There are many visions in the book of Daniel but there are four important ones that has to do with the great controversy: the struggle between the struggles of good and evil: God and the devil called Satan. The earth became his battle ground for the devil (Luke 10:18) and man, if not for the love of God would have fallen victim of the devil’s snares. The devil’s plan has always been to destroy God’s people but God has done a lot by sending His only begotten Son to die, rescue and save us from damnation.
The first vision (Dan 2) of the book deals with the political changes that will occur on our planet from Daniels time to the second coming of Jesus Christ. Daniel I deals with this vision and its interpretation and will be subdivided for the purpose of this presentation into two sections namely:
The Hebrew Boys
The second vision is to reinforce the first vision but looking at the experience God’s people will pass through as these political actors of the first vision achieve their earthly ambitions. This vision throws more light on the victory of God’s people during this period (Dan chapter 7).
The third vision supplements the first and the second visions. In the third vision Satan the devil lays out his strategy to destroy the religion of God’s people. The devil’s plan is to poison the head of the stream knowing that once this is done the source of power of the human race is gone for ever.
Vision number four amplifies visions two and three which is the experiences of the children of God and links these visions of Daniel to the events of the ‘End Time’. This fourth vision links up the book of Daniel and the visions of John in the book of Revelation (Dan 12:4)
The book Daniel in the bible was named after the author Daniel (the following bible passages confirm he is the author: Daniel 7:1,28; 8:2; 9:2;10:1,2 ;12:4,5.) Jesus Christ authenticates this book. (Matt 24:15) about five hundred years afterwards.
THE MAN DANIEL
The name Daniel means “God is my Judge” which is known to be the name of David’s second son by Abigail.(1 Chron 3:1). Daniel was a prophet who lived his life all through captivity of the nation of Israel by the Babylonians. The year was 605 B.C. the Babylonian empire was in charge and controlled the world that existed then. Daniel and his friends were the first set of Jewish captives to be in Babylon probably because Daniel is of a royal blood related to king Zedekiah.
At the time Judah went into captivity Daniel was a very young man and there were other contemporary prophets though not in the same location. These prophets were Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Habakkuk, Zephaniah. This is an excerpt on Daniel:
First of all Daniel presents brief information concerning the reason for his being found in the public service of the Babylonian king (ch. 1). Having been taken to Babylon in the first captivity in 605 B.C., during the course of Nebuchadnezzar’s first Syrian campaign, Daniel and other princes of royal blood were chosen to be trained for government service. The initial 19 years of Daniel’s stay in Babylonia were the last years of Judah’s existence as a kingdom, albeit subject to Babylon. The futile anti-Babylonian policies of Judah’s last kings brought one catastrophe after another upon the Jewish nation. King Jehoiakim, during whose reign Daniel had gone into captivity, remained loyal to Babylon for a few years. Eventually, however, he acceded to the policy of the pro-Egyptian party in Judah, and rebelled. As a result the country suffered military invasions,
its citizens lost their liberty and were taken into captivity, and the king lost his life. His son and successor, Jehoiachin, after a brief reign of only three months, saw the armies of Babylon return to mete out punishment for disloyalty. He, together with thousands of the upper-class citizens of Judah, went into captivity in 597 B.C. His successor, Zedekiah, apparently attempted to remain loyal to Babylon. However, being weak and vacillating, he could not long withstand the overtures of Egypt and the anti-Babylonian sentiment of his chief advisers. As a result Nebuchadnezzar, weary of the repeated revolts in Palestine, decided to put an end to the kingdom of Judah. For two and a half years the Babylonian armies ravaged Judah, took and destroyed the cities, including Jerusalem, with its Temple and its palaces, and led the majority of the inhabitants of Judah into captivity in 586 B.C. Daniel was in Babylon during these eventful days. He must have seen the Babylonian armies depart for their several campaigns against his homeland, and witnessed their victorious returns and the arrival of captured Jews. Among the captives were the young king Jehoiachin with his family (2 Kings 24:10–16), and later the blinded king Zedekiah (2 Kings 25:7). During these years Daniel must also have been aware of the political agitation that was going on among the exiled Jews, which resulted in Nebuchadnezzar’s burning to death some of the chief instigators. It was this agitation that caused Jeremiah to send a letter to his captured compatriots urging them to lead a quiet and peaceful life in Babylonia (Jer. 29). During all these years Daniel and his three friends quietly and loyally performed their duties as royal officers and subjects of the realm. After their scholarly training they became members of the elite group called wise men, who served the king as advisers. It was then that Daniel had the unique opportunity of explaining to Nebuchadnezzar the dream of future empires (Dan. 2). As a result Daniel was appointed to a position of exceptionally high rank, which he seems to have held for many years. This office gave him the opportunity of acquainting the king with the power of the God of heaven and earth, whom Daniel and his friends served. How long Daniel retained this position is not known. He seems to have lost it before 570 B.C., since his name is not found in a contemporary “Court and State Almanac,” written in cuneiform, which lists the chief officers of Nebuchadnezzar’s government holding office at that time. No other court and state almanacs for the reign of Nebuchadnezzar are extant. In fact, Daniel is not mentioned in any contemporary non-Biblical source.
