The Times of the Gentiles
The continuing history of man records that nations rise and fall. Great nations, influencing all the world in culture and commerce have experienced their victories and their defeats. Archaeologists today probe the ruins of many nations that used to exist.
There is probably not a story that tells this history so well as the prophetic dream of Nebuchadnezzar.
1. Nebuchadnezzar's Dream (Daniel 2:31-45)
Nebuchadnezzar was king of Babylon. He reigned during the fall and captivity of the nation of Israel. One night he had a dream that would foretell events over the centuries. Mighty kingdoms would be represented in this dream.
Israel was in Babylonian captivity as a result of her backsliding. God revealed who would rule over her land during the coming centuries. Daniel, who as a prophet of God had gained great respect in the kingdom of Babylon, was called on to interpret the dream. In the dream there was a great metal man. The head was of gold; the breast and arms were silver; his belly and thighs were made of brass; the legs were iron; and his feet were part iron and clay. A stone came striking the feet and broke them into pieces. The image was destroyed and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floor which the wind carried away. The stone then became a great mountain and filled the whole earth. Daniel interpreted the dream.
a.) The Head of Cold (Babylon)
The Head of Gold was Babylon which was ruling the Jews and the world at the time of the dream. The kingdom lasted from 606 B.C. to 538 B.C. The city of Babylon was at the zenith of its influence during this time. The hanging gardens of Babylon were one of the seven wonders of the world. The cities 14 square miles were guarded by walls 350 feet high and 87 feet thick. Over 1,000,000 inhabitants of the city never thought it would fall, but it did.
b.) The Breast and Arms of Silver (Medo-Persian)
In 538 B.C. Babylon fell to the Medes and Persians. Darius was the king of the Medes. This kingdom, a dual kingdom, portrayed by the two arms, was to last until 330 B.C.
c.) The Belly and Thighs of Brass (Greece)
Alexander the Great came out of the West with conquest on his mind. He conquered the Medo-Persian Empire in 330 B.C. After Alexander's death in 323 B.C. the empire was divided into four parts among his four generals. The Grecian empire lasted until 160 B.C. when the Romans came conquering.
d.) The Legs of Iron (Roman)
The legs represented the Roman Empire which was to last for many centuries as its Eastern and Western divisions.
e.) The Feet of Iron and Clay (Revived Roman Empire)
The feet portray the revived Roman Empire and a ten nation confederacy represented by the 10 toes (Daniel 7:7-8 and Revelation 17:12). These events will all happen in the last days and during them the antichrist will begin his rule of the world. All this will lead to the Great Tribulation and Armageddon.
f.) The Stone (Jesus Christ)
The coming of Jesus Christ at the battle of Armageddon, will destroy all the kingdoms and this world system. God will set up a new kingdom over all the earth for a thousands years. He will rule over the earth as king at this time. This period of time is called the millennium.
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