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Bible Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
Daniel 4

 

 

Introduction
1Nebuchadnezzar confesses God's kingdom,
4makes relation of his dreams, which the magicians could not interpret.
8Daniel hears the dream.
19He interprets it.
28The dream fulfilled.

Verse 1
Nebuchadnezzar the king, unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you.
Nebuchadnezzar
This is a regular decree, and one of the most ancient extant; and no doubt contains the exact words of Nebuchadnezzar, copied out by Daniel from the state papers of Babylon, and preserved in the original language.
unto all
3:4,29; 7:14; Esther 3:12; 8:9; Zechariah 8:23; Acts 2:6
Peace
6:25,27; 1 Chronicles 12:18; Ezra 4:17; 5:7; Romans 1:7; Ephesians 1:2; 1 Timothy 1:2; 1 Peter 1:2

Verse 2
I thought it good to shew the signs and wonders that the high God hath wrought toward me.
I thought it good
Chal. It was seemly before me.
Joshua 7:19; Psalms 51:14; 71:18; 92:1,2
that
3:26; Psalms 66:16; Acts 22:3-16; 26:9-16

Verse 3
How great are his signs! and how mighty are his wonders! his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion is from generation to generation.
great
6:27; Deuteronomy 4:34; Psalms 71:19,20; 72:18; 77:19; 86:10; 92:5; 104:24; 105:27; Isaiah 25:1; 28:29; Romans 11:33; Hebrews 2:4
his kingdom
17,34,35; 2:44; 6:26; 7:14,27; Psalms 66:7; 145:13; Isaiah 9:7; Jeremiah 10:10; Luke 1:32,33; 1 Timothy 1:17; Hebrews 1:8; Revelation 11:15
is from
Job 25:2; 1 Peter 4:11

Verse 4
I Nebuchadnezzar was at rest in mine house, and flourishing in my palace:
I Nebuchadnezzar
After he had successfully finished his wars in Syria, Egypt, etc., and the immense improvements and buildings at Babylon, and in the enjoyment of uninterrupted peace and prosperity in his palace.
was
Psalms 30:6,7; Isaiah 47:7,8; 56:12; Jeremiah 48:11; Ezekiel 28:2-5,17; 29:3; Zephaniah 1:12; Luke 12:19,20; 1 Thessalonians 5:2,3

Verse 5
I saw a dream which made me afraid, and the thoughts upon my bed and the visions of my head troubled me.
a dream
2:1; 5:5,6,10; 7:28; Genesis 41:1; Job 7:13,14
and the thoughts
2:28,29

Verse 6
Therefore made I a decree to bring in all the wise men of Babylon before me, that they might make known unto me the interpretation of the dream.
to bring
2:2; Genesis 41:7,8; Isaiah 8:19; 47:12-14

Verse 7
Then came in the magicians, the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers: and I told the dream before them; but they did not make known unto me the interpretation thereof.
Then came
2:1,2
but
2:7; Isaiah 44:25; Jeremiah 27:9,10; 2 Timothy 3:8,9

Verse 8
But at the last Daniel came in before me, whose name was Belteshazzar, according to the name of my god, and in whom is the spirit of the holy gods: and before him I told the dream, saying,
Belteshazzar
1:7; 5:12; Isaiah 46:1; Jeremiah 50:2
and in
9,18; 2:11; 5:11,14; Numbers 11:17-30; Isaiah 63:11

Verse 9
O Belteshazzar, master of the magicians, because I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in thee, and no secret troubleth thee, tell me the visions of my dream that I have seen, and the interpretation thereof.
master
1:20; 2:48; 5:11
the spirit
8; Genesis 41:38; 1 Samuel 4:8
no secret
5; 2:3; Genesis 11:6-8; Isaiah 33:18; 54:14; Ezekiel 28:3
tell
18; 2:4,5; Genesis 40:9-19; 41:15-36; Judges 7:13-15

