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illustrated by the practice with regard to the negro slaves in European colonies, as by any other reference. It is uncertain whether the Chaldeans had any particular ideas concerning the names they gave to their slaves and captives. It might almost seem so, as the names here mentioned nowhere occur as names of native Chaldeans: that given to Daniel, indeed, resembles that of a future king of Babylon (Belshazzar), but is a syllable longer. The Athenians were very particular that their slaves should not bear names accounted dignified or respectable. They commonly gave them short names, seldom of more than two syllables, probably that they might be the more easily and quickly pronounced when called by their masters; and hence, when a slave became free, he changed his name again, taking good care that his new name should be a long one. We see that Daniel continues to call himself by his native name: and it is probable that the Hebrew captives did not, among themselves, acknowledge the names which their masters imposed.
1 Nebuchadnezzar, forgetting his dream, requireth it of the Chaldeans, by promises and threatenings. 10 They acknowledging their inability are judged to die. 14 Daniel obtaining some respite findeth the dream. 19 He blesseth God. 24 He staying the decree is brought to the king. 31 The dream. 36 The interpretation. 46 Daniel's advance
AND in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, wherewith his spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake from him.
2 Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the astrologers, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, for to shew the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king.
3 And the king said unto them, I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit was troubled to know the dream.
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.
5 The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, The thing is gone from me: if ye will not make known unto me the dream, with the interpretation thereof, ye shall be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made a dunghill.
6 But if ye shew the dream, and the interpretation thereof, ye shall receive of me gifts and rewards and great honour: therefore shew me the dream, and the interpretation thereof.
changed therefore tell me the dream, and I shall know that ye can shew me the interpretation thereof.
10 The Chaldeans answered before the king, and said, There is not a man upon the earth that can shew the king's matter: therefore there is no king, lord, nor ruler, that asked such things at any magician, or astrologer, or Chaldean.
11 And it is a rare thing that the king requireth, and there is none other that can shew it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.
12 For this cause the king was angry and very furious, and commanded to destroy all the wise men of Babylon.
13 And the decree went forth that the wise men should be slain; and they sought Daniel and his fellows to be slain.
14¶Then Daniel answered with counsel and wisdom to Arioch the captain of the king's guard, which was gone forth to slay the wise men of Babylon:
15 He answered and said to Arioch the king's captain, Why is the decree so hasty from the king? Then Arioch made the thing known to Daniel.
16 Then Daniel went'in, and desired of the king that he would give him time, and that he would shew the king the interpreta
17 Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions:
18 That they would desire mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret; that Daniel and his fellows should not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.
19 Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.
20 Daniel answered and said, "Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his :
21 And he changeth the times and the seasons; he removeth kings, and setteth 5 Chald. buy 6 Chald returned.
"Chald. from before God. 32, and 115. 18.
3 Chald. made pieces. Or, fee, chap. 5. 17.
27 Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, shew unto the king;
28 But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and "maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these;
29 As for thee, O king, thy thoughts came into thy mind upon thy bed, what should come to pass hereafter: and he that revealeth secrets maketh known to thee what shall come to pass.
30 But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living, but for their sakes that shall make known the interpretation to the king, and that thou mightest know the thoughts of thy heart.
breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his "thighs of brass,
33 His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay.
34 Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces.
35 Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing-floors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.
36¶This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king.
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.
39 And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth.
13 Chald. children of the captivity of Judah. 14 Chald. hath made known. 17 Or, sides. 18 Or, which was not in hands; as verse 45. 19 Or, brittle. 22 Chap. 43, 34; and 6. 26; and 7. 14,27. Mich. 4. 7. Luke 1. 33.
15 Chald. came up. 20 Chald. this with this. Chald. kingdom thereof.
said, Of a truth it is, that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou couldest reveal this secret.
48 Then the king made Daniel a great man, and gave him many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and "chief of the governors over all the wise men of Babylon.
49 Then Daniel requested of the king, and he set Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, over the affairs of the province of Babylon: but Daniel sat in the gate of the king. 25 Chald. after this.
