36. This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king.
36. Hoc est somnium; et interpretationem ejus dicemus coram rege.
37. Thou, o king, art a king of kings, for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory.
38. And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field, and the fowls of the heaven, hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold.
Daniel here declares "the golden head of the image" to be the Babylonian kingdom. We know that the Assyrians were subdued before the monarchy was transferred to Babylon; but since they did not prevail sufficiently to be considered as supreme rulers in that eastern territory, the Babylonian empire is here mentioned first. It is also worth while to remark, that God was unwilling to refer here to what had already occurred, but he rather proposed that the people should in future depend on this prophecy and rest upon. it. Here it would have been superfluous to say anything about the Assyrians, since that empire had already passed away. But the Chaldeans were still to reign for some time -- say seventy or at least sixty years. Hence God wished to hold the minds of his own servants in suspense till the end of that monarchy, and then to arouse them by fresh hopes, until the second monarchy should pass away, so that afterwards they might rest in patience under the third and fourth monarchies, and might perceive at length the time of Christ's advent to be at hand. This is the reason why Daniel places the Chaldean monarchy here in the first rank and order. And in this matter there is no difficulty, because he states King Nebuchadnezzar to be the golden head of the image. We may gather the reason of his being called
1 Some translate the nouns by adjectives or epithets -- a strong and powerful kingdom. -- Calvin.
2 The word
3 That is, "birds;" there is a change of number. -- Calvin.
4 Verbally, has made thee ruler over them all. -- Calvin.