THE GOD OF HEAVEN SPOKE THROUGH A DREAM CONCERNING THE FUTURE …
(Based on Daniel 1-2, New International Version and BibleGateway.com)
A summary of Part 1: The head of gold …
To understand what God has planned for our future, we need to study prophecy that has been fulfilled in the past.
Daniel’s life experience as a captive in Babylon for 70 years, shows that Almighty God doesn’t leave us in the dark concerning His overall plans for the future. So let’s go back to “the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah” for insight from Daniel concerning a very tense situation:
“And the Lord delivered Jehoiakim king of Judah into [Nebuchadnezzar’s] hand, along with some of the articles from the temple of God. These he carried off to the temple of his god in Babylonia and put in the treasure house of his god.”
Daniel was a member of the royal family of Judah, chosen for service to the king of Babylon because of his handsome appearance, his aptitude for learning, and his ability to quickly grasp information. He went through three years of Babylonian training, plus “God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning, and Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds.”
In the second year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, when the king was unable to sleep, he called upon Daniel to interpret the dream that was troubling his mind.
Daniel explained the meaning of the prophecy concerning the statue’s golden head …
“Your Majesty, you are the king of kings. The God of heaven has given you dominion and power and might and glory; 38 in your hands he has placed all mankind and the beasts of the field and the birds in the sky.Wherever they live, he has made you ruler over them all. You are that head of gold.” (Daniel 2:37-38)
Follow this link for historical insight on Nebuchadnezzar and the statue’s head of gold: https://prophecyconnections.wordpress.com/2015/10/20/dreams-visions-and-such-part-1-the-golden-head/
Daniel continued his prophecy …
“After you, another kingdom will arise, inferior to yours.” (Daniel 2:39)
Daniel didn’t say much about this second kingdom, but in retrospect, history has A LOT to say …
SOME HISTORICAL INSIGHT …
After the Babylonian “head of gold” came the Persian empire. The Persians under their various kings, including Cyrus (who allowed the people of Judah to return to Jerusalem in the time of Ezra and Nehemiah) swept away the Babylonian empire in 536 B.C. They are the “chest and arms of silver.” — Wayne Blank (http://www.keyway.ca)
John F. Walvoord adds details about the combined Medo-Persian Empire:
Toward the end of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, the Persians began to become a powerful force and under Cyrus II Media was conquered in 549 b.c. and was combined with the empire of the Persians to form Medo-Persia. The combined strength of the Persians and the Medes led to conquest of Babylon in 539 b.c., with the resulting extension of their empire over much of the Middle East.” (Source: https://bible.org/seriespage/6-medes-and-persians)
As we can see, scholars don’t always agree on specific historical dates for the rise and fall of kingdoms, BUT the fact remains that a combined kingdom of lesser strength — represented by the silver arms of the statue — conquered the once mighty Babylon!
The Medes are first mentioned in Scripture by Isaiah:
Behold, I [the Lord God] will stir up the Medes against them [the Babylonians] (Isaiah 13:17) … And Babylon, the glory of the kingdoms … shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. (Isaiah 13:19)
The Lord God also spoke through the prophet Jeremiah concerning the destruction of Babylon:
Make bright the arrows; gather the shields: the Lord hath raised up the spirit of the kings of the Medes: for his device is against Babylon, to destroy it; because it is the vengeance of the Lord, the vengeance of his temple. (Jeremiah 51:11)
God used the Babylonians to punish the Jews for their “stiff-necked” stubbornness in refusing to listen to the prophets he sent to warn them of impending judgment. The kingdom of Babylon took dominion over Jerusalem away from those for whom it was intended — the descendants of Abraham through his grandson Jacob (a.k.a. Israel).
God used the Medo-Persian kingdom to restore Jerusalem to the Jews.
But that renewed ownership was temporary.
COMING NEXT … PART 3: THE BELLY AND THIGHS OF BRONZE