And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, with which his spirit was troubled…
And as to the sneering Infidel question, How could a forgotten dream trouble the king? it seems quite a sufficient answer to ask whether its propounders have common sense enough to dream? For every one must know from experience that the mind is often greatly agitated by visions of the night, which vanish, leaving only a general impression. It is easy to suppose cases where the agitation would be even increased by the very fact that the particulars were no longer remembered, and the relief that might be hoped for could not, therefore, be so readily obtained. The dimness, indistinctness, mysteriousness of the subject only increases the agitation. The king knew three things. He had had a dream. It was lost; but still it greatly troubled him. He, therefore, called for his wise men.
1. How poor and wretched a creature is a man left to the power of fierce and ungovernable passions! How contemptible a figure does the great King of Babylon make in demanding what was impossible! Hot-headed and furious men are generally without reason, and deaf to all remonstrances. How blessed are your privileges, that you live under constitutional laws, and are not subject to the arbitrary power of a tyrant! Magna Charta, Habeas Corpus, and trial by jury are blessings that cannot be too highly valued.
2. In the rise and fall of nations, shadowed forth in prophecy, and presented in history, it is of great importance to bear in mind the fact that the Supreme Being does rule over all the inhabitants of the world, and yet does no violence to the free agency of any rational creature. The mightiest planets in the highest heavens sweep round in their orbits at his bidding, and so arise and fall the mighty dynasties of our race, both in ancient and modern times, and in both the Old and New World. Not a few seem to think that God's providence was concerned with ancient nations, but has ceased to take notice of modern nations. This is nothing but practical atheism. God is not less vigilant and supreme now, in the midst of our inventions and improvements, than He was in the days of Jerusalem and Babylon. The celebrated and pious Bogue was in the habit of saying, when he took up the papers in the time of Napoleon the Great, to read what was passing: "Let us see how God governs the world."
3. In the history of nations there are always two classes of interests and facts very distinct, and yet exercising over each other a powerful influence. I mean political and religious events. The first relates to kings, emperors, rulers, cabinets, and forms of government; the second relates to the moral character, religious sentiment of the people, and pertains to the salvation of their souls and the condition of the Church of the living God. These interests must necessarily exercise over each other a powerful influence. The history of nations and the history of the Church of Christ reflect mutually the state of the other.
4. Finally, here you are taught where to go in all cases of difficulty. How did Daniel obtain the knowledge of the lost dream? By asking for it. He prayed to God. He sought help in the right direction. We do not, indeed, expect miracles now, yet we do expect answer to prayer.
(W.A. Scott, D.D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, wherewith his spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake from him.