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Daniel 2

A Commentary on Daniel Chapter 2

A Stone Cut Out of a Mountain

604 B.C.

 

AND in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, wherewith his spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake from him.

2   Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the astrologers, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, for to shew the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king.

3   And the king said unto them, I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit was troubled to know the dream.

4   Then spake the Chaldeans to the king in Syriack, O king, live for ever: tell thy servants the dream, and we will shew the interpretation.

5   The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, The thing is gone from me: if ye will not make known unto me the dream, with the interpretation thereof, ye shall be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made a dunghill.

6   But if ye shew the dream, and the interpretation thereof, ye shall receive of me gifts and rewards and great honour: therefore shew me the dream, and the interpretation thereof.

7   They answered again and said, Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will shew the interpretation of it.

8   The king answered and said, I know of certainty that ye would gain the time, because ye see the thing is gone from me.

9   But if ye will not make known unto me the dream, there is but one decree for you: for ye have prepared lying and corrupt words to speak before me, till the time be changed: therefore tell me the dream, and I shall know that ye can shew me the interpretation thereof.

10   The Chaldeans answered before the king, and said, There is not a man upon the earth that can shew the king’s matter: therefore there is no king, lord, nor ruler, that asked such things at any magician, or astrologer, or Chaldean.

11   And it is a rare thing that the king requireth, and there is none other that can shew it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.

12   For this cause the king was angry and very furious, and commanded to destroy all the wise men of Babylon.

13   And the decree went forth that the wise men should be slain; and they sought Daniel and his fellows to be slain.

14   Then Daniel answered with counsel and wisdom to Arioch the captain of the king’s guard, which was gone forth to slay the wise men of Babylon:

15   He answered and said to Arioch the king’s captain, Why is the decree so hasty from the king? Then Arioch made the thing known to Daniel.

16   Then Daniel went in, and desired of the king that he would give him time, and that he would shew the king the interpretation.

17   Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions:

18   That they would desire mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret; that Daniel and his fellows should not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.

19   Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.

20   Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his:

21   And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:

22   He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him.

23   I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast made known unto me now what we desired of thee: for thou hast now made known unto us the king’s matter.

24   Therefore Daniel went in unto Arioch, whom the king had ordained to destroy the wise men of Babylon: he went and said thus unto him; Destroy not the wise men of Babylon: bring me in before the king, and I will shew unto the king the interpretation.

25   Then Arioch brought in Daniel before the king in haste, and said thus unto him, I have found a man of the captives of Judah, that will make known unto the king the interpretation.     

 26  The king answered and said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, Art thou able to make known unto me the dream which I have seen, and the interpretation thereof?

27   Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, shew unto the king;

28   But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these;

29   As for thee, O king, thy thoughts came into thy mind upon thy bed, what should come to pass hereafter: and he that revealeth secrets maketh known to thee what shall come to pass.

30   But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living, but for their sakes that shall make known the interpretation to the king, and that thou mightest know the thoughts of thy heart.

31   Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible.

32   This image’s head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass,

33   His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay.

34   Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces.

35   Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.

36   This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king.

37   Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory.

38   And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold.

39   And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth.

40   And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise.

41   And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay.

42   And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken.

43   And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.

44   And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.

45   Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.

46   Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and worshipped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odours unto him.

47   The king answered unto Daniel, and said, Of a truth it is, that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou couldest reveal this secret.

48   Then the king made Daniel a great man, and gave him many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief of the governors over all the wise men of Babylon.

49   Then Daniel requested of the king, and he set Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, over the affairs of the province of Babylon: but Daniel sat in the gate of the king.

 

INTRODUCTION TO DANIEL CHAPTER 2

In this chapter God will give Daniel wisdom, understanding and insight into dreams that will baffle the imagination of the king.  Nebuchadezzar has a dream about a large statue that looms high above the horizon, it had a head of gold, breast of silver, belly of brass, and legs and feet of iron and clay. Then a stone from a mountain struck the image and dashed it to pieces and it disappeared as chaff disappears from the summer threshing floor.  Then the stone grew larger and larger and larger until it filled the entire world.  It covered North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Africa.  The king called all the quacks to tell him the meaning of the dream.  He threatens to execute all the ‘so-called interpreters of dreams’ if  they do not perform.  After they were exposed as mere frauds, Daniel, who has been given the secret meaning of the dream by the almighty God now comes forward with a proposal: If the king would not carry out his order for execution he would make known the dream and its interpretation. The king is told that the dream is about four kingdoms and that he is the first of the four. Three more would emerge, one after the other, and that the stone would destroy all four kingdoms and become a worldwide kingdom. He further tells the king that that the stone would establish his kingdom during the time of the fourth world empire.  Jesus the “stone of stumbling” came during that period in world history and established his kingdom world wide.  Halleluiah!

