“Another kingdom will ·come [rise up] after you, but ·it will not be as great as [inferior to] yours [C perhaps the Medes or the Medo-Persians]. Next a third kingdom, the bronze part, will rule over the earth [C perhaps the Persians or the Greeks].
“But after your kingdom has come to an end, another world power will arise to take your place. This empire will be inferior to yours. And after that kingdom has fallen, yet a third great power*—represented by the bronze belly of the statue—will rise to rule the world.
“What you saw, O king, was a huge statue standing before you, striking in appearance. And terrifying. The head of the statue was pure gold, the chest and arms were silver, the belly and hips were bronze, the legs were iron, and the feet were an iron-ceramic mixture. While you were looking at this statue, a stone cut out of a mountain by an invisible hand hit the statue, smashing its iron-ceramic feet. Then the whole thing fell to pieces—iron, tile, bronze, silver, and gold, smashed to bits. It was like scraps of old newspapers in a vacant lot in a hot dry summer, blown every which way by the wind, scattered to oblivion. But the stone that hit the statue became a huge mountain, dominating the horizon. This was your dream. “And now we’ll interpret it for the king. You, O king, are the most powerful king on earth. The God of heaven has given you the works: rule, power, strength, and glory. He has put you in charge of men and women, wild animals and birds, all over the world—you’re the head ruler, you are the head of gold. But your rule will be taken over by another kingdom, inferior to yours, and that one by a third, a bronze kingdom, but still ruling the whole land, and after that by a fourth kingdom, ironlike in strength. Just as iron smashes things to bits, breaking and pulverizing, it will bust up the previous kingdoms.
“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.
After your reign is over, another kingdom will rise, but its glory will never match yours. This lesser kingdom is the chest and arms of silver. When that kingdom has come and gone, a third and even less majestic empire will rise, which will rule over the whole earth. This kingdom is the trunk and thighs of bronze.
And another realm less than thou shall rise after thee; and the third realm, another of brass, that shall have the empire of all earth. (And after thee, another kingdom less than thou, shall rise up; and then the third kingdom, one of bronze, that shall have rule over all the earth.)
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