EXPLAINS THE CHAPTER TWO VISION ~ OF NEBUCHADNEZER.
~ YET ONE ETERNAL FIFTH KINGDOM!
FIRST CONSIDER WHAT THE DIFFERENCES
ARE IN VISIONS IN DANIEL CH. 2 AND CHAPTER 7.
This study may not mean much to you unless you
have read the previous study.
So please see:
'DANIEL'S REPORT ON TWO SPECIAL DREAM-VISIONS.' [Part 1.]
A. THE MEANING OF NEBUCHADNEZERS DREAM, IN DANIEL'S BOOK, CHAPTER TWO.
A - GOD'S PURPOSES IN THE FIRST VISION ~ OF THE STATUE in Daniel chapter 2.
The first vision/dream was given to Nebuchadnezzar, and only Daniel understood its true meaning.
Reasons WHY Nebuchadnezer was given this Vision, then - [yet it also
blesses us now!]
>To alert him to the fact that it was a great privilege to be a great king. “The God of Heaven has given you dominion and power and might and glory, in your hands He has placed mankind…” [Verse 2:36.] “God has made you a king…” [Verse 37.]
> To direct his attention to Daniel’s message; “there is a God in Heaven Who reveals mysteries.” [2: 28] It is important to read from there, and see that eventually the king ‘got the message’! “The king said to Daniel, ’Surely your God is the God of gods and the Lord of kings and a Revealer of mysteries…’ “ (2: 47!)
Revealing 'mysteries' was an important part of that Culture for many years.
2. It also could have been to honour Daniel (and his three friends) for their very faithful stand for their God in an evil, foreign court. (See verses 48 & 49).
“The king placed Daniel in a high position [and] at Daniel’s request the king appointed Shadrach, Meshech and Abednego administrators…” **
Glorify the God of Heaven and of Israel! Eastern religion
was about ‘mysteries’, [and in this same Land, now called
'IRAN' - today's Leaders: Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and President
Achmadinejad are fascinated by their traditional Shi'ite mysteries of
the Coming 'Mahdi.] Nebuchadnezer had to learn: “There
is a God in Heaven Who reveals mysteries,”
The only One Who can!
And this in a land famed for its ‘magic’ and with hundreds of ‘Magicians’, it was only Daniel, ** a Jewish captive man that had the answers from the "God of Isra'el", the only One Who was also able to do great things anywhere in the world, because He was also, "The God of Heaven!"
> It was a very gracious act of the God of Israel to communicate with the very man who had taken God’s People from the Land of Israel into captivity! (Daniel 1: 1.) Daniel must have been encouraged, also modern refugees!
> It was God’s way of using faithful Daniel to declare God’s messages to a powerful, despotic king, who in turn relayed the story of his experiences to his entire kingdom! Since then, the message of it has been read by many millions of people, and it has been preserved for our encouragement in our Bibles for 2.500 years! God is the greatest Communicator.
It is good to know Historical events to help to prove the Bible is the Word of God! Ancient archaeology and writings are useful.
4. It was also to re-assure the prayerful, concerned Daniel that his God had great Plans for His own Jewish People to be established finally in the greatest Kingdom of them all!
> Serving a cruel, wicked king faithfully, yet seeing the apparent prosperity of that evil kingdom must have tested Daniel’s faith in God’s promises in His Scriptures. No wonder Daniel read and thought a lot about Jeremiah’s writings!
[Daniel ch 9:2.] Let us pray for today's influential Christian Leaders such as Joel C Rosenberg, and others in High office in some Nations.
5. It was a time for Daniel and his three friends to prove again that God answers prayer. (2: 17 – 23.) Yet God allows His sons to be tested.
* Daniel became the great Prophet and prayerful man of God that he was, through trials, even as a young teen-ager, after being taken into captivity in Babylon, in 605BCE.
* We only have some of the details of the cruel jealousy and tests that Daniel and his 3 friends faced, not only as a young captive, which included making them into eunuchs. [See Daniel chapter 1.] This torture had serious implications for Jewish men, who could never again worship at the Temple in Jerusalem.
