Faith & Trust

Proof of Prophecy: When the Jewish people went into exile

The following monumental vision appears in the Book of Daniel (Chapter 2). This vision occurred during the first time the Jewish people went into exile after it had lived as a people in its autonomous state headed by their own king, and the exiles were understandably overwhelmed with despair. G-d sent a message to His people of their future history which would begin in this first exile and last until the End of Days:

Now in the second year of Nebuchadnezzar's reign, Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, and his spirit was troubled, and his sleep was interrupted [because he had forgotten the dream]. And the king commanded to summon the necromancers, the astrologers, the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans to tell the king his dreams, and they came and stood before the king. And the king said to them, “I dreamed a dream, and my spirit is troubled to know the dream.”

            The Chaldeans spoke to the king in Aramaic, “May the king live forever! Tell your servants the dream, and we shall tell the interpretation.” The king replied and said to the Chaldeans, “The matter has escaped me. If you do not let me know the dream and its meaning, you shall be torn limb from limb, and your houses shall be made into a dungheap. But if you tell the dream and its meaning, you will receive gifts and lavish presents and great honor from me; just tell me the dream and its meaning.” …

            The Chaldeans replied before the king and said, “There is no man on the earth who can declare the king's word; because no great and powerful king has asked such a thing of any necromancer, astrologer, or Chaldean. And the matter that the king asks is difficult, and there is no other who can tell it before the king but the angels, whose dwelling is not with people.”     

            In view of this, the king was in great wrath and anger and ordered to destroy all the wise men of Babylon. A decree was issued, and the wise men started being slain.

             Daniel and his colleagues were also sought to be slain. Then Daniel answered with counsel and good sense to Arioch, the king's chief executioner… “Why was the decree issued so hastily by the king?” Then Arioch made the matter known to Daniel.

            Then Daniel entered and requested of the king that time be given him, and the interpretation would be told to the king. Then Daniel went home and let his colleagues, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, know of the matter, so they could pray and beg the G-d of heaven for this secret, so that Daniel and his colleagues should not perish with the remaining wise men of Babylon.           

            The secret was revealed to Daniel in the vision of the night… (After verses in which Daniel expresses his gratitude to G-d,) Daniel answered the king and said, “The secret that the king asks, no wise men, astrologers, necromancers, or demonologists can tell the king. But there is a G-d in heaven Who reveals secrets, and He let King Nebuchadnezzar know what will be at the end of days; that is your dream… You, O king, your thoughts came while on your bed about what will be after this, and the Revealer of secrets has let you know what will be.               

            O King, you were watching, and behold, one great image (of a man), an image which had a large base and unusual splendor, was standing opposite you, and its form was frightening. That image had a head of fine gold, its breast and its arms were of silver, its belly and thighs were of copper. Its legs were of iron, and its feet (the part nearest the ground) were partly of iron and partly of clay.        

            You were watching until one stone broke off by itself, and it struck the image on its feet of iron and clay and crumbled them.

            Then the iron, the clay, the copper, the silver, and the gold crumbled together, and they were like chaff from the summer threshing floors, and the wind carried them off, and no place was found for them. The stone that struck the image became a huge mountain and filled the entire earth.  

            This is the dream, and its interpretation I shall recite before the king.   

            The G-d of heaven gave you, O King, the King of kings, a strong, powerful, and prominent kingdom. And wherever people, wild beasts, and birds of the sky dwell, He has given into your hand and has given you dominion over them all. (There will be no other king who will rule to the extent that you did.) You are the head of gold.

            And after you (Babylonia) will arise another kingdom lower than you (just as silver is less valuable than gold. This refers to the the Medean and Persian empires[1] , which was ruled by two emperors, Cyrus and Darius, which is why the silver was separated into the two idol’s arms).

            A third kingdom of copper will rule over the entire earth. (This is the Greek empire headed by Alexander of Macedonia and the kings that succeeded him.(

            A fourth kingdom will be as strong as iron, for iron crumbles and flattens everything. Just as iron shatters everything, it will crumble and shatter (all the empires that preceded it — this is a reference to the Roman empire and Christianity.)

            And what you saw, the feet and the toes which were partly of clay and partly of iron, this is because (unlike the previous empires who ascended to kingship only when the previous one had completely disintegrated) it will be a divided kingdom that will partly have the strength of iron… And the toes of the feet were partly iron and partly clay, for part of the kingdom will be strong and part of it will be weak. (Part of it will rule over many countries, but then another large empire will arise which will be weaker, like clay is weaker in comparison to iron. This refers to the Islamic religion.)

            [And now, dear reader, we will bring the Malbim’s words[2] on this verse: “After-wards, he looked at the toes at the end of the idol, which hints to the final period of these kingdoms, and saw that the toes are ten, because in the End of Days, the general Roman empire will be divided among Edom and Ishmael into ten kingdoms, which are signified by the ten toes of the two legsalone. There will be ten large kingdoms in the world. There will no longer be one empire that rules alone, but ten that rule over all the world, and they will be divided between Edom and Ishmael.” The iron empire will help the clay empire. It is not hard to guess which Christian and Muslim countries are prominent today.]

            And what you saw, iron mixed with clay, [connotes] that they will mingle with each other [the clay kingdoms will marry women from the iron kingdoms to strengthen their power][3], but they will not cleave one to the other, just as iron does not mix with clay.

            And in the days of these (ten) kings, the G-d of heaven will set up an everlasting kingdom that will not be destroyed, and it will crumble and destroy all these kingdoms, and it will stand forever.

            This is why you saw that the stone broke off itself (this means the process was not natural but miraculous), and it crumbled the iron, the copper, the clay, the silver, and the gold

[It should have said the gold, silver, copper, iron and clay according to their order in the idol. But Daniel changed their order and mentioned the iron next to the copper and the clay next to the gold and silver, hinting that in those days, gold (Babylonia) and silver (Persia) will no longer be idol worshippers, but will serve the adherents of the religion of clay (Islam), while copper (Greece) will also no longer be idol worshippers, but will become an adherent of a different religion, the religion of iron (Rome-Vatican-Christianity) — Malbim[.

* * *

More than 2,500 years have passed since Nebuchadnezzar dreamed this dream and Daniel had his vision. In every generation, our people has looked for and found the next station on its anticipated historical process.

Today, it is obvious that we have passed the period of Babylonia, Persia, and Greece, and are now facing the end of the Roman period, apparently before the fulfillment of the intermarriages between the “iron and clay toes.”

The meaning of these words is astonishing. According to this divine prophecy given in the Book of Daniel, in a short time, a stone will break off by itself ( — the Jewish people will suddenly become a world actor), which will pulverize and consume the idol, and the stone (— the Jewish kingdom) will become a large mountain that will fill the entire earth.

This complex prophecy covered many generations. Other shorter prophecies revealed what will happen in a particular generation. One who studies the Bible properly, will find them.

 

 


[1] This vision revealed to Daniel not only the name of the empires but also the order of these empires and the extent of their power. In the vision about the ram and the he-goat, Daniel wanted to know more and there the angel explained more to him. See Daniel, Chapter 8.

 

[2] The Malbim’s commentary is famous for meticulously explaining the Biblical text based on the textual nuances in Hebrew. Many of his comments attempt to explain the slight differences between each word despite the great similarity in their meaning. He interpreted many esoteric prophecies and only after the passage of many years has it become clear that he had foreseen the future and precisely understood the meaning of the prophetic text.   

[3] It is of interest to note that our own generation has seen Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Egypt and other nearby Muslim nations being supplied their weapons by Germany, France, the former Soviet Union, the U.S., etc.

 

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