Lesson 49

Daniel Interprets a Dream

"God gave to Daniel special ability in understanding the
meanings of dreams and visions."

Daniel 1:17 (Living Bible)

Daniel was a young Israelite who was taken captive to Babylon along with many others. He and three other captives were chosen to be trained for special jobs in the Babylonian government. They served well for that was their duty, but they continued to pray to the LORD and obey him, and live according to his commands for they loved God wholeheartedly.

One night King Nebuchadnezzar awoke from a terrible nightmare—he was trembling with fear. But in the morning he could not remember his dream except that it seemed very important. He became extremely angry with the "wise men" of Babylon (magicians, astrologers, sorcerers, etc.) because they could not tell him what his dream was or what it meant.

If he had been able to tell them the dream they would have guessed at its interpretation, but they could not easily explain something the king himself could not remember. The king was so furious with them that he ordered them all to be killed. Daniel and his companions would be included for they were among those who counseled the king.

The young men prayed for the LORD’s help and guidance. Daniel then had a dream in which God revealed Nebuchadnezzar’s dream and the interpretation of it. Daniel asked Arioch, the commander of the king’s guard, not to execute the "wise men" but to take him to Nebuchadnezzar and he would explain the dream.

This is what Daniel told the king: He had dreamed of a huge statue which had a head of gold, breast and arms of silver, belly and thighs of brass, and legs of iron. The feet and toes were of iron mixed with clay. It was truly awesome!

Then a stone, cut out of the mountain without hands, was hurled at the feet of the statue and it fell to the ground. It was ground to powder and the wind carried it away. The stone grew until it became a great mountain and filled the whole earth!

Daniel explained that the head of gold was Nebuchadnezzar himself—king of Babylon. The kingdom of Medo-Persia was represented by the silver, Greece by the brass, and the Roman Empire by the iron legs. The iron and clay mixed showed that the Roman Empire would become divided. Each kingdom gave way to an inferior kingdom.

The stone which struck the statue represented the kingdom of God which will replace the governments of earth and stand forever (Daniel 2:44 New International Version).

| next | index |