Shalom, everyone! In part one of our study of Daniel chapter 2, we discussed the circumstances under which Daniel could relate and interpret Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar‘s forgotten dream. YAH gave Daniel the revelation and interpretation of the king’s dream after Daniel and his companions, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, prayed in order to set the king’s mind at ease, and avert the catastrophe of the king’s destructive decree against the sages of Babylonia. King Nebuchadnezzar‘s forgotten dream of the giant statue is one of the most famous prophecies of all time, giving insight into the catastrophes that would befall the House of Yisrael in the End of Days and our final redemption and restoration.
To recap, Daniel reminded the king that he dreamt of a giant statue of a man, with its head made of fine gold, its breast and arms made of silver, its belly and thighs made of brass (some translations say copper), its legs made of iron, and its feet made of a mixture of iron and clay. A stone hewn without human hands then struck the statue at its feet made of iron and clay, crumbled the feet then the rest of the status together. The remains of the statue became as chaff which was then blown away by the wind with no trace left. The stone that destroyed the statue became a great mountain which filled the entire earth.
Daniel then gave King Nebuchadnezzar the interpretation of his dream of the statue. Each of the materials of which the statue was made represented a kingdom/empire which would exile, oppress and subjugate the House of Yisrael until our final redemption, when all these kingdoms would be completely destroyed, with no trace of any of them left behind. From the Assyro-Babylonian exiles unto the present-day, the Nation of Yisrael has ceased to be an independent, sovereign and united nation.
- Daniel 2:37 ~ “Thou, O king, king of kings, unto whom the God of heaven hath given the kingdom, the power, and the strength, and the glory;”
- Daniel 2:38 ~ “and wheresoever the children of men, the beasts of the field, and the fowls of the heaven dwell, hath He given them into thy hand, and hath made thee to rule over them all; thou art the head of gold.”
The head of gold on the statue represented King Nebuchadnezzar and his Babylonian Empire. The Babylonian Empire originated from both the line of Ham and Shem. The founder of Babylon was Nimrod, son of Cush, son of Ham. As the descendants of Ham and Shem dwelt in close proximity to each other, they frequently intermarried. The Babylonians grew in power and eventually conquered their cousins the Assyrians, also descendants of Shem. Together with the Assyrians, the Babylonians were the first major empire to strip the Nation of Yisrael of independence and sovereignty. While most of the House of Yisrael fled into Egypt (northeast Africa) prior to the Assyro-Babylonian exiles, a significant remnant was taken into captivity. At the time of the exile of Judah, the Babylonian Empire was the wealthiest, most powerful and glorious empire in the world. The Babylonian Empire stretched from the Persian Gulf to Cyprus and the border of Egypt, encompassing all of Mesopotamia, Assyria, northern Arabia, and the Sinai Peninsula.
- Daniel 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.”
Daniel then gave a subtle warning to Nebuchadnezzar: His reign and empire would come to an end at the hands of an inferior kingdom, represented on the statue by the breasts and arms of silver. This second kingdom was the Medo-Persian Empire, a joint empire of the Medes (Media) and Persians (Persia). The Medes were descendants of Japheth and Shem. The Persians were descendants of Shem. Though the Medo-Persian Empire, also known as the Achaemenid Empire, was large and powerful, it paled in comparison in fame and refinement compared to the Babylonian Empire. The Medes and Persians conquered the Babylonians circa 539 BCE. Their empire stretched from Egypt to northwestern India, encompassing all of Persia, Mesopotamia, Anatolia (Turkey), western Greece, reaching even into parts of central Asia and the Caucasus. The Medo-Persians eventually allowed the House of Judah to return to Land of Israel where they regrouped as Judea, a vassal state. The land they returned to returned was now populated a with mix of foreign peoples. Both the Babylonian and Medo-Persian Empires allowed the Judeans some degree of religious freedom. Nevertheless, after 70 years in exile, the Babylonians and Persians heavily influenced the religious practices of the Judeans resulting in a post-exilic religion now known as Judaism. Media and Persia are today modern-day Kurdistan and Iran respectively. The Medo-Persian Empire lasted roughly 200 years until they were conquered in approximately 330 BCE by the third but inferior kingdom, the Greco-Macedonian Empire.
As mentioned above, the third but inferior kingdom, represented by the belly and thighs of brass (or copper in some translations) was the Greco-Macedonian Empire, which consisted of the Greeks and Macedonians. The Greeks and Macedonians were the descendants of Japheth, through his sons Javan and Tiras. Led by Alexander the Great, the Greeks and Macedonians conquered the Persians acquiring an empire which stretched from Greece and Macedonia in the Mediterranean to the Himalayas in southern Asia. The Greco-Macedonian Empire would later become known as the Hellenistic Empire. The Greeks would also conquer Egypt, removing the Hamite African Pharaohs from power and installing the European Greeks and Macedonians as the new Pharaohs, for example, the Ptolemaic dynasty.
