Nebuchadnezzar's Dream: Daniel's Interpretation
of It, and Advancement.
1. second year of …
Nebuchadnezzar—Da 1:5 shows
that "three years" had elapsed since Nebuchadnezzar had taken
Jerusalem. The solution of this difficulty is: Nebuchadnezzar first
ruled as subordinate to his father Nabopolassar, to which time the
first chapter refers (Da 1:1);
whereas "the second year" in the second chapter is dated from his sole
sovereignty. The very difficulty is a proof of genuineness; all was
clear to the writer and the original readers from their
knowledge of the circumstances, and so he adds no explanation. A forger
would not introduce difficulties; the author did not then
see any difficulty in the case. Nebuchadnezzar is called "king" (Da 1:1), by anticipation. Before he left
Judea, he became actual king by the death of his father, and the Jews
always called him "king," as commander of the invading army.
dreams—It is significant that not to
Daniel, but to the then world ruler, Nebuchadnezzar, the dream is
vouchsafed. It was from the first of its representatives who had
conquered the theocracy, that the world power was to learn its doom, as
about to be in its turn subdued, and for ever by the kingdom of God. As
this vision opens, so that in the seventh chapter developing the same
truth more fully, closes the first part. Nebuchadnezzar, as vicegerent
of God (Da
2:37; compare Jer 25:9; Eze 28:12-15; Isa 44:28; 45:1; Ro 13:1), is honored with the revelation
in the form of a dream, the appropriate form to one outside the kingdom
of God. So in the cases of Abimelech, Pharaoh, &c. (Ge 20:3;
41:1-7), especially as the
heathen attached such importance to dreams. Still it is not he, but an
Israelite, who interprets it. Heathendom is passive, Israel active, in
divine things, so that the glory redounds to "the God of heaven."
2. Chaldeans—here, a certain order of
priest-magicians, who wore a peculiar dress, like that seen on the gods
and deified men in the Assyrian sculptures. Probably they belonged
exclusively to the Chaldeans, the original tribe of the Babylonian
nation, just as the Magians were properly Medes.
3. troubled to know the dream—He awoke
in alarm, remembering that something solemn had been presented to him
in a dream, without being able to recall the form in which it had
clothed itself. His thoughts on the unprecedented greatness to which
his power had attained (Da 2:29) made
him anxious to know what the issue of all this should be. God meets
this wish in the way most calculated to impress him.
4. Here begins the Chaldee portion of
Daniel, which continues to the end of the seventh chapter. In it the
course, character, and crisis of the Gentile power are treated;
whereas, in the other parts, which are in Hebrew, the things
treated apply more particularly to the Jews and Jerusalem.
Syriac—the Aramean Chaldee, the
vernacular tongue of the king and his court; the prophet, by mentioning
it here, hints at the reason of his own adoption of it from this
live for ever—a formula in addressing
kings, like our "Long live the king!" Compare 1Ki 1:31.
5. The thing—that is, The dream, "is
gone from me." Gesenius translates, "The
decree is gone forth from me," irrevocable (compare Isa 45:23); namely, that you shall be executed, if
you do not tell both the dream and the interpretation. English
Version is simpler, which supposes the king himself to have
forgotten the dream. Pretenders to supernatural knowledge often bring
on themselves their own punishment.
cut in pieces—(1Sa 15:33).
houses … dunghill—rather, "a
morass heap." The Babylonian houses were built of sun-dried bricks;
when demolished, the rain dissolves the whole into a mass of mire, in
the wet land, near the river [Stuart].
As to the consistency of this cruel threat with Nebuchadnezzar's
character, see Da 4:17,
"basest of men"; Jer 39:5, 6; 52:9-11.
6. rewards—literally, "presents
poured out in lavish profusion."
8. gain … time—literally, "buy."
Compare Eph 5:16; Col 4:5, where the sense is somewhat
the thing is gone from me—(See on Da 2:5).