* Yet God, through Isaiah 56: 4 & 5, shows that even if they had no Children and said, "I am only a dry tree", God would bless them greatly. Isaiah wrote: "To the Eunuchs that keep My Sabbaths, who choose what pleases Me and hold fast to My Covenant ~ to them I will give within My Temple and its walls a memorial and on its walls, a memorial and a name, better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that will not be cut off." Just think of all the men called 'Daniel' since then!
Nothing we suffer or give up for love and obedience to God, is ever wasted!
* > Also later on through other tests, Daniel became the wise prophet of God and great intercessor that we respect. (See chapter 5). It was when all the Royal Magicians were to be killed because they could not explain the mysterious writing on the Palace wall, (vs 5) during a drunken, blasphemous, heathen banquet, using vessels from God's Temple, that the Queen Mother told her son, the King, to call for Daniel, as "he was found to have a keen mind, knowledge and understanding... and solve difficult problems." So it was Daniel again who prayed and who risked his life to interpret the message, bravely challenging the King for his godlessness ~ so witnessing to, [vss 22 - 28] and saving all the other 'wise men'.
* > But even as a much older man Daniel was subjected to ridicule and danger in the lion’s den. (Daniel chapter 6.) Daniel’s faith should be a great example and encouragement to us all but especially Believers in important secular work, or exiled to another country! God will honour you too!
Our Conclusion: WE CAN ONLY MARVEL AT THE WAYS OF SUCH A GREAT GOD OF ISRAEL!
B. LOOKING AT THE STATUE NEBUCHADNEZER SAW IN HIS VISION, in Ch. 2.
relevant to the Head of Gold, in the
Vision Nebuchadnezer saw, and Daniel explained.
As we have noted, great buildings and large statues were important to the Babylon Culture. See Daniel ch. 1, and 3.
> We can clearly see the anti-god attitude of the builders of the first Babylon, as reported in Genesis 11, in great Statues. [It even extends to nations today, vying to build the tallest building in the world!]
> It was even built in a similar location, "As men moved eastward they found a plain in Shinar, and settled there". These were the descendants of the survivors of the Flood, Noah's own great grand children, and it is clear from their actions that they knew about the Flood, but chose to forget its cause!
> However just as the builders of the 'Tower of Babel' had no intention of remembering the reason for the Flood, neither did the Rulers in Babylon -have any regard to the "God of Heaven", so we read in chapter 3 of Daniel's book, "King Nebuchadnezer made an image of gold, ninety feet high and nine feet wide..." This was no doubt inspired by his vision in chapter two, totally forgetting Daniel's warning at the end of his explanation in chapter 2: 44.
"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 other people. It will crush ALL those  kingdoms, and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever." Pride in ones own achievements blinds one to God's greatness!
> So the basic sin of pride demanded worship of the statue, rather than the "God of Heaven".
> Does this remind us of a future Despot, described by another Prophet of God, in the book of Revelation? Tragically, that future Statue, it seems will have modern technical additions so that: "He [the second Beast] ordered them to set up an Image in honour of the [first] Beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived. He was given power to give breath to the Image of the first Beast, so that it could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image, to be killed." Will the 'Abomination of Desolation' use 'micro-chips'/ 'nano tech' ~ to choose and condemn his victims by their faithfulness to God?
Linking the Vision of the Stature in ch. two with the one in ch. 3 is just a thought.
2. The Chest of silver, with it's two arms, was a good explanation of the Kingdom of the Medes and Persians that conquered Babylon as Daniel chapter 5 describes, ending with verse 30: "That very night Belshazzar, king of the Babylonians was slain, and Darius the Mede took over the Kingdom at the age of sixty-two." This was in 539 BCE [Before the Common Era, or Before Christ.] God used King Cyrus, (a successor) to liberate the Jewish People to return to Israel, with help and some of the previously looted Temple treasures.