 

EXPOSITION TO DANIEL CHAPTER 2

Daniel interprets Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream

 

1    And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, wherewith his spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake from him.

His mind was disturbed, he was robbed of his sleep and his spirit had no rest.  Like Pharaoh of Gen. 41:8  “And it came to pass in the morning that his spirit was troubled; and he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt, and all the wise men thereof: and Pharaoh told them his dream; but there was none that could interpret them unto Pharaoh.”

2    Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the astrologers, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, for to shew the king his dreams.  So they came and stood before the king.

Diviners, soothsayers, astrologers, exorcists, socerers, necromancers were all called to the palace to interpret the dream of Nebuchadnezzar.  Magicians employed all the superstitutious rites and ceremonies of fortunetellers, while the astrologers pretended to tell future events by the study of the stars. Sorcerers and necromancers pretended to hold communion with the dead, while the Caldeans were a sect of philosophers similar to the magicians and astrologers who made natural science and divinations their study.  All the wise men summoned to interpret the dream used chicanery. These frauds will use any kind of deception to dupe people into thinking they know the future.  They were expert at hocus-pocus and delusion.  They will try and conjure up an interpretation.  To trust in fortunetellers is like hanging your hopes on a cobweb strung across the horns of the moon.

3    And the king said unto them, I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit was troubled to know the dream.

Try as he might he could not dismiss the dream as a random occurrence.  The vision must have some special meaning.  Nebuchadezzar felt that this dream had been sent by the gods. Every waking moment was fraught with anxiety.

4    Then spake the Chaldeans to the king in Syriack, O king, live for ever: tell thy servants the dream, and we will shew the interpretation.

This special language or dialect, which was the ancient Cushite language used for scientific and religious purposes, and reserved for occasions like this.  This was not the ordinary Aramaic spoken by peasants.  They inform the King that it will be no trouble to make the dream known to him. “Yes, we will explain and make known the meaning.”  was their boast.

5    The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, The thing is gone from me: if ye will not make known unto me the dream, with the interpretation thereof, ye shall be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made a dunghill.

The Chaldeans are the spokesman for the group, so the king addresses them.  First he tells them that he can’t remember the dream.  It has eluded him.  It was in the secret chamber of his spirit,and he could not recall the dream.  In computer terms it had been deleted.  They were boxed in, and there was no way out.  The king tells them if they can’t tell the dream, that they will be torn from limb to limb and the state will confiscate their property, and turn it into a public restroom. The NIV says that he firmly decided, rather than forgot.

6    But if ye shew the dream, and the interpretation thereof, ye shall receive of me gifts and rewards and great honour: therefore shew me the dream, and the interpretation thereof.

They were promised gifts, rewards, honour, dignity, and advancement.  It was a package deal that no employee could turn down.  However, they must show him the dream and the interpretation.

7    They answered again and said, Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will shew the interpretation of it.

They wanted to know the dream so that they could echo some flattering story that would underwrite the plans already in the head of the king.

8    The king answered and said, I know of certainty that ye would gain the time, because ye see the thing is gone from me.

Slowly but surely the net was beginning to close around them.  They had told the king that it was written in the stars, now the king is going to put them to the test.

9    But if ye will not make known unto me the dream, there is but one decree for you: for ye have prepared lying and corrupt words to speak before me, till the time be changed: therefore tell me the dream, and I shall know that ye can shew me the interpretation thereof.

They were schooled in the art of drawing out sufficient information to form a basis for their shrewd calculation.  Then they would give an ambiguous answer that could be construed to apply to any future event.  Their answers were like fortune cookies.

10  The Chaldeans answered before the king, and said, There is not a man upon the earth that can shew the king’s matter: therefore there is no king, lord, nor ruler, that asked such things at any magician, or astrologer, or Chaldean.

These men were terrified, they were boxed in and no way out.  They are beginning to realize that the king was seeing through their blubbering sophistry. They were heap big thunder, no rain.

