Summary: Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, had a second dream that troubled him. This time, he related the dream to Daniel but Daniel knew exactly what the dream meant. After being stunned for an hour, he explained the meaning but wished the dream would never come true.

Daniel-the dream he wished would never come true

Introduction: Daniel had already reviewed and interpreted one of King Nebuchadnezzar’s dreams, as related in Daniel 2. Now, perhaps some years later, the king had another dream that troubled his thoughts. He called Daniel and related the dream. When Daniel heard the dream, he knew what it meant but he wasn’t anxious to tell the king about it. Daniel even expressed his wish that the dream would apply to the king’s enemies, not the king himself.

Daniel did eventually explain the dream and what it meant. For a while, the king remembered the prophecy in the dream but one day he forgot. And he lived like an animal for seven long years. Afterward, he was restored to his position—and possibly more.

1 Nebuchadnezzar shared his dream

Text: Daniel 3:1-8, KJV 1 Nebuchadnezzar the king, unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you. 2 I thought it good to shew the signs and wonders that the high God hath wrought toward me. 3 How great are his signs! and how mighty are his wonders! his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion is from generation to generation. 4 I Nebuchadnezzar was at rest in mine house, and flourishing in my palace: 5 I saw a dream which made me afraid, and the thoughts upon my bed and the visions of my head troubled me. 6 Therefore made I a decree to bring in all the wise men of Babylon before me, that they might make known unto me the interpretation of the dream. 7 Then came in the magicians, the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers: and I told the dream before them; but they did not make known unto me the interpretation thereof. 8 But at the last Daniel came in before me, whose name was Belteshazzar, according to the name of my god, and in whom is the spirit of the holy gods: and before him I told the dream, saying, 9 O Belteshazzar, master of the magicians, because I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in thee, and no secret troubleth thee, tell me the visions of my dream that I have seen, and the interpretation thereof.

In the first few verses of chapter 4, Nebuchadnezzar gives a glowing tribute to the God of Heaven, calling Him the “High God”. He had already called Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego the “servants of the Most High God” in Daniel 3:26 after these three men had walked out of the fiery furnace. Then he continued his words of praise, desiring also to show the “signs and wonders” which God had revealed to him and produced in him.

Then in verse 5 he related the dream, another one, which “made (him) afraid” and further resulted in the visions troubling him. The dream he had, in chapter 2, also troubled him, but this one seems to have him more puzzled than anything else. He called, “made a decree”, for the wise men of Babylon to give him the interpretation. Before, he had demanded they tell him the dream AND what it meant, but here, he shared the dream with the wise men.

But they still could not interpret the king’s dream, even though he had told them what it was.

Now in verse 8, the king mentions that “at the last, Daniel came in before me” and the king told him the dream. In this situation, Daniel didn’t have to request time in order for God to show him the dream; further, the king was not threatening to have all the wise men executed for failure to explain the king’s dream. Nebuchadnezzar also added a few words of tribute to the “god” he worshipped at the time (most likely Bel, one of Babylon’s chief “gods”) but also recognized that Daniel had the “spirit of the holy gods (sic)”.

Beginning in verse 9, the king spoke directly to Daniel, first asking him to explain the dream and then the king proceeded to review the dream. Surely it made an impression on him, not the least because of the imagery, but some of the words spoken. Even so, it must have been vivid for the king to remember it in so much detail. The king’s words to Daniel stopped at verse 18, when the king again asked Daniel to explain the dream to him.

Daniel’s response, however, was not something the king expected.

II Daniel explained the dream

Text: Daniel 3: 19, KJV: Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was astonied for one hour, and his thoughts troubled him. The king spake, and said, Belteshazzar, let not the dream, or the interpretation thereof, trouble thee. Belteshazzar answered and said, My lord, the dream be to them that hate thee, and the interpretation thereof to thine enemies. 20 The tree that thou sawest, which grew, and was strong, whose height reached unto the heaven, and the sight thereof to all the earth; 21 Whose leaves were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all; under which the beasts of the field dwelt, and upon whose branches the fowls of the heaven had their habitation: 22 It is thou, O king, that art grown and become strong: for thy greatness is grown, and reacheth unto heaven, and thy dominion to the end of the earth. 23 And whereas the king saw a watcher and an holy one coming down from heaven, and saying, Hew the tree down, and destroy it; yet leave the stump of the roots thereof in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts of the field, till seven times pass over him;

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