Monday, February 20, 2017


Before you begin your Bible study, as a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, be sure you have named your sins privately to God the Father. 

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. [Known, Unknown and Forgotten sins] (1Jn 1:9)

You will then be in fellowship with God, Filled with God the Holy Spirit and ready to learn Truth from the Word of God.

God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in Spirit and Truth. (Joh 4:24)

Daniel Chapters 1-6



     IN EVERY AGE GOD’S PLAN for humanity includes certain ordinary people who do the extraordinary: They impact history and glorify God by using God's Thoughts to overcome adversity, sin, the old sin nature, Satan and human reality! “He who overcomes, [The old sin nature; etc.] and he who keeps My deeds [THOUGHTS] until the end, TO HIM I WILL GIVE AUTHORITY OVER THE NATIONS.” (Rev 2:26) What enables these remarkable believers to exhibit Virtue and courage in a crisis? They trust in the Lord and fortify their souls with Truth! (Psa 40:4)
     Daniel was such a man. Under the intense pressure of catastrophe Daniel’s faithfulness and dependence on the Lord distinguished him as a man with a noble purpose in life. God uses prepared believers; and this Jewish aristocrat was Spiritually prepared to transform the Chaldean and Persian Empires into citadels of stability and honor in the ancient world.
     With supreme confidence in the Lord and a mental attitude of tranquil composure Daniel triumphed over enormous pressures. As a teenager he resisted the brainwashing influence of pagan religion, (Dan. 1) disregarded the threat of torture and death to reveal the Divine outline of gentile history from Nebuchadnezzar’s vision of the great image, (Dan. 2) and witnessed his friends’ deliverance from the fiery furnace. (Dan. 3)
     Later in life Daniel faced new peril with poise. Risking the wrath of Nebuchadnezzar, he revealed God’s judgment on the world’s most powerful monarch. (Dan. 4) Again under precarious circumstances Daniel announced to Nebuchadnezzar’s grandson, Belshazzar, the Divine destruction of the degenerate Chaldean Empire. (Dan. 5) In a final drama Daniel was positioned by God to administer the transition from Chaldean decline to Persian ascendancy while enduring a Persian conspiracy to eliminate him in a den of lions. (Dan. 6)
     Devoted service and promotion to high office in both Chaldea and Persia placed Daniel in the unique position to further advance the plan of God for Israel. Daniel was truly a man for the crisis. Throughout monumental adversity he never once wavered from Thinking with God's Thoughts and Reality: What God declares to be REALITY! His life exemplifies that any believer armed with Truth in the soul can do the extraordinary in the midst of human disaster!

(Dan 1:1-21)


     TRULY THE WORD OF GOD is “alive and powerful,” but our English translations, regardless of which version we use, are not always clear. Remember: The Bible is inspired only in the original languages of Hebrew and Aramaic in the Old Testament and Greek in the New Testament — not in English. Translations may not always express the true meaning of the original text. In addition, historical settings of the Bible include a variety of cultures, all very different from that of our own, which affects word meanings.
     Several methods of inquiry must be used when a study is made of any portion of the Word of God. First, the student must orient to the historical time period in which the passage was written. Next, he must discern the categories of Bible Doctrine covered and study the passages from this Viewpoint. Finally, but of equal importance, is the analysis of the original language of the passage to accurately translate the text. Grammar, syntax, etymology, anachronisms, idiomatic phrases are critical to the analysis before a passage of Scripture can be interpreted. I call this threefold Biblical hermeneutic “ICE”:

Isagogics — The interpretation of Scripture within the framework of its historical setting or Prophetical environment.
Categories — The hermeneutical Principle of comparing Scripture with Scripture to determine the classification of Doctrine.
Exegesis — A word-by-word, verse-by-verse, grammatical, syntactical, etymological, and contextual analysis of Scripture from the origi­nal languages of the Bible.

     As we launch into a study of the Book of Daniel, the ICE approach is essential. A great deal of historical information must be covered in order that you might understand this profound Prophetical book of the Bible. As we have seen in previous studies, the Bible is neither a textbook on science nor a textbook on history. However, when an historical person or fact is mentioned, God’s Word is always absolutely accurate. Much of the historical background of the Book of Daniel will be useful to you in orienting to several books in the Old Testament, as well as to events in the New Testament. Daniel and other Old Testament believers faced many extreme tests. In order to learn the lessons from Daniel which are so apropos to our own time, we will follow Isaiah’s exhortation:

     For He says, Order on order, order on order, line on line, line on line, a little here, a little there. (Isa 28:10)


     Our first point of introduction concerns the five cycles of discipline mentioned in the Bible. Just as God disciplines His children on an individual basis when they step out of line, (Heb 12:6) so God disciplines a nation.
     (Lev 26:14-17) describes the first cycle of discipline; verses, (Lev 26:18-20) the second cycle; and verses, (Lev 26:21-22) the third; the discipline dealt out by God is intensified in each successive cycle. We are particularly interested in the fourth cycle, verses, (Lev 26:23-26) and the fifth cycle, verses, (Lev 26:27-39) since these two are covered in some detail throughout Scripture.
     As the Book of Daniel opens, the Northern Kingdom of Israel (Referred to in the Scriptures as both Israel and Samaria) was already under the fifth cycle of discipline. They had been destroyed as a nation in 722 B.C. by the Assyrian Empire. Simultaneously the South­ern Kingdom of Israel (Judah) went under the fourth cycle.
     The fourth cycle of discipline is characterized by extreme economic adversities and occupation by a foreign power. (Or internally by Socialism and Internationalism) While some trace of national sovereignty remains to the vassal state, they are intimidated by the constant threat of military and or government intervention. The ever-widening influence of the controlling power is felt in all areas of life. For many years, the little kingdom of Judah was controlled first by the Assyrians, then for a short time by the Egyptians; and finally by the Chaldeans.
     Those people of a national entity who fail to heed God’s warnings and continue to walk contrary to Him, (Lev 26:21) inevitably face complete and total destruction of their nation under the fifth cycle of discipline. While the Precepts of Leviticus 26 was given by God specifically to the nation Israel, the Principles apply to our country today. No nation in history has survived a continuous rejection of the Laws of Divine establishment. (Freedom, protection, property and privacy) In modern history it is quite easy to trace the decline of a nation as it marches to its own destruction.
Three main points should be remembered throughout the study of Daniel.

1. God blesses in adversity. Throughout the periods of intense suffering which resulted from national discipline, God’s care and faithfulness to the regenerate Jew is revealed.

2. God rewards Spiritual faithfulness. Between 516 B.C. and 323 B.C., Israel reached her Golden Age, a period built upon the Word of Truth unparalleled in the history of any nation.

3. God disciplines nations. The discipline of Assyria took place shortly before Daniel’s captivity. The eventual discipline of Chaldea, Persia, and Greece (Under Alexander the Great) followed.

     Pay close attention to the Book of Daniel! The instructions apply; should the United States ever become a socialist country and or be invaded by a foreign power. Daniel will show you how to handle adversity and make your life count for the Lord. Daniel teaches another great lesson: If you have Truth in your frontal lobe, even though you may be taken captive, you can never be conquered!

     Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. (Mat 10:28)

     In 625 B.C., Nabopolassar, an interloper, not of royal blood, suddenly appeared out of nowhere. He organized his scattered forces and took over Babylonia, which was then under Assyrian rule. From that time on, Babylonia was called Chaldea. While these two terms are used interchangeably, the Chaldeans were not Babylonians; and the Babylonians were no more Chaldeans than the Scots are English.
     When Nabopolassar and his clans, called “bits,” marched on Babylon, the Assyrians declared war on him. With the help of the Medes and the Scythians, Assyria was finally conquered in 612 B.C.

     “The disappearance of the Assyrian people will always remain an unique and striking phenomenon in ancient history. Other, similar, kingdoms and empires have indeed passed away, but the people have lived on. . . . A nation which had existed two thousand years and had ruled a wide area; lost its independent character. . . . No other land seems to have been sacked and pillaged so completely as was Assyria; no other people, unless it be Israel, was ever so completely enslaved.”

     Several years later, Egypt, as the hopeful heir to the Assyrian Empire, challenged Chaldea. At the Battle of Carchemish, the Egyptians were thoroughly and decisively defeated by Nebuchadnezzar, son of Nabopolassar.
     To avoid historical confusion, one must be aware of the fact that there were three invasions of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans. In 605 B.C., after Nebuchadnezzar’s stunning victory over Egypt, he besieged Jerusalem for the first time; on this occasion, Daniel was taken into captivity. The city was not demolished; Jehoiakim, the king, was left on the throne, but part of the wealth was confiscated. Also, as was the custom, a number of boys from the royal line were taken as hostages to be trained in the ways of the Chaldeans. This is the background for our study of the Book of Daniel.
     In 598 B.C., there was a second invasion and siege of Jerusalem. At that time, the Prophet Ezekiel and Jehoiachin (Coniah) the king were numbered among the captives taken to Babylon.
     Nebuchadnezzar came to Jerusalem a third time. After a siege of eighteen months, the city was completely devastated in 586 B.C., and the third deportation took place. That was the beginning of the fifth cycle of discipline to Judah — a discipline that lasted seventy years.


     One Principle must always be remembered: God deals with His children in grace. Nebuchadnezzar had already invaded Jerusalem once, looted and taken captive those whom he chose. This should have served as a warning to Judah, but they continued to follow after the “idols in their hearts.” (Eze 14:3) So God provided a young prophet to warn the leadership of certain impending discipline should the Jews continue their apostasy. Judah was disintegrating under the fourth cycle of discipline; but, even though it was on its way down, it was still intact as a nation.
     Perhaps it is too early to predict — though all signs point in that direction — but apparently the United States is either approaching or is already in the second or third cycle of discipline. This does not mean that there is no solution. Under God’s Spiritual life, through the Thinking with Truth, it is just as easy to return to prosperity and blessing as it is to go under the fourth cycle, then the fifth cycle and final destruction. There is an erroneous idea that each generation leaves a heritage for the generation which follows. Wrong! While one generation may establish a course of action, any succeeding generation is free to change its destiny. The future of every generation is determined by the decisions of its believers. The generation that respects authority and the Laws of the land is preparing for a bright, wonderful future.
     Just prior to World War II, most teenagers in this country had respect for authority in all areas. Out of the youth of the 1940’s came one of the premiere military organizations that have ever existed. The adaptability of the young men and their response to discipline, both as individuals and as a team, were exemplary. I wonder if the youth of today could shape up to defend our country if it were invaded. Is there still enough respect for authority and self-discipline, or would they succumb to the enemy without a struggle? Just as today’s generation will determine the future of our country, so Daniel and his companions influenced the future of Judah. You will be able to make the analogy between Judah and the United States as we take a brief look at Ezekiel 14.

     Ezekiel, a contemporary of Daniel, was a young man at this time. Daniel had already been taken hostage in 605 B.C., but Ezekiel was still in Jerusalem. As he faithfully taught a Bible class, certain leaders, elders of Israel, came “and sat down before” him. (Eze 14:1)
     And the Lord spoke to Ezekiel saying, in effect, teaching prophet; these men have set up their idols in their hearts. They practice mental idolatry that translates to wicked overt activities. (Eze 14:3) They are destroying the initiative of the people by giving money to the poor instead of encouraging them to work. They proclaim that everyone is equal a concept that will never be true. Their nation is stumbling even as they seek pleasure and stimulation. The leaders are applying false satanic thinking to the situation! Why should they inquire of Me? They are alienated from Me through their idols. They must change their attitudes and turn away from their idols and abominations. (Pro 6:16-19) Because they have gone so far astray, they shall bear the punishment of their iniquity. The punishment of the false prophet and those who follow him will be equal because of the influence on the leadership of the land. (Interpretive summary of; Eze 14:2-10) Because the corruption of Judah was so pervasive, the Lord knew the fifth cycle of discipline would be the only way to preserve a remnant of strong believers and purge Israel of apostasy. Israel had been chosen by God to disseminate the Gospel. Yet they failed in their commission and would be temporarily set aside through the Babylonian captivity. In this dispersion a remnant of Bible-oriented believers would be spared and protected by the grace of God and would rise to evangelize their oppressors and return to the land.
     Ezekiel, a prophet during the reign of Zedekiah, (597 — 586 B.C.) understood that discipline was descending on Judah. So when the leadership came to sit in his class, God gave them a message through Ezekiel. 

     Son of man, if a country sins against Me by committing unfaithfulness, and I stretch out My hand against it, destroy its supply of bread, send famine against it, [Economic disaster] and cut off from it both man and beast. (Eze 14:13)     
     The remnant would be survivors of this catastrophic disaster. To survive the destruction of a national entity, one must have a bomb shelter on the inside — Truth, the backbone of the soul. As believers understand and accept by faith Principles and categories of Truth, this information is utilized by the right lobe of the soul! When a believer becomes grace-oriented, he soon develops a relaxed mental attitude. As details of life (Money, food, relationships, clothing, job, etc.) are mastered, the believer has greater capacity for life in all areas. As Spiritual strength is built in the soul through Truth; the happiness that God intended for him to enjoy is attained! This allows all prosperity and adversity in a Christian's life to be handled by utilizing GOD'S REALITY. This is the life of “the abundance of grace” (Rom 5:17) that God desires for all His children. This is the life Daniel had attained whereby God's glory was reflected. This Spiritual strength in the soul not only enables the individual to survive in disaster, but also fulfills the preservation Principle of the “salt of the earth.” (Mat 5:13)
     The majority of the Jews would be destroyed; only believers with Truth in the soul would survive as the remnant according to the election of grace. (Rom 11:5) God shows us this Concept through Daniel. Although he and Ezekiel were peers, By Divine Revelation; Ezekiel talked about Daniel as if he were a giant on a pedestal, a man of supreme integrity.

     Even though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job were in its midst, by their own righteousness they could only deliver themselves, declares the Lord God. (Eze 14:14)

     What do these three men have in common? They were all believers; who placed the plan of God above their own life! (2Co 5:15) Noah kept right on building the ark in spite of intense ridicule. Although he was in the minority, Noah allowed nothing to come between him and his daily fellowship with the Lord. Job, too, survived under tremendous pressure when all the odds were against him. In Daniel we see another hero who remains faithful to God’s plan for his life. Divine Thoughts were so firmly fixed in his mind that even in captivity he would not compromise!
     What was the purpose of the Holy Spirit in linking together the names of three of the great believers of all time as though they were contemporaries? The Holy Spirit placed Daniel on center stage of history because the omniscient Godhead knew that he was to become one of the most unusual men in the history of Israel. Often men of genius do not receive public recognition until several generations elapse, but the people of Daniel’s day already recognized his many Virtues. Four mighty races of people considered Daniel an outstanding hero while he was still alive — the Jews, the Chaldeans, the Medes, and the Persians. He was a believer and unlike the majority of national leaders, both then and now, he did not compromise his integrity. That is why Daniel had a long life and a fantastic ministry. Daniel was great before God, and thousands of people received blessing by association from his devotion to Biblical Reality.


     In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. (Dan 1:1)

     After the Battle of Carchemish, Nebuchadnezzar was pursuing Pharaoh Necho who was speeding in headlong retreat toward Egypt. The pharaoh passed Jerusalem so quickly that the city was only a blur. However, when Nebuchadnezzar saw the gleaming city on the hill, he brought his troops to a halt. His army surrounded Jerusalem and Nebuchadnezzar demanded its surrender. When the gates were closed to him, a fight ensued.

     And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along with some of the vessels of the house of God; and he brought them to the land of Shinar, [Babylonia] to the house of his god, and he brought the vessels into the treasury of his god. (Dan 1:2)

     While consolidating his rule over Jerusalem, Nebuchadnezzar received word that his father, Nabopolassar, had died. He returned to Babylon immediately. Since he had not completed setting up his administration in Jerusalem, he needed a puppet king. Nebuchadnezzar admired Jehoiakim for his loyalty to the Pharaoh of Egypt, so he de­cided to leave him on the throne of Judah. However, Nebuchadnezzar wisely took measures to guarantee Jehoiakim’s loyalty to the Chaldean Empire. To make sure that during his absence the Jews would not revolt against him; Nebuchadnezzar gave orders to bring hostages of the royal family back to Babylon. In this way, Nebuchadnezzar had a lever to use against Jehoiakim should the need arise.

     Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, the chief of his officials, [A eunuch] to bring in some of the sons of Israel, including some of the royal family and of the nobles. (Dan 1:3)

     The word “chief” is literally “prince.” Ashpenaz was the minister of the royal palace, a lofty position in the Chaldean Empire. His was an influential commission, since Ashpenaz would be entirely responsible for the selection and training of the captives. Many of these young boys belonged to the family of David or to other families of nobility in the tribe of Judah. History indicates that fifty to seventy young men were taken on this first deportation.
     The objective was to train these Jewish captives to think, speak, and act as Chaldeans for the purpose of transforming them into qualified administrators for the Chaldean government. Whenever a people are conquered, the best and brightest are assimilated into the hierarchy of the overlords.
     The taking and training of hostages is customary among conquering nations throughout history. We know from Plato that the Persians began the education of royal hostages at the age of fourteen. The Persians probably adopted this practice from the Chaldeans. Xenophon, the Greek historian, tells us that hostages were trained up to the age of seventeen. The captivity of “some of the sons of Israel” is also a fulfillment of, (Isa 39:5-7).

     Youths in whom was no defect, who were good-looking, showing intelligence in every branch of wisdom, endowed with understanding, and discerning knowledge, and who had ability for serving in the king’s court; and he ordered him to teach them the literature and language of the Chaldeans. (Dan 1:4)

     This verse itemizes the qualifications that Ashpenaz looked for when selecting the king’s hostages. “No defect” is a Hebrew idiom for outward perfection. “Good-looking” means physically handsome. “Showing intelligence in every branch of wisdom” connotes a superior IQ with the ability to learn and to categorize information. “Discerning knowledge” is literally “endowed with knowledge.” The Chaldeans had developed a skill in the sciences, including mechanics and astronomy. These boys must have an aptitude for these disciplines. “Ability for serving in the king’s court” indicated the necessity for poise so they might be integrated into the administration of the Chaldean Empire. These young people were to be brainwashed; they were to learn the Chaldean language and culture. Above all, they had to learn to think like a Chaldean.


     And the king appointed for them a daily ration from the king’s choice food and from the wine which he drank, and appointed that they should be educated three years, at the end of which they were to enter the king’s personal service. (Dan 1:5)
     Nebuchadnezzar placed special importance on these teenagers. They were no ordinary prisoners. Their daily provisions were the royal food of the king, and they were given the best wine in the palace. This program of indoctrination was to last three years, at the end of which time final examinations would be personally conducted by Nebuchadnezzar. While all of the chosen boys received the same treatment, our study of the Book of Daniel concerns only the four young men who are now introduced.

     Now among them from the sons of Judah were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. (Dan 1:6)

     Then the commander of the officials assigned new names to them; and to Daniel he assigned the name Belteshazzar, to Hananiah Shadrach, to Mishael Meshach, and to Azariah Abed-nego. (Dan 1:7)

     We tend to think of brainwashing as a twentieth-century innovation. However, there is really “nothing new under the sun.” (Ecc 1:9) God the Holy Spirit recorded for our benefit the brainwashing technique used to obscure Truth. Since Hebrew names had Doctrinal significance, these Jewish boys must be given Chaldean surnames.
     “Daniel” means “God is Judge,” or “God the Judge,” emphasizing the work of Jesus Christ. First, this is a reference to the cross, where Jesus Christ was judged for our sins. (2Co 5:21; 1Pe 2:24) Second, this indicates that final judgment for those who reject the cross. (Joh 5:22) “Daniel,” therefore, stands for the entire Doctrine of judgment and vindication which begins at the cross and goes through the Judgment Seat; (1Co 3:14) and ends with the Great White Throne and the lake of fire. (Rev 20:12-15)
     Of all the hostages taken in 605 B.C., Daniel was by far the most remarkable. In appearance, he was aristocratic and handsome. He was also highly intelligent; in fact, Ezekiel has already implied, (Eze 14:20) that Daniel was a Spiritual genius. Since he was the most distinguished of all, he received the most eminent of all the Chaldean names — Belte­shazzar.
     “Belteshazzar” means “Bel’s prince.” (A FALSE GOD) Bel was the Akkadian god, Belu, the ruling god of the Chaldean pantheon, equivalent to the Greek Zeus or the Roman Jupiter. Daniel was so attractive and brilliant as a teenager that he must have looked to the Chaldeans as though he came right from the hand of Bellu. Therefore, Daniel was identified by his name with the chief god of the Chaldeans. This was the beginning of the brainwashing system, but it did not work. (Mat 4:10) They could change Daniel’s name to Belteshazzar; they could change the outer man and create a heathen facade by submerging him in Chaldean culture; but they could not change the inner man — his soul. (Mar 8:36-38) He may have looked like someone who had come directly from the gods, but in this young man’s soul was the Word of Truth.
     “Hananiah” means “the Lord is gracious.” While the name “Daniel” emphasized the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ, “Hananiah” emphasized the teaching ministry of God the Holy Spirit, the GRACE means of Understanding Spiritual Thoughts. (Tit 3:5; 1Co 2:11-14) This meaningful Hebrew name was changed to “Shadrach” which means “illumined by the sun god.” (FALSE SPIRITUAL LIFEIllumined and or animated by the sun god, Shamash, another famous deity in the Chaldean pantheon. (Eph 2:2) Again we have the attempt to obscure The Filling of God the Holy Spirit and Truth; and blot out the graciousness of the members of the Godhead by a new name.
     “Mishael” means “Who and What the Lord Is.” (1Jn 4:8; LOVE) Virtue-love, is the fruit of God the Holy Spirit. (Gal 5:22-23) Virtue love does not come from us! The true meaning of Virtue-love is that none of us ever earn or deserve anything from God. It is obvious that the parents of Mishael were oriented to the Principle of the love of God. They realized that nothing depended upon them, that they could not earn or deserve the approbation of God. Their son’s name was an open testimony that they understood this important facet of Doctrine. They called him “Who and What the Lord Is.” But when Mishael was taken into captivity, his Hebrew name was changed to “Meshach,” “who and what Ishtar is.” [Venus] (FALSE LOVE; HUMAN MORALITY AND OR IMMORALITY)
     Certain Greek poets, borrowing from mythology, ascribed the origin of the goddess of love, Aphrodite, to the foam of the sea. Her name is believed to be derived from the Greek word, (Aphros) “foam.” She is the irresistible force impelling procreation and reproduction, who “strikes fond love into the hearts of all, and makes them in hot desire to renew the stock of their races.” The Latin name for Aphrodite is Venus, and the Chaldeans called their goddess of love “Ishtar.” The objective of changing the Hebrew name “Who and What the Lord Is!” to “who and what the goddess of love is” was to obscure the Person and essence of God, to encourage Mishael to forget God and to “love everyone” and or live promiscuously.
     “Azariah,” or “the Lord is my help,” refers to the provision of Truth: The MIND OF CHRIST. (1Co 2:16) Azariah’s parents no doubt recognized that God could provide for every need their son would ever have. In a sense they dedicated their child to the Lord at the time of his birth by saying, “We are his parents; we will do what we can, but the rest is up to the Lord.” They put their child in the Lord’s hands and then taught him Truth up to the time they lost him. (Psa 31:1-5) “Azariah” was changed to “Abed-nego,” meaning “the servant or slave of Nego.” Nego is a corruption from Nebo, which is the Akkadian name Nabu, the god of wisdom and education. Naba “to prophesy” in the Hebrew, seems to be related to the ancient Akkadian word nabu, which in its passive form means; “to be called.” (Called to teach) The word is found in the Biblical Hebrew text about 115 times, e.g. (1Sa 10:6; Eze 13:2-3).
     The Chaldeans revealed their plan when they renamed Azariah. “We will train the best of these boys, and when they have graduated from our school they will be indistinguishable from Chaldeans.” How will this be accomplished? Nabu the god of wisdom and education! The idea was that through education all barriers could be broken down, whether they be racial, cultural, political, or religious. (FALSE SATANIC WISDOM)

     I want to make one thing clear: I am not disparaging education. From experience I know that education has many wonderful ad­vantages to offer, and to enter a profession academic training is essential. But education is not the solution to man’s problems. Educated people can be just as miserable as uneducated people. Scholarly studies have yet to provide inner peace, happiness, or Spiritual blessing for anyone. The inculcation of satanic false ideas and concepts will destroy a soul not steeped in Truth. Through indoctrination the Chaldeans were attempting to change Bible believing nobility into pagan and or carnal aristocracy. The very same thing is happing to believers today!


     But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile him­self with the king’s choice food or with the wine which he drank; so he sought permission from the commander of the officials that he might not defile himself. (Dan 1:8)

     The key phrase in this verse is “Daniel made up his mind.” It means that he made a decision that he would not violate the Thoughts of God! How amazing that Daniel was not coerced by the Chaldean pressures and temptations, since teenagers are usually so impres­sionable. Daniel was a healthy, hungry teenager and the king’s food was probably very tempting; but Daniel remembered the Laws of his God. His parents had trained him from infancy, and apparently he had accepted Christ as his Savior at an early age. Part of his training had been a thorough exposure to the dietary section of the Mosaic Law. Not only had he learned these Laws, but apparently his parents had practiced strict adherence to this Code. Therefore, Daniel’s Spiritual maturity was far advanced of his physical maturity. Daniel knew that some of the meat served might be forbidden under Jewish dietary Laws. More important than that, however, was the possibility that he would be served meat that had been offered to idols. (Deut 32:38; cf., 1Co 10:18-21) Daniel looked at the king’s food from God’s Reality and refused to eat. We make hundreds of decisions daily from either a position of strength, (In fellowship Thinking with Truth) or a position of weakness. (In carnality thinking with our own thoughts) When we fail to be filled with God the Holy Spirit and to apply Truth consistently, we can easily succumb to life’s pressures! Only a soul fortified with Truth can withstand the onslaught of “human realities” and be ready to make decisions from a position of strength within God’s plan. Teenagers in particular face the test of peer pressure which they can meet only with Truth. Rare indeed is the young person who possesses the courage and true independence to resist succumbing to the folly and rebelliousness of his contemporaries.
     Yet in Daniel 1, we find not just one but four teenagers who dared to be different. It all began in, (Dan 1:8) with a decision made by Daniel. Suddenly he had been transplanted from his Jewish environment into the Chaldean Empire. This was quite a transition for a young lad, to be removed from the roots of his own home life and source of Spiritual training. No longer were parents, priests, and prophets available to him for guidance; now the Spiritual Wisdom of Daniel’s decisions would de­pend entirely on God the Holy Spirit and the Truth resident in the right lobe of his own soul!

     The diagram below will help to clarify how we can make wise deci­sions like Daniel. God’s total provision for believers in Jesus Christ includes a grace apparatus for perception. This apparatus, called Operation Z, makes discernment of Spiritual phenomena possible.

     Under Judaism all children were taught the Mosaic Law. (Lev 10:11; Deut 6:7-9) Where a believer is concerned, obedience to the Word of God is his first responsibility! Daniel had Truth in his right lobe, and applied this Truth to every situation. Every day that Daniel and his companions took in Truth prepared them for the crisis they were now facing. God only uses prepared believers! The Word of God reveals that only Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah used God's Thoughts above their own; and took a stand! The rest of the hostages just became “good Chaldeans”; as far as we know they went into obscurity.

     Now God granted Daniel favor and compassion [Rachamim] in the sight of the commander of the officials. (Dan 1:9)

     Once Daniel had made up his mind to take a stand, he approached Ashpenaz. The Hebrew word rachamim, translated “compassion,” connotes pure emotions. Ashpenaz, an unbeliever, was capable of appreciating Daniel only from an emotional compassion, but was incapable of understanding the source of his character. At this point, Ashpenaz recognized that Daniel was truly extraordinary.

     And the commander of the officials said to Daniel, I am a­fraid of my lord the king, who has appointed your food and your drink; for why should he see your faces looking more haggard than the youths who are your own age? Then you would make me forfeit my head to the king. (Dan 1:10)

     Even though Ashpenaz admired Daniel and had compassion for him in his limited way, he could not agree to this request. Power and authority, do not guarantee security and peace of mind. Ashpenaz occupied a position of tremendous authority and power in the Chaldean Empire, but he was a frightened person. Sometimes you may wonder why the leadership of a nation makes rash and unwise decisions; they often do the expedient thing simply because they are frightened. Ashpenaz knew that if his prize hostages appeared less healthy than the other Jewish boys, he would lose his head. So, he told Daniel, “If the rest of the boys look robust and you fellows look sickly, I will be executed!”


     While Ashpenaz was running scared, Daniel was Thinking God’s Word:

     Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. (Isa 41:10)

     Daniel’s courageous stand on the dietary matter may seem trivial to you, but as a captive his destiny was uncertain. Refusal of the king’s food could easily have meant his death; nevertheless, Daniel pursued his request. He knew he was right and refused to accept defeat. This brings out the point that believers with Truth in their right lobe are not easily discouraged.

     But Daniel said to the overseer [Hammeltzar] whom the commander of the officials had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. (Dan 1:11)
     Please test your servants for ten days, and let us be given some vegetables to eat and water to drink. (Dan 1:12)

     Then let our appearance be observed in your presence, and the appearance of the youths who are eating the king’s choice food; and deal with your servants according to what you see. (Dan 1:13)

     So he listened to them in this matter and tested them for ten days. (Dan 1:14)

     The Hebrew word hammeltzar, translated “overseer,” is the palace officer responsible for their daily provisions. Since Ashpenaz had refused his request, Daniel next sought help from his steward. “Why not try an experiment with us? Serve us vegetables and water for ten days, and then compare our faces with those of the children who eat from the king’s table.” This was a drastic departure from the diet the king had ordered for them. The overseer realized that not too much damage could be done in a ten-day period, so he agreed to Daniel’s request. From human thinking, this was a sporting proposition; from God's Reality, the challenge reveals that Daniel united the Thoughts of God with his faith! (Heb 4:2-3)


     And at the end of ten days their appearance seemed better and they were fatter than all the youths who had been eating the king’s choice food. (Dan 1:15)

     So the overseer continued to withhold their choice food and the wine they were to drink, and kept giving them vege­tables. (Dan 1:16)

     “Better” means healthier. Their coloring and overall physical conditions were much improved. “Fatter” does not mean fat flesh, but refers to the texture of their skin. The nature of their diet not only gave them better skin texture, but the word actually means firmer flesh.

     Once again we see how God honors His Word when believers with Truth take a Biblical stand you can never lose when you do things God’s way! By following the Mosaic Law, they were not only pleasing God it showed in their faces. Their victory was so complete that they never again faced the problem of being given food and drink offered to idols.

     And as for these four youths, God gave them knowledge and intelligence in every branch of literature and wisdom; Daniel even understood all kinds of visions and dreams. (Dan 1:17)

     Please notice that it was God who did the giving. God gave them knowledge and intelligence; He provided Truth which they in turn applied to their experience. As a result of Truth in their right lobes, these four youths went through the next three years of Chaldean training without compromise and graduated at the top of their class! Here is the Principle: There is a relationship between learning the Word of Truth categorically and succeeding academically, as the discipline required for categorical study prepares a person for academic success.

     There are two ways you can proceed in academic life. You can study every day, or you can cram for examinations. Unfortunately, most Christians are not studying daily — they cram. Every time they experience pressure, they face a final exam. “What is that Truth I need? Where is that verse? What is that faith-rest business? Maybe I should see the pastor!” If you start to cram when you face disaster, forget it! It is too late! On the other hand, if you learn a little Truth every day, when you confront pressure situations, “final exams” you will pass with flying colors and you will glorify the Lord.
Note again that it was God who gave the knowledge. While we do not know the mechanics of how God continued to provide Truth at this time, we do know that learning the Word was the driving force for doing their best in every endeavor. As a result, all four boys possessed skills in academic perception. They all had wisdom — the application of what they had learned. But Daniel was given a special endowment: God the Holy Spirit bestowed on Daniel the gift of Prophecy, although not the office of prophet.

     Then at the end of the days which the king had specified for presenting them, the commander of the officials presented them before Nebuchadnezzar. (Dan 1:18)

     Three years elapsed between verses 17 and 18. During this time, the hostages learned the language and various sciences of the Chaldeans. They were now thoroughly prepared to assume their exalted positions within the administration of the Chaldean Empire. The time for final examinations had arrived, and Ashpenaz took them before the king.

     And the king talked [Davar] with them, and out of them all not one was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah; so they entered the king’s personal service. (Dan 1:19)

     The word “talked” is the Hebrew verb davar in the piel imperfect, indicating an intensive examination. Daniel’s section passed with highest honors. “So they entered the king’s personal service” means they received positions in the Chaldean ‘State Department.’

     And as for every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king consulted them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and conjurers who were in all his realm. (Dan 1:20)

     And Daniel continued until the first year of Cyrus the king. (Dan 1:21)

     In verse 20 we see further examples of God’s faithfulness. The “magicians” or scribes and “conjurers” were men of great human wisdom, and were consulted by the king in matters of utmost importance. Yet at exam time, the four young men were found to be ten times more proficient than all the rest. God rewards Spiritual faithfulness; He uses people who have HIS THINKING in their souls, and fills their cup to overflowing! (Psa 23:5)
     Not only did Daniel occupy a position of authority under Nebuchadnezzar, but his influence continued through the reign of Cyrus the Great of Persia in 539 B.C.


1.God disciplines both individuals and nations for rejecting God’s Word!

2. Religion seeks to obscure the Reality of the Bible through various devices; such as exchanging the Hebrew names of Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah for pagan Chaldean names that signify: A false god: A false spiritual life: A false love: (Relative) A false way of thinking and teaching; ALL PROMOTED BY SATAN!

3. Application of God's Thoughts and Virtue-love filled with God the Holy Spirit, (Absolute) results in right decisions and righteous living!