26 Chap. 4. 9.
Verse 2. "The magicians, and the astrologers, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans.”—It is no use to distinguish these various professors of what seems to have formed the boasted learning and science of the Babylonians, and which appears to have consisted in the neglect of really practicable and useful knowledge, for the vain pursuit, and not very humble profession, of that which must ever be unattainable to man, and which would be useless and mischievous could it be attained. The present was made the handmaid of the future: and the abilities which might have profited for the existing time were exhausted in the attempt to unveil the secrets of the time to come. Their boasted cultivation of astronomy was merely an accident resulting from the attempt to read the future in the stars. Astronomy, as it ever has been in the East, was attended to so far, and no farther, than the vain science of astrology made it necessary. The best account we possess of the learning and science of the Chaldeans is that given by Diodorus Siculus (b. ii. ch. 3); and although he speaks of it with respect, it is easy enough, from his account. to see its false foundations and delusive character. He mentions the Chaldeans. as so called by the Babylonians themselves, and intimates the distinction by describing them as "the more ancient Babylonians." They seem, in fact, to have formed the learned caste, occupying the same station as the priests did in Egypt. They spent all their time in the study of "philosophy," and were especially famous in the art of astrology. They were greatly given to divination, and the foretelling of future events, and employed themselves, either by purifications. sacrifices, or enchantments, in averting evils and in procuring good fortune and success. They were also skilful in the art of divination by the flying of birds, and in the interpretation of dreams and prodigies: and the presages which they derived from the exact and diligent inspection of the entrails of sacrifices, were received as oracles by the people. Diodorus makes some approving observations on their method of study, stating that their knowledge and science were traditionally transmitted from father to son, thus proceeding on long established rules: and he then proceeds to inform us, that the Chaldeans held the world to be eternal, that it had no certain beginning and should have no end. But they all agreed that all things were ordered, and the beautiful fabric of the universe supported by a divine providence; and that the motions of the heavens were not performed by chance, or of their own accord, but by the determinate will and appointment of the gods. Therefore, from long observation of the stars, and an exact knowledge of the motions and influences of every one of them (in which they excelled all other nations), they professed to foretell things that should come to pass. The five planets, the Sun, Mars, Venus, Mercury, and Jupiter, they called "Interpreters," as being principally concerned in making known to man the will of the gods. Future events they held to be foreshown by their rising, their setting, and their colour, presaging hurricanes, tempestuous rains, droughts, the appearance of comets, eclipses, earthquakes, and all other circumstances which were thought to bode good or evil not only to nations in general, but to kings and private persons in particular. The planets also, in their courses through the twelve signs, into which the Chaldeans divided the visible heavens, were held, as by more modern astrologers, to have a great influence, either good or bad, on men's nativities, so that, from a consideration of their several natures, and respective positions, it might be foreknown what should befal people in after life. The following is remarkable:-" As they foretold things to come to other kings formerly, so they did to Alexander who conquered Darius, and to his successors Antigonus and Seleucus Nicator; and accordingly things fell out as they declared. They also tell private men their fortunes, so certainly, that those who have found the thing true by experience, have esteemed it a miracle, and beyond the art of man to perform." After giving some account of their astronomical system, Diodorus adds:-"This we may justly and truly say, that the Chaldeans excel all men in astrology, having studied it more than any other art or science. But the number of years during which the Cha deans allege that their predecessors have been devoted to this study, is incredible: for when Alexander was in Asia, they reckoned up four hundred and seventy thousand years since they first began to observe the motions of the stars." Cicero also ridicules this pretension. The Chaldeans did, certainly, make and record astronomical observations from very ancient times, since Calisthenes, the philosopher who accompanied Alexander, found at Babylon such observations, extending backwards for 1903 years; and the above preposterous statement will be within this account, if we understand that the number (as corrected) of 473,040 years was, as Dr. Hales concludes, produced by the multiplication of two factorsthe square of the Chaldean Saros (a period of lunar inequalities), 18 × 18=324, and the Nabonassarean or Sothiacal period of 1460 years. Whether the statement of the result as "years," arose from a misconception of their statement, or from an intention to deceive, is not very clear; but it does appear that the later Chaldeans were in the habit of turning days into years, to give to themselves an antiquity somewhat more commensurate than the truth could be to their belief that the world had no beginning.
45 Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain "without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass "hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.
46¶Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and worshipped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odours unto him.
47 The king answered unto Daniel, and
24 Or, which was not in hand.
Such were the principles and practices of the men who now appeared before Nebuchadnezzar, and over whom Daniel was ultimately appointed to preside.
5. "The dream, with the interpretation thereof."-Dr. Hales observes on this:-"The king's requisition to the wise men of Babylon, to tell him his dream, in the first instance, before they attempted to interpret it, though as they alleged, in excuse for not doing so, unusual and impossible for mere mortals, was yet founded on profound policy. He justly considered their telling the dream itself, as a sure test of the truth of the interpretation afterwards, and which it was not unreasonable to require of them even upon their own principles; because the same divine power which could com
municate to them the interpretation, as they professed, could also communicate to them the dream itself. He did not forget the dream, as generally imagined, from the expression the thing is gone from me,' and which may rather be rendered, with the Septuagint and Arabic, the decree is gone forth from me,' and shall not be reversed; or with the Syriac version, the decree which I have pronounced is certain,' or unalterable; namely, for putting them all to death, if they could not tell the dream. And this surely was a more consistent reason, why the wise men wished to gain time, or suspend the execution of it (verse 8); and why Daniel, who was involved in their danger, complained, why is the decree so hasty from the king?"" Analysis,' ii. 456.
