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by Dr. John Thomas
But as there was a mingling of iron and clay in the structure of the feet, while the toes constituted unitedly the iron dominion, they should not cleave to one another, but should be independent and antagonistic kingdoms.
Lastly, the king was given to understand that the smiting of the image by the stone on the feet represented the breaking in pieces and consumption of all the toe-kingdoms by the God of heaven, who should set up in their place a kingdom which shall never be destroyed, nor left to other people.
Such was the prophetic interpretation which was given with the dream about twenty-five centuries ago.
I shall now briefly outline the historical interpretation, and then consider what yet remains to be accomplished.
The interpreter has determined the commencement of the image.
It goes no further back than the time of Nebuchadnezzar, whose dynasty was superseded by a two-armed monarchy, in the reign of his son's son, Belshazzar, b.
This was the silver dominion of the Medes and Persians.
After 208 years, this was overturned by Alexander of Macedon, b.
His dominion exceeded that of Babylon and Persia, extending from the remote confines of Macedonia to the Indus, or as it is expressed, "bearing rule over all the earth".
This was the dominion of "the brazen-coated Greeks," answering to the brazen parts of the image.
After a few years the empire of brass was divided into four kingdoms, two of which had especial relations with the land of Canaan upon which the kingdom of the Stone is to be established.
These two, therefore, are alone represented in the image.
They answer to the two brazen thighs; and are known in history as the Syro-Macedonian kingdom of the north, that is, from Jerusalem; and the Greco-Egyptian kingdom of the south.
The northern kingdom continued till b.
67, when it became attached to the iron leg; the southern kingdom, however, "continued more years than the king of the north," even thirty-seven, when it also merged into the iron dominion.
From this epoch, the iron monarchy prevailed over all antagonists.
It is known in history as the Roman.
In the fourth century after Christ it was finally divided into the Eastern Roman, and the Western Roman, empires, answering to the two legs of iron.
Though divided thus, the Roman majesty was considered as one.
The date of the decision was a.