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And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, wherewith his spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake from him. In the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel 1:5 shows that "three years" had elapsed since Nebuchadnezzar had taken Jerusalem. The solution of this difficulty is, Nebuchadnezzar first ruled as subordinate to his father, Nabopolassar, to which time Daniel 1:1-21 refers; whereas "the second year" in Daniel 2:1-49 is dated from his sole sovereignty. The very difficulty is a proof of genuineness: all was clear to the writer and the original readers, from their knowledge of the circumstances, and so he adds no explanation. A forger would not introduce difficulties; the author did not then see any difficulty in the case. Nebuchadnezzar is called "king" (Daniel 1:1) by anticipation. Before he left Judea he became actual king by the death of his father, and the Jews always called him "king," as commander of the invading army.
Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams. It is significant that not to Daniel, but to the then world-ruler, Nebuchadnezzar, the dream is vouch-safed. It was from the first of its representatives who had conquered the theocracy that the world-power was to learn its doom, as about to be in its turn subdued, and forever, by the kingdom of God. As this vision opens, so that in Daniel 7:1-28, developing the same truth more fully, closes the first part. Nebuchadnezzar, as vicegerent of God (Daniel 2:37: cf. Jeremiah 25:9; Ezekiel 28:12-15; as Cyrus subsequently, Isaiah 44:28; Isaiah 45:1; Romans 13:1), is honoured with the revelation in the form of a dream, the appropriate form to one outside the kingdom of God. So in the cases of Abimelech, Pharaoh, etc. (Genesis 20:1-18 and Genesis 41:1-57), especially as the pagan attached such importance to dreams. Still it is not he, but an Israelite, who interprets it. Heathendom is passive, Israel active, in divine things, so that the glory redounds to "the God of heaven."
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.
Then the king commanded to call ... the Chaldeans - here a certain order of priest-magicians, who wore a special dress, like that seen on the gods and deified men in the Assyrian sculptures. Probably they belonged exclusively to the Chaldeans, the original tribe of the Babylonian nation, just as the Magians were properly Medes.
And the king said unto them, I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit was troubled to know the dream.
And the king said unto them, I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit was troubled to know the dream.
He awoke in alarm, remembering that something solemn had been presented to him in a dream, without being able to recall the form in which it had clothed itself. His thoughts on the unprecedented greatness to which his power had attained (Daniel 2:29) made him anxious to know what the issue of all this should be: "As for thee, O king, thy thoughts came into thy mind upon thy bed." God meets this wish in the way most calculated to impress him.
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.
Then spake the Chaldeans. Here begins the Chaldee portion of Daniel, which continues to the end of Daniel 7:1-28. In it the course, character, and crisis of the Gentile power are treated of; whereas in the other parts, which are in Hebrew, the things treated of apply more particularly to the Jews and Jerusalem.
In Syriac - the Aramean-Chaldee, the vernacular tongue of the king and his court; the prophet, by mentioning it here, hints at the reason of his own adoption of it from this point.
O king, live forever - a formula in addressing kings, like our 'Long live the king!' Compare 1 Kings 1:31, "Bathsheba said, Let my lord king David live forever."
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.
The king answered ... to the Chaldeans, The thing is gone from me - i:e., 'The dream is gone from me.' Gesenius translates, 'The decree is gone forth from me,' irrevocable (cf. Isaiah 45:23), namely, that you shall be executed if you do not tell both the dream and the interpretation. The English version is simpler, which supposes the king himself to have forgotten the dream. Pretenders to supernatural knowledge often bring on themselves their own punishment.
If ye will not make known unto me the dream ... ye shall be cut in pieces - (1 Samuel 15:33, "Samuel bowed Agag in pieces").
Your houses shall be made a dunghill - rather, a morass heap. The Babylonian houses were built of sun-dried bricks; when demolished the rain dissolves the whole rate a mass of mire, in the wet land near the river (Stuart). So also Maurer translates, 'shall be made a mud- heap.' Compare, however, in favour of the English version, Daniel 3:29; 2 Kings 10:29; Ezekiel 6:11. As to the consistency of this cruel threat with Nebuchadnezzar's character, see Daniel 4:17, "the basest of men;" thus he slew all the nobles of Judah, and Zedekiah's sons, before that king's eyes, and then put out his eyes and bound him with chains (Jeremiah 39:5-7; Jeremiah 52:9-11).
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.
Rewards - literally, 'presents poured out in lavish profusion' [ nªbizbaah (H5023)].
They answered again and said, Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will shew the interpretation of it.
No JFB commentary on this verse.
The king answered and said, I know of certainty that ye would gain the time, because ye see the thing is gone from me.
I know ... that ye would gain the time - literally, buy. Compare Ephesians 5:16, "Redeeming the time;" Colossians 4:5, where the sense is somewhat different.
Because ye see the thing is gone from me - (see note, Daniel 2:5).
But if ye will not make known unto me the dream, there is but one decree for you: for ye have prepared lying and corrupt words to speak before me, till the time be changed: therefore tell me the dream, and I shall know that ye can shew me the interpretation thereof. There is but one decree - there can be no second one reversing the first (Esther 4:11).
Ye have prepared lying and corrupt words - "corrupt," deceitful.
Till the time be changed - until a new state of things arrive, either by my ceasing to trouble myself about the dream, or by a change of government (which perhaps the agitation caused by the dream made Nebuchadnezzar to forebode, and so to suspect the Chaldeans of plotting).
Therefore tell me the dream, and I shall know that ye can show me the interpretation thereof - if ye cannot tell the past, a dream actually presented to me, how can know and show the future events prefigured in it?
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.
