Understanding Prophecy in Daniel – Part 1

In the book of Daniel, in chapter 2, King Nebuchadnezzar has a dream. His dream reveals a progression of kingdoms that will rule on Earth.

In describing the dream and its interpretation to the king, Daniel builds a foundation for the prophecies that follow.

We note that the dream is presented first in Daniel 2:31-35, followed by the interpretation in Daniel 2:37-45.

“This was the dream. Now we will tell the king its interpretation.”
Daniel 2:36 – ESV

This mechanism is also used in subsequent dreams.

I approached one of those who stood there and asked him the truth concerning all this. So he told me and made known to me the interpretation of the things.
Daniel 7:16 – ESV

Naturally the interpretation adds detail to the content of the vision. We also find that subsequent visions expand on the subjects of previous ones. For example, Daniel 2:40 describes the fourth kingdom.

“And there shall be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron, because iron breaks to pieces and shatters all things. And like iron that crushes, it shall break and crush all these.”
Daniel 2:40 – ESV

Daniel 7:23 also describes the fourth kingdom, having characteristics similar to those presented in Daniel 2:40.

“Thus he said: ‘As for the fourth beast,
there shall be a fourth kingdom on earth,
which shall be different from all the kingdoms,
and it shall devour the whole earth,
and trample it down, and break it to pieces.’”
Daniel 7:23 – ESV

By correlating details between the dream and its interpretation and extending this to cover all the visions, we obtain a greater understanding of these prophecies.

The chart below places related verses from each prophecy close together.

It is structured like a web. Chapters are spun around the center of the web with verses progressing in a clockwise direction. Chapter 2 begins close to the center while chapters 11 and 12 conclude at the outer edge.

Radially from the center, the verses from each prophecy are categorised into the following topics.

  • Visions
  • Babylon
  • Medo-Persia
  • Greece
  • Rome
  • Divided Kingdom
  • Judgement
  • God’s Kingdom

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Prophecies in Daniel – Chart

Daniel Chart Preview

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