And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, with which his spirit was troubled…
Dreams have played an important part in the history of the world. God seems to have made large use of the visions of the night and, of dreams to call men into His service, to commission them to do His will, execute His judgments, and to reveal His gracious purposes concerning the world. It was in a vision that God revealed to the patriarch Abraham that his seed should be as the stars of heaven for number. Nor is the New Testament without them. After our Lord Jesus Christ came and revealed God, life; immortality, salvation, and peace, the use of vision and dream did not cease. It was in a dream that Joseph was warned to flee into Egypt, and thus secure the safety of Christ. When the time had come that the Gospel of the grace of God should be preached to the Gentiles, God revealed His will in the matter to Peter in a vision on the housetop at Jaffa. But among all the dreams and visions of which we have read, there are but few more remarkable and important than this, which filled the slumbers of Nebuchadnezzar, and slipped from his memory afterwards.
I. We will consider THE DREAMER. The dreamer of the text was an Eastern monarch. There he is in secure possession of his throne. Famed as a skilful soldier and victor, he is the mightiest monarch on the face of the earth. Babylon, the seat of his empire, the place of his throne, is among the most imposing and great of the ancient cities of the world. This is the home of this royal dreamer. See him in the midst of it. Seated on his throne, around him stand his chief men of state, his eunuchs, priests, princes, and captains, all in their many-coloured and glittering garbs. He is troubled. What has gone wrong? Has some part of his kingdom broken out into rebellion? Has the death-plague seized upon his friends and chief councillors? Nay, he has had a dream, a simple dream. The world owes a great deal to its dreamers. Some have blessed the world by the great victories which they won. What a great and noble company the dreamers make. John Bunyan dreamed the "Pilgrim's Progress," a book which, next to the Bible, which it illustrates, has had a larger circulation than any other book in the world. That was a grand dream, and the world owes much to it. Columbus was a dreamer. He had visions of another and a great land across an unexplored and unknown ocean. Sir Christopher Wren was a dreamer. He had a vision of St. Paul's, and it grew up in the city of London.
II. THE DREAM. The dreamer was a mighty monarch. The dream was worthy of the dreamer.. However great the dreamer, the dream was not less so. He Went to rest that night with his mind full of great and important thoughts. He thought of what wars had been, and wondered what wars would be. He knew himself secure on his throne then. But did he think that soon he would be gone? He wondered "what should come to pass hereafter." It was a great dream. No idolater ever had a greater dream, and but few men any so great. He went out far beyond himself. The present did not satisfy him. He wanted to pull back the curtain and see what was beyond. Have we not all had dreams like this? Think you that this king was the only man who ever felt dissatisfied with the present? Have not we all tried to look beyond? I have had a vision of God; it may have been a dream, but I have thought about Him. I have looked around me in the world, and have seen traces of Him. The great mountains and the mighty ocean, which I have seen in the majesty of its fury, have said something to me of the greatness of God. I seem to have had visions of love, and mercy, and pity, but I can't quite find out myself, I want some one to interpret. I can't myself quite solve it all. "Canst thou by searching find out God?" asks one in ancient days who also had dreams about God. Then I have had dreams of the soul and its destiny. I have dreamed of "what shall come to pass hereafter." Then I have had visions and dreams of a future in which justice and righteousness shall prevail, in which the glaring iniquities and wrongs of this present life shall all be set right. But have we not had dreams of another sort? Sometimes we have felt with sorrow and shame our own weakness and badness. We have become conscious that we were out of harmony with things around us. There is a something within us which speaks to us. Call it conscience or anything else — there it is. I have dreamed of forgiveness, how to get it, and where. Who can tell me? Who can interpret for me all these dreams of mine? Is there any Daniel whom I can call into court who shall reveal to me all these secrets?
III. THE INTERPRETATION of this dream. Daniel was able to tell the king his dream, and also to expound it. And what an exposition it was! Kingdom succeeds kingdom, monarch follows monarch. The Babylonian head of gold, the Persian breast of silver, the Grecian thighs of brass, and the Roman legs of iron, all come and go as Daniel expounds the dream.. There are two things we must note in this interpretation.
1. The Christ kingdom symbolised by the stone cut from the mountain without hands.
2. The second thing I wish to note is that this Christ prefigured by the mountain stone is the interpreter of all my dreams of God, the soul, and a future state. In His school I get my answer. I have been to other schools and could not learn. Nebuchadnezzar summoned all his wise monk They were accustomed to interpret dreams, but they were perplexed now. When I come to Christ He interprets my dream. Be not only reveals God to me, but He tells me of His love and kindness. God is love. God is a Father. God cares for me. Jesus Christ tells me how I can be at peace with God through Himself. He tells me about things which are to come to pass. Jesus Christ is God's answer to all my questions, and visions, and dreams.
(C. Leach, D.D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, wherewith his spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake from him.