Nebuchadnezzar’s Dreamed Image
In Daniel 2 we are introduced to Nebuchadnezzar, a king of
, reigning forty-three years until 562 BCE. Because of Babylon Israel’s disobedience, God had allowed His people to be overtaken and some were taken captive to . The Babylonians generally took the most important conquered people out of their native lands and trained them in the ways of the Babylonians. They integrated them into their culture and made them serve their kings. Daniel was one of them. Babylon
Let’s now examine the Biblical record and that of known recorded historical events in the light of Daniel’s interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream.
Daniel interpreted the dream given to King Nebuchadnezzar to explain the events to ultimately come upon
“in the latter days.” The words “afterward” and “latter days” (v 5 below) imply the specific time of Israel being scattered, being “without a King.” In Luke 21:24 Jesus referred to this period as “the times of the Gentiles.” Israel
“For the CHILDREN OF
ISRAELshall abide many days WITHOUT A KING (of Israel), and without a prince, and WITHOUT A SACRIFICE (since the is destroyed), and without an image, and without an ephod (priestly garment), and without teraphim (idols): Jerusalem Temple
Afterward shall the CHILDREN OF ISRAEL RETURN, and seek the LORD their God, and David their king; and shall fear the LORD and his goodness IN THE LATTER DAYS.” (Hosea 3:4-5)
The first part of Hosea’s prophetic quote speaks about the time when the Jews would mainly be “scattered” and not be able to perform national religious worship because the
was destroyed and there was no more priesthood. The Romans destroyed Temple Jerusalemin AD70 and dispersed many of ’s people all over their empire. This was the situation when Israelis had started to “return” to their land and re-found the nation of Israel in May, 1948. This continues even to this today in which we are witnessing the events of “the latter days,” about which Nebuchadnezzar’s dream holds further information. Israel
We’ve already studied the 490 years of Daniel 9. Now here in Daniel 2 Daniel interprets Nebuchadnezzar‘s dreamed of an “great image,” describing the Gentile Empires that would dominate Israel, one Gentile Kingdom after another for the 490 years of captivity assigned by the Lord. At the very end of these eras the Lord Jesus will return to save
, destroying her enemies and smashing ALL the Gentile empires on the earth. Israel
Here below is the Scriptural account of Nebuchadnezzar‘s dream.
“Thou, O king (Nebuchadnezzar), sawest, and behold a GREAT IMAGE. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible (awesome). 32 This image’s Head Was Of Fine Gold, his Breast And His Arms Of Silver (Medo-Persia), his Belly And His Thighs Of Brass (Greece), 33 His Legs of Iron (Roman Empire), his Feet Part Of Iron And Part Of Clay (the latter divided Roman Empire).
34 Thou sawest till THAT A STONE (Christ) WAS CUT OUT WITHOUT HANDS, which SMOTE THE IMAGE (Gentile kingdoms) upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and Brake Them To Pieces.
35 Then was the (kingdoms of) 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 (Christ) THAT SMOTE THE IMAGE (at Christ’s 2nd coming) became a great mountain, and (His Kingdom) 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 (Nebuchadnezzar’s
) 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. Babylon
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 (Christ) 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.” (Daniel 2:31-45)
Below is Daniel’s interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar‘s dreamed image. It has been confirmed as such by Christian scholars who hold the perspective of the Bible while able to look back on recorded history. The image was of a giant standing, which represents several great Gentile Empires that would rule over Israel and Jerusalem throughout the 490 years of the “Times of the Gentiles” (Luke 21:24). Daniels interpretation of the dream points to the specific Gentile kingdoms that will rule “the people and the city” of
for 490 years, but not in a continuing sequence. There was an interruption after 70AD when the Jerusalem Roman Empire(#4. below). Only the fifth kingdom is yet to come, “partly of iron and partly of molded clay,” to rule . Israel
- “Head of gold” – This represents Nebuchadnezzar‘s Babylon (v38 above).
- “Breast and arms of silver” – This is Medo-Persia, a divided kingdom. The Medo-Persia (527 – 336BC) is the next kingdom represented by the chest and two arms of silver.