9. one decree—There can be no second one
reversing the first (Es 4:11).
till the time be changed—till a new
state of things arrive, either by my ceasing to trouble myself about
the dream, or by a change of government (which perhaps the agitation
caused by the dream made Nebuchadnezzar to forebode, and so to suspect
the Chaldeans of plotting).
tell … dream, and I shall know … ye
can show … interpretation—If ye cannot tell the past, a
dream actually presented to me, how can ye know, and show, the future
events prefigured in it?
10. There is not a man … that can
show—God makes the heathen out of their own mouth, condemn
their impotent pretensions to supernatural knowledge, in order to bring
out in brighter contrast His power to reveal secrets to His servants,
though but "men upon the earth" (compare Da 2:22, 23).
therefore, &c.—that is, If such
things could be done by men, other absolute princes would have required
them from their magicians; as they have not, it is proof such things
cannot be done and cannot be reasonably asked from us.
11. gods, whose dwelling is not with
flesh—answering to "no man upon the earth"; for there
were, in their belief, "men in heaven," namely, men deified; for
example, Nimrod. The supreme gods are referred to here, who
alone, in the Chaldean view, could solve the difficulty, but who do not
communicate with men. The inferior gods, intermediate between
men and the supreme gods, are unable to solve it. Contrast with this
heathen idea of the utter severance of God from man, Joh 1:14, "The Word was made flesh, and
dwelt among us"; Daniel was in this case made His
12, 13. Daniel and his companions do not seem
to have been actually numbered among the Magi or Chaldeans, and so were
not summoned before the king. Providence ordered it so that all mere
human wisdom should be shown vain before His divine power, through His
servant, was put forth. Da 2:24 shows
that the decree for slaying the wise men had not been actually executed
when Daniel interposed.
14. captain of the king's
guard—commanding the executioners (Margin; and Ge 37:36, Margin).
15. Why is the decree so hasty—Why were
not all of us consulted before the decree for the execution of all was
the thing—the agitation of the king as
to his dream, and his abortive consultation of the Chaldeans. It is
plain from this that Daniel was till now ignorant of the whole
16. Daniel went in—perhaps not in
person, but by the mediation of some courtier who had access to the
king. His first direct interview seems to have been Da 2:25 [Barnes].
time—The king granted "time" to
Daniel, though he would not do so to the Chaldeans because they
betrayed their lying purpose by requiring him to tell the dream, which
Daniel did not. Providence doubtless influenced his mind, already
favorable (Da 1:19, 20), to show special favor to Daniel.
17. Here appears the reason why Daniel sought
2:16), namely he wished to
engage his friends to join him in prayer to God to reveal the dream to
18. An illustration of the power of united
18:19). The same
instrumentality rescued Peter from his peril (Ac 12:5-12).
19. revealed … in … night
vision—(Job 33:15, 16).
20. answered—responded to God's goodness
name of God—God in His revelation
of Himself by acts of love, "wisdom, and might" (Jer 32:19).
21. changeth … times …
seasons—"He herein gives a general preparatory intimation,
that the dream of Nebuchadnezzar is concerning the changes and
successions of kingdoms" [Jerome]. The
"times" are the phases and periods of duration of empires
(compare Da 7:25; 1Ch 12:32; 29:30); the "seasons" the fitting times
for their culmination, decline, and fall (Ec 3:1; Ac
1:7; 1Th 5:1). The
vicissitudes of states, with their times and seasons, are not regulated
by chance or fate, as the heathen thought, but by God.
12:18; Ps 75:6, 7; Jer 27:5;
compare 1Sa 2:7, 8).
giveth wisdom—(1Ki 3:9-12;
22. revealeth—(Job 12:22). So spiritually (Eph 1:17, 18).
knoweth what is in …
darkness—(Ps 139:11, 12; Heb 4:13).
light … him—(Jas 1:17; 1Jo
1:4). Apocalypse (or
"revelation") signifies a divine, prophecy a human, activity.
