Daniel 2

Daniel interprets Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. He gives credit to god for this. Daniel himself seems like a reasonable sane guy in a mad place. His moment has many advantages, cementing him as a powerful person in the court, saving from death all the other sages who the king threatened to kill if no one interpreted his dream. So his ascension probably engendered less jealousy than it may have otherwise, because it coincided with the salvation of his peers.

I did love the very predictable, desperate argument they gave to the difficult king who demanded they show real magical divination by telling him what he dreamed that “no magicians anywhere have been asked such a thing”. Please, no fair!

The dream itself seems fairly banal. Though it tells of the lessening influence of the dynasty of the king over time, it also complements the king by noting that his rule is the height (the gold head of an idol that progressively lessens in quality down to feet of clay). It’s a very powerful image that has resonated down through the ages to represent the ultimately vulnerable foundations of power. But there is no sign that the king is worried about that, having been dazzled by the mere fact that Daniel knew his dream without being told it.

The king send to have a perfectly average kingly personality of anarcissist, and the dream is not a simple warning, but an encouragement to deeper, perhaps spiritual contemplation of his place in history.

God’s intervention here is a career masterstroke in a very detailed way for Daniel.


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