About Jesus Steve Sweetman
This Section - Chapter 2
1 to 3 tell us that in King Nebuchadnezzarís second year of being king he had
a very troubling dream.
It was so troubling that he could not get back to sleep.
So, in the morning he called in his enchanters, sorcerers, and
astrologers, to tell him the meaning of the dream.
These were the wise men of the
should note that these wise men and magicians were castrated.
This was simply done to make sure these men were completely dedicated to
the king. This
chapter implies that Daniel was one of these wise men.
That would mean that Daniel would have been castrated as well.
verse 4 we see that the astrologers answered the king "in Aramaic".
Aramaic dates back to at least 2000 B. C. and was the language of
commerce during Danielís time and for many centuries before and after.
You will note that in the New Testament that often Jesus spoke in
example is, "Why have you forsaken me", found in Mark 15:34.
Jesus might well have spoken these words in Aramaic to make sure everyone
understood what He has just said.
Of course, I can't say this for sure.
It's simple speculation on my part.
note that from this verse on, until the end of chapter seven, that Daniel
actually wrote in Aramaic, while the rest of his book was written in Hebrew.
Some find significance in this in that much of what is written in
chapters two through seven concerns the Gentile world, thus the Gentile
in verse 4 we see that the astrologers wanted to know what the dream was so they
could interpret it.
Itís a lot easier to tell the king what the dream meant if they knew
the dream. The
king wasnít in agreement.
He clearly needed to see the supernatural in the interpretation.
It's too easy to make up an interpretation if you know the dream.
verses 5 through 7 we have the kingís response to the astrologers.
He did not want to tell them the dream.
He wanted them supernaturally to tell him what he dreamed as well as tell
him what the dream meant.
If they could not do this, heíd have them executed by cutting them into
pieces and their homes turned into a pile of rubble.
On the other hand, if they could tell the king the dream and what it
meant, theyíd be greatly rewarded. These men were really on the spot.
They must have been very nervous, knowing that their lives were in the
can see the type of man Nebuchadnezzar was.
He did not mind killing people if they could not serve him in the way he
and other kings of his day, viewed themselves as gods, thus the reason for much
of their behaviour.
verses 7 through 9 the dialogue between the king and the astronomers continue.
They request once again that the king tell them the dream.
The king is firm in his answer and he feels that they are only buying
time to try to conspire among themselves what to do about the situation.
Thus, the king thinks they canít come up with the right answer and most
likely they would attempt to trick him in some manor.
verses 10 and 11 the astrologers tell the king that his request is unreasonable
and that no king in history has ever asked the wise men to interpret a dream
without telling them what the dream was.
Nebuchadnezzar felt that if he told them the dream, then how would he
know for sure their interpretation was right.
That only made sense to him.
If they could miraculously tell him what his dream was, then heíd know
for sure that their interpretation was right.
astrologers told the king that no man could fulfill this request.
Only the gods could do such a thing, "and they donít live among
idea that the gods donít live among men is the basic premise of any pagan
thinking is quite different in that we believe God wanted to unite Himself with
man so He became a man.
He also sent His Holy Spirit to live within men.
This is the main difference between Christianity and every other world
verses 12 and 13 we learn that what the astrologers said made the king very
angry so he sent out a decree to kill every wise man in
verses 14 through 16 we note that the kingís officials came to Daniel to kill
him and Daniel wondered why the king has issued such a harsh decree.
Daniel obviously was not present with the other wise men of
verses 17 to 20 we see that Daniel left the presence of the king and went
straight home, found his three Hebrew friends, and they had an all night prayer
pleaded with God for the answer to the kingís request so they and the other
wise men of
the middle of the night God spoke to Daniel in a vision and told him what
Nebuchadnezzarís dream was and what it meant.
He was so happy that he praised God.
I'd be happy too, and so would you. Daniel's
life was just spared by the hand of God.
Daniel says in his praise gives us insight to what he believed.
I take what Daniel says here in praise as being prophetic in nature.
Daniel exclaimed that his God lived for ever and ever.
There was no beginning or end with his God. He
was nothing like the pagan gods.
verse 21 Daniel says that "God changes times and seasons". This is an
illusion to what the dream is all about, which is the change of times and
seasons in world kingdoms.
When it comes to God changing season, this might well be the answer to
what we call "climate change".
Climate change is more about God's hand in the affairs of this world than
it is about man's messing up our ecology.
see God works among nations in Daniel's next statement.
