Thou, O king, sawest
Or, "wast seeing" F26; not with the eyes of his body, but in his fancy and imagination; as he was dreaming, he thought he saw such an appearance, so it seemed to him, as follows: and behold a great image;
or, "one great image" F1; not painted, but a massive statue made of various metals, as is afterwards declared: such, though not so large as this, as the king had been used to see, which he had in his garden and palace, and which he worshipped; but this was of a monstrous size, a perfect colossus, and but one, though it consisted of various parts; it was in the form of a great man, as Saadiah and Jacchiades observe; and represented each of the monarchies of this world governed by men; and these being expressed by an image, show how vain and delusory, how frail and transitory, are the kingdoms of the earth, and the glory of them: this great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee:
right over against him, and near him, as he thought; so that he had a full view of it, and saw it at its full length and size, and its dazzling lustre, arising from the various metals of gold, silver, brass, and iron, it was made of; which was exceeding bright, and made it look very majestic: and the form thereof was terrible;
either there was something in the countenance menacing and horrid; or the whole form, being so gigantic, struck the king with admiration, and was even terrible to him; and it may denote the terror that kings, especially arbitrary and despotic ones, strike their subjects with.
F26 (tywh hzh) "videns fuisti", Montanus, Michaelis; "videns eras", Vatablus.
F1 (aygv dx Mlu) "imago una grandis", Pagninus, Montanus; "imago una magna", Junius & Tremellius, Cocceius; "simulachrum unum magnum", Michaelis.