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Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream


In the second year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, Nebuchadnezzar dreamed such dreams that his spirit was troubled and his sleep left him. 2So the king commanded that the magicians, the enchanters, the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans be summoned to tell the king his dreams. When they came in and stood before the king, 3he said to them, “I have had such a dream that my spirit is troubled by the desire to understand it.” 4The Chaldeans said to the king (in Aramaic), “O king, live forever! Tell your servants the dream, and we will reveal the interpretation.” 5The king answered the Chaldeans, “This is a public decree: if you do not tell me both the dream and its interpretation, you shall be torn limb from limb, and your houses shall be laid in ruins. 6But if you do tell me the dream and its interpretation, you shall receive from me gifts and rewards and great honor. Therefore tell me the dream and its interpretation.” 7They answered a second time, “Let the king first tell his servants the dream, then we can give its interpretation.” 8The king answered, “I know with certainty that you are trying to gain time, because you see I have firmly decreed: 9if you do not tell me the dream, there is but one verdict for you. You have agreed to speak lying and misleading words to me until things take a turn. Therefore, tell me the dream, and I shall know that you can give me its interpretation.” 10The Chaldeans answered the king, “There is no one on earth who can reveal what the king demands! In fact no king, however great and powerful, has ever asked such a thing of any magician or enchanter or Chaldean. 11The thing that the king is asking is too difficult, and no one can reveal it to the king except the gods, whose dwelling is not with mortals.”

12 Because of this the king flew into a violent rage and commanded that all the wise men of Babylon be destroyed. 13The decree was issued, and the wise men were about to be executed; and they looked for Daniel and his companions, to execute them. 14Then Daniel responded with prudence and discretion to Arioch, the king’s chief executioner, who had gone out to execute the wise men of Babylon; 15he asked Arioch, the royal official, “Why is the decree of the king so urgent?” Arioch then explained the matter to Daniel. 16So Daniel went in and requested that the king give him time and he would tell the king the interpretation.

God Reveals Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream

17 Then Daniel went to his home and informed his companions, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, 18and told them to seek mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that Daniel and his companions with the rest of the wise men of Babylon might not perish. 19Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision of the night, and Daniel blessed the God of heaven.


Daniel said:

“Blessed be the name of God from age to age,

for wisdom and power are his.


He changes times and seasons,

deposes kings and sets up kings;

he gives wisdom to the wise

and knowledge to those who have understanding.


He reveals deep and hidden things;

he knows what is in the darkness,

and light dwells with him.


To you, O God of my ancestors,

I give thanks and praise,

for you have given me wisdom and power,

and have now revealed to me what we asked of you,

for you have revealed to us what the king ordered.”

Daniel Interprets the Dream

24 Therefore Daniel went to Arioch, whom the king had appointed to destroy the wise men of Babylon, and said to him, “Do not destroy the wise men of Babylon; bring me in before the king, and I will give the king the interpretation.”

25 Then Arioch quickly brought Daniel before the king and said to him: “I have found among the exiles from Judah a man who can tell the king the interpretation.” 26The king said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, “Are you able to tell me the dream that I have seen and its interpretation?” 27Daniel answered the king, “No wise men, enchanters, magicians, or diviners can show to the king the mystery that the king is asking, 28but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and he has disclosed to King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen at the end of days. Your dream and the visions of your head as you lay in bed were these: 29To you, O king, as you lay in bed, came thoughts of what would be hereafter, and the revealer of mysteries disclosed to you what is to be. 30But as for me, this mystery has not been revealed to me because of any wisdom that I have more than any other living being, but in order that the interpretation may be known to the king and that you may understand the thoughts of your mind.

31 “You were looking, O king, and lo! there was a great statue. This statue was huge, its brilliance extraordinary; it was standing before you, and its appearance was frightening. 32The head of that statue was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its middle and thighs of bronze, 33its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. 34As you looked on, a stone was cut out, not by human hands, and it struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and broke them in pieces. 35Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold, were all broken in pieces and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, so that not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.

