Prophetic Highlights From The Book Of Daniel

by Joseph Hunting

Daniel's visions and interpretation of dreams provide some of the most fascinating prophecies found in Scripture.

As a young man he was chosen especially by Nebuchadnezzar, together with "certain of the children of Israel, and of the king's seed, and of the princes ... whom they might teach the learning and tongue of the Chaldeans."

Nebuchadnezzar's action in choosing some of the seed royal for his court in Babylon was a direct fulfilment of a prophecy made by Isaiah to Hezekiah one hundred years earlier: " ...your sons which issue from you, which you shall beget, shall they take away and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon" (Isaiah 39:7)

Among the captives taken to Babylon with Daniel were Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, whose names were changed to Belteshazzar, Shadrach, Meschach and Abednego. Then they commenced a three year course in all the wisdom and learning of Babylon in the king's court.


In the second year of Nebuchadnezzar's reign, he had a dream which deeply troubled him, but when morning came, he was unable to recall it.

During the drama which ensued as a result of this forgotten dream, one of the most amazing prophecies was revealed concerning the period known as "the times of the Gentiles".

Nebuchadnezzar called the magicians and the astrologers together with all the wise men of Babylon to make known unto him, not only his dream, but also its interpretation. Failure to do so was to result in being "cut to pieces".

Naturally, the magicians and their companions protested vehemently against such an unreasonable sentence. They replied, "there is not a man upon this earth that can show the king's matter. ... It is a rare thing that the king requires, and there is none other that can show it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh." (Daniel 2:10-11)

When the king's edict was made known to Daniel he sought leave of the king for time and he promised that he would reveal the dream and its interpretation. After Daniel had prayed and fasted the Lord revealed to him the dream and its meaning, whereupon he told the executioner to stay his hand and to take him before Nebuchadnezzar.

It is noteworthy that Daniel took no credit for the amazing revelation which he was about to give the King. Instead, he declared: "there is a God in heaven that reveals secrets, and makes known to Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days" (2:28)


"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 of 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 brake them to pieces. 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 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." (2:31-35)







It is interesting to observe that whilst each of the succeeding kingdoms is typified by a declension in the quality of metal there is an increase in strength until the "stone" smites the image upon the feet and toes and completely shatters it.

In the days of the ten kings represented by the ten toes, the fifth world empire will be set up. "And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed ... it shall stand forever."

Daniel's concluding words to Nebuchadnezzar have the ring of finality and authority.

"For as much as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure." (2:45)

DANIEL'S DREAM (Chapter 7)

There is an interesting parallel between Nebuchadnezzar's dream and its interpretation, and Daniel's which occurred some years later during the first year of Belshazzar's reign.

Both dreams covered a period known as "the times of the Gentiles". This period of world history commenced on the 9th Av 586 BC when the armies of Babylon destroyed Jerusalem and thus temporarily terminated the Davidic dynasty which again will be reintroduced following the battle of Armageddon. At that time, Messiah will establish his kingdom, fulfilling the Davidic Covenant.

The four world empires of Babylon, Medeo-Persia, Greece and Rome were revealed to Daniel as a lion with eagle's wings, a bear, a leopard with four wings and the fourth beast was "dreadful and terrible" with iron teeth and ten horns.

As in Nebuchadnezzar's dream, all four world empires were succeeded by the Messianic Kingdom described by Daniel in majestic words:

"I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations and languages should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed."

So mind blowing was the revelation given to Daniel that he sought the assistance of an angelic being (possibly Gabriel) to interpret the vision: "I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me. I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things." (7:15-16)


The ten toes of Nebuchadnezzar's vision are revealed to Daniel as ten horns which are explained as ten kings that arise out of the fourth beast which is identified as the Roman Empire.

This part of the prophecy is linked with the events associated with the end time of "the times of the Gentiles". Many Bible students see much significance in the Treaty of Rome, and the ten member nations forming the E.E.C. If this is so the following segment of Daniel's vision will confirm it.

The ten kings are followed by "another that shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings." (7:24). This king that arises after the first ten are established is the one to watch for. He is the embodiment of all that is evil. He hates the Jews with the implacable hatred of Haman and Hitler combined, and makes a ruthless bid to exterminate the entire Jewish race.

Indeed, not only will Israel have cause to fear this personage, known also as the anti-Christ, the Beast, the man of sin etc., but the Gentiles who oppose his evil rule will be ruthlessly persecuted and put to death also.

Those who will be living at the time this "king" arises may identify him by certain events that will happen. He will destroy three of the ten "kings" that will arise out of the old Roman empire.

He will make a covenant with Israel (compare Daniel 9:27) for seven years. (There is a growing speculation that this agreement will concern the building of Israel's 3rd temple.) "And he shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and shall think to change times and laws, and they shall be given into his hand for a time, times, and dividing of time." (three and a half years).

Should world history be nearing its predicted climax as many Bible students believe it may be, the special reference given by Messiah to the anti-Christ and the image he will set up in the future temple has special relevance.

"When you therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand),

"then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains. "Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house.

"Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.

"And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day.

"For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be." (Matthew 24:15-21)

Daniel's prophecy of end time events likewise focuses attention on Israel and the awful climax that will terminate this age. Yet in the midst of this prophecy of gloom and doom there is a word of hope for those "that be wise". Indeed, he ends his prophecy with: "none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand."