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The dream concerned only with the Jews and the times of the Gentiles. This is why Nebuchadnezzar couldn’t remember his dream. The dream tells us symbolically who will be ruling over the Jews and the Holy Land. The breaks in the skeleton refer to changes in empires due to battles. After Babylon came Persia (silver) with the break in the neck representing the capture of Babylon. Cyrus the Great permitted the Jews to return to Jerusalem and Judah in 539 BC. The bronze Greco-Roman empires captured Jerusalem in 332 BC without a battle. This is why bronze succeeds silver without a break. This period is quite complex and is reflected in the complex bone structure of the pelvic area. (The text refers to the thighs as also of bronze, but the Aramaic word used for thighs in Daniel is singular, not plural, and is more likely to euphemistically refer to the male generative organ. See Strong’s entries 3409 and 3410.) The religions and cultures of these empires are so similar that they both fall under the same metal. The changeover to Christianity didn’t change the empire dominating the Holy Land. In 638 AD the Muslims captured Jerusalem and the Holy Land and have held it until recent times. They are the iron legs. Many interpreters believe the two legs should represent two empires, or halves of the Roman Empire. But legs always work together, not independently or in contrast. If the separate function of each leg is believed, then the separate functions of the arms should also be explained. The break at the knees represents the time of the Crusades and the Kingdom of Jerusalem. The break at the ankles is the period beginning with Israel as a nation and extending into the future, probably WW3, when the Muslim domination will cease. The empire of iron and clay begins after the first seal is opened and exists for a short time. It degenerates into Mystery Babylon. Since Rome is destroyed in WW3, the seven-hilled city may be Constantinople, also with seven hills. After some time of peace, the rider on the red horse, winning his war, takes peace from the Earth. This is where the 10-horned beast begins, also persecution of the Jews and Mystery Babylon. It corresponds to the first joint of the 10 toes of the image and the second seal. The second joint of the 10 toes corresponds to the war of the black horse, the overthrow of Mystery Babylon, and the third seal. The war of the pale green horse corresponds to the joint of the 8 small toes (the big toes only have two joints) and the fourth seal. The 11th horn of the beast comes up and plucks up 3 horns leaving 8.The defeat of the pale green horse riders is accomplished by the kings of the east (Rev16:12) and the armies of heaven led by Christ, the Word of God (Rev 19:11-21). The stone destroying the image, most likely a literal asteroid or comet, is expressed in the sixth seal (Rev 6:12-17). Then the mighty angel of Rev 10:1, 5-6, representing Christ in an angelic manifestation, announces the end of the times of the Gentiles. Israel becomes truly independent. The end of the image doesn’t mean all troubles are over for the Jews, who are now mostly believers in Christ as the true Messiah. The 10-horned beast will not be completely destroyed until the final battle of Joel 3:9-17(not found in Revelation). Finally, the Antichrist arises out of the two-horned beast of Rev 13:11 to tempt and seduce the Jews in a manner analogous to Balaam. The Antichrist’s forces are overcome by military defeats (Zech 9:13-16), and Christ returns to slay the Antichrist and judge the nations. All this occurs during the time of the seventh seal. This seal opened by Christ reveals the final form of the Kingdom of God.
The meaning of the dream is already given in the same chapter. Daniel through inspiration tells the king that the statue represents the history and future of the earth from the Babylonian Kingdom to the second coming of Jesus. God was telling the king that Babylon wasn’t going to last forever, three other kingdoms will come but they will also ultimately end, when He sets up His everlasting Kingdom. All this was said to a king who was busy planning to ensure that his kingdom does not come to an end. I guess the question calls for application of the meaning of the dream. I also suspect that the question wants us to apply the dream to our present time, where are we in terms of that sequence and time table? Daniel already told us that Babylon was the gold 626 – 539BC, then Medo-Persia followed 539 – 330BC, then Greece 330 -146BC then the Roman Empire 146 –AD476. The interesting thing is that after the legs of iron (Rome) we see a different kind of kingdom – it’s not a metal but a mixture of completely different substances, clay and iron or more specifically, clay is introduced. History has confirmed that the 4 great empires have come and gone and since God hasn’t set up His Kingdom on earth yet, it is safe to assume that the present age is the feet of iron and clay. Just what do the feet signify? What is God trying to tell us here? This message of the succession of empires on earth is repeated in the imagery of the beasts in Daniel 7, and in Revelation 13. Varying degrees of clarity are introduced that leave one with a distinct impression that the message is a mighty important one. Reading from Rev 13: 1, 2 one is immediately struck by the similarities with Daniel 7 and therefore Daniel 2. My bible, the NIV Quest Study Bible Rev. 2013 page 1274 actually gives a graphic presentation of Dan 2, Dan 7, Dan 8 and the period of their reign. There is depiction of when the reign of the feet of iron and clay will end however. We know the last period started at the official end of the break up of the Roman Empire which was the beginning of the feet of clay. In Rev 13 one gets the distinct impression that beast coming out of the sea with 10 horns is relating to the feet of iron and clay with 10 toes. I see this as the same beast or kingdom that has transformed itself from being a universal political power to a seemingly weak pseudo political power that should be universal. I am forced to think that the change in the iron legs was forced on it as shown in Rev 13:3 where one of the heads is wounded, but then it heals somehow and the whole earth marvels and follows after the beast. At the end of Rev 13 in verse 16 – 18, we are told that this beast is actually the Anti-Christ 666. Therefore the Anti-Christ is our contemporary as we are living in the period of the feet of iron and clay. We need to heed the exhortation given in Rev 13:10 which calls upon us to have the enduring patience and faithfulness of the saints. The patience and faithfulness is required because as we see in Revelation the Anti Christ will persecute the saints while the whole world wonders after him. The fact that Rev 13 introduces the beast as the dragon makes it clear that this actually the devil using human agencies and probably political powers as well. The boulder that comes to destroy earth as we know it hits the feet which means the second coming of Christ will definitely take place during our time. It also means that it will be during the time of the reign of the Anti Christ. This will be a time of unprecedented suffering for the saints but God will cut short the time for the sake of the elect.
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