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Of all the books and chapters in the Bible, the one the skeptics hate the most is Daniel Chapter 2.
It is so plain that a grade 6 school child can read it and completely understand it.
It is so plain, that you really do not need my help to interpret it.
There is no room for statements like "Oh! I suppose it COULD mean that" .
What it says is what it means, plain and simple.
Skeptics hate it so much, that they have tried in vain to disprove the dating of the book of Daniel,
and thereby say "It was written after the fact."
but it is impossible to date it any later than 200BC,
no matter how many twists and turns one puts in the truth.
This is a major problem to them, because there are some pretty outlandish statements
that came to fruition long after 200BC.
Don't tangle with God, trying to prove Him wrong.
He will make a fool of you every time.
So many skeptics said that the bible was wrong
because it spoke about the "fictional" kingdom of the Hittites,
and then it was discovered. Oops, egg on face again.
And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar   
This dates the prophecy, based on history, at around 604BC.
Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, wherewith his spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake from him.
God can use ANYONE as a prophet if He wants to.
He used Balaam who was a "prophet for profit"
He even used a donkey when it suited Him
He has used both men and women and in this instance, He is using a pagan king as a prophet.
Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the astrologers, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, for to shew the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king.   
Probably the reason God has used the king for the vision rather than Daniel, is to "bring it home" to the king.
If He gave the vision directly to Daniel, it would have been a lot harder for Daniel to convince the king of it's authenticity.
And the king said unto them, I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit was troubled to know the dream.   
God is about to have some fun here. He is allowing the king to ask his "wise men" what the dream means.
Good luck on that one , O wise king.
Then spake the Chaldeans to the king in Syriack, O king, live for ever: tell thy servants the dream, and we will shew the interpretation.   
Here the "wise men" are showing just how wise they are.
What they are REALLY saying is "Tell us the dream, and we will make something up"
The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, The thing is gone from me: if ye will not make known unto me the dream, with the interpretation thereof, ye shall be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made a dunghill.   
I think the Holy Spirit is whispering in Nebuchadnezzar's ear something like "These morons are trying to con you" , so Nebuchadnezzar gives them some incentive.
But if ye shew the dream, and the interpretation thereof, ye shall receive of me gifts and rewards and great honour: therefore shew me the dream, and the interpretation thereof.   
God has helped Nebuchadnezzar to forget the details of the dream, but He has impressed on him that it is important.
They answered again and said, Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will shew the interpretation of it.   
Of course, without the help of God, these guys have no chance of interpreting the dream
Their only chance is to get Nebuchadnezzar to relate the dream so they can manufacture the interpretation
They have probably been working this way for years.
The king answered and said, I know of certainty that ye would gain the time, because ye see the thing is gone from me.   
The king is on to them. He realises that these idiots are stalling for time so they can "Put one over on him"
But if ye will not make known unto me the dream, there is but one decree for you: for ye have prepared lying and corrupt words to speak before me, till the time be changed: therefore tell me the dream, and I shall know that ye can shew me the interpretation thereof.   
Nebuchadnezzar is saying "If you know what I dreamed, then I can have confidence in your interpretation" . I can only imagine that God Himself put this idea into his head.
God is using this situation to show the difference between Nebuchadnezzar's "false prophets" and a true prophet of God.
The Chaldeans answered before the king, and said, There is not a man upon the earth that can shew the king's matter: therefore there is no king, lord, nor ruler, that asked such things at any magician, or astrologer, or Chaldean.
This is the first honest thing that these men have said.
There is absolutely no human that can see into a man's head, nor even correctly interpret his dreams.
The gift of prophecy comes directly from God, and is available from no other source.
And it is a rare thing that the king requireth, and there is none other that can shew it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.   
They are not quite correct here. Not the "gods" but THE GOD of the universe.
For this cause the king was angry and very furious, and commanded to destroy all the wise men of Babylon.   
The king has come to the realisation that his request is futile. These men will NEVER be able to interpret the dream.
Which brings him to another realisation. "Why am I paying these men?" . He now realises that these men have been taking money under false pretenses.
He decides to put an end to this folly, a permanent one.
And the decree went forth that the wise men should be slain; and they sought Daniel and his fellows to be slain.   
The only problem is, Daniel and his friends fall under the same classification of "wise men" . However, not really fitting in with the rest of the wise men, they were not invited when the others were called before the king.
This means that Daniel and friends are lumped into the same death penalty.
Then Daniel answered with counsel and wisdom to Arioch the captain of the king's guard, which was gone forth to slay the wise men of Babylon:   
The "counsel and wisdom" are obviously references to some inspiration from God.
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 to Daniel.   
I think I would be asking the same question.
Then Daniel went in, and desired of the king that he would give him time, and that he would shew the king the interpretation.   
I am quite certain that a young man would not have taken this step unless he had some leading from God or was at least being moved by Him.
Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions:   
Daniel is going to tell his friends the bad news.
Strange that sometimes when we think something is bad news that God thinks it is good news.
John 11:4,15
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.   
They come to the realisation that they need help from above.
It does not say so here, but you can be sure that they got on their knees and prayed.
Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision.   
God reveals the same dream to Daniel along with the interpretation.
Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.   
Daniel did not forget to thank the One who strengthens him.
Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his:   
Despite the desperation of his plight, Daniel does not forget to bless the God that gave him the solution.
And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:   
God has the power to change the seasons, but more relative to this situation, God is in charge and sets up and removes kings
God has just revealed the meaning of the dream, and as you are about to see, it is all about kings that will be set up and kings that will be removed.
He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him.   
All light and understanding, no matter how smart we think we are, comes from God.
I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast made known unto me now what we desired of thee: for thou hast now made known unto us the king's matter.   
Daniel acknowledges God for the knowledge he was just given.
Therefore 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 shew unto the king the interpretation.   
Daniel has done well, he has recognised his need for God, and he has prayed for help, acknowledged where the help came from and now he must do the most important part. He must go in faith before the king of the known world and tell, in faith, the interpretation that has come from God. Remember, none of this has come to pass yet. Daniel only has the word of God to go on.
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.
Arioch is "in haste" , probably because he has friends that are on the "death list"
The king answered and said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar,   
Daniel and his three friends were given pagan names when they were taken into captivity. The name that Daniel was given was "Belteshazzar" which means "Mother of the gods, protect the king!" (The mother of the gods was named "Beltis"
Art thou able to make known unto me the dream which I have seen,   
This was the part that would convince the king, any man who could read the thoughts of another, was definitely under the power of God.
and the interpretation thereof?   
Having told him the dream, he could have confidence in the interpretation.
Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, shew unto the king;   
Daniel is making sure the king realises that what he is about to do is no small feat.
It was impossible for the astrologers and the like, to do what Daniel was about to do.
But there is a God in heaven that 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;   
He also leaves no doubt that this is not his own powers, but the powers come from the God of heaven.
As well, he points out that this dream is about the course that history is about to take.
As for thee, O king, thy thoughts came into thy mind upon thy bed, what should come to pass hereafter: and he that revealeth secrets maketh known to thee what shall come to pass.   
Nebuchadnezzar's dream is about the future of the nations of the world.
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 is making rock solid certain that all the glory goes to God.
It would have been so easy to stand on a soap box and say "How great am I" , but he did not.
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.
The king had seen a great statue in his dream.
The "terrible" was used in the course of "awesome" . This was a mighty statue he had seen.
This image's head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass,   
The image was a picture of history leading from the time of Nebuchadnezzar to the end of time.
The head, chest, belly, thighs and feet represented different nations that would control the world.
His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay.   
The Legs of Iron refer to the might and power of the Roman Empire. It is even referred to by historians as the "Imperial Iron Kingdom".
Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces.   
Something happens at the end of time that smashes history to pieces,
Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together,   
There will be nothing left of the mess that man has caused down through history.
and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them:   
The evidence and memories of what has happened on earth will be blown away, or "disappear" and be no more.
and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.   
A Mountain represents a political power. Isaiah 2:2-3; Jeremiah 17:3; Jeremiah 31:23; Jeremiah 51:24-25;
This will be a power that will take over and control the whole earth.
This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king.   
Daniel has told the king what he dreamed, so now he can have confidence in Daniel's interpretation.
Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory.
And wheresoever 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. Thou art this head of gold.
The first piece at the top of the image is Babylon, with Nebuchadnezzar as the first king, and God has given him power over the whole world.
And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee,
The kingdom after Babylon would be inferior, just as silver is inferior to gold, but it would take the power from Babylon and rule.
That kingdom was Medo-Persia which subdued Babylon in 538BC.
There is another very interesting prophecy related to this event.
God through His prophet Isaiah named Cyrus, the general who overthrew Babylon and the manner in which he would do it, and events surrounding it, 150 years before Cyrus was even born. Isaiah 45:1-6
and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth.
Once again, brass is inferior to silver, but nevertheless, Medo-Persia (It was actually all Persia by the time it happened) fell to Greece, led by Alexander the Great in 333BC.
And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise.
The fourth kingdom was Rome. It was again inferior to the one before it, Greece, in the same way iron is inferior to brass, but had massive strength, just as iron is stronger than brass, and ruled the longest as is suggested by the leg section being longer.
Rome was a very destructive kingdom. It trampled on everything it approached. It took power from the Greeks over a longer period of time but one could say the takeover was in the period surrounding 138BC.
Another link to Rome here is Edward Gibbon's reference to "The Iron Legs of Rome". Rome used iron in it's weapons and articles of war, such as armour, shields etc..
