As we have studied in “DRAGON 6”, Nebuchadnezzar is one more dragon, besides Pharaoh and the rod of Jehovah, which Moses used to perform the ten plagues of Egypt (DRAGON 5). “Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon has devoured me, he has crushed me, he has made me an empty vessel, he has, like a monster, swallowed me up” (Jer. 51:34). The dragon is Satan. “The great dragon was thrown down, the old serpent, he who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world. He was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him” (Rev. 12:9). All the history of the rise and fall of Satan, the angel of evil created by Jehovah, is depicted in the story of King Nebuchadnezzar (Gen. 3:1). The prophet Daniel is the one who tells us that in all details.
In the second chapter of the book of Daniel we read the story of the first dream of Nebuchadnezzar, which has nothing with the historic reality of his kingdom, whose deeds were the expulsion of the Egyptian people from Asia. He annexed Syria, and conquered the kingdom of Judah, making it tributary; he beautified Babylon surrounding it with great walls, and built the famous hanging gardens. But let us go on to the dream:
When he woke up he knew that he had dreamed, but did not remember what the dream had been. Disturbed, he called the magicians, astrologers and enchanters. But none of them could guess the dream. He asked to know the dream and the interpretation, and they promised to interpret it if the king told them the dream. The king was very mad and decreed the death of the wise men. These, in turn, sought Daniel and his three friends to also be killed by the king.
Daniel asked Arioch, captain of the guard of the king who was appointed to kill them and could do something about this. The king decided to wait for one more day. At night the dream was revealed to Daniel, who went to the king and spoke to him: “You, O king, saw, and behold, a great image. This image, which was mighty, and whose brightness was excellent, stood before you; and its aspect was awesome. As for this image, its head was of fine gold, its breast and its arms of silver, its belly and its thighs of brass, its legs of iron, its feet part of iron, and part of clay. You saw until a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet that were of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken in pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, so that no place was found for them: and the stone that struck the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth” (Dan. 2:31-35). And Daniel gave the interpretation of the dream, saying: “You, O king, are king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, and the strength, and the glory; and wherever the children of men dwell, the animals of the field and the birds of the sky has he given into your hand, and has made you to rule over them all: you are the head of gold. After you shall arise another kingdom inferior to you; and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth. The fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron, because iron breaks in pieces and subdues all things; and as iron that crushes all these, shall it break in pieces and crush. Whereas you saw the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, it shall be a divided kingdom; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, because you saw the iron mixed with miry clay. As the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. Whereas you saw the iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men; but they shall not cling to one another, even as iron does not mingle with clay” (Dan. 2:37-43). “In the days of those kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed, nor shall its sovereignty be left to another people; but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. Because you saw that a stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God has made known to the king what shall happen hereafter: and the dream is certain, and its interpretation sure” (Dan. 2:44-45).
In the traditional interpretation, the head of gold is Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon (Dan. 2:37). The second kingdom that arose, symbolized in the breast and arms of silver, were the Medes and Persians, whose king Cyrus destroyed Babylon (Dan. 2:32,39; Is. 45:1). The third kingdom, symbolized in the belly and thighs of bronze, was the Greek empire, whose head was Alexander the Great, who conquered the nations around the years 330 BC (Dan. 2:32). The fourth and last kingdom was the Roman Empire, with legs of iron and feet of iron mixed with clay (Dan. 2:33, 40). It is important to observe that these four big kingdoms formed one only live body, historically. Cyrus, the Persian, destroyed Babylon in the year 538 BC. Alexander the Great, king of Macedon, conquered the world, and the Medo-Persian Empire ceased from existence. These four kingdoms could not physically form a body, but in the spiritual realm they could. Now, Nebuchadnezzar is the dragon, and the dragon is Satan (Jer. 51:34; Rev. 12:9). As Satan said to Jesus, all the kingdoms of the world were given to him (Luke 4:5-8). The four kingdoms of Daniel’s prophecy formed the head and body of Satan. Just as in Luke 4:5-8 Satan declared to Jesus that he received all the kingdoms of the world and their glory and gives them to whoever he wishes, he was the one who formed the Babylonian Empire and gave glory to Nebuchadnezzar. He then took it from the Medes and Persians and gave it to Alexander the Great; after that he raised up the Roman Empire, the greatest and fiercest of all. In Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of the statue, such as the head of gold, Jehovah was interested to show the glory of Satan reigning over the kingdoms of this world. This is why Daniel prophesied, saying: “YOU, O KING, ARE KING OF KINGS” (Dan. 2:37). How was he king of kings, if Cyrus destroyed the Babylonian temple? The theological interpretation is based solely on the material and historical plane, forgetting the spiritual plane. Now, Jehovah, who gave all kingdoms first to Nebuchadnezzar, picture of Satan, forged history on the temporal plane (Jer. 27:5-8). As Nebuchadnezzar is a picture of Satan, the dragon, it was Jehovah who handed all the kingdoms to Satan (Luke 4:5-8).
Another point to consider in this particular prophecy of Daniel is the kingdom raised by God that will never be destroyed (Dan. 2:44). Now, the kingdom of God already existed before Christ was born in this world (Matt. 25:34). And this kingdom of God, which Jesus revealed to men, is not of this world (Luke 16:16; John 18:36). It is not of this world because it is spiritual and invisible, and its weapons are not material or carnal weapons, but spiritual weapons (2 Cor. 10:3-5). The powerful weapon of the kingdom of God is love (John 13:34; Rom. 13:8-10; Col. 1:12-13; Eph. 3:14-21; 1 John 3:14-15). This weapon is given us by God to overcome all battles (Rom. 5:5; 15:30).
Now, Daniel’s prophecy is located on the historical and temporal plane alone, declaring that the eternal kingdom raised by God was going to smash and consume all the other kingdoms, something that did not come to pass. He also declared that he was going to smash the iron, copper, clay, silver, and gold, but that did not happen either, since Christians have never appreciated and sought after silver and gold so much as they do in our days. Daniel, therefore, prophesied about the kingdom of Satan, which is of this world. Christ will take a few out of this world into his kingdom (2 Tim. 4:18).
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira