Prevailing Hope -When Life Hurts is a true story to give hope in the midst of all we go through on this earth.It’s a journey of how the LORD has shown me how I can be okay even when life is not okay. My prayer is all who read this, will draw closer to the SOURCE of all HOPE, the LORD Jesus Christ. From my heart-Brenda
Prevailing Hope – When Life Hurts is available for purchase currently by following this link: http://bit.ly/2mgej8j
Paul Harvey, during his daily radio broadcasts, made famous the statement “The Rest of the Story.” He would tell the unfamiliar stories behind the familiar stories of men, feats, events and situations. Did you know the same is true of many “bible stories” found in the Old and New Testament scriptures? The following may not be quite the same as Mr. Harvey’s reviews of history, events and people, but they can be just as stunning, revealing, informative, and mind opening.
This publication will look at dozens of these surprising “aha moments” from scripture. Some will startle, some readers will find them particularly satisfying, and some will realize that history and the Bible are the same thing; a review of what was and remains an actuality. The Bible stories in scripture are space-limited and cannot publish everything surrounding, coinciding, or consequential to these stories. Some Bible time events are well-known and others not quite as well known but none the less found in scripture with a correlating “aha moment”. NOTE: The Bible and history are contemporaneous.
Included in this website are messages from others who serve our God; i.e. studied individuals such as ministers and Bible teachers.
Let’s explore some of these aha moments in scripture and have a ton of fun while doing so!!
– Dr. J
Bible Devotions or Bible Study?
Bible Devotions are like paying the minimum amount due on ones credit card debt. One seldom gains ground. Bible study is like paying the monthly balance in full plus something extra. We gain ground quickly!
And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with
the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen,
and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most
High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he
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.
is a condition known as Lycanthropy, coming from the Greek ‘lykos’
meaning ‘wolf’ and ‘anthropos’ meaning ‘man’, from which
we identify ‘Wolf-Man’. Very few recorded cases exist yet
extensive mythology has originated by the belief that a person could
change into a wolf; this has led to legends of werewolf’s etc. that
are found around the world.
variation of this disease is Boanthropy where, rather than believing
oneself to be a wolf, one believes oneself to be an ox or cow. It is
this illness that most likely fits this situation. Myth and legend
aside, there was a case recorded in England just after the Second
World War. A man in his early twenties was admitted to a mental
institution with all the symptoms consistent with Boanthropy. In his
commentary on Daniel, Dr John Walvoord, one with whom I have a great
respect, offers the following: “Raymond Harrison recites a personal
experience with a modern case similar to that of Nebuchadnezzar which
he observed in a British mental institution in 1946. Harrison writes:
‘A great many doctors spend an entire busy professional career
without once encountering an incidence of this kind of Boanthropy
described in the book of Daniel. Harrison therefore considers
him-self particularly fortunate to have actually observed a clinical
case of Boanthropy in a British mental institution in 1946.
patient was in his early twenties, who had reportedly been
hospitalized for about five years. His symptoms were well developed
on admission and diagnosis was immediate and conclusive. He was of
average height and weight, with a good physique and he was in
excellent bodily health. His mental symptoms included pronounced
anti-social tendencies, and because of this he spent the entire day
from dawn to dusk outdoors in the grounds of the institution. His
daily routine consisted of wandering around the magnificent lawns, of
the hospital. And it was his custom to pluck up and eat handfuls of
grass all day long.
observation he was seen to discriminate carefully between grass and
weeds. On enquiry from the attendant, Harrison was told that the diet
of this patient consisted exclusively of grass from the hospital
lawns. He never ate institutional food with other inmates, and his
only drink was water. The writer was able to examine him curiously,
and the only physical abnormality noted, consisted of a lengthening
of the hair and a coarse thickened condition of the fingernails.
Without institutional care the patient would have manifested
precisely the same physical conditions as those mentioned in Daniel
4:33. From the foregoing it seems evident that the forth chapter of
Daniel was describing an accurate and attestable mental affliction.”
course the critics of the Bible say that this could never have
happened, however Eusebius refers to a Greek historian called
Abydenus who sites a case in 268BC of a man with almost identical
symptoms to Nebuchadnezzar. Josephus also quotes Berosus, a
Babylonian historian, who documented the case of a Chaldean priest at
the time of Alexander the Great, who once again appears to have
suffered from this disease. In the East India Company Museum in
London there is a cuneiform tablet that has been discovered that is
inscribed with details about Nebuchadnezzar’s illness. Yet further
evidence to support the Biblical account was the discovery of what
has become known as the ‘Prayer of Nabonidus’ found in cave #4 at
Qumran (part of the Dead Sea Scrolls found between 1947-1956). There
is little doubt that the author is none other than Nebuchadnezzar
himself. The scroll reads:
words of the prayer that (Nabonidus?), the king of Assyria and
Babylon, the [great] king, prayed [when he was smitten] with a
malignant disease by the decree of the [Most High God] in [the city
of] Tema. I was smitten for *seven years and from [men] I was put
away. But when I confessed my sins and my faults, He [God] allowed me
(to have) a soothsayer. This was a Jewish [man of the exiles in
Babylon. He] explained (it) and wrote (me) to render honor and great
glory to the name of the [Most High God]…”
(JIV NOTE: Soothsayer was most likely Daniel himself.]
bible scholars believe this to be written as 7 seasons or periods of
time. In this geographical area there are only two recognized
seasons; summer and winter. If this is correct that would mean the
translation would then read 3 ½ years.
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 honored him that liveth forever, whose
dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from
generation to generation:”
often do we take ‘seven years’ to learn the most basic lesson
that God is in control? So often our pride exhibits or unveils itself
as worry, which is a declaration that we and not God, are in control.
Oswald Chambers said: “If God is the God we know Him to be when we
are closest to Him, what an impertinence worry is”. (see Matt
6:25-34 & Phil 4:6-7) Worry is simply a lack of faith in the one
whose dominion is an everlasting dominion. What will be will be as
“He’s got the whole world in his hands.”
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?”
unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with
the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashions
it, What makest thou? The post has no hands?”
(Isaiah 45:9) In short, we try to make God into something that fits
our heart’s desire and will. Genesis 1:1 does
in any translation…”in the beginning Man created an image of a
god to fit his and her wishes in life.”
but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing
formed say to him that formed it, Why have you made me [like] thus?”
At the same time my reasoning returned unto me; and for the glory of
my kingdom, mine honor and brightness returned unto me; and my
counselors and my lords sought unto me; and I was established in my
kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me.
Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and the King of heaven, all
whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in
pride he is able to abase. Amen!
