What does Daniel 2:46 mean?
ESV: Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face and paid homage to Daniel, and commanded that an offering and incense be offered up to him.
NIV: Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell prostrate before Daniel and paid him honor and ordered that an offering and incense be presented to him.
NASB: Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell on his face and paid humble respect to Daniel, and gave orders to present to him an offering and incense.
CSB: Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell facedown, worshiped Daniel, and gave orders to present an offering and incense to him.
NLT: Then King Nebuchadnezzar threw himself down before Daniel and worshiped him, and he commanded his people to offer sacrifices and burn sweet incense before him.
KJV: Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and worshipped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odours unto him.
Verse Commentary:
King Nebuchadnezzar demanded proof of supernatural power in response to his troubling dream (Daniel 2:1–3). He reasoned that if his court magicians couldn't tell him what he'd dreamed there was no reason to think they had insight into what a dream meant (Daniel 2:8–9). When the conjurers admitted this, indirectly (Daniel 2:10–11), the enraged king ordered that his entire corps of wise men be killed (2:5, 12–13). Yet Daniel was gifted with a vision from God (Daniel 2:17–19) and answered the king's challenge (Daniel 2:31–45), giving credit to God (Daniel 2:27–30).

The pagan king asked for a demonstration of supernatural power and got exactly what he'd wanted. In response, he bowed and ordered rituals to be performed. This was not necessarily out of respect for Daniel, himself, but in awe of divine power. This may be why Daniel did not correct the king's actions. In several instances, apostles in the New Testament received a similar reaction when nonbelievers saw miraculous events, and they deflected worship from themselves to the Lord (Acts 10:22–26; 14:11–15). Though Nebuchadnezzar credits Daniel's God with power, rather than Daniel (Daniel 2:47), his words imply that God is "only" the best among many deities. The king is not abandoning his pagan beliefs, but he is modifying them in response to what he has seen.

This passage is among those recorded in Aramaic (Daniel 2:4—7:28), the common language of Babylon at the time, emphasizing their importance to Gentile people.
Verse Context:
Daniel 2:46–49 follows Daniel's description and interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar's troubling dream (Daniel 2:1–3, 27–45). It demonstrates the pagan king's response to obvious divine power, as well as a further glimpse into Daniel's loyalty to his three friends (Daniel 1:1–6; 2:17–19).
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.
Accessed 4/13/2024 8:27:28 AM
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