11  And it is a rare thing that the king requireth, and there is none other that can shew it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.

When they declared that none but the gods could reveal the dream. It was an open acknowledgment that they had no communion with these gods and knew nothing beyond what human wisdom and discernment could reveal.  The king saw that he and previous kings had been made victims by their chicanery.   So the decree went forth that the wise men should be slain; and they sought Daniel and his fellows to be slain.  The King saw their double-dealing and that he had been hoodwinked before, but this time he had them right where he wanted them.  What a miserable class of frauds. The king would have no part in dishonesty and deception.

12  For this cause the king was angry and very furious, and commanded to destroy all the wise men of Babylon.

Now the king is irate, he flies off the handle, he is so enraged that he orders the execution of these deceivers who pretended to have communion with the dead or could read  the zodiac.

13  And the decree went forth that the wise men should be slain; and they sought Daniel and his fellows to be slain.

A warrant or edict was issued for Arioch to prepare for the execution of the experts.

14  Then Daniel answered with counsel and wisdom to Arioch the captain of the king’s guard, which was gone forth to slay the wise men of Babylon:

Daniel was filled with wisdom, tact, diplomacy, prudence and discretion.  The mages and seers are indeed a vain and supercilious lot, but they have done nothing to deserve this.  Daniel goes to bat for them, he could be writing his own ticket to the gallows.

15  He answered and said to Arioch the king’s captain, Why is the decree so hasty from the king?  Then Arioch made the thing known to Daniel.

16  Then Daniel went in, and desired of the king that he would give him time, and that he would shew the king the interpretation.

The decree was not only harsh, but it was hasty and severe.  Daniel asks for a stay of execution  with the promise that he would tell the dream and show the king the interpretation.  The king called on the heathen system first.  Had Daniel been called first the magicians would not have been brought to the test.

17  Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions:

The news of this whole affair is laid out to Daniel’s three friends.

18  That they would desire mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret; that Daniel and his fellows should not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.

Daniel and his three friends are crying out to the God of Heaven for mercy.  They are seeking an answer to the dream.

19  Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision.  Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.

The Sovereign Lord answered Daniel in a dream.  Daniel spends some time praising the God of Heaven for supplying the pieces of the puzzle.

20  Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his:

Wisdom and power and might belong only to God.  Since there is but one God and it was not the pagan gods of Babylon, but rather the God of Daniel.

Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.  Isa. 44:6

21  And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:

I will let the Word of God explain how he changeth times and seasons and removeth kings and setteth up kings and imparts wisdom and understanding:

And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.  Acts 1:7

But when his heart was lifted up, and his mind hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him:  Dan 5:20

As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.  Dan. 7:12

As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.  Dan. 1:17

22        He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him.

Our God is the unveiler of things unknown to mortals.

He discovereth deep things out of darkness, and bringeth out to light the shadow of death.  Job 12:22

The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant.  Psalm 25:14

For, lo, he that formeth the mountains, and createth the wind, and declareth unto man what is his thought, that maketh the morning darkness, and treadeth upon the high places of the earth, The LORD, The God of hosts, is his name.  Amos 4:13

This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.  1 John 1:5

23  I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast made known unto me now what we desired of thee: for thou hast now made known unto us the king’s matter.

This is the first of the dreams, which Daniel interpreted, and the one, which secured for him both his reputation as a dream interpreter, and for this he is given a position in the empire.  Daniel refused to take credit for any of his knowledge, giving it entirely to God.  So profound was the effect on Nebuchadnezzar, that he gave Daniel a Supreme Court appointment. Even King Nebuchadezzar praises God in glowing terms.

24        Therefore Daniel went in unto Arioch, whom the king had ordained to destroy the wise men of Babylon: he went and said thus unto him; Destroy not the wise men of Babylon: bring me in before the king, and I will shew unto the king the interpretation.

Armed with wisdom, knowledge, insight, and understanding of the content and meaning of the dream, Daniel is ready to reveal the interpretation.

25  Then Arioch brought in Daniel before the king in haste and said thus unto him, I have found a man of the captives of Judah, that will make known unto the king the interpretation

Arioch hurriedly rushes in to the King with a sudden burst of good news.  He has found a foreigner, an exile, a Jew that can reveal the dream and its meaning.

26  The king answered and said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, Art thou able to make known unto me the dream which I have seen, and the interpretation thereof?

Is it true?  Are you sure you can reveal the dream and make known the meaning?

