BOOK OF DANIEL – Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream Revealed

Posted by on May 1, 2018 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on BOOK OF DANIEL – Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream Revealed

Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream Revealed

Now we come to the contents of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. It is all laid out for us in Daniel 2:31-35, “You, O king, were looking and behold, there was a single great statue; that statue, which was large and of extraordinary splendor, was standing in front of you, and its appearance was awesome. The head of that statue was made of fine gold, its breast and its arms of silver, its belly and its thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. You continued looking until a stone was cut out without hands, and it struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and crushed them. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were crushed all at the same time and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away so that not a trace of them was found. But the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.” (NASB) As we break this passage down, it is no wonder why Nebuchadnezzar became fearful of the dream that he had, so much so it troubled his spirit and his sleep left him. Now we are going to explain why he was so frightened by the dream.

In the original text, the word “statue” mentioned in verse thirty-one is the correctly rendered image. This should not be considered an idol but rather the image referred to as a statue, as will become apparent. It was this statue that wasn’t simply awesome, as the NASB and other translations describe it. Rather, as the original text states, it was terrifying in its appearance. One can imagine as Daniel is standing before Nebuchadnezzar revealing the dream that the king is, at first, pleased that what Daniel is revealing is what he actually saw in the dream. Finally, he must have thought, someone is telling me what I dreamed. That someone was, of course, God, by means of Daniel as His messenger, which we will see, Nebuchadnezzar acknowledges. His excitement, however, would have been momentary, for as soon as Daniel gets into the details of the dream that same fear that the king experienced, which took away his ability to sleep, is suddenly staring back at him. That is why we see the phrase “was standing in front of him”. This image in the form of a statue was now right in front of Nebuchadnezzar, in his mind’s eye, squarely facing him with the same trepidation that he had experienced when he dreamed it. Just as we have a dream that may trouble us to the point of waking in a cold sweat, so too Nebuchadnezzar was again experiencing the same, or similar tensions. At the same time, we read that the statue was large and of extraordinary splendor. Evidently, despite being fearful of the image, Nebuchadnezzar was transfixed. He couldn’t take his eyes off the image. Yet, at the same time, he struggled to control his fear. This statue was huge. We are not told how big it was but we may have a clue later, which we should err on caution rather than fact. Its splendor was in its appearance. Again, the original text used is the Hebrew/Aramaic word ziv which is probably a loan word from the Assyrian zîmu meaning either splendor or brightness. In other words what Nebuchadnezzar saw staring him straight back in his face was a huge statue that shone with an intense brightness. He viewed its size and splendor close up rather than from a distance which only added to his fear. Given the description of the statue, there had to be something else that caused Nebuchadnezzar to be so frightened.  What was it that was so frightening? The answer is in verse thirty-two. Daniel describes the details of the statue that has a head made of fine gold, its breast and its arms of silver, its belly and its thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. Evidently, Nebuchadnezzar was educated enough to realize there was a major flaw in the construction of this statue so close to him. That flaw was the arrangement of materials or, rather, what is known as the specific gravity of an object or material. Gold has a specific gravity of 19, silver is lower with 11, bronze is approximately 8.5, while iron is around 7.5. Clay, however, is only 2.6. What Nebuchadnezzar recognized by all these values was that the statue was in imminent danger of collapse. It was top heavy.

Daniel then tells Nebuchadnezzar what he was doing in his dream. He tells the king that he continued to look at the statue until a stone was cut out without hands, and it struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and crushed them. Take note that this stone that destroys the statue is not cut by any hands and where it strikes the image. That is significant, as we will see shortly. By this point, you can imagine Nebuchadnezzar’s heart racing in his sleep seeing that the statue is felled at its weakest point. As a result, all of the parts of this statue are completely obliterated with no trace. Only the stone remains, but it doesn’t stay a mere stone but becomes a great mountain that fills the whole earth.

After those final scenes in his sleep, it is not hard to see Nebuchadnezzar waking in a panic. The image of the statue being destroyed moments after he took his eye off its image would be enough to startle him. As he laid in his bed after his dream the fear turned to confusion as to what the stone was and how it could suddenly be transformed into a whole mountain that filled the entire earth. No wonder the guy couldn’t sleep after all of that. As the then world ruler he wanted answers and fast. He needed the logical reasons for the puzzle he saw. And Daniel was ready to tell him.