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Before CHRIST about 570.
Before CHRIST about 570.
healing of thine error.
Daniel interpreteth the dream.
The story of the event. S T field dwelt, and upon whose branches counsel be acceptable unto thee, and about 570., the fowls of the heaven had their break off thy sins by righteousness, about 570. habitation:
and thine iniquities by shewing mercy 22 It is thou, O king, that art to the poor; if it may be la lengthen- 1 Or, an , grown and become strong: for thy | ing of thy tranquillity. greatness is grown, and reacheth unto 28 | All this came upon the king heaven, and thy dominion to the end | Nebuchadnezzar. of the earth.
| 29 At the end of twelve months 23 And whereas the king saw a he walked in the palace of the 11 Or, upon. watcher and an holy one coming kingdom of Babylon. down from heaven, and saying, Hew 30 The king spake, and said, Is the tree down, and destroy it; yet not this great Babylon, that I have leave the stump of the roots thereof built for the house of the kingdom by in the earth, even with a band of iron the might of my power, and for the and brass, in the tender grass of the honour of my majesty ? field; and let it be wet with the dew 31 While the word was in the of heaven, and let his portion be with king's mouth, there fell a voice from the beasts of the field, till seven times heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadpass over him;
nezzar, to thee it is spoken; The 24 This is the interpretation, o kingdom is departed from thee. king, and this is the decree of the 32 And they shall drive thee from about !69. most High, which is come upon my men, and thy dwelling shall be with lord the king:
the beasts of the field: they shall c Chap. 5. 21, 25 That they shall drive thee make thee to eat grass as oxen, and
from men, and thy dwelling shall be seven times shall pass over thee, until
26 And whereas they commanded with the dew of heaven, till his hairs
after that thou shalt have known that 34 And at the end of the days I about 563. the heavens do rule.
Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes 27 Wherefore, ( king, let my unto heaven, and mine understanding
26. - thy kingdom shall be sure unto thee,] That a not cured of his overweening pride and vanity, till he dispensation of judgment should be tempered with such was overtaken by the threatened judgment. Bp. signal mercy to a heathen prince, not, like Cyrus, emi Horsley. nent for his virtues, however distinguished by his 29. — he walked in the palace] Or, “he was walking talents, is perhaps in some degree to be put to the ac- upon the palace.” It is well known that the roofs of count of the favour he shewed to many of the Jews his the buildings in the East were flat or plain, over which captives, and in particular to his constant patronage of the inhabitants used to walk for pleasure. Wintle. See the Prophet Daniel. Bp. Horsley.
| the note on 2 Sam. xi. 2. 27. — break off thy sins by righteousness, &c.] The 30. — great Babylon, that I have built] It is freplain meaning of this counsel given to the king is, that quently expressed in Scripture that a person has built a he should “ do justly, and love mercy,” should practise city, who has enlarged, repaired, or fortified it. See those great duties of justice and charity towards man 2 Chron. xi. 6; 2 Kings xiv. 22. kind, in which he had been hitherto remarkably defi Whatever we read of the original construction of cient; then, as it follows, Perhaps there shall be a pro Babylon by Nimrod or Belus, or of its enlargement by longation to thy tranquillity, or peace; that is, his Semiramis, yet it was either of little account, or cerpunishment might be remitted, and his felicity con tainly not as one of the wonders of the world, till the tinued for a longer term: not unlike the case of Heze. walls with their hundred gates, the temple of Belus, the kiah in Isaiah, chap. xxxviii; or that of the Ninevites, monarch's most magnificent palace, the hanging garrecorded by the Prophet Jonah. See also Jer. xviii. dens, and other grand works and improvements, were Wintle.
added by the king, who is said to have “ built" it. 28. All this came upon the king Nebuchadnezzar.1 | Wintle. Strange as it must seem, notwithstanding Daniel's 31. W'hile the word was in the king's mouth, &c.] So weight and credit with the king; notwithstanding the Herod was struck immediately, “ because he gave not consternation of mind, into which the dream had thrown God the glory,” Acts xii. 23. .W. Lowth. him; this warning had no permanent effect. He was 34. - I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes] The first
Mic. 4. 7.
