Lesson 145: Daniel 2
    Footnotes

    “Lesson 145: Daniel 2,” Old Testament Seminary Teacher Manual (2014)

    “Lesson 145,” Old Testament Seminary Teacher Manual

    Lesson 145

    Daniel 2

    Introduction

    Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, had a dream that troubled him. He ordered all the wise men in Babylon to be killed unless they could reveal the dream and its meaning. Heavenly Father revealed to Daniel the dream and the interpretation of it, which included a description of the kingdom of God upon the earth in the latter days.

    Suggestions for Teaching

    video icon
    If you did not use the video “God Gave Them Knowledge” (13:49) in the previous lesson, you may want to begin today’s class by showing students the first segment (0:00–6:16) of this video to review Daniel 1. This video is available on Old Testament Visual Resource DVDs and on LDS.org.

    Daniel 2:1–23

    Daniel prays about King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, and Heavenly Father reveals it to him

    Invite students to respond to the following question in their class notebooks or scripture study journals. (Explain that you will not ask them to share their responses with the class.)

    • What is an aspect of your life in which you need Heavenly Father’s help?

    Invite students to look for truths in Daniel 2 that can guide their efforts to seek and receive Heavenly Father’s help.

    Remind students that Daniel and his friends served in the court of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. Invite a student to read Daniel 2:1–3 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what troubled Nebuchadnezzar.

    • What troubled Nebuchadnezzar?

    • What did he ask his wise men to do?

    Invite several students to take turns reading aloud from Daniel 2:4–11. Ask the class to follow along and identify why the wise men were troubled by the king’s request.

    • Why were the wise men troubled by the king’s request?

    • Why did the king not reveal the dream to his wise men? (He wanted to test them so he could trust that their interpretation was accurate.)

    Point out the phrases “there is not a man upon the earth that can shew the king’s matter” (verse 10) and “there is none other that can shew it before the king, except the gods” (verse 11). Ask students to summarize in their own words what the king’s wise men meant by these phrases.

    Invite students to read Daniel 2:12–13 silently, looking for how the king responded to the wise men.

    • How did the king respond to the wise men?

    • If you were in Daniel’s position, what would you do?

    Invite a student to read Daniel 2:14–19 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for Daniel’s response when he heard about King Nebuchadnezzar’s decree.

    • What did Daniel and his friends do? (You may want to explain that to “desire mercies of the God of heaven” [verse 18] means to seek Heavenly Father’s help.)

    • According to verse 19, what happened after Daniel and his friends sought Heavenly Father’s help?

    video icon
    Instead of using the above ideas for teaching Daniel 2:4–23, you could show a portion of the video “God Gave Them Knowledge” (6:17–13:49). As students watch the video, invite them to look for what Daniel did when he needed wisdom and guidance. To ensure that students understand what is taking place in the video, you may want to pause it periodically and allow students to review corresponding passages from Daniel 2. After the video, ask the following questions. (If you do not show the video, you may use the same questions to continue the lesson.)

    • What principle can we learn from Daniel and his friends about receiving the wisdom and help we need from God? (Students should identify a principle similar to the following: As we seek Heavenly Father’s help, we can receive the wisdom and direction we need.)

    • Why is it important for us to seek Heavenly Father’s help before we can receive wisdom and direction from Him?

    Ask students to write in their class notebooks or scripture study journals several ways we can seek Heavenly Father’s help. After sufficient time, invite several students to share what they wrote. Then ask:

    • When have you or someone you know sought Heavenly Father’s help and received needed wisdom and direction?

    After one or two students have responded, encourage the class to continue to seek Heavenly Father’s help so they can receive the wisdom and direction they need.

    Invite students to scan Daniel 2:20–23, looking for what Daniel did after Heavenly Father revealed the dream to him.

    • What stands out to you about what Daniel did after Heavenly Father revealed the dream to him?

    Daniel 2:24–49

    Daniel reveals to King Nebuchadnezzar the dream and its interpretation

    Summarize Daniel 2:24–25 by explaining that when Daniel told the king’s servant that he could reveal the king’s dream to him, the servant immediately brought Daniel to the king.

    Invite a student to read Daniel 2:26–30 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what Daniel told the king about God and the latter days. Explain that the word secret in these verses refers to truth or knowledge (see verse 28, footnote b).

    • How does what Daniel told the king compare to what the wise men had told the king (see verses 10–11)?

    • Based on what Daniel told the king (see verse 30), what is one reason why Heavenly Father reveals truth to His prophets? (Students should identify the following doctrine: Heavenly Father reveals truth to His prophets in order to bless His children.)

    Explain that Daniel 2:31–35 records Daniel’s description of the details of King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. Invite a student to read Daniel 2:31–35 aloud. Ask the class to follow along and identify the different elements of the dream. Invite a student to draw on the board the image and the stone Daniel described. (As the lesson continues, add labels to the drawing as shown in the accompanying diagram.)

    stone and figure
    • What did the stone do to the image? What did the stone become?

