth, even though bad news for the king.
(Dan 4:20 KJV) The tree that thou sawest, which grew, and was strong, whose height reached unto the heaven, and the sight thereof to all the earth;
(Dan 4:21 KJV) Whose leaves were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all; under which the beasts of the field dwelt, and upon whose branches the fowls of the heaven had their habitation:
Daniel repeats the description of the greatness of the tree to Nebuchadnezzar in these two verses. Daniel tactfully gives the good news first. In Scripture a tree typifies a kingdom with the trunk typifying the king, the branches the infrastructure of the kingdom and the leaves typify the works. The fruit would represent the revenue to the kingdom and there was prosperity to everyone in the kingdom. The beasts of the field dwelling in the shadow of the tree typify dependent nations living under the protection of the kingdom. The fowls typify the spirit beings operating in the kingdom, both good and evil.
(Dan 4:22 KJV) It is thou, O king, that art grown and become strong: for thy greatness is grown, and reacheth unto heaven, and thy dominion to the end of the earth.
Daniel speaks pointedly without compromising the truth and informs the king that he is the tree who has grown to be a powerful king over a powerful kingdom. His importance is relevant to God and his dominion was known all over the earth.
(Dan 4:23 KJV) And whereas the king saw a watcher and an holy one coming down from heaven, and saying, Hew the tree down, and destroy it; yet leave the stump of the roots thereof in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts of the field, till seven times pass over him;
The watcher the king saw would have been a guardian angel who came down from heaven and stated that the tree was to be cut down and destroyed. The stump with its roots was to be left unharmed, which implies that the tree would be restored at some point in time. The iron and brass bands around the stump typify several things. Iron symbolizes strength and solidity while brass symbolizes judgment. The cutting down of the tree was a judgment from God and the punishment was certain and unchangeable.
Iron also symbolizes hard times, great troubles and even crosses. The tree also typifies the nation of Israel, which would be cut down in its prime and the Jews would be dispersed throughout the world for a period of time in what has become known as the Diaspora. The Jews have suffered great persecution, hard times and they ceased to be a nation. The stump or root is Jesus Christ who guaranteed that Israel would once again sprout from the tree and become a nation once again. This took place in 1948 and Israel continues to grow as a nation.
(Dan 4:24 KJV) This is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the most High, which is come upon my lord the king:
Daniel now provides the interpretation of the dream to the king, and he emphasizes that this judgment is a decree from the Most High God that is handed down to Nebuchadnezzar. In the same manner the decree about Israel being cut off as a nation and going through persecution for a set period of time is sure and certain. Israel’s period of punishment is for a seventy week period, which means a period of 490 years. This will be explained in chapter nine of this exegesis.
(Dan 4:25 KJV) That they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and they shall wet thee with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.
The king was to be driven out of his position of authority as king of Babylon and he would live like a wild beast for a period of seven years. This prophecy—as seen below—would be fulfilled in about a year. This prophecy also points to the dispersion of Israel, and it was fulfilled in 70 AD. The tree stump began to put forth shoots and leaves in 1948 when Israel was reestablished as a nation.
Nebuchadnezzar literally lived among the beasts of the field for a period of seven years before he was returned and became king over Babylon once again. Also, Israel would and has dwelled among the Gentile nations for many years. A beast in Scripture typifies a Gentile nation with animosity against Israel. Thus, Israel dwelled among the beasts for a long time prior to its restoration in 1948. The Gentile nations as beasts will be addressed again in chapter seven.
(Dan 4:26 KJV) And whereas they commanded to leave the stump of the tree roots; thy kingdom shall be sure unto thee, after that thou shalt have known that the heavens do rule.
Just as the stump guaranteed the return of Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom to him, it also guarantees the return of the nation of Israel to be the premier nation of the world. Just as Nebuchadnezzar was returned to his kingdom when he acknowledged that the Most High rules in the affairs of men, Israel will be returned to its position when it acknowledges that God rules over the earth. Just as Nebuchadnezzar spent 7 years under great distress and hardship, Israel will spend seven years under great distress and hardship during the seven years of tribulation that are coming upon the earth to try those who dwell on the earth. The seven years of tribulation for Israel is the last week of Daniel’s seventy weeks. Just as Nebuchadnezzar’s punishment for his transgression against God ended after seven years, Israel’s punishment for its transgression against will end after seven years.
(Dan 4:27 KJV) Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by showing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquillity.
At the end of Daniel’s interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, he counsels the king to end his sins be living righteously and stopping his iniquities by showing mercy to the poor, in order for him to experience peace for a longer period of time. It seems that Nebuchadnezzar may have followed Daniel’s advice for his punishment was delayed for a period of 12 months.
