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Daniel 4:7

7. Then came in the magicians, the astrologers, the Chaldeans and the soothsayers: I told the dream before them; but they did not make known unto me the interpretation thereof.

7. Tunc ingressi sunt magi, astrologi, Chaldaei, hoc est, sapientes, et physici, vel, mathematici, et somnium, inguit, exposui ego coram ipsis, et interpretationem ejus non patefecerunt mihi.

 

With respect to the words used above, we have formerly freed ourselves from all trouble, because we cannot accurately define what science each professed. Clearly enough they covered their shamelessness by honorable titles, although they gave themselves up to every possible imposture. They called themselves by the usual name of learned men, when they were really unacquainted with any art or science, and deluded mankind by miserable predictions; hence, by these words, Daniel comprehended all the Magi, soothsayers, astrologers, and augurs, who professed the art of divination. Here Nebuchadnezzar confesses that he sent; for these men in vain. Hence it follows, this whole science was a fallacy, or, at, least, Daniel’s exposition of the dream was not by human skill, but by revelation from heaven. I embrace this opinion, since Nebuchadnezzar wished clearly to express that Daniel’s power of interpreting his dream did not spring from man, but was a singular gift of the Spirit. He had considered it a settled point that, if any knowledge or skill in divination existed, it must belong to the Magi, soothsayers, augurs, and other Chaldeans who boasted in the possession of perfect wisdom. This, therefore, was with. out controversy—that the astrologers and the rest were most powerful in divination, and as far as human faculties would allow, nothing escaped them. Hence it follows, on the other hand, that Daniel was divinely instructed, since if he had been only an astrologer or magician, he must, like others, have required a long’ apprenticeship to this science. Nebuchadnezzar, therefore, wishes here to extol Daniel beyond all the Magi, as if he had said—He is a heavenly Prophet! And this, also, will appear better from what is added, as follows:

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