The prophecy of this chapter spans the centuries from Daniel to the return of Jesus. It is considered to be the most remarkable prophecy in the Bible because it is the most comprehensive. It gives a consecutive history of the world from Daniel’s time to the end. This chapter opens by picturing the ruler of the greatest of earthly kingdoms in his own home on his bed asleep. “Now in the second year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign,Nebuchadnezzar had dreams.” Daniel 2:1, first part.
1. When God gives a dream what is His purpose as expressed by Elihu speaking to Job?
“Why do you contend with Him? For He does not give an accounting of any of His words. For God may speak in one way, or in another, Yet man does not perceive it. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls upon men, while slumbering on their beds, then He opens the ears of men, and seals their instruction. In order to turn man from his deed,and conceal pride from man.” Job 33:13-17
NOTE: Evidently the Lord found it difficult to reveal truth to Nebuchadnezzar in his waking moments. God revealed to this heathen king and image and thus attracted his attention, making a strong impression on him.
2. When the king awakened what happened?
“And the king said to them, I have had a dream, and my spirit is anxious to know the dream….The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, “My decision is firm: if you do not make known the dream to me, and its interpretation, you shall be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made an ash heap.”Daniel 2:3, 5
NOTE: The kings mind had been impressed but he could not recall the dream.
3. How was the pretended knowledge of the wise men of Babylon exposed?
1. First, God gave Nebuchadnezzar a dream.
2. Second, the king forgot the details of the dream, yet retained a vivid impression of it.
3. Third, the king demanded of the wise men of Babylon not only an interpretation, but a revelation of the dream itself. Daniel 2:2-5
4. What was the reaction of the wisemen of Babylon to Nebuchadnezzar’s demands and what truth did they admit?
“The Chaldeans answered the king, and said, There is not a man on earth who can tell the king’s matter; therefore no king, lord, or ruler has ever asked such things of any magician, astrologer,or Chaldean. It is a difficult thing that the king requests, and there is no other who can tell it to the king except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.” Daniel 2:10, 11
5. By whom was the dream and its interpretation made known to the king?NOTE: Daniel was a young man. What an opportunity to witness for the true God! God showed Daniel the identical vision He had given to Nebuchadnezzar. Centuries before God had taught the Egyptian senators by the mouth of Joseph, a boy no older than Daniel. Read Psalm 105:11-22. And as Daniel stood before the king amid many of his teachers the words of David in Psalm 119:98-100 were exemplified.
6. To whom did Daniel give credit for the revelation of the dream and the interpretation?
“But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days. Your dream,and the visions of your head upon your bed, were these.” Daniel2:28
7. What was the purpose of the dream?
“As for you, O king, thoughts came to your mind while on your bed, about what would come to pass after this; and He who reveals secrets has made known to you what will be.” Daniel 2:29
8. Of what materials were the image made?
“You, O king, were watching; and behold, a great image! This great image, whose splendor was excellent, stood before you; and its form was awesome. This image’s head was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay.” Daniel 2:31-33
9. What was represented by the head of Gold?
“You, O king, are a king of kings. For the God of heaven has given you a kingdom,power, strength, and glory; and wherever the children of men dwell,or the beasts of the field and the birds of the heaven, He has given them into your hand, and has made you ruler over them all—you are this head of gold.”Daniel 2:37, 38
NOTE: Babylon had been erected in defiance of God. Read Genesis 11:1-9. Its government was an absolute monarchy; a man sat on the throne. Tyranny ruled instead of love. No power was tolerated above the king. There was union of church and state.
Babylon was about10 miles in circumference. The inner city was surrounded by double walls. The inner wall was about twelve feet thick and the outer wall was about twenty-two feet. The outer fortifications also had two walls twenty-four and twenty-six feet respectively. Every fifty-five yards were towers, 250 in all. The excavations provide no evidence relative to the height of Babylon’s walls. Only stumps remain and the highest is not more than forty feet. Babylon was founded by Nimrod many centuries before Christ, it became a might world empire626 years before Christ, and was overthrown by the Medes and Persians under Cyrus in 539 B.C.
10. How was the second universal kingdom represented in the image?
“But after you shall arise another kingdom inferior to yours; then another, a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth.” Daniel 2:39
NOTE: The chest and arms of silver represented the Medes and the Persians which conquered Babylon in 539 B.C. This power reigned for 208 years but her power was broken by Alexander the Great at the Battle of Arbelain the year 331 B.C.
11. How was the third world power represented in the image?
“Then another, a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth.” Daniel 2:39, last part
NOTE: Grecia followed Medo-Persia as a world power. This empire ruled for 163years from 331 B.C. to 168 B.C.
12. How was the fourth universal kingdom pictured?
“And the fourth kingdom shall be as strong as iron, inasmuch as iron breaks in pieces and shatters everything; and like iron that crushes,that kingdom will break in pieces and crush all the others.” Daniel 2:40
NOTE: Read Daniel 2:41, 42. Here it indicates the Roman Empire was to be divided. Gibbon in his Declineand Fall of the Roman Empire names these divisions of the Roman Empire: the Visigoths, Burgundians, Suevi, Vandals, Ostrogoths, Heruli, Franks, Saxons, Lombards and Alemanni. Seven of these became the basis of the modern nations of Western Europe. The Heruli, Vandals and Ostrogoths were completely rooted up by the little horn power on Daniel 7. This will be explained more in the next study.
13. Will there be another united Europe as a world power like the Roman Empire? Can the European nations be untied permanently under one head?
“As you saw iron mixed with ceramic clay, they will mingle with the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay.” Daniel 2:43.
NOTE:There have been many attempts to unite Europe. Men have tried to bring about another world power. Such rulers as Charlemagne, Charles V, Louis XIV, Napoleon, Kaiser Wilhelm and Hitler all tried only to fail. “ They shall not cleave one to another.”
14. Whose kingdom is destined to be victorious?
“And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. Inasmuch as you saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold—the great God has made known to the king what will come to pass after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation is sure.” Daniel2:44, 45
NOTE: What is the meaning of the stone in this vision? This stone which smites the image on the feet represents the establishment of Christ’s kingdom. We are living in the days of the nations of Europe represented by the feet and toes of the great image. Christ’s kingdom will soon be a reality. “Thy kingdom come,” is about to be fulfilled.
Nebuchadnezzar recognised that what Daniel told him was the dream he had forgotten and which had troubled him. He fell on his face and said, “Truly your God is the God of gods, the Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, since you could reveal this secret.” Daniel 2:47.
Remember,“The dream is certain, and its interpretation is sure.” We haven early reached the end of human history. To be a part of Christ’s everlasting kingdom a person must Christ in his heart. Jesus said,“Unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”John 3:3, last part. Let’s plan now to be a part of God’s eternal kingdom.