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If I Were Told the Future - Lesson 16

The Giant with Feet of Clay

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Let us ask for God’s assistance:

Our Lord,

Once again, we humbly come near You to ask for Your guidance during our study of Bible prophecy.

May this lesson bring us comfort and hope in these difficult times we are going through.

We thank You, Lord, for hearing and answering our prayer. In Jesus Christ.


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Matthew 24:15

[Jesus said,]

«When you therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, whoever reads, let him understand.»


Now that we possess all the tools we need to properly understand Bible prophecy, let’s get to the heart of the matter.

Since Jesus recommends the book of Daniel to the students of Bible prophecy, and since one of our tools is precisely this very book of Daniel (see the previous lesson, «The Little Open Book»), this is where our journey will begin.

The present lesson and the following three will tackle four prophecies of Daniel.

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Isaiah 46:9,10

Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else.

I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done.


The four prophecies of Daniel that we will study together have a common point: they all cover a long period of history, from the time of Daniel up to the end of the world.

Now, let’s begin with the first of these prophecies, that is, the one found in Daniel chapter 2.

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Daniel 2:1

In the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams.


First of all, let’s grasp the context.

In the year 604 B.C., in the city of Babylon, and over the Babylonian Empire reigned a king called Nebuchadnezzar.

The king had just spread his empire by means of many conquests, including Jerusalem, capturing many Jews, among whom was the prophet Daniel. The power of Nebuchadnezzar was undisputed.

One night, the king had a disturbing dream: he awakened and, unfortunately, was unable to remember the content of that dream...

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Daniel 2:2

Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the astrologers, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, to show the king his dreams.


King Nebuchadnezzar, like many kings of Antiquity, was often consulting astrologers and magicians, notably for interpretation of dreams.

However, this time, his demand was unusual because he was asking more than the simple interpretation of the dream: the king wanted to know its contents!

This was a «first» for the magicians, astrologers, and all others... and they were panic-stricken!

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Daniel 2:4

Then spoke the Chaldeans to the king in Syriack,

«O king, live for ever! Tell your servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation.»


As is the case today, the king’s magicians and astrologers were just fakes making a living from the gullibility of those who consulted them.

It was easy to say anything when interpreting dreams: however, when he asked them to tell him the dream’s content, Nebuchadnezzar discovered that during all his reign, his prestigious consultation team was actually nothing more than a bunch of liars...

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Daniel 2:8,9

The king answered and said, (...)

«You have prepared lying and corrupt words to speak before me, till the time be changed.

Therefore tell me the dream, and I shall know that you can show me the interpretation thereof.»


As we can see, the king was now suspicious: if magicians and astrologers could not guess his dream, it was proof that they were nothing but fakes without any power!

Trapped, they tried to explain to the king that his demand was not reasonable, but it only contributed to throwing him into a «royal» wrath...

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Daniel 2:12

For this cause the king was angry and very furious, and commanded to destroy all the wise men of Babylon.


Due to his noble origins, Daniel was not treated like a common peasant: instead, he received the training necessary to serve as an official attached to the king’s court.

Being among «the wise men of Babylon», he was also affected by the death decree. So he hastened to appear before the king, asking to be allowed a short period of time so as to discover the dream’s content.

Knowing Daniel’s honesty, the king accepted.

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Daniel 2:19

Then was the secret revealed to Daniel in a night vision.

Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.


Asking God to reveal him the king’s dream and its interpretation, Daniel received a positive answer.

The next morning, he returned to see the king, eager to tell him what he wanted to know.

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Daniel 2:27,28,30

Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said,

«The secret which the king has demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, show to the king.

But there is a God in heaven that reveals secrets, and makes known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. (...)

But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living.»


Always humble, Daniel wanted first to give all glory to his God in heaven, before revealing the dream and its interpretation.

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Daniel 2:31-35 : The dream of King Nebuchadnezzar, who immediately recognized it.

«You, O king, saw, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before you; and the form thereof was terrible.

This image’s head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, his legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay.

You saw till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image on his feet that were of iron and clay, and broke them to pieces.

Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them.

And the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.»

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The statue of King Nebuchadnezzar

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Daniel 2:36-38

This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king.

You, O king, are a king of kings: for the God of heaven has given you a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory. And wherever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven has He given into your hand, and has made you ruler over them all.

You are this head of gold.


As we can see, each part of the statue represents a kingdom.

