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And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold.

New Defender's Study Bible Notes

2:38 head of gold. This begins the remarkable prophecy—later fulfilled in detail over the centuries—of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream image. The emperor was very pleased when he learned that the golden head of the image represented himself and his empire. The universality of this kingdom referred to its influence, rather than its geographical extent. Babylon was, indeed, the source (or “head”) of all the world’s false religions (Revelation 17:5) and materialistic greed (Revelation 18:3). It was conquered by the Medo-Persian empire in 538 B.C. (note Daniel 5:28).

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