You are hereThe Prophecies of Daniel 2, Excerpts
The Prophecies of Daniel 2, Excerpts
by John Evans
My book The Prophecies of Daniel 2 is now being readied for printing by Xulon Press and should be available for distribution in about a month. The book contains eight chapters and has both a Scripture index and a subject index. It will be about 270 pages in length. I do not yet know precisely what the price will be. Readers who are interested in knowing more about it can contact me by sending me a message at planetpreterist.com or by posting an appropriate comment below. My book The Prophecies of Daniel 2 is now being readied for printing by Xulon Press and should be available for distribution in about a month. The book contains eight chapters and has both a Scripture index and a subject index. It will be about 270 pages in length. I do not yet know precisely what the price will be. Readers who are interested in knowing more about it can contact me by sending me a message at planetpreterist.com or by posting an appropriate comment below. After the introductory chapter, this book contains three chapters on the prophecy of the statue, one chapter on the prophecy of the rock, a chapter that integrates Revelation with Daniel 2, and two chapters that present my version of how history has fulfilled the prophecy of the rock. I take the position that the thousand years of Revelation began in AD 70 and are included in the prophecy of the rock. Duncan McKenzie has suggested that I ought to post excerpts of this book here, and I am following his advice with this selection from the beginning of chapter 5.
Now that I have presented a detailed analysis of the prophecy of the statue, the next step in this journey through the prophecies of Daniel 2 is to provide a comparable analysis of the prophecy of the rock. Here, again, are the verses of Daniel 2 that relate to this prophecy.
34“You continued looking until a stone was cut out without hands, and it struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and crushed them. 35Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed all at the same time and became like chaff from the summer threshing floor; and the wind carried them away so that not a trace of them was found. But the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.
44“In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever. 45Inasmuch as you saw that stone was cut out of the mountain without hands and that it crushed the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold, the great God has made known to the king what will take place in the future; so the dream is true and its interpretation is trustworthy.”
I offer the following list of observations about this prophecy.
1. The rock (or stone) is of supernatural origin.
2. Because time elapses as we move down the statue, the rock arrives at the end of time allotted to the four kingdoms.
3. The rock strikes the feet of the statue, not a foot, and its initial impact is on the toes, which means that the rock hits the statue from the front.
4. The rock strikes the statue at its most vulnerable location, the toe area that contains the most brittle part of the mixture of iron and clay.
5. Because the different parts of the statue are destroyed “all at the same time,” we can infer that the first three kingdoms survive in some sense into the time of the fourth kingdom’s dominance. As was pointed out toward the end of chapter 3, this conclusion is supported by 2:40 as well as 2:44.
6. Although all four kingdoms are portrayed as being crushed at the same time, they are not simply vaporized. Instead, upon being crushed, they become like chaff before being swept away by the wind. This implies that their remnants continue to exist for some indefinite time and that their destruction “all at the same time” is symbolic of the displacement of their spiritual authority.
7. Although the clay is the last of the five materials of the statue to appear, it is not listed first in verses 35 and 45, which, except for the clay, list the materials in the reverse order their historical appearance. The clay is listed second in verse 35 and third in verse 45.
8. The growth of the rock into a mountain symbolizes the creation of an eternal Kingdom of God that literally governs all of Earth. This means that “the whole earth” in verse 35 is to be understood as not only applying to the Holy Land and the nations adjacent to it, but literally to all of Earth.
9. Although the prophecy does not indicate how long it takes for the rock to grow into a mountain that fills all of Earth, a proper inference is that the process necessarily requires a good deal of time.
The first four of these observations seem obvious and unexceptionable, but much authoritative opinion clashes with the fifth, which holds that the first three kingdoms continue to exist in some form into the time of the fourth kingdom. The sixth observation, which asserts that remnants of the four kingdoms continue to exist for a while after the rock appears, is definitely at odds with prevailing opinion among both conservatives and liberals. Whether or not the seventh observation has any significance is debatable, but I shall argue that it probably does. Observation number eight runs into the common objection that when the Bible uses terms such as “the whole earth,” “all the land,” etc., it does not refer to the entire earth as we know it, but to what was familiar to the ancient Jews, most of all their own homeland, I shall argue that this is definitely one case where the principle of multiple fulfillments comes into play. As for the ninth observation, it appears to me that it has not brought forth the discussion it merits. Critical scholars have not engaged in much speculation about the time required for the rock to grow into the earth-filling mountain, while futurists tend to believe that the materialization of the rock has yet to occur and that the process of mountain-building is likely to be rather short.
Most commentators whose work I have examined, whether liberal or conservative, have taken it for granted that not only do the four metals symbolize a succession of kingdoms, but also that when one kingdom displaces another, the displacement is complete; i.e. the preceding kingdom simply disappears. Remarkably, it seems to me, they generally have not given serious consideration to the possibility that the first three kingdoms continue to exist in some sense or sense, whether political, cultural, or religious. John Collins, for example, curtly dismisses the idea that because all parts of the statue are “crushed at the same time” (v.35), this indicates that the first three kingdoms survive into the time of the fourth kingdom with the assertion that “the claim that all four [kingdoms] must have existed simultaneously takes the imagery of the statue too literally.”1 In similar—though more measured—fashion, Joyce Baldwin wrote: “Though the kingdoms have appeared to be consecutive, there is a suggestion here that they could be contemporary, but this is part of the symbolism of the statue, which in the nature of the case represents all the kingdoms as falling at the same time.”2
In view of the fact that Daniel 7 explicitly indicates that the first three kingdoms survive into the time of the fourth kingdom, the tendency of commentators to dismiss this possibility in their analysis of Daniel 2 provides an outstanding illustration of the point that one has to be very careful before accepting received scholarly opinion about the Book of Daniel, whether mainstream or conservative. It is evident that in interpreting the Bible, we human beings, even those of us who strive to be as objective as possible, allow our preconceptions to influence our findings. Daniel 7:11 states that the fourth beast is slain and its body is thrown into the first, and the next verse lets us know that, with regard to the other beasts, “their dominion was taken away, but an extension of life was granted to them for an appointed period of time.” Daniel 7 clearly indicates that the first three beasts survive into the time of the fourth beast. It stands to reason, therefore, that the first three kingdoms of Daniel 2 also survive into the time of the fourth kingdom.
Additional evidence of the survival of the first three kingdoms into the time of the fourth kingdom comes from 7:19, which informs us that not only does the fourth beast have iron teeth, but also bronze claws with which to hold its victims in place while they are being crushed and devoured. Obviously, the references here to both iron and bronze should bring to mind the third and fourth kingdoms of Daniel 2; but the mental processes of those who insist that the kingdoms of gold, silver, and bronze must all be gone from the scene when the kingdom of iron exercises dominion see, in this instance, to be programmed to block out vital information. Also involved in this scholarly oversight, no doubt, is the fact that if attention is drawn to the iron teeth and bronze claws, some “misguided people” (like me) will suggest a historical analogy to the complementary relationship that existed between Greece and Rome in the Roman Empire. To my mind, the combination of iron teeth and bronze claws perfectly symbolizes the fusion of Greek culture with Roman military and political power to construct the most powerful and influential empire of ancient times.
You can read the rest of part 2 by simply buying the book!
John S. Evans