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CHRIST about 580.
CHAP. II, III.
a golden image in Dura. Before Lord of kings, and a revealer of se- 1 a good confession. 19 God delivereth them Before
out of the furnace. 26 Nebuchadnezzar crets, seeing thou couldest reveal this
seeing the miracle blesseth God. secret.
48 Then the king made Daniel a NEBUCHADNEZZAR the great man, and gave him many great IV king made an image of gold,
gifts, and made him ruler over the whose height was threescore cubits, e Chap. 4. 9. whole province of Babylon, e chief of and the breadth thereof six cubits :
the governors over all the wise men he set it up in the plain of Dura, in
| the province of Babylon.
the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the
provinces, to come to the dedication
of the image which Nebuchadnezzar
in Dura. 8 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-
the 3 Then the princes, the governors,
Governour of the world, and Ruler of the kings and succession of kingdoms, and were equally worthy to be kingdoms in it: see ver. 21. W. Lowth.
made the objects of prophecy, being as eminent for the The Jews were not only of service in their flourishing wisdom of their constitutions, the extent of their domistate to support true religion in the world, but under nion, and the length of their duration. But these four their afflictions and captivities they spread it much empires had a particular relation to the church and peofarther than they could before. They then became ex- ple of God, who were subject to them in their turns. They tensively useful to the nations, amongst whom necessity were therefore particularly predicted; and we have in mixed them; as both the reasonableness of their faith, them, without the intermixture of others, a line of procompared with heathenism, was easy to be seen; and phecy (as I may say) extending from the reign of Nebuas prophecies fulfilled, or miracles performed in their chadnezzar to the full and complete establishment of the favour, could not but recommend the worship of that kingdom of the Messiah. He, who is Arbiter of kingBeing, whom they served. By these means their con- | doms, and Governour of the universe, can reveal as queror Nebuchadnezzar was brought to declare Him“ a much of their future revolutions as He pleaseth; and God of gods, and a Lord of kings, all whose works are He hath revealed enough to manifest His providence, truth, and His ways judgment,” chap. iv. 37. On these and to confirm the truth of religion. What Daniel said accounts did Darius the Mede decree, “ That in every | upon the first discovery of these things, well may dominion of his kingdom men should tremble and fear we say, after the completion of so many particulars, before the God of Daniel : for He is the living God, and “ Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for stedfast for ever," chap. vi. 26. And Cyrus, whom wisdom and might are His: and He changeth the times Isaiah had foretold by name above one hundred years and the seasons: He removeth kings, and setteth up before his birth, for the restorer of the people from kings : He giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge their captivity, acknowledged by a written proclamation, to them that know understanding : He revealeth the sent through his whole empire, that the God of the Jews deep and secret things : He knoweth what is in the had “ given him all the kingdoms of the earth,” Ezra i. darkness, and the light dwelleth with Him,” ver. 201, 2. Abp. Secker.
22. Bp. Newton. 48.- ruler over the whole province of Babylon,] When the empire came under the government of the Medes Chap. III. ver. 1. Nebuchadnezzar - made an image] and Persians, every province had a prince or ruler ap- | The statue was probably of Bel, or some Assyrian deity; pointed over it, chap. vi. 1. This may have been prac- see ver. 14. It is thought to have been hollow within, tised before, only afterwards improved by the addition like that of the Colossus of Rhodes, whose height exof three presidents over the rest, chap. vi. 2, and v. 7. ceeded that of the statue by ten cubits. The proportion W. Lowth.
of the height seems unequal to the breadth, unless - chief of the governors over all the wise men] Pre- | the pedestal, on which it was placed, be included. Diosident of the college of the Magi. Bp. Horsley,
dorus relates, that Xerxes took away an image of gold 49. — but Daniel sat in the gate of the king. 1 See the forty feet high, when he demolished the temple of Belus notes on Gen. xxiii. 10.
