Nebuchadnezzar’s Metal Man

By Karen Thompson
Fourth out of a Four-Part Series

Jesus’ Millennial Reign

In our last post in our series, we looked at King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of the metal man in Daniel chapter two. Daniel gave the interpretation of the different metals on the metal man as symbolizing the successive Gentile empires that ruled over Israel and the Jewish people. Collectively, the five Gentile empires symbolized in the metal man represent a period of time known as the “times of the Gentiles.” They are Babylon, Medo/Persia, Greece, Rome, and then the future end time kingdom of Antichrist. We looked at an illustration of the Metal Man that showed how Daniel’s prophecy of 70 weeks of years fit in the timeline of the times of the Gentiles. In this last post, we will examine more closely the description of the end time kingdom of Antichrist and Jesus’ millennial reign.

Daniel Described the Dream to the King

First, let’s briefly review that portion of scripture where Daniel described to the king the dream of the metal man.

Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible. 32 This image’s head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, 33 His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. 34 Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. 35 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. (Dan. 2:31-35)

Daniel described the various metals on the metal man’s body. And then he described the action of the scenario. He saw a stone that smashed the image of the metal man’s feet and broke the feet into pieces. When the feet were smashed, the whole entire image fell apart. Daniel described the image became as the “chaff of the summer threshing floors.” The winds carried the chaff away, meaning the whole entire image was blown away by the wind. Then the stone that smashed the feet of the image became a mountain and grew so big that it filled the earth.

Daniel Gave the Interpretation of the Dream to the King

Daniel said, “This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king” (v. 36). He went on to tell the king that as king of the Babylonian Empire, he represented the head of gold on the image. The arms and chest made of silver represented the Medo/Persia Empire. The belly and thighs made of brass represented the Grecian Empire. The legs made of iron represented the Roman Empire.

Then, lastly, Daniel described the feet and toes of the image representing the end time Antichrist kingdom:

“And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken” (vv. 41–42).

We know from Daniel chapter seven and Revelation chapters 12, 13, and 17 that this end time kingdom consists of a group of ten kings, or ten nations, that form a coalition with Antichrist as their leader. This empire of ten nations corresponds with the ten toes on the metal man; that’s why this kingdom is sometimes referred to as the ten-toed kingdom.

Two Theories as to the Identity of the Ten-Toed Kingdom

The United Nations

There has been much speculation about the identity of this kingdom. I am aware of at least two theories. The first theory is that it is the United Nations (UN). This is not plausible for several reasons. First, the most obvious reason is that the United Nations is not a nation. It is an international organization composed of representatives from many nations of the world. It was founded in 1945, to promote peace, security, and economic development. To say that it has failed to achieve its mission would be a gigantic understatement.

Ideally, the representatives are supposed to act as one cohesive group working together for the common good of all nations. You know, “all for one and one for all.” But in reality, it doesn’t come close to that ideal. The representatives all make sure that their nation’s interests are secured. The attitude is “every man for himself,” or in this case, “every nation for itself.”

The UN doesn’t fit the description of strength either. The future ten-toed kingdom is represented on the statue by both iron and clay, meaning it’s both strong and broken. The UN, however, is a feckless group, so lacking authority in the world that it wouldn’t be able to force a sick child to take his medicine. They do a lot of voting about things, but there is little to no consequence to any of their votes. There is no iron in the UN. It’s all clay.

Also, at its very beginning, the UN began with 51 charter nations. At present, there are 192 nations. Since the ten-toed kingdom will be a coalition of only ten nations, this immediately disqualifies the United Nations as the ten-toed kingdom.

The European Union

Now let’s talk about the other theory as to the identity of the ten-toed kingdom, which is the European Union (EU). Many eschatologists firmly believe the EU is the ten-toed kingdom. But the European Union is not the ten-toed kingdom.

The EU has an interesting history. Europe’s nations have fought many bloody wars in which loss of life has been great. Certain leaders felt the only way to end the violence and to secure peace among them was to unite them economically and politically. To that end, the coal and steel industries of Western Europe were integrated. In 1951, the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) began with six members: Belgium, West Germany, Luxembourg, France, Italy, and the Netherlands.

Success spurred them to integrate other divisions of their economies. What transpired next was the creation of the Treaties of Rome in 1957 which created the European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM) and the European Economic Community (EEC). The goal was to remove trade barriers and to form a common market.

