divided. So the fourth Beast was initially and essentially Roman, and not Byzantine.
Consequently, the ten "toes" of Daniel chapter two refer to the modern Nations of Europe into which the mediaeval Holy Roman Empire disintegrated. This was the view, even before that occurred, of: Irenaeus; Tertullian; Hippolytus; Eusebius; Sulpicius Severus; and Jerome. And this was also the view, after it occurred, of: Andreas; Jephet ibn Ali; Abraham ben Ezra; Luther; Mel-anchthon; Poole; Jonathan Edwards; Lacunza; Faber; Adam Clarke; Albert Barnes; E.W. Hengstenberg; Patrick Fairbairn; and many others.1758
So the Roman kingdom's 'legs' were split into its "toes" between A.D. 351 and 476. Hence it must follow that the Fifth or Stone Kingdom of Christ was set up, here on Earth, before then. In other words, the Stone Kingdom commenced at Christ's First Coming — when He was incarnated.
So the Messianic Kingdom is incarnational. It is not one to be set up only at His still-future Second Coming at the end of History. It is one that was set up even at His First Coming.
Indeed, this is the considered judgment of all the leading Theologians in the Church of all ages. Thus: Eusebius, Chrysostom, Gregory the Great, Bede, Peter Comestor, Walter Brute, Luther, Melanchthon, Oecolampadius, Calvin, Knox & Whittingham in their Geneva Bible, Downham, Mede, the Dutch States Bible of the Synod of Dordt, Parker, Tillinghast, Poole, Jurieu, Cotton Mather, Matthew Henry, Sir Isaac Newton, Willison, Bishop Thomas Newton, John Brown (of Haddington), Samuel Hopkins, Thomas Scott, Adam Clarke, T.H. Horne, Bishop Daniel Wilson, Albert Barnes, Leopold, B.H. Carroll, Edward J. Young, and very many others.1757
Yet this Kingdom of Christ would start off only in a very small way. A Stone would be cut out of the Mountain — cut out, without hands.1761 This occurred initially at the earthly birth of King Jesus, and especially during His earthly life when He set up His Kingdom here on Earth.
According to His divinity, Jehovah-Jesus was and is the Stone from the heavenly Mountain of the Lord — alias the Son of God. As to His humanity, He was and is the Messianic Stone of Mount Zion — alias the true Older Testament's "son of man" Who came and lived right here on Earth.1762
As God the Rock, He rolled down from Heaven. As the Son of man, He was Himself cut out of the Israelitic Covenant People without the hand of man — when He was born of a virgin.1763
So too, Christ's Kingdom — the "Fifth Kingdom" which followed the four kingdoms of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome — is a Kingdom which is not of or from this World. For it is a Kingdom which originated not on Earth, but from Heaven — when it was cut out of the heavenly Mountain, at the time His Personhood entered into the fabric of humanity at the very moment of the incarnation of the Logos or Word of God.
Yet, once cut loose, this Stone would then roll down from the heavenly Mountain onto our great planet Earth — and, later, away from the Israelitic People and out into all the Gentile World. Ever gathering increasing momentum, it would then continue to roll on — until hitting and smashing the heathen Roman Empire as the representative of all anti-Christian powers here on Earth.
That smashing already occurred in principle, when Jesus Christ rose from the dead and "despoiled principalities and powers, …triumphing over them." And it occurred in practice still later — when Christianity destroyed the heathen Roman Empire and christianized it. Indeed, Christianity will continue to do the same to all Post-Roman empires too — until the whole Earth