Summary: An explanation of the prophecies represented by the statue in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream.
Daniel contains the ABC’s of Bible Prophecy. Revelation contains the XYZs. I want to use history and the Bible to show you how this is an amazing book you hold in your hands. If you aren’t yet convinced the Bible is a supernatural book, you will be before we complete the study of Daniel.
Daniel 2:31-35, “You looked, O king, and there before you stood a large statue–an enormous, dazzling statue, awesome in appearance. The head of the statue was made of pure gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of baked clay. While you were watching a rock was cut out, but not by human hands. It struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and smashed them. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were broken to pieces at the same time and became like chaff on a threshing floor in the summer. The wind swept them away without leaving a trace. But the rock that struck the statue became a huge mountain and filled the whole earth.”
Can you imagine Nebuchadnezzar’s jaw dropping as Daniel describes in perfect detail everything that Nebuchadnezzar had dreamed? He realizes this young teenager has an amazing gift. But what does this dream mean? Read on:
Daniel 2:36-38, “This was the dream, and now we will interpret it to the king. You, O king, are the king of kings. The God of heaven has given you dominion and power and might and glory; in your hands he has placed mankind and the beasts of the field and the birds of the air. Wherever they live, he has made you ruler over them all. You are that head of gold.”
Nebuchadnezzar is feeling pretty good about now. Wow! I’m the gold!
Daniel 2:39-45, “After you, another kingdom will rise, inferior to yours. Next, a third kingdom, one of bronze, will rule over the whole earth. Finally, there will be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron–for iron breaks and smashes everything–and as iron breaks things to pieces, so it will crush and break all the others. Just as you saw that the feet and toes were partly of baked clay and partly of iron, so this will be a divided kingdom; yet it will have some of the strength of iron in it, even as you saw iron mixed with clay. As the toes were partly iron and partly clay, so this kingdom will be partly strong and partly brittle. And just as you saw the iron mixed with baked clay, so the people will be a mixture and will not remain united, any more than iron mixes with clay.”
“In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever. This is the meaning of the vision of the rock cut out of a mountain, but not by human hands–a rock that broke the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold to pieces. The great God has shown the king what will take place in the future. The dream is true and the interpretation is trustworthy.”
The dream is of a mighty, multi-metallic statue. Then a Rock comes and demolishes the statue. What does it mean?
I. THE KINGDOMS OF THE GENTILES
The statue represents the history of the world empires. But when it was written 2,600 years ago, it was prophecy. That’s what prophecy is, history is reverse. When it comes to world history, Jesus observed there would be a long time of Gentile control over the nation of Israel.
Luke 21:24b, “They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.” And actually the time of the Gentiles began with the Babylonian Kingdom and continued through the Roman Empire and didn’t end until 1967 when once again the Jews established Jerusalem as their capital city.
What does each section of the statue represent?
1. GOLD: Babylonian (605-539 B.C.)
That’s the Babylonian Empire and it represents Nebuchadnezzar. He was pleased to hear that. In the next chapter we are going to see old Nebuchadnezzar build a giant statue and guess what it is made of? All gold, no silver, bronze, or iron. Who do you think Nebuchadnezzar was thinking of when he built that statue? But if he thought his kingdom would last forever, Daniel was about to burst his bubble.
2. SILVER: Medo-Persian (539-331 B.C.)
In 539, Cyrus the Great conquered the Babylonians at the Tigris River, just outside modern Baghdad. This happened while Daniel was still alive. This kingdom lasted almost 200 years. King Ahasuerus was one of the kings of this dynasty, and the events in the book of Esther took place during this time. Later, King Artaxerxes was king when the book of Nehemiah took place.