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Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream

“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:l.

As Nebuchadnezzar did not become king until after the death of his father, Nabopolassar, in B. C. 605, the second year of his reign would be B. C. 603, and as Daniel and his companions were carried captive in B. C. 606, and were in training for three years, the dream of Nebuchadnezzar did not occur until sometime after they had graduated from the “Palace School,” or “National University.” This accounts for why they were included among those who were to be slain (verses 13, 18), though for some reason they do not appear to have been informed as to the demand of the King. Verses 14-15.

But before we consider the “Dream” and its interpretation, it would be well to inquire as to why Nebuchadnezzar was chosen to receive the “Revelation” that it conveyed. The “Revelation” could have been made to Daniel or some other prophet. We often read of the “Divine Right” of kings. If there ever was a king who had a “Divine Right” to rule it was Nebuchadnezzar. He did not assume it, but was directly given it by God.

“Thus saith the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel: thus shall ye say unto your masters: I have made the earth. the man and the beast that are upon the ground, by my great power and by my outstretched arm, and have given it unto whom it seemed meet unto me. And now have I given all these lands into the hand of NEBUCHADNEZZAR the King of Babylon, my servant; and the beasts of the field have I given him also to serve him. And ALL NATIONS shall serve him, and HIS SON, and HIS SON’S SON, until the very time of his land come: and then many nations and great kings shall serve themselves of him. And it shall come to pass, that the nation and kingdom which will not serve the same Nebuchadnezzar the King of Babylon, and that will not put their neck under the yoke of the King of Babylon, that nation will I punish, saith the Lord, with the sword, and with the famine, and with the pestilence, until I have consumed them by his hand.” Jer. 27:4-8.

From this Scripture we see that Nebuchadnezzar was Divinely chosen for his work. Whether he knew it or not, we are not told. We do know, however. that he was greatly puffed up by his greatness. For we read that as he walked in his palace one day he exclaimed – “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honor of my majesty?” Dan. 4:29-30. It seemed meet and proper therefore that he should have the “Dream,” which, with its interpretation, would disclose to him that his greatness was not the result of his own ability apart from God. and that the glories of his Empire would soon pass away.

Thus it came to pass that early in his reign, as he lay one day on a sumptuous couch in his palace. thinking about the greatness of his kingdom and wondering what its future would he. he fell into a slumber. The impressions of his waking thoughts had not left him, and in his sleeping consciousness they began to visualize themselves until he saw in his dream a great Image, “whose brightness was excellent,” and the “form thereof was terrible.” The form was “terrible” doubtless because of the colossal size of the “Image,” and its “brightness” was caused by a supernatural light that fell from the heavens and was reflected from the burnished metals that composed it. While the king, transfixed, looked in awe and astonishment upon the “Image,” he saw a stone detach itself from a neighboring mountain and smite the “Image” upon its feet, and the “Image” collapsed, turned to powder, and was blown away, and to his amazement the “stone” grew larger and larger until it covered the whole plain on which the “Image” had stood.

We must distinguish between dreams and visions. Dreams occur in the transition stage between loss of “waking consciousness” and “sound sleep.” Between the two there is what is called a state of “sleeping consciousness,” during which we may dream but never know it. The dreams that we have and remember occur when we are waking, and if not of a vivid character they fade as we try to recall them. Visions occur in our wakeful moments when our mind is absorbed on some thought, so that we are unconscious as to what is going on about us. Visions are an ocular phenomenon and are seen when the eyelids are closed. The vision appears on the inside of the eyelid and is sufficiently luminous to be seen by the eye, and if the eyelid is not moved the vision will remain indefinitely and can be studied in detail. The writer speaks from his own experience as to this. For several days during a severe illness visions would appear in his waking moments whenever he closed his eyes.

Dreamers naturally dream of things with which they are familiar. A dreamer of fifty years ago would not dream of automobiles or airships, and a dreamer of today would not be likely to dream of the class of vehicles used one hundred years ago. In the time of Nebuchadnezzar gigantic statues were common. We find them today among the ruins of Egypt. Now Nebuchadnezzar had just returned from Egypt, having conquered it. What more natural then than having seen the gigantic statues of Egypt, erected by the Kings of Egypt to commemorate their memory, Nebuchadnezzar before he fell asleep had been thinking of such a method of preserving his own memory. But the difference was that the “Image” that Nebuchadnezzar saw was of metal, while the images of Egypt were of stone. The metallic character of the “Image,” and its being composed of more than one kind of metal, was to the King significant, and as all Orientals lay much stress on dreams, and as it was God’s method in Old Testament times of conveying to heathen kings, such as Pharaoh, what He purposed to do, naturally Nebuchadnezzar wished to know what his dream meant. But so awesome and frightful was it, that the King awoke in terror, troubled and perplexed, and before he could collect himself the dream had faded from his memory.

