Summary: The Lord used Daniel to lay out His future plan for governemt, leading to the culminating Kingdom reign of Messiah on earth. By studying Daniel 2 and 7, we can learn God's plan for planet earth.
there is Prophetic significance in the book of Daniel:
‒ Jews were in Babylon
‒ The WORLD is in view.
‒ Unlike other Prophets, Daniel had a distinctively INTERNATIONAL ministry
‒ Tremendous INTERNATIONAL upheaval. Babylon achieved many FIRSTS. Power struggle between Babylon and Persia.
‒ The JEWS were living through this period as captives in Babylon.
‒ Daniel was a godly and gifted man. Dan 1:4; 17-21
‒ High ranking Babylonian official
‒ Writes Daniel 2-7 in Aramaic, so Gentiles would read and understand
The KINGS of Babylon
‒ Naboploassar 625-605
‒ Nebuchadnezzar 605-562 (2 Kings 24-25; Daniel)
‒ Neriglissar 560-556 (Jeremiah 39:3, 13) *son-in-law of Nebuchadnezzar
‒ Labishi-Marduk 556
‒ Nabonidus 556-539
NOTE - up until 1920, critics argued that Daniel was in error because it mentioned Belshazzar as King in Babylon when it was conquered by the Medes and Persians in 539. Nabonidus was ruler at that time. However, in 1920, a Babylonian document called Nabonidus Chronicle was found and it was discovered that Nabonidus had a son called Belshazzar:
“In 555, Nobonidus marched an army westward to conquer rebels who had revolted against Babylonian rule since the death of Nebuchadnezzar. Before he left Babylon on this expedition, Nabonidus entrusted “kingship” to his son Belshazzar. Nabonidus settled in the western area of Arabia and left the care of Babylon to his son, Belshazzar, establishing a dual kingship.” Rene Showers, The Most High God, (Belmawr, Friends of Israel: 1982), 49.
DANIEL 2 presents Four World Kingdoms Illustrated by a Great Statute
2:1-13. The King asks the wise men to REVEAL his dream.
Like going to a Psychic and asking “What is my question?”
2:14-23. Daniel asks for TIME to interpret the kings dream. Calls his friends to prayer (2:17-19)
2:24-45. Daniel reveals the dream and interpretation.
∙ 2:28 Glory to the Lord
∙ 2:30 God’s purpose
∙ 2:31-35 summary
∙ 2:36-38. The Head of Gold = Nebuchadnezzar
∙ 2:39. The Body of silver = The Empire of the Medes and Persians
Silver used extensively by the Medes and Persians. Great TRADERS. Silver represented WEALTH. Silver inferior to gold. The Persian empire would be inferior to the Babylonian. Two arms - symbolic of MEDEs and PERSIANS.
Medo-Persia conquered Babylon in 539 BC
∙ 2:39. Belly and Thighs of Bronze = The Greek Empire
Bronze used extensively by GREEKS in their weapons.
Greece conquered Persia in 331 BC (Carchemesh)
∙ 2:40-43. Lego of IRON = The Roman Empire (historical)
Rome crushed all previous empires and was greater than all before. Great military strength. Rome divided into EASTERN and WESTERN (2 legs).
Rome conquered Greece in 146 BC. (Carthage)
∙ 2:40-43. Feet and Toes of IRON mixed with CLAY = the Future (revived) Roman Empire
Iron and Clay do not Mix. 10 toes = 10 independent nations that attempt to function as one. Iron - the Roman empire will be REVIVED, but in a NEW FORM.
∙ 2:44-45. Great Stone cut out of the mountain = The Kingdom of Messiah
To the Babylonians, mountains were DIVINE. The STONE that crushes the statute must be greater than the statute. God’s kingdom will dominate and be greater than the human kingdoms.
Daniel presents FOUR EARTHLY KINGDOMS, ONE SUPERNATURAL KINGDOM
DANIEL 7 Represents Four World Kingdoms Illustrated in Four BEASTS
Vision given to Belshazzar, prior to the events of chapter 5.
“Out of the sea” symbolic of the nations.
∙ 2:4 A Lion with Wings of an Eagle. Represents Babylon. Winged Lions were a symbol of Babylon. (Showers, 75)
∙ 2:5 A Bear. Larger in size, slower in movement - symbolic of Medo-Persia. One side raised up - Persia was more dominant in the partnership than Media. Three ribs in its mouth could refer to the three nations conquered by Medo-Persia (Egypt, Lydia and Babylon).
∙ 2:6. A Leopard. Swift. Greece conquered the world in just 8 years. Over 11,000 miles From Greece in the West to India in the East. FOUR HEADS - After the early death of Alexander, his kingdom was divided among his four key generals.
∙ 2:7. A Terrifying Beast. ROME. Ten horns (revived Roman Empire).
∙ 2:8. Little Horn. Anti-Christ.
∙ 2:9-14. The Ancient of Days and One Like the Son of Man. Son of man = humanity. Ancient of Days is the Eternal God. The Messiah is given authority over human government.
How does this match up with the current situation in the world?
Currently, there are 25 member nations and 3 candidate nations in the European Economic Union.
America is not pictured in these illustration
‒ Great world powers since Rome - Spain, Portugal, France, Great Britain, America.