Iron and Clay Toes

One of the most enigmatic passages in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream about the metal statue is what the ten toes of iron and clay symbolize.  Readers to this blog have requested that I comment on this passage, so I thought I’d give you my opinion.  Prophecy teachers Joel Richardson and Mark Davidson teach that the iron and clay of the toes represents Sunni and Shia Muslim factions.  Some teach iron is Islam and clay is apostate Christianity.  Others teach it is some sort of genetic mixing of angels and humans.  I personally think all of these are less than completely accurate. Let’s look at Nebuchadnezzar’s dream and see what scripture says:

A fourth kingdom, which shall be strong as iron: as iron beats to powder and subdues all things, so shall it beat to powder and subdue. And whereas thou sawest the feet and the toes, part of earthenware and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; yet there shall be in it of the strength of iron, as thou sawest the iron mixed with earthenware. And whereas the toes of the feet were part of iron and part of earthenware, part of the kingdom shall be strong, and part of it shall be broken. Whereas thou sawest the iron mixed with earthenware, they shall be mingled with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave together, as the iron does not mix itself with earthenware.  And in the days of those kings the God of heaven shall set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed: and his kingdom shall not be left to another people, but it shall beat to pieces and grind to powder all other kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. (Dan. 2: 40-44 LXX)

Nebuchadnezzar could not remember his dream and threatened to kill all the wise men if they couldn’t tell him his dream and interpret it.  Daniel prayed and God revealed the dream and interpretation to Daniel.  This quoted section includes the fourth kingdom (iron), the fifth kingdom (ten toes of iron and clay), and the sixth and final kingdom (Jesus’s Millennial Kingdom.)  It is crucial to look at all three final kingdoms.

You may also notice that I’m using the Septuagint Greek translation.  This allows one to do word studies between the OT and NT because both will utilize the Greek.  The Septuagint is the translation used by the First Century Church and John who wrote Revelation.

The dream involves symbols of iron and earthenware.  In order to understand these symbols we need to find other references in scripture that should help us define the symbols.  This is an excellent discipline to get into, searching for other references rather than looking at a passage as a stand alone section of scripture.  God nearly always provides a second or even a third witness scripture of most prophetic passages.

Now that I have you thinking about other reference scriptures, I bet some came to mind immediately.  The first was probably Psalm 2 which is directly linked to this dream.

He that dwells in the heavens shall laugh them to scorn, and the Lord shall mock them. Then shall he speak to them in his anger, and trouble them in his fury. But I have been made king by him on Sion his holy mountain, declaring the ordinance of the Lord: the Lord said to me, Thou art my Son, to-day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I will give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the ends of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt rule them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces as a potter’s vessel (earthenware). (Psalm 2: 4-9 LXX)

John quotes this in the Letter to Thyatira in Revelation:

He who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations;  and he shall rule them with a rod of iron, as the vessels of the potter (earthenware) are broken to pieces, as I also have received authority from My Father. (Rev. 2: 26-27 NASB)

So all three of these passages are related to each other by means of shared references.  Notice in Psalm 2, Jesus says he was made king by God the Father and in Revelation Jesus tells us he received authority from the Father.   These passages are about authority.

There is another passage in Revelation about authority we should look at:

I looked, and behold, an ashen (Gk: CHLOROS, meaning bright green) horse; and he who sat on it had the name Death; and Hades was following with him. Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth. (Rev. 6: 8 NASB)

There was given to him (the Beast) a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies, and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him. (Rev. 13:5 NASB)

Both of these passages refer to the Antichrist and his Beast empire.  Notice he has been given authority by God to act and kill for 42 months.  Now that we have assembled most of the relevant scriptures lets start thinking about what they may mean.

Meaning of Iron

Let’s start in Daniel 2 where we learn that Jesus’s Kingdom will “grind to powder” all the other kingdoms.  In Dan. 2:40 we see that the nature of “iron” is to grind into powder, “as iron beats to powder and subdues all things.”  So if Jesus’s kingdom grinds things to powder it has an element of “iron” to it.  When we look Psalms 2 we see Jesus’s “rod” is iron.  Sure enough, he uses it to smash the earthenware.  This is the same as Daniel 2’s “grinding to powder.”  In Revelation 2, we see the saints of God are given authority and this allows them to rule with a rod of iron as well.

