Daniel 2:1-2

Do you wonder about spiritual things? Where do you go to get the answers? To occultism? To science? Or to God? Read the following verses:

Daniel 2:1-2a

"In the second year of his reign, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; his mind was troubled and he could not sleep. So the king summoned the magicians, enchanters, sorcerers and astrologers to tell him what he had dreamed."

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If you have compared with the Interlinear then you've seen that NIV rendering is good. But a little extra explanation could help us about some words. The king's "mind" is the rendering of "rúakh", which means "spirit". A "troubled spirit" means a state of anxiety. He was so nervous that he couldn't sleep. Now the professions of his "advisors" are rendered in different ways, so it should be useful to go through them (see also the NOTE at the end):

1) "magicians" (or enchanters, or sorcerers) are the common "Merlin" figure, or the tribal "sorcerer" who has contact with the "spirits"; also called "witch".

2) "astrologers" is the rendering of "chaldeans" - and also the word rendered as "enchanters" could be translated "astrologers". Astrology was so widespread in Babylonia that "chaldean" was a synonym for "astrologer". As a matter of fact, they were astronomer too, because science and occultism were mixed at that time. But please don't do the same error! Astronomy has made possible to travel to the moon (which should be impossible without knowing the relationship between our planet's and its satellite's orbits, and many other "scientific" data) but astrology deceives people by saying that some "destiny" or "fate" is connected to that movement of the celestial bodies (a satanic lie that can keep you away from God)

Some words about this are important to define. There is and there's been a confrontation between "religion" and "science" that has never been favourable to any of them, and that's been a useful tool in Satan's hands to lead astray people from the truth.

The questions in the beginning are trying with "God" as the Creator of the universe and its laws. As Creator, He made the universe and set up certain laws that regulate its existence and transformation, generally known as "natural laws". This definition seems to be fair to every person, both believers and not believers. But it is not the same with "occultism" and "science".

Nowadays the border between "science" and "occultism" is rather sharp. But it is "bad for business" to two groups of persons (both enemies of God). Those who engage in occultism are very interested in giving the name of "science" to their practices and to use a kind of "scientific" vocabulary, to get a greater reputation of truthfulness. And the atheist scientists, on the other hand, have decide to prove "scientifically" that god doesn't exist. Science can explain everything. When we think that way, "science" is no longer "sience" but "ideology". With science we mean the knowledge about this God's created thing called "universe" and its laws, that is possible to acquire through observation and experimentation. But "ideology" is a set of "principles" which doesn't come from "scientific activity" but from human will. Atheism is an "ideology" - not science - used to keep away people from God. This illegitimate use of science and scientific knowledge is the cause that many religious persons reject science, and it is also the cause that the schism between "God's revelation" and "scientific knowledge" is constantly growing (something that shouldn't even exist). The real "scientific knowledge", as a product of human wisdom - which God gave us - is true, and so true as God's revelation. It is certain that God has sent His Son Jesus Christ to save us, and it is also certain that if you heat water over 100 degrees Celsius it will boil and become vapor. As a matter of fact, some sciences as archaeology or linguistics - which aren't "religious" themselves - confirm the Biblical statements through "scientific" procedures.

Back in Babylonia, we meet a king Necuchadnezzar who was very nervous and agitated because of his dream, so much that he couldn't sleep. It may sound strange in our modern ears, because "dreams" for us have become something "scientific" from the times of the psychoanalyst Freud, a product of the human mind. But in Antiquity dreams were something very serious, and most of people believed they were supernatural revelations. Certainly those are both extreme points of view, and an evidence that we often err about the definitions of "spiritual" and "scientific". God uses dreams in the Bible and nowadays to reveal Himself to persons in many ocasions, and the interpretation of this dream which troubled Nebuchadnezzar is one of the most striking prophecies of all times, showing the empires that shold arise and fall in history. But not ALL dreams are "God's revelations". God reveals Himself through scriptures, but not ALL scriptures; through angels, but not ALL angels, through prophets, but not ALL prophets.There are anti-biblical scriptures, demons which disguise themselves as good angels, and false prophets who speak lies but introduce themselves as God's heralds. There are also "dreams" which God uses to reveal something, and nightmares which shouldn't worry us who believe in a heavenly Father who guards us. For instance, maybe you have dreamed that you are dying, in three or four different ways. It proves that many of them - maybe all - aren't true, because we will all die once (obviously in one way).

Anyway, our dreams can make a strong impression on us and take away our sleep, as it happened with Nebuchadnezzar. In my personal experience dreams hasn't a great part in God's revelations, because I dream seldom (I usually sleep like a log). But I've got visions in prayer - which I use to confirm in God's Word - and if the Lord allows, we'll go through them. "Dreams" and "visions" appear together in the Scripture as revelation instruments, referring to those images that come to our minds both sleeping or in ecstasy.

