Daniel Chapter 2: The Dream Of The King!
The dream of World Empire was not given to a Hebrew prophet but to a heathen king, the prophet was merely an expositor. The vision did not centre on Jerusalem but on Babylon. The focus of interest was not the kingdom of God but the kingdoms of men.
Nothing could more graphically illustrate the fallen fortunes of the Hebrew people or the world importance of Nebuchadnezzar’s conquest of Jerusalem. For with Nebuchadnezzar began a new departure in God’s dealings with this planet. With him began a period called “the times of the Gentiles” (Luke 21v24). Up until the coming of Nebuchadnezzar God had invested the right to rule the world in Israel. The Hebrew people were to establish a theocracy and become a people ruled by God. The Hebrew nation was to be in treaty relationship with God; “Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 12vv1-3). The country deeded to Abraham stretched from the Nile to the Euphrates; “In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates” (Genesis 15v18) and it was located at the geographical centre of the world, situated where it could touch three continents. Moreover, Israel was to establish in Jerusalem a testimony for God to all nations, and Jewish ambassadors were to have been a worldwide witness to the true and living God. No nation on earth would have dared to lift a weapon against them; the coming of Christ would have heralded the establishment of a world empire ruled from Jerusalem. Sadly though, the appalling and repeated apostasies of Israel brought judgement after judgment, prophet after prophet, and warning after warning all to no avail. The Assyrians came and marched the northern tribes into captivity. Judah only redoubled its sins. Then came Nebuchadnezzar. Jerusalem was delivered into the hands of the gentiles to be under gentile dominion for an unspecified period of time, but for seventy years at least. The temple was burned to the ground, hopes of a worldwide theocracy vanished, and world power was sovereignly transferred by God from the Jews to the gentiles. This vision of Nebuchadnezzar is to be seen in this light. God’s millennial promises to Israel were now deliberately postponed and, after the crime of Calvary, they were postponed again. Now, in our age, the configuration of world events seems to herald the count-down to end times, seen in the vision of this pagan king, and to serve notice on the world that the long “times of the Gentiles” are about to end. So let’s do a little in-depth examination of chapter two of this amazing book of Daniel that we may discover God’s wonderful plan for the years ahead.
We come now to this amazing chapter, which we should remember was written some six hundred years before Christ. And to read in that prophecy the things that we see coming to pass in our world today is the most wonderful example of the greatness and majesty of our great and eternal God. It is evident that the real subject of the first part of this book commences with this chapter. Chapter 1 is prefatory and introductory, giving, so to speak, the situation, and displaying a view of the various actors in the following events, together with their relative positions, while behind all, God is clearly revealed as working all things after the counsel of His own will. However supreme man may seem to be, as, for instance, Nebuchadnezzar in his dominion, it is always to be remembered that God never surrenders the reins of government. He may control directly or indirectly, but He does control the smallest as well as the greatest events that happen on the earth. It was thus not by chance that Nebuchadnezzar "dreamed dreams" in the second year of his reign, "wherewith his spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake from him" (Daniel 2v1).
The same thing had happened, it will be recalled, to Pharaoh, and it was used to bring Joseph to the notice and succor of the king, and to be the means, in God's hand, of constituting him ruler over all the land of Egypt; and he thus became no mean type of the rejection and exaltation of Christ in His earthly glory. In a similar way the dreams of Nebuchadnezzar were the occasion for the introduction of Daniel to the king, and of his exaltation as ruler over the whole province of Babylon. But man must ever come to the end of his own resources before he is made willing to turn to God for aid and direction. The king had ascertained for himself that in all matters of wisdom and understanding the "four children" were ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm; and yet he did not in his perplexity turn to them for help and counsel.
So we notice the king’s agitation because of the dream becomes very definitely pronounced for we read, "and his spirit was troubled, and his sleep went from him. Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the astrologers, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, for to show the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king" (Daniel 2vv1-2). All the wise men of his realm, men of knowledge and experience, all the philosophers and scientists of the day were thus assembled to listen to the commands of Nebuchadnezzar. The king's request was simple: he had forgotten his dream, and he desired them to tell him what it was that he had dreamed, and then to give its interpretation. Pity might be felt for these men of wisdom, in being subjected to such an ordeal, but did we not remember that the professors of the occult sciences of that day claimed to be able to reveal secrets, and to penetrate into regions hidden from mortal eyes; and, secondly, that the whole thing was designed of God to bring to naught, in the eyes of this absolute monarch, the wisdom of the wise, to take them in their own craftiness, and thus to pour contempt upon all the pride of man. Their reply was, "Tell thy servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation" (Daniel Ch.2v4).
