Daniel (Ch 1-2)

The Prophecy of Daniel the Prophet; this Daniel was of the children of Judah that were carried captive into Babylon with Jehoiakim; and was of princely blood if not of the royal seed as appears from Daniel 1:3. Josephus says that he was of the kindred and family of Zedekiah and so fulfilled the prophecy in II Kings 20:18. And it was established from Daniel 7:1 that Daniel is the writer of this book.

And although Jewish authority acknowledges that this book was a Sacred Text, it isn’t a prophecy; that this book is among the holy writings but not among the Prophets. The reasons they give are without much foundation; what seems to have induced them to degrade Daniel is the manifest prophecy of the time of the Messiah’s coming in this book, which sometimes they are obliged to justify their own perception.

And according to Daniel 12:4 “but thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book “that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days,” and so, we are trying to understand this prophecy in the last days.

This book was written in Syriac, in the East Aramaic dialect in which a section of the book is written.

Daniel 1

1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem and besieged it. — in the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah… at the close of it, and at the beginning of the fourth, which was the first of Nebuchadnezzar, Jeremiah 25:1. Jerusalem seems to have been taken twice in his time, and two captivities in it: the first was in the third or fourth year of his reign; when humbling himself, Jehoiakim was restored to his kingdom, though he became a tributary to the king of Babylon;

— Daniel and his companions, who were carried captive with him were retained as hostages; but after three years Jehoiakim rebelled and it was not until his eleventh year that Nebuchadnezzar came against him again, took him and bound him in order to carry him to Babylon where he died there;

And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God, which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god. — and the Lord delivered the vessels into his hands, and Jehoiakim this was from the Lord because of his sins and the sins of his ancestors and of his people or otherwise the king of Babylon could not have taken the city nor him;

— with part of the vessels of the house of God; not all of them; for some were hidden by Josiah and Jeremiah (like the Ark); however, now the vessels of gold, and probably silver, but certainly not all were carried away because we read of some of the vessels of the temple being carried away at latter dates in Jeconiah’s time, II Kings 24:13, and still there were some left, as the pillars, sea, bases and other vessels which were carried away to Babylon in Zedekiah’s time, Jeremiah 27:19;

— these vessels that were taken out of the temple were carried to where Babylon stood, the land of Shinar and where the tower of Babel was built;

— to the house of his god, the temple of Bel or Jupiter Belus, one of the chief deities of Babylon, see Isaiah 46:1; besides these there were Merodach, Nebo; and with whom were the goddesses Juno and Rhea;

— in the times of Herodotus, who gives an account as this: “the temple of Jupiter Belus had gates of brass; it was four hundred and forty yards on every side, and was foursquare. In the midst of the temple was a solid tower, two hundred and twenty yards in length and breadth; upon which another temple was placed, and so on to eight. The going up them was without, in a winding about each tower; as you went up, in the middle, there was a room, and seats to rest on. In the last tower was a large temple, in which was a large bed splendidly furnished, and a table of gold set by it.”

And the king spoke unto Ashpenaz, the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel and of the king’s seed and of the princes, — that he should bring certain of the children of Israel; whom he had taken and brought captive to Babylon and were disposed of in other part of the city or country; and out of these it was his will that some should be selected and brought to his court;

— and of the king’s seed, and of the princes: or “even of the king’s seed, and of the princes” not any of the children of Israel but such as were of royal blood or of the king of Judah’s family; or however that of princely birth, the children of persons of first rank; or of nobles.

youths in whom was no blemish, but well favored, and skillful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans. — young men of the middle adolescent period, between the ages of sixteen and twenty, in whom was no blemish, that is, no physical defect so that they would be faultlessly handsome;

— but well favored, this being considered essential among Oriental nations in the case of those destined for court service, and skilful in all wisdom, with the evident talent to acquire knowledge and ability rapidly and cunning in knowledge and understanding science, that is, with good sound judgement and common sense in applying the knowledge which they possessed and gained;

— and such as had ability in them to stand in the king’s palace to become accustomed to the ways and manners of a king’s court and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans, that of the learned classes of the Babylonian people; hence it was necessary they should learn the Chaldean language; their course of study would thus comprise all that was taught in the elite schools and their training would be that of the noblest youths of the empire.