36 “This was the dream; now we will tell the king its interpretation. 37You, O king, the king of kings—to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, the might, and the glory, 38into whose hand he has given human beings, wherever they live, the wild animals of the field, and the birds of the air, and whom he has established as ruler over them all—you are the head of gold. 39After you shall arise another kingdom inferior to yours, and yet a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over the whole earth. 40And there shall be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron; just as iron crushes and smashes everything, it shall crush and shatter all these. 41As you saw the feet and toes partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, it shall be a divided kingdom; but some of the strength of iron shall be in it, as you saw the iron mixed with the clay. 42As the toes of the feet were part iron and part clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly brittle. 43As you saw the iron mixed with clay, so will they mix with one another in marriage, but they will not hold together, just as iron does not mix with clay. 44And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall this kingdom be left to another people. It shall crush all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever; 45just as you saw that a stone was cut from the mountain not by hands, and that it crushed the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold. The great God has informed the king what shall be hereafter. The dream is certain, and its interpretation trustworthy.”

Daniel and His Friends Promoted

46 Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell on his face, worshiped Daniel, and commanded that a grain offering and incense be offered to him. 47The king said to Daniel, “Truly, your God is God of gods and Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries, for you have been able to reveal this mystery!” 48Then the king promoted Daniel, gave him many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon and chief prefect over all the wise men of Babylon. 49Daniel made a request of the king, and he appointed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego over the affairs of the province of Babylon. But Daniel remained at the king’s court.

This verse contains nothing new, unless we must notice what is not expressed, namely, that the prefect was not entirely without fear in giving Daniel an introduction to the king. For he knew the Icing to be very angry, and himself under serious displeasure, for not immediately executing the edict. But, as we have already said, God had taken Daniel into his confidence, and so bends and tames the mind of the prefect, that he no longer hesitates to introduce Daniel to the king. Another point is also gathered from the context, namely, Daniel’s obtaining his request; for it is said, he returned home, doubtless, because he obtained a single day from the king with the view of satisfying his demands on the next day. And yet it is surprising that this favor was granted, since the king wished the dream narrated to him immediately. Although Daniel does not here relate the reasons which he used with the king, yet most probably he confessed what we shall afterwards observe in its own place, namely, that he was not endued with sufficient intelligence to expound the dream, but hoping in God’s kindness, he would return next day with a new revelation. Otherwise the king would never have permitted this, if Daniel had petitioned doubtfully; or if he had not borne witness to his hopes of some, secret revelation from God, he would have been rejected immediately, and would have provoked still further the anger of the king. The Hebrews very commonly mention afterwards, in the context, whatever they omit in its proper place. So when he modestly confesses his inability to satisfy the king, till he has received from the Lord a faithful message, the king grants him the required time, as we shall see; more clearly afterwards. It follows —

We observe with what object and with what confidence Daniel demanded an extension of time. His object was to implore God’s grace. Confidence was also added, since he perceived a double punishment awaiting him, if he disappointed the king; if he had returned the next day without reply, the king would not have been content with an easy death, but would have raged with cruelty against Daniel, in consequence of his deception. Without the slightest doubt, Daniel expected what he obtained — namely, that the king’s dream would be revealed to him. He therefore urges his companions to implore unitedly mercy from God. Daniel had already obtained the singular gift of being an interpreter of dreams, and as. we, have seen, he alone was a Prophet. of God. God was accustomed to manifest his intentions to his Prophets by dreams or visions, (Numbers 12:6,) and Daniel had obtained both. Since Misael, Hananiah, and Azariah were united with him in prayer, we gather that they were not induced by ambition, to desire anything for themselves; for if they had been rivals of Daniel, they could not have prayed in concord with him. They did not pray about their own private concerns, but only for the interpretation of the dream being made known to Daniel. We observe, too, how sincerely they agree in their prayers, how all pride and ambition is laid aside, and without any desire for their own advantage. Besides, it is worthy of notice why they are said to have desired mercy from God Although they, do not hem come into God’s presence as criminals, yet they hoped their request would be graciously granted, and hence the word “mercy” is used. Whenever we fly to God to bring assistance to our necessities, our eyes and all our senses ought always to be turned towards his nlerey, for his more good will reconciles him to us. When it is said, at. the close of the verse,they should not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon, some explain this, as if they had been anxious about the life of the Magi, and wished to snatch them also from death. But although they wished all persons to be safe, clearly enough they here separate themselves from the Magi and Chaldeans; their conduct was far different. It now follows —

