“Clay” Nations Trouble Europe
On May 29, the French—in a legally binding referendum—rejected the proposed European Union constitution. Three days later, a Dutch referendum submitted an even more dogmatic rejection of the charter. These two events are fulfilling a major prophecy about end-time Europe that few understand.
The all-important key to understanding Bible prophecy—and, by extension, world events—is identifying Israel in those prophecies. Herbert W. Armstrong’s book The United States and Britain in Prophecy explains, in thorough, riveting detail, how the American and British peoples largely fulfill this prophetic role.
When you understand that the U.S. and Britain are the descendants of Ephraim and Manasseh, upon whom the birthright of Israel was conferred millennia ago (see Genesis 48:16-20), world events leap into focus. Ephraim and Manasseh were sons of Joseph, who was one of the patriarch Israel’s 12 sons. The descendants of another of Israel’s sons, Judah, now inhabit the small nation in the Middle East called Israel.
Identifying Israel’s descendants is not only vital to understanding the Anglicized world and the Middle East in global affairs, it is also crucial to understanding European events, because Israel’s other 10 sons inhabit mainland Europe today.
The united Europe we see today is currently composed of Israelite nations as well as non-Israelite (or Gentile) nations. That awkward mixture is at the heart of Europe’s woes. Believe it or not, this was prophesied in your Bible!
Daniel 2 contains a prophecy of four major world-ruling kingdoms that would exist from the reign of Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon down to our day. This prophecy is described through a visual aid—a great image of a statue with head of gold (the Babylonian empire), breast and arms of silver (the Medo-Persian empire), belly and waist of brass (the Greco-Macedonian empire) and two legs of iron (the Roman Empire).
The feet and the toes of this image, however, show the iron mixing with “miry clay” (Daniel 2:43).
God tells Israel, in Jeremiah 18:6, that He is the potter and it is the clay.
Notice how this clay will affect the final resurrection of the Roman Empire, which we see rising in Europe today—currently under the name of “European Union”: “And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay” (Daniel 2:41).
Yes, this final resurrection of the Roman Empire will have the strength of the previous empire, but there’s more. Verse 42: “And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken [or brittle].”
How brittle is the European Union today? What is the cause of this divisiveness? Well, just take a look at the nations creating the fuss over the EU constitution as a characteristic example.
There has never been more turmoil over Europe’s constitution—even the Union’s very existence—than in the months leading up to the French referendum on whether the nation should ratify the document. Poll after poll showed that the French would reject the treaty, even if narrowly. This sent Europe into a panic. Eurocrats scrabbled up all sorts of ideas—from helping the French leadership campaign for the treaty to devising a plan B should the French reject it. One plan was to let the rest of Europe ratify it and then take it back to the French a second time (Denmark needed a repeat referendum over the 1992 Maastricht Treaty; Ireland likewise for the 2002 Nice Treaty). Germany did all it could to help the effort; it completed its own parliamentary ratification process just two days earlier, hoping that would help boost French support.
France (modern-day Reuben) couldn’t reject it, or so many insisted, for France was a founding member—and a core one at that—of a European federation. Adding insult to injury, three days after the French rejected the constitution, Holland (Zebulun’s descendants), another founding member of the united-Europe idea, gave an even more resounding “nee” in its referendum. This too was disheartening to European policymakers.
Notice too which other nations have provoked fear among Europhile politicians, who so desperately want their charter to be implemented. Far-right parties in Belgium (Asher) campaigned hard against the constitution, which is one of the reasons Belgium decided not to have a referendum. Britain and Denmark (modern-day Dan) actually suspended their plans to have a referendum on the constitution.
In fact, as far as taking the matter to the people, of the 10 European nations that originally planned to do this, six are Israelite nations—countries more rooted in the Judeo-Christian way of thinking. And the countries that had already ratified the treaty by the week of the French and Dutch referenda were all non-Israelite.
Bible prophecy stands revealed in Europe! Israel certainly is the “clay” in this union of nations. It is mixing with the strength of iron and making the resulting union brittle.
This final resurrection of the Roman Empire, though strong as iron, will be short-lived because of its unnatural composition. As Daniel 2:43 states, “[B]ut they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.” Letting the Bible interpret itself in identifying the “clay,” we can know that some Israelite nations will be involved in a united Europe—at least for a period of time. We can be sure Britain will not be, however, as the Bible prophesies it will be one of the major victims of the European conglomerate. The point here is that what presently weakens the iron nature of this empire are the nations that are “clay”—as we can see is the case today.
But before its collapse, a united, iron-strong Europe will dominate this world—and it will directly impact your life. Though it will be for only a short time, these nations of iron and clay will unite under one strong political leader. For more on where this is all headed, read our December 2003 article “Are We Wrong About Europe?”