Nebuchadnezzar Summons the Wise Men
“In the second year of his reign, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; his mind was troubled and he could not sleep. So the king summoned the magicians, enchanters, sorcerers and astrologers to tell him what he had dreamed.” (Daniel 2:1-2a)
The timing of this dream is significant, in that the dream occurs in the second years of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign. This meant that Daniel would not have completed his three years of study, so he would still be considered a novice in the court of the King.
Magicians, Enchanters, Sorcerers and Astrologers
All kings throughout the ages have had court advisors, in ancient times the advisors would include diviners and soothsayers. King Ahab of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, when deciding on going to war against the King of Syria, had 400 “prophets” as advisors (1 Kings 22:6), who were associated with the syncretic (blending of religious practices) calf-worship of Jehovah that had taken root in Israel. Pagan kings, such as the Babylonians, also included men who could discern the future as their advisors. Daniel uses six terms for these court advisors: wise men, enchanters, magicians, Chaldeans, determiners, and sorcerers. These men would be consulted on all aspects of government by the king, from building projects and the appointment of officials to military campaigns and the king’s well-being. Satan thus had control over all aspects of a pagan nation, with his demons being the voice behind the court advisors.
In the Babylonian pantheon of gods, the sun god Shamash, like Apollo among the Greeks, presided over the mystic disciplines of divination, (Apollo was the patron god over the famous oracle at Delphi, where even Alexander the Great went for council in 336 BC). Thus God, by exposing the ineptitude of Shamash’s diviners, was using Nebuchadnezzar’s dream as a starting point, for a step-by-step process which would result in the conversion of the pagan king to worship the one true God.
Babylonian Methods of Divination:
- The preeminent method of discerning the future by the Babylonians was astrology. The Tower of Babel, was erected in rebellion to God, to elevate man towards the heavens. The “tower” was a ziggurat, which had a temple at its apex. The ziggurat was dedicated to the study of the planets, which when studied correctly were, according to the Babylonians, able to divulge the secrets of life and guide human destiny. Astrological omens were recorded on a series of seventy-seven tablets.
- Throughout the pagan world, the use of animal entrails in divination was extremely popular. The Babylonians were no different, with their focus being on sheep livers and lungs. The British museum has in its Babylonian display, a clay model of a sheep’s liver used to aid the diviner in answering questions from the king.
- Another popular, and cheaper, means of divination by Babylonian soothsayers was observing flocks of birds in flight.
- Pagans being a very superstitious people, meant that omens such as abnormal birth occurring within the livestock would require divination by the “wise men”.
- Revelation of future events by dreams was an extremely important discipline within Babylonian divination, so much so, that sacred areas were set aside for that specific purpose. In these specially allocated rooms, with the aid of hallucinogens, an individual could have a divinely inspire dream. Babylonian cuneiform texts have been discovered, that record the mother goddess Ishtar having at times appeared before the king, proclaiming the course of future events.
God has only scorn for these methods of divination, as is evident in His rebuke of Israel for their attempts to use pagan forms of divination to discern the future in Isaiah 47:13-14:
“You are wearied with your many counsels; let them stand forth and save you, those who divide the heavens, who gaze at the stars, who at the new moons make known what shall come upon you. 14 Behold, they are like stubble; the fire consumes them; they cannot deliver themselves from the power of the flame. No coal for warming oneself is this, no fire to sit before!”
God forbad these practices in Israel. The Law reads:
“ 10 There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer 11 or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, 12 for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord. And because of these abominations the Lord your God is driving them out before you” (Deuteronomy 18:10-12).
Scripture is very clear with regards to discerning the future, there are only two sources: God who is able to declare “the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come (Isaiah 46:10), or Satan, the deceiver. The methods of discerning the future, used by the “wise men’ of Babylon, all involved divination.
Like Mossad agents in the heart of the Iranian nuclear program, Daniel and his companions were planted by God to expose the evil deception of divination. Through the dream given by God to Nebuchadnezzar, God, by using His faithful servant Daniel, would reveal that the only true “diviners” were His servants.
Interpret the Dream or Die! (2:2b-13)
Daniel records that an urgent call was put out to all the wise men to attend to King Nebuchadnezzar.
