Toes of Iron and Clay
41 “And whereas you beheld the feet and the toes to be partly of molded clay of a potter and partly of iron, the kingdom itself will prove to be divided, but somewhat of the hardness of iron will prove to be in it, forasmuch as you beheld the iron mixed with moist clay. 42 And as for the toes of the feet being partly of iron and partly of molded clay, the kingdom will partly prove to be strong and will partly prove to be fragile. 43 Whereas you beheld iron mixed with moist clay, they will come to be mixed with the offspring of mankind; but they will not prove to be sticking together, this one to that one, just as iron is not mixing with molded clay.
44 “And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be brought to ruin. And the kingdom itself will not be passed on to any other people. It will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, and it itself will stand to times indefinite; 45 forasmuch as you beheld that out of the mountain a stone was cut not by hands, and [that] it crushed the iron, the copper, the molded clay, the silver and the gold. The grand God himself has made known to the king what is to occur after this. And the dream is reliable, and the interpretation of it is trustworthy.” (Daniel 2)
A recent elucidation regarding the details of the fulfillment of this prophecy that I particularly appreciated is identifying that the claylike instability inherent to the Anglo-American world power in the time of the end is of an internal nature rather than something which is compounded by a composite world scene involving many different fragmented governments. Another detail is that despite many economic prognoses regarding the ascendancy of the People’s Republic of China slated within the next couple decades, Bible prophecy clearly shows that Great Britain and the US will occupy their position of dominance at the time of the end that is to say when the great tribulation culminates and Armageddon occurs.
12 “And the ten horns that you saw mean ten kings, who have not yet received a kingdom, but they do receive authority as kings one hour with the wild beast. 13 These have one thought, and so they give their power and authority to the wild beast. 14 These will battle with the Lamb, but, because he is Lord of lords and King of kings, the Lamb will conquer them. Also, those called and chosen and faithful with him [will do so].”
15 And he says to me: “The waters that you saw, where the harlot is sitting, mean peoples and crowds and nations and tongues. 16 And the ten horns that you saw, and the wild beast, these will hate the harlot and will make her devastated and naked, and will eat up her fleshy parts and will completely burn her with fire. 17 For God put [it] into their hearts to carry out his thought, even to carry out [their] one thought by giving their kingdom to the wild beast, until the words of God will have been accomplished. 18 And the woman whom you saw means the great city that has a kingdom over the kings of the earth.” (Rev 17)
worthy of note in this passage from Revelation chapter 17 is the point that although these 10 horns, that is to say, the numerous governments that ally themselves with or identify themselves with United Nations at the time of the great tribulation give their authority to this image of the scarlet colored wild beast, it is only for one hour and only to accomplish their one thought that God puts into their hearts. There is no need to expect an elaborate intriguing political buildup or crescendo leading up to this event. There is no reason to expect that it is a situation which would take years to develop. They are merely the instruments of God’s design: proxies acting in behalf of a far greater power.