“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. And the king said unto them, I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit was troubled to know the dream.” Verses 2-3.

The “Magicians” were such as practiced magic. That is, they practiced all the superstitious rites and ceremonies of fortune tellers, etc. “Astrologers” were men who pretended to foretell future events by the study of the stars. It was much in vogue among the Eastern nations of antiquity. “Sorcerers” were such as pretended to hold communication with the dead. They used potions, and claimed to possess supernatural power or knowledge gained in any manner, but especially through the aid of evil spirits, of which modern spiritualism is an example. The “Chaldeans” here mentioned were a sect of philosophers who made the sciences their special study. It was to this class that Daniel and his companions belonged.

“Then spake the Chaldeans to the king in Syriac, O king, live forever: tell thy servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation. 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. But if ye shew the dream, and the interpretation thereof, ye shall receive of me gifts and rewards and great honor: therefore shew me the dream, and the interpretation thereof. They answered again and said, Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will shew the interpretation of it. The king answered and said, I know of certainty that ye would gain the time, because ye see the thing is gone from me. 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.” Verses 4-9.

The ancient fortune tellers and interpreters of dreams were adepts in the art of drawing out sufficient information to form a basis for some shrewd prognostication, and the framing of their answer in such an ambiguous manner that it would appear correct whichever way the event would go. The Chaldeans therefore figured that if the king would tell them the dream, they could agree on some interpretation that would seem plausible, and thus save their reputation. But this was inconsistent with their claim that they possessed occult powers and could get superhuman information. From this standpoint the king’s demand that they reproduce his dream was not unreasonable. When the king saw that they could not reproduce his dream he lost all confidence in their claims, and naturally and justly charged them as being impostors, and with “sparring for time” until the “time be changed,” that is. until the matter had passed from his memory and he was no longer solicitous about it.

That the claim of the Chaldeans that they could communicate with the “gods” was false is evident from their own confession.

“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. 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.” Verses 10-11.

When the Chaldeans confessed that no one – “except the gods,” could reproduce the Dream, they acknowledged, because they could not reproduce it, that they had no power with the gods, thus justifying the king’s charge that they were impostors.

“For this cause the king was angry and very furious, and commanded to destroy all the wise men of Babylon. And the decree went forth that the wise men should be slain; and they sought Daniel and his fellows to be slain.” Verses 12-13.

Whether the severity of the sentence pronounced upon them was justifiable we may question. The Magicians, Astrologers, Sorcerers, and Chaldeans were numerous, wealthy, and influential bodies. They were composed of the learned and cultivated classes of Babylon, and to cause their destruction was to weaken the Empire. What the execution of the sentence would have resulted in we can only imagine. but happily it was averted. When the magicians and wise men of Egypt could not interpret Pharaoh’s dreams, God had a Hebrew captive, named Joseph, prepared for the task. So when the wise men of Babylon could not recall or interpret the King’s dream, God had a Hebrew captive, Daniel, on the scene. Why Daniel was not among those first consulted we are not told. He does not seem to have known anything about the matter until Arioch, the king’s captain, came to arrest him. But God’s hand doubtless was in all this. He first wanted to show up the false claims of those heathen systems represented by the wise men of Babylon, and have them confess their incompetency. If Daniel had been called first the wise men would have escaped the test. When Daniel learned the mission of Arioch, he protested.

“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. 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. Then Daniel went in, and desired of the king that he would give him time, and that he would shew the king the interpretation.” Verses 14-16.

Notice the faith of Daniel. He did not ask the king to describe his dream, he simply asked for time, and with sublime confidence promised the king that he would not only reproduce the dream, but give its meaning. His request was granted.

“Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions: 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.” Verses 17-18.

