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Toes of Iron and Clay Daniel 2

Posted by adventbiblestudy on January 19, 2010


KJV Daniel 2:36-44

36. This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king. 37. Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory. 38. And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them All. Thou art this head of gold. 39. And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth. 40. And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise. 41. And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. 42. And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. 43. And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. 44. And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.

There may be more interpretations of Daniel 2 than any other prophecy within the Bible. There is no doubt the head of gold represents Babylon. “Thou art this head of gold.” A study of the book of Daniel will reveal all four kingdoms represented by the gold, silver, brass and iron. Http://adventbiblestudy.wordpress.com/2009/02/12/the-beasts-of-daniel-8-explained/

Less than one percent know how to identify the fourth kingdom, using only the Bible. Unless they understand the use of key words they will never be able to explain the fourth kingdom, using only the Bible. The fourth kingdom is revealed using the key word, tax.

KJV Daniel 11:20. Then shall stand up in his estate a raiser of taxes in the glory of the kingdom: but within few days he shall be destroyed, neither in anger, nor in battle.

There is only one other text in the Bible using the word tax, located in the book of Luke.

KJV Luke 2:1. And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. 2. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) 3. And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

A study of the Bible clearly identifies Rome as the fourth beast, a raiser of taxes, which may contain its own spiritual message, which may be uncovered through further study. If this information is within the Bible why do 99 percent of interpretations use other references?

The Bible clearly explains how to provide a reliable interpretation.

KJV Daniel 2:27. Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, shew unto the king; 28. But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these;

KJV Genesis 40:8. And they said unto him, We have dreamed a dream, and there is no interpreter of it. And Joseph said unto them, Do not interpretations belong to God? tell me them, I pray you.

KJV Genesis 41:15. And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I have dreamed a dream, and there is none that can interpret it: and I have heard say of thee, that thou canst understand a dream to interpret it. 16. And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace.

Daniel and Joseph clearly explained, only God can interpret dreams. Since this prophecy originated from a dream, the complete interpretation can only be revealed by God. Neither one of these texts provides any other explanation. The instructions do not indicate part of the dream will be interpreted by God and the remainder may be interpreted by other rules. Joshua V. Himes wrote a detailed explanation of interpretations in his 1840 article titled –True Principles of Bible Interpretation–By a Bible Reader.

The inquiry is often sincerely made by those who are beginning the study of Prophecy “How is the Bible to be interpreted?” I would honestly propose the solution of the above momentous question, and say, that the Bible is to be interpreted by itself. I proceed to notice the rule laid down by the Holy Spirit as the first principle, and I think the only principle to be carefully attended to by all who would interpret the prophetic word aright. “KNOWING this FIRST, that no prophecy is of any private (Greek, one’s own) interpretation.” 2 Peter i. 20. “No prophecy is of any one’s own interpretation, for the prophecy came not of old time by the will of man, but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” As the Holy Ghost, and not the will of man, gave the prophecy, so, not any one’s private will, but the Holy Spirit alone, can give us the interpretation. {October 1, 1840 JVHe, HST 97.2}

Using this rule as a guide, this study will examine a few of the most common interpretations of the toes in Daniel 2. It is not intended to agree or disagree with any of the studies examined. Each interpretation will be compared to the text of Daniel 2. Proof text provided or the lack of proof text for each interpretation will also be considered.

Of all the interpretations, Ellen White provides the most provocative. Her style of writing invokes more questions than answers. While supplying information vital to the complete understanding of the texts, her interpretation is designed to evoke further study. This is a lesson understood by those having a deep understanding of God’s word. These lessons are spelled in the books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy.

KJV Leviticus 19:9. And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest. 10. And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger: I am the Lord your God.

