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Wednesday, October 10 2012
The Prophet Daniel: Nebuchadnezzar's Image
Daniel was taken to Babylon as a child or youth (see The Prophet Daniel: A Child Of The Exile). By means of the LORD (see Who Is The LORD?), Daniel soon became one of the greatest prophets of all time - as even Daniel's captors, the Babylonians came to realize. It began when King Nebuchadnezzar "dreamed dreams, wherewith his spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake from him."
"2:1 And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, wherewith his spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake from him. 2:2 Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the astrologers, and the sorcerers [see Sorcery], and the Chaldeans, for to show the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king. 2:3 And the king said unto them, I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit was troubled to know the dream." (Daniel 2:1-3 KJV)
Nebuchadnezzar's royal court was filled with supposed "spiritual advisors" who it seems Nebuchadnezzar himself recognized as frauds. Rather than just allowing them to interpret his dream, Nebuchadnezzar ordered them to first tell him what the dream was - which resulted in them confessing that they had no spiritual power at all.
"2:4 Then spake the Chaldeans to the king in Syriack, O king, live for ever: tell thy servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation.
Nebuchadnezzar responded with fury. He ordered the execution of all of the "wise men" of Babylon. That decree included Daniel - who was no fraud.
"2:12 For this cause the king was angry and very furious, and commanded to destroy all the wise men of Babylon. 2:13 And the decree went forth that the wise men should be slain; and they sought Daniel and his fellows to be slain.
Daniel prayed to the LORD to tell him what Nebuchadnezzar's dream had been, which as it turned out, was actually a prophecy that the LORD Himself had given to Nebuchadnezzar.
"2:17 Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions: 2:18 That they would desire mercies of the God of heaven [see Who Is The LORD?] concerning this secret; that Daniel and his fellows should not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.
Daniel was then admitted to the king, where he first, as the king demanded of the "wise men," told Nebuchadnezzar what the dream was.
"2:24 Therefore Daniel went in unto Arioch, whom the king had ordained to destroy the wise men of Babylon: he went and said thus unto him; Destroy not the wise men of Babylon: bring me in before the king, and I will show unto the king the interpretation.
Daniel then interpreted the prophecy to Nebuchadnezzar. The "head of gold" was Nebuchadnezzar's own Babylonian kingdom. With that starting point, any historian, religious or atheist, can verify the correctness of Daniel's interpretation of the image: the Babylonian Empire was superseded by the Persian Empire, which was superseded by the Greek Empire, which was superseded by the Roman Empire. The prophecy continues on, right to the future from now, when the Messiah will return to destroy the "Babylon" world (see What And Where Is Babylon Today?).
"2:36 This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king. 2:37 Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory. 2:38 And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold [see What And Where Is Babylon Today?].
Amazingly, just as the patriarch Joseph had done in Egypt (rising from a prisoner to the Prime Minister, second only to the king), "the king made Daniel a great man, and gave him many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief of the governors over all the wise men of Babylon."
"2:46 Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and worshipped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odours unto him. 2:47 The king answered unto Daniel, and said, Of a truth it is, that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou couldest reveal this secret.
Fact Finder: The LORD gave Daniel the knowledge about how and when "the God of heaven set up a kingdom." What will that Kingdom be like?
This Day In History, October 10
19: Germanicus, Roman general and nephew of emperor Tiberius (Tiberius was the Roman emperor at the time of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ - see A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars and Whatever Happened To Those Romans?), died at age 34 from poisoning. Note that Germanicus, from which the national name Germany is based, was a Roman name (it's no coincidence that the full official name of the Holy Roman Empire was "the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation" - see The Holy Roman Empire).
732: Charles Martel with a force of Frankish infantry repelled an invasion of France by a force of 65,000 Saracens at the Battle of Tours.
1560: Jacob Arminius was born. The Dutch theologian's teachings brought about Arminianism (a doctrine of election based upon God's foreknowledge).
1580: After a three-day siege, the English Army beheaded 600 Irish and Papal soldiers and civilians at Dun an Oir, Ireland.
1733: France declared war on Austrian Emperor Charles VI after Augustus III was elected in Poland instead of the French preferred candidate Stanislav Leszczynski.
1780: The Great Hurricane of 1780 killed up to 30,000 people in the Caribbean.
1864: The "Fathers of Confederation" met at the Quebec Conference to discuss the political union of British North America. The 33 delegates from Upper and Lower Canada, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island passed 72 resolutions as an outline to the proposed union; these eventually formed the core of The British North America Act, the original Constitution of Canada.
1899: In South Africa, the Boer War began.
1911: The Panama Canal officially opened.
1911: Chinese nationalist leader Sun Yat Sen proclaimed a republic at Wuchang (The Wuchang Uprising) and began the revolution that overthrew the Manchu dynasty.
1918: During the First World War, the German submarine UB-123 sank the Irish mail and passenger boat Leinster in the Irish Sea. Of the over 770 people aboard the ship, over 500 were killed.
1935: A coup by the pro-monarchy Greek Armed Forces took place in Athens. It overthrew the government of Panagis Tsaldaris and established a regency under Georgios Kondylis, thereby ending the Second Hellenic Republic.
1938: Germany completed its occupation of the Sudetenland by taking part of Czechoslovakia. It was one of the acts of aggression by Adolf Hitler (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion) that resulted in the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939 (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars).
1973: U.S. Vice-President Spiro Agnew pleaded guilty in a Baltimore courtroom to tax evasion and accepting kickbacks. Agnew resigned later that day and was replaced by Gerald Ford, who then later became President after Richard Nixon resigned to avoid prosecution for "Watergate" (Ford was the only man to serve as both Vice-president and President without ever being elected to either office).
1985: U.S. warplanes intercepted an Egyptian civilian airliner and forced it to land in Italy. The commandeering was executed to arrest passengers who had been responsible for the earlier hijacking of the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro during which elderly wheelchair-bound Jewish-U.S. passenger Leon Klinghoffer was murdered.
1995: Israel began its West Bank pullback and freed hundreds of Palestinian prisoners after a deal with the PLO ("Palestine Liberation Organization").