Verse 1 – Now in the second year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; and his spirit was so troubled that his sleep left him.
Verse 2 – Then the king gave the command to call the magicians, the astrologers, the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans to tell the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king.
Sometimes God will speak to us and show us things in our dreams while we sleep. Nebuchadnezzar was troubled by his dreams, so he called magicians, they practiced superstitious rights and ceremonies of fortune tellers; he called astrologers, which pretended to tell the future by looking at the stars; he called sorcerers, who said they could talk to the dead; and he called Chaldeans, which were Philosophers, similar to the magicians and sorcerers. They all claimed to be able to contact the other side of their gods.
Verse 3 – And the king said to them, “I have had a dream, and my spirit is anxious to know the dream.”
Verse 4 – Then the Chaldeans spoke to the king in Aramaic, “O king, live forever! Tell your servants the dream, and we will give the interpretation.
Nebuchadnezzar was troubled because he couldn’t remember the dream.
Verse 5 – But the king answered and said to the Chaldeans, “My decision is firm: if you do not make known the dream to me, and its interpretation, you shall be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made an ash heap.
Verse 6 – “However, if you tell the dream and its interpretation, you shall receive from me gifts, rewards, and great honor. Therefore tell me the dream and its interpretation.”
Verse 7 – They answered again and said, “Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will give its interpretation.”
Verse 8 – The king answered and said, “I know for certain that you would gain time, because you see that my decision is firm:
Verse 9 – “if you do not make known the dream to me, there is only one decree for you! For you have agreed to speak lying and corrupt words before me till the time has changed. Therefore tell me the dream, and I shall know that you can give me its interpretation.”
The king knows they are stalling for time until the king calms down or begins to remember the dream.
Verse 10 – The Chaldeans answered the king, and said, “There is not a man on earth, who can tell the king’s matter; therefore no king, lord, or ruler has ever asked such things of any magician, astrologer, or Chaldean.
Verse 11 – “It is a difficult thing that the king requires, and there is no other who can tell it to the king except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.”
These men just admitted that they can’t communicate with their gods that they worship. We know from 1 Corinthians 2:11-14, that only a person who is connected to God can discern the things of God, spiritual things are spiritually discerned. God had given the dream and God would use whom He chose to interpret it. This also proves that Satan can not read your mind.
Verse 12 – For this reason the king was angry and very furious, and gave a command to destroy all the wise men of Babylon.
Verse 13 – So the decree went out, and they began killing the wise men; and they sought Daniel and his companions, to kill them.
Daniel and his companions were also subject to execution because they were in the same class of the wise men. However, they have no idea that any of this had taken place.
Verse 14 – Then with counsel and wisdom Daniel answered Arioch, the captain of the king’s guard, who had gone out to kill the wise men of Babylon;
Verse 15 – he answered and said to Arioch the king’s captain, ‘Why is the decree from the king so urgent?” Then Arioch made the decision known to Daniel.
Verse 16 – So Daniel went in and asked the king to give him time, that he might tell the king the interpretation.
Verse 17 – Then Daniel went to his house, and made the decision known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions,
Verse 18 – that they might seek mercies from the God of heaven concerning this secret, so that Daniel and his companions might not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.
Wonder why Daniel and his friends were not called in at first? The king already knew that they were 10 times wiser than all the rest. But the ones the king did call first were exposed to be false pagan teachers who claimed something they could not do. These false teachers were tested and failed, for all to see. This gave God an opportunity to show that He alone was God.
Verse 19 – Then the secret was revealed to Daniel in a night vision. so Daniel blessed the God of heaven.
Verse 20 – Daniel answered and said: “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, for wisdom and might are His.
Verse 21 – And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding.
God answered Daniel’s prayer, but before he rushed off to tell the king, he gave honor and gratitude to God. How thankful are we when God answers our prayers? Do we tell others what He has done, or do we tell them we did it through hard work or perseverance?
Verse 22 – He reveals deep secret things; He knows what is in the darkness, and light dwells with Him.
Verse 23 – “I thank You and praise You, O God of my fathers; You have given me wisdom and might, and have now made known to me what we ask of You, for You have made known to us the king’s demand.”
Verse 24 – Therefore Daniel went 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; take me before the king, and I will tell the king the interpretation.”
Verse 25 – Then Arioch quickly brought Daniel before the king, and said thus to him, “I have found a man of the captives of Judah, who will make known to the king the interpretation.”
Verse 26 – The king answered and said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, “Are you able to make known to me the dream which I have seen, and its interpretation?”
