The vision represents Four Kingdoms: Babylon (gold) 609 BC to 539 BC; then Persia (silver) 539 BC to 331 BC; then Greece (bronze) 331 BC to 168 BC; then Rome (iron) 168 BC to AD 476. Each kingdom is commonly and well known for the metal it is described by in Daniel’s dream interpretation.
The Four Kingdoms:
- Each successive kingdom is inferior in that each moves away from acknowledging the true God (see Daniel 4:37) – Nebuchadnezzar, Cyrus, Alexander, Caesar.
- Each successive kingdom is superior in that it gains more power and strength in terms of
utility (gold, silver, bronze, iron).
- The ten toes of the first century Roman Empire represent the actual ten imperial provinces of Rome (Italy, Achaia, Asia, Syria, Egypt, Africa, Spain, Gaul, Britain, Germany)
- The statue represents a complete flowing unit of time and there is no separation of the feet from the legs (particularly a 2,000 year period of time).
* The Feet and Ten Toes of the fourth kingdom are a Mixture of Iron and “Clay:” This represents the combination of Roman rule and apostate Israel rule in Palestine – 36 BC to the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70. (Read Luke 23:6-15; John 19:14-15 to see the mixture of Roman and Hebrew rule.)
Dan. 2:41-43 Clay –> the Bible makes constant reference to Old Covenant (OC) Israel being clay: Isa. 64:8-12; Jer. 18:4-6; Rom. 9:1-8, 21.
The Stone: Represents Jesus Christ and His Eternal Kingdom
- Dan. 2:44 said that it would be during the time of that fourth kingdom (Roman Empire) where God would set up His Kingdom which would never be destroyed and stand forever (Dan. 7:13-14; Isa. 9:7; Luke 1:32-33; Eph. 3:21) (we will look at this in depth in Study Series 12 The Messianic Temple).
- Dan. 2:45 “Cut without hands” is a reference to the Old Covenant altar stone which typifies Christ (see Ex. 20:25; Deut. 27:5; Joshua 8:31; Isa. 28:16; Acts 4:11; Matt. 16:18; Eph. 2:20; 1 Pet. 2:4-5).
- Everywhere the Bible speaks about a stone or building “without hands” it is drawing a stark contrast between man’s earthly temple/kingdom and God’s true spiritual eternal Temple/Kingdom (Dan. 2:45; Heb. 8:2, 9:11, 12:26-28).
- The Kingdom of the Rock of Ages is not of this world, but it conquers every worldly kingdom of men (John 18:36; Matt. 16:18; Matt. 21:42-45; Rom. 9:32-33).
- The Kingdom of heaven (New Covenant) reverses the curse of Babel – “many languages.” At Pentecost everyone understood in “his own language” (Acts 2:4-5).
- The characteristics of the eternal Kingdom are completely opposite of the characteristics of earthly kingdoms (love, service, generosity rather than power, control, selfishness) (Gal. 5:19-23).
[For a more in-depth study see eschatology “Study Series 9 Lesson 1 The Book of Daniel Chpt 1-9”]