Daniel - Lesson 4

By Stafford North


Background Information for the Teacher


  1. The student can tell the story of the King's dream.
  2. The student can tell what the King dreamed and what Daniel said it meant and how it matches later history.
  3. The student can complete the first column of a chart on Daniel's Prophecies.


  1. Have a chalkboard, marker board, overhead, or PowerPoint ready. (You may download the PowerPoint to make overhead transparencies. When you do, click "Pure Black and White" on the print dialogue box.)
  2. Have copies of the worksheet ready to hand out at the beginning of the class.
  3. Have copies of the Summary of Daniel's Prophecies ready to distribute at the right point in the lesson.
  4. Be sure all the students have Bibles and pencils or pens.
  5. Have cards ready to distribute with all the passages you want someone to read aloud during the lesson.
  6. Have the Review Quiz available either as students enter the classroom so they can work on it prior to the start of class or hand out near the beginning of class. To save time, especially if time for the teaching time is limited, it may work best to make the quiz sheet available before class actually starts. This review of the last lesson will be help the learning process.


King Nebuchadnezzar has a dream and apparently cannot remember it. Daniel is the only one able to remind him of the dream and then provide the interpretation. The dream is about five different kingdoms, the last of which is a divine kingdom which shall be established during the days of the fourth earthly kingdom. The King pays high tribute to Daniel and his God.

Lesson Plan for Conducting the Class

Introduction: (about 10 minutes)

    1. Welcome visitors, make necessary announcements, check the roll, and sing songs and have a prayer. Songs might center God's wisdom and power: "O Worship the King," "To God Be the Glory," "God Will Make a Way."
    2. Go through the review quiz and let the students give the answers. All should check their papers as you go. Encourage all to be ready for the Review Quiz over today's lesson at the start of the next class period. Review the objectives for the lesson today.

Learning Experiences: (about 25 minutes)

      1. Read Daniel 1:17-20. Q: How would you describe the final oral exam from Nebuchadnezzar U? A: The King talked with Daniel and the three friends and they stood above all the others. So he graduated them with highest honors and offered them a job.
      2. Q: What request did Nebuchadnezzar make of his magicians, enchanters, sorcerers and astrologers and what was their response? A: Tell me what I dreamed and what it means. They said, tell us what you dreamed and we will interpret for you. Q: What punishment does the King say he will bring on all of his "wise men" if they do not tell him his dream? A: He will kill them all.
      3. Q: When the King's guards come to get Daniel and his friends for the execution, what steps does Daniel take? A: He asks the King for time and he and his friends pray to God. Q: When God reveals the dream to Daniel, what does Daniel do? A: He prays again, praising God for His wisdom.
      4. Then Daniel goes before the King and tells him that the God of heaven has revealed the dream to him. Q: What did the king dream? A: He saw an enormous statue. Q: What were the various parts and of what were they made? A: A head of gold, chest and arms of silver, belly and thighs of bronze, legs of iron and feet of iron mixed with clay. Q: As the King watched the statue, what happened to it? A: A rock, cut out without human hands, came and struck the statue and the pieces of it became like chaff which the wind blew away. Then the rock grew and filled the whole earth. Note this drawing of the statue.
      5. Q: Who does the head of gold represent? A: Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonian Kingdom. Write this and the following information on your worksheet in the space provided. Q: What do the chest and arms of silver represent? A: Another kingdom which shall arise afterward. History shows that this would be the kingdom that overthrew the Babylonians-the Kingdom of the Medes and Persians. Q: What do the belly and thighs of bronze represent? A: A third kingdom which shall come. History records that this one would be the kingdom that overthrew the Medes and Persians-the Greek Empire under Alexander the Great. Q: What do the legs of iron and the feet of iron and clay represent? A: The next world empire in history is the Roman Empire-which shall crush the others. During its latter stages, this kingdom grows weaker, which the prophecy indicates by the iron mixed with clay. Read Daniel 2:44-45. Q: What does the rock that comes from the mountain and smashes the statue represent? A: A kingdom which God shall establish (a rock cut out without human hands) and which shall overwhelm the others and shall eventually fill the whole earth. TheKingdom of God. Q: When will this kingdom be established? A: During the time of the fourth kingdom of this idol-the Roman Empire. If the rock had come during an earlier kingdom, the statue would not have been fully developed before it was destroyed.
      6. Read 1 Samuel 8:7 and 1 Chronicles 28:23. Q: Did God have a kingdom during the times of the Old Testament? A: Yes. He said the people had rejected him as their king and said Solomon sat on the throne of the Lord. The people of Israel were his kingdom and he was their king-a physical kingdom. Q: If God already had a kingdom, what is meant in Daniel 2:44 that "God himself will establish a kingdom?" A: He must mean that He will establish a kingdom of a different kind.The Jews missed this point. They were looking for their Messiah to establish an earthly, physical kingdom to help them throw off the Romans. In fact, John 6:15says they tried to take Jesus by force and make Him king. But Jesus refused because that is not the type of kingdom He came to establish. The kingdom prophesied in Daniel 2:44, then, is the coming spiritual kingdom which the Messiah will bring, not another earthly kingdom for God already had one of these. Daniel prophesies that this kingdom will be established during the time of the Roman Empire.
      7. Here is a sheet on which to record a Summary of Daniel's Prophecies. Under the column labeled Chapter 2, describe very briefly what part of the statue stood foreach of four kingdoms: Babylonian, Medes and Persians, Greeks, and Romans.Then beside the point that says Kingdom of Heaven, write "rock cut out without hands." This chart will help us to summarize each of five prophecies in Daniel so keep it handy for our study in Chapters 7-12.
      8. Read Daniel 2:46-49. Q: What is Nebuchadnezzar's response to Daniel's revelation to him? A: He falls prostrate before Daniel and honors him. The King Nebuchadnezzar, the most powerful man in the world, says, "Surely your God is the God of gods and the Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries." Then he made Daniel the ruler over the province of Babylon and made Daniel's three friends administrators over the province.