14:6, where the two are
distinguished. The prophet is connected with the outer world,
addressing to the congregation the words with which the Spirit of God
supplies him; he speaks in the Spirit, but the apocalyptic seer
is in the Spirit in his whole person (Re 1:10; 4:2). The form of the apocalyptic
revelation (the very term meaning that the veil that hides the
invisible world is taken off) is subjectively either the
dream, or, higher, the vision. The interpretation of
Nebuchadnezzar's dream was a preparatory education to Daniel himself.
By gradual steps, each revelation preparing him for the succeeding one,
God fitted him for disclosures becoming more and more special. In the
second and fourth chapters he is but an interpreter of Nebuchadnezzar's
dreams; then he has a dream himself, but it is only a vision in a dream
of the night (Da 7:1, 2);
then follows a vision in a waking state (Da 8:1-3); lastly, in the two final revelations
9:20; 10:4, 5) the ecstatic
state is no longer needed. The progression in the form answers
to the progression in the contents of his prophecy; at first
general outlines, and these afterwards filled up with minute
chronological and historical details, such as are not found in
the Revelation of John, though, as became the New Testament, the form
of revelation is the highest, namely, clear waking visions [Auberlen].
23. thee … thee—He ascribes all
the glory to God.
God of my fathers—Thou hast shown
Thyself the same God of grace to me, a captive exile, as Thou didst to
Israel of old and this on account of the covenant made with our
"fathers" (Lu 1:54, 55; compare Ps 106:45).
given me wisdom and might—Thou being
the fountain of both; referring to Da 2:20. Whatever wise ability I have to
stay the execution of the king's cruel decree, is Thy gift.
me … we … us—The
revelation was given to Daniel, as "me" implies; yet with just modesty
he joins his friends with him; because it was to their joint prayers,
and not to his individually, that he owed the revelation from God.
known … the king's matter—the
very words in which the Chaldeans had denied the possibility of any
man on earth telling the dream ("not a man upon the earth can show
the king's matter," Da 2:10).
Impostors are compelled by the God of truth to eat up their own
24. Therefore—because of having received
the divine communication.
bring me in before the king—implying
that he had not previously been in person before the king (see on Da 2:16).
25. I have found a man—Like all
courtiers, in announcing agreeable tidings, he ascribes the merit of
the discovery to himself [Jerome]. So
far from it being a discrepancy, that he says nothing of the previous
understanding between him and Daniel, or of Daniel's application to the
2:15, 16), it is just what we
should expect. Arioch would not dare to tell an absolute despot that he
had stayed the execution of his sanguinary decree, on his own
responsibility; but would, in the first instance, secretly stay it
until Daniel had got, by application from the king, the time required,
without Arioch seeming to know of Daniel's application as the cause of
the respite; then, when Daniel had received the revelation, Arioch
would in trembling haste bring him in, as if then for the first time he
had "found" him. The very difficulty when cleared up is a proof of
genuineness, as it never would be introduced by a forger.
27. cannot—Daniel, being learned in all
the lore of the Chaldeans (Da 1:4), could
authoritatively declare the impossibility of mere man solving
the king's difficulty.
soothsayers—from a root, "to cut off";
referring to their cutting the heavens into divisions, and so
guessing at men's destinies from the place of the stars at one's
28. God—in contrast to "the wise men,"
revealeth secrets—(Am 3:7; 4:13). Compare Ge 41:45, Zaphnath-paaneah, "revealer of
secrets," the title given to Joseph.
the latter days—literally, "in the
after days" (Da 2:29);
"hereafter" (Ge 49:1). It
refers to the whole future, including the Messianic days, which is the
final dispensation (Isa 2:2).
visions of thy head—conceptions formed
in the brain.
29. God met with a revelation Nebuchadnezzar,
who had been meditating on the future destiny of his vast empire.
