Daniel (God is my judge) was a great man of God who received dreams and visions from God and to whom God gave many interpretations. He was taken captive in 605 B.C. to Babylon where he spent the remainder of his life. Because of his youth, nobility, and good looks, he was trained to be a government official and wise man to Nebuchadnezzar.
In Daniel 2 we find one of Daniel's most amazing prophetic interpretations. King Nebuchadnezzar had a troubled dream and none of his magicians and wise men could interpret it. He demanded that they not only interpret it, but that they tell him the dream also. When they couldn't, he ordered that ALL the wise men in his kingdom be executed. (That included Daniel). So Daniel prayed with his friends and asked to be brought before the king, where he both told the king his dream and interpreted it.
The king had dreamt about a tall statue made of different substances. Head of gold, chest and arms of silver, middle and thighs of bronze, legs of iron, and feet made of iron and clay. (The text is too long to post here, but I encourage you to read it for yourself in Daniel 2)
Interpretation and fulfillment
The statue represents Word Kingdoms from now until the end of time.
Head of Gold represents the kingdom of Babylon (612-539 BC)
The chest and arms of silver represent a kingdom that will come after Babylon
Fulfillment: Medo-Persia 539-331 BC
Archaeologists have pinpointed October 29, 539 BC has the date that Babylon fell to Medo Persia. The kingdom of Medo Persia was a dual kingdom, but Cyrus of Persia welded the elements of the two kingdoms together. The two arms of the image with us a fitting symbol for this power. Medo Persia was represented by Silver just has silver was used for personal dormant by Persian warriors and was also the metal of their monetary system.
The belly and upper thighs are made of bronze which represent a third kingdom that will rise up to rule over the earth (the known world)
Fulfillment: Greece 331-168 BC
Greece was the Macedonian or Hellenistic empire of Alexander the great and his successors. Alexander defeated Persia at the battles of Granicus 334 BC Isus 333 BC and Arbela 331 BC. Bronze was used in Hellenistic Body Armor, battleaxes, and spear tips.
The iron legs represent a fourth kingdom
And the fourth kingdom shall be as strong as iron, inasmuch as iron breaks in pieces and shatters everything; and like iron that crushes, that kingdom will break in pieces and crush all the others Daniel 2:40
Fulfillment: Rome 168 BC-476 AD OR Islamic Caliphate?
Upon Alexander's death, his generals divided the empire among themselves. This divided Empire then fell prey to the Romans who defeated the Greeks at the battle of Pydna in 168 BC and thus arose as the fourth kingdom strong as iron.
There is some dispute regarding this 4th kingdom. God's main emphasis throughout history has been with the Middle East and all the nations surrounding Israel. All the empires of Babylon, Persia, and Greece were empires of the Middle East region. Rome never conquered all the middle east. But another kingdom rose that did. The rule of the Caliphs or the Islamic Caliphate. Here's a map showing the area they conquered
But the point is, there's no way Daniel or anyone at the time of Nebuchadnezzar's dream could know what kingdoms were coming in the future! Only God knows the future and that is exactly what Daniel told the king.
Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, “The secret which the king has demanded, the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, and the soothsayers cannot declare to the king. But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days Daniel 2:27-28
Most scholars agree that the book of Daniel was written by Daniel in 537 BC. If you wish to dig deeper into proof of when it was written, there's tons of stuff online. Here's one such site
But wait! There's one more part of the statue that has YET to be fulfilled. The feet with toes made with iron and clay
Whereas you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; yet the strength of the iron shall be in it, just as you saw the iron mixed with ceramic clay. And as the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly fragile. Daniel 2:41-42
This is a coming FIFTH kingdom which will be the Kingdom of the Antichrist. If you wish to know more about that kingdom and its ten kings, read Daniel 7 and Revelation 17. The good news is that this Kingdom will not last long. (In fact, only 7 years)
You watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed together, and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; the wind carried them away so that no trace of them was found. And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.! Daniel 2:34-35
The Stone cut without hands is our Lord Jesus, the cornerstone that the builders rejected. And He crushes all the other kingdoms and blows them away!
Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: ‘The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone. This was the Lord’s doing, And it is marvelous in our eyes’? Matthew 21:42
Jesus will usher in the FINAL kingdom on earth where HE will rule and reign from Jerusalem!
For He is the living God, And steadfast forever; His kingdom is the one which shall not be destroyed, And His dominion shall endure to the end. Daniel 6:26
I believe we are very close to the fulfillment of this fifth kingdom appearing. Which means we are very close to God's Kingdom ruling on earth. I, for one, am very excited!