“Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell on his face and did homage to Daniel, and gave orders to present to him an offering and fragrant incense” (Dan 2:46).

Although I've read the book of Daniel many times, somehow I failed to notice the theological significance of this tiny little verse tucked quietly at the end of Daniel chapter 2.

Consider the following points. First, this verse functions as a mirror image of chapter 3. If we allow chapter 3 to define our terms, “to fall down and pay homage” (sagad) is an act of worship (Dan 3:5-7, 10-12, 14-15, 18, 28). Nebuchadnezzar, the great king of Babylon, is doing to Daniel exactly what he commands all nations (including the Jews in exile) to do to his golden image in chapter 3: fall down and worship it (Dan 3:4-5).

When we consider the fact that Daniel is from the “royal seed,” i.e., a descendent of king David (1:3), Daniel chapter 2 closes with the rather startling picture of the great king of Babylon worshipping a Jewish “king.”

Daniel 2:46, therefore, provides an important clue regarding the identity of the mysterious “stone not cut with human hands” (Dan 2:34–35, 45). The “stone” in Nebuchadnezzar's vision about the end times is a symbol for a Jewish king (Dan 2:28).

Mysterious Figure

And this leads to the second reason why this verse is so important in the book. Daniel 2:46 gives us a brief glimpse, not of the world as it was in Daniel's day, but of the world as it would one day be. In chapter 2, the “stone not cut with human hands” destroys the four parts of the statue (kingdoms) of the world to set up an eternal kingdom. In Daniel chapter 7, “one like a son of man” destroys the four beasts (kings) to set up an eternal kingdom. According to Daniel 7:14, all the peoples of the earth “worship” (palach; a word used only for the worship of divine beings in the book of Daniel) “one like a Son of Man”. But should there be any confusion about the identity of this mysterious figure, Daniel 2:46 removes all ambiguities and doubts. Nebuchadnezzar's act of homage to Daniel is a picture of what all nations will do one day when they stand before the divine Son of Man who is also a Jewish king!

But truly wise and discerning men and women from every tribe, tongue, and nation, do not wait till Daniel's vision is fulfilled in the future. They bow down and worship the King of the Jews today!

“Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.' … After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.” (Matt 2:1-2, 11).

Show the world you are One for Israel!

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