Daniel 2

Chapter 2

2:2  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.

Chaldeans

i.e. the men having the ancient wisdom; the learned; Chaldeans par excellence ( Daniel 2:13 ). "wise"

2:4  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.

Syriack

From Dan. 2:4 ; 7:28 the Book of Daniel is written in Aramaic the ancient language of Syria, and substantially identical with Chaldaic, the language of ancient Babylonia. Upon this fact, together with the occurrence of fifteen Persian, and three Greek words has been based an argument against the historicity of Daniel, and in favour of a date after the conquest of Palestine by Alexander (B.C. 332). It has, however, seemed, with some modern exceptions, to the Hebrew and Christian scholarship of the ages an unanswerable proof rather of the Danielic authorship of the book that, living from boyhood in a land the language of which was Chaldaic, a great part of his writing should be in that tongue. It has often been pointed out that the Chaldaic of Daniel is of high antiquity, as is shown by comparison with that of the Targums. The few words of Persian and Greek in like manner confirm the writer's residence at a court constantly visited by emissaries from those peoples. It is noteworthy that the Aramaic section is precisely that part of Daniel which most concerned the peoples amongst whom he lived, and to whom a prophecy written in Hebrew would have been unintelligible. The language returns to Hebrew in the predictive portions which have to do with the future of Israel. "The Hebrew of Daniel is closely related to that of Ezekiel."--Delitzsch.

2:14  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:

captain

Or, executioner, Daniel 2:24 .

2:22  He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him.

revealeth

See margin, Genesis 41:45 . (See Scofield "Genesis 41:45") , ; Daniel 4:9 ; Job 15:8 ; Psalms 25:14 ; Proverbs 3:32 ; Matthew 6:6 .

2:29  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.

what should come

Times (of the Gentiles), Daniel 2:29-45 ; Revelation 16:19 ; Luke 21:24 .

2:31  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.

great image

The monarchy-vision. Nebuchadnezzar's dream, as interpreted by Daniel, gives the course and end of "the times of the Gentiles" Luke 21:24 . (See Scofield "Revelation 16:19") that is, of Gentile world-empire. The four metals composing the image are explained as symbolizing Daniel 2:38-40 four empires, not necessarily possessing the inhabited earth, but able to do so ( Daniel 2:38 ), and fulfilled in Babylon, Media-Persia, Greece (under Alexander), and Rome. The latter power is seen divided, first into two (the legs), fulfilled in the Eastern and Western Roman empires, and then into ten (the toes) See Scofield " Daniel 7:26 . As a whole, the image gives the imposing outward greatness and splendour of the Gentile world-power.

The smiting Stone Daniel 2:34 Daniel 2:35 destroys the Gentile world-system (in its final form) by a sudden and irremediable blow, not by the gradual processes of conversion and assimilation; and then, and not before, does the Stone become a mountain which fills "the whole earth." (Cf. Daniel 7:26 Daniel 7:27 ). Such a destruction of the Gentile monarchy-system did not occur at the first advent of Christ. On the contrary, He was put to death by the sentence of an officer of the fourth empire, which was then at the zenith of its power. Since the crucifixion the Roman empire has followed the course marked out in the vision, but Gentile world dominion still continues, and the crushing blow is still suspended. The detail of the end-time is given in Daniel 7:1-28, and Re 13.-19. It is important to see

(1) that Gentile world-power is to end in a sudden catastrophic judgment (see "Armageddon," Revelation 16:14 ; 19:21 ).

(2) that it is immediately followed by the kingdom of heaven, and that the God of the heavens does not set up His kingdom till after the destruction of the Gentile world- system. It is noteworthy that Gentile world-dominion begins and ends with a great image. Daniel 2:31 ; Revelation 13:14 Revelation 13:15 .

2:35  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.

mountain

A mountain is one of the bibical symbols of a kingdom. (See Scofield "Isaiah 2:2") .

2:38  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.

wheresoever the children

This is universal dominion. It was never fully realized, but power was given for it.

2:41  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.

but there shall be

From the "head of gold" ( Daniel 2:38 ) to the "iron" of the "fourth kingdom" (Rome) there is deterioration in fineness, but increase of strength ( Daniel 2:40 ). Then comes the deterioration of the "fourth kingdom" in that very quality, strength.

(1) Deterioration by division: The kingdom is divided into two, the legs (Eastern and Western empires), and these are again divided into kingdoms, the number of which when the Stone smites the image will be ten toes, Daniel 2:42 ; cf. Daniel 7:23 Daniel 7:24 .

(2) Deterioration by admixture; the iron of the Roman imperium mixed with the clay of the popular will, fickle and easily moulded. This is precisely what has come to pass in the constitutional monarchies which, the Republic of France and the despotism of Turkey, cover the sphere of ancient Roman rule.

2:44  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

The passage fixes authoritatively the time relative to other predicted events, when the kingdom of the heavens will be set up. It will be "in the days of those kings," i.e. the days of the ten kings (cf. Daniel 7:24-27 symbolized by the toes of the image. That condition did not exist at the advent of Messiah, nor was it even possible until the dissolution of the Roman empire, and the rise of the present national world system. See "Kingdom (O.T.)" ; Genesis 1:26 ; Zechariah 12:8 "Kingdom (N.T.)" ; Luke 1:31-33 ; 1 Corinthians 15:28, (See Scofield "Matthew 3:2") note (defining "kingdom of heaven"). Verse 45 repeats the method by which the kingdom will be set up. (Cf) See Scofield " Daniel 2:31 " ; Psalms 2:5 ; 2:6 ; Zechariah 14:1-8 ; 14:9 .

2:49  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.

Daniel

Cf. Genesis 19:1 . Lot the compromiser with Daniel the inflexible.

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