Daniel 4:27, says, “Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by showing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquillity.”
Daniel’s Journey Begins
In many ancient African societies, a name was more than a means of identification; it told us something about the nature of the person.
Daniel was a Hebrew name; it was spelled dah-nee-ale. And, in the Hebrew language it meant, “God is my judge” or “my judge is God.”
When Daniel’s name was spoken it implied he had a relationship with God; in his word and actions, there was the sense that he was accountable to God.
The book of Daniel begins with the destruction of Jerusalem. Nebuchadnezzar, who was king of Babylon conquered Jerusalem and took King Jehoiakim, his children, and certain other children captive.
Among these other children were Daniel, Hannah, Mishael, and Azariah.
King Jehoiakim and the others taken captive by the Babylonians were descendants of Hebrew people, the Tribe of Judah who left Africa with Moses and eventually settled in the land of Palestine.
Daniel’s captivity was a result of the spoils of war. In many ancient African societies, when one tribe conquered another; they often took people captive and made them servants; i. e., slaves.
And so, Daniel is a slave in Babylon. So, I ask the question; how does he come to be an advisor to the king.
- Note: Her Excellency, Ambassador Arikana Chihombori-Quao; in her book, Africa 101 The Wake Up Call says, “Before the white slavers came, the Africans were already capturing each other as slaves. However, the clear distinction between African slavery and European Slavery was that the Africans did not mistreat or dehumanize their captives the way the Europeans did.
- As a matter of fact, with African slavery, the slaves became part of the family. The work they did benefited the entire community not an individual or family. In most cases the slaves married and became part of the tribe that captured them.”
Nebuchadnezzar was Chaldean, and as king of Babylon he reigned from 605-561 B.C. His army conquered Jerusalem in 587 B.C., wherein the city and temple were completely destroyed.
The African Heritage Bible, reports that the Chaldeans were one of many Cushite tribes populating Babylonia, and they were from the African family line of Ham (“hot, sun-burnt”)
Daniel 1:2 says, “And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God: which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god.”
- “Land of Shinar,” — Shinar means country of two rivers; it was the ancient name of Chaldea and Babylonia. According to biblical tradition, Nimrod ruled Babel, Erech, and Accad in the land of Shinar (Gen. 10:10). The people of Sinar were of Cushite origin.(African Heritage Bible)
Therefore, we can deduce that these were men of color, both Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar are descendants of Africa; Daniel a descendant of the Hebrews who left Africa with Moses and Nebuchadnezzar a Chaldean, people that were descendants of Ham.
Danial says, “Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee.” But, why would Nebuchadnezzar accept Daniel’s counsel?
These were people, one a king and the other his servant/slave. They were both of Afro-asiatic decent (they were Black people; men who resembled: Halie Selassie, Anwar Sadat, or Nelson Mandela).
When Nebuchadnezzar conquered Jerusalem, he ordered, “Ashepnaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain children of Israel.”
Children in whom was no blemish, but well favored, and skillful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the learning and tongue of the Chaldeans” (Daniel 1:4).
- Note: Joshua Beckford was admitted to Oxford, the prestigious British university at six (6) years old. At 10 months old, his father noticed that he could identify numbers and letters on a keyboard and commit them to memory.
- Carson and Cannan Huey-You, have simultaneously graduated from high school and college. Carson, who is just 14 years old, just graduated from Texas Christian University with a degree in physics. He was the youngest graduate in the school’s history.
- Cannan, who is just 11 years old, just graduated from high school and will start studying at TCU in the fall – majoring in astrophysics and engineering. The two are not just brothers, but also best friends and study partners.
When we look around communities that have large populations of Afro-descendants it is not uncommon that exceptional talent, gifts and genesis are present among the children.
And so it was with Daniel and his campanions. Once in captivity Daniel, Hannah Mishael, and Azariah’s names were changed.
Daniel was given the name Belteshazzar,; and to Hannah, Shadrach; and to Mishael, the name Meshach, and to Azariah, the name Abednego (names they all rejected).
They were bright and gifted children; their families and communities were aware of their gifts, talent and genius (spiritual consciousness).
Daniel 1:17 says, “As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.”
Daniel and the other three children spent three years learning Chaldean culture, after which time they were bought before King Nebuchadnezzar.
Daniel 1:19, 20 says, “Then the king interviewed them, and among them all none was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; therefore they served before the king.
And in all matters of wisdom and understanding about which the king examined them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers who were in all his realm.”
God Gives Daniel A Vision
Daniel 2:1 says, “And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, wherewith his spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake from him.”
Then the king gave the command to call the magicians, the astrologers, the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans to tell the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king.”
Nebuchadnezzar gathered the scholars; that is, his advisors, men of wisdom and understanding; men with special powers.
He demanded that they recount the dream he had, and interpret the dream. He was asking them to look into his mind and see his dream; then give meaning to the dream.
- In Babylonian (Chaldean) culture, astrology was an established science. Both the Babylonians and Egyptians believed that the variations and conjunctions occurring in the sky foretell future events that will take place on earth.
- The interpretations of dreams have been a cultural pattern of African societies since the beginning of their history. Some spirits appear in dreams, especially to diviners, priest, medicine men, and rainmakers to impart some information. (African Heritage Bible)
Magicians, astrologers, and sorcerers were well taken care of; they enjoyed special privileges. As such, anything the king wanted to know; it was their place to provide him with answers.
Nebuchadnezzar would not share his dream; it was his intention that these men of learning should recount his dream and its interpretation. Something these men could not do.
Daniel 2:10 says, “The Chaldeans answered before the king, and said, There is not a man upon the earth that can show the king’s matter; therefore there is no king, lord, nor ruler, that asked such things at any magician, or astrologer, or Chaldean.”
As a result of their inability to provide the information requested by Nebuchadnezzar: he ordered those present, and all the wise men in Babylon to be put to death.
Daniel and his three companions were among the wish men rounded up; and were to be put to death.
When approached by the king’s captain, Daniel was allowed an audience with the king. Daniel asked the king to give him some time, and that he would recount the king’s dream and make know its interpretation (Daniel 2:16).
Daniel 2:18-20 says, “Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions: that they would desire mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret: that Daniel and his fellows should not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.
Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven. Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God fore ever and ever; for wisdom and might are his.”
Daniel sought out Arioch, who was in charge of killing the wish men, and asked him to hold off until he spoke with the king. And, Arioch immediately brought Daniel before the king.
Daniel spoke to the king saying, “The secret which the king has demanded, the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, and the soothsayers cannot declare to the king.
But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what be in the latter days. Your dream, and the visions of your head upon your bed, were these.”
Daniel recounted the dream and interpreted it for the king.
Daniel 2: 46-49 says,“Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and worshipped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odours unto him.
The king answered unto Daniel, and said, Of a truth it is, that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou couldest reveal this secret.
Then the king made Daniel a great man, and gave him many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief of the governors over all the wise men of Babylon.
Then Daniel requested of the king, and he set Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, over the affairs of the province of Babylon: but Daniel sat in the gate of the king.”
Recently Michell Obama, shared that when it comes to her daughters, she and Barack cannot get a word in. Children have voices that are fueled by their relations with providence, and their environment; i.e., their parents, relatives, neighbors and friends.
Every child needs an education, counselors, mentors and spiritual grounding. 1 Corinthians 13:11 says, “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”
When children grows up in a home with a mother and father who heaps attention and love on them; it fosters a sense of balance. The child grows to understand and affirm his or her gender, ethnicity and personhood; and balance that with, compassion, empathy and self-giving.
The words of a child will become the words of an adult; it is inevitable. The importance of grace becomes distant when we read too much into the words of a child. For, as the words of a child grow into the words of an adult, our spirituality, norms, customs, morals, and traditions are perpetuated, a providing balanced prospective for new generations.
Tomorrow looks bright, if only we surround children with the best that our world has to offer; no child should suffer from malnutrition and lack of educational resources. Children are the bearers of gifts, talent, and genius that will foster relations with God, heal our planet, and give rise to social norms that foster equality, respect and and love for others.
Lord God, we come before Your thrown Of grace and mercy confessing, that we have all sinned. Lord, the cross of calvary takes away our sins, and we will never be able to thank You enough for saving us from the consequences of our sins. What you did for us, is the definition of love; You laid down and died for us. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Please Lord, let us be committed to reflecting You in our lives. Bless us Lord, to be better people, to love, honor and respect ourselves and others in accord with the example You set for us. Anoint us, bless us, shape us, mold us to be more like You. We know that You are in the Father, and that the Father is in You; thus, we pray that we would be in You, and You in us, Lord Jesus. To You be all the honor, glory and majesty. In Jesus name we pray. Amen