"... there before you stood a large statue ... its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of baked clay."
"Just as you saw that the feet and toes were partly of baked clay and partly of iron, so this will be a divided kingdom; yet it will have some of the strength of iron in it, even as you saw iron mixed with clay. As the toes were partly iron and partly clay, so this kingdom will be partly strong and partly brittle. And just as you saw the iron mixed with baked clay, so the people will be a mixture and will not remain united, any more than iron mixes with clay."
Daniel 2:31-33, 41-43 NIV
Following the chronological and geopolitical character of the metallic image points to the constituency of the clay in the feet.
Chronological and geopolitical aspects.
There is a chronological aspect to the metal man.
"Your Majesty, you are the king of kings."
"After you, another kingdom will arise ..."
"Next, a third kingdom ..."
"Finally, there will be a fourth kingdom ..."
Daniel 2:37, 39, 40 NIV
The clay being in the feet and toes but not the legs, necessitates the clay manifested toward the end of the divided fourth iron empire.
The metal man also has a geographic aspect. It stands somewhere. The Persians extending the influence of the Babylonians and the Romans that of the Greeks.
The significant difference being the swing from the seat of government in the levant - the garden of god (hence the tree), to being in Europe. Represented by :
"Cut down the tree and destroy it, but leave the stump, bound with iron and bronze, in the grass of the field, while its roots remain in the ground ... until seven times pass by ..."
Daniel 4:23 NIV
These seven times of dormancy being equivalent to the span between the vision and the later day re-appearance of Israel as a nation.
The other significant transformation seen in the legs, being from a single wholly imperial system, subsequently divided, and ultimately manifesting into separate theocratic systems.
That process seen in the expansion of the Roman empire and eventual split under Constantine into the western and eastern empires, and the devolvement of those legs into ecclesiastical-military systems and ultimately the theosophical hegemonies of catholicism and orthodoxy. Represented by :
"... there before me was a fourth beast ... It was different from all the former beasts ..."
"... the fourth beast, which was different from all the others ..."
"The fourth beast is a fourth kingdom that will appear on earth. It will be different from all the other kingdoms ..."
Daniel 7:7, 19, 23 NIV
While Daniel 2 and 4 concern themselves with geopolitical succession and division, Daniel 7 being concerned with the style of rule concentrates on the majority aspect of the animals, in the case of the fourth "beast", its theocratical nature, this nature being manifestly different to the previous empires.
The six seals.
While the events of Revelation chapter 13 are primarily focussed on the appearance of the beast in the seventh seal, seventh trumpet period, that is after the barbarian predations against the western empire, the preceeding chapter 12 introduces us to the "iron scepter ruler", an analog of which is found in the sixth seal of chapter 6.
The preceeding 5 seals being (obviously beginning with the authorship of the Revelation) :
The white horse.
"I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest." (verse 2 NIV)
White being symbolic of peace within the Roman polity (the horse). The bow without arrows symbolic of the spread of the message of christianity. The crown being στέφανος as presented at the crucifixion. The "conquest" being at the price of much persecution.
Five Good Emperors.
"... that their rule was a time when "the Roman Empire was governed by absolute power, under the guidance of wisdom and virtue" ... these benevolent monarchs and their moderate policies were unusual and contrasted with their more tyrannical and oppressive successors.'
The red horse.
"Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make people kill each other. To him was given a large sword." (verse 4 NIV)
Red being symbolic of bloodshed. The "large sword" being properly "great dagger" - μάχαιρα - an instrument for assasination.
Year of the Five Emperors.
The black horse.
"I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand." (verse 5 NIV)
Black symbolic of mourning and death. The scales - elaborated in the following verse - representing the decline of the Roman economy following excess and severe taxation and the crippling effects on food production.
Five emporers of excess and taxation.
"All land, including imperial estates, which was not under cultivation in Italy and the provinces, was to be given over to private individuals to work, with security of tenure and a ten-year tax exemption."
"... around 20,000 men and women were killed or proscribed on this charge during this time."
"Domestically, Caracalla became known ... for the introduction of a new Roman currency named the antoninianus, a sort of double denarius; and for the massacres he ordered, both in Rome and elsewhere in the empire."
"This shortfall left Rome in a dire fiscal situation that Macrinus needed to address."
"... he suffered one of the worst reputations among Roman emperors."
"Elagabalus was not a tyrant, but he was an incompetent, probably the least able emperor Rome had ever had."
