Daniel 2nd and 7th Chapters

Daniel Chapter Two – Nebuchadnezzar Dream

In the second chapter of Daniel, we read the prophecy relating to the entire period of “The times of the Gentiles.”

If you want to read the entire chapter online, click on “Daniel – Chapter 2.“

King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had a dream he could not remember, which troubled him. The king called for all the magicians, astrologers, sorcerers, and Chaldeans to tell him what he had dreamed and to interpret the dream for him. When none of his wise men could help, a young Jewish boy named Daniel came to his aid.

Daniel told King Nebuchadnezzar that he had dreamed of a great image. The image head was of fine gold; its breast and arms were silver; its belly and thighs were bronze; its legs were iron; and its feet were part iron and part clay. The king had seen a stone cut out without hands, which smote the image upon its feet, and the image broke into pieces (Dan 2:31-35).

“This is the dream. Now we will tell the interpretation of it before the king. You, O king, are a king of kings. For the God of heaven has given you a kingdom, power, strength, and glory; and 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” (Dan 2:36-38, NKJV).

“But after you shall arise another kingdom inferior to yours; then another, a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth. And the fourth kingdom shall be as strong as iron, inasmuch as iron breaks in pieces and shatters everything; and like iron that crushes, that kingdom will break in pieces and crush all the others. Whereas you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; yet the strength of the iron shall be in it, just as you saw the iron mixed with ceramic clay. And as the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly fragile. As you saw iron mixed with ceramic clay, they will mingle with the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay” (Dan 2:39-43, NKJV).

“And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. Inasmuch as you saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold – 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” (Dan 2:44-45, NKJV).

Daniel identified the image head of fine gold as Babylon, which was to be followed by three world kingdoms, each conquering the previous one. Each of these kingdoms was symbolized by metal. History has shown the accuracy of this prophecy. The silver symbolized the Medo-Persian Empire that followed Babylon; the bronze symbolized the Greek Empire that followed the Medo-Persian Empire; and the iron symbolized the Roman Empire that conquered the Greeks. Beginning with the Medo-Persians, these world empires were controlled by the descendants of Japheth, Noah’s son.  We recall that Noah predicted that God would enlarge Japheth, and the historical record of world empires shows the infallible accuracy of the prophecies in God’s Word.

It is interesting to note the amount of detail given about the image’s legs and feet. Daniel says that the iron turned into a mixture of iron and clay, which symbolized it would be partly strong and partly weak. History reveals that the great Roman Empire was so strong that outside forces could not overthrow it – Rome fell from its internal decay.

In AD 395, the empire was split apart into the East Roman Empire and the West Roman Empire – symbolized by the two legs of the image. About this time, Teutonic tribes of Germany were roaming much of Europe. As the Western Roman power weakened, these German tribes began to spread throughout the empire and gained control. These German tribes of Angles, Burgundians, Franks, Goths, Jutes, Lombards, Saxons, and Vandals became the forefathers of modern Europe. Not only did Germany absorb the West Roman Empire, but also, for many years, it was known as “The Holy Roman Empire.” The Roman Empire of Iron has been divided but remains today as the Gentile nations of Europe and the Middle East. Some are as strong as iron, and some are as weak as clay.

Then Daniel saw a stone, not cut by hands, which smote the image upon its feet of iron and clay and broke it into pieces.  And the stone that smote the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth. All the prophecy relating to the vision has come to pass except the stone destroying the image. We have seen that the image represents the world system of government under the control of the Gentile Nations.

The government has manifested itself with three dimensions of control: politically, militarily, and economically. These governments, as a whole, are under the control of Satan and must be replaced. The stone that will destroy the image will be the second person of the Godhead, The Son of God, The Rock of Ages, Jesus of Nazareth.

Jesus came the first time as the “Lamb of God” to pay for the sins of all men, but he will return the second time as the “Lord of lords and King of kings” to judge and destroy evil.  “And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever” (Dan 2:44, NKJV).

Jesus told the Chief Priest and Pharisees, “Whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken, but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder” (Matt 21:44, NKJV).

The prophet Isaiah, who lived approximately 150 years before Daniel and before Babylon rose to power, foresaw the destruction of Babylon and recorded it for us in the thirteenth and fourteenth chapters of Isaiah. He foresaw the destruction of two different Babylons. He saw the first Babylon being destroyed by the Medo-Persians; he saw a second Babylon, the kingdom of Satan, being destroyed later in a more dramatic and catastrophic setting. This second Babylon was a mystery to those who saw the first Babylon fall. We still have not witnessed the predicted destruction, but we find more details about it in the New Testament prophecy.