Nebuchadnezzar lived for about one year after returning to his Babylonian throne. The Jewish Talmud records that Daniel was the one who looked after Nebuchadnezzar throughout the seven years, and then saw him restored to his throne. However this time the king knew that ‘his’ throne was really only on loan! The Bible does not explain or define who cared for him but we do suspect Nebuchadnezzar was kept within the palace grounds.
we should remember the admonition by Paul: “I
exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers,
intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For
kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet
and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good
and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; Who will [wills
that] have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the
truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and
men, the man Christ Jesus”
(1 Tim 2:1-5)
not misunderstand this verse. ALL MANKIND will not be forgiven at the
end of time, but all mankind will be judged. God wills that all
mankind would follow him and be saved but man has a free will to
our next article (#20; chapter 5) we jump forward several years into
the reign of Nebuchadnezzar’s grandson, Belshazzar. Some
translations identify him as “the son of Nebuchadnezzar.” However
we know two other kings ruled for some time in Babylon. One of those
short term rulers was a son-in-law, Nabonidus, from whom came
Belshazzar. Belshazzar never was the actual king but was left to rule
Babylon while his father, King Nabonides, ventured around the Middle
East and Egypt with his armies. Odd as it may seem, Nabonides was
defeated by the Medo-Persians and allowed to live. Very shortly
thereafter, his son Belshazzar was killed in his palace in Babylon by
We just came off of Article 17 where Nebuchadnezzar had a horrifying dream (Daniel 4:10-17). The dream was one that 400 Babylonian advisers to the king would not or could not interpret. Verse 4:18 the king is asking Daniel (Belteshazzar) to give him the meaning of this “TREE” dream.
Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was *astonied (stricken
dumb; ASV) 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
means stunned or hesitant. Daniel was not stunned at the question or
who asked for the interpretation, but at what he already knew was the
meaning of the dream.
again, Nebuchadnezzar uses Daniel’s Jewish name, and then confirms
Daniel’s Babylonian name so all would know to whom the king is
in verse 9 the king confidently asserts that nothing troubles Daniel
– that is, up until now! We will see in chapter nine that Daniel
was familiar with Jeremiah’s prophecies in chapter
now have I given all these lands unto the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the
king of Babylon, my servant; and the beasts of the field have I given
him also to serve him. And all nations shall serve him, and his son,
and his son’s son, until the very time of his land come: and then
many nations and great kings shall serve themselves of him.” (Jer
This is another remarkable prophecy that accurately foretells that
after Nebuchadnezzar (whom God calls ‘My servant’), his son
[Evil-Marduk] and then his grandson [Belshazzar] will rule Babylon
until their time is up. As for Daniel’s thoughts, if God had raised
up Nebuchadnezzar for a purpose (that of bringing judgment on the
house of Judah), what was to happen to him now? No wonder Daniel was
‘astonied’ [astonished, dazed]. And then there is the question of
how exactly do you break this information/news to the king?
hour must have been one of the longest of Nebuchadnezzar’s life;
eventually he says to Daniel ‘Don’t let the dream trouble you (as
well)’. If Daniel is troubled this is not good. Finally
Daniel says in effect ‘If only this dream were about your enemies;
but alas…it is about the king himself.
The tree that thou sawest, which grew, and was strong, whose height
reached unto the heaven, and the sight thereof to all the earth;
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:
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.
what Nebuchadnezzar probably feared is confirmed, he is the tree.
After all some time earlier he was the head of a huge statue, why not
also the tree? It is the next bit that is of most concern to both
Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar…
whereas the king saw a watcher and an holy one coming down from
heaven, and saying, Cut the tree down, and destroy
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
be wet with the dew of heaven, and let
portion be with the beasts of the field, till seven times pass over
‘watcher’ from the context is an angel who comes down from the
Holy One in Heaven. The important points in this verse are that the
tree is to be cut down but the root is to remain. However the root or
base of the tree stump is to be bound with iron and brass. (JIV) At
the beginning of the verse the vocabulary refers to ‘it’ i.e. an
impersonal pronoun, but by the end of the sentence the vocabulary
changes to use the personal pronoun ‘his/him’. Thus this verse
could be seen to have a double reference; firstly to king
Nebuchadnezzar who is already identified as the tree in verse 22; and
secondly the reference may be to Nebuchadnezzar’s dominion i.e. the
kingdom of Babylon; will it rise again?
reference to seven times is seen by most Bible commentators to
represent seven years. In Daniel 7:25 and Rev 12:14 we read of time
(singular) times (plural) and half a time. From the context we
understand that this is referring to three and a half years
(specifically the last three and a half years of the Tribulation),
where time = 1 year, times = 2 years and half a time = 6 months. Thus
Daniel is saying that Nebuchadnezzar is going to be cut down for
seven years, during which time he will be covered with the dew and
have his portion [food] with the beasts of the field. Some
translations use the word “seasons.” This would mean the time of
Neb’s insanity would be 7 seasons; i.e. 1 ¾ years. By traditional
there a problem with their ‘seasons’ theory? YUP! The Babylonians
only counted summer and winter as seasons. This would make 7 seasons
or 3 ½ years. 3 summers and 3 winters PLUS one additional summer or
winter seasons. I
write (teach) but YOU
is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the most
High, which is come upon my lord the king:
Nebuchadnezzar was all too familiar with issuing decrees; now one had
been issued against him by the highest authority that there is –
the Most High God and he knew it. This had to be stunning to him. He
was the supreme and is now discovering he isn’t. “The most HIGH…”
Daniel calls recognition to God; not the gods of Babylon.
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.
explains to the king exactly what will happen to him, how he will be
(whenever you see an ‘until’ in the Bible take note!), [until] he
finally realizes that it is the most High who rules in the kingdom of
men, and He will give it to whomsoever He chooses. This is the third
time this lesson had been taught to the king (two warnings and then
this pronounced judgment – see Daniel 2:37-38 & Daniel 3:28-29),
on the previous two occasions he completely missed the point – this
time he will finally get it.
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.
this period Nebuchadnezzar did not lose his throne, an incredible
fact in itself. And yes, he will learn his lesson this time. The
obvious but not addressed is who is the “THEY”? What is even more
amazing, he Nebuchadnezzar continued as usual for another 12 months.
have free will but God has more than one option to convince us of
something. This does not mean we will finally do it God’s way but
it does show a merciful God who offers many chances or opportunities.
O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy
sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by shewing mercy to the
poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquility.
Daniel pleads with the king to repent of his pride and iniquities in
the hope that these events will be postponed or not occur. There was
no immediate consequence to Daniel’s prophecy of 7 years. This gave
the king plenty of time to forget what had been told him; perhaps
even the dream itself. This is far too often the case with new
Christians. Once a new born Christian prays for forgiveness, some
wain in their initial joy. Psalms 51:12: King David pleads for
exactly the same thing; a return to his initial joy in God.
this came upon the king Nebuchadnezzar.
as king Neb himself records here, all this happened as Daniel had
interpreted. Recall that this review of Nebuchadnezzar’s life and
struggle with the One God is recorded by Daniel but from the mouth of
the end of twelve months he walked in the palace of the kingdom of
know from 2 Peter 3:9 that God is longsuffering toward us; here we
find that God gave Nebuchadnezzar a year to repent, but as Jeremiah
heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can
So one evening the king is out for a stroll looking at his kingdom
and feeling invincible…
king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that
have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of
power, and for the honor of
six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto
a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that
deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to
mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth
what is top of the list? A proud or haughty look; the look at the “me
“Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD:
though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.” (Proverbs
goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall”
man’s pride shall bring him low: but shall uphold the humble in
nutshell, God hates pride. Pride
was the sin of Satan
Both James and Peter tell us that God resists the proud but gives
grace to the humble. It is not wise to put one’s self in a position
where God is resisting you ‘cuz
you ain’t gonna’ win!
