The Daniel Prophecies 1.
The Gentile Kingdoms.
In Daniel 2, God gave Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon a dream of a fearsome image. Daniel interpreted this dream - Nebuchadnezzar was the head of gold, The chest section was of silver, the Medo-Persian Empire, the thighs of brass, the Greek Empire, and the fourth, Legs of iron, was the Roman Empire. The feet were a mixture of iron and clay. There were no more Empires. (not British, Russian, USA,Chinese). The fourth went all the way to the toes. This is a mystery. The metals used to represent the Empires had characteristics of decreasing value, and also increasing hardness.
These Empires had the effect on the thinking of people -The Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, and Romans have all influenced us today. The fourth Empire went all the way until the Kingdom of Christ was set up, (The Stone cut out of a mountain), How did this happen? The Pagan Roman Empire became the Papal Roman Empire. An interesting thing, during the cold war, two men couldn't agree in the UN. One was Russian Kruschev which means clay, the other American Eisenhower, which means Iron worker. The iron and clay could not mix. Kruschev removing his shoe to bang the table while making a point. We are at the feet of the image, about to have the Kingdom of God ushered in.
Daniel 2. Golden Image.
Babylon in Nebuchadnezzar's dream was represented as a kingdom of gold. Babylon had a lot of Gold. The temple of Marduk, one of the temples in Babylon had a gold altar and throne, that contained 8 and a half tons of gold. The inside of this temple was overlaid with gold.
When Nebucadnezzar setup the worship of a great image, it was made all of gold. He wanted his kingdom (of gold) to be an everlasting kingdom, even though Daniel had told him another would take it's place.
God refers to Babylon as the golden city in Isaiah 14:4,
"That thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased!"
This was spoken of Babylon many years before Babylon became the great city under Nebuchadnezzar's rule. The people of Isaiah's time must have thought "the prophet got that one wrong."
Another representation for Babylon was the Lion. The main gate into Babylon was called the Ishtar gate. This contained 120 images of gold lions. There was also found in the ruins, many statues of lions.
The Ishtar gate was disassembled and taken to Germany in the 1800's, where it was re-assembled and is on display in the Pergamon Museum, in Berlin.
God also referred to Babylon as a lion in Jeremiah 50:17-18,
Israel is a scattered sheep; the lions have driven him away: first the king of Assyria hath devoured him; and last this Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon hath broken his bones.
Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will punish the king of Babylon and his land, as I have punished the king of Assyria.
This prophecy was also many years before Nebuchadnezzar came to rule.
Daniel 5. Belshazzar's feast.
In Daniel chapter 5, The drunken feast of Belshazzar is recorded. Belshazzar was the grandson of Nebuchadnezzar.
He took the golden vessels, that had been taken from Jerusalem, to use in his party, Daniel 5:4-5,
They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone. In the same hour came forth fingers of a man's hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaister of the wall of the king's palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote.
Their worship was of their prosperous economy and as they were drinking, the fingers of a man's hand appeared and wrote on the wall.
Nobody could interpret the writing, so Daniel was called to interpret the words. Daniel showed Belshazzar the meaning of the words, Daniel 5:25-28.
And this is the writing that was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN. This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it. TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting. PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.
Capture of Babylon.
As the party of Daniel chapter 5 was happening, the Persian general, Cyrus, was diverting the Euphrates river, which ran through the city of Babylon. Daniel 5:30,
In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain. And Darius the Median took the kingdom, being about threescore and two years old.
There is a prophecy in the Bible as follows. (Isaiah 45:1),
Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut;
This prophecy was spoken of Cyrus, 150 years before he was even born, even naming him.
After diverting most of the flow of the river, the army of Cyrus came through the river gates and took over Babylon. Belshazzar was killed.
Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his:
And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:
He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him.
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