|Daniel 2 &
The Dream of
These verses tell of the search for one who can interpret the dream of the king, or emperor. Of
all those in the kingdom, or empire, only Daniel (Belteshazzar) is found who can interpret the
26 The king answered and said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, Art thou able to
make known unto me the dream which I have seen, and the interpretation thereof? 27
Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, The secret which the king hath
demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, shew
unto the king; 28 But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to
the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy
head upon thy bed, are these; …
Daniel in all of his humility acknowledges the truth of the matter …
But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any
living, but for their sakes that shall make known the interpretation to the king, and that thou
mightest know the thoughts of thy heart.
Daniel then tells Nebuchadnezzar what the dream was that he saw – something that only God
The content of the dream was useless without the interpretation – what did the dream mean?
36 This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king. 37 Thou, O
king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and
strength, and glory. 38 And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field
and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over
them all. Thou art this head of gold.
The head of gold was the Babylonian Empire.
The chest and arms of silver was the Medo-Persian Empire. The empire of the Medes and the
empire of the Persians in history merges as one.
Persia defeated Babylonia in 538 b.c. Daniel speaks of the Medes and Persians while Esther
speaks of the Persians and the Medes, each giving priority to a different part. Cyrus was
Persian, though he was called the king of Persia.
It is under the authority of this empire that the Jews return to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple
and the walls of the city.
and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth.
The belly and thighs of bronze were the Macedonian Empire. The Macedonian Empire is also
known as the Grecian Empire. Begun by Phillip, it reached its height of glory under the hands
of his son, Alexander (the Great), beginning in 334 b.c. At the age of 19, he conquered Persia,
Asia Minor and Eqypt, along with Palestine in four years. He died at the age of 32, and divided
his empire among four generals.
Alexander was responsible for the Hellenization (from Hellas, Greek for Greece) of the ancient
word. Greek became the universal language, even for the Jews. That even included the
translating of the OT into Greek (LXX – The Septuagint) in 280 b.c. in Alexandria, Egypt by 70
Jewish scholars. [This is the OT quoted more frequently by Jesus and the apostles.] This lays
the groundwork for the universal spread of the gospel.
40 And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces
and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and
bruise. 41 And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters' clay, and part of
iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron,
forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. 42 And as the toes of the feet
were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly
broken. 43 And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle
themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is
not mixed with clay.
The legs of iron with feet mixed with miry clay was the Roman Empire. Rome was strong, but
yet it was divided. Begun in 63 b.c., Rome was a republic, which in times of distress became a
dictatorship. Its ten districts were loosely held together except for those times of emergency,
which in the end became artificially cultivated to keep the Caesars in control. But, it was the
feet of clay [the moral corruptness] of the Caesars and the ruling class which led to its ultimate
Judea was divided into three districts by the Romans: Judea, Samaria and Galilee. Herod the
Great was appointed king of Judea in 37 b.c. He rebuilt the temple that was standing in the
days of Jesus. Antipater was appointed governor following Herod.
The Romans established transportation (sailing routes and roads) between the outposts of
their empire to promote commerce and communication. This became the basis of the routes
of the journies which took the gospel to the known world.
In the days of the Roman Empire would come the stone made without hands the Everlasting
Kingdom of God. This kingdom was to surpass the Babylonian Empire [the head of gold], the
Kingdom of the Medo-Persians [the chest and arms of silver], the Macedonian or Grecian
Empire [the belly and thighs of bronze], and the legs of iron and feet of iron mixed with miry clay
[the Roman Empire]. It would become greater than them all.
This kingdom would never be destroyed nor left to other people – it would last until the end of
the age, until the end of time.
It was a stone cut out of the mountain without hands – that is, it was not of man’s making. It
was a kingdom not of this world – a spiritual kingdom, not a physical kingdom.
This dream, and its interpretation, was from God. This is not some mystical guess as to what
will happen in the future – this is the revelation of the God of heaven. There is nothing more
sure than what this vision reveals. It is history before the fact.
Nebuchadnezzar honored Daniel, and gave his friends positions of authority because of the
revelation of God.