That was an epoch marking “Prayer Meeting.” Doubtless Daniel would have been heard if he had gone off by himself and prayed, but he believed in united prayer, and then his three companions were as much interested in the matter as he, for their lives were suspended in the same balance as his. If Daniel could not keep his promise to the king all four would perish. But something more than their lives was at stake. If Daniel had failed God, the world would have missed that great “REVELATION” that was locked up in that Dream and its interpretation, the prophetic and historical outline of the


We are not told when the “Prayer Meeting” began, but we know that it lasted far into the night, and did not close until they had the assurance of a favorable answer. Then they retired. Whether Daniel fell asleep and the Dream of Nebuchadnezzar was repeated to him with the interpretation, or as he lay on his couch he saw in vision the Image, and the angel Gabriel appeared, as in later visions, and revealed its meaning, we are not told. We simply read – “Then was the ‘secret’ revealed unto Daniel in a ‘NIGHT VISION.’ “ Verse 19.

Daniel was not elated because the dream was revealed to him. He did not rush off in haste to the king to inquire if it corresponded with what the king had seen. But his soul unburdened itself in one of the most wonderful and beautiful outbursts of praise recorded in the Bible. Daniel believed in giving thanks for answered prayer. It contains a sevenfold paean of praise.

Then Daniel blessed the God of Heaven. Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God forever and ever: for –
1 – Wisdom and Might are His:
2 – And He changeth the ‘Times and the Seasons:’
3 – He removeth kings, and setteth up kings:
4 – He giveth Wisdom unto the Wise,
5 – And Knowledge to them that know understanding:
6 – He revealeth the deep and ‘Secret Things:’
7 – He knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with Him.

“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.” Verses 19-23.

While to Daniel alone the revelation was made, he did not take all the credit to himself, but associated his companions with himself in his thanksgiving. With no unseemly haste, yet doubtless as soon as it was day, Daniel hunted up Arioch.

“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.” Verse 24.

Daniel’s first request of Arioch was that he – “Destroy not the wise men of Babylon.” Thus they were saved because there was a “Man of God” among them, just as the prisoners and sailors on that “corn ship” were saved for Paul’s sake. Acts 27:23-24.

The teaching of the Scriptures is that “The Wicked are blest for the Righteous’ sake.” The house of Potiphar was blessed for Joseph’s sake. Gen. 39:5. The Lord would have spared Sodom if there had been ten righteous people in it. The world has thus far been spared from judgment because of the righteous people in it. When the Church is “caught out” the world will be ripe for judgment. And as the wise men of Babylon were spared for Daniel’s sake, so we are saved for JESUS’ SAKE.

“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.” Verse 25.

It is characteristic of officials that they desire to ingratiate themselves with their sovereign. So here Arioch claims that he had discovered Daniel, saying, “I have found a man,” forgetting, if he knew. that Daniel had personally appeared before the King before and promised, if given time, that he would make known the interpretation.

“The King answered and said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, Art thou able to make known unto me the dream which I have seen, and the interpretation thereof? 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; but there is a GOD IN HEAVEN THAT REVEALETH SECRETS, and maketh known to the King Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the
Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these: 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. 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 might est know the thoughts of thy heart.” Verses 26-30.

The King’s question to Daniel, “Art thou able to make known unto me the ‘Dream’ which I have seen, and the interpretation thereof?” – for the King classed Daniel among the “wise men” and doubtless was somewhat suspicious that he was any abler than they to make known the “Dream” and interpret it-gave Daniel the opportunity to explain why the “wise men” could not make known the dream. It was beyond their province. It was something that only God, the “REVEALER OF SECRETS,” could do, because it had reference to things that were to come to pass in the “LATTER DAYS.” And lest the King should give him the credit Daniel declared that the “Secret” was not revealed to him for any wisdom of his own, but that the King might not only know what the future of his Kingdom was to be, but that he might know what was to come to pass in the far distant future.

“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. This Image’s head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, his legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. 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. 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 threshing floors: 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.” Verses 31-35.

We can imagine the King’s feelings when he had his “Dream” repeated to him. The “Image” stood out in every detail just as he had seen it in his sleep. And what must he have thought of Daniel. He must have been amazed at his spiritual insight and wisdom, which would give him confidence in the interpretation of the “Dream” when it was unfolded unto him.


“This is the ‘Dream:’ and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the King. 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.
II. THE ARMS AND BREAST. THE MEDO-PERSIAN EMPIRE. And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to
III. THE ABDOMEN. THE GRECIAN EMPIRE. and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth.
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.
And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potter’s 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. 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. 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.
And in the days of these kings (the kings represented by the Ten Toes) 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.
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.” Verses 36-45.

