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Daniel 2:39

ESV Another kingdom inferior to you shall arise after you, and yet a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth.
NIV After you, another kingdom will arise, inferior to yours. Next, a third kingdom, one of bronze, will rule over the whole earth.
NASB And after you another kingdom will arise inferior to you, then another third kingdom of bronze, which will rule over all the earth.
CSB "After you, there will arise another kingdom, inferior to yours, and then another, a third kingdom, of bronze, which will rule the whole earth.
NLT But after your kingdom comes to an end, another kingdom, inferior to yours, will rise to take your place. After that kingdom has fallen, yet a third kingdom, represented by bronze, will rise to rule the world.
KJV And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth.

What does Daniel 2:39 mean?

King Nebuchadnezzar was bothered by a dream (Daniel 2:1–3), and Daniel was given special revelation from God to interpret it (Daniel 2:27–28). The king saw a massive statue, made of various materials, which was struck by a rock and destroyed. From top to bottom, the figure's components become less valuable but harder, until the base where the toes are an unstable mixture of iron and clay (Daniel 2:31–35). In the prior verse, Daniel explained that the statue's golden head symbolized what was then the current Babylonian Empire, ruled by Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 2:38).

The kingdoms which would rule over the middle east after Babylon are depicted by a chest and arms of silver, followed by a stomach and thighs of bronze. Silver is less valuable than gold, lighter, yet tougher. So, too, bronze is stronger and less dense than silver, while of less value. The statue's head is singular, but the torso has two separate arms. The midsection begins as one but separates just as it transitions into the legs.

In hindsight, we can see which nations fit the description given by Daniel. The second kingdom (Daniel 2:32) fits the Medo-Persian Empire. This was "inferior" to Babylon in terms of being less of an absolute monarchy. The two arms express the joined-but-separate nature of the Median and Persian cultures who never fully cohered as one. The third nation, Greece, endowed still less supreme authority in its ruler. Alexander the Great united Greece, but after his death, it was split by his generals.
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