4. Perception of Truth makes academic perception easier.

5. God honors those who put His Word first and blesses believers with Truth resident in the right lobe of the soul.

6. God uses prepared believers.

7. God honors faithfulness.

8. God never leaves Himself without a witness.

9. Truth in the right lobe of the soul is the Spiritual strength for resistance to human reality and brainwashing.

10.     No man is an island unto himself. Since life is inseparably linked to other people, the innocent suffer with the guilty. When this happens, God will turn cursing into blessing when faith is exercised.

11. A premium must not be placed on personality and outward appearance but on Virtue-love and integrity!

12. Worship God and not self. (Mat 4:10) Stay filled with God the Holy Spirit (Eph 5:18 ) and not Satan's spirit. (Eph 2:2)  Live by God's Virtue-Love (Gal 5:22-23) and not moral degeneracy, (Rom 10:2-3) or immoral degeneracy. (Gal 5:19-21) Think with the Mind of Christ, (1Co 2:16) and not our own thoughts! (Isa 65:2) This is the reason for the names being changed to teach us these lessons! (Dan 1:7) GOD CONTROLS HISTORY! (Lam 3:37-40)

Daniel 2


     THE LIFE OF DANIEL is a marvelous tribute to the grace of God.  Daniel reveals future historical events and demonstrates God’s faithfulness in advancing prepared believers. Here we find the account of four young men who were truly oriented to God's Thoughts: The Word of Truth. Thus stabilized, they were able to survive separation from parents, their country of Judah and still maintain perfect inner happiness through tremendous pressures and persecutions.      
     Daniel and his three friends, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, were royal hostages taken to Babylon when Nebuchadnezzar king of the Chaldean Empire besieged Jerusalem in 605 B.C. Daniel’s thorough indoctrination in the Scriptures from early youth had strengthened his resolve to resist all brainwashing attempts. All four youths stood firmly Thinking with the Word of God! As a result they prospered even in captivity! Upon graduation with highest honors from the Chaldean training program they were placed in Nebuchadnezzar’s State Department just in time to encounter a royal crisis.

     Now in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; and his spirit was troubled [Pa’am] and his sleep left him. (Dan 2:1)

     Everything God wants to communicate to Church Age believers is revealed in the Bible, the completed canon of Scripture. However, in Old Testament times God revealed His will to man by various means:

1. Through the Written Word as it then existed. (Dan 9:2)

2. Through the Spoken Word. (Isa 6:8-10)

3. Through dreams. (Gen 20:3-7; Gen 31:10-13; Gen 31:24; Num 12:6; Dan 2:1)

4. Through visions. (1Ki 22:19; Isa 1:1; Isa 6:1; Dan 7:7; Dan 8:1)

5. Through angelic teaching. (Act 7:53; Gal 3:19)

     Divine Revelation came to Nebuchadnezzar through a dream. In fact, Nebuchadnezzar dreamed (Qal perfect of chalam) many dreams, and because of their content he was so disturbed that he became an insomniac. Here was a man who had everything. Nebuchadnezzar, fresh from military conquest, possessed untold wealth, power, and a magnificent palace, yet he was pacing the floor with worry and anxiety. The Hebrew says “his spirit was troubled.” [Pa‘am] The hithpael stem (reflexive) connotes that the king was troubling himself; apparently the mental attitude sin of fear had frightened him into a neurotic state. Note the Principle of this verse: Neither a position of preeminence nor personal ability can provide mental stability, peace, and security. True peace of mind is the monopoly of a believer with Knowledge of Truth that he applies to every situation! (2Co 10:5) Lacking this stability, even a person as successful and powerful as Nebuchadnezzar can become disturbed and frightened.


     Then the king gave orders to call in the magicians, [Chartummim] the conjurers, [Ashaphim] the sorcerers [Mekashephim] and the Chaldeans [Kasdim] to tell the king his dreams. So they came in and stood before the king. (Dan 2:2)

     What a strange collection of State Department officials. As we study these categories of court bureaucrats, you will realize that human reality and the old sin nature has changed very little through the centuries. Magicians, chartummim, meaning “those who wrote with a pen,” were the scribes who wrote in cuneiform. They did not pull rabbits out of a hat, but if you have ever tried to decipher cuneiform, you would understand why they were called magicians. These men recorded and filed all the secrets of the Chaldean religion, as well as legal documents, contracts, etc. Brilliant in administration, the magicians were consulted because the king hoped they could find some precedent on which to base the interpretation of his dreams.
Conjurers, ‘ashaphim, from a verb meaning “to whisper, to breathe, to blow,” actually refers to the practice of incantation the mumbo-jumbo people. And what State Department would be complete without front men? These men were highly trained in science, mathematics, and astrology. Their skills were used as a cover for predicting the actions of other nations; actually they engaged in espionage and functioned as an intelligence agency.
Sorcerers, mekashephim, were those who were influential in handling people. Today we would call them public relations men. One of their duties was to entertain distinguished visitors from other countries. They also practiced the occult including necromancy and witchcraft under the powers of demonism.
     Chaldeans, kasdim, the priestly caste, were a holdover from the conquered Babylonians. Through witchcraft and idolatry they kept the Babylonians and other conquered peoples under control and were exceedingly powerful within the governmental hierarchy.
Diviners, (Gazrin) a fifth category of officials mentioned in, (Dan 2:27) were the pagan counterpart of the Biblical prophets and were influenced by demons. They possibly held the highest position of all, as they determined the future course of action for the empire.

     And the king said to them, I had a dream, and my spirit is anxious to understand the dream. (Dan 2:3)

     Nebuchadnezzar was thoroughly perplexed by his dream, yet he refused to reveal his dream to anyone as he knew his staff would not hesitate to fabricate an interpretation. However, if they could tell Nebuchadnezzar the content of the dream, he could then rely on the accuracy of their interpretation.

     Then the Chaldeans spoke to the king in Aramaic: O king, live forever! Tell the dream to your servants, and we will declare the interpretation. (Dan 2:4)

     The Chaldean language is Eastern Aramaic. Because this portion of Scripture deals primarily with gentile nations, a gentile language is used from (Dan 2:4) through (Dan 7:28) at which point the Hebrew language is resumed.       

     “O king, live forever!” was the standard greeting to royalty. The rest of the verse proves how well Nebuchadnezzar knew these men. His advisers were clever and brilliant, but Nebuchadnezzar was wiser than all of them. He had outmaneuvered them; they were in a quandary; they could not interpret what they did not know, and apparently no one had the courage to venture a guess.


     The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, The command from me is firm: if you do not make known to me the dream and its interpretation, you will be torn limb from limb, and your houses will be made a rubbish heap. (Dan 2:5)

     “The command from me is firm” was an ultimatum: Literally translated it reads, “I have issued a decree.” This edict was official and left no doubt as to what would happen if the desired information was not forthcoming. Nebuchadnezzar’s sanity was actually hanging in the balance as a result of his dreams, since he had an ominous foreboding regarding his own destiny. The decree illustrates what a ruthless and powerful man can become when he is plagued with mental attitude sins of fear and worry.
     Not only did Nebuchadnezzar refuse to make his dream known, but he demanded that both the dream and the interpretation be given. Failing this, they would be subjected to typical Chaldean execution — “torn limb from limb.” In a frantic attempt to force results, the terrified monarch even extended the sentence to their households: wives, children, and servants. To heap insult on injury, their houses would be razed, their hacked-up bodies dumped on the site without burial, and the entire area would become a “refuse heap.” [Dunghill]

At the same time, Nebuchadnezzar offered an alternative:

     But if you declare the dream and its interpretation, you will receive from me gifts and a reward and great honor; therefore declare to me the dream and its interpretation. (Dan 2:6)

     “Gifts” is the Aramaic word for money; “reward” promises such things as chariots, armor, and perhaps new palaces; “great honor” refers to promotion in rank.

      They answered a second time and said, Let the king tell the dream to his servants, and we will declare the interpretation. (Dan 2:7)

     The State Department officials evasively repeated their request that Nebuchadnezzar tell them what he had dreamed. They knew this was their only hope. However, the king was no one’s fool and he refused to be scammed. His discernment is shown in verses 8 and 9.

     The king answered and said, I know for certain that you are bargaining for time, inasmuch as you have seen that the command from me is firm. (Dan 2:8)

     That if you do not make the dream known to me, there is only one decree for you. For you have agreed together to speak lying and corrupt words before me until the situation is changed; therefore tell me the dream, that I may know that you can declare to me its interpretation. (Dan 2:9)

     It is obvious from verse 8 that Nebuchadnezzar knew exactly what was happening. “Bargaining for time” is simply another way of saying “you are stalling,” and “the command from me is firm” simply restated is “I have issued a decree.” He wanted them to get down to business and give him the answers he desired. It is interesting to note that we started out with one frightened person — the king. He now has company — a frightened cabinet. “For you have agreed together to speak lying and corrupt words before me until the situation is changed” means that until the king either drops the matter or by some gimmick they can persuade him to reveal the dream, their double-talk will continue.
     Nebuchadnezzar obviously realized that some of the past pronouncements made by his staff lacked an essence of Truth. In minor matters intrigues could be tolerated; however, frightening and troublesome dreams that foretold doom for the king were entirely another matter. Nebuchadnezzar made it clear that a guess was tantamount to execution. Desperately he insisted that they relate both the content of his dream and the interpretation. Nothing less would suffice.


     The Chaldeans answered the king and said, There is not a man on earth who could declare the matter for the king, inasmuch as no great king or ruler has ever asked anything like this of any magician, conjurer or Chaldean. (Dan 2:10)

     Moreover, the thing which the king demands is difficult, and there is no one else who could declare it to the king except gods, whose dwelling place is not with mortal flesh. (Dan 2:11)

     Up to this time, these men had been operating on satanic and human wisdom. God used this dilemma to demonstrate the fallacy of human reason. As long as a believer depends upon his own reasoning power to solve his own problems apart from the Lord, he will continue to bump his head against a stone wall! The tremendous number of lumps the average believer suffers in the course of a lifetime is appalling. Since unbelievers and carnal believers have no Divine resources to rely on in time of pressure, they are always looking for a way out! (This applies to nations as well) We now see the three-gimmick defense used by these “wise men” in hopes of extricating themselves from a shaky situation.
First they try the “there is not a man on earth” gimmick: No one could possibly provide the information that Nebuchadnezzar requires. Second, we see the ‘precedent’ gimmick: “No great king or ruler has ever asked such a thing of a State Department before!” Finally, they use the ‘pantheon’ gimmick, passing the buck to the Chaldean gods: “The thing which the king demands is difficult, and there is no one else who could declare it to the king except gods!” Human wisdom had prevailed — or so they thought — for surely the king would rescind his sentence and recognize that the matter was out of their hands. Their reasoning served only to further enrage the frightened king.

     Because of this the king became indignant and very furious, and gave orders to destroy all the wise men of Babylon. (Dan 2:12)

     So the decree went forth that the wise men should be slain; and they looked for Daniel and his friends to kill them. (Dan 2:13)

     Nebuchadnezzar’s flaming anger finally exploded. Not only would he rid himself of the heads of state but “all the wise men of Babylon,” the entire State Department. Notice that verse 13 includes “Daniel and his friends.” This is a perfect example of the innocent suffering with the guilty. While Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah had only recently entered the Chaldean diplomatic service, they, too, would be executed because of Nebuchadnezzar’s towering rage toward his advisers.
     Once again Daniel was facing a crisis. The vegetable and water incident in (Dan 1:12-16) was merely a prelude to this current test. Would Daniel fall apart, or would he bring honor to the Lord? Since early childhood Daniel had been a believer; he knew and consistently applied the Word of God to his circumstances. The Truth he had absorbed every day had strengthened his soul and provided the stability of mind necessary to become God’s man for the crisis always CHOOSING to believe God's Reality over human sin nature temptations and compromise. (Mar 8:34-35) Suffering and pressure had equipped Daniel so he could face any adversity in a calm, cool, and collected manner!

     Then Daniel replied with discretion [Advice based on Truth] and discernment [Application of Truth to experience] to Arioch, the captain of the king’s bodyguard, who had gone forth to slay the wise men of Babylon. (Dan 2:14)

     He answered and said to Arioch, the king’s commander, For what reason is the decree from the king so urgent? Then Arioch informed Daniel about the matter. (Dan 2:15)

     “Then Daniel replied with discretion and discernment” is the turning point in chapter 2. Arioch, “the captain of the king’s bodyguard,” was the head of the police in the empire, the man in charge of palace security. Daniel did not panic. His life was as much in jeopardy as were the lives of the king’s chief advisers since all faced the death sentence of being drawn and quartered. Instead, Daniel depended on God to provide for his safety. He knew that as long as God had a purpose for his life, no one could take it from him. On the other hand, if Daniel’s work was finished, nothing could keep him on this earth. Either way, he was safe in the hands of the Lord! Furthermore, he understood God’s omniscience, knew their predicament, and the king’s dilemma. God would provide a solution, so Daniel remained relaxed under pressure.
     A cool head is essential in a crisis. A hysterical person cannot think clearly. Daniel was extremely lucid. From the Doctrinal frame of reference in his soul he was Thinking with GOD'S THOUGHTS; (Psa 119:11) not his own, (Pro 28:26) so he questioned the validity of the king’s hasty procedure. There had not even been a hearing or a trial! Why such haste? He knew that God had an answer to every problem in life! (Gen 18:14) Daniel now needed to know what had led to this approaching disaster and Arioch explained the situation.

     So Daniel went in and requested of the king that he would give him time, in order that he might declare the interpretation to the king. (Dan 2:16)

     Notice Daniel’s mental attitude of faith: Not for a moment did he doubt God’s ability to provide the answer to the dream. Such confidence comes from a soul saturated with Truth. Daniel took in the Word daily, believed it, and in turn applied it to every situation in life. Remember that Daniel did not know the answer when he made his request, but he Knew The One who had the answer! Therefore, through proper channels, he sent word to the king that if given time for preparation, he could comply with his majesty’s command.

     Then Daniel went to his house and informed his friends, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, about the matter. (Dan 2:17)

In order that they might request compassion from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that Daniel and his friends might not be destroyed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. (Dan 2:18)

     Daniel returned to his home and faced the crisis with Truth and prayer. Is this what you would have done? Or would you have entered ‘panic palace?’ Ask yourself another question: With how many friends can you enter into mutual encouragement of Truth in time of pressure? Daniel’s companions were no ordinary friends but young men who knew Truth and had GOD'S REALITY. (Pro 3:19-23) They knew that God’s “compassion” is grace in action, and prayer transforms the grace of God to positive action. Together they prayed that God would deliver them by revealing the dream and its interpretation.


     Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven. (Dan 2:19)

     Based on the Principles of, (Psa 50:15) “Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I shall rescue you, and you will honor Me.” Daniel and his friends expected an answer to their prayer. God honored their faith and revealed both the dream and its exact meaning to Daniel, who had the gift of Prophecy. (Dan 1:17) The history of the world unfolded to Daniel from the time of Nebuchadnezzar down through the Second Advent and millennial reign of Jesus Christ. The communication of God's Viewpoint of history to the king; would result not only in the preservation and promotion of Daniel and his companions, but would have tremendous impact for Christ. Daniel’s worship of the Source of grace was one of praise and thanksgiving.

     Daniel answered and said, Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever, for wisdom and power belong to Him. (Dan 2:20)

     The Principle of who gets the credit is found in verses 20 through 30. At no time was Daniel carried away with his own importance, but gave God the glory when he said, “Let the name of God be blessed.” Pride can never control the life when one Understands that he neither earns nor deserves anything from God! Like every member of the human race, Daniel had a sin nature, complete with its approbation and power lust trends. We will see how others tried to take undue credit to themselves, but through the power of God the Holy Spirit and the application of Truth, (Joh 4:24) Daniel did not succumb to this temptation. (Gal 5:16) He fully recognized that “Wisdom and Power” were in the hands of God. As a result of this routine, he experienced great inner happiness and was totally oriented to the plan of God!

     And it is He who changes the times [‘Idanayya] and the epochs [Zimnayyal; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men, and knowledge to men of understanding. (Dan 2:21)

     The Aramaic for the word “times,” ‘idanayya’, or chronos in the Greek, (The word from which we get our English word chronolo­gy) refers to a succession of events, one following the other. The word “epochs,” Aramaic zimnayya’, Greek, kairos means time divided into eras; in other words, the background for dispensa­tions, and God’s timetable of history. Daniel understood “the times” from his study of, (Lev 26:33-35) and portions of Jeremiah. (Jer 25:11-12) He knew that all five cycles of discipline had already occurred for the Northern Kingdom, and the fourth cycle was in progress for Judah. He was also cognizant of “the epochs” and knew that the Jews still had a future.
     As Daniel continued his praise. (Dan 2:21-23) he recognized that Jesus Christ controls history and uses history to fulfill the Father’s plan for the human race. Every believer should understand this principle: Jesus Christ both rises up rulers and removes them. In this continuous cycle, no matter what the historical trends, the believer simply carries on, knowing he does not represent himself but is Christ’s ambassador. (2Co 5:20)
     “He gives Wisdom to wise men.” Who are the wise men, and what is Wisdom? We find the word “wise” used in Scripture for both believers and unbelievers; however, context reveals here that only a person who has accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior is truly Wise.

     And that from childhood you have known the sacred Writ­ings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to Salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. (2Ti 3:15)

     “Wisdom” is Spiritual Thinking and application of that Thinking, (Truth) to the believer’s experience. This can only be accomplished by the consistent perception of Truth under the principle of Operation Z. The Holy Spirit provides the Spiritual IQ necessary for our finite minds to understand the Revelation of the Infinite Wisdom of God. (Pro 9:10) Spiritual Truth taught by God the Holy Spirit to the human spirit in the first two stages of Operation Z, becomes Spiritual Thinking. Spiritual Thinking in the second stage is automatically transferred from the human spirit to the left lobe of the soul, the third stage. Truth residing in the left lobe of the soul as gnosis, or academic knowledge, is now ready to be transferred by faith to the right lobe, in the fourth stage, to become epignosis. (Spiritual Thinking) The Holy Spirit circulates this practical Understanding of God’s Truth into the conscience, vocabulary, norms and Standards, and Viewpoint of the soul. Regardless of human IQ, God’s grace apparatus for perception has been provided for every believer, and can be utilized through the filling of God the Holy Spirit. Daniel possessed epignosis (Spiritual Thinking) in his right lobe for application to the circumstances of his life.
     Not only does God give “Wisdom to wise men,” but “Knowledge to men of Understanding” (Dan 2:21) In other words, you must know some basic Truth in order to understand more advanced Truth. The point is clear: God gives Wisdom to the Spiritually Wise!

     It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things; He knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with Him. (Dan 2:22)

     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. (Dan 2:23)

     The “profound and hidden things” are literally the things (Thoughts) God hides from those who are ignorant of Truth (Isa 28:12-13) — in this context, Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. “Darkness” refers to the minds of all people. (Dan 2:22) Nebuchadnezzar knew his own dream, but interpretation was reserved for a man with Truth in his right lobe. In eternity past, God knew every detail regarding each person who would ever live Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel, you, and me. There never was a time that God did not know every decision that every person would ever make. Therefore, because God is omniscient; (Psa 139:4) He could reveal everything Daniel needed to know!
     In, (Dan 2:18) we saw Daniel and his three friends in prayer. While the vision was given to Daniel only; (Dan 2:23) makes it clear that all four of these young men understood the dream. This is an illustration of God’s faithfulness to those who are steadfast in Thinking with His Word! Their minds were filled with answers to Nebuchadnezzar’s questions, and Daniel was ready to go before the king.
     Therefore, Daniel went in to Arioch, whom the king had appointed to destroy the wise men of Babylon; he went and spoke to him as follows: Do not destroy the wise men of Babylon! Take me into the king’s presence, and I will declare the interpretation to the king. (Dan 2:24)

     Then Arioch hurriedly brought Daniel into the king’s presence and spoke to him as follows: I have found a man among the exiles from Judah who can make the interpretation known to the king! (Dan 2:25)

     The emphasis in verse 25 is on the word “I.” We now see a powerful man turned into a glory-grabber. Arioch was probably number three man in the Chaldean Empire; he had authority over millions of people, yet he was miserable. How do we know? Because, in spite of his high office, he attempted to gain more power and prestige. His status of success was like a drug, feeding his approbation lust so that he constantly sought more prominence. Arioch was attempting to take credit for finding Daniel. He tried to capitalize on this windfall to win favor and thereby advance himself. So he said, “Look at me, O king, I have found a man!”
     How about you? Are you a glory-grabber? Does the praise of others stimulate you, or do you Think with the Mind of Christ: Truth; and have a relaxed mental attitude, and Know that your promotion is up to the Lord?

     For not from the east, nor from the west, nor from the desert comes exaltation; but God is the Judge; He puts down one, and exalts another. (Psa 75:6-7)

     An amazing thing happens in verse 26. Nebuchadnezzar attempts to give Daniel the glory. First Arioch was out of line; now the king mis­understands the source of Daniel’s insight.

     The king answered and said to Daniel, whose [Chaldean] name was Belteshazzar, “Are you able to make known to me the dream which I have seen and its interpretation? (Dan 2:26)

     Daniel now had an opportunity to take credit and to win the approbation of the king; but again he shows his grace orientation. God’s glory is never up for grabs. The king cannot bestow the glory and Daniel cannot accept it.

     Daniel answered before the king and said, As for the mystery about which the king has inquired, neither wise men, conjurers, magicians, nor Diviners are able to declare it to the king. (Dan 2:27)

     Daniel appeared startlingly brash to state that his superiors were incompetent. With the denouncement of the wise men’s ability, Nebuchadnezzar may have thought Daniel would claim renown for himself. Instead, Daniel gives credit where credit is due.

     However, there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will take place in the latter days. This was your dream and the visions in your mind while on your bed. (Dan 2:28)

     As for you, O king, while on your bed your thoughts turned to what would take place in the future; and He who reveals mysteries has made known to you what will take place. (Dan 2:29)

     Daniel now states that God is the One “who reveals mysteries. [Hidden Thoughts] (cf., Dan 2:22) Consequently, glory must be given to God alone! No believer who is Spiritually mature would ever consider claiming any glory or credit to himself, and Daniel was a mature believer.

     The purpose of the dream was twofold: First, to present a picture of future events; and, second, to introduce the person of Christ to a great gentile ruler.

     But as for me, this mystery has not been revealed to me for any wisdom residing in me more than in any other living man, but for the purpose of making the interpretation known to the king, and that you may understand the thoughts of your mind. (Dan 2:30)

     One of the paramount problems with believers today is that they do not have a relaxed mental attitude. Once again Daniel demonstrated that he was resting in the Lord by declaring that his Spiritual Wisdom was from God. This young man was the epitome of grace orientation: He had no illusions about himself, no facade of self-righteousness, no phony front. Daniel stood with perfect poise and Spiritual courage in the presence of the mightiest king in the entire world. In effect, Daniel said, “This wisdom does not belong to me. I am merely being used to relay God’s information to you.” Daniel made it very clear that he was not a special person God receives the glory!

Panorama of Empires 
     If the king had any doubts about Daniel and his Prophetical abilities, they were short-lived. Immediately, Daniel described the image which had terrified Nebuchadnezzar night after night.
     This particular vision was designed to give cohesiveness to history and to allow all mankind to realize that every historical event is a link within the plan of God. An image was used to depict the panorama of empires. During the administration of the fourth and fifth cycles of discipline to the Jews, when Israel would be neutralized in its effectiveness as a nation, we have the rise and fall of mighty gentile empires. This is defined for us in the passage which follows and explains much of the Book of Daniel, as well as a large portion of the Book of Revelation. There have always been people who have tried to rationalize Jews right out of the picture. Do not ever be guilty of this type of thinking! Just remember that all history is connected with Israel in some manner. (Jer 31:35-40)
     As we read the description of the image, notice that it is fashioned in the shape of a man. The human form reflects man’s domination over man in the devil’s world. Every part of the image has historical significance and is a reminder to us that man’s glory is a transient thing. “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?” (Mar 8:36)
     Since Nebuchadnezzar’s glory was not a passport to heaven, this was a challenge for him to face the facts about eternity. A man may display tremendous authority and gain control of vast areas of the world through intelligence and daring, but all of his glamour, power, and success cannot give him eternal life. As in the case of all unbelievers, Nebuchadnezzar had to realize that man and God are separated by an impassable barrier which could be removed only by the work of Jesus Christ on the cross. There is no avenue to God except through Christ:

     He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him. (Joh 3:36)

     I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. (Joh 10:9)

     And I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand. (Joh 10:28)

     And there is Salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved. (Act 4:12)

     The sole issue the king had to resolve was, “What do you think about the Christ?” (Mat 22:42)

     You, O king, were looking and behold, there was a single great statue; that statue, which was large and of extraordinary splendor, was standing in front of you, and its appearance was awesome. (Dan 2:31)

     With only two phrases, Daniel gave a global description of the image: “Large” means its appearance was overwhelming and “of extraordinary splendor” this is the glamour of the empires represented by the various metals of the image. The word “awesome” alludes to the strength and power of the enormous figure, and by interpretation symbolized the strength and power of empires as they developed.

     The head of that statue was made of fine gold, [Chaldean Empire] its breast and its arms of silver, [Medes and Persians] its belly [Graeco-Macedonian Empire of Alexander the Great] and its thighs of bronze. [Hellenistic monarchies] (Dan 2:32)

     Its legs of iron, [Roman Empire] its feet partly of iron [Men and establishment Principles also Divine institutions] and partly of clay [Demons and satanic false concepts; eg, socialism, internationalism, religion, pornography, etc.] (Dan 2:33; cf. Dan 2:43)

     You continued looking until a stone [Eben — a stone so large it has never been reduced in size, i.e., Jesus Christ] was cut out without hands, and it struck the statue [Second Advent; Rev 19:11-21] on its feet of iron and clay, and crushed them. [Har-Magedon] (Dan 2:34)

     Then [At the Second Advent] the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were crushed all at the same time, and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; [Baptism of fire for the earth; (2Pe 3:10-11) at the end of the Tribu­lation] and the wind car­ried them away so that not a trace of them was found But the stone [Jesus Christ] that struck the statue became a great mountain, [Personal reign of Jesus Christ during the Millennium] and filled the whole earth. (Dan 2:35)

     This was the dream; now we shall tell its interpretation before the king. (Dan 2:36)


     An important lesson is to be learned from the very construction of this image. From the head to the toes, the materials used decrease in intrinsic value. This decline is analogous to the increasing decadence of the nations represented and the decline of the types of government and their effectiveness; into what we have in America today: a democracy. (Majority rule; and if the majority is wrong; everyone loses) It is interesting to note that proponents of the theory of evolution contend that mankind is in a continual state of improvement. This is not only antithetical to what the Bible teaches, but history proves this theory to be false. Mankind is still mired in war, crime, pestilence, famine, hate, prejudices, moral and immoral degeneracy.

The Chaldean Empire

     You, O king, are the king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, the strength, and the glory. (Dan 2:37)

     And wherever the sons of men dwell, or the beasts of the field, or the birds of the sky, He has given them into your hand and has caused you to rule over them all. You are the head of gold. (Dan 2:38)

     “You, O king [Of the Chaldean Empire] are the head of gold.” The emergence of this dynamic people began in the mountainous plateau of the southern part of what is now Iran and extended down toward the Persian Gulf. Through the years they migrated from the highlands to the swamps where they became well organized, moving out at various times to conquer other peoples. On their forays to the north they eyed the lush Tigris-Euphrates Valley, the Fertile Crescent, and at different periods in history actually ruled as kings of Babylon. (e.g., Merodach-baladan. (Isa 39:1)

     Nabopolassar, the father of Nebuchadnezzar, was hired by the Assyrians to defend Chaldea against an invasion of the Phoenicians. While historians call this a curious turn of fortune’s wheel, we recognize from, (Dan 2:21) that God “removes kings and establishes kings.” In, (Dan 2:37) Daniel makes the application to Nebuchadnezzar personally by saying “the God of heaven has given the kingdom.” After Nabopolassar raised his army of Chaldeans, he marched into the capital city of Babylon in the name of the king of Assyria. He seized this opportunity to revolt against his royal master; and from that time on, Babylon was the head of the new Chaldean Empire. Finally, with the help of the Medes and Scythians, the Assyrian military machine was completely destroyed and, at last, Chaldea dominated the coveted area. Nebuchadnezzar succeeded his father as king, and under his leadership the empire reached its zenith — “the head of gold!”

     Nebuchadnezzar was a great king; but as so often happens, he had a son who was as irresponsible as his father was reliable. He is known in history as Evil-Merodach. (Amel-Marduk) His reign of two years was terminated when his brother-in-law, Neriglissar, a royal prince called Nergal-sar-ezer, (Jer 39:3) led a revolution and killed Evil-­Merodach. Neriglissar then took the throne, but after only four years he died. He was succeeded by his son Labashi-Marduk, who was assassinated several months later during another revolution.
Nabonidus, though not of the royal family, was elected ruler in 556 B.C. Historical records indicate that he was probably sixty years old when he came to the throne; therefore, it is not strange that his son, Belshazzar, was made coregent early in his reign. While Nabonidus was considered brilliant, his first love seemed to have been archaeology. Kingship was not Nabonidus’ forte, and during his reign the Chaldean Empire fell from the glory attained under Nebuchadnezzar.

The Persian Empire

     “And after you there will arise another kingdom inferior to you.” (Dan 2:39)

     During the rise and decline of the Chaldeans, two main forces were constantly striving for ascendancy — the Medes and the Persians — the breast and the arms of the image. The leaders were cousins who were sometimes hostile to each other but almost always hostile toward outsiders. About the same time Belshazzar was made coregent in Chaldea with his father, Nabonidus, Cyrus the Great of Persia conquered the Medes, overlords of the Iranian plateau. In 546 B.C., Cyrus seized Sardis, the capital city of the fabulously wealthy king Croesus of Lydia. In 539 B.C., he swept into the Fertile Crescent and took Babylonia, the richest and most advanced area of western Asia. Its capital surrendered with scarcely a struggle, (Dan 5:30-31) and the head of gold toppled! The great and powerful Persian Empire was consolidated — the breast and arms of silver. Many Babylonians welcomed the Persians as Cyrus spread smooth words concerning his own goodness, compassion, and holiness. Based on Scripture, the Jews also welcomed him.

     Thus says the Lord to Cyrus His anointed, whom I have taken by the right hand, to subdue nations before him . . . I will go before you and make the rough places smooth. (Isa 45:1-2)

     Again we see the Principle that God puts down one king and raises up another. We have every reason to believe that Cyrus accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior. It is evident that he was an integral part of God’s plan (2Ch 36:22-23; Ezr 1:1-2; Isa 44:28; Dan 1:21; Dan 6:28) Daniel had personal contact with Cyrus, and through him eventually became the chief administrator of the Persian Empire. Cyrus faithfully carried out the commands of the Lord in making it possible for the Jews to return to Jerusalem in order to rebuild the temple. Just as God used the Chaldeans to punish His people in the fifth cycle of discipline, so the Persian Empire was used to return His people to their homeland. Not only did the Jews in Babylon receive fair treatment, but Jews were protected throughout the Persian sphere of influence. Many nations were evangelized and people of the ancient world were saved and are in heaven today as a result of the Persian policy toward the Jewish people.
     Following the reign of Cyrus and that of his son, there was another king of genius, Darius I, also known as Darius Hystaspes and Darius the Great. The books of Ezra, Nehemiah, Daniel, Haggai, and Zechariah all mention Darius; and it seems likely that he, too, was a believer. During his reign the Babylonian captivity (586 — 539 B.C.) ended and by 516 B.C. the Golden Age of the Jews had begun.
     We discover from the Word of God that the Persians were an illustrious people. Unfortunately, most ancient history courses imply that the Persians were barbarians. Quite the contrary, they were an enlightened people, excellent administrators, and the outstanding scientists of their time. They actually laid the foundation for modern medicine and had extensive knowledge of mathematics; some of this knowledge is still used today. In addition, the virtue of their people was certainly on a much higher plane than the Greek civilization which followed. To show how unusual they were, “This empire was maintained by the same family that created it, for two centuries undivided and unbroken.”

The Graeco-Macedonian Empire

     “Then another third kingdom of bronze, which will rule over all the earth.” (Dan 2:39)

     As the Persian Empire gradually declined, the peoples to the west were gaining strength. The belly and thighs of bronze of, (Dan 2:32) introduce us to the Graeco-Macedonian Empire. Since the time of Homer, the Greeks were famous for fighting among themselves. In fact, they liked nothing better than the challenge of individual combat or small group fighting. They had a penchant for warfare and could possibly have dominated their world, but there was no motivation to do so.
     All of this changed when Philip II of Macedon, brother of the king, returned from Thebes where he had been held as a hostage. In Thebes he observed new military ideas of organization and tactics. When called to the throne, he had already organized a military force in accordance with these new ideas. Philip also seemed to possess good business sense, and his judicious management of the gold mines of Macedonia insured ample funds for expeditions of conquest.
Alexander was born to Philip and the beautiful redhead, Olympias of Epirus. Philip insured that Alexander received the finest training available. Despite having Aristotle as a teacher, Alexander was a poor student and it was assumed that he would never amount to very much.
Philip had outmaneuvered and overpowered his opponents until a treaty was signed making him ruler of Greece. When Philip was assassinated, Alexander took the throne at age twenty. Alexander was to prove that his poor grades did not reflect his genius. He had been preoccupied with things other than his studies. Alexander put together a magnificent army but immediately encountered a language barrier. The various Greek recruits spoke different dialects. Under Alexander’s brilliant administration the Hellenistic Greek was developed into a language for communication between the troops. From this military necessity, the Hellenistic language evolved into an international lingua franca and would be used by the writers of the New Testament. This language was called, koine the common language.
     In 334 B.C. Alexander began his conquest with a vengeful attack against the Persians. As his army deployed, it was accompanied by geographers, botanists, and professional ‘steppers’ to measure distances. Alexander went forth, not only to conquer, but to study and understand the new world he was entering. His campaigns were successful in Asia Minor, Palestine, and then Egypt; also he conquered part of North Africa. Finally, the Old Persian Empire was completely overrun; and with the death of Darius III, the breast and arms of silver were succeeded on the scene of history by the belly and thighs of bronze. Alexander the Great had reached the peak of his career.
     Alexander was physically tough, brave in battle, and outstanding as a personal fighter. Even though he had a volatile nature, his mind was practical, and he was meticulous in preparation. During his short life, he continued his conquests and extended his sway from Greece and Libya to India — lands which span a distance wider than the United States. He ventured further and won more territory than any previous conqueror. He cast a long shadow on history and legend. Prepared for conquest by his father, Philip II, schooled in logic by Aristotle, inclined toward recklessness by his violent and passionate mother Olympias, Alexander was thoroughly prepared, as perhaps no other man has ever been, to dominate the world. Like a meteor blazing across three continents, he changed history’s course in his brief life of only thirty-two years.
     The sprawling empire Alexander had forged survived him by only a few years while his successors fought each other for control. Ultimately, the dominant spheres of influence were headed by four generals of Alexander’s armies — Seleucus, Ptolemy, Cassander, and Lysimachus. This divided empire is represented by the image’s thighs of bronze, known to historians as the Hellenistic monarchies.

