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.
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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.
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:
Daniel 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).
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.
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).