Daniel 2:40
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
"Then there will be a fourth kingdom as strong as iron; inasmuch as iron crushes and shatters all things, so, like iron that breaks in pieces, it will crush and break all these in pieces.

King James Bible
And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise.

Darby Bible Translation
And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth everything, and as iron that breaketh all these, so shall it break in pieces and bruise.

World English Bible
The fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron, because iron breaks in pieces and subdues all things; and as iron that crushes all these, shall it break in pieces and crush.

Young's Literal Translation
And the fourth kingdom is strong as iron, because that iron is breaking small, and making feeble, all things, even as iron that is breaking all these, it beateth small and breaketh.

Daniel 2:40 Parallel
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

And the fourth kingdom - Represented in the image by the legs of iron, and the feet "part of iron, and part of clay," Daniel 2:33. The first question which arises here is, what kingdom is referred to by this? In regard to this, there have been two leading opinions: one, that it refers to the Roman empire; the other, that it refers to the kingdoms or dynasties that immediately succeeded the reign of Alexander the Great; embracing the kingdoms of the Seleucidae and Lagidae, Syria, and Egypt - in the language of Prof. Stuart, who adopts this opinion, "that the legs and feet were symbols of that intermingled and confused empire which sprung up under the Grecian chiefs who finally succeeded him," (Alexander the Great). - "Com. on Daniel," p. 173. For the reasoning by which this opinion is supported, see Prof. Stuart, pp. 173-193. The common opinion has been, that the reference is to the Roman empire, and in support of this opinion the following conditions may be suggested:

(1) The obvious design of the image was to symbolize the succession of great monarchies, which would precede the setting up of the kingdom of the Redeemer, and which would have an important agency in preparing the world for that. The Roman empire was in itself too important, and performed too important an agency in preparing the world for that, to be omitted in such an enumeration.

(2) The kingdom here referred to was to be in existence at the time symbolized by the cutting of the stone out of the mountain, for, during the continuance of that kingdom, or under it, "the God of heaven was to set up a kingdom which should never be destroyed," Daniel 2:44. But the kingdoms of the Seleucidae and the Lagidae - the "intermingled and confused empires that sprang up" after Alexander the Great - had ceased before that time, being superseded by the Roman.

(3) unless the Roman power be represented, the symmetry of the image is destroyed, for it would make what was, in fact, one kingdom represented by two different metals - brass and iron. We have seen above that the Babylonian empire was represented appropriately by gold; the Medo-Persian by silver; and the Macedonian by brass. We have seen also, that in fact the empire founded by Alexander, and continued through his successors in Syria and Egypt, was in fact one kingdom, so spoken of by the ancients, and being in fact a "Greek" dynasty. If the appellation of "brass" belonged to that kingdom as a Greek kingdom, there is an obvious incongruity, and a departure from the method of interpreting the other portions of the image, in applying the term "iron" to any portion of that kingdom.

(4) By the application of the term "iron," it is evidently implied that the kingdom thus referred to would be distinguished for "strength" - strength greater than its predecessors - as iron surpasses brass, and silver, and gold, in that quality. But this was not true of the confused reigns that immediately followed Alexander. They were unitedly weaker than the Babylonian and the Medo-Persian, and weaker than the empire of Alexander. out of which they arose. Compare Daniel 8:21-22. It was true, however, of the Roman power, that it was so much superior to all its predecessors in power, that it might well be represented by iron in comparison with brass, silver, and gold.

(5) The fourth monarchy represented in Nebuchadnezzars dream is evidently the same which is represented by the fourth beast in Daniel 7:7-8, Daniel 7:23, Daniel 7:25. But it will appear, from the exposition of that chapter, that the reference there is to the Roman empire. See the note at these passages. There can be no well-founded objection to this view on the ground that this kingdom was not properly a "succession" of the kingdom of Alexander, and did not occupy precisely the same territory. The same was true of each of the other kingdoms - the Medo-Persian and Macedonian. Yet while they were not, in the usual sense of the term, in the "successions," they did, in fact, follow one after the other; and with such accessions as were derived from conquest, and from the hereditary dominions of the conquerors, they did occupy the same territory. The design seems to have been to give a representation of a series of great monarchies, which would be, in an important sense, universal monarchies, and which should follow each other before the advent of the Saviour. The Roman, in addition to what it possessed in the West, actually occupied in the East substantially the same territory as the Babylonian, the Medo-Persian, and the Macedonian, and, like them, it had all the claims which any ancient sovereignty had to the title of a universal monarchy; indeed no kingdom has ever existed to which this title could with more justice be applied.

