Daniel 2:43 predicts that demonic entities will crossbreed with humans in order to destroy thein the last days.
One of the keys to understanding how the image ofwill be corrupted in the last days is found in Daniel 2 where we read of the kingdoms that ruled over Israel beginning with the kingdom of Babylon all the way to the “ten toes”. God used King Nebuchadnezzar of the Babylonian Empire to chastise His people for not following Him. The King carried the Jewish people away in three waves of deportation to Babylon, beginning in 606, then 597 and finally 586 BC, when he also destroyed the city of Jerusalem. Among those taken (during the first wave) was a young Jewish man named Daniel. One night King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream about a massive statue of a man made of different materials. God used Daniel to interpret King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, which was in fact a vision of the future kingdoms of the world.
This image’s head was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. You watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed together […] And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth [...] you are this head of gold, (Daniel 2:32-35).
Daniel explained to King Nebuchadnezzar that he was the head of gold and after him would come another three kingdoms which are identified as the Medo-Persian Empire, the Grecian Empire and then the Roman empire.
But after you shall arise another kingdom inferior to yours; then another, a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth. And the fourth kingdom shall be as strong as iron, inasmuch as iron breaks in pieces and shatters everything; and like iron that crushes, that kingdom will break in pieces and crush all the others. Whereas you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; yet the strength of the iron shall be in it, just as you saw the iron mixed with ceramic clay, (Daniel 2:38b-41).
The Roman Empire is described in amazing precision by noting that it would become two legs. The Roman Empire was not divided into two parts, Eastern and Western, until AD 285 by Diocletian – over 700 years later! However, the kingdom will be governed by a group of ten kings represented by the ten toes. The ten toes are equal to the ten kings found in Daniel 7:24 and Revelation 17:12 and they are partly strong and partly weak. “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,” (Daniel 2:42).
The Roman Empire (or some expression of it) has not yet become ten toes and therefore this is a future fulfillment waiting to happen. When it does it will be partly strong like iron and partly weak like clay. However we are told that “they” will mingle with the “seed of men” in “these days”.
As you saw iron mixed with ceramic clay, they will mingle [mitarvin lehevon מִתְעָרְבִ֤ין לֶהֱוֹן֙] with the seed of men [bizra' anasha בִּזְרַ֣ע אֲנָשָׁ֔א]; but they will not adhere to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay. And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever, (Daniel 2:43-44).
They Are Mingling Themselves
An important clue to understanding this phrase is to understand what is being mixed. This portion of Daniel (Daniel 2:4b-7:28) was written in Aramaic because of the direct communication to Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar and their visions (with the vision of chapter seven happening during Belshazzar’s reign). The word “mingle” [mitarvin מִתְעָרְבִ֤ין] is a third person plural hitpaal (as confirmed by the Westminster Hebrew Morphology Codes). The hitpaal is virtually identical to the Hebrew hitpael. The basic usage is reflexive which means that the subject is also the object, for example: “I dress myself” is where “I”, the subject, do the action (dress) and “I” also receive the action of the verb (being dressed). Thus, the hitpaal verb [i] of Daniel 2:43 conveys that same meaning. Therefore “they” are the ones doing the action, but they are also doing it to themselves. Thus, the idea is that “they” (the subject) will mingle themselves (the object of the verb) with something else. This is reflected in the numerous English translations available of Daniel 2:43.
- …they will combine with one another in the seed of men, (NASB).
- …they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men, (KJV, ASV, ERV, WBT, WEB).
- …they are mixing themselves with the seed of men, (YLT).
Bible commentators Keil and Delitzsch note the meaning of the mixing of iron and clay in Daniel 2:43: “The mixing of iron with clay represents the attempt to bind the two distinct and separate materials into one combined whole as fruitless, and altogether in vain,” (K&D, Daniel 2:43). In other words, the word is used in Scripture to denote two things that should not be mixed together. Iron and clay can be put into the same mix but they will not adhere (without heat).
While these represent by no means the total consensus of translations, they plausibly provide the preferable (literal) translation based on the grammar. The same Hebrew root (arab ערב) is used in five other passages in Scripture. Though there is a slight grammatical difference between the Hebrew hitpael and Aramaic hitpaal, the root word, nevertheless, is exactly the same in both languages. The first usage we come to outside of Daniel is Psalm 106:35 where the writer recounts the history of Israel noting that Israel did not destroy the wicked (and ostensibly Nephilim) nations that the Lord had told them to destroy – rather they mingled themselves (via marriage to them). “But were mingled [vayitarvu וַיִּתְעָרְבוּ] among the heathen, and learned their works,” (Psalms 106:35 KJV). This unfortunately led them to sacrificing their children to demons (Psalms 106:37).
