British-Israel's Bible Study Course
History in Advance
Scripture Reading Daniel 2
Nebuchadnezzar, ruler of the Babylonian empire, was one of the greatest of ancient kings. In the first chapter of Daniel, we find that he and three of his friends are captives in the city of Babylon, where they had been taken when Nebuchadnezzar had overthrown the Jews. In the second chapter the king is given a dream which impresses him very much, but which he cannot remember. He demands his counselors, who profess to be in touch with the gods, to tell him both the dream and its meaning. When they fail, the whole lot of them, including the four Hebrew captives, are sentenced to death. Because of Daniel's faithfulness, God reveals to him the dream and its meaning.
1. Secrets of the Future
1. Who alone knows the secrets of the future? Daniel 2:28 (OT 696  )_______________________________
"Is there a God?" A young Hebrew prince spoke for God before the mighty Nebuchadnezzar some 2,500 years ago. Down the long corridor of time his words of faith come echoing back to us: "There is a God in heaven," and He knows the future and reveals it to men.
2. Why was Nebuchadnezzar given this dream? (verses 28, 29, 45)________________________________________
3. What part does God play in the affairs of nations? (verses 20, 21))______________________________________
The God of the universe presented to Nebuchadnezzar a picture of the future to show him that a power greater than himself was at work in the world. This fact is still true today. The power exercised by every ruler on earth is imparted from heaven, and upon the use of this power his success depends.
2. NEBUCHADNEZZAR'S DREAM
1. What did the king see in his dream? (verse 31)_________________________________________
2. What was it made of? (verses 32, 33) Its head was of_________________ breast and arms were of_______________
its thighs of___________ its legs of _________; and its feet of__________
3. What struck the image, with what result? (verses 34, 35)______________________________________________
3.THE MEANING OF THE DREAM
The most important rules for interpreting Bible prophecy, is to remember that the Bible is its own commentary. The Bible must interpret itself. The Apostle Peter wrote, "Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation" (2 Peter 1:20).
What do we find in scripture in the interpretation of the dreams in the Book of Daniel? "This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king." (Daniel 2:36).
1. What kingdom was represented by the head of gold? (verses 37,38) ____________________________________________
2. What was to follow Babylon? (verses 39-41) "After thee shall arise another kingdom_________________________, to thee, and another third kingdom of______________________, which shall bear rule over all the earth. And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as_______________... And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters' clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be_______________.
Nebuchadnezzar was to be succeeded by three more world kingdoms: Medo-Persia, represented by the breast and arms of silver; Greece, the thighs of brass; Daniel 8 shows and names clearly the next empires that would succeed Babylon; and then Rome, the legs of iron. Then the kingdom was to be divided. There would be no fifth world kingdom-only four. History has followed this prophecy like a blueprint. Let us take a quick glance at each of the passing empires.
The Gold Kingdom of Babylon. God had spoken of Babylon as a golden city a hundred years before (Isaiah 14:4 (OT 561  ). Through Jeremiah God called Babylon a "golden cup" (Jeremiah 51:7, OT 642  ). Even historians refer to Babylon as the "Golden City of a Golden Age." Nebuchadnezzar could not but be impressed (and not a little pleased) with the fitness of the symbol, "head of gold."
By contact with the Hebrews, Babylon had opportunity to become familiar with the Word of God and His will as revealed in it. As a nation Babylon turned away from God. Because of this, all through succeeding scriptures the term "Babylon" is used in a symbolic way to refer to those who willfully turn away from God. In 538 B.C., leading hordes of Medes and Persians, Cyrus the Great swept out of the mountains of Persia and captured Babylon. Chapter five of Daniel recounts the dramatic story.
The Silver Kingdom of Medo-Persia. Silver was a fitting symbol of Medo-Persia, and was used by them as a medium of exchange and in decorations. Like Babylon, Medo-Persia turned aside from the worship of the true God. The wickedness of their later leaders undermined their strength and led to their defeat by Alexander the Great at Arbela in 331 B.C. The reins of power thus passed into the hands of the rising empire of the Greeks.
The Brass Kingdom of Greece. The brazen armor and brass breastplates worn by the Grecian soldiers are reflected in the thighs of brass. With them came culture, learning, and the Greek language that later helped the spread of Christianity. After the death of Alexander the Great the nation began to lose its power and unity. By 168 B.C. the growing strength of the Romans became too great for the Greeks to withstand.
