Countdown to the End of the World in Daniel 2: A Clear Indictment Against Prophecy Speculations
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The countdown of end-of-the-world events in the second chapter of the book of Daniel is one of the most significant prophecies in the Bible. What is remarkable about this prophecy is not only that it covers a series of events from the day of Nebuchadnezzar to the end of the world, but it also demonstrates in the simplest of ways how Bible predictions with symbols are is to be explained.
The circumstances surrounding Daniel’s landmark end-time prediction provides a lesson in the importance of avoiding private interpretation. The whole thing started with Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon having this dream and didn’t remember what he dreamed. Before the intervention of Daniel was sought, the wise men of Babylon were summoned by Nebuchadnezzar to tell him what he dreamed and to give him the interpretation thereof.
Nebuchadnezzar’s unreasonable request is God’s opportunity
This request seems to be grossly unreasonable on the part of the king of Babylon. It is one thing to be asked to interpret a dream somebody tells you, but it’s another thing for you to be asked to tell what the dream is without being told the dream! However, when you examine this story from another perspective you will see where these wise men claimed to have the ability to give interpretation to any dream that the king tells them. They were able to give their “expert interpretation” to a dream in such a professional manner that caused the king to repose confidence in them.
Therefore, what the king is doing is merely to demonstrate his confidence in his counselors’ ability to explain mysteries. But in the providence of God, this situation was to prove that what these “interpreters of dreams” have been doing all along was to concoct and conjecture some fanciful explanation that the king wants to hear. In other word, they were feeding him with their own private interpretations from the start. And to be fair to these wise men, they couldn’t have done any better. Request personal prophetic word They were being paid to do this job, and to tell the king the truth that they don’t have a clue about his dreams is to put themselves in danger of being executed.
Prophecy comes only by divine revelations
The Bible clearly teaches that “no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation” (2Pet. 1:20) and that “interpretations belong to God” (Gen. 40:8). Therefore, we are not supposed to know what an interpretation of a prophecy is unless we are so instructed by the Holy Scriptures. It is upon this observation that the prophet Daniel, when informed about the counselors’ dilemma, went to God in prayer to have Him reveal the kings’ dream and explain its meaning.
This is how every Bible student should approach the word of God in their study of end-of-the-world events. Too often we see a great deal of speculations that confuse rather than enlighten. We have seen many instances where big name theologians abuse the word of God by too much hermeneutics and theological gymnastics instead of accepting the simple communication of divine revelation.
Daniel declared the real Source of his revelations
When Daniel received the solution from the Lord it turns out to be a countdown of events from his time to the end of the world. Before he even began the tell Nebuchadnezzar what the he was shown, he made it very clear that he cannot reveal the king’s dream by any ability of his own. He further told the king that what he is about to make known came to him through revelation by the God of heaven. And so the prophet proceeded to give a countdown of what God revealed to him in vision concerning the king’s dream.
Standing before the Babylonian monarch, Daniel confidently declared that what he saw in his dream was a great image with a head of gold, the breast and arm of silver, belly and thigh of brass, legs of iron, and the feet and toes are part of iron and part of clay. The prophet continued by saying that as the king was beholding this scene a stone was cut out of the mountain and smote the image at the feet and break it in pieces. In giving the interpretation to this dream, the first thing that Daniel told the king of Babylon is that he is that head of gold that he saw on the image.
Daniel explained the meaning of the king’s dream
Since the head of gold represents the king of Babylon, it, therefore, means that each of the other metals seen on this image represents the rise of a king or set of kings. Here is the outline below:
Head of Gold – King of Babylon
Breast and Arms of Silver – Kings of the Medes and Persians
Belly and Thigh of Brass – King of Greece
Legs of Iron – King of Rome
Feet of Iron and clay – Ten Kings in a divided Roman kingdom
Stone cut out of the mountains – God shall set up His kingdom
Prophecy was fulfilled to the highest degree of accuracy
The countdown to the end of the world in the prophecy of Daniel chapter 2 is very easy to figure out not because we are familiar with the historical developments but because God has provided the answer. The solution that the Bible provides to any prophecy is the most important factor in determining the accuracy of your conclusion. History is there to demonstrate the level of precision with which the utterances of Daniel was fulfilled and gives us the assurance that what we accept as God’s answer is bang on target.