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The Book of Daniel – Number Thirty Six

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Nebuchadnezzar’s Prophetic Symbolism: Unveiling the Millerite Movement’s Historic Waymarks and the Sealed Vision of the Ulai River


Key Takeaways
  • Daniel chapter one represents the history of the first and second angels from August 11, 1840, until October 22, 1844.
  • Daniel chapter four also addresses the history of the first and second angels from 723 BC until October 22, 1844.
  • Nebuchadnezzar in chapter four symbolizes a complex prophetic symbol.
  • Nebuchadnezzar’s second dream parallels William Miller’s second dream, both dealing with the “seven times” from Leviticus twenty-six.
  • Nebuchadnezzar’s judgment in chapter four represents the “hour” of God’s judgment in the first angel’s message and the “hour” of the Sunday law.
  • The repetition and enlargement of the word “hour” in Daniel chapter four signifies the arrival of the first angel’s message in 1798 and the arrival of the third angel on October 22, 1844.
  • Nebuchadnezzar, as the king of the north, represents the judgment upon the northern kingdom of Israel in 723 BC and later, the two forms of paganism in history.
  • He represents the pagan desolating power for 1260 years and the papal desolating power for another 1260 years.
  • Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom being restored at the “end of the days” symbolizes his conversion.
  • Nebuchadnezzar becomes a symbol linking the dragon power of paganism, the beast power, and the false prophet power.
  • He symbolizes the birth of the United States as the earth beast in 1798 and the transformation of its two horns, Republicanism and Protestantism.
  • Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom typifies modern Babylon, which includes the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet.
  • Nebuchadnezzar’s symbolism in chapter four is overlaid with Daniel chapter one, providing waymarks for Millerite history.
  • Jehoiakim symbolizes the empowerment of the first message in 1798, marking August 11, 1840.
  • The three-step testing process in Daniel one represents significant events in Millerite history.
  • Miller’s dream aligns with Nebuchadnezzar’s second dream, addressing the “seven times” and the restoration of the kingdom.
  • James White introduces William Miller’s second dream and emphasizes the importance of dreams and visions in biblical prophecy.
  • The dream provided insight into the Second Advent experience and served as a sign for the last days.


Daniel chapter one represents the history of the first and second angels from August 11, 1840, until October 22, 1844. Daniel chapter four also addresses the history of the first and second angels from 723 BC, until October 22, 1844. Of course, this is impossible to see without the latter rain methodology of “line upon line.”

Nebuchadnezzar, in chapter four, is a very complex prophetic symbol. It is important to remind ourselves of what he represents as we begin to consider the unsealing of the Ulai River vision in the history of William Miller. Nebuchadnezzar’s second dream, not unlike William Miller’s second dream, represented the “seven times,” of Leviticus twenty-six, which is the prophetic thread that weaves the entire book of Daniel together. When Daniel interpreted Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of chapter four, he warned him of a coming judgment, and in so doing typified the first angel’s message that arrived into history at the “time of the end” in 1798.

When the judgment that Nebuchadnezzar was warned was to come arrived, the arrival typified October 22, 1844, when the investigative judgment began. In chapter four, both the warning message provided by Daniel, and the arrival of the judgment connected with the warning message were represented by the word “hour”.  The “hour” of Nebuchadnezzar’s judgment represented the “hour” of God’s judgment in the first angel’s message. It also typified the “hour” of the Sunday law, when God’s executive judgment begins. The portion of Daniel chapter four that represents the arrival of the first angel’s message in 1798, and the arrival of the third angel on October 22, 1844, which is symbolized by the word “hour,” is then repeated and enlarged upon. The technique of repeat and enlarge is a prophetic technique that occurs repeatedly in prophecy, but especially in the book of Daniel.

Once Nebuchadnezzar arrived at the “hour” of judgment, the “seven times,” that was his judgment, began, and as the king of the north, he then represented the judgment brought upon the northern kingdom of Israel in 723 BC. He was given the heart of a beast, and a beast is a kingdom in Bible prophecy, and from 723 BC, through to 1798, he represented the two forms of paganism that are so often the subject of the book of Daniel.

For twelve hundred and sixty days, representing twelve hundred and sixty years, he represented the pagan desolating power, and then for another twelve hundred and sixty days, symbolizing twelve hundred and sixty years, he represented the papal desolating power. The heart of both desolating powers was the same, for papalism is simply paganism wearing the profession of Christianity.