The image shown to Nebuchadnezzar in the visions of the night represents the kingdoms of the world. The metals in the image, symbolizing the different kingdoms, became less and less pure and valuable, from the head down. The head of the image was of gold, the breast and arms of silver, the sides of brass, and the feet and toes iron mingled with clay. So the kingdoms represented by them deteriorated in value. {RH, February 6, 1900 par. 4}

The result of making void the law of God may be seen in the increasing immorality of these several kingdoms. If the inhabitants had kept the fear of God ever before them, they would have been given wisdom and power, which would have bound them together, and kept them strong. But the rulers of these kingdoms made God their strength only when harassed and perplexed. Failing to get help from their great men, they sought it from men like Daniel, who they knew honored the living God, and were honored by him. To these men they appeal to unravel the mysteries of providence; for they had so far separated themselves from God by transgression that they could not understand his warning. They were forced to appeal for explanation to those illuminated by heavenly light. {RH, February 6, 1900 par. 5} Ellen White

Nebuchadnezzar felt that he could accept this interpretation as a divine revelation; for to Daniel had been revealed every detail of the dream. The solemn truths conveyed by the interpretation of this vision of the night made a deep impression on the sovereign’s mind, and in humility and awe he “fell upon his face, and worshiped,” saying, “Of a truth it is, that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou couldest reveal this secret.” {YI, September 8, 1903 par. 6} Ellen White

Ellen White points out the value of the metals used in the statue, “became less and less pure and valuable, from the head down.” Why was this true? Most people would guess this has something to do with the strength or riches of the kingdoms. Ellen White points out these metals spiritually represent their understanding of God’s law. It is interesting to note gold and silver are used in the Bible to spiritually represent God’s law and His word.

KJV Psalms 119:72. The law of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver.

KJV Psalms 119:127. Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold.

The Bible also compares judgment and righteousness to gold.

KJV Psalms 19:9. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. 10. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.

Ellen White goes on to explain, as time marched on, there has been less and less need for God’s law. Has this prophecy been fulfilled? Today the world has more than 2000 religions calling themselves Christian. They all profess to follow God. Most claim to follow God’s law or what they claim as God’s law. A study of the world’s religions will show there are different interpretations of the Ten Commandments. Among these interpretations many religions pick and choose which commandments are relevant today.

At this point it would be prudent to study the spiritual meaning of the words iron and clay, to see if they reveal additional details. Otherwise, we would invite speculation such as, iron represent the power of one religion and clay represents the religion being conquered.

IRON

KJV 1 Kings 8:51. For they be thy people, and thine inheritance, which thou broughtest forth out of Egypt, from the midst of the furnace of iron:

KJV Psalms 2:9. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.

KJV Psalms 107:10. Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron;

KJV Psalms 149:8. To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron;

Iron can represent dominance, having power over others or bondage and slavery.

CLAY

KJV Isaiah 64:4. For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him. 5. Thou meetest him that rejoiceth and worketh righteousness, those that remember thee in thy ways: behold, thou art wroth; for we have sinned: in those is continuance, and we shall be saved. 6. But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. 7. And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities. 8. But now, O Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand. 9. Be not wroth very sore, O Lord, neither remember iniquity for ever: behold, see, we beseech thee, we are all thy people.

KJV Jeremiah 18:1. The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, 2. Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words. 3. Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. 4. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it. 5. Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 6. O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the Lord. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel. 7. At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it; 8. If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them.

KJV Isaiah 29:9. Stay yourselves, and wonder; cry ye out, and cry: they are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink. 10. For the Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered. 11. And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed: 12. And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned. 13. Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: 14. Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid. 15. Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the Lord, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us? 16. Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter’s clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding?

KJV Isaiah 45:5. I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: 6. That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the Lord, and there is none else. 7. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things. 8. Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the Lord have created it. 9. Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands?

Clay is used to represent people. There are two types of clay, those who acknowledge God as the Creator and those who deny His existence.

Ellen White has provided two earlier interpretations agreeing with her comment made in 1903. Knowing the spiritual interpretation of clay, it is strange to consider Ellen White made references to God as the creator.

