In chapter 2 of the Book of Daniel (written in the 6th century BC), the prophet, a Babylonian captive, interprets a vision of a statue for King Nebuchadnezzar who had the dream. The statue in the dream had a head of gold, a chest and arms of silver, a belly and thighs of bronze, legs of iron, and feet mixed with iron and clay. Impressive right? No, what’s impressive is the interpretation of the dream.
What follows is a description of every empire from his time to the Roman Empire and into our day! Daniel’s interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in chapter 2 describes the succession of four historical empires: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome followed by a loose conglomeration of nations.
Rome would be the strongest but would eventually break up into a loose coalition of countries (symbolized by the iron and clay feet) as iron and clay do not mix. So accurate were his predictions that critics assert they must have been written sometime in the second century. Even if that were true, what we see today in the feet of clay and iron was clearly predicted 2600 years ago.
We know from modern textual studies that Daniel wrote in languages no longer used by the second century. Also, the book of Daniel had long been part of the accepted Jewish Canon (collection of Holy books). Also, as mentioned above, the passage points to a loosely held coalition of nations (feet of iron mixed with clay) after the four world empires, exactly what we see in our day. Critics literally don’t know what to do with this passage.
How would Daniel have known that there would be three successive empires (each swallowing up the previous), followed by a breakdown of empire into smaller loosely connected countries (some strong, some weak)?
Because Biblical prophecy is pre-recorded history…and compelling evidence that God guided the writings of the prophets.