The Roman Empire

     Then there will be a fourth kingdom as strong as iron; inasmuch as iron crushes and shatters all things, so, like iron that breaks in pieces, it will crush and break all these in pieces. (Dan 2:40)

     The peasant shepherds living in hovels on the banks of the Tiber eventually moved to the safety of one of seven hills; they multiplied, spread out, and founded a city. As time passed, Rome reached out to conquer parts of northern and southern Italy. She took her place with Carthage in the west, while Syria, Egypt, and Macedonia were powers in the east. This was the division represented by the legs of iron in (Dan 2:33). The belly and thighs of bronze had been replaced.
The struggle for supremacy began. Countering Carthaginian aggression, Rome seized Sicily and Spain in the Punic Wars. Next came Macedonia, and as war followed war, the empire took shape. This inexorable expansion included Syria, North Africa, Asia Minor, Gaul, and Egypt. The Mediterranean became a Roman lake.
Rome was mistress of the world through military might, but she lacked the ability to administer her possessions. Magistrates sent out as governors often looted their provinces and returned with fortunes, leaving hatred and rebellion in their wake. The Republic reeled from civil wars and the decadence of her people, and she might have suffered total collapse had Julius Caesar not grasped power.
Although a dictator, Gaius Julius Caesar was a benefactor during his ruler-ship, and the merit of his regime was due to his personal genius. Caesar is regarded by historians as both remarkable and enigmatic. Though scholars have labeled him a crook, as well as the com­plete and perfect man, they all agree that he towered over the world like a colossus. In less than fifteen years he not only set Rome on the path to a grandiose empire, but shaped the future of Western Europe, if not the world. His brilliance on the battlefield ranged from the Black Sea to the Atlantic, and at his death he was decreed a god by the Roman Senate. Without realizing it, this man of fantastic achieve­ments set the stage for the dispensation of Christ. God rose up Caesar at just the right time; there is no doubt that he was the man for the crisis.
After the assassination of Caesar in 44 B.C., there was chaos again, and civil wars ensued. When Caesar’s grandnephew Octavian became the emperor Augustus, the Roman Empire was born. Augustus did not seek new conquests, but carried forward the projects started by Julius Caesar. Under his able administration the vast realm became an empire of splendor. Augustus implemented the administrative policy his uncle had initiated. This system carried SPQR, Senatus Populesque Romanus, The Senate and the People of Rome, for about five hundred years. For the first time the Roman world knew great peace, pax Romana, that resulted from her overwhelming military might. During this period of stability, recognition of authority, objectivity and Law and order Jesus Christ came into the world, (Luk 2:7; Gal 4:4) lived, and then died on the cross. (Mat 27:42)
There is no indication that any of the Julio-Claudian Caesars were believers, yet under SPQR the concept of freewill was upheld. People had freedom to pursue their own businesses, and their privacy was protected. With the guarantee of personal liberties, travel was unrestricted resulting in the maximum dissemination of the ‘good news.’ A new generation of believers arose throughout the Roman Empire.
     But, as invariably happens in prosperity, the Roman people became self-indulgent. The self-discipline which had maintained this vigorous race was replaced by a frantic search for happiness. The loss of their perspective led to cruelty a thirst for blood. The world has scarcely seen such depravity and decadence.
     Meanwhile, the Spiritual condition of the Jews had changed. Forgotten were the lessons taught them by the Babylonian captivity. They turned away from God and once again were under the cycles of discipline, which culminated in A.D. 70. Jerusalem was besieged and destroyed by the legions of Titus. By contrast, despite persecution and discipline in the first century, the Church grew and solidified, and the canon of Scripture was completed.
     In A.D. 96, about the same time the Apostle John died, the reign of the Flavian Caesars ended. For the next one hundred years, under the Antonine Caesars, history records the Golden Age of Rome, the Imperial Peace. The noted eighteenth century historian, Edward Gibbon, in The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, said it was “the period in the history of the world during which the condition of the human race was most happy and prosperous.”
Once more there was peace throughout the Empire; it was safe to travel the great roads which had been built, and there was maximum evangelism. The Adriatic divided the Roman Empire both culturally and linguistically. The koine Greek was the language of those countries east of the Adriatic and, in addition to Latin, it was spoken by every educated person in the western portion of the Empire. These two languages were equivalent, and this has been invaluable to scholars in reconstructing the language of the New Testament. Because of the widespread use of the koine Greek, there was a phenomenal response to the Word of God, and the growth of Christianity stabilized the realm.
     Over many generations, believers lost interest in Truth. Discipline from God followed in the form of barbarian uprisings. Fi­nally in A.D. 476, the German chieftain Odovacar conquered the last of the Roman emperors and the legs of iron disintegrated. Out of the rubble of the great Roman Empire eventually emerged modern Europe.

The Great Parenthesis
     Old Testament Scriptures record many details concerning the empires depicted in the statue. However, some of the passages about the empires seem confusing, even contradictory, since they cannot be tied to any known historical event. But God is not a God of confusion. (1Co 14:33) There must be a connection. These events are in the future and the key to understanding them is dispensations.
The Old Testament contains prophecy with regard to the birth, (Isa 7:14) death, (Isa 53:9) resurrection, (Psa 16:10; Psa 49:9) and session of Jesus Christ, the Messiah. (Psa 110:1) records His session at the right hand of God the Father; but what occurs after His session is not recorded in the Old Testament. There is silence, a parenthesis of time.
     No passage in the Old Testament reveals the TIME of the Church Age. When Old Testament Prophecy speaks of coming events chronologically, any mention of the Church Age is omitted. Then this Prophecy resumes with information concerning events in future dispensations of the Tribulation and Millennium. Between (Dan 2:40) and (Dan 2:41) we have such a parenthesis. The Church Age was scheduled as part of the plan of God, but remained a mystery to the Old Testament saints. Other examples of this are found in (Psa 22:16-31; Dan 9:26; Isa 61:1-2).
     The Age of Israel was dramatically interrupted and the Mystery or Church Age began on the day of Pentecost. (Feast of Weeks; Lev 23:15-16; Exod 34:22)  Since A.D. 70, with the destruction of Jerusalem, the Jews have been under the fifth cycle of discipline. They are scattered throughout the earth for the duration of the Church Age. Believing Jews become members of the Church. (Except the, one hundred and forty-four thousand during the Tribulation) Israel’s mission of evangelism was transferred to Church Age believers. This will be the status quo until the body of Christ, (1Co 12:27; Col 1:18) — “Church Age believers” — Spiritual — (Go to the Marriage supper; Rev 19:9) and the carnal — (Go to the Wine Press; Rev 14:19) both are removed from the earth by the Harvest. (Rev 14:14-20)

The One World Order

     And in that you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, it will be a divided kingdom; but it will have in it the toughness of iron, inasmuch as you saw the iron mixed with common clay. (Dan 2:41) cf. (Dan 7:23)

     From our viewpoint the description of the image is historical; but from verses 41 through 44 we are dealing with future events. During the entire Church Age there have been and will continue to be power struggles among the nations of the world. Near the end of the present dispensation the nations will be drawn together again as a ten-nation power bloc emerges. When the Tribulation begins, the “feet partly of iron and partly of clay”; (Dan 2:33) consolidate into the One World Order, which shall exist during the almost seven years of Tribulation; the culmination of the Age of Israel.

     And as the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of pottery, so some of the kingdom will be strong and part of it will be brittle. (Dan 2:42)

     And in that you saw the iron mixed with common clay, they will combine with one another in the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, even as iron does not combine with pottery. (Dan 2:43)

Verses 42 and 43 make reference to the ten-nation confederation.

     Religious and socialistic influences during the Church Age are under the direct rule of Satan. Satan’s support masks evil in a facade of good. Yet we know that faith in Christ and Truth are the only means of uplifting mankind. (1Ti 2:4)

     And one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and spoke with me, saying, Come here, I shall show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters. (Rev 17:1)

     “The great harlot” presides over a house of ten nations — the One World Order. “Many waters” is a reference to subjugated gentile nations.

     The woman whom you saw is the great city, which reigns over the kings of the earth.  (Rev 17:18)

     With whom the kings of the earth committed acts of immorality, and those who dwell on the earth were made drunk with the wine of her immorality. (Rev 17:2)

     And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever. (Dan 2:44)

     Inasmuch as you saw that a stone was cut out of the mountain without hands and that it crushed the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold, the great God has made known to the king what will take place in the future; so the dream is true, and its interpretation is trustworthy. (Dan 2:45)

     At the end of the Tribulation, Jesus Christ will return to the earth as the “stone” that was “cut out of the mountain without hands.” This is a parallel phrase to (Dan 2:34). A better translation of “stone” would be “a gigantic rock.” There are many passages of Scripture which refer to Jesus Christ as “the Rock.” He (The Lord) is “the Rock” in (Deut 32:4) and “the Rock of his Salvation” in (Deut 32:15) (cf., Exod 17:1-7; 1Co 10:4).
     At the Second Advent, Jesus Christ will personally shatter and destroy the One World Order just as He “will crush and put an end to” previous empires pictured by the image. The purification of the earth by the baptism of fire, (Mat 3:11; Luk 3:16; 2Pe 3:10-11) will set the scene for the Millennium, which will begin with believers only. (Dan 2:35) This new kingdom will stand forever under the reign of Jesus Christ, King of kings and Lord of lords As part of the fulfillment of the four Unconditional Covenants, Israel will be restored as a nation. This, then, was the interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream.


     Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell on his face and did homage to Daniel, and gave orders to present to him an offering and fragrant incense. (Dan 2:46)

     The king answered Daniel and said, Surely your God is a God of gods and a Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries, since you have been able to reveal this mystery. (Dan 2:47)

     Then the king promoted Daniel and gave him many great gifts, and he made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon and chief prefect over all the wise men of Babylon. (Dan 2:48)

     The Scripture is silent on Daniel’s response to the king’s effusive reaction and opulent rewards. However, from our study of, (Dan 2:30) we know that Daniel took no credit to himself. What Spiritual Wisdom he had was purely God’s grace provision! It is safe to assume that he exploited this opportunity to further proclaim the power and might of Jesus Christ.
     While Nebuchadnezzar recognized the existence and superiority of Daniel’s God, he did not go so far as to accept Christ as Savior. (At that time) Instead, the realization that he was the fabulous head of gold gave him a bad case of arrogance. Nebuchadnezzar was so impressed with his own position that he bypassed the importance of Christ, and for a time made pride his god.
     Meanwhile, Daniel was appointed to an influential post. By contrast, he did not allow success to go to his head. What was the difference between Nebuchadnezzar and Daniel? As an unbeliever, the king’s sin nature was filled with approbation lust, power lust, and ego lust. Daniel, on the other hand, had Truth in his soul; and because he did, the sin nature was neutralized and he could enjoy his success. (Rom 6:17-18) As Daniel had previously passed the tests of adversity, he now passed the test of prosperity. How easy it is to trust the Lord in hopeless situations when there is no other recourse. But true Occupation with Christ is most evident when the proper perspective is maintained in the midst of prosperity and testing. He immediately was reminded, (By God the Holy Spirit) of his faithful friends, and spoke to the king on their behalf.

     And Daniel made request of the king, and he appointed Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego over the administration of the province of Babylon, while Daniel was at the king’s court. (Dan 2:49)

     Daniel was “at the king’s court,” an office equivalent to that of Chief Justice of our Supreme Court. In addition to his other appointments, he was actually the head of the judicial court system of the land. God’s grace had brought Daniel and his friends to a point of success in the Chaldean Empire — positions which would afford them even greater opportunities to reveal the faithfulness of God.


1. Man’s extremity is God’s opportunity: Nebuchadnezzar’s dream was the means of introducing the Lord of lords to Nebuchadnezzar’s realm. God could use Daniel to accomplish this because he was a prepared believer.

2. Human wisdom is futile: All the wise men could not help the king; Divine Thinking from Truth overcomes the futility of human thinking.

3. God always has a man for the crisis: Daniel was ready because he Thought with God's Thoughts and put God's Plans above his own.

4. Great men are often miserable or frightened. Since true happiness is the exclusive possession of Spiritually mature believers, materialistic pos­sessions or positions do not assure peace of mind.

5. A national crisis provides maximum opportunities for witnessing. A believer’s demonstration of stability under pressure causes the un­believer to take notice.

6. Being in fellowship is imperative for service! In fellowship Daniel answered Arioch with “Wisdom” from Truth in the right lobe of the soul instead of hysteria and panic.

7. Knowledge of Truth strengthens faith and provides confi­dence. Not once did Daniel waver or falter. He knew God had the answers and trusted Him to provide the solutions needed.

8. Fellowship with other growing believers is beneficial. The in­fluence of people who are indifferent or hostile to Truth can hinder a believer’s advance to Spiritual maturity.

9. Prayer is the believer’s ‘hot line’ to God. God has provided this grace means of communication. The dynamics of prayer are limitless.

10. Truth provides orientation to suffering, as well as to success. This stability originates from a consistent intake of Truth.

11. Adherence to Truth restores the prosperity of a nation! Rejection of Bible Truth results in the destruction of a nation!

12. Truth is built upon Truth. Truth orients an individual to his circumstances, his life, and his nation. Daniel is a perfect example of a believer who knows and applies God's Thinking under stress or success!

Daniel 3


     (Dan 3:1-30) IS A PORTRAIT of God’s loving care and provision for members of His family in all circumstances of life. We shall see how God delivered Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego in extreme adversity, which proves once again that “NOTHING will be impossible with God.” (Luk 1:37)
     After Daniel interpreted a dream for King Nebuchadnezzar, (Chap­ter 2) the king promoted Daniel and his three friends to influential positions in the Chaldean Empire. This dream depicted Nebuchadnezzar as the golden head of the awesome image, triggering his power lust and his arrogant self-absorption. But it was God who had given Nebuchadnezzar a great empire and permitted him to rule. Nebuchadnezzar had recognized the omnipotence of God when Daniel presented Divine revelation concerning the king’s place in world history, but he failed to recognize the grace of God. He abused his authority by worshiping power rather than the source of the power.
     Nebuchadnezzar would seek to consolidate his empire through religious tyranny so his own egocentric image would continue throughout history. Since this system was fostered by Satan himself, it was an abomination to the Lord.
     To understand this chapter in the Book of Daniel and make application to your own life, you must be cognizant of the devil’s counterfeit of Christianity — RELIGION! Religion seeks to win the approbation of God (Or gods) through good deeds; while Christianity is a personal relationship with God through faith alone in Christ alone: “For you are all Sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.” (Gal 3:26) The Word of God lists the devil’s ingenious imitations in the field of religion:

1. Counterfeit Jesus, Spirit and Gospel (Salvation message) — (2Co 11:3-4)

2. Counterfeit ministers — (2Co 11:13-15)

3. Counterfeit Spirit and Bible Truth — (1Ti 4:1)

4. Counterfeit communion table — (1Co 10:20-21)

5. Counterfeit righteousness — (Mat 19:16-28)

6. Counterfeit Spirituality — (Gal 3:2-3)

7. Counterfeit modus operandi — (Mat 23:1-3)

8. Counterfeit power — (2Th 2:8-10)

9. Counterfeit gods — (2Th 2:3-4)

     Because of pride, Nebuchadnezzar, who was normally an excep­tionally wise and prudent king, could not handle the prosperity of prominence; he became power mad. Not content with ruling the most extensive empire of the day, he attempted to force religion on all his subjects. Through idol worship he apparently hoped to perpetuate the majesty of his empire.

     Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, the height of which was sixty cubits and its width six cubits; he set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. (Dan 3:1)

     The cubit was reckoned as the distance from the elbow to the tip of the middle finger, roughly eighteen inches. Using this calculation the image was nine feet wide and ninety feet high, made of pure gold. Since the Bible calls this an “image,” it was presumably made in the shape of a man, either Nebuchadnezzar or one of the Babylonian gods. Let us assume for a moment that the image was half as thick as it was wide, or four-and-a-half feet. Using these three dimensions, we find the volume to be 3,645 cubic feet or 4,400,000 pounds. At today’s gold prices this spectacular statue would cost over 27 billion dollars. Not only does this give us an idea of the fantastic wealth of Nebuchadnezzar’s empire, but it reveals the extent of his egomania.
The golden monument was set up on the “plain of Dura.” A circular plain, Dura was probably a large open area where athletic games were held or troops were reviewed.

     Then Nebuchadnezzar the king sent word to assemble the satraps, the prefects [Signayya] and the governors, [Pachawata] the counselors, [‘Adargazrayya’] the treasurers, [Gedavrayya’] the judges, [Detavrayya’] the magistrates [Tiphtaye’] and all the rulers [Shiltone] of the prov­inces to come to the dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up. (Dan 3:2)

     Then the satraps, the prefects and the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the judges, the magistrates and all the rulers of the provinces were assembled for the dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up; and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up. (Dan 3:3)

     Approbation lust requires constant stimulation, and Nebuchadnezzar was no exception. His insatiable arrogance demanded admirers for his newest display of wealth and power. Therefore, he called together the officials of his empire to participate in a presentation and public dedication of the image. Let me make one point very clear: There is nothing wrong with having materialistic possessions. Sin results when there is a false motivation of inordinate acquisition or pride of possession.
     “Satraps” refer to political rulers. These were executive officers, men who governed the various provinces in the Empire. “Prefects” were the corps area commanders. The Aramaic word signayya' simply means military commanders. Nebuchadnezzar was astute. The power in every province was divided between the political and the military. If necessary, the king could play one against the other to maintain a balance of power and insure his control. Each province also had its own governmental organization. “Governors,” pachawata', means the division commanders; in other words, the equivalent of two-star generals. “Counselors,” 'adargazrayya', refers to the Chief Justices.“Treasurers,” gedavrayya', is Persian in origin and indicated the secretary of the treasury of each Babylonian province. “Judges,” detavrayya', an old Persian word meaning “guardian of the law,” would be the prosecuting or district attorneys. “Magistrate,” tiphtaye', means “to give a sentence.” This office was equivalent to that of a district court judge. “All the rulers,” shiltone, should be translated “all the subordinate rulers or officers.” “Were assembled” refers to the convocation of all these officers and bureaucrats from each province who had gathered for the dedication ceremony. “Had set up” means that Nebuchadnezzar was responsible for the construction of the image. Although representatives of every category of leadership had been brought to the festivities, Daniel was not present. Presumably, he was on a special mission for the king. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego were alone to face the crisis. Just as Daniel' in chapter 2 proved his confidence in God, now this was the time for his three friends to show their trust in the Lord.

     Then the herald loudly proclaimed: To you the command is given, O peoples, nations and men of every language. (Dan 3:4)      
     Imagine thousands of people assembled on a great plain, every eye turned toward the brilliant, golden image gleaming in the sun. Remember, this extravagant display of precious metal was ninety feet tall, so it was possible for everyone to see. No doubt a great babble of voices arose as the observers exclaimed in wonder at the dazzling sight. To regain their attention, a “herald loudly proclaimed” that the ceremony was about to begin.
     It was imperative that every person present hear the instructions given. Note that the Chaldean Empire was composed of “peoples,” racial divisions, “nations,” geographical entities, and “language,” linguistic separations. (A One World Order) So the herald moved among this diverse throng of people to make his announcement.
This was a splendid day for Nebuchadnezzar. Heads of state and other notables had come to admire his latest symbol of success. Surely there had never been a potentate of such surpassing wealth and power. To complement the pomp and circumstance of the ceremony, the royal Babylonian band was on hand with a variety of instruments.

     That at the moment you hear the sound of the horn, flute, lyre, trigon, psaltery, bagpipe, and all kinds of music, you are to fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king has set up. (Dan 3:5)

     “The horn” represented the brass section. The “flute” represented the woodwinds or reed instruments which today would include the flute, clarinet, piccolo, saxophone, fife, and oboe.
     The string section was comprised of the “lyre,” the ancient kithara, and the “trigon,” a high-pitched instrument that stirred the listeners’ emotions. The “psaltery,” a ten-stringed instrument, the great-grandfather of the piano, included all the advantages of the guitar, banjo, and ukulele.
     The “bagpipe” probably would not appeal to you unless there is some Gaelic blood coursing through your veins. A bagpipe simply is not everyone’s ‘bag.’ Finally, “all kinds of music” included the various types of percussion instruments: the drum, cymbals, etc.
This was no small combo of two or three musicians. Remember that the purpose of this music was to signal worship of the image. The aroused emotions would obscure the reason, conscience, and conviction of those listening. Since music is an international language, it sets aside any natural barriers between people of different linguistic, cultural, and religious backgrounds. Rhythm tends to mesmerize the listener so his responses become mechanical. Music is often designed as a prelude — in this case, a prelude to worship. I do not know what tune the band played as a signal for the people to fall down and worship the golden image, but there was no doubt about the alternative.     
     But whoever does not fall down and worship shall immediately be cast into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire. (Dan 3:6)       
     We know now that the plain of Dura was used for still another purpose: This was the arena where criminals and political offenders were put to death. (Jer 29:22) documents that the fiery furnace was typical Babylonian punishment. Usually a certain amount of festivities accompanied these executions and large crowds came to witness the spectacle. Therefore, when the command was given to worship the image, the horrors of the alternative were vivid in the minds of almost everyone. Probably the flames belching from the fur­nace were visible to all the people assembled there, and even believers were prone to rationalize that the Lord would understand if they fell down before the image. Perhaps they thought, “Surely God does not want me to die, and it will not hurt anything for me to kneel. If I obey the king, I can retain my place in the community and continue to witness to others. I can still have a good testimony. But if I die...
     This is the same type of sloppy thinking we encounter among many Christians today. How many times have you heard a believer say that he was remaining in an apostate church because it gave him an oppor­tunity to teach the Truth or because he enjoyed the social life? If you are in a position where Biblical Principles are compromised on any level, your only course of action is to leave without fanfare. Sooner or later every believer faces a situation in which he must make a choice. The choice is between obeying God’s direct will or heeding that which is non-Biblical. Remember: God never honors compromise of His Word.

     Therefore at that time, when all the peoples heard the sound of the horn, flute, lyre, trigon, psaltery, bagpipe, and all kinds of music, all the peoples, nations and men of every language fell down and worshiped [Segid] the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up. (Dan 3:7)

     “Worshiped” is the peal participle of segid, and means “to fall down in adoration.” Here is an example of physical bowing without mental consent. Religion stresses the external superficialities of conformity and ritual, while Christianity emphasizes fellowship with God and the mental attitude. (Joh 4:24) God has given a free will to every member of the human race and He does not tamper with volition in Spiritual matters. People should always be able to make a choice even the wrong one! The basis of liberty is the right to choose for yourself; Nebuchadnezzar deprived his subjects of this basic principle by demanding that the people obey his mandate. They no longer had volition in the matter. This represented the low point of the Chaldean Empire. 


     For this reason at that time certain Chaldeans came forward and brought charges [Akalu qartzeyhon] against the Jews. (Dan 3:8)

They responded and said to Nebuchadnezzar the king: O king, live forever! (Dan 3:9)

     You yourself, O king, have made a decree that every man who hears the sound of the horn, flute, lyre, trigon, psaltery, and bagpipe, and all kinds of music, is to fall down and worship the golden image. (Dan 3:10)

     But whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire. (Dan 3:11)

     There are certain Jews whom you have appointed over the administration of the province of Babylon, namely Shad­rach, Meshach and Abed-nego. These men, O king, have disregarded you; they do not serve your gods or worship the golden image which you have set up. (Dan 3:12)

     “Certain Chaldeans” were those of the priestly caste who served as advisers to the king. These men resented the fact that four of the highest offices in the land had been given to Jews who had been the hostages of the captivity. They demonstrated their pettiness and jealousy by seeking to rid the empire of these brilliant men.
Jealousy is one of the most vicious manifestations of the sin nature. When someone is successful, there are always people who are jealous. If the Lord is using and blessing a believer, then he can expect to become the object of ‘sour grapes.’ Never be foolish enough to retaliate against jealous people; the Lord will handle them; do not get in His way. “The battle is the Lord’s.” (1Sa 17:47)
“Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord.” (Rom 12:19) The Chaldeans were consumed with jealousy, so they “brought charges against the Jews.”
     The term “brought charges against,” ‘akalu qartzeyhon, literally means “to eat the flesh.” This was a common Aramaic idiom for malicious accusation. The Chaldean priests were not merely attempting to accuse them; they wanted to see these Jews condemned to death. So they catered to the king, flattering him with the customary homage, “O king, live forever!” Yet their mental attitude said, “O king, let these men die!” The Chaldeans used the subtle approach in (Dan 3:12). Instead of naming the offenders immediately, they spoke of “certain Jews” of implying that these men were of an inferior race. This is a facet of anti-Semitism, the diabolical scheme of Satan to eradicate the Jews. Finally, the subtleties were dropped and the Jews were identified as those whom the king had appointed over the administration of the province of Babylon. The innuendo implied that the named Jews were unworthy of their high positions and perhaps Nebuchadnezzar had made a mistake. This also implied that the accused were ungrateful for the appointment the king had conferred upon them and that they had proven this by their disobedience to royal command.
     I do not want you to miss the Principle: A malicious and unforgiving mental attitude always motivates people to judge and accuse others. Have you ever been falsely accused? What is your reaction? Anger? Antagonism? Worry? Fear? But you do not have to react. You can maintain stability. Truth mastered and properly applied makes the difference. Therefore, you cannot afford to spend your life worrying about what people think. You must live your life as unto the Lord! (Col 3:16-17)


     The ingratitude gimmick was used by “certain Chaldeans” at exactly the right moment. Nebuchadnezzar’s sin nature was working overtime. The insinuations against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego served the Chaldeans’ purpose.

     Then Nebuchadnezzar in rage [Regaz] and anger [Chema’] gave orders to bring Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego; then these men were brought before the king. (Dan 3:13)

     Notice that Nebuchadnezzar never once questioned the accuracy of the accusation. He judged the three Jews as guilty without first establishing the facts. No leader and no ruler can make a correct estimate of a situation while under the influence of a towering rage. Decision-making requires a cool head and tight reins on a hot temper. Objectivity must characterize the judgment of a person who is in authority, or else that judgment will be unfair and unjust.

     Normally Nebuchadnezzar was a very fair-minded man, but now his ego had been affronted and he was consumed with “rage and anger.” “Rage,” regaz, is the mental attitude sin of anger. “Anger,” chema’, literally means “furious” and is the expression of rage. The king was not only angry, he was consumed with malice.

     Nebuchadnezzar responded and said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image that I have set up? (Dan 3:14)

     “Now if you are ready, at the moment you hear the sound of the horn, flute, lyre, trigon, psaltery, and bagpipe, and all kinds of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, very well. But if you will not worship, you will immediately be cast into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire; and what god is there who can deliver [Sheziv] you out of my hands?” (Dan 3:15)

     As far as the king was concerned, the matter boiled down to a question of unpardonable disobedience by malice or pardonable disobedience by ignorance. Hence, he asked, “Is it true?” This is incorrectly translated and should read, “Is it on purpose?” Nebuchadnezzar had no doubt as to their guilt, but he wanted to know if they had disobeyed his decree deliberately. In spite of the kings’ hostility, he was no man’s fool. The three Jews were outstanding administrators and useful to the Empire; therefore, the king gave them an opportunity to save themselves.

     In a hopeless situation the issue is always whether man will try disentangling himself; or whether he will depend on God! How easily Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego could have agreed for self-preservation. It is part of the devil’s strategy to make it simple for the believer to compromise. The three Jews could have appeased the king by making excuses as to why they could not kneel. Or they might have said, “O king, these men are liars; they say these things because they are jealous of us.” However, they did not resort to self-vindication. God’s Law (Deut 5:9-10) took precedence over the king’s decree, they chose instead to rely on the deliverance of God, regardless of the deadly consequences!

     In (Dan 3:15) we have the king’s statement, “the image that I have made.” Nebuchadnezzar conceived the idea of the colossal image designed it, and when it was completed, the image actually became an extension of his ego. To worship the image was to worship Nebuchadnezzar and or Satan. (Rom 1:25) The three believers had to take a stand. Because the Lord was more Real to them than the king or any crisis, Shadrach, Meshach, an Abed-nego could not and would not succumb to this pressure!

Have you arrived at the place where you realize that your life belongs to the Lord as do your problems? When the Lord’s way is followed, you will have happiness and a relaxed mental attitude in spite of the circumstances.

     Nebuchadnezzar had everything except a relaxed mental attitude. In fact, he was self-absorbed and required absolute obedience to ease his exaggerated ego. In Reality, Nebuchadnezzar was challenging God. Forgotten was the king’s peace of mind derived from God’s mercies through Daniel; forgotten was his acknowledgment that “your God is a God of gods”; (Dan 2:47) forgotten was the fact that all he possessed came from God; (Dan 2:37) and little did he realize that just as the Lord gave, the Lord could take away. (Job 1:21) In his egocentricity, Nebuchadnezzar thought that no power in the universe could nullify his decree or deliver those whom he condemned. When asked, “What god is there who can deliver you out of my hands?” Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego recognized that this constituted a blasphemous challenge to God’s essence.

     “Who can deliver you” is the shaphel imperfect from sheziv and means “to rescue.” Nebuchadnezzar’s mention of “my hands” referred to his human authority. Here was a case of power lust perverting the ego to the point of disorientation to the grace of God. (1Co 4:7) If Nebuchadnezzar ever really understood the message of the panorama of empires as interpreted by Daniel, he had dismissed it from his mind.

The brief trial was almost over. Nebuchadnezzar had asked a direct question, and he received a direct answer.

     Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need [Chashach] to give you an answer concerning this matter. (Dan 3:16)

     The word “need” is the peal participle of the Aramaic word chashach, and with the negative means “it is not necessary” or “we are not frightened.” They did not need to be afraid because Divine Thinking permeated their minds with the very “peace of God” that is beyond human comprehension. (1Co 2:11-13) What you really are; is what you think “For as he thinks within himself, so he is!” (Pro 23:7) These men were not reckless; they were fully cognizant of the fact that the king could snuff out their lives by one command. Yet they were not afraid! The Bible Teaches that “You shall have no other gods before Me” (Exod 20:3) and “You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.” (Mat 4:10) The Scriptures settled the issue for Shad­rach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. Unlike the Chaldeans, they did not flatter the king or appeal to him for mercy; they simply stated the facts.

     If it be so, our God whom we serve is able [Yekil] to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. (Dan 3:17)

     “If it be so” expressed the fact that these three believers recognized that their deliverance rested with the sovereignty of God. Whether or not they died in the furnace was a Divine option. God had the power and ability to either deliver them or take them to be with Himself. When a believer knows this Principle of Truth, then with Job he can say, “Though He slays me, I will hope in Him.” (Job 13:15) Because these men were thoroughly grounded in the Word of God from early youth, they knew that they must never bow to the golden statue. When they stated, “Our God” [Jesus Christ] whom we serve, they publicly acknowledged their relationship with God. They had proper Doctrinal orientation: While they served the Chaldean Empire in an official capacity, they did their jobs as unto the Lord and were in His service.

     Their testimony, “He will deliver us,” refers to God’s omnipotence “Able” is a peal participle of yekil and “deliver” is the shaphel infinitive of sheziv. We have an expression of utmost confidence: “He is infinitely able to rescue us.” This statement revealed the utilization of faith-rest by mature believers. Deliverance from the most powerful monarch of that time presented no problem to God. They had His promise:

     Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. (Isa 41:10)

     These men recognized duly established authority in the human realm. Therefore, at the end of (Dan 3:17) we find the words, “O king.” Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego knew the Principles of the four Divine institutions; (Freewill, marriage, family and nationalism) and obedience to governmental authority in the national entity, and acted in respectful manner to their national leader. However, as believers who knew and obeyed the Word of God, they would not allow the State to dictate their Spiritual life! (Act 5:29) The State does not have the right to force religion on its citizens, just as the citizens have no right to force religion on the State. (Mat 22:21) Hence, these believers took a correct stand by separating their duties to the State from their allegiance to God!

     But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up. (Dan 3:18)

     While Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego had the privilege of individual freedom of choice, they fully understood God’s will in the matter. “But even if He does not” deliver them, they have placed themselves under the sovereignty of God and expressed their confidence in His decision! They had enough Truth in their right lobes to be perfectly poised, confident, and calm in the face of impending doom. They did not seek to earn or deserve deliverance, nor did they attempt to coerce or bribe God; they were content for Him to determine their fate. (1Pe 4:19) These Jewish believers were fantastic. Few believers facing death consider the fact that God alone determines life and death. (Psa 31:15; 2Sa 15:26)

     If Nebuchadnezzar had any hope that these Jews would recant, it soon vanished. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego did not even try to save themselves. (cf.; Mar 15:30) There was no mincing of words; there was no double-talk or attempt to appease the furious king. Without a moment’s hesitation they said, “We are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image.”