He says that God sets up kings and deposes them.
If God set up and deposed kings in Old Testament times there is no reason
why He doesn't do the same today.
I sure He does.
Iím not saying that God has a hand in the election of every civic
official, but it is quite possible.
Maybe He does and maybe He doesnít.
The fact still remains, that God is able to set up those He wants and
take away those He wants from any nationís leadership.
goes on to say that "God gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the
discerning". When speaking of the wise and discerning, to me this suggests
that anyone who wants to be wise and discerning and applies himself towards
these things, God will supernaturally give him wisdom and knowledge.
We see this with the gifts of the Spirit in the New Testament. See
1 Corinthians 12.
verse 22 Daniel says that God "reveals deep and hidden things and He knows
what lies in the darkness".
God would reveal the deep and hidden things of the future to Daniel, some
of which was dark and some of which was light.
Darkness represents sin while light represents the nature and glory of
says that "light dwells with God".
In fact we know that God Himself is light.
I believe that God can still reveal such things today to holy men and women of God. I say "holy" because many claim to have special secret information from God but their lives aren't so holy. You can't trust people like this. They're false prophets. What God chooses to reveal to holy men and women today does not contradict what is clearly taught in the Bible. It doesn't add to the prophetic Biblical message and it doesn't take from it. Again, if a modern so-called adds or takes away from Biblical prophecy, you can know that he or she is a false prophet or prophetess.
section ends by Daniel thanking God that He has made known Nebuchadnezzarís
dream and what it means to them.
This was clearly a great relief to Daniel and his three Hebrew friends.
verse 24 we see Danielís concern about the wise men of Babylon. He had Arioch, the man who was
about to kill the wise men take him to speak to the king.
Arioch tells Nebuchadnezzar that he has found someone among the men from
Judah who can interpret the dream.
verse 26 we see Danielís Babylonian name is "Belteshazzar".
This name means "Baal protects the king".
Protecting the king was part of Danielís job.
As earlier stated, the name "Daniel" means "God is
judge", or "God judges". The
meanings to these two names are interesting.
Daniel, which means "God (that's Yahweh the Hebrew God) judges"
shows Nebuchadnezzar that his dream is all about God judging the nations.
Daniel, the kingís protector protects the king in showing his future,
but the king's future is not revealed from the gods, but from "the
God". How ironic.
verses 26 to 29 we see the king ask Daniel if he can in fact interpret the
dream. Daniel replies by telling him
that no wise man in
verse 29 Daniel tells Nebuchadnezzar that the "revealer of mysteries"
had told him what would come to pass in the future.
Of course, this "revealer of mysteries" is the God of heaven;
Yahweh Himself. When using the term
"God of heaven" you could interpret it two ways.
One was is that God is God of heaven, that is, heaven being where God
lives. The other way would be that
God is the God of the whole universe, that is, the heavens.
Heaven is used three different ways in Scripture.
It's used to mean the blue sky above, the universe, and where God lives.
understands that His God reveals mysteries.
God who is all knowing wants to reveal to us what we donít know.
If we are walking properly in the presence of the Lord, and if He so
chooses, He can also reveal mysteries to us.
Again, not all so-called mysteries that we claim are revealed from God
are from God. Some, if not
much of what we claim as revelation may simply be the imaginations of our own
minds. Laying that aside, we should
know that God can reveal whatever He wants to us.
This is part of the mark of New Testament Christians and a fulfillment of
prophecy. Peter, on the Day of
Pentecost quotes the prophet Joel and says that the young men will see visions
and the old men dream dreams. (Acts 2:17) We
cannot discount such things as many non-Pentecostal Evangelicals do.
On the other hand, we must be aware of false prophets and false
30 shows us the humble man that Daniel is. He
tells the king that itís not because he is wise that he knows the dream and
its meaning. Itís because God
wants the king to know certain things that are to come.
Daniel is simple the spokesman for God.
My guess is that God wanted more than the king to know these things.
He wanted us to know them as well. God
knew only to well that these things would be recorded for others to read and
understand throughout history. I'm
sure that was His choice.
verses 31 to 35 Daniel tells the king what he saw in the dream.
Nebuchadnezzar saw a great statue. The
statueís head was made of pure gold, his chest and arms of silver, his belly
and thighs of bronze, his legs of iron, and his feet were made of part iron and
part baked clay.
the dream the king saw a large rock that struck the feet of this statue.