The image shown to Nebuchadnezzar [Daniel 2] in the visions of the night represents the kingdoms of the world. The metals in the image, symbolizing the different kingdoms, became less and less pure and valuable. The head of the image was of gold, the breast and arms of silver, the sides of brass, [the legs of iron], and the feet and toes of iron mingled with clay. So the kingdoms represented by them deteriorated in value. . . . If they had kept the fear of the Lord ever before them, they would have been given wisdom and power which would have bound them together and kept them strong.—Manuscript 39, 1899 (see also Review and Herald, Feb. 6, 1900). {CTr 327.6} by Ellen White

“And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.” {PK 498.4}

God has made plain that whosoever will, may come “into the bond of the covenant.” Ezekiel 20:37. In the creation it was His purpose that the earth should be inhabited by beings whose existence would be a blessing to themselves and to one another, and an honor to their Creator. All who will may identify themselves with this purpose. Of them it is spoken, “This people have I formed for Myself; they shall show forth My praise.” Isaiah 43:21. {PK 500.2}

In His law God has made known the principles that underlie all true prosperity, both of nations and of individuals. To the Israelites Moses declared of this law: “This is your wisdom and your understanding.” “It is not a vain thing for you; because it is your life.” Deuteronomy 4:6; 32:47. The blessings thus assured to Israel are, on the same conditions and in the same degree, assured to every nation and to every individual under the broad heavens. {PK 500.3} Prophets and Kings by Ellen White

Another popular interpretation by Stephen Haskell claims the iron and clay represent the church and state. Supporting text is not supplied for either one of these claims. “And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided;” Italy, Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Sudan and other modern countries, once under the rule of Rome, have developed governments ultimately controlled by the religious majority.

The clay mixed with iron also denoted the union of church and state. This combination is peculiar to the latter part of the world’s history, to the feet and toes of the image. {1901 SNH, SDP 35.4}

Religion was the basis of government in the heathen nations; there could be no separation of the church and the state. When apostate Christianity united with the state, each remained in a Margin sense distinct as the miry clay is separate from iron. This union continues until the stone smites the image upon the feet. The very fact that the “stone was cut out of the mountain without hands,” shows that the last kingdoms on earth will not be overthrown by any earthly power, but that the God of heaven will bring upon them final destruction by giving them to the burning flames. {1901 SNH, SDP 35.5} The Story of Daniel the Prophet by STEPHEN N. HASKELL

This interpretation raises a few questions. Looking at a list of countries coming out of the Roman empire, some of them govern on the belief of a separation of church and state while others have formed a complete bond. This statement is not consistent for all the countries which would be involved with this prophecy. If this interpretation were true it would be completely consistent.

In the time of the iron of the image, the kingdom represented by the iron was to be “divided.” And it is “the toes of the feet,” which “were part of iron and part of clay.” The prophecy in the seventh chapter of Daniel says that it would be divided into ten kingdoms, represented by ten horns on a great and terrible beast. And these ten horns correspond to the toes of the image, which, as the image was that of a man, were ten. {September 6, 1898 ATJ, ARSH 570.4} By Alonzo Jones

Alonzo Jones has supplied one of the most detailed and widely accepted interpretations of Daniel 2. While considering this interpretation we must keep in mind a few simple rules. In review, Daniel chapter 2 is based upon a dream. The only true interpretation can be supplied from God. If this was a reliable spiritual interpretation, it cannot mix physical with spiritual methods. If we are looking for a spiritual interpretation it must be received from God.

This study assumes the statue has ten toes. Who created the statue? If God created the statue, His word would indicate ten toes. A search of the Bible will not reveal a single text containing the words ten and toes. The Bible contains two verses indicating twelve toes.

KJV 2 Samuel 21:20

20. And there was yet a battle in Gath, where was a man of great stature, that had on every hand six fingers, and on every foot six toes, four and twenty in number; and he also was born to the giant.

KJV 1 Chronicles 20:6

6. And yet again there was war at Gath, where was a man of great stature, whose fingers and toes were four and twenty, six on each hand, and six on each foot and he also was the son of the giant.

Following common sense supplied by man would lead one to believe the statue contained ten toes. We must keep in mind the answers given to king Nebuchadnezzar.

KJV Daniel 2:27. Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, shew unto the king; 28. But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days.

KJV Daniel 2:10. The Chaldeans answered before the king, and said, There is not a man upon the earth that can shew the king’s matter: therefore there is no king, lord, nor ruler, that asked such things at any magician, or astrologer, or Chaldean. 11. And it is a rare thing that the king requireth, and there is none other that can shew it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.

When the Bible clearly states no man is able to provide details of the dream or the interpretation, why do so many people create and accept man made interpretations?

Looking at facts contained within the Bible we clearly see a distinct link between the gold, silver, brass and iron representing the same kingdoms as the four beasts of Daniel chapter 7.