The rod of iron is a symbol of authority and it allows the holder of the rod to “grind kingdoms to power” or “smash them like earthenware.”  Initially the Antichrist and his Beast Empire are given the authority for 42 months.  Jesus then is given the authority by the Father.  Jesus in turn gives the authority to the saints in the Millennial Kingdom.

Meaning of Earthenware

Before we look at references, one can probably guess at what earthenware represents.  It is a vessel made out of clay.  Adam was made out of clay as well, so to my thinking it would be a human body.  This is confirmed in many places:

What excellent thing have I prepared as clay (earthenware)  of the potter? Will the ploughman plough the earth all day? shall the clay say to the potter, What art thou doing that thou dost not work, nor hast hands? shall the thing formed answer him that formed it? (Isa. 45:9 LXX)

But we have this treasure in earthen(ware) vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves. (2 Cor. 4: 10 NASB)

So now we know what the symbols mean.  We have iron meaning heavenly authority and clay means human frailty.

Back to Daniel 2

Let’s look at the passage in question one more time.

And whereas thou sawest the feet and the toes, part of earthenware and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; yet there shall be in it of the strength of iron, as thou sawest the iron mixed with earthenware. And whereas the toes of the feet were part of iron and part of earthenware, part of the kingdom shall be strong, and part of it shall be broken. Whereas thou sawest the iron mixed with earthenware, they shall be mingled with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave together, as the iron does not mix itself with earthenware. And in the days of those kings the God of heaven shall set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed. (Dan. 2: 41-44 LXX)

Let’s begin looking at the toes.  The final verse says “in the days of those kings . . .”  The toes are 10 Kings.  This is confirmed in Daniel 7:24 and Rev. 17:12.  Daniel tells us they are part iron and part clay.  Let’s re-insert the meaning of the symbols.  The passage is saying the ten kings are part “heavenly authority” and part “human frailty.”

Let’s read on.  The passage says “Whereas thou sawest the iron (heavenly authority) mixed with earthenware (human frailty), they shall be mingled with the seed of men (humans): but they shall not cleave (adhere) together, as the iron (heavenly authority) does not mix itself with earthenware (human frailty).”  This is super insightful.  God is telling us his heavenly authority is not meant for men.  The Antichrist and the the Ten Kings may be given it for the 42 months but the authority won’t adhere to the human element.  How this is expressed I’m not quite sure.  It may mean the Beast Empire experiences revolts.

This passage doesn’t say a thing about Islam or apostate Christianity and it definitively doesn’t say anything about fallen angels.  For those who are into the fallen angels impregnating human women thing, look at the words “they shall not cleave” Even if you wanted to stretch the scripture where it shouldn’t go, this verse stops that thinking in its tracks.  In Genesis a husband will cleave to his wife.  Here we see “shall NOT cleave.”  No sex.  That isn’t what the words mean here, but just to stress the point, that is definitely not what the verse means.

Now is there more to this passage?  There may be.  There may be a “mixing” of two dissimilar elements such as Sunni and Shia, but the main implication is that the heavenly authority is not meant for humans without glorified bodies.  Only then, when humans reign alongside Christ, will a true one world government work.

34 thoughts on “Iron and Clay Toes”

  1. I could be wrong but I take it like this. The 2 arms of silver represent the two divisions of the same empire (Medes/Persians) so the 2 legs are also two divisions of the same empire (Shia/Sunni). The further down you go the more divided the empire becomes until the empire (iron) becomes partly strong and partly broken. Kind of how Islam is today in the middle east. I sometimes wonder if the Sykes Picot agreement and the abolishment of the caliphate after world war one fractured Islam (iron) into partly strong still (iron) and partly weak or divided (clay). Were all just trying to figure it all out. But I believe we will know more as we get closer because God tells Daniel to go his way because the words are sealed till the time of the end.