An interpretation might easily be given, one, which, if it concerned future events, might pass unchallenged, for until the time came for it to be realized no one could say whether it was true or false. The purpose of God, therefore, to expose the vanity of their pretended skill and knowledge, would not then have been accomplished. The king would not be pacified by their answer; so we see the magician’s condemnation because of the dream, “If you will not make known unto me the dream, with the interpretation of it, you shall be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made a refuse heap” (Daniel Ch.2v5). They were in fact condemning themselves and, on being further urged by alternate promises of reward and threatening, they were driven to confess, "There is not a man upon the earth that can show the king's matter: therefore there is no king, lord, nor ruler, that asked such things at any magician, or astrologer, or Chaldean. And it is a rare thing that the king requires, and there is none other that can show it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh" (Daniel Ch. 2vv10-11).
The issue raised was thus decided, and the wise men themselves were compelled, in no dubious language, to own their incompetence to reveal the king's secret, and to declare at the same time that the knowledge required of them lay outside the domain of man altogether, that the "gods" alone possessed it. On the side of man, the answer was not so unreasonable; but Nebuchadnezzar, absolute and imperious monarch as he was, would not suffer the contradiction of his wishes; and, enraged, he commanded to destroy all the wise men of Babylon. "For this cause the king was angry and very furious, and commanded to destroy all the wise men of Babylon. And the decree went forth that the wise men should be slain and they sought Daniel and his fellows to be slain (Daniel Ch.2vv12-13). Man's extremity of course is God's opportunity. Daniel had not been summoned with the astrologers before the king; but, being included in the public reckoning among the "wise men," he was amenable to the king's decree. This brought him into notice, and into contact with the officer charged with its execution. It was God's purpose to bring His witness, in the person of Daniel, before Nebuchadnezzar; and the king's forgetfulness of his dream, and his anger at the failure of his wise men to tell him what it was, were only the instrumentalities for its accomplishment.
On learning from Arioch the cause of the king's anger, and of the decree that had gone forth, we notice Daniel’s supplication concerning the dream. "Daniel went in, and desired of the king that he would give him time, and that he would show the king the interpretation" (Daniel Ch.2v16). What, it may be enquired, led Daniel to suppose that this secret would be communicated to him? The answer is, Confidence in God, and the assurance that as His glory was concerned in the matter, as well as the safety of those who had, through His grace, maintained their faith and hope in Him amid all the seductions of the Babylonian court, He would not fail to interpose for their rescue in this hour of peril. It was, in truth, a supreme moment — a moment when all the wisdom of the world had confessed its failure. If, therefore, Daniel could reveal the king's secret, God would be publicly magnified before the whole realm. Daniel's next step was to go to his house, and make the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions: that they would desire mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret; that Daniel and his fellows should not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. This was the moment Daniel was glad he had a friend in the king’s court “Then Daniel answered with counsel and wisdom to Arioch, the captain of the king’s guard, who was gone forth to slay the wise men of Babylon. He answered and said to Arioch, the king’s captain, why is the decree so hasty from the king? Then Arioch made the thing known unto Daniel. Then Daniel went in, and desired of the king that he would give him time, and that he would show the king the interpretation” (Daniel Ch.2vv14-16). Not only that, but this was the moment Daniel was glad he had friends of the same mind and heartbeat for God, as he himself close by (Daniel Ch.2vv.17-18). The hymn writer had it right when he said, “take time to be holy, speak oft with thy Lord, abide in Him always, and feed on His Word. Make friends of God’s children, help those who are weak; forgetting in nothing His blessings to seek” Counting upon God, Daniel associated his companions with himself in his supplications. It is the first instance of united prayer recorded in Scripture; and the fact that these children of the captivity resorted to it, discovers to us the secret of their holy and separate walk. Dependence on God in secret is the means of all power in life and testimony, and, it may be added, of courage in the presence of man and of Satan's power. These four, on their knees at such a moment before the God of heaven, present a wondrous spectacle. They were but aliens in a strange land, expatriated for the sins of their nation; and now they were doomed to a speedy death, unless the forgotten dream could be recalled and interpreted. But they knew with whom they had to do, the One who had said in their own Scriptures, "Call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me" (Psalm 50v15) and hence they waited and pleaded before Him concerning this secret, nor was their confidence in vain: God heard their cry, and the secret was revealed unto Daniel in a night vision “Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision” (Daniel Ch.2v19). This was God’s revelation of the dream. It will be remarked that they pray to the God of heaven. In Israel He was known as the Lord of all the earth (Exodus Ch.8v22; Joshua Ch.3v11; 2 Kings Ch.5v15). For indeed He dwelt with, also had His throne in the midst of His people. But now it was otherwise; for He had removed His throne from Jerusalem, and committed the sovereignty of the earth to Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel Ch.2vv37-38), and hence it was with a true understanding of their own position in relation to God, that the "four children" addressed Him as the God of heaven. The time will come when He will once more resume the title of the God of the earth, and it is His claims as such that will form the subject of testimony on the part of the two witnesses in the book of Revelation. The true reading in Revelation Ch.11v 4 is "the Lord of the earth."
