Today you’ll be listening through J Vernon McGee’s sermon on Zechariah 1:20-21.
Daniel 2:31-45 Breakdown
2:31 “You, O king, were watching as a great statue—one of impressive size and extraordinary brightness—was standing before you. Its appearance caused alarm.
Nebuchadnezzar was a pagan king who looked to idols for supernatural guidance. Therefore, God communicated to this pagan king through a giant idol. When Nebuchadnezzar heard this first sentence, he must have been amazed that this young teenager knew his dream.
2:32 As for that statue, its head was of fine gold, its chest and arms were of silver, its belly and thighs were of bronze. 2:33 Its legs were of iron; its feet were partly of iron and partly of clay.
The statue was made of gold, silver, bronze, iron, and clay. Notice that the statue goes top to bottom from expensive to inexpensive metals. Also, except for the clay, it goes top to bottom from weak to strong metals.
2:34 You were watching as a stone was cut out, but not by human hands. It struck the statue on its iron and clay feet, breaking them in pieces.
If human hands do not cut out this stone, then the stone must be cut out by supernatural hands. The stone hits the large statue at its feet. This supernaturally cut stone caused the statue to topple and fall. The statue broke to pieces.
2:35 Then the iron, clay, bronze, silver, and gold were broken in pieces without distinction and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors that the wind carries away. Not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the statue became a large mountain that filled the entire earth.
The metal from the statue became chaff. The chaff was blown away by the wind. Not one trace of the statue debris could be found. The stone became a large mountain which filled the entire earth. A mountain in Scripture was usually symbolic of a kingdom.
2:36 This was the dream. Now we will set forth before the king its interpretation.
Nebuchadnezzar must have been amazed that this Jewish teenager was able to recite his dream in every detail. He was very interested in hearing the interpretation.
2:37 “You, O king, are the king of kings. The God of heaven has granted you sovereignty, power, strength, and honor. 2:38 Wherever human beings, wild animals, and birds of the sky live—he has given them into your power. He has given you authority over them all. You are the head of gold.
Adam was to be the king of the first empire, but he lost his authority at the fall. Therefore, God chose Nebuchadnezzar to become the first world empire. Nebuchadnezzar ruled the greatest empire in the world, but he would butcher it. However, his influence would affect other nations who followed him. Even the modern global world is influenced by Nebuchadnezzar’s previous monarchy.
2:39 Now after you another kingdom will arise, one inferior to yours. Then a third kingdom, one of bronze, will rule in all the earth.
The second and third kingdoms would be inferior to Babylon. The second kingdom was Medo-Persia. The third kingdom was Greece. Daniel would give more prophetic revelation on these two kingdoms later in his book.
2:40 Then there will be a fourth kingdom, one strong like iron. Just like iron breaks in pieces and shatters everything, and as iron breaks in pieces all of these metals, so it will break in pieces and crush the others. 2:41 In that you were seeing feet and toes partly of wet clay and partly of iron, so this will be a divided kingdom. Some of the strength of iron will be in it, for you saw iron mixed with wet clay. 2:42 In that the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of clay, the latter stages of this kingdom will be partly strong and partly fragile. 2:43 And in that you saw iron mixed with wet clay, so people will be mixed with one another without adhering to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay.
The fourth Gentile kingdom would be the last days empire of the Antichrist. It will start as powerful iron, be deduced to ten kingdoms of clay, and then it will become all powerful again. This kingdom will be so strong, that it will shatter everything that gets in its way. It will completely destroy all of the influences of the other three kingdoms.
Rome would become the beginning of this kingdom. It would later disintegrate into the two legs of the Western (Roman Catholic) and Eastern (Orthodox Byzantine) empires. In the last days, it will disintegrate into the ten toes of the empire of the Antichrist. The ten toes will most likely be the division of the earth into ten regions. These ten regions could be ruled by the ten kings in Revelation.
2:44 In the days of those kings the God of heaven will raise up an everlasting kingdom that will not be destroyed and a kingdom that will not be left to another people. It will break in pieces and bring about the demise of all these kingdoms. But it will stand forever.
This fourth Gentile kingdom of the Antichrist will be replaced by an everlasting kingdom which will never be destroyed. It is interesting to note that the nursery rhyme “Humpty Dumpty” is about kings who have attempted to put the Roman Empire back together again. Attila the Hun sacked the city, but he realized he could not repair Rome. He took his barbarians and left town. The Pope crowned Charlemagne as the Holy Roman Emperor, but he could not handle the geography either. Napoleon, Mussolini, and Hitler had their runs, but they were all destroyed. The Antichrist will be successful in reuniting the Roman Empire with the rest of the world, but only for seven years.
2:45 You saw that a stone was cut from a mountain, but not by human hands; it smashed the iron, bronze, clay, silver, and gold into pieces. The great God has made known to the king what will occur in the future. The dream is certain, and its interpretation is reliable.”
The stone which was cut from the mountain by divine hands is Jesus, the coming Messianic King. He will end the Time of the Gentiles by destroying this last Gentile Kingdom. He will rule from Jerusalem with a rod of iron.
When Jesus returns, He will not need a council, Parliament, or Congress to assist Him. He will become an absolute dictator. He will rule with a rod of iron. He will run the strictest government in history. Anyone who commits a crime will be arrested immediately, possibly by angels. Anyone who does not believe in the Lord Jesus Christ by the time of their 100th birthday will be executed. Any nation who does not attend the Feast of Tabernacles will be punished with drought. Many future people who are born into the Millennial Kingdom will still possess their sin nature. Even in perfect Garden of Eden conditions, they will not like the autocratic rule of the Lord Jesus Christ. They will enjoy hell much better.
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