“ So they came in and stood before the king. 3 And the king said to them, ‘I had a dream, and my spirit is troubled to know the dream.’ 4 Then the Chaldeans said to the king in Aramaic, “O king, live forever! Tell your servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation’” (2:2b-4).
Daniel is the only book in the Bible that is written in the three dominant languages of the area, Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic. Dr. Ralph F. Wilson makes the observation, that the writing of Daniel switches to Aramaic from the middle of verse 4 to chapter 7: “the Book of Daniel switches from Hebrew to Aramaic, the language commonly spoken in Babylon. Since Daniel is relating stories from the Babylonian court, it makes sense to relate them in Aramaic” (1).
“ 5 The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, ‘The word from me is firm: if you do not make known to me the dream and its interpretation, you shall be torn limb from limb, and your houses shall be laid in ruins. 6 But if you show the dream and its interpretation, you shall receive from me gifts and rewards and great honour. Therefore show me the dream and its interpretation.’ 7 They answered a second time and said, ‘Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will show its interpretation.’ 8 The king answered and said, ‘I know with certainty that you are trying to gain time, because you see that the word from me is firm— 9 if you do not make the dream known to me, there is but one sentence for you. You have agreed to speak lying and corrupt words before me till the times change. Therefore tell me the dream, and I shall know that you can show me its interpretation.’ 10 The Chaldeans answered the king and said, ‘There is not a man on earth who can meet the king’s demand, for no great and powerful king has asked such a thing of any magician or enchanter or Chaldean. 11 The thing that the king asks is difficult, and no one can show it to the king except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh’” (2:5-11).
As kings are inclined to do, Nebuchadnezzar was probably wondering about his reign and was concerned with knowing the future of his kingdom, so God give him a dream. Now Nebuchadnezzar wants to know the meaning of the dream, does it bode good or evil for his kingdom. We have already seen in the introduction to divination, that the wise men would want to be told the dream so that they can consult their dream manuals and give the king an answer. Nebuchadnezzar however, is not concerned with textbook answers, he wants to know that they have access to a higher power. He has not forgotten his dream, it is seared into his memory and troubles him greatly, so he wants to know God’s interpretation, not man’s – he therefore will not tell them the dream. It is very clear that the young king Nebuchadnezzar does not trust his father’s advisors, there is often a power struggle between a new king and the royal advisors. Nebuchadnezzar doubted their honesty, sincerity and ability, so he was setting them a test. If he had forgotten the dream, the advisors could just make up the dream interpretation, and there would not have been a confrontation. The advisors do speak some truth, in that they admit they have no special knowledge, and that only God is able to reveal the interpretation of his dream.
“12 Because of this the king was angry and very furious, and commanded that all the wise men of Babylon be destroyed. 13 So the decree went out, and the wise men were about to be killed; and they sought Daniel and his companions, to kill them” (2:12-13).
Nebuchadnezzar in a fit of rage gives orders to destroy all wise men, which would also include those being trained in their methods. Even though Daniel and his friends may not have been officially in the ranks of the wise men yet, they are considered guilty by association, and an officer is sent to place them under arrest. This all fits with the political power play in a royal court.
- (1) Dr. Ralph F. Wilson http://www.jesuswalk.com/daniel/2_dream.htm (21/10/2019).
Daniel and His Friends Seek God (2:14-16)
“14 Then Daniel replied with prudence and discretion to Arioch, the captain of the king’s guard, who had gone out to kill the wise men of Babylon. 15 He declared to Arioch, the king’s captain, “Why is the decree of the king so urgent?” Then Arioch made the matter known to Daniel. 16 And Daniel went in and requested the king to appoint him a time, that he might show the interpretation to the king”.
The strong character of Daniel is once more evident as he faces a critical situation with discernment and discretion, which elicited an explanation from the commander, rather than an authoritarian demand for compliance. Arioch must have been impressed by the young apprentice, as Daniel is allowed to approach the king, and request more time to be able to interpret the dream.
Just as in chapter one, we see that God granted Daniel favour with yet another palace official. Daniel’s close relationship with God, and his obedience to God’s covenant requirements are pay dividends, as God continues to use Daniel to fulfill His plans and purposes.