And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king’s meat and of the wine which he drank, so nourishing them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king. — and the king appointed them, namely, for those who were to be selected, a daily provision of the king’s meat from the king’s table, of the richest delicacies he himself ate; of the food which was served on his own tables;

— and of the wine which he drank, literally, “of the wine of his drinking” or “banqueting” so nourishing them three years, this was the time fixed for their acquiring the learning and language of the Chaldeans; their education and their physical development going hand in hand and in which time it might be thought they would forget their own country, customs, religion and language;

— that at the end thereof they might stand before the king, that is, at the end of three years they might be presented to the king for his examination and approbation and be appointed to what service he should think fit; and particularly that they might be in his court and minister to him in what post it should be his pleasure to place them; now fully equipped for his service as courtiers and advisers or in whatever capacity the king might choose to use them.

Now among these of the children of Judah were: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, — among the youths selected in accordance with this royal order, were of the children of Judah, of the most prominent tribe of the Jewish people, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah;

unto whom the prince of the eunuchs gave names: for he gave unto Daniel the name of Belteshazzar; and to Hananiah, Shadrach; and to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abednego. — in changing their names, it was a mark of dominion and authority over them, gave them such as had an affinity with the names of the gods of the Chaldees; Belteshazzar, the name given to Daniel, being derived from Bel, or Baal, the chief idol of Babylon, and signifying the treasurer of Baal, or, the depositary of the secrets, or treasure of Baal;

— Shadrach, according to some, means the inspiration of the sun; being derived from shada, to pour out, and rach, a king, a name given to the sun by the Babylonians;

— Meshach, derived from a Babylonian deity called Shach, or from a goddess called Sheshach, is thought to signify “he who belongs to Shach,”

— or Sheshach, Abednego, that is the servant of the shining light; or of the sun; or the morning star, unless the word should be written Abednebo, referring to the idol so called, which gave name to several distinguished personages among the Babylonians: see Isaiah 46:2. It is certain from Herodotus that the Chaldeans worshipped Jupiter Belus, Venus and other idols or the same under other names; and from these it is probable that the names were given according to Chaldee usage to these young men.

But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank. Therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. — but Daniel purposed in his heart, definitely made up his mind, that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat nor with the wine which he drank, chiefly because the heathen had the custom of consecrating their food and, in fact, their entire meals by offering a portion to their gods, Cf 1 Corinthians 10:18-20;

— therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself; Daniel’s resolution to refrain from the king’s food thus was due to the fact that he had the proper spiritual understanding of the food Law, that he desired to be obedient to its spirit as well as to its letter.

— so instead of the king’s meat, composing meats, vegetables, pork, lobsters, crabs, rice, millet and all luxuries, their food are all kinds of roots, fruits and vegetables; and instead of wine, water; it may be thought that persons of such birth and education had not been used to; and yet they preferred these to the king’s delicacies, by eating and drinking and to make an oblation of some part of what they ate and drank to their gods.

Now God had brought Daniel into favor and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs. — even before this request was made, as God had given to Joseph favour in the sight of Potiphar; for though Daniel’s ingenuity the goodness of his temper and his modest behaviour his excellence and other accomplishments might be a means of ingratiating him into the favour of this officer.

10 And the prince of the eunuchs said unto Daniel, “I fear my lord the king, who hath appointed your meat and your drink. For why should he see your faces sadder than the youths who are of your sort? Then shall ye make me endanger my head before the king.” — and the prince of the eunuchs, to whom Daniel promptly presented his petition, said unto Daniel as he gave evidence of the favorable mental attitude which he had toward the Jewish youth;

— I fear my lord, the king, who hath appointed your meat and your drink by a definite command; for why should he see your faces worse liking of a meager and emaciated appearance in a worse condition than the children which are of your sort? The question has the meaning of a most emphatic denial: He must not see you in that condition;

— then shall ye make me endanger my head to the king, I shall commit a trespass of which I shall be found guilty and be condemned to die and lose my head for it; that is, the king held his life as a pledge for the faithful fulfillment of his commandment concerning the training of the Jewish youths.

11 Then said Daniel to Melzar, whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, — to Melzar, the prince of the eunuchs, having put off Daniel with the above answer seems to have left him; or however Daniel finding he could not obtain from him what he sought for applies to Melzar, a subordinate officer.

