This study features notes from Enduring Word.
Recap Daniel 1. Importance of training, standing up for what you believe in, being courageous. Nebuchadnezzar crushed Jerusalem.
Read Daniel 2:1-30.
Any initial reactions, thoughts? Anything surprising?
Hashtag challenge: summarise the passage in 140 characters and come up with a hashtag. Prize for the winning group.
[“In the second year” – some people think this happened while Daniel was in his three-year training course; others think it was soon after he finished.]
[From Daniel 2:4-7:28, the biblical text is in Aramaic, not Hebrew. This is the only section of the Bible written in Aramaic, the language of the Babylonian Empire.]
1. Why does Nebuchadnezzar demand to know both the content of the dream and its interpretation from his wise men?
He couldn’t know for certain if the interpretation was correct, but he could test their ability to tell what he dreamed.
2. Was Nebuchadnezzar being unreasonable?
These men (magicians, astrologers, sorcerers) made their living on their supposed ability to contact the gods and gain secrets. If they’re really what they claimed to be, this shouldn’t be a problem.
3. Why does he make such a harsh threat?
The threat and method of execution are consistent with the character of ancient eastern monarchs.
4. What do the wise men admit to?
True revelation comes from God down to man. They understood that revelation was not the achievement of man. They had no answer, because only God could bring an answer.
5. How does the king respond?
He erupts. He had no use for wise men that couldn’t bring him wisdom from God.
6. How are we left on a cliffhanger at the end of v13?
The four men we’ve come to respect and like are among those to be killed.
7. How does Daniel react and what does this show about his character and his understanding of God?
He’s calm in a crisis. He knows it takes time to listen to God and wait upon him. He was in the type of situation where only God could meet his need. Therefore he knew how important it was for both him and his friends to pray. He had confidence that God could do an unprecedented miracle.
One group: v19-23
8. Verse 19 is key. Why is it significant that the mystery was revealed to him, as opposed to him finding it out?
God revealed it. Christianity begins with the principle of revelation. God has revealed himself to us. Our job isn’t to figure things out about God, but to understand what he has revealed to us.
[Night vision – could’ve been a dream, or a supernatural vision that happened at night.]
9. What does Daniel praise God for (v20-23)?
His power and might, his communication to man, he gave him the answer.
10. How does Daniel behave in his exchange with the king? Why do we find it hard to speak the truth of what we believe to people in authority?
He is humble and willing to speak truth to power. He doesn’t bring honour to himself, but to God.
11. How have we seen the contrast between Nebuchadnezzar and Daniel?
The king was troubled but is introduced to a man of understanding.
12. How can we follow Daniel’s example in order to help make God’s word known wherever we are and when we speak to people in power? [Pray through what we’ve talked about when finished.]
We are to speak up, without fear, wherever God has placed us.