-The Seventh Day Adventist Bible Commentary pp 3462-3463
King Zedekiah (also known as king Mattaniah) who reigned the divided southern kingdom of Israel - Judah from 597-586 B.C. As at the time of king Zedekiah’s reign of the kingdom of Judah, the northern kingdom Israel was out of existence 120 years earlier. The last recorded king of Israel was Hoshea. (732-722 B.C). King Zedekiah was the last territorial king of Judah under the siege of Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar. He rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar and was crushed as opposed by the prophecy of the Lord through Jeremiah to surrender to Babylon unlike Jehoiakim his predecessor.
Jehoiakim was the king mentioned in the bible text of Daniel 1:1. Also known as Eliakim reigned from 609-598 B.C. Before him was king Jehoahaz (2 kings 23:30-34 & 2 Chron 36:1-4) who reigned for only 3 months in Judah (caution: not king Jehoahaz the son of Jehu mentioned in chapters 10 and mostly 13 of 2 kings for this king Jehoahaz was the king in the northern kingdom of Israel after the division). Note that kings are allowed to be on throne by the invading king or emperor to maintain stability in the region they are taking over especially where the invaded king pledges allegiance to the invading king. Reading the bible text you will see that Jehoiakim was king in Judah for eleven years but had to be king of Judah under Nebuchadnezzar’s captivity for the rest of the 8 years. Babylon besieged Jerusalem at the third year reign of Jehoiakim.
God is about to reveal to His people events that will take place in the future which our present time. These events if you are reading these will change your life forever. He passed on these information some 2,500 years earlier but the prophets He used humbly did so without actually understanding to whom these implied. “And I heard, but I understood not:...” says prophet Daniel (Daniel 12:8). Revelations on last day events focused on future events, are usually strange and hard to comprehend. In Daniels quest of the last day events said “… O my Lord, what [shall be] the end of these [things]?” (Dan 12:8)
Could you imagine what the response was? Probably Daniel hoped for a date within his time frame where he could afford to wait patiently for these prophecies to come to fruition…and Michael (Jesus Christ) surprisingly gave him a shocking response “… Go thy way, Daniel: for the words [are] closed up and sealed till the time of the end.” (Dan 12:9) One might wonder why God will give visions of events for generations hundreds of years ahead? When is this end of time? Twenty five hundred or two thousand five hundred years gone and the end is not yet here? Which period of time is marked as the end of time? These questions and many more will be answered as we go through the tours of events both present, past and future. As you read these you will need to mark your bible and if you have none, you will need to buy one. You have no money to buy one then you need to contact us for a Free Bible. Just go to contact and reach us.
