Daniel | 1  |  2:1-18 |  2:19-49 | 3:1-15 | 3:16-30  | 4  | 5  | 6 | 7  | 8  | 9:1-19  | 9:20-27 | 10  | 11  | 12  |

These small group studies of Daniel contain outlines, cross-references, Bible study discussion questions, and applications.  Visit our library of inductive Bible studies for more in depth inductive studies on this and other books of the Bible you can use in your small group.

Daniel 2:19-49 Bible Study Lesson – With Questions And Commentary

Daniel 2:19-49 Bible Study Video

Daniel 2:19-49 Podcast

Outline

I. The setting: Nebuchadnezzar’s dream (1)
II. The inability and political jostling of his “wise” men (2-12)
III. Daniel wisely makes a request for time and then seeks the Lord (13-18)
IV. Daniel praises the Lord after the dream is revealed (19-23)
V. Daniel gives credit to the Lord for the interpretation (24-30)
VI. The king’s dream revealed (31-35)
VII. The interpretation of the king’s dream (36-45)
VIII. Daniel is rewarded (46-49)

IV. Daniel praises the Lord after the dream is revealed (19-23)

Discussion Questions

• What does Daniel do immediately after the dream is revealed to him? What can we learn from this?
• What can we learn from verse 21 about the history of the world?
• How can we know the plans of God)?

Verse by Verse Commentary

1. After receiving the answer, Daniel praised God – Once the Lord revealed the answer the Daniel, he didn’t just rush off and storm into the palace with it.

Reflect – What would you have probably done immediately after receiving the answer?

I probably would have been like, “thanks Lord,” and then ran off to save my life before the king decided to have me executed.

Daniel didn’t do that. Once again, he was calm and realized the priority was to thank the Lord for His gracious answer to prayer truly. His response demonstrated his humility and reliance upon the Lord.

Too often, after people pray and receive the answer, they forget to thank the Lord for that answer. They are quick to ask and quick to receive but slow to express appreciation. Some take the answer for granted as if it is their right.

Application – Make time for expressing appreciation and praise to God. Instead of thinking that you have something more important to do, realize that thanking the King of Kings is the most important thing you can do.

2. Daniel recognized God’s sovereign role in history –

Daniel 2:21 – He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding.

God’s sovereignty over history is one of the most important principles we can learn from this chapter. God is in control of the history of the world though sometimes it seems like people are. Kingdoms rise and fall. Empires grow and fade. People are born and die. But God directs everything and has a perfect plan that He will bring to completion.

We can fight with Him or against Him.

Reflect: How does recognizing God’s sovereignty over the rise and fall of governments affect your attitude toward yours?

3. God the revealer –

Daniel 2:22 – He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with him.

The only way to know the plans, thoughts, and hidden things of God, is if He reveals them to us. Contemplation, meditation, experiments, and observation, will all come back empty without going to God’s revelation about Himself.

Philosophers can sit around a table and theorize, but they won’t be able to understand the mind of God. A visionary can lay under a tree and meditate, but he won’t be able to discover God’s plans.

However, God didn’t leave us in the dark. He has revealed Himself to us so that we can fully know and understand Him. While His primary revelation about Himself is through Scripture, He also reveals Himself to us through creation. In Daniel’s case, it was through a vision.

Hebrews 1:1-2 – Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son.

God has used several different methods for revealing Himself to people. The good news for us is that He does.

Amos 3:7-8 – For the Lord God does nothing without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets. The lion has roared;
who will not fear? The Lord God has spoken; who can but prophesy?

This is a great blessing because we can know the truth and the truth will set us free.

Application – It is a great blessing that God reveals Himself to us. We should not waste that priceless opportunity to know about our Creator. Study the Word diligently so that you don’t miss any part of His message to us.

V. Daniel gives credit to the Lord for the interpretation (24-30)

Discussion Questions

• What is Daniel’s attitude in front of the king?
• What does he do with this opportunity?
• Give some specific ways we can follow Daniel’s example in this.
• Why would God tell Nebuchadnezzar what would take place in future times?
• How did Daniel view himself in the matter?

Cross-References

Genesis 41:16 – Joseph answered Pharaoh, “It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer.”

Acts 3:12 – And when Peter saw it he addressed the people: “Men of Israel, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we have made him walk?

Verse by Verse Commentary

We can once again learn many things from Daniel in how he handles this situation.

