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Daniel 2:27

ESV Daniel answered the king and said, "No wise men, enchanters, magicians, or astrologers can show to the king the mystery that the king has asked,
NIV Daniel replied, "No wise man, enchanter, magician or diviner can explain to the king the mystery he has asked about,
NASB Daniel answered before the king and said, 'As for the secret about which the king has inquired, neither wise men, sorcerers, soothsayer priests, nor diviners are able to declare it to the king.
CSB Daniel answered the king: "No wise man, medium, magician, or diviner is able to make known to the king the mystery he asked about.
NLT Daniel replied, 'There are no wise men, enchanters, magicians, or fortune-tellers who can reveal the king’s secret.
KJV Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, show unto the king;
NKJV Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, “The secret which the king has demanded, the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, and the soothsayers cannot declare to the king.

What does Daniel 2:27 mean?

This phrasing is an interesting and risky choice for Daniel. King Nebuchadnezzar had ordered the slaughter of all his wise men because his court magicians admitted they could not conjure up the king's own dream (Daniel 2:8–12). Daniel is only before the king, now, because he claimed he could provide an answer to Nebuchadnezzar's challenge (Daniel 2:16). And yet, the first thing Daniel says echoes the sorcerers' excuse: that no man could know what the king demanded. This may also have been a subtle way of questioning the king's enraged response when the Babylonian sorcerers failed to meet his challenge.

However, Daniel will continue to make an important point. Referring to the various occultists of the kingdom (Daniel 1:20; 2:2), he suggests that human wisdom or spirituality grounded in false gods is useless. Much as the plagues of Egypt proved that false Egyptian deities were powerless (Exodus 3:19–20; Exodus 7:5; Numbers 33:4), Daniel's ability to uncover the king's dream shows the Babylonian idols were impotent. This power, of course, is credited to God and not to Daniel as a human being (Daniel 2:28).

This scene resembles Pharaoh's meeting with Joseph, many centuries before Daniel (Genesis 41). Like Nebuchadnezzar, the Pharoah was bothered by a dream he did not understand, and which none of his advisors could untangle. Joseph stood before Pharaoh and said, "It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer" (Genesis 41:16), before demonstrating God's power by giving the dream's exact prophetic meaning.
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