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DREAM, PART 4
after you shall arise another kingdom inferior to yours; then another, a third
kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth. (Daniel 2:39, NKJV)
image seen by Nebuchadnezzar in his dream represented a succession of
world-kingdoms beginning with his reign in Babylon. The reign of Nebuchadnezzar
began in 605 B.C., which was the height of the Babylonian Empire. It lasted
until 539 B.C. when it was overthrown by Cyrus the Persian in conjunction with
his uncle, Darius the Mede. The Medo-Persian Empire was in power from 539 to 331
B.C. when it was overthrown by Alexander the Great. They Babylonian Empire
conquered Judah and took the Israelites into a captivity that lasted seventy
years. While this was God’s judgment on an apostate Israel, the treatment of
the Jews under Nebuchadnezzar was relatively benign. Under the rule of the
Persians, it was Cyrus the king that allowed the Jews to return to Jerusalem and
rebuild the temple and the city walls. Again, the treatment of the Jews under
the Persians was relatively benign.
third kingdom is the Greek Empire, pictured in the dream as the belly and thighs
made of bronze and said to be a kingdom that would rule over all the earth. As
silver is inferior to gold, bronze is inferior to silver. As such, the Greek
Empire was inferior in wealth and duration to the Persian Empire.
Greek Empire was established by Alexander the Great. He was born on July 20 or
21, 356 B.C. and he studied under Aristotle until the age of 16. Aristotle was a
Greek philosopher who studied under Plato from the age of 18 until he was 37.
His writings cover may subjects and were the first comprehensive system of
Western philosophy. Upon the death of Alexander, he was denounced for not
holding the gods in honor and fled for his life and died of natural causes in
332 B.C. Alexander succeeded his father, Philip II of Macedon in October 336
B.C. after Philip was assassinated by one of his bodyguards for reasons that are
was the general of the Greek army and after succeeding his father as Emperor, he
used the great power of his army to expand the Greek Empire, which eventually
became one of the largest empires of the ancient world, ranging from Greece to
what is now Pakistan. Daniel’s explanation of the dream said that “he shall
rule over all the earth.” The extent of his kingdom was essentially the known
inhabited earth of Daniel’s time. It was said that Alexander boasted that he
had conquered the world, and then sat down and wept because there was not
another world to conquer. He was undefeated in battle and he is considered to be
one of history’s most successful commanders.
Greeks were descendants of Javan, the fourth son of Japheth, and grandson of
Noah. They migrated to and settled in the area we know as Turkey and Greece.
Ancient Greece was divided into five parts: Epirus, Peloponnesus, Greece proper,
Thessaly, and Macedonia. Geographically, Greece is an appendage dropping down
from Eastern Europe, separated from Asia Minor by the Aegean Sea. Epirus was
located on the west side of this appendage. Peloponnesus was a peninsula at the
south and joined to the rest of Greece by the isthmus of Corinth. Greece proper
was directly north of Peloponnesus, and Thessaly and Macedonia to the north of
had four sons who settled these areas and became the heads of different branches
or tribes of the Greek nation. Elisha, the eldest son, settled in the
Poloponesus; Trasis, the second son, settled in Greece proper; Chittim, the
third son, settled in Macedonia; and Dodanim, the fourth son, along with his
descendants settled in Thessaly and Epirus. As the families separated from each
other their language corrupted into four different dialects known as Attic,
Ionic, Doric, and Ćolic. Those who study the Greek language today encounter
these different dialects.
history is divided into four periods. The first is the period of petty kingdom,
which began some time before 2000 B.C. and lasted about one thousand years. The
next period begins after the siege of Troy, somewhere around 1180 B.C., and
lasting until the reign of the Persian King, Darius the Great in 522 B.C., about
660 years. The third period lasted from the time of Darius the Great to the
death of Alexander the Great in 323 B.C., about 199 years. And the fourth period
extended from the Death of Alexander the Great to the final subjection under the
Romans in 146 B.C. Altogether, the Greek history ran for a period of about 2,150
the Great lived until June 10 or 11, 323 B.C. He tried to extend his empire to
what he called the ends of the world and the Great Outer Sea by invading India
in 326 B.C. He eventually was forced to turn back at the demand of his army and
returned to Babylon, the city he planned to use as the capital of his empire. He
died in the palace of Nebuchadnezzar II at the age of 32. It is possible he was
assassinated by poisoning, but there is also the possibility he may have died of
malaria or typhoid fever.
had no legitimate heir. As he was dying he was asked to whom he wanted to
bequeath his kingdom and he answered “to the strongest.” The Empire
subsequently was divided into four parts administered by his generals between
whom there was constant rivalry. This rivalry continued for generations and
completely undermined the Empire.
the Jews fared well under Babylon and Persia, they did not fare so well under
the Greek Empire. Judah constantly was caught between the warring factions of
the divided Greek Empire and some of the most awful events in the history of
Israel happened at the hands of the bronze kingdom.
time, God poured out His judgment on the bronze kingdom using the iron legs and
feet of the image in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream to bring it to its end.