Christian Churches of God
Commentary on Daniel
(Edition 1.0 20200927-20200927)
The prophecy of Daniel 2 deals with the emergence of the new world kingdoms commencing with the Babylonian head of gold under Nebuchadnezzar. The background to the later empires was emerging from behind the scenes.
Commentary on Daniel Chapter 2
All power is from God. The flow of power is shown in Daniel chapters 2 and 3. We see from the dream of Daniel 2 that the intervention of God is at the end of the period of the powers that flowed from the head of gold on through to the feet of iron and clay and the empire of the ten toes. God changes times and seasons. He removes kings and sets up kings. He gives wisdom unto the wise and knowledge to those that know or have understanding. He reveals the deep and secret things. He knows what is in the darkness (or what is hidden) and the light dwells with Him (Dan. 2:21-22,28).
The interpretation of the empire of the world systems was made known to the king through Daniel for the latter days (Dan. 2:28). The understanding of the vision was not given to Daniel for any wisdom he possessed or for any then living. It was given for those who would interpret the vision to the king of that system in the future. Note the peculiar wording of Daniel 2:30.
Daniel 2:30 But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living, but for their sakes that shall make known the interpretation to the king, and that thou mightest know the thoughts of thy heart. (KJV)
Thus the vision was given to understand the times until the end. This is the period we refer to as the Time of the Gentiles or the “time of the nations”. The last period of the fourth kingdom of iron extended over a long time until the end and the intervention of God. The last phase of this period saw a union of ten kings represented by the iron and clay of the feet and ten toes.
This dream is integral to the Plan of God and will not fail. The time-frame was established through Nebuchadnezzar, and his reign was used to commence the sequence. He was the head of gold (Dan. 2:38). He was followed by the Medes and Persians represented by silver. The Greeks followed, and were the torso of brass and who conquered the earth into Asia and then divided it. The Romans superseded this Hellenic kingdom as the empire of iron. This system was altered from the military dictatorship into a religious empire and this empire of iron and clay continued until the Last Days. The Holy Roman Empire formed in 590 CE under Gregory I was disbanded in 1850 after 1,260 years from its inception. This period was neither the beginning nor end of the system. The system began with the rise of Nebuchadnezzar at the battle of Carchemish (605 BCE) and was eighty years in the establishment until the invasion of Egypt by Cambyses in 525 BCE. This period and the significance are found in the paper The Fall of Egypt: The Prophecy of Pharaoh’s Broken Arms (No. 036).
The servants of God are not to worship this system. This is the meaning of Daniel 2:1-7. The nations that do this accuse the elect who will not worship the image of the Beast.
(cf. also God and the Church (No. 151))
Daniel shows that omniscience is not relative to position or proximity. The knowledge of the last days was known from the beginning and declared by God (Dan. 2:20-28). God reveals it by stages through the prophets and the elect who are called according to predestination and His wisdom. God also revealed the removal under Nebuchadnezzar through the prophet Jeremiah. When he was not acting as God’s instrument he was referred to as Nebuchadrezzar.
The sequence of the seven stages is listed in the Introduction above as follows:
Chapter 2 provides the outline of the empires that cover the sequence of:
1. The Babylonians (gold)
2. The Medo-Persians (silver)
3. The Greeks and their divisions over Asia. Greece and Egypt (bronze)
4. The Roman Empire and its two divisions (iron)
5. The Holy Roman Empire (iron and miry clay)
6. The Empire of the Beast of the Ten Toes (iron and miry clay)
7. The Messianic Restoration under Messiah as the stone uncut by human hands of chapter 2:44-45.
Metals of the Idol
The metals descend in quality from gold to silver, bronze and iron and then to iron mixed with miry clay over the two empires of the final sequence.
The empire of the Babylonians was based on the unfettered power of the Babylonians enforcing their system of the sun and mystery cults based on the systems of Baal and Ashtoreth or Ishtar, hence Easter and the festival of the goddess and also the festival of the birth of the sun god at the winter solstice. These aspects were forbidden by the Scriptures (Jer. 10:1-9) as was the baking of cakes to Tammuz or Dumuzi. The Medes and Persians were represented by the torso of silver which was inferior to the Babylonians and which was used by God to restore the Temple system under Cyrus down to the order of Darius II the Persian and the provisioning decree of Artaxerxes II with Ezra and Nehemiah as governor (this aspect is explained in the paper Sign of Jonah and the History of the Reconstruction of the Temple (No. 013). We will explain more in chapter 9 below.
The bronze of the Greeks represented the increased power of the European systems. Although they were inferior in their religious systems they became more efficient militarily.
The legs of iron represented the Roman Empire which took power from the battle of Actium (2 September 31 BCE). Herod the Idumean supported Octavian and was then granted the Kingdom of Judea that set the scene for the birth of Christ (cf. Christ’s Age at Baptism and the Duration of His Ministry (No. 019)).
