What does Daniel 2:47 mean?
ESV: The king answered and said to Daniel, “Truly, your God is God of gods and Lord of kings, and a revealer of mysteries, for you have been able to reveal this mystery.”
NIV: The king said to Daniel, 'Surely your God is the God of gods and the Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries, for you were able to reveal this mystery.'
NASB: The king responded to Daniel and said, 'Your God truly is a God of gods and a Lord of kings and a revealer of secrets, since you have been able to reveal this secret.'
CSB: The king said to Daniel, "Your God is indeed God of gods, Lord of kings, and a revealer of mysteries, since you were able to reveal this mystery."
NLT: The king said to Daniel, 'Truly, your God is the greatest of gods, the Lord over kings, a revealer of mysteries, for you have been able to reveal this secret.'
KJV: The king answered unto Daniel, and said, Of a truth it is, that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou couldest reveal this secret.
Daniel previously testified to Nebuchadnezzar that "there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries" (Daniel 2:27–28). The king insisted that he be told the content of his troubling dream (Daniel 2:1–3) as well as the meaning, to be sure such insight was divine (Daniel 2:8–11). This is exactly what Daniel provided (Daniel 2:17–19; 30–45) and Nebuchadnezzar recognized it as supernatural knowledge (Daniel 2:46).
Now, Nebuchadnezzar admits the Lord's wisdom and supremacy. However, this falls short of genuine faith in the Lord of Israel as the One True God. As a Babylonian, Nebuchadnezzar believed in a plurality of gods. Here, he credits Daniel's God as the best, or most powerful, among other deities. This is a crucial moment, but it does not represent Nebuchadnezzar rejecting his idols or fully embracing Daniel's faith.
Nebuchadnezzar also acknowledged that Daniel's God was superior to kings, including himself. He may have also recognized that Daniel's God had given him his position as the king of Babylon. Daniel had told him that God had given him his position and authority (Daniel 2:37–38).
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).
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 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.
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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