What does Daniel 2:36 mean?
ESV: “This was the dream. Now we will tell the king its interpretation.
NIV: This was the dream, and now we will interpret it to the king.
NASB: This was the dream; and now we will tell its interpretation before the king.
CSB: "This was the dream; now we will tell the king its interpretation.
NLT: That was the dream. Now we will tell the king what it means.
KJV: This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king.
NKJV: “This is the dream. Now we will tell the interpretation of it before the king.
Verse Commentary:
When king Nebuchadnezzar was disturbed by a dream (Daniel 2:1–3), he tested the insight of his magicians. He refused to tell them what he had dreamed, arguing that if they could not discern his dream, there was no reason to think they could divine its meaning (Daniel 2:8–9). Daniel, however, was given insight by God about the king's dream (Daniel 2:17–19) and has just finished describing it to Nebuchadnezzar.

The dream was of a massive statue made of various parts. The head was gold, the chest and arms silver, the midsection bronze, the legs iron, and the feet a mixture of iron and clay. Each of these, in order, is lighter and less valuable than what came before. They are also tougher, until the clay, which is brittle. Worse, clay will not merge with iron. So, when a supernatural stone strikes the feet, they shatter. The entire statue collapses into dust and is blown away by the wind, but the stone grows to cover the earth (Daniel 2:31–35).

What follows is Daniel's explanation of the king's dream. This is a prophecy of what, at the time, was still in the future (Daniel 2:28–29). Each of the statue's portions represents a major kingdom which would rule over the land promised to Israel. With modern hindsight, it is possible to determine which nations are being depicted. The gold head is Nebuchadnezzar's Babylon (Daniel 2:37–38). The silver chest and arms are the Medes and Persians, while the bronze midsection is the Greeks (Daniel 2:39). Next is the Roman Empire, represented by iron (Daniel 2:40), which eventually corrupts from within, like the addition of clay, before being destroyed (Daniel 2:41–43). The rock is the kingdom of the Messiah, Jesus Christ (Daniel 2:44–45).

This continues a section of Daniel recorded in Aramaic, the common tongue of Babylon in that era (Daniel 2:4—7:28). This emphasizes that its contents are meant as lessons to, and about, the Gentile nations.
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.
Accessed 5/29/2024 1:46:56 PM
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