3. The Abdomen of Bronze, represented the Kingdom of the Greeks under the lightening military sweep of the then known world, under the young Leader, Alexander the Great, in 330. We have written about this period in our previous article, [Part 2] as it lasted in a less strong way after Alexander's death, when it was divided into four regions, under four Leaders. NIV notes or other commentaries name these.
4. The legs of Iron, represented the Roman Empire, holding power over 3/4 of the previous Middle East Kingdoms. though it spread in a more northerly direction to include 'Gaul' and what we know as 'England', [part of Britain.]
POSSIBLE EXPLANATION ~ OF THE MEANING OF WHAT THE 10
BRITTLE TOES OF THE STATUE, [IRON MIXED WITH CLAY] COULD MEAN.
Daniel Chapter 2: 33 – 35.
“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 stature 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.” We cannot insult your intelligence by emphasising the key words, except by underlining them, as we have. It does seem to us that there was a finality about the end of the kingdoms of the great statue. So we can at least ask, what did the 10 toes represent?
We can refer you to the historical situation of the Roman Empire, from 63 BC that you can read about in various places, such as the History of Rome.
For some 70 years before A.D 1 and then following there was great unrest among the Jews of Israel, which kept erupting in rebellious forays, until a General called Vespasian saw this as a stamping ground towards becoming Caesar! (Rome, already corrupt as clay, riddled with deceit, had 20 of its 23 emperors murdered in the fight to be ‘Caesar’.) Ironically it was also the time that a rebel Jewish leader, Josephus, when cornered, changed his ‘line’ and pretended to prophesy that Vespasian would become a future Roman Emperor! Josephus then became a Roman citizen and wrote the useful history [though not absolutely accurate]. The kingdom was riddled by divisions and deceit.
The fact is, that the general decline of the once disciplined Empire, was used by God for the establishment of His Kingdom! In times of distress people look to find real answers which they did in large numbers as the good Roman roads helped to spread the news of the Gospel, yet the cost of becoming a Believer in Yeshua/ Jesus Messiah also nourished the fast growing Kingdom. Persecution of believers was real. The truth that, “the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the [true] Church” was never more true than at that time! The persecution of the Believers and the final destruction of the Temple by Vespian’s son, Titus, forced both Judaism and Christianity into a new era, not limited to one place!
These can be
seen on a map at www.1way2god.net/im_re_800.gif
- or in maps in some
They are: Hispania, Gaul, (including part of Britain), Italia, Illyricum, Macedonia, Phrygia/Galatia, Mesopotamia, Syria (which included ‘Palestinia’), Capadocia and Carthage (Nth Africa).
Of course these geographical areas continued on, but not under the Roman Empire.
We simply offer these as an alternative factual list of the ancient Roman Kingdom, to the later descriptions we will give of the completely different -ten world power bocks (‘horns’) that will be part of and make up the “Fourth Beast” of Daniel 7
D. WHAT DOES THE VISION OF THE GREAT ROCK MEAN?
It is clearly more important than all the other great Kingdoms ~ represented in the Statue!
This are the actual words of Daniel 2: 34 & end of 35: "While you were watching, a Rock was cut out, but not by human Hand. It struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and smashed them.... But the Rock that struck the statue became a huge Mountain and filled the whole Earth."
SOME POINTS TO NOTICE ABOUT THE ROCK.
By linking it with the Statue it conveys the idea of
being a powerful KINGDOM, as well.
> As mentioned, it is not numbered as the Kingdoms of the Statue were, but as it arose next in the Vision, it can be thought of as a Fifth Kingdom, and just as important ~ or more!
> Its size exceeded all the 'Statue Kingdoms, though they did cover most, [though not all of the known inhabited areas of the world - areas like the 'Far East', India and maybe China, also areas south of Egypt, like Ethiopia.] Of course much of the World as we know it was not actually discovered as viable countries until well into the time we call 'A.D' or C.E. ['The Common Era', by the Jews.]
> However its final vast size would have meant a lot to Daniel, if not the half-deaf King Nebuchadnezer!
