Daniel 2:36-42
Daniel 2:36
This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king.
Daniel now begins to tell the King the details and interpretation of the dream.  It is the moment the King was waiting for and not for all the excuses his own counselors gave as to why they couldn’t give the details and meaning.
Daniel 2:37
Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory.
Daniel now approaches the details and the meaning of the dream.  He first addresses the king with the title of “king of kings.”  This in no way is equating Nebuchadnezzar with the Lord Jesus Christ since He is also referred to as the King of Kings.  What Daniel means by this is that by means of conquering kingdoms, he had many kings in subject to him, like Jehoiakim.  Daniel also makes it clear that Nebuchadnezzar did not make Babylon great by himself but it was God who gave him the kingdom.  As we saw in verse 21, it is God who sets up kings and brings them down.  At this point God made him a very powerful King.   God gave him power which is also power in strength.  God also gave him great glory as king of such a great empire.  Daniel wants him to know that all these things were not of himself but a gift from God.
Daniel 2:38
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.
Daniel continues to inform Nebuchadnezzar that he is the great ruler over the kingdom which means he was given complete authority to rule over all the people, those who were born naturally in Babylon and those who were conquered by the Babylonians and are now servants, whether in Babylon or in their specific countries.  God had allowed him to become so powerful that he even had the animals and the birds in subject to him.  These would have been referring to conquered countries where the people were moved out to Babylon and their lands were left bare and the animals had taken them over.  Sometimes a conqueror would leave a token amount of people in conquered lands to prevent the country from being overcome with animals, especially lions and other ferocious beasts.  Now Daniel begins to explain the meaning of the image in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream.  Daniel now tells him that he is the head of gold because of all the lands under him are united in one large empire and he rules that empire as a single ruler. The gold represented the vast wealth which was taken by Babylon in conquering nations.
Daniel 2:39
And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth.
Now Daniel is telling the king that even though, in the present, Babylon is the ruling empire but as great as it is shall also wane to the point that it will be taken over by another kingdom and the fact is that kingdom will be inferior to great Babylon.  It is bad enough to be conquered but by a kingdom which is inferior to the great kingdom which is at present.  The inferior kingdom which shall conquer Babylon will be that of the Medes and Persians about 539 B.C.  It was the breast and arms of silver.  Then Daniel mentions another kingdom after that which would be the kingdom of Greece.   This is the belly and thighs of brass.  It will include Alexander the Great whose rule was about 336-323 B.C.   The Kingdom of Greece in totality ruled from 359 B.C. to about 146 B.C. when it was captured by Rome in the fourth Macedonian war.  The extent of the Grecian Empire was from Macedonia itself to the borders of India.  It was another very large empire.
Daniel 2:40
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.
The fourth kingdom would line up with that of the Roman Empire.  The Roman Empire had a lifespan of nearly 1200 years.  It started very small at about 673 B.C. and lasted to about 536 A.D. when it was finally dissolved itself.  When Rome was at the height of its power, it conquered many nations including England, France, Germany, and all those surrounding the Mediterranean Sea.  They had subdued nations and caused them to pay tribute to Rome.  The Roman Empire was so vast that in Luke 2:1 it was referred to as the whole world.   Luke 2:1 (KJV) And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.
Daniel 2:41
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.
When the Roman empire was being attacked and dissolved by its enemies, the Goths, Huns and others.  It was broken up into ten smaller kingdoms, some lasted longer represented by the toes of iron but some did not represented by the toes of clay.  Now here is another confusion problem that is injected by the prophecy moguls.  They try to equate this verse with the so called ten kingdom confederacy found in Revelation 13:1 and 17:12.   One of the problems with prophecy professionals, they cannot discern between the events leading up to the first coming of Christ and the events leading up to the second coming of Christ.  Daniel is giving a dream interpretation to Nebuchadnezzar and we saw how careful God worded it.  He said it was “hereafter or after this.”  Daniel 2:29 (KJV) As for thee, O king, thy thoughts came into thy mind upon thy bed, what should come to pass hereafter: and he that revealeth secrets maketh known to thee what shall come to pass.   The kingdoms mentioned here in this chapter are dovetailing each other and there is no great time length between them which completely rejects the idea that this verse is now carried to Revelation.  Keep in mind that it does not matter what these kingdoms are or how big or how small.  God is showing us that His Kingdom will supersede all earthly kingdoms. 
Daniel 2:42
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.
Some of the smaller kingdoms which cropped up after the downfall of the Roman Empire would hold influence over others but some would not and be broken up as ceramic pottery to dust.