Call for Urgent Prayer (2:17-18)
“17 Then Daniel went to his house and made the matter known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions, 18 and told them to seek mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that Daniel and his companions might not be destroyed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.”
Daniel’s request for more time was made in faith that God would supply the answer, now Daniel and his friends must put their faith into action, and petition the throne of God.
The Mystery Revealed to Daniel in a Dream (2:19-23)
“19 Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision of the night. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven. 20 Daniel answered and said:
‘Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might. 21 He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding; 22 he reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with him. 23 To you, O God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise, for you have given me wisdom and might, and have now made known to me what we asked of you, for you have made known to us the king’s matter’’.”
Daniel receives both the dream and the interpretation from God during the night. Now, most cautious souls would wait until they had confirmation from the king, that their information was accurate and true. But Daniel, in faith, immediately composes as psalm of praise to God. The psalm reveals the close relationship Daniel has with God, and the mature understanding he has of the power and authority of the Lord.
The psalm carries a double message. First, it recognises the authority and power God has over all man’s kingdoms. Second, it gives all credit to God, recognising that no ability of man brought about the positive result, and their lives being spared was thanks to God alone.
Daniel Seeks Audience with Nebuchadnezzar (2:24-28)
“24 Therefore Daniel went in to Arioch, whom the king had appointed to destroy the wise men of Babylon. He went and said thus to him: ‘Do not destroy the wise men of Babylon; bring me in before the king, and I will show the king the interpretation’. 25 Then Arioch brought in Daniel before the king in haste and said thus to him: ‘I have found among the exiles from Judah a man who will make known to the king the interpretation’. 26 The king declared to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, ‘Are you able to make known to me the dream that I have seen and its interpretation?’ 27 Daniel answered the king and said, ‘No wise men, enchanters, magicians, or astrologers can show to the king the mystery that the king has asked, 28 but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and he has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days. Your dream and the visions of your head as you lay in bed are these:”
There is an interesting comparison made in these five verses, the humility of a man of God is compared to the arrogance and self-aggrandising of the secular man. Daniel’s is motivated by a desire to save the lives of the wise men, and to fulfill the kings request, he also takes no personal credit for the dream or its interpretation, but praises “God in heaven who reveals mysteries” (Vs. 27). On the other hand, Arioch is quick to claim that he has found the dream interpreter (Vs. 25). Arioch has done little more than take Daniel to the king, yet he seeks to elevate himself in the king’s eyes and gain favour. Once Daniel has assured Nebuchadnezzar that God is the only one who “reveals mysteries,” he then proceeds to tell the dream and its interpretation.
Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream (2:29-35)
“29 ‘To you, O king, as you lay in bed came thoughts of what would be after this, and he who reveals mysteries made known to you what is to be. 30 But as for me, this mystery has been revealed to me, not because of any wisdom that I have more than all the living, but in order that the interpretation may be made known to the king, and that you may know the thoughts of your mind’”.
Daniel Reveals the Dream:
“31 ‘You saw, O king, and behold, a great image. This image, mighty and of exceeding brightness, stood before you, and its appearance was frightening. 32 The head of this image was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its middle and thighs of bronze, 33 its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. 34 As you looked, a stone was cut out by no human hand, and it struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. 35 Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold, all together were broken in pieces, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, so that not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth’”.
Daniel’s Interpretation (2:36-45)
Having revealed the dream to the king, Daniel then proceeds to the very important part, that of explaining the meaning and great significance of the dream.
“36 ‘This was the dream. Now we will tell the king its interpretation. 37 You, O king, the king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, and the might, and the glory, 38 and into whose hand he has given, wherever they dwell, the children of man, the beasts of the field, and the birds of the heavens, making you rule over them all—you are the head of gold. 39 Another kingdom inferior to you shall arise after you, and yet a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth. 40 And there shall be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron, because iron breaks to pieces and shatters all things. And like iron that crushes, it shall break and crush all these. 41 And as you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, it shall be a divided kingdom, but some of the firmness of iron shall be in it, just as you saw iron mixed with the soft clay. 42 And as the toes of the feet were partly iron and partly clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly brittle. 43 As you saw the iron mixed with soft clay, so they will mix with one another in marriage, but they will not hold together, just as iron does not mix with clay. 44 And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever, 45 just as you saw that a stone was cut from a mountain by no human hand, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold. A great God has made known to the king what shall be after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation sure’”.