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
terror of this is almost unimaginable. However God through Daniel and
a dream had warned him of this judgment a year before, so the king
was without excuse. The same is true for the people in this world;
God has given ample warning through His two witnesses; the
(also see Luke 16:31) and has foretold the coming judgment ‘so they
are without excuse’. Revelation 11 also warns of a time two
witnesses in Jerusalem will preach 24/7 for three and a half years
about turning to God and away from the antichrist.
speed which this judgment fell should be a wake-up call for anyone
‘dabbling’ in sin.
the king, unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all
the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you.
first thing to note is that it appears that it is Nebuchadnezzar who
is now doing the writing! It is the ONLY chapter of the Bible written
by a Gentile king; be it by his hand or the hand of Daniel we do not
know. It may have only been a decree that Daniel is quoting verbatim,
but Nebuchadnezzar’s words.
thought it good to shew the signs and wonders that the high God hath
wrought toward me.
has obviously changed in this man’s life –
“What about the life that’s showing I’m undergoing the change?”
great are his signs! How mighty are his wonders! His kingdom is an
everlasting kingdom, and his dominion is from generation to
is being said by the most powerful ruler on the earth at that time!
What a contrast to chapter 3 where Neb’s image of gold suggested
that his was an everlasting kingdom; a total misunderstanding of his
previous dream as interpreted by Daniel of a statue of gold, silver,
bronze, iron and iron with clay mix. This most likely is written by
the hand of Daniel by translating what Nebuchadnezzar says in the
aftermath of these events.
Nebuchadnezzar was at rest in mine house, and flourishing in my
surface he was flourishing – like so many in this world, thinking
that they have it all, not aware that it can all disappear like that.
he spake a parable unto them, saying, the ground of a certain rich
man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying,
what shall I do, because I have no room where to store my fruits? And
he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build
greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I
will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many
years; take thine ease, eat,
drink, and be merry.
But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be
required of thee. Then whose shall those things be, which thou hast
provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not
rich toward God.” (Luke
12:16-21; Matthew 6:19-21)
How challenging is Daniel
4:4 when compared to Luke 12:16-21. What does it mean to “lay up
treasures? It does not mean to be foolish and squander. It does not
mean to be fruitful. It does not mean to preserve for today but it
does mean the future is not in one’s possessions.
saw a dream which made me afraid, and the thoughts upon my bed and
the visions of my head troubled me.
has a way of getting our attention. Even the hardest, most
unreachable people in our eyes are never beyond the reach of God. I
suspect that Daniel had been praying for his king and friend for some
time, believing that God was able to get through to him. If there is
no god why do so many atheist, agnostics, cynics, and politically
correct societies spend so much time trying to disprove him by their
statements, actions, writings, and positions?
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.
was well known to the king by now, so why not just call him? I think
that Neb realized this dream was not good and wanted to hear a sugar
coated interpretation rather than the truth. We see exactly the same
with Ahab, king of Israel in 1 Kings 22:6-8
“Then the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, about four
hundred men, and said unto them, Shall I go against Ramoth-gilead to
battle, or shall I forbear? And they said, Go up; for the Lord shall
deliver it into the hand of the king. And Jehoshaphat
said, Is there not here a prophet of the LORD besides these 400 men,
that we might inquire of him? And the king of Israel said unto
Jehoshaphat (King of Judah), There is yet one man, Micaiah the son of
Imlah, by whom we may inquire of the LORD: but
I hate him; for he doth not prophesy good concerning me,
So the reason that Ahab didn’t ask is basically because he told the
truth – and sometimes the truth is hard to take! I think that is
why king Nebuchadnezzar didn’t first call Daniel.
is why we often go to the wrong places for advice or sympathy. The
“Oh woe is me” syndrome, but don’t tell me it is my fault. Just
give me some more of my self!
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.
tells a story! In chapter two the Chaldeans were straight with their
‘dummies guide to interpreting dreams’. This is what they were
famous for as we mentioned in chapter two. And this time the king
even tells them the dream so it should be easy for them – but then
again, they have had their fingers burnt by a certain Daniel too many
times by now; even if they did interpret the dream, Daniel was bound
to come along and tell them they’d got it wrong! They just were not
going to take that chance. Notice they ‘did
not ‘were not able’. It appears that they didn’t even try!
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,
finally king Neb gives up and accepts the inevitable. But who does
Neb say came in? Aha
– that is his Hebrew name, yet king Neb chooses to use this in
telling us the history of these events, adding his Babylonian name
just in case anyone else didn’t know who Daniel was. How amazing
that after all this time in Babylon (Daniel would have been about 50
years old by now), with so much pressure to blend into their culture
(when in Rome do as they do ‘syndrome’) that Daniel retains his
Jewish identity and the name that glorifies his God. But also not
that Nebuchadnezzar still confesses his god by saying “according
to the name of my god”;
not the God with whom by now he was well aware.
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
Neb still gave credit to his gods…
is an interesting verse because Nebuchadnezzar informs us that Daniel
is ‘chief of the Magi’. Now the Magi [Bethlehem? Christmas Maji?]
were essentially a Persian religious sect specializing in the
mystical; so what was Daniel doing in charge of them? The Magi are a
tribe that settled in Mede to the east of Babylon; i.e. Medo-Persia.
will find out in chapter 6 that it was not something that was happily
accepted by some of his contemporaries; but it appears that Daniel
had converted this group (Tribe of the Magi) and told them about the
prophecies regarding the coming Jewish Messiah. How do we know this?
Because just over 500 years later, a group of these Magi travelled
for miles across the middle eastern deserts to Israel to celebrate
the birth of a baby that had been born King of the Jews! These Magi
didn’t go to the stable but to Joseph and Mary’s house in
Nazareth – we have been duped by tradition into thinking that there
were 3 wise men, or 3 kings and they went to the stable. Wrong,
Wrong, Wrong! [Mark 7:13].
in this verse we have confirmed that king Neb knew that Daniel could
and would be able to interpret the dream. What
a testimony Daniel has: ‘no secret troubleth thee’,
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee:
because he trusteth in thee.” (Isaiah
Dream – Daniel 4:10-17
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 tree grew, and was strong, and the height thereof reached unto
heaven, and the sight thereof to the end of all the earth:
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.
I saw in the visions of my head upon my bed, and, behold, a watcher
and an holy one came down from heaven;
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:
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:
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.
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.
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 asks Daniel to interpret the dream to him, and
reiterates that the best of Babylon were unable to answer. It is
interesting to note that even before Daniel has spoken on this
occasion, Nebuchadnezzar concedes that ‘the spirit of the holy
gods’ is in Daniel. Obviously he remembers the events of chapter
two but has forgotten or refuses to admit he acknowledge “the God
Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace,
and spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, ye servants of
the most high God, come forth, and come hither. Then Shadrach,
Meshach, and Abed-nego, came forth of the midst of the fire.
Neb gets as close as he can and spoke – not shouted ! ‘Hey
guys, why don’t you come on out?’ All
the people who had gathered on the plain of Dura are now watching
something completely different than they were expecting to watch –
yet this was what God had gathered them all there to see.
