King Nebuchadnezzar is the head of gold (Dan 2:37-2:38)

“You!

O king!

The king of kings!

The God of heaven

Has given you

The kingdom,

The power,

The might,

The glory.

He had given

Into your hands

Human beings,

Wherever they live,

The wild animals

Of the field,

The birds of the air.

He has you

As ruler

Over them all.

You are

The head of gold!”

Daniel then explained that the head of gold was none other than the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar himself, the king of kings. The God of heaven had given him his kingdom, power, might and glory. In flattering terms, Daniel pointed out that humans, wild animals, and birds all came under the king’s rule.

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The attack of King Nebuchadnezzar (Ezek 26:7-26:7)

“Thus says Yahweh God!

I will bring against Tyre,

From the north,

King Nebuchadnezzar

Of Babylon,

King of kings.

He will come together

With horses,

With chariots,

With a cavalry,

With a great number

Of soldiers,

With a great army.”

Yahweh was going to send the king of Babylon, King Nebuchadnezzar, to attack Tyre from the north. This Babylonian king was also called the king of kings. He would come with horses, chariots, cavalry, and a large army of soldiers.

The Qumran prayer of thanksgiving (Sir 51:13-51:20)

“Give thanks to the good Lord!

His mercy endures forever.

Give thanks to the God of praises!

His mercy endures forever.

Give thanks to the guardian of Israel!

His mercy endures forever.

Give thanks to him who formed all things!

His mercy endures forever.

Give thanks to the redeemer of Israel!

His mercy endures forever.

Give thanks to him who gathers the dispersed of Israel!

His mercy endures forever.

Give thanks to him who rebuilt his city and sanctuary!

His mercy endures forever.

Give thanks to him who makes a horn to sprout

For the house of David!

His mercy endures forever.

Give thanks to him who had chosen the sons of Zadok

To be priests!

His mercy endures forever.

Give thanks to the shield of Abraham!

His mercy endures forever.

Give thanks to the rock of Isaac!

His mercy endures forever.

Give thanks to the mighty one of Jacob!

His mercy endures forever.

Give thanks to him who has chosen Zion!

His mercy endures forever.

Give thanks to the King of the kings of kings!

His mercy endures forever.

He has raised up a horn for his people.

Praise for all his loyal ones.

The children of Israel praise the Lord!

The people close to him praise the Lord!”

This is called the Qumran hymn of thanksgiving because this Hebrew hymn was found in a Qumran cave there, but not in the Greek text. It is very reminiscent of Psalm 136, with the repeated chant of “his mercy endures forever.” However, they are thankful for other things than in Psalm 136. Obviously the Lord is good and merciful. The Lord is the guardian and redeemer of Israel who formed all things. However, he now has gathered the dispersed Israelites. He has rebuilt the Temple and the sanctuary. He has protected the royal sprout of David, but also the priestly sons of Zadok. The Lord also gave the shield of Abraham, the rock of Isaac, and the mighty Jacob. He chose Zion for the king of kings. He raised up a horn of plenty for his people and those loyal to him. Thus the children of Israel and those close to him should praise the Lord.