31. “A great image.'—In ancient coins and medals, nothing is more common than to see cities and nations represented by human figures, male or female. According to the ideas which suggested such symbols, a vast image in the human figure was, therefore, a very fit emblem of sovereign power and dominion, while the materials of which it was composed did most significantly typify the character of the various empires, the succession of which was foreshown by this vision. This last idea, of expressing the condition of things by metallic symbols, was prevalent before the time of Daniel. Hesiod, who lived about two centuries before Daniel, characterises the succession of ages (four) by the very same metals-the ages of gold, silver, brass, and iron.
The vision which follows is so clear-as explained by Daniel, and with the illustration derived from his own future visions-that it has been explained with little difference of opinion in essential points, except in that portion which is still considered to remain to be fulfilled. Daniel himself declares the head of gold to represent the Babylonian empire; and the other parts, downward, the great empires which should successively arise. The breast and arms of silver, must therefore denote the empire of the Persians: the belly and thighs of brass, the empire of Alexander and his successors: the third kingdom of iron, which broke in pieces and subdued all things, must mean that of the Romans; and the toes, partly iron and partly clay, cannot but denote the several kingdoms, some strong and some weak, which arose upon the ruin of their magnificent empire. The last empire, typified by the stone cut out without hands from the mountain, and breaking in pieces the iron, the brass. the clay, the silver, and the gold-subduing all kingdoms and enduring for ever-is by the Jews referred to the kingdom of their still expected Messiah. Christians also apply it to the kingdom of Christ, but under various modifications of explanation and hypothesis, which it is not our object to fo low; there can, however, be no question that this part of the vision can refer to nothing else than to our Saviour's dominion upon earth, whatever form or character that dominion may be considered to bear.
1 Nebuchadnezzar dedicateth a golden image in Dura. 8 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego are accused for not worshipping the image. 13 They, being threatened, make a good confession. 19 God delivereth them out of the furnace. 26 Nebuchadnezzar, seeing the miracle, blesseth God. NEBUCHADNEZZAR the king made an image of gold, whose height was threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof six cubits: he set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon.
down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up:
4 Then an herald cried 'aloud, To you 'it is commanded, O people, nations, and lan
6 And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.
2 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king sent to gather together the princes, the governors, and the captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the image which Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.
3 Then the princes, the governors, and captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, were gathered together unto the dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up; and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had
Chald. with might,
7 Therefore at that time, when all the people heard the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and all kinds of musick, all the people, the nations, and the languages, fell down and worshipped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.
8 ¶ Wherefore at that time certain Chaldeans came near, and accused the Jews.
9 They spake and said to the king Nebuchadnezzar, O king, live for ever.
10 Thou, O king, hast made a decree, that every man that shall hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, shall fall down and worship the golden image:
11 And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth, that he should be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.
12 There are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the affairs of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; these men, O king, 'have not regarded thee: they serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
5 That at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, 13 Then Nebuchadnezzar in his rage dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall and fury commanded to bring Shadrach, Chald. they command. • Or, singing. 4 Chald. symphony. 5 Chald. have set no regard upon thee. 2 F 217
20 And he commanded the most mighty men that were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace.
21 Then these men were bound in their 'coats, their hosen, and their hats, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.
22 Therefore because the king's "commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceeding hot, the flame of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego.
23 And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery fur
24 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonied, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king.
25 He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.
26 ¶ Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth, and come hither. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, came forth of the midst of the fire.
27 And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king's counsellors, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them.
28 Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king's word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.
29 Therefore I make a decree, That every people, nation, and language, which speak any thing amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, shall be 18 cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can deliver after this
30 Then the king "promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, in the province of Babylon.
•Or, of purpose; as Exod. 21. 13. 7 Chald. filled. 8 Chald. mighty of strength. • Or, mantles. 10 Or, turbans. 11 Chald. word. Or, spark. 13 Or, governors. 14 Chald. there is no hurt in them. 15 Chald. door 18 Chald. a decree is made by me. 18 Chap. 2. 5. 19 Chald. made pieces. 20 Chald. made to prosper.
17 Chald. error.
Verse 1. "An image of gold.”—Dr. Hales suggests that this image of gold may have been made and erected by the haughty and arrogant conqueror in opposition to his dream, and the foregoing interpretation thereof. "The whole image, and not the head only, was made of gold, to denote the continuance of his empire, and it was consecrated to his tutelary god Bel, or Belus (verse 14; ch. iv. 18), whose power he now considered superior to that of the God of the Jews, revoking his former confession." Some think that the image was intended as a statue of Nabopolassar, the father of Nebuchadnezzar, and whom he proposed to rank among the gods; and others imagine that the image represented Nebuchadnezzar himself, who intended to be adored under this form. But the opinion that it was consecrated to the great Babylonian god Bel, or Baal, is the most probable and best supported. The dimensions given, sixty cubits high by six in breadth, would be quite disproportionate if understood of the figure alone, and we are therefore