Shall be strong as iron - It is scarcely necessary to observe that this description is applicable to the Roman power. In nothing was it more remarkable than its "strength;" for that irresistible power before which all other nations were perfectly weak. This characteristic of the Roman power is thus noticed by Mr. Gibbon: "The arms of the Republic, sometimes vanquished in battle, always victorious in war, advanced with rapid steps to the Euphrates, the Danube, the Rhine, and the ocean; and the images of gold, or silver, or brass, that might serve to represent the nations and their kings, were successively broken by the "iron" monarchy of Rome." - "Dec. and Fall," p. 642, Lond. ed. 1830, as quoted by Prof. Bush.

Forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things - Iron is the metal which is used, and always has been used, for the purpose here suggested. In the form of hammers, sledges, and cannon-balls, and, in general, in reference to the accomplishment of any purpose, by beating or battering, this has been found to be the most valuable of the metals. It is heavy, is capable of being easily wrought into desired shapes; is abundant; is susceptible of being made hard so as not to be itself bruised, and has therefore, all the properties which could be desired for purposes like this.

And as iron that breaketh all these - That is, all these things; to wit, everything. Nothing is able to stand before it; there is nothing which it cannot reduce to powder. There is some repetition here, but it is for the sake of emphasis.

Shall it break in pieces and bruise - Nothing could better characterize the Roman power than this. Everything was crushed before it. The nations which they conquered ceased to be kingdoms, and were reduced to provinces, and as kingdoms they were blotted out from the list of nations. This has been well described by Mr. Irving: "The Roman empire did beat down the constitution and establishment of all other kingdoms; abolishing their independence, and bringing them into the most entire subjection; humbling the pride, subjecting the will, using the property, and trampling upon the power and dignity of all other states. For by this was the Roman dominion distinguished from all the rest, that it was the work of almost as many centuries as those were of years; the fruit of a thousand battles in which million of men were slain. It made room for itself, as doth a battering-ram, by continual successive blows; and it ceased not to beat and bruise all nations, so long as they continued to offer any resistance." - "Discourse on Daniel's Visions," p. 180.

Daniel 2:40 Parallel Commentaries

Editor's Preface
Professor Maspero does not need to be introduced to us. His name is well known in England and America as that of one of the chief masters of Egyptian science as well as of ancient Oriental history and archaeology. Alike as a philologist, a historian, and an archaeologist, he occupies a foremost place in the annals of modern knowledge and research. He possesses that quick apprehension and fertility of resource without which the decipherment of ancient texts is impossible, and he also possesses a sympathy
G. Maspero—History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, V 1

That Gospel Sermon on the Blessed Hope
In 2 Timothy, 3:16, Paul declares: "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness;" but there are some people who tell us when we take up prophecy that it is all very well to be believed, but that there is no use in one trying to understand it; these future events are things that the church does not agree about, and it is better to let them alone, and deal only with those prophecies which have already been
Dwight L. Moody—That Gospel Sermon on the Blessed Hope

Annunciation of the Birth of Jesus.
(at Nazareth, b.c. 5.) ^C Luke I. 26-38. ^c 26 Now in the sixth month [this is the passage from which we learn that John was six months older than Jesus] the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth [Luke alone tells us where Mary lived before the birth of Jesus. That Nazareth was an unimportant town is shown by the fact that it is mentioned nowhere in the Old Testament, nor in the Talmud, nor in Josephus, who mentions two hundred four towns and cities of Galilee. The
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

The First Sayings of Jesus --His Ideas of a Divine Father and of a Pure Religion --First Disciples.
Joseph died before his son had taken any public part. Mary remained, in a manner, the head of the family, and this explains why her son, when it was wished to distinguish him from others of the same name, was most frequently called the "son of Mary."[1] It seems that having, by the death of her husband, been left friendless at Nazareth, she withdrew to Cana,[2] from which she may have come originally. Cana[3] was a little town at from two to two and a half hours' journey from Nazareth, at the foot
Ernest Renan—The Life of Jesus

Cross References
Job 9:17
"For He bruises me with a tempest And multiplies my wounds without cause.

Daniel 2:39
"After you there will arise another kingdom inferior to you, then another third kingdom of bronze, which will rule over all the earth.

Daniel 2:41
"In that you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter's clay and partly of iron, it will be a divided kingdom; but it will have in it the toughness of iron, inasmuch as you saw the iron mixed with common clay.

Daniel 7:23
"Thus he said: 'The fourth beast will be a fourth kingdom on the earth, which will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth and tread it down and crush it.

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