What does Daniel 2:33 mean?
ESV: its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay.
NIV: its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of baked clay.
NASB: its legs of iron, and its feet partly of iron and partly of clay.
CSB: its legs were iron, and its feet were partly iron and partly fired clay.
NLT: its legs were iron, and its feet were a combination of iron and baked clay.
KJV: His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay.
NKJV: its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay.
Verse Commentary:
Daniel continues his description (Daniel 2:31–32) of Nebuchadnezzar's dream (Daniel 2:1–3). The image in the form of a gigantic man had a golden head, silver chest and arms, bronze midsection, and iron legs with feet composed partly of iron and partly of clay.

These materials become less dense and less valuable from top to bottom. The materials are also increasingly tough until clay, which is extremely brittle. Worse, clay and iron do not bond together. This makes the statue top-heavy and prone to collapse (Daniel 2:35). As Daniel will explain (Daniel 2:36), the various parts each represent kingdoms. The properties of the metals, the shape of the parts, and the eventual fate of the statue, are meant as prophecies about these nations.
Verse Context:
Daniel 2:31–45 provides both the content and the interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar's troubling dream (Daniel 2:1–3). The dream describes what is sometimes called "the latter days" or "the times of the Gentiles." This is part of a section of the book of Daniel recorded in Aramaic (Daniel 2:4—7:28), the common language of Babylon at the time. The image seen in the dream includes a progression of shapes and materials, representing a sequence of kingdoms, their characteristics, and their eventual fates.
Chapter Summary:
King Nebuchadnezzar tests his magicians, demanding they tell him what he has dreamed, rather than merely inventing an interpretation. When they fail, he prepares to execute the entire department of wise men. Daniel promises he can meet the king's request and is given a special vision from God. The king dreamed of a massive statue shattered into powder by a supernatural rock. Daniel accurately describes this and interprets it as a prophecy about kingdoms which would come after Babylon. The king appoints Daniel and his friends to positions of power and influence over Babylon.
Chapter Context:
Chapter 1 introduced King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, Daniel—a captive youth from Jerusalem—and three other Jewish boys. After three years of education, the four Hebrew captives outperformed all the other trainees, even surpassing the wise men in Babylon. In chapter 2, Daniel describes and interprets Nebuchadnezzar's disturbing dream, though the court magicians could not. As a result, the king promotes Daniel and his three friends to high positions over the provinces of Babylon. This sets the stage for a severe test of faith in chapter 3.
Book Summary:
The book of Daniel contains famous Old Testament stories and prophecies. Daniel was taken from the Israelite people and made an advisor for a conquering empire. He demonstrates faithfulness and wisdom during many years serving in this role. Though Daniel does not deliver a public message, Jesus refers to him as a "prophet" (Matthew 24:15). The first portion of the book mostly describes Daniel's interpretations of dreams and other events. The second portion looks ahead to the end times. Daniel is classified in English Bibles as a "major" prophet, meaning the book is relatively long and the content has broad implications. The book of Revelation echoes and expands on many of the same themes.
Accessed 6/21/2024 3:46:48 PM
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