1. Daniel first approaches Arioch – In every one of these interactions, Daniel follows proper procedure and recognizes established authority structures. The way he respects authority demonstrates his humility. Daniel is a prophet. God directly reveals amazing mysteries to him, but it doesn’t go to Daniel’s head. Again and again, Daniel works within the system to create change. He knows how to interact with high-level people.

Application – We can learn from Daniel’s humility. Respect your authorities. Instead of going around them and causing them to potentially lose face, ask them for permission. At times, it may be necessary to buck the system. But don’t go off half-cocked. Apply wisdom and discernment to every decision.

2. Arioch introduces Daniel –

Daniel 2:25 – “I have found among the exiles from Judah a man who will make known to the king the interpretation.”

Arioch claims that he “found” someone who could give the interpretation to the king. This little interaction gives a glimpse into how court maneuverings worked. The way Arioch phrased this introduction seems designed to get credit for himself and curry favor with Nebuchadnezzar.

Most of the officials in the court would have done likewise. There was constant jockeying as each person attempted to attract the spotlight. The way Daniel interacts with the king is a night-and-day difference.

3. Daniel is bold and confident – He doesn’t cringe, fret, or worry. The way he interacts with the king exudes confidence. But it is not confidence in himself. He has the answer from the Lord, who is on his side. He has nothing to worry about and no reason to fear.

Romans 8:31 – What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

4. He gives credit to the Lord –

Daniel 2:27-28 – Daniel answered the king and said, “No wise men, enchanters, magicians, or astrologers can show to the king the mystery that the king has asked, but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and he has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days.

Here was a prime opportunity for Daniel to gain recognition and increase his standing in Babylon. None of the other wise men of the city would have hesitated to toot their own horns. They would have milked the moment for everything it was worth trying to increase their reward. However, Daniel sees this not as an opportunity for self-aggrandization but for glorifying God on a very public stage.

The Lord had given Daniel a great gift, but like Joseph before him, Daniel used his gift for God and not for personal gain. He gives all the honor and glory to God. He uses the chance to preach about the true God and exalt Him.

He had his moment in the sun and he didn’t use it selfishly. Instead, he seized the chance to share the truth about God. He was using his gift and his position for the Lord.

Application: Seek every chance to glorify God. Sometimes, people praise you for certain gifts or abilities you possess. Other times, you will have a unique platform for testifying of God. Don’t let those opportunities go to waste. Be bold and shine the light of Christ.

5. He remained humble –

Daniel 2:30 – But as for me, this mystery has been revealed to me, not because of any wisdom that I have more than all the living, but in order that the interpretation may be made known to the king, and that you may know the thoughts of your mind.

He recognized it was not through any talent or wisdom of his own. He was only a tool to accomplish God’s purposes.

VI. The king’s dream revealed (31-35)

Discussion Questions

• This same prophecy is repeated in chapter 7 when the various kingdoms are beasts. Why the difference?
• Does God normally speak in dreams today? Why or why not?
• How does he speak to us?

Cross-References

Hebrews 1:1-2 – Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son.

Verse by Verse Commentary

1. The layered statute – Nebuchadnezzar saw a “great image.” It was “mighty” and “bright” with a “frightening” appearance. It had a head of gold, chest and arms of silver, middle and thighs of bronze, legs of iron, and feet of iron and clay. A stone then comes and strikes the feet of the statue. The statue was shattered and scattered without a trace, leaving only the stone remaining. And the stone grew and filled the earth like a giant mountain.

Without God’s special revelation, the interpretation of this dream would not be possible!

VII. The interpretation of the king’s dream (36-45)

Discussion Questions

• Did this dream come true?
• Which parts of this dream have not yet been fulfilled?
• What would you say is the main point of the dream?
• When is this final kingdom going to be established?
• What do you think the term “without hands” signifies?

Verse by Verse Commentary

1. Interpretation of the dream – Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon was the head of gold. Daniel states this clearly in verse 38. After that, each section of the statue represents one kingdom. Bible scholars agree that the silver chest and arms represent Medo-Persia, the middle and thighs of bronze represent Greece, and the legs of iron represent Rome. Most also agree that the feet of iron and clay represent a still-future-to-us kingdom. That kingdom will be the revived Roman empire and rise to power in the end times.

Meanwhile, the rock made without hands represents a kingdom that God will set up. It will be the final kingdom. Never will that kingdom be destroyed, but He will reign forever.