In the interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, it is important to remember that the nation of Israel is at the centre of all prophecy. God reveals to Daniel the identity of the first empire as being Babylon, who were the conquerors of Judah, and controlled the land of Israel. The nations that follow after the golden head of Nebuchadnezzar, follow in sequence, and have authority over Israel. The last kingdom is the indestructible Kingdom of God, which will be established at the return of Jesus to earth. To unravel the mystery of the identity of the middle three kingdoms, we are able to take clues from later chapters in the book of Daniel, and an understanding of the history of the region. History reveals that the Medes and Persians army under Cyrus the Great conquered Babylon, and in turn the Persian Empire was defeated by the unstoppable force, that was Alexander the Great. At the death of Alexander, his empire was divided into four regions, each ruled by four of his generals. The Romans were the next empire to rise to power and they succeeded in bringing Israel under Roman rule.
This interpretation of the symbols of silver, bronze and iron is confirmed by the significance of the four beasts in Daniel 7, and that the ram and he-goat of Daniel 8, which Daniel identifies as Medo-Persia and Greece respectively, are the two empires that follow after Babylon. The table below links the symbols with the relevant kingdoms:
|Chapter 2||Chapter 7||Chapter 8||Interpretation|
|The Rock, a Messianic symbol||Heavenly Court||God’s Kingdom|
There is a point of interest in the comparison of the statue in Daniel 2 and the four beasts of Daniel 7. The statue is representing mankind’s understanding, the four kingdoms are viewed as valuable metals. While the four beasts represent God’s opinion of these kingdoms, each one a ravaging beast seeking what it can devour. Note also, that each kingdom of Nebuchadnezzar’s statue decrease in value from gold, to silver, to bronze and finally to iron, but the metals increase in strength. None of the empires match the glory of Babylon, while none of the empires match the strength of Rome.
Feet of Iron and Clay (Daniel 2:40-43)
“40 ‘And there shall be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron, because iron breaks to pieces and shatters all things. And like iron that crushes, it shall break and crush all these. 41 And as you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, it shall be a divided kingdom, but some of the firmness of iron shall be in it, just as you saw iron mixed with the soft clay. 42 And as the toes of the feet were partly iron and partly clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly brittle. 43 As you saw the iron mixed with soft clay, so they will mix with one another in marriage, but they will not hold together, just as iron does not mix with clay’”.
The legs of iron representing the Roman Empire; just as the chest of silver with two arms represented the Medes and the Persians, the two legs represent the east and west Kingdoms of the Roman Empire. After the time of Emperor Constantine, the two empires ran side by side for hundreds of years. The prophecy for us living today, passes from past into future with the feet of iron and clay. The dream points to a future kingdom ruled by the Antichrist, which will be a revived Roman Empire. In an analysis of the symbolism used by God, we are able to give clarity to the dream. These symbols are used in Scripture to represent:
- Iron: Symbolise strength, inflexibility, affliction and crushing.
- Clay: Symbolises the weakness of mankind.
- The number ten: A symbol of law and order, as in the ten commandments.
So, the revived Roman Empire will be a combination of strong – iron, and weak – clay, nations. The number ten is a little more difficult to discern, as the number could be merely pointing to the establishment of law and order by the Antichrist within the new empire. On the other hand, the prophecy could be linked to Revelation 17:12-13, where the Antichrist leads a coalition of ten nations.
The Rock (2:44-45)
The interpretation of the dream comes to a climax with a rock that is “cut out of a mountain, but not by human hands,” crushing the statue to powder:
“44 ‘And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever, 45 just as you saw that a stone was cut from a mountain by no human hand, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold. A great God has made known to the king what shall be after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation sure’” (2:44-45).