Nebuchadnezzar thought they were gathered to worship him, but God had
a different idea!
have to wonder if Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego just delayed
coming out for a little while. After all, how many times do you find
yourself standing around talking to the Son of God in the midst of a
furnace. There is a reality here also, that other people may look in
at us in the midst of our time of tribulation and see that we are
‘not harmed’ by the flames. They may observe the peace and
comfort we have in our suffering and wonder how we are able to cope.
But as surely as He did with these three Godly men, God will bring us
out of the furnace to glorify His name or take us home. Paul…”for
me to live is Christ but to die is [my] gain.”
verse 15 Nebuchadnezzar boasted:
who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?’
yet now, somewhat swayed by recent events, says:
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, ye servants of the most high God.
Slowly king Nebuchadnezzar is getting the picture, but as we will see
in chapter 4, he still has some way to go! God is molding Neb into
what a testimony to these young men, that because of their faith and
trust in God, the most powerful ruler on the face of the earth
declares that their God is the Most High God!
three come out of the furnace. Where’s the forth one? He stays in
there waiting for you, so that you know that when you find yourself
in the furnace, He will be with you.
will never leave you nor forsake you’ (Heb
but, might we opt to leave Him?
the princes, governors, and captains, and the king’s counselors,
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. God’s
deliverance is complete – not
even the smell of smoke!
think so small yet our God is so big. Oswald
commenting on the occasion when Peter walked on the water to meet
The wind was actually boisterous, the waves were actually high, but
Peter did not see them at first. He did not reckon with them, he
simply recognized his Lord, and stepped out in recognition of Him and
walked on the water. Then he began to reckon with the actual things,
and down he went instantly. Why
could not our Lord have enabled him to walk at the bottom of the
waves as well as on the top of them? Neither
could be done saving by recognition of the Lord Jesus. We step right
out in God over some things, then self-consideration enters in and
down we go. If we are recognizing our Lord, we have no business with
where He engineers your circumstances. The actual things are,
immediately we look at them and are overwhelmed. We cannot recognize
Jesus, and the rebuke comes: Wherefore didst thou doubt?” Let
actual circumstances be what they may, keep recognizing Jesus,
maintain complete reliance on Him.
Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach,
Meshach, and Abed-nego, 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.
& Paul both taught that we should obey the government, yet they
were both put to death in Rome for civil disobedience. In Acts 5
Peter and the Apostles openly defy the Jewish leaders and kept
publicly preaching in the name of Jesus despite being warned not to.
1 Peter 2:13-14 Peter
“Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake:
whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto
them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for
the praise of them that do well.”
So how are we to understand this? Quite simply, we should obey and
submit ourselves to every law of man unless it contradicts the higher
law of God. Peter himself confirmed this in
Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God
rather than men.”
Meshach, and Abed-nego did just that here, and what do we find? The
unbreakable and eternal law of God (Exodus 20:3-5) has caused the
fallible word of the king to be changed!
I make a decree, That every people, nation, and language, which speak
anything amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego,
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.
We should note that “everyone who” included the King, but he
means everyone but him. He
still hasn’t quite got it! He recognized that God can interpret
dreams, now he recognizes that God can deliver; but he still has not
understood that God is in complete control – it is He alone that
rules in the kingdoms of men. At this stage he is really impressed
with the signs and wonders (like so many in the church today) but has
not truly sought after the source of those things.
the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, in the province
of Babylon. “Humble
yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt
you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for
should ask; why did Neb promote these men? Was it there deeds or was
it to excuse himself from his dastardly deed of the furnace and his
self-exaltations? We find soon that he himself has not relented to
of Daniel – Article #15 (continuation
of the historical fiery furnace incident in Daniel)
Recall in our previous
article (#14) we ended with the well-known story behind the writing
Is Well, With My Soul.”
Even though Horatio
Spafford had lost his family at sea, he clung to the prevailing hope
in his and hopefully YOUR Savior. He went to sea and was informed by
the skipper of the ship he was on at the latitude and longitude in
the Atlantic where he lost his family when their ship sank after
colliding with another ship, the Loch Earn. Well, things are not
going too well for Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. BUT….their
confidence in God does not waiver.
was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was
changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego: therefore he spake,
and commanded that they should heat the furnace seven times more than
it was wont to be heated.
only now do we read that Nebuchadnezzar was full of fury and his
continence changes. Prior to this point he likely wanted to see these
men escape from this. They were high officials within his
administration. But now he really is cross and any compassion gives
way to rage. He had total authority. None like him on earth. He could
afford to lose three of his top administrators better than losing his
control over the people and his kingdom.
heated 7 times greater- interesting!
he commanded the most mighty men that were in his army to bind
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, and to cast them into the burning
this point we know the facts and are expectantly awaiting for the
victory. However Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego did not; they must
have thought that this is it! Maybe God wasn’t going to deliver
them, maybe their lives were to be ended at this point. They may have
been aware of the history of Job who said in faith:
“Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him:” (Job
Later in the book of Romans Paul was to say:
“For me to die is gain but to live is Christ
was a demonstration of total confidence in God. They said that even
if their God does not rescue them., they will NOT compromise their
faith in the God of Israel. Like David facing Goliath; he did not
hesitate and in fact, charged into the face of danger and the threat
to his people even though he was but a young lad.
needs to knock off of us some rough edges He is doing it out of love
and compassion. Yes, these things can be painful at the time.
Consider Mary and Martha: Jesus let their brother (Lazarus) die, not
just so He could do a miracle (John 11:40), but so that they would
believe in Jesus and therefore they themselves would never die (John
11:25) – an infinitely greater gift than seeing their brother
raised, but they didn’t understand at that time.
3:20 continued) In Hebrews we read:
“My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint
when you art rebuked by him: For whom the Lord loves he chastens, and
challenges every son whom he receives. If ye endure chastening, God
deals with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father
refuses to chasten? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all
are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we
have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them
reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father
of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us
after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be
partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seems to
be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yields the
peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised
“In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I
have overcome the world.” (John
so we should expect ‘tribulation’ from the world and chastening
from the hand of God. It is the former that is the case with these
three men, but like Peter and the apostles in Acts 5:
“…and when they (Sanhedrin)
had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they
should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. And they
departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were
counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.” (Acts
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego counted it an honor to stand for the
name of the Most High God, for He alone is the One who rules in the
kingdoms and nations of men. Vengeance
will be mine says the Lord God
metal smith is refining gold in a refining pot, he keeps skimming off
the dross (the impurities) that are brought to the surface by the
heat. The way of knowing when it is pure is when he can look into the
pot and see an unblemished refection. We are the pot of gold. He is
the Refiner. The scum on the top is impurity needing to be removed.
these men were bound in their coats, their hosen, and their hats, and
their other garments, and are cast into the midst of the burning
victims were stripped to humiliate them, yet here the king is so
cross he just wants them thrown in.
