Hananiah rushed into the room. Daniel, Azariah, and Mishael looked up from
their studies. "Something terrible has happened!" he told the
others. "The king has ordered the death of all the wise men in Babylon!"
"What?" Mishael asked in disbelief.
"It can't be!" cried Azariah.
Daniel tried to quiet the rising frenzy his friends were feeling. "Hananiah,
get hold of yourself! Calm down and tell us what you know."
Hananiah sat down. He took a deep breath and began. "Well ... King
Nebuchadnezzar had a dream. It disturbed him a great deal, and he called
all his magicians, enchanters, sorcerers, and astrologers together. He asked
them to tell him the dream and also the meaning of it. He told them if they
could not do it, he would have them cut into pieces and their houses turned
into piles of rubble. When they asked him to tell them the dream so that
they might interpret it, the king became furious and said they were stalling
for time. Nebuchadnezzar believes they are conspiring against him, telling
him lies and not the truth. The astrologers told him, 'No one can reveal
it to the king except the gods, and they do not live among men.'1
The king became so enraged with them, he ordered their executions!"
Daniel looked at the others for a moment. Then he spoke, "Stay here,
I'll be back shortly." Daniel went to see Arioch, the commander of
the king's guard, to ask him why the king issued such a hard decree. Arioch
explained the situation to Daniel, confirming everything Hananiah had said
earlier. Daniel then went to see the king; he asked Nebuchadnezzar for time
so that he might interpret the dream for him. Daniel's request was granted,
and he returned to his house where he told Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah
to join him in prayer. "Pray that the G-d who rules from heaven will
be merciful and explain this mystery to us, so that we and the others won't
be put to death." 2
During the night, G-d revealed the mystery to Daniel in a vision. Daniel
gave thanks and praised G-d for revealing Nebuchadnezzar's dream and its
meaning to him. Daniel returned to Arioch, who had been given the job of
executioner. Daniel said to him, "Do not execute the wise men of Babylon.
Take me to the king and I will interpret his dream for him." 3
Arioch looked Daniel straight in the eye and said, "You better not
be wrong about this, or many people are going to die."
"I am confident I can correctly interpret the king's dream," replied
As Daniel entered the king's court, all eyes were upon him. The room was
silent except for the echo of Daniel and Arioch's footsteps. Arioch announced,
"Your Majesty, I have found a man to interpret your dream."
The king turned to Daniel, "Is this true?"
The wise men stood by and breathlessly awaited Daniel's response. They knew
if Daniel's interpretation was wrong they would be cut into pieces within
Daniel responded by telling Nebuchadnezzar, "Your
Majesty, not even the smartest person in all the world can do what you are
demanding, but the G-d who rules from heaven can explain all mysteries."4
Daniel continued to tell Nebuchadnezzar that G-d was using his dream to
tell him what was going to happen in the future. G-d had revealed the dream
and the interpretation to Daniel, so Nebuchadnezzar might know the meaning
of his dream.
Daniel described the king's dream to him. "Your Majesty, in your dream
you saw standing in front of you a huge and terrifying
statue, shining brightly. Its head was made of gold, its chest and arms
were silver, and it was bronze from its waist down to its knees. From the
knees to the ankles it was iron, and the feet were a mixture of iron and
clay. As you watched, a stone was cut from a mountain--but not by human
hands. The stone struck the feet of the statue, completely shattering the
iron and clay. The iron, clay, bronze, silver and gold were crushed by the
stone, and they were blown away without a trace. The stone became a tremendous
mountain that covered the entire earth."5
Darryl paused for a moment, looking from Jamie to Brian. "Before
we continue," he said, "I want to remind you that this was taking
place approximately six hundred years before Yeshua (Jesus) was born. Daniel is about
to reveal to the king what will happen in the future. Much of what he revealed
has since taken place. When we look back over the past 2,600 years since
Daniel's time, we find his predictions amazingly accurate."
Jamie replied, "Dad, I want to be sure I understand what is going on
so far. King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream, so he wanted someone to tell him
what he had dreamed and the meaning of the dream."
Brian could no longer control himself. "That's impossible; no one would
be able to do it! They would have to read his mind!" Brian was getting
louder as he spoke.
"That's just what Daniel told the king. The only reason he was able
to interpret the dream was because G-d revealed it to him," Jamie said
"Why is this guy so worried about a dream anyway? I have dreams all
the time that don't make sense." Brian was speaking a little more calmly
Darryl explained, "In those days, men placed great importance on dreams
and their meanings. Often, G-d used dreams to reveal an important message
Brian shook his head. "So there was some big statue made of four kinds
of metal, and a big rock that crushed the statue then grew into a mountain
that filled the earth. I can't wait to hear how this is supposed to reveal
Jamie said eagerly, "Go on, Dad, tell us what happened next."