The terms rock and stone are used interchangeably in Scripture, with both being strong Messianic titles. King David chose the term rock to describe the Lord stating: “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my saviour, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge (NASB)” (Psalm 18:2). While Isaiah chose to use stone in his prophecy which points to the Messiah: “therefore thus says the Lord God, ‘Behold, I am the one who has laid as a foundation in Zion, a stone, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, of a sure foundation: Whoever believes will not be in haste (disturbed [NASB])’” (Isaiah 28:16). This symbolism is repeated in Psalm 118:22 “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone”. The apostle Peter confirms that the Isaiah 28:16-17 prophecy is fulfilled by Jesus, writing: “As you come to (Jesus), a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in Scripture: ‘Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame’” (1 Peter 2:4-6). So, although Jesus was initially rejected, God the Father has made Jesus the cornerstone of our salvation. There is no other way. When the cornerstone is rejected, the building will firstly fail, and secondly, the rejected cornerstone will always be in the way, a physical obstacle, but also a reminder as to why the home built without the cornerstone is unstable.
When I read Daniel 2:40-45, I am reminded of the Scripture in Matthew 21:44: “And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him”. The rock of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream smashes the image, and “crush(es)” all the kingdoms of this world to “chaff,” which the wind will dissipate. The rock then will become a mountain and fill the earth, and will “become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 11:15).
Babylon Mystery Religion is Continuous
Babylon Mystery Religion is a rejection of Gods moral guidance, for man’s wisdom. Pride elevates man to attain a position of god, and Nimrod the king, and high priest of Babylon in time is worshipped as both Nebo and Marduk in Babylonian, Ahura Mazda in Persia, Zeus in Greece and Jupiter in Rome. Semiramis in her role as queen of heaven and mother of god, is also worshipped in these cultures. So, all four kingdoms of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, that are the dominant powers of the known world during the Biblical era, were cultures established on the religious traditions of Babylon religion.
Both the statue of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in chapter 2, and the four beasts of Daniel 7, which parallels (chiastic) with chapter 2, have a final kingdom that stretches to the end of the age. In Daniel 2 the legs of iron continue into the kingdom of iron and clay, which will be destroyed at the return of Jesus – the rock that becomes a mountain. The last beast of Daniel 7 also stretches to the End Times. The ten horns of the beast, “come from this kingdom (Rome)” (7:24), and the little horn depicting the last days rise of the Antichrist to power, comes from among the ten horns, so the Antichrist arises to power from Rome. Then, as in Daniel 2, this kingdom of the Antichrist will be annihilated, being “completely destroyed (2:44),” followed with the establishment of the everlasting Kingdom of the Most High. This account matches Nebuchadnezzar’s dream perfectly, which must leave us to conclude that the fourth power, that of Rome, will continue until the return of Jesus. This continuation can only be seen in relation to Babylon Mystery Religion – which remains centred in Rome!
The book of Revelation, which is a prophetic continuation of Daniel, also confirms that Rome is Mystery Babylon Religion in both Revelation 17 and 18.
The worship of Nimrod and his wife Semiramis are at the core of the Babylon religion. They built the tower of Babel to establish the will of man in rebellion to the will of God. Human culture had separated from the true God; Nimrod had introduced a new religion founded upon human pride, world domination and polytheism. Man now is able to become god, but a god with limits, so pagan polytheism is born. Upon the death of the god men, it was believed that they became part of the constellations of stars having an influence over the events of mankind. Many of the gods of pagan religions are alter egos of Nimrod and Semiramis.
Pagan gods, attributed by scholars such as Hislop to be linked to Nimrod, are:
Marduk – Babylonian Nebo – Babylonian Ahura Mazda – Persia
Bacchus or Dionysus – Greek Neptune – Roman Dagon– Philistine
Poseidon – Greek Jupiter – Roman Marduk – Syrian
Zeus – Greek Saturn – Roman Baal – Canaanite
Kronos – Greek Osiris – Egyptian
After God scattered the people “over the face of the whole earth” (Gen. 11:9), they took their pagan religion with them, adapting the Babylonian religion to their cultures over the years. Evidence that the people, on being scattered by God, took the Babylonian pagan belief with them is well documented by Alexander Hislop in his book The Two Babylons.