The Chaldeans answered before the king ... There is not a man upon the earth that can show the king's matter. God makes the pagan, out of their own mouth, condemn their impotent pretensions to supernatural knowledge, in order to Bring out in brighter contrast His power to reveal secrets to His servants, though but "men upon the earth" (cf. Daniel 2:22-23).
Therefore there is no king, lord, nor ruler, that asked such things at any magician - i:e., if such things could be done by men, other absolute princes would have required them from their magicians; as they have not, it is a proof such things cannot be done, and cannot be reasonably asked from us.
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.
There is none other that can show it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh - answering to "no man upon the earth;" for there were, in their belief, 'men in heaven'-namely, men deified, e.g., Nimrod. The supreme gods are referred to here, who alone, in the Chaldean view, could solve the difficulty, but who do not communicate with men. The inferior gods intermediate between men and the supreme gods, are unable to solve it. Contrast with this pagan idea of the utter severance of God from man, John 1:14, "The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us." Daniel was in this case made His representative.
For this cause the king was angry and very furious, and commanded to destroy all the wise men of Babylon.
13. For this cause the king was angry ... And the decree went forth that the wise men should be slain; and they sought Daniel and his fellows to be slain. Daniel and his companions do not seem to have been actually numbered among the Magi or Chaldeans, and so were not summoned before the king. Providence ordered it so that all mere human wisdom should be shown vain, before His divine power, through His servant, was put forth. Daniel 2:24 shows that the decree for slaying the wise men had not been actually executed when Daniel interposed.
And the decree went forth that the wise men should be slain; and they sought Daniel and his fellows to be slain.
No JFB commentary on this verse.
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:
Then Daniel answered with counsel and wisdom to Artoch the captain of the king's guard - commanding the executioners (see margin; and Genesis 37:36, margin)
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.
Why is the decree so hasty? - Why were not all of us consulted before the decree for the execution of all was issued?
Then Arioch made the thing known to Daniel - the agitation of the king as to his dream, and his abortive consultation of the Chaldeans. It is plain from this that Daniel was until now ignorant of the whole matter.
Then Daniel went in, and desired of the king that he would give him time, and that he would shew the king the interpretation.
Then Daniel went in - perhaps not in person but by the mediation of some courtier who had access to him. His first direct interview seems to have been Daniel 2:25 (Barnes).
And desired of the king that he would give him time. The king granted "time" to Daniel, though he would not do so to the Chaldeans, because they betrayed their lying purpose by requiring him to tell the dream, which Daniel did not (Daniel 2:8, "I know ... that ye would gain the time"). Providence doubtless influenced his mind, already favourable (Daniel 1:19-20), to show special favour to Daniel.
Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions:
Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. Here appears the reason why Daniel sought "time" (Daniel 2:16) - namely, he wished to engage his friends to join him in prayer to God to reveal the dream to him.
That they would desire mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret; that Daniel and his fellows 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.
That they would desire mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret; that Daniel and his fellows should not perish - an illustration of the power of united prayer (Matthew 18:19). The same instrumentality rescued Peter from his peril (Acts 12:5-12).
Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.
Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision - (Job 33:15-16, "In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men ... then He openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction").
Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his:
Daniel answered - responded to God's goodness by praises.
Blessed be the name of God - God in His revelation of Himself by acts of love, "wisdom, and might" (Jeremiah 32:19).
And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:
He changeth the times and the seasons - `he herein gives a general preparatory intimation that the dream of Nebuchadnezzar is concerning the changes and successions of kingdoms' (Jerome). The "times" are the phases and periods of duration of empires (cf. Daniel 7:25; 1 Chronicles 12:32; 1 Chronicles 29:30); the "seasons," the fitting times for their culmination, decline, and fall (Ecclesiastes 3:1; Acts 1:7; 1 Thessalonians 5:1). The vicissitudes of states, with their times and seasons, are not regulated by chance or fate, as the pagan thought, but by God.
He removeth kings - (Job 12:18; Psalms 75:6-7; Jeremiah 27:5; cf. 1 Samuel 2:7-8). He giveth wisdom - as He gave it to Solomon when that prince, upon being offered his choice what he would have, chose wisdom (1 Kings 3:9-12; James 1:5).
He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him.
He revealeth the deep and secret things - (Job 12:22, "He discovereth deep things out of darkness"). So spiritually (1 Corinthians 2:10; Ephesians 1:17-18).
He knoweth what is in the darkness - (Psalms 139:11-12, "If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee;" Hebrews 4:13.).
The light dwelleth with him - (James 1:17, "the Father of lights;" 1 John 1:5). Apocalypse, or "revelation," signifies a divine, prophecy a human activity. Compare 1 Corinthians 14:6, where the two are distinguished. The prophet is connected with the outer world, addressing to the congregation the words with which the Spirit of God supplies him; he speaks in the Spirit, but the apocalyptic seer is in the Spirit in his whole person (Revelation 1:10, "I was in the Spirit;" Revelation 4:2). The form of the apocalyptic revelation (the very term meaning that the vail that hides the invisible world is taken off) is subjectively either the dream, or, higher, the vision. The interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar's dream was a preparatory education to Daniel himself. By gradual steps, each revelation preparing him for the succeeding one, God fitted him for disclosures becoming more and more special. In Daniel 2:1-49 and Daniel 4:1-37 he is but an interpreter of Nebuchadnezzar's dreams; then he has a dream himself, but it is only a vision in a dream of the night (Daniel 7:1-2); then follows a vision in a waking state (Daniel 8:1-3, "I saw in a vision"); lastly, in the two final revelations (Daniel 9:1-27; Daniel 10:1-21; Daniel 11:1-45; Daniel 12:1-13) the ecstatic state is no longer needed. The progression in the form answers to the progression in the contents of his prophecy: at first general outlines, and these afterward filled up with minute chronological and historical details, such as are not found in the Revelation of John, though, as became the New Testament, the form of revelation is the highest-namely, clear waking visions (Auberg).