30. not … for any wisdom that I
have—not on account of any previous wisdom which I may
have manifested (Da 1:17, 20). The specially-favored servants of God
in all ages disclaim merit in themselves and ascribe all to the grace
and power of God (Ge 41:16; Ac 3:12). The "as for me," disclaiming
extraordinary merit, contrasts elegantly with "as for thee," whereby
Daniel courteously, but without flattery, implies, that God honored
Nebuchadnezzar, as His vicegerent over the world kingdoms, with a
revelation on the subject uppermost in his thoughts, the ultimate
destinies of those kingdoms.
for their sakes that shall make known,
&c.—a Chaldee idiom for, "to the intent that the
interpretation may be made known to the king."
the thoughts of thy heart—thy subject
of thought before falling asleep. Or, perhaps the probation of
Nebuchadnezzar's character through this revelation may be the
meaning intended (compare 2Ch 32:31; Lu 2:35).
31. The world power in its totality appears as
a colossal human form: Babylon the head of gold, Medo-Persia the breast
and two arms of silver, Græco-Macedonia the belly and
two thighs of brass, and Rome, with its Germano-Slavonic
offshoots, the legs of iron and feet of iron and clay, the fourth still
existing. Those kingdoms only are mentioned which stand in some
relation to the kingdom of God; of these none is left out; the final
establishment of that kingdom is the aim of His moral government of the
world. The colossus of metal stands on weak feet, of clay. All man's
glory is as ephemeral and worthless as chaff (compare 1Pe 1:24). But the kingdom of God, small and
unheeded as a "stone" on the ground is compact in its homogeneous
unity; whereas the world power, in its heterogeneous constituents
successively supplanting one another, contains the elements of decay.
The relation of the stone to the mountain is that of the kingdom of the
cross (Mt 16:23; Lu 24:26) to the kingdom of glory, the latter
beginning, and the former ending when the kingdom of God breaks in
pieces the kingdoms of the world (Re 11:15). Christ's contrast between the two
kingdoms refers to this passage.
a great image—literally, "one
image that was great." Though the kingdoms were different, it was
essentially one and the same world power under different phases,
just as the image was one, though the parts were of different
32. On ancient coins states are often
represented by human figures. The head and higher parts signify the
earlier times; the lower, the later times. The metals become
successively baser and baser, implying the growing degeneracy from
worse to worse. Hesiod, two hundred
years before Daniel, had compared the four ages to the four metals in
the same order; the idea is sanctioned here by Holy Writ. It was
perhaps one of those fragments of revelation among the heathen derived
from the tradition as to the fall of man. The metals lessen in
specific gravity, as they downwards; silver is not so heavy as
gold, brass not so heavy as silver, and iron not so heavy as brass, the
weight thus being arranged in the reverse of stability [Tregelles]. Nebuchadnezzar derived his
authority from God, not from man, nor as responsible to man. But the
Persian king was so far dependent on others that he could not deliver
Daniel from the princes (Da 6:14, 15); contrast Da 5:18, 19, as to Nebuchadnezzar's power from
God, "whom he would he slew, and whom he would he kept alive" (compare
Ezr 7:14; Es 1:13-16). Græco-Macedonia betrays its
deterioration in its divisions, not united as Babylon and Persia. Iron
is stronger than brass, but inferior in other respects; so Rome hardy
and strong to tread down the nations, but less kingly and showing its
chief deterioration in its last state. Each successive kingdom
incorporates its predecessor (compare Da 5:28). Power that in Nebuchadnezzar's hands
was a God-derived (Da 2:37, 38) autocracy, in the Persian king's was a
rule resting on his nobility of person and birth, the nobles being his
equals in rank, but not in office; in Greece, an aristocracy not of
birth, but individual influence, in Rome, lowest of all, dependent
entirely on popular choice, the emperor being appointed by popular
33. As the two arms of silver denote the kings
of the Medes and Persians [Josephus];
and the two thighs of brass the Seleucidæ of Syria and Lagidæ
of Egypt, the two leading sections into which Græco-Macedonia
parted, so the two legs of iron signify the two Roman consuls [Newton]. The clay, in Da 2:41, "potter's clay," Da 2:43, "miry clay," means "earthenware," hard
but brittle (compare Ps 2:9; Re 2:27, where the same image is used of the
same event); the feet are stable while bearing only direct pressure,
but easily broken to pieces by a blow (Da 2:34), the iron intermixed not retarding, but
hastening, such a result.