  2. I do think even if some don’t believe it to be this way at the present time I think we should all at least be mindful of the idea that the final kingdom being divided could mean the divide is Sunni vs Shia. We all know the Antichrist is the final king of the north in Daniel 11 and he will rise from the area of the Seleucid empire. Think of it like this a minute. Hezbollah is Shia and they make up a hug chunk of Lebanon. Syria’s president Assad is a Shia. Iraq is actually like 40% Shia especially in the Karbala, Babylon region. Iran is a shia muslim nation with a twelver shia government. If Hezbollah in Lebanon, all the Shia in the Syrian military under Assad, all the Shia militants in Iraq and the entire Iranian military under Khamenei all joined forces that would be a revival of the Seleucid area. And it would be ten times as dangerous as ISIS and they could war with the king of the south (Egypt and Sunni allies south of Israel). I see the two thighs of brass on the statue in Daniel 2 as king of the north and king of the south as described in Daniel 11. We all know from human anatomy that the thigh runs from the pelvis to just above the knee and that legs are extensions of the thighs and feet are extensions of the legs. The legs are two divisions of the same empire (Iron). The feet are a partly strong partly broken extension of the legs. My guess is the two legs (two divisions) represent Sunni and Shia Islam from after Mohammed until now. One is a revival of the king of the north possibly Shia and the other the king of the south. If the legs do in fact represent the two divisions of Islam then we have to think the ten toes could be 5 toes (king of the north) and 5 toes (king of the south). I believe when Jesus said nation against nation and kingdom against kingdom in Matthew 24 he was referring to king of north vs king of south (beginning of sorrows).

    1. I have come around to believe more similarly to you jlils. The iron is the crusher, the clay is the crushed. King of the North is the crusher, King of the South the crushed.

      I don’t take the two legs analogy seriously. The clay and iron are intermixed in each foot. Clay isn’t on one foot and iron the other.

  3. Good stuff, brother!

    Have you ever considered this possibility?

    Dan 2:43 As you saw iron mixed with ceramic clay, they will MINGLE WITH THE SEED OF MEN; but they will not adhere to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay.
    Dan 8:10 And it grew up to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and some of the stars to the ground, and trampled them.

    The clay isn’t man, but it mingles with the seed of men. The clay gets crushed by the Iron, just as the AC tramples the fallen hosts.

    Possible?

    1. Dan. 2:43 is one of the most complex verses in the Bible. It was originally in Aramaic, of which I know very little. The Hebrew and Greek are equally confusing. The symbols of iron and ceramic clay come from Psalm 2:9. My best guess is that the iron smashes clay and the iron represents the “winner” or “stronger” grouping of the 10 kings (King of the North) while the clay is the “weaker” grouping (King of the South). The seed of men mingling may relate to Dan. 11:17 and the intermarriage aspect of that later verse.

      Another idea is that this has something to do with the “watchers” and Nefalim hybrids as you are implying. Not sure I agree, but who knows? It is a complex little verse. I prefer the simpler interpretation. But there are aspects of end times that will surprise us all I’m sure.

  4. Thanks for the teachings Nelson. I just recently came across your site and have enjoyed going through your articles.

    I want to make sure I’m following you correctly on this, but you believe the iron in the statue refers to heavenly authority and the clay is human frailty? What would the legs of iron be then? Just heavenly authority? Then what does the gold mean or the silver, etc.? I’m not sure I follow the need to dissect the meaning of the materials in the toes rather than just following the plain reading of the text that the final kingdom will be very unstable and divided. I do however recognize your point about the Sunni/Shia division not accounted for in the legs.

    Also, you made a comment about the stone in Daniel 2 being an asteroid perhaps. It seem quite clear that the stone is Christ and his kingdom as it becomes a great mountain and fills the earth.

    Again, thanks for the teachings and insights, it has been a thrill to read.

    1. Thanks JKA. First, yes the stone is Christ. Is it possible an asteroid is involved in the Christ’s crushing of the kingdoms of this world? Yes it is (see the Second Trumpet). So it can be both.

      Second, Iron and Clay are difficult symbols. Since I’ve written this, I’ve also considered that iron is the crusher and clay the crushee. This also fits with Psalm 2 which is critical to understanding. And of course, it can mean both heavenly authority/earthly weakness and crusher/crushee.

  5. I think we are getting into semantics here which I want to avoid and what ever you want to call it, I just don’t think we can draw confirming conclusions at this point which I think is fair since it is still far in the future. Now, it doesn’t mean you can’t have your interpretive opinions which is fine, which I stated as such but I do not agree with it. However, Psalms 2 relevant section about the iron scepter/earthenware maybe something else all together having to do perhaps with the millennial kingdom as he rules the nations firmly crushing those who do not submit to the Lord’s authority during his rule. The point is we simply do not know now. All of this is speculation which can be a good mental exercise, but we need be careful to be consistent with the theme of Daniel’s statute as earthly kingdoms used under Satanic influence to thwart the plan of God to reestablish God’s physical rule over the earth.

    I really need to go and get ready for BSF day class as we continue our study in Revelation. It has been a wonderful time of learning and discussion in our core group.

    Blessings!

