The next kingdom represented in the image was that of iron; both of its legs were composed of it.
The legs carry the weight of the whole image, which is very heavy (made of gold, silver and copper), and therefore must be made of the strongest substance of all, or else the whole image would be in danger of falling and being ineffective as kingdoms. Iron is the lightest and least evolved metal in the image, but has the greatest strength.
"Iron" in the Hebrew root means "to pierce or penetrate," and as we shall see, the Kingdom of Iron penetrates more deeply into the individual lives of men and affects their free will more than any other.
The world kingdom that followed Greece was Rome. This was the first complete externalization of the kingdom of iron and was more powerful than all other kingdoms before it, just as iron is the strongest metal. It was more powerful because Rome did not only conquer the bodies of men, but captured their minds as well and for the first time men began to worship the State almost as if it were a god. Because the state of Rome was so revered many of its conquests were bloodless and the once great kingdom of Greece joined in with Rome through their own freewill. All life, liberty, and freedom were eventually dedicated to the State, the great protector. All who failed to do this were traitors. Eventually, the emperor became identified as a symbol of the State and was to be worshipped, for worshipping him was to worship the State. He was eventually called Caesar Augustus. Augustus is equivalent to the Greek which we translate as Lord when we say "Jesus is Lord" or "Lord God."
We notice, however, that the image has two legs. One would wonder what the two divisions would be. The Roman political kingdom is indeed only one leg, but Roman thought created the second one when Christianity was made the state religion in 325 AD by the Roman emperor Constantine. Before he became emperor the cruel Diocletian led the State in a wholesale attempt to persecute and destroy the Christians, but the more they were persecuted, the more they seemed to grow until nearly half of the population believed in Christ when Constantine came to power. They could not destroy all the Christians at this time.
The State discovered that more subtle warfare had to be used: transformation. The Christian church was to be patterned after the image of the Roman Empire and another leg of iron was to be established. However, the second leg of iron could not be created without an iron inflexible creed, so Constantine called a council of Bishops at Nicaea to once and for all settle all doctrinal disputes and put down in black and white the creed of Christianity. Today this is known as the Nicene Creed. After Constantine had this needed document drawn up he presented Christianity and the creed as the state religion and from that time on all were expected to think and believe according to the creed -- a hodgepodge of typical mystery Babylon mumbo jumbo.
From this point on the Pope became the new infallible Caesar of the Christian religion and to honor and obey him was equated with honoring and obeying Christ and Christianity.
The majority of Christians were happy to see the creed accepted and Christianity become the state religion. To the average person this was a triumph for Christ and the centuries of persecution were over. If the creed sounded halfway close to their thinking they accepted the new state religion with no resistance.
On the other hand, not all Christians wanted to be told how to think, and some valiantly resisted the creed. These were called "heretics" and "lawbreakers" and for these courageous souls persecution did not subside, but increased. For over a thousand more years such heretics would be tortured, crucified, and burned at the stake for the glory of the God of love, and to save God's pure religion. An Israelite must exclaim: "How blinded are the ways of men!"
The main trademark of the Kingdom of Iron is that it does not permit acting or thinking which is out of harmony with its strictly defined creeds and rules. Those who defy the creed or express an opinion contrary to the Pope, priest, king or prophet must be destroyed with all forces available.
After Rome fell the Kingdom of Iron continued and is still alive and strong today in both the countries of the world and the religions. Iron expanded its tentacles and embraced Islam, Christian, Jewish and other religious thought and all other world religions to a greater or lesser degree. They all persecute their members who express contrary thoughts to orthodox doctrine.
This problem has not always existed in world empires. Daniel lived in relative peace and as a high administrator in both the Babylonian and Persian kingdoms. He was able to worship his God the way he pleased with little interference. Iron tried many times to make its presence felt, but it wasn't until the days of the Roman Empire that it permeated the minds of men and made all but a few of them prisoners behind the iron bars.
It was during the state of man's deepest imprisonment that Christ appeared on earth to commence tearing down the iron bars. He told his disciples to not fear the iron for even if the iron takes their lives they will continue to live. Only by a willingness to sacrifice all things can the prison of iron be removed. After his death and resurrection thousands of disciples challenged the iron and were crushed again and again century after century under the feet of the great iron legs. Each time an Israelite was crushed to death there was some erosion to iron itself and slowly over the years powdered iron wore away on the lives of disciples and began to accumulate in the mud at the feet of the image until the feet had the appearance of being composed of part muddy clay and part iron, and these are the feet and toes that Daniel saw: "iron mixed with miry (muddy) clay." (Daniel 2:41) "Miry" could also be translated as "sticky."
The Chaldean word for Clay, CHACAPH comes from the Hebrew CHACPAC which is not the normal word to use for clay. It is more appropriately rendered "fine powder" or "fine flakes." The translators could not realize that the powder was ground up iron and "clay" seemed to be the most appropriate rendering.
A hint to the iron filings is given in the scriptures: "Forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise." (Daniel 2:40) Some iron would naturally wear away through this process.
More light is thrown on this in the following verse: "And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay (powdered iron), so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly broken." (Daniel 2:42) The King James Version rendering here of "broken" is one of the most accurate translations given. However, a more correct translation would have been "broken in pieces" not "brittle" or "fragile" as more recent translators have rendered it.
