What began in Babel did not end in Babylon. The plan of Satan and the pride of men continued to build nations attempting to glorify the image of man. During Nebuchadnezzar’s reign in Babylon, the Lord gave him a vision that no one in his kingdom was able to interpret, except Daniel. As we mentioned earlier, it served its purpose to make God known to a prideful Babylonian king, but it had a far greater purpose. It prophetically outlined every earthly kingdom to come and concluded with the final eternal kingdom of Christ. The dream in all of its detail is found in Daniel chapter 2.
Scholars have marveled at this scripture for millenia. With extreme accuracy, the Lord revealed the rise and fall of successive superpowers to Nebuchadnezzar, and required his servant Daniel to interpret the vision. Daniel described the image of the king’s dream beginning at the top and working his way down to the bottom.
First there was a head of gold, representing the Babylonian Empire which was ruling during the time of the vision. Second were the breasts and arms of silver which represented the kingdom of Media-Persia that would soon conquer Babylon. Thirdly were the belly and thighs of brass, and these represented the Greek Empire which would follow. Fourth there were two legs of iron which represented the Roman Empire and its east and west divisions. Finally, there were the feet of Iron and Clay, which were revealed to be kingdom of the future, and it is is continuing to develop in our present time.
Just as Daniel interpreted, the nations which succeeded Babylon occurred in the nature of the image which reflected them. These became the great empires of the past, listed in order from the time of Babylon to the time of Christ’s arrival. There is much that can be extracted from this divine vision which is why it is still extensively discussed among scholars and historians today.
The first thing to notice is that the image was made of the same earthly materials worshipped by Belshazzar, and they were fashioned into the physical image of a man. This is likely intended to reveal that these are earthly kingdoms created to glorify man and not God.
Another significant aspect of this image is that Babylon is the head. With any body, the head or mind is what establishes intention and direction, and every other part of the body follows the path determined by the head. This divine symbolism is used to metaphorically describe the synergy of the whole body of Christ, whose individual parts work in agreement and alignment with the head who is Jesus.
“11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:”
So, it is safe to apply this metaphor used in Ephesians to the dream of Nebuchadnezzar since God was the cause of them both. By doing so, we can safely conclude that each kingdom following Babylon operated in the same spirit as Babylon. As the head of Nebuchadnezzar’s vision and the quintessential example of a kingdom of this world, Babylon established the blueprint for all civilizations working for the glory of men. The eventual kingdoms of Media-Persia, Greece and Rome all followed suit, having the same mind of Babylon and bearing the same direction under their respective rulers. History gives account of several rulers within each of these empires who possessed traits like Belshazzar such as Alexander the Great, Xerxes and Titus of Rome to name a few. Even now, the characteristics of Babylon continue to reveal themselves through nations of power in various ways, and it will become increasingly evident in the future.
The final, bottom component of Nebuchadnezzar’s vision were brittle feet of an iron and clay mixture. This fragile mixture indicates that the final kingdom will be a weak union, undoubtedly because of their efforts to create peace without Jesus. Therefore, it will be easily destroyed by the coming kingdom of God which is represented by the uncut stone that crushes the feet. To understand the significance of the feet, it is helpful to remember those significant words of Jesus, spoken in response to the Pharisees about divided kingdoms.
“25 And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:”
Men stand on feet, and the image of man seen in Nebuchadnezzar’s vision, stood on weakened feet. So, in direct alignment with the prophetic words of Jesus and in agreement with Daniel’s interpretation, the brittle feet and toes of the vision are a visual indication that the final kingdom assembled in this world shall not stand either. The last stand of man will be as unsuccessful as the first. From Babel to the end of time, every kingdom shall fall under the authority of the Lord.
“44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.”
“15And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.