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Daniel 2:44-45

Verses covered in this passage:

  • Daniel 2:44
  • Daniel 2:45

After the fourth kingdom, God will set up His eternal kingdom.

Each piece of the statue in the dream represents a kingdom. This dream covers hundreds and thousands of years of the kingdoms that would rule over the earth. Daniel tells Nebuchadnezzar that his kingdom of Babylon is represented by the head of gold on the statue.

Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom lasts for only 66 years, one of the shortest time periods represented on the statue in his dream.

God gave Nebuchadnezzar a vision of what will take place in the future, who would rule over the earth after the Babylonian empire. Nebuchadnezzar has seen that after him comes the breast and arms of silver (Medo-Persia, “inferior” to Babylon), then the belly and thighs of bronze (Greece, “which will rule over all the earth”), and the legs of iron with feet made of an iron-clay mix (Rome, which “crushes and shatters all things” but is ultimately “a divided kingdom”) (Daniel 2:39-40).

But what comes after the Roman kingdom? Daniel sees that in the days of those kings (Rome) the God of heaven will set up a kingdom. This is the era we are currently in. There will be no other era of man. This kingdom set up by the God of heaven is not a part of the statue Nebuchadnezzar saw. It is not a kingdom of man, represented by metallic pieces forged onto a statue. This kingdom comes apart from the statue. Daniel tells Nebuchadnezzar that a stone was cut out of the mountain without hands and that it crushed the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold.

A mighty stone is cut out of the mountain without human hands, but by God’s action, and is thrown into the course of human history. It destroys all of the kingdoms that came before it. Daniel lists every single metal on the statue: iron, bronze, silver, gold, as he describes how they will be crushed by this new kingdom. This kingdom will put an end to all the other kingdoms, and it will itself endure forever. Unlike the kingdoms of men, it is a kingdom that will never be destroyed.

This moment is again described in Daniel’s vision in chapter 7, where he sees a violent beast with ten horns destroyed by God and replaced by God’s eternal kingdom (Daniel 7:24-26). The same beast is shown throughout Revelation, depicting the last kingdom of man before God establishes His eternal kingdom. The beast in Revelation has ten horns (Revelation 13:1), as does the beast in Daniel 7, just as the statue in Daniel 2 has ten brittle toes. Thus, there will likely be a coalition of 10 kings or kingdoms under the final blasphemous king whom God will judge, coming from one of the mutations of the Roman empire.

The forever kingdom, which the God of heaven will establish, will never be destroyed. Unlike the other kingdoms that are toppled and picked up by the successor peoples, this kingdom will not be left for another people. It will never be toppled. The whole point of the dream is not to simply foretell the future of earthly empires, but to show that in the end God will do away with manmade kingdoms and make His own kingdom over all the earth. It cannot be conquered or destroyed. No other empires will follow it. It will become a “a great mountain” which fills “the whole earth” (Daniel 2:35). It will be the final kingdom, forever (Revelation 21:1-4).

Daniel brings his interpretation to a close by declaring where the vision came from: the great God has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will take place in the future; so the dream is true and its interpretation is trustworthy, since it comes from God Himself. The fact that Daniel was able to tell Nebuchadnezzar his dream proves that this isn’t a mere prediction made by man, but a prophetic foretelling by the Eternal God who is outside of space and time, knowing all things, sovereign over all events.

Biblical Text
44 In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever. 45 Inasmuch as you saw that a stone was cut out of the mountain without hands and that it crushed the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold, the great God has made known to the king what will take place in the future; so the dream is true and its interpretation is trustworthy.”