The Iron Monarchy of Rome. This iron power broke in pieces, bruised, and subdued kingdoms for nearly 600 years. During its rule Christ was born and was crucified, and under Rome, Christianity took root and thrived in spite of many persecutions.
Hippolytus, a great theologian who died about A.D. 236, wrote of Rome: "Rejoice, blessed Daniel! thou hast not been in error.... Already the iron rules." And Gibbon wrote: "The arms of the republic.... always victorious in war, advanced ... ; 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 of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, 5-vol. ed., Vol. 3, p. 365).
The "Legs of Iron" represented the Roman empire down through the Middle Ages divided East and West. Rome was the Capital in the West, Constantinople was the Capital in the East.
Part Potter's clay & Part Iron, the Kingdom shall be divided. In this part of the prophecy of Daniel a brand new material in added to the kingdom of Iron. "Potter's clay." We must use the rule of the Bible interpreting itself to understand what this means of the Potter's clay.
In Jeremiah 18:6 we read out of God's own mouth what the Potter's clay is, "O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel." The House of Israel, not the House of Judah, the Jews are the potter's clay. Who is the modern-Day House of Israel, The USA & the British, and Scandinavian Peoples. Read our booklet the USA & British in Prophecy for details.
So we see one "Kingdom" but its "divided." At the end of World War Two, at the threat of a Communist invasion, the USA implemented the Marshall Plan in 1948 to help rebuild Europe, but the European countries would not have the strength to fight against the Soviets. The United States and Canada would be needed to provide the force necessary to counter any attack from the Soviet Union.
The North Atlantic Treaty was written to bond the United States, Canada and Europe together in case the Soviets attacked any of them. The treaty states that if any of the member nations is attacked, all of the nations signing the treaty will respond to the attack together. Therefore, any attack anywhere on North America or Europe would cause a very large response. NATO's Policy is "you attack one, you attack us all." The treaty is a "bond" like Potter's clay bonds together to form a vessel. So the Potter's clay and the Iron is the NATO'S allies. And the Kingdom was divided between the Communists in the East and the bonded NATO Allies in the West.
Even today Europe is “divided” into two camps, The European Union and its Economic Alliances, and NATO. Many people do not realize that NATO is an Anglo-Saxon phenomenon [Potter’s clay] and the E.U. is a GERMAN [Iron] phenomenon. Yet Germany as well as other European Nations plays a role in both alliances so the Kingdom is “divided.”
“And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of [Potter’s] clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken.” This part of the verse is interesting. Its not giving us information of the Kingdom and its alliances with other nations here, but an analogy of the kingdom, notice it says “and AS the toes.” It’s an analogy of the internal relationship this alliance, the iron and the Potter’s clay has. The NATO Alliance of course has the strong, Rich, and Military Anglo-Saxon Nations, Germany, Italy as the strong part of the alliance. Then it has the weaker poorer nations nations in it from the eastern European block.
Barnes Notes puts it, “such a diversity in the internal constitution” that, while there would be the element of great power, there would be also an element of weakness;” The policies of each nations of NATO has shown us that they do not always agree with one another and that is it’s weakness, yet when they do agree, they take action for example to stop terrorism, or protect citizens from wars like Bosnia, and Afghanistan. And for many years protected Europe from being dominated by the Soviet Union. This is the great power it has when it agrees on policy.
The Miry clay. Here again we see another material "mixed" with the Iron. Miry clay. Miry clay is not adhesive like Potter's clay as the Psalmists says, "I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing:" (Ps. 69:2), so this is the Last phase of the Image with the ten toes.
“...but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay...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.” (Dan 2;41,43). What does this mean? Virtually all commentaries say that the mingling with the seed of men means marriage, or alliance with the seed of men. But they will not cleave to one another. Is there another scripture in the bible that makes this more clear? Revelation 17 provides the answer.
In Revelation 17 we read of the 10 kings which are the ten toes of Daniel 2 with the Beast, and the great ‘Whore” that sits with them. A "woman" represents a church in the Bible see 2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:22-27; Rev 19:7. But this is a fallen woman or an apostate church. This great “Whore,” “ sitteth upon many waters:” (verse 1). The many waters it sits on, the Bible interprets it as, “peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues” (v.15). What Apostate church rose out of the ashes of the Roman Empire after its fall in 476 A.D.? The Catholic Church! Catholicism is a global phenomenon.It reigns over many different peoples tongues and nations. This church will align itself with the Beast which has ten horns on its seventh head.
