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Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream

Scripture Passage: 
Daniel 2:1-36

INTRODUCTION: The dream of Nebuchadnezzar’s image reveals a great deal of prophecy about the history of the Gentiles. However, the emphasis of this lesson will be on the revealing of the forgotten dream by the God of Daniel, the God who knows all secrets. This is an important lesson for all ages.

  1. THE DREAMS OF KING NEBUCHADNEZZAR (Daniel 2:1-3)
    1. His Circumstances (Daniel 2:1)
      1. Occurring in the 2nd year of his reign
      2. He dreamed multiple dreams.
    2. His Concern (Daniel 2:1)
      1. His spirit was troubled.
      2. His sleep brake from him.
    3. His Call (Daniel 2:2)
      1. Magicians
      2. Astrologers
      3. Sorcerers
      4. Chaldeans
    4. His Correspondence (Daniel 2:3)
      1. I have dreamed a dream. Note: Though Nebuchadnezzar dreamed multiple dreams, it appears one was the source of his troubles.
      2. My spirit was troubled to know the dream.
  2. THE DOOM OF THE WISE MEN (Daniel 2:4-13)
    1. Round One (Daniel 2:4-6)
      1. The wise men required the dream (Daniel 2:4).
        1. Tell thy servants the dream.
        2. We will shew the interpretation.
      2. Nebuchadnezzar could not tell (Daniel 2:5-6).
        1. The dream had gone from him (Daniel 2:5).
        2. The promise of judgment (Daniel 2:5) - If ye will not make known unto me the dream, with the interpretation thereof
          1. Ye shall be cut in pieces.
          2. Your houses shall be made a dunghill.
        3. The offer or reward (Daniel 2:6) - If ye shew the dream, and the interpretation thereof
          1. Ye shall receive of me gifts and rewards.
          2. Ye shall receive great honour.
    2. Round Two (Daniel 2:7-9)
      1. The wise men required the dream (Daniel 2:7).
        1. Let the king tell his servants the dream.
        2. We will shew the interpretation of it.
      2. Nebuchadnezzar could not tell (Daniel 2:8-9).
        1. He accused them of trickery (Daniel 2:8-9a).
          1. They were attempting to buy themselves time (Daniel 2:8).
          2. They had prepared lying words to give him (Daniel 2:9a).
        2. He required proof of their wisdom (Daniel 2:9b); If they could tell him the dream, then he could be confident of their interpretation.
    3. Round Three (Daniel 2:10-13)
      1. The wise men required the dream (Daniel 2:10-11).
        1. What the king asked was impossible (Daniel 2:10-11).
          1. “There is not a man upon the earth that can shew the king’s matter” (Daniel 2:10).
          2. None “can shew it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh” (Daniel 2:11).
        2. What the king asked was unheard of (Daniel 2:10-11).
          1. “There is no king, lord, nor ruler, that asked such things at any magician, or astrologer, or Chaldean” (Daniel 2:10).
          2. “It is a rare thing that the king requireth” (Daniel 2:11).
      2. Nebuchadnezzar decreed their destruction (Daniel 2:12-13).
        1. He was angry and very furious (Daniel 2:12).
        2. He decreed the death of all the wise men in the kingdom (Daniel 2:12).
        3. Daniel and his fellows would be included (Daniel 2:13).
  3. THE DESIRE OF DANIEL (Daniel 2:14-23)
    1. His Desire of the King (Daniel 2:14-16)
      1. Daniel answered with counsel and wisdom (Daniel 2:14).
      2. Daniel asked of the haste of the decree (Daniel 2:15); Note: It seems as though Daniel was more concerned about the haste of the decree rather than the contents of the decree. Daniel knew that the decree would have required much thought and wisdom; therefore, the haste caused great concern. Obviously, this decree could not have been orchestrated with wisdom.
      3. Daniel requested time so that he might show the dream (Daniel 2:15-16).
        1. Daniel was told of the dream and the wise men’s failure (Daniel 2:15).
        2. Daniel went to the king and requested some time (Daniel 2:16).
        3. Daniel promised the king an interpretation (Daniel 2:16).
    2. His Desire of the Lord (Daniel 2:17-23)
      1. His prayer (Daniel 2:17-19)
        1. His partners (Daniel 2:17)
          1. Hananiah
          2. Mishael
          3. Azariah
        2. His petition (Daniel 2:18a) – “That they would desire the mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret”
        3. His purpose (Daniel 2:18b) – “that Daniel and his fellows would not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon”
        4. His provision (Daniel 2:19) – “Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision.”
      2. His praise (Daniel 2:19-23)
        1. For the answer to prayer (Daniel 2:19)
        2. For the name of God (Daniel 2:20)
        3. For the wisdom and might of God (Daniel 2:20-22)
          1. Changing times and seasons (Daniel 2:21)
          2. Removing and setting up kings (Daniel 2:21)
          3. Giving wisdom to the wise (Daniel 2:21)
