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SEGMENT 1 DANIEL 2
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SEGMENT 1 DANIEL 2
THE ROCK OF AGES
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“Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord, is the Rock eternal.”
Isaiah 26:4

Because of God’s love for Abraham, God chose the descendants of Abraham to be His representatives on Earth. Beginning with the Exodus from Egypt, God did everything possible to get the nation of Israel to love Him and obey His commands. Israel was to be a nation of priests; they were to be representatives of the Most High God throughout the earth. They were to be a light unto the world demonstrating the wisdom of God’s laws and reflecting the kindness and generosity of His love. “I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.” (Isaiah 42: 6,7) For more than 800 years, God gave Israel every blessing and opportunity, and they gave Him rebellion and rejection in return. Finally, God could not endure Israel’s insolence any longer. Around 620 B.C., God spoke through the prophet Jeremiah saying, “O house of Israel…. I am bringing a distant nation against you – an ancient and enduring nation, a people whose language you do not know, whose speech you do not understand. Their quivers are like an open grave; all of them are mighty warriors. They will devour your harvests and food, devour your sons and daughters; they will devour your flocks and herds, devour your vines and fig trees. With the sword, they will destroy the fortified cities in which you trust. Yet even in those days … I will not destroy you completely. And when the people ask ‘Why has the Lord our God done all this to us?’ you will tell them, ‘As you have forsaken me and served foreign gods in your own land, so now you will serve foreigners in a land not your own…’ This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, say: ‘Listen! I am going to bring on this city and the villages around it every disaster I pronounced against them, because they were stiff-necked and would not listen to my words…. I will hand all Judah over to the king of Babylon, who will carry them away to Babylon or put them to the sword.’” (Jeremiah 5:15-19, 19:15, 20:4)

 

These verses reveal three interesting points about God. First, from these and many other Bible texts, it is clear that God’s patience with sin and rebellion has a limit. God’s comments to Jeremiah and His subsequent actions leave no room for doubt about this. Second, when the time came to punish Israel, God fully warned Israel about His forthcoming actions. Even though they did not believe Him, God told Israel what He was going to do before He did it! He made it clear that He was going to use the sword of King Nebuchadnezzar against His people. Third, God’s treatment of Israel is a mirror reflecting how He treats al nations! “… God is no respecter of persons.” (Acts 10:34, KJV) In other words, if God destroyed Jerusalem and His chosen people because of sin and degeneracy, we can be sure that He followed the same policy with all nations. Indeed, the Bible confirms this to be the case. (Genesis 6:7, 15:16; Leviticus 24:18-24; Isaiah 16: 6-14; Isaiah 19:1-12; Ezekiel 14:12-21)

 

Like Pharaoh, who would not let Israel leave Egypt, Nebuchadnezzar did not know the God of Israel. Yet, God knew the Babylonian king very well and God empowered Nebuchadnezzar to be a “servant destroyer.” (Jeremiah 25:9) God moved the heart of Nebuchadnezzar to put Jerusalem to the sword just as surely as He moved the heart of King Cyrus to set His people free seventy years later. Notice these two texts:

 

“’I will summon all the peoples of the north and my servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will bring them against this land and its inhabitants and against all the surrounding nations. I will completely destroy them and make them an object of horror and scorn, and an everlasting ruin.’” Jeremiah 25:9, emphasis mine)

 

“In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah, the Lord moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and put it in writing: ‘This is what Cyrus king of Persia says: “The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah”’” (Ezra 1:1,2, emphasis mine)

 

The Bible indicates that God affects the hearts of men to do His bidding. God used Nebuchadnezzar to tear down Jerusalem and God used Cyrus to rebuild it! Since the Bible declares that God is proactive in managing the nations and kings of Earth, let us consider a vision that God gave to King Nebuchadnezzar about 600 B.C.

