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Read Introduction to Daniel

 

Daniel 2: 31 “’You, O king, were watching; and behold, a great image! This great image, whose splendor was excellent, stood before you; and its form was awesome. 32 This image’s head was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, 33 its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. 34 You watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. 35 Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed together, and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; the wind carried them away so that no trace of them was found. And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.’”

 

Daniel now gives the most difficult aspect of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream – the content of the dream. 

2:31

You, O king, were watching; and behold, a great image! This great image, whose splendor was excellent, stood before you; and its form was awesome.

Now Daniel delineates precisely what Nebuchadnezzar saw in his dream.  It was a giant statue of a human-looking figure.   It could be that the figure of man here alludes to man’s day on earth.  It refers to the panoramic sweep of history between Nebuchadnezzar’s day and the Second Coming of Christ. 

This great colossus represents man’s dominion over man in the Devil’s world.  All of man’s glory is transient.   All these empires rise to great glory and decline into defeat.  The glory of nations is a transient thing.  

2:32

This image’s head was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze,

The important aspect of this statue was the material that composed it.  There is decreasing value in the metals from the head to the feet.  The head was “fine gold,” the “chest and arms of silver,” and its “belly and thighs of bronze.” 

2:33

its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay.

An important distinction is made between the legs and feet.  The legs were pure iron but the feet had iron and clay.  The statue was top-heavy because the heaver metals were at the top.  The significance of this will be seen in the interpretation (2:36-45). 

2:34

You watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces.

As Nebuchadnezzar looked at this statue, a stone cut without hands struck the statue on its weakest part – the feet of iron and clay.  Iron mixed with clay is weaker than iron alone.  This stone is very significant, as will be seen in the interpretation. 

2:35

Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed together, and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; the wind carried them away so that no trace of them was found. And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.

The stone broke the statue into pieces.  The statue was crushed like powder and a wind blew the statue away.  The stone that struck the statue became a great mountain [kingdom] and filled the whole earth. 

PRINCIPLE: 

The Bible has the integrity of genuine prophecy. 

APPLICATION: 

Critics of the book of Daniel claim that there is nothing of genuine prophecy in the book.  They maintain that Daniel was written in 165 B.C.  In order to uphold that theory, they have to treat all dreams in Daniel as history.  They claim that Daniel could not have prophesied of Rome in 165 B.C. because Rome was only an emerging power at that date.  They assert that the last world power was Greece and that the immediately preceding empires were Babylon, Media and Persia. 

Daniel, to the contrary, expressly asserts the opposite.  The critics divide the Median-Persian kingdom into two empires in order to make their point.  However, Daniel 8 looks at the Median-Persian kingdom as a unit (8:3, 5 speak of the ram with two horns; 8:20 says the ram with two horns is the Media-Persian kingdom).  This corresponds with the beast and two arms of silver of Daniel 2.  The Persians subsumed the Medes in 550 B.C.

The four kingdoms of Daniel 2 are Babylonian, Median-Persian, Greek and Roman.

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