Ark of the Covenant - Bible History Online
Bible History Online
Picture Study Bible with Maps and Background Information

Daniel 2

1 - In the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams; and his spirit was troubled, and his sleep went from him.

2 - Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the enchanters, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, to tell the king his dreams. So they came in and stood before the king.

3 - The king said to them, "I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit is troubled to know the dream."

4 - Then the Chaldeans spoke to the king in the Syrian language, "O king, live forever! Tell your servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation."

5 - The king answered the Chaldeans, "The thing has gone from me. If you don't make known to me the dream and its interpretation, you will be cut in pieces, and your houses will be made a dunghill.

6 - But if you show the dream and its interpretation, you will receive of me gifts and rewards and great honor. Therefore show me the dream and its interpretation."

7 - They answered the second time and said, "Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation."

8 - The king answered, "I know of a certainty that you are trying to gain time, because you see the thing has gone from me.

9 - But if you don't make known to me the dream, there is but one law for you; for you have prepared lying and corrupt words to speak before me, until the situation changes. Therefore tell me the dream, and I will know that you can show me its interpretation."

10 - The Chaldeans answered before the king, and said, "There is not a man on the earth who can show the king's matter, because no king, lord, or ruler, has asked such a thing of any magician, or enchanter, or Chaldean.

11 - It is a rare thing that the king requires, and there is no other who can show it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh."

12 - Because of this, the king was angry and very furious, and commanded that all the wise men of Babylon be destroyed.

13 - So the decree went out, and the wise men were to be slain. They sought Daniel and his companions to be slain.

14 - Then Daniel returned answer with counsel and prudence to Arioch the captain of the king's guard, who had gone out to kill the wise men of Babylon.

15 - He answered Arioch the king's captain, "Why is the decree so urgent from the king?" Then Arioch made the thing known to Daniel.

16 - Daniel went in, and desired of the king that he would appoint him a time, and he would show the king the interpretation.

17 - Then Daniel went to his house and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions:

18 - that they would desire mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret; that Daniel and his companions would not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.

19 - Then the secret was revealed to Daniel in a vision of the night. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.

20 - Daniel answered,"Blessed be the name of God forever and ever;for wisdom and might are his.

21 - He changes the times and the seasons.He removes kings, and sets up kings.He gives wisdom to the wise,and knowledge to those who have understanding.

22 - He reveals the deep and secret things.He knows what is in the darkness,and the light dwells with him.

23 - I thank you, and praise you,you God of my fathers,who have given me wisdom and might,and have now made known to me what we desired of you;for you have made known to us the king's matter."

24 - Therefore Daniel went in to Arioch, whom the king had appointed to destroy the wise men of Babylon. He went and said this to him: "Don't destroy the wise men of Babylon. Bring me in before the king, and I will show to the king the interpretation."

25 - Then Arioch brought in Daniel before the king in haste, and said this to him: "I have found a man of the children of the captivity of Judah who will make known to the king the interpretation."

26 - The king answered Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, "Are you able to make known to me the dream which I have seen, and its interpretation?"

27 - Daniel answered before the king, and said, "The secret which the king has demanded can't be shown to the king by wise men, enchanters, magicians, or soothsayers;

28 - but there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and he has made known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days. Your dream, and the visions of your head on your bed, are these:

29 - "As for you, O king, your thoughts came on your bed, what should happen hereafter; and he who reveals secrets has made known to you what will happen.

30 - But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living, but to the intent that the interpretation may be made known to the king, and that you may know the thoughts of your heart.

31 - "You, O king, saw, and behold, a great image. This image, which was mighty, and whose brightness was excellent, stood before you; and its appearance was terrifying.

32 - As for this image, its head was of fine gold, its breast and its arms of silver, its belly and its thighs of brass,

33 - its legs of iron, its feet part of iron, and part of clay.

34 - You saw until a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet that were of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces.

35 - Then the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold were broken in pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors. The wind carried them away, so that no place was found for them. The stone that struck the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.

36 - "This is the dream; and we will tell its interpretation before the king.

37 - You, O king, are king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, the strength, and the glory.

38 - Wherever the children of men dwell, he has given the animals of the field and the birds of the sky into your hand, and has made you rule over them all. You are the head of gold.

39 - "After you, another kingdom will arise that is inferior to you; and another third kingdom of brass, which will rule over all the earth.

