This is a prophetic dream revealing to Daniel through Nebuchadnezzar what will take place in the future. 2600 years have passed since the time of Nebuchadnezzar. We have the advantage of hindsight to know what had happened in history in the last 2600 years.
From History, we have seen the above 4 successive Empires:
Nebuchadnezzar's Kingdom was the first world power, which is modern day
. The Babylonians worshipped Bel Marduk made out out of solid gold. The prophecy says that it would not last forever. Another world kingdom will arise. Iraq
Nebuchadnezzar's Kingdom crumbled into ruins when Cryus, the Persian General overthrew the Babylonian Empire in 539 BC. We see this in Daniel 5:28 that it was the Medo-Persia that succeeded
, just as God said it would. Babylon
Kingdomof Greecedefeated the Persians at the battle of Arbelain 331 BC. Alexander the Great conquered the Medes and Persians, turning into the world's 3rd great empire. Dan 8:21 says Greece succeeded Medo-Persia, just as God said it would. Greece
After the death of Alexander the Graet, the
empire weakened and split into rival factions. At the Battle of Pydna in 168 BC, the 'iron empire' of Greece Romecrushed . Greece continued to rule the world through the time of Jesus. Rome
Eventually Roman fractured into numerous kingdoms symbolized by the feet and toes, partly iron, partly clay.
Here is a picture that summarizes the above:
Tomorrow we will look at the 'Rock cut out of a mountain but not by human hands'. :)