Two Views of Same Sequence of Kingdoms
Daniel 2: gold, silver, bronze, iron, stone (man’s perspective).
Daniel 7: lion, bear, leopard, terrible beast, everlasting kingdom (God’s perspective).
Daniel 4: The pride of man (Nebuchadnezzar’s golden image) will be exposed as beastly in character (Nebuchadnezzar given the heart of a beast).
Times of the Gentiles
Rule is temporarily taken from the throne of David and invested in Gentile hands.
None of the metal kingdoms or terrible beasts represent Jewish rule.
During this entire period, there will be no king on the throne of David (Hos. 3:4-5).
Israel, when it does exist as a nation, will be subject to Gentile interference.
Use evidence from all of Scripture (progressive revelation): Daniel 2; 7; 8; 11; Revelation 13; 17.
Four metals (Daniel 2) = four beasts (Daniel 7).
Additional information concerning the 2nd and 3rd beast kingdoms from Daniel 8.
Additional information concerning the seven-headed beast John sees in Revelation 13 and 17.
Dominant view of metal kingdoms: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome.
Secondary view which attempts to work-around supernatural prediction: Babylon, Medes, Persians, Greece.
Unity of Medo-Persia
Motivation: take Daniel as written late, in 2nd century. Explain accurate prediction as “prophecy after-the-fact.”
Scripture indicates Medo-Persia should be considered as a single kingdom (e.g., Dan. 5:28; 6:8).
Revelation given to John augments Daniel
Seven headed beast seen by John (Rev. 12:3; 13:1; 17:3,7-9).
Related to the beasts of Daniel 7: with lion, bear, and leopard (Rev. 13:1).
Ultimately represents the Antichrist--who emerges from the fourth terrible beast (Rev. 13:1).
Four of the heads (heads 3, 4, 5, and 6) correspond to the lion, bear, leopard, and terrible beast which are also the gold, silver, bronze, and iron kingdoms. See
for additional background.
There are actually
heads if Antichrist’s sole rule is counted as a head.
He is “also the eighth, and is of [from] the seven” (Rev. 17:11).
We are told that the heads are kingdoms (Rev. 17:10).
There are indications that the seven-headed beast has a long historical span (Rev. 12:3; 13:1; 17:3 cf. Luke 4:5-6).
for more information.
Babel (or Egypt?)
Egypt (or Assyria?)
Head #3 = 1st Kingdom of Daniel
Head of Gold / Lion = Babylon
Head #4 = 2nd Kingdom of Daniel
Chest and Arms of Silver / Bear = Medo Persia
Head #5 = 3rd Kingdom of Daniel
Belly and Thighs of Brass / Leopard = Greece
Head #6 = 4th Kingdom of Daniel, 1st Phase
Legs of Iron / Terrible Beast = Rome (Unified)
Head #7 = 4th Kingdom of Daniel, 2nd Phase
Feet of Iron and Clay / Terrible Beast = Rome (Divided)
Head #8 = 4th Kingdom of Daniel, 3rd Phrase
Little Horn (Antichrist)
Kingdom of God = 5th Kingdom of Daniel
Two Main Views
Stone strikes at the
of Christ, a purely spiritual kingdom which coexists with geopolitical kingdoms of man.
Stone strikes at the
of Christ, a geopolitical kingdom like the kingdoms it replaces.
Manner Of Destruction
- Does the stone suddenly and completely overthrow the previous kingdoms? Or does the stone gradually destroy them in such a way that there is a long historical overlap between the falling away of the kingdoms and the growth of the stone to fill the earth?
Nature Of Stone Kingdom
- Does the stone, which grows to fill the earth, result in a literal, geopolitical kingdom like the kingdoms which precede it? Or is the kingdom represented by the stone of a different, exclusively spiritual, nature?
Timing Of Strike
- Did the stone, representing Messiah and His kingdom, already strike the image at the first coming of Jesus? Or will the stone only strike at the second coming of Christ?
Stone is Striking Even Now
The Stone overthrows the other kingdoms gradually over a long period.
The Stone smites primarily through the Church--the Kingdom of God on earth.
The Stone works in the spiritual realm and doesn’t so much supplant the geopolitical kingdoms as convert or redeem them to conform to godly principles.