- “Belly and thighs of brass” – This is Hellenistic Greece, under Alexander the Great (336 – 28BC).
- “Legs of iron” – are the
Roman Empirein its early form. The Romans took it over and grafted it into their kingdom (28 BC – AD 476). , whose armour was made from iron, is represented by the legs of iron. Rome
- The “Feet & Toes” are partly of iron and partly of molded clay – This is the divided
Roman Empirein its later final form. The Western Empire in Rome & Eastern Empire in Constantinople, now modern day , which is Islamic. Istanbul, Turkey
The destiny of Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylonian kingdom was clearly foretold. After
Babylon, four more kingdoms would possess “the people and the city” of , one after the other. Thus, the image was a time-line, a continuous historic unfolding of the Gentile kingdoms who would reign over Jerusalem . Israel
The “legs of iron” (Dan 2:33, 40) of the fourth kingdom suggest Rome’s strength would be far superior to the previous empires—just as iron is far stronger than brass, silver and gold —although it also indicates the diminished quality of its culture. Of course
Israelwas scattered in 70AD while reigned in the land. Rome was overthrown in 476AD. The Eastern Roman Empire (later known as the Byzantine Empire) continued on in Constantinople, today called Rome , a Muslim nation. Istanbul, Turkey
Jerusalem’s destruction and Israel’ scattering in 70AD, the would not be held by just one kingdom again, but by many – some strong and some weak. Landof Israel Palestinewas invaded by Muslim Arab armies that captured . Thus begins 1,300 years of the Muslim presence. This is what we see after the fall of the Roman Empire… until Jerusalem is reborn as a Nation, May 14, 1948. Nebuchadnezzar’s dream only addresses those ruling Gentile Empires who would actually rule Israel Israelwhile the nation still existed in the land… not while was scattered. Israel
Next, the 5th Gentile kingdom was demonstrated by the “Feet & Toes” of the image that are made “partly of iron and partly of clay” (Dan 2:41), but clay will not bond to iron. Thus the Gentile kingdom’s power further declines to the point that is only “partly strong and partly fragile [brittle]” (Dan 2:42). The clay takes its toll on the qualitative aspects of iron. Daniel 2:43 indicates the empire’s internal unity will be very unstable in its final form, though it will retain its toughness to some degree.
We may note that
today has it Jewish, Muslim, and Christian sections, and still an Islamic Mosque sits atop to Holy Temple Mount in the Holy City of Jerusalem. I believe the final Gentile kingdom is Antichrist’s worldwide Kingdom during the Tribulation, as represented by the image’s “Feet & Toes” that are partly of iron and partly with the addition of clay. This may be an ecumenical mixture of apostate Christianity and remnants of a weakened Islam after the War of Gog & Magog, then to come under Antichrist’s authority and power along with the rest of the world. Jerusalem
In the midst of Antichrist’s 7-year Kingdom, God will protect a remnant of the believers of
during the Tribulation, before the Lord’s return in victory over all the nations of the earth. Revelation chapter 7 then also describes the 144,000 of the twelve Tribes who are “sealed in their foreheads” (Rev 7:3). The 144,000 have “the name of the Lamb and the Father written on their foreheads” (Rev 14:1). A “great multitude” of people will believe the “everlasting gospel” the 144,000 receive from the angel of heaven (Rev 14:6). Israel
The seventh “seal” opens what is known Biblically as “The Day of the Lord” (Rev.6:17) and the “Great Tribulation,” to last for 3-1/2 years. In Revelation 7, the 144,000 are called “the servants of our God” (Revelation 7:3). These 144,000 will be saved Israelites who will give faithful witness to Jesus Christ. They will have been sealed for their ministry and protection throughout the Tribulation period. They are His Jewish witnesses in the Tribulation period. These are also later referred to in Revelation 14:4 as the “firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.” They will be the first to come to Christ as Saviour during the Tribulation period. They will be the evangelists going throughout the world preaching the “gospel of the kingdom,” fulfilling what Jesus specified to be preached until “the end will come” (Mat 24:14).
