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Daniel 2:1-6 meaning

The King of Babylon has a dream and demands that his wisemen not only tell him what it meant, but also tell him what he saw in the dream.

King Nebuchadnezzar was troubled by a dream he had and ordered his advisors to tell him what the dream meant. But before they could do this, these men asked the king what he saw in his dream. Tell the dream to your servants, and we will declare the interpretation, they said.

The servants of Nebuchadnezzar who were his advisors are described as magicians, conjurers and sorcerers. The words translated magicians and sorcerers are translated similarly in Exodus, referring to Pharaoh's advisors who were able to throw down their rods and have them turn into snakes (Exodus 7:11). Exodus 22:18 instructs Israel to not allow a sorceress to live. The word translated conjurer is found only in Daniel. These masters of dark arts were just some of many unclean and forbidden things in Daniel's Babylonian surroundings. The word Chaldean is found many places in scripture and generally refers to someone from Babylon. In this case it must refer to a special sect of wisemen.

In order to test their true ability to interpret the dream, Nebuchadnezzar refused to tell the wisemen what he saw in his dream. Instead, he ordered these men to tell him what he saw in his dream prior to interpreting it for him, saying: The command from me is firm: if you do not make known to me the dream and its interpretation, you will be torn limb from limb and your houses will be made a rubbish heap. That way, he could know for sure that they have the powers necessary to interpret the dream. (If he simply told the wisemen what he saw in his dream, they could make up some interpretation and Nebuchadnezzar wouldn't know if it was accurate).

The king warned these magicians and sorcerers that if they could not tell him what his dream meant,they would be torn limb from limb and that their houses would be made a rubbish heap. But if they could tell the king what he saw in his dream and what it meant, they would receive gifts and rewards and great honor.

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