Here it may be gathered, that Daniel did not vacillate nor pray with his companions through any doubt upon his mind. For that sentence of James ought to come into our memory, namely, Those who hesitate, and tremble, and pray to God with difference, are unworthy of being heard. Let not such a one, says James, think he shall obtain anything from the Lord, if he is driven about variously like the waves of the sea. (James 1:6.) As God, therefore, shewed himself propitious to the prayers of Daniel, we conclude him to have prayed with true faith, and to be clearly persuaded that his life was in God’s hands; hence, also, he felt that God did not vainly harass the mind of King Nebuchadnezzar, but was preparing some signal and remarkable judgment for him. Because Daniel was imbued with this firm persuasion, he exercises a sure confidence, and prays to God as if he had already obtained his request. On the other hand, we perceive that God never closes his ears when rightly and cordially invoked, as also it is said in the Psalms, (Psalm 145:18,) He is near to all who pray to him in truth; for there cannot be truth when faith is wanting; but as Daniel brought faith and sincerity to his prayers, he was listened to, and the secret concerning the dream was made known to him in a vision by night. I cannot now proceed any further.

Daniel here pursues his narrative, and thanks God after King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream had been made known to him, while he relates the sense of the words which he had used. May God’s name be blessed, says he, from age to age We ought daily to wish for this; for when we pray that God’s name may be hallowed, continuance is denoted under this form of prayer. But Daniel here breaks forth into the praises of God with greater vehemence, because he acknowledges his singular benefit in being snatched away from death, together with his companions, beyond his expectation. Whenever God confers any remarkable blessing on his servants, they are the more stirred up to praise him, as David says, (Psalm 40:3,) Thou hast put a new song into my mouth. And Isaiah also uses this form of speech twice, (Isaiah 42:10,) as if God had given him material for a new and unusual song, in dealing so wonderfully with his Church. So also, there is no doubt that Daniel here wished to praise God in a remarkable manner, since he had received a rare proof of his favor in being delivered from instant death. Afterwards he adds, whose (or since his) is the wisdom and the strength; for the relative is here taken for the causal particle, and the sentence ought to be so expressed; the additional particles may avail to strengthen the expression, and be taken exclusively, as if he had said, — to God alone ought the praise of wisdom and virtue to be ascribed. Without him, indeed, both are sought in vain; but these graces do not seem to suit the present purpose; for Daniel ought rather to celebrate God’s praises, through this vision being opened, and this was enough to content him. But he may here speak of God’s glory as well from his power as his wisdom; as, when, re Scripture wishes to distinguish the true God from all fictions, it takes these two principles — first, God governs all things by his own hand, and retains them under his sway; and secondly, nothing is hid from him — and these points cannot be separated when his majesty is to be proved. We see mankind fabricating deities for themselves, and thus multiplying gods, and distributing to each his own office; because they cannot rest in simple unity, when God is treated of. Some fancy God retains but half his attributes; as. for instance, the praters about bare foreknowledge. They admit nothing to be hidden to God, and his knowledge of all things; and this they prove by the prophecies which occur in the Scriptures. What they say is true; but they very much lessen the glory of God; nay, they tear it to pieces by likening him to Apollo, whose office it formerly was, hi the opinion of the heathen, to predict future events. When they sought predictions of future events, they endued Apollo with the virtue of making known to them future occurrences. Many at the present time think God able to foresee all things, but suppose him either to dissemble or purposely withdraw from the government of the world.

Lastly, Their notion of God’s foreknowledge is but a cold and idle speculation. Hence I said, they rob God of half his glory, and, as far as they can, tear him to pieces. But Scripture, when it wishes to assert what is peculiar to God, joins these two things inseparably; first, God foresees all things, since nothing is hidden from his eyes; and next, he appoints future events, and governs the world by his will, allowing nothing to happen by chance or without his direction. Daniel here assumes this principle, or rather unites the two, by asserting Israel’s God alone to deserve the name, since both wisdom and strength are in his power. We must remember how God is defrauded of his just praise when we do not connect these two attributes together — his universal foresight and his government of the world allowing nothing to happen without his permission. But as it would be too cold to assert that to God alone belongs wisdom and strength, unless his wisdom was conspicuous, and his strength openly acknowledged, hence it follows immediately afterwards —

