(The Great Image of
The Wise Mens Admission
What statement did
Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, make to his wise
men whom he had assembled?
He said unto them, I
have had a dream that troubles me and I want to
know what it means. Daniel 2:3.
After being threatened by
death if they did not make known the dream and
the interpretation, what did the wise men say to
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.
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. Verses 10,
Daniel and the Dream
After the wise men had
thus confessed their inability to do what the
king required, who offered to interpret the
At this time, Daniel
went into the king and asked for time, so
that he might interpret the dream for him.
After Daniel and his
fellows had sought God earnestly, how were the
dream and its interpretation revealed to Daniel?
During the night the
mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision.
Then Daniel praised the God of heaven.
When brought before the king,
what did Daniel say?
Daniel replied, No
wise man, enchanter, magician or diviner can
explain to the king the mystery he has asked
about, 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 head as you lay on your bed are these.
What did Daniel say the king
had seen in his dream?
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. 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.
You looked, O king, and there before you stood a
large statue an enormous, dazzling
statue, awesome in appearance. Verses
29-31. [Great image]
Of what were the different
parts of the image composed?
The head of the statue
was made of pure gold, its chest and arms
of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze,
its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron
and partly of clay. Verses 33,34.
By what means was the image
broken to pieces?
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. Verse 34.
What became of the various
parts of the image?
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. Verse
Daniel and the Interpretation
With what words did Daniel
begin the interpretation of the dream?
You, O king, are the
king of kings. The God of heaven has given you
dominion and power and might and glory; 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 the head of gold. Verses 37, 38.
Note The character of
the Neo-Babylonian Empire is fittingly indicated
by the nature of the material composing that
portion of the image by which it was symbolized
the head of gold. It was the golden
kingdom of a golden age. The metropolis,
Babylon, reached a height of unrivaled
What was the nature of the
After you, another
kingdom will rise, inferior to yours.
Next, a third kingdom, one of bronze, will rule
over the earth. Verse 39.
Who was the last Babylonian
That very night Belshazzar,
king of the Babylonians, was slain, and Darius
the Mede took over the kingdom, at the age of
sixty-two. Daniel 5: 30,31.
To whom was Belshazzars
kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and
Persians. Verse 28.
By what is the kingdom of
the Medes and Persians the Persian Empire
represented in the great image?
Its chest and arms of
silver. Daniel 2:32.
By what is the Greek, or
Macedonian, Empire, which succeeded the kingdom
of the Medes and Persians, represented in the
Its belly and thighs
of brass. Daniel 2:32.
Next, a third
kingdom, one of brass, will rule over the
whole earth. Verse 39.
Note That the empire
which replaced the Persian was the Greek is
clearly stated in Daniel 8: 5-8, 20, 21.
Concerning the two stages of the Greco-Macedonian
Empire first under Alexander the Great and
then divided under his successors or generals:
Seleucus, Ptolemy, Lysimachus, and Cassander.
What is said of the fourth
Finally, 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. Verse 40.
Note It was well
known that the great world power that absorbed
the fragments of the empire of Alexander the
Great was Rome.
What scripture refers to
Romans emperors as ruling the world?
In those days Caesar
Augustus issued a decree that a census should
be taken of the entire Roman world.
Note Describing the
Roman conquests, Gibbon uses the very imagery
employed in the vision of Daniel 2. He says,
The arms of the republic, sometimes
vanquished in battle, always victorious in war.
Advanced with rapid steps to the Euphrates, the
Danube, the Rhine, and the ocean; and the images
of gold, or silver, or brass, that might serve to
represent the nations and their kings, were
successively broken by the iron monarchy of Rome.
The History and Decline and Fall of the
Roman Empire, chap. 38, par. 1, under General
Observations, at the close of the chapter.
Mans Failure to Unite
What was indicated by the
mixture of clay and iron in the feet and toes of
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.
Note The barbarian
tribes that overran the Roman Empire formed the
kingdoms that developed into the nations of
In what prophetic language
was the varying strength of the ten kingdoms of
the divided empire indicated?
As the toes were
partly iron and partly clay, so this kingdom will
be partly strong and partly brittle. [Literally,
brittle]. Verse 42.
Were any efforts to be
made to reunite the divided empire of Rome?
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. Verse 43.
Charles V, Louis XIV, Napoleon, Kaiser Wilhelm,
and Hitler all tried to reunite the broken
fragments of the Roman Empire and failed. By
marriage and intermarriage of royalty ties have
been formed with a view to strengthening and
cementing together the shattered kingdom, but
none have succeeded. The element of disunion
remains. Many political revolutions and
territorial changes have occurred in Europe since
the end of the Western Empire in A.D. 476; but
its divided state still remains.
This remarkable dream, as
interpreted by Daniel, represents in the briefest
form, and yet with unmistakable clearness, a
series of world empires from the time of
Nebuchadnezzar to the close of earthly history
and the setting up of the everlasting kingdom of
God. History confirms this prophecy. Babylon was
the leading world power at the time of his dream,
603 B.C. The succeeding Persian Empire, which
included the Medes also, began its first year in
538 B.C. (Most historians date the fall of the
city in the latter part of the preceding year,
539 B.C.). The victory of the Greek forces at the
battle of Arbela, 331 B.C. marked the downfall of
the Persian Empire, and the Macedonian Greeks
then became the undisputed world power of that
time. After the battle of Pydna, in Macedonia, in
168 B.C. no power in the world was strong enough
to withstand the Romans; and at that time,
therefore, world leadership may be said to have
passed from the Greeks to the Romans, and the
fourth kingdom was fully established. The
Division of Rome into ten kingdoms, definitely
foretold in the vision recorded in the seventh
chapter of Daniel, occurred in the century
preceding A.D. 476.
What is to take place in
the days of these kingdoms?
In the times 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. Verse 44.
Note This verse
foretells the establishment of another universal
kingdom, the kingdom of God. This kingdom is to
overthrow and supplant all existing earthly
kingdoms, and is to stand forever. The time for
setting up of this kingdom was to be In the
days of these kings. This cannot refer to
the four preceding empires, or kingdoms, for they
were not contemporaneous, but successive; neither
can it refer to an establishment of the kingdom
at Christs first advent, for the ten
kingdoms which arose out of the ruins of the
Roman Empire were not yet in existence. It must
therefore refer to the divided kingdoms, or
nations, that succeeded Rome, represented by the
present nations of Europe. This final kingdom,
then, is yet future.
In what announcement in
the New Testament is the establishment of the
kingdom of God made known?
The seventh angel
sounded his trumpet, and there were voices in
heaven which said: The kingdom of the
world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of
his Christ, and he will reign for ever and
ever. Revelation 11:15.
For what have we been
taught to pray?
Your kingdom come,
you will be done on earth as it is in heaven.