Daniel: His Promotion and Influence
Apr 11, 2015
After Daniel revealed the dream and its interpretation to Nebuchadnezzar, we read of the king’s reaction in Daniel 2:46-48,
46 Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell on his face and did homage to Daniel, and gave orders to present to him an offering and fragrant incense, 47 The king answered Daniel and said, “Surely your God is a God of gods and a Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries, since you have been able to reveal this mystery.” 48 Then the king promoted Daniel and gave him many great gifts, and he made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon and chief prefect over all the wise men of Babylon.
The Babylonian king was overwhelmed by the revelation and “did homage to Daniel.” In other words, he recognized that Daniel was a better man than he. Daniel immediately became wealthy and was promoted to the position of prefect, or governor, of the province where the city of Babylon was located.
Daniel was also appointed as the “chief prefect over all the wise men of Babylon.” This means he became the head of the Magi, a position which he held until his death many years later. His teaching and influence over that Order was seen six centuries later when the Magi came to Bethlehem. Apparently, they had been shown the biblical prophecies and knew what astronomical events would herald the birth of the King.
And so, when the Magi saw the King’s Planet (Jupiter) “crown” the King’s Star (Regulus) between the feet of the Lion (Leo), they knew that the time had come to seek the King of kings. Genesis 49:10 references Regulus, “the Regulator/Lawgiver,” saying,
10 The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff [lawgiver] from between his feet until Shiloh comes…
It is a picture of the Regulus, which is situated between the feet of the Constellation Leo, and it is associated with the coming of “Shiloh,” a messianic title. The Hebrew name for Jupiter is Sedeq (or Zadok), and the planet represented many capital cities of the nations, including Rome and Jerusalem. Isaiah 1:26 refers to Jerusalem as “the city of Sedeq,” or “the City of Righteousness.”
Jupiter and Regulus had three conjunctions in the constellation of Leo in the year leading up to the birth of Jesus:
1. September 14, 3 B.C.
2. February 17, 2 B.C.
(At this time the Roman Senate issued their “decree” declaring Augustus to be Pater Patriae, “Father of the Country,” and then required the entire Roman world to ratify the decree in a kind of census. The Judeans were enrolled in September of 2 B.C., bringing Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem, their home town.)
3. May 8, 2 B.C.
Immediately after these conjunctions, Jupiter began to move westward across the sky until it stood directly over Bethlehem (as viewed from Jerusalem) on December 25, 2 B.C. The Magi followed Jupiter, traveling west from Babylon to Jerusalem. Upon learning that the Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem, and seeing Jupiter that evening situated over Bethlehem, they arrived with their gifts.
Jesus, of course, was already three months old, having been born on the feast of Trumpets, September 29, 2 B.C. The Bethlehem shepherds had witnessed his birth that same night that he was born. But the Magi had a longer road to travel. After seeing Jesus, they returned to their country, while Joseph and Mary took Jesus to Egypt. Thus Jesus arrived in Egypt for His protection at the age of three months—the same age that Moses, the type of Christ, was taken into the house of Pharaoh (Exodus 2:2).
Three centuries later, Saint Nicolas of Ephesus decided to imitate the Magi and began placing small gifts on the doorsteps of the poor on December 25.
Daniel’s knowledge of the prophetic writings, coupled with his personal revelation, still influence us today every year at Christmas, although the holiday has been secularized and has inaccurately portrayed this day as the celebration of Christ’s birth. Yet regardless of the accumulation of inaccurate traditions, the day is still remembered as the day that the Magi arrived to give their gifts to the Messiah, thanks to Saint Nicolas.
Daniel 2:49 concludes,
49 And Daniel made request of the king, and he appointed Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego over the administration of the province of Babylon, while Daniel was at the king’s court.
Daniel needed people that he could trust to help him govern the province honestly. We can only speculate how this may have put an end to the bribery and corruption that normally runs rampant in non-Kingdom governments. Unfortunately, such corruption has continued throughout the rule of Christian Nations in the time of the “feet” of iron mixed with clay. The iron and clay, in one sense, can represent the combination and mixture of Christian and secular, or a mixture of that which is godly with that which is human.
In the end, though, the feet and toes of iron and clay were still attached to the image of the kingdoms of men. There was no way that the Christian nations could rise very far above other human governments on earth. Something entirely new (and detached from the image) is needed for the Age to come. That is the Stone Kingdom, brought forth first in the Person of Jesus Christ, the King, followed by the manifestation of the Sons of God.
Daniel’s promotion, followed by the promotion of his three friends, suggests a prophetic pattern of Christ first, followed by the manifested Sons of God, who will reign with Him.
This is part 9 of a series titled "Studies in the Book of Daniel." To view all parts, click the link below.
Dr. Stephen Jones