I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast made known unto me now what we desired of thee: for thou hast now made known unto us the king's matter.
I thank thee, and praise thee. He ascribes all the glory to God.
God of my fathers - thou hast shown thyself the same God of grace to me, a captive exile, as thou didst to Israel God of my fathers - thou hast shown thyself the same God of grace to me, a captive exile, as thou didst to Israel of old, and this on account of the covenant made with our "fathers" (Luke 1:54-55; cf. Psalms 106:45).
Who hast given me wisdom and might - thou being the fountain of both; referring to Daniel 2:20. Whatever wise ability I have to stay the execution of the king's cruel decree is thy gift.
And hast made known unto me now what we desired of thee: for thou hast now made known unto us the king's matter - "me ... we ... us." The revelation was given to Daniel, as "me" implies; yet with just modesty he joins his friends with him; because it was to their joint prayers, and not to his individually, that he owed the revelation from God.
Known ... the king's matter - the very words in which the Chaldeans had denied the possibility of any man on earth telling the dream ("There is not a man upon the earth that can show the king's matter, Daniel 2:10). Impostors are compelled by the God of truth to eat up their own words.
Therefore Daniel went in unto Arioch, whom the king had ordained to destroy the wise men of Babylon: he went and said thus unto him; Destroy not the wise men of Babylon: bring me in before the king, and I will shew unto the king the interpretation.
Therefore Daniel went in unto Arioch - because of having received the divine communication.
Bring me in before the king - implying that he had not previously been in person before the king (note, Daniel 2:16).
Then Arioch brought in Daniel before the king in haste, and said thus unto him, I have found a man of the captives of Judah, that will make known unto the king the interpretation.
Arioch brought in Daniel before the king in haste, and said ... unto him, I have found a man - like all courtiers, in announcing agreeable tidings, he ascribes the merit of the discovery to himself (Jerome). So far from it being a discrepancy that he says nothing of the previous understanding between him and Daniel, or of Daniel's application to the king for "time," by means of some courtier (Daniel 2:15-16), it is just what we should expect. Arioch, the chief of the executioners, would not dare to tell an absolute despot that he had stayed the execution of his sanguinary decree, on his own responsibility; but would, in the first instance, secretly stay it until Daniel had got, by application from the king, the time required, without Arioch seeming to know of Daniel's application as the cause of the respite; then, when Daniel had received the revelation, Arioch would in trembling haste bring him in, as if then for the first time he had "found" him. The very difficulty, when cleared up, is a proof of genuineness, as it never would be introduced by a forger.
The king answered and said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, Art thou able to make known unto me the dream which I have seen, and the interpretation thereof?
No JFB commentary on this verse.
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;
Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers ... , show unto the king. Daniel, being learned in all the lore of the Chaldeans (Daniel 1:4), could authoritatively declare the impossibility of mere man solving the king's difficulty.
Soothsayers, [ gaazªriyn (H1505)] - from a root 'to cut off' [ gaazar (H1504)]: referring to their cutting the heavens into divisions, and so guessing at men's destinies from the place of the stars at one's birth: or in general, those who by any means of divination cut off - i:e., decide or determine one's destiny.
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;
But there is a God - in contrast to the "wise men," etc. (Daniel 2:27.)
That revealeth secrets - (Amos 3:7, "Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but He revealeth his secret unto His servants the prophets;" 4:13, "He that declareth unto man what is His thought") Compare Genesis 41:45, "Zaphnath-paaneah," revealer of secrets, the title given to Joseph.
And maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days - literally, 'in the after days' (Daniel 2:29); "hereafter (Genesis 44:1). It refers to the whole future, including the Messianic days, which is the final dispensation (Isaiah 2:2).
The visions of thy head ... are these - the conceptions formed in the brain are as follow.
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.
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. God met with a revelation Nebuchadnezzar, who had been meditating on the future destiny of his vast empire.
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.
But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have - not on account of any previous wisdom which I may have manifested (Daniel 1:17; Daniel 1:20). The specially favoured servants of God in all ages disclaim merit in themselves, and ascribe all to the grace and power of God. So "Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace" (Genesis 41:16); and Peter, after the cure of the lame man, said, "Ye men of Israel ... why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk? The God of Abraham ... hath glorified His Son Jesus ... And His name through faith in His name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know," etc. (Acts 3:12.) The "as for me," disclaiming extraordinary merit, contrasts elegantly with "as for thee, O king" (Daniel 2:29), whereby Daniel courteously, but without flattery, implies that God honoured Nebuchadnezzar, as His vicegerent over the world-kingdoms, with a revelation on the subject uppermost in his thought-namely, the ultimate destinies of those kingdoms.
But for their sakes that shall make known the interpretation - a Chaldee idiom for, 'to the intent that the interpretation may be made known to the king.'
And that thou mightest know the thoughts of thy heart - thy subject of thought before falling asleep-namely, what should be the destiny of thy vast empire. Or perhaps the probation of Nebuchadnezzar's character through this revelation may be the meaning intended (cf. 2 Chronicles 32:31; Luke 2:35).
Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible.