The story of the event.
CHAP. IV, V.
Belshazzar's impious feast. Before returned unto me, and I blessed the about 563. most High, and I praised and honour
CHAP. V. ed him that liveth for ever, whose 1 Belshazzar's impious feast. 5 A handa Chap. 7. 14. dominion is dan everlasting dominion,
writing, unknown to the magicians, troubleth and his kingdom is from generation
the king. 10 At the commendation of the
queen Daniel is brought. 17 He, reproving
the king of pride and idolatry, 25 readeth
bitants of the earth : and none can lords, and drank wine before the
2 Belshazzar, whiles he tasted the 36 At the same time my reason re- wine, commanded to bring the golden turned unto me; and for the glory of and silver vessels which his father my kingdom, mine honour and bright- Nebuchadnezzar had † taken out of Chald,
brought forth. ness returned unto me; and my the temple which was in Jerusalem; counsellers and my lords sought unto that the king, and his princes, his me; and I was established in my wives, and his concubines, might drink kingdom, and excellent majesty was therein. added unto me.
3 Then they brought the golden 37 Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise vessels that were taken out of the and extol and honour the King of temple of the house of God which heaven, all whose works are truth, was at Jerusalem ; and the king, and and his ways judgment: and those his princes, his wives, and his concuthat walk in pride he is able to abase. bines, drank in them.
indication of the recovery is noted by a reverse of the able of any thing which rests upon mere human testicause of the fall. At the expiration of the term, or at mony. The king himself, upon his recovery, published the end of seven years, Nebuchadnezzar lifted up his a proclamation in every part of his vast empire, giving eyes unto heaven, and his understanding or mind re- an account of all which had befallen him, and in conturned; he acknowledged against whom he had trans- clusion giving praise and honour to the King of heaven, gressed by his pride, and looked up unto Him when acknowledging that “all His works are truth, and His he was restored. The following acts of praise are the ways judgment, and that those who walk in pride He suitable returns of a mind truly penitent, and deeply is able to abase." The evidence of the whole fact theresensible of its faults and of the mercies it had received. | fore stands upon this publick record of the Babylonian Wintle.
empire, which was preserved word for word in this 37. Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour chapter, of which it makes indeed the whole. This the King of heaven,] We shall not find in history a more chapter therefore is not Daniel's writing, but Nebuawful example and monument of Providence, than the chadnezzar's. Bp. Horsley. vicissitudes of Nebuchadnezzar's life afford. Raised gradually to the pinnacle of power and human glory by Chap. V. ver. 1. Belshazzar the king made a great a long train of those brilliant actions and successes, feast &c. This feast was made at a time of publick which man is too apt to ascribe to himself, (the proxi- rejoicing, being an annual festival, when the whole night mate causes being indeed in himself and in the instru- was spent in revelling : of which season Cyrus took the ments he uses, although Providence is always the prime advantage to make himself master of the city, as Heroefficient,) he was suddenly cast down from it, and, after dotus and Xenophon relate, and as was foretold by Jea time, as suddenly restored, without any natural or remiah, chap. li. 39. 57. W. Lowth. human means. His humiliation was not the effect of 2. — whiles he tasted the wine,] The expression seems any reverse of fortune, of any publick disaster, or any to allude to that part of the libation, in which the wine
expiration of a twelvemonth from his dream, the king, This “impious king," as he is called by Xenophon, in still at rest in his house, and flourishing in his palace, making the libations, ordered the vessels of Jehovah to surveying his city, and exulting in the monuments of be introduced for these purposes, thus impiously proshis own greatness, which it presented to his eye, was tituting the most sacred instruments of the temple of smitten by an invisible hand. As the event stood un- the true God to the idolatrous services of pagan superconnected with any known natural cause, it must have stition; or, if the impiety was not so gross, at least the been beyond the ken of any foresight short of the Di. sacred vessels were applied to common uses, and to the vine; and it follows incontestibly, that the prediction purposes of intemperance and excess. Wintle. and the accomplishment of it were both from God. - his father Nebuchadnezzar] Rather, his grandThe king's restoration to power and grandeur had also father. Nebuchadnezzar was succeeded by his son been predicted; and this took place at che predicted lloarudam, according to Ptolemy, who is the Evil-metime, independently of any natural cause, and without rodach of Jeremiah: he married a discreet and prudent the use of any human means. And the evidence of woman, called Nitocris, from whom was born Nabonathese extraordinary occurrences; of the prediction, the dius or Belshazzar. Wintle. See the notes on Exod. ii. fall, and the restoration; is perhaps the most undeni. | 18; and Jer. xxvii. 7.