Daniel explains, in these words, what might have been obscure; for he teaches God to be the true fountain of wisdom and virtue, while he does not confine them to himself alone, but diffuses them through heaven and earth. And we must mark this diligently; for when Paul affirms God alone to be wise, this praise does not seem magnificent enough, (Romans 16:27;) but when we think of God’s wisdom, and set before our eyes all around and about us, then we feel more strongly the import of Paul’s words, that God only is wise. God, therefore, as I have already stated, does not keep His wisdom confined to himself, but makes it flow throughout the whole world. The full sense of the verse is, — whatever wisdom and power exists in the world, is a testimony to the Almighty’s. This is man’s ingratitude; whenever they find anything worthy of praise in themselves or others, they claim it directly as their own, and thus God’s glory is diminished by the depravity of those who obtain their blessings from him. We are here taught not to detract anything from God’s wisdom and power, since wherever these qualities are conspicuous in the world, they ought rather to reflect his glory. We now perceive the Prophet’s meaning — God places before our eyes, as in a glass, the proofs of his wisdom and power, when the affairs of the world roll on, and mankind become powerful through wisdom, and some are raised on high, and others fall to the ground. Experience teaches us these events do not proceed from human skill, or through the equable course of nature, while the loftiest kings are cast down and others elevated to the highest posts of honor. Daniel, therefore, admonishes us not to seek in heaven alone for God’s wisdom and power, since it is apparent to us on earth, and proofs of it are daily presented to our observation. We now see how these two verses are mutually united He had stated wisdom to belong exclusively to God; he now shews that it is not hidden within him, but is made manifest to us; and we may perceive by familiar experience, how all wisdom flows from him as its exclusive fountain. We ought to feel the same concurring power also.

It is he, then, who changes times and portions of time. We know it to be ascribed to fortune when the world passes through such uncertain changes that everything is daily changing. hence the profane consider all things to be acted on by blind impulse, and others affirm the human race to be a kind of sport to God, since men are tossed about like balls. But, as I have already said, it is not surprising to find men of a perverse and corrupt disposition thus perverting the object of all God’s works. For our own practical improvement we should consider what the Prophet is here teaching, how revolutions, as they are called, are testimonies of God’s power, and point out with the finger to the truth that the affairs of men are ruled by the Most High. For we must of necessity adopt one or the other of these views, either that nature rules over human events, or else fortune turns about in every direction, things which ought to have an even course. As far as nature is concerned, its course would be even, unless God by his singular counsel, as we have seen, thus changes the course of the times. Yet those philosophers who assign the supreme authority to nature are much sounder than others who place fortune in the highest rank. For if we admit for a moment this latter opinion that fortune directs human affairs by a kind of blind impulse, whence comes this fortune? If you ask them for a definition, what answer will they make? They will surely be compelled to confess this, the word “fortune” explains nothing. But neither God nor nature will have any place in this vain and changeable government of the world, where all things throw themselves into distinct forms without the least order or connection. And if this be granted, truly the doctrine of Ephcurus will be received, because if God resigns the supreme government of the world, so that all things are rashly mingled together, he is no longer God. But in this variety he rather displays his hand in claiming for himself the empire over the world. In so many changes, then, which meet us on every side, and by which the whole face of things is renewed, we must remember that the Providence of God shines forth; and things do not flow on in an even course, because then the peculiar property of God might with some shew of reason be ascribed to nature. God, I say, so changes empires, and times, and seasons, that we should learn to look up to him. If the sun always rose and set at the same period, or at least certain symmetrical changes took place yearly, without any casual change; if the days of winter were not short, and those of summer not long, we might then discover the same order of nature, and in this way God would be rejected from his own dominion. But when the days of winter not only differ in length from those of summer, but even spring does not always retain the same temperature, but is sometimes stormy and snowy, and at others warm and genial; and since summers are so various, no year being just like the former one; since the air is changed every hour, and the heavens put on new appearances — when we discern all these things, God rouses us up, that we may not grow torpid in our own grossness, and erect nature into a deity, and de-wive him of his lawful honor, and transfer to our own fancy what he claims for himself alone. If then, in these ordinary events, we are compelled to acknowledge God’s Providence, if any change of greater moment arises, as when God transfers empires from one hand to another, and all but transforms the whole world, ought we not then to be the more affected, unless we are utterly stupid? Daniel, therefore, very reasonably corrects the perverse opinion which commonly seizes upon the senses of all, that the world either rolls on by chance, or that nature is the supreme deity, when he asserts — God changes times and seasons.