    Explain that Daniel 2:36–45 records that Daniel revealed to King Nebuchadnezzar the interpretation of his dream. Invite a student to read Daniel 2:37–38 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what Daniel revealed about the head of the image from the dream.

    • Who did Daniel say the head represented? (Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonian empire.)

    You may want to suggest that students write Babylonian Empire in the margin next to verse 38.

    Invite a student to read Daniel 2:39 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for the additional truths Daniel revealed.

    • What else did Daniel reveal about the king’s dream? (The different sections of the image represented kingdoms that would rise after Babylon falls.)

    Explain that the image’s breast and arms made of silver represent the empire of the Medes and Persians, and the belly and thighs of brass represent the Macedonian (Greek) Empire. You may want to suggest that students write these interpretations in the margin next to verse 39.

    Invite a student to read Daniel 2:40 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what Daniel revealed about the legs of iron.

    • What did Daniel reveal about the legs of iron? (They represented a fourth kingdom that would follow the Greek empire.)

    Explain that the image’s legs of iron represent the Roman Empire. You may want to suggest that students write Roman Empire in the margin next to verse 40.

    Summarize Daniel 2:41–43 by explaining that Daniel revealed that the toes of the image represented both strong and weak kingdoms. Explain that these represent the many kingdoms that arose after the fall of the Roman Empire. You may want to suggest that students write Many kingdoms in the margin next to verses 41–43. Point out that the time of many kingdoms includes the latter days.

    Invite a student to read Daniel 2:44–45 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what Daniel revealed about what God would do during the time of many kingdoms.

    • According to verse 44, what did Daniel prophesy that God would do during the time of many kingdoms?

    To help students understand what the stone cut out of the mountain without hands represents (see Daniel 2:34–35), invite a student to read Doctrine and Covenants 65:2 aloud.

    • What does the stone cut out of the mountain without hands represent? (Explain that in this verse the phrase “kingdom of God” refers to the kingdom of God on the earth—The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.)

    • What has the Lord “committed unto man” that enables the gospel to fill the whole earth? (Remind students that the phrase “keys of the kingdom” refers to the priesthood authority to preside in the Church.)

    You may want to suggest that students write The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the margin next to verses 44–45.

    • What might the phrase “cut out of the mountain without hands” mean in verse 45? (The kingdom was established by God, not by man.)

    • Why is it important to understand that the Church was established by God and not by man?

    • What do you think the phrase “it shall stand for ever” means in verse 44?

    • What does Daniel’s prophecy teach us about the Church? (After students respond, write the following truth on the board: The Lord established His Church—The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—and it will continue to grow until it fills the whole earth.)

    • Why is it important for us to remember that we are part of God’s kingdom on earth?

    • How can knowing that the Lord leads His kingdom today help us when we face opposition or when our faith is challenged?

    You may want to share your testimony about why it is important to you to be a part of God’s kingdom on earth. Invite students to consider what they can do to help the kingdom of God to continue rolling forth to fill the earth.

    Invite a student to read Daniel 2:46–49 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for King Nebuchadnezzar’s response to the interpretation of his dream.

    • What did Nebuchadnezzar do for Daniel and his friends?

    Remind students that Daniel and his friends received these blessings because they sought Heavenly Father’s help. Invite students to ponder the truths they have learned while studying Daniel 2 and to follow any promptings they may have received from the Holy Ghost to act on these truths.

    Commentary and Background Information

    Daniel 2:36–43. The interpretation of King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream

    President Rudger Clawson of the First Presidency elaborated on Daniel’s interpretation of King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream:

    “History certifies to the fact that King Nebuchadnezzar was the head of gold. The Medes and Persians, an inferior kingdom to Babylon, were the arms and breast of silver. The Macedonian kingdom, under Alexander the Great, was the belly and thighs of brass; and the Roman kingdom under the Caesars was the legs of iron. For mark you, later on the kingdom, or empire of Rome, was divided. The head of the government in one division was at Rome and the head of the government in the other division was at Constantinople. So these two great divisions represented the legs of iron. Finally, the Roman empire was broken up into smaller kingdoms, represented by the feet and toes of iron and clay” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1930, 32).

    Daniel 2:31–45. “The stone … filled the whole earth”

    President Gordon B. Hinckley emphasized that we are eyewitnesses to the fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy:

    “The Lord is fulfilling His promise that His gospel shall be as the stone cut out of the mountain without hands which would roll forth and fill the whole earth, as Daniel saw in vision (see Daniel 2:31–45; D&C 65:2). A great miracle is taking place right before our eyes” (“The Stone Cut Out of the Mountain,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2007, 83).