Section: Parshas HaShavua   Category: Sefer Daniel
Daniel Part 2 Perek 2: Nevuchadnezer's Dreams and The Mass Death Sentence
"In the second year of Nevuchadnetzer's malchus, Nevuchadnetzer dreamed dreams.  His ruach was disturbed, and his sleep was interrupted."

Nevuchadnetzer called to all his astrologers and sorcerers, and demanded that they not only interpret his dreams, but they tell him what he had dreamt in the first place, since he had forgotten his dream.  They were unable to fulfill his request, and insisted that Nevuchadnetzer first tell them his dream, and then they would be able to interpret it. In a rage, Nevuchadnetzer ordered that all the sages of Bavel be put to death. 

Chazal say that Nevuchadnetzer's sages explained to him that the answer to his request was something that could only be answered through nevuah.  They admitted that Bnei Yisrael was able to attain nevuah in the past, but since the Churban Habayis, the Shechina has been removed, and nevuah is not possible.  Upon hearing this, Nevuchadnetzer became angry at his sages for having advised him to destroy the Beis Hamikdash, and he sentenced them all to death.  In his anger, he did not differentiate between guilty and innocent, and this death sentence included Daniel and his friends, who were not included among the sages of the king. 

"Then Daniel gave advice to Aryoch, the king's chief executioner who had gone to execute the sages of Bavel."

Daniel, whose life was now in danger, took steps to save his life.  He went to Aryoch and asked him, "Why is the king's decree so forceful?"  He acted as if he didn't know anything about the events preceding the decree.  This was because now that his life was in danger, Daniel hoped that Hashem would reveal the dream to him, but he needed an excuse why he did not come forward until now.   

"Daniel entered and requested of the king that he give him time and he will tell the interpretation to the king."

"Daniel then went home and told his friends, Chananya, Mishael, and Azarya, the story, and to daven to Hashem of Heaven for rachamim about this secret, so that Daniel and his friends should not be destroyed with the rest of the sages of Bavel."

Daniel went home to seclude himself to prepare to receive a neuva.  He told his friends that they should also seclude themselves, and prepare themselves for nevuah.  He also told his friends to daven for rachamim since the tefillah of an individual is not comparable to the tefillah of four.  They davened that they should not be killed together with reshaim - the sages of Bavel.

"Then in a chazon at night, He revealed the secret to Daniel.  Daniel then blessed the G-d of Heaven."
"Daniel then went to Aryoch, whom the king had appointed to destroy the sages of Bavel.  He went and said to him, ‘Do not destroy the sages of Bavel.  Bring me to the king, and I will tell the king the interpretation.'"

"Daniel told the king, ‘The secret which the king requested, no sages, astrologers, necromancers or demonists can tell the king, but there is a G-d in Heaven Who reveals secrets.  He has informed King Nevuchadnetzer what will be at the end of days.'"

"It was not because I have more wisdom than others that the secret was revealed to me, but in order to inform the king the interpretation so you will know the thoughts of your heart."