in Babylon. Dean Prideaux supposes it may have been It was from the prophecy recorded in this chapter that the distinction first arose of the four great empires have been twenty-seven cubits high. The statue of Juof the world, which hath been followed by most his-/ piter, made by Lysippus at Tarentum, is said to have torians and chronologers in their distribution of times. I been forty cubits. Wintle, W. Louth. These four empires, as they are the subject of this pro | --- in the plain of Dura,] See its probable situation phecy, are likewise the subject of the most celebrated near Babylon, in the map of the dominions of David pens both in former and in later ages. Not but there and Solomon. have been empires as great, or greater, than some of 2,- the princes, the governors, &c.] It is difficult, these, as those of the Tartars for instance, and of the if not impossible, to describe with certainty the several Saracens, and of the Turks; and we may think per- officers and commanders here mentioned. W. Lowth, haps, that they were as well deserving of a place in this' Wintle.
set no regard
who the kingmage that and
Shadrach, gc. are accused.
They make confession. c. Before surers, the counsellers, the sheriffs, and 11 And whoso falleth not down c Beforest about 580. all the rulers of the provinces, were and worshippeth, that he should be about 580.
gathered together unto the dedica- cast into the midst of a burning fiery
province of Babylon, Shadrach, MeChald. with 4 Then the herald cried | aloud, shach, and Abed-nego; these men, O + Chald. they To you it is commanded, O people, king, t have not regarded thee: they + Chald. have nations, and languages,
serve not thy gods, nor worship the upon thee. 5 That at what time ye hear the golden image which thou hast set up. .
sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sack- 13 I Then Nebuchadnezzar in his ! or, singing. but, psaltery, || dulcimer, and all rage and fury commanded to bring symphony. kinds of musick, ye fall down and Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego.
worship the golden image that Ne- Then they brought these men before
6 And whoso falleth not down and J4 Nebuchadnezzar spake and said
serve my gods, nor worship the golden
worship not, ye shall be cast the same
that shall deliver you out of my
nego, answered and said to the king,
-- - -
--4.- O people, nations, and languages,] From what. Burning offenders alive was a punishment used among ever part of the empire ye come, and whatever language the Babylonians; see Jer. xxix. 22: and perhaps among ye speak: see ver. 29, and chap. iv. 1. This form of other Eastern nations ; see Ps. xxi. 9. W. Lowth. It is speech was designed to set forth the largeness and still inflicted on Jews and Christians for capital offences extent of the Babylonish empire, which had subjects of at Algiers. Dr. Shaw. so many different languages. The same phrase was 15. — well : 7 The ellipsis, though familiar in the afterwards used under the Medes and Persians, chap. vi. Hebrew and other ancient languages, is beautiful in 25; Esth. i. 22 ; ii. 12; viii. 9.' W. Lowth.
this verse, and seems to point at the great wrath 5. — cornet, flute, harp, &c.] There is much difficulty and overbearing impetuosity of the furious monarch, in determining the several musical instruments here which is further denoted at the end of the verse. intended. Though Dr. Burney, in his History of Mu- For a like ellipsis see Luke xiii. 9; Matt. xv. 5, 6, &c. sick, has one whole chapter on the musick of the ancient Wintle. Hebrews, yet he only enumerates the names of these - and who is that God &c.] Thus Nebuchadnezzar instruments, by quoting the verse ; and probably in his exalted himself above God Almighty, as Sennacherib researches could not meet with sufficient data to explain had done before him, 2 Kings xviii. 35. Notwith. them in a satisfactory manner. Wintle.
standing he had before made a confession of the true : 6. — the same hour] This is the first place in the God, chap. ii. 47. W. Lowth. Old Testament where we meet with the division of time 16. -- we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.] into hours. The Greeks ascribe the invention of hours In so plain a case, there is no room for deliberation : to Anaximander, or Anaximenes ; who probably learned we have an answer ready at hand, that we ought to it from the Chaldeans. W. Lowth.
obey God rather than man. W. Lowth. See the note - be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.] i on chap. ii. 10.
