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Bible Commentaries

Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Daniel 4

Verse 1

Nebuohadnezzar. What follows is evidently a proclamation. Given probably in 454 B.C., the last of the seven years of his "madness"(461-454 B.C.), the same year as the decree of Astyages, Daniel being then fifty-nine.

people = the peoples.

nations = races.

languages = tongues.

Verse 2

thought = have thought.

wonders = astonishing things.

HIGH = most HIGH.

God . Chaldee. 'elaha' (emphatic). App-4 .

Verse 3

How great, &c . Compare Daniel 4:34 ; Daniel 2:44 ; Daniel 7:17 .

Verse 5

dream . One of twenty recorded dreams. See note on Genesis 20:3 .

visions of my head, &c . Compare Daniel 4:10 , and Daniel 2:28 .

Verse 6

to bring in all the wise men, &c . Probably done from motives of state policy, or acting on Daniel's own advice. A writer clever enough to be a forger would be wise enough not to leave the loophole alleged.

Verse 7

magicians, &c . See note on Daniel 1:2 .

Verse 8

Belteshazzar. See note on Daniel 1:7 .

god . Chaldee. 'elah. App-4 .

spirit . Hebrew. ruach. App-9 .

holy . See note on Exodus 3:5 .

gods . Chaldee. 'elahin (plural) App-4 .

Verse 9

master of the magicians . Daniel still held the position given him in Daniel 2:48 .

secret . Chaldee. raz. Same word as in Daniel 2:0 : (except Daniel 2:22 ). See notes on Daniel 2:18 , Daniel 2:22 .

Verse 10

I saw = I was gazing.

behold . Figure of speech Asterismos. App-6 .

Verse 13

a watcher and an holy one . Figure of speech Hendiadys ( App-6 ) = an holy angel.

watcher . A Chaldee name ( 'ir ) for an angelic being, watching over the affairs of men. Compare: Daniel 4:17 , Daniel 4:23 . Not the same root as in Daniel 9:14 .

Verse 15

the stump of his roots = his root-trunk.

tender grass = herbage.

wet = drenched.

Verse 16

Let his heart, &c . The figure here changes from a tree to that of a beast, mentioned in Daniel 4:15 .

man's . Chaldee. 'anasha'. App-14 .

seven times. The inscriptions state that there were several years in which Nebuchadnezzar did nothing,

Verse 17

demand = mandate.

ruleth = hath dominion.

basest = lowest.

Verse 19

astonied = astonished.

one hour. Chaldee. sha ' ah = a moment, as Daniel 4:33 ; Daniel 3:6 , Daniel 3:15 ; Daniel 5:5 .

The king spake. Note the change of speakers.

answered and said . See note on Deuteronomy 1:41 .

Verse 25

drive thee, &c . The mental disease of Nebuchadnezzar is rare. It is called Lycanthropy (from Greek, lukos = a wolf, and anthropos = a man), because the man imagines himself to be a wolf, or some other animal.

men . Chaldee plural of ' anash . App-14 .

make = suffer.

Verse 26

the heavens . Put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Subject), App-6 , for God Who dwells there. Compare Luke 15:18 .

Verse 27

counsel = advice. Not the same word as in Daniel 3:24 , Daniel 3:27 ; Daniel 4:36 ; Daniel 6:7 .

break off . This is rendered in the Vulgate (the Authorized version of the Church of Rome) by "redeem"; but the Chaldee perak = break off. First occurs in Hebrew ( parak ) Genesis 27:40 . Exodus 32:2 , Exodus 32:3 , Exodus 32:24 , &c. See note on Psalms 136:24 .

sins: chatai. Same as App-44 .

righteousness . This is rendered as "almsgiving" in the Vulgate. But Chaldee. tzidkah (Hebrew. tzedakah) = righteousness never signifies alms or almsgiving.

iniquities . Chaldee. 'ivya'. Same as App-44 .

poor = wretched, miserable. Chaldee. 'anah. See note on "poverty", Proverbs 6:11 . Here referring doubtless to the Jewish captives.

Verse 28

All this came . Here the change is to the historical narration.

Verse 30

spake = answered.

great Babylon . The German Orient Society's excavations during recent years have shown how "great" it was. See Records of the Past, vol. i, p, &c.

that I have built . Everywhere this is repeated by Nebuchadnezzar on bricks, pavements, walls, &c.

house of the kingdom = the royal palace.

Verse 34

I Nebuchadnezzar, &c . Here the king again speaks. This corresponds with the Proclamation (verses: Daniel 4:1-3 ), and is the ground of its being made.

the Most High . Compare verses: Daniel 4:17 , Daniel 4:32 .

I praised, &c . Modern critics are stumbled because Nebuchadnezzar should do this while he was an idolater. But surely it is the token that a great change had taken place. This occurred in 454, just after Astyages (the great king = Artaxerxes) had issued his decree for the rebuilding of Jerusalem; and it was imperative that Nebuchadnezzar should now issue this imperial decree. See App-58 . This year, 454 B. C, is specially marked by the issue of these two momentous proclamations. When Nebuchadnezzar's madness began, Daniel was fifty-two, and when it ended, he was fifty-nine years old.

Verse 35

all, &c . Compare Job 34:14 , Job 34:15 , Job 34:19-24 .Isaiah 40:15-17 , Isaiah 40:22-24 .

and He, &c . Compare 1 Samuel 3:18 . Job 23:13 .Psalms 33:9-11 ; Psalms 115:3 ; Psalms 135:6 . Isaiah 14:24-27 ; Isaiah 46:10 , Isaiah 46:11 .

the inhabitants, &c . Psalms 33:8 , Psalms 33:14 ; Psalms 49:1 .Isaiah 26:9 .

none, &c . Compare Job 9:4 , Job 9:13 ; Job 34:29 ; Job 40:9-12 ; Job 42:2 .Acts 5:39 ; Acts 9:5 ; Acts 11:17 , &c.

What, &c . Compare Job 9:12 ; Job 33:12 , Job 33:13 ; Job 40:2 .Isaiah 45:9-11 .

Verse 36

counsellers . See note on Daniel 3:24 .

lords . See note on Daniel 5:1 , and "princes", Daniel 5:2 .

Verse 37

I Nebuchadnezzar, &c . This corresponds with verses: Daniel 4:1-3 . See the Structure, p. 1185.

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Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Daniel 4". "Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bul/daniel-4.html. 1909-1922.