27  Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, shew unto the king;

Daniel now faces the King and says in bold terms that none of the wise men, (who are astrologers, magicians, and soothsayers,)  can answer the king, including Daniel himself.

28  But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days.  Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these;

But there is a God in heaven…Before Daniel goes any further he wants to make it clear that it is not by the power of soothsayers, astrology, or sorcery that the dream will be revealed. Nor is it by the power of Bel, or Nebo, or Marduk and his son, Nabu; or Ishtar, even Sin, the bringer of dreams.  He gives all credit, and honor, and glory to the One and only God of Heaven.

29        As for thee, O king, thy thoughts came into thy mind upon thy bed, what should come to pass hereafter: and he that revealeth secrets maketh known to thee what shall come to pass.

The mental picture that came to Nebuchadezzar during his sleep had partially left the king, however when Daniel begins to tell the King the dream his subconscious mind releases the information that had been stored up in his spirit. Daniel tells the King that the dream is about the future.

30  But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living, but for their sakes that shall make known the interpretation to the king, and that thou mightest know the thoughts of thy heart.

This revelation to Daniel was not given to him because of any super wisdom that he had attained to but rather to let the King see that the other three exiles had equally prayed that the God of Heaven would reveal the secret.  Consider verse thirty-nine where Daniel requested of the king that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, be elevated to Governors.

31  Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image.  This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible.

This imposing image that appeared to Nebuchadazzer was frightening.  The image was gigantic in appearance.

32  This image’s head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass,

Daniel continues to describe the image that the King saw before giving a detailed description of the interpretation.

33  His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay.

This short verse continues the description of the image that the King saw.

34  Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces.

This was the frightening part of the whole vision, a stone cut out of the mountain breaking the image into small pieces.

35  Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.

This stone not only broke the image but ground it into such small particles that the wind blew it away like chaff on the summer threshing floor and then the stone gets larger and larger till it is as big as a mountain and filled the whole earth.  Wow!  This part of the dream is getting exciting. Larger than Everest, bigger than the Andes, greater than the Hemeliahs. Just wait till you hear the interpretation to the dream.

36 This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king.

Daniel now informs the King that he will give him a full and detailed explanation of the dream.

37  Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory.

Nebuchadazzar is declared to be king of kings because there were many vassals under him ruling in the nations that he had conquered.  However, God had given him this power, not because he merited it, but the Almighty Sovereign Lord had a scheme for world history and he needed such a monarch to  play the part and fulfill His purpose.

38 And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all.  Thou art this head of gold

Daniel reminds the king that he has a World Wide Kingdom a Super Power and that he is ruler over them all. As Daniel continues with the interpretation he  reveals to the King that his dominion will fall into the hands of another kingdom.  Notice that the beasts of the field and the fowls of heaven have been given into his hand.  Genesis 1:28 “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” Although man fell he never lost dominion over the animals.  Genesis 9:2 “And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered.”

39  And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth.

Now the King is informed that the dream meant that two other kingdoms are to arise.  He is further informed that the brass kingdom will bear rule over all the earth.  Daniel also informs Nebuchaduzzar that the kingdom to follow the Babylonian would be inferior to his.  What Daniel is telling as the meaning of the dream is corroborated in the books of history. The four kingdoms are as follows:

GOLD – Babylonian – 600-536 B.C.

SILVER – Medo Persian 536-330 B.C.

BRASS – Grecian – 323 – 30 B.C.

IRON – Roman  30 – 476 A.D.

40  And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise.

I have spread out before me a great number of world history books and all describe this fourth world kingdom as Rome and with one voice describe it as strong as iron and able to break any and all resistance encountered on or near its borders.

Professor Cunliffe writes, “The sheer vastness of the Empire was staggering.  At its height, it extended across 2,600 miles east to west, and 2,000 miles north to south.  But these figures mean little.  Even understood as reaching from the north of Britain to Africa, and engulfing Spain, Germany, and lands as far as the Persian Gulf.” [1]  Rome and her Empire (Cover).

More is written about the fourth empire than all the others combined.

41  And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay.

The imagery is most striking when we consider that there were two feet, which represented the two parts of the Roman Empire, namely East and West, or Latin and Greek.  Notice also that there is ten toes which represent the ten kingdoms that make up the empire. And the toes and feet are part of iron and part of clay.  The following quote will fully establish the fact that Rome was Iron and Miry clay but that the iron would break to pieces the clay.

