What does Daniel 2:26 mean?
ESV: The king declared to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, “Are you able to make known to me the dream that I have seen and its interpretation?”
NIV: The king asked Daniel (also called Belteshazzar), 'Are you able to tell me what I saw in my dream and interpret it?'
NASB: The king said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, 'Are you able to make known to me the dream which I have seen and its interpretation?'
CSB: The king said in reply to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, "Are you able to tell me the dream I had and its interpretation? "
NLT: The king said to Daniel (also known as Belteshazzar), 'Is this true? Can you tell me what my dream was and what it means?'
KJV: The king answered and said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, Art thou able to make known unto me the dream which I have seen, and the interpretation thereof?
NKJV: The king answered and said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, “Are you able to make known to me the dream which I have seen, and its interpretation?”
Verse Commentary:
Nebuchadnezzar challenged his court magicians to tell him his own dream, as a test of their powers (Daniel 2:8–9). The men admitted they could not (Daniel 2:10–11), and in a rage the king ordered his entire corps of wise men be slaughtered (Daniel 2:5, 12). Daniel, however, promised to give the king an answer (Daniel 2:13–16) and received the information from God in a vision (Daniel 2:17–19). Where the false, lying conjurers had failed, Daniel will succeed because of his reliance on the One True God (Daniel 2:27–28).

Even today, the wisest unbelievers cannot understand and apply supernatural truth (1 Corinthians 1:18–25; 2 Corinthians 4:1–6). Intellect and learning can only go so far in uncovering spiritual truth (Romans 1:18–23; Psalm 19:1). A person must submit to God and seek Him to understand certain things (1 Corinthians 2:14; Matthew 7:7–8). The apostle Paul declares in 1 Corinthians 2:6–10 that he imparted wisdom, not the wisdom of the world, but a secret and hidden wisdom of God. He adds that "none of the rulers of the age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory." He points out that God has revealed His truths through the Spirit to those who love Him.

Here, the king refers to Daniel using the name given to him when he was taken from his home in Judea (Daniel 1:6–7). Daniel's Hebrew name means "God is my judge." His imposed Babylonian name, Belteshazzar, refers instead to the false deity Bel.
Verse Context:
Daniel 2:24–30 records Daniel's initial statement to King Nebuchadnezzar regarding the king's disturbing dream (Daniel 2:1–3). God revealed the truth to Daniel in a vision (Daniel 2:17–19), and Daniel will credit God alone with the knowledge he is about to share. Humbly, Daniel agrees that what the king had demanded was impossible for any person (Daniel 2:10–11), but that nothing can be kept secret from the true God in heaven.
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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