40 - The fourth kingdom will be strong as iron, because iron breaks in pieces and subdues all things; and as iron that crushes all these, it will break in pieces and crush.

41 - Whereas you saw the feet and toes, part of potters' clay, and part of iron, it will be a divided kingdom; but there will be in it of the strength of the iron, because you saw the iron mixed with miry clay.

42 - As the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom will be partly strong, and partly broken.

43 - Whereas you saw the iron mixed with miry clay, they will mingle themselves with the seed of men; but they won't cling to one another, even as iron does not mix with clay.

44 - "In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, nor will its sovereignty be left to another people; but it will break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it will stand forever.

45 - Because you saw that a stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God has made known to the king what will happen hereafter. The dream is certain, and its interpretation sure."

46 - Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell on his face, worshiped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an offering and sweet odors to him.

47 - The king answered to Daniel, and said, "Of a truth your God is the God of gods, and the Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, since you have been able to reveal this secret."

48 - Then the king made Daniel great, and gave him many great gifts, and made him rule over the whole province of Babylon, and to be chief governor over all the wise men of Babylon.

49 - Daniel requested of the king, and he appointed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego over the affairs of the province of Babylon; but Daniel was in the king's gate.

Daniel Images and Notes

The Book of Daniel

Daniel 6:15-16 - Then these men assembled unto the king, and said unto the king, Know, O king, that the law of the Medes and Persians [is], That no decree nor statute which the king establisheth may be changed. Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast [him] into the den of lions. [Now] the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee.

Daniel 7:13-14 - I saw in the night visions, and, behold, [one] like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion [is] an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom [that] which shall not be destroyed.

Daniel 9:24-27 - Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Know therefore and understand, [that] from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince [shall be] seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof [shall be] with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make [it] desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

The Old Testament - A Brief Overview

Bible Survey - Daniel
Hebrew Name - Dani-El "God is my judge"
Greek Name - Danil (Greek form of the Hebrew)
Author - Daniel (According to Tradition)
Date - 607 BC Approximately
Theme - The final kingdom of the Messiah
Types and Shadows - In Daniel Jesus was the fourth man in the fiery furnace

The First Day. Light.

Summary of The Book of Daniel

The prophet Daniel was actually taken captive during the Babylonian invasion on Jerusalem, the first attack in 607 BC. When Daniel came to Babylon he became a chief minister at Nebuchadnezzar's royal court. He became known as a man who could interpret dreams and visions. God did mighty miracles through Daniel that impressed King Nebuchadnezzar himself, so much so that he worshiped the Jewish God. Later when the Medes and Persians conquered Babylon King Cyrus ruled the Persian Empire. He also had visions that Daniel had given interpretation to. some of the great miracles mentioned in the Bible happened in the book of Daniel: the fiery furnace, the handwriting on the wall, and Daniel in the lion's den. Daniel can be seen in the Bible as the Empire predicting prophet, because he accurately  predicted the world governing empires before they came on the scene, first Babylon, second Persia, third Greece, fourth Rome, and in the last days would be another Roman empire where the antichrist would arise. At this time the Messiah will return and set up his everlasting kingdom. Daniel also predicted the exact day and year the Messiah would die. There is also a prophecy Daniel refers to as the 70th week, which speaks of a seven-year period in the future that will mark the second coming of the Messiah (Son of Man) coming with the clouds of heaven.

"I was watching in the night visions, and behold, One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him. Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed." Daniel 7:13-14

Daniel was among the Jewish captives who were brought to Babylon from Jerusalem after Nebuchadnezzar conquered the city. Daniel was still a youth but apparently of high status (Daniel 1:3). He was of such a high status that he was considered one of the wise men of the court of Babylon .He was quickly recognized in Babylon for his devotion to the one God Yahweh, and he refused to eat of the "dainties" which were brought to him by the king's servants. He also became recognized as the interpreter of dreams (Daniel 1:8-16), because when King Nebuchadnezzar being disturbed by a dream asked his own wise men to interpret they could not. Daniel offered to give the king the interpretation and the King was very appreciative to Daniel, he was so impressed that he allowed Daniel to rise to a place of great prominence in Babylon. Later when Babylon fell to the Persians the Jews had new masters over them, and Daniel was quickly recognized as a very special man and he had favor with the king of Persia. This caused many of those in authority to scrutinize Daniel and to look for flaws in his character and they could not find any. They developed a plot which forced the King to have Daniel thrown in the lion's den. The King recognizing their treachery and hoped for Daniel's deliverance, and when the Lord saved Daniel from the mouth of the lions Darius ordered his own leaders to be thrown into the lion's den and they were torn in pieces immediately.

Daniel the Empire Predicting Prophet

Daniel is clearly seen as the Empire predicting prophet. He was an interpreter of dreams, and God revealed through his interpretations his plans for the kingdoms that would rise to power in world history. At that time Babylon was in power, and in fact a world governing Empire in the ancient world. But Daniel said that Babylon would be defeated by the Medes and the Persians who would become a world governing empire. Then Greece would come and dominate the world, and after Greece the Romans would become a world governing empire. Then Daniel predicted that way in the future a final world governing empire would rise that would be like Rome, but different in that it would consist of 10 kings, and then finally 1 king who would rise to power. This 1 king would be a man referred to in the Bible as the antichrist. This would all take place in the final seven-year period known as the 70th week of Daniel. At its consummation the Lord will return, he will crush the enemy, and he will set up a kingdom, an everlasting kingdom, which will never be destroyed.

The 70 weeks of Daniel

The 70 weeks in Daniel are mentioned in Daniel 9, and they refer to a prophecy of Daniel where he claims that the king of Persia will release the Jews to rebuild their Temple in Jerusalem. When he makes this decree the Jews are to begin counting, and after 70 weeks (7 year periods or 490 years) the kingdom of the Messiah will be established on earth. But something interesting would happen, at the end of the 69th week (483 years) the Messiah will be "cut off" which indicates His death. The final seven year period is suddenly thrown into the future, to the time of the end of the world. This final seven year period is described in the book of Revelation as a time of the Messiah taking back the earth. It is divided into two 3 1/2 year periods and directly in the middle is when the antichrist sets up his throne in Jerusalem and reveals himself as God. Certain portions of this final seven years are mentioned in other prophetic books of the Bible like Zechariah.

Daniel, The Author of His Book

Daniel was the author of this book, and this was confirmed by Jesus himself, but there has been considerable criticism about the book of Daniel because of the accuracy of the prophecies. Many claim that these had to been written after the fact, and that Daniel could not possibly have known so much detail about the future. The first major critic of the genuineness of the book of Daniel was Porphyry of Tyre, a Greek philosopher of the third century AD who claimed that the book of Daniel had been written by a person living in the second century BC during the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes. His main reason for rejecting the book of Daniel was centered around the person of Antiochus Epiphanes, whom Daniel claimed was a prototype of the Antichrist. Daniel's prophecies written a few hundred years prior but were very very accurate in their detail. Many other critics have tried to discredit the book of Daniel, but the Bible and history have confirmed that Daniel was the author of this book, and therefore was written at the time of the Persian Empire (sixth century BC).

The contents of the book may be analyzed further as follows :

Outline of the Book of Daniel

Daniel is divided into two sections of six chapters each. Daniel 1-6 are largely historical, explaining how Daniel came to be in the court of Nebuchadnezzar and of his rise to power. It tells of Nebuchadnezzar's dream of the image which Daniel interpreted to refer to the current kingdom and three world powers which would arise after it and of the kingdom of God "a kingdom which shall never be destroyed" which would arise during the era of the last of these great empires. This section also includes the account of the deliverance of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from the fiery furnace and of the handwriting on the wall which spelled out the defeat of Belshazzar at the hands of the Medes and the Persians.

The second section, Daniel 8-12, describes visions which Daniel received concerning the great world powers of the future and the kingdom of God.

The Greek translation of Daniel contains additions not found in the Hebrew and Aramaic text. These additions are found as separate books in the Apocrypha and are called The Song of the Three Holy Children, the History of Susanna, and Bel and the Dragon.

The book of Daniel assures God's people that their situation in exile would not be permanent, that God would keep his promise to Abraham, he would keep his promise through Jeremiah the prophet that they would return after 70 years. And he would also keep his promise that the Jews would still be the channel through which all nations would be blessed. The book of Daniel is a grand tribute to the providence of God and His lordship of history and the universe.

The First Day. Light.

Daniel Resources

The Divided Kingdom
The Northern Kingdom of Israel
The Southern Kingdom of Judah
The Assyrian Captivity
The Babylonian Captivity
The Return From Babylon
The Prophets
The Messiah

The Book of Daniel

More About the Book of Daniel
Daniel in the Picture Study Bible
Timeline of the Ancient World
Back to the Old Testament
Back to Bible History Online