(Dan 4:28 KJV) All this came upon the king Nebuchadnezzar.
This statement confirms that everything stated above came to pass for Nebuchadnezzar.
(Dan 4:29 KJV) At the end of twelve months he walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon.
Nebuchadnezzar had a period of tranquility for 12 months before judgment came upon him because of his pride and failure to acknowledge God as ruler in the affairs of men. His punishment came upon him as he was walking in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon.
(Dan 4:30 KJV) The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?
In his failure to acknowledge God, Nebuchadnezzar was very prideful and took full credit for the building of the kingdom of Babylon. He ascribed the great nation as a product of the might of his power and claimed all the honor for himself without acknowledging God.
(Dan 4:31 KJV) While the word was in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee.
While the king was still taking credit for the kingdom, a voice came from heaven and declared that Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom “is” taken from him.
(Dan 4:32 KJV) And they shall
drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be
As stated in the interpretation, God declares Nebuchadnezzar’s judgment, which is to be driven from men to dwell with the beasts of the field to eat grass and be like this for seven years, until he comes to know that God rules in the affairs of men and sets up whomsoever he pleases. God is the One who gave Nebuchadnezzar power and glory, and it would take him seven years to learn this.
(Dan 4:33 KJV) The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles' feathers, and his nails like birds' claws.
The very same hour that God pronounced the judgment on Nebuchadnezzar, he was driven from men and ate grass like the oxen. He slept in the open without shelter and his body became wet with the dew of heaven. His hair grew and became matted until it looked like eagles’ feathers, and his nails became like bird’s claws.
(Dan 4:34 KJV) And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation:
At the end of the allotted time of punishment set by God, Nebuchadnezzar looked up to heaven in abject humility and his right mind returned to him. He blessed the Most High and he praised and honored the God that lives forever, and whose dominion and kingdom includes all generations.
(Dan 4:35 KJV) And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?
The inhabitants of the earth are nothing compared to God, and God does all thing s in heaven and earth in accordance with his will. There is no one who can overrule God’s authority and power, and no one has the authority to question anything that God does.
(Dan 4:36 KJV) At the same time my reason returned unto me; and for the glory of my kingdom, mine honour and brightness returned unto me; and my counsellors and my lords sought unto me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me.
At the same time that Nebuchadnezzar looked up to heaven and acknowledged God, his reason returned and he was in his right mind. His kingdom was restored to him and he received honor and glory.
In like manner, the nation of Israel at the end of the seven-year tribulation period will look up and acknowledge Jesus Christ as their Messiah, and the nation of Israel will be restored as the premier nation on the earth.
(Dan 4:37 KJV) Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.
Nebuchadnezzar sums up his experience by praising, extolling and honoring the King of heaven. All of God’s works are true and all of his ways are righteous. God is able to humble the arrogant and bring them to their knees.
The Feast of Belshazzer (Chap. 5)
The events in the first four chapters pertained to the reign of Nebuchadnezzar who ruled for 43 years and died in 562 BC. The years from 562 BC until the overthrow of the kingdom by Cyrus in 539 BC involved deterioration, intrigue and murder. Nebuchadnezzar was succeeded by his son Evil-Merodach, who reigned for two years (562-560 BC). He was murdered in August 560 by Neriglissar, son-in-law to Nebuchadnezzar and his own brother-in-law. Neriglissar ruled four years (560-556 BC). He is the Nergal-Sharezer mentioned in Jeremiah 39:3. At his death, he was succeeded by his young son Labashi-Marduk, who ruled only two months before being assassinated. He was succeeded by Nabonidus, who reigned 17 years (556-539 BC).
Nabonidus restored much of the glory that existed under Nebuchadnezzar. Belshazzar was the eldest son of Nabonidus and was appointed as coregent. As coregent he was called king and exercised kingly authority even though Nabonidus occupied the throne.
The Revelry of the King (5:1-4)
(Dan 5:1 KJV) Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and drank wine before the thousand.
Babylon was under siege by the Persian army led by Ugbaru, governor of Gutium, at the time that Belshazzar was having a great banquet for 1000 of his nobles. Belshazzar probably considered his city secure because of its massive walls and the fact that the city had supplies to last for 20 years. He may also have wanted to show contempt for the Persians and exhibit his unconcern to the people of Babylon.
(Dan 5:2 KJV) Belshazzar, whiles he tasted the wine, commanded to bring the golden and silver vessels which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple which was in Jerusalem; that the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, might drink therein.
The banquet itself showed contempt for the power of man, but Belshazzar made the grave mistake of showing contempt for the God of the Jews. He commanded the vessels of the temple to be brought in to the banquet, so the king, his princes, his wives and his concubines might drink from the holy vessels.