It is evident from the context, that he is here properly speaking of empires, since he appoints and removes kings We feel great difficulty in believing kings placed upon their thrones by a divine power, and afterwards deposed again, since we naturally fancy that they acquire their power by their own talents, or by hereditary right, or by fortuitous accident Meanwhile all thought of God is excluded, when the industrly, or valor, or success, or any other quality of man is extolled! Hence it is said in the Psalms, neither from the east nor the west, but God alone is the judge. (Psalm 75:6, 7.) The Prophet there derides the discourses of those who call themselves Wise, and who gather up reasons from all sides to shew how power is assigned to man, by either his own counsel and valor, or by good fortune or other human and inferior instruments. Look round, says he, wherever you please, from the rising to the setting of the sun, and you will find no reason why one man becomes lord of his fellow-creatures rather than another. God alone is the judge; that is, the government must remain entirely with the one God. So also in this passage, the Lord is said to appoint kings, and to raise them from the rest of mankind as he pleases. As this argument is a most important one, it might be treated more copiously; but since the same opportunity will occur in other passages, I comment but shortly on the contents of this verse; for we shall often have to treat of the state of kingdoms and of their ruin and changes. I am therefore unwilling to add anything more at present, as it is sufficient to explain Daniel’s intention thus briefly.

He afterwards adds, — he gives wisdom to the wise, and knowledge to those who are endued with it In this second clause, the Prophet confirms what we have already said, that God’s wisdom is not shrouded in darkness, but is manifested to us, as he daily gives us sure and remarkable proofs of this. Meanwhile he here corrects the ingratitude of men who assume to themselves the praise of their own excellencies which spring from God, and thus become almost sacrilegious. Daniel, therefore, asserts that men have no wisdom but what springs from God. Men are, indeed, clever and intelligent, but the question arises, whether it springs from themselves? He also shews us how mankind are to be blamed in claiming anything as their own, since they have really nothing belonging to them, however they may be wrapt, in admiration of themselves. Who then will boast of becoming wise by his own innate strength? Has he originated the intellect with which he is endowed? Because God is the sole author of wisdom and knowledge, the gifts by which he has adorned men ought not to obscure his glory, but rather to illustrate it. He afterwards adds —

He pursues the same sentiment, and confirms it, — that all mortals receive from God’s Spirit whatever intelligence and light they enjoy; but he proceeds a step further in this verse than in the last. He had said generally, that, men receive wisdom and understanding by God’s good will; but here he speaks specially; for when a man’s understanding is rare and unusual, there God’s gift shines forth more clearly; as if he had said — God not only distributes to every one according to the measure of his own liberality, whatever acuteness and ingenuity they possess, but he adorns some with such intelligence that they appear as his interpreters. He speaks, therefore, here, specially of the gift of prophecy; as if he had said, God’s goodness is conspicuous, not only in the ordinary prudence of mankind, for no one is so made as to be unable to discover between justice and injustice, and to form some plan for regulating his life; but in Prophets there is something extraordinary, which renders God’s wisdom more surprising. Whence, then, do Prophets obtain the power of prophesying concerning hidden events, and penetrating above the heavens, and surpassing all bounds? Is this common to all men? Surely this far exceeds the ordinary ability of man, while the Prophet here teaches that; God’s beneficence and power deserve more praise, because he reveals hidden and secret things; and in this sense he adds — light dwells with God; as if he had said, — God differs very much from us, since we are involved in many clouds and mists; but to God all things are clear; he has no occasion to hesitate, or inquire, and has no need to be hindered through ignorance. Now, we fully understand the Prophet’s meaning.

Let us learn from this passage to attribute to God that praise which the greater part of the world claims to itself with sacrilegious audacity, though God shews it to belong to himself. Whatever understanding or judgment we may possess, we should remember that it was first received from God. Hence, also, if we have but a small portion of common sense, we are still equally indebted to God, for we should be like stocks or stones unless by his secret instinct he endued us with understanding. But if any one excels others, and obtains the admiration of all men, he ought still modestly to submit himself to God, and acknowledge himself the more bound to him, because he has received more than others. For who knows himself fully but God? The more, therefore, he excels in understanding, the more he will lay aside all claims of his own, and extol the beneficence of God. Thirdly, let, us learn that the understanding of spiritual things is a rare and singular gift of the Holy Spirit, in which God’s power shines forth conspicuously. Let us guard against that diabolical pride by which we see almost; the whole world to be swollen and intoxicated. And in this respect we should chiefly glorify God, as he has not, only adorned us with ordinary foresight, enabling us to discern between good and evil, but raised us above the ordinary level of human nature, and so enlightened us that we can understand things far exceeding our capacities. When Daniel pronounces light to be with God, we must supply a tacit antithesis; since he indicates, as I have already said, that men are surrounded by thick darkness, and grope about in obscurity. The habitation of men is here obliquely contrasted with the sanctuary of God; as if the Prophet had said, there is no pure and perfect light but in God alone. Hence, when we remain in our natural state, we must necessarily wander in darkness, or at least be obscured by many clouds. These words naturally lead us not to rest satisfied in our own position, but to seek from God that light in which he only dwells. Meanwhile, we should remember how God dwells in light unapproachable, (1 Timothy 6:16,) unless he deigns to stretch forth his hand to us. Hence, if we desire to become partakers of this divine light, let us be, on our guard against audacity, and mindful of our ignorance; let; us seek God’s illumination. Thus his light will not be inaccessible to us, when, by his Spirit, he shall conduct us beyond the skies. He afterwards adds —