 

The Foundational Prophecy: Daniel 2

 

Daniel 2 contains the first prophecy in the book of Daniel. In this respect, Daniel 2 is a foundational prophecy and all subsequent prophecies in Daniel and Revelation are built on it. The prophecy in Daniel 2 reveals three interesting facts. First, God not only knows the future, but He has also predetermined that certain events will occur in the future. Second, God chooses the kings of the Earth and He sets them up and takes them down according to His higher purposes. Third, beginning with the kingdom of Babylon, God has predestined the appearing of seven global empires. Think of the number seven as God’s signature. He has put His signature on many things to remind us that He is our Creator and our Creator has a plan! The number seven suggests fullness or completion. For example, in Daniel and Revelation there are seven kingdoms, seven heads, seven eyes, seven horns, seven thunders, seven seals, seven trumpets, seven churches, seven bowls and seven angels who stand before God. Consider our physical world, there are seven continents, seven colors in the rainbow, seven notes on our musical scale, even seven days in a week, and Jesus spoke seven times when He was on the cross. God’s signature is everywhere! Even our seven-day week is terminated with God’s seventh-day rest. The use of seven in Daniel and Revelation is deliberate and important to God. The seven kingdoms presented in Daniel 2 declare a finished plan. The seven kingdoms presented in Daniel 2 consist of six kingdoms governed by men and an eternal kingdom governed by God. The interesting climax in this vision is that God destroys the kingdoms of men before He establishes His kingdom on Earth!

 

Parts of the Daniel 2 Image

 

  1. Head – gold

 

  1. Chest – Silver

 

  1. Thighs – Bronze

 

  1. Legs – Iron

 

  1. Feet – Iron & Clay

 

  1. Toes – Iron & Clay

 

  1. Rock – Indestructible & Eternal

 

Note: Even though the toes are made of the same material as the feet, the “toes” are a distinct kingdom separate from the kingdoms of the feet. The toes are identified as “a kingdom” in verse 42, just like the “chest” is identified as a kingdom in verse 39. Even though the composition of the feet and toes is identical, they represent two different world orders. Currently, we are living in the kingdom of the feet. During the Great Tribulation, the present order of this world will drastically change and we will enter the final phase of the world order represented by the toes. Even though this vision does not explicitly say, there are “ten” toes on the metal man, we can safety assume this anatomical feature is implied in Daniel 2 because the book of Revelation predicts that ten kings (ten horns) will rule over the whole world for a very short period of time during the last moments of Earth’s history. (Revelation 17: 12-14) Obviously, the kingdom of the toes has not arrived, but it is coming. When it does arrive, Daniel 2:44 says, “In the times of those kings [represented by the ten toes], the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever.” (Insertion mine)

The Timeline of Daniel 2

Chart 1.1

The Vision

 

“… Thy dream, and the visions of they head upon thy bead, are these; As for thee, O king, thy thoughts came into thy mind upon thy bed, what should come to pass hereafter: and he that revealeth secrets maketh known to thee what shall come to pass. But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living, but for their sakes that shall make known the interpretation to the king, and that thou mightest know the thoughts of thy heart.

 

“Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible. This image’s head was that of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, his legs of iron, his feet that were of iron and part clay. Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.” (Daniel 2:28-35, KJV)

 

The Meaning of the Vision

 

“This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king. Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory. 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. And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth. 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. And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potter’s 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. 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.  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. 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. 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. Then king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and worshiped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odours unto him. The king answered unto Daniel, and said, Of a truth it is, that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou couldest reveal this secret.” (Daniel 2:36-47, KJV)

 

Comments

 

Two men saw the vision of the image. King Nebuchadnezzar saw the vision first and later, God gave a copy of this vision to Daniel so that he could explain the vision to the king. The vision occurred around 600 B.C., but it spans a time period of more than 2,600 years so far. The vision has not been fulfilled. We are still waiting for the kingdom of the ten toes and the eternal kingdom that is established when Jesus (the Rock) destroys the kingdoms of men. By the right of sovereign authority, God predetermined a chronological progression of seven world empires, and He revealed this information to Nebuchadnezzar for our benefit. The real impact of this vision (pun intended) belongs to the final generation. Many people in the final generation on Earth will thoughtfully consider the merits of this vision during the Great Tribulation, and they will discover that God has a predetermined plan that has been unfolding for more than twenty-six centuries. Because this vision and world history are in perfect harmony, the final generation will have a bundle of evidence upon which to base its faith in God’s Word. “Have you not heard? Long ago I ordained it. In days of old I planned it; now I have brought it to pass….” (2 Kings 19:25)