Many will be saved as result of the preaching of the 144,000 and the two witnesses and be martyred in the time of the Tribulation. “After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands” (Rev 7:9)
These described above are those saved through the ministry of the 144,000 as His witness to every nation and people. The “white robes” speak of those made clean through faith in the Lamb’s blood sacrifice for their sins and the “palm branches” speak of those who welcomed the word of Him as the Messiah. In Revelation 14:1 we see also the 144,000 with the Messiah on the
when He returns. The kingdom gospel believers are those who will be looking for the “New Heavens and a New Earth, Wherein Dwelleth Righteousness.” mount Zion
“Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the DAY OF GOD,
wherein the HEAVENS BEING ON FIRE SHALL BE DISSOLVED, AND THE ELEMENTS SHALL MELT WITH FERVENT HEAT.
13 Nevertheless WE (
), according to his (God’s) promise, Look For NEW HEAVENS and A NEW EARTH, WHEREIN DWELLETH RIGHTEOUSNESS. ISRAEL
(2Pet 3:12-13 - Peter writes as the Apostle “to the circumcision,” see Gal 2:7.)
In Rev 9:1-4 the bottomless pit is open and the demonic forces are told not to touch the sealed 144,000. “They were commanded not to harm the grass of the earth, or any green thing, or any tree, but only those men who do NOT have the seal of God on their foreheads.” (Rev 9: 4) The 144,000 are all males and unmarried as virgins, and they speak only truth, having no deceit in their mouth.
“These are the ones who were not defiled with women (false religions), for they are (spiritual) virgins. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These were redeemed from among men, being firstfruits to God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no deceit, for they are without fault before the throne of God.” (Rev 14:4-5).
Thus the 144,000 appear to be on the earth ministering during most of Tribulation from the time they are “sealed” for doing the Lord’s ministry. Being sent throughout the world they might also be in the city of
Petrain the Jordanian desert where it’s believed that many of are expected to flee in the second half of the Tribulation (Rev12). There the 144,000 may be influential to lead Israel into their repentance (Zech.12:9-14). Israel
The 144,000 are mentioned after the opening of the sixth seal of God’s wrath, before God begins executing the most horrendous events contained in the seventh seal, which contains the seven trumpet plagues. These coming judgments will bring a violent collapse of the old order of things in the whole world, affecting the earth, sun, moon, stars, sky, land and sea, by which the earth was made fit for human habitation. The world will then be in total disorder – with darkness, asteroids, bitter oceans and rivers and much more. At the end of the Tribulation Israel will call upon Jesus to come back (Matt. 23:39; Zech. 13:9; Hosea 5:15) to rescue them in the
where the battle of Armageddon will occur (Zech.14:2-5). valleyof Meggido
The last seven judgments (the 7 bowl judgments of Rev 16:1-21) cause the further hardening of the hearts of men on earth, just as the plagues hardened the heart of
’s Pharaoh. These judgments are also called “plagues” (Rev 15:1) and have much the same result on the world as the plagues of Egypt had on Pharaoh. These plagues will show: Egypt
(a) The total rebellion and independence of the creature to his Creator. Because of the callousness and hardening built up in the hearts of men, these judgments will result in anger and blasphemy from the heart and mouths of men rather than fear and reverence and trust toward God. They are hardening plagues which God uses to His own glory (cf. vs. 9, 11, and 21).
(b) But these plagues (the bowl judgments) will crush man’s rebellion and remove ALL the rebellious from the earth. Only believers will survive. The completion of this will be accomplished by the return of Christ with His armies (Ezek. 20:38; Joel 3:2-17; Matt. 13:40-43; Rev. 19:11-21).
You can read of the 7th Seal with its 7 Bowl judgments that will come upon the whole world in Rev 16.