(Dan 5:3 KJV) Then they brought the golden vessels that were taken out of the temple of the house of God which was at Jerusalem; and the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, drank in them.
The vessels were brought out and the king and his nobles commenced to drink from them.
(Dan 5:4 KJV) They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone.
The king and nobles not only desecrated the holy vessels by drinking from them, but they praised the gods of gold, silver, brass, iron, wood and stone. This was blasphemy against God, and was the straw that broke the camel’s back in what God allows in the affairs of men. As Nebuchadnezzar stated in chapter 4, God sets up kings and He takes down kings, and Belshazzar was about to be taken down in his final act of contempt for God. He would not only forfeit the kingdom that very night, but he would forfeit his life as well.
(Dan 5:5 KJV) In the same hour came forth fingers of a man's hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaster of the wall of the king's palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote.
In the same hour that they drank from the holy vessels, a man’s hand began writing on the plastered wall, and Belshazzar saw the part of the hand that wrote.
(Dan 5:6 KJV) Then the king's countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another.
Belshazzar’s facial expression was changed drastically and he became very fearful, such that his hip joints began to shake and his knees began to shake and hit one another. No doubt, his troubled thoughts turned to the fact that he was blaspheming the God of Israel, who was exalted by the Great King Nebuchadnezzar. Belshazzar was very likely attempting to undo the influence of Nebuchadnezzar in exalting and honoring the God of Israel. Belshazzar was blaspheming the God of Israel by drinking from the holy vessels, so the disembodied hand writing a message on the plaster wall was of utmost importance to Belshazzar.
(Dan 5:7 KJV) The king cried aloud to bring in the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers. And the king spake, and said to the wise men of Babylon, Whosoever shall read this writing, and show me the interpretation thereof, shall be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about his neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.
Immediately, the king cried out for the wise men of Babylon to come in and read the writing on the wall, and whoever was able to read the writing would be greatly honored and would have a gold chain placed upon his neck and would be the third ruler in the kingdom. This statement confirms that Belshazzar was the co-regent with his father Nabonidus and that Belshazzar was second ruler in the kingdom.
(Dan 5:8 KJV) Then came in all the king's wise men: but they could not read the writing, nor make known to the king the interpretation thereof.
All the king’s wise men came in to attempt to read the writing, but they could not read it.
(Dan 5:9 KJV) Then was king Belshazzar greatly troubled, and his countenance was changed in him, and his lords were astonied.
Then, Belshazzar became greatly troubled and his countenance was changed again—no doubt to extreme fear—and his lords were astonished at the fear that he exhibited.
(Dan 5:10 KJV) Now the queen by reason of the words of the king and his lords came into the banquet house: and the queen spake and said, O king, live for ever: let not thy thoughts trouble thee, nor let thy countenance be changed:
The discussion between the king and his lords even brought the queen into the banquet hall. Apparently, the uproar and sound of confusion from the hall reached her ears and brought her to assess the situation. The queen paid homage to Belshazzar and attempted to allay his fear by giving him information about Daniel.
The word for queen means queen or queen mother, so the queen could have been Belshazzar’s mother, grandmother or even the widow of Nebuchadnezzar. Nebuchadnezzar had died 23 years earlier at age 62, and his widow would most likely have been much younger than he. The queen knew a lot about Daniel and his relationship with Nebuchadnezzar, so this is highly likely. Belshazzar’s mother or even grandmother would most likely not have spoken so highly of Daniel—especially concerning his spiritual strengths, as seen in the following verses.
(Dan 5:11 KJV) There is a man in thy kingdom, in whom is the spirit of the holy gods; and in the days of thy father light and understanding and wisdom, like the wisdom of the gods, was found in him; whom the king Nebuchadnezzar thy father, the king, I say, thy father, made master of the magicians, astrologers, Chaldeans, and soothsayers;
The queen tells Belshazzar about Daniel and the fact that the spirit of the Holy God was in him, and the knowledge and wisdom that was found in him. She tells him how Nebuchadnezzar made him master of the wise men of Babylon because of his great wisdom and understanding.
(Dan 5:12 KJV) Forasmuch as an excellent spirit, and knowledge, and understanding, interpreting of dreams, and showing of hard sentences, and dissolving of doubts, were found in the same Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar: now let Daniel be called, and he will show the interpretation.
The queen continues in her exaltation of Daniel’s abilities to understand difficult things and presses Belshazzar to call him in to interpret the handwriting on the wall. The queen certainly seemed to have intimate and firsthand knowledge about Daniel, and this tends to support that she was the widow of Nebuchadnezzar.