Daniel turns his discourse to God. I confess to thee, says he, O God of my fathers, and praise thee Here he more openly distinguishes the God of the Israelites from all the fictions of the nations. Nor does he use this epithet in vain, when he praises the God of his fathers; for he wishes to reduce to nothing all the fabrications of the Gentiles concerning a multitude of deities. Daniel rejects this as a vain and foolish thing, and shews how the God of Israel alone is worthy of praise. But he does not found the glory of God on the authority of their fathers, as the Papists, when they wish to ascribe the supreme power to either George, or Catharine, or any others, count up the number of ages during which the error has prevailed. Thus they wish whatever the consent of mankind has approved to be received as oracular. But if religion depended on the common consent of mankind, where would be its stability? We know nothing vainer than the minds of men. If man is weighed, says the Prophet, with vanity in a balance, vanity itself will preponderate. (Psalm 62:9.) Nothing, therefore, is more foolish than this principle of this king, — what has prevailed by the consent of many ages must be religiously true. But here Daniel partially commends the God of their fathers, as their fathers were the sorts of God. For that sacred adoption prevailed among the Jews, by which God chose Abraham and his whole family for himself. Daniel, therefore, here does not extol the persons of men, as if they either could or ought to add anything they pleased to God; but this is the reason why he says, the God of Israel is the God of their fathers, since he was of that race which the Almighty had adopted. On the whole, he so opposes the God of Israel to all the idols of the Gentiles, that the mark of separation is in the covenant itself, and in the celestial doctrine by which he revealed himself to the sacred fathers. For while the Gentiles have no certain vision, and follow only their own dreams, Daniel here deservedly sets forth the God of their fathers.

He afterwards adds, because thou hast given me wisdom and strength As far as relates to wisdom, the reason is. clear enough why Daniel thanks God, since he had obtained, as he soon afterwards says, the revelation of the dream. He had also formerly been endued with the prophetic spirit and with visions. as he related in the first chapter, (Daniel 1:17.) We may here, inquire what he means by strength? He was not remarkable for his honor among men, nor was he ever a commander in military affairs, and he had no superior gift of magnificent power to cause him to return thanks to God. But Daniel regards this as the principal point, that the God. of Israel was then acknowledged as the true and only God; because, whatever wisdom and virtue exists in the world, it flows from him as its only source. For this reason he speaks of himself as well as of all others, as if he had said — If I have any strength or understanding, I ascribe it all to thee; it is thine entirely. And, truly, though Daniel was neither a king nor a prefect, yet that unconquered greatness of mind which we have seen was not to be esteemed as without value. Hence he very properly acknowledges something of this kind to have been conferred upon him by heaven. Lastly, his intention is to debase himself and to attribute to God his own; but he speaks concisely, as we have said, since under the phrases “power” and “wisdom” he had previously embraced the proof of his divinity. He afterwards adds, Thou hast revealed to me what we demanded of thee; thou hast made known to us the king’s inquiry There seems here a slight discrepancy, as he praises God for granting him a revelation of the dream, and then unites others to himself. Yet the revelation was not common to them, but peculiar to himself. The solution is easy; for he first expresses that this was given to himself specially, that he might know the king’s dream and understand its interpretation. When he has confessed this, he extends the benefit to his companions, and deservedly so; because though they did not yet understand what God had conferred upon Daniel, yet he had obtained this in their favor,-they were all snatched from death, and all their prayers attended to. And this availed very much for the confirmation of their faith as it assured them they had not prayed in vain. For we said that there was no ambition in their prayers, as if any one desired any peculiar gift by which he might acquire honor and estimation for himself in the world. Nothing of the kind. It was enough for them to shew forth God’s name among unbelievers; because by his kindness, they had been delivered from death. Hence Daniel very properly says, the king’s dream was made known to him with its interpretation; and this he will afterwards transfer to his companions.

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