The next usage of the word “mingle” is in Ezra 9:2. Again, the mingling has to do with exchanging seed or genetic material. In this case, the Jews mingled themselves with the people of the land. The concern was that the holy seed (zera זֶרַע) from which the Messiah was to come, was being mixed with people who were not of the seed of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
For they have taken of their daughters for themselves, and for their sons: so that the holy seed [zera זֶרַע] have mingled themselves [hitarvu הִתְעָרְבוּ] with the people of [those] lands: yea, the hand of the princes and rulers hath been chief in this trespass, (Ezra 9:2 KJV).
The holy seed and that of the nations will mix but thereby contaminating the line from which the Messiah will come and therefore the holy seed should not be mixed with seed from outside of the Abrahamic line. Coming back to our key verse of Daniel 2:43, we deduce that “they” should not to mix themselves with seed of a different type. Therefore, their type must be something other than the seed of men. [ii] Rendering the translation in modern terms will help to grasp the full implications of the verse: “They will hybridize [mingle, mix, crossbreed] themselves with the genetic material [seed] of mankind”, (translation mine). This rendering is further enhanced when we consider the use of “seed of men” which in Daniel is the Aramaic word for men/mankind [anasha אֲנָשָׁא], “the seed of mankind.” In Jeremiah 31:27 God declares: “the days are coming […] when I will sow [vezarati וְזָרַעְתִּי] the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man [zera Adam אָדָם זֶרַע] and the seed of beast [zera behema זֶרַע בְּהֵמָה],” (Jeremiah 31:27). In this case, God is talking about how He will cause men and animals to flourish in the land of Israel (and Judah). The contrast is made between the seed of men and the seed of beasts (animals), being two distinct kinds. Therefore, if the seed of men refers to humans as a kind (species) then the next question we come to is just who are “they” in Daniel 2:43?
Who Are “They”?
The text says that “they will mingle themselves.” The antecedent of a pronoun usually comes before it, but since there is no other defining noun for “they” we must look at the next possible noun which is “these kings” in verse 44. Thus the word that defines “they” is in fact “these kings”. Just like those two materials do not blend well, neither will “these kings” with the seed of men. This cannot be simply referring to the intermarriage of different human ethnicities. We have explored the seed already throughout the Bible and seen that seed is referring to the genetic information contained in the gametes of both men and women. For a man it is the twenty-three chromosomes contained in the sperm and for a woman it is the twenty-three chromosomes contained in the ovum.
Therefore, what is significant about the statement that “these kings” will mingle with the seed of men? After all, every human on the planet originally came from Adam; we are all sons of Adam in a grand sense. When two people (son and daughter of men [Adam]) get married and have children, they literally mingle their seed – which is what procreation or child-bearing is all about (recall our discussion of the genetics of the). So, to say that these kings will mingle with the seed of men must necessarily mean that they are different from men. That is, they are not of the seed of men. After all, there really is no need to mention that a son and daughter of Adam (Aramaic Enosh אֱנָשׁ) are mixing their seed; even though procreation is miraculous, it is nonetheless ‘normal’ and ‘ordinary’. Therefore to say “they will mingle with the seed of men” must mean that “they” are not themselves of the seed of men, which is to say that “they” are not human. If they are not human, then what are they?
They (the ten kings) must be some beings that are able to mix their seed with mankind but are different from mankind and just as we saw in the Jude 1:7 passage, the strange flesh reference (mingling with a different kind) seems to be referring to demons () having sexual relations with women. Daniel, in fact, records the answer of who these kings are in chapter ten. As we examined before, an angel [iii] visited Daniel, who described him as:
His body was like beryl, his face like the appearance of lightning, his eyes like torches of fire, his arms and feet like burnished bronze in color, and the sound of his words like the voice of a multitude, (Daniel 10:6).
This angel (possibly Gabriel who visited Daniel in chapter 9) says to Daniel:
Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words, But the prince [sar שַׂ֣ר] of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes [hasarim harishonim הָרִאשֹׁנִ֖ים הַשָּׂרִ֥ים], came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings [malkhei מַלְכֵ֥י] of Persia, (Daniel 10:12-13).