· The First Bowl: Painful Sores (Rev 16:1-2)
· The Second Bowl: The Seas are Smitten (Rev 16:3)
· The Third Bowl: The Rivers are Smitten (Rev 16:4-7)
· The Fourth Bowl: Scorching Heat (Rev 16:8-9)
· The Fifth Bowl: Darkness (Rev 16:10-11)
· The Sixth Bowl: The
will be Dried (Rev 16:12-16) Euphrates River
· The Seventh Bowl: Widespread Destruction (Rev 16:17-21)
“And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done. 18 And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and There Was A Great Earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. 19 And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great
came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. 20 And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. 21 And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent (about 75 lbs.): and MEN BLASPHEMED GOD because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.” (Revelation 16:17-21) Babylon
In the face of these horrendous judgments, somewhat as was of the Lord when He delivered
Israelout of Egypton “eagle’s wings,” we see that the remnant of the believers of will be carried away on the “eagle’s wings.” They are carried to a place of safety prepared for them, where they are kept alive during the remaining Tribulation, until the appearing of the Lord at His 2nd coming. Israel
“Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you (
) on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself.” (Exodus 19:4) “to The Woman (Israel) Were Given Two Wings of A Great Eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time (3-1/2 years), from the face of the serpent (Antichrist).” (Rev 12:14) Israel
This living remnant of believing
will be preserved in the last half of the Tribulation. Then as surviving believers, they will be alive and remain in their human bodies on earth on into the Israel reign of Christ over the whole earth. Metaphorically, this is just as Noah was preserved in the Ark through the Flood Judgment on earth; then after that judgment they were left to “replenish the earth” (Gen 9:1). Thus we can see that the surviving believers of Millennial Kingdom Israelwill remain on earth, preserved to go on into the on earth under Christ’s Reign as the Messiah/King. Millennial Kingdom
Realizing that two-thirds of the earth’s population will die before the end of the Tribulation, these living ones in human flesh bodies will repopulate the earth in the Millennium and continue later on the New Earth. Some of those born of them during the Millennium will believe, but some will rebel, then only to die in the final rebellion with Satan after he is loosed from his pit, very near to the end of the Millennium.
There will also be many believers who had been martyred during the “Great Tribulation.” “And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar The Souls Of Them That Were Slain For The Word Of God, And For The Testimony Which They Held: 10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? (Rev 6:9-10).
These martyrs will be joined by the justified faithful Old Testament saints who have long been dead. They both will be raised up in “the 1st resurrection” (Rev 20:6), at the close of the Tribulation. The soul and spirit of these dead believers will return to the earth from “paradise,” to live in their resurrected glorified spirit-bodies that can be seen and touched, and yet pass through doors, just as the resurrected Lord Jesus did.
“I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I Saw The Souls Of Them That Were Beheaded For The Witness of Jesus, And For The Word Of God, And Which Had Not Worshipped The Beast (Antichrist), neither his image, Neither Had Received His Mark Upon Their Foreheads, Or In Their Hands (see Rev 13:17); and THEY LIVED AND REIGNED WITH CHRIST A THOUSAND YEARS. THIS IS THE FIRST RESURRECTION. 6 Blessed and holy is he (those of
’s remnant) that hath part in THE FIRST RESURRECTION: on such the SECOND DEATH hath no power, but They Shall Be Priests Of God and of Christ, and SHALL REIGN WITH HIM A THOUSAND YEARS.” (Rev 20:5-6) Israel
These resurrected glorified ones of the “first resurrection” (v5) shall “reign with Christ” (v6 above) throughout the Millennium. They shall reign over and bless the whole world of new believers. Recall that only the faithful believers will survive the Tribulation in their human physical bodies to go on to live in the Millennium. This is the fulfillment of what the Lord had long ago promised Abraham that in His seed shall “all the families of the earth be blessed.”
“And thy seed (Abraham’s seed) shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and IN THY SEED SHALL ALL THE FAMILIES OF THE EARTH BE BLESSED.” (Genesis 28:14)
After the Millennium, all the lost unjust dead will be resurrected in some form to stand and be judged at the “GREAT WHITE THRONE,” wherein ALL of them will be “cast into the lake of fire” since their names are “Not Found Written In The Lamb’s Book Of Life.”
“I saw a GREAT WHITE THRONE, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
12 And I Saw The Dead, Small And Great, Stand Before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell (Hades) delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works (evil doings). 14 And Death And Hell Were Cast Into The
. This Is The Second Death. LakeOf Fire
15 And WHOSOEVER WAS NOT FOUND WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF LIFE …WAS CAST INTO THE
. (Rev 20:11-15) LAKEOF FIRE