DANIEL CHAPTER ONE
THE HEBREW BOYS
Chapter one of Daniel introduces the Hebrew boys who were the light bearers of the what God wants His creatures to be. Let us have a look at the description of want these young lads are from Nebuchadnezzar’s view. The king made a smart request. This request is found in Daniel 1:3&4. He spoke to the chief eunuch asking him to select “certain” (KJV) of the Jewish boys ( verse 3). Could we for one minute be attentive to the criteria for selecting these boys:
“ …of the kings seeds and of the princes”
and the king continues as reported by verse four:
2. “ children in whom was no blemish,
3. “…but well favoured,..”
4. “…and skillful in all wisdom,…”
5. “..and cunning in knowledge…”
6. “…understanding science…”
Six good points made by the king for which Daniel and his friends were very eligible.
They were selected among other Jews to stand before the king in the king’s palace. The fascinating thing is that when God is on your side all that happens around you is in your favor (Romans 8:28) even when they do not appear to be pleasant to us.
This is not the first time we are e such thing in the bible about the Hebrews. May we look at Exodus chapter one for a similar experience. Once upon a time about 1200 years before Daniel’s time, the Jews were in captivity in Egypt after Jacob with Joseph moved eastwards to Egypt as a result of the Famine in Palestine. There came up a Pharaoh that knew not Joseph (verse 8) and these Jews in Goshen became slaves for 430 years. How come that such a thing happened? The Hebrews were blessed by God and they multiplied. Pharaoh was afraid that if there is an uprising that the Jews may form a coalition army with their enemies and fight Egypt. Xenophobia kicked in. He came up with an Idea of eliminating the Jews. He instructed the midwives to kill every Hebrew male child. The midwives did not carry out this order but came up with a wise response when they were summoned by Pharaoh. The bible tells us what the midwives said to Pharaoh “…because the Hebrew women [are] not as the Egyptian women; for they [are] lively, and are delivered ere the midwives come in unto them.” (Exodus 1:19). God blessed the Egyptian midwives for their smart decision. One who is a child of God is endowed with special blessings. A child of God is always exceptional in whatever his or her endeavors.
THE HEBREW BOYS AND THEIR NAMES
The names of these Hebrew boys just as many cultures of the world have various meaning.
Hananiah means “ Yahweh is Gracious”
Mishael meaning “ Who belongs to God”
Azariah stands for “Yahweh helps”.
These were the Jewish names of the Hebrew boys we most of the time call Abadnego, Meshach, Shadrach.
THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR:
Do not confuse the names of these two kings:
JEHOIAKIM ≠ JEHOIACHIN
Could you differentiate the two kings? Contact us and get a price by mail. Which of the two was the king when Judah was taken into captivity?
Do not confuse these two individuals with the same name:
ZEDEKIAH son of Chenaanah of 1Kings 22:11& 24 and ZEDEKIAH king of Judah which is Daniel’s relative of 2 kings chapter 24. How can you differentiate one from the other?
BIBLE TEXT OF DANIEL CHAPTER 1 ( KING JAMES VERSION -KJV)
1:1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it.
1:2 And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God: which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god.
1:3 And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring [certain] of the children of Israel, and of the king's seed, and of the princes;
1:4 Children in whom [was] no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as [had] ability in them to stand in the king's palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans.
1:5 And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king's meat, and of the wine which he drank: so nourishing them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king.
1:6 Now among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah:
1:7 Unto whom the prince of the eunuchs gave names: for he gave unto Daniel [the name] of Belteshazzar; and to Hananiah, of Shadrach; and to Mishael, of Meshach; and to Azariah, of Abednego.
1:8 But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.
1:9 Now God had brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs.
1:10 And the prince of the eunuchs said unto Daniel, I fear my lord the king, who hath appointed your meat and your drink: for why should he see your faces worse liking than the children which [are] of your sort? then shall ye make [me] endanger my head to the king.
1:11 Then said Daniel to Melzar, whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah,
1:12 Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink.
1:13 Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the king's meat: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants.
1:14 So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days.
1:15 And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king's meat.
1:16 Thus Melzar took away the portion of their meat, and the wine that they should drink; and gave them pulse.