Thou, O king, sawest, and, behold, a great image. The world-power in its totality appears as a colossal human form: Babylon the head of gold, Medo-Persia the breast and two arms of silver, Graeco-Macedonia the belly and two thighs of brass, and Rome, with its Germano-Slavonic offshoots, the legs of iron and feet of iron and clay; the fourth is still existing. Those kingdoms only are mentioned which stand in some relation to the kingdom of God; of these none is left out: the final establishment of that kingdom is the aim of His moral government of the world. The colossus of metal stands on weak feet of clay. All man's glory is as ephemeral and worthless as chaff (cf. 1 Peter 1:24). But the kingdom of God, small and unheeded as a "stone" on the ground, is compact in its homogeneous unity; whereas the world-power, in its heterogeneous constituents, successively supplanting one another, contains the elements of decay. The relation of the stone to the mountain is that of the kingdom of the cross (which Peter shrank from, and which Satan would have had Jesus also to shrink from, Matthew 16:23; but which Jesus "ought to have suffered," and did suffer, as the necessary preliminary, Luke 24:26) to the kingdom of glory, the latter beginning, and the former ending when the kingdom of God breaks in pieces the kingdoms of the world (Revelation 11:15). Christ's contrast between the two kingdoms refers to this passage.
A great image - literally, 'one image that was great.' Though the kingdoms were different, it was essentially one and the same world-power under different phases, just as the image was one, though the parts were of different metals.
This image's head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass,
This image's head was of fine gold. On ancient coins states are often represented by human figures. The head and higher parts signify the earlier times; the lower, the later times. The metals become successively baser and baser, implying the growing degeneracy from worse to worse. Hesiod, 200 years before Daniel, had compared the four ages to the four metals in the same order: the idea is sanctioned here by Holy Writ. It was perhaps one of those fragments of revelation among the pagan, derived from the tradition as to the fall of man. The metals lessen in specific gravity as they go downward: silver is not so heavy as gold, brass not so heavy as silver, and iron not so heavy as brass, the weight thus being arranged in the reverse of stability (Tregelles).
Nebuchadnezzar derived his authority from God, not from man, nor as responsible to man. On the other hand, Darius the Persian king was so far dependent on his satraps and nobles that he could not deliver Daniel from the princes, though "he set his heart on Daniel to deliver him; and he laboured until the going down of the sun to deliver him" (Daniel 6:14-15); contrast Daniel 5:18-19, as to Nebuchadnezzar's power from God, "The most high God gave Nebuchadnezzar, thy father, a kingdom and majesty, and glory, and honour ... whom he would he slew, and whom he would he kept alive" (cf. Ezra 7:14, "Thou (Ezra) art sent of the king and of his seven counselors;" Esther 1:13-16).
Graeco-Macedonia betrays its deterioration in its divisions, not united as Babylon and Persia were. Iron is stronger than brass, but inferior in other respects; so Rome was hardy and strong to tread down the nations; but was less kingly, and showed its chief deterioration in its last state. Each successive kingdom incorporates its predecessor (cf. Daniel 5:28). Power that in Nebuchadnezzar's hands was a God-derived (Daniel 2:37-38) autocracy, in the Persian king's was a rule resting on his nobility of person and birth, the nobles being his equals in rank, but not in office; in Greece, an aristocracy not of birth, but individual influence; in Rome, lowest of all, dependent entirely on popular choice, the emperor being appointed by popular military election.
His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay.
His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. As the two arms of silver denote the kings of the Medes and Persians (Josephus), and the two thighs of brass the Seleucidae of Syria and Lagidae of Egypt, the two leading sections into which Graeco-Macedonia parted; so the two legs of iron signify the two Roman consuls (Newton). The clay (in Daniel 2:41, "potter's clay;" Daniel 2:43, "miry clay") means earthen-ware, hard but brittle (cf. Psalms 2:9; Revelation 2:27, where the same image is used of the same event). The feet are stable while bearing only direct pressure, but easily broken to pieces by a blow (Daniel 2:34) the iron intermixed, not retarding, but hastening, such a result.
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.
Thou sawest till that a stone - Messiah and His kingdom (Genesis 49:24; Psalms 118:22; Isaiah 28:16). In its relation to Israel it is a "stone of stumbling" (Isaiah 8:14; Acts 4:11; 1 Peter 2:7-8), on which both houses of Israel are "broken," not destroyed, as Antichrist and his faction shall be (Matthew 21:42; Matthew 21:44, "Whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder"). In its relation to the Church, the same stone which destroys the image is the foundation of the Church (Ephesians 2:20). In its relation to the Gentile world-power, the stone is its destroyer (Daniel 2:35; Daniel 2:44: cf. Zechariah 12:3). Christ saith (Matthew 21:44, referring to Isaiah 8:14-15), "Whosoever shall fall on this stone (i:e., stumble and be offended at Him, as the Jews were, from whom, therefore, He says "the kingdom shall be taken") shall be broken:" "but (referring to Daniel 2:34-35) on whomsoever it shall fall" (namely, on the world-power, which had been the instrument of breaking the Jews), it shall not merely break, but "grind him to powder" (1 Corinthians 15:24). The falling of the stone on the feet of the image cannot refer to Christ at His first advent, because the fourth kingdom was not then as yet divided-no toes were in existence (see note, Daniel 2:44). Was cut out - namely, from "the mountain" (Daniel 2:45); namely, mount Zion (Isaiah 2:2, "the mountain of the Lord's house"), and, antitypically, the heavenly mount of the Father's glory, from whom Christ came.
Without hands - explained in Daniel 2:44, "The God of heaven shall set up a kingdom," as contrasted with the image which was made with hands of man. Messiah was not created by human agency, but conceived in the Virgin's womb by the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:20; Luke 1:35: cf. Zechariah 4:6; Mark 14:58; Hebrews 9:11; Hebrews 9:24). So "not made with hands" - i:e., heavenly, 2 Corinthians 5:1; spiritual, Colossians 2:11. The world-kingdom were reared by human ambition; but this is the "kingdom of heaven," "not of this world" (John 18:36). As the fourth kingdom, or Rome, was represented in a two-fold state, first strong, with legs of iron, then weak, with toes part of iron part of clay; so this fifth kingdom, that of Christ, is seen conversely, first insignificant as a "stone," then as a "mountain" filling the whole earth. The ten toes are the ten lesser kingdoms, into which the Roman kingdom was finally to be divided: this ten-fold division here hinted at is not specified in detail until the seventh chapter (Daniel 7:7, "a fourth beast ... it had ten horns").
The fourth empire originally was bounded in Europe pretty nearly by the line of the Rhine and Danube; in Asia by the Euphrates. In Africa it possessed Egypt and the north coasts; South Britain and Dacia were afterward added, but were ultimately. resigned. The ten kingdoms do not arise until a deterioration (by mixing clay with the iron) has takes place: they are in existence when Christ comes in glory, and then are broken in pieces. The ten have been sought for in the invading hosts of the fifth and sixth century. But though many provinces were then severed from Rome as independent kingdoms, the dignity of emperor still continued, and the imperial power was exercised over Rome itself for two centuries. So the ten fold division cannot be looked for before 731 AD But the east is not to be excluded, five toes being on each foot.
Thus, no point of time before the overthrow of the empire at the taking of Constantinople by the Turks (1453 AD) can be assigned for the division. It seems, therefore, that the definite ten kingdoms will be the ultimate development of the Roman empire just before the rise of Antichrist, who shall overthrow three of the kings (Daniel 7:8, "There came up among them (the ten horns) another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots"), and, after three and a half years ("a time and times, and the dividing of time," Daniel 7:25), he himself shall be overthrown by Christ in person. Some of the ten kingdoms will, doubtless, be the same as some past and present divisions of the old Roman empire, which accounts for the continuity of the connection between the toes and legs-a gap of centuries not being interposed, as is objected by opponents, of the futurist theory. The lists of the ten made by these opponents differ from another; and are set aside by the fact that they include countries which were never Roman, and exclude one whole section of the empire-namely, the east (Tregelles).
Which smote the image upon his feet - the last state of the Roman empire. Not 'upon his legs.' Compare "in the days of these kings" - namely, the last ten kingdoms, Daniel 7:24 (note, Daniel 2:44).
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 threshingfloors; 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.
Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together - excluding a Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together - excluding a contemporaneous existence of the kingdom of the world and the kingdom of God (in its manifested, as distinguished from its spiritual, phase, wherein it "comes without observation," Luke 17:20). The latter is not gradually to wear away the former, but to destroy it at once, and utterly (2 Thessalonians 1:7-10; 2 Thessalonians 2:8). However, the Hebrew may be translated, 'in one indiscriminate mass'-literally, 'as one;' i:e., not simultaneously, as the English version, but reduced to oneness of condition [ kachªdaa' (H2298)].
And became like the chaff - image of the ungodly, as they shall be dealt with in the judgment (Psalms 1:4-5, "The ungodly are ... like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment;" Matthew 3:12).
Of the summer threshing-floors - Grain was winnowed in the East on an elevated space in the open air, by throwing the grain into the air with a shovel, so that the wind might clear away the chaff.
No place was found for them - (Revelation 20:11, "I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them;" cf. Psalms 37:10; Psalms 37:36, "He (the wicked) passed away, and, lo, he was not; yea, I sought him, but he could not be found;" Psalms 103:16).
The stone that smote the image became a great mountain - cut out of the mountain (Daniel 2:45) originally, it ends in becoming a mountain. So the kingdom of God, coming from heaven originally, ends in heaven being established on earth (Revelation 21:1-3).
And filled the whole earth - (Isaiah 11:9; Habakkuk 2:14). It is in connection with Jerusalem as the mother church it is to do so (Psalms 80:9; Isaiah 2:2-3).
This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king.
We - Daniel and his three friends.
Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory.
Thou ... art a king of kings. The committal of power in fullset plenitude belongs to Nebuchadnezzar personally, as having made Babylon the mighty empire it was. In 23 years after him the empire was ended: with him its greatness is identified, his successors having done nothing notable (Daniel 4:30, "Is not this great Babylon, that I have Built for the house of my kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?" Not that he actually ruled every part of the globe, but that God granted him illimitable dominion in whatever direction his ambition led him, Egypt, Nineveh, Arabia, Syria, Tyre, and its Phoenician colonies (Jeremiah 27:5-8). Compare as to Cyrus, Ezra 1:2, "The Lord God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth."
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.
And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts ... and the fowls - the dominion originally designed for man (Genesis 1:28; Genesis 2:19-20), forfeited by sin; temporarily delegated to Nebuchadnezzar and the world-powers; but, as they abuse the trust for self, instead of for God, to be taken from them by the Son of man, who will exercise it for God, restoring, in His person, to man the lost inheritance (Psalms 8:4-6).
Thou art this head of gold - alluding to the riches of Babylon; hence called "the golden city" (Isaiah 14:4; Jeremiah 51:7, "a golden cup in the Lord's hand;" cf. as to her spiritual antitype, the apostate Church, Revelation 18:16).
And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth.
After thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee. That Medo-Persia is the second kingdom appears from Daniel 5:28; Daniel 8:20. (Compare 2 Chronicles 36:20; Isaiah 21:2; Isaiah 21:9.)
Inferior. 'The kings of Persia were the worst race of men that ever governed an empire' (Prideaux). Politically, which is the main point of view here, the power of the central government, in which the nobles shared with the king, being weakened by the growing independence of the provinces, was inferior to that of Nebuchadnezzar, whose sole word was law throughout his empire.
And another ... kingdom of brass - the third empire (Daniel 8:5-6; Daniel 8:20-21; Daniel 10:20; Daniel 11:2-4). The Greeks were celebrated for the brasen armour of their warriors. Jerome fancifully thinks that the brass, as being a clear-sounding metal, refers to the eloquence for which Greece was famed. The "belly," in Daniel 2:32, may refer to the drunkenness of Alexander and the luxury of the Ptolemies (Tirinus).
Which shall bear rule over all the earth. Alexander commanded that he should be called 'king of all the world' (Justinus, 12:, sec. 16. 9. Arrian, 'Expeditio Alexandri,' 7:, sec. 15). The four successors (Diadochi) who divided Alexander's dominions at his death, of whom the Seleucidae in Syria and the Lagidae in Egypt were chief, held the same empire.
And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise.
The fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron. This vision sets forth the character of the Roman power, rather than its territorial extent (Tregelles).
Forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things - so, in righteous retribution, itself will at last be broken in pieces (Daniel 2:44) by the kingdom of God (Revelation 13:10).
And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters' clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay.
Whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potter's clay, and part of iron - explained presently, "the kingdom shall be partly strong, partly broken" (rather, 'brittle,' as earthenware); and Daniel 2:43, "they shall mingle ... with the seed of men" - i:e., there will be power (in its deteriorated form iron) mixed up with that which is wholly of man, and therefore brittle; power in the hands of the people having no internal stability, though something is left of the strength of the iron (Tregelles).
Newton, who understands the Roman empire to be parted into the ten kingdoms already (whereas Tregelles makes them future), explains the "clay" mixture as the blending of barbarous nations with Rome by intermarriages and alliances, in which there was no stable amalgamation, though the ten kingdoms retained much of Rome's strength. The "mingling with the seed of men" (Daniel 2:44) seems to refer to Genesis 6:2, where the marriages of the seed of godly Seth with the daughters of ungodly Cain are described in similar words; the reference, therefore, seems to be to the blending of the Christianized Roman empire with the pagan nations, a deterioration being the result. Efforts have been often made to re-unite the parts into one great empire, as by Charlemagne and Napoleon, but in vain. Christ alone shall effect that.
And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.
In the days of these kings - in the days of these kingdoms, i:e., of the last of the four. So Christianity was set up when Rome had become mistress of Judea and the world, (as marked by the decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world, including Judea, should be taxed, Luke 2:1, etc.) (Newton.) Rather, "in the days of these (ten) kings" answer to "upon his feet" (Daniel 2:34), i:e., the ten toes (Daniel 2:42), or ten kings, the final state of the Roman empire. For "these kings" cannot mean the four successional monarchies, as they do not co-exist as the holders of power: if the fourth had been meant, the singular, not the plural, would be used. The falling of the stone on the image must mean destroying judgment on the fourth Gentile power, not gradual evangelization of it by grace; and the destroying judgment cannot be dealt by Christians, because they are taught to submit to the powers that be; so that it must be dealt by Christ himself at His coming again.
Moreover, the visible "setting up of the KINGDOM" of glory on earth by the God of heaven is plainly here meant, not the unobserved setting up of the kingdom of grace. That kingdom of glory is only to come Christ's second advent (Acts 1:6). We pray, "Thy kingdom come." The kingdom was and is still preached as "at hand" (Matthew 4:17), but not yet come in manifestation (Luke 19:11-27). We live under the divisions of the Roman empire, which began 1,400 years ago, and which at the time of His coming shall be definitely ten. All that had failed in the hand of man shall then pass away, and that which is kept in His own hand shall be introduced. Thus the second chapter is the alphabet of the subsequent prophetic statements in Daniel (Tregelles).
Shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom - hence, the phrase, "the kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matthew 3:2).
Which ... shall not be left to other people - as the Chaldees had been forced to leave their kingdom to the Medo-Persians, and these to the Greeks, and these to the Romans (Micah 4:7; Luke 1:32-33).
Break ... all - (Isaiah 60:12; 1 Corinthians 15:24).
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.
Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands (note, Daniel 2:35). The connection of the "forasmuch," etc., is, "as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands," this is an indication that "the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter, and the dream is certain;" i:e., the fact of thy seeing the dreams as I have recalled it to thy recollection is a proof that "the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter," and that it is no airy phantom, but a real representation to thee from God of the future. A similar proof of the "certainty" of the event was given to Pharaoh by the doubling of his dream (Genesis 41:32).
Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and worshipped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odours unto him.
Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and worshipped Daniel - worshipping God in the person of Daniel. Symbolical of the future prostration of the world-power before Messiah and His kingdom (Philippians 2:10). As other servants of God refused such honours-for instance, "Peter took Cornelius up, saying, Stand up: I myself also am a man" (Acts 10:25-26); and Paul and Barnabas refused worship at Lystra (Acts 14:13-15); and the angel refused the worship of John (Revelation 22:8-9); and Daniel (Daniel 1:8) would not taste defiled food, nor give up prayer to God at the cost of his life (Daniel 6:1-28), it seems likely that Daniel rejected the proffered divine honours. The word "answered" (Daniel 2:47) - "the king answered unto Daniel" - implies that Daniel had objected to these honours; and in compliance with his objection, "the king answered ... Of a truth ... your God is a God of gods." Daniel had disclaimed all personal merit in Daniel 2:30, giving GOD all the glory (cf. Daniel 2:45).
And commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odours unto him - divine honours (Ezra 6:10). It is not said his command was executed.
The king answered unto Daniel, and 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.
Of a truth it is, that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings. The world-power shall at last have to acknowledge this (Revelation 17:14; Revelation 19:16); even as Nebuchadnezzar, who had been the God-appointed "king of kings" (Daniel 2:37), but who had abused the trust, is constrained by God's servant to acknowledge that God is the true "Lord of kings."
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. Then the king made Daniel a great man. One reason for Nebuchadnezzar having been vouchsafed such a dream is here seen-namely, that Daniel might be promoted, and the captive people of God be comforted: the independent state of the captives during the exile, and the alleviation of its hardships, were much due to Daniel.