It was from this transfer that the Roman system established the wholesale system of the Triune God and corrupted the rise of the Church from 20-30 CE under the Messiah. The Holy Spirit (No. 117) was given to man at the death of Messiah at Passover as foretold by Isaiah and the Feast of Pentecost that year.
In 192 CE at Rome under bishop Victor the Easter festival was imposed on the Christians and Rome and forced the division of the Quarto-Deciman Disputes (No. 277) on the Church.
The Roman Empire was destroyed from 390 CE to the isolation of the Dark Ice Age. In 451 CE the theology of the Triune God was established in Christianity and in 475 the Christmas festival of the Sun God was established in Christianity (cf. Origins of Christmas and Easter (No. 235)).
The divisions in the empire based on Rome led to divisions in the tribes and the church. From 327 CE these divisions led to the Unitarian/Trintarian Wars (No. 268).
Out of the ensuing chaos the Church at Rome finally established the feet of iron and miry clay as the Holy Roman Empire under Gregory I in 590 CE. This empire was to last until 1850 and the plebiscite at Rome in the Papal States when it was disbanded and finally in 1872.
The iron represented the two divisions based on the power of the empire but with the weakness of the nations and the religious diversity caused by their Trinitarianism and the views of the Sun and Mystery Cults. From the Twentieth Century the 2,520 years from the Battle of Carchemish in 605 BCE reached fruition in 1916 and the time of Jacob’s Trouble commenced. In 1917 we saw the prophecies of Haggai and Habakkuk of the Twelve Prophets (No. 021) saw the restoration of Israel under those prophecies.
The two forty year periods of 80 years duplicated from the prophecies in Ezekiel re the Fall of Egypt (No. 036) saw the independence of Egypt in 1953-6 with the Suez crisis in 1956 (cf. also The Fall of Egypt Part II: The Wars of the End (No. 036_2)); and then the end of the time of the Gentiles occurred in 1996, 2,520 years from Cambyses’ occupation of Egypt in 525 BCE. The time frame of the 2300 evenings and mornings is dealt with below which covers the time from the 2300 years from the Battle of the Granicus to the restoration of Jerusalem as one city to the nation of Israel in the Six-day War of 1967 (see below). Thirty years later in 1997 we saw the final period of the rule of the Babylonian system commence and the empire of the Beast in the NWO begin to emerge for the final phase to end of the Empire of the Beast and the prophecies of Daniel (cf. The Last Thirty years: The Final Struggle (No. 219)).
The Holocaust was to last 1260 Days from 1941-1945. Eighty years from that great tribulation and trial of God’s people the church was to see the final Holocaust and tribulation in the last days from 2021 to 2024. That will see the end of the wars of the end and the destruction of the Beast system of Revelation Chapter 18.
The sequence of the six empires lasts until the last days and it is destroyed at the Advent of the Messiah with the Loyal Host on the morning of the fourth day after the death of the Witnesses as foretold in Revelation Chapter 11. From that time all false religion will be eliminated and the laws of God will be established under the millennial reign of Christ for the thousand years of the Seventh Millennium as we see in Revelation Chapter 20.
Daniel was raised up to explain this dream to the king so that all understood its significance. Those who do not understand the power and omniscience of God and the function of prophecy denigrate the authenticity and importance of this prophetic work. Note that this refers to the latter days and in fact covered over 2550 years from Cambyses invasion of Egypt in 525 BCE.
Note the time frame of the vision is from the second year of Nebuchadnezzar, who reigned conjointly with his father from the Battle of Carchemish and then on his own in 604 BCE.