1:17 As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.
1:18 Now at the end of the days that the king had said he should bring them in, then the prince of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar.
1:19 And the king communed with them; and among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: therefore stood they before the king.
1:20 And in all matters of wisdom [and] understanding, that the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians [and] astrologers that [were] in all his realm.
1:21 And Daniel continued [even] unto the first year of king Cyrus.
Bible quiz on Daniel chapter one
(1)Daniel 1:1 says “…in the third year of the of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah…” which year is this likely to be…about?
A 612 B.C
B 612 A.D
C 606 B.C
D 817 B.C
E 457 B.C
Questions # 2-5
Match these Hebrew names with the ones given to them by the Chaldeans marked with the roman numerals I-IV
A Daniel I Abadnego
B Hananiah II Meshach
C Mishael III Belteshazzar
D Azariah IV Shadrach
Question # 6
True or False
The Hebrew youths were already different before King Nebuchadnezzar gave them charge over to the Melzar, the prince of the eunuchs?
Question # 7
Which of these empire did king Cyrus governed?
Question # 8
What is the name of the master of the eunuchs?
Question # 9
Fill in the gaps
In Daniel 1:12, Daniel told the prince of the eunuch saying “Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, _______days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink.
Question # 10
For how long did the King nourish the children of Israel that were captured into captivity before they appeared before him?
(A) Seven years
(B) Five years
(C) Three years
(D) Eleven years
(E) Ten years
DANIEL CHAPTER TWO
THE DREAMS AND VISIONS
BIBLE TEXT OF DANIEL CHAPTER 2 ( KING JAMES VERSION -KJV)
2:1 And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, wherewith his spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake from him.
2:2 Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the astrologers, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, for to show the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king.
2:3 And the king said unto them, I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit was troubled to know the dream.
2:4 Then spake the Chaldeans to the king in Syriack, O king, live for ever: tell thy servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation.
2:5 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.
2:6 But if ye show the dream, and the interpretation thereof, ye shall receive of me gifts and rewards and great honour: therefore show me the dream, and the interpretation thereof.
2:7 They answered again and said, Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation of it.
2:8 The king answered and said, I know of certainty that ye would gain the time, because ye see the thing is gone from me.
2:9 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 show me the interpretation thereof.
2:10 The Chaldeans answered before the king, and said, There is not a man upon the earth that can show the king's matter: therefore [there is] no king, lord, nor ruler, [that] asked such things at any magician, or astrologer, or Chaldean.
2:11 And [it is] a rare thing that the king requireth, and there is none other that can show it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.
2:12 For this cause the king was angry and very furious, and commanded to destroy all the wise [men] of Babylon.
2:13 And the decree went forth that the wise [men] should be slain; and they sought Daniel and his fellows to be slain.
2:14 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:
2:15 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.
2:16 Then Daniel went in, and desired of the king that he would give him time, and that he would show the king the interpretation.
2:17 Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions:
2:18 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.
2:19 Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.
2:20 Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his:
2:21 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:
2:22 He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what [is] in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him.
2:23 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.
2:24 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 show unto the king the interpretation.
2:25 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.
2:26 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?
2:27 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, show unto the king;
2:28 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;
2:29 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.
2:30 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.
2:31 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.
2:32 This image's head [was] of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass,
2:33 His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay.
2:34 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.
2:35 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 threshing floors; 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.
2:36 This [is] the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king.
2:37 Thou, O king, [art] a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory.
2:38 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.
2:39 And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth.
2:40 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.
2:41 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.
2:42 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.
2:43 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.
2:44 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.
2:45 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.
2:46 Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and worshipped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odours unto him.
2:47 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.
2:48 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.
2:49 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.
Bible quiz on Daniel chapter two
Question # 1
Who among the wise men of Babylon was able to tell king Nebuchadnezzar the dream and the interpretation?
The Hebrew boys
Question # 2
Which one of these puts the kingdoms in order from the head to the toes and feet?
Greece → Babylon → Rome → Medo-Persia → Europe.