Verse 10
Thus were the visions of mine head in my bed; I saw, and behold a tree in the midst of the earth, and the height thereof was great.
saw
Chal. was seeing. a tree. This represented his exceedingly prosperous condition, the height of his exaltation, the extent of his dominions and renown, the splendour of his kingdom, the multitude of his subjects who received protection from him, and the peace and plenty they enjoyed.
20-26; Psalms 37:35,36; Isaiah 10:33,34; Jeremiah 12:2; Ezekiel 31:3-18

Verse 11
The tree grew, and was strong, and the height thereof reached unto heaven, and the sight thereof to the end of all the earth:
reached
21,22; Genesis 11:4; Deuteronomy 9:1; Matthew 11:23

Verse 12
The leaves thereof were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all: the beasts of the field had shadow under it, and the fowls of the heaven dwelt in the boughs thereof, and all flesh was fed of it.
the beasts
Jeremiah 27:6,7; Ezekiel 17:23; 31:6
shadow
Lamentations 4:20
the fowls
Mark 13:32; Luke 13:19

Verse 13
I saw in the visions of my head upon my bed, and, behold, a watcher and an holy one came down from heaven;
in the
5,10; 7:1; a watcher. Either a holy angel, or a divine person, called a watcher, as watching over the affairs of men.; 17,23; Psalms 103:20
an holy
8:13; Deuteronomy 33:2; Psalms 89:7; Zechariah 14:5; Matthew 25:31; Mark 1:24; Luke 4:34; Jude 1:14; Revelation 14:10

Verse 14
He cried aloud, and said thus, Hew down the tree, and cut off his branches, shake off his leaves, and scatter his fruit: let the beasts get away from under it, and the fowls from his branches:
aloud
Chal. with might.
3:4; Revelation 10:3; 18:2
Hew
23; 5:20; Matthew 3:10; 7:19; Luke 3:9; 13:7-9
let
12; Jeremiah 51:6,9; Ezekiel 31:12,13

Verse 15
Nevertheless leave the stump of his roots in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth:
leave
25-27; Job 14:7-9; Ezekiel 29:14,15

Verse 16
Let his heart be changed from man's, and let a beast's heart be given unto him; and let seven times pass over him.
Let his
Here a transition is made from the tree to Nebuchadnezzar, whom it represented; the tree being lost sight of, a person came in its stead. This person having lost the heart, or disposition of a man, and conceiving himself a beast, should act as such, and herd among them.
be changed
32,33; Isaiah 6:10; Hebrews 1:11; Mark 5:4,5; Luke 8:27-29
seven times
That is, seven years, a time in the prophetic language denoting a year.
23,25,31; 7:25; 11:13; 12:7; Revelation 12:14

Verse 17
This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.
by the
13,14; 1 Kings 22:19,20; 1 Timothy 5:21
the holy
8,9,13; Isaiah 6:3,8; Revelation 4:8
that the living
Psalms 9:16; 83:17,18; Ezekiel 25:17
the most High
25,32-35; 2:21; 5:18-21; Jeremiah 27:5-7
giveth
Psalms 75:6,7
the basest
25; 11:21; Exodus 9:16; 1 Samuel 2:8; 1 Kings 21:25; 2 Kings 21:6-18; 2 Chronicles 28:22; Psalms 12:8; 113:7,8; Ezekiel 7:24; 1 Corinthians 1:28

Verse 18
This dream I king Nebuchadnezzar have seen. Now thou, O Belteshazzar, declare the interpretation thereof, forasmuch as all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known unto me the interpretation: but thou art able; for the spirit of the holy gods is in thee.
forasmuch
7; 2:7; 5:8,15; Genesis 41:8,15; Isaiah 19:3; 47:12-14
but
8,9; 2:26-28; 1 Kings 14:2,3; Amos 3:7

Verse 19
Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was astonied for one hour, and his thoughts troubled him. The king spake, and said, Belteshazzar, let not the dream, or the interpretation thereof, trouble thee. Belteshazzar answered and said, My lord, the dream be to them that hate thee, and the interpretation thereof to thine enemies.
Daniel
8; 1:7; 2:26; 5:12
was astonished
He saw the design of the dream; and felt acutely for his prince and benefactor. Accordingly he expresses himself with the greatest delicacy and kindly feeling.
9; 7:28; 8:27; 10:16,17; Jeremiah 4:19; Habakkuk 3:10
let
4,5; 1 Samuel 3:17
My Lord
24; 10:16; Genesis 31:35; 32:4,5,18; Exodus 32:32; 1 Samuel 1:15; 24:8; 26:15; 2 Samuel 18:31; 1 Kings 18:7
the dream
2 Samuel 18:32; Jeremiah 29:7