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.
Then Daniel requested of the king, and he set Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, over the affairs of the province of Babylon. Contrast this honourable remembrance of his humble friends in his elevation with the spirit of the children of the world, in the chief butler's case, who, after having promised to repay the debt of gratitude which he owed to Joseph through the interpretation of his dream, forgot about Joseph (Genesis 40:23; Ecclesiastes 9:15-16; Amos 6:6).
Daniel sat in the gate - the place of holding courts of justice and levees in the East (Esther 2:19; Job 29:7). So, "the Sublime Porte," or Gate, denotes the Sultan's government, his councils being formerly held in the entrance of his palace. Daniel was a chief counselor of the king, and president over the governors of the different orders into which the Magi were divided.
(1) Nebuchadnezzar, with all his worldly greatness, could not escape troubles of spirit (Daniel 2:1), which drove away sleep; whereas the sleep of the labouring man is generally sweet and sound. How often cares and restless anxieties are the attendants of that worldly elevation which is so much coveted by many!
(2) Nebuchadnezzar had been, during the night, while on his bed, pondering over the unprecedented greatness which he had attained, and meditating anxiously on the future destiny of his vast empire, when God met his thoughts with a revelation in a dream (Daniel 2:28-29). This was a mode of communication most consonant to the pagan mind, and well calculated to impress him. Men are often more eager to know the unseen future than to learn the path of duty and the way of salvation. Yet the latter is at once attainable and truly profitable to us: the former, if it were possible, which generally it is not, would add neither to our comfort or our sanctification. We do not find that Nebuchadnezzar was a better or a happier man after he knew the interpretation of the dream than before it. Nay, in the very next chapter we find him setting up a golden idol; and in the fourth chapter he is described as divinely driven out from among men, because of his blasphemous pride and arrogance.
(3) Nebuchadnezzar, the representative of the world-power, receives the dream, which sets forth the final overthrow of the world-kingdom by the kingdom of God. He who first overthrew the theocracy is made by God the very medium of announcing the downfall of not only his own, but of the three other successive world-empires, by means of the kingdom of heaven, then seemingly prostrate, but at last about to be the universal kingdom.
(4) He receives the dream; but one of the covenant-people alone can interpret it. The impotence of the wisest of (4) He receives the dream; but one of the covenant-people alone can interpret it. The impotence of the wisest of pagan sages is strikingly brought into view in the failure of the Chaldean soothsayers, when consulted as to the dream and its interpretation. It is the way of God to make men first feel the insufficiency of all creaturely wisdom and strength, before he shows them His own all-sufficient wisdom and power. Pretenders to supernatural knowledge run continual risk of detection, and so bring on themselves their own punishment (Daniel 2:5; Daniel 2:12-13). The Chaldeans' ignorance of the king's dream, a thing of the past, proved their inability to interpret its meaning, which concerned the future. They were therefore compelled, out of their own mouth, to convict themselves as impostors, and to confess that none on earth can reveal the future, except those whom the God of heaven enables to do so, unconsciously, and by anticipation, thereby avouching the divine inspiration of Daniel (Daniel 2:10-11). There was a man upon earth who could show the king's matter. Therefore, the God who taught him it must be above all their gods. Impostors are compelled by the God of truth to falsify themselves and justify Him.
(5) The Chaldeans asserted of their gods that their "dwelling is not with flesh." How comforting to us to know that the Divine "Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us," and thus became "God manifested in the flesh" (1 Timothy 3:16), and so able to sympathize with His brethren in the flesh, as a merciful and faithful high priest, in all things made like unto His brethren, whom through death He delivered from the power and fear of death (Hebrews 2:14-18).
(6) Daniel was given by the king "time," which was denied to the Chaldeans. That respite of time so granted was the means of saving not only Daniel's own life, but also that of the Chaldeans. How carefully ought Christians so to "redeem the time" (Daniel 2:8; Daniel 2:16) which is yet vouchsafed to them, as to obtain as well their own salvation as also that of others around them!
(7) Daniel's great instrument of averting the threat ened calamity was intercessory prayer. We can lay out our time to no better account for eternity than by "desiring mercies of the God of heaven" (Daniel 2:18). Daniel's chief reason for seeking "time" from the king (Daniel 2:16) was, he wished to engage his three friends (Daniel 2:17) to join him in prayer for the revelation of the "secret." The power of united prayer, when it is a reality, is irresistible; because Christ hath promised to keep back nothing that is for the glory of God and the good of his people from them, when they "agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask (Matthew 18:19). Our praying friends are our best friends. None is so great and good as to be above needing the intercessions of his fellow-saints on earth.
(8) When God revealed the secret to Daniel, Daniel ascribed the whole glory to Him who alone deserved it, "the God of heaven" (Daniel 2:19). "Blessed be the name of God forever and ever: for wisdom and might are His" (Daniel 2:29). It is right and just that our praises should correspond to God's goodness (Daniel 2:21-23). Let us, like Daniel, clearly recognize and avow that the vicissitudes of states, as well as their "times and seasons," are not the result of fortuitous circumstances, but of God's providence, and that these form part of His mighty scheme in the moral government of the world for the ultimate setting up of the universal kingdom of God and His Christ. Since all wisdom and light (Daniel 2:21-22) emanate from "the Father of lights," let us continually ask of Him who giveth liberally to all who ask (James 1:5): so shall "the eyes of our understanding be enlightened" (Ephesians 1:17-18).