In 1967, these three divisions—ECSC, EURATOM, and ECC—were combined to form the European Union (EU). Even more steps were taken to unite these nations for the purpose of creating what they call a “United States of Europe.” In 2002, several of the nations adopted a single currency, called the euro. They were Belgium, Germany, Greece, Spain, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, and Finland.

In the beginning when these European nations—Belgium, West Germany, Luxembourg, France, Italy, and the Netherlands—began to coalesce into one union, eschatologists began to watch with interest. Could this be the beginning formation of the ten-toed kingdom? They watched as the coalition grew to nine on January 1, 1973, when three more member states joined: Denmark, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. Then eschatologists stood at attention when the tenth member state, Greece, joined on January 1, 1981. Was this ten-nation coalition the ten-toed kingdom? This theory was shattered when Portugal and Spain joined in 1986; East Germany in 1990; Austria, Finland, and Sweden in 1995; Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia in 2004. The European Union is disqualified as the ten-toed kingdom for the same reason the United Nations is disqualified. It has too many member nations.

The Millennial Kingdom of Jesus

Now let’s look at the last few verses in Daniel chapter two where Daniel describes how God sets up His kingdom on earth.

“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. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure” (Dan. 2:44–45).

Let’s first look at the phrase “in the days of these kings” (v. 44). The term “these kings” refers to the kings that eventually form the ten-toed kingdom. The formation of the ten-king coalition and its subsequent overthrow by Messiah will mark the end of the times of the Gentiles, when Gentile nations will no longer have dominion over Israel.

Now let’s look at the rest of that verse: “The God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people.” After the destruction of the ten-toed kingdom, God will then establish His kingdom on the earth with King Messiah as ruler over the kingdom of men. And Messiah’s kingdom will never come to an end. It will never pass to the next generation. It will go on forever. Messiah will never have to wonder about who will rule His kingdom after Him when He dies. His reign is settled forever in heaven.

And finally, the last part of verses 44 and 45: “It shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. Inasmuch as 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” (NKJV). Who is the stone that was carved out of the mountain and broke the metal man to pieces? Jesus, the Messiah, is the stone that came out of the mountain. There are several scriptures that speak about Jesus as the Stone. Here are just a few Old Testament scriptures.

Isaiah 28:16 speaks about a stone being laid in Zion for a foundation; it is “A tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation.” Psalm 118:22 says the stone that the “builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone” (NKJV). Isaiah 8:14 says, “He will be as a sanctuary, but a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense to both the houses of Israel…” (NKJV). Zechariah 3:8–9 says, “For behold, I am bringing forth My Servant the BRANCH. For behold, the stone that I have laid before Joshua…” (NKJV).

The phrase “without hands” simply means that this kingdom will not be established by man, for it is God’s kingdom. When the stone hit the feet of the metal man, it didn’t just destroy the feet of iron and clay. The stone destroyed the entire image of the giant metal man—the iron, bronze, silver, and gold. When the image of the metal man was broken into pieces it “became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them” (Dan. 2:35). The entire metal man breaking up and disappearing into the wind is symbolism for the times of the Gentiles coming to an end. It means Israel will no longer be ruled by Gentile nations. At long last, the Stone, or Messiah, will rule the nations, and the children of Israel will begin to walk in God’s divine covenant promise for them. God’s plan for this unique nation will at long last come to pass.

Finally, I wanted to post my amazing illustration of the metal man again just because I think he’s so awesome. Also, a friend of mine pointed out to me that my illustration of the metal man didn’t indicate where the 70 weeks were divided up into 49 years and 434 years. In case anyone else has that question, I thought I would explain that I didn’t indicate on the metal man where these segments of time occurred because with regard to end time events, they’re not important. With regard to the future end time events, the only segment of time that is important is Daniel’s 70th week. And that is why it is the only segment of time that is indicated on the metal man.

 

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Standing at the grave site of a dead email, a fellow email eulogized his friend: “We have come to pay our respect to Egert. He was a good email, gone before his time. Sadly, he became weaker and weaker until he finally succumbed to stagnation.” A little email asked his mother, “What’s stagnation, mommy?” She whispered, “It’s what happens when emails aren’t forwarded along.”

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