As for thee, O king, thy thoughts came into thy mind upon thy bed - Margin, “up;” that is, thy thoughts ascended. The Chaldee is, “thy thoughts ascended” - סלקוּ selı̂qû So the Greek: “Thy thoughts ascended ( ἀνέβησαν anebēsan ) upon thy couch.” There is, evidently, some allusion to the thoughts “ascending,” or “going up;” and perhaps the idea is, that they were employed on important subjects - an idea which we now express by saying that one‘s thoughts are “elevated,” as contrasted with those which are “low” and “grovelling.”
What should come to pass hereafter - It would seem most probable from this, that the thoughts of Nebuchadnezzar were occupied with this subject in his waking moments on his bed, and that the dream was grafted on this train of thought when he fell asleep. Nothing is more probable than that his thoughts might be thus occupied. The question respecting his successor; the changes which might occur; the possibility of revolutions in other kingdoms, or in the provinces of his own vast empire, all were topics on which his mind would probably be employed. As God designed, too, to fix his thoughts particularly on that general subjects the changes which were to occur in his empire - such an occasion, when his attention was greatly engrossed with the subject, would be very suitable to impart the knowledge which he did by this vision. Daniel refers to this, probably, because it would do much to confirm the monarch in the belief of his inspiration, if he referred to the train of thought which had preceded the dream; as it is not improbable that the king would remember his “waking” thoughts on the subject, though his “dream” was forgotten.
Here is brought out another of the commendable traits of Nebuchadnezzar’s character. Unlike some rulers, who fill up the present with folly and debauchery without regard to the future, he thought forward upon the days to come, with an anxious desire to know with what events they should be filled. His object in this was, doubtless, that he might the better know how to make a wise improvement of the present. For this reason God gave him this dream, which we must regard as a token of the divine favor toward the king, as there were many other ways in which the truth involved in this matter could have been brought out, equally to the honor of God’s name, and the good of his people both at that time and through subsequent generations. Yet God would not work for the king independently of his own people; hence, though he gave the dream to the king, he sent the interpretation through one of his own acknowledged servants. Daniel first disclaimed all credit for himself in the transaction, and then to modify somewhat the feelings of pride which it would have been natural for the king to have, in view of being thus noticed by the God of heaven, he informed him indirectly, that, although the dream had been given to him, it was not for his sake altogether that the interpretation was sent, but for their sakes through whom it should be made known. Ah! God had some servants there, and it was for them that he was working. They are of more value in his sight than the mightiest kings and potentates of earth. Had it not been for them, the king would never have had the interpretation of his dream, probably not even the dream itself. Thus, when traced to their source, all favors, upon whomsoever bestowed, are found to be due to the regard which God has for his own children. How comprehensive was the work of God in this instance. By this one act of revealing the king’s dream to Daniel, he accomplished the following objects: (1) He made known to the king the things he desired; (2) He saved his servants who trusted in him; (3) He brought conspicuously before the Chaldean nation the knowledge of the true God; (4) He poured contempt on the false systems of the soothsayers and magicians; and (5) He honored his own name, and exalted his servants in their eyes.DAR 40.2
A most interesting and important history is given in Daniel 2. Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, dreamed a dream which he could not bring to his remembrance when he awoke. “Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the astrologers, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans,” those whom he had exalted and upon whom he depended, and, relating the circumstances, demanded that they should tell him the dream. The wise men stood before the king in terror; for they had no ray of light in regard to his dream. They could only say, “O king, live forever: tell thy servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation.” “The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, The thing is gone from me: if ye will not make known unto me the dream with the interpretation thereof, ye shall be cut in pieces, and your houses made a dunghill. 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.” Still the wise men returned the same answer, “Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation of it.” FE 410.1
Nebuchadnezzar began to see that the men whom he trusted to reveal mysteries through their boasted wisdom, failed him in his great perplexity, and he said, “I know of certainty that ye would gain the time, because ye see the thing is gone from me. But if ye will not make known unto me the dream, there is but one decree 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. The Chaldeans answered before the king, and said, There is not a man upon the earth that can show the king's matter.... It is a rare thing that the king requireth, and there in none other that can show it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.” Then was the king “angry and very furious, and commanded to destroy all the wise men of Babylon.” FE 410.2
Hearing of this decree, “Daniel went in, and desired of the king that he would give him time, and that he would show the king the interpretation. Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions: that they would desire mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret.” The Spirit of the Lord rested upon Daniel and his fellows, and the secret was revealed to Daniel in a night vision. As he related the facts, the dream came fresh to the king's mind, and the interpretation was given, showing the remarkable events that were to transpire in prophetic history. FE 411.1Read in context »
Bengel's writings have been spread throughout Christendom. His views of prophecy were quite generally received in his own state of Wurttemberg, and to some extent in other parts of Germany. The movement continued after his death, and the advent message was heard in Germany at the same time that it was attracting attention in other lands. At an early date some of the believers went to Russia and there formed colonies, and the faith of Christ's soon coming is still held by the German churches of that country. GC 364.1
The light shone also in France and Switzerland. At Geneva where Farel and Calvin had spread the truth of the Reformation, Gaussen preached the message of the second advent. While a student at school, Gaussen had encountered that spirit of rationalism which pervaded all Europe during the latter part of the eighteenth and the opening of the nineteenth century; and when he entered the ministry he was not only ignorant of true faith, but inclined to skepticism. In his youth he had become interested in the study of prophecy. After reading Rollin's Ancient History, his attention was called to the second chapter of Daniel, and he was struck with the wonderful exactness with which the prophecy had been fulfilled, as seen in the historian's record. Here was a testimony to the inspiration of the Scriptures, which served as an anchor to him amid the perils of later years. He could not rest satisfied with the teachings of rationalism, and in studying the Bible and searching for clearer light he was, after a time, led to a positive faith. GC 364.2
As he pursued his investigation of the prophecies he arrived at the belief that the coming of the Lord was at hand. Impressed with the solemnity and importance of this great truth, he desired to bring it before the people; but the popular belief that the prophecies of Daniel are mysteries and cannot be understood was a serious obstacle in his way. He finally determined—as Farel had done before him in evangelizing Geneva—to begin with the children, through whom he hoped to interest the parents. GC 364.3Read in context »
This chapter is based on Daniel 2.
Soon after Daniel and his companions entered the service of the king of Babylon, events occurred that revealed to an idolatrous nation the power and faithfulness of the God of Israel. Nebuchadnezzar had a remarkable dream, by which “his spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake from him.” But although the king's mind was deeply impressed, he found it impossible, when he awoke, to recall the particulars. PK 491.1Read in context »
The Lord directed that publishing houses should be established for the promulgation of present truth and for the transaction of the various lines of business which this work embraces. At the same time they should keep in touch with the world, that the truth may be as a light set on a candlestick, to give light to all that are in the house. In God's providence, Daniel and his fellows were connected with the great men of Babylon, that these men might become acquainted with the religion of the Hebrews and know that God rules over all kingdoms. Daniel in Babylon was placed in a most trying position; but while faithfully performing his duties as a statesman, he steadfastly refused to engage in any work that would militate against God. This course provoked discussion, and thus the Lord brought the faith of Daniel to the attention of the king of Babylon. God had light for Nebuchadnezzar, and through Daniel were presented to the king things foretold in the prophecies concerning Babylon and other kingdoms. By the interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar's dream, Jehovah was exalted as more powerful than earthly rulers. Thus, through the faithfulness of Daniel, God was honored. In like manner the Lord desires that our publishing houses shall witness for Him. 7T 161.1Read in context »