Lower Legs and Feet of the Daniel 2 Statue

March 24, 2014 at 2:25 PM

Daniel2Reading Daniel chapters two and seven, as well as Revelation 13 and 17 provide a good, overall picture of not only the statue that came into Nebuchadnezzar’s dreams one evening, but what it meant then and what it means now. Understanding Scripture is a process that no one should ever take lightly, though many do. We often fall to the temptation of not only becoming seriously dogmatic, but very argumentative when we meet someone who does not share our particular beliefs about an aspect of Scripture.

There are numerous areas in the Bible that we call theology that have what we might call “wiggle room.” What we believe about certain subjects do not reflect on our salvation. I believe one of those (to an extent) is in the area of Eschatology. I also believe that there are many more subjects where we cannot give an inch because the Bible does not give an inch. We are warned throughout the New Testament writings to defend the truth of the Gospel at all costs by Paul and others. Along with that, we should know what the Bible teaches about the deity of Jesus, the atoning death of Christ, the resurrection, the ascension, as well as the virgin birth and more. These areas are not negotiable.

Again though, in the area of Eschatology (the study of end times, or last days prior to the physical return of Jesus), there is some room for people to believe various things. I say this only because it is difficult to prove beyond all doubt that the Bible speaks of one particular thing related to Eschatology. While I firmly believe the Bible does speak of only one thing (and not many), it is difficult to prove that the thing I believe (or you believe) is exactly what God means.

When we come to the statue that woke Nebuchadnezzar up and kept him from sleeping in Daniel 2, there are certain things that are beyond doubt. We know for instance that the statue was made up of the following materials:

  1. head of gold
  2. chest/arms of silver
  3. belly/thighs of bronze
  4. legs of iron that become the feet of iron and clay

No one can dispute this because this is exactly how Daniel described the statue and Nebuchadnezzar verified that this is what he had, in fact, dreamed. We also know that Daniel likened each area of the statue to a different empire and we also know that the first empire was represented by the head of gold and it was the kingdom of Babylon. This was the very kingdom that Nebuchadnezzar ruled over.

As Daniel continued, he explained that another empire would come after Babylon and Daniel described aspects of it, saying that although Babylon was represented by a lion with wings, the next empire to come along was represented by a bear that was lopsided. It turns out that the empire that followed Babylon in history was the Medo-Persian Empire.

Following that empire, another one came along. This one was represented by a leopard with wings. That kingdom was Alexander the Great’s kingdom of Greece.

In Daniel 2:40-43, Daniel described what turned out to be the mighty Roman Empire, which eventually replaced the Grecian Empire. The fifth kingdom is the one represented by the rock that is made without hands and slams into the feet of the statue. It winds up destroying the statue completely.

Now we have the name of empires for each section of the statue.

  1. Babylon: head of gold
  2. Medo-Persian: chest/arms of silver
  3. Grecian: belly/thighs of bronze
  4. Roman: legs of iron that become the feet of iron and clay

In Daniel 7, we learn a bit more about these empires. Daniel 7:4-8 tells us that the beast comes up out of the sea. The sea here represents the nations. This is a common figure of speech in Scripture. We’ve probably heard or said that there were so many people at an event, it looked like a “sea of people.” It’s the same concept.

In this section of Scripture, we see the beasts in the same order. Notice when we get to the third beast (Greece), we learn that it had four heads. Why? Simply put, when Alexander died, having no legitimate heir, his Grecian kingdom was divided up among his four generals, though the kingdom was still the Grecian empire. Four heads on the beast represents the four generals.

The fourth beast in Daniel 7 is the same Roman Empire that it was in Daniel 2. However, there, the feet of course had ten toes. In Daniel 7, the beast now has ten horns. Since horns always represent power (or even kingdoms) in the Bible, it appears that the additional details here tell us that there will ultimately be ten individual rulers related to this fourth kingdom, who rule at the same time.

This has not happened in history yet with respect to the Roman Empire. Going back to Daniel 2, we note that the toes there are a mixture of iron and clay. Because of that, they simply do not mix. Even when the Roman Empire gets to this point of having ten kings, the differences will be enough to keep people at odds.

But hasn’t the Roman Empire died already? Certainly, the Roman Empire itself went out of existence, didn’t it? However, what is fascinating is that other things took Rome’s place and the interesting thing is that these other empires were essentially in the same area as the Roman Empire.

But notice the statue again. It has two legs of course and both legs (until we get to the feet) are solid iron. It’s not until we get to the feet that we find a mixture of clay and iron.

It seems to me that the statue depicts the Roman Empire specifically when the empire split into a western and eastern half. Obviously, it came into being from the previous Grecian Empire, but Rome itself built up slowly over a few hundred years until it contained the power that it had during the time of Jesus.

I also believe that the AD 70 destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple was the event that caused God’s wrath to be poured out onto the Roman Empire. From that time onward, the decline may well have begun.

Today, looking back at the Roman Empire, we can see that it seemed to completely die out. Yet, the Bible states that one of the heads of the beast in Revelation 13 had a fatal wound that seemed to heal itself. What can that mean and why does Scripture mention seven heads all of a sudden in the Revelation passage?

We’ll deal with that next time!

Entry filed under: Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy. Tags: , , , .

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