Friday, June 12, 2009

Bible Study: Taking A Stand - Daniel - Chapter 2

2:1 – 604-603 BC – 2nd year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign – the king couldn’t sleep because of his dreams.

2:2-3 – the magicians, enchanters and sorcerers were summoned to explain the king’s dreams.

2:4 – they spoke in Aramaic – the common language. This section of the book of Daniel (through the end of chapter 7) is written in Aramaic as a message to all, including gentiles. (NIV SB)

2:5-6 – the king explains that the astrologers will both tell the dream and interpret it, or the king would have them cut to pieces and their houses turned to piles of rubble. (violent king) (more similarities to Joseph’s story. Had the king perhaps heard the stories of Joseph?)

He wanted them to prove that they had supernatural ability. (Daniel – Beth Moore)

2:7-9 – the astrologers ask the king to tell them his dream. The king accuses them of stalling and demands that they tell the dream and interpret.

2:10-11 – Just as Daniel dealt wisely with the king, we can ask God to give us the wisdom to deal wisely with those in authority over us. (Life App SB)

2:12 – the king orders the execution of all the wise men in Babylon. (violent and impulsive king)

2:14 – guard – tabbah – to slay. The king’s guards were the executioners. (Daniel – Beth Moore)

Daniel approached Arioch with tact – the Aramaic word means “to taste, to form an opinion of something based on its flavor.” See Colossians 4:6 – “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” (Daniel – Beth Moore)

Daniel didn’t protest or blame Arioch for what he was doing. He also approached him with confidence and courage. He wasn’t bashful.

2:14-18 – Daniel provides a great example of how to deal with authority. He was respectful and went through proper channels and didn’t challenge anyone’s position. We should respect the office a person holds even if the person is contemptible. (KJV Word Study OT)

2:16-18 – This was a crisis. Daniel confidently appeared before the king after the king threatened his life. When the king gave Daniel time to answer, he sought out his friends and they prayed together. We should also share our needs with our friends and pray with each other. (Life App SB)

2:18 – plead – Aramaic word means “to ask, pray for, look for” and in this context, to do so with urgency. The word occurs 12 times in scripture – all in Daniel! (Daniel – Beth Moore)
Appears in Daniel 2:13, 16, 18, 23, 49; 4:36; 6:4, 7, 11, 12, 13; 7:16. ( NAS Lexicon)

2:19 – The mystery was revealed to Daniel, not the others. They had to trust Daniel’s relationship with God to the degree that they would receive a vital message from God through him. (Daniel – Beth Moore)

2:19-23 – Daniel praises God for revealing the mystery before running out to share what God revealed to him. Effectively, God just gave Daniel the power to save the lives of all of the wise men in Babylon, including himself and his 3 friends. He had a lot to praise God for. Do you lavish praises on God? Happened around 595 BC – If Daniel’s capture took place in 597 BC, he would be about 15 years old, now, and still in his 3 years of training in Babylon. The “wise men” were bested by a foreign teenaged student!!!

2:23 – What an awesome responsibility to be the one who is chosen to receive the message. (Daniel – Beth Moore)

2:24-30 – Daniel explains that he will describe and explain the dream because God revealed the mystery. Do you give God the credit when speaking to others?

2:24-25 – Arioch, the man assigned by the king to execute the wise men, takes credit for locating Daniel when, in actuality, Daniel went to Arioch asking to be brought to the king.

2:31-43 – Daniel describes the statue in the king’s dream and interprets:

1st kingdom Gold Nebuchadnezzar Babylonian
2nd kingdom Silver (inferior) Medo-Persian
3rd kingdom Bronze (rule over whole earth) Greek/Macedonian (Alexander the Great)
4th kingdom (strong as Iron) (crush and break) Roman
baked clay/Iron (divided kingdom) confederation of states that was Rome

Each kingdom is decreasing in power and grandeur – symbolized by diminishing value of metal. (NIV SB)

Metals increase in strength. (Daniel – Beth Moore)

2:32 – 2 arms = joining of 2 kingdoms: Media and Persia. (Daniel – Beth Moore)

2:33- 2 legs = east-west division – east became Russian Czar; west became German Kaiser. Note that the noble titles are the appropriate translations of “Caesar”. Both reigns ended in 1918: Romanoff assassination, Kaiser Wilhelm’s abdication of the throne.

2:36 – Daniel says “we” will interpret for the king. He is referring to himself and his 3 friends. Since they were involved in praying for the answer, Daniel gives them credit for the interpretation. (Life App SB)

2:39 – See Isaiah 44:24, 28; 45:1-4 – inferior kingdom – Medo-Persian Empire – Cyrus. Isaiah 45:1 was written 150 years before Cyrus!!! (Daniel – Beth Moore)

2:41-44 – 10 toes – 10 kingdoms – 10-nation confederacy that will operate jointly at time of Christ’s return. (Daniel – Beth Moore)

See 7:7 – 10 horns. 7:24 – 10 kings (1 king will subdue 3). Revelation 13:1 – beast with 10 horns, 7 heads, 10 crowns. Revelation 17:12 – 10 horns = 10 kings who have not received a kingdom, but will receive authority as kings for one hour along with the beast. (Daniel – Beth Moore)

2:44-45 – the stone that crushed the other kingdoms – see Matthew 16, Peter’s confession and Christ’s declaration (“…upon this rock…”)

See Joshua 8:30-31 and Psalm 118:22-24. (Daniel – Beth Moore)

2:47 – Nebuchadnezzar declares Daniel’s God to be the God of gods since He was able to reveal the mystery to Daniel. He was able to do this because Daniel gave God credit for the revelation.

2:48-49 – Daniel and his 3 friends were elevated to positions of power in the government. Daniel’s 3 friends received recognition because Daniel requested that they be honored. He knew that he couldn’t handle the responsibility alone, so he chose those he trusted most to work with him. We should choose godly companions and helpers, too. (Life App SB)

2:49 – their new, elevated positions separated the four men. This may account for Daniel’s absence from the fiery furnace in chapter 3.

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