The Four Great Kingdoms in the Statue
Here, and in Chapter 7, Daniel prophecies about the four great kingdoms against the saints. In verse 35, we learn about the stone that overcomes these kingdoms and becomes “a great mountain” that fills the whole earth.
We will skip over Daniel’s offer to interpret the dream, except for Daniel 2:21 which is worthy of note.
And He changes the times and the seasons – the word here for times in Hebrew is “iddan” and the word for seasons is “zeman,” but both words have the meaning of time. In Daniel 7:25, we read “he (the beast)…shall intend to change times and law.” The word for times is “zeman” here, and is plural, and does not have the meaning of “time” as the Sabbath day per se, but likely Daniel is making a contrast to God who does set the seasons.
a great image – this image, as we will see, represents prophecy of more than 2,000 years into the future.
head was fine gold – Babylon.
chest and arms of silver – to be Persia.
thighs of bronze – to be Greece.
legs of iron – to be Rome, the iron represents strength.
feet of iron and clay – to be the extended Roman Empire of the Ten Europeans states and the beast of Rome; there seems to be no reason for degrading value of materials from top to bottom, other than to highlight the fact that the one on top is the most precious, “the King of Kings,” see verse 35.
a stone – Christ, “I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation,” Isaiah 28:16, as quoted in 1 Peter 2:6; see also Psalms 118:22; Matt 21:42; Ephesians 2:20; Zechariah 3:9.
See notes on Isaiah. The first 35 Chapters of Isaiah are a prophecy of the last days, “in that Day.” Isaiah 28 describes the sanctified Church of the last days, “the LORD has a mighty one…” “like mighty overflowing waters” (Isaiah 28:2, cf Rev 19:6).
cut without human hands – emphasizing this as a spiritual stone, the Spirit of Christ, who defeats “the Spirit of the Antichrist” (Satan) as mentioned in Daniel 8:25, “he shall be broken without human means.”
no trace was found – all these kingdoms will disappear, “they will reign as for one hour” (Rev 17:12)
the stone became a great mountain – Christ is the foundation, the “mountain” of the true Church of the end days. See Isaiah 2:2, Micah 4:1; Revelation 8:8; 21:10. Symbolic of Mount Zion, the mountain of the temple.
The establishment of the Church of God in the last days is our first hint that the Church of God was destroyed by the work of the Antichrist. Daniel will explain this in Daniel 8:11. The Apostle John warned in 1 John 2:18: “Children it is the last hour; and just as you have heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour.”
king of kings – the beast is first the “king of kings,” but will be succeeded by Christ as the King of Kings (Rev 17:14).
into your hand – the saints will be given into the hands of the beast, represented by King Nebuchadnezzar.
you are this head of gold – therefore, the whole statue, expressed as a “beast” in Revelation, will be called “Babylon the Great” (Rev 17:5).
inferior to yours – this either refers to the quality of the Persian’s rule, or to the fact that the Persians did not go into Africa or Spain as Nebuchadnezzar apparently did.
of bronze that shall rule the whole earth – Alexander the Great, who ruled the greater part of the known world.
as strong as iron – the Roman Empire, the greatest empire of history.
the kingdom divided – as Ten states of Europe; the Bible equates the four Kingdoms in this passage to Kings in Daniel 7:17 and and kingdoms in Daniel 7:23. The ten states that come out of the fallen Roman Empire will be collectively referred to as “a kingdom,” see Revelation 17:12.
part strong and part fragile – meaning that the unity is fragile, as described below.
will not mingle with the seed of men – they will not adhere to one another, meaning they will be separated by language and culture.
in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom – the kingdom of heaven is not a political kingdom, nor is it ruled by men. The kings are the four kingdoms mentioned in this passage, and not the 10 kings mentioned in Revelation 17.
which shall never be destroyed – the Church of God will be destroyed, “cast to the ground,” (Daniel 8:11), but the kingdom of heaven shall never be destroyed. The kingdom of heaven will “fly into the wilderness,” Revelation 12:14.
it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms – the whole beast/statute of seven heads and ten toes will be overcome by this new kingdom, it will crush the beast of seven heads and ten horns we find in Revelation.
its interpretation is sure – the meaning will be repeated in Chapter 7
made him ruler over all the whole province of Babylon – here is the honour given to the man of God.