The stone - became a great mountain - There is the kingdom אבן eben, of the stone, and the kingdom of the mountain. See at the end at the chapter.
Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing-floor - The word rendered “together” (כצרה kachădâh ) our translators would seem to have understood as referring to “time;” to its being done simultaneously. The more literal interpretation, however, is, “as one;” that is, “they were beaten small as one,” referring to identity of condition. They were all reduced to one indiscriminate mass; to such a mass that the original materials could no longer be distinguished, and would all be blown away together. The literal meaning of the word (חד chad used and חדה chădâh ) is, “one,” or “first.” Ezra 4:8, “wrote a letter;” Ezra 5:13, “in the first year of Cyrus;” Ezra 6:2, “a roll;” Daniel 2:9; “there is but one decree for you;” Daniel 3:19, “heat the furnace one seven times hotter,” etc. United with the preposition (כ k ) it means “as one,” like the Hebrew כאחד ke'echâd ) - Ecclesiastes 11:6; 2 Chronicles 5:13; Ezra 2:64; Ezra 3:9; Isaiah 65:25. The phrase “chaff of the summer threshing-floors” refers to the mode of winnowing grain in the East. This was done in the open air, usually on an elevated place, by throwing the grain, when thrashed, into the air with a shovel, and the wind thus drove away the chaff. Such chaff, therefore, naturally became an emblem of anything that was light, and that would be easily dissipated. See the notes at Isaiah 30:24; Matthew 3:12.
And the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them - They were entirely dissipated like chaff. As that seems to have no longer any place, but is carried we know not where, so the figure here would denote an entire annihilation of the power to which it refers.
And the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth - The vision which was before the mind of the king as here represented was, that the stone which was cut out of the mountain was at first small, and that while he contemplated it, it swelled to larger dimensions, until it became an immense mountain - a mountain that filled the whole land. It was this which, perhaps more than anything else, excited his wonder, that a stone, at first of so small dimensions, should of itself so increase as to surpass the size of the mountain from which it was cut, until it occupied every place in view. Everything about it was so remarkable and unusual, that it was no wonder that he could not explain it. We have now gone over a description of the literal vision as it appeared to the mind of the monarch. Had it been left here, it is clear that it would have been of difficult interpretation, and possibly the true explanation might never have been suggested. We have, however, an exposition by Daniel, which leaves no doubt as to its design, and which was intended to carry the mind forward into some of the most important and remarkable events of history. A portion of his statement has been fulfilled; a part remains still unaccomplished, and a careful exposition of his account of the meaning of the vision will lead our thoughts to some of the most important historical events which have occurred in introducing the Christian dispensation, and to events still more important in the statement of what is yet to come.
The dream of the great image, opening before Nebuchadnezzar events reaching to the close of time, had been given that he might understand the part he was to act in the world's history, and the relation that his kingdom should sustain to the kingdom of heaven. In the interpretation of the dream, he had been plainly instructed regarding the establishment of God's everlasting kingdom. “In the days of these kings,” Daniel had declared, “shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.... The dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.” Daniel 2:44, 45. PK 503.1
The king had acknowledged the power of God, saying to Daniel, “Of a truth it is, that your God is a God of gods, ... and a revealer of secrets.” Verse 47. For a time afterward, Nebuchadnezzar was influenced by the fear of God; but his heart was not yet cleansed from worldly ambition and a desire for self-exaltation. The prosperity attending his reign filled him with pride. In time he ceased to honor God, and resumed his idol worship with increased zeal and bigotry. PK 503.2Read in context »