“Fifth century Rome was surrounded by enemies.  To the north lay the towns of Etruria which until recently had vied with each other to control the city, while in the mountains to the east and south were powerful and dangerous tribes casting covetous eyes on the rich lands of the plains. Meanwhile, in the far north, beyond the Po, warlike Celts from central Europe were slipping through the mountain passes and setting up their homes on the southern flanks of the Alps.” [2]

42  And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken.

The Kingdom had incessant strife and warfare within.  It was difficult to hold together.

Not far from Rome, across the Tiber, lay the Etruscan city of Veii—a powerful and long-established town which, in commercial terms if not military, was a constant threat to Rome.  In 477 the Roman army failed to defeat Veii at the battle of Cremera, but throughout the next decades Roman infiltration of southern Etruria  prepared the way for the final onslaught.[3]

43    And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.

They shall mingle themselves with the seed of men.  Consider the following: The Romans were terrified of their new enemy. So, Theodosius II, emperor of Rome came up with a plan. He offered the Huns a chance to serve in the Roman army. They would exchange a hostage. Rome sent Aetius to the Huns and the Huns sent Attila. Attila was only ten years old when he arrived in Rome. He hated being in Rome and longed for the day he could return to his homeland. In 434 his uncle, Rua, died and Attila became king. Now, Attila had dreams of becoming the ruler of the Hunnish tribes and conquering, China, India and Persia. Because of the Great Wall of China, which was 1800 miles long, he was unsuccessful in his attempt to conquer China. However, he went to work building up a strong Army to attack the Roman Empire. In 451, with his army of 700,000 horsemen he appeared on the Rhine River, crossed over into Gaul (now France) and conquered Orleans.  Attila massacred every man, woman and child in the city. Attila slaughtered all who resisted him. They called him the “Scourge of God.”  After a defeat at the hands of the Roman General, Aetius, he regrouped and again went after the Romans.   He now crossed through Hungary, Yugoslavia, and the Northeastern Alps. He soon reached the Po River, north of Rome. As he moved southward through the countryside he laid waste and captured city after city.  Even when they mingled themselves with the seed of men they no more cleaved to one another than iron would mix with clay.

44  And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.

The God of heaven was to set up a Kingdom whereas men set up the previous four kingdoms.  The term kingdom is used one hundred and twenty-four times in the gospels. One very important point to be considered is that the God of Heaven would set up this kingdom during the rule of the fourth world empire.  All the other kingdoms have been given over to other people and history shows them passing into the hands of another.  But the kingdom that God sets up will have no successor.  This kingdom was to break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms.  Myers Ancient History helps to confirm this fact:

“It was in the midst of the reign of Tiberius that, in a remote province of the Roman Empire, the Saviour was crucified.  Animated by an unparalleled missionary spirit, his followers traversed the length and breadth of the empire, preaching everywhere the ‘glad tidings.’  Men’s faith in the gods of the old mythologies, the softening and liberalizing influence of Greek culture, the unification of the whole civilized world under a single government, the widespread suffering and the inexpressible weariness of the oppressed and servile classes,—all these things that prepared the soil for the seed of the new doctrines.  In less than three centuries the pagan empire had become Christian not only in name but also very largely in fact.  This conversion of Rome is one of the most important events in all history.  A new element is here introduced into civilization, an element which has given color and character to the history of all succeeding centuries.” [4]

In Daniel chapter 7, beginning with verse nine heaven convened court, and the indictments were read and judgment was declared against the four kingdoms.  Then in verse thirteen and fourteen we are introduced to the Son of Man, who comes to the Ancient of days, and receives dominion, and glory, and a kingdom. All people, nations, and languages, should serve him, His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom shall not be destroyed. All this was accomplished when Jesus ascended back to the Father and was crowned Lord of lords, and King of kings. This kingdom was not God’s physical kingdom for that was already in existence.  Neither was it his ethical kingdom; this also was in existence before Daniel’s day.  Neither was it his eternal Kingdom, heaven, Jehovah’s habitation.  Neither was it the kingdom of Israel; this also had been in existence, and was declining.  He must have meant the kingdom of the Messiah, the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ.

No Bible believer claims that the terms church and kingdom are synonymous, but are rather applied to the same thing.  The following facts are indisputable (1) The head, (2) the laws, (3) the subjects, (4) the territory.  The church and kingdom all contain the above.  The Head of the church and King of the kingdom are the same.

