Daniel and his three friend's Hananiah, Azariah and Mishael had been taken from their
families and from their homes and thrust into a foreign culture. Their captors were
skimming the cream from the Jewish people seeking those that could be of service to
the King. The chief official gave the boys new names: to Daniel, the name
Belteshazzar; to Hananiah Shadrach; to Mishael Mescach; and to Azariah, Abednego.
The young men were given wisdom by God, so that they found favor with the King and
were found wiser than all the magicians and enchanters in Babylon. They had relied
on God (Daniel 1:8 - 16), and He had blessed them.
King Nebuchadnezzar had many astrologers, magicians, enchanters and sorcerers. He
had relied on their advice and had become suspicious of them. He had a dream that
troubled him and he wanted to be sure that he would not be misled by a lying
magician, so he conceived a test to see if his "wise" men were able to do what seemed
Nebuchadnezzar's Dream of an Enourmous Statue
The King told the astrologers, magicians, enchanters and sorcerers, that they had to
first tell what the king had dreamed, then interpret it!
What the king had demanded was impossible. The astrologers, magicians, enchanters
and sorcerers appealed to the king that no man was able to read his mind and that only
the gods could do this, but they did not live with men. This so angered the king that he
determined to execute all the wise men in Babylon!
Word came to Daniel and his friends that they along with all wise men of Babylon
would be put to death. These young men were not wise by their own understanding.
They were wise, because God had given them wisdom. In this impossible situation,
they had someone to turn to. They turned to the God of their fathers, to the God of all
creation (Daniel 2:17 - 18). Daniel and his friends honored God, and gave Him thanks
for the miraculous revelation He had provided to save them (Daniel 2:19 - 23).
Daniel and his friends told the King his dream:
Daniel 2:27-35 (New International Version)
27 Daniel replied, "No wise man, enchanter, magician or diviner can
explain to the king the mystery he has asked about, 28 but there is a God in
heaven who reveals mysteries. He has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what
will happen in days to come. Your dream and the visions that passed through
your mind as you lay on your bed are these:
29 "As you were lying there, O king, your mind turned to things to come, and
the revealer of mysteries showed you what is going to happen. 30 As for me,
this mystery has been revealed to me, not because I have greater wisdom than
other living men, but so that you, O king, may know the interpretation and that
you may understand what went through your mind.
God made it possible for Daniel to do what was impossible, to read the king's mind.
God also gave them the interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar's prophetic dream:
Daniel 2:36-47 (New International Version)
36 "This was the dream, and now we will interpret it to the king. 37 You, O king,
are the king of kings. The God of heaven has given you dominion and power and
might and glory; 38 in your hands he has placed mankind and the beasts of the field
and the birds of the air. Wherever they live, he has made you ruler over them all.
You are that head of gold.
39 "After you, another kingdom will rise, inferior to yours. Next, a third kingdom,
one of bronze, will rule over the whole earth. 40 Finally, there will be a fourth
kingdom, strong as iron-for iron breaks and smashes everything-and as iron breaks
things to pieces, so it will crush and break all the others. 41 Just as you saw that the
feet and toes were partly of baked clay and partly of iron, so this will be a divided
kingdom; yet it will have some of the strength of iron in it, even as you saw iron
mixed with clay. 42 As the toes were partly iron and partly clay, so this kingdom
will be partly strong and partly brittle. 43 And just as you saw the iron mixed with
baked clay, so the people will be a mixture and will not remain united, any more
than iron mixes with clay.
44 "In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will
never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those
kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever. 45 This is the
meaning of the vision of the rock cut out of a mountain, but not by human hands-a
rock that broke the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold to pieces.
"The great God has shown the king what will take place in the future. The dream is
true and the interpretation is trustworthy."
46 Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell prostrate before Daniel and paid him honor and
ordered that an offering and incense be presented to him. 47 The king said to
Daniel, "Surely your God is the God of gods and the Lord of kings and a revealer of
mysteries, for you were able to reveal this mystery."
The prophetic vision that God gave Nebuchadnezzar tells of kingdoms that would rise and fall
on the Earth. As the scripture tells us, the head of gold symbolized the Babylonian kingdom. The
second kingdom, that represented by the silver shoulders and arms, is the Medo-Persian empire.
The empire of the Greeks is portrayed by the belly and thighs of bronze, while the iron legs
represent the Roman Empire. When Roman centralized government collapsed, the nations of
Europe emerged from its ashes. The mixed peoples and mixed strength with weakness represent
a coalition of European nathions. Finaly, the "Rock" cut out, but not by human hands represents
the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ. His kingdom will never end, and will fill the whole Earth.
Nebuchadnezzar was amazed at what had been revealed! Let us like the king humble ourselves
before the King of kings and the Lord of kings. There is none like Him. He is the only Living
God, and the Bible is His revelation of Himself to mankind!
The claims in the Bible are trustworthy and true.
No other book can do what the Bible does:
the Bible foretells the future without error.
31 "You looked, O king, and there before you stood a
large statue-an enormous, dazzling statue, awesome in
appearance. 32 The head of the statue was made of pure
gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of
bronze, 33 its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and
partly of baked clay. 34 While you were watching, a
rock was cut out, but not by human hands. It struck the
statue on its feet of iron and clay and smashed them. 35
Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the
gold were broken to pieces at the same time and became
like chaff on a threshing floor in the summer. The wind
swept them away without leaving a trace. But the rock
that struck the statue became a huge mountain and filled
the whole earth.