Babylon → Medo- Persia → Greece → Rome → Europe.
Europe → Rome → Greece → Medo-Persia → Babylon.
Rome → Babylon → Medo-Persia → Greece → Europe.
True or False for questions #3 to #7
Question # 3
The Chaldeans and Magicians wanted the king to tell them the dreams so that they will make up the interpretations.
Question # 4
Daniel and his friends were among the wise men of Babylon to be killed by the king’s decree.
Question # 5
The rock cut out of mountain without hands represents a kingdom that will last forever, a kingdom without destruction.
Question # 6
As these metals iron, bronze, silver, are inferior to gold so were their moral integrity in the presence of God.
Question # 7
Is it really true as the Chaldeans confessed that there is no man upon the earth that can tell of an unknown dream and its interpretations?
Question # 8
Match the following body parts/ substance (in alphabets) of the image with the kingdoms (in numerals)
Babylon (1) mountain rock
Europe (2) breast and arms of silver
Greece (3) Head of Gold
Rome (4) Belly and thigh of bronze
Medo-Persia (5) Legs of Iron
Kingdom of God (6) feet of Clay and iron
Question # 9
Which names among Daniel’s associates were not favored by the interpretation of the dreams when the king rewarded Daniel?
Question # 10
Why did God take away the dream from King Nebuchadnezzar?
The magicians were not qualified for the job they were hired for.
The dream was only made for the time of the end.
God needed to prove Himself among the heathens.
The king offered unclean animals to Daniel and his friends so God was angry with them.
This section ‘The Visions’ will be broken down into sub-sections
-The Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream
-The Interpretation of the Dream
In this chapter be advised that dates are involved and may not be accurately tied to a particular precise time because events which actually had to do with a change in governments, in empires took a while before it came to complete fruition. An example of this could be the origin of the Babylonian empire: some historians wrote 604 B.C. and in some books one might find 605 or 606 they are all correct in that it took a while for empires and emperors to gain a complete sway of their kingdom.
Another reason for this is that administration in some cases has gone from father to son and at times grandsons and no ceremonies were recorded. A good example being that of Nebuchadnezzar and his father Nabopolassar.
“Nabopolassar, father of Nebuchadnezzar, viceroy of Babylon, threw off Assyrian yoke (625 B.C) and ruled city (625-604 B.C). In 609 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar was placed at the head of his father’s armies. Invading the western countries, he wrested control of Palestine from Egypt (606 B.C), and took some Jewish captives to Babylon, among them DANIEL. The same year (606 B.C) , he became co-regent with his father and sole ruler (604 B.C)”
-Halley’s Bible Handbook 1962 pg 340 and 341
In the dates where this is the case on our site the word “about” or “around” will be used since we are not going to get ourselves involve in any mathematical or precise scientific calculations.
NEBUCHADNEZZAR, KING OF BABYLON
Nabopolassar, king Nebuchadnezzar’s father ruled Babylon and it’s immediate environment but this was not the case with Nebuchadnezzar himself as he had in mind to expand his empire on being the sole leader of Babylon in 604 B.C, like any good king or emperor. The bigger the empire, the more her resources and wealth. In 606 he made his first catch. A section of Palestine was there in which some Jews were captured including Daniel and his friends. (see article above). He was the king that built the Babylonian empire to her greatest glory and he bragged about.
Talking about dreams, there was one that occurred in B.C. 602 (verse1) that will change man’s perception of God, his relationship with man and history also.
Historical events that will be engraved on man’s hard-earned civilization. This dream occurred in the palace of King Nebuchadnezzar. I do not know, of all those reading this page if there is anyone who has or had never had a dream? We all have dreams but this dream is totally different in that it is a prophetic dream of the future of humanity given to a heathen king who knew absolutely nothing about the God of Daniel – Jehovah.
