NEBUCHADNEZZAR’S DREAM: THE GREEK ANTICHRIST
Nebuchadnezzar’s dream is recorded in the second chapter of Daniel’s prophecy. The dream is revealed in verses 31-35. We learn that Nebuchadnezzar dreamed of an image with a head of gold, its breast was silver, its belly and thighs were brass, its legs were iron, and its feet and toes were mixed iron with clay. In verse 35 we read that the stone that “smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth”
The interpretation of the dream is recorded in verses 38-45. We learn that the head of gold represented Nebuchadezzar and his kingdom, “Thou (Nebuchadnezzar) art this head of gold”. The second, third and fourth kingdoms are not named in this passage, but by comparing Scripture with Scripture we may determine what kingdoms are represented by the image of Nebuchanezzar’s dream.
We read in verse 39, “After thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee…..”. According to Scripture the kingdom that arose after Babylon was the kingdom of Medo-Persia. How do we know that? In the fifth chapter of Daniel we read of Belshazzar’s (Nebuchanezzar’s son) vision of writing on the wall. That vision is interpreted by Daniel in verses 25-28. What is of importance to our present study is the kingdom that will replace the Babylonian kingdom is named in this passage, so I will quote verse 28, “Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians”. We learn then, that the second kingdom, the kingdom represented by the breast of silver, is the Medo-Persian kingdom.
As the Old Testament concludes we are not told of the kingdom that replaced the Medo-Persian kingdom. But as we begin the New Testament we are indeed told by the Holy Spirit which the third kingdom is, it is Rome. We read in Matt. 22:21, “….Then He saith unto them, ‘Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s…..'”. And in Luke 3:1, “Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar…..”. We know therefore from Scripture that the third kingdom, the kingdom of brass, is Rome. But many will object to that because in man’s history it was Greece that replaced the Medo-Persian kingdom. Let us consider that objection.*
First, please note I am not suggesting that Greece did not follow the Medo-Persian kingdom, I am suggesting that the kingdom given in Scripture is not Greece, it is the the Roman Kingdom. There are two reasons that I do not agree that Greece was the third kingdom of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. 1) The Word of God does not tell us of the Greek kingdom of those days. 2) If Greece was the third kingdom that would make Rome the fourth and as the reader shall see as he/she continues in this study, the kingdom of Satan is the fifth and the kingdom of God is the sixth kingdom. Six is, of course, the number of the antichrist, i.e. the number of sin. That should throw up a red flag. While I do not believe that numbers can prove or disprove an interpretation, I do believe that numbers should be considered.
Also, let us consider the origins of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. While it is true that it was Nebuchadnezzar who saw the statue in his dream, it is clear that the dream was given him by God. In other words, God originated the dream and the statue of that dream. I’m sure the reader will agree that God had certain kingdoms in mind that were represented by the various parts of the statue. In order to understand what God had in mind, we must look at God’s Word, not man’s history. God’s Word does not mention Greece as the successor to the Medo-Persian Empire, therefore we can not conclude that God had Greece in mind as the third kingdom.
Let us also consider the point of the dream. I believe the point of the dream is that God’s kingdom will replace forever the rule of the Gentile kingdoms over Jerusalem. That point is in no way diminished by leaving out Greece.
But one may ask, “why did God leave out Greece from the statue?”. I do not believe that is an answer that must be discovered in order to understand this passage, and I cannot say with any degree of certainty why God left out Greece, or did He? I think it is interesting that we read several times in the New Testament the word “Greeks” used of Gentiles as opposed to Jews or Hebrews, and the term is not at all limited to those of Greece (see Acts 6:1, 14:1 etc.). But these Gentiles were in Rome which, by then, had conquered Greece. Why were they not called “Romans” instead of “Greeks”? We all know that the Roman Empire drew so heavily on the Greek Empire that the term “Greco-Roman Empire” is often used. Could it be that God saw the Greek and Roman Empires as one? That would, in my opinion, possibly account for the belly and thighs (which one does not generally think of as one part of the body, but rather two) as being of brass.
The point is, however, that in order to discover which kingdoms were in the mind of God when He presented the statue to Nebuchadnezzar, we must search His Word and not man’s recorded history.
We are now ready to consider the fourth kingdom. But in order to determine which kingdom the legs and toes of iron mixed with clay represents, we will first determine which is the fifth kingdom and go backward from that. It is clear that the fifth kingdom is the kingdom of God for we read in verse 44, “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”. The kingdom set up by the God of heaven is, of course, the kingdom that will be established at the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. By going backwards from the kingdom of God, i.e. the fifth kingdom, we are able to use Scripture to determine which kingdom is the the fourth kingdom.*
We read in Rev. 19 of the second coming of Jesus Christ. “And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse; and He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He doth judge and make war”. In verse 16 we read that “on His vesture and on His thighs a name was written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS”. In verse 19 we read that some had “gathered to make war against Him That sat on the horse and against His army”. Verse 20 tells us exactly who the kingdom of God will replace. “and the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast and them that worshipped his image”. The one who will be destroyed by the second coming of Christ, who will be replaced by the kingdom of God, is the antichrist, and his kingdom. I believe therefore, that we may conclude that the fourth kingdom of Nebuchadnezzar’s image is the kingdom of the antichrist. So the kingdom of the feet and toes that is composed of mixed iron and clay in Nebuchanezzar’s image is the kingdom of the antichrist.