= undergarments, Hats
= a turban of some description; other garments =
robes of office;
= usual outer garments. In a WWII sense, and an eerie parallel-
Hitler’s final solution to the “Jewish” problem. We could also
discuss that the Swastika was originally a Jewish religious symbol,
but not in this article. It would be a distraction even though
because the king’s commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceeding
hot, the flame of the fire destroyed those “mighty men” men that
took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego.
gives us an idea just how hot this furnace may have been and they
were not even in the furnace; just next to it. From the furnaces that
have been found in this region, it may mean that the opening was at
the top with a casting window or windows to the side. The intense
heat was just too much for these mighty men who were overcome by the
flames. The argument against this thought may be verse 26 when the
king “comes near to the mouth of the furnace.” At least close
enough to get a better view.
these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, fell down
bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.
verse could lend support to the idea that the opening was at the top.
according to Strong’s translation may also mean they “bent the
knees” as in realizing the heat did not affect them and the bended
knee was in honor and respect for the God who had already saved them.
Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonished, and rose up in haste, and
spoke saying unto his counselors, Did not we cast three men bound
into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king,
True, O king.
word ‘Astonished’ is ‘tevah’
in Aramaic. It conveys the idea of ‘sweeping to ruin’, to ‘take
alarm’, utter helplessness. We might say that the rug was pulled
from under him, that he was well and truly knocked sideways! The
answer from his counselors would suggest that they were looking the
other way and were not seeing what the king was. Imagine their
surprise when the king then says…
answered and said, But I see four men loose, walking in the midst of
the fire, and they have no hurt…..
going through this furnace the only thing that was missing was their
bindings! How precious that is to us, when in our own furnaces to
realize that all that gets burnt is what was binding us before we
went in. To be “set
is an excellent parallel. Galatians 5:1. In other words, the droth at
the top of the potters gold purification process and that is holding
us back from purity has been skimmed off.
the form of the fourth is like the Son of God
Aramaic actually says ‘the son of the gods’ – Plural. But we need
to remember that the Holy Spirit is the real author of scripture. In
Genesis 1:1 we read: ‘In the beginning God’ – singular, and we
are comfortable with that, except the word in Hebrew is *‘Eloheim’.
Whenever a Hebrew word ends with an
ending it is plural meaning more than one (eg. Cherub – singular,
Cherubim – plural). Thus Genesis 1:1 should read “In
the beginning the God Father, Son and Holy Spirit”,
this is the same throughout the Old Testament whenever ‘Eloheim’
is used. Yet it is always taken as singular in the Hebrew and hence
it is translated so. Thus we have in the first verse of the Bible a
subtle hint of the Trinity – Father, Son and Spirit. The same is
also true in this verse in Daniel; what we have is what scholars call
a ‘theophany’ – an Old Testament appearance of Jesus Christ. (See
also Joshua 5:13-15 and compare with Exodus 3:4-6)
The Aramaic word used is equivalent of the Hebrew ‘Eloheim’ and
is not the same as ‘Bar-Eloheim’ (sons of God) usually translated
previous article, the three friends of Daniel had just defied the
order to bow to the golden idol of Nebuchadnezzar. It was a set up
from the beginning but King Neb did not know that.
Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and fury commanded to bring Shadrach,
Meshach, and Abed-nego. Then they brought these men before the king.
the king had already said that whoever would not bow to the image
would be thrown into the furnace, yet he calls these men before him
to ask them personally. This would suggest that the king was keen to
give these men a second chance. We already know from the end of
chapter two that these men were in prominent governmental positions
in the province of Babylon (Dan 2:49), and no doubt the king wanted
to avoid having high ranking officials perform a public act of
defiance against him, particularly on this day when all the people
were gathered together on the plain of Dura.
spake and said unto them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and
Abed-nego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image
which I have set up?
still didn’t “get it.” The fact that the king addresses them by
name and the manner in which he does so again suggests that up until
this time they had had a good relationship with the king. The idea in
the Aramaic is ‘did you intend to do this, was it on purpose?’
The king is hoping that it was just a misunderstanding and was not
going to be something that would spoil his special day. But as we
will see, these men had purposed in their hearts (also see Dan 1:8).
is something that comes through meditation; you have to think about
what you’re going to do if you face this circumstance or that
circumstance. And when you are prepared and the circumstance happens,
you react to that which you have meditated on. So if you meditate on
that which will not be helpful, then when you are in that potentially
compromising situation you will do that which you have meditated on”.
is precisely why we are told to be transformed by the renewing of our
minds (Rom 12:12), and to ‘think on these things’ (see
Philippians 4:8), setting our affection on the things above (Col
3:2). When we think on these things there is no room for other
distractions or actions.
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?
king reiterates the decree and offers them a way out of this
situation… a second chance. How many of us would have had second
thoughts at this time? After all, to be given a second chance may be
God providing a way of escape. How easy it would have been to
rationalize that Idols are not real gods; surely it would have been
better to give in to king Neb’s command and ‘live to fight
another day’? Would bowing be such a bad thing if we didn’t mean
it in our hearts?
being those religious crowds in church. Often
we sing our songs in church on Sunday about being completely
abandoned, surrendering all, serving God with a whole heart etc. etc.
yet on Monday when we are asked questions by the world, how do we
answer? Do our lives demonstrate fruit ‘worthy of repentance’
(Luke 3:8)? We have all been there, backed into a corner with no
apparent way out. We start to reason to ourselves: “It’s not
really lying, the truth would do more harm than good”; “it’s
not really theft, just ‘borrowing’”; “It’s not really
wrong, it’s just… (fill in the blank)”; it’s not really
worshipping an idol to bow down and pretend…is it? Even
when quoting the Lord’s Prayer in unison,
it includes those who have no forgiveness of heart and those who have
not Jesus in thought, but themselves quoting a prayer for unsound
religious activity. “Forgive
us (me) our sin Lord just like the person sitting next to me does.”
idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. They have mouths,
but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: They have ears,
but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not: They have
hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not:
neither speak they through their throat. They that make them are like
unto them; so is every one that trusts in them. O
Israel, trust thou in the LORD: he is their help and their shield”
course we know that bowing was not an option to these three men, nor
could it be. The reputation of the God of Israel was on the line. The
king’s statue was a public act of defiance against their God and
the Chaldeans [religious Babylonian priests] were just waiting for
them to crumble. Yet these men knew the law which clearly stated:
“Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto
thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven
above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under
the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them:
for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the
fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of
them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love
me, and keep my commandments.” (Exodus
day God will find a way of asking you ‘Do you trust Me?” Chuck
scripture, those who have made great professions of faith have often
had that profession tested to a breaking point. It is the heating up
and subsequent hammering of steel that gives it its strength; molded
by God’s Spirit. A true example of Christianity.
who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?’
Great question O’ king! Hmmmmn?
“He who seeks finds”! (Luke
Meshach, and Abed-nego, answered and said to the king, O
Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.
Aramaic word that the KJV translates as ‘careful’ is ‘chashach’
(khash-akh’) meaning to ‘have need of’. In other words they were
saying to the king ‘we have no need to answer you, we are not
accountable to you but to God’. It also implies that they were not
anxious about this situation. It also may mean they were not
defending their action; they could side-step it all. They ultimately
answer to God, not Nebuchadnezzar. Neb did not understand that.
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
is an incredible statement of faith that comes from a life deeply
rooted in God.
