The king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, received a dream about a great image. When God revealed the interpretation, one of the most famous prophecies in the Bible unfolded, straightforwardly outlining the ruling powers from that day until the end of time. The final ruling empire is called the eternal kingdom. This remarkable prophecy is one upon which its basic interpretation almost all Bible scholars agree. It forms the solid foundation upon which additional prophecies are expanded.

Bible Reference: Daniel 2

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God Reveals the Future

Daniel 2:28 - "There is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these..."
Daniel had visions and interpretations of visions that revealed what would take place in the future. The visions were about world empires and powers.
John 14:29 - "And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe."
God is the one who gives and interprets these dreams. They all serve a purpose. As discussed in the previous presentation, having insight into the future is not unusual for God's people. He warns people ahead of time through His prophets. This serves to increase our faith as we see God's Word unfolding exactly as outlined. Let's proceed to examine what this dream predicted.

The Symbols

Daniel 2:32-33 - "This image's head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay."
Nebuchadnezzar's vision was about an image made up of several different substances. This vision can be read in Daniel chapter 2. It will help to read the chapter before continuing the study.

The Interpretation

Daniel 2:38 "...Thou art this head of gold."
God revealed to Nebuchadnezzar that he (Babylon) was the head of gold, or the first kingdom/realm, in a succession of kingdoms. Babylon was a great and powerful kingdom, superior to the next kingdom, as gold is superior to silver.

History Shows the Succession of Kingdoms

Daniel 2:38-40 - "...Thou art this head of gold. And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth. And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise."
From history and other Bible texts, we can determine the kingdoms that followed Babylon. These powerful kingdoms ruled the world in which the large part of God's followers lived.
  • A Babylon alliance conquers the Assyrian capital of Nineveh in 612 BC.
  • Cyrus the Great conquers Babylon in 539 BC.
  • Alexander the Great conquers the Medes and Persians at the Battle of Arbela in 331 BC.
  • Roman armies crush the Macedonian forces in the Battle of Pydna in 168 BC.
  • The Germanic warrior Odoacer deposes and exiles the last emperor, Romulus Augustus in 476 AD.

The Bible Confirms Names of Kingdoms

  • Isaiah 13:17-19, Jeremiah 51:28-29 and Daniel 5:26-28 are some of the many texts that foretell the overthrowing of Babylon by the Medes & Persians. Daniel 9:1 states that a Mede was made king over Chaldea (Babylon).
  • Daniel 11:2-3 foretells the rising of the kingdom of Greece. Daniel 8:21 names Grecia as the kingdom to arise after Media and Persia.
  • The New Testament contains many references to the ruling powers of Rome. In Luke 2:1, Caesar Augustus decreed all the world to be taxed. Jesus was tried by a roman governor and the Pharisees had to get permission from the Roman government in order to crucify Jesus.
  • The last kingdom Daniel described destroys the others, fills the whole earth and stands for ever. All throughout the Bible, Christ's kingdom is described as overcoming all other kingdoms and being eternal. In fact, it is a main theme of the Bible (see 2 Peter 1:11).

The Feet & Toes

Daniel 2:41-43 - "And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters' clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay."
The fourth empire (Rome) is the last world empire. It divides into ten kingdoms symbolized by the legs of iron becoming 10 toes made up of mixed iron and clay (more information on the identity of these 10 kingdoms is provided in the next study on "The Four Beasts").

These divided kingdoms would be strong, but even though they inter-married and joined forces at times, they would never become completely united as an empire.

God's Kingdom

Daniel 2:44 - "And in the days of these kings 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 for ever."
Christ's kingdom is set up while divided Rome (clay & iron toes) still exist. And unlike the former earthly kingdoms, once it is established, His kingdom will last forever.

Since 483 A.D. people such as Napoleon, Charlemagne, Hitler and Charles V. have tried to make a "one world empire." But, these verses tell us that although these nations may unite in purpose, they will never be united as one kingdom until Christ's kingdom.

God's Kingdom Is Forever

"Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. 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 threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth" (Daniel 2:34-35).
Christ is described as the Rock and the Stone in many places in Scripture. The book of Revelation describes a time in the future when Christ will return to earth again, as the Warrior on the white horse who defeats all the earthly armies, saves His people and rules with them in His everlasting kingdom here on earth.
  • Matthew 21:42-44 - Christ is the Stone the builders rejected.
  • 1 Peter 2:4 - Christ is the chief corner Stone.
  • Isaiah 8:14 - Christ is a stone of stumbling and rock of offence.
  • Psalm 62:2-7 - Christ is the Rock of salvation, strength, defense and refuge.
The condition of the heart, determines whether one sees Christ's coming as a rock of refuge or a rock of destruction.

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