    1. You are correct about Psalm 2, only the symbols of the passage are pointing to Dan. 2. The meaning of Psalm 2 is different. A symbol or quoted phrase always means the same thing throughout scripture. Hillel the Elder was the first to begin to use this interpretation technique in 100BC. Nowadays it is called “Sense and Reference” meaning a phrase has a sense, what the words mean in common sense, and it also may have a reference elsewhere in scripture that more fully explains it. Additionally, the first time a symbol is used is the meaning of that symbol. This is called the “Law of Primacy.” These are three interpretation guides that I rely on extensively, especially when looking at Revelation which has over a hunderd OT references.

  6. I hope this is not too late for a reply as I like to bounce this off on you for your opinion.
    I considered the iron being Islam and the clay being ( for lack of a better term) the progressive movement. Islam would not ” co- exist” with the progressives but she rides the beast until Islam turns against her in the end. Sort of like Erdogan said that democracy is like a streetcar you use to get you to your destination then get off.
    The progressives to me have sold themselves to satan and are demonic. They protect Islam from the islamophophics. In the U.S. I would put the president, his administration, the state department, most all of the media, university professors and on and on as progressives. Most of the world leaders are such as we’ll as UN. Again, progressives might not be the right term.

    1. Thanks for your comments Alan. It is never to late to join the discussion. I also think you give an astute assessment of the political situation. The Bible, however, usually interprets itself if we let it. That is the purpose that this blog post; to see what the symbols mean in the rest of the Bible. If the Bible already has used symbols such as iron and clay elsewhere, those symbols will continue to mean the same thing. It is tempting to insert non-biblical meaning into passages, but I think that is where a large number of prophecy teachers go astray. IMO anyway.

      1. (FROM: GOOD4U) Well, then we will agree to disagree on this point then. That is okay, this is what makes for vigorous debate. Whether it is spiritualized, Sunni/Shia or perhaps something else all together, we will just have wait until a clearer picture is given in events as time goes on and God makes it clearer for all of us. You are certainly entitled to your interpretation and that I respect.

        Blessings! Good4u

        Good4u, I moved this comment to this post where it belongs so we can continue the conversation and the most people can be edified who are interested in this topic.

        You keep calling this interpretation above a “spiritualized” interpretation. It is not. It is a “scripture interpreting scripture” interpretation. Now there are other possibilities to interpret Psalm 2:4-9, but I think we need to avoid “headline” type interpretations of scripture rather than relying on what the Bible clearly defines a symbol to mean. One other totally valid biblical interpretation based on Psalm 2 is that the iron is the “crusher” and the “earthenware” is the “crushed.” This interpretation could then mean that half of the ten kings rule islamic nations that the Beast crushed or will crush by warfare. This might include Egypt, Lybia, Sudan, Iran, and Iraq. It is also possible these are western nations that come under his control.

        But in a nutshell, if the Bible gives us a clear reference to a famous earlier passage of scripture, IMO we should carefully examine that section for clues as to meaning.

  7. I have had the idea that since the iron & clay are part of Nebuchadnezzar’s statue of coming world dominating kingdoms. This refers to the last days kingdom & such is clearly stated by Daniel & the apostle John in the Book of the Revelations. Shia & Sunni, in my opinion, don’t fit the description of a kingdom, a they will undoubtedly never agree because each wants control. My interpretation of the Iron & clay that does not mix may very well be Islam. It is a religious (koran) and political (sharia law) entity. Muslims even disagree with one another as to the correct interpretation of the koran & Mohammad’s teachings, thus the non mix of the 2.

  8. Nelson, thanks. I am going to now bounce an idea off you. I am now wondering, if it just means, very simply, as the angel said, “partially weak and partially strong/divided.” To go to the point of assigning of, say, Sunni specifically to iron and Shia specifically to earthenware may be unnecessary. Suffice to say that the kingdom is at war with itself (could be bloody infighting among Sunnis who disagree on various things, etc.) and is this not unified. So it’s simply partially strong and partially weak, because nobody can play nice. No one’s getting along well enough to avoid killing one another. The hatred between Sunni and Shia then becomes just one of a myriad of examples of this phenomenon at work in the Middle East.

    Now, I think you are going for something far more specific. And you very well may be right.

    Its it possible even that the war between the Beast and the Harlot could be another take on the iron/earthenware division?

