3. God's Multi-Metal Image:
It Reveals the Future,
And Confirms the Accuracy of Bible Prophecy
Before continuing with the lesson, read the entire chapter of Daniel 2
Daniel 2:1 (NIV) In the second year of his reign,
Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; his mind was troubled and he could not sleep.
2 So the king summoned the magicians, enchanters, sorcerers and astrologers to
tell him what he had dreamed. When they came in and stood before the king,
3 he said to them, "I have had a dream that troubles me and I want to know what
4 Then the astrologers answered the king in Aramaic, "O king, live forever! Tell
your servants the dream, and we will interpret it."
5 The king replied to the astrologers, "This is what I have firmly decided: If
you do not tell me what my dream was and interpret it, I will have you cut into
pieces and your houses turned into piles of rubble.
6 But if you tell me the dream and explain it, you will receive from me gifts
and rewards and great honor. So tell me the dream and interpret it for me."
7 Once more they replied, "Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will
8 Then the king answered, "I am certain that you are trying to gain time,
because you realize that this is what I have firmly decided:
9 If you do not tell me the dream, there is just one penalty for you. You have
conspired to tell me misleading and wicked things, hoping the situation will
change. So then, tell me the dream, and I will know that you can interpret it
10 The astrologers answered the king, "There is not a man on earth who can do
what the king asks! No king, however great and mighty, has ever asked such a
thing of any magician or enchanter or astrologer.
11 What the king asks is too difficult. No one can reveal it to the king except
the gods, and they do not live among men."
12 This made the king so angry and furious that he ordered the execution of all
the wise men of Babylon.
13 So the decree was issued to put the wise men to death, and men were sent to
look for Daniel and his friends to put them to death.
14 When Arioch, the commander of the king's guard, had gone out to put to death
the wise men of Babylon, Daniel spoke to him with wisdom and tact.
15 He asked the king's officer, "Why did the king issue such a harsh decree?"
Arioch then explained the matter to Daniel.
16 At this, Daniel went in to the king and asked for time, so that he might
interpret the dream for him.
17 Then Daniel returned to his house and explained the matter to his friends
Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah.
18 He urged them to plead for mercy from the God of heaven concerning this
mystery, so that he and his friends might not be executed with the rest of the
wise men of Babylon.
19 During the night the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision. Then Daniel
praised the God of heaven
20 and said: "Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power
21 He changes times and seasons; he sets up kings and deposes them. He gives
wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.
22 He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light
dwells with him.
23 I thank and praise you, O God of my fathers: You have given me wisdom and
power, you have made known to me what we asked of you, you have made known to us
the dream of the king."
24 Then Daniel went to Arioch, whom the king had appointed to execute the wise
men of Babylon, and said to him, "Do not execute the wise men of Babylon. Take
me to the king, and I will interpret his dream for him."
25 Arioch took Daniel to the king at once and said, "I have found a man among
the exiles from Judah who can tell the king what his dream means."
26 The king asked Daniel (also called Belteshazzar), "Are you able to tell me
what I saw in my dream and interpret it?"
27 Daniel replied, "No wise man, enchanter, magician or diviner can explain to
the king the mystery he has asked about,
28 but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries. He has shown King
Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in days to come. Your dream and the visions that
passed through your mind as you lay on your bed are these:
29 "As you were lying there, O king, your mind turned to things to come, and the
revealer of mysteries showed you what is going to happen.
30 As for me, this mystery has been revealed to me, not because I have greater
wisdom than other living men, but so that you, O king, may know the
interpretation and that you may understand what went through your mind.
31 "You looked, O king, 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 broken to
pieces at the same time 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 You, O king, 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 mankind and the beasts of the field and the birds
of the air. Wherever they live, he has made you ruler over them all. You are
that head of gold.
39 "After you, another kingdom will rise, 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 the interpretation is trustworthy."
46 Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell prostrate before Daniel and paid him honor and
ordered that an offering and incense be presented to him.
47 The king said to Daniel, "Surely your God is the God of gods and the Lord of
kings and a revealer of mysteries, for you were able to reveal this mystery."
48 Then the king placed Daniel in a high position and lavished many gifts on
him. He made him ruler over the entire province of Babylon and placed him in
charge of all its wise men.
49 Moreover, at Daniel's request the king appointed Shadrach, Meshach and
Abednego administrators over the province of Babylon, while Daniel himself
remained at the royal court.
Now, the Study Guide
In studying the lesson, you may refer to the text
above, or you may compare it with your own version of the Bible.
1. HOW DID NEBUCHADNEZZAR FEEL ABOUT HIS DREAM?
1D2 Daniel 2:1-3 Nebuchadnezzar was troubled; he couldn't
go back to sleep; he
wanted desperately to know what it meant.
In the ancient world people felt that dreams were sent by the gods to
reveal an important message. The dreams could be good or bad or indifferent, but all dreams were considered of great importance.
In Nebuchadnezzar's case, however, the situation was even
worse than usual: the king couldn't recall the dream. But still, it had left
him with an ominous feeling that something terrible was about to happen. He
had to know the dream and what it meant.
2. WHY DID NEBUCHADNEZZAR GET SO ANGRY AT HIS ADVISORS?
2D2 Daniel 2:4-12 They confessed to the king that no one could
tell the king his dream. It was a matter that only the gods would know, they said, and the gods
didn't live in the flesh.