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.
The feet are partly of iron, which represents Rome, so Rome has a great influence on the world in the final stages of time.
The feet are a mixture of iron and clay. That is signigicant. The iron represents the "leftovers" of the kingdom of Rome and the clay shows it will not be a solidly joined kingdom. It will have strong portions and weak ones. Some kingdoms will be strong and some will be weak.
There is a dual meaning given by the iron and clay. The world had been ruled up to this point by a succession of "superpowers", Babylon, Medo Persia, Greece and Rome, but after that it was ruled by a different type of kingdom.
Iron stands for ruling government. Psalms 2:9 Revelation 2:26-27
Clay represents the people being ruled in a religious context. Isaiah 64:8 Jeremiah 18:1-6 God sees His people as the clay and He as the potter.
So God is telling us that in the last days there would be a mingling of the civil power (iron) with the church (clay). But it is not just CLAY, it is MIRY CLAY. The clay is DIRTY. He is telling us that the church that is involved in the ruling is not a CLEAN church. It is an APOSTATE or CORRUPTED church. The power of Rome gave way to a combination of civil power and papal influence on that power. The papal church is heavily connected to sun worship and God sees that church as "The whore of Babylon", an apostate church.
Another interesting point is that, in the same way Babylon was a kingdom that was plentiful in gold, Medo Persia made currency of silver, Greece perfected the use of bronze and made all their weaponary out of it, Rome used iron as a choice for weapons, so too we can relate the iron and clay to our modern time. Have you ever heard the term "concrete jungle"? What is concrete made of? Iron and miry clay? If I was John, that is how I would describe it.
We still use a large percentage of the Roman system in our forms of government, and the catholic church which rose from the ashes of the Roman empire controlled the world by putting religious pressure on the kings of the world for 1260 years.
This is a fascinating verse because it kills Daniel's skeptics dead in the water.
Skeptics have always argued that Daniel 2 was written much later than 604BC, but the latest they could possibly date it is 200BC.
This verse presents a big problem to them, because the Roman Empire fell in the 6th century AD.
This means that no matter how you argue, Daniel 2 was written before Rome came to power. If someone was writing this without the omnipotence of God, he would naturally say Assyria, Egypt, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, another kingdom (Rome), and then someone else.
But the "someone else" never happened. Daniel precisely says that after Rome, there would NEVER be another world power. 'They shall not cleave one to another" Verse 43 ". That is quite a statement. One of the most profound in the whole Bible, but it came true.
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.   
The kingdoms of the world after Rome collapsed would come in various sizes and strengths.
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.
This is a very good description of what happened. So many tried to set up a world power, but God had spoken.
Charlemagne, Charles V, Napoleon, Kaiser Wilhelm, Hitler, all tried and failed.
Hitler's secretary was a brave woman. She pointed out the prophecy of Daniel chapter 2 but Hitler made the bold statement:-
"See my people? We do not need anything from God! We do not ask anything from Him except that He may let us alone. We want to fight our own war, with our own guns, without God. We want to gain our victory without the help of God." , but unfortunately for Hitler, God had other plans.
The verse actually says "they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men" and this is exactly what happened. In fact, Queen Victoria was known as "The Grandmother of Europe" because all the kings and queens of Europe were related to her by marriage, but it STILL did not unite them. Have you ever noticed how much the weather has affected the outcome of some of the major wars?
Unusual Storms beat the Spanish Amada, while the much lighter ships of England did not seem to have a problem, as strange as that might seem.
Unusual Rain beat Napoleon. His heavy artillery bogged in the mud, and his explosive cannon rounds buried in mud before exploding.
Unusual Snow beat Hitler in Russia, and he lost a lot of men.
And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed:   
God is going to set up a kingdom at the end of Earth's history which will last forever.
and the kingdom shall not be left to other people,   
the kingdom will be owned by God's faithful followers. Daniel 7:18,22
but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms,
This is the rock cut out without hands that fills the whole earth.
Without hands means that it was not built by humans. It was build by God Himself. Mark 14:58.
and it shall stand for ever.   
What a lovely thought.
Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold;   
The power of God outstrips the human power of the nations of the world, no matter how mighty they may seem.
the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.   
You can take it to the bank, as the saying goes.
Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and worshipped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odours unto him.   
I think this means that Nebuchadnezzar was impressed.
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.   
Here Nebuchadnezzar is confirming that God has achieved his aim of giving the dream to Nebuchadnezzar to show him that there is a great and wonderful God that oversees the nations.
Then the king 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.   
This is not the first time that God has installed one of His own at the head of government. Other instances include Moses, Joseph, Mordecai and others. I believe that he also installed Queen Elizabeth the first of England (7 September 1533 -- 24 March 1603) for His own purpose as well.
Then Daniel 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.   
Daniel's three friends were also given high ranking positions as well.

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