As we turn to Old Testament prophecy of the end times we will see that it confirms what we have read in Rev. 19, i.e. the kingdom of the antichrist will be replaced by the kingdom of God. We read in Dan. 8:23-24 of the antichrist, “and in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences shall stand up. and his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. and through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand”. The phrase “broken without hand” takes us to Dan. 2:34, “….a stone was cut out without hands to smote the image…”. This passage is clear; the kingdom of the antichrist will be destroyed by the second coming of Christ, “without hands”. Once we discover what kingdom will be replaced by the kingdom of God, we will know from which kingdom the antichrist will come. What kingdom is it that will be replaced by the kingdom of God?
I believe a short study of Daniel chapter eight is crucial at this time in order to determine when the prophecy recorded in that chapter will be fulfilled. Verses 2-14 of chapter eight record Daniel’s dream. In verse 15 we read that Daniel “sought for the meaning” of his dream. Then verse 17 tells us quite specifically when this prophecy will be fulfilled. That verse reads, “……..Understand O man, for at the time of the end shall be the vision”.
Daniel 12:4, 6 and 7 use the same Hebrew word translated “end” as does Dan. 8:17, quoted above. A comparison of those verses will show that the term “time of the end” is used of the time which includes the tribulation, i.e. the end times. “But thou Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end” (verse 4). “How long shall it be till the end of these wonders?” (verse 6). “….It shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all the things shall be finished” (verse 7). The term “a time, times, and an half” refers to the three and one-half years of the great tribulation (see Rev. 12:14).
In short, Dan. chapter eight is an end time propehcy. With that in mind let us continue with our study of that chapter. In chapter eight of his prophecy Daniel records the vision of a ram with two horns which, we are told in the interpretation represents Medo-Persia. “The ram that thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia” (verse 20). (This is not to be confused with the Medo-Persian kingdom of Old Testament times, again this is an end time prophecy). In his visions Daniel also saw a goat, which we are told in 8:21 represents the king of Greece. “and the rough goat is the king of Grecia…..”. Verse 22 describes the breaking up of Greece into four kingdoms. And verse 22 describes the appearance of the antichrist. Let me quote verses 22-23 for the sake of clarity so that there is no confusion as to the kingdom from which the antichrist will come. “And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king. Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power. And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up”. Because the antichrist comes from Greece, I believe we may conclude that the kingdom represented by the legs of iron is Greece.
The eleventh chapter of Daniel is another passage that tells us that the antichrist will come from Greece. In verse 21 we read, “And in his estate shall rise up a vile person”. In verse 31 we read that this vile person “shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate”. It is the antichrist that will “pollute the sanctuary”, and will “take away the daily sacrifice” . It is the antichrist that will “place the abomination that maketh desolate” (see Dan. 9:27) on the wing of the temple. In order to determine from which kingdom this “vile person” i.e. the antichrist will come, let us go back to Dan. 10:20 . “When I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come”. In verse 21 we read, “I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth…..”. Verses 21b and 11:1 are parenthetical, but in verse 11:2 we read, “And now will I shew thee the truth.
The paper on this web-site called “Have Any Of The Prophecies Of Daniel Eleven Been Fulfilled? proves from Scripture that the eleventh chapter of Daniel completes the prophecy of the eighth chapter of Daniel. That is to say, both chapters are prophecies of the end times. Also, because, as we have seen, chapter eight tells us that the antichrist will come from Greece, and chapter eleven is that same prophecy in more detail, it too shows that the antichrist will come from Greece.
To summarize: 1) The head of gold represents Babylon. 2) The breast and arms of silver represent Medo-Persia. 3) The belly and thighs of brass represent Rome. 4) The legs of iron represent Greece of the end times, and the feet and toes of mixed iron and clay represent the kingdom of the antichrist during the tribulation. 5) The kingdom cut out without hands represents the kingdom of God which will be established at the time of the second coming of Christ.
In short, I believe that the antichrist will come from Greece. At this point in time (2014) it may not seem that way, but we are not yet in the end times, therefore what we see now means nothing in terms of the end times. For the scriptural evidence that we are not, as of 2014, in the end times please see the paper on how we can know when the present dispensation will end and when the end times will begin.
*The bold type used in the quotations were added.
This paper was written by Joyce Pollard. If you would like to respond to the views expressed please e-mail at: email@example.com