“Let them now that fear the LORD say, that his mercy endureth
forever. I called upon the LORD in distress: the LORD answered me,
and set me in a large place. The LORD is on my side; I will not fear:
what can man do unto me? The LORD taketh my part with them that help
me: therefore shall I see my desire upon them that hate me. It is
better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. It is
better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.”
“fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the
rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”(Matt
is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not
if not, be it known unto thee, O king, we will not serve thy gods,
nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
they make it clear, they will not bow down to this image or worship
any other foreign god. There is only one God for these men and they
will not compromise regardless of the cost. Remember that these men
lived before the cross and without knowing all that Jesus suffered
and endured to purchase our freedom.
amazing the lengths that some people will go to, to worship false
gods and follow false religions; all encouraged and offered up by
Satan himself and our free will. All the effort that was put into
making this statue, all the hours spent in rituals and practices that
have no eternal value. How much more should we, who know the Truth,
refuse to worship false gods, *whatever
form they come in,
and seek to serve our God with all our heart, mind, soul and
are times that a denomination may become the idol. Even to the point
of spiritualizing what the Word of God plainly states. Ministers
defend their seminary training by arguing their religious point of
view through the eyes of seminary instead of the Bible.
World War II when the British and allied forces had been pushed back
to the beaches of Dunkirk, France by the German army, being trapped
by the English Channel on one side and the approaching German’s on
the other, sent a simple three word message back home: “But
Immediately this was recognized as being a quote from the book of
Daniel and was understood to mean that the trapped British troops
would wait to be saved, but if not, they would die fighting and
standing up for their cause. This then led to the famous Dunkirk
evacuations where hundreds of military, merchant and private fishing
boats set sail across the Channel and dramatically rescued 350,000
British and allied soldiers.
been said that those in power in Britain understood, however if such
a message were to be sent today, the soldiers would likely perish.
Few know what the Bible says anymore.
October 1871, tragedy struck Chicago as fire ravaged the city. When
it was all over, 300 people were dead and 100,000 were homeless.
was one of those who tried to help the people of the city get back on
their feet. Spafford was a lawyer who had invested much of his money
into the downtown Chicago real estate and consequently had lost a
great deal to the fire. Also about this time his only son had died
leaving him with his wife and his four daughters. For two years
Spafford, who was a friend of evangelist Dwight Moody, assisted the
homeless, impoverished, and grief-stricken that had been ruined by
the fire. Eventually Spafford decided to take a family vacation to
Europe with the intention of meeting up with his friends Dwight Moody
and Ira Sankey who at that time were on one of their evangelistic
the last minute Horatio Spafford was delayed by some business so
decided to send his family on ahead; he would catch up with them on
the other side of the Atlantic. Their ship, the Ville de Havre, never
made it. Off Newfoundland, it collided with another ship, the Loch
Earn, and sank in a matter of minutes. Though Horatio’s wife, Anna,
was able to cling to a piece of floating wreckage (one of only 47
survivors among hundreds), their four daughters, Maggie, Tanetta,
Annie, and Bessie, died. Horatio received a telegram from his wife in
England informing him of this terrible tragedy; all it said were two
words: “saved alone.” Spafford boarded the next available
ship to be near his grieving wife. As his own ship passed by the area
where his daughters had died he was moved to write a song – the now
famous ‘It is well with my soul’. He met up with his wife and
they went on to meet up with Dwight Moody. “It is well,”
Spafford told him quietly. “The will of God be done.”
peace, like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows
roll; Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say, It is well, it
is well, with my soul.
Satan should buffet, though trials should come, Let this blest
assurance control, That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought! My sin, not in part but
nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more, Praise the Lord, praise
the Lord, O my soul!
me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live: If Jordan above me
pang shall be mine, for in death as in life Thou wilt whisper Thy
peace to my soul.
Lord, ‘tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait, The sky, not the
grave, is our goal; Oh trump of the angel! Oh voice of the Lord!
Blessèd hope, blessèd rest of my soul!
Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight, The clouds be
rolled back as a scroll; The trump shall resound, and the Lord
shall descend, Even so, it is well with my soul.
well, with my soul, It is well, with my soul, It is well, it is
well, with my soul.
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.
move into chapter 3 some scholars place these events about 15-23
years after the events of Chapter 2. Whereas in Nebuchadnezzar’s
dream he saw an image made of different metals descending in value,
where the head of gold represented Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon, we are
now presented with an image made entirely from gold. The obvious
conclusion from this is that king Nebuchadnezzar has taken the
greeting wherewith he is greeted ‘O king live’ (Dan 2:2:4 / 3:9)
a little too far! It would appear that in erecting this image, king
Nebuchadnezzar is presumptuously asserting that his kingdom will be
an everlasting kingdom, seen by the fact that the whole image and not
just the head are made from gold, and therefore this is really an act
of defiance against the God of Heaven. As in the cartoon movie
it is “Mine; mine; mine!” He is trying to change the outcome of
his previous dream made of Gold, silver, brass, iron, and a clay-iron
mix (Daniel 2:31-35).
chapter is very much like the events that we will study in chapter 6
where Daniel’s enemies conspired against him and duped king Darius
into signing a decree that would entrap Daniel. These
Babylonian-Chaldeans do connive.
amazing that people are so insecure and jealous of others’
achievements that they will seemingly stop at nothing to remove the
competition. This is compounded when the ‘competition’ is either
morally upright or just a sitting President of the United States.
Those who stand for truth are seen as an irritant to a society that
wants to be free from moral constraints. Jesus Himself confirmed
the world hates you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If
ye were of the world, the world would love his own but because ye are
not of the world…”, (John
reiterated this in
2 Tim 3:12 “Yea,
and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer
cubit is the measurement from the tip of your finger to your elbow.
Although this measurement varies among ancient cultures, it is
usually regarded to be about 18 inches. This would make the image
approximately 90ft tall, *9ft wide; a 9:1 ratio.
49 square feet at the base.
dimensions of this statue are more like the Obelisks of Egypt, and it
may well have been that on one of his expeditions Nebuchadnezzar
would have seen these erected to immortalize Egyptian Pharaohs and
deities and thus became part of the inspiration for him wanting to
build one himself. However, unlike an Obelisk, this was an image of a
NOTE: Archaeologists have unearthed a 45ft square & 20ft high
‘base’ in the plain of Dura which many now believe could have
been the base for this image, and would have been clearly visible
from the walls of Babylon.
not out of the question that this statue was of solid gold.