The heart of Daniel was filled with thanksgiving at the revelation to him of the king's secret; and the character of his piety, the state of his soul, is seen in that he turned immediately to God with thanksgiving and praise which of course is Daniel’s adoration because of the dream. When blessings are communicated, there is often a tendency to fall at once to their enjoyment instead of tracing them back, as Daniel did, to the heart of God. Daniel Ch.2v19 gives the general fact of his having blessed God; and then we have, in Daniel Ch.2vv20-23, the exact words in which his thanksgiving was rendered. First he ascribes blessing to the name of God forever and ever. The praise he offers, he desires to be eternal, "from eternity to eternity," as the due of Him who had been pleased to reveal Himself to His people. He then assigns a reason — "Wisdom and might are His." A simple utterance, but how profound! For if wisdom and might are God's (compare Revelation Ch.5v12), they are nowhere else to be found, and it is in vain to turn for them to any but God. Next, he ascribes to God universal sovereignty. "He changeth the times and the seasons: He removeth kings, and setteth up kings" (Daniel 2v21). The potentates of the earth may claim to exercise absolute power; and men by the force of arms, or even by political movements, may depose monarchs and establish governments; but neither the power nor the wisdom is theirs, they are but the blind instruments of the divine will. Once we recognize with Daniel the sovereignty of God, and, whatever the character of the times in which we live, or the menacing aspect of public affairs, we may rest in perfect peace, knowing, as Nebuchadnezzar had to confess, that God "doeth according to His will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth" (Daniel Ch.4v35). Moreover, Daniel says, "He giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding" (Daniel Ch.2v21b). This principle is everywhere affirmed, that there must be a state of soul to receive from God. The apostle Paul thus prayed (Colossians Ch.1v9), that the Colossians might be filled with the knowledge of God's will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding. In like manner we learn from these words of Daniel, that to be divinely wise, wise after God's thoughts (and the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom), is the condition of receiving wisdom. To him that hath shall be given, and this is what Daniel confesses, whether in respect of wisdom or understanding. He therefore proceeds, "He revealeth the deep and secret things: He knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with Him"; for He is a God of omniscience, and all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do “If I say, surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee, but the night shineth as the day; the darkness are both alike to thee” (Psalm 139vv11-12). After this celebration of what God is, in His wisdom, power, and sovereignty, Daniel offers his thanksgivings for the special mercy he had received. And in doing so he passes from the address, "God of heaven," to the more intimate title, "God of my fathers" (Daniel Ch.2v23). For the God of his fathers who they had known and who had succoured them out of their distresses, is the One who had appeared on his own behalf, and he thanks and praises Him accordingly, and as the One who had now given him "wisdom and might." It is beautiful to notice, lastly, how he associates his companions with himself. "Thou," he says, "hast made known unto me now what we desired of Thee: for Thou hast now made known unto us the king's matter" (Daniel Ch.2v23). Together they had sought the help of their God; and Daniel in full identification with his brethren acknowledges that the answer they had received was God's response to their united cry.
At once "Daniel went in unto Arioch, whom the king had ordained to destroy the wise men of Babylon: he went and said thus unto him, Destroy not the wise men of Babylon: bring me in before the king, and I will show unto the king the interpretation" (Daniel Ch.2v24). This is of course is Daniel’s declaration about the dream. Arioch complied "in haste" with Daniel's request; and "the king answered and said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar. “Then Arioch brought in Daniel before the king in haste, and said thus unto him, I have found a man of the captives of Judah, that will make known unto the king the interpretation” (Daniel Ch.2v25). “Art thou able to make known unto me the dream which I have seen, and the interpretation thereof?" (Daniel Ch.2v26). The answer of Daniel is given in three parts; first, his explanation of the source and the object of the revelation of the secret; secondly, the dream itself; and lastly its interpretation. Daniel commences, in evident communion with the mind of God, by declaring the impotence of human wisdom, in accordance with the words of another prophet, "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent" (1 Corinthians Ch.1v19). Writing thus, as led of the Holy Spirit, the sentence of death upon the wisdom of the world, Daniel proceeds to declare the source of the vision. "Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, the secret which the king had demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, reveal unto the king; But there is a God in heaven who 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: As for thee, O king, thy thoughts came into thy mind upon thy bed, what should come to pass hereafter; and he who revealeth secrets maketh known to thee what shall come to pass" (Daniel Ch.2vv27-29). This was Daniel's God, and he delighted to exalt Him in the presence of this absolute and idolatrous king. He then announces the object of the dream in respect of Nebuchadnezzar; it was to make known to him what should be in the latter days. Finally, he disclaims any merit for himself; “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 Ch.2v30). He was nothing but the vessel, of the forgotten dream. God had His people in view, the faithful remnant to which Daniel belonged, in revealing the dream; and He also purposed that the king should know the thoughts of his heart. Daniel thus kept himself in the background a sure sign of his moral preparedness to bear testimony for God.
The nearer we are to God, the more we lose sight of ourselves, and the better we are able to apprehend and to communicate His mind. After Daniel had explained to the king the source and object of the revelation of his secret, he proceeded to recall the dream and to give the interpretation. Here we have Daniel’s explanation of the dream. The language he employed in describing the dream was as simple as it was grand. "Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible" (Daniel Ch.2v31). The details will come before us in considering the interpretation; but it may be remarked at once that while the image represents the times of the Gentiles, from Nebuchadnezzar's day until the establishment of the kingdom of Christ, it is yet one image, and that the image of a man. It is thus, as has been strikingly observed by another, a representation of "the man of the earth" (see Psalm Ch.10v18), and the man of the earth, it may be added, as expressed in government — in all the various phases, as will afterwards be seen, of his corrupt heart and unbridled will. Man is never, indeed, fully revealed until all restraints are removed and he has the liberty as well as the inclination to gratify his own lusts (see 2 Thessalonians Ch.2vv6-12). The image, while a complete image, is yet divided, as to its composition, into four parts the head of fine gold; his breast and arms of silver; his belly and his thighs of brass; and his legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. There is, therefore, deterioration from the head to the feet, as seen in the figurative employment of the different metals. Finally the image was smitten by a stone; "cut out without hands" (Daniel Ch.2v31). “And all its several parts were broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing-floors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth" (Daniel Ch.2vv34-35).
Such was the dream; and the prophet's authentic interpretation follows. The head of gold was Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel Ch.2v38). Of all the kingdoms that are to span the interval between the destruction of Jerusalem and the period of the establishment of the everlasting dominion of the Son of man, that of Babylon is pre-eminent. The reason is here given. Nebuchadnezzar's kingdom was a direct gift from God. As Daniel said, "This is the dream, and we will tell its interpretation before the king. Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory. And wherever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold!" (Daniel Ch.2v36-38). Now we are discovering Daniel is giving the interpretation of this amazing dream. This could not be said of any of the three successive kingdoms. They come upon the scene in a providential manner, as permitted of God, for the government of the earth, and according to His ordering; but their respective heads were in no sense the direct depositaries of power, as was Nebuchadnezzar. He was nearest God in this external sense and therefore, his responsibility was consequently all the greater.