     While idolatry had led Judah into captivity under the fifth cycle of discipline; (Jer 17:1-4) idolatry afforded these three believing Jews the opportunity to take a positive stand for God. (Blessing or Punishment: OUR CHOICE!) Like Daniel these men consistently served the Lord and had the Spiritual courage to refuse the king’s order. This was only possible because of Truth in their souls. The alternative was to display cowardice and rationalize bowing down to save their lives.

     Many years later Paul would express this same attitude in: (Php 1:21) “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” For even though Paul had little in the way of material assets, he had EVERYTHING by way of Spiritual assets on earth; and in heaven!

     What about the person who has everything money can buy and yet has no Spiritual assets? A look at Nebuchadnezzar gives the answer and furnishes a pattern of misery — a pattern to be avoided. This truly great man ruled an empire covering several million square miles. His genius was evidenced by engineering feats, military conquests, and brilliant administration. He was wealthy beyond calculation; he had everything — that is, everything but happiness.

     Nebuchadnezzar’s unhappiness may have begun when nightmares robbed him of his sleep in, (Dan 2). As soon as his nightmares, (His “Problems”) were re­solved, he developed an arrogance problem. He bungled the opportunity to have genuine happiness by rejecting the Gospel Daniel presented to him. He had seen the power of God but ego blinded him to his need of Salvation. As Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego stood before Nebuchadnezzar, they saw a miserable man angry, hostile and unappeasable filled with mental attitude sins. His fury at their pronouncement may have been heightened by the obvious fact that they possessed happiness.

Truth in the soul is the difference between misery and happiness. Three believers with maximum Truth were content in the face of death! One king, without the Lord, without Truth and orientation to grace, was miserable!

     Let us assume that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego had compromised their Divine Thoughts. What could have happened? They would have been delivered from punishment, and then lived a “great” meaningless life. But, compromisers do not have inner happiness. One little mental attitude sin produces misery! These three believers took a stand based on and in God's Reality! (Rom 12:2) The Truth in their souls made them happy even though they had seemingly sealed their doom. Confronted with such fearless resistance, the king became even more irrational in his rage.

     Then Nebuchadnezzar was filled with wrath, and his facial expression was altered toward Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. He answered by giving orders to heat the fur­nace seven times more than it was usually heated. (Dan 3:19)

     So furious was Nebuchadnezzar that even his facial expression was contorted. In a matter of minutes his mental attitude became so violent that his features were distorted and he lost mental stability. Nebuchadnezzar, who had conquered the world and ruled a great empire, could not rule his emotions. (Pro 25:28) Crazed with rage, he ordered the fire in the furnace to be stoked. At this point his lack of control bordered on madness. Not once did it occur to him that his order endangered the lives of his loyal subjects. Ironically increasing the heat would not add one degree of discomfort to Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego.

     And he commanded certain valiant warriors who were in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, in order to cast them into the furnace of blazing fire. (Dan 3:20)

     The Aramaic word for “valiant warriors” means heroes, or men proven in combat, the best soldiers in Nebuchadnezzar’s army. The lives of these brave faithful men would be sacrificed because their king had lost his mind. Remember, anger and loss of stability prevents clear thinking, and when national leaders are sloppy thinkers, there is potential for needless slaughter.

     The peacetime army of the United States was doomed at the outset of World War II. Why? Lack of clear thinking, foresight, and courage on the part of our national leaders. The country was not prepared for war, and when war came; those men were sacrificed. Will we ever learn?

     Then these men were tied up in their trousers, their coats, their caps and their other clothes, and were cast into the midst of the furnace of blazing fire. (Dan 3:21)
     “Then these men” refers to the three believers who were bound in preparation for their execution. Their clothing is listed: “Their trousers” were not pants but a tunic; “their coats” were the fine outer garments over their dress uniforms; “their caps” referred to their rank and “their other clothes” referred to the sash and accouterments signifying the high office to which they had been appointed. (Dan 2:49) Their clothing was specifically mentioned because in deliverance these garments would neither be scorched nor have the smell of fire on them.

     The king’s command was obeyed, and Shadrach, Meshach, an Abed-nego were cast into the furnace. Nebuchadnezzar had directed that the furnace be heated to seven times its normal temperature an now his flurry of anger reaped its reward.

     For this reason, because the king’s command was urgent and the furnace had been made extremely hot, the flame of the fire slew those men who carried up Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. (Dan 3:22)

     From this verse we learn a Principle: Judgment should never be made in the heat of anger. Time must elapse for the decision to be objective and compatible with Laws and Principles of Divine institution number four. A good example is reactive legislation that attempts restrict gun ownership of law-abiding citizens. Clear thinking is not possible when individuals are controlled or influenced by emotionalism, and undue indulgence in emotions.

     Note that the circle of consequences resulting from mental attitude sins was ever-widening. The brave and loyal soldiers who took the three prisoners to the furnace were dead. What a tremendous blow this must have been to the morale of the military. Their commander-in chief had caused the sacrifice of brave men because of a rash decision made in anger.

     But these three men, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, fell into the midst of the furnace of blazing fire still tied up. (Dan 3:23)

     Amazingly enough, while the men who were ordered to cast Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego into the furnace were slain when they approached the tremendous heat, the prisoners themselves were not harmed. They were thrown into the red-hot furnace, their hands and feet securely tied.

     Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astounded, and stood up in haste; he responded and said to his high officials, Was it not three men we cast bound into the midst of the fire?” They answered and said to the king, Certainly, O king. (Dan 3:24)

     Nebuchadnezzar had a front row seat for the execution. The band was silent, presumably so the screams of the condemned could be heard. Strangely enough, there were no screams. The king peered into the opening of the furnace. Nebuchadnezzar was shocked at what he saw: Men simply cannot live in such temperatures. The condemned men were alive and well, unharmed by the flames. The king faced another bewildering situation. What had gone wrong? In sheer amazement, he turned to his counselors:

     He answered and said, Look! I see four men loosed and walking about in the midst of the fire without harm, and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods!” [Bar elahin] (Dan 3:25)

     “Four men loosed” Shadrach, Meshach, Abed-nego, and the Lord Jesus Christ! Three had gone into the furnace tied with ropes or chains. Their bonds had burned away, and Nebuchadnezzar could see the four “walking about in the midst of the fire.” The only things the flames had consumed were their shackles, the very things which kept them from moving. God often uses adversity to release us from the shackles of sin, (The old sin nature; Joh 8:34-36) which immobilizes us as we walk through this life. When the shackles are broken, we are free to walk by means of God the Holy Spirit; a walk by faith. (Gal 5:1)

     This historical event illustrates a tremendous Principle in the Truth of suffering. God has designed human suffering for the blessing of the believer! Blessing is only possible when there is a con­sistent daily intake of Truth, which leads to Spiritual maturity and Occupation with Christ. The pattern of (1Pe 1:7-8) then results, and the blessing for the believer is fantastic. Remember the Principle: If you are ever in the furnace of adversity, there is only one way to cope with the situation by faith — (Believing what God says is Reality!) God will be with you in the midst of the fiery furnace, and God will deliver you, not neces­sarily from suffering, but out of the midst of suffering. (1Co 10:13) In other words, He may permit the suffering to continue, but you can ride it out in perfect peace and happiness by means of the filling of God the Holy Spirit and Thinking with His Thoughts! (Joh 4:24)

     These three men had reached their finest hour in the midst of maximum pressure, Jesus Christ walked with them. A fire that was meant to destroy them became the wall of fire used by God to protect them. There is never a moment of doubt for a Christian in the fires of adversity when the Lord is present in the furnace!

     If, as in the case of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, the suffering is caused by human merciless, then the executioners become the victims, and the believer is delivered. Also, in Principle, the flame of suffering burns away the ropes that binds; and frees us for fellowship with Christ. (cf., Isa 43:2) Nebuchadnezzar noted and exclaimed that they were “without harm.” This demonstrated that because of these believers’ relationships with Jesus Christ, any place was a safe place!

     The Aramaic bar elahin (Hebrew: ben elohim) literally means “a son of the gods.” Remember that Nebuchadnezzar was an unbeliever and familiar only with the Babylonian pantheon. Therefore, he expressed himself in terms of polytheism, ascribing the fourth figure as belonging to a god of the pantheon.

     Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the door of the furnace of blazing fire; he responded and said, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, come out, you servants of the Most High God, and come here! Then Shadrach, Meshach and Abed­nego came out of the midst of the fire. (Dan 3:26)

     The furnace had cooled sufficiently to allow Nebuchadnezzar to approach the door without experiencing bodily harm. Therefore, we know several hours had passed. As the king waited to approach he pondered the miracle he had witnessed and even recognized that no Babylonian god could preserve life in such an inferno. When Nebuchadnezzar called to Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, he acknowledged their relationship to the God of Israel by saying “you servants of the Most High God.” This statement, however, did not go beyond heathen thinking; he merely considered the God of the Jews to be a greater god than the gods of the pantheon. Although Nebuchad­nezzar had reached God-consciousness he definitely had not reached the point of Salvation.

     Up to this time Nebuchadnezzar had little regard for the God of Israel who seemed to have failed to deliver the Jews from his hand. He never suspected that he was being used by God to discipline the Jews. Nebuchadnezzar was being afforded the opportunity to view firsthand the power of the true God. He could accept or reject Him.

     Before the furnace incident, Nebuchadnezzar’s only contact with the God of Israel had come from the testimonies of Jeremiah (Jer 39:11-12) and Daniel. (Dan 2:46-47) As mature believers, they would not have attempted to explain the fourth and fifth cycles of discipline to an unbeliever, since this would have only obscured the issue of Salvation. All believers should remember this Principle:

Discernment of Spiritual Thinking is the monopoly of a believer who functions under Operation Z. (1Co 2:12-16)

     The deliverance from the fiery furnace would serve to open the mind of Nebuchadnezzar toward Christ. Soul-winning is often teamwork and may involve the testimony, prayers, consistency and stability of many believers!

     And the satraps, the prefects, the governors and the king’s high officials gathered around and saw in regard to these men that the fire had no effect on the bodies of these men nor was the hair of their head singed, nor were their trousers damaged, nor had the smell of fire even come upon them. (Dan 3:27)

     Nebuchadnezzar responded and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, who has sent His angel and delivered His servants who put their trust, [Echatz] in Him, violating the king’s command, and yielded up their bodies so as not to serve or worship any god except their own God. (Dan 3:28)

     Imagine the excitement of the dignitaries who were “gathered around” near the furnace to see what was happening. God created a fantastic witness when the officials “saw in regard to these men that the fire had no effect on the bodies of these men.” (cf., Heb 11:34) The Lord’s deliverance was so complete the men were untouched by the fire. What an opportunity for the officials to change their eternal future by one decision. The Empire could easily have been evangelized by this group of prominent leaders, but God has not seen fit to reveal how many of these men actually found Christ as Savior.

     Again, Nebuchadnezzar verbally acknowledged “the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego,” this time as the One who “sent His angel and delivered [Completely rescued] His servants who put their trust in Him.” “Trust” is the hithpael perfect of rechatz and means “to trust under great pressure” and or “to trust in a person.” There can be little doubt that the king was impressed with the ability of a God who could accomplish such a spectacular feat; but again, he was impressed with the manifestation of the power rather than the Source of the power. The king’s false values prompted him to reverse his former edict and formulate another monstrous Law which resulted again in the same interference with human volition.

     Therefore, I make a decree that any people, nation or tongue that speaks anything offensive against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego shall be torn limb from limb and their houses reduced to a rubbish heap, inasmuch as there is no other god who is able to deliver in this way. (Dan 3:29)

     Unfortunately, King Nebuchadnezzar had missed the entire point: He saw the miracle, but he did not believe the message. While he was awed by the majesty and power of God, he rejected the grace of God in Salvation.

     In the new decree, Nebuchadnezzar reversed his position, clearly revealing his confusion. He had been wrong to force his subjects to worship a golden image; yet he was just as wrong to demand that they worship the true and living God. People must come to Christ of their own free will; only then do they have the right reason to worship Him. True worship reflects adoration. Without a relationship of adoration the genuflection is hypocrisy. Ritual without Reality is meaningless!

     Another point of Truth: Confusion and instability are not the monopoly of unbelievers. A believer out of fellowship can commit any sin mental, verbal, or overt and can become irrational. (1Jn 3:10) Had Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego been out of fellowship, they would have lacked the stability to faith-rest their life-or-death test.

     Always remember that State-sponsored religion is anti-Biblical. Believers in mistaken zeal should never promote or uphold legislation whereby the State supports Christianity, as this is not a function of the government. Freedom of religion is a matter of individual volition expressing its options. Freedom demands that practicing religion be a matter of individual options rather than be mandated by the State as in the case of the Nebuchadnezzar decree.

     When Nebuchadnezzar said, “I make a decree,” he abandoned his attempt to force idol worship on his Empire; however, the Principle of coercion remained the same. Although he was impressed with the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, he overlooked the fact that God never needs the sponsorship of any king or state. Where there is Law and order in a strong national entity; evangelism can be conducted under ideal conditions. Fusion of religion and State; or force invariably clouds the issue of the Gospel.

     Nebuchadnezzar habitually used a system of intimidation to maintain control within his kingdom. In (Dan 2:5) the king made the same threat to the members of his cabinet. To have them “torn limb from limb and their houses reduced to a rubbish heap” was apparently used frequently to obtain obedience, whether the king dealt with noblemen or commoners. Rich or poor, great or small, all stood to lose their dearest possession — life itself. This order also attempted to neutralize the volition of everyone but the king.

     Then the king caused Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego to prosper in the province of Babylon. (Dan 3:30)

     King Nebuchadnezzar rewarded Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed­nego, although they had rendered no service to the king by surviving the punishment of the fiery furnace. Actually, his radical actions had given them a unique time of fellowship with their marvelous Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. No doubt in years to come they would relive those hours within the furnace many times and regard the experience as the highlight of their lives. God turned cursing into blessing by bestowing both Spiritual and materialistic rewards to these faithful servants who refused to compromise.

     The king's heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD; He turns it wherever He wishes.  (Pro 21:1)

     When a man’s ways are pleasing to the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him. (Pro 16:7)

     (Psa 37:1-40) not only Promises rewards to the believer who loves the Lord, but also, in contrast, shows us how thoroughly God handles the discipline of those who are evil in His sight.

     Promotion comes to those who are prepared through Truth resident in their souls, but woe to them who seek self-aggrandizement. While Nebuchadnezzar reveled in his own glory, he gave no thought to the prophecy that his power would be taken from him. Already his decline had begun because of mental attitude sins and their overt results. In Daniel 4 he would be reduced to nothing.

Daniel 4


     TREES PLAY A PROMINENT ROLE throughout Scripture — the most important tree being the tree upon which Jesus Christ died. Man’s fall was associated with a tree, and his Salvation depends on one. The Bible states that the one who hangs on a tree is cursed. (Deut 21:23; Gal 3:13) Jesus Christ came under the curse of sin to free us from that slavery forever. For our sake He: 

     . . . Endured the cross, despising the shame . . . And He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. (Heb 12:2; 1Pe 2:24)   

     The Divinely inspired writers of Scripture have compared man to a tree. The “blessed man” of, (Psa 1:1-3) the one possessing happiness, is a mature believer. He is described as a productive tree. 

     And he will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers. (Psa 1:3)

     Daniel is compared to a tree in, (Eze 17:12; Eze 17:22-24).

     And Spiritual maturity itself is compared to a tree by the same way that all other systems of thought become captive to God's Thoughts. It all starts with one Divine Thought faith in Christ; and then grows and grows until the Mind of Christ is completed in us! (Mat 13:31-32; Mar 4:30-32)

     The Teaching ministry of Jesus Christ in the New Jerusalem; is compared to a tree. (Isa 54:12-13; Rev 22:14)

     A believer who witnesses is likened to “a tree of life” in, (Pro 11:30).

     In, (Isa 65:22) the millennial believer’s longevity is expressed in terms of “the lifetime of a tree.”

     (Jer 17:7-8) pictures “the man who trusts in the Lord . . . like a tree planted by the water,” one who is in a place of maximum Truth in the soul. (Spiritual Maturity)

     Daniel 4 centers around images of a strong tree which was cut down at the peak of its glory. This tree represents the cursed man of, (Jer 17:5) who “makes flesh his strength” — a perfect picture of King Nebuchadnezzar who presumed he could change the Divine design of history by his own ability. Daniel 4 deals with God’s judgment and discipline of this imperious ruler consumed with arrogance.

     At the end of Daniel 2 and 3, Nebuchadnezzar observed the power of the God of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, and passed the point of God-consciousness. (cf., Dan 2:47; Dan 3:28-29) Although the king had heard the message of Salvation, he rejected the gift of eternal life. Nebuchadnezzar was without excuse.

     For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and Divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they [Both unbelievers and believers] are without excuse. (Rom 1:20

     After the point of God-consciousness, every individual has an opportunity to become a child of God through faith in Jesus Christ. (Gal 3:26; Gal 4:4-5) Some make the transition easily; others must be brought low before they look beyond themselves. In Nebuchadnez­zar’s case he received Salvation only after the loss of his sanity and his kingdom. Daniel 4 is actually an account written by this king upon his restoration, describing the depths to which he sank before he accepted Christ as his Savior. 


     Nebuchadnezzar the king to all the peoples, nations, and men of every language that live in all the earth: “May your peace [Shelam] abound!” [Sega’] (Dan 4:1)

     “The king” is the regenerate ruler of the Chaldean Empire. Since this report was written after he was saved, the narrative is retrospec­tive exposition. Nebuchadnezzar wanted the world to know about his Salvation, so he addressed the message “to all the peoples, nations, and men of every language” in his far-flung empire.

     When a person believes in Christ as Savior and has the assurance of eternal security, he wants to share this information, to pass it on to others. When you tell someone about Christ, Think of God, Salvation and the Bible as the most valuable possessions in the world! Not only does this provide you with tremendous enthusiasm, but further, you will be able to communi­cate the Gospel ignoring ridicule, sarcasm, or any other obstacle you may encounter when witnessing. Every born-again believer should desire to emulate Nebuchadnezzar by sharing the Gospel and the Mind of Christ. (1Ti 2:4)

     The salutation ends with “May your peace abound!” “Peace” [Shelam] was the standard greeting of the Ancient Near East, but this phrase is much stronger than a simple “Hello.” “Abound” is the peal imperfect of sega’, which indicates a tranquil, stabilized condition under all circumstances, and concludes that a relaxed mental attitude is necessary in meeting every problem in life. After Nebuchadnezzar was saved, he understood the only way blessing could abound in the human race was to adhere to the plan of God.

     It has seemed good to me to declare the signs [‘Athayya‘] and wonders [Timhayya’] which the Most High God has done for me. (Dan 4:2)

     Verse 2 states the purpose of the account. Nebuchadnezzar’s soul reflected Divine Thinking as a result of his conversion. As an unbeliever, the king was capable only of human reality and demanded that his subjects participate in idolatry. But his attitude toward God changed dramatically.

     Nebuchadnezzar remembered his own misery before becoming a believer. Although he had every material possession a man could desire, still he was unhappy, always seeking stimulation to compensate for the void in his life. In contrast, he had observed three Jewish men who sought nothing more than to worship their God; they were supremely happy, even while facing death by fire. Because of these amazing events, it literally “seemed good” to Nebuchadnezzar to publish the manner of his miraculous conversion.

     “The signs” [‘Hayya’] refer to all the accompanying circumstances, especially the dream which led Nebuchadnezzar to accept the Truth of the Gospel. “The wonders” [Timhayya’] indicate the interpretation of the dream and its fulfillment. In other words, Nebuchadnezzar was saying, “It is time I reveal to you all the wonderful Knowledge that has come to me concerning what the Most High God has done for me.”

     Nebuchadnezzar no longer took the credit to himself, but attributed these “signs and wonders” to “the Most High God.” He recognized the grace of God and wished everyone who read his account to know he had crossed over the line and believed in the God of Israel for his personal Salvation. Under the policy of grace, God does all the work. Since grace is comprised solely of the work of God, the One who does the work gets the credit. God’s total plan for mankind has three phases:

Phase One: Salvation — Christ did the work through His substitu­tionary death on the cross, and Christ receives the glory.

Phase Two: Regenerate man in time — Through the ministry of God the Holy Spirit and Truth; we fulfill God’s plan and glorify Christ.

Phase Three: Eternity — God the Father fulfills the eternal state and is glorified forever.

     In phase two a believer’s reliance on the Lord demonstrates the Principle of the faith-rest technique. The believer who is growing through the daily intake of Truth simply commits his problems, difficulties, trials, pressures, and heartaches to the Lord. (1Pe 5:7) He casts his burden on the Father, who sustains him. (Psa 55:22) Remember, “The battle is the Lord’s.” (1Sa 17:47)

     Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the Lord . . . the Lord will fight for you while you keep silent. [Trusting; while staying in fellowship] (Exod 14:13-14)

     A Spiritual life class in which I was once enrolled at Dallas Theological Seminary under Dr. Lewis S. Chafer provides a fantastic illustration of grace. Dr. Chafer was a superb teacher and his exami­nations were thorough and tough. When one of my friends saw the final exam, he just wrote his name on the blue book and turned it in, despite the fact he had been cramming for days. I wrote and wrote and wrote — four blue books full! When I turned in my exam, Dr. Chafer asked if I wished to see my grade. I was pleased when he wrote “100”; but as he laid my books on his desk, I saw the blank blue book of my friend. On it, posted in red, was “100!”

     I pointed out this apparent error to Dr. Chafer, who, with a twinkle in his eye, said to me, “Look, what you write is your business. What I do about it is mine. You see, your grade does not depend on you, it depends on me!” From this I learned more about grace than I ever had before. God’s grace depends on Who and What He IS never on us! He disciplines when we are out of line, but He never gives us what we de­serve. If He did, none of us would be alive; everything depends on God.

     After his conversion, Nebuchadnezzar’s life reflected a tremendous and wonderful change. How important it was that he understood the Principle of grace before he started writing about his transformation into the New Man. (Col 3:10)

     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. (Dan 4:3)

     “How great are His signs” is another reference to Nebuchadnezzar’s dream which was an integral part of Divine Revelation. “How mighty are His wonders” entails both the interpretation of the dream and the conversion of the king. “His kingdom” draws attention to the future kingdom of the Messiah.

     Nebuchadnezzar received knowledge through Daniel concerning his own empire and the rise and fall of other great powers. However, in his account he spoke not of earthly kingdoms but of an “everlasting-kingdom,” greater than any empire to be ruled by mortal man. In effect, Nebuchadnezzar stated because of his relationship with the Lord he was a part of that “everlasting kingdom.” Thus, the king repudiated both the image of gold which he had built and the kingdom he had attempted to perpetuate. (Dan. 3)

     “His dominion” refers to the rule of the Lord Jesus Christ over born-again believers. While this is the devil’s world with Satan as its ruler, (2Co 4:4; Eph 2:2) God never loses control; there are always believers on the earth “from generation to generation.” God is fair. He never leaves Himself without a representative, even in times of maxi­mum apostasy. Kingdoms rise and kingdoms fall; but regardless of the instability of nations or the pressures individuals face in life, God’s Word and or Reality continues forever! (Mat 24:35) The Word of God Truth in the soul of Nebuchadnezzar or any positive believer is the means of acquiring inner peace, happiness, and blessing.

     I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at ease in my house and flourishing [Ra’anan] in my palace. (Dan 4:4) cf. (Psa 73:12)

     Verse 4 summarizes Nebuchadnezzar’s temporal security before he believed in Christ. The king was not taking a nap or reclining. “Was at ease” means “to be prosperous,” and makes reference to human security. Simply stated, the king placed his hope in himself, his position wealth, and power. (Pro 1:32) Nebuchadnezzar was not only a military genius who had conquered a vast portion of the world, but he was also a excellent administrator. The Empire had been consolidated, and at this point no hostile nation threatened the peace. He could relax and flourish having wisely delegated authority in all echelons of his kingdom.

     The Aramaic word ra‘anan, translated “flourishing,” actually mean to “grow green” or “to be covered with leaves” and is idiomatic for prosperity — analogous to the vigorous growth of a tree. Although Nebuchadnezzar, humanly speaking, had everything to make him happy, his possessions could not protect him from fear.
     I saw a dream and it made me fearful; [Dechal] and these fantasies [Harhorin] as I lay on my bed and the visions in my mind kept alarming me. (Dan 4:5)

     As yet the king did not realize this dream was also a Divine Revelation from God, as was the dream of the great statue of chapter 2. Nebuchadnezzar admits what he saw made him “fearful. [Pael im­perfect of dechal — “to fear, to be afraid, terrified”]

     As Nebuchadnezzar rests on his bed, the “fantasies” [Harhorin] refer to mental images; in this case, the image of a tree. Faced with Divine Revelation he could not grasp, the king became restless and troubled by the visions in his mind. This, indeed, was the intent of the dream-vision. The alarm was designed for a definite purpose — Nebu­chadnezzar’s eventual Salvation.

     The power of God’s Word often frightens the unbeliever or the believer without Truth. Since there is no true or permanent security or peace apart from regeneration, the king derived little comfort from his exalted position.

     For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? [The New Nature that has ever increasing fellowship with God; 2Pe 1:4) For what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mar 8:36-37)

     Many years were to pass before Nebuchadnezzar would learn the great lesson of, (Ecc 12:13-14). There is no substitute for fellowship with God and Thinking with His Thoughts! In the meantime, the old adage “misery loves company” de­scribes the powerful monarch who, immobilized by fear, called on his State Department for help.

     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. (Dan 4:6)

     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. (Dan 4:7)

     In view of the events of Daniel 2, why did Nebuchadnezzar not call for Daniel immediately? Still resisting the grace of God, he deliber­ately bypassed Daniel and explored human viewpoint solutions.

     The magicians, conjurers, Chaldeans, and Diviners were the State Department officials Nebuchadnezzar relied upon to interpret his dream. (Dan 2:2) Since Understanding this dream was beyond the scope of human wisdom, it is not surprising to read in the king’s report, “They could not make its interpretation known to me.”

     But finally Daniel came in before me, whose [Chaldean] 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. (Dan 4:8)

     O Belteshazzar, chief of the magicians, since I know that a spirit [Ruach] 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. (Dan 4:9)

     Daniel was the last to come before Nebuchadnezzar. There is an obvious lesson here which applies to us. Many times when dealing with negative volition we must leave the unbeliever and or believer alone to pursue a course of disaster. (Jer 15:19) This requires great wisdom and patience on the part of the believer. Daniel, being Spiritually mature, waited while the wise men floundered and failed. At God’s appointed time, he made his appearance before the king. Daniel was not presumptuous; he tried neither to advance himself nor to supersede the Lord. He knew if the Lord does not provide opportunity for service or give authority, he and we are to maintain the ordinary organized routine life; quietly, patiently, and faithfully! (Psa 27:14; Pro 20:22; Lam 3:25-28)

     The Bible reveals many great believers who waited on the Lord. Among them was Joshua, who served under Moses for forty years before the Lord promoted him. (Jos 1:5-9; cf., Jos 3:7; Jos 6:27) Another was David, a patient believer, who tended his father’s sheep until the Lord opened the door of his destiny. David’s opportunity came after forty days of crisis and failure of the Jewish army to annihilate Goliath and the Philistine army. (1Sa 17:26)

     If you understand the Principle of waiting on the Lord, you will never be concerned about advancing yourself. (Psa 75:6-7) When you are controlled by God the Holy Spirit and learning Truth, eventually God will use you in His own way and in His own time!

     Daniel was ready to be used by God. The formal address “chief of the magicians” reminds the reader that the king bestowed on Daniel the highest ranking office in the Chaldean State Department. (Dan 2:48) Nebuchadnezzar, even as an unbeliever, recognized that Daniel’s power came from the supernatural source — God the Holy Spirit — and he added confidently “no mystery baffles you.” Daniel’s relaxed mental attitude was evident to the king.

     Nebuchadnezzar mentioned that Daniel had been named after Bel, the Chaldean god. (Dan 1:7) Then he attests Daniel was endued by the Spirit [Ruach] of the holy gods. [Elohim] This should be translated “the Spirit of God.”


     Now these were the visions in my mind as I lay on my bed: I was looking, and behold, there was a tree in the midst of the earth, and its height was great. (Dan 4:10)

     The tree grew large and became strong, and its height reached to the sky, and it was visible to the end of the whole earth. (Dan 4:11)

     Its foliage was beautiful and its fruit abundant, and in it was food for all. The beasts of the field found shade under it, and the birds of the sky dwelt in its branches, and all living creatures fed themselves from it. (Dan 4:12)

     I was looking in the visions in my mind as I lay on my bed, and behold, an angelic watcher, a holy one, descended from heaven. (Dan 4:13)

‘He shouted out and spoke as follows: “Chop down the tree and cut off its branches, strip off its foliage and scatter its fruit; let the beasts flee from under it, and the birds from its branches. (Dan 4:14)

     Yet leave the stump with its roots in the ground, but with a band of iron and bronze around it in the new grass of the field; and let him be drenched with the dew of heaven, and let him share with the beasts in the grass of the earth. (Dan 4:15)

     Let his mind be changed from that of a man, and let a beast’s mind be given to him, and let seven periods of time pass over him. (Dan 4:16)

     This sentence is by the decree of the angelic watchers, and the decision is a Command of the holy ones, in order that the living may know that the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind, and bestows it on whom He wishes, and sets over it the lowliest of men. (Dan 4:17)

     This is the dream which I, King Nebuchadnezzar, have seen. Now you, Belteshazzar, tell me its interpretation, inasmuch as none of the wise men of my kingdom is able to make known to me the interpretation; but you are able, for a spirit of the holy gods [Spirit of God] is in you. (Dan 4:18)

     The vision of the “tree” is a symbolic representation much like the parables of the New Testament. The basic narrative can be understood by anyone, but only a believer mature in the Word and filled with God the Holy Spirit can make the Spiritual application. (1Co 2:15) The image of the tree itself presented no problem to Nebuchadnezzar; but when that image was turned into a man, he failed to see the significance. Flustered and fearful, he suspected this tree applied to himself.

     Since every soul has capacity to develop a frame of reference, all that we learn forms a foundation for advanced Spiritual Knowledge. This not only applies in the human realm, but also in the Spiritual realm. Both the conscious and the subconscious areas of the mind use information stored in the frame of reference. Nebuchadnezzar remembered a previous vision Prophesied his zenith as well as his downfall; perhaps he had correlated that information with the new vision. Sensing there were Divine implications and having exhausted all human resources, the king once again sought the interpretation through Daniel.

     Then Daniel, whose name is Belteshazzar, was appalled [Shemam] for a while as his Thoughts alarmed [Behal] him. The king responded and said, Belteshazzar, do not let the dream or its interpretation alarm you. Belteshazzar answered and said, My lord, if only the dream applied to those who hate you, and its interpretation to your adversaries! (Dan 4:19)

     “Was appalled.” [Shemam] Daniel was literal­Iy shocked into silence “for a while” by his Spiritual Thoughts which “alarmed” him. (Pael imperfect of behal) Bearing bad news is always unpleasant, but the concern and compassion of Daniel for Nebuchadnezzar made his task an especially laborious one. When the king observed Daniel’s hesitation, he in effect urged him, “Don’t hold back on my account. Let the chips fall where they may!” At this point Daniel was painfully aware of Nebuchadnezzar’s fate — a disaster which, when revealed, would be welcome news to all his enemies.

     The tree that you saw, which became large and grew strong, whose height reached to the sky and was visible to all the earth. (Dan 4:20)

     And whose foliage was beautiful and its fruit abundant, and in which was food for all, under which the beasts of the field dwelt and in whose branches the birds of the sky lodged — (Dan 4:21)

     It is you, O king; for you have become great and grown strong, and your majesty has become great and reached to the sky and your dominion to the end of the earth. (Dan 4:22)
     The tree depicted Nebuchadnezzar. But the height and strength that “reached to the sky” represented the pinnacle of the Chaldean Empire, which began under Nabopolassar and continued under his son, Nebuchadnezzar. This already vigorous tree “visible to all the earth” grew spectacularly and stabilized after Nebuchadnezzar’s stunning victory at the Battle of Carchemish in 605 B.C. With his defeat of the Egyptians, vast lands and peoples came under Chaldean control, and Nebuchadnezzar became the preeminent ruler of his time. His bril­liance as a military commander, statesman, and architect is recorded historically in Biblical and extra-Biblical sources.

     Verse 21 documents the ascendancy of Nebuchadnezzar’s empire. His military conquests brought great kingdoms under his protection. The genius of his effective governance cast a protective shadow in which even “the beasts of the field” and “birds of the sky” were protected. Great prosperity was established in a free enterprise agricultural economy. There was “food for all” and other material blessings for his subjects. Yet there was more — glamour! The beautiful “foliage” and abundant “fruit” of the great tree reflect the grandeur and splendor of the king’s court.

     And in that the king saw an angelic watcher, a holy one, descending from heaven and saying, Chop down the tree and destroy it; yet leave the stump with its roots in the ground, but with a band of iron and bronze around it in the new grass of the field, and let him be drenched with the dew of heaven, and let him share with the beasts of the field until seven periods of time pass over him. (Dan 4:23)

     In Daniel 4, verses 13 and 23, both words “watcher” and “a holy one” refer to reconnaissance angels who report their observations of earthly events to other angelic hosts. Likewise, (Jer 4:16-17) con­tains an additional description of watcher angels. Watcher angels “lift their voice against the cities of Judah . . . because she [Judah] has rebelled against Me, declares the Lord.” These angels were utilized by the Lord in announcing Israel’s fifth cycle of discipline. They are further described in, (Psa 103:20-21).

