Nebuchadnezzar recounts his efforts to have his dreams interpreted.
Nebuchadnezzar experiences a second dream. He was at ease in his house and flourishing in his palace when he saw a dream and it made him fearful. Back in Daniel 2, the king also experienced a dream that troubled him. These fantasies as he lay on his bed and the visions in his mind kept alarming him. In Chapter 2, Nebuchadnezzar called on all of his wise men and none of them could interpret his dream but Daniel. He once again gave orders to bring into his presence all the wise men of Babylon, that they might make known to him the interpretation of the dream. For some reason the king again first sought the counsel of his wise men rather than Daniel. He had apparently kept the wise men in his service despite their inability to interpret his other dream. Then the magicians, the conjurers, the Chaldeans and the diviners came in and Nebuchadnezzar related the dream to them, but they could not make its interpretation known. Once again the king will call on Daniel to interpret his dream because his wise men cannot.
It seems that rather than retain Daniel as a wise man in his court, the king had given him some kind of political position (Daniel 3:12). But finally Daniel came in before the king, whose name is Belteshazzar. The king refers to Daniel by Belteshazzar according to the name of my god, but recognizes that in him is the spirit of the holy gods. It is possible that Nebuchadnezzar was a polytheist since he refers to his god and also the holy god. But it is also possible that he still referred to this other god according to his culture, rather than from belief. According to the rest of Nebuchadnezzar’s testimony in this and previous chapters in Daniel, it seems likely that he recognized Daniel’s God as the true God, or at least the “Most High God” over all existence (v. 34).
When Daniel came into his presence, Nebuchadnezzar says, “I related the dream to him, saying, ‘O Belteshazzar, chief of the magicians, since I know that a spirit of the holy gods is in you and no mystery baffles you, tell me the visions of my dream which I have seen, along with its interpretation.’” Given Daniel’s previous success interpreting the king’s dream and his belief that Daniel had the spirit of the holy God, Nebuchadnezzar is confident in Daniel’s ability to interpret his dream.
4 “I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at ease in my house and flourishing in my palace. 5 I saw a dream and it made me fearful; and these fantasies as I lay on my bed and the visions in my mind kept alarming me. 6 So I gave orders to bring into my presence all the wise men of Babylon, that they might make known to me the interpretation of the dream. 7 Then the magicians, the conjurers, the Chaldeans and the diviners came in and I related the dream to them, but they could not make its interpretation known to me. 8 But finally Daniel came in before me, whose name is Belteshazzar according to the name of my god, and in whom is a spirit of the holy gods; and I related the dream to him, saying, 9 ‘O Belteshazzar, chief of the magicians, since I know that a spirit of the holy gods is in you and no mystery baffles you, tell me the visions of my dream which I have seen, along with its interpretation.
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