Study Guide

Book of Daniel Dreams, Hopes, and Plans

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Dreams, Hopes, and Plans

Lions? Plenty of 'em. The Book of Daniel certainly has plenty of dreams, too—but they're actual dreams, weird things Nebuchadnezzar sees in his sleep. Yet, like Uncle Sigmund Freud always says, "Every dream is a wish." All of these dreams—the statue destroyed by the rock, the tree that gets cut down—are wishes that the Hebrews had for the future. They wish to see the world of wicked empires replaced by a Messianic age of peace (the rock that covers the world, in the statue dream) and to see kings like Nebuchadnezzar brought low and re-educated into the ways of God.

Daniel's visions too, outline hopes and dreams for the future. They predict the end of the reign of un-righteous kings like Antiochus IV Epiphanes and the beginning of a New World. They imagine the wise and holy people who are now persecuted, raised up and ascending to a place of glory after death.

Questions About Dreams, Hopes, and Plans

  1. Why do the four empires in the statue dream form the image of one frightening human statue?
  2. Why does Nebuchadnezzar need to become an animal before he can learn the truth about God?
  3. What does the book expect the end of the world to be like? Does it differ from images in books like Isaiah and Revelation?
  4. What is the significance of the "one like a human" who receives dominion at the end of time, when the four beasts have all died or been destroyed?
  5. Who fulfills these plans and dreams for the future? God? Or does Israel itself play a role? How can you tell?

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