Daniel 2

Study the Inner Meaning

English: American Standard Version         

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1 And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams; and his spirit was troubled, and his sleep went from him.

2 Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the enchanters, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, to tell the king his dreams. So they came in and stood before the king.

3 And the king said unto them, I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit is troubled to know the dream.

4 Then spake the Chaldeans to the king in the Syrian language, O king, live for ever: tell thy servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation.

5 The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, The thing is gone from me: if ye make not known unto me the dream and the interpretation thereof, ye shall be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made a dunghill.

6 But if ye show the dream and the interpretation thereof, ye shall receive of me gifts and rewards and great honor: therefore show me the dream and the interpretation thereof.

7 They answered the second time and said, Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation.

8 The king answered and said, I know of a certainty that ye would gain time, because ye see the thing is gone from me.

9 But if ye make not known unto me the dream, there is but one law for you; for ye have prepared lying and corrupt words to speak before me, till the time be changed: therefore tell me the dream, and I shall know that ye can show me the interpretation thereof.

10 The Chaldeans answered before the king, and said, There is not a man upon the earth that can show the king's matter, forasmuch as no king, lord, or ruler, hath asked such a thing of any magician, or enchanter, or Chaldean.

11 And it is a rare thing that the king requireth, and there is no other that can show it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.

12 For this cause the king was angry and very furious, and commanded to destroy all the wise men of Babylon.

13 So the decree went forth, and the wise men were to be slain; and they sought Daniel and his companions to be slain.

14 Then Daniel returned answer with counsel and prudence to Arioch the captain of the king's guard, who was gone forth to slay the wise men of Babylon;

15 he answered and said to Arioch the king's captain, Wherefore is the decree so urgent from the king? Then Arioch made the thing known to Daniel.

16 And Daniel went in, and desired of the king that he would appoint him a time, and he would show the king the interpretation.

17 Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions:

18 that they would desire mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret; that Daniel and his companions should nor perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.

19 Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a vision of the night. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.

20 Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever; for wisdom and might are his.

21 And he changeth the times and the seasons; he removeth kings, and setteth up kings; he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that have understanding;

22 he revealeth the deep and secret things; he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him.

23 I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast now made known unto me what we desired of thee; for thou hast made known unto us the king's matter.

24 Therefore Daniel went in unto Arioch, whom the king had appointed to destroy the wise men of Babylon; he went and said thus unto him: Destroy not the wise men of Babylon; bring me in before the king, and I will show unto the king the interpretation.

25 Then Arioch brought in Daniel before the king in haste, and said thus unto him, I have found a man of the children of the captivity of Judah, that will make known unto the king the interpretation.

26 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?

27 Daniel answered before the king, and said, The secret which the king hath demanded can neither wise men, enchanters, magicians, nor soothsayers, show unto the king;

28 but there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and he hath made known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these:

29 as for thee, O king, thy thoughts came [into thy mind] upon thy bed, what should come to pass hereafter; and he that revealeth secrets hath made known to thee what shall come to pass.

30 But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living, but to the intent that the interpretation may be made known to the king, and that thou mayest know the thoughts of thy heart.

31 Thou, O king, sawest, and, behold, a great image. This image, which was mighty, and whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the aspect thereof was terrible.

32 As for this image, its head was of fine gold, its breast and its arms of silver, its belly and its thighs of brass,

33 its legs of iron, its feet part of iron, and part of clay.

34 Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon its feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them in pieces.

35 Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken in pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing-floors; and the wind carried them away, so that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.

36 This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king.

37 Thou, O king, art king of kings, unto whom the God of heaven hath given the kingdom, the power, and the strength, and the glory;

38 and wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the birds of the heavens hath he given into thy hand, and hath made thee to rule over them all: thou art the head of gold.

39 And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee; and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth.

40 And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron, forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things; and as iron that crusheth all these, shall it break in pieces and crush.

41 And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters' clay, and part of iron, it shall be a divided kingdom; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay.

42 And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken.

43 And whereas thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men; but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron doth not mingle with clay.

44 And in the days of those kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed, nor shall the sovereignty thereof be left to another people; but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.

45 Forasmuch as thou sawest that a stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.

46 Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and worshipped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odors unto him.

47 The king answered unto Daniel, and said, Of a truth your God is the God of gods, and the Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou hast been able to reveal this secret.

48 Then the king made Daniel great, and gave him many great gifts, and made him to rule over the whole province of Babylon, and to be chief governor over all the wise men of Babylon.

49 And Daniel requested of the king, and he appointed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, over the affairs of the province of Babylon: but Daniel was in the gate of the king.

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   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 173


Other references to this chapter:

Arcana Coelestia 426, 1298, 1326, 1361, 1422, 1551, 1837, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 211, 538, 567, 664, 717, 775, 781, ...

Conjugial Love 73, 78, 79, 81

Divine Providence 328

Doctrine of the Lord 4, 42, 48

Sacred Scripture 117

The Last Judgment 54

True Christianity 156, 275, 609, 625, 754, 761, 788


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 70, 176, 237, 411, 577, 650, 662, ...

Coronis (An Appendix to True Christian Religion) 2, 37

Scriptural Confirmations 4, 37

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:



Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Genesis 40:8, 12, 18, 41:8, 14, 26, 28, 41, 43

Exodus 7:11

Numbers 12:6

Deuteronomy 10:17, 29:28

Joshua 22:22

1 Samuel 6:2

2 Samuel 7:13, 16

1 Kings 1:31

2 Kings 5:15

1 Chronicles 29:10

Ezra 1:2, 6:11

Nehemiah 9:5

Esther 1:13, 3:2

Job 12:13, 18, 22

Psalms 2:6, 9, 96:4, 113:2, 136:26, 139:12, 147:5

Proverbs 2:6, 16:14

Ecclesiastes 8:1

Isaiah 28:16, 36:11, 47:12, 13

Jeremiah 25:1, 27:5, 6, 33:3

Ezekiel 26:7

Daniel 1:6, 17, 2:6, 31, 36, 37, 48, 3:1, 9, 12, 29, 30, 4:2, 3, 4, 6, 14, 18, 19, 22, 5:7, 8, 10, 11, 13, 16, 18, 28, 6:7, 27, 7:4, 5, 6, 7, 13, 14, 15, 23, ...

