A Stone Cut Without Hand – Daniel Chapter 2
“Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, where with his spirit was troubled, and his sleep break from him. Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the astrologers, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, for to show that came his dreams. So they came and stood before the king. And the king said unto them, I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit was troubled to know the dream.”
Nebuchadnezzar called all of his magicians, astrologers, sorcerers and counselors to learn the meaning of his dream. However, he would not tell them what the dream was. In order to know if their interpretation was valid, he would not tell them what the dream was about.
They had to divine or conjure up his dream then tell him the meaning of the dream, “the thing is gone for me: if you will not make known unto me the dream, with the interpretation thereof you shall be cut off in pieces, and your houses shall be made a dunghill.”
That’s a smart move for the king to require his “wise men” to know the dream without telling them what it was. If they could discern his dream then of course, their interpretation would be correct.
His servants said “let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation of it.” When the wise men conceded that they were not going to be able to interpret the dream without hearing the dream first, the king was angry and decreed that all of his wise men would be killed.
Arioch, the king’s captain went to slay Daniel, Daniel asked him what was going on and why was the king so hasty in killing all of the wise men? Arioch explained what was going on and Daniel went in unto the king and asked him if he would provide Daniel and his friends a little time so that they could have a chance at getting the dream and interpreting it for Nebuchadnezzar. The king gave Daniel some time to have the dream and to give the interpretation thereof.
Daniel went to his house and talked to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (also known as Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego), explaining to them what was going on. They all joined in prayer to the God of Israel.
That night, while Daniel was sleeping, he received a night vision. This was the same vision that Nebuchadnezzar received. With the dream came the interpretation thereof. He and his brethren rejoiced and praised God and gave thanks unto Him.
Then Daniel went in unto the king’s court and was allowed by the king to present the interpretation of the dream. The king asked if he had actually received the dream that the king had received. Daniel took this as a teaching moment, and said that what the king required from the wise men, such as the astrologers, magicians and soothsayers was beyond their capability because they were not inspired of the Lord.
Daniel explained that things such as this, only the Lord God of Israel could understand and could provide the answers the king sought. He went on to rehearse the dream.
Starting with Daniel 2:31 he rehearsed the dream that the king had received in detail. “Thou, O King, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible. This image’s head was all fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, his legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of Clay. Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay and break them to pieces. Then were the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; 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.”
Then Daniel proceeded to give the king the interpretation of the dream. He told Nebuchadnezzar that he and his kingdom represented the head of gold. And after his kingdom was destroyed there would be another kingdom that was inferior to his kingdom which would also be destroyed. That kingdom was represented by silver. After that kingdom was destroyed there would be a third kingdom of brass that would also rule over all the earth. Then comes the fourth kingdom which would be as strong as iron.
The next kingdom represented the toes of iron and clay. Some of these smaller kingdoms would be strong like iron and others would be weak like clay. The stone that was cut out of the mountain without hands would crush all of these kingdoms and destroy them.
When Daniel was finished with the dream and the interpretation of the dream “King Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face and worshiped Daniel and commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odors unto him.”
The king went on to say “of the truth it is, that your God is a God of gods, and the Lord of Kings, and the revealer of secrets, saying thou couldest reveal the secret.”
As a result of his accurate recitation of the dream and the interpretation of the dream “the king made Daniel a great man and gave many gifts and made him a ruler over the province of Babylon and chief of the governors over all the wise men of Babylon.”
Daniel asked the king if Shadrach. Meshach and Abed-nego could preside over the affair’s of the province of Babylon and let Daniel remain in the king’s court, sitting in the gate of the king.
At first glance, this story shows that King Nebuchadnezzar first turned to astrologists, magicians and soothsayers for the interpretation of his dream and to also receive the same dream that he had received. The king turned to worldly men for help.
When Daniel was put to the task, he turned to righteous friends and to God for help. This shows us where we should turn when we need help.
We know that Daniel was motivated by a righteous cause because when Daniel returned to the king’s court to provide the answer, he said to Arioch (who was tasked with the destruction of the wise men) “destroy not the wise men of Babylon,” which showed that Daniel cared for all men, even the wicked men of the king’s court. Then Daniel asked Arioch to bring him before the king.
The stone cut out of the mountain without hands rolled down the mountain, destroying all the various kingdoms in its path, including the kingdom of Nebuchadnezzar and the other kingdoms of men that were mentioned in the dream.
The stone represents the kingdom of God on earth. The fact that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands means that the kingdom is created from God, not men. Because the stone or kingdom is the Kingdom of God on earth it will endure forever and not be destroyed like all man made kingdoms eventually do.
Among the many lessons we can learn from this wonderful story is that we should trust in The Lord and associate ourselves with His kingdom while we live on here on earth.
“Set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.” As we choose to stand with The Lord, we will find ourselves in the right place at the right time, doing the right thing. If we should fall of that path then we can regain our footing through repentance that The Lord taught us in the scriptures.
Only the kingdom created by God has the power to last until the second coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. “The stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.” The safest place we can find ourselves in, is in the company of The Lord.
Source: Daniel 2, (Holy Bible, KJV)
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