We are also told that "the kingdom shall be divided, but there shall be in it the strength of iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay." (Daniel 2:41)
At the time when the kingdom of God shall be established we shall then have the whole image before us with feet still having the strength of iron, but the worn parts of the toes and feet are eroded standing on iron filings.
Now we must identify the clay and the iron in today's world. Fortunately, we have a good hint given in Verse 43:
"And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay." (Daniel 2:43)
This doesn't make, any sense the way it reads and does not fit in with the context of the chapter. Who mingles with the seed of men?
The book of Daniel was written in Chaldee instead of Hebrew, but both languages are closely interrelated. The word for "seed" is taken from the root word ZARA which means "to sow or plant." From this word we derive the Chaldean word for seed which is ZeROA, but in the Hebrew ZeROA means "arm," undoubtedly because the arm was the instrument in sowing seed. Because the arm wields great power ZeROA is often translated as "force" or "power." In today's language we could translate ZeROA as "totalitarianism" which forces men to conform to the state.
The Chaldean word which is translated as "they" here closely corresponds to the Hebrew word HOWN which is usually translated as "wealth," but more literally means "success in creating abundance." This corresponds to Capitalism and the democratic governments of the world.
Taking this into consideration let us retranslate verse 43:
" And whereas thou sawest the iron mixed with muddy iron filings, the Capitalists (and free governments) shall mix themselves with the totalitarian systems of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay."
Now we can make sense of the scripture. The iron is still with us in totalitarian regimes such as China, Cuba, North Korea, Iraq and others, but they no longer have power over the whole world as Rome did. However, freedom loving people have been grinding up the image in the last few hundred years, beginning with the feet. The most notable grinding up of iron was that of the fall of the USSR (Russia) and the grinding up of the "iron curtain."
The United States was the first toe to turn to iron filings or clay. (It is notable that clay is malleable for building whereas iron is difficult to remold.) This was followed by the United Kingdom, most of Europe, parts of Africa, Japan and other nations. Piece by piece the feet of iron are being broken and turning to soft muddy iron powder that no longer enslaves the minds of men, but permits them to acquire wealth and pursue happiness as they please and has no power to crush them or hold them behind iron bars or curtains.
Iron is also loosing its grip in the religions of the world. People are no longer put to death and physically abused for disagreeing with the Pope or other religious leaders (in most of the world). Today one can openly talk about most any mystery without fear of zealous idiots burning you at the stake. However, part of this religious freedom is more indebted to the free governments of the world than to religious leaders. Many of them, if they had their way, would still put "heretics" (like myself) to death. Nevertheless, the Catholics, of their own free will have done much to improve their tolerance level. Others have not fared so well and those religions existing in the free world are mostly of iron, whereas some of those existing underground in totalitarian regimes know the terror or iron and are more tolerant.
Iron is the darkest of metals and those surrounded by its bars have little hope or incentive and live in a prisoner's poverty, have dark clothes like prisoners, and often face famine, war, and want. Those in the moldable iron have much more freedom and success, but still the way is hard, and many have difficulty in rising out of the sticky mud to enjoy success in the sunlight.
It may be of interest to point out the identity of the ten toes. In the political realm they are:
These, and the land masses and islands associated with them, are the ten toes which rule the whole earth as indicated in the prophecy. These ten divisions are a much better correspondence to the prophecy than the Common Market nations.
The religious world also has a correspondence to the ten toes. They are:
All total, these comprise about four billion religious members, over 99 percent of the religious membership of the religions of the world.
The ten toes of the religious world are the invisible life force of the image which helps to motivate the iron, and the ten land divisions are represented by the physical toes.
Let us step back a moment and visualize the image which will soon confront the Kingdom of God.
It has a very impressive appearance, almost frightening. Daniel called it "terrible." [See Daniel 2:31.] It had a head of gold that was beautiful enough at first glance, yet through its mouth had passed the blood of all the saints who have been slain upon the earth. The beauty is merely an illusion -- the illusion of beautiful false images, gods, and heavenly realms that are to bring happiness in the far future, but demand tears of sorrow today. This golden beauty blinds man to the eternal light within that never faileth, and happiness and joy within that is always there if it can draw one's attention away from the gold that glitters.
This is supported by the chest and arms of silver -- the wealth and power dedicated to the false gods, and spent to make them smile while one's fellowmen are starving in rage.
The belly of copper supports these, which is the pride, and glamour of gaining great respect and admiration from one's fellowmen because of physical power, beauty and strength. Then we have the legs of iron which seek to put men's minds as well their bodies behind prison doors and control their destinies "for their own good."
Finally we have the feet and the ten toes which are beginning to crumble because of the spirit of God which is in man rebels at iron bars and slowly begins to file his way out of prison.
Finally something very amazing happens as men are struggling against great odds to destroy the image:
"Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them, and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth." (Daniel 2:34-35)
Later Daniel gives the interpretation of this event:
"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. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it break in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the Interpretation thereof sure." (Daniel 2:44-45)
-- End Of Chapter 27 --
Gathering Of Lights (Chapter Index)
Copyright 2000 by J.J. Dewey, All Rights Reserved