At the “end of the days,” which is a symbol identified in Daniel chapter twelve, that represents the “time of the end” in 1798, his kingdom was restored unto him. The testimony of Daniel four, and the Spirit of Prophecy, identifies that when his kingdom was restored at the “end of the days,” he was a converted man. He then becomes a prophetic symbol of four significant truths. He becomes the prophetic link between the dragon power of paganism, which he represented in the first half of his “seven times,” and of the beast power, which he represented in the last half of his “seven times.” As a symbol of those two powers, standing as a restored kingdom in 1798, he then represents the third desolating power (the false prophet), which was to reign for seventy symbolic years, while the whore of Tyre was forgotten. As the king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar represents the prophetic link between the three powers that would become modern Babylon in the last days, which then leads the world to Armageddon.

He also represented the birth of the United States as the earth beast, which began in 1798 as a lamb, symbolized by his converted experience. He would simultaneously represent the two horns on the earth beast, which as Republicanism and Protestantism represented the strength of the United States, which was what allowed it to become the most favored nation in the world. Yet at the end of the seventy symbolic years those two horns would then be represented as apostate Republicanism and apostate Protestantism, with both horns divided into two classes. Republicanism’s horn would consist of the Democratic party that openly disregarded the sacred principles of the Constitution, and the Republican party that professed to be the defenders and champions of the Constitution, but in actuality denied the sacred principles of the Constitution, while choosing traditions and customs to supersede the principles within that sacred document.

The two parties were typified by the Sadducees and Pharisees in the time of Christ. The spirit of the Sadducees and Pharisees would also be manifested in the horn of apostate Protestantism, with one class upholding Sunday worship and the other Sabbath worship. Nebuchadnezzar’s converted condition at the “end of the days,” in 1798, fitly represents the United States, and both horns of the earth beast. All three symbols—the earth beast and its two horns, were destined to change from a lamb unto a dragon.

Nebuchadnezzar, at the end of his “seven times,” represented the link which identified his literal kingdom of Babylon as the symbol of modern Babylon in the last days, which is made up of the dragon, the beast and the false prophet. He also represented the three prophetic entities represented by the earth beast with two horns, that changes from a lamb unto a dragon during the seventy symbolic years that the whore of Tyre is forgotten. It is profound that his literal kingdom is the very kingdom that typifies the kingdom that reigns for seventy symbolic years.

Nebuchadnezzar’s symbolism of chapter four, is to be laid over the top of chapter one. When that application is made, it brings together the waymarks of Millerite history, and confirms several truths of the Ulai River vision that were unsealed at that time. The foundation and central pillar of the Millerite movement was the question and answer of Daniel chapter eight, and verses thirteen and fourteen. The question was, “How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?”

Of the hundreds, if not thousands of added words in the Bible, it is only the added word “sacrifice” that inspiration identifies as not belonging to the text. When the word is properly removed it clearly identifies that “the daily and the transgression” are two distinct desolating powers. Sister White specifically identifies the word “sacrifice” was added by human wisdom and does not apply to the text, and in the same passage she also identifies that the Millerites were correct in identifying “the daily” as paganism. The grammatical terms within the question of verse thirteen, were carefully identified by Christ through the writings of Sister White, and when governed by the texts and the added inspired instructions, the question is, “How long shall be the vision concerning the two desolating powers of paganism and papalism, that were to trample down both the sanctuary and God’s people?”

Therefore, when Nebuchadnezzar is located at the “time of the end,” in 1798, he is representing a converted man and therefore represents the “wise” that would understand the central pillar and foundation of Adventism. His conversion identifies the “wise” that understand the “increase of knowledge” which was unsealed at that time, but his own prophetic symbolism directly illustrates the history that is the subject of the question of, “how long would be the vision of the desolating power of paganism and papalism which would trample down God’s people (the host), and God’s sanctuary?” As a symbol of a “wise virgin” who understands the “increase of knowledge,” he represents William Miller, for Miller is the symbol of those who were “wise” in the history that began at the “time of the end,” in 1798.

Nebuchadnezzar is a symbol of the waymark of the “time of the end,” and when laid over chapter one, he also represents the arrival of the first angel at that time, because in chapter four, the “hour” in which Daniel provides Nebuchadnezzar with the warning message, marks when the first angel arrived, and that was 1798. The “hour” when Nebuchadnezzar’s judgment arrived, represented the “hour” of the beginning of God’s investigative judgment on October 22, 1844. The waymarks produced by the symbolism of Nebuchadnezzar in chapter four, are 723 BC, 538, 1798 (the time of the end) and October 22, 1844.

The waymarks of Millerite history in Daniel chapter one, begin with Jehoiakim, who is a symbol of the empowerment of the first message which had arrived at the “time of the end,” in 1798. The empowerment of the first message, represented by Jehoiakim, marks August 11, 1840. The conquering of Jehoiakim begins the seventy years of Babylon’s reign, that ends with the decree of Cyrus. Chapter one of Daniel identifies a three-step testing process, represented as a dietary test, followed by a visual test that concludes with a litmus test. Those three tests represent August 11, 1840, when the mighty angel that was no less a personage than Jesus Christ, came down out of heaven with a little book that God’s people were then to “eat”, just as Daniel and the three worthies chose to eat the diet of pulse, rather than the diet of Babylon.

