Daniel 2:36-45 – The Four Kingdoms Identified

Illustration of King Nebuchadnezzar's dream in Daniel 2 (Image: screenshot YouTube)

We are going to conclude our study of the second chapter by identifying the four mostly metallic kingdoms of the Gentiles which lead us to their complete overthrow and demolishment to be forever replaced by the Kingdom of Heaven. May we see it in our days!

This is not a seminar or an in-depth Bible study, so I am not intending to bring too many details into this teaching, but enough, I pray, which will give direction for understanding what has been written for our learning and instruction to enable us to be where the Holy Spirit is in bringing us further into the truth. There are still some questions that remain to be answered; but, in any case, God is looking for faith, hope, and love in Him and in His Word to willingly obey Him, and not that we have all knowledge as He alone does. And I remind again what is written at the end of the Book of Daniel, that it has been shut up and sealed until the time of the end, and therefore can only be more properly and fully interpreted now than was possible in generations and centuries past. The establishment of the current State of Israel and the other countries round about is key to its being understood for us living in these days.


All of the four kingdoms describe four Gentile worldly kingdoms that want(ed) control of Jerusalem and of the Holy Land for their own geopolitical reasons (plus according to the righteousness of God towards His sinful covenant people), which YHVH promised in covenant with an oath to Abraham, to Isaac, to Jacob, and to their descendants forever, for however long it takes Him to fully accomplish this promise in His righteousness. These kingdoms are all based in the Middle East. These same kingdoms and regions are seen again in chapter seven of Daniel, described there as beasts, being aggressively antagonistic to the plans and purposes of the one true God of Heaven and Earth, the Creator and Redeemer, YHVH God of Israel.

Each succeeding kingdom is lesser in value than the previous one in a qualitative way, but they each control and rule over more territory/land/earth (ar’a in Aramit; eretz in Hebrew in v 39). While modern man may think that we are the best that has ever been, the living Word of God pierces even to the division of the soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.  And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.  The last kingdom precedes and leads to the coming of the Messiah and of His kingdom when the stone, cut out of a mountain without hands, comes down with power from the skies.

This stone is greatly undervalued! (Ps 118:22-26Mt 21:42-44)  Stone is of less intrinsic value than even ceramic clay, but this Stone from Heaven is going to not only utterly vanquish all of the kingdoms of this world, but it/He will also rule over the entire Earth and Creation that He created and made! Yeshua/Jesus also came as one of seemingly little honor and splendor, but He is Lord of all!

King Nebuchadnezzar was thinking about the future of his kingdom, and God gave him a dream. Daniel was able to tell the dream to the king, and to interpret it. Dan 2:45 clearly says that the vision is a picture of future history – beginning from that time of about 600 BC — and it brings us all the way to the everlasting kingdom of the Messiah at His second coming.

The first kingdom of gold is Babylon; the second kingdom of silver is divided between Persia and the Medes; the third kingdom of bronze is Yavan – historically Greece under Alexander the Great (afterwards divided up between four notable horns/kings). (Dan 8:8)

Is the 4th Kingdom (the iron legs, the iron feet, and mixed iron-clay toes) Rome or Islam?

Dan 2:31-3640-45 ; 9:26Rev 17:12

Again we need to keep in mind that the book has been shut up and sealed until our end-times generation.

Dan 2:40 The kingdom of iron crushes and shatters the other previous kingdoms. Rome did not do this, but Islam did: changed the language, the religion, the culture of those nations which composed those kingdoms:  they have all been Arabized and Islamized, even though many of the peoples are not strictly Arabs — descendants of Ishmael and of Esau. Rome did not conquer Babylon; it never conquered Persia, but only temporarily controlled a portion of it; and Greek culture and language continued for centuries in the Roman Empire until Islam came in and crushed all those other kingdoms. Western countries, which have known a Jewish-Christian culture for centuries by accepting the gospel, are not the focus of these prophecies. These are principally Middle Eastern nations and people; yet westerners – including unbelieving and apostate Jews and Christians – can join in willfully, or at least with sympathy, or simply remain indifferent (lukewarm), to the Satanic antichrist spirit at work against the Kingdom of the one true Father God and His Son, and against His faithful remnant among His chosen and elect people(s) – the Jewish people and Christians, whether Jewish or Gentile.

v 40-45 This fourth kingdom shall be as strong as iron, as it breaks in pieces and shatters everything; and like iron that crushes, this kingdom will break in pieces and crush all the others. The final period of this kingdom is divided and weakened by feet mixed partly of iron and partly of clay. The iron represents a total religious and political system and regime that slavishly regulates every aspect of life, and does not allow much personal freedom to ask challenging questions; the potter’s clay represents humanism, a worldview based on Greek and Roman thought, with man at the center, whether or not there is a God who will judge every person with eternal consequences based on Him being the center. These two are mixed together in the last days, and do not adhere one to the other. THE WHOLE IMAGE IS STILL STANDING UNTIL THE STONE FROM HEAVEN COMES TO KNOCK THE WHOLE REPRESENTATION OF WORLDLY GENTILE KINGDOMS CRASHING DOWN TO DESTRUCTION, NEVER TO CONTINUE OR REBUILD AGAIN. Hallelu-Yah!

The Stone becomes a mountain that fills whole Earth. Yes, the Kingdom of Heaven has come near since the Messiah’s birth, and more so since His sacrificial death, His resurrection, and His ascension back to the Throne of God, and with the giving of the Holy Spirit to believers; and the gospel is bringing more and more people into His kingdom through repentance and faith. But – and this is a big BUT – the whole image remains standing intact, the other kingdoms are still here in varying measure of influence (Dan 7:12), and the interpretation of the dream shows that this Stone from Heaven will destroy and replace them all once-and-for-all. We have the privilege of being able to see the end from the beginning, and to look back at the beginning from the end. The time of the Gentiles comes to its full end only at the second coming of the Lord, and not before then. (Hag 2:20-23Mt 28:18-201Cor 11:26Heb 12:25-29Rev 11:15-18) This is the answer to our prayer to the Father for His name to be sanctified, His Kingdom come, His will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. To the LORD — YHVH — belongs the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen!

The whole creation groans and labors with birth pains together until now. Let us be in alignment with the Spirit of God for this climax of all history, the blessed hope, when we ourselves will also see fulfilled the redemption of our bodies!

Prophecy, history, and current events are converging today like never before towards the eventual return of the Lord. The present Covid-19 pandemic is a catalyst that speeds up processes that must occur for the fulfillment of prophecy and promises on the Father’s time schedule.  We do not need to wait for another dream or prophetic interpretation, but we have the prophetic Word of God confirmed, which we do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in our hearts.

(Below are illustrations and maps of the dream and each succeeding kingdom in sequence. Notice that each kingdom of the dream rules and controls more land than those preceding it. Rome did not fulfill what is written about the fourth kingdom.  Despite all the iron that Rome used for its weapons of war, so did the Philistines and Israelis.)


This article originally appeared on Streams in the Negev, May 8, 2020, and reposted with permission.