The Youth’s Instructor


September 8, 1903

Lessons From the Life of Daniel—11

The Interpretation of the Vision of the Great Image


Having described the image that the king had seen, Daniel gave the interpretation, foretelling the remarkable events that were to take place in prophetic history: YI September 8, 1903, par. 1

“Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory. And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold. YI September 8, 1903, par. 2

“And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth. YI September 8, 1903, par. 3

“And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise. And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. YI September 8, 1903, par. 4

“And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.” YI September 8, 1903, par. 5

Nebuchadnezzar felt that he could accept this interpretation as a divine revelation; for to Daniel had been revealed every detail of the dream. The solemn truths conveyed by the interpretation of this vision of the night made a deep impression on the sovereign's mind, and in humility and awe he “fell upon his face, and worshiped,” saying, “Of a truth it is, that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou couldest reveal this secret.” YI September 8, 1903, par. 6

Daniel's exposition of this dream resulted in the king's conferring honor and dignity upon him and his companions. “The king made Daniel a great man, and gave him many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief of the governors over all the wise men of Babylon. Then Daniel requested of the king, and he set Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, over the affairs of the province of Babylon: but Daniel sat in the gate of the king.” “The gate of the king” was a place where justice was dispensed. Daniel's three companions were made counselors, judges, and rulers in the land. These men were not puffed up with vanity, but they saw and rejoiced that God was recognized above all earthly potentates, and that his kingdom was extolled above all earthly kingdoms. YI September 8, 1903, par. 7

The Lord was working in the Babylonian kingdom, and communicating light to the four Hebrew youth, in order that he might represent his work before the idolatrous nation. He would reveal that he had power over the kingdoms of the world,—power to enthrone and to dethrone kings. The King over all kings was communicating great truths to the Babylonian monarch, and awakening in his mind a realization of his responsibility to God. Nebuchadnezzar saw clearly the difference between the wisdom of God and the wisdom of the most learned men of his kingdom. YI September 8, 1903, par. 8

The events of the future, reaching down to the end of time, were opened before the king of Babylon, in order that he might have light on this important subject. The record of the dream and its interpretation was traced by the prophetic pen, in order that the rulers of the kingdoms that should succeed Babylon might have the same light. YI September 8, 1903, par. 9

Mrs. E. G. White