#1 - Sudden and Violent
A straightforward reading of Daniel 2:34-35,40-44 indicates that the means by which the kingdom of God smashes the previous kingdoms is by sudden and dramatic—even violent—overthrow. This is not a picture of gradual socio-redemptive spiritual conversion.
Amillennial and postmillennial interpreters confuse the present age of grace which follows upon the first coming with the prophesied cataclysmic judgment which precedes the second coming.
“The ‘Stone’ does not ‘fill the earth’ by degrees and thus ‘crowd out’ the Image, it at one blow DEMOLISHES IT, and its remains are blown away. The action of the ‘Stone’ is JUDGMENT, not Grace. Not the spread of a ‘Spiritual Kingdom’ by the preaching of the Gospel, but the immediate setting up of an outward and visible earthly Kingdom. The ‘Stone’ therefore cannot mean Christianity, for it is a PROCESS, whereas the action of the ‘Stone’ is SUDDEN AND CALAMITOUS.”
[Larkin, The Book of Daniel, Dan. 2:45.]
The expectation of a sudden and violent destruction when the stone strikes is confirmed by the New Testament (1Th. 5:2-4) and especially the Book of Revelation which predicts a series of severe judgments (the seals, trumpets, and bowls) preceding the second advent.
#2 - Image Destroyed before Stone Grows
The sequence of actions in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream is as follows: (1) the stone strikes the image (Dan. 2:34); (2) the metals are crushed (Dan. 2:35a); (3) a wind carries their remains away like chaff (Dan. 2:35b); (4) then the stone becomes a mountain filling the earth (Dan. 2:35c).
Notice that the image is completely destroyed and all trace of it removed BEFORE the stone grows.
#3 - Kingdom of Iron Not Destroyed at First Coming
Rome not destroyed at the first coming.
The view that the fall of Rome can be attributed to the influence of Christianity is not supportable.
“In fact it was not the Christian church that undermined the Roman Empire, a fact that Augustine takes great pains to prove in The City of God. As Augustine argued, it was the corruption of the empire from within that caused it to collapse, and most historians concur with his estimation.”
[Howe, Daniel in the Preterist’s Den, 109-110.]
“Such a destruction of the Gentile monarchy-system did not occur at the first advent of Christ. On the contrary, He was put to death by the sentence of an officer of the fourth empire, which was then at the zenith of its power.”
[Scofield, The Scofield Study Bible, Dan. 2:31.]
#4 - Clay Not Present at First Coming
Nebuchadnezzar’s dream indicates that the stone struck at a specific place on the image, the stone struck the image
on its feet of iron and clay
Therefore, the stone cannot strike the image: (1) until the stage in history represented by the feet; (2) until the iron has already become mixed with the clay. The problem for those who believe the stone struck at the time of the cross is that Rome had not yet reached its peak and there was no intermingled clay.
#5 - Ten Toes not Present
The mixture of iron and clay in the final phase of the fourth kingdom includes the toes (Dan. 2:41-42).
Since the stone strikes the final form of the kingdom, comprised of both iron and clay, the toes must be present at the time the stone strikes.
The (implicit ten) toes correlate to the ten horns seen by Daniel (Dan. 7:7,20,24).
The ten horns are contemporaneous kings--which never existed in Rome at the first advent.
The ten horns were still
future to John’s day
(A.D. 95), “The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast” (Rev. 17:12).
#6 - Nature of the Kingdoms
How can literal geopolitical kingdoms be said to be completely replaced by a non-literal spiritual kingdom?
The idea that the fourth kingdom continues in the geopolitical sphere of influence while the fifth kingdom of God merely comes alongside it in spiritual sphere of influence reads an unnatural division into the dream.
The kingdom of God must manifest in the same sphere of influence as a literal geopolitical kingdom in order to expunge and replace the previous kingdoms in that same sphere.
The kingdom of God must be geopolitical to fulfill literal OT prophecies concerning Jerusalem, the throne of David, the promised land, and much more.
How could Jesus have been legitimately tempted by the offer by Satan of the literal geopolitical kingdoms of the world (Luke 4:5-6) if ultimately He only sought a spiritual kingdom?
#7 - Antichrist First
Since the sequence of kingdoms in Daniel 2 and Daniel 7 match one another, the conditions which obtain during the overthrow of the fourth kingdom in each passage must also match.
When we examine the overthrow of the fourth kingdom in Daniel’s vision in chapter 7, we find that the kingdom of God does not come until AFTER Antichrist is destroyed (Dan. 7:20-22,25-27).
Antichrist is not destroyed until the second coming of Christ (Dan. 7:11; 2Th. 2:8; Rev. 19:20).
#8 - Times of Gentiles
We have seen that the four Gentile kingdoms correspond to the
Times of the Gentiles.
One of the characteristics: lack of a king actively ruling upon the throne of David.
Since Jesus is presently seated at the right hand of the Father’s throne in heaven (Rev. 3:21) and will not take up His throne, the throne of David on earth, until the second coming (Mat. 25:31), we know that the Times of the Gentiles are still underway.
Jesus Himself indicated that the Times of the Gentiles would continue beyond the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. (Luke 21:24).
This time is also characterized by the global dispersion of the Jews—which has been true ever since.
Because the Times of the Gentiles are still underway, we know that the image has not yet been struck by the stone.
#9 - Destruction of Babylon
As we discuss in the commentary section on
Babylon of the future, numerous prophecies concerning the destruction of Babylon—the head of gold of the image—have never been fulfilled.
As seen in Daniel 5, the “fall” of Babylon to Medo-Persia took place without a major battle.
Daniel evidently understood that aspects of Babylon’s destruction did not find fulfillment is his day because he did not flee from Babylon as instructed by the Scriptures (Isa. 48:20; Jer. 50:8,28; 51:6,45; Zec. 2:7).
Since the head of gold has never been destroyed as predicted by the Scriptures (see also Isa. 13; 14; Rev. 17; 18) we know that the stone has not yet struck the image.
#10 - The Present Reality
If the stone struck at the cross, then why, nearly two millennia later, is the world still filled with ungodly chaff (Ps. 1:4)?
“Has the Church ended all of Roman culture? Has the Church ended all of Greek thought? Has the Church ended all of the superstitious religion and the cultic rites of Babylon?... not at all, not at all! The smashing is yet future because when the smashing occurs it will end all these kingdoms. And we still see the kingdoms influencing us today.”
[Clough, Lessons on Daniel, 10.130.]
Where is Rome Today?
A Prophetic Gap?
If the image has not yet been destroyed, where are we on the image in our day?
Scriptural evidence for the existence of unforeseen gaps within prophetic passages: (1) between the betrayal and triumph of Christ in relation to Satan (Gen. 3:15), (2) between the birth and reign of Jesus (Isa. 9:6-7), (3) between the preaching of good tidings and the day of judgment (Isa. 61:1-2 cf. Luke 4:17-19), (3) between the presentation of the king and the time of global peace (Zec. 9:9-10), (4) between the first coming of Christ and the destruction of Antichrist at His second coming (Dan. 9:26-27), (5) between the striking of the Shepherd and the restoration of Israel (Zec. 13:7-9 cf. Mat. 26:21; Mark 14:27), (6) between the baptism of the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost and the baptism by Fire at the future judgment (Mat. 3:11-12), (7) between the first and second resurrections—separated by a period of 1,000 years (John 5:28-29 cf. Rev. 20:4-5).
Scripture also indicates that the body of Christ, the Church (which began on the day of Pentecost), was not revealed to the Old Testament prophets (Eph. 3:1-6; Col. 1:24-27). Hence, the Church age—nearly 2,000 years long as we write this—was not revealed in the OT.
When the stone finally strikes the image, “the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed together” (Dan. 2:35).
When the final fourth kingdom is destroyed, elements of the earlier kingdoms—which no longer have dominion and are no longer visibly present—are found continuing in the fourth kingdom.
This is also evident in the vision granted John concerning the fourth kingdom, “The beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion” (Rev. 13:2).
Three phases of the fourth, Roman, kingdom: (1) iron alone; (2) feet of iron mixed with clay; (3) toes of iron mixed with clay. If iron alone represents unified Rome at the time of the first coming of Christ and the toes of iron mixed with clay correspond to the ten horns (Dan. 7:7,20,24), the final confederation of ten contemporaneous kings (Rev. 17:12-13), then it would seem that we may currently be living in the time of the feet of iron mixed with clay.