          4. Giving knowledge to them that know understanding (Daniel 2:21)
          5. Revealing deep and secret things (Daniel 2:22)
          6. Knowing what is in the darkness (Daniel 2:22)
          7. Light dwelling with Him (Daniel 2:22)
        4. For the revelation of God (Daniel 2:23)
          1. Giving Daniel wisdom and might
          2. Making known unto Daniel what was desired of Him, the king’s matter
  4. THE DISCLOSURE OF THE LORD (Daniel 2:24-30)
    1. Daniel Came to the King (Daniel 2:24-26).
      1. Daniel requested to see the king, promising the interpretation (Daniel 2:24).
      2. Arioch presented Daniel as a captive of Judah that would make known the interpretation (Daniel 2:25).
      3. The king asked Daniel for the dream and interpretation (Daniel 2:26).
    2. Daniel Contrasted the Two Sources of Wisdom (Daniel 2:27-28).
      1. The wisdom of the wise (Daniel 2:27) – cannot shew it unto the king
      2. The wisdom of the Lord (Daniel 2:28)
        1. A God who reveals secrets
        2. A God who will reveal the events of the latter days
    3. Daniel Called Attention to Several Points (Daniel 2:29-30).
      1. The prophecy of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream (Daniel 2:29)
      2. The powerlessness of Daniel’s wisdom (Daniel 2:30)
      3. The purposes of the interpretation (Daniel 2:30)
        1. To save those condemned to death
        2. To show the king the thoughts of his own heart (Hebrews 4:12)
  5. THE DETAILS OF THE DREAM (Daniel 2:31-36)
    1. The Glory of the Image (Daniel 2:31)
      1. It was a great image.
      2. Its brightness was excellent.
      3. The form thereof was terrible.
    2. The Breakdown of the Image (Daniel 2:32-33)
      1. The head (Daniel 2:32)
        1. Made of fine gold
        2. Identified as Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom (Daniel 2:37-38)
      2. The breast and arms (Daniel 2:32)
        1. Made of silver
        2. Identified as another kingdom (Daniel 2:39) – the Persian Empire
          1. Arising after Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom
          2. Inferior to Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom
      3. The belly and thighs (Daniel 2:32)
        1. Made of brass
        2. Identified as another kingdom (Daniel 2:39) – the Grecian Empire
          1. A third kingdom – arising after the previous two
          2. Bearing rule over all the earth
      4. The legs (Daniel 2:33)
        1. Made of iron
        2. Identified as another kingdom (Daniel 2:40) – the Roman Empire
          1. A fourth kingdom – arising after the previous three
          2. It shall be as strong as iron.
          3. It shall break in pieces and bruise.
      5. The feet (Daniel 2:33) – a later Roman Empire
        1. Made of iron and part of clay
        2. Identified in a unique fashion (Daniel 2:41-43)
          1. Not identified as a fifth or separate kingdom from the fourth (Daniel 2:41)
          2. Identified as a divided kingdom (Daniel 2:41-43)
            1. Partly strong and partly broken (Daniel 2:42)
            2. Unable to unify (Daniel 2:43)
            3. Mingling with the seed of men (Daniel 2:43)
    3. The Destruction of the Image (Daniel 2:34-36)
      1. The destruction of the image (Daniel 2:34)
        1. The destroyer
          1. A stone cut without hands
          2. Identified as a kingdom established by the God of heaven (Daniel 2:44-45)
        2. The means of destruction
          1. It smote the image upon his feet.
          2. It broke them in pieces.
      2. The outcome of the destruction (Daniel 2:35)
        1. For the kingdoms of men
          1. The kingdoms effected
            1. The legs of iron
            2. The feet of iron and clay
            3. The belly and thighs of brass
            4. The breast and arms of silver
            5. The head of gold
          2. The result of the blast (Daniel 2:44-45)
            1. The kingdoms were broken to pieces together.
            2. They became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors.
            3. The wind carried them away.
            4. There was no place found for them.
        2. For the kingdom established by God (Daniel 2:44-45)
          1. It became a great mountain.
          2. It filled the whole earth.
          3. It shall stand for ever (Daniel 2:44).
      3. The certainty of the dream and interpretation (Daniel 2:36; Daniel 2:45)

CONCLUSION: Through the revealing of his forgotten dream, Nebuchadnezzar learned that the true God knows all secrets. He said to Daniel, “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” (Daniel 2:47). That means that God knows everything about us too. We cannot keep any secrets from Him. We just need to make things right with Him when we are wrong and trust Him for His love to us.

David Reagan and Andrew Ray

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 7:5

That they may keep thee from the strange woman, from the stranger which flattereth with her words.