Since the rock in Daniel 2:34 struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay (insted of its legs of iron) doesn’t that mean that God’s kingdom (the church) would be set up when the Roman Empire was divided? If the church was setup around 29-33 A.D shouldn’t the rock hit the legs of iron later, since at that time the Roman Empire was not divided?


Good question. It is a hard balance to find, but I believe we need to be cautious to not read too much into the details of a prophetic vision. I am prepared to accept that I may have done this a time or two myself, so I try to remind myself to be cautious. In interpreting a vision, we need to bear in mind the intent of the vision. In the case of Daniel Chapter two, the intent is to show that God will take care of his people, and that God will establish a (spiritual) kingdom which will outlast and be greater than all worldly kingdoms.

As for the details, it does, as you say, describe the "rock" striking the statue in the feet of iron and clay. To me, at the very least, it implies that this "rock" struck at the fourth and last part of the statue, which is symbolic of Rome. Therefore, the church/kingdom being prophesied here is being prophesied to come in the time of Rome.

Does the fact that Daniel tells us it strikes the statue on its feet of iron and clay prove that the church would rise after Rome was divided into East and West? I would say, "maybe." Or possibly, he is saying that of the four kingdoms, the one during which this will happen will be the fourth–the one just described as iron mixed with clay. Daniel did NOT say that it would strike the legs after this kingdom divided, so we are left unsure. Given what actually happened, from what we know of history, I would say that the second interpretation is apparently the correct one. Notice that the vision says that the rock broke to pieces all four kingdoms. Technically, this is not true, as Babylon, Achemenid Persia and the Greek kingdoms had already been destroyed before the church began. However, figuratively, it did destroy all four, as it broke the successor to the other three. We should ask what is the point of the vision and not push the details too hard.

John Oakes

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