If Nebuchadnezzar was astonished when he heard Daniel repeat his “Dream,” he must have been thunderstruck when he heard the interpretation, and learned how his own Kingdom would fall and be succeeded by inferior ones, until all world kingdoms should be destroyed. The interpretation of the “Dream” is certainly one that human ingenuity could not have hit upon. The wise men and flatterers of the Chaldean court would never have dared to announce the downfall of Nebuchadnezzar’s Kingdom, and the final termination of Gentile supremacy.

In the Golden Headed Image of Nebuchadnezzar’s “Dream” we have a “Visualized Portraiture” of the”Times of the Gentiles.” The phrase “The Times of the Gentiles” is not found in the Book of Daniel, but is a New Testament phrase used by the Lord. It was used by Him in His “Olivet Discourse” in reference to the destruction of Jerusalem in A. D. 70, where He said – “And Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the ‘TIMES, OF THE GENTILES’ be fulfilled.” Luke 21:24. In the phrase, “The Times of the Gentiles,” Jesus had reference to a “PERIOD OF TIME” of certain chronological limits, that corresponds to the time that the Jewish Nation shall be without a king. It is foretold by Hosea.

“The Children of Israel shall abide MANY DAYS without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim: AFTERWARD shall the Children of Israel return, and see the Lord their God, and David their King; and shall fear the Lord and His goodness IN THE LATTER DAYS.” Hosea 3:4-5.

The “Times of the Gentiles” did not begin at the “Destruction of Jerusalem” in A. D. 70, but at the time when Daniel was carried captive to Babylon in B. C. 606, and will continue until Christ comes back and sets up His Millennial or “Stone Kingdom,” represented by the “Stone” cut out of the mountain in Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream. We must not confound the phrase “The Times of the Gentiles” with the phrase the “Fulness of the Gentiles,” used by the Apostle Paul in Rom. 11:25. The “Fulness of the Gentiles” has no reference to the “Times of the Gentiles,” but to the Gentiles who are being “called out” in this Dispensation by the Holy Spirit as members of Christ’s Body – “The Church.” When their number is complete, or FULL, then Christ will take out His Church, and the “Fulness of the Gentiles” will be complete. This “Divine Program” is outlined in Acts 15:13-17.


While this present Dispensation is spoken of distinctively in the Scriptures as “MAN’S DAY” (see I Cor. 4:3, margin), the term applies to the whole period of the “Times of the Gentiles.” This is the day of the “DEIFICATION OF MAN.” From the day when Nebuchadnezzar set up in the Plain of Dura that “Golden Image,” typical of himself, and commanded all the people of his realm to worship it (Dan. 3:1-7), until the False Prophet shall command that the people shall make an “Image to the Beast” (The Antichrist) and worship the same (Rev. 13:13-17), the only suitable symbol to describe the character of the “Times of the Gentiles” is the “Image of a Man.” How suitable then was the “Golden Headed Image” of Nebuchadnezzar’s “Dream” to describe the character of the “Times of the Gentiles.” The deterioration of the “Times of the Gentiles” is seen in the DIMINISHING VALUE OF THE METALS from gold, to silver, to brass, to iron, to iron and clay. Whereas if the world is growing better the metals should have been in reverse order. The weight of the Image also declines. The specific gravity of gold is 19.5, of silver 10.47, of brass 8, of cast-iron 5, of clay 1.93. The “Image” is TOP-HEAVY. From this we see that Gentile dominion is represented by a huge “METALLIC MAN” that degenerates in character from head to foot.


The “Image” symbolizes the four great World Empires in their UNITY and HISTORICAL SUCCESSION. There are to be four, and only four, great World Empires on the earth from the accession of Nebuchadnezzar to the throne of Babylon, to the Second Coming of Christ. They are represented by the four metals of the Image. Men like Napoleon have hoped, plotted and warred to establish a “Fifth” World Empire, and have failed. These Empires are not only made known as to number, but their NAMES, in the ORDER OF THEIR SUCCESSION, are given.