The handwriting on the wall.
Daniel is brought to explain it. Before or 4 They drank wine, and praised | live for ever: let not thy thoughts c Before about 538. the gods of gold, and of silver, trouble thee, nor let thy countenance about 538.
of brass, of iron, of wood, and of be changed :
11 a There is a man in thy king- a Chap. 2. 48
nezzar thy || father, the king, I say, 1.0r, grand6 Then the king's + countenance thy father, made • master of the ma- b Chap. 4. 9. + Chald.**** † was changed, and his thoughts trou gicians, astrologers, Chaldeans, and
ds. bled him, so that the || + joints of his soothsayers; | Chald. Toins were loosed, and his knees smote | 12 Forasmuch as an excellent spirit, or, knots. one against another.
| and knowledge, and understanding,
in the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and of hard sentences, and || dissolving of &c.
and shew me the interpretation there- and he will shew the interpretation.
have a chain of gold about his neck, before the king. And the king spake
Daniel, which art of the children of
14 I have even heard of thee, that 9 Then was king Belshazzar greatly the spirit of the gods is in thee, and troubled, and his f countenance was that light and understanding and exchanged in him, and his lords were cellent wisdom is found in thee. astonied.
| 15 And now the wise men, the as10 I Now the queen by reason of trologers, have been brought in bethe words of the king and his lords fore me, that they should read this came into the banquet house : and writing, and make known unto me the queen spake and said, O king, the interpretation thereof: but they
+ Chald. brightnesses.
4. — praised the gods of gold,] As they drank their rious persons in his army. It is usual to give a splenwine in these once hallowed vessels, they triumphed did suit of clothes at the same time ; an Egyptian and over that God, to whom they had been consecrated; Persian custom. See Gen. xli. 42; Esth. viii. 15. Bruce. and magnified the power of their idols of gold and silver, the third ruler in the kingdom.] Perhaps, next &c. as if by their might these victories had been to the king and the king's son. Grotius. achieved, and these rich spoils obtained. Bp. Hall. 11. There is a man in thy kingdom, &c.] Some perSuch a wanton and sacrilegious insult deserved and sons are apt to wonder that Daniel was unknown to called for exemplary punishment. Wintle.
Belshazzar, which others have accounted for from the 5. In the same hour came forth fingers &c.] In the abandoned and indolent character of the king; but very same hour, while they were offering this affront to there is a farther reason, which Mr. Harmer has hinted the God of heaven, it pleased the just and powerful God from Sir John Chardin; namely, that he was displaced to shew, that He took notice of this presumptuous im- at the death of a prior king; since in the East, when a
ably punished in this world as that of sacrilege, as one for not having driven away death, the other for not appears by innumerable instances, taken out of the his- having predicted it. But after all Daniel was not pertories of all ages, of heathens and infidels, as well as haps totally unknown, at least by report, to this king; Jews and Christians. W. Lowth.
however he was probably of no esteem, or employed in 6. Then the king's countenance was changed, &c.] The no considerable department in the state, in the early very great confusion and uneasiness of Belshazzar at part of his reign, and therefore not readily recollected. the sight of the hand shews, that nothing is more weak | Wintle. and timorous than a guilty conscience, and that the 12. - dissolving of doubts,] Literally, “ of knots," as Divine judgments overtake the ungodly, when they in the margin. It appears from Sir John Chardin, that think themselves most secure. Ostervald.
this phrase is still in use in Persia: a patent given to 7. - shall be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of him by the king of Persia speaks of “superintendents, gold &c.] Gold chains are a mark of dignity in Abys- who unloose all sorts of knots." Fragments to Calo sinia, bestowed by the sovereign on the most merito- | met.
