REMINDER: We left off in our previous article with the wise men of Babylon weaseling their way to addressing the King’s dream. He won’t tell them what it was but insists they not only interpret it but also (remind) tell him what it was. They can’t do it.
The king answered and said, I know of certainty that ye would gain the time, because ye see the thing is gone from me.
King Nebuchadnezzar sees their problem, and just as he thought, there is a limit to these guys usefulness. Just as in the closing paragraph of our previous article in this series and its ending joke-comparison, Nebuchadnezzar is telling his wise-guys to “get their own dream” The problem now? How can he trust their interpretation? And he perceives that they are trying to stall for time. They are!
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 [and probably his father before him), till the time be changed: therefore tell me the dream, and I shall know that ye can show me the interpretation.
The king underlines the decree – cut to pieces; dunghill etc. – and then tells them that he doesn’t trust them. He probably has been suspicious previously. The king is not going to be fooled this time. He wants evidence of actuality as much as factuality. Can they do it? He suspects fake news or at this time in history, fake interpretations; Evidence not speculation. This is similar to so-called scientists who hide everything in “well over millions of years” while one states the ice age ended one million years ago and another states it was 4,000 years ago. It is all speculation but presented just as was previous Nebuchadnezzar wise-guys handle dreams…speculation that makes sense to the deceived or ignorant.
10 The Chaldeans answered before the king, and said, There is not a man upon the earth that can show the king’s matter: there is no king, lord, nor ruler, that asked such things at any magician, or astrologer, or Chaldean.
11 And it is a rare thing that the king requires, and there is none other who can shew it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.
It is interesting in scripture how often ‘evil’ men speak the truth. Here they are absolutely correct that only ‘the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh’ can do what the king is asking. Caiaphas, the high priest made the following true statement about Jesus that was also prophetic: “Ye know nothing at all, Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.” (John 11:49-50). Judas said: “I have betrayed the innocent blood.” (Matt 27:4).
Socrates said: ‘It maybe that God can forgive sin, but I don’t see how’. This shows great insight and understanding of the nature of God and the nature of man. God is righteous and holy and therefore cannot just forgive and forget sin. Sin – the inherent nature of man since the fall – has to be paid for, if justice is to be done. God would simply not be just if He ignored sin – this is what Socrates realized. The problem is, how can a finite man pay an infinite price? It cannot be done. But because “God so loved the world, He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life”. So God, whose dwelling is not with flesh, became flesh and dwelt amongst us (John 1:14) so that He, being infinite, could pay the infinite price for sin that we owed, thus once and for all satisfying the justice of a holy God.
12 For this cause the king was angry and very furious, and commanded to destroy all the wise men of Babylon.
The king’s suspicions are now fact. His pay-role of wise men are not very wise.They are deceitful but not insightful.
13 And the decree went forth that the wise men should be slain; and they sought Daniel and his fellows to be slain.
Even though Daniel and his friends were still trainees, king Nebuchadnezzar was prepared to abandon his training program as well as getting rid of the old guard. What was the point of wasting the king’s money on these wise men if none of them could help when he needed it? It probably was not a targeting of Daniel and his three friends as much as it was the entire system being fake. He most likely did not even know Daniel at this time. See the next verse…
14 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:
15 He answered and said to Arioch the king’s captain, Why is the decree so hasty from the king? Then Arioch made the thing known to Daniel.
It would appear that Daniel was oblivious to the king’s dream up until this point, thus supporting the fact that he was still in training and had not yet graduated – otherwise he also would have been called before the king. Arioch is only too pleased to explain the situation to Daniel, as killing all the wise men of Babylon was probably the last thing he wanted to do.
Then Daniel went in, and desired of the king that he would give him time, and that he would show the king the interpretation.
This really is Jewish hut-spa! Daniel, only 16 or 17 at this time, not yet ‘qualified’, goes into the king who has just signed a decree to have him executed! But then again, he had nothing to lose. This highlights a problem for so many Christians; we have so much to lose; so much in this world that is important to us, that we don’t want to stick our necks out for the sake of God’s glory. Daniel at this time had nothing but his relationship with God. That was clearly foremost in his mind as he went to see the king. Daniel saw this as an opportunity to bring glory to his God.
Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions:
JIV NOTE: Note in this verse Daniel does NOT use his friends’ Babylonian names. He is writing text in Syriac but uses their Jewish names. This is just great! Daniel gets home and says to his friends: “Guess what guys, the king has had a dream. No one could figure it out so he was going to kill all of us…But I told him that you guys and I would be able to work it out! How cool is that? You can hear their reply: ‘You did what?’
Something tells me that Daniel did not need to encourage them to pray that evening!
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.
It’s at times like these that we are so glad that our God is merciful. What did they pray that evening? We can only speculate but possibly something like Psalm 28:1-2 “Unto thee will I cry, O LORD my rock; be not silent to me: lest, if thou be silent to me, I become like them that go down into the pit. Hear the voice of my supplications, when I cry unto thee, when I lift up my hands toward thy holy oracle.”
Or maybe Psalm 31:1-4: “In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness. Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily: be thou my strong rock, for a house of defense to save me. For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me. Pull me out of the net that they have laid privately for me: for thou art my strength.”
We should also note that this verse says…”should not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.” This may mean Daniel expected the rest of these fakes to be cut to shreds” and their homes demolished. He wasn’t expecting that his intervention may save hundreds of others who were not of his blood line, but it will. However, a favor done is easily forgotten. We will see this in a later article on Daniel.
Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.
Keep foremost in mind that Daniel prayed three times a day from a window facing Judah and Jerusalem. He didn’t simply focus his prayer time beginning out of fear for being slaughtered. It was his daily practice he carried with him for his life time in Babylon. All answered prayer is an occasion to bless God; but how much more here when, thanks to Daniel and his big mouth, God’s reputation is on the line! Daniel’s faith is remarkable; did he have any doubt that God would answer them? Not that one would notice.
How often does one finally plead with God when things get turned upside down in life? Every covenant with Israel and promise to the Christian church in the New Testament and current times is based upon the premise of an ”If you, then I” foundation. Don’t wait for a crisis to finally make a foxhole visit with God. Consider the crisis may happen because God has been waiting patiently to hear from any of us who claim Christ as our Savior. It is simple. Being right now with “Dear God of Heaven…”