The First Empire is pointed out by Daniel, in his interpretation of the Image, as BABYLON, in his words to Nebuchadnezzar-“THOU art the HEAD OF GOLD.” It will be noticed in studying the “Interpretation” that Daniel uses the words “King” and “Kingdom” interchangeably. The writer uses the word “Empire” instead of “Kingdom” because there was a succession of kings in each Empire while it lasted, and in profane history those kings were called Emperors. The title of Emperor today is rare, because the Empires of the world have been broken up into small Kingdoms. This is a fulfilment of the teaching of the “Image,” whose feet are divided into “Ten Toes” called Kingdoms. Nebuchadnezzar, after reigning forty-four years, died in B. C. 561. He was succeeded by his son Evil-Merodach, who after an ignoble reign of two years was assassinated by his brother-in-law, Neriglissar, who seized the throne, and after reigning for about four years was killed in battle in B. C. 556. He was succeeded by his son Laborosoarched, an imbecile child, who after nine months’ reign was beaten to death, and Nabonidus, another son-in-law of Nebuchadnezzar, who had married the widow of Neriglissar, seized the throne and reigned for seventeen years, during the whole of which period Babylon was threatened with invasion by the Persians, and it was while Nabonidus was on a military expedition that Babylon was taken, he having made his son Belshazzar the “second ruler” and left him in charge of the city. That was why Belshazzar had to make Daniel the “third ruler,” because he himself was the second. Thus we see that Nebuchadnezzar was properly called the “HEAD OF GOLD,” because all his successors were inferior men. With the death of Belshazzar the Babylonian Empire ceased to exist.


The Second Empire, the MEDO-PERSIAN, is pointed out by Daniel in his account of the “Fall of Babylon” in the words-“In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain, and Darius the MEDIAN took the Kingdom.” Dan. 5:30-31. It is also pointed out in the “Vision of the Ram and He-Goat” (Dan. 8:20), where the two horns of the Ram, that correspond to the two arms of the Image (see chart), are called the kings of Media and Persia. Thus we see that while the Babylonian Empire was single-headed, the Medo-Persian was a dual Empire, represented by the “two arms” of the Image and the “two horns” of the Ram. The left arm of the Image representing Media the weaker, and the right arm Persia the stronger Kingdom. The fact that the Medo- Persian Empire is represented by the “Silver” of the Image indicates that, as silver is inferior to gold, so the Medo-Persian Empire was inferior to the Babylonian. This we know was true, not in extent. for Cyrus conquered more territory, but in wealth, luxury, and magnificence.

Cyrus has the honor of being named in the Scriptures 175 years before he took Babylon. In Isa. 44:28 and 45:1-4, we read –

“That saith of CYRUS, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to JERUSALEM – Thou shalt be built; and to the TEMPLE – Thy foundation shall be laid. Thus saith the Lord to His anointed, to CYRUS, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings (as those of Belshazzar) to open before him (Cyrus) the TWO LEAVED GATES (of Babylon); and the gates shall not be shut (which was true of the inner gates of Babylon, in the river walls, on the night of the siege); ... For Jacob my servant’s sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast NOT KNOWN ME.”

From this Scripture we see that Cyrus was foreordained, over a hundred years before he was born, to do two things. First to besiege and take Babylon, and secondly to issue an Edict, at the close of the “Babylonian Captivity,” in B. C. 536, for the return of the Jews and the rebuilding of the Temple. At the taking of Babylon, B. C. 538, Cyrus, as an act of courtesy, because Media was the older of the two Kingdoms Media and Persia, and because he had some other military campaigns to finish, assigned the governorship of Babylon to his uncle Darius, the king of Media, who ruled for two years. The same year (B. C. 536) Cambyses, king of Persia, Cyrus’ father, also died, thus making Cyrus the sale monarch of the Dual Kingdom. After a reign of seven years, Cyrus left the Empire to his son Cambyses, who reigned seven years and five months, to B. C. 522. Eight monarchs, whose reigns varied from seven months to forty-six years each, followed in succession until B. C. 335, when Darius Codomanus became the last of the long line of Persian kings. He was a noble person, and a long and splendid career would undoubtedly have been his, but it was his misfortune to have ascended the throne when the time had come for the “Silver” of the Image to give place to the “Brass,” and nothing could prevent the change, and in B. C. 330 Alexander the Grecian conquered the Persian Empire.


The Third Empire, the GRECIAN, is identified in Dan. 8:21, by the angel Gabriel as the “He-Goat,” that destroyed the “Ram,” which represented the Medo- Persian Empire.

“The ‘Ram’ which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of MEDIA and PERSIA. And the ‘Rough Goat’ (the He-Goat) is the king of GRECIA (Greece): and the ‘Great Horn’ that is between his eyes is the first king.” (Alexander the Great). Dan. 8:20-21.

