Arioch quickly took Daniel to the king and said, “I have found one of the captives from Judah who will tell the king the meaning of his dream!”
The king said to Daniel (also known as Belteshazzar), “Is this true? Can you tell me what my dream was and what it means?”
Daniel replied, “There are no wise men, enchanters, magicians, or fortune-tellers who can reveal the king’s secret. But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and he has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in the future. Now I will tell you your dream and the visions you saw as you lay on your bed.
“While Your Majesty was sleeping, you dreamed about coming events. He who reveals secrets has shown you what is going to happen. And it is not because I am wiser than anyone else that I know the secret of your dream, but because God wants you to understand what was in your heart.
“In your vision, Your Majesty, you saw standing before you a huge, shining statue of a man. It was a frightening sight. The head of the statue was made of fine gold. Its chest and arms were silver, its belly and thighs were bronze, its legs were iron, and its feet were a combination of iron and baked clay.”
Before Daniel told the king anything else, he gave credit to God, explaining that he did not know the dream through his own wisdom but only because God revealed it.
The head of gold on the statue in the dream represented Nebuchadnezzar, ruler of the Babylonian empire. The silver chest and two arms represented the Medo-Persian Empire, which conquered Babylon in 539 b.c. The belly and thighs of bronze were Greece and Macedonia under Alexander the Great, who conquered the Medo-Persian Empire in 334–330 b.c. The legs of iron represented Rome, which conquered the Greeks in 63 b.c. The feet of clay and iron represented the breakup of the Roman Empire, when the territory that Rome ruled was divided into a mixture of strong and weak nations. The rock cut out of the mountain depicted God’s kingdom, which would be ruled eternally by the Messiah, the King of kings.
Daniel did not use his success to promote his own self-interest. He thought of others. When striving to succeed or survive, remember the needs of others. How will you help?