CHAPTER 2 | Verses 37-49

God revealed to Daniel what Nebuchadnezzar had dreamt. God also revealed to Daniel the interpretation of that dream. Everything that needed to be known came from God. Daniel was a faithful, humble, obedient instrument that God used to make His will known to Nebuchadnezzar. 

Verse 37: “You, O king, are the king of kings whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, and the power, and the authority, and the honour.” 

The first thing Nebuchadnezzar needs to recognise and understand is that he is in the privileged position he is in (a king of kings) because God has allowed him to be there, and He has placed him there. 

Verse 38: “It has been given into your hand wherever the sons of men, the beasts of the field, and also the birds of the heaven dwell. And you rule over all of them. You are the head of gold.” 

Head of gold: The image that Nebuchadnezzar had dreamt about had a head of gold. This verse reveals to us that that head relates to (this king of) Babylon. 

Verse 39: “After you shall be established another kingdom – inferior to yours. And then a third kingdom will be established, made of copper, and it will rule over all the earth.” 

Inferior: In the same way that silver is inferior to gold so too will the second kingdom (the Persian Empire) that will arise – represented by the chest and arms of silver – be inferior to Babylon. Third kingdom: That third kingdom (The Greek Empire) is represented by the copper (or bronze) belly and thighs of the image. 

Verse 40: “And a fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron, but just as iron crumbles and breaks everything so also will iron be broken and crumble, just as this kingdom, it is also going to be broken of all of these.” 

This fourth kingdom (the Roman Empire), which was to come out of the third kingdom, and which was going to rule over all of the world, was going to be very strong. However, even though it was so strong, it too (like all the other kingdoms) was going to be broken, and become like dust. 

Verse 41: “And you have seen its feet, and the toes of its feet, that it was partly potters clay and partly iron. And it shall be that this kingdom will be divided. Its strength shall be as iron, just as you have seen that iron is mixed with ceramic clay.” 

Potters clay: Able to be formed and moulded. Ceramic clay: This is referring to the liquid that goes on clay to make it almost like a different substance. What it is saying here is that this clay is going to be diluted. 16 Note: The strong foundation is going to be able to be changed. Because it is so malleable it is divided and is not going to be able to endure (Mark 3:24-26). 

Verse 42: “And as the toes of its feet were partly iron and partly clay so will this kingdom be partly strong and partly brittle.” Partly iron and partly clay: There is a problem with the foundation. Although it has a strength to it there is also a clay aspect to it. This kingdom is going to become brittle, and it is going to be broken – it is going to surrender, give up. 

Verse 43: “The iron that you saw mixed with the watery clay, even though it is mixed one with another with the seed of men, will not cling to one another -just as iron is not mixed with clay.” 

Mixed…with the seed of men: Even though this kingdom has strength it has a problem – because of human influence this kingdom is going to be divided, diluted, brittle. In the end it is going to be defeated because of the shortcomings and frailties of human beings. Note: This is a Biblical principle: Human beings cannot be taken and mixed with the spiritual without redemption. 

Verse 44:In the days of these kings the God of heaven will establish a Kingdom that will not be destroyed. This Kingdom will not pass to a different people. It shall break to pieces all of these kingdoms and will set them to an end. And it will be established forever.” 

The God of heaven will establish a Kingdom: The Kingdom of God. 

Verse 45: “That which you saw from the mountain, the stone that was cut out not by human hands, is going to break the iron, the copper, the clay, the silver and the gold. Behold the Great God has made known to the king what will be in the future. True is this dream, and faithful is its interpretation.” 

Mountain…the stone: Mountain, Scripturally, relates to a government. Here it is placed within the context of the stone (Messiah – Psalm 118:22-24, Matthew 21:33-44). This is a reference to the Kingdom/government that Messiah is going to establish. 

Iron, the copper, the clay, the silver and the gold: These kingdoms of man are being broken down in reverse order (from the end to the beginning – Nebuchadnezzar saw forward into history, we see backwards into it), but the clay appears to be out of the order from where we would expect it to be. It is placed in the middle of all the other kingdoms. The purpose of this is to show us that throughout history this empire keeps manifesting itself in different ways, and different locations, but it is the same empire. These empires, throughout history, have always tried to use unredeemed man (the clay – Isaiah 29:16, Isaiah 64:8 and Romans 9:21-23), and for that reason they are not going to prosper, they are not going to be successful, and they are going to be destroyed. Made known…what will be in the future: This passage reveals, clearly, to us that this is about the last days. 17 

Verse 46: “Then Nebuchadnezzar, the king, fell with his face to the ground and he bowed to Daniel. He commanded that there be brought to him an offering and incense.” 

Bowed: Nebuchadnezzar, a great king (earlier called a king of kings), worshiped after he received revelation (the revelation of the dream, as well as its interpretation, as given to Daniel by God). In one sense this is problematic – a man should not worship another man. We need to however not miss what the Scripture is revealing to us – Daniel is a typology for Messiah in this passage. What this, therefore, hints to is that Messiah is going to be worshiped (Philippians 2:6-11). Offering and incense: These images of worship confirm that Messiah is going to be worshiped. 

Verse 47: “The king answered Daniel and he said: ‘True is this thing. Your God is the God of gods and the Lord of kings. He reveals the secrets. For you are able to reveal this secret.” 

Your God: “Your” is written in the plural. This emphasizes the sons of Judea (Daniel and his friends). This emphasises that it is God who receives praises. 

Verse 48: “So the king promoted Daniel and gave to him great gifts and many gifts. He put him in power over the province of Babylon and set him as the head over all the wise men of Babylon.” 

Promoted: The word used here is a term of promotion, but is also a word of recognition. King Nebuchadnezzar set Daniel apart from all the other wise men in Babylon. Head: Chief. Leader 

Verse 49: “And Daniel requested that the king appoint Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego over the charge of the country of Babylon. And Daniel remained in the courtyard of the king.” 

Daniel and these three men (Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego) were discerned to be different by Nebuchadnezzar. They were different because they did not defile themselves, they did not assimilate, and they were men that chose the commandments of God. Nebuchadnezzar was wise enough to put them in charge over the affairs of his province.


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