Daniel Chapter 2 — Overview

(Photo: John Snyder/Wikimedia Commons)

The book of Daniel was sealed until the time of the end (Dan. 12:4); therefore it could not be properly understood until now; and interpretations given while the book was sealed have sometimes remained as mainstream teaching and understanding, which works to close our own minds from considering the current light in which we live in history and prophecy. I believe that Yeshua the Messiah gave us a key sign to mark this last generation with the return of the Jewish people to reestablish national Israel in its own land (the fig tree blossoming). (Matt. 24:32-35)

If we persist in accepting some old teachings about what Yeshua and the apostles speak to us as being future, but we continue to say that they were already fulfilled, then we do the same things that the Jewish rabbis have done in saying, for example, that the young woman who gave birth to a male child, whose name would be Immanuel, was only fulfilled in the time of Isaiah the Prophet and King Ahaz of Judah, and that the prophecy does not speak at all of the birth of Yeshua, who actually is “God with us”, who was born much later, about 700 years later. (Isa. 7:10-17Matt. 1:18-25) Or, we learn and accept that God has finished with Israel as a nation in its promised land since the time of the destruction of the second Temple, but we have not also seen that the grace and wisdom of God speaks of the restoration of the Jewish people in the covenanted land in the latter days, and the ultimate restoration of the Kingdom of YHVH God to Israel. We can deny prophecy unfolding right before our very eyes! EVERY jot and tittle of the Law and the Prophets must be fulfilled.

Once we see what is now open and revealed, it also helps us to understand other passages of Scripture and prophecies, and gives more understanding. The Holy Spirit leads us into all truth. None of us has all of the truth, and the part that we do have we do not see perfectly. But truth contributes to truth and builds our faith in the Word of God as being accurate and relevant in our own generation, in these end-times of the last days.

Chapter 2 of the Book of Daniel is interesting in that it begins in Hebrew, and then goes into Aramaic from the second part of verse 4 onward, all the way through Chapter 7. Hebrew is the language of the Jews, of Israel; Aramaic was the governmental and commercial language of the Middle East, at least from the time of the Assyrian Empire, and was originally the language of the Arameans, located in today’s Syria (Gen. 31:472 Kings 18:26-28Isa. 36:11-13) The Israelis learned Aramaic in the dispersion. It was still being used in Israel in the days of Yeshua, even though Greek had become the educated “street language”, although I believe that Hebrew was the local language of the Jews.
https://www.streamsinthenegev.com/latest-news/hebrew-the-primary-language-of-jesus-in-israel-in-his-day-2-june-2014/ ) (Neh. 13:23-24)

The Gentile world during Yeshua’s first advent had already heard about the true God in Aramaic through the testimony of the Book of Daniel through the kings and rulers of the Assyrian, Babylonian, and the Medes and Persian empires. The Israelis and Jews were there! Both Aramaic and Greek were displaced by the Arabic language in the Middle East with the conquest of Islam in the 7th Century AD. (Chronicles of the End Times, Ch 9, Mark Davidson)

Another very interesting factor regarding Daniel chapters 2 – 7 being written in Aramaic for spreading the knowledge of the true God among the Gentile rulers, and of the future progress of history leading up to the everlasting Kingdom of YHVH, God of Israel, is that this was in the Middle East – in the center of the habitable world – and was sent out about 500 BC, sometime after Daniel’s death. If we believe the Biblical chronology from Adam to Yeshua being about 4000 years, and we believe that the 1000-yr Kingdom (Millennium) is coming rather soon, then the book was ‘published’ right in the middle of human history: about 3500 years after Adam, and 3500 years from the end of the Millennial Kingdom, which is the end of this Creation’s history. (Chronicles of the End Times, p. 57, Mark Davidson) The living God of Heaven and Earth was making Himself known as the God of Daniel, the exiled and captive Jew, and that He was all-knowing, all-powerful, and sovereign over all the kingdoms in the world that He created and made.

What we learn of world history can affect our understanding of Bible prophecy. Let us always remember: the “world”, under the influence of the deceiving and lying Devil, does not want us to know the truth about history; and, in fact, the “human world” does not want to know that truth, but has preferred the lies of Satan and his angels. (John 3:19Matt. 25:41) The Bible gives us details which challenge the assumptions of the world – including in Gen 1 – 12 — and even of godly men and women who are also influenced by what they learn in school. As an example, I grew up learning that there are three monotheistic religions, all worshipping the same one God. This is not true. It might be true that Judaism, Christianity, and Islam claim that there is only one God, but they do not agree on WHO this true God is, or what He is like. (Jam. 2:19Is 45Phlp. 2:5-11) In History classes, we learned much about the bad things that the Jews and Christians have done in history, but we learned little about the evils of Islam.

A big question that requires an answer in our study of Daniel is whether the Fourth Kingdom in Ch 2 and the Fourth Beast in Ch 7 are speaking of Rome, or are they speaking about Islam. If the book is open in our days, and we are living in the time of the end, then the prophecies should be saying something to us today that makes sense as we understand the times in which we live. I believe that we are living in the end-times, that the Book of Daniel is now open to be read and understood more, and that it is very relevant in our days as it looks to the coming of the Son of Man from Heaven to establish God’s righteous Kingdom on Earth, along with the saints who believe that Yeshua/Jesus is the Son of God and the Son of Man. (Dan. 2:44-457:11-27Rev. 20:4-6Isa. 2:1-4Mic. 4:1-3) It is my prayer that our study of this book will strengthen your faith in this truth.

(I want to acknowledge that I owe much to the books and internet blogs of Joel Richardson, Mark Davidson, and Nelson Walters for strengthening my own faith and knowledge in the details and relevance of the Book of Daniel. I may not be settled in all of the details and conclusions that each of them holds at this point, but I am very confident that they are on the right track to help the Body of Christ/Messiah be aware and better prepared for what to expect leading up to the return of the Lord.)

Nebuchadnezzar knew what he had dreamed of the “image”; he was just so shaken up by the dream he had to make absolutely sure he had the true interpretation. This is why he needed someone to reveal to him what was in his mind about the dream. That way he would also learn for sure what the dream meant.

Nebuchadnezzar is called “the wicked man” in the Talmud. The Holy Scriptures confirm his greatness and cruelty, but also tell us that he became a servant of God, and how that came about. It was a process, just like for each of us who have finally repented and believed the gospel.

Daniel 2 gives us an overview of Middle Eastern and world history since Daniel’s time. We, as believers, are seated with Messiah in the heavenlies, and “look down” upon the historical progression of God’s prophetic word.

Daniel 2 features the King Nebuchadnezzar, the strongest and most feared ruler in his day, to whom the God of Israel was going to display that He alone is the Sovereign King in Heaven, and on Earth, and His Kingdom is from everlasting to everlasting — not like the kings and kingdoms of this world. Nebuchadnezzar became king of Babylon in 604 B.C., before Babylon became a kingdom. He is mentioned more than ninety times in the Old Testament. He certainly was a cruel and wicked tyrant. Yet, Daniel served this king, in the fear of YHVH, and gained the respect of this tyrant because Daniel honored the king, but was not terrified by him, nor did he love his own life more than he feared and loved His God, the God of Israel. (1 Peter 2:17Rev. 12:112:10-11) We also see the grace of the LORD in that he turned this “wicked one” into a true servant of God, the same term He also called Abraham, Job, Jacob, Moses, David, Jesus, and others. No one is beyond the reach of the living God for repentance unto salvation! Even Saul, who is called Paul; even you and me.

This article originally appeared on Streams in the Negev, March 15, 2020, and reposted with permission.