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3.2.13 - Daniel 2:13 Open Bible at Dan. 2:13 Listen to Dan. 2:13

they began killing the wise men

It is not entirely clear from verse 13 whether the executioners killed the wise men right where they were when found or whether they were being collected for a public execution. The latter is probably the case as subsequent scripture reveals that Daniel has the time to ask questions.1

At least some of them, were slain; very probably those who were in the king’s presence, and at court; and the officers were gone out to slay the rest2

they sought Daniel and his companions

It seems clear Daniel and his companions were considered as wise men.3 This lends credence to the view the events recorded in chapter 2 occurred after the youths had completed their three years of training. See commentary on Daniel 2:1.

Although Daniel and his companions were included in the command to kill the wise men, this does not mean they employed or endorsed the occult practices of some among the wise men. This would hardly make sense given the risks the young Jews take to obey God, regardless of the cost (Dan. 1:8+; 3:16-18+; 6:10+).

The wise men [are in] the same class of people as the magicians. [But] Daniel and his friends were [not] considered magicians. [Wise men is] a general term for a court adviser and some would give advice on the basis of conjuring, others on the basis of soothsaying, so that it doesn’t refer to the process but the product. Daniel would not use sorcery or magic. Daniel would give advice by calling on his God, but the fact that he gave advice puts him in the classification of wise man.4


1 John F. Walvoord, Daniel: The Key to Prophetic Revelation (Chicago, IL: Moody Bible Institute, 1971), Dan. 2:13.

2 John Gill, Exposition of the Old and New Testaments (Broken Arrow, OK: StudyLamp Software, 1690-1771), Dan. 2:13.

3 “That Daniel and his friends were sought as a result of the decree makes the fact clear that they were classified as wise men.”—Leon J. Wood, A Commentary on Daniel (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 1998), Dan. 2:13.

4 J. Dwight Pentecost, Class Notes on Daniel, Dallas Theological Seminary (Spokane, WA: Ellen Kelso [transcriber], 2006), 3:15.

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