Aug. 6. Daniel Explains Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream

Dan. 2:1-49

Dreams are fascinating. Throughout the ages, men have placed an important significance upon their meanings. Nebuchadnezzar’s dreams were so troublesome that they interfered with his sleep. The king demanded that his wise men tell him what he had dreamed and to interpret it for him or they would all be killed and their houses destroyed. Being unable to state the dream, Nebuchadnezzar ordered that all of the wise men of the land, including Daniel and his three friends be put to death. Daniel went to the king and asked for more time.

Upon asking for and receiving the king’s secret from the Lord, Daniel thanked and praised God for giving him wisdom and might. After revealing the dream and its interpretation, he also asked the king that the remaining wise men’s lives be spared. Nebuchadnezzar had seen an image of a man with a head of fine gold, chest and arms of silver, belly and thighs of bronze, legs of iron and its feet of partly iron and clay. A stone was cut out of the mountain without the use of hands. That stone struck the image’s feet and broke them into pieces. Following that, the iron, clay, bronze, silver and gold were crushed together and became as chaff from the threshing floors and scattered away by the wind. No trace of the image remained to be found and the stone “became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.”

The interpretation was that God had given Nebuchadnezzar, the head of gold a kingdom of great power, strength and glory. After him would come three other kingdoms. The iron and clay kingdom would be divided and crushed by the stone. “And in the 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.”

Historical scholars relate that Babylon was crushed by the Medo-Persian Empire, who was later overcome by Alexander the Great and the Greek kings, who in turn fell to the Roman Empire. A careful study of the New Testament reveals that the kingdom represented by the stone is the spiritual kingdom of Christ, His church, one not made or devised by human hands.

The king was so overcome by the revelation and interpretation of his dream that he, “fell on his face, prostrate before Daniel.” Imagine a person of Nebuchadnezzar’s power and authority, falling to worship one of his servants! Daniel gave all of the credit for his knowledge of the dream to God. “Truly your God is the God of gods, the Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets…” Daniel was given gifts and made governor over Babylon. His three friends were promoted to assist him.