(Dan 5:13 KJV) Then was Daniel brought in before the king. And the king spake and said unto Daniel, Art thou that Daniel, which art of the children of the captivity of Judah, whom the king my father brought out of Jewry?
Belshazzar follows the queen’s advice and calls Daniel in to read the handwriting on the wall. The queen was not Belshazzar’s wife, but either his mother or his grandmother. Her familiarity with Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar means she was most likely his grandmother. She knew about Daniel’s spirit, insight, intelligence, wisdom, knowledge and understanding, and about his ability to interpret dreams.
Belshazzar asks Daniel if is of the captivity of Judah, and was brought out from among the Jews. Daniel probably nodded his head in the affirmative, but no answer is recorded for us. The implied answer is yes.
(Dan 5:14 KJV) I have even heard of thee, that the spirit of the gods is in thee, and that light and understanding and excellent wisdom is found in thee.
Belshazzar continues to explain to Daniel the reason that he has been called into the king’s presence, the reason being his spiritual enlightenment, his understanding and his excellent wisdom.
(Dan 5:15 KJV) And now the wise men, the astrologers, have been brought in before me, that they should read this writing, and make known unto me the interpretation thereof: but they could not show the interpretation of the thing:
The king explains that the other wise men were summoned to read the writing but they were unable to read it and make known the interpretation.
(Dan 5:16 KJV) And I have heard of thee, that thou canst make interpretations, and dissolve doubts: now if thou canst read the writing, and make known to me the interpretation thereof, thou shalt be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about thy neck, and shalt be the third ruler in the kingdom.
Belshazzar petitions Daniel to interpret the writing and dissolve the confusion over the writing. The king promises Daniel that if he can read the writing and make known the interpretation, he will be clothed in scarlet and be a gold chain to wear around his neck, and he would be the third ruler in the kingdom.
(Dan 5:17 KJV) Then Daniel answered and said before the king, Let thy gifts be to thyself, and give thy rewards to another; yet I will read the writing unto the king, and make known to him the interpretation.
Daniel makes it clear that he is not interested in the king’s rewards, but he agrees to interpret the writing anyway. It is important to note that Daniel does not pay homage or honor the king in anyway, except to refer to him as kings in the following verse.
(Dan 5:18 KJV) O thou king, the most high God gave Nebuchadnezzar thy father a kingdom, and majesty, and glory, and honour:
Daniel makes it crystal clear to Belshazzar that the most high God is the one who gave Nebuchadnezzar his kingdom, his majesty, his glory and his honor.
(Dan 5:19 KJV) And for the majesty that he gave him, all people, nations, and languages, trembled and feared before him: whom he would he slew; and whom he would he kept alive; and whom he would he set up; and whom he would he put down.
Daniel continues to explain that Nebuchadnezzar had supreme power and authority over all people, nations and languages and everyone trembled before him because of his power and authority—even over life and death.
(Dan 5:20 KJV) But when his heart was lifted up, and his mind hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him:
Daniel continues to explain that when his heart was lifted up in pride and arrogance, he was deposed from the kingly throne, and his glory departed from him. Daniel seems to be preparing the king for the bad news by giving him the history of Nebuchadnezzar and his fall from power and his restoration to power.
(Dan 5:21 KJV) And he was driven from the sons of men; and his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild asses: they fed him with grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven; till he knew that the most high God ruled in the kingdom of men, and that he appointeth over it whomsoever he will.
Daniel continues to relate the story of Nebuchadnezzar to Belshazzar—even though Belshazzar knew the story. Daniel relates how he lived with the beasts of the field and ate grass like the oxen and his body became wet with the dew of heaven. All this continued until Nebuchadnezzar acknowledged that the most high God ruled in the kingdom of men, and that He appointed whomever He desired to rule in the affairs of men.
(Dan 5:22 KJV) And thou his son, O Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this;
Daniel continues to upbraid the king over his arrogance and blaspheme against God. Daniel makes it clear that Belshazzar knew about the events in Nebuchadnezzar’s life, but he still refused to humble himself in his heart.
(Dan 5:23 KJV) But hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of his house before thee, and thou, and thy lords, thy wives, and thy concubines, have drunk wine in them; and thou hast praised the gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know: and the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified:
Daniel proceeds to tell the king about his blasphemy of God and his desecration of the holy vessels from the Jerusalem temple, and how he even praised the gods of silver, gold, brass, iron, wood and stone. Daniel also points out the absurdity of praising these gods which cannot see, hear or know anything, and yet refuse to glorify the true God who holds the very life of Belshazzar in his hand.
(Dan 5:24 KJV) Then was the part of the hand sent from him; and this writing was written.