    1. A Bible interpretation technique is called “Sense and Reference.” It is an old technique and dates back to Hillel the Elder from before Christ. The idea is that Bible verses all have a “sense,” what the words actually mean AND many times have a “reference,” they quote a phrase or symbol from an earlier part of scripture. The meaning of what the phrase or symbol had in the earlier passage is exactly the same meaning it has when it is quoted in a later passage of scripture. This is an amazingly important technique that is often overlooked. In John 1:1 for instance when John says “In the beginning was the Word,” he is quoting Genesis 1. In Revelation 1:1 when John says “The things that must soon take place,” he is quoting Daniel 2:29,45; Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, the same passage we are looking at. This is a highly overlooked aspect of scripture interpretation but was very important to our Church Fathers.

      So when you say “partially weak and partially strong,” you are absolutely correct; that is the “sense” of the words. The “reference” is what I wrote about in the article. Together the sense and reference give us the meaning. What I’m not crazy about is assigning new symbolic meaning to symbols that already exist in scripture, ie. assigning iron and earthenware to the Beast and Harlot. I could be wrong, but I perfer to keep it withing Sense and Reference. At least that is my opinion.

  9. ATS Bible Dictionary
    Iron

    “Iron” is used to illustrated slavery, strength, obstinacy, fortitude, affliction, etc., De 28:48 Job 40:18 Isaiah 48:4 Jeremiah 1:18 Ezekiel 22:18,20 Daniel 2:33. “Iron sharpeneth iron,” that is, the presence of a friend gives us more confidence and assurance. God threatens his ungrateful and perfidious people that he will make the heaven brass and the earth iron; that is, make the earth barren, and the heaven to produce no rain. Chariots of iron are chariots armed with iron spikes and scythes. See CHARIOTS. ”

    Easton’s Bible Dictionary

    “Figuratively, a yoke of iron (Deuteronomy 28:48) denotes hard service; a rod of iron (Psalm 2:9), a stern government; a pillar of iron (Jeremiah 1:18), a strong support; a furnace of iron (Deuteronomy 4:20), severe labour; a bar of iron (Job 40:18), strength; fetters of iron (Psalm 107:10), affliction; giving silver for iron (Isaiah 60:17), prosperity.”

    Could iron be something perhaps a little darker than only heavenly authority? Including heavenly authority, perhaps, but also having to do with judgement/sin? It seems to me that before the fall of Adam, there would have been no iron imagery in holy writ. He may rule with a rod of iron, but it wasn’t His original intent.

    The angel does exegete the iron/earthenware imagery: “And whereas the toes of the feet were part of iron and part of earthenware, part of the kingdom shall be strong, and part of it shall be broken. Whereas thou sawest the iron mixed with earthenware, they shall be mingled with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave together, as the iron does not mix itself with earthenware.” I do think this points to the kingdom being at war with itself, which we definitely will see in a Caliphate.

    Can this passage have a double meaning, in the plainest sense and also in the spiritual? I do find your study here to be very compelling, Nelson, but am not convinced that it needs to replace the Sunni/Shia explanation. Can’t they co-exist?

    1. Thanks Taryn, great info from the Bible Dictionary. The problem I have with a Sunni/Shia interpretation is that “iron” is the metal of the fourth kingdom and then in the time of the ten kings something else, “earthenware,” is added. This is completely inconsistent with a Sunni/Shia explanation. Sunni and Shia both date back to the earliest days of Islam. “Earthenware” is also completely different than metal, yet Sunni and Shia was almost identical. They may not adhere to each other, but the rest of the symbolism seems to fail. I would love to insert Sunni and Shia here myself, it would tie up a lot of lose ends, but it doesn’t seem to fit.

  10. Lots of intriguing theories regarding the 10 toes clay-iron mixture, Nelson. Some of which I had never considered before and since we have not yet arrived at the ‘appointed time’ for this part of the prophetic Word to be made manifest, one theory is as plausible as any other. Interesting discussion on a rainy Father’s Day afternoon here for me.

    Blessings!

    1. good4u, These theories are interesting, but the take away for me is that there will be ten kings. That is really what I am looking for as the “sign.” They receive authority with the Beast for a short time. That’s the “road-sign” that tells us where we are in the end times.