The second test of that process represented the manifestation of the Protestant churches’ rejection of Miller’s message (the first angel’s message), when a distinction could then be seen between the Millerite movement, and the Protestant churches that then began their prophetic role as apostate Protestantism. The distinction between those two classes was as marked as was Daniel and the three worthies’ flesh appearing fairer and fatter for eating the heavenly food, instead of the Babylonian diet. That distinction was marked at the end of the biblical year of 1843 (March 21, 1844), when the tarrying time of the parable of the ten virgins arrived.

The third test, which was the litmus test, represented October 22, 1844 when, after three years, the “hour” came when Nebuchadnezzar himself judged and pronounced Daniel and the three worthies “ten times” better than the Babylonian wise men. Placing Daniel chapter four, over chapter one, produces the waymarks of Millerite history beginning with the “time of the end” in 1798; the empowerment of the first angel’s message on August 11, 1840; the first disappointment on March 21, 1844; and the great disappointment of October 22, 1844.

Beyond identifying the specific waymarks of Millerite history, the two chapters, when brought together “line upon line,” illustrate the message of the first angel, identify the two desolating powers that are the subject of the foundational doctrine of the twenty-three hundred days, and also the three-step testing process of Daniel twelve which always occurs when the book of Daniel is unsealed.

They also identify that Nebuchadnezzar, as the symbol of the wise in 1798, in conjunction with his second dream in chapter four, represents William Miller, whose movement was to become the true Protestant horn. The work of William Miller, that represents the foundational truths of Adventism, are represented upon Habakkuk’s two tables, and God directed in the production of both those sacred tables.

There were several prophetic truths that Miller did not see correctly because his vantage point of prophetic history disallowed him from recognizing that there are three desolating powers; not only paganism (the dragon), papalism (the beast), but also apostate Protestantism (the false prophet). In God’s providence those prophetic understandings of Miller, that were limited by his vantage point in history, were not represented upon the two sacred tables of Habakkuk.

Nebuchadnezzar’s second dream in chapter four of Daniel, represents William Miller’s second dream. Both dreams address the “seven times,” and Miller’s dream identifies the rejection of his work that began in 1863, and escalates until the Midnight Cry. Both dreams end with a kingdom restored after a period of scattering. For this reason, we will consider Miller’s second dream, before we consider directly the vision of the Ulai River that was unsealed in 1798.

“I dreamed that God, by an unseen hand, sent me a curiously wrought casket about ten inches long by six square, made of ebony and pearls curiously inlaid. To the casket there was a key attached. I immediately took the key and opened the casket, when, to my wonder and surprise, I found it filled with all sorts and sizes of jewels, diamonds, precious stones, and gold and silver coin of every dimension and value, beautifully arranged in their several places in the casket; and thus arranged they reflected a light and glory equaled only to the sun.

“I thought it was not my duty to enjoy this wonderful sight alone, although my heart was overjoyed at the brilliancy, beauty, and value of its contents. I therefore placed it on a center table in my room and gave out word that all who had a desire might come and see the most glorious and brilliant sight ever seen by man in this life.

“The people began to come in, at first few in number, but increasing to a crowd. When they first looked into the casket, they would wonder and shout for joy. But when the spectators increased, everyone would begin to trouble the jewels, taking them out of the casket and scattering them on the table. I began to think that the owner would require the casket and the jewels again at my hand; and if I suffered them to be scattered, I could never place them in their places in the casket again as before; and felt I should never be able to meet the accountability, for it would be immense. I then began to plead with the people not to handle them, nor to take them out of the casket; but the more I pleaded, the more they scattered; and now they seemed to scatter them all over the room, on the floor and on every piece of furniture in the room.

“I then saw that among the genuine jewels and coin they had scattered an innumerable quantity of spurious jewels and counterfeit coin. I was highly incensed at their base conduct and ingratitude, and reproved and reproached them for it; but the more I reproved, the more they scattered the spurious jewels and false coin among the genuine.

“I then became vexed in my physical soul and began to use physical force to push them out of the room; but while I was pushing out one, three more would enter and bring in dirt and shavings and sand and all manner of rubbish, until they covered every one of the true jewels, diamonds, and coins, which were all excluded from sight. They also tore in pieces my casket and scattered it among the rubbish. I thought no man regarded my sorrow or my anger. I became wholly discouraged and disheartened, and sat down and wept.