This dream came about not long after he went to bed and could not sleep for the rest of the night. We may have had dreams that kept us worried all day through as the flashbacks keeps coming through our mind from time to time and even interrupting our daily routine schedule. In the case of the king there were no flashbacks but he was very worried and uncomfortable. He lost the dream, he could not even remember the dream (verse 5), but at least he remembered he had a dream. This is not Amnesia but a situation more serious than that.
It could be a horrible experience for those who worked in the king’s palace that morning and his aids too being by a miserable king. It is not always a pleasant scene. In our present day most of us will never like to go near our boss when he is cranky- keeping out of sight would be a better option.
In the process to finding a solution to his predicament he remembered that the kingdom had “…magicians, and the astrologers, and the sorcerers…” They were all summoned ( verse 2). At this point we will know who is in-charge. God or someone else- Satan.
A lot of preachers and bible scholars says that the devil does not know the future. This is actually true and we are about to witness that here. This is one of the events that will prove that Satan reacts to incidents based on experience over years
Who are these people: magicians, astrologers and sorcerers? Let us get the dictionary definition of these words.
Magic, then magician: Word web dictionary says: magic – “Any art that .
invokes supernatural powers”
Then the dictionary goes on to say- supernaturalism: “A belief in forces
beyond ordinary human understanding”
then a magician is a person who practices all we have seen above.
Astrology, then astrologer. Astrology:” A pseudoscience claiming divination
by the positions of the planets and sun and moon”.
The word “pseudo” means false. Then your conclusion of the word pseudoscience is as good as mine.
The word astrologer is someone who practices the above as described.
Sorcery, then sorcerer. Sorcery: “ The belief in magical spells that harness
occult forces or evil spirits to produce unnatural
effects in the world
look at the word the author of the dictionary used, mind you that these are not my words: “ spell; evil spirit; occult forces; unnatural effects…”. We are not yet done, other words associated with these words sorcery according to the Word Web Dictionary are:
“Satanism, bewitchment, demonism, diabolism,
enchantment, obiism, witchcraft, witchery”.
Then sorcerer is one who practices the above defined word sorcery.
How does God feel about the above defined words?
God said “There shall not be found among you [any one] that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, [or] that useth divination, [or] an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch” (Deuteronomy 18:10)(KJV).
Horoscope and Palm reading seem to belong to this group of divinations which God hates. Children of God beware.
Also see the following bible passages: 2 kings 17:17; Ezekiel 12:24;13:6&7; 21:23; Exodus 22:18.
We all can see why this dream was blocked from Nebuchadnezzar. Things of God are not to be messed around by people who engaged in all these above-mentioned practices. One other point is that spiritual thing are spiritually discerned. (1 Cor 2:14). This is the reason God does not want his children to engage in anything diabolic.
This also explains the reasoning that the devil does not know the future. The devil does not know our future planed by God either. It appears he sees ahead by our actions and what we pronounce by our mouth. He has lived on this planet long enough to read our next action and our mind in order to perpetuate the actions of those who has plans for evil deeds before they happen. Satan only predicts as we humans do, simply based on data and experiences accumulated over time just the way weather reports and data are used in predictions.
The magicians wanted the king to tell them the dream so that they can come up with made up interpretation of the dream, not so fast magicians! The king himself was quite aware of this (verse 8 &9). It appeared they have in the past used such a strategy on either the king or his father.
As they realize that the king could not remember the dream and they are not only faced with the task of interpreting the dream but also to tell the king the dream he himself saw, they issued an official statement which stated “ There is not a man upon the earth that can show 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 show it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.”
What a true confession, no human flesh can tell this dream.”…whose dwelling is not with flesh. This is indeed beyond human capabilities. “God is a spirit…” (John 4:24)
Death penalty to the Chaldeans, magicians, astrologers was the king’s decree. (Dan 2:12)
The news of the king’s decree got late to Daniel and he and his friends were among those to be killed. Daniel immediately had to consult with the Captain of the king’s guard who’s name was Arioch. He narrated the whole incidence to Daniel. (verse 15). An immediate Information was expediated to the king about a man who would be able to tell him the dream and it’s interpretation. All he asked for was a little time.,
Do we ask what Daniel did to obtain this information or could it be a hoax in another form? Probably a greater manipulator than the Chaldeans? No this is not a hoax. Daniels strategy was a real one and a legitimate one. He went back to his house and called his friends, the Hebrew boys- Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah and they all went on their knees to enquire of the Lord of host of the dream (verse18).
