This second chapter introduces us to the first great prophetical unfolding.
This is one of the great pivotal chapters of the Bible.
It is the foundation of all the other visions which follow in the book.
An interesting and unique division takes place from the 1st verse of Ch 2 to the end of Ch 7. This is written in Aramaic … the Babylonian language. The prophecies contained in this section concern the Gentile nations. The heathen king and the Prophet of God both received communications concerning the great world monarchies.
This period is designated by the Lord as “The Times of the Gentiles”. Luke 31:36
“Jerusalem is to be trodden down until the time of the Gentiles be fulfilled.”
The Times of the Gentiles began when Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem, and wrecked the temple and carried the Jews into captivity. At this time the Glory of the Lord departed from the city.
Ezekiel describes it. Ch 11:22-23. Departure of Shekinah Glory.
“Then did the Cherubim lift up their wings, and the wheels beside them; and the glory of the God of Israel was over them above. And the glory of the Lord went up from the midst of the city, and stood upon the mountain which is in the east side of the city.”
God also ordained that Nebuchadnezzar should reign over the nations. See Jer 27:5-9.
Prior to this Jerusalem had been invulnerable because the throne and the glory of Jehovah was there. Their enemies were kept in check by the Presence and power of God.
With the removal of the glory and Presence of God because of great wickedness, dominion was taken away from the Jews and transferred to the Gentiles.
So then the Times of the Gentiles began with Nebuchadnezzar and will end when the Lord Jesus returns to the earth.
The chapter can be divided into five parts.
1. The forgotten dream of Nebuchadnezzar.
2. The prayer meeting and the Divine answer.
3. Daniel before the King.
4. The revelation and interpretation of the dream.
5. The effect upon Nebuchadnezzar and the promotion of Daniel and his companions.
(1) The forgotten dream of Nebuchadnezzar.
Describe the attitude of the King and the positions of his advisors. Daniel and his friends were included in this treat.
(2) The prayer meeting and the Divine answer.
Daniel steps upon the scene and in great calmness and faith asks for time to consult God. Now see four young men on his knees, acknowledging their often helplessness to the God of heaven. Daniel is characterized by faith and prayers. Three times a day he opened his windows and prayed. In the night the answer came. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.
(3) Daniel before the King
Daniel humbly acknowledges that he could not recall the dream or its interpretation but he said, “The God of heaven revealeth secrets.” Then he makes known to the king “what shall be in the latter days.”
(4) The revelation and interpretation of the dream.
Imagine the king’s surprise as this young Jewish prisoner recalled the dream and then gave the interpretation.
The great image, the form of a man, is the prophetic image of the times of the Gentiles.
The four metallic parts of this great man-image, according to divine interpretation, represent four great world empires which were to appear on earth successively.
The youthful prophet pointed to Nebuchadnezzar and said “Thou are this head of gold.”
He had received authority and dominion directly from God.
The kingdom which followed the Babylonians and which is represented by the chest and arms of silver, is the Medo-Persian world monarchy.
In Ch. 5 the overthrow of the Babylonian empire is announced. “Thy kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.”
The great monarchy which supplanted the Medes and Persians was the Grecian Empire.
In Ch 7 of Daniel we read of how the King of Persia was broken by the King of Greece. It was a great empire.
It is represented in the belly and thighs of brass.
Alexander the Great wept because there were no more worlds to conquer. His great ambition was world rule and dominion over all nations and languages.
The fourth monarchy during the Times of the Gentiles is represented by iron.
This was to be strong breaking every known power and subduing it.
This Kingdom was divided into two parts, represented in the legs of the image.
It was divided into the East Roman and West Roman Empire.
The legs are the longest part of this image and uniquely the Roman Empire existed longer than any of the others.
The feet were made from iron and clay.
In this we see the last form of Gentiles would power represented by ten toes which represent ten kingdoms.
Notice another important truth in the composition of the dream images. It tells of deterioration. From the most precious metal gold, it goes down to silver, brass, iron, clay.
This is not progress and improvement but rather deterioration. The opposite of this would be modern man’s assessment.
The final form of the Times of the Gentiles.
The ten toes of iron and clay represent this.
John in the Revelation, as well as Daniel, tell us that the ten toes as well as the ten horns are ten kings who will receive power from the antichrist.
The formation of the Common Market in Europe would equate to this.
As we follow the interpretation of the dream Nebuchadnezzar saw a stone fall from heaven, it struck the ten toes of iron and clay.
Suddenly, the whole image collapsed and became pulverized. The wind carried it away and the great colossus was gone.
What became of the smiting stone?
It became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.
This stone represents Christ.
Isaiah … Zechariah … Paul … all talk of Christ as a stone.
Interestingly, Matthew says, “And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken; but on whosoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.”
When will the Stone fall?
After the Stone alls and pulverizes the image, it becomes a great mountain filling the while earth.
The Stone which falls from above is the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He’s coming in great power and glory. He will destroy the Gentile nation, break their power, judge the awful apostasy, smash all rebellion.
Then the God of Heaven will establish the Kingdom of Christ.
The Stone became a great mountain filling the whole earth.
Up till now not a word had escaped the lips of the king.
Now he falls on his face and worships Daniel.
He acknowledges God as the God of gods, the Lord of Kings and the Revealer of secrets.
Daniel receives an exalted position along with his three friends for whom he intercedes.
How long will it be before the final stage of Nebuchadnezzar’s dreams will be fulfilled?
Let the conditions among the nations give the answer.
It cannot be much longer.
Before this comes to pass the shout of our Lord will call all His people into His presence.