12 “Test thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days, and let them give us pulse to eat and water to drink. — and let them give us beans (Chabad Bible) to eat, and water to drink;

13 Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the youths who eat of the portion of the king’s meat. And as thou seest, deal with thy servants.” — then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, in a careful examination of their physical condition, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the king’s meat, making a comparison between these four and the youths who complied with the king’s order concerning their diet; 

— and as thou seest, according to the result of the observations made after the period, deal with thy servants, the test determining the matter once for all.

14 So he consented to them in this matter, and tested them ten days.

15 And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the youths who ate the portion of the king’s meat; — and at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh, they were of a better complexion and a more healthful look: clearer-eyed and in better condition in every way, than all the other youths which did eat the portion of the king’s meat.

16 Thus Melzar took away the portion of their meat and the wine that they should drink, and gave them pulse. — Daniel and his friends ate only beans and vegetables; and drink water instead of wine.

17 As for these four youths, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams. — as for these four youths of God, who thus rewarded their faithfulness, gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom, so that they mastered the Chaldean literature and scientific knowledge; 

— and Daniel, in addition to these accomplishments, had understanding in all visions and dreams, this being clearly a miraculous gift granted by God for a special purpose and not identical with the gift of prophecy.

18 Now at the end of the days that the king had said he should bring them in, then the prince of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. — now, at the end of the days that the king had said he should bring them in, that is, at the end of the three-year period originally fixed, then the prince of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar, so that all the Jewish youths were presented for inspection and examination.

19 And the king communed with them, and among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. Therefore stood they before the king.

20 And in all matters of wisdom and understanding that the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers who were in all his realm. — and in all matters of wisdom and understanding that the king enquired of them, namely, at the general examination, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers, the most learned men and those who practiced occult arts, that were in all his realm.

21 And Daniel continued even unto the first year of King Cyrus. — and Daniel continued in Babylon and at court there and in the favour of Nebuchadnezzar and his successors:

— even unto the first year of King Cyrus: by whom Babylon was taken, and when the seventy years’ captivity of the Jews were at an end; which time Daniel was there, for the sake of observing which this is mentioned: not that Daniel died in the first year of Cyrus but at least he lived through Cyrus’s first year.

Daniel 2

1 And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, wherewith his spirit was troubled and his sleep departed from him. — and in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar when he had advanced from the position of coregent to that of sole regent of the Babylonian Empire which must have been shortly after he had examined the Jewish youths brought before him;

— Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams; he was by the interposition of God vouchsafed a vision of the future in the form of symbols, wherewith his spirit was troubled, very strongly agitated and his sleep brake from him so that he was unable to regain the tranquility of mind necessary for quiet sleep.

Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the astrologers, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans to show the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king. — then the king commanded to call the magicians, the men who were learned in the Chaldean language and literature; and the astrologers, those who were masters of incantation; and the sorcerers, the men who employed witchcraft;

— and the Chaldeans, the noblest and most exalted among the highest class of influential men in the kingdom, for to show the king his dreams to tell him the contents of his dream which he could not remember. So they came, in obedience to his summons and stood before the king.

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; for he had only a vague impression of the importance of his dream, whence he was all the more anxious to have it presented to him in all its details, together with its explanation.

Then spoke the Chaldeans to the king in Syriac, “O king, live for ever! Tell thy servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation.” — then spake the Chaldeans, as the foremost representatives of the wise men of the realm, to the king in Syriac, in the East Aramaic dialect in which this section of the book is also written;

— O king, live forever! This was the usual form of salutation at the courts of the Chaldean and the Persian monarchs. Tell thy servants the dream and we will show the interpretation; it was necessary for them to know the contents of the dream before they would even venture an interpretation.

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 and said to the Chaldeans: the thing is gone from me, that is, the statement of what he required from them had gone forth from him, he had stated his purpose of having called them; if ye will not make known unto me the dream, giving its contents, with the interpretation thereof, both of which he now clearly demanded;

— ye shall be cut in pieces, such hewing to pieces being a punishment in vogue among the Chaldeans, and your houses shall be made a dunghill, that is, razed to the ground and covered with refuse and dung.