Archaeologists have also discovered a 40’ table in the ruins of
ancient Babylon made from solid gold and 15’ high solid gold
statues were found in the Temple of Murdoch; billions of dollars in
Nebuchadnezzar the king sent to gather together the princes, the
governors, and the captains, the judges, the treasurers, the
counselors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, to
come to the dedication of the image which Nebuchadnezzar the king had
Chaldean is tiphday
lawyers; the legal system.
king is obviously impressed with his creation. He calls for all the
leaders and chief people of the land to come giving their wide eyed
appreciation. There were about between 100 and 120 provinces in
Babylon at this time meaning that anywhere from 200,000 to 300,000
people could have gathered for this ‘grand unveiling’. From the
end of chapter two we know that Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (or
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego as they may be better known) were
promoted to oversee the affairs of the province of Babylon, hence the
reason they were invited. Daniel on the other hand we are told was
over the whole
province of Babylon, and chief
of the governors
over all the wise men of Babylon”. Thus
it would appear that Daniel was second only to the king. If this is
so and Daniel has so much influence before the king, then why, we may
ask, did Daniel not object to this gross act of idolatry? And why
does Daniel not appear to attend this event? These
are questions that we will return to later in our study.
the princes, the governors, and captains, the judges, the treasurers,
the counselors, the sheriffs (judicial
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.
fact that we have the same phrase repeated here suggests that Daniel
is recording this event, by copying the decree that had been written
by the king (or maybe a decree that was written for the king!).
an herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, O people, nations, and
that this is a command from the king and to people, nations and
languages – this is a diverse and mixed crowd from the known and
Babylonian conquered world.
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:
instruments mentioned – the number of man (6). Hmmmm?
and idolatry have long been close companions. Even today in church
‘worship groups’ it is so easy to put the focus on the music
rather than the God whom we are supposed to be worshipping. Even some
of the music in today’s churches (buildings) has a catchy tune but
deliberate lyrics with no mention of God, salvation, Jesus or the
Holy Spirit. These are NOT worship songs of God.
of the root of this problem is that Satan appears to have been the
worship leader in heaven; heading up the praise team (see Ezekiel
28:13-15). It would seem that he has a great understanding of how
powerful and manipulative music can be. Music is a gift from God and
is intended to accompany our praise to Him (as even a casual reading
of the book of Psalms can confirm), yet in the wrong hands, it can be
used for evil with devastating results. Consider the lust, violence
and immorality that are communicated to young people through music.
Satan always distorts what God has made good. Satan also has a fake
copy of everything Jesus represents. Even back yard gardens have fake
plants mixed in with the good plants.
what we know of history, the Babylonians had a love for music. This
is prophetically seen in
Psalm 137:1-4: “By
the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we
remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst
thereof. For there they that carried us away captive required of us a
song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us
one of the songs of Zion. How shall we sing the LORD’s song in a
that today we do that in churches. But, it is better said that we
sing a strange song in God’s land.
whoso falls not down and worships shall the same hour be cast into
the midst of a burning fiery furnace.
things are out on the plain of Dura; the Image and a fiery furnace.
The furnace may have been built for the sole purpose of melting and
molding the gold for the statue.
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.
is, all except three men who stood out like a sore thumb! Where
Daniel was at this moment is unknown. The many nations mentioned are
those who were in Babylon perhaps as ambassadors, visitors, or
at that time certain Chaldeans came near, and accused the Jews.
that it’s the Chaldeans again who had been humbled in chapter 2.
The meaning of accused is literally: ‘chewed them up’ by their
words. Oddly, the tens of thousands of captive Jews in Babylon
deserted their God for Babylon’s god-king. All but these three
stood for and by their faith. Might this be an example of End Time
so-called church believers? I suggest YES.
spake and said to the king Nebuchadnezzar, O king, live forever. This
is the greeting that the king wants to hear. In another sense, may
your power exist forever. After all, is this not the intent of the
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:
And whoso falleth not down and worships, that he should be cast into
the midst of a burning fiery furnace.
fact they repeat to the king his decree leads some to conclude that
they were the ones who had been responsible for getting the king to
write this decree in the first place as a way of trapping these Jews.
As we will mention and will again later, Daniel is not present at
this time, and it may well be that, knowing Daniel was away on
business, they seized this opportunity to entrap his friends. If
given the probability that this is some time after chapter two, they
may well have been plotting and planning this event for years. It had
to take a good deal of time to simply build the image.
Furnace is mentioned 30 times in the Bible (KJV), and always in
connection with tribulation and/or judgment.
There are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the affairs of the
province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego; these men, O
king, have not regarded thee: they serve not thy gods, nor worship
the golden image which thou hast set up.
discovery. One such example is in regard to Daniel’s three friends.
An archaeological dig in the area of ancient Babylon unearthed a five
sided clay cylinder now in the Istanbul museum with the names:
Hananunu – which is the Aramaic for Hananiah, Mishael-Mardach –
obviously a reference to Mishael, and Abou-Nebo, the Aramaic for
Abed-nego; these men are mentioned on the cylinder as having a
prominent place in the government, thus clearly identifying these men
as Daniel’s three friends as recorded in the Bible.
are accused not just for refusing to bow today, but for not
worshipping Nebuchadnezzar’s gods in the past – which the
Chaldeans suggest is defying the king himself. This was not an
impulse thing for these three men, but a predetermined purposing of
heart that was made from the moment they got to Babylon – they will
not be defiled! Other Jews of captivity may
also refused but were not the target of these evil men of Babylon.
at the rapture of the church will there still be churches
(denominations) with full houses? This is not a possibility but a
probability. The church of Jesus according to Ephesians 4:5 and 6 is
not a religion or a denomination. Denominations separate. They do not
unite as that would demand political-religious compromise and
correctness according to man’s law and standard.
Daniel and possibly his three compatriot Hebrew buddies were standing in front of the King of Babylon. They are about to interpret the dream the king had that bothered him very much…about the future.
The Dream – Daniel 2:31-35
31 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.
32 This image’s head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass,
33 His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay.
34 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.
35 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 threshing floors; 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.
This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king.
Notice that Daniel says WE will tell once again including his three friends. This verse even suggests that they came with Daniel to tell the king of his dream.
The Interpretation – Daniel 2:37-38
37 Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory.
38 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.
As we mentioned earlier, no subsequent king had the absolute power of Nebuchadnezzar. Other empires may have exceeded Nebuchadnezzar’s in physical size, but not in absolute authority.
Nebuchadnezzar’s statue dream is shown pictorially on the following page.
The Babylonian Empire is shown to the left and the conquering Persians to the right (below).
And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth.
The detail and accuracy of this prophecy is a thorn in the flesh to critics; for after Babylon (that had much gold), another kingdom did arise, but not with the absolute power of Babylon under Nebuchadnezzar. In 539 B.C. Cyrus of Medo-Persia conquered Babylon (without a battle! – see our coming article on Chapter 5). Cyrus was part Median and part Persian and so united the two factions into the great Medo-Persian Empire. Silver coinage became the currency of the empire. After the Medo-Persian Empire, history confirms that a third kingdom, wielding brass shields and swords, with stunning speed conquered the Persians and went on to take the known world. It is recorded that Alexander at only 30 or so years of age wept because there were no more lands to be conquered. After Alexander’s death around age 32 the Greek Empire was ultimately divided between his four generals, but it never had the same power as it did under Alexander. Eventually the Greek Empire fell to a fourth empire.
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. Now we move onto the ‘iron’ nation that breaks into pieces and subdues all things. Even those with a basic grasp of history will be familiar with the empire that succeeded the Greeks; Rome. Whereas the previous empires took the best of the cultures and nations they were conquering, leaving much intact, Rome did not. The Roman Empire seemed to thrive on what it could destroy. It really did break into pieces and subdue all things. NOTE: Tradition/history has it that when the Romans came to town, they crucified the first 5 or 6 people they encountered. This went a long way toward discouraging ANY rebellion, even if none was in the plans of the conquered villages and cities. Crucifixion was common practice with the Romans.