"Under Elagabalus, the gradual devaluation of Roman aurei and denarii continued ..."
"Alexander's reign was also characterized by a significant breakdown of military discipline."
The pale horse.
"I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth." (verse 8 NIV)
The pale horse - χλωρός - being the colour of death. The sword in this instance being ῥομφαίᾳ as used in war. The "wild beasts" being the barbarians who for the first time directly threatened Rome - the fourth part of the empire, hitherto untouched.
See summary here :
The fifth seal.
'When he opened the fifth seal ...' (verse 9 NIV)
"The Diocletianic or Great Persecution was the last and most severe persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire."
The sixth seal.
I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, and the stars in the sky fell to earth ... The heavens receded like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.
Revelation 6:12-14 NIV
The earthquake signifying the massive shift from pagan Rome to "christianized" Rome under Constantine.
The sun representing the embodiment of imperial power, until that time pagan, disappears.
This disappearing of the sun or imperial authority, eclipsed by theocracy or "christianity" again being found in Constantine :
'... a vision that Constantine had while marching at midday in which "he saw with his own eyes the trophy of a cross of light in the heavens, above the sun, and bearing the inscription, In Hoc Signo Vinces" ("In this sign thou shalt conquer").'
The moon, representing the ecclesiastical systems of that pagan system are stained through war and violence. The stars, or "leading lights" that received power from that pagan system and its emporer and ecclesiastical systems "fall to the earth".
These heavens in their entirety "receded like a scroll being rolled up". All mountains and islands, nominally protected from upheaval by prominence and isolation, affected.
This description forming the backdrop to the introduction in chapter 12 of Constantine and the beast of chapter 13.
A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head.
She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth.
Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on its heads.
Its tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that it might devour her child the moment he was born.
She gave birth to a son, a male child, who “will rule all the nations with an iron scepter.”
And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne.
The woman fled into the wilderness to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days.
Revelation 12:1-6 NIV
The narrative here shifting to the woman, representing the bride or christianity, who fulfilling the abundant new testament prophecies regarding the "falling away" is, in the absence of the king, in the process of defiling herself and has become pregnant. No longer a virgin.
"Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction."
2 Thessalonians 2:3 NIV
And while there is an initial fulfillment in Constantine, his mother regarded as being a christian of some variety, but his father, also emporer, a pagan, there is a pointing forward to the papacy generally.
The dragon of course being pagan Rome (the dragon or snake not only being symbolic of paganism generally, but the Roman legions, the power of Rome, employing the dragon as their banner).
These "seven heads" compromising the seven forms of Roman government extant from its inception. In this case the "crowns" being διαδήματα symbolic of secular authority.
They being - Regal, Consular, Dictatorship, Decemviral, Tribune, Imperial, Gothic. This further explained :
"They are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; but when he does come, he must remain for only a little while."
Revelation 17:10 NIV
The imperial form being found in John's day.
The seven hills of course being a reference to Rome.
So on and so forth.
Not only is Constantine responsible for swapping the Roman dragon for the beast of Revelation 13 and Daniel 7 against much opposition - the geopolitical space of the western empire, and the resultant flight into the wilderness of the woman, but he is also the founder of Constantinople, and of the division of the empire in two, and hence the legs of Daniel's metal man.
'Constantinople became the de facto capital of the Roman Empire upon its founding in 330, and became the de jure capital ... after the fall of Ravenna and the Western Roman Empire.
The eastern or Byzantine empire eventually falling and being rolled up into Russia. Hence Moscow being referred to as the third rome :
'Moscow, third Rome is a theological and political concept asserting Moscow as the successor to ancient Rome, with the Russian world carrying forward the legacy of the Roman Empire.'
Those two legs ultimately transitioning through secular military and political authorities to two distinct ecclesiastical hegemonies - catholicism, the succession in the western empire, centred in Rome and eastern orthodoxy, the succession in the eastern empire, initially centred in Constantinople, styled the second Rome, then after the fall of the Byzantine or eastern empire, centred in Moscow, styled the third Rome.
These two systems co-existing with the remnants of the two iron legs and with the subsequent tyrannies with which they mixed and co-existed. Neither therefore corresponding to the clay.
From those two geopolitical legs, have arisen two systems, contrary to the established order of tyrannical rule, and contrary to the following theosophical hegemonies. They have been the significant feature of both of those geopolitical spheres for the majority of their recent history. Both are clay in nature - being concerned with the people and not plenipotentaries, and both necessitated the direct dissolution of their predecessor monarchies with which they could not mix, through violence. And both, more than any other upheavals, have had impacts on the political atmosphere of the earth.