2 World kingdoms look powerful and wealthy but will fade –

Gold, silver, and bronze are all shiny and attractive. These are valuable metals. And even in the dream, they were bright and inviting. Iron is known for its strength. From man’s standpoint, the world empires and kingdoms are incredible, rich, strong, and magnificent.

Reflect: What comparisons do you think there might be between the specific metals for each kingdom and the qualities of that kingdom?

But all of the kingdoms of the world are temporary. They will rise and fall. Each will be conquered and taken over by another. Finally, they will be scattered without a trace. Nothing will remain of these world powers. They are a visible testament to the fleeting nature of riches and power.

Their passing reminds us that the world and all that it offers is fading. Many people put their trust in governments. Some serve these governments out of conviction. More serve out of the desire for reward and power. All of those who link their futures and livelihood to the world will be disappointed. Just as Babylon the Great will fall in the end-times (Revelation 18), so will all kingdoms of the world.

1 John 2:15-17 – Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

Application – Does the world look shiny and attractive to you? Are you pursuing the world for what it can offer you? Remember the words of Jesus, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words shall endure forever.” (Luke 21:33.)

Let’s say you are going to invest in the stock market. You are choosing between two companies. And you have critical information. One of these companies will go bankrupt and close its doors in ten years. The other company will continually increase its market share and become the most successful company the world has ever seen. Where are you going to invest your money? It’s an easy decision, right?

Likewise, build your treasure in heaven and not on earth.

2. The toes of the feet depict the ten kingdoms that will make up the end-times kingdom – That future kingdom is described throughout the book of Revelation. The antichrist will be its head. It will be an utterly wicked and blasphemous alliance of nations where Satan worship will be promoted. And all those who refuse to show their loyalty by receiving the mark of the beast will be martyred.

Since the legs of iron represent Rome and the toes have iron and clay, most scholars agree this will be a revived Roman Empire rising from the civilizations left behind after the collapse of Rome.

3. The final and everlasting kingdom – This kingdom will be made “without hands,” a symbol of its divine origin. It will be an eternal and lasting kingdom. All other civilizations made use of the structures and peoples left behind when they were conquered and were in turn, left for others. But not this one.

It will strike the feet of iron and clay. This end-times kingdom will set itself up in direct opposition to the Lord and everything good He stands for. Satan’s puppet, the antichrist himself, will be at its head. Promises of riches, peace, prosperity, utopia and complete freedom to engage in sin of every kind will be used to lure people into its chains of bondage. The alliance of nations will go so far as to gather the world’s armies together to challenge the Lord of Hosts. They will gather at Armageddon to try to end God once and for all (Revelation 16-20).

Then Jesus will return. The rock will shatter this kingdom and its armies. And Jesus will set up a kingdom that will have no end.

4. It is an exciting period to live in – A journey of thousands of years is winding down towards a destination that might be around the next bend! Many things are happening which appear to be setting the stage for the end-times events in Daniel and Revelation to be fulfilled. We don’t know the day of Jesus’ return, but at no time in world history before now has it been so close at hand.

VIII. Daniel is rewarded (46-49)

Verse by Verse Commentary

1. Nebuchadnezzar fell on his face and paid homage to Daniel – Can you imagine that? The most powerful man in the world bowed to a teenager, an exile from Judah! He then gave glory to God.

Daniel 2:47 – The king answered and said to Daniel, “Truly, your God is God of gods and Lord of kings, and a revealer of mysteries, for you have been able to reveal this mystery.”

Nebuchadnezzar still is not a genuine believer (see Daniel 3), but it is clear that God is doing work in his heart.

2. Daniel didn’t seek reward, but he received it –

1 Peter 5:6 – Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you.

This verse was fulfilled in Daniel. Although Daniel didn’t seek personal recognition, wealth, or power, he got them because he was faithful to the Lord. Just as with Solomon, God often gives these things as a bonus to those not seeking them.

3. Daniel asked for his friends’ promotion – Daniel was wise and bold. While he made no requests for himself, he took advantage of this golden opportunity to bring his friends’ names to the king. Even during this time of triumph, Daniel did not forget his friends.

He demonstrated a fundamental Biblical principle, which is to ask.

Matthew 7:7 – Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

Often we don’t have because we don’t’ ask. Sometimes fear can prevent us from speaking up and making a request. However, not making the request virtually guarantees it won’t be granted!

Application – What can you learn from this week’s lesson to apply to your life this week?

Daniel Bible Study Guide – If this study is helpful, you can download the complete Daniel study in PDF or get the paperback from Amazon.

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