The book of Daniel is famous for revealing the future through dreams. In this blog we will tackle two different dreams; one from Nebuchadnezzar, from Daniel 2:31-45; and then a dream of Daniel’s, from Daniel 7:2-8 and 23-24. These two dreams, though they are different, show us basically the same message concerning four world kingdoms. The first three kingdoms are history to us, but the fourth kingdom is partly history and partly future. This fourth kingdom is our focus because it is the kingdom of the Antichrist.
So first, let’s look at Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, as it is interpreted by Daniel (Dan. 2:31-45).
“You, O king, were looking and behold, there was a single great statue; that statue, which was large and of extraordinary splendor, was standing in front of you, and its appearance was awesome. 32 “The head of that statue was made of fine gold, its breast and its arms of silver, its belly and its thighs of bronze, 33 its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. 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. 35 “Then 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 floors; 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.
36 “This was the dream; now we shall tell its interpretation before the king. 37 “You, O king, are the king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, the strength, and the glory; 38 and wherever the sons of men dwell, or the beasts of the field, or the birds of the sky, He has given them into your hand and has caused you to rule over them all. You are the head of gold. 39 “And after you there will arise another kingdom inferior to you, then another third kingdom of bronze, which will rule over all the earth. 40 “Then there will be a fourth kingdom as strong as iron; inasmuch as iron crushes and shatters all things, so, like iron that breaks in pieces, it will crush and break all these in pieces. 41 “And in that you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, it will be a divided kingdom; but it will have in it the toughness of iron, inasmuch as you saw the iron mixed with common clay. 42 “And as the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of pottery, so some of the kingdom will be strong and part of it will be brittle. 43 “And in that you saw the iron mixed with common clay, they will combine with one another in the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, even as iron does not combine with pottery. 44 “And 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. 45 “Inasmuch as you saw that a 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.”
Very simply, Daniel shows us here that there are four world kingdom. And we know from history that they are Babylon (represented by the gold head), Medo-Pursia (the breast and arms of silver), Greece (the belly and thighs of bronze), and Rome (legs of iron and feet of iron and clay). All of these kingdoms are in our history, except the kingdom represented by the feet of the statue, which is the revived Roman Empire. This I believe is the E U., with its ten ruling nations, and will be the empire of the Antichrist.
The other dream, a dream of Daniel’s (Dan. 7:2-8 and 23-24),
gives us basically the same information regarding the four world kingdoms; however, it is a completely different dream, and also gives a few more interesting details about the four kingdoms, particularly the last one, which we are most interested in.
Daniel said, “I was looking in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the great sea. 3 “And four great beasts were coming up from the sea, different from one another. 4 “The first was like a lion and had the wings of an eagle. I kept looking until its wings were plucked, and it was lifted up from the ground and made to stand on two feet like a man; a human mind also was given to it. 5 “And behold, another beast, a second one, resembling a bear. And it was raised up on one side, and three ribs were in its mouth between its teeth; and thus they said to it, ‘Arise, devour much meat!’ 6 “After this I kept looking, and behold, another one, like a leopard, which had on its back four wings of a bird; the beast also had four heads, and dominion was given to it. 7 “After this I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrifying and extremely strong; and it had large iron teeth. It devoured and crushed, and trampled down the remainder with its feet; and it was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns. 8 “While I was contemplating the horns, behold, another horn, a little one, came up among them, and three of the first horns were pulled out by the roots before it; and behold, this horn possessed eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth uttering great boasts.
23 “Thus he said: ‘The fourth beast will be a fourth kingdom on the earth, which will be different from all the other kingdoms, and it will devour the whole earth and tread it down and crush it. 24 ‘As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings will arise; and another will arise after them, and he will be different from the previous ones and will subdue three kings.
In this dream, a beast that looks like a lion represents Babylon; a beast resembling a bear represents Medo-Persia; a beast resembling a leopard with four heads represents Greece (with its four generals who divided the kingdom among themselves after Alexander’s death); and a fourth beast, strong and terrible, with iron teeth and with ten horns, represents Rome.
As you can see, these two dreams are very similar in that they give us basically the same meaning—that there are four world kingdoms. One of the huge differences in the details, however, is that it shows us definitely that the Antichrist will rise out of Rome as the little horn. He will arise among the ten kings (v. 8), but after them (v. 24). And when he arises he will subdue three of the kings (v. 24).
This tells us, as I mentioned earlier, that the ten kings (ruling their ten nations) may exist in the E. U. long before the Antichrist shows up—that is, arises with power. And I think it is possible that the pre-Antichrist man may be in the military or in the government of the E. U., and may have much to do with the forming of the ten kings.