Daniel Chapter 2
1And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, wherewith his spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake from him. 2Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the astrologers, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, for to shew the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king. 3And the king said unto them, I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit was troubled to know the dream. 4Then spake the Chaldeans to the king in Syriack, O king, live for ever: tell thy servants the dream, and we will shew the interpretation. 5The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, The thing is gone from me: if ye will not make known unto me the dream, with the interpretation thereof, ye shall be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made a dunghill. 6But if ye shew the dream, and the interpretation thereof, ye shall receive of me gifts and rewards and great honour: therefore shew me the dream, and the interpretation thereof. 7They answered again and said, Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will shew the interpretation of it. 8The king answered and said, I know of certainty that ye would gain the time, because ye see the thing is gone from me. 9But if ye will not make known unto me the dream, there is but one decree for you: for ye have prepared lying and corrupt words to speak before me, till the time be changed: therefore tell me the dream, and I shall know that ye can shew me the interpretation thereof. 10The Chaldeans answered before the king, and said, There is not a man upon the earth that can shew the king's matter: therefore there is no king, lord, nor ruler, that asked such things at any magician, or astrologer, or Chaldean. 11And it is a rare thing that the king requireth, and there is none other that can shew it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh. 12For this cause the king was angry and very furious, and commanded to destroy all the wise men of Babylon. 13And the decree went forth that the wise men should be slain; and they sought Daniel and his fellows to be slain. 14Then Daniel answered with counsel and wisdom to Arioch the captain of the king's guard, which was gone forth to slay the wise men of Babylon: 15He answered and said to Arioch the king's captain, Why is the decree so hasty from the king? Then Arioch made the thing known to Daniel. 16Then Daniel went in, and desired of the king that he would give him time, and that he would shew the king the interpretation. 17Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions: 18That they would desire mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret; that Daniel and his fellows should not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. 19Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven. 20Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: 21And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding: 22He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him. 23I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast made known unto me now what we desired of thee: for thou hast now made known unto us the king's matter. 24Therefore Daniel went in unto Arioch, whom the king had ordained to destroy the wise men of Babylon: he went and said thus unto him; Destroy not the wise men of Babylon: bring me in before the king, and I will shew unto the king the interpretation. 25Then Arioch brought in Daniel before the king in haste and said thus unto him, I have found a man of the captives of Judah, that will make known unto the king the interpretation. 26The king answered and said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, Art thou able to make known unto me the dream which I have seen, and the interpretation thereof? 27Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, shew unto the king; 28But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these; 29As for thee, O king, thy thoughts came into thy mind upon thy bed, what should come to pass hereafter: and he that revealeth secrets maketh known to thee what shall come to pass. 30But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living, but for their sakes that shall make known the interpretation to the king, and that thou mightest know the thoughts of thy heart.31Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible. 32This image's head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, 33His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. 34Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. 35Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth. 36This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king. 37Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory. 38And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold.39And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth.40And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise. 41And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters' clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. 42And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. 43And 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. 44And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. 45Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure. 46Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and worshipped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odours unto him. 47The king answered unto Daniel, and said, 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. 48Then the king made Daniel a great man, and gave him many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief of the governors over all the wise men of Babylon.49Then Daniel requested of the king, and he set Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, over the affairs of the province of Babylon: but Daniel sat in the gate of the king. (KJV)
Bullinger’s Notes on Chapter 2
And. Thus linking on this chapter of momentous prophecy with Dan 1, which is pure history.
the second year:… Therefore Jehoiakim"s fifth year, the year of the burning of the roll which marked the official rejection of Jehovah. Hence Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. Daniel was in Babylon, and writes from that standpoint. The supposed difficulty is a proof of genuineness; for the writer would have been a fool as well as a forger to have left it unexplained.
Nebuchadnezzar. See note on Daniel 1:1.
spirit. Hebrew. ruach. App-9.
to call, &c. = to send for. This tells us of the religious system of Babylonia, of which subsequent Jewish commentators and Greek translators would know little or nothing. There were six classes of the Chaldean priesthood.
magicians. Hebrew. chartummim. Connected with the kharutu (the sceptre) or rod of office of those who repelled demons and evil spirits by incantations, &c.
astrologers. Hebrew. "ashshaphim = in Babylonian, asipi, prophets who assumed to announce the will of heaven and predict the future. These were a class apart from the others. The inscriptions speak of bab - 4ssaput = the gate of the oracle; also of bit Assaput = the house of the oracle.
Chaldeans. Hebrew. Kasdim. See note on Daniel 1:4.
in Syriack. Hebrew. "aramith = Aramaic. The insertion of this word here is to call our attention to the fact that what follows is written not in Hebrew, but in Aramaic, as far as the end of Dan 7. See note on the Structure, p. 1178; and note the other Aramaic portions (Ezra 4:8, Ezra 6:18 with Ezra 7:12-26; also Jeremiah 10:11. The Syriac and Chaldee are properly Western and Eastern Aramaic.
rewards. Chaldee. nebizbah = a present.
gain the time = gain time. It may have reference to that day being an unlucky day. Compare Esther 3:7.
earth. Chaldee. beshta" = dry ground.
not. Is emphatic. They held that there were gods who dwelt in men. But these were beyond mortal men altogether .
wise men: i.e. the members of all the classes collectively, mentioned in Daniel 2:2 above. Chaldee. chakam, denoting acquired wisdom.
counsel and wisdom = prudence and discretion.
Arioch. An ancient Babylonian name, preserved and handed down from Genesis 14:1 = Iri-Aku.