KJV Daniel 2:37. Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory. 38. And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them All. Thou art this head of gold. 39. And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth. 40. And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise.

Babylon is the kingdom represented by gold. The gold, silver, brass and iron are identified as kingdoms following Babylon.

KJV Daniel 7:17

17. These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth.

The beasts of Daniel 7 represent kingdoms.

KJV Daniel 7:4

4. The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given to it.

The first beast is a lion with wings.

KJV Jeremiah 50:17

17. Israel is a scattered sheep; the lions have driven him away: first the king of Assyria hath devoured him; and last this Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon hath broken his bones.

The Bible uses a lion to represent Babylon.

KJV Daniel 5:30-31

30. In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain.

31. And Darius the Median took the kingdom, being about threescore and two years old.

The Bible identifies the second kingdom as Medes.

KJV Daniel 8:20-21

20. The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia.

21. And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king.

The Bible identifies the third kingdom as Greece.

We have already identified the fourth kingdom of iron as Rome, which is also represented by the fourth beast.

The fourth kingdom is clearly divided. And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. Daniel 2:41. A closer look will reveal the division is not being represented by two feet and ten toes, but the division is clearly identified as part clay and part iron, two parts. This would indicate a spiritual meaning quite different than a division of feet and toes. A proper interpretation must consist of a study of the actual written words, not a study of words which have been added by assumptions.

The smiting of the image on the feet, to break it all to pieces, shows that the seat of life and strength of the kingdoms represented by the image are in the feet. “The feet and toes” of the image represented the divisions of the kingdom of iron. These divisions are represented in the modern nations of Western Europe, the great power of the present day. And it is a fact that all the life and strength of what was Babylon, Medo-Persia, Grecia, and Rome, lie to-day in these powers, which compose “the feet and toes” of the image. Therefore, when the image shall be smitten on the feet, it will be the smiting of these powers. {September 6, 1898 ATJ, ARSH 570.5} “Studies in the Book of Daniel” The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald 75, 13 , pp. 186, 187. By Alonzo Jones

Whenever a claim is made that a spiritual symbol represents physical entity, proper supporting text must be given. In this case no supporting text exists. At this point the interpretation begins to contradict itself. What connection exists between Babylon, Medo-Persia, Grecia and the ten European nations the author chose? There is no Biblical text to support this claim. What method was used to determine which European nations will fulfill this prophecy? The Roman empire consisted of over forty modern nations.

Portugal, Spain, Andorra, United Kingdom, France, Monaco, Luxembourg, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Italy, San Marino, Malta, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Albania, Greece, FYR Macedonia, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Syria, Iraq, Kuwait, Cyprus, Lebanon, Jordania, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Sudan, Lybia, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Palestine.

http://www.roman-empire.net/maps/empire/extent/rome-modern-day-nations.html

Overlooking more than thirty nations would not be consistent with the scriptures. Without texts supporting such a claim it is hard to seriously consider it. Where does the Bible contain prophecies naming the European nations chosen by the author? Proper interpretation demands proof from more than one text to establish a rule. This interpretation provides no supporting texts. If the division represented nations, wouldn’t it make more sense to look at nations contained in Daniel and other books of the Bible? Where is the rule written in scripture, which dictates a man should look entirely outside of the word of God when one feels they cannot find the answer within the word?

ALTHOUGH the “iron monarchy of Rome,” in the greatness of its strength, broke in pieces all kingdoms, yet the time was to come when it should itself be broken. At the same time that Daniel spoke of the fourth kingdom breaking in pieces and bruising all, he also said: “And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potter’s clay and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. And as the toes of the feet were part of iron and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly broken.” 1 {1898 ATJ, GEP 591.1}

2. We must now inquire, Of what should this division consist? Into how many parts should Rome be divided? As it is the feet and toes, and particularly the toes, of the image that are spoken of in connection with the division, it would seem that that division is suggested by the number of toes of the image; and as this was the image of a man, there were certainly ten toes. Therefore this would suggest that Rome should be divided into ten parts. {1898 ATJ, GEP 591.2}