But if ye show the dream and the interpretation thereof, ye shall receive from me gifts and rewards and great honor. Therefore show me the dream and the interpretation thereof.” — but if ye show the dream and the interpretation thereof, what it consisted in and what it meant, ye shall receive of me gifts and rewards and great honor, both in money and in advancement;

— therefore show me the dream and the interpretation thereof. The insistence of the king was that of a true Oriental despot, who demanded without a reason, simply because it suited his fancy.

They answered again and said, “Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation of it.” — they answered again and said, in an effort to bring home to the king the unreasonableness of his request, Let the king tell his servants the dream and we will show the interpretation of it.

8 The king answered and said, “I know with certainty that ye would gain the time, because ye see the thing is gone from me. — the king answered and said, I know of certainty, most assuredly, that ye would gain the time, because ye see that the thing is gone from me, as he insisted upon a speedy answer to his demand. He declared that they were merely trying to put off the matter to postpone it indefinitely in the hope that he would sufficiently relent to tell them the contents of his dream.

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 is changed. Therefore tell me the dream, and I shall know that ye can show me the interpretation thereof.” — but if ye will not make known unto me the dream, there is but one decree for you; one and the same sentence of condemnation would strike them all: for ye have prepared lying and corrupt words to speak before me, base misrepresentations, by which they kept him for a fool;

— till the time be changed; until by some lucky chance they might get into possession of the secret, or until the king would withdraw his demand. Therefore tell me the dream, which he would immediately recognize;

— and I shall know that ye can show me the interpretation thereof; it was clear to Nebuchadnezzar that the wise men were unable to reveal hidden things and therefore he concluded that the interpretation which they would offer in case they would find out the contents of the dream would, at best, be mere guesswork.

10 The Chaldeans answered before the king and said, “There is not a man upon the earth who can show the king’s matter. Therefore there is no king, lord, or ruler who asked such things of any magician, or astrologer, or Chaldean. — the Chaldeans answered before the king, in an attempt to establish the impossibility for mere human beings to satisfy the king’s demand, and said, there is not a man upon the earth that can show the king’s matter, revealing this secret thing; 

— therefore there is no king, lord nor ruler that asked such things at any magician or astrologer or Chaldean. The fact that no ruler on earth no matter how great and mighty he was had ever made such a demand, was to them a proof that the fulfillment of his command transcended the highest human wisdom.

11 And it is a rare thing that the king requireth, and there is no other who can show it before the king except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.” — and it is a rare thing that the king requireth most singular and unusual the like of which was not known in history, and there is none other that can show it before the king except the gods whose dwelling is not with flesh. “God makes the heathen 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.”

12 For this cause the king was angry and very furious, and commanded to destroy all the wise men of Babylon. — for this cause the king was angry and very furious and commanded to destroy all the wise men of Babylon, both of this city and the province.

13 And the decree went forth that the wise men should be slain, and they sought Daniel and his fellows to be slain. — and the decree went forth that the wise men should be slain, the slaughter being apparently begun; and they sought Daniel and his fellows who had not been summoned with the older members of the Chaldeans but belonged to their class to be slain. The enemies of the believers often seem to be on the verge of triumphing over them and of taking their life, but God holds His sheltering hand over His children so that without His consent no harm may come near them.

14 Then Daniel answered with counsel and wisdom to Arioch, the captain of the king’s guard, who had gone forth to slay the wise men of Babylon. — then Daniel answered with counsel and wisdom with sound and prudent advice to Arioch, the captain of the king’s guard, who was also in charge of the sentence of execution, 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 from the king so hasty?” Then Arioch made the thing known to Daniel. — he answered and said to Arioch, the king’s captain, thereby displaying the wisdom for which he afterward became so famous, Why is the decree so hasty from the king? Why the furious and sharp command, which came upon the people concerned like a bolt out of the blue sky? Then Arioch made the thing known to Daniel, giving him the information which he sought.

16 Then Daniel went in and desired of the king that he would give him time, and that he would show the king the interpretation. — then Daniel went in, naturally after being properly announced, and desired of the king that he would give him time, postponing the execution of the cruel decree for some days and that he would show the king the interpretation, thereby giving the king a definite promise.

17 Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions, — his companions; who either dwelt in the same house with him or not far off; whom he sent for and acquainted with all that had passed both between the king and the wise men and the consequence of that; and between him and the king and what promise he had made, relying on his God and theirs.