Carte botheres gods, no thou hast set olidnezzar
is no hurt in them.
God delivereth them.
Nebuchadnezzar blesseth God. Before 18 But if not, be it known unto see four men loose, walking in the Before CHRIST about 580. thee, O king, that we will not serve midst of the fire, and + they have no about 580. thy gods, nor worship the golden hurt; and the form of the fourth is
| Chald. there like the son of God. 19 | Then was Nebuchadnezzar 26 q Then Nebuchadnezzar came + Chald. filled. f full of fury, and the form of his near to the + mouth of the burning + Chald.door.
visage was changed against Shadrach, fiery furnace, and spake, and said,
came forth of the midst of the fire.
fire had no power, nor was an hair of 21 Then these men were bound in their head singed, neither were their 1. Or, mantles. their || coats, their hosen, and their coats changed, nor the smell of fire | Or, turbans. || hats, and their other garments, and had passed on them.
were cast into the midst of the burn- 28 Then Nebuchadnezzar spake,
and said, Blessed be the God of Sha22 Therefore because the king's drach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, who + Chald. of commandment was urgent, and the hath sent his angel, and delivered his | Or, spark. furnace exceeding hot, the || flame of servants that trusted in him, and have
the fire slew those men that took up changed the king's word, and yielded
23 And these three men, Sha- serve nor worship any god, except
That every people, nation, and lan24 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king guage, which speak tany thing amiss + Chald.
was astonied, and rose up in haste, against the God of Shadrach, Me error. . Or, and spake, and said unto his || coun- shach, and Abed-nego, shall be af cut a Chap. 2. 5.
sellers, Did not we cast three men in pieces, and their houses shall be
They answered and said unto the other God that can deliver after this
+ Chald. made 24. Then Nebuchadnezzar &c.] The hymn of the three nezzar saw the Son of God, when He appeared to Saul, children follows the twenty-third verse in the Latin, who was persecuting His disciples. Wintle. Greek, and some other versions. But this is generally 26. — ye servants of the most high God,] This miracle now agreed to be a spurious production of much later calls to the king's mind the confession he had formerly date. From a review of the hymn, however pious and made of the true God, chap. ii. 47. W. Lowth. well-designed, we cannot discover the usual style of 27.- upon whose bodies the fire had no power,] The Daniel, or any resemblance to the other parts of his several expressions here used are meant to shew, that book. Wintle.
decree is made
+ Chald. made pieces.
not the least injury was received from the fire. The 25. – I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the expressions rise in beautiful order. The fire not only fire, &c.] This would be more easily understood, if we had no prevailing power over their bodies, but neither knew the true form of what is denominated “a furnace.” was a hair of their head burnt, nor their flowing robes Probably it was either an enclosed building, with an singed, nor even the smell of fire had passed on them. opening large enough to admit a full view of it; or an | Compare this with Isaiah xliii. 2. Wintle. uncovered building, an enclosure of fire, or an area 28. — have changed the king's word,] Have rendered surrounded by a wall, within which the fire raged; so his command of none effect, God Himself having susthat Nebuchadnezzar, still seated on his throne, might pended the execution of it. W, Lowth. see the persons in the fire. Fragments to Calmet.
29. — which speak any thing amiss against the God of - like the son of God.] Very bright and glorious, Shadrach, &c.] So Darius acknowledges “the God of above the possibility of all human beauty and resplend- Daniel," chap. vi. 26, looking on Him as superiour to ence. Bp. Hall.
other gods, but not as the only true God. W. Lowth. “ Like a son of God," some angelick appearance: 30. Then the king promoted Shadrach, &c.] Or, resee ver. 28, and Job i. 6. Or “ like the Son of God,” stored them to their former places and dignities. W. that is, Christ: of whom Munster understanding it ob- | Lowth. serves, that he thinks it no wonder that Nebuchad. These three blessed martyrs, who bore so noble a
before there the Chalde
was secmly before me.
Nebuchadnezzar relateth his dream. DANIEL.