Haggai 2:22

Matthew 3:2, 21:44

Luke 1:33, 20:18

Acts of the Apostles 3:12, 10:25, 14:13

Romans 11:33

1 Timothy 6:15, 16

Hebrews 12:27

James 1:5

Revelation 1, 11:15, 12:8, 17:14, 19:15

Word/Phrase Explanations

second
The number "two" has two different meanings in the Bible. In most cases "two" indicates a joining together or unification. This is easy to see...

sleep
In a general sense, sleeping in the Bible represents a state of obscurity about spiritual matters, a state in which you are not recognizing things...

call
'To proclaim' signifies exploration from influx of the Lord.

chaldeans
Chaldea was a land lying along the Euphrates river near its mouth, south of Babylon, part of what is now southern Iraq. It was a...

tell
'To tell' signifies perceiving, because in the spiritual world, or in heaven, they do not need to tell what they think because they communicate every...

came
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “come” in the Bible is highly dependent on context – its meaning is determined largely by...

stood
'To stand,' and 'come forth' as in Daniel 7:10, refers to truth. In Genesis 24:13, it signifies a state of conjunction of divine truth with...

before
In most cases, the meaning of "before" is pretty straightforward, both as a way of assessing relative time, and in its use meaning "in someone's...

said
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

dream
A dream, as in Genesis 20:3,signifies being somewhat obscure.

know
In a general sense, men represent things of the intellect – facts, ideas, knowledge, everything from the deepest truths to the most pernicious falsities about...

spake
Like "say," the word "speak" refers to thoughts and feelings moving from our more internal spiritual levels to our more external ones – and ultimately...

show
'Shew' signifies instruction to the life.

interpretation
'Interpretations,' as in Genesis 40:22, signify prediction.

rewards
A "reward" in the Bible represents something that brings people together, or brings spiritual states together, and binds them. It's easy to see this in...

Gain
Gain denotes every false principle derived from evil, which perverts the judgment of the mind.

heaven
Heavens are celestial and spiritual things. Consequently, they are inmost things, both of the Lord's kingdom in heaven the and in the earth. This also...

Vision of the night
'Vision of the night' signifies obscure revelation.

wisdom
At its heart, wisdom is love's imperative desire to take form. That's a tricky statement, but think of it this way: If you love someone,...

Might
'Might' denotes the forces or power of truth.

removeth
As with many verbs, the meaning of "remove" in the Bible varies a good bit depending on context. It generally involves a separation of spiritual...

made known
In natural language the word "manifest" simply means to make something clear or obvious. A unique use, in fact, has to do with shipping; a...

us
Angels do give us guidance, but they are mere helpers; the Lord alone governs us, through angels and spirits. Since angels have their assisting role,...

Make known
'To make known' is to teach.

Belteshazzar
The book of Daniel follows after Ezekiel in the Old Testament. Daniel was a prophet during the early part of the captivity of the Jews...

seen
The symbolic meaning of "seeing" is "understanding," which is obvious enough that it has become part of common language (think about it; you might see...

soothsayers
'Soothsayers' were people who studied natural magic.

Nebuchadnezzar
Nebuchadnezzar was a powerful king of the Babylonian empire. His fiery furnace and his dreams of the great tree and of the great statue are...

image
'An image' signifies falsities from self-derived intelligence.

clay
Mud, loam, or clay' signify extremes where there are truths.

smote
To strike or smite, when used in the Bible, means to attack, harm or destroy, and is usually in reference to an attack on someone’s...

arise
It is common in the Bible for people to "rise up," and it would be easy to pass over the phrase as simply describing a...

third
The Writings talk about many aspects of life using the philosophical terms "end," "cause" and "effect." The "end" is someone’s goal or purpose, the ultimate...

truth
There's a great deal of talk in Swedenborg about "truth" as a concept – it's how we learn the Lord's will, what we must seek...

chief
‘Governors,’ as in Genesis 41:34, signify common or general things, because they govern over particular things. ‘Governors of Israel,’ as in Judges 5:9, signify the...

Resources for parents and teachers

The items listed here are provided courtesy of our friends at the General Church of the New Jerusalem. You can search/browse their whole library at the New Church Vineyard website.


 Daniel, Interpreter of Dreams
Project | Ages 11 - 17

 Nebuchadnezzar's Dream
A New Church Bible story explanation for teaching Sunday school. Includes lesson materials for Primary (3-8 years), Junior (9-11 years), Intermediate (12-14 years), Senior (15-17 years) and Adults.
Teaching Support | Ages over 3

 Nebuchadnezzar's Dream
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 Nebuchadnezzar's Dream
Color the picture of the statue seen in the dream.
Project | Ages 7 - 14

 Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream (3-5 years)
Project | Ages 4 - 6

 Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream (6-8 years)
Project | Ages 7 - 10

 Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream (9-11 years)
Project | Ages 11 - 14

 Overview of Daniel: A Man of Conscience for ages 3-14
Overview of a series of scripted lessons for the first six chapters of the book of Daniel. Suitable for Sunday schools, families and classrooms. Levels A, B and C provide materials for ages 3-14.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 3 - 14


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