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Nebuchadnezzar's dream and Daniel's vision

Illustrations of Nebuchadnezzar's dream of a statue and Daniel’s vision of four beasts emerging from the sea.
Contributed by Rev. Yves Langevin
When King Nebuchadnezzar had a disturbing dream that he could not remember, God helped Daniel recount it. ‘O king, you saw a huge statue of a man, shining brilliantly. – Slide 1
‘The head of the statue was made of purest gold, its chest and arms were of silver, its belly and thighs of brass, its legs of iron, its feet part iron and part clay. – Slide 2
‘But as you watched, a Rock was cut from the mountainside by supernatural means. It came hurtling toward the statue and crushed the feet of iron and clay, smashing them to bits. – Slide 3
‘Then the whole statue collapsed and was crushed as small as chaff that the wind blew away. The Rock then became a great mountain that covered the whole earth.’ – Slide 4
Daniel explained the meaning of the King’s dream. ‘After your Babylonian kingdom has come to an end, another world power will arise to take your place. This empire will be inferior to yours. And after that kingdom has fallen, yet a third great power -represented by the bronze belly of the statue - will rise to rule the world. – Slide 5
‘Following it, the fourth kingdom will be strong as iron—smashing, bruising, and conquering. The feet and toes you saw—part iron and part clay—show that later on, this kingdom will be divided. Some parts of it will be as strong as iron, and some as weak as clay. These kingdoms will try to strengthen themselves by forming alliances with each other through the intermarriage of their rulers; but this will not succeed, for iron and clay don’t mix.’ (Many believe the dream was prophesying about the Persian, Greek and Roman empires that followed the Babylonian empire.) – Slide 6
Many years later, during the first year of Belshazzar’s reign over the Babylonians, Daniel had a dream. He saw a great storm on a mighty ocean, with strong winds blowing from every direction. Then four huge animals came up out of the water, each different from the other. The first was like a lion, but it had eagle’s wings! – Slide 7
As Daniel watched, its wings were pulled off so that it could no longer fly, and it was left standing on the ground, on two feet, like a man, and a man’s mind was given to it. – Slide 8
When Daniel asked what the dream meant, the reply was, ‘These four huge animals represent four kings who will someday rule the earth. (Most believe this first beast, the winged lion, represents the Babylonian empire). – Slide 9
The second animal looked like a bear with its paw raised, ready to strike. It held three ribs between its teeth. – Slide 10
Daniel heard a voice saying to it, ‘Get up! Devour many people!’ – Slide 11
(Most believe this bear represented the empire of the Medes and Persians that later overcame the Babylonian empire). – Slide 12
The third of these strange animals looked like a leopard, but on its back it had wings like those of birds, and it had four heads! – Slide 13
And great power was given to it over all mankind. – Slide 14
(Most interpret this beast as being the Greek empire that succeeded the empire of the Medes and Persians). – Slide 15
Then, the fourth animal rose up out of the ocean, too dreadful to describe and incredibly strong. It devoured some of its victims by tearing them apart with its huge iron teeth, and others it crushed beneath its feet. It was far more brutal and vicious than any of the other animals, and it had ten horns. – Slide 16
As Daniel was looking at the horns, suddenly another small horn appeared among them, uprooting three of the existing horns. This little horn had a man’s eyes and a bragging mouth. Then the Ancient of Days—the Almighty God—sat down to judge and the fourth beast was killed. The ‘Ancient of Days’ was given the power to rule over all the nations of the world, so that everyone obeyed Him. His power is eternal and His government shall never fall. – Slide 17
Many believe this last terrible beast represents the Roman empire. Daniel’s visions show that one day all the arrogant empires that have ruled the world will be finished and the Most High God and His people shall rule the world forever. – Slide 18
Slide 19