Verse 27 – Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, “The secret which the king has demanded , the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, and the soothsayers cannot declare to the king.
Verse 28 – “But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days. Your dream, and the visions of your head upon your bed, were these:
Verse 29 – “As for you, O king, thoughts came to your mind while on your bed, about what would come to pass after this; and He who reveals secrets has made known to you what will be.
Verse 30 – “But as for me, this secret has not been revealed to me because I have more wisdom than anyone living, but for our sake’s who make known the interpretation to the king, and that you may know the thoughts of your heart.
Daniel states again that not because of any wisdom that he has, but for the sake of the righteous ones that were going to give the interpretation to the king and that the king may know the thoughts of his heart.
Verse 31 – “You, O king, were watching; and behold, a great image! This great image, whose splendor was excellent, stood before you; and its form was awesome.
Verse 32 – “This image’s head was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze,
Verse 33 – “its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay.
Verse 34 – “You watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces.
Verse 35 – “Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed together, and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; the wind carried them away so that no trace of them was found. And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.
The gold on the image’s head represents Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonian empire (605-539 B.C.). The silver chest and arms represent the Medo-Persian empire which conquered Babylon in 539 B.C. The belly and thighs of bronze were Greece and Macedonia under Alexander the Great who conquered the Medo-Persian empire 334-330 B.C. The legs of iron represented Rome, which conquered the Greeks in 63 B.C. The feet of clay and iron represented the breakup of the Roman empire, when the territory of Rome was divided up with a mixture of strong and weak nations. The material of each section of the statue decreased in value but increased in strength. This decrease may symbolize the moral decline of each succeeding kingdom. The stone that would shatter the final kingdom and grow into a mountain that filled the whole earth is the kingdom of God. This dream revealed that God All Mighty is the power behind every earthly kingdom.
Verse 36 – “This is the dream. Now we will tell the interpretation of it before the king.
Verse 37 – “You, O king, are a king of kings. For the God of heaven has given you a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory;
Verse 38 – “and wherever the children of men dwell, or beasts of the field and the birds of the heaven, He has given them into our hand, and has made you ruler over them all – you are this head of gold.
Verse 39 – “But after you shall arise another kingdom inferior to yours; then another, a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth.
Verse 40 – “And the fourth kingdom shall be as strong as iron, inasmuch as iron breaks in pieces and shatters all things; and like iron that crushes, that kingdom will break in pieces and crush all the others.
Verse 41 – “Whereas you saw the feet and toes, partly of potters clay and partly of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; yet the strength of the iron shall be in it, just as you saw the iron mixed with ceramic clay.
The Bible makes a clear statement in Luke 2:1 that Rome ruled the world, for you cannot tax the world unless you rule it. In its height it ruled south of Europe, France, England, the greater parts of the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the South of Germany, Hungary, Turkey, Greece, and parts of Asia and Africa. Rome ruled from 168 B. C. to 476 A. D.
Verse 42 – “And as the toes of the feet were partly iron and partly clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly fragile.
Verse 43 – “As you saw iron mixed with ceramic clay, they will mingle with the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay.
Verse 44 – “And in those days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.
This is God’s kingdom where Christ rules and reigns. God is the One which controls world history. Under God’s protection, His kingdom is indestructible. Those who believe in Him are members of this kingdom.
Verse 45 – “Inasmuch as you saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold – the great God has made known to the king what will come to pass after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation is sure.”
Verse 46 – Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell on his face, prostrate before Daniel, and commanded that they should present an offering and incense to him.
Verse 47 – The king answered Daniel, and said, “Truly your God is the God of gods, the Lord of Kings, and a revealer of secrets, since you could reveal this secret.
Nebuchadnezzar has a momentary conversion, but the seed that was planted into his heart will become choked by his own pride and ambition. We see this same “Momentary moment” where people cry and are sorry, but it doesn’t last, and before long are back to their old ways. There was never a true transformation because the whole heart was never given.
Verse 48 – Then the king promoted Daniel and gave him many great gifts; and he made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief administrator over all the wise men of Babylon.
Verse 49 – Also Daniel petitioned the king, and he set Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego over the affairs of the province of Babylon; but Daniel sat in the gate of the king.
Don’t forget that Daniel’s three companions were also before the king during the dream interpretation. Daniel always said, “We,” including his friends and of course giving God all the credit. The king promoted Daniel and then allowed Daniel to give his friends highly respectable jobs. A leader can’t do everything by himself.