Again we see inferiority, for “Brass” is an inferior metal to “Silver.” The Grecian Empire, as a World- Wide Empire, with Alexander as its head, was of short duration. After eight short years he died of intemperance and marsh fever in B. C. 323, in his thirty-third year, and his Empire was divided among four of his generals. See the exposition of chapter eight.

Right here we must not forget that the prophecy does not say that the Four World Empires are to succeed each other without a break. From the death of Alexander the Great, B. C. 323, to B. C. 30, when the Roman Empire succeeded the Grecian, the Grecian Empire was not a single Empire, but a fourfold Empire, composed of the Kingdoms of Thrace, Macedonia, Syria, and Egypt. These fell one by one until the Romans conquered Egypt in B. C. 30, which made them the conquerors of the world. This division of the Grecian Empire into four parts is not shown on the Image, as there is no break in the “Brass,” between the “Silver” and the “Iron” of the Image, but the fact is revealed in the story of the “He-Goat” in chapter 8:21-25.

Another explanation is necessary at this point. The words – “his belly and thighs of brass,” are a mistranslation. The word translated “thighs” is singular, and should be translated the “Thigh-part.” A little explanation will make this clear. As we have already seen, the Grecian Empire was divided into four parts, that disappeared one by one, until the last, Egypt, was conquered in B. C. 30, and the fourth or Roman Empire came into existence. Now as the Roman Empire was not divided into its Eastern and Western Divisions, which represent the two legs of the Image, until A. D. 364, all that went before of the Roman Empire belongs to the BODY of the Image, and not the legs, as shown on the Chart. The Scripture would be clearer, and better express what we now know from history it was intended to express, if we read the passage as follows – “His belly (abdomen) of brass, and his Thigh-parts (buttocks) and legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay.” Verses 32-33.


The Fourth Empire, the ROMAN, is not named in the Book of Daniel, but it is pointed out. In Daniel’s Vision of the “Seventy Weeks,” chapter 9, verse 26, we read, that after the “cutting off” (Crucifixion) of the “Messiah the Prince” (Christ), Jerusalem and the Temple were to be destroyed by a PEOPLE, from whom later should come a “Prince,” whom we shall see will be the ANTICHRIST. Now we know that Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed by the Romans in A. D. 70, and that Antichrist is to be the last Emperor of the Roman Empire, and as Antichrist is the “LITTLE HORN” of the “Fourth Wild Beast,” that corresponds to the “Iron” of the Image, then the “Fourth Empire” is the “Roman.” Thus we see that all four of the Empires symbolized by the metals of the Image were pointed out in their historical succession to Daniel, three of them before they ever came into existence. If this does not prove the Divine Inspiration of the Book of Daniel, what could?

There are three things that we are to note about the “Fourth Empire.” First, as represented by the legs, it takes up in length at least half of the Image, and therefore in proportion the Roman Empire was to last longer than the other Empires. This we know from history to be true. Second, the Image is divided into “two legs,” this would imply that the Roman Empire would be divided into TWO PARTS. This we also know to be true, for the Roman Empire was divided into its “Eastern Division” with Constantinople as the Capital, and its “Western Division” with Rome as the Capital, in A. D. 364. Third, the two feet of the “Image” are divided into “five toes” each. These “TEN TOES” have not as yet manifested themselves, so the historical fulfilment of the Image is not yet complete. From what has been said we see that the First Empire was a UNIT, the Second DUAL, the Third became QUADRUPLE, and the Fourth, in its final form, will be TEN-TOED. While the Roman Empire, as a visible Empire, does not exist today, yet its laws, etc., are a controlling power among the nations, and the Empire in a visible form is to be revived, and in its revived and last form it will consist of “Ten Federated Kingdoms,” represented by the “Ten Toes” of the Image, at the head of which shall be the last Roman Emperor and Gentile Ruler, the ANTICHRIST.


While the legs of the Image are of iron, the feet and toes are of iron and potter’s clay. There is a mingling. hut not a commingling. That is, there is no union of the iron and the clay, and this condition is to continue until the feet of the Image are smitten by the “Stone” cut out of the Mountain.

