As we have seen, God inspired Daniel to predict that the Media-Persian empire of silver would conquer Babylon, and the Greek empire of brass would conquer them. But He didn’t inspire Daniel to name the iron kingdom that would conquer the Greeks. We know it was the Romans, but we also know from the rest of Daniel that the iron nation would produce the antichrist. And God knew He would interrupt Daniel’s prophecy with the mystery, so He left Rome unnamed. After the dispensation of the mystery is over, another iron kingdom will rise and produce the antichrist.
But both kingdoms are associated with iron. Rome was “strong as iron” and conquered all who got in her way (2:40). But Antichrist’s kingdom will be too. Satan’s fallen angels will again “mingle” with the seed of men (2:43) as they did in Genesis 6:1-4. But fallen angels like that are associated with “iron” (Rev. 9:1-10), and so were the giants they fathered (Deut. 3:11; I Sam. 17:4-7). All of this is why the Lord said that they’ll be “marrying and giving in marriage” in the Tribulation (Mt. 24:37-39).
The “clay” of the image the king saw represents people (Job 4:18, 19; Isa. 64:8). So Antichrist’s kingdom will be made up of the seed of fallen angels mixed with people. They will mingle with the seed of men, but they won’t “cleave” to them (v. 43). The mingling refers to fathering children (cf. Ezr. 9:1, 2), but cleaving means to mingle and stay with someone (Gen. 2:24; Deut. 11:22). Those fallen angels will be more of the “love ‘em and leave ‘em” type of deadbeat-dad men.
That means Antichrist’s kingdom will be one nation, but “divided” (Dan. 2:41), as Babylon was one nation but was “divided” to the one nation of Media-Persia (Dan. 5:28). When verse 42 says the nation will be “broken,” the word broken there means not strong. It will be “partly strong, and partly broken”—strong as the fallen angels, but weak as the men with whom their seed will share the kingdom.
The “toes” of the nation represent ten kings (Dan. 7:7; Rev. 17:3-12). Years ago, prophecy preachers started saying the Rapture must be “very near” after ten nations formed The European Common Market. But God says these ten kings will receive power as kings “one hour with the beast” (Rev. 17:12), so they cannot rise until he rises.
We see a type of them in Psalm 83:1-8 though, which suggests they will be kings of Mideastern nations, not European nations. When they rise and start their saber-rattling to get people to fear them more than God, people will have to remember that God says not to join their “confederacy” (Isa. 8:12, 13) or else be “broken to pieces” (8:9) by the 2nd coming of Christ, as Daniel predicts again in Daniel 2:44.
“These kings” (v. 44) are the ten kings that will rise and be broken to pieces by the kingdom that God will set up in that day. It was the kingdom that the Lord said was “at hand” in His day (Mt. 4:17), but was put on hold when the Jews rejected it when they stoned Stephen. But it’s coming! And when it does, “they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more” (Isa. 2:4).
God’s kingdom will not be “left to other people” (v. 44), as the kingdom of Babylon was left to the Medes and Persians, and their kingdom was left to the Greeks, and their kingdom was left to the Romans. God’s kingdom will “stand for ever” (v. 44), although after the first 1,000 years it will stand forever on the new earth (Rev. 20:7—21:1).
After telling the king all that, Daniel knew it was a lot to take in. After all, he’d just outlined the entire course of human history to come! So in case the king missed any of it, he summed it up in verse 45. And all of this means you don’t have to worry that the world will end in a nuclear holocaust, or in a flood caused by global warming, etc. Daniel just told you how it will end, and I believe him. How about you?
The king was so grateful to Daniel and the three Hebrews for interpreting his dream that he gave them positions in the government of Babylon (Dan. 2:46-49) “The gate” (v. 49) is where elders of cities met to discuss business (cf. Pr. 31:23).
Video of this sermon is available on YouTube: The Unidentified Nation – Daniel 2:40-49