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Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream (Part 3)

Dan. 2: 24-44


In response to prayer, the dream and the interpretation of the dream was revealed to Daniel by the Lord. Truly our God is an amazing God. Today we will be looking at the image which King Nebuchadnezzar saw and see what it means. I can’t tell you all the details here, but by God’s grace I pray that the lesson you would learn here will be good enough for you to see the wisdom, the power, and omniscience of the Lord. He uses pagan kings, rulers who doesn’t even know Him to accomplish His will.

I. Daniel Makes his move (Dan. 2:24-25)

A. Receiving from God the knowledge of the dream and its interpretation. Daniel went to Arioch, the king’s executioner and informed him that he was ready to interpret the king’s dream.

B. Officer Arioch wrongly claimed credit for having found an interpreter for the king’s dream. Actually, it was Daniel who “went to Arioch.” Arioch evidently expected to be highly rewarded for finding someone who could ease the king’s anxiety.

C. By Daniel’s wise handling of difficult and dangerous times, he was able to save himself, his friends, and the “wise men” of the King.

II. The King’s Inquiry (Dan. 2:26-30)

A. The king asked Daniel if can reveal to him the dream and its interpretation.

B. Daniel tells the king that it was impossible for the “wise men”, it was also impossible for Daniel.

C. It was only possible for God, who revealed the dream and its meaning to Daniel. The God in heaven of whom the wise men spoke (Dan. 2:11) was Daniel ‘s God. He would make known to the king the dream and its meaning.

D. God ‘s use of Daniel was due to grace, not because of any merit of Daniel on his own (Dan. 2:30).

E. The book of Daniel is about prophecy. The latter days of the Gentiles and Jews both come to a conclusion in the Tribulation.

F. Daniel’s vision is about the future, both near and far.

III. Explanation of the Dream (Dan. 2:31-

A. The dream is of prophetic significance (Dan. 2: 28) …later days is a very broad term

B. The image outlines the “Times of the Gentiles”- begins at Babylonian empire to the second coming of Christ.

C. The Dream in Design:

1. The Head of Gold (Dan. 2: 37-38)

a. This represents the Babylonian Empire (606 – 653 B.C.)

b. Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom is said to be worldwide although he never realized this.

c. The neo-Babylonian Empire lasted only 68 yrs. Nebuchadnezzar reigned 43 yrs. Succeeded by his son and, in Chap. 5 it ceased to exist

d. The golden head was Nebuchadnezzar’s Kingdom. Babylon was closely associated with gold. Herodotus reported an abundance of gold in Babylon, and a great golden statue of Zeus. Babylon was the best & most glorious empire of all. Babylon’s hanging gardens were world famous, even today!


Nebuchadnezzar is called My Servant in the Bible Jeremiah 25:9 Behold, I will send and take all the families of the north, saith the LORD, and Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and will bring them against this land, and against the inhabitants thereof, and against all these nations round about, and will utterly destroy them, and make them an astonishment, and a hissing, and perpetual desolations. Jeremiah 27:6 And now have I given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant; and the beasts of the field have I given him also to serve him. Jeremiah 43:10 And say unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will send and take Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and will set his throne upon these stones that I have hid; and he shall spread his royal pavilion over them. The word my servant was used 3 times in the Bible speaking about Nebuchadnezzar. God uses a pagan king to accomplish His will. I honestly think that even Nebuchadnezzar was very cruel, idolater, murderer, etc., the Lord knows in advance that he will be converted.

2. The Breast and Arms of Silver (Dan. 2:39)

a. This represents the Medes/Persians (538-330 B.C.)

b. This kingdom was inferior to the Babylonian Empire

(1). Nebuchadnezzar was the law (Dan. 3:29; 4:40).

(2) Darius was subject to the law (Dan. 6:7,8,12,15)

c. One of the characteristics of this empire was its kindness to the Jews (Ezra 1:1, Neh. 2:1-8, Esther 8:1,2)

d. In 538 BC, Darius the Mede, king of both Medes & Persians, conquered Babylon. God pictured Medo-Persia as 2 silver arms and chest. —A dual or double empire of 2 nations! As the right arm is stronger than the left, so the Persians were stronger than the Medes! e. Greek historian Herodotus tells us: “The Medo-Persian empire collected taxes in silver as a rule; even the one vassal state that paid gold (India) had its tax calculated in terms of the value of silver!”

Illustration/Application: Bible Names Cyrus

Cyrus has the honor of being named in the Scriptures 175 years before he took Babylon.

In Isa. 44:28; 45:1-4, we read— Isaiah 44:28 That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid.

Isaiah 45:1 Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut;

Isaiah 45:2 I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron:

Isaiah 45:3 And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the LORD, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel.

Isaiah 45:4 For Jacob my servant’s sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me.

