Daniel Chapter 2 records how king Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had a dream regarding a statue that disturbed him so much that he called for his magicians and wise men to interpret it. The only wise man able to interpret the dream was Daniel, a faithful Israelite, who prayed to his Power, the Most High, for revelation.
The statue in the king’s dream is made of different kinds of metal. Nebuchadnezzar sees a stone that is cut out, but not by human hands. The stone smashes into the statue and breaks it into pieces, which are quickly swept away by the wind like chaff (husks) at threshing time. The stone, however, grows into a huge mountain that fills the whole earth.
The head of gold on the statue in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream symbolizes Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar was the leader of the most glorious of all the heathen kingdoms in the in the world subsequent to the decline of the United Southern and Northern Kingdom of Israel, yet like all others, it will not be a lasting kingdom.
The statue’s arms of silver represent the Persian and the Medes which were the next heathen kingdom to rule the earth.
The statue’s belly and thighs of brass represent Greece. Just as brass is stronger than silver but less valuable, Alexander the Greek will dominate the leaders of the Medes and Persians (who had conquered Babylon). Yet the Greek Empire will be less glorious than the Persian Empire had been.
Stronger still will be the Roman Empire, represented by the statue’s legs of iron, the least value but strongest metal of the group. The Roman Empire eventually rises to conquer all nations, ruling with the harshest of all previous.
Finally the feet mixed with iron and clay represents, loosely, the modern American Empire & its European allies. The United States and its allies are a representation or reincarnation of the Roman Empire (iron), yet lack the internal unity (hence mixed with clay) the previous Roman Empire had.
King James Bible:
- Dan 2:36| This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king.
- Dan 2:37 | Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory.
- Dan 2:38 | 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.
- Dan 2:39 | And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth.
- Dan 2:40 | 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.
- Dan 2:41 | 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.
- Dan 2:42 | 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.
- Dan 2:43 | 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.
- Dan 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.
- Dan 2:45 | Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.