3. And the king said unto them, I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit was troubled to know the dream.
3. Et dixit illis rex, Somnium somniavi, et contritus est spiritus meus, ad sciendum 1 somnium.
4. Then spake the Chaldeans to the king in Syriack, o king, live for ever: tell thy servants the dream, and we will shew the interpretation.
4. Et dixerunt Chaldaei regi Syriace, Rex in eternum vive: dic somnium servis tuis, et expositionem indicabimus.
Daniel relates first the great confidence of the Chaldeans, since they dared to promise the interpretation of a dream as yet unknown to them.
We must hold generally that the art of conjecturing from dreams is rash and foolish; there is, indeed, a certain fixed interpretation of dreams, as we said yesterday, yet as we shall afterwards see, this ought not to be ascribed to a sure science, but to God's singular gift. As, therefore, a prophet will not gather what he has to say from fixed reasonings, but will explain God's oracles, so also he who will interpret dreams correctly, will not follow certain disthief rules; but if God has explained the meaning of the dream, he will then undertake the office of interpreting it according to his endowment with this gift. Properly speaking, these two flyings are opposite to each other and do not mutually agree, general and perpetual science, and special revelation. Since God claims this power of opening by means of a dream, what he has engraven on the minds of men, hence art and science cannot. obtain it, but a revelation from the spirit must be waited for. When the Chaldeans thus boldly promise to become good interpreters of the dream, they not only betray their rashness, but become mere impostors, who pretend to be proficients in a science of which they know nothing, as if they could predict by their conjectures the meaning of the king's dream. It now follows --
1 For understanding. -- Calvin.