And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee,
&c.] This is the kingdom of the Medes and Persians, signified by the breasts and arms of silver, an inferior metal to gold; this rose up, not immediately after the death of Nebuchadnezzar, but after his successors, when Belshazzar his grandson was slain, and Babylon taken by Cyrus; now though this monarchy was as large at the first as the Babylonish monarchy, nay, larger, as it had Media and Persia added to it, new conquests made by Cyrus, and was as rich and as opulent in his times; yet in later kings it shrunk much, in its peace and prosperity, grandeur and glory, as in the times of Cambyses and the Magi; and especially in the reigns of Cyrus the younger, and of Artaxerxes Mnemon; and at last ceased in Darius Codomannus, conquered by Alexander; and was worse than the former monarchy, being more cruel under some of its princes to the people of the Jews: and another third kingdom of brass:
this is the Grecian monarchy, which succeeded the Persian, and therefore called the third kingdom, and is signified by the belly and thighs of brass of the image (See Gill on Daniel 2:32); which shall bear rule over all the earth;
not the land of Israel, as Saadiah restrains it, but the whole world, as Alexander did, at least in his own opinion; who thought he had conquered the whole world, and wept because there was not another to conquer; and it is certain he did subdue a great part of it. Justin F14 says,
``that when he was returning to Babylon from the uttermost shores of the sea, it was told him that the embassies of the Carthaginians and other cities of Africa, and also of Spain, Sicily, France, Sardinia, and some out of Italy, were waiting for his coming; the terror of his name so struck the whole world, that all nations complimented him as their king destined for them.''And Pliny reports F15 of Macedonia, that
``it formerly (that is, in the times of Alexander) governed the world; this (says he) passed over Asia, Armenia, Iberia, Albania, Cappadocia, Syria, Egypt, Taurus, and Caucasus; this ruled over the Bactrians, Medes, and Persians, possessing the whole east; this also was conqueror of India.''
F14 Ex Trogo, l. 12. c. 13.
F15 Nat. Hist. l. 4. c. 10.