Daniel now points out the judgment of God on Belshazzar’s actions, since God is the one who sent the partial hand to write on the wall.
(Dan 5:25 KJV) And this is the writing that was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.
Daniel gives the exact words that are written, which are translated as Numbered, Numbered, Weighed and Divided.
(Dan 5:26 KJV) This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it.
The interpretation of the two words Numbered means that God had numbered the days of his kingdom and brought it to an end. The past tense of finished means that Belshazzar’s kingdom was already ended at the time that Daniel was addressing him. Belshazzar was killed that very night by the Persians, and he did not see another day as king.
(Dan 5:27 KJV) TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.
The word weighed means that Belshazzar had been weighed on the divine scale of justice and had been found wanting or lacking something.
(Dan 5:28 KJV) PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.
The word divided means that the kingdom of Belshazzar was to be divided and given to the Medes and the Persians. The overthrow of the Great City Babylon took place that very night when the Persians diverted the Euphrates River and came into the city through the gates that allowed the river to run through the city. The gates were left unlocked that night because the guards felt the river was enough protection to prevent an intrusion into the city.
The following information was taken from the cuneiform tablet known as The Chronicle of Nabonidus. God brought down Belshazzar and Nabonidus and put Cyrus in their place as supreme ruler.
The Chronicle of Nabonidus gives contemporary information about the rise of Cyrus and the erratic behavior of the Babylonian king Nabonidus, who leaves Babylon and spends several years in the oasis Temâ in Arabia. His son Bêlsharusur (the biblical Belshazzar) acts as regent but is unable to ward off the approaching Persian danger. Finally, Nabonidus returns and fights. But it is in vain; Cyrus is welcomed as representative of the supreme god.
In October 539 BCE, the Persian king Cyrus took Babylon, the ancient capital of an oriental empire covering modern Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Israel. In a broader sense, Babylon was the ancient world's capital of scholarship and science. The subject provinces soon recognized Cyrus as their legitimate ruler. Since he was already lord of peripheral regions in modern Turkey and Iran (and Afghanistan?), it is not exaggerated to say that the conquest of Babylonia meant the birth of a true world empire. The Achaemenid empire was to last for more than two centuries, until it was divided by the successors of the Macedonian king Alexander the Great. A remarkable aspect of the capture of Babylon is the fact that Cyrus allowed the Jews (who were exiled in Babylonia) to return home.
The question what Nabonidus was doing in Temâ will probably remain unsolved for ever. From the following text, we may deduce that during his life time, there were strong rumors that the king suffered from a mental illness and proposed a religious reform (preferring the Moon god Sin to all other gods). These rumors were used by the author of theVerse account to explain Nabonidus' stay abroad: being mad, he ignored the supreme god Marduk and went away. We will discuss the truth of the allegations below. Nabonidus' devotion to the Moon is a historical fact, proven by an inscription found in Harran (in 1956). That he blasphemed against Marduk, however, must be an exaggeration.
In addition, we learn that Nabonidus was not in Babylon for ten years. Instead, he seems to have tried to subject Arabia. In year three he conquered the kingdom Edom, which controls the direct road from Babylon to the Gulf of Aqaba. From year seven until year sixteen, Nabonidus stayed in the oasis of Temâ in the Arabian desert, from where he could easily go as far south as the oasis Iatribu (modern Medina).
(Dan 5:29 KJV) Then commanded Belshazzar, and they clothed Daniel with scarlet, and put a chain of gold about his neck, and made a proclamation concerning him, that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom.
In his final gesture of resignation to his fate, Belshazzar commands Daniel to be clothed with scarlet and a chain of gold was placed around his neck. Belshazzar also proclaims him as the third ruler in the kingdom.
(Dan 5:30 KJV) In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain.
As stated above, Belshazzar was slain that very night by the Persians. Nabonidus did return to fight against the Persians but the battle was shortlived.
(Dan 5:31 KJV) And Darius the Median took the kingdom, being about threescore and two years old.
Darius the Mede took over the reign of Babylon and he was 62 years old. The identity of Darius the Median is questionable, and various theologians provide several explanations. Darius has been linked to Cyrus with Darius simply being a localized name for Cyrus. Darius has also been linked to Ugbaru, governor of Gutium, who entered Babylon the night of Belshazzar’s feast. He has also been linked to Cambyses, the son of Cyrus. There is one other possibility for the identity of Darius the Mede, and that would be Cyaxares, who was the father-in-law of Cyrus. The author believes that Cyaxares is the correct identity of Darius the Mede, and that he was called Darius the Mede to distinguish him from the other kings named Darius, who were Persians. Regardless of the correct identity of Darius the Mede, Darius was a great and wise king over Babylon and he reigned for two years. The following is an excerpt from Wikipedia:
“Cyaxares II was said to be a king of the Medes whose reign is described by the Greek historian Xenophon. Some theories have equated this figure with the "Darius the Mede" named in the Book of Daniel.”