These young lads went on their knees to ask God of the secrets of this world. For those who are reading this: Prayer works and works absolutely.
That night, in a vision to Daniel heaven gave a quick response in order to save his life, his friends’ and other wise men of Babylon.
After this vision was given to Daniel, he went into another session of praise prayer. He praised God for the revelation. Thanked Him for the great work He did. Yes, Daniel recognized that only God holds the secrets of this life and He alone knows the end from the beginning.
The following day Daniel with the help of Arioch arrived at the King’s palace and presented himself before the king.
The king might have looked at him and wondered if the young lad showed up in the palace to slow down or change his execution plans.
Immediately Daniel started with a reassuring voice that he had the secrets that the king wanted. “There is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets…”
He says” Thy dream and the visions of thy head upon thy bed are these…”. The king repositions himself on his throne. “thou O King, sawest a great image…”. The king involuntarily stood up in great owe. This is real, he must have imagined. This is the dream. “This great image, whose brightness [was] excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof [was] terrible.” (verse 31). The king quietly slumped back into his seat. Daniel enumerated the image:
Head of gold,
Breast and arms of silver,
Belly and thighs of brass,
Legs of iron,
Feet of partly clay and iron.
“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…” Yes! that is exactly the dream” exclaimed the king.
And Daniel continued
“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 threshing floors; 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.”
INTERPRETATION OF THE DREAM
“Thou, O king, [art] a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory.”
Daniel explains how God placed King Nebuchadnezzar in a wonderful kingdom of Babylon( head of fine gold – verse 32). Gold? Yes, gold. Daniel confirms this in the last sentence of Daniel 2:38 “Thou [art] this head of gold.”
After you shall be another kingdom – silver, and another brass, then another iron that will be very brutal, this last kingdom of iron he called the fourth and feet of iron mixed with clay. This feet of mixed iron and miry clay looks like the next kingdom but was never called the fifth and shall be partly strong and partly week and shall not ‘cleave one to another’ (vs 43). There seem to be a lot of information here.
May we tabulate the facts above.
Part of Image Representing Name of kingdom Characteristics
(1) Head Pure gold Babylon Power; Strength; glory.
(2) Breast and arms Silver Second Inferior to gold
(3) Belly and thighs Brass (bronze) Third Inferior to silver
(4) Leg Iron Fourth Very strong as iron; Break in pieces:
Subdueth all things
(5) Feet Iron + Miry clay - Divided; partly broken partly strong
As Daniel watched, a mountain rock that was not cut out with hands appeared and smashed the great image at the foot destroying the whole image into powder, the stone standing forever.
This is the information supplied to us by Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. Looking at the table above, one notices there are information still missing in table I above. We know of the Babylon, the head of gold. The bible is silent about the names silver, Brass (bronze), and the iron which we know will be the fourth kingdom.
To find the missing puzzles we have to turn to history since the bible has given us clues to unveil the mysteries of the dream. History tells us that at the collapse of the Babylonian empire in 539 B.C., two empire took over. These empires were those of Media and Persia. The Seventh Day Adventist commentary had this to say:
“In 553 or 550 B.C. Cyrus, who had become king of Persia as a vassal of the Median Empire, defeated Astyages of Media. Thus the formerly subordinate Persians became the dominant power in what had been the Median Empire. Since the Persians were the ruling power from the time of Cyrus on, it is now generally referred to as the Persian Empire. But the older prestige of Media was reflected in the phrase “Medes and Persians” applied to the conquerors of Babylon in Daniel’s day and even later (Esther 1:19; etc.). The honorary position of Darius the Mede after the conquest of Babylon demonstrates Cyrus’ deference to the Medes even after he himself wielded the actual power… Years before, under prophetic guidance, the prophet Isaiah had described the work of Cyrus (Isa. 45:1). This conqueror of Media soon defeated the neighboring tribes and ruled from Ararat in the north to southeastern Babylonia and the Persian Gulf in the south. To round out his empire, he defeated the rich Croesus of Lydia in 547 B.C. and took Babylon by strategy in 539 B.C. Cyrus recognized that the Lord had given him all these kingdoms (2 Chron. 36:23; Ezra 1:2).