     Just as angels censured Judah, they also condemned Nebuchad­nezzar. Their “decree . . . and . . . Command”; (Dan 4:17) is that he be placed under judgment. The purpose was:
     ...In order that the living [Homo sapiens] may know [Peal imperfect of yeda’] that the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind, and bestows it [Ruler-ship] on whom He wishes, And sets over it the lowliest of men. (Dan 4:17)

     In other words, Nebuchadnezzar, to whom the Lord had given tremendous leadership responsibility, had abused his authority. He manifested supreme arrogance.

     After the angels evaluated Nebuchadnezzar, the tree, the sentence was pronounced to “chop [Him] down . . . and destroy [Him].” Chop­ping or cutting designates judgment. In, (Mat 3:10) referring to the judgment of believers, unbelievers and the earth: the baptism of fire; (Mar 9:49) unproductive trees must be chopped down. (Luk 13:7) has a similar passage which demands that the fig tree without fruit be “cut down.” Both “tree” references describe judgment. However, God always extends grace before judgment. Like those believers and unbelievers in the New Testament that had been given the Gospel and or Truth, Nebuchadnezzar would have an opportunity to Understand Salvation through faith in the coming Messiah and growth to Spiritual maturity.


     The flourishing tree visible “to all the earth”, (Dan 4:11; Dan 4:20) would soon be gone. Only the “stump” would be left — Nebuchad­nezzar would lose his power and glory, but his life would be preserved. Even though the king could not interpret the dream, he ob­viously related the disaster to himself. Yet, he must have been puzzled about that “stump.”

     In His omniscience God knew Nebuchadnezzar had positive volition at the point of God-consciousness. God also knew that the king’s inordinate pride kept him from responding to the Gospel message. When the mind is captured by self-importance, open-minded response is not possible; egotism conquers and enslaves. (2Ti 2:25-26) A person no longer operates objectively, but arrogantly concentrates only on himself. This Principle applies not only to unbelievers, but to believers who succumb to the arrogance complex. They become indifferent to Truth because Truth does not stimulate their inflated self-image! (They become a giant idol that they worship; and demand everyone else to do the same) To enforce humility in the arrogant person, God uses Divine discipline.

     But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.  (Jas 4:6)

     Nebuchadnezzar’s own pre-Salvation vision pronounced his judg­ment. But the grace of God kept the king alive while his pride was being neutralized. When this was accomplished, Nebuchadnezzar would look beyond himself and believe in the living God.

     The Command to “leave the stump with its roots in the ground” illustrates a Principle you should never forget: As long as you are alive, God still has a purpose for your life! In the ancient world “a band of iron and bronze” was used to keep the stump of a felled tree from splitting, making it possible for the tree to grow again. This band was God’s grace provision for Nebuchadnezzar’s recovery during his period of judgment, thereby providing even greater opportunities for the king in the future. Before this could occur Nebuchadnezzar would find himself sharing food “with the beasts of the field.” (Dan 4:32) Verse 16 describes the nature of Nebuchadnezzar’s judgment: “Let his mind be changed [Shena’] from that of a man, and let a beast’s mind be given [Yehav] to him; and let seven periods of time pass over him.” Nebuchadnezzar acquired a mental illness known as, a monomania in which a person believes himself changed into an animal and acts like one.

     The imperfect of shena’ tells us Nebuchadnezzar’s mind (Literally, the mentality of his soul) would be changed — completely altered. This condition did not occur instantaneously. “Be given to him” indicates Nebuchadnezzar brought this Divine judgment on himself. The progress of Nebuchad­nezzar’s mental degeneracy is easy to follow. Throughout the first few chapters of the Book of Daniel, the advance of mental attitude sins in the king is readily apparent: approbation lust, power lust, pride and unappeasable arrogance. His mind became distorted, and without norms and Standards Nebuchadnezzar began to think and act like an animal. Principle: Through mental attitude sins we produce our own misery. (Pro 8:36)

     Unchecked over long periods of time, mental attitude sins can inevitably lead to neurosis or psychosis. These sins always involve others in our periphery. Therefore, the Word of God Commands that we confess our sins promptly to the Lord. (1Jn 1:9) Just as Nebuchadnezzar induced his own mental illness and temporarily lost his kingdom, likewise today we find people suffering from mental breakdowns produced by every category of sin. Mental attitude sins are also the underlying cause of drug addiction and alcoholism.

     Further, in (Dan 4:16) we read “and let seven periods of time pass over him” — meaning “to pass by.” His psychotic condition would last for seven years. Not until then would the king respond to the Gospel. 


     After Daniel completed the interpretation, he continued to explain God’s decree and all that concerned the king regarding the stump which remained.

     This is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the Most High, which has come upon my lord the king: (Dan 4:24)

     That you be driven away from mankind, and your dwelling place be with the beasts of the field, and you be given grass to eat like cattle and be drenched with the dew of heaven; and seven periods of time will pass over you, until you recognize that the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind, and bestows it on whomever He wishes. (Dan 4:25)

     And in that it was Commanded to leave the stump with the roots of the tree, your kingdom will be assured to you after you recognize that it is Heaven that rules. (Dan 4:26)

     Therefore, O king, may my advice be pleasing [Shephar] to you: break away [Peraq] now from your sins by doing righteousness, and from your iniquities by showing mercy, [Chanan] to the poor [‘Anayin] in case there may be a prolonging of your prosperity. (Dan 4:27)

     When Daniel proposed to give pleasing “advice” to the king, he was offering Nebuchadnezzar Divine Reality the easy and only way out of impending disaster! “Be pleasing” is the peal imperfect of shephar, meaning literally “let God's Truth be a pleasure to you.” Because God is gracious, He never judges without first giving warning and the opportunity of repentance. (Change of mind) In this case, repentance refers to receiving Christ as Savior.

     Was it audacity on Daniel’s part to tell his liege lord to stop sinning? No! The dream was Divine Revelation; and Truth in Daniel’s soul motivated concern for his sovereign. Also a relaxed mental attitude precluded fear of the consequences. Daniel knew his own destiny was firmly in God’s hands.

     The peal imperative of peraq means “to shatter in pieces.” Daniel’s advice to “break away from your sins” refers to a shattering of Nebuchadnezzar’s mental attitude sins of pride and egotism. This shattering would be accomplished “by righteousness” the imputed righteousness every born-again person receives at the moment of Salvation and or rebound by the daily intake of Truth in the filling of God the Holy Spirit. (Experiential righteousness) (Gen 15:6; Rom 3:22; Rom 6:17-18) Daniel’s “advice” was an urgent appeal for Nebuchadnezzar to accept Salvation by faith in Christ and or rebound. Standing before the mighty potentate of Chaldea, Daniel represented the will of the Sovereign of the universe. (2Co 5:20)

     No one questions Nebuchadnezzar’s magnificence, part of which can be attributed to his personal character and ability. Even as an unbeliever, his norms and Standards were excellent. But arrogance bloated his ego. His stability faltered. He became less than benevolent and loyal to his subjects. His decline was the natural result of coming face-to-face with the power of God and rejecting His grace! By the time of the “fiery furnace” in Daniel 3, Nebuchadnezzar’s clear thinking had been obliterated by rage, jealousy, and other mental attitude sins. He even sacrificed top military personnel to appease his power lust. This degeneracy affected all of Nebuchadnezzar’s subjects. He ignored their rights and individual dignity, resulting in poverty and deprivation. Daniel’s appeal to show “mercy” is the peal infinitive of chanan, meaning “to be gracious,” and had reference “to the poor.” (‘Anayin, literally “the ones being oppressed”)

     This would not be the last time history would record incidents of oppression and exploitation: The Jews under Egyptian tyranny, the yeoman class of the Roman Republic, the peasants under the French Revolution. Today and until the end of human history, the world remains filled with people oppressed by self-serving, evil tyrants.

     Daniel closed his appeal by reminding the king that tranquility and peace of mind come from obedience to God! Like many unbelievers and believers who refuse God’s gift of Salvation and rebound, Nebuchadnezzar chose the hard way by continuing his self-loving trend. (2Ti 3:1-5) Every lesson in life is learned either ‘the easy way’ or ‘the hard way.’ Each person chooses his own course.

     God does not force human volition to believe in Christ; but is faithful in keeping His Word; He Promises when anyone reaches God-consciousness and responds positively, He will provide information whereby that person can be saved. (Rom 10:6-8) In Nebuchadnezzar’s case, receptiveness to the Gospel was impossible because of his excessive pride that completely obscured his need for a Savior. But God knew exactly what was necessary to deflate this man’s exaggerated ego. The Word of God does not tell us if the king was troubled by Daniel’s disclosure. We are told he was given a full year; (Dan 4:29-30) to make a decision and be spared the judgment described for him by Daniel.


     All this happened to Nebuchadnezzar the king. Twelve months later he was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon. The king reflected and said, Is this not Babylon the great, which I myself have built as a royal residence by the might of my power and for the glory of my majesty? While the word was in the king's mouth, a Voice came from heaven, saying, King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is declared: sovereignty has been removed from you. (Dan 4:28-31)

     Perhaps it was to deny the memory of Daniel’s words that Nebuchadnezzar immersed himself in building projects. As “he was walking on the roof of the palace” he spoke of the glories of Babylon, without a doubt the most magnificent city of the ancient world. His egomania was expressed in his boasting: “Is this not Babylon the great, which I myself have built . . . by the might of my power and for the glory of my majesty?” Pride was the downfall of Satan; and pride, coupled with approbation lust, was Nebuchadnezzar’s downfall.

The Cambridge Ancient History describes Nebuchadnezzar, the master builder, as: 
    The “little boy” whose father had encouraged him to carry a labourer’s basket at the rebuilding of Etemenanki; (Temple of heaven and earth; seven stories high) and was in time to create the pinnacles of the great temples, the Ishtar Gates with their wonderful gryphons and bulls, the towering ziggurats, which will remain his monument as long as the world cares for Assyriology . . . . His peaceful energies were devoted to building magnificent palaces and temples, and herein he excelled. The fame of his city Babylon which he made particularly his own, spread far and wide; Josephus records how he adorned the Temple of Belus with spoil and rebuilt the old city, making the Hanging Gardens to please his queen, who was from Media. As it is today, partly uncovered of the dust of centuries, the ponderous buildings of brickwork, cream, yellow, red, still stand in towering rampart and bastion, solid wall and foundation, pavement and Processional Way. The vast area of temple and palace, the solemn masses of brickwork, mirrored in the sedge pools, the loneliness of the ancient ruins of Nebuchad­nezzar’s city, slowly stamp on the mind of the pilgrim an ineffaceable memory of the grandeur of the Babylonian king’s concepts, of his masterly genius in handling common clay, the only material to his hand. 

     How did Nebuchadnezzar become so accomplished? By God’s provision! God gave him the kingdom. God gave him the mentality and ability to plan, to build, and to administer. But did Nebuchad­nezzar acknowledge this? No! He refused to recognize the supremacy of God or give Him the glory.

As Nebuchadnezzar was in the very act of extolling his own glory, “a voice came from heaven.” There can be no doubt as to the connec­tion between his sin of arrogance and God’s judgment. “The kingdom has been removed from you.” Most historians of Assyriology agree that a gap exists in the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, although they offer no explanation as to the cause. Only Daniel can enlighten us regarding this period.

     “And you will be driven [Terad] away from mankind, and your dwelling place will be with the beasts of the field. You will be given grass to eat like cattle, and seven periods of time will pass over you, until you recognize that the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind, and bestows it on whomever He wishes.” (Dan 4:32)

     “And you will be driven” denotes the king’s banishment. “Drive” (Peal participle of terad) means “chipping away, or driving out.” The Lord has not seen fit to furnish us with the details of Nebuchadnezzar’s absence from his palace, but we know with certainty he actually lived with “the beasts of the field” and was “given grass to eat like cattle.” “Drenched with dew”; verses, (Dan 4:15; Dan 4:23; Dan 4:25) indicate that he slept without roof or cover. All these descriptions reveal that his seven years of judgment involved radical changes. Because of his madness, Nebuchadnezzar fulfilled Prophecy by literally acting like an animal, and consequently was isolated from society.

     In the ancient world it was considered “bad luck” to kill an insane person. Nebuchadnezzar’s malady protected him from death at the hands of his enemies, just as David’s feigned madness at Gath spared his life. (1Sa 21:10-15) What a sad situation that some people must sink to the lowest depths of degradation before they can learn the lesson of humility. (And most do come to God the hard way; 1Co 1:26-29)

     So strong was Nebuchadnezzar’s negative volition toward the Lord, so debased was his mind through mental attitude sins that it took years of living like an animal for the once proud king to learn this indispensable lesson.

     Until you recognize [Peal imperfect of yeda] that the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind, and bestows it on whomever He wishes. (Dan 4:32)

     The last thing Nebuchadnezzar probably remembered was the “Voice. . . from heaven” telling him he was not the source of his former exalted position. God is the source of all promotion and blessing! This sobering lesson would take seven years to fathom.

     Immediately the word concerning Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled; and he was driven away from mankind and began eating grass like cattle, and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven, until his hair had grown like eagles’ feath­ers and his nails like birds’ claws. (Dan 4:33)

     Down came the tree. Gone was the glamour. The splendor of his court was replaced by the ordeal of constant exposure to the harsh elements of nature. Grass replaced the delicacies of a royal banquet. His appearance deteriorated. Unprotected from the elements, his hair became matted, thick and bushy, bleached under the summer sun, and as coarse as “eagles’ feathers.” Uncut, his nails grew long “like birds’ claws” a pathetic sight indeed.

     But at the end of that period I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed [Berak] the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever; For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom endures from generation to generation. (Dan 4:34)

     And all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, but He does [Abad] according to His will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of earth; and no one can ward off His hand or say to Him, ‘What have You done? (Dan 4:35)

     At last, the once arrogant emperor, humbled by Divine judgment, recognized God’s grace and responded. He was now ready to acknowl­edge that the Lord both raises up and removes kings. (Dan 2:21)

     He was now ready to believe in the Lord and His Word. He expressed his faith from a totally helpless psychotic condition in the only way he could — “I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven.” In his soul Nebuchadnezzar had recognized the TRUE REALITY AND POWER OF GOD, and that Salvation comes ONLY from the Lord. God, who looks upon the heart, knew Nebuchadnezzar was unable to verbally express his faith and that his gaze toward heaven was a sign of the faith in his soul. Faith in Christ verbalized or not, always results in eternal Salvation and or restortation to fellowship. (Luk 23:42-43) Nebuchadnezzar expressed faith. Only then did the king’s “reason” return. Restoration to fellowship initiated in Nebuchadnezzar a response of worship which he later recorded: “I blessed [Pael perfect of berak] the Most High”Jesus Christ, the only Savior. (Act 4:12)

     Since this account was written after Nebuchadnezzar recovered and learned Truth, clearly the king understood the millennial and eternal reign of Christ when he penned the words, “His dominion is an ever­lasting dominion.” Jesus Christ has an eternal empire consisting of regenerate persons from every generation: “His kingdom endures from generation to generation.” Nebuchadnezzar belongs to this kingdom.

     What Nebuchadnezzar had learned the hard way he now wants the world to know so we may choose to learn the easy way. Whatever man attains is the result of God’s matchless grace. In (Dan 4:35) he states “all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing.” Man is nothing and deserves nothing from God. Grace is God at work on behalf of man. Grace depends on God’s character. “He does,” the peal participle of abad, means “to cultivate” or “to work.” God’s grace and sovereignty work for all His creation in two realms: “the host of heaven” [Angels] and “the inhabitants of earth.” [Mankind]

     “No one can ward off His hand” is literally “no one can strike against the hand of God” in the sense of hindering an action. No one can hinder the Divine plan of grace or question God’s wisdom. Not only did Nebuchadnezzar believe in Christ as Savior as He was then revealed, but he also understood God’s power and grace. Such Spiritual Knowledge will produce a change in mental attitude. The testimony in verses, (Dan 4:34-35) affirms Nebuchadnezzar’s grace orientation and genuine humility.


     At that time my reason returned to me. And my majesty and splendor were restored to me for the glory of my kingdom, and my counselors and my nobles began seeking me out; so I was reestablished [Teqan] in my sovereignty, and surpassing greatness was added to me. (Dan 4:36)

At the moment of his conversion, Nebuchadnezzar experienced a six fold restoration:

1. “My reason returned” — This was the complete renewal of health. The king’s psychotic condition was cured.

2. “My majesty and splendor were restored”“Majesty” speaks of Nebuchadnezzar’s character, while “splendor” refers to his glamour. Evidently the king was a handsome man and his physical appearance was restored.

3. “The glory of my kingdom” — After a seven-year “rest” Nebuchadnezzar’s empire was restored to him.

4. “My counselors and my nobles began seeking me out” — His credibility and popularity were renewed. As a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, Nebuchadnezzar gained the favor of both God and man.

5. “I was reestablished” — In the hophal perfect teqan means “to be arranged or straightened out.” With the reinstatement of Nebuchad­nezzar as the rightful ruler, the kingdom remained in perfect stability throughout the rest of his life. Nebuchadnezzar not only had a prosperous reign, but a long one — forty-three years, extracting the seven years of discipline.

6. “Surpassing greatness was added” — His declaration presents post-Salvation epilogue when Nebuchadnezzar became one of the most majestic monarchs of all time.
     Now, I, Nebuchadnezzar praise, exalt, and honor the King of heaven, for all His works are true and His ways just, and He is able to humble those who walk in pride. (Dan 4:37)

     In the conclusion of his testimony, Nebuchadnezzar praises, exalts, and honors “the King of heaven” Jesus Christ. No words are too extravagant to describe the King of kings, and Nebuchadnezzar wished the world to know that all Jesus Christ’s “works are true.” Apart from Knowledge of Truth, mankind is totally ignorant of God’s grace (2Pe 3:18) Only through Truth can one Comprehend His gracious work. (1Co 2:14)

     Nebuchadnezzar proclaimed God’s “Ways” are “just.” The emphasis is on the perfection of the Person who works for us. God’s justice pro­nounced seven years of discipline to orient Nebuchadnezzar to grace and to Truth. Our orientation to the plan of God is in direct proportion to our Spiritual Knowledge of the Word of God: The less we understand Truth, the more we substitute human energy and human realities for His plan! Ignorance, and rejection, or neglect of Truth breeds arrogance and unhappiness in our lives. We reap what we sow! (Gal 6:7) As did Nebuchadnezzar.

     For they sow the wind, [The old sin nature] And they reap the whirlwind... [Judgment] (Hos 8:7)

     Possibly no one has ever been better qualified than King Nebuchadnezzar to state, “He [God] is able to humble those who walk in pride.” This identifies him with his pre-Salvation experience. Man must come to the end of himself so that grace can operate, since there is no place for human works or pride in the plan of God. In the following poem, Nebuchadnezzar acknowledged that he was nothing, but God is everything.

Without You, Lord, what could there be
For the king You love, and does call his name?
You shall bless his title, as You will,
And unto him vouchsafe a path direct;
I, the prince, obeying You,
Am what Your hands have made;
‘It is You who are my Creator,
Entrusting me with the rule of hosts of men.
According to Your mercy, Lord,
Which You do spread over all of them,
Turn into loving-kindness; Your dread power,
And make to spring up in my heart
A reverence for Your divinity.
Give as You think best. — [The Cambridge Ancient History, 3:216-17] 

     God had cut Nebuchadnezzar down to size. The tree that had flourished became a stump. Yet God preserved the stump with its roots. When the humbled man, King Nebuchadnezzar, acknowledged the almighty authority of the King of kings, the stump sprouted and then flourished as a mighty tree. How fitting that a man who once represented the epitome of power and earthly splendor should now proclaim to all the world for everlasting generations that the kingdom of God is eternal and infinitely glorious.


1. Man needs to recognize his Spiritual bankruptcy and depend upon the grace of God!
2. The grace which provides Salvation begins with the cross.
3. A Divine Principle is clearly revealed: Grace always precedes judgment.

a. Warning of the image
b. Warning by the deliverance of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed­nego
c. Warning from the “tree” dream
d. Twelve-month extension for Nebuchadnezzar to realize his need for repentance (A change of mind)

4. When man seeks to exalt himself to the level of God, he reduces himself to the level of animals.
5. Mental attitude sins destroy norms and Standards and neutralize our ability to cut through areas of arrogance and see ourselves objectively from the Divine perspective.
6. Unchecked mental attitude sins can produce neuroses or psychoses.
7. Mental attitude sins always affect others in our periphery.
8. There is no substitute for fellowship with God!
9. There is no security in power, wealth, human success, or reliance on people. True security can be found only in a relationship with God, which begins at the point of regeneration.
10. True serenity can only be found in dependence on God and the grace He offers!
11. This chapter adds to our understanding of the angelic hosts:

a. The existence of elect (Saved) angels.
b. The existence of watcher angels.
c. Believers have a testimony before angels.

12. The tree “stump” illustrates that the grace of God is infinite.
13. True happiness for the believer depends on the amount of Truth learned, Understood, and applied from the soul’s frame of reference!
14. The Lord promotes believers on the basis of His grace.
Therefore, promoted believers must have Divine Thinking to be oriented to grace.
15. There is a Mandate for faithfulness to the Truth and a spreading of the Truth on the part of every believer.
16. Importance of “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith.” (Heb 12:2)

a. The aspect of faith for salvation
b. Occupation with Christ, a major objective for the believer in time

17. In retrospect, as a mature believer Nebuchadnezzar could review his illness and Divine discipline and know that for him “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Rom 8:28)

Daniel 5


     AFTER THE DEATH OF NEBUCHADNEZZAR in 562 B.C., the Chaldean Empire staggered and eventually collapsed under the leadership of inept and degenerate rulers. Both Nebuchadnezzar and his father, Nabopolassar, had been dynamic military and administrative leaders. But Nebuchadnezzar’s son, Amel-Marduk, also known in history as Evil-Merodach, was a blot on the family escutcheon. A poor excuse for a son, he was an even worse ruler.

     The reign of Amel-Marduk was so detrimental to the nation that Neriglissar, his brother-in-law, son-in-law of Nebuchadnezzar, had him killed. Neriglissar then usurped the throne. He ruled briefly with some distinction and upon his death was succeeded by his son, Labashi-Marduki who was assassinated after nine months.

     In 556 B.C. a Babylonian noble, Nabonidus, came to the throne. Ancient accounts agree that this king spent much of his time away from Babylon, but they fail to record his co-regency with Belshazzar. (Bel-sarra-uzar)

     Belshazzar was assumed to be a mythical figure since his name was not mentioned by such reputable historians as Xenophon, Herodotus, Berosus, and Abydenus. Throughout many centuries, writers neglected to make any reference to Belshazzar and by consensus agreed that Nabonidus was the last king of Babylon.

     According to Ptolemy’s canon, Nabonidus reigned seventeen years, yet Archbishop Ussher’s chronology credits those years to Belshaz­zar. The contradictions between the chroniclers and Scripture seemed to be absolute. Skeptics cited the aforementioned historians to dis­credit the Book of Daniel, while Bible commentators tried to solve or avoid this controversy by rejecting the conclusions of hostile historians.

     In 1856, the British archaeologist, Sir H. C. Rawlinson, translated cuneiform inscriptions naming Belshazzar as the eldest son of Nabonidus. These discoveries testified to the existence of Belshazzar and confirmed the accuracy of the Biblical references. (Dan 5:1; Dan 7:1; Dan 8:1) Although the Bible is not an historical textbook, all historical information contained therein is Divine Truth and has been proven to be accurate every time.

     At the time when Nabonidus was enthroned by his cohorts who had assassinated Labashi-Marduk, the world was divided into four great spheres of influence: Medo-Persia, Chaldea, (Babylon) Egypt, and Lydia. After the Persians conquered the Medes and the Lydian Empire of Croesus fell in 546 B.C., Cyrus, king of Persia, laid plans to conquer the decadent Babylonian Empire.

     Early in 539 B.C., General Gobryas, Persian commander under Cyrus, defeated the Chaldeans at Opis and Sippar. Only the double-walled city of Babylon remained to be captured. With the total defeat of Chaldea as his ultimate objective, Gobryas camped near the city at the time when Belshazzar gave his famous banquet — the party to end all parties — the last decadent gasp of the once glorious Chaldean Empire.


     Belshazzar the king held a great feast for a thousand of his nobles, and he was drinking [Shethah] wine in the presence of the thousand. (Dan 5:1)

     This verse reveals that Belshazzar was a foolish man without establishment Principles. “He was drinking” is the peal participle of shethah. The peal stem is intensive and connotes excessive drinking. No leader can afford to lose control of himself, especially in front of his subordinates. He cannot continue to exercise leadership effectively. With impending disaster at the gates of Babylon this was not an occasion for the Chaldean monarch to be inebriated. Instead, Belshazzar and his nobles should have been alert. Simultaneously the Persian army was outside the walls preparing a night attack on the capital city. When a national entity is ruled by a self-centered individual who acts with little or no regard for his country or people, it is only a matter of time until that nation collapses from internal strife and, as in the case of Babylon, from a foreign invasion.

     Belshazzar, divorced from reality, lived in a dream world of escapism and self-indulgence. He ignored the peril looming at the gates. His grandfather, Nebuchadnezzar, undoubtedly had taught him the Principles of leadership vital for governing a nation. Nebuchadnezzar had been an honorable and capable ruler who in three years had successfully united the kingdom left in disarray by his predecessors. However, Belshazzar miserably failed to demonstrate any of the outstanding qualities of his ancestor, if indeed he ever possessed them. Without mentioning Belshazzar by name, Xenophon described the last ruler of the Chaldean Empire as “impious and cruel,” traits which the famous historian graphically demonstrated by two illustrations.

     On a hunting trip, one of the king’s nobles was the first to make a kill. The king became so enraged that he drew his sword and murdered the nobleman on the spot. This precedent caused many a prudent hunter of the Chaldean Empire to feign poor marksmanship. On another occasion, the king hosted a party similar to the debauchery described in our passage. During the festivities, an attendant named Gadates was admired by one of the king’s concubines. For this breach of royal favor the unfortunate man was castrated.

     When Belshazzar tasted the wine, he gave orders to bring the gold and silver vessels which Nebuchadnezzar his father [Grandfather] had taken out of the temple which was in Jerusalem, in order that the king and his nobles, his wives, and his concubines might drink from them. (Dan 5:2)

     Then they brought the gold vessels that had been taken out of the temple, the house of God which was in Jerusalem; and the king and his nobles, his wives, and his concubines drank from them. (Dan 5:3)

     They drank the wine and praised [Shebach] the gods of gold, and of silver, of bronze, iron, wood, and stone. (Dan 5:4)

     Belshazzar had so consistently gratified his own desires and given free rein to his sin nature that every decent norm and Standard of conscience had been destroyed. “When Belshazzar tasted the wine” is literally “when the wine was relished by him.” Under the influence of alcohol, Belshazzar recklessly ordered the Jewish ceremonial vessels, (Dan 1:2) to be brought from the treasure house into the banquet hall. Vaguely aware that his empire was in a precarious position, he sought the favor and approbation of the Babylonian pantheon by desecrating the holy vessels of Israel. The king and his guests drank toasts and “praised [Pael perfect of shebach] the gods” of Babylon with riotous song in blatant defiance of the God of the Jews.

There were at least four gods of Chaldea to whom this drunken adulation was given:

1. Marduk, the chief god of the pantheon and patron god of the city of Babylon; he was also known as Bel, comparable to Zeus or Jupiter; (False lord)
2. Shamash, the sun god (False spirit of illumination)
3. Ishtar, the goddess of fertility and patron saint of the phallic cult, comparable to Aphrodite or Venus. (False love and or moral and immoral degeneracy)
4. Nebo or Nabu, the god of wisdom, literature, and education; (False wisdom; satanic and human)
A perversion by Satan to hide: The True Lord; Jesus Christ, God the Holy Spirit, Virtue-love and Spiritual Thinking: The Mind of Christ!

     This elaborate scene portrays the complete decadence of Belshazzar and his court. The utensils of gold and silver were articles from Solo­mon’s temple used by the Jews to teach the way of Salvation and to communicate Divine Truth. Belshazzar not only knew the origin of these bowls and basins but also their Spiritual significance. The profane manner in which he exploited the sacred vessels revealed total rejection of the God of Israel. In addition to the message taught by the temple vessels, Belshazzar had heard the testimony of his grandfather, Nebuchadnezzar. This, too, he ignored as demonstrated by his mockery and ridicule of the Lord of glory.

     Paganism and blasphemy had now reached the saturation point in the Chaldean Empire. For nearly a year Cyrus of Persia had been swallowing up portions of Babylonia. Only the capital city remained intact. Bored and frustrated, but apparently feeling a false sense of security behind the great fortified walls, the king and his nobles reveled in licentiousness. Long forgotten were the bitter lessons learned by Nebuchadnezzar, which should have taught Belshazzar that security and deliverance come from ONLY one source the God of Israel!

     God alone was able to furnish the interpretation of the image dream of Nebuchadnezzar when all the wise men of Chaldea failed. Did not the Lord miraculously rescue Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed­nego from the fiery furnace? Likewise, Nebuchadnezzar had made an astonishing recovery from the mental disorder of zoanthropy, which was widely attributed to healing from God.

     Instead, the drunken king and his liquored up attendants ignored these manifestations of Divine power and chose to rely instead on man-made walls and idols. By drinking from the sacrificial cups, the revelers had elevated their pagan gods above the Lord Jesus Christ. Brazenly they blasphemed the Lord, arrogantly misinterpreting the administration of the fifth cycle of discipline to Israel; as a sign of weakness in the God of Israel. They failed to see themselves in the proper perspective as God’s instrument for judgment on the Jews.

     In their arrogance, the revelers questioned the purpose and character of God. Where was He when His people were led into captivity and when His temple was plundered? Why had He not assaulted the mighty Chaldeans and their pagan gods whose praise they now sang so lustily? Where was He as they insulted and challenged Him? As boisterous voices raised to an ever higher pitch, the orgy attained unparalleled proportions. Then a sudden hush fell over the startled revelers as they witnessed an awesome spectacle. 


     Suddenly the fingers of a man’s hand emerged and began writing [Kethav] opposite the lampstand on the plaster of the wall of the king’s palace, and the king saw [Chazah] the back of the hand that did the writing. (Dan 5:5)

     Then the king’s face grew pale, and his thoughts alarmed him; and his hip joints went slack, and his knees began knocking together. (Dan 5:6)

     “Suddenly” the apostate king was jolted into DIVINE REALITY. (So will EVERYONE; “one of these days”) God chose to pronounce judgment on these Chaldeans who had rejected His Word with a message written by the “fingers of a man’s hand.” In the ancient world the custom was to inscribe the deeds of a king on his palace walls. What irony that Belshazzar’s judgment should be superimposed over his alleged exploits.

     Archaeologists have discovered many examples of cuneiform on walls which describe the actual and sometimes fabricated feats of rulers. These inscriptions were an ancient predecessor of today’s newspapers. No doubt a king as selfish and egotistical as Belshazzar had already filled the walls of his palace with imagined accounts of his own heroics. Yet now “opposite the lamp-stand” where all could see a new inscription was being written. (Peal participle of kethav — “per­manently recorded”) The sight of a detached hand forming four strange words on the wall must have sobered even the most intoxicated spectator.

     “The king saw” is the peal participle of chazah. Because he “saw” and perceived what was happening, his “face” altered dramatically. The color drained from his face and he “grew pale.” (Peal perfect of shena) Obviously this miracle terrified the inebriated ruler. The fright and shock roused him instantly and he became “alarmed.” (The pael imperfect of behal) Belshazzar was now in a traumatic state of panic. His knees knocked and his body trembled with terror. The most powerful man in the empire was falling apart. Since Belshazzar re­jected the Word of God and had no Truth in his soul, it was inevi­table he would be frightened by the supernatural event. Permanent security and confidence come from the peace and power of God, not from human prominence, wealth, power, or accomplishments.

     Had the people of this empire learned from the example of Nebuchadnezzar and heeded the Words of the Scriptures, they would have recognized that God used Chaldea as His instrument to discipline the Jews for their apostasy. (Jer 25:8-12) The Principle behind the discipline of Judah applies to all peoples. (Rom 2:9)

     My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. [Spiritual Thinking] Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being My priest. [Having Spiritual impact] Since you have forgotten the Law of your God, I also will forget your children. [Turned over to Divine discipline] (Hos 4:6)

     Harlotry, wine, and new wine take away the understanding. [Divine Thinking] (Hos 4:11)

The Chaldeans should have also realized that this Divine purpose for their empire did not give them license to persecute the Jews and to become anti-Semitic.

     The depth to which believers and or unbelievers can sink is amplified in (Rom 1:18-32) cf. (2Pe 2:20-22). Isaiah prophesied the downfall of Babylon when he wrote:

     Sit silently, and go into darkness, O daughter of the Chaldeans; for you will no more be called the queen of kingdoms. (Isa 47:5)

The hour of reckoning had come; the handwriting was emblazoned on the wall. The destruction of Babylon was imminent.

     The king called aloud [Qera’] to bring in the conjurers, the Chaldeans and the diviners. The king spoke and said to the wise men of Babylon, Any man who can read this inscription and explain its interpretation to me will be clothed with purple, and have a necklace of gold around his neck, and have authority as third ruler in the kingdom. (Dan 5:7)

     History repeats itself! Belshazzar had pursued the identical course followed by Nebuchadnezzar before his humbling by God and subsequent Salvation. In desperation, Belshazzar “called aloud” (Peal participle of qera’) for the ranking officers in his State Department. (Dan 2:1-2; Dan 4:4-7) Verse 7 lists three of the five groups who managed the affairs of state for the king. The conjurers functioned as an intelligence agency; the Chaldeans, or priestly position, kept the people subjugated by means of religious activities; and the diviners determined the future course of the empire.

