King Nubuchadnezzer’s Dream
King Neb had a dream and sent a message out to all of his magi. He said that they had to interpret his dream. But not only that, he told them they had to (v.5 ) tell him what the dream was! The king didn’t trust his magi and he figured that this was a way to make sure they were truly receiving divine messages and not just making something up.
Daniel came through—Daniel prayed and asked God to reveal to him what the king had dreamed. God did exactly that and Daniel was the only one who could tell the king what he had dreamed along with the interpretation. This picture gives you a rough idea of the statue in Neb’s dream.
The metals in the vision become less valuable but stronger as you go down the body. This signifies how each successive kingdom would become larger and stronger than the one before it.
Head of God (v32, 38) – Babylon (King Neb. himself)
Chest and arms of silver (v32) – represents Persia.
Thighs and belly of Bronze (v32) — This is Greece. The actual names of the kingdoms of Persia and Greece are given later in more detailed visions that Daniel himself has in Daniel 8. In ch. 8, Daniel also prophecies that the kingdom of Greece will be dominated by one man and this was clearly fulfilled in the conqueror Alexander the Great. Daniel also foretells that Greece would be divided up four ways into four kingdoms “which will arise from his nation, although not with his power.” This was fulfilled when Alexander’s four generals split the kingdom up four-ways after his death.
Legs of Iron (33) — represent Rome. Rome is never named, but it is without question the fourth kingdom of iron.
The feet and toes of clay and iron (33). The feet come after the fall of Rome and they represent the countries once held by the Roman Empire—the countries we know as Europe today.
The whole history of Europe after the fall of Rome is the story of generals and rulers who at various times have tried to put the old Roman Empire back together. They have always failed–because iron and clay don’t mix. That’s what the prophecy meant: no one would ever be able to put the Roman Empire back together again throughout all future centuries and until Christ himself brings history to a close upon His return (He is represented by the stone at the end that shatters both clay and iron and then becomes a mountain). As Daniel says:
“And just as you saw the iron mixed with baked clay, so the people will be a mixture and will not remain united, any more than iron mixes with clay.”
And so it has been throughout the history of Europe: Charlemagne, Napoleon, Hitler & Mussolini—all tried in vain to put the Roman Empire back together. That was their stated purpose. They did not know they had set out to do something God had said would never happen because they just did not know the prophecy!