Daniel heareth it. Before drach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, in astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the Before about 580. the province of Babylon.
soothsayers: and I told the dream about 580.
before them; but they did not make CHAP. IV.
known unto me the interpretation
4 maketh relation of his dream, which the 8 g But at the last Daniel came in
shazzar, according to the name of my
god, and in whom is the spirit of the N EBUCHADNEZZAR the holy gods: and before him I told the IV king, unto all people, nations, dream, saying, and languages, that dwell in all the 9 O Belteshazzar, master of the b Chap. 2. 48.
earth ; Peace be multiplied unto you. magicians, because I know that the + Chald. It 2 + I thought it good to shew the spirit of the holy gods is in thee, and
signs and wonders that the high God no secret troubleth thee, tell me the
visions of my dream that I have seen,
how mighty are his wonders ! his 10 Thus were the visions of mine a Chap. 2. 44. kingdom is a an everlasting kingdom, head in my bed; + I saw, and behold + Chald. I
and his dominion is from generation a tree in the midst of the earth, and"
the height thereof was great.
heaven, and the sight thereof to the
was meat for all: the beasts of the
13 I saw in the visions of my head
testimony of the true religion before so many thousand true God in his mind. Wintle. See chap. ii. 11; v. 11, witnesses, afford not only an example of suffering un- 14. dauntedly for the cause of truth, but an encourage- ' 9. - the magicians,] This word may be understood ment so to suffer. When the whole creation is in as comprehending all the inchanters or diviners of every flames, and all this world becomes one great fiery fur- sort. Whether the religion of the Magi, properly so nace, the faithful servants of Christ shall escape unhurt called, was received among the Babylonians, is perhaps from that general conflagration. Upon their bodies the not altogether certain. The Magians, or worshippers fire shall have no power : but, having endured tempta- of fire, were first established in Persia ; (Dr. Hyde ;) tion unto the end, they shall receive from the hand of their sect was propagated in Persia and India, and they God “a crown of glory that fadeth not away." Wogan. remain there to this time. Dean Prideaux. But it is
not improbable, that their principles were well known Chap. IV. ver. 1. — Peace be multiplied unto you.] An also, and partly received, in Chaldea and Babylonia ; usual form of addressing the subjects of this vast em especially as these nations were immersed in all sorts of pire: see chap. vi. 25. Wintle.
superstition: and the name “ Magi" seems to have be3. How great are his signs ! &c.] The king's repeated longed to the countries of the East in general. Winile. experience had extorted from him the sublime confession - tell me the visions of my dream — and the intercontained in this verse; the latter part of which is a pretation thereof.] Nebuchadnezzar tells the dream fine display of the infinite power and dominion of the himself in the following words: so the meaning of this true God. Wintle.
sentence must be, Tell me the dream ; that is, the in4. I Nebuchadnezzar was at rest in mine house, and terpretation thereof. The Greek translates it thus: flourishing in my palace :) God's particular judgments “ Hear the vision of my dream, and tell me the interoften resemble the general one, in coming suddenly I pretation thereof.” W. Lowth. and unexpectedly, while men are indulging themselves 10. — behold a tree in the midst of the earth, &c.] in carnal security. See Ps. xxx. 6, 7; Matt. xxiv. 43, “ The midst of the earth” is probably meant as a centre, 44; 1 Thess. v. 2, 3. W. Lowth.
from which the extensive circuit of his empire was de8.-- whose name was Belteshazzar,] See the note on scribed. The sovereigns of the world are often reprechap. i. 7.
sented by large trees in the language of other countries, - in whom is the spirit of the holy gods : 1 Or, “of as well as in the prophetick language of the Hebrews; the holy God.” The words admit of a singular sense. and by the shadow is denoted the protection which men It must be presumed, that this king had now the one I may receive under government. Wintle.
the dream. Before
and an holy one came down from 18 This dream I king Nebuchad- Before CHRIST about 570. heaven;
nezzar have seen. Now thou, o about 570. 14 He cried + aloud, and said Belteshazzar, declare the interpreta+ Chald. with
thus, Hew down the tree, and cut off tion thereof, forasmuch as all the wise
I of the holy gods is in thee.