“According to Xenophon's Cyropaedia, Cyaxares II followed king Astyages to the throne of the Mede Empire, and was also brother of Mandane, Cyrus the Great's mother. He describes the Persian Cyrus as cooperating with his uncle, Cyaxares, in order to conquer Babylon in 539 BC. However Cyaxares was by then an old man, and because Cyrus was in command of the campaign, the army came to regard Cyrus as king. Cyrus thus received not only the king's daughter (his first cousin), but his kingdom, as dowry, and the aged Cyaxares became Cyrus' viceroy in Babylon for two years until his death, when Cyrus seized that kingdom as well.”
The Edict of Darius (Chap. 6)
(Dan 6:1 KJV) It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom an hundred and twenty princes, which should be over the whole kingdom;
Darius as ruler over Babylon had the first responsibility of reorganizing the newly conquered kingdom. As such, he set up 120 satraps or princes who were responsible to three administrators.
(Dan 6:2 KJV) And over these three presidents; of whom Daniel was first: that the princes might give accounts unto them, and the king should have no damage.
The princes were accountable to three administrators, of which Daniel was the lead administrator. Darius preferred Daniel over the other administrators.
(Dan 6:3 KJV) Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm.
Darius preferred Daniel above the two administrators and all of the princes because of his “excellent spirit”, and the king planned to set Daniel over the whole realm of Babylon. This created great envy on the part of the princes and the two administrators.
(Dan 6:4 KJV) Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him.
The administrators sought a reason to accuse Daniel of wrongdoing, but they could not find any fault in him. Daniel is clearly a type of Jesus Christ, as the Jews tried to find fault or sin in him, but they were unable to find anything against him. Darius would be a type of God the Father, who loved Jesus and intended to set him over the affairs of the whole world. In the same manner, Darius intended to set Daniel over the affairs of the whole kingdom. Just as Jesus died at the hands of corrupt men bent upon his destruction, Daniel died (figuratively) when he was cast into the lion’s den and a stone was rolled over the door with a seal set upon it. Just as Jesus conquered death and exited the tomb, Daniel conquered death and exited the lion’s den and was placed over the affairs of the kingdom.
(Dan 6:5 KJV) Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God.
The conspirators against Jesus could not find any fault in him, so they looked to the law of God. They accused Jesus of breaking the Sabbath Day, and for eating and drinking with tax collectors and prostitutes. In essence they trumped up charges against Jesus in violation of manmade laws, just as the presidents and princes trumped up charges against Daniel because of manmade law. Just as Daniel had to die because of the law, Jesus Christ also had to die, but just as Daniel was innocent of any wrongdoing, Jesus Christ was also innocent of any wrongdoing. Both, however, had to die to fulfill the law. Jesus died in fulfillment of the law of God, and Daniel was cast into the lion’s den in fulfillment of the law signed by Darius. Just as Daniel was cast into the lion’s den because of fidelity to his God, Jesus was crucified and placed in the tomb because of fidelity to God the Father.
(Dan 6:6 KJV) Then these presidents and princes assembled together to the king, and said thus unto him, King Darius, live for ever.
Just as the presidents and princes pretended to honor King Darius, the Jews at the time of Jesus paid lip service to God the Father. As stated in the Scriptures, they honored God with their lips, but their hearts were far from him.
(Dan 6:7 KJV) All the presidents of the kingdom, the governors, and the princes, the counsellors, and the captains, have consulted together to establish a royal statute, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions.
The purpose of the royal statute was to bring to light Daniel’s disobedience to the law, just as the Law of God was to reveal or bring to light man’s sin or disobedience to God’s Law. Daniel’s disobedience to the law was to bring about his death, and man’s disobedience to the Law of God was to bring about his death.
The den of lions seems to typify Satan and his minions who go about throughout the earth seeking someone to devour. Those who are obedient to God cannot be devoured or destroyed by Satan and his minions. Consequently, Daniel was preserved alive and came out of the lion’s den unscathed. In like manner, Jesus came out of the tomb unscathed and qualified to reign and rule in the kingdom. Christians who are also live worthy and blameless lives in the age will also reign and rule with Jesus Christ. Thus, Daniel appears to be a prophetic type of Jesus Christ in this verse and a figurative type of the faithful Christian.
(Dan 6:8 KJV) Now, O king, establish the decree, and sign the writing, that it be not changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not.
