What does the stone in Daniel 2:35 signify? By Jack Kettler
“Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.” (Daniel 2:35)
An understanding of the image in Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream made of gold, silver, brass, iron, and clay represent is important to understand the significance of the stone is warranted.
According to Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, it is learned:
“This image represented the kingdoms of the earth, that should successively rule the nations, and influence the affairs of the Jewish church. 1. The head of gold signified the Chaldean empire, then in being. 2. The breast and arms of silver signified the empire of the Medes and Persians. 3. The belly and thighs of brass signified the Grecian empire, founded by Alexander. 4. The legs and feet of iron signified the Roman empire. The Roman empire branched into ten kingdoms, as the toes of these feet. Some were weak as clay, others strong as iron.” (1)
Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible provides the most detailed account of the Daniel passage:
“Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, …. The feet, the basis of the image, being broken, the whole body of it fell, and with its own weight was broken to pieces; an emblem this of the utter dissolution of all the monarchies and kingdoms of the earth, signified by these several metals:
and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; which is exceeding small and light:
and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them; for the several metals, and the monarchies signified by them, which were no more: the allusion is to the manner of winnowing corn in the eastern countries upon mountains, when the chaff was carried away by the wind, and seen no more:
and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the earth; Christ’s kingdom, from small beginnings, has increased, and will more and more, until the whole earth is subject to it: this began to have its accomplishment in the first times of the Gospel, especially when the Roman empire, as Pagan, was destroyed by Constantine, and the kingdom of Christ was set up in it; and it received a further accomplishment at the time of the Reformation, when Rome Papal had a deadly blow given it, and the Gospel of Christ was spread in several nations and kingdoms; but it will receive its full accomplishment when both the eastern and western antichrists shall be destroyed, and the kingdoms of this world shall become the Lord’s and his Christ’s, Revelation 11:15.” (2)
The picture of a relatively small stone in Daniel 2:35, growing to become a mountain, is indeed strikingly similar to the parable of the mustard seed:
“Another parable put He forth unto them, saying, the kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.” (Matthew 13:31-32)
Israel was an insignificant people in contrast with the Roman empire. Jesus was born in Bethlehem, an insignificant village.
The Kingdom of Christ was supernatural in its origin. Insignificant in its humble beginning in the manger in Bethlehem. Nevertheless, His Kingdom is ordained to be universal in its scope of influence and power. And furthermore, the stone in Daniel 2:25 signifies Christ and His Kingdom.
Daniel’s stone and the mustard seed of Matthew are pictured in other places using Old Testament typology:
“And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.” (Isaiah 2:2)
“But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it.” (Micah 4:1)
Indeed, Christ, the Lord shall reign forever and forever!
“And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.” (Luke 1:33)
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)
1. Matthew Henry, Concise Commentary, Daniel, (Nashville, Tennessee, Thomas Nelson), p. 1338-1339.
2. John Gill, Exposition of the Old and New Testaments, Daniel, (Grace Works, Multi-Media Labs), p. 42-43.
Mr. Kettler has previously published articles in the Chalcedon Report and Contra Mundum. He and his wife Marea attend the Westminster, CO, RPCNA Church. Mr. Kettler is the author of books defending the Reformed Faith. Books can be ordered online at: https://www.amazon.com/Books-Jack-Kettler/s?rh=n%3A283155%2Cp_27%3AJack+Kettler