Daniel's image

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In Daniel's image in the second chapter of the Book of Daniel in the Bible we find the story of Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar who has a troubling dream which none of the wise men of the kingdom can decipher for him. He calls in the prophet Daniel who is among a group of Hebrews taken captive by the Babylonians. The king demands an interpretation of the dream. Daniel relates that the king has had a vision of a statue. The head, chest, belly and legs of this statue, Daniel reveals, represent successive world ruling kingdoms.

Christian theologians are universally agreed that these kingdoms are in order: Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome. This succession of world kingdoms begins with Babylon as this kingdom is the first of the great historic empires which arise following the destruction of the last of the Hebrew kingdoms: the southern Kingdom of Judah. The Israelite states were in a manner of speaking God’s kingdom on earth up to this time. The four kingdoms to follow are the major world ruling kingdoms which will dominate the world right up until the installation of God’s rule on earth at the coming of Messiah.

It is thought that the last of these kingdoms represents some kind of resurrection of the ancient Roman Empire, a combination of ten European states (European because the ancient Roman Empire was a European empire) and a confederation of ten states because they are represented by the ten toes of the image. That Daniel’s fourth kingdom is Rome - a modern-day revival of the ancient Roman Empire - linked to the Roman church is supported by Revelation 17:9 which calls to mind the fabled "seven hills of Rome".

God’s kingdom destroys and immediately replaces the kingdom of the Beast as indicated in Daniel 2:34 ("As you looked a stone was cut out by no human hand, and it smote the image on its feet ..."). A graphic representation of this scenario exists in the geography of the Italian Peninsular - where the Roman Empire was located - appearing as one of the legs of Nebuchadnezzar’s image (the western Roman Empire). At the foot of the Italian Peninsular the island of Sicily points towards the "toes" of this peninsular, ready to strike it as prophecy indicates.

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