If your answer to the questions in the beginning is "God", this chapter in the book of Daniel will fill you with joy - like it does with me - because it is a strong evidence that our Father knows everything which has happened, happens or will happen in the future, and that this imperfect world full of vices, sin and evil will end when the Kingdom of God comes, which will endure forever. If you've been an atheist until now, rejecting Jesus Christ and the Bible as something holy and true, divine and real, or if you believe in spiritual and supernatural things but have always seek answers in occultism, let me tell you that God loves you, and He wants to deliver you from eternal death (which is not annihilation, as some people believe, but eternal torment) To save us from that eternal torment and lead us to eternal life, God sent His Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins, in a cross. Receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior, confess your sins to Him and receive forgiveness. It doesn't matter how long time you've lived without God; it doesn't matter how many sorcerers, astrologers, fortune tellers, mediums or other you have consulted up to now. God has promised that He will forgive your sins! He never fails to His promises! Know Jesus and be saved!

May the Lord bless you. In the love of Christ, your brother

Israel Leonard

PS. Jesus is coming soon!

NOTE: Satanic "professions". What the Bible teaches about them:

In Daniel 2 we can read about magicians, sorcerers or diviners (from hebrew "khartóm", "kasháf" and "gezár" respectively). Those three words are very similar and that's why you see them interchanged in different Bible versions. They all allude to sorcerers as persons who claim to have a "supernatural knowledge" and their profession is telling it to others. Their knowledge and their "revelation" is satanic, as the Word teaches, and they were condemned by the law of Moses (Dt 18:10-11 *) which even prescribed death penalty to those who engaged with that (Ex 22:8; Lv 20:27) and even to those who would consult them (Lv 20:6). In the same group were those who adored other "gods" (for instance, people who sacrificed babies to Moloch, Lv 20:1-5). The king Saul himself (first king of Israel, the leader of the nation by that time) was rejected and abandoned by God, who set king David in his place. One of the sins which made him "unfaithful" before the Lord was precisely to consult a medium instead of God (1 Samuel 28:7; 1 Chronicles 10:13-14)

In the New Testament the first Christians confronted also sorcerers and magicians. Acts 8:9-21 tells us the story of Simon the sorcerer, rejected and rebuked by Peter the apostle because he wanted to "buy" the power of the Holy Spirit. Another one, in Acts 13:4-12, is Elymas, who was interfering when Paul evangelized a Roman statesman. He became blind through a prophecy of Paul. Acts 16:16-18 shows a female slave "who had a spirit by which she predicted the future"; she was set free by Paul. In every case it is showed that sorcery, divination, witchcraft and occultism in the wider sense is so abominable to God in the NT as it was in the OT. Observe that the "spirit" of divination means that the slave was demon possessed (in the same way as king Saul's medium, and every sorcerer or medium) and was delivered by the apostle. The supernatural ability to perform something in the spiritual realm, by other means than God's, is always a satanic ability, that the Evil One gives to his "servants" to disturb God's work, which is made by God's "servants". The plan of God is saving people; the devil's, to send them to hell.

Another kind of diviners in Daniel 2 are the astrologers or "Chaldeans" (heb. "asháf" and "kasdí")They predicted the future according to the position of the celestial bodies. They are also discredited by the Word of God (Dn 2:27) and their "knowledge" is not divine at all.

* This is an important passage where all forms of occultism were forbidden to the israelites (Dt 18:10-11): "Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead".

In the beginning of verse 10 we read about those who "sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire", clearly alluding to the sacrifices to Moloch (Lv 18:21) The "cult" to this Canaanite "god" included the sacrifice of babies in the fire, whereas the "priests" of Moloch made a loud noise that surpassed the cries of the babies so that the crowd wouldn't hear them. These barbarian uses were the cause that those nations were destined to extermination by God, who gave their land to Israel (Dt 9:4). In the passage are also forbidden:

1) Mediums or necromancer ("medium" or "who consults the dead"; heb "soél ob" and "dorés el hametím"; literally "those who ask the spirits" and "the dead", respectively.

2) Several kinds of sorcerers, magicians and diviners:
- heb. "qosém qesamím", "who practices divination" as Balaam says in Nm 23:23
- heb "meonemín", "who practices sorcery" (literally, "who reads the clouds"). Ezekiel 21:21 shows another kinds of "omens" that the sorcerers used to predict.
- heb "nakhásh" "who interpret omens" (lit. "who foretells")
- heb "kasháf" "who engages in witchcraft"
- heb "khobér kháber" "who cast spells" (enchantments)
- heb "yideoní" "wizard" (lit. "conjurer of spirits")

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