by Clarence E. Macartney

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The Parable of Nebuchadnezzar's Colossus (14 of 15)
Series: The Parables of the Old Testament
Clarence Macartney
Daniel 2

No prefiguration of the future has attracted so much attention as the vision parable of Nebuchadnezzar's Colossus. Whole libraries could be filled with the literature which has arisen as an interpretation of the vision. The composite image which the king saw in his dream is just as fascinating to the student of the Scriptures and of human affairs today as it was to Edward Irving, or Sir Isaac Newton, or the fathers of the first centuries of the Christian church. There is great inspiration and profit in the study of this prophetic parable, provided we are content with the principles which are declared, and do not forget these timeless principles in a vain effort to anatomize the huge image beyond the point to which this is carried by the inspired writer.

The reader will be impressed with the similarity between this vision and that of Pharaoh in the days of Joseph. In both cases the prophetic dream in which future events are set forth is given to a heathen monarch, and in both cases the divine interpretation comes through the Hebrew captive. But there is a difference: Pharaoh remembered very distinctly the incidents of his dream, but was ignorant as to the meaning; whereas the Babylonian dreamer knew only that he had dreamed a strange dream which left him troubled and perplexed, but without any recollection of what he had dreamed. His wise men thought they might interpret the dream if the king would tell them what he had seen or done in his dream. But the king said, ''The thing is gone from me.'' He offered them great rewards if they could recall to him his dream and interpret it for him, but if not, then they were to be cut to pieces and their houses made a dunghill. The magicians asked for time to consider and go through their diverse incantations. But the cruel despot declared that they could have no time for reflection and ordere ...

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