 

If we consider the architecture of this vision (See Chart 1.1), we discover three interesting points. First, this vision has a beginning and an ending point in time. The vision begins with the kingdom of Babylon as the head of gold and the vision ends when Jesus, the Rock of Ages, King of kings, and Lord of lords, destroys the ten kings who will be ruling over the world at the time of the Second Coming. (See Revelation 17:12,13; 19: 11-21.) Second, there is chronological order within the vision. The elements within the vision occur in the order they are given. For example, the kingdom represented by the thighs of brass fell to the kingdom represented by the legs of iron, etc. The third point concerns the use of language. God used the symbol of a man to represent a succession of kingdoms that would occur on Earth. Within the context of this vision, the use and the meaning of the symbol is explained by the Bible. These three points are highlighted so you can observe a distinct pattern that emerges from Daniel, and this pattern will prove to be very important later in this study.

 

The Succession of World Empires

 

Metals of lesser value represent the kingdoms that follow Babylon. This decline suggests that fallen man degenerates with the passage of time. According to Daniel 2, the chest and arms of silver represented a kingdom that would succeed Babylon. It is interesting to note that the silver kingdom had two arms (as in two armies). This feature accurately reflected the Medo-Persian Empire that overran Babylon in 538 B.C. The Medo-Persian kingdom consisted of two kings and two armies. Eventually, the Persian side of this kingdom became dominant.

 

The third kingdom, represented by the thighs of brass, rose to power with the fall of the Medo-Persians. The Grecian period is sometimes called “The Bronze Age.” Legs of iron represented the fourth empire and this feature accurately represented the Roman Empire.  The Romans were noted for their ferocious conquests and their weapons of unbreakable iron. The Roman Empire also included a larger geographical territory than any of the previous empires. Perhaps this expansion is reflected in the two legs of iron. The Romans dominated a large portion of the East, as well as the West.

 

The fifth kingdom, represented by the feet of iron and clay, represents the breakup of the Roman Empire into many kingdoms; some became strong and others weak. When the Rome fell in A.D. 476, a distinctive change occurred. After this date, the empires of the world were no longer universal. Instead, the world was permanently fractured into smaller empires. Through the ages, God has predetermined that some kingdoms would be strong as iron and others would be weak or breakable like brittle clay. One-world empires like Babylon, Medo-Persia, Grecia and Rome will not exist again until God permits the Antichrist to rule over Earth during the Great Tribulation. Men such as Napoleon, Charlemagne, Hitler, Kaiser Wilhelm and other conquerors have vainly tried to unite the world under their rule, but their efforts could not succeed because God’s Word cannot be defeated.

 

The sixth and last kingdom of man is represented by the toes. Remember that the toes represent a brief reign of ten kings. About two thirds of the way through the Great Tribulation, the devil himself will physically appear on earth masquerading as God. After a successful conquest to take control of Earth, the Antichrist (Lucifer) will divide the world into ten sectors, and he will appoint ten kings to rule over these ten sectors. (Revelation 17:12-14) During the days of these kings, the Rock will come out of Heaven and destroy all of the kingdoms of men. This Rock is Jesus Christ, the Rock of Ages. At the appointed time, Jesus will annihilate the wicked on Earth and establish the seventh and final world empire. His kingdom will never end. Remember, seven is God’s signature. God’s kingdom of righteousness will bear His likeness and He will only establish His kingdom on Earth after He has destroyed the kingdoms of men. Notice this text: “In the time of those kings [the ten kings], the God of Heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever.” (Daniel 2:44, insertion mine)


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