Daniel Chapter Seven – Daniel’s Dream

In the seventh chapter of Daniel, he records a dream he had of four beasts: a lion, a bear, a four-headed leopard, and a terrible beast with ten horns. These four beasts cover the “Times of the Gentiles” the same way as Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream. The vision in chapter two was from man’s point of view. The image looked great from a man’s point of view. Nebuchadnezzar was so impressed with everything and the fact that he was represented by gold that he created a graven image of it. In chapter seven, we see things from God’s point of view, and we are horrified by the image and what it represents.

If you want to read the entire “Chapter Seven” online, click “Chapter Seven.”

Look at the description of the beast as recorded in the seventh chapter. Daniel said, “I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the Great Sea. And four great beasts came up from the sea, each different from the other. The first was like a lion and had eagle’s wings. I watched till its wings were plucked off, and it was lifted up from the earth and made to stand on two feet like a man, and a man’s heart was given to it. And suddenly another beast, a second, like a bear. It was raised on one side, with three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. And they said thus to it: ‘Arise, devour much flesh!’ After this I looked, and there was another, like a leopard, which had on its back four wings of a bird. The beast also had four heads, and dominion was given to it. After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, exceedingly strong. It had huge iron teeth; it was devouring, breaking in pieces, and trampling the residue with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns” (Daniel 7:2-7, NKJV).

The lion represents Babylon, the bear represents the Medo-Persian Empire, and the leopard represents the Greek Empire. The four heads represent the division of the kingdom under the four generals of Alexander the Great. The fourth beast differs from the other three and represents the Roman Empire. The terrible beast had ten horns, representing ten kings or world leaders who will dominate the last days of the Roman Empire just before Jesus returns. The horns symbolize power.

In Revelation chapter seventeen, we read about the beast coming out of the sea with ten horns. We are beginning to see how the Book of Daniel ties to the Book of Revelation.

Let us read a little further in Daniel. “I was considering the horns, and there was another horn, a little one, coming up among them, before whom three of the first horns were plucked out by the roots. And there, in this horn, were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking pompous words. I watched till thrones were put in place, and the Ancient of Days was seated; His garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head was like pure wool. His throne was a fiery flame, its wheels a burning fire” (Daniel 7:8-9, NKJV).

We have two visions before us. The little horn is symbolic of the Antichrist. Then the scene moves to thrones and the seated “Ancient of Days.”. This is the same scene as given to us in Revelation chapters four and five. Compare the “Ancient of Days” to Christ as he appeared to John in chapter one of Revelation. The “Ancient of Days” refers to the Heavenly Father – Revelation chapter one refers to Christ, The Son.

“Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters” (Rev. 1:12-15, NKJV).

Now, as we read more from Daniel: “A fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him.  A thousand thousands ministered to Him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The court was seated, and the books were opened. I watched then because of the sound of the pompous words which the horn was speaking; I watched till the beast was slain, and its body destroyed and given to the burning flame. As for the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away, yet their lives were prolonged for a season and a time. I was watching in the night visions, and behold, One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven! The “Son of Man” is Jesus Christ. He came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him. Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed” (Daniel 7:10-14, NKJV).

These verses read as if they were coming from the Book of Revelation. In these verses, we again see Jesus coming as King of kings and Lord of lords to destroy Satan’s kingdom and to set up His earthly kingdom.

As we read the gospels, over and over, Jesus is referred to as the “Son of Man.” It identified Him as the promised Messiah, and the Jewish leaders knew the prophecy. Notice the reference to the clouds. Over and over, we read in the New Testament about Jesus coming with the clouds.

In verses fifteen through twenty-eight, Daniel is given the interpretation of the dream, and more details are given. Verse twenty-five is fascinatingIt is referring to the Antichrist.

“He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand for a time and times and half a time” (Daniel 7:25, NKJV). The period “a time and times and half a time” denotes the duration of the little “Horn of the Fourth Beast.”

Now look at Revelation: “But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent” (Rev 12:14, NKJV).

The period is one plus two plus a half, which is three and one-half years. As we read further in Daniel, we will understand the meaning of the time period. It represents the second half of the tribulation when the Antichrist will turn against the Jews and trod down Jerusalem.

Scripture quotations marked NKJV are taken from the New King James Version of the Bible, copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

NOTE: For a summary of the “Times of the Gentiles” history, Click on Times of the Gentiles.