34. stone—Messiah and His kingdom (Ge 49:24; Ps 118:22; Isa 28:16). In its relations to Israel, it is a
"stone of stumbling" (Isa 8:14; Ac 4:11; 1Pe 2:7, 8) on which both houses of Israel
are broken, not destroyed (Mt 21:32).
In its relation to the Church, the same stone which destroys the image
is the foundation of the Church (Eph 2:20). In its relation to the Gentile world
power, the stone is its destroyer (Da 2:35, 44; compare Zec 12:3). Christ saith (Mt 21:44, referring to Isa 8:14, 15), "Whosoever shall fall on this
stone (that is, stumble, and be offended, at Him, as the Jews
were, from whom, therefore, He says, 'The kingdom shall be taken')
shall be broken; but (referring to Da 2:34, 35) on whomsoever it shall fall
(referring to the world power which had been the instrument of
breaking the Jews), it will (not merely break, but)
grind him to powder" (1Co 15:24). The falling of the stone of the feet
of the image cannot refer to Christ at His first advent, for the fourth
kingdom was not then as yet divided—no toes were in existence
(see on Da 2:44).
cut out—namely, from "the mountain"
2:45); namely, Mount Zion
2:2), and antitypically, the
heavenly mount of the Father's glory, from whom Christ came.
without hands—explained in Da 2:44, "The God of heaven shall
set up a kingdom," as contrasted with the image which was made with
hands of man. Messiah not created by human agency, but conceived by
the Holy Ghost (Mt 1:20; Lu 1:35; compare Zec 4:6; Mr 14:58; Heb
9:11, 24). So "not made with
hands," that is, heavenly, 2Co 5:1; spiritual, Col 2:11. The world kingdoms were reared by
human ambition: but this is the "kingdom of heaven"; "not
of this world" (Joh 18:36).
As the fourth kingdom, or Rome, was represented in a twofold state,
first strong, with legs of iron, then weak, with toes part of iron,
part of clay; so this fifth kingdom, that of Christ, is seen
conversely, first insignificant as a "stone," then as a "mountain"
filling the whole earth. The ten toes are the ten lesser kingdoms into
which the Roman kingdom was finally to be divided; this tenfold
division here hinted at is not specified in detail till the seventh
chapter. The fourth empire originally was bounded in Europe pretty
nearly by the line of the Rhine and Danube; in Asia by the Euphrates.
In Africa it possessed Egypt and the north coasts; South Britain and
Dacia were afterwards added but were ultimately resigned. The ten
kingdoms do not arise until a deterioration (by mixing clay with the
iron) has taken place; they are in existence when Christ comes in
glory, and then are broken in pieces. The ten have been sought for in
the invading hosts of the fifth and sixth century. But though many
provinces were then severed from Rome as independent kingdoms, the
dignity of emperor still continued, and the imperial power was
exercised over Rome itself for two centuries. So the tenfold divisions
cannot be looked for before A.D. 731.
But the East is not to be excluded, five toes being on each foot. Thus
no point of time before the overthrow of the empire at the taking of
Constantinople by the Turks (A.D. 1453)
can be assigned for the division. It seems, therefore, that the
definite ten will be the ultimate development of the Roman empire just
before the rise of Antichrist, who shall overthrow three of the kings,
and, after three and a half years, he himself be overthrown by Christ
in person. Some of the ten kingdoms will, doubtless, be the same as
some past and present divisions of the old Roman empire, which accounts
for the continuity of the connection between the toes and legs,
a gap of centuries not being interposed, as is objected by opponents of
the futurist theory. The lists of the ten made by the latter differ
from one another; and they are set aside by the fact that they include
countries which were never Roman, and exclude one whole section of the
empire, namely, the East [Tregelles].
upon his feet—the last state of the
Roman empire. Not "upon his legs." Compare "in the days of these
kings" (see on Da 2:44).