     Belshazzar, ignorant of the Word of God, had to depend on advisers. While calling on counselors for help in time of crisis is the desperation of an unbeliever, this action is the wrong course for the believer. Human viewpoint counsel can never provide assurance of a permanent resolution or stability in time of adversity. A believer must seek counsel from the realm of the Word of Truth. The person who has received Christ as Savior and understands His promised provision knows that only the Lord has the solution. God says,

     And call upon Me in the day of trouble; I shall rescue you and you will honor Me. (Psa 50:15)

     It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes. (Psa 118:9)

No greater misery exists than that which results from dependence on man.
     Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind and makes flesh [The old sin nature] his strength, and whose heart turns away from the Lord. (Jer 17:5)

In contrast, verse 7 gives the result of correct orientation, the exceptional comfort that result from dependency on the Lord:

     Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and whose trust is the Lord. (Jer 17:7)

     Comfort may also come from a friend who knows Truth and can offer encouragement from the Word and help in times of disaster, as Jonathan encouraged and helped David. (1Sa 23:17)

     Belshazzar is a perfect illustration of the “natural [Carnal and or unregenerate] man” of, (1Co 2:14). As such, he could neither receive nor Understand the supernatural message, because “the Thoughts of the Spirit of God . . . are Spiritually Appraised.” [Understood] When confronted with the humanly incomprehensible Word of God, Belshazzar panicked. In an effort to resolve his desperate predicament, he offered lavish gifts and advancement to any one of the “wise men of Babylon” who could interpret the mysterious message. The promise of “purple” clothing — purple robes worn by royalty — meant elevation to nobility. The chain of gold around the neck was a badge of high rank; in this case the medal signified the choicest plum of all — the office of “third ruler in the kingdom.”

     The phrase “third ruler in the kingdom” bears witness to the historical accuracy of the Scriptures. The Nabunaid Chronicles relate that King Nabonidus made his son, Belshazzar, coregent in the third year of his reign. (553 B.C.) Nabonidus then made a successful expedition to Teima in Arabia where he established his residence, while Belshazzar apparently conducted the affairs of state in Babylon. Thus Nabonidus held the first position of ruler-ship in the empire, and his son, the second. The third post, second in command to the co­regent Belshazzar, was either vacant or would soon be vacant and sub­sequently filled by Daniel. This was the award that the frantic king planned to bestow in exchange for an explanation of this strange phenomenon.

     Then all the king’s wise men came in, but they could not read the inscription or make known its interpretation to the king. (Dan 5:8)

     Then King Belshazzar was greatly alarmed, his face grew even paler, and his nobles were perplexed. [Shebash] (Dan 5:9)

     The royal State Department consisted of clever and learned men who could be relied upon to provide excellent intelligence reports. This time they were stumped. Although the words were perfectly clear, legible, and pronounceable, as a cohesive message the inscription made no sense to the “wise men.” Why? Because unbelievers possess neither Principles nor categories of Truth much less the Spiritual assets necessary to decipher the Word of God!

     Belshazzar was not only panic-stricken; he was confused and filled with dismay. The king’s fear proved to be infectious. The nobles, so recently engaged in licentious revelry, were now transfixed by terror. The Biblical description states they “were perplexed,” but the hithpael participle of the verb shebash portrays their true status as mentally shattered. At a time when the enemy was poised for attack outside the gates, these men, who should have been courageous, aggressive leaders, became cowards immobilized by fear.

     The fall of a nation or empire is preceded by the deterioration of the integrity and fortitude of its leadership. When we hold our own nation up to the light of this Principle, the prospect is discouraging. A blanket of fear, confusion, and suspicion not only covers our capital, but has spread to every corner of our land. The answer to this dilemma is always the same: the Lord and His Word! 


     The queen entered the banquet hall [Bet mishteya] because of the words of the king and his nobles; the queen spoke and said, O king, live forever! Do not let your thoughts alarm you or your face be pale. (Dan 5:10)

     Nebuchadnezzar was survived by at least three children: a son, Amel-Marduk; an unidentified daughter, who married Neriglissar; and another daughter named Nitocris. The second daughter married Nabonidus and was now the queen mother. Perhaps Nitocris did not share her husband’s exile, or perhaps she was just visiting Babylon. Nevertheless, she was in the capital on the night of Belshazzar’s party.

     Accounts from Greek and Latin historians reveal that bacchanalian orgies of the ancient world were erotic and lewd debaucheries. Needless to say, ladies of high station never attended such lurid affairs. The only women present at Belshazzar’s orgy were members of the king’s harem, (“Wives and concubines,” Dan 5:2) entertainers and courtesans of the royal entourage. The fact that these women were in attendance indicates this was definitely a licentious party. Consequently, on the night of the banquet Nitocris withdrew to her chambers.

     For hours the sounds of lusty revelry echoed through the corridors of the palace. But suddenly screams of terror startled the queen mother. She rapidly dressed and hurried to the “banquet hall” (Literally, the drinking-wenching house — bet mishteya’) to discover the cause of the commotion.

     Despite the pandemonium outside her quarters, Nitocris — every inch a queen — maintained her composure and self-control. Certainly, she must have been grieved to encounter such eroticism and to witness the king’s licentiousness. Yet she greeted her son with poise and dignity. Her soul with its Doctrinal frame of reference intact was free from self-righteous judging. The queen mother reassured the monarch and offered a solution to the crisis.

     There is a man in your kingdom in whom is a spirit of the holy gods; and in the days of your father, illumination, [Manda’] insight, [Sakletanu] and wisdom like the wisdom of the gods were found in him. And King Nebuchadnezzar, your father, your father the king, appointed him chief of the magicians, conjurers, Chaldeans, and diviners. (Dan 5:11)

     This was because an extraordinary spirit, knowledge and insight, interpretation of dreams, explanation of enigmas, and solving of difficult problems were found in this Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar. Let Daniel now be sum­moned, and he will declare the interpretation. (Dan 5:12)
     What a testimony on the part of one believer, Nitocris, concerning another believer, Daniel. Nitocris knew the importance of being properly prepared for a crisis: She identified Daniel “as a man in whom is a spirit of the holy gods.” The term Ruach Elohim refers to God the Holy Spirit.

     Although the Scriptures are silent regarding Daniel’s activities during the past twenty-three years, Nitocris knew the whereabouts and character of Daniel. She recognized he possessed “Illumination.” (Manda maximum Spiritual Knowledge) He also manifested “Insight” (Saklethanu a frame of reference filled with Divine Reality) and “Wisdom.” (Chokmah Truth in the soul ready for application) He literally exhibited the “Spiritual Wisdom of Elohim,” [God] which was “found” in him.

     Daniel as an author of the Old Testament not only received direct Revelation from God; the inspiration of God the Holy Spirit, but also studied the books of the Law and the Prophets. He transferred Truth into the right lobe of his soul by faith. With Truth Daniel main­tained his Spiritual equilibrium in the midst of prosperity as well as obscurity. The queen reminded Belshazzar that Daniel had been the master of the magicians during the reign of Nebuchadnezzar and had in the past interpreted difficult dreams.

     “An extraordinary spirit” (Dan 5:12) refers to the fact that Daniel was filled with God the Holy Spirit. Having logged a maximum amount of time in fellowship, Daniel acquired “Spiritual knowledge” (Manda — ap­plication of Truth) and “Insight.” The resultant wisdom prepared Daniel to meet the crisis. His ability to interpret Divine Revelation in the form of dreams and accurately communicate the true meaning came from his Doctrinal background and the teaching ministry of God the Holy Spirit. Daniel illustrates that the more Truth you know, the more advanced information you can Understand and Assimilate! New Spiritual Knowledge is built on previous Knowledge. He was prepared to unravel the “ex­planation of enigmas, and solving of difficult problems.” Interpreting direct Revelation and complex passages of Scripture presented no obstacle to Daniel; because he had a maximum amount of time in fellowship and a maximum amount of God's Thoughts in his soul.

The queen mother concluded her counsel by imploring that Daniel, named Belteshazzar by Nebuchadnezzar, be summoned. Daniel was again God’s man for the crisis!

     Then Daniel was brought in before the king. The king spoke and said to Daniel, Are you that Daniel who is one of the exiles from Judah, whom my father the king brought from Judah? (Dan 5:13)

     Now I have heard about you that a spirit of the gods is in you, and that illumination, insight, and extraordinary wisdom have been found in you. (Dan 5:14)

     Just now the wise men and the conjurers were brought in before me that they might read this inscription and make its interpretation known to me, but they could not declare the interpretation of the message. (Dan 5:15)

     In accordance with the queen’s wise suggestion, Daniel was brought before the king. Now completely sober, Belshazzar had regained some degree of composure. He began to recall the historical incident in which Nebuchadnezzar had brought Daniel and other hostages from Judah in 605 B.C.

     Still peeved at the failure of his own advisers, Belshazzar reviewed with Daniel their unsuccessful attempts to decipher the handwriting on the wall. Grasping for the right words to describe the unknown, he asked Daniel to interpret “the message.” Then he eagerly enumerated the rewards awaiting Daniel for a successful explanation.

     But I personally have heard about you, that you are able to give interpretations and solve difficult problems. Now if you are able to read the inscription and make its interpreta­tion known to me, you will be clothed with purple and wear a necklace of gold around your neck, and you will have authority as the third ruler in the kingdom. (Dan 5:16)

     Despite the queen mother’s recommendation, Belshazzar was doubtful of Daniel’s abilities. But a desperate man will cling to any hope. Skeptical of success, Belshazzar said, “If you are able to read the inscription,” and followed with a reiteration of the generous reward.
     Then Daniel answered and said before the king, Keep your gifts for yourself, or give your rewards to someone else; however, I will read the inscription to the king and make the interpretation known to him. (Dan 5:17)

     Daniel’s refusal to accept this magnanimous offer reveals his honorable motivation. With perfect tact and impeccable manners, he firmly but politely declined to be bribed. The gift of Prophecy and or the teaching of Truth; is not for sale! Unlike Balaam, (Num 22:16-17; Num 31:15-16; Rev 2:14) Daniel would not be bought or seek self-advancement. He was not in the Lord’s service for wealth or fame, but he was ready to perform the king’s request in a manner compatible with grace. Daniel’s attitude paralleled that of Abraham, who told the King of Sodom,

     That I will not take a thread or a sandal thong or anything that is yours, lest you should say, I have made Abram rich. (Gen 14:23)

The same Principle is found in the New Testament:

     And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. (Col 3:17)

     Freely you received, freely give! (Mat 10:8)

     “However, I will read” is literally “proclaim.” (Peal imperfect of qera) God had a special task for Daniel: He would have Daniel “make known” the mysterious inscription. Because he was familiar with, (Isa 47:1-15) and (Jer 51:1-64) and also was confident of “Wisdom from above,” Daniel could interpret the handwriting on the wall. Yet he would give credit where credit was due to the Lord! 


     O king, the Most High God granted sovereignty, grandeur, glory, and majesty to Nebuchadnezzar your father. (Dan 5:18)

     And because of the grandeur which He bestowed on him, all the peoples, nations, and men of every language feared and trembled before him; whomever he wished he killed, and whomever he wished he spared alive; and whomever he wished he elevated, and whomever he wished he humbled. (Dan 5:19)

     Daniel addressed himself to Belshazzar, ‘O king,’ God in His grace made your grandfather the ruler of the Chaldean Empire. God also granted him “grandeur, glory and majesty.”

     Nebuchadnezzar indeed possessed great leadership ability, excep­tional personality, and talent. His architectural accomplishments and military successes won him the respect and admiration of his subjects. This was the real reason Nebuchadnezzar was held in awe by the people of all racial, geographical, and linguistic divisions throughout the realm. As sovereign he was autocratic, occasionally ruthless, and in time became inordinately proud. When he finally reached the peak of his reign, Nebuchadnezzar still did not earn or deserve these achievements. His talent and triumphs were always gifts from the grace of God.

     But when his heart was lifted up [Rum] and his spirit became so proud that he behaved arrogantly, he was deposed [Necheth] from his royal throne, and his glory was taken away [Ada] from him. (Dan 5:20)

     He was also driven away from mankind, and his heart was made like that of beasts, and his dwelling place was with the wild donkeys. He was given grass to eat like cattle, and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven, until he recognized that the Most High God is ruler over the realm of mankind, and that He sets over [Qum] it whomever He wishes. [Tzeva’] (Dan 5:21)

     “When his heart was lifted up” (Peal perfect of rum) designates an attitude of pride. Nebuchadnezzar’s arrogance complex replaced his norms and Standards. Behaving pompously, Nebuchadnezzar became obstinate and chose against God. “He was deposed” (Hophal perfect of necheth) from his throne and his glory was “taken away” (Haphel perfect of ada) from him. Under Divine judgment, “he was driven away [Peil passive participle of terad] from mankind.” Then Nebuchadnezzar’s mentality became like that of beasts, and he lived with wild donkeys and ate grass. Gone was the brilliant intellect and dazzling personality; the once exalted monarch suffered from zoanthropy.

     God’s judgment is always timely and perfect. He always knows what is best for each person. He put Nebuchadnezzar “out to pasture” for seven years until Nebuchadnezzar “recognized” (Peal perfect of yeda) the true Sovereign of the universe and expressed positive volition through faith in Jesus Christ. While he had exercised absolute control over the many peoples of the Chaldean Empire, Nebuchadnezzar came to realize God the Father “sets over [Aphel imperfect of qum] it [The earth] whomever He wishes.” [Peal imperfect of tzeva] He is the King of kings, sovereign over all. 


     Yet you his son, Belshazzar, have not humbled [Shephel] your heart, even though you knew all this. (Dan 5:22)

     But you have exalted yourself against the Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of His house before you, and you and your nobles, your wives and your concubines have been drinking wine from them; and you have praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood and stone, which do not see, hear or understand. But the God in whose hand is your life-breath [Nishmetak] and your ways, you have not glorified. [Hadar] (Dan 5:23)

     To recount a former monarch’s failures is precarious, but to censure the reigning king before his entire court is life-threatening. That took courage! Daniel spared no detail: “You . . . have not humbled [Aphel perfect of shephel] your heart” indicated Belshazzar’s failure to believe in Christ, and or Truthas well as his total lack of grace orientation, and his arrogance. “Your heart” refers to the right lobe of the soul, the source of both unbelief, (Heb 3:12) and faith. (Luk 24:25; Act 8:37) “You knew” is the peal perfect of yeda. The word “all” proved that Belshazzar had the complete Salvation information and was without excuse. (Rom 1:18-20) Because of negative volition, his mind revered false thinking; (Idol worship) mental attitude sins controlled the mentality of his soul; materialism dominated his perspective; and self-aggrandizement characterized his every activity.

     From there, only a short step was needed to embrace a state of unrestrained arrogance. Daniel continued his description of the king’s pride: “You have exalted [Hithpaal perfect of rum] yourself against the Lord of heaven.” Belshazzar had brought in the vessels from God’s house and had drunk wine from them. He rationalized God was power­less to liberate the Jewish hostages held these many years. He believed idols of wood, metal, and stone were mightier than the God of Israel. His frame of reference became so perverse that he did not try to resist the demon influence, and blasphemed the only true God “in whose hand is your life-breath.” (Nishmetak, meaning “spark of life”) And “you have not glorified” (Pael perfect of hadar) — he had not respected or recognized the authority of Yahweh, Jesus Christ. (1Jn 3:23)

     Then the hand was sent from Him, and this inscription was written out. [Resham] (Dan 5:24)

     Now this is the inscription that was written out: MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN. (Dan 5:25)

     “Then” — because of Belshazzar’s rejection of Yahweh — the hand was sent from Him. The Chaldean inscription “was written out.” (Peil perfect of resham, meaning “to record”) At this point the translators of the English Bible merely transliterated the inscription. MENE from the verb menah, “to number,” literally means a “mina,” a weight of fifty shekels, and refers to both Belshazzar and the guests at his party. The second MENE designates the rest of the people. The repetition of the word indicates the completeness of the Divine estimate of the Chaldeans and their monarch. TEKEL, from the verb teqal, “to weigh,” literally means a “shekel;” UPHARSIN, from the verb peras, “to divide, to shatter,” literally means “half a mina.” Then followed the Prophecy of doom that the wise men were unable to interpret. Daniel began to read the words, carefully pronouncing each syllable before he made an explanation.
     This is the interpretation of the message: MENE — God has numbered your kingdom and put an end to it. [Shelem] (Dan 5:26)

     Daniel explained that God “has numbered” the days of the Chaldean Empire. Except for a few grains, the sands of time had run out for the “head of gold” of Nebuchadnezzar’s image dream in chapter 2. “Put an end to it” (Haphel perfect of shelem) denotes termination — the Lord caused the end of the kingdom. Divine judgment was passed on them in the form of the fifth cycle of discipline.

     TEKEL — You have been weighed on the scales and found deficient. (Dan 5:27)

     The word TEKEL refers to Divine judgment from the Supreme Court of Heaven. Belshazzar had been weighed on the “scales” of Divine justice and been found guilty.

     He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten [Uniquely born] Son of God. (Joh 3:18)

     How would God evaluate the king? On one side of the Divine scales is grace; on the other side is Belshazzar. The scales do not balance because Belshazzar rejected Christ as his Savior. The only way the scales can balance for Belshazzar or any member of the human race is to believe in Christ. Regardless of how good a person might be, his best is only relative righteousness. (Psa 39:5) Unless the absolute, perfect righteousness of Christ has been imputed to him through faith in the Savior. (Rom 3:22) the scales are tipped toward eternal Divine judgment. Such was the case of Belshazzar: He was without Salvation and, consequently, was “found deficient.”

     PERES — your kingdom has been divided and given over to the Medes and Persians. (Dan 5:28)

     The word “Persians” is actually a paronomasia, a play on the word parsee. Even today in India, where society is divided into classes, the Persians are called the Parsees and belong to a high class. The very use of the word indicates the fulfillment of Nebuchadnezzar’s vision of the image in which the domination of Persia was portrayed by the silver arms and torso.

     Then Belshazzar gave orders, and they clothed Daniel with purple and put a necklace of gold around his neck, and issued a proclamation concerning him that he now had authority as the third ruler in the kingdom. (Dan 5:29)

     One would think the gravity of this ominous message would have motivated the king to take immediate action to forestall the end — if indeed the Prophecy were true. Obviously, his norms and Standards were so distorted that he was incapable of properly evaluating the situation and taking decisive action. Not surprisingly and against Daniel’s wishes, the king fulfilled his promise: He awarded Daniel the “necklace of gold,” vested him with royal robes, and elevated him to the third royal position. Daniel was now acknowledged as third ruler of an empire which would vanish that very night.

     Rewards meant nothing to Daniel, for he knew if God does not promote you, you are not promoted! Even though the reward from Belshazzar was fleeting the Lord provided an exalted status for Daniel during the reign of the Medes and the Persians. The impact of his ministry continued despite his advancing age.

     Daniel’s promotions in the Chaldean and later the Persian Empires illustrate that a believer’s service never depends on his political or economic status, or that of his nation, but on the faithfulness of God. That same faithfulness sets up kings, establishes empires, and removes kings and empires that no longer fulfill God’s purpose. (Dan 2:21)

     During the reveling and while Daniel fearlessly condemned the foolish king, the armies of the Medes and Persians were completing their assault preparations. The Euphrates River, which flowed through the center of the city, was diverted and the army marched under — not over the great fortified walls, but through the dry riverbed.

     That same night Belshazzar the Chaldean king was slain. [Qetel] (Dan 5:30)

The peil perfect of qetel indicates he received death violently. Apparently the invaders marched into the banquet ball and slaughtered him along with his wanton companions. With the once magnificent empire crushed, the Prophecy was fulfilled.


     When Daniel was called before Belshazzar, he came straight to the point. His review of events, which the king should have heeded, was a reminder of God’s grace despite man’s failure. God always gives grace before judgment. The Babylonians had in their possession the scroll of Jeremiah, which Prince Seraiah had brought with him when he was sent as an ambassador to Babylon around 594 B.C. That scroll con­tained the dire prediction of the city’s doom.

     Thus says the LORD of hosts, The broad wall of Babylon will be completely razed And her high gates will be set on fire; So the peoples will toil for nothing, And the nations become exhausted only for fire. (Jer 51:58)

     The message which Jeremiah the prophet commanded Seraiah the son of Neriah, the grandson of Mahseiah, when he went with Zedekiah the king of Judah to Babylon in the fourth year of his reign. (Now Seraiah was quartermaster.) So Jeremiah wrote in a single scroll all the calamity which would come upon Babylon, that is, all these words which have been written concerning Babylon. (Jer 51:59-60)

     The word which the Lord spoke concerning Babylon, the land of the Chaldeans, through Jeremiah the prophet: Declare and proclaim among the nations. Proclaim it and lift up a standard. Do not conceal it but say, Babylon has been captured, Bel has been put to shame, Marduk has been shattered; Her images have been put to shame, her idols have been shattered. For a nation has come up against her out of the north; it will make her land an object of horror, and there will be no inhabitant in it. Both man and beast have wandered off, they have gone away! (Jer 50:1-3)

Verse 2 demands this information be proclaimed. “Do not conceal it” is an imperative, a Command. Here is the Principle of grace before judgment: The people were to be warned!

     For behold, I am going to arouse and bring up against Babylon a horde of great nations from the land of the north, and they will draw up their battle lines against her; from there she will be taken captive. Their arrows will be like an expert warrior who does not return empty-handed. And Chaldea will become plunder; all who plunder her will have enough, declares the Lord. (Jer 50:9-10)

Verse 9 reiterates the conquerors would come out of the north from the land of the Medes. Verse 10 prophesies complete destruction.

     Against the land of Merathaim, [Meaning twofold or double rebellion the name given Babylon, alluding to intensive, rebellious defiance of the Lord] go up against it, and against the inhabitants of Pekod. [A strong Aramaen tribe in the Chaldean Empire, documented in, Eze 23:23) Slay and utterly destroy them,” declares the Lord. And do according to all that I have Commanded you. (Jer 50:21)

     I set a snare [The Persian general, Gobryas] for you, and you were also caught, O Babylon, while you yourself were not aware; you have been found and also seized because you have engaged in conflict with the Lord. (Jer 50:24)

     Therefore her young men will fall in her streets, and all her men of war will be silenced in that day... Behold, I am against you, O arrogant one. (Jer 50:30-31)

     Why was the Lord against the inhabitants of Babylon? Because they had “engaged in conflict with the Lord.” (Jer 50:24) They were an abomination to God both individually and nationally, because their mental attitude sins of idolatry had destroyed Babylon from within long before the judgment fell. The prophet continued:

     A sword against the Chaldeans, declares the Lord, and against the inhabitants of Babylon, and against her officials and her wise men! (Jer 50:35)

     A sword against the oracle priests, and they will become fools! A sword against her mighty men, and they will be shattered! A sword against their horses and against their chariots, and against all the foreigners who are in the midst of her, and they will become women! A sword against her treasures, and they will be plundered! (Jer 50:37)

     The Prophecy “they will become women” no doubt explains the lack of action taken by Belshazzar when Daniel revealed the meaning of the handwriting on the wall. The cowardly king and his nobles looked to others for protection.

     Thus says the Lord: Behold I am going to arouse against Babylon and against the inhabitants of Leb-kamai the spirit of a destroyer. [Cyrus, king of Persia] (Jer 51:1)

God’s man for that purpose was none other than Cyrus, concerning whom Isaiah wrote:

     Thus says the Lord to Cyrus His anointed, whom I have taken by the right hand, to subdue nations before him, and to loose the loins of kings; to open doors before him so that gates [Of Babylon] will not be shut. (Isa 45:1)

Jeremiah 51 continues with the details of the condemnation of Babylon.

     And I shall dispatch foreigners to Babylon that they may winnow her and may devastate her land; for on every side they will be opposed to her in the day of her calamity. (Jer 51:2)

     In the agricultural economy of the ancient world, the task of winnowing was to separate the wheat from the chaff. In this case the “foreigners,” the Medes and the Persians, would become the Lord’s instrument to speedily and efficiently dispense God’s judgment on the doomed city. In this winnowing analogy, the Lord would cause the wheat to be preserved and the chaff to be destroyed. Daniel and other Spiritually mature believers (Probably including Nitocris) would be delivered, while Belshazzar and the other apostates would be annihilated.

     Sharpen the arrows, fill the quivers! The Lord has aroused the spirit of the kings of the Medes, because His purpose is against Babylon to destroy it; for it is the vengeance of the Lord, vengeance for His temple. Lift up a signal against the walls of Babylon; post a strong guard, station sentries, place men in ambush! For the Lord has both purposed and performed what He spoke con­cerning the inhabitants of Babylon. O you who dwell by many waters, abundant in treasures, your end has come, the measure of your end. (Jer 51:11-13)

     Verse 11 contains a direct reference to the Medes as the Lord’s instrument to destroy Babylon. Verse 12 speaks of the tactical concealment, revealing the army would be waiting for the appointed time when they would march into the city. The pronoun “you” — in verse 13 alludes to the city located “by many waters,” and refers to the Euphrates River which flowed through the middle of Babylon abundantly supplying the city’s needs. Ironically, the source of Babylon’s bounty was to become the means of its destruction.

     The mighty men of Babylon have ceased fighting, they stay in the strongholds; their strength is exhausted, they are becoming like women; their dwelling places are set on fire, the bars of her gates are broken. (Jer 51:30)

     This verse foretells the paralysis of the Chaldean military and proves fortifications are no stronger than the men behind them. The defenders of Babylon will lack courage and motivation to fight. Their power dissipated; they will become as helpless as women. (And so will ALL unbelievers; and believers living in carnality when judgment comes. Pro 1:24-32)

     Then Jeremiah said to Seraiah, As soon as you come to Babylon, then see that you read all these words aloud. [A reference to the Prophecy of Babylon’s doom] (Jer 51:61)

     And say, You, O LORD, have Promised concerning this place to cut it off, so that there will be nothing dwelling in it, whether man or beast, but it will be a perpetual desolation.  And it will come about as soon as you finish reading this scroll, [Jeremiah 50 and 51] you will tie a stone to it and throw it into the middle of the Euphrates. And say, Just so shall Babylon sink down and not rise again, because of the calamity that I am going to bring upon her; and they will become exhausted. Thus far are the words of Jeremiah. (Jer 51:62-64)

     As always, God’s warnings are clear and available to all who will search the Scriptures. According to the prophet’s command, the Message had been read in public, then tied to a rock and thrown into the Euphrates. The stone sank to the river bottom, graphically depicting the destiny of a corrupted empire. Fifty-five years after the “reading” the once proud city, now rotten to the core, blatantly ignored the warning and rejected the Savior. Every line of Jeremiah’s Prophecy came to pass.

     The Prophecy concerning the destruction of Chaldea was recorded even earlier by the prophet Isaiah. In fact, Isaiah 47 is an amplification of the second MENE of (Dan 5:25) and describes what happened to the remainder of the people.

     Come down and sit in the dust, [Symbol of mourning] O virgin daughter of Babylon; sit on the ground without a throne, [End of the empire] O daughter of the Chaldeans. For you shall no longer be called tender and delicate. [Beautiful and glamorous] (Isa 47:1)

     Take the millstones and grind meal. Remove your veil, [No veil — loss of nobility] strip off the skirt [Lack of feminine attire — work like a man] uncover the leg, [Rape] cross the rivers. [Go into slavery] Your nakedness will be uncovered, your shame also will be exposed; I will take vengeance and will not spare a man. (Isa 47:2-3)

     Pride deluded the Chaldeans and gave them a false sense of security behind their man-made fortification. Occupied with the pursuit of pleasure, they became careless and disregarded the impending danger. Because of mental attitude sins, self-indulgence, and idol worship they would suffer loss of loved ones, (Isa 47:7-10) and through rejection of God’s Word, they would suffer the destruction of their empire. Further, this passage sarcastically challenged the apostate Babylonians to seek deliverance through their sorcerers, the multitude of their counsels, stargazers, and prognosticators. (Isa 47:11-15) None of these mediums will be able to deliver them. cf. (Rev 18:7-24)

     Despite repeated warnings concerning their destiny should they fail to turn to God, the Chaldeans chose to follow their own devices and ignore the only Savior. People in any era of history who follow this pattern are doomed as certainly as were the Chaldeans.

     He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey [Believe in] the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him. (Joh 3:36) cf. (1Jn 3:23)

How different history might have been for the Chaldeans had enough people believed and developed a Spiritual life. Believers are the “salt” which preserves and sustains a nation. (Mat 5:13-14)


     As a client nation and a theocracy, all of Israel, both believers and unbelievers, were subject to Codex I of the Mosaic Law. This part did not constitute their Spiritual life, (Codex II) but did define human freedom, and obedience to Divine authority within the national entity. Although this code was designed by God specifically for Israel, these same Thoughts guarantee personal freedom and national liberty to any nation that operates under its Divine establishment axioms. (Self-evident Truths)

One aspect of the Law concerns the duties of the military. To any military organization these Principles can mean the difference between victory and defeat! Under Codex III of the Mosaic Law, Jewish troops were instructed in preparation for battle:

     When you go out to battle against your enemies and see horses and chariots and people more numerous than you, do not be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, who brought you up from the land of Egypt, is with you. Now it shall come about that when you are approaching the battle, the priest shall come near and speak to the people. And he shall say to them, Hear, O Israel, you are approaching the battle against your enemies today. Do not be fainthearted. Do not be afraid, or panic, or tremble before them. For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save [Deliver] you. (Deut 20:1-4)

     Deuteronomy 20:1 establishes the necessity for soldiers to fight wars. This is a bona fide duty of the citizens of a nation and is honor­able in the sight of the Lord. Further, a believer in the Lord need never be afraid; he has God’s Promise: “For the Lord your God is... with you” (Deut 20:4) The Christian soldier’s first priority is Spiritual strength. This Spiritual energy, which translates to battle courage, comes from believing by faith the Promises of God. (Heb 4:2-3) Promises and Thoughts from God’s Word replace fear and stress with calm and poise. (2Ti 1:7)

     Verses, (Deut 20:3-4) present the impact of a confident mental attitude! (2Ti 2:4) When a man is double-minded, unstable or cowardly, he can never be an effective soldier, (Jas 1:8) nor will he be effective in any endeavor! (Deut 20:5-8)

     Finally, in (Deut 20:17) the Lord Commanded that the enemy be killed — in this case, completely annihilated. (So as with the old sin nature in us; (By reaching Spiritual maturity; Eph 4:13-15) or it will become thorns in our side; Num 33:55) Few in the military have understood these Principles as well as General George S. Patton, one of the greatest soldiers of history. On 1 January 1944 he wrote:

A Soldier’s Prayer
God our Father, who by land and sea has ever led us on to victory, please continue Your inspiring guidance in this greatest of our conflicts. Strengthen my soul so that the weakening instinct of self — preservation, which besets all of us in battle, shall not blind me to my duty to my own manhood, to the glory of my calling, and to my responsibility to my fellow soldiers. Grant to our armed forces that disciplined valor and mutual confidence which insures success in war. Let me not mourn for the men who have died fighting, but rather let me be glad that such heroes have lived. If it be my lot to die, let me do so with courage and honor in a manner which will bring the greatest harm to the enemy, and please, oh, Lord, protect and guide those I shall leave behind. Give us the victory, Lord.

     Had a few of the Babylonian leaders possessed Truth in their souls, Chaldea might have been able to hold back the forces of the Medes and Persians. Although the military advantage of the city’s fortifications was tremendous, apparently not one member of the command group had the motivation to defend the city. Consequently, the victory of the Medes and Persians was final and complete.

     So Darius the Mede received the kingdom at about the age of sixty-two. (Dan 5:31)

     Again, the God of history had used a nation to accomplish His plans for His people Israel. With the fall of the Chaldean Empire, Jeremiah’s Prophecy was fulfilled. God gave Chaldea many years of grace before judgment. Yet because they failed to respond to grace, God used the Medes and Persians as His instrument to free the Jews from Babylonian oppression. Under the protection of the Persian Empire, Zerubbabel, (Ezr 1:1-3) would soon lead a remnant of regenerate Jews in a return to Jerusalem.
     In retrospect, the rulers of Chaldea failed to acknowledge that they were God’s whip to administer the fifth cycle of discipline to Judah. Following their meteoric rise and conquest of the Jews, they suc­cumbed to arrogance and anti-Semitism, two deviations against which God makes war. When the Chaldeans exalted themselves above the King of kings and threatened His chosen people, they were doomed.


1. Escapism solves nothing. Every problem in life must be faced and resolved with the Word of Truth.
2. Human pleasure is never a satisfactory substitute for fellowship with God.
3. The Bible does not condone drunkenness. Drunkenness creates its own problems, and as with all excesses; it is a sign of degeneracy.
4. Rejection of Divine establishment Principles and rejection of the Gospel destroy a nation. No nation can survive unchecked apostasy or blasphemy against God.
5. A believer in the Lord Jesus Christ cannot ignore Truth and be happy. There is no security in human success or power!
6. The Word of God judges those who ignore Divine Truth. (Joh 12:48)
7. Anyone who is not oriented to the Word of God must inevitably depend on man. When Divine judgment comes, the people you depend on with human viewpoint cannot help. (Jer 17:5)
8. Man never knows the day or hour of his death. Therefore, be prepared: “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?” (The new nature formed in us; 2Pe 1:4) (Mar 8:36)
9. True poise and confidence come from the Word of Truth in the soul.
10. The fall of a nation or empire is preceded by the deterioration of the mental attitude of its leadership. Unstable rulers paralyze a nation!
11. It takes the Word of God to learn Truth. Understanding of advanced Truth is built upon Spiritual Knowledge of basic Truth. (Isa 28:10; Heb 6:1-3)
12. When the heritage of a nation is based on the Word of God, rejection of and apathy toward the Word result in the destruction of that nation.
13. The rise and fall of nations and empires depend on the sovereignty of God. He can either prosper or judge a nation and or individuals.

