The king explained the consequences of their interpretation (Dan 2:5-2:6)

The king answered

The Chaldeans.

‘This is a public decree.

If you do not tell me

Both the dream

With its interpretation,

You shall be torn

Limb from limb.

Your houses

Shall be laid in ruins.

But if you do tell me

The dream,

With its interpretation,

You shall receive

From me

Gifts,

Rewards,

Great honor.

Therefore,

Tell me the dream!

Tell me its interpretation.’”

The king responded to the Chaldeans with a public decree. If they were unable to tell him both the dream and its interpretation, they would be torn limb from limb. Their houses would be ruined also. However, if they were able to tell him both the dream and its interpretation, they would receive great gifts, rewards, and great honor. This was their challenge. The easier part might be interpreting the dream, but knowing the dream seemed almost impossible.

The Chaldean response (Dan 2:4-2:4)

“Then the Chaldeans

Said to the king,

In Aramaic.

‘O king!

Live forever!

Tell your servants

The dream.

We will reveal

The interpretation.’”

The Chaldean wise men responded directly to the king. They greeted him in Aramaic with the salutation that he might live forever, as was the Persian and later Islamic custom. Notice that they spoke in Aramaic, another indication of a later work. These Chaldeans told the king that they would be able to interpret his dream for him.

King Nebuchadnezzar explains his situation (Dan 2:3-2:3)

“The king

Said to them.

‘I have had such a dream

That my spirit

Is troubled

By the desire

To understand it.’”

The Babylonian king told these men of the royal court that he had a dream that troubled him. He had a great desire to understand it, since dreams were important in ancient civilizations as a way of communicating with higher spirits. Thus, this king wanted to know what his dream was all about. He spoke in the first-person singular. Remember Joseph with the Egyptian Pharaoh in Genesis, chapters 40-41.

The king summons his court people (Dan 2:2-2:2)

“Then the king

Commanded

That the magicians,

The enchanters,

The sorcerers,

The Chaldeans,

Be summoned

To tell the king

His dreams.

When they came in,

They stood

Before the king.”

King Nebuchadnezzar summoned all his court people. This included the magicians, the enchanters, the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans. These were the so-called wise men of his kingdom. These magicians, enchanters, sorcerers were believed to have special powers, while the Chaldeans were the traditional erudite men of Chaldea. They all stood before the king to help him understand his dream.

lThe troubled dream of King Nebuchadnezzar (Dan 2:1-2:1)The troubled dream of King Nebuchadnezzar (Dan 2:1-2:1)

“In the second year

Of King Nebuchadnezzar’s reign,

King Nebuchadnezzar dreamed

Such dreams

That his spirit was troubled.

His sleep left him.”

When King Nebuchadnezzar was in his second year of ruling, he had trouble sleeping because of his dreams. The 2nd year of this Babylonian king would have been before the siege of Jerusalem in 603 BCE, 5 years before the first Israelite captivity. Nevertheless, his spirit was troubled so that he could not sleep.

The four successful court attendants (Dan 1:19-1:21)

“The king spoke

With them.

Among them all,

No one was found

To compare with

Daniel,

Hananiah,

Mishael,

Azariah.

Therefore,

They were stationed

In the king’s court.

In every matter

Of wisdom,

Of understanding,

Concerning

What the king inquired of them,

He found them

Ten times better

Than all the magicians,

All the enchanters

In his whole kingdom.

Daniel continued there

Until the first year

Of King Cyrus.”

The Babylonian king spoke with all his new young court people. These 4 young Israelite royal students, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were very successful, since no one could compare to them. Thus, they were stationed in the king’s court. In anything about wisdom and understanding, these 4 court attendants were 10 times better than the more traditional Babylonian court magicians and enchanters. These 4 young men became the favorites of King Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel, in fact, stayed the whole time in the royal court until King Cyrus of Persia took over around 538 BCE. Thus, Daniel would have spent pretty much his entire life in the Babylonian royal court, about 70 years.