Further evidence of the cultures of the world being linked to Mystery Babylon Religion can be seen in the existence of pyramids in cultures around the world:
- There are 25 Ziggurats that are situated in the Biblical areas of Sumer, Babylonia, and Assyria – modern day Iran and Iraq. These Ziggurats are the direct descendants of the Babylonian Tower of Babel.
- Egypt has numerous pyramids, with the best-known being Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure situated at Giza.
- Over 40 pyramid mausoleums have been discovered in China. The Chinese, as with the Egyptians, built pyramids for religious purposes, connecting the souls of the dead with the afterlife in the constellations.
- The South American cultures of the Aztec, Maya, Inca and Olmec built pyramids for a number of reasons. The pyramid was erected in the centre of their cities and was the focus of public life, where holy rituals, which included human sacrifice took place. The pyramids were used to house their gods and to bury their kings. The pyramids were also used for observation of the stars, as great importance was placed upon astronomical rituals determining most aspects of their existence.
- In North America there are the Cahokia Mounds on the flood plains of the Mississippi, the largest of them being Monk’s Mound, a flat-topped mud pyramid that covers more than 14 acres with a 5,000-square-foot temple. The pyramid mounds were used for sacred ceremonies and for astronomical observations.
There is therefore clear evidence that the four kingdoms of Nebuchadnezzar’s idol, were all kingdoms that were strongly rooted in Mystery Babylonian Religion.
The coming Kingdom of God
Verse 44 has important prophetic information for us to understand regarding the Kingdom of God:
“44 And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever.” (2:44)
The return of Jesus to earth to establish His Kingdom should be a focus of every believer’s prayers. Not only is it a time of restoration, where the earth is once more like the Garden of Eden, and the sins of mankind are curtailed, it is also a time of covenant fulfilment. The Messiah Yeshua takes His rightful place on the throne of David, in the City of Peace, as King over the 12 tribes of Israel (Deuteronomy 30:1–10; 2 Samuel 7:10–13), and rules the world. The Church will rule and reign with our Bridegroom for a thousand years (Revelation 20:1-6), yet not only do very few Christians pray into this prophecy, Satan has the majority of the “Christian” world rejecting the idea because of Replacement Theology. And, for those that are wondering, yes, God requires us to pray into prophecy, God moves when we pray, it is His expectation of us. We will see evidence of this when we cover Daniel chapter 9.
The statement made by Daniel regarding the Kingdom in his interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream is confirmed in the following scriptures:
“He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end” (ESV).
1 Corinthians 15:24-25:
“Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet” (NIV).
“The LORD said to me, ‘You are my Son; today I have begotten you. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel” (ESV).
“The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever‘” (NIV).
Nebuchadnezzar Honours Daniel (2:46-49)
“Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell prostrate before Daniel and paid him honour and ordered that an offering and incense be presented to him. The king said to Daniel, ‘Surely your God is the God of gods and the Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries, for you were able to reveal this mystery.‘ Then the king placed Daniel in a high position and lavished many gifts on him. He made him ruler over the entire province of Babylon and placed him in charge of all its wise men. Moreover, at Daniel’s request the king appointed Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego administrators over the province of Babylon, while Daniel himself remained at the royal court.” (2:46-49)
The amazing statement is made in verse 46, which needs to be viewed in context with other pagan courts of the time, to understanding the authority of the king in his royal court. The book of Esther gives us a glimpse into the Persian royal court, and of the high status a king had, and the respect and reverence that he demanded:
“All the king’s officials and the people of the royal provinces know that for any man or woman who approaches the king in the inner court without being summoned the king has but one law: that he be put to death. The only exception to this is for the king to extend the gold sceptre to him and spare his life” (Esther 4:11).
In the book of Nehemiah, we read that Nehemiah took his life into his own hands when he fulfilled his duties in the Persian royal court with a sad expression! (Neh. 2:2). So, when the book of Daniel records that Nebuchadnezzar “fell prostrate before Daniel” and paid homage to a trainee wise man, we can imagine just how shocking this would have been for the members of Nebuchadnezzar’s courts. But the explanation is very revealing, it shows just how much the meaning of the dream had being weighing on the mind of the king.
