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Daniel 2:9

ESV if you do not make the dream known to me, there is but one sentence for you. You have agreed to speak lying and corrupt words before me till the times change. Therefore tell me the dream, and I shall know that you can show me its interpretation.”
NIV If you do not tell me the dream, there is only one penalty for you. You have conspired to tell me misleading and wicked things, hoping the situation will change. So then, tell me the dream, and I will know that you can interpret it for me.'
NASB 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, so that I may know that you can declare to me its interpretation.'
CSB If you don't tell me the dream, there is one decree for you. You have conspired to tell me something false or fraudulent until the situation changes. So tell me the dream and I will know you can give me its interpretation."
NLT ‘If you don’t tell me the dream, you are doomed.’ So you have conspired to tell me lies, hoping I will change my mind. But tell me the dream, and then I’ll know that you can tell me what it means.'
KJV But if ye will not make known unto me the dream, there is but one decree for you: for ye have prepared lying and corrupt words to speak before me, till the time be changed: therefore tell me the dream, and I shall know that ye can shew me the interpretation thereof.

What does Daniel 2:9 mean?

This statement makes it clear that Nebuchadnezzar had not forgotten his dream (Daniel 2:1); he has asked his royal astrologers and sorcerers to describe the dream to him (Daniel 2:2–3). Of course, the occultists ask the king to describe the dream, so they can tell him what it means (Daniel 2:4–7). Yet Nebuchadnezzar will not be fooled. He knows what he is doing: testing to see if these self-proclaimed diviners have real insight. If they can tell him "what" he dreamed, he can trust their ability to explain the vision. If not, then there is no reason to think they have special knowledge, at all. As the king notes, that suggests their prior advice was nothing more than lies.

This incident happens early in Nebuchadnezzar's rule (Daniel 2:1), so the counselors in question may have been those appointed by his father. The text does not suggest Nebuchadnezzar had caught the advisors in lies before. Yet it hints that he did not fully trust them. Despite their pleas, the king assured his subjects he would make good on his violent threats if they could not meet his challenge.

The conjurers, ultimately, have no defense. They will admit that only a real god can know what the king asks (Daniel 2:10–11). Their rescue comes in the form of Daniel, who credits the God of Israel with providing the knowledge Nebuchadnezzar seeks (Daniel 2:27–35).
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