35. broken … together—excluding a
contemporaneous existence of the kingdom of the world and the kingdom
of God (in its manifested, as distinguished from its
spiritual, phase). The latter is not gradually to wear away the
former, but to destroy it at once, and utterly (2Th 1:7-10;
2:8). However, the
Hebrew may be translated, "in one discriminate mass."
chaff—image of the ungodly, as they
shall be dealt with in the judgment (Ps 1:4, 5; Mt 3:12).
summer threshing-floors—Grain was
winnowed in the East on an elevated space in the open air, by throwing
the grain into the air with a shovel, so that the wind might clear away
no place … found for them—(Re 20:11; compare Ps 37:10, 36;
became … mountain—cut out of the
2:45) originally, it ends in
becoming a mountain. So the kingdom of God, coming from heaven
originally, ends in heaven being established on earth (Re 21:1-3).
filled … earth—(Isa 11:9; Hab
2:14). It is to do so in
connection with Jerusalem as the mother Church (Ps 80:9; Isa
36. we—Daniel and his three friends.
37. Thou … art a king of kings—The
committal of power in fullest plenitude belongs to Nebuchadnezzar
personally, as having made Babylon the mighty empire it was. In
twenty-three years after him the empire was ended: with him its
greatness is identified (Da 4:30), his
successors having done nothing notable. Not that he actually ruled
every part of the globe, but that God granted him illimitable dominion
in whatever direction his ambition led him, Egypt, Nineveh,
Arabia, Syria, Tyre, and its Phœnician colonies (Jer 27:5-8). Compare as to Cyrus, Ezr 1:2.
38. men … beasts … fowls—the
dominion originally designed for man (Ge 1:28; 2:19, 20), forfeited by sin; temporarily
delegated to Nebuchadnezzar and the world powers; but, as they abuse
the trust for self, instead of for God, to be taken from them by the
Son of man, who will exercise it for God, restoring in His person to
man the lost inheritance (Ps 8:4-6).
Thou art … head of gold—alluding
to the riches of Babylon, hence called "the golden city" (Isa
14:4; Jer 51:7; Re 18:16).
39. That Medo-Persia is the second kingdom
appears from Da 5:28 and Da 8:20. Compare 2Ch 36:20; Isa 21:2.
inferior—"The kings of Persia were the
worst race of men that ever governed an empire" [Prideaux]. Politically (which is the main point of
view here) the power of the central government in which the nobles
shared with the king, being weakened by the growing independence of the
provinces, was inferior to that of Nebuchadnezzar, whose sole word was
law throughout his empire.
brass—The Greeks (the third empire,
Da 8:21; 10:20; 11:2-4) were celebrated for the brazen
armor of their warriors. Jerome
fancifully thinks that the brass, as being a clear-sounding
metal, refers to the eloquence for which Greece was famed. The
"belly," in Da 2:32, may
refer to the drunkenness of Alexander and the luxury of the Ptolemies
over all the earth—Alexander commanded
that he should be called "king of all the world" [Justin, 12. sec. 16.9; Arrian, Campaigns of Alexander, 7. sec. 15].
The four successors (diadochi) who divided Alexander's dominions
at his death, of whom the Seleucidæ in Syria and the Lagidæ
in Egypt were chief, held the same empire.
40. iron—This vision sets forth the
character of the Roman power, rather than its territorial extent
breaketh in pieces—So, in righteous
retribution, itself will at last be broken in pieces (Da 2:44) by the kingdom of God (Re 13:10).
41-43. feet … toes … part … clay
… iron—explained presently, "the kingdom shall be
partly strong, partly broken" (rather, "brittle," as earthenware); and
Da 2:43, "they shall mingle … with
the seed of men," that is, there will be power (in its deteriorated
form, iron) mixed up with that which is wholly of man, and
therefore brittle; power in the hands of the people having no internal
stability, though something is left of the strength of the iron [Tregelles]. Newton, who understands the Roman empire to be
parted into the ten kingdoms already (whereas Tregelles makes them future), explains the
"clay" mixture as the blending of barbarous nations with Rome by
intermarriages and alliances, in which there was no stable
amalgamation, though the ten kingdoms retained much of Rome's strength.
