D A N I E L.
The penman of this chapter is Nebuchadnezzar
himself: the story here recorded concerning him is given us in his
own words, as he himself drew it up and published it; but Daniel, a
prophet, by inspiration, inserts it in his history, and so it has
become a part of sacred writ and a very memorable part.
Nebuchadnezzar was as daring a rival with God Almighty for the
sovereignty as perhaps any mortal man ever was; but here he fairly
owns himself conquered, and gives it under his hand that the God of
Israel is above him. Here is, I. The preface to his narrative,
wherein he acknowledges God's dominion over him, ver. 1-3. II. The narrative itself, wherein
he relates, 1. His dream, which puzzled the magicians, ver. 1-18. 2. The interpretation of
his dream by Daniel, who showed him that it was a prognostication
of his own fall, advising him therefore to repent and reform,
ver. 19-27. 3. The
accomplishment of it in his running stark mad for seven years, and
then recovering the use of his reason again, ver. 28-36. 4. The conclusion of the
narrative, with a humble acknowledgment and adoration of God as
Lord of all, ver. 37. This
was extorted from him by the overruling power of that God who has
all men's hearts in his hand, and stands upon record a lasting
proof of God's supremacy, a monument of his glory, a trophy of his
victory, and a warning to all not to think of prospering while they
lift up or harden their hearts against God.