18 that they would desire mercies from 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, the fulfillment of their united prayers being represented as a taking of gifts from before the throne of God, concerning this secret, that Daniel and his fellows, his Jewish companions, should not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon, whose death, according to the king’s decree, seemed inevitable.

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. — Daniel answered and said, responding as it were, to the goodness of God with his hymn of praise, Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, this name including His entire essence and attributes; for wisdom and might are His, the two qualities coming into consideration here.

21 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. — and He changes the times and the seasons as would appear in the carrying out of the king’s prophetic vision; He removes kings and set up kings, all the events in the history of nations being determined by Him; He gives wisdom unto the wise and knowledge to them that know understanding, Daniel thus tracing his own accomplishments entirely to the gift of God.

22 He revealeth the deep and secret things; He knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with Him. — He reveals the deep and secret things, which are hidden before the eyes of such as are mere human beings; He knows what is in the darkness, what is covered before human eyes, and the light dwelleth with Him, abiding with Him as His possession, so that He is the Source of all light, physical and spiritual.

23 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, O Thou God of my fathers, of the patriarchs of the Jewish nation who hast given me wisdom and might and hast made known unto me now what we desired of Thee, that for which they had so eagerly implored Him; for Thou hast now made known unto us the king’s matter, the very thing which the Chaldeans had declared to be an impossibility.

24 Therefore Daniel went in unto Arioch, whom the king had appointed 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 show unto the king the interpretation.” — therefore Daniel went in unto Arioch; Daniel, having been thus divinely instructed, was desirous to save the lives of the wise men of Babylon, who were unjustly condemned, as well as his own; and being now prepared, he goes immediately to Arioch and bespeaks the reversing of the sentence against them; though there might be some among them, perhaps, who deserved to die as magicians by the law of God; yet that they were condemned was not a crime worthy of death.

25 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, who will make known unto the king the interpretation.”

26 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?”

27 Daniel answered in the presence of the king and said, “The secret which the king hath demanded, the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, and the soothsayers cannot show unto the king.

28 But there is a God in heaven who revealeth secrets, and maketh known to 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 heaven that reveals secrets, possessing the attribute of omniscience of which the heathen gods and their servants knew nothing and makes known to the King Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days, at the period to which the believers of the Old Testament were looking forward with such intense eagerness. Thy dream and the visions of thy head, those which he saw in his mind, 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. — as for thee, O king, thy thoughts came into thy mind upon thy bed, he was engaged with these problems, what should come to pass hereafter; and He that reveals secrets, the one true God, whom the Jews worshiped, makes 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 anyone living, but for their sakes who 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 more than any living, because he possessed such an extraordinary measure of wisdom by virtue of his own efforts or natural abilities, but for their sakes that shall make known the interpretation to the king and that thou might know the thoughts of thy heart. 

31 “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, that is, he beheld before his eyes, he had his gave fixed upon the vision and behold a great image, a statute in human form. This great image, whose brightness was excellent stood before thee, over against him in full view; and the form thereof was terrible on account of its colossal proportions and its terrifying aspect.

32 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, or ”as far as the image was concerned, its head was of pure gold,” his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs, or “his hips with the upper thighs,” of brass;

33 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. “Only the first part, the head, constitutes a unity; the second, in the arms, shows evidence of division; the third has the same feature in the thighs: the fourth while proceeding from a common source, is entirely divided, although it also possesses ability of motion; the fifth is divided from the start and is finally subdivided still further in the ten toes. The material becomes less precious as we proceed, until it reaches common clay.”

34 Thou sawest until a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and broke them to pieces. — thou sawest, that is, the king’s gaze was still directed toward this image, till that a stone was cut out, being torn loose from a mountain above, without hands, without human agency by a special act of God, which, in rolling down from the mountainside, smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay and brake them to pieces.

35 Then were 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. — then, as a result of this smashing blow, was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver and the gold all the perishable materials of the image named in reverse order, broken to pieces together and became like the chaff of the summer threshing-floors, reduced to the finest dust to be carried away by the wind, totally demolished; 

— and the wind carried them away that no place was found for them, that not a vestige remained; and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth, the image and all it represented sinking into insignificance beside it.

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. — thou, O king, art a king of kings, a great sovereign, ruler of a world-power; for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, or dominion, power and strength and glory, the attention of the king being here directed to the one Lord, the Dispenser of all good gifts.

