Made a golden statue.
Its height was sixty cubits.
Its width was six cubits.
He set it up
On the plain of Dura,
In the province of Babylon.”
King Nebuchadnezzar decided to make a large golden statue of himself. This golden statue was very tall, 60 cubits or about 90 feet tall, 30 yards high, disproportionally high, since the width was a mere 6 cubits or 9 feet wide or 3 yards wide. Perhaps, this height included the pedestal. He put this statue on the plain of Dura, some unknown place close to the city of Babylon. It is not clear how soon after the events in chapter 2, that this took place. In the king’s dream, Daniel had described him as the golden head. However, the Septuagint mentions the 18th year of his rule, or about 587 BCE, around the time of the siege of Jerusalem.
“It is the glory of God
To conceal things.
But the glory of kings
Is to search things out.
Like the heavens for height,
Like the earth for depth,
So the mind of kings is unsearchable.
Take away the dross from the silver.
The smith has material for a vessel.
Take away the wicked from the presence of the king.
His throne will be established in righteousness.
Do not put yourself forward
In the king’s presence.
Do not stand in the place of the great.
It is better to be told.
‘Come up here.’
Than to be put lower
In the presence of a noble.”
God conceals things, but kings search them out. The mind of the kings is unsearchable in height, like the heavens, and in depth like the earth. The kings are a little less than God. In order to use silver you have to get rid of the low quality dross that surrounds it so that it might become material for a silver vessel. Do not let the wicked into the presence of the king. The king is established in righteousness. Do not try to put yourself forward in a great place before the king. It is much better to be told to come up than to be put lower in the presence of a noble person.
“The path of the righteous is
Like the light of dawn.
It shines brighter and brighter until full day.
The way of the wicked is
Like deep darkness.
They do not know what they stumble over.”
There are classic two ways that you can go. One is the path of righteousness and the other is the way of the wicked. The righteous path is like the light of dawn that grows brighter until it reaches its height at noon. The way of the wicked is like stark darkness so that you do not know what you are stumbling over. The choice is yours.
“This is a record. In the first year of his reign, King Cyrus issued a decree. Concerning the house of God at Jerusalem, let the house be rebuilt, the place where sacrifices are offered and burnt offerings are brought. Its height shall be sixty cubits and its breadth sixty cubits, with three courses of hewn stones and one course of timber. Let the cost be paid from the royal treasury. Moreover, let the gold and silver vessels of the house of God, which King Nebuchadnezzar took out of the temple in Jerusalem and brought to Babylon, be restored and brought back to the temple which is in Jerusalem, each to its place. You shall put them in the house of God.”
However, the scroll is very specific as to the size, length, and materials to be used in the building of this Temple in Jerusalem. It is different from the edict of King Cyrus in chapter 1 of this book. This new Temple In Jerusalem was to be 90 feet by 90 feet or 30 square yards, a third the size of an American football size, quite small. The cost of this rebuilding project should come from the royal treasury. Thus Persia was paying for the rebuilding of the Temple. There would be no need for free will offerings. This may have been the kicker causing the dispute between Samaria and Jerusalem. King Cyrus clearly stated that the golden vessels taken by King Nebuchadnezzar should be returned to the Temple of God in Jerusalem. There is no ambiguity here.