Both are also described elsewhere in the bible.
One particularly as the antagonist leading to the events of the last days, and one particularly as the actor in the events of the last days.
'Then I saw three impure spirits that looked like frogs ... they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty.'
"Look, I come like a thief!"
'Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.'
Revelation 16:13-14, 15, 16 NIV
This is the final action before the 7th bowl - being "it is done". This gathering, known in popular culture by its hebrew name, Armageddon - עָמַר (aw-mar') גַּיְא (gah'-ee) דִּין - (deen) - results in the coming like a thief, where all the nations of the earth are gathered against my people Israel, and the stone made without hands breaks them in pieces, the chaff on the summer threshing floor.
These three frogs being the clay in one of the feet, and described elsewhere :
'Their bodies will lie in the public square of the great city ... where also their Lord was crucified.'
'But after the three and a half days the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and terror struck those who saw them.'
'At that very hour there was a severe earthquake and a tenth of the city collapsed.'
Revelation 11:8, 11, 13 NIV
The "great city" being of course Rome, and representing the western empire.
Some three and a half days or 42 months or 1260 years after the crowning of Justinian in the eastern empire (527AD), and the death of Theodoric in the western empire (526AD), and the rise of the beast from the sea, that oppression having reached it's endpoint, the French "stood on their feet" and revolted against the adulterous union of pope and king in 1789AD, overthrowing both by bloodshed and forever changing the political heavens.
'Though Theodoric himself only used the title 'king' (rex), some scholars characterize him as a Western Roman Emperor in all but name, since he ruled large parts of the former Western Roman Empire, had received the former Western imperial regalia from Constantinople ...'
This "great earthquake" collapsing a tenth of the "great city", or one of the ten toes, namely France.
'Within France itself, the revolution permanently crippled the power of the aristocracy and drained the wealth of the Church ...'
'The Ancien Régime also known as the Old Regime, was the political and social system of the Kingdom of France ... until 1789 and the French Revolution, which abolished the feudal system of the French nobility and hereditary monarchy.'
'The French Revolution was a period of radical political and societal change in France ... Many of its ideas are considered fundamental principles of liberal democracy ...'
'The French Revolution had a major impact on western history, by ending feudalism in France and creating a path for advances in individual freedoms throughout Europe. The revolution represented the most significant challenge to political absolutism up to that point in history and spread democratic ideals throughout Europe and ultimately the world.'
These three frogs not only found spiritually in the motto Liberté, égalité, fraternité originating in this Revolution but also in the three fleur-de-lis employed by the French nobility and monarchy.
The legend being Clovis, the first king of France, upon his "baptism" in 508AD and his support to the beast, swapped his original three frog heraldic device for three fleur-de-lis at the request of pope. And of course some 1260 years later, the man Napoleon (1769AD), the first French emporer, a product of the French revolution, and the scourge of catholic Europe was born.
'Clovis is important in the historiography of France as "the first king of what would become France".'
'Clovis was baptized on Christmas Day in 508.'
The work of Napoleon of course being the focus of the first five vials or bowls in Revelation 16 :
'Then I heard the angel in charge of the waters say:'
“You are just in these judgments, O Holy One,
you who are and who were;
for they have shed the blood of your holy people and your prophets,
and you have given them blood to drink as they deserve.”
'And I heard the altar respond::
“Yes, Lord God Almighty,
true and just are your judgments.”
(verses 5-7 NIV)
As the clay is an appropriate metaphor, so this. Appropriate as a symbol, but also found literally in its manifestation. One of the two most powerful political upheavals in the earth in the last two thousand years that has changed the world more than any other, and directly and conceptually ended the previous manner of things, with which it cannot mix.
'In future years you will invade a land that has recovered from war, whose people were gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate. They had been brought out from the nations, and now all of them live in safety. You and all your troops and the many nations with you will go up, advancing like a storm; you will be like a cloud covering the land.'
'I will execute judgment on him with plague and bloodshed; I will pour down torrents of rain, hailstones and burning sulfur on him and on his troops and on the many nations with him. And so I will show my greatness and my holiness, and I will make myself known in the sight of many nations. Then they will know that I am the Lord.’
'I will bring you from the far north and send you against the mountains of Israel. On the mountains of Israel you will fall, you and all your troops and the nations with you.'
