have feet of clay

have feet of clay

have a fatal flaw in a character that is otherwise powerful or admirable.

This expression alludes to the biblical account of a magnificent statue seen in a dream by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. It was constructed from fine metals, all except for its feet which were made of clay when these were smashed, the whole statue was brought down and destroyed. Daniel interprets this to signify a future kingdom that will be partly strong and partly broken and will eventually fall (Daniel 2:31-5).

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