Did the prophet Daniel accept worship in Daniel 2:46?  ‘Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face and paid homage to Daniel, and commanded that an offering and incense be offered up to him.’ (Daniel 2:46)


That is a good question.  I can answer it in one of two ways.  One way involves me making a presupposition, and is therefore in danger of being circular reasoning.  The other does not rely on any assumption. Let me do the one with a presupposition first:

My first response is that, obviously, Daniel did not accept Nebuchadnezzar’s worship or even homage/adulation because he was a faithful servant of YHWH. No prophet would ever accept worship by another human. As further evidence of this I would use Daniel 2:26-28, when Daniel was given opportunity to receive credit for what God had done.  He said that “No wise man, enchanter, magician or diviner [and by implication, no merely human Jew such as Daniel] can explain to the king the mystery he has asked about.” Therefore, we can be confident, both because Daniel was a prophet, and no prophet would ever accept worship, and because of the specific example in which Daniel had previously refused any credit at all for a miracle God had worked through him, that he certainly did not accept any sort of worship or even adulation from Nebuchadnezzar.  The example I just gave is especially relevant because Daniel had just said this to the same person in the same situation, in the same chapter of Daniel. No, Daniel definitely did not accept worship from Nebuchadnezzar.

My second response is this.  Although Nebuchadnezzar did try to give homage to Daniel, there is no evidence that Daniel accepted such homage.  Given what had already transpired between Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 2:26-28, it is highly likely that Daniel, consistent with what he had already said, refused any sort of homage from Nebuchadnezzar, even if the refusal of such homage may have endangered his position with the king. He certainly did not accept worship. The fact that Nebuchadnezzar tried to  pay homage to Daniel does not prove that Daniel accepted worship from  Nebuchadnezzar.
The second answer is a somewhat “weaker” one than the first, but it does not require  me to assume the answer before giving it.  Personally, I prefer the first answer.
John Oakes

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