Dreams & Visions in the Book of Daniel

Nebuchadnezzar's Dream

The book of Daniel is a great revelation of future events, particularly those things that shall happen in the last days. The book of Daniel and the book of Revelation complement one another, but Revelation brings more revelation and details and projects further into the future. King Nebuchadnezzar was king of Babylon when they attacked Israel and took them into captivity. Daniel and some of  his very young friends, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were some of the first to be taken into captivity. The king had determined to select the best and brightest of these children and teach them the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans. The prince of the king’s eunuchs gave new names to these Hebrew children. Daniel was named Belteshazzar, Hannaniah was given the name Shadrack, Mishael was named Meshach, and Azariah the name Abednego.

“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.” (Dan. 2:1-4) Nebuchadnezzar did not remember the dream and put an unreasonable demand on his wisest advisors to give an account of the dream and what it meant. Nobody was able to tell the dream or the meaning and the king was furious and demanded all of these to be put to death, Daniel and his friends were included in this group. “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.” (Dan. 2:13-16) “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: 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.” (Dan. 2:19, 20, 23) “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.” (Dan. 2:27-36) Daniel said, “thou are this head of gold” (v. 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. 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.” (Dan. 2:39-45) Daniel and his friends were promoted because of the revelation of this dream. “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.” (Dan. 2:47-49)

We will take a closer look at Daniel’s vision to understand some of the events concerning this dream and how all that was spoken by Daniel comes to pass, what is already fulfilled and what is yet to come. “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.” (Dan. 2:45) First, the king represented the head of gold, he was the one who brought Israel into captivity. Daniel is revealing future kingdoms to come. Gold is valuable but soft, not strong. The breast and arms were of silver, stronger but not as valuable. The arms and breast represented the Medes and Persians who would conquer Babylon and become the next world power. The belly and thighs were of brass, stronger but not as valuable. The belly and thighs represented Greece under the leadership of Alexander the Great who conquered the Medes and Persians and became the next world ruler. Alexander died at an early age and his kingdom was divided among his four generals. The legs were of iron, stronger than brass but less valuable. The legs represent the Roman Empire which would be the world ruler for hundreds of years. The two legs represented the eastern and western divisions of the Roman Empire.

The feet represent the next great power and is the revived and revised Roman Empire or one world government which has not yet come but is very close. The feet represent the two major divisions of the eastern and western portions of this new world order. Consider the toes which are ten and represent ten kings that shall rule this new world order. The feet are partly iron and partly clay, the iron is strong and the clay is weak, they do not mix. The antichrist, one of the ten kings of the new world order shall conquer three of those ten kings, the weak that represent the clay. It is significant that the stone (rock) strikes the feet and destroys this new world order, the revived and revised Roman Empire. The stone (rock) represents our Lord Jesus Christ who destroys all of these world empires that become like dust and vanish away. The Rock becomes a huge mountain that occupies the entire earth, this is God’s kingdom that shall never vanish away.

Nebuchadnezzar had another dream recorded in the fourth chapter of Daniel. We will look at this dream next month and the significance of this dream.

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