“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.”
First, a little background information on Daniel, the author of the Book of Daniel, one of the most prolific books of prophecy in the Old Testament. He was a 15 year old Jewish boy captured in Jerusalem by the Babylonians and forced under terrible conditions to march to Babylon where King Nebuchadnezzar reigned. Once there, because of his youth, attractiveness and intellect, he spent 3 years preparing to become a member of the king’s court. He received his now historical notoriety by deciphering the king’s dream. One night, Nebuchadnezzar had a horrible and frightening dream. He asked his sorcerers, astrologers and close confidants to interpret his dream, but to do so WITHOUT him telling them what it was all about. He didn’t want them lying to him to appease his wishes! If they were special in their knowledge of the “unknown”, then they should be able to tell him what he dreamt. When they couldn’t tell him anything, he ordered them all to be executed UNTIL Daniel asked for a day’s delay so he could ask God the meaning of the dream. After God showed Daniel the exact same dream that night, he was able to go back to the king and tell him exactly what the “image” they had both dreamt meant AND its prophetic meaning.
“But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the LATTER DAYS (capitals mine)…”
What Daniel explained to Nebuchadnezzar was that his kingdom, the Babylonian empire, was the “head of fine gold” BUT that its time in power would NOT last forever. It would end someday with the rise of the next powerful kingdom, the Medo-Persian empire (with “his breast and his arms of silver”); followed then with its overthrow by the Greek empire (with the “belly and thighs of brass”); then by the Roman empire (with the “legs of iron”); and finally, by a yet-to-ascend, final global kingdom ruled by the anti-christ during the End Times, (the empire whose feet are “part of iron and part of clay.“)
Remember, the Book of Daniel was written 2600 years ago when Babylon was the current, ruling kingdom on earth. Historically, we now know the eventual succession of the kingdoms that followed Babylon (and of course the two – Egyptian and Assyrian – that preceded it). Some believe because the Book of Daniel’s predictions of the empires that followed the Babylonian empire must have been written hundreds of years later due to its TOTAL accuracy in naming those kingdoms that followed the Babylonian empire in which Daniel lived. However, evidence like the Dead Sea Scrolls has verified that this Book was in fact written during the Babylonian kingdom and only through God’s unveiling to Daniel of the empires that were to follow were they then made aware of what was to be.
Except of course, the “beast (kingdom)” whose feet are “part of iron and part of clay.” There are other identifications of this beast/kingdom in the Bible that point to a future world government but as of today, THAT government has yet not risen. Because of many other prophecies in the Bible, most scholars believe it is a European conglomerate of 10 countries. More on that later. But, all signs do point to its imminent introduction to the world in the very near future. Perhaps most terrifying to Nebuchadnezzar, however, was that in his dream he saw a massive stone, “cut out without hands, which smote (destroyed) the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay and brake them into pieces.” – Daniel 2:34. Not only was he told of the imminent demise of his kingdom but of all earthly kingdoms by a stone uncut (Jesus) by human hands! Imagine Nebuchadnezzar, the most powerful king of the day, being told that all he had accomplished and all he had built would be destroyed, not by another invading army but by a “stone” uncut by human hands! After relaying the dream to Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel went on to interpret what these 5 kingdoms were and the succession of each after the demise of the one that preceded it. Of course, the Babylonian empire was the head of gold. The ones that followed it with a chest of silver (because it was inferior to the gold); and then a belly of brass; legs of iron; and then, eventually, a kingdom of feet and toes made of iron and clay. Interestingly, clay and iron do not mix and as the Bible says, “”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.” – Daniel 2:43. While these countries will be aligned together in the Last Days, they will still culturally be their own country. Kind of sounds like the EU doesn’t it?
In the Bible, God often refers to empires as beasts. Why? Because when man puts more faith and trust in earthly kingdoms (governments) and walks willingly away from Him, only bad things can result. Look at EVERY country in the history of the world where the citizens put their faith in men that ruled without a Godly influence. China, Russia, Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea, Iran…the list goes on forever! Even the USA, founded on the Biblical principles of religious freedom, Trust in God, and a Constitution that clearly stated that all men are created by God with certain inalienable rights, because of today’s political correctness has walked away from those things that helped us become the country we were. As we move away from God’s Will, we will pay the price all other countries have faced when they rebelled against God’s teachings and Laws.
Knowing these prophecies have made it so much easier for me to understand the failures of this world BUT the resulting Blessings given to those of us who do believe in God’s promises to us. That by itself is comforting as we experience the terrible things going on in the world today. And with that, we should all “…comfort one another with these words.”
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