Unlike the Babylonians and Persians, who permitted the Judeans some degree of religious freedom, the Greeks tried to destroy the culture of the Judeans and replace it with the pagan Hellenistic culture. First, was the imposition of the Greek language upon the Judeans, who had returned to the land of Yisrael speaking Aramaic. Even the Hebrew Torah, prophets and writings were translated into Greek resulting in the Septuagint in the mid-third century BCE. The Greek/Macedonian/Hellenistic Empire maintained control over Judea until approximately 165 BCE, when they were deposed, and the region was ruled by the Hasmoneans, a dynasty of Judean priest-kings. This independence was brief, lasting only until 63 BCE, when Judea voluntarily became a vassal state of the fourth but inferior kingdom represented by legs of iron, the Roman Empire.
- Daniel 2:40 ~ “And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron; forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and beateth down all things; and as iron that crusheth all these, shall it break in pieces and crush.”
The Romans would do the most damage to the House of Yisrael. The Romans were descendants of Japheth through his son Javan and grandson Kittim. Like the statue, the Roman Empire had two legs, the western leg represented by Western Europe and Northern Africa, and the eastern leg, consisting of Egypt, Anatolia (Turkey), Syria, Judea, Samaria, Mesopotomia and parts of Arabia. The Romans ruled their empire with extreme brutality. In Judea, there were frequent rebellions which were crushed without mercy, resulting in hundreds of thousands being killed or tortured. Cities and villages were razed and renamed. The conquered who were not killed were often enslaved and taxed under heavy tribute. It was during the Roman era that the anticipation of a messiah reached fever pitch. Many men declared themselves to be the messiah of Israel, the one who would lead Yisrael in defeating her enemies and re-establish the nation as an independent kingdom. All these alleged messiahs, including Yeshua ben Yosef, failed in their missions. Roman brutality culminated in the destruction of the Second Holy Temple and Jerusalem in approximately 70 CE. Millions of Judeans were killed. Those who survived fled primarily into Africa and, to a lesser extent, Asia.
The Roman Empire of pure iron would be the longest-lasting empire, lasting until approximately 395 CE, however; and this extend into a fifth but inferior empire, a hybrid empire of several groups of people represented in the statue by the feet and toes of iron and clay.
- Daniel 2:41 ~ “And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, it shall be a divided kingdom; but there shall be in it of the firmness of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay.”
- Daniel 2:42 ~ “And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so part of the kingdom shall be strong, and part thereof broken.”
- Daniel 2:43 ~ “And whereas thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves by the seed of men; but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron doth not mingle with clay.”
The fifth but inferior empire of iron and clay was a hybrid of the Romans/Europeans and the Edomites/Ishmaelites. The Romans/Europeans, descendants of Japheth were represented by the iron. The Edomites/Ishmaelites, descendants of Shem through Abraham, were represented by the clay. The power structure of the western leg of the Roman Empire would change as it faced invasion and pillage from other European peoples, primarily the Germanic tribes descended from Ashkenaz, son of Gomer, son of Japheth. These Germanic tribes included the Goths (Ostrogoths and Visigoths), Celts, Burgundians, Lombards, Angles, Saxons, Franks, Jutes, Suebis, Alemannis, Gepids, and Vandals among many others. The modern-day descendants of these Germanic peoples include Austrians, Danes, Dutch, English, Faroe Islanders, Flemish, French, Frisians, Germans, Icelanders, Irish, Northern Italians, Luxembourgers, Norwegians, Scottish, and Swedes. Also included are the Portuguese and Spanish peoples who are descended from the Goths and Suebis. These would go on to become powerful nations in Western Europe. These nations had a common religion, Christianity, whether of the Roman Catholic or Protestant variety. Roman Catholic Christianity was enforced by its leader, the Pope and his seat of power, the Vatican. Protestant Christianity was enforced by the various monarchs in non-Catholic Western European states. These nations of iron would travel around the world and colonize vast territories, subjugating and enslaving the peoples there, especially in the Americas and Africa.
The Edomites/Ishmaelites were by the clay in the feet of the statue. The Edomites and Ishmaelites frequently intermarried each other. Together with the Keturites, also descendants of Abraham they would form a people who would be collectively known as the Arabs. Beginning in 622 CE, the Arabs would adopt a new religion, Islam, which would be the driving force for their own conquest, colonization of subjugation of other peoples in Asia and Africa. Though not as powerful, nor possessing the weaponry of their European Christian counterparts, the Arab/Islamic Empire was vast and wealthy, stretching from Northwest Africa to Southeast Asia.