The character of the Government of the different Empires reveals the fact that the Image will become increasingly unstable. The Babylonian Empire was an ABSOLUTE AUTOCRACY. It was said of Nebuchadnezzar, “Whom he would he slew; and whom he would he kept alive: and whom he would he set up: and whom he would he put down.” Dan. 5:19. The Medo-Persian Empire was not an autocracy. The Emperor was bound by certain laws, called the “Laws of the Medes and Persians.” Having once issued an Edict he could not recall it. As illustrations we have the case of Darius, who earnestly sought to deliver Daniel from the “lion’s den,” and of Ahasuerus, who could not rescind his order for the slaughter of the Jews, but could only issue a counter-decree permitting them to stand for their lives and slay those who would attempt to kill them. Esther 8:1-17. The Grecian Empire was a Monarchy supported by a “Military Aristocracy,” that was as weak as the ambitions of its leaders. The Roman Emperors were nominally elected by the people, but the people were neither allowed to legislate for them, nor to interfere with them, and so their despotic sway is well symbolized by “Iron,” which in the form of STEEL will cut through every other metal. Rome was noted for her IRON-RULE.

But the form of Government grows weaker when we examine the “Feet” and the “Toes,” composed of Iron and Clay. Here we see “Imperialism” mixed with “Democracy.” The Iron representing “Imperialism,” and the Clay “Democracy.” In short the character of government passes from an “ABSOLUTE AUTOCRACY” to a “DEMOCRATIC MONARCHY,” to the rule of the “Head” by the “Feet,” to a form of Government in which the masses, swayed by politicians and demagogues, who think only of their own selfish interests, control the Government. Such a form of government is the weakest that can be devised and opens the way for the growth and development of Socialism, Sovietism, Bolshevism, and Anarchy. The fact that such phases of government are becoming more prominent seems to indicate that, historically, we are now living in the time indicated by the “Feet” of the “Image,” and that it will not be long before the “Toes” will appear in the form of “Ten Federated Nations,” over which a Roman Emperor will rule.

“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. 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 threshing floors; 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.” Dan. 2:34-35.

The interpretation of this is given in verse 44.

“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 (that is, it shall not be succeeded by other kingdoms), but it shall break in pieces and consume all these Kingdoms (the Kingdoms represented by the Metals of the Image), and it shall STAND FOREVER.”

The climax of the Dream is the smiting of the Image by a “STONE” cut out of a mountain without hands, thus showing the “Stone’s” supernatural origin. The “Stone” does not “fill the earth” by degrees and thus “crowd out” the Image, it at one blow DEMOLISHES IT, and its remains are blown away. The action of the “Stone” is JUDGMENT, not Grace. Not the spread of a “Spiritual Kingdom” by the preaching of the Gospel, but the immediate setting up of an outward and visible earthly Kingdom. The “Stone” therefore cannot mean Christianity, for it is a PROCESS, whereas the action of the “Stone” is SUDDEN AND CALAMITOUS. Again the TIME of the destruction is not until AFTER THE FORMATION OF THE TOES OF THE IMAGE. We know that the “Legs” of the Image did not appear until A. D. 364, when the Roman Empire was divided into its Eastern and Western Divisions, and the “Ten Toes” have not yet developed. The time when the “Stone” falls on the feel of the Colossus is distinctly given in the interpretation as – “IN THE DAYS OF THESE KINGS.” What kings? Not the kings of the Four World Empires, represented by the four metals of the Image, that would only bring us down to the “First Advent,” and would make Christianity the smiting Stone, but by “these kings” we are to understand the kings of the “Ten Federated Kingdoms,” represented by the “Toes” of the Image. So we see that the TIME of the smiting was not when Christ came the First time, but when He comes the Second time.

The “Stone” is not Christianity but CHRIST. He is everywhere in Scripture spoken of as “THE STONE.” To the Jews He was “A Stone of stumbling, and rock of offence.” He was the Stone that the builders rejected, that was to become the head of the corner. Christ must have had in mind the “Falling Stone” of Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream when he prophetically uttered the words-“And whosoever shall fall on this Stone (Christ) shall be broken (melted into repentance), but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will GRIND HIM TO POWDER.” Matt. 21:44. The “Stone” smites the Image, the Image does not smite the Stone. Did Christ when He came the First time smite and destroy the Roman Empire? No. The Roman Empire smote Him and was the cause of His death. So we see that the First Coming of Christ was not the “Falling of the Stone,” for it is still future and cannot be until His Second Coming.

Some object that because it says – “Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces TOGETHER,” that that cannot be, because the Empires represented by the “Gold,” the “Silver,” the “Brass,” and the “Iron” have passed away. As outward visible Empires this is true. But we must not forget that those Empires were incorporated into their successors, and that all of them will be found in the last phase of the revived Roman Empire. As proof of this we have the description of the “Beast” that comes up out of the sea (and the sea is a symbol of the nations) in Rev. 13:1-2, where we read –

“And the Beast which I saw was like a LEOPARD, and his feet were as the feet of a BEAR, and his mouth as the mouth of a LION: and the Dragon (Satan) gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.”

