By The Bible Prophecy Channel
by The Christadelphians Daniel 2 Nebuchadnezzar’s Image: Bible Prophecy Fulfilled in Islamic State ISIL (ISIS) Dominating Israel in the Last Days . Talk by Duncan Heaster, Carelinks Christadelphian Ministries; For more information http://islamicstateinfo.blogspot.co.uk/ . Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, was given a dream which Daniel interpreted. He saw an image comprised of various materials, in the form of a man. Nebuchadnezzar was the head of gold, followed by the breast and arms of silver, belly and thighs of brass, two legs of iron, and finally two feet [10 toes] made from a brittle mixture of iron and clay. A stone cut out from a mountain without hands then struck the image on its brittle feet, and destroyed the gold, silver, brass, iron and clay. A whirlwind carried them all away, and the stone grew into a mountain which filled the earth and will never pass away as the previous kings and kingdoms passed away. This is interpreted as the establishment of God’s eternal Kingdom on earth (Dan. 2:44). The stone is a fairly common symbol of the Lord Jesus Christ (Ps. 118:22 cp. Mt. 21:42-44; Acts 4:11; Is. 8:14; 28:16; Rom. 9:32,33; Eph. 2:20; 1 Pet. 2:4,6-8), the Messiah of Israel (Gen. 49:24; Zech. 3:9; 4:7,10), the begotten Son of God, cut out without human hands.
Bible prophecy can be understood on a number of levels. It would be legitimate to see these four empires as referring to the succession of kingdoms which had dominion over “all the earth”. We must remember that the Bible was written in Hebrew, Greek and Chaldee. We read through the mask of translation. The Hebrew word and concept of eretz, translated “the earth”, can refer either to the whole planet, or to the land promised to Abraham, between the Nile and the Euphrates. The word is used in modern Hebrew to refer to eretz Israel, the state of Israel. After Babylon’s domination of the land, there followed the Medo-Persian empire (breast and arms of silver), then the Greeks (belly and thighs of brass), followed by the Roman empire, divided as it was into Western and Eastern parts, symbolized by the two iron legs. Out of this arose the two feet with their ten toes. But after the Roman empire, the people of Israel were exiled from their land, only becoming a nation again in 1948. The two feet with their ten toes would then represent a brief period of mixed domination of the land, under a confederacy of ten groups broadly divided into two camps. I say ‘brief’ because in proportion to the size of the image, the feet are not very large. The proportions of the different parts of the body match the length of time over which the various empires dominated Israel. Thus Babylon dominated Judah for 70 years, and they are represented by the head, which is not a large part of the human body.
The prophecy of Daniel goes further to provide more details of this series of empires. Daniel 7 describes the same succession in terms of four beasts, which also represent the same empires as the metals in the image of Daniel chapter 2. The fourth beast has ten horns, corresponding to the ten toes of Daniel’s image; and out of them, one particular horn is prominent. This beast becomes the prototype for the beasts we encounter in the book of Revelation, who likewise dominate God’s people and will be destroyed by Christ’s return.