proving the king, readeth
CHAP. V.. and interpreteth the writing. for could not shew the interpretation of body was wet with the dew of hea- Before 38. the thing:
... ven; till he knew that the most high about 538. 16 And I have heard of thee, that God ruled in the kingdom of men, thou canst + make interpretations, fand that he appointeth over it whomand dissolve doubts: now. if thou soever he will. canst read the writing, and make 22 And thou his son, O Belshazzar, known to me the interpretation there- hast not humbled thine heart, though of, thou shalt be clothed with scarlet, thou knewest all this; and have a chain of gold about thy 23 But hast lifted up thyself against neck, and shalt be the third ruler in the Lord of heaven; and they have the kingdom.
brought the vessels of his house be17 | Then Daniel answered and fore thee, and thou, and thy lords, said before the king, Let thy gifts be thy wives, and thy concubines, have as to thyself, and give thy | rewards to drunk wine in them; and thou hast
another; yet I will read the writing praised the gods of silver, and gold, unto the king, and make known to of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which him the interpretation. . see not, nor hear, nor know: and the
18 ( thou king, the most high God God in whose hand thy breath is, and gave Nebuchadnezzar thy father a whose are all thy ways, hast thou not kingdom, and majesty, and glory, glorified: and honour:
24 Then was the part of the hand 19 And for the majesty that he sent from him; and this writing was gave him, all people, nations, and written. languages, trembled and feared before 25 | And this is the writing that him : whom he would he slew; and was written, MENE, MENE, TEwhom he would he kept alive; and KEL, UPHARSIN. whom he would he set up; and whom 26 This is the interpretation of the he would he put down.
thing: MENE; God hath numbered 20 But when his heart was lifted thy kingdom, and finished it. deal up, and his mind hardened || in pride, 27 TEKEL; Thou art weighed
he was † deposed from his kingly in the balances, and art found wantme throne, and they took his glory from ing. him :
28 PERES; Thy kingdom is di32. 21 And he was driven from the vided, and given to the Medes and made sons of men; and || his heart was Persians. c. made like the beasts, and his dwelling 29 Then commanded Belshazzar,
was with the wild asses: they fed and they clothed Daniel with scarlet, him with grass like oxen, and his and put a chain of gold about his neck,
and they took his glory from him :1 Or, “his 27. TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and was taken from him,” according to the Hebrew art found wanting.] Wicked men are often compared ology. W. Lowth. The authority of Nebuchad- to silver adulterated, and alloyed with baser metals, was raised in the last verse to the highest pitch ; which makes it too light, when weighed in the balances;
that account we find here, that his heart was see Jer, vi. 30; Ezek. xxii. 18. W, Lowth. “Tekel" and bis spirit grown obdurate in proud and ar- signifies to weigh. The meaning here is, that the Albehaviour, instead of ascribing all his honours / mighty had weighed, or made a due estimate of, the vantages to the real giver of them, the true God, conduct of Belshazzar, according to the just and imhe had been brought to acknowledge ; and to partial measures of His providence; and had found flect of whom, and of improvement from his an- him light or deficient, a man of no account, unworthy
sufferings, Belshazzar's fate is by the Prophet of a kingdom, and a fit object of Divine vengeance. y and judiciously attributed. Wintle.
| Wintle. MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and 28. PERES ; Thy kingdom is divided, &c.] The it.] “MENE,” to number ; ihat is, to fix verb paras, from whence "peres” is derived as an apto a thing, or the period of its continuance. pellative, signifies to divide or break : it is likewise the
proper name of the Persians, who were to be sharers in determinate number of years which God hath the division of the Babylonish empire. “Upharsin” in d for the continuance of thy reign, and the Ba- the 25th verse literally signifies “and they divide." monarchy, is finished. So God is said to num- | W. Lowth. months of man's life, and to appoint him 29. — and they clothed Daniel with scarlet,] The comthat he cannot pass,” Job xiv. 5. The word ing out from the presence of princes in a dress presented
is doubled in the foregoing verse, to shew to the wearer as a mark of distinction, is an honour still hing is certain, and “ established by God," as practised in the East. They are conferred sometimes lls Pharaoh in the like case, Gen. xli. 32. W, merely as an honour, and sometimes as an ensign of
office. Harmer, Sir J, Chardin.