The first part, the head of gold, is the kingdom of Babylon, in power from 606 B.C. to 539 B.C.

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Jeremiah 51:7

Babylon has been a golden cup in the Lord’s hand.


Revelation 17:4,5

The woman was (...) decked with gold (...), having a golden cup in her hand (...).

And on her forehead was a name written: Mystery, Babylon the Great.


It is interesting to note that elsewhere in the Scriptures, the name of Babylon is associated with gold.

This kingdom was one of the wonders of the ancient world. Because of its splendid constructions and sumptuous gardens, Babylon deserved to be represented by gold, the king of metals.

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Daniel 2:39

And after you shall arise another kingdom inferior to you.


After a reign of 67 years, the Babylonian empire was overthrown by the kingdom of the Medes and the Persians.

The Medo-Persian monarchy lasted 208 years, from 539 B.C. to 331 B.C. The prophet Daniel himself witnessed the overthrow of Babylon.

Represented by the chest and arms of silver, the Medo-Persian kingdom was indeed not as rich as Babylon, although its army was more powerful.

Note how, as the metals decrease in value, they increase in strength.

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Daniel 2:39

And another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth.


In 331 B.C. the Greek armies in turn crushed the last Persian king during the famous Battle of Arbela. The Greeks were led into victory by the powerful king Alexander the Great.

The Greek Empire was thus established, covering far more vast territories than the previous two kingdoms.

The reign of the Greek Empire lasted 163 years, from 331 B.C. to 168 B.C.

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Daniel 2:40

And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: for as much as iron breaks in pieces and subdues all things: and as iron that breaks all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise.


In 168 B.C., it was the turn of the Roman empire to impose its supremacy.

Iron perfectly symbolizes this kingdom: its military discipline, its domination over conquered peoples, its laws, everything in it was like iron.

This kingdom existed until A.D. 476.

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Daniel 2:41

And whereas you saw the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided.


Daniel did not foretell a fifth universal kingdom, but rather the division of the fourth kingdom, which was the Roman empire. Indeed, that kingdom weakened and was attacked by barbarian nations that finally defeated it.

Just like the toes of the statue, these nations were ten in number. Seven of them originated European nations, but the other three disappeared.

Let’s look at these ten nations.

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The Roman Empire divided in ten parts:

  1. The Saxons, originating the English nation.
  2. The Franks, originating the French nation.
  3. The Alamanni, originating the German nation.
  4. The Visigoths, originating the Spanish nation.
  5. The Suevi, originating the Portuguese nation.
  6. The Lombards, originating the Italian nation.
  7. The Burgundians, originating the Swiss nation
  8. The Heruli, who have since disappeared.
  9. The Vandals, who have since disappeared.
  10. The Ostrogoths, who have since disappeared.

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Daniel 2:43

And whereas you saw iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not join one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.


Daniel foretold that in spite of their efforts, European nations would not succeed in unifying to form a fifth universal empire.

Charlemagne, Charles the Fifth, Louis XIV, Napoleon, Guillaume II, and Hitler, all tried in turn to place Europe under the authority of only one ruler, but each one saw his dream fail.

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The interpretation of the king’s dream

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Daniel 2:44

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.


God did not give us this prophecy simply to entertain our historical curiosity.

He wants us to be aware that history is going to culminate with a very important event: the return of Jesus Christ, who will set up His kingdom, putting an end to this world.

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Daniel 2:45

You saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold.


The symbol of the stone is often used in the Bible to represent Jesus Christ, as we will see in the following verses.

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Acts 4:11

[Jesus] is the stone.


1 Corinthians 10:4

They drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.


Ephesians 2:20

[You] are built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone.


The return of Christ, the stone cut out of the mountain without hands, will wipe out all the earthly kingdoms.

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Daniel 2:45

The dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.


The interpretation of the dream ends with this clear and direct statement by the prophet Daniel.

This prophetic road-map has proved to be incredibly accurate until now, and it would be wise for us to examine its predictions for our own future.

By looking at another chapter of the book of Daniel, the next lesson will give us more fascinating details about the events to come.

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Let us pray:

Our Father,

It is a priceless privilege to probe the future with Your inspired Word, and we are grateful to You.

You desired to warn us by the dream You communicated to King Nebuchadnezzar. Help us to fully grasp the meaning and importance of Your warning as we continue to study Your Word, and especially the book of the prophet Daniel.

In Jesus Christ we pray.


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