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Bible study notes: Daniel Chapter 2

Daniel Chapter 2

2:31-35 Daniel Recounts Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream

The stone was cut with no human hands points to divine activity.

The image of chaff being swept away by the wind is a familiar one in the OT.   This metaphor shows the ease with which God can sweep away humans and their achievements. In this dream, the heavy statue that seems impressive and immovable is suddenly reduced into chaff that is easily blown away (then replaced by the permanent mountain). This transformation dramatically underscores God’s almighty power to achieve his purposes despite the apparent power and might wielded by humans.

The fact that the stone becomes a mountain is significant. The stone enters the dream as a rock and then grows into a mountain, picturing the Messiah’s first advent, then the growth of his kingdom throughout this world.

Daniel Explains the Image Made of Four Metals (2:36–43)

The Roman View on the Identity of the Kingdoms in Daniel:

Gold - Babylonian Empire

Silver - Persian Empire

Bronze - Greek Kingdom

Iron - Roman Kingdom

Mountain - Christ's Kingdom


 As important as the four kingdoms are for the interpretation of the statue, the focus of the vision is not on the statue itself and the kingdoms it represents, but on the stone and the kingdom it represents.


Daniel Explains the Establishment of the Kingdom of God (2:44–45)

This “stone” is the Messiah, who has divine origins and is himself divine (“whose origins are from of old, from days of eternity,” Micah 5:2).

That those who become part of God’s kingdom, established by the stone, become part of the growing stone itself is like the NT depiction of the church as the living and growing body of Christ (Rom 12:4–5; 1 Cor 12:12–27; Col 2:19)

Jesus identifies Himself at this crushing rock, linking Dan 2:34, 44–45 with Is 8:14–15; 28:16; and Ps 118:22:

As He looked at them He said, “What, then, is this that is written: ‘The stone that the builders rejected, it has become the head of the corner’? Everyone who falls on that stone will be crushed, but the person on whom it falls will be crushed.” (Lk 20:17–18; cf. Mt 21:42–44)

Nebuchadnezzar’s Response to Daniel (2:46–47)

Nebuchadnezzar’s reaction to Daniel’s explanation is to worship Daniel himself as the representative of his God.

Daniel and His Friends Appointed to Positions of Authority in Babylon (2:48–49)

The parallels between Daniel and Joseph have been noted by many.  Daniel’s situation is different, however, in that he is not the sole Judean in Nebuchadnezzar’s court. Daniel not only remembers his companions, but he sees that they too are promoted.

However, his companions are appointed “over the service of the province of Babylon”, while Daniel remains “in the royal court”; That notice ties the narrative of chapter 2 with the following narrative in chapter 3. There, when the provincial officials are gathered for the dedication of Nebuchadnezzar’s statue, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego are among them, since they are serving in the province, whereas Daniel is not, because he serves in the royal court.