The character of his kingdom, as described by Daniel, was remarkable. Nebuchadnezzar was a king of kings — the supreme monarch, by God's appointment, over all the kings of the earth, for God had given him "a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory" — all of, which were wonderful words as setting forth the majesty and excellency of his position and dominion. Nor was his authority confined to men; for "where so ever 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" (Daniel Ch.2v38). A comparison has sometimes been drawn between the place occupied by Adam as head of this creation, and the position here given to the king of Babylon; and it has been well said by J. N. Darby, "Although more limited, it is a dominion characterized by the same features as that of Adam, it differs in that men are placed under his power; it is more limited, for the sea is not included in his sovereignty, but it reaches to every place where the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven exist”. Taking these various features into consideration, it is easily comprehended that Nebuchadnezzar should be set forth as the head of gold. It must be observed that it is not only Nebuchadnezzar personally that is figured by the head of gold, for the successors of his own line until Belshazzar are included. The next two kingdoms, as denoted by the silver and the brass, are passed over with the slightest mention in the interpretation; but in another part of the book they are plainly stated to be the Medo-Persian and Grecian kingdoms (Daniel Ch.8vv20-21). The fourth kingdom is described more at large; and happily there is no difficulty in its identification, as all prophetic expositors agree that it is that of Rome — the four kingdoms being Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome; and these, as will be seen, are to occupy the whole period of the times of the Gentiles.
The features of the fourth kingdom, as delineated by Daniel, must be briefly considered. Before this is done, however, its duration must be indicated. It continues plainly until the kingdom of Christ is established (Daniel Ch.2v44); and hence, to understand this, other scriptures have to be consulted. Historically, the Roman Empire succeeded that of Greece, and, "strong as iron," it broke in pieces and subdued all things. Its might for the time seemed to be irresistible, and it established its dominion throughout the greater part of the then known world. All this is a matter of history; but the question arises, if this Roman empire is to be found in existence on the eve of the appearing of Christ, where is it now, and whence is it again to emerge into view? It is in the book of Revelation that the answer to this question is found. That the outward form of this kingdom has disappeared is only too apparent; to human eyes it is, in fact, non-existent. In God's eyes it is, but hidden for the moment, and waiting to spring forth and to astonish the world by its reappearance. The angel thus said to John, in interpreting the "mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns, the seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space. And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition" (Revelation Ch.17vv7-11). And more precisely still. "The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is" (Revelation Ch.17v8). Two things are taught in these scriptures — firstly, that the "beast" is regarded as the continuation of that which formerly existed; and, secondly, that "while of the seven," he reappears after an interval of apparent non-existence. Now this "beast" represents the head of the revived Roman empire in the last days; and his origin and characteristics, as well as the source of his throne and authority, are depicted in Revelation Ch.13vv1-8; and if Revelation Ch.17v2 is compared with Daniel Ch.7vv3-6, it will also be seen that this beast is the successor of the three previous kingdoms, and that as such he combines all their moral features, as portrayed under the symbols of the leopard, the lion, and the bear.
The fourth kingdom therefore, the kingdom in power when our blessed Lord was here on the earth, and by whose authority, in the person of Pilate, He was adjudged to be crucified, is that which will once more be established, and which will continue until smitten by the stone "cut out without hands" (Daniel Ch.2v34).
Daniel Ch.2vv41-43 calls attention to a source of weakness in what was otherwise as "strong as iron": "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. 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. 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." We see no reason to doubt a very common interpretation of the clay, that it represents the mingling of popular, democratic forms with absolute government, the combination of absolutism with the popular will, which, as they are incongruous elements, can never be thoroughly welded together, and must, in the very attempt at union, become a source of weakness. A further idea is given in Daniel Ch.2v43, and is thus explained by another: "'The seed of men” is, I think, something outside of that which characterizes the proper strength of the kingdom . . . Gibbons in his “The Roman Empire” says, “It appears to me that the Barbaric or Teutonic element is probably here pointed out as added to that which originally constituted the Roman Empire. Those who desire to pursue the historical investigation of this statement will find ample accounts of the effect of the irruption of the Goths into Italy, and of the capture of the imperial city.” That the ten toes are also symbolical may be gathered from Daniel Ch.7, and also from Revelation 17; but as they are not explained here the subject may be left until Daniel Ch. 7 is reached, merely remarking that they set forth the ten kingdoms which, federated together under one imperial head, represent the final form of the Roman Empire.