Belteshazzar. See note on Daniel 1:7.
head. Note the five parts: (1) the head; (2) the breast and arms; (3) the belly and the thighs; (4) the legs; (5) the feet. These five are preserved distinct throughout. Compare: Daniel 2:34-35, and Daniel 2:38-44, and Daniel 2:45.
gold . . . clay (Daniel 2:33). Note that the most precious metal, and the highest specific gravity was at the top, decreasing with its descent: (1) gold = Daniel 19:3; (2) silver = Daniel 10:51; (3) brass = Daniel 8:5; (4) iron = Daniel 7:6; (5) clay = Daniel 1:9, so that it was top-heavy from the first.
a stone. See note on Psalms 118:22.
without hands. An expression always emphasizing the absence of all human instrumentality and the act of God alone. See Daniel 2:45; Daniel 8:25. Job 34:20. Lamentations 4:6. Compare Acts 7:48; Acts 17:24, Acts 17:25; Acts 19:26. 2 Corinthians 5:1. Ephesians 2:11. Colossians 2:11. Hebrews 9:11, Hebrews 9:21.
feet: i.e. the fifth kingdom. Not the fourth, which was represented by the "legs of iron".
brake them to pieces: or, they were beaten small.
iron, the clay, &c. Note the order differently given to distinguish the five (not the four), answering to the five parts of the image in Daniel 2:32, and the five kingdoms, verses:
together. As united at the time of the end (forming the sixth power), the kingdom of the "Beast" (Rev 13).
wind. Hebrew. ruach. App-9.
filled the whole earth. Thus marking the seventh kingdom, that of Messiah.
a kingdom. The O.T. is not designed to be a compendium of "ancient history". It is the history of Jehovah"s People, Israel; and other nations are referred to only as, and in so far as, they come into connection with Israel. Babylon was the most ancient of kingdoms (Genesis 10:10). Compare Deuteronomy 32:8. Nebuchadnezzar was not the first king; but he was the "head" or beginning of Gentile dominion in the earth when Israel had been "removed" (according to Jeremiah 15:4; Jeremiah 24:9; Jeremiah 29:18). These successive kingdoms are reckoned only as they obtained possession of Jerusalem. They existed before that; and each, in turn, was absorbed in the one that succeeded.
head: i.e. the first of these five kingdoms, not the first king of Babylon. See note on Daniel 2:37.
of. Genitive of Material. App-17.
another. The kingdom of Medo-Persia, which succeeded Babylon by occupying Jerusalem (2 Chronicles 36:22).
inferior. As silver is inferior to gold, in value and in specific gravity (see note on Daniel 2:32) so the second kingdom was inferior to the first. The successive kingdoms are marked by evolution (or rather, devolution). In the first (Babylon) the king possessed absolute power ("whom he would he slew", &c, Daniel 5:19); the second [Medo-Persian] was a government by law which was superior to the king (Daniel 6:1, Daniel 6:14, &c).
third kingdom. This again was "inferior", as being less despotic.
the fourth: i.e. Rome (Luke 2 and Luke 3). Observe that it does not say there were "four, and no more", as alleged; but "the fourth". An ordinal number, not cardinal. The Chaldee is rebi aya" (text), or rebi a"ah (margin) = fourth, as in Daniel 3:25; Daniel 7:7, Daniel 7:19, Daniel 7:23. Not "arba", which = four. The fifth is revealed in verses: Daniel 2:41-43. The power which was to succeed Rome in the possession of Jerusalem was to be the Mohammedan power, which was still future when our Lord referred to it in Luke 21:24; but the Lord does not name it, because the condition of Acts 3:18-26 could not be anticipated, assumed, or forestalled.
strong = hard. This was the character of Rome, both royal, imperial, and republican.
And whereas, &c. The fifth power is now to be described (the "feet and toes"). It came into possession of Jerusalem in A.D. 636 (Rome having held the city for 666 years: namely, from the battle of Actium 31 B.C. - A.D. 636). Its character as described in Daniel 2:41 is exact; and, as represented by the "feet", Jerusalem has indeed been "trodden down" (Luke 21:24) as was never done by any of the other four powers.
miry = muddy. Chaldee. tin. Same as Hebrew. tit. Occurances in 2 Samuel 22:43. Job 41:30 (Hebrew, verse 22). Psalms 18:42 (Hebrew, verse 43); Psalm 40:2 (Hebrew, verse 3); Psalm 69:14 (Hebrew, verse 15). Isaiah 41:25; Isaiah 57:20. Jeremiah 38:6. Micah 7:10. Nahum 3:14. Zechariah 9:3; Zechariah 10:5. Not the same as that rendered "broken" (= brittle), Daniel 2:42, as stated by some commentators.
partly broken = part [of it shall be] broken.
broken = fragile, easily broken. Chaldee. tebar. Occurs only here.
these kings. Represented by the ten toes: i.e. in their days, at the end of the time of the fifth power. Compare Revelation 17:12-18. That is the moment of the great stone, and of the coming of Messiah.
is = He [is].