Daniel 2:31-33

What do you think about your government?

Daniel 2:31-33

“Your Majesty looked, and there before you stood a large statue - an enormous, dazzling statue, awesome in appearance. The head of the statue was made of pure gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of baked clay"

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If you have compared the rendering of NIV with the original Aramaic in the Interlinear Bible you have seen that it is a good one. Let's emphasize in principle the golden head, representing Babylonia - as we'll see - and why it does represent that kingdom.

Proverbs 3:13-15 shows that gold signifies something valuable (together with silver and rubies) and its value is contrasted with wisdom (which is superior, highest among all) The high value of gold, together with some other qualities (it doesn't rust and is very malleable) is the reason that God ordered to Moses to make the objects which were destined to worship services with gold (for instance, the ark of the covenant and other objects in the tabernacle and in the temple) and gold has become a symbol of the divine because of its quality of being imperishable.

The human being was made in God's image and likeness, and the Lord commanded him to rule over the earth with its flora and fauna, and even over other persons (the "government" in theology is the period between Noah and Abraham, after the flood) That's why the Bible mentions cities and a kingdom only from Genesis 10, with Nimrod, a descendant of Noah and the first political leader in the Bible (there is no earlier mention of "nations" or "kingdoms") In secular history that kingdom corresponds to Sumer, the Southern part of Mesopotamia, which is believed through archaeological evidence to be the oldest civilization in the world (the first one with a writing system, "cuneiform script" and with confederate cities in some kind of political structure)

It is not casual that the Babylonia of Nebuchadnezzar, located in Mesopotamia and the heir of a whole history of Mesopotamian empires and civilizations from its Sumerian beginning, is called "head of gold", the first place where God's commandment about human government was observed. But notice that in the dream of the king, only the head was made of gold; the rest of the statue - in direction to the feet - shows a change, in the decreasing value and "nobility" of the metals, alluding to a change from the "divine" (gold) to the "human" (clay) This process can be observed already in Babylonia, where different cities and peoples had fought from earlier times, seeking the supremacy over the region (Sumerians, Akkadians, Hittites, Kassites, Assyrians and Chaldeans, among other ones) but it would go even farther in the empires which are represented by the rest of the statue. They corrupted God's purpose more and more by conquering other nations and subjugating them.

The identification of the kingdoms which are not mentioned by name in the Scriptures is cause of a great debate from Antiquity, and has been used - it is used even nowadays - to justify wars and hate against other peoples. To identify them correctly, according to God's revelation which He gave to his prophets, the image that the king saw most be compared to the visions of Daniel the prophet in chapter seven:

Head of gold - Winged lion
Chest and arms of silver - Bear
Belly and thighs of bronze - Winged leopard
Legs of iron - Terrifying beast
Feet of iron and clay - Little horn (from the fourth beast)

In both interpretations, the one that Daniel gave to the king and the one he himself received about his vision on chapter seven, we can see a succession of empires which would come after Babylonia, to finally pass, disappear and be replaced by the Kingdom of God.

Now if you take a look to an "ultimate strength" table (which shows the resistance of materials to a pulling force) it will show you that the iron is the strongest metal that the statue was made of, and the gold is the opposite one (that's why weapons and tools are made of iron, because they are supposed to be strong and resistant) Nevertheless we can notice that gold is the most malleable (easy to work and to form with a hammer without breaking) and it is the most resistant to rusting (then the most durable one; gold and silver are called "noble metals" because of their quality of resisting rusting, which together with their malleability makes them useful in jewelry and ornaments) While we observe the statue from the head to the feet, it becomes harder and less malleable, and the metals become less "noble" (more easy to rust, and thereby more perishable)

World history shows us powerful empires, which have conquered huge territories and subjugated peoples beneath them, but they have passed away and have been replaced by other ones. The dream of Nebuchadnezzar was interrelated with Gods revelation, which shows us that, in spite of how powerful would those empires become, they will disappear at the coming of the Kingdom of God. If you want to know the revelation which God gave to Daniel the prophet, and if you want to know the end of all things which are coming upon the earth before the glorious coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, keep reading! We will deal with this unique and awe-inspiring prophecy of human history.

May the Lord bless you. In the love of Christ, your brother

Israel Leonard

PS. Jesus comes quickly!

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