In Daniel’s explanation, the statue is divided into five parts, and not four as it is generally interpreted. The fifth part is the feet with toes, which according to the description, differ from the legs so that the feet are made of iron and clay.
Dan 2:31 You, O king, were seeing. And, behold, a certain great image! That great image stood before you with a brilliant brightness, and its form was dreadful. 32 The head of this image was of fine gold, its breast and its arms were of silver, its belly and its thighs were of bronze, its legs were of iron, its feet were partly of iron and partly of clay.
Dan. 2:32: 1) Head 2) chest and arms 3) belly and lashes 4) legs
Dan. 2:33: 5) feet
The statue has five parts. Daniel 2:32 lists four parts and in verse 33 legs are added as a fifth part. The fact that there are five parts is confirmed in verse 34 … “… it struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and crushed them”. The feet are separated from the rest of the body to form their own body part. Sometimes you can talk about “legs” without separating the legs and feet. NASB makes this distinction: ”its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay” (2:33).
The Fourth Kingdom is Rome, which is depicted in the vision of Nebuchadnezzar (Dan 2:33) as the iron legs of the statue. Two legs because the Roman Empire split into two, eastern and western Rome. Dan 2:40 And the fourth kingdom shall be as strong as iron. Inasmuch as iron crushes and smashes all things, and as the iron that shatters all these, it will crush and shatter. – Rome really is the empire that fulfilled the above description. But what kind of kingdom is the future “Rome”? The vision is of the future and the future of Rome should be of iron as its first appearance. It is difficult today to imagine the European Union becoming such a roman heir.
How does Daniel describe the kingdom that the feet represent? 2:41 And as to that you saw, the feet and the toes were partly of potters’ clay and partly of iron, the kingdom shall be divided. But there shall be in it the strength of iron, because you saw the iron mixed with clay of the potter. 42 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. 43 And as you saw the iron mixed with the clay of the clay, they shall be mixed with the seed of men. But they shall not adhere to one another, even as iron does not mix with clay. – What does it mean to be ”mixed with the seed of men”? Marriages? Who? Although marriages have been used to strengthen kingdoms’ covenants, this does not produce the desired result.
What about the Roman Empire? What is the counterpart of the Roman Empire in modern times? It has been, it is no longer – is it coming? Rome was divided into two parts (Daniel’s beast two feet) in the fifth century, the western Roman Empire formed in the 800’s the Holy German-Roman Empire (lat. Sacrum Romanum Imperium), which remained until 1806. Thereafter it is no longer. But would it be in some form coming? The European Union was born in the 1950’s, initially as a coal and steel community, but I would be a 27-nation union that has consolidated its essence over the years. The Bible tells how people wondered about the beast; so I would be wondering if the EU would perform in the same way as the Beast of Scripture. Equally, the first EU Treaty was concluded in 1951 – in Rome.