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Daniel 2:17-23 meaning

Verses covered in this passage:

  • Daniel 2:17
  • Daniel 2:18
  • Daniel 2:19
  • Daniel 2:20
  • Daniel 2:21
  • Daniel 2:22
  • Daniel 2:23

Daniel seeks wisdom from God and gives thanks when it is given to him.

Before going to the king, Daniel and his three friends Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah pray to God for wisdom and requestcompassion from the God of heaven concerning this mystery; to show and explain to Daniel what the dream was that Nebuchadnezzar saw. They had a clear and justifiable motive, that Daniel and his friends would not be destroyed with the rest of the wisemen of Babylon.

One night, God revealed to Daniel what the dream was that the king saw in a night vision, and what it meant. Immediately Daniel praised God, saying, let the name of God be blessed forever and ever, For wisdom and power belong to Him. Daniel continued giving thanks to God, giving Him credit for the wisdom and understanding he had received.

It is He who changes the times and the epochs;
He removes kings and establishes kings;
He gives wisdom to wisemen
And knowledge to men of understanding.

Unlike the other wisemen of Babylon, Daniel trusted in God and knew that every gift he had, and any hope there was in understanding the king’s dream, rest in God. He depended on God for everything, and praised Him for showing and explaining the dream to him. Daniel recognized that Nebuchadnezzar had the power to slay him but God is above Nebuchadnezzar. It is God who removes and establishes kings. Daniel realizes God is over all. It seems Daniel and his friends were junior wisemen, but Daniel recognizes that it is God who gives wisdom to wisemen. Daniel’s boldness in taking his stand and stepping ahead of the senior wisemen was rooted in his confidence in God.

The final part of Daniel’s recorded prayer acknowledges that
It is God who reveals the profound and hidden things;

He knows what is in the darkness,
And the light dwells with Him.

Daniel has no illusion that the interpretation of the dream came from anyone other than God. God knows all, which Daniel acknowledges with his prayer of thanks.

Daniel voices his thanks directly, saying:

To You, O God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise,
For You have given me wisdom and power;
Even now You have made known to me what we requested of You,
For You have made known to us the king’s matter.

Daniel now has an incredible gift, and incredible power. The fact that he acknowledges that it came from God will explain why he does not take advantage of his situation to have the magicians and sorcerers slain, as would have been appropriate had he been in Israel (Exodus 22:18).

Biblical Text

17 Then Daniel went to his house and informed his friends, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, about the matter, 18 so that they might request compassion from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that Daniel and his friends would not be destroyed with the rest of the wisemen of Babylon. 19 Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven; 20 Daniel said,

Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever,
For wisdom and power belong to Him.

21 “It is He who changes the times and the epochs;
He removes kings and establishes kings;
He gives wisdom to wisemen
And knowledge to men of understanding.

22 “It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things;
He knows what is in the darkness,
And the light dwells with Him.

23 “To You, O God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise,
For You have given me wisdom and power;
Even now You have made known to me what we requested of You,
For You have made known to us the king’s matter.”




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