It caused the feet to brake and the whole statue to crumble to the ground
and blow away in the wind. Then the
rock grew and became a huge mountain that filled the whole earth.
verses 36 and following Daniel tells the king what this dream means.
Daniel says that Nebuchadnezzar is the head of gold.
He is the king of kings, the most important king on the earth, with more
power than any other king ever and maybe to come after him.
verse 39 we see that another kingdom will replace the Babylonian kingdom which
will be inferior to Babylon. This is represented by the chest
of silver. Then another kingdom will replace the silver kingdom.
This is symbolized by the bronze belly.
next kingdom is the iron kingdom that crushes everything in its sight because
iron is strong. Yet from this iron
kingdom comes the feet of iron and clay. The
feet are part of the iron kingdom that is symbolized by the iron legs. The
mixture of the iron and clay in the feet symbolizes both the strength and
weakness in the kingdom. Clay is not
strong. Because of this weakness
this kingdom will be divided and eventually crumble.
verse 44 we note that in the days of the kings of the feet and toes, the God of
heaven will set up his own kingdom that no other kingdom will be able to
overthrow. This is symbolized by the
rock that smites the feet of this statue.
says that the rock that smites the feet was not made by human hands but came out
of a mountain. Not being made of
human hands speaks to the God of heaven who formed the rock.
should also note that this rock, though it only struck the feet of the statue
caused the whole statue to crumble, and Daniel specifically mentions the gold,
the silver and the bronze, fell along with the iron.
This is significant to us as we will see later.
is overwhelmed by the interpretation of the dream and glorifies both Daniel and
the God of heaven who he now claims is the God over all other gods.
He orders that an offering be made to Daniel.
chapter ends by the king making Daniel head of
have an advantage over Daniel at this point because we can look back in history
and see how this vision has worked itself out.
Daniel only knew and experienced the head of gold, but history tells us
all about the rest of this image.
332 B. C. the Greek empire overthrew the Persians, thus becoming the belly and
thighs of bronze. In 68 B. C. the
is said about this empire than the first three.
This is the empire that has iron legs.
Some see the feet of iron and clay as being a separate kingdom.
In one sense it is, but for the most part it is an extension of the iron
legged kingdom, but weaker. Daniel
specifically mentions in his interpretation that because of the strength of
iron, this kingdom will be very violent, and so
see that there are two legs of iron, and that Daniel says that this nation will
be divided, and so it was. In 284 A.
other nation conquered
the dream we see the rock formed out of the mountain by God and it strikes the
feet of the statue made or iron and clay. The
iron is that which is left from the
rock represents Jesus and His kingdom that will rule the earth in the thousand
years as described in the book of Revelation, and then beyond into eternity as
seen in the New Jerusalem on the New Earth.
The rock which is Jesus and His kingdom destroys the rebuilt
this point we should note that from head to toe, this statue gets weaker.
This tells me that
holding to the Historic end time view point actually see the rock as the
triumphant church or the Kingdom
the dream itís not just the feet that crumble, itís the whole stature,
because in this final analysis all of the kingdoms of men will eventually fall
to the Lord Jesus Christ and His Kingdom. Jesus
crushes every aspect of every world kingdom that ever existed at the Battle of
Armageddon. Thus, both literal and symbolic
most of the twentieth century, Biblical Prophetic Futurists have seen the feet
of iron and clay as being what they have called the "Revived Roman
Empire". They've seen the
formation of the European Community and now the Euro Zone as the beginning of
the rebirth of the
have adopted the Futurist view point over the last number of years.
What many Futurists might be missing is what comes after the split of the
Ottoman Islamic Empire ruled the east for a number of centuries and fell.
What many Futurist miss is the importance that this Islamic Empire played
in the eastern part of a fallen
when it comes to the feet of iron and clay, the empire that will be, or
presently is, being revived, how is that seen today?
I'm seeing the re-emergence of the Islamic Ottoman Empire as one of the
feet in the revived
in Ezekiel 38 we see Gog of Magog. Many
Futurists throughout the twentieth century believed Magog is
at the moment, we have at least two main ways of looking at these feet of iron
and clay. I'm not totally convinced
of either way.
These things are not easy to figure out. You can consider what I say and study these things for yourself and make you own conclusion.
thing we need to note about Daniel in this passage is how he responded
respectfully to a pagan king. Daniel
realized that his nation, his people, were under God's judgment.
That's why they were in