When Jehoiakim was King of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar made his first invasion into Jerusalem. Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were some of the first Jews to be taken into captivity. Since Daniel and his friends were of the royal household, they were trained as palace administrators. The Prince of the Eunuchs served as their trainer and he gave them Babylonian names. Daniel's name was changed to Belteshazzar. Hanniah's was changed to Shadrach. Mishael was changed to Meshach, and Azariah to Abendego. In thebook of Daniel, Daniel's friends are usually referred to by their Babylonian names. But Daniel continues to be called by his original name.
Nebuchadnezzar required that the administrators-in- training to eat the meat from his table. Some of the meat was forbidden by Jewish Laws to eat. Daniel makes an appeal to the Prince of Eunuchs. He requested that he and his three friends be given beans for the next ten days. At the end of the ten days, they appeared to be healthier than the others are. The Prince of Eunuch took away their portion of the King's meat. The day came when all the trainees were presented to the King. Nebuchadnezzar favored Daniel and his friends immediately.
In the second chapter of Daniel, we find that Nebuchadnezzar was an unreasonable man. The King was troubled by a dream that had left his mind. The magicians and the wise men were called in to tell the King what he dreamed and then to interpret it. But they are unable to tell the King what he dreamed. Nebuchadnezzar ordered that all the magicians and wise men be put to death. This time Daniel made an appeal to the Captain of the Guards. So the King gives Daniel an appointed time to revel the dream. The four Hebrew children turn to God for help.
One night as Daniel is asleep; God comes to him and revels the dream. Nebuchadnezzar had dreamed of a great statue made of various metals. The head was gold, the chest and arms were silver. The stomach and arms were made of brass. And the legs and feet was iron mixed with clay. A great stone destroys the statue. Daniel explains that the statue represent the Empires of the World. The head of gold was Babylon, and the other parts represented the Empires to come. The great stone is Christ, who will one day destroy the nations of the world, and set up his own kingdom.
Since Daniel's interpretation, most of the statue has been reveled. Cyrus of Persia invaded Babylon. He and Darius of the Medes reigned jointly. So the chest and arms of silver are the Medes-Persian Empire. The brass stomach and thighs represented Greece. Alexander the Great conquered most of the Western World. And the legs of iron and clay represent Rome. Many Scholars believe that the ten toes are a confederation of ten nations. This Empire has yet to come. And we Christians wait for the day, when Jesus comes to rule the world.
Daniel was promoted to Governor of Babylon. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abendego were made Daniel's personal assistants. Nebuchadnezzar now believed that the God of Israel had some powers. But God was not finished with him yet.
Taken from The Shamgar Report june 2005.
Next article will be titled Shadrach,Meshach, and Abendego.