Who was Nebuchadnezzar?

King Nebuchadnezzar was the greatest and most powerful of all the Babylonia kings. His name means “Oh Nabu (a Babylonian god), protect my son (or my boundary), according to the New International Encyclopedia of Bible Characters.

The great and powerful king wrestled with his own sovereignty compared to the God of Israel through a series of dreams. He went from crown prince to king in 605-562 BC, the approximate time the Babylonian army captured Jerusalem, taking the prophet Daniel as one of the hostages. King Nebuchadnezzar’s path crossed both the prophets Daniel and Jeremiah in his lifetime, both who carried important messages for God’s people about the New Covenant (the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ). Daniel’s interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dreams also had many correlations to the book of Revelation, later penned by the apostle John. Our God is purposeful, weaving His authoritative hand throughout all of human history, including the life of this storied Babylonian king.

Nebuchadnezzar in the Bible

King Nebuchadnezzar is mentioned in the Old Testament books of 2 Kings, 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel. However, he is spoken of most in the book of Daniel. He is first introduced in 2 Kings 24, amidst a crop of corrupt kings of Judah. Eventually, the Babylonian army destroyed and took captive all survivors, fulfilling the prophet Jeremiah’s warnings, and God’s disciplinary action of His people.

Nebuchadnezzar's Troubling Dream

In the ancient world, dreams were thought to be visions of future events.  King Nebuchadnezzar's dreams were troubling him and he sought resolution and interpretation of his visions from the wise men of Babylon.  However, the king would not reveal his dreams to them and said if they truly were supernatural men they would know his dream and its interpretation.  God then discloses his dream to Daniel, a vision of a giant statue made of gold, silver, bronze, iron, and clay.  Then, in the dream, "a stone was cut out by no human hand" and struck the statue breaking it into pieces as the wind carried them away leaving no traces behind.  Daniel explained to the king that the statue represented four successive kingdoms based upon power and wealth, beginning with Babylon, while the stone and mountain signified a kingdom established by God that would never be destroyed nor given to other people.

Read the full story of Nebuchadnezzar's Dream in scripture text below and find Articles, Videos, and Audio Sermons relating to this inspiring story.

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