Verse 20
The tree that thou sawest, which grew, and was strong, whose height reached unto the heaven, and the sight thereof to all the earth;
10-12; Ezekiel 31:3,16

Verse 22
It is thou, O king, that art grown and become strong: for thy greatness is grown, and reacheth unto heaven, and thy dominion to the end of the earth.
thou
2:37,38; 2 Samuel 12:7; Matthew 14:4
thy greatness
5:18-23; Genesis 11:4; 28:12; 2 Chronicles 28:9; Psalms 36:5; 108:4; Jeremiah 27:6-8; Revelation 18:5

Verse 23
And whereas the king saw a watcher and an holy one coming down from heaven, and saying, Hew the tree down, and destroy it; yet leave the stump of the roots thereof in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts of the field, till seven times pass over him;
saw
and let his
15; 5:21

Verse 24
This is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the most High, which is come upon my lord the king:
the decree
17; Job 20:29; *marg:; Psalms 2:7; 148:6; Isaiah 14:24-27; 23:9; 46:10,11
come
Job 1:12-19; 40:11,12; Psalms 107:40

Verse 25
That they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and they shall wet thee with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.
drive
32,33; 5:21-31; Job 30:3-8; Mark 5:3,4
and thy dwelling
All the circumstances of Nebuchadnezzar's case, says Dr. Mead, agree so well with a hypochondriasis, that to me it appears evident the Almighty God brought this dreadful distemper upon him, and under its influence he ran wild into the fields: then fancying himself transformed into an ox, he fed on grass, after the manner of cattle; and, through neglect of himself, his hair and nails grew to an excessive length, so that the latter became thick and crooked, resembling bird's claws.
to eat
Psalms 106:20
till
17,32,34,35; 2:21; 5:21; Psalms 75:7; 83:18; Jeremiah 27:5

Verse 26
And whereas they commanded to leave the stump of the tree roots; thy kingdom shall be sure unto thee, after that thou shalt have known that the heavens do rule.
to leave
the heavens
Matthew 5:34; 21:20; Luke 15:18,21

Verse 27
Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by shewing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquillity.
let
Genesis 41:33-37; Psalms 119:46; Acts 24:25; 2 Corinthians 5:11
break
Job 34:31,32; Proverbs 16:6; 28:13; Isaiah 55:6,7; Ezekiel 18:21,27-32; Matthew 3:8; Acts 8:22; 26:20; James 4:8-10; 1 Peter 4:8
by shewing
Psalms 41:1-3; Isaiah 58:5-7,10-12; Ezekiel 18:7; Luke 11:41; Acts 10:2-4; Galatians 5:6,13,22; Ephesians 4:28
if it
1 Kings 21:29; Joel 2:14; Jonah 3:9; Zephaniah 2:2,3
lengthening of thy tranquillity
or, healing of thine error.

Verse 28
All this came upon the king Nebuchadnezzar.
Numbers 23:19; Proverbs 10:24; Zechariah 1:6; Matthew 24:35

Verse 29
At the end of twelve months he walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon.
end
Genesis 6:3; Ecclesiastes 8:11; 1 Peter 3:20; 2 Peter 3:9,10,15; Revelation 2:21
in
or, upon.