  11. Hi Nelson,
    I find your symbolic literacy very insightful and inspiring. But it’s your last comment at the end of your essay that speaks to the heart of the matter,…”heavenly authority is not meant for humans without glorified bodies, ONLY then , (when humans reign alongside Christ), will a true one world government work.”….that was well expressed and spoke volumes to me. Unfortunately that message is not one that is really taken to heart, not really anyway. Within this age of such technological advance, where human intellect itself becomes an idol (such as the statue itself) to be worshipped and praised to the demise of Christ’s teachings of compassion, mercy, love of one another ..etc..we will experience the Tribulation most of us feel coming. Im not saying we need to abandon technology, but its a dangerous thing without love at the center, because hubris pride can mask the glory of us being made in the image of our creator. My point being, perhaps the ten toes of clay and iron is the creation of a new Adam.?.. (atom)……transhumanism is a very real thing, and genetic modified organisms is well under way. We eat them everday when corn products are used. They just released gmo moths (yes, real live moths) in New York. What can be more “acting like God” than to create a new species all together,? and it takes tremendous amount of hubris intellect with no religion to be” ok “with that. Perhaps thats why the iron and earthenware won’t cleave together even using the seed of man.

  12. When, in reply to what I said concerning your refusal to follow God’s lead in considering the involvement of fallen angels, and the Nephilim connection to “mixing their seed with the seed of men”, you mentioned your intention to write this article. I thought you were implying you were going to consider all scriptural possibilities. Obviously not!

    1. As I replied earlier in the comment stream, I am open to all possibilities. Fallen angel mixing theory is not outside the realm of possibility. IMO, it isn’t the best biblical rendering of this passage, however. You wanted to know what I thought this passage is all about and I wrote it. Sorry it isn’t in concert with your theories.

  13. Hi Nelson!

    To me, it seems you are taking the “broad” view of the 10 kings-10 toes of Daniel’s statute summarizing it in more general characteristics or traits of the final Beast Empire. Whereas, both Joel Richardson and Mark Davidson view it more “narrowly” stating it is likely to be the two major sects of Islam that the Prophet Daniel envisions. I don’t disagree with any of you and perhaps all of points of view are correct.

    But you are certainly right in this, Nelson, that this final Beast Empire will be unstable and filled with deep division and infighting. Therefore, it will never accomplish world domination that it seeks for Messiah Jesus will return and put a stop to it.

    Blessings!

    1. Nelson, as always – another insightful post. But don’t ignore the obvious meaning of mixed in Hebrew:

      Strong’s Concordance (word # 6151)
      arab: to mix
      Original Word: עֲרַב
      Part of Speech: Verb
      Transliteration: arab
      Phonetic Spelling: (ar-ab’)
      Short Definition: combine
      Daniel 2:41
      HEB: חֲזַ֔יְתָה פַּ֨רְזְלָ֔א מְעָרַ֖ב בַּחֲסַ֥ף טִינָֽא׃
      NAS: the iron mixed with common
      KJV: the iron mixed with miry
      INT: saw the iron mixed clay common

      There is a reason authors like Joel Richardson and I believe this mix refers to Israel’s Shiite and Sunni Arab neighbors. Don’t ignore the possibility that Israel’s future enemies are its current Arab enemies.

      — David Montaigne, author of Antichrist 2016-2019: Mystery Babylon, Barack Obama & the Islamic Caliphate

      1. David, I am a strong propent of an Islamic beast empire. I also used to quote this passage as a proof text. I no longer do. Iron and earthenware are completely dissimilar materials. Iron is the material of the fourth empire, yet this material combines with something different in the empire of the ten kings. I think we can all agree that Sunni and Shia are very similar, maybe two alloys of iron not metal and non-metal. Plus assigning meaning based on 21st century observation rather than hernuetics is dangerous. That’s why I write the article to show what the symbols mean in other biblical reference texts. IMO the reference texts are much more important than most have considered in interpretation. The use of “Arab” as the Hebrew word for “mixed” in this passage is another of those interesting Hebrew words (hamas=violence, etc.) but doesn’t biblically support anything as the Jews referred to Arabs as a mixed people. This word especially carries no special Arab meaning in context “mixed with the seed of men.”
        There are multitude of proof texts for an Islamic Beast. It doesn’t hinge on this word.
        I used to support your same view on the Hebrew word “Arab” but eventually realized it didn’t make sense and searched scripture for the meanings of iron and earthenware. My view may not be completely correct yet but I think we’re closer.

  14. Nelson: First time hearing this interpretation. How do you reconcile the Rock (Christ) hitting the image and pulverizing the whole image, including the toes?

  15. Brother, I always enjoy reading your work. This is very insightful! I have wrestled with the Sunni/Shia related interpretation of this passage and I was stuck with the thought that there was something missing. You have certainly handled the scriptures carefully in order to produce a very compelling understanding of the text. I will repost.

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