Nebuchadnezzar’s dream involves a statue of a man made from different materials (Dan. 2:31-33). A stone then hits the statue, destroys it, turns into a mountain, and fills the earth (Dan. 2:34-35). Like lots of other prophecies, these aren’t literal things; rather the items represent other things. In this prophecy Daniel tells us (Dan. 2:36-45) that the different materials and the stone all represent a series of kingdoms that follow on from each other.

The first kingdom is Nebuchadnezzar’s own kingdom, Babylon.

You, O king…are the head of gold. (Dan. 2:37-38)

A second kingdom is mentioned:

Another kingdom inferior to you shall arise after you… (Dab. 2:39)

According to the records of history,1 this was the the kingdom of the Medes and the Persians. It is also recorded in the Bible, in Dan. 5, where the Medes and the Persians took over from Babylon:

…your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians. (Dan. 5:28)

A third kingdom is mentioned:

…yet a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth. (Dan. 2:39)

According to the records of history,2 this was the kingdom of the Greeks. It is also recorded in the Bible, in the prophecy in Dan. 8 about a ram and a goat, where the goat destroys the ram (Dan. 8:3-7):

…the ram that you saw with the two horns, these are the kings of Media and Persia. {21} And the goat is the king of Greece. … (Dan. 8:20-21)

A fourth and final kingdom is mentioned:

…there shall be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron… (Dan. 2:40)

According to the records of history,3 this was the Roman Empire.

This last kingdom — the Roman Empire — is said to then become fragmented:

And as you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, it shall be a divided kingdom… (Dan. 2:41-43)

After this, when the world is more fragmented, a stone comes, removes all the other kingdoms, and God’s kingdom is set up in their place:

And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever, {45} just as you saw that a stone was cut from a mountain by no human hand, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold. … (Dan. 2:44-45)

So, as Daniel tells us, the stone represents the kingdom of God. This will be set up when the Lord Jesus returns to the earth:

…when they [the disciples] had come together, they asked him [Jesus], “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” {7} He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. …” {9} And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. {10} And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, {11} and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:6-7,9-11)

When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. (Mat. 25:31)

There are a few wonderful and amazing things about this prophecy in Dan. 2:

Firstly, the prophecy came true! This gives us evidence that the Bible is a very special book, and we can confidently trust its claim to be from God.

Secondly, because we know that the Bible has already successfully predicted world events, we can trust its prophecies about the events still to happen — i.e. we can trust from Dan. 2 that one day God’s kingdom will be set up on the earth.

This last point is fantastic because God’s kingdom will be a wonderful place, ruled by a perfect, compassionate person, the Lord Jesus (Ps. 72:16; Rev. 7:16-17; Isa. 2:2-4; 11:3-4; 65:20; Mat. 25:31). This is exactly what the world needs and, one day, it will happen. Our prayer to God is, “Your kingdom come” (Mat. 6:10). ‘…Amen. Come, Lord Jesus’ (Rev. 22:20)



  1. Gascoigne, Bamber. “History of Iran (Persia)” HistoryWorld. From 2001, ongoing.
  2. Gascoigne, Bamber. “History of Iran (Persia)” HistoryWorld. From 2001, ongoing.
  3. Gascoigne, Bamber. “History of Greece” HistoryWorld. From 2001, ongoing.
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