Verse 30
The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?
Is not
5:20; Psalms 73:8; Proverbs 16:18; Habakkuk 1:15,16; 2:4,5; Luke 12:19,20; 14:11; 1 Peter 5:5
great
Genesis 10:10; 11:2-9; Revelation 16:19; 17:5; 18:10,21
that
1 Chronicles 29:12-14; 2 Chronicles 2:5,6; Isaiah 10:8-15; 37:24,25; Ezekiel 28:2-5; 29:3
and for
5:18,19; Esther 1:4; Psalms 49:20; 104:1; 145:5-12; 1 Corinthians 10:31; Revelation 21:24-26

Verse 31
While the word was in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee.
the word
5:4,5; Exodus 15:9,10; Job 20:23; Luke 12:20; Acts 12:22,23; 1 Thessalonians 5:3
fell
24,34; Matthew 3:17; John 12:28; Acts 9:3-5; Revelation 16:7
The kingdom
5:28; 1 Samuel 13:14; 15:23

Verse 32
And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.
they shall drive
14-16,25,26; 5:21; Job 30:5-7
until
17,25; Exodus 8:10; 9:14,29; Joshua 4:24; Job 12:18-21; Proverbs 8:15,16; Isaiah 37:20; 45:3; Jeremiah 27:5

Verse 33
The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles' feathers, and his nails like birds' claws.
same
5:5; Job 20:5; Isaiah 30:14; 1 Thessalonians 5:2
and he was
25,32

Verse 34
And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation:
A. M. 3441. B.C. 563. at the end
16,26,32
lifted
Psalms 121:1; 123:1; 130:1,2; Jonah 2:2-4; Luke 18:13
I blessed
Job 1:21; Psalms 50:14; 103:1-4; 107:8,15,22,31; Isaiah 24:15; Lamentations 3:19-23
the most High
17,32; Psalms 7:17; 9:2; 92:1; Lamentations 3:38
him
12:7; Psalms 90:2; 102:24; 146:10; Jeremiah 10:10; John 5:26; 1 Timothy 1:17; 6:16; Revelation 4:10; 10:6
whose
3; 2:44; 7:14; Psalms 10:16; 145:13; Isaiah 9:6,7; Jeremiah 10:10; Micah 4:7; Luke 1:33; Revelation 11:15
is from
Psalms 90:1

Verse 35
And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?
all
Job 34:14,15,19-24; Isaiah 40:15-17,22-24
and he
1 Samuel 3:18; Job 23:13; Psalms 33:9-11; 115:3; 135:6; Isaiah 14:24-27; Isaiah 46:10,11; Matthew 11:25,26; Acts 4:28; Ephesians 1:11; Philippians 2:10,11
the inhabitants
Psalms 33:8,14; 49:1; Isaiah 26:9
none
Job 9:4,13; 34:29; 40:9-12; 42:2; Proverbs 21:30; Isaiah 43:13; Acts 5:39; 9:5; Acts 11:17; 1 Corinthians 10:22
What
Job 9:12; 33:12,13; 40:2; Isaiah 45:9-11; Romans 9:19,20; 11:33-36; 1 Corinthians 2:16

Verse 36
At the same time my reason returned unto me; and for the glory of my kingdom, mine honour and brightness returned unto me; and my counsellors and my lords sought unto me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me.
my reason
Every thing was fulfilled that was exhibited in the dream and its interpretation; and God so ordered it in his providence, that Nebuchadnezzar's counsellors and lords sought for him and gladly reinstated him in his kingdom. It is confidently believed that he was a true convert, and died in the faith of the God of Israel.
mine
15,16,32; 2 Chronicles 33:12,13
added
1 Samuel 2:30; Job 13:12; Proverbs 22:4; Matthew 6:33; 2 Corinthians 4:17

Verse 37
Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.
I Nebuchadnezzar
3,34; 5:4,23; 1 Peter 2:9,10
the King
5:23; Matthew 11:25; Acts 17:24
all
Deuteronomy 32:4; 1 Samuel 2:3; Psalms 33:4,5; 99:4; 119:75; 145:17,18; Isaiah 5:16; Revelation 15:3; 16:7; 19:1,2
those that walk
30,31; 5:20-24; Exodus 18:11; 2 Chronicles 33:11,12,19; Job 40:11,12; Ezekiel 16:56,63; James 4:6,7; 1 Peter 5:5,6

 


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Bibliography Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Daniel 4:4". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/daniel-4.html.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, August 25th, 2019
the Week of Proper 16 / Ordinary 21
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