This “man” that Daniel saw, who we would classify as an angelic being, whose “face was like lightning”, was stopped by a being of a similar likeness and power known as the prince of Persia. The word “prince” (sar שַׂר) used to describe the one who withstood is the same word used to describe Michael, the chief prince (sar שַׂ֣ר). The man states that not only had he been stopped by the prince of Persia, but that he remained alone with the kings (malkhei מַלְכֵ֥י) of Persia. The Septuagint interprets the kings simply as rulers or princes [arkhontos αρχοντος], which is the same Greek word in Ephesians 6:12. He then mentions that he must also fight against the prince of Greece.
Then he said, “Do you know why I have come to you? And now I must return to fight with the prince [sar שַׂ֣ר] of Persia; and when I have gone forth, indeed the prince [sar שַׂ֣ר] of Greece will come. But I will tell you what is noted in the Scripture of Truth. (No one upholds me against these, except Michael your prince [sar שַׂ֣ר]), (Daniel 10:21).
These princes and kings are the demonic power and influence behind the earthly kings and empires. The kings in Daniel 10 must necessarily be demon kings and not human kings for not even any number of human kings would be able to imprison one (good) angel as witnessed when just one angel killed 185,000 mighty Assyrians in one night (2 Kings 19:35).
In the book of Revelation we find another evil angelic king named Abaddon in Hebrew and Apollyon in Greek. “And they had as king over them the angel (angelos ἄγγελος) of the bottomless pit, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, but in Greek he has the name Apollyon,” (Revelation 9:11). Angelic beings (good or bad) are referred to both as princes and also as kings. Therefore “these kings” who “mingle with the seed of men” in Daniel 2 are in fact of the angelic order; the fact that they are destroyed proves that they are not good angels but are fallen angels.
Ten Toes, Horns and Kings Are Demons
Lastly, we note that the four empires in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream are parallel to those in Daniel chapter 7. Therefore, the ten toes of Daniel 2:43 are identical to the ten horns in Daniel 7:7 (and Revelation 13:1) and from Revelation 17:12 we learn that the horns are kings. Note the following verses:
- And as the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of clay, […] they will mingle with the seed of men; […] And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed […]. (Daniel 2:42-44).
- and the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn which came up, before which three fell, namely, that horn which had eyes and a mouth which spoke pompous words, whose appearance was greater than his fellows, (Daniel 7:20).
- The ten horns are ten kings who shall arise from this kingdom. And another shall rise after them; He shall be different from the first ones, and shall subdue three kings, (Daniel 7:24).
- And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads, (Revelation 12:3).
- […] And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name, (Revelation 13:1).
- The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast, (Revelation 17:12).
We see that the ten toes are the ten horns, which are the ten kings – and these ten kings are demon kings and not specifically human (though human rulers are probably controlled by them). This squares well with the fact that we are told in Revelation 12:3 thathas ten horns. [iv] The same heads, horns and diadems which the dragon has are also on the beast. This presents somewhat of a challenge in that the beast sometimes appears as an empire and sometimes as an individual entity; perhaps both are true. At least part of the time the beast must refer to an individual entity because he is eventually thrown into the lake of fire along with the false prophet (Revelation 19:20). Throwing an empire into the lake of fire appears to be impossible in that an empire is not a living entity, but is a collection of individuals performing the wishes of the leader.
The final proof that the toes / horns / kings are demons comes from Revelation 17:12 which we already considered as proof that the kings are equal to the horns. However, if we zoom in just a bit we notice [v] something important; the ten horns “are ten kings” (deka basileis eisin δέκα βασιλεῖς εἰσιν) which “have received no kingdom as yet”. John was told that there are kings (current to his day) that do not yet have a kingdom. However, these same kings (alive in John’s day) will receive their kingdom when the Beast rises to power. It has been nearly two thousand years since John received the Revelation from Jesus on the island of Patmos. What human kings have been alive for two thousand years? Clearly the answer is none! Therefore, the only option left are kings that do not die but continue – demons do not physically die and therefore the ten kings were present back in John’s day, had no kingdom but will receive the kingdom when the Beast comes and so we conclude that the kings are necessarily demonic kings. We know that the understanding of “are kings” signifying that they were alive then in John’s day must be right because Jesus used the same grammatical argument against the Sadducees to prove the resurrection: ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not God of the dead, but of the living,” (Matthew 22:32).
Thus we see that in the last days, rulers of this dark age (Ephesians 6:12) will mingle their seed with humans just as they did in the days of Noah and also when the children of Israel went into the Promised Land. So, just as Jesus predicted, the days of His return would be like the days of Noah. The sons of God took women and the fruit of their union was the Nephilim. So too the last days will be marked by the coming of these Nephilim. In fact we see that these days have already begun to be fulfilled and so our Lord’s return cannot be far away.