Week Five: Prophet Daniel in the Court of Babylon
Verse to memorize
“There is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries.” Daniel 2:28
Book of Daniel—Ch. 1:4ab, 17, 20; Ch. 2:1-2, 10-12; 17-18ab, 19, 24, 27b, 30, 44 & 47:
(Six hundred years before the birth of Jesus, the Kingdom of Israel was in even worse shape than it had been in the time of the Prophet Isaiah. Only the kingdom of Judah remained of what had once been the large, independent kingdom of David and Solomon. Nebuchadnezzer, the king of Babylon in the East, came and invaded Jerusalem, deported the royal family and the entire court. When the exiles arrived in Babylon, he asked his chief minister to select from the Judean royal line some Israelites to serve him . He said:)
4 They should be young men, without any defect, handsome, proficient in wisdom, well informed, and insightful, such as could take their place in the king’s palace.
(The minister chose Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah)
17 To these four young men God gave knowledge and proficiency in all literature and wisdom, and to Daniel the understanding of all visions and dreams.
(After three years training, they were brought before King Nebuchadnezzar. The king spoke with each of them.)
20 In any question of wisdom or understanding which the king put to them, he found them ten times better than any of the magicians and enchanters in his kingdom.
2:1 In the second year of his reign, King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream which left his spirit no rest and robbed him of his sleep. 2 So he ordered that the magicians, enchanters, sorcerers, and the Chaldeans be summoned to interpret the dream for him.
(But the king would not tell the magicians, enchanters, sorcerers or the Chaldeans the dream. He expected them, as wise men, to tell him the dream and its interpretation.)
10 (They) answered the king: “There is not a man on earth who can do what you ask, O King; never has any king, however great and mighty, asked for such a thing of any magician, enchanter, or Chaldean. 11 …..there is no one who can tell it to the king except the gods, who do not dwell among people of flesh.” 12 At this the king became violently angry and ordered all the wise men of Babylon to be put to death.
(Daniel found out that this edict included himself and his companions!)
17 Daniel went home and informed his companions Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, 18 that they might implore the mercy of the God of heaven in regard to this mystery, so that Daniel and his companions might not perish with the wise men of Babylon. 19 During the night the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision, and he blessed the God of heaven.
24 So Daniel went to Arioch whom the king had appointed to destroy the wise men of Babylon and said to him, “Do not put the wise men of Babylon to death. Bring me before the king, and I will tell him the interpretation of the dream.”
(When Arioch brought Daniel to the king, he told the king:)
27b “The mystery about which the king has inquired, the wise men, enchanters, magicians, and diviners could not explain to the king. 28 But there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and he has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what is to happen in the last days: This was your dream, the visions you saw as you lay in bed.”
30 “To me also this mystery has been revealed; not that I am wiser than any other living person, but in order that its meaning may be made known to the king, that you may understand the thoughts of your own mind.
(Daniel described a very large statue with a head of gold, a chest of silver, belly and thighs of bronze, legs iron and feet partly iron and partly clay. He said the gold head represented of Nebuchadnezar, the other parts represented other kings which would take his place, one after the other. Eventually the whole statue would fall. Daniel said:)
44 In the lifetime of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed or delivered up to another people; rather it shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and put an end to them, and it shall stand forever.”
47 To Daniel the king said, “Truly your God is the God of gods and Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries; that is why you were able to reveal this mystery.” (NAB)
1.) Daniel and his friends were brought to a foreign land and put in a very dangerous position. Q: What gifts or virtues did God give them that helped them survive with their situation? A. See Ch.1:17. Q: What special gifts or talents do you think God has given you? Maybe Moms and Dads can tell the children what they see.
2.) In the Book of Daniel, Ch.s 1 & 2, two people receive “visions” in the night. Q: Who are they? A: King Nebuchadrezzar and Daniel. Many dreams are scary, funny or just crazy-mixed-up. But God can, if He wants, use our dreams in a very helpful or meaningful way. In the Bible many people receive dreams from God: The patriarch Joseph, son of Jacob had two important dreams which came true. And God sent St. Joseph two important dreams: one to tell him not to “afraid to take Mary as his wife” (Mt 1:20) and another to tell him to flee from King Herod to Egypt (Mt. 2:13) Q: Have you or anyone in your family ever had a helpful or meaningful dream? Q: Did you thank God for it?
3.) Q: When Daniel found out that the king was going to kill all the “wise men” of Babylon if they could not tell him his dream as well as interpret it for him, what did Daniel do first? A: He went home and informed his companions. Q: What did he want them to do? A: See vs. 2:18. Q: Did the God of heaven answer their prayers? A: Yes. Q: Then what did he do the next day? A: See vs. 2:24.
4.) Daniel told the king that the God of heaven would “set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed”, and “that it shall stand forever.” Q: How did Daniel know this? A: God had revealed this “mystery” to him in a night vision/dream. The angel Gabriel said the same thing at the Annunciation when he told the Virgin Mary that she would be the mother of Jesus: “Behold you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the Throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” (Lk 1:31-33) Q: What kingdom is this? A: This is the Kingdom of Heaven, also known as the Kingdom of God or Eternal Life. This is one of the great mysteries of our faith revealed to us in the Book of Daniel, as well as in the Gospels of Jesus Christ.
Courtesy of The Bible Project