King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had a dream and his spirit was so troubled within him that he lost sleep and sought to decipher the meaning of his dream.
 The secret was revealed to Daniel in a night vision. So Daniel blessed the God of Heaven.

 Daniel answered God and said:

    Blessed be the name of God forever and ever,
    For wisdom and might are His.
    And He changes the times and the seasons;
    He removes kings and raises up kings;
    He gives wisdom to the wise
    And knowledge to those who have understanding.
    He reveals deep and secret things;
    He knows what is in the darkness,
    And light dwells with Him.
    I thank you and praise you,
    Oh God of my fathers,
    You have given me wisdom and might,
    And have now made known to me what we asked of You,
    For you have made know to us the kings demand.

 Daniel answered before the king:

     There is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days.
     Your dream and the visions of your head upon your bed were these: and He who reveals secrets has made known to you what will be.
     But as for me, this secret has not been revealed to me because I have more wisdom than anyone living, but for our sakes who made known the    

     interpretation     to the king, and that you may know the thoughts of your heart.
     You, O king, were watching and behold, you saw a great image!  This great image, whose splendor was excellent, stood before you and its form was      

     The image’s head was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, and its feet partly of iron and partly of clay.
     You watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces.
     Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed together, and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; the wind carried          them away so that no trace of them was found.
     And the stone that struck the image became a GREAT MOUNTAIN and filled the whole earth.


   You, O king, are a king of kings.  For the God of Heaven has given you a kingdom, of power, strength, and glory;
   And wherever the children of men dwell, or the beasts of the field and the birds of the heaven, He has given them into your hands, and has made you ruler    

   over them all,   You are this head of Gold!
   But after you shall arise another kingdom inferior to yours; then another, a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth.
  And the fourth kingdom shall be as strong as iron, inasmuch as iron breaks in pieces and shatters everything; and like iron that crushes, that kingdom will break   in pieces and crush all the others.
  Whereas you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; yet the strength of the iron shall be in it, just as you    

  saw the iron mixed with ceramic clay.
  And as the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly fragile.
  As you saw iron mixed with ceramic clay, they will mingle with the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay.

And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people;   it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever!

The matter of understanding the various kingdoms of the great image has led many diverse opinions.  The two most common understandings are that it represents either four successive kingdoms (the Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Grecian, and Roman) or four successive reigns (Kings) over one kingdom (Babylon: the reigns of Nebuchadnezzar through Nabonidus).
The differences lie in the fact that the kingdoms are not identified and in the fact that the Hebrew word for kingdom can also be translated “reign.

Clearly, however, the image represents governments over which God has ultimate sovereignty.  Whatever their identity, before God’s power they are frail; they have “feet of clay.” Father God alone is the ultimate sovereign of history, both in Daniel’s day and throughout this age.

 The stone….cut out without hands represents God’s sovereign power over history, a sovereignty that is implemented through human rulers.  To Daniel’s immediate readers this “stone” would have been King Cyrus, who invaded Babylon, brought it under the dominion of the Medes, and was used by God to release the Hebrews to return to Jerusalem.  The fact that it is described as ultimately becoming a GREAT MOUNTAIN that filled the whole earth shows the long-range development of the stone imagery.  Hence the stone ultimately prefigures Jesus (the anointed one), God’s consummate Ruler over all governments and all history.  Upon His return, He shall set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed… and consume all these kingdoms”

​Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.