Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Statue Dream in Daniel

The Statue Dream in Daniel 2:31-46
Below are my thoughts about how to interpret the Statue Dream in Daniel 2:31-46 (full scripture text below).

It has been suggested the kingdoms referred to in the text are as follows:

What is the kingdom represented by the Feet?

At the outset the feet represents a joint kingdom of Rome (a carry over from the previous kingdom represented by the legs) and another group represented by the clay.

What does the Bible tell us about clay?

For me to understand the “clay” aspect of the Feet part of the Statue Dream as written in the Bible, I go first and foremost to the Bible to see the context of the word “clay” as found elsewhere in Sacred Scripture.

Gen 2:7
the LORD God formed man out of the clay of the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and so man became a living being

Isaiah 64:8
Yet, O LORD, thou art our Father; we are the clay, and thou art our potter; we are all the work of thy hand.

I consider the Bible is a good starting point to help me understand other parts of the Bible. So in the above two verses “man” is the clay and God, being the potter, created us. Isaiah clarifies the word “clay” to represent the Jewish people.

The theme continues in Daniel

Daniel 2:41 speaks of the clay as the potters clay – within the Biblical context I suggest this refers to the people of God – the Jews of the OT?

[41] And as you saw the feet and toes partly of potter's clay …..

When Daniel wrote this it would be fair to say he knew the above verses in Genesis and Isaiah.

It is also no accident that in the dream, all of the above materials are metal that represent kingdoms except the last one which is a poor mixture of iron and clay with the iron being the continuing “leg” kingdom which was Rome.

In Daniel, verse 41 and 43 we read the iron and clay is “a divided kingdom” and “they will mix with one another in marriage, but they will not hold together, just as iron does not mix with clay.”

So the Romans may form a marriage of convenience for a specific purpose. The Roman kingdom formed a marriage with the Jewish people but it was a marriage that did not last.

If the stone cut out of the mountain in Statues Dream represents Jesus and it is this stone that smashes on the feet of iron and clay then it makes sense to me that this represents the Romans and Jews that joined together to put Jesus to death.

* the Stone (Jesus)
* and the feet of iron (Rome – Pilate and his soldiers) and clay (the Jewish leaders)
“clash” at the Crucifixion of Jesus, history was changed for ever.

What happened was the beginning of the end of the Roman empire and the “clay apocalypse” that was predicted in Mark 131-2 came to pass when Rome destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem in 70AD (the marriage of Iron and Clay was over) and the stone became a great mountain that filled the whole earth, as per Jesus’ instruction in the Great Commission.

Mark.13: 1-2
[1] And as he came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, "Look, Teacher, what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!"
[2] And Jesus said to him, "Do you see these great buildings? There will not be left here one stone upon another, that will not be thrown down."

The Great Commission
Matthew 28:19
[19] Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

Daniel 2: 26-47
[26] The king said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshaz'zar, "Are you able to make known to me the dream that I have seen and its interpretation?"
[27] Daniel answered the king, "No wise men, enchanters, magicians, or astrologers can show to the king the mystery which the king has asked,
[28] but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and he has made known to King Nebuchadnez'zar what will be in the latter days. Your dream and the visions of your head as you lay in bed are these:
[29] To you, O king, as you lay in bed came thoughts of what would be hereafter, and he who reveals mysteries made known to you what is to be.
[30] But as for me, not because of any wisdom that I have more than all the living has this mystery been revealed to me, but in order that the interpretation may be made known to the king, and that you may know the thoughts of your mind.
[31] "You saw, O king, and behold, a great image. This image, mighty and of exceeding brightness, stood before you, and its appearance was frightening.
[32] The head of this image was of fine gold, its breast and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze,
[33] its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay.
[34] As you looked, a stone was cut out by no human hand, and it smote the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces;
[35] then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold, all together were broken in pieces, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, so that not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.
[36] "This was the dream; now we will tell the king its interpretation.
[37] You, O king, the king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, and the might, and the glory,
[38] and into whose hand he has given, wherever they dwell, the sons of men, the beasts of the field, and the birds of the air, making you rule over them all -- you are the head of gold.
[39] After you shall arise another kingdom inferior to you, and yet a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth.
[40] And there shall be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron, because iron breaks to pieces and shatters all things; and like iron which crushes, it shall break and crush all these.
[41] And as you saw the feet and toes partly of potter's clay and partly of iron, it shall be a divided kingdom; but some of the firmness of iron shall be in it, just as you saw iron mixed with the miry clay.
[42] And as the toes of the feet were partly iron and partly clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly brittle.
[43] As you saw the iron mixed with miry clay, so they will mix with one another in marriage, but they will not hold together, just as iron does not mix with clay.
[44] And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed, nor shall its sovereignty be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand for ever;
[45] just as you saw that a stone was cut from a mountain by no human hand, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold. A great God has made known to the king what shall be hereafter. The dream is certain, and its interpretation sure."
[46] Then King Nebuchadnez'zar fell upon his face, and did homage to Daniel, and commanded that an offering and incense be offered up to him.
[47] The king said to Daniel, "Truly, your God is God of gods and Lord of kings, and a revealer of mysteries, for you have been able to reveal this mystery."

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