And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, wherewith his spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake from him. Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the astrologers, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, for to shew the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king.
And the king said unto them, I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit was troubled to know the dream.
Then spake the Chaldeans to the king in Syriack, O king, live for ever: tell thy servants the dream, and we will shew the interpretation.
The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, The thing is gone from me: if ye will not make known unto me the dream, with the interpretation thereof, ye shall be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made a dunghill. But if ye shew the dream, and the interpretation thereof, ye shall receive of me gifts and rewards and great honour: therefore shew me the dream, and the interpretation thereof.
They answered again and said, Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will shew the interpretation of it.
The king answered and said, I know of certainty that ye would gain the time, because ye see the thing is gone from me. But if ye will not make known unto me the dream, there is but one decree for you: for ye have prepared lying and corrupt words to speak before me, till the time be changed: therefore tell me the dream, and I shall know that ye can shew me the interpretation thereof.
The Chaldeans answered before the king, and said, There is not a man upon the earth that can shew the king’s matter: therefore there is no king, lord, nor ruler, that asked such things at any magician, or astrologer, or Chaldean. And it is a rare thing that the king requireth, and there is none other that can shew it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.
For this cause the king was angry and very furious, and commanded to destroy all the wise men of Babylon. And the decree went forth that the wise men should be slain; and they sought Daniel and his fellows to be slain.
Then Daniel answered with counsel and wisdom to Arioch the captain of the king’s guard, which was gone forth to slay the wise men of Babylon: He answered and said to Arioch the king’s captain, Why is the decree so hasty from the king? Then Arioch made the thing known to Daniel. Then Daniel went in, and desired of the king that he would give him time, and that he would shew the king the interpretation.
Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions: That they would desire mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret; that Daniel and his fellows should not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.
Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven. Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding: He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him. I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast made known unto me now what we desired of thee: for thou hast now made known unto us the king’s matter.
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.
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. 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?
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; 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; 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.
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.
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. This image’s head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. 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. 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.
This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king. Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory. 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. And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth.
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. 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. 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. 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.
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. 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.
Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and worshipped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odours unto him. 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.
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. 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.
Have you ever had a dream so powerful that you couldn’t stop thinking about it when you awoke, even though you couldn’t remember anything about it? I’ve had times like that, not remembering a dream, but the ‘feeling’ lasting for the whole day, knowing it was something worth trying to recall, but the more I tried, the farther away it seemed. I can’t imagine having that kind of dream that would affect me the way Nebuchadnezzar dreams effected him.
“his spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake from him” This makes me think of King Saul after he had sinned against the Lord, but he had David to play soft music and comfort him while he slept. No such luck of lullabies for Nebuchadnezzar. This was something significant and he knew it. So much that he needed honest answers. But what man can tell another of his dream? Which is why even under the threat of death and destruction to the seers and astrologers, they honestly said they couldn’t do it.
Daniel must have been a little blindsided when he was informed of the King’s decree. That he was also included with the senior wise men of the King’s council, shows that Daniel had already proven himself to be considered a ‘wise man’. He clearly had a level head in his request of Nebuchadnezzar, but he also trusted God that He would make things clear. He and his friends prayed for mercies of the God of heaven, and when the answer came to Daniel in a night vision, he prayed reverently praising God. When he returns to tell Nebuchadnezzar of the interpretation, he glorifies the Lord who had given it to him, that the King might “know the interpretation and that you may understand what went through your mind.”
And here we come to the first prophecy of the Book of Daniel, which for us today is mostly History as we know the first parts of the statue consisted of Babylon, represented by the gold head, Media/Persia represented by the silver, Greece by the bronze, and Roman by the Iron legs.
I’d like to include a note here now, and a reminder that I’m not a prophet or predicting anything, because all the things that are yet to happen are mostly conjecture based on what Scriptures tell us. While there are many theologians and experts who understand the prophecies by serious years long studying, there is so much information out there that it’s hard to decipher it all. Among the varied prophecy ‘sides’ most are split between differing opinions on geo/political events and on timelines for things such as the rapture of the church, timing of the Antichrist and the seven years tribulation.
I can’t even begin to guess the prophecies which haven’t happened yet, and dare not make a definite argument for one thing or another. I can only talk about things that I’ve learned over the years that seem possible, but am not saying likely- because I don’t know. Yes, I can see the times, and ‘read’ the signs. Things are definitely speeding up and intensifying, but I can’t and won’t make any concrete predictions on what we’ll be looking at throughout the Book of Daniel.
Years ago when I was a little more bold about talking about prophecies, I had been reading more about the possible Islamic connections rather than the western based revived Roman Empire ideas of the final kingdom of Nebuchadnezzar’s vision, and the coming Antichrist. I’ve mentioned before that the Islamic Imam Mahdi, or 12th Imam from the Shia Muslims is described very much in a way that the Antichrist of Scriptures is described. For more on that there’s a very interesting video from John MacArthur which goes farther into this. Its almost an hour long, but really worth listening to. I’ll include this at the end of this post.
So back to the idea that the final empire described in this portion of Daniel… Could it be that is will be a revived Ottoman Empire? When comparing maps of the different territories held by the Romans vs those held at the height of the Ottoman Empire, the similarities were striking, except for the fact that the Ottoman Empire was larger and encompassed the lands which once were ruled by the Babylonians and Persians, which folks know are now- Iraq and Iran.
There were 4 main Caliphates during the time of the Ottoman Empire and all the areas conquered lasted under the Ottoman rule from 622 to 1924 when it was finally divided by the British after the First World War.
Back to Daniel~ verse 40 tells us that the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron and yet as iron that break the others, shall it break in pieces and bruise. Verse 41 tells us that the feet and toes, part clay, and part iron, will be divided; yet still strong as iron, and as Verse 42 says, the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken which we have seen since the 1920s.
Which brings us to the last, revived empire, in Verse 43, iron mixed with 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”, which describes the division between the Sunni and Shia sects of Islam. It also mirrors what we see today in much of Europe, and the west, with Muslims living in non muslim countries, yet not intigrating or following those countries’ traditions. They are mingling but not cleaving to society.
Whichever ends up being that final kingdom of man, which will bring about the Antichrist and the final days, the next part of Daniel’s explanation should be what Christians keep our eyes on…. “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.” Amen!
God is and always has been in control- over kings and kingdoms, over all human institutions and some day we will live under His Supreme and Righteous Kingdom. We might not know exactly how prophecies of the future will be, but we do know it will be.
People are hungry for justice and truth, but unfortunately so many are either unaware or don’t care, or don’t believe in the Only One who can and will reign with perfect Justice and Truth. Personally I can’t wait for that day, but I pray that many more who are deceived by the promises of this world’s version of justice will come to know Jesus and put their trust in Him now for their salvation.
There is so much more that could be said, but this has been long enough already. Thank you folks for sticking with it 🙂
Have a blessed, safe and beautiful day all.