THE STONE CUT OUT WITHOUT HANDS
APPEARING TO CRUSH THE GREAT HUMAN IMAGE
When Babylon reaches its consummation, the stone cut out without hands will appear to crush the great image, beginning with the toes and the feet (Dan. 2:34-35, 44-45; 7:13-14). In His word to the Pharisees in Matthew 21, the Lord Jesus indicated to them that He is a stone. First, in verse 42 He asked them, "Have you never read in the Scriptures, ‘The stone which the builders rejected, this has become the head of the corner. This was from the Lord, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?" Then in verse 44 He went on to say, "He who falls on this stone shall be broken to pieces; but on whomever it falls, it shall crush him to powder and scatter him like chaff." Here we see that Christ is the smiting stone. What will be smitten by Him and scattered as chaff? According to Daniel 2, it is the aggregate of human government, whose name is Babylon, which will be smashed and crushed into pieces by Christ as the stone cut out without hands.
TODAY’S WORLD SITUATION
As far as human government is concerned, we need to consider what part of the great human image we are in today. As the result of studying the Bible and the world situation for over sixty years, I believe that today we are at the feet of the image, very close to the ten toes. The world situation, especially the situation in Europe, has been remodeled to fit in with the prophecies in the Bible. If we are clear about this, we will know where we are and what we should do.
The culture, spirit, and essence of the Roman Empire continue to exist, but the form and appearance of this empire have vanished. However, the form and appearance of the Roman Empire will be restored under Antichrist. The whole earth is now ready for the restoration of the Roman Empire and the appearing of the ten toes, which will bring in Christ as the stone to crush the aggregate of human government and usher in the eternal kingdom of God upon the earth.
THE CONTROLLING VISION IN CHAPTER TWO
The vision in chapter two is the controlling vision of the entire book of Daniel. Chapter one is simply an introduction, whereas chapter two shows us a controlling vision, a vision that is the key to understanding Daniel’s visions in chapters seven through twelve.
The four empires in Daniel 2 correspond to the four beasts in Daniel 7. In chapter two Nebuchadnezzar saw a great human image, but in chapter seven Daniel saw four beasts. The four main parts of the image in Nebuchadnezzar’s vision correspond to the four beasts in Daniel’s vision. The head of gold (2:37-38), signifying Nebuchadnezzar, corresponds to the first beast, which "was like a lion and had the wings of an eagle" (7:3-4). The breast and arms of silver (2:32, 39a), signifying Medo-Persia, correspond to the second beast, which resembled a bear (7:5). The abdomen and thighs of bronze (2:32, 39b), signifying Greece, correspond to the third beast, which was like a leopard (7:6). The legs of iron and the feet partly of iron and partly of clay (2:40-43), signifying the Roman Empire and its last ten kings, correspond to the fourth beast, which, being different from the other beasts, had large iron teeth and ten horns (7:7-8).
Further details concerning these empires are found in chapters eight and eleven. In chapter eight we see that the second part of the great human image—Medo-Persia—signified by a ram (8:3-4) was defeated by the third part—Greece—signified by a goat with a conspicuous horn (vv. 5-8). Verse 8 says, "The male goat became very great. But once he became strong, the great horn was broken, and in its place four conspicuous ones came up toward the four winds of heaven." These four horns signify the successors of Alexander the Great. For details concerning these four horns, we need to read chapter eleven, which has much to say about the king of the south (Egypt) and the king of the north (Syria). In particular this chapter speaks about Antiochus Epiphanes, a notorious descendant of Alexander’s successor in Syria.
(Life-Study of Daniel, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)