It is the king who establishes the decree and signs it, just as it is God who made the Law that mankind has broken. The Law cannot be broken, so the just penalty must be meted out. The Law cannot be altered or amended, since it was established by God. Therefore, a just way must be found to fulfill the Law, and still save the beloved Daniel. The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ was God’s way of fulfilling the Law, yet saving the elect of mankind.
(Dan 6:9 KJV) Wherefore king Darius signed the writing and the decree.
It must be nailed down and clarified that it was Darius who signed the writing and the decree, so the decree must be fulfilled for anyone breaking it. Just as Darius is heartbroken when Daniel must be cast into the lion’s den, God was heartbroken when Jesus Christ was crucified and laid in the tomb.
(Dan 6:10 KJV) Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.
Just as Daniel knew the decree had been written and signed by the king, Jesus knew the penalty of sin and his part in fulfilling the Law. Daniel was to take the punishment willingly for violation of the statute, just as Jesus Christ took the punishment for sin.
(Dan 6:11 KJV) Then these men assembled, and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God.
Just as the administrators and satraps got together to bring about the death of Daniel, the Jews of Jesus’ day assembled to accuse Jesus Christ and bring about his death. Just as the administrators and satraps found Daniel praying and making supplication to God in his home, the Jews found Jesus praying and making supplication to God the Father in the Garden of Gethsemene.
(Dan 6:12 KJV) Then they came near, and spake before the king concerning the king's decree; Hast thou not signed a decree, that every man that shall ask a petition of any God or man within thirty days, save of thee, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions? The king answered and said, The thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not.
Then the leaders spoke before the king regarding his decree, and how the decree was made by him and signed by him, and how the law could not be broken. In like manner Satan and his minions accuse God’s people before God. In fact one of Satan’s names is the accuser, and Jesus Christ is our defender against the accusations of Satan.
(Dan 6:13 KJV) Then answered they and said before the king, That Daniel, which is of the children of the captivity of Judah, regardeth not thee, O king, nor the decree that thou hast signed, but maketh his petition three times a day.
Just as the administrators and satraps accused Daniel before the king, Satan and his minions made accusations against Jesus Christ for the purpose of killing him. Just as Daniel was a child of the captivity of Judah, Jesus Christ was of the tribe of Judah.
(Dan 6:14 KJV) Then the king, when he heard these words, was sore displeased with himself, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him: and he laboured till the going down of the sun to deliver him.
Just as the king was greatly displeased within himself for the circumstances of Daniel, God was greatly displeased within himself about the circumstances of Jesus Christ. The king set his heart on the deliverance of Daniel, and God set his heart upon the deliverance of Jesus Christ. The king labored until the end of the day for the express purpose of delivering Daniel, and God the Father worked out the plan to deliver Jesus Christ from his adversaries. In the same manner, God works to the end of time to deliver his people from the clutches of Satan. The plans and purposes of God were not only to deliver Jesus Christ from Satan, but to deliver all of his elect from Satan. This plan will continue until the end of time and God’s people step over into eternity cleansed and sanctified, and delivered from the power of Satan.
(Dan 6:15 KJV) Then these men assembled unto the king, and said unto the king, Know, O king, that the law of the Medes and Persians is, That no decree nor statute which the king establisheth may be changed.
The administrators and satraps remind the king again that the decree which the king established could not be broken, just as the Law of God could not be broken.
(Dan 6:16 KJV) Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee.
Then the king commanded that Daniel be brought and cast into the den of lions, just as Jesus Christ was brought and cast into the jaws of death. The king speaks to Daniel and assures him that his God will deliver him from the den of lions, and God the Father assured Jesus Christ that he would be delivered from death because of his faithfulness to God the Father.
(Dan 6:17 KJV) And a stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords; that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel.
A stone was brought and laid upon the mouth of the den, just as a stone was rolled before the tomb of Jesus Christ, and both stones were sealed by the government to prevent them from being broken. The punishment of Daniel had to be meted out, just as the punishment of Jesus Christ had to be accomplished in full.
(Dan 6:18 KJV) Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting: neither were instruments of music brought before him: and his sleep went from him.
Just as the king spent the night in mourning for Daniel, the disciples of Jesus (i.e., representatives of God) spent the time of his stay in the tomb in mourning and fasting. There was no music, eating or sleep during the time of Daniel’s sojourn in the den of lions. Nether was it a time of rest and relaxation during the time of Jesus sojourn in the tomb.
(Dan 6:19 KJV) Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions.
Just as the king got up very early in the morning to check on Daniel, the angels of God came to the tomb early in the morning to open the tomb of Jesus Christ. The disciples of Christ also went to the tomb early in the morning to check on the body of Jesus.