I personally cannot but wonder if Proverbs 27:17 may have implications during this iron age and the future yet not played out. Proverbs 27:17 reads…
“Iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”Did this iron period of Rome in fact sharpen the future Holy Roman Empire; the empire of the antichrist?
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.
Unlike the previous empires, Rome was never
defeated. It divided into the eastern and western ‘legs’ with the
eastern leg [Byzantine] outlasting the western portion by about 1000
years). Since the demise of the western portion, parts that made up
the old empire have had their day at ruling; The Ottoman Turks, the
French under Napoleon, The Germans, the Dutch, the Spanish and of
course, the British Empire. Even America (USA) was founded by people
from the old Roman Empire. As we come to this verse we are told of a
phase of the (Holy) Roman Empire of which our secular history knows
nothing. It is reasonable to conclude that it is yet to come,
something that is confirmed in subsequent verses and chapters of this
book. We are told this final phase of the Holy Roman Empire will
consist of feet and toes, partly potters clay and partly iron – not
a good mixture for these two will not stick together. This kingdom
will be divided, yet there will be the strength of iron in it. The
Antichrist will NOT unite but will divide. There will always be
And as the toes of the feet were part of
iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and
This verse hints at the strong part of this
kingdom ruling over the ‘partly broken’. This easily fits the era
of Antichrist. More on this as we get to chapter 11; Daniel’s view
of a future yet to become history.
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.
It is easy to just read over this verse and
continue with the interpretation; however, if we read carefully there
is a strange remark. We are told that, just as iron was mixed with
miry clay in the vision, they
shall mingle themselves with the seed of men.
Who are the ‘they’? From the context, and the fact that they mix
themselves with the seed of men, would seem to exclude them from
being the seed of men themselves. Chuck
Missler (among others) sees this as
an allusion to the Nephilim (offspring of fallen angels?). The first
mention of these beings is in Genesis 6, the flood came to wipe them
out, but we read they still existed (DNA) after
the flood (Gen 6:4) only to be finished off by Joshua and then
finally by David (remember Goliath & his brothers?). However
Jesus said: “as it was in the days
of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man” (Luke
17:26). Might it be that the Nephilim
(offspring) of fallen angels are set to make a return as part of a
major End Time? Perhaps this may be the fallen angels themselves and
their offspring. (For more on this subject see ‘Alien
Encounters’ by Dr Chuck Missler &
Dr Mark Eastman.
And in the days of these [future]
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.
This verse confirms that the final phase of the
Roman Empire is a future not yet lived out, for ‘in
the days of these kings….”. The
simple fact that these kings have not yet reigned and from the
context it is clear that they must reign – nor have they been
destroyed, nor has the God of heaven set up a world government (which
is the whole subject of the dream), shows that this is yet to be
fulfilled. But when it is fulfilled it will be the end of man’s
rule and the beginning of God’s eternal kingdom that will stand.
1,000 years later it is the Great White Throne Judgement and eternity
for all will be in one of two places. None will be left in the grave.
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
JIV NOTE: Jesus Christ calls himself the “CORNER STONE.” [Ephesians 2:19-22] “the stone cut out of the mountains without human hands”
There are those who would try to suggest that
all prophecy has been fulfilled, and that Christ’s kingdom was
established at His first coming in and through the church.
Furthermore, it is proposed that the
church is now to fill the earth and subdue it in the name of Christ;
but this seems to be faltering if not coming to a stop. Churches have
rituals, liturgies, routines, and a bulletin but the Holy Spirit is
often missing. Today’s church is fill with unequally yoked
One of the
underlying points is a non-literal interpretation of scripture,
particularly in regard to prophecy. The emphasis is on getting people
into the church (nothing wrong with that
on the surface) but at the expense of watering down the word of God
so as not to be ‘offensive’ (and
there we have a two-fold and real problem – to present a sinner
with a gospel that says he is a sinner on his way to hell unless he
repents and puts his trust in Jesus, is always going to be offensive
until such a person is brought under conviction by the law – see
Psalm 19:7 / Rom 7:7 / Gal 3:24). By watering down the gospel message
and not presenting the law, the modern church becomes nothing more
than a caring social club. A group that
will yield to popular opinion, and political correctness every time.
The church today is a mix of unequally yoked people; some believers,
some just religious, and some unsaved or members of the “praise
team” musical talent. How does the Book of Acts play out today if
and when the worship service is unequally yoked worshipers?
As even a casual reading of this chapter (and
these last few verses in particular) will show, this simply cannot
be, because the church is not a political kingdom but it has been
made just that. The kingdom that God establishes here will be a
Theocracy. The fact that the church exists alongside political
‘kingdoms’ in the world today shows
that the church is not the stone cut without hands, for once that
stone smites the feet of the image, it all comes crumbling down and
there will be no more opposition. The
fact that the church has opposition in this order of things shows
that it cannot be the kingdom that
Daniel sees in his vision. It is also clear that the stone that is
cut from the mountain is done so without hands, i.e. supernaturally.
Jesus Christ our Rock! (See 1
Corinthians 10:4; Deut. 32:4; 2 Sam 22:2; Ps 18:31; Is 51:1; Matt
16:18; Acts 4:11; Matt 21:42-44; 1 Peter 2:8)
2 – Jesus will rule the nations with a
rod of iron – this hasn’t happened
yet! We are too busy today claiming His love and ignoring his
justness. We miss or ignore the full meaning of God’s Love. It also
means He loves JUSTICE.
Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his
face, and worshipped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an
oblation and sweet odors unto him.
Nebuchadnezzar makes the classic mistake of
worshiping the instrument and not the source. Daniel had already made
the point that it was not because of his ability, but rather it was
because of the God of heaven that he was able to interpret the king’s
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.
Neb didn’t get it! The dream wasn’t to show
Nebuchadnezzar that God can reveal and interpret dreams, but to show
him that it is God who rules in the kingdoms of men. It is He who
puts one down and raises another up,“he removeth kings, and setteth
up kings” (Dan 2:21). As Jesus
said to Pilate:“Thou
couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee
from above” (John 19:11).
Nebuchadnezzar will get another warning that it
is God and not him that is running the show, but as we will see in
chapter 5, he once again misses the point and is humbled before God
and man in dramatic fashion! Keep in mind Jeremiah 33:10…”God
says, I will send for my servant Nebuchadnezzar…”Also keep on mind that God influences but does not interfere with
48 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
49 Then Daniel requested of the king, and he
set Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, over the affairs of the
province of Babylon: but Daniel sat in the gate of the king.
So Daniel is promoted and ensures that his
friends are too. As a result of these four Jewish young men the wise
men of Babylon were spared from being cut in pieces and their houses
being made a dunghill. Were they grateful? The answer is an emphatic
NO! In fact as we move into chapter three we will find these wise men
conspiring against Hananiah (Shadrach), Mishael (Meshach) and Azariah
(Abed-nego) and trying to get them killed. Their principle
motivation; jealousy. After all they represented the greatest minds
in the kingdom but had been made to look foolish by four teenage