Daniel 6


THROUGHOUT ANCIENT HISTORY the name Babylon occurs again and again, usually referring to a specific geographical location in the land now called Iraq. The Babylon of antiquity is situated approxi­mately sixty miles south of Baghdad on the banks of the Euphrates River near the present town of Al Hillah.

     The Babylon found in Scripture has several meanings. Not only does it refer to the city of Babylon; (2Ki 20:17) but is also an apostate system, made up of every religion and occult system in the world; and will be completely destroyed by the ten rulers and the beast in the middle of Tribulation period. (Rev 17:1-17) Further, as a figurative expression, Babylon is the spiritual kingdom of Satan; (Heb 13:12; Rev 11:8) and as the great city, it is the literal and spiritual city of Satan, that opposes God’s plan of Salvation and growth to Spiritual maturity; during the Tribulation period. (Rev 17:18; Rev 18:1-7) The inspiration for such a system originated in the days of Nimrod, (Gen 10:9-10) and will exist until “Babylon” is eradicated at the end of the Tribulation period. (Rev 18:8-24; Rev 19:3)

     In the Old Testament, Babylon is first called “Babel,” derived from the Hebrew root balal meaning “to confound” or “to confuse.” The English word Babylon is taken from the Akkadian babilu, “gate of god.” Both the Biblical city and the tower of Babel, mentioned in, (Gen 11:1-9) were built in the land of Shinar, more commonly known as southern Babylonia.

     The oldest extant temple tower, or ziggurat, has been excavated at Erech (Gen 10:10) and dates from the latter part of the fourth millen­nium B.C. Although the Bible does not identify the original tower of Babel as a temple tower, later ziggurats were used as such. This con­firms the Concept of a religious Babylon; and that Satan's spiritual kingdom has existed since the Flood. All temple towers were dedicated to various guardian deities in an attempt to assure the city’s protection or to placate hostile gods (Demons) of the pantheon.

     Throughout its long history Babylon, whose prominence can be traced to approximately 2000 B.C., was also the political center of many gentile nations. The most important ruler of the First Dynasty of Babylon was the remarkable Hammurabi. (Circa. 1728-1686 B.C.) Pros­perity characterized his reign with advances in literature, astronomy, mathematics, and architecture. Hammurabi’s most notable contribution was his code of laws, uncovered at Susa (Shushan — one of the capitals of the Persian Empire) by Jacques de Morgan in 1901. This code set up a social order based on the rights of individuals, reinforced by the authority of the State. Although Hammurabi preceded Moses by several centuries, his code parallels many of the laws Moses recorded in the Pentateuch.

     Like Jerusalem, Babylon had a roster of mighty conquerors. Several generations after Hammurabi, the city first came under the rule of the Hittites, then the Kassites, and later the Elamites. Under Sennacherib in 689 B.C. the Assyrian Empire sacked and looted Babylon. Esarhaddon, Sennacherib’s son, rebuilt the city approximately eleven years later.

     The Chaldean Empire was ultimately united by Nabopolassar in 625 B.C. Babylon was made the capital city. Under his heir, Nebuchad­nezzar, this often-contested real estate reached the height of glory and became the most glamorous city of the ancient world. Nebuchad­nezzar, the architect, designed vast fortifications, wide streets, canals, glorious temples, and palaces. Perhaps the two most recognizable structures of the capital were the striking cobalt-blue, enameled brick Ishtar Gate and the famous Hanging Gardens, considered by the ancient Greeks to be one of the seven wonders of the world.

     The future of this magnificent city was far from secure. Babylon would be repeatedly vanquished. On 13 October 539 B.C., Babylon fell to the army of Cyrus the Great of Persia. Later it was partially destroyed by Xerxes I of Persia (486-465 B.C.) in retribution for the continued rebellion of its citizens.

     Two centuries later in 331 B.C. Alexander the Great of Macedonia captured the city and began extensive rebuilding programs, soon halted because of prohibitive costs. Babylon eventually succumbed to Parthian control circa. 200 B.C. and came under Sassanian rule circa. A.D. 200. Thereafter it crumbled into ruins, never again to be revived. About twelve hundred years after the earthly ministry of our Lord, Arabs looted the ruins of that once proud city and used many of its bricks to build Al Hillah. Thus the full cycle was completed: Babylon had risen to a pinnacle of fame and had returned to dust.


     With such a tumultuous history, God employs Babylon to teach Spiritual lessons throughout the Scriptures. While Sodom and Gomor­rah represent absolute moral depravity and political degradation, Babylon is synonymous with abject apostasy and unbelief. Yet during the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Babylon was the showcase of God’s grace blessings for a national entity that functioned according to the Laws of Divine establishment.

     God never shrouds His actions in mystery to confuse humanity; rather, He clearly defines throughout Scripture His plan for the human race. The only people who cannot comprehend God's Thoughts Spiritual Thoughts, are those who reject Him and or ignore His words. (Joh 12:47-48; 1Co 2:14)

     The Chaldean Empire and more specifically the king Nabonidus, along with his son Belshazzar, the coregent, were without excuse on one fateful night in 539 B.C. In chapter 5, Daniel relates the events of Belshazzar’s licentious revelry and depicts the total disregard of his entire court for the Persian army’s imminent advance toward the gates of the city. Had the people listened to God’s warnings through the prophets — disaster for the Chaldean Empire could have been averted. (Jer 51:9)

     At the time when Nabonidus ascended to the Chaldean throne, the Medes and Persians were uniting into a threatening power bloc. King Astyages of Media was slowly being overrun and would later be com­pletely defeated by his grandson, Cyrus II of Persia. The combined might of the Medes and Persians would be a force to reckon with if the Chaldean Empire was to survive. Yet the people of Babylon con­tinued to ignore the Prophecies that Jeremiah proclaimed in their city in 594 B.C. (Jer 51:61)

     Although Isaiah and Jeremiah had graphically described the inevitable fall of Babylon, not all the details of the conquest are revealed in Scripture. Consequently, in past ages scholars and Theologians have speculated concerning the actual tactics involved in the capture of the city and disputed the identity of the main participants. However, the writings of Greek historians, combined with archaeological discoveries of the last two centuries, permit the events to be reconstructed.

Following the defeat of Astyages the Mede, and Croesus, king of Lydia, The Cambridge Ancient History records that Cyrus mobilized a massive army during the autumn of 539 B.C. His first notable success came with the capture of Opis, north of Babylon. Subsequently, he divided his army and personally led the attack on Sippar, near the Euphrates; this action placed him strategically fifty miles nearer the capital. Two days later the second army, under Gobryas, (Ugbaru or Gubaru) the governor of Gutium, marched unopposed into Babylon.

     One of the most intriguing and debated questions is how the strongly fortified Babylon could have been taken so easily. First, was the geographic consideration. The Euphrates River flowed through the center of Babylon and, according to the Greek historian Herodotus, a large bridge spanned the river connecting the eastern and western sec­tions of the city. Another Greek writer, Diodorus Silucus, reveals that a tunnel had been laid under the riverbed. Numerous canals on the outskirts of the city were used for irrigation and also constituted a part of the defense system. In fact, all of southern Babylonia was laced with these canals permitting water to be diverted for the needs of the people.

     Second, Herodotus records the splendid engineering feat of the Persians. They rerouted the Euphrates by constructing a dam some distance from the city, diverting the river around Babylon rather than through it. This accomplished, the Persian Army approached the city fortifications by night. Lulled into a false sense of security the popula­tion’s general state of lethargy allowed the army to slip past the sentries without difficulty. Then they simply marched down the dry riverbed into Babylon.

     That night Belshazzar’s notorious banquet culminated in the shocking events of the handwriting on the wall. The evening had been wrought with debauchery and drunkenness, a trend permeating every social class in Babylon. Because of a distracted citizenry and relaxed military vigilance, the Persians literally walked in and conquered. Once again Babylon was vanquished. A decadent nation and its self-centered ruler had been judged and replaced. (Dan 2:21) This background introduces our study of the sixth chapter in the Book of Daniel.

Chapter 6 actually begins with the last verse of chapter 5:

     So Darius the Mede received [Qabbel] the kingdom at about the age of sixty-two. (Dan 5:31)

     Who is Darius the Mede? The Bible records three persons who bear that name. First, there is Darius the Mede found in our passage, as well as; (Dan 6:1; Dan 9:1; Dan 11:1) The second personage is Darius the king, or Darius king of Persia, named in, (Ezr 4:5; Hag 1:1; Zec 1:1). He is better known in history as Darius I, Darius Hystaspes or Darius the Great, cousin of Cyrus the Great. He ruled as king of Persia from 521 to 486 B.C. The third reference is to Darius the Persian in (Neh 12:22) This is Darius Codomannus or Darius III, the last king of Persia, whose empire was destroyed by Alexander the Great. Neither Darius I or Darius III is Darius the Mede of, (Dan 5:31).
Scripture substantiates that both the Medes and the Persians played an important role in the downfall of the Chaldean Empire.

     For behold, I [God] am going to arouse and bring up against Babylon a horde of great nations from the land of the north. (Jer 50:9)

This would include not only the army of Cyrus, but the armies of the Median king Astyages and Croesus of Lydia, whom Cyrus had defeated. Jeremiah 50 and 51 describe the actual fall of Babylon in some detail.

     The Lord has aroused the spirit [The motivation] of the kings of the Medes, because His purpose is against Babylon to destroy it. (Jer 51:11)

Yet Isaiah confirms that Cyrus is the Lord’s anointed of whom God said,

     Thus says the Lord to Cyrus His anointed, whom I have taken by the right hand, to subdue nations before him. (Isa 45:1)

     Scripture accurately Prophesied historical facts long before they oc­curred. According to both biblical and historical records, Chaldea fell to the Medes and the Persians. The army that captured Babylon was led by Gobryas, a Persian general under Cyrus, while the man who assumed the rulership of the Chaldean Empire was Darius, a Mede.

     Although many historians have attempted to present these two men as one and the same person, they were separate individuals. (Dan 9:1) declares without equivocation that Darius was “the son of Ahasuerus, [A title for king or ruler, as is czar or Caesar] of Median descent,” a royal personage. This fact was verified by the Jewish historian, Josephus:

     Such, then, as we learn from history, what was the end to which the descendants of King Nebuchadnezzar came. Now Darius, who with his relative Cyrus put an end to the Babylonian sovereignty, was in his sixty-second year when he took Babylon; he was a son of Astyages but was called by another name among the Greeks.

     The royal houses of the kingdoms of Media and Parsee (Or Anshan) were closely related by an arranged marriage negotiated by the Median king, Astyages. He had wed his daughter, Mandane, to Cambyses, King of Anshan. This union produced Cyrus the Great, King of Anshan, who later became king of Persia. Astyages also had a son — Darius Cyaxares. He is both Darius the Mede of this passage and an uncle of Cyrus the Great.

     Cyrus spent little time in Babylon after its capture. He left the throne in the royal hands of his uncle, Darius. To further cement this alliance, Cyrus married the daughter of Darius. Approximately two years later, upon the death of Darius, Cyrus united the two kingdoms and took to himself the title King of Persia.

     All the events of Daniel 6 transpired within a two-year span during the reign of Darius the Mede. The Chaldean Empire had been con­quered by the silver “breast and arms” image from Nebuchadnezzar’s vision. (Dan 2:32) The arms represented the two kingdoms of Media and Anshan that were then merging into the silver breast — the powerful Persian Empire. God used Persia to champion and protect His people. During the two hundred years of the empire’s existence, the Jews experienced their golden age.

     According to the Biblical narrative, Nebuchadnezzar was the only born-again king of the Chaldean Empire. However, under the Persian rulers there was a notable trend toward regenerate leadership. In the days of Isaiah, Cyrus was referred to as the Lord’s “anointed,” the only time the Lord applied that term to a gentile ruler. Apparently he was a believer long before he consolidated the Persian Empire. Cyrus is mentioned many times in Scripture as the Lord’s special servant. (2Ch 36:22-23; Ezr 1:1-4; Isa 44:28; Isa 45:1-5)

     The appointment of Darius the Mede is recorded in Daniel 6. Darius the Mede was sixty-two years old when he “received the kingdom.” (Dan 5:31) “Received” is the pael perfect of the Chaldean word qabbel, a reference to Darius’ appointment as regent of Babylon. Before Cyrus departed for Ecbatana, he delegated the political ruler-ship of Babylon to his uncle, Darius, and left the military administration in the able care of Gobryas.


     It seemed good [Shephar] to Darius to appoint 120 satraps over the kingdom, that they should be in charge of the whole kingdom. (Dan 6:1)

     The peal perfect of shephar, “to be pleasant, acceptable,” indicates that Darius himself had not formulated the plan for the administration of the kingdom; he had merely approved it. This may have been devised by Cyrus before he left Babylon. The word “satraps” is a translation of the Greek word (Satrapes, from the Septuagint) and means “guardian, watcher.” The defunct Chaldean Empire had been reorganized into 120 provinces, each section headed by a satrap or governor.

     And over them three commissioners, sarkin] (Of whom Daniel was one), that these satraps might be accountable to them, and that the king might not suffer loss. (Dan 6:2)

     Responsibility for administration was further delegated by the apportionment of the 120 satraps into three groups of forty each. “Over them three commissioners” (Sarkin) or chief governors were appointed, “of whom Daniel was one.” In chapter 5, Belshazzar rewarded Daniel by elevating him to the third ruler in the kingdom. Little did he realize how soon Daniel would be the ranking survivor of the Chaldean Empire. God did not reveal to us the details of Daniel’s deliverance on the night the Chaldean Empire fell.

     History records that Cyrus spared the life of Nabonidus. Even though blessed with ability and intelligence, Nabonidus apparently played no further role in the administration of the reorganized empire. Daniel, not Nabonidus, was appointed one of the “three commissioners” so the king “might not suffer loss” — financial loss. This brilliant plan insured the effective administration of the extensive Persian domain and safeguarded the nation’s economy.


     Then [Edayin] this Daniel began [Hawa] distin­guishing [Netzach] himself among the commissioners and satraps because he possessed an extraordinary spirit [The Holy Spirit] and the king planned to appoint him over the entire kingdom. (Dan 6:3)

     The Chaldean adverb edayin, translated “then,” should read “at that time.” This all-encompassing word takes into account every event from the moment Gobryas led the Persian troops into Belshazzar’s banquet hall through verse 3 of Daniel 6.

     Daniel’s accomplishments for Chaldea, as well as his Spiritual status, were recognized immediately; and Cyrus, himself a believer, considered Daniel’s Spiritual maturity an important asset to his administration. Daniel was elevated to high rank, first by Belshazzar and then by Cyrus and Darius. His remarkable success supervising the kingdom must be understood in the light of Biblical Principles. Without Divine provision Daniel could not have succeeded. If this were not God’s promotion, Daniel would not have been promoted!

     God promotes prepared believers. Daniel was sustained through learning and applying the Word Truth to his circumstances. He regarded life, its problems and solutions from what God declared to be REALITY; unquestionably he was ready for advancement! For this reason the Lord blessed Daniel in a most spectacular way. The Word states that “this Daniel began distinguishing himself.” The peal perfect of the verb “to be” [Hawa] plus the hithpael participle of netzach presents the Concept of surpassing. The hithpael is reflexive and connotes Daniel’s “distinguishing himself” through the Word!

     Twenty-three years had passed since the death of Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel, content to live in relative obscurity when once he had enjoyed the limelight, devoted those years to the diligent study of the Scriptures. During that period of time other visions were revealed to him. (Dan. 7 — 8) Application of this new Prophecy to Truth already stored in his soul caused Daniel to realize that events were taking place in accordance with the Divine plan.

     Daniel was about fourteen at the time of his capture in 605 B.C. (Dan. 1), making the date of his birth circa. 620 B.C. When reorganiza­tion of the empire under Darius was accomplished in 538 B.C., Daniel would have been in his eighties. The timeless Principle of, (Psa 92:14) emerges in, (Dan 6:3). In God’s service age does not hinder pro­motion and success. Daniel was promoted.

     They will still yield fruit in old age; they shall be full of sap and very green. [Idiomatic for spry and prosperous] (Psa 92:14)

     Additional examples of this Principle can be found in the productivity and promotion of two other Old Testament heroes, Joshua and Caleb. For forty long years Joshua was Moses’ aide; he was content to remain in the shadow of the great leader of the Jews until God advanced him to a place of prominence. (Jos 1:1-9) Caleb was eighty-five years old when he won a tremendous military victory over the Anakim (Giants) and claimed his portion of the Promised Land. (Jos 14:6-14) While in obscurity the Spiritual advance of both Caleb and Joshua never faltered; God promoted them. Scripture fre­quently reiterates that Divine promotion provides the only true success and happiness for the believer.

     God’s exaltation of Daniel came “because he possessed an extraordinary spirit.” This statement refers not only to the Holy Spirit, (Dan 5:12) but also to Daniel’s soul — a soul saturated with Spiritual Thinking. (Truth) This magnificent man possessed the unbeatable combination of Truth resident in his soul and the power of God the Holy Spirit working in his life! (Joh 4:24) With this supernatural combination Daniel and or any believer is armed for effective service.

     Because of Daniel’s obvious trustworthiness and leadership capability, King Darius “planned to appoint him over the entire kingdom.” In addition to Daniel, a Jew of royal lineage, the ruling triumvirate of the conquered Chaldean Empire was composed of the Persian military administrator, Gobryas, and the Median civil administrator, Darius Cyaxares II. Daniel himself was appointed as a head in the governmental organization.


     Then the commissioners and satraps began trying [Bea] to find [Shekach] a ground of accusation against Daniel in regard to government affairs; but they could find no [Yekil] ground of accusation or evidence of corruption, inasmuch as he was faithful, and no negligence or corruption was to be found in him. (Dan 6:4)

     Envy often occurs within the periphery of a highly successful person. While the names of Daniel’s high-ranking subordinates are unknown to us, their dissatisfaction with the royal choice of appointments was evident. Their jealousy was vented against Daniel, the outsider. Two probable causes for discontent among “the commis­sioners and satraps” were Daniel’s racial heritage and the acceler­ated promotion of Daniel, an unknown Chaldean administrator, ahead of Persian noblemen. Certainly, their petty jealousies were an inevitable result of their rejection of Daniel’s authority. The operation of the sin nature has not changed over the centuries. Even today rebellion against authority permeates every level of our society and is destabilizing this country.

     Jealousy poisoned the souls of two other “commissioners” and the “120 satraps.” All succumbed to this vicious mental attitude sin. “Began trying” is the peal active participle of bea and portrays the motivating factor by which a mental attitude sin becomes a weapon of destruction. The haphel infinitive of shekach denotes the causative verb “to find” or “to obtain.” The purpose of those envious officials was “to obtain” any pretext for accusing Daniel.

     You may desire fame or approbation for yourself. (Jas 3:14-15) But when your aspiration is frustrated by others and lingers to torment your soul, the resulting mental attitude sins may initiate maligning, back-stabbing, or even violence. Likewise these evil men compounded their own self­-induced misery; while they continued to stir up jealousy and hatred toward Daniel, “they could find no ground for accusation.” “Could find no” is the haphel infinitive of yekil meaning they “were not able”; all their efforts were hindered by Daniel’s faithful performance of duty.

     How frustrating for them to envy the good fortune of someone who is entirely without malice. Truth resident in the soul causes a believer to function beyond his human ability! While Daniel possessed natural aptitude in the realm of administration, Truth gave him true Spiritual Wisdom and genius! (Mar 13:11)

     These satraps found no fault with someone who constantly operated within the framework of Divine design. They could not deny that Daniel “was faithful.” Not once did Daniel doubt God’s ability to steer his life or the affairs of the empire. Faithfulness is the Principle of true Christian service motivated by Truth in the soul and empowered by God the Holy Spirit. The compensation for faithful devotion is stated in Matthew:

     His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave; you were faithful with a few things, [Thoughts] I will put you in charge of many things, enter into the joy of your master. (Mat 25:21)

     Then these men said, We shall not find any ground of accusation against this Daniel, unless we find it against him with regard to the Law of his God. (Dan 6:5)

     Jealous people are intense and relentless. They have no sense of humor and cannot relax. Rarely can a person harbor this malice with­out committing a subsequent act of vengeance. Certainly these “commissioners” and “satraps” did not limit their antagonism to hostile thought against Daniel. They actively conspired to have him removed from office. How would they conduct their conspiracy? They would scrutinize carefully all of Daniel’s decisions to find some error. He would be under constant surveillance in the hope of finding a reason to prove him disloyal to the king. Was Daniel possibly consorting with the Chaldeans to overthrow the new rulers? In any event, all intrigue came to nothing, and his calculating adversaries had to admit “no negligence or corruption was to be found in him.”

     There was one avenue still open: Daniel could possibly be caught in a web of Spiritual activities — a clever ruse concocted by desperate and vengeful minds. Daniel made no secret of his faith. Without a doubt, he had proclaimed the Gospel message to many of these men. Only through Daniel’s consistent testimony could they have known that his first loyalty was to God. Perhaps by using “the Law [Truth] of his God” they could convince the king of Daniel’s unfaithfulness to the rule of the Medes and the Persians.

     Just as Christ was tempted by Satan in, (Mat 4:1) so all believers who have reached Spiritual maturity can expect attacks sooner or later. Daniel had parried such blows in the past and would soon be involved in another skirmish related to the angelic conflict.


     Then these commissioners and satraps came by agreement to the king and spoke to him as follows: King Darius, live forever! All the commissioners of the kingdom, the prefects and the satraps, the high officials and the governors have consulted together that the king should establish a statute and enforce an injunction that anyone who makes a petition to any god or man besides you, O king, for thirty days, shall be cast into the lions’ den. (Dan 6:6-7)

     Once a plan had been devised by the conniving ringleaders of this conspiracy, the rulers gathered in an official convocation before the king to persuade him to “establish a statute.” They addressed him with the greeting of protocol: “King Darius, live forever!” The multiplica­tion of mental attitude sins is now manifested in an overt sin lying! Their insistence that all “have consulted together” was a gross misrepresentation of facts designed to conceal the conspiracy. There is twofold proof: First, Daniel obviously had not been included or consulted in this matter. Second, it would have been a physical impos­sibility for all the various administrative and military rulers in this expansive empire to have met together on such short notice for a unanimous decision on any subject.

     Common Law could be amended, but a royal “Statute” would have placed this new decree in the category of the absolute Law of the Medes and the Persians. The basis of this type of Law was unique in that:

1. It must be signed by the king personally;
2. Once a law was ratified, the statute was irrevocable and applied to king and commoner alike.

     Clearly the plot to eliminate Daniel had been cleverly arranged. His practice of praying three times a day was well-known; and the prohibi­tion against “petitions” to anyone but the king for thirty days would surely catch Daniel in their trap.

     These men had converted their mental attitude sins into overt vengeance and contaminated those within their periphery. (Heb 12:15) Darius was defiled by this jealous attempt to destroy Daniel. By adding “besides you” the plotters appealed to the ego and power lust of the king. Vast public approbation is an irresistible temptation to which many fall prey. Darius was no exception. Pride and arrogance were his primary areas of weakness. He walked blindly into the web they had so carefully woven to ensnare Daniel.

     The mention of “the lions’ den” as a means of capital punishment in the Persian Empire is an important factor in the historicity of the Book of Daniel. The Babylonians and Chaldeans used fire as a punitive measure, (Dan 3:6) because they were not fire worshipers — the Persians, however, worshiped the god of fire in their pantheon. Therefore, instead of incineration they used a den of lions as their method of execution.

     Down through the centuries the punishment for alleged or actual crimes has taken many forms, most of which are horribly painful. However, the believer steeped in Truth need not fear such atrocities. He is protected by the Lord in unjust circumstances, whether he faces a den of lions or a furnace of fire. God delivers believers from or through disasters in life! Even if God does not physically deliver but permits the death of a believer, His timing and wisdom are always perfect! (Rev 13:10)


     Now, O king, establish the injunction and sign the document so that it may not [La] be changed, according to the Law of the Medes and Persians, which may not be revoked. Therefore King Darius signed the document, that is, the injunction. (Dan 6:8-9)

     Once they had fabricated a foundation of lies for their insidious plan, the contemptible nobles petitioned Darius to “establish the decree and sign the writing.” This decree was proposed solely for the destruction of Daniel and all he represents the God-man Jesus Christ; an act totally in violation of the Laws of Divine establishment. All legislation should be designed for the protection of the citizenry in general. Darius had been deceived. Had he been thinking objectively rather than overwhelmed by the flattery of his courtiers, he would have recognized the false motivation behind this legislation. The kingdom was not well served by the hasty judgment of Darius.

     The entire proposal was not only unorthodox legal procedure, but was also contrary to good administration. One individual processing all petitions for thirty days could lead only to an overwhelming break­down in the governmental machinery of this gigantic empire. Clearly, the king’s approbation lust had been so thoroughly whetted that he operated solely within the framework of his emotions. This rendered him incapable of making impartial decisions — the very reaction the conspirators hoped would occur when they devised this scheme.

     By agreeing to this decree, Darius elevated himself to that of a pagan deity. He posed as the incarnation of Ormazd, and according to the Zend religion of the Parsees, his Law was to be absolute. In effect, for thirty days the government of the empire would cease to function and religious freedom was terminated! (This is a type of the Tribulation period, when all religion will be destroyed and all must worship the beast and his image! (Rev 13:8; Rev 13:15; Rev 17:16)

     Since Cyrus had authorized Darius to direct the affairs of the realm, the regent’s signature was necessary for the enactment of the proposed decree as the Law of the land. “To revoke” is the peal imperfect of ‘ada’. The addition of the strongest negative La’ indicates that, once recorded, the Law could never be abolished by any authority whatsoever. Blinded by megalomania and power lust, King Darius “signed and recorded the injunction.”


     Now when Daniel knew that the document was signed, he entered his house; (Now in his roof chamber he had windows open toward Jerusalem) and he continued kneeling on his knees three times a day, praying [Tzela’] and giving thanks before his God, as he had been doing previously. (Dan 6:10)

     When Solomon dedicated the temple in, (1Ki 8:22-53) he prayed that the Lord would not forget the Promises made to his father, David. But should the fifth cycle of discipline be administered to the Jews, those who had been taken into captivity were instructed to “pray to You [Facing] toward . . . the house [The temple] which I have built.” (1Ki 8:48) Thus Daniel complied with the Divine Commandment: The windows of his chamber opened “toward Jerusalem.” Daniel followed the Divine pattern.

     Evening and morning and at noon, I will complain and murmur, [Intense prayer] and He will hear my voice. (Psa 55:17)

     The declaration in verse 10 of Daniel’s discovery of the new Law signified that Daniel was neither involved in the writing of this decree nor was he present at court when the proposal was presented to the king. Had he been in attendance, he would probably have lodged a protest. The verb “knew” is the peal perfect of yeda’ and depicts com­plete perception. Once Daniel learned of this new royal Law, he im­mediately understood the implication: The decree was directly aimed at his ruin.

     As the highest ranking official in the empire under Darius, Daniel could have extricated himself from his predicament. He could have rationalized: “It might be wise for me to pray secretly these next thirty days. Besides, if I am put to death, I cannot serve the Lord. God will understand!” He could have done this, but he did not! Daniel was neither frightened nor worried; he knew the battle is the Lord’s; (1Sa 17:47) and that God was responsible for Daniel’s exalted position. If his present status of prosperity was to be reversed, this too, would be God’s prerogative. Daniel fully understood his options. He made a decision: He would persist in the same routine of prayer he had established long ago.

     What should be the believer’s course of action when he is confronted with legislation in contradiction to the Laws of God? If man’s Laws conflict with God’s Mandates for evangelism, teaching or worship, Divine directives take precedence! The apostles Peter and John faced this dilemma when they were forbidden by the Sanhedrin to declare the Gospel and the Mind of Christ: Truth. (Act 4:17-18) Unhesitatingly, they answered:

     Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard. (Act 4:19-20)

They continued steadfastly in their mission and left the consequences in the Lord’s hands. (They let the chips fall where they will)

     There can be no compromise! Every believer must separate himself from apostasy. (2Co 6:17-18) This was precisely what Daniel did: “He entered his house.” Daniel’s prayer life was a private matter between himself and God. Daniel should have been free to worship as he wished in the privacy of his own home. The Principle of privacy is God’s protection of the individual’s right of volition. Privacy and freedom go hand in hand. Unless a citizen violates a common Law, no government has the right to inter­fere with his private life. The government that overrides the privacy of its citizens violates a God-given freedom.

     Three times a day Daniel prayed fervently (Pael participle of tzela) “giving thanks.” (Aphel participle of yeda) This dedication to prayer revealed a constant celebration in Daniel’s soul for all God had done for him personally, confidence in the future, as well as for Divine provision for the Jews in captivity.

     (Dan 6:5) states only that Daniel’s enemies hoped to use “the law of his God” against him. (Dan 6:10) adds exactly what they had in mind. The last phrase of verse 10, “as he had been doing previously,” literally encompasses the sixty-eight years that Daniel had been away from Jerusalem. Daniel’s consistent prayer life afforded the plotters the opportunity to trap him.

While Scripture only narrates Daniel’s movements, his mental attitude in this crisis is not difficult to trace:

1. Daniel committed the problem to the Lord.

     Cast your burden upon the Lord, and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken. (Psa 55:22)

2. Daniel was Occupied with the Lord by drawing from Divine Thinking in his soul.

     Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He will do it. (Psa 37:4-5)

3. Daniel accepted the plot against his life as a test from the Lord. He countered the test with the Spiritual knowledge that:

     If a trumpet is blown in a city will not the people tremble? If a calamity occurs in a city has not the LORD done it? (Amos 3:6)

     This also comes from the Lord of hosts, Who has made His counsel wonderful and His wisdom great. (Isa 28:29)

4. He thanked God for this crisis and was prepared to do God’s will.

     “It is the Lord; let Him do what seems good to Him.” (1Sa 3:18)

5. Daniel remained calm and undisturbed by worry as he placed his confidence in the Lord.

     Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. (Pro 3:5-6)

6. He did not “lose heart” (Mental panic; Heb 12:2-4) but continued in “perfect peace.”

     The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, Because he trusts in You. Trust in the LORD forever, For in GOD the LORD, we have an everlasting Rock. (Isa 26:3-4)

7. Finally, Daniel was victorious in his faith-rest life, secure in the Spiritual Knowledge of God’s infinite power:

     I will cry to God Most High, to God who accomplishes all things for me. He will send from heaven, and save [Deliver] me; He reproaches him who tramples upon me. Selah. God will send forth His lovingkindness and His Truth. (Psa 57:2-3)

Like Daniel, let the Lord solve all your problems!

     Remember that Daniel was the favorite courtier of the king, but were he to disobey the Law, he could not expect the king’s protection. Darius would, in fact, try to exert his power to preserve Daniel’s life; yet by his own hasty and unwise decision Darius rendered himself powerless.

     What neither the king nor the other satraps realized was that Daniel’s life was in the Lord’s hands. (Psa 31:15) When human power persecutes, Divine power protects. (Psa 33:9-11) Daniel was relaxed in the Knowledge of this Principle and continued his relationship with the Lord through prayer, even though this defied the unjust Law Darius had signed. Neither the crises nor the pressures of life could uproot the happiness and peace in Daniel’s soul. Truth was more real, more important to him than the king’s politics and power! Just as he lived by the Word, Daniel was ready to die for the Word! (Php 1:21)


     Then these men [Gubrayya, heroes] came by agree­ment, [Regash, thronging] and found Daniel making petition and supplication before his God. (Dan 6:11)

     God’s sense of humor is unique. “Men” is the Chaldean word gubrayya, and one translation is “heroes.” Only sanctified sarcasm would call such men heroes. While they should have been occupied with the lofty business of governing a large empire, they instead reduced themselves to the pettiness of common conspirators. “Throng­ing” reveals the herd-bound, frenzied state of mind of these men as they scurried to catch Daniel in the act of praying.

     Daniel’s obedience in following the Mandates of his God was well-publicized and the rulers were certain that Daniel would not miss even one prayer session. Apparently his window, facing the Holy City, was visible from the street, and all that was required was several witnesses to swear that Daniel had been observed praying to God. As expected, they “found” Daniel “making petition” and “supplication before his God.”

The trap was sprung and Daniel was caught. The next step was to approach the king and reveal Daniel’s disobedience to the royal edict.

     Then they approached and spoke before the king about the king’s injunction, “Did you not sign an injunction that any man who makes a petition to any god or man besides you, O king, for thirty days, is to be cast into the lions’ den?” The king answered and said, “The statement is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which may not be revoked.” (Dan 6:12)

     Then they answered and spoke before the king, Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention [Sum] to you, O king, or to the injunction which you signed, but keeps making his petition three times a day. (Dan 6:13)

     How treacherously the plotters manipulated Darius in verse 12. Without mentioning Daniel’s name or hinting to the king that anyone had violated his Law, they persuaded him to restate the decree and to emphasize that the “injunction” could not be “revoked.” Had Darius not been so impressed with his own importance, he might have asked some questions and uncovered the plot. But anyone motivated by approbation lust rather than Divine Thinking; is oblivious to the evils around him. Darius was accountable for the injustice he perpetrated by following the counsel of wicked advisers. (Psa 1:1)

     Their triumph assured, these rulers dropped their mask of formal courtesy and showed their real intent. Contemptuously they referred to Daniel not as their ruling president but as “one of the exiles from Judah.” They displayed no hesitation in bringing before the king an indictment, against someone they considered inferior. The charge that Daniel was nothing but a Jewish foreigner reflected anti-Semitism on the part of the accusers. Through clever propaganda the plotters hoped to imply that Daniel was disloyal to the king. His record of accomplishments was not discussed — only the fact that Daniel was a captured hostage from Judah.

