It's a marvellous, interesting, inspiring, encouraging and faith-building study to deal with already-fulfilled Bible prophecies. The prophecies foretold hundreds of years in advance and fulfilled to the most intricate detail, should encourage your faith to believe that the ones we're studying regarding the immediate future are going to be fulfilled just as accurately and just as certainly and in just as great detail as did the ones which have already been fulfilled in the past.
Daniel himself was born sometime around 62O B.C. and was therefore probably already a teenager when Nebuchadnezzar besieged Jerusalem for the first time in early 605 B.C. Daniel, along with other Jews of Royal blood, was carried to Babylon.--Daniel 1:1-3,6. There he spent three years studying "the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans".--Daniel 1:4. He and his three friends were made wise men and counsellors of the King.--Daniel 1:19,20; 2:13.
Daniel lived at least 72 years in Babylon and his life there extended from the first year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar through the reigns of the succeeding five Babylonian kings, past the Fall of Babylon into the Persian Empire, and through the reign of Darius the Mede, and even unto the third year of Cyrus the Persian!--Daniel 10:1.
Daniel Chapter 2 is the briefest and most concise overall picture of the history and future of the World in the entire Bible. The prophetic dream in this chapter describes five of the great Empires of Man from ancient Babylon to the final World Empire of the Antichrist, which is destroyed by the Kingdom of God. This dream was originally given to Nebuchadnezzar and was interpreted for him by Daniel during his reign; therefore the prophecy starts with the King of Babylon and with the great World Government of Babylon itself, and does not include the previous World Governments of Egypt and Assyria which had already passed on at the time of this dream.
Daniel 2:1--And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, wherewith his spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake from him.
Daniel 2:2--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.So the king had a dream, and he didn't even remember his dream; he only knew that it was a very important dream.
Daniel 2:3--And the king said unto them, I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit was troubled to know the dream.
Daniel 2:4--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.
Daniel 2:5--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!
Daniel 2:13--And the decree went forth that the wise men should be slain; and they sought Daniel and his fellows to be slain.
Daniel 2:16--Then daniel went in, and desired of the king that he would give him time, and that he would shew the king the interpretation.Look how Daniel must have prayed and cried out desperately to God! He didn't know what to do, he didn't know the answer! How in the World could he possibly tell the king his dream, how could he interpret it, when he didn't even know the dream?--He prayed!
Daniel 2:17--Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions:
Daniel 2:18--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.
Daniel 2:19--Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of Heaven.God alone is the One Who could reveal the king's dream and its interpretation to His Prophet, and Daniel was faithful to give God all the credit and all the glory!
Daniel 2:24--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 2:25--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.
Daniel 2:26--The king answered and said to Daniel, art thou able to make known unto me the dream which i have seen, and the interpretation thereof?
Daniel 2:27--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 sooth sayers, shew unto the king;
Daniel 2:28--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;
Daniel 2:29--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.Here now begins the description of one of the most amazingly prophetic dreams ever given to Man! In this astonishing vision, each of the different parts of this "great, bright, terrible" image symbolise a different World Empire.
Daniel 2:3O--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 2:31--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.
Daniel 2:32--This image's head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass,Looking closer, we see that each major part of this image's body is made of a different metal. "head of gold"--see interpretation in vs. 38. "Breast and arms of silver"-see interpretation in vs.39. "belly and thighs of brass"--see interpretation in vs. 39.
Daniel 2:33--His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay."Legs of iron"--see interpretation in vs. 4O. "Feet part of iron and part of clay"--see interpretation in vs. 41-43.
Daniel 2:34--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.This Stone was not part of the glowing image but was "cut out of a Mountain" (vs. 45)--See interpretation in vs. 44. This great Stone struck the image upon its feet, on the TOES of the feet. Now the reason it struck the image on the toes and not on the head, was because God wanted to show you at what TIME the kingdoms of Man would be destroyed!--In the days of the toes.
Daniel 2:35--Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.In the days of these ten toes, the Stone will strike the image and the image will be turned to powder, "like chaff". That will be the World's last big dust storm, when God crushes the image and blows it all away! (See interpretation in vs. 44 and 45.)
Daniel 2:36--This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king.According to God's Word, the great kingdom of Babylon, the "golden city" of ancient times (Isaiah 14:4), with its great King Nebuchadnezzar, was the head of gold. That means he was the best and the first and the most important part.
Daniel 2:37--Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of Heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory.
Daniel 2:38--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.
Daniel 2:39--And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth.Since the head is definitely pinpointed as Babylon, all we have to do in order to find out what this next Kingdom was is to look at history to see which kingdom arose after Babylon. According to World history, the dual kingdom of Medo-Persia followed Babylon, conquering it in 538 B.C.!
Daniel 2:4O--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.Since we already have the fulfilment of actual history, we know that this fourth kingdom was Rome. Rome was the tough, iron-fisted kingdom which clamped down with iron military rule over the entire known World in the days before Christ. It so "subdued all things" that for nearly 100 years there were no major wars, no one even being able to muster a force against the Roman rule.
Daniel 2:41--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 iron which continues from the legs down into the feet and toes of the image is sort of a continuation of the Roman Empire. After its fall, Rome was broken up into the "iron" and "clay" countries of the feet and toes. These represent the two types of governments the World has known since the fall of Rome: Dictatorships and Democracies.
Daniel 2:42--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 kingdom shall be partly strong"--iron--"and partly broken"--clay. God thinks democratic governments are weak and broken.
Daniel 2:43--And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle them selves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.As you remember, one foot comes out of the Western Roman Empire and one foot out of the Eastern. This is almost exactly how the World is divided today, the East being mainly Communist dictatorships (iron) and the West Capitalistic Democracies (clay).
Daniel 2:44--And in the days of these kings shall the god of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.The Stone that "smote the image" (Daniel 2:34) is Jesus, and this "great mountain that filled the whole earth" (Daniel 2:35) is none other than the Millennial Kingdom of God, Christ's Kingdom on Earth! (See Micah 4:1-3.) Christ will set up His Kingdom on Earth, in the Millennium at the end of the Battle of Armageddon. (See Revelation 19:11-21.) This Stone smashes the image by force and destroys it and leaves nothing of it! It says the wind carried away Man's governments "as chaff". (See Daniel 2:35 and Isaiah 17:13.)
Daniel 2:45--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 great god hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.This image represents the great World governments of Man. The Stone was cut out of a mountain completely separate from the image. God was the Mountain that Jesus was cut out of. The Stone is, of course, Jesus, "the Cornerstone".--(Matthew 21:42-44; 1Peter 2:6).
Daniel 2:47--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 couldst reveal this secret.
Daniel 2:48--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.