Historians regard this empire as the Medo-Persia empire. Some commentators believe that even king Cyrus himself was half median and half Persian.
Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible wrote:
“ Cyrus was of half-Persian, half-Median ancestry… The laws and the heritage of the of the Medes were incorporated with those of the Persians( Dan 6:8,15). Medians were entrusted with high office in the administration. The Medes and Persians were referred to in almost synonymous terms…”
-Walter A. Elwell in Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible Vol II pp1426.
We now have the second kingdom on that table to be Medo- Persia controlling the affairs of the world till 331B.C.
The next empire to come into scene after Medo-Persia was the Grecian Empire. Greece came into scene as Alexander the Great was the emperor. This is referred to as Macedonian or Hellenistic Empire. His firm started while he was still a teen. In 333 B.C. he had already defeated the Persian army of Darius III at Issus, captured Alexandria in Egypt and pushed further to the east as far as India. In 331 Persia was in the hands of Alexandrea the Great at the war fought Abela. 60 cities he captured including Susa. This is the third empire of Brass (Bronze). These he achieved at the age of 20 years after the death of his father.
After the Grecian empire which is the third, came the fourth empire which in the dream of Nebuchadnezzar would be as strong as Iron. Rome the brutal, came into scene. This is the fourth world empire establish in 168B.C. There existed no other empire that will be dreadful. This is the empire that will be ruled by the Caesars. It existed from 168 B.C. to 476 A.D.
The Roman empire finally dissolved into what we know today to be Europe.
The mountain rock is the kingdom of God. This is yet to come. Christ is coming soon and His kingdom is going to stand for ever just as the bible foretold us.
May we tabulate the facts both from the bible and history above and update our table.
Part of Image Representing Name of kingdom Characteristics
(1) Head Pure gold Babylon Power; Strength; glory.
(2) Breast and arms Silver Medo-Persian Empire Inferior to gold
(3) Belly and thighs Brass (bronze) Greece (Grecian Empire) Inferior to silver
(4) Leg Iron The Empire of Rome Very strong as iron; Break in pieces:
Subdueth all things
(5) Feet Iron + Miry clay Divided nations of Europe Divided; partly broken partly strong
Compare table I with table II, table II is the complete form of table I giving us more facts on the Nebuchanez's dream.
More details of these kingdoms or empire will be given in Daniel Part II. Daniel Part I dealt with these issues as simple as the dream that was given to Nebuchadnezzar.
This dream is simply concluded in the table you see above. The dream we just studied in the book of Daniel chapter 2 is simplified, probably a preamble of what we are to see. This could be the reason it was given to a heathen king and for those who are not conversant with the word of God could do so in simple steps. God never forces knowledge down our throat. He hands them over little at a time. He is a wise and wonderful God, Merciful and compassionate.
NEXT: DANIEL II is about to reveal a more comprehensive version of the king’s dream in two of Daniel’s vision.
Halley’s Bible Handbook by Zondervan Publishing House 1965 edition.
Rose Book of Bible Charts, Maps & Time Lines 10th anniversary edition
2005 Rose Publishing House.
The Seventh Day Bible Commentary: Ellen G. White commentary on 1 Kings and 2 Kings
Volume II (1953); Ellen G. White Bible commentary on the book of Dan
Volume IV (1955); Ellen G. White Bible commentary on the book revelation
Volume VII (1957)
Word Web Dictionary: Sorcery; astrologer; magician.
Walter A. Elwell in Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible Vol II pp1426.
Picture Materials from ASI ministries- ASIministries.org