Daniel is made chief president.
A conspiracy against him. res, and made a proclamation concerning concerning the kingdom; but they Before about 538. him, that he should be the third ruler could find none occasion nor fault; about 537. m in the kingdom.
forasmuch as he was faithful, neither about 538. 30 In that night was Belshazzar was there any error or fault found in the king of the Chaldeans slain.
him. 31 And Darius the Median took 5 Then said these men, We shall + Chald. he the kingdom, + being || about three- not find any occasion against this score and two years old.
Daniel, except we find it against him lOr, now.
concerning the law of his God. | CHAP. VI.
6 Then these presidents and princes
said thus unto him, King Darius, live
counsellers, and the captains, have about 538. TT pleased Darius to set over the consulted together to establish a royal
1 kingdom an hundred and twenty statute, and to make a firm || decree, ! Or,
any God or man for thirty days, save
not changed, according to the a law a Esther 2. 1.
10 | Now when Daniel knew that 49 Then the presidents and princes the writing was signed, he went into sought to find occasion against Daniel his house; and his windows being
+ Chald. passete nol.
30. In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chal- He visits them with, nor the examples He sets before deans slain.] and from the next verse it appears, that their eyes. Ostervald. the Babylonian or Chaldean kingdom expired with
Chap. VI. ver. 1. - an hundred and twenty princes,] The punishment of Nebuchadnezzar, the death of That is, viceroys, lieutenants, or chief governours under Belshazzar, and the expiration of the kingdom, may re- the king. Xenophon mentions the same fact, only he mind us of that fine passage of the wise son of Sirach, ascribes the institution of these satraps, as he calls them, contained in Ecclus. x, 12–18. Wintle.
to Cyrus; and, no doubt, Cyrus's uncle, Darius, called 31. And Darius the Median look the kingdom, This by Xenophon Cyaxares, did not appoint them without Darius is said to be of the “seed of the Medes, chap. his nephew's advice and concurrence. Parkhurst. ix. l; and is supposed by the most judicious chrono- These "princes” were according to the number of the logers to be the same with Cyaxares, the son of Asty- provinces, which were subject to the Medo-Persian emages : him Cyrus made king of the Chaldeans, as being pire. These were afterwards enlarged to an hundred his uncle by his mother's side, and his partner in carry- and twenty-seven by the victories of Cambyses and ing on the war against the Babylonians, and left him Darius Hystaspes. See Esth. i. 1. W. Lowth. the palace of the king of Babylon, to live there when 2. — three presidents ; of whom Daniel was first :] ever he pleased, as Xenophon relates. The Chaldee He had been appointed one of the principal officers of phrase, rendered here, “ took the kingdom," is trans- state by Belshazzar, chap. v. 29. W. Lowth. lated “possessed the kingdom," chap. vii. 18; and 8. -- according to the law of the Medes and Persians, means the same with succeeding to the kingdom. W. which allereth not.) After it is once enacted by the king, Lowth. Josephus says, that this Darius was the son of with the consent of his counsellors. W. Lowth. See Astyages, and that the Greeks called him by another the notes at Esth. viii. 11; ix. 16. name : what this other name, given by the Greeks to 9. Therefore king Darius signed the writing and the the son and successor of Astyages, was, we lea:n from decree. Thus was atheism established by the law in the Xenophon, who tells us it was Cyaxares. Bp. Hallifax. court, city, and empire of Babylon, for the space of one
The judgment recorded in this chapter is a visible month. Bp. Horne. proof of the Divine vengeance on those, whose heart is 10. Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, lifted up by prosperity; on the profane and ungodly, he went into his house ; &c.] He did his duty exactly who, instead of reverencing Him from whom they re- according to his usual custom, as if nothing had hapceive life, and breath, and all things, have the insolence pened, and no law had been passed, or any thing said at to exalt themselves against Him; and on those, who do court about it. He would not go to any other place, not improve the warnings He gives them, the afflictions, where his enemies might not have found him, but