Daniel 2: Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream


(49 verses, 5:00 to read)

What I am about to READ

The dream of Nebuchadnezzar and the interpretation of it by Daniel


The Dream and the Revelation to Daniel

  • The king’s dream must have been vivid and severe to trouble him so, occasioning the calling of the magicians and enchanters to tell him the interpretation.
  • Apparently, the magicians had been unreliable in the past, so as to merit a death sentence for not being able to interpret the current dream.
  • Interestingly, Daniel requests an audience with the king to tell him the interpretation before God reveals its meaning to him.  It is only after he and his companions pray that God reveals the dream to Daniel.
  • Vss 20-23 constitute a poetic song in the book of Daniel.  This song finds a place in the song of the Church as a biblical canticle.  It is included in many editions of the psalter.

The Interpretation of the Dream

  • The statue that the king saw had parts made of various materials. The head made of gold represented the kingdom of Nebuchadnezzar. The body, arms, legs made of bronze, clay, silver and iron represent kingdoms to come after, though they are not mentioned.  The whole statue was crushed by a stone “not cut by a human hand” (vs 45). This represents a kingdom ordained by God which would be eternal and never destroyed (vs. 44).  Daniel indicates that this eternal kingdom will be set up during another kingdom’s reign, so it is likely that the final “clay and iron” kingdom indicates the Roman Empire as the Christ was born, crucified and raised under the reign of the Caesars.
  • This kingdom is none other than the Kingdom set up by the Christ which stretched out over the whole earth and will never be destroyed (Mt.16:18-19).  For Christ is a true King and he rules his kingdom by grace and not by the sword.  John the Baptist announces God’s kingdom in his call to repentance “repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand” (Mk. 1:15).

The Elevation of Daniel

  • Daniel had done the king a great service.  He is now showered with praises and is elevated to the highest position in the kingdom, a position not unlike Joseph in Egypt, who also interpreted a dream of Pharaoh. Through intercession with the king, Daniel makes sure that his three companions Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego are elevated as well.


Consider the eternity of the kingdom of God and the transitory nature of all earthy kingdoms, no matter how large and powerful.  They will eventually fall and be largely forgotton.  God’s kingdom is eternal and we are subjects of his eternal reign through the merits of the blood of Jesus. His is a kingdom of forgiveness and grace.


Pr. Brandon Ross

Faith Ev. Lutheran Church

Johnstown, Colorado


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