Head of Gold

Daniel 2:36-43

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“This was the dream, and now we will interpret it to the king” is how Daniel begins his explanation.  He is off to a great start, but did you catch that one incredibly significant two letter word?  Its “we”, now “we” will interpret it to the king.  Remember Daniel could not do this apart from God, you cannot interpret a “God Dream” without God.

Next Daniel gives credit to God because it was God who made this monarch mighty.  “The God of heaven” has given you dominion.  God allowed Neb to dominate his chosen people.  He has given the king the authority to rule over his people.  God gave the king dominion, power and might and glory.  In his hands God placed “ALL” mankind, the animals, and the birds. 

Then he begins to drop the bomb.  Daniel gets to the dream and he tells the king that he is the head.  He is the head of gold.  He is the head, he has all dominion, power, might and glory.  God told Neb that he was the king of kings.  King of kings is the title God gave king Neb.

God gave king Neb the ability to completely dominate the entire earth, he had full rights to the earth to rule it however he wanted.  In his hands he was given “ALL” mankind.  Isn’t that interesting?  God gave him full authority.  Does that sound familiar?  Can anyone relate to the king here?  Who else does God give full authority to?

Babylonian reign lasted for 70 years, just as Jeremiah prophesied, this is significant in that it is the number of years God wanted to judge Israel.  The number 70 represents both judgement and perfect spiritual order. 

Nebs place in this vision is the head of the statue.  The head is the only part of the statue that represents a person, a monarch.  The other four sections represent kingdoms.  The head is a king and then after that it transfers to kingdoms.

Gold is used to represent the Babylonian empire; it was used in this dream and it was used heavily in the actual kingdom.  A few historians recorded:  An abundance of gold was used in embellishing Babylon. Herodotus describes in lavish terms how gold sparkled in the sacred temples of the city. The image of the god, the throne on which he sat, and the table and the altar were made of gold (Herodotus i. 181, 183; iii 1-7). The prophet Jeremiah compares Babylon to a golden cup (Jeremiah 51:7). Pliny describes the robes of priests as interlaced with gold…. Nebuchadnezzar was outstanding among the kings of antiquity. He left to his successors a great and prosperous kingdom.

All through out the city you could see gold elaborately used to decorate the city.  Walls were carved into shapes of animals like lions and dragons and lined with gold.  God chose gold to represent Neb and it was manifested in real life all through his kingdom.  This era is known in the history books as the “golden age” for Babylon and only lasting 70 years.

Read vs. 39-43

Daniel goes on vs. 39 saying, “another kingdom will arise, inferior to yours.”  This is the chest and arms of the statue and is made from silver.  This kingdom is the Medo-Persian empire and succeeds Babylon.  Looking at the statue you will notice that it is represented on the body as arms and chest.  Two arms and two breast which show us that this empire was divided and led by two kingdoms, the Medes and the Persians. 

Nebs empire was completely unified, he was a true monarch, the Medo-Persian empire is divided.  Silver represents the Medo-Persian empire, this kingdom taxed their citizens greatly and required them to pay with silver.  Collecting and storing vast amounts of silver lead to impressive inheritance for future kings.  This kingdom ruled for about 200 years when the third kingdom comes onto the scene. 

The kingdom that is represented by bronze and is the belly and thighs on the statue is, drum roll, Greece.  The belly and thighs represent Greece and is made of bronze.  Bronze is not as valuable as Silver, but it is stronger than silver.  The Greek military must have been an amazing force, after all they overtook the Medes and Persians, knocked them right off their throne. 

And just like the other two kingdoms were represented by a specific metal in life and in the vision, bronze was heavily used in the Greek empire.  Alexander the Great clearly used bronze as a symbol of power.  His soldiers wore helmets made of bronze, their breastplates and shields were made of bronze, even their swords were made of bronze.  They were known as the “brazen-coated” Greeks.

Notice that this empire also splits into two, two thighs, and later would be divided further into four.  Alexander the Great was considered one of the most successful military commanders in history.  Often, he was outnumbered but he never lost a battle.  When Alexander died, by the age of 30, his empire was not passed onto his children.  Instead, just as prophesies indicated the kingdom was divided up into four separate kingdoms.  The Greek empire lasted a little under 200 years, when the fourth and final empire represented in this statue comes out of know where and rules the world. 

The fourth kingdom, this kingdom is as strong as iron, because iron smashes and breaks things to pieces.  This nation will crush and break all the others (vs 41).  This kingdom is Rome.  Rome is represented with iron, which is the strongest metal listed, and Rome was the strongest empire the world has known.  That’s pretty much how the Romans ruled, they would crush and demolish, they would crush any resistance with an iron heal.

Rome like the silver and bronze sections is also divided.  it is represented by two legs, two feet but then it separates even further into 10 toes.  

The Roman empire lasted about 500 years in the West and lasted until around 1453 A.D. in the East side.  The two legs are the Eastern and Western empires.  The feet branch out into 10 toes.  The feet are strong because they have iron, but they are also made of clay.  This kingdom will be partly strong and partly brittle, the people will be a mixture and will not remain united (vs. 42-43).

The lack of unity causes the empire to break apart into 10 different kingdoms. Ten toes and ten kings.  This is also mentioned in Rev. 17.  Some of the kingdoms will be weak and others will be strong.  It seems that these ten kingdoms haven’t yet “officially” been named.  There are many different opinions on where they originate from and who they are. 

The most logical explanation, for me anyway, is that they are yet to come.  They will most likely be a revived Roman empire, not a separate fifth empire.  Because the description for the toes are the same as the legs, iron, and clay.  This “revived” Roman empire will be led by the antichrist. According to Rev. 17 the antichrist will lead a coalition of ten nations (ten toes).

Since this may affect us, our reality, we need to be on the lookout.  Once the ten nation confederacy forms and the antichrist has officially pulled the world together that is when the “rock” will cause it to all crash down.

Verses 31-35 Tell us what the vision was.  Verses 36-43 give us the interpretation of the symbols and what they represent, it gives us a good foundation of how important the details of dreams are.  Next week we will talk about the meaning of the rock and what that part of the dream represents.

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