(Dan 6:20 KJV) And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel: and the king spake and said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions?
Just as the king cried out to Daniel in the lion’s den, God cried out to Jesus Christ in the tomb and He was raised from the dead and delivered from death. Just as God was able to deliver Daniel from the clutches of death, He was able to deliver Jesus Christ from death.
(Dan 6:21 KJV) Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever.
Then Daniel gave honor to the king, just as Jesus Christ paid honor and glory to God the Father.
(Dan 6:22 KJV) My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions' mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.
Daniel confirms the fact that his God had sent his angel to shut the lion’s mouths so that Daniel could be delivered from death, and the lions were not able to hurt him. The reason that Daniel was delivered from death was his “innocency” before God. Jesus Christ was also delivered from death because of his innocency in never committing sin. Daniel never did anything that was against the king, and Jesus Christ never committed any offense against God the father.
(Dan 6:23 KJV) Then was the king exceeding glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God.
The king was very glad for Daniel and commanded that Daniel come up out of the den. In like manner, God the Father was very happy for his Son Jesus Christ and commanded that He be brought up to heaven. Jesus Christ ascended into heaven the very same day of his resurrection to place his blood on the mercy seat in heaven. Daniel had no injury from his experience in the lion’s den and Jesus Christ had no injury from his experience at the hands of the Romans. Only the visible scars of his crucifixion were left as a sign to his disciples to bear witness to his death, burial and resurrection.
(Dan 6:24 KJV) And the king commanded, and they brought those men which had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions, them, their children, and their wives; and the lions had the mastery of them, and brake all their bones in pieces or ever they came at the bottom of the den.
The king commanded that those men who had accused Daniel were to be brought and cast into the den of lions along with their families, including their wives and children. Before they reached the bottom of the den, the lions attacked them and crushed their bones. The prophetic type continues in that the accusers of Jesus Christ were destroyed by Satan and his minions, in that their lives or souls perished as a result of their wickedness. Please note that the lions had mastery over them and broke their bones. The breaking of the bones is a metaphor called prosopopeia whereby a member of the body is personified. For example, the breaking of the bones is a breaking of the mind and will of the person. Before a person can become faithful to God, he must have his mind and will broken in order to receive the things of God. Thus, the breaking of the bones is a figure for being broken by God in the mind and will into a contrite and broken spirit. All of God’s people, including the Jews, must eventually be broken to have a contrite and lowly spirit. It takes a great deal more for some people to be broken than for other people to be broken. God will do whatever it takes to completely break every believer to conform him to the image of Jesus Christ. In many cases this will result in the loss of the inheritance in the kingdom of heaven, but every believer will be finally broken. The breaking of the bones is an indication of the severe measures that must be taken to break a person’s will into a humble and contrite spirit. The Jews as a people are a strong-willed, stiff-necked and arrogant people in general, and God will have to take severe measures to bring them to repentance. The Scriptures are very clear on this matter. The rod of correction is the Old Testament tool for breaking the leg of a sheep to bring him into compliance and obedience to the shepherd.
Satan still goes about like a roaring lion seeking Christians that he is able to lead away from the truth and thus be destroyed.
(Dan 6:25 KJV) Then king Darius wrote unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you.
Just as Darius took his message of peace with God to all people, nations, and languages that dwelled on the earth at that time, God chose Paul to take his message of peace with God to all people, nations and languages of the world. Thus, the message of peace with God was not just for the Jews, but all the peoples of the earth.
(Dan 6:26 KJV) I make a decree, That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, and stedfast for ever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even unto the end.
King Darius made a decree that in every dominion of his kingdom, men were to tremble and fear before the God of Daniel. God’s kingdom is an everlasting kingdom and shall never be destroyed. The God of Daniel is the living God who is steadfast and unchangeable and his dominion shall be unto the end. Daniel continues as a type of Jesus Christ who will establish his kingdom, and his kingdom will last until the end. The end is the end of the seven thousand years ordained by God. The last thousand years is the Sabbath or Millennial Rest and will usher in eternity.
(Dan 6:27 KJV) He delivereth and rescueth, and he worketh signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, who hath delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.
God is the
deliverer who rescues and saves, and he provides
signs and wonders in heaven and earth to tell
about his plans for mankind. He is the One who
delivered Daniel from the power of the lions,
and in like manner, Jesus Christ was delivered
from the power of Satan and minions.
(Dan 6:28 KJV) So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.
Just as Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius, Jesus Christ will greatly prosper in the reign of God the Holy Spirit in the current dispensation, and in the reign of God the Father throughout eternity.