This whore, “which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.” (Rev 17:18). Vatican City is a self ruling State and ambassadors come and deal with the Pope and the Papacy. Its got its own bank, Diplomats, government, laws, guards and territories. Now a King and kingdom are synonymous in the Bible. Daniel 7:17, 23 shows us that. So the Catholic Church’s Kingdom consists of the multitudes of peoples it sits and reigns over, the “seed of men.” This seed of men, the Catholic Kingdom, marries the Beast and will align itself with the Beast. As Revelation 17:3 says, “I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.” This is the Miry Clay, the Catholic Kingdom which consists of many peoples tongues and nations and is growing immensely in the third world!
Now the Bible says that, “they shall not cleave one to another” (Dan 2:43). Revelation 17 shows this as well, “And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire” (v.16). This church/state alliance will deteriorate because of internal problems between the State and the Catholic church.
Isaiah 47:8 shows this whore as the daughter of the Chaldeans, and she says “I shall not sit as a widow, neither shall I know the loss of children:” She is seeking marriage with the Beast and will achieve it, but will deteriorate, “But these two things shall come to thee in a moment in one day, the loss of children, and widowhood:...And evil shall come upon thee, thou shalt not know how to deprecate it; And mischief shall fall upon thee, thou shalt not be able to expiate it; And destruction shall come suddenly upon thee, thou shalt not know [“how to escape, avoid, or be delivered”- JFB Commentary]” (Isa 47:9, 11; JFB Commentary translation of verse 11). After this, Revelation 18 goes through what the Catholic Kingdom has done and the merchants of the earth wail for her passing.
For more details on the Beast read our booklet Who, What is the Beast of Revelation.
4. THE SETTING UP OF GOD'S KINGDOM
1. How does God pictures the final crumbling of all nations? (verses 34, 35) "Thou sawest till that a _______was cut out without _____, which smote the image upon his________ that were of iron and clay, and ___________ them to pieces. Then was the iron, the day, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, that _____________________________________________________________________for them."
2. What does the stone represent? (verse 44)_______________________________________.
With these words this prophecy arrives at its most important prediction-that in the days of these kings-in our time-God will set up His kingdom. The high points of this prophecy are:
1. There will be no fifth world kingdom.
2. Europe will never be united permanently.
3. Christ is coming to establish his Kingdom.
5. BACK TO NEBUCHADNEZZAR
Nebuchadnezzar had been greatly impressed with Daniel and Daniel's God. But he soon returned to idolatry and set up a golden image on the Plain of Dura (Daniel, chapter 3). Apparently his pride hindered him from humbly accepting what God had revealed in the dream. Daniel's three friends refused to bow down to the king's great golden image and consequently were thrown into the overheated furnace. The king watched, furious that they had dared to defy him. Suddenly he paled at what he saw in that fiery furnace..
1. Who did the king see in the furnace with Daniel's three friends? Daniel 3:25 (OT 698 [5441 )____________________
These three men did not know that God would deliver them. But they trusted Him. And whether He spared their lives or not, they would not disobey Him. They honored God, and in the crisis He honored them! Think what a close companionship with their Lord must have been theirs-that He would come and walk with them in the fire!
We may need a faith like theirs sooner than we think. According to John the Revelator, those who obey God will face a similar test in the future.
2. What crisis will God's faithful followers have to face before Jesus returns? Revelation 13:15 (NT 220 [1741) "And he had power to give life unto the _____________of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not _____________________the _____________of the beast should be killed."
We will not go into the identity of the beast or the image in this lesson. It is too big a subject. But soon, in the final crisis, there will be another image-though this time not a literal one-and all who refuse to bow down will be faced with death. Like the three Hebrews, we shall have to choose. We shall need a faith like theirs. And if we don't stand for our Lord now, how can we be sure we will stand for Him then?
In the next lesson we will study about the coming King-how He comes, the events connected with His coming, and what His coming means to every individual. Surely the coming of Jesus is the greatest future event in the history of the world and of our lives.
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