Online Bible Commentary
With Counsel and Wisdom
Daniel 2:14 Then with counsel and wisdom Daniel answered Arioch, the captain of the king's guard, who had gone out to kill the wise men of Babylon; 15 he answered and said to Arioch the king's captain, "Why is the decree from the king so urgent?" Then Arioch made the decision known to Daniel. 16 So Daniel went in and asked the king to give him time, that he might tell the king the interpretation. 17 Then Daniel went to his house, and made the decision known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions, 18 that they might seek mercies from the God of heaven concerning this secret, so that Daniel and his companions might not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. 19 Then the secret was revealed to Daniel in a night vision. So Daniel blessed the God of heaven. 20 Daniel answered and said: "Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, For wisdom and might are His. 21 And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise And knowledge to those who have understanding. 22 He reveals deep and secret things; He knows what is in the darkness, And light dwells with Him. 23 "I thank You and praise You, O God of my fathers; You have given me wisdom and might, And have now made known to me what we asked of You, For You have made known to us the king's demand." (NKJV)
Daniel, still a teenager, was a royal officer of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon at this time, which was 602 B.C. Daniel, a Jew, had been captured by the Babylonians when they conquered Judah in 605 B.C. Most of the Jewish elite were carried off to Babylon during this first of three sieges that occurred over 19 years.
The king had a dream that he could not remember. This dream troubled his soul so much that he commanded his “wise men” to not only interpret the dream but also to tell him the dream. When these “wise men” were unable to do so, the king ordered them and the royal officers, which included Daniel and his friends, to death. Hearing of this, Daniel has now approached the king’s captain of the guard, Arioch.
Daniel approached Arioch “with counsel and wisdom” (v. 14). The text does not tell us the source of his counsel and wisdom, but we know the ultimate source of Godly counsel and wisdom is God, Himself. He may have counseled with his three Jewish friends, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, who had been renamed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego by the Babylonians, and received wisdom from them. He may have gone to the Lord in prayer and received this counsel and wisdom. Whatever the case, Daniel approached Arioch well armed.
Daniel asked Arioch "Why is the decree from the king so urgent?" (v. 15a). He was told of the how the king’s soul was greatly troubled by this dream (v. 15b). Daniel then approached the king directly and requested additional time to interpret the king’s dream (v. 16). His request was granted, so Daniel returned home to counsel with his friends (v. 17). Together they prayed for God to have mercy upon their lives and reveal the secret of the dream (v. 18).
God answered their prayers and David was sent a “night vision” (v. 19) revealing the secret of the dream. A night vision is not a dream. It is a vision from God given to us when we are awake or in a state of slumber, that time just before falling asleep or as we are awaking.
Daniel, overwhelmed by the goodness of God, “blessed” (v. 20a) God in a song of praise for His “wisdom and might” (v. 20b). He praised the sovereignty of God, who “changes the times and the seasons; …removes kings and raises up kings; …gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding; …reveals deep and secret things; …knows what is in the darkness; and light dwells with Him ” (vv. 21-22). Daniel completed his song by thanking and praising God for giving him God’s “wisdom and might” and for revealing “the king's demand” (v. 23).
Daniel, while he was only a teenager, was wise beyond his years. He was wise because he knew the source of wisdom. He had a relationship with God. He knew that God has all the solutions to the world’s problems. He knew that God was a sovereign God, controlling the universe.
Not only did he know these things, he put them to use. Daniel sought out Godly advice when in trouble, from God, and from his Godly friends. He had a prayer life. He depended on God. He was not one who had not because he asked not. He asked. And then when God provided, he was quick to thank and praise God. You know the temptation was to rush out and tell the king the dream because people were being killed. But Daniel took the time to thank God before doing anything else. We all can learn from Daniel.