Last year I taught a middle school history class that I titled The Development of Western Thought from Babylon to the European Explorers. I used Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in Daniel 2 as the theme and timeline.
Daniel spoke the dream’s interpretation to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, and it has come to pass century after century exactly according to his interpretation. Long ago the Legs of Iron which depict the Roman Empire have faded into ancient history. What happened to those Feet of Iron Mixed with Clay?
Daniel 2:31-35 Behold, a great image! …its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. You watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed together, and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; the wind carried them away so that no trace of them was found. And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.
Where is this kingdom of iron mixed with clay? The others seem so easy. Gold is Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon as Daniel told the king himself. Silver came next; that was Medo-Persia. Then the bronze belly of the statue represented Greek domination in the world. Iron legs, we know was the next kingdom which was the power of the Roman Empire. What happened after Rome? Another empire? Has the statue been struck by a stone and crushed to powder? What is the Clay?
What is this two part kingdom that has the Roman Empire’s strength mixed with something of clay, and the two can’t mix? Gold, silver, bronze, and iron are all metals. Clay is different; it is not a metal. Clay, hmm, that’s what God used to make Adam’s body. What else do we know?
Daniel 2:43-44 But they will not adhere to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay. And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.
Rome crumbled in the 400’s AD. Where is the kingdom which will exhibit some things of Roman power yet in other ways will not mix with the pagan world order depicted in the rest of the statue? When will God set up a different kingdom which shall never be destroyed? Has it already happened, and we missed it? If so, how is it that we live in a time when pagan/antichrist culture looms, fiercely set against a Christian culture?
Daniel’s interpretation has been spot on accurate from Babylon through the Roman Empire, a span of nearly 900 years!
I’m looking for the Stone cut out of the mountain without hands to land upon the Feet of Iron Mixed with Clay and crush all oppressive governments to powder. Hey, Daniel, it’s time!