The head of the statue was made of fine gold. Its chest and arms were silver, its belly and thighs were bronze,
its legs were iron, and its feet were a combination of iron and baked clay.
As you watched, a rock was cut from a mountain, but not by human hands. It struck the feet of iron and clay, smashing them to bits.
The whole statue was crushed into small pieces of iron, clay, bronze, silver, and gold. Then the wind blew them away without a trace, like chaff on a threshing floor. But the rock that knocked the statue down became a great mountain that covered the whole earth.
“That was the dream. Now we will tell the king what it means.
Your Majesty, you are the greatest of kings. The God of heaven has given you sovereignty, power, strength, and honor.
He has made you the ruler over all the inhabited world and has put even the wild animals and birds under your control. You are the head of gold.
“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.
Following that kingdom, there will be a fourth one, as strong as iron. That kingdom will smash and crush all previous empires, just as iron smashes and crushes everything it strikes.
The feet and toes you saw were a combination of iron and baked clay, showing that this kingdom will be divided. Like iron mixed with clay, it will have some of the strength of iron.
But while some parts of it will be as strong as iron, other parts will be as weak as clay.
This mixture of iron and clay also shows that these kingdoms will try to strengthen themselves by forming alliances with each other through intermarriage. But they will not hold together, just as iron and clay do not mix.