The trouble with this argument lay in the fact that they claimed to be the spokesmen of
the gods. This, then, was a direct admission to the king that they were frauds.
3. HOW DID THIS DEATH DECREE AFFECT DANIEL AND HIS THREE FRIENDS?
3D2 Daniel 2:13, 14 Daniel and his three friends—Shadrach,
Meshach, and Abednego–had been promoted to the council of advisors and, as such,
they were considered to be among the "wise men." For this reason they were marked
for execution along with all the rest of these men—even though the young Jews
had nothing to do the fraudulent behavior of those called before the king.
4. WHAT WAS DANIEL'S REACTION WHEN HE FOUND OUT THAT HE AND HIS FRIENDS WERE
TO BE EXECUTED?
4D2 Daniel 2:15-18 Daniel gathered information from the
executioners as to why the decree had been made. Then he went to the king
himself and received a temporary stay of execution (for himself and all the wise
men) to give him more time. He promised that he would bring the interpretation
to the king. Then he and his three friends prayed for divine intervention.
5. WHAT HAPPENED AFTER DANIEL AND HIS FRIENDS HAD PRAYED?
5D2 Daniel 2:19-23 During the night God gave Daniel the same dream He
had given to Nebuchadnezzar, and also its interpretation.
• Daniel had no way of knowing whether or not the dream he had seen was the
same as that which the king had experienced two nights before. It was only by
faith that he could know it. And his faith was strong. Daniel and his friends
thanked God and praised Him for giving the needed information.
We need to exercise that kind of faith—to ask for something that God has promised and
believe that we've received the answer to our prayer even
before we have an opportunity to actually see the answer
with our eyes!
6. WHAT WAS DANIEL'S ANSWER WHEN THE KING ASKED: "ARE YOU ABLE TO TELL ME MY
DREAM AND INTERPRET IT?"
6D2 Daniel 2:26-28 He answered in somewhat similar fashion as the
other advisors the day before. But Daniel didn't stop when he confessed
that no man was able to do what the king asked. Daniel went on to tell the king
that the God of Heaven could reveal the great mysteries to him. This gave the
king encouragement and he let Daniel continue.
• It’s interesting to notice that the God of heaven had no
"dwelling in the
flesh," just like the wise men said of their
gods. But the Creator God had the power to
do what the others
couldn’t: He was able to reveal the secrets of the dream to
7. READ OVER THE DREAM AND GET THE IMAGE-PICTURE IN YOUR MIND.
7D2 Daniel 2:29-35 There are six parts to the dream:
• Head of Gold
• Breast and
arms of silver
• Belly and
thighs of bronze
• Legs of iron
• Feet of iron
• A great rock
that destroys the image and then fills the
8. WHAT DID THE HEAD OF GOLD REPRESENT.
8 D2 Daniel 2:37, 38 Nebuchadnezzar—who represented
the head of Gold.
9. WHAT WOULD BE THE MEANING OF THE THREE REMAINING PARTS OF THE STATUE?
9 D2 Daniel 2:39, 40 They represented the three empires that would
follow Babylon. Thus they would stand for the following kingdoms:
• Breast and
arms of silver = Media-Persia: 539 B.C.-331 B.C.
• Belly and
thighs of Bronze = Greece: 331 B.C.-about 200 B.C.
• Legs of iron = Rome (both pagan and papal Rome):
about 200 B.C. to the present.
• Rock = Christ. The act of crushing the image predicts the second
coming of Christ. His Kingdom will last forever. (Luke 1:31-33)
10. DESCRIBE THE MAKEUP OF THE FEET AND TOES AND CONSIDER ITS MEANING.
10D2 Daniel 2:41-43 The feet and toes were made of iron mixed
with clay. These elements will not stick to each other, so the iron is greatly weakened by the
mixture. God is predicting the fact that there would never again be such a
powerful entity as the great Roman empire. The feet and toes, then, would
represent the modern countries that make up the territory over which Rome once
ruled—the countries of modern Europe. These countries have never really united
together into one vast kingdom such as the Roman empire.
Today, they have all gathered together under common treaties and share a
common currency. But each still maintains its own boundaries, armies, and
languages. Given a major disagreement, they could separate and be just as they
11. WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THE ROCK THAT CRUSHED EVERYTHING?
11D2 Daniel 2:44, 45 There is only one Power that can destroy all
the kingdoms of Earth like the rock is pictured as doing: God Himself. So the
rock represents God, or to be more exact, the second coming of Jesus. He
will destroy all the kingdoms of the earth and, after the thousand years
predicted in Revelation 20, set up a kingdom on this world that will unite the
entire planet under one government—God’s government.
12. WHY DID GOD GIVE THE DREAM TO KING Nebuchadnezzar?
12D2 Daniel 2:45 The dream was given so that the king would know
what was going to happen in the future. And yet, we too benefit from the dream
and its interpretation. Every part of the dream has been fulfilled just like God
said it would—except for the Rock.
This dream gives us one of the greatest verifications that the Bible is the word of God. And because we have seen the accuracy of this prophecy and its fulfillment, we
realize that we can trust all
the Bible to be true.
Think about it:
Will I accept the Bible as the word of God, read it, and discover what God is
saying to me?