3. However, if any one should distrust this suggestion, the point is plainly stated in another part of the book. In the seventh chapter of Daniel, this same series of kingdoms is gone over again under the symbols of “four great beasts,” the fourth one of which was declared by the angel to be the fourth kingdom, which shows it to be identical with the iron — the fourth kingdom of the great image. This fourth beast had also ten horns, which exactly correspond to the ten toes of the image. Further, the angel said plainly of these ten horns that they “are ten kings” that should arise. Therefore we know of a certainty that ten kingdoms were to arise upon the ruins of the Roman power. {1898 ATJ, GEP 591.3}

4. Now we may ask, Where should these ten kingdoms arise? In other words, Are there any clearly defined limits within which the ten kingdoms should be expected to establish themselves? — There are. {1898 ATJ, GEP 592.1} The Great Empires of Prophecy, from Babylon to the Fall of Rome By Alonzo Jones

Once again we see the claim of ten toes, this time it is supported by a reference to the ten horns of the forth beast of Daniel 7.

KJV Daniel 7:7

7. After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.

These horns are clearly identified as nations.

KJV Daniel 7:9

9. I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.

These nations are to remain until the return of Christ. This is the same event as the rock (Christ) hitting the statue, reducing it to dust. But we must consider the actual words of Daniel 2.

Daniel 2:41. And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. 42. And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. 43. And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.

Daniel chapter 2 and 7 contain information which support and explain one another. It is clear, both these chapters provide information on the same four beasts/kingdoms. Three of the beasts are clearly identified. The fourth beast is also identified with additional study. Questions arise when considering the horns and toes. The horns of the fourth beast are clearly identified as nations in Daniel 7. The clay and iron are clearly defined as representing a separation. Daniel 2 never mentions ten toes but refers to the kingdom in the singular form. Daniel 2 also points out, they will mingle or become closely associated with the seed of men: but they will not cleave one to another, or become one. This may be referring to an opinion. They will not see eye to eye on certain subjects. They will not agree but will remain divided. If we consider a separation in regards to the ten horns or nations of Daniel 7, we can see a reference to the problems we have seen among nations. We have seen these problems among the European nations, as well as the Middle East, Africa and all the nations, which once were controlled by Rome.

Consider Daniel 2 without the reference to the ten toes in relationship to the ten horns. The text clearly points out a division. Not a division of ten but a division between two factions, iron and clay. Now consider the ten horn or nations. An internal division is seen within a number of nations which once made up the Roman empire. Other interpretations have considered this division, interpreting them as church and state or church and science. Both separations are common not only in the split up of the Roman Empire but the whole world. How do we determine which interpretation is true? Or does another, yet to be discovered interpretation exist? How do we find the answer?

William Miller wrote a set of simple rules with supporting texts to follow when studying the Bible. These rules can be reviewed at the following site. Http://adventbiblestudy.wordpress.com/2008/09/14/%E2%80%9Crules-of-interpretation%E2%80%9D-by-william-miller/

Following are three of the rules to review while considering this interpretation.

“Every word must have its proper bearing on the subject presented in the Bible.”

“All Scripture is necessary, and may be understood by a diligent application and study.”

“To understand doctrine, bring all the Scriptures together on the subject you wish to know; then let every word have its proper influence; and, if you can form your theory without a contradiction, you cannot be in error.”

When the proper interpretation is found, all the texts will be in perfect harmony. This is one example of a widely accepted study which falls short of being complete. As William Miller stated, “Every word must have its proper bearing on the subject presented in the Bible.”

This study is not intended to supply a definitive answer, support one interpretation over another. It is merely designed to point out questions requiring a proper answer. Once these questions are brought to the surface, additional supporting texts may be revealed to either support or disprove the existing studies. When questions exist, they must be investigated. In time God will reveal all.

KJV Isaiah 55:8. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. 9. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

God has made it clear through the prophet Isaiah, interpretations should not rely on man’s judgment. The word of God must be used to comprehend prophecies.

KJV Matthew 11:25. At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.

Jesus gives us the assurance prophecies will be understood by those willing to learn. This is the most important concept of Bible study. Never enter into a study with a preconceived idea which will lead to one of two results. Either the study will end in frustration as you attempt to mold God’s word to fit your own concepts or you will be tempted to rely on resources other than the Bible.

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