It will now be understood that, under this image, the various forms of the world power are sketched from the days of Nebuchadnezzar down to the time when the Lord will come, take His sovereignty over the whole earth, and reign forever and ever. The chart of this world's history, onward to the close, thus lies open before the eye of God. Men may agitate, devise, form and overturn governments, as they think, in their own power, and according to their own will; but prophecy teaches that they can only act within the limits of the divine will for the accomplishment of what has been purposed. We see, moreover, that human governments, whatever the efforts of sincere, though misguided men, must deteriorate until at length, as we, are distinctly told in the Apocalypse, Satan will be the source and sustainer of the last form of earthly rule. It is well for us, therefore, when, as taught of the Spirit of God, we survey the future, to seek grace to maintain the place of separation outside of all the alarms and confusions of the world, while waiting for the Lord's return. Passing now to Daniel Ch.2v44, we learn that "in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever"; and this is given, as Daniel expressly says, as the explanation of the stone, cut out of the mountain without hands, smiting the image upon his feet, and breaking them to pieces. The expression, "in the days of these kings," is to be noted, especially as following on in Daniel Ch.2v43, as giving the fact, elsewhere formally stated, that the last kingdom of the four will be subdivided into ten kingdoms; and this also marks the time when the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will displace, first destroy and then displace, the last form of the Roman empire. This kingdom set up from heaven is the kingdom of Christ see Daniel Ch.7vv1-14; and its first act will be to break the "image" in pieces, and then, when formally established in power by Christ Himself, it will enlarge itself, until it fills the whole earth; and it will have no successor, for it will stand for ever. In concluding his interpretation, Daniel added two things first, he repeated that the great God had made known to the king what should come to pass hereafter; and, secondly, he assures the king of the certainty both of the dream and of its interpretation. As befitted a divine messenger, he was confident of the truth of his message. It is precisely in this particular that a revelation from God differs from what is of man. All that is outside of the Bible, all that presumes to come into competition with it, and challenges the ears of men, is but a sea, an unformed mass, of opinions and reasoning How welcome therefore to the soul, wearied in its quest after some stable foundation on which to rest in view of death and eternity, is the immutable basis laid for faith in the infallible Scriptures. Daniel's message concerned time alone (although it reached onward to the close of all God's ways in government on the earth); but knowing the source whence it came, he could authoritatively announce that what he had spoken would be surely fulfilled. And Nebuchadnezzar, idolater though he was, acknowledged, was constrained to acknowledge, the power of the word. He "fell upon his face, and worshipped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odours unto him. The king answered unto Daniel, and said, Of a truth it is, that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou couldest reveal this secret" (Daniel Ch.2vv46-47). There was no escape for the king from this conclusion. He only had the dream, and having had it, he only could test Daniel's claim for God to reveal secrets; and hence, when his secret was revealed, the conclusion was irresistible, that Daniel's God; was above all gods. The confession indeed was remarkable, admitting as it did the supremacy of God in heaven and on earth, and also what amounted to His omniscience. However, as far as it went, neither Nebuchadnezzar's conscience nor heart appears to have been reached. It was but the bowing of his mind to the evidence offered. Just as those in the days of our Lord who believed in His name when they saw the miracles, which He did (John Ch.2v23). His action, in yielding homage to Daniel and in commanding an oblation to be offered to him, as well as his subsequent conduct, is the proof of this; even though for the moment he proclaimed in the presence of his court the sovereignty of Daniel's God in heaven and on earth. Lastly, we discover Daniel is exalted through the dream. Nebuchadnezzar "made Daniel a great man, and gave him many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief of the governors over all the wise men of Babylon" (Daniel Ch.2v48). Like Pharaoh, the king felt that "a man in whom the Spirit of God" was (Genesis Ch.41v38), would be a valuable assistant in government; and he consequently promoted him to great honour. Daniel had neither sought nor asked anything for himself; but now that he was exalted, he "requested of the king, and he set Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego over the affairs of the province of Babylon: but Daniel sat in the gate of the king."
In such a way, when the sentence of death had gone forth against them, did God rescue His servants, and, working out His own purposes in testimony and blessing, bring them forth in the full light of the day. They were of the captivity of Judah; but now they are made to occupy the most prominent places in Babylon, for the king exalted them above all his courtiers and nobles in the direction of public affairs, while Daniel himself was in a still higher position, for he "sat in the gate of the king."
A person who lives right, and is right, has more power in his silence than another has by words. Phillips Brooks.
What was said of Levi in Malachi Ch.2v6 could I believe be said also of Daniel, “The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips; he walked with me in peace and equity, and did turn away many from iniquity.”
Having studied most carefully this second chapter it has become very evident to me that prophecy is history prewritten and many of the events that have transpired during the passing years, which have baffled the minds of military strategists, can and should be traced to the Word of God. Daniel foretells the rise and fall of nations and powers with such amazing precision we should the more be drawn to the Word of God for a deeper understanding of things that are yet to come and follow closely God’s wonderful account of both Jew and Gentile and especially the things concerning events which will yet come to pass at the end of the age.