Daniel becomes ruler over the province of Babylon – though not the empire, that extended far beyond Babylon. He is also placed in charge of all the wise men. And, at Daniel’s request, Nebuchadnezzar appoints his Hebrew countrymen as administrators – a position that gets them in trouble with jealous courtiers, which we’ll see in Daniel chapter 3. How thrilled were the wise men, who would have worked hard for many years to become an adviser to the king, that they now had four apprentices ruling over them?
Two Important Points
Nebuchadnezzar is ecstatic with the interpretation of the dream by Daniel, as not only was Daniel able to interpret the dream, but he is depicted as the head of gold. Nebuchadnezzar, although recognizing God as the “God of gods, the Lord of kings and the revealer of mysteries” (2:47), does not immediately accept God. Nebuchadnezzar still needs to be humbled before this can happen, and in chapter four Nebuchadnezzar will have a second dream which will outline how that will happen.
Chapter two is therefore recorded to explain two extremely important points, which will receive further clarification in the book:
- The book of Daniel serves as a record of world history and prepares us for what is to come. We clearly see that God changes time and eras and dethrones and enthrones kingdoms. When God establishes His Kingdom, it will not be replaced, it will endure forever. No human hand works in carving the stone, there will be no intervention by man. Man’s kingdoms are halted in a moment of time by the return of the Lord in Revelation 19.
- The book of Daniel, starting with chapter 2, becomes a foundation for future prophesies – as we have already seen in connection with the book of Revelation.
Chapter two has Nebuchadnezzar come to recognise the power and authority of Daniel’s God, he is being prepared for a step by step process by God, which will result in his conversion in Chapter 4.
Other aspects from chapter 2 that are important to identify are:
- Instruction: People want to know the future, and Daniel 2 clearly tells us that God alone is the one that controls the future. This should be a lesson for every Christian, that God is not only in control of the future and world events, our sovereign Lord is also in control of our lives.
- Divining the future: Daniel clearly shows that only God is able to reveal the future (Isaiah 46:10), and the Babylonian methods of divination are from the realm of the demonic (Deuteronomy 18:10-18). Entering into the spirit realm has serious consequences for both the saved and unsaved.
- Spiritual insight: There are four gifts of the Holy Spirit that reveal to a believer that which is hidden or unknown (1 Corinthians 2:9-16): 1). The gift of prophecy in the New Testament is the receiving of a divinely inspired message, with the purpose of edifying the body of Christ. 2). The gift of wisdom is special understanding, discernment and insight into scripture, and the ability to skilfully pass on the truths revealed to others. 3). The gift of knowledge is a special insight that is provided by the Holy Spirit. 4). The gift of discernment of spirits is the ability to discern God’s truths from Satan’s lies.
- Prophecy: One of the five-fold ministries is the gift of prophecy, in the Old Testament definition of the word. A true prophet never spoke on their own authority, or influenced their message with their own opinion. This also applies to the New Testament prophet, they must dutifully deliver that which God has revealed to them. These people minister under the strict requirement that none of their prophecies may prove to be wrong, or they are not of God (Deut. 18:22).
- Humility: Daniel as a humble servant seeks to serve God and does not focus on gaining a reputation for himself. He ensures that Nebuchadnezzar is well aware that God is the source of the interpretation, being a witness to His power (2:28). Humility in contrast to pride is one of the themes of Daniel.
- Unshakeable: The character of Daniel is emphasised in chapter two, when confronted with a life and death situation, he remains calm and turns to God for guidance.
- Prayer: Another of the themes of Daniel is the importance of prayer; faced with a critical situation Daniel and his friends turn to God and seek His will on the situation. God honours their devotion and concern for the pagan wise men. Dedicated intercessors are vital for the functioning of a church.
- Giving thanks: The first thing Daniel did upon receiving the answer to his prayers, is give thanks to the Lord (2:20-23). We are in all circumstances to recognise God’s hand working in our lives (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
- Blessing follows testing: Daniel mirrors the life of Joseph, in that after a time of trial and testing, they are both rewarded and elevated from slaves to positions of authority.