Daniel 2:32 Index
"'This image's head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass,'"
Research Material

"...image's head was of fine gold..."

  • The image shown to Nebuchadnezzar in the visions of the night represents the kingdoms of the world. The metals in the image, symbolizing the different kingdoms, became less and less pure and valuable, from the head down. The head of the image was of gold, the breast and arms of silver, the sides of brass, and the feet and toes iron mingled with clay. So the kingdoms represented by them deteriorated in value. (The Review and Herald article "Loyalty or Disloyalty?" February 6, 1900)

"...his breast and his arms of silver...

  • There is no evidence that Nebuchadnezzar saw any indication of the identity of the silver kingdom as the Persian Empire. Daniel probably never named the Medes and Persians as the successors of Babylon until he read the handwriting on the wall, the night before Babylon fell (Daniel 5:28), years after Nebuchadnezzar's death. Yet the future Persian Empire, as Boutflower points out, may be most appropriately represented by silver, in the sense of "money" -- the criterion of value and medium of exchange employed in Persia -- the money of the realm. Babylon's ornamental golden magnificence was displayed by Persian treasures, collected by systematic taxation. The Persian kings were bent on raising money, and exacted tribute from their subject states, paid mostly in silver talents. The Persians were more renowned for wealth than for magnificence; the fourth king was to be "far richer than they all," and through his riches was to "stir up all against the realm of Grecia" (Daniel 11:2), said Daniel shortly after the all of Babylon. (Froom 41-42)

"...his belly and his thighs of brass."

  • Nebuchadnezzar was, in all probability, already acquainted with Greeks -- representatives of the coming world power symbolized by the brass ( or bronze) following Persia -- the empire of Alexander and his brazen-clad Greeks, or "another king from the west, clad in bronze," as Josephus aptly phrases it. The Greek armor was in noticeable contrast to the soft hats, sleeved tunics, and trousers of the Median and Persian soldiers. And Ezekiel's reference to Javan's "vessels of brass" (Ezekiel 27:13) takes on new significance when "Javan" is seen to mean the Ionian Greeks, and the "vessels," the equipment or armor of soldiers. (Froom 42)