> Arising while Nebuchadnezer was watching gives us a firm and sensible time frame, since we know the Historical events, and dates of the New Testament and the 'Godly line' from the saints of the Tanakh/ O.T. Period becoming a Unique, separate, un-named Rock "Mountain" = equal to the concept of a "Kingdom", that began in the time of the Roman Empire after about 63 BCE onwards ~ for over 400 years, [and the Rock has continued growing until today!]
> Once again the mysterious symbolism of "A Rock, cut out of a mountain without human Hands" was exactly the right way of communication with a Babylonian King!
> [It is a shame his son did not take in that detail, though his mother did in the incident of the "writing on the wall by Divine Hands". [Dan 5. 539BCE.]
> We have already noted the comfort Daniel would have gained from the Scenario about the 'Rock Kingdom' ~ which features again in Daniel's own Vision in chapter 7 as the FINAL victorious Kingdom "of the saints of the Most High, that in time possessed THE KINGDOM " Daniel 7: 22.
conclusion: God is both a skilled Communicator and is the Powerful
Sovereign of the World.
WHY BOTHER ABOUT TWO OLD VISIONS IN THE BIBLE?
closing this Part 2 study, we remind ourselves that God’s Word
is meant to ~
CHALLENGE us to a more total devotion to God, and COMFORT us in every circumstance.
This is far more important than a ‘correct interpretation’ of the prophecies.
This is the main reason for writing these studies – even though they offer a different understanding from many other Bible Teachers.
God’s Kingdom WILL prevail! The important question we all have to ask ourselves is: "Am I a Citizen of God's Eternal Kingdom?"
There is only one way: it is by understanding the Father God and His Son, the Prince of Peace, (who as A Holy GOD), cannot be near to unholy people! There will be no unholy people in Heaven.
So we realise God sent Jesus/ Yeshua/ Yasuo, to pay the price (as a Holy sacrifice) for the sin that makes us unholy!
When we repent sincerely of all our filthy sins; and in sheer faith or trust ~ accept (in a prayer to God) that we really WANT to be a citizen in His Kingdom, and a member of His Royal Family, then we WILL BE!
"If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just [to His own Holy Rules], and will forgive us our sins, and purify us from all unrighteousness." 'Unrighteousness' is the same as being 'unholy'. ~ 'Fellowship' is the same as being a 'Citizen in God's Kingdom'. Please read [first letter] -1 John ch. 1.
The Privilege of Citizenship!
> At this time in History, the whole question of a person's right to live where they were born, or where they would like to live is an agonising Question for millions of people, world-wide! So we feel we would like to address this problem, at this point in this study, so you can be reassured about what God, the Sovereign Creator and LORD of the World, is offering!
It is membership in His Eternal Kingdom!
people are able and satisfied to live in the Nation they grew up in,
which means they are accepted as 'Citizens'. That nation may not be
called 'A KINGDOM' (or even a 'Republic') but it is recognised
(generally) as an independent Nation.
> However millions of people in many Countries, have either become refugees in their own or another country, with no rights and only threats of being returned, (often to certain death, or inhuman treatment.)
> Some people are able to have some opportunities to be 'Residents' albeit 'Illegal' residents, (as in the USA,) but struggle to get work or education.
> Thousands have been made homeless in the 21st century from massive floods, Earthquakes or Tornadoes, but saddest of all from our perspective, are those displaced cruelly because of their Faith (sometimes Muslims), but very many more, because of their Christian Faith!
we should pray for them, and to have the grace ourselves, to stay
true to our King Jesus/ Yeshua/ Yasuo... remembering we could be in
that situation even in Western nations, one
Because we have a great concern for many faithful Believers to remain true to their Saviour and God, even under bitter persecution, in the future, we offer these studies.
“When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith [in Him] on the Earth?”
Our prayer is, that He will, through readers like you!
We invite you to now
look at: THE
MEANING OF DANIEL'S OWN VISION IN CHAPTER 7. Part 3
You are welcome to contacts us, giving the name of the study you have just read, in the contact form below.