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. — and wheresoever the children of men dwell, even in the most remote parts of the habitable world, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath He given into thine hand, in an absolute dominion such as man possessed at the beginning;

— and hath made thee ruler over them all, his power extended over practically the entire world then known, at least to all parts which might be termed civilized. Thou art this head of gold, this being all the more appropriate since Babylon possessed an immense wealth, also precious metals.

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. — and after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, with a lower standard of political morals, lacking in internal strength, although still possessing a world sovereignty, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth, by virtue of its unyielding hardness, though also inferior in quality.

40 And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron, inasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things; and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise. — and the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron, forasmuch as, or “just as” iron breaketh in pieces and subdue all things, crushing them and utterly destroying them; and as iron that breaketh all these shall it break in pieces and bruise, its destructive power being the point of comparison.

41 And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potter’s clay and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it the strength of the iron, inasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. — and whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay and part of iron, total weakness and lack of power being implied in the terms, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, this being retained in spite of the internal division, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay, in its sticky form, just as it came from the pits.

42 And as the toes of the feet were part of iron and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly broken. — and as the toes of the feet were part of iron and part of clay, indicating the weakness of the feet supporting the great colossus, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly broken, that is, chiefly brittle and therefore always on the verge of disintegration.

43 And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men; but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. — and whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they, the rulers and the various ruling elements making up the fourth kingdom, shall mingle themselves with the seed of men, making an effort to establish harmony; 

— but they shall not cleave one to another, in a firmly coherent mass, even as iron is not mixed with clay, namely, in a solid and permanent union. The meaning is clear; the world-power in its totality appears as a colossal human form: Babylon, the head of gold; Medo-Persia, the breast and the two arms of silver; the Greco-Macedonian Empire, as the belly and the two thighs of brass; and Rome with its various branches and dependent kingdoms, as the legs of iron and the feet of iron and clay. “Those kingdoms only are mentioned which stand in some relation to the Lord’s people.”

44 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. — and in the days of these kings, while the various minor rulers were in power under the general sovereignty of Rome shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed, its divine and eternal character being evident throughout; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, its dominion taken over by a new power which might arise;

— but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, bringing all world powers to an end, and it shall stand forever. The kingdom of Christ is not of this world, and yet its power is such as to overcome all human might and authority and to establish instead the glorious reign of the Kingdom of God; for Christ is the King of kings and the Lord of lords.

45 Inasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke 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, without human agency and influence and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold, all these materials being equally powerless to stand before its impetuous rush;

— the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter, the one and only true God having might not only to make such wonderful revelations, but also to bring His promises to pass. And the dream is certain and the interpretation thereof sure, a fact which Daniel’s emphatic statement properly brought to the foreground in conclusion.

46 Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face and worshiped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet incense unto him. — then the King Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, overcome by the wisdom contained in this straightforward declaration and worshiped Daniel, giving him adoration as a prophet of the true God, worshiping the Lord in the person of Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odors unto him.

47 The king answered unto Daniel and said, “In truth it is, that your God is a God of gods and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou could reveal this secret.” — the king answered unto Daniel and said, Of a truth it is that your God is a God of gods, in the eyes of Nebuchadnezzar the mightiest of all gods, and a King of kings, and a Revealer of secrets, seeing thou could reveal this secret, which was so obviously beyond mere human ability.

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. — then the king made Daniel a great man, exalting him to a position of great dignity and power, and gave him many great gifts, rewarding him after the manner of Oriental rulers; Observation: Daniel didn’t refused the king’s offer of gifts; nor stopped him from worshipping him;

— and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, a civil appointment which gave him the administration in the most important province of the empire, and chief of the governors over all the wise men of Babylon, a position of influence as well as of honor.

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. — then Daniel requested of the King, and he set Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego over the affairs of the province of Babylon, as those immediately in charge of the business of administration; but Daniel sat in the gate of the king, as his chief counselor over the various orders into which the wise men of Babylon were divided. The Saints may well occupy even the highest positions in the state for then they may perform the work of their office to the honor of God and for the true welfare of the state.

~ by Joel Huan on December 13, 2021.

2 Responses to “Daniel (Ch 1-2)”

  1. […] Study of Chapters 1 and 2 HERE ~ —— […]

  2. Powerful message

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