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Daniel Interprets the King's Dream - Part Two

How relieved the older wise men must have been when Daniel announced he could tell about the king’s dream! They realized their false beliefs could not help them - - he was their only chance to escape the king’s anger! Still they must have wondered among themselves, “How could this foreign lad have more wisdom than the Babylonians?” And what do you think Nebuchadnezzar thought when Arioch quickly brought Daniel and said, “I have found a man of the captives of Judah, who will make known to the king the interpretation.” Could this boy succeed where his famous Chaldeans, magicians, sorcerers, and astrologers had failed? Nebuchadnezzar was a proud ruler and was wicked in many ways, but he was willing to listen to what the humble boy had to say.

“Are you able to make known to me the dream which I have seen, and its interpretation?” Nebuchadnezzar asked Daniel.

Daniel was not afraid of the king. He replied, “The secret which the king has demanded, the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians and the soothsayers cannot declare to the king. But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days.”

God had not given him the revelation because he was wiser than anyone else, Daniel said. Instead, it was to show the power and might of the only true God. Then he told the king his dream:

“You, O King, were watching; and behold a great image!” he said. “This great image, whose splendor was excellent, stood before you; and its form was awesome. This image’s head was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay.”

In the dream, Daniel continued, Nebuchadnezzar watched as a stone was cut out without hands and hit the image on its feet of iron and clay, breaking them into pieces. Then the iron, clay, bronze, and gold were all crushed into fine bits, so fine that the wind blew them away and they could not be found. Finally, the stone that had struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.

After telling the king his dream, Daniel told him what it meant. “You, O king, are a king of kings. For the God of heaven has given you a kingdom, power, strength and glory. Wherever the children of men dwell, or the beasts of the field and the birds of the heaven, He has given them into your hand, and has made you ruler over them all - - you are this head of gold,” he began. The other parts of the image showed the world kingdoms that would come after Nebuchadnezzar’s, four in all. The fourth world kingdom would crush all of the others like iron, but it would fall, too. During its time, God would set up His own kingdom, that foretold so often by His prophets.

“In the day of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed… it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever!” declared Daniel, explaining that the stone cut out of the mountain showed how God would overcome the kingdom of men. “The great God has made known to the king what will come to pass after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation is sure,” Daniel concluded.

When Nebuchadnezzar heard this, he fell to the floor on his face before Daniel and proclaimed, “Truly your God is the God of gods, the Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, since you could reveal this secret!”

Then Nebuchadnezzar rewarded Daniel with many gifts and made him ruler over the whole area of Babylon, even putting him over all the wise men. At Daniel’s request, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were also given important places in the Babylonian government. Surely God was blessing His people in the faraway land of Babylon!

Talking it Over:

1. The Old Testament teaches plainly that God rules over all men. How does Dan 2:37-38 show this? What about today?
2. The golden head of the image stood for the Babylonian empire and the rest of the image stood for kingdoms which followed - - the silver part stood for the Medo-Persians, the bronze part stood for the Greeks and the rest of the image stood for the Romans. Talk with an adult about Mark 9:1 and Jesus’ Kingdom. How could Daniel know this?
3. How Jesus’ Kingdom could conquer the whole earth? (Eph 5:10-18)

Memory Verse:
“In the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed…” Dan 2:44
Talk about the new kingdom that would have Jesus for a King.

Credits
Text by Betty Belue Haynes, originally published in Bible Talk Times. Used here with the kind permission of the author. Users are free to reproduce for use, but not for publication.