     In the peal perfect of sum, translated “pays no attention to you,” the sly innuendo becomes an accusation: Here is Daniel, a prime minister who has the audacity to disregard the king’s order. He obviously dis­dained the authority of the king by continuing to pray. Therefore, he must be dangerous to the empire.
     The unjust charges were supported by witnesses who eagerly swore that Daniel had indeed petitioned his own God three times daily. Did they watch him all day to ascertain whether he defied the king, or did they base their accusation on Daniel’s past habits? Verse 11 reveals only that they found him praying. Regardless of the veracity of their testimony, the charge had been made and these satraps and commissioners must have congratulated themselves on the success of their efforts. Paradoxically Daniel stood accused unfairly, yet justly, according to the ‘letter of the Law.’

     The repeated reference to “the injunction” demands that the true purpose of legislation in a national entity be discussed. This Concept was formulated by God as a Divine institution for the protection and perpetuation of the human race. Under the Principle of the national entity, legislation should protect the people of the nation. However, not all governmental structures, or the Laws they proclaim, are compatible with this Principle. The ridiculous Law Darius signed demonstrates this fact. Human government, as designed by God, is to safeguard the life, liberty, privacy, property, and volition of individuals within a national entity. Legislation should allow freedom of choice in matters of religion, legitimate business, and social life.

     No human government can rectify all social evils or moral ills, especially not through the pseudo-security of socialism that promotes economic and political demonic thoughts divorced from establishment Principles. Socialism exemplifies the attempt to accomplish just such a program. Curtailing individual freedom for a misguided collectivism will bring Divine discipline to a nation as surely as the private abuse of freedom!

     Just as Nebuchadnezzar had been wrong in trying to intimidate his subjects into paying homage to the God of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, (Dan 3:29) so Darius was wrong in allow­ing himself to be misled and forcing his subjects to relinquish their religious convictions. The Law of the land now made Daniel’s Spiritual life illegal, but God’s Word specifically designates personal worship as a part of Spiritual freedom.

     Daniel was aware that God alone sustained the Persian Empire, not Cyrus or Darius. By following God’s Command, Daniel was both faithful to the Lord and loyal to the empire. True patriotism exists in unbelievers as well as believers, but mature believers in a national entity are the salt which preserves that nation. (Mat 5:13) Believers who utilize Truth not only insure national survival but national blessing as well. (Hos 4:1-7)


     Then, as soon as the king heard [Shema] this statement, he was deeply distressed [be’esh] and set his mind on delivering Daniel; and even until sunset he kept exerting himself to rescue him. Then these men came by agreement to the king and said to the king, “Recognize, O king, that it is a law of the Medes and Persians that no injunction or statute which the king establishes may be changed. (Dan 6:14-15)

     When Darius “heard” these words he realized immediately he had been trapped by his own approbation lust. Darius had tripped over his own weakness and was “deeply distressed.” Before, he had immensely enjoyed the homage lavished upon him; now, he was completely disgusted with himself. He must sentence to death a man whom he admired and loved. Darius discovered too late that ego and approbation lust pay miserable dividends.

     When a crisis occurs, particularly one of our own making, hindsight usually reveals our shortcomings. Tragically we are often blind to the consequences of our actions until we are ensnared. Then we bear intense pain and learn the hard way.

     The passing of time has made no distinguishable changes in man’s nature. The lust pattern of the sin nature is still the source of self-deception. (Rom 7:11-18) Christianity today is rampant with good works and activism which are not motivated or empowered by God the Holy Spirit but by the human energy of the old sin nature. (Rom 8:6-8)

     Darius grasped the situation and attempted to rectify his error in judgment. The conspirators, on the other hand, showed no signs of remorse and would shortly reap what they had sown. (Hos 8:7) Darius immediately “set his mind on delivering Daniel.” The peal perfect of sum used with “mind” indicates that the king intended to find a way “to rescue” his trusted right-hand man. Previously Darius was absorbed with his own exalted position; now he would become involved in an intense effort to deliver Daniel. For all his human power and resources, for all his desperate work that day, the king could find no legal means to rescind the edict. If he had contemplated the ramifications of the decree before signing it into law, then these personal and national crises would have been prevented.

     Some react to disaster and catastrophe with, “Why did God let this happen to me?” Had Daniel been thinking subjectively, he would have asked this question and agonized along with the king. But Daniel knew God makes no mistakes in managing human affairs; God always knows what He is doing!

     For seven years Nebuchadnezzar had to be relegated to the outdoor life of the animal kingdom; to learn that God is the One who ultimately controls history! (Dan 4:32-34) Darius would be taught this same lesson in a different way so that he might realize the futility of human power and rely on the power of God. The consequences of human folly can never be permanently solved by human efforts; only God can untangle the knotted results of man’s failures.

     The conspirators were persistent. They permitted Darius only the remainder of that day to stew in his own misery. As the sun set, they assembled again to prod the king into action. They reiterated to Darius his only option. There was no way out of this royal mess, for the law of the Medes and Persians was decisive. No changes could be made. Daniel must die!

     While we are concerned with the petty tactics of power-hungry courtiers, remember that the authority of a supreme decree was one of the built-in strengths of the Persian Empire a system of government whereby the monarch was subject to the same Law as his people. Normally, this Principle was an excellent safeguard of justice. However, the application in this case was distorted and resulted in a miscarriage of justice.

     This same Concept of “higher Law” applies to the United States. Our Constitution was based on the Word of God, and then enacted by a group of men, both believers and unbelievers, all of whom understood the Laws of Divine establishment. Since that time, many Laws have been passed which are outside the framework of Divine Law. Clearly, the influx of socialistic demonic thinking into American thinking has eroded personal freedom, destroyed incentive, and resulted in subversion of the free enterprise system and the American way of life. Such thinking runs counter to the Laws of Divine establishment and institutions, (Freedom, privacy, property and protection: Freewill, marriage, (One man, one women) family and nationalism) upon which our nation was founded.

     When there seems to be no recourse even in the highest court of our land, we must remember that the Supreme Court of Heaven is always in session. God will dispense perfect justice in His own good time! (Gen 15:16) While many innocent people suffer, God is aware of the injustice and uses those very Laws to discipline the lawmakers, just as He did in the days of Daniel.


     Then the king gave orders, [Amar] and Daniel was brought in [Atah] and cast [Rema] into the lions’ den. The king spoke and said to Daniel, Your God whom you constantly serve [Pelach] will Himself deliver you. (Dan 6:16)

     Darius had no alternative but to order Daniel’s execution. He “gave orders” (Peal perfect of amar) for the sentence to be carried out. Daniel was “brought in” (Haphel perfect of atah) and “cast” or “thrown” (Peal perfect of rema) to the lions.

     Perhaps you have seen an artist’s rendition of Daniel in the lions’ den — a strapping youth no older than twenty, amid a group of lions.
     Although still vigorous; Daniel was actually in his early eighties during the events of Daniel 6. Be reminded that you cannot always believe everything you see or hear. Rely ONLY on the Word of God as your final authority!

     Keenly aware that his own inexcusable action was responsible for Daniel’s ordeal, Darius searched his mind for at least a few words to comfort his loyal friend. He sought to assure Daniel, despite the turn of events, that he still held him in high esteem. He hoped Daniel would understand his indefensible and embarrassing position. As Darius stood over the pit, he was painfully aware of Daniel’s faithful and superb service to the empire, and even more conscious of this Jew’s love for his Lord. What could he say to a man like that?

     At last, the words came. The king cried out, “Your [Daniel’s] God whom you constantly serve [The peal participle of pelach, denoting in­tensive and consistent worship] will Himself deliver you! (Dan 6:16) The reference to “your God” indicates that Darius was an unbeliever; he lacked the personal and intimate relationship with the Deity whom Daniel adored and served.

     Since he could do nothing, Darius fervently wished that somehow Daniel’s God would rescue him. (He “will deliver,” shaphel imperfect of sheziv) Here is the first indication of positive volition on the part of Darius, for as the ultimate authority of a mighty realm he recognized a power greater than his own.

     Admittedly these words were meant to comfort Daniel, but did the king really believe them? It is one thing to talk a good fight but another to “fight the good fight of faith.” (1Ti 6:12) However, the entire sequence of events provides an insight into the character of this monarch. Darius was a benevolent and enlightened king. As a rule, his decisions were impartial and fair, based on objectivity. He recognized his own authority was limited by the greater power vested in the Law of the land; he, too, must be governed by its Dictates.

     Darius also understood that a perversion or misapplication of “good” Laws causes innocent people to suffer. The decree he had approved, victimized Daniel. Humbled by that realization, the king admitted that there had to be a higher Law to be reckoned with — Divine intervention. His only option was to leave Daniel in the hands of his God for possible deliverance. Lacking Truth in his soul, lucid, objective thinking soon gave way to subjective emotionalism. The reason: There was no stabilizing factor of Truth in which to anchor his faith.

     How did Daniel respond to these adverse circumstances? He weathered this stormy episode in his life as he had all previous ones with an inner calm and poise born of unshakable devotion to and firm conviction in his Lord. Truth in his soul prevented resentment; Daniel bore the king no malice. Neither did he attempt to justify himself nor curse his accusers. The satraps had openly expressed their hostility toward Daniel, and even used immoral legislation as their whip, but he did not retaliate. Instead, Daniel displayed nobility of soul and applied THE REALITY OF GOD'S WORD to the situation!

     ‘Vengeance is Mine, and retribution’ . . . “For the Lord will vindicate His people, and will have compassion on His servants.(Deut 32:35-36)

     He left the matter in the Lord’s hands. As a Spiritual aristocrat, Daniel harbored no animosity toward his enemies and avoided the most vicious trap of all mental attitude sins. When caught in the quicksand of vindictiveness, a believer who fights back is sucked down to the level of his accusers!

     And a stone was brought and laid over the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the signet rings of his nobles, so that nothing might be changed in regard to Daniel. (Dan 6:17)

     Daniel’s faith did not waver when the heavy stone was rolled over the opening of the den and he found himself in abysmal darkness. Our Lord set the perfect example for every believer who suffers undeservedly:

     And while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously. (1Pe 2:23)

     This was precisely what Daniel did; the rest was in the hands of the Lord! The king sanctioned the decree with one official act. He pressed his signet ring into the hot wax and “sealed” the stone. In the ancient world, the impression of a seal constituted the ratification of all public documents, treaties, or transactions, and the sealing off of objects protecting them against violation. The royal seal guaranteed that no human hands could rescue Daniel with impunity, and that the king had complied with the terms of the edict. In addition to his own signet, Darius compelled every man who instigated this law to stamp his seal into the hot wax. Ultimately, the king must shoulder the responsibility for the enactment of this ludicrous Law, but he obviously wanted physical proof that his lords had contributed to the infamous deed.

     How these nobles reacted to Daniel’s apparent doom is not recorded. Did they have misgivings when they were required to affix their signatures on the stone, or did they gloat over their victory? We can only speculate. Yet while they stood and stared at the stone atop the den of lions, God used that same stone to remind Daniel of past revelation, of the Rock that would crush the governmental systems of this world. This was Nebuchadnezzar’s dream-vision of “a stone cut out without hands” that “struck the statue” interpreted by Daniel. (Dan 2:34) Also, Jesus Christ Was and IS the Rock who controls history, just as He holds in check the lives of men. Jesus Christ is still on the throne, ruling and overruling. In the execution of God’s plan Daniel is just as safe in a den of hungry lions or in the palace with the vicious commissioners and satraps as he would be in his own home.


     Then the king went [Azal] off to his palace [Hekleh] and spent the night fasting [Tewath], and no entertainment [Dachawah] was brought before him; and his sleep fled [Nedad] from him. (Dan 6:18)

     Many people consider wealth and status to be the road to happiness and the answer to all their problems. The Bible teaches, however, that neither wealth nor position guarantees happiness. The person on the top rung of the ladder of success who possesses all the details of life can be just as miserable, sometimes more miserable, than the person at the bottom who has nothing. Darius was a man who had everything: intelligence, power, fame, splendid palaces, and treasures of every description. Clearly, in time of crisis none of these sustained him. On the other hand, while Daniel had been stripped of all accouterments of human success and prosperity, he still had all he needed! He had the Lord and Truth in his soul!

     Above the rock that sealed Daniel’s prison towered the grand palace, (Hekleh, “big house made for pleasure”) in Babylon. Luxu­riously decorated, the palace was designed to delight a king and to provide him with beauty, comfort, and relaxation. Darius “went” (Peal perfect of ‘azal, “to depart sadly”) from what he feared might become Daniel’s torture chamber and returned to his royal apartment. Had Darius truly believed Daniel’s God would deliver him, the king would have had peace of mind. But his words of hope had been hollow and meaningless. (Dan 6:16) Here God permits a glimpse of a man who was hopelessly despondent and discouraged. He allowed himself to be duped by conspirators to betray Daniel. Having deserted his loyal friend the king was guilt-ridden.

     For many, gluttony is a means of sublimating when frustrated or unhappy, but in his misery Darius left the evening meal untouched. “Fasting” is the adverb tewath and means “refraining from food”; but, this fasting had no Spiritual connotation. Darius was unaware the lions were also fasting for a different reason. Had Darius known this, he might have summoned his “entertainment.” Dachawah is a euphemism derived from the musical instrument played by trained courtesans or concubines for the purpose of arousing sexual passions. Traditionally among ancient rulers, (And even some modern ones) an exquisite meal was followed by wine, women, and song. Concubines were brought in allowing a king to choose his companion for the evening. Darius, however, was so depressed that he not only turned down an excellent meal, he also refused to select from among the most beautiful women in the empire.

     Physically and mentally distraught, the king was consumed with remorse and sorrow. As if this weren’t punishment enough, Darius tossed restlessly in his bed; sleep “fled,” (Peal perfect of nedad) from him. Insomnia compounded the king’s self-induced misery; God can give or withhold sleep. (Psa 3:5; Pro 3:24 cf.; Esth 6:1; Psa 77:4) Quite a contrast existed between these two men. Above the rock, Darius felt wretched despite all the pleasures in the palace; below the rock, Daniel was content, even while facing death. Surrounded by ferocious felines Daniel slept soundly.

     Believers must decide whether to live in the “palace” of misery or the “den” of contentment! If inordinate ambition drives you to acquire the things of this life at the expense of Truth; misery will be your constant companion! True and enduring happiness is a potential gift from God, attained only through Spiritual growth. (Psa 127:2)

     Daniel, in desperate circumstances, still possessed happiness in his soul. Darius was in abject misery despite his high station in life. Remember this lesson well and save yourself some sleepless nights filled with anguish. Pleasant and prosperous circumstances bring only fleeting happiness, but Truth in the soul produces enduring happiness in favorable or adverse circumstances!

     Then the king arose with the dawn, at the break of day, and went in haste to the lions’ den. (Dan 6:19)

     The night must have seemed endless to Darius; he had reproached himself and was torn between worry and hope. When the king finally arose at daybreak he “went in haste to the lions’ den.” The hithpael infinitive of behal “haste” or “hurry” indicates that Darius hurried to the den of lions as fast as his royal dignity allowed.


     And when he had come near to the den of Daniel, he cried out [Ze ‘iq] with a troubled voice. The king spoke and said to Daniel, Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you constantly serve, been able to deliver [Segar] you from the lions? (Dan 6:20)

     Darius reached the den and “cried out with a troubled [Miserable] voice.” Weakly translated “cried,” the peal perfect of ze iq means he “screamed out.” The unhappy king, who presented a pathetic figure, expected the worst, yet hoped for the best. For the second time he manifested positive volition toward the Lord when he called Daniel the servant of the living God. The king knew that Daniel’s continual service to God was not motivated by a desire to “gain” Divine favors, but by a deep love for the Lord whom he served in prosperity as well as in adversity!

     Darius was deeply impressed with Daniel’s devotion to God and wondered whether God had indeed “been able to deliver” (Shaphel in­finitive of sheziv) His faithful servant. Notice the inconsistency and in­stability of Darius. The previous evening he had assured Daniel of Divine deliverance. The next morning he questioned God’s ability to rescue him. As Darius stood over the gaping hole and waited expec­tantly, he was prepared for the dreadful silence of death. He might have hoped for a groan that would indicate Daniel was hurt but still alive; better yet, for a sleepy voice, should a miracle have really occurred.

     Then Daniel spoke to the king, O king, live forever! (Dan 6:21)

     My God sent [Shelach] His angel and shut the lions’ mouths, and they have not harmed [Chaval] me, inasmuch as I was found innocent [Zaku] before Him; and also toward you, O king, I have committed no crime. (Dan 6:22)

     Divine omnipotence is never the issue in deliverance. Rather, deliverance is a decision of Divine sovereignty. If deliverance is in God’s perfect plan, a believer will be rescued; if not, God has another purpose for the life or death of that believer. Daniel and his three friends, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, had recognized this Truth. (Dan 3:17; cf., Dan 6:10)

     There is no crisis in life from which God cannot deliver the believer. Since deliverance can come through life or death, removal from earthly suffering would have constituted as much of a deliver­ance as Daniel’s rescue from the mouth of the lions. In the case of Daniel, God’s will was a physical deliverance, whereas God’s plan for the lives of thousands of Christians whom Nero condemned to the lions was martyrdom. Only God in his infinite wisdom determines who can glorify Him better in life and who can glorify Him better in death. A believer with Truth in his soul understands that no circumstance, person, or demon can remove him from life until God calls him home. (Rom 8:38-39) He can be relaxed even under enormous pressures.

     How easily Daniel could have gloated over his miraculous deliverance. After all, God had personally intervened on his behalf. Believers who have won a Spiritual victory in life are vulnerable to arrogance. Daniel could have rebuked the king in anger and exaspera­tion or demanded instant punishment for all who had plotted against him. But he was not arrogant or vindictive. From the lions’ den he maintained poise and observed court protocol in the customary address: “O king, live forever!” Did the hopeful thought of eternal life for Darius cross Daniel’s mind as he uttered those words? He may have recognized the king’s positive attitude toward God. Perhaps God had delivered him to lead this man to the Lord.

     Daniel would have employed every opportunity to clarify the issue of Salvation. Had Daniel said, “Look at me; I have survived this ordeal,” he would have made an issue of himself. Conceivably, he might have risen to a new pinnacle of importance in the eyes of Darius. Instead, Daniel gave all the credit to God! He illustrated the grace of God with his first statement to Darius from the den. The use of the possessive pronoun “my” with God demonstrated that his priority was his personal relationship with the Lord!

     Darius listened with rapt attention to the account of Daniel’s miraculous deliverance: “My God sent [The peal perfect of shelach] His angel” — a reference to the preincarnate Savior, the Angel of Jehovah. The simple yet profound statement of God’s personal intervention on behalf of a believer displays God’s gracious concern for His own. This supernatural deliverance is not unique in the annals of history. Time and time again God rescues believers in peril. Just as Jesus Christ walked in the flames with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed­nego, (Dan 3:25) He spent the night with Daniel in the lions’ den.

     Jesus Christ appeared to Daniel and other Old Testament believers as a Theophany, (An appearance of God) and was visible to all during the Incarnation. Although He is invisible in the dispensation of the Church, our fellowship with Him is nevertheless real! (1Pe 1:8)

     For He Himself [Jesus Christ] has said, I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you! (Heb 13:5)

     The shaphel infinitive of segar has two meanings: “to deliver” and “to shut.” Both declare that God delivered [Daniel] “from the lions’ mouths.” Neither the fall nor the lions had “harmed,” (Pael perfect of chaval) Daniel in any way. Someday you may experience tremendous pressure or be caught up in some dreadful disaster. Remember that no matter how grave the danger, as a believer you are perfectly safe in the Lord’s hands. You have His Promises to stabilize your Thinking!

     Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. Behold, all those who are angered at you will be shamed and dishonored; Those who contend with you will be as nothing and will perish. You will seek those who quarrel with you, but will not find them, Those who war with you will be as nothing and non-existent. For I am the LORD your God, who upholds your right hand, Who says to you, Do not fear, I will help you! (Isa 41:11-13)

     Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. (Deut 31:6)

     For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, [Cowardice: staying out of fellowship] but of power [The Holy Spirit and the Spiritual life] and love [Virtue-love; the fruit of the Holy Spirit] and [A sound mind: the Mind of Christ] discipline. (2Ti 1:7)

     See, I have appointed you this day over the nations and over the kingdoms, To pluck up and to break down, To destroy and to overthrow, To build and to plant. (Jer 1:10)

     Now, gird up your loins and arise, and speak to them all which I Command you. Do not be dismayed before them, or I will dismay you before them. Now behold, I have made you today as a fortified city and as a pillar of iron and as walls of bronze against the whole land, to the kings of Judah, to its princes, to its priests and to the people of the land. They will fight against you, but they will not overcome you, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the LORD. (Jer 1:17-19)

     Behold, I have made you a new, sharp threshing sledge with double edges; You will thresh the mountains and pulverize them, And will make the hills like chaff. You will winnow them, and the wind will carry them away, And the storm will scatter them; But you will rejoice in the LORD, You will glory [Boast] in the Holy One of Israel. (Isa 41:15-16)

Following Daniel’s example, live your life as unto the Lord and leave the consequences in His hands!

     In, (Dan 6:22) the noun zaku was incorrectly translated “innocent”; it should have been rendered “purity and or blameless” purity of mind is a mental and Spiritual status of the mature believer in fellowship with God. (Mat 5:8) Such purity of mind was “found,” (Hithpeel of shekach) literally “was obtained” by Daniel! (Rom 6:17-18)
     Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable. (1Pe 2:18)

     Day after day, year after year, Daniel persisted in the study of Truth! Divine Thinking became his way of life! Therein lay the secret of Daniel’s success! Divine Viewpoint dictated a relaxed mental atti­tude, even in undeserved suffering. Not once did Daniel experience vindictiveness or bitterness toward the king or his accusers. Daniel expressed his attitude by calmly saying, “I have committed no crime.”

     Then the king was very pleased and gave orders for Daniel to be taken up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no injury whatever was found on him, because he had trusted [Aman] in his God! (Dan 6:23)

     In both immature believers, (2Co 7:1) and unbelievers, a mood of despondency can be overturned by a change of circumstances. The king was experiencing wide emotional swings that manifested insta­bility. First, he was miserable, then exuberant. Darius was enthusiastic because a miscarriage of justice had been reversed. Daniel was safe. In contrast, Daniel was genuinely happy because he had Truth in his soul, not because he had been delivered. Darius’ happiness was transient because it depended on man and circumstances.

     Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind, and makes flesh his strength, and whose heart turns away from the Lord. (Jer 17:5)

Daniel’s happiness was permanent because he relied on the Lord:

     Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and whose trust is the Lord! (Jer 17:7)

     Daniel’s confidence in the Lord was not misplaced. At over eighty years old, he had been tossed into a pit, twelve or fifteen feet in depth, filled with voracious lions. He emerged unscathed. His rescue was reminiscent of that of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego: Just as the clothes of Daniel’s three companions were not scorched by the flames or tainted by the smell of smoke, (Dan 3:27) Daniel’s body showed not one bruise or claw mark.

     Divine deliverance is both flawless and complete because it origi­nates from a perfect source, God Himself. Divine deliverance is always compatible with grace. Ignorance of this gives the impression Daniel had to do something to deserve God’s intervention. God the Holy Spirit documents that Daniel’s miraculous rescue occurred because “he had trusted!”

     “Trusted” is the haphel perfect of the transitive verb ‘aman. Daniel trusted God’s Promises and was confident God could deliver him if He so desired. Daniel had the marvelous opportunity to enjoy his deliverance as he watched God work. All believers can prepare for the problems and catastrophes encountered in life. How? By learning God’s Word and applying His Thoughts Divine problem solving devices to EVERY human thought! (2Co 10:5)


     The king then gave orders, and they brought those men who had maliciously accused Daniel, and they cast them, their children, and their wives into the lions’ den; and they had not reached the bottom of the den before the lions over­powered them and crushed all their bones. (Dan 6:24)

You can never seek to hurt someone else without hurting yourself as well.

     He who digs a pit will fall into it, and he who rolls a stone, it will come back on him. (Pro 26:27)

     How often this Principle has been proved true. Haman eventually swung on the gallows he had built for Mordecai. (Esth 5:14; Esth 7:10) Now the commissioners and satraps saw their vicious conspiracy boomer­ang. Daniel had not demanded retribution. He utilized, (Psa 55:22) and cast his burden — facing the crisis of the lions’ den — on the Lord. He left the judgment of his adversaries with the Supreme Court of Heaven and Darius.

     (Pro 19:12) declares, “The king’s wrath is like the roaring of a lion.” Darius recognized the true nature of his courtiers; they, not Daniel, played their sovereign false. Subsequently, Darius “gave orders” [Peal perfect of ‘amar] that Daniel’s accusers, who had set their seal in the rock, be “brought” forth. [Haphel perfect of ‘atah] Their hapless families were seized and condemned along with the convicted nobles. As once Nebuchadnezzar threatened his cabinet members and their families with extinction, (Dan 2:5) so now this Median ruler pronounced the death penalty on the families of the guilty courtiers.

     While capital punishment is authorized by God, (Gen 9:6; Rom 13:4) the sentencing of entire families of the guilty is expressly pro­hibited in the Mosaic Law. God’s Law of culpability decrees that every person must stand or fall on the basis of his own actions. (Deut 24:16; 2Ki 14:6) While God’s Law is holy, just, and good, (Rom 7:12) man’s Law is often unfair and unjust. Condemnation by association was a miscarriage in the Law of the Medes and the Persians. They felt other members of a family were contaminated by the conspiracy. Such wholesale judgments not only eliminated bad influence or vendettas but possibly dissuaded others from violating the Law. Guilty or not, all were summarily hurled into the lions’ den. There were no survivors.

     To hear some of the creative ways rationalists explain the miracle of Daniel’s deliverance is fascinating. They say, “Daniel was not hurt because the lions were not really hungry.” Such theories deny the facts stated in Scripture. The lions were ravenous; we know this from. (Dan 6:24) We do not know how many lions were kept in the den, but they devoured a large number of bodies with no sign of satiety.

     Then Darius the king wrote to all the peoples, nations, and men of every language who were living in all the land: May your peace abound! (Dan 6:25)

     I make a decree that in all the dominion of my kingdom men are to fear and tremble before the God of Daniel; for He is the living God and enduring forever, and His king­dom is one which will not be destroyed, and His dominion will be forever. (Dan 6:26)

     He delivers and rescues [Netzal] and performs signs and wonders in heaven and on earth, Who has also deliv­ered Daniel from the power of the lions. (Dan 6:27)

     Do these verses remind you of a similar proclamation? Nebuchad­nezzar was still an unbeliever when he decreed legislation demanding loyalty to God, (Dan 3:29) Darius, newly saved, made the same mistake; yet both rulers eventually reached the same conclusions about the true and living God. (Dan 4:34-37; cf., Dan 6:26-27)
Daniel’s deliverance led to the removal of those who were not only anti-Semitic; but rejected “the God of Daniel.” In addition, his own testimony led to the conversion of Darius. Then the king “wrote” [Peal perfect of kethav] his brief declaration. Nebuchadnezzar and Darius both addressed their message to their subjects throughout their vast empires “in all the land”; the decree applied to all, regardless of race, language, or geography.

     The tract opened with the salutation “Peace.” As used here, “peace” is more than a greeting. The word connotes the Principle of reconcilia­tion as revealed at this time, (Isa 53:5-12) and later set down in (Eph 2:16). Had Darius limited himself to a simple announcement of his own Salvation and Daniel’s deliverance, the kingdom would have benefited. But like so many new believers who possess zeal but little Truth, Darius interfered with the ministry of God the Holy Spirit and tampered with God’s grace plan of Salvation!

     The salutation is followed by the introduction, “I make a decree.” This new decree obviously was enacted to rectify the errors of the old; yet both equally violated the Concept of individual volition. Darius’ impetuous declaration was the result of subjective human thinking, rather than objective Spiritual Thinking! He now attempted to force the conversion of his people just because he had accepted the Lord. By his demand that “men fear and tremble before the God of Daniel,” the king mixed religion and state in direct contradiction to the Word of God. (Pro 24:21; cf., Mat 22:21) Even though some unbelievers turn to the Lord when they are severely frightened, Salvation and or Spiritual growth can never be accomplished through legislation!
Salvation is entirely the work of God from inception to execution — from the ministry of God the Holy Spirit, (Joh 6:44; Joh 16:7-11) to regeneration. (Tit 3:5) When evangelism is conducted according to God’s plan, personal volition will not be violated. In the presentation of the Gospel, volition must not be forced. Every person is free to accept or to reject Christ as Savior. (Joh 3:18; Joh 3:36) Darius’ decree that induced fear and demanded recognition of Daniel’s God was ill-conceived.

     Despite the king’s ignorance of much Truth, the Lord Himself had become very real to Darius. The king testified, “He is the living God.” This is quite a statement from someone who once had worshiped an entire pantheon. (Of demons) His testimony that Christ is “enduring forever” was his recognition of the immutability and eternal reign of the King of kings: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever.” (Heb 13:8) Daniel conveyed to Darius the lesson taught by the fearful image of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. Whereas nations and empires come and go, the kingdom of God, which reaches beyond the boundaries of time and space, will never be destroyed.
Verse 27 confirms that Darius personally received Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. The king’s explicit vocabulary indicates he dis­tinguished between Spiritual and physical deliverance. “Delivers” is the peal participle of the Chaldean word sheziv. “Rescues” is the aphel participle of the Hebrew verb netzal. Both words have the same meaning — “to deliver” or “to rescue.”
Remember, this portion of the Book of Daniel (Dan 2:4 Dan 7:1-28) was recorded in the Chaldean or Eastern Aramaic language. Since this section deals primarily with gentile nations, God the Holy Spirit used a gentile language. The latter part of the Book of Daniel specifically concerns the Jews; therefore, the Hebrew language resumes in chap­ter 8. The Holy Spirit made no mistake in His choice of words for the Scripture. (Pro 30:5) Tucked away in this passage written in a gentile language is one Hebrew word, netzal.
The first Chaldean word of, (Dan 6:27) translated “delivers,” denotes the king’s cognizance of his Spiritual deliverance his Salvation. Jesus Christ alone saves for all eternity. (Act 4:12) The word “rescues” speaks of physical deliverance in time, so real to the king who had personally witnessed God’s deliverance of Daniel. By using both words, Darius, the gentile, acknowledged his faith in the God of the Jews.

     “Signs and wonders” were the means God chose to warn of impending discipline and to authenticate the declaration of the Gospel. Darius obviously took the miracle of Daniel’s deliverance from the lions’ den as a sign from God to bring about his own Salvation.

     So this Daniel enjoyed success [Tzelach] in the reign of Darius and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian. (Dan 6:28)

     The haphel perfect of tzelach means “to enjoy success.” By using this verb form, God shows us a glimpse of the grace blessings in store for the Spiritually mature believer. The Lord abundantly supplied all the details of life for Daniel who had consistently been faithful to the Word. Never again would he suffer trials and tribulations as in the past.
Although the exact age of Daniel at his death is unknown, we are told that he lived at least into the third year, (537 B.C.) of the reign of Cyrus the Great of Persia. (Dan 10:1) If we fix the probable date of Daniel’s birth as 620 B.C., we can estimate that he lived at least eighty-three years. Not only was the remainder of his life overflowing with God’s grace blessings and riches, but Daniel’s desire to see his people, the Jews, restored to their own land finally came to fruition. Scripture records that in the first year of his reign, (539 B.C.) Cyrus permitted the Jewish captives to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple. (2Ch 36:22-23; Ezr 1:2-3)

     The key that unlocks the door to any believer’s Spiritual prosperity is Truth resident in the soul. Moreover, the intake of the Word is the only preparation for every exigency of life! What an encourage­ment to realize that every believer can reach Spiritual maturity! (2Co 7:1) God provided grace beyond measure for Daniel; and what He did for Daniel, He will do for any faithful believer!

     Not once did Daniel compromise the grace of God. So commendable was the production of his Spiritual maturity that the Holy Spirit included Daniel’s heroics in the New Testament’s honor roll among the exploits of the greatest believers of the past.

     Who by faith [God's Thinking in the soul] conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained Promises, shut the mouths of lions. (Heb 11:33)
     The Divine citation for Daniel’s undaunted Spiritual life makes the narrative of Daniel far more than a heroic poem. Emblazoned between the lines is this testimony Thinking Truth works! (Rom 12:2) May the Word of God become paramount in your life!


1. God disciplines nations; by replacing rulers under the Principle of the fifth cycle of discipline. The “head of gold” (Chaldea) was replaced by the “arms and breast of silver.” (Persia)

2. However, the ebb and flow of empires does not change the believer’s objective on earth. God’s plan for the believer continues, regardless of circumstances.

3. In God’s service, the age of a believer does not hinder effectiveness.

4. Truth in the soul qualifies the believer to succeed in life.

5. Divine promotion for a believer is a result of Spiritual faithfulness.

6. Rebellion against Divinely established authority begins with a mental attitude sin.

7. The mental attitude sin of jealousy usually leads to and culminates in an overt act of revenge.

8. The mental attitude sin of one person can affect the lives of many others.

9. When the believer becomes the object of envy and vindictive­ness, he must not retaliate but should commit the matter to the Lord.

10. One of God’s protections for freedom is the Principle of privacy.

11. The lust pattern of the sin nature is the basis of great misery and unhappiness.

12. When human power persecutes, Divine power protects!

13. A believer with Truth can be happy in a lions’ den, while an unbeliever and or a carnal believer will be miserable in a palace; hence, Spiritual happiness is a grace provision from God!

14. Every believer must sooner or later face his own “den of lions.” How you face a crisis determines your Spiritual success or failure in life.

15. Utilization of faith-rest and Truth resident in the soul are the basis for serving the Lord.

16. Legislation can never solve the problems of life; only regenera­tion and advancing believers growing in the Spiritual life; can provide the solution.

17. God delivers the believer physically through or from disaster; or He sovereignly permits the death of the believer. God’s timing, manner, and place of a believer’s death are perfect!


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