'I will make known my holy name among my people Israel. I will no longer let my holy name be profaned, and the nations will know that I the Lord am the Holy One in Israel. It is coming! It will surely take place, declares the Sovereign Lord. This is the day I have spoken of.'
'I will display my glory among the nations, and all the nations will see the punishment I inflict and the hand I lay on them. From that day forward the people of Israel will know that I am the Lord their God. And the nations will know that the people of Israel went into exile for their sin, because they were unfaithful to me. So I hid my face from them and handed them over to their enemies, and they all fell by the sword. I dealt with them according to their uncleanness and their offenses, and I hid my face from them.'
The subject of Ezekiel 38 and 39 being the attempted destruction of Israel, in the latter days, after they have returned to the land (that 1948 and 1967 process described in Ezekiel 37), culminating in the manifestation of god to an unbelieving Israel and to the earth generally. This prophecy being the explanation of the particulars referred to in Revelation 16:14, 16 - the great day of God Almighty.
This antagonist being referred to on several occasions, notably :
'And the word of Yahweh came, unto me, saying: Son of man, Set thy face against, Gog, of the land of the Magog, Prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal,––And prophesy concerning him, and thou shalt say, Thus, saith My Lord, Yahweh,––Behold me! against thee, O Gog, Prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal ...'
Ezekiel 38:1-3 Rotherham
Described as such for a reason. These names among others listed in these 2 chapters being from the table of nations found in Genesis 10 by which the earth was re-populated after the flood. The opposition to which also being listed, and in a type being found the Anglo-American alliance as the JWs are fond to call it. Not the antagonist nor the actor, but the opposite. Plainly stated and found in a type.
This "Ros" corresponding to the one other major political movement of the last two thousand years that re-invented the political landscape and set aside the old order of the metals. It also corresponds to the geopolitical footprint of the other of the Daniel 2 legs, and currently occupies the world stage.
'The Russian Revolution was a period of political and social revolution that took place in the former Russian Empire ... This period saw Russia abolish its monarchy and adopt a socialist form of government following two successive revolutions and a bloody civil war. The Russian Revolution can also be seen as the precursor for the other European revolutions that occurred during or in the aftermath ...'
'The revolutions had lasting effects in shaping the future European political landscape, with for example the collapse of the German Empire and the dissolution of Austria-Hungary.'
'Following the coup, the Bolsheviks lead by Vladimir Lenin established the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic (RSFSR), the world's first constitutionally guaranteed socialist state.'
'The Soviet Union ... was a transcontinental country that spanned much of Eurasia from 1922 to 1991. A flagship communist state ... the city of Moscow serving as its capital ... It was the largest country in the world ...'
Again, a people's movement, involving a violent overthrow of the previous order - monarchy - with which it could not mix.
And while the collapse of the Soviet Union may have caused some to question their future role, the Ezekiel prophecy is clear :
'I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws and bring you out with your whole army ...' Ezekiel 38:4
The French and Russian clay.
The thing to keep in mind is the metal man of Daniel 2. This is the basic outline, and all understanding of the clay should be according to that symbol. The stone without hands (the return of christ) being spoken of elsewhere in Revelation - "behold I come as a thief", and "it is done", directly informing us this is in response to "all nations being gathered together to Armageddon (not a greek word)" and the particulars of that process being described in Ezekiel.
This return being elegantly referenced here :
“Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”
'Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day’s walk from the city.'
Acts 1:11-12 NIV
'On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west ...'
Zechariah 14:4 NIV
'It will be a unique day—a day known only to the Lord ...' (verse 7 NIV)
Calling to mind the words of the great king :
"But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father."
Matthew 24:36 NIV
This greatest earthquake and surrounding events in Zechariah chapters 12 through 14 finding an analog in the prophecy in Ezekiel chapters 38 through 39 ...
In both cases, the actors, or antagonists, are referenced. Three frogs, and Ros. Both being found in recent history, as significant political movements (two of two) originating from the peasant classes , i.e. from the people, that overthrew the established order of monarchy with all appearance that the old order is gone, never to return. These two movements (two of two) influencing all nations, even those not associated directly with the events in Revelation and Ezekiel.
These two clay elements - inherently government by the masses - in principle without theology and incapable of sharing power with tyranny or monarchy - yet co-existing with the theosophical hegemonies resulting from the two legs and occupying their respective geographic and geopolitical "footprints".
Democratic western Europe and catholicism.
Socialist eastern Europe and orthodoxy.