Interpreting the Dream
“31 “Your Majesty looked, and there before you stood a large statue—an enormous, dazzling statue, awesome in appearance. 32 The head of the statue was made of pure gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, 33 its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of baked clay. 34 While you were watching, a rock was cut out, but not by human hands. It struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and smashed them. 35 Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were all broken to pieces and became like chaff on a threshing floor in the summer. The wind swept them away without leaving a trace. But the rock that struck the statue became a huge mountain and filled the whole earth.
36 “This was the dream, and now we will interpret it to the king. 37 Your Majesty, you are the king of kings. The God of heaven has given you dominion and power and might and glory; 38 in your hands he has placed all mankind and the beasts of the field and the birds in the sky. Wherever they live, he has made you ruler over them all. You are that head of gold.
39 “After you, another kingdom will arise, inferior to yours. Next, a third kingdom, one of bronze, will rule over the whole earth. 40 Finally, there will be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron—for iron breaks and smashes everything—and as iron breaks things to pieces, so it will crush and break all the others. 41 Just as you saw that the feet and toes were partly of baked clay and partly of iron, so this will be a divided kingdom; yet it will have some of the strength of iron in it, even as you saw iron mixed with clay. 42 As the toes were partly iron and partly clay, so this kingdom will be partly strong and partly brittle. 43 And just as you saw the iron mixed with baked clay, so the people will be a mixture and will not remain united, any more than iron mixes with clay.
44 “In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever. 45 This is the meaning of the vision of the rock cut out of a mountain, but not by human hands—a rock that broke the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold to pieces.
“The great God has shown the king what will take place in the future. The dream is true and its interpretation is trustworthy.” Daniel 2:31-45 NIV
When we left off in our last devotion, we saw a great miracle that Daniel was able not only to interpret the king’s dream, but also tell the king what the dream was. Daniel didn’t take credit for being able to interpret dreams.
Daniel then goes on to describe the dream of Nebuchadnezzar earning him credibility before the king. Rather than taking credit for the gift God gave him, Daniel gave full credit to God. Daniel then goes on to explain the vision and gives the interpretation.
1 – The head made of pure gold – Daniel said that Nebuchadnezzar was the head of gold. Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom was likened to gold because it was an absolute monarchy with a centralized power. There was never before an empire that ruled the entire known world. The Babylonian Empire stood from 605 – 539 BC.
2 – The chest and arms of silver – Daniel said that this was “another kingdom inferior to yours.” Historically, the next kingdom that Daniel spoke of would be the Medo-Persian Empire. It was a powerful empire that followed Babylon, and lasted longer, but did not have the same impact and influence as Nebuchadnezzar. The Medo-Persian Empire stood from 539 – 311 BC.
3 – Belly and thighs of bronze – After the fall of the Medo-Persian Empire, it was the Greeks that would take power. The third kingdom (of bronze), was led by Alexander the Great was the largest and stood from 311 – 168 BC.
4 – Feet partly of iron and partly of clay – This spoke of the coming Roman Empire from 168 BC – 476 AD. The Roman Empire would be ruling force during the arrival of Jesus Christ. After Rome fell, its rule split into two divided kingdoms. This is represented by feet partly of iron and partly of clay.
The last part of the prophesy describes the last days of the kings when the God of Heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed.
Since Rome fell, there has never been another world-dominating empire. There have been many who have tried to create a one-world government again – Napoleon, Hitler, Stalin, and even the radical Islamists. So far, none have succeeded, and as such, we have not seen anything like the Roman Empire since. Daniel’s prophesy seems to suggest that there will be a revival of a one-world dominating government or empire in the last days that will be revived under the Anti-Christ. This one-world-governing-empire will be destroyed by the stone – or the Messiah. Jesus Christ, we know from other texts, is the chief cornerstone. This speaks of the second coming of Jesus Christ.
In the end times, the Anti-Christ will lead one more world-wide government. A stone will strike and destroy that world-governing empire. In Scripture, the stone is the Messiah. Jesus is the chief cornerstone. This gives believers the hope in Christ’s return. A part of this prophesy is completed. The most important part is still to come! The victory of Jesus Christ!
Lord Jesus thank You that in the end, You win! Thank You that though the imagery seems fuzzy and the future often unclear, that we can trust that the best is still to come. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Ty Tamasaka is an author who hold a Master of Arts Degree from Pacific Rim Christian University in Christian Ministry He is a Bible teacher who loves to encourage people to enjoy Jesus’ grace and extend His Kingdom. Ty just released his new book More than a Conqueror: 5 Pathways to Personal Revival.