BOOK OF DANIEL-The 4th Kingdom (continued)

Posted by on May 9, 2018 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on BOOK OF DANIEL-The 4th Kingdom (continued)

The 4th Kingdom (continued).

We discussed Daniel 2:40-4, for the most part, in our last blog. Today we will look at the last portion of verse forty-one and the following two verses. So we have the whole picture, our reading today includes Daniel 2:40-43 which reads, “Then there will be a fourth kingdom as strong as iron; inasmuch as iron crushes and shatters all things, so, like iron that breaks in pieces, it will crush and break all these in pieces. In that you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, it will be a divided kingdom; but it will have in it the toughness of iron, inasmuch as you saw the iron mixed with common clay. As the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of pottery, so some of the kingdom will be strong and part of it will be brittle. And in that you saw the iron mixed with common clay, they will combine with one another in the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, even as iron does not combine with pottery.” (NASB)

You will recall when we read the descriptions of the various metals of the image, Daniel 2:33 tells us that this fourth kingdom consisted of “Its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay”. (NASB) Many commentators suggest that the two legs represent the Western and Eastern (Byzantine) empires of Rome. Whether or not this is entirely correct is immaterial. It may or may not be. But consider this. Prior to the Western and Eastern split of the Roman Empire, it was a consolidated empire for hundreds of years. That alone does not imply that the two legs simply represent the Western or Eastern portions of the Roman Empire. Others suggest that the two legs represented Syria and Egypt which were eventually subdued by the Romans. I do not share this view because the leaders of the Syrian and Egyptian entities came out of the four generals who divided the Grecian Empire into four separate kingdoms of rule after the death of Alexander the Great, which clearly points to Daniel 2:32 in the description of the bronze portion of the image. A more reasonable argument would be the literal description that Daniel provides. He is referring to one kingdom [the 4th] and that it is strong and mighty but becomes divided. That describes the Roman Empire perfectly. By descending down to the feet there is a mixture of iron and clay which clearly portrays the strength and brittleness that occurs later on in time. The Roman Empire was, indeed, like iron. But as time progressed, it imploded internally and became divided. There is more. Daniel specifically mentions the toes. Most commentators agree that this refers naturally to ten toes while some argue ten is simply a symbolic number. While this comment may be somewhat mute, I’ve never considered my ten toes to be symbolic of something. I have ten toes just like any other person whose feet are intact. Hence, we can easily conclude, as we shall see in later studies, that the toes in the image are, in fact, referring to a literal number of ten.

We see the expression that the iron mixed with common clay will combine with one another in the seed of men but will not adhere to one another. Again, some early commentators suggest that the combining of the seed of men referred to inter-marriage with the Romans with Germanic tribes. Others have suggested it was more representative of the marriage of politics with princes while others offer the idea that it refers to diverse forms of government such as a democracy versus a dictatorship. While each of these has arguments for and against, we do well to focus on several points.

First – the book of Daniel only mentions four Gentile kingdoms. So, if you’re thinking of Great Britain, the USA, China or Russia or any other variation thereof that was or is the next world empire you are sadly mistaken. Remember, God is the one who ordains who will rule and who will not rule. Daniel chapter two gives us His answer. There are only four Gentile kingdoms prior to when Jesus Christ sets up His kingdom upon the earth.

Second – if there are only four kingdoms and Rome is the last prior to Christ’s return then this tells us that Rome currently remains the fourth kingdom. To reconcile this dilemma the fourth kingdom of Rome has to include not just when Rome was the predominant force but also re-appears in some way over the present age. In other words, the fourth kingdom of Rome exists between the first and the second coming of Christ. Bear with me in explaining all these points to you because, as we progress in Daniel, you will see that the toes of the image and, more importantly, the ten toes specifically refer to prophecy. In the portion of Scripture we are discussing now [Daniel chapter two] we are directed to the toes of the image as it refers to the iron and clay not adhering to one another. Later, in Daniel chapter seven, we see these ten toes are identified as ten kings who will reign simultaneously as a confederacy which is made up of the old Roman Empire. NOTHING like this form of Gentile government has ever occurred at the time of this writing. Therefore, we can be assured that already, despite only coming to the close of Daniel chapter two, we are witnessing the entire timeline of the age of the Gentiles up to and including the return of Christ. All of these points are developed further by the entire book of Daniel.

Third – The feet of the image represents the final stage of the geographical area that was once possessed by the Empire of Rome. The Roman Empire was one of the largest in history, stretching throughout Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. Its largest expansion was under Emperor Trajan who reigned from 98–117 AD. The Empire encompassed an area of three million square miles with an estimate of sixty million inhabitants which, at the time, accounted for between one-sixth and one-fourth of the world’s total population. Many local governments under the rule of Rome existed with more than a few who objected to Roman rule. As man progresses into the future we will see the development of these ten kings who are mere viceroys to the leader of the re-establishment of this fourth Gentile kingdom. The Geographical nature of rule by this re-establishment of Rome will impact every human then living.