Now we shall see in our study of Daniel’s Vision of the “Four Wild Beasts,” chapter seven, that the “Wild Beasts” correspond to the metals of the Image. That is, the “Gold” corresponds to the “Lion,” the “Silver” to the “Bear,” the “Brass” to the “Leopard,” and the “Iron” to the Fourth Beast. In John’s description of the “Beast” out of the sea, given above, which is a description of the last phase of the revived Roman Empire, we see that the “Beast” is a “composite beast,” composed of a body like that of a “Leopard,” with the feet of a “Bear,” and the mouth of a “Lion,” the “Fourth Wild Beast” being represented by the whole of the Beast. Now we see from this that the revived Roman Empire will be a composite Empire, composed of the “Lion” (Babylon), the “Bear” (Medo- Persia), the “Leopard” (Greece), and the Beast itself (Rome). As the body, which is the largest part of a beast, in John’s Beast is that of a Leopard, the inference is that the last phase of the Roman Empire will be mainly Grecian.

The Mountain out of which the “Stone” is cut by invisible hands represents Israel, for of Israel Christ came. This is confirmed by the words of Jacob in blessing his sons, where he speaks of-“The Shepherd, the STONE OF ISRAEL” (Gen. 49:24), which can refer to no other than Christ. The Mountain into which the “Stone” grows and fills the whole earth is the “Stone” or “Millennia! Kingdom” of Christ. The four Empires or Kingdoms symbolized by the Image were LITERAL Kingdoms. It follows then that the “Stone Kingdom,” which is to take their place, must also be a LITERAL Kingdom, for it is to conquer and control the whole earth. It is for this Kingdom, and not a spiritual Kingdom, that Christ taught His Disciples to pray in the words – “Thy Kingdom Come.” If a Spiritual Kingdom was meant, and such a Kingdom is now present, then we should no longer pray- “Thy Kingdom COME,” for it is already here.


“Then the King, Nebuchadnezzar, fell upon his face, and worshipped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odors unto him. 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 (of the Dream). 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. Then Daniel requested of the King, and he set Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, over the affairs of the province of Babylon: but Daniel sat in the gate of the King.” Verses 46-49.

It took courage for Daniel to stand before a proud monarch like Nebuchadnezzar and announce to him that his Empire would not long survive his death. But Daniel was too loyal to his God to keep back the truth. The effect upon the King was the reverse of that which naturally was to be expected. Instead of professing to not believe a word of the interpretation, he falls upon his face and worships Daniel, thus testifying IO Daniel’s superhuman wisdom. Only God could have wrought such a change in the King. He also commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odors unto Danie1. That Daniel protested seems clear from the words-“The King answered unto Danie1.” The King then gave testimony to the character of Daniel’s God. The language is striking, in that it bears witness to the Trinity. Your God is a “God of Gods” (the Father), and a “Lord of Kings” (the Son), and a “Revealer of Secrets” (the Holy Spirit). What effect the reproduction of the Dream and its Interpretation had upon the Magicians, Astrologers, Sorcerers, and Chaldeans, we are not told, but they must have realized that they were not in Daniel’s. class, that what they professed he possessed.


Daniel’s reward was twofold. He was made a “Great Man.” There are two things in this world that are supposed to make a man “Great.” The first is “RICHES,” the second is “POWER.” Daniel received both. He was loaded with gifts, and made a Ruler over the Province of Babylon, and “Chief of the Governors” over the “Wise Men.” But Daniel did not forget his companions, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, in his exaltation. They had helped him by their prayers to secure the needed information as to the King’s Dream, and he was determined that they should share in his honors, so he besought the King in their behalf, and they were given prominent offices, while Daniel sat in the “Gate of the King,” the place where Councils were held, and matters of chief moment decided.

This chapter is one of the most remarkable in the Bible. It gives us a prophetical outline of the history of the Gentile nations, in their relation to the nation of Israel. from the time of Nebuchadnezzar on down to the Second Coming of Christ. If the statesmen and kings of the earth knew about it, and would heed its teaching, they would not be so ambitious to become world rulers, and would see in the rise of lawless organizations that we are nearing the end of the “Times of the Gentiles,” and that the Second Coming of the Lord is not so far away.


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