“While I was thus weeping and mourning for my great loss and accountability, I remembered God, and earnestly prayed that He would send me help. Immediately the door opened, and a man entered the room, when the people all left it; and he, having a dirt brush in his hand, opened the windows, and began to brush the dirt and rubbish from the room.

“I cried to him to forbear, for there were some precious jewels scattered among the rubbish.

“He told me to ‘fear not,’ for he would ‘take care of them.’

“Then, while he brushed the dirt and rubbish, false jewels and counterfeit coin, all rose and went out of the window like a cloud, and the wind carried them away. In the bustle I closed my eyes for a moment; when I opened them, the rubbish was all gone. The precious jewels, the diamonds, the gold and silver coins, lay scattered in profusion all over the room.

“He then placed on the table a casket, much larger and more beautiful than the former, and gathered up the jewels, the diamonds, the coins, by the handful, and cast them into the casket, till not one was left, although some of the diamonds were not bigger than the point of a pin.

“He then called upon me to ‘come and see.’

“I looked into the casket, but my eyes were dazzled with the sight. They shone with ten times their former glory. I thought they had been scoured in the sand by the feet of those wicked persons who had scattered and trod them in the dust. They were arranged in beautiful order in the casket, everyone in its place, without any visible pains of the man who cast them in. I shouted with very joy, and that shout awoke me.” Early Writings, 81–83.


We will address Miller’s dream in the next article.

The following is an introduction of William Miller’s second dream, written by James White when he published Miller’s dream in the Advent Herald.

“The following dream was published in the Advent Herald, more than two years since. I then saw that it clearly marked out our past Second Advent experience, and that God gave the dream for the benefit of the scattered flock.

“Among the signs of the near approach of the great and the terrible day of the Lord, God has placed dreams. See Joel 2:28–31; Acts 2:17–20. Dreams may come in three ways; first, ‘through the multitude of business.’ See Eccl.5:3. Second, those who are under the foul spirit and deception of Satan, may have dreams through his influence. See Deuteronomy 8:1–5; Jeremiah 23:25–28; 27:9; 29:8; Zechariah 10:2; Jude 8. And third, God has always taught, and still teaches his people more or less by dreams, which come through the agency of angels and the Holy Spirit. Those who stand in the clear light of truth will know when God gives them a dream; and such will not be deceived and led astray by false dreams.

“‘And he said, Hear now my words; if there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream.’ Numbers 12:6. Said Jacob, ‘The angel of the Lord spake unto me in a dream.’ Genesis 31:2. ‘And God came to Laban the Syrian in a dream by night.’ Genesis 31:24. Read the dreams of Joseph, [Genesis 37:5–9], and then the interesting story of their fulfilment in Egypt. ‘In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night.’ 1 Kings 3:5. The great important image of the second chapter of Daniel was given in a dream, also the four beasts, etc. of the seventh chapter. When Herod sought to destroy the infant Saviour Joseph was warned in a dream to flee into Egypt. Matthew 2:13.

“‘And it shall come to pass in the LAST DAYS, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.’ Acts 2:17.

“The gift of prophecy, by dreams and visions, is here the fruit of the Holy Spirit, and in the last days is to be manifested sufficiently to constitute a sign. It is one of the gifts of the gospel church.

“‘And he gave some apostles; and some PROPHETS; and some evangelists; and some pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.’ Ephesians 4:11–12.

“‘And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily PROPHETS,’ etc. 1 Corinthians 12:28. ‘Despise not PROPHESYINGS.’ Thessalonians 5:20. See also Acts 13:1; 21:9; Romans 7:6; 1 Corinthians 14:1, 24, 39. Prophets or prophesyings are for the edification of the church of Christ; and there is no evidence that can be produced from the word of God, that they were to cease before evangelists, pastors and teachers were to cease. But says the objector, ‘There has been so many false visions and dreams that I cannot have confidence in anything of the kind.’ It is true that Satan has his counterfeit. He always had false prophets, and certainly we may expect them now in this his last hour of deception and triumph. Those who reject such special revelations because the counterfeit exists, may with equal propriety go a little farther and deny that God ever revealed himself to man in a dream or a vision, for the counterfeit always existed.

“Dreams and visions are the medium through which God has revealed himself to man. Through this medium he spake to the prophets; he has placed the gift of prophecy among the gifts of the gospel church, and has classed dreams and visions with the other signs of the ‘LAST DAYS.’ Amen.

“My object in the above remarks has been to remove objections in a scriptural manner, and prepare the mind of the reader for the following.” James White.

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1 comment on “The Book of Daniel – Number Thirty Six”

  1. Patrick Rampy

    Its really amazing how Nebuchadnezzar in Dan. 4 symbolizes so much of the Millerite history!

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