Application: (about 9 minutes)

      1. Q: What does this chapter teach us about God? A: That he has the power to protect His people (Daniel and His friends) and that He has the knowledge to reveal the future to His prophets when He chooses. God works behind the scenes to bless people who do what he says. He also has the wisdom and power to devise a plan to save those who sin and is working continually to bring this plan to fruition. Even the punishment of His people by their being carried into captivity is part of His plan for purifying His people from worshipping idols. Some day in the future, He reveals, he will open the doors of a new type of kingdom, a spiritual kingdom, so people can enter into this new relationship with God. God loves us even when we go astray.
      2. Q: What does this chapter teach us about Daniel and his friends? A: That Daniel is a man of prayer. That Daniel prays to God when he gets into trouble.That God will hear and answer Daniel's prayers. Daniel is a man who was recognized by the King as worthy to be placed in a position of honor and authority.
      3. Q: Can you think of situations in which we might need to rely on God in order to receive God's good favor on us? A: When someone in our family contracts some deadly disease, we need to rely on Him to help the person to get better. If on the other hand, God does not answer our prayers with a "yes," we should not turn against Him. Rather, we should sense that God cares and, even with the loss, we still are much better off than the non-Christian who has no hope. God will not make every sick person well because it is appointed to us at some point to die. This is not to say God doesn't care about us. Rather, he wants us to find the way to use the bad circumstance for good. By showing how people of faith are sustained even in difficult circumstances, we can teach a great lesson to the unbelievers.

Assignment: (about 1 minute)

      1. Prepare for the review quiz over this lesson.
      2. Read Daniel 3.

Summary Chart of Daniel's Five Prophecies
Chapter in Daniel Daniel 2 Daniel 7 Daniel 8 Daniel 9 Daniel 10-12
Vision about an image beasts a ram and a goat seventy weeks historical events
Babylon head of gold lion with wings of an eagle
Medes and Persians chest and arms of silver bear eating three ribs ram with 2 horns; last is greater 70 weeks start with decree to rebuild the city. 7 weeks.  4th king of Persia is rich, stirs up Greece
Greeks belly and thighs of brass leapard with 4 wings and 4 heads goats with one horn which falls and four horns come in its place. From one of these comes a "little horn." 62 weeks mighty king arises, his kingdom is broken and given to 4 successors. Kings of North and South fight over Palestine. 
Romans legs of iron; feet of iron and clay terrible beast with 10 horns. Then one replaces 3.  70th week starts with coming of anointed one. Then the city is destroyed.  could contain some references to Rome starting in 11:36.
Kingdom of God stone cut out of the mountain without hands that destroys the image and fills the whole earth "son of man" comes to the "ancient of days" to receive a kingdom Anointed and brings in righteousness may include a reference to the final resurrection and judgment. 
Summary Chart of Daniel's Five Prophesies
Chapter in Daniel Daniel 2 Daniel 7 Daniel 8 Daniel 9 Daniel 10-12
Vision about
Medes & Persians
Kingdom of God

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