16 Let his heart be changed from Belteshazzar answered and said, My
to thine enemies.
and setteth up overit the basest of men. for all; under which the beasts of the 13. — a watcher and an holy one] See below the note who took under their cognizance and decision the fate on ver. 17.
of men. Bp. Horsley however has suggested, that these 15. Nevertheless leave the stump of his roots in the appellations denote the persons in the Godhead; the earth,] As, when the root of a tree is still alive, there first describing Them by the vigilance of Their universal is a possibility of its flourishing again; so there should providence; the second, by the transcendent sanctity still be hopes that the king might recover his former of their nature: and he observes, that it is not the mere state and dignity; see ver. 26. W. Lowth.
execution of the judgment upon Nebuchadnezzar, but Though the tree was to be hewn down, &c. “ the the decree itself, which is ascribed to T'hem; that the stump of his roots," which was to be left in the earth, whole matter originated in Their decree, and at Their was to be secured “with a band of iron and brass, in command the decree was executed; and that in perfect the tender grass of the field.” The words of menace consistency with this exposition we find, in the 24th which follow are applicable only to a man, and plainly verse, that this decree of “the watchers” and “the shew, that the whole vision was typical of some dreadful holy ones” is “the decree of the most High” God. calamity, to fall for a time, but for a time only, on | Edit. some one of the sons of men. Bp. Horsley.
- to the intent that the living may know &c.] The 16. Let his heart be changed &c.] Compare ver. 25. | intent of this matter was to give mankind a proof, in The plain interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar's case, the fall and restoration of this mighty monarch, that stripped of the prophetick figurative language, appears the fortunes of kings and empires are in the hand of to be, that he should be punished with madness, should God; that His providence perpetually interposes in the fancy himself a beast and live like a beast, but after affairs of men, distributing crowns and sceptres always some time should recover his reason and resume the for the good of the faithful primarily, ultimately of His government. Bp. Newton.
whole creation, but according to His will : by which we - let seven times pass over him.] That is, seven must understand a will perfectly independent, and unyears : so the expression is taken, chap. xi. 13, where biassed by any thing external; yet not an arbitrary the Hebrew reads, “the king of the north shall come will, but a will directed by the governing perfections of at the end of times ;” that is, years. So the time, times, the Divine intellect; by God's own goodness and wisand an half,” mentioned chap. vii. 25; xii. 7; signify dom ; and as justice is included in the idea of goodness, three years and a half; and are accordingly explained it must be a will governed by God's justice. Bp. Horsley. by “forty and two months," Rev. xi. 2; and by 1260 - the basest of men. This regards Nebuchaddays, Rev. xii. 6 : both which reckonings of time are nezzar, either with respect to his present condition, equivalent to three years and an half. W. Lowth. whose pride and cruelty rendered him as despicable in
17.- the watchers, – the holy ones :7 It is the opinion the sight of God, as his high estate made him appear of commentators in general, that by these titles are to honourable in the sight of man: and therefore he was be understood angelick beings, who are the instruments justly doomed to so low a degree of abasement; or else of God, and messengers to execute God's judgments. / it may be understood of his wonderful advancement and And Stackhouse observes, after Calmet, that from some restoration, after he had been degraded from his dignity; expressions in this verse it looks as if the Chaldeans and sent to herd with the beasts of the field. God had a notion, (for the king, we may suppose, speaks thereby asserting that prerogative of His, of “ bringing according to the sentiments of the nation, that these low and lifting up :" and of “raising the beggar from “watchers” or “holy ones" in heaven constituted an the dunghill, to set him among princes," i Sam. ii. 8, assembly of judges, or were an order of blessed spirits, 19; Ps. cxiii. 7,8. W. Lowth.