What does Daniel 2:35 mean?
ESV: Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold, all together were broken in pieces, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, so that not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.
NIV: Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were all broken to pieces and became like chaff on a threshing floor in the summer. The wind swept them away without leaving a trace. But the rock that struck the statue became a huge mountain and filled the whole earth.
NASB: Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed to pieces all at the same time, and they were like chaff from the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away so that not a trace of them was found. But the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the entire earth.
CSB: Then the iron, the fired clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were shattered and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors. The wind carried them away, and not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.
NLT: The whole statue was crushed into small pieces of iron, clay, bronze, silver, and gold. Then the wind blew them away without a trace, like chaff on a threshing floor. But the rock that knocked the statue down became a great mountain that covered the whole earth.
KJV: Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.
Verse Commentary:
In Nebuchadnezzar's dream (Daniel 2:1–3), the mysterious stone strikes the feet of the multi-part statue (Daniel 2:31–34). The top of the statue is made of heavier metals than the base, which is partly made from clay. When the stone impacts the feet, they shatter. The entire statue collapses and breaks into many pieces. In fact, it disintegrates into powder: the remains are so fine they blow away like dust particles. This is described as "chaff," the light waste separated from edible grain during harvest. The total annihilation of the statue recalls what remained after Moses burned the golden calf that the Israelites worshiped (Exodus 32:20).

As for the stone not made by human hands (Daniel 2:34), it grew to massive size, like a mountain covering the entire world.

As Daniel will explain (Daniel 2:36), the various parts of the statue represent successive world-dominating kingdoms in history, starting with Babylon. The stone represents Jesus Christ and His kingdom (Daniel 2:44).
Verse Context:
Daniel 2:31–45 provides both the content and the interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar's troubling dream (Daniel 2:1–3). The dream describes what is sometimes called "the latter days" or "the times of the Gentiles." This is part of a section of the book of Daniel recorded in Aramaic (Daniel 2:4—7:28), the common language of Babylon at the time. The image seen in the dream includes a progression of shapes and materials, representing a sequence of kingdoms, their characteristics, and their eventual fates.
Chapter Summary:
King Nebuchadnezzar tests his magicians, demanding they tell him what he has dreamed, rather than merely inventing an interpretation. When they fail, he prepares to execute the entire department of wise men. Daniel promises he can meet the king's request and is given a special vision from God. The king dreamed of a massive statue shattered into powder by a supernatural rock. Daniel accurately describes this and interprets it as a prophecy about kingdoms which would come after Babylon. The king appoints Daniel and his friends to positions of power and influence over Babylon.
Chapter Context:
Chapter 1 introduced King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, Daniel—a captive youth from Jerusalem—and three other Jewish boys. After three years of education, the four Hebrew captives outperformed all the other trainees, even surpassing the wise men in Babylon. In chapter 2, Daniel describes and interprets Nebuchadnezzar's disturbing dream, though the court magicians could not. As a result, the king promotes Daniel and his three friends to high positions over the provinces of Babylon. This sets the stage for a severe test of faith in chapter 3.
Book Summary:
The book of Daniel contains famous Old Testament stories and prophecies. Daniel was taken from the Israelite people and made an advisor for a conquering empire. He demonstrates faithfulness and wisdom during many years serving in this role. Though Daniel does not deliver a public message, Jesus refers to him as a "prophet" (Matthew 24:15). The first portion of the book mostly describes Daniel's interpretations of dreams and other events. The second portion looks ahead to the end times. Daniel is classified in English Bibles as a "major" prophet, meaning the book is relatively long and the content has broad implications. The book of Revelation echoes and expands on many of the same themes.
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