Note: In this dream of the multi-mineral image, God outlined for all future millenniums the rise and fall of the empires that would have a direct influence on His people.
Note: The astrologers and magicians of Babylon claimed to have supernatural power, but when they could not reveal the dream to the king, they were shown to be impotent imposters. If the king had recalled the dream, they would have simply manufactured a bogus interpretation. In his rage, Nebuchadnezzar commanded all the wise men to be slain-even those who were not present. Among those absent from the first meeting with the king was a God-fearing captive named Daniel, who had just been trained for the king's service.
Note: Daniel requested a little time from Nebuchadnezzar and promised that he would reveal the dream and its meaning. The king, who was still desperate to know the significance of his vision, granted Daniel's request. Then he and his friends appealed to the only Source who could reveal the king's dream. They prayed to the God of heaven.
Note: The rise and fall of empires may appear as if happening by the will of men, but Daniel's prayer of praise clearly reveals the essence of divine intervention. Nothing happens that God is not already aware of and has not allowed. Sometimes we may not understand what is happening in our world today or why, but it is comforting to know that God is still sovereign. Only Daniel could reveal the dream to the king, yet he clearly gives the credit to the One who revealed the dream to him, the God of heaven.
Note: The first thing the king saw was a great image made of the following mineral elements:
Note: The king was regarded as the head of the state. This is why Nebuchadnezzar represented Babylon, the empire that began the prophecy. Neo-Babylon ruled the world from 612-539 B.C. as one of the mightiest empires of antiquity, one that could aptly be described as the head of gold. Notice that the prophecy begins with Daniel's time.
Note: Babylon's supremacy would not last forever. Succeeding kingdoms, inferior to Babylon, would rule in their turn. Just as silver is inferior to gold, so the kingdom that followed Babylon enjoyed diminished glory. Led by Cyrus in 539 B.C., the Medo-Persian empire conquered Babylon and reduced it to ruins. The Medes and Persians were the ruling world power from 539-331 B.C. During their reign, all taxes had to be paid in silver.
Note: The brass kingdom of Greece came into power when Alexander the Great conquered the Medes and Persians at the battle of Arbela in 331 B.C., and Greece remained in power until about 168 B.C. Greek soldiers were called "brazen coated" because their armor was all bronze. Notice how each succeeding mineral depicted in the image is less valuable, yet more enduring than the one before it.
Note: The iron monarchy of Rome conquered the Greeks in 168 B.C. and enjoyed world supremacy until Rome was captured by the Ostrogoths in A.D. 476. Rome is the kingdom that dominated the world when Jesus Christ was born. Notice how Daniel foretold a thousand years of world history with unerring accuracy. The rise and fall of these four world empires: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome-are clearly foretold in the Bible and proved by the history books.
Note: When the Roman Empire began to crumble in A.D. 476, it was not overtaken by another world power. Instead, barbarian tribes conquered the Roman Empire and divided itjust as Daniel prophesied. Ten of these tribes evolved into modern Europe. They were the Ostrogoths, Visigoths, Franks, Vandals, Alemannians, Sueves, Anglo-Saxons, Heruls, Lombards, and Burgundians. Seven of them still exist today in Europe. For example, the Anglo-Saxons became the English, the Franks became the French, the Alemannians became the Germans, and the Lombards became the Italians.
Note: Through marriage, alliances, and treaties, men have vainly attempted to reunite the European continent. All throughout history, leaders such as Charlemagne, Napoleon, Kaiser Wilhelm, Mussolini, and Hitler have fought to build a new European empire but these words of Scripture have stopped every single would-be world ruler. Revelation 13 tells us there will be another attempt to establish a universal religion, but Daniel's prophecy clearly states that the world will remain politically divided for the rest of Earth's history.
Note: The next great universal kingdom will be the kingdom of heaven, which is described in Matthew 25:31-34.
Note: The stone that was cut without human hands represents God's kingdom. It will not be a conglomeration of earthly kingdoms, but a total replacement Revelation 21:1. The Scriptures declare that when Jesus Christ returns to earth, He will completely consume all the kingdoms of earth and establish an everlasting kingdom Daniel 2:44. What exciting news! Jesus Christ is coming again! All history is moving toward this climactic conclusion, when the Son of God shall return in majesty to bring in the kingdom of everlasting righteousness. King Nebuchadnezzar may have thought that he had defeated the true God when he besieged Jerusalem and plundered the temple Daniel 1:1, 2, but he was shown very quickly that God is ruler over all. Human events are under His control, and ultimately He will win the conflict. Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome, and the 10 divisions of the Roman Empire may have sought to usurp divine authority and destroy the people of God, but all earthly kingdoms will eventually be crushed by the coming of Christ. Thank God, He will win the great controversy!
Note: Having seen that God has complete control of world events, even Nebuchadnezzar readily acknowledged that the God Daniel served was above all the heathen gods of Babylon. How quickly the picture had changed! Daniel and his friends, because of their faithfulness to God, were elevated from their initial captivity in Babylon to positions of prominent leadership for the kingdom Daniel 2:48, 49. God always honors those who honor Him 1 Samuel 2:30.
15. Recognizing that God is in full control of earthly events, are you willing to let Him have full control of your life?
This section provides additional information for further study.Gold = BabylonThe head of gold represented Babylon, which was the ruling world power from 612-539 B.C.Silver = Medo-PersiaThe chest of silver represented Medo-Persia, the ruling world empire from 539-331 B.C.Bronze = GreeceThe thighs of bronze represented Greece, the dominant world ruler from 331-168 B.C.Iron = RomeThe legs of iron represented Rome, which enjoyed world supremacy from 168 B.C.-A.D. 476.Iron and Clay = the Divided EmpireThe feet that were partly iron and partly clay represented a divided empire that would not cleave together. No single power has ruled the world since A.D. 476, and it will remain divided until Christ’s return.Stone = Christ’s Eternal Kingdom, His Word, and His Law