What does Daniel 2:17 mean?
ESV: Then Daniel went to his house and made the matter known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions,
NIV: Then Daniel returned to his house and explained the matter to his friends Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah.
NASB: Then Daniel went to his house and informed his friends, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, about the matter,
CSB: Then Daniel went to his house and told his friends Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah about the matter,
NLT: Then Daniel went home and told his friends Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah what had happened.
KJV: Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions:
NKJV: Then Daniel went to his house, and made the decision known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions,
Verse Commentary:
King Nebuchadnezzar challenged his magicians to prove their spiritual insight by telling him the contents of his disturbing dream (Daniel 2:1–11). When they were unable to meet the impossible request, the enraged king ordered all his wise men executed—even those uninvolved in the request. Daniel met this threat with courage and asked for an audience with the king, promising to explain his dream (Daniel 2:12–16). At the time the promise was made, Daniel had received no revelations about Nebuchadnezzar's dream—he was acting entirely on faith that the Lord would provide a solution. While the court conjurers correctly noted that no mortal could know what the king was asking (Daniel 2:10–11), Daniel would pray to the One True God who knows everything (Daniel 2:18).

Daniel shared what little he knew with his three friends (Daniel 1:6–7, 19). He presumably informed them about the king's mysterious dream, the failure of the diviners and sorcerers to discover it, the king's order to have the advisors executed, the visit from royal guards, his request to the king, and the appointed time to describe and interpret the king's dream. Having friends with whom a person can share his needs and challenges is essential and valuable. When Jesus healed the demon-possessed man in the country of the Gerasenes, he commanded him to return home and tell his friends how much the Lord had done for him and how he had mercy on him (Mark 5:19). During his voyage to Rome, when the ship docked at Sidon, Paul received a favor from Julius, the centurion in charge of the prisoners. Julius allowed him to go ashore and visit his friends and be cared for (Acts 27:3). Believers are brothers and sisters in Christ; we are called to mutually encourage and care for one another (Romans 12; Ephesians 4; Hebrews 10:23–25).
Verse Context:
Daniel 2:17–23 explains what happened after Daniel requested an appointment to explain king Nebuchadnezzar's dream. When royal magicians could not explain his dream, the king gave an extreme command: to kill all his advisors, even those not involved with his request (Daniel 2:1–15). Daniel, despite knowing nothing about the dream, at first, promised the king an answer (Daniel 2:16). This passage shows what happened next and reveals more information about Daniel's character. This continues a stretch of Scripture recorded in Aramaic (Daniel 2:4—7:28).
Chapter Summary:
King Nebuchadnezzar tests his magicians, demanding they tell him what he has dreamed, rather than merely inventing an interpretation. When they fail, he prepares to execute the entire department of wise men. Daniel promises he can meet the king's request and is given a special vision from God. The king dreamed of a massive statue shattered into powder by a supernatural rock. Daniel accurately describes this and interprets it as a prophecy about kingdoms which would come after Babylon. The king appoints Daniel and his friends to positions of power and influence over Babylon.
Chapter Context:
Chapter 1 introduced King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, Daniel—a captive youth from Jerusalem—and three other Jewish boys. After three years of education, the four Hebrew captives outperformed all the other trainees, even surpassing the wise men in Babylon. In chapter 2, Daniel describes and interprets Nebuchadnezzar's disturbing dream, though the court magicians could not. As a result, the king promotes Daniel and his three friends to high positions over the provinces of Babylon. This sets the stage for a severe test of faith in chapter 3.
Book Summary:
The book of Daniel contains famous Old Testament stories and prophecies. Daniel was taken from the Israelite people and made an advisor for a conquering empire. He demonstrates faithfulness and wisdom during many years serving in this role. Though Daniel does not deliver a public message, Jesus refers to him as a "prophet" (Matthew 24:15). The first portion of the book mostly describes Daniel's interpretations of dreams and other events. The second portion looks ahead to the end times. Daniel is classified in English Bibles as a "major" prophet, meaning the book is relatively long and the content has broad implications. The book of Revelation echoes and expands on many of the same themes.
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