Christ is the Head of the church:

And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church. . Eph. 1:22

And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.  Col. 1:18

Christ is also the King of the Kingdom:

Whom Jason hath received: and these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus.  Acts 17:7

These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful. Rev.17: 14

Since Christ is the Head of the Church and also King of the Kingdom, the church and the kingdom are identified in the chief executive officer.  The laws of the King furnish all things, which pertain to life and godliness.

According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.  2 Peter 1:3

There cannot be different laws in the church and the kingdom, since the Scriptures pertaining to both church and kingdom are the same.  So the two are identified in that they have the same laws.  The members of the church and the subjects of the kingdom are the same.

Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:  In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.  Col. 1:13,14

Every one who is born again is in the church.

Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. I Pet. 1:22,23

But those born again enter the kingdom:

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.  John 3:3-5

The members of the church are the citizens of the kingdom:

Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God. Eph.2:19

Christ does not have one thing on earth called the “church” and another thing called the “kingdom”.  One cannot be in the church and not be in the kingdom; neither can one be in the kingdom and not be in the church.  He who is in the one is in the other; he who is out of the one is out of the other.  That which introduces one into the church also introduces one into the kingdom. So the kingdom and church are identified in the fact that they have the same subjects.  The territory of the church is the territory of the kingdom.  The Lord rules in the heart.

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Col. 3:15

For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people. Heb. 8:10

We have therefore presented indisputable evidence from scripture that the church and kingdom have the same head, laws, subjects, and territory, that they are one and the same institution.  This identity of church and kingdom is further emphasized by the language of Christ in Mt. 16:18,19

And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.  Mt. 16:18,19

In the one instance he calls it “my church” and in the next instance he calls it “the kingdom of heaven.”  Thus Christ identifies His church and His kingdom as the same institution.  Since the church began on Pentecost and the kingdom began on Pentecost we may conclude that to be in one is to be in the other.  The body of Christ on earth and the church are one.

And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all.  Eph. 1:22,23

Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church  Col. 1:24

The kingdom, the church, and the body are not three different institutions.  They are the same institution wearing different names and are entered into by the new birth.

45        Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.

Wow! What a picture.  A stone cut out of the mountain without hands.  No human being hewed the stone from the mountain.  The stone and the Kingdom that the God of Heaven was to set-up are one and the same.  Jesus Christ is the Stone that came out of the Mountain of God and destroyed all the other kingdoms and set up his kingdom.

Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem. Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves: Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.  Isa. 28:14-16.

Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?  Mt. 21:42

This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Acts 4:11

And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone.  Eph 2:20

To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.  I Pet. 2:4-8

There is no room for doubt that Jesus Christ is the stone cut out of the Mountian that destroyed the kingdoms made by hands and established his kingdom.  Daniel said that the dream was certain and the interpretation thereof sure.  We now know by historical fact that the dream was decreed of the Lord and He proved it to be true. The dream was fixed, the sense was certain; it would happen in the future, it is beyond all doubt.

46 Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and worshipped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odours unto him.

Nebuchadnezzar surely knew about bowing down to Idols.  Nebuchadnezzar in an act of gratitude bows down to worship Daniel.  The king senses that he is in the presence of a person who has a powerful relationship with deity.  It is hard to imagine a King so mighty as the Babylonian kings to bow down to a “Jew”, a slave and a servant. But after all, had not the Lord prophesied this through Isaiah?

And kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers: they shall bow down to thee with their face toward the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet; and thou shalt know that I am the LORD: for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me.  Isa. 49:23

47  The king answered unto Daniel, and said, Of a truth it is, that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou couldest reveal this secret.

The King gives Daniels God the glory and praises him as greater than the gods that he served.  Praise be to our God because he is the Master of the Universe and the Revealer of Mysteries.

48  Then the king made Daniel a great man, and gave him many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief of the governors over all the wise men of Babylon

Offering gifts was a way of showing his appreciation and making him ruler showed that he now had trust in his judgment and wisdom to be placed in such a trust.  Of course he would still be subordinate to the King for final authority.

49 Then Daniel requested of the king, and he set Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, over the affairs of the province of Babylon: but Daniel sat in the gate of the king.

We admire the unselfishness of Daniel.  He would rather be at the Palace.  He would be acting in the capacity as Supreme Court Judge.  Thus Daniel has made another wise decision.

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