In 333 BC Medo-Persia was defeated by the Greek Empire of Alexander the Great. He was the son of Philip of Macedonia. 3. The belly and thighs of bronze. (Dan. 2:39) a. This represented the third kingdom to arise. This was the Grecian Empire. Alexander the Great conquered the Medo-Persians between 334 and 330 B.C. and assumed authority over its peoples and territory.

b. By Alexander’s conquests he extended the Greek Empire as far east as the north-western portion of India – an extensive empire that seemingly was over the whole earth.

c. After Alexander died in 323 B.C., his generals split the empire into four parts.

(1). General Antipater ruled Macedon-Greece.

(2). Lysimachus governed Thrace-Asia Minor.

(3). Seleucus ruled Asia.

(4) Ptolemy reigned over Egypt, Cyrenaica and Palestine.

d. Thus, its government was more republican and less power was given to its rulers.

Illustration/Application: Prophecy about Alexander

Symbolized by a leopard with four wings, signifying his great strength, and the unusual rapidity of his conquests, Dan. 7:6; and by a one-horned he-goat running over the earth so swiftly as not to touch it, attacking a ram with two horns, overthrowing him, and trampling him under foot, without any being able to rescue him, Dan. 8:4-7. The he-goat prefigured Alexander; the ram, Darius Codomannus, the last of the Persian kings. In the statue beheld by Nebuchadnezzar in his dream, Dan. 2:39, the belly of brass was the emblem of Alexander. He was appointed by God to destroy the Persian empire, and to substitute in its room the Grecian monarchy. Alexander went up to Jerusalem, and saw Jaddua the high priest, who showed him the prophecy of Daniel concerning him.

4. The Legs of Iron (Dan. 2:40-44)

a. This represents the Roman Empire – (63 B.C. – 76 A.D.)

b. Iron well pictures the power of Rome.

c. The legs of the image take up almost half its length.

d. The two legs indicate the division of the Roman Empire – East and West

e. Though the Roman Empire was divided into two legs and culminated in a mixture of iron and clay, it was one empire. This empire was characterized by its strength, as iron is stronger than bronze, silver, and gold.

f. The Roman Empire was stronger than any of the previous empires. It crushed all the empires that had preceded it. Rome in its cruel conquest swallowed up the lands and peoples that had been parts of the three previous empires and assimilated those lands and peoples into itself.

g. The Roman Empire was characterized by division (it was a divided kingdom) and deterioration (it was partly strong and partly brittle). Though Rome succeeded in conquering the territories that came under its influence, it never could unite the peoples to form a united empire.

h. In that sense the people were a mixture and were not united. (Other views of this mixture of strength and weakness are suggested:

(1). The empire was strong organizationally but weak morally;

(2) Imperialism and democracy were united unsuccessfully

i. Government was intruded by the masses, i.e., mob rule;

j. The empire was a mixture of numerous races and cultures.

k. Roman Empire Continues until Christ Returns (vs. 43-44)

l. The vision describes only four world empires represented by the image. m. Therefore, the legs of iron and feet of iron mixed with clay signify the same kingdom.


Illustration/Application: The Roman Empire

In God’s eyes, the Roman Empire continues to exist through the church age until the time of the Antichrist. The church age is invisible to the Old Testament prophets, as it was a mystery not yet revealed (Col. 1:25-27). The Roman Empire continued in the west until AD 476. It then existed as the kingdom of the Franks and the Holy Roman Empire, which continued until 1806, when it was dismantled by Napoleon. The Roman Empire existed in the east as the Byzantine Empire headquartered in Constantinople, which continued until the city was conquered by the Muslims in 1453. It continues to exist in the unified European nations. In 1993, the European Union was formed. It encompasses 500 million people and in 2014 owned about 24% of the world’s gross domestic product. In 2002, the Euro was adopted as a common currency. One of the symbols of the European Union is the ancient Tower of Babel. The Tower was featured on a European Union poster in 1992, and the Union’s headquarters in Strasbourg, France, is shaped like an unfinished tower. Another symbol of the Union is the ancient goddess Europa riding a bull, which is a woman riding a beast! See Revelation 17:3. Europa is on the Euro coin, and a statue of her is outside the Union’s headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. We don’t know if the existing European Union will play any role in the rise of the Antichrist, but we do know that some sort of European union will. As the ten toes of Daniel’s prophecy signify, eventually there will be ten kingdoms within the old Roman Empire, and the Antichrist will assume control and use that base to build his short-lived world kingdom.

IV. Conclusion:

In response to prayer, the dream and its meaning were revealed by the Lord to Daniel. Because of these lives had been saved. The dream is about the future, both near and far. God had shown the king what would happen in advance, starting from his present reign until the coming of Christ. We will have more of this as we go on.

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