The vision in Daniel 2 divides world history into six successive ages.

SUMMARY

Daniel 7, 8, as 11 describe the Antichrist. Even though it is described it slightly different by the three chapters, it is one and the same entity. Revelation symbolized that same Antichrist as a beast. It cannot be identified from Revelation; it must be identified from the book of Daniel. That is the purpose of this series of articles.

The vision in Daniel 2 is the first of a series of visions in Daniel. It does not refer to the Antichrist but uses the statue of a man to provide a broad outline of the history of mankind from the time of Daniel to God’s eternal kingdom, dividing it into six ages:

1. Head of gold = Babylonian Empire (Dan 2:38-39)
2. Breast = Silver (inferior) kingdom (Dan 2:39)
3. Belly and thighs = Bronze kingdom “will rule over all the earth” (Dan 2:39)
4. Legs = Iron kingdom “will crush and break” (Dan 2:40)
5. Feet of iron and clay = Divided kingdom – a time when different kings will rule different kingdoms (Dan 2:41)
6. Great mountain = God’s eternal kingdom on earth (Dan 2:35, 44; cf. Dan 7:18, 27).

The other visions in Daniel all build on and provide further information about these six ages.

– END OF SUMMARY –


PURPOSE

Daniel 7, 8, and 11 describe the work of the Antichrist. These chapters describe the Antichrist slightly differently, but it is generally accepted that it refers to the same entity. The Antichrist in Revelation is symbolized as a beast but a comparison shows that it is still the same entity. For example. in Daniel 7, the four empires are symbolized as a lion, a bear, a leopard, and a ‘dragon’ (Dan 7:4-7). The beast of Revelation inherits something from each of these beasts (Rev 13:2). And the beast in Revelation reigns for the same period as the Antichrist in Daniel (Dan 7:25; Rev 13:5 – 42 months = 3½ years = “a time, times, and half a time“).

That Antichrist cannot be identified from Revelation; it must be identified from the book of Daniel. That is the purpose of this series of articles.

DANIEL 2

The current article discusses the vision in Daniel 2. It is the first of a series of visions in Danielvision in Daniel. It does not refer to the Antichrist but uses the statue of a man to provide a broad outline of the history of mankind from the time of Daniel to God’s eternal kingdom:

FOUR KINGDOMS

The man of Daniel 2Daniel explained that the head of gold (Dan 2:32) is a symbol for king Nebuchadnezzar and for the Babylonian Empire (Dan 2:38-39).

The breast of silver is “another kingdom.” It will be “inferior to” and follow “after” the Babylonian Empire (Dan 2:32, 39).

The belly and thighs of bronze are “another third kingdom of bronze, which will rule over all the earth” (Dan 2:32, 39).

Its legs of iron (Dan 2:33) are “a fourth kingdom as strong as iron … it will crush and break all these in pieces” (Dan 2:40).

DIVIDED KINGDOM

The feet, partly of iron and partly of clay (Dan 2:33), are “a divided kingdom” (Dan 2:41). In other words, while, during the first four kingdoms (Dan 2:37-40), there will be one supreme king over all nations, during the “divided kingdom,” there will no supreme king. Rather, different kings will rule different kingdoms. Daniel 2:43 confirms this by saying that these kings will “combine with one another” through intermarriage, but fail to unify them.

ETERNAL KINGDOM

This stone completely destroys the image. “Not a trace of them was found” (Dan 2:35). “But the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the whole earth” (Dan 2:35). Daniel explained this as a “kingdom which will never be destroyed” (Dan 2:44). The parallel vision in Daniel 7 refers to it as the “everlasting kingdom” (Dan 7:27)—“the saints of the Highest One will receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever” (Dan 7:18). But note that this eternal kingdom will be on earth (Dan 2:35).

Although the first four kingdoms dominate one after the other, each of them continues to exist until the eternal kingdom is set up. Only then do they all disappear without a trace (Dan 2:35).


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5 Replies to “The vision in Daniel 2 divides world history into six successive ages.”

  1. I appreciate your analysis of the 70 sevens prophecy. One other thing you must research is the word ” Karath” in Daniel 9:26, which should be translated “covenant” and not “cut off”. Messiah covenants in verse 26 and Messiah confirms the covenant in verse 27. Both the verb covenant verse 26 and the noun covenant 27 includes the sacrifice of Christ in the middle of the 70th seven, Awesome explanations!

  2. When the statue is destroyed by the stone (Christ), all parts of the whole statue exist and are simultaneously destructed. We do NOT have images of different beasts that come and are destructed one after the others, but only ONE image entirely destructed. What the empires REPRESENT are now all there in our society:

    Gold: Babylon = False religion
    Silver: Medo-Persian = multi-ethnicity
    Brass: Greece = Philosophy
    Iron: Roman Empire = Law
    Clay = man:

    “Remember, I beseech thee, that thou hast made me as the clay; and wilt thou bring me into dust again?” (Job 10:9)

    1. Hi Marc

      This is an interesting point but I do not agree with your conclusions. Yes, the entire image is destroyed all at once. However:

      – Daniel explicitly said to Nebuchadnezzar, “You are the head of gold.
      After you there will arise another kingdom
      ” (2:38-39).

      – This prophecy must be read parallel to Daniel 7, where the beasts are consecutive (e.g. 7:5).

      – 7:12 explains: “As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but an extension of life was granted to them for an appointed period of time.” In other words, these nations might have different names today, but they still exist.

      Andries

      1. Yes, I agree with you, but prophecies have both physical and spiritual fulfillments. In Matthew 24:32 Jesus said:

        “Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh” (Mat 24:32)

        There are people that say that this verse was fulfilled in 1948 and 1967, but something more important is happening: More and more Jews – a lot of them now – are accepting Christ as their Messiah. Trees in the Bible (fig tree or Olivie tree) are not symbols of physical cities, but rather spiritual trees where believers / unbelievers are graffed / broken of (See Romans 11). Yet these signs are accompagnied by physical / natural signs. That’s why Jesus said:

        “He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?” (Mat 16:2-3)

        The wise men knew about the birth of Jesus” having seen his star in the East” (Mat 2:2)

        When Jesus died on the cross, an earthquake caused the veil of the temple to be rent in twain from the top to the bottom (Mat 27:51), symolising that believers have access “into the holiest by the blood of Jesus” (Heb 10:20)

        There are signs we can see…

  3. One common aspect of each of the four successive empires is that, they all observed the seventh day Sabbath. Up until 325 AD, when the fourth Empire changed to the first (8th) day. The second, the Medo-Persian Empire, not only observed the 7th day, but according to the Book of Esther, they also observed the law of Moses. Either as circumcised or uncircumcised. As it was in the first century.

    Ray

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