The peoples of the iron and clay frequently intermingled but fought against each other. Due to the differences in their religions and worldviews, they often showed disdain for on and made war with each other. Some Europeans/Caucasians became Muslims, for example, the Turkic peoples. These European converts migrated all over the Arab world intermarrying with the Shemitic Arabs to form a mixed-race people. Despite the conflicts between European Christians and Arabs/Muslims, they had one thing in common, the capture, trafficking, and enslavement of Africans. The iron (Europeans) were the perpetrators of the Transatlantic Slave Trade which resulted in millions of Africans, including millions of the Hebrews (Ehvehs), being shipped to the Americas to become slaves. The clay (Arabs) were the perpetrators of the Arab Slave Trade which resulted in millions of Africans, including Hebrews (Ehvehs), being trafficked as slaves throughout the Arab/Muslim world. The iron and clay empire would oppress the House of Yisrael and Judah the longest, even until this day. While under the captivity of the hybrid kingdom of iron and clay, the House of Yisrael and Judah would be stripped of their names, identity, and culture, and forced to adopt their oppressors’ religions, Christianity and Islam.
In Nebuchadnezzar‘s dream, there are a ten toes on the feet of iron and clay, each toe representing a individual kingdom which would oppress the House of Yisrael and Judah. Since each toe had both iron and clay, each toe actually represents two kingdoms, one of iron, the other of clay. The following is a list of the iron and clay kingdoms represented in the toes of the statue:
|Toe #||Iron (Western European Nations)||Clay (Arab-Islamic Nations)|
|4||England (Great Britain)||Syria|
|10||Sweden||The Sudan a/k/a “Bilad al-Sudan” (region of Muslim states south of the Sahara stretching from western to central Africa)|
- Daniel 2:44 ~ “And in the days of those kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed; nor shall the kingdom be left to another people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, but it shall stand for ever.”
- Daniel 2:45 ~ “Forasmuch as thou sawest that a stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke 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.'”
During the days of the kingdoms of the feet of iron and clay, YAH will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed. YAH‘s kingdom was represented by the stone cut out of the mountain without human hands. This kingdom would destroy not only the kingdoms of iron and clay, but also all traces of the previous kingdoms of iron (Rome), brass (copper, Greece/Macedonia), silver (Persia) and gold (Babylon) which oppressed the House of Yisrael. As YAH‘s chosen people, the House of Yisrael would be redeemed, restored and conquer all our past enemies to rule the earth forever. Only through YAH‘s divine intervention would this kingdom come to power. In the present day, the citizens of YAH‘s kingdom find themselves in exile and under oppression all over the regions referenced above. Through YAH‘s intervention, the House of Yisrael will once again become an independent, sovereign and united nation.
- Daniel 2:46 ~ “Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and worshipped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an offering and sweet odours unto him.”
- Daniel 2:47 ~ “The king spoke unto Daniel, and said: ‘Of a truth it is, that your God is the God of gods, and the Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou hast been able to reveal this secret.'”
The king fell prostrate before Daniel and worshiped him, and ordered that his staff make offerings to him. Nowhere in the text does Daniel object to the king’s actions. This may just be the one of the reasons why the Judeans would be tested in Daniel chapter 3, when the king erected a golden statue of himself, ordering all to bow down and worship it. Those who refused to bow down and worship the golden statue were ordered to be put to death. The king, in spite of falling down in reverence before Daniel, acknowledged that Daniel‘s deity, YAH, was the Greatest of all deities, Ruler of all kings, and the One who revealed the secret of the forgotten dream.
- Daniel 2:48 ~ “Then the king made Daniel great, and gave him many great gifts, and made him to rule over the whole province of Babylon, and to be chief prefect over all the wise men of Babylon.”
- Daniel 2:49 ~ “And Daniel requested of the king, and he appointed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, over the affairs of the province of Babylon; but Daniel was in the gate of the king.”
As a result of correctly relating and interpreting King Nebuchadnezzar‘s dream, the king rewarded Daniel handsomely, promoting to the position of governor over the province of Babylon, the mainland of the Babylonian Empire. The king also placed Daniel in charge of all the remaining sages of Babylonia. At Daniel‘s request, his companions, Hananiah (Shadrach), Mishael (Meshach) and Azariah (Abed-nego) received high-ranking government positions throughout Babylon. Daniel became one of the king’s closest advisers,