1. When Daniel came before the king, did he want recognition for himself for his ability to interpret the king’s dream?
No, he gave credit to God: “(24) Therefore Daniel went in unto Arioch, whom the king had ordained to destroy the wise men of Babylon: he went and said thus unto him; Destroy not the wise men of Babylon: bring me in before the king, and I will shew unto the king the interpretation. (25) Then Arioch brought in Daniel before the king in haste, and said thus unto him, I have found a man of the captives of Judah, that will make known unto the king the interpretation. (26) The king answered and said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, Art thou able to make known unto me the dream which I have seen, and the interpretation thereof? (27) Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, shew unto the king; (28) But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these; (29) As for thee, O king, thy thoughts came into thy mind upon thy bed, what should come to pass hereafter: and he that revealeth secrets maketh known to thee what shall come to pass. (30) But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living, but for their sakes that shall make known the interpretation to the king, and that thou mightest know the thoughts of thy heart” (Daniel 2:24-30).
- Daniel had previously requested time to keep the death of the wise men from happening due to their inability (Daniel 2:14-18).
- Then Daniel gets the opportunity, as a prophet of God, to come before the king to speak (Psalms 119:146 and Proverbs 22:29).
- While we should know this, still, it is made clear that Judah is still in captivity. We should know this because of our previous studies (II Chronicles 36:17-23, Jeremiah 25:1-12, and Jeremiah 29:1-16).
- Daniel’s point was that man could not reveal this dream, but God could (Genesis 41:16, Psalms 44:21, and Isaiah 46:9-10).
- God enabled Daniel to understand visions and dreams (Daniel 1:17; cf. Hosea 12:10).
- God knew Nebuchadnezzar’s thoughts (Psalms 139:1-2 and Luke 6:6-11) and could declare them (Amos 4:13).
- Daniel makes it clear that this secret was not revealed to him because of his own wisdom. He is sure to give credit where credit is due (Psalms 22:23, Matthew 5:14-16, Acts 12:20-24, and I Corinthians 10:31).
2. What image did the king see?
A scary image of gold, silver, brass, iron, and clay: “(31) Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible. (32) This image's head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, (33) His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. (34) Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces” (Daniel 2:31-34).
- This image that appeared before scared him (Daniel 2:4-5).
- This image has a gold head, silver chest and arms, belly and thighs of brass, and feet of iron and clay. This things will represent separated things going forward.
- Meanings weren’t always clear even when godly men had visions (Acts 10:9-18 and II Corinthians 12:1-3).
3. What happened, in this dream, when a stone smote the image?
It broke into pieces and become like chaff the wind carried away: “Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth” (Daniel 2:35).
- The imagery of chaff carried away brings one’s mind to the fact that this image is not something righteous (Psalms 1:4-5, Psalms 35:1-5, Hosea 13:1-3, and Luke 3:17).
4. Who gave Nebuchadnezzar a kingdom, power, strength, and glory?
God: “(36) This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king. (37) Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory” (Daniel 2:36-37).
- Nebuchadnezzar was called “a king of kings” by Daniel here as he was before by Ezekiel (Ezekiel 26:7).
- This was not a unique designation (Ezra 7:12).
- Christ is THE King of kings (I Timothy 6:14-15).
- At this time, where God was directly involved in things, He chose who had authority (Daniel 4:25). He had declared Nebuchadnezzar as his choice (Jeremiah 27:1-8).
- What Nebuchadnezzar had done was by the will of God (I Chronicles 6:15).
5. How many kingdoms were represented in the image Nebuchadnezzar saw in his dream?
Four kingdoms, with Nebuchadnezzar’s being the first: “(38) And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold. (39) And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth.
(40) And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise” (Daniel 2:38-40).
- God gave Nebuchadnezzar authority over man and beast (Jeremiah 28:14).
- Nebuchadnezzar, Babylon, represented the head of gold and thus his kingdom was the first. Then an inferior kingdom arose which was the Medeo-Persion empire. That is consistent with prophesy (Isaiah 13:1-19 and Isaiah 44:21-45:5) and reality (Daniel 11:1-2).
- Historians say the Babylonian Empire ended @ 550 BC when Cyrus invaded (http://www.historyworld.net/wrldhis/PlainTextHistories.asp?historyid=aa10). This is consistent with the Scriptures (II Chronicles 36:17-23 and Ezra 1:1-8). Then history says came along Greece and then the Roman Empire. This fourth kingdom was strong. History says the Roman Empire began in 27 BC and ended 410-476 (http://www.ushistory.org/civ/6f.asp). These dates matter going forward.
6. In the days of which kingdom did Daniel prophesy the establishment of God’s eternal kingdom?
In the days of the fourth kingdom: “(40) And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise. (41) And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters' clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. (42) And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. (43) And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. (44) And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. (45) Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure” (Daniel 2:40-45).
- The spread of the Roman Empire and it’s consumption of other nations is well-documented in world history accounts (https://www.britannica.com/place/ancient-Rome). The Empire was large and was divided up as it grew through conquering of Empires (https://www.ancient.eu/Western_Roman_Empire/).
- In the days of the Roman Empire (see notes on question 5), God was going to set up an everlasting kingdom. Thus, in the period of time between 27 BC and by the end of the fifth century, God would establish His kingdom.
- When you take all of this and combine it with other prophesies (Isaiah 2:1-3, Joel 2:18-32, and Micah 4:1-2), you can clearly see the establishment of the eternal, spiritual kingdom in the first century (Luke 9:27, Acts 2:1-47, Colossians 1:12-13, Hebrews 12:22-28, and Revelation 1:9).
- It is not an earthly kingdom as some were looking for (Luke 17:21 and John 18:36).
- The dream is certain and the interpretation was true (Proverbs 19:21, Isaiah 46:10, and Matthew 24:35).
- It was not Daniel’s interpretation (II Peter 1:20-21).
7. What happened with Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego after Daniel showed Nebuchadnezzar his dream and the interpretation of it?
They were exalted in the kingdom: “(46) Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and worshipped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odours unto him. (47) The king answered unto Daniel, and said, Of a truth it is, that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou couldest reveal this secret. (48) Then the king made Daniel a great man, and gave him many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief of the governors over all the wise men of Babylon. (49) Then Daniel requested of the king, and he set Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, over the affairs of the province of Babylon: but Daniel sat in the gate of the king” (Daniel 2:46-49).
- As happened with Joseph by even his brethren (Genesis 50:18), Nebuchadnezzar fell down before Daniel.
- The term translated “worshipped” here only appears in the book of Daniel. It was originally written in Aramaic. I have doubts that this is the best translation. When men worshipped God’s prophets in other occasions, such was not received by the man of God (Acts 10:25-26 and Acts 14:8-18). Even angels refused to be worshipped (Revelation 19:6-10 and Revelation 22:8-9).
- Then again, they brought things of offering before him which should be offered to God (Ezra 6:10).
- Maybe Daniel corrected them. Maybe the word is not rightly translated in this case. Maybe it is correct, but was some customary reaction. Beats me.
- God was glorified (Deuteronomy 10:17) and He who reveals (Amos 3:7).
- Daniel was made a great man in the kingdom as we have seen before in the life of Joseph (Genesis 41:39-43).
- Daniel then used his positioning to help his brethren (Proverbs 14:35).
© 2020 This study was prepared for a Bible class with the Sunrise Acres church of Christ in El Paso, TX by Brian A. Yeager.