Daniel 2 records an important prophetic vision given to King Nebuchadnezzar and the king’s search for its meaning. The prophet Daniel provides the solution and proves that “there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries” (Daniel 2:28) and “reveals deep and hidden things” (Daniel 2:22).
Nebuchadnezzar had one particularly troubling dream, causing him to lose sleep (Daniel 2:1). To ensure that he was getting the correct interpretation, he insisted that his counselors tell him the dream itself and not just the interpretation (Daniel 2:2–9). The king’s men recognized that such a request was humanly impossible, asserting that there was no man on earth who could declare the matter to the king (Daniel 2:10). They suggested that only a god could do something so remarkable (Daniel 2:11). When Daniel heard that the king had ordered the death of all his wise men because they couldn’t meet Nebuchadnezzar’s demand, he and his three friends prayed for God to deliver them (Daniel 2:12–18).
While no human could do what Nebuchadnezzar was asking, God would reveal the hidden things. God revealed to Daniel the mystery, and Daniel worshiped God (Daniel 2:23). Before the king’s order to execute his counselors could be carried out, Daniel communicated with Nebuchadnezzar’s executioner and told him that God had provided the answer—God had revealed the hidden things (Daniel 2:24–25). Nebuchadnezzar summoned Daniel, asking whether he could reveal the dream and its interpretation (Daniel 2:26), and Daniel reminded him that no person on earth could do such a thing, but that there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and that God reveals the hidden things (Daniel 2:28). Because God revealed the hidden things to Daniel, he was able to tell the king both the dream itself (Daniel 2:31–35) and the interpretation of the dream (Daniel 2:36–45).
Nebuchadnezzar had dreamed of a statue with a head of gold, arms and chest of silver, belly and thighs of bronze, and legs of iron with feet partly of iron and clay (Daniel 2:31–33). A stone uncut by human hands struck the statue at its feet and destroyed it completely, and then that stone filled the whole earth (Daniel 2:34–35). Because God had revealed the hidden things, Daniel was able to explain that the head symbolized Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom (Daniel 2:38), the chest and arms the kingdom that would follow (Medo-Persia), and after that a third kingdom (Greece), symbolized by the bronze belly and thighs (Daniel 2:39). Daniel further explained that there would be a fourth kingdom, as strong as iron, yet brittle and partially divided (Rome), symbolized by the legs of iron and the feet partly of clay and iron (Daniel 2:40–43). After those kingdoms God would set up His own kingdom, symbolized by the rock that destroyed the statue (Daniel 2:44–45). God’s kingdom would be eternal and fill the whole earth.
God revealed the hidden things to Daniel and saved the lives of Daniel, his three friends, and the other wise men of Babylon. At the same time, God revealed His plan for the ages, beginning with the present world power—Babylon, led by Nebuchadnezzar. God would allow these kingdoms to subsist for a time but one day would intervene directly and rule over the earth Himself. God also revealed to Daniel a short time later that Ruler would be the Son of Man, the Messiah of Israel (Daniel 7:13–14). This One, whom we know as Jesus, will return from heaven one day and gather those on earth who have believed in Him (1 Thessalonians 4:13–17), bring them with Him to remain in heaven until the completion of Daniel’s 70th week (as in Daniel 9:24–27), and then return to earth to fulfill the prophecy of Daniel 2:44–45. Throughout Scripture God has revealed the hidden things—the mysteries, or things not previously revealed.