The "mingling with the seed of men" (Da 2:44) seems to refer to Ge 6:2, where the marriages of the seed of
godly Seth with the daughters of ungodly Cain are described in similar
words. The reference, therefore, seems to be to the blending of the
Christianized Roman empire with the pagan nations, a deterioration
being the result. Efforts have been often made to reunite the parts
into one great empire, as by Charlemagne and Napoleon, but in vain.
Christ alone shall effect that.
44. in the days of these kings—in the
days of these kingdoms, that is, of the last of the four. So
Christianity was set up when Rome had become mistress of Judea and the
2:1, &c.) [Newton]. Rather, "in the days of these kings,"
answers to "upon his feet" (Da 2:34);
that is, the ten toes (Da 2:42), or ten kings, the final state of the
Roman empire. For "these kings" cannot mean the four successional
monarchies, as they do not coexist as the holders of power; if
the fourth had been meant, the singular, not the plural,
would be used. The falling of the stone on the image must mean,
destroying judgment on the fourth Gentile power, not gradual
evangelization of it by grace; and the destroying judgment cannot be
dealt by Christians, for they are taught to submit to the powers that
be, so that it must be dealt by Christ Himself at His coming again. We
live under the divisions of the Roman empire which began fourteen
hundred years ago, and which at the time of His coming shall be
definitely ten. All that had failed in the hand of man shall
then pass away, and that which is kept in His own hand shall be
introduced. Thus the second chapter is the alphabet of the subsequent
prophetic statements in Daniel [Tregelles].
God of heaven … kingdom—hence
the phrase, "the kingdom of heaven" (Mt 3:2).
not … left to other people—as
the Chaldees had been forced to leave their kingdom to the
Medo-Persians, and these to the Greeks, and these to the Romans (Mic
4:7; Lu 1:32, 33).
break … all—(Isa 60:12;
45. without hands—(See on Da 2:35). The connection of the "forasmuch," &c. is,
"as thou sawest that the stone," &c., this is an indication that
"the great God," &c., that is, the fact of thy seeing the dreams as
I have recalled it to thy recollection, is a proof that it is no airy
phantom, but a real representation to these from God of the future. A
similar proof of the "certainty" of the event was given to Pharaoh by
the doubling of his dream (Ge 41:32).
46. fell upon … face, and worshipped
Daniel—worshipping God in the person of Daniel. Symbolical of
the future prostration of the world power before Messiah and His
kingdom (Php 2:10). As
other servants of God refused such honors (Ac 10:25, 26; 14:13-15; Re 22:8, 9), and Daniel (Da 1:8) would not taste defiled food, nor give
up prayer to God at the cost of his life (Da 6:7, 10), it seems likely that Daniel rejected
the proffered divine honors. The word "answered" (Da 2:47) implies that Daniel had objected to
these honors; and in compliance with his objection, "the king
answered, Of a truth, your God is a God of gods." Daniel had
disclaimed all personal merit in Da 2:30, giving God all the glory (compare Da 2:45).
commanded … sweet odours—divine
6:10). It is not said his
command was executed.
47. Lord of kings—The world power shall
at last have to acknowledge this (Re 17:14; 19:16); even as Nebuchadnezzar, who had been
the God-appointed "king of kings" (Da 2:37), but who had abused the trust, is
constrained by God's servant to acknowledge that God is the true "Lord
48. One reason for Nebuchadnezzar having been
vouchsafed such a dream is here seen; namely, that Daniel might be
promoted, and the captive people of God be comforted: the independent
state of the captives during the exile and the alleviation of its
hardships, were much due to Daniel.
49. Daniel requested—Contrast this
honorable remembrance of his humble friends in his elevation with the
spirit of the children of the world in the chief butler's case (Ge 40:23; Ec 9:15, 16; Am 6:6).
in the gate—the place of holding
courts of justice and levees in the East (Es 2:19; Job
29:7). So "the Sublime
Porte," or "Gate," denotes the sultan's government, his counsels
being formerly held in the entrance of his palace. Daniel was a chief
counsellor of the king, and president over the governors of the
different orders into which the Magi were divided.