2006-10-01 - Daniel
Verses 40-43: The fourth kingdom, following the traditional interpretation, would then be Rome. As you remember from the beginning some Jewish scholars while understanding the reference is to Rome, they project it on to Roman Christendom. This is because while they realize the dream is about the Gentile peoples in relationship to Judaism, of course they don't realize that Christianity isn't part of this picture at all, and that in the end they too would be joined to the Christ, the Messiah. So, we are seeing Rome.
"The legs of iron and feet of clay. Iron represents strength, but clay represents weakness. Rome was strong in law, organization, and military might; but the empire included so many different peoples that this created weakness. "The people will be a mixture and will not remain united" (Dan. 2:43, NIV)." 9
"God's portrayal of Rome with two legs was very apt, for the ancient Roman Empire ruled extensive areas of both the western and eastern divisions of the world. In fact, in 364 A.D., the Roman Empire was divided politically into two divisions - the Western Roman Empire with Rome as its capital, and the Eastern Roman Empire with Constantinople as its capital.
When we get to the feet and the toes, we may possibly be moving into the realm of prophecy that is still yet to be fulfilled.
The most important point that should be made here, and which we will expand on next time, is regardless of what interpretative method when takes when examining the four kingdoms, the stone refers to the coming kingdom of God, the Messianic kingdom, which has not yet come. So if you accept the prophetic aspect of the passage at all, you will end up in the same place, with the kingdom of God overthrowing the kingdoms of men.
9 Wiersbe, p. 260.
To be continued.
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