(9) Daniel thanks and praises God as the "God of his fathers" (Daniel 2:23), thereby recognizing the truth that the grace which he now receives from God is in accordance with the covenant made by God with His people of old. The Lord's faithfulness to His everlasting covenant and promises is the great source of consolation to His children in times of difficulty and fear, and is their great theme of praise when they have experienced His saving mercies
(10) Daniel, being learned in Chaldean lore, could speak authoritatively as to what it could discover, and what it could not; and he plainly tells the king that it was utterly unable to show him his secret; but he adds, "There is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets" (Daniel 2:28). How great is the privilege of the servants of God, of whom it is written, "Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth His secret unto His servants the prophets"! (Amos 3:7.). In our Gospel dispensation our eyes are blessed in seeing, and our ears in hearing, things which many prophets and righteous men desired to see and hear, but saw not and heard not (Matthew 13:16-17; Luke 10:23-24). At the same time, as Daniel disclaims all merit in the interpretation of the dream (Daniel 2:3), ascribing it solely to the wisdom and grace of the All-wise, All-loving God, so it is the feeling of every true saint, God has revealed His Son in me (Galatians 1:15-16), not for any merit of mine, but "according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the Beloved" (Ephesians 1:5-6).
(11) The design of the interpretation in respect to Nebuchadnezzar was, "that He might know the thoughts of his heart" (Daniel 2:30). The moral probation of men's character is one of the leading reasons of all God's dealings with us in providence and grace, in prosperity and adversity, in what He hides from us, and what he reveals to us of the future.
(12) The world-power, in relation to the kingdom of God (Daniel 2:31, note) is essentially one, while its manifestations in world-empires, whose course has affected the kingdom of God, have been, since Daniel's time inclusive four: therefore the colossal human image seen by Nebuchadnezzar, the head of the first world-empire, was one, though composed of four distinct metals, representing successively those four world-empires: namely, the golden head, representing Babylon in the person of Nebuchadnezzar; the breast and arms of silver, representing Medo-Parsia; the belly and thighs of brass, Graeco-Macedonia; the legs of iron, and feet partly iron and partly clay, Rome, and its modern offshoot, under which we live, the Germano-Slavonic empire, with which is closely connected the Gallic empire of Napoleonism.
The huge colossus of metal stands on fragile feet of mingled iron and clay, containing within themselves the elements of its downfall. Side by side with the image lay on the earth a seemingly insignificant stone, but one cut out from the everlasting mountain by the Almighty Spirit of God, without human hands (Daniel 2:34; Daniel 2:45). Though small, and unheeded at first, it had in it elements of duration, being compact in its homogeneous unity: whereas the world-power in its heterogeneous composition contained the ingredients of its final dissolution. The stone represents the kingdom of God, the fifth and everlasting world-wide empire of Messiah, which began in humiliation, but which at His second coming shall smite the image on the feet (Daniel 2:34), and become a great mountain, filling the whole earth (Daniel 2:35).
Originally cut out from the mountain, it ends in becoming a mountain; just so the kingdom of God, having come from the height of heaven, the mount of the Father's glory, and antitype to Zion, and having been framed by God Himself at the first, shall eventuate in the establishment of the kingdom of heaven on earth, and the dwelling of God with men (Revelation 21:3; Revelation 21:10-11). It is observable that the metals become baser and baser, and lessen in specific gravity, as they go downward, silver being less heavy and valuable than gold, brass than silver, and iron than brass, implying a successive degeneracy and deterioration from bad to worse. On the contrary, the kingdom of the stone, Christ Jesus, precious from the first, though a stone of stumbling to many, and to Israel especially, from humiliation at first, progresses to surpassing grandeur and universal glory at last (Psalms 118:22).
The world-kingdoms are, in spite of themselves, constrained unconsciously to minister toward the setting up of this coming kingdom of God, which is the final end toward which God is overruling all the affairs of the earth. Woe be to the anti-Christian faction of the ten kingdoms which, under the man of sin, shall be smitten by this stone! As the fourth kingdom of iron "broke in pieces" others (Daniel 2:40), so in just retribution shall itself, in the person of its last Christ-opposed representatives, be broken to pieces simultaneously, and become like the chaff of the summer threshing-floors, so that no place shall be found for them (Daniel 2:35; Daniel 2:44). Then the world-empire, delegated by God to Nebuchadnezzar and other world-rulers for a time, but abused by them to subserve their own ambition and lust, instead of being held as a sacred trust for the glory of the King of kings, shall be wrested from them by the Divine Son of man, the Lord of lords, who will exercise it forever in righteousness for the glory of God and the good of man, and shall so restore to man his long-lost inheritance (Daniel 2:37-38; Daniel 2:44; Psalms 8:4-6).
(13) The effect of Daniel's interpretation on Nebuchadnezzar was, "he fell upon his face" before the servant of God. He who was accustomed to kings falling on their face before him, prostrates himself abjectly before his captive-a striking earnest of the future prostration of the world-powers before Messiah and His saints in the coming kingdom (1 Corinthians 6:2; Philippians 2:10; Luke 19:17). Then shall there be no King of kings acknowledged except Messiah, "the God of gods, and the Lord of kings" (Daniel 2:47; Revelation 17:14). Meanwhile, let us who bear His name, so honour Him in our whole tempers, words, and lives, that the men of the world, falling down on their face, may worship, not us, but God, and report that God is in us of a truth (1 Corinthians 14:25).
(14) Daniel was promoted to high honours and a commanding position in Babylon; and the first use which he made of his influence with the king was to secure the advancement of his three godly friends, How unlike the spirit of the worldly, who, when elevated, soon forget the friends of their humbler days! It was graciously ordered by God that the captivity of the Jews should be much mitigated through the powerful influence of their friends at court, Daniel and his three companions. Thus, God can send alleviations of the sufferings of His people, and raise up friends to them in the worst of times. May we, therefore, wait patiently, and trust in Him at all times, looking for the coming kingdom of Christ as our eternal portion!
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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Daniel 2". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Sunday after Epiphany